How A Complete Online Strategy Works [Story]

How online strategy for small business wins customers
You have a brick and mortar store. Let’s say you have a massage business and you are desperately looking for new clients and to also get more repeat customers, sound familiar? Let’s take a look at one woman’s journey, Jane, and the online strategies of several small businesses to get Jane through their doors. Which strategy will win Jane’s business? Will this post change the way you look at the current marketing strategy of your small business? Lets find out.

Jane’s Story Begins

Jane has had one hell of a week. She had trouble getting the kids to school on time, she’s having trouble managing two difficult employees and her workouts have seemed a little lack luster. It’s 10:30 pm, the kids are now sleeping, the house picked up (sort of) and Jane is finally experiencing a little time to herself before she hits the sack and starts the craziness all over again. Jane feels the tension in her neck and shoulders and smiles at how wonderful a massage would be. She also knows how hard it would be to try to find time during the day to schedule a massage. Awe what the heck, Jane decides to at least do a little research online before going to bed.

Jane lives in Mission Viejo, California. She Googles ‘best affordable massage mission viejo’. One search result catches her eye because of price point:
A $20 massage she thinks, probably too good to be true but she clicks the link anyway. It’s Yelp with a list of affordable massage businesses, not exactly what she was looking for. The first Yelp listing, Diamond Massage Mission Viejo, has 58 positive reviews so she clicks it. Jane reads a few reviews however there is no mention of price, or a $20 massage like the Google search result showed and there is no website for Jane to visit and see what prices actually are. Someone has snapped a photo of the price menu and placed it in their review. The menu of prices looks a little confusing and untrustworthy. She does see something about a $20 foot massage. Jane is too tired and busy to deal with a possible bad massage experience. Jane goes back to Google.

Jane searches next ‘massage mission viejo’. The first few listings are Yelp, but she decides to ignore those, after all, her earlier experience in Yelp was a waste. This time she looks at the listings in the map.
Jane notices that the first map listing doesn’t have a website, however listing two seems interesting. It’s called Massage Heights Mission Viejo so she knows it’s local and they have 37 positive Google+ reviews. Jane clicks on the reviews and realizes that there has only been one recent review. All the other reviews are from two and three years ago. Jane thinks that’s odd and immediately doesn’t trust the reviews, however she clicks through to the website. Jane sees a typical massage website, calming images, contact information and something about a first visit introduction rate on one of the sliding images that quickly transitioned by. Jane thinks to herself again, a massage would be so nice, then heads back to Google. Jane figures she can always find that website again but she’s going to look one more time before calling it a night. Her eyes are already heavy.

Jane bounces back to the list of local massage businesses in Google and this time selects one called Massage Crave Mission Viejo. Again, another basic massage website but this at least has rates and services prominently displayed which she likes, there’s nothing to hide. They also mention something about getting a massage that fits your busy schedule, and Jane is busy. There is an appointment form, however, Jane thinks about the next few days to come and she is booked, and she doesn’t know if next week will be the same. Probably. So Jane decides when she finally gets an hour to spare, she’ll remember, what’s the business again, oh yeah, Massage Crave. Jane goes to bed. Jane never gets a massage from any of the businesses she researched that night.

Jane Had A Dream

That night Jane had a dream. In her dream she’s on Google back at that familiar listing of local massage businesses, but this time something was different. There was another listing called Massage Perfect. Massage Perfect had 30 Google+ reviews that spanned from when it first opened to date. Jane also noticed that although most reviews were positive, there were some negative ones. However, Jane liked how management responded to all reviews to resolve the few disgruntled people. After all, Jane knows what it’s like to try to manage people at her job that aren’t happy.

Jane then visited their website and saw services, pricing and hours displayed prominently, and images of Jane getting massaged. Jane quickly noticed a free PDF: 7 Secrets How Working Moms Can Relieve Neck And Should Tension Throughout the Week. There are other free PDFs, too. Jane downloads the PDF easily. She just enters her name and email and it’s instantly in her email inbox. Suddenly a chat box opens on the website. It’s someone named Sally asking Jane if she has any questions about Massage Perfect. Jane looks at the time, 11:00pm! Sally is very helpful and points Jane to several helpful resources on Massage Perfect’s website. Jane feels special and thinks how wonderful Massage Perfect is and she’s yet to even try their service. Sally also shows Jane where she can download a 10% off coupon good for 30 days. Jane knows she can definitely find some time over the next 30 days to get a massage. Jane downloads the coupon.

It’s been approximately seven dream days, that’s seven seconds in real life (Don’t quote me on that). While at her dream computer that always works perfectly with zero internet downtime or lag, Jane receives an email from Massage Perfect reminding her she has 21 dream days left to use her 10% off coupon. Jane had already forgot about wanting a massage as she was lost in her weekly routine. Jane remembered the wonderful PDF she downloaded and how helpful Sally was that night. Jane tells her friend Julie about Massage Perfect and the 10% coupon. Julie finds Massage Perfect on Facebook and together they look at images of the business and all the helpful information they post. Jane and Julie decide they are going to get a massage this week.

The dream massage was, well, perfect. Jane and Julie both had a great experience. Thirty dream days later, Jane gets another email from Massage Perfect. It’s a simple little graphic listing several neck and shoulder stretches she can do at work to help relieve tension. Jane thinks that’s cool, because it’s exactly where she holds her tension. Jane forwards the email to Julie and to several other girl friends who Jane knows could use the advice. Jane schedules another massage. Jane wakes. Jane registers the DBA Massage Perfect.

Story Breakdown – Why The Real Massage Businesses Struck Out With Jane

In the story we encountered a simple yet well-rounded online campaign strategy by Massage Perfect. We also saw how the other competitors dropped the ball with their online strategy. Do you know how they dropped the ball? Well let’s breakdown the bad first. Note I’ll also point out some of the good stuff they did, too.

    Jane clicks on a Google listing that promises “$20 Massage” so Jane is expecting to visit a website where a $20 massage is described.

  • Instead, Jane is taken to another listing on Yelp (Bad Google). – Strike #1
  • Jane is there so she decides to click on the firs listing, Diamond Massage because they have 58 reviews (Good).
  • Jane is still in the mindset of a $20 massage but she still doesn’t see that. Strike #2
  • Jane doesn’t see a website – Strike # 3 and she’s back to Google.

Jane decides to look at the map listings.

  • Listing A, Zen Day Spa, they are in the map listing (Good).
  • They don’t have a website (Bad). – Strike #1,2 and 3

Jane clicks on listing B Massage Heights Mission Viejo

  • They are in the map listing (Good).
  • Jane sees one recent review and a bunch of really old reviews. This causes her to be skeptic. – Strike #1
  • Jane clicks through to the website – (Yay, they have a website. Your website is foundational folks.)
  • Jane sees something about an introductory offer, but it’s on a sliding image carousel. Sliding images can and most likely will decrease your website conversions. Unbounce, a company that specializes in A/B testing website landing pages to increase conversion reports that sliding images are a tactic website owners shouldn’t use. – Strike #2
  • Other than an appointment form (Good), there is no other lead capture form to get Jane’s information incase she’s not ready to buy now (Bad). – Strike #3

Jane clicks on Massage Crave Mission Viejo

  • They are in the map listing (Good)
  • Jane sees simplified pricing right upfront (Good)
  • Jane relates to the website copy about fitting your busy schedule (Good).
  • Jane sees an appointment form (Good), however no other lead capture (Bad). – Strike #1
  • Jane doesn’t see any other material, help, tips or advice that would benefit Jane – Strike #2
  • Jane considers Massage Crave for whenever she has time to get a massage.

Story Breakdown – Why Massage Perfect’s Online Strategy Won

  • They had a website (Foundational)
  • They are in the map listing (Good).
  • Jane saw a consistent flow of Google+ reviews and how management responded to bad reviews! Need help responding to negative reviews? Here are some tips from Google on how to respond to reviews.
  • Jane saw pictures of Jane getting a massage. Massage Perfect knows their target audience.
  • Like Massage Crave, Massage Perfect prominently displayed important and valuable information.
  • Massage Perfect offered free valuable content catered to Jane, their target audience. Jane gave them her email in exchange for it. Jane also views Massage Perfect as an authority and trustworthy company.
  • Massage Perfect offered live chat even at 11:pm at night! (this is a dream scenario that most brick and mortars can’t do, so don’t beat yourself up if you don’t do this. However, if you do have a good solution, let me know.)
  • Massage Perfect has a first visit offer Jane must give her email again to get, which she does. Why wouldn’t she? There’s no committment she needs to make now and she gets a 10% off coupon to use if she wants!
  • Now, Massage Perfect has Jane’s name, email address, they know her pain point (neck and shoulder tension) because she downloaded the Neck and Should PDF, so they begin automated email sequences. One sequence reminds Jane she has a first visit coupon and the other sequence delivers Jane content based on her pain point thus nurturing and developing the business-customer relationship. Massage Perfect stays visible to Jane.
  • Massage Perfect uses social media, Facebook, in this story example. Massage Perfect actively posts to Facebook content their target audience wants and has grown a strong following.
  • Conclusion

    Today we saw a fictional journey of a very real marketing scenario that most small business owners ignore, neglect or deflect: online marketing. Massage Perfect used online marketing tactics all small business should be doing: They researched and identified their target audience then geared their website and content around the audience. They optimized their website to rank in the map listings. They utilized lead capture forms by way of free downloadable reports and first visit coupons. They used templated automated email campaigns to nurture their lead until they eventually walked through the door. They provided a social channel raving fans could post about their magnificent massages and receive content geared towards them.

    What was not touched in this blog was paid, also know as pay-per-click. Pay per click will be covered often in up coming blog posts so stay tuned.

    How is your online strategy working for you? Let me know in the comment section below.

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