By | Categories Blog | Featured | August 25, 2020

If your sales team is having a hard time connecting with sales leads and closing the deal, you are not alone.

There are many reasons why a sales team may not be hitting the mark every time. Your sales team may need additional training on your CRM software, you could have some miscommunication between sales and marketing, or your team is simply overwhelmed with the number of leads coming in.

While hundreds of leads flowing through the funnel is a good problem to have, having a clear grasp on a customer’s journey can make or break the experience when connecting with potential customers. Whatever the reason, BashFoo can help you diagnose and solve the issue by bringing efficiency back into your sales department through sales enablement services.

This new service was born out of an inherent need to relieve overwhelmed sales teams and boost sales within our community. There are many different approaches to sales enablement, but because we play on your team, your existing process and strategy remain top of mind.

What is a Sales Enablement Service?

Sales enablement services is a collaborative tool used to enhance efficiency, process, and understanding within an existing sales department. By uniting the teams and resources necessary, customer-facing professionals are empowered to add value in every customer interaction that aligns with the buyer’s journey.

Through this initiative, our team empowers your sales representatives. Instead of taking over, we improve what currently exists and equip your team with the tools needed to carry on. By resolving these issues, your team has the opportunity to increase revenue, improve client acquisition, and have more selling time on their calendars.

The Process

The best way to understand where the funnel has sprung a leak is to audit the processes, software, desired business outcomes, and assets that are currently performing.

After we have a grasp on the foundation, we begin developing a roadmap with custom tools and tasks to improve your current strategy and reach your goals. This path takes the strategy to maturity.

Supported through a range of services, sales teams are equipped with the information and tools necessary to provide real value in customer interactions.

Here are some examples of sales enablement services offered by our team:

Enablement is not a one and done solution. It requires constant diligence and implementation to achieve the desired results. Every initiative must begin with a strategy and be supported by leadership teams for continued success.

We aren’t here to reinvent the wheel. We are here to rotate the squeaky ones. If your team is continually struggling to close deals and you are coming up short on your business goals, reach out to us to learn more about our sales enablement services.


By | Categories Blog | Featured | August 1, 2020

Email marketing is an effective strategy for building relationships with new and existing customers. Brands around the world are taking advantage of email automation to generate new leads and convert existing leads into customers. A powerful method of email marketing is a drip campaign.

A drip campaign is a series of automated emails sent to subscribers based on a pre-determined timeline or in response to a specific action. A drip campaign can be used to nurture new leads, welcome new subscribers, or re-engage with inactive users. It’s also an effective way to remind customers about your products and services.

Advantages of Drip Campaigns

Automated drip campaigns are simple to set up and manage, and they give your prospects timely, relevant content. The benefits of drip campaigns include:

Automation

Drip campaigns are a great way to save time. Once you’ve set up your sequence of messages, they will do the rest of the work for you. You’ll consistently stay in touch with your customers, without the risk of leads slipping through the cracks. A well-executed drip campaign will nurture your leads and build relationships, leaving you more time to focus on sales.

Segmentation

Segmenting your drip campaign allows you to reach out to specific groups of customers with highly targeted messages. Each potential customer can receive the exact information they need based on where they are in your sales funnel. You can easily add or update content to ensure your leads receive timely information. Your messages will be relevant and personal, leading to higher open rates and higher conversions.

Lead Nurturing

Drip campaigns take the heavy lifting out of lead nurturing. Not all potential customers will engage right away. They may wish to know more about your products or your company before making a purchase. That’s why it’s essential to stay in contact with customers and build relationships. A drip email campaign allows you to explain the benefits of your products, answer common questions, and address any potential concerns your prospect may have. This will keep your products in your customers’ minds and build trust.

Building Brand Awareness

A series of relevant emails will keep prospective customers connected to your brand. When a prospect is ready to make a purchase, they’ll think of your company. An effective drip campaign will increase brand awareness and build relationships with new prospective clients.

Applications and Examples

Drip campaigns encompass several types of messages. Here are some of the most common.

Welcome

When a prospect joins your company’s mailing list, the first message they’ll receive is a welcome email. Effective welcome emails are personalized with the prospect’s name, a welcome message, and information about your services or products. A welcome email lets your customers know that you appreciate their interest. It also allows you to showcase what you have to offer and what they can expect from your company. It’s a chance to make a great first impression while the customer is newly interested.

Onboarding

A welcome email is often followed by an onboarding email, which lets your customer become further acquainted with your company and what it has to offer. For example, if a user signs up for a free trial, an onboarding message may explain the next steps to take and the benefits available to paid users.

Re-Engagement

Re-engagement messages are sent to your subscribers who haven’t engaged with your company for a long time. There are several reasons a potential customer may no longer engage. They may have an issue with your website, or no longer be interested in your products. A re-engagement campaign attempts to reconnect with users and win them back.

Special Promotion

Everyone loves to get a good deal. Set up a drip campaign to offer your prospects a free trial, a temporary discount, or a promo code. Running an exclusive offer for your email subscribers is a great way to boost engagement and sales. It will keep your customers interested in your products—and your mailing list.

Keys to an Effective Drip Campaign

A successful email campaign can convert leads into new customers. However, if it’s not done well, it will only annoy your prospects, leading them to unsubscribe from your mailing list. Follow these best practices for a successful drip campaign.

Segment Your Mailing List

Sending the same email to your entire mailing list is not an effective tactic. To increase engagement and ROI, make sure your messages are relevant to your users and where they are in the sales funnel. A brand-new lead may need to learn more about your company and your products. Long-standing customers may respond to discounts and exclusive offers.

Provide Quality Content

Users are more likely to engage with relevant, high-quality content. Keep these tips in mind for effective emails.

Don’t Flood Your Users’ Inboxes

An effective email campaign should keep your users engaged, but also leave them wanting more. Sending too many messages too soon is likely to irritate your leads. Many customers will unsubscribe if they feel inundated with emails. A good guideline is to avoid sending your prospects more than one email per day. This should keep your leads engaged without making them feel overwhelmed.

Perform A/B Testing

A/B testing involves testing a new design against an original design to determine which one performs better. You can A/B test any aspect of your emails: subject lines, images, copy, or calls to action. With ongoing A/B testing, you’ll continuously improve your drip campaign.

A well-executed drip campaign will keep your prospects engaged throughout the entire customer journey. For more insights into drip campaigns and marketing automation, contact us today.

 


By | Categories Blog | Featured | July 20, 2020

The business world is changing. Amid the coronavirus pandemic with stay-at-home orders across the globe, it’s no surprise that businesses are evolving and adapting as well. Right now, the e-commerce industries are at an all-time high. Many smaller teams are near bursting with new work fulfilling orders and providing customer service to hundreds, sometimes thousands of new customers.

This, in the long run, is a good kind of problem. If your e-commerce brand is riding the wave or about to jump in, there are tons of new customers shopping online right now. The key is to keep them after the initial surge. And that means customer retention tactics.

Today, we’re here to share a few corona-timely tips for e-commerce brands planning to keep their new customer-base for the long haul.

 

Absolute Transparency on Stock and Delivery Dates

Right now, the number-one thing that online shoppers need is transparency. They need to know what you have in stock and what is out-of-stock on the day they’re ordering. And of what’s out-of-stock, what will be back in stock in the next few days.

With so many delayed and re-prioritized orders, customers also need to know approximately when to expect their orders. Print shipment times on the product pages themselves or add a shipping UI element to your shopping cart widget.

Most importantly, share stock and delivery details before checkout. Error messages and month-long waits displayed at checkout are the opposite of customer retention.

 

Broadcast Your Safety Measures

Change your homepage and a few other key pages with a COVID-Policies banner. Let your customers, new and old, know that your business is aware of the situation and is actively taking steps to keep them safe. Share a few points on how you are making those efforts, like clean boxes, plastic-wrapped products, and glove-and-mask gear for the staff.

Then share a few safety tips and well-wishes to help your customers take care of themselves while they way for your order.

This kind of broadcast shows that you know what’s up and are a safe brand to trust during the pandemic.

 

Boost Your Customer Services

If your customer base is exploding, so too should your customer service efforts. While you may suddenly have ten-times your usual customer service request pace, every single customer expects your best quality of care. If your team is overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to hire a dozen new chat and phone techs who can work remotely from home. Thousands of professionals are out of work right now or with indefinitely canceled hours, and they could use the work as much as you could use the customer service team to provide all those additional soothing phonecalls when deliveries are delayed on the road.

 

Make the Digital-Transition Easy

Use your website and app (if you have one) to smooth the virtual shopping experience. Many new e-commerce customers are the people who have been holding out for in-person stores while society, as a whole, switches to Amazon and its kin. They are now having to face online shopping, sometimes for the first time, and may need a little hand-holding.

A smooth interface that walks customers through the process is excellent for rookies and will help you stand out as easy-to-use for experienced e-commerce shoppers.

 

Provide Confirmation and Live Tracking

Often, customer retention is supported by the consumer’s love of tracking their orders and watching delivery drivers arrive through online widgets. With the lockdown in full swing, this can be a shopper’s only way to be involved in their shopping. When an order is submitted, send a confirmation email. This should include a receipt, a link to the product page, and an estimate for shipping dates. Let customers know when the product will ship and when to expect it. Use this as your baseline for customer order information.

From there, keep customers updated with live shipment tracking. If you have a graphical website widget for delivery progress, all the better. Most importantly, help customers help themselves. When they can see that their package was waylaid at the Fex-Ex facility, they’re more likely to wait patiently and less likely to call in a tizzy.

 

Compassion and Patience in Problem-Solving

Rest assured, some customers will call in a tizzy. Now is a stressful time for the population at large, and if they vent a little stress on the customer service line, it should be okay. Coach your team to face frustration and even anger with compassion and patience. To understand that everyone is scared right now, and sometimes that means accidentally yelling or getting mad when they don’t mean to.

Have patience and teach your team to sound compassionate in chat and over the phone. Give your customers, even the distraught ones, the benefit of the doubt in these troubling times. Your customers will remember it when sanity returns to them.

 

Become a Go-To Online Source

Finally, if you desire excellent customer retention online, become their go-to source. Make your site and their customer experience so great that customers want to come back for your product instead of heading to the store if/when the stores open again. Ensure your platform or products are more appealing than the competition, and that your service is more helpful and customer-centric.

You can also enhance your go-to source power by expanding your inventory to be more complete. Become a one-stop-shop for your niche and/or include products that are often bought together with your core inventory. If you have a spectacular shopping and customer experience combined with a satisfactory one-stop inventory selection, then customers are far more likely to choose your brand over all others.

The new market conditions have turned everything on its head, and a savvy business knows how to make the most out of change. COVID-19 has become a challenge, but it’s one that we are overcoming with the power of well-designed eCommerce solutions and a cloud network that is unstoppable. With these tactics, your e-commerce brand can not just earn new customers during the COVID pandemic, but also keep them after the crisis has passed. Contact us today for more invaluable e-commerce insights.


By | Categories Blog | Featured | July 16, 2020

Your Customer Relationship Management software or CRM can help you make and keep good customers. It can help you understand the patterns in customer behavior and better serve each customer when they come back. It can even help you turn leads into new customers by noting their behaviors and making a guiding CRM entry even before leads have created an account for themselves or completed their first purchase.

Leaving leads on the table is always something to avoid. It’s known that not all leads will convert, but there’s no need to waste perfectly good leads when all they need is a little nurturing. Your CRM is an excellent tool for this, but just like customer care, you must know how to use it. The CRM is, essentially, a Rolodex of information that can then be used to your advantage. So here’s how to use it to pick up those dropped leads and inspire increasingly more conversions over time.

 

Collect Pre-Account Data

There are two distinct differences between leads and customers. First, they haven’t completed a purchase. Second, they haven’t made an account yet. Don’t let this stop you from creating a tentative CRM entry just for curious leads. When a new IP or device connects, begin collecting potentially useful information. This could be a lead, a journalist, a potential business partner, or a browser-bot. You won’t know unless you look. Watch their browsing activities and keep track of any data entered or chat conversations had before account creation.

You can do this by automatically generating a temporary CRM entry. The entry then collects user-activity data to analyze and determine the nature of your visitors. If they are leads, then automated or directed nurturing can begin. The information collected can be used to guide the nurturing process instead of opening cold.

 

Chatbot Greeting

One of the best ways to collect that preliminary CRM data is with a chatbot. Chatbots can talk to everyone, never getting bored, or tired, and always close-able for browsing customers. People like to be greeted by a friendly self-docking chatbot. A cheerful greeting gives your website a friendly vibe and immediately provides a route for customer service.

Those who choose to engage with the chatbot are both more likely to be leads and will provide useful early information. A chatbot can be asked for help with selection or for basic information, but even better, they open the conversation. A chatbot turns the website into an interactive experience by reaching out and greeting each lead.

 

Intent-Based Guided Selection

Another option is to offer your leads a guided selection that also builds their CRM data. Guided selection is essentially an online personal shopper, narrowing down the options to help leads find what they want. Intent-based guided selection helps leads to shop based on their intentions. Turn your first-time-visitor UI into a helpful guided experience.

Ask your leads what they’re shopping for and offer them categories from which to choose. Refine your search filters and natural store organization to walk leads through the funnel. This is a form of gentle interaction, and their choices will inform your CRM of future product preferences.

 

Helpful Automatic Detection

Another great way to put your CRM to work is with detection-based data. For many brands and services, you can make life easier for new leads to convert by detecting certain things about their circumstances. Location, for example, could help you guide leads toward products that would deliver quickly to them. If you offer online content, you might detect the visitor’s connection speed and offer them media forms that will perform best for them.

This kind of automatic detection fills your CRM with data, which is then used to improve the experience of your leads. Leads notice when you go the extra mile and are often swayed by websites and apps that are intuitively easy to use.

 

Taste Product Quiz

Taste quizzes are a fun reminder of adolescence, but they’re also essential in some industries for helping leads choose their first products. Taste influences choice in clothing, furniture, art, and so much more. Your CRM is also where customer preferences in taste will be stored. Why wait? One of the best ways to simultaneously claim leads and get a feel for their future tastes is a quick product-based taste quiz.

Select collections of your product that represent taste-groups. These might be specific branded collections or just items of similar style and color scheme. Use clever, visual questions for leads to answer by clicking on each product collection. Now they’ve had a delightful tour of your goods, explored how those goods apply to their tastes, and informed your CRM of products they’ll be more interested in to complete the first and future purchases.

 

Guided & Transparent Checkout

Want to save leads? Make checkout easy and extremely transparent. Many people will test-checkout to see what the delivery times and final fees will look like. Others will simply be stopped and abandon a cart if checkout has too many steps. You need a streamlined, smooth checkout that shares all the information and practically hands the first products to your leads.

If necessary, use detection. Make sure your forms are compatible with their browser auto-fill. Have handy quick-check fields to prevent submission errors. Use every trick that your CRM and software has to offer to make checkout a thoughtless experience.

At the same time, make sure your checkout is transparent. Delivery costs, taxes,  arrival date, and discounts should all be displayed on the cart page and throughout the checkout process.

Your CRM can be an essential part of lead conversion if you know how to use it. A lead doesn’t even need to make an account for your CRM to collect information and use it to influence their conversion. From automated engagement to guided selection, a good CRM is an excellent tool for both casual shoppers and transitioning key accounts to the sales team. If you’d like more professional CRM tips or directed implementation strategies, contact us today! The Bash Foo team pros are ready to hone your CRM claim those leads on the table.

 


By | Categories Blog | Featured | July 2, 2020

So you’re sitting in your office perusing reams of sales data when the CFO walks in and says “Hey, what is our hard data on the ROI of our SEO spend?”   You can feel perspiration forming on your upper lip. A flashback of the last attempt appears to you in vivid detail. His last effort to calculate SEO costs resulted in a team meeting that was mired down for hours in minutia. You’ve scheduled bumper-to-bumper meetings throughout the day. Where will you find the time?

 

You could respond with “Gee, that’s kinda hard to nail down. You know, SEO is as much art as it is science.” or “Funny you should ask, I was going to tackle that next.” The truth is that most businesses are unsure of what their SEO costs are in terms of dollars allocated. The time involved to find out also becomes a factor.  Disparate components such as customer funnels, conversion ratios, CRM pipelines, disconnected silos…, the list frankly goes on and on. Who has the time to put into this? Perhaps it would be less costly and more productive to hire an outside consultant or do some onboarding for someone who can focus exclusively on these issues.

 

Relax. There are ways to calculate your SEO’s ROI without going into conniptions. But the approach you take first depends on what kind of business it is: eCommerce or a lead generation business?  Calculating the ROI of your SEO spend for an e-commerce business is just a matter of knowing where to retrieve the information. Estimating costs on an eCommerce site is not nearly as challenging as it might be for a leads generation business.  Let’s tackle e-commerce first.

 

Calculating  ROI for an e-Commerce SEO Campaign

The first stop you make is to the Google Analytics Dashboard for e-Commerce Sites 

If this is your first visit, sign up for an account post-haste. With that accomplished, you can begin to familiarize yourself with its user-friendly applications. Your first task is to enable the e-commerce dashboard to determine the views with which you want to see the data. Google provides the following step-by-step details.

  1. Sign in to Google Analytics.
  2. Click Admin, and navigate to the view you want.
  3. In the VIEW column, click e-commerce
  4. Set Enable e-commerce to ON.
  5. Click Save.

Now, if you are unfamiliar with writing HTML and JavaScript code, you may want to ask for an assist from one of your IT techies. It’s relatively straightforward IT stuff, and they should have you all set up in no time. Once the code is dropped-in, all you have to do is send it to Analytics.

 

Ok. You’re almost there! This is where a decision needs to be made on what data you wish to view. Just follow the prompts found on Google Support  and you are good to go. Google will provide prompts through the entire process, and the CFO will thank you for all of your hard work.

 

Calculating Your SEO’s ROI for Lead Generation and Service Companies

Making sense out of ROI for lead generators and service companies is like trying to complete a Jackson Pollock jigsaw puzzle under time constraints. However, if you break the parts down to the most common denominators, you’ll get through this in one piece. The first task is to set up the Google conversion tracking system. The problem with lead generation businesses is that you’re not just counting purchases. A conversion tracking system will permit you to overcome this obstacle. All you have to do is ascertain the actions of your customers. Even if you are not trying to figure out an ROI equation, you’ll nevertheless find this information invaluable

 

When it comes to making your customer data actionable, Google’s Conversion Tracking System is the way to go. Just as with e-commerce sites, your issues might entail data stored in disparate information silos. However, a robust CRM program can help you access data in a more unified way. While there are several platforms that offer ROI solutions, you can’t go wrong with a Google Analytics product. We caution you that before you can activate this program, you first have to be signed up with a Google Analytics Account. For those among us squeezing budgetary pennies, it’s FREE!

 

Introducing the Unsampled Reports Developer Guide

  1. Google Analytics This tutorial will guide you through the process of sorting out data in an actionable format. Its purpose is to “Set up and customize measurement for websites, web and mobile apps, and internet-connected devices.” You’ll then be given an option of devices from which to choose:  website and web apps, mobile apps, and internet-connected devices.
  2. Select a Google-certified partner from this list to support your journey. These Google experts will smooth your path to fully actionable data retrieval.
  3. js is a JavaScript library for measuring how users interact with your website. Google calls this their legacy library.
  4. Google Analytics permits you to use the latest tracking library, js.

We are now deep enough in the weeds to bring your IT, sales, and marketing team out of the weeds to craft a dashboard designed to make everybody’s lives a little less stressful and a lot more productive. The Google programs will enable you to manipulate data instead of the other way around. Google’s arsenal of productivity tools will have you performing calculations you never dreamed were possible. Granted, it might take a little time to put all the pieces together. However, it will pay back 100 folds in hundreds of saved time and wasted effort. To put it simply, it’s good for your SEO’s ROI. This link is an excellent place to get started. Share it with your team.  

 

PC Magazine gave Google Analytics a 4-star ranking, stating, “Due to its brand recognition and the fact that it’s free, Google Analytics is the biggest name in website and mobile app intelligence. It has a steep learning curve, but it is an awesome business intelligence tool.”

 

To learn more about how Google Analytics and Bash Foo can best attain your marketing objectives,  contact usBash Foo is a certified Google Partner. https://bashfoo.com

 


By | Categories Blog | Featured | April 20, 2020

See if this scenario feels familiar.  You go to your inbox and find a promotional email from a company effusively thanking you for your business.  It’s nicely designed, has some interesting links to helpful blogs and related product pages and seems customer-friendly enough.  There’s just one problem:  you never heard of the business.  And you certainly never bought any of their products or services.  So, why are they thanking you for your business?

ARE YOU ANNOYING YOUR LEADS?

Obviously, they don’t have their email act together—otherwise, they wouldn’t make themselves look so foolish in front of a prospective customer.  And that gets you thinking about your own business.

You certainly don’t send mind-numbingly off-the-rails emails to your leads—but how relevant are they?  How effectively do they position your business by providing useful and relevant information to prospective customers to move them through your sales funnel?  And (heaven forbid), are you inadvertently sending emails which annoy leads instead of nurturing them?

IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU

Even businesses that have a reasonably good sense of what inbound marketing is all about—building trust by helping consumers answer their most pressing questions and solve their most protracted problems—sometimes, without meaning to, annoy prospective customers.  That’s why HubSpot a couple of years ago was willing to raise a few eyebrows in the marketing world with its, “17 Things People Absolutely Hate About Your Website.”

That piece talked about all the website mistakes that marketers with the best of intentions make—from slow-loading pages to “About Us” pages that don’t say what a business is “about” to annoying popups and sites that don’t work on mobile devices.  Well, it doesn’t help if you fix those website boondoggles but try to push leads to that site with emails that are similarly frustrating and annoying.

Maybe your emails don’t hit leads at the right point in the buyer’s journey, like sending a newsletter before you’ve welcomed them to your business.  Maybe you’re a real estate business that sends listings for luxury homes to people who can barely afford a starter home.  The bottom line is this:  to be optimally effective, every email you send needs to give every lead precisely the information they desire, when they need it.

WHAT IS A DRIP CAMPAIGN?

“Drip campaigns” use marketing automation to achieve that goal.  Because they’re automated, emails are triggered based on actions leads take—things like filling out a contact form, downloading key content or visiting a product page.

As Zapier explains, the fact that drip email campaigns are automated means they’ll necessarily be more relevant to your leads:

“Drip campaigns…are automated sets of emails that go out based on specific timelines or user actions. They enable you to stay in touch with groups of people based on events like when a user signs up for an account or how often that user visits your site. Each time a drip email is sent out, it comes from a queue of already-written emails…They can even be personalized with your contacts’ name, company info, and more.  Put simply, drip marketing is all about giving people the right information at the right time.”

THE POWER OF PERSONALIZATION

So, creating drip campaigns is a great way to make the emails you send leads more relevant, this because they’re a response to real-time actions those leads take on your website or where they are in the buyer’s journey.  But the fact that a group of leads all download a piece of content or visit a product page doesn’t mean they’re all the same.

In fact, odds are they’re very different from one another.  Some are old, and some are young.  Some want to buy a refrigerator while others want a new dishwasher.  To optimize your drip campaigns, you need to accommodate all the ways your leads differ from one another.  In other ways, you need to personalize your emails.

A host of recent studies point to the power of personalization in email marketing.  Consider for example these eye-opening email metrics from Campaign Monitor:

HOW TO USE BUYER PERSONAS TO PERSONALIZE YOUR DRIP CAMPAIGNS

Those are impressive stats—but they don’t tell you the most effective way to personalize your drip campaign emails.  For that, you need to incorporate “buyer personas” into your email marketing campaigns.

Buyer personas are fictitious representatives of key market segments.  They’re defined by a common set of demographic and behavioral characteristics.  And, because the leads in each buyer persona have these similar traits, they tend to respond to the emails you send in similar ways.  Said differently, injecting buyer personas into your drip campaigns will ensure that your emails are highly relevant, valuable—and effective.

Although every business is different, with different customers, goals and marketing challenges, most can benefit from best practice buyer persona strategies, including the following 4:

  1. Clearly define your goals:  are you trying to increase a persona’s awareness of your business or persuade them to take a given action (to “convert,” in other words)?  If the former, you might want to push them to a blog about all the products or services in which they’re likely to be interested.  If the latter, you could include a personalized call to action.
  2. Take marketing segmentation to the next level:  leads within the same persona have different characteristics.  For example, some are just entering the sales funnel while others are close to making a purchase.  Some have visited many webpages while others have only seen the landing page that turned them into a lead.  To get the most from your buyer personas, you need to get into the weeds, ensuring that the information you send them is as relevant as possible.
  3. Get the voice right:  based on their individual characteristics (such as age, income, education level, and shopping habits), some leads might prefer a formal, professional tone of voice.  Others prefer casual, colloquial language.  It’s critically important to speak to your leads the way they speak if you want to optimize response rates.
  4. Get the timing right:  how long it takes to move a prospective customer from new lead to loyal customer differs by industry, and by persona within each industry.  For example, the average sales cycle for B2B businesses is different than that for the B2C counterparts.  It’s important to do some homework to find out how long your drip campaigns should be for your industry, and for each of your buyer personas.

CONCLUSION

Effectively segmenting leads using buyer personas can substantially improve the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns—but it can also be both complex and confusing.  Fortunately, there are experienced digital marketing agencies who can give you the guidance and advice you need to succeed.

To learn more about the ways our branding, inbound marketing, marketing automation and website development and design services can help you achieve your principal marketing objectives—and take your business to the next level—contact us today.


By | Categories Blog | Featured | April 16, 2020

Many people think that live chat support is the same the world ’round. In reality, the type of chat support offered varies quite distinctly from industry to industry and sometimes from business to business. The way you answer clients and the services each chat agent is prepared to provide are not universal. A live chat agent for a luxury retailer is not going to take the same attitude or offer the same kind of advice as a chat agent for a company that sells building supplies.

As a professional chat agent, and for those chat agents who work in an outsourced call center for multiple companies, it’s vital to know the difference between one brand and the next. Sometimes, two different companies in the same industry would like you to approach live chat support in two different ways. While you will always be chipper and helpful, you may need to decide the right moment to ask questions, offer advice, and what kind of help the customers of each brand would prefer.

Let’s dive into five interesting use-cases of industry-specific live chat and the kind of tactics that would work best for each type of brand.

 

Clothing Retail – Online Personal Shopper

The easiest place to start is consumer-oriented eCommerce websites. Brands that focus on online retail usually want their live chat associates to offer straight technical help or to become personal shoppers for interested customers to help move the conversion along.

This is especially true for clothing retail brands where customers may be worried about finding not just the right material and color, but the right size and shape for their needs. Unlike buying home items, shopping for clothing is a deeply personal experience. So when customers reach out to live chat to ask questions, they are often hoping that the chat agent will be able to help them pick clothes that will make them happy.

Being a personal shopper doesn’t necessarily mean fully understanding the customer. But rather, helping the customer narrow down what they’re looking for and then quickly linking them to the pages that will be most useful. One of the best things you can do, especially for clothing shopping, is to help customers translate their own personal vocabulary for clothes into the keywords, categories, and pages used by your website. For example, they might say “Boxy button-up” and you might know that they mean a “straight-cut dress shirt” based on how your brand sorts items.

In this way, you can help customers find exactly what they need, even when their own search terms were never going to get there.

 

Building and Manufacturing Supplies – Online Assistant Project Planner

Another likely example is providing live chat for a brand that sells supplies for building projects and manufacturers. Whether you are selling to consumers or businesses, your role is likely to be similar – that of an assistant project manager. Rather than becoming a personal shopper, helping clients find what suits them, you are now trying to help your clients find the parts and components that suit their project.

The project becomes the main focus and your top priority is to answer questions aptly and to ask the right questions to identify exactly what the client’s project requires. It’s important to remember that even with B2B and professional builder clients that product terms don’t always translate correctly. They might say “I need a hammer” and you’re thinking claw-hammer but they’re thinking sledgehammer.

Clients who know exactly what they want by name and number will simply shop it. But customers who reach out to live chat are far more likely to need professional insight on the tools, parts, or direction they need to go to complete their project satisfactorily. This is particularly likely for consumer-clients as opposed to professional builders or manufacturing businesses seeking components.

 

B2B Client/Supplier – Online Key Accounts Manager

Then there is providing live chat support in a purely B2B setting when each client is also essentially a business partner. Even if they have come to buy from you. Someone who is looking to make you their supplier or become your vendor doesn’t need consumer-level chat support. What they need is a person who is ready to step into the role of a Key Accounts Manager (KAM).

Key-accounts managing is the act of focusing on a specific B2B client to explore their needs, priorities, and pain points and then guide their experience toward the best solution. Some clients will want to be your partners and talk with you about how they can gain the most benefit and best service from your company. While others will want you to take the reigns and simply show them your best products and deals available to them. Either way, as the live chat contact, you are at least temporarily in charge of understanding your new lead or customer and making them happy as an important business client.

 

Luxury and Hospitality Market – Online Concierge

Luxury and hospitality have a different approach. Clients looking for a luxurious experience are looking for someone to listen and to cater to their desires and their comforts. Rather than a personal shopper, project planner, or account manager, luxury customers want to feel like the center of attention and to be handed things that immediately make them happy. What they want is a concierge experience.

The concierge is ultimately flattering, helpful, and a bit more passive than other roles. If the guest wants to talk, the concierge listens. If the guest isn’t sure what they want, the concierge offers them a selection of delightful things to choose from. And if the guest knows exactly what they want, the concierge makes it happen with a few words and a flourish of presentation.

 

Software – Online Tech Consultant

Finally, there are software and online services. If you are offering anything technical then you will be dealing with two completely different types of client. There will be the business-folk who don’t really understand the technology but they know what it does and want it to work. Then there are the technical professionals who want to talk in-depth specs and performance before they make up their minds.

For both the highly technical and the non-technical, the live chat agent takes on the role of the online tech consultant. For your business owners and managers who just want it to work, you can take them on a tour of features and packages. For the technicians and admins who want to know the details, you invite them into the documentation and rattle off stats about how well each product performs. The chat technical consultant is there to make sure systems are compatible, to provide information and support, and ultimately to show both types of client the same packages and share the details until they’re ready to convert.

Creating conversions through live chat is a practice that is different for every industry. The ideal service you can provide is shaped by the company, the product, and the clients themselves. For more local business insights and innovative marketing tactics, contact us today!


By | Categories Blog | Featured | April 13, 2020

In the wonderful world of digital marketing, there are few thresholds a small marketing team can’t cross. Even if there are only three of you sharing an office, you can dip your toe into everything from SEO blogging to PPC keyword bidding. You can run campaigns, shoot videos, and build an online community a million times bigger than your actual office or team. And it’s great! But it’s also a ton of work. The more successful your small marketing team is, the more overwhelming the amount of Do-It-Yourself work there is to actually do.

So today, in honor of all the amazing tiny team out there working your butts off for big money, and big prizes, we’re featuring the five essential strategies that every small marketing team can use to optimize your results and make life a little easier.

 

1) Work with Great Software

Always, always, always start with the software. When your marketing team is small, your software needs to pick up a lot of the slack and help you make the most of your super talented time.

– Dashboards and Channel Management

The dashboards you use are everything. They help you schedule, monitor, moderate, and improve every one of your marketing channels. You can curate your content, interact with your community, and keep everything running like clockwork when you have great dashboards like TweetDeck and Hubspot.

– Automated Marketing Tools

The more you can automate, the better. Use a big automation platform or a dozen little ones. It doesn’t matter as long as the grunt-work is getting done for you.

– Partner with an AI

If it’s in the budget, get your team an actual self-learning AI. At first, it’ll be like an automated marketing boost. But soon enough, that intelligent piece of software will become like an extra team member. An extra team member that can chat-bot with hundreds of people and/or analyze mountains of data and never get bored or tired.

 

2) Repurpose Every Story into Multiple Marketing-Channel Assets

When you create great content, don’t just use it once and let it fade. Slice and dice it into a dozen tiny bite-sized pieces and spread it around every marketing channel you’ve got in ways that work best for each individual channel. make sure your stories get out there and make the most of your precious content creation time.

– Pull Your Best Quotes into Social Media Blurbs

Write a great article or host a great interview? Pull out the best quotes and turn them into social media posts that link back!

– Capture Your Best Video Moments as Still Frame Images

If you recently made a video (or are going through the archives), don’t forget that videos are just a ton of still images all strung together. Capture your very best still frames and use them to fuel your constant need for great images.

– Rewrite Stories for Each Platform Style

For every story you write on one platform, rework it to be an equally great story for the style of every other marketing platform. Long-form for blogs, bite-sized for Twitter, and medium blurbs for Facebook. You get the drift.

– Embed Images and Videos from Social Media in Your Blogs

Most marketing teams to the majority of their content work for social media, especially images and videos. But that’s not the only place those pics and vids can go. Remember to spice up your blog articles, websites, and newsletters with that vivid photo-goodness as well.

 

3) Let Your Team Talents Shine

Your team is staffed with amazing individuals who wear a whole stack of hats for various parts of the marketing campaign. Don’t just spread out the work, specialize it. Get everyone doing what they’re best at or leading the projects they understand the most deeply. Make the most of your individual talents.

– Separate Tasks Based on What You’re Best At

Make sure your best writer is drafting the blogs, that your best graphic designer is crafting the infographics and your best director is shooting the videos. Only then will the truly amazing talent of your team shine through, and the work will be easier because you’ll each be doing what you love.

– Support Each Other on Big Projects

Of course, just because you have a ‘best blogger’ doesn’t mean they don’t need help on a massive content campaign, or the graphic designer can’t use a few hundred extra images to work with. Prioritize talents, but always apply teamwork to get the job done.

– Explore Ideas Based on Team Talents, Idea, and Networks

When your marketing team members have something unique to offer, use it! One of you is great at the accordion? Make some fun accordion videos! Have a little inside access to a network? Interview them on camera. Use your special ideas and connections to make your campaigns uniquely awesome, too.

 

4) Know When to Outsource

When your team is tiny, it is totally OK to outsource. Even big teams outsource when it’s most practical to do so. Know when temporarily (or long-term) contracting a big team of outsourced specialists is more effective or necessary than trying to take on everything yourselves.

– Huge Campaign Projects

When the projects get enormous, the smart small businesses outsource. Whether you need a flash-mob for something or just a backup marketing team to whip up a ton of content, don’t be afraid to contract!

– Video Production

If video production isn’t your thing, or you want to see how it’s done before taking it in-house, then hire yourself some professional videographers for one big shoot and/or make them teach you the ropes.

– Community Management

When your community gets so big you can’t even read all the comments, much less reply, it may be time to hire a professional team of community managers. Or just for big special events when you need to judge a contest with thousands of entries or moderate a particularly important thread.

– Content Creation

One of the smartest things a small team can do is build up a stockpile of content to spool out over the next year between your hot new stories. And a great way to get it all done at once (or pick up quick content packs along the way) is to outsource.

– Analytics, Optimization, and the PPC

If analytics and optimization don’t send you over the moon, that’s okay. There are teams that specialize in marketing by the numbers that will lend you some of their time and expertise.

 

5) Brand Partnerships for Double-the-Marketing, Double-the-Fun

Finally, don’t forget to partner-up! By pairing with everyone from micro-influencers to big companies that want some new-cool feel, you can seriously boost your own campaign’s impact when you share audiences and hype.

– Micro-Influencers

Micro-influencers are sometimes bigger brands than small businesses and they are fantastic at working their audience. Get in on that hype by partnering with some e-celebs that are really cool and fit well with your brand.

– Brand Partners

Partner with other small businesses for double-the marketing power, sharing your audiences, budget, and ideas to super-boost a campaign or event together.

– Community Events

Do community outreach and get connected to other local businesses, schools, churches, and groups that would love to be a part of your brand. Community stuff warm and fuzzy and is also totally awesome for social media stories.

– Big-Brand Sponsorships

And if a big brand wants to sponsor an event with you or invite you to attend one of their big to-dos, go for it! You could use the publicity and they could use your trendy, dynamic brand flavor.

 

Having a small marketing team doesn’t mean you are required to limit your marketing campaigns. With the right tools, strategies, and outsourced assistance, you can rock the biggest campaigns and customer audiences your brand can attract. And with that kind of success, pretty soon your marketing team may have a few new members. For more great marketing insights, tips, or campaign assistance; contact us today!


By | Categories Blog | Featured | March 15, 2020

In the past 24 hours, I’ve seen photos of empty restaurants, vacant boutiques and long lines for toilet paper. Images that are a stark contrast with a normal Friday night.

Social distancing should prove to reduce the effects of the virus on human illness and mortality rates, however many small businesses may not be able to withstand the impact of consumers distancing themselves from venues that are dependent on crowds, fans, and even worshipers.

So what can small businesses do to weather this unprecedented event?

Move to Virtual

Sales managers often rely on visiting customers at their place of work. That may not be available to them now. Instead of rescheduling your meeting for weeks into the future, consider scheduling it as an online meeting. Our favorite tool for this is called Zoom. It’s really affordable and super reliable. Google has also put some help out there for businesses by offering their enterprise meeting tools FOR FREE

Shift your Sales Strategy to Online

NIKE just informed us that they are closing 100+ of their retail stores for good. Why you ask? Because they understand that the strength of their brand will force those who want/need to wear their shoes will be able to find them online. All the sales without any social interactions to hold back sales. Win-Win. (or, not… that’s a conversation for another day)

Chinese companies in Wuhan Province were forced to confront the reality of coronavirus shutdowns well before most American companies. As storefronts shuttered their doors and workers practiced social distancing, savvy business owners shifted their sales strategy to avoid heavy losses.

The Wuhan-based cosmetics company Lin Qingxuan closed 40% of its stores — but the brand’s 100+ beauty advisors took to digital platforms like WeChat to engage customers virtually and increase online sales. “As a result, its sales in Wuhan achieved 200% growth compared to the prior year’s sales,” writes Harvard Business Review.

If you’re closing your store, find ways to keep your employees earning a paycheck by selling your products on social media, putting your email list to good use or using a video tool to reach new leads.

How quickly can an eCommerce website be setup?

Wix and Squarespace both have great and inexpensive web development portals to sell merchandise. For the time being, it may be best to try your hand at setting up a virtual store for your products.

Not at all technical, and want someone else to do this? Our web development team has set up online eCommerce websites in 48 hours or less. If you have a strong social media presence, you can drop links to your new eCommerce site and start selling to them very quickly.


By | Categories Blog | Featured | March 13, 2020

Distributed to clients (past and present) 3/13/2020 

We know that organizations and individuals around the world depend on Bash Foo to ensure that their websites, email, ad campaigns, and digital marketing are all available to serve up experiences for millions of visitors. I wanted to send you a personal note to let you know how Bash Foo is dealing with the Coronavirus emergency.

First, the health and safety of our employees and customers is our top priority. We have implemented several sensible policies to this end, including encouraging employees that regularly work in our offices to instead work from home. Because Bash Foo is inherently a distributed agency, this emergency will have no significant impact on our operations. Our project, support, and technical teams will remain fully operational and can do their jobs entirely remotely, as needed.

Second, we are tracking Internet usage patterns globally. As more people work from home, and sales plans quickly migrate from convention centers and large meeting rooms into online Zoom meetings and email drip campaigns, peak traffic in impacted regions has increased, on average, approximately 10%. In Italy, which has imposed a nationwide quarantine, peak Internet traffic is up 30%. We estimate your website will see an increase in traffic of 15-20% over the next four weeks.

Traffic patterns have also shifted, so peak traffic is occurring earlier in the day in impacted regions. None of these traffic spikes raise any concern for us. Our webservers and digital networks are powerfully redundant and ready for the task at hand.

Finally, we recognize that this emergency has put a strain on the infrastructure of small businesses around the world as more employees work from home. Marketing plans created months ago may now be in play, but you may not have the ability to execute them, thanks to the new quarantine rules in your state or country.

I am making myself personally available, as well as our entire team during this time, so that whatever plans you had that changed thanks to the Coronavirus can continue to be executed with precision and excellence. While your marketing team may be struggling to deal with these emergency changes in life, our team is uniquely situated to assist them.

The healthy functioning of our economy depends on work continuing to get done, even as people need to do that work remotely. If Bash Foo can do anything to help ensure that happens, I believe we must do so.

Thank you for being a Bash Foo customer. These are challenging times, but I want you to know that we stand ready to help; however we can. We understand the critical role we play in the functioning of your marketing efforts, and we are continually humbled by the trust you place in us.

Together, we can get through this.

Mike McDermott
President and Founder, Bash Foo


By | Categories Blog | Featured | March 10, 2020

Google Ad campaigns allow you to raise awareness about your business, target people who are already searching for exactly the keywords you cover and expand your reach. In spite of its many benefits, however, many businesses choose to forego Google Ad campaigns–or perhaps to put them off for an undefined “later.” The trouble is, you cannot benefit from a campaign you never create.

Is it time for a Google Ad campaign for your business? Consider these key signs.

1. You aren’t bringing in search traffic for the right keywords.

Creating an SEO-optimized website includes ensuring that your website brings in search traffic for the keywords that are most important for your business. Unfortunately, bringing your website up to the top page of those rankings can take time. If you’ve noticed that you aren’t bringing in search traffic for the keywords you most need to see traffic for on your website, running a Google Ad campaign can help increase your website’s overall visibility–including visibility for specific keywords. That ad campaign can also benefit your usual SEO, since the more visitors come to your website and stay on it, showing that you offer quality content.

2. You’re not targeting your advertisements.

Google Ads allows for highly targeted advertisements that will go straight to the audience you choose. Instead of casting out a broad net with a traditional advertisement, Google Ads allows you to send your advertisement directly to people who are already searching for that specific keyword. Based on your keyword research and understanding of the ad funnel, you can even target people who are at specific stages of the buyer’s journey, designing advertisements that will reach out, answer their questions, and help bring them into your funnel to complete that journey.

If you’re a local business, you can also benefit from Google Ads. You can narrow your targeting to people in a specific geographic region, including searchers using specific geographic search terms or those using the “near me” term.

3. You’re ready to expand your business.

When you create advertisements, you’re looking for opportunities to expand your business: to bring more traffic to your website. If you’re looking to expand your business, increasing your search traffic is a great way to bring in more leads and new business. Test your Google Ad campaigns and see how effectively they bring in the traffic you need–and what percentage of that traffic is new traffic.

Build your future ad campaigns based on these statistics and what they tell you about people coming into your business. As you decide to grow and expand your business, you’ll find that Google Ads campaigns are a great way to accomplish that expansion, from increasing awareness about the latest products you’re ready to offer to expand into new geographic areas. If you’ve recently changed the location of your business, a Google Ads campaign can also help new customers find you.

4. You’re looking for a budget-friendly way to launch a new marketing campaign.

The keywords you choose to target in your Google Ad campaign will determine the expense associated with your campaign. Some high-priority keywords may have a higher price tag than others. You can, however, choose the funds you want to put into your ad campaign. You may have a relatively low budget to work with, or you may have a higher marketing budget that will allow you to target a wide range of potential customers who are already looking for information related to businesses like yours.

Once upon a time, Google Ads campaigns were considered a more expensive form of advertising. As they’ve improved, however, many people have found that they can find a Google Ads solution within their budget. Even if you’re on a budget for your marketing campaign, you can still make the most of it!

5. You want fast results.

When you’re trying to bring new leads–and potentially new business–to your website, you may want fast results that will help you immediately start building your profits. Not every type of ad campaign will make that possible. Instead of relying on older, slower methods, including trying to build SEO through website content, consider the benefits of a Google Ad campaign. In some cases, traffic to your website can jump within a matter of hours. Many business owners also discover that their websites make a faster rise through search rankings when using paid Google Ads over free SEO tactics alone.

6. You want to build greater awareness of your brand.

Brand awareness helps guide many of the decisions customers make. If they’re considering making a purchase in the industry, they’re more likely to choose a brand they recognize one that has presented information they trust in the past or that has helped guide them through the earlier stages of the buyer’s journey. Through your Google Ad campaigns, you can build greater awareness of your brand even for customers who don’t click on that link and visit your website. Customers may also show a higher degree of trust for brands that appear in ads or Google’s recommended results.

7. You’ve noticed overall traffic to your website is decreasing.

Your website is like a digital storefront: it’s an opportunity for customers to visit your brand, check out the products you have to offer, and consider whether they want to make a purchase. If customers aren’t visiting your website, they’re less likely to make those important buying choices. If you’ve noticed a decrease in your overall website traffic, a paid Google Ads campaign can help bring in fresh, new traffic and raise awareness of everything your brand has to offer, which can, in turn, increase your sales.

Are you ready to launch a Google Ad campaign that will help grow your business and expand awareness of everything you have to offer? Do you need help designing an advertising strategy that meets your needs, created by a Google Partner? Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you reach your goals.


By | Categories Blog | Featured | March 5, 2020

A native ad appears to be a natural part of the user’s feed or part of the site’s normal flow of content suggestions. You’ve seen them everywhere; on Facebook, in Twitter feeds, Google search results, even embedded in blog posts. Some are so smooth and well designed that users hardly realize they are being advertised to. Native advertising creates a seamless user experience that allows users to view the content without the usual no-promo bias we all put up when we think we’re seeing a commercial.