In Part II of “The Datacrushers Guide to eCommerce Visual Marketing” we will explain off-site visual marketing tactics and methods for eCommerce Merchants, from start to finish. Whether you are a marketing novice or veteran, this guide has something in it for everyone – regardless of budget or technical know-how. Everything discussed here plays a role in the fight against cart-abandonment, and the revenue recovery process. (Read Part I here)
Off-site marketing and advertising involve many different attributes. In this guide we will break it down in the following order:
- Ads: How to make the most of them.
- Email Marketing: What to show and how to show it.
“Off-site” refers to anything that is not native to a website’s content. For example, ads are displayed on other websites around the web, emails are delivered to personal email accounts hosted by private service providers (Gmail, Hotmail, iCloud, etc.) and Social Media websites, such as Facebook or Twitter, have their own proprietary standards when it comes to marketing and advertising.
Hence, when it comes to marketing, off-site covers a wide gamut of sites and services. Let’s start by covering the basics.
Ads: What You Need To Know
Internet adverting is big business. In fact, internet advertising firms are believed to have made approximately $83 Billion dollars in revenue from those service in 2017 alone. Now, we won’t get into the nitty-gritty of how ad-serve itself works – that is not the point of this guide. Furthermore, we can’t tell you where to invest in ads – however, the Datacrushers Traffic Conversion and Shopper Analytics suites can certainly provide you with solid analytics that can be used to make smart decisions regarding your brands marketing efforts.
Let’s, talk about the practical stuff that makes a difference because it applies to all off-site campaigns. Campaigns cost time, money, and energy. A marketing campaign is only as good as it’s ROI when all is said and done.
The end goal of any campaign should be conversions (sales) it is really that simple. The question is, what should an ad include to make that happen? What kind of goals should be set? What are the KPIs that should be monitored?
The answer to the last two questions can be found in The Datacrushers Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization. But for now, we are focusing on what an ad should include (after all this is a guide on visual marketing).
All ads, regardless of whether they use a video or an image, must include 5 specific attributes to achieve their goals:
- Brand Visibility: This can be a company name or logo – but it should always include the company’s color scheme – even if it is a holiday ad.
- Imagery: An image that displays something relevant to the target audience. This boils down to what it is that you are selling, but it must be something recognizable to prospective shoppers. You can’t sell car parts while advertising carrots (unless Bug’s Bunny is your mascot, in which case, sure).
- Messaging: The copy used in an ad makes a world of a difference. Especially if the language used is hard to comprehend or requires a lot of reading to fully understand. Short and to the point is generally the way to go.
- CTA: A call to action is a must. It help’s direct shopper’s attention and provides them where to click on in the add. A good CTA should never be more than 3 – 5 words.
- Landing Page: A good ad campaign should always have a dedicated landing page set up to greet prospective shoppers upon their arrival. A series of landing pages can also be made for multiple campaigns. The beauty of these pages is that they make it very easy to measure the results of campaigns and apply the analytics in meaningful ways going well into the future.
Notice how in the above example, the company made sure to place their name and logo in an easily noticeable location. The copy used is simple and straightforward. The CTA is the answer to the question posed (Horror or Comedy) and clicking either one brings respondents to the landing page featured below.
Notice how on the landing page (in the above image) the company in question is not pushing their products, rather they have developed an elaborate scheme to draw a visitors interest to an on-site game. This is one way of engaging with visitors and getting them interested in your offerings. Sophistication is certainly not a requirement.
Now that the principles of a campaign have been covered, let’s cover the key topics you want to learn about.
Ads: What To Show
What should a good ad include, and how should it be formatted? That is the crux of the question. Let’s make it simple: Ads come in all shapes and sizes, from full-size banners to small little boxes on the side of a webpage. They can display short informative videos, or even be used for games. The point is, ads take many different forms.
The above image is a collection of ads from all across the internet. There is no one single way to actually display or size an ad, rather a collection of ways that can be used. As for imagery? It depends on the size of the banner itself. But all of these ads have landing pages unique to the product or service on offer. They all have a CTA (or an implied CTA through the use of arrows) and they all use simple, easy to digest copy for their target audience.
Now, speaking of targeted audience – the most direct way to target prospective shoppers is by means of email!
Email Marketing: What Do You Need To Know?
Email does very little to excite the recipient. In fact, email in and of itself is easily one of the most boring things to engage with on a daily basis. The only thing that could be more soul-crushingly boring than email, is a documentary about its history narrated by Werner Herzog.
Despite its austerity when compared to countless alternatives, email is still a useful medium for personal, B2B, and B2C communication (and sales). With emails providing a global average CVR of 4.29% during Q4 2017. Now the best emails are those where the sender can personalize them to provide relevant value to the viewer. This means applying shopper information (Name, LTV/LTS) data to the email prior to sending it.
Now an email needs a subject line. The more nuanced the message, the less likely the recipient will hit “delete” at first sight (or even worse, mark it as junk and forever assign it to the land of long-lost Nigerian princes and the ever-helpful Canadian pharmacy…) Email subject lines should be fairly short, and direct. They should convey the content of the email in as few words as possible. This can be accomplished without mentioning any products by name.
In the example shown below, Lenovo added an element of personalization to the subject line, without personalizing it for the individual recipient.
This is the kind of technique that grabs the viewers attention within the first few words – and that is critical.
And the corresponding email itself is decent too. It displays a wide mix of different products across a number of categories, all the while not mentioning any specific product names. This is accomplished through the tactical use of imagery designed to make the products look pretty sweet at first glance.
Furthermore, take notice of the fact that each product has a bright green CTA located to the left, with a little white arrow in the frame. Do you know what that arrow does? It directs shoppers to the fact that clicking on the box will take them directly to the deal. It’s a nice touch, but not an absolute requirement. However, it is indicative of attention to detail on the part of the sender.
The critical point here is that, when it comes to images in emails, it’s important to use the right ones when running a campaign. Images should be well sized to match the body of the email itself, and it’s important to direct shoppers attention to either one or a series of CTAs strategically located in places they are sure to notice.
But what else can be done with emails?
Videos: Now In Your Inbox!
A video embedded within the body of an email is nothing new or groundbreaking. However, these days it is no longer a hassle to view a video in your inbox. And when a video is sufficiently short and well produced, its rather enjoyable too!
In the example below, the company is not outright trying to sell their products through a classic promotion. Rather, they want the viewer to first watch the video to see how their products perform. Next, if the viewer is impressed, they just hit the CTA titled “Start Shopping” below the video to go right to the website.
Now, it’s important to mention that when it comes to the content of an email, there is such a thing as “too much”. So it’s important to decide on the focus beforehand. Either image’s, or a single video. And if you are going to use images, how many, and in what order?
When it comes to off-site marketing efforts, keep your message clear, and CTA simple. Those are the critical things to keep in mind. There is no singular, definitive way to get your message out there – but there are certainly methods and tactics that are reasonably effective. Of course, the implementation of those methods and tactics comes down to you, and what it is that you decide is best for your business.
This is not the end of the guide. In part III The Datacrushers Guide to eCommerce Visual Marketing, we will discuss social media and shopper engagement. Stay tuned!
Founded in 2015, Datacrushers uses Machine Learning and A.I. along with NLP to identify and recover revenue loss, cart abandonment and discover new revenue sources across any site. The revenue discovery platform completes the deep ongoing analysis of eCommerce websites by monitoring the three main focal points of any site: The User, Site, and Product.
Unlike traditional “cart abandonment platforms,” Datacrushers does not require shoppers and customers to be logged-in to conduct both on and offsite campaigns. We use a wide range of data-driven and analytics based conversion tools to target the shopper at the right time with the most accurate and effective campaign to drive the sale.
Datacrushers is platform, language, and currency agnostic and requires only a few lines of code to get started therefore delivering an ultra-fast go-to-market with minimal set-up time and tech intervention.
Based out of Jerusalem, Israel, Datacrushers has clients worldwide including, The US, China, Russia, UK, Germany, and more.