Marketing channels love to make lavish promises about the quality of their traffic and what their website can do for your business. But how can you be sure it’s the right fit?

These five tips can help you understand whether or not a marketing channel will be successful before you take the time to integrate with it.

1. Did you find them, or did they find you?

If they pitched you before you even heard of them, they’re probably eager to get your money, but not necessarily going to give you results. It’s common practice for smaller, less efficient marketing channels to solicit ecommerce merchants.

This doesn’t apply for all marketing channels, but I’ve seen my fair share of sleezy ones that incessantly pitch retailers to use them. This should be a red flag – proceed with caution.

2. What’s that marketing channel’s audience?

We break down the effectiveness of various categories on comparison shopping engines for this reason. Know thy audience. What works best for electronics retailers doesn’t mean it will work for home & garden retailers. In fact, some marketing channels don’t work at all for some categories. Websites like Amazon Product Ads has product restrictions on various categories.

3. How many products do you have?

If you have a handful of products, say 20 – 100, the marketing channels you should be looking at will be different from those that a retailer with 100,000 products will be looking at. This isn’t always the case, but know that if you’re in a category that doesn’t have lots of search volume, and if you’re a new seller yourself with a low number of products, certain marketing channels shouldn’t even be looked at until you break the 200 product mark.

This main one to stay clear of if you have less than 100 products are comparison shopping engines. For a retailer with less than 100 products, comparison shopping engines will most likely do diddly squat for your business.

4. How much time do you have?

Are you an expert on that type of marketing program? Do you know how long it will take you to integrate? Do you have an expert marketing firm that can help you out with this process? If you are doing it in house, do you have time to manage the campaign effectively or do you have to set it and forget it?

These are important questions to consider before moving into a new marketing channel. Secure the necessary resources to launch a new marketing channel as quickly and effectively as possible. Not doing so wastes you time and money.

5. How much traffic can your website handle?

Are you prepared for the increase in potential traffic a new marketing channel can bring? Is your site quick to load, which increases conversions? Have your product pages been tested for their effectiveness and are you confident you can convert customers from this new location?

These are critical questions to ask before moving into new marketing channels. Make sure your foundation is secure to funnel the new traffic as effectively as possible.

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