So, you set up a website and upload all your products and write SEO-awesome product descriptions.
You post the link to your website on BetaList, ProductHunt, and Reddit.
You write a private post on your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.
You even write personally to all your closest friends and your mom!
You are intensely following Google Analytics Real-Time to avoid missing any action.
The traffic is slowly but steadily ramping up.
“This looks promising! Somebody added something to the cart, Awesome!” You think to yourself.
One buys something, you write to thank the buyer:
“Thank you, Mom, for that first buy <3”.
After an intense day, your traffic has been like you could have never imagined.
But only five people bought something, WHAAAT!!!.
This is, unfortunately, the story of many first-time webshop founders, maybe even you. But don’t give up!
#1 Don’t expect the truth from the initial traffic
When your first traffic has added some stats to your Google Analytics account and your Facebook audience, don’t expect it to reflect your actual potential market.
First of all your initial traffic will be mostly biased by friends, family and curious innovators (ProductHunt’ers such as myself <3)
Second of all, you don’t have nearly enough data to make a statistically significant conclusion based upon a few days traffic.
Therefore you shouldn’t base the audiences of your Facebooks ads and so on by this initial data, wait until you get consistent data.
What you should do instead of staring at Google Analytics is focus on gathering qualitative data.
One way is to participate in the discussion about your product on ProductHunt and do an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session, people love that behind-the-scenes stuff.
#2 Learn as much as you can from the first visitors
This suggestion adds on top of #1.
To gather a lot of qualitative data, you should engage with as many of the first visitors as possible.
Install a chat widget on your site, if you have access to the code.
- You can use Crisp for free.
- If you have some extra bucks, use Intercom it is awesome.
- Don’t want a separate service? Link to Facebook messenger for your page.
(exchange kim.doefler with your page’s username and leave out the quotes.)
Ask them as many questions you feel they are comfortable with:
- How did you find us?
- How do you solve your problem today?
- Do you need any help setting our product up?
- Do you know anyone else who has a similar problem as you?
#3 Don’t be afraid to give away something for free
Not everyone is ready to buy something the first time they go to a website.
They need several exposes to a thing before they feel confident and trust your website.
To accommodate that you could start by building a relationship with your audience.
You could make an email course, a free ebook, a zip file of some digital assets, write a guidebook, or something else that gives value to your exact audience.
How do you find out what to give to them? You learn by listening to them and asking them a lot of relevant questions in those chats.
In return for the free goodie you ask for their email address so you can send them other goodies or updates.
If they give you their email, this is a major sign of trust.
Use the thank you page to follow up on that by offering them a discount.
Here is a great explanation on how to make a thank you page count:
4 Steps to update your boring Thank You Page into your highest converting page
#4 Optimize your landing page Call to Action
Your landing pages are in most cases the first encounter your potential customer will have with your business.
Don’t let this opportunity go by flooding your landing page with a million different pieces of information and CTA or even worse no CTA.
It is very important that it is easy for the visitor who arrives at the landing page to figure out what is the next step.
If there are too many options, she will suffer from Paradox of Choice, which is painful.
If there are no options, he will feel like “hmmmm, was this it? What now? What am I supposed to do?”
Pick one important action, you want the visitor to do and then make that very clear (by color, size, placement etc.)
Follow this list of UI basics for a clean high-converting design:
#5 Follow up, Follow up, Follow up some more
When someone buys they show significant trust in your company, your product, and even you.
It is 10 times cheaper to sell to an existing customer.
So after someone buys something from you, follow up.
Ask the customer if you can assist her with anything.
After a while, follow up again and ask if she feels, she gets the full value out of the product.
If she seems to be happy ask for a referral, maybe she knows somebody else who might get value from your product.
And while you are at it, you might as well offer a 10% discount on her next buy as a thank you.
Don’t forget to make the discount time-limited.
It helps a lot to build an urgency around discounts.
There you go, I hope you use some of these suggestions in your venture.
Listen to your customers and make something awesome for them.
Photo by: Tim Gouw