Selling Online? Don’t Forget The Power Of Connecting Offline With Inserts

Just yesterday, I received a package from  Country Archer. Right away, I was blown away with the packaging. The box that everything came in was branded with beautiful design, and things only got better when I opened it up. Yes, the variety of jerky was a huge hit in the office, and the bars are proving to be a great snack, but one thing stood out more than that. It was a note. A simple piece of paper with a personalized message and a business card attached. Was it fancy, over the top, or expensive to make? Not at all, but that small gesture is what really sold me. Plus, the jerky is fantastic. So, how did we go from talking about the internet marketing salad to delicious jerky? The entire presentation from Country Archer was impressive, and the insert is a great lesson for ecommerce store owners looking to build customer loyalty and increase profits. Marketing Metrics estimates that businesses have a 60-70% chance of selling to an existing customer compared to a 5-20% chance of acquiring a new customer. The math speaks for itself, so how can you focus on retaining your current clients and turning them into repeat customers with inserts? 1. Educate & Cross-Pollinate Buyers are already sold on your brand and what you offer. Include information about other related products. I recently bought some pants from an online store, but they missed the chance to tell me more about their shirts. Want to take it to the next level? Include samples of other items! 2. Include Discounts Nothing makes a buyer happier than saving money. With a printed coupon code, you’re maintaining high visibility while also creating added value. When I bought a Christmas gift through an Etsy store this last year, the seller included a note with a discount for $20 off my next order. Chances are, you’re already offering savings on shipping or products, so this should be no problem to include. 3. Write A Note Country Archer did this well, and it really made an impression on me. Was it a template with just a simple name change? Yeah, probably, but the rest of the note carried the brand message and felt genuine. This is your chance to build your brand and connect with customers. A company recently sent me a sample, and it included a handwritten note on unbranded card stock? You can bet that it stood out to me! 4. Ask For A Favor It may be the end of a sale, but don’t let this process be the end of your relationship. Ask your customer to leave you a review online (Amazon, your website, etc.) if that’s important to you, or include a call to action to snap a picture of them with the product, upload to social media, and tag you. You’re proud of your product, and your customers should be too. Let them take care of the marketing for you. You’re already shipping product to your client, so the only cost associated with including an insert is creating one. It’s an incredible simple and effective method, but it’s too often overlooked. Use these four strategies to increase revenue and build brand loyalty. It starts with you offering additional value and being authentic. It ends with everyone happier at the end of the day.

Facebook & Social Media in 2013

Many an opinion has been pushed out there over the past month discussing what will be hot, and what will not – for 2013. The common denominator between all conversations – is that social media will be pushed to you in new and exciting ways.  New technologies and algorithms are making it easier for you to connect and find what you need.  Of course, there is a hidden agenda – it’s business and everyone has to make money.  How does this happen?  Integration.  Think of Facebook being the main mother ship of all things social, and look to all other brands as it’s spaceships. A new feature on Facebook allows you to give gifts to friends. Online gift giving is nothing new, amazon offer the ability to purchase online gift cards that can be sent via email to anywhere in the world.  A lot of other retailers do this too.  So why is Facebook different?  Well, most gift giving is to friends, so wouldn’t it make sense to integrate the worlds largest social platform with retailers to offer a one stop solution for purchases?  Of course it would. With the Knowledge Graph, things have taken a different step.  Not only will you be notified of your friends birthday and be able to send them a gift – but you’ll also see what they ‘Like’  Take a look at the snapshot below.  It was my friend Jeremy’s birthday recently.  Of course I would wish him a happy birthday.  I’ve also known for a few weeks that you can send ‘gifts’ through Facebook.  What’s new – is that brands are starting to partner up with Facebook like never before.  I was told that ‘Jeremy likes Starbucks’ – it cut out probably 10-20 minutes of me wondering what I could possibly buy him.  I clicked, I purchased, I sent a gift.  Starbucks had amazingly integrated with Facebook.   It’s completely changed the game and gives us an idea on what the future will bring.  Facebook’s philosophy is to keep you connected to friends and find what you’re looking for.  We are fast moving to a society where your life is going to be streamlined.  2011/12 saw a ton of partnerships, i.e. the popular music platform Spotify partnered with Facebook at the end of 2011 and saw their user base grow near 30% in no time!!  Yahoo also partnered with them and their news sources are spread far and wide throughout ‘see what your friends are reading’  So if 2011/12 saw the foundation of such bonding – 2013 is going to be the year that technology takes on new forms, by way of smarter integrations. The crux of all this – is simplicity.  We live in an ADD world now.  How often have you sat at home in the evening without touching your smartphone – be honest!  And how many of you keep your smartphone within 5 feet of your pillow!?  What comes with ADD is impatience and as a society who has a wealth of data and convenience at their fingertips – everything else has to keep up.  We all want things now now now, and that attitude isn’t going to stop – so brands might as well cash in – and that’s exactly that Facebook is doing.  You think they don’t make a percentage every time you buy someone a Starbucks gift card through their platform?   Think again!  If you’re also thinking it will never catch on – think again….Word of mouth is the fastest form of trust, and who better to trust than your friends. As I said – it’s business.

Become a Google Trusted Store for More Conversions!

Hey store owners, are you looking for another way to increase conversions? Statistically speaking, having trust badges on your website has always improved credit card entries and conversion rates for sales. Many shoppers base all of their shopping around how secure and reputable a site is. And now, Google is offering a trusted store service, which if your website passes, will put you on Google’s list of recommended sites to shop from. Continue reading “Become a Google Trusted Store for More Conversions!”