Money for Small Businesses

We are starting our series of “Merchant Spotlights” — to help merchants like yourself be found. eCommerce is going to be one of the saving graces that gets everyone through all this social distancing, and there is nothing better than supporting your peers in the process.

We also have a few great stories this week, including a list from Shopify on some of the government funding programs coming online to help small businesses like us keep things rolling.

Let’s get started.

Happy Selling,
Zachary

Shopify Merchant Spotlights

Everything Truck Parts

Everything Truck Parts offers a complete line of parts and accessories for Jeeps, Trucks, SUVs, 4WD, and Off-Road vehicles and equipment. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Use Coupon Code SAVE5NOW during checkout to receive 5% Off your total purchase.

Social Fiber

Social Fiber s a humanitarian apparel brand dedicated to sharing the gospel and serving our community. Follow them on Facebook.

20% off your entire order. Use the code: New Friend

Fair Tribe

Fair Tribe is your online destination for artisan-made home decor, jewelry, and gifts designed to create cherished memories and special moments. Follow them on Facebook.

15% off site-wide with code: TASKHUSKY

Barn Burner Hockey

Barn Burner Hockey makes all-natural, chemical-free hockey products for players of all ages and skill levels. Follow them on Facebook.

Use the offer code “Save20” for 20% off first order!

Cattie Coyle Photography

Cattie Coyle Photography has a wonderful selection of coastal fine art photography prints. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

Get 10% off first order when you subscribe to the newsletter.

Would you like to be included in our Merchant Spotlight? Share Your Store here.

This Week’s Top Stories

Government Relief Programs for Small Businesses Affected by COVID-19

Shopify put together a list of worldwide government programs that are either launched or in-process to help small businesses. Things are changing in real-time, but this list is a good starting point.

How To Get Sales In An Economic Downturn: The Kind Of Email You Could Be Sending Now

There are a LOT of terrible emails out there — especially right now. Our friends at Privy have some thoughts on how to do it right, right now.

Promote Your Store on Ethercycle Too

Our friends at Ethercycle are doing something similar. So not only can you promote your Shopify store here, you can promote it there too. Not a bad deal, right?

Special Offer from TaskHusky

Looking to save some money? We are giving away a FREE year of Lead Plus ($99 value) for each new task approved between now and March 30th. Get started by creating a task now

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Now, Conversions Are More Important Than Ever

Customers Are More Valuable Than Ever

I thought it was crazy two weeks ago! Since our email last week, things have gotten weirder. When things are crazy, maximizing conversion and retention are more important than ever. So, that’s what we are going to focus on this week.

Let’s get started.

Happy Selling,
Zachary

Latest Discounts Available on Lead Plus

Lead Plus offers a ton of value, including great discounts on Shopify stuff. Here are the three latest discounts for Lead Plus members:

  • 20% off ANY Cloud Search plan for Life!
  • 20% off ANY TaskHusky Marketing Task!
  • 30% off FLEX Theme by Out of the Sandbox!

Check out all the Lead Plus discounts here — and more are on the way. Remember that membership is only $99 per year and includes everything you see here.

Facebook Retargeting: How to Win Back Your Almost-Customers

If the most valuable customer is a repeat-customers, then the second most valuable customer is the one who ALMOST purchased. Retargeting is a core strategy to do just that, and this article from the content team at Shopify tells you have to use Facebook retargeting ads right.

Shopify Conversion Rate Optimization: 25 Ideas to Boost Revenue

When it comes to Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), our friend Kurt Elster at Ethercycle dashed off a bunch of things to look at and test to smooth your customer’s journey to consumer success.

Shopify CRO: How to Make More Sales from Your Current Traffic

When the markets get rocky, getting more traffic is harder. So, maximizing your existing traffic is job #1. That means a well-built sales funnel and tweaking. This article is a good place to start.

How to Find and Plug the Leaks in Your Conversion Funnels

So … you’ve read the blog posts and watch all the videos about building a sales funnel and thing ain’t just go’in the way you’d hoped. It’s time to troubleshoot. And this how-to from the Shopify content team talks about how to do the hard work of fixing the funnel.

25 E-Commerce Experts Share Their Best Tips for Driving Repeat Sales Online

Once you have your conversion rate moving in the right direction, the next step is to get those same customers to come back for more. Believe it or not, it’s an entirely different thing. Once you wade through the pop-ups and nag screens, Neil Patel assembled a list from a bunch of industry pros.

 

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Screw the Coronavirus, Let’s Get to Work

What the Heck Happened Last Week?

Last week was crazy. I mean seriously … when you're an entrepreneur you have some crazy weeks, but last week was some special kind of crazy. Half the world is freak’in out about the coronavirus CV19 thinking it’s going to march through humanity like PacMan. And all that scariness is freak’in out the stock market because China is closing down entire cities.

You remember China, right? It’s that far-off place where a lot of our eCommerce merch comes from.

Anyway … in the middle of all that, we did NOT send out an email and everyone thought that the Corona-PacMan had got me too. But no … I’m still here. So, sorry about the miss. Business travel and red-eye flights got the best of the content team and we woke up Tuesday morning and said, “holy crap!” But I’ll make up for it with a complete set of awesomeness email right now.

Speaking of pandemics and supply-chains, here are this week’s stories.

Happy Selling,
Zachary

Latest Discounts Available on Lead Plus

Lead Plus offers a ton of value, including great discounts on Shopify stuff. Here are the three latest discounts for Lead Plus members:

  • 20% off ANY Cloud Search plan for Life!
  • 20% off ANY TaskHusky Marketing Task!
  • 30% off FLEX Theme by Out of the Sandbox!

Check out all the Lead Plus discounts here — and more are on the way. Remember that membership is only $99 per year and includes everything you see here.

Coronavirus Threatens To Disrupt eCommerce Supply Chain

We’re not about to diminish the impact of all the sick folks, but the economic and financial risks here are real. This viral outbreak will pass in time. Read this article and think about your supply chain. Diversifying your product sourcing is just good business.

12 Trending Products to Sell in 2020

Sometimes we see these “top trending products” posts and they turn out to be nothing but click-bait crap lists. But this one from the content team at Shopify actually does a good job, has real search trend stats, and marketing tips. So if you're looking for new product ideas give this article a look-see.

The Death of the Third-Party Cookie: What Marketers Need to Know

Marketing is tough enough. Why does Google keep changing the rules of the game? The answer is … because THEY CAN. Anyway … TONS of marketers use third-party cookies to manage ad campaigns that the decision by the Dark Lords of Google to take them away from the Chrome browser is gonna leave a mark.

Instagram Content Insights

If you don’t know about Gary Vaynerchuk — GaryVee — then you're just not paying attention. The guy is everywhere, and he’s best known for three things:

  1. His Hustle and dedication to Hard Work
  2. Cursing … a lot … ‘cuz he’s from New Jersey
  3. His team’s ability to generate a huge volume of content across multiple platforms

This article shares some of his easy Instagram tips.

Which of My Competitor's Keywords Should (& Shouldn't) I Target?

All’s fair in love and SEO Wars. That’s why we're all looking at our competitors to see what they’re working on. Heck, you KNOW that they’re looking at you, so it’s time to return the favor.

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This is a SHITI Story If Ever I Heard One

Into the Holiday Gap We Go

You are likely reading this the day after President’s Day 2020. Over the last hundred years or so, the marketing and advertising geniuses sipping lattes on Madison Avenue have done a pretty good job of spacing out the holidays so that there always seems to be one just around the corner. But as of right now, the next holiday on the horizon in Saint Patrick’s Day, and that’s a FULL four weeks out.

Sure, there are a few “scheduled” holidays between now and then, but nothing that’s ever really caught on. Hey … I mean no offense if your personal favorite holiday is “Linus Pauling Day” (Feb. 28th) or if your family tradition centers around a BBQ feast served to celebrate the annual start of Daylight Savings Time (March 8th). Most of us are going to look forward to green beer with corned beef and cabbage whilst we use this time to firm up our eCommerce marketing chops.

Speaking of which, here are interesting stories curated from the world of eCommerce marketing.

Happy Selling,
Zachary

Latest Discounts Available on Lead Plus

Lead Plus offers a ton of value, including great discounts on Shopify stuff. Here are the three latest discounts for Lead Plus members:

  • 20% off ANY Cloud Search plan for Life!
  • 20% off ANY TaskHusky Marketing Task!
  • 30% off FLEX Theme by Out of the Sandbox!

Check out all the Lead Plus discounts here — and more are on the way. Remember that membership is only $99 per year and includes everything you see here.

Facebook Custom Audiences 101

Not all Facebook and Instagram ads are created equal. Aside from the obvious quality differences in creative design, who you choose to see what ad and when are vital. Even a great ad can flop if you are not targeting the right folks. Shopify wrote up a blog on it.

The 4 Metrics Your Ecommerce Business Actually Needs to Track

There is a saying in statistics, “Just because you CAN measure something doesn’t mean you should.” Dang if that doesn’t become more and more true with every passing year. There are a bazillion metrics and stats available to us. But our good friends at Privy and Kurt Elster came up with their top four.

A SHITI Story

Speaking of Kurt, on last week’s podcast he introduced us to Austin Zacny of SHITI Coolers — a parody brand that pokes fun at high-end YETI coolers. They’ve gone from zero to $1 million in just three years with a $400 investment and a ton of good humor. In this podcast they tell their story.

10 Types of Content That Actually Work

Let’s all do content marketing! OK … now what? Well, turns out that creating great content is work. So you better darn-well figure out what kind of content works, and what works for you. The folks at ActiveCampaign compiled a lot of good info and stats to help you figure it all out.

How to Grow Your Instagram with the 80/20 Rule

The sub-title of this article is, “Three steps to get a highly engaged audience in just 15 minutes a day.” If you sell visual, consumer products, then you know that Instagram can work. This article by BetterMarketing has some insight on how to get it done.

This email is so good that it deserves a holiday of its own. In the meantime, Happy Casimir Pulaski Day! (March 2nd)

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The Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Fortune

Making Sense Out of eCommerce Chaos

Especially when you are small and trying to grow your online business from zero to something, the analytics of it all can drive you freak’in crazy. You have a kick-ass week and it makes you think that you are going to take over the world and buy a Lambo. The next week sales fall into the trashcan and you get a few returns and you’re convinced that this darn internet is gonna drive you to the poor house.

The struggle is REAL folks.

We talk with thousands of eCommerce merchants just like you when we’re doing development tasks, interacting with them on our Shopify Help Facebook Group, and doing marketing consults. We’ve heard this same frustration a thousand times. You’re NOT alone. We’re here for you. The only path is to keep your head down, forget about daily and weekly fluctuations as best you can, and keep working the dream with solid business practices. It’s the only way to get there. And when you have than breakthrough ... it's a magical feeling.

So let’s talk about ways to get and keep customers to smooth out the bumps. Here are interesting stories curated from the world of eCommerce and entrepreneurship.

Keep at it folks ... We're here for you when you need us.

Happy Selling,
Zachary

Latest Discounts Available on Lead Plus

Lead Plus offers a ton of value, including great discounts on Shopify stuff. Here are the three latest discounts for Lead Plus members:

  • 20% off ANY Cloud Search plan for Life!
  • 20% off ANY TaskHusky Marketing Task!
  • 30% off FLEX Theme by Out of the Sandbox!

Check out all the Lead Plus discounts here — and more are on the way. Remember that membership is only $99 per year and includes everything you see here.

Sure, I Make It LOOK Easy

I send these emails from TaskHusky because I love you all. But the truth is that email marketing rocks. Email consistently delivers some of the best conversion rates in eCommerce. Our friends at Privy just wrote up an article on how to write email copy — including the difference between email content and email copy. Check it out and up your email game.

So Let’s All Do the Insta-Brand Dance!

Visual products do well on visual platforms … duh! Instagram is THE visual social media platform. If you are selling consumer products that are strongly visual, you have GOT to be there. And the place to start is with an Instagram bio for your business that reinforces your brand. Shopify has some thoughts on the topic.

Brand Now, Sell More Later

In eCommerce we spend a LOT of time, effort, and cash getting a customer to arrive at our site and make that first purchase. Modern eCommerce survival requires getting the second sale … then the third. Think about it this way — A customer will buy a product once, but they will buy a brand for a lifetime. Here are seven tips from smile.io to think about.

As Long As We’re Talking About Brand and Customer Retention

Let me throw a little truth at you …. If you want multiple repeat customers during the holidays this year, you need to get their attention, get some sales, and KEEP those customers NOW. Here are nine tips from Help.Scout to keep customers right where you want them — satisfied and happy.

Safety and Security Is Job #1

Let me assure you … the LAST thing you want is to have one of your customers hacked, tricked, or phished while visiting your website. And equally important, you don’t want them to think your site is a fraudster site when it’s just you trying to make a living. Well, not only are themes from Out Of The Sandbox well-made and secure, but they have some recommendations on how to keep your Shopify site and reputation safe too.

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Shopify Help - No Commitment