Your Free Sales Army

Having a sales force is expensive, which is why only large businesses have them. But, even little ecommerce sites have access to a sales force; their customers. This dormant force can triple the visibility of your brand, and they don’t even need a sales commission.

But, to activate them you need to establish an authentic relationship first. And it’s not like you have to sell a cool item like giantmicrobes.com to have a relationship with customers. Even a vanilla product like “business loans” can have an active customer marketing army.

But your customer’s wouldn’t market for you on their own, even if they love you. The relationship has to be kindled, and the only way to kindle it is to send heartfelt agenda-free custom communications (aka emails). Scott Jordan, CEO of Scottevest.com randomly selects 2 new customers each week and makes a personal “thank you for buying Scottevest customer” video for them. The video isn’t super polished, it doesn’t have to be. But it is 100% authentic and it makes it clear to the buyer that Scott cares about his product and customer.

You don’t have to copy Scott, in fact, you shouldn’t. But you should start thinking about ways in which your product or service is truly remarkable. And don’t think you aren’t remarkable, that’s a slap in the face of the brave shoppers who trusted you with their credit card info. You are remarkable, you just need to spend time thinking about this.

Take 4 weeks thinking about this. It’s a fucking important question.

Once the answer is clear start talking to people who bought from you. Email people who bought 2 years ago and didn’t buy since. Email the new order you had from Birmingham, Alabama 2 days ago. Email the customer who just wrote a review on your Facebook page. Email the person who just placed their 3rd order.

I know, the list looks daunting. You are busy and don’t have time to send personalized emails all day long. Are you planning on spending indefinitely to acquire new customers? Because if you aren’t then you don’t have a choice. So just get over it.

Also, using software automation to get the job done isn’t an option. Stop being lazy. Also, software automation doesn’t work. An online e-tailer had 7 customer reviews on their product page. They were sending the standard template “review request” email to new purchasers, to which hardly anyone responds. They then updated their review request email and made it super personal. The outcome? A 4.6x improvement in customer reviews collected.

If you do this one thing well you will singlehandedly change the trajectory of your business. Do it.

Leave a comment

Stop Being Boring

Mirrormate is in the business selling mirror frames. Their tagline is FRAME THAT BARE MIRROR:

Mirrormate_com_Tagline.png

Nothing remarkable about that. What is remarkable is that they use the spirit of their tagline to introduce their team:

Mirrormate.com_Naked.png

Mirrormate.com_Dressed.png

Your customers have a sense of humor. Don’t be scared to show them your playful side.

Leave a comment

Show Your Personality Every Chance You Get

John Bonini is a copywriter. He uses his site johnbonini.co to market his copywriting services (it’s all serious business stuff). The site lists testimonials. One of those testimonials is by his mother:

John_Testimonials.png

It’s such a sweet touch. Lesson: Just because you are in the all serious business of being an online retailer doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use humor and humanness to connect with your customers.

Leave a comment

Order Confirmation Email with Personality

My friend Justin Marciszewski shared this:

Order_Confirmation.jpg

Adding a personal touch to your marketing messaging is a great way to generate Likability, and it’s no secret that shoppers are more likely to buy from people they like. A shopper may not even read beyond the first sentence of a message unless it has personality.

Your business is made of individuals with their own individual quirks and personalities. Show your shoppers that you’re human too. They’ll relate to that and you may just have yourself a return customer.

Leave a comment

What’s Your Story?

I don’t understand why most sites either:

1: Don’t tell their story.

2: Tell a formulaic story.

There is no template for an About Us page.  All you have to do is give the world a glimpse of who you are and what you stand for.

The first thing balsamiq.com does when you land on their homepage is show a prompt to their About Us page (see bottom right corner of screenshot below):

Balsamiq.com_About_CTA

And on click this content is shown on top of their About Us page.  It’s very short, to the point and full of personality:

Balsamiq.com_About_Top.png

Now here’s the thing, Balsamiq is used by some of the largest companies in the world:

Balsamiq.com_Client

But that information is buried lower on the page.  Balsamic is giving more prominence to their About Us content over their client list.  And that’s the right thing to do.  Shoppers buy from people they trust.  Yes, social proof is important, but it’s less important than your amazing personal story.

Leave a comment

Super Cool Order Confirmation Email

Order confirmation emails are boring.  And the reason is simple: order confirmation emails are generated after the customer has given up their credit card info.  So why bother making it cool or interesting?  That’s what the retailer is thinking, anyway.

But that isn’t how CDbaby.com thinks.  Here is their order confirmation email:

Thanks for your order with CD Baby!

 

Your CD has been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow. A team of 50 employees inspected your CD and polished it to make sure it was in the best possible condition before mailing. Our world-renowned packing specialist lit a local artisan candle and a hush fell over the crowd as he put your CD into the finest gold-lined box that money can buy. We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of Portland waved “Bon Voyage!” to your package, on its way to you, in our private CD Baby jet on this day.

We hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby. In commemoration, we have placed your picture on our wall as “Customer of the Year.” We’re all exhausted but can’t wait for you to come back to CDBABY.COM!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Sigh…

We miss you already. We’ll be right here at www.cdbaby.com patiently awaiting your return.

Was the product you received defective or damaged? Check out our Return Policy.

All your friends at CD Baby
Sell your music on CD Baby and in stores worldwide

Lesson: Show your personality every chance you get.

Leave a comment

Jerry’s Bloopers

Jeromes.com is a furniture site.  On their homepage they have a link to a page called Jerry’s Bloopers (pointed by red arrow in screenshot below):

Jeromes_com_Bloopers

First of all, this is a super clever page name and the link begs to be clicked.  Then, when you do click it you’re greeted by this banner–

Bloopers

Very clever.  I love it.

Leave a comment