There are so many amazing plugins, themes and other online tools and services available that will help you get off the ground quickly that it's almost a crime if you have an idea and don't take action on it.
The Type of Digital Sales Doesn't Matter
This post is not about any specific type of digital product. It really doesn't matter as the advice below can apply to anything you're selling; consulting services, ebooks, memberships, software, etc.
It does not matter.
Whether you've built your eCommerce website yourself or had a qualified business service help you with it, there are some thing to consider after it's all set up that can make the difference between success and failure.
Getting the Sale
The one thing that is most rewarding when starting your own business is getting that first sale. It's validation that your idea has merit.
Someone wants and needs what you have to offer.
But as you probably know, getting the first sale happens only after a lot of other things have been put in place, and one of those things is your product presentation and whether or not you're able to convey the benefits of your digital product effectively.
As I alluded to above, if you're using a WordPress theme, there are many out there built specifically to display products in the typical way by showing a product image (or several), a content area for you to add details about the product, and a buy button.
Most of them do a decent job, but there is something that the right theme can't do for you...
Creating an Effective Sales Page
Creating an effective sales page comes down to three things...
- Convincing Copy
- Conversion Testing
Many of us "do-it-yourselfer's" think we can handle design and sales copy ourselves, especially in the beginning. To some extent we can with the availability of landing page and other marketing tools, but as you may have experienced yourself, when it comes to professional sales page design and copy built for converting visitors into customers it's more often a wise business move to hire people who specialize in such things.
Then you need to test, test, test.
This is something that too many people don't pay enough attention to, and doing it wrong will affect your bottom line.
Ideally, the checkout process on your site should be as simple and short as possible. The more time a potential customer has to spend filling out your checkout page details, the more chance they will reconsider and abandon their cart.
The most important piece of advice I can give is to make sure you're using a payment gateway that keeps the checkout process on your site and doesn't take a user to a 3rd party gateway checkout screen to complete the payment.
PayPal Pro, Stripe, Authorize.net and others all offer this feature, but it also depends on the eCommerce platform (or WordPress plugin) you're using that determines this too.
Digital Product Delivery Process
When you purchase an item at a supermarket, you walk away with those groceries in your hands. You don't have to pay and then wait for for someone to deliver them to you (in most cases anyway).
The same process should apply to your digital sales process.
After a successful payment for software, an ebook or even a membership, you should deliver those products or give the proper access immediately.
Don't make someone "check your email inbox to access your download".
It's a small touch that goes a long way in providing immediate customer satisfaction.
Offer Easy Support Access
This one really should go without saying, but I'm often surprised at just how difficult some digital sales companies make it to access or submit a support request.
It's one thing to try and mitigate vague support requests that don't offer enough detail for your support team to help right away or as a way to verify an actual paying customer, but it's quite another to force users to register another user on yet another domain just to submit a support ticket.
Make your support process easy. It's the right thing to do.
Bug Fixes and Feature Requests
This one mostly comes into play with software, but can also apply to corrections and updates in ebooks or with membership content.
Listen to your customers and give them an easy path for feedback and bug reports (see support access above), but just as important make sure that you are continually giving your customers even more value after the sale.
Building Customer Relationships
This is directly related to the communication paths and value added items I discussed above. No relationship, personal or otherwise, was ever built or strengthened without first listening and then taking action on whatever was discussed.
There are so many opportunities for relationship building in your business that it's sometimes difficult to cover them all, especially if you're a one person show.
From the initial contact (the page your visitors land on) to the follow up support and other contact channels, you have a plethora of contact points in which to solidify your customer relationships and strengthen the brand loyalty of your business and products.
Follow Up Marketing
An important part of the relationship building process is also dependent on your follow up marketing methods and how you approach them.
You are doing follow up marketing aren't you?
It should be obvious at this point that I'm not simply taking about sending a series of automated emails that try to sell your customers on additional services and products (although Autoresponders do have their place).
When I say follow up marketing, I'm really talking about additional value added marketing opportunities.
This can come in many forms. Everything from a simple tutorial on how to do something unique with your product that perhaps isn't well known to a full fledged series of step by step course material that is completely free.
Making sure you continue to build those relationships by providing real value, either through email, social channels, or other contact points will make sure that when you do have something to sell, it will be a no-brainer for your customer to listen and consider purchasing.