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10 Ways to Increase Customer Loyalty Without a Points Program

If you want to level up your customer loyalty initiatives beyond a points program, we've put together ten tips that can help.

Francesca Nicasio

Content Strategy Manager

Loyalty is everything. In an increasingly competitive ecommerce market, brands are constantly vying for customer loyalty, for good reason: loyal customers are often the most profitable. 

Plus, one of the best ways to tap into earned media (like word-of-mouth advertising, which most consumers trust above other advertising methods) is through—you guessed it—stronger customer loyalty. 

Perhaps the most common way businesses try to foster brand loyalty is through a points program. However, if companies simply provide a cut-and-dry rewards program and call it a day (as opposed to a spend-based loyalty program or VIP program), it can make customers feel unvalued or not like VIPs. 

In addition, if a program is solely about the points, it may fail to differentiate itself from other more competitive programs in the market. 

Industry data shows that just 18% of rewards program members actively engage with all the programs they're a member of, showing how some rewards programs may offer too little value to the customer. Oof. 

If you want to level up your customer loyalty initiatives beyond a points program, we've put together ten tips that can help.

Let's get started!



1. Set up email and SMS automations focused on bringing customers back

Email and SMS marketing are great ways to increase customer loyalty, as you can reach customers directly through their inboxes and mobile devices.

For best results, send triggered messages based on certain behaviors or actions your customers take. For example, you could send a message to a customer who hasn't made a purchase in a set amount of time or provide a voucher or discount as a way to say thank you after someone has made their first purchase. 

Pinjarra Bakery is an excellent example of a business putting email and SMS marketing to good use. The company uses Marsello to power various campaigns that entice people to come in.

“We send out an SMS blast to our loyal customers first or our loyalty customers first giving them first access to come in and try the product before we release it to the public,” Daniel explains. “And of course, we conveniently time the blast to go out around lunchtime so people are probably getting hungry that time of the day and so far the results have been great.”


Another idea is to reward your customers' birthdays. You could track birthday purchases and the rate of redemption—all of which is valuable data that can be leveraged for more tailored marketing down the road.

Easy-to-implement options include sending a one-time special discount or a freebie via text or email. Just make sure to use unique codes to track the effectiveness of your automations.

2. Setting up targeted segments

Did you know that the average email open rate is just 21.5%? To make your emails more relevant, segment subscribers into different groups or categories based on criteria like location, age, or behavior. By doing so, you can better cater to each segment through the content and deals you offer, intrinsically creating more value for your customers. 

Oh, and as a pro tip, consider using your subject lines to gauge interest in new products and themes you're considering offering.

3. Foster a strong community incidental to your brand

A brand community, when done right, is a way to rally together your most loyal customers or people who are the most interested in what you have to offer. Communities bring people together, which drives loyalty through shared experiences, meaningful connections, and a sense of belonging.

Marsello customer Pace Athletic is a master at community-building. The company has a run club that includes social jogs for all fitness levels. These run events end at local pubs where members can socialize, relax, and build friendships over a meal or drinks.

See if you can implement similar initiatives in your business. If you run a game shop, you could consider running a monthly board game night at your location. Brewery? Maybe a recurring beer tasting event or a pub quiz. Whether you want to keep it casual or more formal, brand communities are a great way to tap into brand loyalty and customer advocacy.

4. Offer exclusive access and early releases

Never underestimate the power of exclusivity. By fostering a sense of unique value or desirability—either by offering limited availability or exclusive access—brands can tap into the age-old desire of customers wanting to get something that's hard-to-get. 

You can use this to your advantage by targeting your top spenders or frequent purchasers and creating a segmented campaign. Reward them with access to exclusive events, pre-sale access to limited edition items, or other similar events. 

Take, for instance, Nordstrom, which gives members of The Nordy Club (the company's loyalty program) early access and extra discounts at sales events.

the nordy club - loyalty example

5. Start a referral program

To start things off, assign each consumer a unique referral code. Then, when they share your business with their friends, you can see if a purchase or subscription was made through the code and offer the customer (and maybe even the referred person) a reward. We recommend offering rewards that aren't point-based, like a free product or exclusive discount.

Also, make it easy to refer others: consider including a template with their unique code that customers can copy and paste. By reducing the friction around referrals, you'll make it easier for your brand to harness the power of earned media.

6. Provide valuable content and resources

Another great way to build customer loyalty is by creating content that's both informative and helpful for your customers: all with your own branding, of course. 

Let's say you run a makeup or beauty company: you could do TikTok or Instagram user-generated reviews of your products, do tutorials on how to apply certain products, or make a Q&A video about frequently asked questions. 

When you offer tips, guides, and tutorials on topics your audience cares about, you position your company as an expert and drive brand awareness by playing the long game.

7. Collect customer feedback

The best way to improve and understand customer satisfaction is through feedback, and what better moment to get feedback than right after a purchase? You can consider offering a small perk like free shipping on their next order as a small incentive, but what's crucial is to make it easy for your customers to provide feedback and to ensure they don't feel pressured into doing so. 

Marsello's customer feedback capabilities allow shoppers to provide input with just a few clicks, so the experience is effortless.

Check out this example from Madame Fancy Pants, which uses Marsello's customer feedback capabilities to create a simple, visually appealing survey so customers can quickly rate their shopping experience.


Already have customer feedback? Be sure to act on it to improve your retention strategies. And don't forget to proactively inform your customers about any changes and updates you've made so they feel heard and seen.

8. Create a customer-centric culture

Improving customer loyalty isn't just about what you put out there—it's very much an inside job. The people in your business play a crucial role in fostering customer loyalty, so you need to instill the value of customer-centricity in your teams. 

You can do this by providing ongoing training and development focused on customer service to keep folks at the top of their customer support game. 

A great example of this in action comes from Zappos, which has built a reputation for exceptional customer service. The company provides extensive training for their employees, including a four-week program that emphasizes the importance of customer satisfaction. This commitment to training has helped Zappos achieve a high level of customer loyalty and a strong brand reputation.

Another example is Pace Athletic, who run a regular running club for their community. Why we love it? Pace Athletic live and breathe what they do - a running club is a natural extension of their brand, and a way to connect on a deeper level with their customers and followers. 

The Pace team don't organize a running club to generate sales (at least not directly). But it does drive brand awareness and sales as a result. When their community build deeper relationships with the Pace team, they want to come in-store and ask for the staff's recommendations, suggestions and pointers. They want to support their local business, and the people behind it.

If you are passionate about what your business sells and what you represent, building community will come relatively easily. But it does take time and requires a commitment, so don't be disheartened if you don't see the revenue impact right away.


9. Invest in unique products and services

People stick with retailers and restaurants that consistently provide products and services they won't find elsewhere. So, strive to deliver unique and high-quality offerings to all of your guests. 

If you're in retail, this can come in the form of trendy fashion or homeware products that enhance your customers' lives. If you're a restaurant, this could mean offering exclusive and innovative dishes, sourcing locally grown and fresh ingredients, or creating a unique dining experience with exceptional ambiance.

When you do this consistently, you build a loyal customer base and differentiate yourself from the competition.

10. Implement corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives

Doing good is good for business. Industry data shows that consumers are more likely to choose brands that promote CSR aspects like sustainability. According to Neilsen, "a whopping 81% of respondents said that it's extremely or very important that companies implement programs to improve the environment. When it comes to action, 73% said they would either definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment."

To that end, it may make sense for your business to develop sustainability programs that focus on reducing environmental impact. This could include minimizing waste, using renewable energy, and sourcing sustainable materials.

Of course, CSR isn't just about sustainability. Social responsibility also encompasses societal issues like fair labor and community. So if these values align more with your brand, start exploring ways to support social causes. For instance, the brand TOMS partners with non-profit organizations that work on various societal issues, including access to mental health resources, community rehabilitation, and education.

TOMS initiatives - loyalty examples

Before you begin...

To ensure that your customer loyalty approaches are paying off, you must track key metrics regularly. Otherwise, you run the risk of investing significant time and money for no result. While you may not need to track all of the data points below, familiarize yourself with them and check in with your marketing team to determine which ones are the best for your organization. 

  • Net Promoter Score (NPS): This measures customer satisfaction and loyalty based on how likely customers would recommend a product/service to others on a scale of 1-10. Detractors are 0-6, while Promoters are 9-10. A score over 50 is generally good, while above 70 is great.
  • Customer Retention Rate: The rate at which your customers stay with you over a specific period, which reflects the effectiveness of your loyalty-building efforts. Make sure you balance this with customer acquisition strategies.
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): This is an indication of the total revenue expected from a customer over their entire relationship with a brand. It's a great way to identify more valuable customers and assess the long-term value of customer loyalty programs.
  • Repeat Purchase Rate: The proportion of customers who make repeat purchases, which indicates ongoing customer engagement and loyalty. Customers with a high RPR should be targeted when launching new products or services.
  • Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT): This provides immediate feedback on customer experience and loyalty; it's the average score given when you ask customers how happy/satisfied they were with an experience.

While this isn't an exhaustive list, tracking some (or all!) of the above metrics will put you well on your way to quantitatively understanding how your brand loyalty efforts are paying off.

Final words

We've covered a lot of ground looking at the top ways your business can foster customer loyalty without needing a points-based program.

While you don't need to implement all of these at the same time, we recommend trialing out at least a couple of these methods and seeing what sticks. Most importantly, this shouldn't be a "set it and forget it" approach. You need to stay attuned to the feedback received and stay in the know on industry best practices. This way, you'll be ahead of the curve and continually improve customer loyalty. 

If you're looking to create an omnichannel loyalty program that offers real value, Marsello has you covered.  From SMS and email marketing to loyalty and referral programs, Marsello can help you from start to finish.

Speak to an expert today.



Need help? Get advice from a loyalty expert and start driving repeat sales.

Speak to an expert



Read more: 7 Steps To Building A Profitable Loyalty & Rewards Program

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    Create new & look-a-like audiences with Facebook Audience Sync

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    Easily use social media ads to retarget current customers or acquire new customers using the Facebook Audience Sync feature from Marsello.
    The Marsello and Facebook Logos feature alongside a Facebook Ad carousel by NZ-based retailer, Madame Fancy Pants.

    Facebook advertising can feel like a minefield, particularly when it comes to creating perfected audiences. Now, you can automatically import your custom segments directly from Marsello with Facebook Audience Sync, saving you time and also ensuring your audience is always up to date!

    The Facebook Audience Sync feature allows you to easily carry over your custom segments to your Facebook Ads Manager account where you can start creating compelling ads that convert customers. You don’t have to load a new audience every time you want to create ads; in fact, the Facebook Audience Sync is designed to update every hour, so it’s always up to date, ensuring that your marketing reaches all your desired customers. 


    The world of social media marketing might feel a little overwhelming when you first get started, but by automatically loading your customer segments to your Facebook Ads Manager account, it’s easy to create promotional marketing campaigns that target both new and existing customers – this is where Facebook Audience Sync changes the game. The hard work is done for you as you easily sync custom segments to Facebook with just a few clicks! 


    There are some things you’ll need to ensure you’ve done before you can use the Facebook Audience Sync feature. Let’s delve a little deeper.


    Getting started with Facebook Audience Sync

    First thing’s first, you’ll need to ensure your Facebook Ads Manager account is set up and ready to go before you can sync your Marsello custom segments.


    Once your Facebook Ads Manager account is all ready to go, you can navigate to the Add-ons page in your Marsello admin and easily find the Facebook Audience Sync feature. Here you can connect your Facebook Ads Manager account to your Marsello account by completing the required Facebook permissions and following the set-up steps.


    And when you’ve completed the set-up process, you’ll be able to start syncing your selected Marsello custom segments to your Facebook Ads Manager account. Connecting your Marsello account to Facebook opens up a wide range of marketing possibilities to various customer groups and not just those who you’ve added with the Facebook Audience Sync feature. 


    One important note: as we’ve touched on, the Facebook Audience Sync tool allows you to create Facebook ad audiences directly from your Marsello custom segments – emphasis on the “custom segments”. By this, we mean that you can only sync segments that you’ve created yourself. If you haven’t created any yet, you can learn more about custom segments in our help center


    One question you may have is, “How can I sync my RFM segments, i.e. Loyal Customers?” And it’s actually very easy! All you need to do is create a copy of your desired RFM segment (these are your ‘Loyal’, ‘Best’, ‘At-risk’ segments, etc.). From here, you can easily sync this new custom segment across to Facebook Ads Manager (make sure you name your new segment so that it’s easily distinguishable). Your segment will appear in your selectable Ads audiences as “Marsello: ” so if you named a copy of an RFM segment as Facebook-Audience-Loyal-Customers, it would be easily distinguishable in both Marsello and Facebook Ads Manager.

    Now that we’ve got the need-to-know feature information out of the way let’s explore how you can get creative with your custom audiences and Facebook campaigns.


    How to create Facebook ads that convert customers

    There are a few different ways to break down social media ads, usually based on your goals. For the sake of keeping things simple, we’ll look at ads as tools for either retargeting or acquisition – meaning you’re using ads to either engage your current customers or attract new customers. 

    Let’s break down these two advertising goals while showcasing how you can use Facebook Audience Sync to create innovative yet straightforward ad campaigns.


    Retargeting Existing Customers with Facebook Ads

    According to Niel Patel, 72% of customers are inclined to abandon their carts while shopping. That’s huge! Creating retargeting campaigns might be old news at this stage; however, it isn’t always easy to know how much retargeting is too much. Here’s a hint: your campaigns don’t have to be restricted to powerful tools like email marketing and dynamic retargeting tactics (such as AI-driven product recommendations). Integrating your retargeting efforts into your social media marketing campaigns can be a powerful way to re-engage shoppers in new and exciting ways.


    With Facebook Audience Sync, you can easily create audiences from your Marsello custom segments. Your RFM Segments can also be a starting point as they help you to target specific groups of customers who are already organised by data-driven AI. For example, the Lost and At-Risk segments could be fantastic audiences for a win-back retargeting campaign that aims to re-capture those less active customers. 


    Note: Remember what we stated earlier – you’ll need to create custom segments that are duplicates of your RFM segments if you’d like to market to these.


    Let’s look at a few stats that really break down the effectiveness of retention marketing:

    Infographic with stats about the success rates of retention marketing and acquisition marketing.

    Now, these stats aren’t to say that one form of marketing is better than the other; they’re included here to remind you of the power of marketing to current customers. There are huge gains to be made from marketing to both new and existing customers – you just have to be clever about how you approach your marketing tactics.


    With Facebook Audience Sync, once you’ve synced the segments that you’d like to advertise to, you can easily add these segments as the audience for your campaigns. All you need to do is ensure you know what your goal for each campaign is, who your audience is, and what actions you want your customers to take. A common CTA for retargeting customers is ‘Shop Now’, as your marketing to customers who already know your brand, have shopped with you before, and maybe need a wee nudge to shop with you again.


    We briefly touched on marketing to RFM segments like At-Risk or Lost customers. Consider the following examples of how you could use retargeting to engage some different customer groups:

    • An example of how you could create innovative campaigns to engage your At-Risk or Lost segments is to design a win-back campaign that retargets these customers after they’ve abandoned their cart. Whether you’re offering shoppers a discount or simply reminding them of your most popular products, remember that your ad should be compelling, concise, and inviting to that particular customer group.

    • You could create a targeted campaign that actively re-engages your ‘Window Shopper’ RFM segment (which is customers who’ve visited your online store but not shopped with you). This campaign could offer this audience anything from a sneak peek to an exclusive collection, to a one-day sale. 

    Acquiring New Customers with Lookalike Audiences

    Customer acquisition can feel like a big task – how can you possibly market to someone who has never heard of your store and whose contact details you don’t have? 


    This is why the Facebook Audience Sync feature is so exciting – acquisition marketing is perhaps one of the most effective ways that you can put the Facebook Audience Sync feature to use!

    When you sync your selected custom segment, you can then use this customer list and as the base for a Facebook lookalike audience; this will allow you to target Facebook users who ‘look like’ your customers, be that age, location, gender etc. The more specific you make your lookalike audience settings, the smaller the audience will get, but this will also increase your likelihood of generating traffic. 


    So here’s an example of this in action:

    • Stage 1 – You want to create an ad that reaches a wide range of people who have similar interests to your customers, but you don’t want to include any current customers in that list.

    • Stage 2 – You create a custom segment in Marsello that includes all your customers and title it ‘All Customers’.

    • Stage 3 – You sync that list using the Facebook Audience Sync feature.

    • Stage 4 – You use Facebook Ads Manager to create a ‘Lookalike Audience’.

    Creating a lookalike audience will help you to reach Facebook users who are similar to your current customers. When you consider that 2.60 Billion People use Facebook worldwide, that’s a tremendous amount of potential for reaching customers that you otherwise may not have had a way to contact.


    But smart marketing includes knowing how to get the best results from a very specific audience. You don’t want to create an audience that consists of a huge number of people only to lose money because most of these people will either ignore your ad (as it doesn’t apply to them) or click on your ad but won’t engage in a way that helps you meet your goal.


    Did you know you can go one step further and exclude your existing customers from your Facebook ads? 

    Acquiring New Customers While Excluding Existing Customers

    To exclude your synced Marsello custom segment from your ad audience, you simply need to create a ‘Custom Exclusion’ in your Facebook ad settings. By excluding your current customers, you’ll have a super-refined audience which is based on your current customers (who are proven to like your brand), you’re also avoiding paying for engagement from your already loyal customers.


    From here, you’re free to design robust, captivating ads that encourage Facebook users who may not know anything about your brand to click on your ads and shop with you. Remember this as you create your ad: you want to excite, entice, and engage your new audience. Niel Patel has you covered when it comes to social acquisition communication, so don’t be afraid to dig around and look at what the pros are doing to master their social media marketing.


    Ready to combine all these tactics together?


    Remember those retargeting ads we mentioned? Why not get really creative and make a retargeting campaign that captures those customers from your lookalike audience who clicked on your ad and visited your store but did not make a purchase, turning your acquisition campaign into a brilliant retargeting campaign, all while excluding any current customers from your audience.


    Our final piece of advice: no matter what kinds of social media campaigns you create, make sure you’re keeping track of the results, and your ad spend. Set yourself a budget and don’t be afraid to experiment, but don’t let yourself put money into campaigns that feel like they could do with a refresh or an overhaul. Tracking is the best way to ensure your ads are seeing the results you expect. Just make sure you’re tracking the metrics that apply to your marketing.

    Madame Fancy Pants uses a Facebook ad carousel to marketing a 15% off discount featuring leopard print Birkenstocks over a swimming pool.

    Omnichannel retailer, Madame Fancy Pants, is a prime example of retailers using Facebook ads to engage a wide range of customers. Recently, MFP created the Facebook campaign shown in the image above. The campaign targeted a lookalike audience based on their current customers, but they went a step further (as suggested in the section above) and excluded the following audiences:

    • any user who is an existing MFP customer and accepts marketing

    • recent shoppers as they made a purchase.

    MFP saw a 3.2x Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) and an almost even mix of in-store and online spend over the month that the ad campaign ran. 


    Final words

    As we’ve broken down, your Facebook advertising strategy can be a powerful tool to accompany any of your promotional marketing. However, you have to ensure your Social Media marketing is done right, and that starts with ensuring that you’re marketing to the right audiences.


    With Facebook Audience Sync, it’s easy to create custom audiences and then develop targeted ad campaigns that work specifically for those customer groups. Whether you’re excluding that customer group while creating a lookalike campaign, or marketing directly to a specific segment, all your Marsello custom segments can be synced to Facebook Ads Manager in just a few clicks.


    Start syncing

    Email Marketing Best Practices Guide for BFCM 2021

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    Halloween, Hanukkah, or BFCM – picking your marketable holidays is just the first step. Send undeniable emails this season with our email marketing guide.

    It’s common knowledge that holiday email marketing is both essential and fiercely competitive. Not only do you have to ensure you’re standing out to customers by creating beautifully crafted emails that meet the following best practice guidelines, but you also have to schedule those emails to send at the perfect time to land in front of your customers – the right message to the right customers, at the right time!

    Get on top of your holiday marketing by mastering it early! We've designed the following infographic to help you confidently create campaigns for BFCM, and all the holidays surrounding it.


    Email Marketing Best Practices Infographic:


    Alt tag: An in-depth infographic that gives retailers a step-by-step set of instructions on how to create email campaigns that appeal to customers and stay out of spam filters. The advice includes giving customers the option to unsubscribe, adding calls-to-action, including product images and clear branding/logos, suggested email sending times and including a holiday offer to entice customers in.


    Whether it’s Halloween, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or even President’s Day, picking your marketable holidays is just the first step.

    As you can see, there are many components that go into creating a winning holiday marketing campaign. So what else can you do to ensure you’re capturing your customers’ attention? 

    We've put together a few simple steps and tools you can use to make sure you're prepared for Black Friday/Cyber Monday and any other holiday during the season! And all of this is easy to master with Marsello's features: 


      • Plan ahead with a marketing calendar – Prepare for the upcoming holidays with the help of the Marketing Calendar feature. Whether you need a reminder of the upcoming holidays’ dates, or you want to schedule a series of holiday-specific campaigns, the Marketing Calendar makes this easy. Learn more.

      • Make use of pre-made email templates – If you’re strapped for time, one of the most effective ways you can create a campaign that you know will capture customers’ attention and keep you out of their Spam folders is by using pre-designed email templates. Not only can you customize your campaign to ensure it fits your brand, but you can also schedule your campaign for the future, helping to save you time now and down the line. Learn more

      • Boost your email campaigns – Seeing lower than expected email open rates? Never fear; that’s a common complaint at this time of year! Automatically resend email campaigns with a different subject line to everyone who didn’t open it the first time around! Learn more.

      • Send SMS campaigns – Follow up your holiday email campaign by sending an SMS campaign to those customers in your chosen segment who have opted-in to your SMS marketing. Learn more.

      • Offer loyalty points promotions through campaigns – Offer a points promotion for the days of the holiday and then focus your holiday email marketing campaign around that points promotion. Use enticing deals like double points to ensure your brand is in front of customers’ minds before the holiday has even arrived. Learn more

      • Make the most of data-driven customer segmentation – All signs point to personalization! Market-specific emails to different customer groups and watch as your engagement rates increase. Read how Spanish shoe brand, Yuccs, did just this last year over BFCM and saw outstanding results! Learn more about Customer Segmentation


    Now you’ve got all the tools you need to get started, head across to your Marsello admin and start creating.

    Alternatively, sign up today or book a demo.

    Get Marsello

    How to create customized automated campaigns to drive sales

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    Custom automations are perfect for requesting reviews, offering a post-purchase service or a timely cross-sell. Read more to learn how to use this feature.

    Retailer using Custom Automations to trigger an automated email to all their customers in 2 days time.


    Custom Automations are here! Now, you can easily design and enable your own custom email and SMS automations, giving you full flexibility with your automated marketing campaigns. By pairing this new feature with Marsello’s other tools, such as RFM Segmentation and your loyalty program, you’ll be able to create the perfect email flow or SMS Campaign that stands out and sees results.

    With Custom Automations, the options are endless. Automate campaigns that send to specific customer segments or trigger when a customer makes a purchase. Automated flows are perfect for requesting reviews, creating a referral email series, offering a post-purchase follow-up service or a timely cross-sell, just to name a few ideas.

    Let’s check out an example of a retailer who’s seen success using Custom Automations. 


    Home Goods Hardware encourages window shoppers to complete a purchase

    Window Shoppers can be notoriously tricky to convert to loyal customers. This hasn’t dissuaded Home Goods Hardware, though. The beautifully branded homewares store, based out of Australia, was one of the first to create a Custom Automation and we love their ingenuity.


    Email that welcomes customers by saying, “Thanks for joining the family” and offers them a 15% off discount on their first purchase.”


    The campaign features just one simple email that welcomes customers within the Window Shoppers (those who’ve created an account with the store but not completed a purchase) segment and encourages them to make a purchase with a 15% off discount code. With a 49% open rate and 7.5x ROI, Home Goods Hardware are reaping the rewards of automated marketing and we love that they’re doing so by targeting smaller customer groups. There are only 512 customers within their segment and with a 4.2% conversion rate, they’re really making the most of a potentially forgotten customer group.


    Read more about Home Goods Hardware’s success with Custom Automations.


    To create a similar style of Welcome Newsletter to Home Goods Hardware, try customizing and enabling the “Welcome Newsletter Sign-ups” template found at the bottom of your Automations admin. This easy-to-use template is set up to target customers who’ve only just signed up (1 hour after they’ve created an account), and encourages them to make a purchase by offering a 10% discount. Customers then exit the flow when they have made an order or the flow ends. 

    Let’s take a look at how you could use Custom Automations.


    Integrating customized automations into your marketing

    First thing’s first, the Custom Automations feature isn’t restricted to email campaigns! With the incredible open rates of SMS marketing (as much as 5x that of email marketing), they’re a powerful tool to add to your marketing campaigns. 

    This isn’t to say that email marketing is anything to be sniffed at! With a drag-and-drop email builder, customizing your emails to showcase your brand and products is as easy as selecting what content you’d like to include. 

    As we mentioned, Custom Automations are perfect for asking customers to leave reviews, incentivizing referrals, following up with customers after they’ve shopped, welcoming customers who’ve shopped recently, and more. Let’s break down some of these ideas

    • Requesting Reviews – The ins-and-outs of requesting reviews and customer referrals are quite similar when it comes to defining an audience; you’ll want to target customers who are loyal and have shopped recently. Add a delay to your automation that targets customers 5-7 days after their purchase, giving them time to receive the product (if bought online) and use it. Make sure to be clear where you would like them to leave a review too! If you use social media most often, add your Social Icons with the email drag-and-drop builder. 

    • Incentivizing Referrals – Much the same as requesting reviews, target loyal customers! Try setting up your automation to target customers who have shopped recently (last 5-7 days), and shopped more than three times. Remind them that this is an easy way to earn loyalty points and that their friend will also receive a gift too (ensure you’ve enabled your referral program within your Loyalty Program settings).

    • Post-purchase Follow-ups – If you’ve got a product that needs to be replaced regularly (subscription-based beauty products would be one example), you could create an automation flow that reminds customers to refill their order after three or so months. 

    • Welcoming Customers – Welcome new customers who’ve not yet made a purchase. Similar to Home Goods Hardware’s campaign, you could target customers who have signed up within the last day but not yet made a purchase, Each message within your flow could incrementally offer your customers a slightly higher discount, encouraging them to make a purchase. Alternatively, you could simply customize and enable the Welcome Newsletter Sign-ups automation which is found within the Automations tab of your Marsello admin.

    Let’s delve into the actual set-up of automated flows to help you understand these ideas a little better.


    Setting up your Custom Automations

    You’ll find Custom Automations under the ‘Automation’ section of ‘Marketing’ within your Marsello admin. Once you’ve elected to create a Custom Automation, you’ll have a range of options that that help you set up your automation flow.


    The creation of an Automated Campaign which requires the selection of Email, SMS, Points or Time Delay.
    1. Name your automation. While your customers won’t see this, it will help you to find the automation within your admin and adjust or track its results.

    2. Choose your trigger. Depending on what trigger you select, this will dictate how your customers enter the automation’s funnel. This essentially means that your customers must complete a specific action to receive your automation. Your trigger options include:

      • When an order is completed – When a customer makes a purchase, they will enter the funnel for your automation.

      • When a customer enters a segment – When a customer has been added to the segment because they have met the segment conditions. This is where your Custom Segments come in useful and allow you a lot of flexibility with marketing to specific customer groups.

      • When a customer signs up – When a customer has signed up via the POS, eCommerce, or an email collection features. 

    3. Choose your audience. Select which Customer Segment(s) you want to target with your automated campaign. Not only can you opt to use the pre-existing RFM segments found in Marsello, but you can also create your own segments. For example, if you wanted to create a campaign to say, “thank you for your first purchase” that’s specific to just your online customers, you could create a segment that specifically excludes customers who shop in-store. The beauty of custom segments is that you can really drill down into specific sets of customers and create targeted marketing that not only sees results but really engages those customers and helps to foster their loyalty to your brand.

    4. Choose your ‘exit conditions’. These are the conditions which specify when a customer will leave the flow. There are two options, which include: 

      • ‘When a customer makes an order or completes the automation flow’ – This is the default setting and ensures that the customer will leave the flow when they complete a purchase, or (if they do not complete a purchase) they will receive the entire automation flow. This condition is best used when the goal of your campaign is to incentivize customers to make another purchase.

      • ‘When a customer completes the automation flow’ – Automations with this exit condition will deliver all messages within the flow to the customers, regardless of if they make a purchase or not. This condition is best used when the goal of your campaign is to build a relationship with your customers, encourage loyalty or provide education.

    The options don’t end there when it comes to customizing your Custom Automation. Let’s take a look at the finer details of setting up your automation flow.


    How to customize your automated flow

    As we mentioned, with Custom Automations, you aren’t just restricted to email marketing. Why not follow up an email with an SMS to really make use of those powerful open rates? Perhaps a time delay could help improve your open rates by positioning your messaging at a better time for all customers? 

    For clear instructions on how to add-to and customize your automation flow, we’ve created an in-depth help article.


    In-app window showing that retailers must set their custom automation settings.


    This part of the customization process will allow you to add time delays, emails and/or SMS to your automation flow, as well as making it simple for you to award loyalty points. Details of each of these additions are as follows:

    • Time Delays – Adding time delays to your flow will enforce a delay between the end of the previous step (usually when the first message is delivered), and the next is due to send. It’s best to ensure a decent delay time to give your customers time to view your first message; we recommend around 48 hours.

    • Emails   Add an email as a step in your flow. It’s common to add a time delay before adding a new email to your flow. Once it’s added, customize your email to suit your messaging, branding and goal.   

    • SMS – Add an SMS as a step in your flow. As with email, it’s common to add a time delay before adding an SMS to your flow. Remember, SMS customization is more restricted than email and there are some content requirements that you’ll need to ensure you take note of. Check out the Custom Automation help centre article to help you craft an undeniable SMS addition to your campaign

    • Loyalty Points – Adding loyalty points as a step will automatically add a specified amount of points to your customers’ accounts. Simply input the number of points you’d like to award and select how you would like to let your customers know that they’ve accumulated points. 

    Let’s check out an example of a retailer who’s seen success using Custom Automations.


    Final words:

    Looking forward to creating your first Custom Automation? Check out our Custom Automation help centre article to help you create powerful automation flows that your customers will love.

    We’d love to see what Custom Automations you come up with – if you have an automation flow that you’re proud of, feel free to let us know by contacting us in our website chat window. 

    This feature is now available for all MarselloPro users. Not a MarselloPro user? Upgrade or sign up today to access Custom Automations and many more exciting features.


    Create Custom Automation

    Mastering Personalized Email Marketing with Custom Segmentation

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    Learn how to segment your customers in groups derived from customers’ shopping data and use those segments to create targeted marketing that converts.



    Did you know that you can use Marsello’s email marketing features to send personalized product recommendation emails? Whether you’re selling t-shirts, soaps, high-end jewelry, or photography services, taking the time to customize your marketing for specific segments will have a huge positive impact on both your customer loyalty, and on your revenue. Just follow these steps to create highly-targeted segmentation marketing that converts happy customers.


    Infographic: Product recommendations account for up to 31% of eCommerce site's revenue.

    Fun fact: Product recommendations account for up to 31% of eCommerce site's revenue.


    Step 1: Create a custom segment

    Log in to your Marsello app, select the ‘Customers’ section in the navigation menu, and then click on ‘Segments’.


    Select ‘Create Segment’ to start building your audience. To use an example, let’s say you want to reach out to VIP customers who bought from your awesome graphic tee collection for men, but haven’t made a purchase in the last 3-6 months.


    PRO TIP: Avoid sending emails to your entire customer database. Personalized marketing is much more effective than blanket approaches. Remember – the email that's written for everyone works for no one!


    Step 2: Create a Campaign

    Navigate to the ‘Campaigns’ feature in your Marsello app, and click on ‘New Campaign’. Under ‘Choose Your Audience’, click on ‘Selected Customer Segments’, and choose the new segment you just created of graphic tee fans. Write a punchy subject line (don’t be afraid to try emojis!), review your settings, and click ‘Next Step’.


    Now it’s time to get creative; here are a few ways you can make this email stand out:

    • Use the ‘Personalize’ tool from your text styling menu to include your customers’ first names, their VIP tier, and their points balance

    • Match your email design to your website to keep branding consistent

    • Use ‘you’ and ‘your’ where possible to make the email feel personal

    • Drag in a video block and share your best content.

    Lemonade's summer stock email campaign using Marsello's drag-and-drop builder

    Step 3: Add the Product Recommendations block

    As you’re personalizing your email, drag and drop the ‘Product Recommendations’ block into your message. The block will show up differently depending on which customer receives it – Marsello’s algorithm runs through a giant database of purchase behaviors to determine what each user is most likely to buy based on how they’ve shopped before. It’s pretty in-depth stuff, and if you want to learn more about the nitty gritty, you can read about it here.


    Using ‘Product Recommendations’, along with the personalization options from Step 3, means that every single customer will get a different email, one tailored specifically to them – making them much more likely to convert!


    PRO TIP: Send yourself a Test Email to make sure you're happy with the finished product.



    Step 4: Hit ‘Send’ and watch your conversion rates climb

    Once you’re happy with your message, click ‘Next Step’, review your audience, settings, design, and select if you want to send your email immediately or schedule for the future. Depending on what you choose, click either ‘Send Now’ or ‘Schedule Campaign’, and wait for your results to come in.


    With these targeted email campaigns, your customers are 600% more likely to continue shopping with you and help you grow your business, simply due to the fact that you’re only emailing them when it matters. 



    Export a custom audienceGET MARSELLO


    Run Retargeting Facebook Ads to Your Custom Audiences to Maximize ROI

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    Read the first in our Marsello Mini-Series to learn how to export your customer segments and run retargeting ads to shoppers who are most likely to convert



    Did you know that you can use Marsello to improve your Facebook ads? On average, it takes around eight touchpoints to convert a cold lead into a buyer, so utilizing retargeting ads alongside your other marketing channels makes for a truly powerful combo! Just follow the steps below to export any of your customer segments and run retargeting ads to shoppers who are most likely to convert. 


    Infographic: Customers who see retargeting ads are 70% more likely to convert


    Fun fact: Visitors who are retargeted with ads are 70% more likely to convert.


    Step 1: Create a custom audience
    Log in to your Marsello app, select the ‘Customers’ section in the navigation menu, and then click on ‘Segments’.


    Select ‘Create Segment’ to start building your audience. To use an example, let’s say you have a popular collection of items in your store called ‘The Blue Series’. You’ve just added a new product to the collection, and you can’t wait to let your customers know!


    PRO TIP: Pair an email marketing campaign to this segment with your new Facebook ads to ensure that you interact with your customers wherever they happen to spend time online.


    Try building out an audience of people who’ve purchased from your ‘Blue Series’ in the last few months, like so:


    The 'Create a Segment' page in Marsello's app

    When you’ve included all the conditions you need, click ‘Save and Create Segment’. 


    If you need help creating a segment, check out our Help Center article here for more info.


    Step 2: Export your audience

    Once you’ve saved your new segment, go back to your ‘Segments’ dashboard, find the one you just created, and click ‘Export Segment’ from the drop-down menu, which will start a download of a CSV file with your new, custom audience!


    PRO TIP: Facebook will only serve ads to audiences of a certain size, so try to create an audience of at least 1000 emails so Facebook can match as many as possible to its users.


    Step 3: Import your audience into Facebook

    Open up Facebook Ads Manager, and go to ‘Audiences’ from your navigation bar:


    Facebook Ads manager

    From there, click on ‘Create Audience’, and select ‘Custom Audience’.


    Select ‘Customer File’, then ‘Use a file that doesn’t include LTV’. Upload the CSV you exported from Marsello, and hit ‘Upload & Create’. 


    Step 4: Create an ad campaign to target your new audience

    It will take Facebook some time to match the emails you uploaded to users on its platform, but you can start building your ad campaign while the audience is populating.

    In Ads Manager, click the green ‘Create’ button and start designing your Campaign. Once you’re at the Ad Set level, click into the ‘Custom Audiences’ block and select the audience you just uploaded. 


    Once you’ve set all your audience filters, continue to the ad level, write up some killer copy to convert your customers, upload a captivating image, and hit ‘Confirm’. 


    Your brand-new Facebook ad campaign will start running once the audience has populated at least 1000 users, so you can sit back, relax, and watch those sales start rolling in! And remember, don’t be afraid to use more than one channel to market to your segments. 


    Export a custom audienceGET MARSELLO

    Customer Segmentation Series Part 3: Acquisition Marketing

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    So you want to apply your Customer Segmentation knowledge to your aquisition marketing. Learn the ropes with Part 3 of the Customer Segmentation Series.
    Customer Segmentation Series Part Three Cover Image

    So you’ve mastered your understanding of your customer segments and now you want to apply that knowledge to your marketing. Welcome to part three, the final instalment of our customer segmentation series. In this blog, we’ll be looking into using segmentation to get the most out of your acquisition marketing while also considering short-term and long-term marketing strategies and real examples from successful businesses.



    What is acquisition marketing and how does customer segmentation help with that?


    Before we get started, let’s cover the basics of what acquisition marketing is, and why it’s important to any merchant's business.

    The core goal of acquisition marketing is attracting new customers who have never shopped with you before. But beyond converting your customers, you want to retain those customers once they’ve made their first purchase (see part two of this blog series) and convert them into loyal customers that shop frequently with you.


    It’s no secret, however, that acquiring a new customer is costly – up to 25 times as expensive, depending on what industry you’re in. It’s important that you know where to put your marketing budget and how much of that should go into your acquisition efforts – it’s a balance that can take a little testing to get right. Your budget distribution will heavily depend on where your business is in its journey, e.g. if you have no customers at all yet, then an acquisition-heavy focus makes sense. Just keep in mind that you want those new customers to keep coming back – retention. Essentially, you want to know what your budget should be when it comes to marketing to potential customers. Insert the Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) equation:


    Marketing Costs ÷ Customers Acquired = Customer Acquisition Cost


    To put it simply, if you spend $100 on your marketing in a month and acquire 100 customers during that time period, your CAC would be $1. As this example suggests, the CAC is usually used with reference to a specific marketing project for a certain time period. Keep in mind that CAC is fickle and should be taken with a grain of salt! Here are some quick steps on how you can decrease your CAC without enormous effort:

    1. Ensure your website is conversion-friendly. Think mobile compatibility, user experience, clear product listings that make use of relevant keywords, and high-quality product photography. You want to make it easy for your customers (new and loyal) to navigate to and through your site, and to make purchases with you. They should be able to easily search for the products they’re looking for, while also navigating past products they may potentially be interested in – clever product segmentation is a very useful tool in getting your customers to make the most of your store.

    2. Boost the value of your current customers. This means working on moving your customers to more desirable segments and increasing the Return on Investment (ROI) that you get from your marketing. Make sure to check out Part Two of this series in which we look at retention marketing with customer segmentation.

    To make a profit on your marketing, your monetary output needs to be less than what you receive back. In the case of acquisition, the value of your new customers must be more than the amount that you put into acquiring that customer. Using customer segmentation to understand who your most reliable customers are, and then using that knowledge to target customers like them (think lookalike audiences with exported CSVs and negative audiences – more on this later) is how you can be sure that your marketing is reaching customers who will most likely become loyal shoppers.


    Check out this blog by Shopify to get an idea of ways that you can increase your conversion rates with ease.



    Marketing Accquistion

    What do customer segmentation and acquisition marketing look like?


    A recent CMO survey found that 44% of marketers use customer segmentation to develop their acquisition marketing strategy.


    Making the most of customer segmentation (see part 1 of this blog series and our Customer Segmentation Guide to get started) plays directly into your acquisition marketing. It’s simple; understanding your best, most loyal customers gives you a clear understanding of who they are and what they like. You then have the power to use this information to target customers like them.


    As Hackernoon states, the communication in your acquisition marketing strategy needs to be informative: “At this stage, they would prefer to learn about the solutions to their problems. In later stages, you may need to talk about other related products in your communication.”



    Marsello Customer Segmentation Grid and Suggestions


    Establishing a useful and easily understood blog, maintaining your content SEO (including your product listings), and ensuring for top-quality user experience, no matter what device your website is being viewed on, goes a long way in helping you to attract new customers. If you’re unsure about SEO marketing, make sure to check out our recent blog series. What you need to remember is that if your SEO is top-notch, search engines will prioritize you as a search result and your store will be more and more visible to more and more customers.


    Let’s drill down on this a bit and look at content marketing as a way to attract customers organically.

    Step one is to get started by creating a blog post closely related to your store, products, or even your processes. For ideas on what your posts could be about, check out blogs from your competitors and influencers in your industry. It could be something as simple as “10 styles that we love this summer” if you’re a fashion-based retailer.


    Then, start to share your blog. Create social media posts that link to it, share the posts among community groups you think the blog may help and don’t forget to include keywords in the blog copy and in your post. Just be careful not to flood your work with keywords. If you’re incorporating the words that customers are likely to associate with your store, the chances of your store appearing in the search results for those words is amplified, but overdoing it could actually hurt your SEO. Tools such as the Chrome Add-on ‘Keywords Everywhere’ can be a really useful free tool here. And it doesn’t always have to be the newest, freshest, most thought-provoking content to make an impact. Check out this quick guide by Aleyda Solis on repurposing content to keep it fresh with minimal effort.


    And don’t lose heart. Content marketing can be a slow burn and sometimes you may not see results immediately. Even though it can seem like your blog and content may not be relating directly to conversions, remember that it’s intertwined in your brand and business visibility. The more valuable content that you publish, and the more you can get your store linked to on other websites (with the more traffic the better), the more search engines ‘like’ the look of your website and are likely to boost it in the search results. The reason this takes a while is that you’re competing with all the similar content out there and it can take a little while for the search engine to take notice. Keep at it and you’ll start to notice more and more readers, a percentage of whom will eventually convert to loyal customers.


    An article being written on a laptop.

    Customer Experience


    Make your products and your brand so appealing, informative, and industry-leading that new customers can’t help but peruse your products – and you should try to do this for as little cost as possible because, well, you can! It makes sense then that your customers’ experience of your store should be A-class. Whether your business is brick-and-mortar, online, or both, it’s imperative that your new and existing customers have such a pleasant experience shopping with you that they’re inclined to shop again. Pay attention to your customer service practices and overhaul them – check out this blog by Vend to get some ideas on where to start.


    Here are a few ideas to consider too:

    Offer tracking for shipped items:

    Apps like AfterShip offer easy shipping tracking for your customers post-purchase. These offer them peace of mind once they’ve spent money with your store, particularly if the item is being shipped from another country or state. Your customers are easily able to check on the status of their parcel with the click of a button and they can rest assured knowing that if there are any issues, they are able to let you know in good time. This also gives you a golden opportunity to tackle any customer service questions by creating a clear path of conversation for your customers. If in-store customers are requesting shipping and it’s within scope for you, imagine how thrilled they’ll be to hear the answer is yes, they can have that beautiful item delivered to their door. Now imagine their gratitude when you get in touch with them again to supply a shipment tracking number, simply remind yourself of their details and let them know when their package has been sent.


    Approach with influencers:

    Influencers from your industry and similar industries are leading faces of the market. Customers trust their suggestions and even sometimes avidly wait for their favorite influencers to discuss more products. This doesn’t have to be sneaky product placement; think about how great the PR is for a well-known social media personality to openly say they love your product. Often, all it takes is getting in contact with the influencer or their agent, striking up an agreement (X amount of free items for X in return – usually photos/videos/content and a personal recommendation if they like the product). Once you’re all agreed on a contract and have the necessary details lined up, simply send out the products. Remember it’s important to establish an expected timeline for the influencer’s marketing, and often it’s a good idea to line these up with product releases or new stock.


    Consider the unboxing trend:

    There’s a reason influencers and customers are videoing themselves opening products from their favorite stores and sharing these online. It’s a recognized and effective form of sharing their experience and when it’s really positive, it’s only natural for your customers to want others to know. Including a hand-written note and a sample product could be perfect, particularly if you use loyalty tiers and your customers have reached a new tier. It’s also a great way to welcome new customers to your store after their first purchase. A small prompt for an unboxing on the packaging and an additional mention of your social media handles could be just the ticket to getting your customers to share (and rave about) their experience. Just remember to keep it within the possible bounds of your business. If a short thank you note and some simple but aesthetic eco-packaging are more your style and more aligned to your brand, that’s great! Keeping it within your budget is the key to success.



    An influencer filming an unboxing video.

    Using Marsello’s segmentation to inform your paid marketing


    The most effective acquisition marketing that you’ll get from your Marsello product is invaluable – it’s an in-depth understanding of your current customers and their shopping patterns. By using your segmentation data to get detailed customer insights, you’re able to create audiences of potential customers who have similar tastes, style,s and shopping patterns.


    The basic steps are reasonably simple:

    1. Download your most desired segments as CSVs (likely best/loyal customers)

    2. Add this CSV to your social media business account as an audience

    3. Select ‘create lookalike audience’ to create a selection of users that share similar characteristics to your original segment

    4. Just remember to exclude the original CSV group from the lookalike audience when building a new campaign, and your marketing is set to reach a wide range of customers similar to your most loyal, without you having to pay for your current customers clicking and blowing your acquisition budget.

    Remember that social media and paid advertising are complicated beasts, but understanding your audiences and who you’re targeting can set you apart. This also works best if you have an audience of over 1000 customers, otherwise, you may find that your marketing doesn’t deliver as your social media channel deems the audience too small.


    Why not start with something proven? Acquisition marketing can tie in and be linked to your retention marketing. Using tactics like customer referrals and reviews incentives are sometimes the difference between a sale and not. Email and loyalty apps, like Marsello, offer pre-designed, optimized emails that are automated to send to your customers at different stages of their customer lifecycle.



    Social Media spelled in scrabble tiles and the facebook mobile app log-in page

    Final words


    Acquisition marketing is a fine art made up of knowing who your customers are, attracting the right customer based on your previous knowledge, and then making sure your acquisition efforts flow into your retention efforts – you want those ideal customers you’ve gone to so much trouble attracting to keep coming back. And with indicators like customer segments, Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC), and Return on Investment (ROI), you’re already way ahead of the game.

    Just remember that whatever marketing efforts you put in place, keep testing them. If you use a lookalike audience from 6 months ago, but your products have changed completely then the profiles of your ‘best’ and ‘loyal’ customers will have also changed. Using old customer data would therefore not be as likely to appeal to your new potential customers.

    Start with the basics and work your way up. With eCommerce, ensure that you have your product listings nailed, keywords carefully added without flooding your content, and product photos crisp, while referring to our SEO series to make sure you’re nailing this. Your customer’s experience of your online store, regardless of the device they’re using, should be free-flowing and simple. Buying from your online store should feel like an enjoyable experience from their first-page view right down to the customer receiving their package on time.

    If your business is mostly or entirely brick-and-mortar, the basics are the same! You want your potential customer to have a peaceful, enjoyable, informed, and encouraging experience in your store and you want that potential customer to make a purchase. Don’t fall into any traps on inundating your customer with too many products and eye-catching things. Start with researching physical product placement within stores like yours to see if there are perhaps patterns you should be following.


    And remember, anything to do with SEO, content marketing, and subtle prompts can sometimes take a very long time to get off the ground. Be patient and experiment with what works best for your brand.



    Product placement

    Have you seen the rest of the Customer Segmentation Series?
    Check out Part Two and Three in the links below:


    Take me to part 1Take me to part 2


    Customer Segmentation Series Part 2: Retention Marketing

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    Learn the finer details of retention marketing when targeting customer segments. Create personalized marketing campaigns that will deliver the highest ROI.

    Customer Segmentation Series Part Two Cover Image


    So, you've read Part One of our Customer Segmentation Series and now you want to learn more about how that translates to your marketing strategies. You’ve come to the right place; introducing, Part Two of our Customer Segmentation Series. In this blog, we will be tackling the finer details of targeted marketing by drilling down on the customers who respond to retention marketing. Naturally, the next question is where do you start? And how do you understand which customers you should be targeting?



    Knowing which customers to market to


    There are a couple of factors to keep in mind when it comes to retention marketing:

    1. First, it can be “anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive” to acquire a new customer than it is to keep an established one, depending on what industry you’re in. Furthermore, as Forbes put it, “acquiring new customers is important, but retaining them accelerates profitable growth.” Forbes also adds the old adage, “Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver, the other gold.” What we’re getting at here is that when it comes to making smart investments with regards to your marketing, it’s incredibly beneficial to focus on established customers.

    2. The second factor is something called the 80:20 rule. The basic rundown is that 80% of your revenue is attributable to 20% of your customers. This means that your best and most loyal customers are the ones keeping your business afloat, and you should be paying close attention to them.

    Don’t take this to mean that you shouldn’t be focused on acquisition marketing, we’re simply saying that to make the most out of your marketing tactics, you need to understand where your budget is going and how you’re planning to spend that budget effectively. Stay tuned for Part Three of this blog series to learn about acquisition marketing with customer segmentation.


    We’ve established there is a certain selection of your customers who will cost you the least to market to, who are the most loyal, and who often have the most useful feedback for you – tapping into this is key to nailing customer loyalty. Pay attention to your Best’, ‘Loyal’, and ‘Promising’ segments and use tactics to engage these customers in ways that give them what they want. Think tiered loyalty programs, friend referrals, spending rewards like free shipping, or ‘freebies’ at a certain spend. Tactics that tell your customers that you appreciate them, know what they want, and assure them that they don’t have to look anywhere else will help you to keep your customers coming back to your store over and over again.



    Understanding your segments

    A group of diverse people representing different customer segments


    As your customer database grows, that the metrics defining your segments will change too. It’s important to understand how your segments grow and change in order to get the most out of your marketing. Segmentation is an amazing tool for creating targeted marketing, but it’s vital for you to understand how the segment rules will adjust to your customer’s shopping behaviors and ultimately your segments. For example, as your ‘Best’ customers order more frequently and spend more per order, the minimum spend to enter the ‘Best’ segment could increase, potentially causing some of your other ‘Best’ customers to fall into the ‘Loyal’ segment. A good metric to look at in this example is the segment’s Average Customer Lifetime Value (ACLV).


    Looking into a segment’s ACLV is helpful when you’re getting into the nitty-gritty of your budgeting, your target audiences, and your customer segments. If you know how much your customers are worth to you now, and you can estimate how much they will be worth to you in the future (over the next 3 years), you can allocate your marketing budget to get the biggest return on investment. Check out our blog on calculating Customer Lifetime Value to help you understand the basics of CLV and how Marsello calculates this for you. Our friends at Shopify also clearly explain the importance of CLV. As they put it,

    “Not all customers are created equal. In fact, the top 1% of eCommerce customers are worth up to 18 times more than average customers. […] As a business owner, you need to be able to focus your efforts on acquiring the right customers—the customers who will take your business from being a flash-in-the-pan success to a household name.”

    Understanding your ACLV and where you should allocate your marketing budget all come back to Return on Investment (ROI) – you want your marketing spend to even out through your revenue gain, otherwise, that marketing can quickly become an expensive loss. When you understand your segments, how they change, and who is in them, you can predict which ones have the opportunity to become more valuable and who will already give you a high ROI. Let’s look at another example of how your segment metrics can change with a different customer group. As your customers shop more frequently, your average purchase cycle will decrease. This would have a visible effect on your ’At Risk’ and ‘Lost’ segments as the timeframe for your customers to slip into these segments would decrease, meaning that these segments would likely grow. But it’s important to note that your customers are shopping more frequently, which is a good thing, so just because segments that could be more worrying at a glance are growing, does not necessarily mean that your marketing is not working.


    To understand how Marsello’s Customer Segmentation feature organizes your customer database, read Marsello’s guide to Customer Segmentation “Take Personalization to the Next Level with Customer Segmentation by Marsello”.



    Generating loyalty with Retention Marketing


    Don’t get it confused, retention marketing and loyalty are not the same things. Retention marketing is using specific tactics to engage customers who have already made a purchase with you and to encourage them to keep purchasing. Loyalty marketing is one tactic that you can use within your retention marketing toolkit (think loyalty programs with generous rewards), however, loyalty itself is when your customers are committed to buying your products; you’ve nurtured their relationship with your store and now they’re a customer who won’t take a huge marketing effort to make another purchase.

    So how do you generate loyal relationships with your customers?


    Customer using a discount code at online checkout


    Think about what makes you want to return to your favorite stores, online or otherwise; it’s all in your previous experience of that store. No customer wants to feel like just another number to a retailer – the key is in nurturing the customer’s loyalty by giving them a shopping experience to remember, and this doesn’t have to stop at the completion of a transaction. Take the example of using an email to thank a first-time customer for shopping with you. Offering them a worthwhile discount code when they spend over a certain amount on their next purchase is a perfect way to entice them to shop again.


    At its core, coupling customer segmentation with retention marketing gives you the power to curate marketing strategies personalized to each segment. Get started by testing the success of your current marketing with each of your segments. Do your ‘Best’ customers love emails with product recommendations based on what they’ve bought before? What about your ‘New’ customers? Maybe they just need a reminder to join your generous loyalty program that allows them to climb to higher-earning tiers and they’ll become a ‘Loyal’ customer in no time.


    Let’s create an example: Jane is in your ‘Loyal’ customer segment. She shops reasonably often, although mostly in smaller amounts – a single item at a time (your best customers shop frequently and often buy three or more items at a time). To successfully have Jane move to your ‘Best’ customer segment, you would need her to spend more with each purchase. Giving her access to a tiered loyalty program that rewards her for these purchases could be the marketing strategy that changes her shopping patterns. She knows that if she spends $X on the next purchase, she’ll move tiers and gets access to doubled points per spend. Moving tiers and higher rewards could be the incentive Jane needs to make more frequent purchases with you.


    As Jane begins to spend more with you, you evolve your marketing strategies and use these to nurture your customer relationships, this, in turn, makes Jane (and customers like her) feel more engaged with your brand and fosters loyalty. Jane is therefore increasingly more inclined to shop with your store and is now more likely to enter more reliable segments. If loyalty programs aren’t working for your customers, then maybe it’s time to trial deals on shipping or offering freebies with purchases that total over a certain amount.


    Check out Our Bralette Club's loyalty program for an idea of how to master a generous loyalty program. The team at Our Bralette Club makes it easy for their customers to accumulate points and then once those customers reach 1000 points and then 1200 respectively, they reach different levels of the Peach Party VIP program. At level 2, customers start earning 3 points for every dollar they spend and at level 3, they earn 4 points for every dollar spend.


    The Peach Party's detailed VIP program instantly gives OBC's customers more and more incentive to keep shopping at a store they already love enough to have earned points to reach another tier.




    Global beauty brand and distributor, MECCA, are also well known for their loyalty program, ‘Beauty Loop’, featuring multiple tiers and yearly freebie rewards to customers within each tier – and those gifts keep getting better with each tier that their customers reach.


    MECCA are also champions of freebies and offers, including entire racks of travel-sized cheaper, but beautifully presented products near their tills and offering free trial products when certain purchase requirements are met. If you don’t have a MECCA store near you, take a look through their products and marketing online to see how the pros are nailing it in both an eCommerce and POS setting.


    Check out their loyalty program in the image below:


    Mecca Beauty Loop Rewards


    Another power of retention marketing is that you’re reaching out to customers who already know your business, your brand, and your products. This means that you’re able to rely on this knowledge to bring them back to your store with crowd favorites, unmissable deals, or loyalty program incentives. Remember, it’s all about helping your customers to feel supported, understood, and appreciated.


    Retention marketing is huge and can require a bit of trial and error. To get you started on planning, check out this blog from BigCommerce on “How to Retain Customers and Spend Less”. Take note of the way they stress the importance of personalization, customer service, and, above all, valuable content. Shopify is also nailing product advice with this course on product photography. If you know that certain products are selling more than others and you think it could directly relate to the image or text in that product listing, perhaps it’s worth testing if replicating this with other products will help all of your products to sell equally as well.


    As we’ve noted before, email marketing is the most effective form of marketing within retail – even if you’re store is solely brick-and-mortar with a loyalty program linked to your POS, you can effectively use email marketing with your customers. To put it into simple figures, the ROI of email is as high as 3,800% and email marketing is as high as 40x more effective than Facebook or Twitter when it comes to product marketing making conversions. By intelligently segmenting your customers base and understanding your customers by their shopping habits allows you to open up an enormous range of marketing potential. Providing content that is relevant to each customer segment automatically helps those customers to feel more appreciated, more engaged, and therefore more likely to complete a purchase.


    With all the planning, trial, and error that comes with figuring out how to make your marketing work for you, it can all feel very intimidating. Apps like Marsello, with a built-in tiered loyalty program and automated email flows, are designed to make this process easier for you and can be a powerful addition to your toolkit. Remember though, when you’re adding to your marketing toolkit, this needs to be accounted for in your budgeting.


    Marsello Customer Segmentation Grid and marketing suggestions

    Final Words


    The buzz around retention marketing is there for a reason, it works! And with customer segmentation at your fingertips with tools like Marsello, it’s so much easier to automate this process and understand your data. Remember though, it’s not as simple as setting up a loyalty program and hoping that will be enough, you need to cater to your customers and find out exactly what it is that works for each segment. Do your research too – it never hurts to check out what successful stores like yours are up to.


    Stay tuned for blog three in this series in which we will go in-depth on acquisition marketing. We want you to get the most ROI from your marketing budget, and we want it to be simple for you to achieve this success. Let us know if there are any tricks that you love using in your retention marketing in the comments below, or better yet, head to our app listing and give us a review of what it is exactly that you love about Marsello.


    Have you seen the rest of the Customer Segmentation Series?
    Check out Part One and Three in the links below:


    Take me to part 1Take me to part 3

    Customer Segmentation Series Part 1: Segmentation & RFM

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    Learn how RFM customer segmentation works, how to implement it effectively, and how to ensure your customer segments see results in your marketing.

    Customer Segmentation Series Part One


    Sometimes, it can feel as though your carefully planned marketing is drowning in a sea of emails, paid ads, and brand awareness campaigns. In turn, it can then feel like an impossible task to convince a customer to pick your products and brand for their Retail Lifeboats: the SS Revenue and SS Loyalty.


    Marsello released Customer Segmentation specifically designed to tackle this. We’re taking the guesswork out of segmentation and targeted marketing, however, we expect retailers to want to understand what is happening. We want you to have all the information to make the most out of your segmentation, from the basics to retention marketing and finally, acquisition marketing. That’s right, welcome to part one of another Marsello three-part blog series. And if you didn’t see our SEO series, check out part one here.


    As internet marketing guru Neil Patel says, "User segmentation isn’t something that is alien in the marketing world. The big brands have this down to a T, and the little guys are just waking up to the power behind having a laser-focused strategy — laser-focused on user segmentation."


    Business marketing meeting

    Customer Segmentation 101

    It’s becoming increasingly apparent that retailers should be specifically marketing their brand to smaller subsections of their customers, rather than their entire customer base. The idea that when customers are segmented by their shopping behaviors, traits, and previous purchases, it’s far easier to target them with marketing campaigns that are most likely to result in a sale. Think about how hard it is to try and create your marketing when you know next-to-nothing about your customers – using customer segmentation to inform tailored, and personalized messaging is a proven, sure-fire way to keep customers interested and even win-back customers who have lapsed.

    Let’s break that down. I love this example: everyone has their coffee preferences – americano, latte, cappuccino, espresso, iced coffee, or a cup of tea instead. The thing is, selling an espresso to someone who knows they want a large frothy soy latte is a waste of time, and can even sometimes leave that customer feeling like they wasted their money. Cafes that cater to a wide variety of coffee preferences, and even dietary requirements, are already using customer segmentation by meeting the needs of as many customers as possible while still selling a small variety of products. It’s tailored marketing at its most basic! And it doesn’t mean you have to stick to catering to what customers know, for example, cafe regulars who take their coffee away may be thrilled with a reusable coffee cup deal that includes a free coffee at the time of purchase. It’s all about applicability.


    Cafes can easily go the extra mile. The Marsello marketing team are regulars at a nearby cafe. With weekly meetings and daily morning coffee orders, the baristas have gotten to know even our most particular orders. For example, one of our team loves a mochaccino, but only when the coffee is strong, and the chocolate is quarter-strength. It took a little trial and error to get there (and sometimes when there’s a new barista there’s a bit of refamiliarizing needed), and now our local cafe has this particular coffee (and all the others) so nailed that when our team walks in, our Mochaccino Marketer just has to say, “My usual please”. This familiarity, their generosity with their loyalty program, and their warm, attentive customer service have made our entire team very loyal customers.


    What the local cafe is doing here is helping Marsello’s Marketers to feel cared for, attended to, and that our loyalty is appreciated; this makes us want to shop with them again and again, and therefore helps us to form a recurring spending pattern. Their attention to detail, excellent quality coffee, and care for our individual needs then help us to feel further catered to, and when little perks like free scones are thrown in, we are not only sure to keep coming back, but we’re sure to bring others and form lasting habits.


    That’s great for cafes, but how do we apply this to the wide variety of eCommerce and Point-of-Sale stores out there when knowing each customer at an individual level isn’t feasible? Well, have you heard of RFM (Recency, Frequency & Monetary) analysis for customer segmentation? If you haven’t, the reason we’re here is to explain the basics.


    The interior of a busy cafe

    What is RFM analysis

    RFM analysis starts by basically asking three questions about each customer:

    1. How recently have they shopped with you?

    2. How often do they make a purchase?

    3. How much have they spent?

    Once you’ve asked these core behavioral questions and started to organize your customers, you can begin to develop how you will work to capture these segments within your different marketing tactics.


    Now, actually stopping to query this of every customer isn’t going to work, but automating it through customer database analysis will! Marsello’s customer segmentation does the hard work for you here, although it always pays to understand how that works. Yep, you read that right! Marsello’s Customer Segmentation is data-driven and based on RFM analysis. We’re also excited to give you paired suggestions that are designed to take the segmentations marketing capabilities one step further and help you to begin targeting customers, helping to move them to more loyal and reliable segments. Keep your eyes peeled on our upcoming blog on customer segmentation and retention marketing where we’ll go into more detail on this.


    Payment card being used at a POS

    The RFM Analysis Ranking System

    RFM analysis doesn’t just stop at organizing your customers based on recency, frequency and monetary. To make the most out of this system, it’s then important to rank the importance of these categories and rank the customers within these categories, allowing you then to find your most loyal customers, those who are most at risk, or, for example, those who haven’t shopped recently. We’re really just brushing the surface here so let’s dig in and create an example:


    Sam, a sewing master, and clothing designer, has been running a successful clothing company for the past year. He's been sending blanket messages to his customers and has recently discovered RFM analysis. Instead, Sam wants to create marketing that can reach out to all of his customers, without assuming the same demographics of them; so he begins using RFM to organize them and is now in the process of ranking them. To do this, he exports spreadsheets from his Point-of-Sale and eCommerce system, combines the spreadsheets and then manually has to rank each of his customers using RFM analysis.


    In order to make sure that he ranks his customers fairly and without bias, he creates his calculation process; this is easy for her monetary i.e. how much they’ve spent. However, it becomes more complicated for frequency and monetary. Frequency is the number of orders they’ve made in a specific time frame, what should that time frame be? What’s excellent and what’s not? Recency is how often they shop, however, when does a customer become at risk? What is their average purchase cycle? In short, how do you know you’ve done this correctly? And how often should you do this process?


    Here’s where Marsello’s customer segmentation sets us apart. With the correlation between recency of purchasing and the likelihood of purchasing again, Marsello’s data-driven segmentation organizes customers with this in mind. For customers in the ‘New’ segment, are specifically customers who have made one order within the past year. However, if a customer makes more than one purchase within the year, they move to and of the ‘Promising,’ ‘Loyal,’ and ‘Best’ segments, scaled according to Frequency and Spend. Check out the Marsello Customer Segmentation tool below. Each block is interactive and includes a customer list for the specific segments, leaving room for detailed marketing efforts down the line.


    Marsellos in-app RFM customer segmentation graph

    Let’s create another example: for Sam’s highest spending customer (let’s call them ‘Belinda’), who also shops multiple times a month. Belinda is a devoted follower of Sam’s clothing designs, and he knows Belinda by face when she enters the store. Of course, Belinda is within the ‘best’ category, but to keep her here, Sam knows that he needs to cater to this customer on a personal level. Belinda likes her clothes to be shipped from the brick-and-mortar store, and, from previous experience with her, Sam knows this is the case. Sam’s more than happy to oblige because he knows it means repeat sales from his highest spending customer.


    Now, it’s worth noting that Belinda the ‘Best’ can slip into the ‘At Risk’ segment. Sam knows from shopping patterns to expect Belinda at least twice per month within his brick-and-mortar store, and he can also usually expect at least one online purchase from her every two or three months. On one occasion, Belinda doesn’t complete a purchase for four months! Because this is out of her regular purchase cycle, Belinda slips into the ‘At Risk’ segment. Sam can see this is a bit of a problem and creates marketing to hopefully bring Belinda back. If Belinda doesn’t complete a purchase within 12 months of her last purchase, she moves segments again to become a ‘Lost’ customer.


    With the example of Sam and Belinda, it’s simple to see how customer segmentation can have a significant effect on marketing strategies. Rather than sending Belinda an email for a generic coupon, as a ‘Best’ customer, it would be wise for Sam to offer Belinda something that feels a little more exclusive and tangible. Perhaps tiered loyalty and added purchase freebies would be a good option.


    Check out Our Bralette Club's beautiful loyalty program which features VIP tiers for inspiration:


    Our Bralette Club's loyalty widget


    Marsello’s customer segmentation doesn’t just stop at organizing customers. As we’ve already mentioned, it can be a mammoth task to organize customers into segments manually, and to know that you have to do this regularly is daunting. Knowing how often you should be updating your segments isn’t even the start of it. The good news is that Marsello’s customer segmentation is updated every 24 hours, and we’re aiming to up the ante and make these updates even more regular. Even if you are using RFM, manually updating every day just isn’t feasible, so we’ve got you covered, ensuring your targeted marketing is accurate.


    If you’re still curious about manual segmentation, Shopify and BigCommerce have published some incredibly descriptive articles on RFM.



    So, what do we know


    • RFM analysis is used to organize customer databases into specific segments. Basing these segments off customer’s purchase behavior gives crucial insight into the type of marketing you should use to target them and to move them between segments.

    • Frequency and monetary values are core to calculating your customer lifetime value (CLV); meanwhile, recency gives insight into customer engagement and indicates the likelihood of that customer coming back again. We’ll go into this in more detail in Part Two of this series, so keep up to date with these blogs by subscribing on the right-hand side of your screen, and following Marsello on Twitter or Facebook.

    • Targeting your marketing based on these metrics allows you to focus your budget on areas such as retention and acquisition, while still moving customers to more reliable segments.

    Stay tuned for our Customer Segmentation Series parts two and three to learn more about segmentation coupled with retention marketing and acquisition-focused tactics.


    Have you seen the rest of the Customer Segmentation Series?
    Check out Part Two and Three in the links below:


    Take me to part 2

    SEO Series Part 1: Getting Started With Search Engine Optimization

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    From ads and influencers to podcasts and Google AdWords, we've put together several effective SEO tactics to help you get the word out about your store.

    Marsello's SEO series part 1

    As far as eCommerce marketing is concerned, merchants have a variety of choices. From Instagram ads and influencer marketing to podcasts and Google AdWords, there’s no shortage of tactics you can try if you’re looking to get the word out about your store.


    Despite the rise of newer and sexier marketing strategies, search engine optimization – SEO for short – continues to be one of the most effective ways to get your site out there. As Search Engine Land points out, having great visibility in search engines drives awareness and traffic to your site, benefits your brand, and builds credibility and trust.


    When done right, SEO can also lead to lower customer acquisition costs over the long term. Once you’ve gotten your site to rank for profitable keywords, you’ll find that people will  find your store organically without you having to actively pay for them to do so (unlike with ads).


    SEO is clearly an important component of eCommerce marketing. That’s why we’re excited to unveil a new article series here on the Marsello blog. Over the next few weeks, we’re going to be publishing SEO-centric posts to help take your search engine presence to the next level.


    To kick things off, we’re covering the basic steps you need to take to optimize your eCommerce site for search.


    Let’s dive in.


    1. Always start with keyword research

    Keyword research is one of the cornerstones of SEO. You need to identify what terms your customers are typing into search engines like Google and what terms connect with your store, then, optimize your site accordingly by adding these keywords into your core content such as the ‘about’ sections and product descriptions.


    There are a number of tools that can help you do this. One that easily comes to mind is Google Keyword Planner, a free solution that lets you search for relevant keywords.


    Here’s how it works: start by entering keywords relevant to your product. So, if you’re selling tea and tea supplies, you can type in terms like ‘tea,’ ‘teaware,’ ‘tea accessories,’ etc.


    From there, Google will show you each keyword’s estimated search volume and level of competition. Google will also suggest other search terms related to the keywords you entered.


    Google Ad Words Keyword by Relevance tool

    Note that while Google’s Keyword Planner is a solid tool, you may want to check out premium SEO software such as SEMRush and Ahrefs. These solutions can offer more granular data around search volume and provide insights into the keywords you should be targeting.


    Now, the best keyword strategy will vary from one site to the next, but generally speaking, you’ll need to factor in the following things when deciding which keywords to target:


    Search volume – You want to have a decent number of people searching for the keywords you choose to make the effort of finding and inserting them worth it. If a certain keyword only gets 0-10 searches a month, then it’s best to move on to other keywords with high search rates and close connection to your products/store.


    Competition – The more websites competing for a keyword, the harder it is to rank, so targeting low competition search terms will maximize your chances of landing at the first page of Google.


    This is where it gets challenging because the keywords with the highest search volume are typically the most competitive. You will need to do a lot of digging to uncover low competition terms with a decent search volume. Start writing a list of the keywords you’ve found and compare their search rates to their competition. Soon you’ll start finding words that fit the bill.


    Relevance – This may sound obvious, but determining the relevance of some search terms can be tricky, particularly if a keyword is ambiguous.


    For example, if you sell competition-level dart boards, you may think that ‘target’ is a great keyword. Unfortunately, Google thinks ‘target’ searchers want are looking for Target the department store.

    You also want to go for keywords that are relevant to people’s intent to buy. Let’s say you’re selling paintings or posters. Keywords like ‘free posters’ or ‘DIY wall art’ are best avoided because people searching these terms aren’t likely to spend money on ready-made art.


    Bottom line? When doing keyword research, put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Get into the mindset of someone who is ready to buy your products and identify the search terms that they’re entering into Google.


    2. Go beyond optimizing your content

    Once you find those relevant keywords, find ways to work them into your website.

    The most obvious way to do this is to spread them throughout your copy – i.e., on your homepage, about page, product descriptions, etc.


    But you shouldn’t stop there.


    Keywords should show up in a lot of other places, as well, including:


    Your meta titles – The meta title is an HTML code found at the header of a web page. Its purpose is to tell search engines what a page is all about. According to Moz, “title tags are the second most important on-page factor for SEO, after content.”


    What about your meta descriptions? Well, contrary to what some may think, meta descriptions don’t effect rankings directly. Still, it’s worth including your keywords in meta tags because Google will display them in bold on the search results page. This might lead to more clicks, which would help your rankings.


    Your URL – Ideally, you want the right keywords in your domain name. For example, Red Dress Boutique (RedDressBoutique.com), a fashion boutique for women, has keywords like ‘dress’ and ‘boutique’ in the domain name.


    That said, It’s not the end of the world if your domain name doesn’t contain top search terms. But at the very least, relevant keywords should be in your URLs.


    For instance, on its category page for men’s running shoes, Adidas has that exact key in its URL.


    Adidas' product catergories


    It’s also a good idea to focus on accessibility. Instead of using random characters in your URLs, customize them with keywords and make it clear what the page shows.


    3. Work on your product pages

    Product pages aren’t usually content heavy, but there are still a number of things you could do to set them up for SEO success.


    In addition to optimizing your URLs and title tags, you also want to incorporate the right keywords in your product titles, descriptions, and image tags.


    Internal links can also help. Take a look at how búl does their product pages for inspiration.

    búls product descriptions

    This page isn’t very copy-heavy, however it includes all the information that a customer could be looking for, with a hint of keyword inclusion (for example, 100% cotton; boxy mini dress, garment). With an internal link to a size chart, búl also makes sure to link their customers to another section of their site – a powerful SEO too. They follow each product listing with an 'other products you may like' section that encourages customers to keep exploring búl's website. 


    4. Prioritize site structure

    Google, and your customers, appreciate it when your site is easy to navigate and use, so keep your site structure simple (so long as it remains scalable).


    To accomplish this, make sure all your pages are just two or three clicks away from your homepage. HausLondon, an eCommerce site that sells home furniture and lighting, is a great example of this. Despite having thousands of pages, the vast majority are fewer than three clicks from their homepage.


    Haus's website featuring a simple and effective site structure

    5. Answer the need for speed

    Navigability helps but if your site is slow, you risk losing customers who aren’t willing to wait around.

    In general, about 40% of users will leave a site if it doesn’t load within just three seconds. That means you could lose nearly half of your potential customers simply because your site takes too long to finally appear when they click on it.


    Speed isn’t just about your customers, though. All the way back in 2010, Google’s Maile Ohye, reported that, “Site performance is now a factor in Google’s rankings.” She later went on to say that “Two seconds is the threshold for eCommerce website accessibility. At Google, we aim for under a half second.”


    Turning SEO into an ongoing priority

    Whether you already have an eCommerce store or its launch is just around the corner, it’s important to understand that optimizing your site for SEO isn’t just a one-time thing.


    Instead, analyzing your site for opportunities to improve its rankings should be an ongoing effort to ensure that you're continuously getting in front of the right audiences.


    Have you seen the rest of the SEO Series? Check out Part Two and Three in the links below.

    Take me to part 2Take me to part 3

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