As I’ve said over and over again throughout this blog, your online business will be more successful if you don’t try to appeal to the masses. Rather, you should carve out niches within your industry by identifying small pockets of hard core prospects in narrow subgroups, particularly the ones who are actively seeking your products or services. For instance, you’d probably have far more luck reaching out to French poodle owners (and it might even be better if they were miniature French owners) than dog owners!
I’m reiterating this now because it’s important that you keep it in mind while you’re developing your opt-in offers: While it’s okay to offer one or more unrelated products or services, do not recommend all of them to everyone on your list! For example, you wouldn’t want to send an invitation for a mini-course on tactics for teaching your cat to use a litter box to bird enthusiasts!
If you sell multiple products or services that appeal to different audiences, you should create a targeted sublist for each. Since I operate more than one website with dissimilar content (marketing, psychology and music), I’d be lost if I couldn’t create sublists easily.
The power of the sublists is that I can send individual announcements to a targeted group of people who are interested in a specific topic. That way I don’t send marketing tips to someone who asked for songs! That means each mailing is relevant to the recipient, which results in higher response rates. Even if you’re starting out with one list, it’s a great idea to get in the habit of creating sublists.
Taking Money Online
If you’re developing a traditional e-commerce website and want to remain competitive you’ll need to set up easy, convenient, and secure online payment options such as credit cards (VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and etc.), electronic checks and Paypal for your customers. And even if you’re not planning to accept online payments, you should still be aware of the process involved in making that happen for several reasons.
First, things change. Who knows what you’ll be doing in several years? Second, you may want to add supplemental products and or services that are more appropriate for online payments. And lastly, as a convenience to your clients, you may want to add a bill payment option to your website. Trust me, automating and streamlining your customers’ online payments will save you tons of time and stress.
Set Up A Bank Account
If you haven’t done so already, visit your favorite local bank and open a business checking account. Once you’ve set it up, you can deposit payments from your merchant or Paypal account into it.
Set Up Your Shopping Cart
Simply put, shopping carts are the cyberspace versions of the ones in stores! Used by millions of websites all over the world, they allow customers to act just as they would in a brick-and-mortar store: They can place things in their cart and take them out as often as they’d like before purchasing.
But unlike traditional shoppers, online consumers are much more likely to change their mind and leave your website without purchasing. Although the exact numbers depend on whom you ask, shopping cart desertions are estimated to be a high as 85 percent.
What is the reason for this unfortunate situation? The simple answer is that many people get cold feet when faced with handling over their personal and financial information online, even though it is a very secure payment method. (Shopping carts use digital converters that encrypt information and make it nearly impossible for anyone else to access it.)
So, in order to remove this daunting obstacle, leave nothing to chance and make sure that people feel safe and comfortable submitting payment in your shopping cart area.
Following are some quick tips for decreasing your shopping cart abandonment:
- Reiterate your website’s security features. It doesn’t matter that they’re considered standard elements today. Take time to reassure your customers again with pleasant and well-placed copy, audio or video.
- Brands order pages. Choose a system that allows you to customize your order form and payment pages with your logo and graphics and lets you change elements (e.g., colors, fonts, sizes, etc.) easily.
- Sound enthusiastic! Write, “YES! I can’t want to receive…” This starts the purchasing process off on a great note.
- Restate and emphasize your strong guarantee. Reverse the customers’ risk – it’s very reassuring.
- Summarize your offer’s strongest benefits! This reminds people why they got to the order page in the first place.
- Include all of your contact information. Clearly display your phone number, mailing and email addresses and name.
- Restate your discount, special terms and detailed shipping information. The more information prospects have, the better they’ll feel.
- Use audio and or video, if possible. Seeing and or hearing you will increase your customers’ comfort level, especially if you’re reinforcing your guarantees, privacy and so forth.
Next article, will continue to discuss Paypal, Merchant Accounts and tracking/measuring marketing campaigns and sales. If you find the article helpful, kindly share it and or leave a comment, if you could. Stay tune and have a nice day ahead.