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Posted on November 16, 2022 in Marketing Thoughts

Increasing Your Small Business Sales

Perfecting your products or service isn’t enough for small businesses. You have to get those products in front of the right people and convince them to buy.

We’ll walk you through 5 ways to improve your sales, grow your revenue, and satisfy your customers.

Omnichannel Marketing

Synchronizing your user’s experience into a holistic approach that covers all channels, from real life to digital, makes more and more sense as the digital and real world become increasingly integrated.

If you have a physical storefront, a website, and an app, your user should be able to have an equally valuable experience on any of those channels. If you simply have a website, you should still be able to offer a cohesive experience whether your customer is on a desktop computer or a mobile device.

BirdSeed allows you to give the customer a consistent experience whatever device they may be using and helps transition to real-world conversations and meetings with our Schedule a Meeting tool.

Initiate a conversation with a potential customer through BirdSeed’s Live Chat tool. As the conversation goes on, direct the visitor to Schedule a Meeting. Whatever the schedule will tell you when they’ll be heading to your physical storefront or offices. You can have someone available to greet them as soon as they walk in the door. You can even assign the task of greeting them to a particular person or team.

This type of seamless experience bridges the gap between the real world and your digital channels. That’s exactly what omnichannel marketing is all about.

Email marketing

Every successful website you go to will try one way or another to capture your email, and they have a good reason: Email lists are one of the most powerful of all marketing & conversion tools.

Email lists are such powerful conversion tools because the subscriber has given you permission to contact them whenever you want. That’s much more useful than passively hoping they will someday return to your website.

You can:

  • Give users of tips and tricks to optimize their use of your product or service
  • Inform them of new services or additions to your product line
  • Entertain & engage with snippets, and drive users to your website to see the full content

There are many benefits to those types of newsletter emails:

  • They give value to your customers
  • Show unconverted subscribers that you have more to offer
  • They increase brand awareness
  • Can build customer loyalty and return customers

Acquisition Emails

These emails are designed to convert users from being interested in your products into actual customers. It’s almost always a solid strategy to focus heavily on capturing visitor email addresses as quickly as possible. If the visitor leaves your site after providing their email, you’ve been empowered to follow up with them later. That gives you at least one more opportunity to make a sale. Most likely, it will give you many more opportunities.

It’s a reality that the majority of visitors will leave your website without converting. Many will browse your products and be interested, only to abandon their carts before converting.

But there are other options than just passively accepting the percentage of conversions you get. Acquisition emails allow you to regain some of that unrealized revenue. Target those emails to users that only visited your website and never checked out.

For example, you could send your unconverted visitors “Abandoned Aart” emails, giving them visual reminders of the product they were interested in. Abandoned Cart emails are personalized by definition, which makes them more effective.

Another, more general type of acquisition email could be targeted to visitors whose email addresses were captured but left before entering your customer funnel. You can send them a generic email template of attractive images of your products, sprinkled with customer reviews and descriptions of the quality, shipping speed, etc.

All types of acquisition emails pair well with an exclusive promo code that will expire in several days. Offering opportunities with an urgency behind them helps users convert to customers.

Retention Emails

Retention emails can be the gentle nudge an inactive subscriber needs. They prompt the subscriber to notice your products and come back to your website again. You can ask for reviews of the products they have purchased in the past, ask them to fill out a survey, join a contest for some of their products, and more. Having some customer churn is inevitable. But the rate at which it happens can be slowed or dramatically reduced by careful retention emails and strategies.

Promotional Emails

Promotional emails are a classic form of email marketing because they increase conversions reliably. Having email subscribers is really having a custom-built audience that has allowed you to contact them at any time. Not surprisingly the right email can result in high conversion rates for very little cost to you.

Emails that are advertising sales and promos will have the highest conversion rate with already loyal customers who have purchased from you before and have been happy with their purchase.

But for those on your email list who haven’t yet converted to paying customers, lowering prices will help. But how much?

Educating and Convincing Hesitant Buyers

People who haven’t converted may not be concerned about your prices. They may need you to build their trust in your company, view customer reviews, etc. One email can’t convert every customer because your customers are individuals.

Even within your target audience, you have customers either different demographics. It’s also important to remember members of your audience are in different parts of their customer journey. If a user needs to be convinced of the quality of your product or doesn’t fully understand a service, you’ll have a hard time converting that user with just a promotional email.

A good strategy to convert those types of hesitant potential customers is through acquisition emails or newsletters.

Newsletter Emails

Newsletters can provide value to your users in their email inboxes, and they’re one of the best ways of doing so for both you and your recipients. Providing value on the customer’s home turf gives you excellent opportunities. You can convince them to buy and bring them back to your website.

Emails are one of the best ways to share your blog posts. If you write content your users find helpful and relevant, send it out by email. It’s a simple and effective strategy to provide enough of the blog post in the email to get them hooked and bring them back to your website with a “Read more” button.

Create a Subscription-Based Service

Subscription-based services have some key advantages:

  • Reliable cash flow
  • Low customer churn
  • High customer convenience
  • Increased customer satisfaction

The subscriber has agreed to purchase from you not just now but in the future. They would have to take action in order to cancel their future purchases.

Achieving the key benefits of a subscription model, however, is dependent on how good your subscription service is. Subscription services are a great business model, but they’re not magic. Make sure you are providing a valuable service to your customers to enjoy the benefits of subscription-based businesses:

Reliable cash flow

Having subscribers who have committed to recurring purchases from your business (usually monthly but not always) increases your financial stability. It gives your business a more reliable form of income than a traditional e-commerce business.

Normally when selling products directly to consumers, it’s not possible to have the customers commit to buying a product ahead of time. You can always estimate your future sales based on last year’s sales, growth trends, the economy, and so on. But it will never be as reliable as having buyers pre-committed to buying ahead of time.

Low customer churn

The possibility of retaining your subscribers is very high once you have them. Once they’re subscribed, the only real requirement is to satisfy their expectations. There are no tricks involved; the customer knows they agreed to a subscription service and are expecting you to deliver service worth the cost.

Usually, subscription-based services offer the option of canceling at any time. Offering a “cancel anytime” option lowers the barrier to entry; a customer is more likely to subscribe if they know they won’t be trapped into a long-lasting agreement. That being said, most customers won’t make the effort to unsubscribe unless you give them a good reason to go out of their way to cancel.

High customer convenience

Rather than have to buy (and possibly research) products or services, many customers prefer to subscribe and agree to recurring billing. Subscriptions can save customers time having to repurchase the same items or types of items periodically.

Another convenience benefit for subscribers is being able to entrust you with their needs; they won’t have to worry about running out of an essential item that could be included in their subscription, for example.

Many subscriptions are not for essentials but rather for disposable income; what are the benefits there?

Increased customer satisfaction

Providing a subscription service gives your company the opportunity to surprise and delight your customers in ways that aren’t normally possible for businesses to do.

Most products require as much information to be given to the customer as possible. Subscribers are willing to give subscription services much more freedom. As long as you provide the value they were looking for, they might actually prefer that the received subscription be a surprise. You can expand the customer’s horizons and provide experiences they would never have had on their own.

That provides benefits for your business as well. Building each subscription to surprise your customers and delivering nationwide at approximately the same time creates a cycle of excitement for your service and chatter on social media. It encourages natural word-of-mouth advertising from your customers as they reach out to friends and family to share the excellent experience you provided.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Best Practices

The more you put SEO best practices into effect on your website, the better off you will be.

SEO is an incredibly important aspect of almost every website, and the large majority of those sites have the opportunity to dramatically improve their SEO. There are some pieces of technical SEO that are essential before your website can rank at all. (Google notes that “most” websites can meet those requirements without trying, which is reassuring).

Aspects of Search Engine Optimization:

  • eCommerce SEO
  • Optimize your schema
  • Optimize your content
  • Mobile SEO
  • Build backlinks
  • Local SEO

eCommerce SEO

It’s always important to have a logical, natural site structure that is easy for both your users and for Google to navigate. But this is especially true for many e-commerce sites, which can be extremely large when they require a separate page for every product.

Keep your visitors from being confused and make sure Google can crawl all your pages. Google can use those pages in SERPs when a potential customer is searching for products that you provide.

Optimize your schema

Schema is how your website communicates to search engines what each part of your page content is. Everything from your headings to the file names of your images can be optimized for SEO.

Optimize your content

Optimizing your content is an important part of SEO. If users are looking for information or asking a question, Google will try to answer that question by using content from a website. You can create landing pages with relevant content that’s targeted to rank for specific keywords. This will lead to bringing your target audience onto your website organically and is a tried and true method for increasing conversions.

Mobile SEO

Just under 60% of all search queries performed through Google are done through mobile devices. Google made an easy decision made the move to prioritize websites with responsive, mobile-friendly designs. In essence, if your website isn’t optimized for mobile, you’re at a disadvantage.

Build backlinks

Successful backlink building leads directly to Google ranking you more highly in Search Engine Results Pages, or SERPs. More and better backlinks give your website more Domain Authority, which is a good metric of how your website stands with respect to your competitors in SERPs.

Local SEO

If your business isn’t purely online but has a physical location or operates within a certain radius, like, say, a restaurant or a food truck, your website should be optimized as soon as possible for Local SEO.

Create and manage your Google My Business profile, and add local schema on each page of your website.

Engage Customers with BirdSeed for a Killer Customer Experience

A website that lacks engagement will always struggle to convert visitors into customers, no matter how many people are attracted to the website. Whatever your business or service, there is always some form of competition in your industry. You have to stand above the obtain good market share.

Improve the customer experience

What would you be more likely to buy from: A company providing the minimum in information and customer service, or a company that anticipates and satisfies your desire for engagement through targeted and timely videos, convenient communication opportunities, FAQs, and customer testimonials before you even realize you want those things?

BirdSeed helps you anticipate the needs of future visitors and provide for those needs at exactly the right point in the customer journey.

Quick, easy, and personalized

Make it quick, easy and friendly if your customers buy physical products. Use your BirdSeed to be clear about shipping times and to provide clear product descriptions to improve your customer’s journey. Include friendly follow-ups and use your BirdSeed to offer assistance by live chat, phone, or email for any questions or issues you may have.

Use your customer service to stand out from your competition with superior customer service and top-of-the-line execution for your service offerings. Reflect all this on your website as well: use Client Testimonials and Video Showcase to vouch for your results and introduce your team. Just as with selling physical products, you’ll need to follow up to increase their probability of choosing you again and of getting another useful client testimonial.

Increase brand recognition and loyalty

Visitors that are spending more time on your website and experiencing engagement tailor-made for their needs are much more likely to have pleasant memories of your company, your products, and your services.

Reduce bounce rate and churn rate

Providing engaging options, material, and content-oriented toward conversions for your users decreases your bounce rate, increases conversions, and increases the number of customers that return again and again. Providing valuable engagement for visitors on your website gives users reasons to stay on your website and to return another day.

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