If you’re not selling eBooks or digital courses to your blog audience, you’re potentially missing out on thousands of dollars in additional passive income.
The demand for eBooks and digital courses has exploded over the last few years. The annual eBook sales in the U.S. is expected to outgrow the sale of mobile games, and reach almost $8 billion by the end of 2016.
However, if you are already selling eBooks on your blog, or plan to do so, you’re on the right track. Your audience knows you well and it’s easier to convince them to reach for their wallets as compared to complete strangers.
But who doesn’t like more sales?
Here are a few are ways you can increase your existing sales significantly by optimizing your existing traffic and making certain changes to your strategy.
1. Improve the Buying Experience on Your Blog
With so many bloggers, entrepreneurs and agencies selling info based products, trainings and eBooks, user experience has become one of the key differentiation points. The simpler the buying experience on your blog, the higher chances you have of making the sale.
The main factors that determine the simplicity of the buying experience on your blog include,
- The number of steps and redirections involved in the checkout phase.
- The number of payment options you’re offering
- The speed and loading time of your blog
- The number of fields on your check out form
- And whether your website design is responsive (mobile friendly) or not
For example, Selz, a digital product selling app, surveyed more than 100,000 of its users who sell eBooks using Selz online store or by embedding its product widgets on their blogs. The study found that the sellers who used the PayPal app of Selz to offer PayPal as a payment option, in the addition to the default options of Master Card and Visa, managed to close almost 26% more leads. This makes sense since almost 79% of American consumers prefer PayPal for online payments.
As a general rule, the more payment options you offer, the better. Offering both PayPal and credit card payments would almost guarantee that none of your prospects would abandon the purchase because of the lack of payment options.
Similarly, other studies show that 25% of your prospects might abandon a purchase if your website navigation and design is complex and confusing. While 17% might not pay because of concerns about payment security.
These are just some of the examples of how a poor buying experience can drastically impact your sales numbers. If you can fix some of the major user experience factors such as multiple secure payment options, a mobile friendly design and a hassle free checkout process you should see a drastic increase in your conversion rate.
2. Create an Effective Sales Process
When you’re selling eBooks or any other forms of digital products on your blog, it’s tempting to pitch your offer straightaway and ask visitors to buy your product.
Most bloggers do that. However, that’s not the best approach.
When a new visitor lands on your website, he might or might not be ready to spend money on your product.
If he does, great. But what if he doesn’t? Will you just let him go away?
Of course not! He might not be in the mood to buy your product at the first instance but, if you stay in touch, you have a good chance of converting him into a buyer as well.
That’s why you need have an effective sales process in place.
Instead of directly pitching your offer to new visitors, get them on board with a freebie or a lead magnet. Combine this with an autoresponder series. Share valuable information with them and develop a rapport.
For example, if you’re selling an eBook on social media marketing, here’s how you should go about it.
What the visitor wants: To learn how he can generate leads with social media
What you want: To get him buy your eBook
But he’s not ready to buy, so:
- You get him on your email list by offering a free eBook/a short video/a checklist or any other form of lead magnet on a related topic.
- You send them emails full of valuable tips on social media marketing.
- You share success stories of your previous buyers.
- You tell them what’s inside the paid eBook.
- You pitch the eBook at a discounted price.
As a general rule, the more expensive or complicated a product, the more time people need to decide whether to buy it or not.
So even if a visitor doesn’t purchase your product in his first visit, be patient and focus on staying in touch with him.
3. Have a Clear Value Proposition That Erases Doubts
If you’re an expert in your area, chances are that you’ve created a high value eBook full of actionable strategies that can help your buyers achieve their goals.
But here’s the problem.
Your prospects won’t know what’s inside your eBook unless they buy it. But they won’t buy it unless they’re convinced you’re offering something really useful.
This is where many entrepreneurs and digital sellers make the mistake of not telling their prospects enough about their product.
Don’t make this mistake.
Clearly communicate the value your product offers and make sure that all the key selling points are well highlighted.
Make the value proposition absolutely clear.
Your sales pitch should clearly answer the two questions every prospective buyer has
- What’s in it for me against the money you’re asking for?
- Why should I buy it from you and not your competitors?
To answer these questions comprehensively, you need to highlight the value that your product offers, pus why you are qualified to offer this product.
Highlight your personal experience in your field, the previous results you’ve been able to deliver, the success stories you’ve created and any other achievements that are unique and differentiate you from your competitors.
For example, this freebie on QuickSprout has a clear value proposition and a strong trust factor since the creator of the course, Neil Patel, is one of the leaders in the SEO and content marketing industry.
You can learn in detail about crafting a value proposition in this post
4. Offer Massive Value on Your Blog for Free
One of the biggest reasons why selling eBooks directly to your blog audience is such an effective way to make money, is because your readers already used to seeing free high value content on your blog.
They trust you and know that you’re an expert in your niche. So when you offer them a paid product, they don’t have any doubts about the value on offer.
The study by Selz I referred earlier in the post, also revealed that sellers who post regularly on their blogs make 17% more sales on average as compared to other sellers. The more value you offer in your free content, the less you’d have to convince your regular readers to pay you.
In fact, if you consistently publish well researched, actionable and useful blog content, your readers will become your biggest word of mouth marketers. And research shows that leads acquired through word of mouth marketing have a 37% higher retention rate.
Source: Marketing Land
This infographic published on Marketing Land further shows the effectiveness of word of mouth marketing.
So in the long run, your blog content, and the customer advocates that it generates, may prove to be a vital source of qualified leads and sales.
5. Offer Multiple Product Plans to Boost Conversions
Selling eBooks is a profitable business (that’s why you’re in it). But many other bloggers and entrepreneurs in your niche are doing the same.
This is where you can provide additional value and flexibility to boost your sales numbers. A classic way of doing that is to create 2-3 different packages of your offer and set different prices for them.
For example, you could offer three different products and pricing models for beginners, professionals and experts, like this.
The beginner package may include just your eBook at a base price. The professional package may include several worksheets, DIY templates and a list of other recommended reading material. While the expert package could contain a couple of 30 minute video consultation calls with you, along with 12 months of email support.
The possibilities are just endless.
The eBook market is currently experiencing exponential growth. And with the widespread usage of smartphones and tablets, this growth rate is expected to increase even more.
In order to take advantage of this trend, your focus should not only be on creating a quality product, but also on ensuring that the majority of your website visitors either purchase your product or sign up to your list.
You don’t always need to attract more traffic to increase sales. Just by improving your conversion rate you can achieve much higher sales with the same amount of traffic.
Do you currently offer eBooks on your blog? If yes, what strategies are you using to maximize your conversion rates? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
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