As we discussed yesterday, you have three seconds to hook visitors on your website. Snap, snap, snap – and they are gone. Without further adu, lets jump right into the following methods of increasing stickiness on your website.
Make Your E Mail Communications Valuable but Not Too Valuable
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As the barrage of e-mail communications (e-zines, tip of the week, etc.) escalates it is absolutely critical that you differentiate your e-mails/newsletter from all the others cramming your customers’ inboxes. It may take several messages before they learn to distinguish your messages from the other e-mail noise. How can you make your brand stand out? Here are some ways to differentiate your messages:
- Be brief but valuable. You want to make your message valuable enough to induce people to read it immediately, yet short enough so they don’t save it to study later. If they save it they will probably never read it.
- Reward people for reading your e-mails. Reward those who take the time to read your message immediately. These rewards could be a coupon for a future discount or a hot tip about some free information that you’ve uncovered especially for them.
- Add a human touch. You could also make your e-mails valuable by including a humorous segment, a great quote, a useful idea or tip, a super bargain, a moneymaking idea, and something personal to humanize your messages.
Your goal is for your subscribers to anticipate your next post … to hunger when they haven’t heard from you in a while. This subtle reward process will make your posts a welcome event rather than an annoyance. You are building your brand awareness in your new subscribers’ minds. When they think of you, you want them to be thinking, “Oh, goodie!” instead of “Oh, no, not them again!”
Get Permission to Gather More Information to Serve Visitors Faster
The sites that are the most valuable to me are the ones that have earned my trust to the degree that I’m willing to give them deeper levels of personal information. For instance, my bank, my Quicken files, and my E*Trade account have all asked me to fill out in-depth personal profiles. Because they are a vital part of my business, I’m happy to do so. Having once invested time in creating a file of personal information, I am extremely hesitant to leave and start all over again with another online service provider. Knowing this, companies like E*Trade are willing to offer people a bribe of up to $75 just to sign up. Once a company has you in its Web, you usually stay there.
Amazon.com has the right idea with their one-click shopping. Why take the extra 60 seconds to buy a book elsewhere when you can buy it from Amazon with one click of your mouse? Any amount of personalization will make your site stickier.
Design a Frequent Visitor/Purchaser Program
Who hasn’t heard of frequent-flyer miles? They work. They create brand loyalty—or, to use a new-economy word, stickiness. By rewarding your most loyal customers with accumulating rewards, you increase the chance that they will come back again and again. They have something to lose if they don’t come back.
One online leader in this industry is Netcentives. Through its ClickRewards program it has pioneered a way to reward your customers for their loyalty. Here is what its Web site says about the program:
Online customers want to be rewarded for their loyalty. With so many choices available, who can blame them?
ClickRewards is the only Web loyalty program to reward customers with ClickMiles ™, a digital currency redeemable for frequent flyer miles, hotel stays, car rentals and merchandise. Customers simply make purchases or other transactions on a ClickRewards merchant site, and immediately start accumulating ClickMiles.
By creating a powerful promotional network of the Web’s top merchants, including E*Trade, barnesandnoble.com and Gap Online, ClickRewards turns curious visitors into buyers and buyers into loyal customers. Member customers make a point of shopping with ClickRewards merchants because they know their patronage is valued.
Merchant implementation is easy. The ClickRewards account team helps market, promote and manage the rewards program, making it the easiest, most cost-effective relationship marketing tool available online.
Your growing business may not yet be large enough to take advantage of such a program, but you should at least model what they’re doing. It’s obviously working.
Reduce the Distance between Your Visitors and a Live Person
The more and faster your visitors can interact with real people, the stickier and “quickier” your site will become. This plays to the strengths of the Internet—speed and interactivity. If you can connect with your customers during their feeding frenzy, the more likely you are to make the sale. Unfortunately, this may go against the nature of the ideal hands-off, money-while-you-sleep kind of business that you’d like to create. As you design your business, you’ll have to balance these two competing demands. Do you want to make money fast? Or do you want to make money without hassle? I’ll bet you answered both, didn’t you?
Get People Together and They’ll Reward You for It
As your site grows, you will attract like-minded people; by default, you can become the central meeting point of a virtual community. Arthur Armstrong, author of Net Gain, has this to say:
Virtual communities are groups of people who share common interests and needs who come together on-line. Most are drawn by the opportunity to share a sense of community with like-minded people—regardless of where they live. But virtual communities are more than just a social phenomena: what starts off being a group drawn together by common interests ends up being a group with a critical mass of purchasing power—based in part on the fact that in communities, members can exchange information with each other on such things as a product’s price and quality.
One of the leaders in creating virtual community software is phpBB. This free forum software is available to anybody wanting to setup and run their own out-of-the-box community bulletin board.
Some benefits of setting up a virtual community:
- Introduces like-minded people
- Fosters an open user forum and knowledge base
- Reinforces purchase decisions
- Concentrates group buying power—auctions, surplus
- Answers service and support questions
- Overcomes buyer objections
- Shares product-usage tips
There is, however a downside to building a virtual community: If your service isn’t up to par, there is a forum for your customers to complain to each other and spread the word even faster. Before you build your community you’d better make sure that you build up your customer service.
Now we’ve come to the final item on our stickiness/quickiness check-list. I’ve placed it last because its nature is fundamentally different from the others. The first eight points have to do with making your site addictive—creating reasons for people to buy now and in the future, again and again. The final item has to do with making your site contagious—creating a buzz that spreads like wildfire.
Study the Principles of Contagiousness
How can you create an explosion of traffic at your site? No amount of advertising can create word-of-mouse power. But you can help it get started. The Internet term for this phenomenon is viral marketing.
The term was actually coined by the venture capital firm of Draper Fisher Jurvetson to describe the phenomenon of a company it funded in 1996 called Hotmail. Aside from having a great name, Hotmail was hot because of the way it was marketed. It spread like a virus, going from zero customers to over 40 million in only three years, increasing its subscriber base more rapidly than any company in the history of the world. As Business Week reported, the idea for Hotmail came about as almost an afterthought:
The two principals, Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith . . . went to see Draper Fisher furvetson, but the investor was unimpressed by their idea for database software for the Net. As they were packing up to leave, [the venture capitalists] asked: “Do you have any other ideas?” Sabeer said they’d noodled over a scheme to offer free, advertising-supported E-mail over the Web. A week and a half later, the venture capitalists ponied up $300,000, and Hotmail was born.
The key to Hotmail’s phenomenal growth was the free price tag and the fact that every e-mail contained the following tag line and an implied endorsement by the sender:
Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com
The more the service was used, the faster the word was spread. In 1998, Hotmail was sold to Microsoft for $400 million! Not a bad return for a free product.
That is the payoff for having the most successful virally marketed business idea in history. Therefore, i think we can all learn something from the hotmail story!!
10 Strategies to Ensure a Strong ROI on Your Email List in 2019
Even in today’s world of countless digital communication channels, email marketing remains one of the most effective ways to reach current and potential customers. When done correctly, building and maintaining an email list can yield a high return on investment. Do it wrong, though, and you risk alienating subscribers and wasting your time, energy and resources.
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So how can you ensure that your email marketing efforts pay off? To find out, we asked members of Young Entrepreneur Council the following:
Email lists can be quite a potent tool, but they’re not always worth the investment. What step is crucial for making sure the email list you’re preparing to build will generate a strong return on investment?
Here’s what they advise:
1. Give Subscribers What They Want
Email software programs can be very expensive, especially when you hit 10,000 monthly subscribers. The best way to generate a decent return on investment is by giving subscribers what they want and providing value, whether it’s an exclusive promotion or a great piece of tip-driven content.
2. Build a Funnel
You can get immediate ROI from an email list if you build it with a sales funnel designed to pay for the cost to acquire the email. This funnel walks people through a series of offers that are very valuable to them and allows them to purchase immediately. Then create promotional calendar to give them more value and offers, so they stay on your list and continue to give ROI. – Monica Snyder, Birdsong
3. Use Gated Content
High-quality gated content attracts the right subscribers. You want subscribers who are interested in what you sell, and publishing content valuable to that niche is an excellent way to qualify leads. It can be expensive — good content costs money to create and promote — but you’re far more likely to attract subscribers who convert than with less focused methods of building a list.
4. Use Triggered Emails
To boost the ROI of your email marketing, use triggered emails. Triggered emails are automatically sent to subscribers when they take a certain action. So, if a customer abandons their shopping cart you can send a triggered email right away to convince them to return to buy. Triggered emails will allow you to message subscribers at the perfect time so they’ll be more likely to take action.
5. Hire a Talented Copy Writer
An email list is only valuable if it generates sales either directly or indirectly for your business. The most effective tool for consistently generating sales via email lists is good copy writing and a deep understanding of the psychology of your subscriber base. A good copy writer will be an expert at this and help you to squeeze every dollar out of your list by keeping open rates high.
6. Make It Easy to Sign Up
Have a simple to use, easy to find page where people can sign up for your list on your website. Don’t hide it or make it difficult to find; it should be rather obvious.
7. Segment Your List
Email marketing can generate up to $44 for every $1 spent, which is among the highest ROI you can find in marketing. It’s the one channel where you retain complete control of your brand and core message. So it’s critical that you have a healthy email list, which is organically sourced (no purchased lists!), and segmented so you can send relevant content to specific groups of subscribers.
8. Maintain It
Building an email list is imperative, but it can get out of hand very quickly. Many people have more than one email, which might be hard to keep track of. You want to make sure your email list is updated with the most current email of your leads and customers. Also, be sure to remove any duplicates. This can skew your estimates and reports, which can affect your conversions and business strategy.
9. Keep It Small and Niche
We create small email list of very targeted audience, generally based upon the industry, geolocation and job title. This allows us to target them with very specific messages. These email list works out better than larger lists. We have been doing it for the last four years and we have learned that smaller lists have better ROI than larger ones.
10. Build High-Quality Lead Lists
Having the best email drip campaign will not get you the results you need when the messaging does not resonate with your leads. If the lead lists are also low quality, then that will be an issue. Always build highly targeted lead lists based on your ideal customer profile and have them verified by your sales development rep or outsourced SDR team before sending your emails. Once verified, you won’t waste money.
f you enjoyed this expert round-up article, I recommend you also take a look at our latest how to start a blog article, with advice and tips from over 82 different experts around the world.
Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing: Which is Better in 2019?
Out of all businesses, 83% claim digital marketing works for them. When it comes to traditional marketing vs digital marketing, which is better?
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People think traditional marketing works better than online marketing. It’s still easier to determine your ROI (return on investment) with digital marketing.
Here’s what you should know about digital marketing vs traditional marketing:
Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing 101
What is traditional marketing?
Traditional marketing uses offline advertising and promotions. This includes television, billboards, telephone calls, and radio. Print ads, direct mail, promotional gifts, and brochures are also popular methods.
Digital marketing happens online. It uses images, videos, and custom content. SEO marketing makes this content easy to find on search engines.
Don’t forget about social media marketing. You control who sees your ads with digital marketing. Digital ads then appear on social media feeds and websites.
Pros of Traditional Marketing
Traditional marketing connects with consumers. It exposes your product/service to new audiences.
Traditional advertisements make strong brand impressions.
Consumers remember print ads better. The same goes for commercials.
Brochures are easy. Use free flyer templates to make custom flyers.
Cons of Traditional Marketing
Traditional marketing costs more money. After all, you make advertisements using materials.
There’s no interaction with consumers. You also can’t measure engagement.
It’s hard to determine an ROI with traditional vs digital marketing.
Traditional marketing has limited reach. It’s good for reaching local consumers. Digital ads reach people all over the world.
Measuring engagement is easier online. So is reaching target demographics. You can also connect with consumers easier.
Digital Marketing Madness
Digital marketing is taking the world by storm. You reach more people with digital marketing than with traditional market tactics.
With digital marketing, you’re placing your brand into a consumer’s daily life. The majority of people spend time online. Television viewership and magazine readership are declining.
It’s a better option for a smaller budget. Unlike traditional marketing, you pay as you go along with your campaign. There’s less financial risk involved with digital marketing.
It’s easier to attract, identify, and generate leads on social media. Social media campaign metrics tell you exactly how many people engage with your ads. These metrics tell you which ads are most effective and which ones aren’t.
It’s also easier to customize digital ads for specific demographics. Digital ads usually don’t need physical materials. You only need visual content and quality copy to make effective digital ads.
Online marketing lets you engage with consumers easier. You can respond to tweets and other social media posts. This makes consumers feel a more personal connection with your brand.
Consumers can also give you direct feedback about your service/product/ads online.
Embrace The Digital Marketing Trend
Out of all marketers, only 61% believe their marketing strategy works best. In the battle between traditional marketing vs digital marketing, digital marketing is winning.
Only 22% of businesses are satisfied with their conversion rates. It’s true: traditional marketing also generates leads and conversions. Still, leads and conversions are easier to track with digital marketing.
Boost your business by learning more about social media. Your brand will thank you for it.
The Top 3 Promotional Items Your Business Should Be Using
When it comes to promoting your blog or brand, handing out promotional items is one of the most effective ways to do it. People love free stuff. If you give them something useful for free, they’ll love you, too. This also works well for branding yourself as an expert, or showing off your best content and expertise through your blog.
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And each time they use your useful product, they see your brand name. This repetition will leave your brand imprinted in their memory.
While there are many ways to purchase company schwag and bags with your brand name on them, some products will have better success than others. For example, if you’ve ever been to an affiliate or marketing conference, just take a look at the tables that are getting all the attention, and people are flocking to for the free gifts.
Making sure you have a great exhibit it also key. Imagine having one like the Avengers Infinity War showcase below?! This would really wow your audience and leave a lasting impression.
So what are the top promo items to give out at the next trade show? Read on to find out.
Runners Up: Pens and Flash Drives
Before we get to the top 3, promo pens and flash drives deserve honorable mention. Both are cheap and extremely useful. And both can be customized in really cool ways.
Though they’ve been around a long time, flash drives have many benefits that are still relevant today. But as useful and appreciated as flash drives are, their use has declined since the introduction of cloud storage technology.
Promo pens are the most common promotional item. There are many creative ways to distribute them even outside the trade show setting. Entire volumes can be written about using promo pens to market your business.
But let’s face it: no one at the trade show will be excited about pens. And even the coolest pen won’t last longer than a year.
Still, promo pens and flash drives (and flash drive pens!) are a decent cheap option. But they’re not the best.
The following items, however, are sure to wow trade show attendees and get lots of use for a long, long time.
1. Mobile Device Chargers With Power Banks
Device chargers are super useful items that your attendees will use every day. These will be very much appreciated. BUT, if you’re not careful, handing out chargers can backfire for a couple reasons.
For one, you can buy these for a dollar. That means your attendees may already have 3 of them. For two, your trade show may have 3 other booths handing out chargers.
If you’re handing out chargers alone, be competitive. Make sure they are the high-quality ones and not the super-cheap kind.
Better yet, one-up everyone at the trade show by handing out fully-charged, portable power banks with your chargers. These babies make your promo chargers immediately useful.
Anyone at the trade show with a dead phone battery can connect to one of your power banks on the spot and get a few more hours of use.
These will be very appreciated. And it’s doubtful anyone has “too many” power banks.
2. Reusable Water Bottles
Why not be super helpful and environmentally-friendly? Thirsty trade show attendees need to stay hydrated. With reusable water bottles, you’re filling a need and reducing plastic waste.
It will do well for your conscience and your image to do good to the environment. And you can set up refill stations so people keep coming back to your booth. Besides, these are a really great item to hand out anywhere, not just at trade shows.
If you’re anything like us, you’ve never turned down a free shirt. Even if it’s not your favorite, you can still use it as pajamas, workout clothes, even drying your car after a wash.
Plus, we apparently don’t throw them out. A study by the Advertising Specialty Institute found that T-shirts are the most-owned promotional item in the U.S.
But if you really want to steal the show, be awesome. That is, get creative and funny and pump out a variety of fun, branded shirts people will actually enjoy.
You can even set up a laptop with a camera and a printer to make personalized photo shirts. You can also allow attendees to use photos from their phone.
These fun shirts will cost the same as the lame ones you were planning to make, anyway. And, as we said, they will be used regardless.
Steal the Trade Show With These Promotional Items
Do you want to waste time and money pushing unpopular promo items nobody wants? Or do you want to show up with the best promotional items at the trade show and wow attendees and competitors alike? The choice is yours, but we really suggest you choose the latter.
Use these top promo products at your next trade show for the win!
Now check out 11 Brand Building Basics For Entrepreneurs.
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