A happy customer leads to a successful business and so of course you want to keep your customers feeling loved and appreciated. In the online world, consumers are getting increasingly demanding and you are often only a click or an email away from losing their custom to one of the many competitors out there. This means that it’s vital not to annoy them – but some small companies can be putting off their customers without even realising it!

You might be surprised to find out that one of the things that customers find most annoying about dealing with online businesses is when communications come via a no-reply email address. This can be extremely damaging for the customer relationship so here are 5 reasons why you need to stop.

1. A no-reply email means bad customer service

As a business you spend your time telling your customers how important they are to you. But then when you reach out to contact them you won’t let them contact you back! For example you might send out a marketing email about a great new product that you have just launched. The customer sees it and starts to hit reply to order it – but you have put a no-reply email address on so they can’t.

This makes life more difficult for the customer. They have to work out how they can contact you and, by the time they realised that they will have to leave their emails and search your website for the product, you may have lost the sale.  A no-reply email address also sends the message to customer that they are not important and makes your business seem faceless and unfriendly.

2. A no-reply email can send your communications straight to spam

We all know how annoying it is to keep getting emails clogging up your inbox. When your customers get an email from you and want to unsubscribe, they will not always spend time looking for the unsubscribe button. Instead they will hit reply and when they realise that they can’t reply they will simply mark your email as spam.

As well as meaning that none of your future communications will get through, you also lose a vital chance to talk to your customer. If you let them email you directly you could ask them why they don’t want emails anymore and remind them that they might miss out on special offers or new products.

3. A no-reply email means that you miss out on ‘out of office’ replies

One of the reasons people choose a no-reply email address is precisely because they don’t want their inbox full of ‘out of office’ emails. However these can actually be a goldmine of information that can help you to keep your contacts database up to date and relevant. They are a great way to find out if people have left the company or even to get phone numbers and alternative email addresses. This means that when you send your marketing emails out, you know that you are reaching the right people.

4. A no-reply email means that customers can’t add you to their address books

If you don’t have an email address, customers can’t add you to their address books. This means that your communications are more likely to go into the spam folder and not be seen. It also means that it’s harder for customers to contact you when they need to as your address won’t be there for them to use.

5. A no-reply email can be illegal in some countries!

Did you know that in some countries it can be illegal not to have an email address to reply to? So, if you are emailing customers abroad it is worth checking what their rules are on this issue.

These 5 points can help you see just how important it is to have a proper email address for your customers to reply to. It makes you accessible, friendly and can help to open up dialogue with your customers. It also ensures that your communications are far more effective and will reach the customers you want to talk to.

Google adwords logoIf you have a small business then starting to use AdWords can seem like a daunting process. Whilst AdWords is a well-known way of driving business to your website, there is also a risk that you end up spending lots of money competing for keywords against large businesses, and your ad campaigns may not always be successful.

As well as the worry about spending more money than you get back in return, the technology behind AdWords can also be confusing. We find that people often struggle to understand how keywords and phrases work, which may put them off using AdWords.

However AdWords can actually be really beneficial for small businesses and it is a good short-term way of increasing traffic to your site and hopefully gaining you more customers. At Wagada we know that AdWords doesn’t have to be terrifying so here are some tip tips for how to make it work for you.

1. Get your targeting and keywords right

With AdWords it definitely pays to take the time to do your research on keywords before you launch a campaign. Google even has a keyword tool to help you with this. Find out which keywords your competitors are targeting as otherwise you may end up paying a higher price for these keywords. You also want to get your keywords right. Although it is tempting to go for as broad a base as possible with your keywords this ends up being less effective as you will not get the targeted hits that you want. Make sure you know your market and that the keywords you choose reflect this. So for example if you have a luxury florist shop don’t use keywords such as “discount flowers” or “deals on flowers”.

2. Experiment with different advertising copy to see which works best for you

You can split your keywords into groups and use different advertising copy for each group. This enables you to monitor how well each ad is doing and you can then keep the groups with the highest return. Keep experimenting to see what works well for the demographic you are targeting and use these learnings for your next campaign. You will gradually see your success increasing.

3. Create ad-specific landing pages

One of the biggest mistakes people make with their AdWords campaigns is just sending them to one landing page. Although it make take some time it is worth building several different landing pages that are tailored specifically to each targeted ad group. Once the pages are built, you can then deeplink them to the relevant advert. This makes your campaign a lot slicker and also means that you can take a look at which landing pages are leading to the most conversions.

4. Keep your budget realistic (but not too low!)

We know it can be all too easy to let your AdWords budget spiral out of control. There is a risk that you end up spending more and more to keep the clicks to your site coming. Start with a lower budget and when your campaign starts to become profitable you can then increase it at a rate you are comfortable with. Once you have trialled different keywords and copy you will be able to come up with more successful ads which will then lead to a greater conversion rate for your budget. However the flip side to this is that you don’t want to go too low on your CPC or there is the chance that your ads will not be seen until large paying advertisers’ budgets have gone.

If you take the time to really think about your keywords, ad copy and targeted landing pages AdWords can work wonders for a small online business. The key is to do your research first and make sure that your ads are constantly evolving to make your AdWords campaign as successful and as cost effective as possible.

Find out how Wagada can help you with your keyword research in order to better target your Adwords campaign.