Getting visitors to your Web site is one ingredient for a successful Internet presence. It does not matter, if you are a “brick and mortar” type of business that wants to expand into the virtual world and reach customers far away from their geographic location or if the Internet is your only sales channel.
Shake Hands With Your Prospect
However, an Internet only business can profit from off-line promotion as well. Many entrepreneurs forget about this part, but that is actually not the topic of this post.
We are talking about how to turn the visitors into buyers once they have arrived at your Web site. By doing that you simply increase your profits without any additional money spent. Yes, that will increase your return on investment. Think about it and turn on your calculator.
Typical conversion rates vary depending on industry, but it is quite safe to assume an average conversion rate between 1% and 3%. E.g. you had 2182 unique visitors in November 2007 and made 24 sales. Your conversion rate will be
24 * 100 / 2182 = 1.1%
By doubling the conversion rate, by changing the page you suddenly get 48 sales from the same traffic. Improving the conversion rate is a one time investment that pays off permanently.
The secret lies in testing continuously!
But let's start out with the ingredients of a good sales latter first. Here are the “bullets”
1. An Attention-grabbing Headline
The biggest benefit of your product or service goes here. How does it help your customers. You must show the visitors, why they should continue to read your sales letter.
2. Sell the Benefits Not the Features
When describing your product focus on, “How does a buyer benefit?”, instead of the features. We started with benefits in the headline, but we continue with this approach throughout the text. Loosen the text up with high quality graphics and images. Show some happy faces!
3. Show Trustworthiness and Credibility
Answer the customers objection, why they should buy from you? Who are you, why are you an “expert” in your field. Why do you know about the customers problems that your products and services help to solve?
Third party statements like customer testimonials are essential to break the ice. Show statements from real people that already benefit from your products.
4. Transfer Ownership
Transferring ownership means you make your prospects already think about, what they would do, how they would feel, when they already owned your product.
Use phrases like, “you will learn”, “you will receive”, “you will enjoy”, “you will be pleased to hear”. Your sales letter as a hole piece should have at least twice as high a count for “you”, “yours” than for “we”, “I”, and “me”.
5. Risk Reversal
Make it a deal the customer cannot loose anything by giving a courteous guarantee. People are very skeptical, when buying on the Internet. Don't forget, they cannot touch or feel the product like if they were in a store. Jay Abraham — top Marketing Guru with 25+ years of experience and well sought after public speaker — has identified and teaches 6 levels of risk reversal. (That alone would be content for more than one post).
Give the prospect the feeling that he cannot loose and you will win, unless you are trying to sell “crap”, but then you are lost anyway.
6. Build Value Before Stating Your Price
Throughout the sales letter you need to show the prospect the value they will receive in terms of money. What are the potential savings, perceived benefits from buying your product. Before seeing the price the prospect already should be willing to pay more.
Sounds like you need some powerful copy and techniques of persuasion. Yes, that's true. Now, look at your sales copy and check, if you are missing out something and start improving.
They only way to improve your letter over time is to come up with new variations of headlines, pictures, guarantees, … and test it with conventional A/B split test or even better with a multivariate testing tool like Google Web Site Optimizer. If you are not testing yet, check it out, it's free without running costs. You only need an Adwords account, which you can open for US$ 5.00 I believe.
John W. Furst
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