Hello & Welcome to the Easy Auction Business newsletter!
First off, I have to start with apologizing about missing last 2 week’s issues. I already wrote you that I was working on my new eBay Shop – as you can imagine, it was a very busy week for me, hence I didn’t had much time to spare for other things.
However, we’re back on track now so let’s get the party started!
So what’s on the plate today? Today we’ll go through some simple but yet so effective ways to INSTANTLY increase your eBay sales!
Before we move to the actual strategies, I would like to spend some time on explaining the importance of “LTV”. What is LTV? LTV stands for Life Time Value, in the business world – Customer’s Life Time Value. Do you know what the LTV is for your customers?
If you run an online shop and have a decent back-end system in place, you should be able to see the LTV figures for your customers – how many orders they have placed, regularity, total order value and other important indicators.
If you sell on eBay, it’s more complicated because you don’t have access to such raw data. But still, you’ve probably noticed that some customers are making repetitive purchases and you might have an approximate figure in head as to what’s the percentage of returning customers, average order and other important numbers.
If you’re in a “sticky” market, a huge part of your income will come from returning customers, of course – if you know how to “Ask them to come back and buy more!” In general, if the products that you sell are good and buyers are satisfied with the service you provide, they will come back to you for more stuff, no doubt about that! Why would they want to take unnecessary risk by looking for an alternative seller?
You see – the biggest fears that the majority of buyers face when shopping online is to make a mistake. They are afraid that they’ll be scammed; package won’t be delivered or there will be a shipping delay. They are afraid that they won’t receive the exact same item as listed in the auction listing. THESE ARE FACTS! Proven facts, and common sense.
Once the buyer makes the first transaction with you and everything from the point of making the payment till the delivery of the goods goes smoothly, he’s yours!!! Next time all the fear will be gone as the buyer already has good experience with you. So there’s very little effort required from your side to convince him of the safety of the next purchases!
What’s “Sticky Market”?
The “stickier” the market, the better results you’ll get. What is a “sticky market”? No, it has nothing to do with a 2 year old baby 🙂 Here are some examples of “sticky” products & markets:
Ink cartridges – obviously, people who buy ink cartridges need them on a regular basis. In a market like this, LTV of a customer can be very high, even though product is very cheap.
Pet supplies – if you sell dog food for example and you provide great products for great prices along with a great service, you’ll most likely get a lot of repetitive customers.
Blu Rays – movie fans are crazy folks. Especially those who build up their collections, they buy anything from 5 to 20 Blu Rays each month and are great repetitive customers!
And here are some examples of “non-sticky” markets:
LED TVs – once they buy, they’re gone. They won’t be looking for a new TV next month. Sure, you can upsell some cables, wall bracket or a stand during the sales process but overall – you lose them as soon as they receive their goods.
Laptops – again, most likely the customer is simply looking to buy a single laptop and won’t be interested in weekly promotions. Sure, you can use the power of added value by bundling some accessories but that’s it, you won’t be able to sell 2nd, 3rd or 4th laptop to the same person.
Weight Scales – it’s a one time purchase on which is really difficult to build any long term relationship. They want only weight scales, when they get them – the game is over.
So basically a “Sticky Market” is a market where people buy the same or closely related products on a regular basis. There isn’t a definite line between “Sticky” and “Non-Sticky” markets; however, I think you should have a pretty clear idea what I’m talking about. Especially – if you just start off on eBay, it’s a really good idea to find “sticky” market as it will really pay off in a long term.
So how to put this all together? How to kindly ask your customers to come back and buy some more stuff from you? How to make as much money as possible out of each and every customer? There are several things you should keep in mind and today I’ll show you 3 strategies I personally use to dramatically increase the sales numbers across the board.
These are really simple strategies anyone can start implementing in their eBay businesses without any or very little financial outlay. Some of you are already doing it, those who aren’t – ask yourself: “Why I’m Not Doing This?”
As you know, the power of online business is in automation, without automated tasks we would spend hours upon hours every day to process orders, send follow-up e-mails and so on. So why not spend a few hours for setting up everything and put it all on auto pilot?
Strategy Nr.1 – Building Your List & Relationship
This is probably the most important thing you’ll ever learn – you have to build a list of your customers and retain close relationship with them! Once you’ll start doing this you’ll realize how powerful it can be. You don’t have to spend money on looking for new customers because you already OWN them – just send out an e-mail to let them know what’s on offer!
And most importantly – they’re your past customers, so they’ll be more likely to buy something from you than cold, first time visitors. So how this works?
Ebay doesn’t offer any solutions for list building, apart from your eBay Store’s & Favorite Sellers newsletter, which in my opinion is by far too basic tool. But the goods news is that there is a 3rd party service which will capture details for your eBay customers – MailChimp.com
It’s a service mainly used for delivering online newsletters, for instance – my Easy Auction Business newsletter. But very few people are aware of the fact that it can be effectively used in conjunction with eBay!
We won’t go into details now how to set it up, but here’s how it works:
You set up e-mail parser settings in Mail Chimp so that they work with your PayPal e-mail address.
Once the customer pays for an item he will be added to the mailing list in your Mail Chimp account.
In your Mail Chimp account you can set up unlimited follow-up e-mails which are delivered automatically as well as send out broadcast messages whenever you want.
So basically you’ll be able to communicate with all of your past customers with a push of a single button. How’s that sound? The best part is – you’re not limited to eBay alone – you can drive this traffic to your online store or any other selling platform you want!
Just don’t over do with the promotions – no one wants to receive promo e-mails on a daily basis. Depending on the market, there could be anything between 1 and 4 weeks between the mail-outs.
Strategy Nr. 2 – You Have 1 Hour Left
Now you know how to build an e-mail list of you customers. But are there any other ways of “Asking Your Customers” to buy more stuff? Maybe while they’re still hot? Sure there are 🙂
In your eBay account, Seller Hub, you can customise and:
Automatically send a Winning Buyer Notification email to the winning buyer(s) after the item has been sold;
Automatically send a Payment Reminder email after a listing has been closed and the item remains unpaid;
Automatically send Payment Received email when payment has been received;
Automatically send Item Dispatched email when you mark a sold listing as dispatched;
Automatically send a Feedback Reminder email if feedback has not been received.
All those e-mails can be customised, which means – you can write in them anything you want, well, almost anything 🙂 Of course, in some way eBay still live in a Stone Age – for instance, you can’t use HTML in these e-mails which is really a shame!
So most importantly – don’t leave those e-mails as they are by default! C’mon – you are given a chance to expose your company’s details in 5 different e-mails absolutely for FREE!!! Why the hell you want to miss all that exposure? Also make sure to include the link to your eBay Shop in the signatures.
One particularly good strategy I use for some of my eBay Shops: in mail Chimp welcome e-mail & Winning Buyer Notification email include a message like:
Thanks for your purchase! Did you notice? Shipping is FREE for everything in our eBay Store!
You still have 1 hour before your order will be processed & dispatched, don’t you need anything else?
We can include additional items to this order at no cost at all. Why Not Shop Today?”
This works really well in markets where people buy a wide range of products on regular basis, like scrap booking supplies, video games, paper supplies, stickers, candles, hand made soap etc.
So if you have FREE shipping or shipping discounts on multiple items, let your buyers know and many of them will take advantage of savings, if presented properly!
Strategy Nr. 3 – Welcome Aboard, VIP
I simply love this strategy – it’s so powerful in terms of ROI yet so simple and easy to implement. With every order I send out, I include 2 pieces of A4 paper:
Thank You letter (signed)
We all know what an invoice is. But what about the Thank You letter? Here’s a typical layout I use. As you can see, it’s divided in 3 parts:
In top part there’s company details, customer service details and a few lines of a Thank You text. And a real signature – not a printed one!
In the middle part I say that I have already left a positive feedback and if everything is OK with the order, kindly ask for the same in return.
In the lower part – all the action begins! It’s my promo part where I promote my e-commerce store with attached DISCOUNT card.
And please pay your attention – it’s not just a simple piece of paper! This card is made from plastic, embedded with the customer’s first & the last name and an identification number (16 numbers in 4 groups, just like the common credit card). So essentially it looks like a credit card!
Why all the hassle? Can’t we simply include A5 sized flayer in the package? Sure you can and probably you can make some money out of it BUT what I’m talking about here is a super-trooper strategy with response rates of up to 75% in some markets! This means 3 out of 4 customers make a purchase from my e-commerce store!
Why plastic card? To put it simply – people will not throw it away!!! Do you know what happens with more than 95% flayers people receive in the mail? They go straight into the bin! The rest 5% go to the same place after a quick read. It’s just a result of all that spam mail we receive in mail every day. People just don’t want those flayers anymore!!!
With plastic cards it’s totally different – people won’t throw them away as they see them as something valued:
First off, there’s their name on the card, it makes them feel special.
Secondly – there’s a real value as it’s clearly says on the card “10GBP off your first order”, “FREE shipping”, “10% Discount” or any other message you put there.
Not only they won’t throw that card away, most likely they will put it in a purse, pocket or in a drawer – regular exposure to your brand, online shop and business generally. If they do not buy from you on the day one, there’s a huge chance they WILL BUY the next week, or the week after.
Where to get those cards? Your best bet probably would be to look for a local company making ID cards. It costs me just little over 60p for a fully coloured card.
If you’re on a short budget or simply don’t want all the hassle with personalization, you can just order generic cards, without customer names for as little as 30 pence each, just do a search for “plastic cards” or “id cards” on Google.
Alternatively, you could buy a card printer and create cards yourself. But this could be worthwhile only with huge volumes as a good printer will set you back at least for a grand.
OK, that’s it for today! I hope you enjoyed today’s newsletter! Next week – something really special is coming up!
For the first time ever, I’ll personally help my newsletter subscribers to create profitable eBay businesses from scratch in less than 60 days. Starting with the branding, logo creation, finding a niche market, suppliers and ending up with a pro style template! You have never seen anything like this before, so watch out for next week’s newsletter!