Small business owners find this blog to be a great resource for sales and marketing strategies.

Email Marketing and Analytics for Ecommerce Websites

Published by Charles Brodeur

Email marketing has evolved dramatically over the past five years. Sophisticated marketing & analytics tools that were only available to enterprise clients are now available to SMBs. Ecommerce marketers now have the ability to send emails based on customer segments, transaction history, group memberships, and online behavior. However, it is a process of evolution to build your email marketing into a fully functioning Marketing Automation system. Read More

Ecommerce Product Ratings & Reviews.

Published by Charles Brodeur

Product recommendations, ratings and reviews are important parts of the personalized customer experience. Using the two marketing tactics allows your customers to make informed purchase decisions and keeps them loyal to your business. Using ratings and reviews is a strategy that helps leverage product recommendations to show high-rated products more often. You can use ratings to drive product sales when you display ratings as an attribute.
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Three Steps to eCommerce Success

Published by Charles Brodeur

Starting an eCommerce business is becoming easier by the day. More business owners are looking to expand their online efforts to include eCommerce and build a true online business. Unfortunately, this presents a large set of challenges, not least of which is the threat of larger, better funded competitors online.

Thankfully, the key to successful eCommerce isn’t complicated. By planning ahead and considering your goals and your audience you will greatly increase your chances of success. Here’s three simple ways to make your online shop stand out from the crowd.

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Cloud Computing at its Best

Published by Charles Brodeur

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The Holy Grail of Web Analytics Custom Reporting

Published by Charles Brodeur

For those of you who love to wade through the plethora of standard reports offered by Google Analytics and spend hours mulling over reams of data trying to find that elusive key metric please feel free to skip this article.

However, if like most of us you want quick access to key web analytics custom reporting data and your boss (and his boss!) are breathing down your neck then look no further than the superb blog post written by the outstanding Avinash Kaushik over at Google. Read More

The 4Cs Strategy to Marketing Online

Published by Charles Brodeur

Content is the basis for all marketing online. Content creates credibility.  Credibility leads to conversion. And conversion leads to new customers. Read the 4Cs formula  Read More

Create Subject Lines for Results

Published by Charles Brodeur

Fifty characters could be all that stands between you and the success of your next email campaign. Why? Because 50 characters is all the space you have in a typical subject line – to catch the attention of your reader, entice them to open your email and take action. With so much at stake, marketers need a quick and proven reference tool for developing subject lines that get the desired
result: opened emails.

Let these rules be your guide.

Rule 1: Read the Newspaper

If you want to develop subject lines that result in higher open rates, pick up your local paper. Headlines usually highlight a story’s most important point with brevity, while taking the audience into consideration. Use that approach to make your subject lines short and intriguing enough to compel your subscribers toread your emails.

Subject lines should clearly state what your readers can expect from your email, what’s in it for them and what you want them to do as a result of the email. And your subject line must stand out from others in your customers’ crowded inbox in the most relevant way. Emulating the headlines from newspapers can be a good starting point in the development of subject lines.

Rule 2: Focus on the Objective

What is the objective, or end goal, of your email marketing program? In most cases your end goal is not necessarily high open rates, but rather to have subscribers take a specific and measurable
action. Determine what that one action is, and make sure your subject line will achieve your objective. For instance, if your goal is for recipients to purchase from your online store, don’t use a subject line that is informational in nature. Instead, use a clear call-to-action that emphasizes their opportunity to make a “must have” purchase.

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Marketing 101 For Your New Online Store

Published by Charles Brodeur

Have you noticed that it's deeply ingrained in North American society to define ourselves and others by what we do and who we work for?

 Conversations with strangers are sure to almost always follow these 3 steps:

1. "Hi, I'm Charles. What's your name?"

2. "John.  Nice to meet you.  How do you know the host?"

... Uncomfortable Pause ...

3. "So, what do you do for a living?"

and that's the Bus-stop / 1st-date / Distant-relative / Networking variety of conversation. Mind you, when you go to 'networking' events you can often dispense with step 2 altogether!

True Story..
The other night I'm talking to an older gentleman, a distant relative, at a family gathering and the inevitable question popped up.  What are you doing now, Charles?

"I'm the Director of Online Marketing at Keel & Rudder, an online sailing store" I unashamedly respond but at the same time secretly wishing I was a respectable banker with Goldman Saks. (not)

"Keel and What?!?! And what exactly does a 'Director of Online Marketing' do??" the old Uncle interrogates me suspiciously like Colonel Klink would...

Here's the answer in blog post format for easier digestion:

Basic Marketing For Your Online Store

The first image that comes to peoples minds when they hear the word 'Marketing' is flashy prime-time TV ads for some large Corp made by people who take extra long lunches with international ad agencies and never seem to do much that's actually useful.

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5 Steps to SEO On Page Set Up

Published by Charles Brodeur

Ever wonder if the basics from grade school would come in handy in your business life?

Getting your website ranked best in internet search results uses all of that knowledge. Search engine results are based on those science, math and English courses. Internet technology is the science that allows "spiders" to comb the "web" for data applicable to a search inquiry. Search engines have unique mathematical algorithms that formulate your website's relevance to that inquiry. Finally, your English lesson is where writing the copy on your website can help tie all of that together for best results. In the following, you will get valuable tips on creating titles, copywriting advice, using graphics, and keywords to better place your website in search rankings.

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5 Steps to a Successful Email Campaign

Published by Charles Brodeur

Step One: Make full use of your permission-based email software package. BigTurns has a ton of advanced features for handling your campaigns. It makes it easy to create and send your newsletters. It will manage subscriptions and bounced messages for you. It automates a lot of the grunt work involved in an email marketing campaign.

Step Two: You'll have to decide what type of campaign you want to run and how frequently you want to send your messages. I recommend sending at least a monthly newsletter. Of course, if you sell more than one product, it might be a good idea to send multiple messages. Just be sure to keep your broadcast times consistent. You may consider sending promotional messages offering a discount or coupon for your product.

Step Three: Add a sign-up form to your website. The sign-up form lets you collect a group of addresses for your sending lists. We've found that it's generally safe to import anyone who did business with you in the last year or so. Just make sure to send content relevant to what they purchased. (Always provide value!)

Step Four: Create an effective email template. A lot of email software programs include HTML templates. BigTurns actually comes with over 300 professionally designed templates. You can also create one in-house or use a graphic-design service.
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