The trick, of course, is creating a loyalty program that does both. There are lots of different options, including referral programs.
So, with that in mind, let’s talk about loyalty programs. Should you create one? What benefits and features are best for your customers and you? Here’s what you need to know.
The Benefits of a Loyalty Program
Let’s start by talking about the benefits you’ll reap if you start a loyalty program that appeals to your customers. There are several that make loyalty programs a must for marketers and business owners.
Features of a Successful Loyalty Program
What features should your loyalty program have? There’s no one correct answer, but there are some things that most successful loyalty programs offer. Here are the ones that you should seriously think about working into your program:
Ideas for Loyalty Programs
Here are some suggestions for how to structure your loyalty program in a way that makes customers want to participate.
Once you get your loyalty program going, track the results and use what you learn to fine-tune your structure and rewards. Your customers will let you know if something’s working – and your bottom line will reflect their increased loyalty.
Here are 7 simple things you can do to make sure your website is offering the user experience and value your customers deserve.
#1: Optimize for Voice Search
One of the biggest problems I see with websites is that many are using keywords that haven’t been updated in years. The days of short, generalized keywords are long past. Instead, focus on voice search, which is already important and on the rise.
As of 2020, 50% of all searches will be voice-based. With virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Cortana more popular than ever, it’s safe to assume that a hefty percentage of the people who land on your site will get there via voice search.
#2: Add Structured Landing Pages
Structured landing pages have content that’s easy for Google to interpret. They provide context for your content and identify how it relates to your metadata.
The best-known tool for structuring your content is Schema markup. Schema provides a vocabulary that web developers can use to structure data around people, places and things on the web.
When you add Schema markup to your site, it delivers rich snippets and rich cards as part of your search result on Google -- making it easy for users to choose your site over the others that are available.
#3: Update Your SEO
Optimizing your website takes times, which is why a lot of companies do it only when they notice a big drop in their traffic. If it’s been a while since you updated your SEO, then it’s time to take another look. Why? Because Google updates its algorithm constantly.
The most important update in the past few years has to do with relevance. Google Rank Brain, which is now part of Google’s search algorithm, prioritizes sites based on their overall relevance to the term being searched. It measures bounce rates and the amount of time visitors spend on your site. The longer you can get them to stay – something that’ll happen if you provide tons of relevant content – the better off you’ll be.
#4: Be Ready for Mobile
There’s really no reason for any website not to be mobile optimized at this point. Google rolled out its Mobilegeddon update back in 2015. That’s when they started to penalize sites that weren’t mobile optimized.
It’s not enough to have a mobile site now. You need a site that’s perfectly optimized for mobile users. That means that mobile visitors can get the same content and functionality as a visitor using a desktop computer regardless of which device they’re using.
Some things that are particularly important are having buttons that are right-sized for mobile users, content that’s easy to read with no teeny fonts or horizontal scrolling, and access to ALL the relevant content on your site – not just a few things.
#5: Gather Some Social Proof
Social proof can take many forms. Some of the most common kinds of social proof are:
#6: Improve Your Page Loading Time
How quickly does your website load? If the answer is more than four seconds, then it’s a virtual certainty that you’re losing visitors as a result. After just three seconds, approximately 53% of mobile users will navigate away from a site and try another one. The numbers are just as bad for desktop users.
The problem with not updating your website often is that technology keeps moving. You can use a free online site loading speed testing tool such as Pingdom to see how fast your site loads. If it’s not making the grade, you’ll need to upgrade it to ensure that you’re not losing customers faster than you can attract them.
#7: Update Your Call to Action
Calls to action are everywhere – in every marketing email you send and on every landing page you create. However, not all CTAs are created equal. And if your calls to action are outdated and tired, then you might be losing subscribers and leads as a result.
Think about the opt-in form for your mailing list. What’s the call to action? Does it just say SUBSCRIBE or SUBMIT? If it does, then it’s time to rethink it and give it some spice.
I’m a big fan of calls to action that emphasize something positive about subscribing to your list. Here are a few examples:
I also like the idea of using humorous opt-outs because I think they nudge people in the direction of subscribing. Here are some opt-outs that could pair with the calls to action above:
Your website might be out of date, but it doesn’t need to stay that way. The 7 quick fixes here will help you give your Google rank a boost and ensure that you’re not missing out on leads and subscribers because your website’s more vintage than modern.
Either way, the solution is to make yourself into an authority.
Here’s the secret that a lot of entrepreneurs don’t know:
Authority is not something other people bestow on you. It’s something you can build.
That might surprise you. It shouldn’t. The people you view as authorities created their authority by their actions. And you can too.
Why Authority Matters
Why is authority important? It’s very simple. When you have authority, people listen to what you say. They value your opinion – and when you tell them to buy something, they’ll do it.
That’s why authority is one of Robert Cialdini’s principles of influence. Psychologically speaking, people are inclined to do what an authority figure tells them to do – even if they wouldn’t do it on their own.
A simple example of this principle in action comes from television advertising. Maybe you remember those commercials featuring well-known actors. They always started with something like this:
I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV.
You might think of that as a disclaimer, but it’s a statement of authority. People were accustomed to thinking of those actors as doctors. So, when they recommended a cough syrup or headache medication, people trusted those recommendations.
Another way of looking at it is that authority is based on trust. If you do a good job building authority, people will trust you and your products.
Branding and Authority
You’ll build authority more quickly if you define your brand and present it in a consistent way in all your online marketing.
Why? Because authority is easier to build if you have a narrowly defined area of expertise. Nobody is equally knowledgeable about everything, right?
Of course, there are exceptions. Someone like Oprah is so well known that people might take her word for just about anything. She can present herself as an authority on self-help, alternative medicine, clothing, and books because she has achieved a level of authority that allows it.
Most of us can’t do that. We need to define our niches and stick to them.
Here are some ways you can create a consistent and authoritative brand:
Every piece of content you create for your brand must be authoritative. That means that everything on your website, online profiles, social media accounts, ads, and marketing videos must be conceptualized and executed with authority in mind.
It all starts with your website. You need a professional site that uses clear and authoritative language designed to appeal directly to your target audience. It should be easy to use and provide immediate value to the people who visit it.
The same is true of your social media content. Every status update, Tweet, or photo you post must be relevant to your brand and presented with authority.
You may also want to consider creating long-form authoritative content to build authority. Examples include:
If you watch cable news, you know that one of the ways they fill the 24-hour news cycle is by booking authority figures to offer opinions about current events.
Think about it. Every political consultant, pollster, or retired general is there for one reason. They have experience and knowledge that is applicable to a story, and because of that, they are viewed as authorities whose opinion is worth hearing.
You can build the same kind of authority online by being opinionated. That doesn’t mean you should spout about politics (unless that’s related to your brand, of course.) What it does mean is that you shouldn’t be afraid to say what you think.
One very effective way to do that is to curate content for your social media pages. Curated content is content that somebody else created. You can find it by following:
For example, say you find an article that lists ten essential things about your industry. You might feel that the writer left out something important. You should point that out when you post the article.
Taking a controversial stance can be a good thing, too. When you contradict or rebut something that an established authority says, you’re putting yourself on their level.
The key here is to sound confident when you offer an opinion. If you seem uncertain, people will dismiss your opinion.
There’s one more thing…
The final step to building authority is to put these things together and use them to create marketing campaigns that convert. If you do it right, you’ll set yourself apart from other brands in your niche.
In other words, you won’t just be one option for people seeking products or services in your niche. You’ll be the only option – and all because they view you as an authority figure.
Getting great ratings and reviews across your social media accounts like Yelp!, Amazon, and other locations is a great way to build your business. But, sometimes business owners need a little help knowing how to handle the review process to ensure great ratings and reviews. Here are some tips.
Is your website 100% secure? If not, it could have seriously negative consequences on both you and your customers. Like many business owners, you may not even realize that your site is vulnerable. Whether you have created the website yourself or hired somebody else to do it for you, mistakes could easily have been made that have left the site insecure.
If you’re looking to really boost the effectiveness of your website, testimonials and reviews can go a long way to help. More and more businesses are starting to realize just how much of an impact customer opinion can have on sales and popularity. Below you’ll discover why reviews and testimonials really matter.
The online ability to communicate with anyone, anywhere, in an instant means a couple of poor customer experiences can reach an audience of hundreds or thousands. This can do irreparable damage to your credibility online. Don't let that happen. Practice the following 6 tips for building your online reputation in a positive way and your customers may handle all of your marketing for you.
Integrated marketing takes into consideration all aspects of marketing and the many channels of marketing that you can use. Like most marketing plans you need to know what your goal is, who you plan to market to, and how you will do it.
Getting bad online reviews can be bad for business, but it does not mean your business will definitely suffer. How you handle the negative review can say just as much as—if not more than—the negative review itself.
These tips will help you get more local traffic through your doors and help you keep new customers, despite a bad review.