Friday, August 10, 2007

8 Tips from 8x8

Attendees at the Direct Marketing Association "Fast Forward 2007" Executive Summit for Information Business Leaders, held in New York, August 1, had the opportunity to hear high-powered Ecommerce Consultant Amy Africa of Eight By Eight deliver eight tips for Ecommerce optimization:

1. Search inquiries should lead to micro-sites and targeted Web sites for a specific request, with merchandise offered as the result of analytics, not "gut instincts." Moreover, marketers should be using a variety of search strategies, including pay per click, organic, and listings in alternate or industry- or topic-specific search engines.

2. Make better use of integration tools for online and offline contact management, such as circulation-combining tools (although software programs that would facilitate them aren't commercially available yet). They also include tracking metrics like the number of clicks within a site before a prospect makes a purchase. Combine the data, and use it to inform marketing decisions back and forth across the virtual and real worlds. But remember that the mechanics of marketing online and offline are very different, from the breadth of products offered to the sales cycle times.

3. Use trigger-based e-mail efforts in reaction to customer or prospect behavior, such as EBOPPS, EBOSI and EBOTAS -- e-mails based on past purchases, selected interests and target audiences. Be aware of the factors that influence your response rates such as time of day and e-mail format.

4. Get help obtaining e-mail addresses. As Africa put it, "the company with the most viable names wins." Use e-mail appends, and remember to include source lookups.

5. Forge third-party agreements, including banners, swaps, e-mail introductions for complementary offerings and mentions in offline media.

6. Develop user profiling programs. There's a lot more information available online than offline. The more information a user has about its customer, the more streamlined the site it can show.

7. All markets are not alike, and should not use Web sites that work as if they were. The needs of the education, government, business-to-business and consumer audiences are radically different. So too should be the sites that present to them.

8. Take better advantage of metrics. Know the average audience user session (AAUS) length. Track page views, user paths within a site, which pages surfers come in through, which pages are the last ones viewed before they leave, what the main referring URLs and Web sites are, and which key words are used, both to access your site, and within internal site searches. Know where and when prospects abandon shopping carts, and where within the sales funnel they drop out.

And above all, remember that even with a good, well-designed site, 60 percent of visitors will leave without making a purchase.

No comments:

Web Analytics