E-commerce marketing sounds difficult, but it becomes easier when you familiarize yourself with the various channels and strategies available to you. Whether you’re selling online courses, access to video, e-books, or other digital products, you can find ways to win more sales through e-commerce marketing.
Kajabi offers lots of integrations and on-platform tools to help you master e-commerce marketing from the moment you launch your online store. As you build your landing pages, sales pages, blog, email list, and social media presence, you can use these tips and strategies to boost your sales and grow your business faster.
After all, if you want to become an online entrepreneur, you want to start generating sales right off the bat. That’s where e-commerce marketing comes in handy.
What Is E-Commerce Marketing?
E-commerce marketing is a marketing strategy designed to funnel qualified, targeted consumers toward your online products and generate sales. If you have an online store with Kajabi, you’re in the e-commerce market, so you’ll need a marketing strategy that attracts potential customers and encourages them to click the “buy” button.
One of our Kajabi Heroes, Alexandra Morgan, has an online store filled with access to online courses, live events, and more. She’s built an attractive Kajabi website designed to convert visitors into customers, but she doesn’t take a passive approach.
Morgan has created a fashion-related blog that offers free tips and tricks for people in her target audience. She also has a pattern shop, and she’s active on social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook.
This extensive online presence is what helped Morgan become a Kajabi Hero. Many of our other heroes have taken similar strategies to generate interest in their online courses and to bring more customers to their sales pages.
But what e-commerce marketing channels are best for your business?
E-Commerce Marketing Channels
Some marketing channels aren’t ideal for e-commerce businesses. They don’t allow you to funnel traffic efficiently to your sales pages, so you might want to ignore them. However, we’ve hand-picked a few e-commerce marketing channels that prove effective for most online retailers.
You can choose the ones that seem most efficient and cost-effective for your business. As you gain more experience as an entrepreneur, you’ll get a better handle on the channels that align best with your audience. Additionally, as your audience and customer base grow, you can venture into new marketing channels that might generate high return on investment (ROI).
Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)
PPC advertising can have excellent ROI if you use it strategically. Essentially, it’s an advertising model that allows you to pay for each click on your ads. Instead of trying to earn organic traffic from the search engines, you buy clicks to your site from various other properties, such as search engines.
The ideal is to make sure that each click is worth more than what you pay for it. Let’s say, for example, that a click costs you $4. If that click earns you a sale of $400, you’re earning a massive ROI that makes the advertising costs negligible.
PPC only generates positive ROI when your landing page or sales page is optimized for conversions. You want consumers to land on your page, instantly perceive the value of your products, and click the “buy” button. You can test different elements on the page, from the call to action (CTA) to the images and sales copy you use.
You might have heard of Google AdWords (which we’ll discuss later). It’s a service that operates on the PPC model. Your ads appear in search engines when you bid on certain keywords. There’s stiff competition for high-dollar keywords, so you have to bid sparingly and only when you’re certain that those keywords will target qualified, ready-to-buy consumers.
Fortunately, Google AdWords offers a strong keyword tool that allows you to figure out how much each keyword will cost per click as well as the competition for that keyword. Conducting copious research might cost you time now, but it will save you money in the future.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
SEM refers to the practice of purchasing space on search engines for the purpose of driving traffic to your website — and ultimately converting leads into customers. Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Yahoo! Search Ads are just a few of your options when it comes to buying space in the search engines.
When you search for a keyword on Google or another search engine, you might notice that advertisements appear above the organic results in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Let’s try a Google search for “fitness courses.”
You’ll notice from the screenshot that Google serves up ads above the organic searches. On some searches on desktop computers, you’ll also see ads to the right of the organic results.
These ads are bought by businesses that want to generate more traffic for their websites. Consumers typically click on the top results on the SERPs because they don’t want to scroll down to find what they want. This is especially true on mobile.
SEM essentially buys you the best real estate on the SERPs so you’re more likely to generate clicks.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
On the other side of SEM lies SEO. With SEO, you’re attempting to rise up the SERPs through organic means, such as by optimizing landing pages, blog articles, and other web pages for Google.
It’s difficult for certain keywords because of the competition, but that’s where long-tail keywords come in handy. Instead of trying to rank highly for “fitness courses,” for instance, you could target a long-tail variation like “strength-training fitness online courses.” You’ll have less competition, but your traffic will be more targeted and more likely to result in conversions.
Think about how you use search engines. You likely type a long search string because you want the most relevant results for your query.
For example, if you want to know how to fix your refrigerator, you probably wouldn’t just search for “refrigerator repair.” You’d include the refrigerator’s brand name and the part or parts that you think might be broken.
That’s how you can improve your SEO. Think like a consumer when deciding which keywords to include in your online content. Consider questions your target consumers might ask.
Let’s go back to the fitness online course example. Your potential customers might ask a question like, “How can I improve my upper body strength?” Target a long-tail keyword, such as “improve my upper body strength,” to capture that traffic.
SEM and SEO can work hand-in-hand. As long as you pay attention to the data you collect, you can use what you learn to inform both e-commerce marketing strategies.
You have another viable marketing strategy for e-commerce sales in display advertising. You’ve likely seen banner ads and similar advertisements on websites — those are display ads. They’re just like the ads you might see in magazines, newspapers, and other literature.
They typically appear as a square or rectangle and are obviously identifiable as ads. They usually have a strong CTA, strong visuals, and very little text. Here’s an example of a display ad on the Forbes homepage:
Display advertising costs have dropped significantly because of the pervasive use of ad-blocking technology. When consumers use ad-blockers, they don’t see display ads unless the plugin has white-listed the ad.
In fact, ad-blocking usage grew 60 percent in 2016, but that doesn’t mean you can’t generate ROI from display advertising. Clearly, companies are still using it to drive clicks.
The idea is to find a blog or other website in your industry that has a high readership. Buying display-ad space on that website can not only help increase traffic, but it can also aid in increasing brand awareness.
In other words, each time a consumer sees one of your ads, he or she becomes more familiar with your brand and more likely to remember it when he or she needs one of your products. That’s of significant value, especially if you sell online courses in a competitive arena.
An affiliate marketing program can bring you more sales, especially if you find affiliates with high readership levels and excellent track records as affiliates. This might appeal to risk-averse entrepreneurs who don’t want to pay for advertising that might not generate sales.
Essentially, affiliate marketing requires you to partner with publishers who will include links to your sales pages on their various online properties. They get URLs with identifiable codes so that you can track sales made by consumers to the affiliates who sent them to your website.
If an affiliate successfully convinces a consumer to buy your product, the affiliate gets a pre-determined commission from that sale. You only pay when your affiliate generates a sale, which makes it safer economically than PPC, SEM, and display advertising.
You can create an affiliate marketing program through Kajabi. Each affiliate will receive a welcome email that tells them how to sign in to the affiliate dashboard and more information.
Here at Kajabi, we’re big fans of email marketing. It’s a simple, inexpensive, and robust way to keep in touch with your potential and existing customers. Just start an email list through Kajabi, and ad opt-in forms to your Kajabi website. From there, you can start collecting email addresses from people who want to hear from you.
The best way to start an email marketing program is to offer a lead magnet. This is a free piece of content, such as a white paper or video, that consumers can only see if they provide their email addresses. It’s an excellent way to incentivize signups and build your email list quickly.
After you’ve started collecting email addresses, send updates on a regular basis. You might provide seasonal coupons, special discounts, informative content, and other information that your audience would find useful. Stick to a regular schedule, such as one email per week, so you don’t irritate your audience.
You should also add an unsubscribe link at the bottom of every email you send. To discourage unsubscribes, send your emails from a personal email address and use friendly, conversational language in your email text. Personalizing your emails can also help keep subscribers engaged.
Public Relations (PR)
PR isn’t as dead as some people might lead you to believe. Many print publications have downsized, but online publications remain alive and well. Getting a press release circulated or earning a quote or other mention in a news story can vastly improve your reach.
There’s no surefire way to generate PR (often called “earned media”), but there are a few hacks you can use to increase your chances of getting featured.
First, if you write a press release, make sure it’s actually newsworthy. Your copy should reveal something stimulating and interesting for your target audience (and for the publication’s audience in general).
You can also sign up for HARO (help a reporter out). It’s a website that connects journalists with industry experts. If you sign up for emails, you’ll receive alerts each time a journalist needs a quote or other material from someone in your industry.
They say that content is king, so use it to your advantage. When coupled with high-quality on-page SEO, blogging can bring you more traffic and interested consumers than nearly any other pursuit.
Create free content on your blog that mimics what you teach in your online courses. It should be different, obviously, so your course materials don’t simply reiterate what you’ve already written on your blog, but each blog post should provide actionable advice.
Some business implement SMS marketing so they can connect with their leads and customers directly via text message. It's a direct way to get in front of your prospects since people are constantly using their cell phones. Asurion reports that Americans check their phones 96 times a day - or once every 10 minutes!
But, some people are protective about when companies text them directly, so it's important to get your strategy right. Consider researching and testing different SMS WooCommerce techniques to ensure you're striking a balance between connection without being invasive.
E-Commerce Marketing Terms
To fully understand e-commerce marketing, you need to know the various terms that you might hear with regard to it. Let’s define a few of those key terms before we get to the 10 e-commerce marketing strategies you can use to win more sales.
We touched on Google AdWords before. It’s a PPC platform that allows you to bid on keywords so your ads can appear in Google’s SERPs.
You can set the budget that you want to start with, so you don’t have to worry about going overboard when you first begin a Google AdWords campaign. Consider adding extensions, such as call-out extensions. These allow you to add text to your ad, such as “20 percent off until [date].” These extensions might increase the likelihood of your ads getting clicked.
Review extensions can also prove lucrative for e-commerce marketing. Include a snippet from a positive review of your online course. Consumers will see the social proof and give your ad more weight as a result.
Search Engine Result Page (SERP)
A SERP is a single page of search results that a search engine displays. When you to go Google.com, for instance, you type a search query into the box and hit Enter or “Google Search.” The next page that displays is the SERP.
Research shows that your chances of getting a click from a consumer reduce drastically the farther down your web pages slip on the SERPs. For instance, if your content appears on page one of the SERPs, you’re likely to get lots of clicks. If you’re on page two or even farther down, your content might never get seen.
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
A conversion occurs when a consumer takes a desired action, such as signing up for your email list, buying one of your courses, or visiting a web page. Conversion rate optimization can help increase your conversion rates by increasing the ratio of people who take the desired action versus those who don’t.
How do you implement CRO on your content? You analyze key metrics and improve your content’s visibility, SEO, and other features to increase conversion rates.
Improving your CRO can increase your ROI and reduce the amount of money you spend on average to bring a customer on board. In other words, each customer’s value increases while you spend less money.
Many factors can play into CRO, from user experience to colors and fonts. Testing each element individually can help you perfect your advertising creative as well as your content marketing efforts.
The conversion funnel is the journey your customer take from being strangers to your brand to becoming customers.
At the top of the funnel, strangers get exposed to your brand. They see an ad, find one of your blog posts via search, or hear about your online courses from a friend. Top-of-the-funnel consumers are considered prospects because they haven’t yet taken any action.
When a consumer signs up for an email course, comments on a blog post, calls you, or otherwise gets in touch with your business, he or she converts into a lead. A lead is someone who has not yet bought your product, but who has expressed interest in becoming a customer.
Now you want to convert your lead into a customer, which ushers him or her into the bottom of the funnel. As soon as that happens, you can begin customer-retention efforts to ensure that your customers continue to buy your online products.
10 E-Commerce Marketing Strategies To Win More Sales
Now that you’re familiar with e-commerce marketing terms and strategies, how can you implement them for the benefit of your business? That’s exactly what we’re going to explain.
Following are 10 e-commerce marketing strategies to help you win more sales.
1. Start Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the fastest, most intimate ways to build a relationship with your target audience. You can segment your audience based on where each customer falls in the sales funnel so the right message always lands at the right time.
Consider starting a drip campaign, which means that each time someone signs up, he or she receives a pre-designed series of emails. Each email increases excitement for your online courses and helps hit pain points and allay fears about spending money on your online business.
Make your emails short and sweet so you don’t overload your subscribers with information. After your subscribers finish one drip campaign, add them to a master list based on their interactions with your brand.
2. Learn Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The more you know about SEO, the easier it will be for you to attract organic traffic from the search engines.
Make your content as relevant as possible to people who might search for the topic on which you write. Don’t dart off on tangents or make your content too complicated. Choose a topic, then cover it as thoroughly and accurately as possible.
Use primary keywords and LSI keywords to let the search engines know that your content is comprehensive and relevant. You should also fill out as many meta tags as possible, such as the description and keywords, and optimize your images for SEO.
Google takes into account other factors when ranking content, such as quality of backlinks, page-load speed, headlines, and permalinks. If you optimize these areas for the search engines, you’ll nail SEO.
3. Try Pay-Per-Click Advertising
If you’re interested in gaining lots of customers in a short period of time, dip your toes into the PPC advertising waters. Yes, you’ll have to spend a little money, but you can easily bring in more money than you spend if you’re careful about the keywords on which you bid and the ad text that you serve up.
Make your ads as appealing to your target audience as possible. What objections do they have to buying your digital products? For instance, if they’re price-conscious, you might use a discount to lure them in. If they’re worried about authority, show them social proof that you have the expertise necessary to help them reach their goal or solve their problem.
4. Begin Content Marketing
You can start a blog on Kajabi. The platform also allows you to create sales pages and landing pages. When you build out your site’s architecture to include lots of pages with high-quality content, you’re more likely to win more sales and drive more traffic.
Create an editorial calendar that forecasts content at least six weeks in advance. Keep up with the schedule you set for yourself, whether you post three times a day or once per week. Make sure your readers can depend on you to deliver content as promised.
5. Engage in Social Media Marketing
Get active on one or more social media platforms. You can survey your audience to find out which social media channels they prefer, then use those as your starting point. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and SnapChat are just a few of the most popular options.
Most importantly, publish useful, engaging content. Don’t use your social media channels to post pictures of what you ate for dinner last night or why you hate waiting in line at the supermarket. Build relationships with your customers by responding to their social media posts and sharing their content. They might reciprocate.
6. Activate Contest Marketing
A contest can quickly generate interest in your brand as well as a boatload of sales. Consider running a contest on Instagram or another social media platform. Ask your followers to share a piece of your content or post an image of themselves with specific directions to enter.
As far as the prize, you can choose what to give away. Free access to one of your online courses would make an excellent prize. You can then ask the contest winner to review your course online, which can generate additional interest.
7. Explore Display and Video Advertising
Display advertising can be static or video, depending on your specific goals. For instance, on YouTube, pre-roll and mid-roll ads can generate lots of interest, while industry-related blogs and other websites can run your banner ads.
Try negotiating directly with the online property’s owner or joining an advertising agency. Either way, you can get your brand message in front of more people and sell more of your online courses and other digital products.
8. Employ Multi-Channel Selling
We listed several e-commerce marketing channels above. Don’t just choose one and assume that you’ll win more sales. A multi-channel marketing approach will always work better than a single-channel strategy.
With that said, you don’t want to overwhelm yourself. Start with two or three channels, then build up from there. You’ll learn each channel more intimately that way, which will make you a more effective marketer.
9. Reduce Abandoned Shopping Carts
Nobody likes abandoned shopping carts. If this is a metric you see rising for your online courses, try to figure out why people are putting your courses in their carts, then clicking off the page.
Maybe you ask for too much information during the checkout process. Perhaps you don’t display security information as visibly as you could Try shortening the checkout process, adding more images, and increasing site speeds to reduce abandoned shopping carts.
You can also add users who abandon their shopping carts to one of your email lists. Those customers will receive emails that invite them back to your sales pages and encourage them to buy now.
10. Add User-Generated Content To Your Product Pages
We’ve talked about social proof, which is one of the most effective e-commerce marketing strategies in the world. People trust their friends, family members, and even strangers more than they trust brands.
Let’s say that a customer posts a photograph of himself and tags your company in it. Share that post with your audience as a form of social proof. This is user-generated content, and it shows your audience that other people approve of your online courses and digital products.
E-commerce marketing can take some time to conquer, but you’ll get there. This guide can help you identify potential channels, better understand terms related to e-commerce marketing, and take actionable steps toward creating a viable strategy for your business.
As an entrepreneur, you’re responsible not only for creating digital products but also for getting people to buy them. Sure, you might feel frustrated when you go a week without making any sales, but that just means you need to redouble your efforts and find other e-commerce marketing strategies to dominate.
Try display advertising, PPC, SEM, SEO, blogging, PR, affiliate marketing, and other strategies in this article to win more sales. You’ll thank yourself for spending the time and cash to get more people to buy your products.
Have you tried any of the e-commerce marketing strategies on this list? How did they work for you?
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