Groupon Promotion
Should I Run A Groupon Promotion?

Running a Groupon Promotion is a deceptively simple way to get clients. Offer a limited period discount, win new customers, increase your customer base. Your business incurs lower costs, increases engagement, and you get better returns. Right? Wrong. There are a lot of unintended consequences of Groupon Promotions that businesses should consider before diving head first into running it. Here is what you need to consider.

Cutting into Profits

This is expected when you run a discount promotion. However, what is important to understand is the Groupon’s USP is offering heavy discounts. So, when your business runs a Groupon promotion, you have to offer discounts in the bracket of 50% or more in order to attract a sizeable number of customers. Then, Groupon will charge its commission, which is an additional 50% of the revenue that you generate off the deal. So, your gross income will be slashed by 75%! This is without taking out your business expenses and overheads. Put simply, if you don’t have employees you’re going to be busy as hell working for peanuts and if you do have employees it is going to cost you more to service the client than you will receive in total revenue. Now, if a high percentage of these people were to become regular recurring clients then it could be worth it.  

Relationship with the Acquired Client

The relationship that you have with a regular client verses the relationship you have with a Groupon-acquired client is likely very different. A regular client visits you for the quality of the product, your service or the uniqueness of your offering. However, a client from Groupon is primarily choosing you because of the heavy discount you are offering.

In business, the value of your product or service is as much as the customer is ready to pay. When the customer has already paid a heavily discounted price, they won’t find your product as appealing for a higher price. So, these customers are unlikely to be repeat customers or long-term patrons for your business.

The Counter-Effect

You run a Groupon promotion to get more customers, but it can quickly become a bad thing.

If you do not have enough staff or equipment to cater to the rush Groupon is going to bring your way, you won’t be able to deliver the same experience to every customer as per your regular standards. These are also expensive customers; you are getting them to your business for a high cost.

Getting the rush may work against you earning you a lot of negative reviews. You paid up 75% of your income to get negative reviews.

In short, don’t run a Groupon. It’s a headache and it’s not going to help you build your business. 

Related Links – Groupon Promotion:

Landing Pages to Track Conversion
How to Use Landing Pages to Track Conversion Rates of Different Marketing Sources

As the world goes increasingly digital, the line separating the digital world from the physical one continues to blur. The advent of technologies like augmented reality has practically pulverized that line. Once those technologies become mainstream, humanity will be living in the digital world fulltime.

Coming back to the present, the seismic effects of digitization can be felt even today in the field of marketing. Large-scale data collection, big data, analytics, targeted ads, and other digital technologies have empowered modern marketing teams in unprecedented ways. 

Marketers can reach their target segments in myriad ways using digital technologies – emails, social media, websites, ads, online business directories, blogs, and more. Naturally, identifying the most promising or best-performing channel/s is crucial for optimizing the marketing budget allocation and extracting maximum ROI out of it.

The challenge becomes particularly dreadful when a business also employs offline marketing campaigns. How do you know which offline marketing campaigns are working best? In which areas are you getting the best results? Which marketing messages are hitting the target? 

Simply put, how do you analyze the performance of each offline and online marketing campaign?

The answer – landing pages integrated with analytics tools.

Wait! 

Landing pages? For measuring offline marketing campaigns? Are you crazy?

Yes, yes, and no – in that order!

Landing pages are powerful tools for creating a unified marketing strategy across both digital and offline worlds. In fact, 52% of businesses use landing pages to test the performance of their various marketing campaigns. 

When combined with robust analytics tools, landing pages can be a goldmine of insights that can help marketers make smarter decisions. To be more specific, analytics helps marketers identify and understand the conversion rate of various marketing campaigns. 

What is Conversion Rate?

The conversion rate is the percentage of your website visitors that do what you want. The desired action is usually something that is aligned with your marketing goal. Some of the common types of conversions include:

  • Purchases
  • Form submissions
  • Callback requests
  • Calls
  • Live chat messages
  • Signups of subscriptions
  • Registrations on the site
  • A simple page visit
  • Upsell
  • Downloading gated content

Why are Conversion Rates Important?

The world average for conversion rate is a mere 2.35%. The top 25% of the landing pages convert at a rate of 5.31% or higher.

To put this into perspective, suppose you are a house cleaning service. For every 100 people that arrive on your website, less than 3 (on average) of them actually hire you. Now, consider the fact that this is the average rate. Some marketing campaigns produce lesser conversion rates and others producer a higher conversion rate.

As a marketer, wouldn’t you want to know which campaigns or which sources of traffic produce the best conversion rate? 

Landing page analytics enable you to allocate your marketing budgets towards the best-performing campaigns, so that you can realize more conversions for every marketing dollar you spend.

But how do you find the best marketing sources?

There are several ways of doing it. Let’s take a look at some of them.

1. Set Up Website Analytics

Powerful analytics tools like Google Analytics, LuckyOrange, Open Web Analytics, Crazy Egg, and others allow you to deep dive into the conversion rate for each marketing source – search engines, social platforms, and so on. You can even determine whether the traffic (and conversion rate) is organic or inorganic.

In fact, website analytics tools allow you to under the conversion rate at a granular level. You can find out the conversion rate by various categories – by device type, OS, location, age, search engines they used, and even direct traffic (customers who typed your URL directly in the address bar).

2. Set Up Optimization Tools

Optimization tools like Google Content Experiments and Optimizely help you understand which parts and versions (A/B testing) of your landing pages are working, and how effective they are. By combining them with your marketing campaigns, you can figure out which combinations are producing the best results.

3. Discount Coupons

Suppose that you are a residential cleaning service that wants to know which marketing messages resonate strongly with your offline audience. So, you create 4-5 versions of a pamphlet advert, with each version having a different message, which you distribute among your audiences. How do you know which of those versions are working the best?

You insert a discount coupon inside each pamphlet and allow all the audiences to redeem the coupon on the same landing page. Based on which coupon is redeemed the highest number of times, you will know which marketing message resonated with them the most.

The same trick can be used in different contexts – to determine conversion rates across different geographies, across platforms, across email lists, and so on.

4. Custom URLs and Redirects

Create a single landing page and generate several vanity URLs, with all of them redirecting to the same landing page. Each custom URL can be inserted into a different marketing campaign or source. This way, although the traffic arrives on the same page, the URL redirects allow you to determine the traffic received by each vanity URL. You’ll know the performance of each marketing source.

The same result can be achieved with shortened URLs by using link shortening services like Bitly. Tools like Bitly even allow you to track the traffic.

For better results on how to get your landing pages to track conversion rates, you can combine custom URLs or shortened URLs with QR codes too.

5. Or, Keep It Simple: Just Ask

Often times, we dive so deep into a problem that we forget the simple answer.

You want to know how your customers found you. So just ask them. A simple popup box, with a question and multiple clickable answers asking them to indicate where they found you, is all it takes to get a response from your visitors. Sure, not many may respond, but it will still give you useful sample data. 

6. The Worst One Yet: Multiple Landing Pages

To be fair, having a dedicated landing page for each marketing campaign or source is not a bad strategy. It’s just labor-intensive and expensive. But, if your business has the budget, then dedicated landing pages for each marketing source is a powerful way to get insights into the source’s performance. In fact, dedicated landing pages allow you to experiment with different marketing messages and continuously optimize each landing page to make it supremely effective for the specific traffic arriving from that source.

Conclusion

As mentioned before, there are several ways of determining the conversion rate of each marketing source. Your choice of strategy must depend on the marketing sources, budget, team size, your audiences, and marketing goals.

Related Links for Landing Pages to Track Conversion

Should I Run A Groupon Promotion?

Email Marketing Your Cleaning Business: How to Do It Well

The 8 Most Important Conversion Metrics You Should Be Tracking

email marketing
Email Marketing

Email Marketing Your Cleaning Business: How to Do It Well

Everyone knows what email marketing is and millions of us do it all the time, but are you doing it well for your cleaning business- or even doing it at all? Is it as effective as you want and need it to be?

In this blog, we’ll take a look at what email marketing is, why you should use emails to market your service, and some of the basic principles that will help you succeed.

What is email marketing?

It might seem simple, but email marketing is more than just sending out emails asking for business. Email marketing that is strategic delivers better results. You need to figure out how you’ll get prospects’ emails, when and how you’re going to reach them, and what you want them to do when they receive your emails.

Why use email marketing for your cleaning business?

Email marketing is one of the most profitable things you can do to market your business. Most marketing experts say that the return on investment (ROI) is 3800% to 4300%. That means that for every dollar you spend, you will make between $38 and $43. That’s impressive for something that you can set up in a matter of days and let it run itself indefinitely.

Here are some statistics from Hubspot, one of the biggest email service providers (ESPs):

  • More than 50 percent of U.S. respondents check their personal email account more than 10 times a day, and it is by far their preferred way to receive updates from brands.
  • 99% of consumers check their email every day.
  • 80% of business professionals believe that email marketing increases customer retention.
  • 59% of respondents say marketing emails influence their purchase decisions.
  • >59% of marketers say email is their biggest source of ROI.

How to do Email Marketing Well

Almost everyone thinks that email marketing is just getting email addresses and sending out emails that say, “Please hire us!” 

That’s the fastest way to get marked as spam.

Here are some of the fundamental tools you need and actions you need to take:

  • A list of email addresses – These must be people who’ve given you permission to contact them. Never buy email addresses; even if they opted-in for someone, it wasn’t you. Forget that it’s illegal to spam people; you can’t build trust by shoving your business in their faces.
  • An email service provider (ESP) – This is a service that allows you to send out bulk emails. The most famous ESPs are MailChimp and ConstantContact, but there are thousands of companies, many that include other services that you might find useful.
  • Email copy – You need to write compelling copy. Don’t just send an email that talks about how awesome your company is. Offer your readers something of value: informative How To pieces or special promotions are a good choice. 
  • Email design – Many times, new people will over-design emails. They create massive, elaborate emails that don’t get read. Most people are reading your emails on their smartphones. Keep your emails short, concise, and not overloaded with images or videos. 

Offering value

It’s mentioned above, but it’s important to really understand it. Your emails should offer value to your prospects.

For a residential cleaning business, create a few different campaigns such as: 

  • An initial Drip Campaign that offers a discount off of their first service 
  • A seasonal promotions campaign such as Spring Cleaning or Holiday Gift Card campaigns
  • Ways to keep one’s home sanitized during COVID-19

Business cleaning services can talk about different subjects:

  • Sterilizing your offices
  • How to keep the floors clean, even during the day
  • Using a cleaning service to save money
  • What type of cleaning products to use in your offices

Your emails need to give them something they can use that helps them to see you as an expert.

How to get email addresses

Use what’s called a “lead generating offer” to get email addresses. 

A coupon code for a discount off of their first service works great for a residential cleaning company. All you ask for is their email address in exchange for what you’re offering. 

One important thing to remember: Don’t ask for too much right away. Get a first name and an email address. According to some studies, every new block you make the person fill out will cause you to lose 50% of the people.

Use automated forms on your website, Facebook page and any landing pages to automatically capture email addresses. 

When to send your emails

One of the biggest struggles is when should you send emails to your prospects. It depends on who your prospects are. 

For example, if you’re sending emails to mothers with children, they are more likely to open emails on Sunday mornings before 8 am. They’re checking email before the family wakes up. 

For businesses, you should send emails on Wednesday to Thursday. On Monday, everything is really hectic. Tuesdays are one of the most popular days for meetings. No one is paying any attention on Fridays; they’re just thinking about getting done and going home. 

As part of your plan, you should know who your audience is. You can do some research, but you can also simply think about their lives. Consider when they have time to check their email, but more importantly, when they might be contemplating hiring a cleaning company. 

Does email marketing work for cleaning businesses?

Yes. An emphatic yes. 

Related Links

Email Marketing – Wikipedia

The High Functioning Office Manager

Developing a website
Is Your Website is Killing Your Business? Here’s Why and How to Change That

A business website is a storefront for your residential cleaning business online. So, it makes sense for you to invest in a good website. However, in the process of finalizing site maps, improving landing pages, and putting the final cosmetic touches, you may have overlooked another pertinent factor – website speed. Why is website speed a factor in optimizing a website, and how you can make yours faster? Let’s find out.

Speed is Crucial. But, Why?

Faster is always better when it comes to website pages. Study after study has cemented this fact. Here is a complete picture of how reduced website speeds may be impacting your residential cleaning business.

Smaller Attention Spans

Famously, the attention span of humans (8.25 seconds) has gone shorter than that of a goldfish (9 seconds). There are hundreds of distractions pulling users away from your cleaning website. So, if you are not catching them within the few seconds they have the attention for your website, you are going to lose those customers.

Lower Rank

Website load speed is a factor when it comes to search engine rankings. So, if you want your residential cleaning business to stay higher up in the rankings, website speed is a factor you will have to work on. If you are not focusing on the website speed while building your website, you are putting all your efforts and marketing spend in jeopardy.

Reduced Engagement

Website engagement takes a hit when the website speed is not optimized. According to Google, as the page load time for a website increases, its bounce rate jumps. For a website with a load time of 1s to 3s, the bounce rate increases 32%. This bounce rate can jump to a massive 106% if the page load time goes up to 6s. So, even if your customers are coming to your web page, the low speeds are forcing them to leave without interacting with you. That was a converted customer that you just lost.

Revenue Hit

By not working on the website speed, you are incurring a huge opportunity cost. The scale of that cost can be estimated from an example from the eCommerce giant, Amazon. For every 100millisecond improvement in the speed of its website, Amazon increased its revenue by 1%. To put things into perspective, that means that if Amazon reduces its website speed by even a second, it stands to incur losses in the bracket of $1.6billion. You can extrapolate this to your residential cleaning business.s

Improving Website Speed

Now that the studies and numbers have firmly established that website speed impact your residential cleaning business in multiple ways, it’s time to understand how you can improve your website speed and benefit from it.

Identify Issues

There are many tools in the market that are available to you that you can use to find out the current situation of your website. Most are free too! Once you identify the issue and how bad the situation is, you can then start working on solving it.

Google’s Page Speed Insights is the tool to start with when you are working on improving your website speed. The tool developed by Google analyzes the web page you enter the link for and then provide you with suggestions to help you make a page load faster.

You can also access Google Webmaster Central for posts about speed and discover more helpful tools from Google.

There are other tools like WebPage Test, GTmetrix, and more that you can use to get a baseline on your website performance and work up from there.

Optimize Information

With every page you analyze with Google Page Insights, you will get the speeds you currently have for your web page on both desktop and mobile. It will provide you basic strategies to work with that you can implement right away. Reducing the size of the images on the pages, reducing the number of large files, reducing server calls, and more. More importantly, it will prioritize these tasks for you. So, the tasks that are marked high in priority will have the most profound impact.

Usually, the first step towards correcting speeds is to cut down on files and their sizes that are needed to load the web page correctly. It has been observed that the average webpage size across industries is 1.88MB. However, the recommended size is a measly 500KB. So, that is a standard you should aim for. So when developing your website, keep this in mind.

Developing a Website? Use Cache

It is possible to cache the most recent version of your webpages. When it’s done, the browser does not need to load the entire page again. This can drastically reduce the page load times and automatically improve website performance without making any changes to the actual web page. Most popular content management systems like WordPress have plugins that can do it for you.

Clicks to Conversions

You invest in developing a website, populating it with engaging content, optimizing it for search engines and marketing it on the internet, only for the customer to close the tab because it did not load in 3 seconds. That is not ideal. You have to make sure that your customer covers the last mile from the click to conversion. Good website speed will do it for you.

Related Links for Developing a website

Website Secure
Is Your Website Secure? Google Cares

Would you like to lose 82% of your traffic visiting your site?

How about Google warning users against visiting your site?

According to HubSpot Research, 82% of the respondents would leave the site if it is not secure. Google has also made it completely clear that it does take into account an SSL certificate as a ranking metric.

If your website is not secure – you are losing visitors right now.

How Can You Make Your Website Secure?

You want your clients to trust you and know that any form they fill out on your website is secure. When Google sends your visitor a bold red notification before sending them to your website, it does not generate a lot of consumer confidence. Here is how you can use SSL and other plugins to instill more trust in your visitors.

SSL Security

Before going all out, check the type of certificate you need. For hosting content on different platforms, you may need different SSL certificates.

The certificate is usually offered by the company providing hosting services for your website, but you can also install the certificate yourself depending on the server in use.

You can go for the expensive and completely customizable HTTPS implementation. Alternatively, there are services like Cloudflare and Let’s Encrypt that provide free SSL certificates. Make sure that you stay up to date on Google’s stand on these certificates. For eg. it does not trust certificates issued by Symantec.

Updated Plugins

Data thieves find vulnerabilities in systems and exploit them to get inside the network. Old plugins are a rife target for hackers. So, your business website should regularly review the plugins in use. Every new update should be installed and if a plugin does not provide regular updates, it should be promptly replaced.

Employing CDN

Overwhelming a site with a DDoS attack is one of the most common modus operandi of hackers. As the servers handle the abnormal spike in traffic, they gain access to the sensitive information. A Content Delivery Network (CDN) detects such spikes and puts up a counter.

Final Thoughts

Data privacy is as important is important: if you have a website it must be secure. 

Related Links

How to Secure a Website: A Simple Guide to Website Security

Must Ask Questions When Hiring an SEO Company