Understand Your Customers to Gain Sales

No matter what your end goals are — improve sales by 10%, increase your profit margins, or create long-lasting connections with customers, you need to do one thing: understand what your customers want. Once you understand what your customers want, you’ll be able to gear all of your interactions towards that end and while you’re increasing sales, you’ll be able to simultaneously keep your customers fully engaged in your brand.

Understand Your Customers

There are a variety of methods that you can employ to understand your customers better.

Tracking customer involvement is one way to understand your client better. Many leaders like to track their clients’ purchasing decisions, while others like to go through the purchasing process themselves. Either way, when you can see how your customers make their purchasing decisions, you might be able to make it easier for them to check out products, add items to their shopping cart, or incorporate promotions and sales into their buying cycle.

Creating customer surveys can help you understand what your customers want. Do your customers prefer a fast shopping cart and weekly emails? Do they prefer to be contacted via social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook? Do your customers want ads sent directly to their emails? When you create customer surveys, you can receive accurate data that will help your company make stronger decisions and, ultimately, gain more sales.

Tracking email and social media involvement can help you uncover how your customers prefer to interact. Once you know your customers’ preferred method of communication, you can promote your brand and connect with your clients the way they want.

Reliable Communication Matters

Once you understand how your customers function, you can start to communicate with them reliably and compassionately. Sometimes, an email isn’t enough— it could be that the single phone call or handwritten letter makes the difference. When you show your customers that they are important, and more importantly, that they are worthy of your time, they will be more likely to come back in the future. According to Gallup, when your clients are fully engaged with your product or brand, they’ll be more likely to stick with your company or product:

a customer who is fully engaged represents an average 23% premium in terms of share of wallet, profitability, revenue, and relationship growth compared with the average customer. In stark contrast, an actively disengaged customer represents a 13% discount in those same measures.

Mini-Mac Spotlight

When Mini-Mac, a Wichita-based spacer manufacturer came to us about creating an entirely new website, we were excited. It was their focus on transparency, reliability, and integrity that drove our vision for this site’s copy, design, and aesthetic.

Process

Mini-Mac has been locally owned for over 45 years, so we wanted their website to have a bit of the family-oriented feel while remaining classy and minimalistic.

Challenge

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Because this is Mini-Mac’s first site, we knew we needed to incorporate a flawless design that would include both their history and their extensive product line.

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Mini-Mac values transparency and education, so we developed a search tool that would allow customers to receive updated inventory information. We also wanted to promote Mini-Mac’s educational spirit by incorporating a list of resources to help prospective buyers. Everything on this site– from the down-to-earth copy and the easily searchable directory to the updated resources and the spacious aesthetic is geared toward educating and informing prospective buyers so they can receive friendly, reliable information about the spacers they need, quickly.

Design

We were inspired by the cool metallic nature of the spacers, and we wanted to create a site that was as flawless and well-rounded as the spacers that Mini-Mac manufactures.

Colors

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We shift between slate gray, blue and white to mimic the sheen of the NAS42 and NAS43 spacers and to provide a boundless quality to the site.

Font

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We chose Univers LT because it’s lightweight and approachable, yet still serious.

Trusted. Reliable. Honesty.

We loved the challenges and opportunities that occurred during our Mini-Mac design, and we’re excited to see what the next 45 years will bring for them! Check out Mini-Mac’s new website here.

 

4 Things Basquiat Can Teach us About Design

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After reading an article on AnOther about Basquiat, we wanted to break down 4 things that Basquiat taught us about design.

Change the Game

Basquiat wrote on whatever he had at hand. In addition to being just a generally cool thing to do, we understand how useful that type of ideas is. When an idea isn’t coming, or when you feel stuck in your work, change it up. Don’t write on paper, write on your refrigerator. Don’t watch T.V. before bed, read a design book. It’s important to change things up to increase your ability to feel inspired. We frequently adjust the way we focus— by watching TED talks, doodling on our notebooks, or reviewing our favorite blogs and design sites, we change the way we experience and create ideas.

Believe in Your Abilities

Telling your father that you’re going to be famous isn’t something that we’ve done (yet)— just wait!– but we understand the importance of believing in yourself. From the beginning, Basquiat understood his worth and, like him, we like to sing our praises when they’re actually praises. This doesn’t mean that we feel unnecessarily happy about everything that we make, or that we think we’re better than other people, but it does mean that we believe in our abilities and we’re not afraid to acknowledge when we’ve done good work.

Pull from Early Influences

Basquiat wasn’t afraid to pull from early influences, and we believe that pulling from early inspiration can help keep us on track. With our redesign of Jumpchart for example, we decided to go back to our early influences and ideals: to create a minimalist text-editing program that would help people write better. When you can get inspired by old ideas or goals, there’s no limit to what you can create.

Don’t Let Injuries Stop You

Of course, if you don’t feel well you don’t feel well, but sometimes an injury or another supposed downfall can actually help you excel. Like Basquiat’s fateful introduction to Grey’s Anatomy, sometimes, inspiration can come at the most unexpected times. We like to keep our eyes open so that we can recognize inspiration no matter where we are.

Read the entire article about Basquiat here.

Congrats to Dress for Success

We’d like to congratulate Dress for Success Wichita on becoming the first recipients of the 2015 Not-for-Profit Technology Grant from Net-Ability.

Dress for Success, a local non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and encouraging Wichita women to achieve financial success by providing them with professional attire, will be using their technology grant in order to “monitor and track the progress of their participants” (Wire Service). In addition to providing professional attire for women applying for jobs, Dress for Success also offers a variety of classes and support services geared toward keeping women employed, increasing workplace confidence, and supporting networking needs.

Net-Ability recognizes that non-profit organizations are usually lacking in their ability to update existing technologies, so they created the Not-for-Profit Technology Grant in the hopes that non-profits might be able to further their mission. We’re excited to see what this means for the future of Dress for Success and we wish everyone at Dress for Success a bright future!

Check out Dress for Success here and read more about Net-Ability’s technology grant here.

Examples of Good Copy

examples of good copy

We talked a little bit about bad copy and how it can negatively affect your website or email campaign, but there are plenty of strong examples of copy that can excite readers. Check out some of our favorite examples to see how other companies tell their brand’s story.

 

We love the mysterious package company for their mysteriously cool concept, but we also love the way they put their concept together—through stories. This team understands a good story and they know how to pique our interest.

Who doesn’t love mail? And who doesn’t love mail from strangers? That’s the basis of the Mysterious Package Company’s model, but instead of just saying that, they showed it to us by crafting a product story that we can’t resist. Notice how the Mysterious Package Company doesn’t have any jargon or any gimmicks. They tell you what they give you by creating a story out of it. That’s the best possible way to craft copy that will engage and motivate your readers.

It began one evening with a strange letter from a law firm I’d never heard of. Inside, I was informed of the passing of my Great Aunt Hanna – I didn’t even know I had a Great Aunt Hanna – and she had left a note for me. It was handwritten, and contained within a frail, ancient envelope. It was written in longhand, a warning about ghosts, and some coordinates that seem to be from a small island in the South Pacific. There was a map fragment of the island as well, but none of this makes any sense.

Our stories begin with The Pledge, often an unexpected letter, and often regarding a relative or other previously unknown person. This is the start of the adventure, a puzzling moment of intrigue that draws the recipient into the scheme.

We pay careful attention to all aspects of what we send: the date of the stamps, the style of the postmark, the age of the paper… how everything feels in the hand is as important as what is written on the page.

CatBird, a jewelry company based in Brooklyn, New York, doesn’t have to do much to get their story across. They create a reason that someone would want to buy their products. Instead of just saying, “these are great and will look beautiful in your house,” they create an experience around their items so that you can begin to visualize your life with those items.

Our ethereal, light as a feather Fairy Light Eternity Band, now available with a seductive curve, and in demi pavé, for a subtler shine.

Like CatBird, Dollar Shave Club does a good job of making something boring (razors)…well…exciting. They don’t tell you anything extra that you don’t need to know. They don’t try to string you along with empty promises. They keep a consistent tone that engages their readers. 

The era of peaceful shaving is upon us.

Dr. Carver returns shaving to the delightful experience it was meant to be. The exclusive formulas are enriched with gentle botanicals and premium extracts to ensure your satisfaction every step of the way.

Honest Tea understands how to tell a good story. They know that that’s what their customers care about most. Not only the taste of the product, but the why of the product. Why should we care and why does this matter are two of the biggest questions that most customers ask, and Honest Tea addresses both questions right away.

Timing was everything. Barry had just returned from India where he had been analyzing the tea industry for a case study. Among other things, he came away with the impression that the tea many American companies purchased for bottling was the dust and fannings left after whole tea leaves had been brewed. Barry had even come up with a name to describe a bottled tea that was made with real tea leaves–Honest Tea. When Seth heard the name, the simmering idea began to boil–it was the perfect name for an all-natural brand that would strive to create healthy and honest relationships with its customers, suppliers and the environment.

Seth took a deep breath, quit his job at Calvert mutual funds, and started brewing batches of tea in his kitchen. Five weeks after taking the plunge, he brought thermoses of tea and a recycled bottle with a mock-up label to Fresh Fields (Whole Foods Market). The buyer ordered 15,000 bottles, and Seth and Barry were in business–if they could figure out how to make that much tea. They did, and we’re still at it 15 years later.

Tuft & Needle, a mattress company, has a great blend of story and mission. They keep their text short and interesting, and they give enough examples to keep their readers interested.

JT had just gotten married and he and his wife set out to buy their first piece of furniture together–a new mattress. The search began at local mattress showrooms; vast fields of mattresses neatly laid out under the buzz of fluorescent lights. Pushy salesmen pushed them to buy a fully loaded, feature-rich memory foam mattress. For $3,300 it should have been the pinnacle of comfort, but it wasn’t. To make matters worse, the return policy rendered it impossible to return. It was like car shopping. Actually it was worse than car shopping.

At work the next day, he shared his story with Daehee. The two friends from college had been working together at a company in Palo Alto, and unsurprisingly had similar experiences. There was work to be done.

We believe that business can be honest and premium products don’t need remote controls and payment plans. Especially not mattresses.

Warby Parker, a glasses company dedicated to providing an alternative to expensive eyewear, understands that their story is what makes them them. They focus on keywords (like “rebellious” and “lofty,”) and allow their customers to create their own assessment of the brand.

Every idea starts with a problem. Ours was simple: glasses are too expensive. We were students when one of us lost his glasses on a backpacking trip. The cost of replacing them was so high that he spent the first semester of grad school without them, squinting and complaining. (We don’t recommend this.) The rest of us had similar experiences, and we were amazed at how hard it was to find a pair of great frames that didn’t leave our wallets bare. Where were the options?

It turns out there was a simple explanation. The eyewear industry is dominated by a single company that has been able to keep prices artificially high while reaping huge profits from consumers who have no other options.

We started Warby Parker to create an alternative.