Referral Marketing

A loyalty program should keep your hard earned loyal customers YOURS while allowing a business to nurture that relationship unlike many generic programs that share your contacts with other businesses some may even be competitors in the hopes of bringing new customers through the door.  Many business owners are disappointed from the results generated from these types of loyalty programs for the simple reason, its only discounts not engagement and that brings the wrong type of customer through the door…a deal seeker who ultimately hurts a businesses bottom line. Businesses need to shift their way of thinking towards their most valuable asset their loyal customer, since it is their brand advocates that will bring new customers and shop more frequently with you and not a competitors.  A Mass Mobile customization app can create a loyalty program that will build brand affinity by including share-able aspects of your business that are key to the apps success for your business.

Mass Mobile gives business’ the ability to encourage customers to “SHARE” on all social media platforms and gives the customer the opportunity to earn dollars/points for behaviors like sharing on social media. A business can increase their persuasive impact and customers intention to purchase through engagement. Customers are more engaged when the customer finds value in the loyalty rewards offered creating brand affinity. Business’s must connect their loyalty programs to their social media profile since the integration of social media to apps & websites needs to be seamless  in order for customers to share. The value of referral marketing is just as significant as S.E.O  since it drives the number of new customer acquisitions by creating trust and loyalty. A business can connect to more potential customers by simply tapping into the customers circle of friends. By intising customers with an offer that is both exciting and rewarding it will enable a business to capture the attention of its customers to share and download. endorsements by a ‘friend’ are regarded positively since 84% of consumers trust recommendations from their friends. A business must have an effective referral strategy to meet their objectives in a loyalty app strategies may include: 1) share and win, 2) share and save (coupons sweepstakes), 3) give and get, 4) share and charitable donations.

The referral feature on mass mobiles loyalty app is extremely user friendly for easy sharing. Businesses need to encourage the help of its loyal customer to become its marketers through spreading the word to their circle of friends and by sharing the apps content. It is estimated that for every ten referrals a business will gain up to eight new customers from simply using a refer friend marketing program. The results are astounding with a 54% conversion rate since customers trust recommendations from their friends. Referral programs are the simplest way to successfully introduce your business to your customers own personal network of friends. This is a cost effective approach to market your brand by bringing the right customers through your door via loyal customers.

 

 

Are you Really Delivering?

The same rules apply for all businesses, customer service is key to being successful and profitable.  Earning the loyalty and trust of potential customers and keeping it can seem overwhelming.  With competition, many retailers are struggling to keep their doors open.  Small businesses and large chain stores have all been effected.  Some of the retailers that have found great success in the past have dramatically cut back or disappeared altogether.

“There’s a lot of fear how the landscape is changing, there are lots of rumors about who is weak and who will go down next,” retail analyst and former Eaton’s executive Jim Danahy says.

The retail landscape is changing at an alarming rate, along with customer needs and demands.

So now more then ever before a business that wants to be successful must provide the ultimate experience for its customers.  Along with implementing the basic strategies for exceptional customer service (http://visual.ly/25-skills-excellent-customer-service), technologies should be utilized to improve the overall experience, since it is relevant not only to the owner, and employees but also to the customer.

Most customers research on line before purchasing a product, checking out reviews, making product comparisons as well as getting the best price.  However, the customer will still most of the time purchase in store rather than online, because they value the “shopping experience”.  As a result retailers must engage their customers by keeping the lines of communication open, by improving and evolving based on their suggestions  of how to make their shopping experience a positive one.  It is important to encourage suggestions, ideas, and feedback from customers to remain viable in today’s retail world.

Technologies like loyalty apps are crucial, since loyalty and rewards go hand in hand.  Retailers who reward loyal customers for their repeat business , retain more customers than those retailers that don’t.  To keep remaining relevant it is essential to offer something of value as a bonus for choosing your brand over a competitor.   A loyalty app can make the shopping experience for its customer exciting, convenient and rewarding.

PROMOTE, ENGAGE and REWARD

A common mistake made by many retailers is investing too much of their marketing budget on trying to get new customers, rather than investing in the customers they already have.  Companies/brands must first reward their profit makers for being loyal.  A business should differentiate between customers who bring the most value to their business and reward them accordingly.   To drive activity and boost revenue from a business’s loyalty program it needs to incorporate a tiered reward based platform to reward it’s most valuable asset it’s repeat customer. A spend more – earn more strategy  by rewarding VIP customers based on the value that they bring to your business. By offering discounts and special privileges business’ are afforded the opportunity to build closer relationships with their ideal customers.  Rewarding VIP customers in a tiered loyalty program may include:

1) offering  free goods for liking and sharing on social media.

2) discounts and promotions.

3) special buying opportunities(e.g. advanced viewing of new product).

4) offer preferential service terms/ offer special service(e.g.waiving minimum order quantities).

5) offer cost on products that are affiliated with a big regular priced purchase(e.g.purchase of a coat at regular price, offer either hat, scarf or gloves at 50%off retail).

6) reward introductions and referrals (e.g.offer discounts or free gifts for every new customer they introduce to the business.

7) entice customers to spend more then intended (e.g. spend $50 and get double rewards).

It is a mistake to underestimate the a value loyal customers brings to your business, since they are the ones who purchase more frequently and recommend your brand!

Does your loyalty program recognize the benefit of differentiating rewards to reflect the value they bring to your business?

Hackers gonna Hack

This was written by Laura Betterly…i thought it was a good read and good advice!

Websites have always been under attack by nefarious individuals who try and gain control of personal data or the site itself.  This is nothing new, it’s been part of having an online presence since the birth of the Internet.  Hackers make a sport out of looking to find new ways in, and hacker protections always run one step behind, plugging up the holes.

While this may make the steps you can take to protect yourself seem futile, since hackers are gonna hack (it’s what they do), it’s actually worth taking a few minutes to read and implement the suggestions that follow.
If you’re using WordPress, or any open source or flexible framework website software, your risk of being hacked increases.  Here are a few tips to help you preserve your security.

WordPress Security Tips

  1. Select unique user names.  The most common user name for a WordPress site is “admin”.  Why? Because it’s the default suggested when you do a new WordPress install, and most people are too eager to get their site up they assume they will come back and change the user name.  Few do.  Avoid using admin or your name as your WordPress login, it’s far too hackable.
  2. Use a secure password.   The easier a password is for you to remember, the easier it is for a hacker to guess or deduce.  It’s always a good idea to use a long password that contain a combination of upper and lower case characters, numbers and special characters.
  3. Don’t procrastinate on the updates.  It seems like WordPress comes out with an update every couple of weeks.  Be sure to update your WordPress install every time you see that there’s one available.  Most of the wordless updates include security fixes to plug up the back doors and vulnerabilities.
  4. Don’t stop with the WordPress install- update your plugins too.  Update your plugins every time you see a new version come out, and delete old plugins and themes that you aren’t using any longer.  Sometimes plugins from the WordPress repository are designed for older WordPress versions and contain back door security issues.  If you’ve recently updated your WordPress and there hasn’t been a corresponding update to your plugin shortly after, check to see that the plugin is still active and supported.
  5. Beware unscrupulous developers.  Some app developers will sell you a plugin that is really cheap and seems too good to be true.  Many times it is because they either won’t support it going forward or it contains vulnerabilities.  Seems like everyone I know has at one time or another installed a plugin that contained some malware and found out by seeing Google’s big red malware-infected warning when they tried to visit their domain.  Google will take the site offline until you get it fixed.  It’s time consuming, and definitely will hurt your business when visitors can’t access your information.

Why My Hackers didn’t hack me…

I started this article telling you about how I was hacked.  LauraBetterly.com had 247 attempts of someone trying to log in.  But I have a plugin called Wordfence that saved my bacon, (there is a paid and free version).

https://WordPress.org/plugins/wordfence/ (the WordPress repository link)

http://www.wordfence.com/ (their website- not an affiliate link)

With Wordfence someone tries to login after a number of failed attempts (I set it up for three) the plugin blocks their IP address.  In my case the guy persevered for about an hour, changing IPs and trying again until they decided my site was too secure and moved on to an easier target.

The paid version of WordFence scans your website and compares the code with the WordPress repository code, and lets you know by email if someone injects code into your site.  That’s how I learned of my hack attempts.

Hopefully my experiences have helped to increase your awareness about some potential vulnerabilities.  It only take a few minutes to implement secure site practices, and it can save you a few hours, days, or even months of misery at the hacking hands of a bored teenager in his parent’s basement.

I have the survey results for you, I’m working on compiling them and I’ll share them with you soon.  Be on the lookout for this as well as a special invitation for you to join me on vacation next year, coming up next week.

XO,

Laura

P.S. I forgot to mention an added benefit to ensuring that your site is secure against hacking.  When you implement a trust seal from a virus or security company, your sales conversions will increase!

I leave you with this awesome sensationalist news article I found.  If it were written today it might say something like “Hackers can spread ebola through your home computer”! 🙂