1. Keep search engines in mind when designing your site. Include keywords and META tags in your Web pages to improve your ranking with search engines.
2. Include an “Opt-in” form to collect your visitors’ email addresses. An opt-in form captures the email addresses of interested prospects and gives you permission to email them. Getting your visitors’ e-mail addresses and building opt-in email lists is essential to staying in touch with your prospects and turning your visitors into buyers. Offer something valuable to get your potential buyers’ email addresses such as a free report, newsletter, consultation, discount, or special offer.
3. Stay in touch with your visitors. Visitors rarely a conversion the first time they visit a site. They want to get to know you before they are willing to spend money. Communicate consistently with your prospects through online newsletters and email messages. Give potential buyers reasons to return. Provide valuable information via social media and email. Mention what’s new on your site. Provide special offers and discounts to your contacts. Invite them to visit your Web site again and again. These techniques work. Try them and watch your prospects become buyers.
4. Design your Web site based on your Unique Selling Proposition. Why should prospects buy from you instead of your competition? What sets you apart? What makes your products and services unique, better, and more desirable? Do you provide hard-to-find expertise, the best customer service, lowest prices, highest quality, fastest service, or strongest guarantee? Back up your claims with testimonials, statistics, results of studies, and other data. Stand out from your competition. Offer more. Make your offers unique. Be original.
5. Put the benefits of your site and your USP right on top of your home page. Many Web visitors never scroll down past the first screen of information. Give your potential buyers the information they need as quickly as possible.
6. Ask for feedback. Find out what potential buyers want. Use feedback forms and email surveys to conduct market research. Ask what products and information they’re interested in. What benefits are most appealing. What price they would pay. Analyze the feedback and adapt your site as needed.
7. Write compelling sales copy. Effective copy works just as well on the Internet as it does in direct mail. Write to-the-point copy. Attract potential buyers with benefits. Start each Web page with a compelling, benefit-oriented headline. Tests have proven that the more you tell, the more you sell. If people aren’t interested in your products or services, they won’t read past the first paragraph. If they are interested, you can’t tell them enough.
8. Motivate readers to do what you want them to do with action verbs. A call to action such as “call now,” “order now,” and “click here” can dramatically increase sales. Give precise instructions. Tell them exactly what to do. For example, tell them to subscribe to your ezine and give you their email addresses. For more examples of action verbs, see our article “Increase Sales, Subscriptions, and Traffic With Action Words.”
9. Make purchasing easy. Take a good look at your ordering process.
10. Include your URL on each Web page. This will make it easier for people to go back to your Web site when printing or saving your Web pages.
Take a look at your website and see how many of these elements are missing. Implement these proven direct marketing strategies now to increase your online sales.