If you need to build awareness of your online business, increase the number of visitors to your site and improve your conversion rates, then you will end up listening to this, and our next episode, over and over again!
This week, we have our first special guest – digital marketing expert Miranda Bond. Miranda is a serial entrepreneur who started in digital marketing over 25 years ago at the BBC in England, She’s since used her digital marketing skills to build a global organic makeup business which she sold a few years ago. Miranda now consults for a number of online retailers both nationally and internationally through her marketing agency MDigital, and has her own online retail business pumayana.com, with an artist partner.
Miranda has done it all in the online marketing world and knows what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to digital marketing.
Over two episodes, Miranda shares her Five Pointed Star Strategy that will show you how to get the critical components of digital marketing working together in harmony. A harmony that will help you to rapidly grow awareness of your online business and increase sales.
In our first episode Miranda will be focusing on the first two steps of her "Five Pointed Star", which are:
1. Search Engine Optimisation(SEO) – Miranda explains what it is and why it’s important that you understand how to do the basics yourself to both save money and boost awareness.
2. Digital online marketing platforms – here, Miranda explains the importance of understanding the opportunities offered by the various digital marketing platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Google Ads, YouTube etc. and how to dip your toe into the water of advertising with them to get you started.
So if you’re looking for simple, practical, economic and very, very effective steps you can take to build the awareness of your online offering, then this is the podcast for you.
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EPISODE 5 TRANSCRIPTION - Raising Awareness with Miranda Bond
29th June 2020
The Road to Online Retail Podcast 5 – Raising Awareness with Miranda Bond
29th June 2020
Nigel Miller: So, at last, you’ve built and launched your new online retail website. Congratulations!
But there’s a problem. Why isn’t it attracting many visitors ? How do you make your target audience aware of your great new offering? How do you get the visitors you do have to stay longer and buy more? Basically, how do you convert visits into sales? What are the most important steps to take to build traffic and conversions? And how do you do it cost-effectively? And where do you begin?
Well, that’s what we’re focusing on today. How to raise awareness of your online offering.
Now, trust me, if you’re looking to raise awareness of your website, then the ground we’re going to cover today, and in the next episode, is going to be invaluable to you.
Welcome to this episode of “The Road to Online Retail”. I’m Nigel Miller.
Now, with me today, as usual, I have international shopper experience expert, Kevin Moore.
Kevin Moore: Hi Nige.
Nigel Miller: And we have a special guest today, who I’ll introduce in a few minutes, Miranda Bond.
Miranda Bond: Hi, Nigel.
Nigel Miller: Kevin, before we dive into this, tell us again, what are the four things that are absolute essential for anyone who runs an online business in retail?
Kevin Moore: So we’re talking about the shopper experience. We’re talking about the fact that to gain people, to bring people to us, we go through four steps and the steps slightly differ with the third step in, in different environments.
So the first step is awareness, to create awareness so that people are interested in, in what you’re doing, what you’ve curated, the services that you provide, and if they’re so interested and they will lean in, they would engage and are engaged on a smartphone with a thumb. They’ll engage at home on a PC with a mouse or the touch pad, and once they’ve engaged we do something with them, they’ve come to us, they’re viewing us on the smartphone or they’re viewing us on a tablet or a PC and we do something with them. And if that is such a strong emotional connection with them, they then transact with us.
So simply put, if you go to the world of online music, if you go to Spotify and you talk about the democratization of music, the four steps are number one awareness, number two engagement, number three is follow. And then transaction.
So once people start to follow, and we end up on their playlist, we end up with more and more people playing that track. Every time we get to a certain number, we get an 0.03 cents payment from Spotify.
If we go to financial services and the FinTech space, it’s awareness and engagement, conversation and transaction. So people won’t invest their funds, $5,000, $10,000 significant amounts of money, they won’t invest their funds in an investment portfolio unless they’ve spoken to somebody. So awareness and engagement, conversation, transaction.
If we take most mainstream, discretionary spend websites. It’s awareness, engagement, entertainment, and transaction, which we see with Toys R Us. So videos playing, people engaging with the different toys down at toy level, down at skew level, looking at videos of people playing with a specific toy, or interviews with people who have that particular hobby.
So each one of those four steps and the third step tends to be unique to the sector.
Nigel Miller: Okay. Now, of course, the hardest part for anyone, other than building your site in the first place and curating your products that you’re going to be selling, is actually raising awareness. So starting from scratch, how do you raise awareness? Which is why today we’ve got with us Miranda bond, who is a digital marketing expert.
Miranda, tell us about yourself.
Miranda Bond: Okay. I have been in digital for my sins for 28 years. A lot of people think hurrah digital hasn’t been around that long, has it? But it actually has, and I think my, my first position was in the early nineties with the BBC in England. But I immigrated to Australia about 20 years ago, and I’ve been working since that time in digital online marketing.
So helping businesses grow and expand and make sales online.
Nigel Miller: Right. So Miranda, I’ve invited long today. I’ve known Miranda for over 10 years. We first met at the Entrepreneurs Organization that we were both members of a number of years ago. And I’ve invited Miranda along today to help us with the topic of awareness, despite the fact that Mr. Moore has interests in a number of digital agencies.
My view was that actually having someone who is hands on doing it for a number of businesses, you know, day in, day out, is probably going to be a little more helpful than paying huge fees for an agency. Sorry about that Kevin! What’d you think of that Kevin?
Kevin Moore: Oh, thanks for that, I’ll tell you what I love about Miranda is she’s done it. So, so many people come along to talk about how they’re going to do it, but the fact that Miranda just step, step us through what you did with the cosmetics business, because that’s, you know, if you’ve actually done it, you experienced it, you get it firsthand.
Miranda Bond: Absolutely. And I think you’re spot on. I think that, you know, I have been a serial entrepreneur myself and, with the organic makeup brand INIKA, I literally took that business from the kitchen sink in my home to being a global cosmetics business. And that was sold in 2013 and that’s been a hugely successful brand. And we built that brand predominantly through digital marketing. So, you know, I really have had that firsthand experience, and that’s what a lot of my clients come to me for, is because I really understand what it’s like to be a business owner, where you’ve got to account for every dollar and every dollar counts, you know, to, to the nth degree.
So I’m very careful with people’s money.
Kevin Moore: So if you take us on that journey, so I’ll, I’ll step back a little bit. So Nige is right to say agencies. I’m a big fan of Shopify. I think the site is fantastic. I think the fact that you can get a website up quickly, we’re going to talk to some about ultra-commerce in a, in a couple of weeks time as well.
But if you look at Shopify, it’s democratized the ability for people do go into retail in, you know, in this century, without owning a store and reaching around the world. Generally speaking, to do that, they need an agency friend to help them to be able to navigate their way around social media, around the various platforms.
But often you’ll find on, chat. rooms around some of the, the Shopify sites, people saying, “Oh, I got let down my by agency. I couldn’t do this. I couldn’t do that!”
I think of all the things, that’s the biggest thing we need to overcome. So what did you do to begin with on your own? It’s 2020, you’re starting it all over again, you bought a site. What would you do? What would you advise people going online today to do, to create that awareness?
Miranda Bond: Sure. So I talk about the five pointed star, right? Because there are a number of strategies that you need to adopt, which work in harmony together. So, I still to this day work with a lot of brands who are just starting out. So I’ve launched two brand new brands on Shopify, even within the last four to five months.
And the five critical components that you’ve got to have working in harmony together: number one is search engine optimization. So you have to make sure that you have properly told Google what your pages in your site are about so that you can optimize your results in organic traffic to your site. So that’s number one.
Number two is digital online marketing. Now when I’m talking about, digital online marketing, I’m talking mainly about Facebook and Instagram. I’m talking about Google, and when I say Google, I’m talking about Google Ads, Google Ads Remarketing, Google Shopping, Google Display, and then also YouTube. Now, that’s not to say that there aren’t other marketing channels that can be highly useful, but it really depends on your business.
So for example, Pinterest or LinkedIn or you know, Tick-Tock on WhatsApp, what other sort of up and coming brands may be specific to a particular brand, but the core ones are Facebook and Instagram. Google and YouTube.
Separate to that, number three is your electronic direct mail communications. Now here I’m talking about your emails, your newsletters. A lot of people say to me, “Oh, email’s dead.!” I can tell you that for every single client that I have, every time they are sending out a newsletter, every time they’re doing a direct piece of electronic mail, they are making money.
Number four is your conversion optimization on your site, because you can bring all the traffic that you like to a website, but if you have not yet properly converted it for sales, and there’s a number of things you can do on a product page, for example, to maximize your conversion opportunities you know, you’re not going to get anywhere. So you’ve got to make sure that your site is actually capable of converting.
And then number five is the retargeting strategies.
When I talk retargeting strategies, you know, there’s a huge amount of people who will simply leave products in their cart. So you need to have an automated, you know, abandoned cart strategy where they’re getting emails or Messenger communication saying, “Hey, you’ve left items in your cart. Come back and purchase”, or retargeting through Google or retargeting through Facebook or Instagram.
There’s a number of things that you should be doing there so that when people come to your site that have not converted on the first visit, you’re not letting them slip through the cracks and you’re retargeting them. So those are the five core things that you have to make sure is happening for your site in order for your site to convert.
Kevin Moore: So Miranda, for me, when people talk about SEO, and the first part of that five pointed star, they hear the three letter acronym, but don’t actually understand what it means. So what does SEO mean to somebody who’s just flashed out $20,000 for their first inventory, they’ve got their Shopify site set up, what are they tangibly going to do to drive SEO?
Miranda Bond: Yeah, for sure. So look, Search Engine Optimization is one of the most misunderstood things in the whole world of digital. And it’s probably the area where I see most friends and most companies waste money. And I’d probably go to annoy every search engine optimization agency out there, but I’m going to be, I got to be brutally honest with you here.
Search engine optimization is not complicated. I, I can teach a brand in an hour and a half the fundamentals of search engine optimization so that they can do it themselves and not have to spend a fortune to an external agency to achieve this.
Now, all it means is this. You want to appear on the first page in Google search results.
As soon as you start appearing back at page four or page five or at page 52 which is so common for people, that is not going to bring you any sales. You want to be ranking really well to Google. And the thing that tells Google how to provide a particular result for that customer who’s searching for something using a Google search engine, the way that they determine what are the right brands and companies to show is based on, on what is a quite complex algorithm. But there are certain key components to that algorithm that you need to make sure you’ve addressed in order for Google to properly rank your page. Now they’re things like the meta-description.
And if you think, what is a meta description? You know when you’re searching on Google and you get the link, and then you get sort of a couple of lines underneath that, those couple of lines underneath, that’s your meta-description. And the best way for people to think of a meta description is to think of it like a two line sales pitch. This is what you are promoting, you’re trying to get interest into that product or that page. So it’s your way of selling the content or the product that you’ve got on the page that it’s leading to. So that’s your meta description.
Now contained within your meta description and what you’re going to set for that product for that page, are key words.
Now, let me give you an example. Let’s say I was wanting to sell a piece of furniture, but it’s not any old piece of furniture. It’s an antique loveseat. So if I want to get traffic to my page, it’s no good me promoting or using a key word “furniture” because it’s way, way, way too broad. I’m going to get people who are interested in a desk or a chair or whatever, so I need to set my keywords as being “antique loveseat” and those words “antique love seat” need to appear in both the meta description in the page title, they need to appear in the URL, which is the sort of web address for that page. You also need to have made sure that if you’re putting an image on that page, that you’ve assigned an Alt tag that says “antique loveseat”, and you need to be using it a couple of times within the body of your content as well.
So those are the sorts of things that we’re talking about. It sounds complicated, but it actually isn’t. And once you’ve learned the fundamentals of search engine optimization, it’s like the foundational element that you must go through because that is what is going to correctly rank your page with Google.
Nigel Miller: And Miranda, I think your main point there also is so valid that so many people outsource to an agency, their SEO, but who’s going to know your products best? The grunt that’s going to be entering the data, or is it you?
But we were having a conversation yesterday and you made a very good point that the best time to focus on SEO is not after you’ve built your website, but while you’re building your pages, tell us about that.
Miranda Bond: Yes, absolutely.
Nigel Miller: And, and Miranda, tell us about, self-confession on this!
Miranda Bond: Yeah. So basically what I tell people is when you are creating your website is the best time to do your search engine optimization. As you’re building each product page or each blog page or whatever it is that you’re creating, do your search engine optimization as you are building. Because if you have to come in and do it retrospectively, you are potentially going to have to change the page URL. You’re potentially going to have to change the title. You’re potentially going to have to reword your first paragraphs slightly, and it’s more work to come back and do it in a sort of reverse engineering way than it is to do it at the time of adding the content.
And my little confession to Nigel the other day was with my own business. So I have my own business as well. And we sell about two and a half thousand products online and I did not do that. And I’m having to retrospectively search engine optimize two and a half thousand product pages.
Nigel Miller: So Miranda, you haven’t been doing much Netflix binge watching lately cause you’re too busy on your website…
Miranda Bond: Correct. That’s right, but look, this stuff really works and I can tell you that it really works, but it doesn’t work instantaneously. And this is something that is crucial for people starting out with a new site to really understand, and I want to put this in no uncertain terms. Kevin, I’ve heard you say this and it is so true, a lot of people will believe, okay, I’ll build it and they will come and it is absolutely false. You know, that is not the case. You have to drive traffic to your website. But people will say, “Oh, but I’m doing posting on social media. You know, I’ve got some followers on social and I’m putting some posts out so that will drive traffic to my website”.
What you’ve got to understand is the average rate that people will view organic content on social is 6%. So let’s just put that into sort of proper figures here. That means that the 100 fans, that’s your followers that you’ve got on Facebook, only six of those are actually seeing an organic piece of content.
In other words, if you are not advertising on social, then not even your followers, all of your followers, are seeing your content or your promotion.
The other thing is people think, “Oh, I’ll build my website and Google will rank it and I’m going to appear on Google”. That’s not the case. Even when you do search engine optimization, it takes a while for Google to properly rank your your pages. It doesn’t happen instantaneously.
The other thing that I have to point out is even when you’ve taken on a project of properly search engine optimizing your site, it does not follow that you’re automatically going to go from page 51 to page one. It is, it is a process and it doesn’t happen overnight and you have to sort of chip away at it and chip away at it and get better and better as it goes on and optimize more thoroughly as you’re going. And then you will really start to see results.
But if you do take the time, in my own business, I can tell you that we’ve gone from pages ranking at literally say page 51 or higher, and we’ve seen them get to page one just by following those crucial steps.
Kevin Moore: And over what period of time?
Miranda Bond: About a three to four month period.
Kevin Moore: Yeah. For me, you and I have had this conversation Nige, you opened on one of the first podcasts saying “So you stick it up on Amazon and you’re away!” And I said “no, it’s not like that!” It is so refreshing to hear people say, who do this themselves, so not just advising Miranda, I love the fact we’re talking with somebody who does this at 7:00 PM at night, looks at meta-tags, looks at phrasing around products, looks at the number of images. It takes that long, and it is keeping the faith. This is not a panacea.
You know, we’re in business, and we’re about marketing, we’re about impressions, we’re about creating a great shopper experience when they finally get to us. And this podcast is all about getting people to us. So that’s the point that continually needs to be reinforced. Don’t give up, keep the faith.
Nigel Miller: Now, Miranda, the other thing is that there are ways of, helping you with the SEO. So tell us about a couple of apps that are out there for Shopify and places like WordPress.
Miranda Bond: Oh, absolutely. I mean, one thing that I do advise to people is that they do learn the fundamentals themselves because if you don’t learn the fundamentals yourself, you don’t get the best out of the apps that are out there to help you along that way. So I do you recommend to people that they learn just some basic fundamentals, but once…
Nigel Miller: So I’m going to interrupt quickly there. So listeners, if you would like us to record an hour and a half presentation with Miranda on how to optimize your SEO, let us know through our website and we will get onto that. Back to you Miranda…
Miranda Bond: So yeah, once you’ve got the fundamentals there all apps that can help you. So for example, if you are developing on a WordPress site, then one of the best plugins that I’ve ever used is Yoast. And Yoast will do a lot of that heavy lifting for you. So it’s going to look at all of those different elements that I’ve just been talking about, and it’s going to tell you how well you’re doing in each of those elements.
And it’s a great system because it’s so simple. It works on a traffic light score, so if you are getting an orange, you’re nearly there, you’ve just got to do a little bit more to get it over the edge. And if you’re on red, then you need to do some, some work. Once you get a green light, you’re good to go.
So it’s a very simple, easy to use system. And we could incorporate that in the training Nigel where I can, where I can show people how to, how to use that sort of technology. The other thing is, if you’re a Shopify user, I use one that I, I really rate very well, which is called SEO Rank. And, I use that on a daily basis to manage multiple e-commerce Shopify sites.
Nigel Miller: Okay. Then I think the other thing to mention here is that it’s also worth people getting familiar with Google Analytics, so you can actually see how traffic is being driven to your site and all sorts of other bits and pieces. And again, there are lots of plugins that I know can pop that onto your for your website, but analytics has so much that you can learn and you just have to follow the procedures for getting that set up as well.
Miranda Bond: Nigel, what I would also actually just add to that is from a search engine optimization perspective, if you want a really good site, which sort of tracks you, you know, you’re changing how well you’re doing. the, the sort of father of SEO, created a company called Moz.
I’m not sure if people have heard of that or familiar with that, but Moz is a brilliant company, it’s not the cheapest app to use, but they are extremely good where they will index your whole site and tell you where you’ve got issues. And then you can go and work on those issues and then you can come back and it will tell you and show you and track how your pages are then rising through the Google ranks.
And I, I highly recommend Moz. It’s not the cheapest, but it is very good.
And I just want to make one other point before we leave SEO. The reason why I’m saying to you really take the time to do this is not just for your organic search results on Google. It’s because if you are going to undertake Google Ads or Google Advertising, if you have not properly search engine optimized your site, then you are going to be paying more for your advertising on Google. And that’s because what a lot of people don’t know is things like Google Ad Words relate to a quality score. It is a score that Google assigns to your page where it’s, it’s sort of like looking at all of these different factors saying, is this really a relevant page for me to be bringing back to this person who’s looking for this particular thing?
If your quality score is very low, you are going to be paying way more for your advertising. So it’s not just for organic reasons that I’m telling people to care about SEO. You will get better results and cheaper results off your Google advertising if you do so.
Nigel Miller: Wow. That’s quite an interesting aspect. So really what you’re saying is Google rewards success.
Miranda Bond: Correct, because Google wants the best for the user of Google. Google wants to return the most appropriate, best piece of content for that search. So everything is ranked in that way.
Nigel Miller: Excellent, so point two of your star?
Miranda Bond: Yes, so digital online marketing. This is my favorite, favorite, favorite bit. I say favorite bit because you really can get just fantastic returns from digital online marketing. And, I’m talking about here, your sort of Facebook and Instagram and your, your Google and YouTube. I would say that, you know, the other factor is we are phenomenally lucky in Australia and most Australian companies do not even realize how lucky they are. But the returns that you can get from digital online marketing in Australia and New Zealand, way, way higher than what you get in the US. So I’ve built many, many global brands, and I can tell you that, you pay a hell of a lot more for your advertising in the States and your returns are not as high. And it’s simply because there are so many people advertising, people forget that it’s an auction, and there are so many other factors involved in, in why you rank well in those auctions and not, and so your returns when you’re doing online advertising in the States, are not as high.
Nigel Miller: Okay, so give us an indication because you do sell into the States as well. So give us an indication of the difference that you’re talking about here.
Miranda Bond: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. So, in Australia and New Zealand for that matter, for my clients and for my own business as well, I generally get a return on, let’s say Facebook and Instagram spend of between 6 to 7%. So if, if I spend $100 I’m getting $600 or $700 back in instantaneous cash conversions right. Now, that is not taking into account all the income that is then generated off the retargeting strategies. I’m talking about immediate return on investment. Now in the States, it’s more likely to be 4%. And in fact, I can tell you that, commonly for people in the States, it would be more like somewhere between two to 3%.
So there’s a big difference, you know.
Nigel Miller: So sorry, just clarifying so people don’t get confused here. 2 or 3% what?
Miranda Bond: Return. So, so like if I had spent a hundred dollars on Facebook and Instagram in the US, then I’m more likely to get between $200 and $300 in immediate direct sales from that $100 spend rather than the $600 or $700 that you would get in Australia.
Nigel Miller: Okay. So the other thing, the other misunderstanding, I think with advertising on things like Facebook and social and or any of the platforms is that you put some money out and you’re going to get far more back in sales. Tell us about the reality of that.
Miranda Bond: Yeah, it’s funny, you know, because literally this morning I was just doing some consulting for a major US brand that starting out, revolutionary innovative product. And so they wanted me to review their marketing plan and I was having a look at their marketing plan, and one of the things that they had gotten really very wrong from the very get go is they were looking at the main strategy of being Google AdWords.
And so they had been looking at their figures by going, “Oh, well this is going to cost us $2 a click”, and they were thinking that that $2 a click meant $2 a sale. One of the things that we have to remember is conversion rates on eCommerce sites are very, very low normally, right? So a normal conversion rate on an eCommerce site is somewhere between 2 to 4%. Now, sometimes, Nigel, it’s even lower than that when people are first starting out. Now, is it always like that? No, it’s not. You know, sometimes if you, if you’ve got really that five-pointed star that I’m talking about, if you’ve got that absolutely nailed and you’ve got fantastic personas, you know, I just launched a brand in February, which right out of the gate has been getting a 5 to 6% e-commerce conversion rate.
And the highest I’ve ever worked with, and that was really an anomaly, was 15% conversion rates, but normal brands are getting between a 2 to 4% conversion rate. Now, what that means is I have to bring 100 people to the website before I make two sales. So when you’re looking at a cost per click on Google of $2, it’s not $2 for a sale. You’ve got to be bringing a hundred of those to make two sales.
So when you do the math, then, that sometimes can have a big reality check for brands. Now that doesn’t mean to say that you shouldn’t do it or it won’t work, it means to say you’ve got to get realistic about what you’re going to get back for the spend that you’re making and you’ve got to be hugely aware of your conversion rates.
Nigel Miller: Wow. That definitely puts things into context. So if you’re selling $2 products, which you won’t be doing on your online site anyway, you’re never gonna be able to advertise.
Miranda Bond: Correct.
Kevin Moore: So Miranda, can I just ask you about Instagram? So Instagram is phenomenally high adoption levels with millennials. If you look at the engagement rates through covid, companies have had, you know, 200, 300, 400,000 Facebook followers are seeing 10, 20, 30, 40,000 new Instagram followers a month.
It’s growing phenomenally. How are you seeing people commercialize it? Because there isn’t an obvious way it appears, to most people, between awareness on Instagram and being able to get that to that transaction step.
Miranda Bond: Yeah. So there’s, there’s certain critical factors. So one of the things that I highly recommend is if you are selling products that you make sure that you get business accounts and you have the ability to tag your products on Instagram so that you can literally post a post on Instagram and have the customer be able to literally just click through from Instagram to be able to purchase a product.
So that’s, that’s one factor that helps enormously. If you can’t get that, if you can’t get, the ability to tag that, then you need to use one of the apps that allows you to do that through their platforms. FourSixty is a perfect example of an app that will allow you to do that.
But being able to click through to products. If you are a, you know, product orientated business, then that’s hugely important.
Instagram is critical. So when I’m advertising, either for my own businesses or for clients, Facebook and Instagram are two crucial pieces of that advertising mix.
And there are certain things that you can do on Instagram, which are hugely successful. One of the things that I’m loving at the moment is the Instagram Story Carousel.
When you are setting up an ad campaign on Facebook, you make sure that you don’t do its automated placements and you delete everything apart from Instagram Stories and then you create a three card carousel that links direct through into your site, and that is a hugely successful tactic and strategy to adopt.
Kevin Moore: And that’s the type of detail that people need because at the moment they’re going to create awareness on Instagram and it’s stopping. So these are exactly the details that people require when they’re starting off to know these steps need to be taken.
Miranda Bond: Yeah.
Nigel Miller: Okay, so just going back a fraction here. So one of the big problems for people starting out is they’ve got no database so they can’t do mail outs. They need to build virtually every element. Where do you start? What’s your very first step after you’ve done your SEO? What do you do Miranda?
Miranda Bond: What I do with a website is I make sure that I’ve got all of my automations built in. Because when you are a business starting out in digital marketing, you want to be doing as little as possible in the grunt work so that you can concentrate on your digital marketing activities.
Now what I mean by all of the automations are things like when you first set up your website or your Shopify store, you want to make sure that you’ve integrated with a really sophisticated email system.
Now with Shopify, they don’t recommend MailChimp anymore because it’s not supported by Shopify. So one that I use a lot and I cannot speak highly enough of is Klaviyo.
So Klaviyo is an email system and look, there are many, many others, but Klaviyo is one that integrates beautifully with Shopify. And what I can do on on Klaviyo is I can set up a popup window so that as soon as somebody visits my store, like a few seconds later, a pop-up emerges, which says, “Hey, would you like $20 off your first purchase?” or “would you like 10% discount off your first purchase? Just give us your email and we will then email you your discount code”. That is strategy number one because what you’re doing there is you’re building your database.
Nigel Miller: Yeah. We looked at those last week on when Kevin was doing a review on some websites and yeah, they’re great, but they’re also very annoying if you can’t turn them off.
Miranda Bond: Yes, you need to make sure that you’ve set the controls properly and not be showing it every single time somebody comes into your store. But a lot of these programs are so sophisticated, Nigel, that if someone has actually signed up before then it won’t show them the pop up again. And if it has shown them the popup and they closed it and said, “no thanks”, you can wait an amount of days or weeks or months before you then show that same person a pop-up again.
So there are a number of settings that you can do to control how that popup works. Secondly, what you can do on Klaviyo, and this is another of the automations, is you set up then what I call a welcome series.
And what that means is cause when people first sign up with a brand or give an email or first come upon a brand, that’s when they’re most excited. That’s when they’re most engaged with a brand. So you really want to make use of that. So before I plop anybody who’s just given me their email address into a newsletter cycle, what I do is I make sure that they’d gone through the welcome series first.
Now, that welcome series in my case is three automated emails. The first one is sent immediately that they’ve given the email address and it gives them the discount code that they can then use to purchase on the website. But it’s also, surreptitiously, selling and promoting my brand through that email. So it’s telling more information about why we’re so awesome and why this product is so great.
A couple of days later, they’re going to get a second email. That second email is going to remind them to use their code because not everybody who gives you the email address straight away is going to purchase straight away.
So the second email reminds them to use it and is then again telling them why the brand or the product is so awesome.
The third email, a couple of days later, is again going to remind them to use that code if they haven’t used it already. And it’s also then going to encourage them to connect with the brand on social media.
It’s going to talk about competitions and giveaways and why you can’t miss out on them, and you really must follow us on social. So all of those emails, those three emails are all automated.
So here’s what happens, Nigel, is you’ve set those automations up and you can literally set and forget and you will just see your database grow every single month that you’re bringing traffic to the store and I can’t tell you how much money people actually raise from a very good, targeted, welcome series.
So that’s one of my automations. If you’re using Klaviyo, you can also do very sophisticated things like, for example, Klaviyo knows when a customer is coming on to the site, they haven’t purchased yet, but they may have done three or four visits, but they still haven’t made a purchase. It can segment a little list for me of potential purchasers.
Again, I can automate an email to them. In addition, I can automate abandoned cart emails. You will get so many people abandoning carts. People are often staggered by how many people abandoned carts. You could potentially have 50 people who’ve abandoned a cart and only get one sale out of those 50 people, it’s not uncommon.
So you want to make sure that you don’t miss out on those customers who didn’t actually follow through and make a purchase. So you would then build automations into your Klaviyo system or a separate app or plugin, which sends emails to those people saying, “Hey, by the way, don’t forget you’ve got this left in your cart”.
And then another sort of two days later, it might send them another one, and then another week later it might say, okay, look, if we give you an extra 10% off, will you convert now? So you can do all sorts of little techniques like that. But all those automations, Nigel should be built in from the get go and they will significantly increase the monies that you can raise from your website.
Nigel Miller: Brilliant. Kevin so, what happens with Toys R Us?
Kevin Moore: We’re going to be talking to Tristan in a couple of weeks, but everything you’re describing, the bedrock of the business when it was Phoenixed in a positive way, when it was relaunched and rebirthed from being an online and physical retailer into a pure online retailer, that was all the things we built in. And we were blessed by having the CEO as being a PhD in AI and machine learning, and absolutely understands the use of digital to create an experience. So to translate those wonderful traditional physical retailing experiences that we have as a shopper and bringing them alive online and being able to get that automation to be able to get as smallest number of people doing things as you possibly can.
And that’s the whole point about this democratization of retail, that the automation exists. But as you described, the automation is there and it automates good thought. It doesn’t create good thought.
Nigel Miller: I think the other thing to point out though, as the person that does get involved in nitty-gritty is these are all very steep learning curves, but they are vital to go through so that you can make sure you’re doing the right thing by your business. There are no easy shortcuts.
You’ve got to learn how to do some of this stuff.
Kevin Moore: And you have to remember that Miranda has a wealth of experience and is working with large companies. But I keep going back. She learned it by doing it. So a lot of guys take their first Shopify site. They need to learn it by doing it and taking a podcast like this, talking and, and hearing Miranda talk and others talk who understand this and being diligent. So I talk about 7:00 PM deliberately because you know, previously in retail-land, you could do your window at 7:00 PM at night. You could do various things, but you can be sitting at home doing this work on your websites, working for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but it is the, the thought that goes in and then the automation.
Miranda Bond: That’s right.
Nigel Miller: Okay. So we’re only on 0.2 of our star, aren’t we? Miranda? I guess we probably should call it a day for this particular episode.
So we’ve covered point one and two. We’ve still got three, four, and five to go. Could you just very quickly wrap up some key things from the point one and two, and then just touch on what we’re going to cover in the next episode?
Miranda Bond : Sure, so when it comes to SEO, my message here is SEO is important to you and your business. It’s not something that I would necessarily outsource to an external agency. It is something which is relatively straightforward for you to learn. And that would be my advice. Really start to get your head around this and start to execute it for yourself in your own business.
In terms of direct marketing and digital marketing. This is something that is hugely beneficial for your business. And it’s really a matter of you determining the right social channels for your business. And it may be a combination of channels, but this is where you’re going to get a fantastic return on investment. So this is really something that you should spend some time with, and, you know, put some budget to it and experiment.
So that would be my, my summary in terms of points one and two. And next time we’re going to cover EDMs, and what I’m talking about here is electronic direct mail, so your newsletters and what other forms of communications you should be sending.
And then we’re also going to look at conversion rate optimization. So what can you be doing on your web pages that help convert a prospective customer into an actual customer?
And then we’re also going to be looking at retargeting. Retargeting is hugely important. That is you following up on the potential customers who have not yet converted on the website, but are showing signals simply from the fact that they have been to your product and had a look at it.
They’re showing you that they could well become a customer. And so we’re going to talk about specific strategies that you can use to try and convert those people.
Nigel Miller : Excellent. Just a quick question on the budgeting. If you are going to do a sort of trial of getting your toes wet in, in doing some marketing, do you have to spend a lot of money up front? How would you advise people to approach that?
Miranda Bond : Okay. I would say, do not splash a lot of cash here. I would say go gently and really learn as you go. It’s sort of a difficult one, Nigel, because, you know, different businesses are going to require different budgets.
And just to give her an idea of what I’m talking about here is if you are a local business and you are dealing with a very specific geographic area then obviously you you’re okay with a relatively small budget.
If you were trying to cover the whole of Australia, then you’re going to need more of a medium sized budget. If you’re trying to reach a global market, then you’re going to need a large budget. So it’s hard to give you an explicit sort of guideline on budgets because it’s so dependent on the type of business. But what I would say is don’t spend a lot upfront.
Go in with a small budget and go in particularly to experiment and see what works right for your business. But this is something Nigel that I really think we should dig deeper on perhaps in further, further conversations or podcasts, because I do think that this is an area where, you know, if you get the strategy right, you’re going to get a great return and we can help people out more with some specific strategies.
Nigel Miller : Yeah. And it also sounds like this is where you also need to understand your avatar for your business so that you can actually target more precisely. Would that be right?
Miranda Bond : Yeah, absolutely. So important.
Nigel Miller : Good. Well, look, thank you so much for everything you’ve shared with us already today, there is a, an awful lot for us all to be thinking about.
And I know I’m going to go back and look at our plans and readjust, and I’m going to definitely be hacking back in to do a bit of SEO. And hopefully you’ll be fine to join us again for the next episode and share points three, four, and five with us?
Miranda Bond : Would love to.
Kevin Moore : Miranda. Thank you very much. Indeed.
Miranda Bond : Thank you. It’s been lovely to be a part of it.
Nigel Miller: That’s all from us. Please give us a review and a rating on your favourite podcast app.
In the next episode, Miranda will cover the remaining three points of her five pointed star to help you raise awareness of your online offering and she’ll also share a number of ways to increase sales.
And if you’re finding this information useful and would like us to create some digital marketing online courses with Miranda, just go to our website – theroadtoretail.com – and fill out our short questionnaire so that we can understand what areas you’d most like help with.
Whilst you’re there, check out Kevin’s new Master the online Shopper Experience course. This course is based on Kevin’s involvement helping major online retailers, such as Toys R Us Australia and New Zealand, to stand out from the crowd through the shopper experience. So, if you’re involved in online retail in any way, the tips, tricks and insights he’s offering in this course are invaluable. You’ll find it, and our other online courses, including our free retail shopper experience short course, at:
Theroadtoretail.com, that’s the theroadtoretail.com.
On the site, you can send in any questions you might have about the topics we’re covering in these podcasts. You’ll also find links to our various retail marketing and sales courses, and our social media channels where we can keep the discussion going.
And finally, if you want to learn how to improve the shopper experience for your online retail business, then you’ll be pleased to hear that we’re about to launch our first course dedicated to the online shopper experience. There’s a link on the site where you can register your interest and, by registering, you’ll be entitled to a 50% “early bird discount”.
Until next time, thank you for listening.