Today I’m excited to bring you a guest post by Josh Ludin of NeverJobHunt.com. Josh Ludin is a serial experimenter with various forms of making money online, and writes about his successes, and most importantly, failures at NeverJobHunt.com. He’s a huge hockey fan and player, and aims to step foot on 6 of 7 continents.
The ecommerce industry is quickly heading down the path of complete marketing automation. If you’ve been in eCommerce for the last 5 years, I’m sure you’ve tried multiple e-mail marketing platforms (AWeber), Social Media drivers (Hootsuite), and other cross channel tools to drive your customer acquisition.
With the tools available today to automate your eCommerce marketing, you will be at a HUGE disadvantage by not implementing these practices into your marketing plan. If implemented properly, you will save hundreds of hours and boost your sales by constantly staying in front of your customers. On the other hand though, if you screw up your marketing automation plan, you will lose your hard earned leads so fast and empty out that pipeline that took great efforts to build.
You MUST approach automation with the right mindset, or else all you’ll be doing is more efficiently spamming your leads and customers. I myself have been at fault of this, and based off the emails I receive throughout the day, many other companies are as well. Automation can absolutely transform your company into a selling machine, if approached properly. Let me key you in on 4 common downfalls so you can avoid these mistakes all together.
The 4 Marketing Automation Mistakes that Will Kill Your Lead Pipeline
1. Post Sale – Ignoring Your New FAN and Customer
Think about every eCommerce purchase you have made. The best part of the purchase is that time between clicking Checkout, and receiving your package inthe mail. During this time, your excitement and anticipation peaks, and you are an amazing driver for the brand. When your customers are awaiting their delivery, stay in communication with them; share your blog with them, share information about the product they just purchased, share information about the functionality and uses of the product they are about to receive.
Once they receive your product, now it’s time to make sure you use your customers as brand ambassadors; ensure they become involved in your social media platforms, and share with their social networks. A fantastic example of properly using this technique is Dollar Shave Club – their business boomed through using their customer base as affiliate marketers who were spreading word about the new subscription service all over Facebook and Twitter.
Oftentimes, companies feel that they are engaging their customers post-sale by sending them frequent coupons. This is what I mean by ‘automating your spamming.’ Just because I bought one item from you in the past doesn’t mean I am interested in your entire catalog. Rather, focus on up-selling and cross-selling your customers with other products that are appropriate to their initial purchase.
2. Ignoring the Phone
I can personally tell you that I have learned more about my customer base, and what products my customers like and do not through phone conversations. Using email and social media as your only means of communication with your customers causes you to miss out on tons of value that you could receive just from a 5 minute conversation with a potential or past customer.
Of course, when you are opening an eCommerce business, you don’t want to be handling customer service calls all day, so there are various methods of approaching phone communication. My favorite, suggested by Andrew Youderian, is opening up phone hours for a short period of time daily – for example from 12:30PM – 3PM, and outside of these hours taking voice mail from customers. By adding a phone contact on your website, it also adds a great deal of comfort for your potential customers – building some immediate trust.
3. Monitoring the Wrong KPIs
The goals and metrics that you monitor for your marketing automation campaigns must be tied in with your sales cycle. Many companies I see look at their open and click through rates on automated emails to determine success of a specific campaign – this CANNOT be your measure of success. The marketing campaigns you develop HAVE TO be tied in with your customer acquisition and sales goals.
My recommendation is this – approach your marketing campaign goals JUST AS AGGRESSIVELY as your sales goals. If the purpose of your Facebook marketing campaign is building your email list, go into your campaign with specific daily/weekly goals for your campaign, rather than just seeing what will happen. And then, monitor the follow up on these new leads generated from your Facebook campaign in order to determine the true value gained. If you do not monitor your marketing KPIs alongside your sales goals, you could dump way too much money in campaigns that in the end hurt your bottom line.
4. Not Replenishing Your Leads Funnel
A shocking realization to many eCommerce marketers is that your lead database will drain if you do not constantly replenish your contacts. People unsubscribe, email addresses go bad, and your list shrinks. I heard an amazing statistic the other day that was horrifying – email databases expire at a rate of around 20% annually – so if you have 1,000 people on your list, it will be about half that size in three years.
Once your start setting up your automated marketing campaign, it is NOT time to sit back and watch the revenue come in. If you are a victim of this pitfall, you’ll be at ground zero in no time. Filling that pipeline is KEY – focus on lead acquisition at all times, and then build the marketing campaigns that turn these leads into customers. But don’t mess this up or else you will be working hard to develop sales content that you’ll be promoting to nobody.
And the end of the day, the point I really want to get across is this: as a community of eCommerce marketers, we want to avoid the notion people have that we are just becoming more and more efficient at spamming. As a community, we need to use the amazing technology out there to execute well developed marketing plans, rather than just trying to play catch up on your list and spamming people.
You can find more from Josh at his website, NeverJobHunt.com