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HAVE A HAPPY HOLIDAY38 TIPS
TO SELL MORE STUFF Ian Lurie @portentint email@example.com This is the annotated version of my Vocus ‘marke6ng for the holidays’ presenta6on.
I do these presenta6ons and
the annota6ons for free. I get paid nada. Nuthin’. Bupkus. You can give me a 6p, though: If you like this or other presenta6ons I’ve done, you should follow me on TwiCer: @porten6nt Or, tweet about this presenta6on, favorite it on SlideShare… you get the idea. You can’t help me feed my kids, but you can sure feed my ego.
This is the link bundle.
Everything I talk about in this presenta6on is there. portent.co/holidayecom (Yes, use .co, not .com)
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To set the tone for
all this, I need to do a quick ﬂashback. Waaaay back when, in the 1980s and 90s, I raced bicycles… FLASHBACK EFFECT HERE
At the 6me, the highest-‐performance
op6on for road racing bikes was this kind of 6re called a tubular or sew up. You’d glue the 6re right to the rim, and that glue was the primary bond. What’d that mean? Well, you could train all year for the big race, put in tons of prepara6on, etc., but if you did a lousy job gluing on the racing 6re…
BUT WE’VE PREPARED ALL YEAR!!!
But the one that you have for weeks aXer is: “I prepared all year for this!!!! And I lost because my @)#($*!@# 6re came oﬀ!!!???” Well, yeah. I missed a cri6cal detail, and paid for it with several yards worth of skin and badly abraded pride.
Holiday e-‐commerce is awfully similar.
You can prepare all year, but if you miss an important detail or two, all you’ll have aXer the holidays is a sense of regret and some hard lessons. BUT WE’VE PREPARED ALL YEAR!!!
1. Shopping days2. Tune up3.
E-mail4. Social It’s now mid-‐November. You need to focus on four crucial areas to be ready for the biggest e-‐commerce season of the year. I’m going to go through 30 6ps that’ll help you do just that.
1 CYBER MONDAY When: 11/26/2012
Why: Deals & sales $1.25 billion in online sales Cyber Monday is the online equivalent of Black Friday. It’s when a lot of online retailers hold their biggest ‘door buster’ sales. Historically, it’s the top day of the holiday season.
1 Growing consumer interest And
consumer interest in the whole phenomenon just keeps going up. This is the search growth to December, 2011 for ‘Cyber Monday Deals’. Uh-‐huh.
2 HAVE A CYBER MONDAY
PAGE So, ﬁrst oﬀ, you want to ensure people know you’ve got some deals for Cyber Monday. The way to do that is with a simple page on your site. You do not have to show what the deals are going to be yet. You can have a countdown…
2 …or even simpler. Here’s
Target’s page. Nothing fancy. Just a brief message. The most important thing is that you have a page. And never take it down. AXer the holidays, put up a placeholder like “Sorry you missed Cyber Monday 2012, but we’ll be back in 2013!”
2 Why? First, because it’s
beCer for customers, because you give them op6ons. Second, it gives you a chance of star6ng to rank for your product/brand + ‘cyber Monday deals’. Which you want, because it’ll generate a LOT of revenue.
2 Don’t have 6me?
Really? Even to do something super-‐simple like this? If you have an e-‐mail newsleCer, just create a simple signup page like this one that I sketched out. I’m not going to go into page design 101 here, but you’ll note the simplicity of any good Cyber Monday page. Go with it. The simpler it is, the easier it is to maintain, and the easier it is for your customers to read.
3 THE 1ST MONDAY &
TUESDAY When: 12/3/2012 & 12/4/2012 Why: Thanksgiving recovery $2.285 billion in online sales The next key dates are the ﬁrst Monday & Tuesday in December. It seems as if folks are back at work aXer the Thanksgiving weekend, caught up, and ready to start shopping. I don’t suggest anything speciﬁc for this. Just be aware of the dates, follow the rest of the 6ps in this webinar, and you’ll be well-‐posi6oned.
4 GREEN MONDAY When: 12/10/2012
Why: eBay’s biggest day $1.133 billion in online sales Green Monday is another big one. The 2nd Monday in December. There’s nothing super-‐special about this date, except that it’s historically eBay’s biggest sales day, and the 4th biggest online sales day of the holiday season.
5 HAVE A GREEN MONDAY
PAGE You want to have a Green Monday page!!! Again, keep it simple. You can use your Cyber Monday page as a template if you want.
6 FREE SHIPPING DAY When:
12/17/2012 (approximately) Why: Last day of guaranteed delivery $1.072 billion in online sales Finally: Free shipping day is the last day most businesses will guarantee delivery before Christmas Day, with free shipping. It can generate a huge burst of sales, but you have to really get the word out.
7 FREE SHIPPING DAY Tell
everyone about it. Pester, nag and otherwise remind current customers (especially those who haven’t made a purchase yet) that free shipping day is approaching. Same in social media. Nothing makes people madder than ﬁnding out they were a day late, and that you never no6ﬁed them.
PageSpeed will give you a
list of images that can be beCer compressed, and an op3mized version of each image. Click ‘See op6mized content’…
And voila. There’s your image,
ready for use. Replace the old image with the new one and you’ve just sped up your site. The whole process takes less than 15 minutes if you’ve got a page with, say, 50 images on it.
10 GET ON A CDN
That’s a content distribu6on network, in case you were wondering. CDNs speed up sites by storing the most-‐ used ﬁles on a network of servers op6mized for that purpose. They accelerate ﬁle delivery, and automa6cally choose the servers geographically closest to each visitor.
10 I have no
special rela6onship with MaxCDN, except that we use them and have been very happy. It’s a very easy setup process that takes about 5 minutes.
Pearson Correlation w/ Revenue 1
Page0.8 Download Time0.6 In our tests over the years, nothing correlates more directly with conversion rates and 0.4 revenue than page download 6me. The faster a page downloads, the more you sell. Catalog calls FB Likes on0.2 Posts 0 Page Load Time FB Posts/Day-0.2 Catalogs sent
/WHY SPEED MATTERS Speed improvements
are some of the easiest to make at the last minute. LiCle things like image compression will make your site faster and improve the eﬀec6veness of everything from your shopping cart to your content marke6ng eﬀorts. OK. End of ﬁnger-‐wagging interlude.
TIDYING UPClean up some basic
stuﬀ, too. These are things that, one at a 6me, chip away at consumers’ trust in you and your business. Fix ‘em and you’ll see beCer conversion rates.
11 FIX EVERY BROKEN LINK
Xenu Link Sleuth Screaming Frog Fix busted links on your site. Either Xenu Link Sleuth or Screaming Frog SEO spider will make the job easy. Both are linked from the link bundle.
12 HAVE A HELPFUL 404
PAGE Of course, you can never ﬁx every broken link. Other sites might point links at you. When that happens, you want a friendly 404 error page on your site. Nerd transla6on: A ‘404’ error page is the page your site displays if someone clicks a broken link.
12 This is not friendly.
It’s actually preCy scary. My immediate thought: “What did I do wrong?” Not a good way to start a rela6onship w/ a company.
13 FIX TYOPS TYPOS Yeah,
you heard me. Go through your site and ﬁx all those cringe-‐inducing typos you haven’t goCen to yet. Need help?
13 There are lots of
tools that’ll do it for you. They go site-‐wide and check for spelling errors. CheckDog is one I’ve tried in the past, and it’s preCy slick.
14 REMOVE DISTRACTIONS Now, clean
up all of the distrac6ons on your site. Any banner ads, text ads or other stuﬀ that’s not related to your boCom line e-‐ commerce revenue must go (this will speed things up, too)
14 And, just through the
holidays, remove any popovers, surveys and such. If folks don’t want to do that, at least test by removing it for a day or so.
LEVERAGE THE BEST CONTENT And,
just through the holidays, remove any popovers, surveys and such. If folks don’t want to do that, at least test by removing it for a day or so.
15 FIND YOUR TOP LANDING
PAGES Here’s our report. In Google Analy6cs ﬁnd it under Content >> Site Content >> Landing Pages. If we were a retailer, I’d want our Cyber Monday and other special holiday oﬀers and calls to ac6on front-‐and-‐center on the top 5 pages, at least.
16 FIND YOUR TOP CONVERSION
PAGES If you’re tracking conversions and sales on your site (you are, right?!) then check which pages perform best as sales generators.
17 DO SOMETHING GOOD Standard
content marke6ng won’t work fast enough at this point to boost you for the holidays. But focused ideas that join content, charity and the holidays can be successful and give organiza6ons that need it help right before their biggest season.
17 This was a more
general cause marke6ng piece done by Luck Brand. I can’t give ﬁgures but it was very successful. It took less than 8 hours to get it together.
17 But the best eﬀort
would lead with easy ac6ons, like a ‘like’ on Facebook or an e-‐mail signup, or downloading a cool digital cookbook. Then you can use the list you build for direct promo6on. Full Circle could get a lot more signups if they said “We’ll donate $10 for every cookbook downloaded”.
PREPARE TO E-MAILNow your site’s
ready. It’s 6me to get ready to e-‐mail your customers. E-‐mail is badly under-‐es6mated and under-‐u6lized. The ‘house list’ is s6ll the most valuable internet marke6ng asset you’ve got.
18 GET EMAIL SIGNUPS If
you aren’t gezng people to ‘opt in’ to receive oﬀers yet, start now. Even 100 or so could help you sell more. If you’re already gezng e-‐mail addresses from folks, make sure the process is working and easy. The holidays are a great 6me to build that list, as well as a great 6me to use it.
18 I love what Target
does here. It’s no6cable but unobtrusive, and it’s an easy call to ac6on. Bet they get a lot of signups.
19 It’s ﬁne to ask
folks if they’d like to receive updates at the end of checkout. Just DO NOT PRE-‐CHECK IT.
19 Link to your CyberMonday
page/ signup in your confirmation e-mails! Also ask folks if they’d like to sign up when you send them their order conﬁrma6on.
20 SCRUB YOUR E-MAIL LIST
If you can’t do all this stuﬀ, you should s6ll work with the list you’ve got. But chances are you can add some more addresses to your list between now and Christmas Day.
20 DEVELOP YOUR E-MAIL PLAN
Now, develop your holiday e-‐mail marke6ng plan. This is what you’ll do with the e-‐mails you have, whether you add to them in the mean 6me or not.
20 1 day prior E-mail
1 Key date E-mail 2 1 day after E-mail 3 I like to build my campaigns around the 5 big dates, like this: Send the ﬁrst ‘reminder’ e-‐mail 1-‐2 days prior to the key date. Then send an e-‐mail on the date, and one a day later saying you’re sorry they missed this one, but the next one’s coming up on…
21 CREATE YOUR TEMPLATE Next,
create a simple e-‐mail template you can send to folks. By simple, I mean a single message and a single call to ac6on. Make a single template you can use again and again, swapping out images and content.
21 An image, a headline
and a clear ‘click here’ will likely do the trick. Obviously, if you have a designer, take advantage and get something that looks decent. But speed and clarity are more important at this point. And, this whole thing only works if the e-‐mail gets sent. Otherwise, you’ll be sizng there January 1 saying “But we prepared all year!”
22 WRITE A GREAT SUBJECT
LINE Write a fantas6c subject line. Use the right words. The subject line determines if/when the email gets opened.
22 Free Shipping Black Friday
Cyber Monday % off 30% off 50% off Now Today Last Ends We know that certain words and phrases in subject lines get the most opens. These are the top ones during the holiday shopping season. Use ‘em.
23 TEST (OPTIONAL) If you
have 6me, test your subject lines. Create an Adwords ad, for example, and use some of the phrases from your subject line. Run diﬀerent versions against each other and see which one gets more clicks. Or, when you send the e-‐mail, send 2 diﬀerent subject lines out to two 10% slices of your list, then use the one that worked the best. Even if you can’t take advantage this year, you’ll have the data for next year.
24 TEST LAYOUT (MANDATORY) Make
sure you test your e-‐mail and ensure it’ll look OK when it arrives in folks’ e-‐mail boxes. Chances are that whatever tool you use – MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, etc. – has a tool that’ll render your newsleCer and show you how it looks in various e-‐mail clients. Use them.
26 RE-SEND TO NON-OPENS When
you send out your e-‐mail, wait 12-‐24 hours. Then re-‐ send to folks who didn’t open it. I know this can be controversial, but to me it’s not a big deal. I’ve seen no evidence it causes spam complaints or increases unsubscribes. And we’ve seen this improve overall campaign open rates by as much as 35%.
27 WATCH THE UNSUBSCRIBE RATE
That said, watch your unsubscribe rates. If lots of people start dropping oﬀ, consider sending fewer e-‐mails, or changing the tone. And triple-‐check the layout and look.
GET SOCIALYou have another house
list: All the folks who follow you in social media. The holidays are a great 6me to leverage that audience. It’s also a great 6me to build it.
28 BUY FACEBOOK ADS
First oﬀ, use Facebook adver3sing. It’s the best way to reach the Facebook audience. And it’s dirt cheap. I know folks will say “Oh, no one looks at those ads”. OK, then they won’t cost you anything!!! But if they do, you’ll get more fans. By the way: Point those ads at your Facebook page, not at your site. Don’t look to Facebook ads to generate 1st-‐click sales. Instead, use them to build fans fast on Facebook, then use oﬀers to get them from Faebook to your site.
29 UPDATE!!!! And please, post
your oﬀers to your Facebook 6meline. Make ‘em ‘s6cky’ so they stay at the top of the page. Do the same on TwiCer. Use those top phrases! But don’t be quite as sales-‐y here. A liCle lower key is beCer.
30 You can see the
higher engagement score for photos here. Far more likes and the highest engagement score. Images work beCer. And how long does it take to snap a photo with your phone? Is that worth another 2 customers? Probably.
31 DO A PROMOTED POST
Use the promoted posts ad unit on Facebook to get your post into all your users’ streams. Promoted posts show up in your followers’ feeds more oXen than non-‐promoted ones. Yes, I know a lot of folks don’t like this. But it’s a fact of life, and the truth is that again, it’s not that expensive – maybe $.10-‐.30 per ac6on (click or like).
32 USE FACEBOOK CUSTOM AUDIENCES
You can further leverage the e-‐mail list by using Facebook Custom Audiences. With that, you can upload a list of e-‐mail addresses. Facebook then delivers ads based on the list. Again, super-‐targeted, inexpensive. Do it.
33 USE PINTEREST Use Pinterest!
Do a specials pinboard. Etsy has a sale items pinboard. You can do one for Cyber Monday. Conversion rates from Pinterest are very, very high. Again, small eﬀort, solid poten6al payoﬀ.
34 MAKE SHARING A CINCH
Finally, make it really easy for folks to share products and oﬀers on your site. Every visitor is a poten6al salesperson. Every like is a poten6al adver6sement, directly from one friend to another.
DO WHAT’S ACHIEVABLE That’s a
lot of stuﬀ – 34 to-‐dos. The real trick? Do something. Don’t freeze up because you can’t do all 34. Pick the ones you can do, and go from there.
This list is really all
about the liCle things: The links that work; the e-‐mail reminder; the easy Facebook share. Keep the liCle things in line. They’re what drive imputed value and build your customer base. A few other quick 6ps: IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS 35. Talk to your web hos6ng provider. Make sure you’re not close to your bandwidth or storage limit. If you are, raise it, or ask them if they’ll raise it if you go over. You don’t want your site going dark. 36. Check your e-‐mail provider, and see where you’re at as far as your account limits there, too. 37. Make sure you’ll have a web-‐literate person available throughout the next 4-‐5 weeks. 38. If you have spare 6me (hah) test your site for mobile readiness, and see if you can make a few tweaks to make it more mobile-‐friendly. Tablets generate a lot of sales.