That means that they carefully curate their communication, are highly observant, and tend to work independently. The key to creating compelling marketing as a listener is to actually put all that great listening and perception to good use. Acknowledge their pain or frustration. Reflect back to them their sincere aspirations. And do this anywhere you want to show up: Facebook, your blog or email list, Instagram, your sales pages, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc….
In many ways, marketing as a listener is about creating and holding space. Your website, your social media, and the experiences you create can each hold space for how your customer is experiencing the world. Heather Plett who may or may not appreciate me making this connection recently wrote about holding space —in a listening-as-marketing blog post that went completely viral:.
A wise space holder knows when to withhold guidance ie. The solutions you create should allow your customers to trust themselves. The sales conversations you enter into—whether leveraged through email marketing or made intimate through one-to-one conversation—should give your customers the power. When your customers feel their own power—and have the space to exercise it—they will be more focused on what you are offering them. Danielle LaPorte has amassed a large community of followers by channeling the white hot truth she perceives beyond the inner thoughts of her audience.
Seth Godin posts on his blog every day. Tina Fey a creative role model of mine is also a listener and perceiver. Joke after joke, reference after reference, she packs her comedy full of always smart, sometimes wacky perception. Finally, StitchFix is a great example of a business that uses listening as its key marketing and value proposition. There was a running joke at CreativeLive that anytime someone would ask where part of my outfit had come from it was StitchFix.
StitchFix is a personal styling service that sends you 5 items about once a month personally picked for you. You fill out a style profile, link your stylist to your Pinterest board, and send them notes about what you want or need my recent box was geared to my trip to Cancun next week for What If Conference. With each box, you give your stylist more feedback so they get better at selecting your pieces.
I feel understood—and a bit challenged. Which has led to some fun new articles of clothing in my closet! Listening, observing, and creating resonance are the subjects of my new mini-book, The Observation Engine. Find out more. Tara Gentile is on a mission to turn the small business owners of today into the economic powerhouses of tomorrow.
She's also the host of Profit. Truefire , ecommerce provider of online guitar lessons, combines daily specials, weekly specials, contests, and give-aways during their annual Rocktoberfest celebration. The special period discount: The winter holiday season, beginning with Black Friday, is the perfect example of how enthusiasm can be generated during a special period.
Choose something that makes sense for your niche and try it. Spend more to get the discount: Buy more to pay less. This one requires a careful look at cost accounting, but it can encourage shoppers to add more items to the cart. Military discount: Consider pushing this beyond active duty military to all who have served. Many businesses advertise discounts for veterans during special holidays, but why not let present and past members of the armed forces know how much you appreciate them daily?
Here again, think of the lifetime value of each customer. Loyalty means a lot. Student discount: One thing is certain about young people: they eventually become full-fledged adults — complete with jobs, mortgages, and credit cards. Senior discounts: Retired people typically have less disposable income than when they were working, but their influence on others is tremendous. By offering a special discount to first responders, you align your product with professionals.
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Who are the experts in your niche? When they buy and recommend your products, the confidence their actions generate for potential buyers is golden. Is there a way you can accept bids from customers? The more they feel in control of the process, the more likely you are to get the order.
So would your customers. Then test the results against other pricing descriptions. In-store pickup discount: This one packs double benefits. Not only do you and the customer save on shipping charges, but visitors to your store are likely to buy something else while there. Rather, situate the pickup point at a central location in the store. Let your employees go retrieve the order while the customer shops for more. Gift registry discount: After the bridal or wedding shower, there are typically a number of items remaining on the gift registry. Wish list discount: As with the gift registry, wish lists let you get a splendid view of the products a particular customer wants.
Take-a-survey discount: Every discount needs a reason. Otherwise, the customer may believe your normal prices are too high. Providing a discount in return for answering a poll or survey is a really good reason, since it requires the prospect to sacrifice some of his or her time. Minimum advertised price: This one is similar to the MSRP discount, but carries a different connotation and is more likely to be trusted. Customers can check to see that your offer is legitimate. Multiplier discount: This is similar to the strategy used by Restaurant.
Is there a way you can double or even triple the benefits your customers get from shopping with you? Inventory-based discount: Straight from the supply vs demand playbook, this discount is greater when plenty of stock is on hand, but diminishes along with the supply of goods.
The longer the prospect waits, the higher the price. Newsletter discounts: Many of the people on your mailing list may be there only because they want to know when discounts are available. Donate for a discount: Local school and church groups often hold fundraisers at local pizza parlors. Customers not only get discounted prices, but part of what they spend goes to support the group. You can do the same thing online. Find a cause your customers will want to get behind, then set up a fundraiser. Note how the card below offers tiered discounts over multiple visits. Something as simple as one of these little bonuses can enhance your brand reputation, make you more memorable, and provide extra value to your customers.
On a side note, some types of giveaways and sweepstakes have legal restrictions. Just avoid saying anything is free unless it actually is free. Amazon allows sellers to provide free products in exchange for reviews, but with the caveat that the reviewer disclose that information and that the seller asks for honest reviews instead of asking for positive reviews. The same cautions apply, though. Run it past legal before going live with an offer like this. Surprise free gifts: You check in at your favorite hotel and find bottled water and candies in your room.
How can you give your customers little special gifts? Can you include free samples of another product with their next order? Maybe send a branded accessory item? Truly free gifts can build customer goodwill in a big way, but they must fit your products and your customers. Be useful. Be helpful. Be kind. Free shipping: In every segment, ecommerce sites generate higher conversion rates when free shipping is a component of the offer.
To find out for certain, test it yourself. Is the shipping really free? The converse of this offer is slashing the price, then tacking on an exorbitant shipping and handling fee. As a consumer, which do you prefer? Free shipping wins the day every time. Is this likely to increase your return rate? Is it likely to gain business and build customer loyalty? Spend X, get Y: By linking order amount to special benefits, you can encourage shoppers to add additional items to the check-out cart.
JCPenney frequently runs specials that lower the price when you buy a certain amount. How can this tactic work for your ecommerce business? Warehouse sale: Overstocks, odd sizes, seasonal goods when season ends — there are plenty of reasons why you might want to move old merchandise to make room for more.
Holiday sales: Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving Day, and such… all are not only good reasons for sales, but consumers have come to expect them on those days. You can even combine other discounts to make your sale even more special. Wacky holiday sales: Every day of the year has at least one wacky or unusual holiday to boast.
Some of them, like National Secretaries Day, end up going mainstream. Have fun and whip up more sales at the same time when you get our customers talking about the celebration. Here is a great list of wacky holidays for every month of the year. Be there at the right time and get a significant discount. You can combine the flash with an email blast to let your customers know about the event. You can make it even more special by alerting your subscribers before others know. Give them an extra hour to save! Sales are a bigger deal and typically get far more advertising and general hoopla than do discounts.
The Essential Ecommerce Promotion Guide - The Good
In addition, seasonal sales occur at predictable times and can be planned for months in advance. Discounts come and go, but sales are more predictable and tend to generate more excitement. End-of-season sales: Remember that there are two sides to each season: beginning and end. You need to move your remaining summer stock out of the warehouse to make room for fall and winter merchandise.
Sounds like the perfect time for an end-of-season sale! With a little extra thought, you can come up with ways to build brand, build loyalty, and keep customers coming back for more. Limited editions: These can be exclusive, time-limited editions or special runs of a product. You can tie them to events or celebrities.
You can offer them as bonuses or charge premium prices. Limited editions are fun and striking way to add value to your products and services. Special editions: Whether a signed copy of a book or a celebrity-endorsed products, everyone loves to feel special and own something special. Special editions are also viewed as more valuable and collectable. This takes some terms and conditions thinking, but is well worth the effort. Stores like Best Buy and Target used price match promises to secure sales that would otherwise have gone to Amazon or another competitor.
Competitions: Enter to win! Not only can this fun way to generate buzz boost sales, but it can help build your email list. Here again, be sure to run the plan past legal. Games and competitions can boost sales and help build your mailing list. Instead of offering a discount, give customers a coupon valid towards their next purchase. Guarantees: Ecommerce stores, especially, benefit from offering guarantees. It often stops the prospect from continuing with the order.
Consider charging an annual membership fee that is more than made up in special treatment and discounts to the subscriber. Membership is an excellent way to build loyalty as well.
Staples offers free shipping see below to their Rewards members. That builds the mailing list and customer loyalty at the same time. Cart abandonment offer: This is sometimes accomplished via a pop-up while the shopper is still on your website, but even if that fails you can recover many would-have-been sales by sending an email to remind the prospect of the abandoned cart and adding in a special incentive for following through. The incentive can be an additional discount, free shipping, a trial membership… or any of a myriad other possibilities.
The main thing is that your offer be seen as valuable and time-sensitive. Upsell offers: The customer is at checkout with a notebook computer in the cart. You can offer upgraded RAM at a discount for instance. Be careful here. You may be wise to take the order first, then offer the upsell as an add-on to the purchase. Here again, test to see what works best for you and your customer base.
Replacement parts: By carrying necessary parts and supplies for the items you stock, you can keep the customer coming back to you on a regular basis. Do most people need ink of a printer every 90 days? If so, get in touch with those who buy a printer at about the day mark. Begin a series of emails designed to get their ink order. If you sell it, back it up with necessary maintenance items. Using the printer as a further example, when a new model is introduced, let those who purchased the old model know.
You can even offer a trade-in allowance, or you can partner with a non-profit organization to donate the used printers for a tax write-off. Payments or installment plans: The easier you make it for customers to own your products, the more of them will you sell. Of course, a certain percentage of customers will fall behind on payments or stop making them altogether. Test and compare. Paying attention to data can help you fine-tune anything.
How to Market Your Business When You’d Rather Be Listening More Than Talking
Give back to the community: Perhaps you donate a pair of socks to a homeless shelter for every pair of socks a customer purchases from your website, like Bombas does. The list of needs and organizations is huge. Be sure to choose charities that resonate with your audience. How do you know what they are? Ask and test! Gated shopping events: Invite your best customers to participate in a sale designed just for them. You could even offer buddy passes and extra-special discounts to those who bring a friend.
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No reason can be the best reason of all. Getting your current customers to recommend your site to others is one of the quickest ways to build confidence and get new business. As an example, Amazon allows sharing of Amazon Prime benefits with family members, increasing the likelihood that those family members would purchase.
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Do these discount, sale, and special offer ideas get your creative juices flowing? If you need help, get in touch with The Good. We work with clients daily to fine-tune sales and marketing strategies and increase conversion rates.