Dasha from the Web Design Team at Rosewood sits at her desk

Today, every business needs a website. It allows potential customers or clients to learn about your service, contact you, view, and book services, and/or purchase products. When starting a new business, building its website is one of the first things you should do. 

Creating and designing a website, however, takes a lot of skills and knowledge that you probably don’t have time to dedicate yourself to, especially since you’re running your business. Hiring a team to design, build, and maintain your website gives you a professional and effective website without you sacrificing your time where it matters most. Our web design team creates professional, beautiful, functional, and accessible websites that suit your business. Before they can start designing, there will be a few things you will need to do. Here are all the essentials you need before you meet with Rosewoods’ team, and they start designing the website that perfectly represents and serves your business.

Registering a Domain

In order for you to start a website, your business will need a domain name. The domain is the main address that points to your website. google.com, wikipedia.org, and rosewoodmarketing.ca are all examples of domain names. There can be a lot that goes into coming up with a domain, like whether you want a .com, .ca, or another top-level domain. Two quick standards to remember is that shorter and memorable are better, and ensure it aligns with your brand’s name.

However, you can’t just create and have a domain. It needs to be available and registered. To see if a domain is available and how much it will cost, use a registry service, like GoDaddy. A domain will cost you an annual fee to register and retain. If the domain is new, it will be a nominal cost, but already registered domains can cost significantly more. However, if your new domain gains value and you decide you want to sell it, GoDaddy provides this option. 


To build your website, it will need content: pictures, text, graphics, etc. Gather and create/commission all the materials you want for your website. If you’re not sure what to include, look at the websites of similar businesses to get a sense of the kind of content you need. An “about us” write up, contact information, location, availability, information about the services or products you provide, and a gallery of your store or examples of your work are all standards.

Logo and Branding

Often when starting your business, after the countless hours of picking the right, and available, name then comes the struggle of just the right logo. It’s the icon that will represent your business on all its communication channels. It will also be a main image on your website so it’s essential you have it ready beforehand. Along with your logo, you will need your branding. Your branding determines your business’ aesthetic. A marketing team will use these colours, fonts, and voice/tone to design a perfectly representative website.

Pictures Really Are Worth a Thousand Words

A lot of your website’s content will be visual to give a full impression of your business. There are two main options to give your website professional pictures. One more immediate option is to create a collection of stock images. Only pick those that reflect your business’ brand and aesthetic, or else the images will feel disingenuous. Alternatively, book a photoshoot to get professional pictures for your site. These will give your website a more accurate and authentic reflection of your business. Fortunately, Rosewood also provides brand photography. Let us know if this is something you would like to add to build your website.

Get a Google Business Profile

Google Business is one of the essential places you need to be listing your business. By creating a Google Business Profile, your business will populate in Google searches, and you can directly connect your website to the profile. You can also post the same pictures from your photoshoot here. This profile will help optimize your new website for Google searches so that more people discover your business and visit the website.

A Website Hosting Provider

A domain allows users to get to your website by entering the address in their browser, but your actual website and all its content will need to be hosted on a server that people can access. You will need to subscribe your domain to a hosting service that will keep your website up. There are numerous hosting services available, but your marketing and website design team can recommend a hosting provider. We recommend Cloudways or use our affiliate link with Siteground.

Connecting with a Marketing Team

The expertise of a marketing team like Rosewood’s can help you strategize the most effective sections, social media connections, and content plans like blogs and email marketing for your business’ website. They can also help you with content and branding, and help you determine the best combination that will perfectly suit your business and properly contend with any competition. Contact our marketing team for help strategizing your website.

You are ready to build a website!

Once you have these materials prepared, you’re ready to have a website built and designed. Our website design team will take all these and create mockups for your approval. Once approved, you’ll soon see your website starting to come to life. Ready to start the design process? Contact Rosewood’s website design team today!

Papers with drawings and mockups for website design
Person golding phone in front of laptop on desk

This week’s blog is an introduction to email marketing. With the rise of social media, some believe email is “dead”. In reality, email is still essential, and there are over 4 billion email users daily and most customers prefer to receive communications from brand by email. Email marketing is an incredibly important tool for reaching and communicating with your audience, community, customers, or clients and keeping them engaged. We’re going to provide you with some essential starting tips for effective email marketing. 

Email Marketing Platforms We Recommend

If you have any experience with email marketing, you’re familiar with email marketing platforms. These help you create emails and campaigns, manage your audience, set up automations, and more. They make email marketing possible and effective. The best ones have toolsets to create visually impressive and gripping emails and tailor specific parts of your audience. Today, there are countless services out there and most offer comparable functionality so here are our top picks. We ultimately recommend testing out the email builders and automation tools in each to see which you prefer. Those listed here are all free to try with advanced functionality behind premium plans. 

  • MailChimp 
  • Klaviyo 
  • Drip

Create Templates

Every email marketing platform will let you create templates. These provide a basic structure for you to insert content. With these as a foundation, you will significantly cut down on the time needed for making emails. If you regularly send different kinds of emails, build a template for each. Use some variety to prevent them from being identical but ensure each also matches your branding for visual continuity and recognition. Consistent templates will also improve that recognition between your emails. 

Piquing Subject Line

Most inboxes receive a torrent of emails daily, with a large portion of those going right to the trash. For effective email marketing that gets clicks, you first need opens. That means you need an enticing subject line. Effective email marketing uses subjects that create urgency and kindle curiosity to encourage opens. Using words and phrases like “still time”, “expiring”, “last chance”, or enticing questions will quickly generate more opens. Be careful about certain other words like “Winner”, “Cheap”, “Satisfaction”, or “100% Free”. These can immediately trigger spam filters. 


An extremely effective way to generate opens is to personalize emails. A personalized subject line can increase open rates by 50%! When having people signup to your newsletter or audience, try to collect their first names in a website popup or signup in your website’s footer. If your email marketing platform is hooked into your website’s back end, it will be able to then add their names into the subject line or email body to create a more personalized touch. 

Call to Action

It’s great if you are getting good open rates on your marketing emails. You need to ensure those generate into clicks and, even better, sales. Include call to actions in your email that incite readers to follow through to your website, store, forward the email to others, and complete any other action you are hoping they perform. Simple commands or buttons with “Order now” or “Read More” will direct readers to your desired outcome. For promotional emails, include product or service images that are clickable. 

Link Everything

It’s great if your email has call to action that encourage readers to go beyond and visit your business’ social platforms or website, shop for products/services, or subscribe to more emails. However, any call to action also needs to be quick and convenient, else readers are unlikely to follow through. Provide visible and accessible links for readers to easily click and act. Don’t just link text either; add a URL value to any of the images you include in your email. A dead link is a missed opportunity. A logo at the top should link to your website’s home page. A product image or blog image should link and open their respective landing pages on your website. The goal is to make it as easy and convenient as possible for your reader to follow your call to action. Show some restraint though, and do not flood your email with links. Too many URLs in an email will trigger spam filters.

Email Automations

Email automations are useful, and if you have a moderate to large-userbase, completely necessary. They automatically contact your customers and users at certain triggers without you needing to manually write and send them yourself. They can update customers about shipping information, provide product suggestions, and reengage old customers. Without email automations, this would be an infeasible amount of work. If you want to learn more about email automations and the kinds you should start with, check out our blog post here.

Manage Your Audience

Email automations are also a perfect way to manage your audience. At some point, certain members of your audience may become disengaged. They receive but don’t open your emails and haven’t for months. While a larger audience number seem more impressive, a disengaged audience impairs your open and click rates. Users immediately deleting your emails or even marking them as spam can also impair your sender rating, affecting your ability to reach the engaged members of your audience. It’s a good idea to actively try and reengage this disengaged audience. If they still don’t open your emails, remove them entirely. This kind of list cleaning should be done once or twice annually. You can use email automations to do this regularly.

It is also valuable to section off your audience for specific communications. Email marketing services hooked into your store’s backend can create “personas” according to your users’ purchase and browse history to identify their interests. You can then tailor emails to these sections. For example, if you provide various services, you may have some clients who should receive emails about service A while other clients will be interested in emails about service B. This ensures users are receiving communications that matter to them.

Email Marketing Law

Canada’s anti-spam legislation limits to whom you can send emails and what you must include. You specifically need consent from any user to send them emails. For newsletters, this means readers need to be subscribed. However, automated emails like product recommendations or an abandoned cart have consent so long as user purchased or visited your site within the past year. However, there’s still a limit to how many communications you can send, and all emails need to include unsubscribe links so that users can revoke consent at any time. All your emails also need to provide alternative contact information such as your physical address or phone number.

Email Marketing Key Performance Indexes (KPIs)

Lastly, you need to track how your emails are performing. These are tracked with primary statistics called “Key Performance Indexes” or KPIs. An email marketing platform will provide you plenty of data to parse, but not everything might be pertinent and each needs to be interpreted differently. These are the essential email KPIs:

  1. Clickthrough Rate – The percentage of readers that follow a link in an email.
  2. Conversion Rate – The percentage of emails that turn into sales or other activity.
  3. Bounce Rate – The percentage of emails that don’t reach the targeted inbox. 
  4. List Growth Rate – The rate at which the email audience list grows.
  5. Email Sharing/Forwarding Rate – The percentage of emails that are forwarded or shared to others who did not receive the original email. 
  6. Overall ROI (Return on Investment) – The financial return generated from an email campaign. The simplest formula is: ROI = (Gross Return – Cost of Investment) ÷ Cost of Investment
  7. Open Rate – The percentage of emails opened.
  8. Unsubscribe Rate – The percentage of readers who unsubscribed after receiving an email.

More to Learn

There’s plenty to learn with email marketing, but for now we’ll stop the lesson here. If you’re practicing these essential tips, you are already most of the way there. If you have questions or are looking to improve your email marketing, contact us at Rosewood. We’re email experts and provide a variety of email services for any stage of the email marketing process whether your business is ecommerce or service based. 

Man using his phone with accessible media.

Two months ago, we provided some advice for updating your website to meet and comply with web accessibility standards and why it is beneficial for your business beyond just being a legal requirement. The inclusivity of accessibility is just as essential on social media so everyone can access, view, and engage with your content. Increasing your content’s accessibility also increases your ability to grow by allowing you to reach your full potential audience. It also simply benefits those with disabilities who might not otherwise be able to access your content. Here are some essential tips for making your posts, stories, reels, etc. more accessible.

Social Media Accessibility

Social media platforms come with numerous accessibility concerns around text, images, and video. There can be a lot to keep in mind, but here are some basics to always consider that will immediately increase your content’s accessibility.

Tips for Accessible Writing

Nearly every bit of content on social media includes some text, a description, a caption, or part of the picture or video. That text is a crucial part of the content, and you want everyone to be able to read and understand it.

  • Accessible Language – It is best practice to not include specialist terminology in your writing to ensure a general audience understands it. Avoid jargon, technical terms, or specialized acronyms and abbreviations. Similarly, only use slang if your audience is familiar with it. These specialized terms can confuse and alienate anyone unfamiliar with them, which will include many potential customers or clients. Your writing can still communicate effectively and retain your brand’s voice without them.
  • Pascal Case for Hashtags – Hashtags entirely written in lower case can be difficult to read, especially for those with dyslexia or visual impairments. Screen readers and people can also have difficulty separating the words: #momscare could be “moms care” or “mom scare”. Capitalizing each word, called Pascal Case or Upper Camel Case, will dispel any ambiguity and increase legibility: #AnAlbumParty.
  • Avoid All Caps: It might be surprising, but studies have repeatedly found that all upper-case text is even less legible than all lower-case because it gives every word the same rectangular shape. Avoid all capital fonts and write with normal, mixed casing as much as possible. The occasional all upper-case word is okay but remember an exclamation mark can be just as effective for communicating excitement or surprise.
  • Avoid too many emojis and special characters: Too many emojis and special characters can reduce your text’s legibility. As well, speech-to-text programs read each one of these characters aloud individually, leading for an unpleasant reading experience. For this reason, it is also best to put hashtags at the end of your text. Screen readers read out each # as “number sign”. Placing hashtags at the end allows those using screen readers or text to speech to turn it off when they have already heard the meat of your content.

Tips for Accessible Images and Videos

Images and videos are essential components of your visual content on every social media platform, but they can also present accessibility concerns. Here are tips to ensure your entire audience can enjoy and understand them.

  • Alt-text and descriptions: Descriptions of images and videos help users who may have difficulty or cannot see your visual content. These will allow users to visualize the content for themselves. Some platforms support alt-text where the description is engrained into the image, such as Twitter. If the platform does not support alt-text, simply include a description in the post. 
  • Effective Descriptions: An effective description will include important details that captures both content and tone. Explain graphics, mention colours, identify emotions, and transcribe any text in the video or picture.
  • Closed Captions: Adding sound to image and videos rounds out your content, but some of your users may have hearing difficulties. Many also prefer to view content with their devices muted. Closed captions allow those members of your audience to still access that essential aspect of your content. Include captions for any sounds in your videos, e.g. talking, music, and noises. Most platforms can automatically generate closed captions. However, make sure to verify and edit them so they are accurate. 

Social Media Accessibility for Text on Your Images and Videos

Text on images and videos adds other accessibility concerns, so we have created a separate section to ensure you are providing an accessible experience and ensuring your content’s quality.  

  • Text Contrast: Ensure any text on a picture and video contrast with the background. Anyone with visual impairments will have difficulty reading your text if it does not fully stand out. Use complementary colours for your text to have it stand against the background, e.g. black on white or yellow on blue/purple. Do not use colours that both contain reds and greens to create contrast. While the text may contrast for you, it will not for anyone with colourblindness, a common visual impairment. 
  • Text Contrast and Videos: Videos usually have moving backgrounds and changing colours. Some white text may contrast perfectly with the black at the start of the video, but if that spot becomes white, the text will disappear. A solid background is an easy solution and a feature provided by every social media platform. Creating high contrast between these two, will keep the text visible for the entire time. A less apparent, but similarly effective method is to add an outline or stroke to the text. White text with a black outline should be visible with nearly any background.
  • Font Choice and Size: Text on an image should be easily legible. Ensure the font is large enough to see. Stick to typographic fonts that use printing letter. Calligraphic and cursive fonts are more difficult to read. 
  • Voice to text: Some may not be able to read your text on your images and videos even with these accessibility considerations. You can also provide audio that reads captions or descriptions. Most social media platforms include voice to text that will automatically read any caption on your post with a robotic voice. You can also record yourself for a more personal touch. On TikTok, audio captions are expected and voice-to-text voice has become a recognizable part of the platform.

Summing up

There is plenty to learn when increasing your content’s accessibility. The best practices are always developing, and platforms are always building more tools. Increasing your content’s accessibility soon becomes habit, and it is extremely valuable to your audience. If you have more questions about social media accessibility, Rosewood’s social media team is happy to help. 

Accessible social media makes everyone happy.