How to Turn Customer Churn into EARN

Businesses are always dealing with customer turnover. There’s just no getting around it. You might have had a regular customer for months or years, but all of a sudden they may just stop coming in or no longer need your services. People move, their schedules jobs, their jobs change, their needs have been met, or for a myriad of other reasons customers leave. But that doesn’t mean you should forget about them and move on.

Having a system in place that allows you to remain in contact with all your customers: current, former, and prospective is important to remain visible, relevant, and top of mind. It can really make a big difference in your business’ growth.

Here are eight things you can do to turn customer churn into EARN and make the most from your customers:

1. Give Them a Gift.

It’s important to thank clients for their business. Not only can it be something useful and enjoyable, a gift can give customers something tangible to remember you by. Personal touches can go a long way in strengthening a business’ connection with customers.

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2. Ask For a Testimonial.

Ask your customers for written reviews in their experience with your business, or even better yet a video review. Gathering customer feedback is highly valuable in promoting your business and better understanding your customer needs. Testimonials are powerful word of mouth advertising. Have a form on your website to make it easy for customers to complete and then with permission, display your best testimonials on your website and in your marketing.

Whether it is a testimonial gathered through email, your website form, through Google, or online review sites, testimonials help build trust and credibility. They are also a powerful marketing tool .

3. Stay in Touch Through Social Media .

Encourage customers to follow you on your social networks and make it easy for them to find you with links on your website to your social channels. Not only does this help you stay in touch, it also helps grow and diversify your online traffic sources. To keep your following growing, provide the valuable content and engagement that keeps people coming back.

4. Use Email.

Unlike social networks which can change how they distribute you’re ability to have your posts seen by your followers, email is a marketing tool you own and control. Have an email sign up form prominently displayed on your websites and give your customers good reason to sign up. Email marketing to a list can be a steady, reliable source of website traffic and is one of the most cost-effective forms of marketing.

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5. Print Marketing.

You can also add customers to your mailing list for your newsletters or special offers. Print materials give customers something tangible they will see and even share with friends and family who may be in need of your products or services.

6. Cards.

Keep a record of special dates for the customer and have systems and processes in place to periodically send them a card. Not only is this a nice gesture, it also is a continuing reminder that let’s them know you are there to help.

7. Phone Calls.

If have a solid relationship with a customer, reach out to them and provide that personal touch a phone call provides. Schedule times to contact customers to see how they are doing, show you care, and follow up and better serve them.

8. Meetings/Events.

Being present at events where your customers are is a great way to connect. Face to face meetings go a long way in developing the customer relationship. Participating in or hosting community events is a fantastic way to give back and be visible.

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These customers follow-up practices are what can help differentiate a business and are part of an integrated marketing approach to attract more customers. By having a customer follow-up system in place, you can retain more cash, decrease churn, and get more referrals. You can also gather more testimonials, social media following, and addresses to market to.

Implementing a Follow-Up System

Does this sound like a lot of work? It is but it’s worth the time and money spent. It’s important to understand the value of the customers you have and the potential referral source they provide. To boot, it’s usually cheaper to market to existing customers than attract new ones.

It’s also vital to understand how your customers like to be contacted. Some people may like email or social media while others may like print mailers. Ask your customers so you know what they prefer.

For more information on developing a customer follow-up system, please contact us at (435) 319-7260. We would love to help you create and implement a retention process that converts and grows your business.

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Getting Started With Facebook Advertising

Want an affordable way to grow awareness and customer engagement with your business? With the likelihood that over half of your customers are regular users, Facebook advertising can help you do just that.

Reaching people online has a much lower cost basis than print, radio, or TV and we’re seeing a shift of dollars going towards digital. Longstanding marketing practices are evolving and technology enables greater ad effectiveness.

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What’s New With Facebook?

Facebook is the world’s largest social network with over 750 million active users worldwide. It’s a great place for businesses to connect with customers and spread the word on their products or services. It can also be a fantastic source of free traffic as businesses can create a page without charge.

While it may not have the focused intent of users on search engines, the amount of data Facebook knows about its users can be leveraged for very focused ad targeting.

There have always been risk in a company being overly reliant on the social network for your business’ Web presence, but Facebook’s algorithm update in January 2014 has changed the landscape. The update has significantly cut the amount of posts being seen by fans of business pages. Many pages have seen their organic post reach to their fans cut by more than half.

While Facebook has claimed the move was geared at improving quality, the change also has made Facebook advertising a necessity if you want more reach for your posts. Paying to promote your posts can boost its reach by tens to hundreds of times the exposure it would receive from page posting alone.

Getting Started With Your Ad

Facebook ads are typically created through a personal Facebook account that has access to the business page. While logged in as yourself, there is a ‘Create Ads’ or ‘Manage Ads’ option that takes you to the Ads Manager page.

From an advertising standpoint, one of the great things about Facebook is how much information it has on it’s users. This info can be used to focus on specific demographics and target your most likely to convert customers.

In your ad, it’s important to feature something compelling. Free offers tend to work well in terms of getting people’s attention, along with an intriguing picture formatted for Facebook’s dimension and attention grabbing headline/ad copy.

Setting Up Ads

When you go to create your ad, you currently have eight different kinds of advertising options to focus on Facebook. You can create ads with the following options:

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There is also an eighth option, which is Offer Claims.

While the choices may seem overwhelming, it’s important to pick the ad types that best fit your business needs and current standing on Facebook. For example, if you have a relatively undeveloped Facebook page, you may want to center your attention on building up awareness of your page and get more likes. Whereas if you already have an established business Facebook page, you might be more interested in presenting offers or getting website clicks.

Low Cost Advertising if Used Effectively

Why advertise on Facebook? Based on data published on, the cost to reach 1,000 people in newspaper advertising is $32 and $20 for magazine ads. Facebook ads cost only a fraction of what it costs to reach people in other advertising mediums at $0.25 per 1,000.

Facebook advertising is typically much more affordable than Google AdWords ads, but the focused intent of search engine users when searching keywords phrases can lead to a higher conversion rate.

Advertising on Facebook is also a mobile ad play as users increasingly go on the social network from their mobile devices.

A Few Tips for Running Facebook Ads

While Facebook advertising presents an opportunity for many businesses to reach customers affordably, having the right strategy and message is critical in having your marketing dollars provide a return on investment. Some companies may pay the value of over $200 per like for their Facebook advertising, but by no means, should a company have to pay that amount.

Ads need to be compelling and engaging to provoke a desired action. They should be targeted to a specific demographic with a distinctive landing page to give it to the best chance to convert the visitor into a customer.

Stay tuned as in an upcoming post, we will be going over demographic targeting in Facebook and how to utilize the available user information in your business’ favor.

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Why You Shouldn’t Use a Gmail Address for Business

Gmail is one of the most widely used free email services in the world with over 425 million users. Provided by Google, it integrates seamlessly with other Google products and offers a host of features including 15 GB of free storage to share between Gmail, Google Drive, and Google+ Photos. It also allows users to send attachments with up to 25 MB in size. It’s a powerful, convenient, widely used service that is best of all free.

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Many small business owners and employees use Gmail or other free email services as their primary email address and list it on their business cards or even their website. Despite it’s many attractive qualities, using Google for business purposes can have real negative drawbacks.

Here are five reasons why you shouldn’t use a Gmail address for business:

1. It’s Branding Gmail – Not Your Company.

When people see your email address, they are seeing Gmail, not your business’s name/website address. Why not promote your business and get more visits to your website? This is very low cost advertising and helps elevate the perception of your company.

Setting up email through your business domain is easy to do. Even if your website is not yet built, you can still set up an email address to the domain. And if you have a holistic marketing approach, you’re doing email marketing to stay in contact with clients and work your leads.

2. You Should Convey Trust/Professionalism.

Not having your own branded email gives the impression you’re not well established, not technologically up to date, or your business is just plain struggling. You want to display credibility and professionalism in your email.

3. Privacy Concerns.

Recent email hacking, security breaches, and the NSA “leak” scandal has shown that data on the Internet, particularly free email accounts, is vulnerable to being compromised. Even Google themselves said in a court filing, that Gmail users have no “reasonable expectation” that their communications are confidential. Having your email on your own domain tends to be safer and a lesser target for intrusion.

 Why You Shouldnt Use a Gmail Address for Business

4. Security – Your Customers/Contacts Can Be Easily Deceived.

The Internet has opened up a whole range of malicious practices aimed at stealing information, deceiving, and otherwise illicitly profiting from others. Gmail accounts, and other free email services, can be easily spoofed and used to deceive your customers and contacts. Gmail addresses are widely available and it’s easy to sign up for a new account.

For example, say you have a successful personal training business called John Doe Training and your email address is There are shady people out there than can write companies or individuals impersonating your Gmail account used for business and ask for money or free stuff from companies in exchange for promoting products.

They could use an email address similar to your such as to deceive your customers and business contacts. It would be much more difficult for these duplicitous practices to occur with a branded domain email.

Emails from Google to Gmail account holders requesting a new password can also be fraudulently mimicked to trick users into providing their valuable, personal and business information.

5. You Could Be Losing Business.

All of the above contribute to the worst consequence of all of using a Gmail account for work – lost business! You can have own domain email set up and hosted for a year for less than $100. If you’d like more information or help with setting up your own personalized domain email and email hosting, please contact us.

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10 Best Ways to Spend $500 in Online Marketing

Having a professional, visually appealing, mobile optimized website with compelling calls to action is an important step in capturing visitors on the Web and being able to effectively promote your business. But having the website up and running is only the first step towards the larger goal of using it as a powerful marketing tool to help you be at the forefront of your industry.

So what do you do once your website is built and how do you prioritize the different marketing mediums available to your business? We make our picks for the ten best ways to spend $500 in online marketing and start developing an integrated marketing approach that get results.

1. 5 New High Quality Articles For Your Website.

Small andmedium-sized businesses too often ignore the value of Web content. If you want to rank in the search engines for keywords that benefit to your business, it’s imperative to have high quality, relevant content that interests, engages, and helps your customers find what they’re looking for.

In addition to keeping your website fresh and the content’s potential SEO value, the new content can also be used in a wide variety of marketing mediums such as social media organic posts, social media ads, video, newsletters, brochures, or other print marketing.

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2. Set up and Optimize Social Media Pages/Profiles.

You may already have a Facebook page, Twitter, or YouTube account, but it’s also important to claim and develop your company’s presence on other networks such as Google Plus, Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

In addition to connecting with customers, having profiles set up can provide SEO, employee recruiting, and reputation management benefits among others. Other social networks you may also want to consider being active on include Slideshare and Tumblr.

By having social media accounts set up with your logo and well written descriptions listing your products and services can help more people find you online. It also can help provide the impetus needed to start taking more advantage of opportunities on the social Web.

3. A Short Professional Video to Promote Your Business.

Video can be used to demonstrate and showcase your company’s products and services, provide useful information, or just have fun and connect with your customers. It can really capture an audience in a way text or pictures alone can’t. Video can be embedded on your website, used on social media, for email marketing, or even for a television ad.

4. A New Logo.

When’s the last time you changed your business’ logo? For many businesses, it’s been years since they made changes or created a completely new logo. A new logo can help revitalize your image and allow your business to stand out in a fresh, new way. Your logo can be used in all your marketing and in your business making logo changes a wide reaching endeavor.

5. An Onsite SEO Report.

Your website may have been professional designed, but search engine ranking factors may not have been at the forefront in its development. SEO friendly title tags, descriptions with compelling calls to action, other meta data set up, keyword usage, content quality and layout, page load speed, semantic markup language, and Google Publisher/Authorship may not have been set up or optimally implemented on your website.

An analysis and evaluation can serve as a roadmap to improve your website and fix factors that affect your website’s ability to rank in Google. It can be well worth ithe cost. It also shows the value in having an SEO professional involved in the website development.

In addition to on-website SEO report, business may also benefit from an offsite SEO evaluation analyzing what you’ve done to date, what your competitors are doing, and where there are opportunities to boost your search engine rankings.

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6. Design and Coding for a Custom Email Marketing Template.

Email marketing can be an effective way to stay on the minds of your customer and deliver news, useful information, and other engaging content in a cost-effective manner.

Having a professionally designed email newsletter template that’s ready to use can help you efficiently and easily distribute content. It also give your emails the look and feel you want to present your brand and content favorably and with a high open and response rate.

7. Google AdWords Campaign Set Up.

Advertising on Google AdWords can give you real estate on the first page of the Google rankings for the targeted keywords your customers are searching. But AdWords is a complex advertising platform and there’s a real science to optimizing your ads and achieving the most prominent rankings.

Having a professional set up your AdWords campaigns with your products, extensions ads, write and test the ad copy, optimize keywords, and ad group structure among other traks is important in running successful campaigns in a competitive environment.

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8. A Professional Designed Landing Page for your Website.

If you’re running search engine or social media ads, you want to send visitors to a page that compels them to take action. Whether it is a phone call, submitting their information to a form, or responding to an offer or event, having a professionally designed landing page can have a dramatic impact on response and conversion rates.

9. Visually Appealing Header Image Designs for Facebook, Google Plus, and YouTube.

The header image is likely the first thing visitors see when they come to your social media page. You want to create a visually rich and interesting presence on social media and having engaging, professional header graphics that pop can help your brand stand out. Headers and profile images can be designed to fit the different image dimension sizes and audiences on social media.

10. Live Chat Service Design/Implementation onto Website.

Offering live chat, which can be set up to be sent directly to your cell phone, can help increase your conversion rate of website visitors. $500 can typically cover purchasing the rights to use a live chat service, the design used for the live chat graphics, and having the code set up on your website. Live chat service usually has a charge per qualified lead thereafter, but there are quite a few options.

Putting it All Together

These ten best ways to spend $500 in online marketing can help make a real impact for business especially cumulative. You can spend quite a bit more than $500 for these services as prices and quality vary considerably. However, with a bit of time, research, and sweat, some of these initiatives could even be done by yourself or by staff with minimal cost.

There are lots of other ways to spend $500 to market your business online, which may include:

- Social media posting/strategy
- Advertising on search engines or social media
- Making minor design changes to your website
- Developing an infographic
- Having graphics/inspirational messages prepared for use on your social media/website
- Having business review forms prepared that encourage and make it easier for customers to leave reviews for your business on Google and other websites.

Each of these above ten best ways to spend $500 in online marketing are offered by Ascent Internet in this price range. We can help you develop and implement the building blocks needed for a more integrated and robust marketing system. While’s it’s important to have a holistic view, it’s also crucial to prioritize which of these tools can help your business and better reach customers and drive revenue.

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10 Ways Website Content Generates More Sales

How does publishing new website and blog content help generate more sales? We look at ten ways it can help do just that, why content marketing is more of a long-term strategy, and why content is only as good as your creativity and thoughtful plan of action to implement and capitalize on it.

1. Search Engine Optimization.

Having more high quality, targeted content on your website allows you to rank for more keyword phrases important for businesses. This can help fuel your search engine rankings and boost website traffic. Even Google’s head of Webspam Matt Cutts said so in the video below.

2. More Links.

External links pointing to your web pages are still a critical factor in allowing website’s to rank in Google’s search algorithm. Producing high quality, interesting content provides opportunities for more external links pointing to your website. SEO can be a cost-effective, powerful tactic to attract the customers you want. Links to your website can also generate referral traffic to your site.

3. Social Media Shares and Engagement.

Website content also helps boost the number of posts, engagement, and sharing on your social media. This can help build your brand’s organic following and also provides opportunities for paid social media advertising.

4. Build Your Email List/Email Marketing.

Increasing your website and social media traffic can also help augment your email subscriber list. This allows you do email marketing with a larger list and leverage its impact. Whether it is for a free ebook, newsletter, or alerts, gaining email subscribers is important.

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5. Paid Online Advertising.

As Google and Facebook’s organic algorithms continue to evolve and change, it is increasingly clear that relying on large “free” traffic sources for your business is unreliable and is a vulnerability. Quality content can be used for social media advertising, search engine advertising, and other paid distribution channels such as Outbrain and Taboola to amplify it’s reach.

6. Brand Visibility/Awareness.

Rich content that is interesting and engaging helps build the public perception of your company and brand awareness. By promoting your top content on social media, email marketing, paid advertising, or through outreach, you can create a powerful force to propel your brand.

7. Trust Enhancement.

People do business and buy from company’s they know, like and trust. With all the deceit, spam, and unsavory business practices out there, earning customer trust is crucial for developing lasting relationships. By providing valuable, useful information, you can build the level of trust with customers and clients and elevate your brand.

8. Develop the Funnel.

The people your content reaches are at different stages of the marketing funnel. Some may be established, regular customers while others may have not heard of your business before, while others may be making a first visit, a return visit, or are at other points in the discovery and buying process.

Content marketing alone is not likely to lead to a sharp spike upward in calls to your business. Many business owners want rapid results from their marketing, but that approach can be shortsighted. What you really want to avoid is abandonment. That’s why it’s important to stay in regular contact and be visible to your audience. Quality content can provide the positive visitor experience your company can build upon and keep the funnel full.

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9. Information is Power.

As you publish more content on your website, you can evaluate it’s performance and use the information for content ideas, a better understanding of your users, and which topics and keywords are important for your business. You will also have more information from your social networks, email, and other sources of analytics to gain a competitive advantage and implement strategies that drive sales.

10. Take Advantage of Conversion Opportunities.

More visitors can lead to more chances to convert them into customers. This opportunity needs to be seized, which makes evaluating your conversion rates though testing and tools such as Google Analytics, heat mapping software, and other services critical. They can help provide the information you need to make design, programming, and content changes to increase conversion rates.

The benefits of blogging don’t end here. There are many other abilities to capitalize on it’s assets including having a larger audience for contests and promotions, events, off-line marketing, and gaining more customer testimonials and word-of-mouth referrals.

Have a Holistic Strategy for Content

Content marketing can provide a real boon for business when integrated effectively with other marketing channels. It’s important to have a holistic marketing approach as focusing on only producing the content and not putting as much or more emphasis on promoting it through different mediums is half-hearted. Test which mediums work best for your business and look for ways you can enhance it’s impact.

Distributing content through different mediums also diversifies your traffic sources so you are as reliant on one marketing channel or tactic for your audience. Content produced for one medium can also be repurposed for different uses even augmenting offline marketing efforts such as print newsletters.

Content is much more than just written articles. It can be an image, graphic, video, Q&A, ebook, PowerPoint, or many other formats. Whichever form it takes, content is only as good as the quality, focused intent, and ability to distribute it effectively to a targeted audience.

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