The eCommerce sphere is fiercely competitive, which makes building a new brand for your online business one of the biggest challenges you will face. However, anyone looking to build a new eCommerce brand can do so by focusing on two key marketing pillars: email marketing and paid ads.
While other forms of marketing can be important, email marketing and paid ads can significantly increase your chances of converting new customers, make the most of each marketing dollar spent, and improve brand awareness for your target consumers.
In this guide, we’ll go over:
- The importance of both email marketing and paid ads for building brand awareness, converting consumers, and more
- How to leverage email marketing and paid ads to maximum effect
- The types of paid ads
- How to use automation tools to streamline your campaigns
- And more
We’ll also break down how Springbot can help you achieve your eCommerce marketing goals through being a multichannel marketing platform with the tools to launch and manage email marketing and paid advertising campaigns all from the same hub.
Let’s get started!
Building Your Brand
There’s no doubt that building and developing a brand is incredibly difficult, especially if you’re trying to break into a competitive niche like apparel or software. Hundreds of new companies in both of these industries and more start every month, and each company has to compete for the same limited number of target consumers (unless you’re lucky enough to be in a truly unique niche).
Odds are you aren’t. In that case, your marketing has to be top-tier and effective if you want to draw in your target consumers and convert them to paying customers.
But building an eCommerce brand isn’t advertising for a traditional, brick-and-mortar company. You have to follow different principles and utilize different tools to see success. Two of the most important tools in your kit are email marketing campaigns and paid advertisements.
The Two Pillars of Brand Awareness and Consumer Conversion
Let’s take a closer look at these pillars of brand awareness. Both must be used in conjunction with one another for maximum efficacy.
Email marketing is a digital marketing strategy involving sending emails to both current customers (for the purposes of retaining their business or improving brand awareness) or prospects (which are potential customers that your targeting has identified as consumers likely to convert).
Note that email marketing is not the same thing as spam advertisements. Your email marketing efforts will be effective, attractive, and persuasive rather than end up in the junk folders of your target consumers.
Paid advertisements are exactly what they sound like; they’re ads you pay for to be placed on your own website and major search engine or social media platforms like Google, Facebook, Instagram, and more.
Paid ads can be targeted directly to consumers who are likely to become paying customers if they become aware of your brand or are shown the value your company can offer by solving a particular pain point.
Both of these advertising vectors can be incredibly successful on a per-dollar basis. Smart email marketing is cost-efficient and fast, and effective paid advertisements are more than worth the money you’ll spend creating and posting them.
Why Use Email Marketing?
In an age when everyone has junk email folders and most consumers are liable to look away from ads as soon as they realize they are being marketed to, why bother with email marketing in the first place?
Although common sense says that other ads may be more effective, in truth, email marketing is an effective way to nurture leads and improve customer loyalty depending on who you target.
It’s all because email is the top communication channel for millions of users across the Internet. According to certain surveys, 99% of users check their emails on a daily basis. Even simple brand awareness emails, therefore, reach more eyeballs than other types of advertisements.
Furthermore, eCommerce brands own their marketing lists. In other words, you aren’t limited to social media platform membership or the rules of another organization. You can market to your heart’s content and never have the email marketing channel taken away from you. Thus, your email lists are renewable collections of leads you can follow to get new business in perpetuity.
Lastly, email marketing does a surprisingly good job of converting customers. In fact, some evidence suggests that email marketing has an average return on investment of over 4000%. Given the fact that making an email list and sending out mass email marketing messages to consumers can cost just a few dollars at a time (if that), it’s no surprise it has such a good cost-effectiveness ratio.
All in all, email marketing can be used for:
- Reaching out to prospects to raise awareness of your brand or introduce your target solutions to them
- Retain existing consumers’ loyalty, particularly if they haven’t made a purchase in some time
Leveraging Email Marketing for Maximum Effect
Let’s break down how you should leverage your email marketing efforts to see the best results.
To start, you’ll need to collect and curate an email marketing list. Your eCommerce website can gather emails through a few different methods:
- You can have customers opt in to email marketing at the checkout page or shortly after. Making this step mandatory is a great way to get more emails fast, although it can also irritate your customers if you aren’t careful
- You can get emails voluntarily by offering perks or discounts for those who sign up for your marketing service. These are technically called lead magnets – they’re essentially free bribes you give away in exchange for the email address. Examples include webinars, free trials, quizzes, free quotes or consultations, and more
The key thing to remember is that your lead magnet has to be easily consumed, actionable, and provide immediate improvement or benefit to the user. Have a good lead magnet, and you’ll get emails much more quickly than you would otherwise.
If you decide to create an “Optin” form that converts, make sure it has:
- An enticing headline
- A helpful description
- Very attractive visuals
- Simplistic forms so people don’t have to fill out more than a name and email address
Then you’ll need to choose an email marketing service.
Springbot’s email service includes everything you need to craft, edit, and finally send a successful email campaign. It includes features like:
- List management software. With this, you’ll be able to both build and manage your email marketing lists with total ease and simplicity, as well as import customer information from outside sources like your website
- Multivariate testing tools. These allow you to send messages in multiple versions and test emails against one another to find the ones that are most successful
- Customer segmentation tools – these allow you to automate certain email marketing processes and engage your contacts with improved results
- Drop campaign tools: perfect for setting up follow-up campaigns to keep your subscribers engaged over the long term. Think automated email messages that send when your customers take certain actions, like making a purchase or visiting your site
Why Use Paid Ads?
Paid ads are the primary vector through which most eCommerce brands reach their new consumers. Paid ads are the major way in which you will demonstrate your solutions and brand identity, communicate to new customers, and improve brand awareness across the board.
Other aspects of eCommerce marketing are also important. For example, you need to practice good search engine optimization so your target consumers can find your site and products when they answer key search words. You’ll also need to practice good email marketing and social media marketing.
But paid ads are targeted ways to draw in new consumers and convert prospects into paying customers. Nothing works quite as well as a targeted at placed on a key website or social media platform that artfully showcases the flagship product or service that brings in most of your revenue.
The trick, of course, is setting up your paid ads in the right areas. Marketing platforms like Springbot can help eCommerce brands run effective paid ad campaigns through analysis, management tools, and more.
Paid ads are used for:
- Converting prospects into new customers
- Increasing brand awareness on key websites or social media platforms
- Bringing back existing customers who haven’t made a purchase in some time
Types of Paid Ads
There are many types of paid ads available. Most of them are posted on specific platforms, such as Google or Facebook. Here are some examples:
- Google Shopping ads are those displayed at the top of search engine results pages or SERPs. They’re the basic, one or two-line ads you see when you Google something. These rely on visual aspects like photos and names of your product or prices, as well as smart search engine optimization
- Google Text Ads are also displayed on search engine pages – these are the text-only ads that tell users that they are paid promotions. They only require copy and links to your landing pages or webpages, so they are cost-effective and easy to set up
- Google Display Ads include images and are often shown on specific web pages instead of on search engine result pages. These are ideal for facilitating brand awareness and drawing in consumers who connect with your company’s aesthetic. Display ads alone generate hundreds of millions of impressions each month
- Dynamic Search Ads, which appear on SERPs and can help drive traffic to your websites through queries that don’t usually involve keywords
- Facebook Ads, which themselves come in a wide variety. For example, Stories Ads are posted on Facebook Stories and can fit a full-screen. They benefit from high-quality video content and can be customized to a great extent. Photo Ads are simple social media ads that must fit 1080 x 1080 P resolution to prevent cropping. Carousel Ads are flashing and cost-effective, and are especially good for targeting consumers already in the mood to spend money on Facebook
- Instagram Ads, which, like Facebook, come in several different types. Story Ads are similar to the Facebook Story ads mentioned above, but you’ll also find video ads, photo ads, collection ads, carousel ads, and more. Importantly, both Facebook and Instagram ads can often be managed and posted together since Instagram is owned by Facebook. The Facebook Ads Manager should be leveraged to control these ads
- Snapchat Ads, which can be fun and engaging for brands that know how to leverage their targeting data correctly. Some ads can be created as interactive experiences, especially with augmented reality technology, while others are plain and simple commercials. Even Snapchat filters can serve as ads
As you can see, the sky is truly the limit when it comes to paid ad types. You can get truly creative with making and running paid ad campaigns, but managing more than one campaign can be costly and time-consuming.
Springbot can help you manage multiple ad campaigns simultaneously and help you analyze user data to figure out which campaigns are working the best (and, thus, which ones to focus on and which ones to cut).
The Difference Between Prospecting and Retargeting Ads
Most eCommerce paid advertising involves creating and posting two types of ads: prospecting ads and retargeting ads.
Prospecting ads are exactly what they sound like; they’re designed to bring in new traffic by using specific sets of targeting parameters. In other words, they target your ideal consumers using targeting metrics and information and bring in new business that way. Clever placement and excellent ad design will go a long way in maximizing these ads’ effectiveness.
Retargeting ads, on the other hand, are designed to recapture users who’ve already had contact with your website or business. The classic example is a customer who bought one thing from your website once and never returned. A retargeting ad can reignite interest in your brand and make them a more loyal customer than they are currently.
Understanding how to leverage both types of ads is key to maximizing your paid ad marketing efforts. Springbot has tools to help you create, post, and manage both types of ads.
For example, Springbot can help to analyze your store’s consumer data, then present that data in a way that helps you attract new prospects and boost site traffic. By managing prospecting ads with Springbot, you’ll be able to diversify your marketing strategy and bring in new and unique shoppers to your eCommerce brand.
Meanwhile, Springbot’s retargeting ad tools can help you re-target existing traffic back to your store if certain consumers have wandered away. You’ll be able to display online ads and target previous users or visitors for maximum effect and customer retention.
Using Paid Ads Effectively
The key to making the most of your paid ads lies in accurate targeting.
You have to get to know your target audience if you want your ads to be super effective. This involves determining:
- What motivates your target audience
- What problems they have that you can solve
- What emotional vectors you can connect to them through
- And more
Basically, you have to create a buyer persona before you even begin thinking about ad copy, budgets, and A/B testing.
If you create a buyer persona, you’ll be able to craft high-quality ads that speak directly to them and that resonate more deeply. Fortunately, marketing platforms such as Springbot or even ad managers like Facebook’s help you to collect user data and present that data in the form of audience insights. Google Analytics is another example of an ad data platform that gives you demographic information and more.
For example, Google Analytics provides an “Audience Report” that tells you where visitors to your site come from, which parts of your site they spend the most time on, and where on your sales funnel they convert into customers (if at all).
Other marketing platforms can do the same thing. The point is to use this data to craft an accurate buyer persona before making your paid ads.
There’s another part of paid advertising you need to focus on to see the best results: optimizing your website.
You see, your ads will theoretically lead people straight to a landing page or purchase page for your website. If your website isn’t optimized for SEO, intuitive navigation, and mobile users (half of all Internet traffic comes from mobile sources these days, like phones or tablets), then people may click away from your site even after being brought there by one of your top-tier ads.
That’s an advertising disaster! So you have to make sure that the destination is just as well-crafted for your target audience as the ads that brought them there in the first place.
Lastly, you’ll want to make sure that your paid ads themselves are high-quality and that they actually speak to your target consumers.
It doesn’t matter how well optimized your website is or how accurate your buyer persona is, either, if you don’t make ads that really engage with your target consumers.
That means hiring expert copywriters, leveraging graphic designers and Internet marketers, and more to create high-quality video, image, and text ads that can connect with your audience and make them feel something for your brand.
There’s good news – this aspect of paid ad marketing will become easier as you go along. Your copywriters and ad creators will learn what works best for your key audience as you gather data by posting ads and seeing which marketing campaigns work best (and which ones don’t).
So your best bet, if you’re first starting out with your eCommerce website, is to make some relatively cheap ads and post them as quickly as possible. Take that initial data and start iterating to improve the next batch. Once again, Springbot can help you get the data you need to craft ads that work as well as possible.
Leveraging Automation for Email Marketing and Paid Ads
The bigger your eCommerce business grows, the more marketing emails and paid ads you’ll have to create and send out to capture as many potential consumers as possible. After all, as your business grows, you’ll have to spend more money to make more money!
But you’ll also need to spend more time on your email marketing and paid advertising efforts unless you use automation tools.
Automation widgets and tools like Springbot’s features can help you automate certain aspects of your email and paid advertising chains. For example, this marketing platform includes a drag-and-drop automation editor that allows you to craft customer communication flows perfectly for your subscribers or target consumers.
These automated tools can then adjust the message flows or the content of your ads slightly based on your goals. They’re much more time-efficient, and they’re intuitive to use! Small business owners and marketers can create new flows for marketing campaigns with a few button clicks.
Best of all, Springbot’s automation tools contain steps that can be dropped into an easy-to-understand editor to help you visualize the marketing flow.
Bottom line: when you begin your marketing efforts, it’s good to be as hands-on as possible. But as you expand and start to scale your eCommerce brand to true profitability, you’ll need to use marketing tools to automatically send emails to clients and customers, post social media ads, and adjust ads based on target audience behavior.
As you can see, email marketing and paid ads are both important methods of digital marketing, which is itself a massively complex subject. It takes a lot of time and effort to master digital marketing, even for very small businesses, but you can get the best bang for your buck and see fantastic results if you use a marketing platform like Springbot.
In fact, Springbot can help with every aspect of the email marketing and paid advertising processes mentioned above. Whether it’s crafting ads or emails for your target consumers or repeat customers, sending emails on a regular cadence, or gathering data for later analysis and ad creation, Springbot can help.