So, we’ve purchased the land (hosting) and now it’s time to build the house (website). Like all aspects of products and services that are available on the Internet, there is almost an unlimited amount of directions you can go with the creation of your website.
Gone are the days of simple static business card type websites that featured a bit of info about your business and a phone number at the bottom or a link to an e-mail. Nowadays, Internet customers are savvy and it takes a good deal of marketing and sales initiative to encourage them to make a purchase with you versus another online vendor.
There are several aspects that must go into creating a successful website and they include the design and graphics of the website, the sales page presented on it, the customer tracking or follow-up capabilities, and finally the use of other types of technology on your website to encourage sales and grab attention.
Elements of a successful website
If you’ve spent any amount of time at all searching on the Internet you’ve probably seen some pretty flashy websites. Some of the blinking lights and flashing designs that jump out at you almost make you think you’re visiting the strip on Vegas. All too often, people assume that they must make their website as bold and graphically intense as possible but this just isn’t necessary. Your website is designed to do one thing and one thing only: convert visitors into buyers. There is no specific rule that states that you must have a ridiculous amount of loud graphics in which to do this and oftentimes a simple website will work even better than one that is flashy. Having said that, you don’t want a website that contains nothing but words either because your visitor will quickly become bored and click away.
A good combination of attractive graphics that are specific to your product as well as a decent amount of content designed to help sell it is what is required. You’ll certainly want to have a logo of some sort and may choose to incorporate this in a header, which is a graphical bar that will go across the top of your website.
In addition, pictures of the product you are selling as well as any other pictures that pertain to the product are often helpful. Don’t be too concerned with graphics at this point because if you are a complete beginner there are plenty of graphic and website creation services available that can handle the process from start to finish for very reasonable fees.
Creating your sales page
When someone hits your website it is your job to make sure that the message offered is compelling enough to encourage them to purchase the product. This is done through the use of the sales page.
Basically, the content, at least on the front page of your website, will be a part of the makeup of the sales page. You’ll want to include all of the features and benefits concerning your product as well as testimonials from satisfied customers. Creating a sales page that really does an effective job of converting website visitors to purchasers is somewhat of an art form.
Many successful copywriters charge thousands of dollars to create such sales letters but there are much cheaper alternatives available for you. One way is simply to create the sales letter yourself. If you take the time to include the compelling reasons of why someone would be interested in purchasing your product you can have great success doing this on your own without spending any money at all.
If you choose to go it alone there are some great resources on the web to help you out, just search for how to write a sales letter on the Internet to get a hold of all of the free information you need to help you on your journey to completing your first sales letter.
Customer Tracking and Follow Up
Once you get to the point where people are actually visiting your website you want to make sure that you capture some of their information because if they don’t buy the very first visit, you have no way to follow up with them if they leave. The best way to do this is through the use of an autoresponder. An autoresponder is simply a type of software that will allow you to load prewritten messages into it and send them out to your potential prospects at regular intervals.
You can encourage the visitors to submit their name and e-mail address in a small form located on your front page by enticing them with free offers if they do so. The free offers associated are the follow-up messages you will send using the autoresponder that are in the form of tips and valuable information pertaining to the subject of the product you’re selling. These follow-up messages won’t be necessarily sales messages, but they will allow you to stay on the mind of the prospect and remind them that your product is available.
Offering any helpful tips and information pertaining to the subject they’re interested in is often valued by the prospects and they may stay on your mailing list for some time and eventually buy the product you are selling when they signed up, or maybe choose to purchase something else you begin selling at a later date.