Spending a little extra time onboarding new customers shows them they made the right decision choosing your company and that you care about their experience with your brand, even after you’ve taken their money.
Most of the studies about onboarding relate to welcoming new employees into your company. Although specific research about onboarding customers is available, customer retention statistics tell us a lot about why consumers stick with a brand. In the United States, about 40 percent of revenue for most brands comes from repeat purchases. Spending a bit of extra time on a new customer ensures they understand your brand mission and make a connection with you that may last for years to come.
Just how can you onboard new customers without spending all your time on follow-up, though? Fortunately, there are some clear marketing techniques and tips that naturally lead to better customer retention. Here are eight of them.
A big equation in customer experience (CX) is how well you communicate with your customers. Customers should feel that they aren’t just another face in the crowd, but a person your company cares about. Communication should be easy and available, such as adding live chat and engaging on social media. Notice how many of the top brands today spend time answering concerns on social media or giving a shout out to their top customers.
Long John Silver’s has a strong presence on Instagram, where they promote different foods they serve in their restaurants. In the post above, they offer a photo of their food and then add a comment about liking thick cuts, which references a popular song. People chime into the conversation, and LJS engages them by responding with a heart emoji or short replies. Responding to comments on social media shows new followers they want to start a discussion.
Part of your inbound marketing strategy should focus on creating specific content for different audience segments based on where they come to you from and the likely buyer persona. If you gain a lead from your Facebook page, you may know you’ve targeted a particular type of buyer on that social media platform and that they want a solution to one of two problems. You can then gear the content on your landing page to solving those exact problems for the user.
Be generous with your new leads by offering them something free. The more generous you can be, the better, and some studies show that those who receive something free then want to reciprocate by ordering from you or sharing your business with others. One example might be offering a free guide if they sign up for your newsletter, then following up a week later with a free bonus guide the customer wasn’t expecting. Offering more than expected shows you care about their success and want them to have all the information needed to move forward. You could also offer a free estimate or consultation to new clients.
New City Moving offers a free quote so potential clients can see exactly what services are included and get a ballpark price range for help with their moving needs. Once you submit your information about the number of rooms, where you’re moving and the date, the company responds by either phone, text or email within a day and gives you a detailed estimate providing everything included and info on any add-ons you might want.
Have you ever bought a product and experienced such excellent customer service that you vow to do business with that company going forward? Good customer experience (CX) isn’t easy to define — many elements play into the overall impression a person has of your brand. However, there are some clear things you can do when onboarding new customers to ensure they have a good experience.
First, ask them if they are satisfied with their purchase and if they need anything else. This simple question helps solve many problems before they become serious concerns. Second, reach out and thank them for their business and let them know you appreciate it. The fine art of a simple thank you has been lost in modern times, so letting your customers know you are grateful goes a long way toward goodwill. Finally, have a customer service rep follow up with new customers via phone call, email or text message. The contact should be personal and refer to the specific purchase made by the customer.
A progress bar encourages your new customer to continue the process of ordering or to sign up for an account. The user sees progress as they move along and an end to the information they need to input. A progress bar also helps them track where they are if they must leave and return at a later time.
Etsy’s process to help new sellers get a shop up and running uses a progress bar to show people where they are in the process. Note how the circles turn solid and gain a check mark as you finish that step in the process. You also know exactly how many steps are left to finish setting up your new online store.
People today are extremely busy. If you save them time and effort, they’re much more likely to stay with you for the long haul. Add features that save them time such as allowing them to hook their account into an already exciting platform, such as Facebook or Google. Linking up to popular platforms prevents the user from having to input basic info they already have saved and allows them to log in with a single click of the button.
For businesses offering a service, onboarding may be particularly important. The user needs to understand best practices and how to get the most out of their new registration. Draw attention to some of the most important details with pop-up messages, videos or a series of steps the user should take to become more familiar with the service. For products, onboarding may relate more to the use of the product and include videos and user manuals.
Wistia onboards new clients by offering a Getting Started With Video series that explains how to use their system and best practices. Even if you’ve never used a promotional video before, you’ll understand the basics of what you need to do once you complete the series.
If a customer reaches out to you via email, phone or social media and shares a positive story about their experience with your brand, celebrate that success. If you offer a service for other businesses, give their brand a shout out on your social media pages and invite people to check out what they’re doing and why they’re winning.
On the other hand, if you run a business to consumer (B2C) model and a customer lets you know your gadget saved them 15 minutes a day, take the time to send them a note and tell them how happy you are to hear that. It’s the little efforts that show customers you care about them and keep their business long-term.
Even though most of your new customers may need a walkthrough of the product or service features, some will be past customers who’ve come back or people who are particularly tech savvy and don’t need in-depth explanations. Let them skip steps that they already understand and avoid frustration.
Onboarding is a journey, and laying out the process of a customer’s journey from the minute they land on your page to after they make a purchase allows you to connect with your customers and develop lifelong relationships.
Lexie Lu is a designer and writer. She loves researching trends in the web and graphic design industry. She writes weekly on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner
Are you struggling to figure out your marketing plan for 2019? Marketing changes from year to year. Staying on top of trends and swapping out things that don’t work with new ideas leads to success. Looking into the next year allows you to plan your marketing calendar and try to guess trends before the fact so you can get ready ahead of time.
There are more than 30 million small businesses in the United States, so if you want to gain a competitive edge, you’ll need to predict what customers want at any given time. Make a few predictions and get out ahead of the competition. The more prepared you are for 2019, the more successful your marketing campaigns will be.
If you’re wondering just what marketing will look like in 2019, here are eight predictions to form your marketing strategy:
As more small businesses form an online presence, location-based marketing will become even more important and targeted. The ability to hone in on people in a specific area is one of the big advantages to advertising on social media and search engine giants. Instead of reaching every person in the world who likes cats, for example, you can reach only those people on the south side of your town who like cats.
The number of people searching via voice commands is growing, so expect to see more of this in 2019. Studies predict that by 2020, about 50 percent of all search commands will be voice-based. Google’s word recognition accuracy continues to improve dramatically, allowing people to conduct searches without getting crazy results that don’t relate to the words actually spoken.
A trend from 2018 that will continue into 2019 is promotional products with unique colors, textures and patterns. Not only are these products functional, but they are also aesthetically pleasing. You’ll also see tech gadgets as promotional items. Personalized items such as PopSockets, power banks and charging cords are highly appreciated by tech-oriented customers.
In 2016, 2017 and 2018, live video grew steadily in popularity. Expect to see demand for live video increase even more as streaming becomes faster and more commonplace. If the video involves a favorite celebrity, people are more likely to pay for the experience. Free videos are still quite popular, too, so create the best video possible and make sure it offers high value.
Adding a live video to your social media allows users to share your content and get to know you on a more personal level. Some studies predict that by 2019, about 85 percent of internet traffic will be videos. If you haven’t added videos to your marketing plan, now is the time to do so.
A lot of companies use chatbots to respond to social media posts and visitors to their website. However, we disagree that this is a positive trend. Instead of investing in chatbots, it’s better to spend those resources developing a personal relationship with your customers and reaching them on a more intimate level.
Imagine ordering food or booking a vacation all without talking to another person. While most people don’t feel negative about chatbots, using a live person allows you to customize the user experience. Of course, you could also try adding a few chatbots for tasks that eat up your time but don’t significantly impact user experience.
More brands are adding virtual reality and augmented reality to their marketing repertoire. If you want an example of how commonplace VR and AR is becoming, think about the “Pokémon Go” game that became so popular. People ran everything to find Pokémon in this AR world.
The combination of a mobile app and VR or AR has become possible as cellphones have advanced beyond simple devices that were difficult to use. The power of a mini-computer in the user’s hand allows them to invite customers into a store, try out a new retail design or interact with other game players.
In the spring of 2018, the EU’s GDPR went into effect. The new privacy rules impacted every site that collected any type of personal information. Although warnings have been issued and GDPR compliances should be in place, many small businesses don’t realize they need to update their privacy policies or notify users of tracking cookies.
By 2019, expect a clear focus to be on compliance. This means that if you want to drive traffic to a page on your site, you need to ensure it’s clear that you comply.
Between 2013 and 2016, the number of influencer marketing searches went up 90 times. Strongarm marketing tactics simply don’t work with today’s savvy consumers. Instead of doing heavy self-promotion in 2019, reach out to influencers in your niche.
Brands are allocating more money to influencer marketing. Instead of spending time, money and resources figuring out advertising on Twitter or Facebook, businesses find an influencer and either pay them or team up with them to have their brand mentioned.
The softer approach of having an influencer mention your brand allows you to focus on creating the best customer experience possible while the social media expert spends time talking up your brand.
The future of marketing is exciting. Expect to see more videos, increased virtual reality and less human interaction. The help of advanced tools allows you to stay ahead of your competitors. Instead of investing in ads that never pan out, you’ll know the best times to run different types.
2019’s trends will look somewhat similar to 2018’s marketing trends. Don’t plan on massive changes but do expect to better define the way you market your business to the public.
Lexie Lu is a designer and writer. She loves researching trends in the web and graphic design industry. She writes weekly on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.
Hearing that you have good marketing skills provides a boost of confidence, but it isn’t necessarily mean that you’re better than the rest. Taking your marketing strategies into the realm of great can mean that you start to far exceed the competition.
As the owner of a business or as a marketing manager, you are already aware of how important a focused target audience is. However, it is possible for your target audience to be too focused. When you limit yourself to such a narrow audience, you are also limiting the possibilities for revenue. Ask yourself who some secondary buyers of your products and services might be. Also, consider whether you can tweak what you have or add to your inventory to speak to other people.
Catchy and effective slogans help to entice people to look more into businesses, and they also help individuals to remember the company. Evaluate your slogan for its relevance in the modern world. For example, your slogan might play on popular culture or catchy phrases that are now outdated. Instead, consider references that the members of your target audience would understand, and update the visuals to reflect the latest technological methods.
Consider what is popular now in terms of design aesthetics. For example, some major technology companies have had a profound influence on the way that people absorb material. While you need to find your own spin to what is already out there, make sure your advertisements, whether they are online or offline, speak to the way that people currently absorb material. It might not be a bad idea to consult with a design company like Color Grading Central or someone similar that you recognize and trust in your area. No matter who you work with, a professional service can really help you make your advertisements pop.
If your website isn’t optimized for mobile usage, then you are likely already falling a great distance behind the competition. Maintaining awareness of how often people use phones to conduct research on companies, find what shop they want to go to next and make purchases is pivotal. In addition to optimizing your website for mobile devices, you should also consider if an app is suitable for your company.
A website with large chunks of text on it is likely to drive away potential consumers, especially in a world that is so highly visual and relies heavily on aesthetics. Break up the written material of your website with content marketing. Incorporating videos and photos, for example, helps to better demonstrate what your products and services do, and these techniques also present information in ways that audiences easily digest.
The time has come to advance in your marketing efforts. Technology has brought so many different ways to advertise, and if you want to stay ahead of your competitors, you need to start better implementing these techniques.
Marketing is one of the most complex subjects. It is a milieu of art, commerce and science that creates instruments to appeal to the psychology of the mass. Marketing is evolving with the needs and demands of the buyers. Marketing strategies vary from state to state and country to country. The most successful marketing strategies are those that take into account the (buying) culture of the target customers before pushing the product.
Marketing is one of the ways to ensure that your business grows organically. The techniques of marketing as we knew them in 2016 are now obsolete barring some. The ones that survived are definitely the fittest and most effective to boost the sales of most brands.
Here are 5 most interesting and out-of-the-box marketing techniques that have survived 2016 and have made it to 2017 –
Digital signage offers a wonderfully flexible platform for fresh and dynamic content. While the content remains dynamic, the interface can be made interactive by investing a little more on touchscreens rather than normal LCDs.
Digital Signage has revolutionized outdoor advertising. It is the most common platform of advertising seen in train stations, highways, building-fronts and inside public buildings including malls.
Infographics are indeed not new, but they have survived the tides of time and made it to 2017. These are easy to understand. They are quite informative and at the same time, eye-catching. Your followers can share infographics about your company with just one click provided you embed the content with social media widgets.
Videos are in! Videos are the hottest things of 2017 as of now. Ever since Facebook started supporting videos on their walls, brands have gone crazy creating promotional videos with engaging content. However, since this particular medium is being used extensively, we would suggest you create something unique before thinking about stepping into this domain. You can release your videos on your own channel on YouTube or Vine, and share it via your Facebook and Twitter accounts to attract the attention of your followers.
Controversy is social media’s best friend. You can create your own news; publish articles about celebrity breakups or Apple product fails, depending on what your audience wants. Stay close to your followers and follow the keyword trends very closely to stay on top of Google search results.
Sharing daily weather will do little for your brand. You need to upsell your products and services by sharing promotional content and offers. You can organize open contests and share the details on social media for engaging more people. This is essentially a call to action that prompts people to click on the link that might lead them to an Instagram photo contest or a simple EOSS.
Marketing is about packaging your product in a way that appeals to the majority of your customers. It is quite challenging if you have not been following the recent trends, or if you are resilient to change. Marketing is nothing without advertising and if your brand is hiccupping in sales and customer engagement, you need to invest more in your advertising strategies.
Charlie Brown is a blogger and author. He has been studying the market trends of digital advertising in association with https://www.dopublicity.com/ for at least 6 years now. He has a very unique view on digital marketing and advertising that can be clearly seen in this article.
20 years ago, the internet was just a blip on the public radar. Now it is the dominant feature of our lives. It has changed how we communicate with each other, and it has definitely transformed the way we do business with each other. Here are five ways that marketing has changed over the past 20 years.
Businesses used to rely primarily on paid advertising and the yellow pages to get the word out about their services. Google has run that model into the ground because of “search engine optimization (“SEO”). A recent study by Google showed that four out of five consumers use search engines to get information about local businesses. This means that customers are typing in specific keywords to find those services.
It doesn’t matter what type of business you’re in. Whether you run a pet store or a chain of subtitling services, your business website needs to follow a set of SEO best practices in order to stay competitive.
Social media has broken down the barriers between us. Users can share photos, videos and intimate details of their personal lives. People expect that from each other, and they also expect it from the businesses they frequent.
In the past, consumers had to call a 1-800 number and patiently wait on hold in order to get the information they wanted. Today, they want the information now. They’ll go to the company’s Facebook page or Twitter account and post comments and questions, expecting to receive an immediate response. If they don’t get their question answered soon, they’ll move on to a company that will answer them quickly.
This year’s smartphone is smarter than last year’s smartphone. Self-driving cars are now on the road. Virtual reality technology is already in our midst, and there could be a possible VR boom in the future.
Marketing departments need to do more than just create content for these mediums the moment they become available; marketers also have to do research on which technologies are coming into fruition. Otherwise, they risk being left behind in the virtual dust.
People don’t just want to read text; they want to watch things happening. A billion people visit YouTube every month. Companies now have to explore how they can use video on a consistent basis to share information about their businesses. Fortunately, it’s extremely easy to shoot something these days. All you need is a smartphone.
Let’s face it: we aren’t the same people that we were 20 years ago. Not only have we grown accustomed to getting the information we want instantaneously, our attention spans are much shorter. There’s too much content on the internet. If something doesn’t capture our attention within a few seconds, we’re on to the next piece of content. Marketers need to figure out ways to speak directly to the customer’s emotions, and they need to figure out how to do that as quickly as possible. Once people are emotionally engaged, they’ll stick with you.
If marketing has changed this much in the past 20 years, imagine what the next 20 years will bring. In a recent survey, only nine percent of digital marketers could say with confidence that their marketing efforts were actually working. Their confidence is being shaken because the rules of the game change every year. That’s why it’s important for marketers to pay attention to the latest technological developments and consider collaborating with technological innovators. That way, they’ll be moving at the same pace as the tech industry as opposed to constantly playing catch-up.
For anyone that is a marketing professional you know that marketing can be a very dynamic space. Each generation brings their own methods of receptive communication methods and to add to that, the Internet changes almost daily! Keeping your skill set sharp is a must.
Our friends over at The Ladders put together this infographic offering some valuable insight on how to stay on top of your marketing game.
The video game industry has become one of the largest entertainment industries, much of which is thanks to strong marketing campaigns that entice gamers before they even have a chance to play. For example, Bungie’s newest title, “Destiny,” sold more than 4.5 million units worldwide in the first week, according to N4G. Video game developers are perhaps some of the most savvy marketers, and business owners of all kinds can learn from their marketing success.
Here are a few lessons you can learn:
Video game companies are brilliant at branding their products. They always start with a strong name that grabs consumer interest and is easy to remember. If you look at a list of modern Xbox One games, they have names like “Destiny” and “Titanfall” and “Call of Duty,” which are catchy and intriguing. When products or services have complicated names or overly clever titles, consumers will forget about your brand. Therefore, a simple idea is always the best way to make your product memorable. When developing your own brand identity, don’t be mysterious but rather look at games like “Grand Theft Auto,” where there is no doubt what the game entails.
The film industry conceived the idea of the trailer, where audiences get a small taste of what is to come. However, it is the video game industry that has mastered the use of the free sample. Gamers are often offered free downloadable demos so they can experience the gameplay and see if the title is for them. By offering customers a direct look at your products, you gain their trust and interest.
Furthermore, samples and demos can often be shared with other customers, a lesson that video game developers learned very early on. Free demos often spread virally from user to user and generate massive interest in a title. This word-of-mouth marketing plan can create a very successful launch day.
One of the more ingenious displays of marketing prowess on the part of video game developers is the idea of the pre-order incentive. With pre-orders, customers are ensured a copy of the game when it is released and are often offered an additional in-game reward or collectible with their purchase. Pre-orders often generate hundreds of thousands of sales before the title is even released. VGCharts shows the amount of pre-orders for each game, and some of these titles receive thousands of pre-orders per week for months before their release.
Businesses in any other industry can learn from the video game industry’s methodology regarding pre-orders and early order incentives. Consumers are drawn to discounts and special offers as well as anything that makes them feel special or unique. This is an easy way to show your appreciation for the customer. Plus, any business that sells a product can easily offer some type of pre-order reward.
Overall, video game developers have found what their target market wants. They know how to cater to their needs and desires and don’t hesitate to go the extra step. Other businesses can learn from their practices and adjust them to fit their own niche in order to find marketing success.
Image Source: Flickr/Gerald Rich
Pay Per Click advertising is an extremely powerful and highly effective marketing tool. Whereas billboards, television adverts, newspaper and magazine pieces and of course radio exposure are all great tools they do take time and significant effort to transform into a solid sale or lead. A PPC agency will help businesses to stand out from the crowd in a place where instant ordering and contacting people is not only possible but even probable, and that place is the internet.
When you start out in any type of business it is essential that you make sure that people know who you are, where you are and what you offer. It is also important that you don’t overstretch your advertising budget as start-up and smaller businesses rarely have huge amounts of cash to use for this therefore there needs to be a budget in place that yourselves and the PPC agency agree on in order to set realistic goals with the aim of getting you what you want and need. Unlike some advertising forms PPC advertising is still an effective marketing tool regardless of the fact that it doesn’t require a large amount of funding.
Having local support for your business is important for anyone however for bricks and mortar businesses located in a town for example, local support is vital for the success of the business. Fortunately your PPC agency is able to combine PPC with geo-targeting which increases local community visibility.
A quick fix isn’t always best in business however when it comes to small business start-ups PPC campaigns are fantastic at giving your business a quick boost and building immediate levels of traffic which in turn starts to bring profit in quicker. Over time your other slower to build yet very effective marketing strategies will start to show results however in the meantime you will have already started to build visibility.
As a small business you need to stand out above the bigger names and brands in order to get noticed. If you have a very defined niche then PPC agencies will be able to use this to further increase the success of your campaign as specific search terms, which also tend to cost less per click, are going to find you more targeted traffic which is most like to turn into a solid lead or sale.
The beauty of having a Pay Per Click agency working on your behalf is that the advertising campaign will literally run itself in a sense, not requiring you to do anything to maintain it. Small business owners rarely have extra hours in the day so this cost and time effective method of targeted advertising is ideal.
Attribute to: Jag Ture
Jag has been writing for over 5 years. Her sales and marketing background at PPC agency, Cayenne Red has helped her write informative articles in areas including digital marketing; specifically, PPC, SEO, Affiliate Marketing and Social Media Marketing.
Image Source: Creative Commons Flickr/base2wave
So many people believe that SEO involves simply jamming a few keywords on your page and building a couple of links. SEO marketing is actually much more complicated than that, and with such a simplistic strategy, your SEO plan likely won’t get you very far. Keep these SEO challenges in mind when you build your strategy.
The competition for space on the Internet is staggering. Thousands of other websites are vying for the same readers you are, and they are placing content, advertisements and social media pages in the same places you are. Many may even be going beyond that. The ones who have the edge are the companies who use SEO experts in placing their content. If you don’t strategically plan out your SEO efforts, you will lag far behind the pack in terms of attracting and keeping your target market.
Here is an example for the phrase “SEO services“. Keep your eye out on the number that reads 63 million results. That is the competition that someone targeting that phrase has to go up against. These types of numbers exist in almost all business verticals. Just in case you are wondering why that article you wrote isn’t ranking just yet keep in mind your competition.
Google and other search engines are constantly changing their systems. A simple algorithm change can move your website from the first page of search results to the tenth—or hundredth. That’s why it’s so important for you to feature timely, up-to-date content as well as evergreen material and unique, specific keywords to keep your page coming up in search results. Some random keywords and links thrown in aren’t going to get you a spot on the first page of search results like a planned SEO strategy will.
If you don’t believe us take a look at this great algorithm change timeline SEOmoz put together so you can see what has occurred over the last 12 or so years.
No SEO road-map exists that you can simply follow step-by-step. Given the constant changes in how search engines work, no instruction booklet would suffice in the long run, either. That’s why you have to constantly be alert of new changes and SEO tips in terms of both search engines as well as social marketing tools. Awareness of new policies and tricks can mean the difference between SEO that works and marketing attempts that fail.
However, there is a best practice guide directly from Google that should help you out.
While a typical writer can manage basic SEO, a marketing background is required in almost every case of successful SEO use. This training provides SEO marketers with the skills they need to analyze target markets, stay current with SEO trending topics and keywords, and develop a real marketing strategy that doesn’t solely rely on keywords and links. The SEO part of the strategy is important, but like a nail without a hammer, it won’t work well without a keen plan behind it.
Many people misinterpret the use of keywords in general. They think that by adding a hot star’s name or a trending topic of the day, they will stay on top of search results. These keywords are simply not specific enough to garner you much traffic. They will be similar to so many other website keywords that yours will only be lost in the shuffle. Provide specific terms that fit in with your niche and product to stand in during search engine results.
As you consider this list of challenges, don’t let using SEO intimidate you. Simply be aware of what you really need to give your website the visibility that you want it to have. Hiring an SEO strategist can be an effective way to do this, as can taking workshops about the process and learning more about marketing though classes.
Not all businesses have been able to incorporate the youthful photo sharing tool Instagram but, many have. Photo sharing is not a new concept. It has been a popular choice ever since the days of Flickr but Instagram changed up the concept just a bit. Heavily integrated with social features and easy to use editing tools, Instagram has made waves in the business world.