Best Digital Marketing Strategies for Startups

 

In your online business, sometimes the little things can mean all the difference to your sales, revenue and conversions. Some are simple, some take a bit of work to set up, but all are proven to work.

 

These Digital Marketing Strategies are from our experiences, those of other marketers we communicate with, and tips shared at marketing communities.

 

Table of Contents

Website Strategies

1. Refer-a-Friend

If you offer a service, once somebody signs up, have a refer-a-friend special (ie Dropbox increased sales by 60% by offering 32 GB of free space by inviting their friends to join)

 

… or, if you sell products, offer a 50% coupon, etc if they refer a friend

 

drop box invite a friend

 

2. Offer Content “Upgrades.”

In your blog post, don’t give readers 100% of your info. Instead, offer more details, case studies, etc by having them sign up.

 

Even better, find your most visited pages on your website, and tailor content to that post … for instance, if your most popular post is on compos)ng, offer a free,in-depth composing guide if they sign up .

 

3. Create a narrative with your sign-up form

… instead of the usual sign-up, turn it into a sentence like this:

 

signup fill form

 

The customer simply fills in all the missing info.

 

4. “Re-SEO” your blog content

Look for posts that are performing well, but rank around spots 4 through 10. Paste your top competitor’s post URLs into Semrush / Moz to identify their search queries (order by volume).

 

Then, optimize your post by adding more content based on these popular search queries to rank higher. (This only works if you are already ranking).

 

babygear top search

 

Eg: You have a baby carrier blog post sitting at #7 … this post is at #6 … copy and paste their URL and view the top ten searches:

 

5. Re-energize top-ranking posts

if you have an affiliate product and one of your affiliate product pages was at #2, then slowly dropped down to #4, then 6.

 

You can simply add 300 more words of content about the product. The next time the Googlebot visited his page, it found new content and the page immediately shot back up to #2!

 

Digital Marketing To Transform Business

 

Ecommerce Hacks

6. Apply the 80/20 Rule

In nearly every eCommerce business model, 20% of the products make up 80% of the revenue. Examine your bestsellers and make sure to promote them the most. also follow a fail-proof eCommerce SEO strategy

 

7. Offer user-generated photos

Give your customers the ability to add Instagram photos, etc to your product page to show the product in action.

 

This will significantly increase conversions and provide social proof. Submit the first photo yourself, and have your friends help. WordPress and Shopify have plugins to allow this.

 

8. Allow visitors to text you

Have a “Questions? Click to text us” option on your ecom website to allow visitors to text you.

 

This sense of immediacy and customer service dramatically increases conversions. If you have a larger website, hire somebody as your customer service rep to answer these text messages.

 

9. Allow users to buy more than one item

If it makes sense, give customers an option to buy more than one of the same item at a discount.

 

This works great with tee shirts and small gadgets. You can do this as an option on your product page, or as an upsell in an email marketing campaign.

 

10. Buy Button – Add to Cart vs. Amazon button

Using a “Checkout with Amazon” buy button in your offer converts much better than a simple “Add to Cart” button (provided you sell your item at Amazon, of course!)

 

This is due to trust, Amazon Prime, and 1-click Buy. Amazon shoppers just buy more overall.

 

11. Send pre-arrival emails

After a customer buys, send them a series of emails before the product shows up at their door.

 

Ideas for emails:

  • Thank you email, let them know when it will ship and arrive
  • Unboxing video, customer videos
  • Content on the product to get them excited – this reduces buyer’s remorse and returns
  • Offer a survey or ask for feedback on the product

 

12. Send more than one abandoned cart email

If a customer is about to buy your product, but suddenly disappears, this is known as an abandoned cart (The industry average is 68%!) Normally, you would send an email reminding them about their almost-purchase.

 

Go a step further and send a series of emails. Make it sound like there is a limited supply, offer a discount, etc.

 

The structure could look like this:

  • Email #1: You still have items in your cart!
  • Email #2 (a day later): We’re running out of stock!
  • Email #3: Hey, take an extra 10% off if you complete your purchase now, but only in the next 12 hours!

 

This creates a sense of urgency. Set up your autoresponder to remove the user from the abandoned cart list if they make a sale.

 

Affiliate Marketing & Blogs

13. Pre-Sell Page

Rather than clicking a link to go to the affiliate offer,click to go to a pre-sell page on your website instead, with a detailed review, a video or images showcasing the product or service.

 

Then, have a glossy button for them to continue to the offer (ie the Amazon product page) … this creates more excitement, confidence, and anticipation in what you are selling.

 

14. Search button

Offer a search button functionality on your WordPress site, with the ability to record a user’s searches (by using a plugin such as Search Meter)

 

user searches will give you new article ideas if users didn’t find what they were looking for.

 

15. May be obvious … but tell your visitor what to do!

Many people who say their website is not converting, though they are getting good traffic. It turns out there is no clear Call to Action.

 

You need a glossy, Buy Now button at the end of your sales copy, or some action for the reader to take after they finish reading.

 

This could be Buy Now, Sign Up Now, Read this Article Next, whatever. You MUST give a reader some action to take on every blog post and article.

 

16. The “grunt” test

Your website and sales copy must pass the grunt test … basically, if you gave your page to a (literate) caveman to read, could they answer these questions in 5 seconds?

 

  •  What is the offer?
  •  How will it solve my problem / make my life better?
  •  How do I buy it right now?

 

Copywriting Hacks

17. Write a narrative story

When writing sales copy, think of a narrative story. All users who search on Google are looking for a solution to their problem – it could be looking for good patio furniture or a cure to a health problem.

 

Readers remember stories over information because there is an emotional impact

 

for example, When writing about the product sales page, think of drama, scenes, conflicts, overcoming obstacles, and the happy ending. All good movies do this (think of Die Hard)

 

18. Think of your customer before you write

Great content means a conversation with a person who is interested in what you say. You need to know who this person is and how to reach them first.

 

Facebook Audience Insights is great for this – enter your niche terms and analyze the data. Find out the demographics (age, gender, income, typical education, where they live), what they like (movies, books, magazines, blogs, etc) and buzzwords they use.

 

Once you develop your ideal customer, writing engaging content will be much easier.

 

19. Find article ideas

answerthepublic – Find out what people are looking for in your niche and how they ask questions:

 

 

Sales Funnels

20. Offer a Product & a Free Bonus, Not Both Together

 

Offer a Product & a Free Bonus

 

21. Upsells

If somebody is ready to buy a certain product, they are much more likely to purchase another similar or “bonus” product as well. Amazon does this well:

 

amazon frequently bought together

 

Amazon will also show you more services you can sign up for just before placing a related order:

 

amazon trial

 

Subscription Services

22. Monthly vs. Annual memberships

Offer yearly subscription specials over monthly subscriptions. This will decrease churn rates (only one charge per year) and refunds, as users will be more committed … or, they quickly forget they purchased it, as there are no monthly billing reminders!

 

23. 14 vs 7 day free trials

7 day trials perform better than 14 (or 30) … this is because trial members know there is a shorter time frame and will focus more on your membership or software service than those with longer trial periods

 

24. Professional “Welcome” kits

When a new member subscribes to your service, mail them a “welcome kit” to make their membership look and feel exclusive, private and special – American Express does this very well …

 

american express welcome kit

 

Examples of what to create for your kit:

  • Booklet of what you offer
  • Tips, tricks, and ideas for your niche
  • A glossy infographic
  • A fridge magnet with your logo
  • A pen, highlighter, flashlight, USB drive …

 

Many services, such as Vistaprint, can create these for you.

 

25. Send Re-engagement Emails

If a user hasn’t signed in to use your services in a while, send them an email:

 

dropbox reminder email

 

Email Lists

26. Horizontal sign-ups

On desktops, lay out your sign up form to be completely horizontal. Vendio.com (a subscription service) increased conversions this way …

 

horizantal sign up

 

27. Have a bit of humor

Instead of the standard double opt-in message on your email sign-ups,be creative like this guy

 

humor email confirmation

 

28. Thank You Page

After a thank you page thanking your customer for signing up, offer something else, but at a deep discount … your product, a special ebook, etc …

 

For instance, if you offered a unique guide to sign up, after they sign up, offer a vastly expanded guide (a Kindle book, etc) for 75% off.

 

29. Optimize your autoresponder

A series of emails isn’t just sending out tips and asking for sales … it’s a journey to introduce your business and build intimacy … think of it like dating!

 

You don’t (usually) ask the person to marry you on the first date! Every email will have links to your website, as you are making them familiar with you and your business Optimize your autoresponder like this:

 

  • Email 1 – Introduce yourself

Confirm their signup, engage them with content (send them to your website blog post), educate them with tips on your product or niche

 

  • Email 2-3 – Show you are worth it

More educational content from your blog, establish your authority in your niche, social proof (ie a customer using the product you are selling) … you are building up trust and authority.

 

  • Email 4-5 – You are worth it, and worth buying from

More tips, but the transition to a sales offer. Offer an educational video or PDF with a link to your offer.

 

  • Email 6 – Gehng a little intimate

A personal story of you using the product – this creates intimacy … readers want to know where you stand and how the product affects you positively.

 

  • Email 7 – Urgency & Sales

Last chance to watch this video (or get this PDF) … creates a sense of urgency.

 

  • Email 8 – Sales email

Offer a coupon, if possible – have a time limit! Offer these emails within a 10 day or 2 week period.

 

Digital Marketing To Transform Business

 

 

Landing Pages

30. How to test landing pages?

Problem: Hard to test, because li;le or no traffic goes  to new landing pages. So, you don’t know which landing page format, content and image works best.

 

Solution: Send a bit of paid traffic to them! Most ads (ie Facebook) have all the elements used in the landing pages – Headline, content and image

 

landing page example

 

Using paid ads, this marketer discovered the first ad had a 22% higher conversion rate … so he used the “Learn HTML & CSS” headline for his landing page … use “Optimize for impressions.” in your Facebook ad.

 

31. Remove navigation links

Make sure you have NO navigation links on landing pages. This way, users can only concentrate on the sales material, and not wander off to other areas of your website, lose focus, and forget why they clicked the ad to come to your website in the first place.

 

This also works for shopping carts. There’s a reason Amazon removes nearly all other links in their final shopping cart page … all the focus is on the big yellow “Place your order” button (Even the logo isn’t clickable!)

 

32. Sometimes, less is more

Often the less content, the better the conversion. Check out some minimal and highly effective landing pages:

 

 

33. Use contrasting colors to “Pop-out”

 

landing page

appsumo landing page

 

34. Validate Your Forms Inline

Most landing page software does this, but make sure that if the customer inputs an error, the mistake is shown on the same page, not a new page where there is a message similar to “You have errors on your form … please click the back button to correct

 

email confirm

 

Facebook & PPC Advertising

35. Repeat Customers

Repeat customers generate over 40% of the average total revenue for some stores. Spend more effort  getting them to buy again:

 

  •  Have related products to sell
  •  Offer discounts, contests, and retargeting to existing customers

 

36. Mobile Users – Three Magic Words

When targeting only mobile users for your ads, make sure you include these three words in the last line of your ad text:… “from your phone.”

 

This can increase mobile conversions by over 30%!

 

37. Mobile Users – Think of the type of OS

Spend more of your ad budget on smartphone users, especially Apple iOS (as opposed to Samsung). They are proven to spend more money per sale

 

Test this, of course, but for many industries, don’t just think mobile. Think of the type of mobile as well.

 

38. Simple ads over slick and complex

Simple, basic ads outperform complex ads all the time. Keep images clear, text to a minimum, and don’t make them over-produced.

 

39. Scrambled Destination URLs

You may notice that many Facebook ads use Bit.ly URLs, rather than their own website addresses.

 

By using Bit.ly or other shortened, scrambled URLs reduces the chance of people manually typing your website address into tab #61 of their browser (basically, it keeps them focused by clicking your ad.

 

40. Ad Journey – Start on Mobile, end on Desktop

Over 65% of shoppers start shopping on one device and continue on another Over 30% of people who show interest in a mobile finish their purchase on a tablet or desktop.

 

Therefore:

1. Have a mobile-only ad introducing your product
2. Have a tablet and desktop-only retargeting ad which has a more direct sales copy and a discount offer

 

Workflow Hacks

41. Your Day – The Pomodoro Technique

1.  Write down tasks to be done this day. Break them down into 25 minute chunks.

2.  Spend an intense 25 minutes per task. Set a timer for to increase a sense of urgency.

3.  Break for 3-5 minutes, then start another “Pomodoro”

4.  After 4 pomodoros, take a 15-30 min break, then start another set of 4 tasks.

 

The goal is to increase focus and reduce interruptions while you are working. It is very effective and You use this technique every workday.

 

42. Your Week – Trello.com

You can use this free software to manage our weekly and monthly tasks. Create boards for each project, organize as you wish, and when you are done, check them off.

 

Also works collaboratively with teams.

 

trello

 

43. Your “Year” – The 12-Week Year

When planning long-term goals, don’t think in yearly terms … think in 3 month terms! This technique gives you greater focus on your projects, because 3 months is much more immediate than … “Oh, I have )till December to get on this …

 

Digital Marketing To Transform Business

 

Tools to Try

44. Push notifications

Try push notifications for abandon cart recovery and friendly reminders about your business on cell phones or desktops.

 

push notification

 

Some tools for this:

 

45. Buzzsumo

Create buzzsumo alert get backlinks or links to your product. Alerts you whenever somebody mentions your brand on the web.

 

Anytime you get a mention and that person (ie blog writer) has not linked to you, thank them via email for the mention and politely ask for a link back to your website.

 

46. Designrr.io

Input a URL of one of your detailed blog posts, choose a template, and Designrr will turn it into an ebook.Use this ebook as a lead magnet for your email sign-up!

 

47. Google Similar Pages

A Google Chrome plugin that searches for similar pages to the one you are on. Great for finding competitors, article ideas,and keyword research!

 

 

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