Have Google's recent changes to search and pay per click advertising gone too far? Anyone who is even slightly familiar with the search giant will know that they like to change things up – a lot! Some of their past changes have been good for small businesses trying to be found online: cleaning up search by penalising so-called Black Hat SEO link building tactics, doing away with thin content spam sites and improving Google My Business, are a few good examples.
Goodwill comes to an end
Recently, the goodwill towards small businesses may have come to an end. Firstly, they reduced the local business pack from 7 to 3, and just the other week they removed Adwords ads from the sidebar; Adwords Armageddon some are calling it. Fewer local business (Maps) spots & higher competition for fewer Adwords slots is driving up cost per click, and up to 4 ads showing above the search engines is making SEO pretty much redundant as the organic results are pushed further down the screen. The culmination of this assault on small business means getting found in Google is harder than ever.
But, perhaps, making it harder to get found in Google is the wake-up call many businesses need. There has been a tendency of late to rely on growth coming from new customers. After all, pay per click advertising has created an on-demand 24/7/365 client acquisition source. Making finding new clients so easy has made many businesses lazy.
I have found that most businesses pay little or no attention to existing clients at all (aside from perhaps sending out a ‘buy more stuff from me' type of weekly email), but that may need to change very soon.
It's not all doom and gloom, though. As the old ‘new' methods start getting more expensive and less effective, one logical place to find growth is from existing clients. Increasing average order value, average order frequency, and referrals is a smart way to find that growth, and with recent advances in marketing automation, it can be put on autopilot.
The email list
The email list is any business's biggest asset and so collecting the email addresses of leads, prospects, and clients is essential. Advancements in marketing automation are making building relationships with prospects and clients so much easier to do. Simply add a tiny bit of code to your website, add a tag to your sign-up forms and emails, and you have the basis for an automated marketing machine.
Here are the 3 automated email sequences all businesses should have in place to grow their sales:
Welcome, Lead nurture, & promotion for first purchase.
Transaction Followup, Cart Abandonment, New Customers, Repeat Customers, Renewals / Reorders, Service Alerts, Upcoming Events, Special Promotion, Rewards Programme, Win back, Page Triggers, Birthday, Retention.
Hasn't bought in X number of days, Hasn't opened or clicked in X number of days.
These email sequences are triggered automatically in a variety of ways, either by visiting certain web pages, clicking on certain links, and so on.
The best affordable email platform to do this is Active Campaign and the most amazing thing about this service is that you get all this automation power from around £6.50 per month (up to 500 subscribers).
If you'd like to chat about how this can help your business feel free to get in touch.