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Patrick Foster, ecommerce coach & entrepreneur.

How to Get An Amazon Badge On Your Product Listings

a couple of years ago

As an Amazon Seller, you’d want your products to stand out from the rest. It also wouldn’t hurt to at least have an icon that indicates your products are the most sought after in the Amazon arena—you know, just for the sake of it.

A few years ago, Amazon came up with the idea of rewarding sellers with a #1 Best Seller badge; an orange ribbon-like icon that appears on the upper-left corner of a product detail page. This badge serves as a hallmark for shoppers; it indicates which products have a higher ranking in terms of sales so that they can make a well-informed choice.

Under what criteria Amazon “hands over” this badge? Amazon’s focus seems to be on making major brands more available to customers. This is bad news for smaller sellers out there. One concern regarding smaller brands would of course be their reputation.

Amazon puts the customer first, and would not want to recommend products that customers may have a less than stellar experience with. This would damage Amazon’s reputation, and so they are understandably careful with the names that they put their own name behind.

There isn’t an established guideline that delves into the best practices to win badges effectively: Amazon keeps this secret to itself. However, we have some useful data that will help you learn more about how having a badge can help your Amazon product listing.

Types of Badges and How to Get Them

Skilled sellers, who’ve gained knowledge through hours and hours of trial and error, have earned their place in the summit of Amazon’s favorites by not only stepping up their marketing and customer service efforts but by refining the art of choosing the right keywords, and some of them have even shared their journey with new sellers.

Amazon’s Choice Badge

This badge was launched in 2015, right after the release of Alexa (a virtual assistant developed by Amazon). This assistant was first used in the Amazon Echo and the Amazon Echo Dot smart speakers. Through voice command, Alexa can search through Amazon’s Choice for Prime-eligible products and make suggestions to Prime members.

Amazon’s Choice products could be chosen based on several attributes. Positive product ratings, higher sales volume, reasonable pricing and favorable shipping speed are four features that we are almost sure play a big part. Lower rate of return and seller feedback may also factor into a product’s or a brand’s selection for inclusion in Amazon’s Choice. Based on observation, reviews don’t seem to be a huge influence here.

Nobody knows categorically how this program’s items are labeled. Amazon probably carries out this selection process by using an algorithm that is not available in the public domain, or even by Amazon employees. However, it is interesting how Amazon-branded items tend to have Amazon’s Choice badge.

(Google and Apple do not have the most ideal working relationship with Amazon; hardly over 20 Google products are sold on the platform. Therefore, don’t expect these brands to have the Amazon’s Choice badge.)

Amazon sellers have been known to play dirty now and again. One popular tactic that made the headlines a few years back is submitting fake negative reviews. By forcing a competitor’s review ratings down, a seller could get bumped up the ranks. If reviews are a factor in Amazon’s Choice, this practice could make a big comeback. Amazon sellers must be wary of this possibility and be sure to monitor their reviews carefully.

Amazon badge

Best Sellers Badge

Amazon offers shoppers a comprehensive list, that is updated hourly, with the best selling products. Contrary to popular belief, the Amazon Best Seller badge is not based on reviews, nor ratings, but on overall sales. This badge is available to all types of sellers – whether or not they use FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon) – and it is also based on an algorithm.

Since the list is updated hourly, products don’t tend to maintain the Best Seller status for more than an hour—unless you are beating the competition by the minute and you get to keep your spot for another couple of hours.

These are some of the things you can do to try to win this acclaimed badge:
1. improve your product images;
2. make your product information readable for your customers;
3. do your keyword research and use the best strategy that fits your needs;
4. keep your prices aligned with the competition’s; and
5. find the best category for your product.

Whatever approach you decide to take, keep in mind that keywords and listing optimization are your stepping stones towards high conversion rates.

Amazon best sellers

New Release Badge

Just as the other badges, the New Release badge’s purpose is to draw the attention of shoppers.

An active Amazon Seller, who even has a YouTube Channel, shared his experience on getting the New Release badge. Although the following recommendations are not set in stone, they can give you a general idea of what it takes an Amazon Seller to get the New Release badge:

1) Be on page 1 for your main keyword. I recommend using a giveaway launch service to fast track you to page 1 if you are not already there.

2) Your product must stand out. Your product has to be differentiated from the competition so that all the traffic that goes to your keyword sees your improved version of the product. This way it will lead to more sales from your listing.

3) You must optimize your title and keywords. Don’t be afraid to play around with these until you find the right combination. It took me a month of trial and error.

4) Beat the Best Seller. You will need to sell 1-1.5x the sales of the best seller for your main keyword. For example, the #1 seller for my keyword was selling 20 units per day on average. I was able to get the #1 New Release badge after selling 25-30 for 2 days straight.

Amazon hot sellers

Top Brand Badge

Amazon wants it to be easier for shoppers to find and buy major brands, especially for Prime users, leaving a lot of less well-known products out in the cold. Amazon just released a “Top Brand” badge, and although it’s still on a test period, its main objective is to help established brands stand out from small traders who offer products at a lower price.

For a long time, big companies like Nike and Adidas were unsure about listing their products on Amazon because they didn’t want to be competing with brands that were offering similar products at a low cost. However, times have changed and shoppers are interested in buying on Amazon not only to get a better price but because it is extremely convenient, even more so for Amazon Prime Buyers.

This badge allows brands that already have a name of their own to project beyond the surface; however, this doesn’t mean smaller brands shouldn’t have high hopes for winning the Top Brand badge. According to Wired, “Amazon takes two factors into consideration when awarding the honor: the amount of products a brand sells and how many different products they offer in the first place. In other words, companies that make a narrow range of goods, but sell a lot of them, are likely to be Top Brands.”

“New” Badge

This red ribbon-like icon is still on a testing period, and it’s Amazon’s latest attempt at labeling the newest products available for shoppers. An Amazon’s spokesperson recently stated that this program is being tested in “select markets for certain customers.”

The mysticism surrounding Amazon Seller Badges makes it difficult for sellers to understand what is that they have to do to be worthy to receive them. Yet, it is not impossible. Although receiving any of the badges mentioned above can do great things for your listing, remember that, in most cases, these aren’t awarded based on ratings only. There are many factors involved and you should also try to stay focused on optimizing your listings and make the best possible use of your keywords.

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New-Age Marketing Tips For Seasoned Marketers

a couple of years ago

Welcome to the new age of marketing, where the ads are highly targeted and the content overflowing. If you’re a seasoned marketer who finds yourself stuck in old-fashioned methods, it’s time to shake things up and test out some new strategies. We’re here to help you get hip to what’s happening on the horizon so you can breathe some new life into your old and tired marketing methods.

1. Get Rid of Outdated Marketing Tactics

Marketing is like everything else in your industry—it ebbs and flows; some things change and some things stay the same. Make sure you’re giving your entire program a top-to-bottom relevancy check, asking yourself if your tactics are still in favor and, most importantly, if they’re still working for your business. If you’re still relying on the following marketing strategies, it’s time to make some changes and move on.

Casting a Wide Net

These days, targeted marketing is everything. Whether you implement a full-scale affiliate marketing program working with influencers who speak to your target audience or tweak every single digital ad to a specific set of demographics, you’ll be making smart moves by going as targeted as possible.

Optimizing the Wrong Way

So you know that search engine optimization (SEO) is a big deal—you’re already one step ahead of many marketers. What you may not know, though, is that certain once-in-style SEO strategies have gone by the wayside, and they may be docking your rankings. Ban the use of any black hat SEO techniques

Marketing Too Aggressively

Enthusiastic, frequent marketing messages are a good way to drum up interest in your brand, forge a positive persona, and grow leads—but remember that being too pushy or over the top can be a big turnoff to customers. Over half of all customers say they get too many emails from retailers, so keep things reasonable.

Posting Non-Promotional Content

A solid content marketing campaign is one that perfectly toes the line between providing value to the user and effectively promoting a product or service. The first step is producing engaging, well-optimized blog content. The second step is making sure it gets in front of people by promoting it on social media, email, etc.

2. Remember, as Always, Content Reigns

Whether you love it or hate it, content marketing is here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. While it seems like a big effort, creating content can be done in a fairly time- and budget-conscience manner. Improving organic search rankings through SEO can provide you with a pretty hefty return on investment, but you have to be willing to invest the time and money into creating high-quality, useful content.

3. Don’t Ignore Automation

Automation has revolutionized virtually every industry, and marketing is not excused. One of the biggest automation trends marketers need to be aware of is programmatic advertising, which involves automating the digital advertising process. With programmatic tools, companies are able to leverage big data to determine which ads to buy and how much to pay for them, resulting in a more cost-effective, targeted experience.

4. Know What Customers Want

We’re lucky because we live in an era when big companies and research firms are constantly releasing new data on customer behavior. Always stay abreast of this data and make sure that it informs your marketing strategy. For example, we know that customers prefer authentic, honest brand personas and that they rely on recommendations from friends and family as much as ever. Taking this into account, it makes sense why so many companies have made big investments in affiliate marketing, social media, referral programs, and influencer marketing.

5. Visuals Are as Important as Ever

In content marketing, you have to constantly play to two parties—the user and the search engine. The search engine needs information (text) in order to crawl your site and rank it on the results page. The user, however, prefers a more visual experience. Going visual makes a lot of sense in the long run because people are able to recall as much as 65 percent of the visual content they see almost three days later. What does this tell us? Visual plus text makes a winning combo. Using tools like alt text, video transcriptions, and infographics within articles can help bridge the gap.

6. Make Your Brand Likable

It sounds silly, but customers are more likely to interact with or make a purchase from your company if they believe it has a positive brand voice and persona. For most customers, that means a brand that engages with its audience in a way that’s honest, friendly, and authentic. Your goal should be to treat your target customers like a future friend, always keeping interactions positive and stress-free. The new-age marketer spends the time developing a brand voice and personality that suits its customer or user perfectly.

7. You Need To Have God CX

Traditional marketers, meet the new high standard of customer interaction: a flawless customer experience (CX). Building a positive CX strategy means uncomplicating things for the user, always being available to help, and never leaving issues unresolved. Often, building a solid customer experience comes down to having a good user experience (UX) on your app or website and funneling some of your budget into testing.

It’s All About Staying Agile

Our biggest tip for seasoned marketers looking to update their practices? Never get stuck in a certain way of doing things. Modern marketing is entirely about adaptability. The fact of the matter is that Google is constantly changing its algorithms and customers are constantly changing their expectations. In other words, the marketer who doesn’t quickly adapt to the ever-changing marketing climate is the one who will most assuredly be left in the dust!

Author Bio: Nick Veneris is a Marketing Manager at refersion. 






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9 Ways to Increase Your Site’s Conversions

Website traffic is a good indication of whether or not people are interested in your brand, products or services. But if you’re not seeing a good conversion rate then that traffic might as well be useless.

A conversion rate indicates the number of visitors that are converting or moving forward with an offer or transaction. For example, if your goal is to get more people signed up for an email newsletter, then the ratio of visitors to sign-ups would be your conversion rate. Conversion rates can be used to measure any desired action from sales to survey participation.

When it comes to a masterfully crafted website, the entire design is structured to service a particular action, hopefully, boosting the related conversion rates as a result. For our email newsletter goal, for example, the landing page of our business website would be focused on achieving more sign-ups.

You can see that both of these elements — conversion rates and website design — are clearly connected. It’s necessary to synchronize both to improve your website’s effectiveness and realize its full potential.

Knowing that, here are nine sure-fire ways to boost your site’s conversion rates:

1. Get to the Point, and Fast

15 seconds. That’s how much time you have to capture the attention of your visitors before you’ve lost it forever. The longer you take to get your point across the higher your bounce rates and the lower your conversion rates are going to be.

Say what you’re going to say and ask what you’re going to ask as soon as possible. Obviously, you’ll want to use a standard call-to-action, just make it good.

Shopify’s free trial landing page is the best example of this, bar none. The design is simple yet effective, with just a single field for the visitor’s email address. The headline also includes the call-to-action built-in, with a value proposition right below.

2. Minimize Data Entry

Most likely, the desired action will require some form of data entry from your visitors whether that’s sharing their email address, payment details or contact info. Keep the field requirements as minimal as possible. If you only want an email address you don’t need to be asking for their life story.

There are additional hacks to boost form field conversion rates you can use, as well.

3. Add a Guarantee or Reassurance

If you’re selling a product or service then you need a no-questions-asked refund policy in place. If you’re collecting information, then you’ll need to reassure your visitors that you won’t be doing anything shady with it. In most cases, people just want to know they have the support they need, so give it to them.

Don’t forget your privacy statement for opt-in forms either.

4. Use Visuals In Place of Words

Videos and photos are preferred over long blocks of text, especially by mobile users. If you can say what you need to in a visual representation then do that instead.
Mobile video usage has increased by nearly 10 million daily viewing minutes over the last two years. It’s how most people prefer to receive their information and media experiences, so honor that.

5. Demonstrate or Clearly State the Value Proposition

Bulleted product and service features are great. Revealing testimonials and how your offerings helped other customers is also a great idea — it’s also included later on in this list. But none of that makes any difference if the product in question doesn’t provide value to your customers.

What exactly makes it so special? What is it going to do for them? Why is it better than comparable products or services? Don’t waste time answering these questions either. Find a way to either demonstrate or explain the true value of your offerings, as soon as possible.

Establishing a clear value proposition can boost website conversion rates by as much as 90 percent.

Airbnb’s landing page for prospective hosts is a prime example of this. It tells interested hosts exactly how much they can earn, locally, by signing on to the service.

6. Share Some Testimonials

Speaking of customer testimonials, use them when you can. They help reduce risk and provide verifiable proof that your services or products work as intended. It’s also important that you place them properly, sharing them on your landing page(s) or near your call-to-action.

One study found that customers spend 31 percent more with businesses that have good client testimonials available. Furthermore, 91 percent of people regularly or occasionally read online reviews, and 84 percent trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.

7. Contact Forms Are a Must

Always, always, always give your visitors a way to reach your company and team. Contact forms are an absolute must, and like opt-in forms, they should minimize the amount of information collected.

Taking a quick look at Hard Chrome Specialists’ contact form, we can see they have the bare minimum of necessary fields. They ask for the customer’s name, phone number and contact information, as well as a small message. That’s it, and that’s exactly how it should be.

8. Offer Reliable Support

Many website administrators opt to include live chat tools so their customers can receive real-time support. If that’s in the cards then definitely make use of a live chat tool, because it can help alleviate visitor concerns, and keeps support channels open at all times.

But if it’s not something that’s possible, that’s okay, just make sure you have a support system in place and that it’s reliable. If it takes days or even weeks for your support reps to get back to customers about queries or problems, you’re going to lose a lot of business.

9. Don’t Forget to Test

A/B testing and user feedback are incredibly important for optimizing a website’s design and conversion rates. Even just moving a “buy now” or “subscribe” button to another area of the site can have a huge impact on engagement. That’s why it’s necessary to conduct a series of tests to not only find the best placement for such elements but also to understand why visitors might prefer a particular setup over another.

It’s also important to continue reviewing feedback well after a site goes live, and especially after you make any changes or edits to the site design. You’ll gain valuable insights as to how and why your site is seeing various behaviors.

In some cases, testing can help improve conversion rates by as much as 15 percent or more. So don’t sleep on it.

Implement These Proven Tips

A well-optimized website or landing page is going to increase total conversions significantly because they are designed to engage and encourage visitors. So, if you’re looking to boost your conversion ratings, then implementing these tips is going to help for sure.

Visitors want to be shown value as soon as possible, and you must be able to convey that and more in a matter of seconds — 15 seconds to be exact. Crafting an effective, minimal design is key to achieving success. Remember that, and everything will work out for the best.

Author bio: Lexie is a web designer and UX design strategist. Her work is featured on Marketo, Creative Bloq, Website Magazine, Envato and eCommerce Tips. She manages Design Roast and you can reach out to her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.

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5 Best Email Automation Tools for Your Ecommerce Store

Day 1: You do an Email Blast! 

Day 2: You again do an Email Blast! 

Day 3: You do nothing different here, the same!  

What’s happening above is something that most marketers do these days. And the sad thing is that they do think that email blasting is effective (while it’s actually not)! 

There are two reasons why email blasting is still being practiced. 

One – People are too lazy to segment their audience based on a diverse range of criteria and send personalized emails. 

Two – People have no idea about what is being done in reason 1. So they just send emails on a daily basis (and stay happy) hoping that they would be getting enough conversions. 

We do accept that segmenting audience and sending personalized emails takes time when done manually. 

But what if there’s a solution? Tools that could help you do all of this and more? 

They do exist and they are called “email automation tools”. 

Before we get to the tools part, let’s have a brief look at what email automation is and what are the benefits of using an email marketing automation tool.

What is Email Marketing Automation?

The phrase says it all! 

Email automation is nothing but sending emails to your audience on a timely basis (with relevant information) which is actually triggered by an action. And with email automation in place, businesses and online stores can expect a huge number of benefits which eventually would scale up their revenue. Below mentioned are a few important benefits of email automation. 

1. Create Automated Email Drip Campaigns

2. Segment Audience Based on Criteria

3. Increase Customer LTV 

4. Scale Up Your ROI

5. Send Personalized Email to Customers

6. Increase Brand Awareness

Whilst there are a lot of other benefits one would get using email automation for business, let’s just skip this part and actually look into the list of top 5 email automation tools that we’ve compiled for you! 

1. MailChimp

MailChimp is one of the best-known email marketing automation tools in the industry because it’s easy to use and gives you a diverse array of email marketing tools. All from one single platform. By using MailChimp, you’re able to:  

  • Send drip emails based on website activity and user behavior. 

  • Automate routine tasks 

  • Customize sign up forms 

  • Send targeted emails and email blasts 

  • Stay up to date with detailed reporting and analytics. 

  • Integrate your ecommerce store and more., 

MailChimp also allows you to send emails for up to 2000 subscribers in its free version. MailChimp is an ideal solution if you are looking for tons of integration opportunities and you are having a huge subscribers list.

2. Retainful 

When it comes to ecommerce stores, Retainful is simply the best. With Retainful in your marketing stack, you get to recover a huge percent of your lost sales by sending automated emails to your visitors. This freemium plugin is quite user-friendly and lets you create automated email campaigns and send unlimited cart recovery emails to visitors who have abandoned their shopping cart. There are a lot of other things you can be doing with Retainful:  

  • Schedule and Automate Cart Recovery Email Templates: Retainful allows you to create and send automated cart recovery emails at regular time intervals. You can either choose from existing email templates or create one on your own. 

  • One-Click Cart Recovery: One click is all that’s needed for your target audience to reach out to their abandoned cart. Retainful’s cart recovery emails that are being sent at regular time intervals allows audience to go directly to their abandoned cart by clicking on the link within the email. This helps in driving higher conversions. 

  • Abandoned Cart Recovery Insights: Retainful helps you keep track of your abandoned carts once you’ve set up cart recovery emails. And also gives you real-time tracking features that help you stay more aware as to how your automated email campaign is performing. 

  • Next Order Coupon Generator: Retainful also allows you to generate next order coupons and send them along with the mail when your visitor completes his/her purchase. 

Other Benefits You Get When Using Retainful:

  • Unlimited Cart Recovery Emails

  • Email Collection Popup

  • Coupon for Email Collection

  • Drip / Sequential Email Reminders

  • Countdown Timer with Auto Coupon

  • Premium Email Templates

  • Analytics & Support

Retainful, an email automation tool for abandoned cart recovery does its job when it comes to its section. With three versions (free, pro and business) Retainful is a must-have tool if you are running an online store. It helps you convert customers that you most likely wouldn’t have had over a period of time. 

3. SendinBlue

SendinBlue, another marketing automation tool comes with both email SMS marketing features. By using SendinBlue, you get to: 

  • Create attractive and professional newsletters

  • Send transactional emails

  • Make use of readymade automation workflow templates

  • Smart schedule your email delivery timings

  • Build a dynamic email list

  • Integrate with Google Analytics

  • Leverage the power of personalization

  • Segment audience based on their user activity and more

SendinBlue allows you to send up to 300 emails per day to an unlimited number of subscribers in its free version. If you ask for two reasons why you should be using SendinBlue it’s because of its powerful audience segmentation features and transactional emails. Sendinblue’s paid version starts from as low as $25 per month. 

4. MailerLite

MailerLite was started off in the year 2010, aspiring to give businesses a powerful email solution that could help with their growth. With MailerLite, you can: 

  • Create Campaigns

  • Grow Subscribers

  • Deliver Targeted & Personalized Emails

  • Track Automated Email Campaign Reports

  • Integrate and Connect with API’s

  • Custom Design Your Landing Page and more., 

It should be noted that MailerLite is relatively cheap when compared to most of the other email marketing automation tools. If you are a freelancer or you run a business with a limited number of subscribers you should definitely consider opting for MailerLite. Because it’s easy to use and promising. 

5. ConvertKit

ConvertKit is another email marketing software that helps you to grow your audience and eventually your income. Just like most of the other email marketing automation tools, ConvertKit allows you to: 

  • Create Sign up forms and Landing pages

  • Understand your audience and segment them

  • Send personalized emails to segmented audience

  • Engage customers with automated emails

  • Duplicate an email and resend to those who haven’t gone through your email. 

  • Track conversions on homepage dashboard and more

ConvertKit does not have any free versions but they allow you to try it for free. The base plan starts at $29 per month. 

Convertkit suits best for companies who look forward to running automated email campaigns that are extremely targeted. 

The Verdict

While you’ve understood how important it is to use email automation, it’s equally important that you choose the best email automation marketing tool for your business.

We’ve been through a list of email marketing automation tools with each one of them being special in their own way. It’s you who has to choose what’s best for your business by doing calculated research, taking into consideration the price factors and the benefits!

Author Bio: Akshy is a Content & Growth Marketer with specialization in the ecommerce Sector. Being a Growth Marketer his blogs are mainly focused on growth marketing and growth hacking techniques and of course the ecommerce Sector. When not glued to his notebook, Akshy loves to watch movies, cook, read and explore the wilderness all by himself!

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