Friday, March 02, 2007

5 Ways to Encourage Impulse Purchases for Your Home Business Website

Are you wanting people to be so enamored with your product or service on your home business website, that they will purchase right away? If so, here are some cool tips to help you accomplish this goal!

5 Ways to Encourage Impulse Purchases
by: Bobette Kyle

I just bought six square pieces of spongy fabric for $20 and walked away happy - "victim" of an impulse purchase.

I was at one of those big show events and walked past a demonstration booth. I even knew it was coming. About 50% of the people walking out were carrying two bright yellow cylinder-things.
As we walked toward the convention center, I told Tim (my other half), "There's one of those guys with a microphone in there, doing a demonstration. He gets people so excited they think they have to buy those things. They over-pay then never use them." I said this a bit smugly. I know of such things, so I wouldn't succumb.

Yeah, right. This guy was good. So good, I came away with five ideas for increasing sales from impulse purchases. Next time you evaluate short-term sales and marketing strategies, think about and apply these five impulse purchase lessons...

Impulse Purchase Lesson 1: Demonstrate an impressive, relevant feature.

If the product is chocolate, sold at a retail checkout stand, you have no need for this one. Human nature takes over. When you are selling unrecognizable cylinder things, people need some encouragement.

You would never know it to look at them, but these things were super absorbent shammies. They can suck 8 - 10 ounces of soda out of your carpet in nothing flat AND it makes for an impressive demonstration. When the demonstrator mentioned they could dry a sweater in three hours, I was hooked. Never mind we have about two spills a year in my house and I don't own any "lay flat to dry" sweaters.

This ability to get people to "live in the moment" is one key to a successful impulse purchase demonstration. The salesperson has a lot to do with it, of course. Repetition of an incredible, attractive feature, however, is key as well.

Think of any infomercial or "Billy Mays" product. There is always an "AMAZING!" feature - cooks in minutes, instantly removes stains, easily pulls dings from your car, etc.

2: Try to "time it right".

Quite coincidentally, one of those semiannual spills in my house happened the day before I bumped into the yellow cylinder guy. I was thinking "If I'd had these yesterday, right now we wouldn't have books stacked in the middle of the living room floor." Quite by accident, he had related to something that was top-of-mind for me.

Fortunately, you do not have to rely on coincidence. At any one time, there are usually six or eight generally popular "themes" you could tie into. Better yet, your target audience is likely to have it's own unique interests.

On the Internet, you can "time it right" by associating complementary products or services. If someone is researching monitors, for example, perhaps they need an ink cartridge for their printer.
Showing or highlighting ink cartridges on the screen along with the monitors may incite an impulse purchase. Better yet - and this is impossible unless you have order histories or detailed profiles - show them the exact cartridge they need.

3: Make it easy.

It turns out the cylinder things costs a flat $20. There was no change to mess with, no stopping to fill in order forms, and no multiple pieces of currency. As people pulled $20's out of their pockets, the demonstrator took them and handed over the shammies in a single motion.

On the Internet, you can make it easy in two ways - ordering and delivery.

Make the order process as simple as possible. Amazon's "Quick-Click" links are a good example of making ordering easy. Impulse purchasers simply click on the "Buy from Amazon" button and order straight off a pop-up window. You can see how it works here, in the left column under "Amazon 'Quick-Click' Example": http://WebSiteMarketingPlan.com/Arts/ImpulsePurchase.htm

Easy delivery is another way to encourage impulse purchases on the Internet. Immediately downloadable digital items are an example. For physical items, quick delivery - overnight, same day, or local store pick-up - can increase sales.

4: Give an enticingly presented discount.

A roll of three shammies was $21 something, but the guy was taking care of the sales tax, which made it an even $20 (But wait, there's more!). Because it was early he would throw in another 3-roll for no additional charge. Caught up in the moment, we nodded agreement. We were getting a deal - no sales tax plus three free.

The way a discount is presented can make a deal sound either appealing or "not such a deal". Which sounds better?...
  1. "Buy One, Get One Half Off." OR "Buy Two and Get a 25% Discount."
  2. "3 for $5.00" OR "$1.67 each."
  3. "40% Off Sale" OR "On Sale, $12.00 each." (Assuming $20 item.)
Another way to encourage impulse purchases is to give a discount by bundling. Offer to reduce the price on a second, related item (Like in example #1, above.).

Online, I have seen this done with books. Some booksellers offer you a chance to save money on shipping and/or book price if you also purchase a related item.

5: "Keeping up with the Joneses."

Instead of putting the shammies in a bag, the demonstrator rolled them up into a cylinder. This way, people at the show would see others carrying them around and wonder what they were missing.
The same concept can be applied to the Internet. I have seen messages like: "Others who bought 'x' also bought 'y'" on order forms, at check out, and on product screens.

So there they are - five tactics the yellow cylinder guy used to convince me (and nearly everyone around me) to happily walk away with six shammies. By correctly applying these same techniques you can see your sales soar as well.
About The Author

Bobette Kyle has more than a decade of experience in Corporate Marketing; Brand and Product Marketing; Field Marketing and Sales; and Management.
She is author of the Marketing Plan and Promotion Guide "How Much For Just the Spider? Strategic Web Site Marketing", named one of the top 15 books of 2002 by NonFictionReviews.com. Read more about the guide here: http://WebSiteMarketingPlan.com/bookinformation.htm

© 2003 Bobette Kyle. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

How To Skyrocket Results With Your Home Business Sales Page

Have a home-based business website, but the sales copy isn't converting? If so, here are some tips to turn visits into sales!

Secific Questions Your Sales Letters Must Answer To Achieve The Best Results

by: Joanne L. Mason

Here’s a surefire method to guarantee you achieve the best results from your sales letters. Rather than make a sales pitch that your prospects will very likely ignore, instead present your products or services as the answer to their problems.

When you offer the help that your target audience is looking for it won’t be hard to make sales. You can show that you really do understand the needs of your market by addressing these five specific questions right up front in your sales letter.

1. What's In It For Me?

This is the number one rule of salesmanship. People buy products for one reason only...what they will receive out of it. You must instantly tell any prospect exactly what they will get out of your product. Your best opportunity to do this is in your headline. Make a bold statement right up front and capture your target audience immediately.

2. How Will My Life Become Better?

This is where you have to understand the emotional appeals that attract your prospects like moths to a flame. Do they want to become richer, smarter, better looking, thinner or more popular? Do they want to save time, money or effort? Study your niche market until you know what emotional buttons to push and you'll see a huge increase in your sales instantly.

3. What Will Happen If I Say No?

You have to give people a compelling reason to buy from you. A good way to do that is by reminding them what will happen if they don’t purchase your product. What problems will continue to exist for them, how much money will they lose, how type of frustration will they continue to endure? Help your prospects to see that they really can’t afford to say no because your product truly is the solution to their problems.

4. Why Should I Trust You?

The best way to establish trust in your sales letters is by using testimonials. A good testimonial is the written equivalence of a word of mouth referral. Prospects naturally trust what other people say about their experience with you. Get your past customers who have been happy with your business to give you testimonials to use in your sales letter.

5. Will I Be Stuck With Your Product?

Here’s where you can literally seal the deal. Reverse the risk of doing business with you. Always offer a money back guarantee so that people will feel confident that they won’t lose out if your product is not what they expected. When your prospects see that you stand behind your products enough to assume the risk they can feel more comfortable in purchasing your products.

When you use these easy tips to answer your prospects questions in your sales letter, not only will you gain an unfair advantage over your competition, but you'll also show your prospect that you care about their problems and your product is the solution that they need.

About The Author

Joanne Mason's articles have helped thousands of small business owners to significantly increase their profits by discovering the secrets to writing better sales letters. Get a FREE subscription to her ezine, Sales Letter Secrets, at http://www.moneymakingsalesletters.com


jlmason@moneymakingsalesletters.com

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

5 Simple Ways To Promote Your Home Business Webiste

I ran across these easy tips to promote a online website. Traffic is essential, so follow this tips to get more of it!


5 Simple Ways To Promote

by: Larry Johnson

Learning to promote your business online is one of the most important steps in being successful.

Otherwise your site may as well be in some dark closet, because no one is going to stumble over it.

Here are 5 simple ways to promote your site and gain some needed traffic for your business.

-- AUTOMATE IT

As much as possible you should automate your promotion efforts. One of the easiest and quickest ways to do this is the use of autoresponders.

There are many paid ones available and they okay for the most part. Personally, I like to use a fr*ee one you can find here: http://www.freeautobot.com

It comes without any types of ads, and I have found it to be very dependable and useful.

-- SWAP ADS

There are always those online who are willing to swap ads, bannners or links in order to gain some additional fr*ee exposure.

Search for them in your e-mail messages and in a variety of directories related to your type of business.

For example, here is one that is not fr*ee, but it is well-established as a great resource for locating reputable e-zines in which to advertise:

http://www.directoryofezines.com/

-- JOINT VENTURES

Directories can also provide a wealth of contacts for potential Joint Ventures.

For a small percentage of your profits you can enlist the help of other sites and publishers to promote your offer.

One simple way is to use http://www.ClickBank.com which has a built-in affiliate program to help you with just this type of thing.

-- WRITE ARTICLES

Yes, it takes a little effort, but writing articles to promote your site does pay off.

Sharing a little bit of information in the form of articles with others has many rewards.

Hey, we are working in an information media type of are here, right ? Everyone is looking for the answer to some problem. Help them find it with a well-written article and get some deserved promotion when it is published in other's newsletters or e-zines.

-- PUBLISH A NEWSLETTER

Online promotion is a slow learning curve for most folks, but it is one that has many rewards in terms of traffic and sales for your online business.

While this list is not inclusive, it does give you a starting point to begin your online efforts at building traffic and gaining some needed exposure.

Remember, "Running a business without advertising is like winking in the dark. You know what you are doing, but no one else. does."

-- Larry Johnson, author

Biz Site Biz E-zine http://www.BizSiteBiz.com/

About The Author

GET A QUICK START in this FR*E, weekly promotional marketing ezine. Each issue offers powerful marketing tips, resources, fresh ideas and original articles on how to create, promote and market your own business. You will discover information with a "How-to-do-it" approach. Join us now for the full scoop. Mailto:subscribe-956607103@ezinedirector.net

Monday, February 26, 2007

5 Reasons Why Headlines Are Crucial To Your Home-Based Business Website’s Success

When it comes to your home-based business, when you write ads or seek to promote your product or service in other ways, it always is crucial to have an attention grabbing headline. It must generate enough curiousity to get people to at least click on it. Here is why:

5 Reasons Why Headlines Are Crucial To Your Website’s Success

by: Robert Boduch

Without a powerful headline, your message stands little chance of being noticed in an increasingly competitive marketplace. If your headline doesn’t capture attention and pull prospects into your sales copy, than your marketing effort is a total waste of energy and resources.

Nothing is more important to getting your message noticed than your headlines. If you’re not allocating a sizable percentage of your time and creative effort to the headline used on each page of your website, you could be losing out on a large chunk of business.

Top copywriters understand this concept well. They know how essential it is to capture attention by literally stopping pre-occupied prospects in their tracks.

Here are five good reasons why your site headlines deserve greater emphasis and attention:

1) Headlines Are Natural Attention Getters. The majority of online prospects are quick scanners. No one reads the body copy of a page without first reading and being pulled in by the headline. Headlines are the first thing your visitors see. They jump out visually and command attention. Headlines are leads set distinctly above the rest of the text. Often the typeface, size, and style used for headlines contrasts with that uses in the body copy. It’s a proven approach that naturally attracts eyeballs, virtually forcing interested prospects to grasp the message of the headline and to read on.

According to advertising legend David Ogilvy, 5 times more people read headlines than body copy. Although Ogilvy was talking about print advertising in general, the observation is certainly applicable to websites as well.

With 5 times the readership, headlines have the power and capability to make any message many times more successful.

2) Site Headlines Serve As Valuable Guides To The Busy Surfer. Headlines reveal key details. They tip off readers as to what follows. They provide clear signals to help readers decide whether they should stick around for the full message, or dash off to something else – something better suited to their own special needs and interests.

As a quick summary of the entire piece, headlines either attract continued interest and readership, or they repel it. Without a headline, the reader is forced to wade through a portion of the text to understand the meaning. Forcing readers to do this is to risk losing them altogether. It’s sales suicide. In effect, having no headline will cost you at least 80% of your potential audience.

3) Headlines Prepare The Reader For What Is To Come. Headlines stimulate interest. They captivate, arouse curiosity and stimulate the desire for more. It’s the headline that starts the reader’s motor running. A good headline sets up a feeling of expectation as the reader anticipates discovering more -- and can’t wait to get it!

Successful headlines address specific audiences. They open prospects minds to new possibilities and expand their level of enthusiasm and interest. The best headlines involve prospects, virtually guaranteeing their sustained attention for the time being.

4) Headlines Simplify The Learning Curve. Every headline serves to introduce whatever follows. As an opening or lead-in, the role of the headline is to succinctly communicate the essence of the message it precedes in a n interesting and compelling way.

Effective headlines and sub-headings reveal key bits of information -- often with the added power of emotion. A review of the various headings alone can often provide one with the gist of a given message. This makes it faster and easier to understand, remember, and review.

Use your headings to generate emotional involvement and you increase the chances prospects will go back and read more of your copy. When you make it easier to read and comprehend your messages, you increase the chances of making the sale.

5) Headlines Allow You To Deliver Your Biggest Bang Right Up-Front. Capture attention and interest at the outset, by using your most appealing selling point. If your strongest, most desirable product attribute (benefit) fails to pull prospects in, surely nothing else you could ever say would do the trick, either.

The stronger and more compelling your headline, the more readers are likely to read on and spend more time at your website. Create every headline to grab attention and inspire interest. The more alluring and irresistible you can make it, the more genuine prospects you’ll attract and ultimately, the more sales you’ll record. Headlines are powerful marketing tools when used effectively. Take a good look at your site headline. Could you add more intrigue, curiosity, or interest?

Test different headlines by trying various appeals and offer combinations. Keep an eye out for additional headline opportunities throughout your sales letters, as well as on other pages on your site. Make your headlines impossible to miss and difficult to ignore… then, watch your results soar!

About The Author

Robert Boduch is the author of Great Headlines Instantly! -- How To Write Powerful, Attention-Grabbing Headlines That Pull In More Prospects, More Customers And More Profits, NOW! This full-length manual features hundreds of helpful tips, techniques, strategies and hands-on formulas for writing successful headlines of every kind.


Visit the author’s site at: http://www.headlinesecrets.com


Or email him at: behappy@total.net

Sunday, February 25, 2007

3 Steps To Better Sales Copywriting for Your Home-Business Site

If you have an online or offline home-based business or are looking to start one, one of the skills that you will need to work on is sales copy. Sales copy can make a break sales on your website. Here are some tips to help you write better sales copy so that visitors to your site can convert to sales for your product or service.



P.S. To save years of failure and frustration as you look to create additional income from home. click here to download your free ebook, Success in 10 Steps http://www.mentormonique.successin10steps.com

3 Steps To Better Sales Copywriting

by: J.L. Reid

Whether you’re wet-behind-the-ears or a seasoned copywriter, your craft will benefit by remembering one thing.

You’re nothing more than a salesperson.

There’s an old saying in the “business” that, “a copywriter is a salesperson sitting in front of a typewriter.” True, few of us are using typewriters these days. The principal, however, remains unchanged.

We’re in sales. I know this. You know this. We all know this. Yet why does much of the copy out there, especially ads produced by expensive agencies, seem to miss the point?

If all we’re doing is sales, albeit transmitted through a written or broadcast medium, then we’d better know what we’re doing.

Starting the process

While studying creative writing, I learned this storytelling maxim: every character has a motive for being in a scene. The same is true in a sales situation.

The salesperson’s motive is simple. He wants to make the sale and get his commission. But what does the potential customer want?

First, what type of customer are they? Are they ready to make an immediate buy? Are they information shopping, looking for a great deal? Are they even looking for our product or service?

Ask Questions, then Shut-up and Listen

When selling to prospective customers ask questions that get them to reveal their needs. It’s a mistake to sell the product on the tip of your tongue. “Model X” might work, but if you listen you might discover that the more expensive “Model Z” is what the customer really needs.

Once you know why the prospect is there--whether they have an unresolved need, an emotional reason for buying, or they’re just shopping around--tailor your pitch to their specific reason.

Now when you make the pitch, tell how your product benefits the customer, rather than rattling off product features you think he cares about.

When You’re Finished, Close the Door

By this point your spiel should be unforced. You know the customer’s “hot-buttons” so everything should be smooth sailing.

After you’ve explained the last product benefit, you (as the salesperson) are obligated to close the deal. The way you do that is simply to ask, “Are you ready to make your decision?” or “Is this the product you’d like to buy?”

Hopefully the answer is yes. If not, then you ask, “When would you be ready to make your decision? Can I contact you then?”

What Does This Have to Do with Copywriting?

Remember, you’re nothing more than a salesperson. So you, so while writing copy, you should go through similar steps.

1. Qualify the prospect. How you write your copy, and the ratio of hard selling to information-based soft selling, will change with the medium you’re working in. But the first thing your copy should do is state outright what business you’re in and what you’re selling.

If your pitch is too vague, if it’s implied, or it depends on prior knowledge for comprehension, then your prospect might never realize he needs what you’re selling.

2. Sell Benefits, not Features. I’ve heard many sales trainers say, “It’s not about you, it’s about them.” That’s golden advice. The best way to apply this idea to your copy is by focusing on your product’s benefits.

A sports car’s features might be power steering, fast acceleration, and fuel efficiency. The benefits of that same car to a man a mid-life crisis, however, are the social status and appearance of youth it gives him. Which reason, the benefits or the features, would cause him to buy?

In a face-to-face sales environment it’s easy to ask for a specific customer’s needs. When writing sales copy you can create the same rapport by being customer-centered. To do this, write in the second person, or “You” voice. If your copy repeatedly says your company does this, or your product does that, you’re being self-centered. Your prospect won’t see himself benefiting from your product.

3. Close the Deal. I can’t count how often I’ve read a brochure, watched a commercial, or visited a website and had no clue about what I was supposed to do.

Always end your copy with a Call-to-Action.

Tell the customer exactly what you want him to do. This isn’t the time to be cute, so be exact. Do you want him to call you? Click a “Buy This” button? Make a donation? Tell your customer, or else he won’t do anything.

When asked what I do I usually say I’m a freelance marketing and publicity copywriter. I’m might revise the statement to, “I’m a freelance sales copywriter,” because that’s what it all comes down to: sales. Whether your copy creates a direct response or creates publicity and general awareness of your company, if you don’t sell you might as well not be in business.

About The Author
J.L. Reid is a freelance marketing—er—freelance sales copywriter based in Raleigh NC. Visit his website, www.reidwrite.com, to learn more about his services.