These days, it’s relatively simple to build an ecommerce website with minimal cost and effort, but running an ecommerce business isn’t just about selling products. Without attracting and maintaining a customer base, your business probably won’t be as successful.
So how do you get your business to stand out and drive visitors to purchase from your website? With new methods and social platforms emerging every day, it’s hard to know which channels to focus on to maximize your marketing efforts.
We’ll give you three simple, yet effective, methods for correctly structuring your multi-channel marketing strategy and producing impressive conversion rates for your ecommerce business.
One of the oldest, yet still most effective methods of ecommerce marketing is email marketing. Building a subscriber list is the first step – because if you don’t have a list, you have no one to send your campaigns to and your efforts will ultimately be wasted.
Tip #1: Your email list is NEVER too small to start sending follow-ups to customers interested in your product. Make sure that from the very inception of your store, you have autoresponders welcoming them to your list and encouraging them to make a first purchase. Remember, customers don’t know how large our email list is — they just want to learn more about what you have to offer on a timeline that makes sense for them!
When writing an email, you should be aiming to drive traffic to your ecommerce website and generate revenue. Now, this doesn’t mean you should be sending out dozens of emails to the same person every day. Instead, you should strategically build a series of emails that will grasp a reader’s attention – starting with a subject line that compels them to open the email.
It’s important to give your subscribers a reason to open your email, whether it’s a discount for their shopping endeavors or a time-sensitive event. Customers love exclusive promotions, and if your email doesn’t include some form of special offer, it will most likely be sent to the trash without being opened.
(You can even get more subscribers through your email newsletter. Learn more in our blog post Amplify your Email Newsletter with These Best Newsletter Practices).
If you’ve managed to get this far and your subscribers open up your email, don’t forget to include a single call to action – it can increase clicks by up to 400%!
Make it easy for your customers to navigate back to your website and click the purchase button within a few minutes. Your call to action tells your customers what action you want them to take next – and if you have more than one, it will seem overbearing and result in a lower conversion rate.
Steve Madden does a great job at email marketing – they cleverly focus on one promotional discount and don’t bombard their customers with excessive text. Their call to action (“Shop Now”) is straightforward and easily accessible, while their discount details are in large font and entice customers to click the call to action – ultimately driving traffic to their site.
And did we mention that email marketing is inexpensive? If it doesn’t work for your business, your wallet will still be able to breathe.
Nowadays, many social networks (if not all) offer methods of paid advertising for businesses. Although social advertising is more expensive than most other marketing efforts, it continues to be an effective strategy for businesses to maintain a great social presence and increase conversions on their ecommerce website.
Tip #2: Preserve your budget! Try only running social ads to customers that have given you an email address. All social ad platforms provide the option to do this. It ensures that the people you are paying to target are real, live humans and not bots!
Facebook & Instagram – As the biggest social network, Facebook definitely has the greatest potential reach for social display ads. Similarly, having been acquired by Facebook in 2012, getting social ads up and running on Instagram is a comparable process.
With both social networks, you can easily create a campaign to focus on one of two things – retargeting existing customers or reaching new customers through a lookalike audience. A retargeting campaign advertises to people who have previously expressed interest in your site and remind them of how amazing your product is.
Alternatively, creating a lookalike campaign will ultimately reach new customers who are likely going to be interested in your product based on the profiles of customers who already do.
It might seem frightening at first, but if you set your budget, determine your objective, and track your metrics – you’ll soon see an increase in traffic to your ecommerce site.
Pinterest – As one of the more visual social media sites, Pinterest business pages help ecommerce stores market their products in a way that no other social media platform has managed to do effectively.
With Pinterest Rich Pins, business accounts are able to share specific information about the pinned product – including prices and direct links to the product page. Ultimately, this makes it easier for customers to access your website and complete a purchase without having to search for it themselves.
Social media marketing is one of the most influential methods of promoting your ecommerce stores. Platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have millions of users. They’ve grown to the point where they are now dominating the internet. However, social media marketing isn’t easy – it requires time and commitment, but could ultimately drive herds of traffic to your site.
Tip #3: Customers typically have one social platform that they use the most. This means that it is OK to circulate one piece of content on multiple platforms without fatiguing your customers — saving you time. The pros will often use the same image they post on social media in an email, which gives your creative assets even more bang for the buck.
Social media platforms are great for providing quick customer service. When customers want information about a product, they’ll compose a short tweet and expect a timely answer.
Make sure to scan ALL of your social profiles at least five times per day for any customer questions or red flags, such as a complaint or a bad review. Make it easy on yourself and turn the on your mobile notifications so you can actively track inquiries as they come in.
These days, social networks are also storefronts for your ecommerce site. If you don’t have at least one active social profile, customers are likely hesitant to continue on their shopping journey with you. After all, in this generation, most customers use social networks to research companies and reviews before purchasing a product.
Lastly, it’s important to use social networks to your advantage – and that means to add value to your company, not simply advertise your product to the extreme.
While it’s fine to add a promotional post here and there, be sure to also share relevant user-generated content – whether you’re retweeting a customer photo of them using your product or a blog post that your followers might enjoy. This will ultimately attract followers (and long-term customers!) and show them that you don’t want to simply to bombard them with advertisements.
My Cinema Lightbox does just that on their Twitter account – sharing various photos that customers have tagged them in, as well as blog posts that review their product. This gives prospective customers a chance to see others use it and get their feedback before purchasing it themselves.
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Word of mouth
Lastly, you can’t forget about the marketing method that has been relevant since the beginning of commerce – word of mouth.
A happy customer ultimately turns into a salesperson for your company, sharing information about your products via reviews and conversations. After all, recommendations from friends and family are significantly more credible and trustworthy than any other type of advertising.
Tip #4: Systematize asking for word of mouth support. Use your email provider’s automation feature to follow up with customers who have recently made a purchase and ask for them to refer a friend or post a review. Test several messages to see what works best!
Generate positive word of mouth by providing friendly and helpful customer service – answering any and all questions customers may have, as well as following through with high-quality products and timely shipping.
Look at it this way, if you provide a customer with a fantastic shopping experience, they will be more inclined to promote your business to their network, which will not only bring in more business for you but will likely to create repeat customers as well.
Integrating multi-channel marketing strategies together
With all of these marketing channels, it’s easy to lose sight on one platform that probably isn’t as successful as the others. You might stop producing content on social channels because it isn’t increasing your conversions; or perhaps your email subscribers aren’t visiting your ecommerce site after opening your email.
Tip #5: These days, it can take up to 20 impressions across all marketing channels to convince a potential customer to take an action, so be aggressive with getting your message out there! We know it can often feel like you’re overwhelming customers by repeating your message, but remember: you (the one posting the content) are likely the only person who will encounter everything that you put out there. People need to see your message multiple times before they will consider paying attention.
When marketing your business, it’s important to integrate all of your marketing efforts where possible. Here are three of the best integrations:
Consistent Messaging – First things first, make sure your messaging is consistent across all marketing channels. Customers will likely interact with at least two marketing channels, and having inconsistent content and messaging will ultimately confuse customers.
However, with stable and coherent content that encompasses what your brand has to offer will make your company increasingly memorable.
Now this doesn’t mean you have to replicate your content on every platform. Analyze what type of content works on every channel and plan accordingly. For example, social platforms tend to be better for curated content and the occasional advertising post.
On the other hand, email marketing is primarily used for product advertisement or store discounts. When visitors opt-in to your emails, they’re aware that they’ll be receiving emails about your products.
However, when they visit your social accounts, they’re likely looking for ideas or content that interests them – they don’t want to be bombarded with just product photos.
Social Links – Whether it’s on your email template or website, it’s important to include links to your social accounts where possible.
For example, if an email subscriber wants to receive more consistent updates through social platforms, they will likely click on one of the social icons included at the bottom of your email. When they follow you on social media, they’ll be receiving a constant reminder about your ecommerce store and will likely turn into a conversion.
As we can see in Steve Madden’s promotional emails, they tend to place all of their social links at the bottom of their emails. This allows readers to have quick access to their social platforms without taking away from the main purpose of the email – the promo code.
Testimonials – The hardest integration is typically with word of mouth – because, how do you track what happy (and unhappy) customers are saying about you? Luckily, happy customers tend to provide their thoughts about the product through comments and posts on your social platforms.
In addition, if you have an active social following, ask your followers to share photos of themselves using the product! You’ll be surprised at how many people will follow through with this request. And even better, social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook allow for you to share these customer posts with your entire following.
When you think about it, anything can be a testimonial – a review on your website, an email from a customer, or even a caption on a photo!
With the customer’s permission, you’re able to use these quotes for your social and email marketing. For example, say a customer posted a positive comment under one of your products. Use a portion of this comment and integrate it into your social advertising posts.
In the example below, My Cinema Lightbox uses wit to portray the customers’ love for the product, giving prospective customers more confidence and desire to buy their product – as well as easy access to their website to quickly purchase the lightbox.
Do your research and analyze what your customers are reacting to on every marketing channel. Email marketing, social advertising, social media, and word of mouth can all have a positive impact on your business if strategized correctly.
It’s important to keep your brand actively present on multiple channels and integrating the channels will do wonders for your ecommerce business.
- Consistent messaging across all channels will make your brand more memorable to customers; however, analyze what type of content works on each channel to keep customers engaged and interested in your business.
- Include social media links on other platforms to give customers an easy method of following and engaging with your social accounts.
- Use customer testimonials wherever you can – social advertising, emails, etc. When you give prospective customers more confidence and proof that your products are great – they’ll be more inclined to purchase from you!
Having a concrete marketing plan in place is crucial for the success of your ecommerce business, but this doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive! Following these simple and time-efficient methods will make your conversions and your customer base grow exponentially.
What are your experiences with multi-channel marketing? Which have you tried and how did it work? Share your learnings in the comments below.