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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.”

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From Window Shopper to Loyal Customer: Understanding the Fundamentals of Lead Nurturing

Today’s online customers live in a world of endless possibilities. They spend the majority of their time finding a business they want to purchase from and less time actually making the purchase.

Because of that, small businesses need to create the right online environment for all types of shoppers, whether someone is just browsing or is ready to buy right then and there. This is called lead nurturing: keeping touch with customers, giving them the information they want, and building a relationship that eventually leads them to you if and when they’re ready to buy. Here’s how you can make the most of your online presence, attract and converting potential customers as they move along through the conversion funnel.

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Turning Window Shoppers Into Loyal Customers: Understanding the Fundamentals of Lead Nurturing

1. Your online visitors are at all different stages of the buying cycle – they don’t become customers overnight.

Because it’s so easy to shop online, many people spend their time browsing the web. They know that they can hop from site to site, looking for exactly what they want.

To address this, your marketing materials should not always push them to make a purchase. While this is important to you as a business owner, the consumer may not be ready to buy just yet. And if you don’t spend time building trust and forging a relationship, there’s a good chance they’ll never arrive at the purchasing stage.

Instead, consider sending them newsletters or sharing funny or interesting articles on social media. When they find value in your content, they will find value in your business and think of you next time they need a service similar to yours.

2. Today’s buyers like to be in control.

Because there are so many options readily available, online consumers have become accustomed to getting precisely what they’re looking for. They like to do their research and find the best option – not just the one right in front of them.

Say a couple is looking for a nice place to eat on a Friday night. They like Italian food but don’t want to spend more than $30 per person. But they’d also like a quality meal. Instead of just walking in to the first restaurant they see, they can now open Yelp or Google right on their phone and find the best restaurant in their area that meets those criteria by reading reviews from previous customers.

This is why it’s so important to spend time building up your online reputation. The in-control consumer wants to make sure they’re spending their time well – and reading reviews gives them the vote of confidence they need.

3. Build relationships, not just sales.

Customer loyalty is not something that appears overnight. Instead, the best customers – the ones who come back time after time, the ones who talk about you to their friends and family, the ones who know you and your employees by name – are developed over time. This is where lead nurturing comes in. When you think about your customers as people first and consumers second, it’s much easier to build organic, long-lasting relationships with them.

This boils down to how well you delight and surprise your customers at every step of the way. Do you have a loyalty program for regular customers? Do you send them special offers and discounts on their birthday? Do you share funny, interesting videos and articles with them on your social media channels? It’s the little things that will turn one time shoppers into loyal customers who come back time after time.

 

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What Is Retargeting and How Will It Help Me Acquire New Customers?

Photo courtesy of: Erika via Flickr

There are a lot of really complex marketing concepts out there. From SEO to conversion optimization to retention marketing. One of the trickiest concepts is a topic called retargeting. Retargeting goes hand-in-hand with paid advertising such as Google AdWords and Facebook Advertising. Retargeting is often overlooked because it seems like a lot of hand waving and a little bit of Internet magic. But if you’re thinking about using paid ads in your marketing strategy, you absolutely must focus on a strategy that includes retargeting.

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What Is Retargeting and How Will It Help Me Acquire New Customers?

What is Retargeting?

In the age of information, we can track almost anything that happens on the web. Enter retargeting. Retargeting allows you to track people who have visited your site (or anywhere with a piece of tracking code installed) and then show them ads later when they’re on other sites like Google or Facebook.

You’ve probably seen retargeting whether you realize it or not. Say you’re looking for hotels for your family vacation to Palm Springs. So you jump onto the Internet and search “palm springs hotels”. You spend some time browsing through the links, exploring different hotels but realize you have to do some more planning before you’re ready to book.

The next day you need to look up the venue for a concert and you head to the same search engine where you found your Palm Springs hotel. Even though you’re searching for your concert venue, you keep seeing ads like this for restaurants, activities, flights, and hotels in Palm Springs.

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This is retargeting at work. Even though you’re looking for something else, Google knows you were looking for hotels and figured you’d be interested in other options.

How Will It Help Me Acquire New Customers?

Today’s internet shoppers are always browsing by default. There’s always a sense that there might be something better out there if you just keep looking.

Because of this, it’s easy to get lots of people to visit your site once but never complete the purchase. 2% of visitors actually make a purchase on their first visit. How can you get the other 98% back?

Retargeting. Retargeting continues to show your product to potential customers even when they’re exploring other options. It serves as a little reminder to the people most likely to buy. Every time they see your ad, they think of your site, your product and your name. It keeps you top of mind and helps channel your customers down the conversion funnel. No more losing your advertising dollars on people who won’t convert. Retargeting is direct, optimized and allows you to get in front of the right people.

Need help with retargeting on Facebook and Google? Take a tour of our Facebook Ads platform or sign up for a demo with one of our marketing specialists.

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5 Exciting Valentine’s Day Email Marketing Campaigns

National holidays are always a great way to start a conversation with your customers – and Valentine’s Day is no exception. Sending email offers and specials around the holiday is a great way for small businesses looking to engaging existing customers and drive revenue.

We’ve worked with hundreds of clients to create, optimize and deliver their Valentine’s Day email marketing campaigns – here are some of our favorite ideas.

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5 Exciting Valentine’s Day Email Marketing Campaigns

1. 2-for-1 Deals for Couples, Friends, Family

Sure Valentine’s Day is often marketed towards people in romantic relationships but what about people who want to celebrate the other kinds of love in their lives? 2-for-1, BOGO, 50% off are all great ways to get your customers – and their network – excited about your business.

2. Share the Love Offer

Happy_Valentines_DayA fantastic email campaign gets two birds with one stone: it feels like a great deal for your customers and it engages existing customers and invites new customers. A “Share the Love” referral campaign does just this: send an offer that encourages your customers to share it with their friends, family, and loved ones and they’ll get a special gift as well.

3. A Good Ol’ Fashioned Valentine

Remember in elementary school how you’d write a Valentine to everyone in your class? Second to Halloween, this was the best time of the year as far as candy consumption went.

For your Valentine’s Day marketing, consider sending your customer’s their very own Valentine with a special treat such as a 10% off coupon.

4. Last Minute Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

Puckett8Williams and Sonoma’s sent this Valentine’s Day newsletter to their customers showcasing several great last-minute Valentine’s Day gifts. Not only did they provide ample value to their customers but they also did an excellent job of showcasing their own product.

It’s also important to note the eye-catching design and typography. Simple design concepts like color, hierarchy, and good photograph go a long way to building your brand and making a lasting impression.

5. A Valentine’s Newsetter

Last but not least, some of the best email marketing campaigns keep it simple with a custom newsletter wishing customers a happy Valentine’s Day. You’ll always have customers at the early stage of the purchasing process and they might not be ready to buy just yet. Non-transactional campaigns like this nurture these kinds of customers along the funnel so that when they are ready to buy, you’re top of mind.

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3 Marketing Tips Small Businesses Can Learn from Super Bowl Ads

The Super Bowl is one of the most anticipated sporting competitions of the year. But there’s always another competition: who has the best commercials. In 2015, national brands reported spending an average of $4.5 million dollars for a 30-second ad spot. And understandably so – well over 100 million people tune into watch the Super Bowl every year.

Marketers spend many months, even years planning their Super Bowl ads. They deliver high quality content that people share for years to come. And they always get people talking. So what can you learn from their expertise?

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3 Marketing Tips Small Businesses Can Learn from Super Bowl Ads

1. Great marketing content should be eye-catching but still memorable. Don’t lose sight of your brand.

Screenshot 2015-02-02 15.48.03This #BestBuds campaign by Budweiser told a great story and supported the brand, values, and business initiatives of the company. Not only did it connect with the audience on an emotional level, but it also fit well within the story we all associate with Budweiser.

Creating something memorable is important but there’s also something to be said for less flashy but more communicative ads that stick to your business’ identity.

2. Utilize today’s multi-platform consumer: email, phone, social media, web, direct advertising.

That budget might sound excessive but in truth, it covers a lot of ground – top-notch theatrics, videographers, dancers, artists, partnerships, sponsorships, magazine campaigns, social media campaigns, press tours. The lesson here? Your marketing efforts should be multi-channeled, crossing over to many diverse platforms to reach your target market wherever they are.

For example, 50% of this years’ Super Bowl ads carried a hashtag (#) which is used to connect to other topics on Twitter. These brands were able to extend the shelf life of their ads by encouraging consumers to take the conversation with them wherever they go.

3. Run a contest or special to create delightful engagement around your business.

Screenshot 2015-02-02 16.04.31From now until February 14th, McDonald’s is asking customers to pay for their meals with acts of “love” – calling their mom to say they love them, giving their families a hug, dancing.

Not only did this make for a heart-warming and engaging video, but it builds anticipation and gets people excited about going to McDonald’s. Who knows, maybe you’ll be tapped next!

Sometimes the best way to learn is by watching and studying the pros. These Super Bowl ads not only are great entertainment, but they are also a lot of great examples for how to market any business – no matter how big or small.