If you’re like most online retailers, you’ve put a lot of time and effort into building a beautiful ecommerce store that your customers will love, and it’s tempting to sit back and admire it. But your work isn’t done yet! If you want to ramp up your sales from the get-go, you’ll need to find ways to

drive more visitors to your site and keep them browsing

convert those visitors to customers (turn traffic into transactions)

encourage those customers to keep coming back for more.

We’ve come up with a few simple approaches to get you started.

Drive more traffic to your online store

There are many ways to get more eyes on your ecommerce store—too many to list here. So we’ll focus on a few of our favourites that are easy to implement and offer you a great return on investment.

Personal recommendations are valued over critics’ reviews by 86.9% of online shoppers, so your first task is to get your networks working for you. Start by talking to people you know—your friends, family, neighbours, former colleagues, accountant, hairdresser, barista, local shopkeeper. Everyone! Tell them what you do and why it’s special, and then get them to tell the people they know. Sweeten the deal with referral discounts.

Word-of-mouth marketing also works on social media, where 62% of online shoppers read product-related comments by their friends. Consider encouraging your customers to spread the word with a “like and share” or “tag a friend” promotion on Facebook, with a small random draw prize for participants. Or you might ask customers to post Instagram photos of themselves using your products and tag you in the photo. (Regulations for running competitions can vary depending on where you’re based, so be sure to check with your local or state government.)

Another way to use social media marketing is to tap into themed networking groups that represent a niche for the products you’re selling. If you’re selling blind-date books, you could search for local book clubs on Facebook. For office supplies, you might focus on B2B sales instead, searching LinkedIn for small businesses in your area. But you don’t want to be accused of spamming the participants, so it’s best to contact group administrators before you post any targeted offers or promotions.

And don’t forget about search engine optimisation (SEO)—the higher your online store ranks in search results, the more likely people are to click through and browse.

Boost your conversion rate

Getting those new customers to your store is only half of the battle. You’ve still got to convince them to stick around and buy something, and research shows that you’ve got under a minute to do that before they move on to some other site. So give some thought to how easy it is for your ecommerce website visitors to find exactly what they’re looking for, whether they’ve arrived there from a web search or a campaign ad. Keep in mind that 70% of online shopping happens on mobile devices, so make sure your online store is optimised with a mobile-responsive design, original and compelling copy, and simple navigation.

Put some time into monitoring your website traffic with tools built into your ecommerce platform or third-party products such as Google Analytics. You’re able to follow each anonymous customer’s journey from their site entry point to their exit, so you can find any pain points they may experience and remove those obstacles. If they’re not getting past your homepage, you might need to rethink your design, copy or call to action. Or perhaps they’ve added items to their online shopping cart and started the checkout process, only to discover some unexpected shipping charges that weren’t mentioned on the product listing—an easy fix.

And don’t give up your prospective customers once they’ve left the store. If you’ve got their details, send them a discount offer for the items they’ve left in an abandoned shopping cart—it results in a sale 54% of the time.

Keep your customers coming back for more

We all know that recruiting new customers can be hard work. On the other hand, your existing customers have already shown a genuine interest in what you’re offering. So it can really pay off to keep in touch with them and encourage them back to your ecommerce store time and time again. Give them a great customer experience that goes beyond the transaction itself, and give them a reason to keep coming back. You can

send a coupon code with their order confirmation

include social media links and links to products they may like on each email you send

send a voucher or thank-you note with their delivery

request feedback about your online store

invite them to sign up for your marketing newsletter

reach out to them with a special discount offer, if they haven’t ordered for a while

This can pay off doubly, with 72% of customers likely to spread the word about a positive experience…leading us back to those new site visitors for the top of our sales funnel.

So don’t wait! By working to bring in those new customers and extending the invitation to your loyal fans, you’ll find yourself in a strong position to not only ramp up your sales but also generate repeat business. If you’re looking for a leading ecommerce platform designed specifically to help you reach your customers across multiple channels, check out Neto. And if you’re looking for more information on conversion-centred design and copy, we’ve got that covered, too.

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Everything you need to know about email marketing for your ecommerce store

Over the past decade, social media platforms have grown in popularity and digital marketing has become one of the dominant ways for brands to interact with their customers. But digital marketing is more than just social media and, after all these years, email marketing is still one of the best ways to keep your customers informed and interested in your brand.

Email is one of the most effective conversion channels for ecommerce stores, and it’s one of the few channels you maintain full control over. So it’s vital for the success of online store to build a bigger email list of motivated subscribers—and we’re here to show you how, and why.

Email marketing offers benefits over social media marketing

It’s easy to get caught up in the instant gratification of likes and follows, and the promise of your next video going viral, but the honest truth is that social media marketing should only be one part of your well-balanced digital marketing strategy. Email marketing offers a return on investment of 3800% that social media marketing can’t compete with, because

around 90% of email messages are delivered directly to the intended recipient’s inbox, whereas social media algorithms control which of your fans will see your posts in their news feeds

most people check their email every day, and the average email opening rate is just shy of 25%—much higher than Facebook’s organic reach of 6% and Twitter’s engagement around 2%

while customers favour social media for conversations with the brands they love, email is 40 times more effective than Twitter or Facebook at acquiring new customers through driving traffic to your site and converting it to sales.

But the most important benefit of building your own email list is that you own the list. When you send your email campaign, you’re directly communicating with your subscribers—the people who have signed up to say they want to hear from you. There’s no algorithm inserting itself as a middleman, affecting what your fans can see. It all comes down to what you’ve got to say and whether your customers want to read it. You’re also directly gathering information about what’s working and what’s not, so you can adjust your approach over time to boost your conversion rate.

Targeted messaging will maximise your email marketing ROI

Email marketing works best if you’re sending the right content to the right people. You don’t want to send a hard-sell to a happy customer who is already experiencing the benefits of your product, or to someone who lives in a country where they can’t buy it. Nor do you want to send a new lead the intimate details of maintaining your best-selling product—a product they haven’t yet decided to buy. The best way to avoid this is to create marketing segments—groups of email subscribers that share certain attributes and interests, and therefore represent a unique audience for your marketing email.

It makes sense to segment your list at the time when site visitors are signing up, but you also need to be wary of putting too many steps in the process, which can scare off your prospects. One way to work around this is to track which page the sign-up is coming from. If the user has just placed an order, add them to the customer list; otherwise, add them to a list of prospects. You could also send a welcome email with instructions for how to update their subscriptions to particular lists.

5 Steps to start email marketing for top conversion rates

1. Choose your weapon

First, you’ll want to select email marketing software that combines all the features you want into an easy-to-use bundle. Look for features like

email list management including import, export and segmentation

tracking the basics like open, click-through, forward, bounce and unsubscribe rates

ability to measure conversion rates and ROI

integration with your CRM, loyalty or ecommerce software

user-managed subscription preferences

custom branding and templates

mobile-responsive design

automation and scheduling.

Many platforms offer a free trial or free pricing tier, which lets you test out the interface and decide whether to sign up.

2. Add subscription forms

Next up, you need to give your website visitors easy ways to subscribe to your list. Add opt-in boxes on your landing pages, homepage, and sidebar that are impossible to miss. Consider using timed pop-ups to catch visitors who look like they’re on their way out, and add a signup form to the end of your online ordering process. The easier you make it to sign up, the more likely visitors are to take you up on your offer, so ask for the bare minimum: just an email address and an optional given name. You can also kickstart your signups by inviting past customers to join or asking new subscribers to invite their friends, but check the anti-spam regulations in your country before sending any unsolicited email.

3. Offer an incentive

Modern shoppers can be quite protective of their personal data, so it can help if you give them a small gift in return for their email address. The options are limited only by your creativity, but here are a few ideas to get you started:

guides, checklists, or tip sheets

templates or toolkits

tutorials, webinars, or email courses

ebooks

voucher codes for free shipping or discounts on purchases.

When it comes to delivering on your promise, it’s usually best to send a download link as part of your welcome email. That way you’ll be able to confirm your new subscriber’s email address and track their downloads in one simple step.

4. Seize offline opportunities

Don’t forget that you can also tell people about your email list and invite them to subscribe when you’re out in the real world, anywhere you interact with prospective customers: at conferences, in your pop-up shop or market stall, or at networking events. Take a signup form on your mobile device or add a QR code to your business card so people can sign themselves up on the spot. You could even host a random prize draw for new subscribers who drop a business card in your barrel.

5. Send your first email

When it’s time to send your first campaign, keep your language and tone consistent with your website, and keep the email short enough that readers are likely to get to the end of the page. Include links to more in-depth information on your website, because the ultimate goal is to drive traffic to your ecommerce store. And personalise the subject line and contents of your email campaigns—subscribers are 26% more likely to open an email with a personalised subject line, up to 41% more likely to click through and 10% more likely to convert.

Keep your marketing engine running smoothly

Set up an editorial calendar so you can send out campaigns twice a month—the optimal frequency for getting a high open rate. Use your email marketing software’s tracking features (or third-party analytics) to watch open rates, bounce rates, forwarding rates, conversions and unsubscribe requests, and compare them to industry standards. Give your subscribers more of what they want so that, over time, you get a higher level of engagement.

It’s best to remove unresponsive subscribers from your list over time, so you get a clearer picture of how your email marketing strategy is performing. Many email marketing platforms can manage this for you, Of course, the best way to keep your email list manageable in the long term is to make it easy for subscribers to manage their own preferences, and remind them of how to do this in every single mailout.

Neto is a leading ecommerce platform designed to help your business grow across multiple channels. It offers a wide range of add-on integrations to digital marketing platforms, and inbuilt analytics to help you track your campaign success. Looking for more information on what to do with your email subscription list? We’ve got some ideas about lead nurturing to grow your online store, too.

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