How to Get Your Customers to Do Anything You Ask

Posted by Brandon Carter on Feb 21, 2017 8:42:00 AM

Nobody likes popups on websites. They're intrusive. Invasive. Repulsive.
But they work.
Go to the most popular online marketing blogs right now, and you'll be assaulted from the moment the page loads .
The first wave hides the site from your view entirely , and pushes a full-screen message and form on you. You have to find an X or just scroll down to escape.
Then, you get to read a paragraph or two before the next wave hits - this time another popup, in case you missed the first one . Close that one, and now it's just a bunch of banner ads scattered throughout the text.
The final stage of the gauntlet hits you when you try to leave the page - one final popup before you go.
As marketers, it's a tough pill to swallow. We want a pristine environment for people to engage with our brand and content. We don't want to spam or chase people away.
But, popups work really well. Hit people with enough asks, and a high percentage of them will respond.
Popups are an extreme example of a principle every business has to learn if they want to engage and build a customer base:
If you want people to do something, you must actually step forward and ask them to do it.
We've devoted quite a bit of space to companies that go just a couple steps beyond what their competitors do .
Here's why you should boldly ask customers for what you want them to do, and how to do so.
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Topics: Customer Engagement

Five Customer Engagement and Loyalty Strategies Used by the World's Greatest Brands

Posted by Brandon Carter on Feb 14, 2017 9:19:00 AM

If you work in customer/member retention, at some point you've asked yourself in desperation, "What in the &#%@ do these people want?"

Some days it feels like nothing works, despite all your greatest efforts.

Your product might be good enough and your experience might be good enough. But people still may not come back.

Sometimes it's a matter of having that little somethin' extra.

People that turn into loyalists often do so for reasons that have little to do with the product or service purchased.

They connect with the brand on a personal level. Or, the brand offers them something others don't.

I'm going to throw out five broad strategies you can adopt to build better customer engagement and loyalty.

But first, let's put this need in context.

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Topics: Customer Engagement

Eight Real-Life Examples of Businesses Going the Extra Mile to Win Customer Engagement and Loyalty

Posted by Brandon Carter on Jan 31, 2017 8:16:00 AM

Do me a favor. Take off your business hat, and replace it with your consumer one. 

Done? Good.

Now, think for a moment about the brands and businesses you know and trust. How did they earn your devotion?

Was it due to some complicated, multi-tiered loyalty scheme? Perhaps a multi-million dollar branding campaign?

Probably not.

It was something much simpler.

We're betting most of them delivered a good or great experience at the proper value.

And most of these companies you love offer a little something extra. Something different. Something personal. Something that makes them stand out from hundreds of other transactions you've had over the years.

Now, put your business hat back on.

Welcome back!

What's your business doing to be different? What are your personal touches?

Looking for inspiration? 

We found eight real-life examples of companies that are delivering more value than their customers expect. These are businesses intentionally going out of their way to deliver more than just a simple transaction.

Take a look, and see if you find an idea that may just resonate with your customers:

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Topics: Customer Engagement

Need More Customer Engagement? Answer These Five Questions First

Posted by Brandon Carter on Jan 24, 2017 9:04:00 AM

Anyone can get customers.

Customer acquisition can be gamed by throwing money, hiring more sales people, even outright trickery.

Customer loyalty is a much harder game to win.

There aren't any hacks or fool-proof systems that will retain a customer or member for years to come.

(I guess you could hand out stacks of cash every time someone purchases. But good luck getting the CFO to sign off on that.)

No, the shortcuts in customer loyalty are few. If it were easy, you wouldn't be here, reading this.

So what can you do? Where do you even start?

Start by taking a close look at your customer experience - what happens before, during, and after a transaction.

Start by answering these five questions.

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Topics: Customer Engagement

17 Member Engagement Ideas to Try in 2017

Posted by Brandon Carter on Jan 17, 2017 8:28:00 AM

Last week we made a strong suggestion that companies get rid of all their customers - and replace them with members.

A customer is someone who buys something. A member is someone who belongs to something.

We should all aim to have members, even if we don't have a formal membership structure. Members, in this sense, are customers who have developed a deeper, ongoing relationship with your product or brand.

These relationships don’t happen by accident. Some brands can develop deep cult followings, but not all of us can be Apple or Starbucks.

We can however, borrow specific tactics from membership groups designed to build engagement and long-term loyalty.

Start small. Try any of these 17 engagement tactics used by some of the largest membership organizations in the world.

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Topics: Customer Engagement, Member Benefits, member engagement, customer loyalty, association marketing

The Bold Idea Every Company Interested in Customer Engagement Should Try in 2017

Posted by Brandon Carter on Jan 10, 2017 8:48:00 AM

To open 2016, we put forth a bold suggestion that would help every company create better customer engagement and loyalty.

We doubt any of you took the new business budget and dumped it all into retention. But hopefully the idea of engagement and loyalty having a big voice at the table resonated.

This year, we have another big idea.

Kinda crazy.

Kinda paradigm shifty, if jargon is your thing.

Here it is: get rid of all your customers.

Beginning today, you have no customers. Zero.

"Why would I do something that stupid?" you may be asking.

Well, hear us out for a minute.

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Topics: Customer Engagement, Member Benefits

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