After attracting over 10,000 visitors across three days in 2012 Internet World 2013 had a tough act to follow. However the mild London weather outside obviously energised digital hunters looking for the perfect partners to drive their businesses forward. The aisles were bustling with stands offering everything from fibre optic cabling to performance management platforms to help marketers get more bang for their buck. cloud.IQ had a fantastic day, alongside our new partners Emailvision. We met lots of SMEs looking for simple, digital solutions to the never ending challenge of conversion.
A large portion of the show focused on ecommerce and retailers from all sectors said they would benefit from easier modes of communication between themselves and their customers. Traditionally, people like to talk to people and something as simple as offering customers a call back at your expense can bridge that gap and increase conversions significantly.
Fashion retailers at Internet World wanted our callMe App as they find customers drop out of sales because they have delivery queries. Whereas on the other hand insurance companies we met said it would help them better guide their customers toward the most appropriate policy.
The internet is all-encompassing and as such, Internet World attracts more than just e-tailers. We met a diverse range of businesses at our exhibition looking for solutions to make their online offering more efficient and successful. An events company signed up to try our smartSMS App to manage bulk text messages. A text message received ahead of an event someone signed up to ages ago with the option to request a call back to refresh their memories could significantly decrease the number of no-shows on the night!
Internet World is always a brilliant show and this year was no exception with dynamic displays and discussions from everyone in search marketing to enterprise solutions to digital marketers. If you’d like to learn more about how our Apps could help you improve conversion rates or trial our Apps for free click here.
One of our most popular Apps to date has been the callMe button, with over 10,000 downloads. The feedback we're getting is that callMe – which provides a fast and easy way to connect your web visitors with your call centre or sales team - is helping convert more sales and improve levels of customer satisfaction.
This comment from Ben Wooltorton, Sales & Marketing Director at iCarhireinsurance.com is typical:
“Introducing callMe was a simple, but important change in thinking for us: the onus is now on us, not the customer, to make the next move. We know that many people are planning their holidays and shopping around in the evening. It doesn’t make commercial sense for us to run a 24/7 sales support operation, but we wanted an effective way to engage prospective buyers outside of business hours.”
With so much interest in callMe, we thought it would be helpful to offer our top five tips on making callMe buttons really effective for your business:
1. Make it big and make it beautiful! Our Apps can be configured to match your brand’s colour scheme, adapted to your preferred size and positioned in the most suitable place on the page. In this way the button will match your interface and reassure the customer.
2. Make sure customers know it’s free – it may sound simple, but ensuring your customers know that the call back won’t cost them anything removes any possible barriers relating to cost.
3. Great way to offer 24/7 support – it’s unrealistic to expect small businesses to have the resources to man the phones 24/7 but that doesn’t mean you can't capture leads 24/7. Set up your call centre hours in your App and any calls requested out of hours will be automatically rescheduled for when you are back in the office. Visitors will be notified on the screen.
4. Route calls to the right agent – Ensure the most appropriate member of your team receives the call back request by using allocated numbers for certain issues to manage the line calls are directed to through our App.
5. Be flexible – being able to get hold of a real person on the phone is often key to customers as a huge percentage of sales which start online actually complete over the phone. We now integrate our callMe buttons with SMS and email to make it easier for businesses to offer a free call back to customers who traditionally prefer to talk to real people receive a free phone call.
We are at Internet World at Earls Court 2 on the 25th of April. We will be at stand E4041 with our partners Email Vision so if you would like to discuss call back tools in more detail we'd love to see you there or tweet us @cloudIQApps.
Abandoned carts can be a rich source of revenue to small retailers as long as you convert them in the end.
Check out the latest blog on Econsultancy today outlining six ways you can make abandoned carts work for you.
Six key points to remember
While not all abandoned baskets are equal, you really can make them work for you. Here are the key points:
- Don't target too early: wait for them to finish on the site before deciding to target.
- Decide how to target them: in site for anonymous visitors – email for top returns – telesales for high value items.
- Little offers make big differences: think about free Post and Packing or a 10% discount.
- Don't get too complicated: simple messages work and are cheaper and faster to implement.
- Get them back to the site: simple discount codes will bring them back to the site to buy the dropped item and you will get bigger baskets.
- Don't train your visitors: Use lifecycle marketing to avoid making the same offer to the same people and training them to try to con discounts out of your marketing machine.
If you want see what you are losing to abandonment, the cloud.IQ cartRecovery App can send you a tag to monitor cart activity.
Read the full article here.
Join cloud.IQ at Internet World 2013, 25th April, Earl's Court 2, London (Stand E4041)
cloud.IQ is excited to be attending Internet World in affiliation with its new partner Emailvision. Businesses can now integrate a callMe button within newsletters and transactional emails to customers. Integrating this App results in a minimum increase of 20% more conversions than standard emails alone. As 40% of sales which begin online complete offline, an email-integrated callMe button helps businesses convert shoppers who traditionally prefer to purchase goods over the phone. The tool is particularly effective for purchases historically made offline through travel agents, food distributors and estate agents, to name but a few.
Internet World sets the digital agenda and has been doing so for 20 years. Over two decades the internet has transformed the way business is done beyond all recognition, and Internet World has been there since these early days charting the journey and providing cutting-edge content. Every year Internet World showcases the latest innovations in Digital marketing and gives attendees the opportunity to network as well as sit in on a number of keynote speeches from digital marketing experts.
This event aims to inspire, and teach you ways in which you can develop your business’ digital strategy with the latest cutting-edge, digital solutions. It is a MUST attend for those looking to purchase solutions for marketing, IT, eCommerce, Digital and Business Development.
If you’re also going to be at Internet World we’d love to meet you – tweet us @cloudIQApps or come and find us at Stand E4041 for a chat. Free trials of all cloud.IQ Apps are available via the website.
Louise Robertson, Head of Marketing at cloud.IQ wrote the following article for The Small Business blog. Louise explores the advantages for businesses in integrating a Callback option within transactional emails and newsletters.
Doing so is simple but significantly increases your rate of conversion; by offering customers who traditionally prefer to purchase items over the phone the Callback feature puts them at ease with online sales...
A report issued this month by Redshift showed that 43% of consumers regularly abandon their online shopping carts and over half do so because there was no support from a customer service assistant. These statistics highlight the importance of offline engagement to support online activity. As the old adage saying goes, people want to do business with people.
When consumers are buying items online, in particular big ticket items, our experience shows that consumer still want to talk to someone as part of the transaction. By doing so, it reassures them that they are dealing with a reputable organisation. However, mentioning “sales assistant” or “customer service agent” to an SME and you often invoke an image of a large call centre. However, with the advancements in cloud based technology, SMEs engage with and offer support to their customers during the online buying process in a cost effective way.
Read the full post here.
We are looking for enthusiastic, proactive and driven individuals to work as an integral part of our London sales team. You will focus on responding to new inbound sales leads, providing customer support and running through the basic set up of our product to current users. You will be looking to progress your sales career in a fast paced but rewarding environment.
Main point of contact for all incoming sales enquiries over the phone or via our website.
Convert clients that register on the cloud.IQ website for an account / trial by calling and helping them setup the app and take payment.
Cold calling into affiliates/ agency's to book meetings for partner team to attend.
Cold call into key/ Major prospects to book meetings.
Maintain database and communications records.
Account management – calling customers that have gone live the month before to up-sell them to our other offerings.
Meet KPI's on call numbers.
Excellent written and spoken communication and inter-personal skills with the ability to converse professionally with diverse individuals at various levels.
The hunger to develop and progress.
Ability to become an expert on our product suite.
Degree desirable with a keen interest in technology/ecommerce.
In return, we offer a professional, progressive and multicultural environment for you to grow personally and professionally. Perfect for someone looking for their first/second job in sales. The candidate should be ambitious, hard working, competitive and willing to learn.
Please note only candidates requested for interview will be contacted
Closing date: Friday 12th April 2013
Setting up and managing your bulk SMS sends is easy with the smartSMS App from cloud.IQ. Combine your outbound SMS messages with the option to invite customers to call you for free, increasing response rates and sales.
Log into your account (or register if you haven't already) and select to use the smartSMS App by clicking 'Use App.'
Campaign name: Name your specific campaign so you can recognise it and easily access it in the future. The tool will allow you to configure and run multiple campaigns.
Replies emailed to: You'll get sent periodic emails including all replies to your messages for you to follow up.
Set up your recipient file: Format the first column to include all the mobile numbers you want to SMS. Add any other information that you want to include in the message in additional columns eg. name, date and time of appointment etc.
The first time you do this it maybe a bit tricky, we are working to improve this from your feedback at the moment.
Select the column of data from csv: your uploaded csv data file will be able to view in the drop down box. Select each of the data columns you want to use in your SMS and give them a default name and placeholder.
Default word: You can select a default word for each data item when the customer data doesn't exist in the file E.G. If there is no name in the file insert 'Customer' or you can leave this blank.
Placeholder: Name your variable and include this in your message. For example, 'firstname' might be a placeholder for the value 'Sarah' in the uploaded file.
Enter your message: Write your message here. You'll be able to preview your message on the left hand side of the screen as you write. To personalise your message, ensure you include the placeholder(s) you have set above. If you'd like to offer recipients a free call back use the code CALL ME in your message.
Best practice tips:
Begin your message with 'FREE MSG'
Include the text 'reply STOP to opt out' at the end of your message and your opt outs will be managed within the Platform
“We are thrilled to announce that one of our customers – online fashion retailer Then and Now – is presenting at Internet Retailing Expo on 20th March at 2pm.
Founder Lian Michelson will be taking part in the Online Merchandising and Advanced Selling session. Lian will discuss how she has used cost effective technology solutions to create a booming fashion website. Register to attend for free here. Then and Now is a great example of how simple technology can level the competitive playing field for smaller businesses – try our marketing Apps, like Lian, for free here.”
This month we launched smartSMS. This new App uniquely combines text and voice.
SMS is considered the most reliable, responsive and cost effective marketing communication channel, add human dialogue into the mix and you have a powerful combination.
Manage the setup, schedule bulk texts, send, receive and analyse campaigns all from our IQplatform.
Whether you're a dentist, a small retailer or restaurant owner you can use text marketing to increase your footfall and ultimately increase sales.The App is ideal for organisations looking to drive customer engagement levels, issue appointment reminders to reduce missed consultations, offer policy renewals, or increase donations amongst charity givers.
As with all our Apps, the smartSMS app is delivered via the cloud so it is affordable, simple to set up and manage. All activities can be tracked via management features including callbacks, call duration, open rates and enquiry outcome.
Try our free smartSMS App with 30 free texts you can see how it will help increase your conversions.
There is a well documented 'crisis of giving' in the UK at the moment as the digital generation are failing to donate to charities to the same degree as previous generations. A recent report by the Office for National Statistics showed that donations to charities fell by 20% during 2011/12, resulting in the public giving £1.7bn less to charity in 2011/12 compared to 2010/11.
At cloud.IQ we think charities could combat this problem by engaging with potential donors more effectively across multiple channels.
The follwing article which explores this theme in detail, titled 'How SMS can drive charity donations,' was written by James Critchley and published on160-Characters this week.
Read the full article here.
Capturing an email address in the first step of checkout makes commercial sense, then if your customer abandons at any point during their interaction, you can trigger a recovery email and save the sale.
Re-marketing can re-capture a high percentage of abandoned carts, good practice leads to high returns from 10-50% conversion to sale.
The key steps:
1. Send the initial courtesy email within an hour.
2. Create a series of emails and SMS.
3. Hold off on discounts and incentives until your final communication.
4. Always include a direct link back to the cart.
5. Showcase the product with photo, description and review.
Following up abandonments can yield 50% conversion rates.
Figures released by OnePoll on behalf of MoPowered make for quite startling reading. Over 80% of the UK fashion retailers do not have a mobile website. This is at a time when the proportion of web traffic via mobile is set to hit 20 percent this Christmas (IBM figures, August 2012).
Although 84% of small to medium fashion retailers do not have a mobile website, 90% believe mobile should be an essential part of their business. According to the MoPowered research, the barriers to adopting a mobile strategy for fashion retailers includes security concerns, lack of resources and the perceived high costs.
With m-commerce marketing and multi channel marketing becoming some of the buzz words over the past few years, it doesn't surprise us that fashion retailers believe that adopting a mobile marketing strategy can be both expensive and complex. Technology providers have been guilty of possibly over complicating the solutions for their customers.
But, there are simple and cost effective mobile marketing tools available to fashion retailers to help them acquire, engage and crucially convert more customers. For example, our mobileWeb applications provides retailers with the technology to easily and quickly create their own mobile-friendly version of their website in a matter of minutes.
With research showing that up to 40% of customers (source: compuware) have turned to a competitor’s site after a bad mobile experience, something as simple as an optimised mobile website can help fashion retailers convert more customers and steal a march on their competitors.
eSeller Media posted an article by James Critchley exploring how increasingly, shoppers want to talk to businesses.
James argues that it’s not good enough to just get people to your website, especially if you fail to convert them into loyal shoppers. The trick is to provide a comfortable and reassuring environment for them to shop.
Read the full article here.
James Critchley, CEO of cloud. IQ discusses recent findings that ‘digital natives’ aren’t donating to charity as much as generations before them did. If charities do not market to young people in a digitally savvy way they are in danger of falling behind…
The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) have released fascinating research that will send shivers down the spine of any fundraiser. Their study, conducted with Bristol University, found that the amount of donations in younger age demographics are making to charities is tailing off and that we will soon be facing a ‘donation deficit’ as more generous generations die out.
The CAF has offered some very sound advice to charities to help reverse this trend, but to my mind there is a piece missing and that is improving the way charities market to younger people.
Young people – digital natives – are harder to pin down and engage from a marketing perspective. They are switching between channels and devices literally every other minute - for a marketer trying to reach them it can feel like trying to pin jelly to a wall. Charities need to explore how they can use channels like social media, text and email in an integrated way to talk to young people where, when and how they want to communicate.
Part of the strategy to address this must involve charities adopting more sophisticated ‘multi-channel’ marketing. For example, it takes 90 minutes for the average young person to respond to an email, but just 90 seconds to respond to a text message. And social media is hugely important too. Making it easy to communicate multiple channels in a joined up way is critical to marketing to younger people.
Until now, only the very biggest charities have had the financial and technical resources to invest in this area, but we believe this can change as ‘cloud-based apps’ lower the complexity and costs, opening up the potential of multi channel marketing to all sizes of organisation. That’s exactly what we are trying to achieve with cloud.IQ.
And the impact could be huge. There are 160,000 registered charities in the UK, with a combined income of over £11bn, so if they were to engage younger demographics more effectively and increase donations by just 5% we could generate an uplift in donations of nearly £550m. When you consider that multi-channel marketing – when done well – typically gives sales uplifts of 20%, the potential becomes compelling.
The CAF findings are a timely wake up call for us all, but, as someone who spends a lot of time with younger people (I work with them!), I’m certain this is not an issue of a generational divide of generosity. The key for charities is to improve the way they market themselves to re-engage younger people.
Recent data from comScore shows that 57% of consumers have abandoned a purchase as they were only window shopping while 45% said they abandoned a transaction as they were saving items for later. As a result, Econsultancy posted an article discussing the following issues.
In a separate survey that Econsultancy conducted last year, they found that 74% of respondents has abandoned a basket due to high delivery charges while a survey by Trimble found that more than half of respondents (58%) would choose free or discounted shipping as the main ways to improve e-commerce.
Although, we would agree that there is a percentage of consumers who may only be window shopping with no intention to buy if you take the comScore figures numbers, there is still a massive 43% who did have some level of intention to buy and abandoned their shopping carts for one reason or another.
Online cart abandonment costs e-tailers millions of pounds each year in lost sales so it is critical that businesses are being proactive and re-engaging with these potential customers through a communication channel that suits them; text, phone, social media, email and look to convert those consumers. Our Apps are designed to do just this.
Following on from the publication of Ofcom’s Communications Market Report 2012, Lucy Tobin fromThe Evening Standard published her thoughts on the rise of text messaging and how this form of communication is being by used by both consumers and businesses.
Without a doubt texting is quick and efficient and as Lucy pointed out, even her dentist is choosing to use SMS over phone calls to remind her about upcoming appointments. From speaking to and working with customers, we at cloud.IQ have seen the benefits text can offer businesses especially when used as part of an integrated multi-channel approach. We couldn’t agree more with Lucy’s summing up “it is simple, cheap and here to stay” and is certainly a comms channel that offers businesses new customer opportunities.
In August 2012, new research on multichannel marketing was released. The research conducted by Forrester on behalf of web software company Sitecore found that multichannel marketing can achieve 60 per cent increase in ROI.
We are not surprised by these figures as in our experience of working with businesses, consumers want to be communicated with across a range of channels; web, text, social media and/or over the phone. What is key, is that businesses listen to their customers and interact with them on their preferred channel of communication.
Interestingly, the study found that key impediments toward making multichannel marketing a greater priority included a lack of knowledge and skills, and a dependence on the skills of external marketing partners. These findings support why we have brought to market cloud based marketing apps that are accessible and self servicing for all businesses. No expert knowledge or complex integration is required businesses can simply access what solutions they require from one central online interface.
Multi channel marketing doesn’t need to be complicated, simplicity is at the core of the solution. With the advances in technology, there are opportunities for all companies to acquire, engage and crucially convert more consumers. those that recognise this have the chance to steal a march on their competitors.
The MyStickers site enables pupils to log their sticker rewards, creating an online album of their achievements throughout their school career. The reward programme has proved hugely popular amongst pupils - over 600,000 pupils have created an account - but Neil Hodges, Managing Director of School Stickers, wanted to engage parents further in their child's learning and progress.
"From working with thousands of schools in the UK, we know teachers are looking for new ways to help parents become more involved with their children's learning. As children get older they tend to be less inclined to share their school success stories with their parents. By creating a dedicated parent area within the MyStickers portal, we've made it possible for a parent to share in their child's progress in the classroom environment," says Hodges.