Author: Darka Panovska

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Website chatbots have evolved as an extremely effective tool for small businesses since they first appeared back in 2016. Also known as messenger bots, this smart computer program initiates a dialogue with the intention of providing customer service or extracting useful information from potential customers.

In some cases, these chatbots are utilized by mainstream giants such as Facebook, Microsoft, and Google. However, small businesses can also use website chatbots to create their own messenger bot for various tasks such as building a subscriber list or even to act as a virtual assistant.

Either way, chatbots offer an impressive amount of value to small businesses through a wide range of features and benefits.

Here we will take a look at some of the benefits and the importance of chat bots to a small business.

The Benefits of Chatbots for a Small Business

Messenger bots are currently the focus of every corner of the digital industry for a good reason. After all, this unassuming technology is capable of incredible results related to almost every aspect of a business including marketing, customer service, and even profitability.

While many owners are skeptical as to whether the program is organic or harmful to their business, the statistics are a lot less uncertain

In fact, surveys have shown that more than 30% of customers are unfazed with the implementation of chat bots and more than 40% are perfectly happy to be assisted by a messenger bot instead of a real person.

For this reason, the same surveys demonstrate how more than 50% of people refer to these chatbot encounters in a very positive manner.

Utilizing Chatbots for Marketing

Although chatbots are extremely common in the marketing industry, most customers are entirely unaware of their presence.

Chat bot surveys are an easy way to invite potential customers without seeming intrusive while opt-in forms are an automatic way to increase a subscriber list.

Furthermore, the use of these chat bots on social media provides instant communication with customers which is surely an immense benefit to any business in a such a busy and fast-moving world.

At the same time, these chatbots have evolved to a standard which feels increasingly personal and less robotic.

That is to say, chat bots can be customized to encourage more interaction on social media, and this is an essential feature on platforms which are designed to encourage the sharing of such information.

Moral of the story: Chatbots are rarely intrusive and highly effective when it comes to marketing.

Website Chatbots for Lead Generation and Customer Service

chatbots-for-small-businesses

As already mentioned, website chat bots can be used as virtual assistants, and this is one of the most common use-cases for messenger bots.

As you know, these chatbots are capable of operating 24/7 which provides continuous access to small businesses and maximum potential for the business when it comes to sales and lead generation.

While chatbots can be customized for different scenarios, the idea is never to trick customers but rather to facilitate their needs.

With this in mind, small businesses can choose to be transparent with customers and use this technology to enhance the user experience without concern that they are harmful to the reputation or process.

Furthermore, these chat bots can be used for the sole purpose of “touching base” with a customer to let them know that they can speak with a person during a specific window of time.

All considered, when implemented the right way, chat bots are an affordable and valuable aide to compliment the customer service of any small business.

After Sales and Standard Requests

Customer service is one of the most important aspects of a small business and an opportunity to excel or stand out for most customers. At the same time, even when the sale is made, there is still an important responsibility to interact with these existing customers.

Whether a customer is following up on a tracking order or checking the price of a purchase, chatbots are highly competent when it comes to facilitating these requests.

Virtual assistant bits can also save ample time for small business by handling these enquiries which are often communicated via social media or chat facilities on the website for a product/service.

Again, once implemented correctly, these chatbots can appear both convenient and helpful to customers without causing any reason for them to question the method of this communication.

Integrating Chatbots for Small Business

Every small business should know their target market and the various inquiries which are likely to arise during the sales or after sales process. In some instances, the business may require a limited amount of interaction and chatbots can be integrated without the assistance of a developer.

At the same time, for advanced chat bots or support which requires a great deal of personalization, there is always the option of employing a bot development team.

On the other hand, free bot software provides small businesses with the opportunity to create their own chatbot to enable maximum flexibility.

However, there is always a learning curve with new technology of any kind which is often the reason why a small business will opt for a developer team to create anything more advanced.

The Importance of Chatbots for a Small Business

Chatbots are increasingly important in a sense that they offer a ready-made solution to the common needs of a small business. Once implemented the right way, these chatbots can initiate helpful dialogue with customers and extract relevant information to help the business excel.

Contrary to popular belief, these messenger bots are also non-intrusive, and statistics show that most people are positive when it comes to the end-user experience.

Furthermore, chatbots save time and money for everyone involved, not to mention the fact that these smart computer programs are clearly capable of taking any small business to the next level.

Manage Small Business Expenses

If we try and analyze the reason behind failed small businesses expenses, very likely the factor that plays the biggest role as being ineffective is – expenses management.

Money is the most important part of any small business and in order to guarantee that your business survives long enough in the harsh and overly competitive market, is to make sure that your company usages available resources in an organized manner.

Small business owners must be aware of the different ways to allocate the available budgets so they can pay for different expenses. In the same manner, they must also figure out ways to cut  expenses where appropriate in order to increase the profit.

In this article we’ve decided to discuss the different ways in which small business owners can keep an eye on their expenses and categorize them.

1.   Keep Separate Accounts

One of the most important thing for small business owners to realize is that they have to keep their personal expenses separate from the expenses of the business. At first glance this sounds easy, but it is often a bit difficult to implement in practice.

The easiest way to do this? – Get two different bank accounts. Opening a separate account just for your business might seem to you like an extra expense on its own at first, but it will greatly help you in the long term.

A separate business account will also help you a lot with record keeping of the business. By keeping a separate business account, all of your business transactions will automatically be compiled at one place.

2.   Using Envoice to Manage Small Business Expenses

 

Keeping proper records and documentation for your small business expenses can save you a lot of trouble. No matter how small the expense, if it is related to your business, you must ask for a receipt and keep it in a separate file.

Also, if your business is related to the sale of any particular item, in that case you must issue invoices to your customers and keep a copy for your own record.

Envoice is a online invoicing software that can help you in generating customized invoices for your customer. The benefit of using our tool is that it automatically keeps a record of all the invoices that you issue to your clients.

If the revenue you generate is based solely on billable hours, Envoice has the option to attach documents to the issued invoice with the hours spent working. It has a robust invoicing feature that allows you to create custom invoices (add your business logo, for example), email them to your customers and accept online payments using PayPal, Stripe, Square etc. (see our full list of payment providers here).

Take Envoice for a test drive to check it out for yourself. You can use the tool for free during the first 15 days. After the trial ends, you will need to sign up for a paid subscription to continue using it. Plans start at $12 per month.

3.   Control Overhead Expenses

Controlling and monitoring overhead expenses is another very important step that many business owners fail to acknowledge on time. Overhead expenses can greatly reduce the efficiency of your small business model by overburdening it.

Small business owners often have a limited budget and they need to be sure that they are utilizing it in an effective way. Having a fancy office or aesthetically pleasing environment is something we all want,  but very often increases the overhead expenses and that won’t generate any revenue.

By using energy efficient devices and utilizing all the space available to you, you can significantly reduce your business expenses. Co-working space is also a nice concept for small businesses which can help in reducing these costs.

4.   Choose Organic and Low-Cost Marketing Techniques

When budgets are low, marketing might be the first of your expenses you look to cut.

We know that traditional advertising methods are costly and hard to measure. But, small businesses have never had greater access to cost-effective, trackable marketing tools.

Marketing is essential for any business to survive and thrive, but choosing the correct tailored marketing strategy is a must when you have a limited budget. One of the best marketing techniques for small businesses is email marketing.

Email marketing is the tried and true digital marketing channel with an average return of $38 for every $1 spent. Click To Tweet

Another saying worth mentioning is that even the best marketing in the world can’t save a bad product.

Meaning, your product should be able to advertise itself. The only way you can achieve this is by making it remarkably good in its initial phase, and subsequently in any other phases with constant improvements. This way your customers will end up recommending it to their friends and colleagues.

5. Use Prepaid Credit Cards to Organize Deductible Business Expenses

Prepaid credit cards are a very useful way to stay on top of business expenses. If you have a number of employees that incur travel and other business-related expenses, issuing them a prepaid credit card so they can pay for those expenses, would be a smart move.

There are a countless of benefits of using prepaid credit cards, such as:

–setting spending limits by person, expense category, merchant and time period;

–turning a card on or off at any time;

–being able to set alerts based on currency amount, type of expense, merchant etc.

By using prepaid credit cards access detailed spend reports that can be filtered by person, merchant or amount.

Prepaid debit cards are one amazing alternative to traditional bank accounts. A lot of them offer the same features as a checking account: online bill pay, mobile check deposit and direct deposit – without the overdraft fees.

The Balance website made a summary of the 7 best prepaid debit cards of 2019 analyzing their core features and perks (some even have sub-accounts with their own prepaid cards).

6. Utilize Business Credit Cards to Organize Deductible Business Expenses

Business credit cards are another potential way to streamline your business expenses.

In the same fashion as prepaid cards, you can have access to detailed reports that can be filtered by merchant, items purchased and credit card holder. You can even earn cash back on just about every purchase that you make.

Just some of the benefits of using business credit cards:

–setting up alerts for a specific dollar amount or type of purchase made

–detailed statements for each card available online to review at any time

–you can connect your credit card account to an invoicing software like Envoice, and get pay issued invoices fast and easy.

If you want to choose the best business credit card for your needs, a detailed list for 2019 has recently been published on The PoitsGuy.

7. Protect Your Business

Each small business requires its own level of protection, but you may want to consider getting an insurance or establishing an LLC or an S-Corp. Having an LLC or S-Corp allows you to separate your brand identity and finances from your personal finances.

Let say, if you ever had to undergo any legal issues, your personal property and assets would not be liable. So, make sure to renew any important certifications or licenses you need to remain compliant by adding it to your calendar.

Protecting your business is the best thing you can do for yourself to ensure any financial issues in the future may get affected by it and it doesn’t pour into your personal assets.

Make Stripe Invoice Envoice Integration

The small business industry has evolved from its humble roots. Professionals were and are still hired directly through one of several dedicated freelance platforms.

However, more and more people are jumping on a new trend and start their own small business. Choosing the path of entrepreneurship, and working on your small business idea, is without a doubt riskier than being content with holding a 9-5 job, but if you stay true to what you’ve imagined, it can be rewarding in countless of ways.

One of the core features of doing good business is making quality invoices to your customers. A client, customer or a receiving party require an official statement on what they are paying for and the easiest possible ways on how to do it.

Very often the payment process for your clients can often be a chore.

In this article we’ve decided to simplify to process on how to make Stripe invoice using our invoicing tool.

Make Stripe Invoice Using Envoice

As you probably already know at Envoice we can help you send online invoices for your goods and services and get paid instantly using a credit card, debit card, or online ready-to-use payment gateways like PayPal, Stripe, Square but to name a few.

When it comes to pricing, there are two key factors: fairness and simplicity. Click To Tweet You want straightforward, easy-to-digest pricing plans that are affordable enough to grow your business without impeding it.

Our pricing plans offer just that. We do not charge any fees for the transactions as they’re handled by the payment providers themselves.  

Speaking of Stripe, it offers a great pricing balance on their part, with a reasonable pay-as-you-go plan of 2.9% + $0.30 per valid card charge for all major credit cards including Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Discover, JCB and Diner’s Club – with no extra fee for international transactions, failed transactions or refunds.

There are no hidden or ongoing fees, set-up charge, or monthly maintenance fee. You just pay for the transactions when they happen. Fee reporting in real time is available, so you can keep solid track of where your business is at, right now.

By using our guidelines below you can help your customers and yourself alleviate the invoicing process by making invoices like a superhero in the future.

1. How Does Envoice Work with Stripe?

Envoice can automatically generate invoices for Stripe as your desired payment method and delivers them to your customers. There is no code needed.

It only takes a few minutes and couple of steps to integrate Stripe with Envoice and get paid.

Let us show you how you can do that in 3 easy steps:

Create New Invoice Draft

The first thing you need to do is simply create new invoice, provided you’ve already registered for your Envoice account. (if you don’t have an account, you can sign up here).

Make Stripe Invoice New Invoice

a. Adding Company Info & Logo Customization

To add/edit your or your company details, click on Edit my Profile and bank information. To save the details, click Save/Preview next to the Name, Country and Email Information.

Envoice will save your company info for future re-use and will automatically pre-populate it on every new invoice you generate next time.

 

Make sure to upload a logo. Invoices with logo are instantly recognizable and look more professional.

b. Invoice Terms & Billing

This section contains details about your client/customer. Envoice allows you to easily manage your clients from the My Clients section in the main panel view.

From there you can edit and add new clients, see total amounts of income generated from a particular client, number of invoices issued throughout the year and general client profile card.

Make Stripe Invoice Profile Cards

d. Item/Product Description

In the Summary Section you can insert full description of the services offer or work item and add price, quantity and tax which allows you to calculate the total amount that is going to be invoiced.

Make Stripe Invoice Products Summary

e. Currency option

This is the preferred currency which is used to charge your customer. Envoice uses the official ISO 4217 currency standard which specifies three-letter codes for currencies worldwide.

If you are receiving invoice payments with Stripe, the currency should also be supported by Stripe. You can find a list of all Stripe supported currencies here.

Make Stripe Invoice Currency Option

2. Connect with Stripe

In order to make Stripe invoice using our software, you need to connect your Envoice account with your Stripe account:

1. Login to your Envoice account

2. Go to Settings and click Connect with Stripe or alternatively got to Choose Your Type of Payment then click on Connect With a Payment Provider

Make Stripe Invoice Connect Button

3. You’ll be redirected to the Stripe website and asked to enter your Stripe credentials, then taken back to the Envoice’s website. And voila! – your Stripe account is connected with Envoice.

Make Stripe Invoice Redirect

3. Don’t Forget Your Customers

Now that you’ve connected Stripe as a payment provider for your services it’s time to get paid for your services.

There are 2 main ways for your customer to pay the issued invoice:

>>By sending them a payment link directly, they can open the link in their browser and pay your invoice with this link. Just click and paste to share your link. The invoice you create with Envoice is similar to the conventional paper-based invoice, but it is accessible online from any device at any time via a unique link.

Make Stripe Invoice Link

>>By “invoice-is-in-the-email” principle, meaning anyone with an email address can receive an itemized invoice from you. An automatic email is generated that reaches your client’s inbox.

This online invoice contains an embedded Pay button which allows your client to pay instantly with a card, in this case. The process is fast, secure, and error-free; and usually results in receiving payments within minutes of sending the invoice.

Allow your clients to conveniently pay you online through your customized invoice payment portal. They’ll be able to obtain all required details you included in your invoice for bank transfers.

Clients can also download their invoice in a PDF for their own accounting purposes.

It only takes a few minutes to get set-up with Envoice and Stripe. Try it today!

ecommerce-sales

Setting-up an eCommerce store is an excellent way to make money online. However, just setting it up is not enough; you need to undertake certain measures to boost your eCommerce sales. When we say certain measures we mean implying the knowledge and tactics to market your store and drive traffic and sales to that particular store.

We’ve compiled 7 strategies worth considering if your really want to take your eCommerce sales to the next level.

1.       Upsell Your Products

Upsell and cross-sell offers make an average of 10-30% of eCommerce sales. However, upselling on eCommerce sites is 20 times better than cross-selling. This is according to Econsultancy.

Two main things you should know about upselling are: relate your upsells to the original product and know the price range of your customers. The product that you are selling must fit the original needs of your customers. Bear in mind that your customers may not like being offered a higher product price, especially if they already have a certain price in mind. Make sure that the new product is indeed better than the original.

Encourage the customers to spend some more money to buy a better version, or an upgrade of the product they are buying.

A nice example is the way Apple sells iPads. The options in the red box are Apple’s attempt to persuade customers to buy an iPad.  

apple-upsell-ipad

For Apple is easy, we get it. For you we can suggest using some of the many Shopify upselling apps. The Shopify app store is a valuable resource if you are looking for a solution to boost up your eCommerce sales. Good news is that a lot of them are free like: Recover Cart Pusher, Kit, Smile.io. etc.

Spending $0 is not so bad if it means getting an immediate boost in sales, right?

2.       Paid Traffic

Have you considered paid traffic to quickly generate sales for your ecommerce store?

If done correctly, paid traffic can really increase your eCommerce sales. People will tell you that it is expensive and that you will spend a lot of money without any results. Very often, those people who have failed with paid traffic have made some common beginner’s mistakes.

We have several advices that you need to know about paid traffic:

  • Spend small amounts of money just to scan and test the situation. There is no need to spend a lot of money just to see if this concept is right for you.
  • Have multiple campaigns and multiple ad variations. Never spend all your money on one ad variation.

Facebook, for example, is one of the most effective marketing method available, in many cases much better than your own website or email lists. However, paid traffic can come from more than just Facebook, though. Just some of the big ones:

  • Display ads, appearing on the side of the page;
  • Paid search like Google AdWords or Bing Ads;
  • Social media ads, the sponsored content that appears in your Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook feeds;
  • Sponsored content — a type of content marketing aimed at specific targeted audience;
  • Influencer marketing —  where certain social media influencer promotes your product or brand to their audience thus driving bigger eCommerce sales for your brand;

You must know who your target customers are. Always tend to understand the needs of your customers. We will elaborate on targeting your customers in more detail in the next item.

3.        Target your customers

The key is to target your customers as wisely as possible.

You cannot treat all your customers equally. Identify the most valuable types of visitors to your website and keep showing them the right content on important pages in order to keep their attention. Showing your ads to the right people will increase the sales on your eCommerce site.

Try to focus your efforts on customer retention instead of customer acquisition.

This is important, because unlike the new customers and customers who will make only one purchase on your page, loyal customers add more items to their shopping carts, they have higher conversion rate and they will definitely generate more revenue with every visit to your page.

In the picture above, we can see how the loyal customers affect an eCommerce site.

Let’s get one thing straight, having new customers is not a bad thing. On the contrary, it’s great; however, that is a more expensive strategy. Focusing on your existing customers is more cost-efficient, because they are already acquainted with your products and familiar with your brand.

A good idea is creating a customer loyalty programme which will motivate the customers to spend more money.

4.    Increase eCommerce traffic with social media

Using the big platforms for social media marketing such as Facebook or Instagram can help you generate sales.

Facebook Exchange is Facebook’s proprietary platform advertising service for desktop users where online advertisers place ads on the Facebook sidebar or directly on the users’ timeline. This platform is very effective in reducing shopping cart abandonment.

Facebook Exchange leaves a cookie on the user’s computer when they visit some page on your site. Let’s say the user adds a certain product to the shopping cart, but doesn’t buy it. A cookie will be left on their computer which will alert Facebook to show an ad on the user’s timeline which is to motivate them to complete the order.

With approximately 800 million active users monthly, Instagram is a fantastic place to skyrocket your eCommerce sales. Instagram gives brands 25% more engagement than any other social media platform. In fact, Instagram announced that they are establishing a team of 50 persons who will focus on the eCommerce features for the app.

Engage with your users by running campaigns and contests, use the right hashtags and filters and post at the right times. This will increase the number of followers on Instagram.

instagram-ad-campaigns

5.       Use video demonstrations to display popular items

Images are good, but they don‘t guarantee sales. If you want to boost your eCommerce sales, you need to add more details in your item presentation. Prepare promotional videos where you are going to display your best items. This may take some time, but videos will increase your sales and conversion rates.

Making videos for your products does not have to be complicated. However, if you want your videos to look great, ask a professional to make them for you.

live-video-engagement

Customers love videos and they spend more time on pages that contain videos which increase their engagement and interest in what you are selling. Customers are more likely to remember what they watched rather than reading about it, because videos provide better explanation about the product.

6.    Optimize your site for mobile devices

Ecommerce does not mean that customers are solely shopping from their computers. In practice, they do most of their online shopping on their mobile phones and tablets.

A research shows that 40% of the mobile users have purchased something online from their devices. Therefore, if you want to increase the eCommerce sales on your website, optimized it for mobile devices. Otherwise, there is a chance you will experience a decline in sales.

Even better idea is to build a mobile app for your site.

Check out these numbers:

app-vs-mobile-site

Notice that customers prefer apps compared to mobile websites.

Optimizing your website for mobile eCommerce will improve your customers’ experience on your website. Find the way to focus on the needs of the customers. And what do customers actually need? They need:

  • Personalization
  • Speed
  • Benefits
  • Entertainment
  • Convenience, etc.

Implementing the aforesaid items will get you increased sales.

7.       Discounts, discounts, discounts

Offering discounts is never a bad idea, if you want to increase the number of visits on your eCommerce website. Discounts will improve the loyalty and lifetime value of your customers.

Just do the old and simple trick, raise the base price of the products and put it on sale.

Or, provide a discount for customers who will decide to purchase a more expensive option rather than a cheaper one.

discount-example

Discount can also persuade people who have abandoned their carts to complete their purchase.

This is a great opportunity to implement exit offers. No matter how good your eCommerce store is built and looking, there will always be people who will think that a certain product is too expensive.

So, when the customer tries to leave your store, you can make a special offer or a discount pop-up that will try to convince the customer to buy the product.

Wrap-up

Bear in mind that the customers must be comfortable entering their personal information and credit card numbers on your website and you have to provide that comfort.

Always try to find new and creative ways to market products and services on your eCommerce site. Give yourself a couple of weeks to try all of these tricks and tactics and then evaluate, analyze and figure out which one of them is best for your business and will yield best results.

Electronic commerce or eCommerce is barely a new concept, but it has expanded rapidly over the past five years resulting in businesses increasingly using eCommerce marketing tools to increase their sales and make lives easier for their customers.

eCommerce is a term which denotes any type of business, or commercial transaction which includes transfer of information across the World Wide Web. eCommerce uses technologies such as electronic funds transfer, mobile commerce, supply chain management, Internet marketing, electronic data interchange (EDI), inventory management systems, online transaction processing, and automated data collection systems.

Without using fancy words it simply means commercial transactions conducted online whenever you buy and sell something using the Internet.

The secret to eCommerce great performance is not only building successful online eCommerce store, but also getting your products out there and see how they perform. To do this marketers and business use different eCommerce marketing tools and sources to improve their sales and start selling their products cost-effectively.

Below is a list of 7 eCommerce marketing tools you can find very helpful in your mission of achieving higher sales.

1.      Envoice

The company behind Envoice utilizes knowledge, creativity and technologies to provide your business with progressive solutions making it an amazing eCommerce marketing tool. Its main purpose is to research and deliver high quality products and software solutions.

Envoice is automated invoicing software for online businesses. It significantly simplifies your invoicing processes and enables you to quickly and easily generate and deliver invoices to your clients. As a result, you get paid faster than ever.

envoice-ecommerce-marketing-tools

Using this software is easy and with it, you can create and send invoices in less than a minute. The system also predicts your next invoices based on client history. Product’s design makes navigation seamless.

You can easily attach files to your invoice via integrations with Google Drive and Dropbox. Envoice also includes tracking features which will help you monitor your invoices, get notifications about updates and reminders for due invoices. There is also a reporting tool via which you can see how much you have earned.

envoice-ecommerce-marketing-tools-integration

Envoice integrates with Razorpay, Stripe, Payoneer, PayPal, WePay, Klik & Pay and Square which provides your clients with an option to settle their invoices with a click of a button after they have read them.

Other Envoice features include:

  • Super-Fast Invoicing
  • Custom Invoices
  • Accept Payments Online Via Credit/Debit Card
  • Custom Branding
  • Multiple Tax Settings
  • Templates And Help Content
  • Data Security, etc.

2.       GetResponse

GetResponse is an email marketing app which automates your emails sent to your subscribers via the use of ‘autoresponders. It can also import and host a mailing list, capture data, create e-newsletters with the possibility to be sent to your mailing subscribers list, view and analyze statistics related to your email marketing campaigns and many more.

Use this eCommerce marketing tool’s services to promote the products of your business without the necessary  technology background. Getresponse is a very attractive app with extra features at low price.

getresponse-ecommerce-marketing-tools-dashboard

Its powerful features and tools will improve the effectiveness and results of your email marketing campaigns. For example:

  • Create amazing emails. Optimized on any device enabling your campaigns to reach people who are on their smartphones and tablets more than their desktops with easy-to-use email creator.
  • Create a subscriber list. If you want to create a relatively small contact list, simply enter or copy and paste the email addresses. For larger lists, upload file types or connect to third-party services, such as Zendesk, Google, Salesforce, etc. If you want to import your list, run it through a partner service called BriteVerify which will remove the invalid email addresses.
  • Create campaigns. By using two tools use the Email Creator tool that includes hundreds of templates, and if you want to use your own code, use HTML tool.
  • All your campaigns are displayed in one place. Here, you can view useful information such as how many contacts received your email and how many of them actually opened it.
  • Campaign tracking tool. Integrates with Google Analytics and thus GetResponse makes it very simple for you to find contact information, view the campaign history and the open and click-through rates.

getresponse-ecommerce-marketing-tools-integration

3.       Shippo

Shippo is a shipping platform that greatly simplifies the eCommerce processes. This API platform is intended for eCommerce businesses and platforms that integrate shipping with major carrier service providers such as:

  • FedEx
  • UPS
  • DHL
  • Magento
  • Canada Post
  • Bigcommerce
  • Ontrac, etc.

Shippo enables the users to ship out their orders with no effort and with minimal risk and cost locally and globally.

Shippo charges per shipment and in that manner it differs from the other shipping software that charge users a flat monthly rate, which makes this eCommerce marketing tool an excellent option for smaller merchants.

With Shippo, companies can customize their shipping processes based on their requirements and specifications. As a result, they get resulting efficient shipping processes, faster delivery of orders, and great customer satisfaction.

Another good thing about Shippo is its customer service, where a real person will address your issue in only a few hours.

Shippo sends tracking and email notifications to the clients and helps them monitor the location of their shipments and the estimated time of arrival. If you ship out large quantities with Shippo, you get discount.

4.       Cyfe

Having a good control over your data can help you run successful business and drive higher sales. One of the eCommerce marketing tools that can help you in this is Cyfe.

Cyfe is a comprehensive, all-in-one dashboard app that helps you monitor and analyze data spread across the online services such as Google Analytics and Salesforce.

With Cyfe, users can create interactive and custom dashboards through pre-built and custom widgets. Users can share the dashboards with their clients, management, associates and other users via public URLs, scheduled reports and Cyfe accounts. We recommend Cyfe for companies working with large and complex software architectures.

Cyfe’s data processing system provides detailed insights on your web analytics, SEM, SEO, social media profiles, email marketing channels, etc.

cyfo-ecommerce-marketing-tools-dashboard

As Cyfe contains a lot of useful dashboards, there is also a possibility for monitoring multiple websites at once.

cyfo-ecommerce-marketing-tools-data-collection

Cyfo contains a lot of pre-built widgets that help the users collect data from commonly used services. The users can easily export and import data from every system or application thanks to Cyfe’s numerous integrations.

The TV mode, which is another Cyfo feature, makes a great tool for meetings because you can automatically rotate dashboards on a big screen monitor.

Some of the other Cyfo’s features include:

  • Automatic email reports
  • Branded reports for clients
  • Custom data sources
  • Multiple sharing options
  • Real-time reports
  • Unlimited users and dashboards, etc.

5.  Shopify

One of the leading platforms in the eCommerce area, and maybe the easiest to use tool for your online store, is Shopify. It is an online platform for all forms of eCommerce which allows you to organize your online store and sell all kinds of goods and services. Shopify also contains tools for offline retail.

Using Shopify is very easy. You just need to sign up and the Shopify’s wizard will lead you through the whole process of building your eCommerce store.

shopify-ecommerce-marketing-tools-dashboard

Shopify provides many advantages and benefits for individuals and businesses who want to start their online stores, such as:

  • You can set up your online store by choosing from the many professionally designed themes. There are over 100 optimized online store designs.
  • As Shopify hosts your store, you don’t have to worry about the maintenance and running of the online store, because the software keeps your servers secure and updated
  • Easy and quick import of catalogues
  • 24/7 customer support, etc.

Shopify features include:

  • Web-based website builder
  • Customer profiles, accounts and groups
  • Your own domain name
  • Multiple languages
  • Mobile commerce ready
  • 70 payment gateways
  • Order fulfillment
  • Analytics, etc.

6.       MailChimp

One of the fastest growing email marketing providers in the past years is MailChimp. It is a popular email marketing service that offers plans for small and developing enterprises.

MailChimp offers low-cost plans that are ideal for startups, as well as business-enhancing analytical features and technology tools that enable users to easily and accurately contact their clients and potential customers, market their products and services.

MailChimp has great features and an easy-to-use interface which make it an excellent choice for sending a family newsletter to few people or a professional marketing campaign to thousands of people.It holds the top spot for email marketing software due to its high success rate for email delivery.

You can create segmented lists or send your email to partial lists with MailChimp. Import names and email addresses in bulk, enter individual entries, create a form, or connect MailChimp to another contact app. Similar to other online marketing systems, this eCommerce marketing tool integrates with CRM and contact management systems and you can tie your email campaigns to the customer activities.

Due to its flexibility in campaign creation, responsive list-management system and high delivery success rate, MailChimp is one of the best email marketing software applications.

MailChimp integrates with Google Analytics which provides insightful stats on how your email campaigns impact your website traffic and online sales.

The developers constantly update MailChimp, and therefore it has many features among which are:

  • Email Designer
  • Multi-User Accounts
  • Segmentation and Groups
  • Spam Filter Diagnostics
  • Email Client Testing
  • MailChimp Editor
  • Social Sharing and many more.

7.     DrumUp

DrumUp is an easy-to-use and an all-in-one platform for discovering and sharing content. It connects with LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter accounts and does all the heavy lifting for you in terms of mining the web for contents in real time. It uses advanced algorithms to recommend new content and stories that companies want to share with their audiences.

DrumUp has features such as:

• queue calendar
• analytics
• content library
• drumup employee advocacy platform
• url shortener

This tool’s content discovery engine uses keywords. First, you need to register your account on the application and add all the social media profiles that you want to manage. Next, enter the keyword on which you want to focus your content. This way, you are able to personalize the content recommendations which give you excellent results.

drumup-ecommerce-marketing-tools-settings

When you come across a relevant or interesting article or story for your audience, you share it simply with a click of the button, and you have two options for sharing: automatically select a time for the article to post, and manual scheduling of the post.

The best part about DrumUp as an eCommerce marketing tool is that you can save precious time and effectively manage your social media presence.

Wrap-up

There are many eCommerce marketing tools that will help you drive higher sales.

The list of 7 eCommerce marketing tools above will definitely help you in that endeavor. Try several of them; spend some time to see which one works best for you and your business. Choose the tool that best suits your needs and exploit its benefits and advantages.

What happens when you send an email to your clients as part of your email marketing campaign? What is their next action when they see your email? Do they just delete it without opening it? Do you know your click-through rates (CTR)? What about your click-to-open rates (CTOR)?

Surely, you never start an email marketing campaign with an intention to fail, but it happens more often than not. One thing you have to focus on is to cleverly write your marketing emails copy so that you make your clients want to open your emails and interest them in what you have to offer and say to them.  

The best tactics in lead generation is to attract readers’ curiosity by taking care of their time and, at the same time, offer them something insightful and informative.

Sad reality is, most people will definitely and immediately delete your marketing emails. Question is – why would people delete your emails without even opening them? Let’s focus on some of the most important things that make for great CTORs percentage and, ultimately, potential leads converted into customers.

Subject line

The first thing that a client sees when they receive an email is the subject of the email. Nailing the subject line should steal your client’s attention. It must be interesting and intriguing and awaken recipient’s interest in wanting to open the email.

There are several things we need to take into account when writing a good and catchy subject line:

Use actionable language. This does not always mean that you should rely on verbs, although using verbs in the subject of your email is always helpful. For example, you can use  action verbs such as: buy, get, download, take, etc., so the reader knows what they can do or expect in the email.

On the other hand, using actionable language without relying on the verbs gives you more space for word play, which makes it clear to the reader what they can do with the information in the email, should they decide to open it.

Use personalized subject line. You should do this whenever possible. If your email list is more segmented, you will be more able to personalize the subject and provide more relevant content to that email recipient.

-Align the subject line with your whole email. The readers should get what they are promised in the subject. This is a very responsible thing to do and, if this is not the case, than your click-through rates will drastically fall and so will your email open rates.

BuzzFeed is a great example. They always have amazing subject lines and preview text. Their subject lines are short ant effective and fit perfectly with the rest of their content.

 

 

Another very important element in your email marketing campaign is your subscriber list. Make sure your subscriber list is continuously increasing. Putting a sign-up feature on your website can significantly help you with this. Your home page or blog page should contain a subscription form but try to separate it from the main content.

An excellent example for this is Digital Fire’s home page where the sign-in box hovers over the page and follows you as you scroll. It is not annoying and it simply explains the value of subscribing to their email list.

 

Personalized language

Going deeper into the structure of the used language, write emails in the second person. By writing this way, use pronouns such as you, your and yours which put emphasis on the reader, not yourself i.e. your brand. Personalizing your approach makes your audience feel at home.

If you take a look at the email from Zappos below, you will notice that you and your appear 12 times. On the other hand, words like we, our and we’re appear only 5 times. 

 

 

This way, the focus is kept on the customer and helps you stay value-oriented.

When you write your marketing campaign email, talk about the benefits, not the features. You must get your client acquainted with the value of your email. Therefore, explain the benefit of what you are offering, not the features.

Simplicity

Keep it brief and simple. Do not try to include your entire story in your email. Not everyone reads all the words contained in an email copy. Include only the important points.

Uber’s emails are an example of simplicity. Their subscribers are informed on promotions and deals with emails like the one below. The initial description is brief with a clear call-to-action, and it is perfect for people who are quickly browsing the email.

 

 

Structure and cartoons

Include bullet points so the readers can identify the important points. Also, including pictures and cartoons to illustrate your message is another good idea.

Thanks to a pair of whimsical cartoons and an emoticon, Dropbox made its “come back to us!” email cute and funny. The email was short and emphasized the message reminding the reader that the brand still exists.

 

Politeness in email marketing campaign

Being polite never gets out of fashion. Your marketing emails should not only inform, they should also make the readers feel good and want open your next email. Having a solid relationship with your readers will very likely guarantee further cooperation and success with your email marketing campaign.

In the example below, Death to Stock sent an email to the clients in order to apologize for a certain email they had sent before where they promoted a product that was sold out very quickly, it could not be shipped internationally and many of the customers had bad experience.

 

 

You can see that they are using a pleasant and concise language, apologize for the mistake, accept the responsibility, say that they have learned from the mistake and that they will try not to repeat it again.

Composed in this way, their email is optimized for the large number of recipients. Notice the one-sentence paragraphs and bold text. This makes the reader follow the text more easily. The phrase “Give us a wavvveeee” adds personality and humanizes the brand.

Call-to-action (CTA)

We all are aware that more clicks potentially mean more customers. When compiling your email, always try to include interesting links and calls-to-action. You can do that by including buttons with text will give your readers more chances to interact (e.g., Visit us!, Download now! Find out more!, Book now!, etc.)

Here’s an example from an Airbnb’s event promotion email as part of an email marketing campaign:

 

Optimization & Testing

If your goal is to have as many clicks as possible, then you should make your emails mobile friendly. Optimize your emails for viewing on mobile phones and tablets.

Now that you have finished writing your email marketing campaign, don’t send emails immediately without making sure it’s working properly. Always double-check your messages and see if they look the way you want them to look before you send them. There are several tools where you can test your emails, such as: Outlook.com and Litmus. The second is a tool that provides more robust testing and screenshots of your email in various email tools.

 

 

Do not risk sending your emails without double checking the content. You may look unprofessional.

Unsubscribe made easy

Of course some subscribers will want to unsubscribe from your email list. Make the unsubscribe option an easy one. Otherwise, if the subscriber can’t remove their name from your email list easily, there is a chance they will flag your emails as spam which means problems for you in the future.

HireVue has an automated unsubscribe email subject that states “Saying goodbye is never easy to do… So, we thought we’d give you a chance to rethink things”. It is an excellent guilt-free message with funny images and a great call-to-action button. The design is brilliant.

 

Conclusion

Considering all that has been said above, writing an effective email marketing campaign is not a simple process. It is a combination of good planning and analyzing data. There are many aspects that need to be taken into account, if you want to have a successful campaign.

Remember to put the focus on the clients and build the entire email body on that. Be present, but don’t overwhelm your clients. The best way to learn is by trial, error and repeating. Eventually your efforts will be awarded with more clients coming your way.  

Old clock time management tools

The old saying “Time is money” has never been more true about today’s hectic reality of leading our busy schedules. Therefore, time management tools come in very handy these days, especially if you want to succeed in your work and further develop your professional career.

There are many applications and tools that can help you organize your work and personal life, in general and, of course, boost your productivity at the same time.

We’ve come up with a list of top 10 ten time management tools that are easy to use and that can take your your work efficiency to a whole new level of organizing yourselves.

1. Mind 42

 

Mind 42 is a collaborative browser-based online mind mapping tool that you can use to create mind maps in structured diagrams on your computer. This tool will help you visualize your thinking in a meaningful way. With it, you can organize your events, manage your ideas, create to-do lists, which result in better time management and higher productivity.


Mind 42 is a classical desktop application which you can launch in your browser. It is private, but you can share your method of thinking publically.

Its main features include:

  • exporting projects to Mind Manager, FreeMind, Mind 42 XML and PDF
  • managing time with its organizational tools
  • having productive and unique output
  • automatically saving your work in Google Drive

Mind 42 is a free tool.

2. Toggl

 

Toggl is a cloud-based time tracking application which helps you with your project management. It is an excellent tool for freelancers and small business holders alike. It has very simple functionalities. It can track time from anywhere on the Web via its browser extension. Users can export timesheets and email reports to customers or superiors.

With Toggl, you can have a complete overview of your team’s work. You can see who works on what tasks, how long a certain task takes, how many hours are spent, etc. You can monitor whether your project is within or over the budget. Basically, this application contains everything you need to plan your time and resources. Mobile applications are available for Android and iOS.

It has four levels of service. The first level is free and you get all basic features such as: time-tracking, idle detection, the ability to edit time tracked, the ability to work offline, to create as many projects and clients as you need, and more. It integrates with other tools such as Asana, Trello, Basecamp, etc.

3. Hubstaff

 

Hubstaff is another time tracking application for Windows, Mac, Linux, Chromebook, iOS, and Android. This time management tool helps companies effectively manage the productivity and workflow of their teams. Hubstaff has numerous features and it is excellent for the employers as well as the employees.

Its features include:

  • Time Tracking
  • Screenshots
  • Activity Levels
  • Automatic Payroll
  • Advanced Reporting
  • Hourly Employee Tracking
  • Mobile Apps

With Hubstaff, you can put all your projects and all the teams that you manage in one account and organize them on a project basis.

Hubstaff also takes random images of the screen during working hours and measures mouse and keyboard activities. It can support online invoicing models like the one we offer at Envoice so you can invoice your clients for the time tracked or the job done.

 4. Trello

 

When we talk about time management tools, Trello is one of the highest ranking tools available on the market that will help you organize your time and substantially boost your and your team’s productivity.

Trello is an online, collaborative workspace that is very simple to use. It operates on the principle of boards and cards. Boards correspond to the projects and card to various tasks.

Some Trello features include:

  • drag and drop functionality
  • in-line editing
  • checklists, with progress meter
  • easy uploading of files and attachments
  • data filtering
  • deadline reminders
  • easy organization with tags, labels and categories.

In terms of technical details, Trello is supported on Windows, Android, iPhone/iPad, Mac as well as it is web-based. They also have an amazing blog which is a must for everyone interested in getting useful tips on productivity.  

5. Wrike

 

Wrike is the winner of Finances online best project management software award for 2017.

Wrike will provide you with flexibility which will improve your speed and efficiency. As a time management tool, it provides collaboration of various groups and completion of tasks from a single location.

It has user friendly navigation and high level of security which means that no one without an authorization can access your databases.

Some of Wrike features include:

  • interactive timeline (Gantt chart)
  • document collaboration
  • task prioritization
  • discussions in tasks
  • workload management
  • time-tracking

Wrike as time management tool also offers integration with other tools such as Google Docs, Dropbox, SalesForce, Slack, and Adobe Creative Cloud and offers open API.

6. Asana

 

 

Asana is a cloud-based solution that is rated very highly among time and project management tools. If you have a team or a company, this tool will help you organize and manage tasks and projects in a seamless manner.

Asana can be accessed on Android and iOS smartphones, laptops and tablets. Your team’s communication and collaboration will be significantly simplified with Asana and you can use it to create projects and tasks within the existing projects. The important thing is after the initial set-up, there is no need to use e-mail or other apps for corporate communication.

There are many ways in which you can benefit from Asana. For instance, it enables you to prioritize daily tasks, create, categorize, and schedule projects, track the status of your tasks and projects.

A very interesting detail about this tool is the smart inbox. The users will receive only important messages and updates.

Some of Asana features include the following:

  • automatic updates to email/inbox
  • email bridge
  • multiple workspaces
  • activity feed
  • real-time updates
  • track tasks and add followers

Asana integrates perfectly with systems such as: Harvest, WordPress, Wufoo, Usernap, Google Drive, Dropbox, Slack, and many more.

7. TimeCamp

 

TimeCamp combines features like time tracking, invoicing and billing.This app will assist you in tracking attendance, calculating billable tasks, creating invoices, time management etc.

What distinguishes TimeCamp from other time tracking apps is the reporting. You can choose from 5 types of reports which you can share, filter, or export. As a time management tool, TimeCamp provides automated tracking of computer usage and generates productivity analyses for each employee.

You can send emails about completed work, productive hours and lists of time-consuming websites. In a nutshell, TimeCamp helps you improve project budgeting, has automatic time tracking for employees and sends detailed reports on particular projects.

We must also mention that TimeCamp has an amazing customer support service. You can contact the experienced professionals who are ready to answer your questions any time, from every device.

8. Replicon

 

Replicon is a cloud based time tracking and expense management platform that is very easy to set up and requires no training. There is no need of installing additional hardware and with its flexible client management and billing features, you will be able to manage your employees more effectively.

In terms of the benefits, features and strengths of the product, Replicon has timesheets that capture billable hours accurately and your billing process will be easier with the time approval system.

Another useful feature coming from this time management tool is the professional service automation that will give you many time tracking options. Replicon helps you easily manage your customer and project portfolios. With the Payroll Management feature you can easily manage employee statistics in terms of absences, leaves etc.

Replicon makes it very easy to monitor different project levels and the real time access to all the details makes the process much easier and clearer. One of the best advantages of this tool is its transparency.

9. Gqueues

 

At first glance, Gqueues looks very basic and resembles the classic pen and paper task organizer. It is very popular among users of time management tools.

Gqueues is available as a desktop website program and as a mobile app. In this app you can create tasks and assign due dates; create task categories. You can also share your task lists with other.

The modus operandi of this time management tool is simple. You create a task and after that task is completed it is checked off the list and moved to an archived list. With Gqueues, your tasks will be better organized through a system of categories, queues, and tagging.

Gqueues integrates perfectly with Google apps including Google Calendar, Google Drive and Gmail.

10. RescueTime

 

Do you want to improve your productivity and efficiency? Do you want to get your work done without being distracted? RescueTime is a tool that enables all these things and even more. It is a time management and productivity app that works mostly behind the scenes and it tracks, measures and automatically categorizes your activity.

RescueTime monitors the websites and applications you use and how much time you spend on them. This tool helps you work smarter and you can improve your productivity by setting goals which will help you stay focused and keep on track of work. You can monitor your progress via the dashboard with detailed reports that show you the amount of time spent on various websites, applications and documents.

RescueTime has additional features that will block distracting websites for certain periods of time and track offline activity such as meetings, calls, or commuting.

Conclusion

None of us can afford to waste time. In business, as well as in everyday life, getting things done on time is very important. Deadlines can put a lot of pressure on us which can affect our work to a great extent.

If you have problems organizing your time or tasks, do not hesitate to use one or more of the time management tools mentioned in this post. That way you will greatly facilitate your work, improve your functionality and most importantly your productivity.