Note: For my most current advice on writing and selling your ebooks, check out my guide eBooks The Smart Way (Editor’s Note 09/2015).
You can have the best product in the world, but if you don’t know how to sell it, you’re going to be disappointed. In other words, marketing your product is very, very important. Just think, big companies will spend millions of dollars on marketing and making sure people buy their products. It kind of makes it hard for people like us who don’t have millions of dollars, but thanks to the internet, we have a shot.
And thus begins the marketing segment of the “How to Publish an Ebook Series.” Let’s do a quick recap.
Here is what we have so far:
- Part 1—Why I chose to go with an eBook rather than a hard copy version.
- Part 2—How to Get Started after you have an idea about what you want to write about.
- Part 3—Important things your eBook you should include.
- Part 4—Getting Ready to Sell it Online.
- Part 5—Tools, websites and Automation.
In the online world, especially when selling an eBook, the most important element is the sales page (also known as the landing page). Often, this is even more important than the eBook itself because as I said before, you can have the best eBook ever created, but without the right sales page, it won’t sell jack. If you have a great landing page, you will be able to sell ice to Eskimos. Let’s get to it.
A Good Landing Page is JUST Like an Infomercial
Have you ever bought something you saw on television? Maybe, maybe not. But did you ever notice how almost every infomercial is exactly the same?
Well, there is a reason for this, and it’s because they work. You may not realize this, but the format of each of those commercials is not an accident, it’s the result of years of infomercials and marketing research/testing to see what earns the most money. A good landing page is just like today’s infomercials.
Step 1: The Problem
Like all good infomercials, the “annoying task” or “problem” is what is always mentioned first:
“Are you tired of wasting your time doing thousands of sit-ups without seeing any results?”
“Are your dry feet and calluses embarrassing you?”
“Are you tired of your pets scratching the furniture, only to then cut their nails and make them bleed and hate you as their owner?”
Ok, you get the idea. Up front, you want to present the problem.
Step 2: Leading Up to the Solution
Then, usually there’s some kind of teaser or “hope” that there is a solution to the problem:
“What if there was a way to lose weight without doing all of those sit-ups?”
“What if you could walk outside with heels and not worry about people looking at your feet.”
“What if your pet loved it when you cut their nails?”
Before you unveil what your product (eBook) is, you’re giving them an idea of what it can do for them. For example, here is an excerpt from my LEED website’s landing page:
Don’t you want to pass the LEED AP Exam as fast as possible without having to read all 400+ pages of the Reference Guide? Don’t you want to pass now before the newer and harder LEED 2009 exam starts in about 6 months? You’re in luck! The only guide you’ll ever need is right here, and I promise it will help you understand everything you need to know.”
Step 3: Present Your Product
“Finally, the Ab Cruncher 9000 Xtreme Body Building Machine!”
“The Foot Cheese Grinder Thing!”
“The Pet Grinder.”
Nothing fancy here, just show them the your solution. Any graphics or logos should be presented here as well.
Step 4: Testimonials
Testimonials are very important. They give life to your product, and security to your potential customers that what they are about to purchase is the real deal.
In the infomercials we see on TV, we always see testimonials. That hot girl with the tight abs, with the before picture next to her. The person who used to have really nasty feet who now just has kinda nasty feet. And the proud pet owner who says she used to hate cutting her dog’s nails, but now she loves it.
I wrote an old school post about testimonials back in November, but I’d like to reiterate a few key points:
- Real testimonials are always better than fake ones. If you try and come up with your own, it doesn’t matter how good of a writer you are, people are going to see through it. Give away a few copies of your eBook to friends and family, and just ask for a testimonial in return. Make sure to let them know it will go on your website though.
- Always use the name (and location if possible) of the person who wrote you the testimonial. Again, it gives your potential customers a feeling that those are real people talking.
- If you want to spice it up even more, use a small picture of the person too. Again, make sure it’s ok with them before you put their picture online. Try and have the picture relate to your product somehow too. So, if your eBook is about losing weight, use a photo that shows off the person’s body. If you’re writing about dog training, have a picture of the owner with his or her dog in it too.
A highlighted box or a different font used for your testimonials would work—just make sure it stands out.
Step 5: Details About Your Product
This is where you get into the details, features and benefits or your product, all adding value to it and making it irresistible to any potential customer.
On television, you might see some sort of 3D representation that explains how everything works, as well as examples of it being used. On the internet, all you need is a bulleted list of items that goes over everything you think people would want to hear.
Step 6: The Price
Now that you’ve got them drooling, now is the time you want to give them the offer. As on TV, you never see the real price first, you see some made up price that is ridiculous that they would never dare charge you:
“The Pet Grinder could easily sell for $1000.00, or even $5,000.00! But today, for a limited time only, you can get the Pet Grinder and the happiness of knowing your pets will love to get their nails trimmed, for ONLY $9.99!”
Again, you get the idea. Be realistic though, because that is what works best. How much do you think your eBook is actually worth? How much money and time will it save them? If you want, you can present the “ridiculous price” in this fashion as well:
“This package includes this and that, and also this, which together retails for over $500.00! For you today, you will only have to invest $99.95, that’s a savings of over $400.00!”
The pricing game is a lot of fun, and I’m not just talking about The Price is Right. How you price your product can make or break your business too. I’m going to dedicate Part 7 of the eBook series to the pricing and how you can play with the price to optimize sales and profit.
Step 7: But Wait, There’s More!
Yes, you always see the “bonus gift” on the infomercials:
“Buy one today, and get another one absolutely free of charge!”
“If you buy this, we’ll give you 10 free replacement heads!”
You should include “gifts” when you sell your eBook as well. So what can you include?
The best thing to include are things that you have in your eBook already. Huh? Let me explain. If you have an eBook, with 10 chapters or sections, why not say there are only 9, but the 10th one is included for free? It really helps people to click that buy now button if they are unsure about it. Here is an example from my eBook’s sales page:
These are things I was going to include in my book anyways, so all I did was pull them out…and put them back in as a bonus! Put a price on it, and it’s like you’re giving them free stuff. Nice!
If you have any exercises, calculators, or can get a hold of any free software (please check with the developer first), please include those in your package and don’t forget to take advantage of it.
Step 8: The Guarantee
I wrote an entire post about the importance of a guarantee and how it can help boost your sales. You may have to refund a few people, but you will get more customers and profit because of it.
Click here to re-visit that post about guarantees, with examples from my own website.
Step 9: Better Act Now, Or Else!
On the infomercials, you’ll sometimes see a countdown timer as to when their offer expires. You mean to tell me that if I call 1 minute after that clock hits zero that they won’t sell me that product? Yeah right…but this just shows you that the “Better Act Now, Or Else” motive does work.
Online, there are a few things you can do that relate to this. You can have your price followed by “for a limited time only.” Another example is that you could have a bonus gift (or a “bonus gift”) that is only given to the first 100 customers. And, you can even state that you will only sell 500 copies of your eBook, because the information is “so valuable, you don’t want it to get into too many peoples’ hands.” I’ve seen all of these examples used online on successful landing pages before. Again—they are there for a reason…because they work.
Step 10: Split Test the Heck Out of Your Landing Page
It’s funny, because just one color on your landing page can drastically impact how well they perform. I won’t go into detail about what split testing is here, because I already wrote an entire post about how you can do this for free with Google Optimizer.
The point is to find the best combination of words, colors, testimonials, etc. to maximize your profit and have the best landing / sales page you can have for your product.
I apologize for the length of this particular post, but it’s very important stuff. In my next post, I’ll go over how you can determine a price for your eBook and how you can play around with it so you can maxmimize your profit and sales.