3 Summer Estore Tips To Increase Sales

Sales growth chartSummer sales lead quickly to the beginning of the holiday season. Now is the time to make some changes to your estore that will help improve your holiday sales. Here are 3 tips for your ecommerce website that will increase sales.

  1. Fine-tune Your Product Descriptions — Search Engine Optimized, yet engaging and inviting product descriptions.  Your descriptions are your sales pitch for each of your products.
  2. High-Quality Product Photos — Great photos sell products!  Money spent on professional-quality photos will translate into sales. It is that simple. Photos snapped with your phone are not high enough quality to be used in your estore.
  3. Auto-responder “Thank You” 15 Days after sale — Schedule an email follow-up with a “Thank You again for your order” message with the order summary and customer service contact info. When possible include, “Customers who purchased this (these) item(s) also purchased (or viewed) these items.”  Please don’t make it one big sales pitch. The message should focus on appreciation for their business, ending with a “Thank you” and “Hope you are enjoying your new ____________,” or “Hope your ____________ is __________. “

Doing those three things, will take some time but will, without a doubt, increase your estore sales.

As always, we are happy to help.  Please call us at 800-281-9993 or 608-822-3750.

Is your community Web site Economic Development friendly?

Last night I had the opportunity to give a brief talk to the GCEDC – Grant County (Wisconsin) Economic Development Corporation monthly meeting in downtown Livingston, WI. I gave them a checklist to help them make sure their community web sites are Economic Development friendly. As you may suspect, this checklist can be applied to community and economic development sites anywhere. In fact, many of the items should be implemented on every web site.  Obviously, we talked in more detail about most of the items.

That said, in addition to the nice dinner served by Rebel’s Northern Exposure restaurant, and the gracious hospitality of our Livingston hosts and that of Ron Brisbois, Executive Director,  and John Murphy, President of GCEDC, here are the questions I posed last night:

Site Checklist:

  1. Is Economic Development prominently displayed in the navigation?
  2. Do you have text on the home page about Economic Development in your community?
    1. Specifically a paragraph with search terms that Economic Development professionals, business owners, job seekers, and relocating workers would use to find information.
  3. Are there links in that text that take visitors to the appropriate pages on your site?
  4. Does your Economic Development area include community profile information such as:
    • Transportation
    • Utilities
    • Emergency and Medical Services
    • Education/Employee Training
    • Major Employers
    • Taxes
    • Area Labor Force Information
    • Available buildings, sites, businesses
    • Housing Information
    • Community Contacts
    • Business & Industry Contact Information
  5. Is ALL of the information current?
  6. Have two people proofread your information for errors and accuracy?
  7. Do your Economic Development pages have the appropriate Title and META Description words?
  8. Do you have contact information on every page (in the footer) that interested parties will have in front of them after they print ANY of your pages?
  9. Do you have a Google (or other mapping service) Map/Directions page?
  10. Have you tried searching Google using the terms you believe prospects would use to find a community such as yours, when searching to locate a new/existing business, or  for personally relocating? If so, how did you do?

I also spoke briefly about using AdWords for Economic Development and gave them this very short list of AdWords Advantages:

  • Reach people who self-qualify themselves
  • Deliver them to the exact landing page that has content relevant to their search
  • Fully control your ad budget – Chose daily budget; change or stop it in seconds
  • See your ads on Google within minutes of creating them
  • Very flexible, pause, start, change, create ads in seconds or minutes

Quick tips that will get you results.

Tips for Empowering your Thank You page

Every point of contact with a customer or prospect is an opportunity to provide better customer service, and to plant the seeds for a sale.  Your Thank You pages should confer your thanks, but it also can offer customers and visitors to your site something they may not have noticed, and that may be of interest to them.

Most of us don’t fully utilize the Thank You pages that get displayed after purchases, or when an inquiry is made via a form.  Too often, those pages, simply say “Thank You” or “Thank You for your order” or something like, “Your request is being processed. We’ll get back to you soon.”

Those types of pages are better than nothing, but they are missed opportunities. So, here are some tips for empowering your Thank You pages.

If you offer online shopping:

  1. Make the words Thank You bigger than the other text. While you are at it, tell them you appreciate their business
  2. Be sure to prominently display your Toll-Free phone number. If you don’t have a Toll-Free number, you are not serious about wanting customers.
  3. Have a link to the Customer Account login page.
  4. Display the special of the day, week, or month.
  5. Display at least two items, saying, “People who bought this also bought these items:”
  6. Have a link to your “Specials” or other RSS feeds
  7. Have links to your Shipping & Returns pages.
  8. Make sure your Thank You page has <meta name=”robots” content=”noindex”>  in the header,  so you don’t mess up your analytics. The only time anyone should see your Thank You page is after they place an order or fill out another form.
  9. Use  Adwords conversion tracking on your Thank You page. If you are not using Google AdWords, you should be.

If you don’t offer online shopping, you likely have a Contact, Request Info, or Sign Up form. Here are some tips for you.

  1. Make the words Thank You bigger than the other text. While you are at it, tell them you appreciate the time they gave you.
  2. Be sure to prominently display your Toll-Free phone number. If you don’t have a Toll-Free number, you are not serious about wanting customers.
  3. Prominently display an email address they can use if they want to contact you later instead of having to use your form again.
  4. Display and have a link to a daily, weekly, or monthly feature or  News (RSS) Feed.
  5. Make sure your Thank You page has <meta name=”robots” content=”noindex”>  in the header, so  you don’t mess up your analytics. The only time anyone should see your Thank You page is after they  fill out a form.
  6. If you are using Google AdWords, use conversion tracking on your Thank You page.

Use as few or as many of these tips that are appropriate for your site. As with any page, I am not suggesting a bunch of clutter. Use some thought as to positioning, layout and use of white space.

Turn that Thank You page into a customer service and sales opportunity!

Please add your own tips or thoughts by leaving a comment.

How to avoid e-mail subject mistakes

Here are a few things to think about before clicking the send button. Some will help you avoid embarrassment, some will help get your e-mail delivered, some will help get it opened. In no particular order:

Don’t forget to include a subject. Even if spam filters don’t grab your message, your recipient may be afraid to open it.

Don’t use ALL UPPERCASE characters. Spam filters will most assuredly grab your message.

Why, what, and to whom

Why: Are you dispensing information, or are you expecting something in return from the recipient(s), such as action, or confirmation?

What: Clearly and succinctly state the subject.

To Whom: More than one recipient? Be careful with this. Always consider that some of the recipients will “Reply to All.”

Consider your readers: Will they save the message for reference? A well-written subejct will make it easy to file or filter by category.

WebWise Tip | Equally as important is your “from” or sender line – the field that indicates who sent the email. Synergy between your “from” and your well-written “Subject” can be greatly enhance the prospect of your e-mail getting opened quickly.

How about you? Any favorite “subject” do’s or don’ts?