You have a hidden reserve of valuable promotional copy that will drive customers and revenue to your Web site. It was written by your existing customers.
Many online marketers tap into their army of customer promoters to influence purchase behavior. Amazon.com formalized the process by allowing readers to post comments and rate books. It extended the system to enable customers to rate volunteer reviews and reviewers.
Creating promotions around customer comments significantly increases unit sales, particularly when promoting an older product with lagging sales. Seek opportunities to use customer endorsements to engage your consumers.
Customers are sincere and very believable advocates. Remember, customers have built-in bull detectors and can smell promotional hype a mile away. Customer input makes all marketing materials, including Web sites, email, and other customer communications, more believable by infusing them with the real customer voices.
Acquiring Customer Input
Gathering customer comments should go further than the need for marketing copy. You must engage customers and hear their thoughts. Some good ways to gather customer feedback on an ongoing basis:
Using Customer Comments
Enlisting customers to help sell your offering is a win-win proposition. Customers perceive that other customers, even strangers, are less biased than ordinary marketing materials. To keep merchandising fresh, continually change promotions. Customer comments can help you accomplish this while making your marketing materials more relevant.
Before using customer input:
Analyzing the Affect of Customer Comments
Some basic ideas on how to measure the affect of adding customer comments to your marketing communications mix:
Engaging customer advocates does more than just drive revenue and provide marketing copy at little or no cost. It allows you to engage customers by involving them in a continuous dialogue and deepens your relationship with them beyond their purchase history. This interaction should yield information about how to extend your offering while making it more relevant to your customers.
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Meet Your Favorite ClickZ Contributors
Many of ClickZ's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Jeremy Hull, Lisa Raehsler, Andrew Goodman, Bryan Eisenberg, Mathew Sweezey, Aaron Kahlow, Stephanie Miller, Simms Jenkins, Jeanne S. Jennings, Dave Hendricks and more!
Heidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies, an interactive marketing consultancy. She has over 20 years' experience helping clients increase profitability by developing innovative marketing programs to acquire and retain customers based on solid analytics. Clients include New York Times Digital, AccuWeather.com, CheapTickets, and the UJA. Additionally, Riverside Marketing Strategies has worked with numerous other online content/media companies and e-tailers.
Prior to starting Riverside Marketing Strategies, Heidi held a number of senior-level marketing positions at The Economist, the Bookspan/Doubleday Direct division of Bertelsmann, and Citibank.
Heidi is also a popular speaker on current industry topics.
March 19, 2014