Bottom Line Up Front: What’s the common denominator between increased selling power for your customers’ Online Stores AND increased exposure for you? It’s called activating your customers to promote. And it works every time.

Welcome to the world of empowerment. With our InkSoft Marketing Tip series, we’ll be hooking you up with the strategies, tactics, and trends that are causing explosive results — in our industry and out of it.

We’ll be simplifying concepts, pinpointing steps, and delivering the goods. And we’ll be doing it all with a lens of growing your audience — and their engagement.

Because we all know that where there’s engagement, there’s selling power. And this year, ladies and gentlemen, we’re here to make that selling power yours.

Stop #1 in our series? Activate, Activate, Activate. This is the marketing tip that’ll remind you to stay on your A-game, even when the ball has left your court. It’ll prove to you that your voice is powerful, and it’ll convince you that your education capacity could shift your entire bottom line.

That’s what’s on the docket. What do you say we get into it?

The Breakdown

Activate, activate, activate. What could that possibly mean? Good news — the answer’s pretty simple. In fact, it all comes down to the idea that you can’t just be activating your customers to buy.

You need to make sure you’re activating them to sell too.

But wait — isn’t your activating job done once the order’s placed? Isn’t it time to hunker down and focus on production after the sale is closed and the transaction’s complete?

No. And here’s why: you’re the expert here. You know how this thing works, and you know — probably better than anyone — what it takes to reach the level of success your customers want to see.

Whether it’s a college selling spirit wear, a radio station selling branded merchandise, or a nonprofit using custom apparel to fundraise, the end goal is to get the highest number of eyes possible on the Online Store. To heighten the traffic and heighten the sales potential — and then, through on-brand messaging, killer products, and a seamless e-commerce set-up, close the deal.

But your customer can’t close the deal without getting traffic to the page. They can’t rack up bites without first throwing some blood in the water. Which is why you’ve got to activate.

  • Teach them that the most successful Online Stores are the ones that have audiences who are aware of their presence
  • Remind them monthly, weekly, daily throughout the project that promoting the Online Store across a multitude of channels is key 
  • Help them by giving them copy-and-paste copy, links, and images, reducing the time (and thought) it takes for them to promote the Online Store consistently

Obviously, the outcome you’re after here is higher engagement from their respective audiences — and ultimately, higher sales from their end-consumers. That’s the immediate goal. But we’re going to move the target a little further back now and get you thinking big-picture.

Every time a customer promotes their Online Store, they’re promoting your Online Store. They’re showcasing your capabilities, advertising your brand identity, and letting their networks know that they trust you to do the job. In other words? They’re evangelizing your merit for you. 

And we all know how effectively Referral Marketing works.

The more you activate your customers to promote their Store, the more you’re activating them to promote you. So if you want that exposure, if you want that added boost to your reach, then you’ve got to make things easy for them.

You’ve got to teach, remind, and help — and you’ve got to personalize. Every one of your customers will have a different audience, and every one of those audiences will have different needs. So just as your offerings reflect that — so too must your promotion tactics.

When you provide your customers with turnkey messaging, make sure it’s aligned with their target audience. When you provide them with corresponding images, make sure they’re aligned with the brand’s style. When you provide suggestions for where your customers should be promoting — make sure you’re first asking about where they do most of their communicating.

A nonprofit that sends weekly newsletters by email might not have as much traction with a Tweet. A high school football team likely won’t find its audience with a LinkedIn post, and a local music festival might not reach its fullest potential by choosing Facebook over Instagram — or even TikTok. 

Educated promoting leads to bigger waves — that’s a fact. But that doesn’t mean that your customers should only pick, and stick to, one communication channel. If they have an email list, a community on Facebook, and an active Twitter and IG account, they should be promoting across all four channels; if they use other platforms to connect with their audience, they should be promoting through there too.

The point is to reach as many people as possible. It’s a number’s game, so the wider the net you encourage them to cast, the more fruitful the results that’ll follow. 

We’ll wrap today’s lesson up with a recap and an example:

In order to increase the success of your customers’ Online Stores — and your own marketing prowess — you must teach them, remind them, & help them to promote. And that help must be personalized.

For a showcase of this Marketing Tip at work, let’s look at MU College of Education’s Tweet.

Clearly promoting the Student Council’s Online Gear Store, the Tweet includes messaging that inspires urgency for its direct audience, an image that’s in-line with the college’s branding, and products (+ their prices) on display. When posts like this are made consistently, intentionally, and with a specific audience in mind, the results are obvious.

More people aware. More people engaged. More people buying merch. 

Folks, that’s it for today’s Marketing Tip. If you enjoyed the rundown, we’ll see you back here for Tip #2. And remember: the key to increasing your customers’ selling power — and your own reach — is threefold.

Activate, Activate, Activate.

We’ll leave the rest to you. Oh, and if you’re reading this and not already set up with the decorated apparel industry’s leading e-commerce platform — ahem, Online Stores — then we’re here to tell you your time is now. No more inefficiencies, no more headaches, and no more needless complexity. We streamline your selling so you can focus on what really matters: building your business. Get properly acquainted here.

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