Why have I had zero sales ?

by julesbrad 30 replies
I am new to this site (just registered but have been looking and reading for a few weeks) and have found the posts very interesting and helpful but I have been unable to achieve any sales from my site.

There is a vast amount which I have to learn and put into practice but was hoping that some of you more experienced people out there would give me some 'newbie' pointers as to what the problems are with my site.

I am a kitchen designer by day and so wrote an eBook about designing your own kitchen (link to site in my sig) as I thought quite a few people would be interested in this as it could save lots of money and help to plan a kitchen which you really wanted rather than the one the salesperson wanted to sell you.

At present, I am only receiving around 15 unique visitors per day to the site from search engines (with many arriving by using the search term 'design your own kitchen') after a few months online.

After reading posts on this site, I am thinking that writing articles would increase traffic to the site but I am worried that even increasing traffic would not result in any sales if I have not managed a single sale to date.

I suppose my questions would be the same as any newbie :-
What should I change on the web site to achieve sales ?
What should I do to increase visitors ?

Any help would be greatly appreciated - thanks in advance
#main internet marketing discussion forum #sales
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  • Profile picture of the author Amy Bass
    How are you marketing your ebook? Do you have it listed on clickbank so you can get affiliates?
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Kelsall
    I'm assuming that is your own product?

    The biggest thing that I can see is that your actual sales copy is not very good....

    Copy is not my strong point either, but maybe you could post what you have there in the copywriters forum a couple sections down from here and let them tear it apart and give you some ideas...
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    • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
      Firstly, many congratulations on writing an ebook and putting up your sales page.

      Now you need to completely re-do it.

      Instead of the current page, I'd put up a simple opt-in page with the main bullet points (benefits) of your book.

      Then I'd ask visitors to opt in to get a free report showing them what they MUST know before buying a new kitchen.

      And explain a bit about who you are and why they should listen to you.

      That way, you'll build a list of prospects to market to. Once you start to get subscribers, test other versions of your opt-in page and get some articles written to drive more traffic.

      Good luck

      I've just put Richard Branson's number on speed-dial. I call it my "Get-Rich-Quick" scheme.

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      • Profile picture of the author Jenni Mac

        I also think you should look at the layout of the site as well as the copy.

        Perhaps make it more obvious that you are an expert in this field and you know what you're talking about.

        Why not have a look at some sales pages to see how the experts do it?
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        • Profile picture of the author Glenn Newsome

          Few suggestions which you can change yourself or have done easily:

          1. Take away all the "buy now" buttons except for the last one.

          2. Change this sentence "You should buy this manual as it could save you a fortune" to this: "You should check out this manual as it could save you a fortune". or even better would be "Owning this manual could save you a fortune".

          3. You should get an ecover done. It will show the folks a picture of the manual on your site. Makes it look like a physical product and has a better perception value. Use a real nice pic on the cover and the title.

          4. If you want the U.S. market -then either do away with the pounds figure and use a dollar sign $, or at the very least add both. I guess we are somewhat prejudiced as we don't even care to try totranslate the currency.

          Those things could greatly improve what you now have, all except the ecover could be done by you.

          Just my 2 cents worth,
          Much success to you

          WSO Addicts Blog

          AKA "webnetincome" before the big name changes!
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  • Profile picture of the author julesbrad
    Thanks for your responses

    Amy - I joined clickbank but have not submitted the eBook as I would like to make some sales first to check that there is actually a market for it

    Jeremy - I agree that my sales copy is not very good - thanks for pointing me to the copywriters forum
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    • Profile picture of the author Scott Ames
      It looks like your eBook is for the UK market only. You may wish to have a version for the US market, at least the sales letter. It should use the $ sign. '

      There are no testimonials about the product. I think you should gather some and put them on the sales page.

      If you own the software bonus, I would think of giving away the eBook and upselling the software. The software has a better percieved value.

      Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. -Winston Churchill

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  • Profile picture of the author Ricter
    Imho, I know nothing about copywriting, but my woman and I are looking at upgrading our kitchen, so I speak as a consumer. Definitely in the copywriting. I saw a 'buy now' button pretty much before I knew what was being offered specifically. You can do this I think, it's a hot market with a lot of competition, but with over 8000 kitchen designs to your credit, you should kick some butt.

    Go to a major home improvement store and look at the books they sell on kitchen design: beautiful glossy covers, great photos, nice diagrams. A buyer of your book should see some of that on your sales page, making your book a real contender.

    - For your import/export/customs questions or problems, send PM.

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  • Profile picture of the author CWSusan
    You need to write content so that the readers can see what you have to offer. When I wrote my blog (I sell 2 eBooks from it) I had pages and pages of content. I heard from some buyers that they spent 1 or 2 hours reading all the posts. I gave away a lot of free information.

    I got their appetites wet and then they bought one or both eBooks.

    The other thing you might want to consider is something like a "free planning report" or "The Three Questions You Need to Answser Before You Start Your Kitchen Design." Give them something for free to get them to click and register, then sell them on your eBook.

    The readers need to perceive value before they buy.

    Finally, there are four questions I have found very valuable when writing copy. Answer the questions before you start to write your content:

    1. What do they want to know?

    2. What do you want them to know?

    3. What do you want them to feel?

    4. What do you want them to do?

    Take the time to write the answers to those questions and then make sure your site provides the elements.

    I hope this helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author Emailrevealer
    You got a lot of really excellent advice from seasoned Warriors up there Jules.

    After you carefully impliment their suggestions you're going to need to build traffic.

    1Article writing
    2 Blogs and blog comments
    3. Social networks, Mysopace, squidoo, hub
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  • Profile picture of the author ahuddy
    I wouldn't put the buy button right away. Make it very easy to find, you don't want people to have to search for it, but don't ask for money before selling them.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jillian Slack
      How about adding a few before/after photos of your clients' kitchens for proof?

      Also, I'd be more likely to buy it if you convinced me that this is easy. It sounds pretty overwhelming to think that I could design my kitchen.
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      • Profile picture of the author marxwarfor
        Originally Posted by Jillian Slack View Post

        How about adding a few before/after photos of your clients' kitchens for proof?

        Also, I'd be more likely to buy it if you convinced me that this is easy. It sounds pretty overwhelming to think that I could design my kitchen.
        Great idea Jillian!!

        Before and after shots!! ...who says it's only for acne and fat stomachs?
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    • Profile picture of the author marxwarfor

      Sorry but I have not sold 'my own' product on line as of yet, so I can't lead you down that road, however I think you've gotten some excellent advice already regarding how to change your copy.

      I do however, have experience in the psychology of colours and how it affects the psyche of a consumer.

      Now it's common knowledge to not go overboard with a 'fancy' template or theme, with a bunch of flash and graphics, as it's the content and value of your site that's important....BUT, since you are promoting a product that has to do with a form of interior design, in my humble opinion, I would spruce up your page just a weeee bit more, to make it look more vibrant and have be it indicative and related to what you're selling.

      I feel the very light and bland powder blue does not really enhance the pix you have and that colour would be more conducive to a medically-related site. Maybe have something that's either nice warm earth-tones, (my personal favorite for what you're trying to sell), or a more striking colour (no, not red or yellow, as red is a very fast colour that will hurry people along and yellow is very hard on the eyes-period, where also, will make people hurry along).

      If you're not an earth-tone type o' guy, then maybe a burgundy background which is considered an 'authority' colour, as it is easy on the eyes, maybe two-tones of olive, or a medium to royal blue - very soothing and still lends an element of authority, anything in the grey/peuter family which is a very popular colour for web-owners also.

      I would still do the earth-tones to warm it up a bit, plus add the ebook graphics like some other people suggested and maybe the whole thing will start to come together as a very eye-pleasing page,......... then with your newly acquired 'how to write copy advice' and you may see a significant change in your click-throughs

      So that's my Martha Stewart epistle for today - best of luck!

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  • Profile picture of the author jackmrk
    I would create a blog and start conversation with people about their needs.
    Think about a contest having visitors fill a survey and get a free
    copy of the ebook.

    Keep asking yourself what else could be done and keep going!

    Holistic Marketing | Relationship Marketing - How to Become your Customer's Most Trusted Adviser And Partner's Best Friend

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  • Profile picture of the author julesbrad
    A VERY big thank you for all of your responses - what a great forum with people willing to freely offer their expertise.

    I am making notes about what needs changing with the site and look forward to spending time implementing the changes. It will take me some time to cover all your advice but everything that has been said has been of great help to me and will be used.

    Thank you
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    • Profile picture of the author Shon Chris
      I agree with the idea that your copy needs to be completely retooled.

      I am in no way a copywriter but even if you started by changing your headline you could give your sales page more pop.....

      For example.....

      How To Design Your Own Dream Kitchen and Become The Envy of Family & Friends.

      How To Design Your Own Dream Kitchen and Instantly Increase The Value Of Your Home.

      Draw your readers in with a powerful headline and then follow through
      with the body copy.

      Just a small suggestion.

      Shon C.

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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Hill
    Originally Posted by julesbrad View Post

    Thanks for your responses
    ... I would like to make some sales first to check that there is actually a market for it

    If I were you I'd stop working on this right away and do some research to find if their is indeed a market for your product. If not then don't be afraid to scrap it. Also, in your research you may in fact find another sub-market and determine it's more profitable, etc...

    Mike Hill
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  • Profile picture of the author kevinw1
    Hi Jules - well done on writing the book! I am in the kitchen design niche myself and I've found that my website visitors love to click on ads but they don't buy much in the way of books, whether eBooks or physical books from Amazon. Although I did have one visitor who followed one of my book links to Amazon and bought a washer and dryer set!

    I looked at your page and I can see you've already made some changes according to the advice above. Some things struck me:

    When I clicked on your "Buy Now" button the page I arrived at expected me to click on another button to "add to cart" and asked me to choose a file format. This was really confusing as:
    • I expected to go straight to a payment page (paypal, clickbank, whatever).
    • The "add to cart" button was on the lower right, where the eye lands last
    • It prompted me to choose a file format when there's only one available anyway
    • there was way too much other stuff on the page - categories, tell-a-friend, write a review, etc
    Unless you really do have more than one product to sell (or plan to add more), a shopping cart is overkill - your Buy Now button should go straight to the payment page. Every intervening step is an opportunity for your customers to drop out. Do you have analytics which tell you what your customers are doing? Are they clicking on the Buy Now button at all? If so, where are they dropping out later in the process?

    Random comments on the sales page itself (and bear in mind I'm no copywriting expert, this is my reactions to the page):

    Pictures are good but they could be bigger and clearer. Using the same pics as the book cover, they are way too small. With 8000 kitchens designed you must have more available! Spread a few more down the page, and use keyword-rich captions and alt text.

    The text is very UK-based, not just the pound sign but the wording (eg kitchen units are referred to in N America as kitchen cabinets or cabinetry). If you want to sell to the US market you need a US sales page. Where are your visitors coming from currently?

    The first sentence is all about you: "I wrote this book after designing over 8,000 kitchens because I wanted to offer my insight and knowledge about kitchen design." That's good stuff but it should be later once you have your visitors attention and they want to know why they should listen to you. At the beginning your visitor still wants to know WIIFM (What's in it for me?).

    Your sidebar with the single category serves no purpose at the moment. Unless you plan to put more stuff in it, better remove it.

    Consider adding the standard website pages that the search engines like and which will improve your quality score and reduce your costs if you decide to do PPC advertising: "About Us", "Contact", "Privacy Policy" etc.

    There should be a price near the Buy Now button so people know what they are letting themselves in for.

    I clicked through the add to cart page and the checkout page and got to the payment page. The login stuff at the top is confusing. The form itself asks for way too much information as compulsory - even if I'm paying by CC and you need the billing address, why do I have to give you my phone number? - and doesn't yet let me specify my payment method so I don't even know if you take Paypal or the particular kind of CC I want to pay with. I stopped at that point.

    Don't be discouraged, you have already got further than most other people who try to make some money online. If/when you have an affiliate program set up, let me know, as I'd be interested. There are few kitchen eBooks out there.

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  • Profile picture of the author DanGTD
    Great tips about improving your sales page.

    But 15 visitors a day is way too low, no matter how good your sales page is.
    You need to start actively promoting your book, don't rely only on searches from engines.
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    • Profile picture of the author Glenn Newsome
      Here is a quick ebook cover I did. You can use this until you get a professional cover done. It is better than none.
      ebook cover here

      Just right click on the image and choose "save picture as"
      WSO Addicts Blog

      AKA "webnetincome" before the big name changes!
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  • Profile picture of the author Terry Hatfield

    You have been given some great advice above. But . . .

    before I implemented any of the sugesstions given I would test the price.

    I found alot of the product that I may try and sell at $47 and see very little to no sales, when I lower the price to say $27 I get really great sales.

    So I would say lower your price down low to see if you are getting any sales.

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  • Profile picture of the author Geshem
    Just my 2 cents here....

    I also think the idea of before and after pics would be great. I've spend the last few weeks browsing pics of apartments for sale, though, and I went to the site expecting to see some truly beautiful kitchens.

    The pics that are there now though seem rather plain and uninspiring. They're dark, blurry, and taken from bad angles. You could probably get some good stock images cheap from some place like istockphoto.com to replace them with. I'm just thinking you need to some images to really inspire the would-be DIY remodeler.

    I really agree with Mike Hill, though. If you're not sure there's a market for exactly this product, you're fighting an uphill battle.

    I used to be a affiliate for a product that targeted essentially the same market (not kitchens, but another home area). As far as my research showed, these people were really looking for ideas for what to do with that area, more than a guide to do it themselves. They had money and wanted to pay the pros to put those ideas in place. So, you might want to emphasize how many photos and floorplans are included in the book.

    Congrats on getting the site up and good luck in the future.
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    • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
      I have some qualifications here because I have designed
      and built kitchens. Also as a marketer I see some problems...
      and as a theoretical customer your site, plain and simple
      sends a mixed message.

      The first thing I see is FREE SOFTWARE. Great. Everybody
      likes free. Then I scroll down and you are hitting me for
      $40 for an ebook.

      Now I've lived in the UK and I know books are costlier
      there than in the USA - but $40 buys an awfully nice
      pair of kitchen design books here in the states... some
      with 100s of glossy pictures.

      What you really need is a USP (Unique Selling Proposition)
      and perhaps a better understanding of WHO looks for
      information about designing his/her own kitchen, WHY
      they want to do it themselves, and WHERE they are in
      the remodeling process.

      Your copy should be addressing the needs of these
      people and furthermore make a compelling presentation
      of reasons for them to BUY your product in addition to
      other books they may own or have from the library.

      Your buyers do not make the decision to buy in a Vacuum.
      Even IKEA, last time I looked, had some sort of fairly
      slick kitchen-layout software for there own products...
      and the IKEA stuff is ugly but the Blum hardware is
      top-notch and it's not such a poor investment for
      the first-time remodeler who doesn't have small children
      or intend to keep the home for a long time.

      WHO looks for a way to design his or her own kitchen
      is the person who:
      -wants to save money
      -is reluctant to get into a sales conversation with a cabinetmaker
      -is a 1st time homeowner, maybe with a young family
      -is remodeling an investment property

      WHY they want to do it:
      -Desire to express themself creatively.
      -Save money
      -Build, install or assemble it themselves.
      -wants to see what can be had within a budget
      -got an estimate from an "interior designer" and has serious sticker

      WHERE the reader/buyer is in the decision making process
      could be at many points along a line from "dreaming about it"
      to being ready to order and put the cabinets in ASAP.

      Your Unique Selling Proposition is to be found by understanding
      these factors and others. It will give the person planning
      a kitchen remodel a strong reason to include your product in
      his or her purchases... along with books, magazines, tools,
      and materials.
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeMondesir
    Originally Posted by julesbrad View Post

    I am a kitchen designer by day and so wrote an eBook about designing your own kitchen (link to site in my sig) as I thought quite a few people would be interested in this as it could save lots of money and help to plan a kitchen which you really wanted rather than the one the salesperson wanted to sell you.
    It's probably been said but we need to research our potential market (keyword research), then build our solution around that research.

    What you "think" (or indeed, what I "think" ) is of no consequece to the buying public in any niche.

    I should add that I'm definitely not speaking as "expert", just someone in a similar boat to you, trying to get the best advice from this forum. This seems to be the key advice to everybody looking to launch a product...or, indeed, market somebody else's product.

    A bit long winded but hope it helps, Mate :-)

    To your future,

    Michael M
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    • Profile picture of the author Bruce NewMedia
      Hi - Here's some graphics issues to consider on your sales page:

      The photos on top are NOT sharp - they're slightly blurred. The Design /floor plans you display are hard to read, and don't look right. (they actually remind me of a bad photcopy)

      Having the "Free Software" blurb on top may not be helping but could be hurting. My first thought was this was more about SOFTWARE than information???

      There's no info about who you are, why should I listen to you, no GUARANTEE, no satisfied customers (why not give some copies away to get testimonials?) ....non-existent bullet-points, photos of finished kitchens are ALSO not clear and sharp.

      AND since you're bonusing FREE SOFTWARE, you ought to say a lot more about the software to build up its value. Agree with others copy itself is weak, so there is a bit of work to do. Hope this helps without sounding too critical. Best regards,
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  • Profile picture of the author julesbrad
    I have had the copy totally re-written as suggested by many on here (helped out here by a Warrior who contacted me - cheers for that)

    There are many other aspects of the page/site which you all advised me on, and which I will be implementing, but I just wanted to let you know that all your advice has been taken on board and I am acting on it.

    Thanks again for the suggestions you all put forward

    Lots to learn here for me - and I'm enjoying it
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  • Profile picture of the author seobro
    Well, what can I say. Some products just don't sell. Case in point I started selling an ebook about headaches and so far have not sold a copy, and yet I have sold millions of dollars of vitamins, diet pills, etc.

    Typically, the problem with ebooks is that people feel they can get free information on the internet and do not want to pay for an ebook.

    In contrast, people feel that they must pay for a physical product.
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    • Profile picture of the author CarlosGarcia
      WOW, you guys have really covered a lot of ground here. There are some
      great tips and advice that have been given, be sure to apply and test your results.

      One part that stuck out at me was this part:

      In fact.....

      Here's a Sneak-Peak at what you'll get & learn...

      - Guidelines and rules
      - Units and appliances
      - Standard layouts
      - Measure and plan
      - Finishing touches

      A good rule of thumb for bullets is this:

      Show them what they can do with what they get

      What are the benefits of the above bullets?
      • How to choose the best appliances of your dreams
      • The 7 finishing touches that will make your kitchen stand out from the rest

      I'm not quite sure what the benefits are from your other bullets,
      so it's hard to re-write.

      You also need a more captivating Attention grabbing headline:

      Kitchen design expert is ready reveal what she's learned in 20 years...

      After Remodeling 8135 Kitchens You're About to Discover the Secrets
      to Designing your Beautiful Kitchen with Class, Elegance, & Style
      While Saving at Least $2450 Guaranteed!

      Of course the above is just an example headline, and it's the first that I came up
      with, but you need more specifics, and clearer benefits not only in your
      headlines, but throughout your copy as well.

      One last thing, if you're charging 9.99 British Pounds, why don't you test
      your price to $17 instead, the conversion is roughly the same.
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