The Six Characteristics of Web Sites that Sell
There’s a simple explanation for poor web site sales conversion. The biggest reason visitors don’t buy anything is because the site isn’t designed to sell – it’s designed to give information. Think of your web site as a Virtual Salesperson, like many sales people, it talks too much. Dazed and confused, the visitor floats around from section to section in the site with no set destination.
A Salesperson knows that there is a purpose to a sales call; your website should have the same purpose – to close the sale or earn the right to continue to sell to the prospect when they are ready to buy.
There are a growing number of independent web marketers who make a full time living selling online. They have perfected the VirtualSelling web site. Like a Virtual Salesperson these sites build trust, grab attention, create interest and qualify buyers. Further they present strong reasons in the form of emotional benefits that engage, enroll and compel a web site visitor to carry through with the sales transaction online. A VirtualSelling Site’s success is based on some unique characteristics that can easily be applied to any product or service a small business sells.
1. The pages have strong headlines, subheads and bullets. You won’t find flash animations and fancy graphics here. Just a strong headline that draws you into the copy. Before you know it, you may be 2500 words into a 4000 word sales letter.
2. Each product has it’s own standalone web site. The site consists of a sales page and an order page, that’s it, that’s all. (Traditional pages such as contact us, about us, products and services, tech support, news and events etc. just don’t exist on Virtualselling sites) These sites are dedicated to pure sales copy.
3. Each site consists of a lengthy sales letter. This sales copy is similar to the offline traditional direct mail piece you may have received at home or in your office. The copy is usually written in the second person, and invites you into a metaphor or story. All of these letters will have an overwhelming number of testimonials followed by a “better than 100% guarantee” before giving you 5-10 chances to order. The approach is obvious but the psychology is sound.
4. There are usually only two buying choices for the visitor. The primary purpose of these sites is for you to buy the product or service by completing the sales transaction. If you leave the page you will be greeted by the second objective, capturing your email address. A free offer, report, application or other valuable information will be exchanged for your email address. If a Virtualselling site doesn’t convert you into a customer you can be sure that you will receive a series of sequential email marketing messages designed for this particular site or perhaps another of the owners products.
5. What ever is offered to you in exchange for your email address will be “Viral” in nature. It’s expected that you will distribute copies to as many people as possible in your sphere of influence. The owner is hoping that you become what Seth Godin called “a sneezer” in his book Ideavirus. The valuable information will have a large number of links back to the web site with the goal of driving new traffic and the original visitors back to repeat the sales cycle.
6. The offer is strongly contrasted with the value of the product and the bonuses. I’ve seen books sold for $5.00 and services sold for as much as $10,000. Any product or service can be sold if the sales copy can be written well
Compare this partial list of VirtualSelling characteristics with your web site. Can you actually say that your fancy graphics and interactive animated pages convert traffic into customers? I’m not recommending that you abandon your traditional site, I’m suggesting you supplement it with sites dedicated to selling distinct products and services. When you have a VirtualSelling site, a site that sells, drive traffic to it and measure the results. If the purpose of your small business site is to build “Brand” then continue to build a traditional information site. If you want to engage, enroll and compel customers to do business with you online today its time to set sail with a VirtualSelling site.
Make sure your business doesn’t miss the boat when it comes to selling online.
James Maduk is one of North America’s leading sales speakers. He is the creator and publisher of more than 80 streaming sales training courses, has just released his latest book, Customer Blueprinting and broadcasts daily on VirtualSelling Internet Radio. You can reach James at (613) 825-0651 or view his Web site at www.jamesmaduk.com.