Recently, I was given a copy of 21 Ways To Create A Sales Stampede On The Internet by Jason “Wally” Waldron and asked to review it. As I’ve mentioned before, I tend to do a lot of reading. Facebook groups for authors tend to be a rich source for free Amazon ebooks. Their creators will advertise them in hopes of getting reviews. Based on my review on a short e-guide on making money online that I got from one such group, Wally contacted me about reviewing his guide for making money online.
Of course, I agreed. A few days later, I received a copy of his workbook-sized paperback in the mail. Wally could have been anywhere in the world, but it turns out he lives just a couple of miles from me. In fact, he drove further to go to the Post Office than if he had hand-delivered the book!
Purpose of 21 Ways to Create a Sales Stampede on the Internet
Wally believes that the key to making money online is to apply the lessons from direct response marketing. The book is divided into 22 chapters (Chris Guillebeau’s $100 Startup recommends over-delivering in his step #37) covering everything from the idea to the website. It provides a good mix of big picture planning and actionable details.
Like most books on the topic, Wally insists that the fastest and easiest way to make money is to start with a niche that has competition. Competition means that people are already buying that product. No competition means nobody is buying! He uses the example of the graphical user interface that we all know today. It was originally invented by Xerox who spent a lot of money to develop it but had no users. Apple took it a bit further, but it wasn’t until Apple had already created a market that Microsoft stepped in and delivered it to the masses. Wally insists that we should be Microsoft and not Xerox!
Also, don’t try to under-price the competition. It creates a race to the bottom that you won’t win. Instead, to stand out, you should tweak your offering to be 10% different. Make it 10% better, or 10% more unique.
After spending the first couple chapters on how to pick an idea and how to create the right message, he devotes a chapter to the ever popular email list. Marketers always insist that “the money is in the list.” But after reviewing the statistics he provided, I find myself wondering how that can possibly be.
Using research from the Jupiter Research Group, he states that 88% of all the people who ever sign up for your newsletter will ever receive it. Of those, only 20% will open it. Only 9.5% will click-through to your site and a mere 1.1% will buy anything.
Now, maybe I’m reading this wrong, but it reads to me that those percentages are stacked. That is only 1.1% of the 9.5% of the 20% of the 88%. Doing the math, that means only a little more than .02% of all people who click on the subscriber button will ever buy anything from you. That works out to 1 in 5000. If only 3% of all web visitors sign up for a site’s newsletter, you need to be pulling in nearly 20,000 visitors to make a single sale!
That said, he does provide several tips for getting the most out of your email newsletter. He recommends starting with a subject line that looks like a human wrote it, specifically talking about a problem that your product solves. This will increase the open rate.
Next, tell a story about the problem. Don’t reveal the answer to the problem in the email. Instead, say that the answer is on your website. That will increase the click-through rate.
Nearly half the book is devoted to what you can do with your website to maximize your sales. The big picture, specific details part comes into play here. For example, he reminds us to have a clear call-to-action on all of your pages, depending on the specific purpose of each page. Then he later states that the words “add to cart” have higher sales than “buy now” and that red or blue headlines convert better than other colors. Also, dark print on light background works better than light print on a dark background.
Here’s an interesting fact: a cartoon image of yourself creates more trust and leads to more sales than an actual photo of yourself.
And at the end of the day, test and measure everything. No two sites will have the same stuff the works exactly the same. Start with these tips, and then change one thing at a time to see if it does better or worse. Then change another. And then another.
Remember the sales funnel? It’s the idea that you start with free stuff to lure people in, then sell them on low-cost stuff. Then try to up-sell them on the expensive items. 21 Ways to Create a Sales Stampede on the Internet recommends that you flip that model on its head. Instead, try to sell the big-ticket item up front. Those that buy will be your best and most loyal customers and you will give them the lower value stuff for free or a reduced costs to keep them. And those that don’t bite on the big item up front? Give them the traditional funnel.
30% of the web is new. Every day. That’s right. Nearly a third of all the content available on the internet at any given time was published in the last 24 hours. That’s why Google places such a big emphasis on frequently updated sites and why every website should have a blog.
Wally recommends repurposing old newsletter content on your blog. Re-write it to make it fresh, but you have half the work done for you already. He goes further to recommend that you spin the content again on article sites for links back to your site.
Also, talk about what is in the news right now, even if you think it doesn’t relate to your niche. He provided an example of a Chinese medical practitioner during the BP Oil Spill that was in the news a couple of years ago. The practitioner wrote a post called “How to Cleanse Yourself from the BP Oil Spill.” While the spill was in the news, he got a nice bump in traffic and several new leads.
There is only one point behind using social media: to drive people to your lead capture form. Of course, you don’t do that by being spammy and saying “click here! click here!” Instead, you engage in conversations, talk to potential customers, share solutions to problems.
According to 21 Ways to Create a Sales Stampede on the Internet, the primary social media channel you should be focusing on is YouTube. You should start a channel and optimize it by creating content that leads viewers to click-through to your site, just like with the email newsletter.
One tip he uses is to create a sales video by putting your sales page on a series of slides in PowerPoint and reading it aloud.
What strategies have you use for increasing your sales?