How small things can make a real difference to engagement levels
From compost bins in the office kitchen to switching to renewable energy, small changes at work can make a big difference to the environment.
But what about how we attract customers?
Research shows that small things can boost engagement, enabling you to turn strangers into customers in a resource-efficient way.
To help you avoid the most common mistakes environmental businesses make, here are five questions to ask:
How clear is your business purpose?
“Reducing your carbon footprint on waste disposal” and “making a positive impact on UK recycling” are examples of great vision statements. A visitor to these websites can quickly see what the business is about and decide whether to explore further.
“Start with why” is the famous instruction from leadership expert Simon Sinek.
But it’s surprising how many low carbon and environmental businesses fail to shout about the difference they are making.
Climate change is the most critical problem the world faces, so all businesses in the sector have a compelling why.
Don’t take it for granted. Make sure website visitors can see your purpose quickly and clearly.
Do you have a prominent call to action?
We’ve looked at 100s of environmental websites, and it’s surprising how many lack a prominent call to action.
If someone is spending time on your site, make it easy for them to build a relationship with you.
For example, Elvis & Kresse turn old fire hoses into designer handbags. Their email sign up box is prominent on their website and invites people to “join our rescue mission”.
This request is far more engaging than the over-used “sign up to our newsletter”, which doesn’t answer the basic questions: “why should I do this?” and “what value will I get?”
Are your email subject lines connecting with your audience’s emotions?
“Update”, “welcome”, “weekly newsletter” – these are some of the most common words in email subject lines from environmental businesses.
But they are uninspiring and dull.
Your business is on the frontline of tackling the climate emergency.
Inspire your audience and connect with their values.
An easy test is to ask: “how will this help my reader?”
A subject line that relates to a customer’s needs or concerns is more likely to be read than a bland “update” message.
Have you got a system for keeping in touch with people?
We enjoyed a big sustainablity conference recently, and it was inspiring to hear from businesses in the frontline of a low-carbon future.
But of the exhibitors who scanned our name badges to collect email address, most only sent one follow up email if at all.
Modern marketing systems enable you to set up automated email series that are personalised and effective.
This is far more effective than one email.
Think of it like dating. You’re unlikely to ask someone to be your life partner on the first date; you slowly get to know them first.
Regular messages enable you to build a relationship where you provide useful information in bite-sized chunks.
When someone is ready to buy, they’re much more likely to think of your business.
Is your copy short and concise?
We reviewed a white paper about smart bins for commercial kitchens recently, which significantly reduce the catering industry’s carbon footprint.
But the content was dull. Long paragraphs of corporate-speak that we doubt many head chefs will read.
This is a missed opportunity. Starting with the chef’s desire to cut food waste would make the white paper far more accessible. As would shorter sentences and a design optimised for mobile.