Branding 102

The American Red Cross spent $10. million to develop their web site; $2. million annually sustains it. While I do not know any organization in our communal world with an expenditure so large, I do suspect more than one are in the same ballpark as a percentage of their operating budgets.

So, the question is, you’ve put all this time, effort and money into the site. Beta-tested new ideas; possibly even held focus groups. And you’re still left with the nagging question,

will they come?

You can easily fall into a bottomless pit spending money to market your website. But, there are also many (and important) ways you should be building your brand for free.

What brings this up now?

During the past month or so we have seen a number of Conferences in our Jewish world. Many of our regular readers took time off for the Pesach Chag. As a result, on any given day our daily updates are sent, I receive a good number of automatic “out of office” replies. Looking at the email signatures is often a good way to tell the organizational affiliation and responsibility level of our subscribers.

The surprising fact? The name is there; occasionally a title; generally the phone number; and sometimes even the email address is printed below. But, uniformly what is missing? the organization’s web address.

That’s right. From the largest, and wealthiest, organizations in our Jewish world (including two powerful Foundations); from their media spokes-persons (unbelievable!) to the CEO’s, the email signature does not contain the web address. And every single one of these organizations has a pretty good web site.

In fact, a “shout-out” to Sharsheret; the ONLY “out-of-office” reply we received with a web-site tag-line!

We list for you six places you should always list your web address. After all, you’ve probably spent a fair amount of money designing not only your site but your ancillary marketing materials. What’s more, this is all free advertising!

  • letterheads
  • pledge cards
  • newsletters
  • business cards
  • all marketing materials
  • last but not least, your email signature.