GROWTH HACKS Tips & Tricks

Taktical Growth Hacks – #104

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Taktical growth hacks

Growth Hack #1 – Recommend What to Buy for 25% More Customers:  

When showing multiple offers, an emphasized product suggestion might be a good idea as people need a little nudge.

Some psychology studies out there suggest that the more choice there is, the lower the chances of a decision actually being made and acted upon.

In order to combat such analysis paralysis, try emphasizing and highlighting certain options above others.

When GoodUI tried this, they saw a 25% boost.



Growth Hack # 2 – Tactics to Turn Blog Readers into Paying Customers:

Here are some ways you can turn your blog readers into customers:

1. Use retargeting ads. These ads display only for people who have visited your website in the past.

How to do it: Place a remarketing pixel on your blog to capture your audience -> Add remarketing ads -> CTR (Click thru rate): 0.2%

2. Place Hellobar on your blog -> Average Newsletter subscribers: 3.53%

3. Place a popup on your blog -> Average Newsletter subscribers: 0.5% – 2%

4. Opt-in form at the end of each blog post -> Newsletter subscribers: 0.75% – 2%

5. Offer free webinars using Google Hangouts for your subscribers -> Free trial signups: 41% convert to –> Paying customers: 12.1% of the time



Taktical growth hacks

Growth Hack #3 – “Shrink” Your Price, Grow Your Sales:

Copyblogger set up a free trial program that customers can sign up for and tested it between two phrases:

1. “a $5 fee”

2. “a small $5 fee”

The second phrase was able to increase sign-up rates by over 20%.

We found that the emphasis on the “small” fee made it much easier for even the pickier customers to deal with .



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Small talk

Outperforming the Competition: Using SWOT Analysis in SEO

Google has come a long way since the advent of its PageRank algorithm.

The fundamentals of PageRank still exist.

However, the good ol’ days of assigning numerical weights to sites based off the number of nodes (or links) pointing to it is a thing of the past.

It’s since grown into a much more complicated mathematical formula.

As a result, SEO marketing experts need to look beyond the myopic strategy of only building links.

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By now, most SEO experts know that Google loves to readjust the 200 ranking factors that determine its own search results.

So much so that, according to Moz, Google emphatically reconfigures those factors up to 600 times per year.

With increasingly competitive SERPs comprised of constant PageRank tweaks, multifaceted featured snippets, and mobile first indexing, one question probably comes to mind:

“How can I ensure my site remains competitive?”

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That’s where we can help.

In this article, we’ll be providing insight into creating an SEO marketing strategy that truly works.

We’ll discuss the importance of SWOT analysis for SEO.

This entails defining SWOT analysis, discussing its purpose, exploring SWOT opportunities, and explaining how SEO and SWOT marketing are interconnected.

swot analysis - SEO marketing

What is SWOT Analysis?

One of the best sources for formulating SEO marketing strategies comes from basic marketing principles rooted in academic research.

You’re likely auditing your current SEO strategy in preparation for Q1 2019.

If that’s the case, you should start with a SWOT analysis.

SWOT is a dynamic framework used for strategic planning that examines internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as external opportunities and threats – thus the name, SWOT!

Essentially, a business SWOT analysis determines what your organization can and cannot do based on factors both internal and external.

This can assist with strategic planning, goal-setting, and visualizing new opportunities.

Similarly, you can do a SWOT competitor analysis to investigate potential weaknesses of others in your industry.

swot analysis - framework

What Does a Business SWOT Analysis for SEO Take Into Account?

Visually, a SWOT framework consists of a simple matrix.

The top row examines strengths and weaknesses, which are internal factors.

The bottom row examines opportunities and threats, which are external factors.

A good example of an external factor that would impact your business’ SEO would be a Google algorithm update.

Keep in mind that determining your external factors often requires a bit more time and secondary research.

While business SWOT analysis tends to be more applicable for overall strategic planning.

We’ll be specifically using it here as an audit to help maximize your ROI on SEO.

Back to Basics: Applying SWOT to Your SEO Marketing

To effectively use SWOT analysis as an SEO marketing tool, you should begin by getting a holistic overview of your company’s product positioning and current strategic objectives.

Creating a brief case study on your company can go a long way, since it shows how each of your channels plays a part in your broader marketing mix.

Keep your current marketing objectives in mind.

And then, dive into the internal factors from an SEO perspective.

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How to Evaluate Your SEO Marketing Strengths and Weaknesses

Addressing the strengths and weaknesses of your SEO marketing strategy should involve evaluating your brand’s:

  • Technical site health
  • Content strategy
  • Keyword rankings
  • Link building initiatives

But don’t be afraid to step outside the box and include things like your sites user experience, check-out process, video content, and any featured snippets that appear in search results.

Consider This:

We’ve outlined a few example questions of both strengths and weaknesses for you to ask yourself during the evaluation process:

1) Is your site leveraging tools to improve page speed, such as browser caching and accelerated mobile pages (AMP Pages)?

AMP is an open source project backed by Google to improve page speed and user experience.

Google backed data found that AMP can lead to 10% increase in site traffic and up to a 2X increase in time spent on page.

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2) Does your site feature any Schema Data Markup?

Schema Data Markup is microdata that helps bring context to the content on your site.

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Adding the relevant JSON-LD markup can result in rich snippets appearing on results pages, which can ultimately improve your CTR.

3) What content has the highest bounce rate?

Content with high bounce rates can be seen as a weakness.

It’s well known that reducing your bounce rate can help improve conversions.

4) Do I have a clear and influential call to action on my product and landing pages?

swot analysis - evaluation

How to Evaluate Your SEO Opportunities and Threats

In accordance with the SWOT analysis procedure, it’s time to take a closer look at your opportunities and threats.

Remember, these should be external to your business.

However, more often than not, SWOT opportunities tend to be an extension of your strengths and weaknesses.

So, I suggest taking the time to flesh out opportunities from the weaknesses you’ve already identified.

Consider This:

Here are a few example questions relating to both opportunities and threats to ask yourself:

1) Do all the pages on my site have unique title tags, meta descriptions, and H1 headers?

If not, this is the perfect time to add more keyword focus to your pages and improve site health.

While seizing the opportunity to create a unique meta description is essential, remember that it won’t always be displayed.

Regardless of this fact, Matt Cutts of Google confirmed that it’s always better to leave meta descriptions blank rather than to have duplicates on your site.

2)  What content on my site is linked to the most?

Remember discussing Google’s PageRank algorithm earlier?

Well, PageRank value is earned when another site links to yours.

So, whichever page on your domain the backlink is pointing to is the one that receives PageRank.

Using internal linking to spread PageRank from the content that’s linked to the most can be a great way to spread this value throughout your site.

Make sure to check the links to your site section of Google Search Console to see what content is being linked to the most often.

swot analysis - competitor analysis

3) What does your competitors content look like?

Spying isn’t always bad.

Understanding what your competitors do well and what you think they can improve upon is a great way to orient your own content strategy.

And this is where a competitor SWOT analysis can really come into play.

Competitors that use more interesting visuals within their content –  such as gifs and videos – or use original research to support their blog posts have a better chance of beating you on the SERPs.

4) Are you reaching your maximum PPC potential, or can your competitors target your branded search terms?

Branded search is becoming an increasingly important organic ranking factor.

Thus, make sure your competitors aren’t crowding out your branded PPC ads and stealing traffic in paid search.

If they are, this can reduce the chances of users seeing your brand.

It can even potentially cause your traffic to dip.

swot analysis - maximize seo

Exploiting SWOT Business Opportunities to Maximize Your SEO

The last stage of your SWOT analysis should be identifying a plan of action.

Moreover, your SEO SWOT analysis should help you capitalize on your strengths, address any weaknesses and opportunities, and defend against potential threats.

Your best course of action might be to start identifying what opportunities will take the most amount of time.

Items such as improving internal linking or expanding your guest posting efforts may be time-consuming but also the most worthwhile.

Or, your main takeaway could be that you want to make the most of your strengths.

You may prefer to maintain existing keyword rankings using tools like SERPclix or by expanding the backlink profile of your highest performing pages.

Using SWOT analysis as an SEO marketing tool can be an extremely effective in maximizing your ROM.

And with the right plan of action for your business, you’ll be on your way to improving your site’s organic visibility in no time.


Author bio: Armand Ghersin is a marketing junkie and experienced SEO account manager at Taktical Digital. He primarily focuses on link building, technical SEO solutions, and sustainable growth marketing for his clients in the software, legal, and insurance spaces.

swot analysis - Armand headshot

GROWTH HACKS Tips & Tricks

Taktical Growth Hacks – #103

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Taktical tips and tricks

Growth Hack #1 – Free Stuff Sells 82% More Than a Good Deal: 

Everyone wants a good deal. But, when deciding to give your customers an offer that’s either a discount/bundle or includes free items, the choice is clear. This A/B test proved what the people want –and increased sales by 82%.

1. A package deal of a cupcake and 2 cookies for $10.

2. A cupcake for $10 + 2 cookies for free.

For the same cost, this study showed that people buy option #2 at a 82% higher rate than #1.



Growth Hack # 2 – Smooth the Transition from Trial to Paid:

Asking your users to pay after their trial expires is a hard stop to the user’s experience. Try to do it in a softer way.

Give them an option after their trial period has expired:

1. Select your paid plan


2. Request a 5 day extension (ask them for their credit card information, but let them know they won’t be charged yet).

Trial extensions converted to paid customers at a rate of 66%.



Taktical tips and tricks

Growth Hack #3 – Turn a Feedback Tool On Your Competition:

The company User Testing offers a chance for real people test your website or product, then get feedback on what they liked and didn’t like. Its the focus group for the 21st century.

But why stop there?

Use on your RIVALS. Find out what they’re doing right and wrong, get inspired, and find opportunities.

Source: 500 Startups


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Tips & Tricks

The 4 Most Common Facebook Ad Mistakes You Need to Avoid

We’ve all had the experience of seeing a Facebook ad that’s missed the mark in some way or another.

Maybe it was that you very clearly weren’t the right audience (mis-targeting).

Perhaps it felt like you were stuck in a bad infomercial (overselling).

It could’ve been that the ad image was so astonishingly boring, you failed to even notice its existence (visual fail).

You’ve likely seen what doesn’t work in Facebook advertising.

However, when a Facebook ad does succeed, you’re looking at the following results:

facebook ad mistakes - alex & ani Facebook ad
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So here’s what you need to know to avoid some of the most common Facebook ad mistakes.

We’ll look at a few examples of brands that have succeeded. 

In doing so, we can determine the Facebook best practices they followed and what mistakes were avoided.

Then, we’ll explain how you can use their example to improve your own Facebook marketing strategy.

Learning how to advertise on Facebook like the pros means you’ll experience more conversions, expanded your reach, and boost ROI.

The Worst Facebook Ads Overcomplicate Things

The reality is 59% of people will only read your Facebook ad headline, and nothing more before sharing.

This means you only have 25 characters (Facebook’s recommended headline length) to impress someone.

facebook ad mistakes - Unbounce Facebook ad
Unbounce exemplifies how simplicity can work for your Facebook ads.

A strong visual keeps viewers engaged without being distracting.

Meanwhile, the 22 character headline is a clear call to action.

The text above falls within Facebook’s suggestions of 90 characters in the body text.

This is just enough to grab the viewer’s attention without going into too much detail.

One of the worst Facebook ad mistakes to make is to say too much in your headline or text.

Doing so can lose customer interest and they’ll end up not clicking through.

They’re either overwhelmed or see no value in clicking through to learn more – they already learned everything they need to know from your ad’s description!

Don’t Make the Mistake of Only Using Static Visuals in Your Facebook Ad

Video marketing is in right now, and video advertising on Facebook is no exception.

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People who watch videos about a product are over 1.8 times more likely to make a purchase than those who only read text.

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In addition to purchase intent, Facebook video ads have also been shown to increase ad recall and brand awareness.

All of these factors mean video content is clearly effective and worth your time creating and launching.

Sticking to the old ways of only using static photos is a Facebook mistake you just can’t afford to make.

Let’s use at A&W Canada’s Facebook video ad as an example.

Their advertisement reached over 216,000 views and gives some insight into how to advertise on Facebook using this medium.

facebook ad mistakes - A&W Canada Facebook ad

Including captions when using video ads on Facebook is crucial, with 85% of video watched without sound.

When captions aren’t included, CTA clicks fall by 26%.

The duration of the video also matters.

Facebook video ads that are 30 seconds or less are the ideal length.

Videos that are 16-20 seconds in length have been shown to yield the highest conversion rates, and are the most popular length for Facebook marketers.

Using video advertising on Facebook is an excellent way to get greater engagement than just a photo.

Just make sure to avoid classic Facebook ad mistakes that involve overstuffing the video with too much content or making it too long.

As long as you keep it short and sweet, and remember to include captions, Facebook video ads should always have a place in your social media marketing strategy.

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Avoid Missing Out on Partnership Opportunities

Influencer marketing is fast becoming one of the most effective Facebook best practices for marketers.

When you partner with familiar faces that are in your industry, conversions rates soar.

It’s just this simple: people are more likely to trust and relate to someone like them.

In a recent study, 48% of people exposed to influencer marketing visited the relevant retailer within four days of viewing influencer content.

Partnering with notable figures in your field helps build trust.

Once a potential customer trusts your brand, they’re more likely to take the next step and hit the CTA of your Facebook ad.

One of the worst Facebook ad mistakes to make is rushing customers through the sales cycle.

If they feel pressured, they’ll be less inclined to click and convert.

facebook ad mistakes - Ad Stage Facebook ad

Take a look at AdStage’s Facebook ad for an example of how to do influencer marketing right.

They not only mention the influencers they’re highlighting in the caption, but also include visual proof via their headshots.

A photo goes a long way to enhancing the foundation of trust you’re building with consumers via this Facebook ad strategy.

A Failure to Incentivize on Facebook is a Mistake You Can’t Afford to Make

Your Facebook ad needs to provide value to the viewer.

Without seeing value in your product or service, they have no incentive to click through or engage.

Getting caught up in creative, focusing too much on buzzwords, or trying to appeal to every kind of user are all Facebook ad mistakes that detract from building real value.

Instead, consider creating value in your Facebook ad with physical prizes, access to exclusive information, or by solving a customer pain point.

Whatever you decide, be sure you’re incentivizing your audience in some way.

Offering a prize for people as an approach mentioned above is one Facebook best practice to consider.

Facebook ad mistakes - Survey Monkey Facebook adSurvey Monkey did just that by running a promotion that entered users for a chance to win from a suite of prizes.

Their ad avoided some common Facebook mistakes and worked in a few different ways:

    • Providing enough of a reward: A $300 gift card is enough to entice people to click through and sign up. Depending on what you’re asking people to do, the incentive can be smaller or larger.
    • Using an image of the reward: It may be a rendering, but the Facebook ad’s visual is enough to let users imagine themselves holding the gift card.
  • Instilling urgency: The sweepstakes only runs for the month of November. Survey Monkey’s Facebook ad mentions this twice, getting users to act quickly and making the ad more effective.

Running a promotion through Facebook ads gets more Likes, Comments, and Shares for your brand.

It also gets customers excited about any future contests, and makes them more likely to engage in the future.

facebook ad mistakes - facebook advertising

Discover Your Own Facebook Best Practices

Just remember that there’s no single secret to success in Facebook marketing.

It takes trying a variety of tactics and seeing what resonates with your target audience to figure out the best social media advertising strategy.

Looking to these examples as a guideline for what to do with Facebook ads can help you avoid the worst Facebook ad mistakes.

Then you can figure out how to advertise on Facebook in a way that’s best for your brand.

Small talk

5 Things We Learned from Jeff Bezos Himself

What if we said we have a direct line to Jeff Bezos?

Yes, that Jeff Bezos: The all-knowing wizard/entrepreneur that’s the founder and CEO of a little site named Amazon.

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And we have a way of knowing what he’s thinking, what he’s planning next, and everything else related to Amazon’s business strategy.

Okay, so we don’t have his cell number.

But, we do have his annual shareholder newsletters.

For over 20 years, Bezos has been providing unparalleled insight into his business.

These newsletters are also a peek into his way of thinking that has led him to build Amazon into the powerhouse it is today.

And when we say Amazon is thriving, we mean it.

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The platform earned $56 billion in revenue in Q3 2018, and it’s in no small part due to Bezos’ gold standard of business management.

Now, we’re sharing the top 5 lessons learned from those newsletters with you.

We combed through those two decades of material in order to pick out the five that we think provide the best business tips and tricks.

Whether you’re a small business or a corporation, this advice can help you succeed.

So get the notepad ready: It’s time to take a page out of Jeff Bezos’ own book.

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Dream Big and Take Risks

In his 2014 newsletter, Bezos discusses a “dreamy business product”:

“A dreamy business product has at least four characteristics. Customers love it, it can grow to very large size, it has strong returns on capital, and it’s durable in time—with the potential to endure for decades. When you find one of these, don’t just swipe right, get married.”

This piece of business advice can be intimidating.

Essentially, it’s describing the perfect product while subliminally saying you should risk everything to get it.

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The Amazon Example

It helps to see how this concept worked in the scheme of Amazon’s business strategy.

Amazon Prime is the perfect example.

Since it was first founded in 2005, Amazon Prime’s core tenant has been providing members with free shipping at a low annual fee.

Even now, free shipping remains the cornerstone of the $99/year annual membership.

However, the idea to offer free shipping came with no solid numbers to support it.

Clearly, the risk paid off.

2017 was the best year for Prime sign-ups so far.

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And, Prime members spend up to 4.6X more than non-Prime customers.

The service checks every box of Bezos’ dreamy business criteria:

  • Customers love it
  • It’s highly scalable
  • The returns can be huge
  • It can endure over time

You can apply similar criteria to your own business ventures.

Sure, taking risks means you’ll experience some failures.

Let’s not forget Amazon’s own debacle.

But, learning how to run a business the right way also means forgiving a lack of quantitative evidence in order to pursue a bold venture.

business tips - R&D

Make Every Team Part of the R&D Department

You don’t need to be told about the rise of technology and the importance of innovation in business.

A little piece of business advice, though: Don’t rely on a single department for finding ways to advance your company.

Your entire company should get involved with innovating,

Sales departments can try new pitch techniques and strategies.

Marketing teams can investigate how to leverage new platforms and tools.

Whatever the department, everyone in your company should be participating in research and development.

business tips - R&D spending
R&D – The Amazon Way

Bezos has always emphasized R&D as a major component of the Amazon business strategy.

To attest to this, Amazon spends more than any other U.S. company on R&D.

In 2017, this number was $22.6 billion, an increase of 41% from 2016.

In the words of Bezos from his 2010 newsletter:

“Our architects and engineers have had to advance research in directions that no academic had yet taken. Many of the problems we face have no textbook solutions, and so we — happily — invent new approaches.”

Every single part of Amazon is rooted in a technology that’s often created internally.

From their self-service Amazon marketing platform to their fulfillment robots, tech pervades the company.

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For example, AWS evolved from an internal infrastructure of software.

This isn’t just a tip for businesses to keep up with competition, either.

Having all branches of your company involved in R&D helps you create better products your customers will love.

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Create a Work Culture That Maintains High Standards

It’s a business tip that never stops being applicable: create a positive organizational culture.

The impact of a great work culture on everything from sales to productivity is often immense.

According to Bezos in his 2017 newsletter, a positive business culture is the best way to create and maintain high standards.

And high standards are the key to success.

“How do you stay ahead of ever-rising customer expectations? There’s no single way to do it — it’s a combination of many things. But high standards (widely deployed and at all levels of detail) are certainly a big part of it.”

It takes a combination of an excellent management strategy, the right recruitment, and effective internal initiatives to create high standards.

business tips - Amazon high standards

The Amazon Definition of High Standards

Bezos boils the management/hiring/internal strategy combination into two concepts that can hinder high standards:

  • Scope
  • Recognition

In terms of scope, he is referring to when employees can identify high quality but cannot understand what or how long it takes to reach that level themselves.

When an employee is unable to consider the difficulty of achieving a higher standard, they’ll have greater trouble reaching it.

“To achieve high standards yourself or as part of a team, you need to form and proactively communicate realistic beliefs about how hard something is going to be.”

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Recognition refers to employee understanding of what high quality looks like.

Differentiating between a good job and a bad job is essential for achieving goals.

It’s also a way to create a benchmark for measuring success.

An excellent hiring and management strategy will encourage employees to understand what it takes to reach a higher standard.

Leadership can also help staffers recognize and define quality.

In doing so, your business can continuously create better products for customers while improving internal work culture.

business tips - customers

Let Customer Needs Drive Business Decisions

When considering how to run a business, it’s often simple to think about what you’re good at then create a product from that.

This “skills-forward” strategy relies on expertise to drive the momentum of business.

This isn’t always the best method, however.

Take this successful business tip from Bezos himself from his 2008 newsletter:

“The skills-forward approach says, ‘We are really good at X. What else can we do with X?’ That’s a useful and rewarding business approach. However, if used exclusively, the company employing it will never be driven to develop fresh skills.”

When you rely only on an existing skill-set, it inhibits learning innovative and new methods.

As a result, your business’ success can hit a cap as you run out of new ideas.

So instead, consider what your customers want or need.

Then, work backwards to innovate products or services that fulfill this desire.

Leveraging this piece of business advice can open up your organization to product opportunities and expand success into these new directions.

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How Customers Created the Amazon Kindle

When the Amazon Kindle first debuted in 2007, it was the first consumer product from the company.

The concept for the e-reader began with a customer-driven vision, as described by product designer Charlie Tritschler:

“We created that rallying cry of any book from anywhere in the world in 60 seconds or less.”

Bezos led the charge of creating and optimizing the Kindle.

It was his belief that this ease of access was something missing in the publishing industry that customers wanted.

Thus, the Kindle was born from recognizing a customer pain point and working backward to create a product to fill that gap.

By enlisting top talent and launching the Kindle Direct Publishing platform as a complementary product, the Kindle reached immense success.

business tips - e-book sales

Now, Amazon commands an 83% share of the e-book market in the U.S.

Following this Amazon business strategy of consumer-driven innovation starts with customer research.

Creating products with customers at top of mind makes it more likely that it will be a hit right from launch.

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Spend Money on Customer Retention

It’s difficult to justify spending money preemptively to build value for customers.

You can’t be sure you’ll see returns – or at what pace they’ll come in.

But, among the best business tips and tricks is the idea of proactively working on your customer retention.

This means building value and pleasing customers by spending more.

Not only will it boost loyalty and attract new consumers, but it’s also a way of getting ahead of the competition.

As Bezos puts it in his 2012 newsletter:

“When we’re at our best, we don’t wait for external pressures. We are internally driven to improve our services, adding benefits and features, before we have to. We lower prices and increase value for customers before we have to. . .invent before we have to.”

Sure, spending is a risk.

But for the sake of customer retention, it’s one that often pays off.

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The Amazon Business Strategy for Pleasing Customers

There’s no doubt that Amazon customers are a loyal group.

That’s mostly due to the fact that the e-commerce platform is a one-stop-shop for online shopping in a way that’s unlike any of its competitors.

It’s what’s led 85% of Prime members and 56% of non-Prime members to visit the site at least once a week.

And it’s why 46% of Prime members make a purchase on Amazon at least once a week.

But Prime wasn’t always such a lucrative business.

As we discussed earlier, it was actually one of the company’s greatest risks.

Even today, the greatest draw of Prime – free, two-day shipping – is putting investors on edge.

Shipping costs for the company are in jeopardy of increasing and fast shipping is no longer a differentiator in e-commerce.

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And yet, the platform is still drawing Prime members and exceeding revenue goals.

The lifetime value alone of a Prime member is enough to prove Amazon’s business strategy for customer retention is working.

A Prime member boasts an LTV of $2283.

business tips - e-commerce customer LTV

Meanwhile, the industry average for an e-commerce customer LTV is just over $150.

Spending money to make money is a successful business tip you should never forget.

Beyond just boosting your bottom line, real value can be gained in customer retention and loyalty.

business tips - Amazon business strategy

Subscribe to the Amazon Model of Business

Clearly, Bezos’ newsletters are full of valuable business tips and tricks.

These don’t just apply to Amazon’s business strategy, either.

Leverage these insights for your own brand, and you’ll be amazed at the success that follows.

Take risks, innovate, maintain quality, apply a customer-forward approach, and consistently build value.

So, take it from Bezos and apply this business advice to every facet of your company.

It worked for Amazon and we’re confident it can work for you, too.