Opinion: how long is too long without a sale? When should you cut your losses?

19 replies
Marketers, curious as to how long you would leave a product up for sale if it is not moving. How many days/weeks/months before you just delete it and try something else?

Opinions/thoughts, please.

Thanks!
#change #cut #long #losses #opinion #pivot #sale #sales
  • Profile picture of the author danieldesai
    Originally Posted by CircuitScream View Post

    Marketers, curious as to how long you would leave a product up for sale if it is not moving. How many days/weeks/months before you just delete it and try something else?
    It's not about how long you leave a product up, it's about how much targeted traffic you're receiving that doesn't convert.

    Depending on the market/niche, you can expect certain conversion rates at certain price points.

    Once you know this, you can figure out whether your lack of sales conversions is simply due to not sending enough targeted traffic or something else like your sales copy.

    In the case of not making a single sale at all, there are 3 main possibilities:

    1. The traffic isn't targeted (you can always work on this).

    2. Your sales page is crappy (which can be fixed).

    3. Your product isn't based on an actual demand for it (which means you should scrap that whole project).

    If the reason you aren't seeing results is the third one, then you haven't done your job as a marketer and a businessman to provide something that people actually want.

    If it's the first 2 reasons, you need to tweak and test accordingly.

    Daniel
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris-
    I learned something about this, some years ago, thanks to some free help from a member here on WF.

    I'd bought an IM course which was based around selling an Ebook using video marketing (free give-away videos to get list sign-up, auto-response of more free videos, with links to the product). I did what the course said, and was even used as an example of how to do it right, by the course-creator, on a forum that had 88 people on it who'd bought the course.

    After a few months, I'd got zero sales, and none of the 88 people on the course-forum had mentioned getting a single sale. I left the site up for about 3 years, and did eventually get one single sale, but that meant I'd made a loss, considering the cost of the course and domains etc.

    Then I saw a post here about how a writer was making so much more money by selling Ebooks than by writing for direct payment, and I asked her how she did it. Following her suggestions, I put the same Ebook I'd written for the course above, on JVZoo, and in about 4 years, I've made over $700 profit (and the profit continues year after year). Which is a BIG difference from making a loss.

    I don't consider it a negative that I bought that course. I learned several things from it, including what not to do (such as paying for 400 RSS submissions, as we were told by the course-creator, which resulted in 75% LESS traffic for me, and similar decreases for others), and that was definitely worth more to me than the small amount of money I initially lost.

    So, as the first reply above says, if what you are doing, see if you can find out why, and change something. It might be traffic (or it might not . . . I got decent traffic to my original site for the Ebook, but zero sales in the first 2 years), or some other factor.

    You could ask specific questions here, such as how many sales you should expect for your traffic, so if you aren't getting those results then it might be your sales-copy or the quality of the traffic or something else. When you've got some idea of the numbers, then you can estimate how long is "too long", and also test various parts of your system (traffic numbers, traffic quality, sales-copy, product popularity etc.) and find ways to improve.

    Chris
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    • Profile picture of the author LHMarketing
      Originally Posted by Chris- View Post

      I learned something about this, some years ago, thanks to some free help from a member here on WF.

      I'd bought an IM course which was based around selling an Ebook using video marketing (free give-away videos to get list sign-up, auto-response of more free videos, with links to the product). I did what the course said, and was even used as an example of how to do it right, by the course-creator, on a forum that had 88 people on it who'd bought the course.

      After a few months, I'd got zero sales, and none of the 88 people on the course-forum had mentioned getting a single sale. I left the site up for about 3 years, and did eventually get one single sale, but that meant I'd made a loss, considering the cost of the course and domains etc.

      Then I saw a post here about how a writer was making so much more money by selling Ebooks than by writing for direct payment, and I asked her how she did it. Following her suggestions, I put the same Ebook I'd written for the course above, on JVZoo, and in about 4 years, I've made over $700 profit (and the profit continues year after year). Which is a BIG difference from making a loss.

      I don't consider it a negative that I bought that course. I learned several things from it, including what not to do (such as paying for 400 RSS submissions, as we were told by the course-creator, which resulted in 75% LESS traffic for me, and similar decreases for others), and that was definitely worth more to me than the small amount of money I initially lost.

      So, as the first reply above says, if what you are doing, see if you can find out why, and change something. It might be traffic (or it might not . . . I got decent traffic to my original site for the Ebook, but zero sales in the first 2 years), or some other factor.

      You could ask specific questions here, such as how many sales you should expect for your traffic, so if you aren't getting those results then it might be your sales-copy or the quality of the traffic or something else. When you've got some idea of the numbers, then you can estimate how long is "too long", and also test various parts of your system (traffic numbers, traffic quality, sales-copy, product popularity etc.) and find ways to improve.

      Chris
      Lotos of great info there chris (Y)
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  • Profile picture of the author CircuitScream
    Daniel,
    Thank you for your response. My gut feeling is it's #3, but honestly I have absolutely NO data or analytics to go on.

    FYI, the product in question is music. I'm a musician, (formerly pro).

    My genre is not mainstream (it's instrumental guitar music, similar to the guitarist Joe Satriani), and it is a challenge making sales. In fact, I have not even been able to give away a download in 2 years - even without requiring sign up or an email address.

    So my assumption is a change in direction is needed, but I get no interaction on my social media channels (other than maybe a handful of likes on a photo or something) but no real feedback - good or bad - about the music/content.

    The artist in me says this is a tricky thing - our art is part of who we are, and it's not always as simple as "changing direction". But the businessman / logical part of my brain says "what the hell are you waiting for? Scrap this already and move on!".

    Thanks for the feedback. Good points to consider and it certainly helps simplify things by narrowing it down to 3 possibilities.

    -Donnie
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    • Profile picture of the author danieldesai
      Originally Posted by CircuitScream View Post

      FYI, the product in question is music. I'm a musician, (formerly pro).

      My genre is not mainstream (it's instrumental guitar music, similar to the guitarist Joe Satriani), and it is a challenge making sales.
      Ahh, art forms are often tricky to monetize, especially when they're not mainstream.

      See, there's an audience out there (although a relatively small one, in your case) for pretty much every type of music.

      The problem is that it's becomingly increasingly difficult to sell music online to fans due to all the piracy.

      If you aren't interested in playing more live gigs, another option is to find companies online (or anywhere else, really) who need to buy music for their promo videos and the like.

      There's definitely a market for non-vocal music, and one of my favorite examples is the work of Gustavo Santaolalla.

      I'm sure he was paid well for his work on "The Last of Us":



      Hey, I don't know if you'll be the next Gustavo but it's worth a shot...

      After all, you'll be playing and writing music anyway.

      Daniel
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  • Profile picture of the author CircuitScream
    Thanks Chris, I've recently seen JVZoo mentioned a lot, and have thought about trying it for some non-music projects I'm working on.

    Did you use paid traffic at all? Or just promo on forums and such?
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    Donnie Maynard Christianson
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris-
    My Ebook on JVzoo, I only put it for sale there, I've not done anything at all in terms of sending traffic there. Most of the sales are from affiliates, and a few are people buying direct from JVZoo. It's easy and free to put an Ebook for sale there.

    For music, I happen to be a professional musician/composer/producer. I enjoy creating whatever music I want to create that day, and uploading it to library-music sites (I tried selling my albums on my own sites, but sold almost nothing in several years). I've got about 750 tracks available currently, and make just over a dollar per year per track. The best self-service site I know of for music is Pond5, where the majority of my sales are, but I also make occasional sales on 123RF, ProductionTrax and TuneSociety, plus a few of the sites you have to apply to, have also taken my music, but don't sell much. (PM me if you want any more details on any of that).

    Hope that helps

    Chris
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisBa
    Originally Posted by CircuitScream View Post

    Marketers, curious as to how long you would leave a product up for sale if it is not moving. How many days/weeks/months before you just delete it and try something else?

    Opinions/thoughts, please.

    Thanks!
    There are far too many variables that aren't answered, can you share more details on your situation?
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  • Profile picture of the author bjohny365
    I'd have to agree with Danieldesai, it's not really about how long you leave a product up so long as you're sending massive sells will roll in.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    So my assumption is a change in direction is needed, but I get no interaction on my social media channels (other than maybe a handful of likes on a photo or something) but no real feedback - good or bad - about the music/content.
    Do you have a YT channel?

    The music business is tough online. YT and FB are going to be where you find your following.

    I suggest you make tutorials for all the current, hot songs regardless of genre. If you're good, this should not be a problem. Target just released songs. It would be best if the "official" video isn't up yet, but anything new and popular. Be sure to tag your videos well and write a KW rich description.

    Put a link to your blog where you talk about (and recommend) current, trending music and related products. You could promote merchandise, tickets, etc. Get people to subscribe to your blog, not your YT channel.

    You could do a lot if you can grow a following.

    Music Guru.

    I want credit!
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  • Profile picture of the author Sky8
    maybe you could try something a little different? how about something like this: "Learn to Play Guitar in 7 lessons " or something like that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sky8
    what i mean is that you could make money by teaching / video tutorials and if they want further coaching you could do it by Skype
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    • Profile picture of the author CircuitScream
      Hey guys, ok I finally have some downtime. Fair warning, this is probably a LOT more info than you want...

      I'll start with a bit of background for ChrisBa - I'm a former pro musician, now working as a web developer. The salary and perks are killer but I hate corporate America.

      I want to get back to music full-time, and from home. I know it can be done because I did it before (first as a guitarist in a rock band in the 90's, then later doing video game sound design full-time in the early 2000's). Sometimes I wonder if because of that I'm way overconfident that I can do it again, I dunno.

      I unfortunately did NOT put much time or effort over the years building a list, and so I'm making that my number one priority this year.

      Brent, I do have a YT channel and have done some studio blogs, total about 23 videos starting in 2012, but the videos never got much engagement - maybe 5 or 6 views each in all those years. I deleted all the videos from my channel yesterday, and am looking to start with a clean slate.

      I have thought about covering a few songs, but they are all metal not pop. Stuff like Nightwish / Symphonic Metal genre (I sing in that style). Tutorials themselves would be great - in fact I did plan to film a bunch of content this summer in my studio showing how I get certain sounds, or the process I use when recording.

      Sky8, I used to teach guitar professionally, and have wanted to go back to it. At the moment I don't feel my chops are where they need to be - but I'm working my way back to doing that, I have started carving out practice time twice a week and hoping to ramp up and maybe teach starting this autumn.

      Chris, I am looking into stock audio sites again - I used to do a LOT of that years ago. Unfortunately I was never credited in many of the productions even when the license required it, and I learned the hard way not to "ghost" produce a track: I had some stuff in major tv shows and films that way, but someone else got the credit and the royalties. I can't even mention it on my resume. No use crying over it, but I know better now.

      However, that doesn't sour me on stock audio - I just need to find the right sites and do it the right way.

      The challenge I'm running into at the moment is a lot of the sites don't allow those of us who are members of PROs like BMI/ASCAP etc to join (Audio Jungle & iStock, for instance). I could probably do quite well on that type of site if I could find the right one(s) to work.

      Thanks for all your replies guys. Typing this up actually helped crystallize a lot of the strategies I need to work on, and it helped me put into words the frustrations and challenges I'm facing so I can do something about it. Now it's time for me to get to work and make stuff happen!

      -Donnie
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      Donnie Maynard Christianson
      http://www.donnie.io

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  • Profile picture of the author CircuitScream
    Hey guys, thanks for the replies and suggestions - I will reply more in detail when I've got a little downtime this afternoon (at work right now).
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    Donnie Maynard Christianson
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  • Profile picture of the author n3o
    sometimes angles is very important too ...
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    • Profile picture of the author celente
      Originally Posted by n3o View Post

      sometimes angles is very important too ...
      if you are on BING and using payperclick and not using angles, you are throwing away good money, after bad.

      I think as a marketer, there is a point when you must give in, and say....CHIT this isnt just working!! however, you must test alot first.

      Too many times, I have seen newbies give up and go back to a 9 to 5 job, and they have not even started to test.

      Most of my campaigns I create, are failures 7 out of 10 times, but you get that a few that are good, and you can expunge, tweak and change till you get what you are after.

      but if you stick to the ever green niches like ...health, wealth, relationship, diets they all work, and they all can make you large profits, it just comes down to testing, and choosing your audience successfully. That takes brains and brawn, and 95% of people do not have the right personality to succeed and do this properly.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    Brent, I do have a YT channel and have done some studio blogs, total about 23 videos starting in 2012, but the videos never got much engagement - maybe 5 or 6 views each in all those years. I deleted all the videos from my channel yesterday, and am looking to start with a clean slate.
    No one was searching for the content.

    I have thought about covering a few songs, but they are all metal not pop. Stuff like Nightwish / Symphonic Metal genre (I sing in that style). Tutorials themselves would be great - in fact I did plan to film a bunch of content this summer in my studio showing how I get certain sounds, or the process I use when recording.
    What I mean is using the tutorials strictly to generate traffic on YT. What you do with people after you get them to subscribe to your list can be what ever works for you.

    What I'm talking about is quick " here's the chords - here's the progression - strumming pattern - Ok lets go." Nothing fancy required. We are talking about tennie boppers and every garage band wanna-bee in the world who wants to be cool by knowing the current hip songs.

    When the new (I don't know any pop stars) song drops there will be tons of people searching for tutorials. You use the tutorials to draw them to you and your mailing list. Put something in the description or a caption that will entice them to subscribe.

    It's very important to get them on your list, not your YT channel. You want complete control of your subscriber data and YT channels sometimes get nuked. You don't want your hard-earned list getting nuked with it. You also have numerous benefits with a good AR.

    So, even if you have to grit your teeth to do it, record a tutorial for a pop song or two and see if you get some action.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris-
    Re: music library sites.

    I love the "self-service" ones, where ALL you have to do is upload your tracks (and details, keywords, etc.) and people buy them and you get money. Pond5 (the best self-service one I know of), does have a curator process, but they've approved almost everything I've uploaded.

    I started by creating loads of tracks just by re-editing and re-mixing old tracks I'd done for various reasons but which had not been sold.

    I even tried to start a composers-collective, where we'd send each other our tracks, as it would be so much faster to re-mix and re-edit someone else's tracks than create new ones from scratch (so we'd all make a lot more money), but the other guys never got around to doing anything.

    As you probably know, the great thing about library music is that it's a residual (you do the work once, and get paid forever), plus, the way I do it, I create whatever I want to create that day, rather than having to try to figure out what someone else wants

    Chris
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  • Profile picture of the author Gallag97
    maybe a few months, everything going by trend nowadays so there could be a stupious breakthrough.
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