As you start promoting your eCommerce business using digital marketing, you’ll realize one thing: there’s a lot to do!
And as you grow your digital marketing team, you’ll be easily overwhelmed by all the campaigns and projects.
When I’m hired to lead digital marketing for major retail brands, the first thing I purchase is a project management software.
Why Do You Need a Project Management Software
There are 3 benefits to using the right project management software:
You get things done without being overwhelmed
You have less meetings
You send fewer emails
Eventually you gain control of your time and become a lot more productive. Communicating with your team becomes a breeze and people know what is expected of them on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.
What To Look for in a Project Management Software
There are many project management tools out there. Choosing the right one is very important as you will be using it daily for a long period of time.
Here’s what I look for:
Price We all have budgets to respect so it’s very important to know how much the software will cost you on a monthly basis. Some tools will offer a discount if you pay for 1 year in advance (simply make sure the software meets your expectations before committing to one year).
Also, make sure you know what additional charges exist if you outgrow your current monthly plan. Some software companies might start charging you if you need more users, more storage or additional features.
Number of users Know exactly how many users are able to use the software with your monthly subscription. Many software companies charge extra per user.
Ease of use What’s the point of having a project management software if it’s very hard for people to use. You want to have an easy time training your team on how to use it.
Support Make sure to purchase a software from a company that provides good support for your users. You want to make sure they answer emails quickly as well as being reachable in case of emergencies.
Tasks, Schedules, Calendars I like using software that makes it easy for me to assign tasks to team members, schedule projects and manage calendars with ease. I dislike getting overwhelmed with project management.
I like using a software that makes it easy to communicate with team members. I want to be able to leave comments on tasks, send direct messages and host group chats.
File Management Features
In digital marketing, we deal with a lot of creative such as graphics, pictures and videos. With time, you will be gathering a lot files inside your software. That’s why you need to have a tool that provides great file management. Also, make sure it doesn’t cost a lot of money to purchase addition storage as some companies charge outrageous fees for that.
My Favourite Project Management Software is…
I highly recommend you consider using Basecamp.com for project management.
I’ve been using this software for years and loving it!
Easy to learn
Always being updated with new features
Mobile friendly (has an app too)
Simplifies task creation with templates
Assign tasks, set schedules and manage calendar in one place
You want more people to buy products from your online store.
Let’s go over a couple things I think you’ll agree with:
People love shopping online
Most people own a smartphone and carry it wherever they go (bathroom included)
We no longer watch TV, listen to the radio, read magazines and newspapers like we used to
We use the Internet for almost everything (social media networks, videos, emails, searching, map directions, chatting, shopping…)
I’m sure you will also agree that we now consume a lot of digital content mainly due to mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.
And for this reason alone, if you want more people to buy products from your online store, you should be marketing on digital channels.
So where do you start? Let me share with you my experience.
4 Steps to Get Started with Digital Marketing for eCommerce
Create a Plan
Define your target market
Figure out what makes you unique
Start promoting your online store
In this post, I’m going to give you an overview of each step.
Step 1: Create a Plan
If you’re serious about successfully building an eCommerce business, you’ll need a solid plan so you can avoid wasting time and money on things that won’t have a positive impact sales.
A plan will help you focus and will also allow you to allocate resources on the right projects. A plan should include both short-term and long term goals.
When setting your goals, make sure they are S.M.A.R.T:
You will also need to define objectives to help you achieve your S.M.A.R.T. goals. Tracking your progress is key as you will be able to measure your results.
I plan on writing some articles around the topic of eCommerce planning, goals and objectives. Stay tuned!
Step 2: Define Your Target Market
The next step is to figure out who’s your target market. Who needs your product and who’s willing to buy it.
If you’re having a hard time figuring out who would want to buy your product, here’s a trick.
First, ask yourself what problem does your product solve? And then find people who are experiencing this problem. Those people will be your target customers (market).
Understand who they are (demographics) and why they buy (psychographics) so you can better craft your marketing message.
Any information about your target will be useful. Gather as much as you can. I highly recommend you conduct interviews with them so you can learn more about who they are and their lifestyle.
Step 3: What Makes You Unique
If you were to ask me what’s the main reason why people fail in eCommerce, it’s because they haven’t really figured out what makes their brand or product unique.
We call this a Value Proposition.
Why would people buy YOUR product and the not the one from the competition?
Figure this out and you will have an easier time selling your product. You will also be able to better craft your marketing message when speaking or advertising to your target audience.
Step 4: Start Promoting Your Online Store
So you start with a plan, you then figure out who’s your target market and then figure out what makes your product unique.
The next step is making sure you create awareness for your brand/product by promoting your business on digital marketing channels.
Here’s a tip: Promote your business where your target audience is.
Paid Search (Search Engine Marketing)
People search the Internet to find answers to questions, search for a place, search for information or search for a product. A big percentage of people make these searches on Google.com, Bing and Yahoo. Searches for videos are made on Youtube.com.
Promoting your online store on search engines is one of the most popular methods of driving traffic to a website.
You can do that by using the following tools:
Email is usually among the top 3 channels that drives the most traffic to an online store.
Your email list will become a valuable asset for your business. Make sure you focus on list building!
Build an email list
Offer incentives in exchange for an email (coupon, buying guide PDF download etc.)
Send email campaigns at least once a week
launch trigger emails that will be sent to subscribers when they perform a specific behaviour (cart abandonment, order confirmations etc)
Monitor list engagement (open rate, click rates, unsubscribes, deliverability)
You can notify subscribers by email about new products, sales/promotions, store events, coupon offers, new blog posts and so much more.
Search Engine Optimization
Optimizing your online store for search engines such as Google or Bing, is going to be one of your best investments in the long-term. By doing so, you will benefit from free traffic from search engines.
Optimization includes how you structure and design your website. It’s also about how fast it loads and the type of content you create (text, videos & images). Those are some of the factors that can affect your rankings within search engine results.
SEO will require some technical knowledge but nowadays, there are many tools to help you out. Start with Google Webmaster Tools.
Social Media Marketing
I can assure you that a big percentage of your target audience is spending a lot of time on social media. They’re using it to stay in touch with friends, post selfies, share food pics, watch videos, support causes, engage in groups, seek entertainment or learn about something.
Nowadays, most social media networks allow businesses to create a business account and create ads.
Take advantage of that. Use social media as a way to generate awareness and drive traffic to your online store. It compliments your other digital marketing efforts.
Display ads, also known as banner ads, are great for brand awareness. Unfortunately, they’re performance is no longer what it used to be. People have gotten used to ignoring them and not clicking. Yet, this does not mean they don’t work.
Display ads can be effective when targeting the right users at the right time. It’s also important to consider mobile users and how they engage with banner ads.
Display ads can also be used as part of your retargeting strategy. You can use it to effectively communicate with past website visitors.
This is one of my favourite marketing channels. Creating content for your audience that is both valuable and entertaining is going to be one of the best investments you can make in your eCommerce business.
Not only do you own this content but you will benefit from free traffic to your online store from search engines.
You should create a blog to host your content. You then distribute it on social media, email or other websites. Search engines will pick up this content and send you traffic when someone is searching for it.
Content marketing includes:
Articles (blog posts)
Downloadable PDF guides
Affiliate marketing is a great acquisition channel. It allows you to boost brand awareness, drive traffic to your website and acquire new customers by having others promote your business.
How it works? Affiliate partners sign up to your program, advertise your brand/product and send you traffic to your website. You only pay them when someone actually buys from you.
Then, you will need to get affiliates join your program. There are many types of affiliate websites that might consider promoting your eCommerce business. Examples such as coupon sites (Retailmenot.com), Cashback programs (eBates.com), Loyalty Sites (AirmilesShops.ca), Shopping sites (shop.com) or any type of blog within your industry.
At first, you might feel overwhelmed as you navigate through the world of digital marketing. It’s normal. There’s a lot going on.
That’s why it’s important to have a plan in place. You’ll also need to evaluate whether or not you will outsource some of your initiatives to an outside agency or maybe hire additional expertise within your team. In addition, using the right tools for marketing is very important.
If you want sales, you need quality traffic. Digital Marketing channels will help you acquire this traffic if done right.
During the month of June, online retailers of all sizes must plan for the upcoming season: SUMMER.
Whether you’re thinking about launching a sale, hosting a giveaway, publishing some valuable blog content or simply sharing a fun summer video, whatever you decide, you’ll need to plan ahead.
When you should start planning for a summer sale? I always recommend you plan 2 months ahead (that’s a minimum). During this time, you’ll be able to plan things properly such as creative design, email templates, merchandising and so much more.
Keep in mind that if you’re thinking about creating a summer video or you have set aside a big digital marketing budget for this campaign, you’ll need more than 2 months of planning. Find what works best for you and start early.
In this article, I’ve gathered some tips to help you plan some of your email marketing campaigns for summer.
Where Should You Announce Your Summer Sale
Before anything else, make sure to create a dedicated landing page in your online store for your upcoming Summer Sale.
Designing the perfect email requires some planning as well as a creative mindset. It’s also knowing what customers want during each stage of their buying cycle.
An email is usually structured into 3 parts:
The Main Content (offer)
The main content may include many offers.
Why Is An Email Header Important
The header in your email occupies prime real estate. It’s the first thing someone sees when they open your email message. It’s even more important than ever since real estate is limited on a smartphone screen.
There are 3 reasons why you need an email header:
Communicating your offer
Simplifying the shopping experience
How to Design An Email Header
A well structured email header should include these 5 elements:
A logo helps with branding and establishing trust.
A menu helps remind subscribers what you sell and quick provide quick links to browse your online store
3. Preview Line
A preview line helps support your subject line. It highlights some details on what to expect in the email.
A promo or the offer is a great way to highlight a specific offer that will entice customers to take action. It can also be used to communicate an initiative on your website such as an event or site wide offer (free shipping over $x).
5. User Links
User links are aimed at helping subscribers either access specific areas of the site such as their account or help improve email viewability.
Should you include all of those elements in your design? It really depends on your goals. My advice is to test everything to see what works best (find elements that grab attention and increase clicks).
13 Ways to Design the Perfect Email Header
To help you create or improve the design of your email header, I’ve gathered a bunch of examples from actual email campaigns sent by eCommerce businesses of all sizes.
This should help you figure out what to test by combining different email header elements.
Note: If you want to enlarge screenshots, simply click the images.
1. Email header with LOGO only
Some retailers like to keep simple and remove all distractions by simply displaying only their logo. Sometimes a logo can also be displayed with a slogan.
2. Email header with a LOGO + Menu (bottom)
I personally like it when retailers include a menu. It’s a great way to drive traffic to your online store in case the email promotion is not of interest to the customer. It’s also a great way to remind shoppers the type of products you sell.
When adding a menu, consider testing different links as well as personalizing them to the email recipient. For example, if the customer is a women, then show menu links that relate to product categories for women.
3. Email header with a LOGO + MENU (side)
You can also display your menu to the right side of the logo. This can help save some space in the email but remember to test it on mobile devices since it’s a smaller screen. You need to make sure it doesn’t ruin the layout of the menu links.
4. Email header with PROMO + LOGO
If you have an aggressive promotion or if you want to make sure people are aware of it, you can display it before of your logo (top).
5. Email header with LOGO + PROMO (side) + MENU (bottom)
You can also add your promo to the side and simply move the menu to the bottom.
6. Email header with PREVIEW LINE + LOGO + MENU (bottom)
Use the preview to highlight additional information about the sale or even highlight a separate offer that is included in the bottom of the email. It’s prime real estate. Use it wisely!
7. Email header with LOGO + USER LINKS + MENU (bottom)
Displaying user links is great especially if you’re sending your messages to actually customers. Provide them links to their account, update preferences of even find out opening hours of the closest store location.
8. Email header with PROMO + LOGO + MENU (bottom)
The preview line can sometimes be replaced with a promo offer. Personally, I always recommend to have a preview line written in text and avoid using an image. A preview line in text will be displayed in the inbox preview along with the subject line and sender’s information.
9. Email header with LOGO + PROMO (side)
A promo on the side of the logo can help turn attention towards an important offer or message you want your subscribers to see.
10. Email header with PREVIEW LINE + LOGO + USER LINKS + MENU (bottom)
If you decide to use most of the elements, make sure to keep it simple. You don’t want to overwhelm users with too many links to click on or having too many words to read.
11. Email header with PREVIEW LINE + USER LINKS + LOGO + MENU (side)
One of the best ways of growing an eCommerce business is to invest in digital marketing. If you want more customers, you will need to get your name out there in order to drive more traffic to your online store and generate sales.
People will discover your website when searching a specific topic or product. If your online store is well optimized, search engines will position it among the top results of search pages. If you want more traffic, invest in search engine optimization (SEO).
2. Email Traffic
The includes all website traffic that comes from email messages.
Online store looking to drive traffic from search engines marketing should focus on launching their Google Shopping campaigns or Bing Product Ads since those types of ads produce among the best return on investment for eCommerce.
4. Content Marketing Traffic
The content marketing channel includes all website traffic that comes from your blog, videos and digital downloads such as buying guides.
Content marketing can also be referred to as Inbound Marketing, a term used by Hubspot.
Creating content that provides value (helpful) or entertainment can help eCommerce business drive traffic to their online stores since this content will be picked up by search engines or shared on social media.
The referrals digital marketing channel includes all website traffic that comes from literally everything else on the internet including apps.
It can include websites where you may be running display ads, sponsored blog posts or digital newspapers. I usually include anything that’s not included in the other 7 channels both organic and paid.
8. Direct Traffic
The direct channel includes all website traffic that comes direct to your website with no referring website. People usually either type your website url directly in their web browser or access their bookmarks.
Direct traffic allows you to also measure some of your offline marketing efforts such as radio, tv or events. For example, when people see your ad on tv, they might use their smartphone to access your website directly.
The one thing I always recommend when creating a digital marketing strategy is to define your objectives (goals) as well as establishing your performance metrics. That’s the only way you can monitor performance and be able to do more of what works.