ARE YOU AN EMOTIONAL BUYER?

Emotional-buyersEmotions drive most of our decisions, and that includes what we purchase. Think about it – when you attend a trade show the smell of freshly baked cookies or popcorn will draw you into an exhibitor’s booth.

What is your company’s purpose in forming a connection with consumers that inspires trust, turns them into a lead, and might even spark a sale? The more brands can humanize their content, the more likely they are to incite an emotion that fosters a relationship between the consumer and brand.

Are you spotlighting your team in either your social media or email marketing campaigns? If you have an e-commerce site – how are you addressing abandoned shopping carts? An abandoned cart email is a gentle reminder, from a business to a customer, about the products added to a shopping cart and ‘abandoned’ there.

Why does this happen?

  • Better Price
  • Customer Distraction
  • Indecision

As business owners, we may not realize how poorly this affects our sales and business. Abandoned carts lead to billions of revenue being lost for online retailers every year.

All is not lost if you take action. Salesforce data shows that 60% of cart abandoners went back and purchased the products after receiving an abandoned shopping cart email. A personalized abandoned cart email reminder shows your potential customers what products they left in their cart and offers them another chance to complete their order.

Here’s one example of something to say in your campaign:

Hi (Customer First Name,)

We noticed you never checked out on (abandon date). Did you forget about your awesome items? We saved them for easy reference. Click here to open your cart. (Cart Link). Here’s a quick summary of your products (Products Cart)

If you have any questions, please feel free to email or call our customer service team.

A number of businesses also add a “How can we help make your experience better?” questionnaire to show their customers that their feedback matters. This is also a great way to know why the customer abandoned the shopping cart in the first place. If there are issues regarding a given product, the data gives you the information needed to make adjustments.

Create a positive emotion. Pull potential customers right back in with an abandoned email cart campaign and realize an increase in revenue instead of forgotten items left in an online shopping cart.

About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long-term basis. Core areas of service are business development, marketing, strategic planning and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business.

MANAGING YOUR ONLINE REPUTATION

Online-ReputationAre you helping your customers or selling? When you remember what your customers’ needs are and offer a solution to those needs, you’ll stand apart from the competition. By helping through offering insights and resources you take on a more humanistic approach in how you’re assisting your customers.

As you create content, identify how you can bring in the human element. Outline a case study of how a customer benefited or highlight how a customer can benefit from using your product or services. Your content should find a way to spark friendly conversations between your business and customers.

Social media can play a role in the humanness of your business. Encourage discussion about content on social media, reply to comments, use customers and staff members in your content, and create content about the issues that are most important to your customers. They may be consuming it through a screen, but you can still make them feel something in their hearts with your content. That’s part of the connection they have with you.

When asking people to review you online, you open yourself up to bad reviews, too – and that’s okay. Just remember to respond to every review, in a calm, helpful fashion and seek to turn any poor review into a positive experience. What’s important is that you shouldn’t respond just to acknowledge negative reviews; you should respond to positive reviews, as well. Replying to your reviews will show other future customers that you’re active in your online communications.

Social media has played a role in helping to level the playing field for small business. Most consumers look at online reviews before purchasing a service or product. The Edmiston Group has recently been involved with two separate situations where online reviews were not as favorable. The companies had totally different customer situations that cause the less than favorable review. Here’s the difference in their response:

  • One company didn’t respond to any reviews – a thank you, acknowledgment that they were happy the reviewer liked the service, etc.
  • The 2nd company wrote something for each review they received. Upon receipt of a negative review, they contacted the reviewer via phone, explained the situation as to why something couldn’t happen due to regulations and wrote a response.

So, if your potential customers are coming across your small business online and running away in the opposite direction once they see your lack of endorsements or your lack of engagement, what can you do to turn that around? Online reviews are here to stay. Ask your customers to become raving fans by taking a couple minutes to write a review. Be sure you are monitoring your social media channels and engage.

Set yourself apart from the crowd. Be different by saying “please” and “thank you,” sending a personalized thank you note in their online order, giving a small discount to apologize for a customer service issue and so on. Be customer service focused. Your customers will remember your kindness and may return the favor by leaving you a positive review.

About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long-term basis. Core areas of service are business development, marketing, strategic planning and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business.

HOW TO CREATE A MARKETING CALENDAR

Marketing-CalendarCreating a marketing calendar (editorial calendar) is critical to your success and will be the cornerstone of the activities you will do to promote your business in 2019. It is simply the act of thinking through the year and putting a plan in place. You can make the calendar as simple or as complex as you like. Additionally, we recommend taking some time to create a social media calendar as well. The Edmiston Group creates a general calendar every year, but we also customize these calendars for particular businesses allowing them to easily execute. Click here to download our 2019 calendar. Here are a few steps to get you started to customize your own plan.

  • Start with a 12-month calendar. If you need to share a calendar with staff or outside consultants, we have found online Google calendars work well for us and you can share it with others.
  • Incorporate each of your desired offerings into the calendar. Account for holidays, peak seasons, etc.
  • Next, incorporate community events, trade shows, and any other event that will affect your promotional dates.
  • Work backward from each key date with high-level promotional features. Think about press release dates, paid traditional advertising, time to develop and print promotional materials, and social media marketing. Be sure to calendar drop-dead dates for each promotion.
  • Leave flexibility for your social media promotions. You will want to be consistent, so set a pattern for each of your social media channels, and then accommodate the promotion into your posts when the time is right. For example, perhaps you will post to Facebook three times a week, Twitter twice a day, and incorporate Instagram, LinkedIn or Pinterest depending on the type of business you have.

Technology is always changing. Use it to your benefit by looking for efficiencies. Schedule a week’s worth of posts each Monday. Use one of many dashboards to manage your social media. Set Google alerts on subject matter that you can use for blogging or for your newsletters.

Are You Measuring?

Just because you think something is a good idea, your customers may not. Don’t rely only on your own intuition. Talk to your customers to see if they are struggling with anything in particular. That can help you understand what their needs are.

Before kicking off each promotion, be sure to write down your desired outcome. You may remember what the results are this month, but unless you write them down, are you really going to remember those results 9 months from now?

These measurable objectives hold you and your staff accountable for the end results. This likely includes a financial aspect, but may also include increased awareness as identified by growth in social media followings and/or expansion into a new market.

  • Capture your baseline for each promotion and compare it to the end result. Depending on your goal, your baseline may be financial or a number related to the number of customers or followers. For example, if you’re running a Facebook ad or social share campaign, know the number of fans you had when you started, measure downloads of information and increased likes for your page.
  • Track your financial expenditures and income for the promotion. This determines the actual cost of obtaining a new client.
  • Track all other related metrics (growth in customer base, number of increased leads, etc.). When using a variety of print material, code coupons to measure what worked and the type of client the coupon generated. A Valpac ad may generate a different type of client than a social media campaign or printed newspaper ad, but without coding the coupons and tracking the results, you don’t know the type of customer you’re attracting and the dollars that customer is willing to spend with you.
  • After each promotion, note what worked and what did not work. This will help you tweak promotions throughout the year and into the next year

The experts at the Edmiston Group can help you create your 2019 marketing program, an editorial calendar, or can work from it to help with content creation. Wondering how to get started in identifying business objectives and overall growth in 2019? Call 724-612-0755 or email us to get started.

About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long-term basis. Core areas of service are business development, marketing, strategic planning and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business.