Business

How to Use Bonuses to Increase Your Conversion Rate

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Last year on Cyber Monday, customers spent $9.4 billion online. The Cyber 5 online sales, these are the five days across the Thanksgiving Weekend, accounted for $28.5 billion in sales. It’s a lot of money, so it shouldn’t be surprising that in the US, the top shopping days make up 45% of annual holiday sales.

The reason people go so crazy - shoppers want a bargain.

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A flash sale is sure to draw in crowds of shoppers. Bonuses are just as effective. In this article, I’ll show you how to use bonuses to boost your sales. Let’s start with the very basics.

What are Bonuses & Why Should You Use Them

You see bonuses everywhere. When you go to the supermarket and see a bottle of hand lotion with a free smaller bottle from the same brand, you’re looking at a bonus. When you see your usual razor blades packaged with some aftershave at a heavily discounted price, you’re also looking at a bonus.

Bonuses are used all the time by digital marketers to help push undecided customers into making a purchase. Here’s an example from a sales page for a digital marketing product.

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A study conducted by the University of Minnesota found that shoppers preferred getting bonus items over discounts. They determined that a 33% discount didn’t have the same resonance among customers as getting 50% more of a product and that offering, 50% more lotion, resulted in a 73% jump in sales. 

Bonuses work, they discovered, because most shoppers couldn’t be bothered to compute how much they were going to save. After all, not everyone can do fractions on the fly.

They also discovered people associate more value with the words “more” and “free” compared to “less.” In other words, they wanted to get more than what they paid for instead of paying less for the same thing. As you can see from the example above, the difference between a bonus and a sale comes down to positioning. Fundamentally, with a sale or a bonus, the offer is often the same.

Understanding the Customer Persona

I like to compare bonuses to making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It’s not going to be a sandwich if it doesn’t have a top slice of bread, a layer of peanut butter, a layer of jelly, and a bottom slice. I mean, I’m partial to open-faced sandwiches, but you get the picture.

Now, think of your promotion as the very same sandwich. Let’s say your main product is a timesheet app. The peanut butter and jelly layers are the main product that you’re selling. You can also think of the main product as just the peanut butter or the jelly, depending on which spread you like better. The bonuses you’re offering are the slices of bread. What can you offer as a bonus to entice customers to sign up for it?

More often than not, your bonuses should be related to your main product. Now, if you’re a hardcore PB&J sandwich fan, you’ll leave the Wonderbread on the shelf and get a couple of slices of pumpernickel bread, which in my opinion, is the only bread that makes a half-decent sandwich.

The bonuses you create should align with the pain points your customers face. To create effective bonuses, you need to understand your potential customers. A well-defined customer persona will help you identify those pain points and where you can add value.

Taking the timesheet app as an example, here are some possible bonuses for a potential customer.

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Notice how the possible bonuses add value to a potential customer and address problems they are likely to face. I cannot reiterate this often enough: a good bonus must pair well with your main product.

How to Come Up with a Relevant Offer

Theoretically, you can offer anything in your product line as a bonus (or team up with another business). However, you should ask yourself, Does it make sense to offer it as a bonus?

Following our sandwich analogy earlier: does your bonus make your sandwich taste great, or will it go better with some other sandwich? I suppose some people add mustard to their PB&J. It’s not my thing, and I think a lot of people will agree with me. So let’s stick to what most people like, shall we?

The easiest thing to offer as a bonus is a free complimentary product or service. For example, if you are running an e-commerce store, you might decide to run a three for two offer. Or, the least expensive thing you purchase is free or comes at a discounted price. These types of offers can help either increase the amount a consumer spends or increase the conversion rate on their existing purchase.

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Giving away a product for free has its downsides. If you give away a product that costs you money, that will reduce your profit margins. It might be worth it for the increased sales. It's also a good way to get rid of surplus stock. However, you'll need to make that decision on a case by case basis.

You can add a bonus that has a one-time cost of course. In some niches, PLR products offer you a way to get around this. Some marketplaces offer white label software, eBooks, website themes, and more that you can purchase and then giveaway with an offer. Alternatively, you could make a course, white paper, or information product to give away with an offer.

How to Sell Your Bonus

We’ve covered how to come up with a suitable bonus for an offer. Now, I want to discuss how to position your bonus. This is important. To really boost your sales, you need to sell your bonus, not just give it to them.

Earlier in this article, I showed you an example bonus product from a sales page for a digital software product. Here’s another example from that page.

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There are a couple of things I want to highlight the way the bonus is positioned:

  • There’s a monetary value attached to the offer (really important)

  • A short description of the product, how it offers value, and how it relates to the product

  • The bonus appears before the buy button

Giving the bonus a monetary value, and providing it before the buy button will help increase sales.

Of course, this assumes people are already on the sales page. If you were funneling people to an offer, say via a webinar or email campaign, you might create a landing page with bonuses that people would see before they arrive on the sales page.

Here’s an example of how you could stack bonuses together on a squeeze page.

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You should add a video before the bonuses to provide context. This helps people make the link between the bonuses on offer, and the product they are thinking about purchasing.

Finally, you can add an element of pressure by offering a limited time bonus. This will create a sense of urgency to your offer, which will help boost sales.

Conclusion

Bonuses are a proven way to boost sales. In this guide, I showed you how to create a relevant offer with bonuses that would interest your audience. Your bonuses should always be something your audience will appreciate. Be careful not to fall into the trap of offering something totally unrelated to your main product. It should ideally be something that adds value to your product.

Finally, make sure to sell your bonus. Give your bonus a financial value, so they know what they are getting. You can even stack bonuses together until it gets to the point where you have a “no brainer offer.” When you have the perfect offer, your customers won’t be able to stop themselves from making a purchase.


How to Boost Conversion Rates for Healthcare Websites

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A healthcare practitioner will never tell you they look at their practice as a business. They have a noble profession and they thrive by helping other people. However, in its essence, your practice is a business. You want to attract more patients, and you’re competing against other practices.

That’s why we’ve been seeing so many websites for healthcare professionals being launched lately. Healthcare practitioners realize that they have to boost their practices, and building an online presence is part of the process. 

Is Healthcare Marketing Ethical?

We can’t deny the fact that there’s some controversy behind healthcare marketing. You must never promote your services through an exaggerated campaign.

You have to respect the principles of bioethics. Advertising is okay, as long as it is 100% truthful and you don’t promise anything that you can’t deliver. Developing and maintaining a relationship with the audience should be the main goal of healthcare websites. The website serves to inform visitors about the services, procedures, staff, and prices.

When you want to increase the conversion rate, you mustn’t create unjustified expectations. You’ll keep your promotions as realistic as possible. The ultimate goal is to make your practice better than the competition and explain why that’s the case. We’ll tell you how to do that.  

How to Boost Website Conversions for a Healthcare Practice through Ethical Marketing

  • Use Testimonials

When talking about truthful marketing, testimonials are the first thing that comes to mind. You should allow the users of your practice to post transparent testimonials on Facebook and other platforms. Don’t delete any of them, even if they are extremely negative. If someone had an unpleasant experience in your practice, try to repair the damage as much as possible. Make sure you’ve done everything possible to help that person. Respond to the comment, offering further assistance in your practice.

Where does your website come into this picture? You’ll feature some of the best testimonials there. Don’t go for the fake, inflated testimonials that we usually see across sites. Your audience can see right through them. If your patients agree, use their real names. You can feature screenshots of the feedback you received on social media, too.

To make the testimonials more relevant, you can include more information about the specific cases. If your patients agree, you can share documents that showcase the case and the treatment they received. You will hide all sensitive information, and you’ll turn the feedback into a case study supported by facts.

Before people use a particular service, they check their online reputation. They will search for reviews on Reddit and Quora, and they will look into personal experiences shared by bloggers. They want to know more about the doctor and the practice. When they conduct research, you want them to find the testimonials at your site. That’s why your marketing team will use specific techniques that list that page in Google’s results. 

  • Enable a Live Chat Feature at the Website

No matter how many reviews and testimonials they read, your audience will still have questions. You may feature the most informative content at your blog and website, but they will still have underlying questions. If they have any questions or doubts, they will want to contact your practice.

The traditional way to do this is over the phone. Healthcare practices are in-office businesses, which might not even have an online presence. People are used to calling. But if they see a convenient website that features an instant communication tool, the practice gets bonus points in their eyes.

Who represents your practice when people call? The same employees can take care of the live chat. Hopefully, they are not constantly on the phone during their work hours. Some people will choose to contact them through instant form or live chat, and your representatives will answer ASAP.

Many websites use chatbots. This type of software is programmed to answer the most commonly asked questions. It can provide information about prices or available appointment dates. However, a representative is still needed to provide support for complex issues. Some patients will ask about their treatment, so the representative will have to ask a doctor and respond. 

If someone is interested in the practice and uses live chat to get information, you have a big chance to convert them into actual users.

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  • Analyze Your Results

When you want to boost the results that your website achieves, you’ll have to analyze the results and compare them to the goals you set.

  • Attract more unique visitors on the website. For this, your marketing team will rely on search engine optimization strategies. They will use keywords that people usually use when searching for the services you provide. They will develop high-quality content that includes those keywords. But to know how many unique monthly visitors this campaign attracts on a monthly basis, you’ll have to check the analytics for your site.

  • Compare how web traffic rises and declines. Did you post a very special piece of content that attracted many visitors? How did it help you improve the site’s position in the search engine results? You can use a site ranking tool to see that. If you notice that your positions are declining, analyze why that happens. Are your competitors publishing better content? Maybe you failed to share new content for a longer period of time?

  • In addition to unique visitor numbers and search engine rankings, you should also analyze the clicks you get from ads. Do you promote your practice through Google, Facebook, or Instagram ads? How many visitors do these ads bring to your website? How many of them do you manage to convert? Is an investment in paid advertising worth the results?  

  • You should also analyze the number of times a particular video has been viewed. The theme of the video says a lot: if it received many views, you should focus on publishing that kind of content. It’s what your audience needs, so you have to make the website useful for them.

  • Add Different Call-to-Action Buttons

Calls to action are a common marketing strategy across industry. However, in terms of healthcare marketing, they can be controversial. “Buy now,” “Get a discount” or “Get a free trial version” are calls to action that work for websites that sell things. But you’ll have to think of something different; something that won’t make your visitors feel like you’re selling something to them.

Here are a few call-to-action buttons that work for healthcare websites:

When you’re sure that the text for your call-to-action buttons is adequate, you have to think about the design. These calls to action must be visible. They should catch the viewer’s attention as soon as they land on the website. You can position them at the top of each page, but at the bottom as well. No one likes scrolling back up after they read the text on the page and decided to book an appointment.

Don’t get too fancy with the graphics. Stay simple; it’s a healthcare website after all. Still, these buttons should vary in color from the rest of the website, so they will be easily noticeable.

  • Rely on Visual Content

What’s your target audience? If you target women in their reproductive years, you can use “feminine” colors that would add a softer appeal to the entire site. If this is an IVF clinic, you can use visuals of parents with babies. You can also share videos of doctors talking about the procedures, photographs of happy couples who achieved success at your clinic, or animated videos explaining the process of conception.

Infographics are highly useful, too. This format is great for compressing a lot of statistical data in a single publication without overwhelming the reader.

Figure out the “vibe” of your audience and use visuals that convey the goals they want to achieve through the treatment they get at your practice.

Don’t Waste Time!

The idea that a healthcare website is there solely to inform potential patients should be abandoned. It’s there to serve as the face of your practice to a broader audience. It’s where people get all the information they need, but it’s also the place where you have a chance to convert visitors into real users.

Boosting the conversion rates isn’t difficult if you know what you’re doing. Even if you don’t have a highly professional marketing team, you can use a few strategies that will have a positive effect. Featuring testimonials, visuals, and call-to-action buttons shouldn’t be that hard. You don’t need a technical team to install a live chat at your site; you can easily find the tool and add it as an extension. As for website analytics, they come with a learning curve. But no matter how experienced or inexperienced you are, website maintenance is something that you can learn.

That being said, it’s always better to have a team taking care of online marketing. They will convey the goals and values of your practice, and they will make it attractive to potential patients.


5 Tools and Solutions that Safeguard Your Business

Source:  Freepik

Source: Freepik

Data security is becoming a pressing issue for business leaders nowadays, simply because it only takes a single security breach to ruin a brand’s reputation, alienate consumers, and drive the company straight into the ground. The modern customer values their privacy, so if they share their personal information (such as credit card info) with your company, they expect you to guard that information with your name and your brand. Naturally, you can’t allow a single act of social engineering or a single cyberattack to be successful if you want to preserve your brand’s reputation over the long term.

Yet, you never know, someone might try to breach your firewalls, or an inept employee might give away sensitive information via email thinking that they are sending it to the right person. Needless to say, you have to avoid these scenarios at all costs, so let’s take a look at the five tools and solutions you need to introduce in order to safeguard your business.

Combine Software and Hardware Firewalls

Every device in your company needs to have the proper software firewall installed as the first line of defense against nefarious online activity, malicious files and executables, and more. However, it’s not enough to launch a firewall straight out of the box, because ready-to-go software is rarely optimized to the exact needs of your company and your employees. This results in a subpar security measure that is bound to let something slip through the cracks at one point or another. It’s important that you optimize all software firewalls on every device with the right settings and levels of security.

Read more about Content Marketing Services.

Source:  Freepik

Source: Freepik

Next, be sure to introduce a hardware firewall into the workspace as well. This is a physical device that safeguards your entire network and all of your devices by acting as a proxy between your workspace and the online world. You can use it to filter incoming traffic and protect all of your devices, even in the case when an operating system stops working.

Use Data Encryption Tools

Nowadays, business data is exchanged every day, all day, through numerous devices. From the smartphones, your employees use to manage work on the go, to their laptops and stationary PCs, every device is a potential security risk if it falls into the wrong hands, or if your employees accidentally send sensitive data to the wrong person. Assuming that you have conducted comprehensive workshops with your employees pertaining to information storage and management to prevent the latter problem, you can minimize the risk of data leaks with encryption tools.

These tools serve to encode all data and make it accessible only to the people with the corresponding encryption key. This means that when you send sensitive information to someone, they need to have the right key in order to decrypt the data, but that doesn’t mean that encryption prevents the data from falling into the wrong hands. It does, however, make it impossible for someone to view it, which makes it a powerful security tool.

Monitor your network in real-time

No matter how well-educated your employees might on proper online conduct and data management, and no matter how powerful your firewalls might be, that still doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t monitor your network or that you should let your employees send and receive sensitive data as they please. Instead, your goal should be to retain as much control of your internal network through a reliable secure web gateway that will allow you to restrict access to certain websites, monitor all incoming traffic, and elevate your cybersecurity measures across the board.

Source:  Freepik

Source: Freepik

In turn, a network security tool will help you keep your employees productive by limiting their time on non-work-related websites (which minimizes the chance of data leaks), it will help you optimize bandwidth usage, and even leverage intelligent P2P identification to stay in control of your network on all fronts.

Close all Potential Data Leaks

Another important tool you should consider integrating into your operation is a vulnerability scanner. This is a handy tool that will automatically detect any security weak points in your system, and advise you on the best way forward. You can use this tool to not only identify weak points but also prioritize them and schedule maintenance and upkeep. This way, your IT consulting company or cloud provider will have an easier time optimizing your infrastructure to your exact requirements.

Up your Password Strength

On a final note, always remember that passwords serve as the first line of defense for your business, which is why you can’t let your employees create their own passwords, as they tend to be predictable and weak. Instead, be sure to use a password management tool that will generate truly randomized passwords for all devices and applications, which will deter all intruders simply because they are nearly impossible to crack.

Wrapping Up

The threats of cyberattacks and social engineering are too real nowadays, which is why elevating data security should be one of your top priorities. Integrating these tools will allow you to safeguard all of your business data, and in turn, safeguard your brand’s reputation.


How is AI Impacting B2B Marketers’ Jobs on a Daily Basis?

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Artificial intelligence (AI) has immersed itself in our lives and made a remarkable impact. Smart devices and AI tools and toys used to seem like products of the imagination but now they are part of our everyday life. Considering that AI is an inevitable future advancement, marketers should know more about it. They are the force that keeps people updated with the newest trends and that is why AI should be on their list of priorities.

The fact 80% of B2B marketing executives predict AI will revolutionize their industry by 2020 clearly shows that AI is redefining B2B marketers’ jobs. If you want to be a part of this change let’s learn more about what AI can bring to the table and how it impacts the world of marketing. If you are being impacted by AI and need to update your professional resume, check out CraftResumes, for professional resume writing services.

AI and Marketing

Artificial intelligence presents enhancing human knowledge through machines. What makes these machines smart is applying different technologies, algorithms, and techniques to achieve natural language processing and deep learning.

Or, how this infographic explains it:

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai claims that AI will have a massive impact on the world. Considering AI as an innovation that will spread worldwide, he said the following: “AI is one of the most important things humanity is working on. It is more profound than, I dunno, electricity or fire.”

Pichai’s attitude about the importance of AI shows that this leading company finds AI to be an essential, not a potential addition.

When it comes to Artificial Intelligence Marketing (AI Marketing), it presents using customer data in combination with AI advancement such as machine learning to predict customers’ actions, intelligently target the customers, and act accordingly.

The reality of AI in marketing is that only 13% of B2B marketers are very confident with their knowledge of AI, while 55% are somewhat confident, and 33% are not at all confident.

Gaining knowledge about how AI can improve marketers’ business on a daily basis can be of huge help for advancing their marketing strategy. With AI they can make better marketing decisions and attract more customers to their company.

As Paul Roetzer, a founder and CEO of PR 20/20, author of The Marketing Performance Blueprint and The Marketing Agency Blueprint, and creator of The Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute and Marketing Score nicely put it: “Your life is already machine-assisted, and your marketing will be too.”

How Marketers Use AI Daily?

Some marketers have already introduced AI into their marketing routines and their practices can show us how AI can be beneficial for improving marketing strategy.

Let's take a look at some of the ways in which AI contributes to the marketing industry and impacts marketers’ jobs on a daily basis.

Better Search Engine Optimization

Google started with AI search innovation back in 2015. They introduced RankBrain, a machine learning-based algorithm.

This leading company was the inspiration to many websites such as Amazon who also use AI for their search engines.

Marketers turn to AI to make product searching more accurate and smarter.

Semantic search and natural language processing find relevant search results and make more accurate suggestions. Even when the customer doesn't know what he is searching for, AI will help him discover products.

This eases up the pressure that marketers used to have when it comes to SEO considering that is one of the main aspects of marketing strategy.

Additionally to SEO, AI also provides image recognition and analysis so customers can use visual search. Visual search technology improves merchandising and shopping experience because it provides the customer with a more accurate suggestion.

Improving Customer Experience

Presenting the brand as helpful and people-centric is one of the main goals that marketers need to fulfill.

With the help of AI technology, companies will no longer have to wait for their questions, problems, and inquiries to be addressed.

The technology that is used for this purpose is chatbot technology that is powered by AI capabilities.

By using natural language processing, chatbots identify the question and provide the company with instant answers. This is the best choice for handling general questions in B2B cooperation.

Identifying Prospective Customers

For sourcing quality leads markets used to go through endless customer data manually. Obtaining, classifying, and reviewing data manually takes a lot of valuable time that marketers could put in use for other purposes.

AI simplified this process because it captures and collects a larger set of data from contact databases, websites, and social media platforms and identifies the best B2B target customers. It shows the best solutions for both inward and outward marketing initiatives.

AI enables marketers to capture data during consumer interaction and create customer profiles that are later used for targeting new customers.

Not only that it improves the quantity of leads, but it also improves their quality which makes marketers more successful.

Personalization

Personalization can be done on many different levels. Some companies like Instagram offer suggested sponsored ads based on your previous searches while others such as those you can find at TheWordPoint offer adapted translation prices.

AI-driven marketing analyzes the behavior of potential customers and provides marketers with a chance to conduct the hyper-personalization of the marketing campaigns. That is why 71% of B2B marketers are interested in using AI for personalization.

Marketers use AI to eliminate spam emails and messages by initiating personalized conversations. It independently crafts messages that upscale the customers’ interests.

Additionally, it collects historical data and analyzes the correct time of sending the right content to the right person

Brands have a chance to target customers one by one instead of targeting specific sectors. Consequently, when they use the personalized approach they have a better chance to increase sales.

Improving Conversions

Some research showed that 80% of the time of sales representatives is spent on emails and phone calls for nurturing and qualifying leads with repetitive activities which gives them merely 20% of the time for the closing of the lead.

Such an approach is slowly becoming outdated because AI offers a less time-consuming and more efficient approach.

Based on predefined characteristics, AI can identify new and existing customers that are more accurate choices for the conversion.

Instead of wasting time on uninterested prospects, AI directs marketers to ideal prospects that are more likely to seal to deal.

Some Final Thoughts

AI is clearly taking the world of marketing by storm. By understanding this incredible technology, marketers will be able to improve their strategies and make their job easier. AI also brings new career opportunities in marketing because it presents a completely different approach to marketing practices.

AI gives marketers an opportunity to identify customers, improve their experience, create a personalized approach, and optimize the search in the best possible way. No matter how marketers use AI, it is inevitable that this phenomenon leads to surpassing the competition and growing the business.


ABOUT: ERICA SUNARJO

Erica Sunarjo is a communications professional with more than five years of experience. Erica runs her own blog BestWritersOnline and is proud of her an uncanny ability to explain the most complex subject in simple terms.

5 Pieces of Data Every Business Should Collect

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Research says that the number of businesses investing in data-driven marketing is growing. This is not surprising at all, given that this practice can benefit your business in multiple ways. For example, it lets you create better customer experiences, builds personalized marketing strategies, generate relevant leads, and retain loyal customers.

Here are a few tips on what data pieces to collect and where to find them.

1. Collecting Basic Customer Data

When adapting your brand to your customers, you first need to get to know them. Modern customers focus on targeted buying experiences. They expect you to understand their needs, preferences, problems, and fears when marketing to them.

For example, if you’re a B2B business, you will need to seek the name of the contact employee, their position, as well as their contact information. Ask a few questions about the company, including its industry, the number of employees, its revenue, and so on. This kind of information allows you to build and cultivate more personal relationships with a customer, understand why a certain industry works (or doesn’t work) for you, and identify your key consumers in a broader marketplace.

When collecting the data about B2C customers, you should focus on their contact information and demographic data, such as their name, gender, age, location, household income, family status, profession, and so forth. This should be enough for you to create detailed buyer personas, understand your customers, and connect with them effectively.

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2. How Likely Your Customers Are to Recommend your Brand

Your target audience doesn’t care about branded content. Instead, 93% of them say that online reviews impact their purchasing decisions. This is why it’s important to assess your current customers’ experiences with your brand and see whether they are willing to recommend your brand and products to their friends, colleagues, and families.

One of the most effective ways to answer this question is to conduct a Net Promoter Score survey. You ask customers to rate their likeliness to recommend your products on a 1-5 score. This is how you measure brand satisfaction, but also brand sentiment and customer loyalty. You can further classify your customers into three categories – detractors (dissatisfied customers), promoters (happy customers), and passives (indifferent customers). Calculating the NPS is easy – you need to subtract the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters.

3. Tracking Transactional Data

Monitoring transaction information provides you with insights about your customers’ shopping habits and preferences. The idea is to store customer’s transactional data and see what products are popular among your customers. Sure, in the era of sophisticated cybercrimes, when collecting and storing customer transaction data, always invest in secure information sharing. This type of information will tell you a lot about your popular products, how often people buy from you, how many items they buy, etc.

4. How Customers Find Out About You

This is one of the most critical questions, as it gives you valuable insights into your marketing and lead generation strategies. Namely, your goal is to analyze the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and understand which ones work for you the best. For example, if you notice that most of your customers come from social networks, especially Instagram, this means you should focus on building a stronger brand presence there. If, on the other hand, customers find you by reading other customers’ reviews, then it’s time to focus more on encouraging customer feedback across multiple channels.

5. Purchase Decision Data

When targeting your customers, you need to know what inspires them to make a purchase. Is its brand popularity and convenience? Maybe they are looking for online reviews, testimonials, and influencer insights. The majority of customers also prefer stable, user-centric brands that constantly provide large discounts, competitions, and giveaways. Knowing what tactics resonate with your audiences, you will be able to refine your strategy and ensure greater conversion rates and customer loyalty.

How to Collect Customer Data?

  • Now that you know what kind of data matters to your business, it’s time to start collecting it. Here are a few channels to use.

  • Website orders – when a customer makes a purchase for the first time, you should save their name and contact information. That’s how you will start building their transaction history and be able to track their journey and experiences over time.

  • Surveys are still a powerful way to learn more about your customers and collect fresh and honest feedback. Now, there are different forms of surveys, including open-ended surveys, customer satisfaction scores, customer effort scores, etc. You should also pick the right channel to distribute your survey, including email surveys, mobile app surveys, website surveys, SMS surveys, etc. Test different options and always choose the surveys and channels that work for your customers.

  • Run a competition – this is where social networks shine. Namely, you could start a massive giveaway. To enter the contest and win the prize, a customer needs to provide their contact information, tag a friend, or answer a question.

  • Social media monitoring – use social listening tools to track relevant customer discussions and measure brand awareness and sentiment.

  • Observe website behaviors – accessing this information will help you understand how many people landed on your site, where they clicked on, how much time they spent on a certain page, etc. In the era of GDPR, you should always inform a customer about the cookies you’re collecting and ask them whether they agree.

Over to You

Collecting customer data gives you the opportunity to learn more about your target audience and their expectations from your brand. Knowing who your customers are, you will be able to focus on the right marketing tactics and personalize your relationships with customers. This will not only help you attract new customers and boost sales but also allow you to retain loyal customers.

What customer data do you collect? We’d like to hear from you.


5 Tried and Tested Tactics for Retaining Customers

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Even though attracting new customers is important, retaining existing ones is even more significant for your company’s growth. Research says that 40% of your revenue comes from only 8% of your customers.

Given that, it’s not surprising that the 5% customer retention rate may boost your organization’s profits by up to 95%.

Here are a few proven tactics that will help you maintain a competitive edge and increase customer retention rates.

1. Provide Exceptional Customer Support

World-class customer support is the backbone of your business success.

Today’s customers are tech-savvy. They use multiple devices and platforms to do their research, compare brands, and make buying decisions. When interacting with your brand, they will probably check your website, social media profiles, contact forms, online reviews, etc.

And, no matter where they land first, they will expect you to provide them with real-time, 24/7 customer support. Stats back me up on that. Namely, 77% of customers highlight that valuing their time is the most critical thing a brand can do to provide spotless customer service.

For starters, make sure that your support tabs are prominent on your website.

Next, encourage customers to solve problems themselves. Research says that 67% of consumers prefer self-service over connecting with a customer service representative. For example, you could create a detailed FAQ page that features your customers’ frequently asked questions. Optimize it for your top-performing keywords to make it easily findable, provide detailed answers, and link back to valuable guides on your blog.

Combine live chat with chatbots. While live chat is always a good solution during your work hours, chatbots provide exceptional customer experiences 24/7. They are constantly learning about your customers’ needs and preferences, striving to provide them with highly relevant and personalized purchasing experiences.

Social listening can be useful here. Social media monitoring tools let you set the keywords you want to track and inform you when someone uses them on social networks. This is a great opportunity to track what questions your customers are asking and provide them with instant support.

2. Create a Magnetic Customer Loyalty Program

A loyalty program is one of the most effective ways to show customers that you care about them. Knowing that they’re going to be rewarded for buying at your store, they will feel compelled to come back again and again.

Research shows that the average U.S. family participates in about 30 loyalty programs. Furthermore, 84% of consumers say that they’re more likely to stay loyal to brands offering rewards programs.

Many big brands are starting to understand the importance of loyalty programs for their customer retention rates. For example, Sephora provides the Beauty Insider loyalty program that has attracted 17 million members that can get reward points for each purchase and choose how they will spend them.

Now, your loyalty program doesn’t have to be complicated or fancy. It will work as long as your rewards are relevant and valuable to your target customers.

Source:  Pixabay

Source: Pixabay

3. Regularly Ask for Customer Feedback

To retain your customers, you first need to learn more about their preferences, expectations, problems, and frustrations. This is why you need to collect their feedback regularly:

  • Ask online customers for post-purchase feedback. When they complete the purchase, send them a brief survey and ask them to tell you about their buying experience.

  • Create a customer satisfaction survey to collect unbiased customer feedback. In addition to popular email surveys, SMS surveys are also gaining lots of popularity as they have incredibly high open rates and answer rates.

  • Monitor your brand mentions across the web. Aside from the abovementioned social media listening tools, you can also use tools like Google Alerts to stay on top of your brand mentions online.

  • Observe chatbot transcripts to collect customers’ insights directly from their conversations and understand the common problems they face.

  • Ask your customer support teams or account managers to call each customer. This is a simple call, where they should ask them about their experiences so far, the issues they face, their expectations, and so forth.

  • Form a customer advisory board. This is a chosen group of loyal customers. They should meet once monthly or quarterly to exchange their experiences with your products and help you improve them over time.

4. Continually Create Valuable and Helpful Content

Your customer engagement strategy doesn’t end with the onboarding strategy. Once they start buying from you and coming back to your store, you need to keep delivering value to them. This is where your content creation strategy can help.

Start by publishing long-form and valuable blog posts regularly. Use tools like BuzzSumo or Google Trends to track the hottest industry topics. Don’t pack your articles with fluff text and spammy links. Instead, focus on the value they bring to a reader. They need to inform, educate, and engage a reader. Most importantly, be it an ultimate list or a how-to guide, an article needs to help a customer solve a specific problem.

In addition to blog posts, you could also create comprehensive, step-by-step guides. They should be written in a simple and understandable language and be full of actionable tips readers can implement in real-life situations.

With the help of case studies and customer success stories, you will build trust with your potential customers. Namely, the purpose of the case study is to emphasize the problems your customers faced before buying your product and how you helped them solve these issues.

Don’t forget that your knowledge base is also an educational source. Therefore, the content and links found there should also be easy-to-understand, helpful, and practical.

There are many forms of interactive and immersive content that may also educate a reader, such as free training videos, infographics, or podcasts.

5. Build an Active Online Community

When launching a business and promoting it online, your goal is to increase brand awareness, grow your industry authority and, above all, to increase customer loyalty. And, this is exactly where building an engaged social media community may help. Just like its mere name says, this is a place where the online users with similar goals, passions, and pain points connect to exchange experiences and help each other.

As for your brand, it adds a sense of exclusivity – people considered your top fans or prime customers will feel good about their titles. Your goal as a community creator is to target the right audiences, help community members get to know each other and foster the culture of respect and helpfulness.

Sure, it all starts with the choice of the right platform. LinkedIn is, for example, perfect for connecting with other professionals in your industry. Slack lets you create different channels customers can join according to their preferences, while Facebook groups are an ideal place for actively engaging larger groups of customers.

Over to You

The key to retaining customers lies in putting yourself in your customer’s shoes’. To build stronger relationships with them and encourage their brand loyalty, you will need to understand their needs, backgrounds, and problems.

For starters, ask them for feedback and use it to improve your marketing and customer support strategies in the future.

Provide them with amazing customer support and let them know that they can rely on you 24/7.

Use your blog as a valuable source of information and a relevant customer support channel.

Create strong customer loyalty programs to celebrate and reward customers’ loyalty.

Finally, build and nurture a vibrant online community of both prospective customers and loyal ones.

What tactics do you use to retain loyal customers? Let us know in the comments!

 


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