A Family Photo Shoot: The Becks


It was a true pleasure taking my friend's family photos this month.

Carly and I lived next door to each other during freshman year of college, then became roommates and now we're all grown up and her little man is (very) mobile and almost 2.

Time sure does fly.

At times, I couldn't compete with the adorable puppies on the other side of the wall, but it was so much fun to capture these moments with my friends. 

I must say, I felt a lot of pressure taking these photos since there had to be at least one good shot for the holiday card!

While I've dabbled with my DSLR camera before for classes and lots of nature imagery, this was the first official photo shoot with humans! They made it easy... I mean, look at those dimples. 

The Scoop on My Hiatus


So many things have happened since May 2016 that have taken my attention away from my website and blog. As I near the end of another birthday month (hitting the big three-oh), I thought it'd be a good time to reflect and share some adventures and fun from the past year. 

1 // A new job in Lancaster, PA

I moved from Pittsburgh to Lancaster very quickly in May 2016 after accepting a job with Listrak. As Digital Campaign Manager, my main responsibilities were the implementation of email, social, display and search campaigns along with media buys and reporting. 

Listrak is an amazing company and I'm grateful to work with such a smart, talented and caring group of people. Yes, I've narrowly made it on time due to buggy traffic a time or two. 

2 // A conference in Las Vegas

In October 2016, I had the pleasure of attending PubCon with a coworker in Las Vegas. I not only learned a lot of great strategies but I also loved exploring the restaurants, sights, shows and more. I could have stayed at the Mob Museum for days. (I have a slight obsession with all things Mob.) 

3 // A New (Crazy) Puppy

A few days after returning from Vegas, this little guy arrived. Tucker is a crazy ball of fluff and he keeps me on my toes. His favorite things to do are stealing socks, shredding paper, running at the dog park, learning new tricks and snuggling up on the couch. All the books and Youtube videos in the world could not have prepared me to raise this puppy baby. He's so bad, but so cute. 

4 // West Coast Travels

In April 2017, I was lucky enough to attend the PPC Hero Conference in Los Angeles. I not only learned a lot but since I was up at 4 AM thanks to the time difference, I got to explore some LA must-see spots.   

I took advantage of the proximity and headed north to Portland, OR. It's a place I've always wanted to visit and I loved every minute of my stay there. It reminded me of Pittsburgh and I can't wait to go back and explore more city and nature. 

5 // My BFF's Wedding

A December engagement and July wedding meant lots of things to do and places to go! From Boston to Pittsburgh to Asheville to Pittsburgh, the fun didn't stop. 

6 // And a Milestone Birthday

2017 was the year of 30. Not much else to say about that one, haha. 

I've been taking a break from side hustles, jewelry making, online classes and the like to enjoy the celebrations and adventures with friends and family as well as doing some soul searching for myself. More to come on that. Did I forget to mention that I also moved in 2017? Hopefully, I can stay put for a bit in the new place and get settled into Lancaster life. Not to mention, spending more time with friends (and their new little ones) and family. 

Please Stop the Opt-In Madness

Please stop the opt-in madness // collettelazor.com

Are email addresses like gold? Absolutely!

If all of the social media sites in the world went down tomorrow, you'd lose your audience. But an email list is all yours, always! 

There are many tactics to capture that precious email address from your visitors. But here’s the thing, if you’re not providing value, users won’t give up their email address.

One day, I was browsing Pinterest and found a pretty graphic with an enticing headline. I liked it so much that I clicked through to read the article. Once I made it to the site, I was smacked in the face with not 1 but 3 pop-ups. One on top of the other.

I immediately left the site. 

It might have been a great read but, that initial experience really turned me off. 

Pop-ups can be a great tool, don't get me wrong. What I'm saying is... Ease up on the immediate screen takeovers, the slide-ins, the pop-ups with no way to close out and the bouncy boxes. (Yep, those are the technical terms.) Don't be so pushy.

If I’m going to your site, I’m interested in your content. But, let me give it a read and browse around a bit before smacking me with the request. If you’re throwing it in my face, especially on a mobile device when it’s even harder to close, I’m less likely to spend the time on your site and I’m definitely not signing up. 

I’m not alone. In this article by Kissmetrics, Matthew Woodward found that a pop-up effected his overall website stats negatively. 

For example, the most popular list-building method is the pop-up, right? Matthew Woodward ran an experiment to see how pop-ups affect user behavior. He set up a pop-up to execute in the 7th second of a visit. The results were a 9.29% drop in Pages/Visit and a 10.20% drop in Average Visit Duration. The pop-up prevented users from reading the content just as they were getting started. The truth is that people do not like to see a pop-up, especially when it looks like an obstacle.
— Kissmetrics

I'm not saying they're all bad all the time. In fact, opt-ins can prove to be a valuable acquisition point. Just be mindful of how and when you sign up for things, take a poll, do some testing, etc. to figure out the best timing, content and more for the highest conversion rate. 

So, what should you keep in mind? 

1 // Placement Matters

Think about user experience and make sign-up easy. It’s very common to see email opt-in fields in the header, footer, and sidebar of a website. Place your opt-in where users naturally look for it and make it stand out with color, enticing copy, and even an offer. 

2 // Pop-Up Strategically

Let users scroll to the bottom of the blog post, review more than one page or hit them when they are about to exit. That way, you’re reaching them after they have experienced a bit of your content and are more likely to be interested in signing up for your email list.

3 // Utilize Landing Pages

Create a landing page, like a cover page in Squarespace, and promote it! Make it pretty, keep it simple, and share the awesome reasons why they need your email content. 

4 // Track the Data

Nothing is more annoying than seeing the same pop-ups over and over again… especially after I’ve provided my email! Check out the settings with your email provider or plug-in to see if you can hide pop-ups for current subscribers or hide it for so many return visits. Your users will thank you. Also, keep it fresh - update creative with new offers and creative or try some testing if you see your subscriber numbers dropping. 

5 // Provide Value

Users want discounts and good, quality content to fill their inbox. If you’re an eCommerce business, offer exclusive savings in exchange for an email address. 

Once they are in, think about: 

  • a loyalty program (like Sephora)
  • recommended products based on website views or product purchases (like Amazon)
  • reminding them what’s in their cart (like Birchbox)
  • updating them on inventory that’s back in stock (like Modcloth)

If you’re service-based, trade a high-performing piece of content for their email address. You’re not only providing value, but you’re sharing a glimpse of what they can expect from your emails and your work. Share things that will make their lives easier and showcase your skills.

The Apps That Will Rock Your Shopify Site

The Apps that will Rock Your Shopify Website // @collettelazor

If you read my last post on the perks of Shopify, perhaps you’re ready to consider it as your e-commerce platform of choice. If so, the app library is a cool feature that allows you to add different functionality to your shop. While I haven't taken a deep dive yet, these are a few apps that stand out as must haves. 

1 // Shippo

Before launching your site, you will need to install some kind of shipping app from the store. There are many options, but I found Shippo to come highly recommended by other users... and an account with them is free. Once you sign up and connect your website, you're able to use their system to ship. You can also use it to print out labels for packages that don't come from the shop... no more leaving work early to wait in line at the post office.  

2 // Mail Chimp

If you don't have an email newsletter yet, shame on you. Shame on me, too. Do as I say, not as I do in this instance! An email list should be a top priority. If Facebook shuts down tomorrow, you'll lose all of you followers. But, your email list is yours. Customers actively sign up because they want to hear from you. They are giving you access to their sacred email box. Take advantage! Mail Chimp is a good platform to start with at a decent pricing structure. To integrate with Shopify, you’ll need to download the Mail Chimp app from the library. It only takes a few minutes to connect your account and start collecting email sign ups. 

Plus, you'll be able to track your best customers, send targeted emails based on past purchases and much more!

3 // Product Reviews

I loved receiving an Etsy notification when a customer took the time to come back to the shop and leave kind words about their order. It filled me up with goodness inside. I was bummed to lose that until I found this app in the store. It’s another free and easy to install app that will allow customers to leave reviews! You can even import reviews from a previous service. Plus - as you gain reviews, the star rating will show in Google search listings. 

4 // Events Calendar

If you attend events and craft fairs, I would recommend this app so that your shop visitors can see all of the details of your upcoming events. After installing the app, you will follow a few easy steps to create a new page and embed the calendar. Then, update it with details and use the page to promote upcoming events on social media and in your email newsletters. If you link back to your site frequently, you're also training them to come back and visit your website for future news and events. 

5 // Social Integrations

I touched on these briefly over here but they are worth mentioning again because they are so cool!

Pinterest Integration

Hours and hours are spent on Pinterest every day. With this integration, your product pages are turned into buyable pins. That's right. Customers can purchase from your store, through Pinterest. It's easy to install and because Shopify and Pinterest have entered into an open relationship, you can bet that both parties are spending the time to make this feature rock.

Facebook Store

While we're on the subject of bringing your store to the people, I would also recommend installing the Facebook integration. Follow a few steps and you'll have a new tab on your brand's Facebook page with your complete store. It automatically updates as you make changes to your Shopify dashboard, so don't fret.. this won't be too much more work for you. Except when the orders start to roll in!

5 Reasons to Consider Shopify

Platform Exploration: 5 Reasons to Consider Shopify | By @collettelazor

I’ve shared a little bit about my jewelry business with you in past posts. It was a bit of a rollercoaster ride in that before I decided to close up shop to pursue other passions, I made some big leaps.

Things like expanding my product line with gemstone and glass pieces (fail) and building a stand-alone website outside of Etsy. When I did that, I explored all of the platforms available and landed on Shopfy for a few key reasons. 

First, I want to say that Etsy is great! There is such a sense of community and so many shoppers frequent Etsy daily. It was a great place to start. But, the competition is fierce and your customers are Etsy shoppers, not yours.

You also might be wondering… I’ve been talking a lot about how great Squarespace is, so why did I launch If the Jewel Fits on Shopify? While I do love Squarespace a ton, I was looking for a bit more in an e-commerce platform to really take our shop to the next level. These are the things that swayed me.

1 // Gift Cards

This was a must-have feature, especially for the holiday season. Shopify provides an easy solution for customers to buy and gift electronic vouchers. It was easy to set up and, with a little bit of coding knowledge, easy to brand. 

2 // Social Integrations

Shopify has integrations with Pinterest and Facebook! It's easy to set up your products as buyable pins and even easier to add a store tab onto your brand's Facebook page. Those were both really exciting things to set-up. 

3 // Customer Service

Equally as awesome as Squarespace, there is a great support team at Shopify. I participated in multiple chats and email exchanges during the set up of the shop. They spent a lot of time with me and searched out the answers if they didn't know them on the spot. 

4 // Apps

There is a library of apps that integrate into your Shopify store. I’ll dive more into those in a later post. The key here is that they are all within the Shopify dashboard so they are easy to find and install. 

5 // Low Maintenance

This is always a plus in my book. No need to worry about server issues here because Shopify hosts your website. All you have to do is update content on the easy, web-based content management system, sell orders and create relationships with your customers!

Programming Level: 1.5

Sometimes, you will need to go into the code section to edit and change things, like your gift card creative. But, the Shopify support team has a huge library of tutorials and you can jump on a live chat and have them walk you through it.