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Friday Small Business Roundup: Email Marketing and More

July 12th, 2013 ::

Is your email marketing getting the results you want? Read Monika Jansen’s Top 7 Takeaways From the 2013 Email Marketing Metrics Benchmarks Study to learn how to pump up your ROI.

Wildfires, hurricanes, earthquakes…Most Small Businesses Aren’t Prepared for Disaster. Is Yours? Read Karen Axelton’s post to get ready.

Does your business slow down in summer? Check out Rieva Lesonsky’s post 5 Ways to Make Downtime Productive Time and get the most from your slow season.

If you’re feeling frazzled by all your mobile devices, check out Rieva Lesonsky’s post, Can Unplugging Make You More Productive?

A picture is worth 1,000 words. Make your blog posts, social media efforts and all your marketing outreach work better with the tips in 6 Effective Ways to Improve Your Visual Marketing, by Monika Jansen.

If you’re running a business without health insurance, you could be putting more than your health at risk. Read Maria Valdez Haubrich’s Could Ignorance About Health Insurance Cost You Your Business? to find out more.

Make sure you’re marketing to customers and prospects the right way. Read Rieva Lesonsky’s How Tablets Are Changing Online Behavior to learn what consumers want now.

Did you know writing a book can be a great marketing tool? Read Monika Jansen’s post How to Self-Publish and Market a Book to learn more.

Friday Small Business Roundup: Harnessing Technology and More

July 5th, 2013 ::

What do high-growth small businesses have in common? Find out in Maria Valdez Haubrich’s post The Most Successful Small Business Owners Use Technology to Grow Their Businesses.

Then discover How Using Facebook Can Make Your Employees More, Not Less, Productive, in Rieva Lesonsky’s post.

Help your customers spread the word about your business. Check out Monika Jansen’s 6 Top B2B Word-of-Mouth Marketing Tips.

Is your brand working as well as it should be? Read Monika Jansen’s 7 Tips to Help You Build a Strong Personal Brand.

Do Customers Really Want to Eat Healthy When Eating Out? Rieva Lesonsky gives restaurant owners the skinny in her post.

Learn What Millennials Want From Your Restaurant in Karen Axelton’s post–it may not be what you think.

Friday Small Business Roundup: Marketing With Google + and More

June 28th, 2013 ::

Are You Giving Online Shoppers the Customer Service Essentials They Expect? Read Rieva Lesonsky’s post to find out.

Are you making the most of Google+? Read Monika Jansen’s 5 Steps for a Successful Google+ Hangout.

How Can Home-Related Businesses Market to Millennials? Discover how this generation is different from any other in Karen Axelton’s post.

Trying to reach new B2B customers? Don’t miss Maria Valdez Haubrich’s post How Content Marketing Helps Make the B2B Sale.

Speaking of new customers, did you know This Hidden College Market Could Be a Gold Mine? Read Rieva Lesonsky’s post to find out what you could be missing out on.

Struggling to make your B2B marketing compelling? Read Monika Jansen’s 3 Examples of Engaging B2B Infographics From Non-Visual Companies.

You’re always trying to get new customers–but what about the ones you already have? Read Rieva Lesonsky’s post Customer Service Tips to Keep Your Most Valuable Customers Happy to keep them coming back.

Become a brand customers love! Read Monika Jansen’s 9 Great Tips on Creating Lovable Marketing From Industry Experts.

 

Friday Small Business Roundup: The Secrets of Happy Customers and More

June 21st, 2013 ::

Want to Improve Your Customer Service? Do a Customer Survey. It’s easy–Rieva Lesonsky shows you how.

Want your marketing to go viral? Monika Jansen’s post How to Combine Viral Content to Really Turbocharge Your Marketing will help.

Maria Valdez Haubrich has some surprising news: The Greener Your Business, the Greener Your Sales, a new survey says.

Keep your customers happy. Read Rieva Lesonsky’s 5 Steps to Using Twitter as a Customer Service Tool.

Make sure your marketing efforts fit your target market’s technology. Read Karen Axelton’s Who’s Using Smartphones and What Does It Mean to Your Business?

Are You Driving Customers Away With These Common Customer Service Mistakes? Rieva Lesonsky’s post tells you how to avoid the errors and keep customers coming back.

Your PR efforts finally landed publicity! Now how to ace the interview with that reporter or blogger? Read Monika Jansen’s 6 Tips for Giving a Great Interview to find out.

Have to interview someone? Check out Monika Jansen’s 5 Basic Tips for Conducting a Great Interview to handle it like a pro.

Friday Small Business Roundup: Customer Service and More

June 14th, 2013 ::

What Are Consumers Spending on This Summer—and How Can You Get Your Share? Read Karen Axelton’s post to find out.

Is a Talent Shortage Hurting Your Customer Service? Find out why small business owners still struggle to fill jobs in Rieva Lesonsky’s post.

Are you scrimping on new technology? It could be hurting your business. Read Maria Valdez Haubrich’s post How Does Your Small Business’s IT Spending Measure Up? to learn whether you’re getting left behind.

Dan Zarrella’s new book has valuable lessons for small business owners. Get the scoop in Monika Jansen’s series, Top Takeaways From the Science of Marketing, Part 1, and Top Takeaways From the Science of Marketing, Part 2.

Is your customer service up to par? Find out if you’ve got The 4 Factors in Great Customer Service.

People Are Talking—About Your Customer Service, That Is. To make sure they’re saying nice things, read  Rieva Lesonsky’s advice.

Want to learn something new? Read Monika Jansen’s post 6 Easy Ways to Improve Your Graphic Design Skills.

Friday Small Business Roundup: Smarter Online Marketing and More

May 24th, 2013 ::

You’re sending out emails, but is anyone responding? If not, Monika Jansen has 9 Easy Ways to Improve Email Click-Through Rates.

What are customer personas and how can they help your marketing? Find out in 4 Easy Steps to Create Customer Personas, by Monika Jansen.

It doesn’t matter how many customers you attract to your business if they never come back a second time. Read Rieva Lesonsky’s post Is Your Business Driving Customers Crazy? to make sure you’re not driving customers away.

If you haven’t updated your business website since 1999, maybe it’s time to read Monika Jansen’s 8 Signs It’s Time for a New Website.

Hiring doesn’t have to mean the same old, same old. For Your Next Hire, Think Out of the Box, by Rieva Lesonsky, shows you some new ways to think about hiring.

Then expand your hiring horizons by reading Rieva Lesonsky’s How to Use Social Media to Find Job Candidates.

Do you own a restaurant? Read Rieva Lesonsky’s post to learn What Matters Most to Restaurant Customers.

How Are Your Employees Using Mobile Devices? See if you measure up in Rieva Lesonsky’s post.

Friday Small Business Roundup: Niche Markets and More

May 17th, 2013 ::

Did your small business have reason to celebrate on Mother’s Day? If you’re marketing to moms right, you did–check out Maria Valdez Haubrich’s post When It Comes to Social Media, Mom Just Can’t Get Enough, for tips on what moms want.

Wondering how to attract more restaurant customers? Read Karen Axelton’s tip in 1 Simple Step That Can Make More People Eat at Your Restaurant.

Do You Need to Hire an IT Expert? Rieva Lesonsky shares the reasons you might want to add an IT person to your team.

No matter who you’re hiring, read Rieva Lesonsky’s post on Secrets to Conducting a Successful Job Interview first.

What You Need to Know About Hispanic Consumers, by Rieva Lesonsky, will give you the scoop on an increasingly important market.

Speaking of niche markets, check out Monika Jansen’s post 7 Reasons Being Niche Will Improve Your Small Business’s Marketing Strategy.

Then improve your business blog by reading–and acting on — The Do’s and Don’ts of a Successful Guest Blogger Program, by Monika Jansen.

Last, but not least, get better results from your content marketing strategy. Monika Jansen shows you how in 7 Types of Content That Search Engines Love.

Web.com Small Business Tip of the Day: Women Breadwinners Call the Shots

May 6th, 2013 ::

Want to target your marketing efforts to the breadwinner in the family? According to The Luxury Institute’s recent survey, women are not only the CEOs of their families, but 41 percent of women included in the survey were also the family breadwinners, contributing more than 50 percent of the household income. However, despite the fact that these educated women are earning six-figure salaries, their top priority is still family. So how do you market to these highly educated, affluent women? Think about their busy schedules and high standards. Make sure your website is attractive, professional, easy to navigate and represented on social media. And finally, consider test marketing to this category to get some helpful feedback on what could be improved.

Showrooming, Meet Webrooming

May 6th, 2013 ::

By Rieva Lesonsky

What do customers want from their retail experiences today? Well, if your business includes both an ecommerce site and a physical location, then you’re one step ahead of the game. A new study from Accenture found what customers want most is the ability to shop anytime, any way and anywhere they want to—so the more options you can offer, the better.

Some 89 percent of consumers in The Accenture Seamless Retail Study say it’s important for retailers to let them shop for products however is most convenient for them. But retailers still have a way to go to accomplish this goal. While 94 percent say shopping in-store is easy, and 74 percent say online shopping is easy, just 26 percent say it’s easy to shop on a mobile phone.

While online shopping is growing, and 43 percent of respondents say they plan to shop more online in the future, it’s not necessarily growing at the expense of in-store shopping. In fact, although 73 percent of shoppers engage in showrooming (examining products in a retail store and then buying them online), a whopping 88 percent participate in “webrooming”—looking at products online and then heading to a physical store to make the purchase.

Regardless of their original shopping touchpoint – in-store, online or mobile – consumers expect their interaction with retailers to be a customized, uncomplicated and instantaneous experience, according to the survey. The research also indicates that consistency weighs heavily on the consumer experience. For example, 73 percent of consumers expect a retailer’s online pricing to be the same as its in-store pricing, and 61 percent expect a retailer’s online promotions to be the same as its in-store promotions.

The biggest takeaway from the survey: Consumers expect the same pricing, promotions and products in your physical store and your ecommerce site. They also expect the same level of service and ease of use in both places.

How important is speed to online and offline shoppers? Well, that depends:

  • 25 percent would wait up to 2 weeks to get the product if it means they get free shipping.
  • 24 percent say a same-day delivery option is important.
  • Of those, 30 percent will pay $5 to $10, and 19 percent will pay $11 to $20, for same-day delivery.

Asked what they would do if a store had a product they wanted but it was after business hours, 39 percent would wait for the store to open and buy it there; 36 percent would buy it online from the same retailer; and 22 percent would buy it elsewhere online.

What type of advertising influences retail shoppers? Physical and email coupons and offers ranked number-one, cited by 56 percent of respondents. Almost half (49 percent) were influenced by in-store offers. The least effective ads were online popup or banner ads, with 69 and 62 percent respectively saying these ads “never” influence what they buy.

What’s the lesson from this research? Far from being a drain on an ecommerce business, a physical store is still a “crucial asset” in differentiating your business from purely online retailers, the report contends. If you have both online and physical locations, the key is to make sure your brand and your shopping experience are consistent at every stage of the purchase process, and every place the customer might encounter it.

Image by Flickr user lululemon athletica (Creative Commons)

 

 

Web.com Small Business Tip of the Day: What Are Your Customers Doing Online?

May 3rd, 2013 ::

What are your customers doing online? The answer is most likely social media, according to a new survey from Experian Marketing Services, which also showed five minutes of every hour is spent on shopping. A great deal of this social networking and shopping is happening on consumers’ mobile devices, which brings up the question, how are your online marketing efforts doing? Is your business well-represented on local search sites? How does your website look on a smartphone? Are you using social media to announce new products, promote daily specials and communicate with your customer? The truth is there’s probably more you could be doing, so make it a point to find out what you don’t know about online marketing and get your business on the right track.