Five Tips to Help Prospects Find You, and Keep Them Coming Back for More

Inbound MarketingBusinesses have been hearing about inbound marketing since 2006 when Hubspot coined the term. In contrast to outbound marketing strategies such as advertising or direct mail used to interrupt prospects to grab their attention, inbound marketing focuses on tactics that earn it.

How are businesses earning the attention of their prospects? Earning attention from prospects is a four-stage process:

  1. The first step is to create compelling content and personalized experiences to attract a steady stream of qualified people interested in your business.
  2. The second step is to convert people who visit your website or business. This step is about getting people to make their interest in your business known. On a website, every time a person submits a contact form, clicks on a specific call-to-action, or visits one of your targeted landing pages, it can be counted as a conversion.
  3. The third step is closing the deal and turning those interested prospects into customers.
  4. The fourth and final step is called delight, and it’s about keeping your customers engaged after they make a purchase. There are many ways to do this, for example, online surveys or royalty programs.

Driving people to your website is not enough. After prospects get there, you need to keep their attention, provide support, encourage them to take action, and help them connect with your business. The end goal of inbound marketing is to pay close attention to those interactions and create opportunities to connect with your audience.

To build compelling content, every business needs to have an in-depth understanding of its target customers. This is what marketers refer to as the process of creating a target persona, and you can do this by reviewing all the data you have about your customers, from website analytics to sale records.

After you have a clear understanding of who your audience is, you will be ready to get started making the necessary adjustments to strengthen your inbound marketing strategy:

  1. Claim your local listings. The way people find businesses now is primarily online. Make sure your company invests the necessary time to claim and manage your business’s website with online directories like Google My Business. It’s important to pay special attention to the accuracy and consistency of your listings to make sure prospects can easily find and reach your business.
  2. Make the most of your website. According to Clutch.co, two-thirds of small businesses rely on their website to connect with their customers. Keep your company’s website updated with relevant and useful content. Use multi-media content, like videos, blogs, how-to guides, infographics, case studies, and success stories to attract searchers and rank well on search engines.
  3.  Access your inner writer and blog. Companies who blog receive 97% more leads to their websites than companies that don’t, according to SevenAtoms. The best blogs are those that contain engaging and informational content that speaks to your target audience and answers their questions. Marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13 times more likely to enjoy a positive return on investment.
  4. Engage with social media. The relationship between social media and search engine rankings is not clear, but what most marketers have concluded with their research is that it does matter. In addition to helping with your website’s visibility, it’s essential to build a loyal fan base. More than half of businesses who have been using social media regularly for two or more years have been able to establish thought leadership. Sharing engaging content on social platforms, and quickly responding to customer concerns and feedback is a great way to start and keep the conversation going.
  5. Be exclusive with email. When all of your best efforts start to pay off in visitors, fans, followers, and downloads, integrate them with an outbound strategy, like email marketing. Continue to deliver relevant content and exclusive offers as new relationships with prospects develop and convert to sales.

Inbound marketing delivers solutions and opportunities to attract and convert prospects. Need help formulating or executing your inbound marketing strategies? Contact your local Allegra Marketing Print Mail location today!

10 Customer and Employee Appreciation Gifts for the Holidays

Employee Appreciation GiftWith the holidays just around the corner, many businesses are looking for creative ways to let their customers and employees know they care. Larger companies with substantial budgets have standardized strategies to reach as many people as possible, but smaller businesses have a significant advantage when it comes to showing their clients and employees some holiday appreciation.

Never underestimate the business impact of excellent customer care. Herein lies a rare advantage that favors smaller operations. A new study revealed 61% of millennials expect to shop at small businesses in 2019. One of the reasons behind this is they understand the positive impact supporting local businesses has in their communities. Another reason is they enjoy the personal customer service they experience at a small business.

Customer and employee appreciation strategies don’t need to be costly. They simply need to be creative and consistent. Is the retention worth it? Absolutely. Ian Altman, a contributor at Forbes.com, says: “It’s always a good idea to show clients your gratitude.” And according to a business satisfaction report by Knack “Employee gifting can play an important role in employee retention in a tight labor market.”

Appreciation and recognition initiatives should be a must for every company. When formal and informal
recognition is built into your business, it can help you retain customers, improve sales, and retain top performers in your organization.

If you are looking for budget-friendly options to recognize customers or employees this holiday season, check out these ten creative ideas.

Customer appreciation gifts and retention ideas:

  1. Send a card. Custom cards or postcards are always thoughtful and often unexpected. Use them say thank you after a customer makes a large or repeat purchase or sends an important referral your way. While email may be efficient and easy, nothing tops the touch and feel of a personalized, handwritten note on high-quality stationery or a notecard with your logo embossed or foil-stamped on the front.
  2. Bring lunch. For companies dealing with business-to-business clients, bringing lunch to their location can be a great call. You can use this as an opportunity to bring some branded promotional items like reusable lunch totes, water bottles, or travel tumblers.
  3. Extend the goodwill. If you want to go above and beyond for a client, invest in a customized gift. This appreciation gift can be something reusable your client can continue to use. For example, a branded crystal candy dish filled with treats can create an opportunity for your sales team to refill on subsequent visits.
  4. Get personal. If your customer data includes birthdays, anniversaries, or other significant dates, you can build in recognition beyond holiday-related occasions with personalized offers and gifts. Do you have any clients who are into fitness? Branded pedometers or exercise mats are a great way to show them your company cares.
  5. End on a high note. Year-end holidays are a prime time to send customer appreciation gifts. Printed wall calendars are still well-received despite having many other electronic options. Other welcome desk accessories include journals and portfolios or electronics, like power kits or Bluetooth speakers.

Employee appreciation gifts and retention ideas:

  1. Be specific. Acknowledging an employee of the month is good, and it can be even better if you include a branded gift as a reward. Go for trendy promotional products such as: drawstring backpacks, headphones, or travel blankets.
  2. Encourage peer recognition. Enable your employees to acknowledge one another for going the extra mile or being a team player with whimsical “high five” trophies or golden tokens redeemable for office perks.
  3. Put it in writing. Recognizing people in writing can help you raise morale and encourage productivity. Make a point to give shout outs and reward those employees who embody your company values. Send a company wide written communication highlighting their personal stories and achievements.
  4. Tie rewards to company goals. Get the most from your employee appreciation program by linking some awards directly to your goals: increasing sales, improving customer service, or identifying cost savings. Traditional plaques and crystal trophies can instill pride in your organization.
  5. Remember remote employees. Reinforce the sense of connection of remote workers by including them and leveraging your online capabilities. There are many ways to do this, for example, feature them on your social media pages, your website, or include them in your monthly companywide emails.

Before the year ends, try some of these small investment ideas; in time they will pay big dividends for your company. Your local Allegra Marketing Print Mail location offers many promotional product options to support your customer and employee retention strategies.

5 steps to retrieve inactive customers

Increasing sales is often associated with gaining newer customers, but customer acquisition statistics show it is much easier to sell to your existing clientele. It costs at least five times more to gain a new customer than it does to sell to an existing one.
5 steps to retrieve active customers

 

 

 

Looking at your existing clients, segment them into active and inactive clients. To be able to make a clear distinction between the two types of customers, it’s necessary to figure out what is the average lifecycle of an active client. The lifecycle of a customer will depend on the types of products or services you offer.

Before you count out the inactives as part of your company’s natural churn percentages, try these five steps to re-engage them.

  1. Define who those inactive customers are. Once you have this list, there will be additional segmentation you will be able to do. If you have collected information about what they purchased from you, you can group them by product. This will help you tailor a meaningful approach to re-engage them.
  2. Determine why they left. A good way to find out why a customer has stopped or paused their buying is with a survey or a phone call. Some companies start these phone conversations by saying they are part of quality control program and would like to find out how the products are working out or are calling to update their existing contact information.  Whatever approach you choose, the important thing is to be able to reconnect and find out if you can address their reason for leaving.
  3. Set up a contact strategy. Once you have reached out, you should be able to determine which of these customers is open to being engaged again. You can add them to your monthly mailing lists for printed communications, text messaging strategy, or even a personalized message tailored specifically for them.
  4. Develop a “win back” offer. There are many different offers you can test when it comes to winning back your inactive customers  . For example; offer exclusive discounts for returning customers or provide a free trial for a newer product. If you have segmented the group of inactive customers by products purchased, you can conduct A and B testing with your offers and to each group offer something different. This will allow you to see which offers perform the best.
  5. Take care of your newly re-engaged customers. Now that you have gained the attention of some of your inactive customers, it’s time to focus on their needs. Use different strategies to show them you are grateful for their time and business and always deliver a positive customer experience. Some companies use personalized postcards to thank clients for their business. Others use loyalty programs that accumulate points and offer rewards every time the customer makes a purchase.

Find out more about reviving inactive customers by contacting Allegra Marketing Print Mail. Allegra offers a variety of business services to help your company grow. Together we can establish strategies that support your business goals. Contact your local Allegra location to discuss the options available to step up customer loyalty, retention, and re-engagement programs!