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!

How to Wow Your Best Customers

This year Allegra sponsored a marketing webinar series featuring branding specialist Carla Johnson. In each session, Carla has discussed the different stages of the customer journey and how to reach the customer where they are at in their journey. Marketing Webinar Image

In the first webinar Impact Branding: Find and Amplify Your Brand’s Uniqueness,” she discussed ways to build your branding to attract prospects in the awareness stage and provided tips on how to convert those in the consideration stage into customers.

In the second webinar, Chemical Attraction: Transform Lukewarm Leads into Loyal Customers,” Carla discussed how to engage those prospects in the purchase stage and create exceptional customer relationships.

In the third and final Allegra webinar for 2019, Behind the Curtain: Inside Tips to Wow Your Best Customers,” Carla focused on the retention and advocacy stages of the customers’ journey and provides insightful tips to wow your existing customers and encourage them to become brand advocates.

Customer service should be a priority for every business but being able to deliver beyond that is what helps gain loyal customers and set your business apart from your competitors. The approach suggested in this webinar recommends understanding what it takes to make and keep those long-lasting relationships.

The most successful customer relationships start with successful employee relationships. This is why it’s essential to pay close attention to the people in your company and those you hire because they will ultimately be the ones who will represent your brand.

According to Gallup’s State of the American Workforce Report, companies with engaged employees outperform those without by up to 202%. To engage your existing employees Carla suggests these three ideas:

#1 Education:

Teach your employees about the customer journey and how their interactions at each one of these stages will shape the foundations of the customer experience. Make sure they focus on building long term customer relationships rather than short term transactions and provide them the necessary tools to help create fantastic experiences that will keep your customers coming back.

#2 Empowerment:

Empowering your employees means giving each one of your employees the authority and autonomy to make decisions about specific organizational tasks. By doing this, you will help encourage stronger job performance and job satisfaction.

Here are five ways you can empower your employees:

  • Hand out responsibilities
  • Make guidelines and best practices clear
  • Encourage communication
  • Offer individual and peer coaching
  • Allow opportunities for growth

#3 Activation

Employee activation is about encouraging employees to organically create and share content about topics they are interested in. Making sure the people who work for you feel appreciated and valued can help your company in return. If you make your employees feel valued, they will feel inspired and will help promote the company in return.

To get started implementing these ideas at your company follow these simple guidelines:

  • Evaluate the customer journey and asses what things are currently in place to ensure excellent customer relationships at your company.
  • Prioritize the places where this experience may need more attention.
  • Commit to delivering exceptional experiences and continuously improve how you educate, empower, and activate your customers.

If you are looking for more ideas to help improve your employee relationships, Allegra can help. Contact us to learn and ask about our promotional gifts for appreciation, personalized brochures and training manuals, or the recognition awards and certificates we offer. To listen to the full recording of this webinar series visit: https://allegrawebinars.com/

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!

3 Ways to Bond with Millennials Through Print Communications

While predictably receptive to online promotions and communications, research shows tech-savvy millennials have an unexpected affection for more traditional direct marketing.Depositphotos_81736488_m-2015

 

The 2017 Annual State of Marketing Consumer Survey from Keypoint IntelligenceInfoTrends reveals 71 percent of North American millennials say they look at most of the direct mail they receive.

 

“There’s just not as much clutter in traditional media, like print and mail, and it’s engaging to digital natives,” says Kate Dunn, Business Service Director at Keypoint Intelligence – InfoTrends.

 

However, not all mail will capture the hearts of millennial buyers. Here are three ways to win them over and inspire long-term loyalty:

 

  1. Get personal. Most appealing is customized, printed content that reflects a website they’ve visited or products they recently purchased, according to the Consumer Survey.

 

  1. Interactivity is important. Dunn notes that millennials are more likely to use a QR code to access special offers, coupons or video, bringing digital assets into the conversation. Augmented reality is another big hit, creating opportunities to bridge the gap between the physical and digital world.

 

  1. Multi-channel matters. You’ve captured their attention with a direct mail piece – don’t lose their initial engagement with a lackluster website. Ensure your website is well designed, mobile friendly and recognizable based on their first exposure to your brand, Dunn advises.

 

Download your free copy of Marketing Insider today to learn more about inspiring loyalty in your millennial customers.

With 5 Seconds to Get My Attention, it’s Time to Get Creative

Messy Office Desk with Ideas and Vision

With just five seconds — or less — to catch a prospect’s interest, you must first get them to notice you. One of the best ways to accomplish this is through the use of eye-catching creative design and clear, concise text.
How do you get there? Try following some best practices for good “creative”:

Focus on the benefits.
Stick to customer benefits in your copy rather than your product’s features. For example, the weight and dimensions of a power drill are far less meaningful than saying it fits securely in your hand with a comfortable grip.

Add contrast to add interest.
Headlines, subheads and quotations will add visual emphasis and draw the reader to your most important information. Add visual contrast by leaving white space and varying the size of graphic elements. For example, two photos of dramatically different sizes on a page are more appealing than two photos of equal size. The “weight” difference also communicates which elements are more important.


Project the right image.

Use consistent typefaces and colors to create an easily identifiable “look” that distinguishes you from your competition. For example, you may want your audience to perceive your company as professional, friendly, corporate, dynamic or cost-conscious. The design you create reinforces these qualities and elicits the appropriate emotional response.

Never forget strategy.
Creative is designed to get results. And you can’t get results without strategy. Here’s how to motivate the desired action:
• Use a targeted list for your direct marketing to avoid waste and reach those most apt to buy.
• Create a sense of urgency. (Example: limited-time offer)
• Use incentives, like cash-back or free additional services.
• Include a clear call to action. Your prospects can’t respond if you don’t tell them what you want them to do or how they should do it. (Examples: Download a white paper, register for an event, make a donation, visit our website or contact us today.)
Talk to us about your creative challenges! Allegra can help.

Simple Ways to Personalize Your Multi-Channel Marketing Campaigns

One of the most widely embraced marketing tactics for establishing and maintaining customer rapport and loyalty is personalization. Personalized marketing leverages your customer data to individualize messaging, adding important relevancy. Personalization can be applied to most of your marketing channels: direct mail, email, social media and other digital campaigns.

Allegra Direct Mail

Though personalized marketing can seem daunting, chances are you’ve already collected basic customer data that can be used to tailor your campaigns. Studies show that any form of personalization can pay off when it comes to engaging your targeted audience. According to a report from Econsultancy, 74 percent of marketers say targeted personalization increases customer engagement.

Here are a few ways to integrate personalization into your current marketing efforts to boost engagement:

  • Using data collected from your current customer base, create your ideal customer personas and tailor your marketing strategy to meet the needs of each identified group. For multi-channel marketing campaigns, segment by group and tailor your approach based on communication preferences and customer demographics.
  • Personalize a direct mail campaign by tailoring the messaging to a desired customer experience, rather than just a target customer. A pet supply store that offers grooming, for example, could share coat-care tips with a coupon for shampoo to a targeted list of past purchasers.
  • Enhance your direct mail campaign with personalized landing pages to extend engagement and drive conversions for those who like to respond online.

Count on your local Allegra Marketing Print Mail to provide solutions for personalizing your marketing campaigns in the most targeted and practical way.