49 Simple Marketing Strategies Proven To Increase Sales Online
In this article, we’ll go over several successful marketing strategies, broken down by category.
Email Marketing Strategies
Many digital strategists insist that email marketing is one of the most effective ways to get the word out about their brand. Your mileage may vary, but there’s little doubt that you can benefit to some extent from great email marketing strategies. Here are a few of the best.
- Use a real name in the “From” line. Folks don’t respond well to spam. That’s why you should ensure that your emails appear authentic with a real name in the “from” line. Just make sure that the name you use is associated with your brand. And don’t even think about using one of those lame “no-reply” email addresses, either.
- Segment your lists. If you’re segmenting your market, why aren’t you segmenting your email lists as one of your marketing strategies? The fact of the matter is that you can create a much more effective email marketing campaign when it’s targeted to a specific subset of your market. Stats bear this out: segmented email campaigns have an open rate that’s more than 14% higher than non-segmented campaigns.
- Test your emails. Always be testing. Even when you think you have a winning formula in terms of email marketing, be sure to check your analytics after you’ve sent your emails to see if the numbers back up your beliefs. Fortunately, most email marketing services allow you to run split-tests. Take advantage of that feature.
- Address readers by name. To many people, the most beautiful word they’ve ever heard is their own name. That’s why you should use people’s names in your email blasts. Sometimes use the name in the subject line. When that isn’t practical, be sure to use it in the body of the email. Again: most email marketing services provide templates that enable you to easily add a recipient’s name to an email.
- Add social proof. You probably already add social proof to the homepage of your website, so why not use it in your email marketing? Even better: you can use a brief example of social proof in the subject line (with something like: “You’ll Never Believe What This Expert Says About Our Product!”). Put social proof in your emails and watch your open rates and conversion rates soar.
- Pay attention to timing. When it comes to email marketing, what you say might be even less important than when you say it. As a rule of thumb, Tuesday is the best day of the week to send an email. In other cases, it might be better to send emails after lunch. Pay attention to your analytics to learn when your recipients are most likely to open and respond to your emails.
- Apply a responsive design. In web development terms, a “responsive” design is a design that adapts itself to any screen size, from the smallest mobile devices to the largest desktop monitors. Make sure that you email design looks great on any platform or you risk losing sales. When it comes to email marketing strategies, this one is important.
- Include a call to action (CTA). If you want people to take action after reading your email, ask them to take action. In fact, make it exceptionally easy for them to understand that you want them to take action by including at least one button with CTA text. Also, put some effort into coming up with great button text. Avoid using boring text like “Submit” or “Click Here.”
- Make it easy to unsubscribe. Some people don’t want your emails and that’s okay. Just make it easy for those people to unsubscribe with a prominent link at the bottom of each email. You’ll do nothing but generate ill will if you make it difficult for people to bail on your email list.
- Use an opt-in process. Some people do want to subscribe to your email list. For those folks, have them follow a definite opt-in process so that there’s no doubt they want to receive periodic emails. Avoid tricking people into becoming part of your email distribution group.
Marketing Strategies For Social Media
Although it’s not as easy as it used to be to market your brand on social media, there are still some great opportunities on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Here are a few ways you can leverage social media to boost your bottom line.
- Position yourself as a thought-leader. If you’re an expert in your niche, prove it on social media. Share thoughts, insights, and tips that couldn’t possibly come from anybody who isn’t knowledgeable in your space. People will share your updates and you’ll gain greater exposure.
- Share links to gated content. Once you’ve established yourself as an authority figure, you can use your prestige to share links to great content. However, add a catch. Lock the content so that people have to receive it in PDF format via email. Of course, in order to receive it, they’ll have to provide an email address. Then, you have another email address that you can use in your email marketing campaigns (see Tips 1-10).
- Advertise on social media. Organic reach is becoming increasingly challenging on social media. That’s especially true on Facebook. You’ll likely have to bite the bullet and run social media ads to reach people in your market. The good news, though, is that you can target your ads to people who are likely customers.
- Put a human face on your brand. One of the more important marketing strategies… Remember to keep the “social” in social media. If all you do is use Facebook and Twitter to sell your products or services, you’re going to turn people off. Instead, tell people something interesting about your day. Share pictures from a recent vacation. Look real.
- Use social media for customer service. Sometimes, people will post a question or complaint about your product on social media and tag your account. When that happens, respond. You’ll more likely keep that customer happy and earn a reputation as a business leader that responds to customer queries.
- Avoid mistakes. Proofread your tweets and status updates. You could seriously embarrass yourself (and your brand) if you don’t. Also, you’ll look like someone who doesn’t pay attention to particulars when you post grammatical or spelling errors. Just take that extra minute to make sure your text is free of errors.
- Optimize your YouTube videos for search. YouTube is both a social media site and a search engine. That’s why you should optimize your YouTube videos for search. Create keyword-rich titles, include keywords in your descriptions, and add appropriate tags.
- Know which sites to use. Not all social media sites are created equal. Facebook is great for B2C marketing. LinkedIn, on the other hand, is better for B2B. Instagram is ideal for image marketing. Twitter is a great place to build brand awareness with short, pithy statements. Pick the sites that you think will work best for your brand and use them.
- When appropriate, use live-streaming. Sites like Facebook and Twitter make it easy to live-stream an event associated with your business. Leverage that opportunity to further promote your brand. Keep in mind that people can also watch your recorded video even after the live broadcast is over. That gives you an even greater opportunity for self-promotion.
Marketing Strategies for Paid Media
For many businesses, one of the best ways to reach people is to advertise online. Sure, it’s a strategy that can get expensive, but it can also offer a healthy ROI. Here are some great ways to maximize your return with advertising.
- Run ads during optimal times. Go over your analytics and learn when people are most likely to click on your ads to make a purchase. Then, direct the lion’s share of your resources into running ads during those times. But keep running some ads during “off hours” just to see if there’s any change in response patterns.
- Optimize your display URL. If you’re running ads on Google or Bing search, make sure that you optimize your display URL in addition to your ad copy. A more user-friendly URL might make all the difference. Also, be sure to use a URL that’s easy to remember and reinforces your brand. That way, even if people don’t click immediately, they might visit your site later on.
- Use remarketing. As a rule of thumb, it’s usually easier to reach people who’ve engaged with your brand rather than “cold” customers. That’s why you should use remarketing display ads that give you a second chance to connect with people that got away. Fortunately, high-profile advertising platforms like Google AdWords and Facebook offer remarketing options.
- Use negative keywords. A good advertising campaign is focused on excluding the wrong people as well as targeting the right people. One of the best ways to ensure that you don’t pay for clicks that aren’t likely to land sales is with the use of negative keywords. Go through your analytics and find keywords that are bringing people who won’t convert to your site. Then, exclude those keywords.
- Avoid using Broad Match. When it comes to paid media marketing strategies, you have to try this. Exclude the wrong people from your campaign using Broad Match in Google Adwords. That’s because Broad Match lives up to its name: it’s just too broad. You’ll attract people who aren’t in your target market and waste a whole lot of working capital. Instead of Broad Match, use Phrase Match or Exact Match.
- Use long tail keywords. Unfortunately, PPC advertising is overrun with countless marketers all bidding on keywords. It’s likely that you’ll run into more than a few who are bidding on the same search terms that you’re targeting. That’s why you should be on the lookout for long tail keywords that your competitors don’t know about. You might not land as many sales with them, but your conversion rate will likely be much higher.
- Steal like an artist. Grab a tool like SEMRush and find out which keywords your competitors are using in their advertising campaigns. Then, target those same keywords. You might have to outbid your competitors to land a higher spot in the search results, but that’s the nature of the business. Keep in mind, though, you could still earn a higher Quality Score with a better ad and landing page. That a higher score will put you at the top of the SERPs.
- Use AdWords extensions. If you’d like to earn some more conversions, make it as easy as possible for people to reach out to you. Include message and call extensions so that folks on mobile platforms can contact you with just a tap. That little bit of extra effort might be all that’s needed to encourage potential customers to choose your business over a competitor’s.
- Optimize your landing page. The landing page also contributes to the success of your online advertising campaign. That’s why you should ensure that it’s helping you reach your potential in terms of conversions. Grab a tool like Optimizely to help you tweak your landing page for maximum sales.
- Target bottom-of-the-funnel keywords. When you’re trying to reach people in the search results, it’s a great idea to target bottom-of-the-funnel keywords. Those are keywords that carry purchase intent, like “cheap shoes” or “discount cameras.” You’ll get much more bang for your buck when you appeal to people who are ready to buy.
Marketing Strategies for SEO
Although paid media will get you some clicks and sales, it’s not likely that you only want to go that route. You’ll establish your brand as an authority in your space if you earn organic clicks as well. Here are a few SEO strategies you should incorporate into your marketing efforts.
- Avoid black-hat techniques. There are countless unscrupulous marketers out there who will promise to manipulate the search engines so that your site ranks well. Run, don’t walk, away from those so-called black-hat practitioners. You might do well in the short-term, but Google always finds a way to outwit the cheaters. It’s best to rank with SEO techniques that follow the rules.
- Track your keywords. You’ll never know how well your site is performing in the search engine results pages (SERPs) if you don’t track results. Grab a tool like SERPBook to learn where your site ranks for various keywords. Also, track ranks over time to see if you’re losing ground to competitors.
- Don’t forget about the “other” search engine. Although Google is the most popular search engine in the world, it’s not the only search engine in the world. Make sure that you’re also optimizing for Bing search results. Start by getting on Bing Webmaster Tools.
- Create a sitemap. A sitemap makes it easier for the search engines to traverse your site and index pages. If you haven’t already done so, create a sitemap and upload it to both Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools. Fortunately, WordPress plugins like Yoast will automatically create a sitemap for you.
- Guest-post. One of the best ways to get backlinks and boost your rank in the SERPs is with guest-posting. Find a non-competing blog that needs some content and reach out to the webmaster with an offer for free content. In that content, include a link to your site. The webmaster will get content and you’ll get a backlink. Everybody wins.
- Create 10x content. Another great way to rank well in the SERPs is to create content that’s better than anybody else’s. Some marketers call that “10x content.” That means your blog posts are more readable and more comprehensive than anything your competitors are offering.
- Rank long tail keywords. Just as you should advertise for long tail keywords, you should also optimize your content for long tail keywords. That’s because they’re “low-hanging fruit.” Usually, competitors aren’t optimizing for them and they’re easy to get to Page 1 of the search results.
- Optimize for user experience. Google is clearly favoring websites that offer an outstanding user experience over sites that don’t. That’s why you should optimize your site that so it provides a positive experience. For example: make sure that your font sizes are large enough so that people don’t have to squint to read your articles. Also, make sure that your content delivers what’s promised in the title.
- Use longform content. It’s tough to rank for an even remotely popular keyword without really long content. Aim for at least 1,500 words, but feel free to go much higher. The SEO benefits of longform content are well-documented. Just make sure that you’re offering value and not just writing to hit a word count.
- Speed up your site. Google is paying attention to page speed. If your site takes a long time to load, especially on a mobile device, you can expect your rank to suffer. Run your site through PageSpeed Insights to get a read on its speed. If you get a bad score, contact your development team about improving site performance.
Marketing Strategies for Conversion Rate Optimization
It’s not enough just to get people to your website. You also need them to take action. That’s why you should optimize your site for conversions. Here are a few of the best ways to do that.
- Put as much content above the fold as possible. In web design terms, “above the fold” means the content that people see without scrolling. Sometimes, websites crowd out the important content with a large header and a banner ad. If your site does that, you’re creating a user-hostile experience as people have to scroll to see the content they’re looking for.
- Create clear calls to action. Don’t make visitors wonder what they have to do to take action. Offer big, bold calls to action throughout the page. Also, use heatmaps to find out where people are spending their time on your page and put your calls to action in those areas.
- Optimize your checkout process. Out of all the marketing strategies, this is one of the more important. Make it as easy as possible for people to give you money. If your checkout process involves too many steps, you can expect higher-than-average cart abandonment.
- Use trust symbols. Sprinkle trust symbols throughout your page to give people a sense of ease. Use security logos, a Better Business Bureau logo, Yelp reviews, and anything else that will convince people that you’re somebody they can confidently do business with.
- Copy competitors. Look at what your competitors are doing on their landing pages. If they’ve been using those same landing pages for a while, then that’s a pretty clear indication that they’re effective. Feel free to imitate the copy and design on those pages to promote your own brand. There’s no point in reinventing the wheel if somebody’s already got a great idea.
- Use a simplistic design. It might be tempting to put all the bells and whistles associated with modern web design on your landing page, but you should resist that temptation. When it comes to designing a page for conversion, follow the KISS principle (“Keep It Simple, Stupid”). A simplistic, but professional design will load quickly and enable visitors to focus on your copy.
- Support all devices. If your landing page isn’t optimized for smartphones, tablets, and phablets, then you need to change that immediately. A user-hostile experience on a mobile platform will absolutely limit your conversions and probably put you out of business.
- Use videos. There’s a reason why so many landing pages have a video at the top that plays automatically. Marketers know that a video is a great way to keep visitors on a page. Think about it: the average attention span is about 8 seconds. A video with great a great marketing narrative can reach people who aren’t interested in reading a whole lot of text.
- Use a single offer per page. Don’t confuse people with multiple offers. Instead, include one prominent offer per page. It’s okay if you repeat the same offer throughout your page (in fact, that’s a great idea), but don’t inundate your visitors with different offers. You’ll leave them wondering which one they should accept. They might accept none of them.
- Use multiple landing pages. If you do have multiple offers that you’d like to promote, that’s no problem. Just use multiple landing pages. According to one study, companies with 31 to 40 landing pages generated 7 times as many leads as companies with just 1 to 5 landing pages. Companies with more than 40 landing pages generated 12 times as many leads as companies with 1 to 5 landing pages. So if you want more conversions, give your site more landing pages.
Source: Ignite Visibility