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Archive for the ‘Retail / E-commerce’ Category

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Understanding AdWords Sitelink Extensions

By | April 11, 2014

Sitelink extensions are the easiest and most common type of extension to include in your ads.  Not only do these extensions help take up more real estate on the page to improve your CTR by 10-20%, they also have an impact on your ad rank.  Previously, ad rank was calculated by using your max CPC bid and Quality Score. It now factors in ad extensions and formats.

For this reason alone, you want to make sure you have at least six active sitelinks set up for desktop, but also four active sitelinks for mobile. AdWords allows you to have up to twenty total per ad group or campaign.  Even though Adwords allows you up to 25 characters for the link, I recommend trying to keep desktop sitelinks to 18-20 characters and mobile to 12-15 characters for the best CTR.

When creating mobile sitelinks take in to account the intentions of a mobile user and how it would differ from a desktop user.

Google will automatically show your highest-performing sitelinks on each format, so you do not have to worry about any type of placement on your end.  Depending on the relevance of your sitelinks, you could even see lower CPCs and better performance. For the most value and optimized ads, be sure to add other extensions, such as seller ratings or call extensions.

Do not forget to monitor your extensions by looking at performance before and after implementation. You can segment your reports by click type to see a more detailed performance for different types of your extensions.

Since there are many factors and variables it is tough to pinpoint the specific extension change that had the most impact, but looking at an account overall within CTR and conversions, will allow you to understand that extensions are important for helping you and your clients.

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Get more out of marketing automation by following retail content and sending strategies for email campaigns. Download our 13-pg. PDF:

Automated Retail Email Guide

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What is the True Value of Social Engagement?

By | April 10, 2014

Measuring social impact on a retail client is one of the hardest things to do.  There are a lot of different metrics that you are able to track but creating a direct correlation between those and actual revenue to the business is tough. Many companies today get caught up in the ways to increase engagement and not the value associated with that engagement.

The first thing you need to do with social channels is set up goals.

You have to create goals that have a clear impact on the business.  Having an increase in Twitter followers or Facebook likes do not provide any real worth for a business. Increases in those type engagements usually do correspond with a positive correlation of revenue, however we need to try to tie actual value to those engagements.  For example within Google Analytics we can segment our traffic to come from different social channels like Facebook.

Depending on what type of website you are working with you can provide different amounts of return that you can directly correlate to your business.  If it is an eCommerce site you can easily just look at your transactions from your social channels and see how much revenue they generated.  If you are working with a lead gen client, find out what percentage of leads are qualified then the average deal size for those leads.

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If you don’t have the tracking set up or you don’t have any transactions or leads, you can go back one step further and use your average Conversion rate through your other channels and figure out the number of transactions/leads you should have based on the number of clicks you are getting to the website.   You can also find the value for your engagements by going a set further back by using your CTR to find the value of each impression you are getting. Tying revenue to your social engagement will create a clear picture and display the importance of social channels.

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Get more out of marketing automation by following retail content and sending strategies for email campaigns. Download our 13-pg. PDF:

Automated Retail Email Guide

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Selling with IBS … It Isn’t What it Sounds Like

By | April 9, 2014

The life and times of a sales rep, in my experience, can be best described as a roller coaster marathon. The highs are high and the lows are low, but one thing is for sure … it doesn’t stop. Regular traditional and old-school prospecting techniques are pretty much dead, and us hunters must take a more creative approach to connect. When we do get the opportunity to communicate our “message,” which is rare, we must take full advantage of what is usually a 10-second window to pique their interest and capture their attention.

The way this is accomplished is through the infamous “IBS.” Of course when you hear this, you immediately think irritable bowel syndrome, which falls under a completely different blog subject. When we achieve the opportunity to connect with a prospect, it’s all about the Initial Benefit Statement. This statement is critical and immediately addresses the following 3 questions for the prospect: Who are you? Why are you here? And what can you do for me?

The IBS is essential to creating an engaging dialogue between you and the prospect, with the goal of convincing them that they NEED your services, and that it is imperative that you both discuss further. Example initial benefit statement for someone selling Fathom’s services to a retail prospect:

  • Who are you?
    • “Mark from Fathom digital marketing, a top 5 digital retail agency.”
  • Why are you here?
    • “We work with internet retailers to drastically increase customer acquisition.”
  • What can you do for me?
    • “We did research on ‘Company ABC’ and have strategies to increase online sales by 22-45.%

We want to establish right from the start that we have strategies to help them. Forget the cheap introductions and spending 30 seconds explaining who Fathom is and what accolades we’ve received over the years. They don’t want to hear that. We must remember, they don’t want to talk to us, so you better make the most of the time they give you and IMMEDIATELY establish what value you can provide to them. Thankfully, Fathom’s services directly impact their bottom line: REVENUE!

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Get more out of marketing automation by following retail content and sending strategies for email campaigns. Download our 13-pg. PDF:

Automated Retail Email Guide

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Unlocking the True Lifetime Value of Your Customers

By | April 3, 2014

For an online retailer, things are becoming even more complicated in terms of defining a digital marketing strategy and understanding the benefits of those strategies. The retailers who are winning in the online space are putting efforts to keep more customers and unlock their revenue potential.

Why is this important?  Many online retailers are experiencing higher new customer acquisition costs due to increased competition in their space & more pressure to discount products via sales and promotions because of consumer trends to do more comparison shopping.  With these industry trends, it is essential for online retailers to maximize their customer’s lifetime value – consider it the “secondary funnel” of driving customers to return and repeat purchases.

Here are a few ways online retailers can maximize their customer lifetime value:

  • Keep customers engaged with your brand – Online retailers love to sell their own products but consider deploying messaging strategies to keep customers engaged with your brand during times that they are not in the market to purchase.  Send out a birthday messages, ask them to review or comment on the product they have purchased, or even ask them to suggest a new product or give feedback on a product development initiative.  This will keep your brand top-of-mind with your customers all year.
  • Make sure customers can find you – If a customer has a good experience and is looking to repeat or return purchase, it is essential for brands to ensure they are found, but more importantly, to make sure their competitors aren’t.  Proper optimization of your brands social properties, including Facebook, YouTube, and Google+ can help take up more organic search listings for your branded searches.  Also, running branded paid campaigns can ensure you will maximize the real estate on your branded search engine result page, leading to less competitors, and more returning customers.
  • Understand your customers and your products – Gaining a better understanding of you customers, their likes and dislikes, as well as your products, will allow more relevant messaging opportunities.  When is your customer going to need a product replacement? Are there complimentary products to what they purchased? Knowing more about your customers will open up-sell and cross-sell opportunities within a dynamic messaging campaign, to maximize their revenue potential and keep them coming back.

According to Adobe, returning purchases generate 3x more revenue per visit and repeat purchasers generate 5x more revenue per visit than new shoppers.  A customer retention and re-engagement strategy to increase lifetime value is a key element for long-term growth (and profitability) for online retailers.

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Get more out of marketing automation by following retail content and sending strategies for email campaigns. Download our 13-pg. PDF:

Automated Retail Email Guide

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Nurturing Your Retail Customers with Automated Messaging

By | March 26, 2014

Everyone knows it’s cheaper to keep a current customer than to acquire a new one, and since it only takes a few seconds for a consumer to find your competition online, it’s important to nurture your customers and give them a reason to stay loyal to your brand.

Automated email campaigns are a great way to reach your customers at critical times in the customer lifecycle: From the time they opt in to your emails, through their first purchase and as soon as they appear to become un-engaged. Triggering messages based on behaviors is a great way to ensure that you’re sending relevant messages and keeping your customers engaged.

The types of automated emails you develop can vary depending on your company and your industry. Welcome messages, cart abandonment and product or service reviews are becoming more common across all industries but there are endless options and companies are getting more and more creative all the time.

Determining what messages you should automate is as simple as taking a closer look at your company processes and current touch points with the customer. Do you sell a consumable product that needs purchased on a regular basis? Then you should be sending reminder messages that make it convenient for your customer to reorder through your website? Do you sell children’s products? If so are sending coupons to your customers around their kids’ birthdays? If a customer browses a product category on your site but then leaves without converting, are you following up shortly after with an incentive to purchase or a short survey to find out if you had what they were looking for?

With so many possible triggers for emails, it can seem overwhelming to get started but you don’t have to launch everything at once. Determine a few messages that you think will have the most impact and then prioritize them. As you get more comfortable with the process and begin to see results you can continue to add new messages and optimize the initial ones. To help get you started, we’ve created a guide to provide some examples of messages you can automate to nurture your customers at each step of the customer lifecycle.

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Get more out of marketing automation by following retail content and sending strategies for email campaigns. Download our 13-pg. PDF:

Automated Retail Email Guide

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