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Developing Relationships with Online-Only Customers

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You may create opportunities for more business by developing relationships with customers that only order online. These relationships might enable your business to help the customer with their other needs.

Here are 5 ways that you may be able to build greater relationships with your online-only customers:

The Order Confirmation E-Mail
When someone places an order from your site, they certainly expect to see key details in the confirmation email. But don’t be afraid to put a personal touch on it. This may include placing your logo in the email, choosing a “friendly” font, and also phrasing the email in a way that makes people think of the humans that will be fulfilling the order.

Also, you should add links that make it easy for people to check on the status of their order, as well as to check out your company’s social media pages.

Send a Thank You Note/Gift
Alright, we know that you may not be able to do this for everyone. But from time-to-time, send a thank you note to people that have done business with you. By doing this separately from the confirmation email, you are reaching the customer multiple times but in slightly different formats. If you can send this “Thank You” in the form of a hand-written note, or accompanied with a small gift, you may make a lasting impression on that person.

And since they are already comfortable with being online, perhaps they’ll talk about your kind gesture on their social media pages.

Cross-Promote on the Web-to-Print Storefront
Certainly, you do not want to overly distract people while they are placing an order on your online storefront. However, you may reap benefits by cross-promoting other products and services in under-utilized

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real estate. This may entail putting a banner advertisement somewhere in your site that highlights something else that you offer.

Connect via Social Media
After someone places an order, take some time to search for their social media profiles. Chances are, you will find a great majority of people on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter. You can use these channels to learn more about your customers, and perhaps identify ways that you can offer additional value to them in the future. This may start by simply saying “Thank You”. Or, you could comment on or “Like” content that they have posted. Also, if you add their profiles to your CRM solution, you will provide valuable data to your customer service team and marketing department in the future.

Invite them to Opt-In for Further Communications
Does your company offer a free eNewsletter? Do not hesitate to mention this to people when they are registering to use your online storefront. If they’ve enjoyed your company enough to order products from it, they may also be inclined to receive helpful information from you in the future.

Integrate Your Direct Mail and Social Media Efforts

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There is no doubt that social networks are continuing to grow in popularity among all age groups. Recent statistics from Pew Internet & American Life Project indicated that 65% of online adults use social networking sites.  Marketers should continue to devote resources into using that channel to reach customers and prospects. However, this can also create an opportunity for your mail and print channels.

Direct mail and social networking efforts can both be improved when they are integrated together. Here are 5 ideas to make that integration happen:

Put the Social Media Badge on your Direct Mailer
Alright, this one is probably the easiest and most obvious of the bunch. If you’ve invested the time in creating and managing social media profiles for your company, you need to make sure that people know about them. Sure, some might find about them via links that you’ve added to your corporate website or via their own searches.

But to ensure that everyone knows, try adding the “badge” of social media icons to your direct mail pieces.

Simply seeing the “Facebook” or “Twitter” logo on your postcard may help your target audience become aware that your company is sharing information via those channels too.

Post Links to Your Landing Page on Social Media Sites
Let’s say that you’ve created a landing page that is filled with compelling information and a form that asks the perfect amount of questions. Will people only get to that page if they receive a direct mailer that contains a personalized URL?

Give this a try – in addition to the personalized landing pages, create versions that will be available to the general public. Then, post links to the general version of the landing page on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media sites that your audience uses.

Throughout the campaign, measure how people are getting to your page. Is it via the PURL on the direct mailer? Or via Twitter or Facebook? These types of reports may help you to better invest your resources in future campaigns when it comes to segments of your audience.

Make the Mailer Interactive with a QR Code
Companies of all sizes and varieties are creating videos with their Flip cameras and smart phones and uploading them to YouTube. Those videos can certainly help to spread your company’s message and to increase your SEO efforts.

But online video can also be re-purposed to make a direct mail piece interactive.

Simply create a QR Code that points directly to the YouTube video or to a mobile-optimized site that provides a link to the video. Place the QR Code on the direct mailer with a call-to-action, and then watch how your growing mobile audience responds.

Enable Landing Page Visitors to Easily Share the Link with Others
This might be the one idea where you can truly start to see growth in the overall success of your campaigns. When someone visits your landing page, make it easy for them to share a link to your content on their social media profiles.

This could be via a simple “Tweet This” button for Twitter, a “Like” button for Facebook, or some other sort of social media plug-in.

If your content is truly helpful and you make it easy for people to share it, your audience will grow with the help of others.

Drive People to Your Social Media Sites from the Thank You page
Let’s say that someone responds to the call-to-action on your direct mailer, types in their PURL, and fills out your response form. What do you then? Do you simply say Thank You?

Well, you could do that and then follow-up with them later. Or, you could try to further the engagement at that moment.

Try integrating your social media profiles into your Thank You page. This could mean simply putting icons that link to your social media pages. It could also mean embedding a YouTube video onto the page as well. Since the person has already shown interest in your company, perhaps they’d be more than willing to take a few minutes and learn a bit more about who you are and what you can do for them.

These are just a few ideas for integrating direct mail with social media. I hope that they help improve the success of your marketing and educational efforts.

Increase Your Amount of Newsletter Subscribers

Yes, content rules. And timing is everything. Oh, and it can make a big difference if you target ME specifically. But in the end, those things are only

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possible if you have a good great database.

If you are looking for ways to build your marketing database, a very practical goal

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is to increase the amount of people that are subscribed to your newsletter. How can you do this?

Here are 10 ideas that may help!

  1. Your Corporate Website: This is where the effort should absolutely start. When people visit your corporate website, there should be a clear call-to-action to encourage them to sign up for your newsletter. In many cases, there should be a link or form built into every page within your site. However, you could also look for ways to incorporate that encouragement into your web content (for example — 000-998 would you like more tips such as the ones found in this blog post? Sign up for our free eNewsletter!)
  2. On Lead Generation Forms: Marketers spend a lot of time, energy, and money getting people to visit their lead generation forms. When people take the time to fill them out and ask for more information, include “Sign me for your newsletter” as an option on the form as well.
  3. At Trade Shows: Simply scanning a person’s badge at your booth does not exactly give you permission to add them to your newsletter subscription list. However, you should actively seek to build up your database at the show. This may mean encouraging sales reps to ask people to sign up when they swing by… Or, you could have a QR Code in your booth that directs people to a mobile-optimized sign-up page.
  4. Facebook: It truly is easier than ever to create custom tabs on your company’s Facebook page. By putting a custom tab that encourages people to sign up for your eNewsletter, you’ll be able to start developing a multi-channel conversation with folks that are interested in your company.
  5. Phone Reps: Make it easy for employees that talk on the phone to sign someone up for your newsletter via your CRM solution. Sure, they will need to ask the person on the other line for their permission. But when they do receive it, make sure that they can easily update their preferences in seconds.
  6. Email Signatures: Guess who might truly want to receive your
    EC0-232 eNewsletter? Yep, the people that are already communicating with you via email! Perhaps these are prospects, media/PR folks, former customers, or other associates. Increase exposure to your newsletter by highlighting it within your email signature.
  7. In the Waiting Room: Do you have an area of your office where people might spend some time waiting for a meeting or appointment? Use the power of print to make them aware of your newsletter. Perhaps this is done via a sign on a wall, or via a table-tent piece in the middle of the room.
  8. Encourage Current Subscribers to Share: Do not assume that just because someone loves your newsletter that they will automatically tell others about it. Add social and email sharing tools to your newsletter that make it easy for people to spread the word about it.
  9. Mention it During Webinars and Presentations: As marketers, we are all willing to pay for the opportunities to have a captive audience. During those times, we must fully take advantage of the exposure opportunities that are available to us. Did you just deliver one heck of an informative webinar or presentation? Encourage people to learn more by signing up for your company’s newsletter.
  10. Via a Tattoo on Your Face: Okay, did I get your attention with that idea? I hope so… Here’s what I mean — don’t be afraid to think outside of the box when it comes to dreaming of ways to grow your list! Do not shy away from things such as Foursquare, QR Codes, Twitter… Do not discount all ideas that involve giveaways, contests, or some other sort of gimmick. Rather, creativity may be your best friend when it comes to finding ways to dramatically growing your list.

6 Ways to Revamp Your Marketing Efforts

If you want to re-ignite your marketing efforts, here are 6 tasks that you can do today that will drive results for your business!

  • Review Your Marketing Plan: Does your company have a marketing plan? If so, that’s a good thing. However, if it has simply been filed away since you created it at the end of last year, that’s not such a good thing! A much better approach is to keep your marketing plan in front of youMB7-224 constantly as the days and weeks go by. It can serve as a force that guides you and keeps you inspired! It can help to make sure that your daily tactics support your goals and objectives. If it’s been a little while since you’ve last looked at this year’s marketing plan, it’s time to print it and review it!
  • Spend Time Connecting and Listening on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn: If you have a profile on those social networks, that’s a great start! But if you primarily only use them to log-in, share some company information (perhaps a blog post, a press release, or some other news about your products and services), then you are truly missing out on some of the major value points social networking efforts can bring. Take at least 30 minutes today to simply use those
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    networks as a listening tool. Read what your customers and prospects are posting there. Use each network’s search form to find out what people are saying about industry trends, conferences, and other news-worthy items. Also, spend some time making sure that you are connected with the right people. Look up some of your recent customers and sales leads, and make a connection!

  • Create a Video and Upload it to YouTube: “Video sells.” Have you heard that expression? If you haven’t used video yet in your sales and marketing efforts, you are missing out.
    225-030 Online video can be one of the most effective ways to reach your audience with compelling messaging about your products and services. Best of all, creating and uploading basic videos can be done quickly and inexpensively nowadays. Give it a try! Sit down in front of one of your company’s posters, banners, or other collateral items. Have someone film you with a smartphone or some sort of handheld device. Then talk for about a minute about one of the major benefits your company can offer… or simply talk about an industry trend. Then, upload the video to YouTube! But also make sure to include keywords and a link to your website in the “Video Description” field.
  • Write a Blog Post with Your Customers’ Needs in Mind: One of the best ways to keep your website fresh and up-to-date is through a blog. Of course, having a blog is not enough. You must make sure that you’re posting content to it on a regular basis. Also, in order for the blog to be effective, the content should address the needs and concerns of your customers. Take 10 minutes today and think about an item that might be on your customers’ minds. Then, write two paragraphs that include some commentary, advice, and/or tips that will help them with that item. Then, post it on the blog to offer instant value to your clients!
  • Analyze Your Website Traffic Reports: How often do you access and read your company’s website traffic reports? Chances are that it may not be enough. Take some time today to login to whatever system you may use for Website Analytics, or pull up the latest report that your marketing agency may have sent you. Read through what’s happening — take a close look at
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    traffic trends (good and bad), keyword usage, sources, goal conversions, and other data points. You will most likely uncover important data points that can help you improve your website marketing efforts in the very near future.

  • Create a QR Code and Add it to Your Printed Materials: Print can still be an effective component in your marketing mix today! However, it often delivers the best results when it’s integrated with other channels, including mobile. QR Codes can make your printed items interactive, they can engage the mobile audience, and they can help you better measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts!

I hope you found these tips helpful, and remember that it is never too late to strengthen your marketing efforts!

Your Guide to Inbound Marketing Success

With inbound marketing, your website is your hub and you want your audience to not just visit, but stay and interact. To do this, you need to make sure that you are providing a wealth of information (without giving away the proverbial milk for free) and keeping your brand consistent. Hopefully, while you do this, you are displaying your ultra-cool company persona as well.

By sharing your expertise through blog posts, white papers, and more, you will attract and encourage your audience to pass the information along to their colleagues and acquaintances. In essence, you are inviting your audience to share your materials so you reach an even larger number of people over time.

But you can’t just throw things up on your website and assume they will be shared. You can’t just upload or post items and think that they will be received well and be the next viral email or Facebook post. Here are some tips to make sharing easy and encourage your audience to share your content over and over again:

  1. Don’t assume that your viewers are already connected with you. Many will not be. So make sure that visible buttons and links are available on your website for the audience to hop on over to your various social media profiles and connect with you via
    hot button issue. Also, take a look at your headlines…are they eye-catching? You have a second or two to grab your audience’s attention. Make your headline work for you.
  2. Talk to your audience. This is not monologue time. Think and post with a dialogue in mind, every single time. You are inviting interaction. You are nurturing a budding relationship. You want your audience to speak back to you, to pass along your amazing materials and spread the word about you. So don’t toot your own horn with every upload and offering. Ask for feedback. Ask for comments. Pose questions and start that conversation up.

Over time, you will come to see what types of items are passed along via social media platforms and what topics receive more interest and dialogue. As this happens, you should evolve your materials to fit that “need.” Remember, sharing is caring. So be a giver!

Keep Print Alive in Today’s World

To truly capitalize on advancements in the worlds of marketing and communications, businesses must find ways to make print work with new channels.

Here are three ways that print can be made interactive:

Use QR Codes to Drive People to Mobile-Optimized Sites

The numbers behind the growth in mobile marketing truly are impressive. More and more of your customers and prospects are visiting websites on their mobile phones. By adding a QR Code to your printed materials, you will be able to reach that mobile audience. QR Codes truly can make print interactive. By driving people a mobile-optimized site where they can watch a video, learn more about a product, or sign up for future alerts, you will further build your database and increase brand awareness.

Promote Social Media Pages for a Company or Product

Companies of all sizes and across all types of verticals are turning to social media to help better serve their customers and interact with prospects. However, they need people to know those pages exist to truly maximize the impact. One way

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to do this is to promote the social media sites on printed materials. Many people use their smartphone to hop onto sites, such as Facebook or Twitter. They may do the same thing after learning that your company has something to offer on those sites.

Use SMS/Text-Messaging as the Call-to-Action

While we may place less phone calls on our cell phones than we did two years ago, SMS/Text-messaging usage seemingly continues to rise. A number of companies have found ways to engage their fans and build their mobile marketing database by inviting people to send a text message to opt-in for a special offer.

There are plenty of tools and channels to choose from when trying to make print interactive, so see what works best for your audience and take it from there!