Here is a quick rundown of three leading vendors in each of six categories: email marketing, social media, analytics, content writing, lead generation and creative. Many offer free trials so you can test out which ones will work best for you.

Jacel Booth, marketing communications manager, Oracle Data Cloud

Jacel Booth, marketing communications manager, Oracle Data Cloud

The ecommerce industry continues to grow rapidly every year. In fact, consumers spent $517.4 billion onlinewith just US merchants last year, up 15% from 2017 sales figures.

It’s an exciting time to be an online business owner. But how do you stand out in a sea of competition? This article will dive into some of the ecommerce marketing tools available to help you set yourself apart.

Finding the right stack of tools allows you to streamline the execution of your marketing strategy, drive traffic to your site, convert leads, and build your brand.

Once you have your toolkit set, you’ll be ready to let the world know you’re open for business!

Email Marketing

Email is one of the main ways you communicate and build relationships with your customers. Further, 80% of marketersbelieve that email marketing boosts customer retention. Here are some of the top email platforms you can use.

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MailChimp

MailChimp is the most popular email platform for ecommerce stores. It’s used to send automated messages and marketing emails, create targeted drip campaigns, and produce reporting and analytics. Features include:

  • Auto-responders
  • Mailing list management
  • CAN-SPAM compliance
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Subscriber management
  • A/B testing
  • Segmentation

Campaign Monitor

Campaign Monitor is geared for any business across various industries. It helps you manage new subscriptions, send emails, and generate analytics reports. It also integrates well with other applications, like WordPress and Shopify. Features include:

·     Customer journeys

·     Targeted segments

·     Drag-and-drop email builder

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·     Pre-designed templates

SparkPost

SparkPost is one of the hidden gems of the email marketing world. Although its name isn’t as well-known as the previous two solutions, it actually sends over 37% of all business emails and is used by major enterprises like Zillow and ZipRecruiter. Top features include:

  • AMP for Email
  • Engagement analytics
  • Predictive analytics to spot major delivery issues
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Email templates

Social Media

Social media is an obvious part of your ecommerce marketing strategy and helps you expand outside of your inner circle. You can reach a broader audience, promote your brand, and establish a strong community around it. Here are some handy tools to help streamline content management across your channels.

Buffer

Buffer is a one-stop-shop social media management tool. Its powerful functionality makes it a suitable option for businesses of all sizes. The platform is used to automate content publishing, engage your audience, and analyze your social media performance. Features include:

  • Custom posting schedules across different platforms
  • Analytics to track performance of social media content
  • Browser extension and mobile app

Hootsuite

Hootsuite is a robust tool for both social media management and social listening. The RSS feed-style layout enables you to see all of your profiles at once, as well as track specific terms or trends you’re watching. Features include:

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  • Saving drafted posts without publishing
  • Team management functions (e.g., delegating tasks)
  • Analytics reports to measure performance

Sprout Social

Sprout Social is another all-in-one social media management tool. Its platform helps marketing teams track and streamline audience engagement and team collaboration. Features include:

  • Conversation and social sentiment tracking
  • Social content scheduling and management
  • Analytics to track social media performance
  • Ability to turn social interactions into “tasks”

Analytics

How will you know your marketing campaigns are successful? Which ones need to be cut? Which ones should you double down on? Use these tools to help you analyze whether your strategy is a major hit or needs adjusting.

Ahrefs

Ahrefs provides SEO tools that help businesses improve their overall content marketing strategies. You can conduct competitor research, discover high-return keyword opportunities, and enhance your backlinking plan. Top features include:

  • Website audits
  • Backlinking tool
  • Keyword analysis
  • Competitor analysis

Google Analytics

This is by far the most popular web analytics service. Google Analytics enables you to connect all parts of your customer journey using data. You’re able to gain a holistic view of your customers’ behavior. Features include:

  • Conversions
  • Pageviews
  • Referral sources
  • Site searches
  • Time on site
  • User interactions

Crazy Egg

This analytics tool helps you determine what’s working and what needs to be improved on your website. You can conduct A/B testing, run reports to determine where users came from, as well as which links they clicked on and what parts of your site they spent the most time viewing. Their top features include:

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  • Heatmap
  • Scrollmap
  • Referral source
  • Recorded user sessions

Content Writing

A lack of writing skills costs companies billions of dollarsevery year. Writing is like a muscle you need to exercise every day to build, and the following tools can help you improve. They’ll ensure your content is relevant, grammatically correct, and optimized for readability and SEO.

Grammarly

This tool helps you maintain the quality of your writing and streamlines your content creation and editing process. The browser extension, once installed, works as your writing assistant as you type to ensure your writing is succinct, clear, and grammatically error-free. It also tells you why it suggested those changes to improve your writing skills. Features include:

  • Grammar checker
  • Plagiarism checker
  • Microsoft Word integration

Yoast

This handy WordPress plugin enables you to optimize your writing for SEO purposes. Once you include your keyword phrase, it will conduct a check to make sure you’ve included it enough throughout your piece as well as review your article in general for readability and link opportunities. Features include:

  • Keyword phrase review
  • Internal and external link review
  • Content quality checker
  • Readability checker

HubSpot Blog Idea Generator

HubSpot is known for their powerhouse platform that spans inbound marketing and sales. One of their free tools is their Blog Idea Generator – perfect for content teams needing some ideas on what to write about next. All you do is plug in some nouns and it will come up with more than a year’s worth of ideas to pursue or pitch to other blogs. Features include:

  • Downloadable spreadsheet of ideas
  • Resources to improve your brainstorming
  • Links to generating multiple ideas out of one

Lead Generation

Not every website visitor will convert right away. Having the proper tools in place will encourage them to give you their contact information as they interact with your content. When you follow up with a valuable offer, they’ll move their way down the sales funnel.

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AddThis

AddThis creates a suite of social share and ecommerce marketing tools that helps brands grow their websites. Their list building tool enables businesses to capture leads as visitors interact with their website. Features include:

  • Multiple style types for the email list builder
  • Control over when tools reappear to visitors
  • Customizable design to match your company’s branding

Instapage

This tool helps you easily build custom landing pages for your marketing campaigns. Once a user clicks on an ad, they can be taken to a landing page personalized for their experience. Features include:

  • A/B Testing
  • Campaign management
  • Pre-made templates

LinkedIn Sales Navigator

LinkedIn is the largest network for business professionals. And it’s the perfect tool to mine possible leads. Use the LinkedIn Sales Navigator to find people that fit your target audience and send personalized messages to them. Features include:

  • Warm introductions through mutual connections
  • Lead recommendations
  • Alerts for company and job changes

Creative

The human brain does an amazing job recalling visuals. According to John Medina’s Brain Rules, “Hear a piece of information, and three days later you’ll remember 10% of it. Add a picture and you’ll remember 65%.” Use these tools to create compelling images that will capture your audience’s attention.

Canva

Create captivating images easily with this tool. You can make anything from infographics to cover images and thumbnails for your social accounts. It’s simple to set up and start using right away. Features include:

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  • Drag-and-drop image maker
  • Pre-made templates
  • Image sizes already optimized for various social networks

Interact

While this could also be considered a lead generation tool, Interact also enables you to present content in a more interactive, dynamic way. You can easily build engaging quizzes for your visitors to take and share the results. Features include:

  • Personality quiz
  • Scored quiz
  • Assessment quiz

GIPHY

GIFS are a simple, effective wayto create visuals for your content marketing efforts. GIPHY enables your team to make your own GIFs to incorporate in your blogs, social media posts, and emails. Features include:

  • Search by category or verified channel
  • Create your own GIF
  • Integrations with other tools like Slack

Conclusion

While not an exhaustive list of all the ecommerce marketing tools out there, this will help you navigate researching your options. Just remember some products that work for certain online retailers may not necessarily work for you or your store.

Make use of free trials to test out what you like and don’t like about each one. Once you have your toolkit set, you’ll be ready to let the world know you’re open for business!

What tools do you like to use for your ecommerce site?

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Oracle Data Cloud is a unit of Oracle Corp. made up of six acquired digital technology companies.

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