When you’re ready to start selling a product — or even a service — you need to give people a way to pay on your website. Once you’ve done this once, you’ll understand it, but figuring it out for the first time can be time-consuming and frustrating.
I have a new assistant and she recently worked on a sales page for a new product — a webinar recording.. She was amazed at how complicated it was. As I explained how all the pieces fit together, I realized that I should write a blog post about it.
1. Write a sales page
The first step is to write a sales page. Describe the benefits of the product, then describe what the buyer will get. Include the price. I’ve seen sales pages that don’t include the price — you find out after you click the Buy Now button. I hate that!
If possible, add a guarantee and even some bonuses.
2. Create a product in your shopping cart
If you haven’t used a shopping cart, setting up your first product in your shopping cart software can be a little overwhelming — there’s a bit of a learning curve.
I use e-junkie — it’s inexpensive and has the features I need. I write about it here. However, I’m thinking of switching to 1ShoppingCart and will be testing it soon. The reason is that I don’t like the way e-junkie handles affiliates, making it hard for me to give them their affiliate code (they can get it themselves). Update: I now use 1ShoppingCart.
Update 2: I’m now switching to Digital Access Pass, which is a membership site plug-in that includes a shopping cart.
Creating a product involves providing at least the following information in your shopping cart:
- Name of product
- Product number
- For a download, a delivery method. Most shopping carts will host your product or you can host it yourself. This is just the URL of the file that makes up your product.
- Text of follow-up email and/or webpage that purchasers see after they buy the product. This can include a download link, a short thank you message, a special offer for other products, etc.
When your product is complete, the shopping cart software will give you the code for Buy Now button. You can also get code for Add to Cart and View Cart buttons — useful if people regularly buy more than one product from you. I explain more about Buy Now buttons here.
A shopping cart ALWAYS requires a connection to a gateway and a merchant account. What are those?
- A gateway checks to see if the purchaser’s card is acceptable. It connects to MasterCard, for example.
- A merchant account is simply a bank account holds funds from credit/debit card purchases. So, when someone buy something from you, the money (minus fees) will end up in your merchant account.
Some companies provide both services bundled together. PayPal is an example.
When you first set up your shopping cart, you enter your gateway/merchant account information. You need to use a shopping cart that accepts your gateway/merchant account.
3. Add the Buy Now button
Copy the Buy Now button code provided by your shopping cart. Open your sales page and display the HTML code. In the WordPress website, you click the Text tab on the Edit Post screen to do this. Find the place where you want the button to go and paste.
Return to Visual or Design mode and check that the button is in the right place.
I have free Buy Now buttons (with a variety of text options) here..
4. Do a test purchase
Go back into your shopping cart and change the price to $1. Go to your sales page and buy the product with a credit card. Make sure that you get the product and can open it! Check that the webpage and email messages are appropriate.
Then, change the price back to its proper amount and you’re ready to market your product!
What system do you use to sell a product online? Do you use different services? What do you love or hate about them? Leave a comment!