Shopify Growth Specialist
Have you ever played Tetris? It’s fun, and it can teach you something about the way to run your business.
If you start out the game paying attention and making good decisions, you’re going to reach a much higher score than if you just sling pieces anywhere and decide to deal with the consequences later.
Your online store is no different.
You can’t plan where you’re going to put each and every piece before they start falling, because you don’t know exactly what you’re going to get. But if you are intentional about what you do and how you place your pieces, you can be ready for whatever comes next.
This is not how you want your marketing strategy to look.
What can you do NOW to make sure you continually move forward?
Building a strategy for how you are going to move toward your goals is important. That doesn’t mean you have to plan every single action you will take for your marketing for the next 5 years of your business.
That’s an unrealistic waste of time, because like Mike Tyson said:
"Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth."
So what’s the alternative to a 5-year plan?
You should work to build a solid foundation for continual improvement and a strategy for sustainable growth. Because the other two options are to either make plan that reaches too far into the future to be realistic or swinging blindly like your business success is a pinata at a kids birthday party.
Instead of focusing just on things like “X traffic = Y sales, so we must drive more traffic”. Think about how you can make better use of that traffic for long-term gain instead of a one-time boost.
Think about how you can magnify the effects of your actions to get a better return on your investment.
Here’s an example with some easy numbers that I made up and don’t actually matter.
If you convert 1% of 1,000 visitors per month, you make 10 sales. If you increase that traffic to 2,000 visitors per month and maintain your conversion rate, you make 20 sales.
Get a better ROI from the same actions
Let’s say you take steps to improve your conversion rate before you drive more traffic, you audit your site and make improvements
If you can increase your conversion rate to 1.5%, 2%, or 2.5%, that 1000 visitors/month now becomes 15, 20, or 25 sales. Suddenly, the increased traffic turns into 30, 40, or 50 sales per month.
You’ll spend the same amount of time or ad spend to increase your traffic, but you double the ROI.
Think about the future
Focusing on CRO got you more sales. But how can you keep those customers instead of them being a one-time buyer?
By creating a solid email marketing plan, you get permission to continue marketing to those who bought, and those who are interested but not ready to purchase yet.
- Abandoned cart emails will allow you to reclaim missed sales.
- Segmented marketing lets you continually get in front of buyers and build your relationship with them.
- Survey emails let you learn more about your buyers and what they will give you money for.
- The list you build can be used for targeted advertising and future product launches.
All of that because you put in a bit of effort to get people to give you their email address and set up some automation. Now you have a massive new resource for your business in the form of this database of email addresses.
Take advantage of what you’re given
If you make sure you are gathering correct and useful analytics data, all of your traffic feeds into your ability to grow your business more effectively.
You’ll learn a lot about your visitors:
- Who they are and where they’re coming from.
- Which parts of your CRO and marketing efforts are effective.
- What paid ads are actually effective.
- The value of the emails you send.
But if you haven’t made sure that you are collecting data effectively before people come, then you don’t have the data to use at all.
Google Analytics may be a nightmare to setup and understand, but it is a literally FREE way to collect data that can change the way you make decisions for your business. You’d be nuts not to take advantage of the opportunity.
How does this build a foundation?
In our example, you go from a short-term 2x of sales to a much bigger ROI that continues paying off into the future.
- Higher overall sales from improved conversion rate, boosted even further when traffic increases
- Analytics data you can use to further grow your conversion rate
- Large list of emails for buyer research and marketing
- Improved relationships with your audience through automated emails
In other words, considering 3 simple things ahead of increasing traffic laid a solid foundation for the future growth of the business, AND gets better short-term results.
When you lay a solid foundation, everything you build on top of it is secure and ready for the future.
Before you undertake any action that consumes your personal or business resources, consider how you can create a higher impact, long-term positive result. That will help you achieve a much higher level of success than just using the newest shiny tactics and tools to get a quick win.