Join us to learn how to Build a Simple, Smart, Scalable Online Retail Tech Stack
We’re thrilled to announce that we’ll be sponsoring and exhibiting at Bronto Summit, the leading commerce marketing event, to be held April 24-27 in Las Vegas. And if you’re in the Florida area, our Vice President of Marketing and Partnerships Christina Del Villar will be attending the Pitney Bowes Retail (R)evolution™ in Orlando April 24-26. To meet with sales at Bronto Summit, please contact email@example.com. For all media inquiries and to meet with Christina Del Villar in Orlando, please contact Eileen Conway at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Bronto Summit, in addition to a partner luncheon, we’ll be demonstrating how to build a simple, smart, and scalable tech stack in Booth 13 of the Commerce Cafe. Of course you’re all invited to stop by and enter their “Guess the LEGOs” game for a chance to win an Amazon Echo. All entrants will be awarded with a bag of LEGOs, and a winner will be chosen daily.
As you may know, an e-commerce tech stack is an antidote to the “app fatigue” plaguing merchants today. Our Unify software is the anchor of an efficient tech stack, integrating with best-of-breed online retail solutions—bringing seamless automation, order, and scale to otherwise chaotic workflows and business operations. What’s more, Unify provides all the business intelligence, financial insight, and operational stamina of a larger, complex, and costlier integrated system. Unify and an e-commerce tech stack empower online retailers to focus on their passion rather than their operations.
To be successful, e-commerce companies need more than a great product—they need to scale easily and streamline operations. With our essential technology stack, online retailers can focus on their business aspirations rather than operational headaches. We look forward to showing everyone the future of e-commerce at these key events. See you there!
Written by Tucker Schreiber for Shopify
We know your pain. You’re looking for free images for your website. You’ve looked far and wide for gorgeous, free images to use online, but keep running into cheesy pictures of people laughing at their salad. The good news is there are ton of different free and paid images for commercial use available online if you just know where to look.
In this post, Shopify has graciously compiled the ultimate list of resources to source free images for your website. Whether you want free stock images for your blog, to download, or for commercial use—you’ll find them here. Take a look, and enjoy!
Written for Bronto Software by Greg Zakowicz, Senior Commerce Marketing Analyst
It’s a fact. Someone will unsubscribe every time you send a batch promotional email. And while we all hate to see our subscribers go, wouldn’t you be open to a higher unsubscribe rate if it meant increasing your revenue? How you view your unsubscribes not only affects your email strategy and its revenue potential, but it also influences improvements you should make to your automated messages and your yearly list growth goals. Let’s discuss.
People unsubscribe for a variety of reasons. The most common include receiving too many emails and irrelevant content. Often, the “too many” threshold is actually determined by the proportion of irrelevant content, those situations when the content is meaningless to the reader or fails to change from one message to the next. I know of retailers who send every day, or even multiple times daily, whose unsubscribe rate is no different than the retailer sending only a few times each week. While there may be an opportunity to drive additional revenue by increasing sends, we need to recognize the full impact of those sends on a subscriber database.
At what point do the inevitable unsubscribes begin to hurt your bottom line? Determining the cost of the unsubscribe is an important step to answering that question. Knowing the cost can help you optimize your sending strategy throughout the year, particularly when planning for periods of increased sending, such as the holiday season. Read more
Guess what? We’re going to Bronto Summit on April 24. Shoot us a note an let’s meet up in person: email@example.com. Better yet, register now for our upcoming webinar with Bronto on April 11: How to Build a Better e-Commerce Email Campaign.
5 Advanced solutions for managers who want to take it up a notch
Aside from working an unsustainable 70-hour work week and hiring expensive contractors, there are few additional—somewhat more complex—things managers can do to get the work done, run an efficient department, and foster a sane work environment for all.
- Implement a marketing technology stack. To make you all more efficient, accept that you’ll need to leverage the appropriate tools. Sometimes companies make the mistake of waiting too long to implement tools that, in the long run, would save time, help with lead acquisition, increase conversion rates, and provide a better understanding of your different programs. As soon as you can, start implementing modern marketing solutions such as automation tools, collaboration software, and customer relationship management. First you’ll need to figure out what tools are right for you, but the sooner you can start implementing some of that infrastructure, the easier your life will be in the long run.When you take over a small team, look at the historical efficacy of the technology tools that are already in place. Because product improvements and features change quickly, take time to evaluate each tool’s cost and how it’s being used. Take a look at how you can improve their efficacy or get rid of them altogether and find something more useful for the same cost or less.And don’t be afraid to plan for a miracle. In my experience, whenever there’s extra budget at the end of a fiscal year, you have about five minutes to decide what to do with it, otherwise, it’s gone. To prevent impulsive decisions based on panic, keep a prioritized wish list of solutions you would implement if you had the budget such as bringing in a contractor to handle PR, automating workflows, utilizing an A/B testing program, or outsourcing a big web development project. Have a business case about what each of these would cost and help you accomplish so you’re list is realistic and your recommendation is taken seriously.
- Develop regular maintenance processes so you can do ad hoc projects without upsetting the apple cart. Maintenance is not the most job in the world, but there will always be basic things that you need to cross off the proverbial list every day or week. The more you can turn those tasks into processed, automatic to-dos, the more time you’ll have for moments of creativity, strategic planning, crisis management, or inevitable ad hoc projects. When your goals and plans are in place and your workflows are predictable, introducing process can help you find some much needed breathing space in your schedule.
- Test, test, A/B/C/D/E test. Be proactive by creating a regular practice of A/B testing. Test everything from messages, images, concepts, forms, etc. This will help you more easily introduce innovation and problem solving to a small team. When you’re a small team, sometimes you’re just trying to get through the day and innovation falls by the wayside. A/B testing your messaging on a regular basis will help you become more proactive versus reactive. It’ll help you get to a message that resonates with your audience faster, and it will actually make your team look larger than it really is.A/B testing can be pretty simple. Whether it’s comparing the subject line of an email that’s going out or the titles of webinars or articles, there are several cost-effective, easy ways to test. In the long run, if you can hone your message and learn what really works for which audiences, you’ll save your team bucketloads of time and money.
- Measure. Decide what you want to measure, why and how you will use the information to improve on programs. This can be a bit more complicated than it sounds. Oftentimes, folks want look at the number of leads I brought in. But if the leads themselves aren’t going to sales until they’re sales-qualified leads, then is that metric really helping? Are you looking at the conversion rate versus the number? Do you care if they’re MQL and then SQL? Clearly there are many different ways to measure.First figure out what number is going to help you prove the impact that your marketing programs are having. Then collaborate with the sales and executive management teams to understand what they’re looking at and for. And if you can handle being brutally honest, figure out what measurement is going to justify your existence and budget as a marketing team.
- Put your measurements into action. Once you come up with reports, frequencies, and levels of detail that make sense to put everyone on the same page. The goal is to understand the impact your programs are having so that they can be modified, left alone, or enhanced with more budget.It’s a pretty common scenario—marketing managers think their reports are just phenomenal (and they are), but then they don’t do anything with that information. I recommend using those measurements to help you define and inform your next set of programs, or determine the next partnership that you’re going pursue, or guide your next messaging campaign. Use your measurements to leverage resources to then continue planning. When you look at the measurements and are able to start incorporating some of the findings into your future programs, you should start seeing impact on a monthly basis.
How do you know if these advanced hacks are working for you? From an external standpoint, when your brand or company is perceived as larger than it is, you’ll know you’ve done a phenomenal job. And when your partners and customers assume that your business is more established and experienced than it is, you’ll know you’re on the right track.
5 Simple solutions for managers who haven’t got time for the pain
At the risk of stating the obvious, when retailers first launch, they’re usually not able to expand their marketing team at the rate that they might like. In the meantime, they assess their team and resources and try to figure out how to fill the gaps. I’ve worked with marketing teams as large as 50 and as small as two, and have learned that running a department efficiently comes down to a simple set of best practices.
- Be transparent. Create a list of both short-term and long-term goals and share them frequently with your department, sales team, and executive management. Set the parameters of the terms and make sure your goals are in alignment with the company and all relevant departments. This sets both individual and company-wide expectations, gets everyone on the same page, and confirms that your group is moving in the right direction.In setting goals it’s important to know your perspective relative to the size of your company, whether you’re just one person or a team of five or 10. Seeing your team in this context will help you prioritize, keep a realistic balance of tasks that are both easily achievable and professionally challenging, and adjust the lists as tasks are completed, lagging behind schedule, or no longer feasible. This ensures that everyone stays busy but no one becomes overwhelmed, and if a team member does become overwhelmed, you’ll have the freedom and visibility to adjust resources and goals accordingly. Maintain a “no surprises” policy by keeping open and friendly dialogue about team and individual goals at your regular meetings. Continue reading