Even the most intelligent and experienced marketers make mistakes from time to time. We’ve seen this with some noticeable mistakes made by well-known brands with huge budgets. Remember the controversial Pepsi commercial featuring Kendall Jenner that was pulled after negative feedback? Or what about the insensitive tweet from DiGiorno that accidentally made a joke out of domestic violence awareness?
Obviously, some mistakes are more serious and obvious than others. But oftentimes, it's the smallest missteps that can have the most negative effects. Considering that 88% of marketing teams are less than satisfied about their results, it seems like the majority of businesses could be guilty of these conversion killing mistakes. What are the chances that you’ve made some of these hidden mistakes with your ecommerce marketing strategy?
1. Ignoring Requests and Questions
There's nothing more frustrating to a customer than a lack of response when they have an issue or question that they expect you to answer. These days, many customers are resorting to public social media posts to grab a brand’s attention—and yet, 89% of these messages still never receive a response.
Failing to reply to a customer inquiry in a timely manner can almost guarantee a lost sale, but a timely and appropriate response can actually help change that customer’s sentiment towards your brand.
Your small online company needs to have the right tools in place to alert you when your name is mentioned on sites. This should be in addition to customer service emails, especially since more customers are turning to social media for direct responses.
Social listening tools can alert you the moment a customer posts a message on any of your social channels or on other websites. Some intelligent programs can even differentiate between customer service inquiries or opportunities for further engagement and advocacy.
You should also be aware of the language you use when responding to public inquiries—particularly negative ones. It's typically best to defuse a negative situation by continuing the conversation in private.
Take a look at this Facebook response from Trustpilot to a frustrated customer:
The social media department crafted a personal response, a promise of assistance, and a request to handle the matter through a direct message. In addition to being courteous, the response was prompt and worked to bring the conversation out of the public arena, while placing the ball in the customer’s court.
2. Forgetting to Follow Up and Follow Through
Just because a customer doesn’t convert after the first time they visit your website doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. In fact, chances are quite high that they won't make a full conversion after their first, second, or even third interaction with your brand. This is why a strong lead nurturing strategy must be put into place with a CRM system that aligns your sales and marketing approaches.
An automated communication system built into your CRM is the best way to ensure that no leads fall through the cracks. Triggered emails that are sent out based on a customer’s behavior are great for re-engagement. Some examples of automated communications include abandoned cart reminders or notifications that a previously viewed product is now on sale. This personalized email from Fab.com has the right idea:
Remember, too, that communication with your customer should not stop after a sale. Repeat customers cost far less to convert than new leads, so be sure that you are consistently following through post-sale as well. Actively ask them about their experiences and include incentivizing offers, such as recommended up-sells and cross-sells for related products.
3. Missing the Meaning Behind the Metrics
Digital marketers understand the importance of metric tracking and analysis, but they often get so hung up on changing the numbers that they fail to notice what these data points actually mean.
Every metric has a meaning to it and is intended to show you where the root of the major issues stem from and how to change them. But this will require some deeper digging.
For instance, one of the most common metrics marketers focus on are traffic rates on a website. Say that you have a high amount of traffic coming in through a specific link. On the surface, this may seem like a positive thing. However, if you go a step further, you might note that visitors spend little time on this webpage and that the bounce rate is higher than you want.
Why might customers be leaving at this rate?
It could be a sign that the content is actually irrelevant, the loading speed is too slow, or the link itself may not be working properly. Finding the meaning behind metrics is a task that requires a great deal of investigating and critical thinking. Moreover, the answers will vary from business to business.
4. A "One and Done" Approach
One of the greatest mistakes a marketer can make is assuming that their job is finished. The truth is that every single strategy has room for improvement. Furthermore, customers’ preferences and technology are changing all the time. What worked fine a few months ago may be nearly outdated today.
Creating your website, marketing plan, and site content is not a one-time job. You need to be constantly improving it for a better user experience. Growing complacent is a death wish in digital marketing, so be sure that you are constantly tracking results and testing out new approaches to find new and better ways to generate leads and connect with your growing audience.
While victories (like meeting a sales goal or earning X new customers for the year) should definitely be celebrated, you can never get too comfortable in online sales. An ecommerce website needs to be viewed as a constant work-in-progress.
After you score a victory, ask: How can we make the next one even better?
After you miss a goal, ask: How can we minimize the impact next time?
Mistakes like these are easy to make—that’s why so many marketing teams have made them before. However, they can have some pretty intense consequences if these missteps go unchecked.
Take some time to reflect on your own marketing choices and mindsets and see if there are any areas you and your team are faltering in. Acknowledging your mistakes is the first step, but be sure to follow through with a commitment to action.