Join Josh and Meg as they enter week 3 of our Mobile March Madness bracket. Both of these campaigns were great competitors, but which one was a slam dunk? Watch and see!Read More
As usual, the Privy product team is hard at work. Today we're excited to push an update to the AB testing functionality many of you rely on so frequently.
With today's update, you can now easily include experiments around varying form fields, as well as unique coupon codes per variation. And lastly, you can sync contacts to different places based on the variation they signed up for.
For many marketers, we always ponder this age old question of "how does the number of fields in my form impact conversions"? Well, no more guessing. Hop right into your variants and edit the requested fields.
Simplify the way you offer test welcome modals and cart savers, by using the behavior tab inside each variation to select a coupon code for that variant. This lets you set up unique codes that can differ, and truly identify which offer is best for your conversion rates.
Last but not least, many of you have wanted to send contacts to different lists based on which variation they signed up for. Now you can easily do that within each variations automation tab.
You can expect continuous improvements to AB testing in the near future!
In this guide you'll find an overview of the best display types for mobile, how to comply with Google's mobile pop up rules, tips for mobile audience targeting, and a few ready to go campaign ideas you can use right away. Download the guide here, it’s free and you don’t even need to give us your email address to get it. And if you like it, feel free to give it a share.Read More
Did you know you can preview your onsite campaigns on both desktop and mobile devices all within the Privy designer? On this episode of Whiteboard Wednesday, I'll go through three simple design tips to help your campaigns perform better on mobile devices.Read More
Entrepreneurship is no easy business. It requires passion, grit, resilience and so much more. But there's no better time to start a business than today!
Here's a compilation of the free resources you can use to get smart about the ecommerce industry, track trends and learn how to market your ecommerce store.
These are the podcasts and guides we use internally to train team members, and reference for merchants looking to accelerate their businesses.
- The Unofficial Shopify Podcast - Host Kurt Elster is a well renowned Shopify Expert. He brings on all sorts of vendors from the ecommerce space, as well as merchants small and large. Each episode tends to have a singular theme to focus on.
- Shopify Masters - This is the "official" podcast from Shopify. They do a great job bringing on merchants to tell they're getting started stories, first sale stories and more. Incredibly inspiring for those on the fence of getting started.
- My Wife Quit Her Job - Host Steve Chou and his wife both quit their jobs to bootstrap different businesses. One is a very successful ecommerce store that sells linens. He brings on different bootstrapped business owners, shares tips, tricks, and tools for growing a 6 figure business online.
- Ecommerce Fuel - This is a slightly more advanced podcast, focused on sites approaching or exceeding $100K in sales per year. But the content is fantastic for those even a bit smaller, to get a feel for how the scaling entrepreneurs are viewing the world.
- Ecommerce Influence - Also a level 2 or 3 podcast, but fantastic content around conversion marketing for ecommerce sites.
- 50 ways to make your first sale - These days, the time required to launch your site, and the cost, are approaching zero. Launching is step 1, but most ecommerce sites struggle to get their first sale. Here's a guide that should inspire some ideas on achieving that first milestone.
- Facebook advertising for ecommerce entreprenuers - If you're getting started, getting traffic to your site is the first key ingredient in getting the word out. Facebook ads and instagram ads can be a low cost way to experiment with doing just that.
- How to grow your ecommerce business with email marketing - Email remains a top 5 revenue source for ecommerce businesses. This guide walks through the basics for email marketing within your ecommerce business.
- Ecommerce analytics for beginners - CRO, CTR, LAL. 1%, 10% and every other buzz word acronym make it hard to understand what metrics really matter for your ecommerce site. Start by digesting this quick guide.
- Privy academy - 98% of your site traffic leaves without converting. This is a series of educational posts that will introduce you to the concept of on-site conversions, email capture and more.
- The ecommerce marketer's guide to better on-site targeting and conversions - Simply adding a popup might help conversions, but there's so much more to increasing on-site conversion rates. This is a level 2 guide that walks through how to create more relevant conversion opportunities based on key website visitor segments.
- Shopify Entrepreneurs - A free community with over 70,000 members around the world. The group is a fantastic place to ask any question you may have, small or large, and also to connect with other entrepreneurs all over the world at the same stage as you.
- Ecommerce Fuel - are you approaching $100K in annual sales? If so you can apply to be a part of this great community. Members discuss vendors, marketing and challenges of scaling their ecommerce startups.
Ever wonder how to make your on-site campaign magically perform just as well on mobile as it does for desktop visitors? Here are a few design magic tips to help you create the most effective mobile campaigns for your site.Read More
This month we're celebrating March Madness by doing all sorts of fun stuff focusing on how to convert more of your mobile visitors into subscribers. We'll have a downloadable help guide for you, as well as some design tips and weekly episodes of Yeah! or Meh. to help you make your mobile displays a slam dunk! Watch this week's episode of Yeah! or Meh. where we discuss two mobile campaigns from our customers and decide which one will move on in the Mobile March Madness bracket.
Want to learn more about mobile conversion? Download our free guide here.
Have you seen eBay or Amazon ads on your Facebook feed? Or perhaps eBay discount codes on Twitter? Perhaps you tried to make a purchase via Instagram or Pinterest recently? Don’t be surprised to find more and more footprints from the biggest ecommerce platforms throughout social media. They have partnered up and are ready to take over the world wide web.
Facebook first introduced Marketplace, where you can buy and sell items among the people in your community. Later on, they launched Messenger Payments and started selling tickets for events, eventually promoting eBay daily deals.
Meanwhile, Twitter first introduced sales alerts and then started rolling out a ‘Buy Now’ feature.
As for the rest of the social media platforms:
- Tumblr introduced a ‘Buy’ button.
- Instagram integrated with Shopify so now we have shoppable Instagram feeds.
- Pinterest implemented buyable pins and after a while partnered up with Target.
At the same time, Amazon made one of the biggest changes: They have created their own social media platform called Spark, which is similar to Instagram.
All of this information points to the fact that whenever social media platforms collaborate with ecommerce platforms, the shoppers and buyers end up having a lot more perks. For example, if you’re wondering whether a certain brand ships their products to your country, all you have to do is go to one of their profiles on any social media and ask them.
Most responses tend to be prompt. Or, if you’re having second thoughts about whether you should really buy a product and if it’s worth your money, just search for the product on any ecommerce platform and you’ll see a bunch of reviews from people who have already bought and tried the same item.
You can find these and many other ways in which social media and ecommerce platforms have been collaborating together in the infographic below from our friends at 16 Best:
This post is a guest post authored by Josh Wardini, Community Manager at Webmastersjury and location-incapable Internet enthusiast.
Join us in welcoming two new teammates who joined in February.
Erica Ayotte, Director of Customer Success
Constant Contact, Hootsuite, Clavis Insight and Curata all gave it a shot, but the only thing that could break Erica's fingers was 12 years of playing softball catcher competitively. And yes, she broke every single one. But over the years, no customer, small or large, has broken her! Erica is here to enable customer success in every sense of the word:
S - skyrocket your business.
U - user onboarding delight.
C - conquer the Privy platform.
C - convert 10x more traffic.
E - elevate your marketing game.
S - service enterprise customers.
Allina Dolor, Software Engineer
Allina joins the Privy engineering team in her first job after studying computer science. But don't let that fool you, with experience working at Macy's and Target, she understands consumer retail first hand. She'll lean on that background, her extensive training in martial arts, and a passion for #girlswhocode to help us build innovative software products for ecommerce business around the world.
Welcome, Allina. We can't wait to see what you build!
Join Our Team
We're hiring! Come join our hardworking team with perks like Wednesday team lunches, unlimited vacation, and more.
We sat down with George from Howler Magazine to talk about how he launched his business with Kickstarter, why design is everything, and how they use Privy to grow their subscriptions.
Tell me about your business! What do you sell and why is it awesome?
Howler is a magazine that covers soccer here in the U.S. and abroad on a quarterly basis. We started it because we felt like soccer fans here in the U.S. were underserved by mainstream sports press and had to find their fix elsewhere, either in international magazines that had a primary audience in other places or a bunch of obscure blogs on the internet. We focus on soccer from an American perspective.
Along with the magazine, we also podcast and have a website.
What inspired you to start it?
I was working as an editor at a book publishing house and a friend of mine quit his job at the Wall Street Journal to start a video game magazine and I thought: If he could do that, we could find an audience for a soccer magazine.
We originally started the magazine as a Kickstarter campaign. It’s a great platform for ideas like ours because it allowed us to do a pre-sale, but it did have some challenges. It was an abrupt switch once the campaign was funded and ready to go to becoming a business that could provide a good experience and reach some new people. We had to figure out Shopify, MailChimp, and all those other things that businesses like ours need to survive and grow.
Do you remember your first sale?
Once we were funded on Kickstarter, we were able to bring to life the magazine that we had been working on throughout that period. We funded it in June 2012, so our first issue came out in October of that year. We had a huge launch party!
What is your business model?
Everything we do digitally is free, and we use that as a way to draw people in, let them know about us, and get them interested and excited about our coverage of American and world soccer. From there, whether it’s through email, our website, our podcast, or social media, we promote our content and have a conversation about what’s going on in the world of soccer at that moment.
It’s really tricky because not only is there a leap from free to paid, but there’s the whole problem of showing the quality of the printed product on a screen is really tough. The printed copy weighs over a pound—it’s nine inches wide by twelve inches tall—and it’s really hard to give a sense of heft, scale, and the smell of the paper, all things people say they like about the magazine.
For instance, we use a fluorescent cover, which isn’t standard, and it’s really hard to get a sense of all those things when they’re looking at an article from Howler on their phone or the computer screen. You can’t duplicate that experience.
Once we can get people to hold a copy, it’s a different experience, and people kinda “get it.” They can see how much work goes into it. Because we’re used to getting content for free and we spend less and less time spending with analog publications, it’s a bit of a throwback. But that’s why people like it. Because it’s quarterly, the stories have more shelf life than stories we throw up on the internet where it’s gone the next day. So we help people get out of the crazy media cycle and think about bigger issues, personalities, teams and competitions in a new way.
How do you go about marketing your business?
Most of what we do involves encouraging our readers to share with their friends. We find that people don’t like to throw out their copies of Howler, usually, and so they might have it out on their copy on their table.
What types of offers work best for you? What kinds of campaigns are you running on your site?
Our biggest goal is trying to convert people from casual readers into people who are invested in the magazine and the work we do and explore a little more deeply by buying an issue or a subscription. When you make an offer of a discount to someone, there’s a lot less risk involved for them if they don’t like it. I’m more inclined myself to try something that way.
As soon as I found Privy, I knew we needed the functionality of what Privy does. But what was super exciting about Privy was the ability to customize how our offers look. As a soccer magazine that’s known for our design and artwork, it was really important to us. I knew it would work well with what we already have and show off some of the best aspects of our magazine.
We started with a simple welcome pop up that had an image of the new issue, a short, hopefully witty headline, a note about who we are, and a place to sign up for their email address. It was pretty simple, and we followed that up with an email with the discount code, which worked extremely well.
We started with that one pop up, but now I use Privy in a few different ways. For one thing, we use it as a pop up on our Shopify store and on our website and the execution of that looks great on both, so it’s a nice way to maintain our branding on different touchpoints.
The other thing I use it for is to embed offers within a post on WordPress or within our homepage. Privy’s embed code can operate directly with the ad manager plugin we use in WordPress because it allows me to use our own Privy pop up as a native ad on our site.
It’s actually a pretty successful use case for us in addition to the traditional pop up. It’s really useful and the branding is all the same for our publication.
What kind of results are you seeing on your campaigns?
As a small business, I was reluctant to lock up money for a year on Privy, but it was worth it as soon as the first campaign finished.
We’re approaching 1,000 email sign ups, with more than 10% of those people also becoming magazine subscribers, which is great for us. When we look at the revenue we gained from that subscription, it was totally worth it to grow our subscriber base.
How does Privy fit into the rest of your tech stack?
Email app called Moon Mail
Shopify subscriptions app called WeCharge
WordPress for our website
Megaphone for podcasting
What are some of your biggest business or marketing challenges?
For us, managing the mix of revenue from advertising and the revenue that comes directly from our readers. The traditional magazine model of the last twenty years is to give away the magazine content and selling the reader’s eyes to advertisers. The more readers, the more money from advertising. As print media (and really all media) has disintegrated, it’s been a scary time for publishers.
As a small business, we’re not able to compete for ad dollars, so we can’t follow the same business model that made publishers money in years past. But it also means we really only accountable to our readers. We don’t have to worry about what an advertiser will think about our content and that’s a really liberating reality for us.
That’s why I spend a lot of time thinking about how we present ourselves to potential readers and the ones who already know about us. I spend a lot of time making sure that the message is represents the values we have as a magazine so people know what we’re all about at the get-go. It means we can do good work and hopefully it speaks for yourself.
It’s a niche audience, so we’re not going to reach everyone, but the people we do reach will really appreciate what we do.
Advice to other entrepreneurs or other small businesses?
We wouldn’t have happened without Kickstarter. So if you’re thinking about it, do it!
My word of advice: Before you launch a Kickstarter campaign, you should back a few yourself. That way you come at your own project with a good sense of the hopes and expectations of a potential backer can be, but it shows people that you’re part of the community.
The community aspect of Kickstarter is a really important part of it that is easy to overlook. If you’re part of that community as a creator and a backer, it gives people comfort in knowing that you’re “one of us” which is more meaningful.
Never miss the latest news and stories about the world of American soccer with Howler.
On today’s episode of Whiteboard Wednesday, we’re talking about what happens after someone signs up for one of your campaigns. Watch the video below or keep reading to learn more about after-sign up behavior:
We spend so much time crafting the perfect opt-in strategy that many of us lose sight of how to cater to these new subscribers after they convert. In this week’s episode of Whiteboard Wednesday, we’ll dive in to our recommended approach for what to do after a new subscriber converts.
First, ask yourself these three questions to put the subscriber journey in context.
Is this person still on your site?
If they leave your site now, will they remember they just joined your list?
If a day or two passes and they still haven’t purchased, can you remind them to do so?
Let’s unpack that a little.
For starters, many marketers like to use some sort of incentive to increase the likelihood of opt-in, such as a coupon code, or a download, or a free gift.
1. Is this person still on your site?
Remember that the moment someone submits the form, they’re still on your site. Don’t make them leave your site to check an email. Instead, keep them on the site and reveal the gift or coupon code in an after sign up “Thank you page.” Add the coupon code or download link directly into the thank you page design. Think of this as the instant gratification phase.
Step 2. If they leave your site now, will they remember they just joined your list?
Delivering the thank you message while the subscriber is still on your site will increase the chances of a purchase before they leave. But if they do leave, you’ll want to be sure you have a great autoresponder set up.
This is a welcome email that sends immediately after they sign up. Similar to your thank you page, make sure you include the incentive you promised, an “on brand” message with your logo, and one call to action button linking them directly to your site.
Step 3. If a day or two passes and they still haven’t purchased, can you remind them to do so?
Finally, for those who did take the offer of a coupon code in exchange for signing up for your emails, you should definitely add a reminder email to anyone who has not used the offer. Set it to send 2-3 days after your welcome email.
People are busy, so even if they received your autoresponder and meant to get around to completing the purchase, chances are they didn’t. One final reminder notice while you’re still on their mind can double your redemption rate. In the reminder email, mention that their coupon code expires at a specific time to encourage a purchase in a last ditch effort to drive urgency.
And there you have it! Three clear steps to providing a helpful after-sign up experience for your subscribers, with a lasting impact on your business. See ya next time!
Designing emails can be difficult for even experienced marketers who know exactly what they want to say.In this post, I’ll run through a couple basic email design tips that will help your business run the ultimate email marketing campaign. To illustrate this, I am going start with a discount campaign I’ve already designed a pop up display for.
1. Consistency is Key
Since I have this awesome pop up on my page promoting a 10% off discount for anyone who signs up for my email list, I now want to send a great email welcoming my new subscribers (link to welcome post). The first thing to remember to tie the email and the display together is using the same imagery and copy from the pop up in the email.
In general, consistency is a good design skill to practice and doing this will remind your new subscriber who you are. Plus, giving people the instant gratification of getting a discount after signing up for your list builds a positive relationship right off the bat.
Now that you have your copy and images handy, it’s time to open the drag and drop editor and start your email design.
For this example, we will be editing the Autoresponder email. To do this, click on your campaign display in the Privy dashboard, select “Emails” from the second navigation bar,
And then click the “Autoresponder” button. If you see the html editor, no worries, click “Reset Template” and you’ll be able to choose the drag and drop editor. More advanced users are welcome to work in html if they want but unfortunately you can't switch back to the drag and drop editor without losing your work.
2. Plan, then Plop
Before you start adding your copy or images to the email itself, take a minute to consider the different layout possibilities for your email and which you think would work best for this specific content. Here are a few layout examples I usually choose from:
The first layout I turn to is the default Privy autoresponder email template. This offers a prime location for a body text, which is great for welcome messages.
As with any marketing touchpoint, you also want to give your recipient a call to action. The best place for this is at the bottom of your email so that the reader has the most context as to what they’re clicking on, making it more likely that they’ll come back to your site and make a purchase.
For those of you who want to get a little more creative, you can also start from scratch. Delete the default template by selecting each row and clicking the delete button. Once everything is gone, you’ll have something that looks like this:
From here, click the “Row” tab on the right and you’ll see different layout options that you can then drop content into. Here is an example of a common newsletter email layout:
This layout has a lot of room for text, making it great for a lengthy newsletter or product update. What this layout does well is that it adds images into the row to break up the text blocks and make reading the email more digestible.
According to numerous recent studies, more than half of all emails are opened on a mobile device first. As you may have experienced, reading lengthy paragraphs on a small screen takes a lot of concentration and time, which can put off your mobile subscribers. To avoid this, keep your message short and find relevant imagery to include alongside your text to break up dense text blocks.
Don’t have a lot to say? No problem. That’s actually better in most cases!
This email layout is great for promotions or any image heavy content you want to share with your audience. Since it uses the bulk of the email to display an image, it’s best to keep the copy on the image concise.
With a layout like this, you’ll need to make sure you include some fallbacks in case your subscribers don’t have images turned on. Include some alt text (known as alternative text) that describes the image and offer so that your message still gets across. And if you plan to use a GIF, make sure the important information is on the first frame so that if the GIF doesn’t load, your visitor can still see your offer.
3. Choose Clarity Over Creativity
My final piece of email design wisdom is to make sure your body text is readable. This may sound obvious, but I’ve received countless emails with text that looks like this:
A true graphic design nightmare (Seriously, I think I have a headache just looking at that). The lines of text are way too close together, making it totally unreadable. Instead, when designing text for a screen, choose 12 or 14 point font and make the line height larger than 100%.. This gives the text room to breathe.
Additionally, don’t over style your text. If everything is bold or italics, what actually looks important anymore? As much as we want to get all fancy, it’s more important to have clear, readable text rather than creative typography.
Now it’s Your Turn
Try it for yourself! Head to your dashboard and start using the drag and drop editor today.
Have questions? Read these help docs or feel free to reach out in chat, we’re always here to help. Happy designing!
In January 2018, we conducted research among more than 500 small- and medium-sized ecommerce businesses to find out what was working best for them, what their biggest challenges are, and how they find their inspiration to keep going. We're giving you a sneak peek of the top three trends that will define ecommerce in 2018:
Setting and Measuring Goals is a Real Challenge
For entrepreneurs and small business owners, goal-setting is essential. But we found that 21% of our respondents didn't set any goals at all for the year. Those that did were much more likely to meet them—79% of respondents that set goals, achieved them.
Almost 70% of New Businesses Say That Growing Their Email List is Critical
No surprises here—email is still one of the most valuable and important channels for new businesses, which is why almost 70% of our respondents said it was a critical priority for them for 2018. Besides email, Facebook and Instagram were top channels said to be most effective. They're also the most used channels for businesses, too.
Small Businesses Look to Large, Established Brands for Inspiration
While plenty of our respondents seek out similar businesses in online forums and read plenty of ecommerce blogs in the industry, a large percentage of our respondents look at the biggest retail brands for inspiration. Cited most frequently in our responses were brands like Apple, Target, Patagonia, Nike, and Old Navy, among others.
Succeed in 2018 With These Tips
The report is chock full of inspiration and data to help you succeed this year. Read the full report to learn:
- How well merchants performed in 2017 and how they feel about their growth in 2018
- What the top challenges are facing SMB merchants
- Which marketing channels are most effective at driving sales
- The brands and sources that inspire SMB merchants
This is a guest post by Andrew Maffettone, Director of Marketing and Operations for Seller’s Choice, a full-service digital marketing agency for e-commerce sellers.
You may think a lot about how to gain new customers, but it's customer retention that will really increase your profitability. Everyone that runs a business, from a sole proprietor shipping boxes from their garage to Jeff Bezos knows that acquisition of new customers may be expensive, but keeping them is more profitable. And studies have proven this to be so; it can end up costing five times as much to get a new customer as it does to keep an existing one.
To help their clients retain more of their customers, digital marketers have some pretty savvy tricks up their sleeve. We’re going to let you in on the top four tricks that ecommerce digital marketing agencies are doing to increase customer retention:
They Learn Who Your Customers Are
When it comes to customer retention, there’s no such thing as knowing too little. And digital marketers have a wealth of data at their fingertips to help your company keep your customers in your ecosystem. This data goes beyond basic demographics, although those can help begin to sketch out a picture of who they are.
The reason why knowing who your customers are is important is that it lets you tailor your messaging to what they will respond to. A 20-something college student is going to respond to approaches that would alienate a sixty-year old retiree. Knowing who your customers are opens up an entire realm of possibilities on staying connected with them.
This data lets your digital marketing team construct various personas for your customers. Think of the personas as rough sketches of your customers. While they're not comprehensive, they can give you a guiding point to think about how to talk to them. Like Buzz, a young college student who is enthusiastic about new things and being on the forefront of technology. Or James, a 40-something audiophile who wants the best sound possible and doesn’t care how much he as to spend to get it. Like Diana, who is a budget-conscious single mother who is looking for ways to make her life easier.
By discovering and constructing these personas, you can focus your retention efforts by crafting contact and engagement opportunities that speak to them. And when you speak to their concerns, you’re going to get your customers to respond.
They Understand That Email Goes Way Beyond Spam
Email as a form of customer contact has evolved past the stereotypical spam of yesterday. Create multiple templates for your emails based around the customer personas that you’re trying to engage. Then, make sure that your emails aren’t just optimized for desktops, but that they’re going to work for any device. These are now the table stakes when it comes to sending great email.
The best part about the new era of email is you have the room to experiment by using A/B testing across a wide range of personas. More than that, tweak the emails to speak about specific products as well. Do you sell whisks for the kitchen? Your team can set triggers to let your recurring visitors know on your site and then send follow-up emails to people who have bought one to let them know about that amazing set of mixing bowls your R&D team just came up with. The possibilities are endless.
Another trick that digital marketers do with email is making sure that your mailing list is always up-to-date. People who opt out of your email campaign shouldn’t feel like it didn’t work. While it may seem counterintuitive to make your unsubscribe process easier, it will only help your ability to send emails to the people who really do want to receive them.
But don't stop there. You'll want to monitor the number of click-throughs and conversions that come from these email campaigns so that you can continue to adjust them. Data is the heart of any successful marketing campaign, but with digital platforms, the data comes through at a breakneck pace. The best trick that any digital marketer has is being able to absorb and interpret the data so that your next email campaign is even more successful.
They Tweak Your Customer Experience Funnel
The customer experience funnel can be summed up into four parts: Discovery, Interest, Need, and Conversion.
At the heart of any retention strategy is figuring out how your existing customers keep re-entering your funnel and getting them to that Discovery and Interest phase all over again.
Remember that after your customer makes a purchase, they’ve left the funnel, so they need to entice them back in. In some segments, customers will naturally return to your site, especially if you deal in consumables and items with a measurable obsolescence. Electronics, clothing, and media are all examples of goods that feed back into themselves. But those are also great examples of how you cannot be complacent because there's always competition from someone new.
Think about your calls-to-action as well as lead magnets that attract your returning customers. You might want to try video tutorials to keep them engaged and eager to try your next big concept or other how-to resources that help them learn about new ways to use your existing products. These are all great ways to keep your customers engaged and keep them from straying from your offerings.
By using the data you’ve collected, you can also make sure to keep them updated about anything that might appeal to them. Social media and SEO can keep them engaged while your lead magnets gather even more information about them. By offering them quality content in exchange for a snippet of information, you can constantly improve how your funnel can keep them coming back for more.
They Stay Lean and Stay Hungry
Digital marketers know that things online move at the speed of thought. What was viral and engaging today will be old news tomorrow. Whether it’s tapping into the blogosphere to see what the social motivators and innovators are talking about or keeping track of the trending topics on Twitter, the best way to keep your customers engaged is to find out what they’re engaging with.
Data analysis is a never ending job. Whether it’s PPC ads on social media, evaluating affiliate markets, or tweaking and optimizing SEO, your marketing team should be constantly sniffing out and devouring the latest trends and performance stats from your last campaign. Done properly, your digital marketers will unobtrusively allow you to showcase your brand while helping you to expand into the channels and platforms that encourage engagement and retention.
Seller’s Choice provides uniquely personalized marketing and managed services for digital marketplace sellers, e-commerce merchants, and brand builders worldwide. You can learn more by emailing email@example.com or visiting here.
Running a successful ecommerce store isn’t easy. It takes grit, perseverance, and a lot of luck to hit it big.
Luckily, you’re not alone. We talked to 15 of our most successful customers to find out what’s helped them drive more sign ups, get more conversions, and stay successful in a challenging market landscape. Here’s the advice they gave to anyone starting a brand new ecommerce business:
Learn Everything You Can
—Lora and Darren from The Succulent Source
Keep Your Team Lean
Always Know What's Most Important
—Tyler from Bombtech Golf
—Valarie from Foodez Frames
There Won’t Always Be a Right Answer
—Luke from Nested Bean
—Stephen from New Running Gear
Just Do It!
—Marley from Spirit Hoods
Want more advice from our customers? Learn about their challenges, marketing tactics, and more with our library of customer stories.
This post is a guest post by Ashley Kimler, SEO & ecommerce expert at Heroic Search.
A successful ecommerce loyalty campaign starts with the customer experience in mind. Most brands know that it’s their job to make their customers feel like the most important people in the world. That’s easy to do in the real world, but online isn’t always as clear. Here are seven actions you can take to start generating more customer loyalty for your online store in 2018.
The Ins and Outs of a Loyalty Program
First, what is a customer loyalty program? Essentially, it’s a way for brands to reward their most loyal customers—the ones who purchase the most. This may be free merchandise, rewards, coupons, advance sales or special events, or more. If you’ve ever signed up for a retailer’s card, then you’ve joined a loyalty program.
There are several slippery elements of online shopping you need to consider before you launch a program like this. An ecommerce loyalty campaign is much more than punch cards and discounts. Before generating a new strategy that fosters customer devotion to your brand, you need to know who your shoppers are and how your loyalty campaign might benefit them.
First, you need to understand your sales cycle.
If your customers do not purchase frequently, loyalty programs don’t make sense. Major appliance stores, for example, might not be a good candidate for a loyalty campaign because shoppers are likely to make a purchase every few years rather than every few weeks. Loyalty campaigns work only when individual purchases are made frequently.
Next, ask yourself, “Will the return on investment be worth the expense of creating a new campaign?”
A successful loyalty program will cost time, energy, and money. Once you have an idea how much it’s going to cost and can project the potential gains, see if the payoff will be worth the effort you’ll need to put in; only then will you know if it is a wise move at this time.
Then, be sure you can commit.
A loyalty campaign is like a marriage between you and those you serve. Once you launch a long-term incentive for your customers, you need to be devoted to maintaining it. The last thing you want is a failed attempt at what is meant to bring you closer together.
Finally, find out if the system you have in mind aligns with your other tools and marketing campaigns.
You will have to determine whether or not your social media campaigns, email marketing, and other traditional and digital marketing efforts will compliment your new campaign. And you need to make sure that the software you plan to use is compatible with your other software platforms. Some platforms like Shopify have a ton of loyalty apps that are easy to integrate with their ecommerce platform and integrated credit card reader. But, if you’re running your online store through a general content management system like Wordpress, things get a little tricker and apps may or may not run seamlessly with one another.
Create Loyal Customers
Once you’ve established whether or not a loyalty program is right for you, it’s time to try one of these simple ways to create loyal customers.
1. Leverage a Loyalty Program App
There’s no need to manually create a campaign when technology is available to meet your needs. Shopify’s loyalty apps are mentioned above, but they’re not the only ones available to you. ReferralCandy is probably the most popular referral app on the market. Other platforms like Stamp Me, Omnistar Referral Software, and Shoutem can help you create customized loyalty campaigns that meet the demands of your modern shoppers.
2. Use Paid Advertising to Promote
It isn’t news that PPC advertising works; it always has. The ROI for AdWords advertising is still $2 for every $1 spent. If you’re going to launch a loyalty campaign in 2018, use pay-per-click ads to promote it on search engines, social media, and mobile. Pay attention to trends in paid advertising, though, because the effectiveness could start to die down as consumers build increasing aversions to advertising.
3. Integrate Social Shopping With Your Online Store
The more opportunities your shoppers have to make a purchase, and the more convenient you make the process, the more they are likely to spend. People don’t want to register on your site, so use a social login tool to allow shoppers to give you their information with the click of a button. This also builds confidence, affiliating your brand with trusted names like Facebook, Google, and even Amazon.
4. Personalize the Customer Experience
Personalization and AI are key elements in delivering a successful modern loyalty program. Personalizing the customer experience isn’t a nice-to-have anymore; it’s a necessity. Shoppers have come to expect personalized recommendations and digital interactions that feel real. It’s time to individualize the purchase experience for your customers.
When personalization within the confounds of your loyalty campaign is not an option, use the following types of customized content to compliment your efforts and increase customer satisfaction:
Show shoppers personalized recommendations based on previous orders and pageviews.
Present your best customers with one-on-one communication like rewards, helpful content, or thank yous.
Include customer loyalty rewards in your website user’s personalized dashboard if you have one.
Offer a mobile app so your shoppers can access their loyalty rewards anytime.
5. Engage in Mobile Marketing Campaigns
While we’re talking about mobile loyalty apps, it’s the perfect time to discuss why mobile optimization is more important than ever. A high quality desktop website isn’t even a Google ranking factor anymore, since the search engine implemented the mobile-first indexing strategy. So, you definitely need more than just a responsive website. Luckily, platforms like Swrve, Marketo, and others can simplify the mobile marketing campaign process for you.
6. Collaborate With Other Brands
Online retail is a progressively competitive niche to be in, now more than ever; big box retail and smaller brands are playing tug-of-war over the lead in sales. With brands like Amazon, WalMart, and others in the lead, smaller brands need to stick together. Reach out to other online retailers with complimentary products and create a collaborative loyalty campaign.
PetSmart Charities is a collaborative effort between PetSmart and various adoption organizations throughout the US.
7. Be Honest!
Finally, tell the truth! As the consumer market continues to evolve, we’re going to see more and more informed shoppers. The internet is leveling the playing field between brands and consumers. Your customers need you to be honest and up front with your products and the value you provide. So if you run a drop-shipping store and your products are imported directly from overseas to your customer’s door, let them know in advance. Never forget that the best way to enter any relationship is with honesty.
Before now, many of the tips above were regularly brought up as suggestions for ecommerce brands; today, they are much more than that. Mobile selling, social checkout, honesty, and personalization are critical for success. These standards and technologies are expected; they’re no longer optional. Fortunately, software developers know this and are creating easy-to-use tools that make your job simpler. Try these suggestions today and share your experience in the comments.
Ashley Kimler is a member the expert SEO team at Heroic Search, Tulsa. Certified in New Media Communications, SEO 2.0, and Inbound Marketing, she has over 10 years of hands-on experience with online promotions. If you are interested in what she does next, follow @ashleykimler on Twitter.
This post is a guest post by Becca Gatesman, Content Marketer at GrowthSpark.
Offering a great customer experience in a physical store is straightforward. It’s about having an attentive clerk, a well organized store, or a cashier that helps shoppers to their car. It may be a barista that’s great at remembering regulars, or a manager in your hardware store that can teach anyone how to fix anything. You can offer that same experience through your ecommerce store, but it takes a coordinated media presence, website, and post-purchase communication plan to pull it off and make your customers feel cared for.
Think of your customer experience as a journey that each person travels along, which starts with the first time they hear about your brand to the last time they purchase. Each time your brand interacts with the customer, they should move closer to purchasing. But how can you make this journey as effective as possible, and keep them coming back for more?
Whether they’re looking at your Facebook advertisements for the first time, or they’re opening up a transactional email sent after a purchase, your customers should be presented with the same branding and information that furthers their relationship with your company.
At a minimum, you must make sure that all of your touchpoints present accurate information—there are few things worse than showing a potential customer conflicting information! This is especially true when it comes to advertisements: Don’t show out of date sales or promotions and then allow incoming leads to be disappointed when they see that what attracted them to the site is already over.
Additionally, make sure that your marketing content matches your ecommerce design and tone, or your leads may end up confused about what your brand image is.
Customers want to feel like they’re interacting with humans, so make sure to present the same tone and aesthetic across the board for best results.
Understand The Stages Of The Customer Journey
As you design your customer touchpoints, consider what questions they’re asking at the stage they’re currently in:
Awareness (Advertising): What is this brand? What can they offer me?
Investigation (Content Marketing): Why is this brand better than competitors?
Consideration (Email Outreach & Customer Support): How and why should I buy?
Purchase (Email Outreach & Incentives): What should I buy?
Implementation (Email Outreach & Customer Support): How do I make the most of my purchase?
Renewal & Repeat (All Mediums): Should I buy more?
It's your job to answer those questions.
By creating content that’s specific to each stage of your customer journey, you’ll answer their questions quickly and effectively. When your content focuses on the question they’re currently on, and you jump to answer it, you create a conversation—and maintain control of it, instead of losing them to your competitors’ sites.
Be Transparent, Accessible & Approachable
Creating a great customer experience is, in the end, about offering support along the way as you guide them towards purchase. This means that your customer service offering will be actively supporting your marketing and advertising, so don’t skimp on this section.
It may seem like a simple detail, but make sure that it’s always clear how customers can get in contact with your brand, whether that’s through the instant messenger support on your website or a phone number. Make your brand approachable, and you’ll find that many customers help themselves over hurdles they encounter in your customer journey!
Creating a consistent customer journey experience is key to succeeding in ecommerce sales, but the principles that are required for success in this category haven’t changed much from those that physical stores adhere to. Make your customer feel listened to, offer help proactively, and make your product easy to find, and soon you’ll find your loyal customer following is flourishing.
GrowthSpark is a leading Shopify Plus Expert providing Shopify design and development services to e-commerce companies, helping them make more money online. Learn more about what they do here.
We spoke with Dave Diamond from ZUMI on doing business Down Under, marketing challenges, and trying to reach a broader audience.
Tell us about your business! What do you sell and what inspired you to start it?
We’re Australia’s only online Electronics & Tech “Boutique.” Initially I set up ZUMI to offer Australians a better shopping experience online when it came to electronics. All the fashion brands focus on curation, design, and service, but there wasn’t anything there for tech.
It’s always overwhelming shopping for your latest laptop or phone. So we wanted to make it a more enjoyable, reliable, and personal experience.
Unlike all the other big box stores, our small team focuses on supplying our customers with only the best in tech. Our nerds check online reviews and test all the products. So when you shop at ZUMI, you know you’re spending your money right. We’re also working on our own small range of more affordable tech at even higher quality standards to some of the best brands we stock.
One of our biggest selling points is that we offer zipPay at checkout. zipPay is a "Buy Now Pay Later" option that helps us convert browsers into shoppers by offering customers the ability to pay over time with flexible interest free payments.
How do you go about marketing your business?
I’ve always wanted to ensure we had steady traffic regardless of our marketing budgets. Selling top brands online means we have extremely tight margins, which is why I’ve focused a large amount of our time on SEO. Organic traffic is one of our biggest contributors in sales. We try for the longer tail keywords.
We also do a bit of remarketing with Facebook Ads and dynamic stuff using lookalike audiences built from captured emails through Privy. Our email marketing is basic at the moment.
As for our on-site offers, we always offer people incentives to come back and shop using exit intent targeting through Privy.
We look around for other free methods we can try, like commenting on Reddit posts and partaking in Facebook groups, too.
What types of offers work best for you?
We can’t discount too much due to margins. But we offer new customers $10 off their first order and also push our free shipping forever policy.
What else besides Privy is in your tech stack?
We also use SEM manager, Beautiful Abandoned Cart, Conversio, and InstaSearch.
What are some of your biggest business or marketing challenges?
There are plenty of challenges for any entrepreneur, but the biggest ones for us are:
Finding ways of competing with bigger dudes with cheaper prices.
Running all web design and marketing on my own. So there’s really no time to focus on social platforms, content creation, and so on.
Limited ad budgets + time
Deciding on best marketing channels
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs or small businesses?
Don’t compare yourself to others when seeking inspiration.
You can’t do everything. Stop trying.
If you’re feeling depressed or unsure, get off the computer and read a book.
Patience is essential. Always!
If you’re a fellow Aussie, ZUMI has continent-wide shipping for interest free electronics. At Privy HQ we’re crossing our fingers they’ll expand to the States soon!
Check out a few related interviews on how our customers build their businesses with Privy.
On today’s episode of Whiteboard Wednesday, we’re going to cover one of our most-asked about topics: looking at the big picture strategy for your campaigns.
Creating high-impact on-site campaigns is all about putting yourself in your customer’s shoes. You’re going to want to take a big step back for this exercise and think about some things like:
Where your primary sources of traffic come from
What devices they’re using
What segments of customers come to your site, and what they’re looking to buy
What kind of information they need to make a purchase
What products are the most popular for different types of customers
The average amount of money they spend when they do buy
The good news is that you can find a lot of this information in Google Analytics or another analytics tool very easily. Armed with this data, you’ll be able to more accurately pinpoint your customers as they move through your store the same way eye-catching signs work well for brick-and-mortar.
Let's go through use this data to our advantage and talk about how it works into our customer funnel.
The top of the funnel
For people who are brand new to your store, you want to make sure you give them the best first impression. You also want to take this opportunity to try and get their email address, if not a purchase.
Welcome campaign: Mobile, desktop, and my highest referral source (ex. Instagram)
Exit intent campaign: For anyone that didn’t see the welcome campaign, one last chance to give them an offer
Blog campaign: Offer tips or relevant information about your business in addition to your products, this gives you another chance to welcome your readers, who might be different than buyers, and then you can use their email address to get them to purchase some of my gear.
The Middle of the Funnel
If you already have someone’s email address, then you don’t necessarily need to include an email form in my campaigns. You can set targeting so that it’s unique to the repeat visitor whos comes to your site and has already given you their email address or made a purchase. This way they can see completely different messaging and offers.
No form campaign for flash sale
No form campaign for repeat visitor offer of 10% off
The Bottom of the Funnel
Visitors who are browsing product and checkout pages are much more likely to buy than visitors on your homepage or blog.
Product-specific sale on a product page (ex. sneakers)
Cart saver below average amount in cart (average $50)
Cart saver above average amount in cart (average $50)
You can see how all of these campaigns work together to address different segments of your customers at different stages of the buying process. The important thing to remember is to use audience targeting to your advantage so that you can deliver a relevant, cohesive experience—not an annoying one.
Thanks for joining us this week, and we'll see ya next time!