Traffic And Conversion

Almost every new internet business owner I meet asks one of two questions:

1. How do I generate more visitors to my site?
2. How do I add more subscribers to my list?

Those are both great questions, but almost never does any new marketer ask me the most important question until I bring it up. How do I increase my conversions of visitors into buyers and subscribers?

Conversion and traffic go hand in hand. But what good does traffic do you if they don’t buy? I don’t care if you generated 30,000 visitors to your website last week through the social media sites if you didn’t make any sales.

I know very quickly when I’m talking with a more series business owner. They immediately start quoting stats like the opt-in conversion rate, sales conversion rate, income per visitor, and shopping cart abandonment percentage. They KNOW these numbers in their business. Do you?

There is no such thing as “real free traffic.” No matter how you generate your traffic, it’s going to cost you something. It costs you money to run PPC ads. It costs you time (or money for a team member) to produce content for the search engines or social sites. It costs you time and contact packages for JV partners and affiliates.

All traffic will cost you something. Once you have a successful internet lifestyle business you’ll know that time is much more precious than money.

What is your return on that investment?

Look at it this way. Let’s say I’m running PPC ads and I’m bidding 50 cents per clickthrough. Out of every 100 visitors, 3 of them buy my $20 product. That means I’m selling $60 to those 100 visitors, or I’m earning 60 cents per visitor. Unless I have very low margins I may be in trouble paying 50 cents per clickthrough.

How can I change those numbers so it’s safe for me to bid 50 cents or even $1? First of all I have to get those conversion rates up. If I’m selling 5 visitors instead of 3, my visitor value jumps to $1 per visitor. What if I add an upsell or an immediate backend offer (could even be from a related affiliate program), and my average income per visitor goes up to $30? Now I’m earning $1.50 per visitor.

Now I can afford to even increase my bids to a $1 or more. Immediately I jump above all those other sites who are bidding less than me because they have a lower visitor value.

What if I install an email follow-up series both for the non-buyers and the buyers to start selling additional items? My visitor value continues to go up. I could potentially spend $1.50 or more per visitor, because I’ll be making money from products they buy later on.

Can you see why Adwords is getting “so expensive” in some markets? They’ve found ways to increase their visitor value by improving conversion, adding upsells, and increasing the lifetime value of a customer. When there are a large number of bidders with high bids, that means there is money in the market.

You may say, “But I don’t do Adwords.”

So what? Do you think your affiliate partners want to promote a site with a poor conversion? Would you send your visitors to a site earning you 50 cents per click when another one gives you $2?

What if you get your visitors the “free ways?” Do you really want to work 4 times as hard to get the same number of sales because of your low conversion?

Running a lifestyle business means you must have high conversion at your sites to reduce the work you and your team have to do for your sales.

I feel this key is one of the truths that really helped me succeed on the Internet early on when so many other people were failing. My first direct marketing teachers weren’t internet experts. There weren’t any back then. My first teachers were marketing consultants and copywriters like Gary Halbert, John Carlton, and Jay Abraham.

They drilled you over and over again how important your entire sales system was. They told you to study copywriting from the original masters like Claude Hopkins, David Ogilvy, and Robert Collier. Copywriting really is the million dollar skill. If you master it for your business, it’s only a matter of time till you reach the success you’re reaching for.

Here are just a few of the big copywriting tips that changed my life.

1. Collect and Write out Successful Sales Letters

Always be on the lookout for great sales copy. When you find a website that’s been successfully selling online for years, print it out. When you get “junk mail”from the big direct marketers like Agora, save it. I’ve even went out of my way to purchase full collections of sales from some of the copywriters I most admire.

After you create your collection of sales letters, STUDY them. I don’t mean just lightly read them. Program them into your brain. Pull out a million dollar letter that really resonates with you and type it all up yourself. While you’re typing it out, think about what is going through the head of the writer and the prospect at each step in the delivery.

Tomorrow do it again, with the same letter. If your goal is to become a writer, keep this up for the next several months. Every week choose a different letter and work on it for one hour a day.

Don’t neglect this secret I just handed you. It’s simple. It’s not sexy. It’s not the new $2,000 product launch that promises to solve all your problems by pushing two buttons. But it works. And isn’t that what you really want?

2. Find the Big Hook

If you follow what I’m teaching you, you’re going to go into some competitive marketplaces. What’s your advantage? What’s your big hook that’s going to grab your visitors, and really force them to read your copy? How can you create such a curiosity in your prospects that they can’t just exit your website? If they do, they’ll be thinking about your headline for the rest of the day.

Do your research. Investigate the competition. What advantages do they have? What weaknesses do they have? Examine your own product. Write down every benefit you can come up with about it. Examine all the survey results. Did anyone say something that just jumps off the page at you?

Call up a few of your current customers to ask them why they bought or anything that grabbed their attention. Most of my best ads are the result of something one of my one customers told me. For example, if you read the main letter at Internet Lifestyle Retirement System, you’ll see me refer to the bonus DVD’s as plug-and-play. I didn’t first say that. One of my first beta testers refer to them that way as the reason he loved them. Don’t ask me why I didn’t think of it!

Once you have your hook, your big story, the rest of the salesletter, website, or email just falls into place. The real work of a copywriter is being that detective that collects all the evidence or that reporter who sniffs out the big story.

3. Write Like You Talk

Don’t write like a college textbook. It’s snooze button time! You’re not being graded on perfect grammar. This isn’t an excuse to sound like an idiot or run dozens of spelling mistakes, but I sure don’t want anyone correcting all my grammar. A few suggestions are OK as long as you don’t expect me to accept them all.

Write that email like you’re writing it to your best friend or your mother. Write that web page the same way you would talk if you were speaking to your audience live. If uptight writing is so ingrained in your mind from school, then you might have to use the voice recognition software to overcome this hump.

If you can talk, you can write. We just need to get those demons from your 10th grade teacher Mrs. Sourpuss out of your head. Practice daily. And then just do it.

The Big Idea: Test Everything. You might write 5 different headlines and one of them improves sales by 350% over the others. And you can’t know the winner until you test! This used to be a difficult process with split testing everything you did, but it’s easy now with free multivariate testing.

I’ve used several different multivariate testing programs. My favorite is Google Optimizer. If you have an Adwords account, you have access to Optimizer. Notice what I didn’t say. You don’t have to be spending any money in your account. You just have to have one.

If you don’t have an account, go over to Google right now and set one up. You’ll need to pick at least one keyword phrase and write a quickie ad. Then pay them their setup fee (was $5 last time I checked). Once your account is up, you can immediately pause that campaign so it never runs. Now you have a Google account and can use Optimizer.

Where do you start with testing? I’d suggest beginning with the headline, the intro paragraph, the price, a photo with caption, and the primary closing offer.

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