In an economy where user experience and social networks dictate buying behavior, customer reviews become priceless.

Fortunately for businesses, driving a healthy stream of customer reviews is also possible.

Knowing how your customers feel about you is crucial. Whether the message is channeled through user reviews, service issue calls, surveys, or feedback forms, having full visibility into your customers’ sentiment spells the difference between business success and stagnation.

More importantly, discovering how actual customers feel about a product strongly impacts the purchase decisions of prospective buyers. The reason is simple. People naturally ask friends and peers on whether a product or service is good or bad before signing up and gladly parting with their money. This practice just carries over to the digital era where peer advice takes on a new, more powerful form: the customer review.

Today, both individual consumers and corporate clients seek testimonials and customer reviews to make a solid case for or against buy-ins. In fact, online reviews influence the purchase decisions of nearly all (93%) consumers while virtually the same proportion (92.4%) of corporate buyers will likely purchase a product or service if they read a trusted review about it.

When the overall sentiment is positive, customer reviews spur online traffic and improve revenue performance. They help drive a conversation about the brand, build stronger relationships, and nurture communities. Customer reviews also help businesses innovate by fixing issues, delivering superior service, or designing better products.

However, not all companies fully engage the customer reviews ecosystem. This means these companies miss out on the valuable benefits honest customer feedback offers.

If you think generating a steady flow of customer reviews is challenging, you are absolutely right. Unless they experience extremely positive or negative emotions, customers rarely volunteer to offer feedback. You have to create opportunities and offer incentives for them to do so.

Fortunately, there are easy and effective ways to run a successful customer reviews campaign without breaking the bank or enduring a massive headache.

To get you started, here are some tips on how to ramp up positive customer reviews for your business:

1. Be shareable.

Start by offering decent products and delivering excellent customer service. You’ll never want to get mentioned on review sites for the wrong reasons. If you’re not confident about what you provide, hold off any major customer feedback campaign until your entire team is honestly comfortable with your offerings. Instead, consider performing covert A/B tests to infer sentiment and improve your product before actually asking customers to give feedback.

2. Make it easy.

For busy people, convenience is key to just about anything. Gone are the days when customer feedback was gathered using snail mail. In the always-on digital era, you need to be where your customers are. Depending on the context, you can use mobile, phone calls, social media, SMS text, your website, email, or even video conferencing to glean how customers feel about your products.

Take a look at this example from Nextiva, they created and marketed an unbiased piece of content breaking down all the pros and cons for a small business to purchase a VOIP system.

Now all the people who read this article and signed up on their website were asked for feedback and you can see how specific their feedback is in this G2 Crowd review.

Setting context like this sometimes helps to better target people you want to ask for a review.

In general you should provide opportunities for customers to leave comments or ratings without overwhelming them with too many queries or steps. Guide them towards immersive landing pages and active online communities.

You should be encouraging happy customers to share their experiences on popular review sites by providing these customers with relevant links and easy templates to use/follow. ReviewTrackers published a useful article on how to ask customers for reviews using a variety of methods.

3. Get smart.

Don’t be too eager to get feedback all the time. You’ll just annoy customers and defeat the campaign’s purpose. Instead, be strategic when it comes to context and timing. Depending on the product or service, a few days after the buy-in would be a good time to request for feedback, for example. Ask as few questions as possible but make sure they are the right ones.

Be creative at running your customer reviews campaign. Use contests, newsletters, social media activities, surveys, and industry events as platforms for soliciting customer feedback. Optimize content for various devices, with a special focus on mobile phones. Make reviewing your product an enjoyable and worthwhile experience.

Finally, consider using reputation management and reviews software such as Podium, ReviewTrackers, and BrightLocal. Many such solutions help teams drive, analyze, and manage customer reviews at scale.

4. Showcase.

Demonstrate the premium you give on customer feedback by publishing selected reviews or success stories on your home page. This will help prospects and new leads evaluate whether they share similar pain points with existing customers and whether they can expect the same positive outcomes.

Ramit Sethi’s client testimonials on GrowthLab and the success stories of Outreach.io’s corporate clients are excellent examples of how you can present customer reviews in away that resonates with your target buyers while also marketing your brand.

Collaborate with customer service people so you can regularly post stories that explore problems of real customers and the specific solutions that worked for them. If you have adequately addressed customer complaints regarding your service or product, publish those as well. No one asks you to be perfect. But honesty and authenticity matter a lot in the new economy, especially among millennials and Gen Zers.

5. Follow up.

All types of customer engagement — from business development to sales — involve follow-ups. That’s because attention spans are getting shorter and customer mindshare among competing brands shifts pretty much all the time.

Use email marketing and warm calling techniques to your advantage. If you have mobile apps associated with your product, be sure they have robust support for various types of notifications.

6. Respond.

Nothing hurts as much as unrequited love (or hate). Respond to all legitimate reviews — especially those that raise negative issues about your services.

Show appreciation to customers who gave highly positive, detailed, or helpful reviews. Ask them permission to quote their statements on your website and other marketing channels.

On the other hand, closely engage customers who post sharp, biting or unfair comments about your product. Find ways to address their issues whenever possible. Be polite and honest. Approach sensitive situations with utmost grace. If you’re facing this challenge, BrightLocal posted a short 7-step guide on how to manage negative online reviews.

7. Reward.

Sometimes being nice is not enough. Just paying lip service to customer appreciation wears people down pretty fast. If you really appreciate customers, show them how you feel in tangible ways.

Work with other customer-facing teams and draw up compelling rewards and incentive programs for loyal or engaged customers. Make clear pathways towards brand ambassadorship. Provide meaningful and memorable rewards. Always go for creativity instead of cost.

Writing comprehensive reviews is no easy task. So don’t scrimp on giving the appropriate recognition. Note, however, that incentive programs do attract unscrupulous people who will do anything for a quick buck. As TrustRadius recommends, you still need to properly vet reviewers to preserve the accuracy/objectivity of reviews and ensure that your incentives budget only reaches deserving people.

Caption: A sample reward posted on Twitter for G2’s customer reviews program.

Conclusion

Customer reviews help validate your value proposition. They enable you to quickly address customer issues, improve your product, and provide better service. They also help market and sell your product. After all, is there a better pitch than one coming straight from the lips of happy customers?

That being said, it still takes a lot of positive customer reviews to move the needle. One review with a perfect score is no match for thousands of independent reviews with a slightly lower rating. So be sure to proactively request for feedback at moments where doing so is reasonable and compelling.

Remember, how customers think about you is a good indicator of how well your revenue performance will pan out.

About the Author


Dmitry grew a startup from zero to 40 million views per month and got acquired by Google in 2014. He translated his know-how into JustReachOut.io a SaaS which is now used by 5,000+ entrepreneurs and brands to pitch journalists and get featured in press daily.



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Chatbots. If you’ve read any sort of marketing piece of content over the course of the past couple years, you’ve probably seen that word pop up.

It’s for good reason; chatbots are becoming prominent across the internet and are becoming a helpful tool for marketing professionals in a number of industries.

According to research from Oracle, who recently announced the integration of chatbots in their own Oracle applications for sales teams, 80 percent of businesses expect to be using chatbots by 2020.

Chatbots provide opportunities to drive business value like:

  • Providing better customer insights
  • Streamlining the consumer experience
  • Expediting daily and mundane tasks

As Christie Pitts from Verizon Ventures tells Forbes, “Chatbots represent a new trend in how people access information, make decisions, and communicate. We think that chatbots are the beginning of a new form of digital access, which centers on messaging… Chatbots bring commerce into this part of our lives, and will open up new opportunities.”

What are chatbots?

Chatbots are artificial intelligence (AI)-driven software applications that mimic written or spoken human speech for the purpose of simulating a conversation or interaction with a real person.

At the heart of chatbot technology lies natural language processing (NLP), which is the same technology used by voice recognition systems like Apple’s Siri, Google Now, and Microsoft’s Cortana.

Chatbots are able to process the text sent to them by the user, and form their response according to a series of algorithms that:

  • Identifies what the user said
  • Understands what they mean and
  • Determines what is an appropriate response

Today, chatbots are most widely recognized for their use in customer-service based scenarios, where they often replace a human representative. They can answer queries on e-commerce sites, ranging anywhere from product details to the shipping information.

However, chatbots are also used across many different sectors and industries— from travel to healthcare, and even on dating apps. Because of its many uses and varying applications, the chatbot industry is booming.

According to research the chatbot market, valued at $190.8 million in 2016, is estimated to reach $1.25 billion by 2025 (a compound annual growth rate of 24.3 percent).

Top Three benefits of Chatbots in Marketing

Although consumer preferences continue to change and evolve, consumers still expect a positive customer service experience wherever they choose to do business. The rise of the internet introduced a multitude of new touchpoints, including email, social media, and mobile apps.

Fifteen years ago, the average consumer typically used two touch-points when buying an item and only seven percent regularly used more than four. Today, consumers use an average of almost six touch-points, with fifty percent regularly using more than four.

Real-time messaging has led to a fundamental shift in how people prefer to connect with businesses.

Chatbots have offered businesses a way to stay up to date with consumers’ rapidly changing methods of communication and ways of doing business. They allow marketing teams to:

  • Connect better with your customers
  • Understand your customer needs
  • Automate activities that can hinder their efforts in customer relationship building

Here are three of the top benefits of incorporating chatbots into your marketing strategy.

1. Guide Your Customers Online Experience

When customers first enter your website, more often than not they’re not quite sure exactly what they’re looking for.

In fact, 71 percent of customers shop with a specific scenario, not a product in mind. Whether they’re shopping for a gift for a loved one or simply perusing for inspiration toward their spring wardrobe, it’s inevitable that a large segment of your customers enter your sales funnel with a bit of uncertainty.

Rather than quickly navigating to another site (increasing your site’s bounce rate) or shopping for an hour and never making a purchase, a friendly chatbot can welcome your customers when they land on your homepage and guide them throughout the rest of their shopping process.

By asking a series of questions, a chatbot in this regard can tailor the process exactly to a customer’s specifications and lead them to the item they were looking for— or didn’t know they were looking for, for that matter.

This was a strategy eBay deployed for holiday gift-giving in 2018. The company recognized that purchasing gifts for friends and family isn’t necessarily a simple task. For many of their customers, selecting gifts had become a stressful and arduous process, especially when they didn’t have a particular item in mind. In response to this feeling, eBay partnered with Facebook Messenger to introduce ShopBot.

As eBay’s lead product manager stated,

“Shoppers can enlist the bot to do the heavy lifting of deal hunting and discovery for them, through simply texting, talking or snapping a picture in Facebook Messenger of the item they are looking for. The bot will then ask you questions to better understand your intent and make personalized recommendations.”

Manage and Grow Your Lead Generation

If you’re a B2B marketer, you’re likely already familiar with how important it is to properly nurture leads. After all, not all leads are created equal, and getting leads in front of the right sales reps at the right time is much easier said than done. When clients are considering a purchase, especially those that come at a higher cost, they require a great deal of information and detail before committing to a purchase.

Chatbots give businesses a way to deliver this information in a comfortable, conversational manner. Customers can have all their questions answered without the pressure or obligation that make some individuals wary of interacting with a live salesperson. Once they’ve obtained enough information to make a decision, a chatbot can introduce a human representative to take the sale the rest of the way.

One organization helping real estate agents manage lead generation is Roof Ai, which automates lead interactions and lead assignments via social media. Based on input the user provides regarding their home or apartment specifications, the chatbot makes listing recommendations and passes them on to the proper agent.

One of the key advantages of Roof Ai is that it allows real estate agents to respond to user queries immediately, regardless of whether a customer service rep or sales agent is available to help. It also reduces the risk of leads slipping through an agent’s fingers by failing to respond quickly enough.

Provide Your Customers With Instant Response

“Companies are beginning to realize the value of being able to respond to customers instantaneously, right at the point where they’re most interested,” says Andrew Meisel, a business development representative with ContentWriters “Having the ability to communicate with customers in real time provides a huge boost to conversions.”

One of the greatest and most widely used benefits of chatbots is their ability to provide an instantaneous response, no matter what time of day. By using a chatbot for after-hours inquiries, consumers can still receive helpful answers to their questions and gain access to information that moves them through the buyer journey.

This is especially important as consumers expect a quicker response than brands can guarantee. According to a report by Sprout Social, customers expect a response between 0-4 hours. However, brands typically take 10 hours to respond.

Chatbots help you significantly decrease the average time to respond, helping you to meet your customers’ expectations.

One business sector that often needs to address customer inquiries in a time crunch is the airline industry. When busy travelers face problems at the airport, like flight cancelations or delays, a gate change or simply update their impending flight, they often need an answer as quickly as possible in order to stay on a given itinerary.

KLM Airlines launched their chatbot, BlueBot, for this exact reason. It helps travelers:

  • Book flights
  • Receive check-in reminders and boarding passes
  • Deliver flight status updates and
  • Answer passenger questions

A senior vice president from the company added that the chatbot has helped keep the customer experience a priority, even as the company grows, stating,

“Volumes will continue to grow. At the same time, customers require a speedy response. We have therefore been experimenting with AI to support our agents to provide a personal, timely and correct answer.”

Final Thoughts

Utilizing chatbots is a relatively new approach to marketing, but it is quickly becoming an essential way to connect with today’s consumers and improve their customer experience.

Businesses that have integrated chatbots into their marketing strategies have already noticed an appreciable impact and will likely continue to do so as chatbot technology continues to develop.

If you haven’t done so already, now is the perfect moment to start exploring chatbots to fully benefit from them in the future, when these same bots will become a business necessity.

About the Author

Contributor to Enlightened Digital, UX Designer and technology writer from New York City. If I’m not writing my latest blog post in my kitchen, you’ll likely find me strolling through Central Park, cappuccino in hand.



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In recent years, the e-commerce industry grew from $1.84 billion in 2016 to the estimated $3.45 billion this year.

Such growth causes a great increase in competition between businesses and motivates e-commerce marketers to look for new and effective ways to attract new clients and retain the existing ones.

Joseph Sugarman, one of the best advertisers from the 1990ies, compiled a list of psychological selling tricks that will help any seller or marketer to efficiently communicate with the customers and encourage them to make a purchase. Though being introduced dozens of years ago, these strategies remain relevant and are widely used in the field of e-commerce.

However, you can make use of them as well if you tune them to your business. Ready to learn how to sell more? The answers are below.

1. Sense of urgency

Let’s start with the most powerful and efficient motivator, which is a sense of urgency.

You can create a sense of urgency by:

  • Limiting quantity: only X items left in the stock!
  • Limiting time: X hours left until the end of the sale!
  • Emphasizing the situation: Hurry up to shop Christmas gifts!

A sense of urgency works amazingly well, especially if applied correctly. The information about the limited sale can be placed on the homepage and the information about limited product quantity will be relevant on the product’s page.

2. A value proposition

Even if a customer knows what he wants, he still needs to be convinced to buy from you. This is why you need to place a value proposition on almost every page of your online store (product pages and catalogs are a must!).

Such value props often come in the form of banners that inform shoppers about free delivery, a discount on the first purchase, or similar offers.

3. Reviews

Shoppers trust other shoppers the same as they trust family or friends. Use it for your benefit and incorporate real customers’ reviews to your store.

Place the reviews on the product page so the shoppers can immediately estimate the item. You can also add an option of leaving a comment and/or rating right on the page – that would contribute to the level of interaction between your brand and the customers.

4. Sense of reciprocity

You know that feeling when you receive something for free and feel like you have to give something back? That’s reciprocity and it can be a powerful motivator for the shoppers to buy from you.

If you send them an email with a discount or an incentive in the form of “thank you” for being a loyal customer, they will most likely feel the urge to give you something back. Most likely, it will be a purchase or, at least, a visit to your website.

5. Evoke emotions

Identify your target audience and appeal to their emotions by adjusting the website design and content correspondingly.

Holiday seasons are the best periods for impulse buying but you can evoke emotions with your shoppers in low seasons as well. Incorporate pop-ups with relevant and appealing messages and keep the tone of your store consistent and friendly.

6. Rewarding system

People love to collect items and they love to get rewards for completed actions. This is the reason many online stores incorporated a system of reward points or bonuses that later can be exchanged for the products.

The Bright Star Kids store offers personalized supplies for children and has a system of reward points. The actions that are requested from the customers are really simple: fill in your Birthday date or log in with the social media account. But in exchange, the user receives a significant amount of points which they can use to buy products from the store.

7. A sense of curiosity

Everyone loves surprises but expect them to be relevant and high-quality. This explains the growing popularity of subscription boxes that come in all forms, sizes, and content.

A subscription box works by the following scheme:

  • You choose the content that interests you: a bundle of exotic spices or unusual chocolate flavors
  • You subscribe for the box and will be charged monthly
  • In exchange, every month you will receive a themed box but will not know what’s inside it

This is a good chance for you to cross-sell, help people learn about your products and build a long-lasting relationship with the clients.

8. Sense of consistency

Once someone completes the action, they tend to stay consistent and carry on with the expected behavior. This is caused by a sense of consistency that the majority of people have.

You can benefit from it when asking to sign-up for a newsletter. Once the person signs up, they will feel like the next logical step would be checking your store and, most probably, buying from it.

9. Involvement

The big advantage of brick-and-mortar stores is that they offer shoppers to actually try and experience the product. This creates a sense of involvement which may further lead to a completed purchase.

However, modern technologies allow online stores to incorporate the option of “try-on” and delight the users. Augmented reality gives shoppers a chance to “try on” beauty products, footwear, clothes, and even furniture – all that via a smartphone device and with a few taps. Ikea app is a good example of AR use in e-commerce.

10. Personalization

Personalization is now a big thing and a must-have for any online store that wishes to sell more and retain the customers. Customers are willing to spend more money and even wait longer for the products that are personalized – so give them a chance to do so!

One of the most popular and efficient forms of personalization is the section with personalized product recommendations. It will show recommendations based on the shopping behavior of the users and their preferences.

11. Limited choice

There was a famous “jam study” that revealed: customers buy more if presented with a limited number of options to choose from.

Keep this in mind when arranging the product catalog and product display. As well, do A/B testing to see what’s the best option for your store and what motivates the customers to engage.

12. Storytelling

Everyone loves a good story and every business has a unique story behind. Help people learn about it by incorporating a video into your homepage.

The use of a video proves to greatly increase conversions and contribute to the customer experience. Just make sure that the video is not too long and is engaging enough to make the user watch it till the end.

13. Credibility

Before the customer pays, they need to know exactly what they are paying for. So it’s your responsibility to provide them with accurate and descriptive information about the products.

Keep it short and informative and include a value that the user will get from purchasing this item. As well, you can add credibility via your blog where you can explain the aspects of creating your products and why they are worth paying attention to.

14. Anchoring

This technique is really popular among e-commerce marketers. Anchoring is putting a lower price next to the initial one, which was higher. This way, the customer learns that the product is now more available and thus, be more likely to buy it.

It is important though not to do it too often – otherwise, shoppers will doubt whether you really offer a discount or just trying to attract them by any means.

15. Proof of value

We already spoke about the importance of incorporating the value proposition and statement on the product page – and you also have to justify the price.

This is a good opportunity to upsell and raise your sales. If you incorporate a side-by-side product comparison, it will help the customers choose the most suitable product specifically for them. And it may turn out that the purchased item is more expensive than the one they intended to buy.

Customers are generally impatient and online customers expect lightning-speed service. The average site load time is 3 seconds or less, otherwise, users leave it.

In order to keep up with the customers’ expectations and deliver high-quality service, optimize your store to load faster. There are numerous factors that impact the site load speed, from UX to server load. Consult with the developers and run a test on PageSpeed Insights to identify problematic areas.

17. Honesty

Even in the 90’s honesty was considered a significant competitive advantage. A brand that was honest about its flaws stood out among the competitors that did their best to hide them.

Be honest, transparent, and straightforward. Such an approach builds credibility and right away establishes a trustful relationship with the customers.

18. Wiliness to belong

Being extremely social, the majority of people love to belong to different groups. So when displaying a group of products on your store, you can place a message like: “Are you ready to join the X team?”

When naming a group, specify why a customer should become a part of it and what benefit it brings. You can offer an incentive like a discount or regular secret sales to encourage the shopper to take action.

19. Build authority

Support your product offers with an authority: testimonials, an involved influencer, or a list of your awards.

Shoppers need to know you are credible enough to trust you. As well, incorporate the security badges to the store to show that all transactions are 100% secure.

20. Minimize the pressure

Shoppers in brick-and-mortar stores tend to wander around and “shop with their eyes”. Give your online customers the same opportunity by implementing wishlists and “save for later” buttons.

Wishlists are awesome because they help manage the purchases, eliminate the pressure of shopping “right away”, and can be shared in social networks or via an email. They also help you out if an item is out of stock: the user will be notified once the item appears in the store and will most likely buy it.

Conclusion

The marketing strategy that you will build also depends on the e-commerce platform that your store runs on.

Shopify is considered the best option for small or medium sized businesses that do not require extensive functionality. However, if we speak about extensive marketing options, Magento is the platform of choice.

It is well-known for its customization and flexibility and allows you to do almost anything to your store. As well, the platform has over 5000 free and paid third-party extensions (like social media integrations). You can learn more about Magento customization and hire a developer here.

Summing up, every business requires different marketing and selling strategy based on its products, target audience, and set goals. What’s essential for any marketer to remember is: keep all your marketing efforts aimed at the customer.

Everything you do should bring value to the shoppers – and happy shoppers, in return, will gladly bring value to your business in the form of sales.


Author Bio:

Irina Linnik a marketing specialist at Onilab– a Magento troubleshooting company. Being a savvy e-commerce observer she always keeps abreast of innovation and covers the latest industry trends.

Her goal is to inform the readers in a clear, understandable and enjoyable manner and help them navigate through the vast and ever-changing business environment.
Irina has over 5 years of experience in freelance writing and has helped numerous companies communicate their message across various channels.



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New year, new marketing trends. And the buzz in 2019 is all about using technology to deliver more personalized and powerful marketing.

2019 is continuing to see the trend of marketing and technology becoming intertwined. Marketing automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) will continue to be used by businesses of all sizes to deliver more personalized messaging.

The Marriage of Marketing and Technology

2018, marketing and technology experts witnessed the ubiquity of AI, chatbots, and Augmented Reality (AR) technology. AR apps such as “Zombies Go” allowed you to enter a zombie nation where you fight against the zombie apocalypse, all while still seeing personalized advertisements.

Chatbots exploded, providing marketing and customer service across websites and Facebook pages.

At Google I/O, the multibillion-dollar company’s annual developer conference, Google Duplex stole the show. The new AI assistant booked a hair appointment in front of millions of viewers all the while mimicking the idiosyncrasies of human speech.

Gone are the days when traditional marketing tools such as ad copy were enough to reach the global market. Today, global marketing strategies and technology marry to form a union that is not expected to end anytime soon.

Here are the top 6 marketing trends you should consider implementing in 2019.

1. AI and Chatbots to Generate Revenue

While 2018 saw good adoption of chatbots, 2019 will see the usage explode beyond just Facebook messages or Twitter responses.

In fact, Oracle reports that 80% of businesses want chatbots by 2020.

While customer service has been the primary domain of chatbots in years past, 2019 will see a rise in the application of chatbots for sales and marketing. Companies like Hubspot are leveraging Facebook Messanger chatbot platforms like ManyChat for lead generation through Facebook advertising.

This is a highly effective strategy where brands can run Facebook ads to their targeted audiences, but instead of the click-through fall-off that occurs between webpage transition, ManyChat Messenger Bot engages with the user natively in Facebook to sign them up for a webinar. This seamless experience dramatically increases conversions and decreases CPA.

Here are a couple more ways you can implement chatbots to increase sales for your business:

  • Upselling: Right after a customer buys, they are 33% more likely to make a purchase again. This is a prime time to have a chatbot engage with the customer. Shopify and Facebook Messenger have an existing integration that allows store owners to provide anything from order confirmation messages to products related to what the customer just purchased.

  • Cart Abandonment: Your potential customers will abandon shopping carts 69.98% of the time. While an optimized card abandonment email sequence can win back 10%-15% of those customers, Messenger chatbots have been shown to generate 619% more engagement than email.

2. Personalization and Automation

The rise of technology has provided extreme personalization in everything from the ads you are shown to the stories you see in your news feed. Marketers must leverage technology to personalize their communications with prospective clients.

But personalization doesn’t have to mean tons of one-off work. Automation can help personalize your marketing at scale. For example, email automation tools like Mixmax can help automate emails based on prospective customer’s needs. By hooking up to a CRM like Salesforce, and then building email templates specific to a group of customers, you can build email rules that will send personalized emails to any contact in your CRM in a specific industry.

Using these personalized emails, you can create content that speaks to their industry and uses specific examples that make sense for them. Automating this process will have big gains to sales while reducing the time it takes to reach out to each individual prospect or customer.

3. Voice Searches

It’s no surprise that alongside AI technology, voice searches are important marketing trends to take note of this year.

‘Smart speaker’ devices such as Amazon’s Echo, Google Home, and Apple’s HomePod will be on the rise and find their way into your marketing strategy. These devices are expected to play a major role in customer service inquiries as industry experts are tweaking them to tackle longer, more complex questions.

For digital marketers in 2019, providing the answer to your customers’ questions has never been so important. Position zero, or the Google featured snippet, is where voice assistants look to provide answers to your questions. The majority of the time reading these snippets as the answer.

Marketers need to start thinking about how they create content that answers questions in a conversational tone rather than creating content based on a keyword. It’s the difference between “dehumidifier uses” versus “Should I have a Dehumidifier in my house?”

Considering that mobile searches which include “do I need” have grown by over 65% in the past two years, the time is now to jump in head first.

4. Content with a Cause

All this technology is great at delivering your message in a new and innovative way, but content is still king. The content that you present your customers is still the lifeblood of any marketing strategy. According to the 2018 Social Media Marketing Industry Report by the Social Media Examiner, over 81% of marketers aim to increase their content output.

With information in abundance at just the click of the “Search” button, Generation Z consumers want to be informed about products and services before, during, and after purchase. They also want to feel good about the work each business is doing. This makes conveying social responsibility more important than ever before.

Many of the most popular direct to consumer brands like Harry’s, Toms Shoes, and Warby Parker create content not only around their business, but around the social benefits of doing good.

These brands share how many shoes they donate, non-profits they support or free eye-exams they provide with a highly engaged audience. This socially responsible business model conveyed through amazing content is how these brands have seen exponential growth in a short amount of time.

For example, footwear brand Toms runs a social media campaign where they ask their digital community to post pictures of their bare feed with the hashtag #WithoutShoes. For every post, they will donate a pair of shoes. They amplify this message by sponsoring an independent festival in London and using original content to share via social media.

The campaign engages more than 3.5 million people on social media channels and results in almost 30,000 shoes donates.

While 2019 will continue to see high-quality content being produced by brands of all sizes, businesses need to use that content to engage their audiences in unique ways. Communicate you and your employees’ work in the community with your customer base to create stronger loyalty.

5. Marketing and PR Will Overlap

It used to be that marketing efforts, and PR efforts were two different beasts. Today, those two efforts overlap and the lines continue to get blurry.

As content marketing has continued to grow, many marketers and PR teams are now one. PR, which was once an effort to get high-quality placements, is now focused on providing content.

Why is that?

It used to be that it was the job of PR to shout the loudest in order to be recognized and trusted by the consumer. Now consumers have all the information at their fingertips making them more informed than ever. Simply being the loudest brand on the block isn’t enough. You need to connect with your audience and provide value.

Personalized content delivered where the consumer naturally consumes it is now the holy grail of both PR and marketing.

6. Find Shared Interests with Influencers

Influencers have contributed to the growth phase of countless businesses in the past few years. 2019 will be no different although the space is maturing.

Up to this point, influencer marketing has been very transactional. Most larger brands connect with influencers via an influencer platform like GrapeVine and TapInfluence. These engagements are per campaign where brands provide influencers with instructions of what to share and when. This is simply a traffic arbitrage model where creative is passed through the influencer in order to reach the audience.

At its core, this is always the end goal, but it’s not leveraging the influencer’s creativity that made them an influencer in the first place. Brands are starting to recognize this, leading to more partnerships.

As Steve Ellis, CEO of WhoSay.com, explains, “you really need to look at it as a creative extension to match up with your ideas as an advertiser.” Ellis continued, “look at it as a creative execution, leveraging the talents and their creative skills to match with your idea or your message as an advertiser.”

Marketing is Still About People

Even with the fascinating technology that marries well with traditional marketing, at its core, the latest marketing trends show that marketing is still about people. There truly is no reason to be sending generic messages out to the masses, rather, customers expect brands to leverage technology to personalize their marketing and products no matter the medium.

Whether you’re touching the hearts of people with a compelling story, or solving their most intimate problems, marketing is about showing people how they can improve their daily experience and their life.


About the Author

Matt Shealy is the President of ChamberofCommerce.com. Chamber specializes in helping small businesses grow their business on the web while facilitating the connectivity between businesses and more than 7,000 local Chambers of Commerce worldwide.



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The extremely initial mass e-mail was sent out in1978 It has actually developed ever since, as well as in spite of the ever-growing competitors, has actually continued to be among one of the most vital advertising and marketing devices for services of all dimensions.

Over the years, online marketers have actually done a reasonable share of explore this interaction network as well as discovered that grasping the art of persuasion calls for even more than great duplicate as well as eye-catching layout.

If you, similar to any type of effective marketing professional, are continuously on a watch out for information means to tip up your e-mail advertising and marketing video game, we’ve obtained you covered. This short article will certainly stroll you with e-mail advertising and marketing methods that can aid you attain far better conversion results that will certainly equate right into even more sales.

1. Trying out ordinary message as well as interactive e-mails

If you register for email e-newsletters, you’ve possibly currently seen that ordinary message e-mails are rebounding. They’re very easy to review as well as have less interruptions. Research studies reveal that customers discover such e-mails more personal and less-salesy, leading to greater reply as well as click-through prices.

See exactly how the question-and-answer internet site Quora makes use of ordinary message e-mails to ask their clients for responses:

Source: Kayako

While ordinary message e-mails benefit attaching you with your clients, they aren’t excellent for connecting item buzz.

If you intend to display an item or advertise a handle an exciting means, attempt getting on the interactive e-mail bandwagon this year.

Active aspects enter their complete splendor just if receivers involve with them. Yet despite the fact that clients require to place in a little bit much more initiative with interactive aspects, studies show that interactive web content is 23% even more reliable than fixed.

Take an appearance at the e-mail by British DIY as well as residence enhancement seller B&Q in which the business urges the client to “turn the button” to “see points in a various light”:

Source: Really Good Emails

Each e-mail project has a various objective as well as a various target market. Rather than preferring one e-mail design, see exactly how you can reconcile both globes. Bear in mind to run examinations as well as keep an eye on efficiency to make data-driven choices that will certainly maintain your clients involved.

2. Follow your initiatives

Ever asked on your own exactly how commonly you should email your clients? Well, you’re not the just one. This relatively uncomplicated inquiry has actually troubled online marketers for many years currently. Yet like with the majority of points in life, there’s no basic response.

Startup Vitamins offers motivating organisation quotes on cups, posters, tees, as well as various other items. Back in 2016, the business sent a minimum of 2 advertising e-mails a week. The ordinary open price was around the 20% mark with click prices at 2% or even more.

Since after that, the business’s emphasis has actually moved, as well as e-mails have actually come to be much less normal, they send 1 e-mail every 2 weeks usually. This modification has actually likewise brought a decrease in Startup Vitamins email open as well as click prices.

The ideal e-mail open prices for 2018 hardly struck 15%, as well as the click prices were lingered the 1% mark. In addition to that, over the two-year duration, the customer listing has actually diminished by concerning 1,000

This verifies that also besides these years, uniformity is still what matters most in e-mail advertising and marketing. Obviously, if up previously you’ve been sending out e-mail projects carelessly, unexpectedly blasting your clients 3 times a week can backfire.

A great technique would certainly be to up the variety of e-mails you send out slowly. Allow’s state you’re presently sending out e-mails as soon as a month. Begin with tipping it approximately two times a month, as well as if the outcomes are enhancing, attempt connecting to your clients on a regular basis. Simply do not fail to remember to keep an eye on the efficiency statistics of these projects.

3. Offer a cozy welcome to expert system

Artificial intelligence is altering e-mail advertising and marketing right in even more means than one. By providing prompt as well as behavior-based e-mails, online marketers have the ability to puncture the sound as well as obtain their product or services seen.

Here are simply a couple of instances of exactly how AI is currently assisting services improve their mail marketing:

  • Smart sending out. If sent out at the incorrect time, also one of the most stunning as well as interesting e-mail will not bring outcomes. Yet many thanks to AI, you can boost your open rates by providing e-mails each time when your clients are more than likely to open them.

  • Personalized web content that surpasses “Hello “. With AI, you can send out wise referrals based upon client habits, area, communications on your internet site or mobile application, as well as much more.

  • Optimized subject lines. Subject lines can be unpredictable. AI can evaluate your open prices as well as aid you identify the kinds of subject lines your clients reply to one of the most.

Marketers have actually constantly loved any type of technology that will certainly make their projects much more reliable. If you’re one of them, begin exploring the most up to date AI technology you can make use of to improve your business’s advertising and marketing method.

4. Be clear concerning information you gather

It’s difficult to speak about e-mail customization without dealing with information personal privacy.

Most clients understand now that online marketers gather their information to produce a far better client experience. As a matter of fact, 81% of people desire brand names to comprehend them much better, yet most significantly, understand when not to approach them.

Did you find out about Target figureing out that an adolescent woman was expecting prior to her dad did? Stories like these show there’s a slim line in between “We assumed this could be fascinating for you” as well as “We’re seeing you”.

The ideal point you can do as a service is to maintain personal privacy issues clear as well as be clear concerning your customization initiatives:

  • Make your personal privacy plans very easy to discover
  • Use basic language to discuss exactly how you gather as well as make use of site visitor information
  • Show clients exactly how they can handle their personal privacy setups
  • Doing this reveals your clients that you value their personal privacy which is essential in constructing long-term partnerships.

5. Deal very easy registration monitoring

Blasting your clients with e-mails they do not intend to get can adversely impact e-mail deliverability. In some cases it’s far better to simply allow your clients go as opposed to maintain accumulating spam problems.

The “industry standard for spam complaints is much less than 0.02%. That’s concerning one problem for each 5,000 receivers.” Anything over 0.02% is thought about high as well as can obtain your account put on hold.

One of the means to reduce the variety of these problems is by streamlining e-mail registration monitoring. Below are a couple of adjustments you can present today:

  • Let your clients go. As a client, there’s absolutely nothing even more irritating than needing to relocate hills simply to opt-out from a newsletter. The whole procedure needs to be smooth as well as user-friendly, as well as the “Unsubscribe” switch– very easy to discover.

  • Offer registration choices. Your clients might not want your blog site information, yet still intend to obtain coupons or business updates. Provide a say in what e-mails they intend to get from you.

  • Inform clients exactly how they were contributed to the listing. There’s constantly a possibility that your calls neglected they signed up for your listing. By providing a direct, you remove feasible misconceptions.

Literary Hub sends out regular as well as day-to-day e-newsletters with quotes, publication testimonials, as well as reviews on modern writing. They’ve located a refined means to welcome visitors to handle their registration choices.

Their day-to-day absorb footer:

Their regular absorb footer:

The primary takeaway? Allow your clients determine what winds up in their inboxes. Doing this will certainly obtain you composing much more appropriate as well as appealing e-mails, which will ultimately obtain you greater conversion prices.

6. Usage informal as well as relatable language

Gone are the days when looking “business” was the only means of protecting a location out there. Today, clients are most likely to comply with brand names that are human, make popular culture referrals, as well as fracture jokes.

So if you intend to connect with your audience on a much more individual degree, ditch the common organisation lingo as well as third-person pronouns. Rather, talk the language of your clients.

The fans of all-natural skin treatment brand name Frank Body are lively style, skin care, as well as coffee fans. The business’s advertising and marketing duplicate, consisting of e-mails, make use of strong, jargon-free language.

Frank Body likewise makes use of first-person pronouns “me” or “I” which reduces the range in between the brand name as well as the client, producing a much more pleasant partnership in between both.

The usage of informal language can function marvels for B2B business as well. Below’s exactly how Print-on-demand decrease carrier Printful obtains individual with clients in their blog site discount e-mail:

By dealing with the discomfort factors of your clients in a manner they can associate with, you’re abuilding a bridge of trust As well as the closer you are to your client, the less complicated it’ll be for you to comprehend as well as aid them.

But if advertising e-mails aren’t your favorite, attempt beautifying your transactional e-mails. These e-mails generally have open rates as high as 40% which suggests it’s a wonderful chance for online marketers to trigger customer interaction.

And allow’s be genuine momentarily, when was the last time you obtained an order verification e-mail that was anything aside from tiring as heck? Nevertheless, there’s no guideline that transactional e-mails need to be official as well as cool. Making them plain is simply harming your click-through prices.

So, when you have the moment, take a great take a look at your transactional e-mails as well as make them resemble people composed it.

Here’s exactly how precious jewelry shop Ana Luisa allows their clients understand their order is validated:

Pretty great, best? As well as right here’s exactly how they inform your order’s on its means:

Bottom line– your brand name language relies on the market you’re in. Yet regardless of what market it might be, do not hesitate to explore your e-mail duplicate.

Make the many of e-mail advertising and marketing

Email is still the lifeline of internet marketing. While e-mail advertising and marketing patterns alter each year, one point remains the exact same– in order to provide high-converting e-mails, you need to produce web content that individuals intend to review.

As you simply saw, there are numerous means to customize your e-mails so they speak with the target market you’re connecting to. If you have not currently, offer material customization as well as wise organizing a go. Most significantly, do not fail to remember to examine your initiatives– with a little study as well as some persistence, you’ll arrive ultimately!


Author biography:

Giedre Kronberga is a material marketing professional atPrintful When she’s not composing, you can discover her re-reading Haruki Murakami stories or evacuating a traveling bag for an additional weekend break escape.

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