This is Part 3 of a 3-part series on creating a profitable online product.
This post is about how to promote your product because, after all, what’s the point if no one buys it?
5 steps to successful promotion
Promotion is a process and there are 5 steps you need to cover. If you have sold products or services from your website, you may have some of this process in place so you can skip that part. The 5 steps are:
A: Create a working sales (or opt-in) page
B: Map out a promotional plan and timeline
C: Create sales assets—emails, social media posts, graphics, a webinar, ads
E: Track results and optimize
I’ll cover each step in more detail.
A: Create a working sales page
A working sales page convinces people to buy and lets them buy it, which leads to the delivery of the product. It has 2 components:
- The sales copy and graphics
- A Buy button
Create an effective sales page
Here’s are the basics of a sales page:
- Address your target market: For example, “Coaches, speakers, authors, and online business owners”
- Write a headline that will attract attention and desire to read more, with a benefit that people want
- Talk about your story and how you came to be an authority. Give people hope that if you could accomplish what you did, they can, too.
- Introduce the problem people have
- Introduce your product as the solution
- Explain why the benefit the product provides is important and your confidence that they will gain the benefit
- List the features (what they will get) in terms of benefits.
- Explain what people will lose if they don’t buy
- Include testimonials/case studies
- Add a guarantee
- Add 1 or more bonuses
- Overcome objections
- Provide a limitation in terms of time or amount
- Repeat the offer
- Tell them how to purchase (includes the price and the Buy button)
When you’re done writing your sales copy, add images to make it attractive.
Here’s an older post with a slightly different list of sales page elements: “12 steps to write a sales page for your first product.”
Create a working Buy button
To create a working Buy button, you need 4 components in place:
- A merchant account and gateway
- A shopping cart or equivalent
- A defined product
- Buy button code
A merchant account and gateway make it possible for you to accept credit cards on your website:
- 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.
Most online entrepreneurs use PayPal, at least at first, because it’s easy to use and combines the gateway and merchant account into one package.
A shopping cart displays your product and its price after people click the Buy button. It lets people enter their payment information, connects to your gateway and merchant account, and finally delivers the product. I have 3 recommendations for a shopping cart, atlhough there are many options:
- e-junkie: This is inexpensive, easy to use, and costs only $5/month
- 1ShoppingCart: This is more expensive but has more features, like emailing your customers and autoresponders
- DigitalAccessPass: This is a membership site plug-in for WordPress and it includes shopping cart capability. This costs $227 when I last checked–it’s a one-time fee but you need to pay annually to continue support and get upgrades. This is what I use now.
When you have a shopping cart, you define a product, which includes the product’s name, price, and other details about how you want to deliver it.
When you have a defined product, your shopping cart will give you Buy button code. You just copy and paste that on your website where you want the button to go. Usually, you do this in the code area of your website. On a WordPress website, you display the Text tab to paste the code.
Set the price of your product to $1 and test-purchase it from your sales page to make sure everything works.
B. Map out a promotional plan and timeline
In Part 1 of this series, I included a step of planning out your promotion. You do this early because you might want to set up Facebook ads or find affiliate partners.
There are 4 main promotional channels (although there are many more minor ones):
- Your email list
- Social media
Now is the time to finalize your promotional plan including a timeline. Where will you promote and when?
C. Create sales assets
Sales assets are your copy and images. You’ve already created your sales page and you can use the copy and images there for promotion as well. In fact, it’s a good idea to reuse the images.
Here are the types of assets you can create:
- Social media posts
- A webinar?
Obviously, you only need to create a webinar and ads if they’re part of your promotional plan.
When you’re ready, it’s time to start promoting! Make sure everything is working smoothly and reply to customers who are having problems. Sometimes, you find a glitch that needs to be fixed. Be consistent and persistent in your promotions.
It’s always valuable to have an ending day so that you can tell people that the campaign is ending. Many people wait until the last day to buy.
You can do this with a bonus or discount that ends on a certain day. You set up a discount code in your shopping cart. A bonus is usually just part of your product but it’s a separate document or video. Sometimes a bonus is a service–time spent with you. In that case, you can include in the first autoresponder a link to set up a time to meet with you.
E. Track results and optimize
No promotion is complete until you analyze the results. For a launch over several days, you might track results throughout and make little tweaks along the way. But most of the tracking happens at the end. What was your conversion rate? What could you do better next time?
The most successful entrepreneurs track and analyze relentlessly and they work to improve their results each time. Keep a spreadsheet with the most important statistics, such as:
- Page traffic
- Sales each day of your promotional campaign
- Total sales
If you work with affiliate partners, also note which ones brought you the most traffic and sales so you can promote them back and work with them agani in the future.
More details about creating and selling a profitable online product
A much more complete version of this 3-part blog series is available in my 3-part course, How to Create and Sell a Profitable Online Product. It includes follow-up emails with even more details for each of the 3 parts.
Why not get your profitable course out to the world and making money for you?