Customer Experience Enhancers Increase $$$

The customer experience dictates the customer rating. Enhance it and watch profits rise.

Customer experience enhancers create more loyalty, repeat sales, and profitability. The pandemic disrupted the traditional shopping model forcing people to go online. It stuck.

People often now use a blend between the two. The lines between online and a physical store are becoming blurred. More than ever, it’s about what this blend feels like before buying, while making a purchase, and afterward.

A true story of enhancing the customer experience

One of the companies I work with shared how changing a tiny detail made a huge difference. They have an e-commerce store selling both consumer products and professional-only products. But about 95% of their business is professional sales.

To enhance the buying experience for professionals, they set up a drop-down system to validate they were eligible to buy the professional products. The drop-down streamlined the shopping process as they didn’t have to take the time to set up an account.  

The shipping manager received an email from a regular customer: 

Why is there a note that pops up that says I’m not ordering XXXXX? That’s the only product I ever order?

The manager quickly responded, explained why they had the drop-down process. She also thanked the customer for bringing it to her attention. Then, she told the client she was going to see if they could change the default.  

This one tiny change, altering a default, reduced the number of questions the shipping manager got and made her life much easier.  It also made 95% of the customer’s lives easier because they now don’t have to change the default.  

The company still does random checking to validate that the customers are qualified professionals. But it was an easy fix and win-win change.

Customer Experience Enhancers work.

Enhancing the customer experience is the top proven technique to reduce churn, retain customers and increase profits.  The longer you can keep a customer loyal, the lower your acquisition cost. It also raises the Lifetime Customer Value exponentially.

It’s five to seven times more expensive to find a new customer than to keep them. And you’ll increase sales. 

The odds of a new prospect purchasing are between 5 and 20%. But with an existing customer, the odds of another sale jump to 60-70%.  Retention is smart for business. 

I’ve seen this over and over in my businesses and working with clients. Every little detail that makes the customer’s experience better is a significant positive.

Little things are big experience enhancers.

Some changes may be significant, and others, like in the example, are small technical things. However, they all make a difference in the customer’s experience and overall happiness rating. 

For maximum success, the entire brand team needs to communicate, share, and look for ways to be better. The team that interacts directly with shoppers often has overlooked information. Keep them in the loop. Listen to them. Empower them to facilitate and stimulate changes that make shopper’s lives easier.

The Three E’s of customer experience enhancers 

More than ever before, customers turn to the internet for information. And they are using a blended model of shopping in person and online. If in your store and thinking of a purchase, they may compare prices online. Or check customer reviews.

The experience you offer needs to be seamless and supportive throughout their buying journey.

As they experience your content, your customer support, and your social media connectivity, they form an emotional reaction to doing business with you. Positive, negative, or neutral. 

Those businesses that focus on enhancing positive experiences will see the greatest success.

Experience enhance content 

Often businesses in the past had more of an online brochure rather than a customer-focused shopping experience. That model doesn’t work today. Your website needs to feature lots of fresh, helpful content and an easy way to find it.  They want positive experience content.

The underlying theme of content is how this product or service will make their life easier, better, more fulfilling, and fun. Emotional connectedness. Then the supporting information validates why this is so. They want the proof: reviews, testimonials, scientific studies, what experts say, and more. 

They want all of this in an easy-to-access format that makes shopping a pleasure.

Today’s consumer doesn’t want to have to call to get help or find what they need. They want more of a self-service experience. They don’t want to wait days or weeks to get an email response. The longer they have to wait to get answers, the more likely they’ll go elsewhere.

It’s like when you need a service or repair person, and no one calls you back. You go from enthusiastic to neutral to frustrated.

Help shoppers get to know you.

Shoppers want easy access to learning about you and your products—and what makes you unique. They want

  • Answers to all the frequently asked questions. 
  • To read your blogs about how you developed a product or service.
  • To understand how you are helping the planet and being socially responsible 
  • Easy access to resource pages, blogs, articles and to learn about your products and services.
  • To know you and your team as individuals rather than just a company.

Consider offering books, e-books, reports, guides, video how-tos, and other valuable resources.

Customer service is always an experience. All too often, it is a frustrating, time-consuming process. It needs to be friendly, knowledgeable, supportive. Phone connections are great, but if they are searching on their phone and can do a live chat, that works. 

Experience enhance service

For many consumers, a common complaint is the lack of staffing. Lack of staffing might have been a valid excuse during the early days of the pandemic, but it doesn’t fly anymore. 

AI is getting more intelligent, and the interactions with it are more favorable. It just needs to be helpful and able to quickly move the shopper to live chat or a phone connection if the AI can’t solve the problem.  

Communicate with customers where they hang out. Often this is social media. Use social as a way to stimulate interaction with customers and potential customers. Invite them to ask questions and respond promptly. 

Look for ways to reward customers. It doesn’t always need to be a discount. For example, a free guide on having the best experience with your product would be of high value to a new client. 

Develop a customer reward program that makes them feel positive about being loyal to your brand. People love to be part of a group, especially an exclusive group. So invite them to be part of your brand. Treat them like an online family.

Online-Offline-Online

Then take the online experience offline. Send new customers or those who have referred new clients a physical thank-you note. Send a reward to be used on a future purchase. When everything now comes to inboxes, something in the mail we view as unique, special. 

Blend the experience to connect with them online, offline, and back online seamlessly.

Be sure to give them ample time to use any rewards. 

Avoid rewards with a short use timeframe. For example, if you just purchased a printer that touts it has a year’s worth of ink in it, why would you respond to an offer to buy more ink now?  

Amazon gives credits when you buy a kindle book, but they are very short-lived. If you don’t use them in a week, they’re gone. That’s not very buyer-friendly.

Experience Enhance Connections

These are all the points where consumers interact with your brand.  Website, social media, email, print ads, radio, or even television. Using the formats that make sense for your business, look for ways to enhance the experience.

Website experience

If you offer AI or live chats, evaluate how well that is working. What does your customer service team hear from customers?  

Integrate with the service team to identify and smooth out rough spots in the buying process.

Is your team/system available enough to be helpful?  We have a three-hour time difference across the continental US. Consider where your customers are calling from?  Can they easily reach you? 

Stand in your customer’s place. How would you feel about the service if you were in their location? Think outside the box to find a way to smooth and improve this experience. Consider more online self-support information, so they aren’t dependent on phone calls.

Social posting connections

Social posts need to be fun, friendly, and seeking to engage. Get them to smile, inspire them, show them success.

The most successful posting is frequent and regular. People pay attention to what they see repeatedly.  That’s why paid ads pop up after you’ve looked at something. Whatever caught your eye and you looked at is now popping up everywhere you go on the internet. It’s reminding you to look again.

Email personalized experience

With so much in our inboxes, generic transactional emails quickly get filed or deleted. Instead, emails personalized by interest get more attention. Tone and engagement are essential. 

When doing a marketing assessment, I look at it from the shopper’s viewpoint. I look for things to smooth, enhance and increase engagement.  In today’s world, it’s all about experience enhancers to grow business. www.jculpcreativecopy.com

One Simple Trick for Copy to Boost Sales

Readability is reduced when paragraphs are long, as in a novel, or full of complex sentences

Readable copy is a big key to sales!  People today don’t want to wade through information that reads like a dull textbook.  Most of us skim-read, instead of word for word. We are such multitaskers and so many choices that we aren’t patient with reading. 

Recently, I received an email promoting a new product from a spa supplier.  I knew the product was a performer, but the description was hard to read. So, I copy/pasted it into an analyzer. The readability was at the post-college level.

This prompted me to go online and look at descriptions of the same type of product marketed by department store brands. Their descriptions were much easier to read and focused on what their customers wanted to know. What it would do for them. 

Readability sells and lack of it loses sales.

Readability refers to how easy a sentence is to read and understand. There are several formulas, that’s another article. The important thing to remember is to keep it simple. The harder it is to read, the quicker your reader may hit the delete key or leave your website.

Originally, it was used to evaluate training materials.  Today it is used by smart marketers.

In today’s world, we are bombarded by electronic marketing. Junk mail, emails, newsletters. We go online; lots more marketing.  Sensory overload.  We are in a hurry. We want what we are looking for quick and easy.  Your potential customers want the same thing.

Every written piece put out there needs to be easy to read.  Website pages, emails, newsletters all need to be visitor friendly and quick to read.

Get their attention fast…

In 2014, Hubspot Marketing reported that you have less than 15 seconds to engage your reader. A surprising 55% of them will click off your page in that period.

If the reader is on a page that doesn’t answer their question or meet a need – they are going to be gone. They are in the wrong place.  

However, if they are looking for what you have, we need to help them stick around and find it.  We need to make sure our message is clear, simple, and easy to skim read.

Think about opening your email box first thing in the morning. There are probably at least 50 new emails waiting. Most of us, scan for the obvious ones to delete.  Check, check, check, delete – done.  Then you start with the rest.

3 Tips for more readability

You don’t actually read most emails completely. You quickly skim them to see if you’re interested. If they are hard to read, it bogs you down. The more you have to “work” to read information, the more apt you are to think, just stuff it, and hit delete.

Ever been caught in a loop and realize you’ve been rereading the same sentence over and over?  Simple words, short sentences, and white space make a huge difference. The combination of words plus sentences is the basis for how easy something is to read.

Simple words

Once you have your first draft complete, read through checking word choices.  The more syllables a word has, the harder it is to read. It mentally takes more energy.

“Harder” is easier to read than “more difficult” or “more challenging”. It has fewer syllables and doesn’t require a support word. 

Choosing a shorter word won’t make it sound like you have a limited vocabulary or it was written by a grade-schooler.  It’s only about that mental energy use.

Sometimes you can’t avoid complex words. Technical materials or say medical topics need their specific words.  

Short sentences

The longer and more complicated a sentence, the harder it is to read. Look for ways to break them into shorter sentences.  

A good tell is to read the segment out loud.  If you have trouble speaking it, people will have trouble reading it.  Run out of breath in the middle of a sentence…shorten it.

There are lots of readability analyzers out there. This is good because most document creators don’t include it.

Grammarly uses a straight Flesch score system that the lower the number the harder it is to read. You’ll need a paid version to get the function. 

Hemingway uses the Flesch-Kincade US grade scoring system so the higher the number the harder it is to read. A 14 would be post-graduate. Seven would be 12-13-year-old students. Most of the time, you want to have your text at nine or lower.

The unique part of Hemmingway is when you paste your text into the system, it renders it color-coded.  

Yellow text is hard to read. Red text is very hard to read. Green is passive voice and purple is words that may have a simpler option.  It’s very quick to see where the problem is and hone in on it. 

As you shorten sentences, your red or yellow disappears and your grade score drops. It can also be used as a document creator with marking turned off in the write mode.

I find using one of the many analyzers speeds up the editing process and gets the job done.

White space

If you have a solid page of text it is hard to focus on let alone read. Look for ways to break up long paragraphs.  It’s like letting the reader take a breath.

Another good way to evaluate your white space is to look at your document in mobile format. If your document creator doesn’t let you see desktop, laptop, mobile views, a WordPress Post will.  

If your reader has to scroll, and scroll, and scroll to get to the end of a paragraph…or a sentence, it’s too long. 

Even product descriptions are not immune. Bulleting key benefits are good. However, lumping all of the description into one paragraph takes more mental energy to read. Give the reader a break. Break it into shorter paragraphs to make it more readable. 

Word choices, shorter sentences, and white space make reading your offer a breeze and increase the ease of buying.

When I work with clients

Part of my get-acquainted process is to look at the existing content and email funnels. Is it recent, relevant, and readable? Copy plays a big supporting role in buying decisions. If I see readability issues, I show them how much more effective it could be.

Intra-pandemic Customer Mindset

We have been dealing with the pandemic for seven months. New research numbers are starting to emerge. Key is the shift in the customer mindset. This impacts our society, our businesses, and our marketing.

One thing for sure…we aren’t past this.  We’re intra-pandemic.  

All the marketing guides prior to the pandemic are out the window…useless.  

GlobalWebIndex specializes in consumer data for marketers. Recently they reported on the changes to the consumer mindset that all marketers need to be aware of.  

Their report is based on a global study, interviewing  688,000 internet users aged 16-64.  They share five key takeaways.

Personal data concerns are down

During the lockdown, or just staying home to reduce risks, people moved to online.  Online ordering groceries, home supplies, virtual or phone shopping assistants. However, when you shop online…you pay online.  

What changed is people are less concerned about online shopping risks.  They are less concerned with personal privacy loss. And less concerned about businesses using their personal data to market to them.

It had to happen.  You can’t get help if you don’t share anything. That would be like going to a doctor because you don’t feel well, but refusing to share your symptoms.  

This is not to say they have abandoned their concerns…just suspended them. They are shopping online, however paying attention to how companies use their information.

In the new customer mindset, relevancy has changed

Things like exclusivity, status, and reputation have dropped in relevance as much as 25%.

Consumers are less likely to want to stand out. Instead, they are looking for solidarity, feeling a part of the group.  

Their focus has shifted to values, purpose, and how brands contribute to the common good. 

For those who sell exclusivity, the challenge will be to showcase practicality. 

Life has slowed down

Staying home, being unemployed, or working from home have a different life pattern…and a different sleep pattern. People are sleeping in longer. 

For our normally fast-paced lifestyle, this is profound. It’s the first time since the Industrial Revolution that we have been “unchained” from an alarm clock.  

We are discovering more free time and a slower life pace. 

People are streaming more and gaming. They are also balancing this with offline activities. 

I live in a neighborhood conducive to walkers and from my office, I see my neighbors pass by.  Over the past seven months, the number of regular walkers has tripled..  

It’s not just seniors out for a daily walk.  It’s moms and/or dads with their kids…bicycles, scooters, tricycles, wagons, and strollers. Don’t forget the dog.

People have adopted more pets. Another healing wellness boost and incentive to get out and exercise.

Businesses should look for opportunities to enhance/support a more relaxed lifestyle. 

We also need to be aware of what they call “media fatigue.” Discover ways to help them look away from their screen.  

Both McDonald’s and Heinz released branded jigsaw puzzles to capitalize on the new trend.  They are using the need for offline entertainment as a marketing opportunity. They have released dozens of versions across 17 countries.

Financially, the customer mindset is more cautious

People across the globe are beginning to understand the impact the pandemic will have on their personal income long-term.  

GlobalWebIndex shares “the number of consumers expecting a big/dramatic impact on their personal finances from COVID-19 has increased by 43% since our first wave of research.”

Discretionary spending will take the hardest hit. The report shares that consumers see themselves as less affluent.  They are less willing to put wealth on display.  

Just because they see a brand advertised consumers aren’t dashing out to buy it.  Expect them to take more time to consider a non-essential item as we move forward.

Vendors of non-essentials will be looking for ways to market them as a necessary item rather than an extra.

More local focus

International travel has come to a near halt.  My husband’s family lives in the UK.  We have no idea when we may be able to visit them again.  

I’ve heard similar thoughts from other Ex-pats. You are where you are.

Destination Analytics released statistics covering through October 16-18. The US is split on their thoughts about travel.  

The number of COVID-19 cases is soaring, those ready to travel is dropping. 55.5% of the people say they are ready to travel. This is down from a 2020 high of 57.8% just a week before.

Locally, our tourism bureau shifted its marketing focus from national to regional.  They promote visit local and local staycations. 

Result: higher occupancy rates than anticipated. More people using local outdoor spaces.

People are concerned about where they live

With the pandemic cases on the rise, people are more concerned with their local environment. 

They’re concerned about global issues. However, they are more concerned with how their country, their county, their town are handling things. 

As we move forward expect to see more local and regional focus. 

When international travel becomes an option, security and health issues may determine a destination over cultural attractions.

New customer mindset takeaway

As marketers, we can expect more shifts and changes.  I work with clients to create the best possible user experience to keep them loyal, buying… and businesses making money.. 

Our buyers are there. 

We need to position our offers as customer-focused and relevant.
For the complete article or others by GlobalWebIndex, visit https://www.globalwebindex.com/hubfs/Downloads/The_New_Consumer_Mindset.pdf

Google Search Journey for CBD Marketing

graphic of 3 phases of Google Search Engine Journey
Buyers Journey Courtesy Hubspot

This year Google changed the way search engine work.  They incorporated AI to make our searches and our lives easier.  Now it’s called Google Search Journey.

As businesses and marketers, we can use this tool to better connect with our prospects no matter where they are in their buying journey.

Quick story on how Google Search Journey works…

Yesterday, I visited my local farmer’s market and picked up a “Super Combo” of exotic mushrooms. My goal…to make Hungarian Mushroom Soup. 

When I got home, I realized I’d never cooked with several of the varieties included. Never even heard of Nameko before. 

I knew that with some mushrooms you needed to discard the stems. I needed to find out which of these mushrooms needed to be trimmed.    I went to Google and did a search.

First I Googled Nameko. I found the mushroom with lots of information about it, but not about what was edible. 

I tried one of the others, this time changing my search to include information on the edible parts. Bingo. Found that mushroom. I prepped the Buttercaps, then returned to my computer. 

This time when I put in Nameko, Google not only brought up the page I had originally searched, but it remembered I wanted information on the edible parts. Google provided search options that included the information I was looking for.

It appears that if in doubt…remove the stems. Search done, soup cooked five-star results.

Google Search Journey experience

By adding AI into their mix, google no longer just looks for answers to searches. It evaluates what have you already looked at and what might you be looking for now.  This goes beyond keyword match, location and relevancy. 

Google now takes into account where you are in your buying journey.  Frequently we do a search, find information and then decide to think about it.  A week or two later, we search again using the same terms. 

Google knows what websites we looked at and brings them back up, plus it may offer reviews, or support type content.

This ties in directly to the buying process.

  1. Look for a solution to a problem.
  2. Weigh the options.
  3. Find where to buy.

By using algorithms and our history, AI determines where we are in our journey and provides content that is the best fit.

Google collections

Whether on their smartphone, tablet or desktop, if they are using Google Chrome they can use the “collections” extension to save their searches.  This makes it much easier to reference research they have been doing.

Much broader in scope than Instagram or Pinterest, Google Collections allows them to save articles, websites and images. 

They might be wanting to know how CBD works in a beauty product or its benefits. They might want to learn about safety, source and whether its full spectrum, broad-spectrum or an isolate.

In wellness or beauty, the look, feel, and smell are all strong considerations. Likewise, what is its targeted use?  Is it designed for their specific skin type and need? What do others think of it?

When they use this saved information, Google gets even smarter with the options it provides.

They are offered more targeted, in-depth information based on what they’ve already found/read and what it anticipates the viewer might be looking for next.

By researching and understanding how Google Search Journey’s work, we can help our visitors along their buying journey.   We can employ SEO terms that focus on each buying stage.

Keywords for buying stages

Each step of our shopping journey is tied to different types of information. As sellers and marketers, we will want to include each type. We will need to include the appropriate SEO words, so Google will share our information with the customer.

Informational content

We are looking to learn about a product.  We want all the nitty-gritty to learn about whether it will solve the problem we are researching. Knowledge. We want to know, or know about something. 

Often we will read blog posts or articles to find out what will solve our problem. We might look for guides, how-tos, and lists of information. We’ll also read about specific products and relate what we learned to that item.

Navigational content

Your contact us page is an excellent example of navigational information.  It may just target your brand. Likewise, it may provide directions on where your retail outlet is located.

It’s also important to include things like type of business, niche specialty information or other commercial terms to draw in users.

The use of taglines that take the user to an optimized landing page can be very helpful navigational tools.

Weighing their options may start in the informational phase but is definitely also part of the navigations. During navigations, they may be looking for a specific brand or wanting to compare several.

Transactional content

This type of content is for the users ready to buy. Depending on the number of sales pages you have, this can be a larger or smaller category.

If your web pages are only informational, then your “where to buy” tag on every page will be important. If you are B2C, provide your location, phone number and business hours.

If you are a B2B provider using retailers, an interactive “find my retailer” page can be very helpful.  It’s discouraging to a visitor who is ready to buy to find there are no retailers in their area and no buying options. [Note: How do you solve this problem? I’d love to hear.]

If you have an ecommerce store, transactional information is highly helpful.  You might optimize a product page with terms like “buy XXX”.  “Buy XXX online” or “XXX discount coupon”. 

Using a Search Journey

When I work with clients I encourage them to remember the three buying phases as we create/evaluate content and SEO support.  You need to connect with prospects when they are:

  • Looking for information.
  • Weighing their options.
  • Ready to buy.

Each of these needs not only different information, but the search engine words to support it.  If you are only targeting question answering, you may well be missing sales conversions.

Superfans – Influencers You Can Afford

superfans believe in you and your product
Photo by Anthony DELANOIX on Unsplash

The world of influencer marketing has gone crazy since the first Facebook posts in 2010. Amazon connected Facebook with its brand. Then it shared what friends and family were buying.  It worked…very well.

At the same time, millennials and gen Z distrust traditional advertising. They want social proof – what friends say. 

The astronomical rise of social portals like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter supports this process. It seems to be one that many businesses want to tap into. But before you jump in, there are some facts you need to know.

Influencers

There are different types of influencers based on how many followers they have.  While volume is important, it’s their audience that should be your criteria for selection.  The more followers they have, the broader their reach, but the smaller their level of engagement.

Those with over 100,000 followers get 1.1% engagement on Instagram, according to Influencer Marketing Hub. Nano-influencers have the highest level of engagement. They get a whopping 7.2% on Instagram. 

  • Mega-Influencers – over 1 million followers.
  • Macro-Influencers – 100,000 t0 1 million followers.
  • Celebrity-Influencers – generally over 500,000 followers and perhaps into the millions.
  • Micro-Influencers – 2000 – 50,000 followers
  • Nano-Influencers – Under 1000 followers

The most important aspect of choosing an influencer is that they love and believe in your product. But their followers must also include the demographics of your ideal client.  The tighter the match, the more likelihood of higher ROI.

General use products work well with the celebrity and larger influencers. Niche products need an influencer whose audience is the tightest match to the desired client.

Brand representatives

I’ve been asked, about the difference between a brand ambassador and an influencer.  The brand ambassador generally has a long-term relationship with the product. The influencer is more likely short-term. 

Brand ambassadors tell people about your product.  Influencers promote by example…how they use your product.

Brand advocates are people who believe in and tell others about your product.  They may be nano-influencers. 

Consider commercials with celebrities trying to sell you products.  They are paid.  In fact, endorsements, postings, and advertisements are valued as the quickest ways to huge income streams. A single post or spot could be tens of thousands of dollars and up.

Major influencers may work well for huge brands with massive marketing budgets. But they are out of reach for most smaller businesses. 

The trend has also become tarnished in recent years. Some influencers are buying fake lists. They do it to make it look like they are generating interest. There is zero real engagement.

Superfans

Nano-influencers are everyday consumers. They share because they love a product. They are your superfans. It’s much easier to relate to another consumer than to a celebrity.

I recommend as you start to build your business, develop client-focused programs. Rewards, recognition and customer advocacy.  Recognize and thank your superfans.  We all want to be recognized and valued. Nothing like recognition gets fans more excited.

Superfans have a smaller market reach. But they really know and engage with their followers.  They may be real-life friends and neighbors.

Would you be apt to take action on a referral from a celebrity? Or do you prefer a friend you know and trust? 

If you’re like me, you’d be more apt to take your friend’s recommendation. It might be for skin care, CBD to help me sleep or a great brand of travel clothing. 

Cost of superfans

What do nano-influencers cost your business?  They are not paid. They purchased and like a product.  Maybe they got a free related sample and tried something else.  Maybe you offered a discount code for the best price. Small incentives, not major dollars.

Superfans posts generate the kind of social sharing millennials and gen Z love the most – user-generated content.  Social proof. 

Some businesses have started offering influencer affiliate programs.  People sign up and get a financial reward for sharing your brand. 

The only downside to affiliate programs is that they become paid ambassadors.  Their audience may feel this erodes their genuine enthusiasm and authenticity. 

Get the message out…

I’ve been in the beauty/spa industry for over 25 years. There was always a sure way to get your message out.  You may remember the old adage… “telephone, telegraph, tell a woman.”  Even better…tell a hairstylist.  They are in the middle of the buzz.

Stylists are in near-constant connections with consumers.  Conversations flow like water.  Get your local store or new product in the hands of hairdressers. Get them excited.  They’ll share the news.

Look for opportunities to connect locally. Maybe a special event, pop-up, or product sampling. It can be much easier to catch the enthusiasm. You can’t see, feel, and touch products digitally.  And, it’s not as much fun.

Bottom line…

The bottom line for success is to really know your target client. Then focus on the pathways they use in their decision to buy process. No influencer will be beneficial if your goals and audiences don’t match.

When I work with clients we focus on identifying the target client. Then we work to develop superfans.

While influencer marketing is big news, it may not be the best for you. Consumers have become more skeptical. They want natural authentic user-generated content and conversations. Just the kind they see from superfans.

E-newsletters

Powerful nurturing for clients and prospects

e-newsletters being sent from a computer
E-newsletters to stay connected

Modern e-newsletters are a great way to nurture both new leads and to retain existing customers. They’re a little different from the mail out type of newsletters we used to send. Those had a closer resemblance to a traditional print mini-newspaper. They contained a little bit of everything. Multiple topics, multiple offers. They were sort of a shotgun approach and might have been 2 to 4 or more pages.

But e-news is a little different. Our inboxes are crowded and the recipient only takes a split second or two when they make a decision as to read or delete.

E-newsletters need to be quick to read, entertaining, conversational and informative. There should be graphics and other visual elements to make it engaging.

Don’t get them confused with an e-blast. Those are again a little difference in purpose. E-blasts tend to announce an event, a sale, or even that the monthly newsletter is now available on your website with a connecting link. They are very short and visually rich.

E-newsletters infotain

For the most successful newsletter, the topic should focus on a single theme or idea. One. Some tidbit that the reader is going to find useful and educational, something beneficial to them. 

If you have multiple messages you want to send out, great. Schedule a newsletter for each one. One newsletter per idea makes them much more powerful.

We know that prospects need to know like and trust us before they’ll do business with us. The newsletter can be focused on building these factors and engaging the potential client. Readers might learn how to solve a problem. They might build trust to see us as a go-to resource.

To keep your readers reading, e-newsletters are not sales pushes. Think of them as engaging “infotainment.” Share a specific idea you have that will make their life a little easier. Solve a problem. Share how-to-do something. Tips and tricks. These are great types of things to include.

Your topics should relate to your type of business. But avoid directly selling. Instead, you’re kind of working in from the side to engage that customer, inform them, educate them, build trust. You might include a video link. That video link could take them to your website where they can see a how-to video or a problem-solution video.

In alternative health and wellness, I’ve seen things like lists of best foods or foods to avoid. Try this instead of this. It might be ideas on different ways to use a supplement powder outside of the traditional stirring it into a beverage. Wellness tips, health tips, lifestyle tips. In today’s market, we are seeing more on healthy aging, aging in place, and tips for keeping youthful vigor.

Keep e-newsletters connecting…

Whatever the topic, it needs to be fun, short and engaging. If you host your newsletter on your website, you might use an e-blast with a link and invitation to read your newsletter. That’s another way to handle these communications and can be very effective.

Effectiveness for web-hosted newsletters might include a short email series to remind the recipient it is available and does contain a special offer at the bottom.

The email gives them a little synopsis of what’s available there, but it doesn’t take much time to read. All they have to do is click to read it. By sending more than one email, we remind those who haven’t clicked that it is there waiting for them.

Once we get them to the website, we can work to engage and keep them there. All the links take them to see something that you might have available for them, additional information, cross-references and take them back to the newsletter.

Again, keep it friendly, keep it gentle… Like a note, something you’d share with a friend. After all, that’s how we want them to think of us, a friend that they’re getting to know and like. Someone that they trust to do business with.

Use the 80-20 rule…

The key to an effective newsletter, in addition to great subject lines and subheads, is the sharing of information. Think 80% non-sales oriented information. The last 20% can be your offer. Whether that’s a product, a service, information, education, membership, whatever it is, keep that to the last 20% and have links appropriate to the pages to drive your sales.

How frequent you send your newsletter depends on your needs. Some businesses do a monthly newsletter, others like to do it twice monthly or even weekly. The more frequent they are, the shorter and targeted they should be.

Don’t overwhelm your readers with what you’re putting in their mailbox. How much is too much? Start with monthly, then in increments add more frequency. Follow your analytics to determine the best frequency.

Focus on one idea, one topic in the newsletter, 80% information, 20% call to action with your offer. Need help trying to make it happen? Message me, I’m your business builder. We can do that. judith@jculpcreativecopy.com.

Want to read more…Here’s an article on using newsletters to build client relationships.