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Conducting a Successful Online Survey

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Conducting a Successful Online...
With the right technology at our fingertips, it’s easy to conduct an online survey. But having the right questions for your survey takes some thought, and that is the key to getting the results you really need.

Here are some points to be aware of when building out a survey for your business:

Explain what the survey is about.

People will not take a survey if they have no idea what it is for. Be clear in stating its purpose right up front. Sometimes a little incentive like a small gift or coupon can help get people engaged.

Respect the participants’ time.

Even if you have a lot of questions you want answered, don’t make the survey too long. If you would like the participants to finish the entire survey, be respectful of their time and whittle down the questionnaire to your most important ones to get them completed in a timely manner.

Keep the questions simple and easy to answer.

Your questions should not only be easy to understand but the answer should be quick and easy as well. If the questions are long and take time to read or have to be re-read multiple times to understand it, people will not effectively participate in your survey. In fact, using yes or no questions is most effective.

Define the answers with more choices if needed.

If you can’t get away with using yes or no questions, try something different yet simplistic. Formulate your questions so participants can answer on a scale of 0-10, perhaps. With more quantitative answers to choose from, the better analysis you can make from the results.

Don’t lead the questions.

Choose the right words to construct your questions, and don’t lead the participants to answers. Take the last blog post’s example regarding the Xerox fax machine survey, for example. The question was worded so poorly and confusing, it led people to answer no.

Thank the participants.

Obviously time is money and don’t forget to thank those who helped you with the survey. You could make your survey anonymous which people might appreciate (and be more honest), or you can ask them to give you their names and email address so you can follow up with a thank you, or even incentive gift. Think about what might go over well with your customer demographic.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #CustomerSurveys #CustomerFeedback #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #B2B #B2BMarketing #Business2Business

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Customer Surveys: Ask the Right Questions

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Customer Surveys: Ask the Rig...
Now that we’ve gone over the importance of collecting customer feedback after a purchase, let’s talk about the possibility of doing a ‘market survey’ to find out what potential customers might think of your product or service before they buy. The first thing to understand, for existing customers or potential customers alike, is asking the right questions can make or break the survey results.

In a study by Peter Drucker, there are a few case studies about how formulating your questions makes all the difference. One interesting case is about the fax machine, and how based on one survey it’s possible the machine may not have been produced at all. Here is an example of how careful consideration into your survey questions is very important:

In 1967, Xerox came up with the first modern fax machine. Xerox tried to see the marketability of a machine that can transmit signals to another and send a copy of a document over a regular telephone line. So they asked people, “Would you buy a telephone accessory that cost upwards of $1500 that enables you to send, for $1 dollar a page, the same letter the post office delivers for 25 cents?” The answer was a resounding “no” to this question.

A Japanese manufacturer also saw fax technology as an opportunity and asked the question differently, “If you can send your document immediately over the telephone line, would you use it?” They received overwhelming support by businesses and led the fax machine industry in 70s and 80s, ahead of U.S. manufacturers.

Putting the right question(s) in your survey is important. Don’t just ask questions, plan and build your questionnaires carefully and strategically, and ask consistently across a good sampling of people.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #CustomerSurveys #CustomerFeedback #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #B2B #B2BMarketing #Business2Business

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Learn from Customer Feedback

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Learn from Customer Feedback
Assuming you already have customers, have you asked them why they chose to purchase from you? Have they been happy with the results?

It’s possible to be blinded by our love for our own products or services, which can make our marketing strategies going forward too biased. Asking for feedback from the existing customers can be a very eye-opening experience – not only for B2B but B2C as well!

There are several ways you can ask your customers for their feedback, but the simplest way is to randomly call a few of them. If you don’t think your customer base would like being surveyed over the phone, you could give them a postcard to mail back to you, or try any of the following techniques:

- Include the survey / feedback form upon purchase.
- Ask for contact information such as email / telephone numbers for a survey.
- Keep track of your sales so your team can reach out to follow-up later.
- Give incentives for feedback, such as $5 gift cards.
- Provide a regular online survey for feedback.

You can look up more creative ways to get customer feedback or ask other business owners what has worked for them in the past. Your customers’ voices are the most relevant to your success, so do your best to get their feedback and learn from them what worked and what didn’t work, or what can be improved upon, and let their feedback dictate your business and marketing strategies going forward.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #Customers #CustomerSurveys #CustomerFeedback #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #B2B #B2BMarketing #Business2Business

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B2B Marketing to Small Business

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B2B Marketing to Small Business
For a typical consumer, the motivation to purchase a product or service is based more on emotion and desire, but when it comes to a business purchasing a product or service, decisions are based almost entirely on logic. Especially for small business owners, decisions must be made with precise reasoning for the company’s success and survival.

Let’s try to get inside the head of small business owners and consider some of the decision-making elements they have to consider before making a purchase:

Survival. Survival of the business is crucial, and even more critical to smaller businesses. Small businesses have less resources to work with compared to large/enterprise businesses, so every purchase decision comes under more scrutiny. Small business owners or executives have to make purchasing decisions based on a survival instinct.

Time and Money Savings. Small business owners wear many hats throughout the day, so anything that saves time can be beneficial. Time is money, you’ll hear people say, because the idea is the more you can get done, the more you earn. Though we can’t make the day any longer than it is, purchasing time-saving products or services may help. We have to consider, however, that if saving time isn’t saving us any money or making us money, there is no point to our purchase.

Success. Small businesses have to start from the ground up and growing a business isn’t always easy, so if a product or a service can help us succeed, we’ll buy it. Boosting business with a smart purchase that grows sales or leads or makes business run efficiently is a good call if it takes you down the path of success.
- - -

So what can you offer to small business owners? Does your product or service have a beneficial place within the above categories?
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #B2B #B2BMarketing #Business2Business

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The Fundamentals of B2B Marketing

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The Fundamentals of B2B Marke...
We started this blog series a year ago, focused on sharing what we know to help other businesses thrive. As I thought about what topic to write about in June, I decided to shift course and focus on sharing what we need to work on here at PSPinc. Together, with you, let’s explore the basics of B2B Marketing to help us (ourselves included) reassess our current marketing efforts. Since PSPinc customers are businesses themselves, it’s wise for us to understand the importance of marketing our products and services to the business community versus the individual person, and understand the distinction between the two opportunities.

So what is B2B marketing? (B2B stands for “Business to Business.”)

According to marketing-school.org: “B2B marketing techniques rely on the same basic principles as consumer marketing, but are executed in a unique way. While consumers choose products based not only on price but on popularity, status, and other emotional triggers, B2B buyers make decisions on price and profit potential alone.” (http://www.marketing-schools.org/types-of-marketing/b2b-marketing.html)

First off, let’s define your target business customer. Determine the size of businesses to whom you are trying to sell your products. Is your target customer a small or medium business, or a large enterprise? There are various ways to measure the size, but in general, a U.S. small business is privately held with less than 250 employees, and a medium business is up to 500 employees. You might find differing opinions/thresholds for these categories as well, where less than 100 employees is considered a small business, and 100-999 employees is considered a medium business. Some define business size based on revenue, so those with less than $50 million in annual revenue fall into a small business category, whereas somewhere between $50 million and $1 billion fall into a medium size business category.

According to a 2012 survey of business owners, there are 27.6 million small businesses in the United States. Though their expenditures may be smaller, the market size itself is not that small, making them a prime target for B2B marketing. Do note, however, even though you will find some core elements in B2B marketing, you will have to customize your strategy towards small to medium businesses (SMB) versus larger enterprises.

Let’s explorer some ideas for how to do that this month.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #B2B #B2BMarketing #Business2Business

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Content is Key for the Health of your Website

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Content is Key for the Health o...
Finishing your website is only the beginning of your long endeavor to succeed online. Maintaining your website will be your lifelong mission (or your business’ lifelong mission) in order to keep it effective and get you good results.

So how do you do that? By keeping it fresh and continuously updating your site, adding content regularly. Here are a few ideas…

1) Blog

One of the most commonly known methods for updating your site is having a blog. You can give your expert advice to your audience once or twice a week like I do (*smile*). There are website tools, ours included, which make it so the blog posts can be embedded into your homepage. Before you build your site, make sure these tools are available to you and you understand how to use them.

2) Newsletter

If you are sending newsletters to customers, you can also publish those as new web pages. Be sure your website allows you to add and post more pages because you should create a new web page for each newsletter you archive after it gets sent out, giving you lots of keyword-rich content for better search engine optimization.

3) Photo Gallery

If you don’t want to write a lot of content, you can take photos of your work, your team, or your clients, your products, etc. You can set up a photo gallery on your website and post each image with a short comment. Again, be sure your website includes a tool for you to add photos with comments easily.

4) Client of the Month

Featuring a different client every month is good exposure for them and you. It’s a win-win especially if you can highlight your client’s business. On a client spotlight page, explain what you did for your client and update it once a month. This will highlight different stories about your business and give more credibility to your company.

5) Testimonials

Testimonials can be placed on your homepage, or snippets within each page. Like reviews on social media, customer feedback from their experiences can be more powerful than yours. You could even make a video and post them on your YouTube channel and embed it in your page.

Without updates and fresh content, your search engine ranking will drop. So however you decide to add it, be consistent and update on a regular basis. The key to success in any form is consistency, and only with discipline can you achieve such consistency and success in your business.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #Websites #WebHosting

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Laying out your Business Homepage

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Laying out your Business Hom...
Once you’ve determined all the elements that need to go into your website, how you lay them out is the next important decision to make. It’s especially important that your website adjusts well to different PCs and smaller devices, and the priority information is still seen first no matter how your website is viewed. If it’s hard for a visitor to figure out what your website is about, or if they’re unable to quickly locate the information they want, it’s highly likely they will “bounce out” from your page and leave. So how do you properly arrange your homepage in order to keep the visitor engaged?

Here are some important things to consider:

1) List the information you wish to have on your homepage in order of priority. What do you want to say and what would you like the visitors to do once they’re on your page? Make the list so you know what to put in front of visitors first.

2) Review your list and pick only three items. Yes, only three. Put the rest of the information on other pages within your site map, but focus on the most important three topics to be placed on your homepage.

3) Keep it simple! If you have too many things on one page, visitors will leave. Don’t push the envelope too much when it comes to your landing page. Keep your page clean and simple, easy to read and navigate. Limit the text on this page as much as you can.

4) Draw a wireframe. On a piece of paper with a pencil, draw a rectangle, and place those three items in the body. Give the most space to your #1 important item, the least space to your #3 item, and something in between for your #2 item.

5) Don’t forget to include the contact information. Whether it is through an online form, your phone number, or email address, people need to know they can contact you. If there’s no way to contact you, your business may appear shady and untrustworthy. Make the contact information easy to access.

6) Be consistent with your story, with your tone, and with your brand. Stick with your core objectives and try to stay focused!
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #Websites #WebHosting

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The Importance of your Website’s Hero Image

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The Importance ...
The first impression is the key to your success when you are launching your website. Without good visuals to appeal to your potential customers, they will “bounce” out of your website within a few seconds. To keep them browsing, you need a professional looking site. The secret ingredient for that is the “hero image.”

Hero image mainly means the visual on your web landing page. It’s often placed in the center as the prominent banner image. Some websites use multiple hero images – where a different image will load each time, and others use a slideshow to flip through a few of them.

The hero image gives the first impression of your business online, so first, here’s what not to use:

- Low resolution photos you had from several years ago
- Out of focus photos you took on your smartphone
- Images that looks too dark from your digital camera
- Un-cropped photos with another business name or logo on the side
- Photos with colors that clash with your website brand colors
- Free template photos you downloaded that can be seen on other websites

Now here’s what you should consider doing:

- Hire a professional photographer so you can own your quality images
- Hire a professional graphic designer to tune up the photos you wish to use
- Purchase / download professional images from sites like Flickr.com, GettyImages.com or Shutterstock.com
- Edit and combine a few photos you have with graphic editors (there are some free ones as well)

Good visuals and imagery can speak volumes about your business, especially in the online realm, they can be more impactful than words. So be the hero and put some quality effort into building your website’s hero image.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #Websites #WebHosting

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Steps to Take when Planning your Website

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Steps to Take when Planning y...
Once you know your tone of voice, the story, and all the elements to your brand, you will then organize your website concept in a way so you or your developer can build them into pages. The process is kind of like writing a book - you first need to think about the big picture, then work on your table of contents before you actually create any content for the pages.

As mentioned in my previous blog posts, your tone of color should match your tone of voice within your graphics and content. Define the right tone of voice, compile the terms you wrote down when thinking about your brand and the reasons why your customers should choose you. Now use this information as the base for building and organizing your website.

Consider taking these steps to organize your website:

Work on the site map.

More content on your site doesn’t necessarily mean people will spend more time on your site. What are the most important things your potential clients need to know about you? Pick 5 to 8 topics, and make a page for each one of them.

What is the most important topic of all, and which one is the least important? Put them in order of importance and this becomes your navigation menu, obviously the most important starting at the left or the top depending on whether your menu is horizontal or vertical.

Do not make sub menus of sub menus of sub menus… The structure of your navigation must be kept simple, otherwise people will get lost and leave your site.

Work on the homepage call to action.

If you could only choose one thing for a visitor to do on your website, what would that be? Do you want them to call you? Subscribe to your newsletter? Shop?

Whatever it might be, you will need to make sure it is visible and right there on the homepage, without having to scroll down. You must make sure that experience is the same for all devices, from smart phones to PCs with large monitors.

Your “call to action” can be on every page if you design it into your header or footer. Repeating it on every page will encourage users to take that action.

Finish your content (and don’t forget to include your keywords!).

Based on your site map, you can work on the content for each page. Remember, people will be turned off and leave your site if those pages have too much to read or the navigation is hard to figure out. The experience must be user-friendly and easy-to-read with pleasing visuals, not too much clutter.

You should also include the keywords for your site in as much content as you can. It provides another opportunity for search engines to recognize your keywords and index your site so it can show up organically for people who search those terms.

Finally, do not forget to include your contact information. Those sites which do not show where they are located do not look professional and some people may even think you are a scam site. If possible, include your street address with the country name and the telephone number. That will ensure to customers the legitimacy of your site.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #Websites #WebHosting

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Pick the Right Web Colors for your Brand

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Pick the Right Web Colors for ...
There are millions of colors out in the world, and I doubt an exact number even exists, or is at least debatable. If you think about all the different hues and tones of just one color, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. On the web, however, there is a very definite number of colors that are web safe (or browser safe), meaning they can be displayed consistently on any PC or browser. Web developers like to work around these 216 web safe colors so the color of your image can be consistent across the board no matter who is viewing it. And remaining consistent is very important for your brand image.

If you already have a logo, you probably have your brand colors figured out. But have you thought about how the colors in your logo will impact people who see them? In our previous blog post, we talked about the tone of voice in your messaging. Well, a similar psychology is true for the colors you use. Color psychology is the study of how colors affect our behaviors.
Here are some color theories you might want to know when choosing colors for your brand and website:

Temperature: Is it a cool color or a warm color? The temperature of your colors can affect how people see something, and what feelings they have toward it.

Modes: Colors can also create feelings of space. For example, it is said blue or green tends to create coziness, whereas the color red is associated with action.

You will need to consider the right colors for your brand message. People will remember the visual impact more than the content, and the color will be associated with certain feelings so research it and choose wisely what you want to display on your website. Then stay consistent with it.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #Websites #WebHosting

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