That almost electric tingle in your fingertips and rapidly growing itch in the back of your brain that lights the fuse on your hand’s afterburners and rockets it to your device. The race is never acknowledged, but it’s always on. The finish line can be anything. And your answer-loaded info-missile is being constructed as fast as your network will allow. For something that hits so frequently, it’s amazing how you still get excited when you can be the fastest one to an answer to whatever question is on your “dot-com generation” friends’ predictably impatient minds. For those gathered, this whole unspoken information retrieving Olympics often becomes a spectator’s sport. Others often just think it’s stupid until the pressure is on and they’re in heat of the moment.
As of this very moment, AutoResponderMax has sent out more than 2.5 MILLION customized emails on behalf of its growing list of clients. That’s 2.5 MILLION personalized connections between our retailers and their customers and no one had to lift a finger.
Now let’s do a little creative math* (*wild speculation) based on this post. Extrapolating from that single anecdote we can say with absolute certainty* that those emails have generated at least $1,297,585.88*. Heck… while we’re guessing, let’s say it it was a billion dollars*! Because it totally could have been*.
Regardless, the fact is that AutoResponderMax is easily one of the easiest, most affordable, most effective marketing tools for your Volusion store – did you notice how there was no asterisk* on that statement? That’s because it’s completely true! Seriously. ARMax is crazy good and the first month is free. Go sign up. Now.
This is an actual, unretouched screen shot from our boss’s iPhone showing that as yesterday, The Red Hat Society’s online store had made $1,118 in April by using AutoResponderMax – that’s a 2,281% ROI. If you haven’t already clicked over to AutoResponderMax to start your free trial, then allow us to give you all the details…
We own and operate The Red Hat Society Store. That gives us a lot of first-person insight into the needs of the average Volusion retailer. That insight led us to build AutoResponderMax – the email marketing tool for Volusion. We built it to meet a lot of the communication needs we have with our own online store. The screen shot here proves that we were pretty successful.
What you see here is a shot of the AutoResponderMax Dashboard app for iPhone. (Which is totally free, by the way.) It shows April’s usage data. Stated simply, ARMax sent 2,154 event-triggered (and personalized) emails to Red Hat customers. A remarkable 70% were opened and 41% of those resulted in click throughs. Those are all really good numbers if your only goal is to build your relationship with your customers. If, on the other hand, you’d also like to make money, the real number to look at is this month’s revenue – $1,118. That’s over a thousand dollars of revenue that is directly related to emails sent by AutoResponderMax. The Red Hat Society Store is on the Plus Plan (the most popular level) which means that thousand dollars cost us exactly $49 – bringing us back to that incredible 2,281% ROI – except that it isn’t incredible. It’s credible – and provable.
We have trouble talking about AutoResponderMax sometimes because basically we always just want to say, “Try it, for crying out loud! The first 30 days are free and it’s awesome and it totally pays for itself over and over and it’s so easy and what are you waiting for? DO IT, DO IT, DO IT!“ Now, with this photographic proof that it works so dramatically well, we’re almost overwhelmed with the desire to reach out of the screen, grab your mouse and sign you up ourselves. Of course, that would be rude, so we’ll just strongly suggest that if you’re a Volusion retailer and you don’t have AutoResponderMax, you’re almost certainly leaving money on the table and that’s just crazy. Go sign up right now!
While searching the Internet this morning for important new pictures of baby sloths, we stumbled on the video we’ve posted below. Before you play it, we’d like to warn you about a few things. First, it’s eleven minutes long. Second, you’re going to want to watch all of it. Finally, unless your heart is a tiny, ice-cold cinder, you’re going to cry. We’re misting up just thinking about it, but that might be because we’re also listening to Sarah McLachlan, so we’re probably thinking about that frigging animal shelter commercial that always drops like a bomb into the middle of whatever lighthearted romp you’re watching on TV and brings your life to a screeching halt while you scrape together all of your change to donate just so you can make all the big-eyed homeless puppies stop crying in HD all up in your grill.
The video below is the opposite of that. Enjoy.
Okay… now just pull yourself together now so we can talk about this like the totally composed businesspeople we are. So, that was deeply charming on a lot of levels – the boundless and inspiring enthusiasm of youth, the near-universal love of The Arcade and the way that something so frivolous can bind us all at such a basic level, the unqualified support of a working class father for his son’s passion project, the pride of accomplishment – there’s a lot of real genuine heart-string-plucking going on here.
… but did you notice how no one gave a crap about Caine’s Arcade until a savvy outsider stepped in and started a social media campaign in support of it? Did you further notice that Caine’s Arcade also benefited from the Holy Grail of viral luck – an appearance on the front page of reddit? The Internet basically prevented this from being an incredibly sad or possibly even heart-crushingly tragic story. Let’s talk about how all of this could have played out after the jump…
Six months ago Google released a major improvement to Google Analytics: Multi-Channel Funnels. With this new feature, we now have deeper insight into conversion attribution and we can improve overall sales tracking.
Previous to this release, a fundamental problem with web tracking was that it only credited the last link clicked prior to the conversion. Marketers using the last click methodology were not able to provide a complete view of the customer’s journey through the entire digital buying process. With Multi-Channel Funnels we’re able to generate reports showing the full path to conversion over a 30 day period. Analyzing a customer’s path across multiple digital channels (organic searches, paid searches, referrals, social networks, email etc.) has given Brand Labs a much clearer understanding of how all channels can assist each other in driving a conversion.
Since their release the assisted conversion attribution reports have lived up to the hype with their ability to connect the conversion path dots in ways we previously could only guesstimate. This has resulted in the ability to make more informed business decisions and better allocate resources on behalf of our clients. The best way for me to illustrate the value of these reports without getting anymore technical is to turn the microscope on my own buying behaviors and processes. The info graphic below shows how I jumped from channel to channel on my quest to purchase a Marmot brand jacket. Hopefully the value and insight gained from attributing assists to each channel involved in the conversion is more clearly illustrated in this graphical format.
Once the leaves fall of the trees, it’s too late to completely redo your online store in time for the holidays, but you can make a little holiday magic with these three down and dirty tips.
1. Do you have clear calls to action? Be sure that emails and banners tell shoppers exactly what to do. While you’re at it, have fun with calls to action. Selling gift-wrapping? How about “Wrap it up?” Have free shipping? Go for “Send it free!” And of course, there is always the clear and concise (but boring), “Shop Now.”
2. Test your ideas: A/B tests are great ways to discover what’s working with your holiday strategy. Test subject lines, calls to action, buttons – anything, really. Once you have the result, optimize your holiday campaign.
3. Tell customers about shipping: Shipping is very important during the holidays. Make sure your customers know that gifts will arrive on time with shipping calculators or free shipping. And do you have free shipping? Tell them loud and clear. Be borderline obnoxious about this one. People don’t like paying for shipping when they have to send fruitcake to their “favorite” uncle.
First of all, come up with a title like that. Second, forget about SEO and think about content. Two sentences in, and you’ve already got two tips! But we’ve got 5 more that we’ve learned in our time improving our clients’ search-engine rankings.
1. Write well: Write really, really well. You don’t have to aim for Faulkner (actually, aim for anyone but Faulkner) but you do need to create content that people want to read.
2. Content is king: You can have a dozen SEO keywords, but if you don’t have good content, you’ve got nothing. How many times have you searched for information only to find some dubious web-page that’s only around for Google to find? What you really want is good information. Assume your customers want good information and give it to them.
Read the rest after the jump…
You’re an ecommerce merchant. Let’s say that your store has been up and running for a while. Let’s also say that it’s doing well. Of course, it may not be doing as well as you’d like, but if that’s the case, you sure don’t need a list of reasons to reexamine your site. If your store isn’t doing what you’d like it to do, you should be going over it with a fine-toothed comb. On the other hand, if your store is doing well, it’s easy to get complacent. If you fall into that group, this article is for you.
We’ve said it a bazillion times: a website is a living thing. You have to nurture it – help it grow. If you neglect it, it’ll die… or worse. It’ll grow beyond your control until it’s a huge, rambling jumble of awkward navigation, dead ends and baffling content. Still unconvinced? Check out the list for the scolding you so richly deserve.
Read the rest after the jump…
We’d like to talk a little bit about naming strategies. For the sake of today’s discussion, we’ll be using a handy example – ecommerce powerhouse: Volusion.
Clearly, Volusion isn’t a “real” word – at least in the sense that it doesn’t mean anything other than “ecommerce powerhouse” (as we just mentioned). Now we don’t know exactly what led Volusion to choose their name and we really don’t like to look things up, so we’re just going to wildly speculate about Volusion’s decision process without a trace of factual information whilst at the same time deftly avoiding all research. You may not want to quote us. (Seriously. Don’t quote us.)
See our unsubstantiated theories after the jump…