3 Things Local Businesses Should Know to Run Ads on Facebook

Finding new customers is always top of mind for small and local business owners. Fortunately in today’s digital world, your customers are always waiting – as long as you know how to find them.

Facebook is one of the best places to find potential new customers. There are 1.35 billion monthly users of Facebook who spend at least 40 minutes per day on the site. Facebook knows that this is a great place for businesses to reach their customers so they make it possible for businesses to run ads where people are browsing their News Feeds. If you’ve ever boosted a page, you’ll already have your account set up to run ads. If not, visit the Facebook Advertising page to get started.

Facebook ads are very complicated, however. There are a lot of factors that go into creating a compelling ad that actually gets results. To help you break into reaching potential new customers on Facebook, here are 3 things you should know to run ads on Facebook.

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3 Things Local Businesses Should Know to Run Ads on Facebook

1. The biggest pro to advertising on Facebook is geographic targeting.

Facebook knows a lot about it’s users – from their birthdays to where they went to school to their gender. Fortunately for you, Facebook also knows where it’s users live and spend time. This means that you can show your ads to people in your local area and not waste your time or money on people who would never buy from your business.


2. Your ad must stand out.

FB_Ads_2_headerPeople are doing a lot of things when they’re on Facebook. They catching up with friends, reading stories, watching videos, liking posts and commenting on photos. Not to mention all the other things they’re doing outside of Facebook.

In order to catch their eye, you have to make your ad look really really good. This means compelling and interesting copy (think “Race Into Fall with this Go Karting Special for only $100 (50% off)” not “New Go Karting Special!”) and professional graphics (think clean, well-designed images or photos, not messy, hard-to-read graphics).

3. You must have a way for your fans to buy (or click or claim).

Screenshot 2014-12-29 15.19.17It’s one thing to have a catchy ad shown to the right people. It’s another thing to have that ad convert your fans into customers.

Whatever you want your fans to do, you must have an easy way for them to do it. Are you hoping that when they see the ad they’ll buy a product or service you offer? Send them to a payment processing page where they can buy right away – not to your generic website where they’ll have to spend time to find the checkout center. People are inherently busy and distracted on Facebook – give them the tools they need to get to your business.




How to Generate Revenue from Your Email List

In today’s world of technically-savvy consumers, you have the opportunity to connect with them even after they walk out the door. It’s not just about traditional marketing methods anymore – you can and should be working to reach your customers online, wherever they are.

One of the best ways to do this is through email – collecting email addresses from your customers and then sending them various marketing materials to entice them to come back. Why email you ask? What about the hottest new social media platform that everyone is talking about?

Social media is certainly a popular and fruitful channel but it is not nearly as productive as email. Email for example, successfully converts viewers into shoppers at a 3% rate, whereas social media converts viewers at only a 1% success rate. Plus, 66% of consumers have made a purchase as a direct results of email marketing.

So what can you do to turn your list of emails into a revenue source?

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How to Generate Revenue from Your Email List

Send Purchasable Offers

Screenshot 2014-12-29 15.19.17The best, most obvious way to generate revenue from your customers is to email them something they can buy. Purchasable offers encompass a wide variety of things – services, products, features. This is why they top the list – there is ultimately no end to what you can and cannot offer to your email subscribers. You can customize each and every offer to your particular business at that particular point in time – whatever you think will yield the greatest results.

Purchasable offers also work extremely well for turning first-time shoppers into loyal customers. As long as you create an attractive, exciting offer that is something your customers truly want, you can convert first-time shoppers quickly and efficiently because all they have to do is click “Buy”.

Many people are familiar with these kinds of emails through things like Groupon and Living Social. While those daily deal services certainly have their perks, they are absolutely not right for every business. Think long and hard about what kind of customers you’re looking for – do you want one-time shoppers or customers who return over and over again?

If you’re looking for the latter, daily deals might not be the way to go. Instead, find a services that allows you to create these kinds of offers but send them to your existing database of customers.

Send Claimable Offers

SalesPitchDeck_22Another great way to generate revenue from your email list is to send claimable offers. Claimable offers differ from purchasable offers in one small, but important way: you simply claim instead of actually purchase.

For many businesses, this works better than purchasable offers. Claims are easier for your customers to do – they don’t have to pay for it until they’re in the store. Plus, once they’re in there’s a chance they could make additional purchases.

Claimable offers work especially well for creating loyalty and a positive customer experience. Sending your customers a claimable birthday offer, for example, is a great way to get people back in the door and leave a lasting impression.

While there are plenty of other ways to generate revenue from your email list by sending newsletters or updates, sending offers like these are the best way to immediately increase sales.



The Best Email Subject Lines You’ll Read All Day

It’s one thing to create an enticing and compelling marketing email. It’s another thing to get someone to open it.

One of the key ingredients to a superb email marketing program is to ensure you write great subject lines – after the sender, that’s the first thing your customers see in your emails. This is truly the make or break moment – they’ll either be so intrigued that they have to open it, or they’ll delete it right away without even taking a look.

To make sure your emails are getting read by your customers, check out these stellar email subject lines.

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The Best Email Subject Lines You’ll Read All Day

1. Personalized – “Your Special Birthday Offer”

This email subject header is a double-whammy: not only does it personally address the recipient, but it’s also an offer that no one else (or at the very least, few people) are receiving. When you get something like this in your inbox, you’d have to be hard-pressed to hit delete.

2. Incentivized – “Enter to Win a $25 Gift Card”

Another great way to get people to open your emails is to give them something in exchange. Email sweepstakes build up anticipation and get people to engage with your business even if they otherwise would not.

3. Reminder – “Don’t Forget…”

In the spirit of intriguing your readers, reminder emails are also an incredibly efficient way to get your customers to take an action, whether that’s completing a purchase they were looking at earlier on your site, or filling out a contact us form.

Why does this work? On the one hand, it touches on the personalization principle – this email feels like it was written just for me, as if you knew that I might have truly forgotten to do something. On the other hand, it builds a lot of anticipation. Your readers will start to ask, “Wait, did I forget something?”

4. Question – “Thanks for Stopping By! Ready to Review?”

The natural inclination after reading this subject line is to of course, answer the question. But what’s the first step to answering the question? Opening the email and figuring out what I’m being asked to review.

This email subject line uses a lot of basic psychological concepts like urgency, scarcity, and personalization which makes it a tried and true way to get your customers to engage with your emails.

It’s important to be brief and succinct in marketing emails – and getting to the point straight in your email subject line is a great way to do this. The trick is giving out just the right amount of information to get them interested but not totally satisfied. Once you’ve found the sweet spot, your emails will never again land in the trash unopened.


Collecting Customer Birthdays: Why It’s Important and How It Can Help Generate Revenue

SalesPitchDeck_22At LocBox, our main goal is helping our clients grow their businesses – in whatever way they see fit. Many of our clients want help generating more revenue. There are a lot of different ways to go about doing this. But one of the very first thing we ask is: are you doing something special for your customers’ birthdays?

I know, I know. How does celebrating a customer’s birthday generate revenue? It’s true that you won’t see your bank account grow overnight by collecting birthdays from your customers. But it’s also true that collecting birthdays is one of the best ways to ensure you build a loyal customer base that a) comes back time after time and b) tells all of their friends and family about you and c) creates opportunities for people to buy.

So how can you go about generating revenue by asking your customers for their birthdays?

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Collecting Customer Birthdays: Why It’s Important and How It Can Help Generate Revenue

1. You create a customer experience worth talking about.

Everyone loves to receive gifts. It’s always nice to feel appreciated and like someone is thinking of you.

When you take the time to record your customer’s birthdays and then send them a special gift that they can use in-store, you create a very personalized and positive experience with your business.

You also have the added element of surprise. Customers don’t expect a business to take the time to be personable and thoughtful. So when you do go the extra mile, it stands out and is something worth sharing.

2. You get people in the door.

A lot of businesses have heard this story before: you spend a lot of time and effort on advertising or daily deal sites that get you a lot of new customers…but they only come in once and they’re on to the next thing. There’s no sense of loyalty.

Collecting people’s birthdays and sending them something special gives those one time shoppers an opportunity to come back. If they are offered a free product or a special discount simply because it’s their birthday, they’d be hard pressed to pass it up.

3. You create opportunities for them to buy.

There is a small boutique beauty salon near my house that always sends me this email during the month of my birthday:

Screenshot 2015-01-12 16.04.54

Now normally, I’d just buy my beauty supplies at a place I regularly go to for other household items (Costco, Target). But when I get this email, I end up stopping in and picking up some other beauty products since I’m already there. At the same time, I feel like I got the better end of the deal because I got something for “free” – which makes me feel special.

This is the key way to turn a loyalty program such as collecting birthdays into a revenue-generating machine. Not only are you building a great customer experience that will help you exponentially, but you’re also creating opportunities for people to get in your business and make a purchase.



How to Optimize Your Website for More Sales

Having a website in today’s world of tech-savvy shopper is like having a shopfront that is always open and easy to maintain. But it doesn’t stop there; once you’ve set yourself up with a good website, it’s also important to make sure it’s easy for web browsers to buy.

So what can you do to turn casual Google searches into profitable business? Here are a few tips on how to optimize your website for more sales.

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How to Optimize Your Website for More Sales

1. Easy, on-site purchasing.

Pitch-Screenshots_plugin-desktop-spaMaking a purchase on your site should be as easy as searching for it. More and more people are becoming accustomed to buying right from websites – no more calling or walking in to book an appointment.

Here at LocBox we help our clients do just that. Our website plug-in allows them to run offers right from their website. Now their customers can buy right from their website – without having to pick up the phone.

2. A website (and purchasing process) that’s mobile friendly.

Pitch-Screenshots_plugin-mobile-spaDid you know that 78% of mobile searches for local business information result in a purchase? Because customers who search on their mobile phones are already on the go, the chances of them actually following through on their search are much higher.

With so many users on the go, it’s important to make sure your online presence is well-received on smaller devices. This means your site automatically resizes to fit the smaller screen, text is bigger, and buttons are bigger and easier to use with our big clumsy fingers (instead of precise mouses).
It’s also important to make sure your purchasing processes are mobile optimized. This is where you will see the biggest gains in sales. If your checkout process is easy to use on a smartphone, your customers will be much happier and much more likely to buy.

3. An easy, intuitive checkout process.

2_Lightboxes_checkoutIn order to increase sales from your website, you need to reduce or eliminate as many barriers to completing the check out process as possible

There have been many times where I’ve said no to signing up for a credit card or loyalty card at a store not because I didn’t want it but because I simply wanted to make my purchase and get on with my day.

It’s a similar experience online. If your checkout process requires your customers to make a special login and password or it’s hard to use on a mobile device, you’ve already put yourself at a disadvantage. Whereas in store you have an employee to help facilitate the rest of the checkout process, online you don’t have the same resources at your disposal. If a customer is having a difficult time completing their purchase, they’re much more likely to simply leave.

4. Remind customers to complete the purchase.

One of our most important features is an event-triggered email that goes out to customers who have visited a businesses’ checkout process but didn’t buy. Often times they were distracted, didn’t have time right away, or were considering other options. But when we use these kinds of triggered emails, we’re able to convert 8% of abandoned shoppers back.

It’s not that they don’t want your services. It just they want an easier way to get it.

With the web, it’s all about reducing the cognitive load – the amount of mental effort it takes to complete a task. The less you ask of your online shoppers, the more likely they are to make it all the way through to “purchase completed.”