Author Topic: How To Increase Your Income PER Sale  (Read 3396 times)

Offline Mark Austin

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How To Increase Your Income PER Sale
« on: September 08, 2008, 03:25:56 PM »
How To Increase Your Income PER Sale

I guess that it almost goes without saying no matter what your business is, if your job is selling, you want to make sales. To go further, you need to make sales in order to survive --making sales is your lifeblood and the reason that you get out of bed in the morning.

I know this because, before I got involved in the online business world, I spent many years selling all sorts of goods and services in the real world to ‘bricks and mortar’ businesses. I was even fortunate enough to work in
many different countries doing the same kind of work, so I have managed to learn quite a bit over the years. Throughout those years, one thing became crystal clear to me: as much as landing a new customer gives you a real buzz because it tells you that you are doing something right, being able to turn someone into a loyal customer is even more of a high because that tells you that you are doing a lot more than just ‘something’ right. In this case, the customer is obviously happy with most of the things that you are doing, and, therefore, you are beginning to build an all-important business
relationship with them.

Loyal customers were by far the most valuable asset ever acquired by any of the businesses I worked for or owned. They were people who would continue to buy unless there was a definite reason why they should no longer do so.

Sometimes, they stopped buying for external reasons such as a new competitor entering the market with considerably cheaper prices or a better product range. In general terms, this situation is something that you can only fight against, but never completely prevent. However, losing loyal customers because of poor service or inattention to detail is an inexcusable and expensive mistake, and one that you should never make.

When I started managing sales teams of my own, this customer neglect was an error I saw too many junior salespeople make far too regularly. An appallingly high number of fresh salespeople seemed to spend all of their time chasing around trying to find new customers rather than focusing the appropriate amount of time and attention on their existing customer base. There are many parallels here between the world of offline business and what many millions of people all over the world are doing daily online to generate an income.

Everyday, there are new e-books, training materials, instructional videos, and the like coming onto the market that will teach you how to unearth a constant stream of hungry new customers. While this is all very good, it tends to ignore the significance of existing customers and other resources that you currently own or control. A daily focus on finding new customers all day, everyday, ignores the fact that the true profitability in any business is generally not at the ‘front end’.

This e-book is not going to teach you how to land new customers for your business, although I am going to look into the initial sales process and the tools that you need to make it work: these tools of start up are essential for the long-term profitability of your business. Instead, the primary focus of everything in this e-book is on how to make extra money once you have already landed the initial sale from your customer.

In essence, I am going to concentrate more on the long-term development of a profitable business, rather than on how to find new customers everyday. Having said this, neither you nor I can ignore the importance of new customers. No matter hard you try to prevent it, every business (including yours) will lose some customers over time.

These customers must, at the very least, be replaced. Of course, for every customer you lose, you want to take on board at least two or three new ones. For this reason, there are a few places highlighted in this e-book where attracting new customers becomes an integral part of your long-term plan for profiting after the sale.

The #1 tool that every successful online business uses

In order to be a success in any business, you need to have the right tools and access to the most helpful resources to do the job properly. Making money online by selling products and services is no different.

Perhaps you have your own product or service and you are actively selling that to the internet community. It could be an internet marketing related product or not. Perhaps you are promoting and selling someone else’s products as an affiliate marketer. In this scenario, you have found a product that you want to sell from an online resource like Clickbank.com or Commission Junction. You actively promote that product, with every successful sale generating a commission for you. As an affiliate marketer you are, in effect, acting as an independent, self-employed (freelance) salesperson with no specific ties to the product creator for whom you are selling.

In either case, your initial objective is to land the first sale from your customer. Before you can do this, you must have a step by step system in place through which you can lead those potential customers.

The first step in this system is to ensure that the potential customer gets to see your promotional message. As far as online business is concerned, this generally translates into bringing a visitor to a sales enabled Web page. Once you have managed to do this, you have gained a small degree of commitment from the visitor who landed on your page. Before they did so, they were someone who probably had no knowledge of your product or service, and little intention of discovering anymore. The fact that you somehow managed to encourage them to visit your webpage means that you have taken a very small step towards changing their ideas about whatever it is that you are selling or promoting.

In business, it is very common to liken the sales process to a funnel. It is for this reason that you will often see business and marketing training materials referring to the sales process as the ‘sales funnel’.

In order to understand this concept more completely, it may help to imagine steps inside the funnel, going down from the top (at the widest part) to the bottom (the narrowest). Each time someone takes another step down, their potential value to your business increases. At the same time, however, with every downward step, more people jump back out of the funnel, hence the reason why it is ever narrowing. At the very top, just above the widest part of the funnel are your site’s mildly interested visitors. As you have managed to pull visitors to your site, this is where you and they currently stand in relation to this sales funnel model.

Your next job is possibly one of the hardest tasks to accomplish --you must do something that encourages your site visitor to jump into your funnel so they thereby enter and become part of your business process. In other words, you need to turn a Web page visitor into a genuine prospect. Generally, most online businesses achieve this by giving something away to their site visitors in return for their names and e-mail addresses.

Most commonly, the ‘something’ that is given away is a free report or gift that is very closely related to the topic or subject matter of the main product being promoted and sold. Once you have landed their names and e-mail addresses, these visitors have made a far higher level of commitment to your business. They have indicated that they are sufficiently interested in the topic of your main product to request additional information in the form of your free report. You now know they might be interested in buying if you can present them with enough persuasive arguments to do so.

Your interested visitors are now signed up for your prospect mailing list. This list is the second most valuable asset your business has, and it is something which you need to nurture. Specifically, you need to keep the members of that list as happy as possible while presenting them with as many possible reasons as you can why they should take the next step down your funnel by becoming a customer.

In order to do this, you need to send your prospect a regular supply of e-mails, which will serve two purposes: first, they will supply valuable, free information that is somehow related to the main product that you are promoting; second, every e-mail must mention and promote your main product. The latter purpose is because almost no one ever buys anything online the first time they are introduced to it. In fact, you will see different marketers estimate that it takes anywhere from seven to twenty encounters with a particular product or service before a prospect finally decides to become a customer.

It follows that you will need to send every prospect anywhere between seven and twenty e-mails before you stand any chance of them deciding to become your customer. The upside of all this is, from those e-mails, they will begin to get to know you while they continue to assess and reassess the value and possible usage of your product.

Quite clearly, having to send this number of e-mails to every individual prospect could very quickly become an extremely tedious, time-consuming task. Take that notion one stage further: imagine what you would do if, at some point, you are successful in your promotional efforts and your prospect finally makes the decision to become your customer. Are you going to stop contacting your new customer at that point? Of course not, if you have any business sense or basic sanity!

All business is about relationship building, and relationship building is something that you cannot do overnight. Essentially, it is a slow, drip-dripdrip process that requires a great deal of time and patience.

It is for all these reasons that every top flight, successful online entrepreneur or organization does one thing as quickly as they can --they automate as much of their business as possible. In order for you to enjoy similar levels of success, you must do the same. To conclude, the #1 tool, without which you cannot hope to achieve long term success, is a professional level autoresponder account, because it is through this account that you can automate a very large proportion of your business.

 Why the right choice is vital 

In essence, an autoresponder is a software program or resource that will automatically answer your e-mails for you. If this were the only consideration, then it would not make a great deal of difference which autoresponder company you selected. In reality, however, your choice makes a great deal of difference because there are a couple of autoresponder companies who stand head and shoulders above the competition. Before looking at the advantages of using these two particular companies, let us have a quick look at how you would use any autoresponder to automate your business.

I suggested above that, in order to draw your Web page visitors into your sales funnel, you need to offer them some incentive to sign up for your prospect mailing list. Once you have the incentive or ‘bait’ in place, the next step is to create a signup form where your visitors can leave their names and e-mail addresses in order to gain access to the free report or gift. By doing so, they will join your mailing list.

Creating such a signup form is not especially difficult as there are quite a few free online resources that enable you to do so using templates. However, if you were to do so, then you would have to program this form so that it sent the name and e-mail address details to an e-mail address of your own. It would then be necessary to send out the free information manually. Of course, in the early days, when you have only a small handful of new signups every day, this should not present a significant problem.

Imagine, however, that you had a few hundred or perhaps even a couple of thousand new signups every day. This would be terrific news for the long term prosperity of your business, but it would also mean that you were working 10 or 12 hour shifts just to keep up with demand. If you are using a professional quality autoresponder system, however, all of this is dealt with for you by that system.

To begin, you will use your autoresponder to create the signup form in such a way that the prospects details are sent directly to your autoresponder account. That account will then ask the person who apparently has signed up to receive your free gift to confirm that they do indeed want to receive it and join your list by doing so. This request for additional confirmation is known as the ‘double opt in’ process, and is designed to protect you against spurious or false spam e-mail complaints. Assuming that the recipient of the confirmation e-mail responds in the affirmative, the autoresponder will then automatically send out the promised report to your new prospect.

As suggested, in order to push this prospect to become your customer, you now need to start sending them a series of e-mails that can encourage them to take a look at your product once again. As part of the initial setup process, you should have already loaded your e-mail series into your autoresponder account. The responder is then automatically set to send these e-mails out to prospects every few days or so. In other words, once your prospect has opted in to your mailing list, they will then receive all of your e-mail communications via an entirely automated process.

Moreover, you only need to create your e-mail series once because, after loading it to your autoresponder, it is rrelevant how many prospects sign up for your list. Whether it is 100, 1,000 or even 100,000, the amount of work you have to do to ensure that every prospect receives the e-mail series you created to generate sales remains exactly the same.

And the power of your autoresponder account does not stop there. Once your prospect finally decides to become your customer, then your autoresponder should automatically transfer them to your customer mailing list. You would then use that list to generate additional sales and income in ways that will be investigated in greater detail later in this report.

No matter which autoresponder company you decide to hire, the basic principles of using an autoresponder account (the details of which you have just read) are essentially the same in theory.

As I mentioned earlier, in practice, not all autoresponder systems are the same. For example, the two leading companies in the autoresponder market, the ones that I hinted at earlier, are Aweber.com and GetResponse.com. Until very recently, both of these companies were pretty much on par with one another, representing the two outstanding organizations in the autoresponder business. Very recently, however, Aweber significantly enhanced their services, and, as a result, it is now fair to suggest that they are the clear number one in the market, at least until GetResponse upgrades in a similar manner. At the same time, Awebers’ prices also increased quite considerably, so you are getting more but paying for it.

Notwithstanding this recent divergence, these are still the two autoresponder companies that I would suggest you consider before deciding which one better suits your business model. No matter which one it is, you should stick with either one or the other, because of one very simple but extraordinarily important factor --reliability.

In order to make a profit after your initial sale, and to continue doing so in the future, your business will be reliant on e-mail for getting your promotional messages in front of future potential buyers. In effect, the profitability of your business depends on two aspects of every e-mail that you send out.

First, every e-mail must have a headline that encourages the recipient to open it so they will read the message contained within and, hopefully, act upon it. Creating such headlines is a skill that you will acquire over time, through trial and error as much as anything else.

The second, and perhaps even more important, factor is that your e-mail must arrive in the intended recipients’ inboxes. If they do not receive your e-mail, they cannot read it no matter how persuasive your headline is or how attractive your enclosed offer may be. There are two potential barriers that stand in the way of your e-mail arriving safely, one of which is controllable, but the other of which is anything but.

Some marketers have become angered about the amount of spam e-mail they receive everyday, and they have, therefore, placed incoming filters on their e-mail inboxes. If you send an e-mail to an inbox protected by this kind of filter, you will generally be asked to manually type in some form of password or code as proof that you are a real human being as opposed to an automatic spamming software program.

Simply input the necessary information, and your mail will be sent to the recipients’ inboxes without any further delay. The number of people who have adopted such protective measures is still relatively small but the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) decided to step in to ‘help’ their customers and clients. The majority of ISPs now have an e-mail ‘pre-filtering’ system that will block any incoming mail which it suspects of being spam. Unfortunately, most of the ISP filtering systems are spectacularly inaccurate --when they are in ‘doubt’, they will always err on the side of caution, immediately trashing any incoming mail suspected of being spam long before it gets anywhere near their customers’ inboxes.

In theory, this is a fantastic additional service that your ISP is providing. In practice, however, because these filters are so inaccurate, huge amounts of perfectly valid e-mails are being filtered out everyday, and the intended recipients are never any the wiser about the fact that e-mail had been sent to them in the first place.

For you, as someone who relies on the successful delivery of e-mail for your business profitability, this represents a massive potential problem. If your e-mails never arrive in your prospect’s or customer’s inbox, you can never hope to earn any additional profits from those people in the future.

For instance, under the ‘double opt in’ system, your autoresponder account automatically sends anyone who applies to join your mailing list a confirmation e-mail. That e-mail contains an active link which the recipient must click to confirm that they want to receive the information for which they apparently have asked. If that confirmation mail never arrives, then two things will (or will not) happen.

The person who wanted to receive your free report or gift will not receive it.Indeed, they will never receive any mail from you at all, and that will adversely color their opinion of you and your business. You know for a fact that they are not going to attempt to sign up for your list again, and if they ever see any other of your offers, it is extremely unlikely that they will respond no matter how good the offer is. In effect, you have lost someone who potentially could have been one of your best customers for life.

As far as you are concerned, that individual never bothered to confirm his or her request to receive additional information. This probably indicates to you that they were not particularly interested in what you had to offer in the first place, so it is probably a case of ‘good riddance’.

In this situation, both parties to the intended ‘deal’ are left with mutual negative feelings, each through no fault of the other. You do not manage to add a new prospect to your list and they do not receive the information they went to the trouble of requesting.

Now, imagine how much more serious it would be if none of the e-mails that you send out as part of your pre-loaded e-mail autoresponder series ever arrive. No matter how hard you try, you can never build a successful business on that basis.

This concept of e-mail ‘deliverability’ is of critical importance to the future profitability of your online business efforts. Deliverability is the number one reason why you must choose either Aweber or GetResponse to be the autoresponder system that you work with. Both of these companies guarantee that over 95% of your e-mails will be delivered to their intended recipients, which is considerably higher than any other seemingly professional autoresponder systems currently operating in the market place.

For example, I had the recent experience of testing a new ‘professional’ autoresponder service whose successful achieved delivery rate was a little over 30%. In other words, nearly 7 out of every 10 e-mails that I sent out during my test did not arrive in the intended recipients’ inboxes. None of the headlines on my e-mails were particularly contentious and they did not include any of the more obvious ‘trigger’ words that would automatically indicate to an ISP that the e-mail is probably spam. For instance, you never use the word ‘free’ in your headline because doing so almost guarantees that your mail will not get through, irrespective of which autoresponder system you are using.

Nor is this particular 30/70 example an exception. Stories of autoresponder systems that achieve deliverability rates of less than 40% or 50% are becoming increasingly common as the incidence of spam e-mail skyrockets. For this reason alone, the only two autoresponder systems that you should seriously consider if you really do intend to build a business for the long term are Aweber or GetResponse.

Your first after sale opportunity, ‘upsells’ and initial ‘One Time Offers’

Armed with persistence and patience, you will inevitably turn some of the prospects that you pull in at the top of your sales funnel into customers. Once these prospects begin to receive your promotional e-mails as a result of signing up to your mailing list, they effectively have three choices: they can ‘buy, die, or say goodbye’, the last meaning to unsubscribe from your list.

If your e-mail series is persuasive enough, then you may reasonably hope the majority choose to buy rather than opting for either of the other two choices. In order to enable them to do so, every one of your e-mails should contain an active hyperlink that the prospect can follow in order to be reintroduced to your sales page and its message.

How you utilize this hyperlink will differ depending upon the type of product you are promoting or selling. If you are an affiliate marketer, then you will have to set your system up in a specific way that we will consider later in this report.

Assuming that you are selling your own product, the hyperlink in all of your e-mails should take your prospect directly to your own sales page. Because you are the creator and publisher of this product, you are immediately presented with your first opportunity for profiting after the sale. Once your visitor has decided that they have seen enough of your sales page and have made their purchase, you must have a system in place to generate an immediate ‘upsell’ opportunity.

Upselling an additional product

Assuming that you are selling your own digital infoproduct, you will have created your own sales page, and on that page you must have included a payment link. When your site visitor finally decides that they are ready to make a purchase and clicks on that link, it will take them into a payment processing system operated by an external merchant services provider.

To use the most common example, the majority of Internet marketers use PayPal as their payment processing company of choice and so should you, primarily because almost all of your potential customers are likely to be completely at ease about using the services of that particular company.

For the same reason, although you have the option of creating and using a custom payment button on your site, it makes far more sense to use the standard PayPal button, as most of your potential customers will recognize and feel comfortable with it:

In addition, as far as you are concerned, the fees that PayPal charge are extremely reasonable too, and the payment button is remarkably easy for you to create.

The important thing to note is that, as part of the PayPal payment button creation process, you must specify the page of your site that you want the customer to be taken to after they have completed their initial purchase. Incidentally, this is not something that is exclusive to PayPal. Most payments processors will allow you to do pretty much the same thing. It is this ability to send your new customer to any page on your site immediately after payment which presents you with your opportunity to make an additional sales pitch to that customer. In this respect, you have a couple of different types of Web page to which you may want to redirect your customer.

The first option is to create a download page which contains the primary link that the customer needs to follow in order to download their product. Beneath that, you should include another link to a free unannounced bonus. Make sure that there was no hint or suggestion on your sales page that this bonus would be included, and be certain it is also something that is complementary to your initial product and of a perceived high value.

Almost every one of your customers will download this unannounced bonus. By doing so, they will have conditioned themselves to clicking on any other links that they see on your download page as well. To capitalize on this conditioning, below this free bonus link you should include a final text link which reads something like ‘Once you have finished downloading, click here’. It is this link that will take them to your ‘upsell’ offer page.

Although this process is essentially a manual one that requires the customer to click on your links to be presented with your upsell offer, the inclusion of the unannounced bonus will almost certainly ensure that they will follow the final link on your download page.

Perhaps the most surprising thing is that this method of presenting your upsell offer to your customer is often very effective. It also has the added attraction that the customer themselves took the action which introduced them to your upsell offer, although they were not initially aware that they were about to do so when they first clicked the link. If you have any qualms about ‘forcing’ your customer to look at your upsell offer page, this is the methodology with which you will feel most comfortable.

The alternative way of presenting the upsell offer to your customer is to automatically take them to the upsell page as soon as the purchase is completed, and before they visit the download page. In this case, the customer is presented with the upsell page instantly, and in order to proceed to their product download, they will usually have to scroll to the very bottom of the page in order to click on either a ‘Yes, please’ or a ‘No, thank-you’ button.

If they choose yes, then they will be taken to the payment processing page for the upsell product and their additional purchase will be completed before they will be able to download either of the two products that they have now bought. If, however, they choose no, then they will be taken straight to the download page for the initial product that they have purchased.

Upsell product considerations

If you are looking for a product to offer to your customers as your upsell, there are two considerations which you need to bear in mind when assessing its suitability for the purpose:

How complementary is it to your initial product?
How does it compare in terms of price?

The first of these considerations is relatively straightforward and pretty obvious. You would not, after all, offer a gardening product as an upsell to someone who has just bought a fly fishing manual. The product that you offer as your upsell must be as complementary as possible to the one which constituted your initial sale if you want to maximize the effectiveness of your upsell campaign.

The question of price, however, is somewhat more complicated, because different marketers have different opinions as to how you should price your upsell product. Some marketers suggest that you should choose a product that is priced slightly lower than the first product on the basis that by doing so, you know that they can afford the second purchase.

I tend to favor using the upsell in a slightly different way. Perhaps you recall that when we were originally looking at the concept of the sales funnel, I suggested that your job was to encourage people to take the next step down the funnel in any way that you could. The reason for this suggestion is that doing this ‘filters’ or ‘qualifies’ everyone who is already inside your sales funnel. To clarify, when your customer first jumps in to your sales funnel, they do so as a prospect, and they therefore have a relatively limited value to business at that point. After they make their first product purchase, however, their value to your business has already increased significantly.

As far as I am concerned, the next step is to determine whether they can be persuaded to spend more money with you, or whether by attempting to make them do so, you force them to jump back out of the funnel. For this reason, I would always tend to pitch the pricing point of my upsell product higher than that of the original product, because doing so demonstrates whether the customer is comfortable purchasing a product at that higher price.

As an example, if my initial product price was $47, I might pitch my upsell product ‘package’, something which clearly represents significantly greater value than the original product, at $67. If the customer purchases at this price, then I know that my subsequent offers to him should be pitched at a similar or higher price level, while offering increasingly greater value for money. If, however, they decline to take up the upsell offer, then I know that they are comfortable at $47, but perhaps not so comfortable at a higher price.

In effect, the notion of the sales funnel is based upon the idea that every step down is one that further qualifies your customer, and this qualification process should be undertaken step-by-step. The ultimate objective of all of this is to have a small handful of super profitable customers at the very bottom of your sales funnel, people to whom you can pitch $2000 products with a reasonable expectation that they can afford it and might be willing to buy.

Upselling an improved license

Every digital infoproduct that you buy or sell comes with a license attached, although that license is often suggested or inferred, rather than expressly included in the product package. In the vast majority of cases, when you buy an infoproduct you will be buying something with a ‘personal use only’ license attached. In other words, you have bought it and you can use it, but no more than that. This is what you might call the standard infoproduct license. However, it is sometimes possible to buy infoproducts with improved licenses, those which grnt additional rights to the purchaser. For this reason, a product that comes with an upgraded license of this type is generally more expensive.

For example, some products are sold with what are known as a ‘Resell Rights’ licenses attached. This means that the initial purchaser also has the right to sell the product and keep all of the proceeds from the sale, but their customer is only obtaining a ‘personal use only’ license.

One step up the scale from a product that comes with a ‘Resell Rights’ license is one that has ‘Master Resell Rights’ attached. In this case, the purchaser has the right to resell the products, but what they are selling to their customer is a ‘Resell Rights’ product, as opposed to one that has only personal usage rights attached.

In all these cases, the more that you can do with a product you buy, the more expensive it will be. Thus, it is entirely possible that you could sell your original product, and then offer an improved license arrangement as an upsell.

In this scenario, if the original product sells for $47 with a ‘personal use only’ license attached, then you might offer your product purchaser the right to upgrade to a ‘Resell Rights’ license for an additional $50 or a ‘Master Resell Rights’ for an additional $100. In both these cases, what you are selling is the ability for them to make money by reselling the product that they have just bought as many times as they like, keeping every dollar that they own by doing so. While the upgraded licenses may seem to be a little expensive, given the fact that you are offering your customer the opportunity to get their money back many times over, this particular upsell method is a genuine bargain!

Overcoming your own ‘upsell objections’

From personal experience, I know that some marketers feel a little uncomfortable with the idea of pitching for an immediate ‘upsell’ when a customer has just spent money with them. This is a notion that you should never allow yourself to entertain because it does not make any sense and adopting this attitude will hold your business back. Here are a couple of considerations which will indicate why I have no reservations about making this suggestion.

To convert the person who was previously your prospect into a customer will certainly have cost you both time and patience. In online business, as in the business world offline, time represents money and, therefore, you have spent money on generating that initial sale. At the same time, despite all your efforts to convince the prospect that buying your product would bring great benefits to them, you have never done anything to force them into making that purchase. They have bought your product of their own free will. Nevertheless, there is no absolute guarantee that they are going to be happy with their purchase, no matter how accurately you have described it on your sales page or how much quality and value you have provided.

Assuming that your product carries a no-quibble money back guarantee, a very small minority of your customers are likely to claim refunds. In this scenario, you have spent money to generate the sale and the customer did spend money with you, but they then asked to have it returned to them. The bottom line is that you are now out of pocket. However, if you successfully managed to sell an additional product that was ‘piggybacked’ onto your initial sale as an upsell, there is no logical reason why anyone who asks for a refund on their initial purchase will also do so on the upsell product.

In fact, I have experienced situations where customers have come back to me to suggest that, while the initial product they bought did not do quite what they hoped it would, they were more than happy with the product they bought as an upsell! In effect, by including an upsell product in your checkout process, you significantly increase the chances of keeping some money in your pocket for your efforts.

Also, consider the fact that, at the beginning of your sales process, the prospect definitely had initial objections to buying, but, over time, you overcame those objections and weakened their sales ‘resistance’ in the process. When they have made their initial purchase, they are at a psychological point where their resistance is lowest, plus they have their credit card in a hand. As any hardened or dedicated shopaholic will tell you, the hardest purchase to make is the first one, but, after that, it gets progressively easier to pull your credit card out of your purse or pocketbook. If you present an appropriate upsell product to a customer who has just completed their initial purchase, you will find a surprisingly high number will purchase the additional product you are offering.

Using an OTO as your upsell

Over the past couple of years, an online marketing concept that has gained increasing popularity is that of the ‘One Time Offer’ (OTO). This is an offer that is made to either a prospect or a customer which is only ever going to be shown to them one time, hence the concept title.

It is important to appreciate that an OTO can be presented to anyone in your sales funnel at any time --it is not limited to being something you can do only as an upsell. Having said this, using an OTO as your upsell is a very effective tactic, and is extremely popular with the online marketing community.

Basically, the idea behind an OTO page is that it presents an offer to the prospect or customer that they will never be presented with again. It may be a product that is dramatically reduced in price or, perhaps, a package of products that, bundled together, represents unprecedented value for money. No matter what the product or ‘bundle’ that you are using as your OTO, there are two essential elements that must be present in order for it to sell successfully.

The first is the perception of vastly increased value. The second is urgency. Naturally, the idea that your customer is only going to see this offer page once will induce a sense of urgency. The customer has to make their decision while the page is still open in their browser window. However, some marketers increase the sense of urgency by adding a countdown timer to the OTO page. This forces the page visitor to make their decision within a relatively short space of time, whereas a browser window can be kept open as long as computer remains switched on. Obviously, the addition of a countdown timer is an extremely effective tactic for generating ‘forced’ upsells.

To determine this fact for myself, I have tested the same product sales page in three different scenarios to assess which is the most effective method of generating sales. In my test, option one used the sales page as a standard upsell, option two used it as a standard OTO page, and option three was a ‘time sensitive’ OTO page. After sending a couple of hundred visitors to each of the three pages, it was clear that the time sensitive OTO page was the most effective in terms of sales generated.

Cross selling to your list

If you are selling your own product, eventually you will build mailing lists of people who represent both prospects and existing customers of your business.

The first thing that you must do is to separate these people into two separate lists. The principal reason that you must do this is that prospects are still in a position where they have not yet bought your primary product, while your customers have. It would be slightly ludicrous to keep sending e-mails to your existing customers recommending that they buy the product they have already bought. Indeed, it would be an extremely effective way of driving many of those customers away, as you will clearly be demonstrating that you have little knowledge of or interest in them.

With your prospect mailing list, you should persist in trying to sell your own product as your number one objective. At the same time, however, you should occasionally introduce those prospects to alternative or additional products because doing so is another effective way of filtering your business (and it makes your e-mails less repetitive and boring!).

You know that the people on your prospect list signed up with you because you offered a free gift or report. So far, they have made only a very limited degree of commitment to doing business with you, and you do not really know whether the report or gift that prompted them to sign up is, in fact, related to their primary interest. The majority of people have more than one interest in life, and it is perfectly feasible that somebody would sign up for a tennis related free gift when their primary interest was football or Formula One Grand Prix. They might just be a sports fan. Sending alternative and off-the-beaten-track product offers to people on your prospect mailing list can sometimes be a profitable and productive thing to do.

For the people who are already on your primary customer list, you should concentrate on sending product suggestions and recommendations that are focused on the target market in which they have already transacted business with you.

Always be aware that people buy from people, especially from people that they like and trust. An essential part of nurturing your customer mailing list members is to do everything you can to develop a relationship with them ergo the e-mails that you send to them must focus on relationship building as much as they do on product promotion, perhaps even more so.

Having said this, do not fall into the trap that many marketers eventually find themselves in, of being somewhat nervous or scared of recommending products to their customers. Remember that your customers have already bought a product or service from you, which is indicates they fully appreciate that you are in business. Sending them product recommendations and suggestions is simply one manifestation of your businesslike approach.

Another mistake that many less experienced marketers make is that they change the product recommendations that they make to their customer list members far too often. If every e-mail you send to your customers recommends a different product, you are presenting an inconsistent and confusing approach. How are they to know which products you really believe in and can genuinely recommend? It is far more effective to draw up a shortlist of four or five extremely well matched products, and then create six or seven e-mails recommending each of those products.

In each of those e-mails, you would highlight one principle feature of the product you are recommending, and emphasize exactly what benefits that feature would bring to your customer should they choose to buy it. Even more effectively, you could explain to the customer exactly how the complementary product would work in tandem with or improve the performance of the original product you created and sold to them.

From time to time, you can move ‘off script’ by recommending other products and services, especially if you find something new that seems to be an extremely good fit for the profile of your existing customers you should have created by now. Be very wary of ‘bandwagon jumping’. Do not fall into the trap of promoting a product simply because it is ‘the flavor of the month’ and the latest big launch from some well-known marketing guru. Far, far too many mailing list owners are much too happy to jump on board when some leading guru starts to ‘call in’ favors, which is a big mistake in my opinion. Indeed, I have no doubt whatsoever that in many cases, the damage that their reputation suffers ultimately costs them a great deal more than they
make in increased affiliate sales.

Mailing frequency

When you’re sending promotional e-mails to your customer mailing list members, there is a fine line between mailing them too often and not keeping in contact often enough. How often you should send mail to your list members will depend on a wide variety of factors, such as:

• Is your industry one that changes frequently and quickly? If so, there is probably a regular supply of newsworthy information that you could send out to your mailing list members several times a week.

• What do other mailing list owners in your industry do? If they only mail out once or twice a week, then that probably gives you an indication that this is about right. If, however, they mail out only once every three months, then you probably could assume safely that they are not very serious about looking after the mailing list members!

• How much valuable free content is available in your market sector or niche? If there is lots of free information available, then you have plenty to write about and mailing three or even four times a week may
not be unreasonable.

• How long or detailed are the e-mails that you plan to send out going to be? It is becoming increasingly common in online marketing circles to send out relatively short e-mails that refer the reader to a blog site where they can access the information in full. This gives the e-mail recipient a choice of whether they wish to access this information or
not.

Because this kind of e-mail somehow appears to be acceptable, it seems that you can use it more frequently. Remember, one extremely positive step that you could take in terms of relationship building is to ask your customer mailing list members how often they want to hear from you and what kind of information that they would find most useful. You can create a simple checkbox survey and send it to all of your mailing list members as a way of ascertaining exactly what they want from you and how frequently they want it.

As suggested above, many marketers now feature an active blog page as an integral part of their site because this offers their customer’s on opportunity to interact with them. The marketer posts their suggestion, idea, or opinion to the blog page and then invites their mailing list members to read and comment on that post. Some members will definitely do so, and this naturally promotes a degree of interactivity and two-way conversation. Always remember that the quickest way of maximizing your sales to your customer mailing list members is to make them trust and like you. A blog (or a private member’s forum) is a perfect tool for helping you to do this.

Special offers and additional OTOs

Once you have enjoyed the income that creating your first infoproduct can bring in, it is extremely unlikely that you will stop there. Having mastered the product creation process, it is far more likely that you will create products one after the other.

Whenever you launch a brand new product, you should always go back to your existing customer mailing list and offer them special discounts on those products. These will be discounts that are not available to anyone other than members of your customer mailing list. You could even present these special offers as OTO pages.

For example, if the regular retail price of the product is $47.00, you might present your existing customers with an OTO page where the product price is reduced to $27.00. If they choose to pass this offer by, then they still have the opportunity of buying the product at any time for $37.00. In other words, whenever they choose to buy from you, they are enjoying a clear discount, but if they buy from your OTO, the discount on offer is clearly more substantial.

Incentivize your customers to help spread your message

If you can convince them to become involved in helping to promote your business, your existing customers can become your most effective sales force. This is because one of their primary interests is focused around the initial product that they bought from you. Chances are very good that your customer has other friends, colleagues or family members with similar interests. In other words, they almost certainly know other people who would be ‘red hot prospects’ for your business, if only you could get access to them.

If the principle focus of your primary product was on golf, then you know that anybody who bought your product is interested in golf. Quite obviously, your customers do not play golf by themselves! It stands to reason that they have at least a few golfing buddies, and the only question you need answered is “How do I gain access to them?” Of course, you could politely ask your customers to recommend you to their friends and associates. Some might do so, but the majority will simply never get around to it, even though they may be full of good intentions. Consider how much more effective it would be if you could incentivize your customer list members to introduce their friends, colleagues, and family members to your product or services.

In that scenario, your customer would effectively be making a personal recommendation of your product to these people and you could reasonably expect to make a good number of sales on the back of these personal recommendations. Fortunately, doing this is not nearly as difficult as it may sound as long as you have the right tools to enable you to do the job.

Continuing to use the previous example of a golf related infoproduct, the first thing you would need to do is create a free report about golf that can be given away to your list members. This should be something that is topical and informative. Creating something that is funny or challenging will not harm your prospects of success either. Imagine that you wrote a report titled “21 Utterly Useless Facts You Never Knew About Golf”. Notice that the report is not focusing on your product, and is not actually selling anything. However, within the report, you would include two money making resources.

The first of these resources would be several references recommending your main golf related infoproduct as a way of generating sales. The second money making resource would be several links to golf themed affiliate programs that you found on sites like Clickbank or Commission Junction. As with any affiliates program, the creators of the linked to products will pay any affiliate who regenerates successful sales for them.

What you must do is make all of these affiliate links rebrandable. In other words, by using special software, you allow your customer to replace your affiliate links with their own. This means that any successful affiliate sales generated by your free report will be credited to their affiliate account, rather than yours. The software that I use to make my own reports rebrandable is the excellent Viral PDF.

If you are using this program, you send the rebrandable report to all of your mailing list members, together with a small piece of software that they can use in order to change all of your affiliate links to their own. To do this is extremely simple and something that even the most computer illiterate person could manage in less than five minutes. Once they have rebranded your report with their own affiliate links, every time they send it to any other golf enthusiasts that they know, they stand a very good chance of earning money in the form of commissions.

Perhaps equally important, their friends and golfing buddies will have no idea that your customer is the one who is earning money from the affiliate links inside the report. This could save them significant embarrassment, an important consideration for some of your customers.

You, on the other hand, are exposing your initial product to an ever increasing audience of golf enthusiasts, because there is no reason why the distribution of your report should stop at this point. Some of the people who are sent the report by your customers may decide to visit your Web site, and download and rebrand their own copy of the report before distributing it amongst their own golfing fraternity. In effect, your marketing message will gradually become increasingly viral as it is passed from one golf enthusiasts to another. In these circumstances, the sales of your product should escalate very quickly, and the beauty is that you will have to do no additional work in order to make this happen.

If you are an affiliate marketer...

So far, we have focused most of our attentions on ways of profiting after the sale if you are promoting and selling your own product. On the other hand, many thousands of people all over the world make their money from affiliate marketing, and if you are one of these people, then you are in a slightly different position. This does not necessarily mean that the opportunities for generating additional sales are any more limited. It simply means that you have to approach things slightly differently.

In contrast to a situation where you are promoting and selling your own product, as an affiliate marketer, you should not send your prospect directly to the sales page for that product. The reason is that, as an affiliate, you are promoting the product or service of someone else in return for a commission that will be paid for every successful sale.

Such a business model has many attractions, some of which include the fact that you do not need to create your own product and the initial capital outlay to get started is negligible in most circumstances. For these reasons, affiliate marketing tends to be a business model that many online marketing ‘newbies’ adopt as a way of getting their internet money making career off the ground.

Because so many affiliate marketers are relative online business beginners, significant numbers of them make one very basic but critical error --they focus all of their attentions on generating affiliate commissions, never realizing that by doing so, they are building the business of the product creator, rather than their own.

In order to understand this a little better, think of it in this way. As an affiliate, you spend your own time and money promoting the product from which you will earn a commission whenever you manage to land a sale. In the worst case scenario, if you never manage to land a sale, you will never earn any commission, and, inevitably, you will be out of pocket.

Looking on the bright side, if you managed to make a sale or, even better, a few sales, you could pocket a reasonable amount of money. The question is how are you going to make money from those buyers again in the future? How can you profit after the initial sales prospects have been completed? Those buyers are not your customers; they are the customer of the product creator. He or she has their e-mail information, not you. Only the product owner can generate future earnings from them. What you have gained from the deal is nothing more than a commission. Other than that, the buyer has been lost to you for good.

If you are marketing as an affiliate, you must have a system in place that enables you to add as many people as possible to your own prospect mailing list. In order to do this, you should hyperlink from all of the promotional e-mails that you send out to an intermediate page where you can collect the visitors name and e-mail address before sending them to the product creator’s sales page.

It is this collection of your site visitors’ information that is the critical factor, as it is only by doing this that you can build your own prospect mailing list and it is only with such a list that you can proceed to turn as many of those prospects as possible into your customers.

The best and simplest way of doing this is to create a review blog site focused on the product that you are promoting. You can establish such a site using a free resource like blogger.com. Create a blog whose title and URL address is closely related as possible to the name of the product with which you are working. You can then write your own product review in a couple of different ways.

Your first option is to write a relatively honest and straightforward review of the product, one that mentions the disadvantages or downsides as well as its best features and most important benefits. This type of review tends to work quite well for affiliates, because the majority of affiliates tend to give any product they are promoting an overwhelmingly positive write-up while ignoring downsides that the product clearly has.

Most people who have spent more than five minutes browsing, surfing and perhaps even working on the internet realize that nothing online is absolutely perfect. If they read a review that suggests the affiliate product you are “impartially” reviewing is 100% ideal in every circumstance and situation, they will dismiss your review outright. Try to adopt a more balanced perspective by making your review a “warts ‘n all” type of report; this approach tends to be far more persuasive.

An alternative method of reviewing your product is to become an affiliate for two (or more) separate products in the same market niche, and compare them on a back-to-back basis. This is another extremely effective tactic because it allows your blog visitor to decide which of the products is more suited to their own personal circumstances. In other words, you present them with the facts and information, and then allow them to make their own decision, which is often the circumstance with which people feel most comfortable.

No matter how you construct the review(s) that you feature on your blog page, there are two critical things that you must do. First, you must include a mailing list signup form, and incentivize your visitors to join that list by offering them a unique free gift. Although this may sound quite difficult to do, it really does not have to be.

Let us say your review blog page is comparing products A and B with one another. You could make a simple screenshot video the using a free program like CamStudio, wherein you expand upon the written comparison that is posted on your blog page. All you need to do is take the sales pages for the two products in question and compare the highlighted bullet points from one page against the other with an appropriate spoken soundtrack on your basic screenshot video.

However you do it, the important thing is that the gift you are giving away is related to the reviews on your blog page, and that your page visitor cannot obtain it anywhere else. The second thing you need to do is to create another unique gift, but one that has significantly higher value than the first, if possible.

Assuming that you have already bought or otherwise obtained the affiliate products in question --if you don’t, it is going to be very difficult to provide a genuinely interesting and stimulating review --then you should use them, and work out the best ways of profiting from them. Try to discover any secrets or hidden ‘tips’ about the products that you can, and figure out how you can capitalize on what you have discovered to increase your business.

Put all of this information is a special ‘buyers only’ video and you will have your extra value free gift in the bag! This is just a suggestion because, in fact, the exact nature or the free gift is not especially important. What matters most is the fact that it is unique and that it has significant perceived value, because this is the gift you are going to give away to anyone who buys via your affiliate links.

If it is not possible to create a unique gift for this purpose, then another alternative is to buy a product which would usually cost a reasonable amount of money (at least $30 plus). Give that away as a free gift to anyone who buys through your link. Of course, you will need to confirm that you can give this product away in this manner.

In any event, if people want to buy the affiliate product, it clearly makes sense for them to get the maximum value from their purchase. Obviously, an offer of this nature adds significant value and, therefore, should encourage them to buy from you.

Applying both of these tactics from a free blogger site will generate both prospects list signups and product sales. Although the latter will not add people to your own personal customer mailing list, you nevertheless already have their name and e-mail address on your prospect list, so you still have something to work with when it comes to building your business, which is the crucial thing.

From here, you can adopt any or all of the tactics for profiting after the sale that you have already read about in the earlier sections of this report.

Having been in the same situation many times myself, I know that there is nothing more exciting than landing your first product sale. However, what you must realize is that the first sale you make to any new customers is most definitely not an end in itself; it should represent only the beginning of your business relationship with them.

As suggested in the introduction, loyal customers are just about the biggest asset any business, online or off, can ever own. Moreover, in every business relationship, the sale that cost you the most in terms of time and money is the very first one. In the online marketing business, after that first sale, every subsequent sale costs you very little or nothing at all. Recall that you write your promotional e-mail series one time only.

Perhaps it takes you a couple of working days to create that e-mail series, but once you have done it, then it is done. If that promotional series generates one sale or one hundred sales, the cost to you in time does not change one iota. One sale or one thousand sales, it still took you two working days to create the promotional e-mail series that is drove those sales. In very real terms, it is not unfair to suggest that any sales you generate after the initial sale will cost you less than peanuts!

For that one reason alone, it obviously makes sense to keep your regular customers as happy as you possibly can, but never lose sight of the fact that you are running a business, and that from time to time you must push those customers to keep buying from you.

It is also important to recognize and understand the importance of the sales funnel concept and the fact that you must constantly filter and qualify the members of your mailing lists. Your ultimate objective should be to pare down your customer mailing list until you have relatively few names remaining, but every one of those names represents a customer who potentially can make you an awful lot of money. This concept plays a critical role in maximizing your profits after the initial sale has been completed because of the "Pare to principle" a.k.a. the “80/20 rule”.

This widely followed principle suggests that, when it is applied to business, 80% of your income will come from 20% of your customers. The nearer you can come to retaining only the most profitable 20% of your customer list, the more money you will ultimately make, because you will be able to focus all of your efforts on supplying exactly what that most valuable 20% wants and needs. Filter out the non-profitable ‘deadwood’ as quickly as you can, and your business naturally becomes more successful and accumulates more money in the bank as a direct result.

There are many different aspects to profiting after the sale. The two key factors throughout my tale are to focus on relationship building with your customers and prospects, and to continually seek new and ever more imaginative ways of profiting after the sale, however and wherever you can.


“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that,
but the really great makes you feel that you, too, can become great.”
~ Mark Twain

attagirl

  • Guest
Re: How To Increase Your Income PER Sale
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2008, 05:43:12 PM »
Keep providing us with the really good stuff, I really appreciate being able to read so much information in one place and being able to learn how to increase my income without having to search all this information out.

JasonWhite

  • Guest
Re: How To Increase Your Income PER Sale
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2008, 12:00:47 AM »
Keep providing us with the really good stuff, I really appreciate being able to read so much information in one place and being able to learn how to increase my income without having to search all this information out.

I agree. I am continually amazed at how much info is shared in this forum for free! Mark you certainly are a very giving person!

Jason