Adopting or improving an inbound marketing strategy can offer all sorts of value to an organization.
The type of value, of course, can vary. Higher sales? Better conversions from prospects into customers? Higher engagement? Higher revenue? Greater outreach and education?
In some cases, even the act of creating an inbound marketing campaign can be useful: it can identify positive attributes about your organization while providing a focus on potential customers most likely to purchase from you. Your strategy can also create a road map toward a certain goal, along with methods to evaluate progress along the way.
Identifying and assessing Key Performance Indicators can be abundantly useful for organizations trying to examine internal processes and seeking areas of improvement. (KPIs can provide a variety of data about a workforce, everything from overall productivity to history to remaining time/revenue toward the final goal.)
Along with goals of improving education and efficiency, effective inbound campaigns can also invite and encourage customers to make online purchases, which can be useful for companies trying to reach customers and for customers wanting to buy quickly and easily.
Here are five steps to reach a goal of boosting ecommerce.
1. Create fresh, regular content that makes people take notice.
This could be regular blog posts on an official company blog, articles about the company, columns written by employees, or even social media activity. Whatever you’re writing can be optimized and promoted. Every post can include contact information, calls to action that encourage buying, and various keywords that will make it easier for that article to come up when someone searches for certain phrases. Even though some blogs have been around for years, they still draw readers, are fun to read, easy to share and can give potential customers a good idea of what your company is about and get them comfortable and excited to work closer with you.
2. Convert your traffic into leads and purchases.
Conversions are the name of the game in inbound marketing, which means that every visitor can be a potential customer. Hubspot tells us that getting people to your site is vital, and then they can be encouraged to explore to learn more about your available products or services plus any other information. All areas of your site and any outside publications should include clear references to where and how they can purchase something, and how easy it is to do so. (Getting them to the site successfully and then hoping they figure out how to access the purchase area is a poor strategy; instead, clearly show them the path.)
3. Segment your contacts.
Rather than continually wrestling with one bulky master database and sending the same generic messages to everyone, add context to your marketing messages by segmenting your contacts database into highly contextual segments for example existing customers, future customers/leads, customers who buy more than once, customers who leave reviews or order over a specific value, etc. Each group can have different messages geared toward them that can be more appealing. For instance, existing customers can be thanked for their past purchases and alerted to new products or services they might be interested in. Leads can be invited to come check out your site, be informed about your company, receive encouragement to make a purchase and perhaps be advised about a nice introductory offer. Keeping the different groups separate reduces the risk of accidentally sending someone a message for the group they’re not a part of. It makes your message more relevant, which can make it more appealing to either group of recipients. It could also provide upsell opportunities as people become more comfortable with you the more you contact them.
4. Run cart abandonment campaigns.
There are plenty of reasons why customers leave their ecommerce carts behind. They could get distracted and need to log off and get back to work or take care of a domestic duty. They could see that their purchases cost more than they expected and walked away. They could be window shopping, putting together a ‘someday but not today’ wish list. In some cases, it may be because a site’s shopping area is difficult or confusing to navigate. SmartInsights says that two-thirds of all digital carts are abandoned, which means businesses need to make sure that their shopping experience is in the successful one-third that actually makes a purchase. Beyond a revamp of the whole interface, businesses wanting to reduce the abandonment rate and increase the purchase rate can try a variety of strategies. This can include ‘holding’ the items for when someone returns; retargeting them with online ads for whatever item they were considering to hopefully nudge them to return to buy; and allowing them to check out as ‘guests,’ vs. requiring them to register as members. Businesses do enjoy acquiring like new names for their databases but new customers may not be comfortable providing personal and financial information for yet another account.
5. Measure, analyze and optimize your sales data.
Good marketing never ends, so even though a particular inbound campaign may have a specific start and end date (established by your SMART goals,) it’s still useful to measure activity at different points in the process. If sales are lower than expected, this snapshot can provide an opportunity to change a message or offer before the campaign runs its course. If sales are higher than expected, maybe there’s an ingredient or an element that can be duplicated for future campaigns, like a keyword, a certain promotion or specific verbiage. Continue to look for ways to attract visitors through SEO.
There is no one size fits all marketing strategies, with a simple google search you will find tons of advice, tips, guides and best practices out there and it will be hard to pinpoint the best strategy that works for your business. It can also seem like there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to achieve everything you need to do. For this reason we recommend getting in touch for a short conversation about your revenue goals and of your current marketing efforts we can help you pinpoint the gap and give you an excellent advice on how fill it up.