Why are your customers taking to live chat so easily?

What’s the alternative?

We live in an omnichannel world, and consumers are more diverse than ever. So you would expect channel preferences to vary widely. This is true to some extent, but each channel also has its strengths. Time-strapped consumers gravitate to the channel that will offer them the easiest and quickest resolution.

Plagued by nightmarish hold music and endless menu options before getting through to the right department. Sound familiar? It’s no wonder customers hesitate to pick up the phone nowadays. And while email is great at delivering beautiful comms, for quick answers to questions, it doesn’t quite hold up when it comes to fast-paced conversations that customers crave.  

Live chat, like texting, doesn’t pressure users to interact. They have the chance to process information in their own time. Plus, the near-instant response times make this channel unbeatable. Responses could be automated or generated by a bot; at the very least users are comforted by the three-dot-ghost of a fast-typing human, working quickly on a reply. 

Here are some more reasons why live chat is so essential.

Customers love live chat

In Econsultancy’s research, 79% of customers who prefer live chat said they do so because they get their questions answered quickly. 51% did so because they could multi-task. It’s a winning combination of low social pressure on the customer end with the expectation of quick answers and resolutions. Live chat provides access to answers within seconds – the closest thing to a brick-and-mortar experience, but from a desk or sofa. There’s no worry over adoption, as it’s as familiar to customers as texting is. Plus, people also understand it’s private – that any sensitive data they share in the chat is secure.

Customers expect live chat 

CRM platform SuperOffice found that 62% of mobile users expect sites to have a live chat feature. What’s more, FurstPerson found that as many as 77% of customers won’t buy online unless live chat is available. Live chat is no longer a pleasant surprise that customers stumble upon, either. They expect it. So much so, they’re reluctant to place an order if they have a concern that no one can address there and then.

Disruption in traditional B2B sales funnels

Today’s B2B customer approaches the sale fully informed by their own research. With so much information online, B2B buyers can explore the products and services that they need before diving deeper with inquiries. Not having live chat could automatically disqualify a business from the shortlist, simply because the customer cannot get the information they need easily or quickly enough.

Personal shopping experience

Having a personal shopper used to be a luxury. But now, offering instant messaging via live chat tailors the experience for all. After all, we used to think customers wanted choice – the more, the better. But anyone who has tried to order a coffee in the last decade will know that what we really want is for someone to narrow down our options. People want to cut through the white noise: all the stuff that’s irrelevant to them.  


To explore these themes in more depth, learn more about live chat and take a deep look at the customer-first landscape, download our ebook: All the benefits of chat for your business (and how to create experiences that convert!)

The post Why are your customers taking to live chat so easily? appeared first on dotdigital blog.

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How to create friction-free sales experiences with live chat (even at peak sales times!)

You may be wondering what you can do to improve on your conversion rates from all those ‘just browsing’ visits you had. You might even be hitting your head against a wall because you know how much it costs to get these no-spenders to the site in the first place.

Make it easier for customers to get in touch

The truth is, there’s a really common mistake a lot of businesses make that lets customers slip out the funnel at the last minute! But don’t worry, we’re here to tell you what it is, and more importantly, how to avoid it.

Expert marketer that you are, we’re sure you’ve successfully navigated your customer down from the awareness stage, through consideration, and delivered them to your ecommerce store to make a decision. You might think: ‘well, what more can I do?’ It turns out, something really simple.

Your awareness- and consideration-stage content might well be wonderful. But can you guarantee it has answered every single question your prospect has? That it reassures every worry or complaint? 

Customers are unique. So are their needs and use cases for your product or service. What will make a difference between you and your competitor at the decision stage? Or convince them to part with their hard-earned cash at all? Clearly displaying product information with absolute transparency helps. But you can’t list every single item that’s important to every single buyer. So what can you do?

You see, the biggest mistake businesses make at this stage is not making it easy enough for customers to reach out and ask an unanswered question.

Live chat opens doors

It’s that simple.

We’re not just talking about an info@ email address or a contact form that may as well go to nowhere. Today’s customers expect answers quickly, just like they would in a brick-and-mortar store. It’s expensive to take phone calls, and low on the customer’s contact preference list anyway. What you and every business needs is a way to manage inbound messages that are real-time and frictionless for your customers.

You’ve spent so much money on acquisition, especially during competitive times such as the Christmas shopping period, but improving ROI could be as simple as installing live chat onto your site with a few simple clicks.

Instead of losing customers at the last hurdle, Engagement Cloud’s Chat feature helps you:

  • remove barriers to sale
  • gives your agents opportunity to upsell
  • provides the kind of customer experience that keeps buyers coming back.

Don’t take our word for it! Forrester says that 44% of customers consider a conversation with a representative in real time the most important feature of an online shop’s website; 55% of customers will abandon the transaction if they can’t find an answer to a question; and live chat can result in a 40% increase in conversion rate and 10% increase in cart value. Winner!

Of course, Chat is just one way you can make your ecommerce store a pleasant place to be. Honorable mentions include tailored, relevant on-site product recommendations, friendly website navigation, and avoiding obnoxious ads or pop-ups at all costs! But with its track record of improving conversion rates and increasing average order value, Engagement Cloud’s live chat feature could be the difference between smashing those year-end targets out of the park or not quite reaching your true potential. We hope it’s the former 🙂

Get in touch to learn more about Engagement Cloud chat, and how it can work for you.

The post How to create friction-free sales experiences with live chat (even at peak sales times!) appeared first on dotdigital blog.

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dotmailer Summit LIVE: up-to-the minute news throughout the event

What’s the order of the day?

  • Ellen and Ross will be covering all the morning’s events, which includes an introduction from dotmailer’s founders, plus presentations from Rory Sutherland, Touker Suleyman, Forrester’s Shar VanBoskirk and many more
  • In the afternoon, Ross will be reporting on the ‘Digital excellence’ stream while Ellen provides highlights from ‘The ecommerce gameplan’
  • Finally, Ellen takes to the blog to share the stories from James Cracknell OBE’s motivational finale keynote

You can see the full line-up on the dedicated Summit microsite.

New Updates

The post dotmailer Summit LIVE: up-to-the minute news throughout the event appeared first on The Email Marketing Blog.

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dotmailer 16three is now live

EasyEditor styles

Ever decided one day that you wanted to change all the text in your campaign from Verdana to Arial? And then realized you had 27 text boxes, and you needed to select all the text in each one separately to do it?

Bummer, right?

Or maybe even, as the designer of a template, you’d had enough of other users ‘inventing’ their own styles?

Double bummer.

We heard a lot of stories like these, and we realized we needed a better way to help you update templates on the one hand – and to lock them down on the other.

And so, from today, EasyEditor features a way to define, manage and apply styles. What are styles? Essentially, they’re groups of text settings that you can apply all at once.

But if you’re a designer or template builder, you can also ‘lock’ your styles down – meaning only the styles you define can be selected by your other users. It’s the best way yet to keep your designs looking their best.


Are you part of a team?

Do you have several accounts with users spread amongst them? Keeping tabs on all those users has previously been… a challenge. So we’ve built a team management area, which gives you a holistic view of all your accounts and all your users in one place. You can now give any user access to any account (no matter whether they’re an account owner or a standard user).

It also enables templates to be shared between accounts. Have a primary brand template that you want your sub-brand accounts to have access to? Not a problem. Need to update that template with a new style? Do it in once place, and see your changes shared everywhere.

Right now, the team management area is in closed beta. If you’re interested in being amongst the first to use it, let us know.


Seed lists for your campaigns

If you work for a company of a certain size, you probably have a compliance team. Compliance teams are full of lovely people of course, but they can also be sticklers for doing things right (and, well, compliantly).

And so if your compliance team wants to record everything you send, then a seed list is for you. Include an email address (or more – you can include up to 25) and we’ll send every campaign to it without you doing a thing.

Of course, you may have other reasons for using a seed list. For sharing sends with your team perhaps, or keeping your boss up to date. Sending all your campaigns to your mum, however, isn’t recommended.


Lead scores from the API

If you’re scoring your contacts with our lead scoring tool, then those scores are now available through our API. This means you can sync them with the other tools you use, such as a CRM or eCommerce platform. Our developer hub has more details.


Magento 2.1 support

Our Magento connector now supports Magento 2.1, so you can upgrade safe in the knowledge you won’t knock your dotmailer integration sideways.

We’ve also introduced the ability to expire coupon codes, check the status of abandoned cart and review request emails, synchronize product attributes and enroll new customers into automation programs. If there’s something in there that you need, you can upgrade now.

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Local citations are dead; long live local citations!

Local citations are often thought to be the bread and butter of local SEO, but are we placing too much importance on them? Columnist Andrew Shotland discusses the results of a study which suggests we might be.

The post Local citations are dead; long live local citations! appeared first on Search…

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

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The 2015 #MozCon Video Bundle Has Arrived!

Posted by EricaMcGillivray

The bird has landed, and by bird, I mean the MozCon 2015 Video Bundle! That’s right, 27 sessions and over 15 hours of knowledge from our top notch speakers right at your fingertips. Watch presentations about SEO, personalization, content strategy, local SEO, Facebook graph search, and more to level up your online marketing expertise.

If these videos were already on your wish list, skip ahead:

If you attended MozCon, the videos are included with your ticket. You should have an email in your inbox (sent to the address you registered for MozCon with) containing your unique URL for a free “purchase.”

MozCon 2015 was fantastic! This year, we opened up the room for a few more attendees and to fit our growing staff, which meant 1,600 people showed up. Each year we work to bring our programming one step further with incredible speakers, diverse topics, and tons of tactics and tips for you.


What did attendees say?

We heard directly from 30% of MozCon attendees. Here’s what they had to say about the content:

Did you find the presentations to be advanced enough? 74% found them to be just perfect.

Wil Reynolds at MozCon 2015


What do I get in the bundle?

Our videos feature the presenter and their presentation side-by-side, so there’s no need to flip to another program to view a slide deck. You’ll have easy access to links and reference tools, and the videos even offer closed captioning for your enjoyment and ease of understanding.

For $299, the 2015 MozCon Video Bundle gives you instant access to:

  • 27 videos (over 15 hours) from MozCon 2015
  • Stream or download the videos to your computer, tablet, phone, phablet, or whatever you’ve got handy
  • Downloadable slide decks for all presentations


Bonus! A free full session from 2015!

Because some sessions are just too good to hide behind a paywall. Sample what the conference is all about with a full session from Cara Harshman about personalization on the web:


Surprised and excited to see these videos so early? Huge thanks is due to the Moz team for working hard to process, build, program, write, design, and do all the necessaries to make these happen. You’re the best!

Still not convinced you want the videos? Watch the preview for the Sherlock Christmas Special. Want to attend the live show? Buy your early bird ticket for MozCon 2016. We’ve sold out the conference for the last five years running, so grab your ticket now!

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

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Moz Local Officially Launches in the UK

Posted by David-Mihm

To all Moz Local fans in the UK, I’m excited to announce that your wait is over. As the sun rises “across the pond” this morning, Moz Local is officially live in the United Kingdom!

A bit of background

As many of you know, we released the US version of Moz Local in March 2014. After 12 months of terrific growth in the US, and a boatload of technical improvements and feature releases–especially for Enterprise customers–we released the Check Listing feature for a limited set of partner search engines and directories in the UK in April of this year.

Over 20,000 of you have checked your listings (or your clients’ listings) in the last 3-1/2 months. Those lookups have helped us refine and improve the background technology immensely (more on that below). We’ve been just as eager to release the fully-featured product as you’ve been to use it, and the technical pieces have finally fallen into place for us to do so.

How does it work?

The concept is the same as the US version of Moz Local: show you how accurately and completely your business is listed on the most important local search platforms and directories, and optimize and perfect as many of those business listings as we can on your behalf.

For customers specifically looking for you, accurate business listings are obviously important. For customers who might not know about you yet, they’re also among the most important factors for ranking in local searches on Google. Basically, the more times Google sees your name, address, phone, and website listed the same way on quality local websites, the more trust they have in your business, and the higher you’re likely to rank.

Moz Local is designed to help on both these fronts.

To use the product, you simply need to type a name and postcode at moz.com/local. We’ll then show you a list of the closest matching listings we found. We prioritize verified listing information that we find on Google or Facebook, and selecting one of those verified listings means we’ll be able to distribute it on your behalf.

Clicking on a result brings you to a full details report for that listing. We’ll show you how accurate and complete your listings are now, and where they could be after using our product.

Clicking the tabs beneath the Listing Score graphic will show you some of the incompletions and inconsistencies that publishing your listing with Moz Local will address.

For customers with hundreds or thousands of locations, bulk upload is also available using a modified version of your data from Google My Business–feel free to e-mail enterpriselocal@moz.com for more details.

Where do we distribute your data?

We’ve prioritized the most important commercial sites in the UK local search ecosystem, and made them the centerpieces of Moz Local. We’ll update your data directly on globally-important players Factual and Foursquare, and the UK-specific players CentralIndex, Thomson Local, and the Scoot network–which includes key directories like TouchLocal, The Independent, The Sun, The Mirror, The Daily Scotsman, and Wales Online.

We’ll be adding two more major destinations shortly, and for those of you who sign up before that time, your listings will be automatically distributed to the additional destinations when the integrations are complete.

How much does it cost?

The cost per listing is £84/year, which includes distribution to the sites mentioned above with unlimited updates throughout the year, monitoring of your progress over time, geographically- focused reporting, and the ability to find and close duplicate listings right from your Moz Local dashboard–all the great upgrades that my colleague Noam Chitayat blogged about here.

What’s next?

Well, as I mentioned just a couple paragraphs ago, we’ve got two additional destinations to which we’ll be sending your data in very short order. Once those integrations are complete, we’ll be just a few weeks away from releasing our biggest set of features since we launched. I look forward to sharing more about these features at BrightonSEO at the end of the summer!

For those of you around the world in Canada, Australia, and other countries, we know there’s plenty of demand for Moz Local overseas, and we’re working as quickly as we can to build additional relationships abroad. And to our friends in the UK, please let us know how we can continue to make the product even better!

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

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Big Data, Big Problems: 4 Major Link Indexes Compared

Posted by russangular

Given this blog’s readership, chances are good you will spend some time this week looking at backlinks in one of the growing number of link data tools. We know backlinks continue to be one of, if not the most important
parts of Google’s ranking algorithm. We tend to take these link data sets at face value, though, in part because they are all we have. But when your rankings are on the line, is there a better way to get at which data set is the best? How should we go
about assessing these different link indexes like
Moz,
Majestic, Ahrefs and SEMrush for quality? Historically, there have been 4 common approaches to this question of index quality…

  • Breadth: We might choose to look at the number of linking root domains any given service reports. We know
    that referring domains correlates strongly with search rankings, so it makes sense to judge a link index by how many unique domains it has
    discovered and indexed.
  • Depth: We also might choose to look at how deep the web has been crawled, looking more at the total number of URLs
    in the index, rather than the diversity of referring domains.
  • Link Overlap: A more sophisticated approach might count the number of links an index has in common with Google Webmaster
    Tools.
  • Freshness: Finally, we might choose to look at the freshness of the index. What percentage of links in the index are
    still live?

There are a number of really good studies (some newer than others) using these techniques that are worth checking out when you get a chance:

  • BuiltVisible analysis of Moz, Majestic, GWT, Ahrefs and Search Metrics
  • SEOBook comparison of Moz, Majestic, Ahrefs, and Ayima
  • MatthewWoodward
    study of Ahrefs, Majestic, Moz, Raven and SEO Spyglass
  • Marketing Signals analysis of Moz, Majestic, Ahrefs, and GWT
  • RankAbove comparison of Moz, Majestic, Ahrefs and Link Research Tools
  • StoneTemple study of Moz and Majestic

While these are all excellent at addressing the methodologies above, there is a particular limitation with all of them. They miss one of the
most important metrics we need to determine the value of a link index: proportional representation to Google’s link graph
. So here at Angular Marketing, we decided to take a closer look.

Proportional representation to Google Search Console data

So, why is it important to determine proportional representation? Many of the most important and valued metrics we use are built on proportional
models. PageRank, MozRank, CitationFlow and Ahrefs Rank are proportional in nature. The score of any one URL in the data set is relative to the
other URLs in the data set. If the data set is biased, the results are biased.

A Visualization

Link graphs are biased by their crawl prioritization. Because there is no full representation of the Internet, every link graph, even Google’s,
is a biased sample of the web. Imagine for a second that the picture below is of the web. Each dot represents a page on the Internet,
and the dots surrounded by green represent a fictitious index by Google of certain sections of the web.

Of course, Google isn’t the only organization that crawls the web. Other organizations like Moz,
Majestic, Ahrefs, and SEMrush
have their own crawl prioritizations which result in different link indexes.

In the example above, you can see different link providers trying to index the web like Google. Link data provider 1 (purple) does a good job
of building a model that is similar to Google. It isn’t very big, but it is proportional. Link data provider 2 (blue) has a much larger index,
and likely has more links in common with Google that link data provider 1, but it is highly disproportional. So, how would we go about measuring
this proportionality? And which data set is the most proportional to Google?

Methodology

The first step is to determine a measurement of relativity for analysis. Google doesn’t give us very much information about their link graph.
All we have is what is in Google Search Console. The best source we can use is referring domain counts. In particular, we want to look at
what we call
referring domain link pairs. A referring domain link pair would be something like ask.com->mlb.com: 9,444 which means
that ask.com links to mlb.com 9,444 times.

Steps

  1. Determine the root linking domain pairs and values to 100+ sites in Google Search Console
  2. Determine the same for Ahrefs, Moz, Majestic Fresh, Majestic Historic, SEMrush
  3. Compare the referring domain link pairs of each data set to Google, assuming a
    Poisson Distribution
  4. Run simulations of each data set’s performance against each other (ie: Moz vs Maj, Ahrefs vs SEMrush, Moz vs SEMrush, et al.)
  5. Analyze the results

Results

When placed head-to-head, there seem to be some clear winners at first glance. In head-to-head, Moz edges out Ahrefs, but across the board, Moz and Ahrefs fare quite evenly. Moz, Ahrefs and SEMrush seem to be far better than Majestic Fresh and Majestic Historic. Is that really the case? And why?

It turns out there is an inversely proportional relationship between index size and proportional relevancy. This might seem counterintuitive,
shouldn’t the bigger indexes be closer to Google? Not Exactly.

What does this mean?

Each organization has to create a crawl prioritization strategy. When you discover millions of links, you have to prioritize which ones you
might crawl next. Google has a crawl prioritization, so does Moz, Majestic, Ahrefs and SEMrush. There are lots of different things you might
choose to prioritize…

  • You might prioritize link discovery. If you want to build a very large index, you could prioritize crawling pages on sites that
    have historically provided new links.
  • You might prioritize content uniqueness. If you want to build a search engine, you might prioritize finding pages that are unlike
    any you have seen before. You could choose to crawl domains that historically provide unique data and little duplicate content.
  • You might prioritize content freshness. If you want to keep your search engine recent, you might prioritize crawling pages that
    change frequently.
  • You might prioritize content value, crawling the most important URLs first based on the number of inbound links to that page.

Chances are, an organization’s crawl priority will blend some of these features, but it’s difficult to design one exactly like Google. Imagine
for a moment that instead of crawling the web, you want to climb a tree. You have to come up with a tree climbing strategy.

  • You decide to climb the longest branch you see at each intersection.
  • One friend of yours decides to climb the first new branch he reaches, regardless of how long it is.
  • Your other friend decides to climb the first new branch she reaches only if she sees another branch coming off of it.

Despite having different climb strategies, everyone chooses the same first branch, and everyone chooses the same second branch. There are only
so many different options early on.

But as the climbers go further and further along, their choices eventually produce differing results. This is exactly the same for web crawlers
like Google, Moz, Majestic, Ahrefs and SEMrush. The bigger the crawl, the more the crawl prioritization will cause disparities. This is not a
deficiency; this is just the nature of the beast. However, we aren’t completely lost. Once we know how index size is related to disparity, we
can make some inferences about how similar a crawl priority may be to Google.

Unfortunately, we have to be careful in our conclusions. We only have a few data points with which to work, so it is very difficult to be
certain regarding this part of the analysis. In particular, it seems strange that Majestic would get better relative to its index size as it grows,
unless Google holds on to old data (which might be an important discovery in and of itself). It is most likely that at this point we can’t make
this level of conclusion.

So what do we do?

Let’s say you have a list of domains or URLs for which you would like to know their relative values. Your process might look something like
this…

  • Check Open Site Explorer to see if all URLs are in their index. If so, you are looking metrics most likely to be proportional to Google’s link graph.
  • If any of the links do not occur in the index, move to Ahrefs and use their Ahrefs ranking if all you need is a single PageRank-like metric.
  • If any of the links are missing from Ahrefs’s index, or you need something related to trust, move on to Majestic Fresh.
  • Finally, use Majestic Historic for (by leaps and bounds) the largest coverage available.

It is important to point out that the likelihood that all the URLs you want to check are in a single index increases as the accuracy of the metric
decreases. Considering the size of Majestic’s data, you can’t ignore them because you are less likely to get null value answers from their data than
the others. If anything rings true, it is that once again it makes sense to get data
from as many sources as possible. You won’t
get the most proportional data without Moz, the broadest data without Majestic, or everything in-between without Ahrefs.

What about SEMrush? They are making progress, but they don’t publish any relative statistics that would be useful in this particular
case. Maybe we can hope to see more from them soon given their already promising index!

Recommendations for the link graphing industry

All we hear about these days is big data; we almost never hear about good data. I know that the teams at Moz,
Majestic, Ahrefs, SEMrush and others are interested in mimicking Google, but I would love to see some organization stand up against the
allure of
more data in favor of better data—data more like Google’s. It could begin with testing various crawl strategies to see if they produce
a result more similar to that of data shared in Google Search Console. Having the most Google-like data is certainly a crown worth winning.

Credits

Thanks to Diana Carter at Angular for assistance with data acquisition and Andrew Cron with statistical analysis. Thanks also to the representatives from Moz, Majestic, Ahrefs, and SEMrush for answering questions about their indices.

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

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