The Ecommerce Influence Podcast: Advanced Acquisition and Retention Strategies for Fast-Growing Online Brands

Craig Dalton grew award-winning iPad case manufacturer DODOcase well past 7 figures very quickly by timing product launches with major events, and he teaches you how you can do the same.

DODOcase is a San Francisco-based maker of protective cases for the Apple iPad that have the look and feel of a luxury, hardcover notebook.

Their philosophy is simple, make things locally and help keep the art of bookbinding alive by adapting it to a world of tablets and e-readers.

Within just a few months of launching they were able to sell over 15,000 cases without a big budget to develop, market, and promote their products and primarily through the timing of product launches with major events.

In 2010, they entered Shopify’s “Build a Business” competition and were the grand prize winners of $100,000.

With a $680 million dollar market for iPad cases they have huge opportunity to be the number one quality brand for this segment of the carrying case market, and today Craig’s going to chat with us about what they’ve been doing to on their quest to $10million plus in revenue.

 

Topics Discussed Throughout this Interview

  • How DODOcase came into being and why predicting the trends helped them create a super successful niche.
  • Using Craigslist street teams to help them successfully get the launch they needed.
  • The power of using launches to build organic PR for products.
  • Craig’s thoughts on Shopify and why they’ve stuck with it.
  • What DODOcase does for email marketing that is working so well.
  • Social media marketing, what Craig likes and dislikes when coming up with ideas.
  • Capitalizing on the Google's launch of Google Cardboard (Craig's already sold 13,000 units) and how you can duplicate the process for your business.
  • How Craig suggests doing PR outreach (that actually works).

 

Links Mentioned

  • craig [at] dodocase.com

 

Thank You For Listening & A Simple Request

To get more awesome Ecommerce Influence content sent directly to your device and into your ears as they become available, you can subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher!

Also, ratings and reviews on iTunes (hopefully 5-stars!) help us tremendously a we’re very grateful for them. We do read all of the reviews and we’ll answer your questions or comments on future episodes.

Cheers,

Austin & Chad!  

 

Follow on Twitter:

Direct download: EI031_Craig_Dalton.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am CST

The use of native advertising in ecommerce is growing at an exponential rate, and so are the returns.

The best part about native advertising is that your competition is most likely not doing it, or doing it completely wrong, giving you the advantage if you take action now.

Native advertising in ecommerce is the future of advertising so pay attention to this episode and don't get left behind.

Topics Discussed Throughout This Interview

  • Some unbelievable native advertising statistics.
  • What exactly is native advertising and where do you find it?
  • What native advertising in ecommerce is NOT.
  • We cover some examples and how it can be effectively utilized.
  • The biggest distinction between traditional ads and native advertising.
  • How to create a successful native advertising campaign.
  • Biggest mistakes when using native advertising in ecommerce.
  • Case Studies on native advertising campaigns we've found that work.
  • How to make native advertising work in ecommerce.

Links/Resources

 

Thank You For Listening & A Simple Request

To get more awesome Ecommerce Influence content sent directly to your device and into your ears as they become available, you can subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher!

Also, ratings and reviews on iTunes (hopefully 5-stars!) help us tremendously a we’re very grateful for them.

We do read all of the reviews and we’ll answer your questions or comments on future episodes.

Cheers, Austin & Chad!  

Follow on Twitter:

Direct download: EI030_CC_Native_Advertising.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am CST

Amy Africa is the CEO of EightByEight Marketing has been in the forefront of web usability studies, web design improvement, and successful e-commerce for over 15 years.

She is one of the best web marketers today because she combines incredible direct marketing skills with proven web techniques and some contrarian ecommerce strategies, getting her hired by 92% of fortune 500 companies.

Amy has been widely published in industry magazines and e-zines. She’s an engaging, entertaining speaker, and has been featured at web conferences around the globe. Her depth of knowledge, backed by intensive field-testing and web user studies, has earned her the reputation of "a voice to be heard" on Internet topics ranging from site improvement, traffic building and SEO to analytics and email marketing.

Amy has pioneered many successful web marketing initiatives in navigation, email marketing, shopping carts and abandoned carts that are making her clients much more profitable.

The best part? She chats with us while on her private plane from the east coast to California.

Topics Discussed Throughout This Interview:

  • Start focusing on adoption to cart NOT cart abandonment.
  • Why you need to stop focusing on selling only online, start incorporating the phone to help online sales. It’s all about finding the easiest ways to create the largest profit.
  • Sell where people want to be sold.
  • Understand why and begin to implement the mobile to desktop shopping cart transfer.
  • The importance of navigation.
  • Why you can't treat mobile and tablets as the same thing when analyzing your business and customers.
  • The "buy or die" abandon cart email strategy.
  • The biggest ecommerce problem to avoid in 2014.
  • Why conversion rate is an overrated metric and what metrics you should be focusing on.
  • The type of emails that are working best for Amy’s clients.
  • The 4 types of triggered email sequences to implement for the best results.
  • How to find the "rat stuck in your snake".
  • Using search on your site to help you sell more - "search is indicative of propensity to buy".
  • Be willing to "sell your soul to the devil" to capture emails.
  • Why you need to email more and ride out the "unsubscribe wave".
  • Work your navigation like crazy.
  • Creating a shopping cart that is user-based, not one-size fits all.
  • Focus on evolutionary, not revolutionary when it comes to your site.

 

Links/Resources:

  • AmyAfrica.com
  • EightbyEight.com
  • info [at] amyafrica.com

 

Thank You For Listening & A Simple Request

To get more awesome Ecommerce Influence content sent directly to your device and into your ears as they become available, you can subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher!

Also, ratings and reviews on iTunes (hopefully 5-stars!) help us tremendously a we’re very grateful for them. We do read all of the reviews and we’ll answer your questions or comments on future episodes.

Cheers,

Austin & Chad!

Follow on Twitter:

Direct download: EI029_Amy_Africa_Long_Intro_Bleeped.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am CST

We've all done it at some point so no gets a free pass, but it's time for you, once and for all, to stop copying your competitors!

Jeff Bezos once said,"Don't focus on the competition, they'll never give you money."

We know that many listeners, including ourselves, have at one point copied some of our competitors website navigation, their design, copy, conversion tactics, and maybe even their business model.

In this conversation we're going to provide you with some of the most important reasons, and some very concrete examples, as to why you need to stop copying your competitors...and what you should be copying instead. Give it a listen to the end and you'll know what we mean.

Topics Discussed Throughout This Interveiw:

  • Why you need to stop copying your competitors - Even if it's "Nasty Gal" it might not be useful.
  • Examples of copying gone wrong.
  • The importance of data when copying.
  • When is it okay to copy.
  • Two solutions to help you stop copying your competitors
  • "Innovation makes the world a better place!"

Links/Resources:

Thank You For Listening & A Simple Request

To get more awesome Ecommerce Influence content sent directly to your device and into your ears as they become available, you can subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher!

Also, ratings and reviews on iTunes (hopefully 5-stars!) help us tremendously a we’re very grateful for them. We do read all of the reviews and we’ll answer your questions or comments on future episodes.

Cheers,

Austin & Chad!  

Follow on Twitter:

Direct download: EI028_CC_Stop_Copying_Your_Competitors_New_Intro.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am CST

While Analytics packages tell you what people are doing on your website, Qualaroo can tell you why they are doing it by capturing qualitative and voice of customer data. Or even more important, why they aren't doing something.

Sean Ellis’ is the CEO and co-founder of Qualaroo Insights, a qualitative insights solution triggered by onsite user behavior to collect visitor intelligence for driving faster conversion rate optimization.

Qualaroo is used by major companies like Shopify, Yahoo, Vimeo, Groupon, and intuit to help them gain better “voice of the customer” (VOC) intelligence that they can’t get from their analytics tool.

Additionally, Sean has been a marketing executive for huge companies like Dropbox, Eventbrite, and LogMeIn, he’s currently an advisor to Kissmetrics, and he runs a very popular marketing blog and community for startups called Growth Hackers.

In this episode Sean talks to us about how you can use qualitative insights to convert more of your visitors into paying customers, and how one of his experiments resulted in a 300% boost thanks to VOC.

 

Topics Discussed Throughout This Interview:

  • What qualitative and voice of customer data means to ecommerce companies.
  • Test 10 different ideas for one answer, but can get that answer via voice of customer.
  • What is Growth Hacking and why does it matter?
  • Growth hacking for physical product businesses.
  • Sean’s experience as the first marketing hire at Dropbox (and why they grew so quickly).
  • Effective referral marketing and how to translate it to ecommerce.
  • 300% increase in conversion thanks to voice of customer/qualitative.

 

Links/Resources:

 

Thank You For Listening & A Simple Request

To get more awesome Ecommerce Influence content sent directly to your device and into your ears as they become available, you can subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher!

Also, ratings and reviews on iTunes (hopefully 5-stars!) help us tremendously a we’re very grateful for them. We do read all of the reviews and we’ll answer your questions or comments on future episodes.

Cheers,

Austin & Chad!  

Follow on Twitter:

Direct download: EI027_Sean_Ellis.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am CST

If you advertise and sell in a newspaper does that make you a "newspaper business"? No. That also means you are not an online business just because you advertise and sell online.

In this episode we'll discuss the 3 reasons why you're not an online business, balancing your online acquisition channels AND your online / offline channels and the dangers of not doing so, and how you can start taking your marketing offline to sell more online.

Topics Discussed Throughout This Interview

  • 3 reasons why you're not an online business
  • The three M's in marketing
  • Balancing your online acquisition channels AND your online / offline acquisitions channels - and the dangers of not balancing between the two.
  • Examples of over-reliance on acquisition channels.
  • Finding your customers where they hang out.
  • Driving online sales with offline promotions
  • Referral programs
  • Email collecting
  • Plus much more

 

Links/Resources

 

Thank You For Listening & A Simple Request

To get more awesome Ecommerce Influence content sent directly to your device and into your ears as they become available, you can subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher!

Also, ratings and reviews on iTunes (hopefully 5-stars!) help us tremendously a we’re very grateful for them. We do read all of the reviews and we’ll answer your questions or comments on future episodes.

Cheers,

Austin & Chad!  

Follow on Twitter:

Direct download: EI026_CC_Why_Youre_NOT_An_Online_Business.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am CST

Crowdsourcing in ecommerce isn't exactly a new thing, but Jake Nickell of Threadless is credited with starting the trend, a trend that helped his company hit $30 million plus.

Jake co-founded Threadless in 2000, a company based out of Chicago that combines an online community of artists and an eCommerce website.

He started Threadless with just $1,000 of his own money and has since seen revenues go from $1.5 million in 2004, $6.5 million in 2006, and the most recent estimate puts revenues as high as $30 million in 2011.

Each week, about 1,000 designs are submitted online and are put to a public vote. After further review and some additional scoring and feedback, 10 designs are chosen, printed on clothing and other products, and then sold worldwide through the online store, selling about 120,000 t-shirts per month.

Jake made “crowdsourcing” an essential part of the business plan (even though he doesn't use the term any more because of the way it is now perceived), building a thriving community that consists of 2.5 million+ members that have helped him build his business from a $1,000 startup to a $30million dollar behemoth.

In this episode he’s going to talk to us today about his online path to $30million+.

Topics Discussed Throughout This Interview

  • Becoming the "Coolest Dude On Earth"....seriously, Google that phrase. He ranks #1.
  • How the idea of Threadless came about.
  • Using crowdsourcing in ecommerce to hit $30 million+
  • His focus on partnerships and how it's helping his company.
  • Going 8 years without spending even a penny on advertising.
  • The other ideas that failed while Threadless survived and thrived and what he learned from those experiences.
  • Why Jake is focusing on what Threadless does best and sticking with those.
  • Why he no longer likes or uses the term crowd-sourcing to describe his business model.
  • His take on creating experiences for customers.
  • What Jake would do differently if he started Threadless again today.

 

Links/Resources:

 

Thank You For Listening & A Simple Request

To get more awesome Ecommerce Influence content sent directly to your device and into your ears as they become available, you can subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher!

Also, ratings and reviews on iTunes (hopefully 5-stars!) help us tremendously a we’re very grateful for them. We do read all of the reviews and we’ll answer your questions or comments on future episodes.

Cheers,

Austin & Chad!  

Follow on Twitter:

Direct download: EI025_Jake_Nickell.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am CST

There are a lot of reasons why email marketing fails. The question is, which is the reason why yours is failing?

Bad copy, uninteresting subject lines, failing to standout, not providing value are just some of the reasons why email marketing fails, and there are 4 kinds of bad online business emailers that only make the problem worse.

When done right, though, email marketing can have a huge positive brand and financial impact on your business. We've seen some companies implement great email marketing strategies where a majority of their emails get 10x the open rates and click-thru rates from their email community when compared to their competitors. The financial difference can be just as astounding.

In this episode we'll talk about why email marketing fails and what you what you need to do to find success with your email and increase the bottom-line.

 

Topics Discussed Throughout This Interview

  • The 7-8 main reasons why email marketing fails.
  • The different type of email failure profiles (the hammer, the discounter, the scattershot, the scaredy cat) You don’t want to be one of these.
  • The #1 mistake people are making with email marketing. Here's a hint: Segmentation.
  • How to make more sales by providing relevant offers.
  • The value of defining your best customers.
  • What can you learn from brick and mortar stores?
  • Why you should treat email like a direct mail campaign.
  • Break down of time to purchase data.
  • The number one reason email campaigns fail - Segmentation

 

Links Mentioned

 

Thank You For Listening & A Simple Request

To get more awesome Ecommerce Influence content sent directly to your device and into your ears as they become available, you can subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher!

Also, ratings and reviews on iTunes (hopefully 5-stars!) help us tremendously a we’re very grateful for them. We do read all of the reviews and we’ll answer your questions or comments on future episodes.

Cheers,

Austin & Chad!  

Follow on Twitter:

Direct download: EI024_Candid_Conversation_Why_Email_Marketing_Fails.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am CST

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