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Marketing your ecommerce store is one of the best ways to expand your audience, gain new customers, improve customer experience, and grow your revenue online. We’ve compiled the best 75 tactics to help you succeed.
We’ve organized this list by tactics by channel, then by ecommerce marketing strategies across business-to-business (B2B) channels specifically.
Within any marketing strategy, it’s important to not forget that marketing and sales are integrated, and need to work in tandem to be successful and achieve high demand selling goals.
Start with an executive summary and corporate glossary
You can’t market your brand if you don’t have a firm handle on who you are, what your values are, and what your USP (unique selling proposition) or value propositions are both on a brand level as well as product level. As your business scales, consistency in corporate language among the organization will become increasingly more important - and that consistency starts here.
Know your goals and objectives before starting any marketing strategy
Make sure your marketing goals align with your sales organization so you are in sync when it comes to the process of closing a sale, and the time it takes to close. Think about how marketing goals will feed into sales goals, or overall company goals. This will not only help you determine the tactics you need to succeed but will also help you to understand how often and in what ways you should be monitoring your success.
Know your target customer
Hopefully you have a good understanding of this, but it’s never a bad idea to do a bit of research and demographic or firmographic analysis when it comes to your ideal customer. Some elements of this breakdown might include age ranges, gender, geography, purchasing power, titles, and more.
Know what works for pricing, and benchmark against your competitors
You don’t have to price like your competitors, but it’s important to know how your competitors are pricing so you can identify your USP (or unique selling proposition) if you are pricing higher or lower. This will impact how your market your business and the calls-to-action that you choose to use.
Keep track of your KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators)
Generate reports that help you to understand your marketing performance, based on the most important metrics for your business.
Invest in reporting software that keeps you in-the-know
Ask yourself, “Do I currently have a good system of monitoring? If not, what tools do I need?” Remember to evaluate based on how your team will keep track of overall ROI (Return on Investment).
Conduct market research and competitive analysis
This should be done regularly, on a monthly basis or even at more regular intervals. The purpose of this research is to understand how your competitors may have changed or top players in your space have changed.
Allocate resources and budget for testing what works
Make sure you are keeping a part of your budget for testing new strategies. Running small split tests or test cases on different channels can help you get an understanding of what works.
Expand your marketing programs based on what’s working
Different strategies work better on different channels at different days, times, or for different people. There are many variables to keep in mind, but the best way to determine what works for your unique business is to perform short term or even longer term tests.
Talk to your customers
Who better to gain insight from on what works than your already-converted customers? Offer customers rewards or promotions in exchange for valuable feedback.
Upsell and Cross-Sell
You want to use marketing tactics to upsell and cross-sell your products without being too pushy. Use this as a way to personalize the shopping experience and add value to customers who are already using a component of what you offer.
Within any marketing strategy, it’s important to not forget that marketing and sales are integrated, and need to work in tandem to be successful and achieve high demand selling goals.
Define your sales cycle
Have an understanding of how long for an average customer to make a purchase on your site. This will impact how you sell to prospective customers, how long you nurture them for, and what kind of content you need.
Use influencer marketing
Partner with influencers that are appropriate for your business vertical and have them promote your product or or in front of their audience.
Try affiliate marketing
Partner with businesses or people that help you sell your products online for a commission. Tactics might include paid advertising, content marketing, collateral, etc.
Deploy referral partner programs
Create a program for existing customers to encourage them to invite other businesses to use your products and services. Use this as an opportunity to have your content cross-promoted.
Utilize loyalty programs
Provide incentives for customers to do business with you to help to increase LTV, retention, repeat business, customer testimonials, and more.
Experiment with local marketing
Focus marketing efforts on local searches online even if you are a remote business so long as you service the area.
Use public relations (PR) for brand awareness
PR creates brand authority and trust when it comes to new viewers to your site. PR builds brand awareness more broadly as well as drives people to your site and products from a referral source, and might also give you an understanding of where your prospects spend time online, so you can market more effectively to them.
Join discussion boards
Getting onto boards like Quora or Reddit can help you to make your name known to many users. Don’t sell necessarily, but offer valuable information and answer questions that your business has authority on. Make sure your profile has information about your website and other content.
Improve website usability
Regardless of how you create your ecommerce website, your hierarchy should be shallow. If you have trouble creating a hierarchy that works for you, consider working with a website designer.
Design your website to make it as easy as possible for your user to complete the intended behavior (this might be filling out a form, contacting a representative, or making an actual purchase). Website designers should be familiar with strategies that improve both simplicity and usability.
Don’t neglect imagery
People are more likely to complete desired actions or read long form content that when a page is broken up with interesting and engaging imagery or graphics. Stray from stock photography whenever possible and stay consistent in style.
Have working links
Always make sure if you add pages you are inputting the proper redirects so users aren’t ever sent to broken pages where they can’t complete their intended behavior. If you are linking externally to sites that aren’t your own, make sure you are checking for those pages that may change, and if they do, redirect to the proper page or remove the link entirely.
Enable live chat
One of the biggest sources of friction for potential customers is not being able to have their questions answered. Even if this chat is through the fulfillment company or a third party platform like your CRM, it can be helpful to direct a customer to the right place.
Offer users new and exciting offers that your viewer might not have seen elsewhere. Make sure these offers are timely and encourage a user to “act now” to redeem.
Try product discounts
Product discounts will help to give the buyer a sense of urgency. Be careful when determining if a product discount will create a more or less valuable customer for your business long term.
Be clear about pricing and shipping
Depending on your business, you might be quote based (especially for B2B) or not be able to give full pricing or shipping visibility off the bat. If this is the case, be clear about how a potential buyer can get pricing information.
Give customers the option to keep shopping
After adding a product or solution to their cart, make it easy for the customer to return to shopping intents and build a bundle of solutions if applicable.
Optimize your checkout process
You want this process to be smooth and easy. By reducing the number of screens that it takes for a buyer to complete the flow, you will reduce friction and be able to fully move more customers through the purchase funnel.
Use search engine optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization relies on a variety of factors. More than mere meta descriptions and long tail keywords, search engine optimization relies on the ranking algorithms of Google, Microsoft or whatever search engine you use or your customer searches on. Optimize your pages and content with both technical elements as well as content oriented elements.
Think about mobile
If you haven’t optimized for mobile, you might not rank well or be crawled properly. Google utilizes mobile-first indexing, meaning that it will prioritize your pages on mobile before desktop.
Consider your customer's language
It's important to make sure your site is optimized for their language by adding hreflang tags and other language declarations in the code on your page. There are different ways to create pages as subdomains that will make sure when a user who speaks another language or is from another country lands on your page the content will be translated to accommodate them. This is absolutely necessary if you are a global business.
Optimize social media pages
The channels for B2B and (Business to consumer) B2C tend to differ. What works on social for B2C might not work for B2B. The best way to determine what works best for your business is to run organic or paid test campaigns.
Know what social media channels correlate to different stages of the purchase cycle
Learn about your customers, and what it takes to get them to convert on your website or buy your products. Test out promotions or advertisements on different social channels, to determine what social channels correlate more towards the beginning or the end of the funnel.
Remember that visuals are everything
Digital marketing is inherently visual, especially on social media channels. Images as well as videos work well to engage potential users or buyers.
Eliminate friction when it comes to the goal of what you’re posting
Depending on the channel, different types of CTAs will work to drive user behavior. Test out different CTAs on different channels.
Positive product reviews matter
Social media is a great place to boast product reviews from consumer to business (C2B). Consumer to consumer (C2C) and Consumer to administration (C2A) reviews are especially powerful for software.
Try paid social on Linkedin.
Utilize advertising on social channels to amplify content. Linkedin offers many different types of paid advertising options with fairly specific targeting criteria that works well for businesses.
Try paid social on Facebook
Facebook advertising can work well when targeted to the appropriate audience. Similar to Linkedin, Facebook offers specific targeting criteria so you can appropriately reach customers.
Engage paid social on Twitter
Twitter tends to work well when promoting quick offers or punchy headlines under 160 characters. For B2C businesses and the B2B market, small businesses can start to show interest and you can build your email list.
Post products on review platforms
Use review platforms where your competitors are posting their platforms.
Use social media hashtags
Like anchor text on ecommerce websites, you can encourage users with hashtags and allow them to find your pages or posts more easily.
Create strong product page text
Product page copy should include short, product driven target keywords. Focus on conversion or buy oriented keywords when optimizing product pages.
Use schema markup
Product pages should be marked up with page titles, headers and image alt text. Schema markup will allow you to mark product pages up more specifically so search engines have more information regarding what you are selling and can help to rank you appropriately.
Optimize product descriptions
Reduce worry for a potential buyer to move them through the purchase flow. This can be done via strong, detailed descriptions on product pages.
Try tangential content
Create content that isn’t directly selling, but is instead educating and providing value for a customer. Make sure to focus on the appropriate keywords as well as include your product via internal links in the article.
Humanize your brand with on-page reviews
Allow people to trust your product and service by including customer testimonials directly on site pages.
Think about content holistically
It’s important to understand that content works together and should be consistent across different channels. What have you created for one channel that can work on a number of other channels?
Invest in original, or advanced, content
Having original content for your business is important for providing a unique perspective. What internal data do you have that is interesting, and can you tie this data to events or problems that potential customers care about?
Long form content
Long form content is essential for SEO ranking. Because it can take quite a bit of time when created in house, it might be necessary to work with copywriters that you trust to build up your arsenal of content.
Be honest about who is writing
Humanizing your content can add a layer of trust for viewers. Add an author or write, “By the (company name) Team.” Even add an option to email or contact a writer directly for viewers who have questions regarding the content.
Author guest posts
Guest posts can help to get your brand and products in front of relevant audiences. Pick blogs or online magazines where your potential customers are reading.
Create collaborative posts
Collaborate with influencers or important players and thought leaders in your industry.
Put videos on Youtube
Put product related videos on a company Youtube channel.
Embed videos on site
Drive viewers through appropriate paths on your site with easy to understand, short videos.
Create webinars that address customer questions or topics around your products and services, or that more broadly provide educational information around tangential topics that your business has authority on.
Keep frequently asked questions (FAQ) onsite
Include FAQs on your website and on product pages that include important keywords and help to guide visitors.
Create written content for the purpose of SEO, in addition to other types of content. This content will be specific when it comes to keywords, article length, references, reading level and more.
Link and recommended posts
Internal linking and recommending related blog posts will help customers to be able to find more relevant content.
Have your users generate content
Also known as UGC (user generated content), it helps customers promote and share your business. This can also be a component of a broader loyalty program.
Create competitions that encourage users or new visitors to participate.
Within B2B purchasing, personalization is a powerful tool. Recommend content and products that a certain viewer might be interested in (also called dynamic content).
Offer contextual content
Depending on your brand, different newsworthy topics might be applicable or not for this type of marketing.
Think about your goals and choose ad types based on those goals. Because paid search campaigns can be expensive, make sure you are doing your research and split testing before rolling out an expensive strategy. By using a platform like Inxeption, that allows you to easily monitor return on ad spend, you can be smarter about your advertising dollars.
Launch display campaigns
Similar to PPC, think about your goals and choose ad types based on those goals.
Retargeting campaigns can be either search, display or other.
Advertise on social channels
Tailor outputs of your marketing to meet the unique needs of your customers.
Send great emails
Don’t underestimate the power of email. Drip campaigns can accomplish different goals - try a campaign for current customers, and a lead generation campaign to get you started.
Try the “post purchase follow up”
One of the best drip campaigns you can create is sending a follow up after purchase. Include additional information here or additional offers. This can be a good upsell or cross-sell opportunity.
Try an email that supports your onboarding process
It is especially important for B2B businesses to have a strong onboarding campaign.
Send out a newsletter
A newsletter can be a great way to nurture existing customers as well as prospects.
Use SEO for content features
Email can be a very tedious tool for SEO, but should never be fully discounted.
Optimize for backlink opportunities
Ranking features have seemed to surpass the importance of link-building in the past few years, but this is not to be forgotten. When you create new content, send out email campaigns to potential journalists or news outlets who might be interested in featuring the content or republishing it.
Personalize all emails
Personalization has been shown to increase revenue across multiple channels. Encourage open rates and click through rates by personalizing emails.
Keep in mind that everything is variable.
Marketing strategy requires consistent iteration and research in order to optimize. Inxeption’s robust ecommerce platform can provide the insights you need to improve your business.