Marmex Corp Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall Of Blue Pearl All Natural Male Enhancement Supplement, Due To Undeclared Sildenafil

Orange, CA, Marmex Corp is voluntarily recalling All lots of Blue Pearl All Natural Male Enhancement Supplement, 500mg to the consumer level. FDA analysis has found the products to contain sildenafil.

The presence of the undeclared active ingredients renders them unapproved drugs for which safety and efficacy have not been established.

Use of products with undeclared sildenafil may pose a threat to consumers because the active ingredient may interact with nitrates found in some prescription drugs (such as nitroglycerin) and may lower blood pressure to dangerous levels. Consumers with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart disease often take nitrates and might be the most likely to get affected. To date, Marmex Corp has not received any reports of adverse events related to this recall.

Blue Pearl All Natural Male Enhancement Supplement capsules were marketed as a dietary supplement for male enhancement and is packaged in 1 unit of blister packs, with upc code – 847046009785.  The affected lots are all lot numbers with an expiration date of 7/1/2018. It was distributed Nationwide between July 2016 and November 2017 to Retail and internet.

Consumers with questions regarding this recall can contact Marmex Corp by 657-333-2053 or marmexcorp@gmail.com on weekdays between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time for instructions on the return and refund process. Consumers who purchased the product should stop consuming it and return it to place of purchase. Consumers should contact their physician or healthcare provider if they have experienced any problems that may be related to taking or using this drug product.

Marmex Corp. is committed to improving its products and avoiding future recall issues by sourcing higher quality raw ingredients and expanding testing. Marmex Corp promises its customers the highest possible quality and welcomes the recall process as further evidence of our commitment to our consumers.

Adverse reactions or quality problems experienced with the use of this product may be reported to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program either online, by regular mail or by fax.

This recall is being conducted with the knowledge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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How to Ensure Your Company Value Proposition Is Consistent on Every Marketing Channel

Where can your customers reach you?

I’m willing to bet you’re active on multiple platforms in addition to having a website and potentially a storefront location.

Those of you who don’t have multiple marketing channels have a separate issue that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.

But for now, let’s assume at the bare minimum you’ve got a:

  • website
  • blog
  • Facebook profile
  • Twitter account
  • Instagram page
  • LinkedIn account
  • YouTube channel

You may even be active on other networks like Snapchat.

With so many channels for marketing distribution, it’s essential you have consistency across all your platforms.

Creating symmetry on all of these distribution channels will make it easier to brand your company.

Once you’re able to establish a brand name that’s recognizable, it’s easier to acquire customers and increase your conversions.

Any disconnect between platforms can create confusion for the consumer.

You don’t want them to see contradicting information on your channels.

It’s likely consumers will see your company on more than one platform.

In fact, the average Internet user has more than seven social media accounts.

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You’ll definitely see some overlap between your Facebook fans and Instagram followers.

As part of your marketing and conversion strategy, you’re probably promoting multiple profiles on one channel.

For example, let’s take a look at a recent blog post from Savvy Apps:

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From their website, their encouraging users to share this blog post on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and email.

It’s essential these people see the same message across all platforms.

If you’re having trouble maintaining consistency across all your marketing channels, I can help you out.

Here’s what you need to do to set yourself up for success.

Start with images

Pictures are powerful and resonate more with people than words do.

While someone may not always remember the name of your brand, they’ll know whether they’ve seen your logo somewhere.

According to a recent study, people remember about 10% of information three days after it’s been presented to them orally.

But if an image is added to it, 65% of the info gets remembered.

Images are also more memorable than just plain text:

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Furthermore, the majority of people are visual learners.

Don’t confuse people by using different logos on various marketing channels.

Keeping everything aligned will help reinforce your brand and make it easier for them to remember you.

I’ll show you how I accomplish this.

Take a look at my Facebook page:

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Instead of using a logo, I use my face.

That’s because I’m trying to promote and brand myself as part of my overall marketing strategy.

I want people to know who I am and what I look like.

Now let’s review my YouTube channel:

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Notice the consistency?

Not only do I use a picture of myself again, but I use the exact same image.

This way, there’s no confusion for users.

I’m not the only Neil Patel on the planet. This way, they don’t have to wonder if this is the same Neil.

Plus, you can see in the top right corner of my YouTube channel that I’m also providing a link to my website, Facebook, and Twitter profiles:

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Speaking of my Twitter account—yes, you guessed it correctly.

I keep it consistent by using the same image.

It should come to you as no surprise that my LinkedIn profile uses the same picture as well.

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I could go on and on, but I think you get my point.

I practice what I preach.

While using a personal photo may not always be the best way to brand your company, having a logo that’s consistent on every marketing channel is probably your best bet.

Some companies like to change or alter the theme of their logo around the holidays.

For example, you might use an American flag around the fourth of July or add a turkey to the logo around Thanksgiving.

That’s fine, but just make sure you change that image on every single platform rather than just one or two.

Establish a voice for your brand

Consistency goes beyond visuals.

It also has to do with the type of persona your company takes on.

The language you use on a daily basis will vary depending on your current customers and target market.

There’s not a one-size-fits-all answer for this.

For example, if your company sells surfboards in southern California, your marketing channels can probably get away with using slang terms like:

  • rad
  • groovy
  • stoked
  • gnarly

But if your company sells life insurance on a national scale, it’s probably in your best interest to avoid slang altogether.

This goes for all written words on each one of your marketing channels.

The description of your Facebook page should have the same tone as the replies to user comments on your Instagram profile.

Your unique language is a great way to create more engaging content, which is a priority for marketers.

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This is also essential for your blogging habits.

If you’ve been reading my blogs for a while, you know my tone reflects the way I present information on my other marketing channels.

I write as if I’m speaking.

My content is very informal and conversational but also packed with information.

I present a new video on YouTube in the same way.

Earlier, I mentioned responding to user comments.

Not only should your voice and language be the same when you respond to all the comments, but you should be responding on every platform too.

Don’t just respond to Facebook comments and ignore customers on your blog or Twitter.

Answering comments is a great way to build relationships with your customers.

Discounts and promotional offers

Another aspect of consistency has to do with your offering to your customers.

Let’s use a hypothetical example to illustrate my point.

Pretend your ecommerce company is offering a site-wide sale: 50% off everything, no exceptions.

The sale lasts for one week, and you promote it on Instagram and Facebook.

Backtrack a few weeks prior to the announcement of this sale.

Let’s say a Twitter user tweets at your brand, asking when the next sale is. Your repose shouldn’t be, “We rarely offer discounts.”

I realize this example may be a little extreme, but I’m sure you get what I’m trying to say.

Certain luxury brands may never put items on sale as part of their marketing strategy.

But a brand that offers items for 50% off on one platform shouldn’t be telling consumers on another channel they don’t often have discounts.

It’s contradictory and confusing.

Evaluate your call to action

What kind of action do you want users to take when they are interacting with one of your marketing channels?

Do you want them to sign up for something?

Are you trying to make a sale?

There are lots of ways you can present your CTA, and you can A/B test different options to see which one works the best.

You can’t afford to ignore it as part of your marketing strategy.

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While your CTA wording or button placement may vary slightly based on the platform, the overall message should be consistent.

Again, there’s not one right answer for this.

It depends on your company’s goal and marketing strategy.

Here are some examples of what your CTA could focus on:

First of all, you need to make sure all of your marketing channels have a CTA.

You’d be surprised how often I see companies forget to do this.

They have a profile set up on multiple platforms, which is great, but some of these pages neglect to encourage any form of an action from the customer.

Once all of these are in place, they should have the same message.

An easy way to accomplish this is by having all your CTA buttons link to the same landing page.

That way, you can see which profiles are having more success and adjust the placement, wording, or color scheme of the underperforming CTAs accordingly.

Contact info

Here’s another one you would think should go without saying, but again, I’ve seen many companies have an inconsistent approach to this.

Ask yourself two questions:

  1. How do you want customers to contact you?
  2. How do customers want to contact you?

There’s a difference.

Your best bet is to provide different options, but they need to be consistent.

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As you can see from the data, the majority of customers don’t want to get an automated response from a computer or something similar.

In fact, the majority of people prefer talking to someone.

Whether it’s over the phone, in person, via web chat, or email, they want a direct line of communication with a customer service representative.

Here’s an example of something I saw in one case.

I won’t use their name because I don’t want to embarrass them.

They were a regional company that offered both products and services.

On their website, their phone number was plastered across the top of their home screen in big bold font.

All of their CTAs directed the website visitor to “Call Us Today!”

This held true for buying a product, scheduling a service, or just an inquiry.

While I didn’t think dealing with customers over the phone for each problem was the most ideal option, it was clear the company felt it was the easiest method for them.

The business also had an Instagram profile with a decent following for a small and somewhat local company.

But their phone number was nowhere to be found on their Instagram.

That lack of consistency prevented them from generating new leads on that social platform.

Not all their followers will go to the company’s website to find their contact info.

That’s why I recommend giving users as many options as possible to contact you.

But if you’re going to limit those choices to just phone or email inquiries, make sure all your platforms have that information available.

Conclusion

Consistency is key.

It’s one of the best ways to brand yourself and your company.

That way it will be easier for customers to recognize your business and what it represents.

Start with your images and logo.

Make sure it’s the same on all of your marketing channels.

You can use the examples I gave you earlier with my Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn profiles as a reference for how to accomplish this.

Next, you’ll want to maintain the same voice, tone, and language across all of these platforms.

Establishing a unique voice will help you create a better connection with your customers.

Just make sure your language is appropriate for your target market.

If you offer discounts or promotions, those should be the same on every marketing channel.

Make it easy for customers to get in touch with you by offering consistent contact information on all of your profiles.

What do you need to change on your marketing channels in order to stay consistent with your CTA and value proposition across them all?

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The Top 20 Elements That Add Credibility to Your Website

Before you start trying to drive traffic to your website, you need to master one factor.

I’m talking about credibility.

Without a credible website, you’ll struggle to get more customers and increase conversions.

Plus, credibility shows you’re trustworthy.

If you’re offering something without a trusted name or brand behind it, people will be hesitant to buy what you’re selling.

Why?

Well, with so many other options available on the market, it’s too easy for people to find what they’re looking for somewhere else.

This goes for ecommerce stores, blogs, or any business that has a website.

If a visitor sees a red flag on your website, they will leave.

It’s that simple.

Some of you may not even realize you have components on your site that drive people away.

That’s why I came up with this list of the top 20 ways to add credibility to your website.

Even if you don’t necessarily have elements driving people away, you can always add more components to improve your credibility.

Having a trustworthy website will also improve your search ranking in Google’s algorithm:

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Being credible will drive more traffic to your site as well.

This doesn’t just go for websites that sell a product or service.

If you have an informational site, credibility will make it easier for other websites to cite statistics, images, infographics, and other data off your website when they conduct research on the subject you cover.

This will also help drive more traffic to your site.

No matter what type of site you operate, here are some easy ways for you to improve its credibility.

1. Limit advertisements

While advertisements may be a nice form of income for you, they aren’t popular with your visitors.

How much do you rely on ads to make a profit?

If it’s just a small percentage, I recommend getting rid of them altogether.

If you’re an ecommerce site or have a website that makes money from other revenue streams, ads aren’t always necessary.

But say you run a blog and ads are your primary income. In that case, you’ll need to keep them as limited as possible.

Take a look at the types of ads people dislike the most:

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Take these numbers into consideration.

Avoid popup ads, and use minimal banner ads.

Although 43% of customers still dislike banners, it’s not as high of a number compared to some other options.

2. Customer service that’s easily accessible

If someone visiting your site has a question or problem, they shouldn’t have to hunt for customer service options.

This should be readily available.

When customer service is unreachable, it makes the visitor feel uneasy.

Especially if it’s during normal business hours.

Note how Apple Support gives customers a variety of ways to reach customer service:

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They even have a recommended option.

People love to have choices.

Not everyone wants to pick up the phone.

It’s great when companies have customer service available via online chat.

If you can swing it, give it a try.

3. All your contact information

This should go without saying, but you’d be surprised how often I can’t find contact information on websites.

When I see that, I think it’s sketchy.

What are they trying to hide by withholding their phone number?

Make sure your site has:

  • physical address
  • email address
  • phone number
  • links to social pages (Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn)

Failure to do so will make your page appear untrustworthy.

4. Reviews and testimonials

Showcasing customer testimonials on your website helps generate social proof.

This is especially true if you can get a testimonial from an expert in your industry.

You should also have a place on your site where customers can leave reviews.

While good reviews are obviously what you’re looking for, some unfavorable comments may actually boost your credibility as well.

If all customer feedback on your website is positive, it may appear fake.

Even if some people didn’t have the best experience with your business, allowing them to leave a review for others to read will establish trust.

It also helps prove you’re an actual business and not a scam.

Interact with the customers who left a review on your site.

This will help build credibility as well.

5. Security badges

What kind of security measures are you taking to protect users who visit your website?

Showcase those badges on each page.

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Studies show that people trust the Norton AntiVirus seal the most compared to other badges.

If you use Norton, proudly display that badge on your site.

If you’re looking for services to improve your site security, Norton may not be a bad place to start based on this information.

6. Validation from other media sources

Have you been featured in a magazine, newspaper, or on a website?

Any positive press about your company should be proudly displayed on your site.

If established media sources have verified your business, it will increase your legitimacy in the eyes of anyone who visits your website.

Find a good spot on your page to add any videos, screenshots, or links to all those stories.

7. Awards

Your website is a great place to show off any awards or achievements.

Whether it’s local, regional, or national, anything helps.

Even if you won an award a couple of years ago, put it up on your website.

Showcasing awards from the past shows you’ve been credible for a while.

It establishes your company’s history over time.

Companies that have been in business for longer periods tend to be well established and appear more credible than those that just started.

If you’ve been operating since 1950, don’t be afraid to plaster that fact on your website.

8. Social proof

We just talked about how customer reviews and testimonials can help establish social proof, but you can take this one step further to add even more credibility to your site.

Do you have any partnerships or relationships with celebrities?

Use that to your advantage.

Look at how IcyHot does this on their website:

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The picture of Shaquille O’Neal is the first thing you see when you visit their page.

Knowing such a prominent figure stands behind the brand helps reassure visitors the product is legitimate.

This added comfort builds trust between the brand and the consumer.

9. Guest posts

Guest posts are one of my favorite ways to build credibility.

There are two ways to do this, and you should take advantage of both:

  1. let guests blog on your website;
  2. write posts for other websites.

Here’s why both can lead to success.

By allowing other people to write on your website, you show visitors that someone else is willing to associate their name with your brand.

This is especially true if that person is an authority figure or person of importance within a particular industry.

But you should also try to get featured on other blogs as much as possible.

It will give you a chance to get your name exposed to a wider audience.

Since an established person or brand is letting you write on their page, it automatically tells their readers you are a credible person.

You can include a link to your website, which will drive more traffic from people who already trust you.

Both of these strategies, especially combined, can drastically improve your business.

10. A design that’s simple and professional

Keep your website simple.

Don’t go overboard with flashing lights or other bells and whistles.

It needs to be clean.

Take a look at the top factor that influenced credibility based on visitor comments:

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Over 2,600 responses were factored into these results.

The design look had the biggest impact.

11. Typography and grammar

In addition to the design, you should also consider your typography.

Don’t choose a font that’s difficult to read.

Use a large font and short sentences whenever you’re writing.

Make sure you proofread everything too.

Grammar mistakes and spelling errors are a great way to show customers you don’t care enough to check your work.

That will put you on the fast track toward losing credibility.

This can easily be avoided if you take the time and effort to make sure your writing is grammatically sound.

12. Ease of navigation

Customers shouldn’t struggle to find what they’re looking for on your website.

The menu options should be limited so it’s not too overwhelming.

Adding a search bar so your readers can look for something specific is a great way to improve your navigation as well.

All of this helps enhance the user experience, which helps with your credibility score.

13. No glitches or technical errors

You also need to make sure your website doesn’t have any bugs or glitches.

If a customer clicks a certain link, it should bring them to the right page.

Any error messages will hurt your credibility.

To prevent these problems, you need to do regular maintenance on your site.

14. Page loading speed

Let’s take our last point one step further.

In addition to not having any errors, your website should load fast.

It not only affects your credibility but also helps with your conversion rates.

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The faster your page loads, the higher your conversion rates will be.

It’s that simple.

Don’t try to find the cheapest web hosting service on the market. You get what you pay for.

It’s worth it to pay a little extra to avoid technical glitches and always have fast loading times.

15. Photos and biographies of your staff

Adding a page that introduces your staff to your visitors will help establish trust.

It shows you’re not some nameless and faceless brand—real people work for your company.

This simple page will make it easier for customers to relate to your business.

16. Clearly state all policies

Don’t assume website visitors know your company policies.

All of these should be clearly stated on your website.

This will help you from a legal perspective as well in case there is a dispute.

Make sure things such as your return policy or money back guarantee are outlined in detail.

If you’re an ecommerce business, consumers may be hesitant to shop if they don’t think you stand behind your product.

17. Back up all your data

Any time you’re referring to statistical information, studies, or other data, don’t forget to cite your sources.

It’s easy.

Just say something like, “According to research conducted at the University of XYZ…”, and include a hyperlink to the original source of information.

This will show people visiting your site you’re not pulling numbers out of thin air.

If you read my blogs regularly, you know by now I always hyperlink data claims to their sources.

18. Be upfront about your prices

Don’t try to sneak hidden fees past your customers.

It’s shady.

Let’s look at the top reasons for shopping cart abandonment:

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Don’t wait until the last minute to tell customers you’re charging them tax, shipping, or other fees.

You should have all your prices clearly listed on the website.

Adding extra costs in the shopping cart could make the customer think you’re trying to sneak one by them.

It’s just not good business practice.

You also shouldn’t say things like “Contact us for pricing.”

Why wouldn’t you just list your prices?

What are you trying to hide?

Those are questions that will go through the customer’s mind if you do that.

19. Make sure everything is up to date

Companies make changes over time.

That’s understandable.

You may move, get a new phone number, and hire a new manager.

None of this is unreasonable.

But failure to update these changes on your website is a big problem.

If customers are trying to call you and they are getting a phone number that’s out of service, that’s an issue.

Or if they try to mail you something and it gets returned back to the sender, that’s a problem.

I’m referring to physical mail as well as a bounced email.

This can damage your reputation.

Earlier I mentioned that it’s a great idea to add employee photos and bios to your page.

But you need to keep those up to date as well.

Let’s say your company’s Vice President has their photograph on your home page. Underneath the picture, it says, “Call today and ask for me directly.”

Imagine someone calls only to find out this person no longer works there.

How does that make you look?

It hurts your credibility.

The customer may think that person never worked for you.

It’s just not a good situation for anyone involved.

20. Secure the checkout process

Refer back to that graph we just looked at regarding shopping cart abandonment.

Note 18% of those respondents said they didn’t trust the website with their credit card information.

In addition to adding security badges to your page, you have to make sure your checkout procedure is secure.

Look at this example from Dick’s Sporting Goods:

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The secure link will make their customers feel comfortable about entering their personal information, including a credit card number.

Conclusion

Having a credible website is essential for every business.

If your site looks sketchy or untrustworthy, it can drastically impact your traffic and conversions.

Making minor adjustments to your page can really improve the way it’s viewed through the eyes of a visitor.

The tips I gave you on this list are really easy to implement.

First, remove anything from your site that appears untrustworthy.

Next, add certain elements that improve the overall credibility.

It won’t take much time at all.

Trust me, you’ll notice a big difference right away.

What type of feedback have your website visitors given you about the user experience and navigation on your pages?

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How to Boost Sales by Accomodating the Needs of Mobile Users

You don’t need to come up with a complicated marketing campaign as a last-ditch effort to increase your sales revenue.

All too often I see businesses drastically slash their prices or run other insane promotions, that aren’t profitable, just to get more sales.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m definitely an advocate for running promotional campaigns.

It’s just not always necessary if you’re trying to boost ecommerce sales.

Instead, take a look at your channels for content distribution and sales platforms.

Are they optimized for mobile devices?

If you’re not sure, the answer is probably no.

That’s a big problem.

You have to understand how people consume content, browse, and ultimately make purchases.

In the last six months, over 60% of smartphone users purchased something online with their mobile devices.

Furthermore, 80% of consumers use their mobile devices while shopping at physical store locations.

Why would they do this?

  • Compare prices
  • Find other store locations
  • Research product reviews

If your business doesn’t have a strong mobile presence, you’re neglecting a huge share of potential sales.

Accommodating the needs of mobile users could end up being the cash injection your company is looking for.

I’ve got plenty of experience with this, so I can help steer you in the right direction if you don’t know how to get started.

Here’s what you need to do.

Optimize your website for mobile devices

How does your website look when it’s loaded on mobile devices?

Take a look at this example from the Medical Web Experts website:

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The left image is what their standard website looks like.

The image on the right is the same website after it’s been optimized for mobile devices.

Notice the differences?

It’s much harder for users to navigate on their phones if the site isn’t optimized.

The font is smaller and harder to read, which forces users to zoom in to find what they’re looking for.

Scrolling can be an issue too.

That’s because the website was designed for laptop and desktop screens.

The page will load, but ultimately it has too many problems.

Once it’s optimized, the page will fit much better on a smaller screen.

Now users will just have to scroll up and down to navigate, as opposed to zooming and needing to scroll left and right as well to see all your content.

This makes it easier for the site visitor to find what they’re looking for in just a click or two.

Ease of use will keep the consumer happy, which can ultimately lead to higher conversion rates.

These are some other added benefits of a mobile friendly website:

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I would definitely recommend adding a search bar to your mobile site at the top of the screen.

That makes it even easier for the user to get where they need to be as fast as possible.

Check out these examples from Patagonia, Amazon, and The New Yorker:

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All three of these popular websites simplify the search and navigation process for people using their phones and tablets.

Once you modify the design of your mobile site to accommodate mobile users, it’s time to put it to the test.

Enter your site URL on the Google mobile friendly test to see the results.

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These are my results when I run the test for Quick Sprout:

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As you can see, my mobile site is friendly for users.

In fact, you might even be reading this blog on your mobile device right now.

Speed matters

Having your website designed for mobile devices is only half the battle.

The site needs to load fast too.

You can use the Google mobile speed test to check how fast your page loads on mobile devices.

It all goes back to accommodating the user.

People are busy.

More importantly, they are impatient.

This is a major problem for you if your mobile site takes too long to load.

It doesn’t matter what kind of device they are using.

According to recent studies, users expect mobile pages to load as fast or faster than the pages on their desktop and laptop computers.

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Mobile sites that take more than three seconds to load will see a 40% abandonment rate.

Just take a moment to let that sink in.

Four out of every ten users will leave your website if it doesn’t load fast enough.

Fixing a slow loading time can drastically improve your sales because your abandonment rates won’t be as high.

Look at the other statistics on the graphic above as well.

Over 70% of Internet traffic today comes from mobile devices.

The majority of people who search for your site are probably doing so from their phones and tablets.

If you’re not making it as easy as possible for these people to navigate, you are hurting your bottom line.

This is true regardless of what kind of site you’re running.

For ecommerce sites, obviously, the goal of your business is to get users to buy what you’re selling.

But if they can’t locate your items and the pages don’t load fast, you won’t get sales.

Even if you’re not selling a physical product online, you still need to optimize your site for mobile devices.

How do you make money?

Let’s say you run a blog.

You may rely on advertisements to make ends meet.

But if users aren’t spending time on your site or they are abandoning it, you won’t get as many impressions, and your click-through rates will suffer.

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Look at the direct correlation between load times and abandonment.

Your website simply can’t survive if your rates are this high.

Recognize how many people are using mobile devices

Part of operating a business and running a website is keeping up with the trends.

You would be surprised how many business owners don’t have a clue about what’s going on, even in their own industries.

It’s mind blowing.

But for argument’s sake, let’s pretend you’re an expert in your industry, which you very well may be.

That’s not enough.

If you have a website, you need to understand how people consume information.

That goes for small businesses too.

Take a look at how searches on various devices resulted in purchases from a local business.

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More searches resulted in purchases from mobile phones and tablets than from computers and laptops.

Remember what I said earlier?

People search for items online while they are shopping inside of a physical store.

Obviously, for convenience and practicality purposes, they don’t whip out a computer to do this.

But they can easily reach into their pockets for their  phones.

Let’s continue analyzing the trends.

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In 2017, laptops and desktops are trending down.

On the flip side, mobile phones are trending up.

This holds true on a global scale as well.

Over 66% of the population owns a mobile device.

As a business owner who operates a website, you’ve got to stay on top of these kinds of numbers.

Analyze your target market.

Age impacts how people browse and shop online as well.

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As you can see from the graphic above, people over the age of 55 use their devices much less than younger generations.

So if you’re selling a product or service that targets senior citizens, you might be getting away with not having a mobile friendly site at the moment.

But you’re still missing out on sales.

Think about all the younger people who may want to buy a gift for their parents or grandparents.

They would browse and shop on their mobile devices.

Plus, this isn’t a sustainable business plan.

Those younger generations are only going to get older, so it’s safe to say these trends will shift and even out over time.

Mobile devices impact buyer behavior

Continuing with our last point, the devices that people browse on impact how they shop.

The reason behind this statement is due to a combination of everything we’ve discussed so far.

Consumers are more likely to buy something if you have a mobile friendly website.

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It’s that simple.

Here’s a hypothetical situation.

Let’s say a consumer is shopping in your competitor’s brick and mortar location, which is within a walking distance from your storefront.

The customer is interested in an item, but they want to make sure they’re getting the best price.

They run a quick Google search to see if anyone else sells this particular item at a more reasonable cost.

You offer the same exact item for 20% less than your competitor.

But when the consumer clicks on your website, it takes too long to load, and it’s not mobile friendly.

Now what?

The customer didn’t want to take the time to figure out scrolling and zooming through your complicated website because it wasn’t compatible with their mobile device.

You just missed out on the sale.

They bought from your competitor instead.

If this pattern continues, it will put you on the fast track to going out of business.

A/B test different versions of your mobile site

Once your mobile site is up and running, you have to keep working on it.

Sure, it’s better than it was before, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement.

Just like you do with your website and email campaigns, you need to A/B test your mobile website as well.

This will help ensure you get the highest conversion rates possible.

That way you know it’s performing to its full potential.

Approach this test the same way you would any other A/B test.

Just change one component.

For example, you could change the wording, colors, size, or placement of the CTA button.

Here’s a basic example to illustrate what I mean:

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I’d recommend testing the performance of different site variations often.

That’s the best way to ensure you’re accommodating the needs of any mobile user who visits your website.

Build an app

For those of you who want to take mobile optimization a step further, it may be in your best interest to build an app for your company.

Apps can help enhance the user experience even more.

It’s not for every business, but I definitely recommend looking into it.

Mobile app development is expensive and takes time.

Even after your app is finished, it’s still going to cost you money to keep it running.

But if you think you have the funds to pull it off, it can definitely be worth your time and financial investment.

The majority of the time that gets spent on mobile devices is through app usage.

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It’s a great way to increase the chances that customers spend more time engaging with your company.

I recommend building an app for your business if you have an ecommerce website.

Here’s why.

Your mobile site may be better for the users to browse on when they’re looking up information in a store, but apps make it easier for them to purchase.

The checkout process on your mobile site is long and tedious.

Users have to enter all their personal information, shipping address, and payment method.

This takes a long time, especially on a mobile phone.

There is just too much room for error, and you could see a high number of abandoned shopping carts.

But if you have an app, users, once they download it, can create a profile.

This profile saves all their information.

So when it’s time to check out, your customers can add items to their carts and pay with just a couple of clicks.

This simplified process will increase sales for your ecommerce store.

Conclusion

If the sales for your business are stagnant or declining, it may be because you’re ignoring mobile users.

The trends are changing toward more mobile usage each year.

Optimizing your website to accommodate the needs of these users will help you make more money.

You just have to make sure your mobile site loads fast in addition to being optimized.

Otherwise, you’ll see high abandonment rates.

A/B test different versions of your mobile website to get the highest number of conversions possible.

It may also be in your best interest to build a mobile app for your company, especially if you’re selling something.

Follow these tips, and your website will start making more money from people using mobile devices.

How long does it take your mobile website to load?

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Pakistan Travel Warning

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against all non-essential travel to Pakistan. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning dated May 22, 2017.

Consular services provided by the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, the Consulate General in Karachi, and the Consulate General in Lahore are often limited due to the security environment. At this time, the Consulate General in Peshawar is not providing consular services.

Pakistan continues to experience significant terrorist violence, including sectarian attacks. Targeted attacks against government officials, humanitarian and non-governmental organization (NGO) employees, tribal elders, and law enforcement personnel are common. Throughout Pakistan, foreign and indigenous terrorist groups continue to pose a danger to U.S. citizens. Terrorists have targeted U.S. diplomats and diplomatic facilities in the past, and evidence suggests they continue to do so. Terrorists and criminal groups have resorted to kidnapping for ransom.

The Government of Pakistan maintains heightened security measures, particularly in major cities, following attacks or in response to threats.

Terrorists continue to target:

  • Heavily guarded facilities, such as military and government installations and airports 
  • Universities, schools, and hospitals
  • Places of worship of various faiths
  • Rallies, public parks, and sports venues
  • Hotels, markets, shopping malls, and restaurants

In Balochistan, insurgent and terrorist groups conducted numerous suicide bombings, hand grenade attacks, and ambushes on Pakistani security forces and civilians over the past six months. A suicide bomber in Quetta targeted senior police officers near Shuhada Chowk, killing 14 people and wounding 30. In Chaman, a suicide bomber attacked a police convoy, killing three police officials and injuring 20 others. Two hand grenade attacks in Gwadar and Mastung injured 41 people. In Quetta, a suicide bomber killed 21 people and wounded 45 in an attack on the Pishin bus terminal. A suicide bomber in Jhal Magsi attacked worshippers at the Sufi shrine of Pir Rakhyal Shah in the Fatehpur area, killing 19 and injuring 30. A suicide bomber in Quetta attacked a police convoy on the Sibbi Road in the Saryab mill area, killing seven and wounding 23.

In Punjab province, three suicide bombings targeting police and military officials in Lahore killed at least 47 and injured more than 100 others.

In Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province and the Federally Administered Tribal areas (FATA), there have been numerous recent attacks by insurgent and terrorist groups targeting government officials, NGO/Aid workers, religious minorities, and civilians to include over 67 improvised explosive devices (IED), 148 reported occurrences of small arms fire, 28 known assassination attempts, and 17 kidnappings. Assassination and kidnapping attempts are common throughout these areas. Terrorist organizations operating in the area have not discriminated between government officials and civilians. 

Since May 2017, the following significant attacks have occurred: in Parachinar, an IED targeting the Tori Market killed 67 civilians and injured 75; in Jamrud, an IED attack targeting peace committee workers killed at least five civilians; in Charsadda, at least five IEDs exploded, injuring 14 people; IEDs targeting Peshawar Hospital injured five people; and in Peshawar the detonation of a “toy bomb” killed one child and injured six.

Sectarian violence remains a serious threat throughout Pakistan, and the Government of Pakistan continues to enforce blasphemy laws. Religious minority communities have been victims of targeted killings and accusations of blasphemy. 

The local government restricts access for foreigners to many areas, including:

  • the FATA near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border,
  • Swat Valley in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province,
  • the area adjacent to the Line of Control in the disputed territory of Kashmir,
  • Much of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province and Balochistan.

Travel by U.S. government personnel within Pakistan is restricted, and movements by U.S. government personnel outside of U.S. diplomatic facilities in Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, and Peshawar are sometimes severely restricted depending on local circumstances and security conditions, which can change suddenly.

If you choose to live or travel in Pakistan despite this warning, you should:

  • Vary travel routes and timing, especially for routine trips.
  • Minimize the duration of trips to public markets, restaurants, government and military institutions, and other locations.
  • Minimize the number of U.S./western nationals congregating in any one location at any time.
  • Avoid hotels that do not apply stringent security measures.
  • Take a photo of your passport, entry stamp, and Pakistani visa, and keep it with you at all times. Keep digital copies of these documents in a secure, electronically accessible place.

Advisory Notice to Airmen (NOTAM): The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a NOTAM concerning the risks to civil aviation operating in Pakistan, particularly at low altitude, during the arrival and departure phases of flight, and when on the ground, due to extremist/militant activity. The Advisory NOTAM does not prohibit U.S. operators or airmen from operating in the specified area, as it is strictly an advisory notice. 

For background information on FAA flight prohibitions and advisories for U.S. civil aviation, see the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.

For further information:

  • See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Pakistan Country Specific Information.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier for us to locate you in an emergency.
  • Contact the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, located at Diplomatic Enclave, Ramna 5, Islamabad, Pakistan, by email at ACSIslamabad@state.gov. The after-hours emergency assistance number for U.S. citizens is (92)(51) 201-4000 or (92)(51)201-5000. //pk.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates/islamabad/
  • Contact the U.S. Consulate General in Karachi, located at Plot 3-5 New TPX Area, Mai Kolachi Road. The after-hours emergency assistance number for U.S. citizens is (92-21) 3527-5000. //pk.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates/karachi/
  • Contact the U.S. Consulate General in Lahore, located at 50, Shahrah-e-Abdul Hameed Bin Badees, (Old Empress Road) near Shimla Hill Circle. The after-hours emergency assistance number for U.S. citizens is (92-42)3603-4000. //pk.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates/lahore/
  • Contact the U.S. Consulate in Peshawar, located at 11 Hospital Road, Peshawar Cantonment, at +92 91 526 8800. (Calling within Pakistan, dial 091 526 8800.) This number is available 24 hours a day for emergencies involving U.S. citizens in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). See also Consulate General Peshawar’s section on the Mission Pakistan webpage: //pk.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates/peshawar/
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
  • Follow us on Twitter and Facebook

Haiti Travel Warning

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens to carefully consider the risks of traveling to Haiti due to its current security environment and lack of adequate medical facilities and response. This is an update to the Travel Warning issued on September 12, 2017.  

Kidnapping remains a threat, and armed robberies and violent assaults reported by U.S. citizens have risen in recent years. Do not share specific travel plans with strangers. Be aware that newly arrived travelers are targeted. Arrange to have your host or organization meet you at the airport upon arrival or pre-arranged airport to hotel transfers. Embassy personnel are prohibited from visiting public banks and ATMs, which are often targeted by criminals. Fewer incidents of crime are reported outside of Port-au-Prince, but Haitian authorities’ ability to respond to emergencies is limited and in some areas nonexistent.  U.S. Embassy employees are discouraged from walking in city neighborhoods, including in Petionville, during daylight, and are prohibited from walking in city neighborhoods, including Petionville, after dark. Visit only establishments with secured parking lots. U.S. Embassy personnel are under a curfew from 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. Embassy personnel must receive permission from the Embassy security officer to travel to some areas of Port-au-Prince, thus limiting the Embassy’s ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens. 

Protests, including tire burning and road blockages, are frequent and often spontaneous. Avoid all demonstrations. The Haitian National Police’s ability to assist U.S. citizens during disturbances is limited. Have your own plans for quickly exiting the country if necessary. 

Medical care infrastructure, ambulances, and other emergency services are limited throughout Haiti. Check that your organization has reliable infrastructure, evacuation, and medical support in place. Comprehensive medical evacuation insurance is strongly advised for all travelers. 

For further information:

8 Tactics to Increase Sales with Video Content

All businesses can benefit from more sales.

Whether your company is thriving or struggling to get by, a sales surge can help you get more cash in the bank.

If your current marketing strategies aren’t working or growing stale, I’ve got a solution for you.

Produce more video content.

Regardless of your industry, videos can do wonders for your company.

Don’t believe me?

Well, more than half of marketing experts across the globe say that videos yield the highest ROI compared to other types of content.

Furthermore, 43% of consumers want marketers to produce more video content.

You need to give the people what they want.

I’ve seen too many businesses avoid video marketing tactics because they don’t know where to start.

They are afraid of doing something wrong. I’ve even heard some business owners say they don’t use video content because they don’t have the right equipment.

You don’t need any fancy or expensive video equipment.

All of the tactics I’m going to show you can be accomplished with a smartphone or basic camera.

That’s it.

Here’s something else to consider.

Think about the other marketing tactics you’re currently using.

Can more than one person view them at the same time?

I doubt it.

But look at how video content gets consumed in groups:

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It’s unlikely two or more people will sit side by side and read your email newsletter together.

However, if you send a video, it’s more likely people will watch it together.

Plus, look at all the device options people use to consume video content.

Videos can help you:

  • increase your website traffic
  • enhance interactions with your customers
  • grow your email list
  • get more followers on social media
  • expose your brand to a wider audience
  • promote new products or services

All these benefits lead to more sales.

This is how you do it.

1. Create a YouTube channel

If you’re not currently using any videos to promote your company, creating a YouTube channel is the first step.

Here’s why.

Once you add videos to YouTube, it’s easy to share them on other platforms.

Whether you’re embedding the video into your website or just sending a link, the YouTube platform makes it simple to accomplish this.

As you’ll see shortly, you’re going to distribute your videos across lots of different platforms.

Uploading all your content to YouTube first will help save you time because you won’t need to make the same video more than once.

Let’s look at an example so you can see what I’m talking about.

Here’s a video I included in a blog post;

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Guess where it came from?

I took it directly from my YouTube channel.

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Making the video again would have been a waste of time.

That’s why this should be the first place where you start.

Don’t be intimidated.

You won’t have hundreds of videos overnight.

Just focus on one at a time.

It took me years to get over 25,000 subscribers on my YouTube channel.

But now, I have videos with over 22,000 views.

Plus, users, in addition to viewing YouTube content on other platforms, will view it directly on that site as well.

YouTube is only second to Facebook when it comes to the number of active monthly users.

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All the content on their platform is strictly videos, and it is still extremely successful.

That alone should show you how powerful video content is in terms of what users want to consume.

2. Post videos on social media

Even if you’re not currently using videos, I’ll assume you have active social media profiles.

Use them to their full potential.

You should be posting on social media every day.

This will keep your brand fresh in the minds of your followers.

The reason why so many companies don’t always post on social media is because they don’t know what to share.

Well, if you’re adding new videos to your YouTube channel, social media is the perfect platform to share your new content.

Most social media platforms have their own software to create and publish video content, but we’ll get to that shortly.

For now, just try to focus on getting all your YouTube videos onto your Facebook and Twitter profiles.

That’s a great place to start.

Take a look at how videos have been trending on Facebook for the last two years:

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We saw a 6% jump in video posts by businesses from 2016 to 2017.

I expect that number to continue rising each year for the foreseeable future.

3. Add more videos to your website

What’s the first thing people see when they visit your website?

Too many words on the page can be confusing and unappealing.

You shouldn’t have lots of long paragraphs explaining how your company operates.

Nobody wants to read that.

Instead, simplify the design and color schemes.

Replace all of it with a video message.

Square uses this tactic to explain how their products work:

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Do you see how little text they included on this page?

This won’t confuse anyone.

Instead, the viewer’s attention gets drawn to the video.

When you click the link, it plays a video from Square’s YouTube channel.

It’s much more effective than trying to explain how your products work in long and messy paragraphs.

4. Go live on Facebook

I love it when businesses use Facebook live as a promotional method.

It’s one of the best ways you can engage with your Facebook followers in real time.

But there’s science behind it.

You don’t want to just go live randomly for no rhyme or reason.

Instead, you should schedule your live streams to run at a set time every week.

That way, you can continue building a regular audience.

Think about your favorite TV shows.

They are on at the same day and time every week.

If they just came on sporadically, it’s unlikely you’d be able to catch every episode.

That’s the kind of following you’re trying to create here with your live video streams.

Just like your website, Facebook live is a great chance for you to promote your products or do a demonstration.

Facebook is the most popular live video streaming platform:

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The user interaction is my favorite part of Facebook live.

Viewers have a chance to comment on your live stream.

It’s absolutely imperative that you respond to those comments.

This interaction will help you build a stronger bond with your customers.

The acknowledgement will show them how much you care.

Call them out by name while you’re live.

Thank them for watching.

Give the viewer a reason to tune in next week.

Go live for a long time.

Facebook allows you to have a stream that lasts for up to four hours.

You don’t need to use all four, but I’d say go for at least two or three.

The longer you’re live, the greater the chance you’ll have of getting more people to watch.

Long live videos mean you need to come prepared.

Don’t just wing it.

Have some notes or references for topics, products, and services you’re planning to discuss.

5. Use Instagram stories

You can post pictures and videos to your Instagram story.

For today’s topic, we’ll focus on the video portion of this.

Instagram stories expire after 24 hours.

Feel free to post several each day to keep your brand fresh in the minds of your followers.

These stories appear at the top of everyone’s homepage.

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Anyone who follows you will see you have a story posted that day.

To view it, all they need to do is click on your photo, and the video will play through.

Popular stories will also show up on the search page for users who don’t follow you.

It’s a great way to increase brand exposure.

Instagram also has a live video feature that’s incorporated into their stories.

You don’t need to approach this the same way you do Facebook live videos.

Instead, use your live Instagram stream when you’re somewhere cool.

You can give your followers a tour around your production facility or introduce them to your staff.

This helps create an exclusive feeling for anyone watching.

Now they have access to something that would normally be kept behind closed doors.

Plus it’s so easy to do.

Just pull your phone out of your pocket and start recording.

But like on Facebook live videos, you’ll definitely want to respond to the live user comments.

6. Encourage customers to make their own videos

Not all your video content needs to be produced by you.

Try to get your customers involved.

You’ll accomplish a few things with this method.

  • You’ll get videos free, and it won’t take any of your time
  • It’ll enhance the customer experience
  • You’ll get more brand exposure if your customers share their videos

Look at how GoPro encourages their customers to create video content:

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They post the best videos on their website and even give out awards to the creators of their favorite submissions.

Giving the customer recognition for their work is a great way to get people on board.

Plus, people are really creative.

You may find out their content is even better than yours.

Run a contest or some other promotion that gets your customers to break out their cameras and start filming.

7. Email videos to your subscribers

Remember earlier I said we could use the videos from your YouTube channel on multiple platforms?

Well, here’s another chance to share those videos with your customers.

Look to your email subscription list.

Those people may or not be following you on social media, so it’s not a guarantee they’ll see your live streams or other shared videos.

But you have direct access to their inboxes.

Use it.

Embed YouTube videos into your email marketing campaigns.

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Given the statistics above, you can see that emails with video content:

  • improve your CTR
  • increase leads
  • increase conversion rates
  • minimize unsubscribes

So it’s a no-brainer to employ this strategy, especially since you don’t have to come up with brand new videos for each email.

Just use the existing ones from your YouTube channel.

8. Make sure all your videos are mobile friendly

One constant you need to maintain with all your videos is the compatibility with mobile devices.

That’s why I’ve been recommending you use platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram to share your content.

That way, the videos automatically get optimized.

Take a look at how videos are being consumed on mobile devices:

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Mobile videos are trending upward.

Just make sure any videos included on your website and emails are on mobile friendly templates.

If your videos aren’t loading and can’t be viewed on phones or tablets, you’ll defeat the purpose of posting them in the first place.

Conclusion

Those of you looking for an easy and inexpensive way to get more sales for your business need to start creating more video content.

Create a YouTube channel, and add videos to it.

You’ll be able to share those same videos on other platforms like social media pages, your website, and even in email campaigns.

In addition to sharing pre-recorded videos, take advantage of live video streams.

Use Facebook and Instagram for this.

It’s a better way to engage with your viewers since you can respond to their comments in real time.

Another way to produce more video content is by getting other people to do it for you.

Come up with creative ways to get your customers to submit videos.

You can share those videos on your website as well.

No matter what kind of videos you’re making, just make sure they are optimized for mobile devices.

The increased brand exposure combined with an easy way for you to explain your products and services will ultimately boost your sales.

What platforms are you currently using to share your video content?

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Nigeria Travel Warning

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Nigeria and recommends that U.S. citizens avoid all but essential travel to Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Kano, Jigawa, and Yobe states because the security situation in northeast Nigeria remains fluid and unpredictable. Very poor transportation infrastructure also makes it difficult for the U.S. Mission to provide consular services in these states. All U.S. citizens should have evacuation plans that do not solely rely on U.S. government assistance.  Due to the risk of kidnappings, robberies, and other armed attacks, U.S. citizens should also avoid all but essential travel to: Bayelsa, Delta, Kaduna, Katsina, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, and Zamfara states. This replaces the Travel Warning dated April 5, 2017.

Boko Haram, an extremist group based in the northeast, has targeted churches, schools, mosques, government installations, educational institutions, and entertainment venues in Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Plateau, Taraba, the Federal Capital Territory, and Yobe states. Hundreds of thousands of Nigerians have been displaced as a result of violence in the north. Islamic State West Africa, which is now a distinct group from Boko Haram, is present in Nigeria, and may seek to attack locations frequented by westerners including major population centers. 

U.S. citizens should be vigilant at public gatherings and locations frequented by foreigners. Markets, hotels, restaurants, bars, and places of worship may become targets for terrorist attacks. Exercise extreme caution throughout the country due to the threat of indiscriminate violence. 

Travel to the Gulf of Guinea should also be avoided because of the threat of piracy.

U.S. Mission personnel are subject to restrictions when traveling in Nigeria, with the exception of local areas of Abuja and Lagos, and may be subject to other constraints as security conditions warrant.

For further information:

  • See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Nigeria Country-Specific Information.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Contact the U.S. Embassy in Abuja, located at Plot 1075 Diplomatic Drive, Central District Area, open Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  The U.S. Consulate General in Lagos, located at 2 Walter Carrington Crescent, Victoria Island, is open Monday-Thursday from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The U.S. Embassy in Abuja can be reached by telephone, including after-hours emergencies, at +234 (9) 461-4328 or +234 (9) 461-4000, or by email at AbujaACS@state.gov. The U.S. Consulate General in Lagos can be reached by telephone, including after-hours emergencies, at +234-(803) 402-2405 or +234 (1) 460-3400, or by email at LagosACS@state.gov. For more information, please visit the U.S. Mission in Nigeria website.
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
  • Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

How to Squeeze Revenue from Confirmation Emails

Email is one of the best ways to communicate with your customers.

Sending confirmation emails can help establish a stronger relationship with your current clientele.

It keeps them in the loop.

They won’t have to second-guess whether their order went through or whether an action they completed was successful.

That’s why all companies need to utilize confirmation emails.

For starters, if you’re not sending confirmation messages, you need to start ASAP.

But for those of you who already use this communication strategy, here is the question: what does the content of your message say?

If the email is just a simple receipt, you’re not using this marketing tactic to its full potential.

Receipts aren’t enough and won’t squeeze any additional dollars out of the customer.

Think about your current email marketing campaigns.

For your marketing to be successful, your subscribers need to open the message and click on something in it.

What are your current open rates and CTRs?

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Those numbers drastically improve for confirmation emails compared to bulk marketing campaigns.

That’s why this is such a great opportunity from a marketing perspective.

Now is the perfect chance for you to send a promotional email in addition to a confirmation email.

I’ve had lots of success using this strategy, and I’ve helped other companies increase their revenues through confirmation emails as well.

I’ll show you how to accomplish this too.

Always send welcome messages to new subscribers

Let’s start at the very beginning.

Don’t wait for your next newsletter or promotional message to contact a new subscriber.

If you do that, it could be over a week or two before this person hears from you.

Send them a welcome message as soon as they sign up.

Since they just provided you with their email address, your brand is fresh in their minds.

This early confirmation is a great chance to encourage a sale or some other action like a download.

Welcome messages are also necessary if you have a double opt-in strategy in place.

I like using double opt-in landings because it helps eliminate fake email addresses from your subscriber list.

This ultimately leads to higher engagement from the recipients and makes your marketing analytics much more accurate.

Just look at how a double opt-in welcome message affects your open rates:

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Now that you’ve got the new subscriber to open your message, it’s your chance to make some money.

  • Promote your newest product or service.
  • Explain how your brand can add value to the customer.
  • Give them other incentives like free shipping or an easy return process.
  • Offer a discount. They work well too. Everyone loves to get a deal.

Let’s say you have an ecommerce store.

If someone signs up for your email subscription list, it’s safe to say they have some genuine interest in buying something.

Well, a welcome email confirmation offering a discount could just be the determining factor that turns a subscriber into a customer.

Here’s a great example of this strategy from GAP:

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Notice that the offer is valid only for 30 days.

Making your promotional offer time sensitive is also a good way to encourage a sale.

Get your subscribers used to confirmation emails by sending them one right off the bat with a welcome message.

Remind shoppers about their abandoned shopping carts

It happens to everyone with an ecommerce site.

Customers browse for items online, add products to their carts, but never complete the checkout process.

This is disheartening.

Oftentimes, the shopper was only a click or two away from making a purchase.

Just because the cart was abandoned doesn’t mean you need to give up on that sale.

If a customer was browsing on their unique customer profile from your website, you’ll have their email address on file.

Otherwise, they may have provided you with their email address as one of the earlier steps in the checkout process before they abandoned the cart.

Some of the top reasons for cart abandonment include:

  • unexpected costs (like taxes, shipping, or other fees)
  • overall price is too high
  • shopper was just browsing
  • problems with the website
  • they found a better price somewhere else
  • process is too complicated
  • security concerns

If it appears the price was the reason why this individual didn’t complete the ordering process, send them an email with a discount or another promotion.

Look at how Kate Spade New York accomplishes this with their cart abandonment messages:

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Now the customer has an added incentive to buy.

They were already interested in those products in the first place, so the discount can really be the determining factor that finalizes the sale.

After they finish checking out their online cart, they’ll continue to get more confirmation emails from you, which I’ll discuss shortly.

Consider this statistic: 69.23% of online shopping carts get abandoned.

If your abandonment rate is high, you can still squeeze money out of those carts through confirmation messages.

Keep the customer updated once they place an order

As I just mentioned, the confirmation emails don’t stop when a customer places their order.

You need to keep them updated throughout the entire process.

Each step is an excuse for you to send another message.

The customer will like these messages as well since they are receiving valuable information about their purchase.

Every time something gets bought online, you have an excuse to send four confirmation emails to the customer, in this order:

  1. Order confirmed
  2. Package shipped
  3. Items delivered
  4. Follow up

The order confirmation message is simple. This will be their receipt. You can include the order number, items, and pricing breakdown.

But it can be more than just a receipt. You can also promote other products as Target does with this confirmation:

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When the package gets picked up from your warehouse and the shipping process starts, send them another email with the shipping carrier and tracking information.

Send another message once the package gets delivered.

People aren’t always home all day. So this email will be exciting.

They know there’s something waiting for them when they get home from work.

Or they can make arrangements for a friend or family member to grab the package if they aren’t going to be home for a while.

Finally, a week or so after the order gets delivered, you can send them a follow-up message.

Include a survey, and ask for their feedback.

You want to find out if they were happy with the ordering process and ultimately if they are satisfied with your product.

This final message in the drip sequence accomplishes a few things. It:

  • lets the customer know you care about their opinion
  • provides them with information about your product and process
  • increases engagement
  • serves as an excuse to send another confirmation email

Here’s the catch, however.

All four of the messages you just sent to the customer after they placed an order need to be more than just their obvious value.

Include promotional content as well, just like Target did in the above example.

Offer a discount.

Tiny Prints does this with their confirmation emails:

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Additional discounts give the customer a reason to become a repeat customer.

It helps you squeeze more dollars out of one person.

Upsell and cross-sell

As you can see from some of the examples we’ve already looked at, upselling and cross-selling methods can be incorporated into these confirmation emails as well.

Upselling encourages the customer to buy something similar to the product they have but at a higher price point.

Cross-selling promotes other products related to the item the customer just purchased.

For example, let’s say a customer bought a pair of headphones or some other electronic device, like a tablet or computer, from your ecommerce store.

When you’re sending the drip campaign of emails to keep them updated about their order, one of those messages can contain a cross-selling strategy.

Offer them a protective case or travel bag to keep their new product safe.

Any accessory compatible with what they just bought is worth including in these confirmation emails.

It’s a great way to increase profits, especially because you’re marketing to an existing customer.

It’s easier to sell to repeat customers:

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Furthermore, loyal customers spend three to five times more money each purchase.

So you’re definitely pitching to the right crowd here if you’re offering an upsell or cross-sell promotion.

Encourage social sharing to gain referrals

The person receiving your confirmation emails shouldn’t be the only person you’re trying to squeeze more money out of.

These people have friends and family members who could potentially be valuable sources of revenue as well.

You just need to make them aware of your brand.

That’s why you need to encourage your subscribers to share your content.

If you’re sending a discount in your confirmation message, include a share link for social media websites like Facebook or Twitter.

You can also have the recipient forward the message directly to their friends.

But not everyone will do this out of the kindness of their hearts.

Even if they really love your brand, they may not go out of their way to potentially spam their friends.

You need to give them something in return.

Check out this order confirmation email from Grubhub:

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If they refer a friend to Grubhub, they’ll get $7.

It’s simple and effective.

Now you’re getting extra revenue from more than just one person.

The customer who made the referral is very likely to buy from you again since they’ll want to cash in their discount or reward.

Plus, you’re acquiring new customers and adding more subscribers to your list from the people they are referring.

And guess what?

As we discussed, new subscribers will also get a welcome message from you to confirm their subscription.

It’s a cycle that works.

Conclusion

Every email that gets sent out to customers needs to be strategic.

While you may want to send your customers a promotional message every day to encourage sales, subscribers don’t want that.

In fact, getting too many emails is the number one reason why consumers unsubscribe from email lists.

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You need to make the most out of every message you’re able to send.

Confirmation emails are the perfect way to disguise promotional offers.

The data we looked at earlier told us that confirmation messages have higher open rates and click-through rates than other types of emails.

You should always send a welcome message to new subscribers to confirm they’ve been added to your email list.

If you have an ecommerce store and customers are abandoning their shopping carts, it doesn’t mean that sale is lost.

Send a cart abandonment reminder email with a discount as an incentive for the customer to complete the checkout process.

After customers buy something, keep them up to date with confirmation messages about the status of their orders.

Let them know when the orders ship and when they get delivered.

All of these confirmation messages are a great opportunity to upsell and cross-sell.

You can also encourage your subscribers to share these promotions with friends and family as a way to acquire more customers and make more money.

What types of promotions do you offer in your confirmation emails to encourage customers to spend more money on their next purchases?

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