Case Study: Tatiana and Sabrina call


This video is part of a series of case studies featuring Tatiana Chemisov of If you’re just joining us, I recommend you start here.

As an online-only business, gets nearly all of its site traffic – and sales – from search results and social media marketing. Tatiana is solely responsible for her company’s marketing, and sometimes struggles to come up with new ideas because she has no one to bounce them off of.

I knew Sabrina Parsons would make a perfect mentor for her.

Sabrina is the CEO of Palo Alto Software, and blogs about her life as a Mommy CEO at and I’ve always admired her business smarts, and knew she’d have a lot to teach us about search engine marketing and e-commerce optimization.

Sabrina talked with Tatiana about reaching her target market, using data to inform her marketing decisions, and the value of constantly testing your e-commerce site to make sure you convert as many visitors as possible into paid buyers.

If you run an e-commerce business, this call will knock your socks off. At nearly an hour it’s a bit long, but it’s so packed with valuable information that you’ll be glad you watched through until the end.

Watch the call

Targeting the RIGHT social media audience has a big presence on social media, but Tatiana has been smart about where she spends her time. Through Google Analytics, she knows that Facebook and Pinterest are the two biggest drivers of traffic to her site – and that Facebook visitors are way more likely to actually purchase than Pinterest visitors are.

At the 6:45 minute mark, Sabrina points to the importance of gathering data like that, as well as measuring the success of giveaways and other promotions that Tatiana does. At the 10:00 minute mark, Sabrina talks about the peace of mind that comes from knowing the exact return on investment (ROI) of your marketing efforts.

Tune in at the 14:25 minute mark, where Sabrina talks about the best way to use tools like Google AdWords, Facebook’s business tools, and Google Analytics to figure out your ROI.

Give customers what they’re looking for

Rather than trying to game the SEO system, Sabrina says at the 18:30 minute mark, Tatiana should really focus on her quality content. Sabrina and Tatiana talk about the best practices for using remarketing ads (the ones that show up on other sites after you’ve looked at a specific product), and Sabrina suggests at the 21:30 minute mark that Tatiana create specific landing pages for visitors who click through those ads.

One of the biggest factors in converting visitors into customers, says Sabrina, is that they feel like you’re not tricking them. For example, if a customer comes to after clicking on a remarketing ad for a certain dress, they’ll be annoyed if the dress isn’t in stock, or if they come to the main page of the site and have to click through to find the dress.

Testing the e-commerce funnel

At Palo Alto Software, Sabrina and her team are constantly testing new layouts, wording, colors, and other tactics. At the 26:00 minute mark, Sabrina talks about the importance of understanding where people leave your e-commerce funnel, and how to test different ways to up that conversion rate.

She cautions Tatiana that it’s a patience game, and that she should only change one thing at a time, then wait to get statistically viable results. Otherwise there’s no way to know which change made the difference.

At the 36:00 minute mark, Sabrina offers up tips she’s learned in her years of experience with e-commerce, such as:

  • A coupon code field in the shopping cart can drop your conversion rate, as buyers leave your site to search for a coupon.
  • Too many distractions on the website, like social media icons, newsletter signups, and sales banners, can distract customers from buying.

Reaching out to potential customers

At the 42:00 minute mark, Sabrina gives some great advice on how to reach customers who’ve abandoned shopping carts on your site. First, she says, figure out where they’re leaving. Is it when they see the shipping costs, for example?

Sabrina recommends Mailchimp as a email newsletter program for its ability to collect the addresses of those customers and send them an automatic email containing a free shipping coupon or something similar.

At the 47:00 minute mark, she also recommends that Tatiana take advantage of segments in her email list, so that she can send out tailor-made emails to people who primarily shop for baby clothes, or who only buy on sale.

Want to know more?

Follow Sabrina Parsons’ thoughts about being a mom and CEO at her blog,, or follow her on Twitter, @mommyceo. You can find out more about Sabrina Parsons’s company, Palo Alto Software, here.

Your Homework:

If you haven’t already, set up Google Analytics for your site. This will help you analyze your marketing ROI, and learn vital data about where customers are dropping out of your sales funnel.

Once you’ve got the data, take a look at where you spend most of your marketing time and dollars, and then compare that to the per-person average being spent by visitors from all your traffic sources. Are you spending your advertising dollars in the right place? Are you spending too much time on one social media site, and not enough on another?

You also need to get an idea of where people are dropping out of your sales funnel, and start testing changes to see if you can improve your conversion rate.

This worksheet will guide you through those steps.