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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

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Top Email Marketing Services For eCommerce

When it comes to online marketing, email is on top.

Delivering higher rates of interest than any other marketing type, email is your key to building a dedicated database of faithful customers.

Jumping into the world of email marketing, the pure amount of options available can be extremely overwhelming, with each platform promising something new and extraordinary.

Let us guide you through the very best options available on the market right now, looking at features and functionalities that differentiate each from the next.

In order to elevate your online business, these email marketing services have to be at the top of your list:


#1 AWeber

AWeber is a cornerstone in the world of email marketing, known for being reliable and very affordable. AWeber has existed for more than 20 years, and it is believed to be one of the first email marketing solutions.

The main selling point for AWeber is the affordable prices for companies with smaller email lists. AWeber promises professionally designed email templates, guaranteed to impress clients and start nurturing an ever-growing clientele.

Another key feature AWeber is sought after for, are their high rates of email delivery. In the world of email marketing, this is arguably the most important factor; what use are emails that don’t end up in your client’s inbox? AWeber is known for its unprecedented delivery rates, claiming to be the best in the business in this aspect. With a dedicated deliverability team, AWeber’s claims are more than just hot air; they ensure all your emails are delivered.

With a total of six plans, AWeber offers many solutions that change in features and price depending on your number of subscribers. Unless you’re looking to go with the most expensive plan, prices will range between $19 and $149 billed monthly. Annual and quarterly billing options are also available if monthly payments won’t work for you.

Offering a total of six plans, AWeber is extremely flexible, allowing you to pick the package that perfectly suits your business. The plans’ prices grow as you go from the bottom to the top packages, ranging between $19 and $149.

We have written an extremely detailed review of AWeber. Check it out to see if this option is the one for you.

#2 MailChimp

Originally exclusively an email marketing service, MailChimp has also spread its roots in recent times, offering services such as landing page creating and other advertisement options.

Even though MailChimp has started to spread its wings, its email marketing service is still grounded as one of the best.

MailChimp is one of the email marketing giants, with millions of users worldwide. MailChimp makes use of this by collecting data to provide beneficial insights to keep refining all their clients’ email strategy.

The key features that define MailChimp’s strengths are its huge amount of third-party application integrations. These integrations allow you to shape MailChimp to fit your email strategy perfectly.

A few of the most powerful integrations include Shopify, Facebook, and WordPress. For example, MailChimp’s Shopify integration prompts store visitors to subscribe to your email marketing directly from your E-commerce site. 

Slightly less flexible than AWeber, MailChimp gives users the option of four different pricing plans to choose from. Ranging from a free option to around $300, each option’s price scales with the number of email contacts you plan on using.

If you’re torn on deciding between MailChimp or AWeber, check out this article where we compare the strength and weaknesses of the two in detail.

#3 SendInBlue

A straightforward email marketing service, SendInBlue is the go-to choice for beginners. 

Using an intuitive drag-and-drop email editor, less technologically experienced users will have an easy time creating and customizing their email campaigns. This simplicity should not be viewed as restrictive for experienced users, as the editor can still produce professional-quality campaigns.

Even outside of designing, SendinBlue also uses beginner-friendly automation tools that allow users to send emails, construct workflows for automatic follow-up emails, and segment email recipients. Using artificial intelligence, SendInBlue can also determine the best time to send bulk emails, ensuring the highest possible deliverability rates.

SendInBlue offers arguably the best free option of email marketing services, as it allows you to make use of most of their features, only being restricted by an email cap of 300 per day. This allows you to rigorously test every aspect of the software to see if it is worth paying for. The basic premium plan starts at $25 per month. Recently, they also added features like a landing page builder, CRM, live chat, and Facebook ad integration, giving you even more bang for your buck.

#4 Constant Contact

A lesser-known option, Constant Contact, is fastly growing as a potential pick for businesses. Following SendInBlue, Constant Contact also focuses on a beginner-friendly experience.

This service has a super intuitive interface, allowing you to easily manage your email templates, contacts, marketing calendar, and much more.

Taking inspiration from MailChimp, Constant Contact also provides incredibly useful third party integration. Key integrations include powerful eCommerce integrations for platforms like eCommerce and WordPress. 

Providing one of the longest free trials, a full 60 days, you have more than enough time to test the waters before you invest.

#5 HubSpot

HubSpot is quickly becoming one of the biggest names in email marketing. With a large list of useful features, HubSpot aims to breach the gap between beginner and intermediate users, with optional but advantageous features.

Catering to newer users, HubSpot also makes use of a drag and drop editor, adding on to their large library of beautiful pre-made templates (which you can also customize.)

The key to boosting conversion through email marketing is creating enticing and alluring emails, leading recipients to click through to your website.

The email editor allows you to use any of your email subscriber’s contact information to automatically display personalized information in email content, subject lines, and links.

HubSpot also utilizes A/B testing (also known as split testing.)

These insights given to you by split testing are very beneficial to see which of your campaigns perform the best and tell you why.

HubSpot offers an amazing free option, allowing you to send up to 2000 emails for free monthly. After that, upgrading your plan starts at $50 per month.

#6 ConvertKit

ConvertKit is the best email marketing option if you are promoting an eCommerce website.

ConvertKit makes use of pre-made templates, which you can use to customize to fill in your campaign’s information. This is ConvertKit’s weakest aspect, as these pre-made designs tend to be quite lackluster, although they could still get the job done. 

The reason why ConvertKit is the best solution for promoting eCommerce websites is their focus on building campaigns with integrations for landing pages, eCommerce platforms, and other membership sites.

If you are focused on selling products and don’t mind simple emails without distracting elements, this is the solution for you.

As with other email marketing solutions, your subscription price is based on the number of emails you send.

#7 GetResponse

This marketing platform places heavy emphasis on its user-friendly interface. This makes the whole process, from importing your email contact list to finally sending your campaigns, silky smooth.

Their email editor also allows the insertion of custom HTML code, allowing you to customize your campaigns pixel-perfectly. The editor also has mobile optimization, ensuring that your newsletters will look just as good on both phones and desktops alike.

GetResponse is also known for having handy 24/7 support over live chat and email. This is very reassuring; if you ever have any questions, they are there for you.

As with most other email marketing services, the subscription price of GetResponse is determined by the number of clients you will be sending emails to.

#8 Drip

Drip is an email marketing service designed to be used for eCommerce businesses. Drip prides itself in its seamless integration with top eCommerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce.

This email marketing service makes use of CRM data to craft personalized marketing experiences to boost engagement and build customer loyalty greatly. 

Drip gives you profound insights into customer habits. You’ll have the ability to tag each action a user performs to get the complete story for every customer. 

This makes it plausible for you to segment your email list based on clicks, previous purchases, opened emails, and much more. Drip specializes in exceptional personalization for each eCommerce customer. These personalized operations will help you develop trust and generate long-term customer devotion.

Drip offers a free 14-day trial before investing in a subscription, the cheapest being $49 per month. This price increases with the number of clients on your email list.

Conclusion

To get the most out of email marketing, you will need to pick a service that provides contemporary features. These features are crucial if you seek success via email marketing in any way, and not using them will put you at a clear disadvantage over your competitors.

Key features are:

  • Automation Sequences
  • Email List Segmentation
  • Specifically targeted email strategies

These features also exist to boost your revenue and save you the precious time of manually scheduling these emails. Reading through the list above, you can determine which platform is the best fit for you.

We trust that this list will guide you as you embark on your email marketing journey to elevate your business above your competitors.

Have any questions regarding email marketing? Let us know in the comments below.

Mailchimp Continues Its Transformation By Launching New AI Tools

White cyborg finger about to touch human finger on dark background 3D rendering

Mailchimp may have started out as an easy to use newsletter tool, but that was almost 20 years ago. Today’s company still does email, but at its core, it is now a marketing automation platform for small businesses that also offers a website builder, basic online stores, digital ad support, and analytics to make sense of it all. Like before, though, the company’s main goal is to make all these features easy to use for small business users. “

Mailchimp continues setting its transformation in motion, launching a number of AI-powered tools to help their customers. These tools are claimed to give small businesses access to the same capabilities their large competitors use.

These tools include forecasting tools to aid behavioral targeting, allowing business owners to see what products are most likely to be bought by different groups of prospects. As well as an AI-backed designer, to help business owners design personalized visual assets.

Click here to read the full article: Mailchimp Launches New AI Tools as It Continues Its Transformation to Marketing Platform

Affiliate Marketing With Shopify

As one of the biggest e-commerce platforms globally, Shopify aims to cater to both small and enterprise-level online stores, as well as anything in between.  

A big factor that plays a role in Shopify’s flexibility is its powerful, ever-evolving app store. Businesses that choose Shopify as a platform have access to an absolute goldmine of apps, allowing you to build and refine your store around your needs.

Recently, the addition of affiliate marketing apps on Shopify stores has been blowing up. In Layman’s terms, affiliate marketing apps aim to increase revenue by incentivizing (using commissions) current customers to recommend their store’s products to others.

Why should I use affiliate marketing?


Having a strong affiliate marketing program means reduced ongoing costs, as well as reduced risks. Hiring a marketing & sales team is expensive, so why not recruit an army of affiliate partners that can generate the same, if not more sales, without the investment.

Affiliate marketing also greatly increases your web-reach; since your reps will be advertising your businesses via their social media, blogs, and all other online content. This also means a great load of work is lifted from your shoulders, as these marketing attempts would previously be your sole responsibility! Also, seeing buzz being generated by lots of different people will leave any prospects impressed with your products.

Upping your game, you can even recruit influencers or other prominent social media figures to promote your product, guaranteeing thousands of new eyes being laid upon your product.

How much money can I make from affiliate marketing?


The affiliate marketing industry is rapidly shaping up to be one of the best modern marketing strategies. Looking at statistics, it’s reported that spending on affiliate marketing in the United States was predicted to reach around $8 billion by 2022. This is a huge growth from its humble beginnings in 2010, back then only garnering around $1.6 billion.

Another study provides a closer look at exactly just how much affiliate marketers are making. Results from this survey show that 9% of affiliate marketers churned out more than $50k from this marketing strategy in 2016. The majority of online merchants (around 65%) said they were getting between 5-20% of their annual profits from affiliate marketing alone.

Creating an affiliate program using Shopify apps


With Shopify’s easy-to-use app store, setting up an affiliate program for your store is super simple. Begin this process by browsing the app store and installing an affiliate program app of your choice; our personal favorites include Secomapp & Bold.

Let’s take a deeper look at these two apps, and what they bring to the table:

Secomapp: Affiliate Marketing


Secomapp is used and trusted by more than 30,000 Shopify merchants to help their business flourish. Secomapp focuses on affiliate marketing’s idea of no upfront costs – exclusively paying when sales are actually made, leading to huge traffic & revenue boosts.  

This app allows you to customize your program’s monetary incentives personally, ensuring a streamlined prize-progression for all your affiliates. Affiliate tracking is accurate and automatic, resulting in a very smooth experience for both referrers and new affiliates.

Setting up the app is a breeze, with a quickstart guide available to everyone, as well as detailed documents and a super dedicated support team that work around the clock to answer any customer queries.

Bold Loyalty Points & Rewards


At its core, Bold allows you to create a loyalty point system, creating a retention program in minutes. But Bold also, of course, allows the creation of a referral program. 

This referral program allows you to offer incentives to new customers, reward existing customers for successful referrals, customize your program with minimum purchase amounts, and much more!


Conclusion


Affiliate marketing is a very intruiging option for upcoming online-euntrepeneurs due to its low-risk high-reward dynamic. With a click of a few buttons, you can install one of these apps and take your online store to the next level.

Ecommerce Trends in 2021

In 2020, eCommerce’s growth was catapulted due to circumstances, causing a hyper-inflation in advancements, boosting digital evolution by years in the span of a few months.

To say 2020 was different, would be the understatement of the year. Stores flocked to digital platforms, coffee tables turned into conference rooms, business and retail has been turned on its head.

The magnitude of storefronts migrating to a digital platform last year, has never been seen. Before 2020, prospects were already on their way to steadily becoming digitally dependant, even while shopping. Now, after growing used to social distancing and limited travel, customers have grown accustomed to having their retail wishes granted at the push of a button. 

As a result, brands have had to improve their digital presence, as online interactions grew from around 42% in 2019, to 60% in 2020.

Taking the US as an example, research from McKinsey shows the shocking number of customers preferring new, online brands over old retail ones. Over 75% of Americans switched to digital shopping alternatives due to convenience, safety, and reliability. Of course, safety also plays a large role in this huge increase, as the fear of COVID-19 led customers to choose the safe, contactless method of online shopping.

Learning from last year, let’s take a look at the predicted changes and trends coming up in 2021.

The merge of social media and eCommerce

As social media and eCommerce continue to morph together, social media platforms will continue to build on the fantasy of “seamless” shopping. This transformation is prevalent in multiple social platforms over the last few years, including Facebook and Instagram’s marketplace. In 2021, we expect to see brands take it one step further, adopting even more eCommerce capabilities. 

This social media takeover further cements eCommerce as the go-to choice for Millenials and Gen-Z, the main social media users. 

The shift to social media will also challenge brands to re-think traditional definitions, such as “frictionless shopping,” expanding the definition to now include effortless checkouts directly from social media apps.

Delivery: the new normal?

Understandably, delivery services have become extremely popular this year. For example, Uber Eats and Amazon have warped the way customers order food or groceries. Even these huge companies were straining throughout the year to meet demands during the pandemic height.

Now, as the fear of retail shopping translated to the increase of online shopping, people have gotten used to convenience. It’s clear to see the delivery of online goods isn’t slowing down. On the contrary, 2021 might yield the need for even more delivery services. As partnerships with last-mile delivery services will become more common as retailers seek to leverage their physical stores to fulfill locally placed online orders. 

A turn of tides: Retail copying eCommerce

Even though eCommerce was king this year, retail branches aren’t going anywhere. As with most things this year, retail stores are also transforming. As opposed to the traditional design mentality of eCommerce stores mimicking the retail experience, this year has caused retailers to do the exact opposite. Major retailer Walmart has already started morphing their physical stores by taking inspiration from online shopping. These changes help apply the eCommerce concept of “seamless shopping” to physical stores.

Along with this, the synergy between retail and online stores are also growing, as delivery methods such as Buy Online, Pickup In-Store is becoming familiar components of shopping culture. Continuing these technologies’ support, convenient features such as contactless checkout and queue management will also become key. 

Sourcing customers through Artificial Intelligence

Arguably one of the most important and fastest-growing technologies of the current age, artificial intelligence is also extremely beneficial for eCommerce.

AI is already being used in eCommerce to make smart product suggestions, help shoppers envision products better, and support you with customer inquiries. In 2021, AI is going to assist you in finding your customers too.

Utilizing intelligent algorithms, current trends will be analyzed and compared to your products, customer behavior, and sales channels to help you adjust your products for maximum exposure. Getting your hands on this technology will result in enormous profit boosts with minimal effort.

ReCommerce, giving your old belongings a new home online

ReCommerce, or second-hand commerce, is expected to see a revival next year. eCommerce experts claim that the second-hand market is expected to double within the next five years.

With customers becoming more aware and motivated by product sustainability, the reselling of luxury items will shape the reCommerce industry’s future. This exciting new eCommerce trend holds great potential for any entrepreneurs looking to start a reselling business.

Conclusion

There has never been a better time to dive into eCommerce. If any of the listed upcoming trends tickled your inspiration, let us help you show your idea to the world. 

Growing your online store: Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is popular because it works. Speaking to your target audience through an influencer is an amazing way to get your website to explode in popularity. With proper research and brand identity, your product could become a household name overnight.

However, there are many pitfalls in this venture – as of course, if it was easy everyone would do it! So let us guide you through the do’s and don’ts, of influencer marketing.

Read full article here: How To Grow Your Online Store: Influencer Marketing

eCommerce With TikTok

Social media giant TikTok has recently revealed their plans to explode its diversification into the world of eCommerce. This will allow brands to use the culture-shaping impact and reach that this app has proven to have.

What is TikTok?

TikTok, owned by tech mega-corp ByteDance, is a video-sharing mobile app that allows users to create and share short videos on any topic. The app provides users with a vast library of music and dialogue options, with which they could then use to make funny or entertaining videos.

The app’s users predominantly consist of teens and young adults, is an enormous untapped market for promoting and selling products online.

At the end of 2020, TikTok surpassed 1 Billion monthly users (which is now sitting at 1.1 Billion as of February 2021.) This makes it one of the biggest social media platforms worldwide.

TikTok in Social Commerce

In their annual advertiser-brief, ByteDance revealed their planned features for the app in 2021. According to several attendees – one of these features is a tool that allows TikTok’s most popular content creators to share links to products, earning commission on any sale made through their link.

This is textbook affiliate marketing, and third-party companies have been doing this for a while – providing TikTok creators with sponsorships to promote their products with affiliate links.

However, the most anticipated feature is still to be discussed:

TikTok is also planning to allow brands to showcase their products to be purchased directly on the app. 

This is TikTok’s attempt to break into the social commerce market, in which the platforms Instagram and Facebook currently are the kingpins. Social commerce is predicted to expand exponentially as one of the biggest eCommerce and social media trends of 2021, with more and more brands considering it as a new retail avenue.

Campaigning your brand on TikTok, you’re looking at reaching views in the billions, which is very enticing for big companies. 

This news is extra exciting to Shopify store owners, as Shopify integration is almost guaranteed following TikTok’s partnership with Shopify last year.

TikTok’s Shopify Deal

In October of last year, TikTok announced an unexpected partnership with Shopify, one of the biggest eCommerce platforms. Shopify’s Vice President of Product stated that this partnership aims to make it easier for Shopify’s users to reach younger audiences & increase sales.

Image result for tiktok social commerce

This deal will allow Shopify merchants to create and run TikTok marketing campaigns straight from a customer Shopify dashboard, upon downloading the TikTok channel app from Shopify App Store. Additionally, Shopify users will gain access to targeted advertising inside TikTok, filtering prospects by age, gender, behaviour and much more. 

Is TikTok the future of social commerce?

While the social commerce market is currently being dominated by Facebook and Instagram, the shift to TikTok is already slowly starting. 

Image result for tiktok social commerce

One reason for this shift is that social media is increasingly growing with the focus on visual experiences – which is TikTok’s whole schtick. Visually rich platforms like this prove ripe to advertise on, as brands can then capitalize on these visual experiences, ultimately creating a considerable buzz around their products. TikTok’s younger audience might also prove very useful to brands looking to target younger people as their prospects.

How do you create a successful TikTok campaign?

When eCommerce functionality officially arrives in the app, you’ll want to be the first to make use of it to see explosively successful results. Here are a few tips when planning a TikTok marketing campaign:

You have to embrace the aesthetic of the platform.

Other platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have a distinctly different visual aesthetic than TikTok, so simply reusing your old ads from those platforms won’t cut it. To create ads that successfully convert on TikTok, you’ll have to fully embrace the platform’s energetic, creative, storytelling style – this means that your ads should feel like a piece of native TikTok content.

Understandably, you’re not a TikTok expert – so it might be worth collaborating with successful content creators that really know their way around the app, helping you achieve that coveted organic feel.

Take a look at Crocs’ approach to TikTok advertising:

@crocs

From bricks to buckets! Post your video with #CrocsGames2020 for a chance to be featured on Crocs’ channel! @akafiali

♬ original sound – Crocs

With TikTok silently growing in the eCommerce world, we predict shopping and advertising to become a huge part of TikTok’s environment.

Augmented Reality: The next big eCommerce trend?

Imagine an online store where customers can see the products they desire in front of them — interested in a new carpet? Plop it down virtually in your current living room to see how it will look surrounded by your existing furniture. 

This might sound far-fetched, but it’s real – and on the rise.

“Buy +” Tech giant Alibaba’s VR shopping tool.

This technology is called Augmented reality (Often referred to as AR); it’s the most convenient and rapidly-growing immersive technology available to customers. AR has been around for ages, with the earliest examples being developed in the early 1990s by the US Airforce -yet, AR wasn’t ready for the mass consumer market — until now.

The biggest and most famous example of AR consumerism would be the mobile app Pokemon Go. Released in 2016, this mobile game made use of Augmented Reality to display collectible monsters in the real world, only visible through your phone’s camera lens. The app erupted in popularity, peaking at 45 MILLION daily users within its first two weeks of being live.

Since then, AR technology has flown under the radar, with no major releases emulating the success of Pokemon Go, but it seems that AR has recently found a new home – eCommerce. Moving holograms, interactive exhibits, and virtual 3D models are the perfect fit for online stores, especially since they allow you to emulate the physical retail experience that disappeared in 2020.

In this blog, we will be discussing what augmented reality means for eCommerce, and how we can use it to expand our business and increase sales.

How does AR benefit my store?

Increased engagement

Using 3D tech like Augmented Reality can increase user engagement on your website up to 66 percent. Higher engagement means that customers spend more time on your store – translating directly into more sales. Even if the customer leaves without purchasing, this increase of development means that they have developed a positive idea of your website, making them much more likely to return and purchase in the future.

Higher conversion rates & reduced returns

While keeping customers glued to their screens longer, AR can help boost your sales too. Offering much more info than your run-of-the-mill images and text, the 3D view of the product allows users to see precisely what the product looks like – leading to easier sales.

Returns can be backbreaking for a business. eCommerce stores suffer up to five times more returns than physical retailers. Retailers have to get creative in reducing the number of returns; that’s where AR fits perfectly. Emulating the in-store experience, AR allows you to experience the reduced return rates that physical retailers have. 

So, in addition to making more sales, you can also anticipate to hang on to more of that revenue. 

The “WOW” factor

Another big factor that AR brings to the table, is simply the fact that it’ll blow your customers’ mind! Customers will be way more likely to pay higher prices for products presented in such a modern and unique way, seeing your products as premium. 

How can I utilize AR in my online store?

Depending on what you’re selling, Augmented Reality can be used in an infinite amount of creative ways – let’s take a look at how top brands adopted it:

IKEA was a bold early adopter of AR, releasing their “Place” app back in 2017. This app allows users to choose any IKEA furniture piece and place it directly in their living room. Using only your phone’s camera, the app scans and analyzes the room, then places the furniture how it would fit with extreme accuracy.

Ikea’s Place app in action.

The same idea can be used for any merchant selling large products that would be difficult to return if they don’t fit.

Nike’s app allows users to scan your feet using AR, allowing your feet to be paired with the perfect shoe-size. This implementation of AR uses your camera to perform a 3D scan on the user’s feet, calculating the dimensions, size, shape and volume of your foot; for the perfect fit.

This feature isn’t just some gimmick – Nike is so confident in the AR measurements, that it has also been implemented in physical stores, as the go-to method of calculating what size you should buy.

AR is extremely useful in this aspect, as when buying clothes online, you often sit with the headache of wrong sizes and tricky returns.

How can I add AR to my online store?

Implementing AR requires a relatively modest investment of time and money, but the end result is well worth it. Here’s you to add it to your online store:

  1. Select AR software of your choice. There are different AR solutions available, depending on what your store needs. A quick google search should send you down the rabbit hole of finding the one that fits you best.
  2. Gather required files. Your virtual representations have to built from something – that’s where CAD files fall into place. CAD is a 3D modeling software that allows you to transform your real-world products into a digital representation. There are other 3D modeling software solutions, but CAD is the most popular and widely accepted.
  3. Start the setup proccess. Depending on which AR solution you decided on using, the setup proccess will be different – however, if you have the correct files, it should be quick and painless.

Conclusion

Finally being recognized, AR is a powerful tool for any online merchant. Emulating the engagement of physical stores without the covid-risk, is invaluable. Ready to launch your online store with AR capabilities? 

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