How to Setup a Scalable Website Sales System

March 27, 2010 – 11:22 am | by Matt Ackerson

The Way to Paradise

The dream is to start and own a business that runs itself. This is not unrealistic. However, it takes a bit of work and hustle to get there. Here are the first 3 steps you should take on the road to achieving this dream:

(Note: This How-To post assumes that you already have a product or service to sell.)

1) Create linear persuasion paths that end in a purchase request.

The diagram below shows a standard and effective persuasion path template. It is the same one I use on my restaurant marketing website, Blue Sky Local.

persuasion path

2) Know your customer acquisition cost.

In order to establish a baseline acquisition cost, I recommend that you start by using Google Adwords to drive traffic to your site and Google Analytics to then gather quantitative data. Invest some time into researching which keywords are best to bid on. Find competitor websites to yours and research which keywords they are bidding on. KeywordSpy.com may be useful for this.

When it comes to Google Analytics, start by setting up 2 goals. First, set up one to measure the sales funnel, from the time the prospect enter the site to when reach the pricing and sign-up page. In your second goal, measure actual conversions, from the sign-up page to a key landing page that follows a purchase.

sales-funnel-google-analytics

Once you are able to drive at least 2-3 sales conversions through this method, use the following formula to understand how much it will cost you to acquire each new customer:

Customer Acquisition Cost = [ (Number of Clicks on Ad) * (Average Cost-Per-Click) ] / Number of Sales Conversions

3) Ensure that the web product meets customer needs.

Continuously test and optimize the product or service along with the persuasion path. To make smart decisions, analyze website data as well as gathered qualitative feedback from customers on what they like and don’t like.

The latter is very important to ensuring product market fit. Place a contact phone number and contact form on the site where customers can clearly see it and therefore easily reach you with questions (which may indicate usability issues) or feature requests (make sure you understand WHY they want the feature before you implement).

Easier Said than Done

All of this is easier said than done because there is one key assumption here: you need to be selling a product that fulfills a need or solves a problem. If you aren’t doing at least that, then implementing the system above will not bear fruit. In future posts I will talk more about this issue.

What are your thoughts on this?

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