These days, consumers are inundated with marketing emails. Every business you interact with wants your email address, and every one of them is doing their best to make sure that their email will be one of the lucky few that recipients actually open. With all the competition, it’s more and more difficult to make an impact.
However, email marketing is still an extremely powerful tool for ecommerce sellers. But with the average person receiving 88 emails each day, you need to do something special if you want your clients’ emails to be opened and engaged with.
We’ve put together a collection of six great email marketing campaign ideas that can help take your marketing efforts to the next level. In addition to being effective strategies for increasing your client’s ROI, these campaigns represent great opportunities to upsell or expand your service offerings to your clients. Moving beyond standard newsletter marketing will ultimately help your clients get more value from their ecommerce stores, while demonstrating your value as a marketer and helping you build long-term client relationships.
1. “How to use your new purchase” emails
A huge missed opportunity for many online retailers is the gap between customers placing an order and actually receiving what they’ve bought. The perfect time to build hype for the product is when someone is waiting for an anticipated purchase to arrive. A well-timed email here can make the customer feel good about their purchase decision, and increase the chances of them having a positive experience with the product when it arrives.
“The perfect time to build hype for the product is when someone is waiting for an anticipated purchase to arrive.”
At a marketing conference I attended last year, one of the speakers talked about purchasing a high-end espresso machine, and receiving an email from the company suggesting he clear a space on the kitchen counter for it ahead of time. He cleared the space, and got more excited about his new espresso machine every time he walked through his kitchen.
This exact approach won’t work for every company — the kind of email you’ll send here depends on the kind of product and the kind of company you’re representing. The key is to get the customer to take some kind of action or consume some specialized content that is designed to reinforce the good feelings they have about their purchase.
Subject: Congratulations on your purchase of a straight razor!
First, I’d like to thank you for purchasing a straight razor from Shaving.com. You’re becoming an elite member of a community devoted to the finer things in life. We can’t wait for you to shave with your razor for the first time, and we hope you’re as excited as we are!
Now, since many of our customers are purchasing their very first straight razor, we’ve put together a guide for the proper usage and care of your razor. You can watch the video on our website, but here are a few of the most important highlights:
- Don’t store your razor in the bathroom. The humidity is bad for it, and will reduce its effective lifespan. Traditionally, sock drawers have been a common home for straight razors.
- Be careful to only put the razor away dry. It’s a good practice to wipe the blade dry, then apply a small amount of oil to keep it in good condition.
- Be very careful not to bang or tap the razor on the edge of your sink or on fixtures, or you’ll dull or nick the edge. The less frequently you need to sharpen your razor, the longer it will last.
With proper care, your new straight razor will last a lifetime. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me. Congratulations again!
This technique can be especially effective with more expensive or complex purchases. A single email before the product arrives can help reduce customer frustration and eliminate customer service issues, by setting customers up to succeed when they finally get their hands on their purchases.
2. Abandoned cart emails
Apps make it easy to identify and contact customers who have initiated a purchase but then abandoned their carts before finishing the transaction. As a marketer, abandoned cart emails can be an extremely effective way to reconnect with consumers and remind them of why they were interested in buying from your client in the first place.
Abandoned cart emails are an especially good opportunity to lean heavily on the brand voice. This kind of marketing messaging represents a kind of “Hail Mary” pass as your last chance to capture potential customers before they disappear. These emails should really capture the spirit of the brand because if you can get the recipient to feel a connection with the company you’re representing, they’ll be much more likely to come back and complete the purchase.
Subject: Did you forget something?
I couldn’t help but notice that you added an item to your shopping cart here at GameStore.com, but then left before completing the transaction. I feel like I rolled a critical failure on my customer service check!
I get it. You’re a busy person, and things come up! Or maybe you were wearing your Ring of Resistance to Great Deals on Gaming Accessories, and decided you didn’t want to buy what you had in your cart after all.
But either way, I wanted you to know that I’ve saved the item in your cart for you, just in case you were intending to come back. You can access it by clicking here.
See you around the gaming table!
There are many effective ways to write abandoned cart emails, and the best option in any particular case will depend on what kind of brand you’re representing. Some brands will work well with funny or irreverent messaging, while it may be more appropriate for others to be more serious. Whatever messaging you decide on, though, remember that your goal is to make a strong impact on the recipients so you can bring them back.
3. VIP outreach emails
There are few things that people enjoy more than being told that they’re special. If you reach out to your clients’ best customers, tell them that they’re the best customers, and offer them special deals as a reward — most will be flattered. And more importantly, they’ll be much more likely to pay attention than if you just sent them an email about a sale.
Personally, I fall for this one every time. If I get an email with a subject line saying something like “Thanks,” I’m way more likely to open it. Then, if I see I’m being rewarded for being a loyal customer with some kind of special discount, I’m almost definitely going to go out of my way to take advantage of that. Contrast that with the dozens of emails offering deals of the week that I get every day, that I never even open.
Subject: You’re the best!
I was just going through some records and discovered that over the past year, you’ve spent more in our store than 80% of our customers.
I want to personally thank you so much for sticking with us! Customers like you are the reason we’re in business. In order to show my appreciation for your loyalty over the last year, I’d like to offer you a 30% discount on any pet food item in our store. Just enter the coupon code VIP2017 at checkout!
Thanks again, and here’s to another year together!
This strategy requires that you track your clients’ analytics, but this is something you should be doing anyway. Letting customers know that you value their business can have a huge payoff — I’m definitely not the only person who’s a sucker for this approach.
4. Emails to reconnect with lapsed customers
The flip side of VIP outreach is trying to reconnect with former loyal customers who haven’t made a purchase in a while. Reaching out to customers with a special offer that says, “Hey, we missed you,” is a great way to get their attention. It’s also a great way to remind former customers of why they once spent so much money with your client.
Just like the VIP outreach emails, you want to include some kind of very special offer when you’re trying to reconnect with lapsed customers. It’s likely that many of the people in this category have been receiving your regular marketing emails and are ignoring them. If you want these people to start making purchases again, you need to make it worth their time.
Subject: Haven’t seen you in a while
It’s been a long time since you’ve made a purchase at Johnny’s Mixed Nut Emporium. I hope it wasn’t something we did. I want you to know how much we valued your business, and I’d like to extend a special offer to you. If you’d like to come back, we can offer you a box of our Premium Mix for 30% off.
This discount isn’t available to the general public. I’m only extending this offer to you because you were such a valuable customer for so long, and I want to make sure that you understand how much we miss you.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or any concerns about the service you’ve received in the past.
Thanks for being our customer,
Remember, this person likely stopped buying from your client for a reason, even if it was just price-related. A gentle, conciliatory approach is often best when reaching out to people in this category.
5. Influencer outreach emails
Here’s a tip that isn’t about reaching out to customers directly — instead, this strategy is about connecting with an influencer (someone with a large online audience) who hopefully will be willing to be an evangelist for your product.
It’s important to keep in mind that the internet is full of people talking about “the power of influencer marketing,” and anyone who has any kind of audience is regularly getting dozens of emails from marketers asking them to check out one product or another. If you’re hoping to piggyback on an influencer’s audience, you won’t find much success with a generic approach.
A popular genre of comedy on Twitter is journalists and other public figures posting screenshots of wildly inappropriate marketing emails. One of my faves was a Google employee posting an automated marketing message from an “SEO expert” that said something along the lines of, “I’ve identified several SEO problems with your website, google.com, that is keeping it from ranking as well as it could.”
You don’t want your clients to be mocked this way, so be careful about who you’re sending emails to and what you’re saying to them.
Subject: Want to see a better fidget spinner?
I’m a big fan of your YouTube channel — your latest video about the new Taylor Swift single cracked me up!
I noticed you’ve been tweeting a lot for the last few days about fidget spinners. I thought you might be interested in the new Fidgetless Spinner that some friends of mine are working on. It’s a self-spinning fidget spinner that frees your hands up to flip bottles, dab, or do anything else. I’d be happy to send you one to check out!
Let me know if you’re interested, and thanks for all the great YouTube content.
The key to actually succeeding when reaching out to influencers is to write a custom email for each person you want to contact. Make it obvious you actually know who they are and what they do, and make sure you have a good rationale for why you’re sending them this email.
Have they expressed interest in companies like your client in the past? Do you know they already use a similar but inferior product? Be human, and don’t be their fifth form email today with a [first.name] personalization tag still visible in the copy.
6. Re-engagement campaigns
For email marketing campaigns, average open rates range between about 15 percent and 25 percent. That means that, at best, 75 percent of your subscriber lists are ignoring any given email. Re-engagement campaigns are designed to connect with these subscribers who are on your lists but who rarely, or never, engage with what you send them.
If your clients have a large number of subscribers in their email lists, a re-engagement campaign offers a chance to tap into this potentially huge audience. Even managing to connect with 5 percent of your unengaged subscribers can represent a very significant increase in the return on your email campaigns.
Subject: Where have you been?
We’ve noticed that you haven’t been around much recently. We get it — sometimes we all feel like we need some distance.
But since you’ve been away, you probably haven’t seen all the cool new stuff we’ve been up to lately! If you have a few minutes, come check out the site and see what we’ve done with the place. And while you’re there, take a look through the store, because we’ve added a $10 credit to your account that you can spend however you like.
If you have any feedback about the changes to our website or our products, please feel free to drop me a line. I’m always happy to hear from long-time subscribers like you!
If they’ve been ignoring your emails for a long time, it will take something special to get them to notice you now, and the subject line is especially important. This is a time when you need to be bold with your copy — and since these are people who aren’t interacting with your marketing attempts anyway, you have very little to lose.
Connect with customers
Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to connect with consumers, but you need to do something to stand out above all the marketing noise that most people receive. The best way to do this is by using the data you’ve collected about your clients’ customers to create offers that actually appeal to them.
The email ideas listed in this post can have a huge impact on the return you can get from your ecommerce store, a little creative thinking combined with a strong email list is sometimes all you need to make a really big difference.
Need some help implementing a comprehensive email marketing strategy and automate your sales? Talk to us today
A super engaged user base and product-friendly feeds have made Instagram a highly anticipated sales channel for Shopify merchants.
Last year, Shopify began testing the ability for US merchants to tag products in their Instagram posts for the holiday shopping season. Today, shopping on Instagram is expanding internationally to businesses in the UK, Australia, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and Brazil.
Now, you can simplify the shopping experience on Instagram by allowing your audience to learn more about your products with a single tap, taking users directly to your Shopify store to make a purchase.
For more info see the Shopify blog post
if youd like assistance implementing this awesome new feature in your Shopify store call us on 1300 859 805 or contact us via our website!
Will get an example up and running shortly to show you guys how it looks / works.
With years of experience designing and building online store websites, the team at Nextwave are proud to have been recently recognized as Official Shopify Experts. We provide a range of services to forward thinking online retailers, including consulting, design, development, and marketing. Nextwave delivers unique and effective mobile friendly storefront designs that deliver great results for our customers with a focus on customer experience.
A selection of recent Shopify projects
With our experience in digital marketing, we have a proven history of delivering and supporting Shopify stores that drive more sale and increase revenue for business owners.
See a selection of recent digital marketing case studies for online retail
As Shopify experts we can deliver the following services:
- Shopify Setup, Design & Development
- Complex Shopify functionality
- Custom Shopify design
- On-site marketing integrations to drive higher sales
- Design refresh of underperforming existing Shopify stores
- Advice & Integration of Shopify in your bricks and mortar business
- Migration from other online store platforms to the leading online store platform, Shopify
- Custom app development like our own useful marketing app Smart Offers.
Discover how Shopify can improve your business’s performance. Talk with us today
In our busy and bustling online world, you want fans, customers, and prospects to be able to find your company, and ultimately purchase your products. However, it can be tough to gain visibility in today’s noisy ecosystem.
Most ecommerce businesses bet on paid advertising, email marketing, and social media to boost traffic and sales. These channels are essential, but they’re not complete without the content that fuels them.
Publishing relevant content that provides value to your audience helps you connect with them, ultimately making your marketing efforts more effective.
Here are 5 different ways you can use content to boost your ecommerce marketing strategy.
1. Turn to video
It’s no secret that people love watching videos. After all, videos provide a great deal of content in a short amount of time compared with text.
Today, video accounts for 74% of all online traffic, according to a report from Kleiner Perkins Partners. And, according to Recode, videos on Facebook are watched for roughly 100 million hours each day.
When it comes to marketing ecommerce businesses, there are certain types of videos that resonate. Here are three types to try:
- Product videos – According to econsultancy, 96% of today’s consumers find videos helpful when making an online purchase. A product video gives you the opportunity to show your product in action, painting a helpful picture for your audience.
- How-to videos – Searches with the keyword “how to” on YouTube are growing 70% year over year, according to Search Engine Land. It’s obvious why– internet users frequently search for videos to help them find the best products or complete tasks.
- Emotional videos – When you’re able to reach someone’s emotional core, you have a better chance of compelling them to buy your products. That’s why videos with a deliberate goal to stir emotions perform so well.
2. Create custom images
Ecommerce businesses sell products, and promoting these products via images is especially important. Whether you are promoting products, launching a campaign, or looking for attention on social media, great images are your best bet.
The thing is, you have to create images that connect with your audience and serve your brand. That often means creating custom images, rather than relying on placeholder stock photos.
These custom images can be used all over the web– from your email marketing efforts to your blog posts, to your landing pages, to your social media sites.
3. Leverage user-generated content (UGC)
When it comes down to it, people trust other people more than they trust brands or advertisements– 71% of consumers feel that reviews by other customers make them more comfortable making a purchase decision, while 82% of consumers find user-generated reviews extremely valuable.
User-generated content (UGC), offers you the opportunity to leverage what your audience is already saying. Exploring UGC helps to increase engagement with your audience, gain an understanding of your customers, and help with your SEO efforts.
Let’s have a look into various types of user generated content you can harness for your ecommerce business.
- Product ratings and reviews – Product ratings and reviews work as social proof. Reviews create a sense of trust which boosts customer’s confidence. Customer reviews with user-generated photos allow shoppers to connect on a personal level and imagine themselves using your product.
- Questions and answers: A questions and answers on your product pages can add immense value. Having an option to ask questions enable visitors to ask for any missing info and your published answers will not only serve the visitor who asked for it but all your future visitors.
- Social media posts: For an ecommerce business, social media is a very efficient channel for engagement. If you don’t have an active audience already on social media, your UGC campaign may not take off on its own.
Pro tip:If your audience isn’t creating content on their own, you can encourage them to share their thoughts about your products on social media. Some ecommerce retailers provide a coupon code or or blog feature in exchange for an honest review.
4. Create blog posts for your audience
While video content is a trending topic, written content still plays a big role in ecommerce marketing strategies.
After all, the written word allows for nuance and elaboration. Plus, the ability to communicate detailed information at a pace determined by the readers makes written content a natural fit for instructional materials.
If you have a blog, ensure it is hosted on your website or ecommerce site for the best SEO benefit.
We’ve shared 4 different ways you can use content to boost your ecommerce marketing strategy. Remember, content works best when it’s highly relevant and targeted for your consumers so try different types and formats and see what works best for different channels. When you find what works, do more of it.
By the end of July, customers on your Shopify store will no longer be directed to checkout.shopify.com to complete their purchase. Instead, their entire shopping experience—from homepage to checkout—will take place on your domain. No more domain switching.
Seeing your branded domain at checkout, coupled with the free SSL certificate Shopify provides all merchants, will give your customers the confidence they need to tap that buy button again and again.
Checkout on your own domain is free for all merchants and will be activated automatically—no setup required. The checkout is one of the most important parts of your store, and now it belongs to you.
This is great news for our Shopify clients, read more about this new feature here
Thinking of starting up with the worlds leading online store platform? We recently achieved the much coveted certification of Shopify Expert, coupled with 10+ years of online retail experience we are well placed to assist. Talk to us today about your online store project.
A few years ago the inventor of the pop-up ad, Ethan Zuckerman, apologised for what he let loose on the internet. As you may remember these early pop-up ads were brash, irritating and ugly.
Lucky for us, the “humble” pop-up has evolved into a sleek and effective marketing tool that is now commonplace on many websites.
Our friends at Shopify have had an extensive look into why pop-ups are an essential part of your site. You can read their article here.
Shopify has another sales channel, in addition to its existing avenues including Amazon, Facebook, BuzzFeed, Pinterest and more. The latest addition is eBay, which hosts a large audience of potential customers, giving Shopify store owners one more opportunity to get their wares in front of folks.
The new Shopify integration with eBay will include immediate syncing of inventory info, including product title and description, price, and specific item details. The orders made on eBay will also be imported directly to Shopify for fulfilment, as will messages from eBay buyers sent via that platform, meaning you can truly manage all of your eBay-based commerce from one central location alongside your other channels on the merchant side.
This new channel isn’t going live immediately: Shopify says it expects the eBay integration to go live this fall, with availability rolling out to U.S. merchants selling within the country at first. Still, it’s something to look forward to and prepare for among merchants, since it does represent a potential new audience of up to 169 million active shoppers, according to eBay’s numbers.
Shopify says that more than 60 percent of the merchants on its platform sell in at least two different channels, and as it continues to build on its centralized sales hub strategy that’s likely to grow. This is one of Shopify’s biggest strengths as a company – rather than focus on its own boutique storefronts exclusively, it’s turning its potential competitors into partners with a marketplace of marketplaces model ideal for an era where ecommerce is growing rapidly.
Article from Tech Crunch
Jane Davenport is a professional artist, best-selling author, designer, online workshop phenomenon’ (she was described this way in a newspaper article!), degenerate art supply junky, Art Journal Evangelist and koala mama (yes! Koalas live in her garden).
Jane and her team came to us with her popular web presence spread over multiple platforms, causing all sorts of headaches running and trying to grow her business. Adding new art workshops and art supplies was complicated, new customers were getting confused how to access information, too much manual effort was required to manage the load, not to mention the challenge of keeping existing customers happy and engaged. On top of that the brand was not presented cohesively, with varying designs spanning over the last 10 years.
In short, having grown organically over the last 10 years it was all patched together, and bandaids were no longer going to cut it. It was now really affecting sales, business and brand management.
Nextwave to the rescue, we created visually engaging website built on the popular WordPress platform, incorporating Woocommerce and Coursepress plugins to create an integrated solution to suit her multi-faceted business. A massive project porting over massive amounts of workshop data, art supplies, and well over 10,000 students and customers.
A few challenges along the way as to be expected with a project of this complexity, but the end result is a streamlined online business poised for future growth.
It’s early days so far but other than looking beautiful with many back office advantages, the website’s sales hit the ground running with a huge increase in the first few months. Importantly feedback from Jane’s existing customer and student base has been wonderful. The ‘Davenpeeps’ simply love their new home!
Next up, digital marketing coaching for Jane and her team, to help push the business to even greater heights.
Visit the website and see for yourself
Are you looking for a proven engaging online learning system to present your workshops, classes or lessons? How about a beautifully designed online store to present your products while streamlining back office management? Talk to us today.
Unlike email newsletters and one-off campaigns where you create and send to a bunch of people in one go, an automated email campaign means you set it up once, and then it’s automatically sent to one particular person, when they meet a certain trigger.
Take for example somebody signs up for an account on your website. The first email might welcome them to your brand and show them how to get started. Two days later you might send them another email with links to some popular resources or offer them a discount code for a fist purchase.
Rather than manually creating and sending email campaigns to every person when they sign up – and again two days later encouraging them to make a purchase – you can set up automated welcome emails that gets sent whenever a new person joins, and at the same time, set up your second automated email with a trigger point (e.g. 2 days after initial sign up) with their discount code for their first purchase.
That’s the beauty of email automation: You save yourself time and money by only needing to set up the email once, and as people meet the trigger you defined (e.g. two days after initial sign up) the email will send without any additional effort on your part. It essentially ‘automates’ your email marketing for you. How awesome is that?!
Have you experienced that moment of dread when you discover an error in your email marketing campaigns? Or do you hover over the send button for what seems like hours wondering what you may have forgotten?
This is what we like to call ‘Sendphobia’ and it’s something many marketers have experienced.
However, by having a rock solid email signoff process in place you can eliminate errors and rid yourself of ‘Sendphobia’ forever.
What is an email sign off process?
An email sign off process defines the stages an email campaign goes through to ensure it is error-free and approved by all relevant people in your organisation.
It is made up of two critical parts: A map of the approval process and a campaign checklist.
For instance, we have a flow chart which lays out the whole email process from briefing the email through to post-campaign reporting. We don’t look at it every time we send email out, but it is there and it is defined. It’s useful to show new people who become a part of your working group as it will help them understand their place in the process flow.
We also use a campaign sign off checklist which we apply to every campaign. This specifies the person responsible for signing off their part of the email and confirms that you’ve also completed some pre-send tasks.
Why do we need an email sign off process?
In short, to avoid situations like this….
“I sent an email wrong, then sent it wrong again. To 700K. That was a bad day”
“I sent the wrong email to about 3500 subscribers in my second week on the job… Doh”
“I remember once sending an email to myself 25,000 times.”
However, it isn’t just about avoiding mistakes either.
An email sign off process is also really useful for setting the team’s expectations – what do they have to sign off (Is the information about a product correct? Do they approve the design?) and when are they expected to deliver their sign off by?
Chances are you’ve got a specific date you want your campaign to be sent by and anyone delaying on their feedback can disrupt that. Making people aware of not just their responsibilities but everyone else’s too increases awareness of the process and keeps the momentum going.
Building your own email sign off process
Step 1: Work out who needs to give approval
The first step in building your own email sign off process is working out who needs to give approval.
This is going to be different for every organisation and can even differ between different types of email campaigns (new product announcements versus new blog post emails for instance), so you’ll definitely need to customise this to suit your organization’s unique attributes.
A few questions to answer though:
- Who needs to sign off on design and client compatibility?
- Who needs to sign off on correct product information?
- Who needs to sign off on legal requirements?
- Who needs to sign off on spelling, grammar & links?
- Does senior management need to sign off before sending?
Once you’ve worked out who is responsible for approval across different areas, it’s time to focus on defining exactly what checks each person needs to do.
Step 2: Work out what needs to be checked
Once you’ve worked out who is involved in the approval process, it helps to define what each person is responsible for checking.
Not only does this help to reduce errors in your campaigns, but it will speed up the approval process by making sure people only comment on the areas they are supposed to.
I’ve had situations in previous roles where campaigns took days to get approval because everybody wants to have their opinion on the color of the heading or the positioning of the image. By defining what people are in charge of checking, you put boundaries in place that prevents fruitless arguments.
Again, this is going to differ for your organisation and even between campaign types, but here’s a few ideas for ‘checks’ to include in your checklist:
- Is this email being sent to the correct list & segment?
- Has the ‘From’ name been checked and from a recognisable name?
- Has a working ‘Reply To’ address been set?
- Does it look as expected across desktop clients (Outlook, Postbox, etc)
- Does it look as expected on mobile devices?
- Does it include a working Unsubscribe link?
- Are all product descriptions accurate?
- Are sizing options correct?
- Is product/stock availability correct?
- Is the email subject line free from spelling, grammar or information errors?
- Is the email preheader free from spelling, grammar or information errors?
- Have you setup appropriate fallbacks for any personalisation tags used?
- Is the email copy free of spelling errors?
- Is the email copy free of grammatical errors?
- Is there a plain text version of this email?
- Is the plan text version free from spelling, grammar or information errors?
- Do all links lead to the correct place?
- Do all buttons link to the correct place?
- Are all images linked and leading to the correct place?
- Do all images have explanatory Alt text for when images are blocked?
Once you have worked out who is responsible for approvals and worked out all the checks each person needs to perform, then it’s time to build your Campaign Checklist.
Step 3: Build your campaign checklist
Now that you have defined who is responsible for approvals and what checks they need to perform, you can build it into a useable spreadsheet.
Step 4: Start using your checklist
Now that you’ve built a great email campaign checklist, it’s time to start using it to make sure your campaigns are free from errors.
While everybody’s email sending process is different and you can use it however you like, one of the best things to do is simply run through the checklist right before sending as this will ensure everything is ticked off before you hit the point of no return.
Here are a few tips for using your fancy new campaign checklist:
- Use Google Docs – If your organisation allows, use the Google Docs version. It allows multiple people to be working on the one centralised document at the same time and keeps a record of all changes made, including who wrote what and at what time. That way, if something ever goes wrong you’ll know exactly who approved it and when.
- Keep the document as an audit trail – Always keep the checklist in your company’s file system in case you or anybody else needs to refer back to it later.
Sendphobia can definitely be scary, but by building a campaign sign off process specific to your organisation and running through it each time you send an email marketing campaign, you can help prevent errors and actually make sending campaigns an exciting and enjoyable experience that drives business results.
So get your campaign checklist template in either Google Docs or Excel format and start using it within your organisation today.
Talk to us for assistance with email marketing
If you’re tired of reading articles and blog posts that seem more appropriate for enterprise class ecommerce websites backed by an unlimited marketing budget, this post is for you!
Lots of ecommerce businesses out there are smaller operators. Marketing can be hugely expensive, but in this post we look at six inexpensive ways to market a niche ecommerce store to potential customers.
Post on enthusiast forums
It depends on how big your niche happens to be, but most industries have a “go to” web forum, where enthusiasts discuss and pick apart their hobby. Such forums are a great place to spend time posting – especially if you can put a link back to your ecommerce website in your forum signature.
Of course do NOT just spam your store offerings, you will be quickly banned. However, with the right approach, you may find a wealth of feedback and interest.
Contribute meaningful insight in debates and discussions, and actually add value to the community – you will be surprised by the reciprocation.
By posting on enthusiast forums directly related to your niche, you can put your website right in front of people who are active buyers in your industry – which is right where you need to be!
Sell on multiple channels
Some people see multichannel selling on eBay and Etsy as a standalone business model. Others see it as a handy source of extra sales to complement their own website. Still others find that additional sales channels reduce overall risk for their business.
All of these are viable strategies!
There’s also a group of people who see it as a marketing exercise – selling at a small profit, break even or a loss, just to have the opportunity to market their website to active buyers in a particular niche or industry.
But how can you do that if Amazon, eBay, or Etsy technically “own” the customer?
Lots of sellers include post cards or flyers in their shipments, offering buyers a discount in return for visiting the seller’s website directly. This method has proven to be hugely effective for sellers across many different industries, and depending on the volume of sales you achieve through third party marketplaces, it can be a quick way to kick start sales on your own website.
It’s up to you to decide how much of a loss you make – or whether every sale must be profitable. In most cases, however, sales can be made if you want them hard enough, so there’s a balancing act to be perfected.
Advertise in trade publications
Lots of industries have trade publications and journals. Whether it’s a model railway magazine, or a remote control boat publication – there are lots of niche publications out there catering for very specific interests.
Because these publications don’t have circulation figures that run into the millions, they’re often fairly cheap to buy print media!
Identify publications that relate directly to your ecommerce store and see how much it’ll set you back to advertise in them. It varies on a niche by niche basis, but I’m willing to bet that you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the cost! Don’t forget that buying at a full rate card rate is not the done thing – always be willing to negotiate hard with advertising execs for the very best deal. Ask them to get back to you when they need to fill some spots close to print time. At the end of the day, any money saved can be spent elsewhere on the business – that money’s better off in your pocket than elsewhere.
Send samples to niche blogs
Another great way to get people talking about your website and to make sales is to identify niche bloggers and send them samples.
It’s not a particularly fast exercise – getting bloggers to write reviews can take a lot of chasing.
It’s not cheap, either – when you consider the cost of the goods you’re sending out for free, and the shipping costs.
The way to view it is “if I send one sample to this person and it leads to ten sales, I’ve made money! If not, at least I tried.”
Of course not every sample you send out will lead to ten sales, but it’s a good way to rationalize what you’re doing. Even the biggest companies use a network of trusted bloggers to sample and review their latest products.
As the internet evolves and we move further away from traditional media like newspapers, blogs continue to increase in popularity – with more readers comes more influence, and that’s why you should consider sending sample products to blogger in your industry.
Send email newsletters
Sending regular email newsletters to prospects or existing customers can be a great way to remind people you exist – and that you’re there if they need to buy X, Y or Z.
Email marketing when done incorrectly is a big annoyance. It’s easy to tell if you’re becoming an annoyance, just look at the unsubscribe stats for your email lists. If you’re losing more subscribers than you’re gaining then you know you’re doing something wrong.
Some people will tell you that for every 10 emails you send, one should be marketing while the other nine should be building a rapport with the customer. I don’t agree with this, and I believe that all 10 emails can be marketing emails – but they must contain outstanding deals and special offers.
You can’t just try and flog old lines of stock that you know are unpopular. If you put popular products and brands on special offer then email everyone to let them know, you can expect to make some great sales.
Bring your visitors back!
I was in two minds about mentioning retargeting here, but I think it’s super important.
After driving visitors from blogs, forums, magazines and so on, you can drive those super targeted individuals back to your site using retargeting platforms such as AdRoll. Retargeting has different levels of effectiveness based on several factors.
You can also use Facebook Ads to hit people where they feel more comfortable, and are spending their casual time. Facebook makes it easy to re-engage visitors to your website with just a tiny bit of work!
If you’re using dynamic retargeting, for example, you’ll see a much better click-thru rate (and conversion rate) when compared to boring old static display ads.
The great thing about retargeting is that it won’t cost the earth. You can start out with just $100 or so in budget and see great results if you get your campaign launch right. Most retargeting platforms have coupon codes for new customers, too – so why not test retargeting and let the network pick up the tab for you?
You can market a niche ecommerce store without a massive budget – all it takes is a proactive, hands-on approach to marketing, and you can save a lot of money while making lots of sales.
If you need some help implmenting these ideas, talk to us today.
Do it yourself website builders are great if you are just starting out.
Do they help manage website leads through to conversion, manage the various processes and workflow required to drive engagement and sales.
For example, can they do the following basic functions?
Marketing popups to drive engagement with offers
Personalized trigger emails
Integration with an email marketing platform
Thank you for signup /purchase pages – Track campaign performance via paid Ads
Enhanced tracking for Google Analytics – Reporting. Track sale value data via specific channels and campaigns
We’ve found many website builders do not offer these necessary functions.
So when choosing the platform to run your business on, ask yourself;
Does this platform have what I need to cost effectively run my business in a competitive space?
Will it help with my ongoing marketing?
Talk to us today for a free consultation on how your business can succeeed online.
The first month of the new year has flown by. As an online retailer you will be looking at identifying areas of improvement this year.
Take a second to think about what you have accomplished in 2014 and what didn’t go quite to plan. Did you have a great strategy in place but weren’t able to execute it as planned? Maybe you’ve thought of better ways to manage your time? The most important thing to remember is to list your resolutions and make improvements for the New Year.
5 ways to make 2015 even more successful than 2014
In 2013 Google Chairman Eric Schmidt outlined that 2014 was going to be all about mobile. Guess what?! It still is! In 2015 mobile commerce has been predicted to surpass expectations provided shoppers with an omnichannel experience.
At the beginning of the year smartphones were used by consumers to research products before making a purchase. Now, retailers are capturing more of the market by making the most of technological advancements. Customers can now research, compare prices and make payment with ease on their smartphone – we look forward to what 2015 holds.
Whilst we are on the topic of mobile, now is a good time to talk about responsive design. Whilst it is a relatively new design concept, responsive design is an absolute must for 2015. Making your website look and function the same on any smartphone, tablet and desktop, responsive design can actually improve site traffic and increase sales.
Integration is the buzz word of 2015 in many different ways. Signalling advancements in leisure as well as technology, integrations of many different types have responded to a demand for a ‘sharing economy’ providing users with a range of software and devices that provide a complete experience.
Get in-store delivery
Growing in popularity over the last year, click-and-collect is offering customers immediate fulfilment – a valuable service that only Bricks and Mortar stores could previously provide. Many online retailers such as Amazon and Google Shopping Express have partnered with local stores, whilst those with both an online and retail store have combined their efforts to offer an almost unrivalled shopping experience.
Remind customers who have abandoned their basket to purchase and upsell products via personalised recommendations
The year of personalisation, 2015 encourages ecommerce business owners to offer a more personalised web experience to their customers. From recommended products to personalised marketing emails and a tailored online experience, retailers who are set to offer something a little more personal can expect to see a great improvement in ROI.
Make the most of your ecommerce in 2015
At Nextwave we provide smart ecommerce solutions for online retailers. From bespoke integrations to internet marketing and paid search packages, we can help you to build a better ecommerce business in 2015. For more help and advice with your ecommerce call us today on 1300 859 805 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Now that the rush of online holiday shopping is coming to a halt, it’s time to consider how to lessen the blow of the January lull. It happens every year. While November and December are typically the biggest revenue-generating months, a vast decline in traffic and sales is common for January.
If you have not yet created a plan (or if it’s not a complete plan), consider some of these methods of trying to stay ahead of the game in the coming couple of months.
Plan for Returns and Exchanges
January is a good time to utilize online chat so you can not only provide quick answers, but also help guide customers to an alternate product versus a complete refund.
It’s also helpful to have an internal policy for handling customer requests, like offering free shipping if one opts to go with another item rather than a credit card refund. Or offering a bonus gift card to accompany a store credit.
Determine Sales and Clearance Items
Everyone expects to find holiday décor, wrapping paper, and other like items on sale starting now, and in January, but consider adding additional items (including gifts) to the mix. Not only will some be looking for deals on gifts for the following year, integrating neutral products can help increase average sale amounts, especially if you offer a threshold for free shipping.
Also consider offering sales on accessories for popular gift items. Think protective cases, refill packages and other popular add-ons.
Address Shoppers’ Needs Up Front
This is logical for certain product lines. For example, if you sell tablet computers, people may need accessories like cases and portable keyboards. Items that require supplies and accessories provide opportunity to cater to long-term customers. These items should also be advertised throughout the website in the coming weeks to take advantage of post-holiday needs.
Keep Distractions Away
You’ll also want to make sure your checkout process is streamlined to minimize cart abandonment, (things like; making sure only the available shipping methods are displayed, eliminate the use of CAPTCHA, simplifying credit card processes, and limiting distractions), because obviously you’ll be competing with many other online retailers also vying to create a steady flow of income during the month. Making the process easier & quicker will definitely help!
Sell gift cards? Make it easy for the recipients of the cards to check balances and redeem cards during checkout. (Now’s the perfect time to place a few test orders in this regard, incidentally.)
Regardless of what you sell, getting a jumpstart can help pave the way for the following months in the new year. While the January lull is certainly expected, some retailers have found ways to benefit. It’s an ideal time to try a few changes and see what works for your line of products.
The primary attraction for businesses using social media has traditionally been the ability to organically grow their audience and raise brand awareness on the platforms. However, with Facebook’s blunt announcement that organic reach is on the decline, if brands want to be visible on user newsfeeds, they will now have to pay to be seen. Businesses are faced with the reality that dominant social media platforms have become oversaturated with content from businesses of all sizes, with brands generating content faster than users can consume them.
With the increase in sponsored posts and paid ads on Twitter, brands are now also competing with news companies for visibility. This is not particularly surprising coming from Twitter, a company that wants to redefine itself as an alternative news platform, with their combination of personal communication and real- time newsfeed a remarkably useful tool for those working in the media and entertainment industry.
In response, Facebook and Twitter have both announced the arrival of new commerce tools, designed to give businesses a ‘call to action’ option that will help to drive sales through social media. Twitter has also moved to give businesses more flexibility when paying for advertising, and according to Forbe.com’s Jayson DeMers:
“These objective-based campaigns, which are still currently in beta, will offer more flexibility including tweet engagements, website clicks or conversions, app installs, new followers and leads. These campaigns will be particularly appealing to small business owners who want to pay for results, not just for brand visibility.”
It is early days yet, and businesses are sure to be testing this option out this holiday season, however it also represents a shift in how businesses may now view the role of social media in their marketing/PR strategies.There is a new focus on social marketing, with marketers using social media to drive “sales over status updates and commerce over engagement.”
The average holiday consumer is now more likely to go to social media for information that will influence their purchasing decision, and Facebook and Twitter’s new ‘buy’ buttons would help facilitate smooth online transactions. If Facebook and Twitter’s new commerce capabilities prove to be useful for marketers, this may help to counteract the growing difficulty of organic reach experienced by businesses this year.
(Source: Daniel Green, socialmediatoday.com)
With everyone getting into online sales, a user-friendly e-commerce site is a crucial investment that will keep your web presence strong and profitable.
Check out these 15 tips to make your e-commerce site more appealing to visitors:
1. What Do Your Customers Want?
There are a few things your users want from you before they will give you their dollars or their trust. Some of these things are tangible, some are intangible. Some of these things are good for you, all of them are good for your customers, and all of them are important if you want to keep your customers coming back.
Your customers want your site to be clearly different from other sites. They want to see your logo and your brand’s colours in ways that are instantly recognizable. If your brand’s colours are similar to other brands, especially competitors, you will have to find ways to differentiate your site. Confused customers are less likely to feel like they have had a positive experience.
3. Hot Products
Shoppers want to know what’s hot. Tell them right up front. Don’t make them search for the items you know they are looking for.
4. Latest News About Your Brand
If your brand has been favorably mentioned in the news, many shoppers want to know about it. It reinforces their confidence in their choice of your products. Don’t count on them to see these news mentions on another site. Make sure they have easy access to news article on your site.
5. Deals and Free Stuff
It’s true — some customers are only interested in deals and free stuff. If they know they can count on your brand for deals and free stuff, it’s probably because you trained them that way. It takes very little real estate on your homepage to make sure these users are getting where they want to go with a single click.
6. Free Shipping
Just about everyone is doing it. It may be for a minimum purchase, or it may be a loyalty statement, but free shipping is almost like table-stakes in online retail these days. It’s definitely a huge factor in lifetime value of the customer relationship.
7. Easy Sign In/Sign Up
Test those forms with actual users before putting them on your e-commerce site. One thing you definitely don’t want to happen is for a new customer to abandon a purchase because your sign-up process is confusing.
8. Strong Authentication
Some customers may complain about strong authentication requirements, but all customers appreciate knowing you have their security and identity best interests in mind. Once you establish authentication requirements, keep them that way. Playing around with this factor will only alienate customers.
Make it easy for customers to find what they are looking for with a robust search function. This is a little more involved than having a search field on your pages. Not only should products, articles, reviews, etc. be indexed, but everything should be tagged appropriately with relevant metadata and keywords.
10. Clear Payment Options
Don’t let your customer find out on the last page of the check-out process that their international or American Express card will not be accepted for payment. If you make these little details clear early in the process, customers will not be frustrated by an unpleasant surprise and you will not be frustrated by abandoned carts.
11. Social Media Links
For some reason, people love to share their purchases on social media. Take advantage of this, and put social media links on every product page. Even if they don’t make a purchase, if they see something they like, being able to share it can help motivate them to come back later and make that purchase.
12. Easy Contact Info
It should be extremely easy to find your contact information and customer service phone number, hours of operation, address and other contact information. If you bury this information, you are basically telling your customers you don’t want to be found. Your customers will receive this message loud and clear — and go somewhere else.
13. Store Locator
Even if you only have one physical location, include a map on your site that clearly shows your location. Include directions that are printable. This is even more important when you have multiple locations.
For many customers, opening a chat session while on a product page to ask a few questions is much easier than dialing a phone and waiting on hold. This is a great way to increase conversion rates, especially with younger demographics.
Security is paramount. Your customers want to know that you’ve got their backs when it comes to securing and encrypting transaction information. Displaying the logos of the firms (McAfee, Verisign, GeoTrust, Paypal, etc.) that are handling this functionality is an easy way to demonstrate that you are being proactive in this regard. For most of your customers, these logos have become symbols of a trusted relationship. Leverage this power.
One final thought: an experienced designer can answer a lot of your questions up front. But don’t implement what you think are user-friendly features without testing them with your customers. They are the ones who know!
What did you think of these must-haves and tips? Did we leave anything off this list? Let us know!
Attracting visitors to your website is only the first step — once they get there, you want to make sure they hang around.
What’s more, you want them to click through to other pages on your website, whether that means reading a blog post, filling out a landing page form, or (hallelujah!) actually buying something.
Why does it matter that your visitors stay on your site? Because, as an inbound marketer, your main goal is to attract and convert website visitors into well-qualified leads for your sales team. If visitors come to your website but then leave, you’ll only be fulfilling part of your goal.
To learn more about the reasons why visitors leave a website, check out this infographic from KISSmetrics, put yourself in your ideal customers’ shoes, and think about the ways you can improve your website and increase the number of potential buyers who stick around.
Emily Pettitt’s Geronimo Boy is an absolute labour of love.
Like most women, I have always had a passion for fabulous handbags. Lusting over other people’s bags and drooling over luscious bags in a shop window, my passion for these collectible objects runs deep
Women’s clutches, wallets and handbags. Also a little something for men.
Geronimo Boy – Womens And Mens Fashion Accessories
It’s fairly simple now to become an online entrepreneur, thanks to technology and social media. Making a profit, on the other hand, is not always simple. There are small details that could greatly affect how your business thrives on the Internet — you can’t just put up an ecommerce portal and expect customers to come rolling in.
Building the smartest (and most successful) business website requires a lot of consideration. Online retailers must balance web design and development with marketing practices to successfully drive sales.
To add to the balancing act, your website and business will benefit when you consider what your customer wants and needs. Most are looking for a simple, straightforward shopping experience. Think about it — when is the last time you felt that way in a mall? There’s a reason shoppers are flocking to the web for their commerce needs — everything is tailored to them.
Christine Erickson has gathered a few tips for a successful ecommerce platform in the list below, some of which were suggested by Sucharita Mulpurur, an analyst at Forrester, and Ben Zifkin, CEO of Hubba.
Whether you’re a small business owner or an online shopper — as a customer, what features do you appreciate when you’re purchasing something on the web? Share your thoughts in the comments.
1. Easy Navigation
In order to get customers to purchase your product, they must know how to get to it first.
2. A Great Search Bar
Even if your site is easy to navigate, nearly every sucessful website has a search bar. It’s a quick and convenient way for customers to find exactly what they need.
3. Keep it Simple
Provide an easy payment system. Consumers are more likely to purchase your product if the checkout is streamlined and straightforward.
4. Extra Features
Though the payment process should be straightforward, users shouldn’t feel like their options are lacking.
Keep in mind that some are purchasing your product as a gift. So, offer services like wrapping, receipts, personalized notes and returns. These features give a customer more reasons to buy, whether it’s for them or someone else.
5. Looks are Everything
You’ve likely spent a lot of time on your product — why not show it off in the best quality possible?
Showcasing your products in visually appealing and interesting way is a great way to grab potential buyer’s attention.
6. Give Details
Data-sharing has evolved the retail world. Basic information like sizing, color and availability are necessary, but it helps the consumer to know things like how the product was made, how it will be shipped and what others are saying about it.
Make sure your shipping costs are apparent before the customer’s final checkout. The earlier they know about additional charges, the less likely they are to abandon their cart.
8. Be Honest
No one likes to feel tricked after they’ve made a purchase, especially one that they’re not happy with.
Make sure that your policies are upfront and in plain language so customers know exactly what they are in for.
9. Be Human
Customers may like the anonymity of online shopping because it provides privacy and trust. But a personalized experience will likely bring good reviews and recurring shoppers.
10. Be Browser and Platform Friendly
Sites that run smoothly on multiple browsers and different Devices will drive more sales. Online shoppers are not going to wait around for a slow site to load or purchase something they can’t see because the image is broken.
Ten years ago, search engine optimization was fairly straightforward:
Make sure the search engines can crawl your site, use the right keywords, and get lots of links. As the engines become more and more sophisticated at delivering personalized results, these traditional SEO signals are no longer enough. Social media, however, specializes in the signals that search engines crave: identity and relationships.
Search engines are working on making their results ever more personalized so that their search results will contain more content directly relevant to you, either based on location, past behavior, or from people you know or are likely to trust.
How Social feeds SEO:
By understanding that identity and relationships are important to search engines and therefore to SEO, we can begin to change our marketing behaviors so that we’re positioned to benefit as the tide swells.
But blasting Facebook posts out that link to your site won’t give you an ounce more link authority in the search algorithms. All reputable social networks strip the link authority from the links off to other sites by using 302 redirects or nofollow attributes. So where exactly is the value to organic search?
- Indirect link earning. If no one sees your content, regardless of how amazingly awesome it may be, no one can link to it. Social media can be a powerful way to expose masses of customers to engaging content. The more people that see that content and enjoy it, the more likely it is to earn reshares that expose even more people to your messages. Increasing the number of exposures logically increases the number of people who are likely to link to the content on a blog or another site that does pass link authority back to your site.
Recent studies have shown a high correllation between the numbers of Google +1s and Facebook Likes compared to high rankings. Naturally some speculate that social data is already being used in web ranking algorithms, but Google and Bing both deny it. Most likely the rankings are a result of the afore mentioned increased exposure/increased linking relationship.
- Personalization. Social relationships also create opportunities for your content to show up in individual customers’ personalized search results. For example, If Sally uses Google+ to +1 an informative tips and tricks page on your site, and Sally is friends with Susie, the next time Susie searches for similar tips content she will likely see that Sally liked your tips and tricks page enough to share it.
Your page may display in Susie’s search results purely because Sally shared it, when it wouldn’t have normally been displayed in search results. And the search result will be visually augmented with Sally’s picture and the notation that she shared it. That personalization benefits your ability to rank, your visual appeal to increase click through, and boosts trust based on the relationship between Sally and Susie.
Multiply this interaction by 100, 1,000 or 10,000 and you can understand the widespread impact that personalization based on participation in the right social networks can have. For Google search results, the social network that matters most is Google+. Don’t roll your eyes, there are several very good reasons to participate in Google Plus.