Best Email Designs (Where to find them & what makes them great)

Posted on Jan 6, 2015

Email Design Ideas

With the potential of hundreds of emails flooding our inboxes daily, what makes a marketing email or email newsletter stand out from the rest? What gets the reader to actually open it, read it, and click on something in it?  When it comes to having a successful email campaign or newsletter, I believe it comes down to three basic things: simplicity, clear calls to action and being mobile responsive.

With a new project in mind, I took to the interwebs to research some of my clients competitors to find some new ideas and areas of opportunity in the realm of email design. In doing so, I came across a few great resources if you are looking to freshen up your emails in the new year (or are interested in learning more about this type of design).

Email Design Trends 2014 – The Cubicle Ninjas have but together the good, the bad and the future of emails list compiled from examples from 2014. The desktop email version vs. mobile email version comparison are great visuals to understand and communicate this concept to clients and colleagues.

Really Good Email Examples - A treasure trove of practically every marketing email you could possible subscribe to and recieve. It’s broken down by easy-to-navigate categories and really has it all. Another good site like this is Email Gallery.

Pinterest – Oh Pinterest, how you always manage to serve up some fresh and compelling design ideas, and especially email design & newsletter ones. Thank you! (My board is here).



How to Make Your Business More Beautiful

Posted on Dec 19, 2014

Branding Ideas by Julia Lovallo with American Express

Could your business use a makeover? Whether you want to update your offices, your marketing materials or your products, I recently provided American Express Open Forum with some suggestions on how to “pretty things up” to attract more business that goes beyond standard business branding. Full article here.

Best Coffee Shops in Paris

Posted on Oct 29, 2014

Best Coffee in Paris

On just about every street in the center of Paris, one will find bistros and cafés lining the block. These spots offer a laundry list of items to eat (and drink) and their coffee is good, but not great (note: There is very little “coffee” as we know it in Paris. Rather than our drip brews, Parisians [and most Europeans] favor espresso-based lattes, cafe au laits, and the like).

While recently in the city of lights, I found two top-notch coffeeshops and cafés that not only offered delicious drinks that rivaled some of the best here in NYC, but had unique and gorgeous interiors as well. I did my fair share of research on these before flying over (yeah, I’m obsessed with coffee) and Coutume was on my list, the other, was found by serendipity!
Below is what I deem the best coffee shops in Paris…

1. Boot Café
Situated in Les Marais at 19 rue du Pont aux Choux , this postage stamp sized joint that is inside a former cobblers shop (see photo above) is worth the stop. I stumbled upon this cafe after my trip to Merci, as it’s practically right around the corner. Amazing espresso and super friendly baristas. Also a fave of Garance Doré’s. <More info>

Boot Cafe Photo Coffee in Paris

Delicious cafe au laits at The Boot Cafe, Paris

Boot Cafe photo

The Boot Cafe was featured in the NYTimes Paris Guide to Coffee

2. Coutume Café
Coutume Café is near Les Invalides at 47 rue de Babylone. Evocative of a science laboratory inside this flagship spot (water served in beakers, test tubes everywhere), Coutume Café coincidentally has other locations which separately house their workspace, lab and institute. Their cafe however offers a full selection of sweet and savory bites, and an atmosphere worthy of lingering. If you check this place out, you must order the cortado! <More info>

Cafe Coutume Interior Coffee Paris

Interior of Coutume

Cafe Coutume Cortado

Delicious cortado – you must order this!


(header photo courtesy of Farfelue, rest are mine)

The Apron Artistry of Ellen Bennett, Founder of Hedley & Bennett

Posted on Oct 28, 2014

While in LA a few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Ellen Bennett, the inspiring founder of Hedley & Bennett, a high-end apron company, after she attended my SEO class. Ellen started Hedley & Bennett after working in restaurants and noticing a need for well constructed designer aprons and set out to make aprons, chefs uniforms, kids aprons and housewares with the highest quality materials possible. Think raw denim, canvas, salvaged materials and more. And, they are all made in Los Angeles- Made in America y’all!

Without further ado I’d like to share Ellen’s amazing brand video made by Life & Thyme. It is without exaggeration that I say this might be my favorite brand video yet. Great job!


How to Create a Sitemap

Posted on Oct 27, 2014

How To Submit A Sitemap

Submitting a sitemap (a file created for search engine crawlers) ensures that search engines are reading your pages correctly and finding the most up-to-date information to index. You should do this when you add new pages, make major site changes and/or make major code edits.

I cover how to create and submit a sitemap at my SEO Classes – but after many inquiries to provide quick and easy instructions for the attendees to do this after the class, I have given the most simple steps to do this below…

Create a sitemap here and upload it to Google via these instructions.

If you are using WordPress, install the Yoast SEO plugin which takes care of the sitemap business on the regular. However, you will need to follow the above instructions once.


SEO Class in LA at The Unique Space

Posted on Oct 16, 2014


One of my many favorite things about teaching is taking the show on the road to teach to those outside my city and meet some new people. I recently was in LA for work/pleasure and had the opportunity to host the How to Use and Understand Google Analytics and SEO workshop at the amazing Unique Space in Downtown LA. This funky co-working space (check out this fun tour of the space on Apartment Therapy) was the perfect backdrop for a night of learning and mingling. The turnout was great and the group was fantastic, lots of solid questions and at the end of the session and I got feedback to the tune of “lightbulbs literally went off in my head”. Success! Didn’t hurt that the incredibly talented hot-commodity Bess Wyrick from Celadon and Celery styled and created the ambiance for the night. Thank you! She turned this tech workshop into a floral wonderland and made learning look good! And, finally, an additional thanks to Bryan Dale for capturing the night so perfectly in the photos below. Let’s just say, LA – I’ll be back!


Getting set up for the workshop.


Rose for all!


Getting into Google Analytics.


Jotting it down.


Big space, big crowd!


All smiles from sunny Cali!