Organic reach takes time, and with a new product launch, you don’t have that kind of time. Hit the ground running by utilizing this perfect e-commerce marketing strategy to quickly reach your targeted audience.
The opportunity is definitely there for ecommerce, new products and brands. According to the Journal of Product Innovation & Management, roughly about 60% of product launches are successful (contrary to a popular myth that 90% of new product launches fail). That’s a very promising number.
In addition, online shopping rises every year accounting for slightly over 25% of the world’s population (Oberlo), and a $2 trillion dollar increase in online sales is expected to occur between 2020 and 2023 anticipated to hit $6.5 trillion in 2023 and possibly $8 trillion by 2025 if growth continues (Statista). The bottom line is online users and online spending are on the rise.
If you want to take advantage of this market opportunity, this ecommerce marketing strategy will help you maximize the great potential.
Understand Your Audience and the Sales Cycle
The concept behind value driven marketing is to provide value to your customer, and for that reason, it’s important to really get to know and understand your customers, their motivations, their pain points, their reasons, their hopes and dreams, who they aspire to be, what they are trying to accomplish, etc. These concepts play an integral role in your advertising design and copy as well as your band, your voice, and your stature.
But for advertising strategy, you also want to know where (and sometimes when) your audience is in the sales cycle.
There are three different audiences: Those who have never heard of you (Prospecting), those who have heard of you (Retargeting), and those who have purchased (LTV).
The prospecting audience are people who have never been to your site, never engaged with your social media, and never have been pixeled or tagged by your brand. They are defined as Net New Engagement. These are people who may have heard of you at some point, but maybe haven’t been to the website, followed on Instagram or given their email. The goal of prospecting is to build an audience, and the bigger the audience, the more revenue. A good 75% of the marketing budget should be spent marketing to this audience.
The retargeting audience are people who have been to your site, engaged with you on social media, but never have made a purchase. They may have been pixeled or tagged and are defined as Engaged Visitors. They have definitely heard of you and they have engaged somehow such as liking a photo, following on Instagram, giving an email, or adding to cart. The conversion rate on retargeting is usually much better than prospecting because it’s a warmer audience (they are familiar, interested and more likely to buy), and 20% of your marketing budget should be spent marketing to this audience.
The LTV audience are customers, Past Purchasers. You can segment this audience by several possibilities including high value, frequent purchaser, discount purchaser, email engager, recent purchaser, etc. About 5% of the marketing budget should be spent reaching back to this audience.
Timing is everything, and you don’t want to risk sharing the same words and the same ad over and over again to the same people because that would annoy them. So instead, create varying ads and spread them out over time. This way, you can start off with one offer, and then give a better offer, and then give something they absolutely cannot resist.
Create different audiences to retarget users based on time from their last site visit. As the targeting gets further from the last interaction, you are essentially down-bidding as the retargeting audience gets less likely to convert. Break out audiences by timeframe, not simply 1-30 Day All Site Visitors. Prospects are still in the funnel, so actively exclude all time converters. Double check to make sure these audiences are excluded.
It might look like:
- Week 1 : Ad 1 : Audience 1 – all retargeting audience
- Week 2 : Ad 2 : Audience 2 – Audience 1, Exclude Conversions from Week 1
- Week 3 : Ad 3 : Audience 3 – Audience 1, Exclude Conversions from Week 1 and 2
- Week 4 : Ad 4 : Audience 4 – Audience 1, Exclude Conversions from Week 1, 2 and 3
Make sure you have created audiences around more than just viewing content, and make sure you choose the right campaign structures as well.
Set Up your Event Tracking
Event tags or beacons help you monitor how well a sponsored social media post or advertisement is working, to help improve the process, and to help make future decisions. An event tag is a little snippet of code to let you gather statistical data about the people who visit that page. With Google, it’s called a Tag. With Pinterest, an Event. With Facebook, the Pixel.
You can place event tags anywhere on your website, but strategically, you place them where you want to measure a specific event beyond your normal analytics and insights such as page visits, specific social media engagement, email sign ups, purchase thank you pages, etc.
Improve the accuracy of your numbers by making sure your tags are set up properly. Many apps, such as Google Shopping content API, for example, add a conversion tag when the accounts are synched. This can cause duplicate conversion tracking and misrepresent Cost Per Action (CPA) and Return on Ad Spend (ROAS).
Google Launch Strategy
Google is all about the search, helping people find the content they need based on words they type into a search box. You want to show up in the search results for people looking for you in particular, and ideally, show your product in the search results of people with buyer’s intent.
For a new product launch, you need your search results to show up faster than the 6 months it takes to develop organic search results via SEO. You still want amazing SEO on your website and pages. Utilizing Google Ads allows you to appear in search results before your organic reach is realized.
Google offers several ways to bid on your ads: Clicks, Impressions, Conversions and Video Ad Views. For purposes of this ecommerce marketing strategy, the focus should be on Conversions where bidding is measured by CPA (cost per action).
Ecommerce will want to have an active Merchant Center account.
The goal is to reach out to the three audiences mentioned earlier: Prospecting, Retargeting and LTV, and to create a tiered bidding system to how probable the customer is likely to convert.
Google also offers various campaigns to advertise: Search, Display, Shopping, Video, Smart and Discovery.
An ideal Ad Strategy incorporates a couple of Google’s campaigns for each audience:
- Prospecting Search
- Prospecting Shopping
- Retargeting Search
- Retargeting Display
- LTV Search
- LTV Shopping
There are two main types of Keywords: Non-Branded Keywords (generic keywords such as “the best tennis shoes for basketball,” for prospecting and retargeting) and Branded Keywords (keywords that exhibit the brand such as “Nike Shoes” to reach the LTV audience).
Non Branded keywords reach the prospecting audience. Target new customers and build your audience to later retarget by utilizing generic keywords. Use these keywords in your Shopping ad to see the cost of new customers.
Google defaults all ad campaigns to a Broad Match for keywords, meaning they will show your ad in related variants of the search term such as synonyms and misspellings. This marketing strategy will expand into “Exact Match,” instead of “Broad Match” based on best performers, so that Google reduces the variants to the search term.
To reach the retargeting audience, you can utilize similar generic keywords from the non-branded search, but also utilize Google’s Retargeting Lists for Search Ads (RSLA’s) to retarget past visitors of your site who are using generic keywords in their search.
The branded search focuses on branded keywords to bring customers back to the site to purchase. This secures the bottom of funnel conversions, customer LTV & existing retention. Shopping ads will target branded search terms, exclusively, to show the cost for existing customers.
Focusing on conversions will help you target people who want to purchase. Offering a promotion or discount would assist with conversions. Prioritize conversion-oriented, unique selling propositions and value propositions and utilize sitelink extensions. Extensions are additional options that can be added to standard ad units. They can be key revenue drivers and direct prospects to specific pages, improving onsite experience.
Facebook is the top social media platform on the web, and their advertising options are pretty robust. The Pixel is constantly learning who your best customer is the more you use it, so for new products, you’ll need a new Pixel. For new features on existing products, you may want to harness a previous Pixel that were optimized for purchases.
Customer data is the most important part of digital marketing and the largest hurdle to overcome at launch. Initially this is data that must be acquired to ensure consistent profit.
For the prospecting audiences, break out ad sets by “lookalike audiences” and the “interest targeting audiences.”
For retargeting, you want to build the following audiences:
- All time purchasers
- Recent purchasers
- Page engagers
- Email subscribers
- 2x/3x purchasers
Dynamic Product Ads (DPA) are by far the best retargeting strategy on Facebook for time-delayed retargeting audiences. Make sure these are live and set up properly. Target these segmented audiences separately: Catalog, Conversion, View Content, Add To Cart, Website Visits.
Amp up retargeting (and customer data) with Klaviyo customer segmentation. It can integrate with Facebook and constantly feed new subscriber data in real time. Klaviyo can also create segments for email users with high engagement but never purchased, customers who haven’t bought in x amount of time, repeat customers, etc. Plus, you can use these segments in Facebook for personalized messaging and engagement.
Learn more details about our email marketing strategy.
Generally speaking, you want fewer campaigns and more ad sets. Break down campaigns by Prospecting, Retargeting Non-DPA, Retargeting DPA, and eventually LTV campaigns.
Prospecting should have 5 Ad Sets with 4-5 ads in each ad set.
Retargeting without a Dynamic Product Ad should have 4 Ad sets targeting specific engaged audiences.
Retargeting with a Dynamic Product Ad with 5 Ad Sets broken out by Days and Audience segments.
Reach your LTV Audience with 2 Ad Sets for retargeting past purchases.
Make sure you integrate the Store Catalog with Facebook for Dynamic Product Ads.
Test where you drive your traffic (home page, product pages, custom landing pages). Constantly A/B test for a better conversion rate as one will always do better than the other. Usually, product pages perform better and get prospects deeper down the retargeting and purchase funnel, but it should be tested as each brand is different.
The best way to get a bang for your advertising dollar for ecommerce is to optimize ads for purchase as opposed to engagement, link clicks or page views.
Provide a strong call to action in your headlines, and list product benefits and customer value in the ad copy. A/B Test benefit vs. features in the ad copy to find out what converts the best.
Deepen your connection with customers and potential customers via email. A product launch denotes a structured email drip system segmented by user activity.
Before your New Product Launch Prep
Building an email list is imperative to an email marketing strategy. A no-brainer. Not only can you offer a free offer to entice people to sign up to your email list in general (with a good Welcome Series to continue interest), you can also email specifically to prep for your product launch by gathering feedback via surveys to inquire who is interested in the new product, to find beta testers who can provide testimonials and reviews before the product is launched to the public, and to create a buzz for the need for your next product.
Segment your existing email list whether a user has purchased or not, and whether the user is a new subscriber or not. You won’t have any prospecting emails where the person has never heard of you before, but you want to target special messages between your retargeting and LTV audiences.
You can group prospects and customers based on actions to allow for very effective messaging. Use segmentation both within Klaviyo and on paid channels to its fullest. Klaviyo’s ability to create granular segmentation based on nearly anything imaginable is the biggest opportunity in email and one of the main reasons Klaviyo is best in show across all Email Service Providers. Segment with Klaviyo based on purchase behavior or events, user metadata (buying for themselves, buying multiple times, birthday, etc.) and predictive analytics.
Remember segmentation increases engagement (open + click rates) and overall purchases, especially when paired with targeted messaging. If you’re not using segmented audiences you’re leaving money on the table.
Product Launch Series
A series of drip emails to let people know about your new product launch should cater to each customer, hence the importance of segmentation. Feature the value your new product offers customers on a personal level more so than emphasizing product specs, and really focus on personalizing the segments.
You can send a new email in a series featuring your new product launch either showing value in the product or announcing any events or sales related to it. Maybe offer an exclusive invite to earlier shopping for your VIP customers and gather some reviews before the actual product launch. Maybe offer a pre-launch event just for your email subscribers. Then based on behaviors, you can follow up with more emails.
People who purchase will need a receipt, and you can advertise related products or categories to try to upsell or cross sell on the receipt you email them. Or you can provide some kind of incentive for sharing or leaving a review, like maybe a coupon for a future purchase or a free gift.
People who didn’t purchase can receive a follow up email offering a cheaper product in case the price is something they aren’t ready to commit to. For high ticket items, this might be a great time to show financing options.
Definitely follow up with an email for users who have historically received a discount code but did not purchase. Maybe they just needed a reminder around payday?
Abandoned Carts are shopping carts people placed products in online, and then never finished their purchase. Retarget abandoned carts by emailing a reminder with a large number of touch points to recapture lost sales. You can also offer a discount on goods in the next email in a series.
According to Blucore’s report based on data gathered in 2015 – 2016, cart abandonment emails had the highest average conversion rate (2.63%) and click-to-conversion rate (21.78%) of any email message type analyzed in this study.
The email should be on-brand and natural without feeling like it was automatically generated.
Browse Abandon is an opportunity to re-engage with users who have come to the site, but are not as deep in the funnel as those who have added products to their cart. Re-establish what drove them to your site in the first place, the psychological triggers, and then really emphasize the way you can fulfill that.
Also known as ‘Eblasts’, a campaign can be sent to the entire list or segmented audiences. Segmented audiences are usually the most recommended. Campaigns are a huge revenue driver for email and can be sent out frequently as relevant to your reader.
That said, you’ll need to be constantly building out for new offers, discounts, or valuable information. Separating the delivery of the same campaign to individual or smaller groups of segments will find which customer cohorts are active + engaged and which ones are hurting delivery. Proper email management can optimize your subscriber list and keep your Sender Rating high.
Create an email template that you can use for all emails in these series for consistent branding, to foster a familiarity between your brand and your customer, and to help accentuate your brand’s voice and mood.
The best way to accomplish this is to make sure you have your company logo, branded color scheme, fonts that match your website, and copy written in a tone that encompasses the overall what it means to buy from your brand.
What is Needed for a Product Launch?
In order to effectively advertise a new product launch and hit that ground running, you need some things in place.
- 2-3, 30 second videos of the bag in use
- 1-2, 14.9 second direct response videos @ 1:1 aspect ratio
- 10-20 photos for direct response ads on Facebook @ 1:1 aspect ratio
- This same content in Google format as well 1200×623
- Image/video of past purchaser testimonials @ 1:1 aspect ratio
- Email Template
Links & Pages
- Landing Page that loads quickly
- Product description pages
- Purchase or Thank You Page with event tracking installed
Event tracking requirements
- Google Analytics, Search Console, Ads, Merchant Center
- Facebook page, Store Catalog
- Klaviyo Account integrated with Facebook
Get your New Product Launched Already!
Your new product launch is a great event to draw attention to your product, maintain the attention, and feed the virality. Paid advertising is almost imperative to really get your product in front of people, quickly, and this e-commerce marketing strategy really emphasizes segmenting your audience and time of campaign to provide custom, relevant information to the right people at the right time, which is the key to success with online marketing.
If you are interested in letting us navigate the event tracking, planning a timeline of ads and audiences, and reach your customers most effectively, please contact us to learn more about our services. Let’s create something incredible!