I don’t know about you, but I like to check out several companies (online and in person) when searching for a particular product or service. If time permits, I could be searching for several hours. Researching is always my go-to when I'm on the hunt for something specific. You wouldn't believe the time my husband and I recently put into finding a new mattress. In our search, there were a few factors that really swayed us in our decision. Quality of the product and how it solved our needs were obviously the top two. But the third factor had to do with the companies themselves. Our online experience with each company played a huge part in determining which stores we actually wanted to take time to go to in order to try the mattresses. Let me tell you, there were a lot of brands we dismissed right away. Maybe their product WAS as great as they tried to market it to be, but the experience we had on their websites and the reviews they had floating around swayed our minds away from doing business with them. Why was that?
Inbound Marketing Blog
It seems like every other day I’m getting an email about why link building is dead or a new strategy on how to do link building. I’ll admit, I don’t read about 90% of those emails (mostly because they’re from questionable sources). But every now and then, an email will have a catchy, humorous, or interesting subject line that beckons me to open. Most of the time, the email or link in the email is to hire that company to do link building. Slightly ironic considering we do that ourselves at Tribute Media, but also making their email irrelevant to me since I don’t need those services. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s take a step back.
I've noticed an interesting trend in Facebook... more so in the last few months, but I think it's been growing for a number of years. Facebook (and most other social media platforms) has always been intended to bring like-minded people together; to bring friends together. It's been intended to allow people to continue to build relationships when they aren't in the same physical location.
Sometimes it feels as though the purpose of social media has become a place to tell everyone else they are wrong. It seems it's become a place that does a very good job of sowing the seeds of discontent. Because of this trend, I think it completely changes how we market.
Way back in the ’80s, if you wanted to go check out a new restaurant or hair salon, you had to pull out the phone book and look up the business’ address. If you were lucky, you knew the general area where the business was. If not, you had to get out a map or call and get street by street directions to write down. Then, of course, if the business was closed for renovations or due to a holiday, there was no way you would know until you drove up to the location. I lived it, and yes, it was rough.
It doesn’t take a genius to realize that the more times you connect with your customers, the more likely they are to remember you and choose your company's product and/or services over a competitor.
In marketing, the official term is called ‘touches’ – an instance where your customers see or interact with your company.
When it comes to customer delight [see the Four Actions of Inbound], 'touches' can go a long way. According to Stacy Willis on iMPACT, "When expectations are met, you have customer satisfaction. When expectations are exceeded, you achieve customer delight. How do you get there? By being human. Listen to your customer and their needs."
Studies have shown that it takes at least 7 or more touches to generate a person’s interest.
So, how do you make sure you interact with customers in an engaging way and often enough so that your company becomes memorable without you spending a fortune trying to do so?
In the Elements of an Inbound Marketing Campaign, we covered:
- A checklist for the technical aspects of an inbound marketing campaign, including landing pages, thank you pages, follow-up emails and workflows.
- Ways to drive traffic to your offers via additional types of content such as blog and social media posts, as well as emails.
- And the kind of skill sets you’ll need to make it all happen, including a designer, web developer, writer and a Google SEO specialist.
With all of those basics laid out, we wanted to delve deeper into the email marketing portion. Although many businesses (maybe even yours) may dismiss email as simple one-on-one digital communication that doesn't require strategy, it is actually a powerful tool that too many businesses miss out on because they don't understand how it can be used for so much more.
Truth be told, I’ve never fancied myself a writer. I would classify myself as a reader--someone who enjoys reading fiction and non-fiction book, blogs, and stories. I’m not bad at writing, and I don’t dislike the thought of having to write a blog or any kind of content to be put on the internet, I just never thought of myself as a writer in the way I had perceived that title.
Years ago, I was at a conference in Orlando, Florida and happened to stay across the street from Downtown Disney. I spent each of my nights there walking around, riding the water taxi, eating dinner and just relaxing. Usually when I travel for work, it’s all about work. Rarely do I find the time to enjoy my surroundings, so this was new for me.
I started thinking a bit about what Disney knows how to do right, and that is to provide the customer an experience that they won't forget. As I sat there one evening eating dinner I realized that my reality seemed suspended for a short while.
Think about Las Vegas. Every so often, a casino will be torn down so that there can be room made for a new one. The casinos get bigger and better. Moreover, they are all designed to give the visitors an experience that is otherworldly. It’s a design that is meant to suspend reality.
Now, I can understand that people want different experiences, but which experience do you think fosters a sense of excitement for your customers? Which experience do you think causes people to tell their friends? Which experience is worth more to the consumer?
When I look at the successes and failures in business, I think I have found consistency between them.
The successful businesses remember their primary objective and the businesses that fail have forgotten what they are working for. Their efforts are misplaced because they forgot the reasoning and goals behind their efforts.
Let's put a practical example with this concept.