The ‘ideal’ customer is one that is so enamored with your brand that he/she will buy just about anything you sell. Alas, we live in a world of savvy consumers who are no longer anchored to a single company. If they find something better, they will grab it with both hands! There is however, an ideal customer profile which you can use to boost leads and ultimately, sales.
An ideal customer profile is a description of a fictitious entity (this can be an individual, NPO, government agency or company) that gets significant value from your products/services, and also provides your company with value.
5 Ways the Ideal Customer Provides Value for You
- They refer you to other individuals/businesses.
- They give you access to resources that enable your business to grow.
- They become advocates for your business.
- They are easy to deal with and don’t require a great deal of customer support.
- They provide testimonials you can use in future marketing campaigns.
5 Ways You Provide Value for Them
- You help reduce their expenses.
- You alleviate specific pain points.
- You raise their productivity (in the case of a business).
- You enable them to become more successful.
- You solve a significant problem.
3 Quick & Easy Tips to Create an Ideal Customer Profile
1 – Find Your Most Satisfied Customers
Most marketing experts believe you should look at your ten most satisfied customers with common attributes. These could be a geographical location, revenue, or business type & number of employees in the case of businesses. Then, you should get in contact with these customers and find out how much they are paying for your solutions, and how much value they are getting out of it.
Each customer should be deriving significantly greater value from your product than what they paid for it. In other words, if they pay $150 a month, they should receive at least $300 worth of value.
2 – Prioritize Customers Likely to Stay with You
Try to avoid selling to customers unlikely to get the most out of your products. Such consumers will be dissatisfied which doesn’t bode well for your reputation. They also take up a lot of support time and could cost you more than they pay.
3 – Find New Ideal Customers
By now, you should know exactly what you’re looking for after conversing with existing ideal customers. Your marketing team will be able to generate an increased number of worthy leads and bear in mind that future ideal customers should:
- Be ready to buy what you’re selling.
- Be willing make a change and invest time and money to get up to speed with your products/services.
- Have the ability to make a purchase today.
After defining your ideal customer profile, analyze the way your sales, marketing, and development teams process leads matching the profile. To succeed, you need lots of internal data which offer clues on the type of message that has worked in the past along with the channels used by customers to locate your brand. Finally, contact your best customers and find out:
- How they found your brand?
- What makes them choose to work with you?
- Why they continue to remain loyal to your brand?
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Add new leads to your existing list.
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For business to business leads, data is sourced from U.S. Yellow Page directories, new business filings, daily utility connections, press releases, corporate websites, annual reports, user-generated feedback, and more.
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Use the Response Wise Email Marketing Platform to Build Engagement with Sophisticated Enterprise-Class List Management. Utilize powerful email campaign design tools that are easy to use to build beautiful email campaigns & powerful automation tools to handle the heavy lifting for you!
Combined with our powerful CRM, we provide all the tools you need to push your sales & marketing efforts to the next level!
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When it comes to finding your target audience, locating the right communication channel(s) is a key element of making a sales breakthrough. After all, what’s the point of laboriously segmenting your group if you don’t pay attention to how they like to interact? A prime example is blindly sending out marketing emails to prospects that practically live on Twitter!
In the last few years, business owners are feeling pressured into using every available communication channel. In reality, you’ll achieve a greater level of success if you’re disciplined about the channels you utilize. By doing this, you’ll create a consistent marketing message that reaches your target audience in the right way at the correct time in the sales cycle.
The days of splitting your audience into broad groups are long gone. Without detailed information about who, how, and why, customers purchase products and services, you’ll have no shot at competing with the big boys. You shouldn’t necessarily forget traditional media because even in 2018, radio and the printed press offer opportunities for small local businesses in particular.
It wasn’t so long ago that hypersegmentation was classified as the Holy Grail of marketing but today, it practically mandatory. Your company must utilize data warehousing to ensure your marketing team is on the same page with the ability to effectively deploy the firm’s most recent and valid data.
Once your marketing team has identified the different data sources available, you must use a common platform across the firm to achieve an integrated and coordinated approach. With hypersegmentation, you can effectively create limitless ‘markets of one’ so each customer feels valued.
Switching on the Right Channels
The process of hypersegmentation should enable you to determine the right communication channels, and don’t assume everyone wants to be contacted via social media. For instance, if you are a local business targeting a local audience, you don’t need to run a national online search campaign. Believe it or not, the right communication channel in this instance could be something as ‘old-fashioned’ as a local or regional newspaper.
Your hypersegmentation efforts should not only help you identify your target audience, but it will also provide you with an excellent idea of how each person would prefer to be contacted. To be fair, if you’re in any doubt as to what to do, set up social media accounts and engage with your audience. It is a cost-effective way to get started and it allows for almost instant communication.
Once you have researched your target audience’s preferred social media channels, you can encourage them to ‘follow’ you, and add social media buttons to your company website (if you don’t have a website in 2018 then I don’t know what to tell you!) Start asking questions! There is no better way to learn than by finding out answers directly from your target audience. For example, find out the publications they read such as blogs, websites and newspapers, and try to get your business featured in them. Once you know where to go and how to communicate, making sales will become a whole lot easier.
An easy way to add content from YouTube or Vimeo
The new video content block allows you to easily share your video content in your email campaigns. You only need to copy and paste the URL to your video from your YouTube or Vimeo channel, and Response Wise will do the rest: it will automatically grab the cover image for the video, overlay a Play icon you can customize on top of it and automatically link it to your chosen video content.
How it works
You will now find a new “Video” tile in the “Content” panel. Drag it into your design to get started.
The “Content properties” section will ask you to provide a video URL from YouTube or Vimeo, the popular video hosting services that we currently support.
Once you insert a valid YouTube or Vimeo video URL, the content block in the editing panel will display the cover image for the video with a Play icon overlayed on top of it. You can edit the type, color, and size of the Play icon to change the way it looks.
Select the icon type that fits your design…
… choose the color that looks best with your cover image…
… and pick a size. You’re all done!
Notes about embedding video in email
This feature does not embed the actual video in the email, but rather links to it in a smart way.
The reason why the actual video content is not embedded into the message is that, unfortunately, it doesn’t work very well. Many email clients do not support embedded video yet, and Apple has been “back and forth” on video support in iOS over the years.
Additionally, many emails are opened on mobile devices and viewing videos on a mobile device can cause substantial data usage in addition to a poor user experience due to the quality of the data connection.
While a large percentage of companies have used email marketing over the years, the quality of their campaigns varied markedly. Too many businesses have been happy to utilize a fairly sub-standard generic email strategy but consumers won’t accept this anymore and are only interested in companies that provide information tailored to their specific needs. As a result, improved data and personalization are the way forward and we explain more below.
Marketing in Real Time
Email marketers are starting to understand the importance of triggered campaigns and are analyzing the behavior of customers to ensure they are sent more personalized emails. As mobile Internet use has risen exponentially in recent times, marketers know that their target audience regularly checks their emails while on the move. Therefore, a real time marketing email based on a recent event or news story is probably going to be read since it is still in the consumer’s mind.
Context & Behavior
The rise of Big Data has helped with the evolution of email marketing since marketers now know when and where someone will open a message as well as having an understanding of the type of content recipients are likely to consume. If you know when a recipient will open your email, it can make a world of difference to your click-through rate. You can find out this information by tracking previous opens, segmenting them and applying geographical location data.
With more data in the email channel, you can send more specific emails which of course improves the personalization experience for recipients. The better tailored your emails, the more engagement you can expect.
Email Is Going Up The Funnel
Traditionally, email marketing was deemed to be best suited for use at the bottom of the sales funnel since the focus was on conversion but this will change in the future. Companies should be using emails at the top of the funnel as a branding tool. Once you learn how to optimize email at both ends of the funnel, you will end up with improved results on your campaigns. Since much of email marketing is automated now, you can concentrate on creating great content since the technical aspect almost takes care of itself.
Although mobile digital channels may take some of email’s traction, email marketing is set to remain as the #1 method of successfully reaching your target audience to provide them with information they want to hear.
For all the talk about ‘customer loyalty’ being an essential part of marketing, few companies ever launch successful loyalty programs. Most consumers see through transparent loyalty points/cards programs and believe it isn’t worth their while. So what are the real barriers to loyalty and more importantly, how do you overcome them? Read on to find out more below.
1 – The Feeling Of Being Overlooked
Existing customers quickly get fed up with companies offering great deals to ‘new’ customers only. This is an acquisition program that alienates existing customers and usually ends in disaster. Remember, it takes 10+ new and uncommitted customers to make up for losing a loyal customer. To overcome this, simply offer special rewards for loyal customers; perhaps offer freebies or discounts once they buy a certain amount of your merchandise.
2 – Biased Data
It is very hard to collect data that is representative of your customer base without showing bias to one segment. Fail to engage the core customer with your loyalty program by making it difficult to sign up or utilize your card etc. means you won’t get a complete picture of your customers. A multi-channel approach is critical and you also need to get end-to-end behavioral data while also ensuring customer preference is subject to relevance.
3 – Using Customer Profitability As A KPI
Relying on customer profitability to discover their value is likely to be an inaccurate mode of measurement. For instance, is a customer who makes one purchase of $1,000 in two years more or less valuable than one who makes 10 purchases worth $800 in the same period? While the first customer spent more, the second customer is probably more ‘loyal’ and likely to use you when he makes a big purchase. You need to get a better understanding of customer ‘behavior’ to drive profit.
4 – Leaving It Up To Marketing
Most companies believe its marketing department is responsible for driving loyalty. However, for real success, only businesses where the CEO and executives are involved will succeed at becoming a genuinely customer-orientated organization which ensures the customer is #1.
5 – Opting For Loyalty Programs & Not A Loyalty Approach
In simple terms, a program can be part of a loyalty approach but a true loyalty approach is not part of any ‘program’. Instead, this approach should be the way you do business as your organization is dedicated to pleasing customers in a variety of ways. Companies that rely on loyalty programs will be dismissed as opportunistic whereas businesses with a loyalty approach will be deemed as ‘genuine’ by customers and this will lead to long-term loyalty.
In order to be a success, it is essential for a business to ask ‘how are we loyal to our customers’? To enjoy customer loyalty, you must place the customer at the center of your marketing approach instead of just adding in programs as an afterthought.
If you are a regular Response Wise reader then you’ll already know that the ROI earned from email marketing can be astronomical. According to a report by VentureBeat, email marketing could provide marketers with an ROI of $38 for every $1 spent! Clearly, this will not be the case for every single email marketer but it does provide an insight into the kind of success it is possible to achieve.
Email marketing is constantly evolving so you need to stay on your toes to keep up with these changes. What is working for you right now may not be effective 12 months down the line for example. However, it is possible to enjoy fantastic results by making a few simple additions to each email with the goal of optimizing them.
Segment To Provide Value
Your subscribers could be receiving dozens of marketing emails a day so creating a generically designed email with a less than compelling message spells doom for your campaign. Deliverability rates tend to suffer when subscribers believe the emails are irrelevant to their needs so you need to segment your list to ensure the right person receives the right message.
You can segment according to age, gender, location and interests among other things. No matter how well written your email is, if it isn’t about a topic that interests the recipient, it provides no value and is therefore of no use to them.
Include Several CTAs
Adding a single Call-To-Action at the end of an email won’t cut it. A cleverly designed marketing email will contain multiple CTAs that flow seamlessly within the content and don’t seem overly ‘salesy’. The fact is, the more links there are to click, the more likely it is that readers will click on one.
Your emails should contain content that is easily ‘sharable’ across different marketing channels with special attention paid to social media sites. All it takes is a handful of brand advocates to transform a company’s fortunes and when you give these loyalists the option of sharing your content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc., good things will happen.
When designing your emails, make sure there are clearly defined areas where subscribers can share the text via social media and email.
Ultimately, the success of your email marketing campaign will lie in your ability to effectively segment your target audience and create content that benefits them. Yet there are a couple of simple additions that can really boost your click-through rate and this will inevitably lead to more sales.
You’ve received them from major retailers in the past. We ALL have. Now YOU can send them to your customers as well using our easy and, best of all, FREE dynamic bar code system! Bar codes make it easy to send redeemable special offers to your customers & members. Couple them with countdown timers and prompt more action!
Have a special discount or promotion going on this month? Get more feet in your door! Send your subscribers an email with a bar code they must redeem inside your location!
Need a way for your on-site staff to access a member’s account and allow them to quickly take advantage of their membership rewards? Simplify the process with a bar code!
The Response Wise system allows you to encode any information you want into a traditional bar code that can be scanned by an on-site POS system. Bar codes can contain things like customer ID & account numbers, special offer codes, coupon codes and much more! Gone are the days of remembering or having to write down long account numbers or coupon codes. Make things easier for your customers and watch your foot traffic and ROI improve.
Here’s how they work:
No new interfaces to learn. No hassles. Just some simple & intuitive URL syntax is all that’s required.
To generate a simple bar code all you need to do is place an image into your campaign with the SRC below:
The %%offer_code%% section of the URL is the custom field in your contact list that contains the data to be translated into a bar code. The custom field is “offer_code” and the double %’s tell the Response Wise system to replace this with the unique value belonging to each individual contact.
Without any trailing parameters in the URL the system will generate the most basic bar code. See below:
Here are some examples of how you can customize the bar codes further:
Make the bar code taller using "&size=60" at the end of the URL:
Make the bar code thicker using "&sizefactor=2" at the end of the URL:
Add the value of the bar code in text using "&print=true" at the end of the URL:
There are a few more options available but these are the most common that you will use. Let’s take a look at how this works inside an example rewards email.
Once the tokens (%%First Name%%, for example) are all set inside the campaign and the recipients inside the target contact list have values added for the custom fields First Name, reward_code & playerid you can send the campaign.
Recipients will see the version below when they view the email in their inbox:
If you have any questions about how the bar codes work please feel free to contact us by opening a support ticket or clicking on the Chat button in the bottom right corner of your browser!
In the meantime…
Getting customer feedback is critical not only for your marketing efforts but also for the future of your business. Understanding how your customer base views your brand, products and services not only enables you to increase the level of quality on offer, it also allows you to determine the products and services you need to introduce into the marketplace in order to keep customers happy.
In other words, the humble customer survey may well be the single best tool for collecting marketing data and we provide you with more crucial information on surveys below.
5 Reasons To Use Online Surveys
- Saves Time & Effort: You don’t need to lift a finger once you send out the emails since your customers provide the information.
- Easy Analysis: There is an abundance of software on the market that enables you to quickly and easily create charts and graphs to analyze the data.
- Honest Answers: As they are protected by the cloak of anonymity, customers can provide you with their true feelings about your company and what it offers (be prepared to learn some home truths).
- Company Value: Once you know what customers want, it is possible to confidently make changes to your business that places you ahead of your rivals.
- Marketing Strategy Information: Customer surveys give you all the data you could ever need when it comes to launching a brand new marketing strategy whether it involves content, social media or email marketing.
4 Ways To Improve Customer Surveys
- Responsive Design: Your survey emails must be responsive to all devices because at this moment in time, almost 20% of all surveys are opened on a mobile device; a number certain to increase.
- Choose The Right Template Design: There are countless great template designs available for surveys so pick the one that best suits your brand. It’s a good idea to choose a color/pattern that is close in appearance to your logo for brand consistency.
- Use A Drag & Drop Editor: This makes the entire creation process so much easier. An intuitive drag and drop editor is fun to use and saves a lot of time.
- Personalization: Personalized emails increase conversion rates by at least 10% so make sure you use an online survey that is integrated with your contact list. The feedback you receive can then be stored in your company’s email database. Then it is possible to create segments and personalize each email.
In order to provide customers with relevant email campaigns, you need to discover their needs, desires and concerns and personalize accordingly. There are few better ways to receive this information than through online customer surveys.
There are some exciting new features supporting Dynamic Images added to the Drag & Drop editor available within the Response Wise platform. What’s a Dynamic Image? You ask…
Dynamic images are images that change depending on one or more values that are “passed” to the system that delivers them. The variables are custom field tags (%%FirstName%%, for example) inserted into the URL, and are replaced with actual values (e.g. the ID of a customer, the email of the recipient, the name of the person…) at the time the email message is viewed.
The link to the image is no longer a static URL like this one…
… but rather a URL that contains some variables, such as an email, a customer ID, a date, etc.
The variables are custom fields placed into the URL, and are replaced with actual values contained within your contact lists on a per-recipient basis (e.g. the First Name of a customer, the email of the recipient, the customer ID…) at the time the email is sent or the landing page is rendered for viewing.
Some cool examples of dynamic images include:
- personalized cards
- countdown timers
- dynamic ads
- product recommendations
The list goes on and on but let’s take a look at a few of these examples.
Personalized birthday cards
How can you send a birthday card to thousands of customers, via email, each personalized with the customer’s first name? With dynamic images, it’s easy to do. There are services that can generate images “on the fly”, personalized with the customer’s name. Niftyimages is great for this option.
Setting this up becomes a piece of cake for users of the Drag & Drop editor.
A hardcoded name (“Allan”) is used in the URL (i.e. the “placeholder” URL), whereas a variable (“%%FirstName%%”) is used in the dynamic URL, to be replaced at send time by the name of the recipient of the image. The only stipulation being, of course, that you must have your contact’s First Names loaded into a custom field on the contact list you intend to send the email to. But even if you don’t have everyone’s first name you can still specify default text, such as “Friend” to be displayed in the event that a contact does not have a First Name linked to it.
Dynamic countdown timers
Another great application for dynamic images is countdown timers. Here you will be passing in the Dynamic URL the date of an event, the time of a new store’s grand opening, the date and time a promotion expires… you name it. The system on the other side will automatically generate a GIF animation that will look like a countdown timer, signaling the time remaining to the event. Response Wise provides you with the tools to create & send your emails and there are many services that you can use for this purpose. Niftyimages again, but also CountdownMail and others that will work together with the Response Wise system.
A placeholder image can be used in the URL while you design the email message, so you know exactly how the end result will look like. You can either host this image on the Response Wise platform, your own website or use a default image from Niftyimages or CountdownMail.
You can also use dynamic images to turn your emails into a revenue producer, if you have a large audience and are open to the idea of hosting third-party ads. Companies like LiveIntent provide a quality solution for publishers that want to monetize newsletters, blog digests, etc. Response Wise gives you the tools to build & send your emails that contain the dynamic ads discussed above.
Typically you will need to pass a few variables to LiveIntent, including the recipient’s email. They will help you configure the Dynamic URL, which you will then simply need to enter into the corresponding field in the Response Wise Drag & Drop editor.
Frequently asked questions about dynamic images
What happens if I add a Dynamic URL but leave the URL field empty?
The Dynamic URL field is only available when an image file has been selected for that image content block. In other words, the URL field cannot be empty.
What happens if I enable the dynamic image but leave the Dynamic URL field empty?
When the Drag & Drop generates the HTML of your email, it will use the static image as usual, ignoring the dynamic settings.
Can the dynamic URL entirely be a text placeholder, like %%MyDynURL%% instead of https://www.responsewise.com?someVariable=%%MyDynURL%%?
Yes, there is no need to add the protocol or other URL related items as it’s already provided by the Response Wise platform. In many cases, though, you will use a URL to some service, and pass some variables as part of the URL in the form of custom fields, which will be used by that service (like Niftyimages) to create or personalize the image that will be served to your recipient.
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