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November 17, 2010

The Small Online Merchants Guide To Cyber Monday Success

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3123384190 0c2ebb8594 m If you run an ecommerce site and your store is not one of the top 500 online retailers , you likely are up at night obsessing about how to get on that list. After all, those 500 claimed nearly 70% of all online purchases last year. eCommerce has become a winner-take-most model and it’s remarkably difficult for small and medium-sized online stores to catch up without truly changing their customer acquisition model.

Cyber Monday is an important kickoff to the shopping year – how will your store compete?

Redefine Success for Cyber Monday 2010

Instead of trying to compete on price with the Amazon.coms and Home Depots of the world on Cyber Monday, create a marketing strategy to retain the one-day-only traffic increase on November 29th, 2010. After all, most purchases take place between December 5 and December 15 th . Think of Cyber Monday as a potential shot-in-the-arm for your holiday marketing, not a winner-take-all-24-hour-e-tailing-thunderdome.

Below, we outline how to execute a marketing strategy for your Cyber Monday traffic that will align your marketing in December with real consumer buying cycles in the holiday season.

1. Brainstorm a Compelling Offer for New Visitors

Compelling offers are offers that visitors are willing to give up their email address for the right to participate. Need ideas? Consider:

  1. Contests (“test your knowledge, win free gear”)
  2. Sweepstakes (“enter to win free gear”)
  3. Short-term holiday coupons (“register to save $50 before December 20 th ”)
  4. Unique and in-depth buyers’ guides or shopping assistance not available elsewhere ("ask an expert for gift tips")

It’s most important to pick an offer that your market segment would find appealing. Consider what has worked for you or your competitors in the past, and move quickly to define the details of the offer.

2. Create a Call-to-Action Button and Place it Prominently on your Home Page for Monday

This shouldn’t be hard after you’ve envisioned the offer itself. Make sure to create a large, attractive button that will prominently attract user attention. Remember, this does not need to canabilize transactions, but can lead visitors back to the main store after they accept the offer. Place the button in a higihly visible location on your home page.

3. Link your Call-to-Action to a Dedicated Landing Page

Next, you need a landing page that will convert interested traffic. Generally consumers will understand that offers like contests and sweepstakes will require an email address, but not all will – your landing page should have a short form and “sell” the offer so that consumers not expecting a form are still enticed to complete the offer post-click on the call to action.

4. Configure a Thank-You Page to Curate User Experience Post-Submission

After consumers fill out the form, present them with a thank you message and their offer (in the case of a buyer’s guide or coupon) on a dedicated thank-you page. Additionally, link your visitors back to relevant products and categories or even embed relevant products on the thank-you page if your software allows. If you’re offering a coupon, this is particularly relevant – but even in the case of sweepstakes and contests, you want to get your products in front of as many consumers as possible as frequently as possible. Your thank-you page is another opportunity to do so.

5. Remarket to Differentiate Yourself and Increase Product Visibility

Over the next few critical weeks until December 24 th , you should be remarketing to your new email addresses. Follow up with consumers to redeem their coupons; follow up to encourage them to share the contest with their friends; follow up to ask how the buyer’s guide helped, and how you can help further.

You should be putting your products, promotions, and offers in front of these consumers as often as reasonably possible to encourage a sale. This probably means one email per week, where the content of the email is not connected to the original offer above. Implement additional promotions and offers that will differentiate your products and services from bigger online retailers that can undercut your prices.

Using Inbound Marketing to Capitalize on Cyber Monday

The inbound marketing tactic of creating free visitor value in return for re-marketable email addresses can dramatically help SMB ecommerce sites improve their one-day-only traffic influx on Cyber Monday. Good marketers understand these inbound tactics and make frequent use of them – as you examine the competition on November 29 th , consider how many of the top 500 retailers are already using these tactics, and consider if you’re ready to start with more sophisticated marketing techniques to produce remarkable sales figures.

Photo Credit: greengymdog


Topics: Inbound Marketing Ecommerce

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