Category Archives: E-Commerce

email marketing

Maximizing email marketing success

Emails are forever

Yes, we’re consuming the social days and people mostly receive all the information from the Social Medias. But in marketing terms, some goodies like direct marketing and email marketing are essential in every brand’s strategy. You may find this strange, since Social Medias segment your audience like no other media can, but know that good email campaign can build you strong customer relationships, provide you with some valuable data and even boost your ROI. But, no email campaign is easy to execute.  And it is not only the execution. As soon as you send that email, you need to maintain the focus and effectiveness in all your next campaigns. email marketingThis means having your customers get attracted by your subject, having them open your email, read the content and most of all, not deleting the email.

Treat your email campaign like every other advertising campaign you have. Convey your message to the right audience, with the right tone of voice, with the exact edginess the consumer would like to receive and with the effectiveness like all your other ads you place. Email is the medium that is and will be forever, so below are few tips for having a successful email marketing campaign.

Who is this mail for?

Know your audience. This is the first must-have in delivering a successful email marketing campaign. Yes, your subject will ultimately attract the customers, but not if it reaches a wrong ones. Consider your customers the most valuable asset you have and place them in a clean neat list. Know their interests, free time and internet habits. Never ever spam everybody with your emails. And most importantly, don’t ever assume “they might like”, Know if they’re going to like, since this is the only thing that matters. Start with building your list. email marketingThe easiest thing you can do is offer your customers free sampling or discounts in order to receive permission for their contact details. As soon as you have the permission focus on asking hem the precise questions you need, guarantying your customers on data security. Ask only what you need and never too much since too many questions will lose your potential customers. Have a visible unsubscribe option for them, to make them sure they’re not obligated to follow you, but they’re doing it because they want to know more about your brand and products. Never spam. Never! Have a clear privacy policy that never fades your customers’ trust. And last but not least, always make sure that your list is up to date. Mail addresses change but you need to track the return emails and always reach your customers.

Set your objectives and start with them

It is the same when starting a new business. You have to have a clear and moreover achievable objective and purpose of the business itself. Understanding the objective of sending emails will lead to the path of success. Understand your emails as a whole of several important fragments that equally produce deliverables. When having an objective for the overall email campaign, you don’t just focus on your subject alone. The subject will have the desired click, but if the content doesn’t deliver what your readers were interested within the subject, your email goes to trash. Keep the close connection between the subject and the body of the email. Even if your email has outstanding content, if it is not related to the subject and is not in the customer’s field of interest or is too misleading, the customer will not read the email. Both your broad and narrow objectives should be in line with your audience. Mix and match and deliver meaningful email content that will eventually be beneficial for both you and the readers.

Catch the reader’s attention: use catchy but clear subject

Yes, his majesty, the subject. It is important to make it catchy to grab the reader’s attention, but more important is to deliver a message that will genuinely generate an interest in reading the entire mail. Be honest. Tell them exactly what your email is about. If your email is beneficial for them, let them know within your subject. email marketingThink about what you will say and how will you say it. If possible, write your subject so it generates an instant emotion about your email. Curiosity would be the perfect emotion to create, but urgency and sympathy will also do the work. Or you can simply go with call to action. Intriguing yet inspiring subject line delivers higher click-to-open rate. But, try to loose “FREE” in your subject. This is often used by selling spammers and most likely will not be clicked. Think more in terms of an opening line to a conversation you’re about to have with your customer. You grab his interest with the introduction but continue his interest with the content of your conversation.

Converse while focusing on the message

If you have already set your objective, it’s clear than email campaigns are more than communication. They send out what you have to say. They release your message. So in order to deliver your message right, you need to focus. First of all it would be highly useful if you subscribe to newsletters from other companies. As you do, you’ll start thinking like a customer. You’ll easily notice what messages you open and which ones you delete without even clicking. When writing your copy, always use conversational tone, make it direct and include call to action. Your readers will genuinely want to click on your emails if you let them know they receive valuable content. Drive their curiosity, not only in reading your emails but in visiting your website and ultimately buying one of your product or services. When an email speaks a concise and direct conversation to a specifically crafted audience, it can drive immediate and emotional benefit but also leverages curiosity. And when the conversation has started, you need to focus on maintaining it and extending it even further, by listening to the audience and adding some extra value for them. Make them engage with your emails. Ask them what they would want to know or have, like some juicy info, specially crafted offers, new services and discounts and always include your link to your emails. Try to personalize each message and even ask the readers to participate. How? Make sure you always include social buttons so the readers could easily share the content of your emails and continue the conversation on all other Social Medias.

Test your messages and measure the success

You’ve come up with mail concepts, you have good subject lines and you’re about to launch your big email campaign. Stop. Before sending your email out, you need to do the test. You need to test out the look, feel and performance of your emails in order to achieve optimal results. For example, you have two concepts that you think would work great. Test them both between your employees, or friends. Find out which one performs better in terms of subject, body, call to action and you will have your winning email. There is a standard A/B testing for subject lines that determine whether your message is the right one to go to your readers’ inbox. Also emphasize the images. Always use clear, royalty cleared images and even better; make photo shoots to have your own image base. Make sure all the links are in right position, all clickable, all delivering the reader to the right destination. The last thing you would like is to carry your customer to a different location than desired one.

email marketingAfter all tests have ensured your email is ready and you send it and launch your email campaign, make sure you’ll able to measure the results. Measuring will help you see what works and what doesn’t for your audience which will allow you to have better and better future campaigns. Try to gather as many data as you can. Look up for real-time reports and results via Google analytics or similar tools. A successful email marketing campaign will indicate high percentage of people who have opened the email. The open/send ratio improves with considering all above points, especially accentuate the audience segmentation. But ultimately, the success of your email campaign will be resolved at the moment when you truly understand the email as your marketing medium.

Automation as a tool

There is a great advantage in email marketing. You don’t have to do everything by yourself. You can automate your email marketing. It’s easy, affordable and can save you a whole load of time, while letting you more space in developing your other strategies or creatively express yourself. Orange Interactive Technology creates customized email marketing automation solutions, enabling you to build stronger relationships with your audience, while measuring your results and keeping track of all previous and next campaigns.

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E-commerce Marketing trends for 2017

Online shoppers are here to stay

It is already the fourth month of 2017. By now, the total number of internet users worldwide has reached 3.5 billion from which 40% have bought at least one thing online. Or in plain imagesnumbers, that means that at this moment there are more than 1.4 billion customers worldwide available to be attracted by the e-commerce players in the market. And those numbers are about to rise as marketers everywhere are doing everything they can to get the piece of the online shopping pie. As e-Commerce itself is rapidly growing, marketers are using all possible forms of marketing channels and techniques to stand up against the already large competition and get more customers to shop their brands. But this refining of the e-Commerce marketing is constantly making customers even harder to win.

It’s all about the user experience

As it grows, the market becomes more innovative increasingly technology friendly. With all those new means, like VR for example, not only that attract new customers, but they boost their engagement, creating an extraordinary user experiences. And customers really care about that.  Companies and brands working in line with behavioral trends and following the consumers instead the otherwise will easily succeed in their e-Commerce marketing planning. Knowing the customers, not only current but potential ones as well and integrating their behaviors into the planning will be beneficial for both sides. For example, knowing that nowadays 51% of Americans prefer online shopping rather than in-store — number that rises to 67% for Millennials and 56% for Gen Xers will help you in your further positioning if you’re delivering in the US market.

E-commerce-web-development

The megatrends in e-Commerce

Looking at the numbers, one can easily conclude that brands without online stores are doomed to disappear. Starting from the fact that 2017’s customers owns at least 3 devices – smartphone, tablet, and computer, they expect quick, easy, and, above all, user friendly online shopping experience. So make this your starting point in the planning. Brands will need to be both aware of and benefit from the latest trends in ecommerce. To make it easier, we’ve identified several e-Commerce trends for 2017 to be taken into consideration in order brands to ensure both online and in-store sales growth.

  1. Be mobile friendly and advertise on Mobile: If you own a site that is not responsible for mobile devices, you’re wrong on so many levels. They are convenient and accessible making the customers addicted to them. So, if your customer is constantly holding a device, the chances they indexwill shop from it are really high. Some researchers show that 88% of consumers who search for a type of local business on a mobile device call or go to that business within 24 hours. So, if you don’t own a responsive web site, you’ll be losing at least 70% of the visitors. True that mobile site doesn’t sound like a marketing tool, but if you think about advertising your products or services on Google or Social Medias, more than 0% of the traffic will be mobile device generated. PewInternet.org has researched the US population, concluding that two thirds have a mobile device and using it for the majority of their online searcher. 40% of the Americans abandon a slow loading website. While 74% of them return to mobile friendly websites, 67% were more likely to buy from a mobile friendly website. So, to conclude, making your website responsive, thus mobile friendly, will ultimately lead to more visits and necessarily to maximization of sales.

content-marketing

  1. Content Marketing: It’s 2017, customers already hate advertisements and over 200 million of them have installed an ad blocker. No one wants to be spammed anymore. So now what? You pull out that king card and win those customers with content. There are many companies that already sell thanks to content marketing. Communication with audience in all possible ways will both cost you lower and generate you 3x as many leads. It is simple – people love to be consuming content and creating interesting, relevant and catchy content will definitely increase your traffic and help you in sales growth.
  1. Listening to the customers and understanding their journey: Let’s face it: if one user has a bad experience on your website, he might never come back. Or even worse, a word-of-mouth campaign those customers bring can mean a big failure for a brand. This makes the user experience (UX) of your website now more important than ever. Following and understanding the customer journey by using Google analytics or any other analytics tool available should become top priority for any brand. No one should afford loopholes in their websites since they will lead to sales drops. As Brian Solls in his new book X: The experience when business meets design says: “Experiences are more important than products now. In fact, experiences are products.” So a smart thing to do would be to surf your website as if you were a customer. Shop like you would do on any other site. See what works well and what doesn’t and figure out a way to make the annoying stuff easier.
  1. Consume the technology, engage with VR and AR: From day to day harder it gets to become a market leader. The competition is fierce and overwhelming. So earlier you vrstart investing in the futuristic marketing, the sooner you’ll stand out from the competition. And by futuristic marketing, we mean investing in the “next big thing” which right now is the Virtual and Augmented reality. Take PokemonGo for example. It became a massive viral hit last year. And the total amount of active VR users is forecasted to reach 171 million by next year. So the time is now, take this advantage and improve the eCommerce experience with VR. Make your product virtually presented so the online shopper experiences them as he is in your physical store. Yes it is an expensive cutting-edge of technology. And yes, if you can afford it, go for it and immerse your customers with and VR experience.

 

  1. Take what your customers give you with User generated content: The idea of motivating your customers to generate content for you has been ongoing for a while now. users-social-media-contentBut is not as easy as it sounds. A brand should really stand out to have its customers speak instead. Being relevant, unique or even funny are among the attributes a brand should have to trigger conversation from its customers. And believed or not, user generated content id 20% more influential than any other media but much harder to have. Increasing the conversation should be among top of the planning list for eCommerce strategy for this year. Especially when 70% of consumers consider product and brand recommendations from their social circles trustworthy and 46% trust online reviews posted by other customers. In comparison, only 10% trust banner ads on websites. So, ask your customer to post images from your products, give them a hash tag, give them coupon or small rewards and increase the conversation for better sales.
  1. Invest in Review Marketing and Social feedback: And by invest, we mean try really, really hard about this. Today you’ll win a customer based on the reviews. It’s pure psychology. People like to be a part of the pact. They believe s recommendation they receive from a close member or someone they trust. So, the right thing to do now is to have a small incentive investment in your current customers in order to gain new ones. It will ultimately pay off. Numbers say that almost 63% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a site if it has product ratings and reviews from other customers. So if we haven’t convinced you yet, these numbers should.
  1. Hire a professional Influencer: Influencer Marketing can really help you increase your reach and ultimately your sales, if you do it right. And the right way to do it is by knowing and finding the right influencers. Whichever platform you choose (Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Snapchat or Instagram) they each have different influencers. And it is still human recommendation. Consider influencers as brand ambassadors. Have them say what you have to say instead of you and have them interact with a community that will eventually become your community. And if knowing that almost 74% of consumers use social media channels to make purchase decisions and the previously stated facts that they believe user recommendations over brand ones should motivate you enough. As soon as customers relate to your brand it will be much easier.

 

  1. Make your customers feel special with a Loyalty program: It is quite easy. Reward your current customers for their loyalty. Coupons or points for discounts on every purchase will make them really happy. At the same time it is quite a good trigger for other customers to become yours as well. Attract the “onetime shoppers”, intrigue the “browsing shoppers” and reward the “loyals” and you will definitely rise your online sales.

 

  1. Be everywhere. Use an Omni-Channel selling. You have an banner-building-b2b-omni-channel-commerce-platform2eCommerce site. Your online shop is seamless. But why restrict? Put your products everywhere, on all selling platforms such as Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Jet, etc. This may seem like a contrary-marketing for you but you are wrong again. Multichannel shoppers do shop more often and they do spend over 3 times more than single-channel shoppers.

 

Other important marketing channels to focus your eCommerce in 2017:

  • Wallet payments
  • Triggered emails
  • Better & Free Return Shipping
  • On-Site Personalization
  • Social Media And Google Search Buy Buttons
  • Marketing automation
  • Non-robo response
  • Video marketing
  • Data driven from SEO
shopify-facebook-advertising

Facebook Ads: Small Business Luxury

The cost of being liked

Being liked in all aspects of life comes at some price. Whether a good behavior, knowledge, trendy clothes or even the most modern gadgets. Its ironical that the most precious things in life are facebook-advertising-sydneyfree whereas the most essentials ones come at a price. As an example, one might remember the days where companies used to quote: ” Let’s put that on Facebook, it’s free!”. Since those early days, Facebook remained at the very top of its game, and no wonder today it is one of the best advertising platforms for small and large businesses alike. Today, Facebook has reached over 1.79 billion monthly active users, in an industry where total digital media spends are at 38% of the total media spends. Digital media has now replaced TV media as the number 1 medium for advertising. Moreover, it enables target specific audience marketing. Brands can pick and choose the customers who receive their message based on interests, geo-location, and demographics. In comparison to other advertising mediums, Facebook remains economical when compared to the results it delivers.

Limited ad space competition

In the past few years, Facebook ads have risen in popularity. Its not a mere coincidence that the number of small businesses who advertise on Facebook has grown larger, narrowing the ad space. This growth has created an imbalance of supply and demand. Reports say that in the first quarter the average ad price has increased by 5% and but this has not turned away advertisers, who continued buying ads. But, with the rise of the ads, that the Cost-per-Clicks have also increased, making the small-budget campaigns under performing.

4 million active Advertisers on Facebook.

Its no surprise that as the social platform grew, the number of brands competing to get a chunk of all that foot-fall, grew as well. This intense growth made easier for bigger companies to spread wider. Bigger brands had bigger budgets and dedicated teams who consistently manage the online Facebook advertisingstrategy and thus able to make the overall ads performance better. However, if you are a small or struggling business the chances of you spending a lot of time and money on managing your Facebook performance are lower. So, is there a solution for improving your performance? At our deepest repentance nowadays you cannot make a Facebook strategy without ads. With Facebook ads, businesses have 8x more engagement than an unpaid organic post. Our studies have shows that Facebook advertising can also help brands achieve upto 192% more conversions, 92% higher ad recall, 31% greater brand awareness, and 35% lower cost per conversion. There is one less battle to win the war.

Alternative strategy boosting

The best way to start is by listening what the platform has to say. Use the information Facebook provides and optimize your targeting. Include or exclude audiences based on their interests, age or locations to make your ad reach exactly the customers you need. As the Facebook ads differ from Facebook Advertisingyour daily posts, you need to make your copy catchy since its important to grab your eye’s attention from among the never-ending scroller. Another solution might be to launch multiple ads. Instead of creating just one, we suggest you create a couple of ads, playing with the visuals and with the text so to know which one performs best. It us also important, just like everything else today, to make your ads mobile responsive. Responsive ads must be your single biggest agenda since Facebook users use the social network from their smartphone app. However, today with this intense competition for the ad space on Facebook, companies start to experiment with many alternative and innovative approaches to growing their audience or engage with it.

Engaging Influencers  

Today, the struggle is to have the trends and creativity work together and become contagious. It is about building relationships and memorable experiences. It is about unique performance and engagement. And probably the best way to make all this happen is by engaging influencers.Social media influencers are the bloggers, Instagrammers and all other people who have a wider community of loyal followers. Using them in your strategy will help you build the desired relationships with your audience. No matter how big the Facebook Influencersinfluencers’ audience is, they can reach the crowd easily and in a way that your brand may not be able to. In example, mid-level influencers, like bloggers or instagrammers with ~ 100,000 followers have higher engagement in comparison to the top ranked influencers or even celebrities. Their audience may be smaller but definitely more loyal, driving around 16 times higher engagement than the “Mega” ones. Also, user reviews has become one of the most important influencers in buying a product, right? Well, with influencers, you’ll have very influential online reviews of your products or services, placed directly to your audience, making them believe that it is not only their right choice but also their only one. And most importantly, our research shows that in this millennial era, 90% of the consumers trust “peer recommendation” and only 33% trust the ads.

In the end, whether you decide to go for the economic Facebook advertising or maybe increase your budgets for the tailored ads or even still widening your budgets further to hire an influencer, this is still the best way to place your brand online. So make the most of the social platforms and shine bright like a diamond!

Online Shopping

Online Shopping: Are You Addicted Yet?

The power of “add to basket” button

Generally when people browse retailers, or web pages that sell certain products or services want to have a buying option. Not having an e-commerce solution it’s a huge mistake. It’s 2017, a period where annoying shoppers by reminding them to visit a physical store is not considered cool, especially when shoppers love the online experience. How much ever sparkle and fun it adds to your pexels-photo-230544Saturday visiting a mall for shopping fares lower than online shopping where experience is concerned, the latter is far better, and doesn’t require leaving the house, office or the place of being at the moment!

Unless selling goods for old people, most retailers consider their customers as digital and contemporary. They like to have their options open and not waste too much time. They want to be able to quickly and easily look for what they want, find it and buy it. Online shopping not only is faster, better and much, much easier for them, it quickly becomes their only shopping option.

E-commerce will become a ‘traditional’ business, says Alibaba’s Chairman and former CEO, Jack Ma “We anticipate the birth of a re-imagined retail industry driven by the integration of online, offline, logistics and data across a single value chain.”

It’s in your phone, so you shop on the go
The “everywhere convenience” can easily create the first online shopping addiction. Shop wherever you are, whether in the office, at home, while waiting in the car for the lights to turn green, Online shoppingwhile lying on the beach or before going to bed at night. The Online shopping platforms are open 24×7. And for no-timers, this might be on the top of the why-shop-online list.

Addiction grows bigger knowing that a shopper, in online shopping model, has the power to compare prices from different sellers just in a matter of clicks. The freedom of choosing the best and most affordable product online, while saving time and energy is a blast!

It’s you and you only

Let’s say you are a tech freak or you really, really want to be the first to get the hands on some new or discounted item. Well, new arrivals or big discounts pull crowds in stores. This possibility makes online shopping a paradise if you hate crowds. Plus, nowadays online sales tend to have more significant discounts than offline ones. Take Black Friday and Cyber Monday for instance. So, no spending your precious time, no waiting in lines and no driving (so no traffic jams). It will only take a simple browsing and just a few clicks, whilst wearing your favorite pajamas. Maybe this crowd avoidance is the most obvious benefit to get you hooked on online shopping. Well, if not…

There’s everything online!

Were you thinking about green sunglasses? Bam! OEMFD40You found them online. You would even find better red ones. When shopping online, there are much more products and many more options. A thousand styles, color combinations and price ranges. Are you shopping for the whole family? No problem, it’s done in few tabs only. Instead of wandering around multiple stores you can choose from the variety of online products. You can easily shop at multiple stores at the same time. And even more important, online stores never close up! Payment is always available via your credit card, or yet more, there is pay-on-delivery option to pamper you even further.

No more Out-of-stock freak outs

How many times have you gone to the mall to buy some new clothes and your number or color was out of stock? Almost always in offline sales, all good products are gone in no time. But not online! If out of stock, you can still order it and receive it as soon as it becomes available again. Email subscription to your favorite online stores makes things even easier. You get notified of new arrivals, sales or products coming back in stock again. In short, there is a slight or no chance at all that you miss buying your favorite products online.

The addiction has grown bigger, right?

You have developed an everyday habit of revisiting several retailers to see if they have promotions, sales or new arrivals. There is always an opened tab of an online store or you have a full shopping cart in your browser, waiting for the “buy now” click. Your mailman has your cell phone number. And he’s calling on the weekly basis. You get carried away and shop from work. Almost all the websites you online shoppingvisit have ads and banners from your online stores. Your inbox is full of promotional emails, codes and discount newsletters. Discount or sale emails give you heebie-jeebies. You’ve learned your way and shop only from free shipping and free return stores. You’ve started receiving packages you forgot to order or something you ordered twice since you forgot to order it the first time. You get a bit depressed every time an item you want is “sold out” or hasn’t arrived on time and you “needed just that”. When your friends invite you to the mall, you quickly respond with “I can order that online.” You have more than one shopping mobile apps. And finally, you are stressed out every time an item that arrives is not as you’ve expected.

Well, face it; you might be addicted to online shopping. Congratulations.

 

Marija Stardelova                                                                                                                                              Marketing Specialist and Blogger, Orange Interactive Technology