Lot of marketers still don’t understand the importance, but if you are ignoring the mobile platform, then you are doing it at your own risk. Facebook had already announced that around 70% of their ad revenue comes from mobile, while Google announced earlier in 2015 that more than 50% searches on the portal globally are happening on mobile. With the advent of affordable smartphones and better internet speeds at lower costs, the mobile ecosystem is only going to expand further and along with it, we will see an increased use of apps and mobile searches. While a lot of people and companies are building apps and hoping that consumers will give many of them a part of their precious space in the mobile phones, others are betting heavily on responsive websites.

If you are a company that does even 10% of what you do online and are serious about the future of your business, then you have got to become serious about mobile marketing as well. The first myth that you need to debunk is that mobile marketing isn’t an altogether new phenomenon that is set to change your existing online marketing strategies, but is simply an extension to what you already do. Your mobile optimized site and how people reach it through their phones should be the first of your many concerns about how to tap the mobile potential.

We share with you some rock solid SEO tips to optimize your mobile site. You can connect with the author of the slideshare here – @aleyda

Bonus: Here are few Shopify SEO Tools & Apps To Get Higher Ranking & More Traffic.

I’d rather go to my usual grocer who gives me fresh produce, personalized discounts and is familiar with my regular grocery buying behavior, than a fancy retail store whose ads do nothing other than boast. In fact, the next time I visit the market with a friend, I would tell them to go to bhaiyya.

That’s what taking time to build trust can do for your business.

BUILD TRUST
Build trust online-Scripbox

Here, the story of Ashok Kumar, the CEO of Scripbox and his founding team would be apt. In a short time span of 4 years, he has succeeded in building a Financial Services brand that people trust.

Now when someone speaks mutual funds, not many of us pay real attention (I don’t). This can be partly blamed on the fact that the information available is so full of jargons that an average person doesn’t understand. Or maybe blame it on them ads where the guy at the end reads “Mutual funds are subject to market risks..yada yada”, at speeds the Flash may find tough to beat. Not really reassuring.

But Ashok had found success by investing in mutual funds. So he thought he’d make it easy for others as well. That’s how he became a part of Scripbox. Because in India, managing your personal finances is not a skill that’s taught anywhere.

Ashok and the team realized that their industry was a niche one, with only one crore of our huge 120 crore population actively investing in mutual funds. Out of this, 70% were first-time users. The initial years of their operations, therefore, were spent on building trust.

But again, can you really just trust people with your money? That too, online? There are a few simple rules that are at play here.

Build trust online-Make it easy

In financial planning, there’s a problem of unlimited choice, with limited or no education to guide you along. Psychology suggests that if people are given less options, they are more likely to buy something than if they are given hundreds of choices. 

There are around 8000 types of mutual funds out there. It’s really easy to get lost in all that. To prevent this, Scripbox brought down the choices to just 8, making the decision process shorter and simpler.

Build trust online- educate

Team Scripbox never bombards a prospect’s inbox unnecessarily. Rather, they wait for a visitor to view the website at least three times, before a mail was sent out. They also made sure that the mails would educate the prospect on what they want rather than push sales.

This patience finally paid off in the form of prospects’ trust.

Build trust online- deliver promises
download (1)

Let me tell you the story of Ankit Chowdhary, the founder of iService. The go-to kid when your gadgets get broken, Ankit was quite popular in college. The unfortunate breaking of the iPhone his dad had bought for him led to a frantic hunt for spare parts around the country (iPhones weren’t as prominent a few years back), and fixing it himself.

Soon his skill translated into his business and he graduated out of fixing phones from his home for pocket money to a full-fledged business. He began to gather customers slowly.

The key here was that the services he provided were prompt and efficient.

They never set unrealistic expectations for the clients, and always delivered on what they promised. As a result, both trust and customer base began to grow. People who had gotten their phone fixed began telling their friends about it.

This one time, a guy visiting his friend in Goa recommended iService, because the said friend was in the middle of a broken iPhone crisis. So strong was the recommendation, that he ended up travelling to and fro from Bangalore, simply to get his phone fixed. Not only was he satisfied with the service, he stated that the entire encounter cost him less than what was quoted by other dealers.

Ankit attributes almost 50% of his clientele to word of mouth (which is the birth child of trust, of course).

Build trust online-Cement this trust

Now this is tricky and at the same time pretty simple! We have already agreed upon delivering on your promises. Make them feel that they have placed their bet on the right brand/product.

Build trust online- empathize

Now with Scripbox, Ashok’s team used to add value to his customers as well as prospects by writing about topics that they might relate to. Topics like, “6 proven ways to buy happiness with money“, or something like,” Are you financially ready to face something like the Chennai floods?”, catches a visitor’s attention and gets them reading

They subtly emphasize the necessity of investing to a prospect and reassure a customer that he made the right choice, in a language that he understands.

Similarly, iService, cements the trust by actually understanding and acting upon how people feel when they break their prized phones.

Ankit compared breaking a phone to a medical emergency. The same feelings of panic and nervous anxiety arise (after all, we are way too dependent on our phones, aren’t we). By constant reassurance that the product was in safe hands and delivering the fixed phone in the shortest time possible, Ankit managed to assuage their fears.

Lending a sympathetic ear, while they ranted about how they broke their phones in the first place, also provided a sense of fortitude.

Build trust online- physical presence

Of course, this makes sense for some kinds of businesses (definitely did for iService). Placing his office in a busy Bangalore road with loads of traffic and visibility helped their cause.

In conclusion

If people like you,they'll listen to you.But if they trust you,they'll do business with you

Yes, building trust takes time, and is not easy. Sometimes making a quick buck, without investing in a long-term relationship is just simpler to pull off. But before you fall in that trap, think about what you are losing by not investing in building trust. What if you don’t follow Ashok and Ankit’s example?

Would you win in the long-term? I really doubt it. There are many stories of how loss of trust brought businesses down.

Chances are you’d lose out on competition that was more empathetic and focused on building value instead of force-selling. And maybe instead of referrals, you’d be getting bad reviews.

Now Scripbox enjoys being the 2nd most influential financial services brand on LinkedIn. But, that’s not overnight. It’s a result of all the initial years they spent to build trust. In the past 4 years since they set shop, Scripbox has gotten most of their customers over the past year.

Ankit continues to be one of the top players in his market. He still continues to address grievances personally, and has succeeded in turning several bad reviews into actual referrals, by just initiating an honest dialogue.

You think it’s all coincidental? Nope. These guys are onto something. This is the power of trust.


Also read:

Website Conversion Optimization

Mandar Marathe

In our last webinar, inbound marketing expert, Mandar Marathe talked about the website conversion optimization and 10 ways to improve traffic, leads and revenue for your website. Mandar is the co-founder of BriefKase Digital Communications, a marketing agency, and a full stack digital marketer.

A number of interesting questions about website conversion optimization were asked at the webinar. In case you missed it, you can view the recording here:

Website Conversion Optimization

And here’s the Q&A from the webinar session on website conversion optimization:

Email Marketing

How often should we send emails? Wouldn’t too many emails result in leads unsubscribing or leave a negative impression?

You should keep your client’s/customer’s privacy in priority. You can take a decision based on the click rate of the emails. Ideally, once or twice in a week is preferable. Too many emails a week might land you in your customer’s SPAM folder.

Is it a good practice to have an email verification process on the website for new users?

In the US, a two-step verification is mandatory. It’s called double opt-in. It’s not mandatory in India as such but I would recommend that you have an email plan in place. And if you’re going to send out a lot of email communication to users, it is better to have a two-step verification. Then you’d know for sure that the customers actually want to hear from you.

That also helps you to filter/segment your email database more efficiently. So you will have lesser junk leads and more quality leads. That way you would know that when you are going to send out an email blast, it’s not going to fall on deaf ears and people are going to open and read that email.

In case you have a structured email marketing approach, I’d definitely recommend double opt-in but if you are just collecting email ids and maybe sending out a newsletter every quarter/month, you don’t need a double opt-in or verification.

It also depends on the service. For instance, if you are a financial services business, you need to have a verification call or an OTP solution to verify your email id or your mobile number.

For more insights, take a look at our email marketing blog posts

Website Conversion Optimization

Search Engine Optimization

I have brought my website Alexa rank from 90,000 to 19,000. I have added ‘meta keywords’, ‘title’ and ‘meta description’. I am using ‘alt text’ for images. In addition, I am regularly publishing blog posts on the website. But I still don’t see my website in the first few search results on Google.   

There are multiple facets to SEO. From what I can gather, you have been creating content for your website and you have been optimizing the content on the website, i.e. adding a relevant title, description, etc and optimizing the content on-page.

However, on page optimization is only 25% of the 100% optimization funnel. Google has more than 200 factors that go into determining your rank and on page elements contribute to about 40-50 factors of those 200 factors. The other ones would be building a presence off-page, which means trying to use social media to drive traffic to your website or trying to build a social media presence.

Here’s what I recommend:

  • If you are a local business, create local listings on Google, Bing Places, etc.
  • If you are a blogger and you are writing  blogs on your website, reach out to influencers and contribute as a guest blogger on their sites, while linking it back to your website.

Focus on your off page strategy as well, as opposed to just focusing on your on-page strategy.

B2B Marketing Tips for Website Conversion Optimization

How can we use actionable keywords correctly for website conversion optimization in a B2B website?

You need to have relevant content on your site. If you have resources in the form of ebooks, case studies or product demo videos, try to use actionable keywords within each of these resources. For example, if you are a SaaS company, you could include a ‘Free Trial‘ CTA at the end of a case study, to encourage people to try your product. You could also suggest signing up for a ‘demo‘.

Whether it’s a blog, a case study, an infographic or even a landing page, try to use keywords like Why, How-To, Five-Ways, within the content and within the title.

If your business has a blog, try to have actionable keywords and CTAs at the end of every post and even on the sidebar.

Those of you who follow the LeadSquared blog would know that we publish industry-specific content. Under our real estate category, we have a real estate ebook placed next to the real estate marketing blog posts. So we use actionable keywords in those posts to drive ebook signups. And that really helps as far as website conversion optimization goes. 

Website Conversion Optimization

Can you suggest quiz sites or tools that an IT services company can use to drive engagement? 

You need to create a quiz based on your industry and your product offering. Every service business or product business would be different.

LeadQuizzes lets you build your own quiz, have it white labeled and host it on your website. You can create lead quizzes for different objectives. For instance, if you want to just build a lead profile and you want to know more about your audience, you can build a lead quiz.

We created a quiz for our software client, CloudLanding where we tried to build a profile of the customers before actually offering a free demo of the product. So we asked questions like,

  • What software are you currently using?
  • What problems are you facing with the existing software?
  • How many people are there in your company?
  • Am I talking to the marketing manager or the chief marketing officer or the chief sales officer or the CTO / CIO?
  • Is there a pain point that you’d like is to solve or address – if yes, what’s that pain point?

Ask these relevant questions in the form of a quiz and then give them a score.

When you are creating a quiz, try to think of it as profiling the customer. Create engagement and give something in return and build your own custom quiz.

Landing Page:

Are there any free tools to create landing pages?

Website Conversion OptimizationCheck out these sites

You might also be interested in this ebook on, The Secret to High Converting Landing Pages.

Wouldn’t multivariate testing during live environment execution diminish a brand’s unique personality? What are the other ways in which multivariate testing can be done?

I won’t say that it’ll take anything away. If you have a particular brand tagline and you want to use that brand tagline consistently across your offline or online communication, and you know that this tagline is working for you, then you would not want to experiment with that tagline or change the copy.

But there are different aspects of multivariate testing so maybe you can use different images and keep the same headline. Experiment with videos and customer testimonials, etc.

Check out the website, UsabilityHub. You can create a landing page and upload the design on the website. It basically shows what people’s first impressions are, after looking at that page. If people are able to remember certain specific things about that page, then you know which aspects are working.

You can do multivariate testing and A/B testing through Google Analytics. You can test not just your landing pages but you can test anything and everything on your website. From your checkout funnel, you could have two different pages created and on your server, using analytics, you could serve one version of the page to 50% of the visitors and the other version to the rest and see which checkout process is giving you more customers.

You could apply A/B testing or multivariate testing to different aspects. Maybe you could have five versions of the website’s homepage. Maybe you could have 3 versions of the product page. You could split traffic across these pages and then, at the end maybe, after you have collected considerable amount of data, you decide which page is working the best in terms of having the lowest bounce rate, having the lowest exit rate, etc.  

Content Marketing

How can I use the same content and URL on two categories?

That would result in duplication of content and I would strongly recommend you to avoid using the same content on two categories or two different pages. Make sure you have canonicalization for your URLs. Don’t create duplicate product pages.

We recently had a webinar for on content marketing. The webinar covered aspects about website conversion optimization. You might find it useful:

Website Conversion Optimization


Website Conversion Optimization Visit our blog for more tips on website conversion optimization, past webinar recordings and other marketing blog posts. And don’t forget to download the ebook on website conversion optimization!

There is a story behind everything”, is something my boss (@Nilesh Patel) is fond of telling me. As a content marketer, I am trained to hunt out the interesting story that almost always gets missed behind regular life.

The story of your business, especially your customer acquisition strategy, is no different. Have you had a “Oh Crap” moment and rushed to modify it? Or have you had to constantly evolve your strategy to keep up with your business goals?

Whatever the story, we want to hear it – and that is why the “customer acquisition round table” was born. It is a place for entrepreneurs to come share their stories on customer acquisition –  and swap learnings.

The Round Table Meet last Friday (8th July 2016) saw CXOs from three different business sharing their learnings, with a set of hand-picked audience. Ankit Chowdhary (Founder of iService), Ashok Kumar (Co-founder and CEO of Scripbox), and Amit Goel (Co-founder and Enterprise Sales Head of Blubirch) spoke at length about their entrepreneurial journey thus far.

(Want a more detailed log of what they spoke about? Read the customer acquisition stories of Ankit on Customer trust, of Ashok on Financial services marketing and Amit on B2B sales)

 

Customer acquisition

Here are the key take-aways

Though Ankit, Ashok and Amit spoke entirely about their businesses, I found that some learnings that they had gathered invariably overlapped. Ah, don’t worry – here is a brief round up of that.

Build trust

True to the spirit of the event, the speakers spoke about how building trust was a key feature to bringing in more customers. A happy customer brings in ten more and the word of mouth referral can do wonders for your brand. In fact, for Ankit (iService), about 50% of his customers come from word-of  mouth referrals.

Train your people well

Interestingly, our speaker Amit (the only B2B entrepreneur among this time’s speakers) touched upon the importance of training the sales team well. Since the sales guys are in the forefront of customer acquisition, it is necessary that they have a clear idea about the business before they make their first pitch. In fact, when he asked his sales team what the company (Blubirch) was about, he actually got five different answers from the 5 people there.

That was when he decided to take up sales training seriously and ensured that every sales member knows exactly how and what to pitch. The result? An immediate spike in sales performance. Even Ashok admitted that his Scripbox team underwent a rigorous training for close to one month before they handled a call.

Speak the language of your prospects

Another aspect the founders touched upon is the relatability to the prospects. Unless the prospects easily understand what your business was about, they would be reluctant to convert. An excellent example here is Scripbox – who had to break down the complex world of Mutual fund investments into simple language that was easy enough for the layman to understand. Oh, they did it beautifully – you don’t get awarded the second most influential financial brand on Linkedin for nothing!

In short, it was a hugely successful event, with both the participants and speakers happy with the quality of discussion and learnings shared.

The next round table event is happening soon! Once I get that story, I shall tell you all about it.

What started as an attempt to fix his own iPhone, below the radar (that is, without his father finding out) has now become a one-stop-shop for repair and servicing of Apple products.

Customer Trust

Ankit Chowdhary, the Founder of iService, spoke on how far he had come from the teenager who started the entire business on the side as a hobby (*ahem* for more pocket money).

A self-admitted geek and technology enthusiast, he recognized the need for his business, when he took to repairing his broken iPhone all by himself – because the other options were simply non- existent.

So what about all the other people with broken iPhones, who don’t know how to fix it? Well, he could do it for them as well.

“People used to line up at the gates of the apartment and ask the security for ‘The Phone Guy'” he recalled.

Now, he has three outlets in the city, plus a back-end office – a very long way from a make-shift office at home. As the business evolved, so did his manner of customer acquisition. From posting on Craig list, he progressed to relying on word-of-mouth referrals.

What has remained a constant challenge though, is the building trust with your client.

“Trust is what brings people back to us, and what gets us a huge chunk of new customers.”

His rationale is simple – right now, smartphones are a necessity. People don’t like to part with them. At all. So, when it gets broken, they will have to trust you enough to ask you to repair it.

So how can you build customer trust?

Well, that seemed to be the million dollar question. For without trust, he definitely was not going to get enough customers. Though it was not an overnight miracle, he decided to build it slowly, and let it reflect on his work. This is how he did it.

Setting the right expectations

“Everyone wants their phone right away” he explained. However, not all phones can be repaired instantly! On some occasions, it might take up to a week for them to source the right parts and then fix it. In such cases, it is communicated to the client upfront.

Sometimes, the clients might decide not to go through with the repair – “Which is totally fine” affirms Ankit. Because getting a customer is not as important as winning a happy customer!

Giving top-quality service

Sourcing of materials was another roadblock that Ankit struggled with. Without spare parts coming to him on time, his deliveries would get incredibly delayed. However, that does not mean that he could compromise on quality.

Currently, he has worked out a supply chain that comes right from China.  It gets him the quality spare parts he requires. Getting a local one might be a ‘quick fix’ which wont last long and would be a compromise on quality – a strict no-no.

“A guarantee of quick return and a top-notch repair job. Even if one of these expectations are not met, you have an unsatisfied customer” he explained.

That can be pretty bad, because 50% of his customers come from word-of-mouth referrals! One wrong review can go a long way in stemming future clients.

But come on, all businesses have that one customer who is unhappy! It is practically impossible to have 100% happy customers (if you do, drop us an email and tell us how you do it). What happens when the occasional unhappy customer does come along?

Handling unhappy customers right

“You can win them back by handling their grievances the right way” explains Ankit. Of course customers will get angry when their expectations are not met, the key to converting the “haters” is by extending the best support possible! And when that happens, your trust score further shoots up and you win over a staunch supporter – and even more referrals!” he ends.

But wait! He was not the only entrepreneur to talk on Customer Trust! Ashok, the Co-Founder of Scripbox faced a totally different ball game when he had to win customer trust to make them invest with him. How? Smart financial services marketing of course.

And I still have one more story for you.  Amit, the Co-founder and Enterprise sales head had a great customer acquisition story on B2B sales. You are welcome to that as well!

Happy reading!

Amit’sB2B sales story started when he realized the amount of electronic gadgets that get piled up in big companies. Out of curiosity, he and his friend decided to find out what happens to them. Much to their surprise, they realized that the unused gadgets either collect dust (or fungus) while waiting for approval from someone higher up. Or, they get disposed off – in a manner that even CEOs are clueless about.

And thus began Blubirch – a reverse commerce company that takes care of disposing the redundant and excess gadgets in IT and other technological firms. A solution that was sorely needed.

Challenges faced

Though he has a good list of clients now, things were not this rosy initially. Their challenges in getting companies to use their services were three fold:

Disorganized industry

Getting a dealer on board who was willing to buy the gadgets at the highest price was a challenge. Because it is an industry that had a lot of middlemen, the operation process was not so smooth.

Establishing company on par with pioneers

By the time Blubirch came into being, a lot of companies had already started selling their gadgets to a large multinational. And since it was such a well-established company, the middlemen really didn’t have to go through a lot of paperwork. However, a shift to Blubirch would have necessitated that – something which the IT guys were reluctant to take up.

Misalignment of objective between client and Blubirch

In their initial business plan Amit actually thought of buying the inventory from the clients and then selling it to a dealer for the highest bid. However, there was an obvious glitch in this process. The clients wanted to sell them the gadgets at the highest possible price. However, he has to sell it to dealers at the highest possible rate to gain a fair margin. So, right from the first step, the interests of the company (Amit’s) and that of the client were not aligned. Because of this conflict, it was difficult to get the company to trust them with their inventory.

Huge sales team

Internally, a disorganized industry meant a lot of sales people taking up the mantle. Unfortunately, not every sales guy understands the process completely and so they ended up making very unconvincing pitches to the prospects and also the dealers. Also, they had multiple sales teams – feet on street, inside sales, and regional.  Ensuring that every sales personnel had the same understanding of their product was a task.

The solution

But Amit, being the resourceful entrepreneur he is, approached the problem in B2B sales with remarkable intelligence.

Flexible business module

He decided to manage the inventory and not own it – that way both Blubirch and clients will have aligned interests (selling the gadgets at the best price possible) and thus it was easier to get customers.

Thorough sales training

Involving mentoring, shadowing and weekly discussions. So that every sales guy gives the correct information to the client/buyer and there are no expectation mismatches. He has seen significant improvement in the sales team performance since and looks forward to expanding more!

In short, he is totally killing it.

But hey, sales training is definitely important. Find out what Ashok from Scripbox used it for his financial services marketing.

You can also read how Ankit, the founder of iService looks to building customer trust to accelerate customer acquisition.