Practical Ecommerce

Six Surefire Ways To Boost Sales

I would venture to say that not a single website in the world has reached its peak of effectiveness or earnings potential. No matter the circumstances, every site can “better its best.” If a “magic” formula for website success existed, you’d see the big boys like Google and Yahoo using it. Since no formula exists, they constantly test and tweak for new ways to squeeze more money from their sites, and you should, too.

If you operate a website and want to squeeze maximum revenue from it, the following 6 tips will kick-start your efforts.

No. 1 — Test Headlines

Just like a newspaper headline, the headline on your website represents the single most powerful factor in grabbing a reader’s eye and pulling them into your site. Most websites do not have a headline or, if they do, it’s limp, wimpy, and carries zero “punch.” Every website should carry a compelling headline to let visitors know exactly what they should expect to get from the site. I’ve personally seen one headline outperform another by 400 percent on the exact same website.

No. 2 – Offer Payment Plan

Why do you think pitchmen on TV offer “three easy payments” of only $19.95 on a $60 product? Because the technique works for increasing sales! Often, people either don’t want to or can’t come up with the payment all at once, but can pay over time. If you sell a product priced at $100 or more, try breaking the price up into smaller payments to increase sales.

No. 3 – Test Guarantee Period

Like it or not, people don’t always trust promises on your website to live up to the realities of your product. To remove risk for the customer, you should offer a refund or money-back guarantee (not offering one will, in most cases, kill your conversion rate). However, it’s been said by “experts” that the longer the guarantee period, the lower the refund rate. My experience does not support that advice. I suggest you test various refund periods to see which nets you the most sales balanced against the least refunds.

No 4 – Test Audio Instructions

One of the best ways to increase sales is to include an audio button on your site that tells people exactly what to do in order to buy or subscribe. Telling people in no uncertain terms to “Enter your name and primary email address in the box and click the button” has proven one of the most effective means of getting website visitors to take the actions you want.

No. 5 – Follow Up

Most online businesses totally blow it when it comes to follow-up, especially with existing customers. Follow up with your customers at least once or twice a month and it will amaze you how easily you can make “back-end” and repeat sales. Industry news, tips-and-tricks, and helpful hints combined with a low-key, specific offer for another product or service makes an excellent follow-up formula for both prospects and existing customers.

No. 6 – Start a Blog

A blog makes it extremely easy to keep your customers and prospects updated, as well as providing a dynamic means for new people to find you through the search engines and blog directories. Blogger.com allows you to start a blog even if you don’t operate a website, and WordPress.org makes it easy to add a blog to your existing website.

Practical Ecommerce

Practical Ecommerce

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Comments ( 7 )

  1. Legacy User July 5, 2007 Reply

    Can you give examples of headlines that win -v- wimpy ones? Also, is it better to have a blog outside of the site or within it? Given that in our particular case we are updating content daily and getting Google et al. coming thru the site regularly.

    — *Rob Colton*

  2. Legacy User July 5, 2007 Reply

    These are fantastic tips for anyone that has an ecommerce site. They work very well to increase traffic and sales to any site.

    http://www.everlastingfavors.com.

    — *Elaine*

  3. Legacy User July 5, 2007 Reply

    What tools/techniques can be used to test the differences in headlines etc.?

    — *Joel*

  4. Legacy User July 6, 2007 Reply

    Great ideas. . . We will make sure to follow.
    http://www.giftfavorbaskets.com

    — *Merry*

  5. Legacy User July 5, 2007 Reply

    You can use Google website optimizer to test the differences in headlines pretty easily. It's part of Adwords. It's a little bit of work to wrap your head around it, but if you follow their instructions it works out pretty well.

    — *Jake*

  6. Legacy User October 21, 2007 Reply

    Excellent info, however I didn't have any luck with the audio tip.

    http://www.lavello-sinks.com

    — *Matt*

  7. Legacy User February 5, 2008 Reply

    I have the same questions as Rob Colton date Thursday July 5th 2007

    — *Donnette*