Step 22: Marketing:
For this website, I would use only two marketing strategies: search engine marketing and email marketing. Not only that they are free, but also they are the proven most effective marketing strategies. Google brings visitors to the website, and emails convert the visitors to sales.
Search engine marketing: Woocommerce does an excellent job for search engine rankings. The way codings are constructed tremendously boost search engine ranking for each product page. For example, the URL will show product name. Product title also has H1 tag. If I also correctly put product name in image that I upload, then I have the product name in three places: URL, title, image. But if I want to control what shows up in search engine result, I can further use Yaost SEO plugin to control the snippets that shows in the search result page. So, all I do here would just be write correct name for image and have good writing in through help of Yaost in each product page. I would also install plugin “XML Sitemap Generator” to generate sitemap. After that, in Google Search Console, I will enter my sitemap URL.
Having a sitemap in Google Search Console will make sure my site will be found when people do a search in Google.
Email marketing: Upon installation, Bluehost by default already installed MailChimp. So I don’t need to additionally install MailChimp. You can find the name of plugin called ‘Mailchimp for WooCommerce’. If you don’t see this plugin, you can install it from WordPress plugin lists.
MailChimp is the most popular email marketing plugin today. I would use this plugin for email marketing. Mailchimp offers many email marketing tools. Here I would use it for the following:
- Create a popup signup form to collect emails
- Add a checkbox in WooCommerce signup form so that I add my registered users to my email list
- Send users marketing emails
- Send a list of new house listings every week to my registered users.
I break down how I collect emails in two ways: via a popup form and via WooCommerce signup page
I also breakdown how I send emails: fixed content and dynamic content
Fixed content means that the email that I send is pre-designed. The content is exactly what I type. There is no change. What I see is what I send out.
Dynamic content is the newly listed content every day. The content showing up in email depends on what is inserted into the products.
With fixed content I use ‘Trigger’. When a user sign up, I send him a email next day and every day after that.
With dynamic content, I send users new house listings whenever there is one.
One word of caution with dynamic content is the use of segmentation. So if a user want to receive a listing that is for sale only, I would need to ask him to checkbox his preference. so that he does not receive a listing of houses that is for rent.
How to set up a popup form in Mailchimp
How to embed email signup checkbox on WooCommerce signup page
While a popup form is created in Mailchimp.com dashboard, setting up a email signup checkbox is done in WordPress dashboard ‘MailChimp for WooCommerce’ page.
Here you would checkbox whether you want the email subscription visible or you don’t want it at all at ‘Checkbox Display Options’ under the tab ‘List Settings’.
How to create trigger email marketing Campaign
We can send a email to all of subscribers with the same content. But we can also send email based on user behavior. For example, when a user made a purchase or abandon a shopping cart. One tool I find very useful is the Date Based email.
When a user sign up email subscription – whether via popup form or via WooCommerce sign up page, we can set up the campaign to send the user a welcome message. Then in the following days, we can send the user an email each day. Each email is customized according to user’s signup date. So each user receive a different email.
For example, if we are going to send a 7-day action plan for finding a perfect home. Nancy sign up on Monday. She will receive action plan Day 1 on Tuesday and action plan for Day 2 on Wednesday. Jennifer sign up on Tuesday, she will receive action plan for Day 1 on Wednesday, and action plan for Day 2 on Thursday.
How to send users new blog posts or newly listed products (RSS)
Sending new blog posts or new product listings can be achieved by using the ‘Share Blog Update’ in MailChimp. Setting up is very easy like other email campaign. The only part that might create problem is the RSS URL. If your blog is like most blog, then your RSS URL will be xxx.com/blog/. If your WooCommerce is like most WooCommerce website, then your default shop page URL and RSS URL will be xxx.com/shop/
Video: Creating an email marketing campaign in MailChimp to Send newly listed houses
In addition, note that in order for the product ‘featured image’ to show up in email, I install plugin ‘RSS Featured Image’. Once I install this plugin, the image will automatically show up in the email.
RSS campaign becomes more complex when you have segmentation. For example, users who only want to receive a list of houses for sale and not for rent. Here I would go to the specific page to find the RSS feed link by right clicking the mouse and select ‘page source’ . From there, I can see the link for RSS. For L.A. Retreats, because I rename permanent URL for shop page, my shop page RSS feed URL will be “https://www.laretreats.com/houses/feed/ ” , which you can see in line 16.
If I want to further segment recipients by their preference such as houses for sale, for rent, or ‘open house’. I can also do so by selecting the segment of recipients who will receive this automated emails. In the above video, I select entire list. But you can always test your segmentation.
However, segmentation plays a vital role in email marketing success. Here I haven’t shown the the testing emails. But all of automation tools provided in MailChimp is very helpful so you can always play around it to see what it works.