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MYCOMMERCE CORNER

Chris Hoell serves as the Social Media Marketing Manager for Digital River MyCommerce. His responsibilities include maintaining and growing the social networks of MyCommerce through blogging, webinars and other types of social engagement. Prior to joining MyCommerce, Chris was part of the business development unit of Systems Maintenance Services and the inside sales office of the HP Home and Home Office store. 

5 Myths of Email Marketing

Email marketing has become one of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your website and boost your sales. Anyone who is looking for tips to improve their practices can turn to the web for helpful advice. Unfortunately, not all advice that people have gathered on email marketing is correct anymore. There are many common myths associated with email marketing that are preventing companies from truly gaining the most from this marketing medium. After speaking with some of our team at BlueHornet, I hope to debunk some of these myths and help you get back on the path to maximizing your email marketing efforts.

Myth 1: Too many emails will irritate your customers.

There seems to be a sentiment amongst people that sending frequent emails to your customers or subscribers is the wrong thing to do. And that by doing this, your subscribers are tuning out your messages. This is not true, to a point. Each business needs to find the right email frequency, which may be tough and a little nerve-racking to do. But there have been studies that show the majority of consumers average less than six branded email messages per day. When crafting your emails, ensure the body content and subject lines are fresh, varied, personalized to the recipient and not spammy. Then pay attention to the opt-out rates of your messages. If you see a jump in the number of people asking to be removed from your emails, you’ll need to make changes…quickly. And remember that an easy way to save subscribers that are considering opting out is to give them an option to reduce the number of emails they receive rather than unsubscribe altogether.

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Using Retargeting Ads

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been writing about different methods to drive traffic to an e-commerce website. So far I’ve covered such topics as PPC, SEO and the future of search engines. But another method to drive traffic to a website that many businesses are not aware of is with the use of retargeting advertising.

What is retargeting?

Retargeting advertising is a method of marketing that keeps your brand in front of online users who have already visited your website. For most websites, roughly only 2% of the traffic actually converts into a sale on the first visit. Retargeting ads are an effective tool designed to help websites rein in that other illusive 98%.

It is an extremely effective way to display your content to the appropriate audience as the only people who see the ad are those who have visited your website. And they typically provide a higher ROI than other online marketing methods because it focuses advertising dollars only on those who have shown an interest in your company. Want to see how it works? Go visit an ecommerce website, and then visit a different, more general site like a news or weather site. You’ll probably see an ad for your original visit.

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5 Common Mistakes Made with PPC

Pay Per Click advertising can be a very effective advertising tool for helping to find new customers. However, without proper targeting and setup steps taken, they can also be a very expensive lesson . One piece that I’ve noticed is that online marketers, no matter how seasoned, make similar mistakes when running their campaigns. Here are some common pitfalls and mistakes to avoid:

1. Do Not Filter Countries

Quite often, countries that produce the most clicks are not the countries that produce the most sales. Keep in mind that "clickfraud" tends to be very high in some countries, and filtering these countries will help keep costs down for the more effective clicks. Another alternative is to setup a separate campaign with a lower cost-per-click value for those countries with a lower ROI history.

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Crafting an effective Upsell and Cross-sell promotion

One of the items I’ve heard plenty about during my time working in the e-commerce industry is how to generate incremental revenue for customers. One easy way to do this and that many companies fail to take full advantage of is cross-selling and upselling products on their websites. These types of offers are relatively inexpensive to market and have the advantage of being aimed at people who already are on your website and interested in your wares. But what makes a perfect cross-sell or upsell campaign and how do you execute it effectively?

What are Upsells and Cross-sells?

Before I go into how to create these particular promotions, I wanted to be sure that I give a clear definition of an upsell and a cross sell. An upsell is a marketing term for the practice of suggesting an additional product, typically a higher-priced replacement product or service to a customer who is considering a purchase. Up-selling usually involves marketing more profitable services or products, but up-selling can also be simply exposing the customer to other options he or she may not have considered previously when they made their decision on what to purchase.

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SEO for Images

I’ve been discussing some of the more overlooked areas of SEO in some recent blogs - The Common Misconceptions of SEO and Taking Advantage of Yahoo! and Bing. Now, let’s take a look at an area that is often overlooked in website design – images. Graphics play an important role in web design, and they can influence organic search rankings. As the Internet becomes a more visual place, taking the time to make your website graphics search-friendly can provide a nice boost in search traffic. Here are some tips for image optimization:

Image Size

Make sure to compress website images to ensure your site loads quickly. Use an image software program rather than one that is integrated with your content management system. A graphics-heavy website will be slow to load, so stick to smaller, high-quality images. You only have a few moments to make an impression on a website visitor, and a slow-loading website may cause visitors to click away.

Also, the size of the image should be appropriate for its position on the webpage. If the visitor's web browser needs to re-size the image each time the image or page is viewed, it will take additional load time.

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