Follow These Best Practices To Promote Your Product
In yesterday’s post I was pointing out what went wrong with Cheddar’s marketing. The question now is: How should they have done it? How can you promote your product without violating the trust of existing and future customers?
1. Ask Users For Permission
Using the customer email database for promotions is probably the most common of all mistakes in online marketing. When customers open an account with a service, they expect it to be used for one thing only: their account. If you use their email for other purposes and they have to go to email settings to turn off newsletters that were turned on by default, you are actively destructing the bond of trust between your customers and your product or service.
Permission marketing works quite simple: you ask people if they want to receive promotional emails. Support emails, newsletters and promotions are not the same. Make sure you separate these channels and give your customers the choice to opt in or out with every channel.
The moment to ask people for their permission should be right after they signed up with your service. It shouldn’t be a checkbox that is turned on by default. You can’t assume your customer’s wishes. Send them a confirmation email with a clearly visible option to opt in with marketing emails or newsletters.
Is it too late, if you missed that point? It isn’t, but if you want to ask customer’s at a later point, you shouldn’t just send them a promotional email and then let them know they can unsubscribe. No matter how much you sugar-coat such a procedure, it is always spam, and it is corrosive for the customer-product relationship.
2. Use Original Product Strengths
If you did your job right with product development and product management, and you designed your product experience around your customers, there are certain strengths your product has that are unique to it. These strengths, these values are the reason why your customers use your product. These are the turning points, the levers, the knobs you can use to improve the customer experience. You basically can’t go wrong with marketing if you use your product’s strengths at the core of it.
Of course this isn’t always enough, especially if your product is generic and doesn’t do at least one thing better than the competition. Figure out what makes your product unique and elevate those few points. Don’t talk too much about what else it can do — you have that covered in the product description. The job of marketing is to point out, to highlight and to remind users why they want to use your product.
Base your entire marketing campaign on this. Make it consistent across the board, from your presence on Social Media sites to email marketing.
3. Make It A Game
Gamification is not wrong. Cheddar tried their luck with a wheel of cheese. As I pointed out yesterday, that doesn’t work quite well, mostly because it’s value for an entirely different traget group: the occasional sweepstake benefactor. People looking for coupons and free stuff. If you take a look at he product’s actual target audience, they are people who want to organise their lives.
You can gamify your marketing in a number of ways. If you keep within a few boundaries, it will elevate your customer’s interest instead of killing it.
Instead of sending out a mass email to buy fake “likes”, you could send a survey. Ask your customers specific questions. Don’t ask them how to improve your product, or what they would do differently — you have the forums and support pages for that. Ask them questions that are relevant for their lives. You know your target audience: people who want to organise their lives. This is what the survey should be about.
If I am a movie fan, I am not just a fan of all movies ever made. Ask me about which genres I follow, which actors I like, what the best directors are. Surveys have two benefits: they tell you more about your customer base and they make your customers feel you really care. There is nothing wrong in adding an incentive to the survey, but it should be something that’s in the interest of your customers.
4. Know your customer’s motivations
To enable any kind of user experience, you need motivation and intent. These two factors are the reason why people do what they are doing. If you don’t know why your customers use your product, you are in trouble. You need to know about their lives, their circumstances, their situations. You need to know their intent.
Customers have high expectations in products and services today. Their brand loyalty is highly dependent on how a product performs, more than it is based on marketing. You can only elevate existing values with marketing, you cannot produce them. So make sure that whatever you do with your marketing, it is meeting the intentions and motivations of your customers.
They aren’t monkeys, donkeys or mice that can be teased with wheels of cheese. Showing them your respect and valuing their opinion turns your customers relations with your product into actual relationships.