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Yep, it’s that time of year again. The time when we look back on the past year and determine what we can do better. And no, we’re not talking about committing to a gym or going on a diet. Although, I’m sure your marketing budget feels like it’s getting a workout.
What we really want to talk about are resolutions that will make your digital business better than it was last year. That means looking at past failures and victories to create a better marketing strategy for 2019.
Regardless of whether you just had the best business year of your life or are considering a full overhaul, here are some resolution ideas to kickstart the new year.
1. Grow Sales
This is probably every business’s #1 goal every year. In order for your business to grow, you need to be able to consistently increase sales. For those of you who need some new ideas to boost sales, we just posted some fool-proof tactics to boost online sales here (link to the New Year Deal post). But for the Cliff’s Notes version, here’s what we suggest:
- Coupon codes – There’s nothing like a discount to give buyers the extra push they need to complete a purchase.
- Affiliate marketing – Find a trusted partner to take over some of your promotion.
- Referrals – Set up a referral program that encourages happy customers to refer their friends and colleagues.
- Gifts – Offer a simple gift to current buyers to inspire loyalty and future purchases.
- Contests – Increase customer participation and reach.
- Email blasts – Keep your business top-of-mind with regular emails to your mailing list.
- Giving back – Offer to donate a dollar amount or percentage of sales to a charitable organization.
2. Improve the Customer Experience
Nothing kills conversions like a poorly executed customer experience. That means that every step of the customer journey needs to be carefully designed to cater to buyers. From the first click on a paid-search ad to the final confirmation page after purchase, you need to provide customers with a consistent, branded experience.
In order to understand what customers are experiencing, be sure to go through the conversion process yourself. Check for glitches or inconsistencies that could prevent conversions. Consider offering a post-purchase survey that allows customers to give you feedback about their experience.
3. Increase Web Traffic
Create a marketing strategy that drives more traffic. For the most part, more traffic means more sales, which is sure to improve your 2019. Here are some ideas to get more web traffic:
- SEO – Perform on-page SEO to increase your rank on search engines.
- Social Media – Promote blog posts and other content on your site. Don’t forget to include brand-specific hashtags to your social posts.
- Paid Search – This is a great way to get top billing on social media and search engines.
- Keywords – Target long-tail keywords. These keywords are easier to rank for, which gives you a better chance of being featured on page one.
- Email – Send out regular email campaigns with special discounts and other useful content on your site.
- Content – Create a content marketing campaign that provides helpful and unique information for your customers. Guest blogging is also a great way to get inbound links and traffic.
4. Understand Customer Motivations
Understanding your customers’ motivations is key in developing content strategy, products and improving the customer journey. But understanding your customers is easier said than done. If you don’t already have segmented customer personas to help you develop your marketing strategy, here are some ways to get started:
Analyze the data – Your database, or CRM, has tons of information about your customers, like online behavior and preferences. This information can help you identify customer needs, which can improve customer satisfaction and retention. So, get in the data and start looking for patterns.
Talk to your customers – Whether you offer a satisfaction survey after a purchase or have your sales team interview key customers, getting feedback from your customers is crucial. This is a great way to gain helpful insights and get into the mind of your customers.
Walk in their shoes – The best way to truly understand the buying journey is to take the journey yourself. Try customer journey mapping to create detailed, graphical representations of your customers’ interactions with your brand.
There’s no rule that says you have to run your online store all by yourself. Invest in an all-in-one ecommerce platform to make your life easier. I know, it can be difficult to let go of some of the control. But wouldn’t it be so nice to let go of some of the stress? Like the stress of …
- Customer acquisition
- Creating dynamic shopping experiences
- Optimizing the checkout process
- Setting up subscription and recurring billing
- Processing payments
- Tax management
The thing is, businesses like FastSpring can do all of these things for you. All you have to worry about is developing great products and expanding your business.
Regardless of how 2018 turned out for your business, we hope 2019 is looking a little brighter. And if we’re able to help simplify your life just a little bit, then we can’t wait to start the new year with you. Happy holidays!