Maximizing Returnees

Retailers are constantly brainstorming on internet marketing tactics to encourage customers to return and re-shop. The advantage of targeting previous customers is quite obvious- once a customer has created a so to speak bond with your company, either by purchasing a product, or gaining valuable information they are more quick to head on over when a service is needed. But relying on fond feeling s not enough; it's essential to create compelling reasons for your customer to want to return.

I'd like to suggest a couple of options. Cultivate a relationship with your customer by conversation engagement. A conversation gives you great insight about your customer and his likes and dislikes. Your conversation can take place anywhere, on your website, someone else's website or via social network. As a customer, my personal favorite is live chat. I feel like there is someone readily available to assist me. And yes, it can definitely be a determining factor in doing business with company who has a live chat option because it makes my experience that much smoother. And of course all customer contact information should be prominently displayed on each page. The more accessible you are, the more personal you can be with your customers the more readily they will want to do business with you.

Another great idea is product strategy. Let the thrill of your products encourage your customers to return for more. A great way to do this is by having new items debut on a specific day of the month so your avid consumers will be sure to check back in then. Also consider offering accessory perks by offering accessories or coordinating items to previously purchased products at a lower price. An example could be: After launching your chevron style collection and bringing in lots of sales, midway through the month advertise coordinating shoes at a discounted rate. An obvious advantage is aside from the lure of a bargain; because you know that this customer likes the style your marketing is quite targeted.

Price matching is a definite appealer. . With the ease of price comparing nowadays and the thrill of getting an identical item at a reduced rate it is in your best interest to offer some sort of price matching incentive. For shoppers who like your service yet don't want to spend too much a price match will most likely cement their decision. Interestingly enough, many time just the idea that you will price match will encourage people to purchase even without taking advantage of this offer. They assume that if you are confident enough to offer price matching, your prices can't be that bad altogether. Offering negotiable rates for items bought in larger quantities is also a great way to appeal to your customers and to encourage them to purchase more.

So put the effort in. When you have the information on what your customers want it's worth it to keep bringing it in for them. Once a customer you've got to do your best to keep them always a customer!

Branded

With all the hype about successful branding as part of your marketing campaign it's important to delve into the steps involved in successful branding. For starters, what exactly is branding? Branding is a promise that you relay to your customer about who you are and what they can expect from you. A brand will familiarize yourself to your customers and distinguish your products from its counterparts. Branding sends your message to your clientele. Are you creative with new products debuting on a monthly basis, or are you consistent with the same products producing them to perfection each time? Are you the low price, great value or the pay for what you get options? Since you can't be all, the ideal is to focus on your targeted customer base and build from there. As discussed in a previous blog your logo is your brand foundation; it communicates what you stand for. All your products, advertisements, web pages, etc should display your logo, though not more than once. Less is definitely more.

Brand definition is crucial to the success of any marketing campaign. Defining your brand is a an introspective process which necessitates taking a few steps back and work to provide answers to a couple of basic questions such as: Company mission, The benefits of your products, How customers and potential customers currently view your company, and What qualities would you like to be associated with your business. The process in answering these questions is a wholesome process, entailing deep research into your company, products and the minds of your targeted audience. But once you have amassed the necessary knowledge you can create a brand defined by all the qualities you and your customers alike desire.

To create a brand from nothing is quite difficult. It is important to have some sort of mission statement or brand strategy in place to keep you focused on your end goal. Included in your brand strategy is whom you want to target, how you want to target them, where you advertise, and in what venue (visually or verbally). Effective branding on a consistent basis in strategic places will lead you to a stronger brand worth, or brand equity. The increased value in your products based on the value your brand now has will allow you to charge more for your products than the competitions unbranded items. An example would be Tide laundry detergent. The intrinsic value of the brand allows it to increase its prices, and customers are still clamoring to buy it over the other random but good laundry detergents found on the shelf.

Though the branding process takes a while to get off the ground due to the work involved, it is definitely worth the effort. Once you have creates a successful image for yourself any product you develop will be ensconced under the umbrella of your brand. Happy branding!

Tweet Tweet

Of all social media outlets available twitter boasts more marketing benefits for internet marketers. It's a great way to personally connect with your followers throughout the day. It's an easy way to determine customer satisfaction levels and figure out what needs improvement. Read on below to learn how to expand your business using the numerous benefits Twitter offers.

Post those pictures! Pictures compel and engage. A newer feature on Twitter allows you to transmit a portion of your picture or graphic image along with your feed. An exciting picture invites viewers to see more and read on. Any announcement or promotion you want to broadcast will become that much more effective with an image.

Rehashing hashtags. Act on your twitter feed as you would act in a regular person to person conversation. Don't pipe in on a hashtag with a totally irrelevant comment. Read a bit to be sure you've understood the conversation. An inappropriate tweet is not going to generate a following. The best way to reach a new audience is by using trending topics to show up in popular feeds. And try to create a smooth entrance into a trending topic, it's a more natural and effective way to garner interest amongst viewers.

Many people are unaware of the significance of the @ placement in a tweet. To ensure maximum exposure both from your followers and from those of your co-conversationalist, be sure to embed the user handle into the content of the tweet as opposed to beginning a tweet with that significant symbol.

And last but definitely not least please don't just retweet every single thing you read. It's kind of annoying and minimizes the effect a significant piece of information you want to tweet will have. Sort of like "The boy who cried wolf...." And let's say each piece of information you see is just so fantastic you can't help but retweet it? If that is the case, at least retweet is with some sort of comment or link or something that personalizes it a bit.

The tips mentioned above are a great way to boost your business Twitter presence. Nothing too complicated, just a little more direction on the most effective way to market your business. Happy Tweeting!

More on Emails

Personalization is a popular method marketers utilize to connect with their subscribers. A personalized email campaign can increase order value by 57%!! An email is personalized when the name of the recipient is inserted somewhere in the email be it the subject line or in the actual message body. Studies have shown that personalizing the text is more likely to increase open rates as oppose to personalized subject lines which can inhibit email openings. Nowadays people are wary of emails with their names jumping out from the subject line (unless you are a travel company) that they may even delete them without opening it first.

In order to create effective emails it is important to have pertinent information. Surveys are a great way to gather personal information such as age, gender, likes, etc. This knowledge will assist you in creating a more streamlined email campaign. The more knowledge you have the more personal and specific you can be.

Though this next idea may seem contradictory to personalization, it's not! The automation process helps you follow up with your customers based on behavior. In a nutshell it helps you send out emails to your customers in a timely fashion ensuring you are always at the forefront of their mind whenever they decide to actually make a purchase.

And when a promotional approach that you had high hopes for falls flat on its face it's time for metric review. It's important to take stock of evolving consumer buying patterns. Metrics analysis will give you a deeper look at what your customer s like and need.

There are many ways to personalize an email. Whether you choose to insert the recipient's name in the message body, or if you don't know the names and you choose a generic title such as valued consumer, or you can skip the actual name and just send relevant emails based on the data you have collected. The idea is to send an email in which the recipient feels a connection and will hopefully pay you a visit soon after!

Word Power

Don't ever underestimate the power of the written word. The ecommerce market (as with any market) is rife with competition, and everyone wants to succeed. The ease at which consumers can surf between sites greatly increases the competition level. With two windows open simultaneously and the customer alternating back and forth between your product and a similar one, what is going to convince him to choose yours?

The answer lies in your product descriptions. You have to craft a unique description that entices and excites your customer and persuades him that your product is the better of the two.

Before creating a description it is imperative that you familiarize yourself with the pertinent data to discover who your target audience is. When designing for teenagers you need to incorporate the language and the styles they use and admire. Retired professionals are engaged via straightforward and sophisticated wording. You want to describe your product in the best way to attract its targeted audience. Using slang descriptions when describing the latest lawn chairs is just not going to fly so well, while 'hot' will definitely entice your teenagers when choosing shoulder bags. Though you may want to create a description geared towards all audiences stay far away; that would be a great way to produce generic web copy that will not assist in relevant conversions.

Each description should be thought out. Don't just throw together a couple of key words that the manufacturer suggested, aside from the being non persuasive, you may land yourself into the problem of duplicate content, which can be detrimental to your site ranking.

It is important to list ingredients or key materials in your products, but don't focus on them. Choose instead to highlight the benefits your product provides; expound on its durability, the unique colors it comes in, the easy maintenance, etc.

And of course images. A picture can really project the impression you want to affect on your browsers. Photograph your product in a clean setting so as not to detract from the product. If the item is available in various colors include pictures of each one. People appreciate being able to view a product from different angles to give them a clearer idea of how it looks. The more comprehensive image you project the more beneficial it is to you.

So when the competition is fierce you've got to give it all you've got. You've got to create a reason that your customer should opt for your product over another's. And once you've created a description read it over and ask yourself what about this description compels me to acquire this product. And if you can't find anything then back to the drawing board until you're satisfied.

Once Upon A Time...

Using storytelling as a part of your content marketing strategy is steadily gaining popularity... because it really works! The benefits are triple fold: Firstly, it creates a desire in your readers to read on. Secondly it helps to boost your brand and presence and third, by connecting with your reader's emotions your customers will feel more connected to your company. In storytelling you can express and share your own story. You can share experiences; mistakes, triumphs, individual journeys, or whatever else you'd like. You can choose to tell over your own story or that of a satisfied customer.

The 5 main points in storytelling are: Opening, setting and character introduction, plot, transition, and resolution.

Begin with a captivating opening that establishes your theme. Your theme is the purpose behind your story which should have a direct association to your business objective. Openings that intrigues such as 'A while ago', 'Can you believe' or 'Did you ever wonder' are great sentence starters. It is important to communicate with your audiences if they are right in from of you and make them feel part of whatever you are narrating. When we discuss a setting, we mean the tone or the mood of your writing. In character introduction you should explain who the characters are. The customers are always the hero, the situation as the villain and the product or service you offer as the loyal accomplice. The plot should depict the situation and existing conflict. This is the most crucial part of your storytelling because here is where you will draw your reader into your story. You want your reader to imagine himself as the main character and start to formulate plans to overcome the villain. In transition the conflict will turn in the favor of the hero and his able sidekick. Here is where you can include the research you have done to aid in the decision.

As for the conclusion; your ending should be more than just a winding up of details. Emphasize that the hero only achieved his success because he had the help of his partner. Include some sort of call to action, something to keep your readers fired up and to create an opening for comments, discussion, opinions, etc. You want to impress upon your readers that your company holds significant superiority over the competition. Use your customers' stories to create strong brand recognition and loyalty. Readers enjoy reading about fellow customers and their successes because they can relate to them. They provide relevant examples and inspire others to follow suit.

So whether you choose to create your own story or that of a gratified consumer be sure to follow the traditional storytelling outline. It will give you optimal opportunity to present your products or services and engage your customers for certain conversions.

Whats it all ABOUT?

Perusing your website you feel satisfied with the content you have included. You feel your website is optimized for Google's search engines and for customers alike. Yet you stop short as you skim the descriptive words on the 'About' page. Something about your corporate description just seems so formal and disengaging. You know this is not the message you want to send out to your readers but you're just not sure how exactly to create an about page that reflects the image you want to create.

So how to go about creating an exciting about page that presents the impression you desire? Firstly I'd like to dispel a myth of some sorts: Your 'About' page does NOT have to be formal and boring! It is important that this page reflects the same idea the rest of your site does. Just as any page on your site is created with a goal, your 'About' page needs to have a goal and include content that will be conducive to the accomplishment of that goal. A common goal on an 'About' page is to introduce people to your website and encourage them to return again! Therefore, your content needs to be designed in an interesting and enjoyable fashion. It's also important that the central theme of your website follows through to the 'About' page. If your website is designed to be fun and engaging for readers, the 'About' page should not be a boring and formal collection of generic words. Aside from the fact that it does not compel your readers to complete any actions, it also disrupts the frame of mind they may have had when reading the rest of your informative pages.

You may want to include a snapshot of yourself or a two minute video describing your background, your accomplishments and goals for the future. It's a great way to assist your customers in creating a connection with you; they want to know what you're all about! But you should definitely not be the sole focus of the 'about' page. Include some useful tips and solutions to issues relevant to your business. Explain your company plan and the various methods you use to acquaint them with the workings of your business and the benefits in working with you over your competitors.

People reading the 'About' page are trying for a glimpse of what the company is all about it. So design your 'About' page to present your company in the best way. Include the information you would want a random browser skimming over your site to know. Your content should be transmitted over in an enjoyable manner to compel people to read the rest of your website pages. Allow your company's information to speak for itself!

Alternative Methods

We are seeing more and more the importance of quality content to assist in rank increase. But many website developers are just not talented in creative writing. And hiring a copywriter can be quite expensive, especially for small businesses on a budget. So how do you implement a strong content strategy that will help you rank high in Google's competitive search? Below we will expound on a couple of useful ideas.

Create an infographic: Infographics are information, data, or knowledge given over via graphics. A well designed infographic has a higher chance of going viral over textual content because people enjoy sharing visual items. Your infographic should target a specific group of people, expound on a central theme and provide compelling data. Most people collect data for their infographics from customer surveys. Though they can be quite expensive to produce there are many online services available that offer templates to create infographics at relatively low costs.

Review Writing: Instead of writing your content, let your customers do it for you! Customer ratings are a super tool for SEO and they're easy to obtain, all you have to do is request them! It's also a great asset to the social aspect. Either you can offer opportunities for product reviews on the spot or you can send out follow up emails to customers who have purchased items from you requesting their participation in product ratings or surveys. You may want to offer incentives to encourage cooperation.

Let YOUTUBE talk for YOU: YouTube is owned by Google and its videos are given priority by Google's search engines. It is very beneficial to your SEO campaign to create a short video either showcasing a product, testimonials from previous customers, advice from an expert in the field, etc. You can choose any topic, just bear in mind, you want something that will be useful and intrigue your viewers.

Slideshows: Along similar lines as videos, slide shows are fantastic for SEO. You have the benefits of images and the benefits of minimal writing (all you need is a title and a short description) combined to create a powerful tool in your SEO campaign. Just be sure that the content you are creating can be appropriately depicted via images.

So whether you opt for the traditional methods of the written word or for the alternative routes we discussed in this article, your goal should be the same; creating quality content that appeals to Google's search engines and your readership alike.

Effective Marketing

For all those marketers who think that email marketing is taking a backseat to social media, you'll be happy to know that email marketing is still a more effective means of reaching your customers. And that is because it works! (Which would explain the volume of mail in our inboxes...!) Though there is a lot of hype about social media, if you have strong email lists it will remain a powerful marketing tool. Checking email is the number one internet activity! 92% of the internet population checks their emails while only about 16% frequent social media sites. Social media is a fantastic way to share news, give quick updates, and even coupon sharing. But if your intention is to acquire customers than email marketing is your best bet.

It is imperative for the success of your email campaign to create relevant and targeted emails to generate more returns, though it is important to focus on your objective and not just on what will achieve 'quick-clicks.' It is worth your while to design custom landing pages featuring the product or offer displayed in your email. It will limit the amount of time your browser can lose focus and maximize on impulse buying. Of course every page you design needs to be fully adaptable for mobile users, after all almost 45% of marketing emails are being opened on mobile devices, and 65% of mobile users will unsubscribe if your email doesn't load up correctly. Click here to read our previous blog on more email marketing tips.

With so many people spending more time on social media than email, you would think that the influx of social media marketing would generate a stronger influence. I feel it has to do with targeting and attention span. In social media, even if you are on 24/7, there is so much noise happening it's hard to stay focused. Regarding emails, they demand direct action; you can choose to read, respond, delete, or ignore. The extra couple of seconds you spent figuring out what to do with your email is valuable time for the marketer because chances are that the message they sent over has penetrated!

There is definitely room for social media marketing in any campaign. Many people like the fact that on social media they can choose to check out updates or ignore something altogether, while an email is more in your face. It can also be extremely useful to attract potential email subscribers. In a natural way you can attempt to direct your fans to subscribe to your emails. There are numerous benefits to each marketing channel and though it may be challenging to create a compilation of all available methods, utilizing the methods at your disposal you have the ability to create a fantastic marketing campaign!

Engagement Opportunities

Back when the idea of internet advertising was still new and exciting, businesses were thrilled to have a means to reach out to a broader audience via advertisements, whether banner ads, textual advertisements, or images etc. Businesses flourished due to the extra exposure and customers were happy to discover opportunities of which they most probably would never been aware.

But times have changed as well as the mindset of most of the customers has evolved with it. It is no longer enough to create a flashy ad and wait for the traffic to surge. The internet has given the consumers control over what they view; and most people don't want to see in-your-face or advertising marketing. Traditional advertisement has thus, become much less productive.

So you ask, what is the best way to attract customers to your website? This leads us to engagement-based marketing. Engagement marketing is where you offer the customer something beneficial to them which will ultimately lead them to purchase or convert out of feelings of goodwill, loyalty and a bit of brand recognition. The difference between traditional advertising and engagement is who is receiving the benefits. In traditional advertising the advertiser is the one who receives the benefits whilst engagement is designed to advantage the consumer.

How to go about creating and engagement marketing campaign? As with all internet marketing campaigns it is important to know who your target audience is to best design an appropriate campaign. As for what to offer, it could be entertainment, information, guidance, tips; anything that people find useful and will most likely come back for more! For example: A gardening website can present tips on keeping indoor plants alive throughout the long winter, or present a short video on the best ways to prune bushes. You can also create a blog where you can write about relevant ideas and invite others to share. Most likely your readership will identify with the products you offer after reading up on all your ideas! Try not to blatantly promote your goods, though it is important to convey the message to your readers that you are the one presenting the best value!

If you want to advertise in addition to your engagement content, that's great and by all means goes for it. But your focal point in your advertisement campaign should be on engagement marketing. After all, it's all the rage to engage!

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