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11 Ways to Reduce Churn Rates by Keeping Customer Card Data Up to Date

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Losing a customer can be devastating for any business. Losing them because of a credit card decline that comes from outdated information is just plain frustrating. Keeping credit card information current is a necessity for all business owners, yet it is a task that gets little attention.

With the expansion of e-commerce, customers can make online purchases quicker and easier than ever before. When credit card declines occur, customers need to be able to update and input information quickly. You should stay on top of their expired information and update it regularly to ensure all purchases go through seamlessly when your customer wants to buy.

Below, 11 entrepreneurs from YEC share their strategies for minimizing credit card declines and increasing online revenue.

1. Send Email Reminders

Have multiple payment options available. For customers who pay using their cards, send out friendly reminder emails in case the card is about to expire, ideally one month before the expiry date. If the account shows outdated information, remind them well in advance. Give them a grace period, if really necessary, to update their account information. Customers will feel appreciated.

Liam Martin, Staff.com

2. Provide Other Payment Options

By offering other payment methods, such as digital wallets, e-cash, peer-to-peer payments, ACH and e-checks, there are ways to get around such churn rates. Plus the more payment methods offered, the more likely you are to retain and attract new customers, increasing your online revenue.

John Rampton, Calendar

3. Encourage Digital Wallets

Encourage customers to use a digital wallet feature so they can update all their information across all companies they buy from in one action. This will keep them from returning and shopping with outdated account information.

Drew Hendricks, Buttercup

4. Use a Payment Method Updater

Visa and MasterCard offer a service that automatically updates card information. Due to security measures, new cards are issued more frequently than ever before, making it inconvenient for your customers to constantly update card information. A payment method updater (PMU) can stop declined payments from happening, but this could still creep out your customer so get their permission first.

Karl Kangur, MRR Media

5. Use Recurly to Do the Work for You

Recurly has saved us thousands of dollars (and tons of following up). It’s a simple app that integrates with all e-commerce systems. When you sign up with Recurly, all of your repeat customers will be notified automatically when their cards are expiring. It’s a simple platform for customers, and anyone who intends to do business with you will find it easy to keep doing so.

– Aaron Schwartz, Passport

6. Give Them a Call

From my personal experience, the most effective way for a company to reach out to me and to get me to update or confirm my billing information is for them to give me a call. Email reminders are great too, but a phone call is even more effective.

Andrew Namminga, Andesign

7. Use Stripe

Stripe and some other payment processors have largely solved the problem of outdated cards. Stripe works with MasterCard, Visa and other credit card providers to ensure that customer cards still work after the card has been replaced. The system has limitations, but it takes care of many outdated card issues.

Vik Patel, Future Hosting

8. Fix the Problem Before It Happens

Fixing the problem before it happens is the only true way to avoid those declined cards. Reaching out to your customers before their cards expire will help you retain repeat customers for much longer than if you allow cards to be declined. Use payment technology that alerts merchants when a card stored in the system is about to expire, making it easy to update records and get paid.

Suneera Madhani, Fattmerchant

9. Set Automated Expiration Date Detection Functionality

Have a basic script set up that automatically detects what cards are about to expire and sends the customer an email reminder to update their credit card information via a direct link. If you do not have this functionality, there are third-party solutions that provide similar functionalities. We use this with our e-commerce clients who have recurring products or orders.

Duran Inci, Optimum7

10. Ask for a Backup Credit Card

Ask your customers for a backup credit card to keep on file in the event that charges cannot be put through on the primary card. Savvy companies like Google and Amazon asked me to input a backup credit card when I signed up for services such as Google AdWords and Amazon Prime. All recurring revenue businesses can and should be equally astute.

Adam Mendler, Beverly Hills Chairs

11. Offer Financing to Customers

A simple solution for avoiding failed credit card payments is to utilize services like Affirm or PayPal Credit. These services take on the credit risk and you receive the total order price upfront. The advantages to these services are that you decrease your accounts receivable and save time by not having to dedicate an employee to track down customers to update their credit card information.

Bryan Kesler, CPA Exam Guide

Reduce Churn Rate by Implementing these Expert Tips

No one likes the thought of churn rates and the real numbers behind companies and how much money they are losing with subscribers or recurring subscription drops. However, this is part of the business industry and it’s something that needs to be addressed. If you are currently ignoring drop off rate within your company, be sure to implement some of the expert tips above while also checking out their recommended tools and solutions.

If you enjoyed this expert round up, I highly recommend you take a look at this roundup with 83 online marketing experts and their best advice on “How Do I Start a Successful Blog?“. If you don’t already have a website or blog of your own, follow my blogging guide to getting started with one today.

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Quick Tips to Find eCommerce Marketing Success with Instagram

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When it comes to online retail, the competition is very stiff on a global scale. With so many people now going online to make purchases, the number of etail businesses has rocketed over the years. For those who plan to set up a retail business online through platforms such as Shopify, it is important to work out how to make your business stand out and increase exposure.

As a small online retailer, the chances are you don’t have a lot of money to splash out on marketing. The good news is that in today’s digital era, you don’t need a huge amount of money to market your online retail venture and help gain exposure. In fact, you can do is very simply and conveniently through sites such as Instagram and other social media platforms.

What Are the Key Benefits for Businesses?

So, what are the key benefits of marketing your online retail business through Instagram and other social media sites? Well, one of the key benefits you can look forward to is the cost-efficiency of this solution, as you won’t have to spend a fortune to reach out to audiences far and wide. In fact, you can market your business and reach out to audiences with far greater ease when you use social media, and you can do it completely free.

With the addition of ecommerce features and advertising options comes to Instagram, this is only going to expand the growth opportunities even further. If you think Facebook was great for demographic targeting and for ecommerce sales, just want until you see what Instagram has lined up. You can read more on this here.

Another major benefit you can look forward to is saving a huge amount of time and resources. This is particularly beneficial for small and start-up businesses, as they often don’t have the resources and time needed to get involved in complex marketing campaigns. With social media platforms like Instagram, you won’t need to worry about this, as you can market your business with speed and ease.

It is also important to consider the reach that social media offers compared to other forms of advertising and marketing. When you use social media platforms, you can reach out far and wide to a global audience with your message. This means that you can engage your target audience and break into new marketing in other destinations simply by promoting your retail business, products, and services online.

Customer engagement can be very difficult these days, but it is also vital if you want to benefit from business success. By using social media, you can engage your audience with far greater ease. This means you can help to build confidence in your business and brand, which will help to further boost the success of your business.

A Simple Solution for Success

Anyone that runs a Shopify business will be keen to spread the word and let people know about special deals, offers, promotions, and new lines. In addition, they will be eager to build a solid reputation for their brand and business. Well, this provides a simple and effective solution that can help to seal the success of your Shopify business. With digital technology at your fingertips and with so many people spending time online, marketing your business is simpler than ever.

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Smart Ways to Generate More Leads for Your Online Business in 2019

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“Ways to get more leads” is something crucial that don’t disappear from to-do list of successful business owners because lead generating is one of the foundational elements of developing and growing a business. Revenues of online businesses are usually determined by the number of leads generated. That is the reason; any business or company must be able to generate more leads in order to earn more and to combat the increasing competition in the market.

In this article, we have gathered proven eCommerce lead generation tips that can turn your business website into a lead generation machine.

Create Better Landing Pages

As landing page is a web page where visitors land after clicking on the link found via Google search, an advertisement or from a link added to social media post, it must be appealing and creatively developed in order to turn visitors into leads. High converting landing pages combine the overall layout of the page and compelling copy in a way that builds trust and value in the visitor’s mind.

If you aren’t familiar with the concept of landing pages, you need to be. In short, they are a page that is created with a specific end goal in mind.

To see a live example of this, we can take a look at the two samples below.

Bad Landing Page Example:

Below you will see an ad copy for a company that is looking for new clients… but their advertisement has way too much text and is all over the place. The phone number is very visible, but there is simply way too much content overload here, and the conversions are probably horrible.

Better Landing Page Example:

A much better way to approach the same promotional offer and company, is to build a super clean landing page with a direct call to action. Notice the same image of the kid and day is being used — while also giving a nice testimonial. Also, there is one clear call to action, which is to either call today or click on the button to contact them today.

Source: https://landingi.com/blog/create-landing-pages-that-convert

Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the best ways to get more leads to an online business. For this purpose, you will need to build an active list by collecting website visitors’ contact details (Email IDs). Once you have successfully made the list, start an email marketing campaign and invite them to visit your landing pages or physical outlet to gather more details about a specific product or service. Providing them with discount coupons via email could be a great tactic to persuade them for purchases.

When creating any type of email campaign, you will need to spend a lot of time on the title and call to actions you have in place. This resource from SendGrid is really great for breaking down how a single title can include urgency, commitment, and personalization all within one line.

Blog with High-value Content

Making a blog for your business website will not only help you boost content marketing efforts but will also make your business appear in top SERPs. Update your business blog with high value and problem-solving content turn your readers into leads. Instead of writing lengthy blog posts, you should use different content forms on your blog such as eBooks, infographics, how-to guides and short videos etc. You can also provide your readers with some free stuff to ask them for their contact details in return that later can be used in different digital marketing techniques like email marketing.

Most bloggers fail to find success with their sites and content, because they are focusing too much on just putting new content out there. Instead, they should be focusing on creating call to actions and using lead generation throughout their site — in relation to their content. Such methods can be done through newsletter signups, one-click upsells, social shares, and using popups throughout your site (depending on when and where your visitors click). You can see a bunch of working examples on how to do this, here.

Turn Social Followers Into Leads

People follow you on different social media platforms because they are interested in something you provide and it could be useful. That’s why it is pretty easy to convert your social media followers into leads. You can add a link of your landing page into your social media bio or run advertisement campaigns such as Facebook ads in order to let them know what you offer and what they must to do to use the offer. The best thing about social media marketing is that you can show your advertisement to the target audience in order to get more leads. You can also choose the audience based on their interests and search history.

Every business and website will have a different need for social media followers, but the end goal is to try and convert those users into revenue and new sales. Zappos is a great example of a company that focused heavily on social media and customer support — thus growing them into the trusted and loved brand they are today.

Optimize Your Site for Mobile

When it comes to generating more leads for online business or brand, optimization of the business website for mobile should be one of the major concerns as more and more people are using mobile devices for web surfing these days. People love to use their mobiles when they are in search of desired products, services or information and a highly mobile optimized website can get more views and leads too. It is an indication that people are thinking about buying stuff when browsing social media and search engines on their smartphones or tablets.

Making sure your site is mobile responsive is very easy — especially if you are using WordPress. If you are selling products, then you might want to customize the process and make sure your content is viewing properly across all mobile devices. WebDesignTeam recommends looking at the following aspects of your site when prepping for mobile traffic and sales.

  1. Planning– One thing to always keep in mind is to plan before producing your work. A good web design firm knows and understands this. You have to sketch out the results that you wish to achieve and prepare a way to success so that you will know when you are on the right track.
  2. Engineering software– Using engineering software, a web design firm knows how to utilize the best aspects of technology to create the perfect site. So the key to achieving this is to focus on getting the best design firm.
  3. Responsive Design– Responsive design can be achieved through a variety of techniques that will help you achieve your goals through your website.
  4. Focus on Navigation– Navigation is important within your design because it makes your site more usable and accessible, no matter what type of device users come in on.

Personalized and Appealing CTAs

One of the vital elements of every digital marketing campaign is the call to action (CTA). It is a tool used to direct potential customers to take the very next step. A personalized and appealing call to action successfully grabs the attention of the visitor and makes the action taking process clear. There must be a great combo of the overall design of the CTA and wording to convince visitors to take an action you want them to take. A/B testing can also help you find out the best performing CTAs for your different landing pages.

If you really want to put some time, effort, and automation/technology into the mix, you should consider creating a few customized ad campaigns through your Facebook Ads and using your mailing list. You can learn more about this method and more at aaronzakowski.com.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Online Marketing Efforts

As you can see, there are some pretty effective and useful ways to start advertising your brand online across different mediums and methods. Depending on the methods you are using, you will find that each of them may convert better/worse than expected.

The most important thing is that you start implementing these methods as soon as possible.

For more winning marketing methods, be sure to check out one of our top email marketing tips posts.

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How Do Small Businesses Compete in Competitive Niches?

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Having your business isn’t just tough, it’s also extremely competitive — no matter what niche market you might find yourself falling into. This is especially true for small businesses breaking into major industries that find themselves up against some tough competition, in both offline and online markets. Without a large following or backing, it can be difficult to penetrate the market.

However, there are ways you can put your business’s best foot forward set yourself apart from your competitors. Just because you don’t have a multimillion dollar budget (yet) doesn’t mean it’s time to throw in the white flag. If you’re passionate about creating great products and services and putting in the work to see your brand grow, you’re already on the right path.

Here’s how small businesses like yours can compete in competitive niches:

Work With Micro Influencers

On average, a business will see a $6.50 ROI for every dollar they invest in influencer marketing. Micro influencers typically have anywhere between 1,000 to 50K followers, compared to the 500,000K+ that macro influencers tend to have. But there are key differences between these groups.

There are several reasons micro influencer strategies are particularly beneficial for small businesses. For starters, studies have shown that micro influencers have a much higher engagement, because they are able to better manage their follower base through genuine connections. And according to Collective Bias, non-celebrity influencers are 10x more likely to drive in-store purchases than their celeb counterparts.

The report also went on to state the following:

  • Nearly 60% of survey respondents have taken a blog review or social media post viewed on a smartphone or tablet into consideration while shopping in-store.
  • One in five men (18.3%) have had blog reviews influence in-store purchases, compared to only one in 10 women (9.2%) who have done the same.
  • U.S. male consumers (34.4%) have purchased consumer electronics in-store about twice as often as women (15.4%) as a result of reading a blog review or social media post.
  • Only 2% of respondents checked Twitter first when researching products, and less than 2% said Twitter had the most influence on their decision to complete an in-store purchase.
  • About 19% of consumers Find Facebook to influence their purchasing decision most, with YouTube coming in second at nearly 18%. YouTube is especially popular with men (22.8%) compared to women (13.9%).

And it’s not just genuine connections and high engagement rates you’re after: micro influencers are pretty cost-effective, too. Many micro influencers will publish curated content for the cost of a free product or service, while others charge in the low-hundreds range.

Leverage SEO and Reach New Audiences

Many business owners understand the benefits of search engine optimization, but don’t know how to accurately implement it. The truth is, there’s much more to SEO than incorporating keywords into meta tags, titles, and content. To stay competitive, your business needs a strategy that starts before you even begin putting copy onto the page. Thorough industry and competitor keyword research is needed, and it should be exclusive to your niche.

For example, if you owned plastic surgery practice, you’d want to hire an agency that specializes in plastic surgeon SEO. A niche agency would be able to create copy that’s most relevant and proven in your field. As a plastic surgeon, you wouldn’t want to hire an SEO contractor whose roster of past clients includes a long list of fashion retailers.

As referenced eWebResults, these are optimal goals when focusing on SEO and organic reach:

  • Reach the first page of search results for “Plastic Surgery Houston”
  • Generate 10 new client leads each month
  • Identify the best channels suited for your business audience

In order to get as close as possible to your target market, you’ll need to get as close as possible to curating a strategy centered around them. Always talk to your potential agency about how they’ll work within your niche before signing any contracts.  

Stellar Customer Service

One of the biggest benefits of being a small business is that you can take advantage of the ability to offer a much more personalized level of customer service. Unlike larger corporations, you don’t have to deal with the complex processes and bottlenecks between you and your end consumer. Instead, you can exceed customer service by by delivering stellar experiences. Send handwritten “thank you” notes, design ultra-targeted emails, and go above and beyond to resolve issues and make customers happy. These are just a few of the things small business owners can excel at. This should be your top priority.

Speaking of customer service, one of the most well known brands in the world today for going online and building a real business through stellar customer service, is Zappos. Today they are a massively huge company and have banked a ton of customers simply due to their outstanding social media and customer support efforts.

To learn more about Zappos and how they’ve built their brand, click here.

Define Your Brand With Laser Precision

Branding is a crucial component of any business. After all, you build brand loyalty through shared values with your consumers, and the best branding efforts can improve customer loyalty, retention, and help you create a relatable identity. Marketing plays a major role here, and you’ll have to hone in on your ideal customer with laser point precision.

Create a mood board with an actual image of what your target customer looks like. What do their Instagram pages and Pinterest boards feature? What are their hobbies and lifestyle choices? If you want to thrive in a niche market, you have to craft your messaging around a niche “person.” This person becomes the foundation of all your marketing collateral.

It helps to take a look at how other small businesses—both in and outside of your industry—are using branding to get closer to their own markets.

For instance, Tentsile is a small company with a big vision for their product lineup of lightweight suspension hammocks. First and foremost, its logo is a clear demonstration of what you can expect from the product. And like most successful branding campaigns, it uses high-quality imagery to convey a highly specific lifestyle aesthetic to their target segments: outdoor and camping enthusiasts, adventurous travelers, the growing “glamping” crowd.

And speaking of customer service, all you need to do is scroll down on the main site to see how highly rated the product and service is, and how the company uses that as one of their branding tools and selling points.

How to Compete in Very Tough Niche Markets

With more websites and blogs on the internet today than ever before, nearly all niche markets are getting more saturated over time.

The businesses and brands that will continue to see the best results, at the ones that follow these actionable tips and actually become more than just another content site or ecommerce store. This is often done by paying more attention to each new customer and making them feel appreciated.

Yes, this will take more time — but it also works.

If you are looking to improve your business growth and reach, while also taking up more ownership within your niche, be sure to start implementing these tips and best practices today.

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