Our thoughts

Ideas are illusive things

Wouldn’t it be a shame if you forgot how to use your imagination?

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Everything starts with an idea, and it is our imagination and free-thinking that allows our minds to develop those linchpin ideas that hold together an entire marketing concept. All hail the imagination!
“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the  world.” Albert Einstein.

Wouldn’t it be a shame if you forgot how to use your imagination?

The imagination is a muscle. The more you exercise it, the more toned it becomes, ready to drop into action like a grade A fighter pilot dropping ideas onto that killer of a problem. Remember when you were a child, and the Poddington Peas really did live at the bottom of your garden, with the fairies, dragons, pixies and gnomes and monsters and EVERYTHING! As we grow, we forget to imagine, and ultimately it becomes more difficult to activate that muscle.

“For millions of years, mankind lived just like the animals. Then something happened which unleashed the power of our imagination. We learned to talk and listen.” Stephen Hawkings – British Telecom Advert, 1993.

Your imagination is important

Without the imagination of Paul Needs and Colin Wyatt, the Poddington Peas would never have existed. Similarly without the imagination of James Dyson, vacuums would still need bags. The imagination of great people who exercise it frequently, plugs into the world we know today. And your boss really would be well advised to let you daydream a little from time to time.

The world benefits from imagination in so many ways. And the imagination is stimulated by the world.

The imagination is powerful, use it wisely

The imagination is your most powerful tool and you can use it in many ways. You can use it to imagine the worse possible outcomes, or you can use it to imagine the most inspiring solutions. Olympic athletes are taught to see in their minds eye their step by step performance, and in doing so it is believed to trigger their body to perform for success. This doesn’t mean if you imagine a dragon in your garden that it’s going to appear, (dammit – sighs of disappointment), but you understand how powerful this tool can be if you harness it. Exercise it. Train it to work harder.

Make sure to give your imagination a workout

Just like any other muscle, giving your imagination a good old workout is essential to keeping it healthy and active. We’re busy people. We lead busy lives. When on earth are we going to find the time to let our minds have the pleasure of a wander into the land of imagination?

Take time to access the deepest depths of your mind. Opportunities to do so present themselves every day. Waiting for the kettle to boil, that’s 2-3 minutes of wander time, or soaking in the bath – at least 30 minutes! You really should make the most of that mundane commute to work; take a walk on your lunch, but keep using your imagination in whatever ways you can. Doodle, daydream, meditate or even simply watch the clouds pass over (how many times have you seen a cloud in the shape of a dog?). Take in the many details of your environment that you wouldn’t usually, explore your world in high definition and let your mind be free with the information it receives.

We’re lucky, imagination, vision and creativity are an essential part to every day life at InsideOut Creative

Although we’re a creative agency, we too are bound to working within strict frameworks, from budgets, finely tuned client objectives and specific media types are just some of the limitations that harness us each and every day.

Creativity and constraint should be sworn enemies, the Tom and Jerry of the creative world. And whilst it’s true that often we like to become part of the brief, the tighter the brief delivered to us – the more constrained we become and often the more active our imaginations have to behave to deliver those essential ideas.

As Albert Einstein said, “Logic will get you from A – Z; imagination will get you everywhere.”

So, just because you have parameters in your day to day role, don’t forget to use your imagination to add a little creative thinking to your presentation or report to deliver that left field solution that might just be a winner. Failing that, you’ll be sure to make someone smile along the way.

By Leah Marley

Responsive Website Design

Improve user engagement.

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For most people, logging onto your desktop to specifically browse the Internet is probably a thing of the past. Instead, we turn to our smartphones and tablets and within seconds we find the information that we set out to look for.

In a report from Google titled ‘What Users Want Most from Mobile Sites Today’, a total of 48% of users said they feel frustrated and annoyed when they access a website that isn’t mobile friendly and 52% of users stated that a bad mobile experience made them less likely to engage with a company.

Just as technology and the way we use it has evolved, website design has evolved somewhat rapidly alongside it. We’ve seen the introduction of new terminology such as ‘fixed, liquid, adaptive and responsive.’ The list goes on. But, what does it all mean? For now, let’s focus on the three main structures: fixed, adaptive and responsive.

The difference between fixed, adaptive and responsive

For some time, there was a lot of confusion over the various terminology and how they differ. Here’s how I see it:

  • Fixed: this is your average website with a fixed width that looks the same on all devices and does not respond in any way, shape or form – simple.
  • Adaptive: will snap into different layouts as you reach certain ‘breakpoints’ – perfect if you need to target specific device sizes.
  • Responsive: a website with a responsive structure will shrink and change form as you re-size your browser and will adapt on any device: desktop computers, mobile devices and tablet devices – a fit for all.

See for yourself… here’s a great website that demonstrates live examples of the various website structures that I’ve mentioned above, so you can see for yourself how they all differ when you-resize the browser window. The benefits of responsive websites are include…

Improve User Experience

Customers feel withdrawn if they go onto their favourite website on their smartphone or tablet and are only offered a desktop solution, meaning they are forced to spend time scrolling up, down, left and right to find what they are looking for. And of course having to repeat this tedious process on each page they land on… how frustrating!

Cost Effective

Before responsive website design was introduced, one website would have multiple versions built to suit each individual device. Therefore we would have more than one ‘About Us’ pages to write content for… no thank you! A responsive website is just one website with one set of pages to write content for and update – this is much better. A responsive website will be equally as cost effective as your current fixed website. All the more reason to go responsive.

Future Proof Your Solution

I found myself in a situation not so long ago – I wanted to venture out for the day but I wasn’t sure where to go or what to do. So with my smartphone at the ready I did a quick search for ideas – the first website I stumbled upon was built for a desktop – I explored for a few minutes before getting aggravated and giving up. I did a little more searching before finding a website that looked flawless on my smartphone – I found the information that I needed within minutes and then ventured off on my adventure.

You could be missing out on valuable opportunities to engage with your customers if you aren’t providing them with a positive experience on your website. Ultimately, users will choose practicality of the website first and foremost. You may have great content, but it’s of no interest to customers if they can’t reach it easily.

Google Adwords

Why Adwords should be part of your acquisition strategy?

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AdWords is a great tool to add to your marketing mix – it’s completely measurable and an extremely cost effective way to massively increase your brands reach.

If you’re not familiar with AdWords, it’s simply a pay-per-click service that allows businesses to create and run ads on Google. Long gone are the days of the Yellow Pages – if your business isn’t appearing in Google search results then you are missing out on a huge audience of potential customers.

Here are the five main reasons why we believe any business should use Google AdWords:

1. Reach the audience you want as and when they search for what you offer

With targeted keywords you can reach people at the precise moment they are searching for your brand, product or service.  If the right keywords and campaign settings are used AdWords can be a very precise and cost effective method of generating online leads and sales.

AdWords can be very specific which not only helps with conversions but helps to keep costs to a minimum. Ad settings allow for the narrowing of your audience based on location, time, and language and even by device.

2. AdWords is completely measurable

One of the big advantages of online marketing over traditional marketing channels is that it is much easier to measure its performance.

AdWords in particular is probably one of the most transparent marketing platforms available allowing us to quickly assess what is working and what is not thanks to its range of PPC reporting metrics.

3. Faster than SEO

Although SEO is incredibly important for any website, if you have a new site then Google AdWords is a great way to reach the top of the search results fast.

Not only will this bring traffic to your site immediately, along with potential leads and sales, but because of its speed, AdWords can be used to determine how effective keywords are and this insight can be used to create highly effective SEO campaigns.

4. Continual development offers new advertising opportunities

Google are always looking to provide new ways for businesses to advertise across its range of online products including You Tube and Google Shopping.

As paid search is the internet giant’s main revenue stream, it is continually developing it, making improvements to the AdWords platform and introducing new ways for businesses to reach customers online.

Advertising on YouTube is not to be sniffed at. YouTube has over 1 billion unique users that visit the video streaming website each month (You Tube 2014). If you were to compare that to search engines it would rank 2nd, above both Bing and Yahoo (Forbes 2014).

5. Control your budget

With AdWords you can take control of the budget by setting a maximum cost per day for your campaign. By setting a maximum cost per day you don’t have the worry of your campaign going over budget. You also have the flexibility to increase or decrease your campaign budget to suit your other marketing activities for instance to highlight a special offer you may want to increase your budget for a short period to ensure maximum exposure.

Get the most out of your search campaign with Google AdWords management by InsideOut. To find out more call (0)1332 203444 or get in touch via our contact page.

By Leah Marley

InsideOut Creative is a Creative and Marketing Agency delivering an effective array of pay-per-click services to a variety of industries, from beauty and cosmetics to third sector and beyond!
We love Magento

Making eCommerce work with Magento.

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InsideOut & Magento – An E-Commerce Match Made in Heaven!
At InsideOut we don’t have to rely on a bespoke e-commerce platform to secure our clients, instead we have a loyal client base due to our exceptional quality of work, commitment and customer service.

We could have developed our own e-commerce platform that tied our clients to us but we decided not to reinvent the wheel and look to Magento. Instead of having a resource limited team of developers creating a platform specific to one agency we chose Magento: an open source platform that has been developed by thousands of people across the globe all continually contributing to its improvement and staggering flexibility.

Magento is now one of the most popular e-commerce platforms available. It is tried and tested for success and some the biggest brands including, Samsung, Nestle and Nike use Magento as do millions of small and medium sized businesses across the globe.

Here are just some of the reasons why we love Magento…

Magento is open source

Open source: ‘denoting software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified’ – Google

We’re big fans of open source software at InsideOut, not only is the base platform free but a community of developers modify the code to create ‘extensions’ that allow us to boost Magento with a myriad of new features and functionality.

The other benefits of open source software is that the developer community around the world are working on it on a daily basis, ensuring the e commerce platform is up to date, secure & fast.

Designed for e-commerce

Magento was specifically created with e commerce in mind and it really shows. The technical and logistical aspects of an e commerce website are completely taken care of with Magento; it come’s preloaded with tons of excellent features which we configure to perfectly suit your business needs.

Incredibly scalable

As your business grows, so can the functionality of your website.  Whether you are a small e commerce company or a giant PLC Magento is suitable for any business size.

Flexible to your business needs

The Magento community are continually creating extensions which allow you to add extra features and functionality to your website in an extremely cost effective manner.

InsideOut can create bespoke extensions so in theory there is nothing Magento couldn’t do!

Seamless integrations

Magento provides easy integration with a huge range of third party services including payment gateways, shipping carriers and trackers, email marketing solutions, accounting software and much more. This kind of integration has huge benefits providing automated communication between systems saving time and money for any business.

SEO friendly

Magento pleases search engines and that pleases us! Just like WordPress (link to WordPress blog) it is built to be search engine friendly and will help you climb up those page ranks.

Bespoke Designs

The Magento platform provides us with a blank canvas to build stunning, bespoke e commerce websites that not only look fantastic but function perfectly too.

Our knowledge of Magento combined with our design expertise means we create beautiful, feature rich e commerce websites that can adapt and develop as your company does.

By Leah Marley

InsideOut Creative is a Creative and Marketing Agency with extensive experience in branding, marketing and the creation of bespoke Magento E-commerce websites across a range of industries. Find out more about our work here.
Responsive Email Design

Responsive Communications.

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A topic that we’ve been obsessing over, is how email campaigns are performing on various devices and when it’s the right time to target subscribers based purely on the device that they’re viewing your email campaign on… that’s where responsive email design comes in.

We’ve opened a number of emails lately on our devices lately, that just haven’t cut it; unreadable text, colossal images and an overload of information, making it less than enjoyable to read emails – in fact, just irritating.

Your user may be long overdue a trip to the opticians but having to pinch, zoom and scroll for miles just to read an email isn’t ideal. But this bad experience – is always down to the non-responsive email design that I am trying to engage with. I just can’t make head or tail of them on my smartphone – annoying.

This is why responsive email design is essential

Responsive email design is built using a clever piece of code, which detects the screen size that the email is being viewed on and then changes the layout accordingly, to fit effortlessly. Meaning your email campaigns work and look great regardless of what device they are being viewed on.

Here’s an example of a responsive email layout that works well on both desktop and mobile devices. The mobile version displays a much more simplified layout and readable content to accommodate the smaller screen size, while the desktop version has much more space available, therefore can include more content such as: navigation menu, image banner and a two column layout.

Responsive Email Design - Desktop & Mobile

You need to accommodate your subscribers

Keeping up to date with your subscribers’ email habits I believe is one of the most important aspects of email marketing – it’s a pre-requisite for success.

If you’re sending out monthly communications and you’ve noticed that more than half of your subscribers are viewing your emails on iPhones but your emails have been designed for desktop, then you could stand to lose out. A bad experience could cause your subscribers not to respond, engage with the brand or worse, unsubscribe from your mailing list.

Give your subscribers a great experience..

When working with our clients who employ our full service email marketing solution, we get to grips with their subscribers; their behavior, likes, dislikes and we provide a solution that matches both what their client needs, but also ensures that our clients objectives are met. Whether this is sales or enquiries, our email marketing solution allows you to control and see every aspect of an email campaign, so you get to know your audience better and build that fundamental, long-lasting relationship with them and ultimately better conversion rates on your objectives.

At InsideOut Creative we ensure that you get the most out of your email marketing. We’re on hand to advise, support, design and programme your emails in one nifty affordable solution and what’s more, you’ll get a lot of great advice along the way.

Content is king

Why content is king.

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Regular publishing of great content on your website can have major benefits for your business.

When delivered in the right way, online content will do more than increase your Google ranking – it can position your brand as market experts, build consumer trust and provide you with an arsenal of articles to shout about on social media, driving traffic to your website.

How does content help with SEO?

When you search on Google you are presented with a set of results that match your query – those web pages which match your search best are listed first.

Google’s primary job is to provide its users with quality search results. Web pages that are built well with high quality back links and mobile friendly design are favoured by Google but a key factor in search result rankings is relevance.

Google is very good at its job thanks to extremely sophisticated algorithms, or, as we like to call them, Google Bots that scour content to determine how relevant and therefore useful a page will be to someone’s search.

By understanding how your customers search, you can curate relevant content with the right choice of keywords and you are much more likely to gain a better page rank on Google.

Lots of good content not only increases your website relevance it says to Google Bots that you are a regularly updated resource, with lots of great information to share. This is another tick in your favour when it comes to your page rank.

Don’t know where to start when it comes to understanding search? Have no fear, we’re here to help with our variety of search services – get in touch to find out more.

We’re experts you know!

Content is a great way to show off your businesses expertise – adding credibility and building brand trust. Content can demonstrate how well you know your product or market and articles are a great way to talk about value added services.

What is ‘good’ content?

You may have noticed the use of various adjectives before the word content in this article, namely ‘good’, ‘great’ or ‘useful’. This is because any old content is pointless. In fact content that isn’t carefully considered can even be damaging if it voices the wrong message.

Your content should add value to or complement your product or service. It needs to be accurate and factually correct – the internet is rife with ‘pointer outers’ and the last thing you want is to be proved wrong in your comments section. Consider how shareable it is – would you share it? Is it useful? Why would anyone else share it?

Be original! Don’t duplicate content, either across your site or by copying from another (even if you have permission, and especially not if you don’t!) It might save time but Google will land you with a penalty that will see you lose any page rank you have gained.

There is a knack to writing good, engaging content and understanding your audience is key to this. Push any old content out there and you could risk wasting time writing with little reward.

Full service email marketing Vs. bulk email spam.

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… is this you? You wouldn’t be alone. It amazes me that so many companies still email market from their inbox, when there are so many great full service email marketing solutions out there. This really isn’t a great way to broadcast core sales messages about your company. Spending time composing the best marketing messages into the body, and copy and pasting your hard earned subscriber list into the email addressee box – to ultimately address the email to yourself?! Crazy! But to many, this still sounds like an acceptable way to promote their company…

I’m afraid it is not. Let me tell you 3 really good reasons why you shouldn’t email market from your inbox and you should choose an opt-in email marketing service.

1. You’ll have no simple solution to maintain your recipients preferences/subscriptions. ‘Reply with unsubscribe’ doesn’t really inspire confidence in your communication, or your brand let alone make you look like you’re complying with legislation in terms of managing who opted in to your communications. 9 times out of 10, having no simple solution to unsubscribe will result in the user opting to mark your email as spam, rather than unsubscribe.

2. It’s all about good looks. By sending an email stuffed with images, or even at the most sophisticated level, a html file, there is no way to test or preview how your finished email will look when it arrives in a recipients inbox. With so many devices being used by your audience to read their emails, this stage is critical to ensure a professional finish. What may look fantastic in your draft email – may look completely different when rendered on a smartphone or tablet…

iPhone screenshot of a poorly built email

3. Blacklisting – this can be the death of any email marketing campaign. Being blacklisted means your email campaigns will head straight for the junk folder, along with all of your other correspondence.

At InsideOut we provide a full service email marketing solution. Imagine if…

1. you could provide your subscriber list with the option to allow them to update their own preferences/subscription in one easy click – keep them in control.

2. you had a testing facility, including browser testing and subject line testing to ensure a maximum performance rate on your campaign.

3. you knew how people were reading your emails, which device your email was viewed on, which links were clicked on and by who giving you full consumer insight.

4. if your email inbox was safe from blacklisting and your emarketing emails were always whitelisted?! No blacklisting – just whitelisting… your emails are always be deemed acceptable.

MailOut is a great system that does all of this and so much more…

Our full service email marketing solution allows you to control and inspect every aspect of an email campaign, so you are able to see the ins-and-outs of your campaign, get to know your audience better and build that ultimate, long-lasting relationship with them.

What’s more, our full service email marketing solution ensures that you get the most out of your email marketing. We’re on hand to advise, support, design and programme your emails in one nifty affordable solution.

5 factors of effective copy

5 factors of effective copy.

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Copywriting is essential. In our lifetime we see millions of persuasive texts incorporated into every inch of society; from the emails in your inbox to the ad breaks during your favourite shows. We see these adverts and our brain joins the campaign to ensure we think we need whatever they’re offering. (Clever right?)

However, copywriting isn’t just about selling products at a commercial level. The ability to persuade your customers with words is a universally applicable skill.

Imagine a homeless man. His ‘homeless, please help’ sign sits soggy beside the empty plastic cup. People cross the road to avoid feeling awkward as they walk past him. Eventually, someone walks by and hands him a new sign: ‘parents killed by wizards, need money for magic lessons.’ This is a much more effective sign. Now this man seems more approachable and friendly rather than hostile or unsettling.

Copywriting is important. The professionalism of your writing says a lot about how serious and reliable your business is, creating a first and lasting impression. Spelling and grammatical errors are prominent indicators of negligence in copy. If you aren’t particularly good at it, ask someone with proof reading experience to look over it. Ask a member of the team about our sub-editing or copywriting services if you’re unsure about this challenge.

Effective copy is the result of following these five steps:


If your copy doesn’t make the reader feel like a part of your world, they won’t be interested. They need to know you understand them and their needs. The writing requires a certain level of informality and warmth, as if persuading a friend.

Create an Image

Writing can be dull and unimpressionable if the writer doesn’t breathe life into it. Strong images stick in the mind and make brands familiar to the public. For instance, when someone mentions Old Spice, most people think of the ‘I’m on a horse’ advert. It may have little to do with the product, but it works.

Your image should dance across the page with vibrancy, subtlety and grace – more of a metaphorical unicorn than a rhino.


You will buy this product! You will buy this product!

To make an impact it has to be memorable. If it’s memorable, your products will be the go-to brand in your field. Repetition of slogans and puns are useful techniques. Even terrible ones can make it big. They may be remembered for all the wrong reasons, but hey! They still drum up publicity. (Cough, Go Compare, cough).


If the copy doesn’t invoke some sort of emotion in your reader (other than boredom or hatred), it’s not doing its job. The writing needs to be filled with fiery passion for your product! You want the copy to inspire a burning desire to buy, or at the very least create mild interest.

Would your copy persuade you? If yes, that’s a good start. But be wary it’s not personalised just to you.

Be Positive

Negative is never good. Never. Unless you’re inspiring pitchfork riots, try to find a pleasant perspective. Unhappiness or unhappy truths make people feel uncomfortable, and more likely to avoid what you’re selling.

Happy writing!