Low-cost technology helps grow customer engagement

With some inexpensive tech, business owners can reduce waste in customer engagement activities

Driving Traffic graphic
Dave Blanchard
DAVE BLANCHARD Cognesis Marketing

The typical small business manages customer engagement by generating interest, closing sales and repeating the process. But for most small businesses, this process is badly broken. That’s because there are typically three areas of waste inherent in their customer engagement activities: lost traffic, lost leads and lost customers. But now, with the help of some relatively inexpensive tech, business owners can reduce the waste significantly, which means boosting the return on their marketing investment.

Lost Traffic

98% of website visitors leave without making a purchase (source: Inc.) That means that most of a small business’ investment in SEO or digital ads is potentially wasted. Offering a “lead magnet” – something of value like a discount coupon, free trial or free report – in exchange for name and email can convert more traffic to leads, dramatically reducing wasted traffic.

Many CRMs and email marketing platforms include the ability to quickly and easily create a website form that can be used to capture visitor information and deliver a lead magnet. Some of the more popular and affordable ones include Lead Pages ($15/mo), Click Funnels ($97/mo), Keap ($99/mo) Constant Contact ($20/mo) and Mail Chimp (Free).

Lost Leads

50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first (Source: fronetics.com). So, being the first one to respond to inquiries can give a business an edge. But how can a business actually be the first to respond? Following on the lead capture strategy we just discussed, an immediate automatic response offering the prospect the ability to schedule an appointment, meeting, tour or estimate on the spot from their mobile device can dramatically increase sales. No more back-and-forth calls or emails to find a time to meet or give an estimate, no more delays and no more losing out to a faster competitor. In fact, services like Uber and DoorDash, mobile online scheduling is quickly becoming the norm that consumers expect from business.

Calendly (Free), Keap ($99/mo), Schedule Once ($15/mo) are inexpensive tools for mobile online scheduling.

Most business owners are great at closing leads that are ready to buy. But many prospects who have a need for what you offer need to learn more about you and your products or services before they are ready to make a decision. A membership site combined with systematic follow up can be a great way to warm up those leads by providing valuable information, shopping guidance, inspirational ideas or training. A membership site requires that the prospect exchange their name and email address for access. Once they sign up (again converting traffic to a lead) prospects have access to exclusive content such as training videos, downloads, audio recordings and more that serve to deepen the bond with your prospect, which means they will be more likely to buy from you.

Combining a membership site with automated follow up is an even more effective way to convert more prospects. According to Digital Marketer Magazine, seven follow up interactions result in greater sales, yet most businesses give up after two or three. With automated follow up, emails, calls and texts are executed like clockwork, so every lead gets what they need to become a customer.

Customer Hub ($79/mo), Memberium ($47/mo) iMember360 ($97/mo) combined with Keap($99/mo) are popular for warming up leads and getting them ready to buy.

Lost Customers

The reality of marketing a small business is that once a new customer comes onboard, the sales cycle immediately starts over to find the next one. This often results in the customer sensing indifference. And this indifference is the reason 60% of customers leave a business (source: Customer Experience Insight). What we want to do instead is to wow every new customer. Creating a memorable, delightful experience creates the word of mouth that leads to more business. A thank you note or simple but thoughtful gift can go a long way toward creating a loyal customer that buys again and again and refers others to your business.

Three tools for sending simple cards or gifts are Send Out Cards, Banner Season and Thankster, which are inexpensive tools that make sending cards and gifts easy (cost per card or gift varies, but starts at a few dollars).

And, of course, simply handwriting a card using only old school pen and paper tech is a perfectly fine way to show love to your customers, clients or patients.

Due to advances in cloud-based applications, tech tools like these with small price tags can make a big difference in how many customers are gained and kept by a business.

Dave Blanchard, owner of Cognesis Marketing, helps small businesses get customers faster and keep them longer. He can be reached at dave@cognesismarketing.com.

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