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Remote Work All

7 Steps to Shift Towards A Growth-Oriented Culture

Having a corporate culture that focuses on how your employees perform is no longer healthy for your employees or your business. In fact, 60% of employee absences are due to the overwhelming stress brought about by the understanding that their job security is dependent on their ability to deliver results. This can also cause employees to become less productive, dissatisfied with their work, and quit their job.

One study published in the Harvard Business Review recommends the best way to address this by shifting from a performance-based culture to a growth-oriented culture. 

The rise of growth-oriented culture

In recent years, startups have become obsessed with growth hacking. That’s because even though it’s a relatively new strategy, growth hacking is effective in getting customers and generating revenue in a short span of time.

Naturally, startups need to have a culture that encourages growth. And more established companies are beginning to follow suit.

What makes a growth-oriented culture unique?

Growth-oriented culture puts a premium on getting results. At the same time, it focuses on providing the employees a safe working environment where mistakes and shortcomings are valued as part of the growth process. As a result, it encourages everyone to become curious and creative without the fear of being judged.

How to transition to a growth-oriented culture

Communicate your values

In the words of Simon Sinek: “People don’t buy what you do. People buy why you do it.”

The only way you can successfully shift to a growth-oriented culture is when everyone in your business is on board 100%.

For that to happen, it’s not enough that you familiarize your employees with your core values. You need to explain to them why these are the core values of your business. That way, they will get a clearer understanding of what your company stands for and the reason behind this.

Having a meeting where you share these with your employees is one effective way to communicate your core values. Not only will they hear your words, but they will also sense the passion in your voice and see your enthusiasm in your actions.

Follow this up by giving each of your employees a manifesto documenting your business’ core values. That way, they’ll have something to refer back to weeks and months after the initial meeting.

Increase transparency

Transparency is a crucial element in a growth-oriented culture for three reasons.

First, it helps build a level of trust between you and your employees. When it’s clear to them that you sincerely have their best interest at heart, they will be more encouraged to get things done. 

Transparency also helps minimize—if not eliminate—negative gossip and office politics from your organization. That way, you avoid possible tension and friction to arise and affect your employees’ ability to work harmoniously with each other.

More importantly, encouraging transparency within your organization makes your employees feel a part of your business genuinely. When this happens, they become more accountable and more willing to take ownership of their actions.

One way to promote transparency within your business is by making information directly affecting your employees readily available. 

Such was the case with Buffer. Not only did they divulge the salaries paid to their employees, but they also shared the formula used to compute through the salary calculator they have posted on their website.

Source: Buffer

Embrace change

Growth involves some level of change to occur within your business. So if you want to adopt a growth-oriented culture, you must be willing not only to accept change but embrace it.

For this to happen, you must effectively communicate the need for the change and the change it will bring. 

More importantly, you must set an example for your employees. Only then can this become integrated into your corporate culture. 

Adopt the right communication tools

Employees working in a growth-oriented culture need to be efficient in their work process to produce results quickly. That would mean investing in a communication platform to address critical communication pain points, encourage flexibility, and increase productivity. All this was done with just the help of their mobile phone.

Find the right people.

When hiring people to come on board your business, it’s not enough that you evaluate their intellectual knowledge, skills, and expertise. You need to also carefully consider whether they possess the personality and traits that fit your corporate culture. 

This is crucial for startups. That’s because, according to Jim Tolbert, Founder of Vista College, entrepreneurial companies like startups are fast-moving. They want to grow and scale as quickly as possible. As such, they need employees that not only have the skills but the capability to keep pace.

Growth hackers meet these criteria. Aside from being highly-skilled, growth hackers thrive in growth-oriented cultures because, as Sean Ellis puts it, growth is their “true north.”

Make your employees feel valued.

Your employees are your greatest asset. That’s why it’s essential to make an effort to let them know and feel that they are valued and appreciated.

An effective way to do this is by allowing them to take on more responsibilities. This allows your employees to challenge themselves and grow. At the same time, you send them a positive signal that you recognize their skills and potentials.

Other ways to make your employees feel valued and appreciated are:

  • Celebrating their birthdays and other occasions that are special to them,
  • Encouraging them to give suggestions and considering these,
  • Providing mentorship opportunities, and
  • Hosting employee appreciation gatherings.

Welcome feedback

This is perhaps the most challenging of the different steps to take to shift from a performance-based culture to a growth-oriented culture.

Employees working in a performance-based culture have learned to associate their worth and value with their skills and abilities. So, when they receive feedback, they don’t see it as something that could improve them. Instead, they perceive it as a personal attack, making them emotional and defensive.

That said, it’s important to make sure that you carefully ease this into your organization’s culture. And it starts with you.

Ask their honest feedback about your company and leadership style. Mind you, this part is going to be very uncomfortable because you’ll be making yourself vulnerable to whatever your employees will say. However, by setting the example, your employees will become more open to receiving constructive feedback from you.

When giving your constructive feedback, it would be a good idea to follow the sandwich method using the following steps:

  1.   Start by giving your employee some positive comments about the situation that you want to discuss.
  2.   Compliment your employee’s strong points.
  3.   Share your feedback on what can be improved.
  4.   Remind your employee of their strong points.
  5.   Offer your support and help.
  6.   End on a positive note.

Your corporate culture serves as the foundation of your business. Changing this demands a great deal of time, care, and patience. When it is forced onto them, it can cause your employees to exhibit emotional responses to change.

Conclusion

Take these steps and implement them one by one. This allows your employees and leaders to develop the right mindset and slowly adopt the organization’s growth-oriented culture.

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Email Marketing All

10 Email Copywriting Examples to Inspire Your Marketing Efforts

Email marketing isn’t dead!

In fact, email copywriting remains one of the fundamental skills every business owner and marketer should master. That’s because email marketing is the one strategy that allows you to provide highly targeted content to your leads, engage with them on a personal level, and convert them to customers.

But with the average person receiving approximately 121 emails every day, the challenge is getting your subscribers’ attention, so they open your email, engage with the content, and perhaps share the email with others.

The secret lies in how well you write your email copy. And the best way to learn what works and what doesn’t is by studying email copywriting examples that delivered results. Only then can you apply these to your own email marketing campaigns.

Table of Contents

1. BuzzFeed

What you write on your email’s subject line can mean the difference between your email subscribers opening your email, trashing it, or even flagging it as spam.

The same thing goes for your email’s preview text. That’s the snippet of text you find right after your subject line.

So, it’s only right that we look at this part first.

BuzzFeed’s subject lines and preview text are a great email copywriting example to emulate. 

Image Source

As you can see here, BuzzFeed keeps their subject line short and uses words that will capture your attention.

Also, BuzzFeed ensures that the preview text complements its subject line. In the example above, for instance, the preview text tells you the next logical step.  

How to apply this to your email copywriting:

  • Keep your subject line and preview text short. Making your subject line and preview text concise makes sure these don’t get truncated when your subscribers view them in their inbox. 
  • Treat them like a summary. Giving your subscribers a clear insight into what your email is about will pique their interest and increase the likelihood of them opening your emails.
  • Make it personal. Your customers still prefer receiving emails over other communication channels. But your subscribers are more likely to open an email coming from someone they know than from a faceless company.

2. UncommonGoods

If there’s one thing that every person on your email list craves, it’s the need to belong. They don’t want to miss out on anything, especially not something that is trending.

It’s this Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) that UncommonGoods uses to their advantage in the copy of the emails they send out just like this one:

Image Source

How to apply this to your email copywriting:

  • Use action words. Adding action words in your subject line, preview text, and your call-to-action (CTA) subconsciously evokes a sense of urgency among your readers like “Buy Now” and “Don’t Miss Out.” At the same time, it instructs your subscribers what’s the next action they should take.
  • Include a CTA button. This is more eye-catching and more able to capture the attention of those reading your email copy than a text link.
  • Nudge, don’t push. This is a typical email copywriting mistake startups commit. Ironically, your email subscribers don’t want to receive an email that sounds too desperate, pushy, or salesy. So choose your words wisely. 

3. Postmates

Adding GIFs in your email copy is tricky and can increase conversion rates, provided that it’s strategically done. 

Take this email sent out by Postmates to their email subscribers:

Image Source

Not only does the GIF used in this email copy very entertaining and amusing, but it also will make you start craving for some nachos. And since the email copy encourages you to have some Mexican food delivered, you can say the animated GIF contributed to its conversion rates.

How to apply this to your email copywriting:

  • Use customized GIFs. Using an animated GIF that you’ve created allows you to inject your brand and personality. This contributes to making your brand memorable to your subscribers. You can create this using Photoshop or an online tool like GIFMaker.
  • Don’t go overboard. Having too many animated GIFs in your email will dilute its effectiveness in converting your leads into customers.
  • Add the proper alt description. Alt text can be significant if subscribers can’t see your images, so include it for every image in your campaign. Alt text should be easy to read and digest, so your subscribers can move on to the rest of your message.

4. HireVue

HireVue’s farewell email to those that choose to unsubscribe to their email list is an excellent example of writing your email copy like a human being.

Image source

Rather than appearing like another “cookie-cutter” email from a faceless startup, HireVue’s email copy sounds like they are conversing with those in their email list on a personal level. Not only does this help them build a trusting relationship with their leads, but also useful in retargeting and winning back customers.

How to apply this to your email copywriting:

  • Understand your buyer persona. By going into your target audience’s mind, you can write your email copy in a way that mirrors the way they speak. This helps your emails be more relatable and get your message across.
  • Avoid industry jargon. Use simple everyday words in your email copy. That way, all of your subscribers will understand your content.
  • Loosen up. Write the way you’d usually talk to a close friend, sans the swear words. Not only does it make you more human, but it also lets you inject a bit of your personality into your email copywriting.

5. Hotjar

I like the emails Hotjar sends in their email marketing campaigns because it doesn’t have any frills or fancy stuff to get subscribers to take action. 

Source: CoSchedule

How to apply this to your email copywriting:

  • Brush up on your copywriting skills. Invest some time to read some great copywriting books. You’ll learn lots of great techniques and strategies here that you can apply to your email copy.
  • Use white space. Breaking up your copy into short sentences and paragraphs adds white space to it. This makes your emails easier to read, especially on a mobile device.
  • Use different fonts and colors. Using 2 different kinds of fonts and colors can help make your email copy less boring. These can also help you highlight important parts of your text, like your CTA.  

6. Duffy’s Sports Grill 

Before you send out an email, ask yourself this one crucial question: “what goal do you want to achieve with this email?”

Your answer here will guide you on what to include in your email copy. More important, it will also tell you how to properly structure it so that everything’s cohesive and easy to understand.

Take a look at this newsletter Duffy’s Sports Grill sends out to their subscribers:

Source: Sumo

Since they placed their call-to-action right underneath their banner image, you know right off the bat the email’s goal. That is, to get their subscribers to come and dine at their restaurant.  

Because of this, they laid out the contents of their newsletter following the way how you’d eat a meal in a restaurant. You start with an appetizer. Then you go to the main dish. Finally, either have a dessert or a nightcap.

How to apply this in your email copywriting:

  • Understand your buyer’s journey. “Think of each email you send as a mini-marketing funnel,” Grant Deken of Spark suggests. “Your introduction serves as your awareness stage. The body of your email copy is the consideration stage, while your call-to-action is the decision stage. This allows you to give them the information they need, address possible objections, and convert them more quickly.”
  • Incorporate high-quality images within the text. Images serve two purposes in an email. First, they entice your subscribers to purchase your product or service. Second, it’s more eye-catching than text, so they help guide the eyes of your readers down to the end of your email copy.
  • Split test your email. Part of your email’s ability to convert leads to customers depends on how the different elements are placed in your email’s body. Split testing different versions of your emails will help you get the highest possible conversion rates. 

7. Autopilot

Most people tend to check their emails during their break time. And with so little time to go through hundreds of emails in their inbox, you stand a better chance of getting them to take action when you keep things short and simple.

This welcome email from Autopilot is an excellent CMS example.

Source: Sumo

How to apply this to your email copywriting:

  • Get straight to the point. If you don’t get your message across within the first couple of sentences on your email copy, there’s an excellent chance that your readers will click on the Trash button.
  • Write in the active voice instead of the passive voice. Sentences in the active voice are shorter because you use fewer words. That leads to shorter paragraphs and a more concise email copy.

8. Bonobos 

Still in line with keeping your email simple is this one from Bonobos:

Source: HubSpot

Although there’s very little copy written in this email, it does a remarkable job getting their subscribers to interact and engage with their content.

How to apply this in your email copywriting:

  • Make your message clear. Don’t assume that your readers will know what to do. Give them clear instructions in your email what the next step they should take.
  • Make your images clickable. This will help pique your readers’ curiosity and get them to engage and click on your content links.
  • Test your links. The last you want you to get is messages from your subscribers that your links aren’t working. Send a test email to your inbox and test these out yourself.

9. Bit.ly

Next to your subject line and preview text, your call-to-action is the single most critical part of your email copy. This will make or break your chances of reaching your set goals.

Startups like Bit.ly understand this, which is why they make sure that their call-to-action button in this email is so apparent.

Source: CampaignMonitor

How to apply this to your email copywriting:

  • Use only one CTA in your email. Emails are one of those places where the term “less is more” is a necessity. Having too many CTAs in your email copy makes it look cluttered and sound too pushy.
  • Opt for buttons instead of text. Like I mentioned earlier, images are more eye-catching than text. Adding a call-to-action button will capture your readers’ attention more quickly than a text link.
  • Tell them what they’re getting. If you’re offering a free resource on your email, then make sure to mention this on the call-to-action button. This helps highlight your offer within your email, increasing the chances of your readers to click.

10. Backlinko

People love getting freebies and discounts. Giving them something valuable for free will get them through the door.

However, if you want to get them to keep on opening your emails, you need to convince your new subscribers that they made the right decision to join your list. 

Backlinko’s Brian Dean does an excellent job at this in the email below:

How to apply this to your email copywriting:

  • Introduce yourself. The interest level of your new subscribers is very high at this point. Grab this opportunity to tell them who you are, what you do, and how you can help them. 
  • Explain the benefits of your content offer. Your new subscribers are looking for quick, actionable steps they can apply in their businesses. So make sure that you highlight these in your email copy.
  • Give an additional incentive. Including a content upgrade or other resources will keep their interest level on a high. You’ll drive them further down your marketing funnel more quickly.

Which of these email copywriting examples are you going to use today?

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Remote Work All Marketing Strategies

How to Develop a Sales Training Program that Works

It’s the start of 2021, which means it’s the perfect time to implement changes in your company!  If you’re looking to ramp up your profits this year, now is your chance to start investing in your sales team.

How, exactly?

By developing a sales training program that will help drive new customers to your business, that’s how!

An effective sales training program improves your company’s sales performance in the long run. From lead generation to sales management, the program helps your SDR’s develop the skills they need to cover every step of the sales process.

Sure, you can give a few inspirational speeches here and there. However, motivational talks can only go so far when empowering your sales team. You must help improve your team’s skill set, which is what the program is for.

However, here lies the problem:

Even though businesses are spending more on training, most of them are not getting their money’s worth. Why? Because the training delivered wasn’t right for the team

You want to make the most of your sales training program. In this post, you will learn how to design and execute one that will help your team generate sales effectively for years to come.

Table of Contents

Align your sales training program with your business goals 

For any training program to be effective, it should support your company’s strategic objectives. After all, you’re not just in the business of developing people. You’re running a company with its own needs and priorities. 

One of the most important questions that you need to ask is this:

What should your sales team do in order to achieve your business goal?

Once you answer this question, it will be a lot easier for you to design a program focused on increasing revenue. 

Also, you need to have the right mindset to plan and execute a sales training program. If you want your sales team to improve, your program should be designed in anticipation of changes. It should not be viewed as a one-off event.

 Develop great instructional design

You need to make sure that your training program is relevant and practical for your sales team. Since sales reps are very busy people, you must make the learning experience simple enough for the information to stick. If your sales team can’t see the point of your training, they will only resort back to their old ways. 

One way you can ensure that your sales team takes full advantage of their sales training is by creating compelling content.

Feel free to get creative and use different formats and layouts to bring your content to life. Some people absorb information more effectively when listening to the material. Others prefer visual content, which is why infographics and presentations are much better for them.

Therefore, adapt your training materials based on their preferred content format to catch their attention.

Looking for sales training videos on YouTube that you can incorporate in your next program? Check out this playbook from Nutshell CRM.

Build your program on your industry’s best practices

You can’t build an effective training program without first understanding your industry’s best practices. So, find out what works and replicate that in your sales training program.  

Don’t just rely on your own knowledge but invite subject matter experts who have extensive experience in sales. Ask them to discuss important information that you think your sales team should know.

SMEs can also work with your content team to create content assets that would benefit your sales team. 

Focus on account-based marketing

If you’re a B2B company, make sure to include account-based marketing in this year’s sales training program. This strategic method shifts the focus away from a “one-size-fits-all” marketing approach to highly targeted leads.

By targeting relevant organizations and companies, your team will be able to close a deal faster! 

If you want your sales team to learn how to engage their prospects with a sales pitch, account-based marketing is definitely the way to go.

Reinforce your program

The training process doesn’t end when the last spokesperson has delivered his or her talk. You want your sales team to remember what they learned, so make sure to reinforce your sales training program. 

One way that you can help your sales team retain the information is by letting your in-house communication specialists create campaigns. Use different channels like social networking groups, posters, email drip campaigns, webinars to impart nuggets of wisdom from your training. The more the information is out there, the more likely it is that your sales team will apply what they learned. 

Conclusion

There’s no denying that a sales training program is key to the success of your team. It serves as the foundation to help you generate income for your business.

Therefore, how you communicate your training to your sales trainees is vital in achieving this goal. Hopefully, the tips above should help you get started with building a great training program for your team.

Categories
Ecommerce All

7 Strategies to Lower Your Ecommerce Store Cart Abandonment Rates

With the rise of digital technology, industries like ecommerce have become more profitable. Now more than ever is it easier, more convenient, and faster to purchase products from even a smartphone and receive the goods as early as the next day.

We’re already in 2020, and trends are suggesting that in just 20 short years, 95% of all purchases will be made via an e-commerce store. Up to 80% of internet users around the United States have purchased a product online. 

And with millennials, Generation Z, and future generations growing up with technology, it won’t be long until almost everyone with access to the internet becomes an online shopper.

That only goes to show: e-commerce is a lucrative industry to be in – and that’s without mentioning the spikes in sales and profit during holidays like Black Friday. 

Getting into e-commerce isn’t a guarantee to turn a profit, however. There’s still an obstacle most e-commerce sites have to deal with: high cart abandonment rates. Interestingly, the average cart abandonment rate is at about 69%.

So if you want to increase your sales, the answer is to lower your cart abandonment rates and get customers to complete checkout.

Table of Contents

Strategies to lower your cart abandonment rates

Here, we take a look at some actionable tips you can start doing to lower your cart abandonment rates, especially this holiday season.

Improve your website speed

The first thing you ought to optimize is your website’s speed. According to Google, 53% of mobile users are more likely to abandon a website if a page takes more than 3 seconds to load.

The same is especially true for your e-commerce site. If a visitor is browsing and has to wait even a full minute every time for a page to load – be it a product page or, worse, leading to checkout – you can bet they won’t be completing checkout.

Make sure you keep your website blazing fast to provide the best customer experience for visitors. This way, you won’t be losing the sale before you even stand the chance of making it.

Practice omnichannel marketing

One way to really get customers’ attention is using omnichannel marketing. Treat every touchpoint your customers have with your brand as a potential way to convert them and make sales.

Omnichannel marketing (Image source: Smart Insights)

One of the first things you can do is create an effective lead generation strategy to get customers on your email list. From there, it becomes easier to get in contact with them, send them promotions, and even be able to track their purchase behavior.

Consider doing strategic pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns or work with reputable PPC agencies to help you create and manage a campaign. This is something you can integrate a retargeting ad campaign on social media as well, so visitors can get reminder ads of items they were checking out on your e-commerce website. 

Even if a user didn’t add anything to their cart on their first visit, being able to meet them at different touchpoints, not just online, can be a great way to get them to remember your brand. 

This is why omnichannel marketing works great to lower cart abandonment rates: by having each channel supporting each other, you strengthen your brand image, improve customer experience, and meet customers where they are.

Use exit-intent popups

Exit-intent popups are a powerful way to lower cart abandonment rates.

They work by detecting if a user is about to exit your site, either to close or move to a new tab, then entice visitors to stay on board.

For an e-commerce business, one good way to use exit-intent popups to lower your own cart abandonment is by offering an exclusive promo, such as a discount or free shipping.

Example of exit-intent popups in action (Image source: Medium)

Include a guest checkout option

Have you ever tried to check out items on a website but are suddenly prompted to sign up for an account?

While this tactic seems harmless, this can increase your cart abandonment rate because it lengthens the process or people are really not interested to create an account. 

Someone might be in a hurry to check out an item and won’t want to go through the process of verifying their account before they’re able to confirm that their order is successful. Or you could have a guest shopping for gifts and aren’t really likely to repurchase often.

Because of this, be sure to enable guest checkout options to increase a user’s chances of completing the entire checkout process. Most leading e-commerce platforms like WooCommerce allow for guest checkout options as a default feature.

If you really want to encourage sign-ups, focus on providing great customer experiences first – such as allowing users to input their shipping and billing information until they checkout. And then you can offer the option to create an account on your site.

Launch a retargeting email campaign

Creating a retargeting email campaign is a great way to win back cold shoppers.

Sometimes people abandon their carts because of added fees like shipping or handling. Sometimes they change their minds. Or other times, they simply had other things suddenly come up before they could complete checkout.

To win back these shoppers regardless of their reasons, send them some emails to entice them to finish what they started.

There are a number of email ideas you can send to users who abandoned their carts, but one of the most common ones is sending a special, usually time-sensitive, discount code if they complete purchase in, say, 1-3 days.

Example of email retargeting with a discount offer. (Image source: Salecycle)

Tap into the power of FOMO

The urgency has always been a great way to encourage people to take quick action and make a purchase. For your ecommerce business, this principle is no different.

Because people are wired to be afraid of missed opportunities or have a “fear of missing out” (FOMO), this can play a big role in making sure you aren’t full of users who abandon their carts.

Some urgency tactics are tied in with a special sales promotion, such as getting free shipping only until a certain date. Others go the extra mile and tell you how many people are eyeing the same product or service, giving a heightened sense of urgency to buy before the item runs out.

Other scarcity tactics combine urgency with social proof, such as signaling when someone else made a recent purchase of the same product. 

Example of combined scarcity tactics (Image source: Oberlo)

Offer multiple payment options

Last but not least, make the shopping experience as seamless as possible by offering multiple payment options.

This does a great job of lowering cart abandonment rates because many shoppers may abandon their carts because they don’t see a payment option they like. In fact, ComScore has a study that says 56% of online shoppers prefer when an e-commerce site has multiple payment options.

If doable for your business, consider adding Cash on Delivery or supporting payments, which are offered by PayPal and the most popular alternatives.

Key Takeaways

The holidays are always the best time to start reeling in shoppers and ending the year profitably. If you want to lower your cart abandonment rates for your e-commerce business, be sure to implement these strategies above. Review the performance of each, keep tweaking, and soon you can expect fewer cart abandonments over time – even when it’s not the holiday season.

Categories
Marketing Strategies All

How to Build Trust and Get More Revenue Using Referral Marketing

Until recently, most people turn to social media platforms like Facebook to learn about the latest news and updates about brands and current affairs. One study shows that 85% of Americans point to Facebook as their leading source for news and information.

Then came the rise of “fake news and the recent Facebook – Cambridge Analytica scandal. In the weeks following the scandal’s outbreak, people’s trust level towards Facebook plunged by 66%.

As a result, people have become increasingly skeptical about online content published by brands, news agencies, and other institutions. 

Table of Contents

Referrals: Word-of-mouth marketing has gone digital

While trust towards branded content may be declining, the 2018 Edelman Global Trust Barometer report shows that the level of trust given to content shared by individuals is rising.

This supports earlier studies showing that 90% of Americans trust product and service recommendations from friends and family, with 29% deciding to purchase within the day.

It’s for this very reason why brands are now tapping into the convincing power of their current customers to get new ones at the door through a strategy called referral marketing.

Referral marketing is a type of word-of-mouth marketing where customers are encouraged to share a link to people they know in exchange for some form of incentive. 

Why should your company use referral marketing?

High level of trust

Instead of merely publishing the information on a website or social media news feed, your customers now become the medium that delivers your message to people who know and trust them. That personal connection will make them more willing to listen to what your customers have today.

Increase sales conversions

Referral marketing involves giving your customers an incentive for every referral that takes the right action. 

“Since they will already do the heavy lifting for you by choosing which of their friends and family will most likely purchase your products or services,” he explains. “And because people are four times more likely to buy a product or service, you can significantly increase your sales conversion and ROI.”

Quick and easy implementation

Referral marketing software programs like Viral Loop guide you by creating your referral marketing campaigns, making the whole process more straightforward.

At the same time, these software programs provide you with analytic reports so you can track your campaigns and see how it’s helping you and your team reach your set business goals.

Why use emails for your referral marketing campaigns?

Larger user base

According to Radicati, they’re three times more email accounts than Facebook and Twitter users combined! Of these, 76% are email accounts belonging to consumers.

Higher click-through rates

One reason why visitors give you their email addresses is that they want to stay updated on the latest deals and discounts you may offer. In fact, 70% of email subscribers open their emails if they know if a deal or discount waiting for them.

That is why click-through rates from emails are significant compared to click-through rates generated by social media posts. It’s also the reason why email marketing delivers the highest return of investment (ROI)

A huge time-saver

Email marketing campaigns are automated. Once these are set up, it will mostly run on its own. That way, you can devote more time to nurturing and delighting your new customers that come on board as a result.

How to set up a referral program?

Set your goals

Before you launch your referral program, you must first be clear about what goal you would like to achieve. This is crucial as your goal will serve as your guide in creating your referral program mechanics and your terms and conditions.

When crafting your goal, make sure that it’s measurable by setting the proper metrics and benchmarks to monitor. These will help you determine whether the program is a success or a failure.

Segment your email list

Not all of those that sign up to your email list will be a good fit for your referral program. For your referral program to be a success, you’ll need to find those on your list who would be willing to refer their friends and family.

The quickest—and most effective way—to find out is by conducting what is called a Net Promoter Score survey or NPS, which looks something like this:

As you can see, this survey asks only one question: On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you going to recommend us to a friend or colleague?

Those that answer a 9 or a 10 are the ones that will be the best fit to invite to your referral program.

Choose an incentive relevant to your product  

Sites like Slickdeals help consumers receive discounts at their favorite stores to provide a great experience. All businesses should offer an incentive that will heighten your customer’s experience based on your product or service.

Perhaps the most famous example of this is Dropbox’s referral program.

Free users that sign up for Dropbox get limited cloud storage space. Dropbox understood that the one thing that would entice them to refer their service to others was more free storage space. So that’s what they did.

First, they got their free users hooked, getting more free space by connecting their social media accounts to Dropbox. They then offered even more storage space to them by sharing a unique referral link to others however they wanted: embedding it in their blog post, sending it to their email contacts, or sharing the link on their social media account.

Not long after launching this referral program, Dropbox’s user base grew by 3900%, with many of these eventually upgrading to their paid packages.

Use the double-incentive method 

A double-incentive referral program means that you don’t only reward your customer when they successfully refer someone to your business. The ones receiving the referral link will also receive an incentive for taking the prescribed action.

Doing this increases the virality of your referral program without risking it becoming too spammy. At the same time, you can be sure that the incentives you offer won’t cut too deeply to your profit margins since they need to do something that will generate revenue for you.

When using the double-incentive method, make sure that you match the incentive you offer with what you’re asking your customers to do for you. The more you ask, the more valuable your incentive you have to offer.

Take GetResponse’s referral program, for example.

Each time one of their existing customers successfully gets someone to buy one of their packages, both the current customer and the one they referred automatically get $30 off on their next payment.

But wait! There’s more!

 

If their existing customer manages to get three people to sign up for one of the packages, they get a $30 discount for each of them and enroll in one of their premium certification courses for free.

Be clear on the mechanics and conditions

This is the most crucial part of creating a referral marketing program.

You need to be crystal clear about these details to ensure that your customers don’t feel cheated or misled. Otherwise, they could turn your referral program against you. Instead of bringing in more customers, they could use it as proof that you can’t be trusted and scare potential customers away.

Some of the things to include in your referral program mechanics and conditions are:

Who can sign up for your referral bonus?

  • Are there specific products or services that need to be purchased to get a reward?
  • Is there a limit on the bonus a customer can earn as part of the referral program?
  • How will their earnings be affected if someone they referred cancels or asks for a refund?

Personalize your emails

The importance of ensuring that you personalize the emails you send for your referral program can’t be stressed enough.

Personalizing your email from the subject line to the words you use in the content can affect its open and click-through rate. If you need to develop your brand identity, I recommend checking out Designhill.

Besides adding the person’s name in the subject line and greeting, including a picture of the person who referred them can increase conversion rates. 

In the case of Airbnb, this helped increase the number of new signups and bookings by over 300% per day!

Track and monitor your results

The last step you’ll need to do before launching your referral program is set up a way of tracking it to see if it’s actually helping you reach your set goals.

On top of the analytics provided by your chosen referral marketing software program, you also need to have Google Analytics or a similar program in place that will help you see where people visiting your site are coming from.

Ensure that you also have metrics in place that will help you get a clearer picture of your referral marketing program’s performance. Some of the performance metrics to watch for include:

  • Conversion rates
  • Email click-through rates
  • Lead generation rates

Summary

Referral marketing programs are an effective way to gain your target market’s trust and confidence by tapping into the power of word-of-mouth advertising. Only when you’re able to get this would you get them to do business with you.

Categories
Remote Work All

Remote Employees or Freelancers: Which One Is Right for Your Company?

Improvements in both internet and tech have now made it possible for companies to hire freelancers and remote employees. Until recently, many assume that they are one and the same. But with the passing of AB5 in California, it’s clear that they’re not.

In case you haven’t heard, the new California law AB5 is taking effect on January 1st, 2020. It has several implications for California-based businesses and workers, but we can only assume that other big cities like New York and Washington could soon follow.

For those who need a quick summary of the new law, it’s been nothing short of divisive. 

Opposing opinions have mentioned the AB5 could either be the gateway for independent contractors to enjoy more benefits that were only awarded to full-time employees in the past – or it may only be an added burden to the businesses who rely on these independent workers, and a loss of said contractors’ sought-after freedom and flexibility.

Regardless, as a business owner, you may be affected by this law one way or another – and if not now, then possibly in the future.

In this post, we’ll walk you through the fine line that separates remote workers and freelancers, and then help you determine which might be the better option for your company.

Table of Contents

Distinguishing remote employees and freelancers

With a law like the California AB5 hovering over us, the distinction between remote employees and freelancers must be made clear.

Remote employees are considered employees of the company – the only thing that sets them apart is their location. Your company might be based in New York but have full-time remote staff in Los Angeles, Canada, or even as far as China. They enjoy all the benefits your company already has, including insurance perks, vacation leaves, and the like.

On the other hand, freelancers are completely independent of your company and instead render services in exchange for an agreed-upon rate. Freelancers typically work per project or by the hour. 

Usually, you and the freelancer agree upon project deliverables and timelines, and your working relationship with the freelancer ends if deliverables have been rendered in full and no upcoming work is expected.

Key factors to consider when deciding on either remote employees or freelancers

As you can see, there’s an apparent difference between remote workers and freelancers. And while you’re deciding which ones may work best to exponentially grow your company, we’ve outlined a few key factors you may want to consider when you’re weighing each option.

The location of your business

The location of your business might tell you if freelancers or remote workers work better for you.

For businesses based in cities with the highest job growth, you might be fine with hiring freelancers for projects. On the other hand, if the specific talent is a little hard to come by, you can consider taking on full-time remote workers with the specific skill set you’re looking for.

Where your virtual staff is based

Whether or not you want to work with remote workers or freelancers, you’ll need to know where they’re based and what that might mean for your business.

For example, hiring a remote worker in other parts of the world may mean being more sensitive to time zone differences. So you can’t expect instant replies about project updates if it were, say, midnight in your virtual employee’s time zone. 

Scope of work you’ll be assigned

Because you won’t be meeting your workers on the regular in an office, assigning different tasks and projects needs some advanced planning. First, evaluate the kind of work you want each member to be responsible for, determine how much work and effort the role requires, and then you can determine whether or not you ought to hire full-time remote employees or part-time freelancers.

Rulings and regulations

As mentioned before, the California AB5 is one of the laws that might affect your decision to either go with freelancers or remote workers.

Assuming you are affected by the AB5, because the law has stipulations that reclassify independent workers as employees assuming they meet certain criteria, you may be better off hiring a remote team instead of a team of freelancers.

How to build a virtual team

One thing in common if you’d work with remote employees and freelancers, however, is the fact that you’d be managing a virtual team. And handling a completely remote team means having some essential benchmarks, metrics, and steps for success. Here are 6 of our top tips.

Establish the right foundation

When you decide to implement a remote team model, your entire company has to revolve around it. This means everything from top to bottom in your plans must reflect this mode of working and is not just some way to entice talent to come work with you.

Determine your remote team model

Part of building a remote team geared towards the growth of your company means knowing the kinds of team models available to you.

(Image source)

In this first example, the independent model organized by flows and features has each person assigned to handle tasks in that workflow.

(Image source)

In this second example, the functional model organizes people in a more structured way, where one person reports directly to somebody else.

You can read more about growth team models and see which you’d like to implement in your own company here.

Create the description for each remote team member

It’s crucial to be very clear about the roles and responsibilities each member has in their team. When you’re planning out your company structure, outline the kinds of responsibilities you believe each person should have, so you know how to attract and then onboard the right candidate.

Conduct a video interview

Aside from their convenience and necessity when working with remote workers, video interviews have more benefits than you might first think. For one thing, they’re more cost-efficient – both with time and resources. And another, it’s a way to get to know somebody behind a portfolio or resumé.

And according to the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants (AIGAC) in a 2014 edition of its MBA applicant survey, many applicants feel that their skills and capabilities are better represented if they’d been interviewed via video. 

This is a good thing for companies looking to use more video calls in their hiring process – a candidate’s confidence in their interview can mean getting to know their qualities and skills in the best possible light.

(Image source)

Take them for a test run

It’s fine if you choose to give test assignments or probationary periods to see how well your new hires adapt and fit into the remote role. Be sure to have metrics in mind in order to measure their performance.

Instill a growth culture

A team with a growth culture should have a collaborative spirit and operate on a basis of trust. You’re all working towards one end goal that benefits the company – and, ergo, everyone in it.

Having a growth culture means being able to work on diverse platforms, cross-function, and to be good not just in one specific skill, but to learn how to incorporate marketing and sales, analytics, engineering, networking, and product management into your team. 

Tips to manage a virtual team

Once you have your virtual team, you’ll need to manage them to make the most of your time and resources. We have here 6 tips to help you become the best virtual team manager you can be.

Make sure your leaders are on board

Your leadership team needs to be on board with your decision to employ virtual workers, else you might clash heads, slow down progress on projects, or, worst, have resentment growing in the background.

If needed, train your leaders and managers to handle remote workers, and constantly remind them of the importance of hiring additional help.

Evaluate their performance

You can see how well your remote team is working if you’re able to determine whether their performance furthers the growth of your company. You’ll need to align with your HR department to evaluate these remote workers with fair criteria based on their responsibilities. 

Provide the right tools

A team is only as good as the way they can work together seamlessly, so employ different tools to help you communicate clearly, collaborate on work, and hit your milestones. Luckily, software developments have allowed people to work remotely, and almost without friction.

Consider also business tools that drive your company forward, such as a business website where, more often than not, domains are tied to different tools and software like email. On average, the cost of maintaining a business website can balloon at about $400 to $60,000 per year, so it’s best to factor this in when you’re budgeting for tools.

Have an onboarding process in place

Once candidates come in, make the onboarding process as seamless as possible. Use guides and handbooks that you can share virtually, create workflows and processes to explain how their tasks fit into the big picture goals of your company.

Set expectations early

Roles, responsibilities, and expectations ought to be made clear from the get-go – even as early as the interview process. Let workers know their deliverables, how often they should report back to their department heads, and how they might be able to ask for support when needed.

Communication is crucial

Remote teams are only as effective as the way they communicate. Have tools like Slack and Google Meet to reach out to others better. Google Suite also lets your team collaborate on projects seamlessly. Keep everyone in the loop with new developments, align with team members Constantly, and keep those communication lines open.

Key Takeaways

Hiring remote workers and freelancers at the end of the day requires the same effort and focus – the only difference lies in the way they’re integrated into your company. Keep in mind factors that may affect your decisions when building a remote team, then prepare to onboard and manage these remote workers accordingly.

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Remote Work All

4 Tell-Tale Signs Your Business Will Be Affected by AB5

California recently passed the Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) law, an employment law that changes current worker classification as independent contractors and employees. The much-debated AB5 law takes effect on January 1, 2020.

In a nutshell, the AB5 law provides key protection for independent contractors who formerly did not receive the same benefits as regular employees. 

Needless to say, this can have a huge effect on the way you do business with freelancers and other independent contractors.

Read on to find out more about the AB5 law, how it might affect your business, and what to do if it is.

Table of Contents

Events that led to the signing of the AB5 law

It’s undeniable that the nature of work has changed over the past few years. The gig economy is on the rise, and figures show that 15.8% of Americans participated in the gig economy workforce in 2015. That number has only grown exponentially.

The gig economy refers to the labor market typically characterized by short-term contract or freelance work. These gig-based jobs are made all the more available through technology-enabled work like ride-sharing apps and the like.

So things like Uber and Lyft employ gig economy workers, but this also applies to freelancers who render service in exchange for a fee.

Numbers show that 8.5% or nearly 2 million workers in California are signed as independent contractors – a much larger percentage than in the entire USA which only lands at 6.3%. 

Image source: UC Berkley Labor Center.

The AB5 legislation resulted from the recent Dynamex case, which concluded in the California Supreme Court siding with the independent contractors who worked for the courier company. 

After a series of hearings, the ruling found that Dynamex’s independent contractors should be considered employees, especially according to the ABC Test. (But more on that in the next few sections.)

What does it mean for small business owners? 

Plainly put, for any business, regardless of size, the new law means additional costs and hiring. 

The AB5 law in its current version obligates employers to pay a higher wage and overtime costs, while also mandating that said businesses are to contribute to unemployment and workers’ compensation insurance for independent contractors as well.

Companies operating in California that employ the services of independent contractors may also be faced with more frequent work, hour, and employment litigation. 

Signs your business will be affected by the AB5 law

Will your business be affected by the new AB 5 law? Here are a few things to check.

The ABC Test

The AB5 law will uphold the three-part ABC Test, a guideline that helps employers classify their workers as either employees or independent contractors.

According to the ABC Test, a worker is considered an independent contractor if the worker is proven by the employer or hiring entity to be:

  • Free from the control and direction of the company or hiring entity;
  • Performing work that is outside the company or hiring entity’s main business; and
  • Normally engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as the work performed for the company or hiring entity.

If the formerly independent contractors meet all three criteria for reclassification, they may now be entitled to the following benefits as employees:

  • A minimum wage
  • Workers’ compensation
  • Unemployment insurance
  • Expense reimbursement
  • Paid sick leave and paid family leave
  • Opportunity to join a union

Employers must also pay half of the employees’ Social Security tax after the bill takes effect in January 2020.

Setting up a business in California

For current small businesses already in operation, you may face additional hurdles due to the new law. 

The AB5 law might mean making major readjustments in your current business model to accommodate new workers or to adapt and find more cost-effective measures. 

It’s also necessary to figure out how your business will be paying for the reclassifications. While large companies might be able to ease into it, for a small business, it’s not so easy to suddenly have to give freelancers the same benefits as full-time employees. 

One possibility may include passing on the new cost to your customers, meaning increasing prices of your products and services, but this, of course, may not always work well. The only other alternative at the moment is absorbing the additional reclassification cost as a business expense, but this could be a hefty loss. 

You’ll need to be aware of the law and its implications especially if you’re planning to set up a new business or are making readjustments to your business model. 

Say before the passage of this new law, you had been planning to put up a Software as Service (SaaS) company – maybe because its relatively short-term cost savings, scalability, and resilient hosting service appealed to you, and you had a good idea on what kind of software to create and market.

If you were planning to hire independent contractors – and with SaaS businesses, especially, where you would normally hire independent contractors for developing the software, doing customer service, doing sales, etc – to help you put up and run your business (and you’re based in California), you’d want to pay attention to the stipulations of the AB 5 law to see if your workers are classified as employees or not.

Hiring freelancers in California

Over the years, more and more businesses and companies preferred hiring freelancers, mainly for a host of benefits for both parties. We can probably pin this rising trend to how fast technology has advanced over the past couple of decades. 

For example, these days, it’s not uncommon for people to do frequent video conference calls with freelancers halfway across the world or to use what’s called cloud phone systems, which have allowed companies to hire freelance customer support agents and virtual assistants.  

Recalling our previous example about the SaaS company in California, say you wanted to hire a freelance web developer in your area to create the website where you’d sell your software idea. 

In this case, you’d prefer the developer to be an independent contractor instead of a full-time employee. After all, after they’ve set up your site, most of the work you may require from them involves minimal maintenance – or work that takes only a few hours a month.

Once the AB5 law is enacted in January, you’d need to ensure that this independent web developer is working on tasks that aren’t central to your business, lest they be considered regular employees. 

If most of the work is central to your business, you’d need to reclassify them accordingly. 

You can always, of course, consider outsourcing administrative tasks like managing and publishing on your company’s social media page, or tasks that don’t cover your business’s line of expertise, such as bookkeeping if you’re not an accounting firm.

Exemptions to the rule

While it seems like the new legislation covers absolutely every kind of independent contractor out there, it doesn’t affect professions in various industries that are still considered independent contractors according to the ABC test. 

These include doctors, insurance agents, stockbrokers, real estate and travel agents, lawyers, graphic designers, freelance writers, and several other professions

Notably, ridesharing and delivery companies like Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash insist they’re not covered by the new AB5 law. 

You’re covered. Now what?

So your business is based in California or you’re working with independent workers in the state.

First thing you can do? Lawyer up. If you think your business might be affected by AB5, get an employment law attorney to examine the classification of your current workers. 

While the AB5 will affect all companies that rely on independent contractors solely in California, we know from previous experience that whenever a new law is passed in California, other big city-states like New York and Washington may just be one step behind.

AB5 also means additional business costs and a potential adjustment to your business model. However, failure to comply with AB5 has significant legal ramifications as well. 

Your business could be fined, penalized, or face litigation. That’s why it’s best to be guided by a skilled lawyer along the way. 

Conclusion 

The AB5 will be implemented by January 2020, and its supporters are looking forward to receiving the benefits that the new law promises. However, many employers and workers are still in the dark about how the AB5 will affect them. But for now, the AB5 means added costs to businesses and potentially the loss of the much-desired flexibility for contract workers. While the future is unclear for independent work in California, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared and stay one step ahead of the law.

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All Ecommerce Marketing Strategies

10 Conversion Rate Optimization Best Practices for eCommerce Businesses

Do you know how to boost your conversion rates for your ecommerce business?

Here’s a quick refresher: conversion rate is the number of visitors who you convince to take some of the desired action on your website—share a page, fill out a form, or make a purchase, etc.—divided by the total number of visitors. 

If your conversion rates are low, that doesn’t bode well for your site. This is especially true in eCommerce, where low conversion rates often translate to low sales.

There are no hard and fast rules for what your conversion rate should look like. After all, this can vary widely between industries. In this post, we take a look at the most effective, industry-agnostic conversion rate optimization best practices for eCommerce businesses.

Table of Contents

10 Best conversion rate optimization tips

Optimize your landing pages

A key part of your conversion optimization strategy should be to optimize your landing pages. A great landing page has relevant, easy-to-read elements that cover essential details a buyer would want to know. When people stumble upon your site, the page they land on has to deliver answers based on your buyer persona’s search intent.

One way to engage a website visitor immediately is by being creative with your landing pages. Include videos that showcase different use cases for your product, and provide testimonials that appeal to your different customer types. Dream up an emotional, benefit-driven copy and cta buttons that will convince visitors they need your product.

Many of the best eCommerce platforms do a great job of developing landing pages and product pages that address their buyer persona’s pain points at each stage of their marketing funnel. Don’t be afraid to learn from the best!

Provide search options 

Adding a search bar on your website can make products instantly accessible to users, saving them valuable time. However, for a search bar to be effective, it has to be noticeable—if possible, make it one of the more prominent elements on the page.  

Amazon.com has one of the best examples of a conspicuous search bar. It is located in the site’s hero section and takes up a lot of room. The placement and size encourage users to start searching immediately. 

(Image source)

A search bar can do wonders for your eCommerce conversion rate by delivering the most relevant content for your visitors in a timely way. Not all users are in the mood to browse, so the faster they can find what they’re looking for on your eCommerce site, the more likely they are to make a purchase.

Personalize the shopping experience for your customers 

Research from Salesforce indicates 57% of people are willing to give up more personal information in exchange for personalized offers and discounts. Based on this information, we can reasonably assume that a personalized shopping experience can persuade more shoppers to convert. Instead of providing broad, general content that could appeal to anyone (or no one!), companies—especially eCommerce stores—should take the time to learn about their target audience. 

You can personalize the shopping experience for your users by using a chatbot for your eCommerce business. Chatbots are software programs powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning that mimic human conversations. These technologies train your chatbot to “remember” your customer’s product preferences: the more your customers interact with it, the more personalized their experience will be.

The ShopBot on eBay’s Facebook page is a perfect example of how chatbots can personalize your customers’ shopping experience. Once initiated, the chatbot offers the user a selection of different products and categories to choose from. Underneath each item, users can decide whether they’d like to learn more about the product or be given other micro-conversion options.

(Image source)

The chatbot also asks questions to help narrow the user’s search.

(Image source)

The more the users interact with the chatbot, the more the chatbot learns about items the users want to purchase. The next time eBay launches an offer for one of its products, it will know which customers to contact and easily set up conversion tracking to verify their efforts.

Allow customers to start and complete purchases across multiple devices 

If you want to optimize your conversion funnel, make the buying process as user-friendly—so much so that even a multi-screen user would find it easy to complete the purchase process. 

According to an analysis of two billion global e-Commerce sessions back in Q4 of 2017, more buyers used their mobile phones instead of desktops as their primary way of communicating and purchasing. 

While it’s not a significant difference, more people used their mobile devices (40%) than their desktops (37%) for their initial journey.

(Image source)

With this in mind, remember to cater to users with different shopping habits. After all, you can have one user who prefers to browse on mobile yet wants to complete the checkout process on desktop, and vice versa. One way to implement this step is by making sure your site is mobile- and tablet-friendly (responsive), ensuring an equal user experience across all channels as much as possible.

Include trust indicators on your eCommerce site 

With all the scams happening today, it’s no wonder that some people have issues with eCommerce. To ensure your consumer trust rating remains high, don’t hesitate to add trust indicators across your eCommerce site. 

Testimonials and product reviews from previous customers are a great trust indicator to show visitors you’ve successfully delivered on your promises. Security badges also do well to boost trust in your site and improve conversion optimization.

Examples of security badges to establish trust. (Image source)

Other significant trust indicators include explaining how users can cancel an order or get a refund. Things like 30-day guarantees also do well to boost conversions, as people are more likely to try your product if they know they can get their money back if they’re unsatisfied.

Your eCommerce site should also have an SSL certificate—this shows up as a “secure connection” on browsers.

Google Chrome warns users if they’re on a site with no SSL certificate, which could severely harm both SEO rankings and conversion rates. (Image source)

WaveApps, an accounting and payroll solutions provider, does a great job of showcasing trust indicators, utilizing some of the ones mentioned above, and adding a few of their own.

First, they include testimonials from actual satisfied customers with a photo as a form of social proof:

(Screenshot is taken from Wave)

Since the company is aware that its customers will be submitting sensitive information and details as they use the platform, Wave addresses security concerns by describing its measures to keep data safe on a separate page.

Provide multiple payment methods

There is no universal payment method people are using right now. As such, it should be a  priority for eCommerce sites to provide multiple payment options. 

In an infographic highlighting survey results compiled by Milo, about 56% of respondents mentioned that they expect at least a few different payment options on the checkout page

It’s unnecessary to offer every single option available, but you can cover basic payment gateways like credit cards, PayPal, or Stripe payments. If it’s possible for your business, users could even pay with cash upon your product’s delivery (COD).

Put a remarketing or retargeting strategy in place

Remarketing refers to an automated marketing campaign that reminds a potential customer about the products and services they might have viewed but ultimately didn’t purchase.

There could be several reasons why someone doesn’t complete a checkout: they may have gotten distracted just as they were about to buy, they may have found a better price, didn’t feel a burning need to purchase right away, etc. With remarketing, your product shows up in retargeting ads to shoppers with good conversion potential to entice them to reconsider purchasing. Social media or email are two common channels for remarketing. 

Some companies offer customers exclusive discount codes and additional freebies, such as free shipping, in their retargeted ads. Even a simple reminder about the product the customer was considering can prompt people to purchase.

Example of a retargeted ad. (Image source)

Evoke a sense of urgency

Scarcity increases the perceived value of a product (think about the allure of “limited edition items”). What better way to boost conversion rates than by infusing your product pages with a little urgency? After all, if someone knows a product will be available forever, the risk of losing it is low, and there’s no reason to acquire it immediately.

But if they knew what they wanted was only temporarily available or only had a small window to buy it, it raised the risk of losing the product significantly. If you employ these tactics, you can expect they’ll complete the checkout as soon as possible!

Some examples of urgency tactics are trigger phrases like “Only until,” “Limited Edition,” “Expires in,” or “Only five left.” You might also consider adding countdown timers when doing promotional sales or seasonal deals.

This is one reason why Kickstarter campaigns can be so successful. All of them run for a limited time, and there are a set number of slots per “reward” available for customers.

Kickstarter campaigns showcase how many days are left to back a campaign. (Screenshot from Kickstarter)

Another example of an urgency tactic on Kickstarter campaigns: limited purchases per price tier. (Screenshot from Kickstarter)

Automate abandoned cart emails

Sometimes a user will go through the entire checkout process only to suddenly abandon their cart. If your eCommerce host supports this feature, you can send an automated email follow-up to remind customers about their cart and the products inside it.

Build your own email marketing campaign that can entice visitors to complete their purchase. You might even include exclusive discounts or deals in your abandoned cart email conversion rate.

(Image source)

Ensure quick website loading speed

Website optimization is a big part of any conversion rate optimization program. For many site visitors, a slow-loading website is often the main reason they leave a site without purchasing. In fact, every second delay after the first 2 seconds can lead to higher bounce rates.

If your eCommerce site takes more than five seconds to load, you might want to optimize it for speed. Here are common ways to decrease your site’s loading time:

  • Optimize images and other media
  • Review your theme (some themes aren’t optimized enough and can cause websites to load more slowly)
  • Optimize website code
  • Use a better web host provider (not all providers are created equal—a few can provide more resources that allow your site to load faster than with other hosts)

Those recommendations are just scratching the surface; there are many more ways to increase the speed and improve your website’s performance. Think of improving site speed as an ongoing CRO process that you will need to evaluate continually. If you improve it over time, your website traffic will show their thanks by converting more frequently.

Improving conversion optimization in your online store

Whether your eCommerce site is new or has been around for decades, a higher conversion rate should be a top priority if you want to continue to generate more sales. Constantly review your analytics, don’t be afraid to experiment, and keep innovating the way you do business. Be sure to implement the tactics above as a starting point for your CRO strategy, then keep tweaking to continue increasing conversions on your website.

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Marketing Strategies All

7 Ways AI Can Help Scale Your Small Business

Reports on the average American’s personal finances and financial literacy show that many Americans may be spending above their means, getting deeper into debt, and lack the necessary budgeting skills to get them by.

And while this is the golden age for getting into business, we have to deal with the reality that competition for the eyes and wallets of now money-conscious customers can be fierce. 

Everyone is trying to entice the average consumer, who already has such to spend what limited money they have, on their products – making it crucial and necessary for small ecommerce store owners to do everything they can to market and grow their business.

But how does one accomplish this with limited manpower and an even more limited budget?

Our answer: artificial intelligence, of course.

Table of Contents

Ways to scale small business using AI

From letting us order food from our favorite restaurants on-demand to doing a complete Google search simply by talking to our phones, artificial intelligence is everywhere

And small ecommerce businesses especially should be making the most of this to reach their customers, deliver spectacular brand experiences, and scale their businesses.

Ready to scale your small business using AI? We’ve identified 7 areas where even a small online business owner can leverage AI.

Predict marketing campaign performance

Image source

First and foremost, the effectiveness of marketing campaigns – even future ones – is no longer a matter of guesswork.

Using AI, you can make as-close-to accurate predictions as possible for future campaigns. Predictive analysis tools let you design your campaigns in ways that fit into your customers’ lives while telling your brand story. 

These predictive tools can usually tell you based on insights, content audits, market analyses, and previous data which of your campaigns will most likely perform best.

Tools: Google Business Tools,

Understand your customers and competitors better

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Many businesses use AI to keep track of their competitor’s next business moves and current campaigns, which can often give them better insights about their customers as well.

You can keep track of market trends, especially from big name competitors who may have wider access to tools. Leverage their knowledge and campaigns, get to know any changes they’re making in their own marketing, and use that information to adapt and craft your next campaigns.

Tools: ZoomInfo  

Personalize your marketing offers 

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AI tools are great for personalizing marketing offers. With 77% of customers actually expecting personalized offers and content, this tactic could make or break your brand in the eyes of customers.

Many customers are willing to surrender personal data like names and email addresses if it meant getting highly targeted offers right in their inboxes. So to avoid spam filters and make the most of the trust, be sure you’re sending emails from a custom domain email.

The right AI tools can help you segment customers based on a number of characteristics, including age, gender, geo-location, previous transactions, interests, and more. Using this segmentation, it’s easier to send relevant content and offers that then helps boost customer retention and loyalty.

Tools: Pardot

Improve your customer service

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When you’re a small ecommerce store owner, you know you can’t compete with established brands for reach. But you can still scale your small business by giving fantastic customer service that makes customers feel truly valued.

Tap into different channels for your customer service. Over 67% of users have engaged with a brand’s social media, for example, in order to try and ask for help.

Maximize your social media presence by integrating chatbots to improve customer service as a small business. And as your business grows, you can also think about implementing live chat straight from your site.

Tools: ManyChat

 Streamline your checkout and delivery process

For you to successfully scale your small business, you need to lower abandonment rates. That’s why it’s important to optimize your checkout and delivery process. This means making sure it’s easy to take payments at checkout using multiple gateways, keeping customers updated about their order confirmation and deliveries.

You can also optimize your packing, delivery, and returns experiences using automation. By making your processes as simple and easy as possible, you can deliver fantastic brand interactions that can get customers coming back over and over.

Tools: Selz

Retarget abandoned carts

Cart abandonment rates across all industries is at about 70%. On mobile, that number can rise to about 85%.

Many small business owners are losing out on sales because of these abandoned carts. Use AI to help you save customer details so you can retarget them later through a cart abandonment email.

These emails can help recover up to 28% of lost sales, making this tactic an essential step for you to scale your small business.

Tools: Privy

Track your performance

Last but not least, we are far from the days when tracking our marketing campaigns felt like guesswork. Today, you can use AI to see just how well your campaigns are doing, from social media ads down to your total sales vis-a-vis site visits.

Pay attention to these metrics as they can pave the way for important insights that can help you switch gears as needed or keep pushing campaigns that are working.

Before incorporating AI into your small business

To make the most of all these steps and AI use cases so you can scale your small business, make sure you do the following to harness AI’s full power:

Review your buyer persona

Your buyer persona contains all the information about your customer that may shape, influence, and inform your marketing campaigns.

This personal contains basic demographics, their goals, and relevant pain points that are keeping them from achieving said goals.

To maximize the power of AI, it’s important to refer back to your buyer persona – so you know exactly how to set up and deploy these tools and in which tools to even invest in the first place.

Identify key areas to integrate AI in your buyer’s journey

Once you’ve revisited your buyer persona, you can then think about where you’d want to boost your business processes with the help of AI. 

If you’re trying to scale your small business, you might want to integrate chatbots in their Facebook Messenger, allowing leads and customers to interact directly with a bot and even access useful information in real-time.

Small businesses trying to reach a bigger audience can make the most of programmatic advertising, letting your website or ad be seen across countless others. 

You can also implement social media retargeting campaigns for anyone who’s recently viewed your website or social media accounts using Facebook pixels.

Keep your website safe and secure

Last but not least, if you’re going to be installing and integrating AI tools to scale your small business, it’s important to keep your website safe from hackers.

Most third-party apps have heavy privacy and protection for users, but it’s still good to secure your website as much as you can.

Keep admin account passwords strong, use a VPN when accessing sensitive information, and backup all data about your company.

Key Takeaways

Artificial intelligence is paving the way for streamlined tasks, better insights and projections, as well as the opportunity to scale your small business by creating more interesting marketing campaigns and products. Refer to this article for some of the most effective ways you can integrate AI in your company, and soon start scaling that small business to the big leagues.