The greatest superpower that small business owners have is great service. With incredible service comes repeat customers and referred customers who also become repeat customers!
By providing a delightful customer experience, people remember positive interactions with your small business and eventually return to your business again and again.
Here, we reveal important ways to generate repeat customers, so you can even possibly see familiar faces return next week!
Use personal forms of communication (as well as traditional)
These suggestions assume you are actively collecting emails & phone numbers to re-engage your customers with future updates, promotions & news about your business.
Email is still the preferred medium for customer communication. Functionally, it works great. You can let customers know about your most recent deals, promotions, and new products – but at the risk of being cold. You might be coming off disconnected and formal.
SMS marketing, (also known as text marketing) can prove to be a powerhouse for customer engagement, assuming they have opted-in for it. With an open rate of nearly 99% SMS messaging puts your business message right where your customer is looking all the time – their phone.
Don’t forget to add personalization to your campaigns. You want your customers to know they are thought about. It’s as simple as selecting the ‘First Name’ field into your outgoing messages and using their first name instead of just “Hey” or “Hello” “Hi”
… And can make an immediate good impression.
Remember the (repeat) customers
You can personalize the experience for your customer simply by remembering small details about them. For example, if they mentioned they have children or grandchildren – ask about how they are doing during their next visit. Are they dog lovers? Maybe ask them how their dog is doing. This is such a simple thing to do, but it makes a huge difference. Moments like these make customers want to return to your business.
Reach out to customers you haven’t heard from in a while
There are also plenty of customers who purchase from you once or twice (almost a repeat customer) then you never hear from them again. Life gets in the way! To re-capture these customers, find out who has gone quiet and reach out to them with a re-engagement offer. Send them a friendly email or text to remind them that you care and want to serve them more of what they came for in the first place.
Remember: You should never prioritize acquiring new customers over satisfying existing ones.
It can cost up to 5x more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one. Don’t assume that your existing customer base is already loyal to your brand and doesn’t need to be treated with the same fantastic service they’ve come to know and love. No matter if they’re a brand new or long-term customer you need to give them a reason to come back
Customer churn is a silent killer of small businesses. (That is, how many customers use your business once and never return.) When you incentivize old customers to come back with great service, good offers, and strong rewards for being repeat customers, you’ll unlock an immense force for business growth.
Being there for a customer when they need you is imperative to whether or not they become a repeat buyer. 90% of customers rate an immediate response (30 minutes or less) as important or very important to their questions and inquiries. (per Hubspot).
Gone are the days of “Call us for more details…” Your customers will bombard you with questions and comments from a variety of channels nowadays. Phone, email, website forms & chat, social media platforms & more!
In order to achieve the illusion of an all-seeing, spotless customer experience, your staff needs to be present on these platforms at all times. But don’t worry, that’s what Social Media Dashboards like Buffer and Agora Pulse are for. You can handle all communication & engagement for all of your social media platforms through them.
Customer Loyalty Programs = Gold Mines
Undoubtedly the most effective way to generate repeat customers for your small business is an attractive customer loyalty program. The right loyalty program can skyrocket your sales so make sure you do your research ahead of time and choose a program that works best for your business. Examples of a high-performing loyalty program include:
Offer First-Time Purchase Discounts to Customers
Present Offers in Exchange for ‘Reward Points’
Celebrate Customer Birthdays with Discounts/Coupons
Give Out Rewards for Referrals
Using a CRM to Make This All Possible
Wait…What’s a CRM?
CRM is short for ‘customer relationship management’ software and it’s a tool businesses use to manage potential and existing customers. Some initial benefits include:
Simplifying your lead management process (never lose out on a potential sale by remembering every encounter!)
Getting data-driven insights about your customer base (what they like, dislike, and what their purchasing habits are.)
Making your sales process more efficient (keep on top of customers who just need a little push to buy.)
Providing a better customer experience (by providing news, updates, and even support in real-time from your CRM.)
Increasing your productivity as a small business owner (saving you money & time.)
Most reputable & effective CRM software will only set you back between $50-200 per month. Although there are free alternatives as well as higher-priced options as well. Ultimately, a CRM is the backbone of the modern digital business, and it’s the secret recipe for establishing a network of repeat customers.
Here are 5 ways in which a CRM could help your small business generate repeat customers:
Circling back: a CRM will keep your customers in the loop! If you’re savvy enough to have the next few months planned out with sales and promotions, you can set up automatic campaigns (email & SMS) that inform your customers on exact dates about your deals.
Valuing the new customers: with customer data being tracked in a CRM, at the click of a button you can see what products are hot in the past week, month or year and keep track of individual customers’ specific buying habits.
Email marketing campaigns:you can use a CRM to send out bulk emails to customers who have opted in to your communication, and most reputable CRM programs will allow you to personalize these campaigns (addressing them by their first name, sending out a discount on their birthday, etc.)
Exceptional customer service is the key to repeat customers.
I can’t be more serious when I say that customer service is imperative to the survival and upkeep of your business, and it’s likely the single most important element to achieving repeat customers.
Your ability to connect with customers (beyond their point of purchase – meaning when they no longer matter financially, you need to treat them like they’re family) demonstrates your dedication to their needs and goals as customers.
This is how you earn a customer’s business, repeatedly time & time again. And referrals too!
No small business has ever failed because they have too many repeat customers. Invest in a CRM to boost your small business this year and pair that with a loyalty program. Once you have everything set up, you will have the data you need to re-engage old customers and treat your repeat customers like royalty – this is the only formula for success you will ever need.
At JVI mobile, we have the perfect CRM tools to help your business grow! Fill the form out below to learn more.
Press Releases Can Increase Sales in Your Business
A press release can do a lot of good for a business. But perhaps the benefits business owners may love the most is that they can increase the sales in any business. And that’s the main reason why so many business owners invest in them.
So how can press releases do this?
They do it by allowing businesses to promote their new products and new services offered. By simply getting the word out, (something many businesses struggle with) that alone can increase sales and get more business through the door.
But that’s not all a press release can do, either. Press releases announce successes the business has recently achieved. Maybe a business received an award or a respected industry association noticed them. Maybe they recently embarked on a new technological development or joined with another prominent company to better serve their customers. All of these are great things businesses should want their customers to know about.
A customer automatically elevates a company in their mind when they make progress. If a business gets rewarded, they likely did something really great and know their stuff. If a business is a leader in their field, they must be the experts for their customers.
All of these benefits translate into new customers for the business. After all, the better a business is for the customer, the more customers will want to use that business. And that is always good news for both the business owners and the customers. A winning combination for all parties involved, and all thanks to a simple press release!
A Press Release Can Bring More Traffic to Your Website
One of the little-known benefits of press releases is that they can help businesses get more traffic to their website. While many business owners embark on press release marketing for various reasons, they may be surprised to find that traffic to their website also gets a boost.
This is because, in every press release, one or two links to a company’s blog or website can be included. If the press release is interesting, and the business knows how to establish themselves as an authority and provide useful, helpful content within the press release, customers will want to learn more. Customers will click on the link to learn more about the company or the product that piques their interest.
But it’s important that business owners understand that they must be careful when inserting links to their website or blog into their press releases. This is because Google, the biggest search engine in the world and the to most likely get a press release the most amount of views, will penalize shady tactics in which business owners are simply placing link after link in their press release.
Instead, inserting links within the contact information fields, or ending the press release content with one simple link after including “Learn more here” will be very effective. Google will not penalize such links, and both new and existing customers will flock to those one or two links.
Business owners try many tactics to get more customers to their site. This includes optimizing their website and blog with SEO tactics, including keywords, descriptions, and meta tags. Press releases are not a reason to stop using those strategies, but they definitely give them a very big boost!
Get More Organic Traffic By Optimizing A Press Release
Do a quick Google search on how to increase SEO, search engine optimization, techniques on your website, and you’ll find a whole slew of websites and links that will tell you how to do just that. There are different ways businesses can increase their SEO efforts, but creating press releases is one of the best ways.
This is because press releases can be optimized just like the content on a website or blog is. Search engines pick up press releases that include valuable keywords or keyword phrases any time a user searches for those same words or phrases.
Press releases sometimes include metadata for titles and descriptions, which also helps search engines pick them up. Metadata entices people to click on your link and get more organic traffic to your website. It’s also used by Google and other search engines to understand what your page is about. Since press releases are released online, they can also include these, too.
Press releases optimized for SEO climb higher in the search engines. The company’s blog and website that publish the press release may also climb in those search engine result rankings, too.
Increasing organic traffic to their website or blog is something all business owners want to do. The more traffic that’s coming to a site, the more word is getting out about that business, and the product or service they offer. And perhaps best of all, getting organic traffic is absolutely free. All it takes is some strategizing and determining what SEO tactics to start including, and where to include them. Spreading the word for free? That’s something any business owner can get behind!
Press Releases Make Archiving Easy!
Ask anyone in any business to dig through their archives, and you’ll likely be met with some reluctance. And perhaps your own business has a stack of archives that you dread having to go through at any time. Even when archives are kept digitally, finding that exact thing you need at the exact time you need is difficult. But, press releases can change that. With a press release, you just need to keep one folder on your computer, transfer all press releases to that folder, and find whatever you need in just one click.
By doing so, you’ll quickly be able to see at a glance, all the events and activities your business has embarked on in the past. And that’s important, because sometimes you may want to revisit those events and let customers know about them.
And there are many times when business owners want their customers to know about events that happened in the past! Maybe you want to release a campaign outlining the history of your company. Or maybe you just want your customers to look back on the grand opening as you get ready for your business’ first anniversary. There are many times you may want to take a look back, and press releases can help you do it.
So forget about using that search function on your computer until it’s burnt out. And forget about sorting through all those archives that are down in the basement. Just start releasing press releases and then when you need to reach back into your company’s history, you’ll have everything you need at your fingertips.
Press Releases Can Follow Your Customers Wherever They Go
Did you know that 80 percent of all Internet users today own a smartphone? And that Google drives 96 percent of mobile search traffic? Or that over 50 percent of smartphone users grab their smartphone immediately after waking up? Why are these stats important, and what do they have to do with the press releases your company should be releasing?
The stats are important because business owners need to know that their customers are going mobile. And it’s not a trend that’s going to slow down any time soon. Most businesses think that this only concerns them when it comes to their website and blog. And still many business owners don’t bother to make their website or blog mobile-friendly. Not only does that get their page ranking docked with the search engines, but it also means that customers can’t properly view it when they’re on their devices.
But if companies just issue a press release, they’ll reap all the benefits of mobile usage by their customers regardless of the mobile status of their website. Since Google is optimized to perform well on mobile devices — as are the PR distributors that release the press releases — when a press release is created and viewed on these devices, business owners can still reap all the benefits.
That’s not to say that business owners who don’t have a mobile-friendly website and/or blog shouldn’t try to make it mobile-friendly by the time their press release is published. Ideally, links are included in the press release to both of those sites. Customers will likely click on those links when the press release is done well. And sending them to a mobile-friendly site will definitely be helpful for the customer.
But press releases can definitely be an added boost to any business’ mobile efforts, particularly those that haven’t delved into the mobile-friendly world yet.
In 2018, you need a sales and marketing plan that makes the best use of digital marketing trends to create more visibility and drive revenue.
We’ve identified five major digital marketing trends that should get your focus in 2018.
The businesses that are able to best take advantage of these trends will get a huge leg up over their competitors.
To help you get you started — and to make this coming year more profitable for you — read about these five important digital marketing trends for 2018 below.
Content Marketing to Attract and Engage Prospects
Content marketing is nothing new, but it is evolving.
Content is what makes the web go around. Content is what makes people visit your website, it’s what encourages people to follow you on social media and it’s what eventually turns your visitors into fans rather than just followers.
Your social media strategy should largely be about sharing content. That means directly posting images, videos, and text to your social media accounts, but it also means posting to your blog or website and then sharing that on social media.
But this strategy will only work so long as the content you are providing is top quality and highly engaging. So now the question is: how do you ensure that this is the case?
For this reason, around 90% of businesses that advertise online use content marketing currently. Most are interested in shifting dollars from traditional ads to content, where they can find better returns.
You should create engaging, in-depth content with a strong visual element to attract prospects. Reach more people by learning about the content they want to consume and giving them more of it.
Video Continues to Dominate
You might not be into Facebook Live yet, but you probably should be! Recent data from Facebook shows that people are 10x more likely to comment on a Facebook Live video than otherwise.
Now, keep in mind that there are over 2 billion active Facebook users in the world. A little bit of number crunching reveals that approximately 1 billion people watch one hour of video a week. That’s a huge embedded audience to explore!
Video holds much more attention and communicates messages more effectively than text or still images alone. Recognizing this, small businesses have been using video and finding huge returns. Whether as a type of content or a paid ad, video drives huge amounts of engagement.
Research from Wyzowl indicates that 79% percent of consumers surveyed would rather watch a video to learn about a new product then read about it.
Also, “64% of customers are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video about it.” So, people are not only watching a video but also remembering what they see and actually buying things afterward!
From there, consider repurposing some of your existing content into short, informative videos and uploading them directly to social media.
You know the audiences are there, you just have to give them something worth paying attention to.
Facebook Advertising to Reach Prospects
Billions of users reside on Facebook. The targeting is so specific, you can even turn off ads to people who have clicked on them before. It can also be inexpensive if you know what you’re doing.
No wonder it’s one of the top advertising platforms for marketers.
The results of Facebook advertising can happen very quickly. It’s not unusual to see sales start after 24 hours of running an ad. As a small business owner, you can use Facebook to your advantage.
If you’ve read that boosting a post is a waste of time, I’m going to correct that thinking. As a small business owner, page boosts are perfect for you.
If you’ve got a massive audience (over 2000 fans) then it’s probably not.
But then again, if you use it the way we show you how, it may be good for any business size.
When you boost a post, you aren’t just limited to your fans. You can target certain demographics, just like an ad. Most people don’t know that. They think boosting is just for your fans.
If you’re just boosting to your fans, you may be wasting money.
If you target it like an ad, you’ll be getting the most out of your boost.
You can choose your demographics based on age, location, age, and interest. In this case, you want to target people in your local area. You can play around with the other options, but location targeting is key.
This way your post will be seen by people in your local area.
What kind of post should you boost? Try one that’s talking about a product or your latest sale. You want to entice people to come into your store or contact you. If you want them to contact you, be sure to put your contact information in a boosted post.
A boosted post is extremely inexpensive. It can cost as little as $20. You can potentially reach hundreds or thousands of people with that money.
Boosted posts can run for one to seven days. The maximum amount of days it can run is seven. I’d recommend that you run a post if you can afford to run it.
Make sure the post is applicable to at least that amount of time. You don’t want a post about a sale running after it has expired.
Make sure all your posts abide by Facebook’s Advertising Guidelines. These posts need to be approved. Sometimes they will be approved but then you’ll find out later they’ve been canceled. If they’ve been canceled, it’s usually because they violated the guidelines in some way.
Now small and local businesses have the chance to increase their audience with just a small budget. Make sure you implement at least one of these this week. Once you see your first sale, you’ll want to make it a regular part of your advertising. This is one of the easiest ways to implement the most effective digital marketing trends in existence.
When you combine video and Facebook Ads you really start to multiply the impact. Recent data highlight the fact that social video (basically any kind of branded video or advertisement) generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined.
Instagram & Influencers Drive Engagement
When it comes to consistent engagement, Instagram is the number one social channel out there. That’s the conclusion of a study done by Yopto, which found engagement rate on Instagram to be 45% greater than on Facebook and 40% greater than Twitter.
The key here is to let your customers do the posting as much as you do. The same Yopto study found that 77% of people are more convinced by user-generated photos of a product rather than professional photos.
Crowdsource your own content by asking loyal customers for pictures of them using your product. People love the attention, and you save on professional photography, so it’s a win-win for all.
Another key thing to know about Instagram is how powerful Instagram Influencers are.
“Influencers” refers to people with lots of followers and tons of engagement from fans. There are all types of influencers, including subject matter experts who post videos and photos related to their expertise.
Small businesses can tap into these influencers at a relatively low cost. Case studies have shown that niche experts in your industry will drive direct sales traffic without costing your company an arm and a leg.
Take the example of RESCUE, for instance. RESCUE wanted to push their range of natural products and asked a number of micro-influencers and bloggers to share their personal stories and include a “buy one, get one free” coupon with their post. The results? A 258% increase in Instagram followers — not to mention over 6,000 clicks to the coupon site.
Because of success stories like these, there is no question that leveraging micro-influencers to drive conversion rates will be a major trend in social media marketing going forward.
Businesses Not Optimized for Mobile Will Be Left Behind
Did you know that 4 out of 5 consumers now use smartphones to shop? Let’s face it, nowadays just simply having a website is no longer enough for your business to truly connect with consumers online. People are accessing the internet from desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones. Your customers are using mobile devices to search for businesses in their area and to shop online.
Having a mobile website can make a big difference in how many customers find and interact with your business. The use of mobile phones to browse the internet isn’t new, but it continues to rise, making a mobile website more and more important for businesses who want to stay on top of the market.
Why being Mobile Friendly Is Important for Your Business
Studies show the average consumer is spending more time browsing and utilizing the web on a mobile device vs. on a desktop or laptop. Tablets and phones can be conveniently carried around and accessed instantly. How often have you seen someone looking at their phone while waiting for a bus, sitting in a restaurant, or taking a break from work? All of those moments are opportunities for your business if you have a mobile-friendly website. Better yet, 2018 should be the year you adopt a Progressive Web App! This will be the hottest of all digital marketing trends.
In a 2014 study, ad network InMobi found that in the United States people are spending more time accessing the internet through their mobile devices than through their PCs. This means that if your business’s website is designed only for PCs, you’re missing out on over half of the market. Furthermore, about one in three online searches are now conducted through mobile devices. People use their phones when they are out and about and looking for a local service. If your website comes up in their search results and is easy to access, you might gain an immediate new customer.
A recent study by iAcquire found that 70% of mobile online searches result with an action taken within less than an hour of the search. This means that mobile searches are a more effective way of reaching customers than desktop searches, and can quickly result in new customer interactions and sales.
Take Advantage of These Five Digital Marketing Trends for 2018 to Find Success Growing Your Business
Email marketing has come back in full force, and brands that know their way around best practices can reap huge returns.
According to a survey of marketers conducted last summer, the average ROI from email campaigns was over 100 percent! This ROI beat out other marketing channels by over four times, including social media, paid search, and direct mail.
For anyone trying to squeeze more out of their email marketing or turn around their lackluster campaign success, here are 7 pointers for increasing the effectiveness of your email efforts.
1. Segment Your List (Or Risk Being Irrelevant)
Talk to people about topics, products, and ideas they are interested in.
According to an infographic by Mailigen, using segmented, relevant messaging more than doubles your open rate while driving 18x more revenue for your campaigns.
This approach makes a lot of sense if you have ever been to a party where someone is droning on and on about something you just don’t care to hear about or have any interest in. “Have you seen how expensive jogging strollers are these days?” they ask, not bothering to remember you don’t have kids and haven’t jogged since high school.
While the person talking may feel like they aren’t being terribly rude, to the recipient it can feel a bit more personal. “I don’t care what you are actually interested in” the person communicates. “Everyone is equally interested in what I have to say.”
Not having email segments is the same thing. Ensure your list is segmented by buyer persona so that every message is as relevant as possible.
For people who self-subscribe, you can even give them a chance to customize the content they receive by interest, product category, and other choices from a pick-list. Just don’t count on them to do all the work of segmenting for you!
Using an email automation system like Constant Contact or MailChimp is critical to keeping these segments organized, but you can also potentially do-it-yourself by just separating your mailing lists into separate content buckets.
Once you have segments established, take a moment to strategize the difference between each segment based on consumer traits, progress through sales pipeline and other situations. Then, outline the type of content that would be most relevant to each segment as well as what would be least relevant and should not be sent.
Taking a moment to get to know your audience can dramatically increase your open rates while lowering the number of frustrated subscribers.
2. Use Personalization to Make Recipients Perk Up
When we hear our names — even if we know it’s someone else with the same name being called — we tend to take notice. Chances are good that your parents were pros at this technique. When they said your name before a sentence, you knew they meant business!
We have the same reaction when we see our names in an email. Personalization with a name and other details increases open rates by 26 percent, and it can even help drive brand affinity.
Note that personalization involves more than just adding the recipient’s first name to an email. The entire message should be framed as if the recipient is having a 1:1 conversation with the sender. LinkedIn has become a pro at this tactic. They use personalization in a way that makes you sit up and listen.
Looking at moi? Go on, I’m listening!
The above email marketing message not only includes a name but signals that an exciting activity has happened. It says people are looking at your profile. Think of ways to mirror this effect so people get excited or intrigued just from looking at a subject line.
Segmenting your user base by the products they have bought (or expressed interest in) is another way to connect more deeply right from the subject line. “New Jeep Anniversary Fog Lights” can be a way for a Jeep Wrangler owner to have an immediate interest, for instance.
Data shows that this type of personalization is table stakes for marketers with successful email programs. “88 percent of those that exceeded revenue expectations have personalization measurement systems in place,” says Inc.
3. Write Killer Subject Lines and Test Rigorously
A lot of marketers mess up promotional emails right from the moment they begin creating the subject line. You want to give subscribers a compelling reason to open your newsletter instead of ignoring it. For example, a local clothing store might try something like this:
April Newsletter: Spring Scarves and a Special Coupon for You!
That’s just one possibility, but you might try including a compelling line from a story, a mention of a product, or a detail about a promotion. However, make sure to stay away from clickbait headlines that have nothing to do with your newsletter. Your subscribers won’t thank you if they open your newsletter expecting something you promised in the subject line and don’t find it.
The first step is to make sure you are using some sort of subject line preview tool, like this one. Seeing your subject line visually helps you better-imagine how a recipient would react to it in their inbox.
Take special note of how the email looks on mobile devices since over half of email opens come via mobile. People tend to filter out what emails to read by the subject line alone. 69 percent of email recipients will report a message as spam based solely on the subject line.
Note that not every “common marketing knowledge” pointer like this list may work for you and your audience. Always test to be sure!
4. Keep it Short, Sweet, and Simple
The fourth thing to remember when putting together your newsletter is that you want the content to come in small, easily-digestible chunks. It should be arranged in a single column with a few attractive images. If you want to include a long piece of content, embed a link back to your blog or website rather than copying the whole text into your email.
You should also choose a few relevant and dynamic images to illustrate your content. You don’t want to overdo it with pictures and video, so keep in mind that everything you add has the potential to slow a subscriber down when they scroll through the newsletter. Make sure to use alt image tags, too, so that if the pictures don’t display your subscribers will still know what they are.
Simplicity is also key for mobile search.
When offering something non-material, like information, explain clearly how the contents of the email benefit the user. It could be something deep/important like “Want More 5 Star Reviews☆☆☆☆☆?” or even the promise that “You’ll Laugh Way Too Hard at These Marketing Puns”.
5. Use Powerful Images and Video to Get a Reaction
HTML-based email templates have transformed inboxes from a boring wall of text to a gorgeous place for showcasing compact content or well-designed advertisements.
Videos are hugely popular, and recent research shows that simply including the word “video” in the subject line of an email increases open rates by 19%. If videos are already part of your marketing mix, then you should include them in your newsletter. If not, you might think about adding them. Even a short, 30-second video can add a lot of appeal.
Tell People What to Do with a Single Call to Action
This one is simple: every email should have a call to action (CTA).
Your CTA can be nearly anything, including:
● Go buy this product
● Take advantage of a limited-time offer
● Try our tips
● Go learn/read more at this page
● Attend our event
● Upgrade your current service package
● Book a free consultation
Ensure that your CTA is crystal clear and compelling. Every recipient should know exactly what you want them to do and how to do it.
Providing a landing page after clicks to direct them more linearly to an offer can help simplify the process further. That way, your real CTA is just “Click Here,” and then you can drive more complex conversions from the landing page.
It might be tempting to include multiple calls to action, but remember that 80/20 ratio and stick with one. You might offer subscribers a chance to click your CTA (call to action) to get a special coupon or discount code.
Alternatively, you might link back to your online store, or give customers an opportunity to buy tickets to a special event. There’s really no limit to what you can do, but make sure that your call to action is relevant to your newsletter for the best results.
For local business owners, it’s also a good idea to offer customers the opportunity of downloading coupons or discount codes onto their mobile phones or mobile wallets.
6. Study Email Marketing Analytics Like You Have a Test Coming Up
Lots of email marketing strategies tend to work well across the board for a majority of industries, but there is no single set of hard-and-fast rules. Instead, every company has to study their own data in order to find what their audience seems to like/dislike about their emails.
Learn how to learn more from your email analytics, and use the lessons to optimize your approach over time. Trial-and-error is the only way to truly get better at something, and luckily email gives you plenty of lessons in the form of data.
7. Stick to Best Practices to Drive Success in Email Marketing
Mastering email marketing takes a lot of experimentation, practice, trial-and-error, and attention to detail, but by following the best practices mentioned above, you can be well on your way towards greater success.
Just to recap your keys to success:
1. Use segmentation to maximize relevance
2. Personalize emails to get attention
3. Test subject lines, mind your length and think like a recipient
4. Promise true value to the recipient through your word choice and messaging
5. Use emotional images in your layout
6. Direct people to act with a single strong CTA
7. Use analytics data to optimize your approach over time
Pay attention to what your data tells you, and keep up with the latest email marketing trends and advice on our blog to learn best practices that make you an email genius over time!
Exciting news from Google: their latest update for Local Search, Google Posts, is open to everyone!
But wait; what are Google Posts, and more importantly, why are
they such a big deal, especially for businesses that rely on organic clicks?
Stick around as we explore what just might be the key to unlimited visibility
for your business no matter how small it is.
Google Posts: What Is It?
Google Posts (not its official name) is a useful little feature
that lets both individuals and organizations create and post content directly
on Google. According to Search Engine Land, content created using Google Posts
gets ranked highly in the search results.
Ostersund, Sweden – Feb 2, 2015: Google My Business website on a computer screen. Google My Business helps you build a loyal fan base. Your customers can show their appreciation with ratings and reviews.
Google’s nifty new feature was first launched in January 2016
with the aim of providing a platform for US presidential candidates to relay
real-time updates to their supporters. Content posted by the presidential
candidates appeared in a card-like format, and for this reason, the feature was
initially known as “candidate cards.”
Two months later, the Google Posts feature was finally extended
to small businesses, albeit on an invite-only basis. As a result, it was only
available to a select few number of local businesses from around the world.
A year later, the program was extended to sports teams, museums,
movies, and musicians in the US and Brazil. It was not until June 2017 that the
feature was finally rolled out to small businesses that were using the Google
My Business platform (GMB).
Features of Google Posts
1. Content is posted directly to Google. As a result, it appears
on both Google Search and Google Maps results.
2. For promotional content, a 7-day limit is imposed after which
it is removed from the default view. Event-based posts are removed after the
event date passes. Posts that are removed from the default view can still be
accessed in the historical view under the Posts Tab.
3. Content appears in a carousel format that is positioned just
below the paid ads but on top of the organic search listings.
4. The feature is strongly integrated with social media. Social
share buttons and a shareable link are available at a click.
5. Each carousel can contain up to 10 posts. However, only
two-and-a-half can be viewed on the search results without scrolling.
6. Google does not index the URLs on Google Posts.
7. Businesses under the “hotel” category currently do not have
the “post” option enabled.
8. Only the first 100 characters appear in the Knowledge Panel.
9. The feature currently does not support the use of videos and
animated GIFs. Pictures smaller than 250 x 250 are also not accepted.
10. One-click call-to-action links can be created to allow
customers to perform actions such as “Buy Now,” “Make a Reservation,” “Sign
Up,” and “Learn More.”
11. Google Posts don’t integrate automatically with Google
Analytics. If you want insight beyond what is provided on the GMB dashboard,
you need to create a custom URL for your call-to-action link.
How to Create a Google Post
Google My Business connects you directly with customers, whether they’re looking for you on Search, Maps or Google+.
Google Posts can be accessed via the Google My Business
platform, which is available for PC, Mac, Android, and iOS. Alternatively, you
can click here.
To create a post, first log into
your GMB account, then on the left-side menu, click on “Posts.” An interface
with a blank text pad will appear.
On the interface, you can to type
up to 300 words max and upload an image. For event-based posts, you are allowed
to add an event title complete with the relevant dates and times. On this
screen, you will also be able to add call-to-action buttons such as “Buy,”
“Sign Up,” “Reserve,” and “Get Offer.”
Once you submit, the post appears
on searches performed on your business’ name.
Using Google Posts: 3 Useful Tips
#1 Don’t stuff keywords
If you’re a serial keyword-stuffer, this is a habit that you
will have to let go of when using Google Posts simply because they will not
have any impact on your rankings whatsoever. Use the platform to highlight new
products, offers, and promotions only.
#2 Make the first 100 characters count
To avoid being cut off mid-sentence, ensure your first 100
characters form a coherent compelling and complete sentence that will make
people want to click on the call-to-action button.
#3 Ensure you use appropriately-sized images
Anything smaller than 250 x 250 won’t work; the best image size
to use is 750 x 750. Also, ensure that the picture you choose is
center-weighted to avoid having the top part chopped off on the results page.
As we wrap things up, we can conclude that Google Posts can be a
vital small business marketing tool for you simply because:
They allow you to create and share
daily promotions, specials, and offers that will attract more customers;
They let you share the arrival of
new products and keep your existing customers updated, and lastly;
They allow you to integrate
call-to-action buttons in your posts, making it easier for your customers to
connect with you.
Google Posts is still a relatively new feature, but it is on
track to becoming one of the most valuable small business marketing tools for
business owners like you.