“One of the best uses of your time is to increase your competence in your key result areas” ~ Brian Tracy. At the very core of every business is a sale. Many of the strategies to increase sales offline are also applicable online, but not all of them are well adapted for online sales. On the Internet, everybody can afford to fail fast and learn from it. Better still, after years of testing and tracking what works online, people can just learn from other people’s experience and cut the learning curve tremendously. The Internet has changed how people do their business. Even small business owners are able to reach global markets inexpensively nowadays, selling anything from apparel, collectibles, to computer software, services and coaching.
The best thing the internet has done is to have your business exposed to millions if not billions of would be customers. If you have an internet business you will agree with me that your website has the potential to reach millions of people 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The biggest challenge faced by most of us is getting and letting those would be customers know about your products/services and convert them to customers. It does not matter what sort of business you are promoting the need to have loyal satisfied customers is the key to life time earnings. Imagine how much a loyal and satisfied customer will give you if they keep coming and buying from you? Increasing your sales revenue cannot be done in isolation without promoting your site. In other words the more traffic your site has the more chances of increased sales. In this article I will restrict myself to increasing sales only. I will endeavour to write about how to increase traffic.
Establish a sound product/service
First things first you need to have a product/service that you are selling or marketing. If you are an affiliate program marketer like me you need to find or create a good one. Find something that flows naturally from you. Sell or promote something you enjoy doing. If it is just another affiliate program, then don’t expect to have different results. Focus on building a sound affiliate program, with the tools and materials to support affiliates to promote a program easily. After all, affiliates work like clockwork and should be seen as a team. Provide them with the right promotion tools and they will more likely promote the program. Click here learn about qualities of a good affiliate marketing program.
Give the customers an option to join the affiliate program after purchase. Satisfied customers are one of the best marketing for any business. Spread the good words through word of mouth. Best of all, they are paid just for doing that. Having a good affiliate program is the key to enhancing your sales. There are many people and businesses selling stuff out there. The best affiliate marketers are those who have their customers at heart. Offer such incentives as 30/60/90 days guarantees for an unsatisfied customers and honour your promises. A good affiliate program or product/services will ensure that you build loyal customers who can extend to buying other products that you are promoting.
After sale follow up
The hardest task in any business is acquiring the first sale. Make sure that capturing customers’ name and email addresses are the least information gathered from a sale. You need this information for future interaction with the customer. As a way of keeping in touch with my customers I have created a mailing list and send out a newsletter once every month. This helps me promote other products and services that my affiliate program offers. Most experienced marketers will agree with me that creating a mailing list one sure best way of increasing your sales. The trick however, is not to spam your mailing list. You will also need to respect people’s privacy and learn not to share private information with third parties.
This effort has been proven to decrease refund on products and increase customers’ satisfaction. Every once in a while, mention a related product that might be of interest to the customers. Write a review and provide real results. Such promotion is extremely inexpensive, but very effective in practice. The product can be anything, including an affiliate program. I know that creating a mailing list can be very hard but it is worthwhile when you have a responsive one. There are many ways you can use to create one others prefer the cheap way that is buying one rather than the hard route of creating one from scratch. I have a problem though with going the easy way when it comes to mailing lists. The chances that you will buy a non-responsive list are very high. You may end up having people unsubscribing from your list as they may feel cheated.
Apart from sending newsletters to your mailing list engage them. Especially those that have just bought something from you, find out if they are satisfied with the quality of the product; has the mode of delivery been meet; is it what they expected and many other questions that can help you improve in future. By doing so you are telling your customers that it is not just the money you are interested in but to meet and satisfy their needs. People want to be appreciated when they spend money add some freebies to their purchases. This will surely guarantee you loyal customers which will lead to an increase in your sales.
One up-sell technique that I find very effective is just before a customer check out to the payment gateway, I prompt for optional upgrade to the better, bigger, or nicer product for a fairly steep discount, do not over do this though as some people will just want to get on with what they are buying. I recommend just having one optional upgrade and nothing more. It can be very irritating and confusing when you are just about to buy something and you are receiving a lot other offers. If you have more than one optional upgrade offer you have to find a better way of promoting the other offers. Preferably, sometime after the first offer has been purchased. You risk losing your first sale if you have to subject your would be customer to a lot of offers at the same time.
I would like to mention here that we all have different abilities and techniques what may work for me might not necessarily produce the desired results for some. It is there very important that you monitor and possibly document the methods you are imploring so as to make better judgment and concentrate on the methods that produce your desired results. In affiliate marketing patience and perseverance are key to increase your sales. You should learn to treat your online business just the same way as you would treat an offline business. One of the biggest mistakes people make is to think that online businesses are different from offline businesses. For any business to succeed you need to learn the tricks of the trade.
Provide discount coupons
Don’t we all love quality and inexpensive things? Coupons urge customers to come back and shop. Promotional coupons work for both advertising and some forms of joint venture. Customers love to know that they get lower price for what they buy. Coupons make it so real and tangible. This brings me back to the earlier point I made about offering guarantees. If you know you are selling a superior and quality product you will put your head on the chopping board by offering money back guarantees. Believe me I would rather buy from someone who offers to pay me back if I feel their product is of inferior quality or does not do what they claim it should do.
Discount coupons can be provided for bulk buying or whatever, marketing reason you can give. But always remember that discounts should not eat into your profits. Only give discounts where you can afford and give them sensibly. Remember that discounts are a cost to your business that should be handled carefully. People love discounts as this provides some form of servings. Giving discounts can significantly increase your sales as people will be lured by them.
Promote with related products
There is no limit as to how this could be accomplished. Joint venture with other business or even competitors is feasible as long as it brings a win-win situation. One example would be to give away sample of other product or service as part of the whole package. As long as the sample is relevant to the customer, this promotion could only be seen as an added value instead of pure advertising. Packaging your products with many related others gives you the added advantage and spoils the customer for choice. That is why it is very important that you join an affiliate program that has multiple products/services to offer. There is no harm in enticing your customers with different other products to choose from provided they are well documented and explained. You should try to help the customer by mentioning the major differences and advantages where possible.
Always remember that you are there to offer the customer a solution to his needs. Most people will make purchases if they feel that they are being offered a solution ate the right price. Before I forget let me mention here that costing of your products is also another important aspect of your business. Do not over price your products/services. It would be wise to have a little business knowledge before you venture out in to business be it online of offline. Some people think that high prices mean more money and forget that money is made at the rate of turnover. When deciding on a price, take all other aspects in to consideration and come up with a fairly reasonable price.
“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out” ~ Robert Collier. There are many other tactics to increase your sales but the above tips have been proven to work again and again. Choose one at a time and take action. Success in business is not instant but a gradual process. Affiliate marketing programs can be a source of serious income if managed and nurtured well. I have below some recommended products to get you started. These are products that have been proved by me and are giving me results. Please bear in mind that levels of success depend largely on self-commitment and methods implored. Good luck and remember to always “standout tall and be counted”.