Ok, I know it sounds a little creepy but give me a chance to explain before you decide.
So here’s how it works: First of all it’s important to notice that this service is only currently available to all “managed” advertisers, meaning the ones who receive support from Facebook, meaning those that are paying Facebook. That being said, say you walk into a Best Buy and decide that you want a new TV, so you bring it up to the checkout at which the cashier asks if you would like to participate in their rewards program. You say sure cause it seems like a good idea (which it very well may be, this is not meant to be an attack on Best Buy), they give you a form to fill out that asks for the basics, name, number, address, email address and your favorite kind of marsupial (ok maybe not that last one). You get your little card and coupon and they get your information. Now this last part is important because one of the stipulations of this program is that companies can only use email address, phone numbers, etc that they have already acquired legally. Now the next step is that these companies will now upload their list to Facebook and upon doing so the information will be hashed so that Facebook itself won’t be able to collect info and sell it or something. At this point the utility will match your info from the list to your Facebook account and then allow the companies to choose to include you in a targeted ad campaign. In this case you may now see a Best Buy ad over to the right of the screen (where the ads exist now). That’s basically it, there is of course a little more to it like companies will be able point ads at specific demographics depending on what information you have given them. Keep in mind Facebook swears that there will be no ability for companies that have found you to harvest anymore information that you do not offer them.
As a marketer and a Facebook user I personally think this will be a pretty cool thing. Sure I am not crazy about seeing ads on Facebook because I go on to use it primarily for social purposes, but let’s face it, they’re a public company now and need to make money (badly at this point), so we are going to see ads. At least this way I will be seeing ads from companies that I actually might be interested in. And it will be great for advertisers to grow their list and target people that they want to, and that at least some point, cared enough about them to shop with them and give up some info.
Sure, there are always people buying lists and spammers getting you’re email addresses, but if you think about it, those people that would use a bought or stolen list would be spending money to reach people that may not have even heard of them. Not to mention there are already ads there anyway, why not see some that might get you a deal at your favorite restaurant or marsupial supply store.
As always if you need any help with this or any other web marketing stuff drop us a line at Marketing@tli2.com!
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This is going to be a hard blog post to write because of my love for the warm months and summertime fun (it’s a rough day for me when I have to put the golf clubs and fishing poles away). However what I have to say is VERY important. The holidays are coming and with them come family, friends, food, fun and for many of our clients, the busiest sales time of the year.
So don’t get caught unprepared! Start implementing your changes now so they are ready when the time comes.
Other than making sure your site is running correctly (duh), here are a couple of very important areas to make sure you have rocking and rolling:
Make sure your product pages are ripe with reviews, have pleasing photos of your products, and please please please have big colorful and properly located call to actions (add to cart buttons).
Have a very clean, easy, and fast checkout process. Have you looked at your abandoned cart numbers recently? Almost everyone that I have looked at these numbers with are shocked to see how many people have picked out their purchase and start to go through the process to buy and end up leaving before finishing. These abandonments are very often lessened by doing a few alterations to your checkout process, so get together with us or an expert and take a good hard look at what can be done to improve this VERY important area of your site.
Triggered Emails are great for business. They have a vast array of functions that are all really powerful. You have your review request email sent after a purchase (of course you want to allow a bit of time for delivery) that are great for building up your review section and passing on the words of happy customers (and also great for “mending the fences” with people that may have had a less then satisfactory experience). There is your gift certificate emails, great for bringing in customers, new and returning. Of course the most important triggered email is the abandon cart email. I cannot stress this one enough, this email quickly pays for itself. It is sent a day or so after someone leaves the checkout process without finishing. It sends a gentle reminder to let the customer know that they have left something in their shopping cart and provides a link back to checkout process. These emails have an average of a 15% conversion rate and, in some of client’s cases, over a hundred thousand dollars is missed revenue!!! This is free money people!!! So if you don’t have triggered emails you should very strongly consider having a nice template made that relays your branding and styles to assist in your online business. You are seriously missing out if you don’t.
Have a great template put together and get the word out about sales events, new products and reminders to get holiday shopping done ahead of time. Sure, not everyone reads every newsletter, but plenty of people take a look, and if you’re offering something special there is a good chance for you to drum up some solid business.
These little babies are a great way to spread the word of holiday sales, upcoming events, new products and so much more. They are fairly inexpensive and very much worth your time to get set up.
I have very rarely seen a website that is perfect for ecommerce, and I have often seen sites that could stand a lot of improvement. I said it before and I’ll say it again; Now is the time to make sure your ready to have a great holiday season. So get together with us soon and let’s make sure that while you’re enjoying the festivities with your loved ones your website is busy working away and making you the money that your company relies on!
Let’s talk! Marketing@tli2.com
If anyone has been paying attention to tech news, this story has probably been one of the biggest to hit the virtual newsstands. Google has announced they will begin testing a pay to play model to replace their current “organic” search standards for shopping online. This is big news, and I’ll tell you why.
First let me how explain how it worked up until recently. Let’s say your planning a camping trip next month and when going through your gear you realize that your tent you used to use in college will no longer accommodate you and your new family. So you decide to take a look online and see what’s out there. So you hop on your laptop and Google “tent”. You’re probably going to get a result that looks a bit like this:
The top left and smaller right column are populated by paid Adwords (as in someone has paid Google to be placed there) ads. Both areas are clearly marked as ads in grey text above them. Within the tan box below the Adwords you would see a few products, these are paid products listing. Underneath the product listing ads you will have your organic results including an area defined as “Shopping results for…” in this case, “tent”. Up until May 31st these results could be anyone’s product listing provided your product is relevant and you’ve done your SEO homework, no money needed to be dished out to Google. Pretty cool right? Provided you have submitted your data feed you may even get a little picture of your product next to the info. Well I am afraid this is no longer the case.
Type in “Tent” now and you’re going to get results that look something like this (Google says it will be experimenting with a few different looks along the line):
Again you start your results with AdWords text ads at the top left and down the smaller right column. However now you’ll notice that, rather than having separate Product listing ads and Google Product Search, they are combined into the single Google Shopping box. Finally after all this you will see the organic Web Search listings. The difference is this: You must pay Google to appear in the Google shopping box, no more freebies.
So how much do you pay and how does it work? Well it’s not quite set in stone yet, there is no hard date but Google says that it should be official sometime in the fall. Google also says that it will work very close to the way Product Listing Ads works now where merchants don’t bid on keywords but instead bids on how much they are willing to pay if their listing appears and is clicked on or a sale is produced. Google is offering two incentives to get merchants going:
• All merchants that create Product Listings Ads by August 15 will receive 10% credit for their total PLA spend through the end of the year
• Existing Google Product Search merchants will get a $100 AdWords credit if they fill out a form before August 15
So what affect will this have on shopping online? It hard to say but there are many feelings floating around out there both positive and negative. Some think that this will provide a serious advantage for bigger companies that are able to bid a lot higher than the little guys. Some think Google can be trusted to keep it fair and that it is not really that different then what is going on now. Some think that this is pushing Google into a more AOL-like model where you’re getting more and more trapped in the Google universe. Personally I don’t see this being a great thing but I am willing let it play out and give Google a chance, I suppose I don’t have a choice!
Your checkout process is one of the most important parts of your e-commerce site. Some statistics say that up to 56% percent of checkout processes are abandoned, 56%!!!!!! Imagine if you owned a brick and mortar shop and half of the people that brought items to your checkout counter decided that they didn’t want to buy all the items that they picked out right before handing you their debit card.
So why do people leave? They obviously found what they were looking for. They took the time to read your product descriptions and clicked add to cart. They are ready to buy and start the checkout process and then poof, they are gone.
I am going to give you a few tips to help keep them in the process until it is done and the order is done.
First of all, KEEP IT SIMPLE. Nothing turns people away like checkout processes that have page after page after page of stuff to fill out. Don’t ask for information that you don’t need. Sure it would be nice to know every thing about your customers but the fact is that you will scare more people off by asking too many questions. Why do you need to know my age, sex and favorite color? Keep it simple, quick and easy.
Make your call to actions easy to see. The continue button should be bright, big and friendly.
Take away unnecessary navigation options. Guide them by not giving them many distractions. I would suggest removing any side and top navigation any search options or email sign ups. Basically present them with only the task at hand, finishing their order.
Have a progress bar. Let people know where they are in the process, it’s much easier to stick with a process if you know the end is in sight. Plus reassurance that there will be a final step of confirming the order information before being charged puts peoples’ minds at ease.
Make sure your security seal is visible and up to date. As we hear more and more horror stories of people’s personal information being stolen online, folks are definitely more soothed by seeing a security seal that is up to date and prominently displayed.
Lastly, and I have talked about this before, make good use of triggered emails. If you don’t have a confirmation email (an email sent to a customer to let them know that their order has been received) then you’re in trouble. Most people have confirmation emails but in addition to that you should consider having an abandon cart email (an email that is sent after a few days of someone leaving the checkout process reminding them that they still have something in their cart).
I strongly urge everyone to setup a checkout goal funnel in Google Analytics and then use the funnel visualization report to see where people are falling out of your checkout process. This will really give you a great insight into where your checkout has issues. You should set up your “goal” to the “order sent” page and have the steps be the pages you have leading up to it starting with your “view cart” page. You will be able to see not only how many people are leaving the checkout process but also which page they are leaving from and where they are going. A useful tool indeed, and really, if you are in e-commerce YOU NEED THIS.
It’s likely that most checkout processes could use a little work, so keep these tips in mind. If you need some help or an extra set of eyes to take a look at your site, drop us a line at Marketing@tli2.com
Websites should be attractive, consistent with your company’s branding, and designed to sell. Sometimes a few little tweaks to your look and function can make a big difference in how well you are serving your clients.
Everyone wants their website to look top notch. Who wouldn’t? We all want to be represented in the best possible light. But let’s be honest, there will always be someone out there that has a newer, more creative, fancier looking site. Keeping up with the Joneses is tough on the internet, and constantly doing full site redesigns is not only difficult but expensive and time consuming. Now I am not saying a total overhaul is never a good idea, certainly if you haven’t had any major design changes in 5 years it’s probably time to invest in one. Short of starting from scratch lies a different option.
It’s very difficult to judge your own website (or any visual representation of yourself or company), it’s often either one of two extremes. You either can’t stand it so much that you can’t see the positive aspects or you love it so much that you can’t see the flaws. That’s why on occasion it’s a really good idea to do what we like to call a “site audit”. Don’t worry we aren’t talking about the IRS rummaging through your files. All I mean is having a professional take a detailed look at your site. We look at your general visual design as well as the functionality, searchability, and how well it is selling your products. After doing so we provide a detailed report of recommended changes, why we suggest them, and an estimate on the amount of time it would take us to implement these changes. You certainly are not obligated to make these changes, or you may just pick one or two for now and keep the rest as a wish list!
A few of the areas that we will take our magnifying glasses to will be:
Basic visual design
Search engine optimization
Product page organization
And much more
We have had quite a few of our clients take us up on this opportunity and make some of our suggested changes much to their benefit in profits and traffic. Don’t get left behind, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Our beloved client April Cornell added the Pin It button to their product pages and within the first day reported a major spike in sales! Way to go April!
See the blog below (two down actually) to learn more about Pintrest. Don’t hesitate to contact us at email@example.com if you have any questions!
I walked into a bakery the other day searching out my favorite cookies, (oatmeal chocolate chip) unable to locate them in the glass case I approached the sales person and asked if she had any. After taking a look around and checking with the baker she returned and informed me politely that they had just sold out of the last batch (it was admittedly late in the day). Perhaps sensing my disappointment she then offered me some fresh-out-the-oven blonde chocolate chip brownies. I had money in my hand, and I was looking for a treat so I said sure and walked home with a half dozen.
Now what would have happened if after asking for the cookies the young lady had just said “I can’t find any” and walked away? Most likely I would have left disappointed and found my cookies elsewhere.
This situation happens all too often on the web. How many times have you been to a website and used the search bar to find a product only to be met with a page that says something like “sorry no results could be found for your search” and leaves you at a dead end? You’ve worked so hard to get people to your site and they are ready to buy something and you’ve basically said “I can’t find any” and walked away.
Why not instead offer some of your other products? Have your failed search page say “Sorry we don’t have what you were searched for. Perhaps you would be interested in…” It doesn’t always work but it’s surely better then the alternative. It also gives you the opportunity to show off some of your other products that the viewer may not have been previously aware of.
Check it out in action here by searching for “jetpacks”, I assure they don’t carry them. www.memphisnet.net
If you would like to talk to us about setting this up on your site drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!