Even A Small Flaw Is Memorable

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A small detail can taint even the most stellar first impression.

We may chuckle at a video of an impeccably coifed high-profile actress on the red carpet, trailing toilet paper from her designer stilettos. Or smirk quietly when a capable but overbearing colleague grandstands at a team meeting, arms waving and mouth open, the evidence of his spinach salad lunch dotting his teeth.

The seemingly flawless 12th floor ocean-view condo might be similarly humbled by the aromas and early morning noise from the fish processing plant directly below. And similarly, the perfect basket of fresh raspberries is marred by the green fuzz found beneath the top layer.

Small flaw, big impact

While our general impression of the exquisitely dressed actress or the beautiful condo may be positive, often it is the blemish that becomes memorable. (more…)


20 eCommerce Pointers For Your Online Store

For sale

Retail in the Amazon era ain’t for sissies. Shifts in consumer buying habits challenge both brick and mortar stores and online stores alike. Even with support from national campaigns to buy local, preserve downtowns and support independent retailers, competing with the behemoth requires dedication, creativity and resilience. Not to mention patience.

If your online store is underperforming, review these 20 eCommerce pointers.

Silence isn’t golden … meager store traffic 

  1. Don’t ask, won’t know: Create a simple online survey to learn which products your customers are interested in, while also increasing awareness of your eCommerce store. Publicize the survey on your social media channels, website and through your email marketing lists. Create buzz with an online store credit prize for a random winner — and then promote the winner for additional visibility.
  2. Different strokes for different folks: Have a brick and mortar presence also? Cross-channel promotions can lift your sales in both channels. Activate online promotions when your retail store is closed and reward in-store purchases with a coupon towards an online purchase. Advertise your online store in your shop window and at point of sale.
  3. Beat the social drum (consistently): Apply a disciplined approach to drive store traffic using your social channels. Start with frequent and consistently scheduled product-focused posts to build awareness, then utilize social analytics to identify the best-performing posts to boost or promote. Determine the ideal demographic and adjust your ad targeting accordingly. Avoid general messaging like “shop our online store” — instead, create experiential posts that illustrate products in use, demonstrating how they fit into your customers’ lives.
  4. Play games: Try a playful approach like a scavenger hunt with answers on your eCommerce site. Share in-store and on social and email channels to generate participation. Reward the winner with a discount code for the online store. After the contest ends, capture the long tail with posts that highlight the winner and their product.
  5. Roll out the red carpet: Welcome all new email subscribers with a limited duration coupon for the online store. Set up an autoresponder to send a reminder email a few days prior to expiration of the coupon.



Turning Lemons Into Lemonade

Make lemonade from lemons


Messed up? Make lemonade.

We’ve all been there. You check your work once, twice, three times … you read it aloud, ask a trusted employee to review it, save it and give it a final review first thing in the morning with a fresh brain and rested eyes. You pronounce it ready and emphatically click send.

And then: Nooooo! You see the spelling mistake, the missing word, the broken hyperlink. Or something worse, like the price that was supposed to be introductory — but you forgot to add the disclaimer.

Sometimes it’s not our fault; it’s one bloody auto-correct tool or another, thinking it knows better than we do, sneakily messing with our words.

Even the most eagle-eyed among us can miss a typo. So stop beating yourself up, accept that mistakes happen, and make lemonade from lemons. Read on for a few “lemonade recipe” examples.  (more…)


Canned Content Is For The Birds

Nearly identical birds

With canned content, your business is nearly indistinguishable from your competitor’s.

There are times when it’s really hard to bite your tongue. I had one of those moments during a recent conversation with a new client. While discussing their current marketing tactics and how we could improve their effectiveness, the client mentioned that they use email marketing to stay in touch with a large list of past clients and contacts. When I probed, she explained, “We subscribe to this great service which provides us industry-related content that we share to our email lists automatically. It’s really easy!”

My response? First, a deep breath; then count one, two, three.  (more…)