Month: December 2018

How to get more clients online

One of the most important questions you can ask when you start or run your business is how to get clients online. We can’t say that it’s impossible to run the business without an online presence, but you definitely leave a lot of money on the table by not driving sales online. There is no magic with online sales, and you need to be patient to get your first clients on the Internet. To become successful with online sales you need to build the strategy and set a smaller goal along your way to get more clients. Today we prepared 5 actionable tips you can use to get better sales.

1 Offer free consultation

It applies to businesses, which sell services. If you are good at something, you can sell your skills or knowledge. If you already figured out how to promote your services you need to convert prospects into leads. A free consultation will help you achieve this goal. It helps to reduce the funnel friction and get qualified leads. You can convert them to clients later. It’s easier to try something for free, which provides you with a higher chance to get the inquiry from the client. You know that the lead base you are building by providing free consultations has the problem which can be solved with your service. It creates a great opportunity for the upsell in the future.
If you use WordPress, you can create the landing page, where you can place WordPress booking plugin like Bookly or other online booking systems to automate the process of appointment scheduling.

2 Start blogging

You need visitors on your website to get clients or even leads online. You can’t optimize conversions if nobody visits your website. Blogging in combination with SEO is one of the proven ways to increase your website traffic. It takes time to see the results, but if you write regularly and you cover topics which are interesting for your potential clients, it will pay off. But don’t put quantity over quality. It’s much better to write one or two articles per month, which will be interesting and will share some news, or will explain how to solve the problem. Don’t forget about SEO, use Google Keyword Planner or tools like Semrush or Ahrefs to find keywords people use when they search the topic you are writing about. You need to use those keywords in heading, title and in the article itself. Keep writing, and you’ll see more visitors and clients in some time.

3 Run an ad campaign

This method requires a budget, but it’s definitely worth testing. It’s the fastest way to address the message to your potential audience and gather the market feedback. Once you find your audience, you will get more clients online. Nowadays there are plenty of options you can choose from to advertise your product or service. You can test more traditional ways of advertising by placing banners on websites, where you think you could find some clients. For such purposes, you can use the service like BuySell ads to agree with website owners directly. You could try programmatic advertising with Google Adwords, Bing when it comes to contextual ads or even banner ads available across their display networks. Programmatic advertising provides you with targeting options, which allow you to define the audience, who should see your ads, which will lead to better ROI and conversion rates. Programmatic advertising is also available within Social networks, but when it comes to social, you can also try influence marketing. And don’t forget to use tracking to analyze which channels work best for you to optimize ad campaign and budget for better results.

4 Write a case study

If you already have clients, you can write a case study with them. Once it’s ready, you can use it to attract new visitors and improve conversion rate. With a case study, you can describe the problem the client had and how you helped to solve it. It creates social proof and trust because your clients speak for you and they show the results they managed to achieve working with you. Besides you can use sase studies to create more content like a blog, social posts, infographics, etc..

5 Build partnerships

Build partnerships with other companies and brands you don’t compete. By doing that you will leverage their marketing activities to promote your brand. For example, if you are a professional photographer you could partner with wedding consultants, some photo studios, Instagram bloggers, etc. to promote your services. Typically it’s a mutual partnership and you can even agree on some sort of commission.

It’s not an ultimate list of things you could do to get more sales online. But it’s a good starting point. The good thing about these tips is that you can start implementing them right away. Share how you get clients online in the comments.

Original post: How to get more clients online

Magento Alternatives – Which One Is Right For You?

Magento is one of the most favored e-commerce platforms used by all over the world. There are three different platforms provided by Magento to its users Enterprise Cloud Edition, Enterprise Edition, and Community Edition. It might be really popular among businesses of all sorts, but some customers might not be satisfied with it.

Well, here we are to help you find alternatives. If you are looking for one of those, then you are at right place.

Reasons for switching:

When Magento started, there weren’t many other sites for, and people found it as a new and unique idea for marketing. Hence, it became really popular. But nowadays you have e-commerce software that captures to different purposes.

You also has to take into account that you might need to hire developers to customize your platform. For example, developers who have experience in PHP Zend Framework and Java might be expensive and not so easy to find.

Characteristics of e-commerce software to consider

When you are looking for e-commerce software solutions, consider these points while deciding which platform you are going to choose.

Close source or open source platforms:

The most used close source includes Abode products or Microsoft windows while the open source includes Mozilla Firefox browser and Linux. The close source provides protection and customer support while the open source lacks them.

Cost:

Open sources are free of cost and does the same work as the close sources do for many hundreds of dollars. But there is a greater chance of open sources running you into unpleasantly high fees.

Distinct characteristics:

Always look for the site that provides plugins with whom you can work. This will broaden your potential and value.
Knowledge about technology:

If you, don’t want to hire any web developers then closed source options become limited for you. If you know coding yourself, then you can use open source shopping carts. They will be the cheapest yet useful. Here is a list of some of the Magento alternatives:

Shopify:

It is one of the best choice as a replacement. The e-commerce company has its headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario. It is stated that about 600,000 merchants were using it back in 2017. Just a click of a button and there you are with your own site; that’s how easy it is to use. It gives its users many services like marketing, shipping, and payments. You can even run a small online store.

It provides you with unlimited space for storing your products. Being really inexpensive makes it one of the best solutions around and only costs twenty-nine dollars per month whereas standard plan costs about seventy-nine dollars every month.

Though it provides plenty of plugins, extensions, and applications, it still has its drawbacks. The most important one is that it does not let you expand your website customizability, hence your control over your website is minimized.

Volusion:

According to a review, volusin is one of the best e-commerce software, therefore becoming a famous Magento enterprise alternative. However, it is used more by those people who are more interested in website’s operational side rather than those who are concerned with the visual or marketing side.

Unlike Shopify, it provides a greater chance of expandability and gives you more control over your website. The close source, volusion, put in a great effort to satisfy its customers and provide them the best experience. The only point for its lagging is the cost that is difficult to pay for the small business owners. Its basic offers are restricted, and you have to pay more, for the professionally designed options. The more you pay, the better it becomes for you.

BigCommerce:

The easy to use, Bigcommerce, is not just the competitor of well known Magento but also Shopify and Volusion. Big commerce does not provide its clients with the limitless characteristics and offers, but its guidelines and helplines make it worth using the site.

The self-explanatory directions that are given to the people who are new to the business, help them stand on their feet very quickly. Though it provides hassle-free setup and is well protected still its cost is quite high. Its market is not much diverse and expanded, but it still has 100,000 clients.

Virto Commerce:

Being an open source platform, it has lots of users and hence serves as a big competitor. As it is free, it is well suited for small business owners. You can create your own site via Microsoft cloud and also expand it. All its cons, make it major Magneto’s competitors.

So, that is the list of a few of the many alternatives. You can choose one that fits you. Just remember to consider all options because this is very important for the success of your enterprise.

Original post: Magento Alternatives – Which One Is Right For You?

Evergreen Email Marketing Tips for Bloggers

Email Marketing has been a cornerstone practice for both marketers and bloggers for almost two decades. The simplest reason for its prevalence is its fantastic return on investment and ability to garner and nurture an audience.

Although it is a well-established practice, it can still be challenging to use this tool to market your blog effectively if you don’t know where to start. The key is always to focus on the fundamentals first. Once you have those mastered, then you can tweak around with your tactics and see what works specifically in your case.

In this post, we’ll showcase evergreen fundamental email marketing tips that are sure to get you more traffic and quality leads.

Understanding Basic Email Components

When it comes to email marketing, it helps to break down your message into its three core sections. For any effective email, the subject line, the body and the CTA are the three integral parts that any marketer needs to get right. You do that, and it’s going to be a win!

As a blogger, if you can pay attention to these 3 aspects of emailing, you can be sure to see your traffic numbers steadily grow. Let’s look at these 3 aspects in a little more detail:

1. Subject Line
The subject line is the very first impression of your email when it lands in a recipient’s inbox. A catchy and enticing subject line will urge your subscribers to open the email. You won’t be surprised to learn that 35% of emails are opened, based solely on the email subject line.

When you are fighting for space in a recipient’s inbox, subject line happens to be the only thing that can help you stand out from the clutter. Therefore learning to craft eye-catching subject lines can really improve your open rates.

A few things you can do to improve your subject lines are:

-Keep them short, sweet and to the point
-Use the recipients’ name if you have this information available
-Optimum length for subject lines is 65 characters
-Use catchy headlines but keep them specific to the content of your email

2. CTA

CTAs or Call-to-Action buttons are usually designed as little boxes that direct people to your website.

They offer a distinct next step that an email recipient can take in regards to your email. To improve click-through rates (people who visit your blog through emails), use a compelling call to action that offers a real benefit to your readers.

Think of CTAs as the gateway between a recipient’s inbox and your blog. Given that a major purpose for email marketing is to increase blog traffic, your whole email eventually boils down to the magic CTA button, and whether or not the reader is going to click it or not. Some steps you can take to improve your CTAs are:

-Make your CTA stand out against the email body
-Make sure the reader understands the CTA is clickable by making it a button and using simple verb-based copy
-Place it next to elements that support the CTA rather than take attention away from it
-Use short and compelling text for the button
-Leave white space around CTA to make it pop

Now that we’ve gone over best practices for designing CTAs and subject lines, let us look at the most important aspect of the email, the actual body itself.

3. Email Content:

Subject lines and CTAs will only pay off if the actual content of your emails is compelling and relevant to your subscribers. Even then, good content can be overlooked if it isn’t presented well.

You should ensure certain steps that can really make your content pop, and make it easy for the reader to navigate your email. Some actionable tips are:

-Keep your message concise, to a point where it can not be simplified any further
-Create a hierarchy of information, adding the most important information first (remember you are competing for a recipient’s limited attention)
-If you have a lot to say, break up your content under sections and headlines
Organize your email for quick reading so people can get to your point as quickly as possible

So what do these tips mean for you as a blogger?

As bloggers, people naturally focus more on updating and maintaining their actual blog and instead view marketing as a supplementary activity. Or they lack the knowledge to implement effective marketing.

These tips give you the advantage of not having to research and experiment with email tactics to come up with a winning solution. Consider these tips as best practices, and use them while still maintaining a primary focus for your blog.

Working on Your Email Timing
Your blogging efforts only pay off if there is an audience to engage with your blog. An appropriately timed email is a great way to increase the chances of people opening your emails.

CoSchedule aggregated results from 14 email timing studies and here are their most important findings:

-The best day to send an email is Tuesday.
-If you send two emails a week to your recipients, choose Thursday as the day for your second email.
-The best time to send emails is 10 a.m (when people have settled into their office space) or 8 p.m (likely the lasts time people check emails before going to bed).

Do play around and experiment with timings to see which time works best for you. Although these tips represent averages and in most cases, they do deliver the best open rates, the case may be different for your specific blog according to your unique audience. And that brings us to our next point.

Knowing your Target Audience

Understanding whom you are blogging for and what sort of people you will be sending emails to is a crucial part of your marketing strategy. When you know who you blog for, it is easier to create marketing campaigns and easier to create compelling content.

When you know your email subscribers, it will also be easier to create segmented lists, figure out what sort of emails they respond to and what times of the day are most suitable for sending emails, according to their behaviors.

So how does one get to know their target audience?

Start with secondary research. Look for blogs similar to yours and see what kind of people they are writing for. Look at market studies to learn about online behavior and how people in your niche generally behave.

Then make your research a little more personal. Start reaching out to your current subscriber base. Reach out to them, talk to them. Learn what kind of jobs they work, what variety of activities they involve themselves in, learn about their lifestyles and behaviors. You can even be direct and ask them why specifically they visit your blog.

As a blogger, you also have the advantage of direct interaction with your readers. Check your comments section, start conversations with them and see what you can learn through what they write.

An easier method is to create opt-in forms on your blog. Use lead magnets (e-books, offers, guides) to get valuable information from your visitors — information such as job, interests and obviously email addresses.

Look at this example for inc.com, a company operating in the finance sphere. They offer to help you out with common money problems, and in exchange, they learn what sort of financial issues you commonly face. Using this information they can create segments for different types of people that visit their blog and send them targeted personalized emails.

Finally, the key to your blog’s long-term success lies in repeat visitors, who are comparable to loyal customers. If you get to understand your audience’s needs and likes, you have a better chance to get them to subscribe to your content so that they keep coming back.

A/B Testing

A/B testing, also known as split testing, is the practice of experimenting with variants of an email to see which performs best. The way to judge performance is to set a metric and measure whether variant A or B performed best against the metric.

In case of a blogger wanting to check which subject line works best for them, he would see which of his two variants had a higher open-rate.

If they want to check which copy for a Call-to-Action button performs better, they will review the click-through rates for both variants. With A/B testing you can measure performance for:
-Headline
-Subject line
-Body text
-Images
-CTAs
-Email layouts
-Discounts variants

You can play around with many aspects of your email to learn what your audience responds best to and thereby improve your marketing efforts.

In closing, it is worth reminding that while all these tips serve as excellent tools to boost your blog, the real growth comes from producing and maintaining quality content on your blog. If you’re blogging with a purpose, sooner or later, you will start to see your visitor traffic grow and you will earn great opportunities for monetization.

Rukham Khan is a writer for MailMunch, an app focused on growing emails lists and helping users with all things email marketing.

Original post: Evergreen Email Marketing Tips for Bloggers

Are Patients Engaging With Your Blog? AI Can Help

Blogging is an ideal way to draw attention to your medical practice, but are your clients actually reading your posts? Too often, we work hard to develop engaging content, only to have readers scroll right past. By employing AI as part of your medical blog, however, you can increase engagement and boost client participation at your practice and even put readers on the path to greater wellness.

Blogs And Bots

Bots are playing a growing role in the blogging ecosystem, and one of their prime advantages is that they help make generic blog content more personal. One weather bot provides local three-day forecasts, while CNN uses bots to provide news digests, and people feel comfortable with these bots because they use interfaces similar to Facebook Messenger or Telegram. But what role might bots play on a healthcare site? There are several likely possibilities.

The most likely use of bots on healthcare blogs is as a way to triage patients, schedule appointments, and connect readers with appropriate services and resources. Though patients express reticence about using a bot for actual medical interactions at this point, 61% say they would use a virtual assistant for financial transactions or to book appointments. More than half of patients would also consider such a service for wellness coaching or chronic illness support, but there are also significant concerns about bots and medical privacy.

HIPAA Goes High Tech

One of the most common complaints about healthcare communication and associated services is that medicine is simply behind – doctors are the only people who still rely heavily on fax machines. But there’s a good reason for healthcare to use such old-fashioned technology, and it all comes down to privacy. HIPAA has strict requirements for any and all communication regarding patients and it’s taken years to reach the point where email has any role in healthcare communication. But those programs also provide a model for using bots on medical blogs and other healthcare-related settings.

So what are the baseline requirements for digital patient communications? According to Virtru, providers of a Google Drive encryption solution, HIPAA requires what it terms “reasonable safeguards” for all digital communication. That includes encrypting emails sent to patients and employing identity verification protocols before releasing any information.

Streamlining With AI

At this juncture, most healthcare AI is used behind the scenes; there are programs that can assess scans and others that evaluate patient surveys and symptom forms, but some practices have found ways to put them to work on the front end. At one practice, patients received a chatbot-based campaign encouraging people to get their flu shots. Mail, email, and phone campaigns on the topic had about a 1% engagement rate, but chat messages fared much better. Patients read the messages and answers arrived much more quickly, and since the inquiry isn’t covered by HIPAA, the campaign was simple to execute.

More advanced AI communication will take time, but since healthcare accounts for 18% of all US economic output, there’s a serious incentive for companies to get behind such projects. With proper design and the type of end-to-end encryption already employed by iMessage, chatbots could be ready for your healthcare blog in no time.

Original post: Are Patients Engaging With Your Blog? AI Can Help