7 Deadly Marketing Sins Every New Directory Website Owner Commits (And How Not To)

wrong-way-e1318014293366Today, consumers have more options than ever. They can go online and search through thousands of natural toothpastes before choosing yours. They read reviews, search the web, and ask their friends.

It is not enough to simply market your small business at random and dream that customers will appear. Getting the word out is a ton of work! But could you be doing things that help more than hurt? Are you committing unspeakable marketing sins without knowing it?

Eek!

Fear not. We’re here with 7 deadly marketing sins to avoid.

Sin #1: Publicly Arguing With Your Customers

Love them or hate them– online review sites are here to stay. From eBay user ratings to Yelp reviews, what your customers say about you has a powerful impact. You can’t hide, so respond to reviews (but use caution!)

Negative reviews are annoying, but angry rebuttals are unprofessional and always do more harm than good.

Last spring, Amy’s Baking Company in Scottsdale, Arizona, was featured on an episode of Kitchen Nightmares. After the host cut them off, they used their Facebook page to respond to negative comments and reviews on Yelp and Reddit. It got ugly.

Even BuzzFeed called it “the most epic brand meltdown on Facebook ever“:

buzzfeed

Respond to reviews, but do so with caution.

Some rules for responding to angry customers:

  • Choose your words carefully. Make sure you don’t sound passive aggressive. It’s also helpful to have someone else check your answer before you post it, if you can.
  • Say sorry even if you’re not sorry. You may think you did nothing wrong, but at least acknowledging that the customer is upset with a simple “I’m sorry that this happened” can go a long way. Just make sure it sounds sincere.
  • See if there’s something you can do to make it right. Whether it’s a replacement for a defective product, a phone call to discuss the issue, or a handwritten note with a small gift of good will (a $10 gift card to a popular retailer is always a good choice), a small show of effort can make a huge difference in the outcome of the situation.

Try responding privately to negative reviews, asking the user to contact you for clarification. This can sometimes solve the issue and win back a customer. Respond publicly only when the information in the review is inaccurate, such as confusing you with another business, and do it gently and humbly.

The best way to deal with negative reviews, accurate or not, is to dilute them with good reviews.

Sin #2: Overloading Their Inbox

There are many products that can help you keep in touch with your customers: iContact, MailChimp, and Constant Contact are great tools. Social media can also be perfect for building relationships.

However, don’t overdo it. A monthly email is safe, but have something current and interesting to share: a contest, an event, or an offer. On social media, look at others who are successful on your platform of choice, and pay attention to what and how often they post. Different sites have different standards of etiquette.

How NOT to overload an inbox:

  • Only send emails with necessary, need-to-know, and useful information
  • Allow customers to choose their email preferences– allow them to opt in to daily, weekly, or monthly messages
  • Don’t “trick” people into subscribing. Don’t promise them something they won’t get or shadily add them to a list after they participate in something else on your site.

Sin #3: Constantly Complicating Contact

Are you hard to contact? Do you have a long, convoluted URL? Do you still lack a mobile website? Keep it simple!

Here’s how to keep it simple:

  • Brainstorm a better URL, one that’s short, easy to spell, descriptive, and unique.
  • Get an email address with that URL– info@yourbusiness.com is a good idea.
  • Make sure that your site has a simple “contact us” form.
  • Get a mobile site or make sure yours functions well when viewed on a mobile device.

Keeping things quick and simple will keep interested customers from getting confused or abandoning the effort of contacting you.

Sin #4: Not Asking For Referrals

Don’t you love to share a great new find with your friends and family? An awesome restaurant, a life-changing product, a service that simplifies your life? Your happy customers will refer others to you, but you need to make it easy.

Ways to facilitate referrals:

  • Create a club for frequent referrers with benefits – sales, discounts, previews, etc.
  • Ask for reviews online.
  • Offer check-in deals on mobile apps if you have a physical location.

Pinup Girl Clothing helps customers spread the word about their unique creations in an inexpensive way – all of their outfits ship with business cards that say “I got it at Pinup Girl Clothing” for their wearers to hand out to admirers. Can you think of something similar for your business?

Sin #5: Not Tracking Your Results

Track all of your marketing results carefully. If you send marketing emails and use social media, evaluate the results. What was clicked, opened, and liked? Check in on your web metrics frequently– you may be getting traffic from sites or terms you were unaware of. If you don’t have call trackers or complex software, there are still ways to get this done.

How to track marketing initiatives:

  • Distribute a redeemable special offer card or code.
  • Create a campaign with a vanity URL that points to a particular landing page on your site.
  • Ask new customers how they heard about you, and evaluate on a monthly and yearly basis.
  • Look at your performance on a seasonal basis. Do you have predictable slow and busy periods?

You can also take advantage of some free metrics services that are built into many social network channels. The Admin Panel on your Facebook page, for example, has a See Insights button that will show you how many people are seeing your posts and how your fans are engaging with your content. Mine these numbers to determine what types of contents, at what times of day, produce the best results for your brand.

All of this data combined will give you a fact-based formula to guide your future marketing efforts.

Sin #6: Being Disorganized

Keeping your contacts and projects in order will allow you to accomplish more, and in less time. If you are starting a brand new business, do so with good “data hygiene.” That doesn’t mean having a clean desk (frankly, we don’t care if you have coffee cups everywhere), but you do need to have systems and processes in place to make sure you’re efficient.

How to get organized, ya filthy animal:

  • Make sure that you select products with the features that you need. Check out tools like Basecamp and Trello.
  • Check that products will be compatible with each other and with what you already have.
  • Google Calendar can be for more than events– tasks, reminders, and sharing calendars are all useful.

Sin #7: Never Checking on the Competition

Is your competition offering more than you, or are you the top in your game? Highlight what makes you better and different– and it does not always have to be about price! Not checking in on what your competition has to offer can leave you in last place. It’s okay to secret shop, just don’t call out the competition.

Some tips to check in on the competition:

  • Check in on their website using Open Site Explorer (you can check up to 5 sites per day for free). Where are they getting links from?
  • Take a look around their website or visit their establishment. What are the strengths and weaknesses? Analyze and use for your advantage.

Avoid These Sins Like the Plague

If you are guilty of any of these seven deadly marketing sins, there is still hope. Stay organized, and do the penance of tracking the results of your marketing efforts. Do more of what works, and dump what doesn’t!

Don’t be afraid to ask your happy customers for help– most will be excited to share the pleasure they get from what you can deliver.

Categories: Marketing Tips

Have a Pre-Sales Question?

We're always happy to chat about your goals and explain what comes with your Brilliant Directories website. Contact us or call to speak with a website specialist now: 1 (800) 771-9332

Send a Message

TRY A FREE DEMO — TODAY
Fill in the Form to Claim Your Free Website

  • Learn how to setup membership plans, connect your payment gateway and generate revenue
  • Tour the features that will help you manage your community and maximize productivity
  • Experience how members will view, edit and self-manage their personal accounts
  • Customize your demo site to match your brand
Safe & Secure. Try it free for as long as you like.
×

Try Coupons Theme — Free Demo

Fill In The Form Below – Get Instant Full Access

×

Try Geo Theme — Free Demo

Fill In The Form Below – Get Instant Full Access

×

Articles Website Theme — Free Demo

Fill In The Form Below – Get Instant Full Access

×

TRY A FREE DEMO – TODAY

Fill in the form for FREE instant access to start your website

Safe & Secure. Try it free for as long as you need.
×

Has Everything Out of the Box

By Christopher K.

Brilliant Directories is by far the best membership site on the web. They offer a fully integrated solution that enables you to start a membership directory business in as little as 2 days. 3 years ago I paid over $10,000 for a customized membership directory site that didn’t have the features that Brilliant Directory provides out of the box. The site is very simple to configure and easy to use.

Brilliant Directories has solved a major problem for me in my business and am now making over $10,000 a month.

via Capterra.com

×

Try Job Board Theme — Free Demo

Fill In The Form Below – Get Instant Full Access

×

Try Yellow Pages Theme — Free Demo

Fill In The Form Below – Get Instant Full Access

×

Try Events Theme — Free Demo

Fill In The Form Below – Get Instant Full Access

×

Try Product Catalog Theme — Free Demo

Fill In The Form Below – Get Instant Full Access

×

Members Website Theme — Free Demo

Fill In The Form Below – Get Instant Full Access

×

Try Real Estate Theme — Free Demo

Fill In The Form Below – Get Instant Full Access

×

It Truly is Brilliant

By Michael M.

I’ve spent the better part of a year working with various directory systems, mostly built on WordPress. These systems were buggy, slow, expensive, and prone to plugin breakage. It was a frustrating experience getting them to work.

I was skeptical of Brilliant Directories until I tried it out. Wow! With their system, I had a working directory in minutes that was fast and simply worked.

One of the great things about their system is that it’s incredibly customizable. They’ve built their system on a widget platform that allows you to not only customize any part of the site, but you can use your own PHP and javascript code to create your own functionality.

There have been a few times when I’ve needed some help with their system, and I’ve found that their support team is very quick and efficient with ticket requests. They have a nice knowledge base and community forum that answers a lot of your questions.

Brilliant Directories has enabled me to stop wasting time on difficult WordPress systems and actually get to work building my directory. I wish I had discovered this service earlier.

via Capterra.com

×

Awesome Staff & Company

By Mark S.

This is a fabulous product provided by fabulous folks. I’m loving it. The support is awesome. I feel I have found a family and friends. I have been looking for this script for ten years. I have tried every script out there, gone back to old options, tried again and ended up back at square one.

Then I found Brilliant Directories and what a find. Finally, a ten year search and some-one had the nous to do the job properly and completely. The last word on directories.

via Capterra.com

×

Amazingly Great Software!

By Paul N.

I’m pleasantly surprised! It’s always been a dream to be able to create web directory website. I’m really happy with the service. I’ve never had customer service call me to make sure everything is going well. Dennis was very kind, understanding, and explained everything clearly. This really made me feel happy & comfortable. I love the videos. They are so easy to follow and everyone seems knowledgeable, yet so friendly. My site has been up for months and I’m looking forward to a long term partnership. With service like this I feel like I would go to battle for Brilliant Directories.

via Capterra.com

×

Great Sales Experience & More

By Jeffrey G.

I have been extremely impressed with the staff at Brilliant Directories. I waited to review the sales experience until I got my site all set and operating because I wanted to make sure they were true to their word. They were! The site got up quick, the staff was extremely responsive without being pushy, and they simply have a great product that is packaged nicely.

Thanks for the great service!

via Capterra.com

×

Fantastic Customer Service

By Zach V.

I have been in the Military for 6 years now getting my company up and running. Meeting Jason and his team was the biggest blessing yet. We were able to get our company up and running with out worrying about website development, Letting us focus on what we do best “marketing” Would I recommend Brilliant Directories to anyone else? I would STRONGLY recommend Brilliant Directories to anyone that is wanting to have a business for life. Thank You again for helping out so much.

via Capterra.com

×

Look No Further!

By Joseph C.

I started using Brilliant Directories 6 months ago after trying to build directories on my own. I found their product to have all the elements that I needed to have in order to launch a directory. They gave me individual support and training to learn how to personalize and customize the directory for my market. I look forward to a long and productive relationship with Brilliant Directories. If you are looking for a directory for your niche then look no further. Brilliant Directories has it all.

via Capterra.com

×

Brilliant Directories Is A Definite A+

By Andy J.

Brilliant Directories is amazing. From the first moment I reached out to them through their website, the experience has been terrific. The system is the cleanest directory system available in the market today, bar none. The people at Brilliant Directories are top-notch, and are always ready to assist in every way possible. I have worked with a lot of companies, both as a business owner and international business consultant, and I can truly say that Brilliant Directories understands what a “great user experience” really means.

If you are considering going into the directory business, I would highly recommend talking to the experts at BD. Jason, Matthew, and their team truly care about their customers.

Simply put, you would be hard-pressed to find a better directory team, or directory technology, in the world today.

via Capterra.com

×

Brilliant Product + Support

By Richard N.

First, I have admired this directory a little over a year ago. I consider myself mid-level experience in web design. I am very proficient with Wordpress and Drupal but Brilliant Directories is far less complicated. The day I found this directory sometime around June 2014, it was the most beautiful directory I ever saw at that time even without trying out the admin demo. If I didn’t buy this directory a year ago it was because of price was a little on the steep side. Now that I own this directory I now know why it was somewhat pricy.

The numerous video tutorials associated with this product is worth more than the cost of this directory considering that several scripts out there charge exorbitant sums with very little guidelines or customer support. No Directory theme or directory on the market today comes even close to this product.

via Capterra.com

×

Super User-Friendly!

By Erica A.

I highly recommend Brilliant Directories for anyone who is interested in starting a directory website. Both their software and customer support are first class!

I’ve been interested in holistic health for a number of years. I’ve found it hard to track down reputable holistic health care providers, so last year I decided to create a web site where holistic practitioners can list their services (and eventually get rated). This would be helpful not only to me, but tons of folks worldwide who prefer a holistic approach to healthcare.

I first started trying to code the site on my own using an ‘easy’ plugin, but realized it was never was going to be what I envisioned. I then tried to hire a developer to create the website for me. I got several quotes from curiously cheap to very expensive. In general, I found them difficult to communicate with and didn’t feel that they understood what I was looking for.

Luckily, I came across Brilliant Directories in a Google search. Not only did they understand what I was trying to accomplish, but they were able to execute my vision quickly. I found their customer support to be both extremely knowledgeable and patient with my questions. They even shared strategies to help get my first hundred members listed. 5-stars!

via Capterra.com

×

A Message From The Founder

Jason Haloossim, CEO & Co-Founder

The first Brilliant Directories website was our own. In 2009, we took an idea we believed in and built software for it from the ground up. The idea was to build a directory website of interior designers and build an empire around it. But there was a problem: the software we found seemed to work against our ambitions at every turn. Back then, the options for directory software were unreliable plugins or expensive custom development. It was incredibly expensive, unnecessarily complex, and frighteningly unstable to combine random plugins.

Existing directory software did not have the features we needed and were not solutions we could rely on. Furthermore, as young entrepreneurs with basically no budget, we didn’t have a lot of money to invest in expensive development, so we rejected those options and created our own. Our custom software met our needs so well that we decided to take everything we learned and shifted our business away from the interior designer directory and towards fixing the glaring hole in the directory software market. We knew that we weren’t the only ones looking for a better directory software, and there needed to be an option to support the needs of start-ups and established organizations. We set out to create the software that we wished would have existed, and we launched it in 2010 under the name Brilliant Directories.

Brilliant Directories is exactly this: the only platform you need to build your directory website. Brilliant Directories is reliable, complete, and most important, saves you time and money compared to traditional web development. It’s a mission that we take very seriously. We stand behind our product with top-rated customer service and a dedication for continually improving our software daily. With thousands of users worldwide and growing every day, we hope to help your dream come online very soon.

To your success,
Jason Haloossim

×

Boosted Setup Plan

Who is this plan for?

The Boosted Setup Plan is our most popular setup service. Designed for anyone who wants to launch an interactive, market-ready website as fast as possible.

What’s Included?

  • Introductory Phone Consultation to review your goals (30 minute meeting)
  • QuickLaunch Implementation based on your goals:
  • Set up your membership packages (up to 3 levels)
  • Set up your membership pricing page (up to 3 levels)
  • Set up additional admin users to manage your website
  • Connect your live domain name
  • Connect your preferred payment gateway
  • Upload your member categories
  • Upload your company’s logo and favicon
  • Add your company’s social media links
  • Add a main image to your homepage (image provided by you)
  • Activate and organize your homepage streaming content
  • Assist with connecting Google Locations API and form security
  • Closing Phone Session to review your website and ask any questions (30 minute meeting)
  • Boosted Plan Exclusives

  • Set Up Main Menu Navigation and additional dropdown links
  • Set Up Banner Advertisements (up to 4 ad placements)
  • Implement Custom Landing Pages:
  • Member Benefits landing page – view example
  • Lead Conversion landing page – view example
  • How It Works landing page – view example

  • Purchase Package Now

    $950 one-time

×

ENTERPRISE WEBSITE SETUP PLAN

Who is this plan good for?

The ENTERPRISE Website Setup Package is perfect for existing businesses and associations looking to have a smooth and quick transition onto the Brilliant Directories platform.

What’s Included?

  • Dedicated Account Manager for Your First 30 Days
  • Direct Skype Chat Support for Your First 30 Days
  • Basic Implementation of Your New Website Based on Goals
  • Activating your features
  • Setting up your membership levels (up to 3 levels)
  • Setting up your pricing page (up to 3 levels)
  • Importing your category structure
  • Add a main image to your homepage (image must be provided by you)
  • Uploading your logo and favicon
  • Setting up the homepage streaming widgets (please let us know which features you would like to stream on your homepage and in what order)
  • Closing Session to Review Website & Ask Questions (30 minute phone meeting)
  • BONUS PHONE SESSIONS – Schedule any time after your Closing Session

  • Editing Your Website One-on-One Training (30 minute phone meeting)
  • Member Management One-on-One Training (30 minute phone meeting)
  • Banner Ad Management One-on-One Training (30 minute phone meeting)
  • $200 in Training & Setup Credits

Purchase Package Now

$2,450 flat-fee

×

IN-PERSON WEBSITE SETUP PLAN

Who is this plan good for?

With the IN-PERSON Website Setup Package, a specialist from Brilliant Directories will meet with you in-person at your location for 3 days to ensure a smooth and quick transition to our platform.

What’s Included?

  • Dedicated Account Manager for Your First 30 Days
  • Direct Skype Chat Support for Your First 30 Days
  • Basic Implementation of Your New Website Based on Goals
  • Activating your features
  • Setting up your membership levels (up to 3 levels)
  • Setting up your pricing page (up to 3 levels)
  • Importing your category structure
  • Add a main image to your homepage (image must be provided by you)
  • Uploading your logo and favicon
  • Setting up the homepage streaming widgets (please let us know which features you would like to stream on your homepage and in what order)
  • Closing Session to Review Website & Ask Questions (30 minute phone meeting)
  • BONUS PHONE SESSIONS – Schedule any time after your Closing Session

  • Editing Your Website One-on-One Training (30 minute phone meeting)
  • Member Management One-on-One Training (30 minute phone meeting)
  • Banner Ad Management One-on-One Training (30 minute phone meeting)
  • $500 in Training & Setup Credits

Purchase Package Now

$25,000 flat-fee

×

Try Classifieds Theme — Free Demo

Fill In The Form Below – Get Instant Full Access

×

Try Association Theme — Free Demo

Fill In The Form Below – Get Instant Full Access

×

Try Lead-Gen Theme — Free Demo

Fill In The Form Below – Get Instant Full Access

×

Fill in The Form to Send a Message

×

Register to Join Free
WEBINAR WEDNESDAYS

Register once below and you’ll have access to attend all scheduled webinars. If you can’t make one, that’s not a problem, we’ll send a replay video that you can watch at any time.

×

Alumni Website Theme — Free Demo

Fill In The Form Below – Get Instant Full Access

×

Church Website Theme — Free Demo

Fill In The Form Below – Get Instant Full Access

×

Request a Private Tour Below

×

Book Your Free Website Strategy Session

×