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Three Ways to Keep Customers Coming Back Time and Time Again

Posted Wed, June 18, 2014 by Julie Short

Getting new customers is great, but unless your business is starting from scratch, keeping your existing ones is more important.

It's not difficult to see why: Repeat customers tend to place the biggest orders and buy the most services, are the ones who refer you to other customers just like them (shortening the sales process at the same time), and cost you the least to market to.

When you can keep them happy, you'll have a stable source of revenue that you can count on from one month to the next. When you can't, you'll always find yourself churning through marketing campaigns and digging around for new business.

So, how do you keep hold of your best customers and make sure they come back time and time again? Obviously, having great products or services, pricing fairly, and being known for customer service are good first steps. Beyond that, here are a few things you can do to tilt the odds in your favor:

1. Know, understand, and anticipate their needs. In most markets and industries, people can turn lots of places to get what they want or need. If you can save them time and energy, though, by understanding their buying motivations and anticipating their needs even before they realize them, you'll be rewarded with lots of repeat business.

2. Show them that working with you is safe. Adding things like online transaction verification, good customer reviews, and a number of different local and industry association memberships is a good way to build trust. And of course, being known for providing five-star customer service helps, too. What you really want is for buyers to know that working with you is as safe as it possibly could be.

3. Use the power of extras and freebies. There are hundreds of ways to reward loyal customers – from birthday cards to coupons and freebies for big purchases – and each of them has value. The idea is to find something that's convenient and meaningful to your buyers and then make sure they get enrolled. Remember, these people are the best friend your business can have, so make sure to treat them appropriately.

As you probably noticed, the most important point about keeping existing customers is simply putting their needs and concerns first. That's a simple idea, but one that's likely to pay dividends again and again.

Looking for creative ways to improve your bottom line with stronger marketing? Contact WebRevelation today and ask for a free consultation.

 

Posted in : Business Strategy , Tips and Tricks | 
Tags : customer , loyalty


Using Social Proof to Convert More Web Visitors Into Leads (or Even Buyers)

Posted Wed, June 11, 2014 by Julie Short

Social proof – a huge topic in the world of Internet marketing – is a technical-sounding term for a very simple concept: Most of us are more likely to do something if we know other people are doing it, too. That's especially true if the "other people" are ones we respect and admire.

In fact, if the perception of social proof is strong enough, we might even feel like we should be doing something that we aren't already. It's a kind of subtle peer pressure we tend to put on ourselves.

The effects of social proof are everywhere. It's the reason we're more likely to try an exotic new food or workout style if we've read about it in a magazine. It's how fads and trends pick up steam, and the reason that advertisers will pay celebrities huge amounts of money to use and endorse their products.

As you've probably guessed already, there are a few things you can do to take advantage of the power of social proof and put it to work on your business website. You don't even have to have celebrity endorsements, just a few selected numbers or statistics shared or posted in strategic places.

Here are a few good examples:

Displaying the statistics for downloads or registrations. No matter how strong your offer is, there's going to be a natural tendency for potential customers to put off taking the next step, even if it's a minor one, because it involves risk. The more they can see that hundreds or thousands of other people have already taken that step, the more comfortable they’re going to be doing it themselves.

Showing how many people have "liked" your content on social media. Most of us like to be associated with winning ideas and points of view. That's why it's easier to take a social post from 1,000 views to 10,000 views, for example, than it is to get the first 100 from nothing. If your content is popular, build on that and make it more popular.

Letting customers give feedback and reviews. This is a powerful form of social proof, so long as your reviews are positive and credible. People don't have to hear from big names or experts if they think they're getting fair and honest opinions from others who are just like them.

In practice, the uses for social proof on your website could be virtually endless. What makes it powerful, though, is the fact that you're showing that other people already know, like, and trust your company… which implies that your prospect should, too.

One word of caution, though: You only want to activate or share these figures after you've already generated some traction. Seeing that "zero people" have downloaded your report, for example, is essentially the opposite of social proof. So, don't put up anything that's going to hurt your marketing efforts.

Looking for innovative ways to get more from all of your online and offline marketing? Contact WebRevelation today and let us show you what we've been able to do for other businesses just like yours.

 

Posted in : SEO/SMO/SMM , Websites | 
Tags : social , proof , marketing


Why Aren't Your Landing Pages Converting Visitors Into Leads?

Posted Wed, June 4, 2014 by Julie Short

From a distance, the process of creating effective landing pages should be pretty simple: After you've attracted visitors from search engines, blogs, and social media profiles, you just put together some copy and images that show off the benefits of what you're offering and watch the conversions roll in.

However, any experienced marketer can tell you that crafting good landing pages isn't nearly that simple. That's because there are lots of small problems that can creep in and affect your results (and more than a couple big ones, too).

The list of issues and fixes for landing pages could be virtually endless, and the best way to fix them is usually with extensive testing and support from a creative team that understands online marketing. If you're looking for some quick guidance, however, here are a few common landing page problems you might have to deal with:

You don't have any visitors to your landing pages (or you aren’t getting the right visitors). You can't turn visitors into leads if you don't have any visitors to begin with. Organic search engine optimization is often your best option, but can take some time. Consider supplementing SEO with pay-per-click ads, blogging, and links to your social media profiles. Just remember that you need the right match between the visitors you get and the offers on your landing pages.

Visitors are spending very little time on your landing pages. This is an issue that could have a very simple fix, or a more complex one. Your first move should be to double-check your landing page’s compatibility across different browsers and devices, and to ensure that it loads quickly (maybe people are leaving because they can’t view your content). If that's not the problem, then it's time to tune up your message. Fast exits are a sign that your headlines and offers aren't compelling enough.

Prospects leave without registering. If lots of visitors see your landing pages and spend time on them, but don't actually register or take the next step, then your issue is probably more subtle. Perhaps your page is too long (searchers don't want to read it), doesn't have enough information for them to make a decision, or has a call to action that isn't clear. This also sometimes happens when your landing page doesn't "speak" to your target audience strongly enough, meaning that it doesn't elicit an emotional reaction.

The leads you get from your landing page aren't turning into sales. In this case, your problem isn't usually with the landing page at all, but your process for following up later. Maybe you're waiting too long to contact prospects, or the subsequent offers you're making just aren't strong enough. If you have lots of leads with no new revenue, concentrate on things that happen after your customer has registered instead of making changes to an already-effective landing page.

Need help tuning up your landing pages, or your Internet marketing plans as a whole? Get in touch with WebRevelation today and see why so many businesses throughout Oklahoma, Texas, and the entire Southwest turn to us for expert help.

Posted in : Websites , Tips and Tricks , SEO/SMO/SMM | 
Tags : landing , pages , problems


Perfect Harmony: How a Designated Conflict Management System Makes Your Business Better

Posted Wed, May 28, 2014 by Julie Short

No matter what kind of business you run, there's bound to be conflict. If you allow conflict to go unresolved, it has the potential to lead to unhappy employees, employee turnover, lackluster production and even expensive lawsuits. You may be surprised to know that studies indicate that up to 40 percent of a manager’s day is spent managing conflict. It’s easy to see then, how important it is to do it well.  Your ability to create a healthy environment for your employees and avoid the issues stated above, is what affirms your business as a good place to work.


You may recall an episode from NBC’s “The Office” in which two employees were engrossed in a dispute. Oscar didn’t like looking at his coworker Angela’s cat posters. To resolve the situation, World’s Best Boss, Michael Scott, ordered Oscar to wear a shirt featuring cats, which he wouldn’t be able to see, yet Angela would be able to look at and enjoy. Michael dubbed it a “win-win-win” solution, but of course nobody really won and nothing was really resolved.


While the above example comes from a sitcom, it gives a good picture of what not to do to resolve conflict in the workplace. Nothing was truly resolved, leading to unhappy employees, a drained workforce, and workers that had lost their last ounce of respect for their boss. Resolving conflict in a timely, amicable matter keeps issues from draining the energy of your workforce.


So just how do you manage conflict? That’s a loaded question, the answer to which is arguably easier said than done – but a good start is to implement a conflict management system into the human resources department of your company.


Creating a conflict management system that actually helps


What’s a conflict management system? It’s a customized solution designed to manage and support an organization when it incurs conflict, whether that conflict is internal (wrongful termination, sexual harassment, employee resistance, etc.) or external (disputes with suppliers). With a good system, conflict cases are streamlined in a manageable, web-based format so that each particular case can be easily accessed and processed by the human resources manager in order to analyze the details and more quickly come up with a resolution.


Here are some other features of a good management system:

  • Cases can be automatically routed to the appropriate parties following the start of a new case.
  • Customized workflow to determine next steps in the process.
  • Enhanced collaboration, as conflict cases are streamlined so that the appropriate people can act on them.
  • Secure: Cases are only available to the appropriate people, not to everyone.
  • Efficiency: Remember that 40 percent number from the beginning? A more efficient conflict management system will ideally reduce that time allotment and allow managers to focus on more important things – like running their business.

Ideally, the end goal of a successful conflict management system is to resolve issues efficiently and amicably, so that employees can continue to do their jobs and so that production doesn’t suffer.


Like we said at the beginning, conflict is unavoidable wherever you are and especially at work. As a business manager, make sure to implement a strategy that will address it in the best possible way.

 

Posted in : Business Strategy | 
Tags : conflict , management


4 common pitfalls of mobile web design

Posted Wed, May 21, 2014 by Julie Short

Welcome to 2014 – the future we all dreamed of years ago. You might even be reading this post on your space-age smartphone or tablet. Just like you, your website's visitors might be doing a lot of their internet browsing on mobile devices. So - is your site truly mobile-friendly or is it actually costing you money and conversions due to poor design?

Here are a few problems we see come up again and again in our clients’ mobile design.

1. Ignoring mobile users

All of the other issues on this list pale in comparison to not catering to mobile users at all. This is especially true if you're using your website to sell products directly to consumers. Danyl Bosomworth of Smart Insights reported that 35% of all web traffic occurs on mobile devices; companies like Amazon have seen an 87% growth in mobile visitors since 2012. Further, buyers prefer to shop on a mobile app over a mobile site, therefore, not having an app through which consumers can purchase goods or services may be actively hurting your company.

2. Using a separate mobile site

For a while, all mobile web design relied upon separate sites. However, this created more hassles than problems solved. For users, mobile-only sites often meant outdated design and limited functionality. On your end, do you really want to update two websites every time something on your site changes? This is why the move to responsive design makes so much sense. Create one design – but create rules that will make it transform appropriately when someone views it on a mobile device. Building your layout on a fluid grid is the key to responsive web design.

3. Basing design on user agents

You're all ready to create a mobile-friendly, responsive website. You want to ensure that your website responds correctly based on the user's device. You might think you can easily do it by detecting iOS, Android or other mobile operating systems – but you'd be wrong. In 2014, the line between mobile operating systems is almost nonexistent. Just look at Windows 8. However, the method you would need to display properly according to a specific operating system -- user agent detection -- is incredibly inconsistent. There are dozens of user agents that Android devices alone might use. The better (and easier) method is to detect screen size and resize your layout accordingly.

4. Making your website difficult to use for mobile visitors

Even if you have a responsive website, you might not be doing enough to streamline the checkout and shopping process. This could be costing you real conversions. (And you know how much we like to talk about conversions !) The following are several examples of problematic website behavior and how you can fix them to increase mobile conversions.

  • Your address and phone number aren't links. Turn them into anchors to allow people to call you or load your business in their GPS app.
  • Your forms are too small. Increase form size on mobile resolutions. Make sure that you're using labels for text so users can select the text and not just the small box or radio circle.
  • Your website requires login to check out. Groan! Don’t make your almost-customers angry at the very end of a potential buy. Enable guest checkout and/or account creation as the shopper goes through a transaction.
  • Users have to click too many times to shop and checkout. Allow users to view more items per page rather than clicking through many pages. Allow users to add items to their shopping carts from the category page in addition to the product listing. Add a "Cart" button in multiple locations so that you’re making it easier for customers to convert.

Just as Kevin Costner learned, if you build it, they will come. Of course, your field of dreams may be your small business – so building it correctly is even more important!

If you need to consult the professionals on your mobile web design, contact the experts at Web Revelation. We’ll show you how to keep your site up-to-date – and your customers happy.

 

Posted in : Mobile Websites , Mobile Apps | 
Tags : mobile websites


How can customer reviews help your e-commerce site?

Posted Wed, May 14, 2014 by Julie Short

Nobody’s surprised at how quickly e-commerce sites have grown in popularity: today’s consumers want access to things from all over the world, and they want to research their investments before buying. With the rise in ecommerce, the competition between different sites has grown increasingly intense. One thing that makes a big difference in sales and can set an ecommerce site above its competition is the presence of customer reviews. Even for small businesses with brand-new ecommerce options, customer reviews can make a world of difference in sales and subscribers. Here’s how.


Reviews inform potential customers.


The modern consumer wants to be informed before she invests her hard-earned money in a product or service. In fact, 61 percent of customers want to read online reviews before they make a decision about purchasing a product.


Reviews give buyers a real-world opinion of a product, both good and bad.


Some business owners worry about allowing online reviews on their site. After all, what would happen if some customer left a negative opinion? As it turns out, even negative reviews do their part in increasing sales. In fact, potential customers suspect something is not quite right if all the reviews are positive. No business can be that perfect. An estimated 30 percent of customers believe all positive, glowing reviews are phony. A recent study found that even bad reviews help improve conversion rates by 67 percent, meaning that it is ideal to a have a mix of both positive and negative reviews.


Not only does the presence of negative reviews make the site’s customer review aspect seem genuine, it also helps customers know what the worst aspect of a product is, according to an MIT technology review. In other words, if a customer is reading a review for a phone, and a negative review states that the phone’s battery life begins to dwindle after a year of use, the customer can then decide if that is a big enough issue to prevent them from buying the product in question. Many times, complaints about color options or superfluous issues like those are not a big enough problem to prohibit a sale.


Customers have a chance to share their thoughts.


Aside from helping potential customers decide if a product is right for them, having customer reviews on an ecommerce site also gives previous customers the chance to express their feelings. Many times, happy customers want a way to share their positive experience with a product or service, and a customer review section is the ideal location for them to do so.


They’re easy to create.


If you’re an ecommerce site owner, you should utilize customer reviews if only for fact that reviews increase conversion rates – and adding them is a simple process. You could encourage customer feedback by offering a reward (like a freebie or a discount on a product) for opinions, or you could just provide past customers with an easy way to leave feedback. Regardless of how you go about garnering reviews, it is important that you understand the many benefits of customer reviews on your ecommerce site.


Ecommerce site owners should always be looking for ways to increase their conversion rates and overall customer satisfaction. Adding a customer review option to a site is an easy way to do just that – and it’s all-natural advertising.

 

Posted in : Websites , e-commerce | 
Tags : e-commerce , reviews


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