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Ecommerce Growth

eCommerce marketing strategy: 12 questions founders should ask themselves

This quick guide will enable you to create an effective eCommerce marketing strategy that’ll drive results, grow sales, and beat the competition.

eCommerce marketing strategy: 12 questions founders should ask themselves

A lot of eCommerce brands tend to copy marketing trends and strictly adhere to institutional processes. However, over time, the context of these processes gets lost and it becomes plans based on assumptions.  The assumption is usually that one plan works while the other doesn’t. 

So before you map out another marketing plan that’ll generate the same old results, here are 12 questions you need to find answers to. They will help guide your next marketing plan for success.

1. Do You Really Know Your Audience?

Many brands just directly target their competition’s audience without knowing who they are. This leads to random segmentation and wrong targeting.

You can’t sell to people you don’t know. What makes them thick and thin? Not having a full grasp of your audience is a recipe for disaster in eCommerce.

What you can do differently is to start by re-evaluating your target market. And instead of random segmentation, conduct proper research. Ask psychographic questions that uncover your audience's values and lifestyles in surveys. Your personas should emerge from the research and not the other way round.

Here are some psychographic questions you could ask in a survey to help you properly understand your target audience:

Ask your users where they go for advice before purchasing a product. 

Some might say referrals or even mention a couple of sites. By grouping them into two segments, you can focus on a referral program for one segment. For the other segment, you’d source reviews from these sites and then use what you get as future trust signals.

Ask what your audience's favorite social media app is

You should also ask how frequently they use it. Create personas based on the app types and how long they spend there. The responses you get can influence your social media marketing and retargeting efforts.

To gauge whether they prefer quality over quantity, you can ask what they prioritize the most. Price or quantity?

You can then group your customers into segments and recommend products based on their responses. For those who look out for price, you might want to run discount campaigns, bundles and deals. Customers who look out for quality will be interested in your upsells and reviews. 

To get more insights, identify what your target audience does for fun

Do they like to travel, or work out outdoors? What are their interests? Do they like shopping? Or do they hate it? What are their values? Are they very family-oriented or do they prefer to stay alone?

Their activities, interests, opinions, attitudes, and values can then be used to segment them. This will shape the tone, message, pitch, and other elements of your marketing strategy. 

Here are some messaging voices and when you should use them; 

Humor

For an audience who’d like to have a good time while shopping, this is the best tone of voice. It helps break down their complex difficulties and offers a solution that still establishes an emotional connection. 

In our example below, Fridababy uses a funny tone to help new parents deal with the challenges of a newborn. Since they need to be a lot more relatable, this tone helps convey that seamlessly. 

Fridababy Humor messaging
Exclusive

If your buyer personas love quality and luxury, then using an exclusive tone will help them see through the appeal and make them feel unique with your product. 

Empathy

This is perfect for an audience that prioritizes convenience. You want to use this for a segment that’ll have many questions about your service.

In our example below, Loaf was able to offer convenience, timing, and zero work as the benefits of choosing their delivery option. From the copy, you can tell that their target audience values appointments and clear communication. They also don’t like having a mess and that’s why loaf is offering to also take away the packaging after assembling. 

Loaf Empathy messaging

Pro Tips for Buyer Persona Development

  • Conduct persona interviews with real people - this is the only way to know that you’re on the right track
  • Don’t focus too much on the demographic characteristics of your personas - pay attention to how people come about using your product and you will uncover a segment of people with common traits and needs.
Don't be like other brands. Avoid these eCommerce Customer Segmentation: 10 critical mistakes businesses make

2. Do You Really Want to Go After Every Channel? 

The common mistake many eCommerce stores make is using the exact marketing channel the competition uses. 

Some even choose to opt for channels people claim are cheap or just dive into the most popular channels. 

So now that Tiktok is the rave, you’d see brands that have no business with this channel, investing in it.

Multi-channel marketing is great only when you use channels that work for your eCommerce business. 

The channels you go after should not be the most convenient ones for you, but the ones that work well for your niche and target audience.  

For example, while Nutraceutical brands would focus on creating detailed articles about a lifestyle, you’d want to focus on social media. And even the type of social media is important because Linkedin won’t be an appropriate channel for a lifestyle brand. 

To find out the most effective channels for your business, you need to also understand your products along with the demographics that make up your target audience. 

What are their education level, income range, and age group? For example, Boomers might be more responsive to SMS marketing while millennials will move towards eCommerce email marketing.  Targeting teenagers means investing in Snapchat or Titkok.

You must know that different marketing channels work best for different stages of the buyer's journey. For instance;

Organic Social Media Marketing

an excellent strategy for driving awareness about your eCommerce store. It shows your store to thousands and millions of social media users. The most ideal options are Facebook, Instagram, and Tiktok. However, it’s probably not a good idea to market extensively on social media when you have an undifferentiated product.

SEO Content Marketing

A good way to drive traffic to your website. It pushes your target market to the top of the funnel and then you can intensify your conversions through other sales techniques. Now, this channel might not be a good idea when you’re selling luxury handbags made with materials people will never ordinarily search for.

For example, Omson uses its recipe and food blog, to drive shop acquisition. Interested customer segments who’d want to recreate these meals will be nudged to purchase items from the shop. And it’ll lead to a new sales cycle. 

Omson Content Marketing

Email Marketing

A bad idea when you don’t fully know who your target audience is or when you don’t have their contacts. While many people might suggest buying lists, it’s better to focus on lead generation strategies as they’ll yield more results.

Use it to nudge back prospects into completing a purchase when they abandon their carts. It’s also effective for notifying existing users about upcoming campaigns, promos, and product launches. 

Referral Marketing

Not your go-to marketing strategy when you’re not sure how your customers feel about the products they purchase. It’s also not for you if your business focuses on exclusive luxury products. Because even if your customers are satisfied, they may not be open to referring to their network.

If you’ve successfully gotten a customer and you’d like them to make a return, referral marketing is an exciting route you should explore. Asides from getting loyal customers, you also get first-time acquisitions. So it’s a two-in-one deal. 

Here’s how Girlfriend Collective use its referral marketing strategies to encourage return purchases and referrals;

Girlfriend Collective Referral Marketing

Pro Tips for Multi-channel Marketing

  • Evaluate the channels your competitors aren’t using that are relevant to your industry and find out how they could work for you
  • Don’t assume channels - conduct surveys, interviews, and questionnaires for people in your target audience
Troubled by channel conflict? Check out 12 stories: Brands that managed channel conflict like champs

3. Are You Even Aware of Your Weakness?

Most eCommerce stores tend to focus on the opportunities and weaknesses of their competitors. So they spend most of their time curating marketing plans that promote their strengths and opportunities. This only leaves weak spots in the business that anyone can take advantage of.

As much as your strengths are important, understanding your business weaknesses can help you overcome challenges. 

What you can do better is to spend ample time understanding what your weaknesses and potential threats are as a business. With this, you can develop a more effective well-rounded eCommerce marketing plan. 

Start by undergoing a thorough SWOT analysis. This will help you determine your strengths and more importantly, their weaknesses. ‘

In this section, you’d also review the opportunities and threats. Identify them and list your findings in a table. Here’s Apple’s SWOT Analysis in 2006;

Apple SWOT Analysis

Source: Alacra

Strengths 

Identify what makes your brand so stable. This should be something you can easily manage or control. 

What are your business competencies? 

Do you have any new products? What are your most unique selling points? 

Is your brand a familiar name? 

These are some of the strengths your business can have. Do note that they can vary from brand to brand.

Weakness

You need to identify what can hamper your marketing efforts. They could be internal. Ask yourself if you have products that are too similar to the competition? Are you very visible in the market? What’s the state of your logistics channels? Do your customers always need constant reassurance before completing a purchase? If the answers to these questions are not very convincing, you need to highlight these weaknesses and discuss how to approach them. 

Threats 

Threats are the risk your business is likely to face from external factors. It could be common threats like outpricing by competitors or uncommon ones like a change in customer interests. 

For example, if you’re a gift shop, you might need to analyze what will happen after Christmas. This will help you adjust better and come up with a more effective plan. 

Another type of threat is those heavily reliant on economics. So things like tax, inflation, and exchange rates for international customers can affect your business over time.

Opportunities

In this context, you should consider almost everything as an opportunity. 

Are your strengths identified? Find opportunities to exploit them. 

Do you now know what your weaknesses and threats are? Turn them into ways to push your marketing forward. 

For example, if you find out that your customers prefer to shop on mobile and that your mobile experience is subpar, you should look into making it a lot better. 

Opportunities could also be new developments like higher demand, seasonal events or even exploring new technology like AR on your product pages. 

For example, holidays like Thanksgiving, Black Friday, or other local holidays can drive traffic to your store. This is the best time to come up with campaigns to take advantage of this period.

Pro Tips for SWOT Analysis

  • Look into the areas where your customers are discontent. Identify what makes them uncomfortable with using your service
  • Constantly reevaluate your previous analysis to be up to date- businesses change and markets can fluctuate.

4. Is Your Website Compelling Enough?

A lot of online businesses tend to focus heavily on marketing plans and channels. Then after these efforts, when a lead lands on their website, the experience is underwhelming and the brand values or expectations they hoped to enjoy are nowhere in sight. This is because they don’t consider their website as a marketing channel of its own.

As a brand, you should reimagine your website as part of a marketing channel that’ll provide a holistic user experience. 

It’ll primarily be through content, personalization, and everything else based on their previous experience or interaction with the brand. The best way to do this is by using customer psychology to offer compelling content. 

Some of these strategies you can try out include;

Offering unbiased information 

A lot of customers invest in a brand simply out of the trust they’ve built. However, you have to first build that trust by offering information that’ll help them make an informed decision while purchasing on your website. 

For example, this could be an FAQ section, a buying guide, or even disclaimers. Ensure that you put this out in simple, clear language so it's easy to digest and understand.

See how MVMT highlights a disclaimer on the limitations for returns in this example below;

MVMT Covid Return policy

Giving before you take 

Your customers will be more receptive when they feel indebted to your business. This makes them a lot more open to your sales pitch and other offerings. 

You could start with a discount,  coupons, free shipping, product catalogs, free product samples, or even free consultation. Do note that the type of gift you give is reliant on the stage in the customer journey. 

For example, offering a discount to people still in the awareness stage will not be as effective as giving them a free product sample. They need to see the value for themselves. 

Make the information easy to consume 

No one is going to act on the information you offer if they cannot understand it. And if it's understandable yet not easy to consume, they’ll be less likely to act on it because they’ll want to spend that time on other things. So spend time simplifying your messages and navigations. 

Here’s how colour pop uses clear navigation and icons to make the customer care info easy to digest.

Colourpop customer care page

Use products and images that drive the message home. Ensure that your website is mobile-friendly and that your forms are optimized for easy filling.

Pro Tips for Improving Your Brand Experience

  • Instead of showing no results during searches, show results for related terms
  • Set up interactive quizzes so your customers can find the right product and their experience becomes memorable

5. Are You (Probably) Going to Overspend?

Many brands struggle with sticking to their marketing budget especially when they don’t account for hidden costs or charges in their marketing goals. 

Marketing costs typically include all expenses your business incurs when selling, developing, or promoting the brand. So this is the advertising, software, your staff, and cost of creating content.

You can improve your marketing costs and stay under your budget by reevaluating your allocation strategies. Some of the ways you can do this include;

Knowing your buyer’s journey 

By thoroughly understanding your user’s journey, you can know the right channels and percentages to allocate for each stage. 

For example, if your leads struggle to find your product online, you might want to invest in more aggressive awareness marketing. This means your budget for this stage should slightly increase. 

Find out how much traffic you’re getting in a month, how many of those leads are engaged with your brand,  how many convert into paying customers, the cost for each conversion, and the revenue each lead brings in. 

With the answers to these questions, you can determine how to better allocate your marketing budget.

Align this budget with your marketing goal 

You should only spend money on the goals you’ve set up in your marketing plan. 

For example, if you plan to get more followers on Instagram, your marketing budget should go into making posts and sponsoring those posts right? 

If you need to gain more organic search traffic, you’d want to invest in generating more articles and so more bloggers. 

Look out for hidden costs 

Unanticipated costs can make you spend a ton of money you didn’t bargain for. This is why it is important to note that your marketing budget doesn’t just mean promotions and product launches. 

You should always account for other costs like research, testing, conversations with customers and so much more.

Remember where your priorities lie

It’s easy to get sidetracked by the nice-to-haves when allocating resources over time. However, you should always remember that your goal for setting up a budget was to first deal with the necessary marketing. 

So you should continuously cross-reference that you’re sticking to the budget and that it’s bringing in the results you forecasted. 

Ensure you’re laser-focused on your target audience and ensure that your budget supports how they’ll receive your marketing messages.

Spend your budget smartly

Always remember that your expense to-do is just a guide to ensure that you’re on track and that hidden costs don’t take you by surprise. 

And so you shouldn’t panic if you cannot check everything off that list. Just ensure that you spend resources smartly and you prioritize the important stuff.

Prepare to measure your ROI

The only way you can be more effective in mapping out your future budget is by identifying what works from what doesn’t. 

And the best way to do this is by evaluating your ROI. So if the budget spent on a marketing plan generates more returns than you planned for, you might want to up that budget in the next allocation. 

However, if you didn’t make any returns on an item, you might want to reevaluate whether or not to budget for it in the coming allocation. 

Pro Tips for Budget Planning

  • Use the 70-20-10 rule when allocating (70% into established strategies that worked well, 20% into those that are new, and 10% into experimenting)
  • Look into your previous marketing expenses and highlight those unforeseen costs to better prepare for your next allocation.

6. Will Your Content Actually Bring in Conversions?

When it comes to creating content for conversions, many brands think it's about solely posting blog posts and other social media content. 

However, blindly posting what you think will work without proper research and regular optimization will not bring in the conversions you think it will. 

What you can do better is to effectively plan a content strategy that involves research, channels, and consistent optimization. Here are some guidelines that can help;

Analyze your customer’s behavior

Your analytics has so much information that can help you create better content. 

Are your leads interacting more with a specific type of post? Find the patterns and double down on creating more of them. 

The same applies to what channels they resonate with the most. Your data will also show you what they engage with the least. This will help you know where to channel your resources and where not to.

Find personas user behavior across each channel

Your buyer persona will have different interests across different channels. 

For example, while they might spend a lot of time on your blog reading through articles, but they might not have that same patience for Instagram captions. 

With this information, you can better align their expectations for each marketing channel. 

For example, Bite Toothpaste uses a GIF and a very short caption to convey their message in this IG post.

Bite Toothpaste Instagram Post

Make the best from your resources

It’s understandable to cut back costs when managing your marketing plan. 

However, rather than creating poor quality content in a bid to have a lot, create a few high-quality instead. Those few will generate more traffic than having a lot that doesn’t do the job. 

Collaborate when building content

Instead of having one person create content across all channels, invite other members of your team to work on other channels. 

This way, your content is more organized and detailed and it’s easier to diverge. 

Know what works for each channel

While repurposing content is a good strategy, you shouldn’t use the same content for every channel. 

While you can upload a Youtube video on your channel, it wouldn’t be effective as a link in a text. 

Your text will be to drive more urgency and attention to an ongoing campaign. See how Knix tries to reduce cart abandonments with this SMS below.

Knix Cart abandonment SMS

You also wouldn’t upload your entire blog post in an email. No one would get to the end.  So know what works for each channel and repurpose your content in a stylish yet appealing way for the channels you’d want to. 

Automate where possible

Since consistency is essential in getting conversions from your content, relying on a person to regularly publish your content might not be so effective. 

Luckily, there are many tools available online like Buffer, that allow you to schedule posts way ahead of time based on your content calendar. This will help with automatically posting content when they need to go out.

Optimize regularly

Trends evolve and your content has to evolve with them. Whether it's seasonal content or regular guides, you should regularly optimize them. 

That way they stay relevant to your leads. Optimization also means updating your content based on evolving trends across channels. Constantly apply what works best. 

Pro Tips for Curating a Content Strategy

  • The choice of channel reflects different purposes - use the appropriate channel for the appropriate buyer stage
  • Use multi-channel but only use multiple content channels in different ways i.e different content
You might like: 14 eCommerce content marketing mistakes (+ their fixes)

7. Still Taking the Old-School Route with Social Media?

A lot of eCommerce stores make the same mistake of simply posting promotional items and other cliche posts online. 

While this probably worked in 2013, you’re not going to get conversions by posting 10 images of your inventory and boosting that post. 

Asides from posting your pictures, you need to stay up to date with the growing social media trends. Think new school! 

Social media is an entire universe where you can promote your business and sell a ton of products. Here are some new school things you should consider using your social media account to achieve;

Sell products directly on social media

With the advent of social commerce, you can now sell your products directly on social media shops. 

Apps like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest provide a native shop solution so business accounts can carry out transactions. Even Snapchat is partnering with Shopify in creating a similar solution. 

This streamlines the shopping process because it's free to set up and your customers can purchase an item without going to an external site. Unfortunately, on-platform checkouts are only available in the US at this time. 

Here’s how Florist sells pastries directly on Facebook Shop

Flourist Facebook Shop

Build awareness

People need to know what you’re selling before they can patronize you and so you need to build the momentum. 

You need a content strategy to help you build awareness. Luckily with consistent posts, enough advertising budget, clear targeting, and setting up the right goal, you can push your brand to hundreds of thousands of people. 

Although when setting up ads, do know that Facebook and Instagram have more robust toolkits for advertising. If your primary channels are Twitter or Pinterest, you might want to focus on more organic strategies. 

Customer service

Social media is fast becoming an additional channel for customer support. This is because people tend to send DMs and comments about inquiries or even complaints. 

By replying to your DMs you show that you have a faster resolution time and build trust with your prospects. 

Comments on the other hand are a good way to give yourself positive branding. It shows that you value your customers. It’s important to also treat negative comments as well. 

This is a good way to provide clarity, offer further assistance, and even show how much you value their opinion. Oscarwylee does this excellently with their comment replies.

Oscarwylee Customer Service Resonse

Social listening

Knowing what people say about your brand is a great way to get invaluable insights. For example, you can know what products your customers like best, some of the issues your customers might have with your products, and the general sentiment towards your brand. 

It also helps you identify grievances faster because people tend to take their grievances with your brand to social media first. 

So spend time scanning for comments, mentions, tags, and any conversation related to your brand online. 

Pro Tips for Social Media Marketing

  • Create a personality that reflects your brand and infuse it into your social media
  • Work smart by using a tool like Hootsuite to manage your entire strategy from one place
You might like: 15 Underutilized Social Media Ideas For eCommerce Brands

8. Are You Engaging with Users Across the Funnel?

While focusing on the top and bottom of the sales funnel seems like a solid eCommerce marketing plan, a lot of brands tend to miss out on where they can convert more users. 

Every stage in the sales funnel is important and that’s why you should consistently engage your users as they go through them. To effectively do this, you need to use the right channel and content for each stage. Here are a couple of ideas;

The awareness stage

Also known as the top of the funnel, is where people make research about your brand. Here, they are looking for resources that tell them more about what you do. 

So you should offer insights, research data, answers, opinions, etc. For example, offer a blogpost, or ebook or redirect them to your FAQ page. 

The ideal channels you may want to use include blogs, social media marketing, and search engine marketing. Remember, it’s a bit harder to guarantee that they’ll purchase from you after this. 

See how Mindbody creates a blog to help their leads understand what they do better in four categories.

Mindbody awareness blog

Engagement Stage

Popularly referred to as the consideration stage is the middle of the sales funnel. Here, your prospects are already familiar with your offerings but are skeptical. So you should invest in emphasizing how you’re the best solution for their needs. 

This is where you should show off your customer reviews, offer free samples, tailored recommendations based on browsing activity or even a comparison guide. 

With this your customers can see firsthand how valuable your store will be to them. Your channels will most likely be email marketing, a lot of retargeting and social media. 

Purchase stage

Known as the bottom of the funnel, this is the stage where you’d want to give your leads a final nudge into purchasing that item. 

Because the right push can significantly affect your conversions, you’d want to get it right. This is where you offer discounts, coupons, free shipping, or a free gift.  

You would also want to use emails, pop-ups and loyalty programs as your channels. Here’s an example from Neuro gum right before a prospect adds an item to their cart.

Neuro CheckoutFree shipping and discount

Pro Tips for Funnel Engagement

  • Identify your funnel leaks - where your shoppers drop off for further optimization
  • Identify areas in your funnel where micro-conversions happen and pick up insights from there
Related reading: Stages of an ecommerce conversion funnel (+ways to improve each step)

9. Are You Relying More on FB Ads and Less on Organic Search? 

Understandably, it takes time for your website pages/content to rank on organic search and this means a longer time to convert. 

This is why many brands make the mistake of relying heavily on Facebook Ads to drive in conversions. However, FB ads don't care about audience intent. It simply shows the ad to whoever you’ve set to target. 

Organic search on the other hand, only goes after high-intent searches. When someone types in ‘Golden shoes’ as a search query, they are highly interested in Golden shoes. And they are hoping that whatever results search engines end up displaying actually satisfies that intent. 

So what you should do differently is invest in organic search optimization for your eCommerce store. However, don’t do this blindly. Understand the search intent of your prospective customers to better align your offers. You can start by targeting your keywords with strategy. 

There are three types of keywords users tend to search for;

Informational keywords

This is when users are looking for specific answers to a question. They usually start with a verb or question. For example, ‘how to find my ring size’ or ‘instant vs brewed coffee’.

Unfortunately, a user that comes in from an informational keyword has low awareness about that product and so low purchasing intent. 

They still want to learn more stuff. So, if you have content that satisfies this curiosity, you can then target these types of long-tail keywords. It’s a great way to become a thought leader in your industry

Navigational keywords

This type of keyword typically has a brand or product name in it. Searchers at this point are either looking for reviews or the benefits of getting that exact product. 

At this point, they are in the consideration stage with a medium purchasing intent. So it could be a keyword like ‘where is Casey’s coffee located?’ or ‘Amazon’s official global website’. 

It’s best to use this type of keyword when you’re already a popular brand and you need to direct users to a specific location.

Transactional keywords

These are the keywords with the strongest purchasing intent. This is because searchers are ready to take immediate action. 

They are highly specific and sometimes, they tend to describe the product. Some examples include ‘Burgers near me that deliver’ and ‘Time 100 women brown watch’. 

On the search results page for this type of keyword, you’d see Google Shopping Ads. However, it’s the perfect choice when planning your SEO long-term strategy. 

You can equally target this type of keyword with an ad. Here are the top organic search results for the query ‘brown women watch’ and each picture takes you to the product page directly.

Women's brown watch transactional keywords

Pro Tips for Organic Search Optimization

  • Create a cornerstone page that contains relevant content from your other webpages
  • Ensure you’re content compliant in images, Google Shopping, Google My Business, Maps, and even Lens

10. Are You Willing to Take it Easy with Email Automation?

Every eCommerce brand has some point, automated emails. However, where some brands miss it, is when they heavily rely on automation to the point where it becomes spammy. 

While automation is the way to help reduce your workload and be more consistent in your content delivery, you have to use it with caution. 

So to prevent your brand from automation fails, here are a few tips you can keep in mind;

Don’t spam your subscribers

It’s very easy to send more emails than necessary with automation. Sometimes, all you need is a button. However, you have to consciously review your newsletter and email campaign schedule. This will help you keep track of how frequently you send an email to your subscribers. 

If you send emails too frequently, they’ll lose interest and stop opening your messages. Over time, your campaigns will start landing in their spam folder. 

Add a human touch

Skip the automated messaging template you probably work with. It’ll make automated messages more robotic and too formal. You need to revisit your copy. Make it warm by adding human tones, grammar, and slang if you must. 

The goal is to keep things humane and show your brand in a warm light. See how JCrew Factory does this in their email.

Set specific goals

What exactly do you hope to achieve with your email marketing? 

Are you looking to reduce customer service calls? 

Would you like to increase your conversion rates? 

Product education or even an increased number of store visits? 

Being specific about your goals helps you to track your automated messaging and optimize it where necessary. It can even help you set up a more aligned series of marketing messages. 

Pro Tips for Email Marketing

  • Send your welcome emails immediately while your brand remains fresh in their memory
  • Take advantage of your receipts emails by promoting discounts or soliciting feedback
Related reading: Increasing Sales Through Email Marketing: The No-Nonsense Guide

11. Do You Have People to Represent Your Brand?

Many brands prefer to stick with the traditional marketing methods. What they fail to realize is there’s only so much your marketing efforts can take you. 

Over time, you need other people to help you spread the word about your brand as well.  This is where influencers come in. 

Influencers are famous people online who are known to advocate for brands they care about by marketing to their followers. And while this is an effective marketing strategy, it can only be successful when there’s alignment between your business and the creator you’re hiring for your brand. 

Give them a creative license to work

You shouldn’t micro-manage their posts, stories, and content creation process. They already have something they work with. A certain tone, color palette, style, and system. So far, this has worked for them and it’s what their followers love to see on their page. That’s why they need that freedom to do things their way. Also forcing them to switch to your style might not produce effective results. 

Provide them with necessary guidelines

While they should have creative freedom, you also want to help guide them into representing your brand. This means sharing information about your campaigns, logos of your brand, files, and other materials they’d need to effectively execute this campaign

Effectively track their results

You’d want to find out whether or not your influencer campaigns are yielding the results you hoped they would. So you should track each influencer campaign by sharing custom affiliate links that way you know what leads visited your site. You can also monitor traffic sources with preset UTM parameters and the conversions you get. 

Pro Tips for Influencer Marketing

  • Build trust with your influencers by offering them something in exchange for nothing at first
  • Find a CRM, sheet, or tool to help you keep track and manage your influencer relationships

12. How Will You Engage Your Loyal Customers?

It’s established that referral marketing is a great way to engage your loyal customers and bring in high intent prospects to your store. This is because people tend to trust the recommendations of their friends and family over any other marketing strategy. However, most stores miss this simple strategy because there’s no appropriate incentive to refer. 

When you use the right incentives, you can get precise targeting for your store. This will then help drive more awareness of your product and increase sales. So you need to choose the right incentive based on your store and customer interests. Here are a few common loyalty incentives;

Cash gifts

Everyone loves cash and frankly speaking, it doesn’t take a lot of it to successfully incentivize your customers into referring more people. 

However, giving out $5-$10 bills doesn’t guarantee that they’ll return to your store. Especially since they can always spend that money elsewhere. 

So there’s a loophole, they might start bringing in more referrals solely for the cash. Here’s an example from Leesa

Leesa cash on referral

Loyalty points

This is a more efficient way to keep your customers in your store. It’s gamified and it keeps things a lot more interesting. 

Once your customers refer to their network, they can convert it into loyalty points. Then create point types and offer certain redeeming levels. For example, 1 referral can be 20 points. 50 points can be redeemed for a 15% discount while 100 points can be a 50% discount. 

See how Shien rewards certain actions with redeemable points.

Shien loyalty points

Discounts

Looking for a way to get new signups to check out faster? This is an excellent incentive choice. When you offer a two-sided discount program, customer A gets a discount when their referees finally checkout. 

At this point, your customers push their friends down the sales funnel because that’s the only way they get their discounts. So in a way, they do the marketing and conversions for you. 

Here’s an example from Bombas

Bombas Referral Program

Gifts and samples

If you’re looking for an opportunity to get feedback about a new line of products or upsell by offering them a free sample of that product. This piques their interest in purchasing the said product the next time. And if it’s great enough, they can refer their friends to it too. 

Pro Tips for Referral Marketing

  • If you’re confused about what incentive to offer, survey your customers and ask them what they’d prefer
  • The timing of your referral marketing matters. Offer it immediately after purchase for short cycles and just before they click on ‘Buy’ for longer buying cycles like mattresses

eCommerce marketing can be very tricky when you’re unsure of the answers to your most important questions. By following these tips and taking them one step at a time, you can be sure to build a marketing plan that’ll bring in conversions and long-term sales.

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