Three emails that can change your business

emails that can change your business

Email marketing is the most cost-effective marketing channel returning about $38 for every $1 spent. Having worked with more than 1000 retailers in the past year, it’s also one of the most underutilised tools.¬†

1. Welcome Email Series ūüďß
A welcome email series is a sequence of emails that you automatically send to prospects and customers after signing up to your email list. It makes the customer feel welcome and means they are more likely to convert. Not having a welcome email series is like a customer coming into your business interested in purchasing, and you just ignore them. Remember, you need to treat the digital world as you would in-person experiences. 
 
For email funnels, it’s statistically proven that¬†three¬†is the magic number, the sequence should include;
  1. Email 1  Рa thank you email, which creates awareness.
  2. Email 2 – ¬†“about us” which drives consideration.
  3. Email 3 Р is all about the purchase that creates conversion.
On a recent welcome funnel I tested, the 2nd email had a 56% open rate, 8% click-through rate, and a 4% conversion rate.  Three emails generate 90% more orders! Tools such as Klaviyo already have these funnels set up for you, all you have to do is add your copy and branding.
2. Abandon Cart Series¬†ūüõí

You spend all that time and money trying to get customers to your cart, and then, according to Baymard research, 69.57% will abandon it. This is why the abandon cart series is essential.

44.1% of abandoned cart emails are opened; almost a third of clicks on abandoned cart emails (29.9%) lead to a recovered sale. Need some inspiration? Check out Shopify abandoned cart emails.

 

3. Lifecycle Emails‚Ā† ūüĒĀ

These are regular emails sent weekly, fortnightly, or monthly to remind your customers that you exist.

Effective email strategy should  include:

  • A killer headline¬†(Killer Headline Suggestions)¬†
  • Engaging preview text¬†
  • Short paragraphs¬†
  • Benefits¬†
  • Social proof¬†
  • Clear call to actions (the number of emails I get that don’t have a buy button or a book button literally drives me insane!) – it’s like having a meeting with no agenda or no outcome, we’ve all been there, and we all know it is a complete waste of time!

Easter and Mother’s Day is slowly creeping up, and it’s time to start planning your email campaigns!¬†

 If you need any help grow your digital channels, get you set up online, or create content that connects, please do not hesitate to reach out, book a strategy session or a call with me.

What's on...

City of Sydney Reboot Series‚Ā† ūüó£ÔłŹ

I am pretty honored to be selected by the City of Sydney and The NSW Government to pull together a series of FREE webinars focused on digital skills, growing customers, and brand. The 9 webinars will provide inspiration, practical tips and examples for retail and hospitality owners, startups, creatives, and professional services.

The lineup is insane, and I am so grateful to friends and colleagues for giving their time to educate and give back to small businesses. What I personally love about this panel is that we have an extremely diverse group of great minds and thinkers (it’s not just about culture or gender). This is what a diverse and inclusive panel looks like and sounds like!

 The series kicks off on the 29th of March, and our amazing lineup includes : 

Clover Moore РSydney Lord Mayor 

Naomi Simson РRed Ballon, Shark tank

Melissa Browne РBest Selling Author & Financial Educator 

Lisa Muxworthy РEditor in Cheif news.com.au 

A. Professor Wayne Quilliam РAward-Winning, Indigenous Artist

Mya Nichol РInstagram Expert & Coach 

Sandradee Makejev.  РFounder St Frock, Top people in Ecomm

Sina klug РFounder of Nutie, Small Business Covid survivor and thriver.

Tim Doyle  РFounder Eucalyptus, ex Koala

Also, me (Kelly Slessor)  running 3 sessions on all things digital

Best Ecommerce Platform 2021

Best 2021 ecommerce platform

This video was posted on YouTube. Kelly Slessor reviews the Best Ecommerce Platform for small businesses. Kelly Slessor is an Ecommerce coach and digital marketing expert passionate about helping retailers and small businesses grow online.

What is an Ecommerce Platform?

An ecommerce platform is a software program that allows businesses to manage their operations online, such as website, marketing and sales. Ecommerce platforms enable you to develop your business without any specific skills. These platforms have many powerful ecommerce functions to make setting up your business online as easy and successful as possible.

There are over 300 ecommerce platforms. Choosing the best ecommerce platform for your business can be a difficult decision. There is no perfect ecommerce platform. The best ecommerce platform is one that will successfully deliver the outcomes and objectives you set for your business. It’s also based on what your business needs. For small businesses looking to sell online, below are the top platforms.

The best ecommerce platforms

Here are the 6 top ecommerce platforms for small businesses. These are some of the most user-friendly and affordable solutions.

  • Shopify – best for startups and beginners
  • Wix – easiest to learn and build
  • BigCommerce – top enterprise solution; best for large-volume sellers and multichannel selling
  • WooCommerce – best WordPress ecommerce option
  • SquareSpace – simple, beautiful and minimalist templates
  • Weebly – ideal for brick & mortar/online stores; easy and cheap all-in-one option
Shopify

Shopify¬†is among the most common and popular ecommerce platforms. This platform is rated highly and reviewed as excellent. Many small businesses use this platform because it is designed for niche markets.¬†It’s an all-in-one platform that has many features to help build your online store.¬†Shopify is one of the most recommended ecommerce platforms for anyone who is starting.¬†However, the cost is not cheap. Considering all the costs, this is one of the more expensive options for small businesses.

Price: Free trial for 14 days; Basic plan from USD 29 per month, package that offers the most starts at USD 299 per month.

4.7/5

“Shopify is better than any other platform we’ve played with, and we’ve played with them all.” – Johnathon Bayme, CEO of Theory11.

“We’ve been able to build something in 3 years that a lot of brands haven’t actually gotten to in 10 years.” – Chioma, Cee Cee’s Closet NYC.

Wix

If you’re looking to build a complete website with an online store but don’t want the whole package,¬†Wix¬†is the way to go. This platform is the best overall website builder for small businesses. It’s straightforward to use and gives you total creative control. In addition, it’s a powerful site builder as it doesn’t skip out on ecommerce features. Such as order tracking, automated sales tax and abandoned cart recovery. Unfortunately, since it’s a website builder, it doesn’t have as many powerful ecommerce features as Shopify. For example, you can’t sell across multiple channels.

Price: USD 18 per month; the most advanced plan starts at USD 38 per month.

4.4/5

“Wix offers an excellent drag-and-drop site builder to create small websites. There are 100s of free templates available. Wix provides its own web hosting as well as domain names (free and paid). The App Market makes it easy to add extra functionality such as photo galleries or ecommerce.” – Armin Pinggera, Tech Guru at WebsiteToolTester.

BigCommerce

Given the name, this platform is mainly for big enterprises like Microsoft and Toyota. It takes the same functionality as other platforms and scales it up for complex stores and massive traffic. BigCommerce lets you to connect over 400 additional tools and platforms for your ecommerce needs. Through this website platform, you can sell on multiple platforms such as eBay, Amazon and Facebook. This platform is ideal for scaling your business. The downside is that it can get expensive quite quickly, and there is a steep learning curve. It is not beginner-friendly.

Price: USD 29.95 per month; Pro plan starts from 299.95 USD per month. If you pay annually, you can get a 10% discount.

4.6/5

“On BigCommerce, we are saving a significant amount of money on development and overall platform costs. More importantly, we now have an extremely agile environment that can change quickly to meet our business needs.” – Mark Hopkins, Chief Information Officer of Skullcandy.

“When mapping out our growth, we felt that BigCommerce was going to be much more customisable than other platforms and set us up for massive growth.” – Antonio Kaleb, Ecommerce Architect of LARQ.

WooCommerce

WooCoomerce¬†is a free WordPress plugin. It’s easy and quick to set up, and it comes with many ready-to-go features. However, this software requires you to have a WordPress site. WooCoomerce allows you to transform your WordPress website into a functional ecommerce store. The great thing about WooCoomerce is that everything is customisable, even the costs. Additional extensions and features will require some payment.¬†

Price: Free; for additional extensions and features, it costs from USD 29 per month.

4.4/5

“No other ecommerce platform allows people to start for free and grow their store as their business grows. More importantly, WooCommerce doesn’t charge you a portion of your profits as your business grows.” – Chris Lema,¬†chrislema.com.

“WooCommerce’s greatest strength is its extensibility. There’s very little I can’t build with WooCommerce. Given enough time and resources, WooCommerce can finely be tailored to even your store’s most niche feature.” – Kathy Darling,¬†kathyisawesome.com.

Squarespace

If you want more creative control, Squarespace is the platform for you. In addition,¬†Squarespace¬†works well for stores that don’t have a lot of products. If you’re looking for a simple and affordable website platform, Squarespace has it all. Squarespace is best known for its most beautiful and simple templates with stunning imagery. Pricing is relatively low and affordable. To be able to sell products on your site, you need to be on a Business Plan. However, there is a 3% transactional fee. To avoid this fee, you have to subscribe to either the Basic Commerce plan or the Advanced Commerce plan.

Price: AUD 35 per month; the Advanced plan starts from AUD 61 per month.

4.2/5

“Squarespace has a better blogging tool and better support than most competitors. They offer 100+ flexible templates that fully adapt to mobile devices. While it’s been massively improved in recent updates, getting used to the platform can take a while due to a few usability issues.” – Robert Brandl, Founder of WebsiteToolTester.

Weebly

Weebly¬†is a popular choice for budding small businesses looking to set up their own online business without prior experience. It’s beginner-friendly and budget-friendly. In addition, Weebly offers the essential tools needed for a functional store without all those flashy extra bits that might confuse you. Users can create a free plan if they don’t require a custom domain. Weebly gives a streamlined user interface that beginners can use without any problems. Since it’s much cheaper than other platforms, there are some limitations. For example, you cannot sell across multiple channels, limited customisation and weak SEO support.

Price: Free if no custom domain; AUD 7 per month (billed annually); the Performance plan costs AUD 30 per month (billed annually). 

4/5

“Weebly isn’t as flexible as Wix and it isn’t as sophisticated as Squarespace, but it’s easier to use than both. What sets Weebly apart from its competitors is its simple, clear interface.” – Steve Benjamins, Founder of Site Builder Report.

Other ecommerce platforms

The above platforms may not be for everyone. However, there are more options available. These can include:

  • Ecwid – all-in-one platform, free plan available
  • GoDaddy – quick to set up
  • Big Cartel – mainly for artists and other creatives
  • Volusion – good inventory features and analytics, but expensive
  • Magento – expensive, but most expandable; most suited for larger businesses

Using social proof to increase sales ‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź

using social proof to increase sales

Social proof is so important. Think of the last time you visited a new restaurant, beauty salon, hairdresser or bought a pair of jeans from a brand you generally don’t buy from.¬† What was the process you went through?¬†

If you are like most of the population, you probably searched on Google, read a few reviews, and then made your decision to buy or not to buy.

In fact,¬†91% of us read¬†reviews, and 84% trust them as much as they would a personal recommendation. Because online reviews are your word of mouth, it’s that water cooler conversation or that phone call to your all-seeing all-knowing Auntie Anne asking for “the best place go or “where to buy”…..

Online reviews absolutely drive our behaviour, YOUR conversions, and YOUR revenue.  In fact, the average customer is willing to spend 31% more on a retailer that has excellent reviews. So whether you are a multi-million dollar brand or a one-person band, here are 3 things you can do to make the most out of your reviews;

1. Display reviews on your product page

Integrating reviews on your product page psychologically feeds people’s desire to emulate other people’s demonstrated behaviour. Great examples of product pages with integrated reviews include;¬† Gymshark¬†and¬†Bubble Tea Club. In Europe and the US, brands are now moving towards dedicating whole pages to reviews and social proof, such as Tylko.¬†Check out my testimonials page.

2. Integrate a plugin platform to display them.

Two of my favourite platforms include;

3. Make it easy…..keep it simple

If you don’t have an automated platform or a large team, then simply ask your customers for reviews. I recommend getting customers to review you on Google My Business (it’s great for increasing your rankings on Google) and then copy and paste the reviews across all channels.

Last week, I talked about the future of retail with Brian Walker, Abhishek Vohra, and Matthew Craig. We discussed omnichannel, the metaverse, reverse engineering digital to the physical world, and the need for the physical space to be more purposeful. My question always is РAre retailers, shopping centres, and investors spending time talking to the next generation about the future of shopping, OR are we basing future decisions on historic requirements? 

Top 4 Ecommerce Benchmarks YOU need to know

The top 4 ecommerce benchmarks

Let’s be honest we all want to know how well the shop, restaurant, or bar next door is performing? So here are all your Ecommerce benchmarks.¬† From email KPIs to cost per acquisition, see how you stack up!

1. EMAIL PERFORMANCE 

By 2022, Over 347 Billion emails will be sent every day.  Your email channel is one of the highest performing, most cost-effective with the biggest return on investment. 

According to Campaign Monitor, the average email benchmarks for all industries are:

  • Average open rate: 21.5%
  • Average click-through rate: 2.3%
  • Average unsubscribe rate: 0.1%
  • Overall conversion rate: 2.2%

The brands I work with that are outperforming these targets do the following;

1. Use thought-provoking headlines, “Must-haves this Summer”, “Top 5 reasons to…”¬†¬†

2. Make Call to Actions really clear. Not having a clear Buy Button on your email is like a meeting with no agenda, action items, or purpose.

3. A/B split test your email campaigns so you can see which copy and headlines attract more open rates. It can increase your email marketing ROI by as much as¬†37%. Here’s one I prepared earlier……

2. ABANDON CART RATES

You spend all that time and money trying to get customers to your cart and then, according to Baymard research 69.57% will abandon it. The main reasons people leave your cart are;  extra costs (shipping, taxes, fees), the checkout process is too long or too complicated, or no guest checkout. To reduce the leakage; 

  • Test your user experience make sure it’s quick, easy and straightforward– use autofill and only ask them the necessary fields needed at cart (2-3 things).¬†
  • Implement an abandon cart series-¬†this allows the customer to have another chance to purchase that product as they are busy and have a million things to do.¬†¬†
3. SOCIAL MEDIA SALES 
  • Engagement rate per post¬† –¬† 0.08%
  • Overall social media conversion rates – 1.0%

If you compare overall social conversion rates to email rates, you can see why building your own database (first-party data) is much more lucrative.¬†Stalking tip:¬†¬†you can check your competitor’s or other brands’ ads by going on their Facebook page, clicking page transparency, and then ad library.¬†

Cost per acquisition (CPA): The average CPA Рthe cost to acquire a paying customer for Facebook ads across all industries is $18.68. If not tracked properly these costs can escalate and erode your profit margin.  The trick is to work out what you can afford to pay and keep your budget capped.

4. CONVERSION RATE 

For me, this is the most important metric (after customer happiness of course) currently across the brands that I work with it’s sitting at around 2%.¬† According to Smart Insights the UK is sitting at 4%, so there is a lot money being left on the table.

VALENTINES DAY INSPO 

Good luck with your valentines day campaigns, if you are looking for Valentines Day email inspo check out Really Good Emails 

HOW TO SMASH YOUR TARGETS 
The best way to grow digital is to know digital.  If you have committed to a year of growth in 2022 and want to know more about my 6-week program (kicking off on the 15th of Feb), you will be joining some amazing retailers and hospitality providers. 

Key Trends for 2022 | Digital Soup

2022 key trends for ecommerce

Each year a bunch of experts make predictions for the year ahead Рsome data-based, some just made up.  But for those of you that know me, you know I am a total data geek, so last year I worked with Elisa Choy Рthe founder of Maven Data Рto analyse the significant trends for 2022.  Elisa is one of those people, so smart, that I secretly use Google to translate after speaking with her.

The report analysed PETABYTES of data, from the world’s online content using A.I open sources to determine what customers want, what they are saying, what investors are focusing on and what companies are building.¬† We tested 25 trends and can predict which trends will move the market in the next 12 months.. (if you would like an overview of the report please email me). Here are my top three outtakes for 2022, based on the key areas that will grow your revenue

1. Live Shopping Goes Global.

Rose Keen, Econsultancy:

“Up until now, live commerce has struggled to gain a foothold outside of Asia. This appears to be changing with shifts in consumer behaviour and the arrival of new technologies and specifically social media app functionality supporting its wider adoption.

‚ÄúThe coming year will likely see more brands experimenting with live commerce as part of an omnichannel strategy. One interesting trend is the leveraging of internal talent as Livestream hosts.‚ÄĚ

2. Personalisation REPEAT 

I talk about this every year and each year we move a little closer towards it. As someone who has developed a personalised AI shopping platform, Shop You, and someone that passionately believes that we are all unique individuals (not algorithms) and digital should respond to you, not the other way around, I believe we will see a huge shift in personalisation this year.

The challenge has always been data and with Google making changes, first-party data (customer data collected by you) will become even more important.

With data comes insights, and with insights comes the ability to provide deeper personalisation. SO in 2022 think about the data you are collecting; how can you ensure that it’s not just about the first name and email address.¬† As you collect data, ensure you are providing value in return and constantly ask you and your team the question – what’s in it for them?

3. Click and Collect 

According to Insider Intelligence, Walmart generated $20.4 billion in sales through click and collect last year. As you can see in the chart, Australia continued to grow. There are a few reasons why we love to click and collect so much, mainly around speed, cost, and convenience. Retailers that don’t have click and collect functionality will be passed over for retailers that do. Therefore, Click & Collect is going to be big part trends for 2022.

And now for the real experts…

As school holidays come to an end, I am juggling the children and work, oh… and that never-ending feeling of guilt I am currently sitting writing this while at the Sushi Train with my boys, so I asked them for their predictions/ trends for 2022:

1. Covid is going to end.

That is the best prediction I have heard so far this year!

2. Shops will launch on the metaverse.

If you haven’t read my article, here it is.

3. The government will develop a fund for reopening small businesses.

Digitally educating SMEs is something I am extremely passionate about and I believe that government bodies need to invest in digital education to create sustainable growth in retail

The best way to grow digital is to know digital.  If you have committed to a year of growth  and want to know more about my 6 week program (kicking off on the 15th of Feb), you will be joining some amazing retailers and hospitality providers.  Click HERE to discover more!