Marketing your online business translates to a lot more than just answering emails and writing product descriptions.
You have to be able to do all your marketing, move your products out to various streams and figure out what keywords are most effective at getting the attention of shoppers and search engines alike. You can’t do it alone, but there are plenty of great resources (both affordable and even free) that are designed to help business owners just like you get the job done.
Here are a few to make sure you have in your marketing arsenal:
Google Analytics. No matter what anyone tells you, there’s no better way to figure out how effective your keywords are or which information is getting the most engagement on your site than with Google Analytics. Although Google Analytics can provide an overwhelming amount of information to beginners, you can check easily find most answers and “how-tos” online.
Email Tools. For direct email marketing, you will want to look into an easy-to-use, small-business-friendly service such as Constant Contact or MailChimp. Not only are these tools highly affordable, but they also allow you to craft a professional-looking newsletter or email blast without hiring a designer. Have a quick promo? Send an email. Want to let your customers know what’s new in your store? Tell them easily and efficiently with email. Some of these services are free for up to a certain number of subscribers on your list, and will always provide you with a certain amount of email automation when configured properly, freeing you up for other tasks.
Crazy Egg. Did you ever wish you had insight into what your web visitors are looking at on your site? Crazy Egg’s heat maps are exactly that and more. Not only will you see where visitors hover, click and how deeply they scroll, Crazy Egg can tell you where visitors are coming from and which ones are doing what on your site. The potential insights with this tool are nearly limitless.
HootSuite. Managing and automating your social media just got easier with HootSuite. Instead of tracking your individual accounts in multiple tabs, you can see them all on your dashboard and add posts to single or multiple accounts in one motion. Businesses of all sizes building social media presences will love how easily it is to streamline their efforts with tools such as HootSuite.
Press This. This little plug-in has saved business owners time and frustration for years by simplifying the way they capture and repost interesting tidbits to their WordPress blogs. Without even having to log into WordPress, Press This can capture links, text, images or video from anywhere on the internet and post it to your blog. It’s a handy little tool that you’ll quickly find becomes totally indispensable.
Trello. The organizationally-impaired will love this organizational tool. By utilizing lists and cards, your “to do” lists, workflows and processes can be broken down into actionable steps that ensure orders and deadlines never fall through the cracks. Trello (and others like it) are flexible tools that are handy for a wide range of industries and applications.
Handling your own order fulfillment and product distribution means having powerful tools at your fingertips. As your business grows, many of these tools will grow with you and when you reach a point that you’re ready to partner with a 3PL company, they can easily integrate with larger inventory control and eCommerce solutions.