For eCommerce, digital marketing is absolutely crucial.
Regardless of the products you sell, you have to make sure that your audience learns about them and moves toward conversion on your website in some way. You probably already know as much. But what do you do when your digital marketing efforts aren’t working? When, regardless of your monthly spend on social media, paid search, and other avenues, you don’t get the conversions and transactions you need to meet your sales goals and grow your business?
In that case, not all is lost. Instead, a lack of digital success sends a signal to re-evaluate your current efforts and find opportunities for improvement.
From analyzing your customer journey to improving your eMail efforts, here are four steps you should take to revitalize your digital marketing efforts.
1. Reassess Your Audience
Even the best digital marketing message and strategy will not work if you simply target the wrong people. Consider the hypothetical example of a fitness and nutrition merchant whose marketing efforts reach audiences with little to no interest in fitness. The message, visuals, and value proposition might be spot on, but if it doesn’t reach the right individuals interested in fitness, that message will not resonate.
In examples like the one above, the targeting mistake is obvious. But often, more subtle miscues can lead to the same lack of results. Too many merchants make one of two mistakes in determining the audience for their digital marketing efforts. They either choose their desired audience based on a hunch or target their messages too broadly based on the traditional shotgun approach.
Merchants can earn a lot of information by examining their current customers. To get started, limit your targeting just to them at first. Go a step further and break down your current customers. Who are your highest-converting customers? Which portion of your customer base offers the greatest lifetime value? By examining these two groups, they will begin to display common characteristics. With this data, you can build and adjust your digital marketing strategy to a wider group with a greater chance of success.
In other words, one key to digital marketing success is to move away from the traditional shotgun approach. Seek out the most relevant and profitable segment of your target audience, and develop a strategy specifically designed to reach and convince them.
2. Analyze Your Customer Journey
Optimizing your target audience, of course, is only one step on the way to digital marketing success. In addition, you also have to make sure that your individual tactics and messages fall in line with audience expectations and pain points.
Depending on your industry, your audience may experience a very different journey on their way to becoming customers. If you sell convenience products, purchasing decisions are made in the moment, with little research. More complex alternatives prompt research, comparisons with your competitors, and other steps that lengthen the buyer’s journey.
Part of the reason your digital marketing efforts are failing may be a lack of consideration regarding the path to purchase. Put simply, you need to understand not just your audience, but also the ways in which they act and interact online. For products like yours, what research do they conduct to convince them it’s the right choice? Where do they conduct that research, and who do they trust most in making that decision?
In the same vein, you also want to consider just how your audience views your digital marketing efforts in context. Potential customers don’t read eMails, Facebook ads, and product pages on your website in isolation. The content, tone, and value proposition of each has to be integrated to provide a consistent picture, avoiding fragmentation and cognitive dissonance.
3. Dig Deep into Analytics
Another crucial step to take when your digital marketing efforts do not result in conversions is to take a close look at your analytics. If at all possible, try to identify the exact points of failure by looking at data points most relevant to your conversion and business growth goals. Some metrics to pay special attention to include:
- Web conversion rates, separated by variables like referral channel and tactic.
- Exit points, or the pages and tactics that are most likely to lose your audience before conversion.
- Micro conversions, such as visits to your pricing pages and long stays on your website that do not lead to immediate purchases.
- Bounce rate, or the percentage of web visitors who leave after only viewing a single page.
- Lead to close ratio, particularly in relation to your individual marketing channels.
A deep dive into your analytics will also allow you to determine which part of your digital marketing strategy does work. You might find, for instance, that your paid search ads actually result in clicks and lead conversions, but your eMail follow-ups are not sufficient to provide consistent customer yield. That, in turn, can drive improvements in your eMail marketing that better leverages your existing successes.
Finally, even in digital marketing, it makes sense to go beyond quantitative analytics. When possible, gauge your audience’s opinion about your digital marketing and online presence in general by talking to them directly. For example, point-of-sales surveys help you determine how your customers heard about you, which messages resonated most, and more.
4. Improve Your eMail Efforts
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you need to take a closer look at your eMail marketing efforts. Even the most successful digital ads matter little if the leads they generate do not end up resulting in purchases. And even when they do, a better eMail marketing strategy can help you improve your customer retention rate and lifetime value.
Done right, eMail remains the single most effective digital tool available for any merchant. One study found that eMail marketing can boast a 4300 percent ROI, while another showed significant improvement in engagement, conversions, and customer value as a result of personalized eMails before and after the transaction. You might get attention to your products through paid ads and other digital tactics, but eMail is the key to helping you leverage that attention into actual revenue.
With the right eMail marketing platform, you can improve the way in which you nurture your existing prospects. You can re-engage cold prospects, and keep new customers involved and engaged with new products and sales. You can build a personal relationship with each customer through better messaging that ultimately results in higher transaction rates and revenue.
Refocus your digital marketing efforts and get back on track
Your digital marketing efforts might be failing in a number of ways. But ultimately, the point of conversion tends to be the biggest pain points for eCommerce merchants across industries. If you have a great product and message, you will get the attention of your audience. But you also have to make sure that this attention actually results in revenue for your business.
eMail marketing can be the boost you need to help in that regard – if you get it right. That means not just sending the occasional message, but building a comprehensive eMail strategy that leverages the timing of your send, your audience’s behaviors, and their individual pain points into a more effective conversion journey.
And of course, you need to have the right eCommerce platform to get to that point. InteractOne offers development solutions specifically designed for eCommerce merchants, while helping to refresh any failing marketing efforts and improving your strategy as a whole.
Contact us to start the conversation, and to grow your business through the process of more effective digital marketing.