Supplying content and building traffic are key elements of a successful e-commerce site, but the difference between success and failure will be how well you convert your traffic into sales.
Pre-selling is an excellent conversion tool that many Internet marketers miss entirely.
Without even realizing it, they’re letting a high percentage of potential sales slip through their fingers.
Please don’t be one of them.
This article will give you some valuable advice on how to effectively pre-sell your products.
Pre-selling is the art of making people predisposed or conditioned to buy your products.
In the offline world, people are conditioned to buy all the time by shops and service businesses.
Think about how, in the past, garage forecourt attendants would not only fill your tank, but they would clean your windscreen as well. You’d pay for the fuel, or course, but not having your windscreen cleaned. The impact of this small additional service was that you’d be more likely to return to the same garage in the future over those competing on price, but who didn’t offer that personal service.
Other business offer free sweets on their counters for customers to take for their children; subconsciously associating the shopping experience with reward and a sense of getting something for free. The same is true, today, of Marks and Spencer’s Café Revive, in-store coffee shops, designed to both keep you inside the shop longer, and, associate the experience of shopping with socialising with friends.
Online, things are different of course, but the principles are the same, because just like the High Street, most people don’t make Internet purchases the first time they’re exposed to a product.
By creating a welcoming atmosphere and offer things which inform and engage, site visitors will be predisposed to buy from you, rather than your competitor, when they make that purchase decision.
Whoever does the best job of pre-selling will get them to click BUY.
How to Pre-sell
Create an expert persona.
Write your articles in a manner tailored for your audience. If you outsourced your articles or wrote them in the traditional way, put personal notes or tips at the end to let visitors know that there’s a human being running the site that they can relate to. If your site is a blog, or has a blog, work to build a rapport with your visitors. Tell them how you’ve “been there, done that”, and how your knowledge of the product or products comes from personal experience. Talk about one product at a time and tell them about a particular problem it solved or something it did to make you happy.
Know your customer.
If you put a product up for sale, make sure you know who would want to buy it. For instance, what kind of people buy knitting patterns? What kind of people buy removable gold teeth? Would the same persona be able to build a rapport with both groups?
If you sell knitting patterns, you’d probably want to go with a matronly persona and provide lots of pictures of little kids wearing the beautiful items made from your patterns. If you sell removable gold teeth, you might want to be a hip-hop DJ with plenty of music videos filled with people wearing gold teeth.
Let your visitors know what you have to offer and what you want from them right on your home page. Those who aren’t interested will leave but your potential buyers will stay.
They are also partially presold because you just told them that you have something they might need or want. By being upfront from the very beginning, you’re also keeping potential buyers from leaving because it’s not immediately clear to them what your site is all about.
Don’t assume they’ll stick around to uncover the mystery. They won’t.
Give your site a “spin.”
Set yourself apart from the competition. Think of sticky and unique content to provide your visitors. For instance, you might do things like:
- Allow visitors to upload funny videos involving your products
- Conduct contests involving your products or using them as prizes
- Offer quizzes related to your products
- Have your visitors submit stories about ingenious ways they used your products
Offering content that makes visitors want to come back, even if they don’t plan to buy anything, is always a plus. It will also help them think of you first when planning another purchase. Loyalty is a great pre-seller!
Publish an opt-in e-zine or newsletter.
Not only will you build a valuable mailing list, you’ll establish your credibility as an expert in your niche. It’ll also give you more opportunity to promote your products. Everybody likes to get free information about things they’re interested in, so make sure you provide it in abundance.
Don’t make every mailing a promotion or people will leave your list in droves. Most importantly, DO NOT set up an autoresponder to pump out daily sales pitches. Free information in newsletters and e-zines will build your customers’ goodwill and cultivate their loyalty — the two best presellers you could possibly have!
Preselling is a practice that many Internet marketers miss, and that will give you an immediate advantage over your competition. If you do it well, you might even have the Eskimos buying your ice cubes.
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