Over the last few years you have probably heard about, or seen Google+. It was touted as the next big thing and backed by Google’s billions of users, you would think they had a decent chance of success.
They even forced their own users to sign up to Google+ before they could interact with some of Googles other more stable platforms ie it gave access to Gmail, Google Drive, and all of Google’s other apps.
The biggest problem was that although millions of people were logging in everyday, hardly any of them were using it as a social platform to interact on.
This year it has been confirmed time and again that Google has decided to scale back their Google+ operations and have started to remove it from their more successful apps.
This shows that even the largest companies in the world sometimes just get it wrong.
“We want to formally retire the notion that a Google+ membership is required for anything at Google … other than using Google+ itself,” said Google VP Bradley Horowitz on Google+.
Over the last 4 years, Google+ really has struggled. Google+ was Googles’ attempt to knock over the competition (Facebook and Twitter) that have been continually taking over their search market share.
Perhaps Google+ was made more to help themselves rather than to help the users.
The standard call to action has become far too recognizable for the Internet savvy masses who know a hard sell when they see one. They know when they click “Sing Up Here” that they are likely going to receive spam. They know that when they click “Buy Now” they are going to have to spend money. And while these will still work for products and services that customers are actively looking to purchase or sign up for, it becomes a harder sell to pull off when you’re marketing niceties rather than necessities.
Writing a More Actionable Call to Actionable
When you have a product or service that you’re marketing which can best be described as “nice to have but not something I can buy on a budget,” you have to really think smarter about your pitch. This all culminates in the call to action, a place where you should be removing the final friction in the prospect’s mind, getting them to click on that button.
To illustrate the best way to accomplish this, let’s look at three great strategies:
1. Illustrate Product or Service is Risk Free. If you are offering a service or product that is risk-free to try, show this through your call to action. A great example of this is Crazy Egg who uses the very successful CTA, “Show Me My Heatmap.” The prospect knows that they can get a sample of the service at no cost with no pressure to buy unless they like what they see. This works best with products or services that provide an ongoing report. Seeing your heat map for your website is going to help you, yes, that’s the point. But imagine seeing it constantly and with increased tracking statistics and analytics. That’s the selling point after the CTA.
2. Demonstrate Customization. Another way to really capture a lead with your CTA is to let them have some fun within the system before asking for the sale. For example, Manpacks is a website that allows users to bundle up their own “manpacks” consisting of manly things like razors, condoms, shirts, etc. Their CTA is very simple and very effective: Build Your Manpack. It speaks the language of men, mainly to “building” and the idea of customizing your own “manpack” before you have to part with your money at the POS further engages the prospect.
3. Give Actual Action. Finally, a great way to really get your CTAs more clicks is to actually put the action right into the wording. Perhaps the most widely-known use for this is with the eCard industry. Instead of saying, “Sign Up for an Account” or some other common CTA, the biggest eCard suppliers use some variation of “Send an eCard Now.” The CTA doesn’t bring up the costs or any mailing lists, it simply says to send the card now. This works well with any type of service where you can send a gift to someone, but is translatable across the boards. What is the final action that will take place? “Get Your…Now.”
Language and Results
As you can see, the CTA is more about how you word things and less about what the client is actually doing, at least, that’s how the client should perceive things. There should be a tie in with emotions through the language wherever possible. The “Manpacks” CTA does an amazing job with this, build something and feel more manly!
Unfortunately, not enough marketers spend enough time on their CTAs, instead just slapping up the standard “Click Here” bit.
A good marketing campaign is much like a luxury car, it’s going to get you to where you’re going without too many hiccups, but you’re still going to want to have it serviced along the way to make sure it’s in optimal running condition. The smallest problem in a marketing campaign (or car) can snowball into an out of control event that results in a PR nightmare.
Think about how many companies have seen sales plummet or flat out drop off after a social media blunder. In order to prevent things like this from happening, or at least lower your risk to exposure, it’s a good idea to ask yourself a few questions about your marketing efforts each month, just to gauge where you’re at, how it’s going and most of all, if you can tweak some things to affect greater return.
How Consistent are My Results?
An undeniable sign of an excellent marketing strategy is consistency in results. When you post a blog, you can expect that it will go viral. When you run a PPC campaign, you know that it will raise your sales by X amount of dollars. Predictions that are reliable make for a smooth and efficient business model because no matter what bumps come along down the road, you know how to fix them and turn them around in your favor.
Take a look at your results and see if you’re getting the consistency you desire. Are some of your blogs outperforming others in terms of CTRs? Are some emails getting more opens and clicks than others? Are social media platforms outperforming your website?
Look at factors of influence in each case and adjust your marketing strategy going forward. For example, if you blogs that you post in the middle of the week garner more CTA follow-throughs, post more in the middle of the week. Then, see how that affects your consistency. If you are triggering a certain type of emotion or time frame for urgency in your emails that are getting more opens, try to use hone in on that emotion or urgency some more. The point is, find what is consistently good for you and then make that the norm, not the exception.
What is My Competition Doing?
Another great avenue to explore each month is keeping an eye on your competitors. Look at the content they are creating, the channels they are promoting on. Are their efforts paying off? Go so far as to get up to the point of purchase on their site. How does their sales and marketing funnel feel compared to yours? Do they follow up and try to get your sale?
It’s always a good thing to keep feelers out there so you know what you are doing that is the same, and what you are doing that is different. Differentiation is an important part of branding and marketing, but if you aren’t providing the basics that all of your competition is providing, you’re differentiating yourself in a poor manner. You’re showing that you don’t have a solid foundation built.
Never be afraid to copy a technique that is working, as the saying goes, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. The thing to remember is that a great marketer won’t just copy the technique cut and dry, they will tweak it to make it their own. For example, Pepsi Cola realized that it was never going to cut into Coca-Cola’s long-standing trust built over years with the older generation, but they knew that generational marketing was the way to go. Rather than going after the customers that were loyal to Coca-Cola, Pepsi decided to go after the younger generation, the untapped market.
Welcome to part two of this series on reducing churn rate. Let’s jump right into a few methods for keeping customer retention high and making sure no one is jumping ship!
Savvy businessmen and women know that keeping an eye on the competition is key, and nowhere is this more important than in customer acquisition and churn rate assessments. Take time out of every day, week, or month – depending on the cycle time and speed of your market – to research what your competitors have been up to. Are they doing something that you aren’t? If so, is it something that you, as a customer, would want and benefit from? Be honest here. If the answer is “yes,” think about how you could not only implement something similar, but how you could improve on it.
This is simply part of the process of continuously adding value to a business, and keeping an eye on competition helps you to gauge the rate at which you should be doing so. Rather than trying to slowly dole out new goodies to your customers, challenge yourself to give away new value as it comes about in real time. This also means that you won’t be able to rest on your laurels, and will have to constantly innovate in order to have bigger and better offers for your customers. Seem like tough work? It is – and it’s also how industry leaders get to the top.
Get Personal, Don’t Automate
Automation is one of the trickiest things to master when your business begins to grow. You want to be able to manage everything at once, but losing the personal touch you may have begun with can be detrimental to your relationship with leads and customers.
As a rule of thumb, it’s ok to automate, but don’t fake it. This means that things like post-purchase emails, etc. can be automated, and are expected to be. By the same token, don’t fake communications so that they are automated but are actually canned, pre-written, and going out to 5,000 people.
For example, let’s say you write an email for your list to announce a new offer. Don’t use silly name tagging to fake personalization. People see straight through that, and it is (rightfully) perceived as phony. People understand that they are part of a mailing list, so don’t try to convince them otherwise.
If they write to you, however, respond personally. If that becomes logistically impossible, then make it clear that a support team is the one helping to field questions and concerns. Also, keep in mind that “impossible” should mean something different to you as an entrepreneur. You should be a time management ninja, and also realize that your work day might be 10 12, or 16 hours, not eight.
Ride the Wave, Don’t Chase It
Even more important than watching the competition is to keep your finger on the pulse of your industry and the context within which it exists. Recently, Facebook noticed (and has helped champion) the bringing of rudimentary mobile internet to new countries that have never had such services. The company launched a stripped-down, Facebook Lite app to better accommodate these low-bandwidth markets. As soon as new mobile plans hit these countries, Facebook will be one of the first apps available.
Be the Facebook of your industry. Sound like big shoes to fill? They are! But the point is that you should be looking to ride along with new trends as they crest, and leave everyone else to chase after you. That is, of course, the mark of an industry leader after all, isn’t it?
Marketing your business through social media is quickly becoming a necessity rather than an option. If you’d like to see how this can positively affect your business, keep reading for great ideas on how you can utilize these online platforms to market and advertise your company, product or business.
If you are going to create a social media profile, you must be willing to continuously update it. Your customers may expect regular updates. If you don’t provide these, you may find yourself losing customers. Aim for publishing updates more than a couple times a week.
Always answer to the messages and comments you receive on social networks. Be sure to check for comments and questions at least once a day. They’re easy to miss, so you have to be vigilant.
If you are considering social media marketing, the first thing you should do is sign up with as many social media websites as possible with your preferred account names. These account names should include your business names. This is particularly important for websites like Twitter where your account name is your displayed name. As time goes on, it will become more and more difficult for you to get the account name that you want. Reserve those names now.
Employing social media marketing strategies can be a great way to keep in contact with your customer base, and develop relationships. Customers that friend you on Facebook, or follow you on Twitter do so willingly. They want to hear from you. You can therefore notify them of new upcoming products, sales and discounts, or even just information concerning your business and industry without the fear of being too intrusive.
Monitor the work of your competition. Find them on social networks and pay attention to their methods. You could either try using a similar method or think of something they have not yet started.
When you are introducing a new product or looking for feedback, use social media websites for market research. People love to give feedback about products and are eager to chime in. Their feedback will let you look at your business from the outside through their eyes, seeing the things they want and the things they have yet to find. On top of all this, this feedback is of no cost to your business.
To make the most of social media marketing, respond to questions and comments in a very timely manner. You do not want to sit at your desk refreshing your inbox 24/7, but you do want to check in multiple times per day if possible. Anyone asking questions is either a loyal customer you want to retain and get more business from, or an interested prospect who might open their wallet if you give them some personal attention.
Branding is so important within social media. You need to always incorporate your logo into your social media profile. Use the same color palette on every one of your social media accounts. Your followers will associate these colors with your brands and trust you because you are consistent. Consistency means advantageous branding in identifying yourself and letting you stand out from your competition.
Establish your business’s presences by name, on both Twitter and Facebook. Staking a claim to your business’s name on these sites will prevent someone else from posting content that is meaningless or even damaging to you. Even if you are far from actively employing the account, you’ll have staked your claim to your name.
Taking your business to the next level requires a new wave of marketing efforts that you have not previously tried. Social media marketing could very easily be this new wave that you are searching for. If you use the tips and suggestions here, you can find success in your new marketing efforts.
The last thing we want to hear from our leads is one simple word: No. No is the death of a sale, the end of a funnel, the loss of a lead. So while it might seem pretty obvious that you want to give your leads more chances to say yes, some internet marketers don’t follow through with this. For example, think about the classic website that you land on after a Google search. You read through the content and at the bottom, there’s a link that you can click to learn more, or in reality, make a purchase.
But why is the only option to say “yes” all the way at the bottom? What this essentially means is that every other spot on the page is a chance to say “no.” That’s bad marketing. You never want more chances to opt-out than to opt-in. So what’s the solution? Make it harder to say no by giving more chances to say yes!
Increased Calls to Action
First up is the obvious: increase the number of CTAs you have on your site and in your copy. Now, this doesn’t mean simply put links at the top, bottom and middle of your content, get creative with it. Opt-ins and other calls to action can be placed all over your site, in the banner, on the side scroll, in a pop-up. The more chances you give your leads to say yes, the more likely it is that they will. If you make them search for a CTA, chances are you’ve already lost the sale by that point.
Remember, the three tenets of every good website are that the viewer should get there and immediately know:
1. Where they are
2. What they can do there
3. Where and why to do it
The third tenet is the one to be concerned with here, if they don’t know where to click or why, your page has failed. Which brings us directly to our next point, the why.
Back in the simpler days of online marketing, having one reward would be enough. Give me your email and I’ll send you a free eBook. Sign up for this newsletter and you’ll get 15% off your next purchase. But with so many different avenues of traffic, it only makes sense that you should have multiple levels of rewards. Yes, get the free eBook by joining my mailing list but also get 15% off by liking me on Facebook and get a free website health report by entering your website URL here.
The more points of contact you wish to produce and maintain with your leads, the more rewards you should offer to increase the viability of those contacts. Remember, most people are fairly savvy about what happens when they give a like on Facebook or a follow on Twitter, as savvy as they are about the spam that occurs when they give out their email address. Prove to them that there is value attached to each of these channels by giving them actual value for connecting.
Make the Choice Clear
One of the most effective CTAs out there right now include a combination of a pop-up, a reward and making it very difficult to say no. You’ve likely already seen it on QuickSprout or WordStream, when you’re surfing the site, a seemingly random pop-up occurs with a question that has a very pointed answer. You then have the option to say yes or no, with no being a fairly ridiculous choice so that you have to mentally admit that’s your intention.
For instance, a website about money investment might have a pop-up that says, “Do You Want to Learn How to Invest Like a Pro?” The two choices would be:
Yes, I want to retire early
No, I’m fine living paycheck to paycheck
Which would you choose?