Test everything, assume nothing! This is one of the core values that I live by, especially when it comes to generating online sales. The reason being is that I have learnt that after all these years on the internet, you just never know what strategy or angle is going to work best for you until you test it. This applies even to your star-performing strategies, because there’s always room for improvement.
The bottom line is, testing is the only way to discover what works and what doesn’t on your website, and it’s the best way to start increasing your sales exponentially. And if you take the plunge and use just one of the following tests, you’ll learn just how true this is, especially when you start seeing a dramatic improvement to your bottom line.
Test #1: Rethink your headline. Adding in different benefits of your product / service in your headline has a huge impact on your sales ad it’s often the first thing visitors to your site will see so it must grab their attention and compel them to read on.
A successful headline should highlight a problem your target audience faces and stress the main benefit of your product or service in solving this problem. Let’s look at an example that illustrates how a headline can be changed for maximum impact: “PuzzBox – The Amazing Toy Storage Box For Puzzles.” The problem with this headline is that it tells you what the product is, but not what it does for you. It doesn’t give a visitor any good reason to continue reading the rest of the page.
Contrast that one with this: “Finally! Discover the Secret That’s Got More Than a million Puzzle-Crazy Kids Worldwide Actually LOVING Clean-Up Time!” This headline presents a major benefit of the product and a solution to a problem – in this case, how to get kids to clean up after themselves and actually enjoy it.
Relating to your audience
Test #2: Establish a problem and solution. In the first few paragraphs on your home page, you need to go into more detail about the problem you highlighted in your headline – showing your audience that you relate to them. (Only when your audience feels you understand their problem will they feel confident that you can solve it.)
Once the problem is established, you can then begin introducing your product or service as the solution to this problem. By emphasising exactly how your product or service will solve your reader’s problem, you’re guaranteed to see quite an interest in your product or service and this will lead to a boost in sales.
Test #3: Adding credibility to your copy. This will enhance your visitors’ trust in you. It’s through this process that your visitors come to trust you and feel comfortable enough to buy from you. There are several ways you can do this effectively and we’ll talk about two of the quickest and easiest ones here.
One of the best ways to establish your credibility is to include customer testimonials in your sales letter. These should be excerpts from genuine emails or letters from customers expressing how your product or service helped solve the particular problem they faced.
Please note that a customer testimonial that states how your product benefited them is much more effective than one that just says something like, “Your product is great!” or “I love your product.”
Secondly, also enhance your credibility by adding a section to your copy that outlines your credentials, experience and any background information that makes you qualified to solve your target audience’s problem. Your aim should be to effectively convince readers that you are the best person to offer them a solution to their problem.
Creating a sense of urgency
Test #4: Instill urgency in your copy. Achieving this will convince readers they need to buy now. The best place to do this is towards the end of your sales letter, near your call to action (where you ask for the sale). Here are a few of the most effective ways to create a sense of urgency:
Offer additional bonuses for free if visitors buy within a certain time frame, eg: a free service for a month or a free eBook containing tips and advice.
Offer only a limited quantity of your products or services.
Offer a limited quantity bonus.
Offer a limited-time price discount where visitors must buy before a certain date in order to qualify for the discount.
Test #5: Reposition your opt-in offer. Your opt-in offer is your tool for gathering your customers’ email addresses and building your email list, which allows you to regularly keep in touch with your subscribers, build relationships of trust and loyalty, become a credible source and sell them your products or services.
But did you know that where your opt-in offer appears on your site can have a huge impact on how many subscribers you attract? Yes, it’s true; you can boost your opt-ins and build a bigger list of loyal subscribers.
Test by placing your opt-in offer in as prominent a position as possible on your home page. According to usability studies, the top left of a page is where visitors’ eyes are often drawn first. At the very least, test placing your opt-in in the “top fold” of your home page – the area of screen first visible to a visitor before they scroll down the page.
You should also test placing your opt-in offer on every page of your site so it’s always in front of your visitors. Remember, the more sign-up opportunities you provide, the more subscribers you’re likely to get.
Less products, more detail
Test #6: Minimise your product or service offerings. Try offering just one product or service on your home page and if you sell a number of products or services on your website then I’d strongly recommend you test whether or not this is the best strategy for you. I’ve found that offering fewer products in one place with more copy describing those products always translates into higher sales.
Instead of trying to please everyone who visits your site by offering a large range of products with minimal detail about each one, offer just one product, or one set of related products or one key set of benefits and answer all the possible questions and doubts your visitors might have about that product. You don’t have to stop selling your other products as you can always offer them to your customers from your other web pages or by using follow-up offers.
Of course, the only way to find out for sure if this will work with your target audience is to test it! Write a sales letter for your lead product, and put it on your home page. Then run the test for a week or two and watch the numbers.