Am I just not marketing effectively, or am I trying to sell products that no one wants?

by mimart
49 replies
Hello everybody,

Although I'm trying to stay positive, I can't help but be a little concerned at my absence of sales. I'm an online retailer offering physical products - knives, to be exact. I'm in the middle of a Giveaway/Sweepstakes promotion on Facebook and Instagram that seems to be getting a lot of attention. I've increased my Page LIKES on FB by 700%, my Instagram Following is up 50% and my email entries are pushing 1400, so far. The GAW ends 3/18.

I've just started my second Bing Ads search campaign and I'm on the 3rd page of Google SERPs for my main keywords (damascus steel knives). My website: Damascus Knives | Alloy Steel Knives - Damascus Steel Knives PLUS.

I've not made 1 sale since the start of this campaign. In fact, I've only had 1 sale since the end of the Christmas season.

I don't understand why I'm not getting more conversions on my site? (I've installed "abandoned cart" saver software on the site as well).

My site is attractive and professional looking, considering it was built with BigCommerce. I've taken some really nice pics of the knives I sell and they are among the top brands out there. I'm pretty good at writing, so the text copy flows well. What is the problem?

I would appreciate any helpful suggestions you experienced folks can give me after you've had a look at my site. I would appreciate your opinions on my business endeavor, even if it's not what I want to hear. I've not done split testing on the site as of yet.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions you can give me.

Regards,

mimart
#effectively #marketing #products #sell
  • Profile picture of the author EPoltrack77
    Its all about supply and demand. Use the google keyword planner to get an idea of the demand for a particular market and niche. If your affiliating with another company you need to see some earning per clicks. There are a lot of products out there and they don't sell at all so you need to find a product that is proven to make sales
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    • Profile picture of the author mimart
      Thanks for your reply and suggestion. I appreciate it. I'm in a niche market. There are not a great many searches for the product I'm selling, not like there would be if I was specializing in pocket knives.
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  • Profile picture of the author jbsmith
    Interestingly, I tried your website from both an airport lounge and hotel (I am travelling on business) and both blocked me from your site as it seems to be on a blacklist citing "violent" site - likely based on your use of knives in the domain name. While this is not likely your only problem, it is bound to come up with a good percentage of people who do try to connect through to your site.

    To get a real sense of conversions though you want to track how many visits are those keyword and organic campaigns generating to your website, then understand how many sales you have compared to those visits - if you are getting hundreds each day with no sales for many days on end then yes, there is definitely something wrong.

    Jeff
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    • Profile picture of the author mimart
      Originally Posted by jbsmith View Post

      Interestingly, I tried your website from both an airport lounge and hotel (I am travelling on business) and both blocked me from your site as it seems to be on a blacklist citing "violent" site - likely based on your use of knives in the domain name. While this is not likely your only problem, it is bound to come up with a good percentage of people who do try to connect through to your site.

      To get a real sense of conversions though you want to track how many visits are those keyword and organic campaigns generating to your website, then understand how many sales you have compared to those visits - if you are getting hundreds each day with no sales for many days on end then yes, there is definitely something wrong.

      Jeff
      Thanks for your reply and suggestion. Since the start of my GAW campaign, I'm averaging about 30-35 visits a day to my website. So, maybe I shouldn't be worrying too much at this juncture.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lucian Lada
    Well, are you emailing those 1,400 subscribers? If yes, what are your open rates? What about your click-through rates?

    I'm not an expert on e-commerce, but I'm curious to know how much traffic you're getting. Considering those knives are pretty expensive, you would probably need more than a few hundred curious people (which is what you get from Facebook and Instagram) to make some sales.
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    • Profile picture of the author discrat
      Originally Posted by Lucian Lada View Post

      Well, are you emailing those 1,400 subscribers? If yes, what are your open rates? What about your click-through rates?
      Yep, I will second that. If you have done your job as an effective Marketer and really started out in the beginning giving Value, you should at least be getting a few sales if you are emailing regularly


      - Robert Andrew
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      • Profile picture of the author mimart
        Originally Posted by discrat View Post

        Yep, I will second that. If you have done your job as an effective Marketer and really started out in the beginning giving Value, you should at least be getting a few sales if you are emailing regularly


        - Robert Andrew
        Thanks for your reply. I'm not emailing as of yet. I don't have any subscribers to my newsletter.
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        • Profile picture of the author discrat
          Originally Posted by mimart View Post

          Thanks for your reply. I'm not emailing as of yet. I don't have any subscribers to my newsletter.
          Okay. Sorry, I must have misunderstood then
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          • Profile picture of the author DABK
            Who buys the types of knives you're selling (your copy is geared towards no one)?

            Why do they buy? What fears about buying do they have (in general, from an online store, from you)? Your copy addresses none of that.

            I-need-a knife-to-kill-and-gut-a-pig shopper will respond to different things than a I-wanna-grow-up-to-be-a-ninja shopper, for instance.

            (I have no idea why anyone would buy what you sell... I would never... But I'm not your target audience. The point I'm trying to make is: figure out who your ideal client is and talk to that client in his/her language about his/her interests and worries.

            The traffic from facebook is, apparently, not your target audience even though they're interested in knives.
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            • Profile picture of the author mimart
              Originally Posted by DABK View Post

              Who buys the types of knives you're selling (your copy is geared towards no one)?

              Why do they buy? What fears about buying do they have (in general, from an online store, from you)? Your copy addresses none of that.

              I-need-a knife-to-kill-and-gut-a-pig shopper will respond to different things than a I-wanna-grow-up-to-be-a-ninja shopper, for instance.

              (I have no idea why anyone would buy what you sell... I would never... But I'm not your target audience. The point I'm trying to make is: figure out who your ideal client is and talk to that client in his/her language about his/her interests and worries.

              The traffic from facebook is, apparently, not your target audience even though they're interested in knives.
              Thanks for your reply and for your suggestions. I appreciate it. I agree with you, I'm in a niche market. If you're not a knife enthusiast, why would you want to buy what I sell?

              Fortunately for me, there are a lot of knife enthusiasts around. I'm not trying to appeal to either stereotype you're referring to.

              I want to stay in that sweet spot between those with the means to buy a high-end custom made collectible Damascus knife with the patience to wait for it to be made, and those who appreciate Damascus steel knives, but don't have the means or the patience necessary to acquire one. I just have to find the right voice to use to talk to them.
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              • Profile picture of the author DABK
                It's not just the voice... But who that voice is speaking to.

                This site owner's done a good job in this respect: https://www.knife-depot.com/damascus-knives/.

                Why do they buy knives? Why would they buy your knives?

                How are you different from other knife sellers?

                How can they trust you will send them the knives after they give you money? You only have the geotrust emblem. The site I mentioned above has a bunch of such things, + reviews and the reviews are not tiny, like on your page. What's your return policy?

                But the question is not: if you're not a knife enthusiast, why would you buy?

                The starting point is that your visitors are knife enthusiasts. The question is: why would a knife enthusiast buy the knives you sell? As in, why buy from you? As in, why buy your kind of knives? As in, why buy at all?

                So, far, if I were a knife enthusiast, I'd buy from the site I mentioned above rather than from yours: they seem more trustworthy and their knives seem better not to mention that they seem to be knife enthusiasts themselves.


                Originally Posted by mimart View Post

                Thanks for your reply and for your suggestions. I appreciate it. I agree with you, I'm in a niche market. If you're not a knife enthusiast, why would you want to buy what I sell?

                Fortunately for me, there are a lot of knife enthusiasts around. I'm not trying to appeal to either stereotype you're referring to.

                I want to stay in that sweet spot between those with the means to buy a high-end custom made collectible Damascus knife with the patience to wait for it to be made, and those who appreciate Damascus steel knives, but don't have the means or the patience necessary to acquire one. I just have to find the right voice to use to talk to them.
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                • Profile picture of the author mimart
                  Originally Posted by DABK View Post

                  It's not just the voice... But who that voice is speaking to.

                  This site owner's done a good job in this respect: https://www.knife-depot.com/damascus-knives/.

                  Why do they buy knives? Why would they buy your knives?

                  How are you different from other knife sellers?

                  How can they trust you will send them the knives after they give you money? You only have the geotrust emblem. The site I mentioned above has a bunch of such things, + reviews and the reviews are not tiny, like on your page. What's your return policy?

                  But the question is not: if you're not a knife enthusiast, why would you buy?

                  The starting point is that your visitors are knife enthusiasts. The question is: why would a knife enthusiast buy the knives you sell? As in, why buy from you? As in, why buy your kind of knives? As in, why buy at all?

                  So, far, if I were a knife enthusiast, I'd buy from the site I mentioned above rather than from yours: they seem more trustworthy and their knives seem better not to mention that they seem to be knife enthusiasts themselves.
                  Thanks for your suggestions.

                  1. Knife Depot has been around a long time. I launched my store in October of last year. I would expect them to have more reviews based on their sales and service over time.
                  2. Knife Depot sells basically the same Damascus steel knives that I do. As far as single steel knives, yes, they have a much larger selection than me. I specialize in Damascus steel knives.
                  3. As far as the GeoTrust emblem, SSL certificates are not free. I can't afford at this juncture to purchase several certificates.
                  4. Since launching my store, I've had a total of 9 sales. I have two positive "testimonials" from satisfied customers in the "Customer Comments" section. That's over 20% response. I think that's pretty good.
                  5. If you're basing your opinion of Knife Depot's superior quality knives based on the link to their page you included in your post, it shows that they sell the same Damascus steel knives that I do. How can their quality be better?
                  6. My return policy is accessible thru the link in the HELP section on the HOME page.

                  I respect your opinion and the suggestions you made by questioning me are food for thought. The tone of your post is confrontational and I don't understand why, but you make some good points as far as why I need to convince lookers why they should buy from me.
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                  • Profile picture of the author DABK
                    Not meaning to be confrontational, just to point out some things that need your attention.
                    My answer in bold below.



                    Originally Posted by mimart View Post

                    Thanks for your suggestions.

                    1. Knife Depot has been around a long time. I launched my store in October of last year. I would expect them to have more reviews based on their sales and service over time.
                    It's not the number of reviews but how you/they use them. You have 2. Incorporate them in your landing page, put them in italics, make the margins bigger, so that they stand out.
                    2. Knife Depot sells basically the same Damascus steel knives that I do. As far as single steel knives, yes, they have a much larger selection than me. I specialize in Damascus steel knives.
                    If you specialize in Damascus steel knives, say so in big letters, towards the top... They Only Online Store That Specializes in Damascus Steel Knives! Make sure it's a true statement but announce it!
                    3. As far as the GeoTrust emblem, SSL certificates are not free. I can't afford at this juncture to purchase several certificates.So, use reviews efficiently... People go with social proof too.
                    4. Since launching my store, I've had a total of 9 sales. I have two positive "testimonials" from satisfied customers in the "Customer Comments" section. That's over 20% response. I think that's pretty good.It's good, but irrelevant if only you know... Your visitors should also know.
                    5. If you're basing your opinion of Knife Depot's superior quality knives based on the link to their page you included in your post, it shows that they sell the same Damascus steel knives that I do. How can their quality be better?Perception. Their site conveys trust, their descriptions are 'lively,' their layout might also have worked/or the font... The point I am making is that, overall, your site is not as optimized for your visitors... The way you describe something influences how people think of its quality.
                    6. My return policy is accessible thru the link in the HELP section on the HOME page. I know. It should be more findable... Don't assume people will look for it... Assume they won't but you'd benefit if they knew you had one... Many might not even bother to read it; just knowing you have one will persuade them to buy.

                    Question, why are all prices slashed? Makes me think something's going wrong with your business... I know, the giveaway... I'd keep some items out of the giveaway... For perception...

                    "Going out of business. Everything in the store must go!" is what I get... I'm not your target audience but are they going to think like me?

                    I respect your opinion and the suggestions you made by questioning me are food for thought. The tone of your post is confrontational and I don't understand why, but you make some good points as far as why I need to convince lookers why they should buy from me.
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                    • Profile picture of the author mimart
                      Originally Posted by DABK View Post

                      Not meaning to be confrontational, just to point out some things that need your attention.
                      My answer in bold below.
                      Thanks for the good suggestions. I really appreciate you taking the time to point these things out. I think you've got something there with the suggestion to advertise the fact that I specialize in Damascus Knives. I can play that up,

                      Also, I never looked at the fact that some folks might be wary about ordering from me - the new guy on the block with no reputation. Personally, I'm a frequent online shopper and probably a litte too trusting for my own good. I can do a little editing of my HOME page to display my "testimonials" prominently.

                      As far as the "slashed" prices, I thought that was a good technique to show I'm giving folks a good deal. I never considered it might convey desperation.

                      My product descriptions, I thought, were okay. I'll admit I don't use the tone that Knife Depot does. In my opinion, they are a little over the top in their use of "tough guy" talk. On the other hand, I'm retired and maybe my tone is a little too relaxed. I'll try to change a few things in the descriptions to add some punch.

                      Thanks again for your valuable insights. I appreciate it.
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    • Profile picture of the author mimart
      Originally Posted by jbsmith View Post

      Interestingly, I tried your website from both an airport lounge and hotel (I am travelling on business) and both blocked me from your site as it seems to be on a blacklist citing "violent" site - likely based on your use of knives in the domain name. While this is not likely your only problem, it is bound to come up with a good percentage of people who do try to connect through to your site.

      To get a real sense of conversions though you want to track how many visits are those keyword and organic campaigns generating to your website, then understand how many sales you have compared to those visits - if you are getting hundreds each day with no sales for many days on end then yes, there is definitely something wrong.

      Jeff
      Originally Posted by Lucian Lada View Post

      Well, are you emailing those 1,400 subscribers? If yes, what are your open rates? What about your click-through rates?

      I'm not an expert on e-commerce, but I'm curious to know how much traffic you're getting. Considering those knives are pretty expensive, you would probably need more than a few hundred curious people (which is what you get from Facebook and Instagram) to make some sales.
      Thanks for your reply and suggestions. The 1400 are entries to my Sweepstakes GAW, not subscribers. If I'm not mistaken, I need to have opt-in permission to email these folks my newsletter as subscribers, correct? As I mentioned earlier, I'm averaging about 30-35 visits to my website daily since starting this GAW campaign.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sid Hale
    Michael,

    First... I love the layout and organization of your store.

    But...
    I think you missed the boat totally in the text on your home page (but you're not alone).

    As a shopper/collector, I don't care about anything in that first 2 paragraphs of text. I think it is a common failing when small retailers have a boatload of products, in different categories and/or price ranges, to stall when it comes to creating an appropriate message for the home page. Almost invariably, they wind up putting "About Us" verbiage in that spot (even though they already have a dedicated "about us" page).

    Nobody cares. Don't waste that very valuable real estate.

    Instead, think about putting the text from your "Primer on Damascus Steel" in that spot. You could put just a few paragraphs before the slide show and continue the article after the slider so that you still keep those important elements above the fold.

    If I'm looking for knives, especially knives of a particular type (Damascus steel), I'm going to be much more impressed with your display of knowledge on that subject... than with a bland description of the site and/or your business.

    Explaining the history of the manufacturing technique will give you a "story" to help draw new visitors deeper into your site, and does a great job of "pre-selling" at the same time. You would be telling them WHY they need to dig deeper into your site (without actually saying it in those words) and be looking at the knives on your site rather than the cheap, stamped out blades they can pick up at a kiosk in the mall.

    You're in competition with the big box stores, as well as local convenience stores (believe it or not... even some tobacconists/pipe shops). You have to make it very clear how what YOU are offering is more desirable, even superior!
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    Coming Soon... Rapid Action Profits (Pro)

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    • Profile picture of the author mimart
      Originally Posted by Sid Hale View Post

      Michael,

      First... I love the layout and organization of your store.

      But...
      I think you missed the boat totally in the text on your home page (but you're not alone).

      As a shopper/collector, I don't care about anything in that first 2 paragraphs of text. I think it is a common failing when small retailers have a boatload of products, in different categories and/or price ranges, to stall when it comes to creating an appropriate message for the home page. Almost invariably, they wind up putting "About Us" verbiage in that spot (even though they already have a dedicated "about us" page).

      Nobody cares. Don't waste that very valuable real estate.

      Instead, think about putting the text from your "Primer on Damascus Steel" in that spot. You could put just a few paragraphs before the slide show and continue the article after the slider so that you still keep those important elements above the fold.

      If I'm looking for knives, especially knives of a particular type (Damascus steel), I'm going to be much more impressed with your display of knowledge on that subject... than with a bland description of the site and/or your business.

      Explaining the history of the manufacturing technique will give you a "story" to help draw new visitors deeper into your site, and does a great job of "pre-selling" at the same time. You would be telling them WHY they need to dig deeper into your site (without actually saying it in those words) and be looking at the knives on your site rather than the cheap, stamped out blades they can pick up at a kiosk in the mall.

      You're in competition with the big box stores, as well as local convenience stores (believe it or not... even some tobacconists/pipe shops). You have to make it very clear how what YOU are offering is more desirable, even superior!
      Sid, thank you much for that very valuable information. I haven't been totally pleased with my HOME page copy either, simply because after reading and re-reading it myself numerous times, I wasn't excited about what I'm offering. I just didn't know a better way to generate interest with my text copy.

      Thanks for the suggestion about using the text from "Primer" in that intro spot. That makes sense. You are right when I think about it. I don't need two "About DSK Plus" articles. Thanks again.
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  • Profile picture of the author bluejeans
    Since we're talking about Damascus Steel I would presume that the site would be 1.) catering to a market that recognizes the superiority of the steel or 2.) educating the rest of us on why Damascus Steel is indeed the best. I don't see content catering to either purpose here and that would be something I think that would create some a stronger USP.

    There are not a great many searches for the product I'm selling, not like there would be if I was specializing in pocket knives.
    How many searches a month have you estimated for your keywords?
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    • Profile picture of the author mimart
      Originally Posted by bluejeans View Post

      Since we're talking about Damascus Steel I would presume that the site would be 1.) catering to a market that recognizes the superiority of the steel or 2.) educating the rest of us on why Damascus Steel is indeed the best. I don't see content catering to either purpose here and that would be something I think that would create some a stronger USP.

      How many searches a month have you estimated for your keywords?
      Thanks for your reply and your suggestion. The average monthly search volume for "damascus knives" and "damascus steel knives" is about 5400. Thanks for your opinion on my HOME page content. From yours and other's comments, I think I need to redo my Intro text copy.
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    1400 subscribers isn't much at all. How often do you email them, and when you do, what kind of content/information do you send to your list? You sell different kinds of knives.... how do you segment your list so that each individual segment is targeted to the exact kind of knife that they are looking for?
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  • Profile picture of the author SamNuku
    Hey mate,

    I can feel the tension and stress in your post. I hope you are ok.

    You have a mailing list of 1400 people? You should be emailing that list. Ajd not selling them mate.

    Ecommerce numbers are pretty set in stone. Only 1% of site visitors buy on the first visit. Therefore 99% are leaving.

    Obviously youre gatherung emails which is great but you need to email them regularly with value.

    Personally with such a site id be all over youtube re any keyword or topic about knives. Creating fun videos around it. Or serious ones if you wish.

    Using those videos id be emailing the link to my 1400 list, 1 video a day, and posting an annotation link back to my site where they can buy the knife.

    Fb likes and insta followers are almost completely useless. But you could use that resource as a way of posting your videos for social signals to help re ranking.

    Id be 100% focused on that list. On avg it takes 6~7 visits to buy, so.connect via email then after the 7th email send them an offer to buy.
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    • Profile picture of the author mimart
      Originally Posted by SamNuku View Post

      Hey mate,

      I can feel the tension and stress in your post. I hope you are ok.

      You have a mailing list of 1400 people? You should be emailing that list. Ajd not selling them mate.

      Ecommerce numbers are pretty set in stone. Only 1% of site visitors buy on the first visit. Therefore 99% are leaving.

      Obviously youre gatherung emails which is great but you need to email them regularly with value.

      Personally with such a site id be all over youtube re any keyword or topic about knives. Creating fun videos around it. Or serious ones if you wish.

      Using those videos id be emailing the link to my 1400 list, 1 video a day, and posting an annotation link back to my site where they can buy the knife.

      Fb likes and insta followers are almost completely useless. But you could use that resource as a way of posting your videos for social signals to help re ranking.

      Id be 100% focused on that list. On avg it takes 6~7 visits to buy, so.connect via email then after the 7th email send them an offer to buy.
      Thanks for your reply and the suggestions about the email list. Thanks for your concern about my stress level as well. It is getting a little uncomfortable. I'm in debt with all this knife inventory and not much is going out the door.

      The 1400 email addresses are from Sweepstakes entries. I've not had one subscriber to my newsletter from the call-to-action on my site. If I'm not mistaken, I'm not legally allowed to email these entrants sales material without their consent.

      I've started doing video reviews of the knives I sell and uploading them to Utube. I also shared them on my Facebook page. Strangely, they didn't get as much reach on FB as the static images of my knives did. I initially thought it would be the opposite case. Thanks again for your input.
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      • Profile picture of the author nancy666
        Hi mimart,

        Maybe you can offer a Free Report on "how to maintain the life of your knives longer" for example , to get subscribers. Maybe use a pop-up when people are leaving your website to capture their email addresses.
        These days every business needs to be building a list. The reason a list is so important is that you can then keep exposing these people to your offer in future. If you don't do this they are gone forever.

        People don't normally buy right away, they need to see your product 5-7 times before they will buy.
        Also look at offering a Bonus of some sort if they buy from you, maybe a set of good quality scissors?
        You have to give people a reason to buy from you instead of your competitor.

        Hope this helps
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      • Profile picture of the author onSubie
        Originally Posted by mimart View Post

        If I'm not mistaken, I'm not legally allowed to email these entrants sales material without their consent.
        You don't need pre-consent as long as you comply with the CAN-SPAM act. It has more to do with how you email rather than how you got the address.

        Don't use misleading information, have clear contact info including a physical address and offer a way for the receiver to unsubscribe from future mailings.

        https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/busi...guide-business


        Since they have given their email as part of entering your contest you could use that as an intro to send them an email to visit your site or sign up for your newsletter.

        Something like: Thanks for entering our Facebook giveaway. I wish you good luck and I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you about our monthly newsletter which we send out absolutely free...

        OR

        As part of our giveaway we have slashed prices on most of our products. Visit our site to see these exclusive deals...

        In either case you want to engage them on a personal level and get them to take action by signing up for your newsletter or visiting your web site.


        I agree with many of the above posts and you have some great feedback.

        The two biggest suggestions I like to improve your site are:

        1) Promote that you deal exclusively in Damascus knives. State right away that you are an expert and you don't have a bunch of other knives and cutlery "like the other guys". Display your passion for Damascus Steel and how your love and trust for this steel is why you deal in it exclusively.

        2) Pitch information about Damascus knives in your copy to promote yourself as an expert, educate your visitors and draw visitors into your site for more information and to see these amazing knives. The love of Damascus Steel among collectors is as much for its lore and mythology as it is for any concrete superiority to any other steel. As you educate people about the steel get them excited about its history and lore.
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        • Profile picture of the author mimart
          Originally Posted by onSubie View Post

          You don't need pre-consent as long as you comply with the CAN-SPAM act. It has more to do with how you email rather than how you got the address.

          Don't use misleading information, have clear contact info including a physical address and offer a way for the receiver to unsubscribe from future mailings.

          https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/busi...guide-business


          Since they have given their email as part of entering your contest you could use that as an intro to send them an email to visit your site or sign up for your newsletter.

          Something like: Thanks for entering our Facebook giveaway. I wish you good luck and I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you about our monthly newsletter which we send out absolutely free...

          OR

          As part of our giveaway we have slashed prices on most of our products. Visit our site to see these exclusive deals...

          In either case you want to engage them on a personal level and get them to take action by signing up for your newsletter or visiting your web site.


          I agree with many of the above posts and you have some great feedback.

          The two biggest suggestions I like to improve your site are:

          1) Promote that you deal exclusively in Damascus knives. State right away that you are an expert and you don't have a bunch of other knives and cutlery "like the other guys". Display your passion for Damascus Steel and how your love and trust for this steel is why you deal in it exclusively.

          2) Pitch information about Damascus knives in your copy to promote yourself as an expert, educate your visitors and draw visitors into your site for more information and to see these amazing knives. The love of Damascus Steel among collectors is as much for its lore and mythology as it is for any concrete superiority to any other steel. As you educate people about the steel get them excited about its history and lore.
          Thanks for your reply and the suggestions. That's really good input. I like your suggestion to use the email addresses to acknowledge folks who enter my GAW. I was planning to wait till the end of the campaign and send a Thank You w/discount coupon for future purchases. Thanks for the tip on the CANSPAM act and the link.

          I'm just about convinced I need to rewrite my HOME page info to play up the fact that I deal almost exclusively in Damascus knives. I've never really been happy with what I've got there now anyway.

          Your suggestion I state that I'm an expert on Damascus steel knives would be great if I was. I'm more a guy who really likes and appreciates it, but I'm far from being an expert. But I do see your point and I agree I need to assure readers that I know what I'm talking about. I think I can express what I do know about Damascus steel in such a way as to build some excitement and encourage folks to want to know more about it.
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          • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
            Disclaimer: this may or may not be of any help.

            I'm not a knife person myself, but my sisters side of the family is really into the whole hunting thing. And I've got 2 nieces in the military.

            So upon hitting your site, my personal thoughts were - what knives would I get them as a gift for a graduation or birthday or what ever?

            I personally have not a clue what to look for - and it looked like it would be a lot of work sifting through all the stuff there to narrow it down.

            I see the description on things - but some of those knives I would have no clue what their primary/best functions are.

            I may not be your audience at all - but I might be as an outsider looking to get a nice knife as a gift for someone.

            With some of the things mentioned above, you could probably sell me on that damascas steel thing, but then I'd be lost after that.

            It might be a simple matter of expanding on the knowledge base.

            Like I said, this may be of no help to you.

            Do you have articles/external links leading into the site that I'd be educated upon arrival?

            Do you have an affiliate program so others are helping promote somewhere?

            I do like the videos idea with someone using them that was suggested above.
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            • Profile picture of the author DABK
              Might be as simple as adding a phrase like: Makes a good gift for a fisherman.

              Or, start a description with: if you're a fisherman, you're gonna love this here beauty... It practically grows the fish, fishes the fish, cooks the fish for you!

              In more elegant terms, of course.

              He might make entire pages with:
              Gifts for military people
              Christmas gifts for the soldier in your family

              Originally Posted by Jill Carpenter View Post

              Disclaimer: this may or may not be of any help.

              I'm not a knife person myself, but my sisters side of the family is really into the whole hunting thing. And I've got 2 nieces in the military.

              So upon hitting your site, my personal thoughts were - what knives would I get them as a gift for a graduation or birthday or what ever?

              I personally have not a clue what to look for - and it looked like it would be a lot of work sifting through all the stuff there to narrow it down.

              I see the description on things - but some of those knives I would have no clue what their primary/best functions are.

              I may not be your audience at all - but I might be as an outsider looking to get a nice knife as a gift for someone.

              With some of the things mentioned above, you could probably sell me on that damascas steel thing, but then I'd be lost after that.

              It might be a simple matter of expanding on the knowledge base.

              Like I said, this may be of no help to you.

              Do you have articles/external links leading into the site that I'd be educated upon arrival?

              Do you have an affiliate program so others are helping promote somewhere?

              I do like the videos idea with someone using them that was suggested above.
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            • Profile picture of the author mimart
              Originally Posted by Jill Carpenter View Post

              Disclaimer: this may or may not be of any help.

              I'm not a knife person myself, but my sisters side of the family is really into the whole hunting thing. And I've got 2 nieces in the military.

              So upon hitting your site, my personal thoughts were - what knives would I get them as a gift for a graduation or birthday or what ever?

              I personally have not a clue what to look for - and it looked like it would be a lot of work sifting through all the stuff there to narrow it down.

              I see the description on things - but some of those knives I would have no clue what their primary/best functions are.

              I may not be your audience at all - but I might be as an outsider looking to get a nice knife as a gift for someone.

              With some of the things mentioned above, you could probably sell me on that damascas steel thing, but then I'd be lost after that.

              It might be a simple matter of expanding on the knowledge base.

              Like I said, this may be of no help to you.

              Do you have articles/external links leading into the site that I'd be educated upon arrival?

              Do you have an affiliate program so others are helping promote somewhere?

              I do like the videos idea with someone using them that was suggested above.
              Thanks for your reply. I appreciate the suggestions you made. I think you and several others have the right idea in that I need to educate my perspective buyer about the uniqueness of Damascus steel; how it's made; its history, etc.

              I do have an article I wrote in the Knowledge Base section of the website that talks about just that. I don't have an affiliate program going. I do have a few video reviews of knives I sell that I could plug into the site.

              I do have the knives I sell divided into categories based on their design style or their intended use, but this is within drop down menus, not openly visible on the HOME page.
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  • Profile picture of the author Graham Maddison
    Just an observation, I looked through the type of "Fixed Blade" knives you offer and surprisingly didn't see any knives for "Divers" ie scuba divers ...just guessing, but as an ex diver this would be a good niche.
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    • Profile picture of the author mimart
      Originally Posted by Graham Maddison View Post

      Just an observation, I looked through the type of "Fixed Blade" knives you offer and surprisingly didn't see any knives for "Divers" ie scuba divers ...just guessing, but as an ex diver this would be a good niche.

      Thanks for your reply and the suggestion. I've not considered Divers knives, but that's an idea I'll give some thought to.
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  • Profile picture of the author ydsimple
    I think video reviews of your knives should help. I visited your website and I see all those pictures of knives but I would like to see how do they look like in real. For that you can place video review of each knife you are selling. Just my opinion.
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    • Profile picture of the author mimart
      Originally Posted by ydsimple View Post

      I think video reviews of your knives should help. I visited your website and I see all those pictures of knives but I would like to see how do they look like in real. For that you can place video review of each knife you are selling. Just my opinion.
      Thanks for your reply. I've done a handful of video reviews that I've posted to Utube. You are right. I need to add one to the HOME page and create a section on the site for archived videos.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    Assuming you are getting traffic but not sales, I think you need to work on your copy. On your page you use the word "I". Don't. Instead use "you". People don't care about you, they want to know what's in it for them.


    Also, tell some of the story of Damascus steel on the home page, how it is legendary and that the recipe for it was lost for centuries, building interest.


    As far as finding a market, who is interested in your products? I'm guessing preppers, survivalists, campers and hunters. Try to reach this market in your keywords and places you advertise.
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  • Profile picture of the author wecoach
    Your website is amazing, im sorry to hear that sell aren't working good for you.

    I was a collector of knives until a few years ago when i sold my complete collection, after seeing that my collection sells well i start to re-sell knives like a hobby bussines, so when i travel (and i travel a lot because of work) i just purchase some knives and poket knives and i sell in my country. Cheap bad quality knives is sadly what more is sold.

    As an ex-collector i can told you that Damasco knives are like Ferraris, everybody wants one, but they are usually above the limit of what people are willing to spend on a knife.

    Anyway, let me told you that your prices are so competitive, i can see some of your knives even cheaper that ebay's cheapes choice (same brand and model).

    I'm so newbie in the world of internet business, but i think that maybe it is good for you to create an ebay store (if you dont have one) and also sell your knives on ebay, this can also give you some trafic to your web site too.

    eBay is one of the main places where people go to look for a knife.

    As i told you before, im so newbie, and i dont know if this can harm your business in some way, maybe another more experieced member of the forum can give us a feedback about this.

    Best regards
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    • Profile picture of the author mimart
      Originally Posted by wecoach View Post

      Your website is amazing, im sorry to hear that sell aren't working good for you.

      I was a collector of knives until a few years ago when i sold my complete collection, after seeing that my collection sells well i start to re-sell knives like a hobby bussines, so when i travel (and i travel a lot because of work) i just purchase some knives and poket knives and i sell in my country. Cheap bad quality knives is sadly what more is sold.

      As an ex-collector i can told you that Damasco knives are like Ferraris, everybody wants one, but they are usually above the limit of what people are willing to spend on a knife.

      Anyway, let me told you that your prices are so competitive, i can see some of your knives even cheaper that ebay's cheapes choice (same brand and model).

      I'm so newbie in the world of internet business, but i think that maybe it is good for you to create an ebay store (if you dont have one) and also sell your knives on ebay, this can also give you some trafic to your web site too.

      eBay is one of the main places where people go to look for a knife.

      As i told you before, im so newbie, and i dont know if this can harm your business in some way, maybe another more experieced member of the forum can give us a feedback about this.

      Best regards
      Thanks for your reply and for your complements on my website and for your suggestion about Ebay. I'm holding back on Ebay as a last resort. I don't want to list there unless I see that it's not going to happen on my website. Ebay's fees and the fact that you have to sell so cheap there will take away all my profit.
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      • Profile picture of the author onSubie
        Originally Posted by mimart View Post

        Thanks for your reply and for your complements on my website and for your suggestion about Ebay. I'm holding back on Ebay as a last resort. I don't want to list there unless I see that it's not going to happen on my website. Ebay's fees and the fact that you have to sell so cheap there will take away all my profit.
        You should really take another look at eBay because you have listed many common misconceptions.

        You do not have to beat everyone on price especially for premium and specialty products like your knives. A strong brand and trust matter a lot. Use your brand Damascus Steel Knives Plus as well as your logo and colors.

        People browse eBay and Amazon as well as Google when looking for items. They may very well see your listings on eBay before they run across your website. If they do run into your website later they will have been pre-exposed to your brand through eBay.

        eBay is also a good source of traffic and brand recognition. If you have multiple listings on eBay people will Google your brand to see if you have a website, reviews, etc. When you ship an eBay order include flyers and coupons promoting your site.

        I haven't checked myself, but the reply said you already beat eBay listings with your existing prices.

        I did search Amazon because that is another market you could get your knives into. I did not see many of the models and brands you sell listed on Amazon. With their FBA fulfillment service, selling there could be relatively hands off.

        Both Amazon and eBay have fees to consider but I think they are worth checking out.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gari
    Your website is really great! I don't have any suggestion for you, but some of advices here is gold! I learn a lot from them.
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    • Profile picture of the author mimart
      Originally Posted by Gari View Post

      Your website is really great! I don't have any suggestion for you, but some of advices here is gold! I learn a lot from them.
      Thanks for your reply and for the complements on my site. I have gotten a lot of good advice from this forum and am now trying to put some of it in play.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    I've been collecting knives all my life.

    I just did a little digging and the HEN & ROOSTER DEER STAG DAMASCUS TRAPPER 312-DS/D
    you are selling for $89.98 is selling on Amazon for $239.01 and on Sears.com for $285.65!

    So, either you have a wholesale deal like no other or your knives are fakes.

    I'm very curious to know what's really going on...
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    • Profile picture of the author luisimperator
      Originally Posted by Brent Stangel View Post

      I've been collecting knives all my life.

      I just did a little digging and the HEN & ROOSTER DEER STAG DAMASCUS TRAPPER 312-DS/D
      you are selling for $89.98 is selling on Amazon for $239.01 and on Sears.com for $285.65!

      So, either you have a wholesale deal like no other or your knives are fakes.

      I'm very curious to know what's really going on...
      Also very curious why he hasn't responder to this questionário yet.
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    • Profile picture of the author mimart
      Originally Posted by Brent Stangel View Post

      I've been collecting knives all my life.

      I just did a little digging and the HEN & ROOSTER DEER STAG DAMASCUS TRAPPER 312-DS/D
      you are selling for $89.98 is selling on Amazon for $239.01 and on Sears.com for $285.65!

      So, either you have a wholesale deal like no other or your knives are fakes.

      I'm very curious to know what's really going on...
      Thanks for your reply. This particular Hen & Rooster knife is no longer available from standard wholesalers. I would imagine, for that reason, the price has been inflated by those who have it in stock. I've had my inventory for over a year. The item has been out of stock with wholesaler since at least Nov. 2015.
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  • Profile picture of the author DWaters
    People do not go to Facebook or Instagram when they are looking to buy something. They go there for other reasons obviously. So where do they go? They go to Amazon.com.

    Amazon gets HUGE buyer traffic at zero cost to the sellers. I strongly suggest you consider putting some inventory there using their FBA business model. If is very hands off once you use their low cast shipping to send your items to an Amazon warehouse. FBA offers much less in the way of headaches and much better sales!
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by jbsmith View Post

      Interestingly, I tried your website from both an airport lounge and hotel (I am travelling on business) and both blocked me from your site as it seems to be on a blacklist citing "violent" site - likely based on your use of knives in the domain name. While this is not likely your only problem, it is bound to come up with a good percentage of people who do try to connect through to your site.

      Jeff
      Jeff, in today's climate, I'm more inclined to think that "Damascus" is the problem, rather than "knives".

      Originally Posted by mimart View Post

      As far as the "slashed" prices, I thought that was a good technique to show I'm giving folks a good deal. I never considered it might convey desperation.
      Having a few slashed prices is good. Having all the prices slashed, unless you're Amazon and working from MSRPs, looks like either "going out of business", "stock fell off the back of the truck" i.e. stolen, or as Brent wondered, fake. If you offer deep discounts, provide a reason why. If you give a halfway decent reason, it calms peoples' suspicions.

      As far as subscribers go, the days of "sign up for deals and offers" isn't enough anymore. You need to offer an "ethical bribe", an incentive to give up their email. Maybe a report on choosing the right knife for different applications, along with a repetition of why Damascus steel is superior would work.

      This is the kind of niche product that typically works well with what I dubbed the "pebble in the pond" technique. You start with your core audience - knife aficionados. That's the pebble hitting the pond's surface. Then you work on the next circle that forms - niche groups that use knives and appreciate good ones. People have already mentioned hunters, fisherfolk, and divers. Who else, like chefs, use and depend on top notch knives in their work or play? Create content for them related to your knives and share it where they congregate. Guest blogging, appearing on podcasts, etc. should work well. Another ring out, and you're into Jill's suggestion about gift givers. Keep working your way out, as long as you can make a logical connection between your knives and the group you are communicating with.

      And build that mailing list!
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      • Profile picture of the author Eagle07
        The missing piece is your connection to your customers. Your visitors have to realize that they need those things you are offering. You may want to create a "setting" in order to convince them that they really need what you are selling and they need to buy it now or they'll regret it later. Create a story and instill in your audience that they need what you are selling. It is all in the story... without that there would be no connection and sales will suffer.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tim John Jr
    I recommend raising prices to their "original" price.

    I recommend selling the customers on the value of your business.

    Maybe you can have a video pop-up with you talking about the quality of all your products and the care you take from customer placing an order to having it shipped. Maybe all knives should be shipped in a sheet a velvet with a letter sealed by a wax stamp containing a official product guarantee and promise for customer satisfaction. What if you spray this package with Old Spice or something that smells like cut pine. This customer service will translate into word of mouth.

    Equation for value = ( quality of service / price )
    in other words: quality of service divided by price.

    You can either drop price of your knife collection, or you can give your guests ultimate customer service...

    Get "Learn to Sell Anything" by Grant Cardone on Udemy.com - you will gain a lot of useful information.
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  • Profile picture of the author reachintan
    Your website is not bad, but neither appealing as well.

    Change your font style and size, as I find it really hard to actually read what is present on Homepage.

    Moreover, make use of bright colors to let your websites make an impact.


    Chintan
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  • Profile picture of the author Tonny Robb
    Hello mimart!
    When something goes wrong, because a lot of reasons. We don't know exactly where that comes from.

    But most important thing is that keep calm. And check, Just check and tweak you will find the answer.

    If you doubt that come from wrong way to drive traffic, check

    If you doubt that your product noone wants, check.

    Hope this help!
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    • Profile picture of the author pawandave
      Banned
      Of course friend, you need to look over your strategy. Demand should be must for any product otherwise all money and effort will be wasted.

      That's why people or big business do market research before creating some product or else
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      • Profile picture of the author onegoodman
        My first thought is try to gain more trust ( BBB seal is a good place to start mainly because it is more known that GeoTrust ).

        Have you tried doing PPC on Google,

        I am sure you would have a lot of people adoring the site but due to the prices, probably very portion of them to convert.

        I would suggest launching an affiliate program in one of affiliate network that targets physical products if you can afford it as well.

        Your site looks pretty good, 1st sale tend to take way longer, so don't worry about it, just continue promoting it.
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