This post was written by the Web Marketing Ninja — a professional online marketer for a major web brand, who’s sharing his tips undercover here at ProBlogger. Curious? So are we!
eBooks are a great monetization channel for your blog. Unlike methods such as advertising and affiliate programs, your own products allow you to keep the lion’s share of the profit. But with this great power comes great responsibility. Unlike other monetization methods, with ebooks, it’s up to you to turn your readers from fans into real customers.
In this post I’ll explain 11 ways you can convince readers that your ebook justifies them pulling out their credit cards.
1. Don’t leave them wondering.
If a reader has to think twice about how to buy your ebook, that’s one time to many. Your readers shouldn’t have any doubts in their minds about how they can order your product. Now this doesn’t mean you should turn your sales page into one gigantic Order button (believe me, I’ve tried), but it does mean you should have clear and identifiable order buttons at the top, middle, and bottom of your page.
2. Give them safety in numbers.
People don’t like missing out, nor are they comfortable with feeling as though their friends, competitors, or colleagues have the jump on them. If 10,000 people have read your ebook and they all love it, make sure you let everyone know. Give your readers safety in numbers, and they’ll give you their credit card numbers!
3. Connect them with advocates.
Anyone can write testimonials, including testimonials that never actually happened — and your readers know that. But what you can do is provide advocates. If there are real people in the real world who love your ebook, ask them if they’d be prepared to openly share that with others who might be interested in the product. A testimonial from someone who includes their social media profiles and encourages readers to get in contact with them is going to pay much better dividends than a testimonial that you made up yourself.
4. Give them a guarantee.
Buying any product requires some sort of leap of faith on the part of your readers. You’re asking them to spend their money on something that, even with the world’s best sales copy, is an unknown. You can reduce the size of that leap by guaranteeing your ebook: “If this doesn’t deliver all that you hoped for, we’ll refund your money – so you’ve got nothing to lose.” The smaller you can make that leap of faith, the more sales you’ll make.
5. Give them a sense of urgency.
Perhaps an unfortunate reality is that we’re often lazy, or easily distracted in our daily lives, so you need to create a sense of urgency to ensure your readers stay the course and complete the entire purchase process. An easy method to achieve this is to threaten a price increase after a certain number of days. If they don’t act now, they’ll pay twice the price.
6. Tell them your story.
Whether yours is a technical book or a novel, readers will value being able to connect with you as the author. If you book involves the completion of a journey that a potential reader is about to embark on, and you can help them avoid all the mistakes you made, they are much more likely to order.
7. Don’t bore them to death.
If your ebook’s sales page contains as many words as your first chapter, you’re going to do nothing but bore them away from your page, and your key sales messages will be lost. Write your sales page as concisely as you can, then strip out 50% of the words — and you’ll just about be there.
8. Make it easy for them.
You’ve only won half the battle once you’ve got your reader to click that Order button. What happens next is perhaps even more important. If you ask them to jump through four more clicks and fill out 20 fields with information, chances are you’re going to lose them. Ask your potential customers only to do the minimum required to make your sale, and get the money in your bank account. If you want extra information, do that after the sale is made.
9. Cater for their preference.
eBooks these days are more than just PDFs. iPads and Kindles have changed the expectations of ebook purchasers. If you can, make sure your product is available in the maximum possible number of formats (ePUB and Mobi). This can be a great point of difference in a competitive ebook market.
10. Know your audience members’ problem and tell them how you’ll solve it.
You probably should have figured this out before you wrote the ebook, but you need to still convey what problem your ebook solves for a reader, and make sure this message dominates your sales copy. Your friends will buy any book you write, but the mass market will buy books that solve their problems.
11. Give them one thing to do on your sales page.
It’s very easy to hedge your bets when it comes to creating a call to action on your sales page. There should be your clear Order button, but you might be tempted to add a Tweet This button, or an alternative product, or even someone else’s ad! Unless you stand to make as much money from someone tweeting your book page, or clicking your ad, as you will through an ebook sale, then ensure your page asks visitors to do one thing and one thing only: buy your ebook.
Selling ten ebooks is easy; selling 10,000 can be a little more challenging. I hope these tips help get you going.
Stay tuned from most posts by the secretive Web Marketing Ninja — a professional online marketer for a major web brand, who’s sharing more of his tips undercover here at ProBlogger over the coming weeks.
Thanks for sharing this info
Is there a guide to writing your first ebook?
How many pages should it be?
My writing skills are pathetic but my ideas work very well.
Excellent article…I’ll be busy tonight tweaking my sales and purchase pages. My ebook is on Smashwords (BTW Brad, Smashwords provides a superb writing guide for an ebook) and I’ll be going in to re-write my book description. I like your advice on testimonials…I don’t trust them because I’ve known so many authors who write them for their own books…very bad practice and seems unethical and cheezy.
My ebook is titled Bumper Crop: Beginning with Apples, which is available at http://tinyurl.com/36yjzhh and free through November by using coupon code HR27P. My “new” book description is going to tell everyone how Bumper Crop can help them cook-up the new crop of apples in 31 wonderful different ways.
Great post – concise and to the point. :)
I’m in the process of launching my first eBook (I have it already in PDF format). I’ll be writing up the sales letter this week, so this post was definitely helpful.
I especially like your idea to give a guarantee. I hadn’t thought about doing that before, strangely enough, but it’s definitely something I’m going to do now that you’ve brought it to my attention.
Thanks so much, I timely post, as need to revamp sales page, had only a few points but will incorporate all.
Will let you know results!