If You’re Doing Less than $5k a Month in Online Sales, then You Need to Read This.
If you clicked the link to the article from my post on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Medium, you probably got enticed by the clickbait-y headline. It might be cheesy, but there’s a reason why I chose to do it this way. I’ll explain more in just a second…
Every business has a goal to increase revenue, right? Making money, aside from solving problems, is one of the core goals of business.
Too often though, we get hung up on the small details. We stay too focused on strategy instead of execution, we listen to too much noise instead of staying focused, & too many online “gurus” don’t offer any actionable insight. In fact, that’s probably what you thought was going to happen here.
I’m going to change the narrative a bit, and offer up some of my best pieces of advice when it comes to ecommerce & increasing online revenue. This are actionable insights that can be done today. All I ask in return, is that you share this post with someone that could benefit most from it.
There are three core ideologies that you must execute on when it comes to increasing your sales. This includes: More Traffic, Higher Conversion, & Repeat Orders. I’ll break this down a little more for you.
There are two ways of getting more users to visit your website. Through organic means, or through paid means. Each has it’s own pros and cons, which I’ll dive into next.
The term “organic traffic” simply means all traffic that hits your website that isn’t paid for. This can be through social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube or Instagram. It can also be through search engines, like Google or Bing — this is commonly referred to as search engine optimization, or SEO for short.
Here’s where most business owners fall short. They fail to gain a substantial amount of organic traffic to their website. Most often, this is because they fail to create good content either through their blog, or on social media sites like I mentioned in the paragraph above.
Too often, business owners see the price tag of content creation, whether that’s through hiring someone in house, a freelancer, or an agency — and get scared. The ROI of a single piece of content isn’t always clear. You might be asking yourself “Will spending $4,000 on this video make me more money later?”. The answer isn’t always clear — but here’s what is — over 93% of all internet traffic comes from Google — and more specifically, the top 3 search result in Google.
The truth is, there are no gimmicks when it comes to ranking on the first page of Google. The algorithm changes several times per year, and rankings change daily. Nobody knows this algorithm apart from the engineering team at Google. What we do know is this — creating good content typically leads to higher rankings & more traffic.
Additionally, to get more organic traffic from social media, you not only have to post good content, you also have to engage with the community & the people you’re trying to target. Too often brand owners think that by just posting a few cute pictures, they’ll have sales raining down on them. The truth is, organic traffic takes a long time to build. You have to constantly be engaging with other profiles, posting often & consistently, interacting within the micro community, and genuinely building relationships.
While organic traffic can be a great & useful tool at building long term relationships & higher converting sessions, it often takes a long time to snowball.
Paid traffic, on the other hand, is a method that delivers large amounts of traffic, quickly, to your website. This can happen through a variety of means, such as display ad networks like Google Ads or MANTIS, through influencer promotions, third party email blasts, Pay-per-click ads, or paid ads on social media platforms.
Each method has it’s own pros and cons, and you have to be much more keen on KPIs (key performance indicators) in order to avoid losing money through advertising.
While paid traffic is a great tool to drive traffic to your website, it can be very costly, risky, & tends not to convert as well as organic traffic. Not only that, but you must also have a clear user journey & marketing funnel established on your website in order to convert this paid traffic into customers.
The key factors in paid traffic success involves measuring metrics, A/B testing, constant improvements & changes to ad copy, content, & delivery methods.
Lots of people brag about their website traffic. One blogger might say, “I get 2 million unique visitors every month!”
That’s great, but I have a follow-up question: “How much do those 2 million visitors pay for your product or service?”
You have traffic flowing in through organic & paid means, now what? What happens when you have hundreds or thousands of visitors a day visiting your website, but aren’t spending any money?
This is what we refer to as a conversion problem. You can have all the traffic in the world spending time on your website, but what does it matter if those visitors don’t convert into sales?
To take a deeper look at this problem, you have to not only take a step back and look at your website as a whole, but spend time looking at things on a micro level.
- Where are your visitors spending the most time on your website?
- How long do they spend on your website?
- How many pages do they click through on your site?
- How often do they re-visit your website (if at all?)
- What products are they viewing?
- What pages do they exit on your website?
These are just a few key factors to look at when determining conversion issues. It can come down to the smallest things, like the copy on your website, landing pages, headlines, the images you use, the overall design, links placed on your website, & colors and fonts used.
Diagnosing a conversion issue takes time, patience, and lot’s of testing. You have to absolutely test everything on your website. One tool we use to do this is Hotjar.
There are two main types of conversions:
- Prospect to lead: In this conversion, you’re turning a website visitor into a potential lead. Visitor A lands on a page of your website and sees that you have a mailing list. He or she signs up. That’s a conversion.
- Lead to customer: The more important conversion occurs when a lead buys something from you. He or she might follow you on social, read your blog, check out your marketing emails, and finally hand over the cash for whatever you’re selling.
A few methods you can immediately use to increase conversion rates:
- Show social proof & testimonials. Test these with different mediums such as video, reviews, or DM screenshots on your landing pages & product pages.
- Increase the length of your landing pages.
- Include imagery of customers using your products or services.
Too often, brand owners attempt to find ways to attract new customers, and spend too much time & money on acquiring them. What they often neglect is their current customer database.
There are several reasons as to why you should re-market to your current customers rather than trying to acquire new customers.
We found retained visitors:
- Added items to carts 65.16% more than first time visitors
- Converted 73.72% more than first time visitors
- Spent 16.15% more per transaction
Not only is it more economically feasible to retain & re-market your current customers, it’s also easier to get them to buy from you. Think about it. They already trust you, they’ve already used your products, and you don’t need to spend money on ads to get them to come back.
To grow your business, it’s tempting to concentrate on making new sales or pursuing bigger accounts. But attention to your existing customers, no matter how small they are, is essential to keeping your business thriving. The secret to repeat business is following up in a way that has a positive effect on the customer.
Getting that first visit is like planting seeds. It is a lot of effort and work and to prepare the land i.e. create the conditions to get a customer on site.
Returning visits takes that customer from seed to fruit bearing tree. All the profit happens as you are able to bring the customer back and begin learning, engaging with, and converting that lead.
Effective follow-up begins immediately after the sale, when you call the customer to say “thank you” and find out if they’re pleased with your product or service. Beyond this, there are several effective ways to follow up that ensure your business is always in the customer’s mind.
There are plenty of things you can do to ensure good customer service. And when you’re a one-person business, it’s easy to stay on top of what your customers want. But as you add employees, whether it’s one person or 100, you’re adding more links to the customer service chain — and creating more potential for poor service along the way.
Excellent customer service is more than what you say or do for the customer; it also means giving customers a chance to make their feelings known. Here are some suggestions for finding out what your customers want, need and care about:
1. Attend trade shows and industry events that are important to your customers. You’ll find out what the competition’s doing and what kinds of products and services customers are looking for.
2. Nurture a human bond, as well as a business one, with customers and prospects. Send them gift cards, Christmas cards, or sports tickets. If they’re local, invite them to social events or host your own. In the relaxed atmosphere of socializing, you’ll learn the secrets that will allow you to go above and beyond your competition.
3. Keep alert for trends, then respond to them. Read industry trade publications, be active in trade organizations, and pay attention to what your customers are doing.
4. Ask for feedback. Survey your customers regularly to find out how you’re doing. Send postage-paid questionnaire cards or letters, call them by phone, and set up focus groups. Ask for suggestions, then fix the trouble areas revealed.
When focusing on a customer centric marketing plan, you can guarantee revenue for months to come. When you know what types of products your customers like & how often they buy, you can recommend up-sells, cross sells, and even turn the customer into a referral machine.
Utilizing these tactics can not only take your ecom site from less than $5k a month to double that, but will build bonds and relationships far past what the business will provide.