Keeping your customers delighted, engaged, and even raving about you is easier than you think.
I have a dear colleague who can get a bit of snark on. She has a great sense of humor so I enjoy her candor and the snark.
Recently Heather wrote about Peloton. I only knew the name casually in passing until… surprise of surprise…they started airing on the news in our area… maybe because no one is getting as much exercise as they should be.
There advertisements always this amazing buff-fit person in a fabulous looking condo working intently on their Peloton device. (A very expensive piece of work out gear for the totally committed.)
She loved to mock their gaggy commercials about the super-fit. Then she switched gears and commented on how “laser-targeted” their marketing was. They weren’t trying to appeal to anyone who was not their target market.
Peloton does smart marketing…
Peloton knows what buttons to push for their ideal client, and they do a great job of it. They know how to get their target person to get up off the couch and order a Peleton for $2500 or more. That is brilliant marketing.
Yet they take it a step farther. Peloton focuses on delighting and keeping existing customers engaged…turning them into influencers that promote and sell more devices. Smart company.
Heather admitted that she had signed up with Peleton to have an a virtual at home workout program. No fancy device…the cheapest program that they offered. For what she spent, she didn’t expect much.
They surprised her with a free T-shirt…celebrating her completing 200 workouts. She was so delighted and excited she told several friends and even wrote a marketing article about it. She calculated their delivered cost to be about $3.00 or maybe less.
Considering how many people she told and the number of people who have read her published article, they got excellent ROI.
Any business can do this
Any business can do this. All it takes is thinking outside the proverbial box. I’m in Oregon where we had the most horrific forest fires on record. We still have pockets of the worst air quality in the entire world. Thank goodness, the worst is past.
In the midst of the fire related stress and chaos I received an email from a company I’ve purchased from.
It was absolutely PERFECT timing to the perfect market.
They sent an email titled “To Our West Coast Friends.” It was a “we’re thinking of you” email featuring a well-known landmark in all its pristine glory. No push. Just we’re concerned. We’re thinking of you. We can’t be there but if you need anything here’s 15% off.
It touched me because of it’s tone and non-sales approach. Whether I needed anything right then or not, I will remember who sent me that lovely email at a time much of the state was choking in smoke.
I expected it to be the first of a targeted funnel. and looked forward to see what they would send next. Unfortunately, they went back to pushing sales in the next email. What a missed opportunity. They had set themselves apart with their approach and then slid back into doing exactly what their competitors did.
Ways to delight your customers
If you don’t want to invest in t-shirts, there are lots of other ways. If you don’t have their birthday, send a “you’ve been with us a year” anniversary email or card.
Recognize customers for achieving some sort of milestone on your social media.
Offer a free guide or e-book especially for your valued clients.
Send them an early-bird notice of a special event or something like a black-Friday sale.
There are lots of options out there. It’s a matter of finding what is just right not only for your business, but the clients you want to attract and keep.
New clients only buy 5-20% of the time. Existing clients buy 60-70% of the time. An excellent reason to treat them right and keep them delighted.
Want to read Heather Lloyd-Martin’s full article? You can find it right here.
Want a quick brainstorm on the best way to keep your existing clients delighted? That’s just one of the ways I help my client’s get the edge on their competition. Visit my booking link here.
In marketing, we get the same magnetic push and pull found in magnetic polarity. Whether it’s teaching about polarity or singing a rap song about the push-pull of chemistry, the impact is the same. Energy attracting or pushing apart.
The coronavirus has made teachers incredibly creative. I recently saw a news story on them teaching magnetic polarity virtually.
Push and pull in nature…
With the help of assistants, in this case, the teacher’s children, she placed two large magnets on a table with their horseshoe shapes aligned. The magnetic poles were aligned directly across from each other.
Then she handed her son and daughter each a magnet and had them hold them in the same position. “Now, try to slowly move the magnets directly toward each other,” she guided.
“That’s good, keep the ends pointing toward each other.”
A look of surprise crossed the little boy’s face as he encountered resistance from the magnet as he tried to move it toward his sister’s.
“Excellent, now pause a moment.” She stepped closer and shifted the magnets so the poles were no longer aligned and that one pole from her son’s magnet touched the opposite pole of his sister’s.
“Okay, now what happens when you try to pull apart.”
“It’s stuck!” The little boy said, then he put in some effort and jerked the magnet away from his sisters.
“I did it!” He grinned victoriously as he brandished the magnet in both hands.
“Yes, you did!”
“The resistance you felt was the magnetic polarity being attracted to its opposite force. When the magnets were perfectly aligned they repelled each other. When aligned to an opposite pole, it took your force to move them apart.”
Push and pull marketing
In marketing outbound marketing is also known as push marketing. It takes your product out to where your prospects are to make it easy for them to find. The focus is on your brand or product.
On the opposite side, inbound marketing or pull marketing the focus is on relationships. It relies on prospects that are looking for your product.
Push creates demand by making them aware of your brand and the solutions it offers. Pull offers a way to fulfill that need.
The blend you need in your marketing efforts depends on where you, your brand, or a specific product are at a given moment. I’ve seen this over and over again with clients and former students I was mentoring.
All businesses need a mix of both as they grow and build.
What many don’t realize
For new businesses, you can’t start with pull marketing. First you need to help your “hungry crowd” find you have a solution. That means you need to get your product out there in front of them. You need to use the push.
Once you have created the demand, then you can use the pull to bring them to your website and guide them to their solution.
However, push and pull must be adapted to their times to be relevant and get on people’s radar. Some push techniques don’t work well in a pandemic.
Face-to-face meetings are going virtual. Showrooms are going virtual. Trade shows have one option – go virtual. These are all backbones of push marketing.
Pull has also gotten more challenging due to the sheer volume of companies now focused on online marketing.
Here are 3 techniques to get your push and pull marketing working together
In today’s environment, both push and pull need a client-centric focus. Start with your push and have your pull set up to provide the solution…the sales.
Push marketing a crisis
There are still some classical push – outbound marketing techniques that work. Things like billboards, television, radio, print, direct mail, and eye-catching packaging.
You can also use social media posts and paid ads.
The goal is to get your brand/product out there in front of people so they can learn about it.
I’ve seen clever use of YouTube infographics to create brand awareness.
Interestingly, local television stations are trying to boost local economies by getting the word out to help small businesses. If you’ve been wanting to try some television spots and have the capital, it might be a time to consider it.
The goal of push marketing is to get attention. It should be a disrupter. Something that interrupts the flow of the day. Something that makes people question, “what was that?”
Bingo, you got their attention.
So what are you going to do with that attention?
If you have their attention you need pull-marketing to move them from where they saw you to a place where they can learn more or make a purchase.
The consumer is seeking a product based on need. They saw you and want to know more.
Pull marketing uses your reputation, consumer interest, effective SEO, pay-per-click, blogs, content, and social media. It requires your brand to be in the right place at the right time.
For pull marketing to work effectively, it must be ready and in place at the moment you need it. You can’t wait to start building it out to when you now have traffic or you’ll be missing sales.
Finding the balance
If you already have a good reputation and a known brand, your push marketing will probably shift to push-notifications.
These sort of blur the line between push and pull. They are designed to be used both on your website and via social media marketing to help guide the prospect to finding their answer.
These are designed to engage visitors both on and off your website and keep your product in front of them.
However, there is a catch. You must have their permission in order to send them.
At a time when daily emails have doubled or tripled, people are a bit more protective of giving out their email address. You’ll need to give them a good reason for doing so. It will need to be something of value.
Value might be bonus information. It could be, a guide, a discount, easier tracking for an order, or another type of reward. Whatever you chose it must resonate, be relevant to, and focused on your target customer.
Time to Evaluate
With our changing business environment and more intensive competition, it’s a crucial time for businesses to evaluate how they are using push and pull marketing.
Where is your business now?
What does your outbound and inbound marketing look like?
What modifications or enhancements will make you better able to connect with and engage clients…and convert them into loyal customers?
Need assistance with a quick look or more intensive updates? Message me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Newsletters are a great way to bond with customers. They are a friendly, casual way to stay in touch.
There are a lot of different formats. But there is one thing they must do to be successful.
Newsletters must get the reader’s attention…
I’ll never forget the two teachers I had in a shared-time experimental English class. It was my junior year of high school.
Monday through Wednesday we had English literature followed by two days of public speaking.
The teachers couldn’t have been more different.
The English teacher was a petite woman with a soft voice. Unfortunately, she also tended to speak and read in a monotone.
I love books, I love literature. But she was so hard to focus on in that soft lullaby voice. The hour dragged. I could feel my eyelids wanting to droop.
The first time I met our Thursday-Friday teacher, I was terrified.
Mrs.Trueblood strode into the room like a warrior-queen. Her voice boomed rich and deep. Authoritative. Strong.
As she made her way toward the teacher’s desk on the far side of the room, I noticed everyone was sitting up a little straighter. Mrs.Trueblood commanded every class.
Yup. She had my attention…and then she captivated my brain. That turned into one of the most enlightening and amazing classes I took in school.
If I would see her now, I’d stand my tallest and shake her hand with all the professionalism I grew into…and thank her for what she gave me. Skills and confidence that are still with me today.
Every newsletter needs to open with a good subject line and lead that gets the reader’s attention.
I’ve been writing newsletters for well over 25 years. They’ve kept customers up to date, inspired them and offered valuable information.
Were they all masterpieces? Of course not. But they’ve given me lots of practice to find what works.
Discover your stats specific to your industry niche.
Industry stats are something many businesses are unaware of.
Sending out e-newsletters and then seeing how many people do, or don’t, open them can be a little nerve-wracking. I’ve seen many businesses start second-guessing themselves and abandon the project.
Instead use Google and find the typical statistics for your business segment.
You’ll find out all sorts of interesting data there. The typical number of opens, the typical number of clicks, (if you have links,) and even conversions. It’s all available as part of the tracking of the mail-handling program.
Different systems track different things if they are properly interconnected to your website. Talk with your webmaster about what will work best with your system.
Once I learned those statistics I discovered I was doing better than most businesses in my industry. Sometimes 10 times better.
But what if you get an email that doesn’t get the response you expected? I’ve found most of the time it was timing. It wasn’t the perfect time for that message.
It could also be the wrong group or segment of your recipients.
Try these 4 techniques for a great newsletter
One question I often get is…how often should I send a newsletter?
Your newsletter can be a monthly release of multiple articles that are featured weekly.
They start with the first week’s article in brief with a link to the full article. They also include links to three other articles at the bottom. Each week one article gets its turn at being featured in an email.
That works well for larger businesses who really want to build and share information. It also builds traction faster.
But if four monthly articles are not in your time schedule, or budget, then send at least monthly.
You need to stay in touch with clients and prospective clients at least monthly to stay on their mind.
I like to work from an idea list. I also review what worked well in previous years for specific time slots.
You have two choices for tracking data from your email system. Export it to a data file or stay with the same email contact manager system. This builds you a history you can easily review.
Keep your newsletters to one theme if possible.
Even many popular magazines tend to use themes. You won’t find 4th of July picnics in the December issue. Get the right message at the right time.
Start with seasonal. Look for events or holidays you can tie into if that fits your specific products.
But if you’re in the midst of a crisis? Pause and think about what is going to be the most important message you can share this month.
Right now family bonding, mental health and self-care are all important.
Tips for coping with stress, anxiety and getting a good night’s rest are high priorities.
Tips for dealing with unavailability. Many of us are accustomed to dropping by the store nearly daily to get this or that. Not now.
Most of us are planning and shopping in advance to minimize the number of trips we need to make. We’re making contingency plans for things that aren’t available.
We’re coping with back orders and items out of stock with no projected availability. This adds to the stress levels. Anything to cope with stress or anxiety is getting checked out.
Are your customers looking for a quick read? Plan the length and complexity based on your target audience. Are you sending a series of educational pieces? Those may run longer.
Are you sending a helpful, hopeful, hang in there message? Keep it short, positive and inspirational.
Get your message clear and simple.
I’m often asked how long is long enough?
A short email might be 200-300 carefully chosen words.
A blog length article can be 800-1500 words.
But as my seventh-grade-teacher always said, as she primly lifted her calf length skirts toward her knees…
It needs to be long enough to cover the subject and short enough to be interesting.
Of course, we giggled or tried to keep straight faces. It was years before I realized how profoundly truthful those words are.
Don’t drag it on…that’s when you lose readers.
Find the magic balance…
Many of the emails and newsletters we receive are 100% sales. If you’re like me, you can spot and delete those in seconds.
The first pass of my emails is looking for stuff to delete. Sound familiar? Absolutely.
We are being so inundated with emails…especially sales and sales pitches, that we’re experts at spotting the stuff we aren’t interested in. So we go down, tick them and in one fell swoop…their opportunity is in the trash.
Maybe those businesses haven’t noticed people have other needs than just a sale.
Here’s a quick question or two for you to consider.
What type of email do you like to receive from your suppliers?
A sale? Or helpful information with maybe a short call-to-action or product special at the bottom?
Which makes you feel better? Which makes you feel more connected to them?
Make your communications heavy on the information, inspiration and connection side.
Keep the selling information to between 10-20% of the total. Message first. Sales second is a better way to bond.
Not sure how your newsletters rank?
As we make our way through the marketing complexities we face, here’s a special offer. For the first 2 people who contact me…before 5PM PDT on 4/16, I’ll do a quick complimentary review of an existing newsletter.
How easy, useful, & friendly is your website? Your article? Your social media post? Each one of these is a touchpoint with customers and prospects. If you tweak for these three components you’ll grow faster and keep customers coming back.
I recently had a client who requested additional content for
their website. So I could see what was
already there, I visited the site and their Facebook page.
It was beautiful, modern, and trendy with a delicate pastel script font. But those same attributes made it fail in some of the basics.
Those small delicate colored fonts the fonts lacked contrast and made them hard to read. Ditto for the script. It looks pretty…but it’s hard to read.
The images are beautiful but they don’t directly relate to the
product the company offers. It needs
help to be simpler, useful and friendly in the customer experience.
Let’s look at what would help…
Every customer experience starts with knowing that customer. What are they looking for? Information or a product? Have they used something like your CBD balm before or is this all new to them?
Are they male or female? Men are more transactional and want to get in, buy and leave. Women generally want more information to evaluate and feel good about their decision.
Do they like to do it themselves or prefer interacting with
a live person?
Live is still the number one preference. That said, women
are over-stressed, over-worked, multitaskers. They’ll happily take the buying
journey on their own…as long as it’s easy.
The website needs to be logical and easy to get around. Home page choices that make options clear is essential.
Pastel fonts are trendy but hard to read. Intensifying the color of the font makes it easier to read. Avoid low contrast between the font and its background color. (Think white against pale blue.) They are the hardest to read.
Increasing the font size makes it easier to read. You don’t have to go giant. Ask a mature reader to take a look and ask their feedback on readability.
Break up blocks of text so the paragraphs aren’t too long.
The longer the paragraph…the less likely the viewer will read it.
Breaking up paragraphs also makes for more white space which
enhances quick reading.
Most of us don’t read full sentences or paragraphs. We skim.
Our brains fill in the blanks.
So write/edit your content to make it easy to skim.
Contacting you needs to be easy. Your contact information should be easy to
locate and to use. And easy means they need to hear back from you in a timely
manner. Letting them know your normal response
rate helps to manage their expectations.
Useful enhances value
There are two types of visitors to your website. New visitors and those that are returning.
Make sure they can both find what they are looking for quickly.
Most viewers would happily trade fancy graphics for those
that are useful. Useful has more
value. Weed out things that may be
pretty but are just taking up space with low or zero value.
Using stock photos may give you gorgeous professional images…but they need to tie directly into your offering. If they don’t, cut them or replace them.
Select useful images that share your brand and its benefits
to the viewer. That gives more value.
The speed of loading and navigating is important. People don’t have a lot of patience to wait for a slow-loading website.
The most useful factor in a website is its content. If you have a beautiful site but weak content
people may visit but won’t come back.
Quality content is the key that enhances the value of the site to the
customer more than anything else.
Today’s websites need to offer more value than a generic
brochure. We demand more in-depth
information to help us make our buying decision.
Inadequate content impedes the buying process.
Your website will never be one and done. It needs to keep evolving to be active with
the search engines and help customers find you.
Useful also builds trust…a requirement to buying.
A well put together website that offers great information, regular maintenance, and stellar reviews makes a huge difference in your success.
How about friendly?
More and more people are checking out businesses on their smartphones. It’s essential your website is optimized for all types of devices.
Desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones all need to be reviewed to see what your visitor is seeing. On each type of device you need to investigate the easy factors and see that they work well.
With multi-generational products, like CBD lotions and balms,
I suggest clients have a millennial and a boomer independently explore their
website. You want to know everyone that comes to visit can do it easily.
Do you have active links where they can connect with you on their favorite social media platforms? Are those portals kept up to date with regular posting?
Is your web focus transactional or engaging? Are you selling products or solutions?
The sale doesn’t start with a product. It starts with a problem. Content needs to focus on the consumer’s
problem and position your product as a solution.
Stay with the customer during and after their purchase.
Build the relationship and the connection to keep them engaged and coming back
again and again.
Capitalize on the convenience of their smartphone to have easy, friendly ways the customer can stay in touch…learn more, and build their loyalty with you. Use it as a way to keep the conversation with that customer going and growing.
It’s a great way to convert them into a super-fan who will
help your business grow.
How does your website score for easy, useful, & friendly?
If you aren’t at least a seven on a scale of one to ten, you
may need to do some work. Not sure the
best ways to improve your score? Reach out and let’s do a quick evaluation. For
details on how to get this evaluation plus my three top recommendations FREE,
contact me before 5PM, PDT on 3/13/2020.
Over the decades, women have tried a lot of “new” ingredients to make their skin look and feel better. Hemp-derived products are just the latest in this group. In 2019 CBD was the most popular ingredient in the beauty sector.
It’s a huge market. In the US in 2018 skincare topped $5.6
billion in sales. Globally revenues were over $135 billion. And that’s just skincare.
The beauty sector globally topped $300 billion and is
expected to keep growing. In 2018 skincare grew by 13%. Makeup, normally the
queen of growth, only managed 1%.
The growth and focus have shifted for two key reasons. Gen Z and millennials are very natural focused. Second, the number of people with very sensitive skin just keeps exploding. Hectic stressed lives throw our systems out of balance. The use or overuse of the wrong products makes it worse.
When anything is out of balance…skin, especially your face,
is the first place it shows up.
As a working esthetician, I know sensitive skins are far more common than twenty years ago. I could probably come up with a shopping list of possible causes, but the bottom line is they need specialized skincare.
In the last 15 years, the availability of simple formulations has exploded. Many developed by those with a skin problem that they couldn’t find an answer for. Social media helped them share their stories and solutions with consumers.
Hypersensitivity is a big problem
A few months ago, a friend developed shingles on her face. A
nasty painful rash that made her feel awful about herself, on top of having to
deal with the virus.
Shingles is a chemical burn from the inside out that leaves
the skin in a hyper-sensitized state.
Cold compresses work. Most other things just fire up the irritated
nerves. A soothing antiseptic gel calmed the rash, but when the scabs form, she
needed something more protective.
I finally located a simple formulation that had the antiseptic gel, a soothing hydrator, and CBD with no stimulating ingredients. It did the trick, protecting the skin while it tried to heal, even calming the angry nerve endings. It was the only thing outside of water she could use for over two months.
As she moved into her third month, we tested a very calming
botanical blend developed by a doctor known for his research into problem
The botanical serum and calming protective cream were her
silver bullet. Her skin is healing. She still supports those two products with
some of the CBD infused cream as needed.
But she is moving forward.
Will CBD beauty care last or succumb to bad marketing practices
It’s no secret that there have been a number of companies
making false promises both about their formulation and what it will do.
They’ve had a negative impact on consumer perceptions about
hemp and CBD. People buy solutions and if those solutions let them down, they
But those companies are also getting the attention of the
FDA. In 2019 the FDA sent letters to over twenty companies who were not
following cosmetic and supplement guidelines about not making health claims.
More are sure to follow. But it’s not the sort of attention a business wants.
This sort of thing is probably to be expected in a niche
where growth has exploded like wildfire.
There will always be those who put profits first. But they won’t last.
On the upside, with all the media attention there are few
people left in the USA who haven’t at least heard of CBD. They’ve heard the
claims. Now they are trying to sort out fact from fiction.
Smart, educated consumers aren’t ready to abandon CBD just
because of a few bad marketing decisions. But they have gotten more suspicious
Quality, transparency, and products that work
Fortunately, we’ve had many in the industry who have focused on creating quality products. They led the way with testing, validation, and certification. They are transparent and proudly post their test results where customers can easily access them.
These actions build trust and these companies will be around
for years to come.
They focus on products that perform as anticipated. Who wants to buy something that doesn’t work? If we buy a relief balm, we expect to get
relief. If we buy a calming product, topical or oral, we expect something to
The results speak loudly.
Quality, standards, and results have catapulted companies to national recognition as industry leaders. It has also netted them astronomical growth and sales.
CBD properties are key to growth
Many great ingredients that were superstars in their day. Think Aloe Vera. It may not be as popular as 20 years ago but it still enjoys broad use because of the properties aloe brings to the formulation.
CBD has been associated with properties that benefit
wellness for thousands of years. But we are just learning about the full
spectrum of over 100 different cannabinoids.
And researchers and chemists are just scratching the surface to document what has been experienced.
It is the properties of any plant that make us want to use
it. Many of these have been anecdotally attributed over time. Science validates
this. Antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties
have all been observed with CBD.
These properties formulated in skin-issue targeted formulas
are key to growth and happy users.
A generic good-for-everyone facial skincare product will
have today’s educated and sophisticated user shaking their head. They want to
know the product is formulated to solve their personal needs.
One thing women don’t want? To smell like “weed.” We don’t want to smell like a forest or dirt.
Make it look nice, feel nice, smell nice and work.
Today’s women want natural
The term natural has been thrown around for years. It’s
still doesn’t have a uniform definition. Many consumers think of plants as
natural…non-chemical. But even water is a chemical by definition.
And while plants are considered natural, that doesn’t mean
they are automatically safe. Foxglove is
natural, but you don’t want to mess with it in its botanical state. You’d also
avoid poison oak, sumac or ivy.
What consumers are looking for is products free of toxins and contaminants like pesticides. This is even more important with botanicals like hemp that detoxify the soil, sucking up the toxins. Organic certified is a bonus as well as the assayed test results to show it is toxin-free.
Women are looking for a product that is safe for their particular beauty need and won’t cause skin reactions.
CBD beauty products sit right at these crossroads of natural wellness and beauty. But they need to be targeted to needs.
If you’re creating a product for blemishes or problem skin,
there are ingredients you will want to include and exclude. Ingredients that
might be perfect for a dry maturing skin won’t work for an oily, problem skin. The
reverse is also true. Skin issues need their own targeted solution for maximum
From the get-go, a customer-centric experience that helps them progress through their buying journey is going to increase sales.
Women want it easy. They want your website to be user-friendly. She wants to find educational content to answer her questions so she feels confident if she has never tried CBD before. She wants to feel her transaction will be safe and secure.
In Oregon, where dispensaries are literally on every corner, some are finding investing time in consumer education is the key to differentiate themselves from the competition.
Make your website their go-to resource for information they can trust. Provide a guide that walks them from understanding to choosing and buying.
If you have both a website and a retail outlet, help visitors with a smooth, integrated experience. Finding you, learning from you, buying and or visiting.
Inspire them. As they move through their buying journey, help them find what they need via suggestions based on what they’ve looked at.
Your buyers are active on social media. It only makes sense to be where they are. You
can’t do paid ads for CBD products, (at least not at this time,) but you can
User-generated content dominates your marketing abilities on social media channels.
Informational blurbs, video snippets, photos of products in
action, success stories. Cultivate and
capitalize on your best customers.
Micro-influencers are very powerful in the world of
beauty. They are your best customers and
their value can’t be over-estimated.
Invite them to share and post. Get them telling and posting
their stories. Engage them in conversations. Recognize and reward them.
Keep posts and content current
There are lots of websites out there where the last blog
article was 6, 12 or even 24 months ago.
Some Facebook pages have scattered to no posts.
You need regularity.
Lack of content makes you invisible. Search engines love new
current information. So do your
If you walked into a store to buy something and all the
counters and products were covered with a thick layer of neglect-dust, would
The same thing happens on your website.
New, updated content or posts catch the attention of both search
engines and customers.
It’s really all about quality and regularity. Quality product, quality information, quality support, and quality customer TLC. Regularity in content, social posting, and customer interaction.
Stuck? Not enough hands to juggle all the need-to-dos, let’s talk and simplify your life. email@example.com.