When you ask an average entrepreneur about their biggest challenge, most will state that it’s getting new business and generating more sales. You do everything you think works, offer upsells and cross-sells, re-think your buyer personas and nothing works. What gives?
The truth is that when selling to customers, and especially online, getting more sales isn’t all that difficult. Here are some of the changes you can make today to maximize your sales and ensure that more visitors become buyers. Let’s dig in.
1. Use the power of social proof
It’s old news that consumers don’t really trust advertisers. In fact, research consistently shows that consumers would rather trust a complete stranger online than they would a company that’s trying to sell them something. You can use this to your advantage with social proof.
Simply put, social proof is all about leveraging the actions of your current consumers to convince potential consumers to buy. The most common way of doing this is through testimonials. Simply grab a testimonial from your customers and display it where interested customers can see it – your home page, landing pages, product pages, etc. You can collect testimonials manually or use a piece of software such as crowdy.ai.
You can also use the power of reviews. If you can learn one thing from the giant that is Amazon, it’s that having genuine reviews on your product pages greatly helps with convincing more people to buy.
Another method you can use is live notifications. Every time a conversion happens on your websites, new visitors can get prompted about it. This can be an effective way to turn visitors who are just browsing into buyers with nothing but a single line of code added to your website.
There’s more to social proof. If you work with large brands or your company’s been featured in a major news outlet, you should definitely let your visitors know. Perhaps it won’t lead to a direct sale, but it will make you appear more trustworthy, which can and will lead to more sales.
2. Use email marketing to its full extent
You’ll hear it time and time again – the money is in the list. Thanks to its ease of use and incredible return on investment, email marketing is one of the most used digital marketing methods today. However, many companies simply collect email without a clear purpose and a way to turn their lists into more sales.
The first thing to do is to create a killer welcome email for anyone who joins your list. Compared to the rest of the emails you will send, this one will have the highest engagement and open rates. Present yourself and your brand and then slowly go into promoting your products.
The second thing to keep in mind is to segment your lists according to the recipients’ interest. Visitors who opt-in for gardening equipment probably won’t be too interested in school supplies, so put them on separate mailing lists. Your emails will more effective and you’ll get better open and click-through rates, and finally, get more sales.
Finally, split test everything. If you have a large mailing list, it’s an excellent opportunity for A/B testing. Some things you can test include subject lines, email design, the copy and anything else you can think of. The end result will be a tried and tested email that drives conversions and sales.
3. Use Facebook’s lookalike audiences feature
Now that you have a sizeable email list, there are more ways than one to get more sales with it. One of the easiest things to do is to combine email and social media marketing. More specifically, you can create Facebook lookalike audiences to get more sales from this platform.
Creating ads on Facebook can be very tricky and setting up a custom audience sometimes feels like finding a needle in a haystack. Instead of manually entering your ad audiences, simply upload your email list and all other lead data you may have.
Facebook’s algorithm will then create a custom audience based on that specific data, i.e. it will find people most similar to those who already purchased from you or who want to learn more about you.
As a result, you will be able to create your ads more quickly and get laser-precision targeting, instead of wasting your ad money. And all of that with emails you already have, without spending extra money on marketing.
4. Introduce live chat
If a customer is on your website and ready to make a purchasing decision, you need to be there at this deciding moment. Being able to answer their question immediately can sway them enough to go from a cold lead to a happy buyer.
As research has shown, live chat has become the most popular method for consumers to get in touch with brands. One study says that 42% of consumers prefer live chat over email or any other type of contact. Moreover, more than half of the respondents would rather use live chat than call a company about a product.
While there are plenty of live chat options out there (Drift, Intercom, to name a few), the biggest challenge is having enough staff to keep your website covered 24/7. Which brings us to our upcoming item on the list…
5. Use a chatbot to have 24/7 support on your website
If you can’t have a person standing by at all times, artificial intelligence can do it for you. You’ve probably seen the explosion of chatbot software in the past couple of years, and it happened for a good reason. Chatbots allow you to have constant availability on your website at a minimal cost.
Besides general inquiries, you can “train” your chatbot to answer questions about product availability, shipping, return policies and much more. Since it’s always online, you don’t have to worry about losing customers, especially if you do business across different time zones. With AI becoming better with each passing year, chatbots are increasingly smarter and some visitors may not even notice they’re not talking to a human being.
6. Improve your user experience
In order to sell more, a lot of times it’s not about fixing your product. Your website could be the only thing preventing you from adding a few zeroes to your bank account every month. Luckily, there are ways to fix this.
First, take a look at what happens when visitors land on your website. Software such as Hotjar, Crazyegg and Fullstory allow you to record visitor sessions. You can later display the results in the form of heatmaps. This is a very simple way to figure out if there’s an element on your website where visitors get stuck on their way to purchasing.
As the business owner, you probably don’t have an objective view of your website. You can find out that there’s a button that was in the wrong place, a call to action that simply didn’t convert or a clunky checkout interface – all standing in the way of visitors who want to become buyers.
If it’s just a matter of changing a single CTA or editing some copy, you can tackle this on your own. For anything more complex, you can hire a user experience designer or developer.
7. Add an engaging pop-up
If you’re anything like me, the word “pop-up” reminds you of dial-up internet and poorly designed websites from the early 2000s. As annoying as they are, pop-ups have proved their worth and stayed around for almost two decades. Despite being fairly annoying, they’re an excellent marketing tool and you can use them to drive more sales.
A cleverly designed pop-up placed at the right time can drive your conversions through the roof. Studies have shown that the industry average for their conversion is around 2%, but you can get better results with some tinkering.
You can go the usual route and use the pop-up to get visitors’ emails. Even better, you can offer them a discount, free shipping, an extra item or something else they can use right away. Thanks to precise display rules, you can show specific pop-ups to specific users. For example, someone browsing the fishing gear category can get a pop-up with a 20% discount or free shipping for all rods.
Whatever you choose to do with your pop-ups, follow the same logic as with the emails: test everything. The copy, the design, call to action, display rules – these can all make a significant difference in your conversion rates. There are many different tools to try out, such as Sumo or Poptin, and the good news is that installing your pop-up is a matter of placing a single line of code on your website.
Getting more sales from your website or e-commerce store can feel like mission impossible. However, all it takes is lots of research, analysis, looking into what your visitors really want and creating the kind of experience they want to see from a brand. And remember, whichever method you choose from this list, always keep testing.
Carsten Schäfer is the founder and CEO of crowdy.ai, the first Clients-Convert-Clients marketing platform. Inspired by principles and mechanisms of social proof, Carsten is currently on his way to help businesses become trustworthy and thrive in the digital landscape. Feel free to connect him on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.