Welcome to the 1st edition of The Greenroom: A fusion of articles inspired by business, marketing, self-development, well-being & creativity.

If your business uses email marketing, sends direct mail or makes sales calls, some things you might do today will no longer be allowed. Time is running out. The new GDPR legislation comes into force on 25th May 2018.

Exhibiting this year?

Want to know how we got from the photo on the left to the photo on the right in just 15 mins?

fabric exhibition display stans at prolific north live expo manchester

That’s right, everything out of the boot of a car and assembled in just 15 mins. Not a furrowed brow or bead of sweat in sight. OK, just one bead.

Last minute opportunity

We managed to secure a (VERY) last minute slot at Prolific North Live Today. Just last night we confirmed the booking and within 12 hours we’re exhibiting. We can grab opportunities like this because our stands make us flexible.

Your business can benefit from fantastic deals on exhibition spaces if you’re able to move quickly.

With very little planning, we are able to just turn up with our branded booth, table and footstool in the back of a car. Within minutes we’re all set up and ready to go – Instant Expo in a box. Well, a boot.

How fabric can make your life easier:

Our fabric range is:

  • Lightweight
  • Portable
  • Packs away neatly
  • Quick & easy to assemble
  • High impact
  • Seamless
  • Machine washable
  • Safe to use

To get your hands on some next generation fabric displays, contact your local Nettl studio.

Prolific North Live

Prolific North Live is taking place at Event City in Manchester today. The expo features leading exponents of digital, marketing, print, branding, content, advertising, PR, TV and film.

The show is open until 5pm so if you can get there, we recommend it. You’ll need to move quickly though (Like us).

Is your website secure?

If not, Google Chrome, the world’s most popular browser, is letting visitors know about it.

To the left of the web address there is a little security status icon. If you land on a page that doesn’t have SSL,  you’ll see a little circle with an ‘i’ in it. Click on it to reveal a message that announces:

“Your connection to this site is not secure.”

“You should not enter any sensitive information on this site (for example, passwords or credit cards), because it could be stolen by attackers.”

Doesn’t sound great, does it? It gets worse. Since Chrome’s latest release (Chrome 56) in January, non-secure pages containing password and credit card input fields get marked as ‘Not Secure’ in the URL bar: 

secure notification in chrome https ssl

And if Chrome has major concerns about the privacy of your site’s connection, or perceives it to be “Dangerous’ you’ll get this howler:

not secure warning in chrome

How can I make my site secure in Google Chrome?

Have you ever noticed the extra ’s’ at the beginning of the web address? You know, some url’s start with http://www. and others https://www. Well, that little ‘s’ stands for ‘secure’.

secure green padlock chrome https url with ssl certificate

When you go to a site that uses HTTPS, the website’s server is using an SSL Certificate. You’ll see a little locked padlock and be informed that the site is ‘Secure’. A little like this:

secure https url with ssl certificate

What is an SSL Certificate?

SSL is used to securely encrypt communication between you and a website, so it keeps your details secure from hackers. It’s highly recommended for all e-commerce websites or sites that use forms to ask for personal details you don’t want getting into the wrong hands.

Does my Website need an SSL Certificate?

If you have an e-commerce website (online shop) then yes, absolutely. In fact, most payment gateway providers will insist on it so that you can take payments securely.

However, until recently, most other websites were less likely to need one. But in a bid to improve security across the internet, Chrome’s latest update means many more businesses will want SSL. Companies will want to avoid having scary warnings broadcast to people visiting their website. After all, they can appear quite off-putting to the vast majority of web users.

Benefits of SSL:

  • You don’t scare off your visitors.
  • It helps your Google ranking.
  • You look more professional.
  • It helps you gain trust from potential customers.
  • You get more data in your Google Analytics report.
  • The data passed between you and your visitors is secure.

How do I get an SSL Certificate?

We can help you buy and setup an SSL certificate for your website.
Prices start from just £29 +VAT per year.
Don’t scare your customers away! Contact your local studio to take action today.

Safer Internet Day is being celebrated globally today in a bid to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology. The focus for the campaign is working together to protect children and families online. However, with cyber crime cases on the rise, online security is something we should all be considering within our businesses.

Here are 5 basic tips to help your business stay on top of its e-safety game:

  1. Protect your computer
    When it comes to protection against viruses, worms and trojans, every business computer should employ anti-virus technology to help prevent attacks. Install well known anti-virus software and make sure you stay on top of the updates. But remember, anti-virus scanners are only able to detect the nasties that are already listed in their database.
  2.  Be wary of email
    Never open or click on attachments in emails that you weren’t expecting to receive. Even if you recognise the sender’s email address, be sure to exercise caution, their email account may have been hacked. Beware ‘Phishing’: Never click on a link from an email requesting login details, no matter how official it looks.
  3.  Enable automatic updates
    Vulnerabilities in computer applications are a bit like open windows to a hacker. Companies are constantly updating their software to deal with new threats and prevent potential risks. It’s therefore very important to keep your version up to date. Switch on automatic update notifications to be kept up to speed and ensure your apps are as safe as possible.
  4.  Use strong passwords
    For a strong password tip, use a good mix of random words and special characters. Make sure it’s at least 8 characters long. Why not pick a memorable phrase, or a line from a song, and choose the first characters from each word. Don’t use the same password across multiple sites.
  5. Use SSL on your website

    Having an SSL Certificate on your website not only looks more professional and increases trust, it also secures data passed between your website and your visitor. Whether it’s a promo code, personal information, passwords or credit card details, an SSL certificate protects the information you send and receive. Learn more about SSL.

    For more information on how to stay safe and prosper online, contact your local Nettl studio.


Our very own Rob Finnie, regional director, looks at the top 10 website musts for 2015.

2014 was a shape shifter in digital marketing. If you’re in business in the UK – you can no longer afford to ignore online. In 2015, you may be taking your first steps to getting your business online or be ready to upgrade your site to take advantage of the seismic shift in online sales.

The top 10 things to consider when deciding what to prioritise in 2015:

1. Go Responsive

This is priority number one for any new web project. 2015 will see more visits to websites via mobile and tablet devices than via desktops as ‘m-commerce’ hits its stride. Your site needs to adapt, scale and reflow to suit the device it’s being viewed on – or you risk turning your clients and potential customers off.


2. Get it live

Don’t delay your launch while you deliberate over the content or the budget. Sure, it’s important for your site to say the right things, but you can refine and change what it says once it’s live. Getting some content in and getting it live so search engines can start trusting you, is a benefit.  If you don’t want to pay for it all at once, don’t. Most website developers will be happy to work to a ‘staged’ approach. Determine what is a ‘must have’ now and then plan what you think stage 2 or 3 might be.  Good websites are never finished. They are always growing and changing.


3. Check out the competition

Benchmarking yourself against your competition saves you time and cost. Check out how you measure up before building your own site. And don’t be blinded by beauty; a website which converts visitors to buyers has a perfect balance of content, function, navigation and good looks.


4. Plan your Customer journey – keep it simple

Keep prospects interested. Where do they want to go? What information do they need to take the next step? Plan their route through your website and lead them there. Only include relevant text, facts and imagery. Better still; watch a friend using your site. Ask them to find a specific product or information. You may be shocked at the results.


5. Include Calls-to-Action

If you’re creating a website to gather leads or interact with potential customers, make sure you’re clear on what you want your prospects to do. Calls to action help you monitor your conversion ratio. If you want them to contact you, show them how.


6. Get your site found online (SEO)

Content is king… and queen… and emperor too. Ensure your site has relevant text which includes your key words. There are many tools, to guide you through the ‘on-site’ requirements to help your site rank well. Do it yourself, or get your agency to do it for you. Keep content concise and write for humans, not machines.


7. Blog, and keep blogging

Not only does it make Google happy, but it’s also a way to connect with your audience, state your views and keep prospects up to date on your activities and services. Link in your social media – the more connected you are the, wider your reach.


8. Don’t assume instant traction

Your site is live; it looks great, the message is clear – but that doesn’t mean people are going to find it. The design, build and launch are just the beginning. Plan how you are going to market your new site both online and offline. Get the message out via direct mail and leaflets as well as SEO.


9. Ask for feedback

Canvas opinion of how your site works. Is the site portraying the right message, is it guiding prospects to take action with you? If it isn’t, change it. Test it. Monitor the analytics and make regular tweaks and changes to improve the customer experience.


10. Think ahead and maintain

Ensure your site is built on strong foundations so it can grow with your business. You don’t want to have to start again and pay again just to add that feature you like. Don’t sit back and think ‘job done’. The best websites evolve and are updated regularly. Plan your next steps.
www.nettl.com are offering £500,000 of web development grants to SMEs to help them get online in 2015. www.nettl.com is supporting small businesses with a free one-hour consultation for UK small businesses including a £500 grant for a Nettl :Commerce online web shop. Contact your local Nettl studio in Birmingham, Manchester, Dublin and London or for more details, see ww.nettl.com.




As many as two million sole traders and small companies missed out on £1.5bn of Cyber Weekend online sales* according to the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills. With a greater number missing out on the last minute rush for Christmas and the January sales. As a result, www.nettl.com are offering £50,000 of web development grants to 100 SMEs to help them get online. The £500 grant on offer are designed to give smaller businesses the leg up they might need to start selling online.

www.nettl.com, the new high street design studio, is supporting small businesses with a free one-hour consultation for up to 100 local small businesses in Birmingham, Manchester, Dublin and London and a £500 grant off a Nettl:Commerce online web shop before 30th January 2015.

Many of the UK’s small and medium sized companies have so far missed out on the cyber spending in December due to their lack of online presence, and according to the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills more than half of customers (55%) say they find it hard to support local businesses when they simply can’t find them online.

“Our clients tell us they know they need to sell online, but find it difficult knowing where to start. They hear about how expensive web development is and worry that they are going to get ripped off. It’s our mission to remove the black magic and mystery of ecommerce and help small businesses to just start selling online,” said Peter Gunning, CTO of Nettl.

“To show our support for SMEs, we’re offering any local business who signs up for a no-obligation consultation a £500 grant towards the cost of their web shop.”

“We’re so confident that our web shops will make a difference that we’ll even offer clients the option to pay their website over 12 months, so that with just a few orders, they can cover their costs.

“Championing small businesses is at the heart of Nettl’s ethos.”

If you are a small business in Manchester, Birmingham, London or Dublin, visit www.nettl.com to find your local studio and reference the £500 grants on offer.

small business missing online sales

Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales saw a record £1.5bn in sales.

*Black Friday online sales calculated at £810m, Cyber Monday online sales £720m according to Department of Business, Innovation & Skills

4000% growth for online purchases from mobile devices

4000% growth for online purchases from mobile devices

Making sure your site is ready for the mobile and tablet boom, should be your priority for 2015 according to Evigo. In a recent article based on research from Capgemini, they’ve highlighted the growth of online purchases from mobiles and tablets.

Online purchases from mobile devices in 2010 accounted for a measly 1% of sales. Fast forward to 2014 and that figure has risen by 4000%, with a whopping 37% of all purchases now coming from a Smartphone or tablet.

Even more impressively, clothing purchases from Smartphones and tablets were actually 43%. In the same article they found that an estimated £25.1 billion was spent online between August and October this year, with £9.3 billion spent via smartphones and tablets.

Another growing are were click and collect items. 18% of sales during the period were for various collection services, up from 16% in the second quarter. Meaning customers are wanting to get great online prices but are more than happy to go to a location and collect their purchases if it means they can have them quicker.

£500 Grants on Offer to 100 SMEs in Need of Online Presence

If you’re missing out on part of the £9.3bn market, help is at hand. To launch Small Business Saturday, Nettl is giving grants of £500 to SME’s, to help get their online shop working for them.


Many of the UK’s small and medium sized companies have so far missed out on the cyber spending in December due to their lack of online presence, and according to the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills more than half of customers (55%) say they find it hard to support local businesses when they simply can’t find them online.

If you are a small business in Manchester, Birmingham, London or Dublin, visit www.nettl.com to find your local studio and reference the £500 grants on offer.

Last weekend saw an entire four day weekend of phenomenal sales in the UK. However many small businesses were not prepared for the online spending spree generated by Black Friday and Cyber Monday, in figures released by the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills. 

2m small businesses missing out with online sales

The details outline that as many as 2m sole traders and small companies have missed out on the £1,530m of Cyber Weekend online sales.

Some of the biggest names in UK business saw unbelievable traffic and sales on their sites throughout the whole weekend. Online sales on Cyber Monday were an astonishing £720m, but that was trumped by £810m of online sales during Black Friday.

John Lewis noted that traffic on their site was up by 307% during a 6 hour period on Friday, and they were not alone. Many big name sites crashed due to the sheer number of customers trying to grab a bargain.

Take a look at some of the other highlights in the below graphic that we have commissioned.

small business missing online sales

Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales saw a record £1.5bn in sales.


“More than half of consumers (55%) say they find it hard to support small local businesses that don’t have a website or are unable to take payments online”

Department Of Business, Innovation and Skills

Is your business missing online sales because your site isn’t up to scratch? It might be too late for you to benefit from Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2014, but with the growing trend in online sales, and the increase in mobile friendly shopping, preparing your website should be high on your agenda.

We can help ensure you’re ready for Cyber Monday next year (and all the Mondays in between). We make beautiful websites and web shops that work well on mobiles.  Talk to us, book your no obligation, free consultation today.