Monday, February 23, 2009

SmallPond Designs New Site for Sacred Artichoke Catering

Truckee-based Sacred Artichoke Catering has a new Web site with info about their unique services and a blog for foodies.

Through the new Web site,, visitors can learn about the company’s philosophy and request to schedule a consultation. Sacred Artichoke also features a unique array of menus, including an aphrodisiac menu for newlyweds.

“The new site is a great showcase of our catering services,” said Tommy Adkins, owner of the company. “It’s a convenient way for people to learn about our culinary philosophy and get in touch to plan their next event.”

Local marketing and graphic design firm SmallPond Studio created the Web site.

Sacred Artichoke Catering works to develop seasonal, sustainable and ethical menus, designed with care and perfection. With over 25 years of combined experience, the company caters large and small events, ranging from weddings and corporate parties to smaller, private affairs. To learn more about Sacred Artichoke Catering, call (530) 414-3368 or visit

For more information on SmallPond Studio, a graphic design and marketing company located in downtown Truckee, call (530) 587-5625 or visit

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Email Marketing - Where to Begin?

With the economy in the shape it's in, it's difficult for small businesses to know how to spend their marketing dollars. We recommend e-mail marketing as one way our clients can make the most of their marketing budget.

A recent survey of marketing execs by Datran Media found that e-mail leads all other marketing channels by a wide margin in terms of performance for their companies. Nearly 60 percent of respondents anticipated they would increase their spending on e-mail marketing in 2009.

E-mail is a great way to tell potential clients about your product and services, and it reminds your existing clientele that you exist. Best of all, it’s relatively cheap.

On a side note, this is not to discourage print advertising. Times are tough in the publishing world, so now's the time to get deals on ad space or to see if you can renegotiate your print advertising contract. Print advertising will always be important in our region’s tourist market.

Back to e-mail marketing. Here is a bit about the basics:

What is e-mail marketing?
Basically, it is the messages you receive in your e-mail that look like a web page. Sometimes they let you know about a store's latest specials. Other times they're newsletters. Usually they include the company's logo and other branding elements.

We generally recommend our clients keep the content short and to the point. People don't have much time to read e-mail, and you must be sensitive to that.

How to get started
At SmallPond Studio, we build custom templates for our clients, so they can either leave it to us to update their eblast each time they send it out or they can do it themselves with our simple editing tool.

Once the e-mail is set up with the design and content, we import the client's e-mail contact list, set up a date to distribute the e-mail, and our software sends it. It's as easy as that.

With our new e-mail marketing system, clients can even log in via the SmallPond web site and distribute their own e-mail campaigns.

This is when the fun begins. After the e-mail has been sent out, our clients can log in and check the progress of their campaign. You can see how many people opened the message, who opened it, who clicked which links – the statistics are endless. They can even see what time of day the recipients opened the e-mail to determine when to send the next campaign.

All in all, a custom e-mail marketing template is inexpensive to set up, and it's downright cheap to send. Couple that with the ability to track its success, and you have a lean-on-the-green marketing machine.

Contact SmallPond Studio today to get started on your e-mail marketing campaign. E-mail us at or call 530.587-5625.

Monday, February 16, 2009

SEO Stuff: Google Analytics 101

One of the more powerful tools SmallPond Studio adds to its web sites is Google Analytics. We set up each of our sites so our clients can view their site's performance and usage statistics.

For example, with the use of Google Analytics, our clients can see how many visits their site has had in the last week, month or year. They can see where those visitors went once they arrived, how long they spent on the site, and how many pages they visited. They can see how people arrived at their web site – either by links on other web sites, from search engines, or through direct traffic (people who actually typed in the site's address to get there).

You can even see which keywords people type into Google to arrive at your web site.

There are varying degrees to which we use these statistics. For some of our clients, we use Google Analytics to help craft their online marketing plan. These statistics help us set up and track the success of Google AdWords and other online marketing campaigns. For other clients, we use analytics to improve their ranking in search engines like Google and Yahoo.

Some of our clients simply enjoy knowing how people found them and where their visitors live.

Contact us at to find out more about how you can use this powerful tool for your business.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

SmallPond Creates New Web Site for Green Engineering Firm

Truckee’s Bender Engineering + Commissioning, Inc. has launched a new Web site, featuring the company’s energy and green consulting services.

On the new Web site,, visitors can learn about the company’s various capabilities, which include commissioning, engineering, green building, energy ratings and LEED consulting.

“Through this new Web site, we are able to show our full range of energy, certification and green consulting services,” said Jeff Bender, owner of the company. “The site allows our potential clients to learn more about what we offer and get in touch with us.”

Truckee’s SmallPond Studio designed the Web site.

Located in historic downtown Truckee, Bender Engineering + Commissioning, Inc. provides an assortment of services, including commissioning, engineering, green building, consulting and more. With a client base throughout California and Nevada, their projects range from small residential projects to large commercial projects. To learn more about Bender Engineering + Commissioning, Inc., call (530) 582-5578 or visit

For more information on SmallPond Studio, a graphic design and marketing company located in downtown Truckee, call (530) 587-5625 or visit