Transactional and Triggered eMails for Magento

Transactional and Triggered eMails for Magento

triggered eMails

Your Magento Website is Awesome. Your eMails Should be Too!

​A well developed multi-phase eMail marketing program can enhance the relationship of a merchant with their customers by encouraging loyalty and repeat business. Merchants need to develop eMail copy and templates consistent with their brand for triggered, transactional, and promotional eMails. In order to get the very most out of eMail marketing efforts, we recommend a combination of triggered eMails based on visitor actions as well as transactional eMails to support specific customer purchase activity

Triggered eMails

Triggered eMails are targeted towards up-sell and re-sell opportunities. For example, when a customer abandons a cart, merchants can set a triggered eMail to send after a certain amount of time to remind them to come back. Triggered eMails are planned, built and scheduled to target customers after they have interacted with your site. In fact, many consumers have become savvy enough to add items to the cart and just wait for the best promotional eMail to come along. Abandoned carts have evolved into a form of window shopping.

Create triggers based on actions that should be followed up with via automated eMail such as:

  • Cart abandonment
  • Price updates
  • Favorites or wish list updates
  • Birthday messages and offers
  • Welcome Messages
  • Replenish reminders
  • Recently browsed reminders
  • Post purchase up-sell and cross sells

It’s important to set up triggered eMails properly so customers are not bombarded with multiple communications in short time periods. Many eMail service providers (ESPs) have the ability to determine delivery frequency. Utilize the ESPs functionality to avoid issues like a customer getting several triggered eMails in one day, or worse, getting the wrong triggered eMail. Create rules, set up workflows, set limits, and add filters to ensure customers get the right eMail at the right time that is consistent with your brand.

The Initial Time Investment

One hurdle regarding the implementation of triggered eMails is that it takes time to set them up properly. Particularly if there isn’t a plan in place already or if this is a new approach for your company. The setup does require some investment to work through your unique customer cycle. The heavy lifting is in the planning and testing of which action points are necessary for your unique needs.  

However, the great benefit to marketing automation and triggered eMails is that once they are set up and running smoothly, there is little effort needed to maintain them. In addition, there are many tools within eMail marketing platforms that assist with this activity to make the process manageable. Select a quality ESP with workflows and true automation capabilities. With a quality ESP, triggered eMails are far less ongoing work to optimize once they are running.

Transactional eMails

Transactional eMails are a type of triggered eMail, but are generally only for customer service automation. The CAN-SPAM act describes the purpose of transactional eMails as:

  1. Facilitates or confirms a commercial transaction that the recipient already has agreed to;
  2. Gives warranty, recall, safety, or security information about a product or service;
  3. Gives information about a change in terms or features or account balance information regarding a membership, subscription, account, loan or other ongoing commercial relationship;
  4. Provides information about an employment relationship or employee benefits; or
  5. Delivers goods or services as part of a transaction that the recipient already has agreed to.

Transactional eMails are required to be direct and generally only contain information needed by the customer. However, transactional eMails are a great way to emphasize your brand, build trust, and show customers that you’re an organized, professional business that cares about them.

Create transactional eMails based on actions that should be followed up with automatically such as:

  • Welcome eMails
  • Receipts – Completed a purchase
  • Shipping confirmation
  • Shipping Updates
  • Invitation Rate/Review items

In a study from Experian Marketing services, transactional eMails prove to drive greater revenue per eMail. In addition, transaction rates are eight times higher than promotional bulk mailings for order confirmations and four times higher than promotional bulk mailings for shipping and return/exchange based messages.

The Experian report also noted that customers opened and clicked through transactional eMails at a much higher rate than they do with promotional eMails. In fact, it was noted that transactional eMails are opened and engaged with repeatedly. This type of engagement allows merchants an avenue to cross-sell products to highly engaged customers.

Transactional eMails Provide Significant Monetary Value

The Experian Marketing services study also found that transactional eMails provide higher revenue per eMail as well as strong transaction rates in comparison to bulk promotional eMails. In fact, the average revenue for a transactional eMail is two to five times greater that bulk promotional eMails.

Experian isn’t the only study noting the value of transactional eMails. In a study from the Data & Marketing Association, they found that over 75% of eMail revenue is generated by triggered campaigns, rather than traditional promo campaigns.

Incorporate Triggered and Transactional eMails Into Your eCommerce Strategy

Triggered and transactional eMails often take a backseat to day-to-day management tasks and other seemingly more important marketing efforts. However, data shows how valuable these types of eMails really are. High open rates and ROI for triggered and transactional eMails shouldn’t be ignored. Merchants need to include these types of eMails into their automated multi-phase eMail marketing program. Contact us to learn more about triggered and transactional eMails. Or, give us a call to talk to a Magento expert: 513-469-3345.

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5 Digital Marketing Strategies To Grow Your Ecommerce Business

5 Digital Marketing Strategies To Grow Your Ecommerce Business

Digital Marketing Strategies

If you want your eCommerce business to succeed, it’s not enough to have a great website.

Taking the time to have a stellar layout, great product descriptions, superior navigation and a shopping cart that’s easy to use are important.  But if your competitors are using digital marketing strategies to drive more traffic to their eCommerce sites and you’re not, you could be fighting a losing battle.  They’re optimizing their sites and acing it on social media sites for a reason–because those strategies work.

To be successful—or more successful—with your eCommerce business, you need a solid digital marketing strategy.  You need to effectively leverage search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, email marketing and social media marketing.  To highlight the importance of digital marketing to ecommerce success, consider these year-over-year stats compiled by Hubspot.  From 2013 to 2014:

  • Email marketing as a source of visitors to ecommerce sites increased by 218%
  • Visitors to ecommerce businesses from social media sites increased by 308%
  • Organic searches for ecommerce sites increased by 145%

Said differently, if you’re not using email marketing, or social media or SEO to drive traffic to your site, you’re not being found by this growing number of online shoppers.  If you’re ready to grab more of that traffic, you need to integrate the following 5 digital marketing strategies into your marketing campaigns:

1. Post useful content

People don’t go to Homeadvisor only to hire contractors—they also go there to view how-to-videos, or project planning checklists.  When your website becomes the go-to location for helpful advice, more people will go there.  When consumers trust you to give them authoritative information, they’ll trust you more than your competitors when it comes time to make a purchase.

2. Get quick results with PPC

There’s a running debate about the effectiveness of pay-per-click (PPC) vs. SEO. The truth is that they’re both effective, but in different ways.  Especially for small businesses which are new to digital marketing, using paid advertising on Google or Facebook is a way to increase web traffic quickly.  A well-executed PPC campaign can send push prospective customers to specific products and services on your website.  It means choosing the right keywords, creating ads that relate to those keywords, and sending online shoppers to webpages that relate to those ads.

3. Optimize your website

Whatever business you’re in, you can bet there are thousands of online searches every day for the products and services you sell.  You can grab some of those customers if your website is well-optimized.  According to Search Engine Watch, the first page of Google results gets more than 91% of all web traffic.  If your site doesn’t show up on that first page, the odds of connecting with prospective customers searching for your products drops dramatically.  SEO can be complicated, and not generally a do-it-yourself project.  When trained SEO experts optimize your ecommerce site, however, you’ll see a steady stream of new customers flocking to your online store.

4. Get social

Customers you acquire through social media platforms—like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram—tend to be more loyal than those you get through other channels.  The trick is to post useful content on social media sites that includes relevant links back to your website.  Said simply, social media marketing works.  Recent studies have shown, for example, that more than 40% of B2B businesses have acquired new customers through Facebook, and 42% have done the same using Twitter.  Social media platforms are a great way to drive more customers to your ecommerce site.

5. Boost ROI with eMail marketing

Marketers responding to Econsultancy’s Email Marketing Census 2016 reported that email marketing delivers the best ROI of all digital marketing strategies.  Another analysis, this one from Search Engine Journal, found that the average ROI for email marketing campaigns was 4300%.  To get the best results, used gated content to obtain more email addresses, then send those leads targeted emails that address their particular needs and drive them to your online store.  And make sure your emails are optimized for mobile to take advantage of the growing number of mobile searches.

Partner with Digital Marketing Experts

Digital marketing, when effectively implemented, will increase traffic to your online store and increase sales—but it can be complicated.  Your best bet is to partner with digital marketing experts who can integrate digital marketing strategies like the ones noted above seamlessly for optimal results.  To learn more about the ways our Magento ecommerce solutions and PPC, SEO, email and social media marketing services can help you boost sales and grow your ecommerce business, contact us today.

3 Reasons to Incorporate a Blog Into Your Magento eCommerce Website

3 Reasons to Incorporate a Blog Into Your Magento eCommerce Website

Blogs are Important for Long-Term, Sustainable Success in eCommerce

Maintaining a blog might seem like the furthest thing from your mind when running an eCommerce business. Between operations, day-to-day management, and the myriad of other aspects that go into running an eCommerce business, a blog may not seem like an effective use of your time.

However, in a world where success is now largely driven by digital marketing, a blog is a necessary effort for a successful marketing strategy. Blogs are a way to differentiate yourself from the competition while providing a method of engagement for your users. There are several reasons to incorporate a blog into your marketing mix and here are three reasons specifically for eCommerce.

1. Search Engine Optimization

Content marketing via blogging is one of the best and most legitimate ways to rank well in search engines. Blogs are a prime method of website traffic, so it is imperative to have an SEO strategy in place that maintains your ranking. A recent Medium article stated that “More than half of all mobile searches lead to a purchase, and 78% of mobile searches for local business information result in a purchase.”

Blogs signal that your website is active, which helps it rank higher in search engine rankings. As time goes on, certain keywords will become connected to your niche, driving further engagement. Moreover, if your keywords have a better chance of being highly ranked if they are inserted organically into blogs rather than being stuffed on each page of your site. Remember, SEO is dependent on quality, not quantity. A blog is a great way to bridge that gap and drive better SEO for your eCommerce website.

2. Effective Marketing

Blogs are a resource through which your business is able to display its legitimacy, authority, and credibility. Writing helpful, valuable content will not only drive your SEO but will be a great component of your marketing strategy. Balancing promotional content with evergreen, helpful topics in your blog is an effective way to market without being too aggressive. While many customers, both new and existing, may not be very receptive to overt marketing, blogs tend to be a good middle ground.

Merchants can use a blog to showcase new products, highlight existing products, and provide helpful tips and advice relating to your niche. It is a way to become a valuable, trusted source for information and this will help build relationships with your customers rather than aggressively pushing out campaigns that they are not interested in.

3. Steady Website Traffic

Think of blogs as part of a puzzle in maintaining a steady flow of website traffic. A blog will help you rank in search engines, which provides one flow of traffic. The other flow will come from your current customers who choose to come back for updates. In both cases, you will have tapped into customer audiences that are normally very hard to captivate but are loyal when they find something they enjoy.

Blogs are a great method to engage with your customers, learn more about what interests them and market accordingly. If you find that certain blogs seem to be more popular than others, analyze the content and means of dissemination to see what exactly is resonating with the audience. Blogs provide a way to understand customers like never before. Use that data to your advantage.

Ultimately, blogs are incredibly important for long-term, sustainable success of an eCommerce business. They provide a way to engage with a niche customer audience, as well as ways to learn more about what interests them and create a laser-focused marketing strategy going forward.

With some patience and dedication, blogs will become a valuable component of your eCommerce business. Contact us to learn more about the importance of blogs and how we can help incorporate them into your marketing mix and Magento site.

How to Run a Successful Pay-Per-Click Campaign During the Holidays

How to Run a Successful Pay-Per-Click Campaign During the Holidays

By the InteractOne Marketing Team

PPC During the Holidays – Start Early!

With summer half over, it’s time (if you haven’t already) to start your Digital Marketing prep for the 2017 holiday season. What’s the key to Pay-Per-Click advertising during the holidays? Start early – create well planned and targeted campaigns as soon as possible. Well-prepared PPC campaigns perform better. It’s that simple. We are prepping clients for the November rush now. Here are four tips for Magento merchants on how to run a successful PPC campaign during the holidays.

Get your budget together.

A set budget is crucial for Pay-Per-Click success. Keep your team focused and set clear expectations on ad spend. Spend time on strategy and goal-setting, not on budget woes. It’s important to capture as much traffic during the holiday season as possible without blowing the budget though. We recommend a budget based on revenue instead of a static amount. Revenue based budgets allow scalability during traffic fluctuation while maintaining profitability.

Already have successful Pay-Per-Click campaigns? Great, you’re ahead of the game.  Mature PPC campaigns, with high quality scores, will experience a better cost-per-click than new campaigns. It’s also quicker to make bid adjustments than it is to update ad copy or keywords. Due to Google’s approval process, new ad copy, keywords, ad groups, and campaigns all start out at a 0 quality score. To get a start on the holiday rush, identify your top performing campaigns. Then, plan out ad copy and have keywords ready by, or before, mid-October.  All you’ll need to do is throttle the budget a little when it’s go time. 

Test your Pay-Per-Click campaigns now.

A/B tests are the best way to discover what works and what doesn’t in PPC campaigns. A/B tests also help to identify new areas for growth. Don’t waste your budget on ads, keywords or landing pages that simply don’t convert.  A/B tests need to be performed at the very least, a couple of months in advance of the holiday season.

For more advanced eCommerce marketers, we recommend multivariate testing. Although, for many merchants tracking all the moving parts is not worth the aggravation. Notably, there are many helpful tools (including us) to help you with multivariate testing. However, like A/B tests, it’s important to start these tests sooner rather than later. 

Don’t forget about other important marketing avenues.

Merchants who sync their marketing efforts will experience better conversion rates. Campaign efforts performed together such as PPC, eMail and social media advertising will perform better than stand-alone campaigns. Build those email lists and loyal followers throughout the year so there is a larger sales audience come November. Merchants need to run multiple campaign efforts during the busiest buying and decision-making process to capture holiday sales.

Optimize your customer experience. Better customer experience is one reason why “Chief Experience Officer” (CXO) is a growing job title. Too many companies find themselves compartmentalized in their efforts. Or, companies rely on an agency for a specific marketing channel and do not effectively develop a central overarching strategy. The integration of all marketing avenues (including customer experience) takes time. Merchants need to start plans for a larger strategy now that includes PPC, eMail, social, and site optimizations.

Get started now – or very soon.

Start with these tips to save yourself grief when traffic is at it’s peak during the holidays. Even if your marketing efforts aren’t as organized as they should be, there’s still time to put a plan into place. Merchants can start PPC campaigns now to get an idea of what they will need to do come October and November.

If you would like some help, contact us to get started. Or, give us a call to talk to a Digital Marketing expert: 513-469-3345.

SEO Keyword Ranking Reports

SEO Keyword Ranking Reports

SEO Keyword Ranking Reports

By the Marketing Team at InteractOne

SEO Keyword Ranking Reports: A Relic from The Past.

SEO keyword ranking reports have had a long-standing reign as the go-to metric to track SEO success. Although, it has lost much of its relevance over the past few years, for a variety of reasons. The keywords that many SEO practitioners and merchants are actively tracking represent a small percentage of actual realized traffic. Meaning you could be missing out on the source of a huge portion of site traffic.

SEO keyword ranking reports began its path toward obsolescence when Google Hummingbird algorithm came out. Google broadened the range of results presented back from a user’s query Hummingbird allows the Google search engine to better do its job through an improvement in semantic search. As conversational search becomes the norm, Hummingbird lends understanding to the intent and contextual meaning of terms used in a query.

This means that folks who are tracking rank positions for a keyword that may not actually present pages which are even targeting that term exactly. So, no matter how good a keyword ranking report is, it’s always going to be missing a great deal of a site’s essential traffic, and it completely misses long tail searches. In short, merchants who rely heavily on keyword rank reports are being bamboozled.

However, that’s not to say that SEO keyword ranking reports are completely irrelevant. It’s still important to track keywords but there needs to be change in how we handle the information collected through tracking those keywords. It is important to adapt the reports generated to enable a better, more in depth way to look at the information that rank reports provide without getting a false sense of where you stand in terms of overall success.

5 SEO tips for what Magento merchants should be reporting on and how to do it

1. Report on Actual Business Objectives

Search engines are continually trying to mimic customer behavior, so merchants will want to monitor and improve the same metrics search engines use in their algorithms. So, it is important to report on on-site metrics like conversions, revenue and page load times, as well as user engagement metrics such as bounce rate, click through rate, and time on site. These metrics reflect the growth and development of your site’s authority.

2. Add Keyword Groups

Take a page from PPC management and group similar keywords into groups and track average monthly rankings for the group in its entirety. Populate each keyword group with super-granular keywords that share the same semantic theme. The key is to make these groups  tightly themed. Track one over-arching word amongst the groups across all your traffic. By doing so you can see exactly how you rank for broader terms week to week. This method also catches the long-tail searches attached to broad keywords.

3. Compare Keywords Searched with Landing Page Content

Monitor search query reports from Google Search Console to see if the content on your landing pages match up with searchers intent. Review how you’ve mapped user queries to landing page destinations, to ensure that they are logical. After grouping like keywords together (point #2, above), group them with a likely landing page. There are tools available that can do this in a more automated fashion. They include gShift Labs, Conductor and BrightEdge.

4. Report on Actual Organic Search-Referred Traffic

Start to report on more types of traffic such as referral and social. Referral traffic sheds more light on your site content’s influence. If your content is getting mentions and generating links, it’s important to report on that traffic. Same for social traffic. Its success reflects in part on your SEO endeavors. While you may have a social media department, your efforts to create good content go hand in hand with a social media team’s work. Benchmark and report on actual organic search-referred traffic. Additionally, if you do not already report on direct traffic, it is advisable to begin to  include it in reports. Effective SEO is a rising tide that raises all ships – it may not be the direct result of explicit SEO, but there are causal links between SEO gains and traffic gains across each of these “organic” channels.

5. Tracking Backlinks

Keeping track of your backlinks and referring domains will give you a good general idea of the potential future effect of SEO initiatives. Backlinks from high quality domains will not lead to better rankings right away but they do show trends in a positive direction. Start to monitor and report on the number of and growth of backlinks, mentions, and citations. To best track backlinks update the frequency of when backlinks are reported, ensuring that they are indexed as they appear online. Also double-check that reports track backlinks as backlinks not follow/no-follow links. Whatever tool you use, should display backlinks only.

FREE MAGENTO SEO AUDIT


 

If you are interested in learning more about how we can help you implement these SEO techniques, then let us ensure that you are building your SEO strategy on a solid foundation, and leveraging your tools to their full potential. Fill out the form to get started or call us at (513) 469-3345.

3 Ways Magento Merchants Can Build Their Brand and Customer Following

3 Ways Magento Merchants Can Build Their Brand and Customer Following

customer following - part 2

By the Marketing Team at InteractOne

A Strong Customer Following Equals eCommerce Success – Part 2

In our previous post we discussed the reasons why growing your customer following is important. If you missed it, go check it out. Understanding the importance of building your brand and customer following is critical to your success not only as a Magento merchant, but as an entrepreneur and business owner. The Magento platform is a robust tool that when used correctly, is critical for building the success of your Magento store and customers. Here are our 3 ways Magento merchants can build their brand and customer following.

1. How to Build Customer Loyalty

Merchants earn customer loyalty by providing positive customer experiences and products that meet customer’s needs. Smart Magento Merchants select their online tools appropriately to support their brand needs. There are a couple extensions that Magento has to help build customer loyalty.  

Extensions such as Magebuzz Social Share make it easy for customers to create an account and log into your store via their favorite social platform. Valuable customer information allows merchants to remarket specific product suggestions via eMail and social remarketing platforms.

Rewards based extensions like Sweet Tooth provide benefits by giving points to frequent shoppers.

Notably, through an eMail provider like Dotmailer, merchants can sync customers point balance via Dotmailer’s campaign design and segmentation tools. Tailored eMails, including personalized product suggestions based on shopping behavior and purchase history, greatly increase the number of conversions.

Extensions like Magebuzz Social Share and Sweet Tooth combined with eMail providers like Dotmailer will increase customer retention, customer purchasing frequency, and customer lifetime value while lowering customer acquisition costs. Reward and loyalty programs help to build happy customers and purchase frequency.

2. How to Build Connected and Happy Customers

In today’s rapidly growing digital world, social media has become the most efficient way to connect and stay connected with customers. Monitoring and staying active on social feeds is the basis of that connection. Customers want to see a business taking an interest in what is being said on social media about your brand.

Tools such as Hootsuite can aid in measuring return on investment for social media and help protect reputation on social media through tracking capabilities.

Connect with customers and stay up-to-date with what is being said about your business. A pleasant customer service experience should be the goal of every customer interaction. Utilize online tools like Hootsuite to monitor and measure social efforts to build happy customers.

3. How to Define the Right Customers for Your Brand

Properly tracking user activity is the most critical step to building a customer following. Merchants need to identify what products customers are viewing, and have the ability to intelligently remarket to them. Finding a way to reach the right demographic for your brand can be a daunting task but there are several tools available to help simplify the process.

The easiest way to identify customers is to use data already being collected. Google Analytics is the most common way to track customer behavior. Google Analytics has very in depth demographic data that can give insight on customer behavior, but if the optional tracking isn’t configured properly it can cause issues. Make sure to have eCommerce tracking enabled and check that the sales funnel is setup properly. Some of the most valuable information about site usage and customers is within Google Analytics.

Create advanced segments based on demographics like location, age, past behavior and/or purchases. Use geographical segmentation to target customers with localized, personalized content, like special offers. With Magento Customer Segmentation and CMS banners, create locally targeted home pages for customers who are living in a certain region. Display promotions/discounts based on if-then statements that appear when a customer falls into a certain customer segment. Magento’s segmentation capabilities help to effectively and personally market to your audience without wasting effort.  

For more advanced tracking, Kissmetrics and Woopra offer in-depth demographic data for more insight on individual customer behaviors. These services can be used to further define your target audience. Kissmetrics offers behavior analytics, automated eMail campaigns and tracking for key growth segments. Track customer behavior and use helpful tools to engage with customers at every stage of the buying process. Woopra has the ability to create customer profiles, track analytics, send out automated eMails based on behavior and connects tracking across all your apps. Woopra’s customer profiles provide a comprehensive look at customers in every stage of the buying cycle. Woopra also has the capability to segment based on each customer’s individual behavior. Services like Kissmetrics and Woopra help to efficiently define your customer.

Interested in growing your customer following?

We’ve helped plenty of merchants over the years through their Magento site and marketing strategy. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you build your brand!

Are You Taking Advantage of the Marketing Functionality in Magento 2 Enterprise Edition?

Are You Taking Advantage of the Marketing Functionality in Magento 2 Enterprise Edition?

Marketing Functionality in Magento 2 Enterprise Edition – More Marketing Power!

Magento 2 Enterprise Edition offers many out-of-the-box features for merchants. Notably, the marketing functionality components help streamline the planning and management of new campaigns and product roll outs. Four key features that every Magento Enterprise merchant should be using include content scheduling, customer loyalty programs, automated eMail, and analytics. These capabilities give your marketing team the power tools they need to be successful.

New Content Scheduling

Enterprise enables merchants to set-up, test, and schedule new content, including product updates, categories, and promos. Notably, links to scheduled content can be shared amongst your team to make reviews and approvals easier. Testing your work is simple, since you can preview your changes in the checkout to make sure all promotions are working as they should before they go live. The timeline dashboard provides an overview of all scheduled updates, so your team can easily coordinate and manage new campaigns.

Customer Loyalty

Enterprise offers more opportunities to make your buyers loyal customers. Reward your customers with coupons, rewards points and private sales. Include bulk ordering to make it easier for customers to buy what they need. Encourage your customers to do more than window shop with wish lists and gift registries. You can also provide in-store credits and and gift cards. With these loyalty options available in M2 Enterprise Edition, your customers will be frequent flyers in no time!

Automated eMail

Automated emails are extremely successful when targeting shopping cart abandonment. Enterprise addresses this important functionality by offering customizable automated eMails. Merchants can set up the emails to offer special discounts based on the contents of the cart. There is also an automated email option for wish lists updates. Now you can work on your conversion rates through nudging customers via updates on their favorite items.

Analytics

Learn how your marketing campaigns are performing while monitoring how your customers are using your site with the Google Tag Manager (GTM) integration. GTM allows you to add tracking tags or code snippets to your  Magento site to measure performance like audience, personalization, retargeting, and search engine marketing. GTM will transfer data to Google Analytics Enhanced eCommerce, to show how well your site, products, and promotions are performing.

Need some assistance getting started?

In theory, these out of the box features seem simple to manage. Although, unless you’re the marketing and implementation expert on your team and have loads of time for planning and execution, you may need some assistance. We’ve got years of experience with Magento marketing implementation and can help set up and streamline the technical side of your marketing campaigns.

Contact us today to see how we can help you setup your content scheduling, loyalty program, automated emails or implement Google Tag Manager into your code.

3 Reasons Why Magento Merchants Need to Build Their Brand and Customer Following

3 Reasons Why Magento Merchants Need to Build Their Brand and Customer Following

Customer Following

By the Marketing Team at InteractOne

A Strong Customer Following Equals eCommerce Success

It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tasks of maintaining your Magento website, managing inventory, and coming up with new sales and marketing initiatives. Although, it’s important to take a step back, not only to keep your sanity and perspective, but to focus on long term goals. Building your brand and a strong customer following is an important long-term investment in your business.

Brand building tools can easily be implemented through your Magento site that can help achieve customer loyalty, connections, and define your target audience. Building your brand and customer following needs to be part of your long term marketing strategy. Loyal (aka repeat) customers are critical for your success on Magento and in eCommerce. Here are our 3 reasons why Magento merchants need to build their brand and customer following.

1. Loyal Customers = Repeat Customers

A brand builds loyalty not by only driving sales transactions, but by helping people meet their needs. Merchants build that trust through consistently meeting the needs of their customers. A user-friendly website, quality products and service makes brands dependable. In today’s world, customers are losing patience with marketing that makes promises but does not deliver.  They want real value, not just perceived value. Merchants need to stay engaged with their customers throughout the purchase cycle and beyond to build a strong customer following. Magento merchants can build trust into their marketing strategy through features available via the platform or extensions. Tools like rewards programs, strategic email campaigns and social share features will help develop a loyal following that will only grow. Loyalty is the goal – trust is how you build it.

2. Connected customers = Happy Customers

A strong connection with your customer breaks down barriers that leave them feeling like they are just a number. When you’re connected to your customers, you’ll be able foresee and stop problems before they happen. Whether it’s monitoring your social feeds, customer service eMail inbox or analyzing reviews and purchase trends, your connection will help identify issues and stay ahead of problems. Magento offers a lot of flexibility and tools to help monitor and resolve issues. A Magento merchant grows from exceeding customers’ needs – not by ignoring and capitalizing on them.

3. Defined Customers = Right Customers

Analyzing and defining your target customers needs and purchasing behaviors is critical for building a strong customer following. As a merchant, you need to know who you’re marketing to, what motivates them, and why your brand is right for them. Analyzing tools like market research, customer reviews, and even your analytics (we can certainly help you with that) will give you the opportunity to listen to your audience directly and refine your customer personas. As a Magento merchant, find out everything possible about your audience – make your efforts more efficient.

Understanding the importance of building your brand and customer following is critical to your success not only as a Magento merchant, but as an entrepreneur and business owner. The Magento platform is a robust tool that when used correctly, is critical for building the success of your magento store and customers.

Stay tuned for the next article we have planned that will discuss our favorite Magento extensions and tools we use to help our clients build their businesses.

Interested in growing your customer following?

We’ve helped plenty of merchants over the years through their Magento site and marketing strategy. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you build your brand!

The Value of SEO and PPC for Magento Merchants

The Value of SEO and PPC for Magento Merchants

seo and ppc

By the Marketing Team at InteractOne

SEO and PPC: It’s easy as 1, 2, 3.

Utilizing digital marketing tools like Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) will get you some serious brand building and revenue opportunities along with greater levels of engagement on your site. The goal for these tactics is essentially the same: to recruit and drive qualified traffic to your website. But for a variety of reasons, merchants  have trouble focusing on both at the same time and some worry that they might cannibalize one another. But it’s important to remember that search engine marketing is an additive and complementary game and when SEO and PPC efforts are strategically integrated, they can actually complement and assist one another.

SEO Benefits

SEO is the process by which a site is improved or optimized so that search engines rank it higher in natural or organic search rankings. Search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo try to deliver the best results based on the searcher’s needs. Over time, the types of methods and algorithms search engines use are optimized for improvement.

Following and staying up to date on known search engine best practices is key for online success.  For example, can Google “crawl” your site and display your content on mobile devices? If not, you could be penalized by the top search engines who will push your site further back in search results or worse, never show them at all.

Due to ever changing methods and algorithms, SEO needs to be monitored over time. It’s important to continue the “care and feeding” of SEO tactics to keep rankings high. For example, search engines reward freshly and continuously updated, relevant content. So,optimizing catalog content and product descriptions, images, and video is vital to your SEO success.

PPC Benefits

With paid search or Pay-per-click, you are attracting people with ads who are already searching for your product or service. PPC is the fastest way to efficiently drive targeted traffic to your website. PPC can also tell you a lot about how your pages are converting. For example, if your ad is getting a lot of clicks, but not a lot of conversions, you may have a landing page issue. Maybe the page is difficult to navigate. Or, maybe your page doesn’t offer what the customer expected. Keeping track of PPC performance is critical for making smart decisions and optimizing along the way.

PPC is easily tailorable to your budget needs. You set your own price-per-click and pay only when a customer clicks through to your site. If your budget increases or decreases, so can your PPC efforts. When it comes to managing your overall marketing budget, PPC offers the highest ROI when compared to e-mail, banners and other forms of online advertising.

SEO and PPC: The 1+1=3 Effect

Digital marketing including PPC and SEO often takes a back seat to the technical activity of building and maintaining a Magento store. While there are important technical aspects to of your eCommerce Magento site, what drives success is a thorough understanding of your customers’ purchasing behavior. The value of SEO and PPC lie in the knowledge of understanding your purchase funnel as well as driving site traffic and conversions.

SEO and PPC each help with different parts of the sales funnel. SEO is felt to be more useful at the top of the funnel when prospects are in the earlier stages of research, while PPC is sometimes viewed as more appropriate if the prospect is closer to making a purchase decision.

But how does 1 + 1 = 3? When you have PPC and SEO rankings showing on the first pages of search engines, your chances of a conversion increase immensely.

Sometimes merchants are reluctant to commit budget and energy to both SEO and PPC at the same time. This viewpoint does not take into account the additive effect of having your brand come up twice on the page through both initiatives. In addition to the benefits of each of these tactics already mentioned, merchants get that extra branding bump with greater levels of engagement that comes from that old bromide — frequency and repetition.

Four Step Digital Marketing Plan for eCommerce Websites

Four Step Digital Marketing Plan for eCommerce Websites

Four Step Digital Marketing Plan

By the Marketing Team at InteractOne

Digital Marketing Plan for Those Shiny New Websites

So you spent a ton of time, money and effort on your big shiny website. Now what? Unfortunately, your site is not the Field of Dreams. Just because you have built it does not mean folks will come. In today’s ever changing world of eCommerce, a cool website is not enough. We help merchants launch and promote websites everyday here at InteractOne and we want to talk about what you should be doing after your site is live. Here is our four step Digital Marketing Plan for new (and mature) eCommerce websites:

1. Build the Right Kind of Site Traffic

You should work to add traffic slowly using tools like SEO and Paid Search.You want to be able review the traffic data and know how to convert it. After all, traffic is good, but conversions are the reason your website exists.The purpose of traffic generation isn’t to make a sale, it’s to get  a site visit. Then it’s your website’s job to make the sale.

Don’t add traffic that won’t convert. If you were to get 10,000 new visitors to your website tomorrow, how many of them would become customers? How many would become lifetime customers?

2. Create an awesome Customer Experience that makes it easy for customers to convert

Your site needs to be designed for both looks and function. It needs to make people feel like sticking around long enough to be amazed by how the site is so friendly and easy to use. So, you want to make the path to purchase a pleasurable experience. Much of this work is done in the initial site build, but don’t be afraid to make changes and improvements to the user experience as you learn what works and just as importantly – what doesn’t.

  • Know what makes qualified visitors not buy. Learn from cart abandonment and other actions that interrupt the buying process.
  • Work to become a Content Authority. You’ll soon create content so good that it deserves to be shared on Facebook and Twitter and be at the top of the search engines.

And finally, learn what makes customers come back. You’ll want to encourage feedback – both good and bad. And test all communications and on site activities using A/B and multivariate testing.

3. Analyze data

Make sure meaningful analytics capabilities are in place from day one, so you can learn from successes and failures. Develop goals for everything you care about and create Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) that are connected to your goals to inform your progress.

4. Repeat – routinize these steps and socialize them within your organization, so they become second nature.

And even though you may follow these steps diligently, prepare for a site redesign every 2-3 years. Styles change, technologies improve, competitors come and go. It wasn’t that long ago for instance that responsive mobile sites were necessary and expected or that social media was even a thing. Now – according to a recent Pew Research Study, 51% of those surveyed say they have made a purchase using a smartphone 15% say they have purchased through social media links.

Are you ready to get started on your own Four Step Digital Marketing Plan? Contact us or give us a call at 513-469-3345