Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tip #144: Optimize Emails for Mobile

Do you have an email marketing strategy? This week’s tip is to be sure that going mobile is part of your strategy.

Data compiled by Constant Contact in conjunction with Chadwick Martin Bailey, found that 49 percent of consumers say they are likely to click on links in emails opened on their smartphone.  Therefore, you can’t afford not to optimize the emails you are sending to be viewed on mobile devices. How do you do that? Here a few specifics from RCI Partner Constant Contact on the practical steps to getting your emails mobile-ready:

  1. Start with your email template. View your current emails on a mobile device and see how easy (or difficult) it is to read them. Make adjustments to the template to improve readability such as changing from multiple columns to one column.
  2. Cut down content. When your customers are reading emails on their phones, they’re not looking for a lengthy article. They are looking for just the minimum amount of information needed to make a decision. Also consider your own goals for the email and only include information that helps to meet those goals.
  3. Rethink links. Constant Contact has found that to encourage click-throughs buttons work much better than links on a mobile device. Additionally, avoid stacks of links as they’re difficult to click on with a finger – the risk of clicking on the wrong link is fairly high.
  4. Review font choices. Again, it is important to view your email as your customers will see it. Is your font selection easy to read? Are there too many fonts being used?
Now, get those emails optimized before the holidays get here!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tip #143: Use Water at Room Temperature for Chocolate Tastings

Tasting Tray from RCI's Chocolate Boot Camp

As you know, quality control requires that you taste test your products, including the chocolate ingredients you use. Therefore, today’s tip is a quick one that will help you get the most accurate flavor when doing a chocolate tasting.

The tip? Use room temperature water to cleanse your palate between tastings rather than cold water. Because cold hardens the fats in your mouth it affects tasting. However, room temperature water is one way to help ensure that you taste the full and accurate flavor of the chocolate.

P.S. Today’s tip was from RCI’s Chocolate Boot Camp education course. Registration for our 2015 session recently opened online. Visit retailconfectioners.org/bootcamp for more information.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tip #142: Open External Website Links to New Window

Website? Check. Now, how do you keep website visitors on your site long enough to be enticed to make an order? This week’s tip will help you do just that!

If you have any links on your website that go to a page that is not on your own website (i.e. external links), be sure that you have them set to open in a new window. This means that when a visitor clicks on that external link, they won’t leave your website completely but their browser will open a new window for the link. Then, if they want to return to your page, they can easily do so.

Common external links include social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. If you have these, you want your customers to click on them so they can keep in touch with your company. Using today’s tip, you’ll ensure that just because they click to Like you on Facebook, they won’t completely leave your page where they can make an order for your sweet treats!

P.S. Next week RCI is exhibiting at AACT’s National Technical Seminar. If you’ll be there, be sure to stop by and say hi!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Tip #141: Host a Favorite Teacher Contest

World Teacher’s Day is coming up on Sunday, October 5 and this week’s tip is to help your customers celebrate teachers by holding a Favorite Teacher contest. It’s a fun avenue to recognize the great teachers in your area and also create some awareness for your company

First, create a beautiful gift basket that will go to the winning teacher and have it on display in your store. For the contest, invite your customers, Facebook fans, Twitter followers, etc. to nominate their favorite teacher and include the reason they have nominated him or her. To increase excitement for the contest, you could also give a box of your chocolates or “mini” gift basket to the nominator of the winning teacher.

Of course, you can get creative with promotion of the contest to spread the word (press releases, radio spots, school newsletters, etc.). Everyone will also want to know who wins so be sure to get a photo of the winner with his or her nominator and post it on social media and in your store!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Tip #140: Make Smash Pumpkins

Looking for a new idea for your fall product list? How about a Smash Pumpkin?

Smash Pumpkins are simple hollow pumpkin or jack o’lantern moulds that are filled with additional goodies of your choice. Customers get to ‘smash’ the pumpkin open after purchase to see what’s inside.

Package your pumpkins in cellophane with beautiful bows and they become a gift of candies within a gift of chocolate! Be sure to explain on your packaging what this new product is and what’s inside so that customers understand what they’re purchasing. Have fun with it!

P.S. Next week RCI is exhibiting at the Philadelphia Candy Gift & Gourmet Show in Atlantic City. Be sure to stop by booth #512 and say hello if you’ll be there, too!