Five Smart, Effective Ways to Boost Website Profits

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You’ve probably heard the saying, “work smarter, not harder!” — well, there’s truth in that saying and you can use it to increase the profits from your website:

1. Create an Upsell.

One of the best known examples of an upsell is when you walk into a fast-food restaurant. Let’s say you order a burger combination that includes a small order of fries, which sells for $0.99 on its own. A large order of fries sells for $1.99. When the cashier asks you if you’d like to change to a large order of fries for just an extra $0.49, she’s upselling you. Many people jump at the chance to get the large fries, because they feel like they’re getting a good “deal”.

Offer a premium version of your product as well. Test various scenarios to see how best to present your upsell. For instance, you could offer a choice before the customer places an order, to give him the option of choosing a product that’s within the price range he’s willing to pay. Or you could present the upsell after he’s already made the decision to purchase (eg. after he’s pressed the ‘order’ link), because once he’s decided to buy he may be more amenable to an upgrade.

2. Add a Subscription Service.

Subscriptions are a great alternative to one-shot sales, since they offer the benefit of a residual income stream. If customers like your service, they can renew year after year – and there’s relatively minimal time, effort and cost required to keep them as customers. It’s far cheaper and easier to keep happy customers than it is to acquire new ones.

Some ways to create a subscription service include:

  • Offer a printed copy of a premium newsletter service. For example, it could be based on your free email newsletter but with more detail, or with coupons or discounts that readers would not otherwise receive.
  • Popular site? Charge an annual fee to sites that want to appear in your links or resources directory. This helps to weed out “casual” link requests while also paying you for the time required to review links for approval and to maintain the directory.
  • Create a service that’s available to subscribers only, and offers information that isn’t freely available to others visiting the site. For instance, let’s say your site specializes in finding executive-style condos. People who visit your website are presented with all the details – photos, rates, amenities, and so forth. The only thing missing is the contact information for each rental. If someone is interested, he or she pays a suscription fee to be able to view the contact information for all the condos on your site.
  • There are plenty of other ways to create a subscription service. Use your imagination!

    3. Fire Bad Customers.

    Most customers are wonderful, but there’s always a small percentage of them that end up costing your business far more time and effort than is justified. For instance, someone may constantly demand special treatment yet be unwilling to pay for it. Another might be extremely rude to you and your employees. The good thing about operating your own business is that you can choose not to deal with these types of people.

    Some people are just impossible to please. Know when to cut your losses. Be professional and polite, but also firm, when you let your customer know that you don’t want his business. If you’re so inclined, you can even direct him elsewhere.

    4. Cultivate Relationships.

    People buy from other people. Establish yourself and your business as a trustworthy and credible source of information and quality products or services. Offer fast, responsive, and helpful customer service – and even try to go above and beyond what your customers expect. Web businesses that venture outside of the internet and into the ‘real world’ can help them to stand out from the competition… even if it’s something as small as a thank-you card in the mail.

    Publishing a newsletter is a popular way to keep in touch and develop trust. Although it can be time- consuming, it helps to keep your business in the forefront of your readers’ minds. When they’re ready to do business, your company is more likely to pop into mind.

    5. Follow-Up With Prospects and Customers.

    There can be any number of reasons why someone won’t buy immediately, even if they’re interested. They might be waiting for the next pay cheque. The dog may be barking to be let in, or maybe dinner is burning. Whatever the reason, people do get distracted from their original intent to purchase. Many people are also naturally cautious and prefer to do more research or mull things over before making the decision to buy. By following up with a prospect you’re more likely to catch him at a time that he’s ready to make a purchase.

    Many businesses will also follow up with existing customers to offer their backend products. For instance, someone who has purchased a dog training book may also be interested in purchasing a complementary video that demonstrates these dog training techniques.

    There are lots of excellent autoresponders available to take away the tedium of manual follow-ups. One excellent choice is ListMailPro, which offers many helpful features, including unlimited lists. Read more here: http://www.onlinebusinessbasics.com/listhost.html

    Angela is the editor of Online Business Basics, a practical, down-to-earth guide to building an Internet business on a beginner’s budget. If you enjoyed this article, you’ll love the book! Visit http://www.onlinebusinessbasics.com or request a series of 10 free reports to get you started.

    Five Smart, Effective Ways to Boost Website Profits
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    About Angela Wu
    Angela is the editor of Online Business Basics, a practical, down-to-earth guide to building an Internet business on a beginner's budget. If you enjoyed this article, you'll love the book! Visit http://www.onlinebusinessbasics.com or request a series of 10 free reports to get you started. WebProNews Writer
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