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September 18, 2018 - No Comments!

Keyword research for ecommerce made simple

The battle of search engine rankings.

A never-ending story, right?

The fact that you clicked the link that got you in this article, means that you already know why you need SEO to drive traffic to your ecommerce store.

You know that you need to rank as high as possible in order to grab the maximum amount of clicks, increasing your chances to make more sales.

As you probably know, keywords are one of the cornerstones of search engine optimization for an ecommerce store as it’s closely related with the search queries that your customers use in order to discover new products.

In this article, I’ll give you a top-to-bottom approach to ecommerce SEO, from ranking and keyword factors to conducting a smart keyword research using free and paid tools.

If you want, you can jump straight to the Keyword research for ecommerce part.

Fasten your seatbelts, ‘cause we’re about to start.

How do search engines rank your ecommerce store?

There is much speculation as to the how a search engine- like Google, ranks an ecommerce store.

But we don’t really like to work based on speculation, don’t we?

Let’s see what we know for sure. There are 4 known ranking factors:

  1. Domain authority.
  2. Product page structure.
  3. Site architecture.
  4. URL structure.

Domain authority.

In very few words, domain authority is kinda of a credibility score for your ecommerce store. The higher your credibility, the easier to rank in search results.

To translate it in real life, ask yourself a question:

"What movie would you pay to watch in the cinema, without reading anything about it?"

  1. A Stanley Kubrick film (r.i.p. you genius).
  2. The debut feature film of a new director.

Authority drives attention.

But domain authority has nothing to do with keywords- at least not directly. It’s something you build over time and you need patience, a lot of great content, and even more people linking to that content.

Product page structure.

Now we’re talking.

Your product pages do not only contribute to converting visitors into customers, but they are also a great place to incorporate your keywords in your game.

Let’s see some places on a product’s page where your keywords might fit:

  • Product page title.
  • Product description.
  • Product image alt-tags.

There are many reasons that products on Amazon rank so high in search engine results, and the product page structure is one of them.

Let’s have a look:

amazon's product page

As you can see, the product’s title is optimized for more than 1 keyword. In this specific example we have keywords like:

  • Bedside Hanging Storage.
  • Organizer with Laptop Space.
  • Dorm Room Essentials.

In the description, the seller goes beyond keywords and provides the essential info about the product, such as the color, material, amount of storage space, durability, etc.

In addition, there are rich snippets for rating the item and reviews. Those things, apart from improving the shopping experience, also help search engines to rank the product itself.

The number of photos also provide an excellent opportunity to use your keywords. The more photos of a product with keywords incorporated, the more chances you have to appear on the image search result.

ecommerce keyword research

If you’re interested to learn more about product page SEO, Search Engine Journal has an amazing article on their blog.

Site architecture & URL structure.

This sounds more complicated than it actually is.

To put it simply, your site’s ecommerce site’s architecture and URL structure is the way that visitors and search engines navigate through your store, respectively.

Let’s see the basic elements of an ecommerce site’s architecture. You have:

  1. Main menu.
  2. Secondary menus.
  3. Search bar.
  4. Homepage functions.

Asos is one of my favorite place to buy clothing online, and their site’s architecture is epic.

This is how their homepage, for men’s clothing, looks like:

keyword research for ecommerce

And this is how one of their secondary menus, looks like:

ecommerce keyword research

The menus of your ecommerce store offer an opportunity to use your main keywords in order to navigate visitors deeper in your store.

The further down your visitors go, the more long-tail your keywords can get.

“But what do those things have to do with the way that a search engine ranks my products?”

That’s where your URL structure comes into play.

You see, you should structure your URLs using a logical approach. Most of the times, your site’s architecture will be your best mate.

e.g.

If you choose in Asos’ secondary menu that you’re looking for men’s loungewear, this is what the URL looks like:

you choose in Asos’ secondary menu that you’re looking for men’s loungewear, this is what the URL looks like:

The main category is “men”, and the secondary category is “loungewear”, and they made sure to include this information in their link.

If you want to learn more about the SEO aspect of site architecture, make sure to check these amazing sources:

What makes a keyword great for your ecommerce store?

Is there something like a bad or a good keyword?

NO.

Instead of thinking in terms of good/bad, you should think in terms of right/wrong.

So, how do you identify the right kind of keywords, and how do you get rid of the wrong ones?

These are some keyword factors that you should definitely keep an eye on:

  1. Search volume.
  2. Buyer intent.
  3. Relevance.
  4. Competition.

The search volume of a keyword is pretty much what the name gives away; it expresses how many times, each month, are searching for the particular keyword.

The more people search for a keyword, the more the potential traffic you might get from a search.

You should keep in mind that keywords with a high search volume are more difficult to rank for, as the competition for such keywords is usually bigger.

You might notice that if you start building longer keywords, the search volume will decrease. That’s not essentially bad, as long-tail keywords are easier to rank for and they have a 2.5X bigger ROI than head keywords.

Building keywords based on the buyer intent affects the way that you target your potential customers. Instead of focusing on how many people are searching for a specific product, you are searching for keywords that have to do with the stage that a customer is on their journey towards a purchase.

For example, let’s say that you are trying to sell a Sony a6300 mirrorless camera. This particular piece of photography equipment comes in a very friendly price (considering its capabilities), which makes it a great choice for someone that’s on a budget.

So you could target the following long-tail keywords:

  • “best cameras under $1000”
  • “Best mirrorless cameras on a budget”

Of course you can’t target those keywords directly for your product, but you can craft content that answers your potential customers’ question and try to make an indirect sale.

If you want to learn more about keywords based on buyer intent, there are some amazing articles about it:

If your intention is to build keywords for specific product pages, you should do it based on keyword relevance.

In other words, you should search for keywords that are closely related to the product you are trying to sell, and optimize the products page for those keywords.

According to Pearanalytics, some of the best places to put your keywords are:

  1. URL
  2. H1 tag
  3. Meta description
  4. Title tag
  5. Body content
  6. Bold or italicized
  7. Alt tags or image filenames

How to really conduct a keyword research for your ecommerce store.

Since we covered the basics of SEO and how keywords work for ecommerce stores, it’s time to take a look at how you can find those precious keywords.

Instead of just showing you which tools you might use to do so, I wanted to craft a workflow for you.

I’m gonna give you an approach that’s both smart and time efficient.

Shall we begin?

Step 1: Make friends with Google Trends.

Even though Google Trends is by no means a real keyword research tool, it has one amazing ability:

It allows you to see how people are talking about whatever it is that you want to sell.

You can say one thing in a million ways, but your target audience seems to always prefer a specific choice of words.

Let’s see how this works.

First, open Google Trends. Now it’s time to search for the product you want to sell.

For the sake of the example, let’s say that we are trying to sell “hemp oil”.

The results come with an Interest over time diagram. I like to see how’s the term performing in the last 5 years.

I like to see how’s the term performing in the last 5 years.

As you can see, the term “hemp oil” is rising in popularity- which is a very good thing, but the magic happens when you start comparing it to other terms.

Let’s try “CBD oil”.

keyword research for ecommerce

Wait, what?

“CBD oil” is murdering “hemp oil” when it comes to interest. That means that “CBD oil” is the best option you have in order to ride the wave.

Now if you scroll down a bit, you’ll be introduced to some other results.

You have interest by region, related topics, and related queries. The 2 latter are the ones that really interest us.

keyword research for ecommerce

In the related topics, the “Anxiety-Emotional disorder” thing really caught my eye. Let’s keep it.

The related queries are of even bigger interest, as they can serve as the basis of our longer keywords.

Download both the ‘Related Topics’ and ‘Related Queries’; we’ll need them later.

Step 2: How do people present products on Amazon?

Similar to Google Trends, Amazon serves the opportunity to get insight on how others speak about products- whether they want to buy, or sell them.

Open a tab on your browser and go to Amazon. Skip every purchase temptation that you may feel and enter “CBD oil” in the search bar.

The results are rather interesting.

keyword research for ecommerce

It seems like people like to sell our product by referring to it as “hemp oil”. But what’s truly interesting is how everyone is pointing out the mental health benefits of the product, in the product’s title.

Remember how “Anxiety-Emotional disorder” was a related topic in Google Trends?

We have a pattern here!

So, whether you choose to call it “CBD” or “Hemp”, you should focus on benefits that your oil has to your customers’ mental health.

Pro Tip: Since you recognize that kind of pattern, you could head to Wikipedia and try to find other keywords or topics related to your pattern.

Keep that in mind when you’re brainstorming your content ideas.

The first 2 steps will give you amazing insight, but it’s time to get real about this keyword research.

By now you have an initial set of keywords and topics. I could put those keywords into Google’s Keyword Tool, expand my initial list, sort it out by Search Volume/Relevancy/Competition/Commercial Intent and start crafting or optimizing my content.

But I will not do that. Why?

  1. The keyword tool returns 1 result for my 2 main keywords: CBD oil & hemp oil.
  2. Even if it brought more results, the numbers that Google provides for keywords, don’t even touch reality if you’re not running ad campaigns.

That’s the reason I highly recommend- if you’re serious about keyword research, to invest some money in an SEO tool.

My top 3 are:

The last 2 years I’m using Ahrefs for keyword research, and that’s why I’ll use it for this examples. (I don’t have any kind of affiliation to Ahrefs)

Note that you can use ANY tool, as the process is more or less the same:

  1. You open the tool.
  2. You insert the desired keywords.
  3. You export the suggestions.
  4. You sort them out.
  5. You craft or optimize the existing content for your products.

Step 3: Let’s generate some keywords.

Login to your Ahrefs account, go to the Keyword Explorer tab and enter your desired keywords separated with commas.

keyword research for ecommerce

After you’re redirected to the results, scroll down a bit, all the way to the Keyword Ideas section.

keyword research for ecommerce

Do you see those “View all” buttons under each category?

Press them.

You’ll get lists with some pretty amazing suggestions, which you’ll download in order to sort them out later.

Pro Tip: Select to show the results in ascending order for Keyword Difficulty (KD), and filter those result for keywords with a KD>2 and volume>1000.

keyword research for ecommerce

Step 4: I’m sorry, but you have to become a bit sneaky.

Competition is a great thing. It has been a drive, from our ancestors to us, from the dawn of civilization.

Yet, keeping an eye on our competition is considered taboo.

Well, it shouldn't be; because our competitors shape our actions towards the market thus, it shapes the market itself.

Enough with philosophy.

It’s time to find which are the keywords that your competition ranks for, and take them for yourself.

Go to your Ahrefs account and search by using the domain of one of your competitors. The go to the menu on the left sidebar and press the “organic keywords” tab.

keyword research for ecommerce

BOOM!

Another list with keywords. Sort them out by Keyword Difficulty, and export those as well.

Now, let’s take this a step further. On the same left sidebar, press the “Competing domains” tab.

This will open a list with the domains that compete with the domain you entered in your search bar. As you can see in the image below, the results we get are separated into 4 segments:

  1. Keywords unique to target.
  2. Common keywords.
  3. Common keywords %
  4. Keywords unique to competitor.

keyword research for ecommerce

Since we want to expand our keyword list with even more keywords, you should focus more on domains with a high number of “Keyword unique to competitor”, and a low “Common keywords %”.

That way you ensure that you will get a very “fresh” set of keywords.

Since you identify the domains that fit this profile, go and press the little arrow next to their name, and choose the “organic keywords” tab. This will lead you to the same step as when you started looking at the keywords of your initial competition.

keyword research for ecommerce

keyword research for ecommerce

Sort them out by Keyword Difficulty, and export those as well. From here it rinse and repeat.

You can use the same process for all your competitors.

Step 4: Get organized.

By the time you get to this step, you probably already have tens of thousands of keywords, all existing in different spreadsheets.

It’s time to gather them all in one place.

Open a Google Sheet, and start pasting all the data from your other spreadsheets into this one.

Now, you have to delete the duplicates.

In order to do so, you have to:

  1. Select the cell where you would like the de-duplicated info to begin
  2. Enter the function =UNIQUE(
  3. Select the cells you would like to pull data from
  4. Close the parentheses. Your function should look something like this: =UNIQUE(B:B)

If you don’t feel like messing with functions, there is the Remove Duplicates add-on to keep you out of trouble.

From here, you have to sort your keywords by search volume and keyword difficulty, and start optimizing your content.

Before you go.

I’m confident that by the moment you read these lines, you’ve already started conducting a keyword research for your ecommerce store.

If I’m right, then that’s more than great!

In case you just scrolled down to the bottom of the article- that would make me very sad, I got your back. As I explained above, there are 5 steps for conducting a keyword research for your ecommerce:

  1. Use Google Trends to identify the interest in specific terms that are tied to the product you want to sell.
  2. Use sites like Amazon and Wikipedia to identify patterns related to your products.
  3. Find an SEO tool and build your unique list of keywords.
  4. “Steal” your competition’s keywords.
  5. Sort out your keywords, and start creating content.

I would love to hear your questions, or about the way that you are doing keyword research for ecommerce, so let me know in the comments!

Keep being awesome.

 

August 31, 2018 - No Comments!

Drive a tsunami of traffic to your Shopify store

Most things in life are rather simple, but at the same time, they are not.

In the digital plain, if you want to drive sales to an ecommerce store you have to drive traffic. As long as you drive traffic, you’ll keep your sales coming.

A very simple, yet a very complicated solution.

Building traffic might be the most discussed topic in the history of marketing, and after giving you the ultimate list of Shopify apps, it was about time for me to give you my 2 cents on how you can drive a tremendous amount of traffic to your Shopify store.

Oh since I kinda hate paid advertising, I’ll make sure to speak about things you can do without spending your cash on ads.

Shall we begin?

Allow people to discover you.

Search engine optimization a.k.a. SEO is one of the cornerstones of modern marketing.

While a lot of people whine over the fact that a search engine’s algorithm is messing their business, I find the bluntness of such algorithms rather enticing.

Things are simple; if you’re not in the 1st page, almost no one will find you.

SEO is an ever-evolving science. Algorithms may change faster than Larry King changing spouses (8 marriages; really, Larry?), and they may consist of factors that may never have been official, but do you really want to be on the 2nd page?

I don’t think so.

I’m not trying by any means to teach you SEO in this article, but I’ll make sure to give you a headstart. If you’re interested in learning more about this art, you should definitely start reading the following blogs:

From what we know, SEO consists of 2 parts:

  1. On-site SEO
  2. Off-site SEO

On-site SEO

As its name suggests, this has to with optimizing elements embedded on your ecommerce store. That means your content and HTML source code, that search engines will crawl in order to rank you accordingly in their results.

These elements are:

  • Keyword-related.
  • Non-keyword-related.

Keyword-related elements on a Shopify store could be:

  • The product titles.
  • The product descriptions.
  • The alt-tags on the images.

seo for shopify stores seo for shopify stores

In a few words, after you conduct a keyword research and find the keywords you want to rank for, you have to optimize all the aforementioned elements (product titles, etc.) in order to for search engines to rank you higher.

Non-keyword-related elements are other other elements that contribute to the on-site SEO status of your ecommerce store.

These could be:

Off-site SEO

Off-site SEO has to do with everything that affects your store’s search engine performance, that’s outside of your website.

This aspect of SEO is mostly link-based, which means that is affected by how other website’s link to your ecommerce store.

Apart from the number of websites linking back to your store, there are other factors such as:

  • The “popularity” of the website linking back to you.
  • The relevancy of the website linking back to your store (if you run a clothing brand it’s better to get a link from a fashion website, than from a tech publisher).
  • How new the link is.
  • The page and domain authority of the linking site.
  • The anchor text used on the link.
  • The number of other links on the website.

But apart from link-based elements, there are other things that influence your store off-site SEO.

Blogging, vlogging, guest blogging, guest vlogging, social media marketing, influencer marketing; these are all great ways to improve your search ranking position.

Guest appearances are a very interesting way to leverage the existing audience of someone else to establish your business. My favorite example comes from the “Billy!” brand.

If you dig YouTube, you probably know Casey Neistat, and if you dig Casey then you probably know his wife, Candice Pool.

Well, Candice built a fashion brand with some friends. They don’t produce any content (not in the traditional digital marketing sense), but they have a very strong asset; Casey’s 10 million Youtube subscribers.

I think that this amount of exposure is more than enough to drive some traffic, don’t you think?

Basically, I will probably write a whole guide about content marketing for ecommerce businesses! Would you like me to?

Let me know in the comments 🖮

Tame the social media beast

Almost everybody owns a social media account (ouch, that sounded hyper-cliche).

There’s no reason to mention the fact that brands, and all businesses in general, have taken over this sphere.

Are those brands good at it?

Most of them, not. The main problem comes down to quality, consistency, aesthetic and the denial of the fact that people use each platform for an entirely different reason.

Even the demographics among the social platforms available are really different.

But this article is not about getting the right Instagram shot and caption; let’s assume that you know how to do it.

Since our focus is on ecommerce social media marketing- which means we need visually oriented platforms and the typical American uses three of the eight major platforms, we are going to see how you can use Pinterest and Instagram to drive traffic and hopefully a great number of sales.

We will not speak about using Facebook at all, because it kinda sucks 😛

I mean, Facebook is no longer used to discover products that much.

The best thing that Facebook has to offer to you right now, are groups about marketing your business. You’ll be able to get a tremendous amount of knowledge and meet some great people.

You know something? I will make a full article about how you can drive sales on your Shopify store from Facebook, but I’m not going to talk about it in this one.

Do we have a deal?

Instagram

Instagram is pure madness these days, don’t you think?

Everyone is looking for ways to grow their accounts, even if there is no particular motive to do so.

I get it; social validation might get you laid, or even bring some cash on the side by shamelessly advertising protein bars (sic). But this is just a temporary solution, and you’re a person of business.

I’m not here to explain the cultural impact of Instagram on our lives, but whatever that is we all know that Instagram can create sales.

Although the platform acts as a place to discover products, the way that people do so is kinda reverse to the way they do it in other platforms. Instagram is human-centered.

That means that users discover products that their favorite people on the platform present to their audience.

OK, OK; enough with the talking. You have an ecommerce store and you want to drive traffic from Instagram. How you do it?

  1. Set up your business account.
  2. Come up with the best bio description possible.
  3. Add a link back to your store.
  4. Create fantastic content.
  5. Grow the number of your followers.
  6. Get engagement.
  7. Drive traffic, get sales.

how to drive traffic from Instagram to shopify store

Simple, right? Yes; but no.

The best way to achieve the desired result is to work the steps in reverse.

You ultimately want to drive sales from your Instagram account. There are 2 ways to do so:

  1. Tag buyable products in your posts.
  2. Make people click the link on your profile.

In order to add the ability to add buyable products in your profile, you have to connect your account with your Shopify store. The following video shows you how to do it:

It’s actually very simple.

Now, in order to make people click the link on your profile, you have to get them to trust you. And to make that possible is to make your followers engage with your content, in order for you to engage with them.

This is very important when you’re just starting out: Both sides should be involved in the engagement.

In order to attract engagement, your content should be top-notch. You’ll need:

  • Great photos/images.
  • Captions that act as conversation starters.
  • A consistent-looking feed.

Design, framing, colors, and concept are crucial to how people will perceive you and your brand.

Yes, a lot of people don’t know Jack about those things; but if you ask a person that doesn’t have a clue, to compare a Lamborghini with a Fiat, I bet my right hand that they’ll say that the Lamborghini is a better car.

Also, try to be as consistent as possible. Decide how many times per week you’re going to post, and stick with it.

But what about attaining the Holy Grail of Instagram?

Followers. Every OG Instagrammer chases that.

Before I tell you how to get those precious followers, I have to let you know of a little secret:

The number of your followers means nothing if it’s not consisted of the right people; it’s just a vanity metric that ignorant companies look at, in order to throw some cash into someone with low ROI.

Let’s say you’re selling women DIY  jewelry. You have an Instagram account with 100K people. 90% of them are men of 40-60 yrs old.

Wouldn’t you have better chances to drive sales, if you had an account of 10K with 90% women between 18-24 yrs old?

Targeting is important.

Now let’s cut to the chase: Growing your account.

Hack #1: Grabbing some clout!

Every now and then Instagram changes the way they serve content to their users, resulting in different growth strategies to emerge all the time.

Instagram rewards organic discovery, and detests/ punishes bots (R.I.P. Instagress).

That’s the reason that the only growth tactic still working is shoutouts.

Getting a shoutout from a bigger account can bring you a good stream of new followers. That means that if you have the patience to make the research, you can find accounts that you’d like to get a shoutout from.

drive traffic from Instagram to shopify store

Imagine selling sneakers and getting a shoutout from this account

Remember that targeting is important. Don’t get blind from just the follower count of the account.

You might deploy a strategy in order to get a shoutout from a certain account, but you have to keep in mind that these pages are a business for someone. That means that most of these pages require only one thing: MONEY, baby!

If you have the right amount of cash, the right type of content, and 10-15 huge (and relevant) pages, you might be able to get even 100K followers in 48 hours (that doesn’t mean that these followers will stick around for a long time, but still.)

Check out this fella in the video giving a better explanation about how this works:

Hack #2: Becoming a local.

Targeting the right demographic is vital but, unless you are an international business, you have to target followers based on their location, as well.

As I said, Instagram detests automation bots; but what if you use a tool to help you segment Instagram users in order to find potential customers? Nothing, probably.

Content discovery on Instagrams happens through hashtags (duh!).

I’m not going to teach you how to research for your hashtags, mainly because we will need a dedicated article about that, but you have to make sure to find the hashtags that your potential clients use.

Make a list of those hashtags.

Now let’s do some magic.

Recently I was making a research about Instagram marketing for tattoo artists- my gf is a tattoo artist when I bumped into Combin.

“Another Instagram automation tool”, I thought.

But there’s an extremely useful feature in there; The tool allows you to search for hashtags in combination with location.

how to drive traffic from instagram to shopify store

That means that you’re able to find people who posted with a certain hashtag on a certain location. I don’t know about Combin’s automation features, but that kind of search is really powerful for finding prospects and engaging manually with them.

Hack #3: Building your own world.

Remember those huge accounts that I told you that you to find and pay in order to get shoutouts?

How about building your own?

I mean, not by yourself; but think about it.

You can find other people that might be benefited from that kind of account and share accountability about it with them.

Content production is not an issue here, as most of these pages curate content from other accounts. If you curate great and relevant content, growing an audience can be much easier.

Plus, giving shoutouts to the creators you’ll curate will result in them giving you a shoutout as well, on their Instagram stories- more organic reach for you.

Creating such an account gives you the opportunity to own a place to curate the content from your main account.

This is what Kemar_flashes does with his page, ignorant_tattoos:

how to drive traffic from instagram to shopify store

How awesome is that?

So, let’s recap. In order to drive traffic from Instagram to your Shopify store, you should:

  1. Tag buyable products on your posts.
  2. Create amazing content.
  3. Build an hyper-specific audience (both in demographic and location).
  4. Engage with your audience.
  5. Get shoutouts from bigger accounts.
  6. Join forces with other people to create accounts that will drive a stream of followers back to you.
  7. Have a link of your store in your accounts description (obviously).

Pinterest

My gf hates Pinterest; she can’t stand it.

On the other hand, I like it. For me, and 200 other million people, it is a great search engine to discover content or products.

200 million monthly active users are a LOT of people. I mean, this is a great place to get discovered. You can actually drive traffic back to your ecommerce store.

As I said, Pinterest is a search engine; and as in every search engine, the first results grab the most traffic. You should aim for #1 position.

The platform ranks content using its own algorithm.

Yes, keywords here are as important as in trying to rank for a regular web search engine. But instead of e.g. the traditional linking factors, Pinterest’s algorithm is triggered by saves, sends and comments.

But how in the world will someone be able to rank that high?

This is how the thing works:

  1. You post your pins targeting a keyword in the title & description. That gives you the chance to be discovered.
  2. People find your content and save it in their boards, leave comments, or send it to their friends.

In other words, keywords put you in the game and engagement puts you at the top.

You have to remember that Pinterest is a very visual-oriented platform. That means that if the visuals you use for your pins suck, it’s unlikely to receive engagement.

“OK, got it! Keywords and great visuals. Now what?”

Now you have to find the keywords you want to rank for and create your content.

Pro Tip: For Pinterest, it’s better to find your keywords first and craft the content afterwards, than the other way around. This platform uses it’s network effect, so when you try to sell your business in it, it’s better to craft your content based on how the platform “breaths”.

Recently I found out a great way to do keyword research for Pinterest. Are you ready?

  1. Open up your Pinterest account and in the search bar type the main keyword you want to rank for. Let’s go with ‘jewelry’ for the sake of the example.
  2. You will notice that right under the search bar, there will be suggestions about long tail keywords, relevant to your main keyword. For my main keyword, the long tail suggestions are jewelry making, jewelry DIY, jewelry photography, etc.
    how to drive traffic from pinterest to sopify
  3. Let’s say that you sell DIY jewelry in your Shopify store. That means that since that long tail keyword is a popular query for Pinterest users, you have an opening to create an article/video on how someone can create DIY jewelry. The best part is that you can sell your own creations via the article.
  4. Also, the moment you’ll type your keyword into the search bar, Pinterest is going to show you some autocomplete suggestions. Take these suggestions and note them down. These are all keywords for which you can create your original content.
    drive traffic from pinterest to shopify

By now, you probably have collected a nice amount of long-tail keywords that you’re going to use when creating your content. But Pinterest is not only about the title. There’s also the description section of your pins.

This is a “bonus life” for you. You have the opportunity to reinforce your pins with more relevant keywords. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Go to Pinterest’s Ads platform, and jump to the “Ad group details” step. This is a very powerful keyword research tool.
  2. Type in your main keyword.
  3. In the suggestions box, find and note down all the extra keywords that match your initial long-tail keywords (the ones that you noted down previously).
  4. BOOM! Now you have even more keywords that you can put into your pin’s description to ensure you’ll rank higher

That’s how it’s done. Remember that it always takes some time for content to rank (whether it’s on Google or Pinterest), so don’t get disappointed.

Keep in mind:

  • Great visuals.
  • Search-friendly keywords

BTW, you can also make your pin buyable (in a similar manner as in Instagram). If you want to set this up, you can follow the instructions from the following video:

The sweet taste of referrals.

I mean, C'mon!

You know how much we love referral marketing; after all, we’ve built a business around it.

During the last year, I’ve written numerous articles about this particular subject, and some of them were focusing on ecommerce.

For example, I have one on how to boost your ecommerce sales with referral marketing, a guest post about how to introduce a referral marketing program to your ecommerce customers, and a case study about how BAMF media made Unicorn Snot go viral using Viral Loops.

WOW, that was a link storm.

The thing is that these articles came out before a very important event; the release of our Shopify app.

If you want to build your referral marketing campaigns in your Shopify store using Viral Loops, you’ll find a step-by-step guide in the video below:

Now, enough with self-promotion.

How can you drive traffic to your Shopify store with referral marketing?

Well, the basic concept of referral marketing is to leverage an existing audience in order to get access to a new one.

Let’s break down what makes a great referral marketing campaign for an ecommerce store:

  1. A great incentive.
  2. A beautiful landing page.
  3. Amazing copywriting.

Joeywears' case is a great example:

how to drive traffic with referral marketing to your shopify store

I have to be honest; those things sound simpler than they actually are. But don’t be afraid;

As in every marketing attempt, persistence and being open to change are crucial.

You can run 2 types of referral marketing campaigns:

  1. For list building.
  2. To drive sales.

List building.

In other words, you can reward your users for bringing you email subscribers, by sharing your campaign.

The more people share about your campaign, the more traffic you’ll get to your campaign’s page. But is this enough?

No. You have to get people to browse your store.

That’s when nurturing campaigns come into play.

Grabbing their email address is just a way to get permission to talk to them about something they might be interested in. In other words, it’s a conversation starter.

Driving direct sales.

Using that method enable your users to get access to discounts on your store by prompting other people to buy from you.

Both sides can be rewarded for the action that they’ll take.

E.g.

If user A bring user B to buy, both User A and B may receive a 20% discount for their purchases.

If user A also brings user C, then user A may receive a 40% discount while user B & C both get 20% off.

I think you get the point.

The great thing is that by using the Viral Loops Story for Shopify, you can use both types of campaigns simultaneously.

So if user A invites user B to make a purchase, but user B subscribes to your newsletter instead of buying, they may still get a reward for doing so.

Email all the way.

A few lines above I mentioned nurturing leads.

Email, in comparison to a search engine, is an owned asset of yours. There are no ranking factors in this realm (if your emails end up in the junk folder, it’s another story).

Apart from that, there are plenty of uses for email campaigns:

  • You can inform people about new products or updates.
  • Sending exclusive content to help people to solve a problem (if you’re selling gardening products, you could create a gardening guide for beginners).
  • Asking for feedback.
  • Creating campaigns for seasonal offers.
  • Re-engaging old customers.
  • Saving abandoned carts.
  • Sending offers based on interest (Female clothing apparel sales when the user has shown interest in your ‘woman’ category).

You can also combine some of the options given above.

E.g. If you know that a specific user is a male, you can email them on the week of Valentine’s day with sales on female clothing apparel.

The bottom line is that email marketing has the ability to bring people back to your store, and this is the kind of traffic you need the most.

Returning customers are the cradle of a successful ecommerce store. Without a good retention rate, you will never truly grow.

I will say it once again; email all the way.

Get chatty.

Messenger bots became uber-popular during 2018.

We use ours, Puggybot, in order to deliver exclusive content to its subscribers and, occasionally, to promote a new feature release.

It works pretty well; within a few months, we’ve established a new distribution channel for us.

But do messenger bots work for ecommerce as well?

Are you kidding me? These things were made to drive sales and traffic.

Similar to the case of email marketing, Messenger bots offer a great opening for your store to retain customers or to complete abandoned purchases.

Let’s go through some of the things you can achieve by using Messenger bots with your Shopify store:

  • You can improve your Customer Support.
  • You can send personalized marketing campaigns.
  • You can recover abandoned carts.
  • You can allow direct checkouts.

In a few words, with Messenger bots, you can do whatever you did with email up until the now, but with a higher open rate and click-through rate.

Pure magic!

The only downside of chatbots is that you have to invest time to build your Messenger subscriber list from scratch.

Before you go.

In this article, I tried my best to cover as much area as possible on how to drive a great amount of traffic to your Shopify store.

That’s a huge topic. Actually, it’s so big that I could write another 5 articles to support my points.

If you made it this far in the article, I want to thank you! This is one big a** post.

Before I go, I want to ask you to leave a comment with the topic from the article that you think I should elaborate more on. It would mean a lot, and I’ll make sure to update the article as soon as I have the opportunity.

Oh, damn!

I almost forgot; feel free to share this post with your friends!

Keep being awesome.

August 22, 2018 - No Comments!

The 70 best Shopify apps for your ecommerce store

Shopify offers the opportunity to millions of people to sell their products online in a quick and easy manner. That doesn't mean that driving sales is an easy task to do.

Prompted by the release of the Viral Loops Story for Shopify, I made some research about what kind of other Shopify apps are out there, and how they help people to run their business.

After a quick look, it was visible that it's not easy to pick an app out of more than 2,000 entries.

That's the reason I decided to get my head a bit deeper down the rabbit hole and give you the biggest list with the best Shopify apps out there!

1. Viral Loops

Price: From $49.99 / month

Connect your Shopify store to Viral Loops and increase your word of mouth sales. Our referral program solution seamlessly integrates with your store, so you can use word of mouth and referrals to grow your store.

2. Product Reviews

Price: Free

Product reviews allows you to add a customer review feature to your product pages. This is a great way to encourage sales and also allow your customers to give you feedback.

3. Oberlo

Price: From $4.90 / month

Oberlo is helping people like you to find products to sell on Shopify. Never worry again about shipping, packaging, or holding inventory.

4. ShipStation

Price: $9.00 – $159.00 / month

ShipStation simplifies the shipping process for online sellers. They combine order processing, production of shipping labels, and customer communication in an easy to use, web-based interface that integrates directly with major carriers and online platforms

5. Store Pickup + Delivery

Price: $12.00 – $35.00 / month

Zapiet is Shopify’s most popular choice for offering in-store pickup and local delivery alongside standard shipping through a unified checkout.

6. Parcelify

Price: Free

Parcelify lets you create simple and powerful shipping rates based on address, products, and total weight or price.

7. Free Shipping & Hello Bar

Price: Free – $8.95 / month

We are talking about a fully customizable notification bar to promote Free Shipping, Free Gifts or just inform your customers about something.

8. Pre-order Manager

Price: Free – $24.95 / month

You can easily manage Pre-Orders strategy for each product, variant or for the whole store, with a customize button and description design according to your Shopify theme.

You can also limit the number of Pre-Orders, turn them on/off for certain countries.

9. Bulk Product Edit

Price: From $4.99 / month

You can target products to edit by collection, product type, vendor, tags, title, and keywords; and bulk edit product's price, compared at price, tags, inventory, title, vendor, product type, weight, description, SKU, SEO, Meta fields.

10. Instafeed

Price: Free

Instafeed is an app that allows you to easily integrate your Instagram pictures in your Shopify Store. That's a great way to engage with your customers and generate awareness for your brand.

11. Whatshare

Price: Custom

WhatShare is the easiest way to include a WhatsApp share button in your Shopify store. You can also track what your customers share too, with reports of what links and products are being shared.

12. Social Autopilot

Price: Free

This app will Tweet at random intervals with a different message, every time you list a new product or publish a new blog post.

13. Metrilo

Price: From $119.00 / month

Metrilo gives you instant ecommerce analytics, powerful CRM and personalized email marketing all in one place, while it automatically identifies sales channels that are valuable to your business.

14. OptinMonster

Price: $49.00 / month

OptinMonster is a powerful conversion optimization platform, and their Shopify app allows you to intelligently target your visitors' shopping experience, to reduce cart abandonment and boost sales conversions.

15. Catalog Maker

Price: Free – $49.99 / month

Now you can connect with buyers using professional wholesale catalogs, retail product catalogs, pdf flyers and line sheets created automatically from your Shopify Collections.

16. Yotpo Reviews

Price: From $0.00 / month

In their own words, Yotpo is a customer content marketing platform that helps brands of all sizes generate and leverage reviews, photos, and Q&A throughout the buyer journey to build trust, drive traffic, and increase conversion.

17. Product Discount

Price: $14.99 / month

You can create, in seconds, sales by product brand, type, collection, hand picked or even store wide! You can also manually control or schedule sales for holidays, weekends, power-hours.

18. Checkout Hero

Price: $19.99 / month

Checkout Hero helps you checkout conversions by incentivizing customers to complete their checkout by sharing their cart on social media in return for a discount, free shipping or a free gift.

19. Facebook

Price: Free

Customers can easily browse your products and collections using the new, always visible, Shop section on your Facebook Page.

20. Pinterest

Price: Free

With this app you can sell products directly on Pinterest with Buyable Pins and a allow shoppers to purchase quickly without leaving Pinterest.

21. Infinite Options

Price: Free

With Infinite Options, you can create unlimited product options for any product configurations, and also add personalization, engraving or monograming to any product inside your store.

22. ReCharge Recurring Billing & Subscriptions

Price: $19.99 / month

ReCharge has one the most robust feature set for stores selling physical products on subscription.

23. Cross Sell

Price: $19.99 / month

Cross Sell allows you to handpick the related items that you would like to showcase alongside each product in your store and manage to get your customers to fill their carts

24. Pop-Up Window

Price: $5.95 – $12.95 / month

The Pop-Up Window app is an affordable way to add a powerful and professional looking pop-up to your Shopify store, notifying your visitors about sales and promotions or capture newsletter and mailing list signups.

25. HelpCenter

Price: Free

With HelpCenter app you can create an easy-to-navigate and searchable FAQs page, publish searchable articles, and let your customers submit questions they can't find the answers to.

26. Facebook Chat

Price: Free

Turn conversations into conversions and boost up customer satisfaction, by chatting live with customers via Facebook messenger right on your store.

27. Trust Hero by Booster Apps

Price: Free

Improve sales and cart abandonment rates by displaying trust icons to customers from the product page! Plus, it's completely free!

28. Crush.pics

Price: From $0.00 / month

If you're looking for the fastest way to increase your site speed, ranking, and conversions, you can use Crush.pics to compress your store's image files without quality loss.

29. Postmen

Price: From $0.00 / month

Postmen allows you to print shipping labels and calculate rates with your shipper accounts, and auto update Shopify with tracking numbers and send shipping notifications.

30. SocialShopWave

Price: From $0.00 / month

This bundle offers the ability to boost social sharing and drive traffic to your Shopify store, increase customer engagement, and sell more by using its 9 apps.

31. ByteStand

Price: From $0.00 / month

This app helps you sync your inventory from Amazon to Shopify, without acting as a middle man between the two accounts. Instead, it pulls your Amazon inventory directly into your Shopify admin section with one click.

32. Lucky Orange

Price: $10.00 – $50.00 / month

Now you can eliminate the guesswork of optimizing your website for more sales, through heatmaps, visitor recordings, form analytics, polls etc.

33. Correios - SEDEX - PAC

Price: From $4.99 / month

The app automatically calculates shipping costs and time, and helps you reduce lost sales due to expensive miss quoted manual rates.

34. Messenger

Price: Free

Messenger is a very popular platform, and its Shopify app gives you the opportunity to provide a fast, and easy way for customers to buy your products, reach them instantly with messages about their orders, and give them one place to track purchase confirmation and shipping details.

35. Product Questions and Answers

Price: Free – $4.99 / month

This app allows your visitors to ask questions about your products from product pages, which you can answer and post directly on the product page- which may have some great SEO value.

36. Boost Sales

Price: From $30.00 / month

Upselling is the perfect way to increase the average basket value of your store, and this app helps you to do exactly that.

37. KIT

Price: Free

Kit helps you manage your Facebook and Instagram ads, email campaigns, and social media posts to drive sales and grow your business.

38. TradeGecko Inventory Management

Price: From $299.00 / month

This Shopify app makes inventory management simple, efficient, and easy to control by  having your stock, warehouses, currencies, taxes and price lists in one system.

39.  Wishlist Plus

Price: From $0.00 / month

With Wishlist Plus, you can add smart wishlists in your store and allow people to add products in them without login and share them across channels. All this, while you get rich insights on your customers wishlisted items and site engagement.

40. Cool Image Magnifier

Price: $2.99 / month

Great quality and detailed images are crucial for an online store. This app is pretty straightforward; you install it and get a nice zoom effect on your product pages.

41. Mailbot Email Marketing

Price: From $29.00 / month

This app is the way to fully automate your email marketing. You get built-in campaigns and customer segments, drafted & scheduled weekly newsletters, plus the ability to personalize email content to target customers based on their interests & behavior.

42. Covet.pics

Price: From $0.00 / month

Covet.pics helps you to curate Homepage hero galleries, automate Product Page ones, or create killer Press pages. You may also automate Instagram or invite your customers to upload their own photos, and run photo contests and grow a community around your products.

43. Restocked Alerts

Price: From $14.99 / month

This app promises to increase sales by notifying customers when products come back in stock.

44. Intuit QuickBooks®

Price: Free – $29.99 / month

You can sync your Shopify orders to your QuickBooks Online account and enjoy frictionless financial reporting with just a few of clicks.

45. Xporter Data Export Tool

Price: $7.00 – $45.00 / month

Xporter is a web-based solution that enables you to export your store's data in a customizable spreadsheet format. That's pure gold, isn't it?

46. Privy - Free email popups with exit intent

Price: From $0.00 / month

Popups are an undeniably amazing way to grow your store's email list. With this app you can trigger popups using exit intent, time on site, scroll, cart size and more. A/B test campaigns.

47. SEO Image Optimizer

Price: Free

You can gain more traffic and sales from Google Image Search with a one-click installation. It's also free, which is more than great.

48. AfterShip Returns Center

Price: From $0.00 / month

If you want to have Self-service returns on your branded Returns Center, approve and track your returns in a single place and notify customers of returns status, this app is a must.

49. Socialphotos

Price: $10.00 – $50.00 / month

Social Photos provides you the chance to capitalize on the power of visuals and social media by building collections with curated photos from your customers.

50. Plug in SEO

Price: From $0.00 / month

With this app, not only you get full SEO check and report on your store, but you also receive instructions and code snippets to make any possible fixes yourself.

51. Social Login

Price: $1.49 / month

With Social Login, customers can login without having to withstand long onboarding procedures. This encourages them to get into the store and start shopping as fast as possible, thus increases the chance to get more sales.

52. Last Second Coupon

Price: Free – $5.99 / month

This app is for those that look for a way to increase revenue by turning more window shoppers into paying customers and decrease the number of abandoned shopping carts.

53. SEO Manager

Price: $20.00 / month

SEO Manager is exactly what its name suggests; it manages your Shopify store's SEO. FYI, it's powerfull.

54. Low Stock Alert

Price: From $0.00 / month

Normally when a product inside your store goes out of stock, you would lose a couple of orders before you catch up. I don't think that anybody want this to happen.

55. Improved Contact Form

Price: From $0.00 / month

You add a "Contact Us" Webpage and Popup Contact Form Widget, with responsive and customizable design, to your store in one click.

56. TRUST

Price: Free – $39.99 / month

Decrease your customers’ security and privacy concerns and reduce bounce rates with trust seals from the highest rated trustmark provider used by Shopify stores.

57. Point of Sale

Price: Free

This is a killer. You can now sell your products anywhere with the Shopify POS (Point of Sale) app and free card reader. Also, you can tap to add products to cart, accept payments, and email receipts, track customers, inventory, and orders with your Shopify account.

58. Currency Localizer

Price: Free – $9.99 / month

This app will help you increase your global sales by showing local currencies to your customers, taking advantage of  fast Geo IP detection.

59. Sufio - Automatic Invoices

Price: $19.00 – $129.00 / month

Sufio automatically creates and send beautiful invoices for orders in your store.
Also, it's issue invoices compliant with legislation in 50 countries worldwide.

60. Tidio Live Chat

Price: Free – $15.00 / month

Communication with your clients plays a huge part on increasing sales, and with this app you can talk to your customers even if you're on the move.

61. SMAR7 Bundle Upsell

Price: $47.00 / month

Reward and incentivize customers with discounts OR Free Shipping for adding more items to their cart.

62. Sticky Buy Button

Price: Free – $39.95 / month

The app makes sure the add-to-cart or "buy" button is always visible in your store, no matter how far down the page your customers scroll.

63. PushOwl - Web Push Notifications

Price: From $0.00 / month

Notifications are a great way to get people again in your store, and this app is able to send reminders of abandoned carts with mobile & desktop notifications and automated notifications for back-in-stock or discounted products.

64. Yo Recent Sales Notifications

Price: $6.99 / month

WIth Yo, you can recreate the feel of a busy brick-and-mortar store, as you serve to your customers unintrusive popups detailing recent purchases.

65. Instagram shop by Snapppt

Price: Free

Make your Instagram feed instantly shoppable and embed shoppable Instagram galleries and carousels into your store, to increase your sales.

66. Recart - Messenger Marketing & Abandoned Cart Toolbox

Price: From $0.00 / month

Boost your sales with automated Facebook Messenger, Email and Push messages to all cart checkout abandoners.

67. Exit Intent & Messenger Popups by OptiMonk

Price: From $29.00 / month

This is the world's only intelligent Messenger popup for Shopify, which allows you to boost your revenue with intelligent product recommendation and convert up to 15% of visitors to customers.

68. Klaviyo Email Marketing for Shopify

Price: Custom

Use virtually any data from your Shopify store to send personalized emails, run Facebook ads, and recapture lost sales with automated abandoned carts, browse abandonment and winback flows.

69. Email Marketing Automation by Conversio

Price: From $20.00 / month

Sell more using some intelligent and automated email options: Receipts, Follow-Up Emails, Abandoned Cart Emails, and Newsletters.

70. Printful - Printing & Warehousing

Price: Custom

This is the highest-rated print-on-demand app on Shopify, and you can use it without being bothered by upfront costs, or making manual orders.

What are your favorite Shopify apps?

Note: Puggy recently started spreading her knowledge on Referral Marketing, so 👉 Push the "Send to Messenger" button below to grab her exclusive content 🐶

August 7, 2018 - No Comments!

Viral Loops Affiliate program is here!

Over the course of the last two years, we had the pleasure to work closely with some of the best marketers out there.

Actually, some of them use our product so much that it's an inextricable part of the proposals they craft for their prospects.

The thing that always intrigued our team, is that these people never asked anything in return except making sure that their clients will face as little problems as possible.

But after a point, just serving the best product we could doesn't seem fair to us. You deserve more.

You are an extended part of our team. And we need more people like you.

After a storm of new features- like the Viral Loops Story for Shopify, I'm in the exciting position to announce our affiliate program!

What's in for you?

For every new billing account you bring to Viral Loops through your affiliate link you'll receive a 30% monthly recurring commission.

How does it work?

Joining the Viral Loops Affiliate Program is pretty simple. It's a three-step process:

  1. Fill our form with your personal information.
    We’ll generate your unique link and email it to you.
  2. Start promoting.
  3. Get to the bank.

 Note: We only accept PayPal for transferring your commissions. If you don't have a PayPal account, make sure to create one.

Details and terms

There are a few rules about our affiliate program, which tried to keep really simple. The reason we created these rules is to prevent abuse and protect our customers.

  • Payouts are currently made on the 2nd of each month.
  • Affiliate commissions are approved on the 1st of each month.
    There is a minimum delay of 30 days before approving pending commissions (to account for any refunds since we have a 30-day no-questions-asked refund policy).
  • Depending on when a commission is earned in a month, it can be pending for up to 60 days.
    e.g. If you earned a commission on August 5th, it along w/ all August commissions would be approved on Oct 1 (creating a 55-day delay) and paid on Oct 2nd.
    If you earned a commission on Aug 30, it would also get approved on Oct 1 (creating a 30-day delay) and paid on Oct 2nd.
  • Self-referrals are not allowed. The point is to get you to refer other people.
    This is not a way to get a discount on your own account.
  • Abuse, gaming, or shady behavior will get your account banned. Just play cool.
  • In some cases, we can give credit to an affiliate even if the customer didn’t sign up through their link by mistake. If you have a case like that, contact us first so we can help.
  • We reserve the right to change the terms at any time.

Let's work together! 😎 

 

July 17, 2018 - 1 comment.

How Referral Marketing will increase your ecommerce sales

When buying a new car, what’s the first thing you do? 🚗

If you’re like the vast majority of consumers, you talk to friends and family. 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦

Even if those close to you aren’t car experts, you’ll likely ask them which brands to buy and avoid.

Why?

Because you trust their opinions.

How do we know?

A recent study found that 82% of surveyed individuals said they consult friends and family before making a purchase.

82%!

That means more people seek out a referral than drink water daily. 🚰

As an e-Commerce retailer, this research should stop you in your tracks 🛑 and prompt you to evaluate your referral marketing strategy.

After all, missed referrals mean missed $$$. 💸💸💸

Don’t have a referral marketing strategy?

Grab a cup of coffee (or better yet, a glass of H2O). You’re in for a great read packed with tips to get your customers talking and, more importantly, referring new customers.

Reduce Bounce, Increase Cha-Ching

An effective e-commerce referral marketing strategy gets people to your site and turns those visitors into buyers, and then into ambassadors.

When your customers’ nearest and dearest receive an email singing your company’s praises (and then those loved ones click through your site), web traffic increases.

And that referred traffic…

Research suggests that referred individuals are substantially more likely to make a purchase than those who happen upon your site. In fact, consumers are four times more likely to 💰 buy something 💰 when a friend recommends it.

If you’re not already using referral marketing for your ecommerce, ask yourself:

“Why am I not doing something I know would increase the likelihood of customer purchases by a whopping four times?”

Dangle that Carrot

With numerous independent studies supporting the positive impact referral marketing communications have on buying behavior, can we agree on the importance of encouraging your customers to refer your products and/or services?

Good. Then let’s discuss the “how” of your referral marketing plan.

One word—incentivise.

Some might argue that you simply create a wonderful product and customer experience and the word will get out naturally.

Frankly...that only gets you part of the way.

Even when they’ve had positive online experiences, only 58% of consumers are likely to talk about them online.

That’s where referral marketing comes in—a means to incentivize customers to blab about their amazing interactions with your business.

Just like a horse will do almost anything to get the carrot, customers are motivated by discounts, bonus gifts, VIP access or any number of perks that can come from simply delivering a complimentary tweet or referral email.

Powerful and well-planned referral marketing provides the carrot 🥕, or incentive, for happy-as-a-clam customers to shout their satisfaction from the mountain tops (or, at least, tweet it—’cause we all know mountain climbing is tough).

The key🗝️ is to implement an on-brand (dare I say, brilliant) referral marketing campaign. You can’t simply say, “Hey, tell your former college roommate about us, and we’ll give you $1 off your next purchase.”

Why not?

Consumers will make judgments about the quality of your referral marketing programme based heavily on what you’re offering as an incentive. And if the incentive is too meager, they’ll likely forego participating altogether.

Find Proof in the Payout

Along with Gilt, Airbnb, and Robinhood, the roster of businesses using referral marketing is overflowing with success stories.

Thanks to the inherent flexibility of referral marketing as a means of advertising, each company was able to prepare and implement a programme tailored to their products, their needs, and their customer base. Here are a few examples:

Paypal

Though now a household name, Elon Musk’s Paypal was once unknown. One secret to their growth? A strong referral marketing program that grew customer base from zero to 100,000 in just one month. 📅

And what more appropriate way for a company named PAYpal to incentivize than with cold, hard cash?

Paypal’s programme of choice was simple. Sign up for Paypal, and you get $20. 💵  Refer a friend who signs up; get another $20. 💵  

All told, the programme cost the company $60 million.

The company today, however, is valued by experts at $49.6 billion dollars.🤑 🤑

I guess Paypal’s risk has paid off.

Erin Condren

The drug of choice for consumers who’ve craved organization, ErinCondren.com, grew from obscurity to a $40 million valuation in 10 years.

Capitalising off the close-knit community of stationery lovers ✉️ and organic word-of-mouth has always been part of the Erin Condren growth model.

So adding a referral marketing program designed to amplify their social growth was a perfect and profitable fit.

ErinCondren.com customers take advantage of an ongoing referral program offering rewards to both the referrer and the referred. When a customer refers a friend, the friend receives a $10 discount offer.

If the friend makes a purchase, the referrer also receives a $10 voucher. Because users can refer as many friends as they want, devotees to the customized planners offered on the site can email their way to discounted and free products.

Amazon Prime

Everyone loves free, two-day shipping. 📦

But not everyone loved the $79 price tag when the service launched in 2005.

Despite the fact that Amazon.com boasted approximately 200 million users in 2012 — 7 years after the launch of Prime — the company had secured only 25 million paid Prime users.

To get customers over the sticker shock of this annual membership cost and induce more people to give Prime a go, Amazon turned to referral marketing.

Following the fall 2014 launch of Prime’s referral program in which referrers earn credits to spend on Amazon.com, the Prime membership count lept.

It continued to climb, more than tripling to 90 million subscribers by September of 2017.

Reap Returns on Investments in Referral Marketing

Money invested in referral marketing provides a more significant return than investing the same amount of money in traditional advertising, suggests research.

According to a Boston Consulting Group study, consumers trusted word of mouth anywhere from two to 10 times as much as traditional advertising. 🤝

Make your customers' top-notch experiences work for you. Define your company's referral carrot, then dangle it proudly for your consumers to covet.

Next, you can try our e-Commerce template (inspired by Gilt), and if you're a Shopify user you can run a Milestone Referral campaign, similar to the one we run for our ambassador program.

Finally, sit back and watch as the referrals (and dollars) roll in.

Note: Puggy recently started spreading her knowledge on Referral Marketing, so 👉 Push the "Send to Messenger" button below to grab her exclusive content 🐶

April 30, 2018 - No Comments!

Side Project Marketing Will Change Your Game

When it comes to getting customers’ attention, you’re up against a lot of competition.

Whether scrolling through social media or surfing the web, potential customers are inundated with marketing messages—so much so that many find ads off-putting. 😤

Which begs the question…

As a marketer, how do you stand out?

The answer isn’t yell louder. 🗣️📣

Instead, it’s to do something unexpected. Something so logical that you don’t know how you never considered it before.

Start a side project.

We know, we know. This idea goes against the “focus on one thing and do it well” rule.

But rules were made to be broken.

Okay, well, this rule was made to be broken.

The concept of bringing customers to your main business through the creation of side projects (aka, “side project marketing”) has a proven track record of success. 📈 🙌

Just ask the people over at Crew.co. This start-up was on the brink of shutting its virtual doors and boarding up the digital windows when a side project, unsplash.com, gave them a new lease on life.

By simply putting the professional pictures they had taken but hadn’t used online and licensing them for free use, they managed to attract loads of traffic — 11 million visitors a month. 😲 This amounted to enough to keep the doors open.

The side project game is so useful, in fact, that we’ve jumped on board, too.

To date, we’ve built two deciders tools that help users plan out the implementation of referral programs that will mirror some of the best we’ve seen, from Dropbox and Harry’s.

 

 

 

 

We made both of them to kinda explode by getting hunted on Product Hunt, with 1636 & 910 upvotes respectively.

If you're interested in riding the Product Hunt wave for your side project, we have a comprehensive guide on how to do so.

And how do you make side project marketing work for your business?”

Here are our quick tips.

Don’t: Be Overly Complex

When it comes to your side project, you want something that solves a problem. Your goal is to catch the attention and provide a benefit to potential customers.

But don’t create something so different and so complex that managing your side project becomes your full-time job.

Hubspot showed us how side project marketing is done when they did what they do best — assessing the quality of marketing — via a website grader. 💯

Their tool allows users to determine the current efficiency of their websites. The site also explains to users how their marketing could be improved — another service that Hubspot provides. 🤝

Not only did this free website grader earn Hubspot some goodwill with potential clients, it also landed the company some accolades. Most specifically, the side project was a finalist for an ad:tech award and took home a Webby from The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS).

Do: Use Inexpensive Tools

Not only is side project marketing effective, it’s also can be pretty easy to implement...with the right tools.

There are tons of tools 🔨 you can use to transform the task of building your side project from exhausting to effortless.

Not only can brand new start-ups build websites to house their side projects quickly with options like Yola, Wix, and Squarespace, they can also use low- or no-cost buzz-building options like Reddit, Tumblr, Facebook and other free tools to launch their side projects.

Not only does using these tools make the process of setting up your side project easier, it also makes it less expensive — which means you’re not losing much if it ends up being a flop.

Crew.co exemplified this lesson, using Tumblr to initially launch their Unsplash project.

Tumblr was free.

It was easy.

And it was accessible.

Everything Crew.co needed to taste sweet, sweet side marketing project success. And it was success they saw, quickly at that, with a huge spike in traffic at crew.co thanks to this Unsplash launch.  

Do: Partner Up

One mistake we see companies make when launching their side projects (and why those side projects crash and burn) is because they tried to do it alone.

When Veed.me wanted to launch their side project, coverra site offering free videos for use as cover images—they secured a partner.

In Veed.me’s case, they turned to codersclan to help make the side project of their dream a digital reality.

Together, these two birthed the legitimately beautiful 🌇 — and useful. ⚙️.

And this side project wasn’t just aesthetically stunning — it was also profitable. Coverr quickly reached 100,000 unique visitors and, even more beneficial, resulted in 1,700 new email sign-ups.

Don’t: Forget to Have Fun

If you want customers to like you… really like you… you need to have some fun.

Customers will form initial impressions of your company with how you treat your side projects.

You want those impressions to be positive. So perhaps consider content that’s engaging, adventuresome and quirky.

Think your business is so serious there’s no room for fun? 👯

Well, try this on for size: How serious is cybersecurity? 🔐

Pretty darn serious, if you ask me.

But that didn’t stop cybersecurity firm Checkmarx from having some fun and launching a useful-as-it-is-engaging program called Game of Hacks.

Side note: What a clever little play on words you have there, Checkmarx.

Game of Hacks is a gamified hacking experience, allowing programmers to put their weakness identification skills to the test.

Did it work?

Yep.

Launched like a bullet, accruing 35,000 players in the first 24 hours.

And as you would expect, gaining Checkmarx some serious attention.

Side Project Today, Growth Tomorrow

With so many businesses implementing a side project marketing plan — and it works oh so well for them — there really is confounding evidence that this type of marketing is worth your time and effort.

If you’re ready to move forward with side project marketing, remember to:

  • Keep it simple
  • Use the free and low-cost tools at your disposal
  • Explore partnership opportunities
  • Have fun

By doing these four simple things, you can make side project marketing easy and effective.

Because, really, a the end of the day, we question should be less “why are you doing side project marketing” and more, “why aren’t you doing side project marketing.”

We’ve boarded the train. 🚃

Why don’t you?

Side project marketing is your ticket. 🎫

 

Note: Puggy recently started spreading her knowledge on Referral Marketing, so 👉 Push the "Send to Messenger" button below to grab her exclusive content 🐶

April 17, 2018 - No Comments!

Why Your Company Needs A Pre-Launch Campaign

As we recently wrote, It’s easy to get caught up in modern digital marketing tactics, but good old-fashioned marketing is unbeatable.

Take Forever21 (or any other mainstream brand name), for example. Last week they launched their new collection in collaboration with Kylie and Kendal Jenner.

Why Your Company Needs A Pre-Launch Campaign
They created a huge prelaunch hype.

By the day that the store began selling this clothing line, the girls which were supposed to buy it, already raved about it.

Pre-launch campaigns play a major role in how people will perceive your product even before they get it in their hands.

It’s true that Forever21’s success is due to the celebrities involved, and like most of us, you may not have that kind of resources.

So what do you do? And why the heck do we write about pre-launch campaigns by using Ambassador Referral Campaigns?

We have the answer to both questions. Let’s get straight to it.

What do you have in stash for early adopters?

This is a crucial question to ask.

The is no straight answer to that, but there are some options:

  • Discounts.
  • Extended product features.
  • Early access.

Note: If you want to learn more about what kind of rewards you can offer for your ambassadors, we have an exclusive guide (which we update weekly) about it delivered straight to your messenger inbox!

I think that providing discounts is pretty straight-forward, so I’ll move right to proving extended product features.

Think of something in the same lines with Dropbox providing extra space on the cloud for the more people you referred.

So, if you for example run subscription-model business with different pricing plans, you can either give early adopters the chance to use it for free or get the perks of a higher plan even if they purchase a smaller one.

Now, have you ever heard of FOMO?

Why Your Company Needs A Pre-Launch Campaign

FOMO a.k.a. Fear Of Missing Out is a powerful force.

So powerful, in fact, that simply making potential customers feel like they might be missing out on something can often move them to action.

56% of surveyed adults admit that FOMO impacts their media usage habits, for example, compelling them to look at social media again and again.

Marketers can harness FOMO by creating an impression of exclusivity through the use of wait lists, limited supply, and time limits.

FOMO is the principle that makes giving early access to users so important on pre-launch campaigns.

And  Robinhood took advantage of that principle.

As a part of their pre-launch strategy, the Robinhood team invited potential app lovers to gain invitation-only, early access to its private beta.

Instead of inviting potential Robinhood users to join a mailing list, the company appealed to its interested fans’ desire to be the first to benefit from what Robinhood had to offer.

And this offer was so enticing, that it got the attention of Hacker News, which was “Every engineer's dream in the Valley," according to co-founder Vlad Tenev.

How can you do it for your business?

Well the first step you must take is to set up your ambassador referral program, and our Milestone Referral Template is the best choice for running a pre-launch campaign for your new product.

Here's how it works.

Your participants join the Milestone Referral campaign and reach milestones as they refer more and more friends to join the campaign.

Why Your Company Needs A Pre-Launch Campaign

For example, the first milestone can be at 5 referrals, then at 15, 30 and so on.

To do a pre-launch campaign with this concept you may have the milestones to be specific dates that campaign participants are going to get access your product, starting with the date that is furthest away.

The more friends a participant brings to your campaign, the earlier they will get access.

Take a look at the following God-awful example graphic (sorry, I promise to improve my design skills):

Why Your Company Needs A Pre-Launch Campaign

The participants that refer just 5 friends will get access in late June but those that bring at least 25 referrals will get access first on May 1st.

The gamification aspect of the Milestone Referral template makes it very appealing to your campaign participants and you can get great engagement on such a campaign.

TL;DR

Pre-launch campaigns play a major role in how people will perceive your product even before they get it in their hands.

By providing extra space in the cloud for the more people you referred, Dropbox opened the way for referral marketing, and one of the best ways to get the chance to achieve similar results is by running a Pre-Launch campaign using an Ambassador program.

People like to be rewarded, but they always want more.

That being said, you can set up your ambassador referral program using our Milestone Referral Template - which BTW, is the best choice for running a pre-launch campaign for your new product.

Until the next time,
Keep being awesome 😎

Note: Puggy recently started spreading her knowledge on Referral Marketing, so 👉 Push the "Send to Messenger" button below to grab her exclusive content 🐶

April 11, 2018 - No Comments!

The Importance Of Copywriting in Referral Marketing

You may have developed the most enticing program in referral marketing history.

You could literally plan to fly customers to the moon and back 🚀👩‍🚀🌑 for referring friends.

Yet no out-of-this-world incentive makes any difference if your customers don’t understand how your program works.

The Importance Of Copywriting in Referral Marketing

As an eCommerce retailer, you don’t have the luxury of sitting down with customers over a cup of tea ☕ and offering a verbal explanation.

Instead, the only meaningful way to communicate the important deets of your program is through...drum roll, please...

Effective copywriting.

And producing effective copy is a three-fold endeavor. Your copy must clearly explain your program, effectively sell your program to customers and ultimately endear your customers to your brand.

Admittedly, that’s a lot to keep track of.

The Importance Of Copywriting in Referral Marketing

That’s why we’re here to help.

We want to share our top 3 copywriting quick tips.

1. Speak Their Language

There’s a time and place for high-brow content. But in most businesses, that place is not in the referral marketing campaign copy.

If you’re trying to connect with your customers (whether through the copy on your site or in your e-newsletters), stuffy, complicated language is not likely to be an effective tool.

Often, speaking too formally can leave customers feeling disconnected (at best) or alienated (at worst).

The Importance Of Copywriting in Referral Marketing

When introducing a referral program, customers must see you as a business that both values their patronage and wants to become partners. Appearing to be a lofty company that looks down upon their customers while swimming in a pool of money isn’t an approach that will get you too far.

The easiest way to avoid this perception is to speak simply, directly and colloquially in your copywriting.

Brand #Goals: Some companies — particularly those selling products that have traditionally been considered high-brow — argue that it’s difficult to maintain a professional appearance while writing copy that’s accessible.

The Importance Of Copywriting in Referral Marketing

New York Based grooming products company Harry’s boasts a traditionally formal clientele, but they have taken to speaking directly to their customer in simple, easy-to-understand speech. In fact, they are running within direction.

And we’re talking Usain-Bolt-level running.

The Importance Of Copywriting in Referral Marketing

All of the content on Harry’s website, as well as the content in their magazine, 5 o’clock (as in 5 o’clock shadow—get it? 🤣🤣🤣), speaks directly to their customers.

Their recently published five-year wrap-up, for example, begins “Phew, five years just flew by. Here, a look at our ups, downs, and side to sides...”

Now if that’s not customer-friendly speak, we are not sure what is.

2. Develop a Distinctive Voice

Do you remember the nap-inducing 😴😴, monotonous voice of the teacher from Peanuts?

The Importance Of Copywriting in Referral Marketing

Consider her an example of how not to speak to your customers.

Sending out copy that sounds like “wah, wah, wah, wah, wah, wah, wah” is not a good way to win friends and influence people.

Brand #Goals: When it comes to adopting a voice, MailChimp is making it happen.

Like, seriously. We’ve got a bit of a #BrandCrush going on.

The Importance Of Copywriting in Referral Marketing

Every bit of copy MailChimp puts out there into the universe sounds definitively MailChimp-y. 📫🐵

It’s spunky.

It’s playful.

It’s thoughtful.

MailChimp’s voice is distinctive enough that when given three pieces of text, a regular MailChimp reader could likely pick the piece that belongs to MailChimp

Which sounds like a really weird party 🎉 game 🎲, but we’re down!

Producing work that sounds definitively you should always be your goal.

Quick Tip - Don’t know what your brand should sound like? Start by listening. Listen to what’s going on in your office and to your customers. Then decide how to use what you picked up to differentiate your brand from your competitors. Pick single words or even more complex phrases to adopt as branded lingo and use them in your copy. Now you sound like your brand!  

3. Avoid Passivity

How do you want customers to see your business?

Do you want them to perceive you as weak, passive, ineffectual?

The Importance Of Copywriting in Referral Marketing

Or do you want them to see you as active, vibrant and thriving?

The Importance Of Copywriting in Referral Marketing

If you’re going for the latter, you want to avoid passive voice.

Quick refresher: If the person doing the action isn’t the subject of the sentence, the sentence is passive.

"The taco was eaten by the dog." - Passive 🌮🐶

"The dog ate the taco." - Active 🐶🌮

For the sake of your referral marketing copywriting success, it’s time to dust off those cobwebby lower school English skills and finally put them to work for you.

When content is written (did you catch that that was passive? 💯) in passive voice, it sounds stilted and is generally more difficult to for people to read.

Your content should be engaging.

Your content should be accessible.

Your content should be active.

Brand #Goals: Airbnb is a brand that’s synonymous with the word active.

Going places.

Doing things.

Experiencing life.

There’s not a passive bone in Airbnb’s body of copy.

The Airbnb blog is full of posts about people visiting new places, eating new foods and getting some serious breaks on accommodation rates.

By keeping it active, Airbnb not only makes their content more readable, they also encourage their readers to follow the leader and get out there and experience the world.

The Importance Of Copywriting in Referral Marketing

Take this sentence, for example:

“Get out on the water with an experienced captain and you’ll get a fresh vantage point on the sights—like Mt. Tibidabo and Montjuïc—and you might even spot a dolphin or a finback whale.”

Not only is this active “get a fresh vantage point”😊 instead of “a fresh vantage point was gotten,”☹️ — it also even further amps up the active feel by making the subject of the sentence you.

And, IDK about you guys, but I want to go see a finback whale. Like, right now.

Copywriting + Referral Marketing: A Match Made in Heaven

Like peanut butter and jelly.

Tea and crumpets.

Beer and peanuts.

Copywriting and referral marketing are an inseparable duo.

The Importance Of Copywriting in Referral Marketing

By:

  1. Speaking customers’ language ✅
  2. Developing a distinctive voice ✅
  3. Avoiding passivity ✅

You can improve the effectiveness of your referral marketing efforts and grow your brand—easy as 1, 2, 3.

Until the next time,
Keep being awesome 😎

Note: Puggy recently started spreading her knowledge on Referral Marketing, so 👉 Push the "Send to Messenger" button below to grab her exclusive content 🐶

April 3, 2018 - No Comments!

10x Growth in 2018? Part 2

I’ll start by saying that if you haven’t already read the first installment of these series, stop reading those lines and go read this, instead.

Seriously.

I’ve been introduced to Harry Potter’s universe by reading the 3rd book -don’t know why I skipped the first two books, and it’s something that I deeply regret.

You know what?

Read the 1st part of the series even if you already did.

I’ll wait for you.

Now that you are back, I don’t have to explain to you again what the article is about and we can cut to the chase.

Let’s see a few other things that will help you achieve 10x Growth in 2018.

Note: If you feel too lazy to read, we've also wrapped the whole article into a video 👇👇👇

And don't forget to subscribe to our channel 😎

Work on Funnel steps individually.

Do I have your attention?

Good.

This is pure gold people. You and I both know how it is to try to grow a business.

It gets sloppy, stressful, frustrating and confusing.

And when your team is small and your resources limited, things may turn dark. Viral Loops wasn’t always a team of 15 people.

We started small. I mean, really small.

What we did, in the beginning, was to concentrate all of our actions on the step of the funnel that mattered the most at the given time. Although now we have the opportunity to have sub-team working on several funnel steps, in the beginning, we had to focus on one.

Let’s see how the typical AARRR funnel looks like:
10x Growth In 2018? Part 2

As you can see, on the top of the funnel you have the Acquisition, followed by the Activation, the Retention, the Revenue and finally, the Referral.

During the first year, our sole focus was on Acquiring our first set of users (btw, we still have a team constantly working on Acquisition called TOFU team- aka Top Of Funnel team).

Getting initial traction is a huge bet for every business but we had to move a step further during our 2nd year.

We invested in making the product better, thus made our engineering team bigger, and also tried to optimize our customer support by hiring talent that not only could help customers use our product, but also manage challenging situations.

Having a better product and customer support, helped us improve our Activation, Retention and (the super valuable to the life of the company), Revenue.

Last Q, we decided to make an opening to our Referral step and that’s why we created our own Ambassador program.

Start from the funnel step that’s the most valuable to your business, optimize it, and then move further.

Retention.

I bet you’ve read a lot about to acquire a ton of users/customers. Actually, we are so much force-fed of this concept to the point that a lot of us thought that acquiring customers is a synonym for growing.

Well, it’s not.

Over the past 4 years, I had the opportunity to talk with numerous people of companies that take their growth game seriously. Their answer as to where growth really comes is retention.

The Pareto principle (aka the 80/20 rule) comes again into play as, according to Gartner Group, 80% of your company’s future revenue will come from just 20% of your existing customers.

“But, how do I know if my I have a good retention rate?”

You have to build a retention curve. If the retention curve is parallel to your time axis, you’re good to go.

However, in case your curve crosses the axis, you should start reconsidering your approach or even the product itself.

Here are a few principals that will help you to improve your customer retention rate:

  • Utilize user feedback.
  • Get personal and stay in touch with your customers.
  • Have stellar support (we’ll elaborate on that further into the article).
  • Offer more to customers than you promised.

You need to understand that once you lose a customer, there’s a 90% chance of them never coming back. Be proactive.

 Pro tip:
Build different retention curves for different sets of users. While your overall retention rate might suck, there’s a chance that a certain set of users is performing really good.

You can use that information to change your retention strategy accordingly.

Customer Support.

Allow me to ask you a question;

You’re on a call with a company’s customer support line. You’re sitting on your desk, you have some friends or colleagues around and you are tired and hungry.

While the person on the other side of the line is trying to help you, you turn to your friends and let them know that you’re starving.

A few moments later, the person on the other side of the line informs you that there’s a pizza on its way to you.

“But, how?”, you asked.
“It’s on us”, the customer support says.

Now the question is, is there any chance that you are going to use another similar service ever again?

I guess not.

This is a true story; During a marathon troubleshooting session, a support engineer of Rackspace heard the customer was hungry, so she ordered them a pizza!

The story inspired Rackspace to brand their support as Fanatical, created a ton of buzz online, and surely made a customer very happy.

10x Growth In 2018? Part 2

Be like Rackspace.

Launch, Launch, Launch!

Do you know what’s the biggest compliment I’ve ever received about my work?

When we launched one of our latest features on Product Hunt, someone left the following review:

“ViralLoops is a good product with infuriating marketing. Trying to ride the ProductHunt wave over and over again by releasing these little pages and then submitting to ProductHunt”

10x Growth In 2018? Part 2

That was my moment of glory; the moment I knew I’ve done my job in the desired way.

“Infuriating Marketing”.

It’s true; we are riding the Product Hunt wave again, and again, and again. And we will do it one (or ten) more time if needed.

It’s easy to get caught up in modern digital marketing tactics, but good old-fashioned marketing is unbeatable.

Take Forever21 (or any other mainstream brand name), for example. Last week they launched their new collection in collaboration with Kylie and Kendal Jenner.

They created a huge prelaunch hype.

Based on the same principle, we decided to handle each of our new features as an individual launch, and we choose Product Hunt as the main platform to do it.

Here are some of our best launches so far:

10x Growth In 2018? Part 2 10x Growth In 2018? Part 2 10x Growth In 2018? Part 2
 Pro Tip:
If you’re interested, we created a full hands-on guide on how we got 900+ new users and 20,000 uniques in 2 days in Viral Loops.

Each opportunity for launching a new feature or product gives you the ability to establish your company’s brand on your users, plus acquire new ones on the road.

Before you go

That’s the end of 10x Growth series.

If you made it this far without reading part 1, you can find it right below:

10x Growth in 2018? Part 1

We’re dying to know your thoughts about the guide, so feel free to add them to the comment section below.

Until the next time,
Keep being awesome 😎

Note: Puggy recently started spreading her knowledge on Referral Marketing, so 👉 Push the "Send to Messenger" button below to grab her exclusive content 🐶