Why e-commerce businesses should opt for smart instead
In my 15 years of creating software for e-commerce businesses, I’ve seen the industry change a great deal. Lately, I view most e-commerce software falling into one of two distinct categories — sexy and unsexy. Inevitably, the flashy side of selling seduces transfixed business owners toward tools they must have to “attract” customers, such as beautiful websites, custom-fit applications, artificial intelligence, trending social media apps, marketing automation, and the like. Because owners are convinced they need all this customer-facing software in order to sell online, they put tremendous business resources toward the sexy.
But here’s the rub: The unsexy, “boring” side of the business is what owners actually use to run the company. In fact, without it, they are sure to fail. Among dozens of other important tasks, this is the software that allows them to Continue reading
How to build a welcome email series that turns shoppers into buyers
So now that you’re applying best practices to acquiring your marketing audience, your list is growing and people are eager to hear from you. Conversion is all about turning that database into purchasers and there’s no more effective way to do so than a welcome email or, better yet, a series of welcome emails. After all, you’ve paid to acquire these new subscribers, so why not talk to them? In fact, not sending a welcome email is like inviting a new friend over for dinner and then ignoring the doorbell when they arrive.
After acquiring a new lead, the best practice is to send a series of two to three triggered messages. The focus of these messages should be to introduce, inspire, and incentivize a sale, or conversion. These pre-nurture, getting-to-know-you emails should include messages that reinforce your brand value and build consumer confidence. In other words, tell those new friends why they should shop with you, explain what your brand stands for, and describe what makes your business so unique. In your first imessage or in one of the messages within your series, consider sending some how-to content to educate your customer about your particular specialty. Consider introducing a loyalty program or a frequent-shopper program. Finally, in your early emails, set expectations about how often you will email and what content your customer can expect to receive in your emails. This will help prevent list dropout and unsubscribes later. Continue reading
Simple ways to reach customers who are ready to buy
Our recent webinar with the email marketing experts at Bronto yielded some great advice on how to drive e-commerce revenue through email marketing campaigns. In fact, it was so comprehensive, we’re doing a three-part blog series series to review each of the key phases within best practice strategies of email marketing—acquisition, conversion, and retention.
In email marketing, acquisition refers to people opting in, or letting you know that they would like to receive email marketing messages from your company. When it comes to valuable marketing, there’s a big difference between someone who knowingly volunteers their email and contact information versus someone who is unwittingly being blasted with messages. That difference lies both in the cost and effort to communicate with them as well as the potential value of converting this visitor into a buyer.
First, to get better perspective, it helps to think about where your traffic is coming from. Ask yourself some strategic questions: “What percent conversion am I seeing when people visit my site? On which pages is the traffic highest? How long are people staying there? What does the email sign-up look like?” And then move specifically into email marketing: “What does our email marketing sign-up look like? In how many places is it present? Is the call to action clear? What is the visibility of our sign-up and is it persistent throughout the site? Should we consider other forms of acquisition like affiliate programs and contests? Should we leverage paid advertising and social media channels for acquisition?” Continue reading