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Marketing Customer Portals and Engaging your Customers

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You have a dedicated page for your existing and potential clients for logging into their Customer Portal. This page could be classified as "Prime Real Estate" for promoting the ease, convenience and efficiency for your website user to do business with you. Check out these suggestions for making the most of this page.

1. Modify the content on the Portal login page to include an invitation for visitors to take a tour of a sample portal. Add a graphic that links to your sample portal. When you create this sample portal include generic documents that most businesses can relate to such as business cards, tradeshow products, brochures, HR documents, engineering plans, forms etc.

*Tip - Make a note on the initial welcome page that this is a "Sample Portal" not intended to be used for their actual ordering. Provide a "please click here" link to establish their own company's secure portal. This could be a link to your Sales Representative's email or a dedicated portal sign-up request form on your website.

2. Add a brief video walking the visitor through how they would use their portal. You can use the Portal Sell Sheet provided in your Springboard under Marketing Materials as a script which is written with benefit statements upon describing each feature.

*Tip - Keep this video short and sweet, focused on ease, convenience, personalized service.

3. Add the Portal or VersaDoc Sell Sheet(s) as downloadable documents to this and other pages on your website. This will allow your Sales Representatives easy access to the sell sheets when demonstrating, and offers your visitor an instruction sheet.

*Tip - The native files are included in your Marketing Section of the Springboard. Take the time to "brand" as your own and include instructions on who to contact for questions.

4. Promote your existing Portal or VersaDoc users with a brief testimonial on how they use it. Always ask for their permission and offer to place their website URL as an active link as a courtesy, which will also create additional SEO exposure for you.

*Tip - Host your videos on YouTube, currently a highly trafficked Search Engine, for additional promotion opportunities and exposure making sure to use descriptive keywords for your company, service(s) and product(s) offering.

5. Promote your Portal or VersaDoc feature on your most highly visited pages. i.e.: Products and Services, Send a File, Place an Order.

*Tip - Use your Analytics Report found in your Springboard, to determine your most highly visited pages and target those pages for your Portal campaign.

6. Create Statement Stuffers promoting Portals and mail with your monthly invoices/statements reaching your target audience (your clients). This requires no additional postage expense. Offer a Free Consultation with scheduled appointment.

*Tip - The word FREE is one of the most persuasive words in the English language. You may want to tag a Free lunch with the consultation if organizing the meeting with core decision makers at their company such as: Marketing, Human Resources, Purchasing, Sales and don't forget the Administrative Staff who is likely to be your actual contact. It doesn't have to be expensive. You can barter with local restaurants for discounted services.

7. Review your existing client list for patterns of clients who could be classified as a Vertical Market, an industry or profession with specialized needs. You have already established credibility, so continue to market to all clients in that Vertical Market.

*Tip - Create a Portal for each of these clients using their logo and place a few of their actual documents in this Portal before demonstrating.

8. Create visuals and campaigns featuring this new service. If you have a lobby or Client conference rooms, have your graphic designer create a poster promoting Portals.

*Tip - Content for this poster can be pulled from the marketing materials found in your Springboard.

9. Add incentives for your existing Portal or VersaDoc users. Add exclusive Promo Codes to apply discounts during checkout. Rank your top portal users and edit their Order Confirmation Messages to add other monthly incentives such as: $5 gift cards to your local movie theatre, coffee shop, or bookstore when orders exceed a $ amount.

*Tip - Remember you may have existing clients that would gladly donate or barter for these incentives.

10. Client Retention starts with you. Check in with them on a regular basis with a quick phone call or a personal handwritten thank you card. There is no substitute for personal attention.

*Tip - In addition, take time to personalize the portal's Welcome page with a timely message to your end user. Bonus points: Send an email asking each portal user to complete an online survey related to their Portal ordering experience. You can create your portal survey in your Springboard by creating a landing page dedicated to this survey that would only be visible to clients that you provide the url string. You may be missing out on valuable input that can be easily implemented with some quick clicks in your Springboard.