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Mar 10th, 2009 Comments: 0

Buying Incentives

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So… you have a site, and you have a product on that site – and perhaps you’re even making sales. Now you want to increase those sales.

There’s a lot of obfuscation and plain BS in Internet Marketing, but only one thing counts, and that is profit. Simply put, your sales price minus your overheads. Or: Profit = Sales * (Price – Costs). You could go further,  such as as Sales = Visitors * Conversion Rate, but that just complicates things…

All you need to know is profit can be altered by a number of variables. You can increase the price of your product, you can increase the number of sales, or you can cut your overheads.

Here, I’m discussing increasing sales. And again, a number of variables come into play. You can increase the raw number of people who visit your site, which involves promotion (discussed elsewhere) or you can increase your “conversion rate”, which involves getting more of the people who do visit to buy your product.

When it comes down to it, marketing is simple, juggling figures, and I’ve talked about it before. But in this post I’m specifically going to talk about increasing your sales by increasing your conversion rate by using incentives.

Incentives are little tricks and tactics that can help urge a visitor to buy your product. You’ll have seen many in action yourself, and perhaps become jaded to them, but if you do come across a sales page using them make sure to make a note so you can copy it for yourself. Look to what works in the real world – after all, if others are doing it, perhaps you should to.

1. Reduced Stock

This simply means you only have x number of copies to sell. You can do this honestly, by using a script that counts down as each sale is made, or alter the salespage manually, or dishonestly by changing the figure every now and then.

And sell-outs are not neccessarily the end. You’ll often see marketers re-offering products due to new additions, refunds, or special events.

2. Increasing Price

By stating the current price is time-limited you can give prospective buyers a little push to urge them to buy, now. Again, automated scripts can do this – especially as “dime sales” – or you can simply increase the price at a set date. Again, it’s not set in stone.

3. Time Limits

By putting a product on sale for a specific time only, you can incentivize people to buy since it simply won’t be available after a certain date.

4. One Offs

Similar to the Time Limit, you can say this product will only be on sale now, and never again.

5. Extra Bonuses

Bonuses can can also influence someone to buy, but ensure they are relevant to your main product. Sometimes bonuses go way over the top, to the extent where they are worth more than the main product, but a well thought out bonus needn’t be too extravagant. You could even include this incentive as a time limited offer or only for x amount of sales.

6. Build The Buzz

By creating a buzz *before* the sale, you can attempt to generate an initial rush to your site. Usually this is accomplished via affiliates who are instructed to market over a certain period, during a pre-launch effort, releasing teasers and hints of what is to come.

7. Enforced Delays

Combined with the buzz, a deliberate delay can also help build anticipation for your offer. It’s debatable whether this works well, but it does give those who miss your original “deadline” a chance to jump in.

8. Early Adoption

For your new whizz-bang technique you’re promoting why not keep pushing the idea that “early adopters” will benefit most? This may help those sitting on the fence to come aboard so they don’t lose out later.

9. Page Elements

Various page features have been used over the years to get people to buy, but overuse can also turn them away. These include floating boxes (an evolution of the humble pop-in), on-page incentives such as discount codes or bonus codes, on-page ads such as corner or ribbon ads, or even a signup box with the promise of a discount. Don’t disregard the e-mail address, a followup message or two can help that initial ditherer take the plunge.

10. Exit Blocks

Again, these can annoy the visitor but catching someone as they leave your page without buying can garner a few more sales. Originally it was simply a popup box with a “Wait!” type message, but now you often see fake live message boxes offering further discounts. Or even a continuous cycle of cut-down packages and consequently lower prices.

As you can see many of these techniques can be combined on your sales page, and many have the problem of turning away potential sales rather than attracting them. It’s down to the individual to test these various methods to see what works. As they become commonplace, their effectiveness is reduced, but especially outside the usual IM markets they can work well.

Happy selling!

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