Simple Ways to Increase Your Website Sales

If you’re looking for simple ways to increase your business bottom line, you’ve come to the right place.

You might think that you already know what your customer wants. But how sure are you? Instead of assuming that you know, why not listen to the customer and ask questions to find out what it is that he REALLY wants.

1. Tell your customers about benefits, not features.

Your customers don’t want to know the ins and outs of your products or services, they want to know how those products or services could benefit them! Save the details of the product for a secondary page on your website that’s NOT on your home page. You can give some main selling points, but keep the minor details off of the home page. This spot is reserved for benefits of your products and/or services.

Let’s say you’ve got a strategy to get your clients out of debt. Don’t give them the nuts and bolts on the front page on how it works. Instead, give them the abbreviated version and save the small print for another page. Tell them the specific benefits of a life with ample funds and freedom from debt. Would that get YOUR attention if the shoe was on the other foot?

2. Keep communication consistent with potential buyers.

They say that it takes at least 7 views of your products or services to get interested parties to buy them. They’re obviously interested if they’ve managed to get to your site and request information, especially if they’re checking you out more than 7 times. So why not inform them regularly about your news and updates to the site? You may already have a future customer.

It’s also a good practice to use a “bookmark this page” and “tell a friend about this page” tool, to make it easier to get potential buyers in the future. Just because they’re not buying yet doesn’t mean they’re not coming back.

3. Encourage your site visitors to ask questions.

Some people might think you’ll be bothered by them or waste your time answering their questions. Extend your arms to each and every visitor that comes into your site, and encourage them to ask questions.

If you see the same question coming from those visitors over and over again, you should probably create a “Frequently Asked Questions” or “FAQ” page. People usually want immediate answers to their questions, and a “FAQ” page keeps your site visitors from having to ask the same questions over and over again.

4. Make the buying experience easier.

Don’t ask for information that you don’t need. Ask for the bare minimum information from the customer so they can ‘get in, and get out’. Then later on, you can send them a quick ‘thank you’ note and a follow up to see how they liked your website.

5. Don’t make your customer jump through hoops to buy your products.

It will only frustrate them, and make them put off buying for later – and that ‘later’ may never come!

6. Use a good CRM tool to help keep customers in the loop with your business.

Utilizing a good Customer Relationship Tool goes a long way to keep you organized when it comes to communicating with your customers. If you’ve got a sale or special on your products or services that you want them to know about (and they should), your CRM is an invaluable way to bring customers to your business with the click of a button.

Going one step further, utilizing a powerful mobile customer relationship tool like Small Business Dream will allow you to keep in touch with those valuable customers on the fly!

By keeping these lines of communication open with your site visitors and potential customers, you’ll find it easy to gain more trust and credibility with them and in turn, more sales!

4 Ways To Become an Email Marketing Ninja

Despite all the other methods of marketing and selling, email is still king of the road. It’s what drives a lot of businesses, both online and offline. And if you’re not using email to communicate and sell to your customers then why the heck not?

It’s probably because you’ve never really considered the power of a consistent, follow-up email sequences. Or maybe you don’t know how. It’s actually a lot easier than you think.

But first let’s take you back a bit. I’m going to take you back to the time you were overjoyed when you got email. There was that ping of anticipation, the little swirly icon, and then you’d click on it, and wait for it to open.

Unfortunately, that’s no longer the case. Fast forward to present. Answering emails is probably the last thing you want to do.

The average person gets 84 emails a day, not including the Facebook Messages, the LinkedIn Messages, the Tweets, the Snapchats, and whatever else there is. There are probably a million things you prefer to do than wade through email wasteland.

It’s almost impossible to respond to 84 messages a day, let alone read them, so you have to be a ‘marketing ninja’ to stand out. You just need to train to do those back flips and karate chops!

How do you do that? I’m glad you asked. Luckily I’ve come up with a number of things you can do to become a master.


Before you send a single email you need an overall strategy. Like anything else, if you fly by the seat of your pants then you’re not going to be effective. You have to always ask how it would benefit your audience. What message are you trying to send? Take your time to stop and think about your approach and execution.

It may help to first draw out the sequence of emails on a piece of paper, detailing every one you want to send to your customers or potential customer. Then write down the action you want them to take. You should strategize at least three months in advance and know exactly what you want to say. As your business changes, it’s possible to change your strategy. But as they say ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.’


Obviously the content of your email is the most important part. Starting with your subject line. If your emails are boring, nobody will read them.
I know, the truth hurts sometimes. But if you train your customers that you’re awesome and your writing is going to be entertaining then you’ll have people salivating over your email content.

Another thing you can do is what in the ‘biz’ is called the open loop. That is kind of like writing an episode of Game of Thrones. And it can be that much fun to both read and write. The point of the open loop email is to keep your reader engaged and to end with a ‘cliffhanger’. Of course you want your readers to come away with a great story but there should also be a business moral that will lead them to buy for you.

The open loop is an extremely effective way of being a email ninja and one that most businesses don’t deploy effectively. Of course it’s just one type of content you can use. There are far too many to cover here.


The more you know about your email list, the better and more ‘valuable’ it is. The more you can customize it to a specific person the better. If you know a particular person likes a certain beer, then you can craft a message around it. The same for coffee, restaurants or sports. Segmented lists and dynamic content really show your audience that you’ve thought about their needs and care about building a personal relationship with them, even if it’s automated. We’ll get into it next.

There are a couple ways of segmenting your email list. You can send your existing list a survey and then record those responses. You can create different landing pages each with a different message. Or you can run different contests to see which people respond to. Be creative!


This is by far my favorite tip. I love automation! Why? Because it makes life so much easier. Why do all the work over and over again when you only have to do it once? Your customers won’t know the difference unless you do it poorly. Remember to personalize it! (Hint we just talked about it!) If you personalize and segment your list correctly, then your customer will feel special and privileged.

There are many ways to do this. Most email marketing companies have a way you can create auto responders that will automatically trigger when you add somebody to a list.


With only 39% of retailers send personalized product information to their customers there is obviously great room for improvement! Just by adding good email strategy and follow up, you can double or triple your sales!

How to Use Hashtags for Your Small Business Marketing

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, you’ve probably noticed that the number of businesses who utilize social media as a marketing medium has grown in massive numbers.

Now…for the purpose of our business, we’ve found that there are a couple of mediums that give us greater latitude, and much bigger “bang for our marketing buck” with regard to creativity than do others. And you might find the same goes for your own business social media purposes. In trying out the various platforms, we generally suggest that you find out which works best, and focus on those.

Twitter for instance, utilizes text to 140 characters, so if your message is text focused, and you can get that message (or a tantalizing part of that message) across in less than that, it’s a kick ass way to go, but creativity still rules. Simply said, the fact that you’re only ‘allowed’ 140 characters on Twitter can create the need to include links to whatever website or blog the rest of your information is located on.

What exactly IS a ‘hashtag’?

Hashtags have become so common these days that people have started using them outside of their intended purpose. People use them in text messages, chats, songs, and advertisements.

A “hashtag” is more simply described as a word preceded by the number sign (#).You’ll see them across a variety of different social networks like Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, and occasionally on Facebook. When Pinterest first came out in 2010 there was a lot of confusion about hashtags and how they were being used on that platform.

Hashtags (#) are used for the purpose of locating people/industries/topics that you and/or your company might be interested in following/communicating with, etc. Whenever a user adds a hashtag to their post, it is immediately indexed by the social network and searchable by other users. Once someone clicks on that hashtag, they’ll be brought to a page that aggregates all of the posts with the same hash tagged keyword in real-time.

Those hashtags in the Instagram platform serve the same purpose, even though it’s primarily an image driven vehicle (no pun intended there). Using hashtags within those messages also brings WAY more eyeballs than those posted without them (it’s astonishing just how much traffic a simple hashtag can bring).

So now you ask, “how do I know which hashtags I should be using for my business?” There are a couple of really simple answers to this question;

1. When it comes to hashtags, common sense generally prevails. Using a business related word and simply prefixing it with a “#” is generally one of the best ways to start testing out some favorites.

2. When it doubt, Google it. Search for popular hashtags related to your business on Google! Google is a super helpful resource, and you can find any number of hashtag lists for use on your preferred social media platform, for just about any business you dare to search. Do some testing and tweaking. Figure out which hashtags work best on which platform for your business, and get to it!

Despite the problems I have outlined in this book, I believe that the future of small business is bright. Regardless of what your customer’s needs are, there’s one universal way to explode your sales, and keep that customer coming back, and/or referring your business; Keeping in touch. By ‘keeping in touch’ I’m not saying that you should badger your customer incessantly with mindless chatter. By “keeping in touch”, you’re simply, periodically putting yourself at the forefront of your customer’s mind with timely, helpful, metered communication.

Now you ask, “what exactly IS timely, helpful, metered communication”? Well ladies and gentlemen, I’m happy to tell you. Go grab a java, take a seat in a big comfy chair, and read on.

Let’s say you’re in the real estate business. Obviously your customers aren’t buying real estate the way they’d buy say…socks (or maybe they are). Just because a client makes one real estate purchase doesn’t mean that the ‘sale’ is done when your commission cheque clears, but your client very likely has friends. And what do you think happens when those friends are buying property? They ask a friend for a referral. And if you don’t position yourself in such a way that there really ISN’T anyone else that your client can think of when asked for that referral, your sales, and therefore your commissions will have no other avenue but to jump exponentially.

Sounds great, right? I mean, who doesn’t want to make more money, while helping a client remember to do helpful things with regard to their real estate purchase? If you could in addition, have those helpful reminders to go out on a set schedule, so much the better, right?

Implementing a simple ‘system’ for reaching out to those customers automatically makes the task of keeping in touch one of the more simple tasks that you undertake in your business, instead of one that you dread for how difficult it can be.

If your business is a restaurant, keeping in touch is even more simple, by sending out ‘reminders’ of regular specials and special events happening in your establishment. It’s easy to keep your income pipeline full, when you’re at the forefront of the minds of your customers, regulars or not.

Making the task of staying in touch even simpler, why not implement a mobile CRM to your marketing strategy? That way your business doesn’t need to rely on you having time to sit down at a computer to do your ‘staying in touch’ tasks.

Cool, right?

Getting Your Real Estate Business Ahead in a Crazy Market

real estate

Getting (and keeping) your real estate business ahead of the pack in an insane market can be a massive and daunting task. All aspects of your marketing game need to be ‘on point’, because the competition for your potential client’s hard earned dollar is fierce.

Gone are the days when all you had to do was make sure that your face was on the side of every bus, and underneath the butts and backs of those waiting for them. This is a brand new era.

Escalated real estate values mean that you’re going to have to put in ‘extra time’ and effort to getting your name and your reputation in front of those looking for your services. And there’s no better way to do that than by staying top of mind using the tools that were built for just this reason.

Let’s start with the most basic of those tools (actually, the two most basic); your website, and your blog. These are a no-brainers, so if you’re not utilizing both to their fullest potential, you’re totally missing out. Adding a newsletter component is a given, in order to stay in touch on even a very basic level, but what about staying in touch on the fly?

I mean, how often do you look to your cell phone for information before you sit down at a desktop or laptop computer? Yup. I’m talking about mobile marketing tools for your real estate business. It’s like ramping up your newsletter campaign, keeping your customers in the loop by way of mobile. It’s marketing at the touch of a button.

Even though you’re ‘marketing at the touch of a button’, you still want to be sending valuable, timely information to your client list. Sending useful information, rather than random ‘marketing’ will keep you at the head of the pack. Using a suite of tools like Small Business Dream allows you to make the task almost as simple as tying your shoes.

Partner with a related business, in order to spread your marketing efforts. Partnering with a business that has real estate “interests” is a creative way of getting your own business to those who might not otherwise know about you, and the type of partnership possibilities are vast and numerous. From furniture stores to flooring to art, the possibilities are endless. Use your customer relationship management tool to promote that partnership to the advantage of your customers, by sending out ‘deals’ and specials that your customers (and likely their friends and acquaintances) will utilize! It’s win-win!

To know more on how you can outpace the competition  in the real estate business, check my post on how you can “growth hack” your real estate sales.

Or, you can start right away by using our Small Business Dream Suite of tools at

How A Salon Used Customer Management Relations to Boost Sales

Once upon a time in a city far far away, there was a little hair salon that decided to do the unthinkable. The hair salon owner decided to try and actually follow up with their hair salon clients to check in, not only on customer satisfaction with the hair stylist, but also to increase their sales frequency and profit.

Here is the surprisingly simple way the hair salon owner did it. First, the salon owner made sure to give every customer a client number and a simple loyalty card for the Hair Salon. This started as a stamp type loyalty card, very simple, and it had a place to write by hand, the clients name, and their ID number on the card.

Once the customer visited the hair studio 10 times, they were entitled to one of many free services, which included a hair color, hair protein treatment, a hair wash dry and set, a bottle of shampoo, or a colour root touch up.

In order to prepare the customer card, the little hair salon owner had customers fill in a simple survey pertinent to a hair salon, including the customer’s phone number, email address and hair styling preferences, and known allergies. They also offered all new hair salon clients the chance to opt-in to their weekly hair styling newsletter, and if they did, they would be placed in a draw for a monthly free $50

Hair Salon owner increases sales 63% in 47 days with this simple secret The hair salon owner decided to try and actually follow up with their hair salon clients to check in, not only on customer satisfaction with the hair stylist, but also to increase their sales frequency and profit.

The hair salon owner was very progressive and set up some simple sales and marketing automation software using Small Business Dream in order to follow up with the customers over the next few months.

As customers have enough cards to carry around, the hair salon owner decided to keep the loyalty cards at the front desk for the customer so they never needed to remember it, they simply needed to give their name.

Every time a customer came in to the hair salon, the receptionist or a stylist found their card and confirmed their number.

After the client was done with their hair cut or hair color or hair service they came for, the hair stylist pulled up their information in the marketing and sales automation software, filled in what hair services the customer had done in the notes field, as well as any other pertinent details that would allow them to better service this customer the next time they came in to the hair salon, AND reset their automated email follow up campaign (email autoresponder). The email campaign was a big key to the increase in sales in the hair salon. It was structured in the following way.

The Day AFTER the hair appointment, the hair salon sent an email from the hair salon owner checking in on the previous days service and asking for feedback if anything was wrong and how the hair stylist performed. This surprised the salon as the owner got both GOOD and BAD feedback about the hair stylists they employed. This allowed them to rectify errors and retain good customers even in the event of a mishap.

Two weeks after the hair appointment, they sent an email letting the customer know they could pop in for a professional wash, dry, and hair set for just $30, a way to get that just been to the hair salon look, at a fraction of the cost for a special occasion. Four weeks after the appointment, they sent an email asking if it might be about time to come and get a haircut again.

They were stunned by how many responses this email got, and VERY positive ones, actually thanking the hair salon owner for the reminder stating that the customer often forgets to book, and this email reminded them to get it done and it was simple, as they just replied by email, to book the time that they wanted. This system made it EASY for the customer to book a hair styling appointment.

Now the cool part of this for the hair salon was, this took the average rebooking time from 7 to 8 weeks, to averaging 6 weeks, which meant a MASSIVE increase in annual sales. Here’s the math (yuck) on how this increased sales frequency generated by the sales and marketing automation software affected the hair salons sales and profitability (Yes!);

Let’s say your average hair salon sale is $65 and your customers come in every 8 weeks. This means your hair salon customers comes to see you about 52/8 = 6.5 times per year. So your average annual sales from your hair salon’s clients are 6.5 x $65 = $422.50. If you got them back an average of 1 time each 6 weeks instead, it would be 52/6 = 8.67 times. Your average annual sales form a client then would be 8.67 x $65 = $563.33.

That is $140.83 additional hair salon revenue PER client. This is a WHOPPING 33% increase in Annual Sales!!!! What if you only had 500 hair salon clients? $70,415 extra sales annually What if you had 1000? $140,830!!

At 6 weeks, an email went out re-suggesting it was time to rebook a hair cut as they were likely getting pretty shaggy.

Then at 8 weeks, an APOLOGY email went out, YEP, that’s right, they apologized for not doing a good enough job to have the client come back to the hair salon and they offered at 10% discount with the apology email if the customer rebooked within 3 days.

At 12 weeks, an extension of the apology re-offering the 10% off went out, and tossing in a free bottle of shampoo, or free protein treatment if they booked again in the next 3 days. This wasn’t as random as it sounds, they knew that their average time of rebook was 7 weeks, so at 8 weeks it was likely frustrated customer, or a super cheap one that would wait 10 or 12 weeks to come back. By offering the 10% the made the unhappy client feel cared for, and often coaxed the cheaper customer to come again to chase the discount. This again drove annual sales up dramatically by increasing customer frequency.

Once the hair salon had collected its customer database including email address, it also started to implement a Web Special page on its hair salon website that it email blasted out each 2 weeks as part of their bi-weekly newsletter.

The web specials page contained super hair salon amazing deals, sometimes as much as 50% off, but only for specific hair stylists and time slots. They used it to fill their empty seats, this decreased dramatically their sales vacancy and once again increased their hair salon profits.

If the hair salon ever got in a real bind with hair stylists having empty seats, they did an instant blast to everybody offering a great hair salon service deal on a super short time frame to fill that spot. It may have been a haircut, or a hair color, or even a hair straightening, it just depended on what the hair salon could handle in the time available.

The results were out of this world. Hair Stylist’s empty seat time vanished. Stylists made more money in tips. The hair salon owner made more money as a hair salon. Other hair stylists started to want to work there as they heard how always busy the hair salon was.

Another benefit the hair salon found as it implemented its simple CRM sales and marketing automation software to track and follow up with its customers was the ability to track Customer Preferences to increase customer satisfaction.

One of the final things the hair salon owner put in place was a reminder phone call, text (SMS), Facebook message, KiK message, or any other method of communication the customer had indicated they preferred for all appointments coming up the next day. The sales and marketing automation software made this easy for the hair stylists to do, so they weren’t as likely to try to skip it!

This simple action decreased no-shows to the hair salon significantly, and made the customer feel extremely cared for.

In Today’s online world, the likes of Yelp and others are making it more and more important to have at least a simple web presence for review and referral sites to link to. By having your own hair salon website, all the ranking sites for Hair Salons will send traffic to YOUR site where you control the narrative, vs. scraping information they can find publicly available about your hair salon.

As a result of this and the web-specials concept the hair salon put together a simple website (Small Business Dream also allows you to build a simple website for this purpose) and even started to use their new found cash flow to do super targeted advertising on Facebook, twitter and Google AdWords.

This traffic simply was directed to the hair salon’s website which had the ability to sign up to the newsletter for the possibility of winning that $50 salon gift certificate. This drove engagements, and the ability for the email follow up series to be employed to convert this look and see traffic to an actual customer.

The final thing the hair salon owner DID was implement a referral program. They simply offered that anybody who had their friend signup to the hair salon newsletter would earn one draw per person they referred into the draw for a $100 gift certificate at the hair salon. (drawn monthly) This turned happy clients into referring ADVOCATES or FANS! It grew their list dramatically, which converted to new hair salon customers over time.

It is simply amazing how simple it can be to increase a Hair Salons sales with some simple techniques and CRM Sales and Marketing Automation Software that costs as little as $99/month.

Small Business Dream is exactly that sales and marketing automation software for hair salons and for $99/month, it can handle all the marketing automation mentioned in this article.

1. The ability to make a Simple website and web specials page

2. The ability to have data collected and used for an email blast like that for web specials or weekly newsletter.

3. The ability to collect data on prospects generated by Facebook and Google, and follow up with them automatically over time with a timed series of emails to convert them to a client.

4. The ability to make a calling list of all appointments the next day easily and take notes as you make the calls.

The best part is, we have a template of the hair salon system, so you simply need to make minor tweaks to the content and you should be up and running in a very short time reaping the rewards of good sales automation for your hair salon.