Saturday, July 30, 2011

So, so far sales on the site for new products are not yet coming in

I just updated the last set of pages for these new product pages.

The usual programs do sell as usual but the new ones not yet.

That's including the access everything membership.

This could be due to:

  • way too poor traffic
  • unadapted price
  • lack of credibility
  • reshape of the pages too recent - have to wait a while to see results.
  • Too much stuff for free on the site - This means that most visitors tap into the free bees and don't buy the products
for the price $19, what's I do have a similar $19 product - cheating for men - only around 30 pages ebook that sold around 50 copies with no refund requests.

When I first launched my flagship products, the same applied - $19 ebooks for break up for men, short 30 pages targeted.

So, the price doesn't seems to be a limitation if I look at it by itself

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  • What could be is the fact that the price on kindle and nook are $9.99 which can create a lack of coherence - that could be an issue.
this means that many visitors could click on the kindle link, see a $9.99 price and then come back to the sales page and see a $19 price which might not make sense to them.

Lack of coherence and stuff like that, that visitors don't understand or that doesn't make sense could have a huge impact on conversion numbers.

Not sure.

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In the same period of time that's July, I sold around 100 copies of these ebooks on kindle and nook.

So the products as they are, with short descriptions, sample preview, etc. do sell.

I am left with 3 to 5 possible limiting factors that create this:
  • lack of traffic
  • lack of credibility
  • time frame too short - need to wait
  • price too high
  • something else on the sales page
there could be something else on the sales page I am not seeing but I doubt that.

There is a clear payment icon now, free sample, etc.

I just thought of something that could be confusing:

  • It's the download link on the side bar for members - does that create confusion?
This could be incoherent when they click on the link and get the membership page which is like another product.

Another element that  just thought off:
  • Access everything membership not convincing enough? poor sales page?
This one could be another element that plays a role

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Do I need to ad a few lines on the side like:

"You will be automatically directed to your ebook straight after your payment"

"The download link above is for members who purchased the "Access Everything" membership"

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Another element that could be limiting...
  • Top navigation - the other sales pages don't have it
This could be a distracting limiting factor too.

However, when you check an amazon sales page you have lots of possible distractions - but none of this content is free access.
It is true that when I see the "cheating for men" sales page, the only links on top are functional links like support and your account links.

These are not content links.

what does it say? That on the new sales pages, visitors might look for a way out when they are on a sales page.

they might click on the navigation links and find a whole lot of rich content like videos in free access.

This could represent a big loss in conversions... Not sure...

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That leads to another possible limiting factor.
  • Too many free bees on the site. This means that visitors go and watch the videos instead of buying the ebooks.
That could be a possibility.

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  • The "author" link could be another distraction as well that takes visitors away from the sales page and gets them an opportunity to get distracted.
The cheating for men sales page does not have any author info. So, it could very well be that the link to the author page does more arm than good.

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  • Distracting links...
I remember when I first launched the new amember system, I had lots of links and options on the sales pages.

It didn't work!!!

Too many options are confusing!

It's often better to have just one option and take away the choice making dilemmas out of the equation so that people can relax and don't get the impression they can somehow make buying mistakes

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  • two options on sales page
right now, visitors can buy a single product or get the full access everything membership.

This could give them another opportunity to hesitate.

As I experienced when first launching amember, too many choices even 2 choices create hesitation and can kill conversion rates.

It's way easier to make a buying decision when you have only one option.


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To summarize, here are a few steps I could take:
  • Remove the complex navigation on top and leave only the functional links like in the cheating for men
  • Ad a couple of explanation lines on the right side bar, in small, under the navigation links: "You will be automatically directed to your ebook straight after your payment", and "The download link above is for members who purchased the "Access Everything" membership"
  • Put a price tag of $9.99 to make it coherent with kindle and nook.
  • Remove "author" link which is a distraction.
  • Remove "access everything" buying option.
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Conclusion

So, here we go! 5 possible essential sales pages mistakes...

should I shift these or keep things as they are. do these factors matter or not?

what's interesting is that if each of these elements lowers conversion rate by 20%, you end up losing a huge part of your sales. In fact most of them!

Too many mistakes and you simply make no sales!!!

Besides lack of traffic, is this what's going on right now????

Too many sales page mistakes????

I need an answer!!!

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that's what I can think off for now...

I believe that with the traffic I get overall to these pages, I should expect 4-10 sales/month

the low sales numbers should simply be related to low traffic to these pages...


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Access everything? are the ads working?


This needs to be checked on a longer time frame.

As it's a more expensive product, emotional on the spot sales are usually less.

so, I need to wait for at least a month to see an impact.

On that one, a limiting factor is of course that so much is in free access.

As I explained earlier, only 5% of visitors will actually hit a door where they are asked to purchase the membership.

5% out of 500 visits/day - that's 25 visitors/day

if the conversion rate is 0.5% (non targeted traffic) - this could mean 1 sale every 8 days.

or around 3 sales/month.

But I need to check this deeper and still optimize all that...

Another one is the fact that the ebooks icons are inconsistent, messy or duplicated which could kill credibility

What's still missing for new ebooks to sell on the site


I have now close to 70 ebooks on the site.

This books sell relatively well on amazon and nook, but still didn't take off on the site.

I did design new sales pages but these sales pages design are not yet implemented all over the site.

So, here are the limiting factors I already mentioned earlier.

  • lack of traffic
  • too much stuff for free on the site
  • price $19
  • most sales pages are still in the old format which isn't clear with too many navigation distractions
  • lack of site credibility
now, the other programs that do get more traffic already sell well for many years.

these products are $19 and they are on my site.

These suggests that price and possible lack of credibility are not the core limiting factors.

The core limiting factors are still:
  • Lack of traffic
  • The fact that the new sales pages are not yet implemented on a global scale on the site - only 5% of products have the new sales pages and these are business ebooks that get less sales than the dating ebooks anyway.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Jealousy for men - SEO campaign - 6 months later... what results?

MonthSales totalpage traffic
2010 july3236 views
august4248
sept4244
oct8210
nov7176
dec7163
2011 jan7266
feb6207
march7302
apr6364
may3349
june8328
july (20 days)7205


So, the conclusion is that the correlation betweeen number of sales and traffic to the page is not even obvious.

Traffic did increase to the page thanks to the SEO campaign I think.

The investment for that increase is $180 + focus and energy

july-dec 2010 - 33 sales
feb-july 2011 - 37 sales

= 4 sales increase - $72 profit

$180 investment over that 6 months period.

In other terms, $108 loss over that period of time.

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These are very rough stats!

I would need way more data to have a final 100% solid number.

But I do believe that the estimation is valid.

In other terms, it’s not like there is a high profit and not either a high loss.

If I consider a 1 year period instead and hoping that traffic stays equal, that would give me an almost equal gain and spending.

Now, there is no guarantee that rankings and traffic to this page would be maintained long term as google cna shift their algorythm any time.

I do feel that it’s a long term effort that could eventually pay off but not sure.

Right now, it’s totally equal - I don’t lose money - I don’t gain any either.

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If I compare these SEO efforts with the publishing of new books on kindle and nook, over the same period of time, the profits and impact are way higher.

Ebooks Kindle + Nook profit estimation: $400/month so far
Jealousy For men - SEO campaign: -$18/month so far

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I know, it's possible that if I was putting long term 5 years SEO effort, multiplying campaigns, maybe I would get higher results and see solid sales increase.

But there are no guarantees - it could even go the other way round

The other element is that even on one campaign, the monitoring work that goes into checking results and seeing if the SEO firm does their work takes time and they don't deliver according to the plans.

This means that they did not follow up on their promises and expectations.

In terms of rank increase, only 10% of targets have been reached which is really not much when they in fact promised they could deliver a positioning of 80% of the keywords in the top 10.

so far, only 6 keywords reached the top 10 on google.

traffic increase with that?

that's a150 page views/month extra.

if all 60 keywords were in the top 10, the estimation would be an extra 150x10=1500 page views/month.

right now,

july-dec 2010 = 1277 page views = 33 sales = 2,5% conversion rate

Feb-July 2011 = 1755 page views = 37 sales = 2.1% conversion rate

average = 2.3% conversion rate

that's potentially 34 sales/month = $627/month

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Now, the problem with this equation is that it seems way more challenging to reach the top 10 then they want to admit.

If I spent $180 for 6 keywords to reach the top 10, that means $1800 for 60 keywords to reach top 10 invested over a 1 year period.

the possible profits during that period could be $7534

so, in theory, this could work even if results are delivered with same rate as they have been over the last 6 months.

the challenge?

It took 3 months and $180 for 6 keywords to reach top 10

it could potentially take 2 to 3 years of SEO efforts for the 60 keywords to reach top 10

in that period, google could potentially change their algorythm a few times as well.

so, no guarantees.

But in theory, with the situation as it is now and the conversion rates I have now, this could work and generate a potential yearly profit of $5734.

conclusion?

It is a valid marketing strategy.

No high expectations and no guarantees but with the situation as it is now, this marketing strategy is valid and works in the background.

All I need right now is to invest $180/3 months into it and let it run in the background.


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What's important as well to remember is that over these 6 months test, no measurable direct profit has been made.

the intangible benefits could be some extra exposure and credibility for the site, maybe some new clients as a result of this campaign or maybe some more overall traffic.

These are all possibilities which are impossible to measure considering the numbers...

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PS: after checking the score for July 19, I have now 2 keywords in the top 10 for google instead of 6 like I Had June 7th - which in fact lowers quite a bit the results...

I could put again the same type of effort as I did before.

I have no realistic ways of increasing these results at this stage.









Sunday, July 17, 2011

pricing and perceived value

another element, pricing... under $10 it doesn't really matter whether it's $9.99 or $4.99

This could make some difference but in my mind, the $4.99 makes the perceived value lower than $9.99.

You will a bit that the content will be less valuable because of the low price.

It's the same as buying a pair of jeans.

a $19 of jeans might give you a perceived value which is way lower than a $199 pair of jeans even though they might not be really that different. or the differences are so subtle...

So, what's the conclusion?

That my price on kindle is right. 9.99 is perfect.

I decide to sell some of my spiritual titles for $2.99 for ethical reasons.

but those are isolated cases.

I noticed so far that setting up the price at $2.99 or $9.99 doesn't seem to make any difference.

when someone makes a buying decision, whether the price is $2.99 or $9.99 makes little difference in their decision making.

On my site, products are $19.

I am still hesitating between $9.99 (same as amazon), $19 or free.

at this stage, these 3 options are open.

the experience with the first book I created was good - originally 30 pages - $19 - that was some years ago and it sold really well - some isolated refund request around that time related with the book length - maybe 2-5% refund requests - the requests dropped as soon as I started adding more content- from 40 pages on.

so, conclusion is thatthe price was not a limiting factor for sales.

would the book sell twice as well if the price was half?

It's of course something I would need to test but in my mind, the perceived value is way lower with $9.99 on my site.

On amazon, it's different because people are used with a certain price range, most ebooks are under $10.

so, a sudden increase in that space is an unusual element.

+ because of amazon's system the royalties percentage drops as soon as you cross $10 from 70% under $10 to 30% above $10.

So, it's an easy decision.



So,


ebook length - how many pages sell best?

Right now, I am not sure how long does an ebook need to be for it to tell.

My instinct tells me that sales increase with number of pages.

20 pages or less will sell very poorly

100+ pages will sell better.

I think that 30-100 pages could be ok.

Let's check this for this month:

for this month, here are the numbers:
  • 20+ pages - 1 sale
  • 50+ pages - 7 sales
  • 100+ pages - 3 sales
  • 150+ pages - 15 sales
  • 200+ pages - 6 sales
what's important and essential is that books with less than 50 pages, only one sale and the only sale I got with this page numbers, the customer mentioned it to me saying that it was a bit short.

I do have many books at under 50 pages and quite a few at even under 20 pages.

the ones that are at under 20 pages are business books, like synergy and job interviews.

I know that some of them did sell in previous months but I do believe I could easily ad value and content.

It's a bit like going to the movies.

You often don't check the length of the movie before you go but if the movie was 30 min and you were charged the same as a full length movie, you could feel a bit cheated.

you won't feel cheated though if the content is fantastic and your experience mind blowing.

You won't mind the price.


right targets!!!

I know that the idea is seductive but the target of selling on the site is way more challenging than putting products on amazon and letting them sell them for you.

here is why:

on kindle platform their system takes care of:
  • exposure and traffic to the pages
  • maintaining system
  • creating sales pages
  • delivering the product
  • taking care of customer relations
  • no extra marketing is required for pages to sell
  • Etc.
One of the most important elements is of course traffic.

At this stage it is impossible for me to know what amount of traffic do my pages get.

What is essential though is to see that sales do come through.

So, at this stage it's a system that works.

on my site, I have to:
  • create a sales page
  • generate traffic (traffic to my new sales page is insignificant in the beginning)
  • create a selling structure with payment options
  • etc.
I do believe that I can get some results but the main limiting factor for products presented on my site is traffic.

Traffic is challenging to generate.

I wonder as well about conversion rates on amazon/kindle.

Somehow, I get the feeling that conversion rates for some of my products on kindle must be high but I am not sure...

results do show...

so far sales on kindle keep pouring in where as sales for new products on my site are not happening.

there are a few reasons for that:
  • very little traffic
  • sales pages structure
  • maybe pricing... but I don't think that pricing is the fore issue.
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I have many more examples of the same phenomena with free products like videos and audios.

video of views on youtube are probably 20x more than the views on my site.

estimate?

maybe 100 video views on site - 2000 video views on youtube.

If these were fee products at $1/piece, I would make $100 on my site and $2000 on youtube.

See the analogy???

That's probably what I am getting from amazon compared to my site.

It's the same type of proportion.

If I make $400 on amazon, I will make $20 on my site.

It's an easy equation.

Even if the time and effort to set up products on my site and amazon was the same, I would still make 20x less on my site than I do on amazon.

so, if products are same price and they sell 20x less on my site, I make only a tiny fraction on mys site than what I do on amazon.

Right now, the product's price on my site are higher. $19 - I make $18 in the transaction against $6 average on amazon/per product.

so, if products were selling on my site along that type of proportion, if I make $400 on amazon, I would make $60 on my site.

Now, I am note even close to reaching these numbers.

Why?

Because of lack of traffic!

Right now, traffic is a huge major factor limiting sales on my site.

Another one is probably credibility and brand associated with consumer behavior.

I believe that these elements impact on the conversion rates.

here is what I mean.

People are used to the amazon brand.

When they enter that shop, they are in the buying mood.

They are looking for something and are ready to pay for it.

The people entering amazon is a buying audience. It's a shopping audience.

People surfing the net and simply looking for info are in a very different mood.

some are ready to buy of course but the vast majority of surfers (I would say 90%) are simply in the internet tourism mode... They are not in the buying mode.

They are in the information quest mode.

So, this has a huge impact on the conversion rates.

My guess is that because of this fundamental difference, conversion rates on amazon kindle could be 10x higher than conversion rates on my site.

This is just a guess but I do believe it could be realistic.

How do I know that?

Because I can see how many people enter a sales page and leave on the spot as soon as they see they will have to pay to access content.

It's an instant departure from the page for maybe 80% of visitors.

I believe this still happens a bit on amazon but way way less.

Suppose conversion rates are 10% on amazon kindle pages and 1% on mys site, this means that sales drop even further on my site.

All these are guesses.

It's stuff that I can't prove at 100% but my gut and experience tell me that this is what goes on.

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If I look at mp3 downloads on my site, I get around 60000 downloads/month.

Probably 90% of these downloads come again from Itunes and only maybe 5% come directly from visitors clicking on links on my site.

Again, these are just guesses but I do believe that they are quite accurate.

Downloads exploded the moment I put my content on Itunes.

So, here is the conclusion:

while it's interesting to put sales pages and new ebooks for sale on my site, will probably get x to 20x more results from the books I offer on amazon and other similar platforms.

The equation is easy to understand.

Is the effort still worth it? of course it is.

If the product creation takes me 4 hours writing, the setting up for sale on amazon, nook and my site represents only 1 hours work. putting in for sale on my site is only 5% of the overall effort.

So, yes, even if it's just for branding reasons, it is worth it.

I have to keep in mind that I must lower my expectations concerning sales of this products.





Friday, July 15, 2011

limiting factors? what matters and what doesn't on sales pages

earlier I mentioned possible limiting factors:
  • Little Traffic?
  • Too many distracting elements?
  • Too much for free on the site?
  • Price too high? $19 right now?
  • Not enough info? - sales page too short?
  • lack of trust or credibility because of unknown brand
I created a new sales page which limits 90% of the distractions that were there before.

The sales process is simpler

The page is way simpler.

So, I feel that this new sales page tackles the "Too many distracting factors on the page".

The other possible limiting factors are still there of course.

That's what I need to check next...

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The elements I mention above are the BIG things.

When I design a sales page, I see that I need to make many other choices like:

  • icon size
  • icon type and design
  • page layout
  • font sizes
  • colors
  • right offers
  • etc.
a lot of these elements are not deal breakers - they can slightly influence sales but you have really 2 types of factors.

the ones that matter a lot and the ones that are more insignificant.

this second group has less impact.

pricing, can you easily get the material for free somewhere else, etc are the major factors.

These are the ones I try to tackle now.




so the marketing strategy on kindle and nook is working

sales are increasing proportionally to my efforts.

what does that mean?

That the new ebooks I create and post do sell.

some of the ebooks are new - some other are rebranded versions of existing ones.

This rebranding is an effective strategy.

Won't share all details here but simply know it works

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

some guidance and ideas?

Ok,

there are quite a few things I can put my energy on...

What is it that matters most?

here are some possible targets:
  • Creating new books
  • updating existing ones
  • perfecting the sales pages on my site
  • taking care of new blogs
  • Etc.

Limiting factors in new sales page?

Here are some possible limiting elements:
  • Little Traffic?
  • Too many distracting elements?
  • Too much for free on the site?
  • Price too high? $19 right now?
  • Not enough info? - sales page too short?
  • lack of trust or credibility because of unknown brand
These are possible guesses - not sure if any of these do apply to my new sales pages.

Traffic is definitely a super limiting factor!!!

If everything would work perfectly, traffic would still be the limiting element.

Why is that?

Well, check how many visits arrive in a month to the internet dating book, or the sex for men book.

Most of them get 0-100 visits/month with often visit numbers being around 20-40.

That's not much!

Even if the conversion rate is 1%, that's one sale in 1-6 months/book.

50 books with similar traffic would bring maybe 10 sales/month if everything was super optimized.

So, this still could mean some sales even if traffic is limited but it needs to be systematic for all books.

In fact I realize that when I check the numbers, there could be some sales increase, so, in a way, I am into something.

That's not a revolution but some extra income.

If everything was optimized on the site for this to work, the sales could be around 20 sales/month.

Still not much but it ads up when with other sales channels and the other products that already sell now....

To be followed....




off site strategies

in the last few months, what's essential to understand is that the big breakthrough with amamzon, kindle and B&N is the fact that these hops are not my website - the reason why I got a breakthrough is because I focused on something else that trying to drive traffic to mys site or sell something on it.

It's these huge platforms like Itunes, Youtube, now amazon or BN that give a lot of exposure to what I do.

90% of the traffic to my material doesn't happen on my site.

This is essential to keep in mind!


Saturday, July 9, 2011

new possibilities for ebooks

so, right now, I am selling on kindle and Nook.

works good.

what i want to check now are the possibilities to expand.

there a few ways I can expand:
  • create more titles
  • publish on new platforms
  • publish other formats like audios and dvd's on amazon
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I have been publishing lots of new titles and that way of expanding seems to work well.

successful so far.

what I checked today is new platforms.

here is what i found so far:
  • smashwords - not too user friendly so far but still testing it
  • Itunes connect / ibookstore / ipad - that's the most promising platform so far - this should work as I could potentially offer my content to a whole new audience on Ipad and possibly iphones - have to double check that
  • Borders - still searching how to do that
  • Kobo - not too intuitive - checking with them
For ibookstore, or ibooks, it seems that there are a few possible avenues...

Use their itunes connect service to sell content or use a third party service like lulu that seems to connect my content with them.

of course why use a third party like lulu if I can work and publish directly on their platform - that's what I need to check.

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Right now, a small challenge that I have to solve is to effectively convert my .doc files to .epub files.

tested that so far but the files is not being accepted as epub file - I am being told that the files contains errors, so I need to check that.

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but so far, getting ready to bring my content to the Ipad and Iphone could the next big breakthrough

taking a similar step with my podcasts on itunes in the past was a huge breakthrough - I am calling for help for this to work!

I feel the energy streaming that way