I was having a conversation with a friend of mine recently who has his own one-man business. He told me that he should really get a Facebook business page set up, but he has no interest in Facebook at all. I told him what I tell many of my clients who come to me to get started on social media marketing – you may not want to be on Facebook, but there are around 1.5 billion other people who are…and that’s a lot of potential customers! I’ve heard people say that they simply refuse to have anything to do with Facebook because they don’t agree with it. The simple message is, “Don’t ignore Facebook!”
You may not know what Generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) are, but you’ll have seen plenty of them. They’re the .com, .net, etc. website addresses that you see. They are also the latest way to personalise your business’ domain name. There is an almost overwhelming number of domain endings to choose from; over 1000 have been released, some which may be directly related to the products or services you offer. Examples of these include, .photographer, .construction, .kitchen and .plumbing.
When you’re shopping online it doesn’t matter what the size of your purchase is, chances are you’ll find yourself drawn to read the product reviews left by previous customers. They can help you make a more informed decision as to whether the product is right for you and how good the retailer is. Depending on which source you look at, the increase in sales that a website can potentially see varies, but the general consensus of opinion is that including reviews on your online shop increases customer confidence and ultimately converts more sales. Still not convinced? Take a look around at the major players in ecommerce and you’ll be hard pushed to find one that does not include gathering and displaying customer reviews.
Selling online solely via your own web shop is becoming less of the norm. Whilst having your own online shop is still vital, multi-channel selling is becoming easier and more popular for the smaller retailer. Amazon and eBay sell practically everything under the sun, and for many online retailers they are the main competition. They already command a hefty market share and they’re out for more of it. However, instead of trying to beat them, why not join them?
Love them or loathe them, there’s no denying that Google offers an incredible array of tools, especially for anyone who has a website. Yes, a number of them are available from other providers, but the convenience of having them all available under one roof makes them hard to resist…even more so when you take the zero price tag into consideration. Here’s a quick run through of just a few of Google’s offerings.
A word that has been very much in the news of late is “hacking”. Away from the seedy world of unscrupulous journalists breaking into celebrity voicemail accounts, hacking is an everyday occurrence on the web. Some big names have been hit over the last year. Adobe recently had to inform no less than 38 million of its active users that account usernames and passwords had been stolen from their systems. Others who have been infiltrated include Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, the New York Times, and the US broadcaster NBC.
We’ve spent a few articles looking at how your business can benefit from email marketing. This time we’re concentrating on how to bring your online shop and email marketing together.
In the last couple of articles we’ve been looking at how you can make the most of your email marketing. The types of emails that you send out can be wide and varied: you may be sharing information, sending offers and promotions, building your network, etc. Whatever the type of email that you send, remember what we touched on last time: have a clear objective in mind for your campaigns. A key way to achieving this is to keep it simple.
Whenever you send out an email campaign you should have a clear objective in mind for it. So, ask yourself what you need to achieve with it: are you looking to get repeat business from existing customers, or perhaps you want to nurture leads. Once you have established this, set some more precise goals. If you’ve exhibited at a trade show and have collected contact details from new prospects, you could be sending them follow-up information, with the goal being that they request more specific details.
Nowadays, there are so many ways of keeping in touch with people. If you use social media, how many times each day do you think you check your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. feeds? A fair few I’d imagine. Now tell me how many times a day you check your emails? Even with the plethora of social media available, email is still a key way of communicating with people…and customers. Email testing and tracking providers Litmus reported last year that 38% of emails are opened on a smartphone. That figure has likely to have increased by now. So, with even easier access to our emails, we’re checking them more and more often.