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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!

Create an Online Experience That Will Keep Customers Coming Back

May 9th, 2018 Posted by resources No Comment yet

Any interaction a customer has with your brand is part of their brand experience. In the age of technology, this interaction and experience (and therefore their perception of the brand) starts long before they walk into your establishment.

We are a fickle generation of consumers;  for businesses, winning loyalty is much harder than it was years ago. We used to be satisfied with walking into a restaurant or store, choosing what we wanted, eating it or buying it, and leaving. That was the extent of the consumer experience and it was 99% controlled by the brand itself. Now we make decisions daily that are driving by large amounts of information and technology – and consequently each decision has a multitude of courses of action.

Take the decision to go out for dinner: 20 years ago, this would have been as simple as thinking of your favourite restaurant, maybe trying something new based on somewhere your friends went to recently, or taking advantage of a discount coupon that came in a flyer in the mail. Today, you can look online for all the restaurants in your city, even reading menus before you go. You can ask Siri, Google Home or Alexa for their recommendations, or you can search for restaurants “near me” on your smartphone. You can check out ratings and reviews on dedicated websites, or you can ask your network of friends on social media. We are inundated with information, including peer-provided information that is largely out of the brand’s control. Nonetheless, it all ties back to one thing – the customer experience. If you strive to constantly create a great customer experience at all the touch points that a business has with your brand that are within your control, then everything else will fall into place. Your business will naturally be talked about among friends and you’ll earn positive reviews online.

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

Before diving into the specific touch points where you can optimize the customer experience, it’s important to make a note about customization. Today’s modern consumer expects personalization – online and offline! They expect businesses to know who they are, what they are interested in, and what offers are going to appeal to them the most! The more personalized the experience, the happier your customers are going to be. But this is easier said than done, and is another post in itself.

Your Website

Most businesses have a website. It’s 2018. If you don’t have a website, you should. It’s one of the first interactions a potential customer might have with your brand, and is a key touchpoint that you must focus on to create a great customer experience.

  • Think about the audience of people that come to your website. Can you change your website to address each and every one of those people on a personalized level, which will lead to a much more enhanced customer experience? For example, an outdoor equipment retailer will have several audiences that they appeal to – hikers, bikers, kayakers. If you can segment and tailor the website experience to speak specifically to each of those audiences you will create a better customer experience. You can segment your audience into almost any audience group – gender, age, location, past purchases/past page views (based on tracking).
  • Ensure you are always providing the information your website visitors want. If you have physical locations, state the addresses, open hours, and a phone number. Conduct testing if you are not 100% sure what is going to appeal most to your audience. Even simply changing some colours and font type can have big impacts.
  • One of the most frustrating things for a potential customer is not being able to find out more about the business online when they want to (reiterating the need to have a website!). Even if you have a website, if it’s not built in a way that search engines can find it, then it’s as good as useless. If people are online, searching for your business, and can’t find it, they are going to get very frustrated!! Learn about the basics of SEO to ensure your website can be found by search engines and customers alike. Again, this will be covered in another post.

The Mobile experience

77% of the North American population own a smartphone. Which means your customers own a smartphone, and they are using it to look for local businesses online, making it another critical touchpoint in the customer experience journey. However, despite the fact that more online searches are now conducted on a mobile device rather than a desktop, and people today have 2X more interactions with brands on mobile than anywhere else, businesses are still struggling with mobile marketing, and/or how to create a positive mobile experience for their consumers.

According to Google, people have higher expectations for the experiences they have with brands on their phones and when people have a negative brand experience on mobile, they are over 60% less likely to purchase from that brand in the future.

  • Websites must be mobile responsive. Many of today’s website building tools (even low cost ones such as Weebly or Wix) have responsive design built into the platform, so you don’t even have to think about it. Here’s an example Weebly provides of their responsive designs in action.

  • Speed, relevance, and being able to find the information needed on a mobile device is critical for customer satisfaction.
  • Investing in a mobile app is one way to enhance your customer’s experience. Starbucks’ app allows customers to order ahead and pick up their drink without waiting in line, 7-Eleven has an app that sends coupons to your phone, encouraging a visit to a store to redeem them, and Boston Pizza’s app allows for easier and faster online ordering, If you decide that a custom app is where your business is heading, be mindful of sending too many push notifications. Google reports that 46% of people say they would not purchase from a brand again if they had an interruptive mobile experience.
  • If building your own app is not within your marketing budget, partner with a company like GetintheLoop that can provide everything you need for app marketing (the audience, the self-serve offers platform, and reporting dashboard) without the pricey tag.

Online Ratings and Reviews

As a business, you have little control over what people write about you online. Most people like to write a review about two scenarios during their interaction with a business – either an exceptionally positive experience, or an exceptionally negative experience. Thanks to Facebook, Twitter, Google My Business and review sites such a Yelp, Tripadvisor, it’s easy for business owners to fear a negative review. Don’t take reviews and ratings lightly, and if possible respond to all online reviews, even the negative ones. A negative experience can be turned into a positive one, if handled the right way. Take an example by Nordstrom. A customer tweeted “Good news is I bought this great blazer in Portland. Bad news is there is a sensor left in the jacket.” The Nordstrom social media team saw the tweet, contacted the customer, and sent a person to her office to remove the sensor tag.

You’ve heard of the expression “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression,” and it’s true. You have one shot at making a great first impression. And unfortunately, being the fickle people we are, all it takes is one bad experience in the lead up to choosing a business, or during/after the experience, to undo all the positives that have occurred before. Make sure your customer experience is memorable…for all the right reasons!

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!

 

Being Environmentally Responsible is a Necessity to Win Millennial Customers

May 9th, 2018 Posted by resources No Comment yet

A recent study found that 81% of millennials “expect companies to go beyond generating profit and serve as drivers of change and become active in their communities”.

Millennials represent a new breed of consumers – one who is more demanding of the products they consume. If this younger audience – the future of all consumers – want to see more environmentally responsible businesses, it’s up to businesses to deliver. Meeting increased expectations will not only drive more customers, it will also have a lasting impact on the protection of the environment for the younger generations. Never has climate change and environmentally friendliness been more top of mind for consumers and businesses alike. Consumers are increasingly more likely to support brands that take their environmental footprint seriously. Almost 66% of consumers are willing to pay extra for products and services that come from companies committed to positive social and environmental impact.

Here are a few ways that small businesses can do their part to be more environmentally responsible, and how this can be communicated to consumers.

First, assess your current impact on the environment. Where do you create waste?

    1. Are you using plastic bags?
    2. Do you waste electricity with too many lights?
    3. What are your take out boxes, cups, straws like?
    4. Do you waste a lot of water?
    5. Do you recycle? 

Once the key areas on waste have been identified, a plan for reduction can be implemented. Get everyone in the company involved. Have a way for employees to suggest ideas to help your business help the environment. Making employees feel involved will make them more inclined to contribute to the programs.

Find out how environmentally friendly the items you buy from suppliers are? Do they have excessive packaging? Do they contain substances which are harmful to the environment. Are you suppliers able to reuse any packaging, perhaps at a discount for you? It many cases, it’s better to pay more but source products that are better for the environment. Even if it’s difficult to implement impactful environmentally responsible programs in your business, sustainable purchasing is an option that will still be effective and can be communicated to customers that it’s being taken seriously.

Think about where you can make changes with office supplies and/or stationary

Stock the office with reusable pens – ones which simply have their inks refilled.

How necessary are those pads of sticky notes?

Do you send out a lot of mail? If so, use recycled envelopes and keep packaging to a minimum.

Are people encouraged to recycle non-confidential documents rather than throw them out?

Introduce a company-wide recycling program for items such as pop bottles and cardboard containers.

Remove paper cups for beverages and encourage people to bring water bottles and travel mugs for coffee from home.

Remove ‘convenience’ coffee from the office – you know the ones that take pods or capsules of coffee and require one-push to make one cup. Single-use items that end up in the landfill are not good for the environment.

Compost kitchen waste like leftover foods. Most cities have some kind of composting schemes in place.

Save paper!

If you must print, use recycled paper, and print on both sides where possible, using eco-mode if quality is not important. Recycle all used ink and toner cartridges.

Online marketing is much more environmentally friendly than offline marketing like direct mail or printed ads, and often much cheaper! Online marketing is a low-cost alternative and produces no printed waste. Many businesses, however, rely on printed coupons sent in the mail to drive business. Other options include building a database of emails for a monthly newsletter and sending coupons that way, or look into marketing solutions like an app such as GetintheLoop that takes care of your marketing for you, delivering your marketing message and offers to the palm of people’s hands, on their phones. No printing and no wasted materials!

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

Save water!

Install water-efficient taps.

Fix leaking taps.

Avoid washing dishes under running taps.

Install water-efficient dishwashers

Wait until you have a full load before washing.

Scrape, rather than rinse, dishes prior to washing

Replace single-flush toilets with dual-flush toilets.

Regularly check for leaks and fix immediately.

Install rainwater tanks for yard and plant watering.

Water produce and plants early in the morning or in the evening.

Where possible, source local products.

For restaurants, this can increase prices, but depending on your audience, diners may be willing to pay more for locally sourced products that support local growers and producers. Even better, grow your own produce.

Order in bulk to cut down on the amount of deliveries you need to receive.

Recycle old furniture, computer equipment etc 

Keep as much out of the landfills as possible. According to the Electronics TakeBack Coalition, over two million tons of electronic waste is disposed of every year in the U.S., and only 27% is recycled. Many computer manufacturers like Dell and HP have equipments recycling programs, or you can contact local charities or schools to see if they have any need for the items.

Reduce the amount of  electricity you use 

Replace all light-bulbs with energy efficient LED bulbs, or even invest in solar panels. 

Turn off lights, shut down computers, and turn down heat/AC at the end of the day.

It may seem like some of these suggestions are very small and won’t have a big impact on the environment. However, if every business took small steps towards being more environmentally friendly, it would add up to a one big step that could really make a difference. Consumers are demanding that businesses assume responsibility for a more positive and sustainable future. Communicate to your customers how your business is environmentally friendly so they can make an informed decision to choose you over your competitors.

  • Add messaging to your social channels that talks about your commitment to sustainability. Instagram is a good platform for using imagery to show what your business is doing behind the scenes.
  • Create a page on your website about your commitment to sustainability.
  • Tell stories in your blog. Does your supplier have an interesting story about how they have incorporated sustainability into their products?
  • Promote your commitment through your product messaging whether online, in store, on menus etc. e.g. “made with 100% locally-sourced ingredients”
  • Add signage In the public bathrooms e.g. “save water, don’t flush unless necessary”
  • Carry your messaging through into all forms of communications – for example, at the bottom of email signatures e.g.” please do not print this email unless necessary. We are an environmentally friendly business.”

Keeping our planet alive and healthy is everyone’s responsibility and consumers, especially millennials, are becoming more demanding of businesses to be environmentally-friendly. Take steps within your organization to really have an impact on the environment. Decide how you are going to measure the impact, and commit to making it an integral part of your business operations. Then, and only then, should you communicate it to consumers. 

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!

Handle a Negative Review The Right Way

May 9th, 2018 Posted by resources No Comment yet

With the advent of review sites like TripAdvisor, Yelp, Google My Business and even the ability to post reviews on Facebook, Twitter etc, business can’t take reviews lightly. Consumers read reviews because they want reassurance before they make decisions, and want to know if they should be choosing a business. Reviews hold a lot of weight! In fact, 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.

Good online reviews are very beneficial for businesses in driving new customers. Think about it – people read reviews because of a need for that product or service. It’s the zero-moment of truth, the decision-making moment for many consumers. Reviews, however, can be very frustrating if they are not good – especially if they are not genuine, or not aligned with the expectation of the service. Check out this example of a local business that received what appears to be a good review, but only a 3* rating:

This one rating brought the average from 5* down to 4.8* – very frustrating for the business owner!

Sometimes, a business will receive a low star rating for a very subjective review – something that is a big deal to them simply may not be important to someone else. One person’s idea of bad isn’t the same as another’s.

Check out these examples on TripAdvisor, reviewing the same property at the same time:

Now, there are of course cases when a low star rating and negative review are completely justified – the business provided a very poor experience, and in these cases, there’s no getting away from negative reviews! This person’s experience at a local business really was disgusting…yikes!!

Every business has probably received at least one negative review. Don’t let a couple of negative reviews bring you down – in a sea of positive reviews, one or two negative reviews won’t harm your business. Consumers know you can’t please everyone and there will always be someone who complains at the slightest thing (usually hoping for something free as compensation).

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

Why should businesses reply to negative reviews?

Replying to negative reviews shows the person submitting the response that you care, even if you feel like it’s not a justified review. In most cases, if the negative review was genuine and not spiteful, the customer is looking for acknowledgement, an apology, and a reassurance that their review was taken seriously, leading to a peaceful resolution. By providing this resolution, you may not have lost a customer.

A response also shows potential customers that you have seen the review and have probably taken steps to rectify the problem. It shows you have taken responsibility for the problem, that you are caring and empathetic, and it also presents an opportunity to provide the facts. If a negative review has stated something about your business that cannot be true (e.g. mentioning an employee by name who doesn’t work there, referring to a food item that isn’t on the menu etc.) you can take this opportunity to politely suggest the reviewer might have got the wrong business as “We don’t have a Michael who works here” or “that item is not on our menu”. It provides some doubt to the reader who might be a potential customer that it is not accurate.

The key with negative reviews is how you handle the response.

Keep calm, take a deep breath, and wait a while between reading the review and responding. Your blood might be boiling, you might be thinking “what a pile of @$%!” – in which case now is not the time to reply as you will be hot-heated and too emotional. Give yourself a chance to calm down first. Then, craft a delicate response when you are ready.

What should the response be?

If you want to respond to a genuine negative review and try to turn it around, try these 4 steps:

1- Start with an apology, and show you understand that it must have been a disappointing experience.

2- Take responsibility. Don’t try to push it back on the customer.

3- Show how you are using this review to make positive changes in your establishment.

4- Offer for the customer to contact you with further comments.

Reviews are a two-way conversation, and not one where the customer is always right. We all have different ideas of a good experience vs a bad experience. Some people naturally have higher expectations than other people, and expectations lead to an associated experience – whether negative or positive. It’s not to say that the customer is wrong – no one can deny the way they feel – however, if the initial expectations were inaccurate or uneducated, then the business might be justified in taking a more forceful stand in defending their business. Check out this example:

If you’re feeling brave, add a little humour to the exchange – especially if the conversation is happening on Twitter. This business got it 100% right:

Trying to add humour, however, can seriously backfire, like Virgin Trains’ response to this tweet:

This response did not go down well, and probably resulted in a very bad day for the company’s social media manager.  Take serious complaints seriously, use humour sparingly – and always get a second opinion before hitting “send”!

Should compensation be offered?

If you feel that the situation was genuine, and that the customer really shouldn’t have had that experience, then by all means, privately offer some form of compensation. However, don’t necessary do it publicly, (as people might come to expect it). Don’t feel that you always have to offer something – use your judgement. Is it a regular customer? Is it a genuine review?

Did you know – 70% of a person’s experience is based on how they feel they are being treated.

Sometimes, you will have the ability to stop a negative review from even being written in the first place. It all comes down to how  the customer feels like they have been treated since the issue was first brought up. For example. I travelled with WestJet a few years ago to the UK, and had 2 young children with me. The flight was delayed for 3 hours and eventually cancelled at 10pm. We were transported to a hotel and booked on a flight for the next day. WestJet offered me 20% off my next flight as compensation via email. Now, I am not a complainer, however, my trip was cut short by 18 hours, the new flight arrival time was much earlier than the previous flight and was inconvenient for the people picking us up from the airport, and I missed out on a day of time to spend with family members who I only get to see once a year. I contacted WestJet privately via Facebook and after explaining my situation, was quickly offered a much more satisfactory compensation – thus avoiding a negative review.

Negative reviews can be hard to swallow, and even harder to not take as a personal attack on your business. However, remaining calm and responding in an empathetic and non-emotional way can turn a negative review into a positive for people reading the reviews online. The customer is (nearly always, but not all the time) right and hard as it might be, an apology and acknowledgement is sometimes all they need to hear.

And a final note…don’t forget to thank people who have provided you with a positive review. They have gone out of their way to say how great your business was, and should be acknowledged in the same way as if it was a negative review.

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!

Why Mass Marketing Doesn’t Cut it in Today’s World

May 9th, 2018 Posted by resources No Comment yet

Before the age of the Internet, marketers’ option for advertising were very limited, centred largely around mass marketing to reach as many people as possible in the hopes that someone would be interested in purchasing. Think about radio, TV, direct mail – none of these advertising channels speak to an individual. Advertisers are faced with the challenge of cutting through the advertising clutter to get their voice heard.

Data has signalled the death of mass marketing

Why has mass marketing died a slow death? It’s simple. Mass marketing doesn’t work because there is no such thing as a mass market any more. Consumers are unique, and have unique needs and desires. What drives one person to visit a business is likely very different to what drives another person.

Businesses now have access to vast amounts of data that they didn’t previously have – data that is either provided directly by the consumer, or that is implied by behaviours such as past purchases.

Every time to make a transaction it’s likely that you are put into some kind of assumed demographic group based on that behaviour. Businesses use these groupings for their own benefit or can sell or trade the data to other companies. For example, when someone buys an Audi, it’s assumed they have a certain level of income, so they are grouped with other affluent purchasers. The Audi dealership will use this data (their first-party data) to continue to communicate with customers and attempt to upsell etc. A local boat dealership can exchange the data lists with the Audi dealership. Why? Because affluent people buy boats. So the boat dealership can market their boats to the audi purchasers, knowing already that, because of their financial situation, there is a higher probability that are more likely to become customers, and vice versa This second-party data is traded all the time between partners such as advertisers or online publishers where there is no direct competition in services provided as it’s far more effective than mass marketing.

In-store loyalty cards (e.g. Save-on-more cards) collect huge amounts of first-party data on customers in order to be able to send out personalized offers and coupons. Research has shown that consumers are willing to share data to get personalized experiences. But loyalty programs work on more than just customer provided data – they look at past behaviour and buying patterns. If you regularly buy diapers, it’s going to be assumed you are a parent, and therefore you’re likely to receive more offers relating to baby products. Targeting exactly who you know is going to be interested with personalized offers and marketing drive more sales. Brands can make personalized recommendations, offer relevant promotions and upsell and cross-sell relevant products or services to consumers.   

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

In the UK, retailer Tesco was one of the pioneers to leverage loyalty cards to enhance industry performance using data – before data was even a consideration for most other companies. Former CEO states “It was absolutely transformational for the business. We could treat customers as individuals. And we could learn what they were interested in, what their behaviours were, and we could tailor and target all of their marketing so that it was relevant to that individual consumer.” Tesco also used the data collected to monitor changing consumer trends and used the data to make some decisions which appeared to be counter to conventional thinking.

Social media platforms also collect vast amounts of data. Advertising on Facebook is successful for many businesses because of the ability a) to target people based on the details they have provided to Facebook and b) because of Facebook’s ability to retarget Internet browsers. After you look up a hotel room on Expedia but don’t book, it’s highly probable that you’ll see ads on the social media platform (and around the web) as you browse other sites. These ads are targeted to YOU, and are going to be noticed more, and push you to act more than a generic ad about a product you have never heard of.

Brands must remember that they are advertising to humans – humans who are bombarded with advertising all day, every day. In fact, the average person is exposed to over 4,000 brands a day. We have learned to tune out messages that are simply not relevant to us. We demand personalization.

Businesses have been collecting data on consumers for years in order to create personalized shopping experiences, and research shows that there is a significant correlation between personalization and customer satisfaction.This has created an audience of consumers who demand that same level of personalization in other interactions with brands.  Segmenting customers to create personalized communication is just scratching the surface of what is possible, but many businesses struggle with how to use the data available to them to create meaningful engagements with customers that drive more revenue.

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!

Mobile Push Notifications Have Come a Long Way

May 9th, 2018 Posted by resources No Comment yet

The first push notification came from Apple in 2009, and quickly became a Marketer’s dream! People opting in to receive messaging from an app right on their phone – what could be better?! However, like many things in life, a small few people have managed to ruin it for everyone else. Ok, to say it’s been “ruined” is a bit extreme, but push notifications definitely lost some of their shine after some companies went overboard and sent too many notifications, some of which were also inappropriate for the audience. Take this example of notifications sent to a nine year old girl who was using the My Pet application!

There is still a lot of value to mobile push notifications…if done well. Here we explore more about what push notifications are, and how marketers can use them to provide value to customers.

What are push notifications?

A push notification on a smartphone is the delivery of information from an app to the device, without a request to do so from the user, and it’s simply a message that pops up onto the users smartphone screen – however the user must have the app installed to be able to receive the notifications.

Push notifications can be sent to a device at any time, even if the app sending the notification is not open, and even if the device is locked. Push notifications can be used to notify users of a message, remind users of an upcoming event, provide details of a special offer and more, and can be targeted to segments of an app user base, not sent to everyone who has the app installed. For example, if there is a heat wave in a small area of the country, a home improvement store can send push notifications based on geography to those people in that area advertising a sale on AC units.

If you’d like to learn more about the technical side of push notifications, check out this post from Google.

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

How does a user control push notifications?

After downloading an app the user is usually asked to give permission to receive future notifications. Typically, while the end-user controls if they receive notifications, they have less control over when they receive a notification, and what it will be about. At anytime the user can manage the notifications or turn off entirely.

There are many options when it comes to how notifications are displayed, as shown in this example of GetintheLoop notifications on iOS.

Last year, Accengage released the results of a study where they analyzed the metrics of 65 billion push notifications sent by its customers in 2016 to 750 million consumers worldwide. The report states that 72% is the average opt-in rate for push notifications (driven largely by the fact that on Android users are automatically opted-in when they download an app). 43% of iOS users choose to accept push notifications. It is in the Telecom industry that opt-in rates are the highest (49%), followed by Travel (48%) and Finance (46%).

Do mobile push notifications work?

There’s no doubt that push notifications provide a great way for businesses to talk to customers, build upon relationships, and keep customers up to date and informed of special offers relevant to them. Mobile push notifications can also work to re-engage inactive users and bring them back to your app.

Both Android and iOS have introduced significant enhancements to their push notifications in recent updates. Push notifications on Android can include images and sounds, and with iOS 11, push notifications can include images, animated GIFs, sounds, video, and more. Urban Airship shows this example of a push notification without and with rich media added in the form of shop and share buttons, and their research shows that the use of an embedded image within an Android push notification resulted in up to a 56% higher direct open rate on average compared to mobile push notifications without an image and  Braze.com has reported recently that adding an image to a message has been shown to increase conversions by 57%.

Localytics also conducted research in 2014 that found a 7% open rate for segmented push messaging compared to a 3% open rate for generic, broadcast messages, and of people who open a push notification, 54% of users convert from segmented push compared to only 15% for broadcast messages. This research is now outdated, so numbers will differ, but the research shows the importance of segmenting your users and creating personalized, targeted notifications to encourage conversion. By including the user’s first name and mentioning what area they’re currently in, you’ll capture their attention far more effectively than a generic message would. Of course, a conversion differs from business to business, so it’s hard to predict what would work for an individual business without running tests. The key is providing value. In another recent study by Localytics, 80% of respondents reported push notifications as being somewhat helpful, or not very helpful – so there is definitely still room for improvement on the value being provided.

What should be measured to see if mobile push notifications are working?

There are several metrics that can be used to see if push notifications on a mobile device are having the desired effect, and these would include open rate and click-through rate, if the app was launched after the push notification was received, how much time was spent on the app after certain notifications, number of sales, re-engagement after push notification delivery and more.

How many push notifications are too many?

Just because a business can reach customers via a push notification, doesn’t mean that this privilege should be abused. Remember, annoying customers with too much interruption will cause frustration, and ultimately lead to either an uninstall of the app, or a negative impact to the perception of the brand – or both.

Globally, push notifications have come a long way in the last few years due to better targeting abilities and therefore increased relevancy, and in the Localytics study previously mentioned, 52% of respondents said push notifications are “better” than they were. Also in the study, it was mentioned that businesses can consider sending more than one weekly push notification a week and it won’t have as much of a negative impact that it had 3 years ago, when sending two to five push notifications a week would have caused 31% of users to stop using your app. Today, this is down to 22.3%.

What’s the optimal number of push notifications?

The optimal number and timing of push notifications will vary by business, by industry, and by audience. While the 1/week guideline is a good start, it’s really up to the individual business to test different sending frequencies, combined with testing message types to see what works best. Localytics’ survey found that globally, the best types of push notifications (49% percent of respondents said these types of notifications cause them to use an app more) are those triggered by a user’s stated preferences.  After stated preferences, location tracking was voted as the most valuable type of trigger. Notifications triggered by in-app behaviour are most likely to cause them to use an app less. Further research suggests that afternoons on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are the best times to send push notifications.

How does GetintheLoop use push notifications?

At GetintheLoop, we use push notifications to alert our customers to specials and offers that are running from our partners, depending on their location, what the offers is and whether or not the user has opted in to receive them. Here’s an example of a push notification for Ricky’s All Day Grill.

Ultimately, push notifications can be a great way to connect with customers, and remind people about your awesome app, but keep these four things in mind if you have an app and regularly use push notifications to communicate with customers:

  1. Start with one push notification/week and track results.
  2. Provide value in each and every notification you are sending.
  3. Be as personal/targeted as possible to maintain the relevancy of the notifications.
  4. Base notifications on users stated preferences or location rather than past behaviour.

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!