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Ecommerce Marketing: How To Promote Your Ecommerce Store The Right Way

Ecommerce Marketing Strategy
6 minute read

Hey guys, Tanner Larsson here from Build Grow Scale.

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood right now. I just dropped my daughter off at school. Heading back to the office as I was leaving her school, I noticed a bunch of little banners going up for stores to set up some promotions and things like that. And it made me think about some of the things that the brick-and-mortar world—the brick-and-mortar “retail” world, I should say—does better than the ecom world.

Now, kind of a fun fact, or weird fact, is that in the brick-and-mortar world, it’s actually still cheaper to acquire a new customer than it is to acquire a customer online. That doesn’t really have a relation to this conversation, I just thought it was a cool fact for you.

What I really wanted to talk about is these promotions …

Brick-and-Mortar Promotions

So, the brick-and-mortar world, the retail world … They have to continuously drive people into their stores. And, you know, once someone’s been to your store, it’s hard to get them to come back if you don’t have something new to bring them in.

Let’s look at car dealerships—car dealerships are amazing at this. They have a different sale every other day it seems. Pretty much every week, they’ve got something else going, some other kind of promotion: the Memorial Day sale, the “our boss got a haircut” sale, the inventory overstock sale, the “I want to buy a new puppy” sale. Whatever it is, they get the radio stations involved and they’re always running these different promotions, right?

Well, why? Because nobody wants to go to the car dealership … nobody’s thinking about it. And they need those sales and those promotions to get people to go. This is something that the retail world has done well for years. All these stores have default promotions that they run every single year. They always have a Memorial Day sale, they always have an anniversary sale. Before the end of the year, they always have an overstock sale, they may have a used-car blowout, and all these different things.

Now, the reason they do that is because it helps them provide consistency to their sales, their numbers, their cash flow, everything.

So, why doesn’t the ecommerce world do this?

Ecommerce Promotions

Well, “some” parts of the ecommerce world do do this, and they do it very well. Some of the bigger brands do this—you know, the multinational corporations, the big companies—because they kind of have their roots grounded more in the old retail world and they transferred it over. But the smaller ecommerce brands, the mom-and-pop operations, the small three- to five- to seven-million-dollar brands—or especially the ones under seven and six figures—never do this. All they focus on is a Facebook ad driving traffic to their store, and they never change it up until the ad gets banner blindness and then go, “Ope, better find another ad!” … and then that’s it.

Ecommerce stores should be leveraging the same tactics in terms of default promotions.

Your ecommerce store is not a “here today, gone tomorrow” thing. Or at least I hope it’s not. You’re going to be running this for years to come, so you should be mapping out promotions that you can use every single year, over and over again, with just slight edits. You should have an anniversary sale, you should have a Memorial Day sale, a Cyber Monday sale, a Black Friday sale. You could do a twelve days of Christmas promotion, you could do Labor Day, Presidents’ Day. There are also niche-specific type holidays. Now there’s almost an international day for everything: World Sleep Day, there’s World Geek Day, World Video Game Day. There are all kinds of these dumb, made-up holidays that are now real days that, if it wasn’t for the internet, we’d never know about. But now they get blasted on social media and you can identify your brand with one of these days or create your own. And if there’s not one for your niche, be the brand that goes out there and creates it and give yourself a reason to create a promotion.

And what this is going to do is allow you to mix up your promoting, your advertising, your marketing, so you’re not always doing the same old thing. You can have email promotions and retargeting campaigns all geared up for this one special promotion that you’re doing.

The other thing it does is help you map out your calendar. I consult with a ton of ecommerce businesses—some on an informal level, some where I’m actually the consultant for the business … and then I also have my coaching students, the Black Label Mastermind members, and all the people who come to our events. And, by and large, nobody has a promotional calendar. Now, in the information marketing world, everybody has a promotional calendar because they’re all worried about JVs (joint ventures) and webinars and stuff like that. But in the ecom world, their promotional calendar is basically the same thing every month. They run Facebook ads every day of the week and they don’t change them unless their ads start performing less effectively. There’s nothing thought out for their email promotions, existing customers, follow-up sequences, or anything like that.

Ideally, and I’m rambling a little bit, I know guys … but there are a whole lot of little nuggets I wanted to throw out at you. Ideally, you should be having at least three solid promotions a month. So every month, you should have three promotions. That gives you about one promotion every ten days or so on average.

Why?

Well, doing four promotions is a little heavy and hard to organize, but three allows you to space it out and do three- to five-day promotions within that 10-day sequence, do the build-up and closeouts on each of the promotions, and space them out by 10 days. That gives you three solid promotions every four-week period.

Now, some holidays and months are going to lend themselves better to doing this. But if you start building out this default promotion strategy, you can reuse these promotions every year, and it just gets easier each year. And then you’ll have less thinking to do and just need to edit the promotional stuff to get it out there.

This is a huge, huge, huge win! Number one, it just drives sales … but number two, it helps you map out your calendar. What you can do is go back in your empirical data, look at your sales for the past twelve months and go, “Hey, we have a drop in January.” Or maybe the past couple of years you can see that every January you have a drop in sales, and every November you also have a drop. Well, what if you could build in some really sexy promotions that are just default promotions you run every year during those slow times to help raise them and make them not so weak? Or maybe your second quarter is not nearly as strong as our first quarter and you need to beef up the promotions there.

By doing this and getting these documented and ready … When it’s mapped out on your promotion calendar, you just fill in the blanks with all your default promotions and then all you have to do is come back in and look at where there are gaps. And that’s the only creativity that’s required. When there’s a gap, you can ask yourself, “OK, what kind of promotion can I use, or what can I fill in for this gap to bring us up to par?” rather than having to look at a blank calendar and be creative on every week of every month.

So again, this is something that the offline world, the brick-and-mortar retail world, has done beautifully well. They do it well because they have to—it’s the only way for them to survive.

In the online space, we’ve gotten spoiled with being able to run a Facebook ad and just thinking that’s good enough. But, you know, running just a Facebook ad and not leveraging your email campaigns, your retargeting, or not running multiple different campaigns on multiple networks … you’re basically limiting yourself to one monorail track, a very skinny vision of your customer base.

There’s a whole lot more out there. Your company could grow by leaps and bounds and become way more profitable if you only broadened your advertising reach, approached people on multiple levels, and gave them consistent advertising with consistent, different promotions to keep your business top of their mind.

That way, when they’re ready to buy and interested in what you have, you’re going to be the first thing they think of, they’re going to come back to you, and they’re going to purchase.

These promotions are also great for getting your existing customers to come back and buy again because it’s reminding them that you’re relevant.

Alright guys, there’s my ramble on advertising and default promotions, but I’m just about to pull into the office here right now and I have a couple videos to shoot, so I’m gonna sign off. I’ll see you later!

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