If you aren’t a card-carrying member of Gen Z, you may have some questions about e-mail marketing. Questions like, “Does asking questions about email marketing make me old?” and, “Is it weird if my emails still go to my xXPuNkRoCkPrIncess06Xx@hotmail.com account?”
And while the answer is an unequivocal yes to both, it’s entirely possible you just haven’t had the chance to dip your toes into the email marketing world ever since the Prince of Nigeria left a sour taste in your mouth many moons ago.
However, if you ever plan to increase customer conversion rates and draw traffic to your site, it’s about time you buckle up, buttercup, and enter the ride that is the email marketing world!
So how do you manage to form a marketing plan that, much like your senior photos, doesn’t turn out to be wacky, tacky, and yet, still a little classy (seriously though, how did they manage to capture all three so perfectly???)?
Below, we’re going over some of the best email marketing tips to take your email campaign to the next level, no matter your experience. So whether you’re an old dog learning new tricks or a fresh-faced marketing baby hoping to increase your email game, as the great Sean Connery once said, “You’re the man now, dog!”
Choose an Email Marketing Software
Choosing an email software is much like a dating app—for every fish out there in a lake, you can bet your bottom dollar some dude is on Bumble posing with it. In other words, there are a lot of different email marketing software programs to choose from—each one holding a slightly different fish from the other—but at the end of the day, someone’s still crying to themselves alone, wondering why online dating is so difficult as they eat fried fish.
Thus, it may take trying out some duds before you find the program that doesn’t send you a message asking you to drive them to your first date because they’re currently too drunk to risk getting another DWI to meet you in person. Or, you know… whatever it is, the email marketing programs do these days.
Some of our favorite email marketing programs include:
Perhaps the most well-known email software, MailChimp, is a one-stop shop for all your marketing needs. Perfect for beginners, it has features such as campaign scheduling, A/B test copy, built-in email analytics (including unsubscribe rate, click-through rates, and more), and an easy-to-use email editing system. While it tends to be rather pricey for businesses with contact lists over 150,000 people, MailChimp is best for smaller businesses, with several options for affordable plans.
Our personal weapon of choice, we enjoy Klaviyo for its extensive integrations, responsive and pre-built design templates, behavior-triggered automations, and its ability to segment your audience into specific groups. On the downside, Klaviyo can be a bit pricey. However, we find that its bountiful features more than make up for its somewhat steep price point.
One of the simplest email marketing software systems to use, MailerLite has a simple drag-and-drop interface that makes creating beautiful designs simple for even the most technology-averse users. If you’re looking for a program with clean and super-intuitive UX, this is your guy. On the downside, though, there’s less room for integrations, and it can be challenging to integrate with your CRM.
Another popular marketing suite, Hubspot, like MailChimp, is known for its all-in-one marketing features, containing tools like marketing campaign reporting, its own CRM integration, and other features like social media, blogging, and email marketing. However, Hubspot isn’t for the novice marketer and is best for someone who has worked with other marketing software systems.
On a budget? Moosend is one of the best options for budget-conscious marketers, offering one of the lowest-cost plans on the market. Its plans include the ability to choose between your number of subscribers or emails sent. While its user interface is simple to use, it may appear a little rudimentary compared to other options, and you won’t be able to send emails from a Gmail or Hotmail address.
Customize Your Emails
You know how you go into a store, and a great salesman will shake your hand at the end of the sale, look you in the eyes, and say something like, “You can’t go wrong with this PT Cruiser, Frank. You’re gonna be the envy of all your neighbors for years to come.”
And more than your poor decision, you’re just concerned about how the heck he knew your name? Well, email marketing is much the same way.
Is it weird that a bird diaper company sends you personalized emails years after you called it quits on your indoor chicken coop operation? Yes, absolutely, it is. I mean, it was a weird phase in your life you’d much rather forget.
But you know what? It still feels good that they remember your name.
Turns out, when emails are personalized with things such as customer names, special offers, product suggestions based on past purchases, and product tracking information, it increases customer engagement and click-through rates.
Consider adding personalization tactics to your emails, such as:
Really, this is just a fancy term for separating customers based on specific demographics like gender, age, and location and sending particular emails to those groups.
Using Browser History to Suggest Products
How often have you been sent an email with suggestions of products you might like? And how often have you wound up clicking on said products (I’m talking to you, Nuts.com, for knowing just the right time my case of the late-night munchies might make me weak to your suggestions)?
Sending Emails on Specific Dates
Who else can’t wait for all the Black Friday sales to hit their inbox? And how about those glorious birthday coupons sent straight to your email? Sending customers personalized emails based on special dates is a great way to nudge them into buying what they’ve been eyeballing for some time.
Stop Emailing Your Customers All. The. Time.
Sure, constantly spamming your customers with emails may initially increase your click-through rates, but how many potential buyers are you losing by annoying the absolute heck out of them? Everything is best in moderation. Consider how many times a week it would take for you to unsubscribe to a brand’s email and use that same principle for the sanity of your customers. Once a week at most. But an email once every two weeks with tantalizing offers? Way better.
If your emails aren’t adding value to your customers, stop sending them. Ideally, you should be providing your customers with some type of insight that equips them with valuable knowledge (think behind-the-scenes of your company, deep product informational dives, or a letter from the CEO about why they love a particular product), a special offer they won’t receive anywhere else (coupons, promo codes, or limited time sales offers), or some type of unique, curated product guide.
Include Customer Reviews and Testimonials
You should never trust strangers, especially strangers on the internet. So how can you convince a suspicious and street-savvy customer to buy a product from your company? By showing them evidence that other people have purchased products from you successfully.
Utilize customer testimonials, feedback, reviews, and transformation stories to help solidify trust in your brand from new customers. User-generated content is one of the best tools at your disposal to convince customers that you won’t steal their identity or their kidneys and sell it on the dark web.
Utilize A/B Testing
It’s essential to understand which emails are speaking to your customers and which aren’t. So even though it may hurt to rip off that analytic band-aid and see if they loved that email you composed straight from the heart, it’s pretty likely the goose that laid the golden might just be that email you composed in five minutes at 2 am after the Ambien had kicked in instead (for the sake of our future civilization, let’s hope not though).
Experiment with different elements of your email to find out what customers like and what they don’t. Maybe sending certain emails out at different times hits better, or perhaps certain CTAs result in higher click-through rates. Whatever it is, A/B testing is an excellent way to learn the best way to speak more effectively to your audience.
Look, the Prince of Nigeria was honestly one of the best OG email marketers. He figured out a way to personalize his emails, made a riveting plea as to why people should help restore his rightful reign after the death of his beloved parents, and made a clear CTA on how we could help.
Granted, what he did after you gave him your bank account number probably destroyed lives and wasn’t so great, but… if only somewhere in that vast multiverse, another version of him just lands a job at a marketing agency instead.
So basically, what we’re saying is that if the Prince of Nigeria can run a successful email marketing pyramid scheme, so can you.
Errr— nope. Nope. Scratch that. Scratch that real, real hard.
What we mean to say, legally, is that thanks to today’s technology, email marketing is now more accessible than ever before. Whether you’re a small business looking to level up your marketing game or a professional agency hoping to increase customer engagement rates, you can boost your email marketing strategy to the next level with a few simple tips and tricks.
But… if you still find you need an extra hand getting there, we’re here to help!
From advertising planning to social media management and more, let us help crank that marketing strategy up a notch— drop a line with one of our marketing wizards today!
Listen guys—we’re not gonna lie to you. This whole “Instagram” thing has been a rollercoaster from the start. It can sometimes feel like the rules of the game change the second anyone finds out what the game even is. (RIP to the good old days of posting a pixelated sunset photo with the Lo-Fi filter. ✌️)
How The Algorithm Affects Engagement
If you’ve been in the Insta-world for any amount of time, you’re probably familiar with the villain known as “the algorithm.” 👹 The algorithm is the name of the ever-changing set of rules that decide what content gains traction, builds engagement, and gets your name (and posts) out there to a larger audience. Coincidentally, it also decides which posts are shadow-banned and thrown into no man’s land, never to be seen by a soul.
What Can I Do to Help My Engagement?
With the Instagram platform still evolving, they like to keep a lot of the algorithm a mystery. However, the leaders of Instagram have shared a few things explicitly. While it started as a photo-sharing app, in order to compete with other popular social media platforms (*cough*, TikTok), Instagram has made a clear shift to favoring video content over photo posts. In fact, we wrote a whole blog about the announcement that Instagram is no longer a photo-sharing app, if you want to check it out!
But back to the matter at hand—engagement. First, let’s look at the kind of posts you can share and what kind of engagement you can expect from those posts. Then let’s dive into a few good user practices outside of posting that will also help with your engagement.
The Best Post Formats to Increase Engagement
In the last year and a half, Instagram has been very open about its favoritism toward Reels. In fact, the CEO of Instagram just announced that all videos on Instagram will now be Reels. We’ll keep you updated on what this looks like practically.
Anyway, back to Reels. This video format has become a popular choice for individuals, creatives, and business accounts to gain traction in a fun and engaging way. These short-form videos can range from 15-90 seconds in length.
Reels have been met with a variety of reactions from content creators. While some of us originally responded like Regina George (“Stop trying to make Reels happen”), most users have now come to accept that Reels aren’t going anywhere anytime soon—for better or for worse. And the truth is, they’re the best option to boost engagement and appease the gods of Instagram.
2: Carousel Posts
When it comes to engagement and visibility, your second best option is a carousel post. These posts are when you have a series of photo slides, and according to multiple analyses from 2019-2022, they are next in line for what the Instagram algorithm likes to see. Carousel posts can be a series of photos or educational graphics that add value to your audience.
This is good news to creators who still aren’t *quite* comfortable with Reels or other video content, because it gives them some engagement and visibility within the format they’re comfortable creating.
3: High-Quality Photos
Despite the fact that Instagram started as a simple photo-sharing app, a single photo is now the lowest priority on the platform. But it’s not all bad news, since sharing a photo is better than sharing nothing at all. Posting single photos with higher quality and more frequently can help offset drops in engagement. However, depending on what field your business is in, it may be more worth your time to focus on some of the higher-priority post types.
Our Top Non-Post Tips to Increase Engagement
As fun as it is to stress over constantly having to create content for your social media, posting isn’t the only thing you can do to help your engagement rates. Don’t get us wrong—we love the anxiety and relentless pressure to create endless content as much as the next person. 😅
Luckily, there are other ways to help with your engagement. Something important to keep in mind is the idea of “you have to give engagement to get engagement.” Instagram values interaction and time spent on their app—real people connecting with other real people. Things like scrolling through your feed, liking and commenting on other posts (remember, it costs zero dollars to “like” or comment on a post you see), and using the interactive elements of stories—such as polls and sliders—all help show the Instagram algorithm how devoted you are to them. When they see that, they’ll want to #bless you with improved exposure and engagement in return.
Also in case you’re wondering—no, “follow for follow” and “like for like” aren’t going to help you out in 2022. 😉
We know Instagram can sometimes feel like the lawless wasteland of Mad Max. However, there is some method to the madness. Engagement percentages have dropped across the board over the last few years, so even if you’re doing everything “right,” you likely won’t see the same level of engagement you did in 2018—and that’s okay.
However, between leaning into Reels, carousels, frequent liking and commenting, and posting fun behind-the-scenes Stories—you’re sure to see those engagement numbers go up.
Have any questions or need help overhauling your social media presence? Drop us a line, we’d love to chat!
According to experts, 46% of the world’s population is currently using social media, and that percentage is continuously growing. So whether you like it or not, incorporating social media into your business plan is no longer optional—it’s an essential part of business growth, an invaluable avenue for customer insight, and a great way to showcase your business’s creativity. Still need some convincing? Let’s look at 5 ways social media can contribute to your business growth:
1. It increases your visibility & brand awareness
If your business isn’t using social media, does it really exist? The answer to that can vary based on who you’re trying to reach, but for the most part, we can pretty much guarantee your audience is on social media. Now, depending on who you are, your audience may be on certain platforms and not on others (Check out this blog for more on that). It may come as somewhat of a shock to you, but the more people know about your business, the more they trust it—and the more they trust it, the greater potential for you to gain new customers and followers. Crazy right?! Social media can be a great way to get your name out there in front of new people on a regular basis and to show the people who already follow you more of who you are.
2. It builds authenticity
We know the “A” word gets thrown around a lot, but let’s face it—buzzword or not—authenticity on social media is a critical part of the success of your business. Loyal and potential customers alike want to know who you are, what your business is about, and what it stands for—and sorry to say, but flyers created in Microsoft Word just won’t cut it anymore. Social media is the new word of mouth marketing, so why not flex your creative muscles and use it to showcase the truest and best parts of your business?
3. It helps you stay at the top of people’s minds
If someone has a specific need and you can help meet that need, is your business the first thing that comes to mind? You would like to hope so, wouldn’t you? We all want to be a trusted name in our respective fields, but how do we get there? By consistently creating engaging, dynamic, and relevant content! No matter what your niche is, social media gives you the opportunity to establish your business as the expert—the go-to for information on topics related to your field. So when a need arises, your name is already on your audience’s mind.
4. It helps you keep an eye on your competitors
According to a recent article by Nerd Wallet, 96% of small businesses say they use social media in their marketing strategy—and with so many small businesses using social media, it’s important to keep a pulse on what your competitors are up to. Are they launching new products or providing discounts? Perhaps there’s a flaw in a competing product or service that can be remedied by your company. Addressing these issues (in a non-catty way) can attract new buyers and keep loyal customers!
5. It creates a channel for customer support
On top of the dynamic and engaging social media content you create, what keeps customers coming back? Say it with us, GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE. Honestly, we could talk about this for days, but for the sake of time we won’t. However, we did write a blog about it, so check that out if you want.. ; )
Social media is an extremely useful tool for customer service because it allows your customers to access you in a way that’s convenient for them. Instead of going through a phone tree or being on hold for an hour, your customers can simply hop on Instagram, @mention the name of your business, and get the help they need! Responding to customers in a timely manner builds trust, and trust leads to… we’re sure you get it by now.
Social media is ever-evolving and can be hard to keep up with. But it can also be a great asset to your business if you know how to use it! Not sure where to start? Don’t worry—that’s where we come in. Our team would love to help you develop a social media strategy that works for you and your company’s specific goals. Interested? Drop us a line.
There’s nothing worse than putting all your time and creative energy into an email campaign only to find that 5 out of 500 people actually opened it. It feels like a personal attack, kind of like someone calling your baby ugly.
It’s said that 56% of people unsubscribe from emails they deem irrelevant— so while you can’t force people to open your emails, you can curate them in such a way that your recipients can’t help but open them!
How do you do that? By using dynamic content!
Let’s take a look at the ins and outs of dynamic email content and why it’s such a useful tool for businesses.
What is Dynamic Content?
In short, dynamic content is a curated content experience. It’s that “personalized” email you receive in your inbox from your favorite brand. You know the one? When you open it you feel seen, known, and compelled to continuously purchase the products or services.
Dynamic content can be as basic or as personal as you want it to be. It could be something as simple as placing someone’s name at the beginning of an email or as in-depth as switching images based on purchase history or browsing history. It could even be segmenting your email list based on age, gender, race, geolocation, etc. The sky’s the limit when it comes to dynamic content because people are always changing and adapting.
What are the Benefits of Dynamic Content?
Every customer and potential customer should be viewed as someone with unique needs; dynamic content helps you meet those ever-changing needs and in turn, creates loyal customers.
Dynamic content also gives your already loyal customers (and even potential customers) access to things they want to see and purchase instead of just being bombarded with a list of products that are irrelevant to them.
In a way, dynamic email content allows the recipients to participate in their own story within your larger brand story. And in 2022, we ALL want to be the hero of our own story… it’s called *main character energy.* Look it up.
Dynamic content will allow you to:
- Reduce the amount of time spent on creating email campaigns for several different email lists.
- Increase your web traffic and ultimately increase your revenue.
- Help your marketing team figure out what products, services, or content customers want to see more of.
How Do I Create Dynamic Content?
Data, data, DATA!
The first thing you’ll need when creating dynamic content is information about your audience. The more you gather, the better your emails will be.
Pay attention to what kinds of questions are being asked on your social media platforms and what content is being shared by your followers. Gather all information you can from the analytics provided by your email marketing platform, and then test your ideas and assumptions on your audience. When you’ve gathered all your data, create some awesome content—and when it doesn’t work, or if information changes, PIVOT accordingly.
(Can we use two FRIENDS gifs in one blog?)
By a show of hands—how many of you are feeling overwhelmed? ✋✋🏿✋🏽 We get it! Creating emails that matter takes time and just a little bit of patience but in the long run, if done correctly, dynamic content can be extremely beneficial to both your brand and your customers. If you need help reworking your email strategy drop us a line, our team would love to sit down with you.
TikTok vs Instagram Reels— Some say it’s the EPIC duel of the century or even the showdown of all showdowns…
But one thing that’s for sure—whether you like it or not—both are becoming an increasingly necessary tool in the arsenal of growing businesses. In fact, experts say that in 2022, 62% of marketers will invest more time and money in TikTok and 54% will increase their investment in Instagram.
But which one should you use for your small business? Is one better than the other? Let’s take a dive into some of the similarities and differences between marketing on TikTok and Reels.
Instagram Reels vs TikTok
Since Instagram Reels’ public debut in August of 2020, most users have viewed it as Instagram’s desperate answer to the growing success of TikTok… a cheugy poser, if you will.
With features like: wellness check-ins, sound effects, dueting, remixing, and facial filters, calling them similar definitely wouldn’t be a stretch.
However, there are some key differences that can affect the way you share content, especially if you’re a small business owner.
The Main Differences Between the Two Platforms
While both platforms offer the ability to share a seemingly endless variety of short form video content, TikTok users (the majority being Gen-Z) appear to be more candid in their presentation. When it comes to TikTok, it’s all about realness, fun, experimentation, viral trends, and casual community. TikTok is the epitome of “give the people what they want.” The famous TikTok “for you page” allows users to see videos curated to their specific interests, making it a new form of content sharing all together.
Side note: We would be extremely remiss if we didn’t stop to give a big round of applause to the TikTok algorithm. It’s borderline scary how well it gives you literally exactly what kind of videos you want to see. From a marketing team to a marketing team, chef’s kiss. For real.
Instagram, however, has become much more calculated over time. What started out as an in-the-moment square photo sharing app has morphed into something very different. And ever since, Instagram users have been carefully curating and endlessly editing posts— all in hopes to achieve the “perfect” grid. Be honest, how many of you have you switched out or deleted a post for fear of messing with your perfect aesthetic? …we’ll wait.
The curated feeds, the “living the dream,” and documenting only the best parts of our lives has caused users to be more reserved in the way they share content on Instagram. And this definitely bleeds over into Reels as well, which remain much more curated than TikToks as a whole.
TikTok is relatively new to the social media game but it’s already seen growth within the advertising world. So much growth in fact that it caused Instagram to pretty much completely re-work their own strategy. That’s a big deal.
This growth also led to the creation of TikTok Business in 2021. However, it’s important to note that the cost of advertising on TikTok in comparison to other platforms is pretty hefty, with prices ranging anywhere from $50,000 to $120,000. *insert gasp*
Although these prices are deeefinitely too high for small businesses, there are many different ways to advertise on TikTok other than using its advertising program.
When it comes to marketing, Reels are leading the charge by integrating shopping features into their platform by allowing businesses and makers to tag their products when creating a Reel, making them a “one stop shop.” When a customer taps the “view products” button, they can choose to purchase, save, or learn more about a product. Added bonus, all of these things can be done without having to leave the app via the Instagram Checkout feature.
So Which Platform Is Better For My Small Business?
At the end of the day, both TikTok and Reels can be advantageous to your small business or personal brand, so don’t be afraid to experiment and even bounce them off of each other and make them work for your business.
While TikTok is a great place to experiment with trends, engage with a younger audience, and create a more casual online community… Reels are a great way to add some depth to your Instagram content and expand your reach with a bit older audience.
(Pro tip: the algorithm LOVES when you use Reels, and all of your posts will perform better when you begin to use them.)
When you own a small business, engaging with your consumers is the key to getting your business name or brand out there. Feeling overwhelmed? It’s fine and you’re fine.
Really! Because our team is here to help you come up with a social media strategy that works best for you and your small business.
So what are you waiting for? Contact us today to schedule a consultation!
They’re creatives, activists, trend setters, the gatekeepers of all things cool, and what they say quite literally changes the world. Of course we’re talking about Gen Z.
Born between 1996 and 2010, these “digital natives” probably don’t remember a day without the internet or social media. And with smartphones in hand, they’re not only classy, bougie, and ratchet, but some of them are grown—and collectively have a spending power of over $140 billion.
With the rise of TikTok and Instagram Reels, Gen Z is demanding more than just pretty photos and fun videos from brands to win their trust and loyalty. The generation determined to flip the world upside down is now bringing their socially responsible (& disruptive) attitude into the market.
So let’s take a look at four things to keep in mind when trying to connect with this ethics-driven generation:
1. Establish Clear Values & Mission
Before you try to connect with Gen Z, ask yourself, who are you standing with and what are you standing for? Establishing and communicating your brand’s values is important when marketing to this generation’s cool kids. But why? Gen Z-ers are more likely to spend their money on and lend their voice to brands that have values that mirror their own. Values such as diversity, environmental sustainability, and LGBTQ rights. Gen Z believes that the brands they support have the moral obligation to change the world we live in, meaning you no longer have the option to remain neutral about important issues.
2. Be Transparent & Accountable
This generation seeks truth and authenticity, and they will not only go to great lengths to find it, but they’ll also want to verify it. Your past and present social media accounts, reviews, comments, and responses will all be scrubbed through before trust is given. So make sure that after clearly establishing your values, you stick to them… and if you happen to misstep, you own it. When trying to connect with Gen Z, inconsistencies between your external and internal company values can lead to the disintegration of your brand (looking at you Abercrombie and Fitch).
3. Play Around With Using Interactive Content
When it comes to capturing the ever-scrolling eyes of Gen Z, you’re going to need a combination of creativity and interaction. They don’t just want to look at something pretty. Gen Z actually wants to do something, on and off the internet. So give the people what they want! Use swiping, polls, and quizzes—anything to encourage discussion and interaction. This can help you get a gauge for what kind of things they want to see from your brand. Keep in mind, with the average attention span of Gen Z-ers being 8 seconds, you have a very short window of time to communicate why your brand is worth looking at—that’s where creativity comes in!
4. Build A Community
Mass followings and viral videos aside, surveys say that Gen Z is the loneliest generation, which is why they gravitate towards like-minded brands with messages they feel they can lend their voices to. Creating community within a brand goes beyond asking the most popular TikTok or Instagram star to promote your brand. It can include real people with real stories that can advocate for your brand and add to the story you’re telling. When Gen Z feels like the hero of the story, or at least a part of the Avenger team, they’ll engage and invite others to do the same.
As a refresher… remember, when marketing to Gen Z, make sure to: establish clear values, be accountable and transparent, have fun, and create authentic connections. *Deep breath* We know that seems like a lot but don’t worry, we’ve got you. If you need help tweaking/completely reworking your marketing strategy, we’d love to help! Drop us a line.
Customer service….*Big sigh* We all love it or hate it.
It’s the thing that every (good) company wants to excel in, but not a lot want to put in the time and financial investment it takes to truly master it. In fact, we can almost bet that right now you’re thinking about a horrible customer service experience or having flashbacks of being on hold for what seems like hours.
Improved customer experience leads to happy customers… and happy customers just don’t walk away… They just don’t!
Okay, Legally Blonde quotes aside… It’s proven that good customer service leads to customer retention. But where do you even start? In this blog, we’ll walk through 5 things to keep in mind when building an excellent customer service strategy:
1. Create a Customer Service Vision
The first step in solidifying a great customer service strategy is to create a vision and then clearly communicate that vision to your employees. What role do they play in your customer service vision? What are your organizational goals for customer service? More often than not, when a clear expectation is set and understood, your employees will rise to the challenge!
2. Identify All Customer Touchpoints
It’s important to know every single customer touchpoint your company has. Touchpoints are simply the avenues your customers use to contact you when they have questions or complaints. Whether it’s through a website contact form, Instagram or Facebook DMs, customer support phone number, or email—these are important pieces of information because they will allow you to:
1. Improve the internal processes of communication to cut down on reply time.
2. Fix any product or service that has repeated customer issues.
3. Project customer needs and be able to match or even exceed their expectations.
3. Create a Clear Path & Timeline for Communication
Does anyone remember the great Cinnamon Toast Crunch debacle of 2021? Yeah…. We wrote a blog on it. If you need a refresher, just click that link.
This incident is a prime example of why it’s so important to have a communication plan in place. Do your employees know what to do when a complaint comes in and who to contact if the situation escalates? Do they know exactly what types of situations to handle on their own and which need to be handled by a higher-level employee? Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” This could not be more true when it comes to customer service. One bad response can cause your company’s hard-earned credibility to implode. If you feel like you can’t afford to hire good customer service employees, we’d argue that you can’t afford NOT to. 😅
4. Provide Service Skills Training
This one is for the CEOs and managers in the back. Employees need to know what you want them to do. We can not stress this enough! When it comes to employee expectations, and we say this all the time, “clarity is kindness.” It sets your employees up to fail when you don’t set clear expectations for them and communicate those clearly to them.
Employees can’t magically know how to address needs if you don’t train them. Kind of like husbands… but we digress.
What kind of things should they be prepared for? We’re glad you asked! Your customer service staff should know: how to answer the phone, how often to check messages, how to respond to customer complaints, how to meet customer needs in a prompt and professional manner, and your company’s standards for customer service. You can solidify this training by consistently reminding your employees of the importance of quality customer care and the value it brings to your business! And hey, job security for them. 😉
5. Follow Through With Accountability
With great power comes great responsibility and accountability. Once you’ve trained and empowered your employees, they should have an understanding of how their interactions with your customers affect your company’s overall performance—and they need to be held accountable for reaching customer satisfaction goals, or for missing them.
Do you have an employee who is not quite hitting the mark (a mark that was clearly communicated)? Remind them of your company’s vision and standards for customer service— and provide a consequence or refresher training when necessary. Holding your employees accountable will ultimately set your customer service team up for success!
Excellent customer support should never be an afterthought. Happy customers will be your company’s biggest advocates, and customer retention is ultimate #goals, so why not make sure they are taken care of? Need help with developing or updating your customer service strategy? We would love to give you a consultation or customer service training.
It’s almost the New Year! (Cue joke about how we’re still processing 2020…)
For most people, with each new year comes new goals. Instead of promising yourself you’ll journal every day or go to the gym 5 times a week, just to inevitably fail halfway through January, why not set goals for your business’s social media this year?
One way to set goals and hold yourself accountable to achieve them is to do it in a team. So grab your team, or simply forward this blog to them, and then put a date on the calendar to brainstorm and set the goals.
Why is It Important to Set Goals?
Setting social media marketing goals is crucial. It not only keeps you from having NO marketing efforts, but also keeps you from throwing time or money out the window with no plan.
What Do I Need to Ask Before Setting My Goals?
- What do I want to accomplish this year for my business?
- What does my team need to work on to accomplish this?
- What could possibly keep me from achieving this goal? (Lack of resources, people, training, etc)
- How can social media help to achieve this goal?
The 4 Steps to Setting (& Achieving) Your Social Media Goals
1. Consider Your Why
If you’re a business owner and you haven’t read the book Start With Why, you need to. In the meantime, ask yourself— Why are you on social media? Do you need more leads? Would you like to increase your sales? Do you need another channel for customers to reach out for service? Are you trying to simply build your brand awareness?
Once you know your “why,” you can more clearly figure out the “how” when it comes to your social media strategy.
Ask yourself the following questions before setting your social media goals:
- Who is your target audience?
- Where is your target audience hanging out online?
- What platforms do you want to focus on and why?
Knowing why you’re posting on each platform and how it will benefit your business is so important when setting concrete goals.
2. Take a Look at Your Current Performance
Before setting goals for the future, it’s important to get a good picture of the present. It may be hard to take an honest look at your current social media performance, but it will only help you grow. By looking at current performance insights, you’ll know what to post more of and what to maybe re-work or abandon altogether. You can use Facebook and/or Instagram Analytics for this. They are free to use and pretty easy to understand. (Thanks, Meta!)
3. Set Realistic Goals
After you’ve finished your current social media performance audit, it’s time to officially set concrete goals.
Make sure your goals are specific and are able to be measured. Do you want a certain number of followers? A higher percentage of engagement? A certain amount of website clicks per week from social media? This will help you track the success or failure of your content.
And hey, don’t be too hard on yourself. Have you ever set a goal of going to the gym 5 days per week when you’re used to going zero? Yeah, that’s a lofty goal, and you’re likely to fail. Why not start smaller? Your goals should be challenging, but within reach. Once you’ve set your goals, decide on a timeline.
4. Regularly Check-In on Performance
Regularly checking your performance analytics is key in knowing if you’re achieving your goals. Decide how often you’re going to check in with your metrics and utilize free metrics given by Facebook and/or Instagram (Or you can choose a third-party like Later). Just like you set your goals as a team, check in on performance as a team as well. This will be important for accountability and growth.
Setting social media goals doesn’t have to be scary, especially not anymore! We hope this blog was helpful to get the ball rolling. Remember, achieving your goals is more like a marathon, not a sprint… especially with social media.
As always, if you have any questions, we’ve got your back.
What’s in a name? We happen to think when it comes to a business name, the major aspects of a good name are brand recognition, admiration, and connection.
Finding the right name for your small business or startup can have a huge impact on your success, either negatively or positively.
The wrong name can do more than just fail to connect with potential customers… it can potentially cause loss of business or even legal hurdles. But on the other hand, a creative and clear business name can be extremely helpful in your marketing and branding efforts!
Here are 8 tips to consider before you start brainstorming the perfect name for your next business:
1. Avoid A Name That’s Hard to Spell
Anyone ever met a Catelynne or a Loryn? Phonetically these names are easy to pronounce, but chances are, anyone who met them IRL may have had a hard time looking them up on Facebook later. They probably typed out Lauren or searched for one of the other 400 spellings of Katelyn. The same goes with a business name… when naming your business, creative and unique isn’t always better. When brainstorming names, make sure potential customers won’t get lost or confused about how to search your business online!
2. Don’t Pick A Name That Could Limit Your Business As It Grows
Picking too narrow of a name may cause you problems down the road should you choose to expand to different products or markets. For example, what if Jeff Bezos named his business “BuyBooksOnline” instead of “Amazon.” He would have either been pigeon holed or spent a lot of money rebranding! That said, try to avoid names like “Woodwork of Greenville” or “Picture Frames Unlimited.” This will ultimately limit your business to a very specific product or city. You may never grow, but it’s nice to have the option!
3. Get Feedback
Come up with 5 to 10 names you like and then run them by friends, family members, and trusted colleagues. Try to get feedback from people who don’t know you that are in your target audience as well. Sometimes when you’re so close to an idea and it’s super personal, it can be hard to look at it objectively. This feedback will be extremely helpful in being more objective as you come up with a successful business name.
4. Say it Out Loud
Have you ever had a really good idea in your head but then realized it sounded awful when you said it out loud? We’ve all been there. So say your business name out loud. Say it to a few people who haven’t seen it spelled to make sure it’s clear and people wouldn’t be confused about the spelling… (Remember the Katlyn debacle?)
5. Conduct An Internet Search
If anyone is good at finding dirt, it’s the internet mob. And you definitely want to channel the internet mob when naming your business… Well, not completely, just the sleuthing part.
Once you’ve settled on a name (or 2) you like, do a quick (or not so quick) web search for the names. Oftentimes, you’ll find that someone else is already using that business name (womp womp). And while that doesn’t have to be a total showstopper, it should give you pause. Having the same name as a potential competitor down the line may cause a few issues…
6. Conduct a Trademark & Secretary of State Search
After you do a quick internet search, you’ll want to do a search at USPTO.gov to see if you will be able to trademark or service mark the name. Since most likely you’ll want to set up your business as a corporation or an LLC, you should also do a search of the Secretary of State’s records to make sure your name isn’t too similar to another business name that’s already registered. If it is too similar to an existing name, the Secretary of State may not allow you to register it.
Pro tip: a good corporate lawyer can help you conduct this kind of search.
7. Make Sure You Personally Love It
Once you’ve gotten feedback from trusted sources and weighed all your options, it’s important for YOU to really love the name. As the business owner, you’ll have to live with the name for a long time, so make sure you are really happy with it and believe it will resonate with your brand vision as well as your customers.
8. Purchase The Domain Name ASAP
Once you are settled on a business name you LOVE, you better go and secure the “.com” domain name for your business ASAP (if it’s not already taken). If it is, you can always choose an alternative, such as .net, .org, .biz, or other possible domain extensions. However, customers tend to associate a .com name with a more established business.
If someone already owns your desired .com name, they may be willing to sell their name for the right price (if it matters enough to you), or you can get creative with your domain name and use additional keywords that might help people find you later. Just remember to keep your domain as short and concise as possible. Nobody wants to type in www.thelongestdomainnameintheworldandthensomeandthensomemoreandmore.com. (That’s a real domain, btw.)
Brand names matter. Whether it’s short and sweet or it evokes feelings, the name is important.
It’s so important to get your business name right the first time, because rebranding is never simple. But no worries. Things can always be changed as you or your business evolves. That said, you name it… we can help!
And check out our new social media post to see how Tangible got its name.
For decades, “experts” in marketing have touted the idea of hiding your pricing and highly discouraged clearly publishing prices online. The thought behind this— you want to be able to engage with as many potential customers as possible and by getting them to reach out and ask for your pricing, you have more potential leads.
Seems logical, right? Who doesn’t want more calls? But in 2021, we believe there are other more important factors to consider.
The Death of the Phone Call
In short, most people simply don’t want to have to call and ask questions in 2021. We’re sure you’ve seen plenty of memes about how much people hate talking on the phone. This alone can tell you the current climate of our society, which bleeds over into business as well.
According to research conducted in 2017, 88% of consumers will price shop and compare products online before engaging directly with a business or making a purchase. People want to visit a website and get all the information they need in one place to make an informed decision. No one wants to experience the awkwardness of admitting they can’t afford a service after asking for the price over the phone.
The bottom line is, if your website says “Call for Price,” you are immediately losing out on a ton of potential customers who will just hop over to a competitor’s website that offers more information.
Not to mention, today’s consumer has a very short attention span… so even if they are willing to call for price, there’s a high chance that they’ll get distracted by an incoming text or email before they ever get to the actual phone part of their phone. Needless to say, the chances that they’ll remember to call after that are even slimmer.
The “Unaffordability” Assumption
You may be nervous to put your pricing on the website for fear of losing potential leads, but we happen to think you may lose a lot of potential customers by NOT adding it.
Did you know that when you don’t publish your price/range on your website, that will automatically cause many potential customers to believe that you’re out of their budget? Yep. It’s a real thing— fear of the unknown.
When people can’t find the price, they often assume the worst. They often think your services must be targeting wealthier people who don’t consider price as highly in the purchasing process. Hiding your prices may be scaring away more potential buyers than providing it upfront.
Don’t Waste Your Time
A new lead comes in! After going back and forth over several emails, coordinating a time, holding a discovery call, and preparing a proposal… you find out they were never going to be a potential client for you. You were always going to be way out of their budget. Sound familiar?
The truth is, not everyone is in your target market. Some people will want the service cheaper than you offer, while others need something more complex and expensive.
So instead of spending time filtering through incoming “leads” that will never fit in your range of services, spend your time more productively. There’s not a single business owner that doesn’t need more time!
Putting a price (or at least a price range) right on your website saves you the hassle of hours of work that only ends up frustrating you in the long run.
When people see your prices and know they can’t afford your services or products, they will likely never request a meeting or discovery call. You didn’t lose a good lead, you saved yourself a lot of hours and frustration.
Build Trust with Your Audience
Upfront pricing also builds brand trust, so be confident in your pricing! Learn your target market like the back of your hand so you can more easily find them, or better yet, help them find you.
Who are they? What do they do? What’s their budget range? If you’re the cheapest around, the complex high-end client may not be in your target audience. Or if you’re the most expensive, budget shoppers won’t bite. Remember— not everyone is going to be your target audience, and that is okay.
But by giving a price range upfront, you build trust with your target audience because they can self-qualify that they are in your target market before they ever contact you the first time.
How to Handle Custom Services or Products
Sometimes you can’t list your prices, because your services are fully custom and each person gets a customized quote based on what they need from you. We totally get that, because that is how our agency works, too. In this case, we recommend providing a price range or a “Starting at…” on your website.
You don’t have to put all your price customizations, but just give a general range or starting point. You can even include the caveat that the prices are subject to change based on the amount of customizations/work/client allowing yourself room to negotiate a fair price for each service or product.
For example, on our site, we state that our fully custom and SEO optimized websites start at $4500. However, depending on the client’s needs and customizations, it could get much higher than that. That said, if someone is just starting a business and is looking for a $500 Squarespace site or the equivalent, they already know that we would not be a good fit. And that’s okay!
That saves us time and energy to put into the businesses who do want and need what we have to offer.
The bottom line is most potential customers want to know your pricing up front, or to at least get a ballpark figure, by visiting your website.
You don’t really want to spend time convincing people on the phone to work with you when they really can’t afford to or don’t see the value in what you offer! Trying to convince anyone to become a client is something you can choose to avoid by being open with our price range on your website.
Here’s our advice— Own your value and add your price or price range to your website. The right clients will come along.