Understanding Conversion Rates: Big Numbers Don’t Always Mean Big Profit

conversion rate

Understanding conversion rates can be tricky.  There are countless “internet famous” people who aren’t making a dime off their fame. On the other hand, there are a smaller number of individuals who have managed to take their smaller following and develop an income-producing business out of it. Why is that? It’s because fame is not necessarily a sure way to financial success, but planning and strategy is.

Tips for Improving Your Conversion Rate

You Do Not Need Tons of Subscribers – It’s a fact that “the money’s in the list,” but you don’t need a super large list for this to be true. You just need the right people on your list that you make the right offers to at the right time.

You Need Targeted Subscribers – Anyone who subscribes to your list should do so because they really want the information you’re going to provide them. They should also be in your target market and be part of your ideal audience profile. Subscribers who aren’t interested don’t help your conversion rate.

You Need the Right Lead Magnet – This is where you must be very careful not to offer a freebie that is so broad that you get people on your list who do not want to ever buy anything but only want the free item. Create a lead magnet that is so targeted that only your audience would even want it.

You Need to Build Relationships with Subscribers – When you build a relationship with someone, you are thinking of their needs. You find ways to connect with them, to make them smile, and to make them feel as if they know you, like you, and trust you.

You Need to Segment Your Audience – It’s important to segment your audience so that you can send them the right information. For example, you may want to send certain information to people who downloaded lead magnet A. That’s different from people who may have downloaded lead magnet B, and very different from the segment who bought product 1, and so on.

You Need to Send the Right Information to Your Audience – Once you have people on your list, or following you on social media, you must send the right information to them on a regular basis. Try not to get off track, and always think of exactly who your ideal customer is when you send the information.

You Need to Ask for the Sale – When you send information to your audience, remember that some of it should be informational and some should be promotional. Try not to make every message promotional, or else they’ll just start ignoring you. You must promote, but do so strategically.  At the bottom of this post, download my free formula for the perfect ratio of promotional/informational posts, and how to deliver that.

You Need to Follow Up – When someone does answer your calls to action, it’s imperative to remember that the follow-up is important. You want a small list of targeted consumers that want what you offer, and you want them to not only buy again,but also to recommend you to others. You can do that by continuing to build on the relationship even after the sale.

So, stop trying to be internet famous and “go viral.” Instead, continue to push out important and relevant information on a regular basis, while building relationships with your followers and subscribers.  Don’t forget to download the free formula for posting now so that you can get it just right and exponentially improve your conversion rates. But, be ready in case something you do does happen to go viral, so that when it does, it will actually pay off.

GET THE SOCIAL MEDIA POSTING FORMULA NOW!

Fire Your Worst Customers: A Bad Customer Can Stunt Your Growth

bad customerFiring a customer may seem like a radical concept, but in the quest to provide excellent customer service and keep customers longer, sometimes something important gets lost in translation. When you have a particularly bad customer who is expecting too much for too little, eating up your time and resources, yielding no profits or benefits, and generally making you feel bad about the whole interaction, it’s not healthy for anyone.  If that customer is, in essence, wanting your blood in exchange for the business relationship, it might be time to fire them.

Characteristics of Bad Customers Who Might Need to be Fired:

They Cost Money – The fact is, a client who is needy, doesn’t respect you, or is simply a wrong fit can be a money sucker too. If you spend a lot of resources putting out fires due to this customer’s actions or requests, you’re using up time and money that could be put to better use with customers who love and respect you.

They’re Not Your Ideal Customer – As you get used to targeting the right customer, you may find that some of your older customers just aren’t a right fit. They’re really not doing anything wrong, but they’re not really adding to your business in a positive way since they’re not the right customer. Letting them go makes room for more right customers.

Sunk Costs versus Opportunity Cost – Sometimes it’s hard to let go of a customer because of all the time you’ve already invested in them, and you hope that someday it’ll pay off. But the fact is, when you make any business decision, the thing you are supposed to consider is opportunity costs – not sunk costs. Sunk costs are those that you’ve already spent; opportunity costs are those that will happen in the future. If there are better opportunities out there, fire the customer and go after the right ones.

Too Much Emotional Investment Required – Some customers want you to be emotionally invested in them in a way that is draining. They require too much time and effort for the payoff due to their neediness. They expect you to be available at all hours of the day and night at their beck and call.  That is an unreasonable and unrealistic expectation, and the rest of your customers will suffer for it.

They Want You to Share Their Risk – Some customers are really selfish. They want you to share their risk, but get none of the rewards. This type of client is dangerous to your entire business, because they’ll blame you when things go wrong even if it’s due to them not following your advice.

They Control with Fear – Some customers will threaten you to try to control you. They’ll say things like, “If you can’t handle it, I’ll find someone who can.” and other types of threats, both direct and veiled. They truly have no intention of firing you, but they like keeping you off balance. Get rid of these types of customers.

They Don’t Pay on Time – Sometimes you will have a customer that you actually like but they tend not to pay on time. Plus they use a lot of delay tactics. They may eventually pay, but having someone not pay on time can be very stressful and affect your cash flow. The best thing is to let these types of customers go after giving them sufficient warnings.

They Don’t Share Success – Some customers will freely share blame when things go wrong but when they experience success, even if directly related to what it is that you do, they will not share that. When you experience that type of customer, it’s best to let them go as soon as possible because you’re not going to get anything more out of the relationship than what you’ve already got.

Firing a really bad customer will leave room for more of the right customers. Anytime any one customer, even if it’s not totally their fault, makes you feel like you’re losing your mind or investing too much time and emotion for the payoff, it’s time to consider letting them go. You don’t have to say, “You’re fired,” but you can calmly and politely end the contract per your agreement terms.  As with any breakup, it can be amicable and what’s best for both parties involved.  When you finally do get rid of a bad customer who is causing you anxiety and stress, you will feel light a huge weight has been lifted and you will be more productive in your business as a result.

Patience is a Virtue, or is it? [Strategix Video Tip]

I don’t get frustrated very often, but when I do it’s usually related to waiting. Waiting in line at the grocery store, waiting in traffic etc. What is it that frustrates your customers? You need to watch this episode to dial in on the solutions, not only for the sake of customer service, but so you can have your customers talking all about the great service you provide. Now that’s real marketing!

Ten Things You Can Learn from Customer Feedback

suggestion boxWhether it’s compliments or complaints, you can learn a lot from customer feedback. If you pay close attention to it, you’ll figure out what is working and what is not working for your customers. You may also identify gaps in your products or services that you can correct.

10 Things You Can Find Out With Customer Feedback

1. If the Buying Process Works – If you find that you are getting a lot of abandoned carts, as well as emails asking how to do things or find something on your website, it’s a sign that the process isn’t working. You then need to revamp it according the customers’ feedback.

2. How Well Your Website Communicates – Your website likely has a FAQ that is designed to answer questions before they contact you for information. If you’re getting the same question asked that is in the FAQ a lot, you may need to fix the keywords used or the headline so that your customers can better find the answer.

3. Whether Your Shopping Cart Works or Not – If people want to buy what you’re selling and they can’t due to a faulty shopping cart system, they will contact you. Listen closely to their experiences so that you can get it fixed fast.

4. If Your Sales Pages Convert – If you have a lot of hits on your sales pages but not a lot of sales, then you need to revamp your sales pages. Even if no one contacts you but you’re getting hits and no converts, there is a problem.

5. If There Is a Problem with Your Product – Buyers will be faster to tell you of a problem with your product or service than if something is good. Therefore, it’s imperative to listen when they tell you about a problem even if you initially do not agree.

6. If There Are Gaps in Products or Services – When a customer purchases a product from you, give them time to enjoy it, then send them a survey giving a couple of open-ended questions designed to find gaps that they’d like filled.

7. How to Make a Product Better – When customers give you feedback, you can often learn how to make your product better. When a customer gives a great idea, take it for what it’s worth and improve.

8. What You’re Doing Right – Yes, from feedback you can also learn what you’re doing right and what your customers want. You can then do more of it in order to increase your income.

9. Help You Generate New Ideas – Every time you get feedback, whether it’s on social media or from a survey, if you read carefully your creative juices will be activated and you’ll get new ideas for new products or services.

10. Learn New Ways to Use Your Product – Many times, customers will send feedback and tell you about a way that they are using your product that you had not considered. Knowing these new ways to use your products can help you improve your marketing efforts.

Learning from customer feedback is an important part of doing business. One of the least expensive forms of market research that you can conduct is through the follow up. Whether you send a survey or call your customers to ask them for information about how they like your product and services, you can use what they tell you to improve your business.

How to Get Prospects and Customers to Want More From You!

message-580300_640When you have prospects and customers, it’s important to stay in touch as often as possible. Get them on your email lists, segmented according to where they are in the buying cycle so that you can target your messages accordingly.

8 ways to keep ’em coming back for more:

1. Tell Them What to Expect – When someone buys from you or signs up for one of your email lists, send a thank you note with an explanation of what to expect from you in the future. How often will they hear from you? Make some promises and assurances to them.

2. Do What You Say You’ll Do – It’s very important that you do whatever you said you’d do. For example, if you say you will send them a newsletter every Friday, send them a newsletter every single Friday. If you skip days or switch the days, they may be confused. A lot of people actually forget they signed up for a list and when you don’t stay active they will report you for spamming them.

3. Remind Them of What You Said – Periodically, within other messages, be sure to remind your prospects and customers about your previous promises and assurances. This will help them remember who you are, and what you said. It will build more trust.

4. Let Them Know When You Follow Through – When you do something you said you would do, tell them. “I told you I would send you an update on my xyz product, as promised, here it is.” This again, reinforces the point that you stick to your word and can be trusted.

5. Ask Them for Input and Opinions – Once in a while invite your prospects and customers to submit their ideas and input. If you have a new product idea, tell them about it. Ask them what they think. Ask them what they’d pay for such a product or service. Ask them if they would like to see something from you that you’ve not delivered.

6. Tease Them about New Products – Never pass up an opportunity to give them some hints and small bits of information about a new product, service or event. As you hint about it, make them really want it by explaining what’s in it for them.

7. Thank Them for Buying – When someone buys something from you (or answers any call to action), be sure to thank them. The thank you is always a nice thing to do, plus it gives you just that little bit more real estate to give them more information about you and your products and/or services.

8. Follow Up Regularly – Even after someone has purchased, and you’ve thanked them, it’s not over. It costs a lot less to create a repeat buyer than to turn a lead into a buyer. Cultivate your relationship with buyers even more consistently than you do leads and prospects.

Using the pattern of telling them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you told them will do wonders for all your marketing. Most people need to hear things multiple times before it sinks in. The more you stick to your word and the more value you can provide your audience, the more they’ll look forward to whatever you offer them.

Developing A Loyal Blog Audience [Infographic]

When it comes to blogging there are all sorts of opinions on how to do it. There are all sorts of suggestions on how often to blog, but the one thing everyone can agree on is that blog loyalty is definitely the ultimate goal. Who doesn’t want their prospects and customers regularly coming to their site and reading the posts they have spent such a long time crafting. The problem is, it just doesn’t happen often enough, especially for smaller companies with a very small audience. So how can you maximize your content? This infographic by Quick Sprout explains how you can go about achieving that goal. The 3 main pieces of advice we can glean from this is to: focus on producing quality content, respond to comments and build your personal branding.
Courtesy of: Quick Sprout

Top Tips for Building a Powerful and Profitable SMS Marketing Campaign

SMS marketing can help you increase your marketing reach exponentially if you know what to do. Think about it – the customer has their mobile device with them all the time, and according to many studies the open rate for text messaging is over 97 percent. With results like that, you can’t turn down the opportunity to incorporate SMS marketing into your business practices.

Target the Right Audience

You want only people on your SMS lists who want to be on them. Get permission to market to them via SMS by being direct and upfront about why you want their mobile number. Give them options so that if they want to receive messages in other ways that they can.

Follow the Law

Just like there are anti-spam laws for email messaging, there are laws regarding SMS messages. You must have an easy way for consumers to opt out of receiving messages and the system must work to remove them immediately when they ask.

Use a Service

The easiest way to follow the law and to run a profitable SMS marketing campaign is to use the right services and software which help you automate the system, follow the laws, set up all your marketing messages in advance of the campaign, and send messages on the fly when you feel like it.

Create Thought-Out Messaging

Don’t just throw anything together when it comes to SMS marketing messages. Ensure that your message has a reason for being, and that it leads to some sort of action or conclusion by your recipient.

Host a Competition

People love competition and SMS is a great way to host one using polls, voting, and surveys to complete the competition and allow participants to win something of value.

Announce Last-Minute Sales

SMS messaging is a perfect way to announce last-minute or time-limited sales. Sending out a text message that gives the recipient a code with three hours to respond is going to get a lot more buyers than you can imagine if you’ve done the work to build a responsive, targeted list of customers.

Be Viral

SMS messages need not be boring. They can even become viral if you take the time to think about what message you want to send. You can include links to images, videos, and more right to your customer at any time of the day or night that they can then forward to their friends.

Use for Product Verification

Need a way to get people to join your SMS list? Ask for phone numbers to verify the product and to provide free training for your product or service. Most people who have already bought from you will have no issue entering their number for verification.

Create Awareness

Using SMS campaigns to create awareness of new products and services is a great way to circumvent the unopened emails. For example, if you’ve collected email addresses and SMS information, try sending the information via SMS to the people who did not open the email. You’ll probably get a higher open rate and the awareness will be spread.

Offer Coupons, Deals and Specials

Everyone loves a special deal and your SMS list members are no exception. In fact, if you send out a coupon or deal at the right time, you’ll be surprised at how many people will take advantage. The key is to understand your customer enough that you know which deals to offer at which time.

Engage Customers

Don’t forget that SMS marketing is much like any other social media marketing – it’s social. Therefore it’s important to engage with your members strategically so that they will help spread your message and answer your calls to action.

JV with Others

An SMS marketing campaign isn’t really that different from an email marketing campaign. You must build your list, send focused messages, engage them, and provide value to the people who trust you enough to give their information. If you do that, your SMS marketing campaigns will be successful.

SMS marketing is a powerful marketing method that many small businesses should be involved in. If you’re not using SMS marketing yet, why not?

Why Referral Marketing is Awesome [Infographic]

While content marketing and social media marketing are discussed and debated regularly, referral marketing is often neglected.

This is an infographic referralcandy.com put together to remedy that. Learn about what Referral Marketing is, how it works, why it’s so effective, and why we think you ought to seriously consider incorporating it into your own marketing efforts. Enjoy!

Why Referral Marketing is Awesome - Infographic
ReferralCandy – Refer-a-friend Programs for Ecommerce Stores

Overall Customer Experience Optimization

customer experience optimizationToday, brands have to go a lot further to please their customers than in the past. The experience of each and every customer is important to the point of brands having to consider the experience of one user over the masses. After all, you want each customer to come away with a relevant experience that they want to tell others about.

How a customer experiences your brand has a lot to do with various aspects of your offerings and at what level they entered your product funnel. You want each customer to feel that you thought of them throughout their entire journey regardless of where they entered, in a way that differentiates you from the competition.

How to Improve Your Brand’s Customer Experience

1. Know Your Customer – You hear it all the time, and you’re likely tired of it; but the fact is, if you don’t know who your customer is and what they stand for, you’ll have a hard time creating products, services, information or platforms that resonate with them.

2. Talk Their Language – If you want to be relevant to your customer then you need to speak their language. Spend time in communities with your customer to find out how they speak to each other so that you can comfortably talk to them the way they talk to each other.

3. Be True to Your Brand – Know your voice, and which images evoke the feelings that you want your customer to feel. If you remember to tell your story with the focus on the customer, you can both be true to your brand and your customer.

4. Deliver Enormous Value – In order to truly improve your customers’ experience, deliver the best value you can afford to deliver. Under promise and over deliver for every product or service you create for your audience, every single time. If your sales pages promise the moon, make sure to include the stars too.

5. Make It Timely – You want to be sure to deliver the right product at the right time. This happens with continuous research into what your audience wants, needs, and expects, as well as a good understanding of the technology available to you to make delivery better.

6. Provide Options – Most consumers today like having options. If you can provide your customer with different options including delivery methods, formats, and price points, you’ll have much happier customers.

7. Let Your Customers See You – Let your customers in on who you are, and what your voice is and what you stand for. If they can get to know you and feel as if they know you, you can build an entire community of fans waiting to buy your next product.

8. Ask for Feedback – Don’t skimp on getting feedback from current customers at every stage of the buying process. The more you ask, the more answers you’ll get, and the better your presentation and product can become.

Poor customer experience is a main factor in lack of repeat purchases among previous customers. Even if your product delivered what you said it would, if getting it was difficult, or navigating your website was hard, they’re not likely to want to do it again. It’s up to you to ensure that each customer’s experience is optimized from end to end in order to maximize potential earnings – because getting a new customer costs a lot more than keeping the ones you have.