Conquering the Abandoned Cart

As a successful online retailer it’s second nature to see sales roll through your store, but the frustration of even a single abandoned cart never really goes away. That is unless you understand why it happens and employ tactics to convert them to sales.

 

Close to 67% percent of shopping carts are abandoned and this percentage has been going up every year since online shopping was possible. The reasons why abandoned carts happen have not changed much but the ability to address the problems head-on has.

 

Problem #1: Unclear or High Shipping Costs

 

Every single person out there is looking to try and save money on shipping. No one wants to show off their new item only to find out they paid twice the shipping cost – it’s like walking into a store and asking for a mark UP at the register.

 

Solution: Tell them early, often and be transparent.

 

  1. Australia Post – If you want to do shipping cost by the book then link your cart directly to real time AusPOST shipping costs. No games or great mysteries here because they can price check it directly on the AusPOST website – everyone wins.

  2. Flat rate shipping – You should have your shipping costs and margins down to a science by now but maybe you need flexibility AUSPost does not offer. Switching to a clear, concise rate structure by # of items or weight will allow you to incentivise a higher spend for better shipping rates.

  3. Free shipping – a massive winner so if it’s practical then do it. You can make everything free by adding a standard shipping cost into the price or set simple conditions to qualify and then make sure to remind them of those conditions on every page of your website, by using the word FREE.

 

Problem #2: Not Having the Right Payment Options

 

Having built hundreds of shopping carts ourselves we understand that the payment methods that work for your organisation may not be the ones that customers prefer. But the good news is we’ve come a long way since Paypal as a single option and new options spring up every month, you need to start nimble.

 

Solution: Provide 2-3 options, track what’s most popular on your site and re-evaluate every 12 months.

 

  1. Stripe – Imagine setting up an account in 10 minutes or less that allows you to process credit card payments right on your checkout page (SSL required). This is what you get with Stripe, in addition to removing sales friction from page-directs or extra account setups just to make a payment. It’s easy, seamless and it just works.

  2. Paypal – Still the golden, international standard for online payment processing and we still recommend it as a solid choice for accepting credit card payments. If your clients are also regular eBay shoppers will give them the comfort they need to convert the sale.

  3. Bank Merchant Account – With Stripe and Paypal you still don’t get direct access to your cash until it’s in your bank account. Setting up a merchant account with your bank and processing payments directly into your bank account makes money management easier. Most of the big banks offer this facility, it’s up to you to negotiate the fees associated with your merchant account.

  4. Layby – In the last 12 months multiple online layby options have sprung forth. End customers are really loving this, the immediacy of getting something now and paying for it over time. Zippay and Afterpay are the most popular choices but you need to check the fine print and make sure your preferred layby option will talk to your eCommerce system.

 

Problem #3: They Aren’t Ready to Buy Yet

 

Almost no one goes to a website once, adds a product to cart and checkouts straight away. They compare prices, look at other comparable products and check customer reviews on your products and business. You know this already, so accept it and start building a more memorable customer experience.

 

Solution: Make customers feel respected and supported.

 

  1. Wish Lists – They know you value their money, but have you shown them you value their time? Let customers continue the shopping journey instead of restarting with a Wish List. In return you get an email address and the chance to follow them up and sweeten the deal with marketing automation. If they are serious shoppers they will remember you for saving them time.

  2. Customer Support – All shopping carts being equal, this is where you can really set your experience apart. If your products have some complexity, can they live chat with someone about their questions? Better yet are you using intelligence automation to engage customers and provide answers and reassurance 24/7?

 

It’s easy to get caught up in the moment when shopping carts get dumped, spending too much time on the problem and not the solution.

If you are addressing these top 3 concerns thoughtfully, effectively and with regularity then you’re turning frustration into knowledge and tactics that will help you conquer the challenge of the abandoned cart.

Turnaround Lacklustre eCommerce Sales in 3 Steps

You started your eCommerce site to expand your revenue and your reach, but lately its not doing anything noteworthy and you have a sneaking feeling you’re just coasting. Sound familiar?

 

Having produced and supported hundreds of eCommerce sites across many industries in the last 10 years we’ve seen common themes for successful sites. What these companies do, and the tools they use, can be boiled down to three areas.

 

1. Automate Site Visitor Analysis

eCommerce sales conversion rates average 3% globally, so for those that don’t convert you can still capture valuable behaviour data that will help you convert better in the future.

 

Optimizely for A/B Testing

 

What your designer or developer thinks might convert better could be wrong. Remove the need for arguments by using Optimizely and find out what users respond to. Use that data again to inform future sales strategies on your site.

 

Kissmetrics for Building Ideal Customer Profiles

 

With Kissmetrics, you can leverage data to determine where your best customers come from, who your best customers are, and how to convert more customers on your website. The tool allows you to view revenue metrics broken down by traffic source as well as providing insight into what’s keeping people from checking out.

 

2. Intelligent Pursuit of (More of) Your Ideal Customers

Once you have a decent read on what brings repeat visitors and sales to your site you need more of those customers. An effective content marketing strategy paired with cost-effective advertising will help you do that.

 

GoAnimate Explainer Video Creation to Demonstrate Product Benefits

 

The engagement stats on using video versus any other content medium are undeniable and exponential in some cases. Building shareable (and if lucky viral) product content is best executed through GoAnimate because its easy, engaging and cost-effective. Adding these to your website, your YouTube channel and social media also gives you a baseline of shareable content that can be used and reused.

 

Tribe to Find Your Ideal Social Media Influencer

 

To achieve faster and more high profile exposure for your brand use Tribe to find your power middle influencer. Tribe puts you in direct contact with the 250,000+ Australians that have more than 5000 social media followers. Submit your campaign brief and influencers will bid for your business then you get to choose who you work with and how. Aligning with a rising star is a powerful possibility with Tribe.

 

Google Shopping for a More Targeted Ad Spend

 

Advertising with Google Shopping is a visual and cost-effective way to display what you sell, matching up head to head with your competition. Product comparison via Google Shopping is a standard starting point for most online shoppers so make it easier for them to find your products linking directly to your website where all your great product content and authority lives. Conversion rates from Shopping campaigns can easily convert at 3 times the rate of general Search campaigns.

 

3. Find Your Evangelists and Loyal Supporters and Keep Them Close

You’re now intelligently and actively courting your new batch of ideal customers, but make sure not to leave your loyal fans hanging. They’re the ones who interact regularly with your brand and provide unsolicited positive feedback so ask them to formalise that positivity and then reward them for good behaviour.

 

Reviews.io to Harness the Power of Positive Feedback

 

You have to work hard for sales, but getting people to say nice things about your products & service is harder right? Not with Reviews.io. 90% of happy buyers will provide a review and this software not only manages the entire review collection and distribution process but it will help you achieve the coveted Google seller rating faster than a manual review process which helps you save even more on your Google Shopping advertising campaigns.

 

Smile.io to Create and Automate Your Customer Loyalty Program

 

They’ve already given you positive feedback and referred you to others, now it’s time to reward them. Personal emails and one off discounts are nice, but scaling the power of positivity should be automated and delineated.  Smile.io is a powerful and cost-effective tool allowing you to create your own influencers, putting you in the driver seat of managing your online reputation.

 

From Lacklustre to Arse-kicker

 

There is a theme here:

 

  1. Automate data capture to create insight about what works
  2. Use that data and insight to spend wisely, attracting more of what works
  3. Get serious about capturing crowd-sourced data and insight to create a continous loop attracting more of what works
Creating your own eco-system of what works does take effort, but so does starting an online store in the first place. In the fastest moving marketplace your data collection and analysis methods must be sharp and evolving, but thanks to the growth in apps most of the hard work is now automated.
These ideas and tools will give you the power to choose how fast you grow and that is anything but lacklustre.

How to Protect Your Website & Brand from Hackers

Tough to admit as digital marketers, but our website was hacked a few years ago. It was frustrating, time-intensive to fix and mostly embarrassing.

We hung our heads for a bit, but then realised our experience could actually benefit others. We had taken our website security for granted but the process of restoring our online reputation painted a clear picture of what we, and other WordPress sites could do to strongly discourage future hacking attempts.

While some of the information below is unique to our WordPress security service it is a strong guide for anyone needing to  keep their online reputation safe.

WK-Wordpress-Security

 

 

Women ARE Bad Drivers And Robots ARE Evil

Traitor…that is likely the nicest thing my female colleagues, team members, friends and family are thinking right now. Shame on me really, because I’m here to tell you why we should throw those antiquated ideas out the (car) window.

 

Women, on average, are are looking after more then one person at any given time, requiring more patience and thought in getting from here to there.  So if we take a bit more time or allow more than one car to merge remember the literal and metaphorical band-aid at the back of our mind.

 

The Light Bulb Moment

 

As a managing director I think a lot about our customers and the service experience we deliver. The best win we get is the light bulb moment on a client’s face telling us we nailed it and frankly I got into this business because of those damn light bulb moments. Helping people can be addictive and (spoiler alert) the IT industry is actually full of people like me.

 

So we love these “nailed it” moments but in reality we now have to nail it each time customers need our help, not just when we are face to face.

 

As our client base grows we have to be more strategic about that “nailed it” service delivery. How do we keep the service personal and effective, but expand it in a smart way?

 

The statistics around our customer service expectations are that at least 50% of us expect it to be 24/7. We also don’t want our time to be in vain, spending precious time on the phone, only to not get the answer or solve the problem.

 

Over time technology has rushed to fill the gap, sometimes quite effectively. Live Chat, as an example, is a personal and convenient conversation that can help us get the answer we seek or progress it to a point where we know what we need to do next.

 

What live chat does not fully solve, and it is a big gap for companies, is true scalability. As you grow your client base you need more team members to staff the chat. You train them on the same content, the same procedures and sit them in the same desk solving the same problems. Formulaic but not cost-effective in the long run.

 

Our own light bulb moment came last year when we saw how far artificial intelligence had come. Google, Apple and Facebook have been at this for years, but for the rest of us the technology has evolved from esoteric movie fodder to something far more practical and democratic.

 

Artificial Intelligence For Business

 

Companies of all sizes and industries can now have their own personalised service agent using artificial intelligence. Think of it as a harmonic merge of Siri and live chat, tailored for your business objectives.

 

Front line chat agents are expediters to the end game, allowing companies to be “on” all the time cost-effectively. They free up people on your team to excel at solving the complex issues, allowing you to hire for unique skills rather than repetitive tasks that scream low ROI.

 

While this opportunity may sound scary to some make no mistake, your competitors, your board, the CEO is already thinking about this. It is time for all of us to join the conversation and make technology work for us, improving the service experience while still preserving our fundamental humanity and those beautiful light bulb moments.

3 New Features Available For Your Next Mailchimp Marketing Campaign

An email to your clients, consumers and other stakeholders is one of the quickest and most effective ways to send out a key message instantaneously, but when you’ve got hundreds of contacts to get in touch with, it can no doubt be quite an exhausting task.

 

Email marketing platform Mailchimp allows businesses and e-commerce retailers to send marketing emails, automated messages and targeted campaigns in a straight forward way, and their continuous innovation in technology is allowing businesses to grow and gain more ground with their target markets.

 

The latest resources of Mailchimp allow you to communicate to your audiences faster, and here at WK Digital we can help you implement best practice email marketing so that you can run with it and utilise it for your business.

 

We’ve put together a list of the platform’s most recent features to show you not only how easy it is to use, but just how beneficial it can really be.

 

  1. Facebook ad campaigns

Mailchimp has taken a major step from email-only to marketing, now allowing subscribers to create beautiful Facebook ad campaigns. In the same familiar interface, you can produce an effective campaign strategy to match your branding style and target your audience.

 

Not having to spend time navigating through two different sites is one of the stand-out elements within this new feature. Also, because you integrate Mailchimp with Facebook, you’ll be able to track your return on investment, how many new customers you’ve gained, your orders total, the amount of people you’ve reached, and whether or not you should improve your marketing strategy.

 

Often it’s an easy decision for a business to advertise – after all, it makes sense to let the public know you exist. But choosing how and where to advertise can be problematic, especially when you’re a small business and your budget just can’t cater to the larger-fit costs of a broader campaign.

 

Mailchimp’s Facebook Ad Campaigns feature allows you to utilise the most popular social media platform in the world today, and target actual people. Other ad systems use cookie-based advertising to limit showing ads on a particular device or browser, but Facebook works quite the opposite. As most people access their Facebook profiles on varying equipment almost on a daily basis, you’re guaranteed to be seen.

 

  1. Integration to CRM programs

It makes sense for some businesses to integrate their email marketing component with a customer relationship management (CRM) application, which can make your three marketing components – contact lists, content and results – a lot faster and easier.
Mailchimp provides a connection to other websites and services, which you can plug in to your account, and they are so easy to use because there’s no need to learn about programming or coding.

 

The newest integrations, of which there are more than a dozen in Mailchimp, allow you to add subscribers, sync data, import content and see how successful your campaigns are. As an example, some of the integrated systems include Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, Shopify and PayPal.

 

It’s a brilliant way to learn what your customers are purchasing and then progress to creating more email campaigns customised to their interests!

 

  1. Stylish and customised email templates

You can truly design an appealing email campaign with a large variety of Mailchimp’s templates. There’s a choice of three ways to go about it – working with a basic layout, a pre-built theme or a template based on the message you want to communicate.

 

One of the best things about this particular feature is that for e-commerce retailers, you can actually showcase and sell products this way. You’re not limited to what you want to put across, and it can be anything from presenting special discount offers to offering vouchers and special packages to loyalty consumers.

 

These features, plus more within the platform, is why you use Mailchimp as a primary email marketing service, but here at WK Digital, we can help you apply all of that and guide you. If it helps your business grow, then we are at the forefront of making that happen.

Why You Shouldn’t Rule Out eCommerce for Your Business

Ecommerce is an invaluable tool for any business. Not only does it reduce, or completely eliminate, overheads associated with a physical storefront, it also creates an entirely new customer base through national and international shipping. With an online store at your fingertips, customers from all over the world can purchase your products at the click of a button. The possibilities are endless, and open to every type of business imaginable.

All you need is a website, a product, and the right mindset to present it to the world. It’s time to embrace thinking outside the box and start putting round pegs into square holes. Think differently is what we’re are saying!

 

BUT MY PRODUCTS ARE TOO BULKY TO SHIP!

 

If you sell bulky products such as fridges, furniture or exercise equipment you may be tempted to forgo ecommerce due to the various challenges associated with shipping them. Due to their size, such items cannot be posted by regular means and must generally either be hand delivered by your business, or sent via courier. Both options are entirely feasible and utilised by countless online businesses to great effect.

 

Websites such as Appliances Online offer free delivery of fridges and other large appliances to their customers by dispatching their own trucks from their warehouse. Obviously this isn’t an option for everyone so websites like Gym and Fitness ship fitness equipment to customers and charge for delivery based on the postcode of the buyer.

 

If you’re worried about charging for delivery, don’t be. Customers who purchase products online are generally prepared to pay for reasonable shipping – it’s all part of the experience, and the trade-off for being able to shop from the comfort of your couch.

Of course, there are always more creative methods such as factoring the cost of shipping into the total cost of the product itself.

 

MY PRODUCTS ARE TOO UNIQUE / CUSTOMISABLE TO SELL ONLINE

 

The uniqueness or customisability of your product should never be a barrier to utilising the advantages of ecommerce. While it can present a problem for instant purchasing, there are many ways this can be positively presented through an online business. For example, take a look at RedBubble, a website that prides itself on selling unique, customisable products. From T-shirts to posters and home décor the options are endless, and most allow the customer to customise the item to their preferred taste. Posters, for example, have multiple prints, sizes and materials to choose from. Other examples include Spread Shirt, which allows the customer to create custom clothing and Pimp My Fridge for customisable fridges.

 

Alternatively, if your product has too many options to realistically list, you can provide a price range and then offer the customer direct communication through an email form or phone number, to enquire further. Using an ecommerce store front as a lead generation tool is a clever way to upsell your products too.

 

WHAT IF I DON’T SELL A PHYSICAL PRODUCT?

 

This is no obstacle. When it comes to online shopping, services are products – it’s just a matter of how you package them. Services can be displayed and purchased like any physical product; the only difference is what the customer receives. In fact, services have multiple advantages over physical products. They have no manufacturing costs, they don’t need to be stockpiled or ordered and they don’t require shipping. You have complete control. You can offer as much, or as little, in each package as you like.

 

Websites that utilise this to great effect sell services such as content for everyday things like LinkedIn bios, legal services, and streamed movies and TV shows.

 

Whether you sell bulky objects, unique and customisable products, or intangible services, ecommerce can help you do it. The options are infinite and the only limitations are the ones you impose on yourself.

Small Business Grants

$5,000 of Free Marketing? It’s NOT too Good to be True!

The Queensland Government’s Small Business Entrepreneur Grants Program will be back later this year, and it’s a very generous offer.

Small business owners can receive a grant of up to $5,000 (excluding GST) in matched funding for any program in the applicable categories that will help develop the business. If you’re not in business yet, that’s fine – the grant also applies to new ventures.

The best part is, the amount can be revised upwards to include any GST you pay on your marketing investment!

Where do we come in? Well, there are four major categories for which you can apply. One of these is for market research and market strategy development, which can help your business reach new customers and continue to grow.

If you’re looking to overhaul your existing branding strategy, or implement a new one, we can help, and the government will front half the money. The growing acceptance of the importance of digital marketing is reflected in the grant, with concessions made for social media and other digital marketing strategies.

So if you’ve been waiting for the right moment to burst onto the social scene with some serious bang for your buck – now’s the time to start planning for when they open the next round of grants mid-year!

 

How Does it Work?

There are a few very basic criteria you need to meet to be eligible for the grant. Your business must:

  • Have a business name registered within the last 4 years.
  • Have fewer than 20 employees at the time of applying for the grant.
  • Have an ABN and be registered for GST.
  • Be based in Queensland.
  • Declare if any owners or directors of the business are an undischarged bankrupt or insolvent.

So as you can see, this grant is literally perfect for any Queensland small business that is seeking to expand their digital presence in a massive way in one fell swoop.

Applications go through a basic assessment, and then the government will check back in on you in twelve months to see how things are going. The initial grant assessment covers things such as:

  • The extent to which the service will support establishment and development of the business.
  • The extent to which the service will enhance the owner’s skills and abilities.
  • Potential business improvements.
  • Value for money.

 

What Can You Do?

There is a whole world of options available to you with this grant. Working with WK Digital, we can help you:

  • Rapidly expand your social media presence.
  • Devise an impressive content strategy to attract and convert new clients.
  • Develop white papers and perform market research that will establish your business as an industry leader.
  • Build an AdWords campaign that will get your business in the top slot on Google for every major keyword that attracts sales.
  • Upgrade your website and improve your sales funnel to increase conversions.
  • Try out something new – want a chat bot on your website? How about unique landing pages for every single market segment you service? Or better yet, set up tracking across your social media and search engine marketing efforts?

The possibilities are endless. The beauty of this grant is that the government literally requires you to invest it in areas that will have a long term payoff for your business. It doesn’t get much better than that.

 

Start to plan now!

Applications for round 2 of the grant will open in mid-2017. There’s never been a cheaper way to take advantage of professional services and get some serious growth gains in a short time.

More details on the grants program can be found at https://www.business.qld.gov.au/starting-business/advice-support/grants/entrepreneur-grants

The time to invest in your digital presence is now. Here at WK Digital, we’re lucky enough to have some of the best digital marketing consultants in the business. We can set you on the right path to success today, with no more wasted time.

Want to learn more about your options? Get in touch with us now. Call us on 1300 796 711 or email info@wkdigital.com.au to discuss your ideas – you’d be surprised at just how much marketing progress you can make with a small investment.

The Top 3 Customer Loyalty Tools You Can Use Today

Getting the most value out of every single customer is a huge challenge for every business. Very few organisations invest adequate resources into improving the customer journey. But for those that do, the payoff can be immense.

Customer loyalty is the cornerstone of success for many small businesses. It’s widely known that retention is far cheaper than acquisition. However, when it comes to retaining those valued clients, many business owners don’t know where to start.

Excellent customer service and a quality product simply won’t cut it in today’s competitive world. In order to keep your customers coming back, they need to benefit from doing business with you. This is where loyalty programs come in.

To save you some time and effort, we’ve put in the hours to find the best customer loyalty programs that money can buy. These may not be appropriate for every business, but they’ll certainly give you an idea of exactly what you need to do to get as much bang for your buck as possible from every customer.

Belly

Belly is one of the largest digital loyalty apps in the world. Integrating a huge array of features, it’s become one of the leading choices for small businesses across a range of industries.

Built on the experiences of thousands of small businesses, Belly emphasises data collection and personalised rewards systems to retain clients. Some of the top features of Belly include:

  • Immediate collection of customer info.
  • Simple, integrated email marketing campaigns.
  • Easy social media management (with a strong emphasis on customer acquisition and exposure).

Belly allows you to customise your own rewards programs to suit the needs of your customers. By using mass customer data, you can refine your rewards program to be even more effective over time.

Belly claims to increase customer visits by 54%, which is a significant amount for any business.

Spring Rewards

Spring Rewards bridges the gap between the online and the offline world. One of the standout features of Spring Rewards is the collection of credit card data, allowing your customers to transition between a physical presence in your store and simply shopping online.

Spring Rewards is a standout analytics platform. With real-time collection of spending data from your clients, Spring Rewards allows you to deliver customised incentives to existing customers, giving you the opportunity to increase the value of every single transaction.

The best part about Spring Rewards is its simplicity. With very little requirement for training and a simple setup, anyone can start using Spring Rewards. However, don’t underestimate it – if you gather enough data and segment your audience accurately, Spring Rewards can be a very powerful tool.

 

Spendgo

Spendgo is one of the market leaders for true customer journey tracking. Designed to add value to every step of the journey, Spendgo is a fantastic tool for really getting the most out of every touch point you have with your customers.

Boasting closed loop promotions which can be highly segmented and customised, and top-notch reporting, Spendgo is the way to go for anyone who wants to ensure they aren’t losing their customers’ interest.

One of the more powerful tools available with Spendgo is highly customised outbound campaigns via SMS and email. Once you have a client’s data, any activity they pursue on-site or instore only adds to the high level of customisation you can achieve.

Checking Out

Choosing the right customer loyalty program can be incredibly difficult. At the end of the day, every business has different needs and widely varying customer bases. Understanding your clients and the type of rewards they desire is key to choosing the right loyalty software for your business. Ultimately, there are handfuls of valid customer loyalty programs you could begin implementing today. All you need is a bit of time for research and implementation, you’ll be thanking yourself for doing it – and trust us; so will your customers.

What Are CRM’s and Why Are They Important?

A CRM or Customer Relationship Management system involves all the strategies, actions and technologies a business uses to handle their customer interactions and data. CRM software compiles information from multiple platforms and points of contact, into a single system database. We bet your head is spinning just from the concept of managing so much information. Aha! This is why you can employ a platform for the job! A cloud based CRM platform can be used singularly or as a package of multiple platforms that make up a provider’s entire CRM system. A business can use this technology to measure, analyse and improve their relationship with their customers. It sure is a handy tool to have in place for your sanity and ultimately your customers.

 

So Which Product Is Right for Your Business?

 

There are plenty of products available in the world of CRM and while we’d love to write the ultimate CRM guide, let’s just compare two of the leading SAAS (Software As A Service) platforms on the market currently. The Sales Cloud (Lightning Enterprise) package by Salesforce and Oracle Eloqua (Standard) package are two competing platforms and are both capable of impressive input possibilities, tracking and reporting.

 

Salesforce Sales Cloud manages the marketing, sales and customer support involved in customer interactions with a business. While, Oracle Eloqua is a marketing automation platform, which stores customer information and manages the lead generation process. We compared three key CRM components in each product to help you decide which software could be right for your business. Let’s dive in!

 

#1 User Friendliness

 

Both platforms offer multiple apps for mobile and email integration. Ease of use will really depend on your own preference for interface design. These products offer very different layouts so one of them should gel with your thought process and cognitive preferences.

 

If you appreciate a traditional and neatly designed interface then Salesforce could be your provider of choice. A user can move through tasks systemically. Though minor limitations may be found in the design of customisation of fields in areas like building reports and lead conversions.

 

Oracle Eloqua on the other hand has taken a more visual ‘mind-map’ design approach. This can be easier when building a program that can direct customers down different paths based on taking or not taking an action. But, if you aren’t comfortable with HTML coding this area may become complicated and require some practice. They do offer online training tutorials if you prefer innovative over traditional design.

 

Overall, you will need to take time to learn either software to get the most out of the technology and if you have a team that need to get on board with the CRM it’s a good idea to have them involved in the research phase too. After all, they will be the ones using it day in, day out.

 

#2 Sales Process Tracking

 

If you want to contain costs, both Salesforce and Oracle Eloqua offer a system of automated business processes and template emails that allow for easier customer direction and communication. Salesforce also allows access to more advanced sale forecasts and trends as well as customer recording and performance tracking through their Sales Cloud.

 

While Oracle Eloqua allows the user to personalise when organising campaigns to send to customers. The software provides important customer information and segmentation through tracking data like website visits and responses. This helps to build and manage more focused customer campaigns, and increase conversions and sales.

 

Although, according to technology review sites like TrustRadius and g2crowd there are also user concerns that the product’s reporting takes too long to set up and the data feedback received isn’t in-depth.  Important to note, users have access to monitor their sales tracking via mobile (on/offline) through either product.

 

#3 Pipeline Management

 

The Salesforce Sales Cloud offers a collaborating forecasting tool. This is a handy feature to turn on as it forecasts any opportunities for your business. The system analyses the data presented and predicts a forecast based on the end date of the opportunity. It’s also designed so that a sales representative can maintain a clear view of the status of an opportunity. There are nine opportunity stages listed in the system. This keeps the data clear and simple for everybody involved to read – even those of you who swear not to be linear thinkers.

 

Oracle Eloqua takes a different approach and focuses on tracking web activities throughout the sales cycle.  The system uses lead scores to identify and prioritise sales opportunities within the CRM as a way of forecasting for the business. Basically, Oracle has the ability to understand and report the customer engagements and pathways on your website which provides valuable insight for marketing and sales teams to collaborate and direct highly targeted campaigns.

 

Which Product Offers the Best CRM Components Overall?

 

It’s important to remember that no CRM is perfect, so consider what you need and the interface you prefer to use. Understand what your ultimate goal is for the CRM and be sure to include the feedback of your team. Another good idea is to seek the guidance of other business associates. Ask what they use, what they recommend and what they advise you avoid. When you leverage off the insights of others you will find that you will gauge a more holistic view of what your business needs and what it doesn’t.  Don’t forget, all CRM’s require some customisation so factor in how much time you will need to put in, to get it running the way you want and you’ll be able to narrow your search criteria even further. Take into consideration all of these factors and you’ll be closer to implementing the CRM of your dreams.

Domain Ownership: How to Keep Your Domain in YOUR Name

Kicking off your first website or online business is a huge challenge. There are countless pitfalls to avoid, and plenty of chances to make a mistake. Thankfully, thousands of people have trodden that path before.

Learning from the mistakes of others is a clever move. There are a number of steps to securing the full rights to your own domain name and website, and we’ve broken it down right here.

The Dos of Domain Name Ownership

  • Choose your own domain name.

This comes with the heavy caveat that you do so with advice from an expert that doesn’t have a vested interest. If you know someone who works in search engine optimisation (SEO), ask them for assistance choosing a name. If you don’t, do your own research or find a cheap freelancer with the basic knowledge to help you out (consider a site like Fiverr.com).

  • Definitely ensure that your details are accurate and kept up to date.

There are plenty of horror stories of people who have paid for their domains for several years, then got a new credit card that cannot be charged. If your email address is still active, that’s fine – most providers will be more than happy to chase you for payment. However, if it’s not, you’re in trouble.

  • Set up auto-renew.

Set up your account to auto-renew if your finances aren’t too tight. That way, you can be sure to stay in business. Some agencies will take care of this for you if the domain is registered with their account.

The Don’ts of Domain Name Ownership

  • Don’t entrust your domain name to someone who doesn’t deserve that trust.

Sometimes it’s a great option to allow your web agency to handle the entire process, from purchasing the domain name, to building your site and handling the ongoing hosting. However, it’s important to maintain some security. Reputable agencies will always hand your domain name back when you choose to move on.

  • Where possible, own it yourself, under your own account.

Your website is your online presence, and your domain is the front door. Agencies come with an immense amount of useful expertise, and should certainly be trusted to manage your account. However, much like a real estate agent, its best if you retain the ownership rights to your own property.

  • Be wary of letting your domain expire.

If you can, pay for a couple of years upfront. Register with an email that you regularly check. There is nothing more heartbreaking than losing control of a domain that you’ve invested in for several years, and being forced to shell out thousands of dollars to a reseller or, worse, a competitor. This is especially relevant in Australia, where despite the existence of legal barriers to registering and owning domain names unrelated to your business, the practice of domain-camping is widespread.

Tips for a Great Domain Name

When choosing your domain name, you want to get it right the first time. Once your site is indexed, attracting traffic and earning backlinks, you certainly don’t want to have to start over and go through the messy business of redirects and lost site value.

One of the most important things you need to consider is SEO. While Google applies considerably less weight to domain names nowadays, it can still provide you a significant boost in the early stages of your site. Use keywords related to your industry, location or business name.

Avoid unnecessary characters in your domain name. In other words, don’t make the mistake of hyphenating your business name. Keep it simple, and related to your business.

Buy either a .com domain or a local country-level domain, such as .com.au. There are advantages to more local domain names, especially as Google continues its industry-leading drive to deliver the most relevant, local content to people using their search engine.

The Upshot

Your domain name is absolutely essential to your continued online presence. In order to maintain a continued online presence, keep the domain in your name or work with an agency that you trust. Agency expertise is valuable, but your property is your property. You don’t give your accountant your power of attorney, so don’t give your agency the right to use and resell your domain name. If things ever go pear-shaped, you’ll be glad everything is in your name.