John Lincoln

7 Creative Online Marketing Strategies to Bolster Sales

Looking to boost your sales, but not sure how?

I’ve got you covered. This guide goes over seven online marketing strategies designed to skyrocket your sales.

7 creative online strategies
Online Marketing Strategies

7 Creative Online Marketing Strategies

  1. Add a timer to your website

This little trick could do wonders for your sales. We’ve all seen them – the countdown to a sales end, the five-minute window to complete your ticket purchase online, etc. They’re there for a reason – to create a sense of urgency and scarcity. It shows people that they have a very limited amount of time to purchase, forcing them to take action sooner than they otherwise would. Creating urgency is a tried a true sales tactic; just take a look at this example from ConversionXL. They did an A/B test of two different landing pages – the only difference was that the second showed how many products had been purchased, and included a countdown timer. The results? The second has a conversion rate almost 3x higher than the first, increasing from 3.5% to 10%. Keep in mind, it’s not quite as easy as just slapping a timer on your site. For the urgency principle to really work, it should be combined with other principles and tactics. Take, for instance, the LIFT model. It states six conversion factors that must work together:
  1. Value proposition
  2. Relevance
  3. Clarity
  4. Urgency
  5. Anxiety
  6. Distraction
The LIFT Model by Wider Funnel
The LIFT model includes six conversion factors designed to work together to boost sales
Similarly, Dr. Robert Cialidini preaches the 6 principles of the Science of Persuasion, one of which is scarcity. When used correctly (and with a timer to show when the last will run out), it will prompt customers to purchase quickly due to perceived limited supply and high demand.
  1. Online Marketing Strategies – Use the Facebook Login Feature

Facebook has done a lot for online marketing. And now, you can even harness the power of Facebook right on your website. If you have a website or app that requires a login, consider integrating a “Login with Facebook” feature. The alternative button allows users to sign in without resubmitting information (bonus for them), and lets you collect information based on their Facebook profile – likes, interests, demographic information, etc. Then, based on the information you collect, you can send each user to a custom landing page that caters to their specific interests. Facebook allows you to request almost 50 different types of information – from someone’s music preferences to school history. Don’t be tempted to ask for too much; focus only on the information essential to your business. To add the login feature to your site, you will need to submit your request to Facebook for approval, stating your intended use of user’s information.
The Facebook login button can help you collect customer data to form targeted landing pages
Once you’ve gained approval and added the login button, you’ll be able to create personalized experiences for your users.
  1. Online Marketing Strategies – Detect a Person’s Location to Deliver Deals

This can go hand-in-hand with the suggestion above, especially if you use the Facebook login to pull location information from users. You can also do it the old-fashioned way by simply including a “location” field on your website submission forms. Once you have the location is when the fun begins. Of course, the easiest way to use it is to get a person’s location and offer them deals and coupons to specific brick and mortar stores. But these days, not every business is attached to a physical location. That doesn’t, however, mean that location doesn’t come in handy. For example, if you sell online beauty supplies and detect that a customer checks into a hair salon, you can use the opportunity to send coupons or discount codes on hair styling tools, shampoos, conditioner, etc. We call this geofencing: location-based marketing that uses GPS technology to detect when someone enters a virtual boundary. To read more about how you can use it in your marketing, click here.  
  1. Online Marketing Strategies – Create a Refer a Friend Program

The best way to market? Get happy customers to do it for you. A great way to do that is through refer-a-friend programs. Think about it. Would you be more likely to sign up for subscription or visit a store based on their ads, or your friend’s recommendation? I’m guessing the recommendation. In fact, a survey by Harris Poll found that 82% of Americans say they seek recommendations from friends and family when considering a purchase. As a business, your job is to ensure you get that recommendation by sweetening the deal. That same study says that 88% of Americans say they would like some sort of incentive (money, product or service, loyalty points, early access, swag) for sharing a product via social media or email.  You’ll often see something like this in ride-share apps. Take Uber, for example. When you sign up, you automatically generate your own referral code. In the future, when any of your friends sign up using your code, they get $5 dollars off four rides. In return, you get a free ride as well.
Refer-a-friend works: 88% of Americans would like an incentive for sharing a product
Of course, they also generate their own referral code, so the process lives on. When planning your own referral program, focus on strong, relevant incentives and continuously encourage your customers to take part.
  1. Online Marketing Strategies – Send Targeted Offers to Top Customers

Fun marketing fact: It’s 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one. Your past customers have already bought from you, so you can better understand their purchasing habits. Plus, you’ve already put in the lead generation work. Which means if you’re spending all your time marketing to new leads, you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to cultivate those past buyers. Keep them by using customer retention strategies. For example, take a look at your top buyers over the past five years. Evaluate their buying habits and purchase cycles, and send them targeted offers. It’s basic psychology here: people like being rewarded. Special offers are a way of showing your appreciation for their business, and solicits more from them in the process.
  1. Online Marketing Strategies – Create a PR Stunt on the Landing Page to Generate Links

A PR stunt acts much like a viral campaign. Sometimes it’s intentional, sometimes not so much.  It’s designed to get your company noticed for something shocking, entertaining, newsworthy, or all of the above. For smaller companies, it’s a great way to gain exposure and make headlines. Here are a few examples:
Create a PR stunt with its own landing page, like REI’s #OptOutside
While some take more work than others (and require bigger budgets and manpower), with enough creativity anyone can stage a stunt. To increase your sales and lead generation, tie in any major terms you’re trying to rank for and make a landing page specifically designed to advertise your PR stunt. So, if one of your primary keywords is “gardening,” you would design a publicity stunt around that term. As your strategy takes off, you’ll rank higher for the keyword and send more people to your landing page – and if it’s really good, those people will link back to it. I know, creating your own PR stunt seems like a tall order. So remember:
  • It must be memorable
  • Successful ones often play on current events
  • Determine how will you get it to media outlets
For more detailed information, read this guide.
  1. Online Marketing Strategies –  Create Product Bundle Deals for the Holidays

There’s no better time to push sales and special deals than the holidays. People are already expecting to drop serious dollars – just recently Adobe released a report forecasting online holiday sales to reach a record-breaking $107.4 billion. To make sure your business is getting in on that number, you need to have a specific holiday strategy in place. Try this one: Promote one large offer each day for the entire month. To make it work, first take a look at your existing inventory. What do you have a number of that you could push? Then, make a series of offers. They could be buy-one-get-one, discounts, even refer-a-friend’s. Send the offer out via your blog, social media channels, and email lists. Create excitement by teasing each day’s big savings before the reveal. For example, take a spin on the 25 Days of Christmas and launch your own 25 Days of Savings. You could start small; 10% off here, 20% off there, and work towards even bigger savings as the countdown continues. Remember, promotion is key here, so make sure you’re advertising and creating a good amount of buzz.

Start Your Online Marketing Strategy Today

Ready to start increasing your sales? Great – any one of the seven strategies above will help you get there. Choose one or mix and match, and let your customers do the rest.  

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John Lincoln is CEO of Ignite Visibility, one of the top digital marketing agencies in the nation. Ignite Visibility is a 4x  Inc. 5,000 company. Ignite Visibility offers a unique digital marketing program tied directly to ROI with a focus on using SEO, social media, paid media, CRO, email, Amazon and PR to achieve results. Outside of Ignite Visibility, Lincoln is a frequent speaker and author of the books “Digital Influencer” and “The Forecaster Method.” Lincoln is consistently named one of the top digital marketers in the industry and was the recipient of the coveted Search Engine Land “Search Marketer of The Year” award. Lincoln has taught digital marketing and Web Analytics at the University of California San Diego since 2010, has been named as one of San Diego’s most admired CEO’s and a top business leader under 40. Lincoln has also made “SEO: The Movie” and “Social Media Marketing: The Movie.” His business mission is to help others through digital marketing.

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