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A Japanese Company Is Giving Extra Vacation Days to Employees Who Don't Smoke

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The CEO hopes it will inspire more people to quit.

The No. 1 Thing Your Business Needs to Succeed

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In this day and age of technology, customers assume every business has a website.

Yet surprisingly, according to a 2017 CNBC survey, as many as 45 percent of small businesses still do not have a company website. For these businesses, several opportunities to provide excellent customer service are lost.  

If your business doesn’t have a website, here are some major things to consider. A website can enhance the performance of your customer service department, giving your customers the ability to place orders online, make payments, find information about a product or service, check your hours of operation, and get directions.

If your business has a website, take a fresh look to make sure it’s as customer-service-friendly as possible. 

Editor’s Note: Looking for help designing or redesigning your website? We can help you choose a solution that’s right for you. Use the questionnaire below to have our sister site, BuyerZone, provide you with information from a variety of vendors for free:

 

It is one of the easiest things a business can do to enhance and better serve their customers. A good customer-service-based website can provide your clients with the following opportunities.

Company history and bios

To attract new customers, add a personal touch to the website. By telling your company’s history and introducing staff members, a level of trust is established. Customers are no longer dealing with a generic website; there are real people behind the company. It’s in this area where you should share customer service rep names, phone numbers, emails and other methods of communication.

Information central

If customers have an inquiry about business hours, pricing or general questions, a website is an efficient way for them to get that information on the fly.

Updated business information

By listing new product releases or updates to existing products, customers can simply check your website for the latest and greatest product releases. This saves time and money for mailings or marketing campaigns. Keeping customers in the loop about new products can result in extra sales without more effort than updating the website.  

It is also in this section where customers can read your blog to find out what’s going on with the company. If your business is in the news or proudly sponsoring a community event, it’s a great opportunity to get the word out.

Complaints

Instead of keeping customers on hold for long periods of time waiting for a customer service rep, direct them to complete an online service ticket. A ticket not only captures relevant information customer service reps need before returning a call, it keeps electronic documentation for reporting purposes.

Feedback

A website is a very helpful tool to gather valuable customer feedback, encourage customer reviews and leave comments about their experience. Keep in mind that customer feedback is like little nuggets of gold. This information helps you gauge if changes need to be made either in business policy or procedure. Customer feedback is imperative for you to really understand what is working and what is not.

Positive customer feedback lends itself to the opportunity of shoring up great customer testimonials, which builds trust and confidence in your company. Adding space for customers to complete mini surveys also conveys that spirit of continuing improvement in the goal of ultimate customer satisfaction.

A website is one of those tools that most customers simply expect businesses to have. The benefits of streamlining efficiency and reducing the amount of time customer service reps will spend on the phone increases productivity. In many instances, it will reduce the number of calls altogether since customers can go to the website and answer their own questions.

When designing the website, keep the design simple and clean. Make instructions easy to follow and easy to find. Keep the experience of all customers, especially those who may not have a lot of experience online, in mind when setting things up.

Once your website is up and running, you’ll wonder how your customer service department managed without this valuable asset for so long.

Latest Small Business Trends Magazine Gives You the Facts on Cyber Security

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By now, you know that your small business faces a real threat of being hacked. Hackers are targeting small businesses more and more because they believe they may be more vulnerable — generally.

But even if hackers were able to penetrate your cyber defenses, what damage could they really do to your company?

In some cases, the results could be disastrous. For others, the threat is real but consequences may not be as dire.

That’s why we’re releasing the Cyber Security edition of Small Business Trends magazine.

You can get a FREE download here right now!

We’ve attempted to cut through a lot of the confusion — and frankly, some potential misinformation — to help you determine the risk YOUR business faces from cyber criminals. And then, teach you how to react to the risk.

In this edition, we cover the risk analysis your company should conduct. Just how secure is your business from a cyber attack and what’s at stake if you are hacked? The answers to these questions will help you determine the level of cyber security protection your small business should deploy. How much should your company invest in cyber security technology?

For some companies, perhaps only a small investment in defense technology and planning is needed in the event  of an attack. But there are things every company can and SHOULD do right now that don’t cost anything more than a little time and know-how. Check out the article on password policy best practices — a great place to start your cyber defense strategy!

We’ve also got information on the types of attacks currently posing a the greatest threat to your small business and others you may want to keep an eye out for. And there’s so much more.

Be sure to download your FREE copy of the Small Business Trends magazine Cyber Security edition today. And get future issues of the magazine sent directly to you when they publish, including our upcoming business planning edition.

Get your FREE download here today!

This article, “Latest Small Business Trends Magazine Gives You the Facts on Cyber Security” was first published on Small Business Trends

Should You make $300,000 with E commerce or Affiliate Marketing Info Product 🔑🔑

Video Profits Unleashed

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHOQ6mho2io&w=640&h=360]

Don’t Waste Time! These 16 Gmail Hacks Will Make Your Small Business Hum (INFOGRAPHIC)

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These 16 Gmail Hacks Will Make Your Small Business Hum (INFOGRAPHIC)

Take your use of Gmail for business beyond sending, receiving and attaching a document. The below infographic by GetVoip has some tips and tricks to use Gmail more efficiently with tools you might not know about.

For small business owners without the staff to check and respond to all of the emails they receive, each optimization can add valuable time to your day. This is because the average person spends 28 percent of the work week reading and responding to emails, which comes out to 650 hours a year.

Why should you know more about these tools? Reuben Yonatan, Founder and CEO of GetVoIP, says on his company blog, “By optimizing your email account to work for you instead of against you, you can boost your productivity levels, get more work done, and reduce the risk of allowing an important email to slip through the cracks.”

10 Gmail Hacks

Here are 10 tips from the infographic to help you use Gmail like a pro for your small business.

Turn on Priority Inbox

You might receive 30, 50, 100 or more emails per day.  By turning on your priority inbox to see important messages first, you won’t have to scroll through less significant emails.

Use Labels

Using color-coded labels allows you to tag and assign emails that need your attention. This easy to use feature will ensure you don’t forget about that very important email you need to reply to.

Use Tasks List

If you don’t have time to deal with an email you just opened, you can move it to the Tasks list. When you are ready, you don’t have to search through all of your emails. Just go to Tasks and you will find it there. 

Protect Your Email

You should always secure your email. You can encrypt the email you send and, using Snapmail, you can set it to self-destruct in 60 seconds.

Create a Filter

You can create filters to identify emails from a particular sender with word count, date, keywords and more. When you get a message that fits the criteria, you can choose to have it deleted or skip the inbox.

Learn Keyboard Shortcuts

Using a mouse might seem efficient, but it really isn’t compared to keyboard shortcuts. For example, when you have your Gmail open by simply hitting C you can compose an email. If you hit R you can reply and hit K to jump to a new email. You can see more shortcuts in the infographic below.

Use Plug-ins

Gmail has many plug-ins. Everything from timers to management tools, security, and more can be added to make your Gmail experience better.

Set Undo Send

At some point, you have probably screamed some expletives after clicking the send button on an email. With Undo Send, you can set a grace period of 5, 10, 20, or 30 seconds to recall the email so you can edit it.

Use Canned Response Feature

If you are in the middle of a particular marketing campaign, you might be writing the same emails multiple times with very few changes. By turning on the Canned Response feature, you can save a considerable amount of time.

Use Stars

Stars is another feature to help you remember emails that are important to you. You can assign different stars to signify what the emails mean to you.

And There’s More

The GetVOIP infographic has 16 tips and tricks. You can take a look at the rest of them below.

These 16 Gmail Hacks Will Make Your Small Business Hum (INFOGRAPHIC)Images: GetVOIP

This article, “Don’t Waste Time! These 16 Gmail Hacks Will Make Your Small Business Hum (INFOGRAPHIC)” was first published on Small Business Trends

Latest Small Business Trends Magazine Gives You the Facts on Cyber Security

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By now, you know that your small business faces a real threat of being hacked. Hackers are targeting small businesses more and more because they believe they may be more vulnerable — generally.

But even if hackers were able to penetrate your cyber defenses, what damage could they really do to your company?

In some cases, the results could be disastrous. For others, the threat is real but consequences may not be as dire.

That’s why we’re releasing the Cyber Security edition of Small Business Trends magazine.

You can get a FREE download here right now!

We’ve attempted to cut through a lot of the confusion — and frankly, some potential misinformation — to help you determine the risk YOUR business faces from cyber criminals. And then, teach you how to react to the risk.

In this edition, we cover the risk analysis your company should conduct. Just how secure is your business from a cyber attack and what’s at stake if you are hacked? The answers to these questions will help you determine the level of cyber security protection your small business should deploy. How much should your company invest in cyber security technology?

For some companies, perhaps only a small investment in defense technology and planning is needed in the event  of an attack. But there are things every company can and SHOULD do right now that don’t cost anything more than a little time and know-how. Check out the article on password policy best practices — a great place to start your cyber defense strategy!

We’ve also got information on the types of attacks currently posing a the greatest threat to your small business and others you may want to keep an eye out for. And there’s so much more.

Be sure to download your FREE copy of the Small Business Trends magazine Cyber Security edition today. And get future issues of the magazine sent directly to you when they publish, including our upcoming business planning edition.

Get your FREE download here today!

This article, “Latest Small Business Trends Magazine Gives You the Facts on Cyber Security” was first published on Small Business Trends

Build an Affiliate Campaign (The 60 Day Affiliate Marketing Challenge)

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[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FM-ss2Rez64&w=640&h=360]

How to Find Which Sites are Driving Retention

I’ve previously written about how to use Kissmetrics to find which backlinks drive signups. I wrote that article because we all know backlinks are great for SEO, which is great for traffic, but what really matters is the quality of traffic you’re getting. So, what that post explained was how you can use a Funnel Report to see who came to your site, and how many of them signed up. We then segmented that traffic by the first ever link that sent them to our site.

It’s a nice, handy way to use Kissmetrics to help provide some insights and potentially future campaigns.

But what about the step after the first visit or a signup? What about retention? How do you find which sites are sending you the visitors that keep coming back?

The idea for this post came to me from my own experience. I’ve been using DuckDuckGo (DDG) lately, and one day I simply entered weather just to see what would return. I saw that DDG uses a site called DarkSky, which is one that I’ve never heard of, even though they have the #1 paid weather app in the App Store.

darksky on duckduckgo

I liked the layout of the site, it’s ad-free content, and the forecasts have been pretty accurate. Now I use it as my primary weather site.

So this had me wondering – if I was working at DarkSky, how would I know where people are coming from? And of all the traffic channels (direct, organic search, DDG, etc.) that are sending us traffic, how could I track that to see which sources brought the highest retention? In this case, we’ll refer to retention as simply coming back to the site after their first visit.

So, here’s how to find that out using Kissmetrics.

The Cohort Report

Kissmetrics is full of reports that each serves a different purpose. Some can be used for analyzing customer acquisition campaigns; others can be used for retention analysis. And some can be used for both.

The Cohort Report is primarily used to track retention (some even use it for conversion rates). It groups people together based on similar attributes and tracks their behavior overtime. In our case, we’ll be grouping the people that have visited our site, and we’ll group them by the domains they were first referred by.

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The set up is pretty easy. We’ll set our conditions for those that have Visited Site and Visited Site. We’ll then segment by the first referrer:

KM Referrer is simply the referring URL that brought traffic to your site. If a visitor came to your site via a Google search, the KM Referrer would be www.google.com. If they came from the Kissmetrics Blog homepage, the KM Referrer would record as blog.kissmetrics.com.

It’s also important to note that we’re tracking people on a week-to-week basis. This means that each week is a “bucket”. All visitors that came from Google in the last 6 months are put in the www.google.com bucket, then tracked each week. If they visit in the second week after their first week, they’ll be placed in that bucket. If they don’t return in the third week but do in the fourth week, they’ll appear in the bucket for the fourth week as well.

Now that we got that cleared up, let’s run the report and get our data:

The key thing to look for when viewing our Cohort Report is that the darker the shade of blue, the greater the retention.

So it looks like organic search from Google is sending us the most traffic.

However, we see our highest retention is the 52 people that came from nytimes.com. To me, this data signals that we should spend more time trying to press coverage. SEO is always great, and it has good retention, but nothing beats the traffic coming from nytimes.com.

So What Does All This Mean?

Traffic is the first step. The second step is retaining that traffic by getting those people to come back. Find what percentage of new users come back (using the cohort report) and then see where you’re getting your above-average retention (with a significant amount of traffic). That’s where the Cohort Report shines – showing you where you’re underperforming and outperforming against your baseline retention.

Conclusion

Traffic is great. Signups are even better. But the most important part is retaining those new users. That’s the only way to build quality traffic and an audience.

So how do you measure your progress on retaining users?

This is where cohort reports come in. Specifically, the Kissmetrics Cohort Report (which was the example we used here). It’s segmentation flexibility (you can group people by whatever you track), along with our person-tracking analytics means that you get not just numbers, but also who you are retaining and where they came from.

This post really started out to answer a question – how would DarkSky (or any other site) know if the traffic they get from DuckDuckGo (or any referrer) is being retained? And, perhaps at a higher level, how would they know if they’re even getting traffic from DuckDuckGo? I wrote that post to answer this question. To recap, in two steps:

  1. Run a Cohort Report, segmenting your group by their original referrer domain.
  2. See how many of the people that come from that original referrer by viewing each bucket across the row in the report’s data.

Any questions? Let me know in the comments.

About the Author: Zach Bulygo (Twitter) is the Blog Manager for Kissmetrics.

Harvey Weinstein, Arrest Looms for Paz de la Huerta Alleged Rape

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Harvey Weinstein NYPD says There’s Enough to Arrest Him for Paz de la Huerta Alleged Rapes 11/3/2017 12:15 PM PDT There’s enough evidence to arrest Harvey Weinstein for allegedly raping “Boardwalk Empire” …

The post Harvey Weinstein, Arrest Looms for Paz de la Huerta Alleged Rape appeared first on Newline Marketing.

How to Write Ecommerce Emails That Don’t Annoy the Crap out of Your Readers

Email marketing is an essential component of every business.

But it’s even more important for your ecommerce website.

Why?

It’s one of the best ways to communicate with your customers.

As an ecommerce business, you don’t have the luxury of seeing your customers face to face like you would if you were a brick-and-mortar company.

Sure, there are other ways you can communicate with your customers.

They can call your customer service department or reach out to you on social media.

But marketing experts agree that email is the most effective digital marketing tactic.

image1

With that said, your strategy is only as effective as your message.

If your previous campaigns aren’t getting much of a response, you might need some help writing your emails.

Luckily for you, I can coach you through that.

No more bad emails.

I’ll show you how to write an ecommerce email that won’t leave your readers shaking their heads.

Start with a goal

Before you do anything, you need to establish a clear objective for your message.

What do you want your reader to do once they receive the email?

If you can’t figure that out ahead of time, there’s no way the recipient will take the action you want them to take.

Here are some examples of goals you may want to consider:

  • launch a new product
  • promote a special event or sale
  • upsell on a previous purchase
  • send shopping cart abandonment messages

The list goes on and on, but this is a good place to start.

Make sure each message focuses on one goal.

Don’t overwhelm the reader.

If you give them too many options, they may get confused and end up doing nothing.

The message should have a clear call to action.

Here’s an example from Fab:

image5

This message has a clear and concise goal.

Fab is trying to get their subscribers to download their mobile application.

That’s it.

They aren’t offering a discount. There’s no special event.

The reader won’t be confused by this message.

Obviously, Fab wants to start promoting sales on their app.

That may be an undertone of the company’s overall marketing campaign.

However, the email doesn’t need to get into all that.

It’s short, sweet, and actionable.

A 2017 report on mobile usage found that 90% of mobile media time is spent on apps, which means Fab’s campaign is smart.

Ultimately, I’m sure they believe this will help increase conversions and revenue.

But for the time being, the message is strictly to drive downloads.

Start with a goal, and make sure your message represents that objective.

Your message needs to deliver value to the reader

Don’t just send an email because it’s been a week since your last message and you think it’s time to send another.

While sending a message once a week may be a viable strategy, each email needs to offer value to the subscriber.

If you’re not offering any value, the reader may consider your message as spam.

Here’s an example from Huckberry:

image11

This message encourages the subscribers to invite their friends to the Huckberry community.

Why would anyone do this?

Because their campaign adds value.

Huckberry is going to give away prizes to people who share this message with friends and family.

If the message just said “invite your friends” without offering an incentive, the subscriber wouldn’t see any value. The email would be useless.

Can you promote your product while providing value?

The answer is: it depends.

For example, DODOcase was able to hype their product before launching it by promoting it to potential customers. As a result, it sold $7 million worth of products within 90 days of their first product launch.

What else offers value to your customers?

Look again at our first example of Fab.

Even though they were promoting their mobile app, the message still provided value. It offered:

  • free shipping
  • free returns
  • best price match

We know that 87% of Americans say price is the most influential factor in their purchasing decisions.

And 80% are influenced by the cost of shipping and delivery speed.

Discounts influence 71% of American shoppers.

What do these three statistics have in common?

Value.

That’s what your customers want, so that’s what you need to give them.

Make sure your ecommerce email focuses on the value you’re offering.

Your subject line is important

What’s the first thing your subscribers see when they get an email from you?

The subject line.

Your subject line is one of the top reasons why people would open your message:

image2

You have to put just as much thought into your subject line as you put into the rest of the message.

If your subject line can’t hook the recipient, they will never see the content of your email.

Here are some guidelines for writing a subject line that will increase your open rates:

  • create urgency
  • use breaking news
  • tell a story
  • stimulate curiosity
  • personalize it
  • send an offer

Those of you who struggle with catchy, creative, or actionable subject lines can refer to these points for inspiration.

Look at how Eddie Bauer creates a sense of urgency with this email:

image4

It’s the last day to get 50% off your fleece purchase.

If the customer doesn’t act now, they will miss out on the deal.

Use this technique for your subject line.

  • Sale ends tonight
  • 48 hours left
  • Limited quantity remaining

You can use these phrases when creating a subject.

I also highly recommend using storytelling in your email subject line:

“Here’s how I did XYZ…”

Say something to that effect.

Stories engage the reader.

Creating engaging content is a top priority for marketers in 2017.

image12

Content marketing experts recognize the importance of stimulating the customer’s curiousity.

Accomplishing this in your subject line puts you on the right track to converting the reader with the rest of your message.

Focus on your call to action (CTA)

Earlier, I talked about the importance of establishing a clear goal for your campaign.

The CTA needs to mirror that objective.

Use words like:

  • Buy now
  • Save today
  • Claim your reward
  • Become a VIP member
  • Choose the style you want
  • Reserve your seat
  • Earn rewards
  • Click to reveal my coupon
  • Upgrade my service

Don’t overwhelm your customers with the CTA.

Pick one and go for it.

Use a button instead of a hyperlink.

Buttons can increase conversion rates by 28% compared to a hyperlink.

Check out this CTA button from De Beers Jewelers:

image8

It’s clear, unique, and creative.

It doesn’t just say something boring like, “Click here.”

You can use bright colors to draw attention to your CTA like Pizza Hut does:

image3

Green has nothing to do with the Pizza Hut logo or brand, but it makes for a perfect CTA button.

This message also adds value, addressing the topic disccused above.

Pizza Hut sends a coupon code with an expiration date to create a sense of urgency.

The campaign encourages their subscribers to order food online.

Utilize drip campaigns

Drip campaigns make sense for ecommerce companies.

They are also known as marketing automation, lifecycle emails, or autoresponders.

Focusing on automation can make your life a lot easier.

What’s a drip campaign?

A drip campaign is a series of emails that get delivered in a predetermined order to your subscribers.

This is a perfect opportunity for you to contact your customers.

Here’s an example.

Let’s say someone makes a purchase on your ecommerce platform.

The first message of your drip campaign can say something like, “Your order is confirmed.”

Try something similar to this template from Fitbit:

image6

The message assures the customer that their order has been placed.

You should always send a confirmation email to your customers.

People are cautious when they enter credit card information on the Internet.

Over the past 5 years, 46% of people in the United States have experienced credit card fraud.

If they don’t get a reassurance that their order went through safely, they could feel uneasy about your website.

Not everyone who orders from your site is an email subscriber.

But you should still ask for their email address to send them this information.

For those people, you can include a CTA button that encourages them to subscribe to your emails.

“Join our email list to receive 20% off your next purchase.”

The second and third phase of your drip campaign will be:

  • Order shipped
  • Order delivered

Again, both of these emails make sense to the recipient.

What will make your readers want to scratch their eyes out?

If they don’t know why they received a message.

Nobody will question this drip sequence.

Finally, you can send a fourth email in the drip campaign to follow up with the buyer.

Include a customer survey in the message to see if they are happy with their purchase.

Surveys help create loyal customers, increase retention rates, and grow profits.

image10

Using the drip campaign method allows you to email a customer four times for just one purchase.

All these messages will be informative and valuable to the recipient.

Don’t forget to send shopping cart abandonment emails

Similar to the last point, shopping cart abandonment messages make sense to the reader.

They won’t be asking, “Why did I get this message?”

The customer was shopping and was just a click or two away from finalizing the purchase until something stopped them.

A number of things could have caused this:

  • unexpected costs like taxes or shipping
  • they were just browsing
  • website crashed or slow loading time
  • didn’t feel comfortable submitting credit card information

These are just a few common responses.

But you still need to send the email to remind your customers to check out.

Sending this message will improve your conversion rate.

image7

You need to include this strategy into your email marketing arsenal.

It’s essential for ecommerce websites.

The message has a clear goal: to finalize the sale.

If you want to add value for the customer, send a promotional code to discount the order.

Embed a video in your message

If you’re worried your readers might be scratching their eyes out because of your current email campaign strategy, I’ve got a solution: mix things up.

Turn your readers into viewers.

Don’t make them read anything. Instead, send a video message.

Your customers want to watch videos.

Don’t believe me?

Well, the numbers don’t lie.

In fact, 43% of people want to see more videos from marketers.

If you’re launching a new product for your ecommerce site, send your subscribers an informative video message.

SproutVideo improved their click-through rate by 60% when they added videos to their email marketing campaign.

image9

Your ecommerce site can do the same thing.

It’s a great opportunity for you to do a product demonstration or a tutorial.

Conclusion

It’s great you’re utilizing email marketing campaigns for your ecommerce site.

This can’t change, but the content of your messages may need some improvement.

You don’t want your readers wondering why they received a message.

If you’re not adding value to the customer, they might unsubscribe, block you, or mark your message as spam.

How can you write a killer ecommerce email?

Start with your goal.

What’s the purpose of the message?

Once you define an objective, keep the message short and focused on that goal.

Emphasize your call to action.

Your CTA button should be big, bold, bright, and not boring.

Give the customer a reason to click.

Your subject line matters.

Customers won’t bother opening the message if the subject line is weak and doesn’t grab their attention.

If you’re unsure when to email your customers, set up a drip campaign that automatically sends updates after an order is placed.

Send out shopping cart abandonment emails to help improve your conversion rates.

Videos are a great way to turn readers into viewers.

Try to include videos and other interactive emails into your campaign.

Following these tips will help you keep your audience engaged instead of frustrated.

How will you alter the subject line of your next email to increase open rates?