Author:
Nick Coats

Nick Coats is Co-Founder of TRM

The 7 Biggest Optimization Levers for Selling Products Online 
Written by Nick Coats on Jan. 15th 2020
When Our Agency Engages With Any Online Business, These Are Typically The First Levers We Look For.

If our services are retained to grow a business, we look for the low hanging fruit first - always. We look for the most impactful levers to pull. The lowest drag activity that will provide the biggest jump in performance. It always helps to get a quick win under the belt. Here are the seven areas to look at in your business to increase performance. Some will boost conversion, some will boost profitability, and all are important. Hopefully, you’ll pull a nugget or two of brilliance out of here.


COPYWRITING

Never underestimate the power of great copy. Words possess the magical ability to persuade. The right words, arranged in the right order, delivered at the right time can have tremendous power over the reader. The right words used in advertising, email, websites, blogs, social posts, headlines, can grab the reader and force just the action and/or reaction you as a business owner are looking for.

Headlines (ads, sales pages) and Subject Lines (email) are a great place to start improving performance. Headlines can be powerful. It’s typically the first text/message your prospects will see. Consider it the “hook” to the rest of your content. It needs to stand out and grab attention. Enough so, that they’ll take a certain action or continue reading and perusing the rest of your site. This is where you need to adopt a new philosophy if you haven’t done so already - Always Be Testing!

Split testing should be a priority in your business. For ads, measure click-thru rates (CTR). How many people can you get from your ad, to your website? Focus on tests until you’ve increased the CTR of the ads. For email, measure email open rates. Split test two different subject lines with the same email body to 20% of your email list. Then, determine the winner and send that one out to the remainder of your list. For the sales page, measure time on page and conversion rate. Again, iterate until you find a winner.

Pro tip: If you’ve been a good marketer, you’ve undergone and completed proper market and avatar exercises. Focus your ad and subject lines on the pain or angst associated with your solution. Agitate the reader's pain, and appeal to their desires. Once they hit your site, you can start presenting the solution.


PRICE

Everyone knows this, but - price plays a major factor in consumer buying behavior. Priced too high, and nobody will take the offer. Priced too low, and you might not make any money. Pricing can be one of the most complex and problematic business decisions that exist. Understanding your value to the market can be quite the journey.

Our suggestion, don’t be afraid to test up and down. Find that perfect balance of acquisition and profitability. For those of you that have a robust backend via ascension products, then you probably understand that getting more customer throughput is vital to growing your business and feeding your customer lifetime value (CLTV). You can drop the price a bit to widen the funnel. If you don’t have a robust backend, then you need to focus more on profitability - consider testing up in price.


PRODUCT MARGIN

Finding or creating a product with enough margin is critical. Unless you’re funded and it’s a part of the plan to run at a loss to gain market share, you need a healthy margin to run the business. If you’re bootstrapping, you’ll need to reinvest the profit in marketing and more purchase orders.

For many, order quantities are too low to buy down the price of goods. Though, negotiating can be effective, especially if you’ve established a long track record with manufacturing and fulfillment companies. Can’t hurt to ask, right?

Now, for those of you selling physical products, a great way to add margin is by adding digital products to your arsenal. Combining digital and physical products will boost average order value (AOV), increase price points, and increase profit margins, allowing you to spend more on traffic, re-order more product, and put more money in your pocket. Bundle digital with physical, or add a digital product as an order bump. This is a surefire way to add AOV with little to no cost.


ORDER BUMP

This is a product that usually supports the main offer. If technology allows, it's usually an offer that is placed directly on the order form, next to the checkout input fields. Consider this the digital equivalent of a pack of gum or candy bar at the grocery store checkout. It can be an impulsive point of the purchase decision for the consumer. It’s typically a lower priced item in your product suite. This is a great way to give the AOV a boost. Conversion rates for an order bump vary, but 30 to 60% is a typical range. Bump prices range from $7 to $27, depending on what you’re selling. For ease, convenience, cost, and such, strongly consider making this a small digital offer (ebook, guide, newsletter, etc). This will add no real cost to you, and add a nice little bump to your AOV.


UPSELLS

There is no better time to sell someone than when they are in the middle of the buying decision. Once the credit card comes out, it is your best chance to sell your wares. Upsells or One Time Offers (OTOs) are product offers you serve up immediately after the customer makes their initial purchase. Immediately after. So, after they enter their details, credit card number, and click Buy Now, you serve another offer. This offer starts to work its way up in terms of price. These products are supportive or complementary to the core offer (what the consumer just purchased), but usually more specialized, or advanced - allowing for higher price points. If someone buys the basic core offer, considering upselling the advanced version. If someone buys a single SKU of a physical product (ex. supplement), just sell them more of what they just bought. If someone buys one product, consider selling them a bundle or more of what they just bought, at a discounted rate - as a thank you for their loyalty. The upsell flow is where you can really start to build the AOV. Often times, this part of the process is what’s required to break even or better on media spend.


PAGE LOAD SPEED

The silent killer. Use the free online optimization tool, GTMetrix for an analysis of your site’s page load speed. It will give a full report on all sorts of internet and technology magic. It performs analysis on images, CSS, site code, and a bunch of other magical stuff we as marketers don’t understand. What we do understand, however, is that that stuff is important, and needs to run smoothly and quickly, as every additional second of load time comes at the expense of conversions. It is really important to take this seriously, as it translates to dollars in your pocket.


MERCHANT PROVIDER

Another silent killer. This one is usually so out of sight and out of mind, it’s hardly on anyone’s radar. Sure, Stripe or Paypal are great ways to start an online business, but as you begin to scale your business this can become a very big deal. The fees you pay will have a big impact on the bottom line. But what’s just as important - authorization rates.

Let’s talk about authorization rates. This is a metric used to convey the number of successful transactions processed. Many processing options have built-in algorithms and 3rd party fraud solutions. These services are actively evaluating each transaction, and scoring its likelihood of being fraud. Many times, perfectly good transactions will get blocked due to some unknown reason as deemed by the fraud algos. Banks also have authorization gating. The processor talks to the banks, and may or may not process the would be customers payment based on their own scoring systems. Check your failed payments. If it feels high, consider running a test via another processor.

Also, take a look at fees. Take the time to really evaluate the merchant statement you get on a monthly basis. Often times, you’ll incur refund fees, chargeback fees, and a broad array of fees that vary by card type. Do the math on all the fees versus all the payments collected, and calculate your true cost of processing. It’s typically well over the blended rate they state you’re getting. Either negotiate better terms or search for alternatives.  

-Nick Coats
Sign Up to Our Newsletter
All Your Information is Protected When You Sign Up

Copyright TacticalResponseMarketing.com 2020 All Rights Reserved.

Privacy PolicyTerms and ConditionFacebookYouTubeInstagram