A closer look at the biggest marketing tools

Author: Harald Neuner // 9min

We unconsciously make around 90 % of our purchasing decisions based on emotion. Triggered by a buying stimulus in the right place at the right time with the right – you guessed it – marketing tool. After we have already looked in detail at various marketing strategies, it is now time to breathe life into them with marketing tools for an online shop. In this article, we have asked ourselves which marketing tools are indispensable today, which new paths you can take with your online shop and what will really get you ahead.

Let us inspire you. With the right marketing tools and a strategically sensible marketing mix, you can attract more attention, win new customers more easily and retain your existing customers.

What are marketing tools?

Marketing tools

Before we look at the individual marketing tools that you can use to increase your sales, we will first answer the question of what marketing tools are in the first place. Marketing instruments are basically tools and instruments that a company uses to achieve a desired goal with its own products, services or brand. Marketing tools comprise the totality of all those measures. These are generally divided into four different types of marketing instruments: Product policy, pricing policy, distribution policy and communication policy. The combination of marketing instruments is called the marketing mix. For this purpose, not only one of the aforementioned instruments is used, but different marketing instruments that are relevant for the company are combined in a balanced way.

What are the objectives of marketing tools?

With the right marketing tools, you directly address your target group via customised (behavioural) targeting and avoid “wastage”. Through collected data, you can draw well-founded conclusions about who is really interested in your offers, products and services. Using the various marketing tools and channels, you can then direct interested parties to your own website or a landing page. Therefore, never forget to include a link. Finally, after many small milestones, interested parties reach the main goal: they convert to customers. In this case, this can be the purchase of a product, the subscription to a newsletter or the download of an e-book. In this way, with the right marketing tools, you have designed a customer journey that will help you achieve your marketing goals. Learn everything about newsletter structure on our blog.

What marketing tools are there for an online shop?

As the operator of an online shop, you have a wide range of marketing tools to choose from, which you can adapt to your needs as you wish. The important thing here is to move where your target group is and ensure a well thought-out marketing mix that also includes marketing tools that are indispensable today.


E-mail marketing or newsletter marketing is one of many excellent marketing tools for addressing customers, interested parties and co. directly and in a personalised manner. With today’s technologies, automated and complex mailing series can be sent that are aligned with the recipient’s line of action. This means that the recipient receives customised content that really appeals to him or her. If a customer abandons the checkout before making a final purchase, you can win back cart abandoners with relevant emails that offer attractive benefits. An email list is the foundation of the marketing tool for an online shop. Such a list can be built, for example, via an opt-in form placed on the website. It is important here to observe the guidelines of the GDPR. The advantage of this marketing tool lies in the controllability of content, dispatch and addressees.

Social Media Marketing


Nowhere else can messages, news, promotions and much more be better communicated and widely distributed than via social media marketing. Here you can enter into dialogue with your target group and position yourself with a company profile. Posts, stories and the like attract attention to your brand so that you gradually acquire more and more followers. Social media advertising in particular, paid advertising on the platforms, has become one of the most important marketing instruments on the channels today. Social media is a central component of the marketing mix and should be part of every good marketing strategy. The important thing here is to find out in advance where the target group is and to set up a sound roadmap for regular publications.


A marketing instrument that is usually underestimated, but as simple as it is ingenious, is so-called couponing. Here you use vouchers and discount coupons to create an incentive to buy. It was already one of the most widely used marketing tools in the 1960s. Today, you can use couponing for your online shop to gain data, to convince new customers “at the last metres” and to bind existing customers. To do this, give a price advantage on a certain product for a limited period of time. Couponing, the favourite among marketing tools, can be used as an intelligent pop-up, for example. It appears when a potential buyer wants to finish his purchase before completing the order. Situationally, she is offered a discount.

Display Advertising

Display advertising is a marketing instrument in which the online shop places advertising banners on websites that fit thematically with its own offers for a fee. As a rule, this is done today via programmatic advertising. In this case, the customer is shown advertising banners that are tailored exactly to him or her. This is made possible by the so-called real-time bidding process, the purchase of advertising space in real time. The most important component here is retargeting. The smart tool prevents wastage and increases interaction with advertising banners that would otherwise hardly be noticed (keyword: banner image).

SEA – Search Engine Advertising

Search engine advertising, also known as SEA, is one of the almost indispensable marketing tools alongside display advertising. First and foremost is Google Ads. The advertising in the search results is only displayed to those users who enter a certain search term. If your bid is successful, you will be placed at the top of the search results, which increases the probability of an interaction. SEA is particularly suitable if an online shop is new to the market and has not yet achieved a good ranking in the organic search results, or to draw attention to certain products or services.

SEO – Search Engine Optimisation

If there is one marketing tool that no marketing strategy should be without, it is SEO for e-commerce, also known as search engine optimisation. This applies to large companies as well as SMEs. Optimising the site with regard to various criteria ensures that your online shop is found by your target group in the search results and, in the optimal case, thereby gradually climbs to the top positions on page 1. Why is this so important? More than 60 % of all clicks are on the first places of the search results page when the user has entered a certain search term. SEO is a long-haul discipline compared to SEA. This marketing tool requires staying power, because the measures only take effect after a certain time and should be optimised continuously.


On the one hand in connection with SEO and on the other hand for the creation of real added value, content marketing is also one of the important marketing tools. This involves creating high-quality content with blog articles, e-books, webinars, but also posts, emails and videos, which have a real added value for the person reading and at the same time arouse interest in the product, service or brand. High-quality content in terms of this marketing tool for online shops contributes to relationship and trust building and ensures a strong customer relationship. Like SEO, content marketing is ongoing.


Affiliate marketing is also one of the marketing tools and can be used to recruit online shops sales partners who advertise their products or services and receive a commission for successful sales. Affiliate or referral marketing has the advantage that the approach to new customers is widely spread and the sales partner has usually already gained the trust of his audience. This facilitates sales. Furthermore, you hardly have any work yourself with this of the numerous marketing instruments.


Compared to affiliate marketing, cooperations as a marketing tool involve placing advertising messages and content on websites of suitable cooperation partners. With such cooperations, a larger audience and new target groups can be developed. Especially for smaller companies, cooperations are an inexpensive but effective option among the marketing instruments.

Use marketing tools cleverly


Many of the marketing instruments for online shops go hand in hand, complement each other or are a mandatory part of the customer journey. In the long run, it pays off to strive for a successful marketing mix of different marketing instruments. While some marketing instruments such as SEO or social media are part of it in any case, couponing or affiliate marketing are optional possibilities that depend on the objective, the target group and the financial aspects.

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