The Pipeline Guest Post – David Leonhardt
Even when you sleep, your website is still selling for you. Or is it?
Here are 10 factors to keep in mind to make sure that your website is not sleeping on the job.
1. Make sure your website is actually there. That means you need a reliable hosting account. Before signing up with a web host check for negative reviews. Search Google for the hosting company with words like “problems”, “down”, “issues”, etc.
2. Make sure your pages are structured well. Everybody like a “good looking” website, but more important is that people can find what they need. One good way to see if your website is meeting people’s needs is to get a heat map of where they are clicking. There are several services to do this: I reviewed one at http://www.seo-writer.com/blog/2007/05/28/crazy-egg-website-conversions/ The review is now four years old, but it pretty much holds true today.
3. Don’t hard sell. It might seem like you are not there to guide a client through the sales process, so you need to really drum home the message. But the Internet is not like that. For the most part, people seek information, even when they are just about ready to buy. Provide complete, accurate, easy-to-understand information, with compelling reasons why your product is good, and you will sell them.
4. Free Bonuses are good. No hard sell does not mean you should avoid using sales tactics. One tactic that works very well on the Internet is to offer lots of free bonuses worth a ridiculous amount of money. Although it is not part of our regular sales process on the web, we offer book-writing clients a free synopsis and query letter. On their own, we might charge $500 for this, but once a writer is already working on writing the manuscript, the incremental amount of work involved is minor. Adding value works on the Internet.
5. Discounting works on the Internet, too – but be careful. It works for products better than for services. Discounting price also discounts value. Be careful about a blanket discount that can reduce the perceived value.
6. Setting a time or space limit seems to work well on the Internet, too. This is one way in which discounting can work – sign up before midnight tonight to get 35% off. After that, you pay full price. Of course, this works best when there is a believable reason for discounting, other than the we-want-your-money reason. For instance, “We want to kick-start this program big, so we are offering a special price just for this week.”
7. Perhaps better than a time limit for discounts in certain niches is exclusivity. “We want to kick-start this program big, so we are offering a special price just for the first 100 people to join. Reserve your spot in line.”
8. Scarcity is great. Of course, exclusivity and discounts don’t need to be paired together. You can offer “limited seating” without a discount, too. The limitation makes the product more valuable (as opposed to discounting, which makes it less valuable) and the limitation can build a sense of urgency that propels a prospect to action.
9. Lead on, fair website. Are you leading people to your sales page? Very important – yes, you want to give people plenty of good, reliable information, but you also want to give them the opportunity at frequent intervals to “buy” or “see specs” or whatever they need to do to convert a sale.
10. Do you serve multiple client groups? Perhaps you need to speak a different language or emphasise different features or uses of your product for different audiences. Governments, private contractors and end users might not all think alike. Does your website try to sell to all of them at once, or does it address each one individually?
Websites can be amazing sales tools. They don’t get moody or need to be fed. But they do need to be set up to sell well — even while you sleep. Does yours sell well, even while you sleep?
About David Leonhardt