Check back for the weekly word from Kevin.

Elevate your team into the stratosphere; it’s time to power up!

Get more from your team by shaking up the normal routine in these positive and impactful ways:
• Compliment Day: Employees will be more receptive to criticism if they also receive positive reinforcement. However, compliments can be instantly forgotten when followed by criticism, so make one day a week criticism-free. Don’t worry, your team already knows what isn’t great. Reserving one day a week for only positive words will not destroy their work ethic or create a giant ego. You will find your employees work harder when they know they are appreciated.
• Emotional Incentives: Do all of your employees value the same things? Chances are they don’t. That also means monetary incentives do not hold equal weight with all employees. Take the time to figure out what motivates your employees and create incentives that excite them. A $1,000 bonus and a three-day spa retreat cost about the same, but you may find that one suits a certain employee more than the other. If your budget is tight, learn what’s truly important to them. Not everything’s about money.
• Change It Up: We come to the same place to do the same work every day, and then are often asked to brainstorm to help solve problems or innovate in some way. You can get fresh new answers by changing up the scenery. For example, tell people to bring their walking shoes to the meeting and take them on a scenic walk. When immersed in new sounds, new smells, and new things to look at, it is easier to come up with new ideas and to see the old problems with a new perspective.

Do you have what it takes to be an inspired leader?

Do you dream of being a leader that inspires all of your coworkers to greatness?
Accomplishing this is may be easier than you might think, and a large part of this rests on whether or not you are inspired personally. What we are rubs off on people, and if you are driven by inspiration, it will eventually influence others.
What is inspiration? Is it having great ideas all the time? No, that’s too much pressure to put on yourself. Inspiration comes with curiosity. It is the wonderment of the every day that leads to inspiration. The clear, judgment-free nature of curiosity helps you see problems for what they are, and helps you see people for who they are.
When you are able to look at your biggest problems with pure curiosity, you can ask the right questions. This is the illusion of inspiration; we think it equals all the right answers. It actually means we’re asking the right questions.

Have you made security your top priority?

Google’s Chrome browser (55% market share) recently began marking any page with a password or credit card field as insecure if the page is not on an HTTPS connection. Moreover, Google has alluded to a plan to eventually mark all non-HTTPS sites as not secure.

What does this mean for your website? If you have been dragging your feet about ordering an SSL for your site, now really is the time to make the switch. If your site appears untrustworthy, users will leave without transacting even if the product is something they want or need.

This isn’t the first time Google has placed an importance on a secure connection. Back in August of 2014, Google informed webmasters that they had started using HTTPS as a ranking signal.

If you have questions about making your site secure, contact us today.

It’s time to create your marketing calendar (it won’t evolve by itself)

Creating a marketing calendar can help make sure you are continually getting your message out in a consistent and relevant manner even when you are too busy to focus on marketing. Here’s how to create your marketing calendar; you’ll need a couple hours and a spreadsheet (there are apps that can help you organize too, however, a simple spreadsheet will do the trick).

Create a grid with one axis listing the time intervals and the other listing your marketing activities. Be sure to list all marketing activities (including any major events you may be attending). If you end up with a time period that has a lot of events, you may be able to cut back on nonessential marketing. Conversely, you can use slow times to work on building your brand with more long-term marketing efforts (direct mail, email marketing, social media marketing).

For each time frame, get specific on what your marketing plan will be. List out who is responsible, the budget, materials needed and any other key details.

As always, if you need help creating your calendar or any of the items listed on the calendar, let us know! We are always happy to help.

Should you use fear to increase conversions?

Now that the major shopping event of the year is in our rearview mirror, let’s take a look at some of the tactics you encountered when you did your online shopping. Marketers and web-masters alike use emotion to help drive sales. Fear is a strong emotion; if used correctly, fear can actually boost your sales.

  1. Fear #1: Offer valid today only – this can help nudge people who are on the fence to act before leaving your website.
  2. Fear #2: Feature availability – this idea focuses on two things
    • There is a specific configuration available that the shopper wants
    • The configuration is in demand and limited
    • This works for products and services. This could be the aisle seat of the airplane or the widget that only comes in camo during hunting season.
  1. Fear #3: Item scarcity – knowing that there is a limited stock of the product you want can entice you to purchase now. On a website you’ll often see the inventory number listed on the site indicating just how many products are left. Knowing that you might miss out on this deal is a great incentive to buy now.
  2. Fear #4: Delivery time – knowing when you need to purchase by in order to receive a gift prior to a holiday helps people plan their purchases and eases their fear of needing to pay expedited shipping or missing the window for delivery all together.

Fear can be a tricky emotion to use in marketing, however, those who do it correctly can help users make purchasing decisions more quickly.

Ready to do battle to get more attention for your inbox?

If you are currently or considering sending emails as part of your marketing campaign, studies show that if you include a percent-off deal, a question and a 6 – 10 word email subject you will see better results.

38% of customers are more likely to click an email with a percent-off deal and 47% are more likely to convert when compared to emails with dollar-off deals. Add a perfectly timed question…a question can increase your open rate by 44% as compared to an exclamation point. Your emails need to have maximum conversion potential

Need help starting your email marketing campaign? Let us help you create an effective campaign!