mass text marketing

Mass Text Marketing: Unpacking the Latest Trend

Over the course of the last few years, email marketing has been many company’s go-to for targeted campaigns. However, as users have grown wary of spam and phishing emails, a large majority have begun to trust SMS in same way they once trusted email. Now that marketers are starting to understand this, mass text marketing has emerged as the latest trend in reaching customers with powerful brand messaging.

In an attempt to help you understand the newest marketing trend, we have put together a few reasons why mass text marketing has become so popular, along with a few best practices to help you get started. While different channels serve different purposes within the overall marketing plan of a company, using those different channels and user engagement platforms correctly is what separates a good marketer from a great one.

After reading this article, we hope that you will not only see the benefits of what SMS can do for you. We also hope that you will have a better understanding of when to use certain forms of communication over others. Let’s get into it.

mass text marketing

SMS vs. Email

While they both serve different functions, the purposes of SMS and email are closely aligned. Email has been used since its inception for branded messaging and has only grown in popularity in recent years. SMS has always been seen as more personal and less professional for communication with customers. No longer.

SMS now is most consumer’s primary form of communication. Now that mass text marketing has opened the door for businesses to meet clients on their mobile phones instead of their email accounts, a whole new dynamic has emerged.

There are currently 7 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide while on the other hand there are only 2.5 billion email users worldwide. This is a steep difference in size and availability in these two markets. Although email has shined for marketers in the past, the future is moving toward mobile.

Why mass text marketing?

Due to the fact that this is a recent trend in the world of marketing, the final word has not been said on mass text marketing. However, mass text marketing has numerous benefits that make it stand out from other forms of communication. In order to show you exactly what mass text marketing can do, we have laid out some of the best aspects of this channel and how best to use them.

Open rates

Not only does SMS have a wider audience as we saw earlier, but the open rates compared to other channels of communication are impressive. According to recent reports, the open rate for SMS is close to 96 percent! Compare that with the dismal open rate of email (22 percent), and you can see why mass text marketing has taken off.

While we would never advise to stop your email campaigns, we do want to open your eyes to what else is out there. With mobile continuing to move forward, with new ways of reach customers like push notifications and SMS, the game is changing. Using SMS is the best way to get your message in the hands of your customers much faster than ever before.

sms marketing

Deliver a powerful message

Since mobile users are far more likely to open (and then engage) your message, you need to be very strategic in what that message is. Not only that, but when you send the message, who you are sending it to, and why.

A basic rule of thumb is that if you can wait until tomorrow for a response, you should send an email. If it is more immediate, send a text. This means that texts should only be sent when there is powerful messaging behind them and a clear call-to-action. Without these two features of a text, you are just going to be wasting their time.

Meet customers where they are

One of the most vital aspects of any marketing plan is ensuring you are meeting your customers where they are. In this case, where they are is on their cell phones. Most of your customers are within an arm’s reach of their phone almost 24 hours a day. With this great power for reaching them also comes a great responsibility.

As you begin to plan out your first mass text marketing campaign, keep time in mind. Bad timing is one of the easiest ways to lose a subscribed user. Be professional and deliver your targeted messaging either during business hours or, if you have a business with abnormal business hours, when you customers would be using your services.

man using phone

Additional best practices

Each of the previously covered reasons for utilizing mass text marketing are fairly general and designed to give you a basic idea of what this channel can do for you. However, there are additional best practices (which we will explore later) that we want to share with you.

  •      Get permission: Before you ever send an SMS, you need to make sure you have the user’s permission. This is a rule of thumb that should never be violated.
  •      Be clear about your intentions: SMS is personal and straightforward so be clear about your intentions. You don’t have much space, so if you are trying to sell something, be upfront about it. Your customers don’t have time for you to beat around the bush and honestly, neither do you.
  •      Segment, coordinate, and integrate: Not every mass text you send should go to all the users in your database. Segment your audience and then coordinate with your team the best way to approach each unique share of your audience.
  •      Never use unnecessary abbreviations: Text lingo and abbreviations should be avoided when possible. While SMS is personal between friends, you are a business and should communicate like you are.
  •      Embedded links are a life-saver: Your customers don’t want to receive a message without an actionable next step. Give this to them by including a link with your message. By doing this, you make it easy for those who are interested and knock down one less barrier for those on the fence.
  •      Track everything: Make sure that you are using user engagement metrics to track everything from day one. This data is incredibly valuable to you and the success of your campaign, don’t ignore it.

Mass text marketing is only continuing to grow. Make sure that you know what you need to be doing in order to be successful.


content writing service

4 Tips To Increase Company Productivity Using A Content Writing Service

Originally coined by Bill Gates in 1996, the phrase “Content is King” holds true more so now than ever. As Google continues to shift their algorithms towards content creation on sites, more and more companies are trying to get involved in the content game. A powerful customer retention technique, content writing is not for everyone. This is why content writing services have become a popular choice for many organizations.

If you are thinking about employing the work of a content writing service, but aren’t sure what the benefits are, look no further. In this article we are going to explore how using a content writing service can increase your company’s productivity. Not only that, but once your content writing team is in full swing, you will have freed up more time for yourself to focus on new areas.

Before we look at the benefits of a content writing service, let’s make sure we are all on the same page as to what a service like this does exactly.

content writing service

What does a content writing service do?

First of all, hiring a content writing service is just like hiring any other professional team for your company. While you might have ideas about what content you want them to write, they are the experts when it comes to what to write, how to write, and when to publish these articles.

Second, content writing is not always about articles or running a social media campaign. Content writing services often can do each of the following as well.

  •      Blogs
  •      Press releases
  •      Brochures
  •      Business plans
  •      White papers
  •      eBooks

And the list goes on from her. If you are thinking about hiring a content writing service, think about how each of these can fit into your business plan. Each of the different services they offer comes with experience doing exactly those things for other companies, so take advantage of that.

“How can they help me?”

Now that you have a basic understanding of what content writing services do, the next logical question is: “Ok, but how can they help me?” Next, we are going to cover just a few areas in which a content writing service can improve your overall business productivity.

High quality content published on a regular basis

One of the hardest parts for most professionals that try to write their own content is finding the time to do so. And then, once you find the time to write a blog post or an article for your website, you have to get into a writing mood.

No matter what your industry is, you are a professional in that industry, not in writing. Content writing services employ professional writers who can produce quality content on a regular basis. Not only that, but they can probably do so much faster than you can.

By setting up a consistent content calendar, these companies will make sure that you have high quality content that meets search engine requirements on a daily, semi-daily, or weekly rate. It’s up to you how often. In so doing, your readers will know when to expect new content on your site and have a reason to come back over and over.

search engine optimization

Increase search engine exposure

Going off of our previous point, content writers have experience writing for other websites (including their own) to get those websites ranked on different search engines. As a professional, you no doubt know how to write about your industry well. However, it takes practice and experience to make sure that your good writing actually gets seen.

Content writing companies understand the requirements that Google and other search engines are looking for in the content on each website. They can even come up with content strategy to make sure you are targeting the exact keywords that you want to be showing up for. Just like hiring a developer to work on an app, you are hiring a content writing service more for their experience than anything.

Establish your company as an authority

By employing a content writing service to fill up your website with relevant articles on various aspects of your industry, your website will start to be seen as an authority on the subject by both users and search engines. If more and more customers use your site to help them with problems like this, they will be more likely to come to you when they need your services.

Not only that, but if your content marketing service team has ties to other websites, this can be a great way to boost your own company while helping them out as well. Ask them if they do guest blogging for additional traction on your site.

content marketing team

Save both time and money

Anytime someone says you can save time and money with something, you should make sure they aren’t pulling your leg. However, the truth is that with one of these services, you truly do. Hiring a content writing service is far less expensive than hiring a full time person to do the same thing for your company.

As far as time goes, by not having to write the content yourself, you free up extra time to focus on core business practices. The great part about hiring a content writing service is that most of the work you will have to do is done at the beginning. Once your team has a good understanding of your business, the rest basically runs itself.

What are you waiting for?

As more and more companies opt for the content writing option and start to seek out services to do it for them, the benefits we have laid out will start to decrease. New companies with less credentials will start to sprout up and good writers will start charging more. Take advantage of this opportunity now before this change begins.

Remember that just like hiring an expert to perform a service, content writing services are the best at what they do. Whether you use them once a week or every day, employing a good company is a surefire way to save yourself some time and stress.


email marketing agency

Everything You Need to Know Before Choosing an Email Marketing Agency

In today’s marketplace, where every company is vying for customer’s attention, an old faithful marketing tool is the email. With a $44 return on every $1 dollar spent, it’s no wonder that companies are using this tool. Email marketing is not only cost effective, but when done correctly, can be extremely influential as well. However, not every company is equipped to handle email marketing on their own and need to employ the use of an email marketing agency.

As you might understand if you have ever done a search for “email marketing” online, there is a lot of competition out there. Hundreds of companies offering their services, but how do you choose? For one, not every company means the same thing when they say email marketing. Some are best equipped to help a small, one-man operation. Others have the bandwidth to work with Fortune 500 companies. Obviously, you need to know what you are getting into before choosing an agency.

Hoping to help you with this process, we have put together this article on what you need to know before choosing an email marketing agency. Finding the right company can be a headache if you don’t know the right questions to ask or the right expectations to have. In this article, we are going to explore each of those, so let’s get into it.

email marketing agency

Why hire an email marketing agency in the first place?

Putting together an email marketing campaign is no simple task. First, you have to divide your customer base into segments so that you can target emails specifically to those groups. Next, you have to create formats and templates for different types of emails and group those together with the different segments you have. Finally, you have to create content which you can send out in these emails to your segmented audience.

Working with an email marketing agency can eliminated a lot of hassle from this process. Depending on the company, they will likely be able to import each of your customers into a database that can segment them for you. They can also provide templates, designs, and the network you need to plan out your campaign. Finally, some companies have even begun writing content for you so that once you get started the process is fairly hands-off.

The reason to hire an email marketing agency is simple: they can do it better, they can do it faster, and they can do it for less money. Employ an agency and you will also be employing all of the expertise and experience that comes with it.

What are your goals for your email marketing campaign?

Knowing your goals before entering into talks with a potential email marketing agency is vital to finding the right company for your needs. For instance, if email is going to be a large part of your marketing campaign, you need to make sure they can handle it. This means creating a detail, ever-changing plan and creating, distributing, and tracking every form of communication from their system.

On the other hand, if you are just using email marketing to send customer surveys or follow-ups, you probably won’t need as much functionality. Lay out a list of needs or goals you want to fulfill with your email campaign before you talk with a company. This way, you know exactly what you are looking for.

What is your budget?

Similar to understand your goals, knowing your budget before looking at email marketing agencies will make this process far less stressful. Pricing is going to be an important consideration for you and your business, make sure you aren’t wasting their time or your own.

If you enter into a conversation and their pricing is way above what you know your budget is, you can end the discussion early. However, if their pricing gives you wiggle room in your budget, let them know your expectations. A company that really wants your business might find a way to work with you within the confines of your budget.

email marketing budget

Will you need help developing your campaign strategy?

Not everyone has had experience creating and running an email marketing campaign. You should assess your own skills in this area before talking with a company. If, for example, you have lots of experience and just need templates on which you can build out your campaign, that is a much different discussion than someone who has never done email marketing before.

Like we mentioned at the beginning, more and more email marketing agencies are willing to do this for you. Some companies will create customized content for you, while others only give you the tools to do so. Figure out which of these you need before you start looking.

What kind of customer service can you expect from this agency?

Picture this. You company is just about to launch a new product or service. This is something your team has been working on for months. Along with the launch, you are planning on starting your email marketing campaign. Imagine if your emails stop working or, more dangerously, are sending, but the wrong info.

Working with an email marketing agency that has fast response time and good customer service cannot be overlooked. Find out from the companies you are talking to what their solution to a problem like this would be. Don’t accept anything less than what you are comfortable with.

How will they measure the effectiveness of your campaign?

User engagement metrics and data collection are essentially par for the course at this point. If your email marketing agency doesn’t not have an effective way to measure or track how your campaign is doing, they may not be worth the time.

A solid email marketing agency will not only allow you to track things like clicks and conversions, but repeat visits and other metrics that might be vital to your campaign. Don’t be afraid to ask these questions of your agency. They should know how to answer them if they are worth their snuff.

tracking metrics

Final questions

After answering the questions we just went over, you should have a good idea of whether or not the email marketing agency you are talking to is up to your standards. However, if you want to be completely sure in your decision, asking these final follow-up questions will make you feel confident in your choice. Questions like:

  •      Will your emails appear the way you want no matter where your client views them?
  •      Where do they get their images?
  •      Will your email campaigns work with social media and enhance your existing marketing strategy?

Any company that can’t answer these final questions should be avoided. Considering that these are bare minimum requirements in our day and age, you shouldn’t have trouble with them. But they are worth asking all the same.

Now that you know what to look for in an email marketing agency, the ball is in your court. Finding the right company for you might take some time, but with the knowledge you now have, you will be able to find the right company for you. Happy hunting!


customer retention marketing

How to Build a Holistic Customer Retention Marketing Plan

When it comes to customer loyalty and customer retention in 2017 compared to 20, even 10 years ago, you can see a drastic change. According to research administered by Accenture, “Just over one-quarter of U.S. consumers (28 percent) feel very loyal toward their providers.” This means that the other 72 percent are open to switching if the opportunity provides itself. This is why customer retention marketing is becoming so important to businesses of all shapes, sizes, and industries.

As business owners, marketers, and consumers ourselves, it is important that we understand the important new trends in customer retention marketing and reducing client churn. If almost 3/4ths of your customer base can be won away by improved customer service or lower costs, you need to be thinking about what you can do to combat those things before your customer leaves.

In this article, we are going to explore what it means to build out a holistic customer retention marketing plan. By that, we mean a plan that puts the customers first and is geared towards making them customers for life. Let’s get started.

customer retention marketing

What does it mean to be “holistic?”

In the world of customer retention marketing, to be holistic means to pursue aspects of your marketing plan that benefit the entirety of your customer base. Whether that means offering free shipping on products or offering 24/7 customer support, focusing on an improvement to the whole rather than one or two areas will lead to a better customer experience.

However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t segment your audience and treat all customers the same way. It does mean that you should understand the differences that each of your customers have and how you can best serve them despite those differences. This leads us to our first stepping stone in building a holistic customer retention strategy.

Focus on high-value customers

If you are hoping to allocate your budget for the best possible returns, focusing on high-value customers is one of the best ways to do so. In terms of ROI, focusing on high-value customers first simply makes sense.

However, this is not the only reason we are saying to focus on them. By rolling out new campaigns focused on your high-value customers while keeping your whole customer base in mind, you can improve your services for everyone involved.

Protip: Use Net Promoter Score surveys to find out which of your customers are fall into the categories of passives, detractors, and promoters. Promoters are essentially high-value customers as they are most likely to promote a positive influence of your brand. Focus your efforts on retaining them and the rest will come after.

net promoter score

Solicit feedback and then do something with it

Far too often, organizations and companies will solicit feedback and then do nothing with it. What is the point of asking your customers what their experience is like if you have no intention of improving said experience?

According to Lynn Murray, AVP of Marketing Solutions at Sprinklr, “it’s a serious risk for brands not to know their customers.” And she is right. You need to know your customers inside and out so that you can provide them with what they need. If you’re especially good, you will know what they need before they do.

Do your best to solicit feedback at each logical step in the process. Someone just received their order or purchase? Ask them how the process went. Did they have a complain that was then addressed? See if there is something your company could have done better. The most important thing is to use the information they give you to constantly improve the customer experience and journey.

Protip: Negative reviews won’t hurt your business as much as not responding to them has the potential to. Also, customers will appreciate a business that can accept and amend their mistakes in a timely manner. That being said, take each negative comment or review with a grain of salt, but the few that matter should be handled quickly, effectively, and efficiently.

Always work on improving the customer experience

Going back to our first point on how improving the customer experience for your most valuable customers will improve it for everyone. The same methodology applies to this aspect of a holistic customer retention marketing plan. The most important part of improving a customer’s overall experience is by focusing on their customer journey.

The customer journey can be described as the sum of all experiences the customer has while interacting with your company. By focusing on keeping a consistent, measured approach to each aspect of the journey, you will have far more success than by focusing on just small parts of the process to improve.

Most importantly, a remarkable customer experience is impossible in this day and age without personalization. Enterprises looking to go above the average in this area need to personalize the customer experience at each possible touch point. Harnessing a personal relationship with a customer makes them far more likely to remain loyal to your company.

Protip: Companies should focus on the 3 Es of customer experience: ease, efficiency, and emotion. By focusing on these aspects, you are able to build both trust and transparency, two things that customers value very highly.

thumbs up!

Continue adding value post-sale

Another key aspect of customer retention marketing that has changed is adding additional value to the customer post-sale. Now, sale doesn’t necessarily have to be a product or service, it simply can be described as the time an action is completed by a customer. By staying relevant past this point, you are telling the customer they are important to you and you want to continue your relationship.

Part of this post-sale strategy can include sending out a newsletter, relevant articles, and product usage tips. It also almost goes without saying, but should your customer complete an action or sale, you should send them a thank you email or note. In 2017, a confirmation/thank you email is a necessity for customer retention.

Protip: Another way of keeping customers engaged is by sending them replenishment reminders (if you sell a replenishable product). Even remind them of something like a service, such as a haircut or oil change, can be the spark they need to come back to your company for more. Don’t ignore your customers post-sale, think of the sale as simply the beginning.

Every interaction counts

The final thing to keep in mind when constructing your customer retention marketing plan is that every interaction counts. No matter how big or how small, every time you interact with a customer, you should have a consistent brand message you are sticking to.

In order for your strategies to be truly holistic, you need to keep your customers engaged at every stage of the customer journey. Use the tips we have laid out and keep in mind the customer from the start. If you do these things, your success is all but guaranteed.


customer retention strategy

5 Tools Every Marketer Needs to Round Out Their Customer Retention Strategy

As marketing professionals, customer retention marketing is becoming a key to business success. More and more marketers are gearing their overall marketing strategy towards keeping existing customers instead of going after new clients. This is important because as customers have more options, they are becoming less loyal to brands than ever before. For this reason, customer retention strategy is now a vital part of running a company.

In order to make sure you are fully prepared to take on customer retention, we have put together 5 tools that every marketer needs to round out their customer retention strategy. Each of these tools should be used in conjunction with each other. However, there are certain tools that work better in one industry than another. We will guide you through each.

customer retention strategy

Marketing tool belt

Just like a real tool belt, each tool has a specific purpose and can make a big difference. However, when used incorrectly or for the wrong reason, they can be as useless as trying to drive a nail with a screwdriver. Remember to employ these customer retention techniques and tools when it fits into your overall plan.

1. CRM

Customer relationship management is a tool that is used to increase satisfaction at every point in a customer’s journey. CRM is the backbone of a customer retention strategy. Each tool and interaction can be tracked and managed through a CRM system. Not only will this help you have a consistent marketing message, but it will also give you insights you might not be able to receive from one of these tools on their own.

As you start to plan out your customer retention strategy, make sure you consider CRM. While it is best used for subscription model businesses, CRM has many operational benefits for every industry. If you choose to use any of the following tools for your own customer retention strategy, you should also use a CRM.

2. Loyalty Programs

Often loyalty programs are associated with retail, but any business with repeat customers and purchases can benefit from employing one in their customer retention strategy. When a customer is given additional value for shopping at your store, the competition suddenly seems less appealing. If the customer were to leave for that competitor, they would be leaving money on the table they could have used with you.

Ecommerce loyalty programs also allow you to award more than just repeat purchases. You can give your customers points for reviews, referrals, and social sharing. Along with this, by giving them points instead of straight cash, you can hide the true value of a reward. For example, earning 30 points sounds a lot better than 3 cents, even if that is the equivalent value.

Use a CRM to monitor your loyalty program for best results.

man working on customer retention marketing

3. Personalization

Personalization is becoming such a widespread staple of customer retention marketing it almost goes without saying. However, personalization is a good way to reduce churn rate across every industry and marketing plan.

The first requirement of personalization is collecting data about your customers. This can be done in a variety of ways, from an email signup to a simple form. It doesn’t matter exactly how you are able to collect this information, just so long as you receive it.

The next step is to use this information in all of your branded messaging. Looking to send an email? Personalize it. SMS message? Personalize it. Pop up on your site offering a discount? Personalize that too. Not only will this show your customer you know who they are, but when done right, you are saving them a lot of time by giving them exactly what they want or need.

4. Support Systems

Support systems are used to increase customer service and satisfaction. While they are often used with more technical products, there will be customers who need help no matter your product offering. The important part of support systems is that they offer direct communication with your customers to solve their problems.

For instance, if your customer goes to your site looking for help and is met with a live chat from a real person, they are probably going to feel much more taken care of than if they have to search through a long series of FAQs. Customers don’t want to wait or search, so don’t make them. Have these support systems in place first so that you can be helping customers from the get-go.

5. Gamification

Gamification is no longer just for mobile apps and video games. By adding a sense of completion to each task, customers will find them more enjoyable. Not only that, but they will be encouraged to complete actions they might not have before, simple for the fun of it.

Consider using gamification especially if your product is used by younger audiences. All demographics respond well to the enjoyable experience gamification offers, but your younger audiences are more adept in this area and have come to expect it.

For an even further added benefit, combine gamification with your loyalty program or promotions. Like we said at the beginning, each of these tools works well in conjunction with each other. Think of them as compounding the potency of your customer retention strategy.

marketing plan

Final thoughts

While you may not have the right platform for gamification or a loyalty program, the basic idea behind each of these tools can be used for your success. The important thing in this day and age is to keep the customer first.

Companies like Amazon have changed the way we think about marketing. Customer retention strategy and marketing are now a necessity to staying competitive in 2017. Whether or not you use the tools in this article doesn’t matter, just make sure that you are keeping the customers first.

If you are looking for further insights into how exactly to do all of this, be sure to subscribe to our blog and newsletter. Together, we can figure out what it means to provide truly remarkable services to our customers.


saas metrics

12 SaaS Metrics Your Company Needs to Understand

“If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it.” This quote from Lord Kelvin means as much today as it did 150 years ago. However, while Kelvin was referring to scientific discovery, today we think of measurement more for tracking metrics and business success. After all, how could you ever try to improve something without the proper metrics in place?

In this article, we are going to be looking at Software as a Service, often referred to simply as SaaS, and the metrics used to be successful. SaaS metrics are unique simply because the SaaS business model is unique. Our hope is that not only will you have a better understanding of Saas metrics after reading this article, but that you will have a better idea of SaaS in general and where you and your company should be heading. Let’s get started.

saas metrics

What makes SaaS Unique

SaaS and other businesses like it that work off of a recurring revenue model are different from typical business for many different reasons. For one, the value of a customer is not based off of one “sale,” but the lifetime of the relationship. SaaS is incredibly customer driven, since a happy customer is one that will continue to pay you each month. This also means that most of the important SaaS metrics to be measuring have to do with customer retention.

The 3 steps to success in the SaaS model rely heavily on making sure the customer is getting what they need. They can be broken down as follows.

  1. Acquiring customers.
  2. Retaining customers.
  3. Monetizing customers.

While acquiring customers and monetizing customers can happen regardless of different factors, retention is the most important, but also the hardest to do correctly. As we take a look at different SaaS metrics, keep in mind these three steps and how they correlate.

SaaS Metrics to measure

Since there are so many different SaaS metrics to measure in order to be successful, we have broken them down into three different categories. The first that we are going to look at are metrics related to marketing of the service.

woman calculating saas metrics

Marketing metrics

Marketing is the key to growing your service. Marketing must attract the right people who are willing and able to become a paying customer. Through these few metrics, you will have a better idea of how to reach and convert those clients.

1. Monthly unique visitors

Monthly unique visitors is simply a SaaS metric that tells you how many people have come to your website. The reason it says ‘unique’ is that if someone were to come to your site more than once, they would only be counted as one visitor.

By measuring the volume of visitors coming to your site, you can track how your marketing is working for you. However, be sure to look at engagement metrics as well to see exactly what they are doing on your site when they visit. This will give you a more well-rounded idea of who you are attracting.

2. Signups

Not all SaaS companies allow self-service signup, but many do. If this is your model, signups is one of the most important metrics you can be tracking. This is going to tell you exactly how many people were interested enough in your offering to get involved and try it out.

In an ideal situation, once they signup they would then learn how to use your service and start to regularly use it on their own. However, this is hardly ever the case. We will use other SaaS metrics to see what to do with these signups, but for now, signups itself as a metric is vital to your business. Make sure you have a reliable way to measure this.

3. Product qualified leads (PQL)

Product qualified leads or PQLs are described as customers who have used the product and show a high likelihood of becoming a paying customer. PQLs are the new MQLs (Marketing Qualified Lead) in the world of SaaS. They are a fantastic way to pre-qualify your leads and see who you should be targeting.

4. Qualified lead velocity rate (LVR)

Now that you have tracked your qualified leads, you need to figure out how many you need each month. By knowing your qualified lead closing ratio, you can backwards engineer your revenue targets to see how many leads you will need each month. The formula for this calculation looks like this.


LVR tells you how many of your qualified leads will at one point become customers. It is a great way for you to see what your future sales attainment will look like.

5. Viral coefficient

Word of mouth marketing is the best way to receive customers, but it is also a SaaS metric that is difficult to track. In order to gauge the virality of your business, use the following formula.

Invites = Number of invitations the average user sends.

Conversion percent = The percentage of invitees that convert to customers

sales saas metrics

Sales metrics

More and more SaaS companies these days are trying to keep their cost of sales as low as possible. In order to do this and still be profitable, you will need to know the right SaaS metrics to be monitoring and measuring. Our second section has to do with sales and the metrics that define success.

6. Conversion rate to customer

Before you can measure your conversion rate to customer, you need to clearly define which leads you are using. We are going to be using PQLs from the previous section in our own formula, but feel free to use what is best for you.

conversion rate to customer

This SaaS metric is a benchmark for how many leads you are turning into customers. By increasing this customer conversions, you are directly increasing your revenue.

7. Average revenue per account (ARPA)

ARPA is typically measured on a monthly basis, as most SaaS services operate on a monthly timeframe. You can use the formula below to understand exactly what each customer is worth to you.

A good practice here is to measure ARPA for new customers and existing customers separately. This will give you a good idea of how your ARPA is evolving.

8. Customer acquisition cost (CAC)

Customer acquisition cost, or CAC, is one of the most important SaaS metrics for understanding the scalability of your venture. The formula for calculated CAC goes like this:

Once you know how much it costs you to acquire a new client, you can plan for the future with a higher degree of accuracy.

handshake, customer success

Customer success metrics

As we mentioned earlier, SaaS as a model relies heavily on customer retention. Retaining more customers is a constant need for most SaaS companies, so let’s take a look at what you should be measuring.

9. Average first response time

This metric helps you to see how fast your response time is when a customer asks for support. This SaaS metric is calculated as follows.

Average first response time has a direct correlation with customer satisfaction. The faster your response time, the more satisfied your customer will be. Put the systems in place that you need to make sure and keep this time down.

10.  Customer retention rate

Customer retention marketing is one of the most important parts of any business, but especially SaaS companies. Obviously customer retention is a vital SaaS metric to be measuring, but on its own it will not tell you much. Combine this metric with others to fully flush out your marketing plan.

11.  Churn

Churn is essentially the opposite of retention rate and it measures how effective a company is at retaining customer value. Some churn is obviously to be expected, but if your churn rate is above 5%, you need to fix something. This number will vary by industry, but anywhere from 3-5% is a good benchmark.

Your overall goal should be to get to where you have negative churn. By that we mean you are keeping all of the customers you have while adding more every single month. Use churn to better understand your customers and where you can improve their journey.

12.   Customer lifetime value (LTV)

For some companies, this is the only metric they care about. For others, it is simply one of many SaaS metrics that they measure in order to understand their business. LTV is important for making decisions in sales, marketing, product development, and customer support. So how do we figure it out?

First, you need to calculate customer lifetime.

customer lifetime

Once you have that, you can put into this formula with other SaaS metrics we used earlier to calculate LTV.

LTV

This metric will also tell you if your SaaS business is viable or not. Do the work and figure out this figure, your business will be better for it.

That is all the SaaS metrics we have today, but if you are still curious about how to help out your SaaS business, check the other articles in our blog or comment below with topics you would like to see discussed in the future!


man using computer, website engagement tools

How to use website engagement tools for your success

The Internet is an ever-changing landscape, steadily growing and expanding as more and more information finds its way online. As this happens, the amount of noise on the Internet also continues to increase. Search engines try their best to give users the best sites for their needs, but with so much extra nonsense out there, it can be difficult to find the right site. And even if you do find the right site, without the proper website engagement tools, you might leave disappointed.

The customer journey now begins online and your first impression is everything. Website engagement tools and user engagement platforms are becoming a popular choice for companies looking to turn a website visitor into a customer. While there are a lot of tools out there, what matters is not which brand you choose, but how you use them.

In this article we are going to explore how to use website engagement tools to make a difference for your site and its success. Hopefully once we are done you will be ready to take on any engagement problems that you might face.

man using computer, website engagement tools

Basic principles

When it comes to engaging users online, there are a few basic principles you need to understand. Website engagement tools can do a good job for you, but if you want to take your engagement to the next level, you’ll need to keep a few things in mind.

User engagement is unique for every website

Just like snowflakes, every website online is unique in a variety of different ways. What this means to you is that there is no one-size-fits all solution to your website issues and problems. It also means that you shouldn’t expect something that worked on one website to necessarily work for yours.

As you start to look at your website and how your users interact with it, think about what makes your site unique. In an ideal world, a visitor would come to your site, see your value, and start a conversation that blooms into a business relationship. There are a few too many factors in the way of making sure this happens every time, but we can do our best to get rid of as many variables as possible.

The way that good websites are designed is with the user in mind. Not only how they will interact with your site, but their needs, wants, and goals. From the design of your website to the content you create, you should always keep in mind what makes your site and users unique.

Website engagement tools will affect your bottom line

According to Wendy Lea, CEO of Get Satisfaction, user engagement has an impact on everything from your marketing efforts to your bottom line.

“Your bottom line is riding on your ability to deliver excellent service while you are meaningfully engaging customers. In order to build loyal relationships that extend and last, you need to understand the basic principles of the new definitions of customer engagement and put them into action.”

You need to be using website engagement tools to deliver excellent service while engaging with your customers. In so doing, you will be able to create a meaningful engagement experience. Here are a few approaches to doing this.

  •      Engagement should exist in a full spectrum of online and offline experience.
  •      It needs to be customer driven while still mutually beneficial to both parties.
  •      Engagement should be results driven
  •      You should be meeting your users everywhere (website, blog, social, etc.) to engage them.

man using device

Engagement boosts your marketing efforts

User engagement on your site is important for many reasons, but boosting your marketing efforts is one of the most important. If you think about it, each of the following areas of improvement come from engagement on your site.

  •      Increase conversions.
  •      Lower a high bounce rate.
  •      Increase search engine visibility.
  •      Build trust and long term relationships with your users.
  •      Increase social media following.
  •      Enhance the perceptions of the company and brand.

Boosting these engagement levels helps you understand your users and potential customers even better. Once you have started to track user engagement metrics, everything will be laid out before you to improve your marketing decisions.

Website engagement tools

Now that you are familiar with the basic principles of website engagement, let’s talk about a few different tools you can use to run a successful campaign.

Social login

By letting users login using their preferred social media profile, you are showing them that they can trust your site. Not only that, but by being logged in, there is less delay when it comes to making a purchase or interacting with the site.

  •      More than 50% of online users will opt to go to another site rather than complete yet another sign-up form.
  •      Around 90% of the users who do register won’t come back to your site if they forget their username or password.
  •      73% of online users prefer to log into websites through social login.

You will not only engage with more users, but you will have more users, period. Consider a social login option as a website engagement tool to reach keep your bounce rate down.

Social sharing

Going along with the social login tool, social sharing is another good way to get more users to your site and keep them engaged throughout the entire process. Over 75% of users have more than one social networking account, so this is an area you simply cannot ignore.

By having a widget or menu on each page of your site for users to share to their networks you are giving them the ammunition they need to help your company succeed. Engage with them the right way the first time and amazing things can happen.

woman taking picture and social sharing

HubSpot

HubSpot is an inbound marketing and sales software that works with companies of all sizes to increase engagement. They can help you with social, SEO, CRM, email, blogs, and the analytics tools that you need to succeed.

Incorporating HubSpot into your website engagement tool-belt is a good way to put the best foot forward when it comes to take user engagement into your own hands.

So many more

There are plenty of other website engagement tools I could talk about, but as far as the basic of what you need for success, what we have covered is just about all you need to know. As you get started and begin to see results, you will have to be the judge of what tools will be the best for you, your company, and your website.

Remember what we said at the beginning about being unique in the digital world. As long as you always keep the end user in mind, you should have no problem bei


the importance of customer retention

The Importance of Customer Retention to Your Business | Top 5 Benefits

In 2017, finding a customer, holding their attention, and retaining them long term has become increasingly complicated. Now that consumers have so many options, for companies to keep their customers around they need to be constantly adapting to meet their needs. The importance of customer retention has never been more apparent.

While there is a sea of customer retention techniques to be found online, we wanted to focus on the importance of customer retention. Why is it so necessary? Who stands to benefit? Is it worth it in the long run? All of these are questions business owners ask themselves all the time.

In this article we are going to explore the answers to these questions and more. If you have never considered how important customer retention is before now, prepare to have your eyes opened.

the importance of customer retention

Why is customer retention necessary?

For the average person in business, a large part of their job is acquiring new clients. A large amount of time and energy is dedicated to this pursuit. After all, it makes sense to want more clients and customers than you already have, right?

What a lot of these people don’t understand, however, is how expensive recruiting new customers can be. On average, securing a new customer is 7x as expensive as keeping an existing customer. 7 times as expensive!

Obviously customer acquisition is important, but unless you are focusing on all aspects of their customer journey, you are going to have a revolving door business model. This leads to our next common question.

Who stands to benefit from customer retention?

As we mentioned earlier, it is far more expensive to find a new customer than retain an existing one. However, this doesn’t really answer the core question being asked: who stands to benefit from customer retention? While cutting down costs is always good, it isn’t always a good enough reason to shift focus completely to a retention based model.

For one, your customers stand to benefit enormously from a retention based agenda. This at the heart of the importance of customer retention: the customer. It seems obvious, but you would be surprised how little time and money is spent in this area.

In a recent Retention Science study, 70% of marketers said that their Retention Marketing is average at best, with room for significant improvement. This means that right now your customers are likely not receiving the attention they deserve. Who stands to benefit? Your customers, and by extension, you.

Is it worth it in the long run?

While customers in this day and age are becoming less loyal to brands, it is still vital to put effort into your customer retention marketing. The importance of customer retention is not found in keeping around an extra customer or two, but in treating your customers the way they should be treated.

Another great thing about the time we live in is that people are vocal in their support. Treat a few customers right and they might bring 5 of their friends back to sign up. However, this is again why treating your customers right is so important. Customers might tell a few of their friends about you if you treat them well, but if you don’t, the whole world will know about it.

This is the double edged sword of new tools like social media and online reviews. It is up to you to do something about it and start your customer retention campaign as soon as possible. Will it be worth it in the long run? Let’s put it this way: there may not be a long run for your business unless you get started soon.

Importance of customer retention

Now that we have look at a few frequently asked questions about customer retention, let’s take a look at the benefits associated with doing it well.

Identify referral sales opportunities

As we mentioned, happy customers are likely to tell their friends about your company. Make it easy for them to give you a referral by implementing a system that rewards them for doing so. Once you receive these leads, explore them further and see if you can earn some new customers.

Foster a constructive relationship with customers

Your customers are humans too and all humans want to be treated with respect. This is where we see the importance of customer retention. The relationships you build with your customers will define how your company moves forward. It’s up to you to make sure that is a constructive direction.

Rectify flaws with company policies and procedures

Loyal customers are your best sounding board for making your companies policies and procedures better. Unlike an unhappy customer, who might vent their frustrations online in a negative way, loyal customers will tell you about the flaws in your company in hopes to make it better for their own use. Listen to them when they come to you. If you are doing it right, they want you to succeed as much as you do and they’ll tell you how they think you can do that.

finding the right customer

Enhance brand reputation

Companies with the best customer service and retention strategies also have very strong brand reputations. This makes sense, if you think about it. These companies are turning their customers into brand evangelizers simply by treating them right, the first time. The best way to enhance your brand reputation is by focusing on customer retention, plain and simple.

Understand future needs of customers

One of the best ways to understand future needs of customers is by working with them on keeping them around. For every one complaint a customer has that they speak about, 10 others will have but never tell you. Listen to your customers when they bring things to you and it will help you understand your future customers.

Along with simply listening to the, you can also track user engagement metrics to monitor trends. By following these fashions, you can see how your customers are thinking and where they want to go. Your job is to help them get there.


customer retention ideas, handshake

5 Crazy Customer Retention Ideas That Actually Work

Customer retention and customer service have been forever changed by companies like Amazon and Apple. These companies put their customers first in all aspects and have benefited from this strategy greatly. Some strategies they employ are pretty basic, such as free shipping and free returns. Other customer retention ideas seem downright crazy, but end up working in the end.

In this article, we are going to explore a few customer retention ideas that seem crazy but actually work. By doing this, we are asking you to trust us that we know what we are doing. None of these ideas are new and untested, so you are not the guinea pig here at all. They are, however, unconventional, which is why they might seem a little bit crazy at first.

If you are able to overcome some initial hesitation, these customer retention ideas might be the difference for your company. Instead of talking more about it, let’s get started.

customer retention ideas, handshake

1. Offer 100% Money Back Guarantee

This might seem like a scary or even crazy thing to offer your customers, but you would be surprised how far something like this goes. The reason for this is that this customer retention idea is not about the money or the guarantee. In reality, your customers will be drawn to what the guarantee means.

By offering your customers 100% of their money back, you are showing them your integrity. Along with that, you are showing them that you believe in your product. Why would anyone offer 100% percent money back unless they believe only a few people would actually use it? It shows confidence in your product, your company, and that you can deliver the value you are promising.

2. Host a live webinar to educate your customers

Customer retention ideas are numerous and have varying degrees of success. While online webinars can be difficult to do well, when they are they can be very successful. By taking time out of your day to host a webinar with the purpose of educating your customers, they will see how much you care about them and their success with your company.

Before hosting your first live webinar, consider writing out a script and practicing it a few times. Customers will often have a short attention span and you need to work with the time they give you. Another key here is a PowerPoint or some form of visual aspect of the presentation. Use GoToMeeting.com or Join.me to show your customers everything they need to know.

man hosting an online webinar3. Treat complaints like they are worth their weight in gold

A customer complaint might not seem like something you should treasure, but it is. For every customer who brings you an issue they are having, there are 5, 10, 20 more who never spoke up. This is an opportunity to turn an upset customer into a lifelong client. When this happens, use the following guide to address the issue with expert skill and speed.

  •      Respond urgently to their complaint: Speed is not the most important thing to consider here, but it does help tremendously. Make sure you have the systems in place that allow you to respond urgently to a customer complaint.
  •      Fix the root problem, not just the symptoms: Customers might have filed a complaint about something that is not truly the problem, merely a symptom. Investigate what happened and if need be, attack the root of the problem to prevent further difficulties and complaints.
  •      Once the issue is resolved, ask again immediately how you can help: Something that often happens with companies who mishandle complaints is that they don’t perform the proper follow-up. Once the issue is resolved, ask again immediately how you can help them out. This will be an excellent opportunity to either solve another problem they are having or prove your value to the customer. Either way, they will leave the encounter feeling like they were heard.

By simply treating your customers well, you will be turning customers who may have recently considered ending your agreement with customers who are now walking advertisements for how great your customer service is. Take advantage of this opportunity.

4. Offer free delivery

Again, taking a page from Amazon’s book of customer retention ideas, offering free delivery can be a valuable incentive. Depending on exactly what you are delivering, you may need to reevaluate your product pricing structure to work this incentive in. But trust us, your customers will not mind.

There is something about the word “free” that people respond too. Harness the power of free to present your customers a treat they may not have been expecting. In so doing, your customer might order additional products or tell their friends about your company, the ultimate goal of retention marketing.

5. Be everywhere at once

In the digital age we live in, customers spend a large portion of their time online in some capacity. As a brand, it is your job to be everywhere that your customers are in this space. You need to be on social media, in their inbox, running ads when they do a Google search, and everywhere you can think of.

Customers who are constantly reminded of you and your brand are more likely to stick around. For instance, if they follow you on a social media channel, that’s great. But, it would be even better if they followed you one multiple channels and you were sending them targeted emails.

The more places online that you are interacting with your customer base, the harder it will be for them to forget about you. Your customers are busy, just like you, sometimes they just need a reminder you exist.

customer satisfaction

Customer retention ideas

As we said earlier, there are hundreds of customer retention ideas out there that you can take advantage of. The 5 that we have covered are often ignored or done incorrectly. However, when you have the wherewithal to follow through on your promises and deliver your customers value through these different strategies, you will be setting yourself apart from others.

This is what customer retention boils down to in the end: you are doing it and your competitors aren’t. Customer service is one of the easiest competitive advantages to have and it’s hardly ever taken advantage of. Take advantage of it. Be the ruler of customer retention. The crown is there for the taking, what are you waiting for?


user engagement metrics

Top 7 Important User Engagement Metrics You MUST Measure In 2018

Gone are the days of Mad Men, when marketers and advertisers had to guess what was working. In 2017, we live in the age of Big Data and that means everything is trackable. Now the question becomes, since everything is quantifiable, what should we be watching? User engagement metrics have become a big part of measuring success in a digital world, but what metrics truly matter?

In this article, we are going to walk you through the user engagement metrics that you need to be measuring. While we will mainly be talking about mobile app analytics, the same rules and strategies can be applied to more than just mobile apps. There are so many out there that it can often be hard to choose what to track. It can also be difficult to understand what a metric is telling you about your users.

Not anymore. After reading this, you should be able to collect and analyze the metrics you need for success. Let’s get started.

User Engagement-compressed

1. Users

Users are an important part of any metric, but users themselves can tell a story. There are several ways to track users, such as MAU (monthly active users), WAU (weekly active users), and DAU (daily active users). You can also measure stickiness, which is defined as DAU/MAU.

Another way to divide users into helpful metrics is through segmentation. You can break them up by their demographics, what device they used, their age, and plenty of others. Understanding how certain users interact with your service or platform compared to others can give you insights into potential areas of opportunity.

Some of the things you can learn from these user engagement metrics are:

  •      User base, usage trends, and what users love or hate about your app.
  •      What areas to improve on.
  •      Highlighting areas in which bottlenecks occur or that could use restructuring.
  •      Take a closer look at user drop-offs through segmentation.

Engage with users better than ever with SMS marketing. See how!

2. Session length

Session length is the amount of time that a user spends in your app in one session. During a session, users typically perform a series of different actions and then either exit or the session times out.

There are a few things we can learn from session length, such as segmenting users to help identify which of them stay in the app longest and seem most engaged. This can help your marketing moving forward.

On the other hand, if it feels like no one is using the app for as long as you thought in the original design, you may need to speak with your development team. Your developers can take these user engagement metrics to discover where problems exist. For example, the checkout process might be too complicated, prompting users to exit a session early.

3. Session frequency

Session frequency or session interval is often confused with session length. However, session frequency is simply the time in between two consecutive sessions. While session length shows you how engaged your users are while in the app, session frequency shows how often your users are coming back for more.

When monitoring session frequency, keep an eye out for trends in how people use your app. If they only use it during certain times of the day, ask why. User engagement metrics are only as valuable as the questions you ask of them. Use the answers to guide your decision making,

customer Engagement platform-compressed

4. Acquisitions

This user engagement metric determines which channels your users are originating from. Acquisitions can come from so many places, like organic search, direct, paid search, referral, social media, and countless others. By figuring out where your downloads and interactions are coming from you will have a better idea of how to attract new users.

Acquisition can also help you calculate your customer acquisition cost, or what it takes as far as revenue goes to gain a new user. By understanding this metric, you can better plan your budget, sales, and marketing activities.

5. Retention Rate

Think of retention rate as the opposite of churn rate, in that it measures the percentage of users returning to your app in a given period of time. By calculating your retention rate over days, weeks, and months, you will have a good idea of the longevity of the app in the market.

Retention rates let you track and watch out for problem areas of your app that can be improved upon. It is a continuous process, so be sure to keep up to date to make sure you aren’t falling behind.

Additionally, apps on average retain only 40% of their initial users after a month. Use this as a benchmark for your own app. It also is important to keep in mind that acquisition costs are on the rise in the industry, so it will pay for you to focus on retaining users over going after new ones.

Read more: Get started with our 30 Retention Tips ebook!

6. Time in app

Again, different from session length, time in app shows the amount of time a user spends in your app in a given interval. Time in app is a user engagement metric that’s relatively easy to understand. The more time users spend in your app, the more engaged they are, the better they like your app. Simple as that.

However, if you do want to take a deeper look, segmenting here can be of great value. For instance, there may be a group of users that has not been spending much time in the app for one reason or another. Ask questions of them and your development team to find out what’s causing this and decide if it’s worth fixing or will pan out on its own.

7. Screen flow

Screen flow allows you to see exactly how your user interacts with your app. Of all the user engagement metrics you should be tracking, screen flow is one of the most important. While other metrics simple allows you to see how much time was spent in your app, screen flow will show you exactly when and where the user exited the session.

You should use screen flow as a way to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each page or screen of your app. If for instance you see one area that is really struggling, it may be worth either eliminating or reworking. Same goes for entire processes that are triggering users to leave the app.

user engagement metrics-compressed

Put it all together

As valuable as each of these user engagement metrics are on their own, none of them exist in a vacuum. In order to truly understand your users, how they think, and which areas to improve or change, you need to look at all of these metrics together.

For example, screen flow is an important metric, but without knowing how long each of the users spent in each area, you are stumbling in the dark. Use each of these different user engagement metrics together to become a powerhouse in your industry. All of them are there before you, but in the end it’s up to you to do something with them.