Increasing Your Average
Profit Per Visitor
Last week, I showed
you that paying for banner ad impressions is
rarely cost effective because the average site can't sell
enough to cover the costs of the advertising. I
promised I'd show you how to increase your average
profit per visitor so that advertising would be more
There are at least
three ways you can increase the average profit you
earn per visitor:
1) Increase the amount
of each individual sale.
The best way I've
found for increasing the amount of an average sale is
to create complimentary products and/or services and
bundle them together. For example, if you have a book
you've written and are selling it on-line, you might
consider writing another book on a complimentary
topic and sell them in a two-volume set at a bit of a
price break from buying them separately. If you offer
consulting along with your book, you might bundle a
couple of hours of consulting time along with it, and
call it a "Starter Kit" or "Author's
Special" or some other catchy name.
Another way to
increase the average sale is to make suggestions to
buyers at checkout time. This can be as simple as
linking to other products on your order form. Or you
can tell them, "If you like Widgets, take a look
at Gadgets." And then link over to Gadgets.
2) Get more of your
visitors to purchase.
The trick to
getting more visitors to purchase is to make sure
that your visitors are pre-qualified before they ever
arrive. To do this, you really need to know more
about them. Study the personalities and habits of
your ideal customer. What other sites do they visit?
What do they read? Where did they find your site?
What search words did they use to find you?
You can extrapolate
much of this information from your site statistics.
You can either manipulate this information yourself
(if you really know what you're doing), or you can
use a program like WebTrends to analyze and report this information
Once you know what
your visitors are looking for, you can responsibly
place ads and links in places that target your ideal
Make sure that it
is easy for people to contact you and purchase from
you. Offer a secure order form and accept credit
cards or even electronic checks. Answer e-mail
questions promptly. Offer a toll free number for
people to call you. Some people want to actually
speak to a human being before making a purchase.
Other ways to get more
visitors to purchase are found in these past
3) Reduce your
expenses associated with a sale
There are ways to use
technology to lower the variable costs associated
with a sale. Again, with the book example, you can
offer an on-line version of your book. By doing this
you can virtually eliminate printing and shipping
You can put your book
in a password-protected file that they download. Or
it can be in a password-protected directory. You can
also just e-mail customers the book in a file format
after you receive payment. Whichever method you use,
you will want to maintain a level of control over the
reader's ability to reproduce and resell your
Come back next week
and I'll show you how to make advertising worthwhile
by decreasing your advertising costs.