The holiday retail race will begin in just one week – is your business ready to take advantage of Small Business Saturday? Unlike Black Friday, Small Business Saturday encourages shoppers to show some love for small businesses in their local community. Statistics prove that people want to support their communities. In 2012, when the holiday was founded by American Express, $5.5 billion was spent in small businesses across America in a single day. Here are a few ways that both your business and your clients can celebrate Small Business Saturday.
Promote Small Business Saturday
As a small business, it’s important to get a head start on promotions so that you can stand out from your Black Friday competitors. Remind all of your clients about Small Business Saturday in advance by promoting the event on social media. Let your followers know about the history of the event and what your business has planned with posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Don’t forget to send out emails to all of your subscribers encouraging them to “shop small” with your business.
Think about what makes your small business stand out from retail chain stores. Whether it’s personalized customer service or a local product that only you provide, highlight it in your incentive. It’s important that you remind your clients that all of their support for your business goes right back into the community.
Spending $100 at a local business results in an average of $68 that stays in the local community compared to $43 for national franchise businesses.
Any incentive that you offer your clients, can help the whole community in the long term.
Small Business Saturday is a great event to boost visibility and sales for your business, but remember to look beyond this one day. You can use the shopping frenzy to the advantage of your business and plan your strategy going forward. Use all of the successful strategies from this event and repurpose them all year long to see increased business and client loyalty.
When small businesses succeed, the entire community succeeds. By encouraging your clients to shop local, you can help improve your community and your business’ bottom line. Celebrating Small Business Saturday is a guaranteed win for you and your clients.
Fall 2018 has been an exciting time for our automotive vertical. We announced our newest brand DF Auto, making room for branding, features, and partnerships that have auto shop owners in mind.
Since our announcement, we launched Rep Boost, an online reputation-focused bundle that shop owners have been asking for. No muss, no fuss – just reputation management tools to help expand your presence online.
Stay tuned for more updates because the appreciation to your continued loyalty has only just begun!
Would you like fries with that? If you’ve ever been to a fast-food restaurant, you have likely heard those words before. This is a classic example of upselling, a sales strategy that businesses use to introduce clients to additional products and services. While you may not be in the fast-food industry, upselling is a valuable strategy for your business. It gives you the opportunity to increase sales and generate more revenue while providing your clients with products and services that they need. Use the following strategies to confidently and effectively upsell your clients.
Options Are Key
Many businesses feel uncomfortable upselling to clients because it can be perceived as “pushy”. A good tactic to move from this uncomfortable feeling is to instead approach upselling as simply providing your clients with options. If you identify an opportunity to sell your client a product or service that you feel better fits their needs, simply use the phrase: “We offer another option that I think you would like.” This subtle shift in language portrays your business as helpful and serves to please your clients. Creating a better option is after all the backbone of upselling.
All of your clients have one thing in common: they don’t want to be sold a product or service that they don’t need. Before attempting to upsell your clients, you need to first identify if it is relevant to their needs. If a salon client has just received a new haircut, it’s not exactly relevant for the hair stylist to suggest hair extensions. In this example, suggesting a new hair color or highlights would be a better upsell choice. Upselling relevant products and services will help generate more sales for your business and improve overall client happiness.
Show The Bigger Picture
The key to completing an upsell is making sure that the client can see the big picture behind your suggestion. If you simply suggest an additional product or service without any context, clients are likely to decline. Clearly explain why you think the upsell is a good idea. Pitch the idea behind the upsell, how it will be beneficial in the long-run and provide as much detail as possible. When the client can see the big picture, they will start to believe that the upsell is a good idea too.
Once you get in the habit of accurately identifying upsell opportunities, suggesting additional products and services to your clients will come naturally. By using the strategies above you can create a better experience for your clients, resulting in a huge win for your business.
The Americans with Disabilities Act aims to protect the rights of disabled people to prevent discrimination against a person’s disability. This law requires businesses to offer accommodations like wheelchair ramps and handicapped parking for disabled persons. However, when the law was passed in 1990, it did not provide any specific language to protect disabled persons from discrimination on the Internet. While there is currently no legal definition of an ADA compliant website, here are a few elements your website should have to ensure that your hearing and vision impaired clients have a seamless experience.
Your clients with vision impairments have difficulty viewing web pages the same way as other people. While an artistic website design might seem clear to you, certain color schemes are difficult for vision impaired persons to view. Ensure that your website is accessible for everyone by choosing white background colors with a font that is dark enough to pop against the background. This color contrast is crucial to have on your website to make your content clear and accessible for all site visitors. While this is beneficial for your vision impaired clients, it is also beneficial in reducing bounce rates for your business website.
Avoid small, ineligible fonts on your website whenever possible. Not only do small fonts make it difficult for vision-impaired clients to read website content, but they also don’t render well on responsive website designs that adjust to fit screens on mobile devices. Use large font between 15 – 18px on your website to make sure your content is readable across all devices from – desktop sites to tablets to mobile phones. It is also important that you disable any settings that prevent site visitors from adjusting the font size in a user’s web browser. Visually impaired persons need to be able to specify font size as needed to properly view your website content.
Hyperlinks and Buttons
Influencing site visitors to perform an action is the goal of virtually every business website. The best way to get your visitors to take action is to make sure they know what to do! Clickable elements like hyperlinks and call-to-action (CTA) buttons on your website should be large, clear and stand apart from the body text. Visually impaired persons often scan web pages to quickly search for links. Concealing important links in a block of text makes it harder for your clients to find them. Additionally, make sure the links are descriptive of the information they’re leading to. “Updated Office Hours and Contact Information” is a lot more descriptive than simply “Update”.
Screen Reader Friendly
Screen readers make it possible for blind or visually impaired persons to “read” website content via a speech synthesizer or braille display. While screen readers are a wonderful way for visually impaired persons to access website content, they do have limitations. For example, screen readers are unable to “read” an image if the image doesn’t have alt text. Adding alt text is helpful because it gives context to your website images that a screen reader can “read” to site visitors. Alt text is also beneficial to your website’s SEO.
The best way to reach more clients online is to make your business website available for everyone. By ensuring that your website is ADA accessible, you are ensuring that all of your site visitors have a positive experience on your website. This can translate into the best possible outcome: increased traffic and conversions for your website.
Are you getting the most out of your portal? We want to make sure our customers are taking full advantage of all of the tools at your disposal. Trying out new features in your software is the best way to effectively optimize how you communicate with your clients. If you want to effectively grow your business, be sure to explore these marketing and communications features.
Thank You Emails
One of the best ways to show appreciation for your clients is to thank them! Business owners that aim to keep their clients happy and coming back for more shouldn’t overlook the value of a simple thank you email. Not only does it keep the lines of communication open between you and your clients, you can also turn it into an opportunity to receive more reviews. Include a link to your business’ review site in the email to encourage happy customers to leave a review.
Missed appointments are a detriment to both your business and your customers. Ensure that your customers never miss an appointment again by scheduling appointment reminders. Once an appointment has been scheduled through the portal, our system will automatically send out a reminder email to the customer. You can control how soon the reminder is sent before the appointment and the delivery method (email, text or voice reminders). Our convenient system will help make no-show appointments a non-issue for your business.
Promotional campaigns and newsletters are a great way to draw attention to a specific product or service that your business provides. Using the portal, it’s easy to set up a custom campaign to engage with your customers. Choose the delivery time, the recipients and whether you want to create a recurring campaign. We also offer pre-built campaigns that your business may find useful if you’re just getting started with Demandforce. Whether you want to create a service specific campaign or a seasonal one, our system streamlines the process.
Give these three features a try for improved communications with your clients. Need help getting started? Reach out to your Customer Success Manager with any questions about our marketing and communication tools.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the backbone of your online brand. It may seem complex to some, but essentially it can improve your brand’s online visibility in the search engine results pages. Today, less than 10%* of Internet users look past the first page of search engine results, so SEO is vital for success online. Leveraging your brand’s blog and social media accounts are great ways to positively impact your search engine performance. Here are a few simple SEO best practices to follow for increased online visibility.
Content that people crave
One factor that determines your search engine ranking is your content. Google rewards websites and blogs that create relevant content on a regular basis. This is in large part because
Google has always had one goal: to provide users with the most relevant search results for their question.
Create relevant content that potential customers are searching for to benefit your brand’s SEO and to reduce your website’s bounce rate.
Link building is an important tool for a strong SEO strategy. Earning links from influential websites to your website or blog is a signal to search engines that your brand is a valuable resource. Each link that your brand earns increases your referral traffic and site authority. This serves your SEO goals as the more links you earn often equals higher rankings with Google and other search engines. Your brand can earn links by creating interesting and engaging content that could be considered a resource for a wide range of readers.
Social media can be a large benefit to your brand’s SEO through the use of content promotion. Take your best, high-quality content and promote it across your brand’s social media pages. The share and engagement metrics from your content signal to search engines that it is valuable. There is also the possibility that influencers on social media may link to your social media content from their website or blog, adding more power to your brand’s SEO.
The best way to improve your brand’s search engine performance is with a solid SEO strategy. Using the tools and strategies mentioned above is a good start, but there are many behind-the-scenes techniques SEO professionals use on a daily basis. If you’re ready to take your brand’s SEO strategy to the next level, contact a Demandforce expert today.
Email marketing is a great way to reach your clients, no matter where they are. This is because on average 91% of people check their email on a daily basis and 58% check their email first thing in the morning. As a small business owner, email marketing offers an effective way to grow your business by targeting existing and potential clients. Additionally, email marketing has a greater return on investment (ROI) than other digital marketing strategies. Here are some email campaigns designed to increase ROI.
While acquiring new clients is essential to business growth, your existing clients are the bread and butter of your business. It’s important to maintain a steady flow of current clients to your office. Recall reminders are an effective way to keep track of your clients and remind them to book an appointment if it’s been a while since their last one. Most communications softwares will automatically trigger an email to your client based on the settings that you choose. Recall emails free up your office staff from making phone calls to clients, saving you time and money.
Nothing gets better engagement rates from clients like a good offer or incentive. Promotional emails with an offer in the subject line receive a high open-rate, which can lead to a completed action. In fact, 61% of consumers enjoy receiving promotional emails weekly, according to Marketing Sherpa. Simply including an offer for a discount on a service or product can lead to additional business for your shop. Just be sure to find a good balance in offering promotions. Once a quarter could keep a consistent flow of business coming in without leaving clients expecting deals all of the time.
Social media creates an great opportunity to connect with your clients on a more personal level. However, you need to grow your following in order to have meaningful engagement on your social pages. A great way to gain followers is by asking your current customers through an email – maybe after an appointment. The email should include a clear ‘Follow Us’ call-to-action and lead them to the social media page that’s most important to your business. Social media engagement often leads to referrals and sales which is great for your bottom line. By combining social media with email marketing, you can grow your client list and your ROI.
Email marketing can be a great addition to your marketing mix. It’s important to stay consistent in your branding, and send frequency. Be sure to strive for staying at the top of your client’s mind, but not necessarily the top of their inbox!
In August 2018, Facebook launched yet another update that affected local businesses and their pages. The first social media network to include company pages removed the Reviews feature that gave businesses their star ratings, and replaced it with the Recommendations feature that was launched in Fall 2016. Their goal: to make it easier for users to connect with local businesses. Let’s get into the details.
Will my business lose the reviews it has?
No, even though Reviews will no longer be an option, your page’s reviews will continue to show. They will also include the star rating that the user originally gave. So if you were proud of the comments your business had that were paired with 5 star reviews, don’t worry.
How will my feedback rating be calculated now?
You may have noticed that your rating adjusted slightly this month. It’s not because of a new review, but actually due to this update. Now, your total rating is based on how many people recommend or don’t recommend your company, as well as any past ratings and reviews it may have.
Will is still be easy for my customers to leave me feedback?
Yes, leaving a recommendation is still a very prominent call-to-action. Your audience can easily choose either yes or no, so there is no more room for wishy-washy feedback. Each recommendation requires a response, and will be capped at 25 characters. This limit could encourage more accurate and concise opinions.
Why did Facebook make this change?
The team at Facebook broke it down to three main reasons:
- Your business will have a better chance at reaching people as they are searching for your product or service.
- In the spirit of keeping Recommendations authentic, it will be easier to report spam, fraudulent, or paid-for content.
- Recommendations will help others easily get a feel for your customer experience with tags, photos and text.
Of all the updates Facebook has been putting out there this year, this one seems to be the least harmful. Your business and it’s ratings are still protected, and your customers now can only offer more straight-forward feedback.
Today, 80% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, which means your business’ reputation is important.* The success of your business is connected to your online reputation, so getting online reviews is key. One of the easiest ways to get reviews for your business is to simply ask your customers. Asking for reviews helps give you the power to control the conversation about your business. Online reviews provide powerful benefits too, including an increase in sales, visibility and credibility.
Online Reviews Boost Sales
Online reviews give potential customers additional insight into your business and influences their decision to purchase a product or service. Studies show that when a business has recent, relevant online reviews, conversions are increased. In fact, according to Shopify, 63% of customers are likely to complete a sale if a business has online reviews. Ask customers to leave a review directly on your website or other popular review sites to see an increase in sales for your business.
Online Reviews Increase Visibility
Similar to the way Demandforce Local increases your business’ online visibility, online reviews can benefit your search engine optimization (SEO). Search engines prioritize content that is uniquely worded, relevant and updated frequently –– content like online reviews. With more customer reviews your business will rank for more search keywords, resulting in increased visibility for your products and services.
Online Reviews Establish Credibility
The old phrase “the only thing worse than bad press is no press” can be applied to a business’ online reputation. Potential customers want to see what other people are saying about your business. If your reviews are scarce or non-existent, this can cause them to doubt your credibility. A good amount of customer reviews, even negative reviews, help to establish your business as credible. Businesses with a credible online presence can improve their online reputation and reach new customers online.
Online Reviews Build a Presence
As you begin to request reviews from customers, be sure to point them to different review sites that help establish your reputation. For example, Yelp could be where you have most of your reviews, while Facebook is bare and needs more attention. There are communications tools that can automate review request emails, pointing customers to a variety of online review sites while focusing only on the ones you choose.