Sales effectiveness on the Net is called the “conversion rate”. Your website’s conversion rate is the ratio of unique visitors to your site versus the number that actually buy your film. You can compute this for a week, a month, a year. Obviously, the longer the time period, the more accurate your statistics. If you have a low conversion rate, then a lot of the effort that you put in to get visitors to your site is being wasted! Think of a site with a bad conversion rate as a bucket with lots of holes in it. The faster you get visitors pouring into your site, the faster they will escape through the holes, without buying anything. So achieving success in web marketing is not only based on getting people to your site–you also must get them to buy.
To work out your conversion rate, divide the number of monthly sales on your site by the number of monthly visitors to your site, then multiply by 100 to get the percentage. Good conversion rates tend to hover between 1% and 3%. If your conversion rate is much lower than 1%, or 1 in 100 visitors making a purchase, then there is room for improvement!
So how can you improve the conversion rate? It helps to think of your website’s sales process as a funnel. Visitors enter the funnel at the top–either your homepage or even earlier with the “cover letter” that you send to librarians and professors, guiding them to the homepage. Each step in the sales process (cover letter, homepage, about page, trailer, purchase link) moves shoppers further down the funnel until they pop out of the end (the sale). Shoppers can abandon the sale at any stage in the funnel, so look at each stage in turn and see what you can do to improve it.
Successful sales are based on fulfilling your buyer’s needs. Understand the academic market you are selling to and shape your campaign accordingly. Work on plugging the holes!
For more great tips and an overview of the DIY process to the academic market, come to my free class at the Santa Monica Public Library on January 8th. Space is limited, so email to reserve space.