Internet Marketing and the Reinfusion of Humanity

Selling on the Internet has often removed a very crucial element from the buying experience – humanity. It is easy to log on, peruse an ecommerce site and escape unnoticed. That is, in fact, the appeal of most online stores. Consumers like the opportunity to look without buying or buy without the long speeches and quality assurances offered from slick haired salesmen.

That being said, the consumer still misses some kind of interaction especially when it comes to a product or service they are most interested in. They may still buy online, but they may feel that something is missing and never fully be able to explain what that missing element may be.

This brings me to social media. We gravitate toward those who share similar beliefs, similar interests or shared pasts. Every day people are finding connections with those they haven’t heard from or about in decades. Others are mobilizing for a cause or a leader in expressing their ideas and dreams.

Why not access the same technology to mobilize your customers and infuse some humanity into the buying process.

Consider some of the following ideas that may make your marketing strategy more human.

Blogs – These can allow you to provide direct input for consumers. They can read a well-defined post from you by visiting your site or using an RSS (Real Simple Syndication) reader. Your expertise adds a human face to your product.

Customer Feedback – This can allow customers to inform others about the service and value they receive from your company. Even if you have a negative comment from time to time it demonstrates the honest to goodness humanity of your business.

Forums – This allows consumers to have direct interaction with other consumers. Many will come to your forum because of genuine interest while others may come to cause trouble. Make sure you have moderators that can help keep the troublemakers to a minimum.

Ezines – This is a tool you can use to help lead your consumer base in a direction that will be mutually beneficial. This should be packed with information and resources that remains a valuable tool in human relations.

This may sound as if it is an endorsement for niche marketing. I suppose in a sense it is. You see, when it comes to an online business you can afford to fill a very specific niche. The reason this is true is there are many more potential consumers that are online as opposed to those only found in your immediate vicinity.

If you can come up with solutions and information for your niche audience you may find that your humanity and their motivation can make a more successful online business than a more general interest retail store located in a storefront on your local Main Street.

When you are viewed as a cutting edge niche marketer you may find that you gain the trust of those who have always wanted the kinship of others who share their passion for the product or service you sell.

Accept their trust in good faith and lead wisely.

20 Must-Do Push Notification Best Practices For Ecommerce Marketers

Mobile marketing is the recent buzzword and push notification is definitely an indispensable part of this promotional journey. Reaching the users out of the app usage was not an easy task but the push notifications have made it possible. It has the power to stay apart without getting lost in the colossal crowd of unread messages. Although push notifications are the ideal way of grabbing user attention, they can be easily manipulated – if, in wrong hands, it has more influence to do wrong than anything right.

Problems

According to a report published a year ago, people find push notifications really annoying. The fact is push messages are nothing but attention seekers. They like to grab user’s response being a direct communicating line between the customer and the app. It is important that only relevant messages reach the app user without infuriating them. The problems that usually arise in case of push notifications are-

· When the user is giving consent for push notifications, marketers must ensure only the relevant updates are reaching the customer by knowing their set of preferences.

· It must be realized soon that push notification is a privileged tool that must not be used for spamming users with all day frequent messages.

· Wrong timing can annoy a user and make them instinctively delete the app. To avoid any such thing set the timer right for relevant alerts.

· Before sending any push messages certain criteria like age, time, basically all user info is must because otherwise you are bound to send wrong messages to wrong people.

· Push ads through notifications are a complete no for any user who wishes to stay with you and likes your app.

· Late messages can annoy people to the core.

· Marketers must ensure that opting out of push messages must be as easy as opting in for notifications. Easy settings can stop the customers from deleting the app completely.

Industry Overview

The year 2015 was considered as the game changer for push notification industry. From general push messages, the focus shifted to segmented notifications to target users based on their preferences. The changeover from spammy, unrelated push messages to planned tactical ones significantly enhanced consumer engagement, retention, and experience. Every industry must be flexible enough to remain in the forefront of the varying flows of customer needs. The fashionistas and creators struggle to imagine the subsequent popular trend, whereas, the medical scholars try to retort to nature’s hardest queries. To become a leader in a particular industry setting trends is more important than just following them blindly.

Push notifications are the most economical and best way to drive app retention and engage your customers. But, often it is applied in a thoughtless, insensitive, and honestly indecorous manner. A new report from Accenage that is based on more than 38 billion push messages suggests, if such notifications are applied and used fittingly, push messages can be very influential on Android (until the launch of Android M OS), with 100% opt-in rate.

20 Interesting Solutions

The Push Notifications are as important as the user experience (UX) of your app because the researchers believe that more than 71% of the app uninstallations are usually triggered by the push messages. The bottom line is bad push practices can be harmful as push notifications directly hit the users and not the devices. So let’s check out few of the best push practices to hit the bull’s eye.

1. Respect to the Specific Local Timezone

It is quite easy to think and act according to your own time zone like “its 8 p.m. in India so let’s start circulating the push messages”. The push notification doesn’t work that way. When your customers are involved it becomes vital that your messages hit the user at the right time when they are ready to receive it according to their time zone. A decent push service will definitely reduce the server load and stagger the messages over a window if required.

2. Internally Prioritize a Message

What is prioritizing a message? The marketers often think, the more, the better. Right? It is not the same in all cases. Many times, more can reduce your revenue, your users, usage, feedback, and everything. Sending 23-50 pushes a day to the customers can not only irritate them but also make them uninstall an app. Thus, internally prioritizing a message to 5-10 maximum per day can help and suit most of the applications.

3. Avoid Generic Pushes

Considering a hard limit to multiple pushes per day can be an effective practice. You might be thinking of sending various services that can help your app interact with the user, inform them and gain user preference knowledge. But, generic pushes can be termed as bad practice. Giving preference to the transactional messages can grab more attention of the user.

4. Value Your User’s Sleep

As far as night is concerned, people usually want a good night’s sleep in order to start a fresh day. Mobiles are usually put on silent or do not disturb mode while people are asleep. Considering this, do you really think people really have time to go through all the push messages pouring in throughout the night or in the early morning? So, marketers must also value the user’s sleep and limit the notifications till day time. Maybe a summary push notification in the morning can be more effective than 10 odd messages at night.

5. Personalise Content For Users

The push messages can be personalised and sent to the users to make it more valuable. Except for junk and irrelevant messages, news alerts, deals, and chats based on user preferences can create a positive impact. Numerous marketing automation are possible with some very basic data inputs. Like how long the app is installed on your device, what level of the game you are at present, your last usage, and many such small things can help in personalizing push messages for the users.

6. Favour the Transactional Pushes

The 1:1 push messages that are usually directed to the single user and are not commonly unique with audience division, is termed as a transactional push. For instance, their package is being shipped or there’s a new like, and more. Such notifications are seamlessly bespoke as per the definition. Yet, timeliness is one of the best practices that one must adhere to.

7. Personalize with User Name

When a message is purely meant for a user and is indicated with the user’s name in the push messages, like Ronit, it is time for your doctor’s visit in another 4 hours; people take it more seriously and truly like such notifications.

8. Make it Simple and Short within 10 words

To create impact in minds of the users, 10 words are more than enough to convey the right message what you wish to let your user know.

9. Correct Implementation of the Technology

To keep the 71% stats shown above at bay, implementing the notifications rightly is very important. It is not just about certificates and provisioning.

10. Seeking Permission is Indeed Vital

The pop-up alert appearing at the beginning of installing an app seeking permission is ideally the most vital checkpoint. Without the permission of the user notifications cannot be pushed.

11. Seek a 3rd Party Service

Setting up push notifications is not an easy task to do it on your own. Seeking help from the 3rd party service is the best option in terms of topping, consistency and good features.

12. Opt Content Preload

If you are directed to some in-app content by a push message, preloading it with available API is most likely to do. This can delay the push by few seconds but you get the ready to go UI, without waiting for the irritating loading screen.

13. Easy Availability of the Notification Settings

Difficulty in locating the notification configurations can be annoying for the customers. Easy availability of the setting to turn off or on the notification is vital.

14. Personalize Message as per Location

Appropriate location-based significant messages will develop engagement with the customers. Personalizing messages according to the location of the user can be a great practice.

15. Out of the Box Thinking

It is important that you deliver specific value and unique content to end users while incorporating the push notifications in your planning strategies. This requires out-of-the-box thinking. The push ads are not just a slice of your communication approach; it is a portion of customer’s mobile involvement with your brand.

16. Smart Segmentation

The CRM software or the in-app behaviour must be the intelligent factors for smart segmentations. The user behaviour and profiles are both required for a solid division planning.

17. Defining KPI

The mobile key performance indicator can help you understand the real engagements, long-term retention or conversion, and lifetime or revenue value of the product whereas, the click and conversion rates just helps in understanding the preliminary achievement of a campaign.

18. Content plays a Major Role

The content of your message creates a strong impact on the success of push notifications. Such as, “off”, “discounts”, “promo code”, etc. have a strong interest of the consumers.

19. Rich Pushes

Apart from the text content, the Android forever lol and iOS 10 brings forward rich pushes. Now, your push previews can include GIF images and videos. For arbitrary views from your iOS 10, you can study in detail.

20. Expired Message Removal

Once the message loses its relevance, it must be automatically removed. For instance, 50% off on shoes was an offer valid a week ago but at present is of no use to the user, so it must be removed automatically.

Why is Betaout All In One Ecommerce Marketing Automation?

Betaout empowers the E-Commerce businesses to upsurge conversions and identify with the user engagement procedure using real-time user personality and committed data. It offers a tailored set of tools that the marketers of e-commerce businesses can utilize to distinguish themselves and thus address precise client needs. The hassle free Betaout tool is an easy-to-use marketing solution that enables the e-commerce companies to bring their marketing efforts into a strict line, offering them the much-required edge over the competitors.

What Is Digital Marketing and What Does It Mean to My Business?

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital Marketing is the use of digital technology to deliver your marketing messages and to allow your customers to interact with your business.

Traditionally marketing has been about pushing your messages to your customer. With technology, now you can enter into a dialogue with your customers and deliver what they actually want and not want you think they want. Often there is quite a gap and digital marketing is what allows you to communicate one to one with your customers and on a mass scale.

So what areas does digital marketing cover?

For me Digital Marketing includes:

  • Web Sites which includes:
    • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – Getting found on Google etc
    • Pay Per Click (PPC) – Paying for somebody to find you on Google etc
    • Banner Adverts – Paying for banners to get visitors to your site
    • Ecommerce – The ability to buy and sell products, services and information over the Internet.
  • Consumer Reviews – Consumer reviews are a powerful way to get consumers on to your eCommerce site as they make the purchasing decision easier as the reviews are by consumers who have purchased the product. Whole businesses are built around this concept such as TripAdvisor.
  • Blogs. Personal web sites with stories, expert opinion etc that you believe will help your readers, customers and stakeholders.
  • Social Media. Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, YouTube, Google+, Ushi, Xing etc. These are web based systems that allow you to connect and share information such as ideas, links, photos, videos with like minded people. They can also generate income for your business and so can be routes to market for your business. They can be great ways to connect with people who you may not be able to get to by any other means. Twitter can be a great source of publicly available real time information and has reported major global events ahead of the world’s press.
  • Social Media News. Mashable is by far the biggest social media news site.
  • Online PR. There are specific web sites for making press releases available to the press. Prlog.org and helpareporter.com are examples.
  • Webinars/Events – Webinars are one to many seminars distributed across the Internet. This allows you to present to a large number of people independent of location. Events are traditional meetings or workshops but are marketed through Social networks such as Linkedin.
  • Email Marketing – The sending out of bulk emails which you believe are relevant to the people you are sending the message to.
  • Lead Nuturing – This is where a prospect gives you their email address in exchange for something free. This is usually an eBook (in pdf format), video, course of emails on how to do something.
  • Viral Marketing – The sending out of a message which is so compelling that people forward it on to other people unknown to you. A great way to send out a message if you get it right.
  • Video – Increasingly popular method of sharing ideas, passing on information and selling on the web. Great for selling more complex products or services. YouTube is the most popular at the present but video is becoming embedded into more digital media.
  • Music/Podcasts. Spotify is becoming the most popular legal file sharing system as it gives you access to a large range of music. Podcasts are voice recordings about a particular subject. They can be download for listening to on computer or MP3 players at a later date. Great for relaxation or for learning about a new subject whilst travelling.
  • Chat/Instant Messaging/Skype. Chat and Instant Messaging are systems for conversations using a keyboard which are done in real time. I.e. one person types something and the other responds. Both need to be present and online for this to work. Users of Facebook, Bebo etc use this, especially the younger generation. Skype is an internet based video and phone system that allows Skype users to call each other for free or at lot low cost and is becoming increasingly popular for business use and will grow now that the video version is available on Facebook.
  • Smartphone or Mobile Apps. Smartphone or mobile apps (or software applications which is where the term is derived from) are small pieces of computer software that run on your phone that allow you to do things that you would normally do on a computer. The need to work anywhere, anytime means that these will become increasing popular with business systems starting to appear on them. Great for anybody who works away from the office including executives, technical and sales people. Also watch for a growing number of consumers using their mobiles for online purchases as they fill their time waiting for something.
  • Cloud based storage/File Sharing. The Cloud is for most purposes another name for the Internet. So Cloud based storage is the ability to store information on the internet including backups and sending large files to customers and suppliers. DropBox and Yousendit are examples of systems for sharing large files between unrelated users. There are a wide range of suppliers of remote backup systems now with most corporates including them in their backup strategies. Personal File sharing is also available for two or more computers to be linked together to share information including music and videos. Personal File Sharing is generally not a business tool for larger corporates.
  • Cloud based systems. These are systems that allow you to work anywhere. Google has Google Docs, Microsoft has Office 365. A lot of third party software providers are moving their systems onto the Cloud so that customers can access them from anywhere and don’t have to worry about their own IT infrastructure. Companies are moving their IT infrastructure on to the Cloud in order to reduce costs as all the infrastructure is managed by a third party.
  • Extranets/Web based Systems. Companies are now looking to give customers and suppliers access to their information (through Extranets) and their systems (through Web based systems). This allows customers and suppliers to access to information relevant to them and enables them to do any processing on a DIY basis saving you both time and money such as the entering and progressing of orders and checking stock levels.
  • Remote Access. The ability to work anywhere means that you sometimes need access to your computer at home or work. Remote access through web sites such as Teamview and Logmein are a great way to get at critical documents away from the computer. Some of these systems allow you to do on line demonstrations of your product and service. This saves you and your customer time and money.
  • Online Games/Gaming. More gaming companies are moving their operations on to the web so that their services can be accessed anywhere anytime. Also notice that more consumer applications have games technology or ideas built in to them in order to make it more fun to buy. The term is called gamification. This could be a challenge for parents as the line becomes blurred between buying something and playing a game.

In an age where systems are everywhere businesses need to understand how to exploit Digital Marketing as it is a means to improving the service to your customers, driving down costs and making your organization more agile.

All organizations large and small need to understand Digital Marketing and have a strategy of how they are going to exploit the opportunities that Digital Marketing has to offer.