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Tips & Tricks for Creating an Offer

October 9th, 2018 Posted by resources No Comment yet

The most important purpose an offer serves is that it sets your business apart from competitors by showcasing what makes you unique. GetintheLoop allows you to easily craft, schedule, and manage five offers in real time, while providing you with key insights. Creating compelling offers drives GetintheLoop members to learn what makes your business unique and to take to action to purchase.  Here are few tips on how to utilize GetintheLoop by creating compelling offers.

Define Your Offer

Before you start crafting your offers, it is important to define what you are creating. Offers can showcase your brand and should motivate potential customers to act. How you define your offer is entirely up to you.

First, it is important to let customers know if your offer is a discount or sale, an experience, or an upcoming event. Don’t make potential customers guess or assume anything about your offer. Offers can be lost in translation if not properly articulated and defined.

Secondly, is your offer exclusive, non-exclusive, or limited use.

  • Limited Use offers create urgency for potential customers to act quickly so they don’t miss out. Limited Use offers have a built in timer that counts down in real time to tell potential customers what is left. This feature is great for offers that are strong, to drive customers directly to your business.
  • Exclusive offers typically drive high engagement, letting customers know they will have to mention and use the GetintheLoop offer to redeem.
  • Non-exclusive offers are a great way to highlight your ongoing promotions. GetintheLoop gives your offers a new audience, why not showcase your best offers, the ones you know drive traffic to your business.

Defining your offers will help members better understand the requirements for taking action to purchase, book, or order.

Ready to reach more customers? Let’s chat today! 

Clear & Concise Message

Once your offer is defined, the next step is to make sure your message is clear and concise, making it easy for members to understand. One limitation that stops a potential customer from taking further action on an offer, is not being able to understand what is the offer is or what is required to redeem. Eliminate this with a strong image, title, description and terms & conditions.

  • Image: Your image will be the most important factor as it is the first point of contact with a potential customer. Having an image that is clean, crisp and that captures your offer will resonate with a potential customer.
  • Title: The title is the second point of contact. You have a few words to create a call to action – why they should click through to learn more and engage with your offer. Your offer title should be front loaded. Express exactly what the offer is to engage with potential customers. For example:
    • BOGO 50%,
    • Tasting Experience – $3/per,
    • Brewery Tap Takeover – July 25th
  • Description: Now that you’ve caught a potential customers interest, excite them with a description. Your description should make them picture redeeming the offer while re-stating what your offer is. For example:
    • Have a love for old school gaming systems and great beer? Grab a friend or a few and come enjoy our gaming lounge. It features unlimited classic nintendo and sega games for $10/per hour and when you book it, you receive happy hour beer pricing!
  • Terms & Conditions: Finally make sure to include any information regarding steps to redeem, days/hours, quantities, etc. This will help set expectations. The potential customer will be ready to abide by the offer and won’t be surprised when they redeem. For example:
    • Valid for groups or 3 or more,
    • Event is July 25th at 5 pm,
    • Happy hour is between 3 to 5 pm,
    • Valid with select brands.

Seamless Redemption

One factor to a seamless redemption or purchase is to make sure the call to action on the offer does what you want. Your offer can send customers online, to make a call or to visit in-person. GetintheLoop can handle them all. Is your offer compelling members to learn more, visit your location, sign-up for your newsletter, order online, or call for a reservation? The chosen call to action will the transition the potential customer to a customer in a very smooth process.

  • Online: For an offer that drives potential customers to redeem online, you can select the appropriate label to drive the customer to the landing page of your choice. Labels include Order Online, Book Online, Buy Online, and Learn More.
  • By Phone: Do you require the customer to make an appointment or perhaps your business does not have online booking/purchasing? You can direct members to call you to redeem your offer. Labels include Call to Book, Call to Order, and Call for Info.
  • In Person: Is the offer compelling people to physically visit your location to redeem? The best labels include Redeem or Use Now.

Your GetintheLoop Analytics

GetintheLoop provides with you with key insights on your offers. You have access at anytime to these insights on your Dashboard. Utilizing these insights will help you craft a better offer. The statistics on the Dashboard give you information on your total Reach, Response and Actions as well as gender & age Demographics. With this information you can see who your offers are reaching, how they are being interacted with, and ultimately leading to an action. You can filter by ‘All Time’, ’90 Days’, ’60 Days’, ’30 Days’, and ‘7 Days’.

  • Reach: The number of times the offer or business was seen in the app, in emails, or in notifications.
  • Response – The number of times a member responded by liking, sharing, or viewing the offer or business details.
  • Action – The actions taken to redeem an offer, visit the website, call the business or visit in person.
  • Demographics: Provides a demographic breakdown per feature highlighting age and gender. This helps the business see who the offer is reaching.

Using this information will increase the success of your offers. You can manage the offers in real time, targeting the offer to appeal to the demographic you want and see who are engaging to actually taking action.

Make the most out of your offer

GetintheLoop provides the tools to showcase your business in the way you want it to be seen and when you want them to see it. Utilizing the hints & tips provided will help you create compelling offers. You want customers to take action on your offer – creating something that resonates with a potential customer creates the urge to act.

If you ever have any questions or want to learn more on how to create successful and compelling offers, contact partner@getintheloop.ca

How to Drive Customer Loyalty Through GetintheLoop

October 9th, 2018 Posted by resources No Comment yet

It is a known rule of thumb that 80% of a company’s sales come from 20% of their customers. This means that how well a business can drive customer loyalty becomes a major factor in how successful that business is. One way for your business to increase customer loyalty and keep customers coming back is providing them with offers, deals, and discounts. By using GetintheLoop to provide offers to members, you can drive customer loyalty – but you have to make sure that you are utilizing the platform correctly.

The 5 Musts to Drive Loyalty

1- Communicate your partnership with Employees

It is important that all employees are knowledgeable of what GetintheLoop is, how it works, and what it is intended to do. Not only should employees be aware that your business is an active partner on the platform, but they should also be well aware of the offers that are available to members. If employees are not aware it can create a bad member experience.

Example: If a member walks into a store expecting to use an offer from GetintheLoop and the employee has neither heard of Getintheloop nor know about the offer it can leave a member frustrated with the service and store.

Ready to reach more customers? Let’s chat today! 

2- Communicate your partnership with existing customers

GetintheLoop can be used to help incentivize your current customers to keep coming back – but you must communicate your partnership with them. GetintheLoop can provide businesses with marketing materials that the business can use to communicate this partnership as well as plenty of features that allow you to communicate and share an offer in one simple step.

Example: “Post to Facebook” feature lets you post an offer to your company’s Facebook page which will direct your Facebook followers to the GetintheLoop app and your offer.

3- Have your best sales running

When thinking of creating an offer, it is important that your business has the best possible sales running – something that will make members put in the effort to coming into your business. Examples of offers that can drive customers to take action and increase customer loyalty are:

  1. Weekly/Monthly Deals
  2. Referral Promotions/Programs
  3. First Purchasers Offers
  4. Minimum Purchase Discount
  5. Limited Use Offers

4- Use offers to target different audiences

GetintheLoop allows you to have five offers live at a time – the businesses that see a lot of success are the ones that utilize this. Having a variety of offers like the ones stated above in point #3 can aid in making sure that all target audiences are hit.

5- Update your Offers on GetintheLoop

Make sure that all your offers on GetintheLoop are current and up-to-date. Offers that are posted on the platform that are no longer relevant can generate a bad member experience. Switching one to two offers up can also re-engage potential customers and bring them back to your business to experience something new.

Why having a Unique Selling Proposition is an Absolute Must

May 9th, 2018 Posted by resources No Comment yet

Here’s a question for business owners. Why do people come to your business over others?

  • Maybe it’s what you do – is there nothing quite like your relaxing head massage?
  • Maybe it’s your staff – should they be given an award for the World’s Greatest customer service?
  • Perhaps your location is what makes your business different – a lake view with a beautiful patio?
  • Do you offer free delivery while no one else does?
  • Have you been family owned and operated for a century?
  • Are your prices more competitive – are you the Walmart of your industry?

Truth be told, there are very few truly unique businesses – think of how many clothing retailers are in your town? Or how many electricians you know. What makes your business different is your Unique Selling Proposition – your differentiator from your competition. And you must have one. Otherwise your business is no different to another. There’s no incentive for people to come to your business vs another.

The problem is too many businesses make the mistake of attempting to be everything to everyone when they first start out, and this just simply isn’t possible. Having a USP is a key element in your marketing positioning and strategy.

Ready to reach more customers? Let’s chat today! 

What is your business’ USP?

For some businesses determining the USP is easy. (e.g. you’re cheaper that everyone else. Customer service is not as important for you, you know people come to you because you’re cheaper). However, for other businesses, it can be hard to know what it is about your business that keeps people coming in. But there are several ways to determine what your USP is.

Note: Don’t get too hung up on low price as a USP. Price is never the only reason people buy, so if you are not the cheapest option, find another feature that addresses the customers’ needs and build your sales and marketing strategy and messaging around that.

Use your target audience to determine your USP

Look at who your target audience is as this can provide answers as to where your USP lies. For example:

  • A lower-end restaurant targets families for the casual atmosphere where kids can be kids. While that wouldn’t appeal to couples on a date-night, parents love knowing they won’t be judged if their kids are rowdy. That’s their USP.
  • An electrician finds that he gets a lots of referrals from customers because of his no-call-out-charge. That’s his USP.   
  • A high-end furniture company sells very unique pieces. Their target market is corporate couples with no-children living at home. Many of their pieces are one-of-a-kind and create an atmosphere of style and sophistication that can’t be replicated by any one else. That’s their USP.

If you were a kid wouldn’t you want to eat here!

Ask your target audience

Ask customers why they come into your place of business, what’s their favourite feature and what they’d like to see changed. You could even ask them to rate the importance of the features to see how you can improve your service.

Look online for reviews

  • Do you sell a “cheesecake that is to die for?”
  • Did you know that “Cheyanne was the most amazing server we have ever had”?
  • Perhaps “the sunset from the patio is the most beautiful I’ve ever experienced”
  • Or even “I was so touched to see three generations of the family hard at work in the kitchen”.

Online reviews can give you a lot of insight into what it is that people just love about your business!

Do some deep soul searching

Think carefully about your business and put yourself in your customers shoes. Physically walk through your store, or have a meal at your restaurant, try to have an entirely unbiased experience of your business. As a business owner or entrepreneur, you love what you do or what you sell. Otherwise you wouldn’t do it. Sometimes it can be hard to see your business from someone else’s point of view.

What do I do once I’ve determined the USP?

Once you’ve decided what your business’ USP is, think about how to position it to your advantage in your marketing and advertising efforts that sets you apart from the competition. Take a peek at what your competitors are also doing, there’s no harm! But don’t copy them, that completely defeats the point of it being a Unique Selling Proposition!!

Think about these positioning statements from the 3 examples provided above.

A lower-end restaurant targets families for the casual atmosphere where kids can be kids.

  • USP: Parents love knowing they won’t be judged if their kids are rowdy
  • Messaging: “We sell uninterrupted family-time” [we don’t sell food]

An electrician gets a lots of referrals from happy customers:

  • USP: He doesn’t charge a call-out-charge
  • Messaging: “We provide peace of mind” [we don’t fix your electrical problems]

A high-end furniture company sells very unique pieces.

  • USP: The pieces are one-of-a-kind and create an atmosphere of style and sophistication that can’t be replicated by any one else.
  • Messaging: “We create unique, elegant moods”  [we don’t sell furniture]

This is a well known brand with a simple USP, but it works:

The USP and associated messaging should become part of everything you do to sell your services and market your company. Ensure all communication with customers conveys the USP – brochures, business cards, adverts, social media pages.  Once you start to dilute the USP (think about the kid-friendly restaurant that has servers that get upset with noisy, messy children), it loses its value. The strength of a Unique Selling Proposition comes from the fact that this is what your business needs to be known for in order to stay successful.

GetintheLoop for Business makes local marketing easier. Attract and retain more customers with mobile offers, delivered directly to their phones. Keep 100% of your revenue. Get started today!

5 Tips to Make your Business Stand out More in a Local Online Search

May 9th, 2018 Posted by resources No Comment yet

There are over 3.5 billion searches on Google every day, which equates to 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. However, the majority of consumer engagement with brands (85-95%) happens through local listings, local web pages or other local search results. The Local Search Association (LSA) released a report in 2017 that looked at how consumers in cities of varying populations look for local business information. Search engines dominated local search at 80% usage. To put it bluntly, local businesses must be visible in a local online search – customers expect it!

Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Being listed online locally plays a key role in whether or not a business is going to be chosen by local consumers, and a strong local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy is key to driving more people to the business, whether there’s one location or ten.

Ready to reach more customers? Let’s chat today! 

Get started with local SEO with these five tips:

Have a location page on the website. If there are multiple locations, have one page for each and every location. On this page include lots of locally relevant information. Provide a map on each page as well as the business address. Also describe where the location is including a well-known landmark (e.g. 900 Richard Street, in the downtown core, next to the bus station).

Get listed in lots of local and industry-relevant directory listing sites such as Yellow Pages, Yelp, Trip Advisor, as well as on locally specific sites. Directory listings are one of the best ways to rank more highly on a Google search as it links back to the website telling Google it’s a reputable, legitimate business. Note: The business name, address and phone number should be exactly the same across every directory that the site is listed on.

Get listed on Google My Business – it’s free! This is a no-brainer as it ensures the business is visible in local listings when people conduct a Google search. Did you know, the Google 3-pack appears at the top of 93% of searches when there is a local intent? Make sure your business appears ahead of the competition – Google My Business influences this.

Write a blog that people actually read. Drive more traffic to your website by writing a blog that provides value to new and existing customers. Many of the low-cost website building tools have built in blogging platforms. It couldn’t be easier! While blogs don’t directly drive revenue, and it can take some time to see results. However, it is one of the most cost-effective ways to promote a business online. In some industries, a valuable blog can position a company and the employees as experts in that field.

Be active on social media. This doesn’t directly influence your website’s online search rankings, but it provides another web property that can be ranked by Google. Some people want to visit a business’ Facebook page over the website so will conduct a search for “[business name] Facebook”.

GetintheLoop for Business makes local marketing easier. Attract and retain more customers with mobile offers, delivered directly to their phones. Keep 100% of your revenue. Get started today!

What do you Touch Over 2500 Times a Day?

May 9th, 2018 Posted by resources No Comment yet

No, not that, it’s your mobile device.

In fact it’s more than that – a study says we touch our phones on average 2,617 times a day (think about every text you type, every email you write out and how many times you tap the screen).

Several years ago, the “mobile revolution” was a buzzword used throughout the digital marketing industry to, very accurately, describe the huge shift in online behaviours that was occurring from desktop to mobile. Once data plans became more affordable, and smartphone subscribers were able to do everything on their phones that they previously had to use a desktop for, mobile usage quickly caught up to, and took over desktop usage. Google has even announced in November 2016 that “Although our search index will continue to be a single index of websites and apps, our algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from those pages in our results.” Many businesses recognized that this ”mobile-first” shift in Google’s ranking system is driven by consumer behaviour and their move towards a preference for mobile over desktop, and that this was going to have a significant impact on their business marketing – in fact, it’s been predicted that world-wide, over $1 billion will be invested by 2021 into making the web mobile-first. Those businesses quickly jumped onto the fast-moving mobile train, but unfortunately, many businesses were left stranded at the station, confused by, or oblivious to the impact that mobile was going to have on their business operations.

Ready to reach more customers? Let’s chat today! 

Now, here we are in 2018. It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that almost everyone prioritizes looking down at their phones instead of looking at what’s around them. On public transport, in busy cities, at home while watching TV, at the park with the kids – instead of looking at the traditional ads that so many business’ are spending their precious marketing dollars on, we are looking at our phones. eMarketer has been reporting on the decreasing revenue from traditional ad spend for years. In September 2017 they released a report stating that advertisers are concentrating more dollars on mobile, and that by 2021, mobile’s share of digital advertising in the US will rise to 79.2%. According to a survey by Cadent Consulting Group, consumer packaged-goods marketers spend more on digital than all forms of traditional advertising combined. It’s clear the shift to mobile is here to stay (which is obvious because I’m sure you wouldn’t be comfortable giving up your phone!).

Advances in mobile technology over the years have essentially enabled us to not only be 24/7 consumers, but also open to 24/7 advertising – a marketer’s dream! When we are lying in bed, just before we go to sleep with the newspaper down, the TV off, and the radio silenced, marketers can still reach us on the last thing we look at before we go to sleep, and the first thing we look at when we wake up! Throughout our entire day, we are open to advertising messages. For marketers, it’s about reaching consumers in their many mobile micro-moments throughout the day – that is, when they instinctively reach for their phone to solve a problem at any given time. What was the answer to that question? What was that recipe ingredient I needed? What is the weather forecast tomorrow? Can I find this item cheaper online? Being present online during these micro-moments is paramount to mobile marketing success.

As a side note, by no means I am suggesting that businesses should be ignoring all forms of traditional media as part of their advertising strategy. In fact, even though the demise of traditional advertising forms has been predicted and talked about for many years, it turns out that these are the forms of media that are still seen as the most credible by Canadians, however, this is likely to change as mobile becomes a more trusted form of advertising.

However, is that it is important to give full consideration to mobile advertising, and where it fits into your overall marketing strategy. Most businesses are looking for the biggest bang for their buck when it comes to advertising, and for some businesses, mobile marketing might not make sense just yet. It always comes back to who you are trying to reach, and where they are likely to be. Is your audience primarily millennials?  If so, yes, no doubt about it, you must be on mobile, given that 94% of people aged 18-29 own a smartphone. Are you trying to reach an over 65 crowd? Conduct some research into how effective mobile marketing is going to be for you before investing large chunks of your budget to advertising that isn’t going to be seen. It’s more than likely, however, that your audience is going to be on mobile in some capacity, so finding where, when and how they behave on it will be the key to your mobile marketing success. Essentially, if you don’t have a mobile presence of some sorts, at the very minimum a mobile responsive website, you’re so late to the party, you might as well not even show up at this point.

The question still for many marketers is, however, how to best leverage mobile for their specific business? Here are a few tips to get you started:

Have a mobile optimized website.

This is a no-brainer. More than half of all website visits now come from mobile devices and if people can’t easily get the information they need from your site on a small screen, they will leave – in fact, 80% of consumers have reported leaving a site immediately if it was difficult to view on their phones. Make sure the key information is available on your site, such and address, opening hours and other key information. If you want to see if your website fits responsive design recommendations, you can use Google’s mobile friendly test. Your mobile site must load quickly as this is a key component of Google’s mobile ranking algorithm. Whatever you do, however, always put the user and their mobile experience first – a good user experience will keep site visitors happy which in turn will keep search engines happy.

Be visible in local mobile searches.

When someone conducts a Google search on a mobile device, while not always the case, they are likely to be on-the-go, needing something now. Think about a search for a restaurant – it’s quite possible you are looking for somewhere to go in the next hour. The listings on Google that are going to stand out the most will probably be those in the local pack, with good star ratings. Your business appears in these results after you create a Google My Business page and start getting people to review your business. People also conduct searches for something “near me”. In order for you to appear in those “near me” searches requires lots of emphasis on local content on your website will really make a difference.

Use some of the many apps, platforms and tools available to help market to your customers on mobile.

These range in price and what they offer, but ultimately, the goal of any app or tool should be to drive more customers for your business. For example, TextMagic is a text messaging service used to run and schedule personalized SMS marketing campaigns.

Promote your business to highly-targeted audiences.

Facebook advertising allows you to choose who to show ads to based on their location which makes targeting for small businesses extremely cost-effective. You could even consider working with a partner to run hyperlocal mobile ads, which take not only location into consideration, but also the time of the day, and the current environment. With hyperlocal advertising, you can even run ads for your business on the smartphones of consumers while they are in your competitor’s location!

Video should be part of your mobile marketing strategy.

This is especially true if you’re targeting a younger audience. And your videos must be visible on a mobile device first. In fact, many people would prefer to watch a video on their mobile rather than read small text, especially if they are on the go. Wordstream reports that a third of online activity is now spent watching video – so to get in front of this video hungry, mobile crowd, start filming! You can easily use your smartphone to record videos and even add filters to make it look more professional. You can speed it up, slow it down – really, the sky’s the limit. Not sure what to film? How about a time-lapse video of you performing a business function? Interview a customer. Make a photo montage. These simple, engaging videos can be uploaded to YouTube and shared on your website or uploaded directly to social media. With Facebook Live you can capture immediate interest in your business. The options with video are endless, as long as you’re willing to experiment.

Think about it, if on average people are touching their smartphones over 2500 times a day, as a business owner or marketer you have to be looking for ways to show up in your future customers palms – every day!

GetintheLoop for Business makes local marketing easier. Attract and retain more customers with mobile offers, delivered directly to their phones. Keep 100% of your revenue. Get started today!

Tips to Writing a Blog that People Will Actually Read

May 9th, 2018 Posted by resources No Comment yet

Drive more traffic to your website by writing a blog that provides value to new and existing customers. Many of the low-cost website building tools have built in blogging platforms. It couldn’t be easier!

Now, you’re probably asking, why bother? What will a blog do to drive more customers through the door? Well, you’re right to question a blog. They don’t directly drive revenue, and it can take some time to see results. However, it is one of the most cost-effective ways to promote a business online. In some industries, a valuable blog can position a company and the employees as experts in that field.

What could you write about?

Lack of creative juices/deciding what to write about is always the hardest part of blogging. Once it’s determined what will be written about, it should be easy – after all, who knows the business better than the owner? Here are some ideas for generating blog topics:

  • Provide ‘how-tos’ – expert tips from the experts in the business.
  • Solve a problem – people often search online for the solution to a problem If blog posts can answer that problem, you look like a rockstar!
  • Talk about a new product feature – but don’t sell it. Identify a problem and show how the product or service can be one of the solutions to resolve the problem.  
  • Introduce the employees – people always like to talk about themselves so why not ask each of the employees to answer 5 questions about themselves and feature each as a post with a quirky photo. Show their personalities! Video would work well here.
  • Share relevant and valuable industry news – and also give a point of view. Write a post that stirs up some controversy or debate (without going too far) and it will likely get some traction online.
  • Tell real stories – for example, things that have happened at the business over the years, either business or personal. The purpose is to entertain more than inform.
  • Include video blog posts – this isn’t as difficult as it may seem and can be done quickly and easily from a smartphone. If you aren’t sure how to add it to the website, simply share on social media, or upload to YouTube and share the link.
  • Take a peek at competitor sites – see what they blog about but use this for inspiration only, no copying!

Blog posts don’t have to be anything too crazy – just talk about the business, what happens there, expand on various elements and create posts from posts. This is a great example from a pool company that literally writes anything and everything about pools. Who knew there was so much to learn!

Ready to reach more customers? Let’s chat today! 

Blogging Tips:

  • Choose a tone of voice – for example, is it going to be very professional, or more friendly and casual? Maintain that tone throughout the blog.
  • Be consistent – once the blog is started, see it through! a blog, see it through! Brainstorm a list of topics, and schedule a slot of time each week or month to cover one topic off the list.
  • Use keywords often – think about how a search is conducted online. Keywords are entered into the search bar for Google to try and match with relevant content. For the blog to be found online, it needs to have lots of keywords in it – terms that people are searching for. But don’t make it sound unnatural!

For example, a local business makes and sells handmade soap. To understand what people search for, a tool like Moz’s Keyword Explorer (https://moz.com/explorer) can be used to get ideas. Entering “handmade soap” into the search bar brings up more possibilities, some of which are listed below. These variations can then be sprinkled throughout the blog to increase the likelihood of showing up in a search for that term. Geographical modifiers such as cities/towns should also be incorporated into the keywords as the search volume won’t be as high, but drives very high intent traffic.

Ensure both quality and quantity – posts of 500-600 words are going to have the most impact in the search engines. Use spell-check to ensure there are no obvious errors!

Share on social media once posted – this will drive more traffic to the blog, If it’s a particularly good blog post consider boosting the post on Facebook to reach even more local customers! More about boosting Facebook posts is covered below.

GetintheLoop for Business makes local marketing easier. Attract and retain more customers with mobile offers, delivered directly to their phones. Keep 100% of your revenue. Get started today!

Tips to Create an Exceptional Customer Experience at your Business

May 9th, 2018 Posted by resources No Comment yet

Any interaction a customer has with your brand is part of their brand experience, especially once they have stepped foot through your front door. It’s make or break now – will the experience create a loyal customer, and an advocate of your business, or will they leave so disappointed that they immediately turn to social media to express their dismay? These tips will help avoid the latter!

Customer Service

A great experience at your business’s location requires great people who have received adequate training. Finding ambassadors of your brand, those needle-in-a-haystack employees who just rave about your business and are positively exuberant about the level of service they provide can be hard to find. But those are the employees who are going to give customers the type of experience that they want to write a review about and tell their friends about. Good, well-trained employees can’t be understated. WestJet is well known for getting customer service right. Check out this story of a WestJet pilot buying pizza for stranded Air Canada passengers!

Getting your employees to be advocates of their employer is not easy. But rewarding employees properly is a good start. That means paying them well, and also providing some sort of incentives for providing a great customer service. It doesn’t have to be monetary – verbal acknowledgement and thanks from an owner/manager can go a long way when it comes to workplace motivation.

The importance of employee training cannot be said enough! If you have offers or specials running, ensure your employees are aware. This is one of the largest problems we come across at GetintheLoop – the customer goes to a business because of a promotion or special that they have seen, but the employee is unaware of it, which can lead to embarrassment all round, and a negative experience of the brand.

Embed in your employees a sense of “What else can I do to enhance or improve this customer’s experience here?” The drive for exceptional customer service and experience has to be company wide, from the very top down. Everyone, not just customer-facing employees, must be on board. Again, it comes down to every interaction the business has with your establishment. For example, after an amazing night at a hotel, where you were treated like royalty, you realize you were overcharged for the night. You call back and speak to someone in the office and are told it was your mistake not theirs. This negative experience can undo every great moment you experienced the night before, and according to a survey conducted by American Express, you’ll be more inclined to tell others about your negative experience that your positive one. “While 46% of American consumers say they always tell others about good service experiences, an even greater number say they talk about poor service experiences. In fact, 60% said they always share the bad ones, and they tell nearly three times as many people (an average of 21 people vs. 8 people).”

Ready to reach more customers? Let’s chat today! 

Sales tactics

Similarly to customer service, the types of sales tactics used can have a huge positive or negative impact on your experience. I can provide my own experience of shopping for a new car as an example. I knew I was going to be subjected to the “hard-sell” but I wasn’t prepared for how much. One dealership offered me $500 as a trade-in value on my existing vehicle and tried to hide other fees within the quote. I felt completely taken advantage of, being a woman shopping alone. Another dealership, where I actually ended up making the purchase, offered me $4000 trade-in value and told me up front that they would not pressure me into anything I didn’t want to do – and they kept their word. The two experiences were polar opposites, and influenced entirely by the sales tactics used. I will forever hold a negative view of the first dealership, and would never recommend them to anyone.

Physical Environment

Finally, the business’s physical environment will play a huge role in the customer experience. In BC, there is a hotel/spa resort called Sparkling Hill, where Swarovski crystals are everywhere. Literally everywhere. Most people go there just for that experience of extravagant luxury.

Everything from the decor to the lighting, to the music being played becomes part of your brand, and contributes to the overall customer experience.

Ultimately, creating an exceptional customer experience for every person and at every touchpoint with your brand will naturally lead to more customers, and more loyal customers.

GetintheLoop for Business makes local marketing easier. Attract and retain more customers with mobile offers, delivered directly to their phones. Keep 100% of your revenue. Get started today!

 

Run Your Small Business Entirely from your Smartphone

May 9th, 2018 Posted by resources No Comment yet

Busy people have their phones at their fingertips throughout the day. In fact, 80% of people check their phones before brushing their teeth in the morning, and we physically touch our phones over 2,500 times a day!

We all love our smartphones – why? Because they can do so much for us. We can keep in touch with family and friends, play games, shop, watch movies, get recipe inspiration, pay our bills, and so much more. Your smartphone works for you, so why should it be any different for a business owners.  Anyone who runs a business knows the number of hats required on a daily basis – one moment you’re paying bills, next you’re dealing with an upset customer, and next you’re placing the weekly supplies order. Many business owners or entrepreneurs have found that the best way to streamline operations and reduce the time it takes to do many of these tasks is to use apps that are made for each specific purpose. Essentially, this allows business owners and managers to run their entire business operations from their cells phones. The sheer number of apps that have been created for business functions is phenomenal – you can literally find an app to do anything – and the best part is, they are usually free or low-cost, which is ideal for small businesses.

Ready to reach more customers? Let’s chat today! 

Here we have compiled a list of 16 of the best apps for your smartphone to make it easier to run your business:

Finance Apps

QuickBooks

QuickBooks can be used to track sales and expenses, create financial statements, pay employees and vendors, track invoice payments etc. It integrates with many other accounts to make all your business finance needs easy – including doing your business taxes!!

QuickBooks Go Payment

QuickBooks GoPayment allows business owners to swipe credit cards, scan a card with the camera, or manually key in card details for  secure payments.

Wave

Wave is another easy-to-use accounting software app that allows businesses to track sales and expenses, pay employees, create reports etc. Receipt by Wave can be used to for expense tracking – quickly categorizing all of your receipts and connecting them to your account.

Expensify

As the name may suggest, this is an app for expense tracking. You can link your credit or debit card to your account so charges incurred are put directly on an expense report, or take pictures of your receipts with your phone, and Expensify will automatically extract the relevant information.

Invoice2go

Invoice2go is an invoice app that allows small businesses to choose from a wide range of invoice templates to then create and send professional invoices. You can track sends, and opens of invoices, and easily see when invoices are overdue. Reports show you the financial health of your business.

Square

Square is a popular payment app with small businesses due to it’s ease of use, and the fact that it negates the need for a POS machine. It uses a small, portable card reader that attaches to a phone or another mobile device to take fast, convenient payments. For the most basic service, it’s free for set-up.

Communication Apps

Slack

At GetintheLoop we love Slack’s instant messaging platform for internal communication. Conversations can be separated into private or public channels, or you can communicate with one or several people via direct messages. Share files in the chat window.

Organization and Productivity Apps

Trello

Trello is an easy-to-use project management app. Use it to track work assignments and  progress via cards on a Trello board. To the Trello boards you can add members, comments, due dates, etc. Whenever you change a card, Trello notifies each member via email and on mobile devices.

Google Drive

For file storage and sharing, us GetintheLoop-ers love Google Drive as it lets you keep all files in one place that can be accessed from any device. Permissions can be altered to allow people to view, comment, or edit documents.

Evernote

Evernote is designed for taking notes, and general organizing using tasks lists. Notes can be a piece of formatted text, a webpage, an image, a voice message and more. Notes can have attachments and can be organized in a multitude of different ways. Keep your life in order, declutter and find things when you need them!

 

Square Appointments

With this app, business owners are able to better track their calendar and take online appointment bookings and payments. Clients receive appointment reminders, reducing the likelihood of no-shows.

TripIt

If you’re a big traveller for work, Tripit is the app for you. Once a trip is booked, from any website, simply email the confirmation email to TripIt and it will consolidate and organize all travel plans in one place, on a single itinerary that can be accessed at any time on any device.

Sales and Marketing Apps

GetintheLoop

Start using GetintheLoop to inform customers old and new about your business’ exciting unique experiences and exclusive deals. GetintheLoop is an offers platform for businesses to attract new customers and build loyalty. These offers and experiences are delivered straight to the smartphones of locals via the GetintheLoop app.

Mailchimp

Email marketing is the tried and true digital marketing channel with an average return of $38 for every $1 spent. Mailchimp makes it easy and fast for business owners to stay in touch with customers via email. Build and manage your mailing lists, use templated emails or create your own. View reports of the results to inform your next email content to ensure you’re providing value to your email recipients.

Inventory and Shipping Apps

ShipStation

This app is a must have for someone who ships a lot as part of their business.  From the app, you can create and print batch labels and connect to top shipping carriers, process orders, track shipments, process fulfillment orders, and more.

Scheduling Apps

When I work

When I Work is employee scheduling software built with hourly employees in mind – perfect for many small businesses. Through the app, employees can see their schedule, clock in and out and communicate with their manager, and vice versa.

These are just some of the apps we like for small business owners and managers to save time and money on some of the less glamorous aspects of running a business. Got any apps that you particularly love? Let us know!

GetintheLoop for Business makes local marketing easier. Attract and retain more customers with mobile offers, delivered directly to their phones. Keep 100% of your revenue. Get started today!

FORE! Pro-tips for Golf Course Marketers to Keep Up to Par

May 9th, 2018 Posted by resources No Comment yet

Golf courses can almost sell themselves; who wouldn’t want to enjoy the warm sun on their neck as they amble around BC’s internationally acclaimed golf courses, sipping on a cold beverage. That alone is usually enough to convince golfers to pick up their clubs and head to the fairway.

However, with over 300 golf courses for avid golfers to choose from in BC alone, there is a lot of competition. The golf industry has not kept up with the times when it comes to marketing and advertising. How often do you still see golf ads in magazines and newspapers? Sure, that’s where many of the ‘old-school’ golfers will see course promotions and messaging, but without a solid digital marketing strategy, golf courses are missing out on the new generation of golfers, the ones who will be regular visitors for many years to come. Golf courses without an effective web presence are failing to reach a critical buying market.

Ready to reach more customers? Let’s chat today! 

Avoid getting stuck in a bunker!

Marketers need to stay ahead of the latest trends in digital marketing and technology – which can be daunting with so many changes in social media and online strategies, not to mention determining how to incorporate mobile marketing into the mix. A profound advantage of mobile marketing is its ability to reach a business’ specific target market, catering to when and where they need the information most. Critical information that determines a golfer’s decision on where to play – course information, photos of views, weather, playing conditions, tee time availability and amenities – is at the tip of their fingers. The simple task of providing consistent and reliable information that matches with what the golfers are looking for can turn a potential guest into a paying guest at the zero moment of truth – that exact moment when a decision is made.

Don’t panic – a corporate-sized advertising budget isn’t necessary; effective, simple, and cost-efficient tools are available to help build a better online presence. The digital tips and tricks included in this guide are intended help with the marketer’s job of keeping the course full of golfers throughout the season by increasing the course’s online presence and maximizing engagement with existing and prospective members.

Search Engine Optimization

Visitors to the area won’t necessarily know about all the local golf courses without searching online first. Being listed online locally plays a key role in whether or not a golf course is going to be chosen by those looking, and a strong local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy is key to driving more people to the course. These tips can help marketers get started with local SEO:

Link Building

    • Directory listings are one of the best ways to increase Google rankings as they usually link back to your website, telling Google it’s a reputable, legitimate business. Note: Business name, address and phone number should be exactly the same across every directory that it is listed on. Get listed on as many directories as possible such as YellowPages.ca, Yelp.com, TripAdvisor.com, as well as golf specific sites such as GolfinBritishColumbia.ca, BCgolfguide.com, and Golfmax.ca, and on local golf sites like GolfKelowna.com.
    • Don’t stop just at local directories. Sites such as GolfAdvisor.com while American still lists BC golf courses, and a link back to your website is valuable!
    • Reach out to local businesses and see if reciprocal linking to each other’s site is possible. For example, is there a local transportation company that you could refer people without a vehicle to on your website?

Blogging

Writing locally relevant content on the site will increase search rankings. The easiest way to do this is through a blog. Now, you’re probably asking, why bother? What will a blog do to drive more customers to the course? Well, you’re right to question a blog. They don’t directly drive revenue, and it can take some time to see results. However, it is one of the most cost-effective ways to promote a business online and can position the business and its employees as experts.

Blog posts don’t have to be anything too crazy – just talk about the goings-on at the course, what’s new, what people do, expand on various elements and create posts from posts.

Google My Business

A strong Google My Business profile will increase the chances of the course showing up in Google’s Local Pack, appearing in Google Maps, and ranking higher in a local organic search. It’s a very powerful local business tool!

One of the most attractive aspects of Google My Business for golf courses is the ability to a) provide key information golfers search for online up front and centre, and b) add multiple images showing-off the best features of the course – a big factor in many golfers’ decisions.

Black Mountain Golf Club’s Google My Business information appears on the search results page:

Check out this post for 5 steps to create GMB listings that will get noticed by searchers and Google alike. 

Social Media

As far as social media goes, Facebook still dominates with over 2.2 billion monthly active users. You can almost guarantee your target audience will have a Facebook presence in some capacity. Coupled with Facebook’s targeted capabilities, it presents itself as a very attractive option for investing some advertising dollars to reach new golfers in the province,m or ones who have yet to try your course. Once a dedicated and engaged following has been built you can reduce the advertising spend and instead use your page for updating your fans on all things related to the course – for free! You’ll be surprised how quickly you can fill last-minute tee-time cancellations!

Take a blog post such as “tips for improving your short game” – this can be shared on Facebook. Add one or two short tips to an image and share on Instagram. Instagram is a no-brainer for golf courses, as some of their biggest selling points are their picturesque views.

Creating compelling content consistently can be challenging, but luckily, with over 800 million active monthly users, Instagram is a platform for regular user generated content which has proved to be a huge marketing boost for many businesses.

A social media strategy is easily deployable as a majority of a course’s employees are already active on these platforms; encouraging staff members to give updates on their personal accounts not only increases job satisfaction, but also increases engagement of new customers. By educating employees on appropriate content to post, businesses still remain in control of their own brand and are able to hold consistency in the message they’re transcending. Capitalizing on these social media strategies will increase overall engagement and value.

Note: Ensure that if you do set up social media pages that they are maintained regularly. If you don’t update your social media pages often you’ll probably lose followers when you do.

Learn more about using Facebook to reach more customers and drive more visits to the golf course. 

Create an email newsletter

Email marketing is the tried and true digital marketing channel with an average return of $38 for every $1 spent  and it is easy to do with tools such as ConstantContact.com and MailChimp.com – which are free to get started! Check out this article for tips on collecting email addresses and creating a newsletter than gets read!

Your marketing message (digital or not) is what your customers experience before they get on your course, which is why having the right marketing strategy in place has the ability to alter the profitability of the business and the customers experience as a whole. Now is the time to start executing a digital marketing strategy to grow your online presence! Take small steps to get started and don’t be afraid to try new things in this ever-changing digital world.

GetintheLoop for Business makes local marketing easier. Attract and retain more customers with mobile offers, delivered directly to their phones. Keep 100% of your revenue. Get started today!

Check out our Golf Loop for exclusive golf offers and experiences! 

Pricing psychology: 10 Tips to Pricing your Products and Services for More Sales

May 9th, 2018 Posted by resources No Comment yet

As a business, how do you set your prices? Probably high enough that you can pay your overheads, and low enough that you are competitive, right? What about setting your prices at the point that customers are willing to pay – which could be higher than the prices you have set right now. But how do you know? Are you potentially losing out on a significant amount of revenue?

The beauty of price setting is that it’s flexible. If you choose a price and your products don’t sell, try adjusting the price and see if it makes a difference. Testing different pricing strategies can give you more insights into what works and what doesn’t – but be careful with changing prices too much and too often, as it will confuse customers and can dilute your brand positioning.

There is a science to setting the right price and it takes human psychology into account. That’s right – there is a science to setting prices and it largely comes from perception of value. In this article we dive a little deeper into how tactics for setting the right prices according to human psychology, including how you can increase the perceived value of goods and services, generating greater demand and allowing for higher prices to be charged.

Ready to reach more customers? Let’s chat today! 

  1. Don’t price too low

There’s always a temptation to price yourself low so that you beat the competition. However, being priced too low and your product could be perceived ‘cheap’ and therefore sub-par and poor quality. With the internet in the palm of our hands when we shop, it’s easier than ever before to comparison shop, and see how that item compares to the same item elsewhere, or a similar item,  By setting prices lower than comparable, or even identical items, it reduced the perceived value of that item. Consumers tend to convince themselves that a higher priced item must be better quality, therefore they are getting better value.

  1. Higher price can signify higher value and therefore higher happiness from the buyer

Does higher price mean more value? Not necessarily. A 2008 study by Goldstein and team asked people to try different wines and determine which they enjoyed the most. When the price of the wine was unknown, the less expensive wine came out as the most enjoyable. When the price of the wine was disclosed before the tasting, it was reversed, and the higher priced wine was seen as a more enjoyable experience. Price became a perception of value, and the perceived higher value increased the enjoyment of the product.

  1. Remember that price is always relative

If you make $100/hour, a $20 product is relatively inexpensive – you earn $20 in 12 minutes. However, a $20 product to someone making minimum wage is a significantly larger purchase, and might require more consideration. You won’t find much in the way of high-end, luxury goods at Walmart because its target audience is price-conscious shoppers. At the same time, Walmart is synonymous with value rather than “cheap” like a dollar store.

Does your product save people time? Saving half an hour of a busy person’s time might be well-worth it, but to someone with a lot of time on their hands, there is less value in forking out money for a product that saves time. Price is always relative.

Ultimately, it comes down to a greater understanding of your target market and what they are willing to pay. The more you learn about your audience, the more you can determine if they will be more or less sensitive to pricing. There’s no right answers when it comes to pricing based on the demographics of your target market – it all depends on what they are willing to spend, needing an innate understanding of their motivators.

  1. Present the value first, cost later

Promote the value-proposition first, before going in with the cost. The cost then becomes relative to the value portrayed. The danger of putting the cost first is that a) it might make people not even read the value benefit and b) if they do read the value benefit, they are reading it relative to the price. By taking price out of the equation initially it leaves only the value and the benefit to be of consideration. Price them becomes relative to that value.

  1. Set ‘Charm prices’

Charm prices are those that end in 9 or 99. We read numbers from left to right, so when we see a number of $5.99, our brain interprets it as $5, rather than $6 (which, now that the Canadian penny has been removed from circulation, it actually is!). Why does it work? Our brain reads the first number and makes a determination of value before we’ve even read the rest of the number.

But it doesn’t only apply to 0.99c numbers. William Poundstone wrote a book that talked about a study comparing women’s clothing priced at $35 versus $39 – it found that the prices ending in nine outperformed the lower prices by an average of 24%.

  1. Use rounded numbers to convey prestige

There’s a time and place for rounded numbers however. ‘Prestige pricing’ as it’s sometimes referred to involves making all numerical values into rounded figures, i.e., $100 instead of $99.99. According to the science, rounded numbers are more fluently processed and encourage reliance on consumers’ feelings (the sense that this is a prestigious, valuable item), compared to non-rounded numbers which are less fluently processed, and encourage reliance on cognition (how we interpret and recognize numbers).

  1. Use ‘Price Anchoring’

Price anchoring refers to the tendency to heavily rely on the first piece of information offered when making decisions. You’ll see this type of pricing structure, from Wix, used all over the web:

Wix makes the $14/month plan seem like a bargain next to the other monthly subscriptions. In addition, it’s highlighted so it stands out among the other plans. This is the plan they want you to buy, and it’s priced in a way that makes it look attractive.

Other variations of price anchoring seemingly throw in something extra for nothing, such as:

  1. One shirt for $10
  2. Three Shirts for $20

If one is $10 then three for $20 is a much better deal. In reality, last week, the $10 shirt might have only been $7, but the perception now is the the 3 for $20 is better. Buying 2 shirts would be senseless so it makes people buy 3, when they may have only wanted one. There’s a sense of value associated with the purchase. However, the first shirt price of $10 is needed to anchor a price in the customers mind. If the offer was simply 3 shirts for $20, where is the value? By seeing $10 for 1, $20 for 3 seems like an exceptional deal.

  1. Reduced Analysis Paralysis

It’s been proven that too much choice when making decisions can lead to analysis paralysis where in the end, no choice is made at all. It’s good to provide customers with a choice, but keep it to a minimum (see example above about price anchoring – in most cases, there are usually only a handful of plans to choose from, making the ‘right’ choice easier to make).

  1. Remove dollar signs

Have you ever been to a fancy restaurant and seen food and drinks written without $ symbols? A study found that diners spend significantly less when the dollar sign was included or was written out as ‘dollars’. Apparently writing $39 as 39 takes focus away from the price, and stops the brain thinking about it in terms of money spent.

  1. Describe your product in a way that emphasizes value

When it comes to labeling products, referencing services, think about what elements you can focus on that makes it sounds more valuable. For example, you’ll see signs for “gluten-free” “100% organic”, “locally made” all over the place. Why? Because people place a higher value on these types of items and would not be surprised if the item was therefore slightly more expensive.

Pricing Psychology in Action!

Papa John’s, the #1 pizza brand in the USA, opened their first Canadian store in Calgary in 2000. Papa John’s partnered with GetintheLoop to bring 17 locations in British Columbia on board to sell more pizza particularly during off peak times. Papa John’s started with attractive offers including two large four topping pizzas for $26.

While this was a great offer, the team quickly learned through testing that 40% off, the same value as the original deal, drove more orders. Customers were more receptive to a great deal on any pizza order with a percentage off rather than the same great deal on a set order. The rule of thumb is give % discounts when the original value is under $100 and give absolute numbers when the original number of over $100. For example, when an item is $50, 20% off is better than $10 off. However, for a $150 item, $15 off works better than 10%. The reason? You’ll always be choosing the number that’s higher (e.g. $15 rather than 10%, but 20% rather than $10), and this makes the perceived value higher.  

GetintheLoop for Business makes local marketing easier. Attract and retain more customers with mobile offers, delivered directly to their phones. Keep 100% of your revenue. Get started today!