“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.”
Jeff Bezos, CEO Amazon.com
Here is the audio version of this post. Thanks so much for listening. Enjoy.
Today is Cyber Monday, another made up shopping holiday to drive traffic to websites to consume goods and services. I’m sure you know this by the gazillion emails that are waiting for you to click on in your inbox. That fact is, we are all online. Whether we are socially networking on Facebook and Instagram or shopping for the holidays.
We are all in e-commerce today, one way or another. And we all need to think hard about the customer experience (online), if we want to be a relevant business in 2014 that is.
Here is a simple checklist for you to see if you are a discoverable business and for you to audit the customer experience (online).
1. Google terms that relate to your business. If you are a hair salon, Google “best hair salons”, “best colorist”.
2. Take a look at what results come up. Are you there?
3. Click on the links. Are they your business pages? What do they look and feel like?
1. Visit your website.
2. Is it easy to find your location? Contact info? Hours of operation?
3. Are there pictures of your business and your work?
4. Can I make a reservation or at least contact you?
5. Is the copy reader friendly and relevant to your business?
6. Can I easily see where to find you on Facebook, YELP, etc?
7. Is it mobile friendly?
YELP (being active on YELP is one of the best ways to rank higher in search engines. Fact.)
1. Have you claimed your page? If not, click here to learn how.
2. Have you added images of your business and work?
3. Have you filled in the “About this business” section?
4. Are there recent reviews?
1. Have you claimed your business?
2. Have you added images, contact info, hours of operation and a business description?
1. Do you have a business page?
2. Have you claimed your unique URL? This is the best way to show up in Graph Search, the “Google” of Facebook. Click here to learn how to claim your name.
3. Is your about us section filled out?
4. Are the hours of operation there?
5. Is your website, phone number and an email address available?
1. Have you written a short about message?
2. Is there a link to your website?
3. Do you have your phone number or email listed?
1. Can I easily find where to sign up for your emails?
2. Do you have a subscribe area on your website?
3. Do you have a subscribe tab on your Facebook page?
While this is not even close to a complete list, it’s an awesome start if you are in a service business. When was the last time you took a look at your online presence? Today may be an awesome day to start.
Here is the audio version of this post. Thanks so much for listening. Enjoy.
Actions speak louder than words. Something we can all agree on, yes? There is a big difference between saying we care and showing we care.
After reading The Thank You Economy by my biz hero Gary Vee, I was convinced more than ever that caring is not only a critical part of having a successful biz, but can also be a competitive advantage. As lame as that sounds, because it’s easier than ever to show we care, and sadly, there are just so many businesses who don’t.
With the rise of the social + digital web and the tools available to us, we can show we care in so many ways. Listening, engaging, responding, replying, paying attention, saying thank you and even wishing our clients a Happy Birthday.
Here are some of the awesome Birthday wishes I received in my inbox on my special day. Did I notice which brands remembered? Absolutely.
1. American Apparel
A great image and a special savings. A call to action. Simple and effective. And yes, I did take advantage of the offer.
A beautiful image and note. An offer I did not take advantage of but would have if I needed the gift. An invitation and call to action to get my makeup done for my special day was icing on the cake, pun intended. 3. the Hair Loft ltd
A beautiful image and message from my friends at the Hair Loft ltd. A special offer and a call to action. Perfect on all levels. Only reason I did not make a reservation is because they are in Chicago. But I would have if it came from my salon in Los Angeles.
With the technology & platforms we have available to us today, no matter the size of our businesses, we all have an opportunity to show we care. But the platforms can’t do it for us, we have to care first, then use the technology to engage. We actually have to care. For reals.
How do you show clients you care? What do your birthday greetings look and feel like? I would love to hear and see what you are doing to show you care. It matters. You matter. And I’m listening.
“In a way, the Web is like your Hollywood agent: It speaks for you whenever you are not around to comment.”
Chris Brogan & Julien Smith, authors of Trust Agents
If your business is up 50% over last year, you clearly are doing something awesome and may not need to read this post. If it’s not, I encourage you to stay with me and hear me out on the topic of email marketing or what I like to call inbox marketing.
Yes, It’s Still A Powerful Tool
While you may hear that email is falling by the wayside with the rise of social platforms, that is simply not true. Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to engage your clients and actually make sales happen. How you ask?
How Inbox Marketing Drives Sales
1. It keeps clients connected to your salon, shows them you care, and reminds them you are around.
2. It allows you to share salon news, say thank you, introduce promotions, launch new products and services and reminders to make reservations.
3. It drives traffic to your website which in turn can drive sales.
How Do I Know This? (besides researching the topic at length)
The #1 referral traffic source for Passion Squared is from our weekly emails. More people visit our site from the emails we send then from any other referral platform.
My clients and friends Nigel Sampson and Daria Di Benedetto, owners of Whole Body Method in Los Angeles sold over $5000 in packages from ONE single email campaign. Their business is up over 50% from last year, and while there are several factors as to why they have experienced this awesome growth, focused and consistent email marketing is one of them.
I had a chance to chat with Benjamin Jay, co-owner of the Hair Loft ltd in Chicago. He was awesome enough to share his most recent success story using email to engage clients and generate revenue. Check it out.
“So this holiday we really wanted to have a great season. One of the things we did was send out a note to our guests that hadn’t been in in 6 weeks and did not have a future reservation on the schedule letting them know what our upcoming holiday hours were going to be and giving them a link to make their reservation online. No discounts, because there was no need! Holidays are already our (and most people’s) best times of the year so we didn’t need to discount what was in high demand. Through these marketing emails, we booked an additional $1600 into our last 3 weeks of the Holidays.”
These are the email campaigns that generated that additional $1600 in revenue over the Holidays for the Hair Loft ltd. Beautiful and on point.
Now think about yourself as a customer. How many times have you been driven to purchase something from your favorite store or made a reservation because of an email they sent you? Come on, be honest.
Ok Nina, This Is Awesome, But Now What Do I Do?
1. Be sure your website allows clients to actually take action such as making a reservation, purchasing a gift card, a package or series of services. Many salon software programs have online booking as a feature or option. Use it.
2. Be sure to choose the right email platform for you, preferably one that is super easy to use, provides reports on your campaign performance, etc. I LOVE MailChimp, it’s FREE (up to 2000 subscribers), super easy to use, and highly social, meaning its easy to share on your social sites, etc. Many salon software programs also offer integrated email platforms, be sure to check with your provider to see what is available.
3. Be sure you have a place on your website for clients to “opt in” to receive emails from you. Also be sure they can subscribe on your Facebook page with a tab provided by your email platform. MailChimp has a super cool Facebook tab that is easy to use.
This is what a subscribe Facebook Tab looks like from MailChimp.
This is what Passion Squared email opt in looks like on the home page of our website. Feel free to subscribe to get weekly inspiration and education from me :)
Do you have a success story to share about inbox marketing for your business? Please feel free to share it in the comments if you feel compelled or click here to share your story with me or to learn more about the power of inbox marketing.