Stats from StatDNS show there are a total of 126,980,556 domains that use the TLD “.com” extension, 14,887,979 domains with a “.net” extension and 10,418,897 with a “.org” extension. These are the so-called “traditional domain extensions. Among gTLDs – the new wave, the most popular ones are .xyz, .top, .loan, .win, and .club (source: nTLDstats). A few years back, a custom domain name, branded with your company name was enough to break away from the norm, in an age where Google warned against exact-match domain names. Current trends include the acquisition of a TLD extension that best describes the nature of your business (i.e. .club, .vip, accountant, .me), or in short, an “exact match” TLD.
However, this isn’t enough to gain trust, generate sales and scale your business to the next level. Here are three additional steps to scaling your online business beyond the norm.
1. Business Email Hosting Plans Can Help with Sales
Free email hosting services such as Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail and others offer less control and expose you to advertising schemes. It also looks unprofessional in this time and age to not own a dedicated email address. And remember, “free is never really free” as your contacts, conversations, and information can be exposed to “advertising partners”. To add more, it is harder to protect your account from phishing, spam, and other attacks.
A business email hosting plan can help your business win over clients, by increasing your brand’s trust and offering a dedicated private space where you can connect with customers and prospects. Brands and customers are likely to buy more from providers who invest in their web infrastructure, including email and communication channels (Skype credit, paid CRM tools etc).
According to LCN.com, a proper email hosting plan should contain packages that meet every need, from starter offers for bloggers and day-to-day email users, to business plans perfect for companies that require storage, multiple email addresses, and built-in control panels. Some of the common requirements from business users include IMAP to synchronize email communication across multiple devices, spam protection against viruses and malware, autoresponders, out-of-office messages, transparent layer security (TLS) protection.
2. Website Data Stores Valuable Customer Behavior Predictions
Every visit and click on your website counts beyond search engines and actual purchases or sales. Analytics by Google, Bing and other search engines can cover a lot of ground on what works and does not work behind the scenes, and provide substantial help in remarketing campaigns.
Are your customers happy? Do you measure their happiness in any way? According to Userlike, 91% of unhappy customers will unlikely use your products or services ever again. There are at least 6 proven ways to determine their satisfaction, including customer satisfaction surveys, customer satisfaction scores, net promoter scores, customer effort scores, social media monitoring, and the “things gone wrong” method.
3. Offering Customers Instant Updates on Products and Features
A reputable business will always cater to the needs of its customer database. And foremost, up to date and transparent communication of potential updates, changes and upgrades to the products and services can help build trust and online reputation.
There are multiple ways to do this, generally by announcing the end-result through email campaigns, instant messages, social media, company blog announcements and other channels. In the background, however, multiple processes should work for you and your customers. One of the best ways to combine such processes is to make use of any information databases can offer you. If you can segment your customer data to make your updates very targeted that can work even better. Often this requires some simple database query work (see this article from Acuity Training for more details) to find customers who meet more than one condition in your database.
The main idea is to make use of customer data and queries to improve products and services, release updates and relevant features that address the needs of your clients.
Break the norm and scale your online business the right way to build trust, a solid online reputation, and a responsive customer process. This implies upgrading to a business email plan that contributes to more solid sales, making use of customer data and offering customers transparent communication in terms of products and features.
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