Sunday, September 30, 2007

Tips for Selling over the Internet and Marketing Strategies

The process I am about to describe is a compilation of several seminars, Webminars, online training and personal experience.

Choosing the perfect strategy to sell is a moving target, what is true today may not apply tomorrow therefore you should modify your strategies all the time.

Choose the right product: This is probably the most important step, choose a product that you would like to know more about or a product that you believe on and have some knowledge about (reviews, explanations, white papers, advices). It is important that besides selling a product you demonstrate you are an authority on the product you provide, people will go to your side looking for advice and you can promote your product.

If you are unsure about where to find a product, the URLs below will point you to several wholesalers you can use.








What if I can’t find a wholesaler for my product? This is far from been an issue but a business opportunity, for sure you will find

people which are not wholesalers and sale the product on retail. You can become a wholesaler, all you have to do is to search for the people selling that product on the internet using a search engine, skip the first 2 or 3 pages of the search (The people on the top of the search engine is selling and there is a good chance they do not need to do business with you). Call several of the providers you found on the third page and beyond and ask them if they would do drop shipment for you and ask them for a discount selling their product.

There are 2 types of drop shippers.

A) Blind Drop Shippers: Will not send the orders with their logo, the advantage here is that is likely the clients will return to your website to purchase more. The disadvantage here is that you will have to deal with the returns.

B) Standard Drop Shippers: The will send an invoice with their logo and price to your customers, the advantage is that the customer can directly deal with the wholesaler for returns.

What if you can’t find your product on the internet? If you can’t buy the product on the internet but you know the manufacturer, contact them and tell them you want to sale their product on the internet and ask them if they would ship directly for you.

You can also choose to sale products you use, products of your interest or related to your profession, products that a local business sales an have not representation on the internet, Information about something you know about.

I recommend for not mixing products for example selling lamps and detergents, websites like this would rank bad and would not attract people. Try to concentrate in a product or line of products that are related, try to not be generic. For example it is very unlikely you will rank well if you choose to sell MP3 Players (too generic), focus in selling a line of MP3 players for example Ipod Players.

What makes a good product? A good product is the one that there is a market for it, it can be profitable and there is supply for it (Manufactures or Retail Supplier).

How do I find a good product? There are several ways to do this but the list “What is hot on eBay is a pretty good indicator.

In addition you can use Google or Yahoo reverse search tool to see what people is looking for, or use a paid service such as Hammertap

Build the first version of your website: Nobody expects this to be perfect; you will tune up your website with time but you need some presence as soon as possible, it takes some time (weeks) for your site to be recognized and indexed by the search engines. I do recommend for you to read my other paper about how to rank higher on the search engines.

You want your web page to be a resource about the product you are selling.

Generate Initial traffic:

This can be archived in 2 ways:

A) Relevance Listing: Choose the right keyword phrases for your website, 2 to 5 words specific to your product. Here you can use the reverse search tools offered by Google and Yahoo, while doing this you need to understand your market, know what keywords your competitors are using (use them)

You need to optimize your website to rank high following these steps:

A1) Optimize each page of your website for a different keyword phrase, use the right keywords on the right places.

A2) Places 10 to 12 words in the meta title and here place the keywords phrase you are optimizing the page for only once.

) Place 25 words or less in the Meta Description and include there the keyword you are optimizing for 2 to 3 times.

A4) Through the text of the page bold the keywords you are optimizing for and place it about 4% of times of the total text of the page. In other words if the page have 100 words write your keyword 4 times in bold on the page, (If bold will make your site look ugly don’t bold it).

) Place the keyword in the alternate text of every image in the page.

) Link exchange is a good strategy to rank higher, keep in mind that your goal is to gain incoming links rather that outgoing links.

A7) Publish your link into vertical portals (product specific search engines)

) Publish your website in this directory

B) Pay per click: The 2 most common are Overture (Yahoo search marketing) and Google adwords, use middle to low keywords that appear in the reverse search tool, also bid on misspelling keywords (you can use While you get familiar with this keep your bid amount to 10 cents and set a daily budget of $1.

Test your website:
Your goal has to be to improve your website, you need to improve the conversion rate (sales / visitor), you need to convert 2% of your visitors into sales. You need to keep your visitors for at least 15 seconds in your page, if you can’t make this happen you need to improve your site with interesting content.

- Test your products prices (high vs. low) what is the floor and ceiling price? Low prices will generate volume.
- Increase your average order size by offering adds on.
- Do cross promotions, people buy related products at the same time for similar reasons.
- Offer a quantity discount.
- Offer free shipping.
- If bundling offer slight discounts.
- Ask friends and family for feedback.
- Test one thing at a time.
- Maintain a close look to your web site statistics.
- Test each change with at least 100 visitors.
- Improve the exit page (the last page your visitors saw in your website before going to other website).
- Send emails with propaganda to the customers in your database (not spam).

Market more aggressively:

- Sell your product in addition to your website on eBay.
- Find and research the product you want to sell.
- Try to be in the middle zone for the shipping cost.
- Create an effective title with rich keywords that catches attention.
- Create credibility on the description, if you item has scratches you want pictures of the scratch and say how the scratch was produced, that will create trustiness.
- Fill description with keywords.
- Be honest, reputation is something difficult to make easy to lose.
- List the features and benefits of your product.
- Check what others are charging for the same product you are selling.
- Tie into emotions put a personal note with your shipment or through something your customer is not expecting, example a postcard with discounts on future purchases, a business card, a thank you note or a brochure.
- Personalize the description use words like you or your.
- Use lot of pictures, a picture is worth 1000 words.
- When using eBay try to have your bid ending at Universal time, Saturday and Sunday are the best.
- Do post sale correspondence, contact your buyer, treat them as customers and notify them of the shipment.