Common Marketing Mistakes- How to Convert Traffic into Sales!

If your website is getting solid traffic, but your shopping carts are collecting dust, I’m here to show you some website mistakes to avoid if you want to convert traffic into sales.

Some of the points below touch on content, while others touch on copy. What’s the difference? Basically, all copy (words written to make sales) is content but not all content (words, images, video, etc.) is copy.

With that distinction made, let’s jump right into these five content-related reasons why I might visit your website but refuse to buy:

Your Website Copy is Too Generic

Copywriting is all about crafting words in a way that will convince someone to buy—and let’s face it, many business websites out there aren’t very convincing. A common problem is that their copy is just too generic. They’re trying to be all things to all people.

Here are a few guidelines to make sure your ideal customer knows you’re talking to them.

  • Define your ideal customer and the problem you help them solve.

Before you write a single word for your website, you need to know to whom you are writing and what problem you’re helping them solve.

  • Write a headline that directly addresses their problem and your solution.

When someone lands on your homepage for the first time, you want them to think, “Hey, that’s me!” They want to know they are in the right place. Usually, this can be achieved by simply stating a problem your ideal customer has and your solution. For example, let’s say you sell eco-friendly glass water bottles to the earth-conscious consumer. Your homepage might start with a headline that says, “Tired of throwing away harmful plastic water bottles?” or “Want a reusable water bottle that’s good for the earth?” That ideal customer is going to answer with a resounding “yes!”

Your Business Doesn’t look Legitimate

E-commerce faces a significant challenge. Potential clients can’t see you or your product in person. This can be a huge barrier to establishing a trust that you are who you say you are.

When someone walks into a clothing store, for example, they’re often greeted by a smiling employee, and they can get a feel for the atmosphere. That goes a long way toward building trust, and very quickly.

But when someone visits your website, they’re missing all those physical cues; you need to fill them in with great content that builds trust.

Here are some content pieces you can add to your website to build credibility:

  • Reviews- We as consumers love hearing about others’ experiences with a product! So if you have an e-commerce site, install a ratings/reviews plugin to increase conversions.
  • Testimonials-Reach out to your favorite clients or customers and ask them to tell you what they like best about your business. Then ask if you can display that on your website and marketing materials. Adding testimonials to a page boosted the conversion rate up to 25%.
  • Your physical location– This is the easiest little piece of content to add to the footer of your website and/or your contact page. It helps show that you’re a real business!
  • Guarantee– If you can, offer a guarantee. There’s no better way to vouch for your product than to say you’ll give someone their money back if they’re not satisfied. It could even be free shipping/returns.
  • Information about and photos of you and your team– People want to do business with people, not a website. Show your face to help them feel more at ease with the transaction. The perfect place for this is your About page, an often-overlooked page that can boost your conversions.
Money Back Guarantees are a simple way to build customer trust and loyalty.

Your Blog is weak

There are so many benefits to blogging for your business, and one of the big ones is that it can help convert traffic into sales. Here’s how your blog can work for you:

  • Attracting the right customers. Your blog content should be crafted in a way that attracts relevant visitors and helps move them through the sales funnel, from awareness of a problem, to considering different options, to acting and buying.
  • Generating leads. According to HubSpot, businesses that blog generate four times more leads than businesses that don’t. And more leads mean more sales!

Make sure you get their information so you can keep nurturing that relationship. Blogs are a fantastic way to do that because you are offering your expertise for free, and that will entice a visitor to hand over their email address in the hopes of getting more.

Level Up Your Website Content to Convert Traffic into Sales

Now that we’ve talked about some website mistakes to avoid regarding your content, did you spot any that you’re making? Maybe you’ve got a beautiful website. Maybe you’ve got lots of traffic. Good design and high traffic are great—but they’re meaningless to you as a business if they don’t convert buyers.

So, if you want to convert traffic into sales, try these solid tips for improving your content:

  • Show proof that you’re a credible business.
  • Write helpful blog posts that solve your ideal customer’s problem.
  • Craft copy that speaks to your ideal customer.

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Marmalade April 26, 2019 0 Comments

The Best Personal Philosophy Books

There are just some books that stick with me. Their wisdom pops up in my consciousness frequently as I go about my life and my work. Though I may have read them months or even years ago, I can still see their cover art in my mind. With so many books out there, I’ve personalized a list of the best personal philosophy books.

A couple of books were gifts from friends, others were discovered along my path of self-discovery. However I came by them, their messages have had a profound impact on my existence.

Your Erroneous Zones by Wayne Dyer

Scene: High school library, 2013. Poster showing the cover for Wayne Dyer’s new book, Your Erroneous Zones, hangs on the wall. I’m curious. But being brought up in a world where religion dominated the psyche, I simply moved on.

Fast forward about 5 years…

Scene: Shopping mall used book sale, 2018. There it is again. That SAME book cover from the library! Okay, now I’m intrigued. I buy the book for if I remember correctly, 50 cents. But that meager investment turned out to be one of the greatest turning points of my adult life.

If only I had read this book 5 years before! Your Erroneous Zones is STILL a psychology classic around four decades after its birth. It deals with the entire cast of erroneous emotional rascals we battle every day: approval, guilt, anger, procrastination and more.

After reading this book, I realized how I could have handled past situations so very differently and more effectively. But as Dyer emphasizes, worrying or feeling bad about the past does nothing to make your present any better. At least I realize how to avoid some of these zones for a more enlightened future.

Though the writing has a definite mid-1970s flavor to it, the advice is just a relevant today.

Pulling Your Own Strings by Wayne Dyer

Quickly after Your Erroneous Zones, Dr. Wayne Dyer wrote Pulling Your Own Strings. Where Your Erroneous Zones concentrated on cleaning up one’s inner world, Pulling Your Own Strings concentrates on dealing with others.

Like his previous book, this gave me a better understanding of the difficult dynamics that plague many relationships. One of the most significant problems this book recognizes is our tendency to adopt a victim role, absolving us of taking responsibility for how we act and react. Though it seems improbable that anyone would consciously adopt a victim position in a relationship, Dyer discusses some of the ironic payoffs that we subconsciously seek to feel better about ourselves.

Pulling Your Own Strings has also stood the test of time, being as useful today as it was nearly four decades ago.

Being Zen by Ezra Bayda

Switching gears to a more philosophical, but no less practical, book, Being Zen: Bringing Meditation to Life delves deep into issues of awareness of our actions and thoughts. Frankly, some of it is difficult to handle because it uncovers all the things we’d rather not face. The perspective to be gained from this book can be life-changing.

The discussion of how we keep striving to live a “substitute life” is excellent, but it’s the poignant stories that truly enliven it. In addition to recounting his own struggles with chronic illness, Bayda discusses his experience working with hospice patients- a scenario that most of us would rather not even think about. Through these stories, one realizes how we are all “skating on thin ice,” hoping not to drown in the frigid waters of our egos and emotions. There’s the woman whose family refuses to accept that she’s dying. Then there’s the man whose pride, even in his last days, does not allow him to accept help from others. Warning: Get the tissues handy!

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Marmalade April 22, 2019 0 Comments

Email Marketing, Are You Doing it Right?

The idea of email marketing might appear out-dated to some of our younger audiences who spend their days almost entirely on social media. And don’t get me wrong. Social media marketing is highly effective in increasing sales and boosting your brand’s image. But no other channel will give you a better return on investment than email marketing.

In fact, according to Adobe, for every $1 spent on email marketing, you’ll average an ROI of $40. Almost double the ROI of the second-highest channel, SEO.

But having a large email list isn’t going to do you much good if all your emails are going unread or sent directly to the spam folder. Here are Marmalade’s top tips for sending emails that connect with your audience and doesn’t get lost in the inbox.

Spamming Doesn’t Work

This sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people forget this very simple rule.

A good rule of thumb to follow when it comes to recognizing spam is this—if your email isn’t immediately delivering value to your audience, then it’s spam.

No one likes getting hit with dozens of emails about a product launch they don’t care about. That’s something a surprising number of internet marketers tend to forget about.

In order to make sure your emails always stand out in a cluttered inbox, you must always be giving your audience a reason to read your emails. I don’t mean writing a catchy email subject line, although that does help, but instead, constantly delivering something your audience will find valuable.

You must put yourself in your audience’s shoes. Every time someone opens one of your emails, regardless of whether it’s automated or not, you should be rewarding them.

Instead of constantly sending promotional material, they regularly send emails out where they teach their audience helpful skills like how to hang a painting. It sounds simple, but it’s also ridiculously effective.

Keep it Personal

One of the main advantages email has over other channels is that it gives you the chance to get as personal as you want to be, unlike social media or traditional advertisements where you craft a message that’s as universal as possible and hope for the best.

Building an email list is crucial because it’s the best way to build a relationship with potential customers in an intimate way. You’re not just a status update that’s there and gone, you’re right in someone’s inbox. where they receive other important communications from their work, family, and friends.

Show That You’re Human

Have you ever been on a terrible customer service call with a robot? I don’t mean someone that sounds like a robot, but a literal robot. Those incredibly annoying automated menus that are worse at pronouncing your name than Starbucks baristas.

crowded-inbox-screaming-into-phone
“FOR THE LAST TIME, MY NAME IS PATRICIA. NOT
PAMELA”

30 minutes into your call with, CompanyX, you find yourself mockingly singing the waiting music every time it loops around. You’re just wishing that you could talk to a human, someone with at least some capacity of understanding you.

If you’ve ever felt that type of frustration, why would you want to subject your audience to the email equivalent?

Tired businessman with laptop on desk in office
“OK, FINE. You win. I’m legally changing my name to Fartell Chuggins”

Now think about your branding for a second. With the emails you send, are you coming off as a robot, or as an actual person, people would want to respond to?

An easy way to start doing that is to stop using the standard company email whenever you’re sending a message. If the first thing people see is an email coming from “noreply@company.com” they immediately know that it’s an automated email.

Set Up Trigger Emails

The most effective method of ensuring customer loyalty is to simply check in on every once in a while. It adds that little bit of a personal touch and shows that you care.

Whether it’s an email simply saying “thank you” when someone downloads an e-book, or a gentle reminder that their subscription is expiring, emails like these go a long way to making sure that you and your brand are never too far from your customer’s mind.

The best thing about this approach is that the entire process can be automated incredibly easily. Thanks to the power of email automation software, you can send emails that are triggered by the actions your customers take.

For example, many SaaS companies like Dropbox will send an email if their customer hasn’t used their service in a while. It’s a simple reminder to the recipient that they still exist and why they’re helpful.

crowded-inbox-dropbox-example

According to Smart Insights, triggered emails have a 152% higher open rate in comparison to traditional emails. As long as the email itself is always timely, relevant, and valuable, it could be all you need to nudge someone from being a casual viewer to a lifelong customer.

Rent the Runway does a fantastic job with trigger emails in their email marketing strategy. On the anniversary of a customer’s first purchase, Rent the Runway will send an email celebrating the event.

crowded-inbox-rent-the-runway

It doesn’t matter if you’ve only used their service once or multiple times, you’ll still receive that email. It even adds an incentive and offers a $20 discount off the subscriber’s next purchase. Not only does this simple email encourage recipients to continue to use Rent the Runway’s service, but it adds a nice personal touch that makes the customer feel special.

In Conclusion…

One of the fastest ways to alienate a potential customer is to sound like you’re a robot and that you don’t actually care about your customer. Simple tactics like we’ve outlined in this article can be the difference you need to make someone feel like they’re actually connecting with your brand.

In today’s world where we’re inundated with marketing messages from every corner, the thing that’s going to make sure you stand out in a crowded inbox is by being personal and authentic when it counts. Don’t do your brand disservice by being generic and getting sent straight to the trash folder.

Do you have any other tips for making your email marketing more personal? How do you feel about businesses using email marketing automation? Join the conversation in the comments below!

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Marmalade April 15, 2019 0 Comments

Use Facebook to Increase Conversion Rates

Facebook ads get 22 billion clicks a year, and those ads reach a total of 1.6 billion active monthly users. It’s clear Facebook is an attractive channel for advertisers. Here are some methods we practice to use Facebook to increase conversion rates.

Targeting

Facebook’s targeting capabilities offer a scary amount of information – which is great for advertisers.

Facebook’s targeting options are immense, allowing you to pinpoint highly specific audiences that are likely to buy into your brand.

To make this happen, you’re going to layer targeting options to reach highly focused audiences and create ads specific to them.

Let’s say you’re a travel brand, for example. Your broad campaigns (like the one I described above) will play on the basic desire everyone has to travel, escape their job and taste luxury. You’ll also be targeting soft conversions with those campaigns – something like signing up for price updates when the hottest deals are available.

By targeting Life Events on Facebook, you can reach people who have a wedding coming up; people in the market for a honeymoon. So, instead of generic holiday ads, you target these people with offers for the ultimate honeymoon. Then, layer some demographic targeting as well to target men who are getting married, and offer them the perfect honeymoon for her.

You can use interest targeting to pinpoint couples who’ve shown an interest in cruises or other holiday types. The list of targeting options goes on and there’s almost no limit to how specific you can be. Find that sweet spot where your ads are seen by enough people to maximize leads, but guarantee they have a high possibility of converting.

Remarketing

Facebook optimizes ads for a wide range of campaign objectives. You’ll be asked what your advertising goal is as soon as you go to create an ad. This includes a Conversions objective which allows you to target new and previous visitors based on actions they take on your site, in a similar way to AdWords remarketing.

The great thing about the Conversion objective is it allows you to track a wide range of actions users take on your site and use this to a place where they are on your sales funnel. With this attribution, you can create ads designed to nudge them along the buying process.

Facebook Pixel

Facebook Pixel is a tracking code (like AdWords cookies) that allows you to track users and target them with remarketing ads. This is how you track user actions through your conversion objectives, which I mentioned earlier. Facebook Pixel essentially means you can do the following:

  • Conversion tracking: See how successful your ads are by tracking the actions users take after clicking through to your site.
  • Optimize bids for conversions: Automatically adjust your bids so ads show to people who are more likely to convert.
  • Remarketing: Target previous visitors who didn’t convert the first time with remarketing ads.
  • Reach a wider audience: Use Lookalike Audiences to reach people with similar interests as your existing customers and leads.

Custom Audiences

To create a Custom Audience you upload email lists and Facebook finds the accounts of those people, allowing you to target them with ads on Facebook. You can upload your email marketing lists and target your existing customers, whether they initially came from Facebook or not.

You can then use your Custom Audiences to create more relevant Lookalike Audiences. Don’t upload your entire email list and creating a single Custom Audience. Upload segmented lists based on the actions people took when they first signed up.

facebook social media conversions

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Marmalade April 11, 2019 1 Comment

Why the Mountains are Great for the Soul

I have never claimed to be an adventurer or outdoors lover – until I started hiking in the mountains.

With the lovely, lush green forests and foothills, the tantalizing teal lakes hidden away like a secret prize waiting to be found, and those stunning sky-high jagged peaks, how can you not fall in love? But more than that, hiking in the mountains became an immediate passion because of the way it made me feel. I was able to just be the real me and connect with the version of myself that felt the most authentic and true.

Being surrounded by the mountains has a powerful effect on something deeper. It’s as if being amidst something greater than ourselves, changes our perspective and insight on life and the things that really matter. Somehow without trying, you can confront your demons, re-evaluate your problems or your goals or your desires – you are able to widen your perspective and reflect on ‘the big picture’.


The Mountains Have Healing Powers:

Call me crazy or cliché or whatever… but there is no denying it- Maybe it’s that dose of fresh mountain air, the exercise, or the liters of water I drink when I’m hiking, but I swear to you that after a visit to the mountains I feel enormously better. It’s as if there is an energy source in those summits that you can tap into and feed on. Getting out there literally fuels you and rebalances you; you will notably feel calmer and happier, and less irritable or anxious. There is never a time where I leave the mountains not feeling refreshed, happy and inspired – ready to take on anything that comes my way.

An Opportunity for Personal Growth:

So long as you challenge yourself- both physically and mentally- you will grow. Through pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone, you flourish. Completing something you started and seeing it through to the end, gives you a sense of fulfillment. Also, through failing, you learn to not only be kind to yourself, but you blossom into a more humble person! By interacting with nature, you develop respect for the earth and empathy for the wellbeing of the environment.

They Disconnect us, to Reconnect Us:

Spending time out in the mountains really takes things back to basics. There’s no Wi-Fi, no cell service– money doesn’t matter out in the woods or up on a mountain top. It’s just you and mother nature.

This time spent without our devices allows us to be in the moment and recognize the beauty of little things. When was the last time you have allowed yourself to let go of thoughts centered around emails and work? When did you last stop talking or thinking and really listen to the birds sing? Or appreciate the earthy aroma after the rain? We take these little moments all for granted. Spending time in the mountains has reintroduced me to the value of the little things in life.

***

I left a piece of my heart in the mountains – or rather, I took a piece of it with me. And that’s a long-distance relationship I’m okay with!

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Marmalade April 10, 2019 0 Comments