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5 Tips for Effective Calls to Action

Posted on January 13, 2016 by Alexander Diegel

What is a Call to Action?

A Call to Action, or CTA, is a link or button designed to catch the shopper’s eye, in an effort to get them to click on it. The action is designed to benefit the site owner and/or the revenue of the business. The most common example of this is a “Buy Now” button.

Here are some tips that will make your CTAs more effective, and will help you increase your revenue.

Use a Button

In this blog, you’ll notice “link” and “button” used interchangeably. That’s because a button can be a link, but a link is not necessarily a button. A plain text link is not nearly as effective as one that’s in the form of a button. So, be sure to use a Buy Button to close your sale, and use buttons wherever else you’d like to draw customers’ attention.

Create a Sense of Urgency

When customers feel that they only have a limited amount of time to seize an opportunity, they’re often more inclined to make the purchase. For example, if you have certain merchandise that you’re trying to move, a “Buy Now—Sale Runs Until Midnight Only” message will be more effective than the generic “Buy Now” link.

Keep the CTA “Above the Fold”

“The Fold” defines the point of a webpage where a visitor would have to scroll down to look further. Casual shoppers may never scroll down to see more, so you may have the greatest CTA in the world, but it won’t be effective if customers don’t see it, and you’ll lose out on sales. Instead, grab the attention of your shoppers by keeping it above the fold, so it will be seen by all.

Hero Images Make Great CTAs

Hero Images can be used as massive CTAs. A hero image is a large banner image, placed prominently on a webpage. This study shows that the first image seen, often the hero image—assuming the site is designed in this manner—receive 84% of all clicks.

Take advantage of these attention-grabbing images by linking them to a product or category of products within your webstore.

Try out Different Colors

There’s no single color that works best. That’s because the effectiveness will often depend on how it coincides with the look of your site, and every site is different. So, try different colors, and be sure to record the results. Eventually, you’ll see what color CTAs work best for you, and will be able to capitalize on the increased conversions.

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5 Tips to Help your 2016 Small Business Resolutions

Posted on January 07, 2016 by Alexander Diegel

Define your Goals

Saying you want to make a million dollars in 2016 is great. But how are you going to get there? Surely you don’t expect to something to happen differently this year without doing something different; that’s the definition of insanity.

So, define how you’re going to achieve that goal. Saying, “I’m going to increase my annual revenue to one million dollars by focusing on my marketing and social media efforts” is a much more realistic goal than, “I’m going to make a million dollars in 2016.”

Break Big Goals into Small Goals

Following this advice makes any task much easier to tackle. If we’re staying with the above example, you’d need to make $250K per quarter in order to hit a million dollars of annual revenue, so it also defines checkpoints to help you keep up with your goals. If you make $200K in one quarter, you know you’d need to make $300K the next to make up for not hitting your target. Striving to reach smaller goals along the way will make hitting your primary, bigger goals, that much easier.

Use Apps to your Advantage

You don’t have to do it all yourself. There are plenty of applications out there designed to help the business owner reach his or her targets. There are apps for time management, customer support, communication with customers, and even to help you schedule tweets and Facebook posts, if engagement in social media is one of your 2016 focuses. You’ll find that most of these applications are very affordable, and some are even free.

Strive for Consistency

Along the lines of the three above points, making changes is never easy, so start one step at a time, and get results from your efforts by turning them into habits. In order to stick with your 2016 resolutions, you’ll have to dedicate a litte bit of time to them every day.

If your goal is to turn your customers into a community, then that means tweeting every day, and doing so during time of high Internet traffic. Going back to point three, there are low-cost applications that can help you make posting to Twitter and/or Facebook a habit, like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck.

Make it a Team Effort

All goals are made easier by support from those around you. This can mean hiring new staff dedicated to accomplishing your goals to literally join your team. However, not everyone necessarily has the budget, or the complete need, for that.

There are free resources that can help you accomplish your goal as well. There are plenty of entrepreneurs just like you that are trying to grow their business. Try joining them in a community forum, and see what crowdsourcing can do to help you hit your 2016 resolutions!

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5 Tips for Photographing Clothing for Ecommerce

Posted on December 10, 2015 by Alexander Diegel

We’ve already given you tips on do it yourself product photography. However, certain products represent specific challenges. Taking clean, gleaming images of clothing is especially important if you’re in that industry, since customers will have to picture themselves in these items, and want to look good. Follow these tips and take amazing product photos every time.

Prepare the Clothing

Even though the garment might be brand new, it might not be in the best condition. It can become wrinkled, dirty, or even damaged in storage/shipping. Make sure the merchandise is in pristine by cleaning and ironing it beforehand. Remember, your sale is won or lost on these pictures.

Provide Multiple Angles

Show different angles, viewpoints and elements of your goods. Remember, you’re selling online. Your customers don’t have the option to hold and feel and get comfortable with the item they’re about to buy. So do your best to recreate that in-store feeling by providing big, beautiful images of your goods. Provide 360 degrees worth of angles or, even better make it a gif.

Use a Mannequin or Live Model

If you were shopping, what would look more attractive? A lifeless shirt lying on some background? Or a shirt on a mannequin or model? Not only does a mannequin/model give the shirt the appearance it will actually have when worn, if you’re using a model, it gives a more personal feel to it.

In the clothing industry, getting that item off the lifeless backdrop is essential to success. Look at the two shirts above. Which one would you rather buy?

Check your Lighting

You don’t want to give a gloomy representation of your product. Make sure you have enough light to give a bright and accurate portrayal of the clothing’s color. In short, bright lighting should be a priority when you’re taking these pictures.

You may want to consider buying or renting a lighting kit for these reasons. If you’re relying on natural lighting or a lit room, you’ll want to play around by shooting at different times and angles. If you’re using a higher end camera, there are different settings with ISO you can use. We won’t go into too much detail on ISO here, but if this applies to you, make sure you’re using the right settings.

Photoshop When Necessary

Photoshopping an image is a great way to clean up your product and make minor edits. A shadow here, a piece of dog fur you didn’t notice, there. However, do not rely too much on this kind of software. Photoshopping should be used when your image is about 99% of the way there, and you just need to touch it up to take it across the finish line.

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5 Ways to Increase Your Average Order Value

Posted on December 02, 2015 by Alexander Diegel

In the holiday rush, if you can get your customers to spend just a little bit more per order, it will make a big difference on your bottom line. Of course, they won’t just do it themselves, you’ve got to incentive them to spend a little more, without taking a loss yourself. Follow these tips and watch the holiday season be extra good to you this year.

Set a Free Shipping Threshold

“Free” is a word all shoppers love to see. For example, if you offer free shipping for orders $100 and up, most shoppers who are a few dollars short will by an extra item to hit that threshold. This is one of the easiest and time-tested ways to increase your average order value.

Include Limited Time Offer

Shoppers will procrastinate. Without a rush, they’ll mill about your site, maybe click buy, maybe wait because they aren’t quite sure if they want that little something. On a 30% off sale—or whatever figure you come up with—always include that the discount is for a limited time. That will get the procrastinators to click “buy” while they’re on your site, instead of hoping they come back later.

Package deals

A combination deal—pairing related items together at a discount from buying them separately—is a great way to incentivize your customers to spend a little bit more. If we’re using clothing as an example, you can offer an entire outfit for $60 to go with a shirt that may cost $45. Many customers will see the value there and buy the whole set.

Upsell

When executed correctly, upselling is a great way to bump up the total order volume. If a customer is looking at a camera, and you sell a version that also includes a function to shoot video, display that higher end model to the side. You never know, the customer might be willing to spend the extra hundred dollars to get the added function. Be careful with this advice though; don’t overdo it and just advertise more expensive goods willy nilly with every item a customer clicks on.

Offer Discounts on Minimum Purchases

If you’re running a sale, consider making your customers his a certain dollar amount before getting the benefits of the discount. You can even tier the discounts to different amounts, say 20% off all orders $25 or more, and 35% for orders $50 or more. If a customers is close to hitting that target, he or she will likely spend a little more to get that discount.

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