Jul 31
Reading Time: 3 minutes

What You Should Do Now To Prepare Your Business For the Holiday Season - BMT Micro

The holiday season is quickly upon us and you don’t want to be stuck realizing you never prepared a promotion for it. This season is almost always the most profitable time of the year for online businesses. As a matter of fact, some online businesses make up to 40% of their yearly revenue in the last quarter alone. It is a good idea to start the holiday season preparation for your business now since it’s impossible to be too prepared for the busiest season of all.

Here are a few things you should be doing now to help stay ahead of your competition and plan for the upcoming season.

1. Promotional Calendar
The first step is to figure out what deals you will be offering to customers during the holiday season and map them out by creating a promotional calendar. It is okay to be more promotional during the holidays since it is expected by consumers to be a heavy time of the year for sales, discounts, deals and promotions. The idea behind your promotional calendar is to plan ahead so you can present one compelling, cohesive message to your existing and potential customers that stands out against your competitors. Staying organized will be a critical factor over the busy season and having a promotional calendar will help ensure the success of your marketing campaigns.

Tip: When you create a promotional calendar you want to add things such as:

  • Dates and times of your promotional email deployment
  • Dates and topics of blog posts
  • Dates and times you plan to update graphics and banners on your site
  • Dates and times you begin and end advertising for each promotion

2. Display Ads
If you are familiar with Google Adwords you may want to consider using it as a pay-per-click advertising channel for you holiday promotions. It is easy for your site visitors to get distracted during the holidays and display advertising is an important tool to remind those visitors of items they left in their cart and to revisit your site. You can incentivize your audience with promotional codes on your display ads that offer a certain percent off their cart to help convert those visitors into customers. You will also need to make sure to use a strong call to action in your ads (for tips on how to create a compelling call to action click here). It is important to use words like “Free Shipping”, “Percent Off”, “Black Friday”. “Cyber Monday”, and “Holiday Sale”, to entice buyers.

Retargeting can also be one of the most effective options for advertising your promotions over the holidays. Retargeting is a marketing technique that allows you to target visitors that have shown interest in your brand or website, but left without converting (You can learn more by checking out our Remarketing blog here).

3. Emails and Social Media Promotions
Email marketing can be one of your best sources of traffic and your best ROI. Promotional messaging is expected by consumers this time of year which is why it is important to send more emails than any other time of the year. You will want to plan out several emails for each promotion and you may want to consider segmenting your email list to increase effectiveness. Your email message should also be composed of a strong call to action and compelling copy. Furthermore, the landing pages that your emails point to should continue where you e-mail copy left off. Landing pages can be extremely effective if executed well and further bump up your conversion rate.

The holidays are a good time to make use or greater use of your social platforms since consumers are more likely to be on the lookout for promotions. Sharing your content on social media will often gain more reach during the holidays than they have all year and can help echo your existing promotions to a larger audience.

4. Blog Content, Design & Graphics
As things get busy as the holiday season gets closer, writing content for your company blog will be the last thing on your mind. This is why it is a good idea to prepare and write blog post ahead of time for the holidays. Your design and graphics are another important factor that will help tie your campaigns together and keep them consistent. Getting this done early can be another major task of your shoulders when the holiday season comes around.

If you plan far enough ahead, your business will be ready to make the most of the holiday season. Keep in mind that during the holidays there are more data breaches than any other time of the year. Here at BMT Micro we can help better prepare your business for the upcoming season. BMT Micro’s state-of-the-art fraud detection system automatically screen orders and puts questionable orders through a manual approval process. All BMT Micro servers are fully secured and host all shopping carts using the highest encryption standards available. Our system can be used to set-up many different discount schemes, and our highly trained customer service staff is also here to assist your customers with the ordering process. We now offer Marketing services as well, so please feel free to contact us for more information. Don’t wait until the holiday shopping season to take the necessary security precautions for your online business. Planning ahead will help ensure you receive the best gift of all – a successful holiday season.

Jul 24
Reading Time: 3 minutes

How To Solve Your Customers Biggest Problems With Social Media - BMT Micro

Most companies realize the increasing importance of providing an excellent customer experience and how it plays a vital role in the success of a business. But what many companies don’t realize is that customer service is evolving and customer service skills are now being integrated into social media. With the rapid growth and development of new communication media, nearly half of all US consumers use social media platforms to ask questions or report a complaint to a business. A study by Lithium Technologies found that 53% of customers who ask a brand a question on social media expect a response within 1 hour, with that percentage rising to 72% if it is a complaint. This means when customers are upset or when they have an urgent request, they expect an answer right away.

Companies can no longer afford to keep customers waiting or it will result in the customer going elsewhere. If you do not have an answer to a customers inquiry, do not ignore it until the next day. Instead, always leave a reply for the customer letting them know you are looking into their inquiry and will get back to them as soon as possible. This shows you have acknowledged the customers input and makes them feel appreciated. The key to delivering great customer service on social media is to be speedy, personal and empathetic in your response. If your company cannot provide a 24 hour customer service, make sure your social media profiles have your operating hours stated clearly on them. Also, it is a good idea to list your company’s additional contact channels (support email, phone number, etc.)

Many businesses are skeptical when it comes to providing social care because social media gives dissatisfied customers a bigger voice. However, social media in return gives businesses an opportunity to diminish those problems and turn a disgruntled customer into an even more loyal one. If you can answer a customer’s concerns quickly, nicely, and effectively, you’ll instantly leave all of your followers with a good feeling and confidence that your customer service is top-notch. In addition to taking care of one customer’s complaint, you are also showing their network of friends and your own company’s followers how you care and handle problems.

The more interactions you have on social media means the more opportunities you will have to point back to your own brand. Your customers will mention your brand in their posts, which in turn makes you visible to all their contacts. If a customer receives great service over social media, they are likely to spend 21% more and 71% are likely to recommend the brand to others. No matter how you handle comments on social, you’ll be creating more substantial, personal relationships with your customers, and you’ll be increasing the visibility of your brand and SEO rankings.

Resolving issues and answering customer questions through social media does give you a few more vulnerabilities, but the risk is worth the potential rewards. If you are looking for assistance when it comes to the ordering process and customer support for your company, BMT Micro may be a solution for you. We have the best customer service and we are quick to respond to customers’ and vendors’ inquiries. BMT Micro handles your customers from the point they land on the checkout page through the point of them receiving their purchase, and sometimes beyond. Your customers are able to call BMT at any time during our business hours and personally speak to someone at our headquarters. We do not solely communicate via e-mail or redirect calls to a calling center but offer a personal approach from start to finish. Your customers are also able to contact us through our social media pages and we guarantee their request will receive a quick and efficient response. If you would like to learn more about the services we offer, please contact our Marketing Specialist via email at leah@bmtmicro.com for more information.

 

Jul 17

The Free Trial is Over, Now What?

Posted by BMT Micro

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Free Trial is Over, Now What - BMT Micro

Offering a free trial is a common Software as a Service (SaaS) marketing strategy. Most SaaS companies offer some type of free trial while others don’t. The strategy is only as good as how far it gets you with prospective customers. Unfortunately, you can’t rely on your free trial alone to convert your site visitors into customers. If you are going to offer a free trial, you must have a strategy for retaining customers once it is over. The tips below are a few techniques to utilize so those potential customers don’t get away.

Email is Your Number One Tool to Stay in Touch with Users
The best way to communicate with your free trial users is through email during and at the end of their trial period. This may seem like an obvious point to some but you would be surprised at the small number of companies that are actually using automated emails to keep in touch with customers.

Offer an Early Discount Before The Trial Expires
By offering an early discount to your free trial users, you have the ability to earn more active signups during the usage phase instead of at the end. Make it clear the special offer is only valid for a certain amount of days and expires thereafter. This will create a sense of urgency for them to take action now and buy before their trial is up.

Remind Users When The Free Trial is Going to Expire
There is a high percentage of people that will sign-up for your free trial, play around with your software for a few minutes, leave and then never return. This is why sending a reminder email is important to re-engage those users and prepare them for the cutoff date.

Offer Users the Ability to Extend Their Trial Period
This tip is not for all your users, only those who have spent a decent amount of time using your software during their trial period. By offering an extension, you are giving users time to effectively engage with your product and validate their interest in purchasing it.

Make it Easy For Users to Buy Once Their Trial is Over
Don’t assume your trial users know how to purchase and activate the full version of your software. Your users need to be told step-by-step how to buy the product at the end of their trial and it should not be a complicated process.

Remember, just having a free trial does not guarantee anything. If you are looking for higher conversion rates, you cannot just “go through the motions” when offering a free trial. An effective free trial strategy needs to move prospective customers from where they perceive value to where they realize the value in your software. Once you have accomplished that, the conversion from free-to-paid is no sweat.

Jul 10
Reading Time: 1 minutes

Is the awesome landing page you created a few months ago not performing as well as you had hoped? Does that landing page include a strong call-to-action button? We mentioned in our previous blog, How to Promote Your Game on a Budget, that it is important to have a strong call-to-action button on your landing page, but why is this so important? Your call-to-action button is the overall goal for customers visiting your page and defines whether or not your page actually converts. Your call-to-action is what you want your audience to do. You want them to “Buy Now” or “Sign-up Today.” An effective call-to-action makes it incredibly easy for your visitors to make the choice to move forward in their relationship with your brand and convert into customers.

So how can you create a call-to-action that will work? We created the following infographic to give you a few tips on how to create one for your business.

 

Call-to-Action Infographic (2)

These are just a few easy tips for making a call-to-action for your business. Having a compelling call-to-action on your landing page will improve your action rates and overall website performance. As always, you will need to test different approaches to see what works best for your company and continue to improve. If you are a vendor with BMT Micro and you need help with your Digital Marketing, we may be able to help. If you would like to learn more about the services we offer, please contact our Marketing Specialists via email at leah@bmtmicro.com for more information.

Jul 3

Building a Digital Press Kit

Posted by BMT Micro

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Building a Digital Press Kit - BMT Micro

The sole purpose of a digital press kit is to make it easy for a journalists to write about your product or service. Press kits are most beneficial when your company has a big announcement or anything new and exciting to share. In certain ways your website or blog may already be a place that you use to share this type of information. However, when it comes to getting press coverage, you need one resource that complies all the background information about your company and the news you are sharing. Journalists get numerous emails daily and, in most cases, they are not going to want to take the time to visit every page on your website to get the information they need to write a story. Having a digital press kit is one of the simplest ways to please any journalists when your company wants to share big news.

To build a successful digital press kit you will need to include the following:

1. Company Overview
Your company overview is a must for any digital press kit. If you have an About page on your website, you can take the information from this page and create a paraphrased introduction for your press kit. It is important to avoid using market-related jargon in your company overview because it may confuse journalists that don’t know your industry as well as you do. Your company overview should include the following:

  • An introduction to your company
  • When your company was founded
  • Who is part of the leadership team
  • Address of where your company is based (or addresses of your various office locations but be sure to identify where your headquarters is located)
  • Any awards or recognitions that you may have won
  • A company time-line is a bonus

2. Press Contact Information
This is one of the simplest things you will need to include in your press kit but it is often overlooked. Your press kit should always include the contact information for the person responsible for following up on media requests.

3. Product Information
It is important to keep your information basic when you are explaining your product or service. You need to assume that the reader has no idea what your company does or how you are different from your competition. If you have a features page on your website, you can utilize that information for this section of your press kit. Also if your product or service has set rates you should list those prices in this section.

4. Media (Screenshots, Logo, Videos)
Journalists want to see what you are describing. A press kit that is lacking media assets is a missed opportunity. Journalists normally need to include at least one image with their story so make it easy for them by including a few well-shot, hi-resolution images to choose from. According to HubSpot, press releases with images get 18% more engagement. If you want to take it a step further and include video, HubSpot states releases that include video get 55% more engagement. The media assets you provide will depend on your business but you want to make sure you keep them up-to-date.

5. Past Press Releases and Notable Media Mentions
When you include media coverage in your press kit it makes your company look more attractive to your audience. By including a few clips of past media coverage, you have the opportunity to showcase what others have said about your business. It is also a good idea to include any past press releases that document milestones or other big announcements for your company. By including this media coverage you are presenting a historical perspective of how your company has grown and what you have accomplished. Also, be sure to always link to the original source of the press mention.

The next step is to decide what format you would like to present your digital press kit in. Some companies prefer to dedicate a page of their website to their press kit because it is a quick way to point anyone to it at any time. If you choose this option, you should consider including links to PDF, ZIP, Dropbox and Google Drive versions of your press kit so journalists can view it in their preferred format. Another simple option is to make your press kit into a PDF file that you can attach to your emails. Make sure any files you provide that are available for downloading are all clearly labeled so journalists can easily identify what the files are. It is important to acknowledge that a journalists time is a precious resource and they are often working under tight deadlines. Remember, your overall objective for your press kit is to make it so complete and easy to use that a journalists would be able to run the article “as is.” In some cases, having a well-crafted press kit can also be the difference between a journalists writing a story and not. Take the time to create a digital press kit that will make a lasting impression on your reader, set you apart from your competition and you can ensure will work for years to come.