||Is your ecommerce marketing annoying your customers?
Friday, May 2, 2014
If like most small / medium ecommerce store owners you are responsible for every aspect of your business, you probably spend a lot of time reading blogs (like this one!) that give you tips and advice on running your online business.
In particular, there is a lot of advice out there on marketing your ecommerce store and if you followed every piece of marketing advice you came across you would be:
- Sending a weekly email newsletter
- Running multiple Social Media campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc
- Sending SMS ads
- Offering Live Chat assistance on your site
- Running webinars
- Posting articles on a daily basis to your blog
- On site pop ups asking people to subscribe to your email newsletter
- Posting ads on other websites / magazines etc
- Targeting visitors to your website with special offers, cross sells and upsells
- Plus much more
While all of these techniques have been proven to boost sales, not all of them will work for your store and there is a fine line between clever, balanced marketing and simply annoying your customers with 'marketing overload'.
How do I Know if my Marketing is Annoying my Customers?
The best way to ensure that your various marketing tactics are having a positive effect is to introduce each method separately and carefully track the effect they have on your visitor numbers, bounce rate and conversions.
Example 1 – Email Newsletters
How do I know if it’s working or annoying my customers? Use your Google Analytics to track how many visitors the newsletters send to your site, more importantly, also track how many of these visitors are converting into paying customers.
Additionally, if you use email newsletter software such as MailChimp or Campaign Monitor, you can track how many of your customers are opening your newsletters, how many are clicking through to your site and how many are unsubscribing or marking it as spam. If you find that a large amount of people are unsubscribing / marking as spam, this is a strong indicator that you are annoying your customers so ease back!
Example 2 – Homepage pop up
How do I know if it’s working or annoying or annoying my customers? You’ve decided to place a pop up on your home page that asks all new visitors to your website to sign up for your email newsletter and you notice you are getting more sign ups to your newsletter, great!
But you also notice that sales have dropped, so you check your Google Analytics and find that your bounce rate has increased by 15%. This is likely because the pop up is annoying your customers and causing them to leave your site in frustration, time to remove that pop-up!
Example 3 – Up Sells and Cross Sells
How do I know if it’s working or annoying or annoying my customers? You start to upsell and cross sell your products to your customer at the checkout stage, your sales neither increase or drop BUT you notice that the average order value has increased by 12% - win!
What we can learn from these examples
All three of the above examples show the importance of tracking your marketing activities closely, it’s important to ensure you track all metrics even if they are not obviously connected to the marketing channel you have introduced. This is proven in example two where even though the goal of increasing email sign ups was met, the pop up was having a negative effect on bounce rate (which outweighs the benefit of obtaining more newsletter sign ups).
If you introduce a marketing channel and find that it works, leave it in place and try another tactic, this one by one approach is the best way to steadily increase your marketing efforts while ensuing you aren’t doing more harm than good.
How else can I find out if my marketing is working?
As well as using analytics to measure the effectiveness of your marketing tactics, you could also try asking your regular customers what they would and wouldn’t like to see in terms of marketing from you.
Maybe they shop at another store which sends them personalised offers every month and they would love to get the same from you? Or perhaps they find your weekly email newsletter annoying and would prefer a more comprehensive monthly newsletter? You can find out a great deal about your business by talking to your customers and most will be happy to help out so don’t be afraid to ask.
You could also try sending out surveys with questions such as "How did you first hear about us?” / "How do you prefer to communicate with us?” "Have you ever visited our Social Media profiles?” etc to gain an idea of which marketing channels are being used and which can be improved on.