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Are You Missing the Boat When It Comes to Increasing Your Online Sales?

It’s the day after your very successful launch. You’re feeling pretty good about how the launch went, and the number of sales that you made. Now, you’re looking at the numbers: how many came to your sales page? How many people arrived on your checkout page? How many people purchased?

As you’re sorting through the numbers, you notice that there’s a difference between the number of people who arrived on your checkout page, and the number of people who actually purchased. That’s no good – you worked hard to connect with people who are genuinely interested in your product or service. To have them bail out just before making the purchase seems like a huge waste!

Unfortunately, this discrepancy between people who arrive on your checkout page, and the number of sales you make, is common in online marketing. The fancy term is “cart abandonment rate,” which means that your potential client abandoned the sales process just as they were about to pay for your product or service.

The good news is that, while it’s highly unlikely you’ll avoid this problem completely, there are several ways to reduce the chances that your potential clients will drop off your site before making a purchase. Master these techniques, and you’ll increase your online sales by quite a bit!

Create More Landing Pages for More Sales

If you don’t have a landing page for your product or service, you’re doing it all wrong. Landing pages are essential to your success. Landing pages are the first step in your sales process, so it’s important that you have a really good one that shows your future clients exactly why they want to purchase your product, service, coaching, etc.

Of course, it’s not enough to put up just any landing page. The trick is to optimize your landing pages in order to increase conversion rates from 25% to as much as 250%.

When talking landing pages, more is actually more. Take it from companies with 10 to 15 landing pages. They have observed a 55% increase in their lead generation just because they made more landing pages. When you have more, you’re offering potential customers variety and variety keeps customers interested and hooked.

You’re also offering specificity: your customers have come to you with a particular problem that needs solving. The more precise and targeted you can be on your landing page to address only that problem – and no others – the less likely the chances that your customers will wander away from your checkout page before completing their purchase.

Don’t stop with just creating more landing pages though. To know which landing pages lead to increased conversions, test key elements such as headlines, calls to action, copy, images, video, graphics, button text, button look, pricing, testimonials and press quotes. With the results on hand, you can continually tweak your landing pages that may result in a whopping 400% increase in conversion rates.

Get on Board with the Mobile Revolution

You don’t have to jump on all the technological revolutions, but one you must get on board with is the mobile revolution. A recent study showed that mobile usage is poised to take center stage in the world of online sales. In fact, half of your website’s traffic may actually come from mobile devices by the end of 2015. Shoppers are also expected to spend $93 billion while shopping using their mobile.

With all this mobile-based buying, you don’t want to get left behind! Take the mobile revolution seriously and you’ll have higher chances of boosting your online sales sales to new heights.

Be aware, though, that maximizing your mobile marketing is not going to be easy. It has its advantages, but it also has its pitfalls. One of the biggest pitfalls your business will have to face is the shopping cart abandonment problem. Especially for users on mobile phones, entering a credit card number, billing address, etc. can be time-consuming and difficult on a smaller keyboard.

Many mobile checkout platforms also suffer from slow loading times, so even if your customer is willing to spend the time to type in all their billing information, it may take so long for the checkout page to load that your customer gives up altogether.

How do you motivate your clients to complete their mobile transactions? Here’s how:

  • Focus your strategy by targeting the right people.
  • Add a mobile payment option to your emails or ads.
  • Make data entry as minimal as possible.
  • Develop a rockin’ app and join the in-app offers trend.
  • Incorporate carrier billing to facilitate fast checkout and prevent abandoned carts.

Reduce Your Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate

Let’s take a step back from your role as business owner for just a minute, and think back to your own online purchases. Have you ever gotten all the way to a checkout page, and then decided you weren’t going to buy after all? I’ll bet your answer is yes, because we’ve all done this at some point.

On average, 67% of shopping carts (the system that generates your checkout pages) are abandoned right before the transaction is completed. Even top companies like Amazon have to deal with this online sales dilemma. According to Amazon’s calculations, they may lose as much as $1.6 billion in annual sales if a product’s page loading time is delayed by just one second.

That’s how impatient shoppers can be. And while you may not lose as much money as Amazon, optimizing your checkout page so that your potential clients actually click the buy button is a must if you want to increase your online sales. Just take it from Movies Unlimited. The company enjoyed an ROI increase up to 500% just because they created a campaign specifically to address the chances that their potential clients would leave without buying.

But before you go ahead and craft your own abandonment campaign, let’s first look at why potential customers abandon carts in the first place. Studies reveal the following top reasons:

  • Window shopping only.
  • Saves items for later.
  • Too much information required to make a purchase.
  • Gets distracted by other windows open.
  • Cold feet – no guarantee that their online purchase will provide the results they want.
  • Shipping and handling for physical goods were not revealed upfront.

In order to significantly improve your sales, you must address why your potential clients are leaving your checkout page, and offer solution. Here are some things you can try:

  • The headline on your checkout page should remind your potential clients of why they wanted this product or service. What problem are you solving for them?
  • Incorporate social media to show reviews and ratings. If you don’t have a social media presence, include testimonials from current or previous clients.
  • Offer some sort of guarantee. Be clear about what your guarantee entails, and how long the guarantee is good for.
  • Some email systems allow you to send a special email to people who arrived on your checkout page, but never purchased. Find out of your email system allows you to do this, and craft an email or two reminding your potential clients that you have a solution to the problem they need solved.
  • Don’t require customers to register and login in order to make a purchase.
  • Offer free shipping and other promotions if possible.
  • Be transparent about shipping and handling cost upfront.

Ensure the Best Checkout Experience

Now that you know how to reduce the chances that your customers will leave your check out page, the next step to increase your online sales is to ensure the best checkout experience. Checkout goes hand in hand with cart abandonment and the ultimate goal is to provide customers with an experience they’ll be satisfied with.

Just because the customers clicked the “add to cart” button doesn’t mean it’s a sure sale. You still have to convince your potential clients to go through with the checkout process. But how do you do that exactly?

Below are some tactics you can employ:

  • Make a great first impression.
  • Incorporate a progress indicator.
  • Offer a variety of payment options.
  • Do not require registration.
  • Guarantee a secure checkout process.

Make a good impression and chances are high that your visitor will complete the checkout process. In short, make checkout as simple, clean and as straightforward as possible. There’s no room for distractions. Keep in mind that modern customers want everything fast, quick and instant. That means a 3 to 4-step checkout process should be ideal.

While you’re designing your checkout page, consider offering a variety of payment options to further increase sales. Some businesses with a Paypal option, in particular, reported increased sales by up to 31% because PayPal is convenient and fast.

And please never ever force your potential clients to register for an account before they complete their purchase. If you want your clients to register, give them the option of doing so after they’ve purchased, not before. And if you absolutely must give them the option to register an account before they purchase from you, give them the option to register or continue as a guest (no registration needed). By offering this option, Kissmetrics increased their sales by $300 million.

Finally, add trust elements to your checkout process such as SSL certificates and badges to increase sales by 15%. SSL certificates show that that you’ve taken the time to encrypt your clients’ credit card and billing information. A good shopping cart system will have SSL built into it, so all you may need to do is display that certification somewhere on the sales page.

Badges are another way to show that you are taking the necessary steps to protect your clients’ billing information. You may have seen these badges on other sites: they often say “Verified by X Company” or some other wording to indicate how an online company is protecting credit card information.

It sounds a bit complicated, but put yourself in your clients’ shoes. Making online purchases can feel intimidating. The more you can do to ensure that your customers feel safe and confident in the privacy of their information, the more likely they are to complete their sale.

Optimize Conversion Rate with SEO Because It Still Works

Up until now, we’ve talked about immediate technique you can implement right away to start lowering the chances that a potential client will leave your check out page without completing a purchase.

But, there’s one more technique to cover: using SEO to drive traffic to your landing pages. If you’re coming off a successful launch, you probably relied on your email list – or your promotional partners’ email lists – to promote your product or service. But now that you know you have something that people want, it’s time to start looking at how to generate organic, year-round traffic to your landing pages.

This is where optimizing with search engine optimization (SEO) comes in. When done correctly, SEO will not only generate more traffic for your website, but it will also convert those visitors into increased sales – and most likely into fans and repeat customers too.

But remember that the trick is not merely increased traffic. That’s just one aspect of SEO. In order to optimize the chances that this traffic will purchase your product or service, there’s one thing you must make sure first. You must ensure that you are attracting the right people.

In other words, you need to drive qualified traffic to your website first and foremost, before you can dream about increasing your online sales.

So, how do you make SEO work for your business? Here are some of the best ideas you should take advantage of:

  • Increase your click-through rates by researching the key words that are most likely to attract people who are really need what you’re offering.
  • Create custom landing pages based on these different keywords, so you can talk specifically about the problem that your potential customer has searched Google for, and how you can solve it.
  • Convert your potential customers with a compelling call-to-action that will take them to the checkout page.

Find out which keywords your potential customers are typing in their search engines. You can use a keywords tool like Google’s Keyword Planner or simply pretend that you are your client, and think about how you would research the problem at hand. Then marry that research with popular keywords such as “reviews,” “discounts,” or any other phrase that your potential customers are using to in online searches.

Once you have the list, it’s time for the next big step. Craft a strategy that takes advantage of those keywords which will then generate qualified traffic for your website. Focusing on custom landing pages is the first step, but you could also go further and write specific blog posts around each keyword, or create webinars, videos, or other content that would address the same problem for your potential customers, and then point them to your landing page.

The final step is to include a compelling call to action at the bottom of your landing pages. By now, you’ve described how you will change your potential client’s life for the better. Now all that remains is to motivate them to purchase your product, service, ebook, etc. This is the art of creating a compelling call to action, which takes all the excitement you’ve built up in your potential customer and converts it into action by getting them to click through to your sales page.

Ideally, this call to action should contain one or more of those keywords you researched earlier in the process. After all, those keywords describe the problem your potential client is having, so it makes sense to present your call to action as a solution to that problem.

Provided that you did everything right, you can now sit back and expect a healthy increase in your conversion rate.

Ready to Increase Your Online Sales?

Tackling the rate at which your potential customers leave your website just before they click the “process my order” button can seem overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be. Now that you have a good handle on what that process looked like during this launch, you can easily choose one of the techniques above and implement it for your next launch. Take a look at your numbers after the next launch (hopefully, you’ve lost fewer people from your order page!), and then decide which of the techniques outlined here you’ll implement next time.

Human nature being what it is, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever get 100% of the people who arrive on your checkout page to actually purchase your product or service. But with a bit of planning, and a lot of testing, you can get as many people as possible!

Which of these techniques will you use right away to increase your online sales? Any questions about these techniques? Let me know in the comments below!

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