Ten Questions To Help You Hire The Best CRO Agency

Ten Questions To Help You Hire The Best CRO Agency

Unbounce reports 44% of brands across the world spend more than $10,000 every year on A/B testing their products! How much are you investing in booming your brand?

The good news is you don’t need a big budget to supersede your competition. However, you need a dedicated Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) team to ensure you’re constantly growing.

  • Did you know former President Barack Obama raised $60 million through A/B testing?
  • In 2011, even Google ran 7,000 A/B tests.

CRO tools can increase your ROI by an average of 223%.

It should come as no surprise that outsourcing to the top CRO agency will still cost you much less than hiring in-house CRO specialists.

So, let’s walk you through why you need CRO and how you can select the best CRO partner for your brand.

Value Added Through Conversion Rate Optimization

Just a refresher, Conversion rate optimization (CRO) includes all the practices and strategies that help increase the percentage of users performing the action you want them to take on your site.

From macro-conversions like clicking the ‘add to cart’ or purchasing your product to micro-conversions like signing up for your services or filling out forms, you need CRO to succeed, period.

Why Your Brand Needs Conversion Rate Optimization

Hint: Not following the “best practices” is in your brand’s best interest. Take a look at these famous CRO case studies:

1. Basecamp’s Counterintuitive Decision To Remove Trust Elements

In 2007, Basecamp, a powerful project management tool, released Highrise, a CRM solution that allowed users to easily share contacts and manage communications. Since its launch, Basecamp wanted to scale its signup rates. So, they experimented with a completely new design.

Take a look at their original page:

project management tool

It checks all best practices:

  • Testimonials
  • Bold CTAs and other visual cues
  • Good use of color contrast

And yet, they wanted better conversions. So, they decided to revamp the entire site!

Take a look at the six redesigns and their conversion rates:

conversion rates

  • Smiling faces are welcoming and boosts trust.
  • Highlighting the best testimonial that addresses their services and the value provided made more impact.
  • They had a cleaner, simpler design.

The aftereffect? 102% rise in their conversion rate!

2. World Wildlife Fund’s Straightforward And Intuitive Web Page

The famous World Wildlife Fund wanted to get more signups to their newsletters. Here’s how their landing page originally looked:

newsletter conversion rate

Following their intuition and experimenting allowed them to stand against “best practices,” and here’s the redesign:

newsletter conversion rate 1

“Best practices” then enlisted:

  • having a clear CTA that stands out
  • gathering as much data from your reader
  • having more fields on the contact form.

Although their new design wasn’t too different from the original, it went against all best practices.

But, adding a few extra details (like telling readers exactly what they’re signing up for), changing the CTA to the left, and removing unnecessary fields was the best conversion rate optimization strategy to follow.

The aftereffect? 83% increase in newsletter signups!

There are many other examples of how conversion rate optimization can help your brand make decisions in its best interest. Blindly relying on industry standards or best practices isn’t always in your best interest.

Many conversion rate optimization agencies don’t always have the experience to suggest you the right strategies. That’s what differentiates the top CRO agencies from the rest.

Let’s understand how to select the right CRO agency for your brand:

Questions To Help You Select The Right Conversion Rate Optimization Agency

There are multitudes of CRO marketing agencies today, and to help you select the right partner for your brand, here are a few questions to ask the sales representatives of your shortlisted CRO agencies.

1. Do you have a CRO specialty?

A jack of all trades is bound to be a master of none.

Sure, a CRO consultant can provide services like web design, front-end development, or copywriting, but a specialist will help you bring home the prize.

2. What is your process/ methodology?

CRO is solely data-based. Let no one tell you otherwise.

  • Is the answer to this question providing you with real insights into the agency’s process or methodology of working?
  • Are they instead talking about their intuition never failing them?
  • Are they thinking strategically?
  • Do they ask you questions about your metrics (traffic overview, average order value, current conversion rate, and revenue)?
  • Are their strategies user-driven?

Don’t just partner with the first result you find when you type “CRO agency near me” on search engines.

3. What shapes consumer choices?

Simply changing the prices or mindlessly switching up your web design won’t result in increased conversions.

The agency needs to live and breathe consumer psychology.

Ask them about their knowledge:

  • What books do they consume?
  • How many clients have they worked with?
  • Examples from their work on how consumer psychology drove sales.

Don’t forget to ask them for their case studies for successful projects so you know what to expect.

4. Which was your least successful project, and why?

Every brand faces setbacks. If the conversion optimization agency denies this, it can mean one of three things:

  • They’re very new to the industry
  • They’re lying
  • They don’t have concrete learnings from their setbacks.

Better you move on.

5. What is the average experience of your CRO experts?

Experience sheds a lot of insight on expertise. And conversion optimization needs that expertise, versatility, and patience that only experience can bring.

Let’s look at the skills manager from a CRO marketing agency has:

  • Analytical skills
  • Well-versed with consumer psychology
  • Sound knowledge in HTML
  • Proficient in SEO & digital marketing
  • A clear understanding of web design

When you get on a call with the sales rep of a conversion optimization agency, they usually connect you with the manager.

That’s why you must explicitly ask for the portfolio of the CRO expert that would eventually manage your account. Then, get on a call with your potential agents. Ask them a few of these qualifying questions:

  • What’s the difference between a Conversion Rate Optimization Agency, an SEO agency, and a Digital Marketing Consultancy? Of course, do your research beforehand. But this question will give you some insight into their understanding and expertise.
  • Many firms believe that an agency specializing in eCommerce acquisition (AdWords agency or an SEO agency) would optimize your landing pages for conversion. However, don’t expect web designers, AdWords specialists, or SEO experts to specialize in CRO. Far from it. If this is your consultant’s understanding, you’re better off continuing your search.
  • With the abundance in the availability of knowledge, a lot of agencies do know basic CRO techniques. But only true CRO specialists know how to execute these methods strategically. For example, scaling your leads isn’t the same as scaling your ROI. For all we know, non-specialists would tell you to have discounts on your products. This results in increased traffic to your website, but your bottom line remains the same.

If they’re hesitant to share those details with you, you should move on to the next agency on your list.

6. What tools do you use?

CRO marketing agencies have access to multiple tools. Most of them are for A/B testing:

Optimizely
AB Tasty
Convertize
Google Optimize 360

Apart from running A/B tests, A few other useful CRO tools are:

Your conversion optimization agency should help you understand the tools and how they would use them for your brand.

7. Are there any additional costs apart from your quoted charges?

Conversion rate optimization tends to involve some hidden costs. But if you ask about this upfront, it need not be hidden. Here are some cases where your CRO marketing agency might charge you additionally:

  • Suppose you don’t have access to an AB Testing tool to monitor your site. Then, depending on your volume of visitors, these charges can go upwards of £1000 each month!
  • Heatmap tools, Funnel Analysis platforms, and Survey platforms can quickly increase your overhead.
  • Depending on the complexity of your project, staff costs could increase for the number of hours spent.

This is why we suggest you ask about these details upfront. Make an informed decision.

8. How will you measure success in this project?

As with other partnerships, understand and ask for the goals and performance indicators (KPIs) proposed by the conversion optimization agency.

  • If you’re an eCommerce site, you want increased sales that don’t shrink your margins. However, if your CRO agent is insistent on you focusing primarily on micro-conversions (the clicks on an ‘add to cart’ button), they’re probably not worth their salt.
  • If you’re in the SaaS industry, you need increased subscribers who eventually become paid users. Here, micro-conversions count.
  • If you have a lead generation site, your conversions are an increase in lead generations.

The points we mentioned above account for high traffic to your website. Suppose your traffic isn’t as high to gain significant insights. Then, your CRO agency will rely on evaluating qualitative data.

Also, note that measuring success isn’t about the immediate goals. You can evaluate your future CRO partnership through the lens of:

  • Transfer of skills from the agency to your team
  • Well defined KPIs at the start of your project
  • A clear-cut strategy for success

9. What do you need from my team?

CRO is a complicated process. Also, remember it is a partnership you’re entering into. Sometimes there would be a need for give-and-take. For example, your conversion optimization agency might need your resources like the intervention of your web developers and design team.

Some questions to ask:

  • What format would you deliver the new designs to us in? For example, do you generally use simple Wireframes, PSD, or HMTL?
  • Do you need assistance with Front-End resources for launching A/B tests?

10. Do you guarantee increased conversion rates?

While NOTHING can be guaranteed, we’ve added this question to help you screen out agencies that do. CRO is too complex, with too many variables to have written guarantees. Top CRO agencies know this and will always explain to you all the variables and factors outside their control.

Just as an example, If you decide to run a Native Advertising campaign, and all this while you’ve been getting visitors from Search Adwords campaigns, this would certainly affect the search intentions of your traffic. Furthermore, it would reflect in your conversion rates.

How dishonest would it be then for an agency to assure you a rise in your conversion rates?

In the end

You now have ten great questions to help you weed out all the agencies that don’t have your best interest at heart. From the two case studies we shared, you know how important it is for you to scale your conversion rates. So, next time you search for ‘CRO agency near me,’ you’ll be prepared to select the right partner for your brand.

WebSpero has successfully increased the conversion rates of our clients up to 15X for the past decade. As a result, we’ve grown our clientele globally. More than 700 of our clients vary across all industries. So, if you’re looking for a conversion optimization agency, schedule a free consultation now.

[Case Studies] What We Learned From The Top Five Direct-To-Consumer (D2C) Brands

[Case Studies] What We Learned From The Top Five Direct-To-Consumer (D2C) Brands

Did you know that 55% of customers worldwide want to buy products directly from a brand? Since brand websites offer more information about the product than retail sites, over 50% of customers choose to visit them for information related to the products.

More than a third of customers said they bought products directly from a manufacturer’s website in just the last year.

To meet this demand, 78% of direct-to-consumer brands have already increased their marketing budgets. As logistics and digital infrastructure continue to develop at warp speeds, more and more brands choose to communicate directly with their customers.

Why?

It’s because they’re in control of creating personalized experiences for their customers. By cutting out the middlemen and implementing customer feedback faster, a D2C brand communicates how much they value their customers.  

When your customer feels valued and heard, they become evangelists for your brand.

No wonder we’ve seen a tremendous increase in D2C brands in the past decade. Retailers and wholesalers are also joining in. They’re starting to include a D2C channel in their overall strategy.  

Take a look at this Google trends chart. We can see an increase in the So direct-to-consumer approach in the past five years.

Google trends chart

In the graph below, we note how eCommerce is shifting its ways and embracing a more direct approach with consumers in the graph that follows.

D2C eCommerce

The pandemic has a lot to do with this shift. With the lockdown causing more and more brick-and-mortar stores to shut down, it brought many eCommerce owners online.

We mean 100% online.

Through this post, we hope to show you how the legendary disruptors of eCommerce found success with their brands. In addition, we want to provide you with actionable steps you can take to boom your brand.

So, whether you use a B2C or a direct-to-consumer strategy, we’re certain you’ll find this article useful.

Top Disruptors Of eCommerce That Found Success Going Direct To Consumer:

1.Warby Parker

Warby Parker

Brief Outline

The disruption Warby Parker caused in the eyewear industry makes them a pioneer D2C brand.

Four friends, Andy Hunt, Dave Gilboa, Jeff Raider, and Neil Blumenthal, started Warby Parker in the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania as part of their Venture Initiation Program.

They realized how expensive and inconvenient it was to buy a pair of glasses. Warby Parker took on the goliaths of the designer prescription eyewear industry by introducing a “try at home and buy” scheme.

The company came into existence in 2010, and they hit the sales target for their first year in just three weeks!

The Challenge

“Glasses are too expensive.” Fashion prescription eyeglasses cost people hundreds of dollars. The founders of Warby Parker wanted to change this problem.

They wanted to create a brand that would allow the masses to own a pair of designer glasses at radically lower prices. Additionally, they wanted to be a socially conscious brand.

For decades, Luxottica dominated the eyewear industry with an 80% market share. They owned brands like Ray-Ban, Lenscrafters, Oakley, Sunglass Hut, and Pearle Vision.

This monopoly was the reason for such artificially inflated prices for designer eyewear. People could buy eyewear only after shelling hundreds of dollars at their optometrist’s office.

Their Solution

Warby Parker tackled the expensive, bloated supply chain head-on. Through the verticle integration model of eCommerce, they could drastically cut down the rates of their eyeglasses and ensure control over the entire customer experience.

The model was simple. Customers could select five frames they liked, and they would receive these in the mail for a five-day try-on period. There’s even a prepaid return label included to ensure a free trial. During these five days, customers can place their final order online.

With fast and efficient eCommerce shipping, 30 days return or exchange policy, and exceptional customer care, Warby Parker became the new favorite brand for eyewear for all within the first year of their launch.

Since their marketing budget wasn’t too high during the initial days, the company hired a PR firm to create buzz. This PR firm was able to get an interview with both GQ and Vogue magazine. 

The founders had to expedite the launch of their website because both magazines advanced the article’s release date. Unfortunately, this acceleration resulted in their website crashing on launch day. There was a long waitlist of 20,000 people.

But, all four founders got to working and individually sent out an email to apologize for the delay. People loved this human touch and transparency! The brand was a disruptor of eCommerce marketing and a pioneer in D2C marketing.

Key Stats

Key Stats

Key Stats 1

Warby Parker3

Warby Parker1

Key Takeaways

  1. Customers Love Transparency.
  • When Warby Parker had to launch their website sooner than expected, their team immediately sent out an apology email to all those on the waiting list.
  • And this transparency in their general execution of business was why early adopters turned into brand advocates.
  1. Be a Visionary in Streamlining your Operations:
  • The strategy to vertically integrate the eCommerce operations allowed Warby Parker to completely control their supply chain and distribution. This strategy allowed them to lower their prices drastically.
  • It also meant that the customers and the brand had a direct communication line. This communication line further meant Warby Parker could implement customer feedback immediately. The brand was what the customers needed them to be.
  1. Your Customer Feedback and Data Drive your Brand:
  • The biggest reason for the growth of this D2C brand was how quickly they could reflect the feedback given to them.
  • Warby Parker looked at data they gathered right from the get-go, and this very data ran through every business decision.
  • This data also included opening up brick and mortar stores when the customers needed it, even though they wanted to be a digital eyewear brand.

2. Casper

Casper

Brief Outline

Mattress selection is an overwhelming process. But you need a mattress, and so, you have to go through this struggle. No wonder it was a $14 billion industry even as early as 2014.

In April 2014, Casper disrupted the mattress industry with its famous “bed-in-a-box” concept. Founders Jeff Chapin, Philip Krim, Neil Parikh, Gabe Flateman, Luke Sherwin, had a simple idea:

  • Simplify the mattress selection process by creating a single model.
  • Give the customer the best mattress at a budget-friendly price.
  • Deliver free and fast with a trial period of 100 days.

Casper’s customer-first approach worked wonders. They hit $1 million in sales in their first month! Casper then raised a venture capital of $70 million and grew to hit $100 million in sales with a team of 120 people.

The Challenge

An average luxury mattress clocks in at $3000 or even more. Add to this the inconvenience of moving a heavy mattress.

Luke Sherwin and Neil Parikh were living in a fourth-floor walkup in New York. So when they needed to get a mattress from their door to the bedroom, they knew there had to be a better way.

Thus came the idea of Casper, a novel idea of having a mattress-in-a-box that would be affordable and convenient.

A monopolistic supply chain and a sales structure that ran on commissions ruled the mattress industry for decades. No wonder the inflated prices and high margins. Plus, the customer’s experience was never in the conversation for these goliaths.

Their Solution

Casper’s vision to redefine an established and thriving industry meant they had to revolutionize the way customers thought about their mattresses.

They served their customers with an excellent, custom multi-layer foam mattress they could squeeze into a 3.5 ft tall box and ship across North America.

Casper's vision

Their headless eCommerce site allowed customers to make their transactions directly with the brand. This control in communications further allowed them to:

  • Be in control of their customer’s experience.
  • Have control over how customers engage with Casper.
  • Acquire customer data to improve their strategies.
  • Lower the costs significantly by cutting out wholesalers and retailers.

But these points were a given for a D2C brand like Casper.

What helped Casper make headway into the mattress industry was mostly content marketing. They positioned themselves as the experts in not just the mattress industry but the sleep industry!

Having content marketing as their central strategy allowed them to leverage the power of blog posts, videos, and social media posts and placed themselves as the sleep industry experts.

The results were astounding from day one. On the day their website went live, Casper sold out its entire inventory (40 mattresses). The founders expected to sell $1.4 million worth of mattresses in the first year, but they hit their target in just two months!

Key Stats

casper's Key Stats

casper's Key Stats1

Casper

casper's Key Stats2

casper's Key Stats3

Key Takeaways

  1. Boldly Reinvent your Customer’s Buying Experience

Casper’s mattress-in-a-box concept wasn’t one that anybody ever imagined before. Of course, this out-of-the-box thinking is highly risky. But, as with high risks, when they stick, they pay great returns.

To boost customer engagement, Casper encourages its customers to send them a video of their unboxing experience. They have a special section dedicated in their FAQ section to address this point:

boost customer engagement

  1. Leverage the Potential of Content Marketing

Casper relentlessly puts out content that their users are searching for. Casper has successfully established itself as the industry expert by comparing products, talking about benefits, or providing general information about sleep.

Add this to the customer reviews and other content from customer engagement; the brand builds loyalty and trust through their social credibility.

  1. Generate More Leads Through Re-Targeting.

Did you know that 97% of your visitors don’t buy from you the first time they visit your site? Enter: retargeting. The CTR for retargeted ads, on average, is 10X higher than display ads.

Research suggests you can increase your CRO up to 150% through retargeting your customers.

3.Allbirds

Allbirds

Brief Outline

Allbirds is a sustainable footwear brand created by Tim Brown and Joey Zwillinger. They became famous for using New Zealand’s merino wool to create simple, muted, and comfortable sneakers that people could wear everywhere.

Tim was an eight-year professional soccer player and New Zealand’s vice-captain in 2016. Post his retirement from soccer, Tim gained his master’s in management from the London School of Economics in 2013.

Then began the journey of Allbirds, Tim’s vision of having a sustainable sneaker brand made from wool. A certified B corporation, Allbirds has achieved tremendous growth. Today, this D2C brand has a $1.4 billion valuation.

The Challenge

Everywhere you see, you can find brightly colored, heavily branded shoes. This lack of simplicity was Tim’s struggle too. He wanted a pair of simple shoes that were comfortable for long-wear.

This idea of being a whisperer amidst all the chaos and noise was why he started Allbirds. Together with Zwilligner, Allbirds set out to solve the following problems:

  • Simple, clean, non-branded shoes were too difficult to find.
  • Comfortable shoes that can function well as gym shoes and casual wear were rare.
  • The footwear industry had a large carbon footprint.

Their Solution

Tim Brown, a native of New Zealand, wanted to highlight his cultural heritage within his brand.

Even “Allbirds” references New Zealand’s first inhabitants who found no animals when they came to the land of “all birds.”

Partnering with a wool industry research group and government agricultural scientists, they patented a shoe material made of merino wool.

For the soles, they formulated a combination of foam and rubber, and some models even use castor bean-based components that are more sustainable.

The shoes were :

  • Durable
  • Sustainable
  • Fashionable
  • Comfortable
  • Affordable

For their launch, Brown started a Kickstarter campaign. He described his minimalist sneakers as “world’s first woolen running shoes designed to be worn sockless.” They highlighted the ease of use, the comfort of wear, the durability and resilience, and of course, how beneficial to the environment the shoes were.  

Wanting to raise $30,000, Allbirds ended up selling 1064 pairs of shoes and raising $120,000 in funds. A Time magazine profile on the launch day for the wool runners helped catapult the brand’s success. Soon, The New York Times called Allbirds the “Silicon Valley’s cobblers.”

The more funds Allbirds raised, the more their sales, and vice-versa.

Soon A-list celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Gwyneth Paltrow, Matthew McConaughey, Mila Kunis, and Jennifer Garner started sporting these shoes, and the brand continues to grow today.

Today, Allbirds has a valuation of upwards of $1.4 billion.

Key Stats

Allbirds Key Stats

Allbirds Key Stats1

Allbirds

Key Takeaways

  1. Prioritize the Quality of Products Over Sustainability

People aren’t loyal to a brand just for its sustainable business model. Being eco-friendly is a push for people to purchase an already excellent product.

Allbirds is big on sustainability, but they’re even big on their product quality. This focus on quality ensures people love the product.

Over and above, they feel proud to take part in conserving the environment. Never the other way around.

  1. Sustainable eCommerce is a Rewarding Strategy

Setting up a sustainable eCommerce brand takes a lot of effort. First, you need to get all the certifications to prove you are a sustainable brand. Secondly, you need to focus on strategies to reduce your overhead in the initial days.

But, 6 in 10 customers are willing to pay more if the brand is eco-conscious. Simple steps like the following can help you transition into an eco-conscious brand:

  • Reduce packaging.
  • Reduce energy waste.
  • Create recycling policies.
  • Create a marketplace to resell used merchandise.
  1. Build Credibility

Whether it’s gathering social proof for your product quality or gaining patents for the originality of your products, building credibility is important.

Allbirds took the time to create a unique product and got all the certifications needed to highlight the authenticity. Then a community of people shared their trust with the brand.

Building a community whose values align with yours will propel your sales perpetually. 77% of consumers want to buy from brands that share similar values as them.

4. Everlane

Everlane

Brief Outline

Everlane is a vertically integrated apparel store that focuses on the ethical sourcing of high-quality garments for men and women.

  • What sets them apart is their radically transparent approach.
  • The clothes last for decades.
  • Each customer knows where their clothing is coming from.
  • In addition, customers know the markup percentage.

Founded in 2010, Everlane’s strategy to be a transparent and ethical brand resulted in today’s success.  

The Challenge

Everlane was started in 2010 when customers were paying ten times the cost to make the apparel. So they set out to challenge the fashion industry, nay, disrupt the industry with their radical approach. Everlane’s founders Michael Preysman and Jesse Farmer wanted to address the following concerns their customers had:

  • Are the factories that create the apparel ethical in their dealings?
  • Why don’t the customers know the price breakdown?
  • Do the garments last long, or are they trend-centric?

Their Solution

The only way Everlane could address the concerns mentioned above was to use the direct-to-consumer route. They had total control over their entire funnel.

While creating a radically transparent brand that’s adamant about delivering ethically sourced, high-quality deliverables, their focus on what mattered most is what helped this niche-centric brand thrive.

Unlike other brands that try to please all consumers, Everlane focused on serving consumers that:

  • Appreciated ethically sourced apparel. This sourcing includes details about the entire supply chain (factories, raw materials, labor laws, etc.)
  • Looked for long-lasting quality over trends. This quality over trend approach meant they sought customers who would pay for designer wear dresses as long as the price justified the shelf-life.
  • Welcomed a minimalistic style. This style meant that the garments wouldn’t be fancy or loud, rather simple staples. This strategy also set them apart from many of their competitors that tried to cater to the masses.

Being radically transparent about their prices and markups worked in their favor. It became Everlane’s USP. In addition, their pre-launch program to get a product for a certain amount of referrals worked wonders.

Although the brand had 1,500 T-shirts in their inventory, their referral invite list popularly won 60,000 subscribers within five days. Finding their audience on Tumbler and using infographics to reach them was a clever way to attract their audience while creating buzz.

People appreciated and honored the transparency.

In 2015, Everlane received a seed funding of $1.1 million. In addition, partnering with Postmates as their delivery partner allowed them to provide customers with same-day delivery options, which further boosted their growth.

Their affiliate program added to their returns.

Everlane originally started with the idea of being an online store. Still, because they listened to the needs of their customers, they realized the value of opening brick-and-mortar stores.

Listening to your customers and delivering their requests ensures loyalty and referrals.

True to their claims of being radically transparent with their prices, Everlane introduced the “choose what you pay” pricing model for their merchandise. The lowest price would cover production and shipping costs, and the higher price points would include overhead.

The success of each strategy is visible today. In 2017, the company’s valuation was at over $250 million.

Key Stats

Everlane Key Stats

Everlane Key Stats1

Everlane Key Stats 2

Everlane Key Stats 3

Everlane Key Stats 4

Key Takeaways

  1. Clarity in Vision

When Everlane launched, they had a clear-cut strategy on how they would like to proceed. Being transparent has a long list of challenges. You have to be willing to let go of a percentage of the revenue pie if needed.

Also, we’ve noticed many brands start with big claims but sustaining the same becomes challenging a few years in the running. However, Everlane maintains its vision and mission statements, and customers reward their efforts.

  1. A Solid Pre-Launch Strategy

With Everlane’s prelaunch, they gave tiered rewards to all users who referred their friends to the prelaunch. The prelaunch went on for over six months. This period meant there was enough time for them to create some buzz. The mystery that something exciting is coming was enough for over 60,000 subscribers to sign up for the launch.

Their strategy to reach a young audience through Tumbler was unprecedented for the times. They created infographics about their business model and pricing strategies which received a lot of attention and shares. This strategy speaks to how creative the brand was and how they were unafraid to push boundaries.

  1. A Great Affiliate Program

Although affiliate marketing is a part of many eCommerce strategies today, Everlane was creative to infuse an affiliate program into its strategy in those days. Their robust affiliate program allows affiliates to be excited and ready to spread the word. Affiliate programs can result in a 15-30% increase in your profits. If you’re an eCommerce brand, this is a strategy to include in your marketing efforts.

5. Dollar Shave Club

Dollar Shave Club

Brief Outline

Our list would be incomplete without mentioning the billion-dollar exit of Dollar Shave Club. A company that started from scratch by founders Michael Dubin and Mark Levine scaled to becoming the major competition for the monopolistic reign of Gillette, eating away over 25% of its market share, finally getting Unilever to buy out DSC for a billion dollars in 2016.

The Challenge

Mark Levine came to Michael Dubin with a specific problem. He had 250,000 razors he sourced from Asia, and he wanted Michael to help him sell them.  

In 2011, when the duo was discussing business plans, the two challenges in the market at the time were:

  • Razors were unnecessarily expensive.
  • Buying razors is a frustrating experience.

The monopoly over the market share by the likes of Gillette and Schick made the markup on razors high. Michael Dubin wanted to go head to head with the goliaths of the razors, and thus came the idea for Dollar Shave Company.

Their Solution

Even though millions used razors, the problem of a few brands owning major chunks of the market share caused the markups to be ridiculously high. Michael Dubin wanted to stand against this very challenge. And he did so successfully right from the launch video of Dollar Shave Club.

Their “our blades aren’t just good; they’re f*ing great” made the masses go wild, and they received 12,000 new subscribers within 48 hours of the video going live. The Gillettes and Schicks began to notice a significant portion of their market share going Dollar Shave Club’s way.

Defining a target audience: people in their twenties and thirties who didn’t have enough funds to buy expensive blades and weren’t loyal to big names like Gillette. This specificity allowed the founders to craft their video commercials uniquely for their audience. This streamlining of their strategies was a major reason behind their billion-dollar buy-out.

Another reason for the brand’s success is its futuristic business model. These days, we understand firsthand how valuable a subscription model is. But in 2011, combining a trading model (purchasing products in bulk from smaller companies and selling them at a profit) and a subscription model (investing in customers and acting as a club for its customers, a.k.a. members) was visionary.

Key Stats

Dollar Shave Club key stats

Dollar Shave Club key stats 1

Dollar Shave Club key stats 2

Key Takeaways

  1. Membership Programs Over Loyalty Programs

Gone are the days when people wanted rewards for being loyal to your brand. A retail loyalty program will get your participant to spend $42.33 over a regular customer. But 49% of shoppers are already part of a subscription model, according to research from McKinsey.

Customers today seek value. They want exclusive insider benefits. Customers want to feel part of your brand and its story. They want to feel part of your community. A membership program will allow you to have a steady source of revenue.

  1. Use the Power of Videos to Gain Success

The most viral commercial that introduced Dollar Shave Club gained 4.75 million views. This video, although simple, addressed every pain point a customer had. The video generated 12,000 orders in just 48 hours.

The Aberdeen Groups research shows that companies who add video marketing to their strategy have witnessed a 49% faster Y-o-Y. In addition, they receive 34% higher conversions and a 41% boost in web traffic.

  1. Communicate the Future your Brand Wishes to Prevent

DSC showed men what a future would look like if this ‘one dollar a shave’ alternative weren’t present. Having a great razor for just a dollar and a subscription model to get replacement blades every month was the best decision for a customer to make.

Adding to this, the fun names of products (One wipe Charlie) and a successful membership program allowed them to tap into their audience’s emotions. This strategy led to a lasting relationship between their whales and the brand.

Direct To Consumer Trends To Look Out For In 2022

Now that we’ve seen the major examples of direct-to-consumer successes, as promised, here are the trends to remember as you strategize your D2C business model. Marketing is changing as the internet evolves.

Brands are readily embracing new trends and adapting faster than ever.

However, with all this competition, it also becomes easy to stand out as long as you have a unique brand voice. Integrating the following trends can help you create a data-centered brand voice that’s unique to you.

Here are seven trends for 2022 we predict will be the future of D2C strategies:

AI Chatbots

AI Chatbots

To build strong relationships with your customers, as a direct-to-consumer brand, it’s worth noting that 92% more brands use chatbots as part of their conversational marketing strategies. Since 2019, 11.9% of customers have started communicating with brands using chatbots.

Now with more intelligent AI chatbots, you can expect:

  • faster and more reliable customer support
  • human-like conversations with your customers
  • reduced overhead by decreasing the hiring of live chat representatives

Some statistics to note:

Chatbots are getting smarter. Customers and companies are loving them each day. As the screengrab from Google Trends shows, chatbots are here to stay.

Voice Search

Voice Search

As a D2C brand owner, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) drive your sales and web traffic. 65% of users (ages 25-49) are already talking to their voice-enabled devices every day. Social Media Today reports that 50% of users use voice-based search to research products. These numbers are constantly growing.

Some statistics you can’t ignore:

  • Close to 10% of voice searches start with words like “who/ what/ where/ when/ why and how). This change in search is why you need to optimize your website content for voice search.
  • Google reports that 52% of voice searches happen in the living room, 25% in the bedroom, and 22% in the kitchen.  
  • According to Search Engine Land, keywords you should focus on ranking for voice search include topics related to instructions instead of purchase-related terms.
  • 26% of customers who own smart speakers have used them while purchasing online. And this number is growing daily.

Voice search is getting even more popular as days go by. Optimizing your eCommerce store for voice and implementing a content marketing strategy is the best way to establish your D2C brand as the leader in your niche.

Personalized Brand Experiences

Personalized Brand Experiences

Today, most established retail brands include a direct-to-consumer channel. Research shows 51% of customers already expect brands to predict their needs and make appropriate suggestions. While personalization once meant:

  • Including the customer’s first name in emails.
  • Content that’s written in first/second-person perspective.
  • Suggesting product recommendations and ads based on user history.

But in 2021, these are a given. In the future, personalized experiences would mean your brand develops a better way to personalize your customer’s exposure to your store.

As an example, take a look at Fit Liberty, the D2C line from Universal Standard. Within a year of purchase, their shoppers can exchange any clothing item at no extra cost. This elevated shopping experience is extremely personalized to the customer, thereby increasing brand loyalty.

Global Retail

Global Retail

Shopify’s research suggests 42% of eCommerce transactions are happening in China. International markets are rapidly growing. Shopify predicts that one-fifth of direct-to-consumer sales will be cross-border purchases.

With more and more eCommerce platforms implementing better experiences for your customer, like multi-currency options, tax calculators, etc., the new D2C trend is to sell globally.

Even the World Trade Report suggests that 97% of small businesses are already exporting globally.

Adopting Omnichannel Strategies

Adopting Omnichannel Strategies

BigCommerce’s survey reveals that more and more Gen Z customers are purchasing online. Also, only 31.04% of millennials and 27.5% of Gen X customers buy products from brick and mortar stores.

Since 2020, retail has become a mix of physical stores and online store experiences. This fluidity in shopping is the reason behind needing an omnichannel approach to your eCommerce strategies.

Some stats to consider:

The future beholds D2C brands getting serious about creating more ways to engage their customers using a mix of physical and online channels.

Video Marketing and Brand Storytelling

Video Marketing and Brand Storytelling

Up to 99% of brands are already using video marketing because videos are 600% more effective than other marketing strategies.

Here are a few things you need to consider:

  • The average customer already has 9.5 video streaming apps installed on their mobile phones.
  • Short-form videos (IG reels & Tiktoks) are gaining more popularity.
  • Users coming to your eCommerce store through UGC (user-generated content) have a 184% chance of purchasing from you.
  • Data-driven storytelling is the future for brands to share their values. This strategy builds loyalty.

(PS. For more information on how you can leverage videos and other marketing strategies to boom your brand, have a look at our article on the same)

Subscription Business Model Over Loyalty Programs

Subscription Business Model Over Loyalty Programs

McKinsey reports that D2C subscription brands grow over 100% Y-o-Y. Also, 15% of consumers enjoy the subscription model. Our example of Dollar Shave Club reflects how a brand can go from 0 to $1 billion using a subscription model.

Some stats for you to consider are:

  • 53% of software revenue will directly come from a subscription model.
  • 70% of marketers report they will implement a subscription model in their marketing strategies in the coming year.
  • 53% of CFO’s attribute 40% of their organization’s revenue to be recurring, thanks to subscription models.

Loyalty programs are losing the charm they once had. Your customers want to have an exclusive insider relationship with your brand. Membership models provide just that personalized brand experience.

Over To You

With all the stats trends we’ve shown you, it’s apparent that D2C is the future. Even for well-established brands, embracing a direct-to-consumer channel will provide you with a direct communication line to your consumers. This line will not only ensure a personalized experience but build strong loyalty.

The number one reason for the humongous success of many D2C brands is that they are great at solving their customer’s problems.

There is a customer need that has gone unmet for years on end, and finally, a direct-to-consumer brand comes and solves the problem while competing head-on with the giants in the industry.

Whether we look at Warby Parker, Casper, Everlane, Allbirds, or Dollar Shave Club, they worked towards ending the monopoly of the existing giants in the industry. Here’s where the disruption takes place.

A few questions you can ask yourself as a potential retail disruptor:

  • How can my company end ___ problem of my target audience?
  • What is one service my audience wants from me that no one else can provide?
  • What are some stale business practices still prevalent in my industry I can solve?
  • What business model can I create to increase recurring revenue?
  • What are the core values that will drive my business for years to come?

These action points will help you find your business edge and brand philosophy. That said, parenting with a D2C expert like WebSpero can save you all the hassles of finding the right strategies. We’ve helped hundreds of our clients find success and we can do the same for you. Let us take care of your D2C strategies so you can focus on what matters most to you: your clients. Schedule a discovery call now.

D2C Marketing: Top Challenges Faced By D2C Brands In 2021

D2C Marketing: Top Challenges Faced By D2C Brands In 2021

direct to consumer brand owner wondering how to overcome common D2C challenges? Well, we have expert tips lined up for you!

We’re not wasting time with “what is D2C” and “D2C vs. B2C” and other questions of that manner. You already know that. We’ve answered the seven most common challenges our clients come to us with here at WebSpero.

As a bonus, the action points at the end of each problem help challenge your mindset for success. So, at the end of this article, you’ll have the information you need to succeed in your D2C marketing.

Take a look at our expert tips on how you can tackle these D2C challenges head-on:

1. Product Differentiation

D2C trends project that 40% of people will buy from D2C companies in the coming five years. However, with all the available brands today, it doesn’t take a sharp eye to notice that many brands within a niche look the same.

Whether it’s similar packaging, similar target markets, or similar messaging, brands have to find ways to differentiate their selling points from their competition.

While we understand that there’s a strategy to looking like other brands in your niche, ensure you build your following through a distinct brand message. Whether that’s your brand values or an offering that sets you apart, find an emotional connection with your customers.

Think, what is my unique selling point, and how can I build a community that resonates with my messaging?

2. Changing Customer Habits

D2C Marketing

Millennials are leading the world when it comes to online shopping. And 75% of the average US citizen is open to trying new brands. This means they’re switching brands at an unusual rate! McKinsey’s research notes that Gen Z is most likely to continue switching brands.

Another thing to note is that thanks to auto-sync turned on in their browsers, your users are browsing your site seamlessly across various devices.

For example, they might have stumbled upon your blog post on your product while using their laptop at work. Thanks to cookies, your social media advertisements target them on their phone, and they continue to purchase from your IG store.

Are you prepared to wow your customer through this journey?

Think, how can you combine new-age technologies (AR, VR, IoT, etc.) to make your customer experience more seamless?

3. Rise In Competition

With the rise in social media and other digital opportunities, more and more brands embrace a direct-to-consumer model. And this shows that the competition within the D2C sector is ever increasing. So, how can you win in your niche?

The answer lies in Differentiation. So how do you stand apart from the rest of your competitors?

Millennials, for example, love to buy from brands that stand for a cause. Alternatively, you could make your brand voice and values one that your audience resonate with. Even taking small steps like ensuring your SEO efforts are up to the mark will help you retain more customers.

Think, what’s one thing you do differently than others in your niche?

4. Demanding Customers

With increased control over brand messaging and customer engagement, almost all brands are waking up to meet the rising challenges in pleasing the customers.

This means customer expectations are soaring high! What was once a “wow-factor” has now become the baseline.

This high expectation isn’t necessarily a bad thing for your brand. Understand basic human psychology: WE ALL WANT TO FEEL SEEN/ HEARD. We all want to feel important.

You don’t necessarily have to have high budgets to pamper your customer. Simple things like:

  • Addressing each customer’s comments on your social media accounts.
  • Implementing feedback and reassuring the customer of the same.
  • Personalizing your customer’s experience across all channels.
  • Running “surveys as campaigns” to gather data about your customers, then integrating this data within future campaigns.

51% of your customers expect to have a personalized experience with your brand. The above list is just a kick-off point.

Think, how can you personalize the experiences your customers have in each interaction with your brand?

5. Growth Challenges

  • Facebook advertisement costs have almost doubled Y-o-Y 2018-2019.
  • Social media platforms are getting crowded in every possible niche you can think of.
  • Organic growth remains a challenge when we consider the time it takes to scale a brand.  

These results can be disheartening, especially if you’re starting your  D2C company. But, here’s all you need to remember:

  • Content marketing is booming.
  • Customers are getting wiser trying to wean out quality content from the rest.
  • Social media still proves useful in building communities around your product.

Invest in content marketing strategies. Build content around your product in different formats: podcasts, blogs, social media posts, etc.

This will ensure a wide range of people connects with your message.

Think, what are five topics that can talk about the value my product brings to my customers?

6. Technical Infrastructure

  • Within 24 hours of the first contact, 54% of your customers expect you to give them a personalized discount.
  • 26% of your customers want higher security and greater user experience on your website.
  • 22% of your customers expect you to provide them with a same-day delivery option.

Sure, when you look at D2C vs. B2C, there are many benefits of reaching your customers directly, but here are the technical aspects (infrastructure, means & modalities, etc.) of business that you’ll have to think of.

You can build your technical infrastructure by adopting MACH architecture (Microservices based, API-first, Cloud-native, and Headless). Ditch the legacy monolith systems. 

Think, how can I future-proof my customer’s digital experience with my brand?

7. Omnichannel Shopping

  • Up to 71% of in-store shoppers surveyed have reported that smartphones have become extremely important to their in-store experience.
  • Add this to the fact, more than 45% of brands are already saying their top priority is creating omnichannel experiences for their customer.
  • Your customers who shop both in-store and online produce a 30% lifetime value over other customers.

It’s no surprise that in 2021, your customers expect a seamless connection with your brand. As an example, customers check for discounts online while they’re shopping with you in-store.

Our expert tip would be to include a headless commerce architecture within your brand strategies. This means to decouple your backend services and UIs. It would allow you to handle your eCommerce functionalities in the backend.

Think, which APIs bring in flexibility in the front-end operations? Which custom interface allows for a seamless experience for my customers?

In conclusion

These were the seven most common challenges D2C brands face and our expert tips to overcome them. Stay tuned for other articles that will help you with proven & rewarding strategies to scale your D2C marketing efforts. For starters, check out this article on detailed strategies used by the leading D2C brands and trends and projections for 2022. We specialize in propelling vertically integrated eCommerce brands. We help you scale your ROI through our data-centered strategies that boost your conversion rates. Speak to our experts today!

Top 25 Digital Marketing Mistakes That Brands Are Still Making In 2021!

Top 25 Digital Marketing Mistakes That Brands Are Still Making In 2021!

It’s 2021 and no matter what your line of business is, we are sure that digital marketing is a core part of your marketing. With an average person spending 6 and half hours online every day, there are high chances that your next customer will find you online. That is why every business must have a rock-solid digital marketing strategy. But businesses make mistakes, and here are few common digital marketing blunders that businesses often do.

 

Online Marketing Mistakes Businesses Are Doing 

 

Not Having a Clear Marketing Goal : 

Rudy Guilani rightly said, “Hope is not a strategy,” it certainly isn’t if you are doing digital marketing of your business. You need to have a clear marketing strategy. What do you want to achieve in the next 3 months, in next six months, in 1 year, and in 2 years? Many marketers do not clearly define their goals which is a recipe for disaster. According to co-schedule’s research 

“Marketers who set goals are 376% more likely to report success than those who don’t.”

Let it sink in.

So first thing, clearly define your marketing goals. Have goals that are aligned to the business goals of your organization. Make sure the goals are SMART

S- Specific

M- Measurable 

A- Aspirational

R- Realistic

T-Time-bound 

 

Here’s an example of SMART Goal: By 30 June 2021, we will increase membership sign-ups by 10%. The goal is specific, measurable, aspirational (considering 10% by June is little out of reach), realistic, and time-bound. 

Not SMART Goal: Increase sign-ups 

 

Undefined Target Audience: 

Many times marketers do not clearly define their audience, which simply means they don’t really know what they are doing. If you try to be everything to everyone, you’ll end up being nobody to no one. So, define your target audience first. Analyze what is your market and who is your customer? Whom are you serving? Do not blindly guess it. Look at your current customer data and if you are just starting then look into your industry and then use tools to get data instead of making educated guesses. You can hire a customer research firm to help you out. Creating customer personas can help you clearly define your target audience. Although simple demographics can be a starting point in defining your target audience, it surely won’t be enough. Spend more time to understand your customers, their needs and wants, and their preferred kind of content. You can use psychographics for improving your targeting so that you can send the right message to the right audience using the right channels. 

 

Not Staying Organized:

It’s almost impossible to do marketing without staying organized. There are too many things happening and if you are not organized, you’re surely going to miss out on the most important ones. So stay organized, document your strategy, maintain a content calendar, and use a project management tool to manage your tasks and team. 

 

Not Personalizing the Experience:

It is very important to use personalization in your marketing. If you don’t personalize, you will never be able to connect with your audience. Using your prospects’ name in the email while sending a BCC email to your entire list is just unforgivable. 

personalize marketing

Not only your emails but the entire experience of your customers should be personalized. You can learn from their purchasing history, their interests from the psychographic analysis that you have done, and then tweak your message according to that. This will not only gain their interest but also make them more loyal to your brand. 

 

Not Being Data-Driven:

If you are still making your marketing decisions according to your gut it’s time to wake up and look at your calendar. It is 2021 now and you just cannot ignore data. 

Please look into your data to make meaningful decisions about your marketing’s next step. See what your analytics is showing full stop and take a look how your customers are responding to your campaign. 

 

 What do the numbers suggest? 

Are you moving in the right direction or do you need to make any changes in your campaign? The biggest advantage that you have in digital marketing over conventional marketing is the kind of personalization you can do and the amount of data that you can collect to measure your campaign. Make sure you use the power of data to boost your marketing.

 

Not Testing Enough: 

Not testing your marketing campaigns means not really knowing what is working and what is not. You should split test your campaigns, be it email marketing, running ads, where the form should be, or what the call to action must say. Split test, create a control group, send them one information, create a test group, send them the other and see which one is performing better. 

All big companies do a lot of split-testing to ensure they are getting good results. Booking.com, one of the leading digital travel companies, does almost 25000 tests a year to make sure their customers get the best experience and they make better decisions. So, don’t miss out on that. 

 

Ignoring SEO:

Ignoring SEO today can be one of the biggest mistakes a marketer can make (Also Read – 20 SEO Mistakes and How to Avoid Them).

  1. 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine .(Search Engine Journal).
  2. 89% of online purchasers used SERPs to make their decision (Dezzain) 

These numbers don’t lie. Search is a big part of your customer’s journey and you cannot simply ignore it. Even if you think there’s too much competition in your niche, and it will be difficult for you to get results organically, here’s a data point for you: 

50% of searches are long-tail keywords – four words or longer (Word Stream)

Any company that focuses on SEO, will be able to rank for their long tail keywords. Focusing on SEO will give you more visibility and with time reduce your marketing costs to get similar results, thus increasing your ROI. 

{ If you need help with SEO, you can contact us or look at case studies to see how we’ve helped our clients with SEO. If you are doing SEO with no results, please visit [Seo Ranking Factor ] or let us audit your current SEO strategy }

 

Avoiding Social Media:

On an average, people spend 2 hours and 32 minutes on social media everyday. That is a lot of time. Social media gives an opportunity for your business to engage with your target audience. Be a part of the community or build a strong community. 

Here are three social media mistakes businesses are doing:

  1. Many businesses completely ignore social media and are not even listed there.
  2. There are some who have basic accounts set up but they don’t do anything with their accounts
  3. Keep posting stuff that has no value and hence no engagement.

You need to create a social media strategy with an end goal, you should focus on: 

  • Building your brand on social media
  • Engaging with your audience by posting questions, facts and running engaging facebook campaigns.
  • Replying to the queries and comments of your audience 

 

Not Investing in Content: 

Content is the king and every business should invest in developing quality content. This is the best tool in your inbound marketing kit and it is rewarding too! 

A research by Demand Metric confirms that: 

Per dollar spent, content marketing generates approximately 3 times as many leads as traditional marketing. 

So invest in content. Understand your business and see what kind of content will be most useful for your business out of these.

Content types

Wrong Content Distribution Strategy: 

A research by SEMRUSH shows, 

94% of the time, social media is used to distribute the content by businesses.

percentage of content distribution

Type of content they produce: 86% of the time, content produced is blog posts. 

Type of content they produce

And blog posts are not the most optimal kind of content for social media. If social media is going to be your number one content distribution channel, focus more on something visual such as images, infographics, and videos. 

 

Ignoring Mobile: 

Ignoring Mobile

Source:BroadBand Search

Mobile traffic has increased 222% in the last 7 years and now 53% of the entire internet traffic comes from mobile. You need to have a mobile-first strategy: 

  1. Is your Website Mobile Optimized? Take a test here
  2. Are your emails/newsletters designed according to mobile 
  3. Do you analyze how people are engaging with your digital assets on mobile?

 

Ignoring Videos: 

Video is huge. Youtube is the world’s 2nd largest search engine, Facebook, Instagram are all promoting videos more on their platforms, and with increasing internet speeds, people are spending more time watching videos than ever.

  • Videos are shared 1,200 percent more than links and text posts combined (Source:jeffbullas
  • By 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic — 15 times higher than it was in 2017. (Cisco)

If you are still not using it, you are missing out on big opportunities. Videos are changing the way people are consuming content. Be a part of it. 

Here are few things you can do:

  1. Videos on Youtube
  2. Stories 
  3. Webinars 
  4. Live streaming 

 

Missing Out on Viral Loops:

Viral loop is the method of how you can use your current users/customers to invite your next customers. It’s growth hacking. 

It happens when the product will serve better if your user gets another user on the platform (network effects) 

For example: You’re on Facebook because your friends are, if you are using Skype,you are using whatsapp, you need your friends to be on Whatsapp/Skype as well for communication. 

Or it happens when it gives bragging rights to the people: 

Just see how emails have a signature at the end Sent from my iPhone”.

If you’re on a gaming app, you create leaderboards and encourage your users to share their scores on social media or challenge their friends. This is a viral loop. 

 

Focusing on Quantity instead of Quality:

Lot of businesses fret over the numbers they want to hit, for example:

  1. We will publish 10 blogs a month
  2. We want to do 12 tweets a day 

Both of these goals are fine as long as they are bringing the right kind of engagement, but if you do not focus on creating something valuable, it’s not going to bring any reward to your business. 

An Ahref study shows that 90.63% of all pages in our index get zero traffic from Google and if you are posting 10 blogs a month hoping to get more traffic from Google, you might be doing it all wrong. So instead of focusing on quantity, focus on quality. I want to publish 2 “rankable” blogs instead of 10 might be a better goal. 

 

Not Creating Subscriber Lists:

Not everyone who visits your website is going to buy something, but that doesn’t mean the user cannot buy something in future. But to make sure that you have a chance of converting users in future, you need to engage with them. 

If someone has read an entire article on your website, he probably found some value in your content and might be interested in receiving more information from you in future and you might get business in future. So ask people to subscribe, and have a marketing strategy to send your subscribers personalized and useful information. 

According to a survey by BtoB magazine:

59% of B2B marketers say email is their most effective channel in terms of revenue generation.

A 2019 report by DMA suggests a return of $42 on every $1 spent on emails

stronger ROI on email

An email list is the first step for a successful email marketing campaign. So work on creating your email lists. 

 

Spamming the Inboxes: 

Many marketers do not understand the difference between email marketing and blatant spamming. No John, sending an email to 10,000 people with 0 personalization and no credibility is not email marketing. People get thousands of such mails and there’s no way you are going to grow your business by irritating them. 

 

Not Prioritizing on Customer Retention:

It’s cheaper to retain a customer than acquire a new one and yet many times, businesses are too focused on acquiring new customers but not trying to retain/ upsell to their present customers. 

What are you doing to retain your customers?

Does your strategy talk about steps you are taking to increase customer retention? If not, start doing it today!

 

Ignoring Abandoned Carts :

Customers who added products in the cart are only a step away from the sale.

Are you actively looking for what’s the reason for abandoned carts?

Baymard’s research shows these reasons:

reason for abandoned carts

As a marketer, make it as easy as possible for people to checkout, only ask for information that is required. Don’t force account creation, just create an account by default if you want. 

 

Not Measuring ROI:

Not measuring your ROI is the same as playing blind. Without an eye for ROI, you might end up losing a lot of money with not results. 

How much are you spending on your marketing?

What kind of results are you expecting?

What’s the return over your investment? 

Is the money spent well or you could have achieved more ROI by doing something else? 

These are the important questions you need to ask while marketing your business online.

 

Not Being Agile:

Marketing strategy is made once a year, but customers are evolving every day. Your marketing depends upon externalities as well. What is happening in the world? What’s your competitor doing? How is the ecosystem evolving? You need to be agile to see the changes happening and be quick to adapt. 

For example: If you’re a software company in the times of Covid-19, with the outbreak of the virus, your value proposition and marketing might change from how you can increase business to how you can help other businesses retain clients, or cut costs. Your messaging will become more empathetic because of the global pandemic.

 

Working in Silos:

It’s a mistake that both big and small companies make, marketing teams working in silos and not collaborating with other teams.

Different channel teams working in different silos make the situation worse. Big companies have different divisions for paid marketing, email marketing , SEO, and all of them work in silos. 

This kind of structure can reduce the effectiveness of your marketing, with different teams trying to send different messages. All these channels compliment each other. So they need to collaborate.

If you are running a social media campaign, your email marketing team must know about it. If you are going to do ads in newspapers, your digital marketing team must know the same. 

Small companies hire multiple agencies or freelancers to take care of their marketing. They need to make sure that they create enough communication channels amongst them so that they have the complete visibility of the campaign and they can together get better results. 

 

Wrong KPIs:

Once you have clear marketing goals, make sure you track the right KPIs. A difference in what you want to achieve and what KPIs you track can ruin your marketing. For example, if you want to increase engagement on your website, then tracking bounce rate, returning customers become more important KPIs than the total traffic. 

So clearly align your KPIs with your goals. 

 

Doing Everything Yourself: 

You cannot do everything alone, you need support from people who are experts in their fields and can help you get better results and also save you money. 

If you try to do everything yourself, you’ll end up leaving a lot of things midway which is the loss of money, time, and opportunity for your business.

Do what you are best at and hire experts to help you with the rest of the things. This will give you time to concentrate on other important things and will help your business achieve more. 

 

Not Using Marketing Automation:

With no code revolution, you can automate a lot of your marketing tasks so you can spend time on effective things and not only on gathering data. Not doing marketing automation means spending time on activities that are repetitive. 

You can use Zapier, Google Sheets add ons, or hire someone like us to automate your marketing so that you spend the most time on things that matter. 

 

Ignoring Collaboration:

Always be open to collaboration with others. Be it accepting/writing guest posts, running a combined campaign or simply doing shoutouts for other businesses. When you do it, not only will you gain additional visibility to a new set of audiences, but also build trust and network in your ecosystem which can help your business a lot. So, think about collaborations, help others succeed, and you will succeed with them. 

What do you think? I am sure you’re doing the majority of things right. What’s the one thing that you’re going to do from now on? What’s the one thing that you’ll fix in your company’s marketing?

Let us know and we will help you bring your business back on track and grow digitally!

 

Should You Shift Your Digital Marketing Agency? 14 Signals That Say Yes!

Should You Shift Your Digital Marketing Agency? 14 Signals That Say Yes!

Phil Knight, the American Billionaire Businessman famously said ‘Play by the rules, but be ferocious.’ No doubt, it entails quite a passion to get a foothold in the business world, but what if the agency you pick to outsource your online marketing doesn’t live up to the expectations? 

Hiring the best digital marketing agency is a considerable decision but with everything done right, it can take your online business to the next level. This especially holds true in the current scenario of the pandemic as the matter of financial crises have urged for better business strategies. According to one of the sources, 80% of executors will now explore and surge their investment in outsourcing.

From offering the expertise to help in accessing the advanced insights, professional agencies present plentiful benefits. However, since digital marketing is all about being soundly tactical, the hired agency going pear-shaped can collapse the system. Thus, as soon as you experience any red flag, or start feeling that the collaboration isn’t going smoothly for your business, shift to the better one to save you money, time, and effort. Here are the 15 major signals that will help you to be widely awake.

 

They Do Not Have Transparent Business Profile

The business profile is a quick look into a particular company that ensures the reliability of its service. A comprehensive overview or background check of the digital marketing consultant is an indispensable decision that needs to be taken by clients. The business profile involves products and services, years of experience, mission, achievements, and customer reviews. However, if the information associated with any of the elements is missing or doubtful, it is better to cast out the selected agency.

 

  • They Do Not Commence What They Commit

According to Forbes, US digital marketing will spend nearly $120 billion by 2021. In other words, the surging trend of digital marketing is an alarm for businesses to let them gear for more competitiveness. The proficiency of a marketing firm plays a crucial role in this aspect but choosing the one that cannot practice what they preach results in challenges. Most marketing agencies often ensure in the beginning that they can do anything but as it is said ‘action speaks louder than words’, the better would be to delve into their expertise by checking the professional website like LinkedIn.

 

  • They Do Not Comply With Your Business Needs and Strategies

Even after collaborating with you for a long time, if your agency fails to understand your business base and needs, it is definitely not worth your time and money. Below are the hints that the selected marketing company doesn’t have knowledge of your business.

  • They do have a grasp of your strengths and weaknesses.
  • They can’t provide insight into customer behavior.
  • They use the same strategies and techniques for all clients.

 

  • They Are Not Able to Meet The Set Goals

Meeting the set goals at particular deadlines is one of the key attributes to ensure the efficiency of the business. In case, your marketing agency is not productive enough to accomplish the discussed goals on time, it is better to give a thumb down. This is direly needed if the non-fulfillment of commitment by the agency is a frequent event.

 

  • They Do Not Offer Results That Worth Your Money

Seeking service from the experienced digital marketing or SEO service providers can sometimes be expensive. However, even after achieving a heavy paycheck from you, when they are not able to offer the prominent service and efficiency in their service, it shows their lack of motivation and carelessness. All these essences are sure signs that you deserve a better service provider.

 

  • They Are Not Proficient In Communication

Consistent and effective communication with your experts is the key to make your campaign hit the jackpot. Whether or not your digital marketing experts are productive and experienced but if they lack in having sufficient touch with you, it may result in certain loopholes. Thus, it is suggested to always determine the tone, methods, and communication behavior of the experts before making them a part of your campaign.

 

  • They Are Not Consistent In Reporting Results

A report by eMarketer cleared that one out of three US digital media professionals considers ad-fraud as the major challenge in marketing. And, now with the businesses changing their game to cope with the financial crisis during COVID-19, the number of scams and frauds will be on a spike. Weekly and monthly reporting is the only solution to evaluate the credibility of hired digital marketing services. Failing to provide sufficient information or report their findings not just makes you doubt their credibility but can also divert your business strategies in the wrong direction.

 

  • They Do Not Have Precise Strategy 

To make your campaign set a cut above the rest, it crucial to frame and work-upon the splendid strategies. But if an agency while communicating with you doesn’t share an innovative strategy or excludes your business goals, KPIs, success metrics, timelines, and other attributes, the chances are that it may let you down in the future. Thus, it is better to change your experts before you suffer the loss.

 

  • They Do Not Offer Personalized Service

In business ‘one size does not fit all’. This is the reason, the experts or the service providers offer bespoke services to satisfy the unique needs of every business client. On the contrary, any agency unwilling to blend the services as per the client’s demand is a big no in today’s time. One should always look for the experts who are interested in knowing your business and needs so that you will be presented with what is exactly best for your campaign.

 

  • They Do Not Ask For Your Feedback

Customer feedback is a significant element for any service provider to be better in their role. Any digital marketing consultant failing to care enough about client’s feedback shows their lack of interest in achieving customer satisfaction. This also proves that they aren’t ‘result-oriented’ and will not be there for after-service support when you need them.

 

  • They Do Not Abide By Recent Trends

Trends in digital marketing evolve continually and abiding up the current scenarios is the only way to work in the right direction. For instance, The facts that 69% of users prefer chatbots over calling, Instagram overshadowing Facebook in terms of customer interaction, Email getting more personalized, and others are all that 2020 is beating the drum for. Thus, professional digital marketing agencies making use of every channel will not create a buzz for your campaign, because all it matters is the relevance of the platform and consideration of recent trends. 

 

  • They Have Tracking Issues And Substantial Discrepancies

Tracking the impressions of marketing is an integral part of better marketing. If your digital marketing experts harness their custom-made tracking tools and end up with minor discrepancies, that is up to 20%, it should be regarded as normal. However, the disparities above the listed percentage is a red flag as this can result in the inaccuracy of reports. This also delineates the number of errors done by the side of the agency and marks their nonprofessional attitude and so it entails you to give them the brush off. 

 

  • They Ignore Competitor Analysis

To set the cutting edge in the enormous competition in online business, diving deep into competitor statistics is an essential activity. There are some specific marketing tools that help you evaluate your performance in comparison to competitors, which is a solution to do much better in the future. Nevertheless, skipping the regulation of competitor analysis by professional digital marketing service providers can make your business stand to face the challenges. 

 

  • They Cannot Market Themselves Better

One of the vital factors to determine the proficiency of a marketing agency is to have an insight into its SEO performance for themselves. If the hired consultant cannot make them position well among the competitors, there is no chance that they can offer something outstanding for your campaign. It’s then high time to move on with some reliable and better agency.

 

Bottom Line

Choosing the marketing company that works in your best interest is what you need to ace the game of your digital marketing campaign. The above listed fourteen red flags make you understand that the situation is dicey and shifting the service provider is the only solution left to get back in the game.

Explore how WebSpero Solutions, the Award-Winning Digital Marketing Agency can help you fix your problems and drive results that are worth your time, money, and goals. Contact us today!

 

Social Media ROI Polarizing Digital Marketing Trends

Social Media ROI Polarizing Digital Marketing Trends

When 42% of the world’s population is using social media, one cannot deny the fact that people are already interacting with brands through social media. 

 

This has made social media marketing a crucial element in digital marketing strategies. It offers an excellent opportunity to businesses of all sizes to reach audiences globally. Although social media marketing is always on the rise, the fundamental problem is that companies are still struggling to measure their effectiveness. 

 

This post will help you in understanding how social media ROI is crucial to see how social media efforts are contributing to the success of your business.

Challenges of Measuring Social Media ROI

 

ROI

 

Social media is no doubt a powerful tool for digital marketing, but its return on investment is difficult to calculate. Evaluation of available data is not an easy task because there are no specific guidelines to follow. For instance, how can you figure out the return on investment on a particular boosted Facebook post? The effectiveness of content is not always measured on the basis of shares and likes. You need to focus on the final outcome. Don’t worry if you are new to this concept. Merely 2% of companies running social media marketing campaigns measure their customer service metrics. Around 73% of the company’s efforts stop at the tracking phase only. As the efforts are funneled further, the percentage reduces followed by measuring engagement and conversion for measuring ROI. Consider this new challenge as an opportunity to lead the current cutting edge market of SMM. First of all, we need to understand the factors influencing its quantification i.e. 

  1. Upsurging website traffic
  2. Increasing exposure
  3. Sales lead generation
  4. Developing a supporter’s base
  5. Business partnerships growth 
  6. Sales boost 

 

Let’s understand the challenges every social media marketer has to face while quantifying the Return on Investment:-

 

Precise tool for ROI measurement 

 

Not only for you but social media is a new marketing channel for most marketers. Still, there is no conventional tool to measure social media impact on revenue precisely.

 

Prior experience and digital content creation

 

Influential content creation on social media is not an easy task. Lack of adequate resources is the main reason why most businesses consider compelling content creation as a big challenge. Also, lacking experience as a beginner creates several issues in understanding complexities.

 

Strategy development 

 

You cannot achieve the social media marketing objective by just randomly posting promotional content on social media platforms. A strategy is required to identify the most appropriate platform and choose a suitable tracking tool according to a particular business requirement. 

 

Unreliable data source 

 

Social media is more liberalized than the rest of the World Wide Web. Therefore, the risk of collecting fake data is higher. Fake IDs on your targeted social media accounts can easily affect the data accuracy. 

 

Four different Techniques to Calculate Social Media ROI

 

It’s time to focus on the solutions rather than circling around the challenges. Here is a list of four different formulas to quantify the return on investment with better precision. 

 

How to Calculate ROI With The Cost Of Goods Sold

 

Marketers use the gross profit to calculate ROI. However, they often ignore the cost of goods sold. Let’s see an example. Your investment of $100 in Instagram ads earned 10 sales at $25 each product. The total revenue is:

10*$25=$250

Now, your Instagram ads spending is $100. 

$250-$100=$150

The return on investment is 150%. This is an impressive return on investment. Though easy, but not a very accurate method for calculating ROI. This method does not consider your profit margin. You also have to consider the cost of production and subtract it from your gross revenue.    

     

Calculating ROI With ‘Cost of Goods Sold’

 

For accurate ROI calculations, you have to consider the cost of goods sold. If one $25 product is earning a profit of $10, you need to include this information in your ROI calculation.  

  1. Start with calculating the cost of goods sold. 
  2. Add the cost of goods sold to the ROI equation. When selling a $25 product makes a profit of $15, the cost of goods sold is $10 per unit.
  3. The total cost of goods sold for 10 units is 10*$10=$100. 
  4. Now you have the required numbers to calculate your ROI. Your social media marketing investment for 10 units ($25 each) is $100. The total revenue is $250. The cost of goods sold for 10 units is $100. 
  5. Subtracting the cost of goods sold and marketing investment from total revenue gives $50. So, the ROI is 50%. 

 

How to Calculate social media marketing ROI with Year-Over-Year Growth Rate

 

Year-over-year comparison is the best way to demonstrate your social media marketing performance. This is a common technique that measures growth very accurately. In addition to comparing year-over-year performance, you can also compare the performance of months. For example, you can compare the traffic drop in May month of the last year and the May month of the current year. This technique reveals accurate numbers related to the key performance metrics.

 

Take yearly traffic from social media as an example. Last year 90,000 users visited your website and this year 100,000 users visited your website.

  • Your website traffic in one year has increased by 10,000.
  • Dividing the increased traffic by the current traffic gives .01.
  • Multiplying 0.1 by 100 gives 10.
  • Your growth rate is 10%.

You can use tools like Google Analytics, Hootsuite Analytics, or Tableau to compare different metrics and calculate real over year growth. You can also use Excel for this job.

  1. Create three columns A, B, and C in an Excel sheet.
  2. Enter the number 2018 in cell A1 and 2019 in cell A2.
  3. Put total traffic or sales numbers of the year 2018 in the cell B1. Similarly, put total traffic and sales numbers of the year 2019 in the B2 cell.
  4. Type the formula (B2-B1)/B1A in the C2 cell.
  5. Now you can see the year over year growth rate in Column C.

 

How to Calculate ROI with True Conversion Rate

 

Don’t worry if your conversion rate is low. Probably, you are calculating it wrong. Tools like Google Analytics perform calculations automatically. You get this aggregate number in your reports. 

Here are steps for calculating a basic conversion rate:

  1. Divide leads, e-commerce purchases, email subscribers, downloads, and other goal completions in Google Analytics by the total visits. 
  2. Multiplying by 100 gives your conversion rate. Divide 10 (goal completions) by 1000 website visits. 10/1000=0.01
  3. Multiplying 0.01 by 100 gives you the conversion rate: 1.

However, the problem is that this method uses an aggregate number, such as total website traffic, instead of your target market segment. This is the reason why your conversion rate seems really low. 

When it comes to calculating your conversion rate metric, Google Analytics takes all Google users into account. This aggregate data can be unreliable. For example, you ship products to the United States. You don’t need data from the UK, Canada or any other location you are not targeting. To get relevant data from your target market, you need an advanced segment in your Google Analytics profile. 

 

How to Calculate ROI With Customer Lifetime Value Calculator

 

Customer lifetime value predicts how valuable a customer will be to your business. Accurately calculated customer lifetime value helps in creating an accurate marketing plan. Consider yours is a subscription-based business. A customer pays $9.99 for the standard plan. An average customer stays with you for two years. However, your promotional emails bring the customer back for another 15 months. 

Total months of subscription: 2 years + 15 months = 39 

Money made from an average customer: 39*$9.99 = $389.61 

Now, you have to keep customer lifetime value in mind while running Facebook ad campaigns. 

The complexities in customer lifetime value depend on your business. 

For the simplest method for calculating customer lifetime value, you need a bit of data for the following metrics:

  • Average order value 
  • Purchase frequency
  • Customer value 
  • Customer’s average lifespan 
  • Customer lifetime value 

 

Average Order Value (AOV)

 

How much does an average customer purchase in one visit? For example, how many pizzas does a customer purchase from your pizza shop? It can be your average shopping cart amount if you are selling online. You need to sit with your finance team to get this data. The team will tell you about your taxes and total revenue for the last year. Now get the last year’s total number of orders from your analyst team. Use the formula: 

AOV= Total Revenue/Total number of orders

 

Purchase Frequency (PF) 

 

How often an average customer does business with you? Depending on your business, purchase frequency can be weekly, monthly, annual or a few times during the lifetime. 

PF= Total number of orders/Total number of unique customers 

 

Customer Value (CV)

 

It is the average money you can expect an average customer to spend.

CV = AOV * PF

 

Customer’s Average Lifespan 

 

How long does an average customer stay with you? 

 

Customer Lifetime Value

 

Use the following customer lifetime value formula to calculate customer lifetime value:

Customer Lifetime Value = Customer Value * Customer’s Average Lifespan 

Customer Lifetime Value

Image: https://www.anblicks.com/

 

How SMM ROI Differs From SEO ROI

 

This formula for calculating ROI is important so that you can plan your SEO budget and campaign accordingly. There are two types of ROI: 

  1. Anticipated ROI 
  2. Actual ROI   

 

Anticipated ROI 

 

You need the following data to calculate anticipated SEO ROI:

  1. Average monthly visits 
  2. Conversion rate 
  3. Order value   

Let’s consider the following sample data:

  • Average monthly visits: 50000
  • Conversion rate: 0.68%
  • Average order value: $176

Let’s assume that the SEO budget is $20000. You need to justify this amount. You need to generate a reasonably positive ROI. Determine the additional sales you have to generate to earn at least $20000 during the contract spend. 

Additional sales required = Proposed sale/ Average Order Value 

= 20000/176=114 

So, your SEO efforts should generate at least an additional 114 orders to reach the break-even point. 

Your SEO efforts have to generate additional traffic to generate additional 114 orders. 

Required Additional Traffic=Number of orders required to reach break-even point/conversion rate 

=114/0.68%

=16765          

Let’s double all these pieces of data.     

Estimated traffic = 16765*2= 33530 

Additional sales required = 114*2==228 

Proposed sale = $20000*2=$40000

Anticipated ROI= (Anticipated SEO revenue-Proposed SEO project cost)/Proposed SEO project cost

=($40000-$20000)/$20000 

=100% 

Your ROI is 100%.    

 

Actual ROI 

 

Actual SEO ROI you generate determines how far the client will go with you. Use the given formula to calculate actual ROI. 

Total SEO goal value= Assisting Conversion Value+Last Interaction Conversion Value   

Actual ROI=(Total SEO revenue+Total SEO Goal Value)-Cost of running the SEO campaign

 

Why Social Media ROI Calculation is so Important 

 

Calculating social media ROI is critical to your social media marketing budget. This key performance indicator also tells about the impact of social media marketing on your business by determining profitability. It measures the success over time and supports future decision making. Calculating ROI offers numerous advantages. First of all, this determines whether your investment in social media is fruitful or not. There are different important decisions clients make by calculating ROI, such as purchasing new equipment, hiring new employees, adding a new department, or investing in a particular sales strategy driving better results and profitability. Social media ROI provides you with valuable insight that can help in creating advanced marketing strategies. By calculating ROI, you can learn: 

  • Where to spend your money 
  • How to advance marketing strategy 
  • Which tools to use to increase the success of your social media marketing campaigns

 

Conclusion

 

All sorts of surveys and studies reveal that social media marketing helps in increasing traffic, sales, and reputation. When paired with other digital marketing techniques such as SEO and PPC, social media marketing can increase the ROI of these techniques as well. Allocating social media marketing budget has to be an informed decision that cannot be made without accurate social media ROI. Your return on investment gives an idea of the success of your current campaign and can make your future strategies more productive.