Choosing Email Marketing Software for your Business

Email marketing can be a great way to get in touch with potential customers while making your existing ones love you all the more. In today’s world, there are so many options when it comes to email marketing, and it is important to figure out which software can best meet your needs. In this post we will focus on some of the big name providers and learn about how each have strong aspects that might resonate with you and your business.

1. Mail Chimp
Starting Price: Free

  1. Good for Any Size Business: The features of Mail Chimp really fulfill the needs of any company. The best part being that it is as easy to integrate for 500 subscribers as it is for 50,000. Whether you are a small business or work internationally, you can trust in Mail Chimp for your unique needs. Besides this, Mail Chimp is known to be easy to use throughout the process.
  2. Strong Mobile Capabilities: Mail Chimp is known for their multiple mobile options, having a staggering 7 mobile apps available for download! With MailChimp Mobile, one of the most popular, you can easily see your customers and add notes to them individually, check reports, and send a campaign. You can also use another app called MailChimp Snap to send a quick and easy photo email to either a select few of your subscribers, or all of them! These mobile features give you an advantage over companies with alternate software, because you really know what’s going on with your subscribers, which is important.
  3. Notable Abuse Prevention: Mail Chimp also focuses on abuse prevention with an initiative called Omnivore. This is a really strong tool that enables business owners to feel confident in the software. It is able to predict bad behavior in campaigns from the very start, therefore keeping the system clean.

Free Trial Available

2. Constant Contact:
Starting Price: $15/month

  1. Strong Customer Support: Constant Contact is specifically known for strong customer support, giving you lots of options when needing help. You are able to start a live chat with a representative, send an email to the team, make a call to customer service, and even connect to them via Twitter! Besides this, the software also provides different video tutorials to help you along the way. This makes businesses comfortable with the software when trying to best deliver to their subscribers.
  2. Numerous Customizable Templates: The software offers several vibrant templates that are easy to customize. With each having a different theme and purpose, you will have plenty to choose from. These will really stand out compared to other emails your subscribers are receiving. Also, they are extremely easy to customize making it very desirable for small businesses.
  3. Extensive PLUS features: Constant Contact’s PLUS features enable you to go way beyond emails. This includes the possibilities of collecting donations, creating surveys, offering coupons (retailers favorite), and even running live events. These are some of the customer’s favorite aspects making you stand out compared to other companies trying to accomplish successful email marketing.

Free Trial Available

Photos taken from the Mail Chimp and Constant Contact Website

By Katelyn Fletcher

How to promote your plan

5 Ways to Promote Your Loyalty Program:

So you have a loyalty program for your business, but you’re wondering what promotional steps will truly make an impact. You might be asking yourself, “How do I promote my program to get customers dying to return?” Well here are 5 key tips for promoting your plan to help your business go above and beyond the expectation.

  1. Train your employees: It is really important to make sure your management is taking the time to correctly train your employees. There are two aspects to this tip that correlate to your loyalty program. First, make sure your employees truly understand the plan. Are they emotionally connected? But even more so, make sure you have trained them to present the plan to each customer effectively. It is helpful to remember that each customer has different needs, and a good employee will know how to get the customer excited about the plan while catering to their desires.
  2. Instruct your employees to ask every customer: This is a crucial aspect to think about for your business that is often overlooked. You won’t receive unless you ask, so make sure your employees understand that the strongest way to receive big results is by asking every customer if they are a member of the loyalty program. We know consistency is key, and this stands true with this point.
  3. Send notifications to your customers by email/text: We are all busy, and sometimes your customers might have a lot going on. But don’t worry, an easy way to grab their attention on the go is with a quick text or email telling them they have the chance to receive a free item and you’re excited to see them! This is one of the easiest ways to promote your plan when an employee isn’t directly there to incentivise them to join. And, if you don’t have an email list already, a loyalty program such as Trezoro is a great way to build this!
  4. Use Social Media: With so many different platforms available, using social media to promote your plan can be super simple. Getting people aware of your program and its legitimacy through social media is important. With strong promotion through these platforms, you will see returning customers enter your business already excited about your plan, or even new customers who are now aware of the rewards you offer! You can even post pictures of your prizes or tag a few key customers in a post telling them they have earned a reward.
  5. Advertise with displays: Advertising within your business is another easy way to promote your program. It can be as simple as a display on the counter, or a vibrant and fun poster. Both of these can catch customer eyes and get them started and invested quickly. This a fun and inviting way for customers to set up their plan. Not only will it be memorable, but the next time they come into your store they will already be ready to start gaining rewards right off the bat!

 

Photo by Unsplash

By Katelyn Fletcher

How to Choose Your Rewards

Setting Up A Rewards Program- Selecting Rewards

Are you ready to introduce a loyalty program to your business? An exciting and tempting loyalty program will help to keep customers coming through your doors again and again whilst encouraging them to spend more. They feel valued and rewarded and your business performance sky rockets. It’s a win for both sides!

Think about your customers….but don’t forget your margins

Customers are at the heart of what we all do, it’s important to think about them when designing your rewards program, but by thinking creatively it’s possible to design a program that’s both enticing for them and beneficial for your business.

A successful loyalty program is more than just offering discounts and free items, it’s important to think about what perks your customers want and get excited about but not losing sight of what you can afford to offer.

Different Reward Types Work Best For Different Businesses…..

It’s important to remember that what works for salon and what works for an electronics store will be two very different things. Nobody wants to buy four laptops to get one free, but a store credit based system would keep those customers coming back for all of their gadget based requirements! Here are some examples of the most popular reward types and the businesses that they work best for:

  • Percentage discounts or store credits will always go down a treat. Shoppers will have the freedom to use these against the items that they want to buy and it is easy for you to consider what you are happy to offer in exchange for their repeat custom. If you sell items with very different profit margins discounts may not be the best solution for you, not all dollars are created equal.
  • Free items or services also help to get customers excited! In a café for example or a service based industry, offering a free item or service can be a much better way to show your customers love whilst taking care of your bottom line.
  • Another type of reward that is gaining in popularity amongst shoppers is the experience reward. These are rewards that money can’t buy! It’s also a way to create true brand loyalty, an example would be a pizza restaurant putting on a pizza making class for their best customers. This can give these customers with a new appreciation for what you do and strengthen their excitement for your business and team!

By Katelyn Fletcher

Customer Service Strategy

customerservicestrategy

Taken from the Pret a Manager and Zappos website

Having a Strong Customer Service Strategy:

A Bain & Company survey found that only 8% of companies truly deliver a superior customer experience. Why is this so low? Well, many don’t realize that a good customer service strategy stems from the top. Attentive employees with clear communication skills hired through a leadership that calls for strong performance and commitment. It may seem easy, but in order for customer service to be successful, every member of the business must be committed to making it happen. So lets look at some businesses with superior customer service and see why their specific strategies are so successful.

Pret A Manager:

Heard of the “Pret Buzz”? This is what Pret A Manager hopes every customer experiences upon entering one of their locations. They believe that this is directly rooted through strong customer service that comes form hard working and dedicated employees. Pret A Manager uses different techniques to achieve this, one significant example being a staff rewards scheme. Every store has a mystery shopper each week who is looking for strong engagement with an employee. If the mystery shopper says they had a good experience, the team members at that specific location get extra pay. The company also gives performance rewards for good customer service where they can receive “Outstanding Cards” up to fifty pounds.

Zappos:

Their #1 core value is Deliver WOW through customer service. But how do they go about this? Zappos strongly focuses on their employees and have therefore created a five week revolutionary training program. It’s focus is to give new hires unique experience enabling them to understand what it means to truly commit to a company and make customers happy. At the end of just the first week, Zappos offers their trainees a $2000 bonus to leave the company! These kinds of proposals stay throughout the entirety of the process to let new hires embrace the realities of committing to a business and creating the best customer service.

From these two examples we see that customer service can be strong regardless of the type of business you run. Pret A Manager delivers it through face to face hospitality, while Zappos delivers it through friendly actions and employees talking to customers over the phone. These companies have built a strong foundation to really teach their employees what it means to have strong customer service. It clearly involves strong training and the employees being both emotionally and physically invested. From this, we have also found that a strong customer service strategy starts with strong leadership in your business. If management does they’re job with this, then so will employees. Then, they will be taught and motivated to treat every customer as if they are the store’s favorite, making every experience a happy one.

By Katelyn Fletcher

Types of loyalty plans

Which type of loyalty plan will benefit my business?

Every business has the goal to keep customer retention high while growing their new sales. But to achieve this perfect growth, we have found it important to make sure you are choosing the loyalty program best tailored to your company! Observing the category of your business can directly show you which plan works best. Whether that be a punch card or points system, we know it can be hard to understand which will improve your company while being exciting for your customers at the same time. So here are some helpful examples of highly successful companies with different strategies that are taking advantage of the plan that best suits their goals!

types.pngPinkberry: Punch Card System

We all know and love Pinkberry, and as a popular frozen yogurt franchise, Pinkberry has learned that it can greatly benefit from a strong punch card system because of their simple menu. Their Pinkcard plan allows any customer to receive a free yogurt after 10 purchases, as well as on their birthday! But why is it so successful? Well, first it’s extremely simple. Second, their customers quickly get excited about reaching a discounted or free item in the future that they already know and love. This gives the company better customer return which has increased sales.    

Sephora: Points System

Sephora is another well known international company that holds customer loyalty in high regard. However, Sephora’s quantity of merchandise and varying price points greatly differs from Pinkberry. Instead of strongly focusing on one product, Sephora sells many different items, making a punch card system practically impossible. So instead, they have chosen a points system that never fails to perfectly cater to all customers, regardless of what they purchase. With Beauty Insider, Sephora enables customers to quickly reach a “never-ending supply of beauty rewards”. With every item purchased the customer receives a point that leads them closer to their next beauty gift, including one on their birthday.

So which type of plan will work for me?

First, you must look at your company goals. Are you trying to sell one or a few basic products? Or does your business sell a multitude of different items in a large price range?

Selling a limited range of products: Go for a punch card system! This is a great way to get customers excited. Because who doesn’t love the word “free”? If you have a product being repeatedly purchased, this is the best choice to see positive outcomes. It is a direct incentive for your customers to keep returning and focus on your business rather than the competitors. This system works extremely well for companies such as cafe’s, frozen yogurt stores, car washes, and more!

Selling various products at different prices: If you are a company selling a variety of items or services, a point system is definitely best. With each purchase a customer can earn points and eventually earn a free or discounted item. A favorable aspect of a points system is that the customer might buy something in your store to receive points instead of at a competitor. This creates an opportunity for your sales to increase and turn your new customers into repeat customers. A well implemented point system has the power to alter a customer’s buying habits without hurting your margins. Some types of businesses that benefit most from a point system are restaurants, hair salons, and department and retail stores because of their wide range of products, services, and prices.

By Katelyn Fletcher

POS Systems: how to pick the right one

Choosing a Point of Sales (POS) System is one of the most important technology investments to be considered when opening a small business. So what is a POS system anyways? Basically it’s a computerized network all leading back to where the customer makes their buying transaction. POS systems are not a one size fits all type of deal, and the hardest part is finding the right set up to fit your businesses’ needs. The Trezoro team is here to give you a general overview of your options with insights on the pros and cons of each.

Electronic Cash Registers: Lets start with the most basic. These stationary, traditional solutions are proven familiar. They are simple to use, easy to acquire, and cheap to sustain. There are limited technical issues and if you are simply using them to complete transactions then you may argue that this system gets the job done. However, as we explore the advanced POS solutions available in the market, you will see how not adopting a sophisticated system can place your business at a disadvantage.

POS Systems in general will give you an advantage over using traditional electronic cash registers. Using POS systems give your business the opportunity to: analyze sales to see how well items are selling and adjust price levels accordingly, maintain sales history to assist in purchasing quantities, and improve price accuracy by integrating bar-code scanners and credit card authorization abilities with the system. There are two levels of POS Solutions companies can choose from:

Traditional Legacy POS Software: These POS Systems store data on local servers and run on a closed internal network. Businesses can use the software to track sales, inventory, and customer information but use a standard phone line or mobile connection to process credit cards.

Pros:

  • Does not require high-speed Internet connections.
  • One time purchase.
  • Control over security and data back up.

Cons:

  • Many software updates that you may need to pay for.
  • Bulky hardware: Stationary tills take up lots of space.
  • May be charged a fee every time you run a credit card.
  • Set up of costly back office servers may be required.

Cloud Based POS Systems: These POS Systems are Wed-Hosted solutions that store data on remote servers and make information accessible online.

Pros:

  • Integrate CRM systems to store customer’s data.
  • Can access data from anywhere, not just on site.
  • Automatic updates.
  • Fewer upfront costs.
  • Innovative hardware can support mobile payment options.
  • Simplified fees and expenses. Ex: Flat rates instead of paying each time a card is swiped.

Cons:

  • You’ll need a strong, reliable Internet connection at all times.
  • Mobile providers sometimes hold onto money longer
  • Monthly subscription fees are often required.
  • Reliance on server for data security.

For more information on specific POS systems to fit your businesses needs see http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/2955-best-pos-systems.html.

5 Steps to Keep Customers Loyal

Customer loyalty is important – everyone know this. What we are noticing, however, is that many small business owners are undervaluing its true prominence in determining future success. First time customers are great and getting people in the door for the first time is half the battle – but how do you get these customers to return time and time again? They key is a comprehensive customer retention strategy. We get it, it’s easier said than done and that’s why the Trezoro team has come up with a simple 5-step plan to get your business on the route to customer loyalty.

  1. Internal Audit: Start by taking a look at your own business and be sure that everything is running smoothly internally. What’s our work environment like? Are staff members enthusiastic about their work? Are our day-to-day processes well thought out and efficient? These questions are just a sample of many that business owners should be considering. You can’t expect customers to be confident in your business until you yourself are confident. In other words, its important to make sure the behind the scenes portion is perfected so you can put your best foot forward when interacting with customers.
  1. Implement a loyalty scheme: Rewarding return patrons will give customers a tangible reason to come back to your store. Attaining new customers is a lot more expensive than retaining your current ones. It will also lead to increased customer profitability and lower account maintenance cost. You can achieve this by compensating existing customers with deals, discounts and freebees to incentivize return business.
  1. Involve your staff: A company’s staff has the potential to be its greatest asset, so it’s important for business owners to keep their employees in the loop. Its likely that they are the primary form of communication with customers, so making them aware of the objectives and benefit of the loyalty scheme will help them pass this information on. Plus, an informed staff member is likely to deliver better customer service, another crucial component of customer loyalty.
  1. Use your data: For businesses, the best part of loyalty schemes is the customer data that is provided as a result of its usage. This data can gives companies insights on their customers and helps analyze buying behaviors and consumer preferences. In this respect, businesses have the ability to target their promotional efforts effectively. Rather than using mass marketing, consider sending only relevant offers to customers. This will foster stronger business to consumer relationships and make your customers feel valued and understood.
  1. Meet Expectations: Even with a perfect loyalty scheme, if the product or service you are selling doesn’t live up to its expectations it is likely that customers won’t return. With that being said, businesses should avoid making promises they cant keep. Focus on delivering consistent quality to customers to foster a trusting relationship and keep them coming back for more.