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Business Care & Cure

Types of beauty salon insurance UK

What Insurance does a Beauty Salon Insurance Uk need?

Running a salon has some risk. Things go wrong sometimes and that is the reason all Salon owners require a set of insurance policies. A Salon owner should go for the necessary insurance policies. Insurance companies like Insync insurance, provide something as a business owner policy which is a combination of beauty salon insurance UK, policies that are required for business owners which is a more cost-effective option. To save your money, you may opt business owner policy that has both general liability insurance and commercial property insurance combined.

Types of insurance 

1.General liability insurance – let’s say that one of your employees slips next to the shampoo station and breaks an ankle. Or if you are a mobile salon and during one of your home visits, you drop nail polish on the client’s expensive carpet. For both the cases mentioned, you will be liable for the cost.

This insurance protects you from such types of claims. This is why all the salon owners must have liability insurance. Many insurance companies, if they focus on helping small businesses, offer something called a business owner policy, which includes the general liability insurance also.

  1. Commercial property insurance – suppose you run a Hair Salon and your expensive hood dryer breaks down on you. That is an unexpected expense that ruins your holiday plan that month. Or if you are running a tanning Salon and water pipe breaks and you get water all your electronic sunbeds. Not only will it be too expensive to repair or replace the sunbeds, but you would also have lost all the revenue your sunbeds generate until they are replaced.

These are the reasons you require commercial property insurance. It protects you against cost if the equipment breaks and also for lost revenue during repairs in the Salon or while waiting for replacement of equipment. Similar to general liability insurance as a salon owner you may not need commercial property insurance if you are signed up for a business owner policy as that is covered there.

  1. Business owner policy – Has general liability insurance and commercial property insurance in combination. It also includes a business interruption insurance and other specific insurances depending on the requirements of your business. If you set up your insurance with the provider that has working experience with hairdressers, nail technicians, beauty therapists, and other types of salons, they can adapt it to cover their common needs of yours. There are some claims that are not covered by the business owner policy. These are for inaccurate client advice and those that arise from the professional salon services you perform.
  2. Professional liability insurance – suppose you are a hairdresser and you have colored a client’s hair and they get scalp reaction after. Even the client told you that they are not allergic and you did the service the right way according to the Product Supplier’s instruction you may get sued. Or maybe you are a massage therapist and the client claims to have worse back pain after being treated in your salon, this may put you in the same tricky spot. Professional liability insurance  known as errors and omissions insurance or indemnity insurance protects you against the potential risk you can face when conducting your salon services on the clients.
  3. Workers compensation insurance –

This insurance is mandatory. Your employees are working with hot tools, Chemicals and under less ergonomic circumstances sometimes. What if one of the hairdressers burns herself on a styling tool and she needs to be treated in a hospital? This insurance in case of any injury covers the employee’s lost wages and medical treatment. It protects you from being secured for workplace conditions resulting in injury or illness.

Conclusion 

Getting good insurance is critical. When you give services to other people, you run the risk that something goes wrong. As a salon owner, there are many worries on your plate but good insurance can at least remove some.

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Meta tags – the shop window of the digital shopping street

Meta tags are essential for displaying a page in search results and attract visitors to your website – if they are properly optimized.

Meta tags are part of a website’s HTML code. Its main job is to provide information about the website to search engine crawlers. This can be influenced automatically or manually by defining the title tag and description in the code.

Search engines use these to display search results (snippets) by displaying the information in the headline and the short description text. If the meta tags are not actively determined, the crawlers look for the content for the search result display from the website content. Usually the first sentence of the website is used as the description.

The search results page as a digital shopping street

The correct use of meta tags is an integral part of any SEO consultation. They are the “low-hanging fruits” – measures that are implemented quickly and can have a positive effect on the ranking. The standard tips: Pay attention to the length of title and description and place relevant keywords. This is absolutely sensible and important for the start, but unfortunately this procedure often means that meta tags are only adapted at the beginning of a search engine optimization and are not continuously developed. In addition to improving the ranking, an important function is often neglected: Meta tags are intended to encourage people to click on the snippet!

In order to clarify the relevance of this data, it helps to compare the snippets with shop windows in a shopping street. Storefronts give a glimpse of what a store looks like from the inside and are designed to convince customers to step in. That is why they are individually and strikingly designed, show top sellers or lure with low prices.

Dealers regularly adapt the design and goods to external conditions such as the seasons. Online, the search results page is the digital shopping street where retailers try to convince the customer to visit their shop or website. Snippets take over the function of the shop window and decide whether a potential customer dares to step into the shop or not.

The following steps will show you how to tidy up your shop window and convince potential customers of your website.

This is how you recognize potential and look after your shop windows

1. Recognize potential

To identify unused potential, you can look at the performance data of your pages from the Google Search Console . One of the most important indicators of the quality of the meta tags is the CTR (click-through rate). By calculating the ratio between search engine impressions and clicks, it shows how often users who see the snippet in their search results also click on the snippet. Pages that have a lot of impressions but few clicks have a low CTR. They are the shop windows that people walk past on the digital shopping street. Thanks to their good location, they have a lot of potential.

2. What are potential visitors looking for?

If you have identified pages with great potential, you can display the search queries for which the page appears in the search results. Checks for which the page snippet generates a particularly large number of impressions and at the same time few clicks. Based on the keywords you can draw conclusions about the expectations and motivations of the users: What is the user interested in? What answers does he need? Which content will help him further?

(Screenshot: Google)

3. The redecorating

You know which shops are well located and what users are looking for in the shopping street. Now it’s time to optimize. Take a look at your shop window by entering the page according to the following example in the Google search: “site: example.org/seite/unterseite.html”. With this function you can check what your shower window looks like. The following questions will help you tailor the content to the customers in order to convince them to visit your website:

  • Does the description promise the user to provide an answer to his search query?
  • Is the snippet nicely designed?
  • Does the snippet reflect what can be found on the page so that users don’t lose it when they visit?
  • Is it adapted to current conditions?
  • Is it different from other search results?
  • Does it contain relevant keywords?
  • Does the text comply with the formalities?

Google is very inconsistent when it comes to displaying snippets and keeps changing the specifications for the number of characters. So be sure to research the current regulations. Currently, titles are displayed up to around 70 characters (or 465 pixels – technically, snippets are limited by pixel width) and descriptions up to around 160 characters. (Source: Sistrix, 4.2.2019). Try to push the character limit as much as possible so that your snippets take up more space in the search results and your shop window becomes larger.

Once you have identified relevant keywords, there are two ways to write new titles and descriptions.

If you just want to optimize snippets in a targeted manner, the easiest option is to use snippet generators. The advantage of generators is that current length specifications are already taken into account. You can also see a preview of what the new snippet will look like. The Sistrix snippet generator, for example, is suitable here .

If you write several new titles and descriptions at the same time, it is helpful to work with an Excel table.

(Screenshot: Excel)

To determine the number of characters in a cell, you have to use the formula = LENGTH (CELL). An Excel table has the advantage that the csv. File generated from it can be transferred to the respective page via import. There are a number of plugins and extensions for different CMS .

First the duty, then the freestyle

To get the absolute maximum out of your snippets and to make the shop window as efficient as possible, there are rich snippets. In addition to user-centered title tags and descriptions, they offer you the option of displaying other specific added values ​​directly in the search. Popular rich snippets are, for example, ratings that work with stars or products that are displayed with price information. Rich snippets are implemented using Schema.org markup. The crawler is able to read this markup and can then display it directly in the search results. You can find an overview of all rich snippets on Google’s developer page . In addition, further explanations of how these are integrated.

Summary

There is a lot of untapped potential in the area of ​​meta tags that can be used with a relatively manageable amount of work. In addition to improving the CTR, optimization can also lead to an improvement in the rankings. So you can generate more organic traffic in the long term. It is particularly important that you regularly check and evaluate the data and plan appropriate measures. If you have content on your site that is suitable for the use of rich snippets, you should definitely use it. In any case: don’t let the optimization of meta tags be a one-off thing.

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SEO: How to Avoid Most Common Onsite Mistakes

Even if new insights are often gained in the SEO scene, a few mistakes always remain the same over the years. Semrush analyzed the most common mistakes in a study.

As part of a study, the SEO tool provider Semrush analyzed 150,000 randomly selected websites worldwide – and examined 175 million individual pages and 15 billion links. The aim was to determine which errors in internal links can lead to problems and which of these weaknesses are particularly common.

What is remarkable about the results: 42.5 percent of websites have internal links that do not work or lead to nowhere. And a surprising number of websites do not fully utilize their potential because companies do not deal with it sufficiently and, in case of doubt, do not regularly revise an existing website. The website is underestimated not only in terms of SEO issues, but also in terms of user experience.

What the reader likes, usually also reaches the crawler

“Many errors can be fixed relatively quickly and easily,” explains Evgeni Sereda, Marketing Manager at Semrush. “Backlinks are a well-known ranking factor when the quality of the source providing the link is right. When a page attracts a lot of external links, its authority grows and Google promotes it to the top of the search results. ”Internal links, on the other hand, rarely get the attention they deserve. After all, they guide the search engine’s crawler through the page and play a role in evaluating the relevance of the subpages. This is certainly not new, but the result shows that a large number of website operators (or their service providers) have not done their homework completely.

These are the 5 most important results and their solutions:

SEO Mistake # 1: Broken Internal and External Links

The first and most obvious problem with links is that they don’t work – and that happens more often than expected. It may be due to a faulty URL, but also because the linked page simply no longer exists. 42.5 percent of the websites had broken internal links and 40.5 percent had broken external links. This affects the quality rating of your website on Google and last but not least causes frustration among users. You should therefore regularly check the correctness of the link URL with a link checker and, if necessary, make changes promptly, change or remove the link. This is especially true for multilingual pages – here an English-language page is better than a link in the void.

SEO Mistake # 2: Persistent Redirects

A redirect from an old to a new URL with a 301 redirect is called permanent and the old URL is declared no longer available. Almost three quarters of the websites have set up such permanent redirects. What at first glance might seem a reasonable final solution shouldn’t be permanent. Because from the second redirect, the probability increases that the search robots will no longer consider subpages for indexing on Google. It is therefore advisable to keep the number of redirects to a minimum. Also, check all URLs with redirects and replace them with the website address of the landing page whenever possible.

SEO Mistake # 3: Orphaned Page in Sitemap

84.1 percent of the websites examined had pages in their sitemap that were not linked to any internal links; this is known as an orphan page. Such sites usually have no valuable content, so it is not necessary to have them crawled. Here you should check whether there are any that have valuable content and should be indexed. If so, look for ways to link there internally. Otherwise remove the URL from the sitemap.

SEO Mistake # 4: Crawl Depth of More Than Three Clicks

The crawl depth is the number of clicks it takes to reach a page from the homepage. The more clicks are necessary, the less likely it is that users will visit this page or that the crawler will search and index the page. Organize the link structure so that important content can be accessed with as few clicks as possible. However, especially with larger and more extensive web projects, you will notice that this is hardly possible – especially if you want to adhere to an international structure.

SEO Mistake # 5: Pages with Only One Inbound Link

88.8 percent of the websites had pages with only one inbound internal link. The more internal links refer to a page, the higher the chance that users and search robots will find it. If more links point to pages with important content, you make sure that the linked websites are relevant to each other. At this point you should of course also exhaust the potential of news sites, social media presences and other “healthy” links.

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SEO for Duckduckgo: This is how you score with the search engine alternative

When it comes to SEO, most people immediately think of Google, but there are other search engines in the shadow of the Internet giant. Alternatives such as Duckduckgo that are particularly concerned with data protection are becoming increasingly popular. What SEO tactics are pulling here?

Googling has become synonymous with research on the Internet in our vocabulary. Not every search takes place there. While many users are increasingly no longer taking the detour via Google, but are looking directly for products on Amazon or for videos on YouTube, a number of search engine alternatives to Google have established themselves.

Search engine optimization for Duckduckgo

One of the most popular Google alternatives is Duckduckgo . The search engine places a special focus on data protection. Duckduckgo’s promise: no storage of IP addresses, no tracking, no cookies, but additional SSL encryption.

As with Google, Bing and other search engines, Duckduckgo has a number of SEO levers that can be tweaked to improve a page’s ranking. After all, Duckduckgo lands in Germany in fourth place behind Yahoo, Bing and Google among the most widely used search engines .

Duckduckgo uses over four hundred sources for its search results. This includes its own crawler (Duckduckbot), the databases of Bing, Yahoo and Yandex and crowdsourcing sites such as Wikipedia.

Builds high quality links

If you look at the help area of ​​Duckduckgo, you will only find a specific note about the ranking:

As with other search engines, the best way is to get links from high quality sites like Wikipedia. So it is quality rather than quantity that counts. Instead of building many links of inferior quality, concentrate on a few, but high-quality links. The best way to get such valuable backlinks is with quality content that high quality sites like to refer to.

Local SEO works a little differently

Since Duckduckgo does not access the locations of the users or store data that suggest the location of the user, local search engine optimization works differently than with Google. Instead, Duckduckgo roughly estimates where the respective user is based on the IP address. This means that the search engine cannot deliver local results as accurately as Google. In order to get the most accurate search results possible, users have to specify their search queries more precisely and, when looking for a “baker near me”, limit their location more precisely using street names, city districts and the like.

As a site operator, if you want to be found locally, you should consider such hyperlocal keywords and use them in important places on your site. This can be, for example, directions or the identification of parking spaces.

Optimize pages for Bing and Yahoo

Here you kill several birds with one stone. Since Duckduckgo also uses the Yahoo and Bing databases to compile search results, you’ll do well by optimizing your site for these two search engines. Compared to Google, for example, Bing places more emphasis on keywords, title and meta tags. Make sure that the important terms for which you want to rank appear in the title. Bing also rates social signals more strongly than Google. You should therefore also share and promote your content on social networks. Use the Bing webmaster tools to examine your site and uncover potential for optimization. If you have a good stand at Bing, this can also have a positive effect on Duckduckgo’s ranking.

Keep an eye on Duckduckgo

SEO for Duckduckgo is not rocket science and does not differ significantly from the optimization measures that you should also have on your screen for Google. But even with Duckduckgo the ranking factors and mechanisms will change and develop again and again.

Duckduckgo may be overshadowed by Google, but it has seen strong growth in search queries. Site owners should keep an eye on the search engine and its development.

Duckduckgo Traffic
Business

What actually is a customer journey?

A lot can happen from the first contact with a product to the purchase. The customer journey shows how customers make a purchase decision.

The term customer journey comes from marketing and stands for the process that a customer goes through after learning of the existence of a product and the path that he then takes until he decides to buy.

Touch me

Typically, customers don’t strike immediately after discovering a product. This applies even more to high-priced items. Before they buy it, interested parties usually come into contact with the product several times. These so-called touchpoints can be visualized in a customer journey map . The touchpoints can be very different in nature. From classic TV or radio advertising to internet forums, rating portals, manufacturer websites, blogs and banners, everything is possible – but also optional. Depending on the customer, this results in very individual customer journeys, which are often so similar that marketers can summarize them in different personas .

Even if there are many different touchpoints, they can still be differentiated based on a very important criterion: They are either online or offline. Online touchpoints are much more preferred by marketers because they can be implemented – also across channels – through cookies and with the help of tools for cross-domain and cross-device tracking– can be easily tracked. This is significantly more difficult in the offline world. Who, when, saw a poster or heard a radio spot and subsequently made a purchase can only be traced if you ask customers directly about it – and then they also provide information. Using QR codes, apps for customers and WiFi tracking, marketers try to at least partially map offline events on site in the store online and thus make touchpoints visible.

4 phases of the customer journey

There are different approaches to dividing the customer journey. What they have in common is the assumption that the purchase decision is usually not made immediately and that the customer first goes through certain phases before pulling out the wallet. According to the widely used Aida model, these can be divided into the following parts:

  1. Attention – the customer becomes aware of a product that interests them.
  2. Interest – the customer develops interest in the product.
  3. Desire – the customer feels the desire to own the product.
  4. Action – the customer purchases the product.

Analysis of customer behavior

However, it is by far not enough to just make the customer journey visible on a map. From the analysis of the customer journey, marketers expect to learn more about customer behavior. If contact points are made visible, they can also be optimized – if the customer journey map should, for example, indicate that many customers drop out after visiting the manufacturer’s website, this results in a clear starting point with instructions for improvement . The conversion rate can then be improved. In addition, experts can recognize whether certain touchpoints are in a causal relationship, the visit to the website correlates with the installation of the app, for example.

At this point, however, the limits of a customer journey map also become apparent: connections are not always clear and unambiguous. In retrospect, it is not always clear which touchpoint was ultimately decisive for the purchase, or the effective relationship between the touchpoints. Often it is the interaction of many touchpoints that has convinced the customer. Merging the data also becomes more and more difficult as the volume increases. In addition, users are becoming more and more sensitive with regard to sovereignty over their data and are putting a stop to the data collection mania of some companies – for example in the form of tools that prevent tracking or by not allowing or deleting cookies.

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Instagram: 7 tips for good self-marketing

You don’t always have to become an influencer to use Instagram successfully for self-marketing. How to make your expertise visible and expand your network.

The world of influencers is immensely seductive. Range. Notoriety. Maybe earn a little more money … But if you look at the one billion users that Instagram currently has every month, very few make it to influencers . Not everyone is made for it or wants to. And yet this influencer claim always somehow hovers over us when you want to be there on Instagram. It is not necessary to have thousands or hundreds of thousands of subscribers to use Instagram successfully. Even on a small scale, there are opportunities to establish yourself as an expert and to take your own self-marketing to the next level.

Good content. Regular content. Use insights. That is the basis of professional self-marketing on Instagram. But what if even hashtags, videos and stories don’t work and Instagram just swallows everything like a deep black hole and nothing moves? Then it’s time to tweak a bit. Here are a few tips on how to get even more out of your self-marketing on Instagram.

1. Instagram as a portfolio

Many think they have to keep up with influencers on Instagram and post lots of private or particularly lifestyle pictures. It is not uncommon for this to work with more moderate success. If you want to use Instagram for self-marketing, you should be clear about what the goal is. I want thousands of subscribers? Do I just want to use Instagram for fun? Or do I want to specifically show my expertise and become an ambassador for myself and my topic? Of course, personality is important on Instagram. But it shouldn’t take over the whole account. What do you think a potential customer or employer can expect when they find a link to your Instagram account on your professional website? Just because it’s Instagram doesn’t mean the expectation is any different than on other platforms. The 20 pictures from the last Bali vacation are really amazing. And all the selfies are really nice too. But what does that say about you and your know-how? I clearly admit your expertise: Show what you know, what you do and how you do it. Anyone who finds you on Instagram should be able to see just that right away.

2. Your username on Instagram

Your username is one of the most important levers for self-marketing on Instagram. Because it determines your Instagram handle (@yourinstagramusername), your Instagram address (instagram.com/yourinstagramusername). Your username should therefore not be too long or complicated to be easy to remember. Your real name can be a way of doing this. But a combination of your name and your job is also a good choice. A private label, on the other hand, is more worthwhile if you have a comprehensive concept with further strategic communication points – for example YouTube or blog.

3. Optimize your Instagram name

Go to Instagram’s profile search and search for your topic, your job, your expertise. Are you found here? The likelihood is high that it isn’t. Because often important keywords are not included in the username. And certainly not in the name. But Instagram is currently only searching these two fields for the profile search. So what to do Just customize your name. This is located in bold under your profile picture and can be changed as often as you want via Edit profile. The only drawback: Instagram only allows 30 characters for your name. However, this is often enough to place your industry or other keywords here. Now you will be found in the Instagram search and your keyword will be displayed under your username. And also with search engines you will be indexed and found with it. That may not be entirely in the true sense of Instagram. But there is nothing against it in the terms and conditions and community guidelines – especially since there is no real name requirement on Instagram.

4. Use your Instagram bio

The profile is also often neglected on Instagram. Many enter a short bio in key words, their private interests or hashtags. But the Instagram bio can do so much more than just that. Make targeted use of the profile to tell us what you do and what you offer. Your Instagram bio will be perfect with a call-to-action. You can call up to visit a website, an event or download a PDF that you link below. Of course, you can also link other professional profiles. You have 150 characters for your Instagram bio. Use it!

5. How was that with links?

Instagram is struggling with links. If you don’t have at least 10,000 subscribers or are verified, you cannot insert links directly into stories. And also in the profile there is only space for a single link. That is why many Instagrammers use tools such as Linktree as “mini landing pages”. Here you link individual content as well as the imprint. You can do that too. And sometimes that’s a good solution too. But if you already have your own, mobile-optimized, fast website – why this detour? Every additional click also means the possibility that interested parties will jump off. Instead, build a landing page on your own website. This is how you draw interested parties directly to your page. Here you can not only determine what you want to show, but also how.

6. Regional placement

Content from the environment is not only pushed on Facebook. You can also position yourself better on Instagram if you rely on regional content. Whether in posts, stories or live streams – use the location function of Instagram for more reach and targeted targeting. Remember: smaller locations are often more successful than large ones, e.g. Hanover instead of Germany. As a freelancer, it can also make sense to include your location as a keyword in your name. Many rely on regional experts. So what reason should there be not to find you there? The location function is still used far too little – especially in stories. So better chances for you.

7. Find a partner

Networking and engagement are big topics on Instagram. It is therefore worth investing some time in finding partners. These can be people who deal with the same topic as you. But they can also be related topics. In this way, you can complement your content, expand your skills – for example with joint live streams in Instagram stories. This not only increases your visibility immediately, but also places you in a professional environment with other experts. Such cooperation – not least through agencies – has long been proven on YouTube. On Instagram, many still rely exclusively on classic tagging – if at all. There is still a lot of room for improvement.

Business

How to increase the response rate to online surveys

The response rates to online surveys have fallen across all industries since the introduction of the GDPR , in some cases by half. What can companies do to increase it? Here you will find eight practical tips.

1. Tell everyone: we’re starting a survey!

In many companies, online surveys run “on the side”. Few of the potential attendees and staff know they are taking place. Communicate the survey like a big new project. This will prepare the participants and your colleagues for it – and arouse their curiosity:

  • In the newsletter , in social media and on the website, you explain why the survey is taking place and what your aim is (for example to improve products and services or to find out the latest opinions on a topic). Include a link to the survey or a login option. Explain what benefits the participants have: They gain new insights, can influence the development of your products or the service of your company is improved.
  • School all employees who have contact with the potential participants (salespeople, account managers or call center agents): they should bring up the survey every time they meet and explain the benefits of participating.
  • Put a brief note in your email signature four to six weeks before the survey. You can link to the blog article about the survey with the words “Why your opinion matters – find out”.

2. Send advance notice and arouse curiosity

Send an advance notice two to three days before the survey. In it you draw the participants’ attention to the survey and name the goal. An example:

  • “Hello Max, here at ABC GmbH we are introducing a short survey on customer satisfaction. With it you can tell us in a few minutes what is most important to you when working with us. Check your inbox for the invitation in the next two days. We look forward to hearing from you!
    Tina Musterfrau, CEO of ABC GmbH “
  • Use a clear subject, such as “Announcement: Tell us what you really feel”, “Coming soon: Survey on topic XY”.
  • Be brief and keep a consistent layout for the advance notice, survey, and invitation.

3. Personal addressing of each participant

As with sending newsletters, the same applies to online surveys: a personal approach ensures a higher opening rate and more participation. Write “Dear Ms. Mustermann” or “Hello Tim” instead of “Dear participant” or “Dear customer”.

Important when addressing the question personally: If you evaluate the survey anonymously, write it down. Otherwise the impression could be created that the answers are linked to the name. For international participants, send the survey in the appropriate language and also translate the invitation.

4. CEO as the sender

An email from Steve Jobs in your mailbox? You probably wouldn’t have hesitated for a second to read it. A message from Apple support or from “Steven from Market Research”, on the other hand, is less exciting. You can use this effect in surveys: The invitation to participate should come directly from your CEO. Insert – after prior agreement – his signature and his signature. On the website you can insert a statement from the management about the survey with a portrait photo. This underlines how important the survey is for your company. You arouse interest and motivate people to participate.

5. Don’t ruin your response rate yourself

You may know that: When you stayed at a hotel, you were annoyed by a bad breakfast buffet. You fill out an online survey on the booking portal and share your frustration. And it happens … nothing! Your motivation to answer another survey is sinking.

Many companies forget to tell participants how they used the results after taking an online survey. In doing so, they destroy their response rate themselves. By the time the next survey was carried out, the respondents had the impression that the survey had no effects. They are no longer willing to sacrifice their time.

Avoid this mistake. Did you perhaps start new projects in the company after the survey? Have new employees been hired to improve a service? You can publish this information – just like before the survey – in the newsletter, on the website or on social media. You should also contact individual participants personally: Imagine, after your hotel feedback, an employee called you, apologized and offered a voucher as compensation! Customers are pleasantly surprised when you write to them or call them after a survey. For sales, this can also be a welcome opportunity to contact important customers again.

6. Frequency and timing of the survey

Check who sends out surveys in your company and how many surveys the participants receive on average per month. If you write to your potential participants more than once a month, the surveys become less important. Depending on the industry and target group, that can be too much. The motivation to participate and the response rate decrease.

Weigh how much time your respondents have. Treat their precious time with respect. An example: You send out a satisfaction survey after every purchase and every service case. Check if this is really necessary. Your customers are very satisfied with the products and the delivery, but are they having problems with after-sales service? Reduce the number of surveys on product and delivery and focus your surveys on the critical after-sales area.

7. Target group of the online survey

A low response rate could be because you are promoting the survey to the wrong audience. An example: Maschinenbau GmbH sells high-priced tools to craft businesses. The order is processed completely digitally. A few weeks after ordering, customers are invited to a survey by email. The response rate is only a few percent, although the salespeople received enthusiastic feedback from the craftsmen during the conversation. A target group analysis shows that the survey ends up in accounting – because their e-mail address is known. In future, the survey will be placed on the website next to the instructions for the machine. In this way she reaches the craftsmen who work with the machines every day and who are happy to give feedback on their experiences.

8. Short sentences, clear language

“It would be very welcome if you avoided passive constructions and nesting sentences in your interview communication, and at the same time you would make it a lot easier for your participants if …” Stop! Nobody answers your survey with this writing style .

Write short, simple sentences. For each comma, check whether it can be replaced by a period. Use adjectives and filler words sparingly.

  • An example: Instead of “The survey is short, uncomplicated and easy to answer. We promise that we will check the answers individually ”you write:“ The survey consists of five short questions. It takes a maximum of four minutes to answer. We promise: We read every single answer. “

Avoid passive constructions and common places:

  • “We are constantly working with the results of the survey to improve our customer service. We therefore ask for your participation. ”Better:“ All service managers meet every month and we decide together what we want to improve on our hotline. So that we can do the right things, we need your feedback! ”This sentence creates a picture in the participant’s mind and motivates them to take part in the survey.
Business

Why you shouldn’t generate ratings with competitions

Positive reviews are now almost indispensable for every company to advertise their own performance on the Internet. So what could be more natural than making ratings in a competition a condition of participation? Not a good idea, warns our guest author.

Positive statements from third parties have an objective effect in advertising and are therefore regularly rated higher by potential interested parties than statements made by the company itself. It is easier for the still undecided interested party to decide on a certain product or a certain service from a company, if already others were positively convinced and expressed it in a corresponding evaluation. Reviews on the Internet and testimonials are ultimately nothing more than the familiar word-of-mouth propaganda.

The appeal of competitions as a benefit for companies

Competitions are also an important tool for companies to retain customers or attract new customers. We come across competitions almost every day, be it in the shopping mall or on the Internet. Companies use competitions as part of their marketing strategy and participants speculate on attractive prizes. A competition can be worthwhile for both sides. From a company’s point of view, it makes sense to design a competition in such a way that participation is linked to the awarding of a positive rating by the participants. Instead of laboriously generating positive reviews from customers through many years of good performance, a large number of positive reviews could be generated in one fell swoop. Each participant gives a rating, in order to be able to take part in the competition and thus increase your chance of winning. Ultimately, everyone benefits from it and no one is harmed by it. Or?

Advertising with ratings generated by a competition is not permitted

However, the Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt am Main rightly ruled in a very recent decision (dated May 16, 2019, Az .: 6 U 14/19) that advertising with ratings generated by a company through the organization of a competition is inadmissible . The decision is justified by the fact that a customer makes a recommendation, must be free and independent in its judgment on this recommendation. Even if there is no payment in the actual sense of the rating generated in the context of a raffle, the submitted ratings are nonetheless not to be regarded as objective because the evaluators were ultimately rewarded by the opportunity to take part in the raffle. However, when looking at these ratings, the average consumer assumes that only satisfied customers give a positive and at the same time independent rating. In addition, the number of positive ratings allows conclusions to be drawn about how well known a company is in the market. Both expectations are disappointed, however, if the evaluations lack such a connection, precisely because they were only given when

If positive ratings are generated by a competition and these ratings are then advertised, this advertising represents an inadmissible commercial act that can be warned by competitors or the competition headquarters under competition law.

From purchased and self-written reviews

The decision of the Frankfurt Higher Regional Court is not surprising, since the present case is also in the broadest sense of the so-called fake evaluations. According to established case law, advertising with these purchased or self-generated reviews is misleading advertising within the meaning of the Act against Unfair Competition (UWG). In the case of purchased reviews, the misleading is that consumers are given the false impression that the person who gave the review did so solely because they are convinced of the product or the performance of the company reviewed . In fact, the rating was only given because the person received something in return from the company. But the self-generated evaluations also represent an anti-competitive business act, as this creates the impression that the company has received a large number of independent evaluations from third parties for its products or services. At no point does the consumer find out that these reviews do not come from real customers, but were generated themselves.

Outlook for practice

As tempting as it can be for marketing reasons for companies to combine participation in an attractive competition with submitting a positive rating, this approach is risky from a legal point of view. Precisely because the conditions of participation for such a competition have to be made available to the public, the risk that this will be discovered by a competitor or the competition center and proven in the event of a dispute is significantly higher than in other cases of fake reviews. It can only be advised against designing a competition in such a way that participation is linked to the submission of a rating. As a rule, such evaluations are not to be regarded as objective and are therefore likely to give other potential customers a misconception about the awareness and popularity of the advertised company.

Despite this decision by the Frankfurt Higher Regional Court, companies are free to kindly ask customers or participants in a competition for a rating. However, it should always be ensured that this request cannot be misunderstood as an obligation to act. Rather, it should always be possible not to give a rating. This must then not lead to a disadvantage for the participant. If this is heeded, positive ratings can also be achieved in a competition. Perhaps not an above-average number, but at least independent and therefore authentic.

Business

9 tips for successful newsletter marketing

Email marketing is one of the most important disciplines in online marketing. But not every newsletter is well received by customers. With these tips you can bring your newsletter marketing forward.

Marketing via email is an obsolete model in times of social media? Not correct. The distribution of newsletters is and remains an important component in your marketing. With well thought-out e-mail marketing, companies have the opportunity to retain their customers in the long term and to strengthen customer relationships, for example through promotions or extended service offers. Many newsletter tools are free, but preparing a mailing takes time and a plan. You shouldn’t blindly approach your email marketing and thereby waste time and financial resources. With our tips you can make your newsletter marketing successful.

1. Successful newsletter marketing starts with the right strategy

Before you start writing your first emails, you should first answer the most important strategic questions. What do you want to achieve with your campaign: Should a certain product be sold? Should previous customers be reactivated? Do you want to strengthen customer loyalty with small gifts? Or do you want to get feedback in order to improve your own service?

Also ask yourself who exactly your target group is. Not every campaign is equally suitable for every customer group. Think about what defines the target group of an email campaign and how they can best be reached.

2. The right first impression: the subject line

As is so often the case with email marketing, first impressions count. It starts with the subject line. If it does not ignite, your e-mails may not even be opened. Since the length of the subject line is limited to an average of 40 characters, you shouldn’t waste any space. The subject should get to the heart of the matter of your mailing. If an email is about local offers, mentioning the recipient’s place of residence can also increase the opening rate.

But not only the subject is important. Many e-mail programs also show a preview of the first sentence in the inbox in the so-called pre-header. Insert a short sentence here that supplements the subject and gives a first impression of the content of the mail.

3. Email marketing gets personal

No matter what goal you pursue with a mailing campaign: address your customers personally in e-mails. This will prevent your newsletters from sounding like a large, faceless company talking to its little customers. But that’s not all. So that emails are relevant to your customers and ultimately convert, they have to be as personalized as possible. Use all available data for this and also let the recipients enter their preferences themselves. Personalized content can also be developed based on previous shop orders.

To do this, subdivide your recipient lists into meaningful segments based on more in-depth data than just age and gender. Based on this, works with dynamic content.

4. The sound makes the music – also in newsletter marketing

With the flood of advertising messages presented to them on every website, Internet users are often dulled from marketing clichés. It is therefore important to rely on natural communication in customer contact. Say goodbye to worn-out phrases and instead develop your own tonality that is not only reflected in your e-mails, but also runs through all communication channels. Your social media postings, website texts and mailings should read like one piece. In this way you generate authentic communication and at the same time create recognition value for your brand.

5. Keep it short: Concise and useful newsletters

Your newsletter is not a novel, a catalog or an ultimate guide. It is the entrance door to further content, your table of contents to currently exciting topics and campaigns. Stay short and clear, keep linking to your main offer, resist the urge to become more and more detailed or to overwhelm the reader with information. Newsletter marketing that suffocates on its opulent length of text dies a sad death.

6. Thoughtful design and layout

Your mailings should not only visually reflect your corporate identity, but also serve a few other points in terms of design:

You should place the most important content above-the-fold. Information and offers that you want to advertise should be visible directly and without scrolling. The same applies to an initial call-to-action. The CTA should also visually stand out from the rest of the email, for example in the form of a button. It should be clearly labeled so that the mail recipients know what to expect when they click on it. At best, the associated landing page takes up the newsletter design and creates a consistent user experience.

With the right design you will also help readers to be able to skim through the newsletter better. Avoids long text passages, works with meaningful subheadings and loosens up the e-mail with images and graphics. This of course also includes optimizing e-mails for mobile devices.

7. Read correction. Thoroughly.

Nothing shakes a competent impression as quickly as spelling mistakes. This may still be forgivable with online texts, they still have the impression of being fleeting. But newsletters are compared with letters and official cover letters. So: don’t let any mailings go out unchecked. Good proofreading saves your content.

8. Find the right shipping time

When is the right time to send your newsletters, it depends a lot on your target group. While B2B customers can be better reached on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., things might look better for B2C customers in the evenings and on weekends. Mondays are often unfavorable because there is a lot to do and at the same time a mountain of emails from the weekend has accumulated. Fridays are bad because many employees are early on the weekend. Of course, this cannot be generalized. Therefore, you should experiment with different shipping days and times to find out when the opening and click rates are highest.

9. Don’t fly blind e-mail marketing : test and analyze

In theory, all of these tips sound really good. However, you can only uncover real successes and optimization potential if you regularly test, analyze and evaluate. Tests different delivery times, subject formulations and design elements. Analyzes opening and click rates and derives possible improvements from them. If your customers are already very willing to interact, you can also ask for direct feedback and suggestions for improvement.

Business

Conversion optimization: These tricks help with the web shop

Is everything looking good in your webshop? Have you found and filled a nice template for the product pages? Then take another look after reading this text.

People make around 20,000 decisions a day, a wide variety of decisions. Picking up a toothbrush is one thing, choosing a side dish at lunch is another. Even if we would like it to be different, only a very small proportion of these decisions are actually made rationally. Five percent to be precise. Psychology now assumes that 95 percent of us are steered by our own autopilot.

This draws on experiences in the past, for example if you always take the same route to work and no longer think about whether to turn left or right. You just do it. This approach is called cognitive relief. The brain tries to save work. For the online retailer, this means, for example, that the user can build trust in the shop and then refrain from checking alternative offers, or even take out a subscription. The guiding principle for the online retailer is to bring as few disruptions as possible into the relationship and not to disappoint the user’s expectations.

Feelings buy independently

The second part of the autopilot is just as exciting from the point of view of e-commerce or online marketing, because it is based on feelings and instincts. Apple buyers often do not put the last bit of rational scrutiny into a purchase decision, because they may simply exclude the “unloved Microsoft or Android”, even if there may be better or cheaper products there. Apple is just better – even if you can rarely justify it rationally!

Not every provider is allowed to become a love brand like Apple. But the active addressing of the subconscious begins much earlier. Melissa Bateson from Newcastle University found in a practical experiment that it only takes a simple trick to convince students to contribute to the coffee cup next to the coffee maker. She glued an oversized pair of eyes to the wall unit and lo and behold: the contributions to the cash register rose by 280 percent because the coffee drinkers felt they were being watched and were thus reminded of their duty.

Big Brother is not really watching you. 

Philipp Spreer from the Munich-based digital consultancy Elaboratum says: “There are a number of minimally invasive methods that are suitable for triggering intuitive behavior patterns; you don’t have to rebuild the entire website.”

Spreer has optimized the website of the watch retailer Kerbholz and almost doubled the conversion . In detail, he changed nine page elements. He has not measured the isolated effect of each individual change and does not find it ideal either. “There was not enough time for that, so we had to validate the package of measures as a whole. With a clean measurement concept, the uplift would probably be even higher. “

The logo : Kerbholz has a very simple logo. The recognition effect was only given to a limited extent. In the new website, the company name is under the logo. The measure should work against the so-called ambiguity aversion, it should bring about more clarity and unambiguity.

The breadcrumbs navigation : The old page didn’t have any, just a back button. This measure is also intended to ensure that the user remains in control and knows where he is.

The focus : a green fir tree appeared in the header of the old page, which was intended to point out the ecological approach behind Kerbholz: a tree is planted for every watch purchased. Assuming that the user already knows this on the product side, this eye-catcher acts as a distraction with the potential to be misunderstood.

Social proof : I mentioned trust above, and that is an extremely important factor, especially for new, small companies. The new Kerbholz page shows rating asterisks directly under the product name. The trigger is called social proof or framing.

Optical priority : The old page – probably a normal shop template – showed preview images with color variations under the clock. The price was not shown on the first screen. It is immediately visible on the new page and designed in such a way that it is perceived as particularly light.

The price was not visible in the first variant of the product pages. 

Availability heuristic : Explanations work best that are linked to something that practically everyone likes and knows from their everyday lives. In the case of notched wood, there are terms such as “natural wood” or “natural grain”. Our autopilot immediately saves such terms as positive.

Have vs. Benefit : If you can explain product functions or properties in daily use, the user immediately has the plastic feeling of closeness to the product. This is how the leather bracelet feels “soft”. The glass is “scratch-resistant” and “safe” against splashing water. It hardly matters whether the many features are actually all required by the user. “Many features” stands for “high quality”.

Doubly mocked : If there is a property that stands out in particular, it can be named twice in the description, if possible with different words. In the first bullet point, Kerbholz describes the clock made of “natural wood” and explains in the last point that you basically use natural materials. The message sits.

The repetition of the work with natural materials anchors this statement better with the customer.

And last but not least, it is important to take away the fear of a bad purchase from the user. Philipp Spreer speaks of inner dialogue and the new website anticipates: “You don’t take any risks”.

And that is clearly explained at the bottom of the product page: guarantee, right of return and free delivery at a glance. Spreer calls this WYSIATI : What you see is all there is. This element acts like a tranquilizer for the rational decision-making system and helps us to continue to make intuitive decisions.