Do you have a BigCommerce store that you know is under performing? Have you tried marketing methods that the “gurus” talk about but just fall flat on its face when implemented?
We get it. In this case study, we’re going to outline exactly what we did to increase one of our BigCommerce client’s overall sales by $2,120,271 from January 1 to the date of writing of this case study, September 30, 2017.
Our client, let’s call him Bill, came to us just sick of working with “gurus” and tired of trying to increase the marketing efforts for his store on his own. Sales were just below $1 million on his BigCommerce store and he wanted it to be higher – much higher. He wanted to ultimately double his sales in 2017.
At that time – we had zero BigCommerce experience. But we took on the challenge and ultimately decided to focus on three simple things – SEO, Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), and Email Marketing.
Why focus on those three things? We use a “Growth Hacking” system at Marketing Heroes that helps to identify the highest impact items in one of the four main levers of growth in any business – Acquisition, Activation, Monetization, and Retention.
We do this through a Growth Hacking Workshop that we hold each quarter with each of our clients where we first create a Growth Playbook and then a 12 Week Growth Game Plan that helps us to focus on the highest impact items and when they will be implemented.
We typically build the plan around their quarterly marketing and sales Rocks (big goals they want to accomplish in the upcoming quarter).
This, honestly is the coolest part of my job – coming up with ideas with our clients and help them get positioned for massive growth. Then simply - we implement it.
Follow along in this case study as we show you the results of the three simple things that we fixed for this BigCommerce client to produce some really astounding results.
Growth Tip # 1 - Don’t focus on competitive keywords for SEO
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a very slow-moving piece because it can sometimes take 6 months to a year to get ranked for a keyword. However, if done correct, it can have the highest return on investment (ROI).
The problem however is deciding what to focus on. Instead of focusing on the big and very competitive keywords in Bill’s vertical, we instead decided to focus on more “buyer intent” keywords.
High buyer intent keywords for Bill’s industry included things like [brand + model number] keyword combinations. We figured that if someone was searching for those types of keywords, they would be more inclined to buy.
That theory turned out correct.
Organic SEO Revenue Increased by 383%!
As you can see in the Analytics screenshot above, by focusing on the [brand + model number] keywords, the number of new searches has gone down slightly in this year compared to the prior year. However, the amount of transactions went up by 100% - and revenue went up by an astounding 383% for a total of $468,541!
We believe this is one of the main keys to the massive growth we’ve been able to achieve for Bill as it added almost 25% of the overall revenue growth to the bottom line.
SEO Strategy Moving Forward
As we expand what we’re doing each month, our strategy moving forward is to simply wash rinse and repeat and continue adding [brand + model number] keywords into what we’re working on. The more we do, the higher the ROI for our work.
Growth Tip #2 – Do Email Marketing the Right Way
The money’s in the list, right? How many times have you heard that? Every marketer worth his or her salt will tell you that. Bill came to us with a massive list of over 45,000 subscribers. However, he had a massive problem - the list was getting less than a 10% open rate and less than 2% click rate.
That’s a problem because the promotions just weren’t working like they used to. Emails were ending up in the “Promotions” tab in Gmail – or worse in the Junk folders. The list was virtually being poisoned on each send by the horrible open rates.
Proper Email Campaigns Increased Email Revenue by 900%!
Step 1 - Segment the List
So with that in mind, we first started by segmenting the existing lists into two lists – Engaged and Not Engaged. In MailChimp, you can identify the people who haven’t opened emails in the last 90 days. This is important to do with your list as you want the highest open rates as possible so that the big providers (Gmail, Outlook, and Yahoo) don’t automatically put your emails into the junk folders.
Step 2 - Engage the List
Once we segmented the list out – we ran a Re-Engagement campaign with a small offer to both lists. This included a 3-4 day offer for a small “Foot-in-the-door” offer. We call the Entry Point Offers (or EPOs for short).
The point here wasn’t to make money, but to re-engage the entire list.
Step 3 - Weekly Educational Emails
Part of the Re-engagement strategy was to send out a weekly educational email. This way, we’re not always hitting them up for money – we’re providing value. Each educational email was leveraging the content we were creating for SEO purposes and getting the people on the list to re-engage with the brand.
Step 4 - Continual Segmentation
A key to this entire process was continually segmenting the list. We took it a step further and for those emails that just weren’t opening even after six months – we moved them to another email platform altogether. In this case it was Constant Contact.
We’ll still attempt to send to them, but it no longer poisoned our open rates. And for those on the other platform that opened any of our educational or re-engagement campaigns, we moved them back over to the main list.
Step 5 - Weekly Promotions
After a couple of months of working to re-engage the list subscribers, we started sending promotional emails out. And what a difference it made! The open rates went up to 50% and higher sometimes. But more importantly, we started monetizing the list again!
We now send out a weekly promotion that’s actually working!
[NEW] Upsell & Cross Sell Drip Emails
This has been something we’ve been working on in Q3. We found out that you can now integrate Active Campaign with BigCommerce for getting “deep data.” This simply means that we can send out drip campaigns depending on what people purchase.
The idea is if a person purchases Product A, then we can send out cross sell emails saying, “Since you purchased Product A, we thought you might be interested in Product B or C.” Same with upsell emails – but those will be further down the road by three to six months on the majority of these products.
More Data on Upsell & Cross Sell Drip Emails Coming in Q4
Since we just started with this and have been steadily adding products, we don’t have as much data yet. However, in Q4, I’m sure that this will have a dramatic difference on the average purchase value per customer. We’ll check back in after Q4 with an update to this case study.
Growth Tip # 3 – Optimize for Current Traffic with Conversion Rate Optimization
We feel that another key to Bill’s growth in the past year has been that we decided to concentrate on taking the current traffic they were getting and optimizing for conversions. We tested several variables such as page layout, customer reviews, and then moved to other items such as exit intent pop ups, a live chat system, and “magic” emails.
Mobile Friendly Website Increased Mobile Revenue by 497.33%
In a day of mobile first websites, this is a no-brainer. The world is moving more and more away from the desktop, so we started looking at not only the website as a whole, but each individual page. The thought was if we’re sending traffic to a page, it had better be mobile friendly.
Exit Intent Pop Ups Increased Sales by $65,472
Exit intent Pop Ups is essentially a pop up window that comes up when you attempt to leave a website. We wanted something inconspicuous, because we’ve all been to “that” website that just wouldn’t let us leave right?
So we decided to a pop up that simply asked – Did you find everything all right? And then it said to call the phone number (the majority of their sales are via phone).
This simple plugin increased sales by $65,472!
Live Chat Increased Sales by $21,293
We saved this one for last because it was the most surprising of all the above. We’ve used Live Chat before, but when we implemented this for Bill, we got a call and an email the next day.
“Turn it off!! I need to hire more sales staff!”
That’s right – so we turned it off until Bill could hire more sales staff and once he did, sales blew the roof off everything we have done so far.
So – why are the numbers not as high as some of the other things we’ve worked on? That’s because most of their sales are done via phone so the Live Chat sales people push people more towards a phone call. We’re still working on gathering that data and will be included in this case study soon.
Live Chat is so simple – but it works.
Conversion Rate Optimization + Growth Hacking
Conversion Rate Optimization is all about picking and testing one thing at a time incrementally and measuring the results. We use a growth hacking system with our clients here at Marketing Heroes where we first come up with ideas and then collectively vote on the items we all think will have the biggest impact.
The above items are just a few that we implemented in this past year, but had the biggest impacts (so far). With each quarterly strategy session, we discuss more that we feel will also have big impacts, vote on them, create a plan, and work towards them.
Want to Grow Your BigCommerce Store Like This Client?
Do you own a BigCommerce store and you’re not seeing results like above? Maybe you need a Growth Hacking Workshop to build a playbook and a game plan. Click on the image below to learn more about the Marketing Heroes Growth Hacking Workshop.