A robust, scalable business is always based on strong processes. And if you are in the business of offering a Software as a Service (SaaS) product, you will doubtless have a recurring revenue model.
Our business debit card expires tomorrow and so I’ve been in the throes of receiving alerts, notifications and emails from a range of providers asking me to update my card details so they do not lose their revenues. The experiences were very varied from the best, smoothest, least painful to the worst where I had to raise a support ticket.
Given SaaS firms risk losing revenue from non-renewals, this is a critical business process.
The “best” process just allows me to update the expiry date on the card (PayPal) without having to re-enter all the other information
The “worst” don’t send me a link into the EXACT page on my account where I can update my details after logging in. Skype was particularly irritating with a hideous UX on their mobile browser. They leave me failing to find the right billing page detail and resorting to search / help / customer tickets.
The Very Very Worst was Teamwork where they successfully hide the link in an upgrade screen which is not where I’d look to find my payment information (see below)
Hard to find link for payment information on Teamwork.com
Any customer process needs testing and constant monitoring to keep it relevant and improved. Clues which may indicate you have this problem can be found:
Check the exit pages on your website
Check the long dwell time pages (that you don’t expect)
https://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Teamwork-upgrade.png11262516Rebecca Caroehttps://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2017-10-30 16:14:062019-04-23 14:27:43SaaS renewals that are easy for customers
When you start a group online in a public social platform, it’s easy. Nothing much happens until your group hits a ‘tipping point” of size + engagement + activity.
Facebook Groups logo
Different groups achieve this at different points in time. We have a sports group run for a client that has nearly 2,200 members and gets 2–3 posts daily from group members. It is now attracting ‘commercial’ elements such as an advert for privately owned equipment listed for sale.
Interestingly, that one post opened a floodgate of listings from others. It seems as though people felt that ‘permission’ had been given to dive in and sell to the group.
The client runs the group in public at his expense and he refrains from selling into the group more than once a month for his own products. It was clearly time for an intervention and setting boundaries about what is acceptable behaviour in this group environment.
3 Types of ‘Sales Pitch’
1) The first was the lady who listed the equipment for sale. I messaged her privately and she told me that despite getting a huge reaction from the group, it was a private sale and she sold it to a friend, offline. We let this pass as just a one-off. Clearly every member of the group won’t be listing items weekly.
2) The second was a lady who runs an Instagram account through which she gives ‘free training programmes’. We checked out what she does and came to the decision that she’s not making a living out of this. And so I am classifying her as a ‘volunteer’. But her actions need to be curtailed because regular postings promoting her services (even though they are free) would upset the balance of the discussion dynamic already established.
Actions to mitigate impact
We messaged the Instagram lady privately, explaining she can publish her stuff on the website via an existing ‘submit post’ feature where community notices are published. This is important because although it publishes to the blog, it is set up to avoid getting into the newsletter, the Facebook page and other communications channels. She does get indexed by the SEO spiders, gets link backs, but does not get referenced or categorised in the archive.
3) By contrast, the third type of pitch was a post by a commercial sports professional trainer. When we reviewed it, we found it is definitely a paid promotion designed to recruit readers from the client’s Facebook group into HER email list and commercial program.
Actions to Arrest Unwanted Activity
First I turned off comments on this post. Nobody can add to them, and this helps prevent Facebook showing it in feed updates. We also removed all her replies in the comments because they linked to her programme over and over again.
Then we wrote to her privately asking her to get in touch by email so she can pay to promote her products on our platforms, along with other commercial retailers (the website is advertising supported). I am waiting to see what her reply to this Facebook message will be – if she’s contrite and apologetic, I’ll leave her post published; if she takes no action to reply or is aggressive and rude, I’ll delete it and block her from the group.
Behavioural boundaries are yours to define
The underlying logic is that commercial enterprises pay, and volunteers can get access as part of the goodwill of the group. The commercial publicist had made no effort to engage and join in the group discussion – she just joined, dove in and started selling. That’s not how this group rolls.
Making the rules for the group is part of good practice in community management. You can publicise these with a pinned post, or a message to new members explaining what is and is not acceptable.
Enforcing the boundaries will help you to create the group and community YOU want. Know what actions you will take if the boundaries are crossed and also understand how to take discussions into a private space – you don’t want to have a public argument while you try to explain your motives. And you don’t even need to explain them, only the acceptable behaviours.
https://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Facebook-Groups.png650664Rebecca Caroehttps://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2017-08-29 10:00:002017-08-29 12:54:56YIKES! My Facebook Group Got Hijacked by Competitors
Once you send an email, it’s impossible to recall it back. Once you send an email with a mistake, you can kiss your reputation goodbye.
In the case of MTV bringing their popular television show, MTV Unplugged, to New Zealand, their advertising strategy left a lot to be desired.
MTV vs. Millennials
Earlier this year, in June, when MTV announced that they were doing an Unplugged series in New Zealand, Millennials across the nation rejoiced.
For those that don’t know, MTV Unplugged is a television show which features artists performing stripped back versions of their hit songs. The show has been featuring artists since 1989, so you can imagine the excitement when MTV NZ announced this news on Facebook.
The artist they’d chosen to feature in the first ever episode of MTV Unplugged NZ was Maala, a singer-songwriter of electric-pop music. Tickets were free but limited. To enter, you had to submit your details and await an email.
In the excitement of winning tickets, it’s understandable that we could forgive the use of Times New Roman and just the overall lacklustre layout in this email sent en masse to all winners.
On closer inspection, there are a few more things wrong with this.
Email received 07th July, which is a Friday. Instructions are to RSVP by Monday 10th July to confirm tickets.
What is wrong with this? Firstly, for those that entered with their work emails, or don’t check emails on the weekend, it’s likely that this email would go unread by many until recipients were back into the work groove on Monday.
Secondly, three days can be considered a bit short notice to make plans.
Thirdly, Wednesday 12th August, 2017, doesn’t exist! It did in the year 2015, but unfortunately, time travel isn’t an option just yet.
Well, that’s embarrassing! We can either assume that this little big mistake missed the multiple rounds of test emails, or that the marketing team skipped testing completely. At least they finally realised that serif fonts weren’t the best way to convey their messages.
A few things to take note:
Not a good first impression about MTV NZ (or the teams behind it)!
They called the wrong date a “typo”, as though someone has misspelt “July”. Close enough.
Do you think they got the hint that a single weekend wasn’t enough to wait for RSVPs? Or perhaps people found they couldn’t make it on Wednesday, 12th August, 2015?
Either way, they extended the RSVP date until the morning before the event. They also jumped back on board the serif train and still haven’t learnt that the way to communicate with digital natives is either through gifs, cat videos, or really, anything with a picture and a splash of colour.
This is a prime example of what not to do
So, MTV Unplugged hit New Zealand’s shores with quite a splash, and probably not in the best way. They also sent me an email confirming my tickets three times. Did this mean I had two tickets or six? Very confusing.
All in all, it’s a great example of how badly a brand’s reputation can be hurt by a few simple rookie mistakes. The whole event felt rushed, and while it progressed somewhat smoothly on the day, we can all learn that emails are still very important!
https://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/apple-691323_640.jpg426640Creative Agency Secrets Teamhttps://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgCreative Agency Secrets Team2017-08-24 16:51:532019-04-23 14:27:57What not to do in an email campaign
Spark ideas, develop strategies, and add value to your brand while joining New Zealand’s leading marketers at the annual NZ Marketing Summit. Listen to our own CEO, Rebecca Caroe, in her session on “Strengthening the brand-agency partnership – how to work with an expert (when you aren’t one)”.
Attend Four International Keynotes
Brigitte Slattery (Head of Marketing – Lifestyle Group @ Foxtel Australia)
Nick Lanzafame (Head of Strategic Insights & Analytics @ Buzzfeed)
Charlotte Dewhurst (Global Marketing Direct @ Les Mills International)
Col Kennedy (General Manager – Brand & Customer Experience @ Country Road)
Explore Three Programming Tracks
Digital & Social
Brand & Content
Tech & Experiential
Along with the 20+ speakers featured, the Marketing Summit offers a choice of two full-day workshops. “The Content Workshop” and “Brand Building Blocks 2.0” will be held the following day on September 22nd.
Join and connect with 300+ fellow industry professionals in generating and exchanging insights to fuel brand development. You can register before 5pm on August 25th and secure early bird pricing.
Campbell Naish, Partner at export strategy and marketing consultancy Katabolt, wrote a generous testimonial for Creative Agency Secrets. Many thanks!
Rebecca provided Katabolt with a valuable specialised set of marketing recommendations with a specific focus on services which was a great match with what we needed. Her B2B expertise and international experience and perspective helped our team refocus marketing plans and bring new skills into the fold. Thanks
Every business needs a strong plan of action to get and publish testimonials for the business from customers and clients. As the internet becomes the strongest recommendation engine, because it’s easily searched and free to use, your business MUST get a strong profile in places where testimonials and reviews can be seen and shared.
Don’t forget that recent reviews are more powerful than old ones. So this is a tactic you need to implement weekly or monthly.
We implemented TrustPilot for an ecommerce client who needed to improve visibility of its amazing customer service. Based around the world, TrustPilot has local sites for each country – this one was in the UK. The integration of their free version with ecommerce platform was seamless – every time a customer buys, they are invited to leave a review a fixed time period after the purchase is complete.
As a mail order business, the time delay between online purchase and receiving goods can be a while and so the flexibility to specify when the review request email is sent was appreciated.
On the reviews page, you can respond to each one which gives full visibility to your prompt response to feedback. And when you upgrade to the paid version, the option to enable reviews by product, not just for the company as a whole, gives a host of new options.
Read more blog posts about Step 5 Relationship Development by clicking the image below – it will take you to that category on our blog. Teach yourself how to build relationships with people who will bring new custom to your business.
https://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/LI-testimonials.png9301618Rebecca Caroehttps://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2017-08-08 10:50:502017-08-10 13:35:16Giant thanks for this testimonial
I just started a curated newsletter about personal finance for millennials. Each issue includes 10 curated articles from various sources about investing, budgeting, paying off loans, and etc. I do not have any subscribers yet.
Well done – getting started.
Focus on Your Marketing Assets
Let’s help you work out the key answers you need: Start with answering these questions.
Do you have a website?
On your website how do you invite subscription?
Have you got social profiles?
On your social profiles, how do you invite subscriptions?
So you’ve guessed, you need to get people to visit a place on the web which you own (website / social profiles) and then invite them to join your newsletter. Consider what ‘offer’ you can make which is attractive to them in addition to getting the articles. Sumo.com has a good WordPress plugin for subscriptions. Also check out Push Notifications as many sites prefer this as subscribers won’t share their email address. I wrote this article about Notifications
Once you have started the newsletter and finding subscribers, you need to work on continuously improving your offer and the means for people to join it. Growth hacking is the process of improvement and measurement.
Is 10 articles too few / too may / just right?
What offer can you make to subscribers?
How are you monetising your newsletter?
Which brands can you collaborate with to grow your list with theirs in a joint venture arrangement?
What are your key metrics and ideal customer profile?
Now grow your profile
Get known by answering questions in public which relate to your issue (Financial services) and your audience (millennials). By showing off your knowledge and linking back to your website or social profile, you can encourage people to remember your brand and respond – starting discussions, which further allow you to show off your expertise.
Good places to start are Reddit and Quora search for questions on your topics of interest e.g. student loans. Also find niche financial services websites and discussion forums
And also use Google Alerts to search and email you links to places where your key words are being added to the internet
Bookmark websites where these show up regularly. Approach them and ask if you can write a guest article with a link-back to your website
https://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/How-to-Get-Subscribers-to-My-Email-Newsletter.jpg16602500Rebecca Caroehttps://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2017-07-26 09:19:062017-07-25 16:08:34How to Get Subscribers to My Email Newsletter?
Last week I got the latest research on SEO from trusted brand SEM Rush. You can download and read their report Ranking Factors 2017 in SEO.
Ranking Factors 2017 report from SEMRush
Creative Agency Secrets has read the whole report and below are 5 SEO tasks you can initiate immediately for your own website or ecommerce store.
The report has a number of chapters each of which is followed by “What this means to you as a marketer” Read these pages for the SEMRush interpretation of their research findings.
5 SEO actions for 2017
Check you have a secure (https) website. Get a SSL Certificate installed if your url begins http://. See Secure websites below
Find websites which can link back to you. Clients, Suppliers, News / Magazines, Directories. See Referring Domains below
Get ideas for your SEO and your content creation from Answer the Public research tool
Use more keywords on your “cornerstone” content pages. See Keywords below.
Plan the visitor pathway through your site especially with a view to reducing bounce rate.
The Detailed insights
Note these are paraphrased from the SEMRush report including some verbatim quotes. All the ACTION FOR YOU tasks are recommendations by us for your website or ecommerce store. The page numbers are the actual page number in the report NOT the number top RHS.
Secure websites – page 6. The higher the page position in search, the higher the keyword search volume most sites are secure https domains. We interpret this that websites with SSL are trusted and are gaining over plain www and http sites.
Referring domains – page 10. The pages that rank higher have more backlinks from unique domains. Websites that appear on SERPs for high-volume keywords have significantly more backlinks than ones that appear for low-volume keywords — almost 10 times more. ACTION FOR YOU the competition for high-volume keywords is vicious, and those websites are invincible. But for low-volume keywords the competition is not so tough, so some link building could bring tremendous results.
Content length – page 18. What we saw first was that there is generally more content on the pages that rank higher for all search volume intervals. There is more content on the pages with long-tail keywords than on those with short-head keywords. ACTION FOR YOU pick your “cornerstone” content pages and work them HARD for SEO goodness. Content length is important for your page’s success as long as it is valuable, well-written, and optimised, especially if you target high volume keywords.
Keywords – page 23. In the high volume keyword group. the majority of the pages add a keyword to their title, meta and body copy but the occurrence of the keyword in the meta description does not influence the page rankings. Pages that rank for long-tail keywords repeat those keywords less often than pages that rank for short-head keywords. The pages on the first positions (for both longtails and short-heads) have noticeably more keywords than all other pages. ACTION FOR YOU If you plan to rank by long tail keywords, having an exact-match keyword in your on-page SEO elements is not crucial. In fact, it is more important to diversify the semantic core of your text and make it relevant to the target keyword rather than copying it. The presence of a video didn’t show a significant influence on page rankings, so we came to the conclusion that video itself is not a silver bullet. However, in certain niches clients expect video content, so it makes sense to provide it. Consider your audience’s demands, and if they include visual support, use video.
Volume of visitors – page 33. Not a strong correlation to page rank here especially if your search phrases are low(er) volume searches. For the low-volume keyword group, the trend is flat, indicating that a page’s position does not strongly correlate with its number of total monthly visits. For high-volume popular keywords, the number of page visits gets noticeably smaller for sites that rank below the 12th position. ACTION FOR YOU this means organic search is not the only thing you should be concentrating on. Drive a strong traffic from direct and social media linked visits by pushing brand awareness on these platforms and also through newsletters.
Bounce Rate – page 37. The higher a page’s position is, the lower its bounce rate. The user navigates through three to three-and-a-half pages per website, per visit. As your site moves towards the top of the SERP, there are more pages per session for every domain. ACTION FOR YOU firstly ensure you have strong internal page linking. Think about what you want the visitor to do next on every page.Connect with Cornerstone content discussed above. Also analyse your rivals (How to compare my site to a competitor’s) Inside Google Analytics, check your queries performance and lastly, find low ranking pages for Bounce and improve them to reduce bounce rate and page rank.
SEMRush custom offer at the end of the report
And a cunning end-point which is a marketing “trick” I’ve used a lot for clients – on the very, very last page is an offer. A really good one. SEMRush will do a niche study for your industry if you write to ask. We did (for a client) and they said they’d been overwhelmed and would put it on the list…. but still. This is a fabulous reward for the people who do read all the way to the end. #TopTip
Ready to rock with some improvements on your business SEO? Let’s get started together!
https://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/RAnking-Factors-SEM-RUsh.png8601230Rebecca Caroehttps://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2017-07-05 13:58:062017-07-05 16:25:18What's new in SEO? 5 actions to do today