Conversion Rate Optimization Consulting

Are you currently running an online business?

Do you think you can sell more of your products applying the same actions?

Because that’s exactly what Conversion Optimization does for you.

You’re using the same ads, landing/sales pages, and funnels but they just convert more.

That’s something you absolutely want to focus on if you’ve been running ads for a long time but you haven’t found the formula for healthy scaling.

Just imagine doubling your conversions…

Wouldn’t that be CRAZY?

Well with today’s conversion rate optimization strategies you can easily do it.

You just have to know what to look for and how to get it.

So without further ado…

Here’s a detailed guide on how to find the best conversion rate optimization consultants and how to work with them to guarantee real trackable results.

5 Ways a Conversion Rate Optimization Consultant Can Help Grow Your Business

The professional CRO Consultant is going to optimize your funnel to the very last bit.

But there are always activities that just generate more results than others.

Say for example your sales funnel is driving the most sales for your business.

You would want to optimize the pages in it first and then move on to optimizing different social media and other website pages.

So make sure you rank your activities from most to least important and then find a CRO Consultant that can help you with the top ones.

Further down this post, I’ll go over the questions you need to ask yourself in order to understand what to focus on first.

But for now, here’s the number one way a consultant can help you optimize your CRO:

#1 Webinar and VSL Conversion Rate Optimization

Many people think conversions can be optimized only on paper.

But the same CRO process goes for any sales video you use in your business.

And with nowadays fast-paced world, most businesses have switched to selling high-ticket offers through webinars.

If you’re currently running a webinar you NEED to maximize the conversions coming from it.

You can’t keep pouring water into a leaking bucket, can you?

It’s your personal duty and obligation to make the most of your sales process in order to:

  1. Help the most amount of people with your products
  2. Generate the most amount of sales possible for your business

And that’s why hiring a professional CRO Consultant to look at your webinar, the pages, the emails leading to it, and of course the follow-up after is extremely essential.

He can quickly assess what needs to be improved and how to do it most efficiently.

Because I’m sure you wouldn’t want to record a 90-minute webinar from the scratch.

#2 Website Conversion Rate Optimization

For many businesses, their website is basically their sales funnel.

It’s the place where they drive the most traffic and get the most sales.

So if your business is in the same spot, you’ve got to realize that depending on a single thing to bring in sales (the website) is a little ambitious.

And not having it fully-optimized for conversions is straight-up idiotic.

That’s why you need to hire an Expert CRO Consultant that can optimize every single bit of your website.

You would be surprised that 43% of business owners don’t know which is the most important page on their website.

That’s why it is very easy to get distracted and focus on the wrong thing when trying to scale your business.

#3 Pay Per Click Conversion Rate Optimization

Let’s say you already have your funnel up and running.

If that’s the case, you need to start focusing your attention on paid ads that bring in more and more potential customers to your pages.

That’s an easy way to check your actual funnel conversions and optimize accordingly.

But you can’t sell your products/services if your ads don’t convert, right?

Of course, if you’re just starting, you can try setting them up on your own.

But hiring a professional to at least check your work and give you valuable split-test suggestions is crucial if you want to run the same ads for a long time.

And trust me — you want long-term result generating ads.

#4 Social Media Conversion Rate Optimization

Imagine this…

You’ve got a fully automated sales funnel that profits like crazy with ads.

You’re scaling it up but you want more…

That’s where you put your mind into social media marketing and social media presence.

Regularly posting conversion-optimized content on your Facebook Page, Facebook Profile, Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok… is essential if you want to be in front of everyone at all times.

I’m sure you know about the ancient rule of marketing — The Rule of 7.

It says that a prospect must see your marketing message at least 7 times before he proceeds to become a partner, investor, customer for your products and services.

That’s why you need to close your potential customers on all platforms.

Because if you don’t, they’re just going to lose their hype and forget about you.

Also, a well-thought-out social media strategy will not only increase your social media conversions but also your overall business followers.

Which helps in the long-term game.

#5 Back End Conversion Rate Optimization

And here comes the last but definitely not the worst option.

Which is optimizing your back end sales through with higher converting pages and follow-up.

We covered how to get traffic, how to convert it through your funnel/website, and now comes the fun part…

Your Back End. for most businesses that’s the place they make the most profits.

So neglecting it is the last thing you should do if you really want to scale your business to the moon.

Famous back end follow-up is Email Marketing.

An expert consultant will not only show you the best email marketing practices you can use in your business…

But also, he’ll suggest new ideas you didn’t even know existed till this point.

How to Get Started With Conversion Rate Optimization

After you pick what you need help with, it’s time to find out how to start with conversion rate optimization.

Firstly, you need to find a consultant that specializes in what you need help with.

Simple right? Wrong!

Hiring a consultant can either be a walk in the park or an endless lion chase.

What do I mean by that?

Basically nowadays everyone pretends to be ten times better than they actually are.

You don’t want to individually outreach people that say they’re good on their social media.

The best way to ensure results is to prepare a detailed job post and put it on freelancing platforms like Upwork.

That way only people that have experience and results in the industry will reach out and start a chat with you.

Again, be very detail-oriented in your job post and make a step-by-step checklist covering what you need before proceeding to hire your ideal match.

Measuring the ROI of Conversion Rate Optimization Consulting Services

Let’s say you hire a CRO Consultant and begin your first conversion rate optimization journey.

How can you know that you made the right choice?

Well, an easy way is to ask your consultant for expectations you can have during the project.

What increase in revenue can you expect in the first month? What will be changed and what will stay the same?

And most importantly, if you’re currently not doing it, start checking your sales and conversions daily.

I’m sure that the marketing tools you currently use track enough data to see if your consultant really makes a difference in your business.

Your ROI (Return On Investment) is crucial and you can’t craw through the desert blindfolded for months.

Meaning you can’t trust empty claims. You either get results or not. There’s nothing in between.

6 Point Checklist For Finding the Right Conversion Rate Optimization Consultant

This section will be useful for you if you haven’t hired consultants in the past.

So if you have any questions or concerns about the process you’re about to go through, just follow this detailed plan and you’ll end up with trackable and real results.

#1 Write down exactly what you need from your consultant on a google docs file

I’m sure you’ve used google docs before. If you haven’t it’s Google’s alternative to Word.

So the first step of your journey is to clear your mind on what exactly you need from your consultant.

  • What part of your business drives the most sales?
  • Do you believe it can drive even more sales? (it probably can)
  • What aspect of your business have you been neglecting until this point?

The answers to these three questions should give you a good idea of what you need help with.

If you end up having 2-3 different answers then you should pick the one that can generate the most sales in your opinion. 

#2 Create your job post

After you know what you need, it’s time to get it.

The easiest way to do it is to create a job post on a freelancing platform.

That’s a quick way to find medium-tier consultants that can do the job fast.

But if you’re a big business looking for the best of the best, you should consider talking to a leading consultant in a proven marketing agency.

Agencies have a lot more clients and that way they have access to much more relevant analytics for what works.

We recommend NP Digital as it is the best marketing agency when it comes to SEO and CRO.

So if you’re ready to take your conversions to the next level, book a call today and talk to an expert in no time:

#3 Make sure your consultant has proven results in the field you need help with

This is critical. Always make sure your consultant has a proven track record behind his back. 

An easy way is to ask for previous results these consultants have generated for similar clients. 

Of course, if you’re talking to a marketing agency like NP Digital, you don’t need to worry about results.

Then it’s time to set up some calls. Try to talk to at least 3 consultants and always ask for their opinion about the strategy you should be using.

That way you’ll have different perspectives and maybe find out something you missed when doing your personal assessment.

#4 Hire them and do NOT be cheap

After you’re sure who’s the best consultant of the bunch, you should begin your contract.

But don’t jump the gun too fast. You never know what could go wrong.

So before you start a long-term retainer with your CRO Consultant, you should first hire him for a test project.

Find a small thing they can optimize to start with.

If they do a good job, then move to a larger project.

And don’t expect results from consultants that charge 5 dollars an hour. 

Go all out on this project and hire the best of the best so you get your desired results.

#5 Track the results daily

Tracking your ROI is extremely important as we mentioned previously.

You should always do the math and see if your consultant makes you money in return.

If you’re not happy with the results and don’t see a positive future at some point in your contract, just end it.

Still, if they did a great job until the point you decide to end the contract, always make sure to leave him a positive review/testimonial that he can use for future clients.

#6 Keep investing until you stop getting results

But what happens if this consultant never stops generating results?

That’s more common with agencies that specialize in multiple marketing skills.

And if that’s the case for you, just keep investing until they stop.

You wouldn’t want to throw away your golden goose, would you now?

If the results from the first month exceed your expectations, you should consider raising your consultant’s salary/working hours. 

Let him manage and optimize even more parts of your business. 

Of course, don’t force him to do it.

If they just optimize your funnel and you want to focus on social media presence, you should first ask him whether they do that as well.

If he’s not up for it, you can look for another talent that can handle this part of your business.

It’s time to make you some money!

Please use the process I just shared with you and do it now.

If you procrastinate on hiring a CRO Consultant, you can really lose on a lot of money.

Your conversions are the thing that drives your sales.

So leave what you’re currently doing and go get your Conversion Rate Optimization Consultant.

Also, have you ever worked with a CRO Consultant? If yes, how was it? Share your experience in the comments below:

The post Conversion Rate Optimization Consulting appeared first on Neil Patel.


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How to Use Email Images to Boost CTR

email images

Email is one of the most effective marketing campaigns out there — in fact, the average ROI of an email campaign is 122%.

For those who aren’t afraid to take a few extra steps, email images will spice up your campaign and help your email campaign stand out.

I’m going to show you how to leverage images in email the right way.

Email Images: Yes or No?

You can use email images, but should you?

I want to start by asking a few questions, because these will help you determine if using email images helps or hurts you. Read these and answer yes or no:

  • Do my images support my brand?
  • Have I optimized the image size?
  • Am I using the right number of images?
  • Am I properly using image alt tags?
  • Are my emails easily accessible?

Chances are you may not even know the answer to all these questions.

If that’s the case, then you’re not getting all you can from your email images, and this guide will help you.

But it’s not quite that simple. Having email images can boost your email’s aesthetics, but how do you increase email click-through rates with images?

What Is a Good Email Click-Through Rate?

Your click-through rate is the percentage of people who click on an image, link, or video in your email to continue through to your content. The average click-through rate is around 2.5% across all industries.

This number might sound a little low, but keep in mind, we’re talking about click-through and not open rates, which is the number of people who read your email.  

Including images in your campaigns is a great way to increase engagement and improve your chances of driving traffic or even sales.

Images in Email Marketing: The Magic Ratio

Email image ratio

Many marketers will tell you there’s a specific magic ratio of image to text, but it’s not always true. What is true is image-only emails will almost always cost you a trip to the spam folder.

Do that too much, and you’ll find your whole domain blacklisted.

That’s no good.

The ideal ratio is around 30-40% image to text. Any higher, you run the risk of triggering spam filters. Any less will make your email difficult to read.

The only way to find out what works for your audience is to test it! Use A/B testing to figure out what works and what doesn’t.

Keep Your Email Images Consistent

Keep email images consistent

How many times have you searched for something on Google, found what you wanted, and clicked through to the website only to realize the link didn’t lead where you expected — at all?

It’s frustrating.

The truth is, you might be doing this to people right now without even realizing it.

Your email image needs to align with your brand and remain consistent throughout your marketing campaign.

Make sure when someone decides to open your email, it remains true to your company message, and all the emails look relatively similar.

If you’re using blue headers with a specific font in your campaign, it should match the landing page your visitor ends on.

Personalization and Targeting Are Key

Email personalization is more important than ever.

Why? 

Because there’s more impersonal spammy communication out there than ever before. Personalization changes the way your email appears based on the person you’re targeting.

Just think about it. How often have you received an email that seems like it was made for you?

Not often, right?

This is where you can get ahead of your competition by doing the things no one else is willing to do.

No product or service has “universal appeal,” so you need to narrow down your email images to a targeted audience.

According to Invesp, 59% of online shoppers find products more interesting when you personalize your marketing approach.

So, how do you personalize your email images?

Cater to Repeat Buyers

Find products people need to purchase regularly and appeal to people who bought in the past. Amazon uses this strategy, resulting in 60% conversions from their on-site recommendations.

Here’s an example from Wayfair that was based on browsing history:

images in email example

Recommend New Products

Recommend products to customers based on their previous buying history. Go the extra mile and even call it “Selections for [insert name].” That strategy helps create an “in-store experience” for your subscribers.

It’s as if you went to the clothing rack and specifically picked out items you thought would look great on them!

Ask Questions

If you’re selling a service or a digital subscription, you can ask your subscribers why they haven’t made a purchase yet. Give them a chance to sound off on what’s holding them back.

Doing this not only helps the email feel more personal and intimate, but it allows you to get feedback on what you could do better.

The ALT Tag Is More Important than You Think

We all know the importance of ALT tags for website images, but what about images in email marketing?

Are you currently using ALT tags properly in your email campaigns?

email image alt text

When the email client doesn’t download images correctly, your ALT tag becomes your lifeline for a few big reasons:

  • When the email client doesn’t download the image, the ALT text displays to the email recipient.
  • ALT text provides context if images aren’t loading.
  • ALT tags make it easier for those who use screen readers and other accessible technology to understand the image.

When all else fails, the ALT tag might be the thing getting the email recipient to open.

How to Create ALT Tags for Emails?

On the back end, an ALT tag looks like this:

<img src=”youremailimage.jpg” border=”0″ alt=”How to Use Email Images in Email Marketing” width=”482px” height=”205″ />

Where it says “alt=” is where your ALT text goes. So, if an email image doesn’t load properly, that’s what will display across the email text area instead of the image.

The process of adding it might vary based on what email client you use. Here’s how to add ALT tags on MailChimp, for example.

Use the Best Format for Email Images

You have three primary formatting options for your email image. PNGs, JPEGs, and GIFs are the most common choices. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each.

PNG

Portable Network Graphics offer a large color palette, which means compressing the file size doesn’t impact the image’s resolution.

Another benefit is that you can add transparent layers, making it easy to embed the image on top of other content. This lets you blend the background image into an email with live text.

The only downside to PNGs is the file size is much larger compared to JPEGs and GIFs because of the image quality.

JPEG

JPEGs offer large image compression, but doing so impacts the quality of your image. When you reduce a JPEG image, it groups each section into larger blocks, which causes the image to become blurry — which isn’t a good look.

While these are the most common image types, I wouldn’t recommend using them for email images.

GIF

You get less color vibrance with GIFs because they use an 8-bit color palette compared to a 24-bit palette with PNGs and JPEGs.

The obvious difference is the animation effect. Using GIFs in your emails increases interactivity and can allow you to show more than one product with the same image.

How to Find the Best Email Images

Finding the right images to get your email message across is crucial. There’s a variety of different types of images you can use, and each has its own purpose. Let’s look at a few.

Charts and Graphs

Providing statistics and data is almost useless without a graphic to back it up. When you provide charts in your email to prove a point, it makes it much easier for the recipient to grasp your message.

Inside’s business newsletter has a Series A funding tracker where you can see what startups recently got funding above $5m:

inside funding tracker

This easily shows at a glance who got the largest amount of funding, by size and color.

Piktochart is an infographic tool that makes it easy to create free charts (with a watermark). Just enter the data and select the type of chart you want.

Stock Photos

Stock images are the easiest way to add images to your email marketing campaign. There’s a large assortment of sites to choose from like Shutterstock, Depositphotos, and Pixabay.

When sourcing the best image, choose something relatable to your audience. If you’re targeting middle-age moms of toddlers, find images that appeal to your demographic.

Don’t just add images to add images — make sure they have a purpose.

Screenshots

Instead of using a numbered list to explain how something works, turn the process into beautiful imagery with screenshots.

Awesome Screenshot is a browser extension on Chrome, Safari, and Firefox that makes it easy to capture screenshots directly from the browser. You can capture a whole page or a part and download it to your computer.

Personal Photos

Keeping it real and making things personal is never a bad choice. Email marketing is all about pulling back the curtain and showing people what you’re all about.

You don’t need professional photos to make sales, and the realistic and pure nature of personal photos can be what you need.

Illustrated Content

Illustrations are a nice way to expand your possibilities. While you might be able to do a certain amount of things with a product, an illustration can display limitless options while staying true to your brand.

Here’s an example from comedian Nate Bargatze announcing a drive-in tour. After this image, his email contained a text call-to-action with more information.

nate bargatze email image

Consider hiring an illustrator on Fiverr or Upwork to get affordable illustrations.

User-Generated Content

User-generated content is huge. In fact, 76% of customers trust content coming from “average” people versus the brand itself.

UGC helps create trust, and it offers authority from a relatable audience. For example, imagine how an image of someone using your product in their home would outperform a stock photo or a cartoon using it.

Offer rewards to happy customers by having them upload images to social media using specific hashtags and use those images in your email marketing campaigns.

Never Send Image-Only Emails

While images are important – you should never send an image-only email.

Here’s why:

Image Blocking Is Real

If you work in the corporate world, you understand this point. Many companies block images by default, and in fact, 43% of email users have their images turned off.

So, if you don’t have your ALT text game up to par, your campaign won’t load properly.

Email Image File Size

Email image sizes can cause subscribers with slow connections to lag and become unresponsive. If your email takes too long to load, your subscribers are going to click out or even unsubscribe because they can’t get your emails to open correctly.

Email Accessibility Is Changing

More people are using voice assistants to read emails, and these do not recognize ALT text or HTML yet. So, if the user is trying to read your image-only email, you’re out of luck.

So, what’s the ideal email image format?

Background Images with Live Text

Remember earlier, when we talked about the pros of using PNG files for your email images? Here’s where this all comes together.

Background images applied as an element to the email allow you to put live text over it, providing the most accessibility. Even if the subscriber has images disabled, they’ll see the text, which ensures all your subscribers will get something from the email.

Bulletproof Buttons

Including your CTA in your image is a fatal error. If the image is blocked or doesn’t load properly, the button or CTA you have is hidden and completely missed by the recipient.

Using bulletproof buttons allows you to build the button with code, rather than images. So if everything fails and your image doesn’t load, the subscriber will still receive your text and CTA.

Conclusion

Email images are an effective strategy to increase your email campaigns’ success, but you can’t take shortcuts.

Using the right image size, format, and design is critical to ensuring your emails get delivered and get results.

Follow all of the best and worst practices outlined in this guide, and you’ll be well on your way to a higher click-through rate and a repeatable email process that will drive traffic for years to come.

Need some help perfecting your email image strategy? Drop a comment below.

The post How to Use Email Images to Boost CTR appeared first on Neil Patel.


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From comedy to diversity

Tissa Hami spoke to a martech audience at Inbound about diversity. We listened to her unsual story.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.


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Email Marketing Consulting

A question: Do you know anyone who doesn’t have an email?

Highly unlikely, right?

After all, it’s mandatory to get an email address for all kinds of things – from opening a bank account to signing up for social media platforms to booking flights online.

And that’s not it!

Nearly 3.93 billion users have email addresses, out of which the clients you’re trying to target or retain already have active email addresses.

What makes it even better is that most people don’t mind signing up for a product/service demo or a lead magnet in exchange for their email addresses. 

In short, you get a direct connection to your lead, where you can leverage your offerings and boost your chances of landing a sale.

Let’s take a look at some email stats while we’re at it:

  • Nearly 99% of consumers check their emails daily.
  • 73% of millennials prefer receiving business communication via email.
  • Approximately 80% of business professionals believe that email marketing can be incredibly useful for increasing customer retention.

In addition to the above, experts found that email marketing is 40 times better than running social media PPC for increasing customers and gives you an average ROI of $38 for every dollar spent.

So why not incorporate the brilliance of email into your marketing strategy to achieve your business objectives?

This also brings us to our next question: Why do most campaigns fail despite such fantastic results?

Well, landing into people’s email inbox isn’t as easy as one would assume. Making sure your email gets read is yet another obstacle.

Precisely where email marketing consultancy comes in.

Using the expertise and experience of a consultant, you’ll be able to reach large swathes of prospective clients faster and without much effort. 

Plus, email marketing can help you score some big wins, whether it‘s your marketing goals or commercial goals.

In this guide, our team at Neil Patel Digital will help you through the process of hiring a consultant for email marketing, along with its benefits for your business.

4 Ways an Email Marketing Consultant Can Help Grow Your Business

If you find yourself googling the term “Email Marketing consultant,“ chances are you’re in one of the following situations:

  • You’ve tried going through multiple blog posts and YouTube videos that tell you how to run good email campaigns, but it still didn’t work.
  • You haven’t been successful with email marketing ad gurus or email marketing agencies despite spending a bomb on your campaigns.
  • You‘re tired of sending poor emails and are even considering asking Sundar Pichai how to connect your money to your results.

The fact that you’re looking to hire an email marketing consultant means you want one thing – business growth.

If you don’t have a consultant already, there’s a good chance you aren’t getting as much out of marketing as you potentially could.

At the same time, we have to point out that email marketing has no cookie-cutter approach

The consultant you choose should be able to come up with a solution after taking into account the unique challenges faced by your businesses, along with other factors like your business goals and budget.

The following are a few ways in which an email marketing consultant can help formulate an authentic and winning marketing strategy:

Make Email Marketing Easier For You

Email marketing is easy – but only at the surface.

Even after writing emails almost every single day, it can be challenging to put together an effective email marketing campaign.

You can, of course, write an email and send it out to your subscribers. But whether or not you get results is another story.

Writing a marketing email is completely different from writing a typical business or personal email. You have to put in a lot of thought and effort – something that an email marketing consultant can help with.

These consultants understand the nuances involved in putting together a good email. And considering this takes a good deal of know-how and skill, it’s a task better left to experts.

Could you still figure it out for yourself? Probably.

But do you have the time to learn a complex new skill such as writing effective marketing emails? Probably not.

Getting a consultant is a perfect shortcut to the whole marketing process, where you get faster and better results.

No Time or Money Wastage

If you don’t have a strong background in email marketing, the majority of your time – or whichever employee you give the responsibility to run your email marketing – will be spent on learning, tweaking, and figuring things out.

So not only do you lose time, but you also lose a sufficient sum of money considering email marketing is a pricey affair.

You may think that having a consultant is an extra expense. In reality, however, it is more of an investment that can drive sales and grow your business – that too without having to invest money into the learning curve.

Adding a Personalized Touch to Email Campaigns

A personalized email campaign can help you effectively engage with your audience. An email marketing expert and strategist will create a campaign, which is customized according to recipient characteristics. 

Why does personalization matter, you ask? 

Consultants segment your subscriber list based on factors like age, location, gender, buyer interests, purchase habits, and so on. These insights can then be used for creating emails that have a greater appeal to the recipients, which, in turn, will deliver better results.

This is also one of the primary reasons why you should hire an experienced email consultant who knows how to create email campaigns for a variety of target audiences.

Email List Nurturing

One of the biggest advantages of email marketing is you stay connected with potential customers while driving new sales.

However, the whole purpose will be defeated if you have a tiny email list.

An email marketing consultant can provide your email subscribers with information and calls to action that subtly nudge people to the next logical action. This can include downloading information, subscribing to newsletters, or making a purchase.

Additionally, the consultant knows the art of creating effective triggered messages for specific purposes, such as cart abandonment, welcome messages, post-purchase, and transactional emails.

How to Get Started With an Email Marketing Consultant

Every email marketing campaign requires a thorough strategy that attracts the right kind of audience and delivers results.

Generally, it starts with defining your target audience and building an email list. Working with an email marketing consultant will take most of this load off your shoulders, though.

The following is a step-by-step guide to help you get started with a consultant to enhance the efficiency of your email campaigns:

Hiring the Right Email Marketing Expert

Before you start strategizing and implementing plans, you need to have the right person to manage your campaign.

You can determine the suitability of a prospective consultant by asking him the following questions:

  1. Is the email marketing consultant capable enough to develop underlying strategies for their marketing campaign?
  2. Can they build and manage multiple successful email campaigns?
  3. What is their approach when designing and creating promotional emails?
  4. Do they have the necessary creative and technical skills?
  5. Are they comfortable using email marketing analytics to audit email campaigns?
  6. How familiar are they with email marketing tools, and SEO and SMM best practices for optimization?

The list is long but necessary to help you determine the right fit. You can either hire freelancers on platforms like Upwork or Reddit or opt for more seasoned consultants who usually ask potential clients to fill an inquiry form.

Hold Discovery Sessions

You should hold frequent meetings with your selected consultant to make sure both of you are on the same page with regards to your business goals and budget.

Take this as an opportunity to discuss your expectations from these campaigns, how you expect them to perform, and any other consideration you may have.

At the same time, this will make the email marketing consultant aware of your objectives and goals. When discussing strategies, always be vocal about your vision and the kind of money you‘re comfortable spending.

Review the Campaign Strategy

In this stage, the consultant will use their expertise and knowledge to come up with a framework of the marketing campaign.

You can do a detailed review of the whole plan before giving the go-ahead. In case you want to make any changes, make sure you let the consultant know.

This should include the type and how many emails to send, what tools to use, how to implement email segmentation, personalization and automation, and so on.

Give the Final Go-Ahead

Once you launch an email marketing campaign, you cannot expect the result to be instantaneous and positive.

Like every other process, there is a learning curve involved.

Within the first few weeks, you and your consultant will get an idea about the type of emails and CTAs that your target audience reacts most to, the subscribers that actually open your emails, and the ones who don’t.

The insights you gain can be implemented in future campaigns, which can enhance the overall effort and help you achieve better results.

Keep an Eye on Campaign Performance

The email marketing consultant will collect, analyze, and provide you with useful insights about the launched campaign.

Depending on the results, they’ll use their skill set and knowledge to suggest tweaks for writing better emails and making other adjustments.

You can also adjust your budget as needed. After all, the main aim is to meet the predetermined objectives – be it more leads, increase in click-throughs, or driving sales.

Remember, you should continue monitoring the whole process and making adjustments when needed even when your email campaign starts performing better.

Measuring the ROI of Email Marketing Consulting Services

Email makes you money in one of the following two ways: product sales and lead conversion. 

This stays true irrespective of your industry, and is, in fact, used by companies to grow their business and generate higher revenue.

Before we discuss the two concepts in more detail, you should know the crucial key performance indicators (KPIs) involved in the fascinating world of email marketing.

Here are a few of them:

  • The number of emails delivered
  • The number of emails opened
  • Click-through rate
  • Click to open rate
  • Unsubscribe rate
  • Bounce rate – hard bounce (permanent) and soft bounce (temporary)
  • Spam complaints
  • Social shares
  • Forwards

Product Sales

The sale of a product or service is the obvious end goal for every business owner.

A consultant should be able to get your subscriber to buy something from your website after reading your email. And while this may sound simple, it can be surprisingly complex.

The expert needs to work on all the basics of a good email, such as a compelling body text, attention-grabbing subject line, and appropriate visuals.

These emails should walk the recipients through the four phases of the purchasing process – awareness, consideration, decision, and delight.

Lead Conversion

As the name suggests, the idea here is to convert the lead into a paying customer.

For those of you who aren’t aware, the customer journey can be quite long, requiring you to follow up several times with a person until they finally make a purchase.

In this case, your consultant needs to work on creating convincing emails that provoke the recipient to take the final plunge.

In this case, your subscriber list will receive a series of emails based on the sales process with an option for your lead to convert into a paying customer at the end.

5 Point Checklist for Finding the Right Facebook Ad Consultant

Below, we’ve compiled a list of five things to check when finding the right email marketing consultant to promote business growth:

Know Your Goals

After you’ve taken all the pain to go through the dozens of steps necessary to launch a successful email campaign, you need to make sure the outcome is aligned with your initial business goal.

For this, you have to first know what this specific goal is.

Your goals will help you select your ad campaign objectives, the kind of ads you want to run, and how you can create key performance indicators (KPIs) to make sure you hit those goals.

Keeping this in mind, your next step should be to find a consultant that can help you achieve your goals. Although there are plenty of freelancers on the market, enlisting the services of high-caliber consultants are typically a better choice due to their larger expertise and knowledge.

Expertise in Creating Excellent Emails

The primary job of an email marketing consultant is to help you land more sales or generate leads through email.

In other words, they should be well-versed in email best practices that get the job done. Additionally, the consultant should be able to design effective and executable email marketing strategies that deliver results and add more value to your campaign.

A Winning Marketing Process

Different email marketing consultants have unique processes when it comes to delivering results. 

Just like your campaign needs to be exclusive, every consultant has an innovative thought process and a distinct style of doing things as well.

Hence, it’s important to make sure the consultant‘s process resonates with yours to prevent any clashes.

Relevant Experience With Credentials to Back Claims

Email marketing is anything but a narrow concept.

This is exactly why we recommend enlisting the services of high-caliber consultants that usually comprise a team of specialists, which gives you in-depth knowledge to connect every aspect of the email marketing process on the whole.

This includes copywriting skills, technical skills, email and web analytics, and knowledge about email marketing tools.

A Distinguished Portfolio and Testimonials

Always look for a consultant who has demonstrated hands-on experience and has worked with a diverse set of clients.

A diverse clientele would ensure a better understanding of how to send effective emails to recipients who have different ideologies, thought processes, and beliefs.

In addition to the portfolio, customer testimonials are equally important. Before signing the contract, make sure you check out client reviews to get an idea about the professionalism and work ethic of the email marketing consultant.

Wrapping Up

If you want to do email marketing right, but don’t have the internal resources required, a consultancy might be your best bet.

Hiring the services of an email marketing consultant will assure you expert support throughout your marketing strategy and help you achieve real results that actually benefit your brand.

At Neil Patel Digital, we have years of expertise and knowledge about the best email marketing practices, and also offer additional programs like SEO and content creation to streamline the whole campaign for maximizing results. You can get in touch with us here.

The post Email Marketing Consulting appeared first on Neil Patel.


Source: New feed 2

Facebook Advertising Consulting

Social media dominates the present-day marketing landscape. More so, a platform like Facebook that gives you direct access to 2.6 billion people.

But is it actually worthwhile to use Facebook?

Facebook advertising has definitely increased in popularity, with an increasing number of businesses using the platform to gain new leads and stay connected to their existing customers.

Plus, there are solid stats that highlight how useful incorporating Facebook can be for your marketing strategy:

  • A total of 1.6 billion users see Facebook ads, out of which 1.21 billion are between the ages of 13 and 34.
  • An average Facebook user clicks on about 12 ads every 30 days.
  • Approximately 80% of social reference to e-commerce sites stems from Facebook.

Converting visitors into customers should be super easy on the platform then, right? Sadly, this isn’t the case.

You see, all your marketing efforts will backfire if you don’t have a carefully planned Facebook ad campaign in place – one that is impactful and is supported by in-depth knowledge of the platform’s best practices.

There is no shortage of gurus who will run Facebook ads for you too, so how do you find somebody who will get you actual results?

Our team at Neil Patel Digital has created this handy guide to help you find the best Facebook ad consultant who knows what he’s doing, without wasting your marketing budget or talking in circles.

5 Ways a Facebook Ads Consultant Can Help Grow Your Business

You’ve heard of multiple businesses having success with Facebook and Instagram ads, but you haven’t been able to make them work for you.

So what went wrong? 

If you want to explore Facebook as a means to advertise your products and services for maximizing sales and generating leads, you need an expert

Developing a winning Facebook ad strategy comes from experience and expertise – something that a Facebook ad consultant can offer. After all, it pays to be really good in your chosen field and have a track record of success.

Here are a few ways in which a Facebook ad consultant that help grow your business:

Extremely Advanced Audience Targeting

If you consider yourself a savvy business owner, it’s natural you would want to take full advantage of everything that Facebook marketing offers. 

This is precisely what a Facebook ad consultant can help you achieve.

Since consultants are experts, they can develop ads that target people by demographics, location, gender, income level, age, interest, education level, and behavior, among other factors. In fact, the expert will know targeting options that you may not have even heard of!

For instance: Did you know Facebook permits you to target an audience based on the recent purchases made?

Additionally, a consultant has the know-how to create custom audiences, lookalike audiences, and layer targeting options, each of which allows you to get very granular with your targeting.

Easy Adherence to Strict Facebook Protocols

Facebook is like a strict teacher from school who likes to maintain discipline and decorum. 

The platform’s main lookout is to protect users and their sentiments so that they continue using Facebook. They don’t want them to be annoyed by frequent ads or get insulted by any sponsored post.

Basically, creating a Facebook ad that gets approved isn’t easy – you have to remember a lot of rules.

You can end up wasting a lot of time, with a serious threat of getting your account flagged if you aren’t careful. 

Facebook rejecting your ads doesn’t necessarily mean that they were offensive or irritating. It’s just that they didn’t meet the intricate rules and regulations the platform has to protect its users.

But guess who knows all these rules and regulations? An experienced Facebook ad consultant.

They can use their expertise to create attention-grabbing ads that not only force the viewer to take action but also comply with rigid Facebook policies.

Help Boost ROI Through Remarketing

If this is the first time you’re hearing of remarketing or haven’t yet utilized this excellent tactic to manage your ads, hiring a Facebook ad consultant is definitely wise on your part.

Remarketing is a powerful way to target people who have already visited your website, which, in turn, can be useful for driving up your ROI. And not only website visitors, but you can also connect with those who have used your app or given you your email address.

The consultant takes advantage of these people who are already engaged with your brand, and hence, may only need a little bit of coaxing before they take the plunge and finally place their order. 

To build your remarketing audience, they develop a system to tag your website visitors with a cookie.

Trust us, remarketing on Facebook can be very useful for increasing your revenue without breaking the bank. Facebook ad experts set up the whole system so you can continue to build your business around the clock.

Help Maximize Your Facebook Ads Budget

Your Facebook ad budget is a small part of your overall marketing budget. 

If you plan on using paid ads, you might also be targeting customers on Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. Consequently, you cannot afford to waste your money on a single channel, as it’ll reduce your funds for other initiatives. 

Since a Facebook ad consultant knows the ins and outs of the platform, the possibility of errors is considerably less when compared to an amateur. The former also use intelligent tactics to maximize budgets and conversions on ads sets.

For instance, most consultants increase ad set budgets by 20% every 2 to 4 days. This warrants a gradual increase, which doesn’t trigger a new learning phase, ensuring more stable performance. While it’s true that growing the budget does take time, your ad set life will be longer with fewer performance dips.

Efficient Scaling of Facebook Ads

Scaling Facebook ad campaigns is very challenging, mainly due to the dynamism of the platform.

You need to constantly update your strategies and tactics when making changes in Facebook’s Ad Manager, and manage ad creatives. In short, it’s a continuous cycle of developing winning campaigns and fighting ad fatigue.

Any reputable consultant is well-versed in tactics that can make the process more streamlined and effective. Some of these tactics include: 

  • Using automated rules for scaling
  • Duplicating successful ad sets
  • Securing the lowest manual bid
  • Adjust your ad set budget according to performance

In short, they take care of everything.

Think of the consultants as Michelin Star chefs that have their own unique recipes for their client’s campaigns. They are ready to experiment, make mistakes, analyze, and automate, which ultimately boosts your business growth.

How to Get Started With a Facebook Advertising Consultant

Now you know you can grow your business by hiring an expert with Facebook ads.

The next step is to figure out how you can get started with Facebook advertising consulting. 

Just throwing money at the problem and hoping for the best isn’t a good strategy. You require a clear road map that illustrates your end goal, along with milestones that can guide you to stay on the right track.

We’ve compiled a list of steps below that can help you make sure you have the right person or people managing your account.

Find and Hire the Right Facebook Ad Consultant

Having the right person manage your ads account is like that essential puzzle piece of a puzzle that completes the whole picture – without it, it‘ll remain incomplete.

Before hiring anyone, make sure you do your best in researching and looking at the credentials of prospective candidates.

The following are a few ways to determine the capabilities of the prospect:

  1. Ask to see their past portfolios and results they have previously achieved for other clients.
  2. Find out whether they are familiar with your target audience and style.
  3. Good communication skills and a pleasant personality so you can express your wants without hesitation.

Another alternative is to use online hiring platforms, such as Upwork, Freelancer, and Reddit. Here, you can either post a detailed project description of what you need to be done or choose a freelancer profile from these marketplaces.

Seasoned consultants, which we highly recommend, usually ask potential clients to fill an inquiry form, and then schedule a call for a discovery call.

Hold Meetings to Set Out Expectations

Once you’ve selected your expert consultant, you should hold frequent meetings to discuss your goals and budget. They should know what you expect from the Facebook ads, how you want them to perform, and how often you would review or tweak them.

Even the expert should be aware of your vision and budget constraints within which he has to operate. Thanks to their experience, the consultant will help you set your goals, but the overall objectives should always come from you since it’s your company at the end of the day.

Remember, your expert wants you to be crystal clear about your expectations and the amount of money you’ll be comfortable spending on your advertising.

Review the Growth Game Plan

The fact that you hired a Facebook ads consultant means you want your business to grow.

You want to use their expertise in Facebook advertising and take advantage of their knowledge. So you should give them the flexibility to come up with a game plan for your advertising campaign. Let the consultant work out the details based on your input.

You can then schedule a detailed review of the game plan before giving the go-ahead. Make sure that you’re on board with all the decisions before the campaign goes live.

Get the Ball Rolling

The learning curve is a part of advertising – be it Facebook or any other social media platform.

There is no guarantee that your first ad campaign will be successful or as lucrative as you wanted it to be.

The funny thing is that it’s a good thing.

The first few weeks after your campaign goes live is a learning stage where you and the consultant get an idea about who engages with your business and how you can adjust your strategies to increase ad appeal.

Hence, don’t be afraid to set your plan in motion. The valuable data you get after the launch is the key to future success.

Monitor Results and Adjust Budget Accordingly 

Never max out your budget before reviewing your ad campaign performance. 

The Facebook ad consultant will collect, analyze, and provide you with all the relevant data about the campaign. He or she will also suggest tweaks that can help your ads perform better.

After implementing the suggested adjustments, you can work on incrementally increasing your budget. Even when your ads start performing better, you should continue monitoring and making adjustments over time.

The aim is to keep improving your ad strategy always, and the expert should be able to take care of this for you.

Measuring the ROI of Facebook Advertising Consulting Services

Let’s assume you hired a Facebook ad consultant, and have launched your first campaign.

How do you know you made the right choice with the candidate? Or are the ads effective in driving leads and sales?

The only way to find out whether your campaign was a success or not is to measure the ROI.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you okay with only building your list with no return on your ad spend for now?
  • Is your strategy to just break even with your tripwire?
  • Do you want to prioritize building your email list for a future launch?
  • Do you have any return expectations? Say for every $5 you spend, do you expect to make at least $10? 

Once you figure out the answers to the above, talk to your consultant about the same.

Ask the expert what increase in revenue you can expect in the first month of launching the campaign, and in case the ad performs poorly, what remedial measures would they take to ascertain a consistent ROI.

Measuring the ROI of your Facebook ads is dependent on the following data:

  • Spend
  • Clicks
  • Connections or leads
  • Cost per lead
  • Customers
  • Cost per customer

Tracking ROI from social media can be a nightmare. But having a consultant on board equips you with the right knowledge about variables and tools that can simplify tracking, cost association, and revenue measurement.

Your ROI will tell you whether you’re getting results or not, providing you a bird’s eye view of the whole campaign.

4 Point Checklist for Finding the Right Facebook Ad Consultant

Are you wondering how to hire the best Facebook ad consultant for your brand that understands your requirements and can successfully deliver results?

Below, we‘ve created a detailed checklist to help you walk through the entire hiring process.

Objective Advertising Expertise

To get results on Facebook, you need to create impactful ads that can deliver results.

Hiring a consultancy can be your first step to ensure this in case you don’t have first-hand knowledge about how things work. 

Whoever you choose to be a consultant should have the skills to help you meet your goals – Whether it’s generating revenue, locking in more leads, or getting more click-throughs.

A dead giveaway for this? Having an exciting portfolio that boasts of successful companies and brands. 

A Facebook advertising consultancy that has worked with diverse clients will understand the nuances of creating ads that leave a stronger impact on the viewer.

Look for Relevant Experience

As mentioned before, the marketplace is filled with freelancers claiming to be the best, but only a select few have the experience and expertise to back it up.

A Facebook advertisement consultancy should have the brain and muscle to guide you through the process and help you attain your business goals. 

So whether it’s an individual or a team, make sure they have the experience and knowledge to create and maintain successful ad campaigns. Figure out the following questions:

  • How long has the consultant been creating Facebook ads? 
  • Has the consultant worked with clients in your industry?
  • How do they handle communication and reporting of the campaign?
  • What do they do when the campaign results are poor?

The consultant should have a hands-on approach for advanced audience targeting, customer engagement, and eye-catching copy creation.

Well-Versed in Copy and Analysis Best Practises

Advertisement consultancies should be familiar with the latest Facebook advertising software and tools – pretty much anything required to ensure the job gets done and gets done well.

For Facebook, in particular, expert knowledge about Facebook Ad Manager, Facebook Pixel, and Power Editor is crucial. This gives better access to data that can be used to create creative and effective advertisements to increase popularity and promote growth.

Find Out What Others Say About the Consultant

Your chosen consultant should be experienced and have a good reputation.

Look for social proof like previous client reviews and testimonials to gauge the overall capabilities of the prospective candidate. This will help you understand more about their work ethic and determine their suitability for your company.

96% of customers go through testimonials before making a purchase decision since it indicates a higher possibility of a similar experience in the future. 

Moreover, having plenty of testimonials means the consultancy has been consistently delivering positive results.

Wrapping Up

You’re at a higher risk of losing money when you don’t know how Facebook advertising works.

Hiring a consultancy gives you access to the right knowledge and experience. From identifying targets, running ad campaigns, and monitoring results, a Facebook ad consultant will take care of it all.

So yes, choosing to work with a reputable team of expert consultants is undoubtedly the best way to maximize results on Facebook and reduce the risks of spending thousands of dollars in vain.

The post Facebook Advertising Consulting appeared first on Neil Patel.


Source: New feed 2

How To Build A Chatbot For E-commerce

chatbot ecommerce

A chatbot for e-commerce gives you the power to engage with new, existing, and potential customers with real-time, text-style messaging, without actually providing (and paying for!) a live person.

Through carefully scripted conversations, your brand can provide your customer base with support, information, and resources 24/7.

Like any conversation, chatbots are a two-way street —- and there are benefits for both brands and users.

Customers (or prospective costumes) can find information quickly, without having to wait for a human. And you can draw customers through the sales funnel, without interacting with them directly.

Chatbots leverage artificial intelligence more than any other technology, and can help you:

  • Identify and nurture qualified leads
  • Provide customer service and support
  • Interact with past customers, including providing shipping and return information
  • Gather feedback on the customer experience
  • Recommend related products to increase sales

If you are looking for a way to build a real relationship with your audience, improve customer service, and even increase sales, chatbots should be high on your list of priorities.

Today, I will explain exactly how to build and launch a chatbot for your e-commerce store from start to finish.

The good news is, it’s likely a lot easier than you think!  

What Is the Goal of Your Ecommerce Chatbot?

Getting clear on your goals will help you avoid distractions and stay laser-focused on results.

Chatbots for e-commerce are a powerful sales and marketing tool. So before you get started, get a handle on what you want your chatbot to do for your business.

Here are a few more features to consider before digging into building your chatbot:

  • Where do you want the chatbot to be located?
  • What other platforms, such as social media, do you want it connected to?
  • What kind of information do you want to supply to your customers?
  • What are your customers looking for when they interact with your chatbot?
  • Do you want users to be able to request and connect with a live person?
  • How will your chatbot fit into your overall marketing strategy?

Getting a handle on what you want, at least initially, will help you build your chatbot efficiently, without getting distracted by the myriad of things chatbots can do. (Seriously, they can do a ton.)

I highly recommend considering the power of Facebook Messenger when it comes to chatbots. Well over a billion users are using Facebook Messenger every month, so interacting with your brand can be seamless.

Messenger can give you valuable user insights, such as their name and location, that can help you help them find what they want – and ultimately move them through your sales funnel.

One of the most useful tools for launching a Facebook messenger chatbot is Manychat, which we’ll cover below.

Building a Chatbot

Yes, it’s possible to plug-in Facebook messenger directly into your website. Still, a third-party chatbot program gives you the power to set up automated conversations through scripts, answering popular questions, or assisting customers, without human interaction.

Every program has its own interface and step-by-step plan to actually build your bot, so instructions may vary.

Not only can you build a chatbot for your e-commerce but customers can also subscribe to your content using that platform, so when you publish a blog post with a sale or new product, it’ll go right to their Facebook messenger app.

How to Set Up a Chatbot

  1. Choose which platform you want to work with. I’ll walk you through Manychat, but there are several other options, including Chatfuel, Botsify, and Mobile Monkey. I’ve chosen Manychat for an example.
  2. Log in from their website, using your Facebook credentials.
  3. Give the chatbot program access to your Facebook page.
  4. Provide some basic information about your company and your goals.

Now, it’s time to start creating the chatbot’s content, including broadcasts (like an email blast) and conversation flows — this is complex, but you only have to set it up once.    

On Manychat, go to “Automation” to see your options for various flows or sequences.

e-commerce chatbot example

Building a chatbot for e-commerce comes down to writing scripts that engage, educate, and serve your customers.

You can start editing these default messages, such as the Welcome message to include your brand information and a warm greeting.

e-commerce chatbot example

Now it’s time to build flows that simulate real conversation with your customers, allowing them to interact with your brand.

To build flows in Manychat, the best option is the Flow Builder. This is available once you open and name a flow.

You can stay in Basic Builder mode, or click “Go To Flow Builder” in the upper right-hand corner.

e-commerce chatbot flow example

This will give you a visual representation of your conversation flow, which is really helpful for making sure you don’t miss anything. Keep adding dynamic steps to simulate the conversation you want to walk your visitors through.

How to Build Flows

  • Add Trigger. What’s going to launch this conversation? When you click “Add Trigger,” you’ll be given dozens of options, from subscriber opt-ins to keyword triggers to pop-ups on the side of the screen. Choose the one that makes sense for the goal of this flow. How will the customer start this conversation?
  • Add Text. It’s time to start the conversation. A warm “Hello, How can I help you?” is good. An introduction to your chatbot persona or your brand is also an excellent place to start.
  • Keep going. The conversation has only begun! Add images or galleries of choices. You can choose “User Input” in the Manychat Pro version, to allow customers to choose from various options in responding back with you. Here’s a quick look at a few of the button options you’ll have for each message.
e-commerce chatbot example

Consider looking at your customer service logs and planning conversations based on the most common questions customers or prospects ask.

6 Tips for Building an Effective Chatbot Script

Your script is the most critical part of building an effective chatbot. Here are a few tips to ensure your script is on point every time.

  1. Start with a welcome message: Remember you are simulating a conversation. If a real person just walked up to you and started talking about a sale, it would be a little weird. Start with a “hello” and maybe an offer to help or another soft opening.
  2. Provide a Main menu: Provide this option early in the sequence to help customers find what they need quickly and allow them to return to the menu if they need to. Use a gallery view and include pictures and links to basic information on your page.
  3. Use personalized text tags whenever feasible: If you can use a merge tag to fill in the customer’s name, or other personalizations, you can sound more human. But be careful, because overdoing the personalization can come across as fake.
  4. Think like the user: As you are planning the conversational flow of your chatbot, think of it as a flow chart, with various options leading to other options. If they say this, you say that. And so on. However, don’t lose sight of your ultimate goal, which is to close a sale or prompt a sign-up. Ensure each path leads to a goal or to another engagement, such as subscribing or talking to a live person.
  5. Include a Buy Now option: If your goal is to drive sales, a buy button will make it easy for customers to convert. Allowing them to purchase right there in Facebook messenger is key.
  6. Get the Unsubscribe option: Give users a way to opt-out of communication, either through an Unsubscribe button or a keyword such as “stop.” Provide the instructions early in the communication.

Should I Use E-commerce Chatbot Templates?

You can use templates designed to help you set up flows even faster. These templates can take some of the guesswork out of building the chatbot script.

Relying on the templates is tempting — it could save you so much time!

But be careful. Relying too heavily on templates can make your conversations feel fake and stilted. I recommend using them carefully — but remember that you know your customers best.

Consider reviewing Abandoned Cart templates and Out of Stock templates for e-commerce specifically.

These can help you drive sales to an already interested crowd.  

Here’s what ManyChat’s Starter template looks like in a simulation:

e-commerce chatbot example

Remember to use these templates as starting points. Dive in the customization options, from images and text to unique flows, to ensure the interaction sounds natural and is authentic to your brand.

Make every update you need to make sure you don’t sound like someone else or too robotic.

Building In Natural Characteristics

When we text, we move at a certain pace, as fast as our fingers or thumbs can type. It’s important that your chatbot move with the same kind of rhythm, otherwise it can become too robotic or pushy.

Here are a few tips for making your chatbot feel more natural:

  • Keep messages short. Use a string of two or three messages, rather than a long paragraph of text that will visually overwhelm the customer.
  • Create pauses between each message. This allows for those familiar three dots to animate, giving customers breathing space in between texts and simulating a more human interaction.
  • Attach links and photos in ways that feel human, rather than a barrage of content. It should feel like “Here this is probably what you’re looking for,” rather than “Here is our entire menu to choose from. See anything you like?”

Testing Your Chatbot for E-commerce

As you start setting up conversations in your e-commerce chatbot, you’re going to want to test the chatbot to make sure conversations feel natural and interactions are working the way you expect them to. There are a few ways you can test your flows to make sure they are working:

Set Up A Test Facebook Page

Create a new Facebook page to use internally for development. Then link your chatbot program account to that page, in addition to your brand’s pages.

Do all your development of flows, broadcasts, and other experiments in that test page.

Then you can log in to Facebook messenger and see them live for yourself and ask other team members to simulate customer interaction and make sure things look and function properly.

Make Use Of The Program’s Live Visuals

If it’s available, try the live visual simulator so you can see how your flows will play out in real-time. Watch these with scrutiny and a customer’s eye. Are things happening an even pace? Does it feel natural or like a sales blast?

Integrating Your E-Commerce Chatbot

One of the great benefits of using a chatbot program is leveraging the widget tool and embedding your chatbot on your website or other online locations.

Where can you lead customers to interact with your chatbot? Here are just a few ideas:

  • A pop-up box on your site, asking customers if they need help
  • A subscribe button to receive your newsletter or sales blasts through messenger
  • A sign-up for events, virtual or in-person

These “triggers” can set up conversations with users, allowing them to opt-in to your chatbot and providing you with customer data.

Available programs offer a range of widgets or buttons with code snippets you can place in the code of your website.

Tutorials are available, but if you aren’t sure, hiring a web developer for this quick project or hourly may be the way to go with this.

Conclusion

Building a chatbot for e-commerce can take your sales to the next level.

Not only can it give you access to highly qualified leads, but also allows you to position yourself as a resource and knowledge base. With an e-commerce chatbot, you can build rapport with your customers and ultimately nurture loyalty.

Using one of the built-in systems, you’re just a few clicks away from starting to engage your customers, giving them valuable information, and driving sales.

As you’re building, don’t lose sight of your brand messaging and voice. Stay on track with who you are as a company, and you’ll be on your way to building a chatbot that sounds authentic to your unique point of view.

How can you use a chatbot for your e-commerce site?

The post How To Build A Chatbot For E-commerce appeared first on Neil Patel.


Source: New feed 2

The 8 Best CRO Companies of 2020

Imagine this…

Your website is ranked for every keyword you can think of.

You are getting enormous levels of organic traffic

Full of enthusiasm, you rush to your sales manager to check the sales status.

And your jaw drops seeing you’ve got little to none sales from all of that traffic.

If that’s your current situation, then you need to focus on Conversion Rate Optimization [CRO].

SEO is the main source of traffic for your website but without a high-converting funnel, you might as well retire.

No, I’m serious. If ýou can’t convert your traffic, there’s literally no point in getting it.

You have to make consistent sales if you want to scale your business fast.

And all of that depends on your ability to convert your unaware traffic into active customers craving for your next product launch.

Knowing that today we’ll dive into:

The 8 Top CRO Companies in the World

#1 Neil Patel Digital — Best For SEO + CRO

You might think that throwing our own company on this list is a little unfair…

But I dare you to find a company that can bring results even close to the ones we generate weekly.

I am ready to make this bet because I know that Neil Patel Digital is the world’s best choice when it comes to Search Engine Optimization combined with Conversion Rate Optimization.

There’s a reason why our co-founder Neil Patel’s marketing content is ranked so high on google for any term you can think of.

Even for the most competitive keywords, such as “SEO Strategies”, you’ll find 2 of his posts ranking TOP 5 on the first page.

That’s all because of our ability to constantly optimize and improve our methods according to the current trends in the marketplace. 

So if you’re looking for the combination of highly-ranked content that will bring you much more organic traffic…

Plus the proven conversion optimization strategies that are going to convert your traffic into actual customers… 

You should check out the services of Neil Patel Digital.

#2 Trinity — Best For E-commerce Conversions

Founded in 2006, Trinity has been a constantly growing and result-generating CRO Agency in the E-commerce niche.

Their minimum project size is $5000. For that amount, you can look forward to a big team entirely focused on your results.

Throughout their 14 years of experience in the industry, they’ve gotten countless testimonials from previous customers praising them for being the most trustworthy CRO Company in the world.

So if you’re in the E-commerce space, you should take a look at Trinity’s options and choose the one that fits your situation best.

#3 WebMechanix — Best For All-In-One Services

Sometimes CRO just isn’t enough.

If you find yourself in a situation that you need to optimize every little piece of your marketing strategy, then you should make time to check out WebMechanix.

Founded in 2009, they’ve been constantly expanding their team and services.

Their minimum projects start from $10,000.

At this stage, they’re well known for providing top-notch Pay Per Click, Social Media Management, Conversion Rate Optimization, SEO, UH/UI Design, Web Development services.

If you’re looking for the solution to all of your marketing and conversion rate problems, then you can trust WebMechanix.

#4 SiteTuners — Best For Small to Medium Businesses

If you’re in the early stages of your business development, you’ll need a CRO company that is solely focused on helping people in your situation.

With minimum projects starting from $1000, SiteTuners is one of the most well-known CRO companies in the world.

Founded in the mind-blowing 2002 they’ve helped 1500+ clients generate 1 billion dollars. Yes, that’s a B!

They focus on helping every business they can.

No matter if you’re a newly formed start-up or a proven leader in your industry, they will take their time to help YOU achieve your goals.

Their main services include CRO, A/B testing, Consulting, Conversion Audits, Website Audit, Business Strategy, Funnel Optimization, Cart Abandonment Strategies.

#5 Invesp — Best For Dedicated CRO

I can say, hands down, this is the most reliable CRO Company in the world.

Focused entirely on Conversion Rate Optimization, Invesp is the team that’s going to help you achieve any conversion dreams you have.

But be prepared, their 100% CRO dedication comes with a price.

With minimum projects starting at $10,000, they are one of the little CRO companies that work for $150 – $199 / hour.

And with these premium prices, you can expect premium results for your business.

They’ve got a big team of CRO experts working every hour of the day completing every project on time.

So if you’ve got a really big business on your hands, this company will easily increase your monthly revenue in no time.

#6 Inflow — Affordable Multi-Service E-commerce Option

Inflow is a widely known Agency helping E-commerce businesses expand all of their marketing efforts.

Their Unique Selling Proposition is that you don’t communicate with project managers.

You have direct access to the industry veterans you’re looking for.

That gives you more control for rapid, fast-paced decisions.

They offer a lot of highly-profitable services, all of which very affordable.

Mostly, their services shine when it comes to mid-tier businesses.

Of course, they work both with small and big businesses, but their proven track record comes mainly from businesses that are already stable and running profitably.

Their services include Search Engine Optimization, Conversion Rate Optimization, Pay Per Click, Digital Strategy, and Social Media Marketing.

Their project rates start at $1000 and just like Trinity, they mainly focus on helping E-commerce stores optimize their conversions.

#7 Conversion Fanatics — Best For CRO + SMM

Looking for a company that can guarantee great Conversion Rate Optimization [CRO], while also growing your Social Media Marketing?

Then your best choice is signing with Conversion Fanatics.

They are a famous CRO company helping businesses increase their conversions and social media presence since 2014.

With minimum projects starting from $10,000, Conversion Fanatics are your best choice if you’re serious about growing your Social Media.

And nowadays people are mainly on social media. 

That’s why it can be extremely powerful to have consistently growing media channels that lead to conversion-optimized sales pages built by the same people that got you the social media traffic in the first place.

So if you’re serious about getting your brand out there while converting all of your new followers, Conversion Fanatics is the choice for you.

#8 Linear Design — Best For PPC + CRO

Linear Design is another great choice if you’re looking for a combination of 2 services.

This time we’ve got Pay Per Click [PPC] and Conversion Rate Optimization [CRO].

This is a powerful combination because that way they are responsible both for your advertising and on-page conversions.

Having access to all the advertising data helps them optimize and get the best conversions possible.

Many businesses hire a FB ad manager and a copywriter for the landing page.

But the secret to creating a high-converting landing page is having a tight connection between your ads and the page.

And if you split these 2 services apart, you’re going to experience troubles.

It’s best if they are handled simultaneously and Linear Design is dedicated to getting the best results for both of them.

3 Characteristics That Make a Great CRO Company

After looking at this detailed list of the best CRO companies of 2020, you’re probably wondering how to choose the best one of them all.

And that’s a valid question given that all of them have their strong and weak sides.

The right answer 100% depends on what YOU need from a CRO Company.

Is it CRO only… Is it CRO and one more service to go with it… Or maybe 5 separate services all at once?

You can either choose one of our top choices or go look on your own.

But in both cases, you need to know what to look for in a great CRO company.

So here are the 3 Characteristics that make a CRO company great:

Reliable, Fast Communication

You are bound to face roadblocks while scaling your business.

So if you’re going to be paying for a company to operate a portion of your business…

You need them to be good communicators.

You’re not speaking with a freelancer that takes days off whenever he wants.

Here you’re playing with the big dogs.

These are professional multi-team companies that are here to support you and your business throughout the whole journey.

So before choosing the company that’s going to help YOU, make sure their communication is 100% on point.

Dedicated Services

Look now. I know it might be tempting to outsource your whole funnel to a result-oriented company with a proven track record.

But the sad reality is that no one cares about your business as much as you do.

So when hiring the CRO company that’s going to help you achieve all your goals, please choose someone that is dedicated mainly to the services you need.

And don’t get me wrong here.

A CRO company can offer up to 10 different services and still bring fascinating results for all of them.

But if you’re going to hire a company to manage 3-10 different parts of your business…

You’ve got to make sure they have a separate team operating each part of the project.

If the company has 2-9 employees and promises to bring results for 6 different services, then you probably want to stay away until they get a bigger team.

If you’re looking specifically for Conversion Rate Optimization, the best option is to hire a company that specializes only in that area.

The same goes if you need 3 services. Hire a company that specializes exactly in these 3 services.

This is the easiest way to sleep nerveless at night.

Price Range

Businesswoman holding piggy bank drawing front of blackboard

I know this one is obvious… But many people make a great mistake here.

They see the best companies that charge $10-20k+ and think that hiring them automatically means that the profits to come will pay for the next month.

But that’s not reality. I’m not saying it’s impossible to happen.

It all depends on the company you’re running, the stage you’re on right now, and the CRO opportunities you’ve been missing out on.

But the chances of this happening in the first month are close to none.

Instead what you should do is focus on the long-term growth of your conversions and sales.

If you can’t pay 3 months of CRO services upfront, then you should look for a cheaper alternative.

Keep in mind, that you can always upgrade to more premium plans or companies that give out more possibilities in the future.

But first, solidify that you get real results and you can pay for the services you need.

What To Expect From a Great CRO Company

Even after reading this whole post, the decision of choosing the right CRO Company is 100% up to you.

I shared with you the top companies and what they’re best for.

And still, there’s a slim chance that you make a mistake when choosing your CRO company.

That’s nothing you should fear of course. After all…

Mistakes are an opportunity to learn and grow!

But in case you’re not sure whether you made the right choice today, there’s a couple of things you can look out for while working with your CRO Company to make sure they perform optimally.

As mentioned previously, great communication is a MUST.

But there’s more than that…

At the end of the day, you’re not looking for a friend, you’re looking for RESULTS!

So here’s a couple more things you need to look for while working with a CRO company:

  • quick turnaround
  • meeting deadlines
  • weekly/monthly reports
  • constant strategy optimization
  • 100% straight forward

You need people that work fast.

And keep in mind, that if they miss deadlines occasionally, that means there are major holes in their business operations.

This is a big red flag. You must be on the lookout for quality drops and more problems.

The easiest way to avoid that is to call them out.

If they miss a deadline 1-2 times, you go ahead and tell them that the third time is going to be a contact breaker.

That way they’ll make sure you get your projects done in time.

If they keep missing deadlines even after the first notice, you should start looking for a new company.

You also need weekly/monthly reports for what’s going on inside your business.

Everything that’s been done, optimized, and the results that go with it.

Marketing strategies are never constant. 

If you want to scale optimally, you need to jump on new trends and also level-up your strategy according to everything that’s happening around you.

And last but NOT least, they should always be 100% straight forward with you.

If you feel like they’re informing you only on the things that work well, while swiping the bad news under the rug, you should watch out.

They should always be honest about everything that works and especially for the stuff that doesn’t.

To sum up:

If you’re getting good traffic but no conversions to go with it, you most definitely need to hire a Conversion Rate Optimization [CRO] Company to help you convert your passive visitors into active, paying customers.

Treat your choice today as if your money and future livelihood depend on it… Because they do! You need an absolute professional that can bring you real results!

Let me know in the comments, which company would you choose? Also, have you had any previous experience with one of our winners?

The post The 8 Best CRO Companies of 2020 appeared first on Neil Patel.


Source: New feed 2

How to Use Pinterest for E-commerce

How to use Pinterest for E-commerce

A lot of businesses still don’t take Pinterest seriously, which is a huge mistake.

Pinterest is now the third-largest social network in the United States. Data shows that Pinterest users spend 50% more than competitor sites, such as Instagram or Facebook (who hold the top spots in the US).

Not to mention, 90% or more of Pinterest buyers are brand-new to the merchant site, making their traffic very exciting.

Why use Pinterest for E-commerce?

With the rise of visual search, Pinterest is more critical for your business than ever before. According to Pinterest, their Lens feature can identify over 2.5 billion home and fashion objects (1.5 billion more than Google’s Lens).

Buyable pins helped transform the Pinterest e-commerce network into a high-quality sales funnel. Users can instantly buy products without having to trudge through the awareness, consideration, and purchase cycle.

You can also create links between product pages, websites, and social accounts while displaying your products to those who want to buy them.

That means your products are seen in more places, by more people.

More users, more sales, and more brand awareness.

What’s not to love?

What Types of Businesses Should Use Pinterest?

Almost every type of business can benefit from using Pinterest’s e-commerce platform. Whether you are selling furniture, food, or services, showcasing your products on Pinterest will build engagement.

Product-focused businesses can benefit from the instant success of Shopping Ads, Product Pins, and collections.

Service-oriented businesses can take advantage of Pinterest’s large following and diverse market to showcase their business.

Individual creatives also have a considerable advantage on Pinterest. DIY, crafting, fashion, and cooking are all hot topics on this popular site.

Although B2C businesses have a clear advantage on Pinterest, B2B companies can also see a considerable benefit if their target audience overlaps with Pinterest’s users.

What Types of Consumers Use Pinterest?

Pinterest has over 320 million monthly users. Though their users are mainly in the US, their global reach is continually growing.

Seventy-one percent of global Pinterest users are female. Pinterest calls their American female users “The Deciders” as they are responsible for 80% of household buying, and they control more than 50% of the wealth in the USA.

According to Pinterest, The Deciders control most food, drink, style, and beauty purchases in America. That means that their pins, boards, and suggestions carry real weight in the way households spend money.

Men are still using the platform as well. New data shows that more than 50% of new signups are men.

The majority of Pinterest users fall between the ages of 30 and 39. That demographic is followed closely by the 18-29 age group, making up 34% of Pinterest’s users.

One-third of American Pinterest users say they use the platform to follow brands. That means they are ready and willing to accept your messaging.

How to Setup for Pinterest E-commerce Sales

First, set up a business account. You can do this by converting a personal account or by creating a brand new business page. The business option gives you more analytics.

Having a well-branded, clear, and cohesive presence is the first thing to look out for when creating your Pinterest e-commerce page.

Fonts, logos, and consistent use of hashtags give your page a cohesive feel. People want brands they can rely on and trust. Keeping your social platforms professional and connected is an easy way to build brand integrity with your audience.

When you start posting, make sure you’re working with high-quality images, pinning like crazy, and keeping your product lists consistent and updated.

Quality counts here: eye-catching images, unique calls-to-action, and creative content will help attract and keep followers.

Use text overlays to increase mobile legibility and talk about special brand features like sales, discounts, blog posts, or brand updates — just like this example from Martha Stewart Living.

Martha Stewart living ecommerce example

Along with your high-quality photography, branded posts, and wow-worthy products, there is one more thing to remember when posting: SEO.

Their search feature means that consumers will use keywords to find products, which means you’ll want to show up in that search.

Make sure to use keywords in your pin titles and descriptions to increase the reach of your content.

Hashtags are another great way to insert relevant keywords to your posts. Adding one or two to your main title will help your products show up more often.

If you need help researching keywords, UberSuggest is free and offers a range of services from keyword suggestions to search traffic data.

Remember, driving sales is about more than just having a good product. Consumers want brands they can trust to lead them through the buying process.

The better your content, the better your sales.

How to Sell Products on Pinterest

Now that you’ve got your branded page setup, it’s time to start selling.

You’ll need to link and verify your website to set up Pinterest e-commerce products. Make sure to choose the site you make sales from, as you can only verify one website with a Pinterest business account.

If you want to use a data source, you can create catalogs that will upload your entire product library to Pinterest all at once. Not all brands will have the right data sets to use this feature.

If that option doesn’t work for your e-commerce store, rich pins also pull metadata directly from your website and into Pinterest. You will have to upload each Pin individually, but they allow your audience to see product descriptions and prices directly on Pinterest.

With rich pins, mobile app users can search in a “shop” view, click on pins they like, and then simply click a blue shop button that directs them to a product page and checkout.

Here are examples of the shop view and a rich pin with a buy button on the app:

pinterest shop section

You can also use Promoted Pins to increase your reach and following.

Promoted pins are Pinterest’s version of paid ads. You can pay to have your pins pushed to the top of your user’s feed, helping more people see your content.

Promoted product pins are a great way to direct traffic to your website and emphasize your selling features.

As with most social media paid ads, you can choose specific campaign goals, target demographics, and boost engagement options that will dictate your promotion’s cost, frequency, and duration.

Promoted pins look the same as regular pins, but they will say “Promoted” at the bottom. You can see an example of that with this El Jimador ad in the center below.

Promoted pins in Pinterest for e-commerce

You can also use Shop the Look Pins, which allow you to link several products in a single pin. These pins are great for fashion looks, home decor items, and DIY projects!

Products have a small white dot, indicating that users can click and shop that piece. Here’s an example from ShopStyle:

shopstyle pinterest e-commerce example

Pinterest will let you manually set up Shop The Look Pins once a product is uploaded. You can check out this guide for more info.

Looking for a walkthrough to set up your Pinterest e-commerce ads? Read An Incredible Guide to Generating Sales Using Pinterest Ads, or check out the video below!

How to Drive Sales with Pinterest E-commerce

If you want your Pinterest page to convert, you’ve got to gain a following. How can you make your page stand out from the crowd?

There are a few things you can do to make waves in the world of Pinterest e-commerce.

First, make sure to design your pins with shareability in mind. Infographics, relatable quotes, and DIY projects make for great Pinterest content.

Text overlays can be an effective way to lead your audience into your post. Try using an interesting quote to encourage clicks and interactions.

text overlay example pinterest

The top-five most popular Pinterest categories are:

  • Travel
  • Health & Wellness
  • DIY
  • Women’s style
  • Beauty

Likewise, keeping trends, holidays, and news in mind will also help you stay in users’ minds.

Is Christmas coming up? Showcase your brand’s most popular family gifts. Is summer on its way? Time to break out the punch bowls and fun summer drink recipes!

Video pins are often in Pinterest’s top results, so intersperse your content with videos and animated graphics.

Using video pins also allows you to showcase your products in real-time, as consumers would use them. That can go a long way in converting your audience.

pinterest video pin example

Next, it’s essential to create a sense of community around your brand.

All across the internet, people are looking to connect.

It isn’t enough to have the best product. You have to have the best community.

Brands that engage with their communities, and receive engagement back, have a better chance of growing and selling through online retailers.

Tactics like posting UGC (user-generated content), using influencer marketing techniques, and creating group boards, will help grow your community and bring more engagement to your brand.

Additionally, staying on top of your analytics will help you track your user data so that you can better understand your audience’s interests, wants, and needs.

Pinterest Analytics lets you see which pins drive the most clicks, what kind of audience you are attracting, and which categories bring in sales.

You’ve heard it before–don’t ever sleep on your analytics.

Conclusion

Pinterest e-commerce features were created with brand success in mind, so if you haven’t jumped on board yet, now is the time.

With quick-funnel options, reactive buying promises, and plenty of ways to increase engagement and awareness, Pinterest e-commerce is the place to be.

Here’s your challenge: create an in-depth Pinterest strategy, set up your business account, link your products, and start selling.

What can you test to increase your sales on Pinterest?

The post How to Use Pinterest for E-commerce appeared first on Neil Patel.


Source: New feed 2

Best Business Credit Cards

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A business credit card is much more than just a convenient payment method; it’s a way for you to earn rewards and benefits for your company.

The best business credit cards offer features like purchase protection, membership rewards, travel insurance, and some even pay you cash. 

Your next big purchase could result in a free flight, a free night in a hotel, or even a few hundred dollars back into your pocket. You can’t get these types of benefits if you’re using checks or ACH transfers for business purchases—credit cards are the only way to access these perks.

But all business credit cards are not created equally. Navigating the waters and trying to find the best option for your business can be tough, especially with hundreds of choices to consider.

Which one is the best? It’s tough to name just one, but I’ve narrowed down the top five that I can recommend with conviction. 

The Top 5 Options For Business Credit Cards

  1. American Express Blue Business Plus
  2. Chase Ink Business Preferred
  3. Brex Mastercard Corporate
  4. Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
  5. Capital One Spark Classic

How to Choose the Best Business Credit Card For You

Not every business has the same needs when it comes to purchasing. It’s important to find a card that’s designed to reward you the most for your spending habits. So as you’re shopping around and evaluating different cards, keep these considerations in mind:

Credit Score

The very best business credit cards typically require a minimum credit score to apply. If you have a new business and haven’t established a long history of business credit quite yet, it could be tough to get these cards.

The business owner’s credit score is also a factor that needs to be taken into consideration here. If your personal score is high, then you should be able to get these cards, even if your business is new. 

For those of you with poor business credit and a low personal credit score, you might have to apply for a secured credit card until you can boost your score.

Never apply for cards if you don’t meet the minimum qualification terms. If the credit company pulls a hard credit check and rejects your application, it could lower your score even more.

Type of Rewards

Nearly every business credit card offers some type of membership rewards. These can come in the form of cash back, points, travel perks, and more. 

Which type of rewards do you want? There’s really no right or wrong answer here. 

Some businesses prefer cash back because it’s easier to understand. Others like to accumulate points and then redeem those points for other types of benefits. 

Membership Fees

How much will the business credit card cost you?

Generally speaking, the higher the annual fee, the better the rewards. But with that said, most businesses won’t necessarily need rewards that justify an expensive yearly fee.

There are plenty of great free business credit cards to consider. Other cards might cost up to $600, while the majority fall somewhere in between. 

My rule of thumb is this—only pay an annual fee if you can justify it with the rewards that you’re actually going to use. 

Spending Categories

It’s common for business credit cards to offer better rewards in certain spending categories. Examples include food, gas, or travel. 

Let’s say a card offers you 5% cash back in the travel category (flights, hotels, Uber, etc.). That’s great; but if you only travel for work once per year, it might not be enough of a reason to get that card. 

But if you have a fleet of 20 vehicles on the road and all of your drivers will have an employee card, it makes sense to have a card that rewards you for gas purchases. 

Bonus Offer

This shouldn’t make or break your decision. But most business credit cards will offer you a significant bonus for signing up.

For example, if you spend $10,000 in the first three months using a new credit card, you could get 100,000 points—or something along those lines. 

This can be a great opportunity to rack up points, cash back, or get other benefits. I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy things that I don’t need. But if you have a big purchase coming up, consider putting it on your new card so you can redeem the bonus offer.  

Just understand that this is a marketing strategy the card companies use to entice new sign-ups. So don’t let an appealing bonus offer distract you from the annual fees or other factors in your cardmember agreement. 

The Different Types of Business Credit Cards

Before we get into the reviews of my favorite business credit cards, I want to quickly explain the different types of cards that you can choose from.

Cash Back Rewards Cards

Cards that offer cash back are pretty straightforward. Depending on the card, you can get a certain percentage of your card spending credited back to your account at the end of each month. This is usually applied automatically. 

Some cards offer a fixed cash back percentage on all purchases, such as 2% or 3%. Others will have higher percentages on specific categories, like 3% on gas, 2% on travel, 1% on everything else. 

You might even find cards that change the cash back percentage based on your annual spending, such as 4% cash back on the first $50,000 spent in a calendar year, and 2% on everything after. 

Points Rewards Cards

A business credit card that rewards you with points is a little bit more complex. But these can be extremely advantageous if you know how to use them properly. 

Unlike cash back rewards, you’ll need to manually redeem your points to get the benefits. You could potentially save your points for one big purchase and get something for free, or use them periodically to get discounts every month. 

In some cases, you might even be able to redeem your points for cash back as well. 

Airline Affiliate Credit Cards

Certain credit cards are associated with specific airlines. Your perks will be even better when you travel with that airline.

For example, you might get free checked bags, lounge access, double rewards points on all purchases through that airline, and complimentary upgrades. These cards make sense for those of you who travel frequently and are loyal to a particular airline. 

Just make sure that the airline has a hub in your closest airport and flies to the places you frequently travel for work; otherwise, it won’t be worth it. 

Hotel Affiliate Credit Cards

Similar to the airline credit cards, a hotel affiliate card will give you extra rewards for being loyal to a certain hotel chain. You might even get rewarded with one or two free nights every year, included with your membership fee. 

These types of cards are perfect for people who frequently travel for work. It’s common for hotel rewards cards to offer benefits like free wi-fi, free breakfast, and free upgrades. Depending on the card, you might automatically qualify for a membership status with that hotel as well. 

Employee Credit Cards

Some business credit cards will allow you to get extra cards for your staff. Most do this for free (because they want to encourage spending), but others might charge a small fee. 

If you want to distribute cards to your employees, look for a business credit card that will give you some control over that spending. I’m sure you trust your staff, but you don’t want them to run wild and spend erratically. So you can potentially set spending limits on those employee cards as a way to control how those cards get used. 

Secured Business Credit Cards

If you have poor credit or no credit, you might have trouble qualifying for a traditional credit card. But secured business credit cards are an excellent way for you to build credit. Here’s how they work.

You’ll deposit money into an account, and that amount essentially becomes your credit limit. 

If you fail to make your payments, then the card company can just take the funds from that account. But by making on-time payments every month, you can build your credit and ultimately apply for a regular credit card, without having to secure it with a deposit.

#1 – Amex Blue Business Plus Review — The Best For Everyday Purchases

The Blue Business Plus card from American Express is perfect for those of you who want a great business credit card with no annual fee.

You can apply online and get a decision in as little as 30 seconds. 

Earn 2x points on your first $50,000 in purchases every year; then unlimited 1x points on everything after—no category restrictions.

  • Free employee cards and rewards points based on employee spending
  • Up to $300 in statement credits for Dell, DocuSign, and FedEx
  • Expanded buying power for purchases above your spending limit
  • Vendor pay features by Bill.com
  • Set up account alerts
  • Manage everything directly from the Amex mobile app
  • Expense management tools, year-end summary, and online statements

American Express has the best customer service team in the industry, which is another great perk of this card.

For those of you who prefer cash back instead of rewards points, the Amex Blue Business Cash card is essentially the same thing (with 2% and 1% cash back). So that’s another option to consider with no annual fee. 

#2 – Chase Ink Business Preferred Review — Best For Travel Rewards

If you travel frequently but don’t want a card that’s associated with just one hotel or one airline, Chase Ink Business Business Preferred will be a top choice for you to consider. 

New cardmembers will get 100,000 bonus points (worth about $1,250 towards travel) after spending $15,000 within the first three months of opening a new account.

Here’s an overview of why I like this card so much:

  • Earn 3x points on first $150,000 on travel, shipping, internet, cable, phone, and advertising purchases each year
  • Earn 25% more when you redeem travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Free employee cards with the ability to set individual spending limits
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Travel protection and purchase coverage
  • Fraud protection and personalized account alerts

For business owners and employees that frequently travel for work, the Chase Ink Business Preferred card is an excellent choice. 

This card has a $95 annual fee. You can apply online to get started. 

#3 – Brex Mastercard Corporate Review — The Best Business Credit Card For Startups

The Brex Mastercard Corporate card is a bit unique compared to other options on our list. This card is branded as “the first corporate card for startups.”

In simple terms, the card aims to provide smaller companies and startups with rewards similar to cards designed for larger corporations.

The business Mastercard from Brex is a popular choice for tech startups. Here are some noteworthy highlights:

  • No hidden fees or personal guarantees
  • Apply in 5 minutes, and a virtual card gets activated upon approval
  • Credits on services like AWS
  • 7x points on remote collaboration tools (Slack, Zoom, GoToMeeting, Gong, etc.)
  • 3x points on food delivery (UberEats, Grubhub, DoorDash, etc.)
  • 2x points on recurring software (Salesforce, Slack, GitHub, etc.)
  • 1x points on all other purchases

You can redeem your points for travel, miles, or statement credits. 

While the card is made for startups, you need to have a high cash bank balance to qualify. You’ll need at least $50k in the bank to be considered, along with other qualifications. 

#4 – Hilton Honors American Express Business Card Review — Best For Hotel Rewards

If you travel frequently you’re loyal to Hilton’s extensive portfolio of hotels, look no further than the Hilton Honors Amex Business card.

For a limited time, new cardmembers can earn 130,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after spending $3,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months of opening a new account.

Once approved, you’ll automatically qualify for Hilton Honors Gold status. This comes with perks like an 80% bonus on all base points, complimentary room upgrades, and more. 

Here’s a quick look at some of the other top features and benefits associated with this card:

  • Free weekend night reward (after spending $15,000 in a year)
  • Second free weekend night reward (after spending $60,000 in a year)
  • 10 complimentary visits to 1,200+ airport lounges each year
  • Hilton Honors Diamond status after $40,000 in purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 12x points earned on per dollar spent on Hilton hotels
  • 6x points earned per dollar spent on gas, telephone services, shipping, restaurants, flights, and car rentals
  • 3x points earned per dollar spent on all other purchases

This card can be yours for the low cost of just $95 per year. That price is easily justifiable if you travel frequently. 

#5 – Capital One Spark Classic Review — The Best For Building Bad Credit

As I mentioned earlier, not everyone will qualify for business credit cards with the best rewards. If you have poor credit, you’ll need to build that credit before you can apply for certain cards.

For those of you who fall into this category, I strongly recommend the Capital One Spark Classic card

Even if you’ve recently defaulted on a loan or have a limited credit history, you should be able to qualify for this card. Here’s an overview of its benefits:

  • No annual fee
  • Unlimited cash back on all purchases
  • Free employee cards (with ability to track employee spending while earning rewards)
  • Zero fraud liability
  • Automatic fraud alerts via text, email, or phone
  • Ability to pick your own monthly due date
  • Automatic payments so you don’t have to worry about forgetting
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Roadside assistance for auto emergencies (like jumps, tows, and tire changing)
  • Free extended warranty and protection on eligible purchases

When it comes to cards with no annual fee for businesses with bad credit, you won’t find a better option than the Spark Classic card from Capital One. 

Summary

Before you apply for a business credit card, make you follow the methodology and buying guide that I explained earlier. 

When it comes to finding the best option for your business, I strongly recommend the cards reviewed in this guide. Regardless of your situation, I’m confident that one of those options will suit your needs. 

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