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A Case Study for Customer Surveys

Have you ever considered conducting a customer survey for business? You might think it would be a waste of your time but consider this statistic from Zendesk: “96% of consumers don’t bother to complain, making consumer surveys an excellent way for organizations to better understand their customers’ problems.” Instead of making assumptions or viewing your business from the owner or management perspective, go directly to the people who affect your bottom line: your customers. I’ve worked with several stores on crafting and maintaining customers service surveys for both their overall customer service and specifically for their online shopping programs. I used my experience working with these stores to develop a case study of how and why to create a customer service survey. To read the full case study, click HERE. Here is a quick summary of what I cover in the case study: When to Use Customer Surveys Consider running an ongoing general customer service survey so your customers always have the option to provide feedback. I highly recommend running a separate customer service survey for your online shopping program,…

Audience

Talking to Your Audience Instead of Yourself (IABC Summit Breakout Session Recap)

I recently attended the KC IABC Business Communicators Summit and one of the breakout sessions was called Talking to Your Audience (Instead of Yourself), presented by Priya Nibert, (communications consultant, Lockton Benefit Group). While the session was directed at business communicators, it’s an important lesson for businesses, in general, when planning marketing strategy. Don’t prioritize communication over the message to the audience. One size fits all communication never works.   Nibert emphasized that connecting to your audience is the key to communicating to your audience. Stop talking to yourself and prioritize the audience, message, and vehicle. Start by asking yourself the following questions: What’s in it for the audience? Is your message clear? What is the best way to deliver that message? First, start with your audience. Determine who they are and get to know them. You can do this a number of ways. An easy way is to pull demographic data from digital platforms like your social media accounts and your website. You can also conduct a customer survey. For grocery retailers, don’t make assumptions based on a limited…

How Amazon’s Update Impacts Your Email Marketing Strategy

This past December, Amazon announced a variety of new features to its very popular product, Amazon Echo Speakers. Currently, the voice assistant, Alexa, can play your favorite song, play your podcast, make phone calls, order items from Amazon and more. Now your Amazon Echo Speakers can read your emails. According to CNBC, this feature is being tested in the United States and only supports email address from Gmail, Outlook.com, Hotmail and Live.com. This type of access will allow consumers quick access to their emails without actually looking at their phone, laptop, or tablet etc. Why should you care? Think of this update as your email being transformed into an audiobook or a podcast. Visual items like images, formatting and even emojis are completely out of the picture (no pun intended). Which leaves just the context to stand out among several emails.  The ultimate goal is for the recipient to keep reading. The next best thing would be to at least have the recipient save it for later. How to Succeed To accomplish this, focus on your subject line. A captivating…

You've Got Mail

Communicating Professionally with Email

AWG held a lunch and learn this week titled “Communicating Professionally”. Those of us who attended received many good takeaways from the session. We even had a chance to partner up and practice listening techniques and demonstrate what NOT to do. I would like to share some tips we were given on using email as a form of communication in business. Be concise and to the point. Your reader should not have to scroll down the page to read a single email. This of course is acceptable if they are reading an entire email string in conversation view. When responding to someone’s email, answer all questions. Have you ever been excited to get a response you have eagerly been waiting for only to find out all your questions were not answered? If you don’t know the answer to all of them, refer to someone who can help. Pre-empt relevant questions if you are able to. This will provide efficiency for your reader. Use proper spelling, grammar and punctuation. I don’t think I need to expand on this, but I will. Improper…

emfluence And Then Some 2018 Recap

I attended the And Then Some conference hosted by emfluence on August 24. It was a day full of ways to improve your email marketing. After the conference they sent a list of “10 things to do post-conference.” Not only is this a great example of email marketing, but it makes my job recapping the conference easier, so I really appreciated it.   #1 GDPR – The GDPR deadline came and went a couple months ago. The biggest thing that has come from it so far is that no one was truly prepared for the requirements. No more checking permission boxes automatically. Tell people exactly what information you will be collecting from them. Don’t collect more information than you need. If you can make these changes right away that will help a lot. These regulations are coming to the US, so it would be smart to get ahead of it. #2 Post-Sale Series – If you make a sale, add a new subscriber, or anything similar add that address to a workflow to send them a series of emails explaining…

Social Media Giveaways Breakfast

Social Media Giveaways & Contests (Recap)

I know what you’re thinking. “Didn’t Melanie just tell us that we can’t have contests on Facebook anymore?” Yes. Yes, I did. However, the latest Social Media Club – KC breakfast, “Social Media Contests and Giveaways,” was about more than the “Like, Comment, Share” Facebook contests I was referring to in that blog post. During this Q&A panel, Kasim Hardaway (founder, TKC Agency) and Brandon Painter (content manager, Barkley), discussed the various ways you can use contests and giveaways on all social media (not just Facebook) to build a following, gather information and analytics, and even generate content from your customers! Here are some of the highlights. Be Prepared, Have a Plan & Communicate Kasim recommends having a clear strategy for your social media contest or giveaway. Don’t have a contest just for the sake of having one. Do you want to increase your followers on a social platform? Do you want to collect email addresses for your email database? Do you want to gather user-generated content (UGC)? Determine your end goal for the contest and start from there. Kasim…

Grocer Pod – Episode 7

After a short break we are back with a new name – Grocer Pod. The name may be new, but our mission is the same. This month we are talking email with David Cacioppo from emfluence (3:25). Then Marie Lewis stops by to talk food safety (14:16). Finally, Nicholas Segura and Ruby Montoya from Segura Marketing join me to discuss marketing to the Hispanic community (24:50).  

Subject Lines, Like Headlines, Are The Only Thing You Read

I attended the Digital Summit – Kansas City on May 16-17. Over two days I was able to see presentation on everything from podcasts to SEO from a variety of industry experts. The highlight for me was a four hour workshop on email. Honestly, I could write 10 blog posts about what I learned from Michael Barber. Perhaps I will in the future. Today we focus on subject lines. I hate to break it to you, but most people aren’t opening your emails. That means the subject line is often the only part of your campaign that anyone reads. They can quite literally make or break an email marketing campaign. How much thought are you putting into subject lines? We all know that the audience is busy and needs a reason to open your email. Should you include prices? For a long time we thought prices were a one way ticket the spam folder. Not only is that not true anymore, but having a price in the subject line increases click-through-rates by 246 percent. “Worth” and “deal” increase 134 and…

Optimizing Omni-Channel Grocery Shopping

Marketing Communications Strategies for Independent Grocery Retailers If you’ve read my past blog posts or follow me on social media, you know I’ve been busy with graduate school for the past three years in addition to working at AWG. Good news: after a full year of researching, writing and finally defending, I have competed my thesis and graduated with my master’s degree from Mizzou! So what does this mean for you? I’ve condensed my 80-page thesis down to a quick summary of what I learned. The What The lovely title of this blog post is also the title of my thesis. In layman’s terms: I studied how independent grocery retailers (like AWG members) can successfully market and communicate their online grocery shopping offerings to their customers to secure sales online and in-stores. I did this through marketing email communications. The Why Besides the fact that I work at AWG each day and have a vested interest in helping our retailers, omni-channel grocery shopping (online and in-store shopping options) is constantly evolving and grabbing headlines in the news. For example: “By…