How do you execute a mobile-friendly email campaign in a way that actually improves sales? I've seen many "good ideas" produce unimpressive and even disastrous results. The best way to make sure you achieve your objective is to split test an email campaign that you've optimized for a smartphone against your standard creative.
What any e-retailer really needs to make 2011 a great year is some way to grow year-over-year visitors by 10 percent to 15 percent.
Traffic is like oxygen for a website: it can't "live" if it doesn't get it, no matter how cool its features and graphics are. The simple truth is that you need visitors to get sales. Want to increase your sales by 20 percent this holiday season? You need 20 percent more web traffic to do so.
How do you get the result you want out of your redesign or upgrade project? Start by avoiding the common mistakes that lead to costly project overruns, long delays and plenty of second-guessing.
Almost 60 percent of online retailers don't send emails or do any type of follow-up marketing to shoppers who abandon carts, according to a recent survey. Abandoned cart emails are the most basic and lucrative of a class of emails called "triggered email." Merchants who ignore triggered email are missing out on some easy money — perhaps they had too much money to begin with?
At a movie theater concession stand you'll hear, "Want to make that a jumbo for just a quarter more?" In an airport bar, you can get a bigger beer for just a dollar extra. Car rental companies will upgrade you to a nicer ride for just $7 more per day. You can add 32 gig of extra storage to your iPod for just $80. All these merchants know that getting you to spend just a little bit more will supersize their profits. The same is true on your website.
If you're wondering, "How am I going to increase my online sales and profits in 2010?" here's an easy answer: TEST! An e-commerce site should run at least one test a month with the potential to increase sales by 10 percent. These are seven keys to a successful online testing program. Plus: Download the Chi-Square Test spreadsheet to prove your tests are statisically valid.
Most retailers use the wrong metrics to measure the success of search programs. They focus on tactical measures, such as return on advertising spend or keywords moving up and down in rankings. These measures are like sports statistics — they explain the final score but don't decide success or failure. The final score does that. In business, profits are the final score and sales tell you how good or bad the blowout can be.
For successful navigation to lead to higher conversion rates, you must provide shoppers several different ways to shop your site. It's a paradigm shift for merchandisers accustomed to organizing a store or catalog by the type of product, which is the kind of one-dimensional navigation that will hinder your success online.
Pure-play websites crush classic direct marketers when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO). Most produce 50 percent or more of their total sales this way, garnering millions in revenue. Many direct marketers view their sites as cash registers where shoppers go to check out. They've either ignored or only paid lip service to SEO.
I had breakfast with a couple at a conference recently. The woman was the founder of a business that sells beads to home hobbyists for bracelets and necklaces. Her partner runs the back-office operations for the business. I asked how they started their business.
Online marketing activities produce a cacophony of statistics: E-mail screams with information about open and clickthrough rates. Paid search demands that you focus on deliverability and clickthrough rates. Search engine optimization hounds you to build inbound links. The daily stream of numbers can be deafening, leaving you unsure of what to pay attention to. Yet the most important metric for the success of your online business lies quietly behind all this data.
Landing pages are the Rodney Dangerfield of most Web sites — they get no respect. Catalogers agonize over what words to use in a paid-search ad. They work the creative department to the point of rebellion to send out another e-mail. They give away prime, expensive space in their catalogs to promote their Web sites. But when it comes time to direct this precious Web traffic, most simply say, “Find a page on the site that will work.” To quote Rodney again, “It ought to be against the law!” Smart catalogers have figured out that they can double profits by creating targeted landing pages