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Monday, February 22, 2010

Yes, Customers Also Leave

Many times the focus for any marketing campaign is to gain new customers and customer retention. What about customer reactivation?

When you loose a customer, or a customer doesn't buy for an extended period of time, they become dormant in your system and basically fall of the radar. Getting that former customer to buy again is considered reactivation.

What does it take to get a customer back?
Think about the people who haven't purchased for a long time - do you know why? What are you doing to bring these potential referal sources back to doing business with you?

One way to approach this group is to introduce them to a new product or service that was previously not available. This will give you a reason to send an email and remind them about your company. As part of the email you could provide interaction by including a survey to guage interest level.

Get creative in your approach, don't just offer a discount on their next purchase, recognize that there was a specific reason they bought from you in the first place (price, selection, promotion) and strive to meet their needs again.

Remember that the easier it is to do business with you, the more likely it is that you can bring these customers back. Give them a direct link to any promo you offer with clear benefits.

Don't restrict yourself to just email, use your social media tools as well. If you know your customers are active on Facebook and Twitter, include those. If you can reach them via LinkedIn, include that as part of the plan.

Once you have the attention of your prospect, be sure to follow through with excellent customer service and sincere appreciation for their patronage. Remember, people buy from people they like, not websites. And when your customers are happy (or not) they let people know!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Is Social Media Effective?

I just received my monthly issue of Website Magazine and included were the results of a survey conducted in January by the magazine about the effectiveness of social media. This would include using sites like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn etc. to market a business. Here is what was found:
  • 58.6% of respondents have experienced a positive return on the time invested in social marketing

  • 66.3% of respondents have seen more website traffic

  • 10.5% have seen an increase in time spent on site

  • 36.5% have seen the number of incoming links increase

  • 33.7% have seen better search engine placement

  • 19.7% have seen more sales

Of the social sites deemed to produce the highest value to websites & business the top 4 by far were:
  • Facebook: 42.7%

  • Twitter: 41.5%

  • LinkedIn: 29.4%

  • YouTube: 29.9%
If you are not yet using social media as a part of your online marketing efforts, it's time to start! But be ready to invest time and / or dollars to see results similar to those above. Businesses that profit from social media know how to work with this venue daily in an efficient manner to produce the best results.

To start, you'll need to build your audience by getting involved and following / becoming a fan etc. of people who may be interested in your business or have a similar business. All the social interaction in the world doesn't matter if no one is following you. To get started on Twitter, for example, here is an article written last year as Twitter was on the rise.

As always, if you have any questions or need advice, contact me!

Monday, February 08, 2010

Same Meaning, Different Words

Sononyms: One word representing the same meaning as another.
Google: Top search engine on the internet.
Add the two and you get yet another change to the way Google presents sononym results.

Dealing with sononyms is important because, as you have undoubtly found, the search for pictures also needs to pull up results for photos. But you don't want a case, meaning box or container, to pull up results related to an occurance, a court decision etc.

According the the post in Google's Blog, they have improved the way that they deal with word similarities. For example, if you search for GM, Google has changed their algorithms to find multiple possible meanings for that term (General Motors, General Manager etc.)

You'll also notice a difference in the way results with sononyms are displayed for easy scanning. Google has bolded the terms and related sononyms.

So what will this mean to the way you develop web content? If you done a bit of keyword research and written content using the terms your customers use then you won't have to do a thing. Just in case however, here are some reminders:

  • Don't use technical terms or industry jargon unless keyword research shows those to be highly searched.

  • Let every page of your website speak for itself. If each page can stand alone and get the message across then you'll have a better chance of higher rankings.
Everyone has their own way of using search terms. If you use natural language and a variety of sononyms in your content your pages will be naturally optimized.
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