At ReachLocal, we love to hear what our customers have to say about our online marketing services. But more importantly, we want you to hear all the great ways that we have helped their business so you know you're in good hands when you choose ReachLocal for your Internet Marketing.
Construction and Remodeling Company Gets a Full-Time Marketing Service
Memorable Review Quote: “The main benefit to us working with ReachLocal is that when you’re running a business, you like to spend your time running the business and not checking to see which search terms are doing better and which aren’t, and managing all that. That can be a full-time job.” -Jim Rafferty, Vice President of Sales and Marketing
Gold & Silver Merchant Increases Total Revenues with Web Presence Optimization
Memorable Review Quote:"ReachLocal stepped in, picked new keywords for me, made sure my script was all correct, linked me with other things, integrated my Web Presence as far as social media, and just really took me to the next level." -Sean Miles, Owner
Home and Commercial Services Company Receives More Phone Calls
Memorable Review Quote:"I've seen the reports where I can see the numbers of calls that we're getting, and I've heard the phone calls. I get so many phone calls as a result of the traffic ReachLocal drives in all of my campaigns." –Les Stobart, Marketing Director
Dentistry Practice Gets Found in More Places Online
Memorable Review Quote: “ReachLocal has provided us a service of expanding the number of people who come to our website, expanding the exposure, and putting us in places that my website hasn’t been able to get to.” –Dr. Stanley L. Wendt, Jr., Owner
To hear what other customers are saying about ReachLocal, subscribe to our YouTube channel which features testimonials, educational videos about online advertising and social media, as well as spotlights on some of our most popular online marketing services.
Written by: Tamara Weintraub who helps equip small business owners with information about local online advertising, social media marketing, and more as a blogger for ReachCast and ReachLocal.
For more information on how you can start your internet advertising, contact TeamBishop today. Dawn Bishop and Leslie Whittaker have helped hundreds of local Orlando businesses establish a dominate web presence and generate high quality leads for their business.
According to Jeff Haden, BNET Contributor, thinking like this is a mistake. Jeff says, “you should almost always spend more to acquire new customers than you think, especially if you can land the right customers.”
Like any other business investment, you should think of customer acquisition costs as a true investment in your business, not just a cost that drains your bank account. Customer acquisition costs are an investment intended to “generate a reasonable shot-term return and a significant long-term return” states Haden. This is not something that you tweak every month just to make your overall expense budget “work.”
Haden uses himself and his photography business as an example on a new approach to looking at your marketing budget and why you need to spend more to acquire new customers than you actually think.
“We’ll use me as an example. I’m a ghostwriter and I also photograph weddings. (If you’re curious why I do both, this is why.) To keep things simple, assume we spend $5,000 a year on sales, we book 20 weddings a year, and the average price of a wedding package is $4,000. Quick math:
Sales cost per transaction: $250
Sales cost as a % of sales: 6.25%
Are we happy with those results? Let’s start by calculating whether we generate a reasonableshort-term return on our sales investment; the definition of “reasonable” is the minimum we’re willing to make. We add all our fixed and variable costs (including cost of sales) and spread them across the 20 weddings. Say we want, at minimum, to net 20% on each wedding; if we do, we’re content — and shouldn’t spend more on sales, right?”
Wrong, states Haden. Don’t limit your thinking to only the first sale amount that you make from a customer. Instead, think of the big picture. In Haden’s case, in addition to the typical wedding package, they often get far more sales from that one customer than the initial transaction. For example, Haden states the following as additional revenue they most likely make from each wedding package they sell.
On average, couples spend an extra $500 per wedding (more albums, extra photographer time, additional photos, etc…).
Family and friends typically order photos and albums generating an additional $600 per wedding on average.
Couples often contact them years later for family portraits, sessions with children, etc…
About 70% of their bookings come from referrals from past clients.
And how much does Haden spend on those additional sales – zero. He’s already spent the money to acquire the customer so those additional sales and referrals are, in effect, free. And if you add in just the post-wedding sales ($500 from couples and $600 from families) bumping the average wedding package sale price to $5,100 their cost of sale reduces to 4.9% from 6.25% and increases their overall profit margin.
Continuing to look at the big picture, “each booking is the gift that keeps on giving, since over half the [they] get new bookings through referrals, which further reduces [their] selling costs.”
After all these factors are taken into account, particular the additional revenue that comes in after the initial sale, what does Haden spend to acquire new customers?
Almost nothing. A bit of website expense and some labor when potential client call to inquire. Why? Because he spent a lot in the early years to land clients and because he spent more and targeted a reasonable profit level per wedding because of the following factors:
He knew upon doing a great job, clients would purchase additional photos and albums.
That after doing a great job clients would contact him in the future for more jobs.
And if he continued to provide great service, his clients would refer him to others.
Haden’s logic applies to your business. “Very few customer relationships, regardless of the industry, are one-off, unrepeatable events.” Let’s say you own a restaurant: if a new customer returns at least two times, shouldn’t you be willing to spend more to acquire th
at customer since you’ll spread their acquisition cost over three or more visits?
So, how do you determine what you should spend?
First, determine the reasonable short-term return you are willing to accept. Depending upon your preferences, reasonable can be as low as your break-even point – that is as long as the likelihood for future business is high so your high initial costs are offset by future revenues.
Once you have established the reasonableshort-term investment, focus on ways you can expand your products and services. And, most importantly, consistently deliver great service. Combining both of these allows you to further leverage the value of an acquired customer.
Haden sums up his article with this very compelling and incredibly important thought, “above all, don’t see customer acquisition costs as simply a cost or line item. Analyze the big picture and view the cost of sales as an investment.”
Basically, “if spending more returns more…what are you waiting for?”
What are your thoughts and policies when it comes to determining your budget for customer acquisition?
I’ve got some news for you. Your business has already opened itself up for negative reviews. The mere act of opening your business has opened you up to negative reviews. And there’s really nothing you can do to prevent reviews from being written. Sure, you could refuse to claim your Google Places page or Yelp business profile. You could refuse to create a strong web presence for your business but that doesn’t mean I can’t go out and leave a negative review about you.
Like it or not, people are having conversations about you and reviewing your business.
24 million reviews are expected to be written on Yelp by the end of 2011
You’re not going to be able to stop what consumers are saying about your business, but what you can do is stop viewing negative reviews about your business as an end-all for your business. They are only potentially an “end-all” when you don’t know about them or know about them and fail to act.
Every negative review is an opportunity. Repeat that with me: EVERY NEGATIVE REVIEW IS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR YOUR BUSINESS.
Here’s why these negative reviews are really opportunities in disguise.
An online negative review means you actually know when and where your business has failed a customer. Let’s face it, people are chatting about your business. Ten years ago though you had absolutely no idea when or what they were saying. Now you do. This means you can now correct whatever weaknesses your business has because your customers are alerting you about them through their reviews. No longer are you flying blind trying to guess where your customer service weaknesses lie.
A negative review presents a great opportunity to showcase just how good your customer service really is. Let’s take this example. Not too long ago my family had a bad experience at a Chipotle’s. Since I’m an avid reviewer, I wrote about this experience on Yelp and gave the location a 1 out of 5 star rating. Now here’s where the opportunity part comes into play. Chipotle could have just ignored this negative review or they could act upon it by proving that they really do offer great customer service. They chose the latter by sending me a direct message apologizing for the incident that occurred and offering my entire family a complimentary meal. Certainly made me feel better. Now, they could have capitalized on this even further by writing a public apology and offer so that anyone who was thinking about coming to this location will know that even if they have a not-so-pleasant experience, the business is willing to right the so-called wrongs. It is an opportunity to prove your customer satisfaction guarantee. Even if you can’t make that one particular customer happy, what you can do is let all the other potential customers know that you will do whatever it takes to ensure customer satisfaction for all customers.
A negative builds the credibility and authenticity of positive reviews. No business can satisfy 100% of their customers. Having one negative or slightly negative review among a plethora of positive reviews add to the credibility and authenticity of your positive reviews. Not so perfect reviews means that the other published reviews are genuine and most likely not fabricated. They establish authenticity.
Most shoppers rely heavily on customer reviews. In fact, 86% of consumers consult online reviews before buying and 90% of consumers trust the reviews they read. And 78% of consumers say reviews are important when deciding what to buy.
“Human nature is to look and find negativity first, so don’t be afraid to be a human first and show some of your imperfection – it’s all well. Thus, negative reviews can help make you a better business. How can we all improve if everyone said that we were perfect? We cannot, and that’s the truth” (Ritu Singh).
Harness the tremendous opportunity potential in negative reviews. Convert something that could potentially taint your business reputation into something that can build a more positive perception about your business. And remember, people are already talking about you. It’s time you joined the conversation.
What techniques have you used when you encountered a negative review about your business?
Have you seen examples where business owners have responded poorly or well to negative reviews?
Read More About Online Reputation Management & Reviews
To learn more about how you can creat opportunities out of egative online reviews, contact TeamBishop today. Dawn Bishop and Leslie Whittaker are here to help you
reachcast---reputation-monitoring-social-media--web-presence/33366" target="_blank">build a positive web presence for your business and can offer lots of helpful tips and tricks to help you.
TeamBishop is your local Internet marketing consultants with ReachLocal Orlando. Our mission is to help you increase your revenues and decrease unproductive advertising expenses through proven online marketing strategies. Give us a call today to schedule your free consultation.
Can consumers find you? Or are they finding your competitors instead?
Any successful business owner knows that a marketing strategy that not only encompasses a mix of media but includes a mix of media that shows their services or products to their potential consumers is the best way to grow their business and spend your marketing budget effectively. For instance, if you’re a realtor, how much would it really benefit you to advertise homes for sale in a college newspaper? Are these really the consumers who are ready to purchase a house? Or if you’re a roofer, how would business would you get from sending direct mailers to consumers who live in apartments?
What you have to ask yourself is - where are my consumers?
Do they read the newspaper, watch the 6 o’clock news, flip through specific magazines or search the Internet?
While I may not be able to tell you which magazines your consumers read, what I can tell you is that they are online.
In fact, there are over 240 million Internet users in the U.S. and consumers who are between 18 and 44 spend more time on the Internet than with offline media. These Internet users spend an average of 2:35 hours a day and 18 hours a week online. And in the last 5 years, time spent surfing the web has grown by 121%.
So, are you reaching your consumers where they are spending their time?
Yet even with all these statistics on where consumers are spending their time, most businesses are still spending the bulk of their advertising budget on traditional, offline marketing efforts (radio, TV, newspaper, direct mail, Yellow Pages).
To give you an idea on how things are changing in where your consumers are looking, I’ll use myself as an example. I’m 29 years old, never married and don’t have kids. I spend well over 2:35 hours a day online, I’ve NEVER used a phone book to find a local business (in fact, the only time I’ve ever used a phone book is to prop up my computer monitors), I only look at the retail inserts in the newspaper, and I DVR all my TV shows so I can skip the commercials.
If you’re interested in marketing your products or services to me, do you really think advertising through traditional media is going to get my attention?
If I’m looking for a local business, I’m either looking at Google, using Yelp or using Google Places, Google Search or Yelp on my smart phone. I am frequently on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and am often found reading blogs, articles and news stories online.
I AM CONSUMER 2.0.
Does this mean I ignore traditional advertising altogether? Not necessarily but you’ll be hard pressed to get my attention through it. Every now and again a clever billboard, catchy radio slogan or amusing commercial might catch my attention but odds are I’ll still search for you online before I ever even consider doing business with you.
“But 29 year olds aren’t my target demographic so why does it matter,” you may be inclined to think. To that I say, anyone younger than me is probably spending more time online than I am and those who are older aren’t necessarily spending less time online they may just be spending their time on news related sites instead of sitting on social media sites all the time.
Try some of these facts on for size though if you don’t think those who are older than I are spending their time online.
Recent trends show older are among the fastest-growing demographics online
Social network use among Internet users 50+ has nearly doubled to 42% over the past year
In the U.S. alone there are nearly 16 million people 55 and older using Facebook
From 19 to 29 to 69, consumers from all age groups are now spending a significant amount of time on the Internet. And while we may all be using the Internet to serve different purposes, don’t you think your brand should be where your consumers are?
Orlando attorney Nolan Carter resisted any type of advertising for the first 35 years of his business, but after working with ReachLocal and TeamBishop, he highly recommends them for your Internet advertising strategy. He has been both pleased by the quality and quantity of the leads he has received that have resulted in substantial cases for...