Posted on 27 September 2011.
Call to action has become a popular phrase in marketing circles and for websites. A call to action is actually a set of words or a button that urges readers or viewers to take instant affirmative action. Typical examples of call to action include website buttons saying, “buy now”, “click here for full story” or ‘dial our 0800 number for…”. A call to action is for promoting and enabling a user to buy a product being offered. It is equivalent to prodding a visitor or prospective customer what to do next after listening or reading a sales promotion campaign, a website or an article.
Call to action is a persuasive tool that can boost sales since it clearly pushes customers, removing their hesitation or uncertainty about the next step, not letting them procrastinate or forget about a product that may have appealed initially.
The purpose of Call to action
- As a strong suggestion, it clearly states what actions visitors must take- As a marketing technique, it also states the outcome after the action has been taken. It seeks to entice prospective customers, and by gentle, even emotional persuasion, pushes them towards a purchase.
- Builds a case for sales- A call to action is part of advertisements or other marketing strategies, or on websites, reappearing at convenient gaps, after subtle hints and sales promotion jargon has been used, encouraging and repeating, the sales effort to close the sale.
- A gradual buildup, not a rushed affair- A call to action appears repeatedly but after the ground has been prepared, and benefits highlighted. The reader or viewer is not pushed or rushed, only gently coerced into taking the final step to buy.
- Serves as an explicit message- While addressing the target audience or clientele, a call to action is not implied or hinted, but explicitly stated with affirmative words like, “subscribe now”, “order”, “click” and so on. All the terms have a clear action orientation.
- Provides temptation and irresistible offers- a call to action is always made after the products to be sold have been praised sufficiently to prove tempting and the offer made then, proves to be irresistible. This may include some rebate, additional freebies, or something that is difficult to refuse.
- Leaves no scope for dilly-dallying- A call to action has a timing connotation to it. It pushes for immediate action, leaving no room for dilly-dallying, or ‘think about it’ time. It works most times though it may occasionally, put off a prospective customer with the sense of urgency which may appear as an act of desperation.
- Very conspicuous, and cannot be missed- A call to action always stands out in copy written material and on websites as a button. Its color, font and impact is all different in terms of size and appeal. It may prove to be the most important part of the website or advertisement that is easy to find and creates an impact, pushing the reader towards using it for affirmative action.
A call to action is the culmination of the effort made for a sales call, appearing on websites or in sales copy, stated verbally, or in writing, but pushes viewers and readers towards taking affirmative action.
Posted in Sales Strategy
Posted on 03 August 2011.
A transaction email refers to emails sent on confirmation of an order to customers or an email generated after an action taken by a user or customer, and sent to the email address he provides. Thus opt-in emails, purchase confirmation mails or a notice related to an order, are all transactional mails. Shipping notifications for online orders also are transactional in nature, while a promotional offer email is not. All such emails are automated and can be extended beyond their specific purpose and used from a marketing perspective to push sales by engaging with customers. Transaction emails are sent for a purpose, and equipped with the customer’s email-id, the same mail offers the ideal opportunity to add marketing inputs and extend the relationship with the customer.
Transactional emails offer promise for cross selling and up selling but these have to be used appropriately to get the desired results, since they certainly do not give a license to businesses to send irrelevant and insignificant details. Respecting the customer’s time and intelligence remains crucial at all times.
Researchers have found that transactional emails have the highest open rates and click-through numbers than any other type of email, and these service based mails are positively and well received. Offering an untapped source of sales, companies and businesses stand to augment their sales considerably.
How to use transaction emails for generating higher sales
- Transactional emails can be made the responsibility of the marketing division of a business
- Add marketing material like new product information, offers and discounts, and other brand related information to the basic purpose of the transactional email.
- Customers are at their most receptive from a company or brand soon after a purchase, so the mail must be sent as soon after the sale as possible. This will have the maximum impact.
- Make the email impressive, appealing, crisp but personalized.
- Have a specially designed landing page for transactional emails to include a call-to-action like ‘buy now’. Setting a time frame with the offer pushes customers to make a quick buying decision.
- Initiate a personalized message with a ‘thank you”, and evoke a positive response.
- Start a dialogue or a reciprocal relationship with promise of information and updates if the customer is interested, and try to convince for a second order at every step.
Transactional emails have been proved to show a higher success rate than newsletters and other email campaigns. They can be used for:
- Special promotions and offers
- Discount vouchers for the present purchase
- Additional purchase rebates
- Rewards and incentives
- Loyalty program membership
At present very few businesses use transactional emails for sales promotion, and treat their transaction mail as a notification that is distinct and separate from a sales promotion mail. Branding, personalizing and customizing a transaction email requires skill, expertise and correct use to have the desired effect, but it is worthwhile since the customer having completed a transaction will react positively to sales talk. Finally every transaction email can be used to make the recipient feel special and important for the business, and chances are, he will return to buy more.
Posted in Sales Strategy
Posted on 19 July 2011.
Email marketing is a direct marketing tool that uses emails to communicate messages, news and information about products and services. It has now emerged as one of the most cost effective marketing methods that helps to increase sales and revenue for businesses by creating an online presence and constantly reminding the target clientele about it. It works and yields positive sales results since it enables proactive customer interaction rather than waiting for customers to find the business, brand and products.
Tips to increase sales through email marketing
- Brand building through emails- Use emails to customers to highlight your brand, its strong benefits and efficiency along with sales figures to reveal how it popular it is. People like to buy products endorsed and tried by others.
- Merge social media and email marketing- social media is highly successful in establishing a network of contacts, which can be used for email marketing to extend the reach of products and services.
- Use opt-in email marketing- sending emails to only those who agree to accepting them is called opt-in. they may sign up for emails when they visit your website or at a point-of-sale. This helps businesses in list building that includes some of the most targeted clients with the highest probability of buying products when contacted.
- A landing page- an email sent to clients with a call to action and giving them the option of clicking to buy in the email itself is the quickest way to mange a sale. This becomes possible by specially designing a landing page for the email exercise.
- Coupon, promotions and new product launches- email marketing will help in pushing sales higher when it is used to dispatch discount coupons, special offers and promotional rebates on new products being launched. Customers jump at discounts and are willing to use them immediately.
- Mobile friendly emails- most people use smart phones, and if the emails are synchronized for all types of receiving gadgets from computers, to tablets and smart phones, they are more legible and appealing. Offers of coupons with barcodes that can be scanned from smart phones have shown fantastic success rates since they save the hassle of printing out vouchers.
- The right timing- this is important since customers respond positively to such emails when they are relatively free, perhaps a Friday or a weekend. They are more likely to take notice and affirmative action like ordering the product at such a time, rather than when they are busy with a list of other jobs.
- Short, crisp but impressive content- emails that are short and to the point, crisp and impressive in style and content catch the reader’s attention sooner than long emails with not much substance. Email marketing is highly successful with good content and more likely to have customers agree to the suggested call to action to buy.
- Emails must be connected- email marketing is a direct method of connecting to customers, and a dialogue and personalized interaction must be a continuous, on-going process, rather than a random shot in the dark.
Email marketing has proved to be a highly successful tool in increasing sales through direct interaction with the end customer, and since the costs involved are low, it is worthwhile to initiate this internet marketing initiative.
Posted in Sales Management Tips, Sales Strategy, Sales Tips