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Selling Online

Online Product Description

We’ve focused a lot on the importance of expressing the benefits your product/service will provide to your client. It is far and beyond the most important component to your marketing. That being said, once you are done explaining the benefits it is important to let them know how the benefits will be delivered to them, otherwise they might not believe that it’s possible. So regardless of if you are selling your membership Website, an advanced small group coaching program or an introductory audio CD product you still need to break apart each part of the system and explain what that piece will deliver. This will help your prospect understand how you are able to deliver all of the information and benefits that you have promised them. You must sell him or her on each small piece of the program and slowly stack up the value until purchasing becomes a “no brainer.”

Use Your Photo and Product Shot

If there are two pictures that you include with your copy it should be your picture and a photo of your product.

You include the picture of yourself because this helps to convey the message that you stand behind your product and are proud of the work that you do. Also, people generally buy into people, not products, and if you include your picture you give them another way to identify with you as a real person.  The photo should be a current headshot.

The second picture should be of your product.  It’s important that you take the time to create an attractive image of the product on your sales page.  Clients need to be able to visualize the package that they are considering purchasing, and an attractive well presented image adds credibility and goes a long way for looking professional.

If you are selling a traditional physical product, this is pretty simple.  Lay everything out on a table with a solid background and take some pictures.  Make sure that everything is displayed.  That may mean taking CDs and DVDs out of binders where they are stored with text tutorials.

If you are selling a virtual product like an entry-level downloadable eBook, or a membership Website program, don’t worry, it’s still pretty easy to give your product a “face.”  For an eBook you can have a professional cover designed for you for as low as $30-$40.   To find companies, just search: “custom eBook cover” or “custom eBook design.” You will quickly find that there are opportunities to have something designed for you or order inexpensive software that will help you do it yourself.

If you are promoting your membership Website, you can go a few different routes.  Screenshots are the easiest way to depict what the inside of your membership site looks like, but they are not the most effective.  You can also have a virtual tour video tutorial of your site created to help your potential client understand the value your membership will provide for them.  Another method is to allow access to all or a portion of your site for a limited time with a free trial.  I recommend using a combination of as many tools as possible to depict a clear image of the inside of your site to interested prospects.

Price

Don’t hide the price. Justify it, then lay it on the table. Instead of using the word price, fee, charge or cost, which people tend to associate with losing money, try investment instead. It more accurately represents a situation where your client trades time and money now for a greater return later. Make sure to restate the price again at the very end of the sales page/letter again, and of course on the order form/page. You don’t want there to be any confusion about what your new client is agreeing to invest to get the product/service. If they can’t find the cost they don’t buy.

Delivery

It’s important that you tell your client exactly how they will receive their information. For example, if they are considering a subscription to your membership Website, make sure to let them know that a user name and password will be e-mailed to them and when it will arrive by. If they are downloading a virtual product, then let them know that they will be redirected to the download page as soon as their purchase has been confirmed and a link to the page will also be sent momentarily. If they are receiving something in the mail let them know what size package to expect, what carrier will be delivering it, and approximately how long after the order it should arrive. The purpose of sharing all this information is to ease your prospects questions and make them feel more confident that they will get the material promptly.

Strong Guarantee

The stronger your guarantee, the less risk to you and your prospect. How is that possible? Let’s first address the obvious part of the statement: The stronger the guarantee, the less risk to your prospect. By providing a 100%+ guarantee with no conditions and a long or limitless time frame you remove a great deal of risk from your prospect. They have the reassurance that if the information isn’t what they had hoped for then they can easily “fix” their mistake and get a refund.

The first part of the statement is more surprising, “The stronger your guarantee, the less risk to you.” Since the guarantee actually removes the risk from your prospect and takes full responsibility for any poor judgments they may have made, it seems impossible that in the process they could have less risk. Let me clarify, any money back guarantee will not lessen your risk, but a strong one will. It turns out that the stronger the guarantee the less frequently products are returned. So by lengthening the duration that the guarantee is effective, and removing the qualifiers that must occur to exercise it, you minimize your percentage of returns.

What is the moral of the story? State a clear simple, powerful guarantee. You will earn more clients because of it, and they will be less likely to back out once they have purchased from you.

Pour on the Gravy with Great Bonuses

Now you are ready to talk about them in your copy. The objective is to build an immense amount of value for your client so this becomes one of the easiest decisions they have ever made. Think of the last time you watched an infomercial. Even if you’re not a big TV watcher you must have seen at least one. All of the good ones work the same way. They sell you on the great benefits of the product, convince you that you need it, price it reasonably, reassure you with the guarantee, and then stack on bonuses until you (or at least a good percentage of the other viewers) just can’t walk away.

This is what you have to do with your sales letters and pages, build a strong case and then push them over the edge with great bonuses. Use things that you would, or are currently charging for. Throw in some, one-on-one or small group support if it’s appropriate. Add a free month of membership website service. Just keep building the massive pile of valuables until they start thinking, “I would be crazy not to give this a shot.”

Specifically Ask for the Sale – Now

Have you ever been chatting with a salesperson, ready to buy, but then when you expected them to ask for the sale they didn’t? Maybe they just asked you to “think about it” or suggested someplace to “look around more” or “get more information.” The mind is a funny thing; you can be right at the point of pulling out your wallet or signing on the dotted line, and the suggestion to do more research, think longer or look around at times can be all it takes to put you into a completely different state.

Sales pages and letters work the same way. If you do your job right, and you are in front of the right person, they should be on a mission to get their hands on the product/service they have needed to help them solve some important problems. Don’t screw it up by stalling or distracting them, just ask for the sale.

If you’re using a sales page asking for the sale may mean a big button that says, “Click Here to Enroll Now” or “Click Here to Get Your Short Sale Secrets Now.” If you are writing a sales letter you may include a note that says, please fax in the completed secure enrollment application to get access today. Either way, you are saying the same thing: Please take the next step to get the product/service that you need.

Deadlines

You can use deadlines attached to your bonuses and/or special pricing or even the product itself to motivate people to take action now vs. procrastinating. And it’s a good idea since we all know procrastinating sometimes leads to no action, ever. You should insert the deadline right after the offer that it is associated to.

For example, if you have early bird pricing, then let them know the time and date (don’t forget the time zone if it applies). It’s best to place deadlines no more than two weeks out. Depending on the offer, availability and interest you may wish to make it much shorter.

Payment Schedules

Offering different payment schedules can create purchase opportunities for clients who otherwise couldn’t afford it. You can offer any type of payment option schedule that you want. Take into consideration the cost of the item, the ability of your clients to pay and the different payment schedules they may already be accustom to. Below I have listed some popular options to choose from. I recommend choosing no more than two or three options, anything beyond that may complicate ordering process and make you appear desperate.

• Single Pay (customary to provide a discount for this)

• Two or three payments over several months

• Monthly payments

• Small initial investment followed up by larger payments

• Larger initial investment followed up by smaller payments

Be creative. Think of at least a couple different payment schedules that you are comfortable with. If they are particularly unusual, like a small initial investment followed up by larger ones, then take the time to explain why you are offering that format. Perhaps the first payment is part of a promotional or trial. Make sure to explain your logic, so that your payment schedule doesn’t come off as a desperate attempt for sales.

P.S.

The P.S. is located at the end of the sales pitch and is the second most frequently read part of your copy. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to remind your readers of your key points. The P.S. is a great place to restate a short summary of your offer, deadline, guarantee, and link to purchase (if it’s a sales page).

There’s no need to stop there — if you have more to say include a P.P.S. This is a great place to mention what will happen if the reader doesn’t take action and how they might feel about that decision.

Collecting Orders

On an online sales page you would have links on the page where the reader could click to subscribe, reserve or get the service or product. In a sales letter, however, you have a separate page to fill out and it will need a name. Don’t call it an “order form” as that is associated with making a commitment to part with your money. Instead, try one of the following names:

• Activation form

• Preferred subscriber voucher

• Acceptance form

• Response form

• Application (if there are qualifications to meet)

• No risk coupon

• Free trail form

• Reservation form

• Trail membership application

Your activation form should be able to stand-alone.

Be sure to include a headline, summarize the offer (main benefits, what’s included, price, guarantee, deadline) and include all contact information. It’s always a good idea to remind them of the key points, and often people toss the letter and keep the ordering form to fill out later. Make sure they have all the information that they need when they are ready to place an order.

Keeping it fresh, even the best copy will begin in wane after a while. To lengthen the lifespan of your copy, mark it up with “handwritten notes” or add a final notice stamp to the top and send it back out again. You can also add a lift note (sticky note) to the top with a special message and re-send the letter.