101 Small Business Marketing Ideas Part 4: Promotions

Are you a business owner who wants to grow your business but doesn’t know much about marketing? Do you want to attract more customers to your business? Do you want a quick checklist of things you can do to grow your business?
This post is the fourth installment in the 10 part series which takes you through the basics of small business marketing.
Ultimate Small Business Marketing Guide Overview
The 10 part guide is divided into the following sections:

Naming, Logos & Branding
Your Product / Service
Marketing Planning Basics
Online Marketing
Email Marketing
Social Media Marketing
Content Marketing
Grow Your Network
Customer Focused
Physical Evidence

In this article, we share some quick tips to effectively promote your business without spending a lot of money. You can quickly increase your reach by creating promotions for your business.

Add an effective call to action button

What good are your products and services if nobody knows where to find them on your website? You can urge customers to take action when visiting your website with an attractive call to action buttons. Some examples of call to action include “Buy Now”, “Hurry! Limited time offer”, “Try it now” and “Read More”. See here for tips on CTA microcopy.
With an effective call to action text, you generate a sense of urgency in the mind of the customer which then results in better conversions. A successful call to action has three main features which are the placement on the website, the design of the button and the text used on the button. You can play around with each of the features to see what works best for your business.

Create a promotional video

Although a promotional video is a popular way of promoting your business, many small business owners shy away from the idea. The attention span of customers is growing smaller, and hence a promotional video can help you attract more customer attention with fewer efforts.
Nowadays, many affordable options available in the market who can make the video for your business. A promotional video can help you reach a broader audience. It’s a one-time investment which is also long-lasting.

Create your personal booking system

If your business offers services to your customers then a great way to promote business is to get an online appointment booking system. It works great for sales teams, individual lawyers, driving instructors, repair professionals, etc. who offer individual services and for session booking services like yoga classes, coaching sessions, tour operators, B&B homes who offer customers to book a session with them or a particular resource.
The system allows you to set your availability, monitor booking statistics, send automated reminders and notifications, integrate it into your website, accept online payments, sync with personal calendar and set cancelation policy.
You can customize your booking schedule with your colors and logo, customize booking forms and share the system with your staff members. Another great feature of the system is that you can coordinate multiple schedules automatically with the system which saves you a lot of manual efforts, hence, resulting in improved revenue.

Claim your free Google listing

Google my business is a free tool by Google which allows you to manage how your business appears on Google Search and Google Maps. You can claim your free Google Listing and customize your business details like business name, location and business hours. You can add photos for your business and monitor and respond to customer reviews on Google. It’s a great way to improve the discoverability of your business.

Free Business Listings

A simple and easy way to reach more customers is to claim free business listings on multiple websites like Yelp, Yellow pages, Bing Places, Foursquare, Yahoo Local, etc. You can research the internet to find the directories where your competitors are listed and ensure that you’re also listed on the same websites. Many websites allow you to create a free account and add your business information. Listing your business on multiple websites will also help your SEO efforts.

Offer free trials

A free product trial can result in a win-win situation for both you and your customers. While you invest your money in giving out free product trial, your customers invest their time in learning more about your product. When you offer free trials you’re showing your customers how your product/service works instead of telling them about it in a speech. Experience is always a great way to reduce aggressive selling efforts and increase customer satisfaction. A great product will sell itself and attract more customers with word of mouth marketing.

Start contests

Contests are a great way to generate buzz about your business and increasing your fan base online. You can engage with your customers with interesting contests. Here are the steps to design a contest for your business:

Decide what’s the aim of your contest. The aim could be something like increasing Facebook followers or reaching more people.
Finalize your budget for the prizes and decide how many prizes you can give away in that budget.
Next, build your contest. Think of an interesting idea which people would like to talk about or something which may also help your business. For example, if you’re a yoga studio you may ask people to tweet about “Yoga is important because…”.
Once you’ve finalized your contest details, create your promotion plan. Do you want to limit the contest to Twitter or is it a contest in print media or do you want to use multiple platforms to promote the same?
Once everything falls into place, decide the basic ground rules and the timelines for the contest and create creatives around the contest.
You’re ready to conduct the contest. Once your contest is over, measure the results to see your ROI (return on investment).

Respond to reviews

Irrespective of whether the review is positive or negative, reviews are an important part of your business. The majority of customers search for business information online, and a few negative reviews may hinder your progress. Hence, it is important for you not only monitor reviews but also build a 2-way communication via reviews by responding to them. This will tell your potential customers that you care about your business and their complaints are being heard.

Use occasions

Festivals and occasions are an outstanding opportunity to promote your business and reach a wider audience. You can select a few target festivals in the year, and conduct marketing activities around those areas. You can set up booths in festivals, setup product demonstrations, connect with people to answer their queries and try to engage them in conversations. You can also conduct fun and interactive activities or sponsor some smaller activities during the festival. Don’t forget to collect customer information and reach out to them later to tell them more about your business.
If we missed out on any quick and effective small business promotion ideas, please let us know in the comments section below!
This post was originally published on Just Creative.

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B2B Marketing Videos 101

In today’s B2B marketplace, video can play a powerful role in engaging and converting your target accounts. According to Wyzowl’s The State of Video Marketing 2018 report, 97% of marketers say video has helped increase user understanding of their product or service—and 76% say it helped them increase sales.
Not sure where to begin when it comes to B2B marketing videos? Here are some general best practices to ensure your content is as effective as possible—and a guide to the types of videos you can make.
What are some best practices?
There are a variety of factors and procedures you should keep in mind to ensure your video campaigns are as successful as possible:
Know your audience
In order to create valuable B2B marketing videos, you must understand your audience and their needs. Ask yourself the following types of questions:

What types of information are customers looking for when it comes to your brand and product offerings?
Do you need to fill a particular knowledge gap?
What types of resources will help your point of contact create a powerful business case?
Which professional roles do your customers normally fill, and how can you develop characters and personas that represent them effectively?

Determine your distribution strategy
Before you begin working on a script and overarching concept for a particular video, you should understand where this particular asset is going to live. After all, the video’s “home” should play an important role in determining how long it should be, what type of tone you should use for this asset, and more. For instance, a video for social should be much shorter than that for a landing page—and can be written in a much more fun and light-hearted tone.
Establish your brand style
While your videos can certainly vary in length and format, it’s important that all of your assets appear consistent. Before you launch your video marketing plan, make sure you come to an internal agreement on the look and style of these videos—as well as your overarching messaging (from both a product and persona perspective). By creating a consistent brand style, you can establish a visual identity amongst your audience, thereby increasing your overall “stickiness.”
Always include a CTA at the end
So your customer or prospect just watched one of your videos: Now what? In order to maximize the ROI of these assets, you must always give your audience a clear next step to take. Create actionable CTAs that link out to relevant landing pages where you can earn a conversion—such as a product page or a Contact Us form field.
What types of B2B marketing videos can you create?
In a world of endless video possibilities, it can sometimes be difficult to know which content types to prioritize—and how to incorporate these assets into the customer journey. While your specific video strategy should depend on your overall marketing and sales goals, creating the following types of videos can be a great place to start.
Brand videos
A short video that provides a quick overview of your company, products, or mission statement is an extremely valuable top-of-the-funnel asset. These types of videos can give a behind-the-scenes look into your brand—highlighting the people and offerings that make it unique. Overall, these assets serve to help prospects understand the basics of what your company does and represents, allowing them to make an informed decision about whether they want to connect. You can think of a brand video as a more visually appealing and engaging way to get your “About Us” content out into the world.
Need a little inspiration? Check out this video by Deloitte:

Product demos
Before your prospect even considers signing on the dotted line, they’re going to want to make sure they understand the full functionality of your product suite—and how your offerings will improve their day-to-day operations. While it’s always important to provide these types of details in writing on your product pages, you can really take it to the next level by showing your products in action. Create product-specific video demos that highlight specific functions, outline individual use cases, and answer frequently asked questions.
Interested in seeing an example? Here’s a short video about Brightcove Video Cloud:

Customer testimonials
When you’re operating within the B2B marketplace, it’s important to remember that your point of contact will likely have to make a business case to his or her boss in order to invest in your technology. Of course, making these cases successfully requires multiple proof points that highlight your company’s value.
This is where customer testimonials can be extremely powerful. These videos should highlight one of your current customers’ success stories—calling attention to how your product(s) helped them to increase revenue, overcome a specific challenge, or reach a particular goal. This message will resonate on a deeper level when it comes from your customer’s own words.
Need a little inspiration? Watch this video we created with Pat MacFie, global director of media at Xero:

Another way to capture the attention of a target account is to demonstrate your company’s expertise. By creating informative webinars focused on the specific industry topics your audience is interested in, you can highlight the value of your partnership in an exciting new way. In a world where viewers are bombarded with promotional content on a daily basis, a thought leadership webinar can break through the noise. Whenever possible, choose an internal subject matter expert to lead the webinar, as doing so will highlight the level of knowledge your team possesses.
Interested in seeing an example? Check out our recent webinar on jumpstarting your video advertising strategy:

Live streams
By adding live video into your marketing mix, you can grow your audience, enhance brand awareness, and build unique content that you can repurpose into video on demand (VOD) assets down the line. Not sure where to start? Consider live streaming interviews with in-house subject matter experts, scenes from the show floor at an industry event, or your team’s presentation on a trending topic. By live streaming directly to your social channels, you can increase your reach even further.
Overall, video can be a powerful tool for getting your brand name out there and increasing engagement with your current customers and prospects. By following the tips and best practices outlined above, you’ll be well-equipped to start incorporating more video into your B2B marketing strategy today.

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11 Sales Follow Up Emails That Work

Even with the adoption of tools for internal communication, like Slack, external business communication is still done mostly via email — including following up with prospects. A sales follow-up email is a delicate dance with the recipient. While you don’t want to fill up a prospect’s inbox with annoying messages, you do want to effectively get their attention.
The right message at the right time can make the sale. Check out the following sales follow-up email examples, and use cases for each one.
1. A trigger event occurred.
A trigger event is anything that suggests someone is considering your product/service. Maybe you notice that a prospect has signed up for your product’s free trial or your company newsletter. Or maybe you see that the prospect has opened another email you sent.
Whatever the case, quickly reach out with a sales follow up email to introduce yourself and offer something of value to the recipient.
Subject Line: “Looking for more information?”

Hi [Contact Name],
I noticed that you signed up for our free trial. I have some resources that are great for getting started with [Your Company Name]:
Resource 1Resource 2Resource 3
Also, please let me know if you have any questions or can’t find a certain feature. I’d be happy to help.
Tyler SmithAccount Executive – ChicagoXYZ Company

Subject Line: “[Prospect Name] [Your Company Name]”

Hi [Contact Name],
I hope all is well. I wanted to take a moment to talk about a big problem facing the logistics sector and how I can help you with [Pain Point].
Would you like me to set aside some time to go over any questions you may have? Would Monday or Tuesday work for you?
—-Tyler SmithAccount Executive – ChicagoXYZ Company

Tip: Following up right after a trigger event provides the perfect opportunity to naturally start a conversation with a prospect. And instead of just contributing to the clutter in your prospect’s inbox, offer information or freebies that can help them improve their business.
2. The intro has been made.
Almost 50% of reps never follow up with prospects. Whether you met the prospect at a networking event or they reached out, send a message as quickly as possible and further gauge their interest in your product/service.
If you’re sending a sales follow up email to someone you met at an event, do it one to two days afterward, while you can still recall what you may have learned about him or her and their level of interest. And here is a good rule of thumb for any follow-up email: Don’t overwhelm the reader with too much text. Be direct and summarize your main points.
Subject Line: “As promised, more info about [Your Company Name]”

Hi [Contact Name],
I enjoyed talking with you at [Event Name] and appreciate your interest in [Company Name].
As promised, I am sending information about [something specific you discussed at the event]. From my experience at [Your Company Name], I know that [Pain Point] is difficult for startups like yours. [Your Company Name] has worked with X number of companies to overcome these issues. I believe we could help [Prospect Company Name] do the same.
Would you be interested in a call to discuss your company’s needs in-depth? If so, would [Date, Time] work for you?
I look forward to hearing from you.
Best,Tyler SmithAccount Executive – ChicagoXYZ Company

Subject Line: “Thanks for your interest!”

Hi [Contact Name],
Thank you for reaching out. I would love to share more details about our product and how it matches [Prospect Company Name] needs. Is [Contact Number] the best way to reach you?
Best,Tyler SmithAccount Executive – ChicagoXYZ Company

Tip: Make it easy for prospects to respond to your requests for meetings. For example, include a link to your calendar or a scheduling tool like Calendly.
3. You’ve led a call or demo.
During your call or demo, give a reason to follow-up with the prospect and continue the conversation. For example, if the prospect asks about a certain product feature, answer the question, but let them know that you’ll provide more info via email. Provide more value than just a generic email saying “Checking in” or “Touching base.”
Subject Line: “Here is more info on [Specific Feature]”

Hi [Contact Name],
I enjoyed our conversation earlier. I am excited about the possibility of working with [Prospect Company Name] and assisting with [Pain Point].
As promised, attached is additional information about [Specific Feature]. Please let me know if you have any questions. Also, feel free to give me a call at [Your Number].
Tyler SmithAccount Executive – ChicagoXYZ Company

Hopefully, your meeting went well with the prospect. Take that positive tone and carry it over into your follow-up email (send right after your interaction). In it, outline next steps, and provide a clear CTA. What do you want the recipient to do? Make sure it’s clear.
Subject Line: “I enjoyed speaking with today!”

Hi [Contact Name],
Thanks so much for the call earlier today! I learned a lot about [Prospect Company Name], and I think there’s potential for doing something together.
If you’re interested, I can schedule a demo on [Date, Time]. Please let me know if you would like to move forward.
Tyler SmithAccount Executive – ChicagoXYZ Company

Even if your call or meeting went well, you might not hear back from a prospect immediately. Try picking up the phone instead. If you are sent to voicemail, send another follow-up email immediately.
Subject Line: “Sorry I missed you”

Hi [Contact Name],
I just tried calling you to [Give a reason for your call].
I’ll try back again on [Date, Time], but feel free to give me a call back on [Your Number] before then.
Thanks for your time!
Tyler SmithAccount Executive – ChicagoXYZ Company

Tip: Take notes during your interactions with the prospect. You can use these notes to personalize your follow-up emails and mention the details you discussed.
4. You sent the quote.
Following up with a prospect after sending a quote can be intimidating. It’s the moment of truth after all — will they or won’t they commit to your product or service? Be direct but not pushy. If you gave a verbal proposal, send a follow-up within 24 hours. If you sent it via email, wait a couple of days.
Subject Line: “Any questions?”

Hi [Contact Name],
I wanted to follow up and check in on the quote I sent on [Day], which covered the features we can offer [Prospect Company Name] to help you improve [Pain Point].
Can I answer any other questions?
I look forward to hearing from you.
Tyler SmithAccount Executive – ChicagoXYZ Company

Subject Line: “Proposal recap”

Hi [Contact Name],
I’m following up to see if you received my quote outlining the features and price of our product/service? As a reminder, our software package would include:
Do you have any questions?
I look forward to hearing from you!
—-Tyler SmithAccount Executive – ChicagoXYZ Company

Tip: Remind the prospect of the tangible benefits they’ll receive if they purchase your product/service.
5. Only crickets have responded to your last email.
If you hear only crickets after sending a follow-up email, don’t be discouraged. Waiting for replies takes patience. Maybe they missed your past emails or are on the fence about your offer. Send your prospect a reminder.
Subject Line: “Still interested?”

Hi [Contact Name],
I haven’t heard from you since I reached out on [Date, Time]. I wanted to reach out again and check your interest in our product and improving [Pain Point].
Let me know if you have any concerns. I’d be more than happy to answer any questions.
—-Tyler SmithAccount Executive – ChicagoXYZ Company

If worse comes to worst and you haven’t received a response to your third follow-up, try the following message to create a sense of urgency.
Subject Line: “Close your file?”

Hi [Contact Name],
Unfortunately, my company is cleaning our sales pipeline. Since I haven’t heard from you, I assume that you are no longer interested or don’t have a need for [Your Company Name].
If that is the case, is it OK to close your file? If you are still interested, what would be the next step?
I appreciate your help.
—-Tyler SmithAccount Executive – ChicagoXYZ Company

Tip: Your sales email subject line matters. As with the examples above, craft your subject line to grab the reader’s attention, especially if they haven’t been responding to your other emails. Shorter subject lines (no more than 50 characters) are typically more effective.
Be strategic with your sales follow-up emails
A great way to keep track of each sales follow-up email is through your CRM. For example, Sell’s CRM allows you to send your emails directly through the platform and categorize responses. It also helps you avoid sending embarrassing duplicate emails. You can use follow-up templates on the platform or insert your own so you don’t have to start from scratch every time.

In addition, use CRM integrations like Mailchimp to analyze the best time to send each email. The best send time will depend on your audience (we recommend customer segmentation to source this info), but a Mailchimp study found that the optimal send time peaked at 10 a.m. in the recipients’ time zones. Experiment with sending your sales follow-up emails in the mornings.
Combine the tips with the examples above to follow up with prospects like a sales pro!

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First Steps to Conversion Optimization for SAAS Companies

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is important for almost any company – accountants, restaurants, lawyers, etc. It’s even more important, though, for SAAS companies.
This is due to the nature of relying on recurring revenue being generated by new customers. While upselling and cross-selling can be a part of the business model, the real cash is in constantly acquiring new customers. And not just that but acquiring them for the lowest cost possible. There is a reason you don’t get a sales guy going door-to-door selling the next big ERP. It is just too expensive.
This increases the importance of having a website that (when good traffic is sent to it) converts. In other words: conversion rate optimization matters.
SAAS companies don’t need to just grow, they need to grow significantly year-over-year. If a health insurance company grew 20% year-over-year, investors and owners would be happy. According to a study by McKinsey, a SAAS company growing at that rate would have a 92% chance of ceasing to exist within a few years.
“Even if a software company is growing at 60 percent annually, its chances of becoming a multibillion-dollar giant are no better than a coin flip.”
~ McKinsey
This rapid growth trumps even margin:

Clearly, if such growth is necessary for survival and the best way to achieve this growth is by creating a lead generating machine, then your SAAS company can’t afford not to do conversion rate optimization – and do it well. The question is, how do you start?
Know What You Are Working Towards
The first step in conversion optimization is to understand what the goal is and what you will be optimizing towards. And to do that, it is necessary to know what pricing strategy you are going to use. Are you using the Freemium model? Pay as You Use? Limited Time Free Trials? The pricing model you choose will then drip down into the goals you have for users that land on your site. Maybe that is a 30-day free trial, a demo, or limited use of the software.
“Doing conversion optimization for your SAAS company before clearly defining your goal is like being handed a black box and being asked to ‘fix it’.”
~ Jon Anderson
Knowing the conversion points is not enough, however. Along the same lines, it is necessary to add some metrics to the goal. The best way to do this is by working up the funnel. Start with the net number of new customers needed each month to hit the overarching goals for the SAAS company overall. To get to X new customers you will need X leads, coming from X visitors to the site requiring a X% conversion rate to get there. The efforts and strategies required to get from a 2%-2.2% conversion rate are much different than what is required to get from 1.1% – 2.5%.
“The most important single thing is to focus obsessively on the customer. Our goal is to be earth’s most customer-centric company.”
~ Jeff Bezos
Funnel Transparency
Sometimes, knowing where you want to go is the easy part. The part that often requires a bit more technical expertise (and likely additional software) is getting those numbers in the first place. After all, how can you tell when you reach your destination without first knowing where you are?
The more data you have, the more information you have to not only track your progress towards goals, but also (and more importantly) the more insight you have into where the snags in the funnel are. Are users landing on the demo page but not filling out the form? Are they scrolling right past significant CTAs? Below are a few different types of tracking that can be utilized as a part of your campaign. The depth and detail of information required will depend on your goals.
Site Analytics: The most basic analytics you will need are things like time spent on different pages, bounce rates, and other visitor behavior metrics. If you are an advanced user, you can even set up funnel analytics and goal tracking in these tools.
Tools: Google Analytics, Clicky.com, Kiss Metrics
Heatmapping: With many basic analytics tools you can’t see much detailed information about what users are actually doing on the page. Heatmapping allows you to see where users are clicking, how far down the page they scroll, etc.
Tools: HotJar, Lucky Orange, Crazy Egg
On-Page Surveys: If you ask a panel of website experts what they think you should change about your site, you will get a list a mile long. While that is very useful information, why not just ask users directly? Many tools allow direct customer feedback that gives you direct access to the people on your site.
Tools: Qualaroo, Webengage, Survicate
Session Replays: What is better than asking users what they think about your CRO optimization? Seeing what they actually do. This can get a bit big brother-y, so pay close attention to the regulations around this, but it can be a great way to get honest data.
Tools: Clicktale, HotJar
This is an incomplete list, but it should get you on the right track towards having the data you need to make informed decisions.
Note: Before you start your conversion rate optimization campaign, make sure you have benchmarks and know your current site performance and user behavior. Without that, how will you tell if optimization techniques actually led to improvements?
A/B Testing
Whew! Finally, you have everything set up to track your data and a good understanding of your customer journey. Now, it is time to really get into the meat of what conversion optimization for SAAS companies looks like. In its simplest form, CRO is simply a process of identifying problems in your conversion funnel, hypothesizing solutions to the problem, testing those solutions, and measuring the results. Then…. repeat.
1. Identify Problems
The first step is to figure out where in the funnel users are getting stuck. Are they filling out half the form? Are they not getting to the conversion page in the first place? Does one of your primary pages have a high bounce rate?
First, look at your funnel you set up (based on the goals you set up previously). Are there certain stages within it where your conversion rates drop off? Look at the pages on your site that are built to move users through that stage and work your way through the different analytic systems you have set up. Pull all the data you have on them, and highlight the behavior causing the problem (e.g. not clicking a CTA, leaving the page entirely, scrolling up/down looking for missing info, etc)
2. Hypothesize Solutions
Now that you have established a problem, identified where the problem is happening, and looked through the data around the behavior, start to hypothesize solutions. This will most often fall into two categories: design and content. Things like changing the color of buttons to make them pop more, reworking the value proposition or offering content to make it more palatable, changing the order of content to more cleanly work through the buying process, etc. The options are endless.
Keep in mind, then making changes, don’t just change everything about the page and hope one of your changes improves results. It may improve results the first time, but why? If you don’t know why then (1) you can’t learn a lesson and implement it on other parts of your site and (2) you don’t have a clear path forward for the next change. For example, start with changing the content in a CTA button then shift over to button design changes once you find the best text variation.
Conversion optimizations success lies in many small iterations proven to take you one step forward. It is a marathon, not a sprint.
3. Test Hypothesis
Once you come up with the ideas for how you will solve the problem in the funnel, implement the change. This is where you will start using different technologies to carry out the changes.
4. Measure the Results
Give the test substantial time to show results, then pull the data to figure out what worked best. Did one of your tests lead to an increased conversion rate or at least behavior indicating positive progress towards the bottom of the funnel? Great! If not, great! That just means you have another piece of information to then base future decisions off of. Collect (and track!) all this data and implement the winner into your core.
5. Repeat
Unfortunately, conversion rate optimization for SAAS companies is not a one-and-done project. It is an ongoing process of being neck-deep in data, watching user behavior, and making incremental improvements leading to a growth in customers using your software.
Identify, hypothesize, implement, measure, repeat.
Following the previously mentioned steps should give you a good overall understanding of the process behind implementing conversion rate optimization for your SAAS company. 1,500 words can’t serve as thorough training in such a complicated and important subject, but it will at the least get you started in the right direction.
That being said – it is not easy. You need a team with a solid track record of deep expertise in subjects like web development, design, messaging, UI/UX, and more. Do you have that many nerds at your disposal?

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9+ Must-Track eCommerce KPIs to Ensure Google Ads Success

Last month we looked at all the top eCommerce KPIs to follow and how to create your own based on your goals. But what about those KPIs that specifically help you monitor and optimize your Google ads? What are the must-track PPC KPIs to ensure your ads are not only bringing in a lot of juicy, targeted traffic, but doing so within your budget?
You asked, we answered!
This week we will run through the 9+ most important Google Ads KPIs and metrics to monitor to ensure Google Ads success. Ultimately helping you to increase conversions and order values while reducing your cost per acquisition.
Google Ads KPI #1: Budget Attainment
The first KPI we will look at isn’t a common one. If you want to keep a close eye on how close your Google Ads results came to your goals within the budget you set for the month, then budget attainment is a vital eCommerce Google Ads KPI.
Often overlooked by beginner Google advertisers, this KPI is very important for the following reason:
Marketers tend to over- or under-spend when adjusting bids and budgets daily because Google ad campaigns require constant optimization and adjustments. Budget attainment, however, will show you how your budgets are being managed.
Simply put, your budget attainment KPI is the total Google ad spend for the month vs. the allocated budget.
If you are exceeding your overall monthly budget but are getting good results, it is time to increase – if you have the spend. Or if you’re leaving money on the table and getting good results, then it’s time to add more campaigns to your Google Ads strategy. If, when looking at the month as a whole, you’re over-spending and getting bad results, it’s time to pull back and optimize your campaigns so that you’re not throwing away your allocated budget.
Google Ads KPI #2: Cost Per Acquisition / Conversion (CPA)
Yes, reaching your conversion targets is cause for celebration. But what if you notice from your budget attainment reports that you are exceeding your budget in a huge way? Then it’s time to look at what each campaign, ad group or ad conversion is costing you. This is where your CPA comes in. CPA is the cost of acquiring each new customer and is worked out as follows:
Total cost of conversions ÷ total number of conversions = CPA
Let’s say that your CTRs are great and your CPCs (we will talk about these in more detail below) are within budget, but your conversions are low – your CPAs will be higher than they should be, eating into the profits you do make. There are a number of reasons why this could happen, such as having either landing page/Google ad content discrepancies or an optimized web store that doesn’t instill trust or isn’t easy to navigate. Or if your conversions are great but your CPCs are too high, then again, you may find your CPAs are too high and leaving you without profit. Ultimately, you should be setting your maximum CPAs ahead of time to ensure your business is still profitable, and testing and optimizing your ads and store to ensure you do not exceed it.
Pro Tip: Use Google’s Targeted CPA bidding technique to enable you to get as many conversions as possible without exceeding the CPA KPI you set. To use this, you will need to be doing at least 30 sales per month and have conversion tracking set up.
Google Ads KPI #3: Cost Per Click (CPC)
CPCs are probably the most well-known eCommerce KPI to monitor when running Google ads. It’s the amount you are paying every time a user reacts to your ad. You work it out as follows:
Total campaign cost ÷ total number of clicks = CPC
In short, it’s the cost of your ad being displayed and the clicks it receives when displayed. Remember: with Google, the bids you set will play a part in the final CPC of your ad. If you are bidding on terms with a lot of competition and in a popular niche, you may need to plan for a higher CPC result to ensure you are able to compete. At the same time, if your CPC is too high and your conversions are low, your CPAs may be higher than the profit you earn on selling.
It is a balancing act.
Therefore, it’s best to work out ahead of time what your maximum CPC will be for Google Ads, to ensure you’re able to get as many results as possible for the budget you have. AKA: good ROIs. Here is a step-by-step guide for working out your max CPC:
Step 1
Work out the amount of profit you can earn with each sale. Remember to take your costs into consideration. You can do that as follows:
Average lifetime value per acquisition – (taxes + internal costs) = acquisition profit
Step 2
Next, you will want to work out what your current conversion rate is.
Total conversions ÷ total clicks = average conversion rate
Step 3
Use your profit equation and conversion rate averages to work out the CPC where you break even.
Average conversion rate X acquisition profit = break-even CPC
Step 4
Lastly, you will need to adjust for CPC fluctuations and profitability. You want to make sure that your max CPC is lower than your break-even CPC, as this will ensure you are not using all your profits. The trick is to not go too low, or you won’t get the reach and the clicks. And not to set them too high, or you will be spending far more than you’re making. Generally speaking, you want to aim for around 70% of your break-even CPC, but you will want to do the math and see what works for your business and budget in terms of how competitive your niche is.
Break-even CPC X 0.70 = max CPC

Google Ads KPI #4: Quality Score
Your Google Ads Quality Score is one of the most influential PPC KPIs because it not only summarizes how relevant your ads – and their landing pages and keywords – are to your shoppers, but plays a direct role in how Google decides which ads to show. It will also directly affect the cost of the clicks.
So, what is a good Quality Score for Google Ads?
Quality Scores are reported on a scale from one to ten and awarded at the following levels:
Account level: This is based on the historical performance of all your keywords and ads in your account. A good score for your account should be 7-9.
Ad group level: Here, you are shown the Quality Score of each ad group. At an ad group level, you want to aim for a score of 6-9.
Keyword level: This will point to the relevance of your keywords. You should be aiming for the following scores:

Ad keywords with high intent – Quality Scores of 7-9
Branded keywords – Quality Scores of 8-10
Ad keywords with low intent – Quality Scores of 6-8
Competitor keywords – Quality Scores of 3 and up

Ad level: This is the Quality Score of each ad in your ad group.
Landing page level: This is the Quality Score of the URL linked to your ad.
Looking at Quality Scores at every level is hugely telling. Let’s say your average Quality Score at ad group level is 6, but some ads in the group are higher while one or two ads in the group have a score of 3. Then you know which ad you need to optimize first to improve your average. Other Quality Scores are for Display Network and mobile.
Quick Tip: If you’re looking to improve Quality Scores at each level, you should optimize your landing pages, test ad text, and double-check your keywords and their organization.
Google Ads KPI #5: Conversion Rate (CVR)
The next vital Google Ads KPI to track is your campaign conversion rates (CVR). This is the percentage or rate of your ad clickers who end up becoming paying shoppers. In other words, sales!
You can work out your Google Ads campaign or ad CVR by dividing the number of conversions for the ad or campaign by the total number of clicks. Ultimately, it ensures you are meeting your ROI eCommerce KPI objectives for Google Ads.
Conversions ÷ clicks = CVR
Why are CVRs so important for ascertaining Google Ads success?
Let’s say your campaign clicks are high but CVRs are low. This could point to issues with your landing pages and their CTA text, or if coupled with a bad Quality Score, will show URL irrelevancy issues – all in real-time. Additionally, it helps you set and keep your conversion goals in mind for your click/impression campaigns.
Google Ads KPI #6: Impressions and Impression Share (IS)
Impression metrics may not seem like an important indicator of your ad performance on their own. But they can point to scheduling and targeting issues. Why is that important? Well, you can craft a highly strategic ad that promises to convert clicks, but it’s worthless if no one is seeing it.
Newbie Tip: Some basic reasons for low impressions for your campaigns, groups or ads include forgetting to un-pause campaigns or your budget limitations (your total set budget has been used, your ad approval is still pending or your negative bid adjustments are too low).
However, it’s impressions in relation to clicks (i.e. your impression share) that are really telling. IS is worked out by dividing your campaign impression totals by the impressions the campaign was eligible for.
Impressions ÷ total eligible impressions = Impression Share
This can be found in your Google Ads campaign manager and analytics.

This data can be used in a number of ways. If you have a low impression share and ad rank or Quality Score, then you could try raising your bid or work on increasing your quality score. If the campaign is performing well but you’re not getting enough views, then it could be time to up your budget. Additionally, it could point to poorly performing keywords.
Newbie Tip: Absolute Top Impression Share (ATIS) is your impression share specifically for your Google Shopping campaigns. A low ATIS could point to a need to increase bids or budgets. The slight difference between ATIS and IS is that ATIS takes into account all your Shopping ads you’re showing at once. You can read more about the difference here.
Google Ads KPI #7: Clicks and Click-Through Rate (CTR)
The next top Google Ads metric you want to closely track are your clicks. Clicks are one of the most important indicators of a campaign’s success and simply measure the number of people who click your ads. But it is your click-through rates that really bring your ad performance home.
Because if you have the impressions but aren’t getting the clicks, then it’s time to test some ad variations. Your CTRs are the percentage of potential shoppers who click your Google ads after seeing them and can be viewed at a campaign and ad group level. Here are some quick tips on how you can raise your Google Ads CPCs.

Edit and test meta description variations
Review your focus keywords
Test and optimize your CTAs
Improve your engagement metrics – such as time on site, bounce rate, page views and dwell time
Combine Google remarketing ads and Facebook marketing

Google Ads KPI #8: LTV (Lifetime Value)
Another super important eCommerce KPI to track to ensure peak ad performance is your LTV. This is an excellent indicator of your overall Google strategy health and will point to a lot of valuable data to help take your marketing – and business – to the next level.
In a nutshell, LTV measures how valuable each of your customers is to your business and will differ slightly per business owner. The more complex your business is, the more involved getting to this KPI will be as you will need to consider things like profit margins per counters, retention rates and the average lifespan of your shoppers.
Within Google Analytics, you are able to assess a variety of LTV metrics such as pageviews, session duration, revenue, transactions and goal completions per user. Choosing which one is most urgent to watch will be unique to your specific business, marketing or campaign goals. Let’s say your goal is to drive traffic or convert previous shoppers with Google remarketing campaigns: you may want to track pageviews LTV of promotional page or revenue LTV.

Google Ads KPI #9: Keyword Performance
The last top eCommerce KPI to monitor for Google Ads success is your keyword performance. After all, keywords are the foundation of Google Ads and without good performing keywords you will either not be reaching the right shopper or not reaching anyone at all. Therefore, it is vital that you have a clear keyword performance goal and then monitor and optimize based on your performance KPIs.
This will include metrics such as Quality Score, CTR, clicks and other important keyword performance indicators, and can be done at various levels. If you want to view keyword performance, these four easy steps will get you there:

Here you will be able to see which match types result in more conversions, clicks or impressions and which are duds. Remember to add irrelevant (non-performing) keywords that have low ROIs to your negative keyword list as this will help keep ROIs up and prevent unnecessary spend.

Ultimately, you need to look at your unique business, audience and objectives to find the top Google Ads KPIs to monitor for your success. As your business evolves, so will your goals and the KPIs you will put on top of your must-watch, must-optimize list.
Have questions on which Google Ads KPIs you should be monitoring for campaign success? Post them in the comments below!

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Social Media and Lead Generation for SaaS Companies

Before we begin, let’s get one thing straight: in nearly any SaaS context, social media probably shouldn’t be the channel you primarily look to for leads. However, it also doesn’t deserve to be entirely discounted when it comes to the lead generation process. Social channels have very important indirect roles in creating leads.
For example, you post a blog on your LinkedIn channel. Someone clicks on it, reads the blog, and then proceeds to wander around your website. Maybe they don’t even download anything – but they come back later and eventually convert and become a lead. Yes, that lead did come from social media, but it came through because social media drives traffic to your website. Your website is the true lead conversion tool; social media just drove the traffic.
Social media is still an important tool when it comes to lead generation for SaaS companies. Here’s how.
Lead Research
It’s almost a given that the average person overshares on social media. It’s actually a little scary how much you can find out about someone from their profile. You can typically see where they live, their interests, hobbies, family members, and more. This can be used to your advantage when researching a lead for the first time.
Once you have your eye on a specific lead, social media can be used to help foster a connection with them. For example, a quick cursory glance at their Facebook shows you they love dogs. It would be a good idea to use that talking point as a mutual connection. You can more easily build trust by connecting with a prospect over a mutual interest. Social media can give you that interest.
If you don’t have a specific contact at a company, you can still use a social platform to research a company. Often, you can even find the right contact to call via LinkedIn. All you have to do is look up your target company, click on employees, and see if there’s contact information for someone on the ops team. When it comes to lead generation for SaaS companies, social platforms are often underestimated as a research tool. Take advantage of them to learn more about your potential leads.
Creating a Sales “Web”
Your company social profile on its own probably isn’t going to generate too many leads. But it can provide an anchor point for what we like to call a sales “web.” This strategy works particularly well on LinkedIn. The idea is that your sales team would interact regularly with your company page, sharing articles and blogs, commenting on posts, and otherwise driving traffic to the company profile. If their own profiles have a large number of connections, this can significantly increase the amount of traffic the profile drives to your website.
The sales web is also advantageous for building trust with potential customers. When employees start sharing, liking, or otherwise interacting with a company page, now potential customers can put a face to the brand.
Lead generation for SaaS companies via social media doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Often, just optimizing your employees’ profiles allows you to increase traffic driven to the company page and the website, increasing your potential for leads.
Linking to the Website
Are each of your social platforms linking to the company website? Sometimes companies miss this crucial step and forget to link their social profiles to their website. If these platforms aren’t linked, then this significantly decreases the amount of traffic driven to the website via social.
There are several different places you can link to your website on your average social profile: in the About section, the CTA button at the top of the profile, in the Facebook story section, and in the Twitter and Instagram bio, to name a few. Take advantage of your employees’ profiles as well. Every employee’s LinkedIn profile should link to the company website, via both the bio section and the digital resume.
Boost the amount of traffic driven to your website by using your employees’ social media profiles for lead generation for SaaS.
Grow Trust with Potential Leads
So far, we’ve discussed how to optimize social profiles, how to create a sales web, and how to use social media to research potential leads. But what about the content you post on social profiles? Posting strategically to social profiles can grow trust between a company and potential leads. And, as all sales professionals know, without trust it’s extremely hard to grow a business relationship with a contact.
To optimize lead generation for SaaS companies, your social media content should be a good mix of company culture, thought-leader content, and third-party articles. By showcasing company culture, you’re giving potential customers an inside look at your values, employees, and day-to-day routine. It allows potential customers to more thoroughly connect with you on a “face-to-face” basis instead of just focusing on the professional.
Thought-leader content takes on the form of blog articles, whitepapers, and other content created by your team. This is your chance to showcase your expertise. By sharing your expertise, you’re allowing potential customers to read more about your approach to a topic and become more familiar with how you operate. Through your blogs and whitepapers, you can show your audience that you’re an authority on a topic.
Engaging with third-party articles is extremely important in order to showcase that your company stays up-to-date on industry trends and is an authority within the industry. Comment on trending articles with insightful advice or share news that will greatly impact your customers. By engaging with news and the thought content of other companies, you’re able to increase your reputation as an authority.
No matter how you use social media as a lead generation tool for SaaS companies, it’s important that you put it to work. Don’t waste effort on creating great social profiles only to let them sit around without generating leads or driving traffic. For more information on finding leads on social media, check out this whitepaper to discover the best ways to connect with people who will be interested in your business.

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Referral Email Design Examples That Actually Get People Talking

Ready to expand your customer base? When they decide whether to make a purchase, people want recommendations from their friends and family—the source of information they trust most. Many people tune out paid ads, as well as any other messaging that comes straight from your brand. But when a friend tells them about your awesome products or services, they listen.
Your satisfied existing customers are your best advocates—their recommendations will cause new customers to come rolling in. But your advocates might need some encouragement before they share.
That’s where referral marketing comes in! Starting a referral program rocks because it makes the sharing process official. It motivates your customers to spread the word through rewards they can’t resist and makes it super easy for them to recommend your brand to their friends.
So how do you make sure that your advocates get all the insider information about your referral program? By sending a referral email, of course.
A referral email is a great option because it meets them in a space they already visit every day, their inbox. But you’ll have to design your email carefully, and you’ll have to make sure that email gets opened in the first place, and doesn’t get lost in a sea of other messages.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Read on to learn the best practices for designing a compelling referral program email, including examples we love.

Focus on value, conciseness, and convenience
Your referral email must be carefully designed to convince your customer advocates to share your brand. These three main points are key in designing an effective referral email:

Value: What extrinsic rewards (incentives) and intrinsic benefits will an advocate reap from referring?
Conciseness: Explain your referral program in as few words as possible.
Convenience: Make it easy for advocates to start sharing your brand right away!

The tips below will help you design referral emails optimized for these three crucial factors.
Use a compelling subject line
You might think that a witty but vague subject line will entice your customers to open your email. But that’s not true. Instead, your customers want to know exactly what your referral email offers before they open it. So, make sure that your subject line makes that perfectly clear.
State your referral offer right in your subject line.

This is a great time to use a clear referral call-to-action!
According to HubSpot, numbers in email subjects make your email more likely to be opened. So, if your referral offer involves store credit (“Give $5, Get $5”) or a discount (“Refer a friend, get 25% off”), that will work in your favor!

Keep your subject short and sweet, so it doesn’t get cut off on mobile devices.

Use as few words as possible (3-7 words is best).
Keep the character count 30 characters or under, if possible. The most used smartphones have a display limit of between 33-40 characters for email subjects before they cut them off.

Here are some examples of subjects that fall within these word and character guidelines:

Share the love, get $10
$5 for every friend you refer
Give $10, get $10
Refer friends and earn free stuff

And if you want to get a bit creative, consider using an emoji . Surprisingly, as Campaign Monitor reports, an emoji in the subject line can increase your open rate by 56%.
Inside your email, make your CTA clear
Inside of your email, you’ll need to get straight to the point of your referral program. Your advocates must see exactly what you want them to do (share), and understand the value of sharing with friends, as quickly as possible.
After all, most people don’t take the time to read every little detail of an email—they’ll usually just scan through it. So, a carefully crafted call-to-action (CTA) is key.
Effective CTAs:

Catch customers’ eyes
Concisely tell customers what you want them to do (share with friends)
And show them what’s in it for them (an incentive or intrinsic reward)

Make sure your CTA is easy to find. Always put it at the top of your email text, and display it in the biggest font. Also, consider bolding it. Then Follow it with an easy to find CTA button.
Make your offer easy to understand and find
Focus most of your email text on explaining the terms of your offer. Referral emails are all about showing your advocates the value of your referral program! Ideally, you stated your basic offer in your CTA. Now, it’s time to go into detail. Explain your offer concisely, but make sure you cover these points.

What incentives are available for customers who refer a friend?
Are there any rewards for the friends?
What conditions must be met for your advocates to receive the reward?

For example, do referred friends need to make a purchase? Does that purchase need to be worth a minimum amount?

Are rewards cumulative (do advocates get a reward, or points towards a reward, for every friend they refer?)

Provide a way for customers to start referring right away
Inside your email, make sure that customers have a way to start referring right away. Include a call-to-action button with a link to your referral page (where customers can send recommendations to friends via email or social media).
Or, give them a unique referral code or referral link that they can start sharing immediately!
Keep your layout simple, not crowded
Your referral email shouldn’t include much more than your CTA and offer info. Too much information will overwhelm your reader and ultimately make them less likely to refer. So, keep things simple, and use as few words as possible.
But, if you’re thinking about including a few other items to add your brand’s unique touch, try these elements that won’t crowd your email.

Including a carefully selected hero image will capture readers’ attention without cluttering things up.
A GIF is also a great choice because it will grab readers’ attention right away.
Consider putting your own branded spin on the referral offer. For example, Julep uses the text “Get a $15 credit for every bestie who joins.” Just make sure this doesn’t take away from the conciseness of the offer.
Use a referral program FAQ section to cover all these points in one place.

Awesome referral email examples we love
1. Digital Ocean

Source: DigitalOcean/Really Good Emails
DigitalOcean lets developers build, test, scale, and manage applications.
Why this referral email rocks:

Grabs readers’ attention right away with an on-brand (ocean-centric) GIF, which also broadcasts the CTA (“give $10, get $25”).
Provides two quick referral options: a unique referral link and a CTA button that takes advocates to a referral page.
Gets right to the point with a clear, uncluttered offer.

2. Postable

Source: Postable/Really Good Emails
Postable sells and mails designer greeting cards and invitations.
Why this referral email rocks:

Clean and concise: displays very little text, but readers can easily understand what Postable wants them to do.
Gets right to the point with the CTA (“get $5 of credit for each friend you refer”) and explanation of cumulative offer (“the more friends you refer, the more money you make”).
Engaging GIF with smiling money=value!
Easy-to-find CTA button that takes advocates to a referral page.
CTA button is “above the fold” so advocates don’t have to scroll to reach it.
Yellow palette that catches the eye, but doesn’t overwhelm.

3. Bombas

Source: Bombas/Really Good Emails
Bombas is an athletic sock brand that donates socks to people in need with each purchase.
Why this referral email rocks:

Bold CTA gets right to the point: “Refer a friend.”
Valuable offer is easy to spot and attention-grabbing—who doesn’t love free stuff?
List of steps makes the referral process easy to understand.
Two enticing call-to-action buttons: the one that says “get free socks” and the bold pink one.
The “Get free socks” CTA button is above the fold, so you don’t have to scroll to find it.
On-brand creativity without clutter: “Just people helping people discover the most comfortable socks in the history of feet.”

4. Pay with GasBuddy

Source: GasBuddy/Really Good Emails
Pay with GasBuddy is a payment option that helps you save on gas.
Why this referral email rocks:

Neon heart GIF captures attention and frames the CTA (“Share the love & the savings”), making the CTA even easier to find.
CTA reminds advocates of their love for GasBuddy and makes them eager to pass on that love—to gain savings for both themselves and their friend.
“Special Offer” text at the top of email prompts urgency and hints at exclusivity.
Very little text—just enough for customers to know what GasBuddy wants them to do.
“Save 15 cents/gal” is a very valuable offer: Who doesn’t love free gas?!
This email was sent out near Valentine’s Day and customized for the holiday.
Colors are on-brand—a great way to customize an email for your brand without cluttering.

5. Goby

Source: Goby/ Really Good Emails
Goby is an electric toothbrush company.
Why this referral email rocks:

Clear CTA with offer of free brush heads: especially valuable for people who use Goby regularly.
Clean, uncluttered layout with minimal colors and focus pointing to the center of the email.
On-brand line that works well with the referral instructions: “It’s time to use that big mouth of yours.”

6. Square Cash

Source: Square Cash/Really Good Emails
Square Cash (now known as Cash App) lets you send money to and receive money from friends, or receive credit card payments for your business.
Why this referral email rocks:

Images of green money falling from above (free money!) catch readers’ eyes quickly.
Extremely concise referral offer text. In addition to the CTA, Square uses only one sentence (and needs only one) to explain the referral program.
Minimalistic layout with only two colors pairs well with the clean text.
Unique CTA (“Make it rain.”) evokes the money advocates can earn. Ideally, a CTA would have a reference to referring or a more specific offer. But this creative CTA works because it offers value, draws the eye to the clear, uncluttered description, and invites the reader to learn more.

7. Airbnb

Source: Airbnb/ Really Good Emails
Airbnb pioneered the homestay business.
Why this referral email rocks:

CTA reminds advocates why they signed up for Airbnb (their love of travel) and invites them to share with friends. The focus of the CTA is on the intrinsic value, which draws readers in (where they’ll find out about the extrinsic reward.)
Clear text explains the referral offer with only 3 sentences.
Red “Invite friends” CTA button easily stands out from the rest of the email.

8. Treehouse

Source: Treehouse/Really Good Emails
Treehouse provides web development and coding courses under a subscription-based model.
Why this referral email rocks:

Personalized to the advocate: Treehouse greets the customer with their name at the top of the email.
Begins with an enticing sentence of valuable offer text: “Did you know you can get a free account if you refer 5 friends?” Who doesn’t love getting something they are using regularly (and using to better themselves) for free?
“Share the Love” CTA appeals to the intrinsic value of sharing the service with friends who will also enjoy it. This works even better since Treehouse is an education platform.
Offers and carefully explains a cumulative reward. With a stacking, 20% off a referrer’s monthly bill for each friend referred, and the free account on offer for 5 successful referrals (plus a 50% discount available for the friends), lovers of Treehouse are motivated to keep sharing with multiple friends!

9. Webflow

Source: Webflow/Really Good Emails
Webflow gives users the tools to design, build and launch websites visually (with drag-and-drop functionality), so they don’t need to write code.
Why this referral email rocks:

Here, we have an example of a prelaunch referral email, meant to build up a customer base with excited advocates before the service even goes live. It offers the unique reward of giving faster access to Webflow’s beta for each friend someone refers. So, it invokes exclusivity and the desire to gain insider info as motivators. And the first people who see the product are the people most likely to keep sharing with their friends!
Concise text gets right to the point: “Share your unique referral link. The more friends who sign up using your link, the faster you get access.”
Referral link is right in the email (and it’s easy to copy the link), so customers can share it right away.

Key Takeaways
Launching a referral program but aren’t sure how to promote it? Along with using an email marketing software, consider using referral emails. In all steps of your referral email design process, be sure to focus on value, conciseness, and convenience.

Make sure your advocates open your emails with a concise subject line that tells them exactly what your email has to offer.
Then, once they open the email, your referral program must be easy-to-understand, to remove any friction that may cause them not to refer.
Use a clear CTA that tells advocates what you want them to do (refer), and that shares the valuable rewards you have on offer.
Then, explain the referral program and its conditions in as few words as possible.
And provide a CTA button, referral code, and/or referral link, so your advocates can start sharing right away!
If you want to add in a branded touch, feel free to do so, but choose it carefully so your email doesn’t get cluttered. Think about using a hero image, GIF, or tie-in sentence like some of the examples listed above.

Here’s all you need to know about referral marketing.

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How 11 Major Brands Have Successfully Used Word-of-Mouth

92% of consumers trust recommendations from their friends, family, and peers more than any other form of marketing. And 83% of Americans say that word of mouth recommendations from people they trust to make them more likely to purchase a product or service.
So, if you’re trying to figure out the best way to acquire new customers, promoting word-of-mouth marketing from your existing customers is a smart decision. Simply put, word-of-mouth occurs when your customers spread the word about your brand to their friends—and this promotes your brand at no cost to you.
But word-of-mouth can be unpredictable. So how can you get your customers talking? Check out how these 11 brands have successfully used word-of-mouth, including the major strategies they’ve used to get everyone talking, so you can gather some ideas for your own business.
Table of Contents

Under Armour
Red Bull
Girlfriend Collective
Key Takeaways

Word-Of-Mouth Strategy: Keeping customers satisfied
Keeping your customers satisfied encourages them to share your brand with friends, a strategy Zappos knows well. Rather than focusing primarily on paid advertising, Zappos makes customer satisfaction a priority— as CEO Tony Hsieh puts it, they’re “a customer service company that just happens to sell shoes.”

From the beginning, Zappos has spent a large amount of its marketing budget on fostering extraordinary customer service, and very little on ads. According to Hsieh, Zappos decided to “take most of the money that [they] would have spent on paid advertising…and instead invest it into the customer experience, and let [their] customers do the marketing for [them].”
(Some ways that Zappos prioritizes customer satisfaction include surprise, complimentary shipping upgrades for loyal customers, and making the return and exchange process as easy as possible.)
Thus, under the leadership of Hsieh, Zappos smartly put their money on word-of-mouth marketing, figuring that satisfied customers would both repeatedly buy and share Zappos with their friends. And they were right. Repeat customers and word-of-mouth marketing have been the top drivers of growth for Zappos, which today exceeds $2 billion in annual revenue.
Word-Of-Mouth Strategy: Leveraging social media; creating virality
Social media is an awesome way to increase word-of-mouth, especially if your brand’s savvy, witty posts, and interactions stand out from the pack—and even go viral. Wendy’s offers a prime example.
Thanks to its roasts, on-point memes and timely pop culture references, Wendy’s now-iconic Twitter account got everyone talking about the fast-food brand. And their response to Carter Wilkerson’s “free chicken nuggets” tweet ignited a hyper-viral word-of-mouth campaign.
Wendy’s told Wilkerson that 18 million retweets of his tweet would earn him free chicken nuggets for a year. Wilkerson didn’t reach that goal, but at the time, his tweet set a record for the most retweets of all time! So, Wendy’s response got everyone talking (including countless media outlets, who gave the chain plenty of free coverage.)

The viral Twitter exchange between Wendy’s and Wilkerson. Notice the retweet count at the bottom of the image.
Under Armour
Word-Of-Mouth Strategy: Creating an innovative product with little to no competition
Instead of throwing itself into a crowded athletic wear market, Under Armour sparked word-of-mouth marketing by setting itself squarely apart from its potential competition. Under Armour created athletic apparel focused on athletes’ performance and comfort, “built from microfibers that wicked moisture and kept athletes cool, dry, and light.”

Under Armour always focuses on the performance features of their apparel. Source: Under Armour/Instagram
Founder Kevin Plank had played football throughout high school and college. He knew how rough it was to wear cotton shirts under his football gear, where they would become heavy and uncomfortable with all the sweat they were drenched in. So, he created a product and niche that no one else had dreamed up before.
Then, he gave the first samples to his friends who also played football (and who had gone on to play for prestigious college and professional teams). He soon competitively positioned himself to sell to collegiate and professional football teams because his friends on those high-level teams were spreading the word about his product.
Before long, athletes of all levels and sports (including many pros), their families, and their friends were constantly talking about Under Armour—now an athletic apparel giant all its own.
Red Bull
Word-Of-Mouth Strategies: Buzzworthy, on-brand experiences; brand ambassadors
Red Bull uses a multi-pronged strategy for increasing word-of-mouth, but all parts of this strategy are focused on creating on-brand adventures and experiences that generate buzz.
From the beginning, their Wings Team of young, adventurous brand ambassadors, who share Red Bull one-one-one and at events, have been an integral part of their marketing strategy.
The brand also sponsors crazy extreme stunts that people can’t stop talking about, like cliff diving and Robbie Maddison’s motorcycle backflip over London’s open Tower Bridge, and hold an annual Flugtag where competitors design and pilot human-powered flying machines.
Red Bull knows how to “give wings” to their marketing through experiences that get people talking.

The motorcycle backflip stunt
Word-Of-Mouth Strategy: Focus on philanthropy/giving back
Word-of-mouth has been integral to the success of TOMS since the beginning, driven by its philanthropic “one for one” model.
On a trip to Argentina, founder Blake Mycoskie saw the difficulties children without shoes faced and decided to start TOMS as the vehicle for a shoe-giving movement. For every pair of TOMS purchased, the brand gives a pair to children who cannot afford shoes.
This charitable angle—and founding story— made it easy for word to spread about TOMS.

TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie on a shoe-giving trip to Hong Kong. Source: Blake Mycoskie/Instagram
Digital marketing consultant MaryEllen Tribby shared a prime example of this phenomenon: her 13-year-old daughter convinced her to buy three pairs of TOMS by sharing the company’s shoe-giving mission. Says Tribby, “Even though I thought three pairs of shoes at $77-a-pop was a bit extravagant; I justified the decision in my head, telling myself that I would be helping kids who weren’t nearly as fortunate as my own.”
TOMS also takes advantage of social media to increase cause awareness and word-of-mouth. The brand created the One Day Without Shoes campaign and pledged to donate another pair of shoes for every barefoot picture posted with the hashtag #withoutshoes on the day. Plus, every picture someone posts with the hashtag motivates a social media user’s network to learn more, and follow the trail back to TOMS. TOMS reignites the campaign every year because it’s been so successful!
Word-Of-Mouth Strategies: Telling a story based on a cornerstone and backing it up; delivering what customers want
Chipotle stands out from other restaurant chains because it sources its ingredients locally. The brand used this cornerstone to create an emotionally compelling video, “The Scarecrow,” to promote word-of-mouth about its sourcing.
Through the story of a scarecrow that becomes skeptical of a dominating food factory, “The Scarecrow” painted a picture of environmental, health, and animal welfare threats created by industrial food giants, and promoted buying locally sourced food as a way to “cultivate a better world.”
Interestingly, the video only featured the Chipotle logo at the very end, so the content felt much less like a paid ad. Instead, the focus stayed on the video’s story and carefully crafted art.
Chipotle also created a “Scarecrow” app with the same animation quality and moving story as the video. This viral content motivated customers to keep watching, playing, and sharing with their friends.

“The Scarecrow” Chipotle short
More recently, Chipotle has suffered from food safety scandals and the negative press that has accompanied them, but they have responded quickly to turn things around (including by closing all locations for company-wide food safety training).
They are striving to restore their previous reputation by delivering what customers want, such as “nachos,” “quesadillas,” and a “loyalty program.” Plus, they’ve increased their amount of organic ingredients, upped their veggie offerings, and added keto- and Whole 30-compatible menu items, to drive home their natural commitment.
Chipotle realizes that increasing positive word-of-mouth is all about telling a standout story and backing it up in everything they do. And this has worked: Chipotle’s stock shares rose 55% in 2019, on top of a 57% gain in 2018.
Word-Of-Mouth Strategy: Offering value to their audience
You probably don’t think about word-of-mouth when you think of online dating giant Tinder, but word-of-mouth was integral to Tinder’s rise. After winning a 2012 hackathon with the original version of the app, co-founders Sean Rad, Justin Mateen, and Joe Munoz needed a way to publicize the app.
They decided to promote it at a USC party that Mateen’s younger brother was holding, via word-of-mouth: students who wanted to get into the party had to download the app. Even though many of the students didn’t know what the app was, they soon started matching and swiping when they got back to their dorms. Tinder offered value to them because they knew the people the app was showing them were already interested in them (so, they didn’t have to worry about rejection).

Source: Wikimedia Commons
Rad, Mateen, and Munoz realized how effective the college party had been in spreading the word, so they immediately started holding events at fraternities and sororities all over Southern California.
And during the next winter break, Tinder spread like, well, wildfire as students eagerly shared the app with their friends and families at home. Thanks to word-of-mouth, Tinder grew from 20,000 users at the beginning of January 2013, to over 500,000 at the end of the month.
Word-Of-Mouth Strategy: Insider or “secret” info
When I visited California for the first time, I knew I had to try In-N-Out. Why? Because everyone I knew who had been there couldn’t stop raving about it! It’s the same story for countless others: In-N-Out is a West Coast institution built by word-of-mouth.
The main thing In-N-Out veterans rave about is the burger chain’s famous secret menu, from “animal style” to the “triple triple.” They feel like they’ve got insider info, and they’re ready to spread it for the benefit of people eating at In-N-Out for the first time.
And this word-of-mouth increases brand awareness and loyalty—it keeps new customers flowing in, and ultimately, returning customers coming back! This allows the chain to keep its advertising and promotional budget low too.
The secret menu is so popular among In-N-Out fans that the company actually markets the menu publicly on its website— as the “Not-So-Secret-Menu.”

Source: Secret Menus Wiki
Consider using this strategy to increase word-of-mouth about your own brand. Even if you don’t sell food, you can create a customer loyalty club with insider discounts and perks—one that will make your loyal customers eager to help their friends by sharing how to get in on the action.
Word-Of-Mouth Strategy: Well-executed referral program
A successful-word-of-mouth list just wouldn’t be complete without Dropbox. Dropbox is an online storage giant used by all generations, all thanks to one of the best-known referral marketing programs out there.
By offering 500 MB of free bonus space for every friend a customer refers who newly signs up for the program (and rewarding this space to both referrer and friend), Dropbox’s growth has accelerated extremely rapidly.
They were able to double their growth every 3 months, and their users sent 2.3 million referrals in just one month—without ever having to spend money on a single ad.

Source: Referral Marketing School
But the free offer itself isn’t the only reason why Dropbox’s referral program has enjoyed such great success. Dropbox’s referral CTA and program description are extremely clean, and the brand offers multiple convenient options for sharing.
Dropbox has really benefited by how awesome referral programs are. Referral programs are great for increasing word-of-mouth because they tap into satisfied customers’ existing desire to share with friends, simplify the process, make it easy for your brand to track word-of-mouth in an official way, and reward loyal customers for sharing with friends. So, follow Dropbox’s example!
Check out these referral program ideas for boosting word-of-mouth.
Girlfriend Collective
Word-Of-Mouth Strategy: Pre-launch referral program with free product
Athleisure brand Girlfriend Collective, which makes leggings from recycled water bottles, completely rejected paid ads. Instead, they smartly decided to use a referral program to promote their leggings before they launched. And this referral program made them famous!

Source: Girlfriend Collective/Instagram
Interested customers who read Girlfriend Collective’s FAQ and shared a referral link with Facebook friends received a code for a free pair of $80 leggings. Yes, $80 leggings, for only the cost of shipping.
But only customers who read the FAQ, and thus showed interest in the brand’s mission, were eligible for the free offer. The campaign was so successful that Girlfriend Collective received 10,000 orders on launch day, experienced website crashes due to interest, and extended this referral promotion even longer.
Girlfriend Collective’s strategy worked because it was collecting a list of invested customers to be the first to try its products, who were already primed to share the brand with their friends. And once the products arrived in these people’s hands, and they had their first experiences with the product, they advocated for Girlfriend Collective and shared with more friends via word-of-mouth.
Word-Of-Mouth Strategies: Product worth talking about, a referral program with a sense of exclusivity.
There’s a reason why you’ve never seen an ad for Tesla—they actively choose not to advertise in the traditional way, so they spend no money on paid ads or endorsements.
Instead, the brand relies on word-of-mouth from the customers who drive their sleek, modern status symbols. Yes, CEO Elon Musk increases the brand’s visibility, but having a product that’s worth sharing—and the rate at which owners share—are foundational.

Source: Michael Liebow/Twitter
Besides creating a sleek product, Tesla owners are proud to showcase, Tesla has accelerated sharing through its exclusive referral program. Previously, customers with enough referrals could earn tickets to new model unveiling events, access to unique adventures such as SpaceX launch viewings, and even a new Tesla Roadster. This referral program included secret levels for even more exclusivity.
Today, the Tesla referral program has been revamped to be more cost-effective, but still exclusive.
If a friend uses a Tesla owner’s referral code to purchase a Tesla of their own, both the referrer and the friend receive 1,000 free Supercharger miles. Every referral also earns an entry to win a Founders Series Model Y (in a monthly drawing) or Roadster supercar (in a quarterly drawing).
Tesla owners who already have free Supercharging get two chances to win. The scale of the Tesla referral program may seem daunting, but any brand can use drawings, exclusivity, and secret referral program levels to encourage loyal customers to share with friends.
Key Takeaways
Based on the 11 success stories listed above, following these tips can help your brand generate word-of-mouth.

Prioritize customer satisfaction. Listen to feedback, and deliver what customers want. Happy customers are more likely to rave about your products to their friends.
Always offer value to your customers, and know your prime audience.
Use social media and experiences wisely to generate buzz.
Set your product or service apart from the competition.
Find your angle that distinguishes your product or service, tell a compelling story, and back that story up in everything you do.
Consider creating “insider” info or “exclusive” experiences around your brand that get people talking about you.
Create a referral program to incentivize sharing, and make spreading the word about your brand as easy as possible.

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Amazon Seller Fees You Need to Know About in 2019

Based on the most recent estimates, 197 million people shop on Amazon every single month. That’s mind-blowing, right? With this constant flow of traffic, it makes sense that more retailers choose to sign on as Amazon Sellers.
Getting started is simple enough: you create an account, choose a membership plan, then start listing and selling your products. In the rush to get started, it’s easy to overlook some of the Amazon seller fees that apply and not consider how they impact your bottom line.
Besides the two selling plans Amazon offers, there are a few additional selling fees to know about. We’ve put together this handy guide that breaks down all of the Amazon seller fees you’ll encounter so that you’re prepared before you start selling.
1. Basic Amazon plans
When you land on almost any marketplace page on Amazon, one of the first things you see is this call-to-action (CTA):

Notice the fine print under the CTA button? Amazon actually offers two selling plans for you to choose from: Professional and Individual. What you choose depends on your expected sales volume. For example, if you think you’ll sell 100 or more items a month, then the Professional selling plan is your best bet. This plan is a recurring subscription and costs $39.99 a month.
On the other hand, the Individual selling plan caters to smaller retailers that sell less than 40 items a month. It costs $0.99 per item sold. There isn’t a monthly fee with this plan, so it’s a good place to start if you’re new to ecommerce and not yet sure of your sales volume.
Both of these plans include additional selling fees that vary depending on the types of products you sell. We’ll get into what these fees are in a minute.
Comparing these two plans side by side, here’s a summary of what each one offers:

What’s interesting to note is the Professional plan gives you access to reports and inventory tracking. Since you’re managing large, multiple bulk orders every month, it’s helpful to have insights into what types of products customers are buying and your inventory levels.
Since selling on the Professional plan means you’re shipping a lot of product every month, Amazon gives you more access to features that help you track and optimize your sales and promotional strategies. For example, the Professional plan gets you access to the Buy Box feature. This is the box that appears when customers add products to their cart:

You compete with other retailers selling the same product in new condition. If you stand out to customers, then they’ll choose your product and boost your sales. You don’t have access to the Buy Box feature with the Individual plan.
Keep in mind that if you choose the Professional plan, you pay the monthly subscription fee regardless of whether or not you sell anything in a given month. So if you’re a business that thrives on seasonal sales, do a cost analysis to decide whether the Individual or Professional plan is right for you.
For example, let’s say you sell sporting equipment and sales spike in late spring and early winter. During these times, you might sell 300 items a month, which offsets the cost of the monthly subscription. However, if you only sell 30 items a month during seasonal lulls, it costs you more to maintain your subscription than it does to sell. With the Individual plan, you’d only pay $29.70 based on what you sold — 30 items sold x $0.99 per item fee — which is much lower than the $39.99 Amazon seller fee with the Professional plan.
Run the numbers based on your historical monthly sales to figure out which plan is the most cost-effective and gives you the features you need.
If you aren’t a seasonal business and start off with the Individual plan to test the waters, you can switch to the Professional plan if you start selling more than 40 items a month.
2. Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)
The Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program was launched in 2006 and effectively set the ecommerce industry on fire. For the first time, sellers didn’t have to worry about the logistics and cost of storing and shipping their inventory. Sellers were able to leverage the experience and network of a large marketplace to help them manage this one aspect of their business.
For large retailers shipping hundreds or thousands of items across the U.S. and globally, it makes sense to use FBA to save on storage and fulfillment costs. For a fee, Amazon will store, pack, and ship products on your behalf. The cost of this feature varies based on factors like product weight and quantity.
With the growth of Amazon Prime 2-day free shipping, being able to send customers their products as quickly as possible is incredibly important and valuable to your business. It allows you to meet customer expectations, which is huge considering most of them say their decision to buy is based on how quickly products can ship.
Here’s a summary of FBA seller fees:

Additional FBA options
If you’re like 80% of Amazon sellers that also sell on other platforms — like you’re own ecommerce site — you might qualify to use Multi-Channel Fulfillment. So regardless of where you sell your products online, Amazon will store and ship your products for you. Here’s how much it costs to send standard-size products via standard, expedited, and priority shipping:

You also have the option to ship oversized products with standard, expedited, and priority shipping:

If you sell small products like jewelry or certain clothing, Amazon also offers an FBA Small and Light option. This allows you to save even more on shipping since it costs less to store, pack, and ship these items. To access this option, you have to sell qualifying products and enroll.
Here’s a summary of these FBA seller fees:

FBA Comparison Calculator
To figure out whether FBA is right for you, Amazon has an FBA Revenue Calculator to help you compare how much it costs you to fulfill your orders on your own vs. Amazon.
To get started, enter one of the 12 million products Amazon sells:

Then plug in fulfillment details and calculate the difference:

Part of the FBA fee also pays for Amazon to manage returns and customer support for you. This feature offers considerable cost- and time-savings for you since you don’t have to hire a larger support team or manage the cost of receiving returns and sending replacements.
Non-FBA shipping costs
Shipping costs vary depending on which base plan you choose. For example, if you choose to ship products on your own without FBA, regular Amazon shipping rates apply to books, music, videos, DVDs, software, and video games if you’re on the Professional plan.
If you’re on the Individual plan, Amazon shipping rates apply to all products and vary depending on the category. Based on which shipping option shoppers select at checkout, Amazon charges that back to you.

In the shipping fee summary above, the first several rows pertain to sellers on the Professional plan while the last row pertains to sellers on the Individual plan. Again, the Professional plan offers more perks and flexibility than the Individual plan.
3. Advertising fees
With over 5 million marketplace sellers on Amazon, it’s possible to get drowned out by all of the competition for shoppers’ attention. One way to stand out and get noticed by more shoppers is to advertise. Luckily, with Amazon, you don’t have to leave the marketplace to drive traffic to your product pages. Amazon offers advertising services within its marketplace.
There are three main types of ads to choose from:

Sponsored Products
Sponsored Brands

These advertising options are only available to you if you’re on the Professional plan.
Sponsored Products
Use this ad format to promote specific products. For example, if you want to sell off excess inventory or boost sales for a new product, use Sponsored Products ads, so these products show up in search results as shoppers browse. The ‘Sponsored’ tag appears at the top of Sponsored Products listings.

These ads are similar to the pay-per-click (PPC) ads you see on Google — you only pay when shoppers click on your ads.
What’s great about Sponsored Products ads is you control the cost. You set the bid amount per click and can decide to increase it to attract more traffic or lower it to save money.
Sponsored Brands
Use Sponsored Brands ads if you’re new to Amazon and want to increase your brand exposure. Like Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands ads also appear in search results, but the difference is:

Your brand name is visible
Three of your products are displayed
You get to include a custom headline

When shoppers click on these types of ads, they’re taken to your product page where they can browse and find more items.
Ads are PPC, and you set your ad budget depending on how much exposure you want.
The majority of customers like to research before they buy something, so make it easy for them to find the information they need. One way to do that is with Stores ads. This ad format lets you promote products using a custom Amazon storefront:

What’s great about this option is creating a Store is free when you’re a vendor.
To get started, create multiple pages using Amazon’s drag-and-drop tool. Once complete, share your custom Amazon URL in all of your advertising campaigns — both on and off of Amazon. Use the Stores analytics feature to review traffic to your storefront, products clicked, sales made, and more.
Additional ad types
To diversify your ad strategy, there are an additional four types of ads to choose from:

Display ads – Advertise on or off of Amazon and drive traffic back to your product pages.
Custom ads – Meant to engage shoppers with innovative ads. Price depends on a consultation with an ad consultant.
Video ads – Take advantage of the power and influence of video to spread your brand message.
Amazon DSP – Short for ‘demand-side platform’ and lets you buy ad placement on and off of Amazon.

Pricing for all ad types — except custom ads — depends on the placement and formats you choose.
With so many options and flexible budgets, experiment with the different ad types to find the ones that help you increase exposure and sales. Split your ad budget across the types you choose until you find which ones are the best fit for your product types and audience.
4. Referral fees
For every product you sell on the Amazon marketplace, you have to pay a referral fee. This Amazon seller fee is for the attention the marketplace throws your way every day and the traffic being driven to your product pages. This amount varies by product category and ranges from 6% – 96% of the sale price.
Referral fees were adjusted in February 2019 and are as follows:

In addition to the referral fee, you also have to pay a variable closing fee of $1.80 for any products that are part of the media category. These products include:

Software and computers
Video games
Video game consoles
Video game accessories

The variable closing fee is paid regardless of which selling plan you’re on: Professional or Individual.
Use Amazon seller fees to prepare
There are a lot of Amazon seller fees to consider. Now that you know what to expect, you can plan accordingly. What’s great about selling on Amazon is the amount of flexibility you have to create an experience that’s unique to you and engaging for shoppers.
From FBA to advertising fees, you can choose which features to use, which plan to start with, and more. The more you know about Amazon seller fees, the less likely there are to be surprises along the way.

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12 Sales Email Templates for Every Stage of the Sales Pipeline

Email is a daily activity for most sales reps. But did you know that only 9 percent of sales emails are even opened? Your potential customers are receiving a flood of generic emails every day.
Your emails need to stand out among the crowd. From prospecting to closing, we’ve created a sales email template for every sales pipeline stage — all templates include engaging subject lines, an interesting body, and personalization to help you attract and retain more customers.
Note: We used a fictional company name for each email — Better Bookkeeping Software — but you can adapt to your own company name and messaging.
1. Get a prospect’s attention
Prospecting emails are your first shot at making a good impression on a potential customer. Send emails that interest the reader at first glance starting with the subject line. Write it as a question or include the subject’s first name — make it personal and inviting.
Cold email template
Subject Line: Available for a chat?

Hi [Contact First Name],
Love what you guys are doing at [Prospect’s Business]! With all of the startups you work with, do you need assistance with [Pain Point]? With tools like Better Bookkeeping Software, you can easily organize and track customer payment info, even on the go.
Would you be available for a 15-minute chat this week?
Thank you for your time,[Your Name]Better Bookkeeping Software, Sales Representative[Number]

When to use it: Use this sales email template when you’ve received an email address through gated content, marketing, etc. Indicate that you’ve done your homework and have an idea of what the company’s needs are — bonus if you include a link at the end that proves your worth such as an impressive video or press release (e.g., “Better Bookkeeping improves XX Company’s efficiency with revolutionary software”).
Introductory email template
Subject Line: Free Trial of Bookkeeping Software

Hi [Contact First Name],
I noticed your question on [Social Media Platform] about the best bookkeeping software and thought I would reach out. Investing in the right bookkeeping software is important for startups like yours and requires [list out something like requirement criteria].
Better Bookkeeping Software offers a free trial that gives insight into your current payment operations. Please let me know if you would like to give it a try!
Best regards,[Your Name]

When to use it: The prospect is asking questions online that pertain to your product/service such as on Quora and LinkedIn groups. Or maybe you found the prospect on a site like AngelList. Either way, this template is great if your company offers a free trial of your product/service. It gives the prospect the opportunity to try your offering, no strings attached. No free trial? Ask the prospect if you can set up a demo time instead.
Warm email template
Subject Line: Nice meeting you, [Prospect Name]

Hi [Contact First Name],
It was great chatting with you on [Day]! Based on our conversation on/at [information on where you met such as an event or social media platform], I wanted to reach out and share a bit more information about Better Bookkeeping Software’s offerings and how it can help your company with [XYZ].
Our platform is an excellent tool for startups like yours because of features like these:
Feature 1Feature 2Feature 3
Would you be available for a 15-minute call this week to discuss how Better Bookkeeping can help [Prospect Company Name]?
Thank you,[Your Name]

When to use it: A warm email should be sent when you’ve already had an interaction with the prospect at an event or on social media. Send as quickly as possible, so your interaction is still fresh on their minds. If you received their contact info via a referral or mutual connection, adjust the first sentence as needed and the subject line to read something like “[Referral] suggested I contact you.”
Prospect follow-up email template
Subject Line: X blog posts about [Pain Point]

Hi [Contact First Name],
I wanted to share these blog posts that I believe would be really helpful for [insert prospect pain point such as digital invoices].
Resource 1Resource 2Resource 3Resource 4
If you have a minute to check these posts out, I think the info gives great direction on [topics listed in the blog posts]. Let me know what you think.
Best regards,[Your Name]

When to use it: Use this template when you haven’t received a response to your previous emails. Provide related resources or answers to common industry questions so that you’re perceived as helpful while building rapport with the prospect.
2. Prove that your product/service is the best
Now that the potential customer is interested in your product/service and they’ve been properly qualified, it’s time to offer proof that your product/service is right for them. Send emails that establish your company’s credibility.
Social proof email template
Subject Line: Want to save X% in efficiency costs?

Hello [Prospect Name],
Thanks for taking the time to chat. We’re really excited at the prospect of working with you. As promised, here are some examples of work we’ve done for other customers:
Example 1Example 2Example 3
As you can see from other customers’ success, I believe that Better Bookkeeping can help your company succeed with [Pain Point].
Let me know what questions you have. I’ll follow up by [Insert Date].
Best,[Your Name]

When to use it: Show the product’s/service’s effectiveness (e.g., videos, testimonials, case studies, blog links) and how it has worked for others. Work with marketing on these materials and weave interesting narratives. If you don’t have case studies, source raw data from departments like product success. For example, is the time-to-payment increased with your bookkeeping software?
These types of emails are especially important to convince decision makers — the ones who will be signing on the dotted line to complete the sale. Be sure to include a compelling CTA at the end of the email to push the prospect to the next step.
3. Explain why your product/service is worth the price
Ah, time to discuss terms and prices. From past interactions, the prospect should already have an idea of what your product/service is going to cost. Now it’s time to cover specific offerings based on their needs. Maybe you can offer a special discount or bonus. These conversations should also happen over the phone or in person, but it’s good to have your offer in writing.
Proposal email template 1
Subject Line: Better Bookkeeping Features + Proposal

Hi [Contact Name],
As promised, here is the info on pricing/packaging to meet [Prospect Company Name]‘s needs. Your software package would include:
Let me know what you think. Next steps would be:
Getting started on the paperworkSpeaking with [Prospect Manager]Onboarding [Company Name]
I’ll plan to follow up in a few days.
Best,[Your Name]

When to use it: Send after the potential customer has expressed serious interest in your product/service and you’ve casually discussed terms. Ask the potential customer if you can clarify anything or if they have any questions. Emphasize the benefits of your product/service and the value the prospect would receive for the price.
4. Seal the deal with persuasive language
You’ve presented all of the information and answered the prospects’ questions. They are close to either purchasing your product/service or going with a competitor. Give them an email offer they can’t refuse.
Closing email template 1
Subject Line: Ready to improve [Pain Point]?

Hi [Prospect Name],
I’m excited that you’re considering Better Bookkeeping Software for [Prospect Company Name]‘s bookkeeping needs! As mentioned, I believe that our software will improve your company’s payment efficiency. For the price of X, [Prospect Company] will receive [List of Benefits].
If there is any more information I can provide or questions I can answer, please let me know. Next steps would be signing the contract and then working with our customer success team to get your clients’ payment information integrated with our software.
[Your Name]

When to use it: Your email message should focus on the benefits that your product/service will bring this specific customer and what it will cost them. It should be short, personal, and summarize information you’ve already shared. Your CTA is also important here — let the prospect know exactly what needs to happen next. The ball is then in their court.
Closing email template 2
Subject Line: [Prospect Name], following up

Hi [Prospect Name],
I haven’t heard from you, so I wanted to follow up. Is [Company Name] still in need of bookkeeping software? Let me know if there are any concerns you have or questions I can answer.
Thank you,[Your Name]

When to use it: Use this sales email template if you haven’t received a response to your previous email. The prospect is either getting cold feet or just forgot to follow up. Don’t be pesky, but try to stay on their radar.
5. Continue the relationship via email
Even if you won the deal, don’t stop sending emails. Customer engagement emails are crucial to customer retention and upsell opportunities. Work closely with marketing to align your email messages.
Welcome email template
Subject Line: Welcome to Better Bookkeeping Software!

Hi [Customer Name],
Excited that your company is now using Better Bookkeeping! I’ve CC’d [Customer Success Name] on this email to help you with onboarding, but I’m still here to answer any questions or concerns you may have.
Here are a few resources to help you get oriented with our software:
Resource 1Resource 2Resource 3
Contact me anytime via email. We look forward to helping [Company Name] with [main function of your product/service].
Best,[Your Name]

When to use it: Send after the deal has been closed. Let the customer know you’re excited that they’ve purchased the product/service. Also, offer your support and convey to the customer that you’re not just handing them off to the customer success department — you’re still there to nurture the relationship.
Resource email template
Subject Line: X blog posts to assist with [Customer Problem]

Hello [Customer Name],
Hope that you’re doing well! My team member Ryan was sharing that you’ve been having difficulty with [Pain Point]. In addition to the software help he provided, I wanted to share a few blog posts related to this topic that would be helpful for [Customer Company Name].
Resource 1Resource 2Resource 3
Let me know if I can answer any questions about these resources or our product in general.
Best,[Your Name]

When to use it: Show the customer that you’re invested in their success and send these types of emails periodically. Offer content such as blog posts that help customers use your product/service to its full potential (ask marketing for material if needed). Follow customers’ interactions with customer service through your CRM if you need ideas on what to send.
These emails also don’t have to be about using your product/service. Include information that helps with the customer’s industry needs (e.g., templates or checklists). Prove that you care about their needs.
Re-connect email template 1
Subject Line: New feature to solve XYZ

Hi [Contact Name],
It’s been awhile since we last chatted…how is everything going at [Prospect Company Name]? Based on our last conversation about [Topic], I think [Your Company Name Feature] could really boost [Prospect Company Name]‘s bookkeeping abilities.
I’d love to provide you with more details. Would you be available for a quick chat or demo this week?
Best regards,[Your Name]

Re-connect email template 2
Subject Line: Can I help with [Pain Point]?

Hi [Contact Name],
I want to reach out and ask how everything is going at [Prospect Company Name]? How is your current bookkeeping solution working out for you?
We’ve recently added some new features to our software that I believe would be really helpful for [Prospect Pain Point]. If you would be interested in a quick chat or demo this week, please let me know or if there are any other ways we can help [Prospect Company Name].
Best,[Your Name]

When to use it: You lost the deal — maybe the prospect decided they didn’t need your service after all or their budget was too low. Or maybe they went with a competitor. Don’t be discouraged. Keep track of the prospect by following them on social media and through press releases. Send another email at a later date (e.g., if they went with a competitor, check back when their subscription is almost up). The prospect already knows who you are — keep your relationship on a good note.
Customize each sales email template
To make your sales email process as easy as possible, use a CRM to automatically send and track email responses through an integration such as Mailchimp. Then, use marketing automation integrations to perform A/B testing and see which subject lines have the highest open rate or response rate. You can also use these same integrations to determine the best times for sending emails to your prospects.
To avoid being a Generic Jane or Jerry with sales emails, customize each template above before sending. No matter what sales stage you or your sales team are in, ensure that your emails to potential and current customers are personal and valuable. Stay away from industry jargon. Emails should be as customer-centric as possible and prove that you care about the customer relationship.

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