Businesses don’t exist in a bubble. If you can’t successfully gain loyal clients, your business will slowly run dry. You can have a brilliant sales pitch, but if you can’t successfully engage with your potential clients, no one will care about your great service or product.
Nowadays the virtual online world, is just as important as the real world. You might be a great sales person when dealing with a potential client face to face. But if you can’t transpose that energy into an online persona, you’ll miss out on a huge market segment. Two brands can offer exactly the same product or service, yet one is highly successful and the other remains average. The difference between successful and status quo, can be seen in how you engage with your audience online.
People make decisions based on their emotions, not logic. You may think you’ve rationalised buying that new pair of shoes. But in actual fact, your emotions made the decision for you, long before you started reasoning with yourself about the price and the quality.
If you can sucessfully pull at people’s heartstrings, half your sale is already completed. To effectively engage with your audience online, make sure you are closely acquainted with your target audience. Also, people like doing business with people. It’s a challenge to bring across the human element in a virtual world, but it is not impossible.
Related: how story-based marketing can grow your business
If you can introduce yourself to your potential customers in a personal way, they will already feel more eager to do business with you. Instead of keeping information on your website and social media pages purely professional, add a tasteful personal touch to it. For instance, tell people why you are passionate about the service of product you are marketing. What made you decide to start the business? Add little bios of your team members on your website.
Another simple trick to use, is to respond to people on social media with a face linked to the brand. Instead of using your company name and logo, use the profile of a team member to respond to a comment or question. This way you engage with your audience online from a human angle than a corporate angle.
How do you build a community? The same way that you get to know someone new in real life. Just think about the usual social protocol when you meet someone new at a party. You will want to get to know them, by asking a few personal questions. Try to follow the same steps for your business.
You could also create a brand ambassador. For instance, Apple had Steve Jobs. This way your potential customers will feel like they are doing business with a person, not simply a faceless corporation. Consider creating an online forum where people can directly engage with you. Or take advantage of social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.
Related: Facebook page vs Facebook group
People like feeling important and useful. If you can create a way to collaborate more closely with your customers, embrace it. You could consider adding a page to your website, or posts on your social media, which showcases customers with complementing skills or products to your own.
Include customers when celebrating milestones. Each year for your birthday, you can create special exclusive offers for loyal customers. On bigger birthdays, such as 5 or 10 years, consider creating a big event where your team can interact with customers.
Also, invite feedback from your customers. Create focus groups to test out a new app or website feature, or simply to find out if you are hitting the mark with your service or product. As a thank you for the feedback, you can offer a small gift or discount. This way you make your customers feel both important and appreciated.
To engage with your audience online, think outside the virtual world box. There’s nothing like the VIP treatment to make people feel special. Even something small like a 10% off coupon for new newsletter subscribers can do the trick. Or consider releasing exclusive content or deals on your website for a limited time only. Keep people in the loop with a timely email, or social media post. This way you kill two birds with one stone. Firstly, you engage with your audience online, and secondly you create more loyalty when they regularly visit your website or social media pages.
This doesn’t have to be a real-world event. Create a webinar or use a service like meetup.com. It’s a great way for your customers to engage with your company, plus you are also offering them an opportunity to network with other customers.
If your company offers local services or products, hosting a real event can be a great way for you to transition from the virtual world into the real world, offering your customers a chance to engage with you face to face. Both types of events create a great sense of community, as well as making people feel important because they were specifically invited. Also look out for trade show or exhibition opportunities in your industry.
Building on the idea of offering exclusive content, create a competition to make people work a little bit for the free stuff. You can also gather a great deal of personal information from your customers this way. But don’t ask too many questions, or people will feel like you are just turning the competition into a marketing scheme.
With the wonder of technology, there are many ways to create interactive competitions. Ask people to upload photos to Facebook or Instagram, write a little service/product review, or like and share a post. Use the power of social media to your advantage. A voting contest is also a great way to engage with your audience online.
Email marketing is the use of email to promote products and/or services. It is aimed to develop relationships with existing clients and potential customers. In other words, it refers to sending email messages with the purpose of enhancing a merchant’s relationship with current or previous customers, encouraging customer loyalty and repeat business, acquiring new customers or convincing current customers to purchase something immediately, and sharing third-party ads. Its purpose is to build loyalty, trust, or brand awareness. It usually involves using email to send advertisements, requests business, or solicit sales or donations. Email marketing has been proven effective for modern-day businesses.
Email marketing tools have been developed because email marketing is not an easy task. These email marketing tools help business owners to promote their products and services through marketing automation, providing customizable email templates, helping create highly engaging emails, list building features, and other features for less burdensome email marketing. Here are the top email marketing tools:
MailChimp offers a very easy to use interface with great tools and awesome support. No wonder it is on the list of the top email marketing tools. MailChimp has huge integration list. It integrates with WordPress, Twitter, Facebook, ZenDesk, Magento, Salesforce, Mandrill, BigCommerce, Drupal, and Google Analytics, among others. It also comes with easy email creator, merge tags, autoresponders, segmenting contacts into groups, and simple tracking and analytics. Another feature that makes this email marketing tool a favorite by many is the fact that MailChimp offers a forever free plan which allows you to send 12,000 emails up to 2,000 subscribers. MailChimp is definitely one of the best email marketing tools because of its flexibility in campaign creation, its easy newsletter creator, responsive list-management system and high delivery success rate.
VerticalResponse offers an email software program with excellent tools for creating a professional newsletter making it perfect for businesses with image-heavy newsletters. It also integrates with several emails and CRM programs and offers an API for further compatibility. VerticalResponse offers generous free plan, simple interface, knowledgeable and helpful customer support, and can send an unlimited number of emails per month. VerticalResponse’s free plan enables you to send up to 4,000 emails per month and store up to 1,000 contacts.
Benchmark Email allows business owners to save time and drive revenue by sending automated email series that are triggered by website and email engagement. It has a modern and useful interface for creating attractive and professional email marketing campaigns. It offers several newsletters and email templates, which are attractive and easy to adapt. Its newsletter-creation interface and subscriber-management sections are easy to navigate. Benchmark Email’s Free for Life plan allows you to send up to 10,000 emails per month
AWeber is one of the top email marketing tools today. It offers a wide range of tools for small and medium-sized businesses to manage their email marketing. AWeber gives you the flexibility to manage contacts and customize your own email templates. Its templates simplify the process for creating visually attractive email marketing campaigns and the reporting dashboard tracks the most important basic statistics. In sum, AWeber offers a mix of basic features with advanced features in an easy-to-navigate user interface.
Constant Contact is one of the largest and fastest growing email marketing tools in the world. It is also the easiest to use and beginner friendly email marketing service. It offers more than 400 free templates to create newsletters and email list mailings. Aside from its core competency in email marketing, the Constant Contact has also expanded to include other marketing related services. It also offers support with live chat, email, community support, and a vast library of resources.
When the Internet was still in its infancy, consumers loved checking their emails and logging online to find the ever important, “You’ve Got Mail” phrase. Of course, over the years what we’ve come to expect from our emails has greatly changed. Meanwhile, our inboxes were once full of spam messages about winning the lottery, many small business owners are wondering if email marketing tactics are still worthwhile? The simple answer to this question is, yes.
In fact, email marketing still remains a vital part of marketing products and services to the modern consumer. If you haven’t already done so, here are five of the top reasons that your business should still rely on email marketing campaigns for success:
You’ll find that email marketing still remains a valuable asset to businesses simply because it’s the easiest way for them to reach mobile consumers without investing a great deal of money into new technology or software. In a recently conducted study, it was revealed that over 50% of cell phone users in America access their emails through their phones. Additionally, you’ll find that phone users aren’t the only ones with access to email as mobile devices are now commonplace.
Email marketing wasn’t solely established to constantly market and spam consumers, but rather to help business owners and their consumers stay constantly connected. It often comes as a shock to many businesses that consumers are willing to sign up for email marketing campaigns to stay in touch with their favorite brands as well as local businesses. Oftentimes, consumers don’t just sign up to receive special deals and promotions, but to hear the latest news regarding their favorite products.
Almost half of all consumers want to get something out of their online shopping experience, and oftentimes, it’s to gain access to savings. By signing up for your email marketing list, consumers expect to save money and gain access to the latest promotions. In short, if you hope to gain the respect of your clients or customers, it’s best to send coupons every once in awhile.
Apart from search engine optimization, email marketing is one of the most inexpensive ways to advertise your business. It allows you to reach thousands of consumers with the click of a button, and you can instantly keep them up-to-date on the latest happenings. Small businesses with an extremely tight budget find that email marketing is a better choice than going with traditional marketing methods that involve paying radio stations, television programs, or using direct mail.
Email marketing is possibly the most versatile form of marketing that you can use, and you can combine it with other marketing campaigns for success. Depending on how many people you have on your email list, your marketing messages can be something simple or you can go out of your way to create something complex. You can take it one step further by personalizing your email messages to include the name of the user, past purchases, or even recommendations for products they may like.
If you’re ready to build a business empire in the year 2017, you can’t do it without email marketing. It may seem like something that was popular over a decade ago, but for some reason it has withstood the test of time and has become a permanent marker in marketing campaigns worldwide. In short, if your business isn’t investing in email marketing, you’re missing out on money.