Nikoletta Szabo

Nikoletta Szabo

Guest Blogger at Syncee

How bad marketing can ruin your business?

Marketing is one of the best solutions to promote your online store. But did you know that if you do it wrong, your strategy will backfire? Read on to evade these serious mistakes.

Online Marketing is an ever-changing field, where specialists and influencers are seeking to find more and more innovative techniques to reach their aims. These objectives can include brand awareness, increasing website traffic, growing sales and profit, customer acquisition, retention or satisfaction. The list could go on. Shopify store owners, or the specialists they hire, really need to be creative to notice the changes of the audience and to adapt their tactics to the dynamics of the market.

When marketing backfires

We have seen hundreds of Shopify stores aiming to grow their daily sales number with advertisements and other marketing magic. However, there are several instances when digital marketing can damage your business instead of correcting it. In this article, we are elaborating on these failures which result in an entrepreneurial downturn. Try to avoid them, or to resolve them if you recognized these flaws in your own strategy.


Wrong or missing marketing strategy

Opening your store does not mean that customers will flow on it right away. You will need to figure out a strategy that helps them in every step of the purchase process. Not having a marketing plan is one of the greatest mistakes people can make, because it is like abandoning the newborn store then blaming it later for zero conversion. Your marketing strategy needs to cover every aspect of the buying cycle. Work out an action plan which starts with the acquisition of customers, like SEO, Adwords, Facebook Ads. Secondly, think about how you will keep them in the store: pop-up, push notifications, coupons. Then how will you make them finalize the checkout: pop-ups. What if they abandon the cart without paying: cart abandonment, e-mail marketing. How will you make sure they return: newsletter, automated e-mails, remarketing. But the list could go on a lot longer, as these are just the basic marketing tricks you can use in your store. Obviously, there are many other solutions, ranging from influencer marketing, content marketing, giveaways, cross-marketing etc.

If your store is missing a great strategy is a big fault, however, having a bad plan is not better at all. If you do not send notifications or e-mails at the right time, target the wrong audience, or unevenly distribute your budget among several solutions, you harm your business and budget to a great extent. Focusing on useless strategies, as your store may not even need that solution or forcing a trending method to work just because others are doing it, is wrong. If you are spending money on marketing but you cannot leverage from it, it is time to change. You need to realize that what you or your marketing specialist is doing is off the track. Remember, it is never too late to change. Continuing with a faulty and maleficient idea is worse than a bit of extra work to alter it.

Do you know what is the best solution to work out the most effective marketing plan? Distance yourself from the store, and observe each process from another perspective.

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Not having a blog

Content and e-mail marketing should be critical components of your online store. If you only stuff your website with products, categories, and the list of most sold products, Google bots will rank your store low in the search results. The reason for this is that you do not generate relevant and valuable content that would help Google bots and of course, your customers, to find you. Blogging helps you in SEO and many others factors, like customer retention and satisfaction. You can even combine content marketing with e-mail marketing, by collecting the e-mail addresses of your shoppers, or your store visitors. Then you can send them every new content you created. Although, this technique also has many rules of thumbs. First of all, stay consistent. Post regularly and do not have long intermissions between the publication of articles or newsletters. Do not write about a topic which is not related to your field. If you would like to know more tricks about blogging and why does it worth for store owners to have a blog, read our other article.

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There is a myth that we need to debunk here. Marketing does not necessarily have to be paid for. Many Shopify merchants assume that if they spend dozens of dollars on different ads, it will improve the statistics of their store. This can be true if done right. But why would you pay for advertisements to get more views, if you can do it for free? Improving your strategy is key, which includes content and SEO as well. Nowadays there are many free courses, articles or ebooks which help you to master these components. If you concentrate on the placement of your keywords to the adequate place on your site and write relevant articles, your store will be definitely ranked higher. By this, you will have more visitors and sales.

You should know, it does not happen overnight

To avoid any misunderstanding, we do not claim that you can substitute the whole marketing procedure using this tip, though you can save a nice sum of money by it. Still, you will need to apply other tactics in your marketing action plan on other segments of the business cycle. Additionally, bear in mind that harvesting the results of either SEO or any other marketing solutions takes time. Do not expect your sales to skyrocket overnight. Especially Search Engine Optimization takes longer to make the outcome visible. The result for this is that Google bots need to crawl your website to realize the changes, which can take time. Though, you can speed the process up by increasing the number of backlinks to your store and by adding newer and newer content regularly. This way, Google will not want to miss out scanning a constantly up-to-date site.

Overdoing giveaways

There are many problems with giveaways. Overdoing them is just one of the miscalculations store owners can make. To begin with, people only apply this approach when they are desperate. Sales and visitor numbers are low, their existing marketing does not work out, so why shouldn’t they boost the stats with some free gifts that people gonna love. The main purpose behind this worn-out idea is to swiftly increase the numbers with only a small financial expenditure. However, using this technique will only draw freebie-seekers and treasure hunters, who are most probably not interested in your store at all. They only come for the free gifts and distort your statistics. Even though the visitor number will get higher, you are not going to increase the sales.

Secondly, if you apply this trick regularly, people might consider your store a scam, and your service cheap. Nowadays people are overwhelmed with offers like this. They will get in line for some free giveaways, even when they do not know anything about the company. As a result, you will end up with dozens of useless e-mail addresses or signups which will never increase the profit. Using this approach maybe once a year can work, but applying it over and over again will only harm you rather than benefiting you.


Miscalculated e-mail marketing

Collecting the e-mail addresses of your visitors is always a great idea. You can drive them into your sales and marketing funnels, such as newsletters or remarketing automated e-mails. This solution is perfect because it is highly scalable and does not abridge your creativity. Letting your earlier visitors know about new products, collections or brands arriving to your store can make idle prospects active again. Although, e-mail marketing has its rules too. Most of all, consistency is key, just like in the case of creating content. Do not send your newsletters at random, unexpected times. Additionally, respect your target market. Never send e-mails on the weekends or late at night. E-mail marketing software now have features that enable you to send the messages to your visitors when they are the most active online in their timezone. You need to observe the behavior of your audience to find the best time to send them. You can freely experiment with writing styles, time, and the subject line. This method is called A/B testing, which most automated messaging software are capable of doing.

Audience segmentation is key

Apart from consistency, time and the subject line, there is one crucial element that store owners disregard. This is audience segmentation. If you send your newsletters to all e-mail addresses you received, not taking into consideration where you gathered them from, you commit a big mistake. Different kinds of customers need different input as they occupy various places in your cycle. Some of them only visited your store once. Some of them already purchased products, while others abandoned their cart. Sending exactly the same information with the same phrasing is bad because they are not curious about the same story. Segment your customers according to what phase they are in, and try to write a newsletter for each segment. Focus on information they may find significant and takes them to the next level in your marketing strategy rather than sending a template e-mail for all of your prospects.


Using the wrong marketing applications

It is needless to say that marketing does not work without the adequate technology. Shopify store owners can browse the App Store for applications to fulfill their needs. Although, finding the best application is not as easy as you might think. First of all, you need to specify your needs. If you do not set aims for yourself, you won’t know the ways to achieve them. Today there are numerous solutions you can choose from, ranging from apps that work with pop-ups, push notifications, Facebook messages, e-mails, you name them. We recommend you to do a thorough checkup before choosing your perfect match. There are great differences in pricing and functionality. Moreover, you will also have to spend time on the settings and integration if necessary.

Many store owners do not even use the full potential of the applications they use, because they do not know its features. This is why an analysis is essential before and during the usage. Keep in mind that you need to continuously monitor their performance and make adjustments if necessary. As people’s behavior and your target market change there can be significant oscillations in your results. Your marketing app needs to be flexible, scalable and above all agile. You also do not need to subscribe for dozens of them, a couple of applications should do. We need to highlight the importance of your strategy again. You will only be able to find the application you need and know how to do the settings if you have clearcut objectives and concepts for each step of the business cycle. Bear in mind that a wrongly configured marketing app will just damage your business, make customers confused and waste your money.

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Not knowing the behavior of your target audience

Not knowing what and how your target audience behaves on your website is a critical problem. Why? Because you won’t know how to serve their needs. If you do not know why exactly people are buying from your store, or why they are leaving you will be at a disadvantage in marketing and lag behind the competition. When people are only visiting your site but they are not buying anything, it can be a sign of a wrong marketing strategy or a non-refined target market. If you are advertising for the wrong people or with a wrong message, they will leave your site immediately. Even if they click on the ad, they will close the tab after a few seconds because people won’t find what you have suggested in your campaigns. Not having sales equals a closed store, so mind you, try to ignore this serious mistake.

Although, as all problems can be resolved, you can avoid this problematic area in your business too by paying more attention. You need to analyze your audience. Use Google Analytics on your site and constantly check your stats in Shopify. They will tell you where your visitors are coming from, where they go from there, how long they stay etc. Constantly following these trends on your website can help you decipher what your buyers really want. Maybe they are looking for something that is not on your website yet, for instance, shipping details or the About Us page. Knowing the details of your market will help you improve your marketing, online store and increase your sales.

Buyers’ needs not met

Consequently, if you do not know why they go to your site, what they are searching for before they land on the store and why they leave, you won’t be able to serve their needs. If your marketing message is ambiguous or raises attention but the landing page is about something else, they will close the tab without ever browsing your inventory. This is why consistency should be to the fore all the time. Keep your message and campaigns synchronized to what you offer for them. In order to be successful, you always need to prioritize the customers’ satisfaction to the first place. However, if you make them confused with contrasting signs, they will never become a recurring customer of yours.


Burning money on not converting advertisements

This marketing mistake is the second most common nowadays, after not having a strategy. Thousands of Shopify merchants use Adwords, Facebook, Adroll, or any other marketing application to boost their sales. These solutions are the most popular when we talk about digital marketing. This is the reason why there are so many fatal mistakes one can make if they are not specialized in online marketing. To begin with, if your store is half-done, lacks SEO, proper and complete product pages, misses some critical pages, we advise you to resolve those mistakes first, instead of starting a campaign. If you initiate an ad instead of focusing to improve your store, you will not achieve the result you dream of. Many people think that ads will solve every issue they have on the site. They also think that after a few days, they will get rich quick with their application. But this mindset is wrong. We have another article about more reasons why Shopify stores fail, if you are interested, read it.

There is a handful of problems people make when they create their ads. First of all, audience segmentation is key here too, just like in the case of e-mail marketing. You should not allow these tools to target people worldwide, but you should limit the number of countries where they are allowed to post your videos or images. Of course, these countries shouldn’t be some random countries, but the ones where your target market lives. Moreover, you can also play with other settings, like automatic ad placement, start, and end date or bid strategy. These are the minute details you need to pay attention to when creating an advertisement. Obviously, you can finetune them even after you started it. What is more, it is necessary to constantly monitor their performance and make adjustments to improve engagement.

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Accuracy is an essential factor

Apart from the setting of the target market, keywords are just as important. Setting your keywords well is essential because it helps your prospects to find your site. If you use inaccurate keywords, your bounce rate will be high because the website does not match with what they looked for. Try to use exact match and phrase match too. Also try the option of negative keywords, which means that Google will not show your site for those certain words. This way you can make sure that exactly those will be driven to your site who really need what you offer.

Additionally, showing the needed information when they click on the ad is significant. Make your customers land on a landing page which matches your ads’ message. This is important, because in Adwords, your ads will compete with others’ for placement, and if your accuracy is low, the chances of being seen by searchers decreases. For instance, if you advertise a specific brand in the ads, make sure that you direct the interested people on the site which lists only the products of that brand. This is also true for Facebook, not only for Adwords.

Do not forget to keep track of your marketing budget and the performance of each solution. Change the distribution of money when necessary, be creative and don’t be afraid of a little change.

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