You probably have a strong marketing strategy for your business that you worked hard to create and and that produces solid results. Even so, customer behavior changes constantly, and it never hurts to make tweaks that keep you ahead of the latest trends — and ahead of your competitors. Now may not be the time to revamp your entire marketing plan from the ground up, but you can always use one of these easy marketing methods to achieve greater success without spending too much effort. Here are eight quick changes you can make today:
1. Turn your website 404 page into an engagement opportunity
No matter how vigilant you are about updating your website, a customer will eventually come across a link that is broken or has expired. Most businesses simply reroute the visitor to a generic 404 or “address not found” error page, but this passes up an excellent opportunity to get back on your customer’s good side. Instead, design a 404 page that acknowledges the problem, but also includes something of value or an enticing call to action. This could be a coupon, giveaway or sign-up for a free consultation.
Take this example from apparel retailer It Girl, whose 404 page offers an exclusive coupon code:
2. Put customer names in your email subject lines
Consumers get bombarded by unsolicited email, so it’s important to make your marketing messages stand out from the crowd. Including the customer’s name in the email subject line, not just the introduction, is one of the easiest ways to boost your open rates. Most email marketing tools make this easy to do for automated campaigns so you don’t have to waste time with mail merges or customizing messages one at a time.
3. Make sure all email responses come from a real person
Just as recipients are more likely to open emails with their name in the subject line, they’re also more likely to respond positively to emails that come from an actual human being, rather than a generic department account. Instead of responding to incoming messages from accounts such as “email@example.com” or “firstname.lastname@example.org,” send your reply from an account with a real person’s name — even if the original message was sent to a general inquiry alias.
4. Redistribute popular posts on social media
You probably have tools in place to keep track of what’s resonating with your audience, so why not give them more of what they want? Considering the short attention span of social media, it can be incredibly valuable to relink to popular content or repost popular messages that your customers may not have seen the first time around. For platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn, we advise making updates or changes to the original post before redistributing the content. But for Twitter, it’s fine to tweet the same thing as long as you have other messages going out in between.
5. Call out accounts when you post content on social media
Whenever you share something on social media, remember to call out any people or companies relevant to your post to increase your reach. Adding an @ symbol in front the account name will work for Twitter and LinkedIn. Facebook and Instagram have similar processes for mentioning other users in posts. Not only does the person or company you’re mentioning get an extra alert (which could prompt them to promote it further), but their followers and connections may also be shown the message, bringing attention to your business among new but related audiences.
JetBlue uses Twitter to respond to customer praise and concerns, mentioning customers in their tweets.
6. Make it easy for customers to give you a review
Small businesses thrive on word-of-mouth. Reviews on websites such as Yelp, Google and Facebook can make or break your company. Add links on your company website that send your valued customers directly to your profile on business review sites, encouraging them to share their experience with others. Sprinkle these links generously throughout your online marketing materials and correspondence, not just in a follow-up email or on a receipt. Positive feedback often requires extra encouragement!
7. Use paid search ads to target customers in your geographic area
If you’re running a business that caters primarily to local customers, you can run highly effective paid search ads that only show up within a targeted geographic area. There is a local locations option in Google AdWords, so that instead of including the term “Minneapolis” in your paid search keywords, you can simply limit the ads to people who are a certain distance from the city. This will cut down on your digital ad spend and allow you to reach relevant audiences that would be too expensive to target on a national scale.
8. Upload your promotions to discount code and coupon sites
Studies find that most consumers today research products and prices online before they head out shopping for something new. Many of them will be searching hard for discounts and special offers beyond what’s advertised on your website in places such as RetailMeNot.com, Coupons.com or DiscountCodes.com. Post some recent coupons and codes for your business on these sites (and others that might be specific to your geographic area) to get a leg up on the competition. It may feel like you’re giving up something for nothing, but that’s the logic behind discounts in the first place! With a properly calculated promotional strategy, your business should come out on top in the end.
The possibilities for improving your marketing are endless, even with a minimum of time. Still, if these quick fixes seem anything but, Deluxe is here to help.
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