reducing churn rate

A Simple Guide to Reducing Churn Rate Across the Board

For the average business owner, maintaining healthy relationships with your customers is a key to achieving success. After all, what is a business without its client base? However, businesses are seeing customers leave at an alarming rate. This is why recent trends have come about focused on customer retention marketing and reducing churn rate across the board.

If you still aren’t convinced that reducing churn rate is important, let’s take a look at a few statistics. According to a recent study, reducing churn by 5% can increase profits 25-125%. Not only that, but the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70% while the probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%.

Not only will making customer retention a focus improve ongoing relationships, but it can make a difference with your wallet as well. Now that you understand what’s at stake, let’s look at how you can start reducing churn rate right away.

reducing churn rate

A good first impression

You may have heard it said that making a first impression is important. The same is true when it comes to customer retention. Unless you are able to impress your customers right off the bat, the likelihood of them sticking around drops off rapidly.

Along with that, 39% of consumers avoid vendors for over 2 years after having a negative experience. So, not only are you losing customers, but the chances of bringing them with a remarketing campaign are slim. Those kind of user engagement metrics should alarm you and help you understand why we take customer retention so seriously.

Often users leave early on in the process because they are overwhelmed with information. Ease into the customer relationship and make the onboarding process simple to avoid losing customers before they have the chance to see the value that your business provides.

Study your weaknesses

A common problem for business owners is not only customers leaving, but giving no reason for churning. This will leave a business owner in the dark as to what the real problems are with their customer retention strategy, sometimes leading them to grasp wildly in the dark.

Another way to avoid losing customers in this way is to study and know the weaknesses of your company. Unless you can accurately assess where problems are arising, you’ll have no idea how to solve them.

One technique you can employ here is sending out customer satisfaction surveys to existing and former customers to ask them where you can improve. Far too many businesses fail to take the time to simply ask their customer base what they are doing poorly. Ask them and then, when they reply, take their feedback seriously and make them feel heard.

customer service

Make customer service a focus

Which leads us to the next aspect in reducing churn rate: customer service. Almost 70% of the identifiable reasons why customers left typical companies had nothing to do with the product. The prevailing reason for switching was poor quality of service. Turns out, it might not be your product that’s failing you, but your customer service.

On the other hand, 73% of consumers say friendly customer service representatives can make them fall in love with a brand. This is why it is so important to treat your customers right at every possible turn.

Sometimes it really is as simple as being kind and up front with your customers to keep them around. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by avoiding this basic customer retention technique.

Segment your audience

In the same way that your business is different from other companies, your customers not all the same. Thus, it would be foolish to treat them as if they are the same, right? There is a world of difference between a user who uses your service on a regular basis and someone who never came back after their first interaction, so your approach should differ as well.

Segmenting your audience is one of the best ways to make sure that your customers are receiving the right messaging at the right times. For regular customers, you can keep up with them with a scheduled newsletter or something similar. However, for remarketing and targeting at-risk customers, you might need to get a little more specialized.

Target at-risk customers

Sometimes when you segment your audience, you can put out fires before they spread. One way to do this is by targeting at-risk customers. These are customers who have shown the first signs of churning, but have not formally done so yet. This can be an excellent time to reach them.

Using mobile app analytics and engagement metrics, you can track areas like how often the user visits your website or interacts with your mobile app. If visits become less frequent, you might try engaging them with a piece of related content or ask them for help with a survey. The important thing is that you reach them before they leave.

Automate when possible

Another way in which you can use segmentation for success is through automation. Your customers will likely go through similar stages as your customer and sending them the right messaging during those stages can make all the difference. After all, you don’t want to forfeit the money that went into customer acquisition cost, so consider automating when possible.

This can be something as simple as automatic thank you emails being sent when customers make a purchase. Or it can be more complex, like sending out a list of similar items based on their purchase history, hoping to re-engage. No matter the strategy you end up with, your customers want to know that you care. This is just one of many ways in which you can do this.

Put it all together

As it seems to be with anything, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. I guess Aristotle knew what he was talking about. When it comes to customer retention marketing and reducing churn rate, this truth holds fast. While each of these techniques can bring you success, the best strategy is to use each of them together in one holistic marketing plan.

Do this, and who knows what you’ll be capable of!


customer retention ideas

Top 4 Simple But Effective Customer Retention Ideas for Small Businesses

As someone who has years of experience working with small business owners, I understand that maintaining relationships with customers can be difficult. For one reason or another, customers leave and it seems like there aren’t any customer retention ideas that work to prevent them from doing so.

For many small business owners, time spent trying to reduce churn rate would rather be used to form new relationships and focus on business. We understand that it can be difficult to juggle everything involved in operating your business while also trying to retain customers in new and exciting ways.

This is why we have put together 4 simple but effective customer retention ideas for small businesses. The goal of these customer retention ideas is to help you keep customers around without spending a lot of time or money in doing so. Let’s take a look.

customer retention ideas

1. Let customers know that you care

The first simple but effective customer retention technique we are going to look at is letting your customers know that you care. For far too long businesses have been content with a neutral relationship between them and their customers, but no longer.

In today’s day and age customers expect to be treated well. Businesses that aren’t making an effort to do that will soon realize that unless they purposefully reach out to their customers and let them know they are valued, those customers are going to leave for someone who will.

How do we do this?

There are a few ways in which you can convey to your customer base that you care about them. For instance, simple things like sending thank you emails or having excellent customer service can improve a customer’s opinion of you.

Other, more complex solutions can involve creating a customer loyalty program or employing a push notification service. In whatever way you decide to approach it, the important part is that your customers know that you care about them.

2. Engage customers in new ways

The next customer retention idea that can make a difference for your business is engaging customers in new ways. With incredible emerging technologies coming out every year, there is a plethora of ways to engage your customers that you should be taking advantage of.

Customers want to feel like they are valued and a very easy way to do this is by engaging with them. This could mean reaching out to them on social media, employing a user engagement platform, or many other solutions.

The part that matters is that through engaging with your customers, you are able to learn more about them. By learning what makes your customers tick, you can uncover new ways to meet their needs. This works the other way too. As customers get to know your company better, they are more likely to stay a customer for longer.

customer engagement

3. Provide value beyond initial offering

Another customer retention strategy that has benefitted many small business owners is providing additional value beyond your initial offering. While there are times when customers simply want to get what they need from you and leave, there are others who are looking for a company to provide additional value.

This could mean advertising related items to them after their initial purchase or providing support for answering their questions. The important part here is that you are seen as on the customer’s side, not as someone who is simply trying to sell them something.

How do we do this?

There are a multitude of ways to provide additional value to your customers, so it is up to you to decide how best to approach your own customer base. However, there are a few tools you can use to help you out.

  •     SMS Marketing: SMS has become one of the most powerful ways to meet your customers where they are and provide additional value. Start an SMS marketing campaign to get pertinent information into the hands of your customers with ease.
  •     User engagement metrics: As we mentioned earlier, by studying how your customers interact with your company you will have better insight into how best to serve them and provide value. Utilize user engagement metrics to understand where you can make improvements.
  •      Email marketing service: While SMS has become more powerful than email, customers are likely more familiar with receiving branded messaging via email. Use all the tools at your disposal and try reaching them via email as well.

Each of these tools can help provide additional value to your customers at a relatively low cost. If you are looking for customer retention ideas on a budget, this is one of the best ways to go.

4. Listen to your customers

Our final straightforward yet powerful customer retention idea is something every company should be doing: listening to their customers. After all, as a business it is your job to cater to your customers, it would make sense that you listen to them to find what they want.

The whole point of customer retention marketing is to ensure that your customers are happy with what you are providing. An easy way to make them happy is to make sure that they know that they are heard.

Make it easy for them to give feedback on your products and services, be it on your website or mobile app. Then, actually use the information that they give you. Far too often small businesses send out customer satisfaction surveys and then do nothing with the information. This is foolish. If you customers are willing to help you out, you should be willing to return the favor.

customer retention marketing

Conclusion

While there are a lot of different customer retention ideas, solutions, and strategies out there for you to take advantage of, we hope that these 4 simple but effective ideas can give you the starting place you need to begin taking customer retention seriously.

As more customers begin to see the improvements you are making to your relationship, the more satisfied they will be. Hopefully these tactics will allow you to move on to more sophisticated strategies, but never forget this foundation. Each of these tips will serve you well whether you have 10 customers or 10,000. Use them well.


sms marketing

How SMS Marketing Can Boost Your eCommerce Holiday Sales

Running an ecommerce business is hectic at the slowest of days. There is the incessant work on the website, handling inventory and shipping, the constant struggle to attract more visitors to the website, the never-absolutely-satisfactory conversion rates, the pesky competitors and at least twenty other things to run through over the course of a single day.

Once the holidays start appearing on the horizon, however, the wild ride that is running an ecommerce business turns into a Mad Max-type carnage – everything is ramped up by a factor of at least 10.

In such a hostile atmosphere, every bit helps. Ecommerce website owners bring out their A-game, old data is being pulled up, promotions are considered and then reconsidered, everyone is checking out the latest Shopify’s guide on how to prepare for Cyber Monday and so on.

The smartest of ecommerce business owners also know that a weapon that definitely deserves to be a part of their arsenal is SMS marketing.

sms marketing

The Numbers

Ecommerce business owners care about numbers over pretty much everything else. It is a very straightforward retail ecosystem where numbers are easily tracked and where most of the actions taken depend on numbers.

The first set of numbers paint the big picture, and a very clear one at that. In 2016, ecommerce sales amounted to over $63 billion during the holiday season. And that’s just on desktop. That same year, U.S. shoppers alone spent over $17 billion on their mobile devices. Considering that ecommerce holiday sales have been growing at a steady 10% annually (at the least), this year, the numbers will be even more staggering.

While the share of mcommerce in overall online shopping is lower during the holidays than the rest of the year, the fact is that more and more people are doing it.

When we are talking SMS marketing for ecommerce, there are a few numbers that you have to keep in mind. For example, there is the open rate of 98% for SMS messages. When compared to the open rate of 20% that email boasts, it becomes obvious which has more potential to be seen. Moreover, while email has a response rate of 6%, the response rate of SMS messages stands at around 45%. There have also been a number of studies that have shown that text messages as part of the sales and customer service processes can make a huge difference when it comes to end results.

In short, SMS marketing has numbers on its side.

The Plan

In order to do proper SMS marketing for your ecommerce store, you need to have a plan. What is more, this plan has to be formulated long before the holidays approach.

For one, you need to build your opt-in list of customers and potential customers. There is a whole science behind this and it would take far too much time and space to explain building of opt-in lists here. The important thing to remember is that you have to build it yourself and that just texting numbers at random is illegal. Also, the sooner you start, the bigger your list will be once the holidays arrive.

As the holidays start approaching, you will want to do some segmentation so as to target the right potential customers with the right messages. For example, let’s say you run a sports equipment ecommerce store and you sell equipment for hockey, tennis and a dozen more sports. Depending on their past purchases and searches, you will target the right people with the right promotions.

You won’t, for instance, send messages promoting holiday deals on tennis rackets to someone who only bought hockey equipment in the past.

It may take a while to do proper analytics of past data, but it will be more than worth it.

A good idea would also be to find out which kinds of promotions will be most alluring to your holiday customers. Once again, you can take a look at your past data and see what kinds of promotions performed best with what types of customers. You could also take a look at some major studies on ecommerce incentives. Percentage discounts, buy one get one free offers, free gifts and such incentives are classics for a reason.

They work.

When deciding on promotions and perks, you will also want to make sure they make sense for your business, when all is said and done. Sometimes a promotion cuts too much into your margins and ends up hurting your revenue.

You might also want to check your customer journeys and find out what your weak points are. Perhaps people aren’t moving past your home page? Perhaps they leave your product pages? Perhaps they abandon their carts just as they are supposed to make the final purchase? You will want to know what hurts your sales so that your SMS marketing can help bolster those weak points.

Remember, ecommerce SMS marketing is more than just shooting out texts about 50%-off deals.

sms marketing

The Delivery

About a month or two before the holidays, you will want to start actually sending out texts and letting your customers know about the upcoming deals. By now, you will have an idea of what you will be sending, when and to whom.

You can set up automated SMS campaigns months in advance, reminding your customers that they can get some great deals at your store come holidays. It is important to remember that you should never overdo SMS marketing as people do not really wish to receive ten texts a day. Once or twice a month will be more than enough, leading up to holidays.

Once the holidays are near, you can send out promotions that will be time-limited, inspiring your customers to make immediate purchases or miss out on great discounts and other perks. You might even set up campaigns that will be something of a countdown to the biggest holiday deals on your website (people might be more tolerant to promotions around holidays).

One of the best ways to boost the sales is to include links to individual products or product categories in the very texts. This will require some smart targeting or perhaps analyzing previous cart abandonments, but it can be very efficient when we are talking conversion rates. Of course, how personalized you will go will also depend on how big your ecommerce website is and whether you can realistically spend that much time on individual customers.

One thing you should keep in mind is the daily timing of your texts. While people will generally open a text no matter when it arrives, they are more likely to make holiday purchases at certain times of the day. For example, you can target parts of the day when people are in commute, meaning they will be spending time on their phones. Or, you can target them in the evening, when they are at home, relaxed and probably finally having enough time to shop for gifts for their family and friends.

You should also think about sending out texts that do not have to be followed through on the smartphone, considering that many people still prefer to do their actual shopping on their desktop computers. For example, you can send out SMS-exclusive promo codes for some of your products to the people on your opt-in page which they can then use on the desktop version of your site.

If you choose to do so, make sure that you set everything on your desktop site so that those customers are welcomed as members of a “special group” that came via text. This will ensure they stay on your opt-in list and recommend it to other people. You always have to think about the future.

It goes without saying that you will be tracking all of your SMS marketing results for future reference and, if you are smart, you will be doing some A/B testing too, testing variations of campaigns and approaches and then comparing them later. Once again for future use.

Closing Word

SMS marketing can be a fantastic addition to an ecommerce business’ holiday marketing arsenal. It has some great numbers to support it and the possibilities are actually much more varied than one would presume. Another great thing is that not that many ecommerce companies take full advantage of SMS marketing and when the insanely competitive holiday season arrives, your SMS marketing efforts might be the one thing that wins the season for you.

 

 

AUTHOR: James D. Burbank has been working in marketing for almost two decades. For the last couple of years, he has been working closely with some ecommerce companies and finding his way in this brave new world. He is the editor-in-chief of BizzMarkBlog, a business-oriented blog he runs with a few friends.


sms marketing

Why Is SMS Marketing The Most Trending Thing In 2019? Boost Sales..

Although it has been around since the 90s, SMS marketing has recently seen a resurgence amongst marketers and advertisers hoping to reach customers in the digital age. Coupled with the rise in popularity of customer retention marketing, business owners have discovered how powerful and effective SMS marketing can be.

Despite this resurgence, there are still those who have doubts about SMS and mass text messaging campaigns. Hoping to quell those doubts and show how powerful an SMS marketing campaign can be for your business, we have put together this article on how SMS has changed the game.

Not only that, but how you, as a business owner, can take advantage of this latest trend and make a difference for your company. Let’s take a look.

sms marketing

SMS marketing’s impact

Even though it may seem like stating that SMS marketing has “changed the game” is a bold claim, there is hard data to back it up. For instance, while with even the best email marketing campaign you are lucky to get a 30% open rate, with SMS 90% of messages are opened within 3 minutes of being sent.

Mass text marketing is far and away the most powerful tool that marketers now have in their pocket, but using it can be difficult without the right practices. In order to help with this, we are going to review a few ways in which SMS marketing is superior to alternate methods while providing guidance on how exactly to get the most out of your campaign.

Mobile engagement

As the world continues to shift toward a preference for mobile, marketers need new ways to increase mobile user engagement. Thankfully, SMS marketing solves that problem. By being fully mobile and always in the pockets of your customers, you are never more than a few seconds away from delivering a branded message right to them.

However, with great power comes great responsibility. Companies who jump right into their SMS marketing campaign are likely to alienate their customers by sending unimportant messages. While SMS is great because of its immediacy, when done incorrectly it can have heavy repercussions.

Stick to normal business hours for sending your messages, follow SMS guidelines, and provide value with your message. By simply doing these things, you will avoid a lot of headache.

mobile marketing

Reliability

Another benefit to SMS marketing is how reliable it is. With email marketing campaigns, despite your best efforts to avoid them, spam filters might prevent your message from ever reaching the inbox of your customer. On the other hand, with SMS marketing, you should have no doubts that 100% of your customers are getting your message.

Again, this is a huge benefit, but can also be a big problem if mishandled. For anyone running a business SMS campaign, there are certain rules you need to follow. One example is that your customers must opt-in to receive SMS messages. If you do this without their consent, not only will you have an unhappy customer, but you might find yourself in legal trouble.

Before you begin your campaign and take advantage of how reliable SMS is, make sure you have gone through all of the rules and regulations to avoid a false start.

Next-level tracking

Business owners are no doubt tired of hearing how “Big Data” is going to change their lives. Thankfully, when it comes to SMS marketing, that data isn’t as big as you might think. Instead of thinking of big data, think instead of SMS marketing as using “Smart Data.”

What we mean by this is that while SMS marketing is not as detailed as say Google Analytics, it provides you with only the user engagement metrics that you really need. You can see things like how many messages have been delivered, how many have been read, and what your conversion rate looks like, all in real time!

Additionally, you can segment your audience to track even more targeted campaigns. SMS marketing won’t get you bogged down in too many stats and can provide you with only the info you need to be successful.

Increased conversions

The last way in which SMS marketing has changed the game when it comes to customer retention is through increased conversions and engagement. According to a recent study by the Mobile Marketing Association, customers are 5 times more likely to respond to an SMS message than an email. This is due to not only being easier to respond, but the immediacy of a text compared to an email.

The best way to take advantage of this SMS marketing feature is to consistently provide value to your customers through your campaign. While you could argue that all marketing should do this, SMS is a special case. Since conversion rates are so high with SMS, you should only send messages when you have a specific action you want your customers to complete.

This means that you might only be sending 1-4 messages a month, but trust us when we say that your customers will thank you for it. If you can provide added value to your customer with every single message, your customers will start to get excited when they see your SMS (whereas they might otherwise be groaning at the sight of another email).

SMS marketing and customer retention

As you can see, SMS marketing is an incredibly powerful tool for retaining customers and reducing your churn rate, but only when it is done correctly. Like anything, SMS marketing doesn’t work in a vacuum, and a good campaign will be coupled with other customer retention techniques to provide the best possible service for your customers.

But, that being said, SMS can be the difference between a good company and a great company. If you are searching for a way to keep more of your customers at a fraction of the price of other channels, SMS marketing might be what you are looking for.

So, what are you waiting for? Start your campaign today.


increased app engagement

The Basics of User Retention and Increasing App Engagement

In the fast-paced world that we live in, customer expectations have been on a slow and gradual rise. As these expectations rise, the job of marketers and businesses is to rise with them and create exceptional products. On area where expectations are at an all-time high is the world of mobile apps. According to a recent study, 80% of users abandon an app less than 3 days after downloading it. In other words, while customer expectations are at an all-time high, user retention is at a low.

So, what can be done to combat this drop-off in user engagement and retention? Some have opted for employing a push notification service, while others stick to more traditional approaches like email marketing. But what is the best solution?

Hoping to help you better understand user retention and app engagement, this article will explore the basics of both. Our goal is that after reading this, you will have a better concept of what the issues are, but also how best to solve them. Let’s take a look.

user retention

Importance of user retention

Ever since the Harvard Business Review published its study on retention rates over 15 years ago, customer retention has become a more prominent marketing model. The study claimed that an increase in customer retention rates by 5% could increase profits anywhere from 25%-95%. As the times have shifted, this has only become more true.

When you compare this to the fact that it costs around 6-7 times as much to acquire a new customer as to retain an existing one, you can see why user retention is so important and vital to a business’s success.

Engaging customers in new ways

It is clear from user engagement metrics that unless businesses are able to engage their customers in new and exciting ways, these trends will continue and customers will continue to churn. However, the good thing about this is that the digital world is full of new ways to do just that.

Here are just a few ways in which you can improve mobile user engagement and by proximity, retain additional users.

Push notifications

One of the most widely used but potentially least understood forms of user engagement is push notifications. Although they have been around since the early days of mobile apps, only recently have they become a viable custom retention technique. Far too many use this engagement tactic incorrectly, so make sure you know what you are doing before launching your campaign.

For instance, try your best to limit push notification use only for when it is necessary. Since users have to have your app installed in order to receive notifications, you have already gotten over one hurdle. But, if done incorrectly, simply reminding them that they have your app installed might lead to more uninstalls than engagement.

Be quick, be helpful, and be timely. Push notifications are a double-edged sword, just make sure you don’t accidentally cut yourself.  

user engagement

Incentivize them

Another interesting tactic for reducing churn rate is to incentivize users to stay with the app. Sometimes, all that users need in order to stick around is a reason to come back to the app. Things like gamification, rewards, or loyalty programs can be the difference between a lifelong customer and your app simply being an afterthought.

The nature of your app will dictate the type of incentives that you should roll out. For example, if you are hoping to boost in-app purchases, try time-sensitive discounts. Whereas if you are operating under a freemium model, you can incentivize your users with usage-based rewards for time they spend using your app.

Easier onboarding

Onboarding users onto your app is one of the most important parts of your user retention campaign. Users who do not have a good experience simply getting started with your app are not likely to forget the bad taste in their mouth and will likely jump ship at the first sign of trouble.

With this in mind, it might be worth taking a look at your current onboarding process and see if there are ways in which you can simplify what you can to make it easier on your users. Here are a few examples of ways in which the process can be tweaked to provide maximized results:

  • Make logins and account creation easy. This involves reducing steps, offering multiple registration options, etc.
  • Teach through doing. Walk your users through exactly how to best use your app. Unless you tell them, they likely won’t take the time to figure it out themselves.
  • Don’t overload them. Instead of showing them every feature right away, teach them how to use features as they organically discover them within the app.

One way to know where problem areas where users are dropping off is by tracking mobile app analytics. Make sure you have the systems in place to track, collect, and analyze these important metrics.

Personalize their mobile experience

In 2017, mobile personalization is a must. Your users are not all the same, and treating them as if they are is one of the reasons why we are having this user retention discussion in the first place. Furthermore, personalization is no longer simply adding the user’s name into branded messaging, but creating a unique user experience for each individual customer.

There are a couple of ways in which you can do this. One is to work with a user engagement platform to personalize user’s app experience wherever possible. Another would be to segment your audience into distinct user profiles so that you can easily divide your audience into groups that you can then build brand messaging around.

No matter the route that you take to get there, unless you are making an effort to personalize your user’s experience, you are falling behind.

increased app engagement

Last thing

Although it may seem as if user retention and app engagement are impossible to perfect, find hope in the fact that as users continue to demand better products, we will continue to rise to meet them. This is the way that progress is achieved, through setting higher and higher goals for ourselves.

So, when you are coming up with your customer retention strategy or working hard on improving your apps stats, remember that you are only making the process better for future users. As Bill Gates says, your worst customers can be your best inspiration. Use the tools that you have at your disposal and starting making a different right now. Today.


business text messaging

Top 8 Easy Practices For Your Next Business Text Messaging Campaign

Let’s face it,

Business text messaging, sometimes referred to as SMS marketing or mass text marketing, is quickly becoming the marketing world’s favorite customer communication channel. With incredibly high open rates and data showing reduced churn rates, it’s no wonder that every company is trying to jump on the bandwagon.

Here’s the deal,

As more companies join the business text messaging revolution, the potency of your branded messaging will need to increase as well.

In order to help you craft well thought out messages and stay one step ahead of the competition, we have laid out X best practices that will help you get the most out of your mass text marketing campaign. Let’s take a look.

Best Practices For Business Text Messaging Campaign

business text messaging

1. Be clear about your text messaging program

From the very first message that you send your customers, often an auto-reply to their agreement to subscribe, be clear about your intentions. Right off the bat, you need to let your customers know what to expect.

By setting expectations early, you are able to control the flow of communication and meet, if not exceed, their expectations.

If you don’t communicate clearly with your customers, you will likely encounter a rapid drop-off in engagement. After all, a lot went into the customer acquisition cost, it would be a shame to lose them early on.

Customers that have the wrong perception of your program will be the first to jump ship when it doesn’t line up with their idea. This is why it is so important to be clear about your intentions.

2. Get Consent

As in many other things in life, consent is very important. For SMS marketing campaigns, it’s actually the law. Other than potentially being subject to hefty legal penalties, your brand’s image will suffer greatly and you may end up worse off then you started.

Thankfully, avoiding this is very simple. Either has your subscribers opt-in online or by sending their code to your short link or prompt them on the initial touch-point to agree to receive messages. Unless you have their written consent, you should never send even one message.

3. Limit your frequency

Even though both you and your customers are used to receiving text messages all the time, business text messaging doesn’t need to have the same frequency. In fact, it should be much less often. Over-texting is one of the quickest ways to lose the subscribers you spent time and effort cultivating.

Again, just be clear with your customers on how often they will be receiving text messages. Ideally, this number will be anywhere from 1-4 messages per month, but it will be different for different industries and they will receive messages.

sms marketing

4. Include disclaimers

According to the CTIA (the Wireless Association), there are certain disclaimers you must include in any advertising sent via SMS. Your subscribers only need to see this once, but you must include:

Msg & Data rates may apply

Make sure that you include this in your initial messages to make sure and avoid any potential fines. It’s a small thing to include, so don’t make the easy mistake of forgetting!

5. Provide an exit

While obviously any sort of customer retention marketing should focus on retainer customers, when it comes to text message marketing, you always need to provide an exit for your subscribers. Simply put, you need to include

Text “STOP” to cancel

Or some other form of exit for your customers each time you send them a text. While this seems counter-intuitive, your customers will likely be even more frustrated if you should forget to include it. Be open to your customers and they will be more inclined to stick around.

6. Be aware of timing

When it comes to the right time to send business text messaging alerts to your customers, always reach out to them within business hours. A common mistake made by marketers when they first begin their campaigns is they forget to make sure they are sending messages at appropriate times. Keep your messages within business hours, just to be safe.

Along with that, there is another reason you should be aware of the timing of your messages: inspiring immediate action. A huge advantage of text messaging marketing is how quickly your customers receive your message. Prompt them to take immediate action at a common time of day for your business.

For example, if you have a restaurant and want to let people know about your lunch special, send them a message just before the midday rush. Not only will this lead to more conversions, but your subscribers will appreciate you trying to help them get the best deals at the right time.

7. Use normal language

When it comes to a business text messaging campaign, user engagement metrics dictate that you should use normal language in your messaging.

Inexperienced marketers often make the mistake of using ‘text lingo’ in their branded SMS messaging. Your subscribers are expecting to receive business messages from you, so your tone should be professional.

By using text language over normal language, you are putting the reputation of your company at risk. Obviously, there are some exceptions, like using acronyms or shortening words for the sake of character count, but despite these scenarios, you should always use normal language.  

mass text marketing

8. Provide value

The final best practice that we have for you in this article is to provide value to your customers with every text of your SMS marketing campaign.

Business text messaging service is a powerful tool, but only when it used correctly. Each of the best practices we have reviewed is different ways that you can add value, but you also need to make sure that your campaign serves a purpose.

If you find yourself short of ideas or using the same campaigns over and over, you might not need to have a business text messaging platform.

It would better serve your customers that you are adding value to every message than simply sending them more content that they don’t need and you aren’t making money off of.

Before every message you send, ask yourself how it can provide value to the customer. Only when you feel secure in the value you are offering should you hit send. Do this, and you should have no problem running a successful text messaging marketing campaign.

Final thoughts

While it can be easy to use a few of these best practices to improve a text message marketing campaign, the best way to get the most out of an SMS campaign is by using all of the best practices laid out above. In fact, some of them like “Provide Value” only become more potent when combined with other factors.

As you begin to lay out the plan for your SMS marketing campaign, remember each of these different ways to reach your customers in new and exciting ways. By creating a consistent brand message with your campaigns, customers will come to appreciate your business and you will have a real impact on their lives. So, what are you waiting for? Go out there and get after it!


customer acquisition cost

Reducing Customer Acquisition Cost with These 6 Strategies

For any business that is looking to remain viable and profitable, there is one metric that is worth taking a closer look at: customer acquisition cost.

Total Cost of Marketing / Total Number of Customers

The formula for customer acquisition cost is rather simple, but understanding the true impact of this metric can lead your company to success.

Hoping to provide insight on how to bring down the cost of acquiring customers while still providing remarkable service, we have put together this article on customer retention strategies that are geared towards bring costs down. With these strategies in place, not only will we reduce your bottom line, but your customers will thank you for it. Let’s get started.

customer acquisition cost

1. Set the right expectations

Before you begin the quest to lower your customer acquisition cost, you first need to have a firm idea in mind of what it current is for your business. However, completing the simply formula we laid out at the beginning doesn’t tell the full story. In fact, companies that take a simple approach to CAC often end up underestimating the cost, leading to poor marketing decisions.

Instead, we believe you should follow the advice of Neil Patel and set your expectations high. He believes that you should at least double or triple your customer acquisition cost. This way, you can give yourself some wiggle room as well as plan for the worst while shooting for the best. Once you have your expectations appropriately set, the work of getting that number down truly begins.

2. Boost website conversion rates

One of the simplest ways to boost customer acquisition cost is by making more out of the opportunities you already have. While your website might have a steady flow of traffic, unless you are converting a good amount of those users, your efforts will be fruitless. Thankfully, there are a few easy ways to improve this.

By monitoring and testing different marketing messaging on your site, you will be able to see areas that you need to improve. From there you can run A/B tests and find the right balance for your customer base. Run tests not just on your call-to-actions, but your page copy, layout, and email formats to find the right mix for your customers.

Once you start to get a better idea of who your customers are and what they value, you can move on to the next stage of the process: creating buyer profiles.

3. Create Buyer profiles

Gone are the days where marketers could have one message that they applied across the board for their customers. In 2017, personalization is the name of the game and customers won’t settle for less. Since you likely don’t have time to write a personalized message for every one of your customers, we recommend working with a user engagement platform to create buyer personas and make sure the right messaging gets to the right people.

By segmenting your audience into different buyer profiles, you and your marketing team won’t have to shoot in the dark when you release a new marketing campaign. An important aspect of this that should be emphasized is in order to create solid buyer profiles you will need a good amount of data on your customer base. Make sure that you have good systems in place for collecting and analyzing data to get the most out of these profiles.

4. Use retargeting

After creating buyer profiles for the different segments of customers that your company services, two scenarios can unfold. You either convert the customer or you don’t. But don’t worry, converting the customer here is not the end of the journey, it just means it’s time to do some retargeting.

Customer acquisition cost can quickly rise out of control without the proper processes in place. One way to ensure that you are getting the most out of your marketing dollar and reduce churn rate is by reaching out to customers who either never bought but showed interest or are due to buy again.

Use your buyer profiles to manage customers that are prime for retargeting and let them know that you are still interested in their business. Instead of throwing away all that hard work just to see it come to nothing, try reaching back out. You never know who might need that extra phone call or email to push them over the edge.

5. Automate everything

Another way in which you can make sure that customers don’t fall through the cracks is to automate everything that you can. For instance, your retargeting campaign can mainly be done through automated systems that follow up with your customers. Simple things like automated thank you emails or abandoned cart notifications can remind a customer of their original intent.

Additionally, there are new technologies such as SMS marketing and push notification services that can help you with automation and retargeting. By employing these new techniques and planning your use of various marketing channels effectively, you can meet your customers at many different points along the sales funnel to ensure that they are making your money back for you. Hopefully many times over.

6. Relentlessly test

Our final strategy for reducing customer acquisition cost and improving your ROI comes from an unlikely source: mobile app development. When you are working to create a mobile app, relentlessly testing your app is the surefire way to make that sure that no bugs make it through to the final product. Although this doesn’t always happen, the process of testing your project over and over has benefits beyond simple bug fixes.

We recommend taking the same approach to your marketing messaging and efforts to bring down customer acquisition cost. Like we said at the beginning, marketers can no longer create a campaign and let it run itself. It requires constant tweaking, testing, and analyzing to make sure that you can bring costs down and increase conversions wherever possible.


how to increase gym membership

How to Increase Gym Membership Using New Technologies

As technology continues to move forward, more and more industries are seeing massive changes. One such industry that has been almost completed transformed is that of fitness clubs and gyms. Now that everything from your heart rate to your calorie intake can be tracked with an app, gym members have everything they need at their fingertips.

And yet, even with these technological advances, gyms and fitness clubs are still having a hard time trying to reduce churn rate and keep their customers. The question then becomes, “where is the disconnect?”

Simply put, technology in and of itself is not the answer. If you are wondering how to increase gym memberships by using technology, the first thing to understand is that it is how you use technology, not just the fact that you are using it. With this in mind, let’s explore this question further and find out together.

how to increase gym membership

 

Using technology to engage prospects

But what about the companies that get it right? According to Emmet Williams, president and co-founder of MYZONE, “Adopting technology is important for gyms looking to keep customers coming back and increase lifetime value.” He continued, “Technology is a great motivator, whether it’s motivation to change effort levels or motivation to meet a goal.”

One of the largest struggles for most gyms is hammering down a customer retention strategy that keeps their members engaged and coming back month after month. Instead of spending money on technology that tries to drive in more members, the real problem gym owners should be trying to solve is how to keep members around.

With the growth of social media and online advertising, gyms now have to provide excellent service and performance. Otherwise, as soon as a better offer comes along, your members will jump ship. By angling your technology toward engagement, not only will you have more satisfied members, but you might also crack the question of how to increase gym membership.

Here are a few ways in which you can do that.

1. App for members

There are many different ways in which gym owners can increase engagement from their members. Creating a custom app for your gym is one of the best ways to do this. However, just like adding new technology to the gym on its own won’t increase engagement, same goes for developing an app.

The app that you create for members should allow them to plan out their workout schedule, receive updates on pertinent information to them, and track their progress. Along with this, by monitoring user engagement metrics you can get a better understanding of your members. With this valuable information you will be able to make much smarter decisions when it comes to how to increase gym membership.

2. Referral and Customer Loyalty Programs

Another way in which you can increase gym memberships through new technologies is by harnessing the power of referral and customer loyalty programs. Over the last few years, these programs have gained popularity and they operate on a simple assumption. If you provide great service to your customers, they will become brand ambassadors and tell others about your fitness club or gym.

You can even give them a push in the right direction by asking them to refer a friend and incentive them with reward points. In this example, everyone wins: the member receives rewards points, their friend finds a place to exercise, and you establish a customer relationship that won’t easily be broken.

All of these small parts add up to an efficient system of both retaining existing customers and acquiring new members, the best way to increase gym membership.

3. Social Ads

As we stated earlier, social media has changed our lives and the fitness industry forever. That being said, there are plenty of ways for you to take the reins when it comes to social and make it work for you. For instance, running social ads on Facebook and Instagram can be a subtle but effective way to increase interest in your gym or fitness club.

With these ads, be sure to highlight the aspects of your fitness business that sets it apart from others. For example, if you are one of the only 24 gyms your area, make that apparent right off the bat. The same goes for unique classes, equipment, or other services you provide that can entice new members to come to the gym just to see what they might be missing.

4. Hosting free, fitness-related events

Something else you can do to increase gym memberships is to host a free, fitness-related event. This could be a free class day, a fun run, or anything else that you want. By putting together something like this, you can get involved in your local community and show them that you care about more than just their physical health.

You might wonder, “How does technology play a part in this?” Well, with Facebook events and text message marketing, you can increase interest in your event and spread the word beyond your members and their friends. Again, in the same way that social ads can drive new visitors, by focusing on what sets you apart from other gyms, you can create an exceptional customer experience that will drive interest in gym membership

5. Bring-A-Friend Day

Another tactic that has helped other fitness clubs and gyms to increase gym memberships is to host a Bring-A-Friend day. During this day, members can bring a friend with them to exercise for free. Once the friend is within your gym, you can talk with them, ask them about their goals with finding a gym, and anything else they are looking for. If you can offer them an exceptional customer experience, they will understand why their friend goes to your gym and look into signing up themselves.

This is where you can maximize your usage of a customer loyalty program like we spoke about earlier. Alert your members about the event and ask them to refer their friends by replying to your text blast with their email address. Even if the friends don’t sign up immediately, you now have a direct line of communication which you can use to win them over and keep them coming back after the event.

gym member engagement

6. Fitness tracking technology

As we mentioned, your members are likely using some sort of fitness tracking technology for their own personal goals. What better way to engage with your customers than to work with them on achieving their goals?

By either pairing your custom app with their fitness tracker or purchasing gym equipment that can track everything for them, use the technology at your disposal to help members in any way that you can.

 

7. Trainer education

The last way in which you can use technology to increase customer engagement and membership levels is through trainer education. With the steady growth of the fitness industry it has become harder and harder to find good trainers who can handle the volume of classes now demanded by the market.

By using technology to create training courses, you can make it easy to keep your trainers up-to-date on the latest fitness trends while also offering valuable insight into how they run their classes. Use mobile app analytics to learn the trends of your members and then educate your staff on how to best meet these members where they are in their fitness journey.

how to increase gym memberships

Final Thoughts

Now that you have gotten to this point, you might be wondering, but how do I increase gym membership? After all, most of these methods are about keeping and engaging the customers you currently have.

Well, that is the irony of the situation gym owners find themselves in. It is far costlier to pursue new members than it is to focus marketing efforts on keeping your current members around. By perfecting customer retention techniques and engaging members, you are able to save money that can then be used for campaigns aiming to generate new members.

Additionally, once members begin to engage with your gym and understand the value that they offer, they are likely to tell their friends. You can even make this easy for them by asking for reviews from dedicated members to share the wealth. Although this might not seem like the most obvious answer to “how to increase gym membership,” it is where the industry and your members are headed. The question is, are you going with or getting left behind?


customer engagement platform

A Guide to Customer Engagement Platform Basics

Over the last few decades, the world as we know it has undergone a major change in the way that people communicate with each other. With the invention of the Internet and more recently, social media, our planet is more interconnected than ever before. A byproduct of these changes is that new rules need to be written and new practices discovered.

One area that has seen a massive shift is the world of marketing. Gone are the days of Mad Men, where the end goal of every customer relationship was “The Sale.” Now, the sale is just the beginning. Brands today need to focus on not only selling their products, but engaging their customers after the fact in order to keep them around and reduce churn rate.

However, not everyone has the time to singlehandedly monitor all customer relationships. It’s simply too big of a task at this stage in the game. Thus, a solution must be found to help in this aspect. The solution we are referring to is a customer engagement platform. In this article, we are going to teach you the basics of what you need to know about this latest software solution. Let’s get into it.

customer engagement platform

Why do we need customer engagement?

As we mentioned, gone are the days of signing up a customer and then hoping that they forget about your service while you continue to charge their credit card every month. In 2017, companies and brands need to constantly offer value to their customers at every step in the process to avoid losing them to a competitor.

Not only that, but according to Kissmetrics, “engaged customers stay longer, actually pay for your service, upgrade more often, and refer more customers.” The paradigm has shifted from providing customers with the right product at the right place at the right time to getting them actively involved in your community and engaging them at every turn.

Where does a customer engagement platform come in?

Unless your company is using some form of customer engagement platform or retention marketing strategy, you might soon find yourself in the dust of your competitors. Customer engagement has gone from an afterthought to what some have called the most important part of marketing today.

But you still might be wondering, where does a customer engagement platform come in? Like we stated at the beginning, unless you have an entire marketing team at your disposal there is no way you will be able to keep up with everything your users and customers are throwing at you. You need help. Well, a customer engagement platform is that help.

By automating various tasks and personalizing your messaging throughout the engagement funnel you can give your customers everything the need to be successful. Once this is done, the rest is pretty simple. After all, like we have said before, giving the users what they want isn’t exactly rocket science.

retention marketing

“Okay, so how do I use it?”

Now that you have a greater understanding of what is at stake, you might be wondering how you actual employ a customer retention technique like a user engagement platform. Don’t fret, we have you covered.

Targeted messages

Have you ever gone to a restaurant and just as you were about to enter, you received a branded message offering a discount? If you haven’t, the first time can be a little creepy, but once you understand what is happening, you understand the benefit.

Customer engagement platforms can make use of technologies like SMS marketing, geo-location waypoints, and push notifications to get your branded messaging to your customers when they need it most. By establishing your company as being there when customers need it most, you are able to convert more customers than ever before.

Post-sale positioning

Customer engagement is not just about getting the sale, which used to be the case, but creating a sustainable customer relationship. One great way to do this is through post-sale positioning. When a customer buys from you, think of this as the starting point.

Ideally, there is no end point, but realistically you want to make sure that you are engaging these customers from the time they start working with you until they move on. Whether your post-sale positioning means engaging sending a thank you email or reminding them about offers similar to their purchase is irrelevant.

As long as you are providing additional value after the sale, depending on the customer, you can position yourself however you need to in order to keep them as a customer for years to come.

engaged customer

Getting customers involved

Another way in which you can keep customers engaged through a platform is by getting them involved with your company. Again, you can employ mass text marketing campaigns to get the word out to your customers about how they can get involved.

Whether you are doing community service in your local area or hosting a networking event, getting your customers involved with your company at multiple different points in their daily lives is a surefire way to boost engagement.

Community building

What comes next, if everything goes according to plan, is the ability to build a community with your customers. Brands that have dedicated the time and resources to building a community have seen wonderful results.

For example, many gyms and fitness studios have created a community Facebook page for their members to share their fitness journeys and offer encouragement to their fellow members. The best part about this is that if you give your customers a place to have community, they will often do so without much work from you.

Whatever you decide to do in order to make a community environment with your users, try your best to stay positive and let customers come and go as they want. Instead of relying on old methods of blowing away your customers and then not providing, you need to be consistent and show a continuous dedication to them. Once you do this, the rest, as they say, is gravy.