Three Mobile App Personalisation Strategies To Implement Pronto

It’s no secret mobile apps are the best performing platform in the eCommerce landscape. A 2016 report by Criteo stated apps convert 120% better than the mobile web. The statistic stands out, but it isn’t surprising given that consumers of today spent 90% of their time on apps.

Newsflash! Mobile has indeed become an integral part of our lives. However, the app landscape is not all hunky-dory for eCommerce businesses. The competition is fierce. Consumers are more finicky than usual, which means your mobile app is one of many apps swimming in the internet waters.

Surprisingly enough, 84% of consumers have experienced difficulty in making a transaction on mobile at some point. The number is alarmingly high, and it just highlights the fact that eCommerce stores have an excellent opportunity to create a user-friendly mobile experience, but they’re not doing enough.

Capitalise on consumer conversion through personalisation

Absolutely!

Personalisation has been making the rounds in the digital spectrum since 2015, and the majority of businesses and marketers have taken note of it. As of 2019, content is king yet personalisation rules the house.

  • An Accenture study states 75% of consumers are more likely to buy from a retailer that recognizes them by name.
  • 65% of eCommerce stores report an increase in the conversion rates when a sophisticated personalized strategy gets implemented.
  • A Monetate infographic shows 94% of marketers believe online personalisation is critical to their business success.

Consumers love it when their shopping experience is personalised. Now with half of all internet traffic coming from a mobile device, it is essential for eCommerce stores to shift their complete focus on the mobile platform.

Have you ever heard of Google’s Micro-Moments project?

Or Think With Google? I am sure you have.

Micro-moments is when a user turns to a device reflexively to learn something, discover something, do something or buy something. In 2011, the tech giant decided to create a digital library of up and coming trends, statistics, infographics, market research reports, and more for businesses and marketers to use.

Google Micro Moments

Google states 91% of smartphone users turn to their device to complete a task. That is why delivering more accurate, relevant, and personalized content on mobile has become the need of the hour for eCommerce stores. The fact that the majority of consumers are glued to the little screen has helped their case.

Personalisation is no longer a luxury for a consumer; it is an expectation. Adding to this thought, here are three app personalisation strategies that should be implemented by your eCommerce store pronto:

1) Mobile deep-linking

The methodology followed by deep links is similar to that of hyperlinks. A hyperlink takes the user to a specific page on the web page. Mobile deep-linking, on the other hand, directs the consumer to a specified location on the app instead of taking them to the app’s homepage, when clicked.

Deep links offer an incredible user experience as the consumer can access the product on their phone right away. There is a little possibility of getting distracted midway and hence, deep links boost the chances of consumers completing the purchase cycle.

Mallzee, the Tinder-style discovery app, does a fantastic job by using deep links. If a user gets a retargeted ad of Mallzee on their smartphone, they are taken straight to the product page within the app initially displayed in the ad.

The bounce rates are lesser, the navigation much smoother. The consumer can continue browsing in detail hassle-free. The arrangement boosts the app retention rate and revenue of the Edinburgh-based eCommerce brand as more and more customers want to keep buying from it owing to its smooth navigation process.

2) Geo-targeted ads

If a customer has booked a room in Paris via Airbnb, they are likely to get city-specific recommendations such as top city tourist guides, history of the Eiffel Tower, boutiques to purchase souvenirs from, cafes to dine at, and more. That’s geography-based targeting for you.

Geo-targeting is the process of determining the location of the website or mobile visitor and delivering the content to them based on their location. The eCommerce stores should follow and segment the users as per location, age, gender, interest, and intent.

Since smartphones, today, have an advanced geo-tracking system built-in, connecting with consumers based on their location has become a compelling mobile marketing tactic.

An eCommerce store can tailor its messaging according to advanced segments such as product affinities, geolocation, age, demographics, and the date of the first visit on the site. If a given user is an 18-year-old shopaholic who is looking to purchase a sweater from an iPhone in New York – you can make all the difference by making a compelling offer to them promptly.

If an eCommerce brand happens to have both – a brick-and-mortar store and an online shop – it can also personalize experiences for those using smartphones or physically hitting the store to look up products by merging the consumer data to determine what they like.

The brand can then broadcast special incentives to purchase items in-store. Either way, it is a win-win for both the eCommerce store and its customers.

3) Product recommendations

You can’t convert a customer who isn’t ready to buy from you. But what if you create a desire for a specific product by recommending it? Product recommendations are a proven method of increasing business monetisation, reducing app exit rates and boosting app retention rates. 

Ecommerce giant Amazon pioneered it by first introducing it in 2006 under the phrase “customers who bought this item also bought.” Pretty smart, right?

Personalised push notifications, deep-linked to the mobile app, are also equally helpful in increasing revenue per session (RPS) and average order value (AOV).

push-notification-personalization-mobile1562248824558.gif

The push feature is quite a common element in the marketing strategy. It is a bit intrusive on both mobile and web, but it brings results. In eCommerce, it is being used by several domains such as travel, apparel, food, home decor, and more.

Conclusion

Now is an exciting time for eCommerce stores as we move to try different marketing techniques to boost customer retention rates, make more sales, and drive stronger revenues. So, which personalisation tactic has worked for your eCommerce store? Is there something you would like to recommend?


The article was originally published on YourStory.

Smart Toolkit: For Solopreneurs With Fast Growing Businesses

When I first started my writing consultancy business, I was happy and excited to embark on the journey of a solopreneur. I had a handful of clients. I mostly did writing work, which meant I just needed a reliable internet connection to do the job. Raising invoices hardly took time. Payments got cleared without any follow-ups. Life was easy.

As the years rolled by, my writing work remained an integral part of my daily routine. However, it was not the only thing I focused on as a solopreneur anymore. Business development, client relationship management, coordination with fellow freelancers, and branding also got added to my scope of work.

Suddenly I had too much on my plate, and my organizational skills went for a toss! But, I quickly realized we live in the golden age of technology with tens of thousands of tools at our disposal. So, I decided to make the most of that.

I soon started using a fair number of tools for managing different aspects of my business. Life was easy once again, and my business continued to thrive. If you are in a similar state of disarray, go through the toolkit I have created explicitly for solopreneurs with fast-growing businesses. You can thank me later!

I. Writing

1. HubSpot’s Blog Ideas Generator

Ideas have a problem. They don’t always come to you when you want them to, and that can be frustrating for a solopreneur whose work includes writing corporate articles regularly. In such a scenario, the HubSpot tool is a life savior!

Type in five nouns to get 250+ blog ideas — enough for a year’s work. I use it from time to time to search for ideas on a topic done to death. The results never disappoint!

free-tools-every-solopreneur-needs-hubspot

Cost: Free

2. Headline Analyzer From CoSchedule

No matter how well-written an article is, it won’t work unless its heading is appealing. I always face a lot of trouble in coming up with interesting titles, so I resort to the CoSchedule tool, which gives me a detailed analysis of the overall structure, grammar, and readability of the proposed headline. And that’s good enough to tell me if I should keep the headline or trash it.

free-tools-every-solopreneur-needs-coscheduler

Cost: Free

3. Grammarly

I hate making silly typos and grammatical errors while writing, but mistakes creep in no matter how careful one is. While Microsoft Word and Google Docs do a basic spell-check, that is not enough. Grammarly’s paid version picks up wrongly spelled words, suggests synonyms, corrects an ill-framed sentence, and more. I always run all my articles through it.

Cost: Freemium

II. Website

4. WordPress

Website development is an expensive activity. So, I always kept a blog on WordPress to showcase my published work. But when my business started scaling up, I realized I needed a website with a custom URL. And since I was not financially strong enough to get a website designed from scratch, I upgraded my WordPress account.

That gave me access to their premium themes. I picked one and customized it according to my brand guidelines. If you have a Business plan, use free and paid plugins such as JetPack, YoastSEO, and Easy Google Fonts to enhance your user experience. You can check out my WordPress website here.

free-tools-every-solopreneur-needs-website

Cost: Paid

III. Social media

5. Buffer

I love Buffer! It is easy-to-use, offers useful analytics, and hardly ever has scheduling issues. Managing multiple social media accounts from a single dashboard is convenient. The free version allows the user to schedule up to 10 updates on any three social media channels.

Buffer also fetches images from the links you want to publish, which means you don’t have to download pictures separately and upload them. The paid version is even better. For starters, you can schedule Pinterest Pins and have an approval system for scheduled posts (perfect when you are working with a team).

The analytics reports are more advanced too! I highly recommend the tool to my startup clients who are at the cusp of establishing a social presence.

Cost: Freemium

6. TweetDeck

As the name suggests, this is a tool only for Twitter posts, and I genuinely enjoy it. Thanks to its layout, you can not only use it to converse with influencers and connect with industry peers but also stay on the top daily news. I don’t think there is any limit to the number of scheduled posts on TweetDeck. And, that’s what makes it so awesome!

Cost: Free

7. HootSuite

I was once called the unofficial brand ambassador of HootSuite by my colleagues because I was mad about the tool and recommended it to everyone. Nothing’s changed even today. I use Buffer and HootSuite for different clients, and it works magically!

What I love about HootSuite is that you can monitor multiple streams in one place! You can add streams of new mentions, followers, and likes to keep up to date with what interactions customers have with you on social media. The tool is a boon for B2C businesses that deal with customers daily.

Cost: Freemium

IV. Analytics

8. Google Analytics

I am sure you have a website. So, how actively do you leverage Google Analytics? After all — it is the most basic tracking mechanism of a site! With the tool, study metrics such as bounce rate, average time spent on a page, customer acquisition through social channels, and trending keywords. Identify what’s working with the website and what isn’t. Trust me — it will help you create a far more effective inbound strategy for your business. (Photo from Neil Patel)

free-tools-every-solopreneur-needs-google-analytics

Cost: Free

9. Kissmetrics

Every solopreneur, irrespective of domain expertise, thinks they understand the target audience well, but such is usually not the case. With Kissmetrics, you can track the actions of every user on your website. I use the tool for one of my clients to study the weekly reports on monthly revenue projections, paying subscribers, top referrals, and results of any A/B tests.

According to its founder, Josh Ledgard, Kissmetrics helped his clients in calculating the Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV) rate and making improvements in the landing page templates offered on the website. While Google Analytics highlights the data, this tool shows what needs to be done with that data.

Cost: Paid

V. Email marketing

10. MailChimp

I love MailChimp! It offers a range of templates, and its drag-and-drop editor makes it easy for anyone to design visually impressive emails. You can set up a drip-email campaign to educate the subscriber about your products or services and nurture them to become your customers. Even if you only want to send automated messages like a “thank you” email in response to an email subscription, MailChimp is ideal.

Cost: Freemium

VI. Proposals

11. PandaDoc

A friend of mine introduced me to the tool, and I instantly got hooked! PandaDoc allows you to create custom branded documents for your business. I find its web-based document editor particular easy-to-use because of its drag and drop feature.

Moreover, your clients can electronically sign the document from any device. Sending proposals, invoices, contracts has never been this easy! And, it is cost-effective too.

Cost: Paid

VI. Finances

12. Wave

The same friend of mine also introduced me to Wave, and now I use it for creating invoices. But it is so much more than that! Exclusively designed for freelancers, businesses, and consultants, Wave comprises many features, including payment tracking, paid receipts, finance management, payroll, and more.

You can link your bank and PayPal accounts with Wave, and directly send the invoices to your clients. The tool will also send out a follow-up email to those clients who haven’t paid up with a specific timeframe. Feel free to pick up a template and customize it as per your business needs.

free-tools-every-solopreneur-needs-wave-apps

Cost: Freemium

13. Quickbooks

Any new business would initially have just one finance person to maintain the books manually. But as a business grows, arises the need for a software that can do this task with ease and within a narrower timeframe. QuickBooks is a convenient tool to automate the entire bookkeeping process.

Cost: Paid (with a 30-day free trial)

VII. Project management

14. Trello

If you love to color-code your tasks and want to be able to see your entire schedule in one go, Trello is right for you! Seriously — I can’t imagine my life without Trello and have made boards for both professional and personal tasks. It is such a simple tool!

Also apt for project management, Trello helps multiple teams categorize their tasks and conveniently displays what everyone is working on. If you work with a freelance team, go for it. It is also easier to chase deadlines on Trello because it shoots an email every time the user is near the deadline.

free-tools-every-solopreneur-needs-trello

Cost: Freemium

15. Basecamp

If you work extensively with freelancers, then keeping track of them and their tasks daily is necessary. Basecamp is an efficient task management tool that offers a regular “check-in” feature for keeping all the freelancers on the same page.

Cost: Paid

16. Asana

Project management is key to business growth, and that’s a skill every solopreneur should master. Mapping out every task and organizing even the tiniest details under one dashboard can make it easier for solopreneurs to work through stages quickly.

Asana is the right tool for you and your freelancers if you wish to stay in sync, meet deadlines, and achieve business goals. It not only helps you work together transparently but also increases the ownership of each task and drives better results.

Cost: Paid

17. Airtable

A friend of mine suggested the tool to me almost three years ago. I didn’t like it back then, but I decided to give it another try this year. And honestly, I can’t get enough of it! I primarily use Airtable for curating the editorial calendar of my website.

It is a dynamic tool that allows me to create filters on the sheet and makes viewing tasks much more straightforward. Additionally, it offers multiple templates, including Marketing Asset Management, PR & Media CRM, Event Marketing, Design Project Pipeline, and more. And anyone who knows me knows that I love free templates. 😉

free-tools-every-solopreneur-needs-airtable

Cost: Freemium (The paid version is definitely better!)

VIII. Communication

18. Slack

The idea behind Slack is to make business communication easier and transparent. One of my clients uses it extensively. I am a part of many channels on our dedicated account. On Slack, one can share files, gifs, and respond to conversation threads privately.

I have integrated my profile with the client’s Google Drive and Trello. The tool is free to use, but you can also purchase it to access features such as group calls with screen sharing, corporate exports for all messages, and designated customer success teams.

Cost: Freemium

IX. Design

19. Canva

Designers are an invaluable but expensive resource for any solopreneur. My bootstrapped business has survived without a designer for the longest time — all thanks to Canva that converted me into an amateur designer in a matter of minutes!

I love Canva! It is easy-to-use, has multiple templates in different themes and for all types of digital platforms. Want to make a social media graphic for a school? Want to create a corporate presentation? Want to design an attractive leaflet to promote the business? Whatever your requirements are, you can design anything and everything on Canva.

Cost: Freemium

20. Unsplash

If your work is heavily focused on visuals, then you should keep an eye on platforms to access pre-stock images. One such publication is Unsplash, which features hundreds of thousands of images across multiple industries — be it lifestyle, travel, finance, marketing, branding. Who said searching for images was a task? It certainly isn’t if you are using Unsplash!

free-tools-every-solopreneur-needs-unsplash

Cost: Free

X. Storage

21. Google Drive

Your company is at a stage where it is growing at a rapid pace. Offline excel sheets are not handy anymore. You require a tool that allows smooth collaboration across teams, and what’s better than Google Drive?

I love the fact that I can access files on the Drive from anywhere and complete tasks quickly. It also helps me share edited work with my clients or freelancers, thus maintaining a convenient sense of transparency!

Cost: Free

Over to you

We solopreneurs are always short on resources — be it time, money, or staff. I am always on my toes, juggling different aspects of my business. It is fun and exciting to have something of my own, but I would also like to give my business a competitive advantage.

I believe with the right set of tools, solopreneurs can reduce their teething problems to a large extent, and focus solely on doing a good job and bagging more clients. If you want to sell your business, sell it right — with the help of technology — as I do!

What tools do you use for your business? I am all ears.

Productivity Hack – Get, Set, Let’s Go On A Vacation!

2019 has been a year of travel for me. Not only did I explore new countries and new cities in India but also I went on multiple weekend getaways – without missing deadlines and important calls. But, despite the jet-setting schedule, one thing that I occasionally struggle with is completely switching off from work.

If you run a business of your own, you will agree “switching off” is not an option. As a solopreneur, I know how much blood and sweat goes into delivering quality work. But when one is obsessively passionate about their business, they are more likely to burn out – no matter how satisfying their job is to them.

I am no exception.

I understand a holiday is a perfect opportunity for me to take a much-needed break and step back from my monotonous routine. But I am still learning to do that guilt-free because, at the end of the day, I don’t want to be stressed or find it harder to perform at my best:

So, here’s what I try to do:

1. Go off the radar (almost)

As soon as I reach my destination, I put my phone away and only use it for a few minutes when I am back in my hotel room after a long, exciting day of sightseeing. In fact, I have noticed that my mobile consumption reduces dramatically when I am on holiday.

I also check my emails once or twice to which I don’t respond immediately. It is always good to be in the know, but it’s terrible to get sucked into the email vortex when this (👇) is your view.

get-set-lets-go-on-a-vacation-paris
Paris!

2. Embrace JOMO

Believe it or not – Instagram is not the first thing I check in the mornings. It’s not even my second or third choice. I don’t care about Facebook and have never downloaded the app on my phone. And I usually forget about Twitter, so that’s there.

Out of the three, Instagram is my absolute favorite. However, when I am on holiday, I don’t scroll through the feed at all. Nothing seems to interest me when I am sipping Mimosas by the beach or strolling the streets of Paris. It’s great if my Instagram connections are getting married, partying hard or vacationing at an exotic location. Good for them!

But at that moment, all I care about is relaxing and rejuvenating myself. I don’t want to be bothered with the digital clutter in my life.

I embrace the Joy Of Missing Out!

3. Enjoy the local cuisine

I am a foodie, and I love trying out local dishes of different countries and states. Ah! The excitement as my palette welcomes exotic dishes, spices, and tastes. I know not every food item is supposed to turn around a hectic day or de-stress, but when I am on holiday, every meal with the family tastes even better and elevates my mood.

There is nothing quite like it, and frankly, eating my way through the local cuisine is one of the first things I look forward to when I travel. I live for food for sure!

4. Step back, reflect, and plan

I think we millennials get burned out rather quickly. This interesting BuzzFeed News article supports my statement. We work too hard and often pull extended hours in the office. No wonder, we get exhausted quickly and sometimes find it difficult to even get up and go to work. There’s no balance.

When I am on vacation, I take a step back from my daily routine and take out time to introspect the weeks that have gone by. I try to find ways to optimize my life. I discuss the trials and tribulations of being a solopreneur with my family.

“How can I do things differently,” is something I ask myself a lot. Trust me – it’s not all about work. I also want to make a positive impact on my everyday life, and that’s not possible if I spend 12 hours a day in front of my laptop.

Pausing and taking a break really helps me here because life is only well-lived if improved continuously in every aspect.

Life is only well-lived if improved continuously in every aspect. Well said!

Wrap up

Given our crazy work schedules, it is vital to go on vacation frequently even if we visit the nearest hill station or a neighboring state. It is necessary to designate free time to relax and recharge our batteries. Now that you have read this far, can you tell me what’s next on your agenda?

Engaging Early Customers For Business Growth

Did you know 77% of new users never use the app 72 hours after installing it? An average app loses 95% of its newly acquired customer base within the first three months across both Android and iOS verticals.

The reasons for the same are many, including unattractive UI, bad onboarding experience, privacy concerns, excessive push notifications, reduced need, and more. That is why it is necessary for a growing business like yours to identify the loopholes in your mobile app and to improve the experience it offers.

1:1 communication is a must

Although it is OK for the first customers to explore the mobile app on their own, it is critical for your startup to get the product/market fit right when the app is in the beta phase. And, that can happen through increased engagement with the first customers. These numbers justify my point:

  • By 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. [Walker]
  • 89% of businesses will soon compete solely based on customer experience. [Gartner]
  • Businesses burn a hole in the pocket while acquiring a new customer. Seriously, that is expensive by six to seven times more than keeping an old customer engaged. [Marketing Metrics]
  • The probability of selling an existing customer is 60-70% as opposed to 5-20% in the case of new customers. [Invesp]

Therefore, reach out to your first customers and take their feedback as soon as your mobile app starts getting downloads. As a business owner, you need to understand the gap between what a consumer wants and what your product offers.

Products doing it right

Slack and Intercom engaged with their early customers from the beginning itself. It’s through their initial conversations with them were the two collaboration software tools able to fill the gaps between what their customers expected and what was offered to them.

So, the idea is to stay in touch with your customers to get first-hand feedback from them. I understand getting feedback consistently sounds tedious, but it will surely help you improve the product journey.

How can you have meaningful contact with your early customers? I suggest three easy ways on SmallBizDaily.

Eight Emotions We Writers Can’t Help But Feel

I remember putting words on paper for the first time when I was eight years old. My younger sibling was bothering me, and I thought an official handwritten letter would compel our mother to take my complaints more seriously. The letter failed to impress her. She laughed because according to her, “there’s nothing in the world that siblings can’t resolve on their own.”

But from that day onward, I started writing — often filling stacks of journals with my thoughts, dreams, and fears. It was soul-satisfying and entertaining! I soon switched to blogging and garnered a decent following with time. I enjoyed writing very much, and always knew I was meant to be a writer.

Fast forward ten years — when the majority of my peers were studying to become Chartered Accountants or Business Managers, I selected a professional path that enabled me to write to my heart’s content. As luck would have it, I quickly found myself as a part of the marketing team in a startup, where being a good writer was an advantage.

Six years and some 60-odd clients later, one thing’s for sure — I am proud to be called a writer. The job is stressful, deadline-driven, and at times, requires collaboration with other teams when running campaigns or curating engaging email content. But I love what I do!

A lot of hard work goes into not just writing content well but also marketing it. But I am not complaining. I chose this career. I decided to be a writer. But my choice also made me prone to feeling too many emotions at my job. If you are a writer, then you know exactly what I am trying to say. According to me, there are eight types of emotions that we writers can’t help but feel.

Head to Writers Guild to read the complete article.

Ever Considered Qualitative Data Analysis For Your Marketing Strategy?

The term “data analytics” is not a buzzword in the field of marketing anymore. It is considered an essential ingredient of successful marketing strategies. A Big Data Analytics Market Study states that 53% of businesses, irrespective of sector or size, have implemented big data analytics to identify loopholes in their processes and discover new opportunities for growth.

However, data analytics is a coin with two sides, i.e., quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative metrics helps in analyzing user behavior and identifying industry trends. Such type of data sets usually has a scale (dollars, days, time), and helps you gain insights into several marketing metrics, including:

— What consumers are searching for (keywords, specific URLs, products or services)

— Where consumers are conducting their searches (location, web search)

— When consumers are conducting searches (date, time, season)

— How consumers are searching (desktop/tablet/mobile, query/browse/ask)

Although unbiased and largely reliable, quantitative data doesn’t go deeper into understanding insights into customer motivation and emotion, such as:

— Why consumers are conducting searches

— Their intention, goal, or motivation to search for a product, service, or brand

That is something that qualitative data can answer. It helps businesses understand why their customers behave the way they do at a particular point, and identify flaws and make improvements in the conversion process, thereby supporting business growth.

The main objective of any marketing strategy should be to connect with the target audience, and that also on a personal level. These seven qualitative research methods can ensure that:

1. On-site surveys

Such surveys help in collating qualitative data from the customer’s website experience. They help in gauging how well your product or service performs and fulfils the users’ needs. You can locate process bottlenecks, understand root causes of abandonment, and identify visitor segments whose different motivations for similar on-site activity go undetected by analytics.

If you know why visitors are on your website, how they got here, and whether they can easily find what they look for, it becomes easier to tailor future experiences. Some of the questions you can ask web visitors include:

— What is the purpose of your visit to our website today?

— Were you able to complete your task today? Example:

— If you were not able to complete your task today, why not?

Tools that can be used: Hotjar.com, Typeform

2. Individual interviews

This method of data collection can be long and tedious. However, it can open up a treasure box of interesting consumer insights and perspectives surrounding your business. An individual interview can be conducted over Skype, on the phone, or in person. The idea is to ask your customers a series of questions and follow-ups to learn what motivates them to buy a product like yours.

Ideally, you should prepare a list of questions before the interview. However, you don’t need to stick to the script. If they say something interesting, you can always ask follow-up questions to dig deeper. The key is to figure out what makes your customers tick.

Here are a few questions you can ask:

— Have you bought [insert your product] before?
— If so, what motivated you to buy it?
— What frustrates you concerning [insert your topic]?

Tools that can be used: Skype, Zoom

3. Live chat transcripts

The past five years have witnessed the rise of live chat as a powerful medium for resolving customer inquiries (41%). A 2010 Forrester study once stated that websites that can help resolve customer queries in real-time on chat are at an advantage.

That remains unchanged even after ten years. 63% of consumers who use live chat on your website are likely to return to you. For companies, live chat has led to an impressive 40% increase in conversion rate.

An AMA study reported that the platform could be effectively used throughout the customer journey, including:

— Early-stage sales development (32%)
— Marketing awareness (29%)
— Post-sales customer support (39%)

That means, the chat transcripts can give an insight into many aspects of your business including, what your customers are looking for on the website, what they feel is missing from your offerings, where you could make improvements, and others.

Striking the right chord with the customers is essential. The live chat transcripts can help in ensuring so quite effectively.

Tools that can be used: Any chat software, such as Olark, My Live ChatZendesk, tawk.to

4. Online surveys

As a business, you should always strive to find out who your customers are, what they want, and what they don’t want. And, what’s better than conducting online surveys for understanding your target audience’s point of view?

Even though surveying is a traditional method, it still rules the roost in planning marketing strategies. It allows you to gather a large amount of information in a short period. Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) are convenient for consumers as they only have to mark the answers, and they can finish up a long survey promptly.

However, in case you want more vibrant or broad inputs, create a short survey with open-ended questions. The best surveys are a mix of different types of questions:

— Open-ended – What is it like to live in California?

— Closed-ended – Do you like learning French?
— Rating – How would you rate our service out of 5?

— Likert scale – How satisfied are you today with our customer service?
— MCQ – What is the capital of India? New Delhi | Ahmedabad | Mumbai | Bangalore

Since the objective is to get as many responses as possible, create an easy-to-fill survey. Don’t make it excessively long. Your audience will thank you!

Tools that can be used: SurveyMonkey, Typeform, Google Forms

5. Focus groups

Generally conducted in-person, focus groups offer a comfortable environment for your customers to discuss their thoughts and feelings surrounding your product or service. One of the biggest advantages of this type of research method is that you can see the consumer’s verbal and non-verbal reaction to your business.

Secondly, different members of the group can bounce off each other’s ideas and thoughts, which means you can gain more significant insights. For optimal results, decide the agenda for the discussion. You could explore the general concept of your offerings or evaluate your brand image or test product usage.

If meeting in-person is not possible, you can go for Google Hangouts or Zoom to organize a discussion. The participants can answer questions asked by a moderator and respond to images or videos on the computer screen.

Tools that can be used: Google Hangouts, Zoom

Before you bounce off, please remember:

Qualitative data is not measured but observed. And, no business can flourish if they don’t understand how their customers behave or react, and make improvements in their marketing communications and offerings to accommodate that.

However, there are no set rules for analyzing qualitative data. Therefore, you have to draw a line for yourself and analyze within that boundary. There is no end to gathering data to derive a proper strategy. The whole process is intuitive in nature. Decide the volume yourself.

You can’t use qualitative and quantitative data separately and hope to craft an effective marketing strategy. The two data sets have to be used in tandem with each other. At the end of the day, it is necessary to focus on the “whys” and “hows” and not just “what” and “where” in marketing.

Breaking Down The Anatomy Of The Perfect Cold Email

Are you struggling with cold emailing? You are not alone. With over 118 billion consumer emails being sent and received daily, it is not surprising for your cold email to get lost in the crowd. The fact that 80 per cent of emails get deleted under 3.2 seconds on an average doesn’t help your case either.

But even in 2019, cold emailing is considered to be a cheap and effective method of acquiring customers and driving revenues. Email is an essential marketing activity to be undertaken by businesses to sustain in a competitive market.

However, writing the perfect cold email is an overwhelming process. For starters, businesses can’t be successful at it unless they conduct in-depth research on their target customer base. With less than 24 per cent of sales emails being opened, it further proves that some businesses are not doing a great job.

Only when that’s sorted should they move forward with writing. My guest post on e27.co talks about five elements that constitute the anatomy of a perfect cold email. Give it a read and let me know what you think.

How I Overcome My Productivity Slump In Eight Ways

For the last few days, I have been feeling way too sleepy. That could be because the weather is fantastic where I live or I am overeating (I just ordered Mexican food from Chili’s) or both. The point is I am a solopreneur, a freelancer. I am in the phase of scaling up my business and feeling sleepy at two o’ clock in the afternoon is not something I can afford.

I have too much on my plate at the moment. For starters – I want to get my website up and running. Don’t worry – it will be live by the time you read this article. My husband and I have family visiting us, so there’s that. We are traveling a bit too much in the coming months, so we have to plan for that.

And these are just non-work related tasks. There are assignments to be scheduled for the clients I signed up recently, and articles to be delivered before the month gets over.

Too much to do. Too little time.

These days, by the time I look up after finishing one assignment, it’s already nighttime and I can’t help but wonder if there is a way to break this productivity slump and complete all the tasks on my to-do list faster.

To answer my own question, I usually follow these eight nifty tips to staying productive. Check them out:

1) Write even when I don’t want to

Since a significant part of my job revolves around writing, I can’t escape it even when I want to. I have deadlines to meet and some critical clients who I can’t disappoint. Therefore, whenever I feel lazy or unproductive, I write. The output may not be as good, but I still get the job done. And, that’s what matters at the end of the day!

Continue reading here.

Social Listening Is Important, But Listening In Intelligently Even More So

In the last decade, social media has grown by leaps and bounds, with the total number of users predicted to reach 3.02 bn by 2021.

In an age when consumers are finickier than ever, it is vital for businesses to improve their performance continuously. And, social media offers a wealth of information to them not only to better understand their target audience but also to have a bird’s-eye view of the industry and to track competitor activities.

Often described as the snapshot of the real world, social media captures the brief moment in time when a user performs an activity, like highlighting a personal or professional achievement, complaining about a product or raving about a shopping experience, among others.

Social listening is the process of monitoring these digital conversations, analyzing the collected data for actionable insights, and putting an effective strategy in place.

Bottom line: social listening takes a village

Given the vastness of the digital world, the use of tools today is not an option but a necessity for businesses. There are various software such as Hootsuite Insights, Talkwalker, Synthesio, Audiense, Reddit Keyword Monitor, Quora, and AgoraPulse to track every piece of information about your business on the internet.

Such listening tools help:

— Record the general sentiment around your business

— Measure user engagement metrics such as likes, shares, comments

— Track any customer complaints or comments about your business

— Explore industry news and influencer conversations

— Analyze competitors and check how you fare in comparison to them

However, social listening is not free from noise:

— Every one minute, 317,000 statuses are updated, 147,000 photos are uploaded and 54,000 links are shared on Facebook. (Smart Insights)

— On average, over 6,000 tweets are posted on Twitter every second. (David Sayce)

— More than 100 million photos and videos are posted on Instagram each day. (HubSpot)

These figures are just the tip of the iceberg.

1.97 billion blogs are written on WordPress alone, and let us not forget the numerous videos being churned or the threads being created on Reddit daily.

So, is your business listening in intelligently? Come on, let us find out on Marketing & Growth Hacking.

Hitting A Creative Snag Isn’t A Joke. Here’s How One Writer Takes It In Her Stride.

If I haven’t said it before, I’ll repeat it: I love to write! Fortunately, a significant part of my job as a content marketer revolves around churning blogs, email and website content, banner copies, and social media captions daily.

Most of the time, I can come up with meaningful content that both my clients and target audience find valuable. However, there are times when I stare blankly at my Google Doc, hoping for an idea to pop up in my head and words to flow on the sheet smoothly.

Whenever that happens, I know I have hit a “creative snag,” and I must find ways to get out of it as soon as I can. In just five years, I have managed to work with over 60 clients from various industries. And the one thing I have learned is that my writer’s block is a silly excuse.

Will my clients understand why I can’t deliver work on time? God, NO! Therefore, instead of giving up or sulking, I write hoping my brain will restart and get out of the “creative snag” and sometimes, miraculously it does! And when it doesn’t, I follow six helpful tips to kickstart my creativity. Check them out on The Writing Cooperative.

Integrating CX Strategies Into Your Website Redesign

A website is a primary tool for any business for engaging and converting its target audience. It is the digital hub where consumers gather to learn more about different companies and their offerings so that they can make an informed decision.

Once they come to the homepage of a website, 86% of them seek information on products or services, 52% are interested to know about the business, and 64% expect to find contact information. Moreover, 59% of consumers engage with well-designed and attractive websites.

integrating-cx-strategies-to-your-website-redesign-1

source

After all, your customers want to be fed relevant information and enjoy a seamless browsing experience on your website so that they not only successfully make a purchase from you but also never hesitate to come back or to spread the word about your business in their circles.

Therefore, if you are currently thinking of redesigning your website, always remember: 73% of consumers consider customer experience (CX) as an important factor in purchasing decisions. The implementation of a robust CX strategy when redesigning a website helps in boosting customer acquisition and conversion rates.

That’s where personalization enters the picture. Unfortunately, many redesign projects wait until their completion to add that element to the website. So, how should you go about integrating a CX strategy into your website design?

Check out my tips on GeekFlare.

Using Pulse Surveys To Boost Employee Engagement

An organization’s job doesn’t end when it recruits an employee. Conducting onboarding and training programs are second in order when a new professional joins.

The general perception regarding employee engagement is positive. From startups and mid-size businesses to large corporations—all of them engage their employees in some way or the other.

However, what’s surprising is 90% of the leadership team agree an engagement strategy has a great impact on business success but only 25% of them actually have a strategy.

Moreover, as of today, 36% of organizations see engagement as a top challenge!

So the next time you ask yourself how employee engagement can contribute to your organization, remember these facts:

  • Onboarding helps align expectations and boosts engagement with the new workforce. It improves employee performance by 11.5%. [LinkedIn]
  • 73% of employees who say they work at a purpose-driven company feel more engaged at work. [Deloitte]
  • 40% of employees with poor training leave their jobs within the first year. [go2HR]
  • 68% of employees claim training and development is the most important company policy. [ClearCompany]

When they are satisfied with their current job profiles, they take less time off and deliver results at work that matters. This attitude is helpful in improving the health of an organization, which means higher profitability. It is a win-win for both parties.

So, what should a potential employee engagement strategy contain? Pulse surveys! My eLearning Industry article explores the topic in detail.