How to Write Email Newsletters Your Customers Will Actually Want to Read

I have a love-hate relationship with my email. On the one hand, it keeps me in touch with my friends and family, alerts me of sales and specials from my favorite businesses, and at the best of times, is the messenger of great news.

On the other hand, emails can be draining, constantly demanding my attention. When I get a newsletter from a business, for example, it’s usually a low priority on my list. If I’m a regular  customer or have always found their content useful, I’m excited and eager to open.

But if they’ve “struck out” one too many times, I hit “delete” without even opening.

So what can you do to make sure your emails stay out of the trash? How can you write newsletters that brighten your customers day?

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How to Write Email Newsletters Your Customers Will Actually Want to Read

1. Don’t always sell.

As a business, your goal is to sell. Many of your newsletters can and should be selling your services but you should also incorporate content that has no ties to selling – it is simply there to entertain and reinforce your brand.

For example, our creative team built this fun newsletter for a client titled “The Adventura Summer Bucket List”.



2. Consistency and quality.

Once you’ve gotten a customer’s email, it’s up to you to prove your worth. In order to keep your seat at the table, you must share good content regularly. What defines good content? What do we consider regularly?

We see the best results with clients who send email newsletters at least twice a month. This cadence keeps the business relevant but doesn’t overwhelm customers with information they don’t need all the time.

As for good content, this varies from business to business. Different customers judge quality differently. But the one defining characteristic of good content is value – are you sharing information that gives something to your customers? Have you hit the sweet spot between what you as a business owner need and what the customer needs?

3. Visual style is more than just an added bonus.

Today I got an email from a business that I had never heard before. They were offering me exclusive access to a marketing webinar at a discounted price.

Fortunately, my spam folder caught the email before it was routed to my main inbox. When I went to delete the email, I saw that it was written in plain text – no special branding that I recognized, no logos, no images, nothing. Combined with the fact they were trying to sell my something, this immediately triggered a red flag in my mind and I deleted it fully knowing it was spam.

How you style your emails – logos, graphics, text, fonts – is the impression you leave with your customers. Putting effort into the visual component of your newsletters makes your content and your brand feel professional and trustworthy – and separates you from spam emails.

When executed well, email marketing is an affordable and efficient way for businesses to engage existing customers. With a digital point of contact, you can build great relationships, turning one time visitors into loyal customers.



How to Optimize Your Checkout Process to Get the Sale

It’s one thing to get a customer to your website – it’s another thing to convert them.

It turns out that you can have millions of views, millions of clicks and spend millions of dollars on advertising and consultants – but if you’re checkout process is faulty and confusing, you can still lose the sale at the end of the day.

So what can you do to get that sale at the end of the road?

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How to Optimize Your Checkout Process to Get the Sale

1. Don’t ask for more information than you really need.

Because today’s online shopper has such a short attention span, it’s important to convert them efficiently and effectively before they have a chance to get distracted and leave your page.

If you ask for 10 different pieces of information that would be helpful but aren’t really necessary suddenly your customer is tasked with a lot of work. They have to consider whether or not they’re really comfortable giving you their address or their home phone number. This is especially important if you’re trying to convert new customers who are less familiar with your business and the most at risk to abandon the sale if you’re too invasive.

2. Don’t require a custom login and password for your site.

If I had a dollar for every website I ditched because they required me to create a login and password…well, I’d have a lot of dollars.

While it might be easier and more beneficial for the business to have their own registration system, it’s 10x harder for the customer. Not only do I have to take the time to fill out a registration form, but I also have to remember my information every time I want to get back in touch.

If I’m visiting the business for the first time and don’t have much loyalty, I’m much more likely to just try and find another similar business that is easier to work with.

Keeping the barriers to purchasing low by only asking for a name, email and credit card information is an effective way to make sure you don’t lose that sale.

3. Have an online purchasing and/or booking system.

I’ve been due for a dentist appointment for almost 3 months now. Strangely enough, I really enjoy going to the dentist. But I haven’t made an appointment because I’d have to call to book it.

I know, I know this sounds pretty silly. I’ve been putting off going to the dentist because I have to get on the phone and talk to someone. But I’m always busy during their working hours and in this day and age of digital everything, I’m much more comfortable making arrangements over the internet than I am in person.

Many of today’s savvy shoppers have the same mentality – calling someone runs the risk of taking a lot more time and effort. What if they’re not there and you have to call back again later? What if you spend those 15 minutes calling only to find out they don’t have what you’re looking for?

Checking out someone’s website or online booking system, however, can take less than 5 minutes. And if I like what I see and they have a way for me to take the next steps right there, I certainly won’t hesitate to do so.

Nobody wants to invest time and money into their marketing efforts only to watch the fruits of their labor disappear. This is why it’s so critically important to be aware of your business from the point of view of the customer. You can have the best products or services in the world but if the experience isn’t enjoyable and effortless, if they have to exert more effort than necessary to get to those products and services, than there’s a good chance they’ll leave without a second thought.

Your customers are constantly asking themselves, “Is this worth my time? Will this solve the problem I have before me?” In today’s world of hyper-competitive business, you can’t afford to give them a reason to say no.




Turning Likes Into Dollars: Why Facebook Likes Still Matter

Facebook is not just a social network anymore. Facebook is not just about puppy photos, wedding announcements and status updates about the grocery store. The world’s most popular social network is quickly evolving into one of the best advertising platforms out there for businesses and brands of all sizes.

But when Facebook announced that brands can expect to reach 1-2% of their fans organically, many brands stopped trying to grow their brands on Facebook and stopped trying to get more fans to like their page.

As it turns out, the decline in organic reach is exactly why brands need to focus on getting more likes from existing and new customers. Here are 5 reasons why Facebook likes still matter to businesses today.

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Turning Likes into Dollars: Why Facebook Likes Still Matter

1. There are more people spending more time on Facebook.

Believe it or not, the number of people joining Facebook is growing more and more everyday. The social network now has 1.35 billion users (to put it in perspective, there are a little over 7 billion people on the planet). With this many people, it only makes sense that brands should work to take advantage of the direct communication path between their customers and the operations.

2. But with this many people, it’s getting harder to stand out.

Without proper planning, marketing on Facebook can be like shouting across a packed room at a cocktail party to someone on the other side of the room: your message gets drowned out by the chaos and clamor of the crowd.

Facebook says that at any given time, there are 1500 stories competing for attention in your News Feed. Now it’s easy to see why many brand’s posts aren’t reaching as many people as they once were: there simply isn’t enough room for every brand to reach every customer.

3. Likes will get you in front of the right people.

Besides the social proof that comes with having a fair number of likes on your Facebook page, likes are the doorway that connect your customers with you.

Facebook knows that if someone liked your page, they did so because they “like” your business. They want to get the latest product updates or business hours. They want to hear about your holiday specials and loyalty programs. So Facebook will prioritize your content over another, less relevant piece of information – say a status update from a long, lost friend from school that you no longer keep up with. As long as your customers have a history of interacting with your page, Facebook will make it a priority to show your content.

4. With the right people you can send the right message.

The best kind of ads are ones that are targeted at customers who have a demonstrated interest in the good. What better way to determine someone’s interest than a “Like”?

Imagine sharing purchasable offers and discounts with people who have already bought from you or who have heard about you through a friend and took the time to like your page on a personal recommendation.

Now imagine sharing purchasable offers and discounts with someone who has never heard of your business before.

Facebook likes get your ads in front of people who are the most likely to buy, therefore making the most of your time and money spent on Facebook advertising.

Who do you think is more likely to buy?

5. Likes give you access to other potential customers that are related to your current fan base.

One of the best tips for finding a new job is to ask among your friends and family. If you show enough demonstrated interest, someone is always bound to know someone who can put you in touch with a company that is hiring for your desired role. This is called horizontal networking.

Facebook advertising takes advantage of this phenomenon to provide new ways for businesses to connect with new customers. One of the best things about social networks is that everyone is always connected to other people. Facebook’s advertising programs allow you to target not only the people who like your page but also people who might like your page – friends of your fans, people who “look” like your fans (based on things like location and interests). If you’re sharing the right kind of content that can convert people seamlessly and efficiently, Facebook can be an effective platform for acquiring new customers.

Garnering likes for your Facebook page is a tedious process. In fact, you should be cautious against companies that promise getting you hundreds of likes overnight. Instead, focus on building your assets within your existing customer base. With this foundation, you can grow your monetary return on advertising and target new customers who are the most likely to make a purchase.



How to Motivate Your Customers to Come Back Time After Time

Small businesses have a pretty big advantage when it comes to fostering relationships with their customers. With a small team, the opportunities to connect with your customers and build personal relationships are plentiful. And it’s good for business too – returning customers often spend 67% more than new customers. So what can you do to build a community of loyal customers who always have you at the top of their mind?

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How to Motivate Your Customers to Come Back Time After Time

1. Incentivize in-store shopping with a loyalty program.

One of the best ways is to create and utilize loyalty programs. We are all familiar with loyalty programs: punch cards, points, and free coffees are little ways that businesses show they care about their customers. Providing a loyalty program for your customers not only incentivizes people to buy more, but it also tells your customers you care – encouraging them to spread the good word about your business.

2. Incentivize sharing – 2-1 deals, refer-a-friend, digital offers on social media networks that make it easy for your customers to spread the word.

Another effective way to get customers to come back is to make it a social event. Provide them with the opportunity to get their friends and family involved with marketing campaigns like 2 for 1 deals and refer-a-friend specials. Not only have you encouraged a customer to come back, but you’ve also found a new customer who you can then funnel into your customer database.

You should also concentrate these efforts on platforms that make it as easy as possible for customers to share it with their friends – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – places where people will tag or comment with their friends can make your job of reaching those new customers a lot easier.

3. Incentivize a memorable interaction.

The best way to get your customers to come back? Deliver an unforgettable experience. This moves beyond marketing and also is about how you encourage your team to communicate with your customers in a generous and helpful manner. Even the smallest of interactions – from checking an out of stock item in the back to helping your customers find what they’re looking for – can make a world of difference. And when your customers are deciding between you and your competitor, they are much more likely to remember the friendly welcome they got upon walking through your doors than anything else.

At the end of the day, what’s going to make your customers come back time after time depends on whether or not they enjoyed their time with you. We all have errands to run, places to be, more things we should be doing. Make their experience with you something to be remembered, not just checked off a list.


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How to Save That Sale (And Increase Your Revenue by 10%)

Today’s world of “online everything” has it’s perks: it’s now easier than ever for businesses to reach their ideal customers. People are shopping on their computers, on their cell phones, on their commutes, and on their lunch breaks. No matter where they are, you can reach your customers with the right online presence.

But this plethora of online shopping options can also be your downfall: with so many options, customers have a shorter attention span and are more likely than ever to leave your website before making a purchase. A study conducted by the Baymard Institute found that 67.45% of shopping carts are abandoned before the customer completes a purchase.

This means that for every 100 people who click “Add to cart”, only 32 people actually fill out the forms and make a purchase and the other 67 customers leave your site.

Now imagine if you were able to capture just 10% of those abandoned sales:

Your monthly sales: $20,000

A 10% boost: $2,000/month x 12 months = an extra $25,000/year in additional sales

This is where strategic marketing planning comes into play. With the right tools and strategies, you can find ways to boost your sales simply by focusing on your existing customers.

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How to Save That Sale (And Increase Your Revenue by 10%)

1. Make the check-out process as easy as possible

Imagine you’re getting ready to make an online purchase only to find that there’s a lot you have to do before you can actually make the purchase: enter your email, phone number, address, date of birth, gender, education, occupation – the list goes on and on until you decide it’s not worth it and exit out of the page. This is the biggest reason why you’re leaving money on the table: your check-our process is just too much to deal with. Instead, think about the bare minimum information you need to complete the transaction – this is usually only name, a piece of contact information (such as an email or phone number) and purchasing information (usually a credit card). We provide businesses with a 3-step check-out process their customers can complete right from their email, the web, or their mobile phone.

2. Don’t be afraid to follow up and keep reminders visible.

Sometimes, all it takes to close the deal is a simple reminder. “Did you forget something?” or “Last chance!” emails and pop-ups are all good ways to catch your customers when they’re on their way out. It can even be something as small as having your website record and display the number of items they have in their cart – remembering that there are items waiting for them is intrinsically more interesting and inviting than simply seeing the check-out button everywhere they go.

3. Personalize your site to each visitor.

This may sound like it requires a lot of web magic but in reality, you can do a few simple things to connect each individual visitor to your site. If you’re looking to send a follow up email to someone who has added an item to their cart but hasn’t purchased, be sure to use their name in the header titles or use language like “Did you forget something?” “Last chance!” which aligns with their behavior and actions. This is where marketing tools can come into play: advanced marketing software can keep track of your visitors based on where they come from, what they click, and how long the stay on the site.

Many business owners think they always need to focus on acquiring new customers in order to drive sales. While attracting and converting brand new visitors is always important, it’s also critical to focus on improving your existing processes no matter how big or small they may be.