How to Grow Your Ecommerce Business with Email Lead Capture

Contrary to popular belief, email marketing is still a major driving force in sales. Even though Social Media gets all the hype, email is what delivers in ways that can be better measured. It’s a direct and personal way to interact with customers. But in order to use its potential, you must have a list of emails and constantly grow your list.

How can you convert visitors to your website into leads and leads into sales? Well, you engage with them and encourage them to subscribe to your email newsletter. By simply engaging visitors and asking them to subscribe to your mailing list, you will increase email capture. Offering a reward like a free report, or discount will help you convert even more visitors into subscribers. Once you get that email, you can market to them and inform them about new products and promotions. This also opens the door for driving sales from customers that require more time to be convinced to buy a product.

If you’re wondering why we’re urging you to ask for their email first, it’s because the majority of new visitors do not buy anything on their first visit. That’s why it’s important to encourage people to subscribe to your email list. Getting a visitors email is probably the most valuable marketing exercise for an ecommerce company.

One of the most effective ways to grow your email list is through email pop-ups. This practice is widely used by marketers in ecommerce for its usefulness in list building, traffic conversion and sales influence. However, you must be aware that email pop-ups are a numbers game. The more visitors you engage, the more conversions you’ll get. Try not to annoy your visitors. There are ways to engage shoppers in a relevant way that provides value. Don’t pop-up a subscription box the moment a visitor lands on your website. Be patient. Let him spend some time, see your products, check your prices and then pop-up your form with a nice message.

Your pop-up should represent your brand well and have clear, concise copy and a strong call to action to convince potential customers to act upon it. Focus on these three aspects and you should see high conversion rates with your email pop-ups. Experiment and see what message and what design resonates better with your visitors.

To read more on the topic and what to do when you capture the emails, go to the original article at http://bit.ly/grow-email-list1

Good Luck!

Advertisements

How much should a website cost you?

Thinking of building a website for your company? Not sure how much its going to cost? You ask a few people and they all give you a different answer. You are confused.  That is to be expected as there is no simple answer. A website can cost you from $500 to $50,000. Let’s get you educated a little so you can talk to a web developer armed with a little better knowledge.

The number 1 thing you need to know is: it really depends on what your site is about, what it does and how it looks. Mobile friendly websites with custom, modern design cost a lot more than the average blog. In this article, we’ll give you an overall idea of the cost, but by all means, we encourage you to double check the cost depending on the site you want with a web developer.

Here are main thing you need to include in your budget:

  1. Domain – not expensive
  2. Hosting – not expensive
  3. Design – could be expensive
  4. Development/ website builder and maintenance – could be expensive
  5. Content & SEO – it’s a long term activity. Keep it separate from web development.

Again, we would like to stress that the cost of building a website boils down to four points:

Which of these resources do you have at your disposal? Lacking one or two does not mean that you cannot have a website. You can either compensate one for the other or in the case of design/tech skills you can outsource the website building to professionals.

You can choose to buy a domain and learn how to design and setup the website yourself, which will probably take quite some time. In most cases, it is much more cost effective to get help from professionals.

You can either build parts of it by yourself, do it all on your own or have developers do all the work. Developers can build the website from scratch without using any particular website building software. Or, you create the site on WordPress  but you need to know your way around the platform if you are to customize it to your needs and preferences. Alternately, website builders such as Wix, Squarespace and Weebly are drag and drop builders so you can assemble a website with minimal technical knowledge. It will still require time though.

Want to know more? There is a much more detailed article on this subject at http://bit.ly/costs-how-much1

Good Luck!

SEO Tips for blogs

Have you been blogging for a while but still get just a little traffic? Isn’t that discouraging. Thinking about quitting? Don’t. Not yet. People will come to read your content only if they know about it. You need to get the word out. The SEO optimization of your content will be of huge help. Giving your content an SEO boost will improve your search engine ranking, more people will be able to find your blog, they in turn may share your posts, cross pollination happens and that’s when traffic starts coming.

Let’s start from the basics. Rule number one is keywords. Keywords are words or phrases people use when looking up stuff on search engines. Decide which ones you will try to rank for. The shorter the keyword phrase, the more effort it will take to rank but it is worth giving a shot. However tempting it may sound to use them multiple times in your post, we do not advise it as search engines ban keyword stuffing. So, think wise and place them strategically. Near the beginning and at the end of the article is a good place to start. Then every 300 words or so, include them again. The Yoast SEO plugin may come in very handy in this regard, definitely worth adding that one to your site. Another good one is All-in-One-SEO.

Here are additional tips to optimize your blog posts for SEO:

*        Add several pictures to your content, with captions, alternate text and description. And give the pictures relevant names whenever you are uploading them to your site. IMG005698.jpg is a no-go if you want to make any kind of SEO effort but sailing-hawaii.jpg adds value to your SEO.

*        Hire somebody to make cartoonized pictures. Readers find them interesting and like to share them on social media. This will get you additional traffic.

*        Add short videos – Google likes multi-media content especially videos.

*        Encourage readers to comment. Ask them questions, include Calls to action etc.

*        Mention your blog posts in your newsletter to reach an even bigger audience.

*        Include quality links whenever you are referencing other blogs, articles, link to previous blogs and articles of yours whenever possible.

*        Have visitor friendly URL. These are easy to read and describe the content.

 

Last but not least, broaden the reach of your content with the help of social media. Target the channels your current and potential new customers are using, then focus on those. Share your links and snippets on social media and invite the audience to read more on your blog. Programs like Hootsuite make this super easy, just a couple of clicks and the link to your new blog post will be published on all your social media accounts. They even let you schedule content ahead of time.

All of the above does not mean your content should be robotic and full of keywords. Your writing is ultimately the most important thing, however you need to follow our tips and tricks to get the attention of search engine algorithms. Once you write the blog post, read through it to make sure everything is SEO friendly and you are ready to hit publish.

 

Good luck!

 

PS: To contribute your own ideas and thoughts, visit the original post at http://bit.ly/blogs-seo1

Pros and Cons of Hiring in-house vs. Outsourcing

Expanding your business? Need more employees to handle all the extra work? If so, should you hire them in-house or find a freelancer? The solution is determined on a case by case basis. A general rule of thumb is to hire in-house for long-term work and outsource the short-term, temporary work. The three biggest factors to consider before making a decision are cost, experience and flexibility. Based on your available budget and the professional you need, you will need to turn to either a freelancing portal or agency or post a job opening and wait for applications to come in.

Pros and cons

 On one hand, in-house hiring enables you to actually meet the person you will be working with face to face. The employees will be more invested in their work and feel secure about their job position as these are typically long-term contracts. So, reduced risk of employee turnover is an added bonus. And if any issue arises, their attention will turn to it immediately and the issues will be resolved quickly whereas freelancers may give priority to previously assigned tasks. The situation can be easily controlled.

On the other hand, finding the qualified employee you are looking for may largely depend on your location. The entire process of posting a job opening, going through applications and selecting the right candidate can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks. Then there are the extra benefits employees will want and expect you to provide them with. Do the pros outweigh the cons? It is up to you to decide.

Outsourcing has many pros. From people specializing in your exact area, to a shorter selection process and prompt completion of a single task or project. It is ideal for short-term work. Plus, the freelancer is not necessarily tied to a certain location. They can be anywhere in the world and do the work online. This opens up the opportunity to find an expert from abroad and (possibly) save some money in the process. You can have a firmer control of your budget as freelancers will work a previously fixed rate.

Yes, outsourcing is a great idea. But, you need to also consider the fact that certain countries may have different standards when it comes to your work. The freelancer that seems highly capable and has the set of skills you need may actually have some geographic and cultural limitations on how to do certain things. And the freelancers portals are swarming with fake accounts boasting their skills so be careful whom you choose. Miscommunication may occur, schedules might need to be adjusted to different time zones etc…Plus, freelancers give priority to higher paying jobs so you need to be upfront about what and when you need it done when you assign a task.

One in-between alternative is to sign up with an outsourcing company and let them fulfill your short term needs. Over time they will get to know your company culture and what you expect and will try to assign you resources that are a good match. Also – if one freelancer is sick or on vacation, they can always provide an alternate and you wont be stranded. Yes they will cost a tad more than hiring individual freelancers but the benefits may outweigh the little bit extra cost.

The perfect solution for your company is likely a combination of both in-house hiring and outsourcing. It all comes down to the three above mentioned factors: what, when and whom you need it done from. Ideally, in-house employees will do all long-term work whereas freelancers can cover any short-term work.

We hope this article was helpful. Fore more on this subject, visit us at http://bit.ly/hire-or-outsource1

Good Luck!

Product descriptions that convert

Trying to convert more visitors into sales? Learn how to write better products descriptions. This is how …

  1. Create a buyer persona
  2. Translate product features into benefits
  3. Situational explanation
  4. Use the appropriate tone
  5. Make your descriptions easy to skim
  6. Write several drafts before you decide on a final version
  7. SEO optimized product descriptions
  8. Use descriptive words and emotional language
  9. Pictures and Videos
  10. Practice

For a detailed article on this subject, visit http://bit.ly/product-descriptions1

Good luck!

How can I market for free?

Marketing and promoting your business does not have to cost a lot of money. Small businesses can promote their products and services for free or for very little if they can learn how to. This article will help you with ideas on how to market for free whether you are a services company or a physical products company.

Here are a few tips to help you market for free:

  1. Use local listing services – register your business on Google Places and make it easier to find on Google. Yahoo and Bing have similar services that are pretty straightforward to sign up for. Clients browsing related businesses online will stumble upon your listing as well.
  2. Use Classifieds like CraigsList, OLX, Gumtree, Backpage to your advantage. Most allow small businesses to list their services for free and is an easy and free way to get in front of people looking for what you are selling.
  3. Embrace social media – with the internet at our disposal, it has never been easier to gain exposure for one’s business. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others depending on your market and target group, are easy to create and manage. Creating content for them is a skill that may take some time to acquire, but once there, you’ll reap the benefits. Build an active and loyal social media following and you will definitely be able to sell more and you will be easier to reach as well.
  4. SEO your website – search engine optimization is a must for websites and businesses that want to rank higher on results pages. You can learn the ropes with some research into the topic but investing in this is advisable for search results.
  5. Join a marketplace – Amazon, Ebay and similar marketplaces are perfect to join if you are trying to sell a product and attract as many buyers as possible. They charge a fee for every sale made but the exposure you will get is well worth it as everyone browsing for your or related products will see your listing. This works for physical as well as digital products and services, the latter requiring listings on sites such as Angie’s List, Home Advisor etc.

The purpose of marketing is to reach as many prospective clients as possible. The more exposure you can give to your business and what you do, the better. We hope this article listing things you can do to market yourself for free was useful to help get you started.

For more information on marketplaces and marketing for free, check out http://bit.ly/market-free1

Good luck!

7 keys to Success on Amazon

Amazon is a great marketplace and many loyalists start their search on Amazon, not on Google. If you are into ecommerce or planning to get into, consider selling on Amazon. It is a huge marketplace and growing. You benefit from the crowds already on the marketplace looking for products – just like opening a shop in a busy mall. You get in front of people who are already there, shopping with credit card in hand.

 

Here are 7 tips that will help you succeed on amazon.

 

  1. Have a Great product. Be unique. Sell your own product so you don’t have to compete with others for the same product. If you are trying to sell something from another manufacturer, you may end up competing with scores of others who are also selling the same. That forces a severe margin crunch and you may make sales but not much profit.
  2. Set your listings correctly. Make sure the Title accurately reflects what you are selling. Select the correct category. Use keywords that customers are likely to use when searching for such a product.
  3. Pictures: Upload as many pictures as make sense. Remember people can’t physically touch your products online so make it easy for them to evaluate your products through pictures and text.
  4. Post FAQ on products. If you anticipate people will have quite a few questions, answer them beforehand in the product descriptions so prospects don’t have to wait for you to answer questions through the Amazon messaging system.
  5. Talk about reviews. Amazon forbids merchants from asking customers to write reviews. However; if you encourage people to read reviews, your customers may start leaving their own reviews.
  6. Don’t ignore international. A good bit of ecommerce sales are from overseas customers. Make sure you have shipping charges setup for international. Welcome them and make it easy for them to buy from you.
  7. Start slow. Everything has a learning curve. Start with one or two products, see how the response is and then add other products if you can manage the additional sales.

 

For more on the subject including bonus tip, visit http://bit.ly/amazon-success17 keys to Success on Amazon