Sep 28
Reading Time: 3 minutes

The holiday season can be one of the most profitable times for your company. Each year, customers seem to get ready for the holidays earlier and earlier, and this year is no exception. With customers already starting their holiday countdowns, it is important to make sure that your store is prepared for the increase in customers and sales. By starting to spend an hour or two a day now, you will avoid stress and maintain your excellent customer service. To help prepare for your traffic and sales, here are some tips and strategies to use.

Make a plan: Before you blindly start your holiday prep, think about what changes your website needs, as well as what areas are good to go. Write out your categories and subcategories, plan sales or specials you might want to offer, and decide if you want to give your website a temporary holiday makeover. Some companies choose to add in a special holiday section to their website, while others continue to keep their categories the same. Research how your company did last year, compare yourself to your competitors, and use that information to help you plan to succeed even further this year.

Set goals: Setting goals is a great way to help you accomplish what you set out to do. A good way to go about this is to set your end goal, and then work your way back to how you will accomplish this. For example, if you end goal is to increase sales by 10% this year, narrow down your steps to achievable tasks. You will want to look into how you did last year, and then possibly compare what products did the best, what deals you ran, what products you would like to promote this year, and how to do that. By working backwards you will break down your work so it is easy to accomplish before the holidays, while keeping up with your normal workload. Make sure you plan your goals so you stay on the time frame you create.

Prepare for traffic: Although the holidays are thought of as a joyful time, it is easy for customers and businesses to get stressed and overwhelmed if websites are not prepared for an influx of traffic. Make sure to keep an extra close eye on your website during the busy season to make sure it is still up and running, and has not crashed with an overwhelming amount of visitors. Before the holidays, check your website speed to see how quickly it loads. Tools such as Website Grader can help you see where you are strong, and where your website needs improvement. Doing this early on will save you headache and loss of sales when the holiday season approaches. Don’t forget to ensure that you are optimized for mobile as well, as many customers will shop from their phones while on the go. If you do not have an app, make the mobile version of your website strong and reliable.

Consider special order and return policies: You know customers are going to be spending more money than usual around the holidays, so eliminate as many obstacles as you can to encourage customers to order from you, rather than a competitor. Offer special holiday prices, such as free shipping on any order, or an extended return policy. This will make customers less hesitant to purchase from you, and encourage them to place their order right away rather than waiting. Especially for products such as clothing that require a certain size, customers get nervous about not being able to return or exchange a product that their loved one might not be able to use as they intended. Offering these deals can help boost your sales, as well as your customer retention and satisfaction.

Create a marketing campaign: Creating a holiday marketing campaign can help your business stand out during one of the busiest times of the year. While your campaign does not need to be a stressful, all-consuming project, it is helpful to remind customers that you have a great product they might like to share with your loved ones, or peak the interest of someone who might have considered you in the past but held off. The holidays are a great time to try an emotional marketing campaign, as many audiences take that season as a time to reflect on what they are thankful for and how they can help others. Incorporate all of your social media channels for maximum results.

Planning for the holidays now will ensure that you have a well thought out campaign, up to date website, and stress-free holiday season. Although it seems as though summer just ended and the holidays are far off still, you can never be too prepared. Start your holiday planning now to tackle the busy season with ease and confidence.

Sep 21
Reading Time: 3 minutes


If you are familiar with sales and marketing, chances are you have heard of the buyer’s journey. The buyer’s journey is the process that a potential buyer goes through when making the decision to purchase (or not purchase) a product. The buyer’s journey consists of three stages: Awareness, Consideration, and Decision. By understanding the buyer’s journey, you can help customers decide if you product is the best to fit their needs, or update your product to meet buyer demands.

Why it matters: Sixty seven percent of the buyer’s decision is made before they even reach out to sales. The large majority of customer’s are making decisions about purchases on their own, before ever reaching out to your business for more information. Make sure that you have an updated Buyer Persona so that you can help provide valuable insight to your potential customers to help guide them towards the solution they have been searching for, and show them that you can offer them their best option. Being aware of what stage the customer is on can help you offer them guidance on getting exactly what they need. This will help them move in your direction and gain their trust, rather than driving them away.

Awareness: The first step in the buyer’s journey is awareness. This is when the buyer realizes that they have a challenge or opportunity and start to search for answers. Many users will turn to Google to being solving the challenge, so make sure your company is up to date on SEO. It is important to recognize how the buyer is describing their goal or challenge, how they are educating themselves, what the consequences of not taking action would be, common misconceptions or problems they might run into, and how high of a priority their goal or challenge is to them. For example, say the buyer has a sore throat and fever. They are likely to search for a solution to their problem, as they will want to recover as quickly as possible. However, say the buyer notices that their car is getting a lot of miles on it, but still running well. This buyer might start casually looking for a solution, but it is not as dire as the buyer looking for a solution to their illness. Take in to consideration how urgent the buyer’s need is, and find ways to help them at the earliest stage of their journey. Writing informative blog posts is one helpful way to accomplish that, by offering more information and introducing buyers to your company.

Consideration: As the second stage of the journey, buyer’s have identified their issue and have committed to addressing it. This is the stage where they will evaluate their options, and do the most research on what is best for them. If you have gotten them to take your business into consideration, this is the phase in which you need to build a relationship with the customer. Keeping up with your website and social media channels will help you achieve this. Having reviews from previous customers will help as well, as they can see unbiased opinions from buyers with personal experience with your product. Keep track of what kinds of solutions buyers are researching, how they are deciding what is best for them, and how they are deciding the pros and cons of each solution they are researching.

Decision: In the last stage of the buyer’s journey, the buyer comes to a decision on the best solution for them. Research the criteria they used to come to their conclusion, the pros and cons of your company vs your competitors, who needed to be involved in the decision making (family, friends, etc) and additional preparations outside of the main purchase the buyer might need. During this phase, you will hopefully convert your lead into a customer as well. Make sure to delight them with your product and provide excellent customer service to thank them for trusting your product as their ideal choice. Continue to interact with them and show them new ways that they can use your product.

By researching the buyer’s journey, how your buyer’s typically go through it, and what their outcome tends to be, you can help make their purchasing decision much easier for them. Customers can go through these three steps very quickly or very slowly, so be patient and helpful as you help guide them. Without customers, you wouldn’t have a business, so make sure to treat your buyers with the care and respect they deserve.

Sep 14

Creating A Call-To-Action

Posted by BMT Micro

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Creating a Call-To-Action

Getting customers to do what you’d like them to do can be difficult, especially for those just starting out in marketing. They abandon shopping carts, ignore well written blog posts, and choose not to sign up for informative newsletters. If they are already visiting your website, chances are they are interested in your product or service already. So how do you keep them on your site, and convince them to finish what they started? By creating a compelling Call-To-Action (or CTA) you can boost sales and gain subscribers. Here are some do’s and don’ts of creating a CTA, as well as some examples of how to integrate them into your website.

CTA Do’s: CTA’s should be kept short and sweet. For example, if you are selling t-shirts, have a “Shop Now” button in plain view by the product. While you could choose to have your CTA as “Shop” or “Shop Here” or another similar phrase, “Shop Now” gives customers a sense of urgency and encourages them to purchase them item right away, rather than abandoning their cart and potentially forgetting about it. Button color is something else you need to take into consideration. There is no right or wrong color to use, and your button color will vary depending on your company and website colors. A/B testing and color psychology should be used to determine the most effective color for you. Button placement is also an important factor. Your CTA should be easy to find and clear. If customers have to hunt for it, they are more likely to turn to one of your competitors for an easier checkout experience. Take into consideration what step of the buyer’s journey your customer is on, and use your CTA to help them. You want to please your customers, so making their buyer’s journey as easy as possible will ensure a quality repeat customer base.

CTA Don’ts: While you want to use CTA’s to help funnel customers deeper in to their buyer’s journey, you can go overboard with your Call-To-Actions. Don’t plaster them all over your website, rather place them only where they are convenient to your customers. Make sure that they stand out enough that they are eye catching, but also not over the top or obnoxious. Another mistake that is often made is not A/B testing or changing CTA’s over time. Keeping your website updated ensures that you are staying with current trends and meeting customer demands.

Connect CTA: One of the most basic and popular CTA’s is the connect to social CTA. This invites your website visitors to look at and interact with your social media pages. Often, websites feature the logos of their social media accounts with a link to their page. These CTA’s are typically found on the bottom of the page, but also can be placed on the top or side. You can write something such as “Follow Us” above the logos, or simply place them wherever they fit best. This encourages your customers to interact with your social media accounts and makes it easy for them to visit your pages with just a single click.

Post CTA: So you wrote a great post, now what? For customers that follow your blog or interact with you frequently, encourage them to subscribe at the bottom of your posts. Many companies even add an extra incentive by offering a small discount when new customers sign up for their newsletter or blog. In addition, you can offer special sales to those who are subscribed. At the bottom of your blog post or email, tie in a CTA encouraging customers to get in touch with you to learn more about your product or service. If they trust your content, they are likely to trust your product as well.

Review CTA: After a customer orders and receives a product from your store, send them an email asking them to leave a review. Give them the option to leave a review directly from the product page as well by placing a “Leave A Review” CTA on the product page. Letting customers give you feedback encourages them to take action, lets you know what they liked and didn’t like, and allows you to update your products to best fit your customer’s needs. Having reviews on your products also encourages new customers to purchase your products, as they can see what others who are more familiar with your business thought of their purchases.

There are many other types of Call-To-Actions that you can add to your website. It is good to choose more than one and to test them to see how customers are responding to them. While this seems like an easy and basic component, keeping up with your CTA’s can have a great positive impact on your business.

Sep 7

Emotional Marketing

Posted by BMT Micro

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Every day, we feel dozens of emotions. Some good, some bad, all specific to our attitude, circumstances, and social situations. A study done in 2014 says that we are only capable of four basic emotions: happy, sad, afraid, and angry. However, mixing these emotions together creates a “wheel of emotion”, as shown by Robert Plutchik. So what does a wheel of emotion have to do with your marketing efforts, and how can you use emotional marketing to draw in a larger audience?

What is emotional marketing? Emotional marketing typically chooses one core emotion to make the audience notice, share, and buy. By focusing on one core emotion, you are more likely to get a response from your audience. Depending on your audience, you might need to go deeper into a feeling on the wheel of emotion, rather than staying on the surface with a vague core emotion. For example, you might want to excite your audience rather than simply making them feel happy, or spark anger in them rather than annoyance.

What makes emotional marketing work? Like it or not, people cannot help but feel a range of emotions on a daily basis. Think back on past events in your life that have had a big emotional impact on you, good or bad, and chances are you remember those events more than ones that did not provoke emotion. Events such as getting married or a heartbreak are more clear in your mind because of all of the emotion they carry with them. When you add emotion into your marketing and advertising, the same concept carries over.

Emotional marketing helps you make a better first impression to your customers. Picture an advertisement that simply discusses their product, and one that makes you laugh. You are more likely to remember the funny advertisement. This leads customers to tell friends and family about the funny advertisement so they can enjoy it as well, and can even lead to them sharing the ad on social media so that all of their friends can view it. The same goes for advertisements that make you feel emotional, such as Always Like A Girl campaign. Studies have proven that campaigns that are emotional do twice as well as those with only rational content. Customers tend to rely on emotion over information when making decisions.

The core four: While emotional marketing is a powerful tool to help you advertise and make more sales, it can also help you build a brand. The more audiences feel of the four core emotions, they more likely they are to share. When audiences see a video that makes them happy, for example, they are going to want to show people they love so that they can be happy as well. Good news travels faster than bad news, and happiness is contagious. Sadness lets people empathize and connect with one another. This leads audiences to lend a helping hand to whoever is in need. ASPCA is famous for their advertisements featuring sad pictures and videos of animals being rescued with a woeful song playing in the background before asking for donations. Fear (or surprise) make customers cling to what is familiar and helps foster brand loyalty. Using fear can be tricky, as you do not want to actually frighten customers. If used correctly, fear can be used to show that your brand can always be trusted and is consistent in a world of changing and unknown things. Anger can make audiences passionate, and can be a good choice for political issue or tragedy. Similar to happiness, passion and anger can encourage people to share content, therefore you can reach a wider audience organically.

How to use emotional marketing: As with all marketing plans, make sure you know your audience before you start. This will help you decide which emotion you want to use to sway your audience, and allow them to get the most value from your efforts. Make sure that your colors match up with the emotion that you are trying to evoke. Color psychology plays a huge role in market success when done correctly. Use your ad to tell a story and create a movement or call to action. Show your audience people using your product or service, how it has a positive impact on them, and ways that they can also improve their lives or the lives of others by using your company. Keep track of your ROI to see how your audience is reacting, and where you need to make changes.

Adding emotions to advertising can be tricky, but it is a tried and true practice to allow customers a more personal relationship with your brand. Do your research, plan wisely, and listen to your customers to create your most successful advertising campaign yet.