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Build a Loyalty Rewards Program Your Customers Love

 

Every brand wants to create a loyalty reward program that keeps customers interested, engaged and coming back for more. Ecommerce merchants and retailers have found this feat much easier said than done. In fact, it may now be more difficult than ever to gain a customer’s genuine loyalty.

 

A successful loyalty rewards program can increase customer engagement, retention, and repeat sales. The benefits of an effective loyalty program are far-reaching and invaluable to a brand.  According to Marketing Metrics, a repeat customer has a 60%-70% chance of converting. Also, on average, only 8% of visitors come back, but they account for a staggering 41% of a company’s revenue.

To have an engaging loyalty rewards program, retailers must adopt some non-negotiable strategies.

So, what’s the secret sauce of an alluring loyalty rewards program?

 

360-degree customer engagement

Sure, earning points for buying is important. But if that’s the end-all, be-all of your loyalty program, it’s lacking and simply ineffective. To encourage real brand engagement, you should awards points for different activities – like referrals, social media engagement, email signups, reviews, photos uploaded to your website… the possibilities are endless. The more ways you can think of to dish out points, the more engaged your customers will be.

 

Don’t just take my word for it! Take Predator Nutrition, for example.

Predator Nutrition, a leading provider of sports nutrition supplements, was looking to engage its customers and drive repeat sales. They implemented a high-impact loyalty rewards program with a built-in 360-degree engagement module. The program rewarded members not only for purchases, but also for interactions on the web and social media. Some of the activities are as follows:

  • Create an Account – 500 points
  • Refer a Friend – 300 points
  • Birthday Bonus – 100 points
  • Write a Review – 100 points
  • Newsletter Sign-Up – 500 points
  • Follow on Twitter – 100 points
  • Follow on Instagram – 200 points

This 360-degree engagement module produced results beyond their greatest expectations. Predator Nutrition received thousands of customer enrollments in just one quarter. It achieved immediate business benefits in the form of 33% higher Average Order Value (AOV). Also, 1.7 times more purchases from customers who redeemed loyalty points.

 

Predator Nutrition loyalty rewards program

 

Omnichannel capability 

Loyalty programs that are omnichannel-capable, are all about giving customers the freedom to choose how to interact. Today’s fast-paced society demands convenience. If your loyalty rewards program isn’t right up your customer’s alley, it won’t even tempt them.

Customers should be able to interact with your loyalty program through any channel or device they prefer, every step of the way. If it’s not relevant to the customer, forget about it (because they will!) Also, make sure your message and branding are consistent throughout each channel.

 

Guess who’s getting it right. Starbucks!

Starbucks is famous for its omnichannel engagement model. The Starbucks Rewards system uses this approach to make the coffee buying experience more convenient for customers. That’s why it’s not a surprise that $1.2 billion is loaded on the Starbucks mobile app and the company’s loyalty cards for future purchases.

Beginning with their free rewards card, customers can immediately start earning rewards when they buy. Starbucks has enabled customers to check their gift card balance, points, and mobile orders via phone, website, in-store, or on their user-friendly app. All channels correspond with each other in real time, eliminating the possibility of a lapse in communication. This omnichannel capability is attractive to customers, encouraging engagement on many levels.
 
Starbucks loyalty rewards program

 

Moving up the ladder

Giving rewards to customers based on their journey with your brand is an incredibly effective strategy. People naturally enjoy taking up a challenge. Your customers will be striving toward the next tier, greater benefits, and exciting perks, constantly tempted to earn more points!

When customers earn the right to move up the ladder for maximum rewards, they feel valued by your brand. Also, if you offer multiple channels and points for various activities, they’ll engage with your brand in more ways than one.

 

Sephora’s successful tiered program

Sephora has their customers moving up tiers based on dollars spent each calendar year. This is a prime example of exclusivity for committed, loyal customers. They take pride in their status as they move up the ladder of rewards.

The concept of reward tiers in Sephora’s program adds an aspect of gamification that influences customer behavior and drives engagement. The program is based on 3 tiers:

Beauty InsiderFree to join!

VIB (Very Important Beauty Insider) – Earn this status by spending $350 in a calendar year!

VIB RougeAchieve this status by spending $1000 in a calendar year!

Rewards offered at each tier include freebies, makeovers, exclusive invitations to events, and private access to Sephora’s hotline. Only a select few customers reach the VIB and VIB Rouge Tiers. This makes Sephora’s program genuinely exclusive and truly effective.

 

Sephora's tiered loyalty rewards program

 

Notifying the customer 

Real-time notifications on the website are encouraging new signups and pushing current members toward the next reward. An immediate notification that includes a link to the loyalty rewards program should appear every time points are (or could be) earned. It will propel customers to enroll in the program. If they have already enrolled, it acts as a reminder. Real-time notifications are a powerful strategy to drive customer retention.

 

The Sigma Pink Perks Loyalty Program

Global beauty company Sigma Beauty has implemented the ‘Pink Perks’ customer loyalty program to rapidly build up a base of customers who are highly engaged with its brand.

The brand is using the program’s built-in, real-time notifications tool to ensure that its customers are constantly aware of the points they earn. The brand has also enabled birthday notifications on its website to surprise users with special reward points. In addition, Sigma Beauty notifies users post-purchase to encourage reviews and referrals. Real­-time notifications have allowed them to continually engage and update its loyalty program customers.
 
Sigma Loyalty Rewards Program

 

 

 

Summing up

Creating an efficient loyalty rewards program isn’t as complicated as you might think. Making it direct, practical, and relevant will basically guarantee high customer engagement. Know your customers and tailor your point system toward the activities they’re already doing, or at least are highly likely to participate in. Customers that engage with your brand become part of your business family. There’s no greater loyalty than that!

 

Do you know some more engaging loyalty rewards programs? Or maybe you’ve created one for your brand and you’ve got other useful tips?

Feel free to share your experience in the comments!

 

 

Author:

Guest author Samil Palnitkar

 

 

 

 

Samir Palnitkar is the Founder of Zinrelo, a technology company that specializes in loyalty rewards programs. He is a serial entrepreneur who has done four successful startups prior to Zinrelo. He has over 20 years of industry experience, has been awarded five technology patents and has written two technical books. You can find Samir on LinkedIn here and on Twitter here.

 

Loyalty Rewards Program

The post Build a Loyalty Rewards Program Your Customers Love appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

What the Google Chrome Ad Blocker Means for Your Website Popups (Plus 8 Really Smart Targeting Tips)

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Last week you likely saw a ton of news about Google Chrome’s Ad Blocker going into effect Feb 15, 2018. And nobody could blame you if you took one look at some of the reports and thought, “Oh no! Popups are dead. Google just outlawed them, and I have to take down the 35 I’m using across my web properties that are generating 12,000 leads per month”.

Well, fortunately, after combing through the details, I’m happy to tell you that — from our early interpretation — this doesn’t seem to be true.

You can still confidently use popups and sticky bars on your website and landing pages, and today I’ll take you through the news with a bit more nuance to explain why (and how to do so without compromising your user experience).

As I wrote in Technology isn’t the Problem, We Are. An Essay on Popups there’s a reason why bad marketing practices exist (spoiler alert, it’s bad marketers), and we all need to play a part in reversing these bad practices because frankly, we all deserve a better internet.

Here at Unbounce, we welcome this defense of higher internet standards by Google. But we do need to unpack the announcement to see what the potential impact could be on your marketing activities.

What is the Google Chrome Ad Blocker and Why Are We Talking About It?

On February 15th 2018, Google officially introduced an ad blocker to the Google Chrome browser that will screen for (and eventually block) what they deem to be “intrusive” ad experiences. This is further to Google’s partnership with the Coalition for Better Ads they announced previously with the January 10th 2017 change re: Mobile ad experiences.

In short, while it seemed like news last week, it’s an initiative that’s been in the works for some time.

The Coalition for Better Ad Standards

The Coalition for Better Ad Standards (CBA) is a group made up of trade associations and companies involved in online media. Their mission is to improve consumers’ experiences with online advertising and includes a set of global standards that address consumer expectations with online advertising.

As part of this mission, they performed a research study of 25,000 consumers to identify the ad experiences most likely to make those consumers install ad blocking software.

The study presents a range of user experience factors to discover which ones ranked worst. But before we get into the ads raising concerns, we should first address what constitutes an ad.

What is an Ad (In the Eyes of The Better Ad Standards Coalition)?

This is where things start to get a little vague. As per the Better Ads Standards website:

An “ad” is promotional content displayed on the web as the result of a commercial transaction with a third party.

In our interpretation, the above refers to a paid ad (such as Google AdSense) that appears on your website, not a popup containing your own marketing materials such as an e-commerce discount, a newsletter subscription, or a time-sensitive offer. The third party being an ad network and the ad being what’s delivered to the website.

If this is the correct interpretation it makes sense, because ads such as this are not related to the marketing efforts of the host website. They’re the result of the host website trying to generate ad revenue and presenting incongruent and somewhat random display ads.

However, at this time, it’s admittedly difficult to determine exactly what the coalition is considering an ad. To ensure we get you the best answer possible, we contacted Better Ad Standards directly to clarify whether our early interpretation of their definition is correct.

My main question is concerned with how the two parties will be evaluating the ads. Is it the content or is it the delivery mechanism? In other words, are Chrome and the Better Ad Standards coalition concerned with the interaction method of the message delivery? Or the content of the message? Or a combination of both?

My gut says it’s a combination, where the content must be considered an “ad” and the delivery mechanism falls into a few specific categories of interaction that are deemed as bad experiences.

Update from the Coalition for Better Ads

We got a response back from the CBA pretty quickly which was awesome. Unfortunately, the response didn’t really add any extra clarity to the original definition.

Here’s a portion of my question:

Are you able to confirm whether an ad in this instance includes website popups (or sticky bars) for our own business, placed on our own website? For example a newsletter subscription popup on our blog, or a discount popup on our pricing page.

Or are you referring to paid ads from an ad service such as Google AdSense that appear on a website, but are not part of that website’s business? For example, an ad for hair products that shows up on the New York Times.

And a portion of their response:

You should direct any questions about the Chrome browser and its plans to Google.

The Coalition does not currently provide specific evaluative guidance on questions of interpretation relating to the current Better Ads Standards. However, in conjunction with the Better Ads Experience Program, this service may be offered to participating companies in the future.

The Coalition for Better Ads plans to release additional details about its Better Ads Experience Program in the coming months. The Program will certify web publishers that agree not to use the most disruptive ads identified in the Better Ads Standards and will accredit browsers and other advertising technology companies that will assess publishers’ compliance with the Standards and filter digital ads based on the Standards. If compliance issues arise, certified companies will be notified and have an opportunity to address violations or to pursue review by an independent dispute resolution mechanism available through the Program.

The opening of enrollment for publishers that wish to certify their compliance with the Better Ads Standards and participate in the Program’s register was recently announced. Interested publishers can follow this link to learn more about the Program and the registration process. The Program expects to introduce an independent dispute resolution mechanism in the second quarter of this year.

Further updates on the Better Ads Experience Program are forthcoming, so please continue to monitor the Coalition for Better Ads’ blog and press releases page for updates. All Coalition initiatives and authoritative guidance are first published on the CBA website.

Based on this, I’m still not entirely sure if our interpretation is right or wrong.

If we are wrong, then it’s more important than ever to be creating the best possible experiences, and the easiest way for you to do that is with advanced targeting and triggers. You will find 8 examples of proactive great experience creation at the end of the post.

Here are some smart ways to do the right thing if you want to skip ahead to some implementation ideas:

  1. Campaign Scheduling
  2. Cookie Targeting
  3. Referrer URL Targeting
  4. Location Targeting
  5. Click Triggers
  6. Mobile Scroll Up Trigger
  7. Frequency
  8. Super Advanced Multi-Option Targeting

Which types of ad experience are raising a concern?

On desktop they refer to the following four ad experiences:

And mobile has an even larger set:

Again, while the images above could be alarming to anyone running popups, based on our early interpretation of the definition above I don’t think these are popups or sticky bars that you place on your own website with your own marketing content in them. I think we’ll end up finding as time goes on that the standards are targeting at neutralizing bad behavior with respect to third-party ads.

Does this mean you should ignore these guidelines if you’re not using third-party ads?

Not entirely, no. Conscientious targeting and triggering still reign supreme. You can continue to present popups and sticky bars to visitors on your website, but you should use the guidelines to do everything you can to deliver great experiences.

To help avoid getting warnings now that the standards are in place, Google offers a tool which can help you to determine if they consider your website to be infringing on the guidelines or not.

How to Check Your Website For Adherence Using The Google Ad Experience Report

The Ad Experience Report is designed to identify ad experiences that violate the Better Ads Standards, and you can check it for both desktop and mobile inside Webmaster Tools (now simply called Web Tools).

You can find the Google Ad Experience Report here.

When you choose your web property from the drop-down on that page, you will see this:

The video explains how it all works, and if you click desktop or mobile in the left navigation, you’ll instantly get a report like this one for unbounce.com:

If you receive any warnings you can make changes and request a fresh site review.

From Google:
Violations of the Standards are reported to sites via the Ad Experience Report, and site owners can submit their site for re-review once the violations have been fixed. Starting on February 15, in line with the Coalition’s guidelines, Chrome will remove all ads from sites that have a “failing” status in the Ad Experience Report for more than 30 days. All of this information can be found in the Ad Experience Report Help Center, and our product forums are available to help address any questions or feedback.

What Else Can You Do to Create Better Popup Experiences?

I fully embrace this news and the mission of the Coalition for Better Ads because it gives me the opportunity to broach the topic of popup misuse. As a platform offering popups, sticky bars (and landing pages of course) it’s incumbent upon Unbounce to take a stance and work hard to help marketers deliver especially respectful and responsible web experiences.

Popup misuse typically falls into the following categories:

  1. Interaction modes that prevent control of the experience by the visitor (such as easy and obvious close and bypass mechanisms).
  2. Manipulative copywriting that uses psychological means to coerce visitors into taking an action, such as the manipulative confirm shaming styles like this: [ Get Your Ebook ] [ No ebook for me. I prefer to kill kittens! ]
  3. Overly persistent frequency rules where you show the popup every time someone arrives.
  4. Multiple popups on the same page, at the same time.

To provide a method of evaluating popup experiences and to help combat bad behavior I created The Popup Delight Equation.

Essentially the equation reverse engineers an excellent popup experience and allows you to generate a percentage score by analyzing seven principles: clarity, control, creativity, relevance, charm, value, and respect.

I’d also recommend you read Stop Making These Common Mistakes with Your Website Popups (Includes Examples and Quick Fixes) which has some great ideas on the topic.

What is Unbounce Doing to Help Customers Avoid Ad Blocker Warnings?

Fabulous question! I asked Cole Derochie, one of Unbounce’s product owners, to elaborate on how we’re approaching the news and what it means for our customers.

“Unbounce respects this policy, and shares Google’s concern for ensuring users are able to easily access content — regardless of device.

Our goal with popups and sticky bars is to help our customers make offers that are relevant and valuable, and thereby increase their conversion rates, without harming the user experience.”

As I mentioned earlier, it does seem the news pertains to third-party ads, but having said that, we are determined to help marketers adhere to great internet standards. One way we’re doing that is by creating tips and warnings inside the Unbounce builder to help prevent some of the design methods that Google considers bothersome, in particular for the mobile experience.

For instance, in the screenshot below, a warning appears if you try to increase the height of the sticky bar beyond 100px:

Despite our belief that this announcement (and the general concerns of Google and the Coalition for Better Ads) isn’t specifically directed at regular popups and sticky bars, it does still represent an opportunity to take an honest look at the ways we’re all presenting our marketing, and step away from some of the more blatant behaviors mentioned in the research.

One of the best ways to ensure a quality experience is to use some of the more advanced targeting, trigger, and frequency settings that Unbounce provides to give your visitors a respectful interaction that’s as relevant as possible.

 

Using Targeting, Triggers, and Frequency to Improve Popup and Sticky Bar Experiences

From a high-level philosophical perspective, we should be thinking beyond surface level conversion metrics to focus on quality rather than quantity. I’m referring to tactics like showing popups on every visit, which in my mind is just a little desperate, and destined to not be delightful.

Here are some ways you can deliver a better user experience and stay on Google’s good side:

Method #1 – Campaign Scheduling

If you’re running a time-sensitive campaign, it’s important to only show your offer when it’s actually valid. I’m sure you’ve seen those “live” chat windows that tell you nobody is home. If nobody is home, don’t show the live chat box dummies! Similarly, you don’t want to show a discount or special offer when it’s already expired.

In Unbounce you can set your campaign schedule down to the minute.


Method #2 – Cookie Targeting

Cookies are a great way to create more personalized experiences, basing the display of you offer on previous visitation or behavior tracking. But they are equally as powerful when you use them as an exclusion mechanism.

Let’s say you have an offer for a discount on your SaaS product to encourage people abandoning your website, but you don’t want existing customers to see it (it could make them jealous or upset that they didn’t get the discount).

If you are able to set a cookie within your app somewhere to label a customer as a customer, you can then use the “Don’t Show” cookie targeting to make sure they are not shown the offer.

Bazinga!


Method #3 – Referrer URL Targeting

Context is king when it comes to communicating your message quickly, and if you target your popups and sticky bars using the referrer URL option you can present content that’s highly relevant to where the visitor just came from. This is especially effective for co-marketing where your popup or sticky bar can showcase both brands by including the partner’s logo, creating a more powerful connection between the two experiences.

Here’s another really interesting use case that uses the “Don’t Show” setting.

I’m in the middle of a reboot of our landing page course, and I’m running some popups containing Typeform surveys for the purposes of research.

The problem though is that the homepage of the course is a landing page on a subdomain of the primary course domain – and I’m running the survey on both the homepage and the internal pages of the microsite.

Course homepage URL: do.thelandingpagecourse.com
Internal course page URLs: thelandingpagecourse.com/*

There’s a lot of organic traffic coming to the homepage and also the internal pages. But I don’t want to show it to a visitor to the homepage, and then show it again when they click through to start part one of the course.

To solve this problem, I set a “Don’t Show” setting on the Referrer targeting like this:

Which means that none of the internal course pages will show the popup if the visitor got there via the course homepage. This is a brilliantly simple way of solving what would otherwise require a bit of complex coding to resolve.

Even better is the fact that you can add as many “Show” and “Don’t Show” targeting rules as you like.


Method #4 – Location Targeting

Unbounce location targeting allows you to drill all the way down to the city level, and all the way up the the continent level. Personally, I’d be stoked if someone from the Antarctic saw one of my popups, but there are times when you do need to hide your marketing from certain locations, or target it specifically to a location or locations.

Just like in #3, the great thing is that you can add as many rules in here as you like, so you could set it up like the image below to target every major city in Texas, avoiding rural areas if that so happens to not be your target audience. Or reverse it to target all rural areas and avoid the cities. YUSS!


Method #5 – Click Trigger

Undoubtedly the best trigger type is the click trigger. Why? Because it’s entirely user-driven. A great use case for this option is two-step opt-in forms where your popup with a form only shows up when requested. The conversion rates are typically very high because the initial click declares intent making the contents of the popup desirable.

With Unbounce you can set the click trigger to work on any page element by using the CSS id, or you can even apply it to a CSS class which could make multiple page elements interactive.


Method #6 – Mobile Scroll Up Trigger

Google has expressed discontent for certain types of popup that appear on entry, on mobile devices. For this reason we created the “Scroll Up” trigger. It works a little like an “Exit Trigger” on desktop as it may signal that someone is leaving the page. If you use this, and keep the size of your Sticky Bar to 100px in height or below, you can create a nice experience that’s not too interruptive, doesn’t prevent the visitor from leaving, and lets you notify them of something important.


Method #7 – Frequency Settings

What’s the frequency, Kenneth? If you don’t get that reference then either you’re really young or I’m really old. Either way, frequency matters. And when you get it wrong it hertz. << Please tell me you got that one.

Pro tip – once and done
When in doubt, the first option (“Show once per visitor”) is the best. Show it once, and go cry in your soup if it didn’t convert. Do NOT pester people over and over again. If they want it they’ll say yes. If they don’t, well that’s a lesson (in the form of a poor conversion rate) you can use to better understand your audience.

For the other options, if you wanna be super respectful and let people check out your site without any distractions, think about using the “Show only on visit x” option. Typically the x would be the number 2. Show it the second time they are there. That way they’ve had the chance to get to know you and your offer will seem more relevant.

For example, there’s nothing more annoying on a blog than when you get an entrance popup saying “Love this content! Subscribe for more!!!!!”. No, I don’t love this content cos I just got here, dammit! Whereas if you show it on the second visit, you know they liked you enough to come back. Done.


Method #8 – Super Advanced Multi-Option Targeting

How about this idea for some extreme relevance! You can use all four advanced targeting rules at the same time to get hyper-personalized. In the example below I’m targeting people in Vancouver, Canada who’ve got a cookie called “ILikeTurtles” who are coming from my partner’s site during the dates of my campaign. SICK!

In Conclusion: What Should You Do Now?

Well for starters I recommend that you go make 50 popups with “Every visit” targeting and a frequency of 100 times per visit.

Wait. Don’t do that.

Do what a thoughtful marketer would do and spend some time thinking about your visitors, and about the really cool things you can do when you combine triggers, frequency, scheduling, and advanced targeting rules.

The combinations are literally limitless. I’m not sure on my math there, so there may be some finite limit to what you can do, but whatever it is, it’s huge!

This is a hot and contentious topic, with much to discuss, particularly because of how hard it is to interpret some of the communications surrounding it, so please add comments with any intel or different perspectives you have.

We’re committed to staying on top of the situation as it continues to unfold, and will bring you more details and ideas as soon as they become apparent.

Here’s to better marketing standards, and better marketing in general.

Cheers
Oli Gardner

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Original Source: What the Google Chrome Ad Blocker Means for Your Website Popups (Plus 8 Really Smart Targeting Tips)

A Sales Professional’s Guide to Successful Events

Not long ago, 2018 has begun. For sales teams, this can mean only one thing – it’s time to start the industry conference season. I hope you’re excited as much as we are!

As a psychology student back in the day, and now as a sales executive at GetResponse, I’ve had a chance to attend many events. I would love to share a few tips and tricks that worked for me and can help you boost your lead generation efforts.

So if you read on, you’ll learn how to prepare for a tradeshow. You’ll also learn how to apply psychology in onsite conversations to get the best results. Finally, I’ll tell you about my strategy for following up with leads and making sure that I don’t miss out on any opportunity.

 

How to prepare

The first thing you want to do is ask your marketing team to prepare a list of guests that are going to participate in the event. Identify those who fit your ideal customer profile. If the event organizer doesn’t share lists, you have two options: you can use a dedicated networking application prior to the event (if available) or review the list of exhibitors (this one will be available for sure! 🙂 )

Once you identify the list of potential customers, don’t waste a minute waiting for the event. Connect with them on social media. You can start the conversation with a very general, open-ended question: “It looks like we’re going to meet at…. I was wondering, why did your team decide to take part in this show?” Alternatively, you can ask them if they will be looking for partners to help them solve some specific problems (and hopefully, you can be their savior.)

Most of the time, you’ll find people that will need your product or service to face their current business challenge. Make sure to book a meeting with them. Everyone’s going to be busy, so you can have lunch together or grab a coffee.

If you follow this strategy, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and avoid being perceived as the annoying person who chats up every passerby.

 

What to do at the event

I know you might have been already following these tips on a subconscious level, but it’s always worth pointing it out and keeping the basics in mind.

 

Be punctual.

Yes, I’ve seen too many reps get there too late. The first hours are quiet, that’s right. Still, a lot of CEOs or Directors (who usually are the decision makers) have busy schedules, so they come in the mornings when it’s not that crowded yet. They can look around and then get back to their duties. You don’t want to miss them.

 

“A smile is the universal welcome.”

When that CEO approaches you, make sure to smile. When people see a happy face, it activates their mirror neurons, which makes them share the feeling (L. Winerman, ‘The mind’s mirror’). What’s more, if someone is exposed to a positive stimulus (like a smile that triggers a positive emotion) and to an image (like a logo or your face) at the same time, their brain automatically builds an unconscious connection between the two (J. De Houwer, S. Thomas & F. Baeyens, ‘Association learning of likes and dislikes: A review of 25 years of research on human evaluative conditioning’). This phenomenon is called evaluative conditioning. When you smile, you’re doing a favor to your company and yourself.

 

Be aware of your body language.

Make sure to keep it open and positive. A good tip is to stand next to the other person (shoulder to shoulder) and – if possible – look in the same direction. Evolutionary psychology tells us that if we stand in front of someone we just met, they can feel uncomfortable or even threatened. Have you ever felt this way? You can reduce this negative effect and make your conversations more natural by just grabbing a product brochure and show images to illustrate what you’re talking about. This way, even if you make eye contact from time to time, it will seem more natural than just staring at each other throughout the whole conversation.

 

Sales event body language

Ask simple questions.

Ok, so you’re on time, with your happy face on, and starting your first conversation.

First of all, you want to find out if investing your time in a business relationship with this person is worth it. Verify, ask questions. If they ask you what you do, be brief and clear. Ask if that’s something they’re looking for. If it is, then immediately follow up with why and what kind of problem they need to solve. If it’s not, ask “so, what are you looking for?” With this tactic, you’ll find much more leads and won’t waste an additional hour explaining what you do to someone who’s not going to become your customer.

 

Respect your time while offering help.

If you find a person looking for a product like yours, make sure to learn “why”. What kind of issues are they trying to solve? Then, show them how your product can address it and, if possible, share some testimonials. That’s it. Don’t do a demo, unless someone asks for it. Build value based on their main problem. You’ll tell them about the product later. Respect your time and make sure to make the most of it.

Finally, make notes. If you follow the tips above, I guarantee you’ll meet a lot of people who will be a great fit for your business. Don’t lose the information you collected. It will help you build stronger relationships with your future clients.

 

How to follow up after

Timing is important. During your conversations at the event tell people when you’re going to follow up with them. This first email – if you send it on time – is a great opportunity for you to build trust. Building trust is nothing more than simply delivering on promises (E. Schniter, R. M. Sheremeta & D. Sznycer, ‘Building and rebuilding trust with promises and apologies’). You can easily start off on the right foot.

Also, use your notes for that first email or call. Impress your prospect by mentioning something unique about them. This will show you really care and listened to what they said.

 

Sales event follow up message

 

The last piece of advice relates to delivering demos. I hope you managed to book plenty of them. If that’s the case, consider doing a webinar. This will help you scale your conversations and show off the interest that you gained. Why? According to Cialdini (‘Influence: The psychology of persuasion.’, 2007), if someone sees people like them perform an action (for example, buy your product), the chances they will do it too increase by 33%!

 

Summing up

There’s no foolproof scheme that will guarantee a success every time. But, if you follow these rules, the road to becoming a sales events expert is much easier and less stressful. Remember that every step is equally important. Put effort into the preparation, be aware of the subconscious messages you’re sending at the conference or trade show, and follow up, as promised. Build an audience that will help you sell.

If you have some more insightful tips, feel free to share! We would love to learn from you  :-)!

 

While we’re at it, be sure to check our upcoming online marketing bootcamp. Perhaps we’ll see you there!

 

Online Marketing Bootcamp

 

A sales professional's guide to successful events

The post A Sales Professional’s Guide to Successful Events appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

Stop Making These Common Mistakes with Your Website Popups (Includes Examples and Quick Fixes)

Depending on who you talk to, website popups are either a godsend for list building and subsequent revenue creation, or they’re a nuclear bomb for the user experience.

Some can’t stand popups and completely disregard sites that use them (or that’s what they say, at least). And there are even entire websites dedicated to hating on especially bad popups.

However, many marketers are fully charmed to their capabilities for revenue generation, lead collection, and driving attention and conversions in general.

It doesn’t have to be an either/or situation, though.

You can create website popups that aren’t detrimental to the user experience; In fact, if you do it really well, you can even improve the user experience with the right offer and presentation.

We all want to be companies that care a lot about our visitors and make the best popups possible, so it goes without saying, we care about timing, targeting, and triggering (i.e. who we send offers to, when we send them, and what those offers are). After all, the main reasons visitors get annoyed by popups are 1) when they disrupt the user experience and 2) when they offer no value or help:

Fortunately, you can easily solve for these things. In this article I’ll outline common website popup mistakes with real examples, and I’ll cover a few ways to remedy these mistakes.

Mistake 1: Poor timing

One of the biggest mistakes marketers make with website popups is with timing. It’s almost always the case that we trigger popups too soon (i.e. right away, no matter the context of the page or visitor).

On an Inbound.org discussion, Dustin J. Verburg had this to say:

“The most hilarious popups are the ones that say ‘LOVE THIS CONTENT? SUBSCRIBE FOR MORE’ because they assault my eyes before I even read two words of the article.

Now I guess I’ll never know if I love the content, because I close the tab immediately and never come back.”

Similar to Dustin, imagine you’re taking break from work to check out GrowthHackers. You find an article on the front page that looks interesting. You open it and immediately get this:

Woah, what’s this full screen takeover? I know this is common today, but most people are jarred by this experience.

Now you may not even remember what the article was, so you’re likely to click away and go back to actual work.

One possible way to remedy this – just spitballing here – could be to add some copy explaining that the visitor needs to click to continue on to the article. Forbes does this (though Forbes could never claim a good user experience without a good laugh):

At least you know where you’re at (the logo is prominent) and what to do (continue to site). But, it goes without saying, Forbes’ experience is not ideal so don’t copy it.

So how do you fix poor timing?

The best possible solution for user experience is to trigger a popup at a time that actually benefits a visitor. On a long-form blog article, this is usually at some point of strong user engagement, either measured by time on site or, better, by scroll-depth and content engagement.

You can do this with an on-scroll popup created in Unbounce.

Once you’re happy with your design, simply set your trigger for when someone scrolls through a certain percentage of the page, or even after a delay you specify:

Click above for a larger, clearer image.

Overall, poor timing is a common problem, and it’s almost never intentional. We simply act hastily when setting up popups, or we spend all of our time crafting the offer and forget that when the offer is shown matters too.

I want to point out, however, that it’s not always a bad decision to throw a popup at visitors on arrival. It’s all about context.

For example, if you’re shopping for clothes, there are a million options available. Therefore, it’s imperative for ecommerce shops to grab your attention as quickly as possible with an attractive offer. This is why you see so many website popups with discounts on arrival on ecommerce sites, like this one from Candle Delirium:

As well as this one from BustedTees:

It’s a very common tactic. We’ll go over it specifically in regard to ecommerce later in section three.

In general, it’s important to analyze a visitor’s behavior and trigger the popup at the exact moment (or as close to it as possible) that someone would want to subscribe/download your offer/etc. It’s a lot of work to tease out when this may be, but the analysis is worth it as you’ll annoy fewer visitors and convert more subscribers or leads.

Fix annoying timing: Consider the user experience. Does it warrant an on-arrival popup? If not, what’s the absolute ideal timing for a popup, based on user intent, behavior, and offer?

Mistake 2: Poor targeting

Poor targeting is a broad problem that’s usually made up of a mismatch between who you’re targeting and what offer you’re sending (though, you could also add in when you’re targeting them as a variable as well).

For instance, if you’re targeting a first time organic visitor to a blog post with a popup that announces a new product feature, you may spur some confusion. Rather, you should try to target based on appropriate user attributes, as well as within the context of where they are in the user journey. A better offer for a first time blog visitor might be an ebook or email course on a topic related to the blog post.

An example of poor targeting is LawnStarter’s guide on their post about where new residents of Birmingham are moving from. It’s a cool infographic-based guide they’re offering up, but the popup is really irrelevant to the content of the post someone’s currently reading in this case:

In another, better example, Mailshake has a massive guide on cold emailing, which would be a daunting read in a single session. It’s probably appropriate, then, that they offer the book up for download via a sticky bar at the bottom of a related article:

There are ways they could improve copy, design, or the offer itself, but the core point is that their targeting is spot on (i.e. after someone’s reading something about cold emailing, and offered up as added, downloadable value).

Now, if I already visited this page and downloaded the playbook, and they still hit me with this offer, then we’d have a targeting problem. They could use the fact that I’m a repeat visitor, as well as a subscriber already, to target me with a warmer offer, such as a deeper email course, a webinar, or possibly even a consultation/demo depending on their sales cycle and buyer’s journey.

The fix for poor targeting

Remember with targeting, you’re simply trying to align your offer with your visitor and where they are in their awareness and interest of your company and product.

This is where the value of progressive profiling comes in. But if you’re not doing that, at the very least you should be aligning the offers on your page with the intent of the traffic on that page.

You can also target offers based on URLs, location, referral source, and cookies. Really think about who is receiving your offer and at what point in the customer journey before you set a popup live.

With popups created in Unbounce, for example, you can use referral source as a way to target appropriate offers to someone who’s come from social traffic, vs. someone who’s arrived via AdWords traffic:

Simply create your popup, and in advanced targeting, select which referral sources you’d like to have access to the offer:

Fix targeting the wrong people at the wrong time with the wrong offer Analyze your customer journey and intent levels on content. Craft offers according to customer journey status as well as on-site user behavior.

Mistake 3: Offers with no obvious value

How many times have you been on a blog that simply wants you to sign up for a mailing list, no value promised or given? Like this:

If you’re an active reader of the blog, maybe this works. After all, you already know the value of the content and simply want to sign up for updates. Makes sense. But I’d wager this type of active reader is a small percentage of traffic, and these people will sign up however they can. Thereby the popup isn’t useful for everyone else.

As we covered before, a much better way to capture attention is with a discount, like Allen Edmonds offers here as soon as I land on the site (on another note, this is a great use of an immediate triggering. It’s not an annoying popup when it delivers me a discount).

This is a super common ecommerce tactic.

It’s a competitive world out there, and giving an immediate hit in the form of a discount is a good way to capture some of that oh so valuable attention. It’s especially common when used on first time visitors to the homepage, as a homepage visitor’s experience is generally more variable and less intent-based (if they land on a product page from a search ad, it’s a bit of a different story).

Here’s an example from Levi’s:

The fact that most ecommerce sites have similar messages nowadays is indicative of a creativity problem, one that presents itself to marketers in any industry. We look to competitors and to the consensus and think that we can’t fall behind, so we replicate tactics.

However, I’m more interested in sites, like Four Sigmatic, that push beyond and implement a creative offer, like their lottery style subscription featured below. (This is one of the only popups I’ve signed up for in months, by the way):

Offering up poor or no value is really the least forgivable mistake if you’re a marketer. Crafting offers that align to your buyer persona is your job. Also, it’s fun. If you have a bland offer, this could easily be the biggest opportunity for lifting conversions, as well as improving the user experience (no one is complaining about awesome offers).

Foot Cardigan does a really good job of offering value and conveying it in a fun way too:

Triggering popups with zero value? Think about ways you can give massive value to your site visitors, so much that they really want to give you their email, and create an offer for this.

Mistake 4: Poor design

If you use Unbounce Popups, it’s almost hard to create an ugly one. Still though, the internet is filled with eye-sore examples:

Design matters. A poorly designed website element can throw off your whole brand perception, which is important in creating trust, value, and in easing friction.

As Ott Niggulis put it in a ConversionXL article:

“Success in business online is all down to trust. You either see something that makes you trust a vendor or you don’t. Trust is also directly linked to conversions – if people leave your website because it’s so badly designed that it makes you seem untrustworthy then you’re missing out on lost prospects, customers, sales, and profits.

Good design = trust = more conversions = more money in your pocket. It’s as easy as that.”

That same article cites a study where 15 participants were directed to Google health information that was relevant to them, then they were asked about their first impressions of the sites.

Out of all the factors mentioned for distrusting a website, 94% were design related. Crazy!

So don’t just put up a poorly designed popup thinking the message will be the focus. Put some effort into it.

Of course, you don’t always need to look like a luxury brand. If cheap spartan is your schtick, then it can work for you. After all, Paul Graham’s site isn’t pretty but it’s so, so valuable:

Image of Paul Graham’s site.

As Aurora Bedford from NN/g explains it, it’s more about matching design to your brand values and objectives:

“The most important thing to remember is that the initial perception of the site must actually match the business — not every website needs to strive to create a perception of luxury and sophistication, as what is valuable to one user may be at complete odds with another.”

No matter what your brand positioning may be, however, make sure you clean up obvious design mistakes before hitting publish.

Fix up bad design: Spend a few hours longer designing your popup, hire a designer, or use a tool like Unbounce with a template.

Mistake 5: Poor Copy

Presenting your offers with clear copy is huge. Most copywriting, not just on popups but online in general, is:

  • Boring
  • Vague
  • Confusing
  • Cringe-inducing

…in that order, I’d wager. Not often do you find crisp, clear, and compelling copy (unless it was whipped up by a professional, of course).

As with the example below, you’re more likely to find copy that’s vague (how many ebooks, which ones, etc.) and cringe-inducing (Rocking with a capital R is pretty goofy):

The copy you write for your popup may be the most effective mechanism you have for converting visitors (outside of the targeting rules). Here’s how Talia Wolf, founder of GetUplift, put it in an Inbound.org comment:

“Many people are trying to capture your customer’s attention too so you need to give them a good reason for subscribing/not leaving.

It’s not enough to talk about yourself, you need to address the customer’s needs: one way is by highlighting the value your customer gains. The other, highlighting what they might lose. (Example: “Join thousands of happy customers” vs. “Don’t lose this unique content we’re giving our subscribers only”

Her website has a solid example of a popup with great copywriting, by the way:

Sometimes, all you need to do is pull your message to the top and make it prominent. Often we try to write clever copy instead of clear copy, but clear always beats clever.

For example, if the following popup led with the money offered for the account, it’d probably be more compelling than their current vague headline:

Mistake 6: Overload

Sometimes websites can get pretty aggressive. Here’s an experience I ran into on Brooks Brothers’ website:

One (pretty value-less) popup that I click out of, only to be followed by another one:

Now, there’s just a lot of clutter going on here. Different colors, different offers, different banners. As a first time visitor, I’m not sure what’s going on. Plus, they have animated snowfall, which adds to the clutter.

This is quite extreme, but it’s not uncommon for marketers to see some results with a popup and go overboard, triggering two, three, even four in a single session. When all of this occurs within 10 seconds of being on the site, things get annoying quickly.

Take down too many popups: Simplify and strategically target any popups on your site. They shouldn’t appear everywhere for everyone, your targeting is key.

The lesson

Popups don’t need to be annoying. Rather, they can actually add to the user experience if you put a little time and effort into analysis and creative targeting and triggering.

If you avoid the mistakes here, not only will your popups be less likely to feel intrusive, but they’ll convert better and they’ll convert the types of subscribers and leads you actually want.

Run a popup experiment of your own See Unbounce templates you can get up and running today.

Original Source: Stop Making These Common Mistakes with Your Website Popups (Includes Examples and Quick Fixes)