The Passing Lane: Passing the Competition Online by Marnie Perhson

Issue #20 Monday, February 15, 1999

About the Author:

Marnie Perhson
Marnie Pehrson, founder of C.E.S. Business Consultants and the
International Association of Computer Professionals, develops products that help computer professionals market and manage their businesses.

She is author of
How to Run a Successful Computer Training Business,

How to Get & Keep Customers for Your Computer-based Business

Keeping Your Sanity in a Home Business.

Marnie is an Internet strategist and content developer for community-based Web sites. Her plans and strategies have garnered clients an average of $100,000 each in seed capital. She also offers ghost writing services and content delivery for your Web site or e-zine.

Marnie lives on a Georgia farm with her husband and their six children .

C.E.S. Business Consultants
Ringgold, Georgia
TEL: 706-866-2295


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 worthwhile.

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 to you.

Once you know what your visitors are looking for, you can responsibly place ads and links in places that target your ideal customer.

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 articles:

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 costs!

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 copyrighted material.

Come back next week and I'll show you how to make advertising worthwhile by decreasing your advertising costs.

Text Copyright © 1999, Marnie Pehrson. Part of the original Sideroad.
The new Sideroad is now receiving traffic at