The sale doesn’t end at checkout: survey shows the importance of post-purchase interactions

accent positive impressionYou spend a lot of time, effort and money to get a new customer through the virtual door. Once there, you dazzle them with your unique products or ground-breaking services and they’re hooked. They add the item to the cart, complete the checkout process and you have their money. Yeah!

You’re probably ready to move on to the next customer but not so fast. In new survey by ACCENT Marketing, 86% of consumers said it was important to them that they have a positive experience after making the purchase.

For the average transaction, all a customer wants is follow-up. This could be as simple as an email with a tracking number so they know when their package will arrive. By why stop at simple and average. I was listening to a podcast this week with a magician who said the secret to his success was giving customers helpful information over and above what they paid for.

The Inc. 500 say Twitter is tops for sales potential, but they still don’t have a plan

Every year, Inc. Magazine posts a list of the 500 fastest-growing private companies in the U.S.. You gotta figure that these guys are doing something right so The Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth set out to find out what.

Specifically, they wanted to know about social media marketing. They examined every company’s website, social channels and web presence and they received survey responses from 118 of the 500.

With all of that data in hand, they measured and filtered and came up with some very interesting conclusions about how America’s hottest companies are handling themselves in public.

Inc500 Social Media Usage

It begins with this chart comparing social media usage numbers from 2012 and 2013.

Channel Sponsors

The distracted customer: how to keep their attention?

DistractedThe hardest part about selling online today is keeping the attention of a potential customer. There are so many distractions nowadays! We’ve got Facebook, and Twitter and Netflix and a few hundred thousand other nifty apps and games we can all access on our tablets and mobile devices 24-hours-a-day.When you think about it, we should all be exhausted from all of these distractions. But we’re not. We’re constantly finding ways to just keep lumping on new distractions; which just makes us more unfocused.

So how do you keep the attention of a potential customer? Your job is to get your customer to take an action. Whether that is to download something, or sign up with their email, or buy something, or whatever. If they pay attention, and then do something, you convert. And conversions mean success.

Why you should care about PPC advertising

This post is by Simone Schuurer of Bing Ads, our Search Channel sponsor.

For quite some years I helped large retailers advertise their products in our paid search results. As a customer of many small businesses I can’t help but think about how ideally suited paid search would be for those running a company smaller than a national chain store. I know I’m not an independent advisor – working for Bing – but knowing search and knowing personally people behind many a small business I’d simply like to tell you why I believe pay per click advertising may benefit you.

‘If only they’d start a PPC campaign I could read my book without a worry’

‘If only they’d start a PPC campaign I could read my book without a worry’

Small business owners shift attention from acquisition to retention

Bia Kelsey Retention ReportMore than half of small businesses get more than half of their annual revenue from repeat customers. So while it’s true that all businesses need to continuously find new customers, keeping the ones you have is becoming even more important.

According to a new report by Manta and BIA/Kelsey called “Achieving Big Customer Loyalty in a Small Business World“, a large number of small businesses are now spending half of their time and budget on their current customers. This represents a big shift in thinking but it’s a logical step in this tightfisted economy.

It can cost ten times more to find a new customer than keep a current one engaged. It’s also easier. . . if you make good use of available tools. Simply communicating with customers on a regular basis by email or through social media is a good start.

FTC cracks down on Pinterest contest rules with warning to Cole Haan

Cole Haan ContestThe world is a dangerous place for sure, but never once have I ever felt the need to be protected from Pinterest. But the FTC says brands on Pinterest are doing us wrong and they want to put a stop to it.

The current lamb to the slaughter is luxury shoes and accessories brand Cole Haan. They ran a Pinterest contest where they asked fans to create a Wandering Sole board featuring several images of products from their line. They were told to put #wanderingsole on the photos so they could be easily searched. (Also, it’s pretty much the only way to pick a winner.)

Google Plus adds view counter to profile pages. What’s your number?

Cynthia Googleplus viewsGoogle+ added a view counter to everyone’s profile page this week and I’m just catching up. Here’s mine.

I was actually quite surprised to see that I had more than 16,000 views. I rarely ever post to my account but YouTube has been doing some posting for me. Still. . . a lot of views for so few followers.

Google says the number equals the number of times your content has been seen by other people, including your photos, posts, and profile page. (Give or take)

Wil Wheaton has 73,452,925. Our own Andy Beal has 178,045 views. How many views do you have?

Clearly Google+ is trying to make a point about how active the site is but it’s depressing if your numbers don’t add up. And views are public by default so you might want to switch them off if yours are lacking.