dark social

Weekly Roundup #43 – Win-Back Emails, Search Functions and Black Friday

Last week we filled you in on the updates Instagram is making to its ads, we gave you 5 ways to up your organic reach on Facebook, and so much more. This week we’re going to be filling you in on the freshest marketing stats we think are relevant to you, we’ll be showing you examples of the brands doing Black Friday SEO right and… well, read more to find out!

4 Questions to Ask About Your eCommerce Search Function

ecommerce search functions

Source: ASOS


You might be wondering if your eCommerce search function is up to scratch – but where to start? Here are 4 very important questions we think you should be asking yourself about it:

Can my search handle misspellings and synonyms?

You should check if your search function can handle typos, slang, misspellings and language variants. Nothing is more irritating for a customer than typing product name into the on-site search function that they know fine well is sold on the site, only to be told they’ve “made a mistake”, or even worse – no results showing up at all. Regular analysis of search term data via Google Analytics or a reporting dashboard should provide you the insights into the most commonly misspelled search terms. For example fashion retailers who sell sweaters may only list them as sweaters, when consumers may call them jumpers or pullovers. You need a smart search system that uses natural language processing and recognises that these are synonyms for the same item.

Which and how many queries are returning zero results?

The worst experience you can have like we said is the ‘no results’ page. Zero results pages are more likely to happen when the search platform is using a traditional keyword driven approach rather than natural language processing. For example, if looking for “strapless dresses” the old-fashioned system may result in a zero results page if it purely matches products based on the name. ‘No results’ can also happen when a customer on an old fashion site types in a colour, but if the colour is a product attribute and not explicitly stated in the title, this can result with nothing.

Can my search handle all types of queries?

As eCommerce becomes more modern, customers expectations rise. More and more customers appear to be using search facilities to find answers to their questions as well as looking for products. Many users are using search times like ‘delivery costs’, ‘returns’ and ‘store locator’ to find the information they need. It’s clear what they’re looking for, but more often than not it’ll return a ‘zero results’ page. It might seem a bit trivial but errors like this have cumulative effect.

Are more generic queries better directed to category pages?

As on-site search becomes more sophisticated, so too does the format of the results. eCommerce is seeing a shift away from a simple list of relevant products, but categories such as searches, guides and blog posts. This helps customers that are at the early stages of their purchasing journey who perhaps want to learn more about the product or its uses. Having categories is way better than a mash of products.



Optimise Yourself: Black Friday is Coming

black friday SEO

Last year there were rumours that consumers were getting sick of the Black Friday madness, but the figures speak for themselves. While online searches in the UK were down, overall sales during the period increased by 62%. Impressive.

With that in mind, it’s time to identify opportunities for organic reach. November is the primary month for searches surrounding ‘deals’ and even overtakes words like ‘cheap’ when used in conjunction with other products. PI Datametrics, the source of this research, has reported how US brands are dominating UK search results – which shows that UK retailers have a lot to catch up with. Five out of the ten sites in Google UK are US-based. So who in the UK is performing well? Here’s a couple of examples:


black friday seo

Argos is a great example. As you can see, they have a very prominent header and it includes the repetition of keywords as well as natural copy and useful information surrounding the event.



Debenhams are a good example as they capitalise on the interest surrounding this year’s event super early. It’s not the prettiest looking web page, but it includes repetition of the core phrase, and keywords relating to Christmas and Cyber Monday.



3 Digital Marketing Stats from This Week

We’re happiest when we’re filling you in on all the latest trends so here’s 3 key stats you may have missed this week:

75% of consumers say omnichannel capabilities are a key factor for choosing retailers.

The 2016 Mobile Research Survey from Astound Commerce has shown that consumers are increasingly looking for omnichannel capabilities on mobile devices. Sixty-four percent have made an online purchase with an in-store pick-up in the last three months. Furthermore, six out of ten consumers have used their mobile phone at least three times in a month to check if products are in stock at a local store.

72% of people now check their emails on a smartphone.

A survey by Mapp Digital of over 1,700 people has revealed that 72% of respondents regularly check their emails using a smartphone instead of a tablet or desktop computer. This figure rises to a massive 91% for 18-24 year olds and shows growing acceptance of mobile use among millennials. The percentage of 18-34 year olds using a separate email address for brand communications decreased from 40%-30% over the last year.

Videos overtake photos as the most popular brand post on Facebook

Quintly has released a study that delved into the performance of big brands on Facebook. One of the biggest findings it produced was that videos have overtaken photos as the most popular type of media. Fifty-four point nice percent of posts were videos in the first half of 2016 compared to just 45.1% for photos. There has been a steady decline in brand posts overall, going from an average of 150 posts per month to 100 back in June.



Redefining Influencer Marketing via ‘Dark Social’: Adidas

dark social

Source: Adidas

Adidas is attempting to change the face of influencer marketing with the launch of Tango Squads – communities of hyper-connected football obsessives who operate on direct messaging apps like WhatsApp. The shoes are named after one of Adidas’ first footballs, the Tango Squads are groups of socially savvy 16-19 year old creators of content, living in 15 key cities worldwide. The squads are between 100 and 250 people. Adidas are hoping to reach a maximum of 500 members per squad by 2017.

All content is mobile optimised and shot in portrait selfie-style to add authenticity. The squad members are invited to meet players and take part in other experiences, which they then share on social media. Seventy percent of global brand referrals happen on dark social – not Facebook or Twitter. Senior Director of Global Brand Communications Florian Alt said: “At the moment a lot of brands are approaching social media as a publishing job with pre-set and pre-defined agendas. With the Tango Squad project we have a great opportunity. It’s a different way to produce content and speak to your communities.”


Getting Customers Back With Excellent Win-Back Emails

tim watson

Source: SpotStudio.net


Sleeknote have published an interview with Tim Watson recently – an email marketing guru with over 12 years of industry experience, who has explained to Sleeknote the core principles behind win-back emails – the technique to improve your open rate and get your customers back.

Here are the key takeaways from the interview:

– Reevaluate your subject line when you try to win back customers. If you always include your brand name for example, try not doing that second time around.
– Find out why they stopped engaging with you in the first place and create an email that will tell/show them how you’ve improved.
– Know what type of people you are trying to win back. They don’t all want the same things.

Interested? Well, luckily the full blog post with all the advice you’ll ever need is right here. Enjoy!

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Sebastian Paszek

Marketing manager

Controlling the chaos of the digital landscape, Sebastian is a multiplatform executive, project manager and photographer.