There’s An App For That, So Should There Be One For Your Business?

Mobile phone usage is increasing incrementally every year, with the number of smartphone users reaching an estimated 2.87 billion by 2020. With that in mind, it makes perfect sense to adjust your marketing strategy to be more mobile-forward. Read on to find out how having a mobile app can boost your sales and customer base!

Continue reading “There’s An App For That, So Should There Be One For Your Business?”

Breaking It Down: How Much Should Making Videos ACTUALLY Cost?

Videos are the way to go in marketing your business, with their easy to consume content, instant shareability, and lasting impressions on your viewer. You might have considered producing a video for your own business, but thought it wouldn’t be worth the trouble. Think again!

We analysed 25 local production houses for their services provided, and averaged out the costs. In this article, we will be going through how much making a video would typically cost in Singapore, as well as the services you can get based on your budget.

Services to consider:

1. Script & storyboard

Have no idea where to start in terms of the story and flow of your video? Then you’ll need help with creating the storyboard and script.

The price will vary depending on the complexity and length you want your video to be. A longer video length = more ideas needed with the script and story!

2. Film crew

Is it time to roll the cameras yet? The budget depends on whether you want to hire a basic videography team or a full crew (that includes a lighting technician, a sound guy, multiple cameramen, etc.).

If you’re in need of video help, ThunderQuote is the place to go. Simply submit a quotation request for free and we’ll get up to 5 video producers linked up to you ASAP!

3. Director and/or producer

If you’re not fully sure how to translate your creative vision on tape, then you might need a director and producer to take on the reins.

Their fees could increase depending on how long your video will take to shoot. Though not completely necessary, it could be a big help to getting your video to perfection.

4. Actors

Have you decided who will be in front of the camera? If you and your colleagues are camera shy, you’ll need to hire an actor instead.

5. Hair and makeup

You’ll also need to consider hiring someone to do hair and makeup. Just don’t get too ambitious with wardrobe changes and crazy looks!

6. Location

Don’t forget location costs, which varies according to the venue itself.

7. Editing

Editing costs vary greatly according to the type of video you are looking to produce. Do you need basic editing or are you planning to make a more cinematic or documentary style video? Editing is hard work, so make sure to set aside a good amount of your budget for that.

Voiceovers and subtitles might be necessary too, and the cost will depend on the length of your video. Some voiceover artists will charge by the minute, so do keep that into account.

Background music is important too, and their rights need to be purchased before they can be used in your video.

Pricing average

Here’s a breakdown of the average pricing for each service we just mentioned:

 

Your video should range from $1500 – $5000, depending on your ideas and requirements of course.

Now that you have a rough idea on how much your video idea should cost, it’s time to start shooting! Not sure how to start? Submit a request on Thunderquote to get up to 5 free quotes from video production houses today!

ThunderQuote is the most comprehensive business services portal in Singapore, Australia and ASEAN , where hundreds of thousands of dollars of procurement contracts are sourced every month by major companies like Singapore Press Holdings, National Trade Union Congress and more.

6 Simple Changes to Your Web Design That Will Reel In The Clicks

You might have a fancy design on your site but if it’s difficult to use, visitors would be discouraged and click away quickly. Read these tips of the small changes you can make to your website to reel in those clicks and hike up those conversions!

 

  1. Make sure your website is mobile-compatible

In today’s day and age of people being glued to their phones, mobile-responsiveness is of utmost importance for your website. In fact, having a better layout and design than your desktop version may be even more important. A recent study suggests that almost 60% of web visits come from mobile users!

Opening a website on mobile with a messed-up layout due to incompatibility with phones is a big turn-off, so take the necessary steps to ensure that mobile users can have a good experience on your website too.

Don’t forget to make sure your site looks consistent across platforms though!

 

  1. Keep your loading times fast

No one likes waiting, especially that annoying extra few seconds for a website to load up. So much so, that a slow-loading page is the most popular reason as to why your visitor (and potential client) is clicking off your site. According to Google Webmasters, a good loading speed to aim for is 2 seconds, while Google themselves target half-second loading times.

Speaking of Google, the search engine mammoth along with several others will rank your website lower in search results due to slow loading time. This means that not only would people be clicking away from your page, but it would also be harder to find due to lower SEO rankings.

There are free tools available online to check website speed, which should be a good indicator of what you need to improve on your site. Make sure to keep third-party plugins to a minimum, reduce the amount of data used by your resources, and write your HTML to load above-the-fold content first!

  1. Keep your website search engine-optimised

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a key factor in boosting your website higher in search results, which in turn, will increase your visibility and clicks. This focuses more on the back-end of your website, as opposed to the front-end that users will see. But be warned, some web design choices will actually interfere with your SEO.

For example, having drop-down navigation that doesn’t link to the main category, using infinite scroll, not including the alt text option for image uploads, or using search to build categories instead of filters could interfere with how well search engines can scrape information from your website.

Not sure how to make your site SEO-friendly? Use ThunderQuote to get help and be connected to up to 5 web developers today!

 

  1. Revamp your website for conversions

Keeping your site’s user journey as simple as possible, from the homepage to your ‘thank you’ page, is vital to ensure that your customers don’t stray away and click off your website.

Map out your path from the homepage to the endpage of your conversion goal by testing it out on your own and with the people around you. Keep it to as few clicks as possible. Ultimately, you’ll want to improve your bounce rate by making it easy for users to go through with conversions.

How to optimise your page for conversions? Simple steps like having clear CTA buttons and keeping your main points above the fold helps!

 

  1. Test it out!

You’ll never know what works and what doesn’t for your website until you test it out yourself. Make a small change to your layout, colour scheme, or text, then analyse the data after a period of time to see if your users like the change. After going through the results, decide whether the changes you made should stay or revert to the way it was before.

To keep up with the ever-evolving world of web design, it’s best to constantly update, optimise, and debug your site. But don’t get too ahead of yourself though. Try to make one change at a time to have a clear idea of what is making your website stronger or weaker.

  1. Have clear navigation

Having a website that is easy to navigate can be a make-or-break factor for visitors. Your main menu should be clear, with all important pages available and easily accessible.

If you have a lot of subpages, keep them organised in drop-down lists. On the other hand, make sure to just keep it to the essentials, and not overwhelm your visitors with too many menu links. A search bar is vital as well, as visitors wouldn’t want to waste time scrolling through pages and pages before finding what they want.

Having an informative footer is important as well. Make sure to include all your contact information, social media links, and maybe even a short description of your company.

Also, take the time to check that all your links work. Nobody likes broken links!

 

Need help to implement these tips and redesign your website? Submit a request to get up to 5 free quotes for web design!

ThunderQuote is the most comprehensive business services portal in Singapore, Australia and ASEAN , where hundreds of thousands of dollars of procurement contracts are sourced every month by major companies like Singapore Press Holdings, National Trade Union Congress and more.

Here’s Why You Should Be Making Videos For Your Business ASAP

Videos are the new frontier of marketing. Wouldn’t you rather find more information about a product or service in video format as opposed to having to slog through articles or reading reviews?

It’s a great way to grow your business, especially in this day and age of short attention spans and video integration everywhere. If you haven’t taken the plunge into producing corporate videos to market your business, these 5 benefits will convince you otherwise.

Videos help to bump up traffic

Videos account for a vast majority of the world’s internet traffic. Not only that, the latest study of internet trends shows that more and more people are spending more and more minutes watching videos every day, especially on their mobile phones.

Tapping into this ever-growing medium would be nothing but beneficial for your business as you are catering to a majority of users who prefer watching videos over reading. More views = more sales!

Videos are sharable

Ever noticed how every other post you see on Instagram or Facebook are videos? Videos are very easy to share and consume, and viewers would feel compelled to share videos containing emotional or interesting messages. Even better, videos can be shared on multiple platforms too, so there are endless ways for you to connect with potential clients for your business.

Search engines love videos!

Having a video with the right tags and description can help to boost your SEO rankings and make you stand out instead of blending in with the rest of the search results.

The video title and caption is important too, so make sure to keep it clear and concise to make it easier for people to find you! Studies show that search results containing videos are 40% more likely to be clicked on than those without.

Create brand awareness with videos

Sure, there are a myriad of other ways to brand yourself than videos, but videos are probably the only one where you can hook potential clients in with flashy graphics, bold text, colourful transitions, and a punchy message in one go.

Go a step further and create an emotional connection with your viewers to ensure their lasting impression and remembrance of your brand. Use your creativity to make your video as attractive to your target audience as possible!

Not sure where to start with making your own videos? Click here and immediately get connected to professional video producers for free!

Videos get your website conversion rates up

Studies has shown that having a good-quality video on your website’s homepage can boost conversions by >80% compared to just a page with text and graphics!

Having a video on your landing page can keep your visitor hooked to watching instead of chasing them away with a wall of text. Put in as much information about your business as possible in a 30-second video (without being overwhelming, of course) with the right calls to action, and it’s likely your message will be absorbed and acted upon by the viewer.

 

Now that you’re convinced, time to start shooting! We know producing videos might not be the easiest, especially if you have limited resources. Make it easy with Thunderquote, and get quotes from up to 5 vendors today!

ThunderQuote is the most comprehensive business services portal in Singapore, Australia and ASEAN , where hundreds of thousands of dollars of procurement contracts are sourced every month by major companies like Singapore Press Holdings, National Trade Union Congress and more.

4 Sales Smart Hacks – Get more sales with less hours!

I am sure you have heard of the saying “work smarter, not harder” from either a friend or colleague.

But how is a question we all ask especially – when we get caught up working for many hours in our busy working environment and yet hitting the targets we want.

Well we asked the same question – and here is the 4 hacks which enabled us to multiply our own sales while saving time!

 

Put Technology to Work for You

Allow the advance of technology work FOR you instead of work with you. Tech tools such as Zoho CRM brings all of your conversations into one place across email, social media and in person. Google Analytics helps to measure advertising ROI from your online marketing efforts.

TQ Prospector can automate the manual process of you Googling for contacts and emails – instead of searching multiple sites and copy-pasting emails one-by-one, you can automatically add every email found in multiple sites and export it to Excel in seconds! What’s more, we have a free trial campaign now! Get 200 searches and thousands of emails for free here now!

There are also many other tools out that which can help to automate your daily to-dos such as If This Then That (IFTTT) which you can use to greatly reduce the daily grind of tasks you may have. But what about tasks that only you or your team can do? Read on further!

 

Focus on Most Important Tasks (MITs)

The idea behind Most Important Tasks is to give an importance to certain tasks in the to-do list. We often tend to complete the easy and less important to-dos instead of doing the harder tasks first. However, this action doesn’t benefit anyone at work at all.

We are just simply running away from the tedious task that requires more attention and effort. A way to combat this issue is to focus on simply checking off tasks in the to-do list might lead to the likelihood for procrastination.

To renew your focus on what’s important, spend a few minutes of your morning to choose 1-3 MITs and completing it by the end of the day, no matter what.

 

Type A Breakfast

You are probably thinking about having breakfast at work? Yes, you are absolutely correct! Type A Breakfast is about getting a whole day’s work done in 2 hours (along with having your breakfast if you want to). I know this sounds insane but this method actually works!

How does this work? You have to set a list of 6 tasks that will usually take up your entire workday and get it done in the breakfast. Do ensure that you have all the preparation necessary to actually do the tasks to ensure you are ready for your Type A Breakfast.

Why it helps – No one at work is to have any conversations during the 2 hours and hustle in silence. Regular 15 minutes check-ins also remind you to refocus on your task and speed if necessary. You are also not allowed to use any devices that will cause distraction and disrupt your workflow. You will be surprised to see how much you can accomplish within the given time-frame.

 

Don’t Multitask

People often misinterpret the idea of multitasking, thinking that you can accomplish a lot of things at once. However, whenever you try to multitask, you aren’t actually doing many tasks at once – in fact you are just rapidly switching your focus between those tasks.

As you are switching between tasks, you have to always re-focus and this is extremely inefficient. You might have the tendency to feel overwhelm and stressed out as the deadlines are approaching quickly and you have gotten solid work done.

Therefore, it is best to focus on completing one task at a time. By doing so, you definitely won’t find yourself feeling overwhelmed with the workload!

 

With that said, our key takeaway for you is to focus, focus and more focus – and allow technology to do as much as possible! After all why do the manual work for tasks where machines are faster, cheaper and more accurate than humans! You will find yourself no longer wasting precious time once you start implementing these work smart hacks. What are you waiting for? Work smarter now!

Converting ‘busy-ness’ into businesses – Tips to manage your workload efficiently

 

It’s not astonishing to see that salespeople need more time than ever to keep their schedules in line. Sometimes it is overwhelming by the amount of workload you need to manage daily, some of which doesn’t involve selling: finding resources, managing client relationships, attending business meetings etc.

This could lead to salespeople working overtime trying to do multiple tasks at one go. So, we came up with a few tips to manage your workload efficiently to get you to focus on what matters.

 

Getting your priorities right

It is important to set goals that don’t just put a brass ring in front of you, but a what, why and how. If your goal is to generate 100 new leads, jot down why this matters, what steps you must take to make this happen and how you will go about it.

That way you can be productive and manage your workload effectively since you have gotten your priorities right on which tasks matters more. To put it in simple terms, doing “the right thing, for the right reason, in the right way”

 

Identify your next steps

Knowing your next steps help keep you organizing and it prevents you from side tracking. Make a list and figuring out which steps to prioritise first. Then you just work you way down the list, doing the high important things before the lesser important things.

By doing this, you will not be overwhelmed with the amount of workload that has to be done and you can focus on completing the workload that is most urgent.

 

Using the right tools for efficiency

Salespeople can get geeked out over technology and tools that can help them perform more efficiently. or may be get intimidated by the number of options available and technical complexity to set up. Fret no more, we will introduce you some tools that will help you get your efficiency level up and going without needing to read a manual!

 

TQ Prospector – An extension that helps to source for contacts on any website and add each contact to a list and export it to an Excel file.

Dropbox for Business – A secure file sharing and storage tool that provides a central storage location and collaboration platform for your business files.

Prezi – Cloud-based presentation software that creates interactive presentations that include an engaging “zooming” feature and collaboration functionality that allows multiple users to work on presentations together.

Trello – A productivity tool that uses boards, lists, and cards for organizing and prioritizing.

Insightly – Cloud-based customer relationship management and project management tools for small businesses.

Manage your workload now!

 

Utilizing your ‘one-on-one’ time with your manager

Utilizing your managers to get the key resources you need to excel to manage your workload efficiently doesn’t mean you are outsmarting your boss. In fact, sales managers should spend recurring one-on-one time with their sales representatives. This allows the sales representatives to clear off any questions and any help or guidance needed.

 

Looking for the sweet spot

Once you have identified your clients, pursuit only those prospects that fit into your sweet spot. With that, this allows you to stick within the ‘business parameters’ and focus on invest your time and effort on these prospects, making your workload much more efficient and productive.

Eliminate The Biggest Headache In Email Marketing

Email marketing is no longer what it used to be. It has a low conversion rate, which means that we need to have a huge email list to make up for the small percentage and drive sales.

Finding prospects is also incredibly tedious. Before I created my tool, there were generally 3 ways to find prospects:

  1. Networking events
  2. Email lists
  3. Manual search on Google

 

Networking Events

To build our network, we go to conferences, trade shows, networking lunches, business networking events and seminars. There, we hope to find people who are interested in our product. And usually we do. These events tend to give us a higher chance to close a deal, but they are very expensive and time-consuming.

 

Email Lists

The alternative to networking events is to buy email lists. However, email lists also come with their own problems.

  • They are ridiculously overpriced
  • They are obsolete or completely incorrect (Out of 10,000 emails, at least 6,000 bounce because they are no longer in use.)
  • These emails are so flooded with emails from hundreds if not thousands of people that the receivers are either stop bothering with unknown emails or have implemented strong filters that auto-junk emails

 

THE BIGGEST HEADACHE

The biggest headache in email marketing is COST. For anyone who has tried to find email leads without burning cash, you probably tried to manually search for emails on Google. You search for your industry and click on every single search result and scroll through the chunk of text to find an email address. But that is not effective.

I used to source for emails manually from Google, which took me 4 hours to get 50 emails. But now, I take 4 minutes to get 50 emails.

Now that I have eliminated the entire process, I save over 100 hours to focus on important tasks like meeting prospects and clients.

To explain without the technical details, I built a tool that extracts every single email within a single Google Search.

 

So here is how it works. For example, if I search “Property Agency Singapore”, I will do this:

If I want to manually select results to add, I click:

This tool is completely FREE for you to use.

 

We originally built this tool to recruit >40,000 vendors for our e-procurement marketplace. But now we are making it available for everyone. If you do sales or merchant acquisition, this tool is for you. Seeing is believing. Experience the difference HERE.

 

ThunderQuote is the most comprehensive business services portal in Singapore, Australia and ASEAN , where hundreds of thousands of dollars of procurement contracts are sourced every month by major companies like Singapore Press Holdings, National Trade Union Congress and more.

How To Reduce Unsubscribers For Your Email Marketing

When people unsubscribe from our email marketing, it can be extremely painful and demotivating. It feels like a form of rejection, especially when you truly believe in the value you provide to people and they just don’t see it.

But that is the reality of sales and marketing. You and I do not meet EVERYONE’s needs. We have a target group of prospects and we want to capture as much market share as possible. Sometimes it takes a longer process of persuading, but getting a “no” does not really mean “no”. It just means “not now, maybe later.”

Understanding why your prospects unsubscribe is important to learning how to keep them on your mailing list. I have compiled some ideas for you to refine your email marketing strategy and keep your subscribers engaged.

 

State Your Objectives Clearly

It is not enough to simply say “sign up for our newsletter.” What are your subscribers going to get out of it? You need to be very clear about what you are offering, otherwise you will have mismatched expectations or worse people feel like you are just spamming them.

 

Segment Your Subscribers

Do your subscribers only want to learn about a particular topic or product out of an entire range you cover? Do varying demographics and geographies affect your readers’ expectations? How committed are your customers? Are they loyal, sceptical, deal finders or just window shoppers? Segment your email list by meaningful categories.

 

Test Email Frequency

Do your subscribers appreciate daily, weekly or monthly updates? It depends on the industry and value you are offering. Which day of the week do you receive a higher open-rate and conversion rate? Test that too.

 

Test Subject Lines

Do clickbait subject lines work well? Or do they frustrate your readers? I wrote a full-length article about the new expectations of email marketing that your readers never told you. Hope it is useful.

 

Be Personal

Rather than going “Hey friend” or worse still “Dear valued subscriber”, use your subscriber’s name! Collect names along with emails. A simple guideline is to mention your subscriber’s name once in every paragraph or so.

 

Offer Real Value

Give useful and relevant information that value-adds to your readers. Give offers, discounts and promotions exclusively to subscribers to make them feel appreciated.

 

Use Creative Formatting

Get un-boring. Refresh your style continually for visual appeal.

 

Optimise For Mobile

Why are we still saying this? Most of us read emails on mobile, so if you haven’t already considered this step, please do it. It will really help you to engage >70% of your audience reading on mobile.

 

OH NOOO! THEY STILL UNSUBSCRIBE!

This is inevitable. Rejections are a harsh reality. BUT we can do our best to minimise unsubscribes. The following techniques can help you save some prospects from flying out of your nest.

 

Allow More Options

You need to get out of the mindset that subscription is binary, either “Subscribe” or “Unsubscribe”. Think of it as a full spectrum. Your subscribers have different levels of relationships with you, and it is important to treat them differently to minimise total “unsubscribes”.

The following Email Subscriber Relationship Spectrum was developed by ThunderQuote inhouse to help us with relationship management.

 

Recognise Unsubscribe Trends

You need to be sensitive to patterns especially when they cause people to unsubscribe from your newsletter. Often it is clickbait subject lines, routine and ugly formats and poor value offered. Pay special attention to the feedback you get.

 

Building relationships with your subscribers is not easy, but we can definitely use some of these ideas to improve and give subscribers what they really need.

BONUS: We built a FREE tool that helps you find 200 email leads in 10 minutes. If you want to supercharge your email marketing campaign, click on this link.

 

ThunderQuote is the most comprehensive business services portal in Singapore, Australia and ASEAN , where hundreds of thousands of dollars of procurement contracts are sourced every month by major companies like Singapore Press Holdings, National Trade Union Congress and more.

21 Ways To Get Your First 100 Customers

Starting out is always the hardest. When you are new in the market, you need to build your startup brand awareness and know how to get customers to trust you before they are willing to buy your product. If you are struggling with how to get your first 100 customers, you are not alone. We entrepreneurs know the difficulty. Here are 21 proven strategies to build your brand and get your first 100 customers.

 

Start with Friends and Family

When you are a new entrepreneur with a startup, perhaps you are a bit embarrassed to let your loved ones know that you are entering a business venture. Look in the mirror. There’s an entrepreneur in you. Own it. Share with your family and friends. Hold a party to celebrate your new journey and pitch to them. You will be amazed how supportive your loved ones are and how much they adore your bravery. Your first customers may be people you know very well.

 

Get to Friends of Friends

Once you have let all your loved ones know the value of your business, ask for a favour.  Ask them to refer your business to their friends. That way, you will have already reached your 2nd degree contacts to know your startup. Ask them to share a social media post, a hashtag, a flyer or your website. Who knows, perhaps your friends’ friends would spread the word.

 

Start an Email Marketing Campaign

You need to quickly get publicity for your small business beyond your immediate circle. You need to know how to get customers online. To start an email marketing campaigns, I suggest that you first begin with 50,000 emails. I don’t suggest that you buy email lists. They are super overpriced and 50% or more of the emails are outdated.

At the same time, you don’t want to manually search websites for emails. If I did that, I would take 4 hours to find 50 emails. I recommend that you use TQ Prospector. It helped me find 50 emails in 4 minutes. It automates the entire lead generation process for you and it’s absolutely free for your first 200 emails! There’s nothing to lose except 200 potential customers if you don’t give it a shot!

 

Blog, Blog, Blog

At first you may be wondering how blogging can help you get customers in a short time. The truth is that blogging is useful to show to the world that you are an expert in your field. Your knowledge in your domain will help others understand what you do and respect you as a thought leader. This is especially important to build credibility as a startup founder. Learn Search Engine Optimisation to maximise your reach. Use keywords that people normally search on Google. That way, your blog post will appear on the front page of the Google search results and you get free traffic to your website.

 

Create a Newsletter

Do you remember moving your mouse out of the webpage and suddenly a pop-up on the screen appears? What does it offer? A free toolkit? An ebook? A newsletter? A free trial? Exactly. Do that. Copy best practices and this will supercharge your startup’s growth.This will generate leads for your email marketing campaign to reach your initial customers.

 

Answer Quora

A great way to directly meet your potential customers’ needs is to find relevant questions on Quora to answer. Often people ask questions that they need an expert to advice on. Treat Quora like a blog. Share your expertise and build connections with a global audience. This will bring great long-term awareness to your startup.

 

Maximise Facebook

Create a Facebook page and post your blog content. I also suggest that you create a “like-and-share” contest to incentivise your fans to share your content with the rest of the world. Building a following on Facebook is quite tricky nowadays. You may need paid adverts to give your startup brand the awareness it needs.

 

Tweet in Droves

Hashtag-ing is most popular on Twitter and it is an amazing technique to get your brand in front of a relevant audience. I recommend tweeting 10-17 times a day. Create your own hashtag and use other common hashtags also. How do you get your brand in front of potential customers? Ride on viral hashtags to drive traffic to your Twitter account. Direct your followers to your startup website through images and blog posts.

 

Pin It on Pinterest

Pinterest is a visual blog. Convert all your blog posts into infographics and post them onto Pinterest regularly. When people click on your image, link them to your website. Honestly I find myself more inclined to read an infographic than a blog post. So it is also prudent to post your infographics in your blog too.

 

Link Up on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is your digital CV. Everything you share and do on LinkedIn will determine the success or failure of your business. Be professional. People go to LinkedIn like they go for a business networking event rather than a birthday party. Share valuable educational content and not cat pictures. Advertising on LinkedIn is definitely an effective way to generate solid leads and get your first 100 customers.

 

Write on Reddit

How do I describe Reddit? It is a discussion page for everything under the sun, and that includes discussing your startup business. Getting in relevant discussions and providing insights will definitely provide you with a good reputation as a passionate leader in your industry and bring you your first 100 customers. Reddit has a cult following that is smaller than other social media platforms, but if you stay committed to the platform, you will reap a handsome number of leads.

 

Contribute to Forums

There are online forums for everything. They are decentralised public discussion pages that passionate enthusiasts gather around. These forums tend to be less formal. So it is perfectly fine to offer the lighter side of your startup business. But people on these forums know their stuff. So they appreciate truly valuable insights that have educational value.

 

Connect with Your Subscribers

Your subscribers are fans, regardless of which social media platform they follow you from. They expect to be related to as friends. So it pays to interact with them over social media. Your aim shouldn’t be to figure out how to get them to become customers, but rather how to add value to them. It helps you build rapport, learn their needs, build trust and get referrals from them. Actually help them even if it is beyond your scope. Refer them to people who can help them.

 

Call to Action

You need to link every Social Media account, blog and print adverts to a single landing page. That landing page needs to be optimised to reduce barriers to purchasing your product. You should only have 1 button “Try for Free”, “Subscribe”, “Download Now” etc. Any other button on your landing page is a distraction. Remember that your landing page has 1 sole purpose, which is to convert your committed fans into your first 100 customers. Don’t ever forget that.

 

Go to Networking Events

Conferences, book launches, breakfast clubs, round tables, and talks are great places to meet like-minded people. Always have an elevator pitch in mind to stimulate a conversation about what your startup has to offer. Prepare name cards, promo codes, discount vouchers and flyers to give away. See my article about 12 money saving tips for start-ups for ideas about how to go for these events for free.

 

Dish out Deals and Discounts

Who doesn’t love a $10 voucher? Personally, once I receive one, I want to make the most of the voucher. I will spend just to use it. It’s a psychological tactic. The loss aversion I feel from not using a voucher makes me buy. So use that to your advantage (just don’t do it to me). I still want a voucher though.

 

Try for Free

Often software has a free plan and a paid plan. You will use the free plan until you realise that you are addicted to the product and need to use the paid version. For your free plan to work, you need to make sure that you offer enough free stuff for it to be sticky and people actually stay on the free product instead of deleting it. That’s how getting them to become paid customers becomes easier.

 

Get Free Publicity

Start connecting with influential people in your field who can share your startup story on their blogs or magazines. You can cold email them or message them on social media. But the best way to make the emotional connection is through meeting them in person. That means actually going to networking events to meet people. I didn’t say this yet but I’ll say it now. Networking is nerve-wreaking for an introvert like me. I love people, but meeting new people is exhausting. But it is worth it. You will meet new friends, help others and receive help. Being in community is good.

 

Paid Adverts

I generally avoid paying for adverts, unless it is for retargeting. Retargeting is how you get undecided visitors to become customers. Retargeting basically goes like this: a visitor enters your website but decides that he needs time to think about it. The adverts he sees subsequently will be about your website to persuade him that your product is really what he needs. There is a higher chance of getting a sale from him than from randomly placed adverts.

 

Affiliate Marketing

2 is better than 1, and 3 is better than 2. So why not get someone to be your brand ambassador for your startup! Offer your salesperson a commission for each sale to incentivise him to work hard for sales. You could approach bloggers to be affiliate marketers for you too. Then you don’t have to figure our how to get customers on your own. You have a team to synergise and figure out the best strategies together.

 

Fusion Marketing

Find a complementary product to partner and exchange advertisements. Why? That’s because you will benefit from targeting your partner’s network while your partner will benefit from targeting yours. That’s why I say find a “complementary” product, not a “competing” product. Get creative about bartering for publicity.

 

BONUS: Tell your Story

Once you have made it past your first 100 customers, it is time to share your story to inspire other entrepreneurs who want to be like you. How did you end up doing what you are doing? What was the journey like? What were your ups and downs? Frame the story into the Hero’s Journey. Every story has the following elements:

  1. Living ordinarily
  2. The Call to Adventure
  3. Taking the First Step
  4. Trials, Tribulations and Troubles
  5. Meeting the Mentor (or guru)
  6. Confronting Your Biggest Fears
  7. Crippling Despair
  8. Slaying the Dragon
  9. Journey Home
  10. The Heroic Return

 

I hope this article helps you with many ideas find your first 100 customers. It is honestly not easy at the beginning, but that is the life of a startup founder. Entrepreneurs all go through these same problems as you. Keep pressing on and let us know any ideas you have too or surprising methods which worked!

 

ThunderQuote is the most comprehensive business services portal in Singapore, Australia and ASEAN , where hundreds of thousands of dollars of procurement contracts are sourced every month by major companies like Singapore Press Holdings, National Trade Union Congress and more.

10 Ways to Increase Email Marketing Sales

You need a killer strategy for your email marketing campaign. Many mediocre marketing emails do not even get opened because your readers’ expectations have changed. To make full use of this platform, you also need to ensure that you do not fall into the trap of getting into the Promotions Tab.

If you struggle to make sales through your email marketing campaign, you are not alone. Here are email marketing best practices that will maximise your click-through and conversion rate. So let’s dive in.

 

Send a Welcome Email

Sending a welcome email is important. Often it determines if your subscriber decides to immediately unsubscribe. Here is what you need to have in your welcome email:

  1. Explain clearly what your business is about
  2. Build instant rapport with a personal touch
  3. It is good practice to impress your new subscriber with a good deal or gift

Make the welcome email so valuable that your reader feels like he struck the lottery with your business.

 

Understand Your Subscribers’ Needs

Meeting your subscribers’ expectations are crucial to keep them on your mailing list. Meeting their emotional needs lets them know that you empathise and care for them.

Emotional Need How to Meet Them
Self-Expression Make each email a good talking point and conversation starter. Give them something to share with their peers.

E.g. Give them a promo code that only they have and only they can share.

E.g. Give them the most current news and bite-sized insights that they can talk about.

Help your subscribers be helpful, and help them be smart.

Belonging Create a sense of community by using your face and your name in your emails.

If possible, feature the names and faces of satisfied subscribers who are willing to contribute testimonials and helpful articles.

Control Give your subscribers the option to decide the frequency of your email newsletter. You can learn more about this in How To Reduce Unsubscribers.
Growth Upgrade your subscribers by giving them insights into your products.

Be the expert and give bite-sized commentary about your industry trends that they can chew on.

Recognition Personalise your email. Greet your subscribers by name and mention their names once in the first sentence of each paragraph.

Quote their names when answering questions or featuring testimonials. They will feel appreciated.

Care Remember your subscribers’ special days just like how you remember your anniversary. (Did you?) Send birthday deals, Christmas gift cards and suggestions for New Year Resolutions.

Send emails just to ask for feedback and answer previous questions.

Take the effort to give a timely and empathetic response.

 

Test Your Emails

Which subject line works? What content sticks? How frequent should you email your subscribers? There is no fixed answer. It varies from business to business. Do A/B testing to find out what works for you. And PLEASE… ensure that your emails work well on mobile.

 

Write Focused Emails

Keep your emails short. Use minimal pictures, 1 or 2 at max. Plain text emails with a lot of white space reduces distractions. Your subscribers will also appreciate that you do not overwhelm them with so many “BUY” buttons. Just 1 Call-To-Action button will do. Overdoing that will just create a lot of hate.

 

Blast Off With A Landing Page

Your Call-To-Action button should lead directly to a landing page that has nothing else but the product you are selling. You can learn more about the features of great landing pages in this article:______________.

 

Invent A Sale Day

There is nothing wrong with offering deals during the Super Bowl, Black Friday or China’s Singles’ Day. But these days are so crowded and small businesses just don’t stand a chance to gain publicity on such mega events. So create your own and let your subscribers anticipate it every year. Using a consistent date helps your subscribers spontaneously mark their calendar.

 

Push Abandoned Carts (For E-Commerce Businesses)

Often during online window shopping, your reader will add items to their carts only to consider them later. After that, they may hesitate and decide that they are unsure about committing to the purchase. Rather than just letting them walk away, push the cart into their inbox so that they can reconsider your products.

 

Make Purchasing A Habit

If your subscriber purchased a perishable product like dog food or scented candles, send a follow up email to re-purchase the product. To make the deal more juicy, offer a bulk discount that drives volume sales.

If your product is non-perishable like clothes and bikes, promote accessories like matching necklaces and tactical tail lights. This helps you to upsell and anticipate your subscriber’s needs. In the case of bikes, promote tyre replacements to anticipate wear-and-tear.

 

Scarcity Sells

Offer limited time deals and one-off promotions that are available only through email subscription. Having a subscribers’ promo code adds to the exclusivity of the sale and shows appreciation to your readers.

 

Repeat Successful Emails

After sending emails consistently, you need to check on the success rate of each email and decide which format and content works. If you find a particular email drives insane sales volume, do not hesitate to repeat the email.

 

BONUS: We built a FREE tool that helps you find 200 email leads in 10 minutes. If you want to supercharge your email marketing campaign, click on this link.

 

ThunderQuote is the most comprehensive business services portal in Singapore, Australia and ASEAN , where hundreds of thousands of dollars of procurement contracts are sourced every month by major companies like Singapore Press Holdings, National Trade Union Congress and more.