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Got 10 Minutes? 6 Ways Small Business Can Boost Sales #DreamSmallBiz

Nate Kristy
Nate Kristy

Springtime doesn’t just mean nicer weather and blooming flowers. It’s also the time of year that small businesses are celebrated all across the United States during National Small Business Week

For small business owners, now is the time to leverage the “choose small business” momentum across the country and optimize your marketing efforts to gain the most out of the season.

Depending on your business and the resources you have on hand, significant changes in your marketing program may seem costly or tedious, but they don’t have to be. Often, small changes go a long way, equating to more conversions (sales) and larger purchases or contracts.

For example, the small step of including customer names in an email improves conversions by 10 percent, according to research from Aberdeen Group, and can be done in mere seconds.

Just in time for Small Business Week, below are six simple updates that any SMB owner can execute in 10 minutes to turn their leads into sales.

Related Article: The Secret Weapon 10 Marketing Experts Use to Improve Their Conversion Rate

1. Add a Contact Form on Your Website

Adding a simple contact form to your website is a win-win for you and your customers. A mobile friendly form can be submitted anytime, from anywhere, and provide your visitors an alternative to calling you or having to figure out what to say in an email. Having this form on your site benefits you as a business owner, too.

Instead of cluttering up your inbox with vague inquiries, you can specifically request what information a prospect provides. These details can be used to learn more about your potential customers and their concerns, enabling you to address them in your future marketing messages. If you have a CRM, information from these forms can be directly stored for enhanced customer profiles and easy outreach. 

2. Ensure Sure You Have a Clear Call-to-Action (CTA)

Do your website and marketing emails have clear call-to-action (CTA) buttons that easily direct readers exactly where you want them to go, such as a product purchase page or shopping cart? According to research from small business consulting firm Online Marketing Coach, 70 percent of small businesses lack a CTA. Further, of those who do have a CTA, 70 percent do not include it on their website homepage, the most frequently visited page on most sites.

In addition, the same study revealed that turning a generic CTA into a more personalized one results in a 42 percent higher conversion rate! Take five minutes to review the CTAs on your website and in your emails. If they are not clear, bold and prominently placed, take five additional minutes to make these quick updates and watch those conversions rise.

Related Article: Simple Steps to Optimizing Your Email Marketing Campaigns

3. Make Your Emails Interactive

Email is often interpreted as a one-way conversation, but it doesn’t have to be. Simply asking questions and requesting feedback in your emails is an easy to way to increase engagement and gain valuable customer insights at the same time. Some of examples of interactions that can be included in marketing emails include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Take a survey or poll
  • Schedule a service
  • Request a quote, trial or sample
  • Share feedback
  • Sign up for a blog feed
  • Download a valuable piece of content
  • Rate on social media

4. Test Your Email Marketing Text and Times

A small refresh to your marketing emails is essentially equivalent to a new coat of paint or décor in a brick and mortar store. While your current send times, subject lines and CTA colors may not have any issues or deteriorating side effects, you may find that minor updates have significant impacts on your click and conversion rates. Try new subject line formats (like a question) and colors for your CTA buttons.

Compare these results to your previous efforts, and adapt future emails to include the content that works best. Also, try sending out your next email marketing campaign at different time of the day or different day of the week than usual to determine when your audience is most likely to absorb your marketing messages and make a purchase. 

5. Review Retention Metrics

Customer retention isn’t just a sales metric. Retention on your website and in marketing efforts will tell you a lot about how users view your content, with website behaviors signaling areas that are in need of improvement. You want to showcase your product or service in the best possible light, and a quick look at these metrics, including a comparison to how they’ve changed over time, tells you just how your visitors are engaging:

  • Return rate shows how many of your website visitors are new versus returning visitors. If visitors are returning, they’re likely interested! If they are not, you may want to refine your website layout and web content. (Hint: the metrics below will help determine if content is likely the culprit and in need of an update.)
  • Bounce rate indicates the rate at which users are exiting your site or individual pages on your site. Ultimately, this metric showcases users’ interest in your product or service offering based on the content on your website.
  • Pages per visit demonstrates how users are clicking around on your site. Like the bounce rate, this metric indicates the level of interest in the content on your site, your product or service.
  • Unsubscribes and opt-outs expresses how many of your contacts no longer want to receive emails from your business. If your rate of unsubscribe is consistently high with each email message, it may be time to re-think your campaigns and targeting strategies, or take a hard look at your database to ensure it includes right-fit potential customers.

Related Article:Inbox Issues: How to Fail at Email Marketing

6. Engage Stagnant Subscribers With an Offer

For those contacts who are consistently opening emails and not converting to sales, or those leads who expressed interest and have gone silent, give them a little (incentivized) nudge. Segment inactive contacts into a list of their own, and deliver an exclusive offer to them to encourage a sale.

If they’ve already expressed interest, they may just need that extra incentive to give your product or service a try. Even better, create an offer that motivates a future purchase, such as a free trial offer or free product that requires replacement and/or complementary parts.

It can be hard for small businesses to determine which marketing efforts will help them grow, but these quick and easy-to-implement changes are worthwhile to test out in your marketing program.

Whether you’ve hit a plateau in sales growth or you’re growing steadily, it’s important to keep your marketing programs freshly updated to keep customers and leads interested and engaged in your brand. You’ll be surprised to find out how just a few minutes each week can have a huge impact on your email and website performance, and ultimately, your sales.

Image Credit: NanoStockk / Getty Images
Nate Kristy
Nate Kristy Member
Nate Kristy’s B2B, SaaS and services marketing expertise stems from over 15 years of industry experience in leadership and marketing development. As Vice President of Marketing for Automational, Kristy manages the marketing strategy, messaging and lead generation initiatives for the small business marketing and sales solution. Since Automational is a small business itself, Kristy takes pride in using its suite of tools to achieve his own marketing objectives in growing the business through efficient customer relationship management and marketing automation. In addition to his role at Automational, Kristy is a host at B2BCamp, a collaborative event focused on improving B2B marketing and sales with next generation tools and techniques. Kristy’s previous experience includes serving as Vice President of Marketing at HubLogix, where he helped grow the company’s eCommerce automation technologies and created competitive advantages for thousands of online retailers and technology providers. Additionally, he held the role of Vice President of Marketing at Preparis, Inc., where he was integrally responsible for the firm’s CRM and marketing automation, communications and lead-nurturing processes. Kristy graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Emory University and earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in marketing from Georgia State University.