PERFORMANCE

WHAT WE LEARNED AT IRCE 2017- E-MAIL MARKETING BEST PRACTICES

Some tips and tricks…2 of 3

I hope you enjoyed last week’s post where we talked about Social Media best practices that we learned at IRCE.  There was so much good information that we decided to create a series of blog posts to share all that we learned, with you!

Do you recognize the monkey in the pink banner in this picture?

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If you have dealt with e-mail marketing campaign tools before, you will recognize this as the MailChimp monkey!  They are a prime example of not only a great partner for your marketing campaigns, but also of great marketing.  They displayed this banner as you walked into McCormick Place for this year’s IRCE and everyone knew it was the MailChimp monkey – loved it!  So how do you get to this level of brand recognition?  Here are some tips we think will help get you on your way:

E-MAIL MARKETING BEST PRACTICES:

This week we are focusing on marketing best practices. Together with last week’s tips on social media you can increase your exposure and reach out to your customer base via all channels. Whether you are a large or small company, we feel these tips will help you streamline your e-mail marketing efforts:

  1. Email Policy: Make sure you clearly communicate your policy regarding email addresses. Many customers will not give their email address if they think there is a chance that you will sell it. If this is not your policy, make sure they know their address is safe with you.
  2. Only send a few relevant emails: Sending too many emails will convince your customers to opt out. Sending irrelevant emails will quickly lessen the open rate. Define a maximum number of emails for each customer per month and make sure that the content adds value to their experience as your customer
  3. Create customer segments: Segment your customers by products purchased or viewed, profile information, demographics, etc. Segmentation will allow you to target email campaigns to ensure content, promotions, or new product launches reach the right customers and increase your open rate. Higher open rate usually translates into higher sales.
  4. Tie all emails to a trackable campaign: Campaigns will help you analyze each email blast and determine its ROI, click through rates, why it worked, why it didn’t and what can you do to improve the next email.
  5. Be professional: Send professional emails that represent your brand. Enough said. Don’t undermine your business.
  6. Engaging subject line: Don’t write the subject line as an after-thought. It has to be of interest to the recipients so it convinces them to open it. Also, don’t do a “bait-and-switch” and deceive them with a title that doesn’t match the content. Credibility is the key here.
  7. Design your email templates accordingly: Keep in mind mobile responsiveness and the ability to read the email without distorting the format in a smaller window such as the email preview window. Use HTML colors and text instead of an image.
  8. The goal is to funnel traffic to your website: offer many different links within the email, for different reasons. For example, links to articles, demos, new products, etc., that will drive traffic to good content on your site.
  9. Avoid the “click black hole”: If the user clicks, make sure you send them to a place that makes it easy to convert the click into a sale. Don’t send them to the home page. The page they land on needs to be an extension of the message in the email and contain the relevant information they clicked on in the first place.
  10. Tie it all together:  Try to recap your social media posts, blogs, and newletters in an email for the week. Link back to the content from the email, but only if it will provide value to the customer.

Using Magento for your e-commerce store? Did you know that your Magento Store supports MailChimp Campaigns?  Ask us and we can help you get it installed and configured for you!

We hope that you found these tips useful. If you have more tips of your own or would like to comment on any of ours, feel free to comment below. Stay tuned for next Thursday when our blog series continues with part 3 of 3: Mobile Commerce Best Practices we learned at IRCE.

Until next time, let’s get social!  Like us on Facebookfollow us on TwitterInstagram and on Linked In.

Thanks for stopping by!

Crimson Agility Team

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HOW CAN A CONTENT DELIVERY NETWORK BENEFIT MY MAGENTO SITE?

When your customers shop on your Magento site, they are actually accessing a website hosted on a physical server at a single geographic location. The majority of your customers are likely accessing these sites from entirely different geographic locations. Speaking in terms of performance, this presents a challenge to delivering a consistently excellent experience to all your customers regardless of where they are located. This is due to latency; the customers located closer to the server will have better performance than those further away.

The farther your customers are from your servers, the longer they must wait for your site to be usable. In today’s world of mobile customers, fierce competition, and Google’s “three-second rule”, you need a way to deliver your content and products quickly regardless of location.

To combat these delays, you can implement a Content Delivery Network (CDN) for your Magento site. A CDN is a service that you subscribe to and then configure your Magento site to leverage. The use of a CDN serves your site’s static content and files to your customers from the closest of many geographically dispersed “Edge” servers. A good CDN has a network of “Edge” servers geographically dispersed across the globe.

Setting up a CDN is a fairly simple process that can offer several benefits for your Magento site. The content files on a Magento site that benefit from a CDN are product images, static pages, style-sheets and JavaScript files. These files represent some of the elements on your site that take the longest to download.  The CDN ensures that your customers that are furthest from your servers have the same great experience that those nearest are experiencing. If you are wondering whether a CDN is right for your Magento site, the important factors to consider are the number of images on the site, the speed of your site, the amount of theme files and the frontend JavaScript being loaded. If you are looking for a CDN provider for your Magento site, we recommend one of our strategic partners, MaxCDN, as they have the support, network, and features to help both individuals and growing businesses.

The health and performance of your Magento site are critical to growing your online presence and business. We invite you to learn more about the Magento Health & Performance Assessment with one of our Magento certified professionals.

4 Pitfalls to Avoid when Re-Platforming Your E-Commerce Business

4 PITFALLS TO AVOID WHEN RE-PLATFORMING YOUR E-COMMERCE BUSINESS

There’s more than one good reason for re-platforming your e-commerce business. It can allow you to reduce risk, improve flexibility, increase automation, and provide a better experience for your consumers. However, any time you overhaul your system, there are numerous issues that can pop up. Avoiding them is key to ensuring a smooth transition for both your business and your customers. Here are 4 pitfalls to avoid when re-platforming your e-commerce business:

  1. Inflexible Planning: As a re-platforming project grows, you may find over time that the actual needs of the project will change. If you’ve been inflexible in your planning or in the delivery process, then you may have trouble meeting project goals. Make sure everyone is on the same page day by day and week by week when it comes to planning the re-platforming; this will ease growing pains, and reduce risk. Always allow for contingencies rather than setting hard, inflexible deadlines.
  2. Stuffing Your Platform with Features: Once you have a new platform, it can be tempting to redo everything at once. However, staying focused on your end goal will be important for keeping costs down — ensuring that you accomplish what you set out to accomplish for your business, and also reducing risk. Keep in mind that there will be ample opportunity in the future to work with certified professionals in order to further grow your site.
  3. Rushing to Finish: In order to migrate your business from one e-commerce platform to another, many changes are going to have to take place. For small businesses that have existed for several years on or offline, there tends to be a fairly complex existing technology ecosystem that must first be analyzed for relevance and for implementation. It’s worth noting that your new e-commerce solution may fill in gaps your previous solutions didn’t cover, such as built-in responsive web design, or back end automation.
  4. Ignoring Scalability: How well do you understand today’s modern, multichannel marketplace? The reality is that scalability will continue to be an important factor to consider when re-platforming your e-commerce solution. There will be numerous dimensions to consider, ranging from integration stability to API performance. Moving forward without understanding the ways your platform can grow with you will be a mistake. The Magento platform is a great option to look at, as it’s the number one e-commerce platform when it comes to scalability, flexibility and growth.

If you’re interested in re-platforming your e-commerce business, we have experience with migrations from many common platforms, and we have assisted many of our clients in migrating from e-commerce platforms they have outgrown to the Magento platform. We invite you to schedule a complimentary consultation and estimate with one of our certified Magento professionals.

TOP 6 WAYS TO IMPROVE WEBSITE LOAD TIME

Nearly half of web users expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less, and 79% of web shoppers who have trouble with web site performance say they won’t return to the site to buy again. Even a one-second delay can drastically reduce page views, customer satisfaction and drop conversions. The website performance, or more specifically, the load time of your website, is essential to providing a great user experience. Here are 6 ways to improve the load time of your website:

1. Avoid the extensions: Every extension added to the system has the potential to impact performance and introduce errors. Before an extension is installed, it should be determined that it can’t be done in native Magento in a creative way and a leaner custom approach isn’t financially feasible.

2. Merge JS/CSS: By going to System -> Developer you can enable merging of JavaScript and CSS. This will reduce the number of requests each page load has to make back to the server and can often make the page “feel” faster as there is less to download.

3. Enable caching: Make sure caching is enabled on your site. This reduces the amount of processing a page has to do on subsequent page loads and lowers the strain on the server.

4. Lightweight pages: It is tempting to put many sliders on the homepage to display products, and this can be a good thing. But studies show if it isn’t above the fold chances are they will never be viewed. Get your customers from the homepage to the products quickly, but don’t put all your products on the homepage. Instead, have a section to feature a product or two and generate content around that.

5. Invest in a CDN: A CDN offloads the static resources (JS, CSS, and Images) from your server to their network that is often times spread out over the entire world. This not only reduces the load on your server but also gets the content to the customer quicker resulting in a page that feels (and measures) faster.

6. Bonus profiling: Target a page or two that needs work and hire a developer to focus his attention on that to identify blocks of code that are inefficient. Many times custom extensions (or customizations) will load far more data than what is needed and slow down the site measurably. Consider hiring a professional to look over and help identify these issues.

The health and performance of your Magento site are critical to growing your online presence and business. We invite you to learn more about the Magento Health & Performance Assessment with one of our Magento certified professionals.