Introducing Wyatt and Napoleon – An Inside Look at How We “Do” Marketing

When it comes  to marketing we always lean towards direct response over branding campaigns.

That is, when we engage in a marketing campaign we expect a particular, measurable outcome. Whether that’s new customers, number of visits to our website or fans on Facebook. Our latest marketing campaign is no exception.

We’re using Wyatt and Napoleon (pictured right – both fictional, of course) to help promote our $35,000 ecommerce makeover contest all around the Internet. If you’re slightly geeky (aren’t we all?) then you’ll probably see them popping up all over the place on the websites you visit. We’re using a powerful concept called retargeting to implement this through Google AdSense, but I’ll keep that our little secret for now.

When I think about memorable marketing campaigns they always have at least one of two elements: sex or humor. It bores me to tears when I see run-of-the-mill branding ads from companies like Ford, Budweiser and Kraft. You have such a HUGE marketing budget, why not try something different?

On the other hand, I’m sure you can recite Apple’s ads that paint Microsoft as an overweight geek. Their ads are memorable, funny and viral – you want to ask your friends if they’ve seen the ad because you actually see the ad as contet that you want to share as opposed to a carefully scripted 30 second spot put together by a Madison Avenue ad agency (which it, like all other TV ads, is).

I think that banner blindness (i.e. how we all subconsciously ignore advertising) is caused largely in part because the ads we’re exposed to just aren’t that interesting. After all, I already have a car so does Ford really think that bombarding me with endless banners and TV ads will get me to buy another one? Hardly.

When it came to designing the visuals for our marketing campaign, I wanted something totally left of the middle. Would you really expect an ecommerce company to use a fabio-esque looking model alongside a geek posing as a trekkie to sell you on a contest? Hopefully not.

I wanted our ads to make you laugh a bit too, or at least do a double take – “did I just see what I thought I did? Let me look at that ad again”. To me, all great advertising and marketing needs to get your attention first, and then get you to take action.

Compare this to “branding campaigns” which to me is just corporate speak for not having the systems in place to track the effectiveness of your campaign.

Great marketers track everything they do and measure it against return on investment (ROI). If it works, they scale it. If not, they try something else.

This is our first attempt.

I’ll keep you posted on how it does.

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Based on Your Feedback We’ve Changed Our Contest Rules…

Last week we emailed everyone (over 130,000 people!) with an announcement about our mammoth $35,000 ecommerce makeover contest.

Since then we’ve had a lot of feedback from business owners like you who wanted to enter the contest but couldn’t, specifically because:

  • It was limited to US residents only
  • You had to have been selling online for a least a year

Well… we’ve had a lot of feedback from business owners outside the US and those who haven’t yet been selling for a year who want to enter our competition…

And as any of our customers know, your feedback dictates what we do, so I’m pleased to tell you that we’ve made the following changes to our contest:

  • The contest is no longer limited to US residents
  • The one year selling requirement has been removed

So basically anyone (18 years or older) in ANY country with no experience selling online can now enter for the chance to win our prize pool worth over $35,000!

Click here to learn more about our $35,000 ecommerce makeover contest. One lucky winner (and four runners-up) will have their new/existing online store completely transformed meaning more sales, more visitors and higher conversion rates!

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[Video] 6 Tips for Designing a Beautiful Online Store

Arguably the most important aspect of your online store is its design. This means logo, color scheme, layout, load time and positioning relative to your competitors. If you think of sites like Amazon, Zappos, Target, BestBuy and TigerDirect, I’m sure you can recall at least some aspects of their design. They all have beautiful and most important functional designs that aid with the shopping process (and don’t take away from it).

In this video I share six tips to help you design a beautiful online store which will attract customers and increase your conversion rate. If you’re not a designer but are thinking about hiring an ecommerce website designer then this video will help you make the decision.

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Introducing the BigCommerce $35,000 Ecommerce Makeover Contest!

The BigCommerce $35,000 ecommerce makeover contest was designed to help one lucky business owner take their existing online store from “zero” to “hero”.

Being marketing experts ourselves, we understand what it takes to get the attention of prospects online and convert them into repeat customers time and time again. There’s a simple blueprint you have to understand, and one lucky winner will get everything they need to implement the blueprint for their online store, including:

  • BigCommerce diamond store ($7,198 value – 2 year subscription)
  • Professionally crafted store design ($5,000 value)
  • Migration of existing store to BigCommerce ($2,000 value)
  • MailChimp 25,000 subscriber plan ($3,600 value – 2 year subscription)
  • ROI Revolution Google AdWords audit ($975 value)
  • Sales Rescue Team 4 hour consult ($500 value)
  • FanAppz Pro license ($600 value – 1 year subscription)
  • Various PR opportunities (approx $2,000 value)
  • Case study posted on (approx $1,000 value)

There are also four runner-up prize packs valued at $5,000 each which include:

  • BigCommerce gold store ($1,918 value – 2 year subscription)
  • Various PR opportunities (approx $2,000 value)
  • Case study posted on (approx $1,000 value)

Learn more about the prizes here

Long story short, we’re going to put our skills to work for your business. You’ll get more people to your website, you’ll convert more people to customers and you’ll learn a heck of a lot about sales and marketing in the process.

Using a combination of prizes which include ecommerce software, social media and email marketing tools, design, online marketing and expert sales advice, our ecommerce makeover includes everything you need to skyrocket your sales and take your ecommerce business to the next level.

If you’ve ever wanted to be the next or then this is the closest you’re going to get!

Learn more about our $35,000 ecommerce makeover contest

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[Video] The Soft Sell Versus The Hard Sell

In this video I discuss the benefits of using a soft sell (or an educational approach) over a typical hard sell when it comes to reducing your cost per lead and increasing LTV (lifetime value) per customer.

Here at BigCommerce we use a combination of both the soft and hard sell approaches (well, more like a medium sell instead of a hard sell). We use the traditional demo->paid model for new customers and the soft sell (educational) approach to improve existing customer retention rates and reduce attrition (churn).

Using the soft sell approach you can dramatically increase your trust and customer goodwill while reducing your marketing costs, allowing you to attract more customers with a limited marketing budget regardless of what you sell.

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[Video] How to Create a Profit Pulling Promotion

If you’ve been watching my videos for a while you’ll know that I’m not a big fan of competing purely on price. While I do believe price is an important part of any purchasing decision, I believe in promoting the value and benefits of your product over price.

In this video, however, I’m going to share a simple strategy you can use to create a promotion for your online store that will drive repeat customers and word-of-mouth referrals – initially using the loss leader approach but then shifting the focus away from the lowest price once you have the customer in the door. Best of all this idea doesn’t cost anything and will take you just a few hours to implement.

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