Here comes the Hound!

You’re all doing a great job confirming the receipt of your incoming orders, and this has increased our operating efficiency enormously. But we still have a ways to go with delivery confirmations. Only half of our partners have adopted this procedure. Half! So, after a year of politely coaching, we’re  going to take coaching up a notch. Tonight we launch the hounding campaign heard round the world. And it will continue until every partner is regularly confirming the delivery of their orders. Prepare to confirm or prepare to be hounded. Whoof! Whoof!

When you send us a DELIVERED confirmation three things happen. And they are three good things.

1. The customer gets a copy of the confirmation. That relaxes them and makes us look like we’re on top of things. And it means they won’t be calling us to see if their order has been delivered. In addition, your message includes an invitation for them to rave about your service.

2. Balloon Planet gets a copy of the confirmation. That relaxes us and makes us think you’re on top of things. And it means we won’t be calling you to see if that order was delivered. It saves all of us time.

3. A portion of your account screen goes from gray to green. And the same thing happens to our screen. It’s a nice color these days. And I’ll take green over gray any day.

Have a good night. And beware of the dog.

Cheeeeeeers!

Jim

Filling the Gaps

Not long ago the web site page size was widened at BalloonPlanet.com. The wider size allows us to position more images per page, providing a more efficient shopping experience. However, a side effect was the creation of gaps flanking the branded web site banners. An example is shown below. Filling these gaps is a project we are steadily working on, and at the current rate we should be finished by May. Thank you for your patience.

gaps

Zippity Do Da!

A new tool has been added to the web site which registers and records zip code searches on BalloonPlanet.com. As a Balloon Planet partner, the next time you visit your online account zip code directory you will see zip codes being searched for service in your region that we show as not being served.  You have the option of adding these to your service area or ignoring them. Below is a snapshot of our Houston partner’s zip code page showing a list of six zip codes recently searched that are not served. Some of these zip codes may be too distant to serve, but others may have just been overlooked. This feature also collects data for partners outside the USA, in countries using postal codes and pin codes.

zips

Ten Steps To Boost Your BP Business

As the economy continues to sail through rough seas, many of our partners have asked what they can do to maintain and even increase their Balloon Planet business. We are constantly modifying our marketing efforts, optimizing the web site, and tweaking our pay-per-click accounts, all in an effort to bring more visitors to the site and more business to you. By taking the following steps you can help us drive even more traffic your way.

1. MAXIMIZE USE OF THE BALLOON PLANET GREETING CARDS & SAND WEIGHTS — Use these branded marketing tools for all your orders, not just those coming from Balloon Planet. This increased distribution will lead to increased orders for all partners in the Balloon Planet network.

2. EXPAND YOUR SERVICE DATES — The more days you make available for service, the more orders we can send you.

New programming now allows us to see the cost of blocked dates. Based on recently collected data we can estimate that in 2007 there were 3,796 customers who were prevented from placing orders online because of blocked calendar dates. With the average order costing $92, that equates to $349,232 in lost revenue. Ouch!

3. OFFER SATURDAY SERVICE – Demand is high for Saturday deliveries, particularly for bulk deliveries and decorating.

4. KEEP THE CALENDAR OPEN OVER NIGHT — If you routinely block service at the end of each day for the following day, consider ending that routine. Many orders arrive overnight for the following day.

5. OFFER SAME DAY SERVICE — We receive a rush of calls every morning requesting same day service. Before we take these orders we call the servicing partner for approval. You can increase orders by being available for same day orders.

6. ENROLL IN THE AFFILIATE PROGRAM — Partners are losing out on well deserved income by not enrolling in the Affiliate Program. The program is designed to give you credit for the referrals you provide, either by phone or from your web site. Enroll now — it’s free and easy.

7. LINK TO BALLOONPLANET.COM — Links from partner websites to Balloon Planet are a significant source of orders by customers who would like to place their orders online. By enrolling in the Affiliate Program you can increase orders, receive referral commissions, and promote Balloon Planet’s ranking for your city on search engines.

8. GET THE MOST FROM YOUR EXISTING LINK TO BALLOON PLANET — Some of our partners have enrolled in the Affiliate program and neglected to update their link to Balloon Planet with the proper text which is required to track referrals. When referrals go unrecorded, commission opportunities are missed. The correct code for your commission recording link can be found when you log into the Affiliate Program.

9. USE YOUR PHONE MESSAGE — Phone message referrals generate additional sales after hours and at times when you are unable to answer your phone.

If you have a web site and have enrolled in the Affiliate Program, your phone message should refer customers to your web site for nationwide service. This will ensure that customers will navigate from your web site to the Balloon Planet web site, which will trigger a commission on the sale.

If you do not have a web site, your phone message should refer callers to BalloonPlanet.com, and the 866-340-1268 phone number should be included.

10. OPTIMIZE YOUR WEB SITE FOR SEARCH ENGINES — When you search for an item online, there are two types of results — NATURAL and SPONSORED.

NATURAL results are those that appear for free — the web sites listed did not pay to be listed. Their positions on the page are based on their relevance to the search term which was used. You can improve your web site’s position in natural searches by initiating a process known as SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION. To learn more, Google the term. It’s never too late to upgrade your site and improve it’s search engine performance.

For more ideas on how to promote your site online, check out this website.