Why It Is Easier to Sell To Existing Customers Than To Find New Ones
Finding new customers, marketing to them, and getting them to spend money with you for the first time is a lot of hard work. Getting them to then buy something else from you is MUCH easier. And for good reason.
Before a new person is ready to pull out their wallet and spend their hard-earned money with you, they have to know, like and trust you. To build that kind of trust and show that you are a person that’s likeable and knows what they are talking about, takes time and effort. You have to go out and find these people, get in front of them, share content, get them on a list, and then build that relationship. Eventually you get to a point where they turn into paying customers.
The big mistake most new online marketers make is they stop there and then spend all their time and efforts to find new people. They work hard to convert those new people into paying customers. While that’s great, and certainly something we should do, there is a second part to this process and it’s where most of the money for your business is to be made – the backend.
There are a couple of things that happen when someone turns into a paying customer:
- They know they can trust you
- They know you do good work
- They are comfortable spending money with you
Hopefully your product is exactly what they needed and it’s helping them reach their next goal, or entertaining them. They are then highly likely to buy from you again.
If you’re an avid fiction reader, you’ve probably seen this in action with yourself. If you find an author you love, buying the next book, particularly in the same series, is a no-brainer. You don’t even need to read the synopsis. You buy it and dive in. The same happens with your existing customers.
You also know a lot about a person once they buy a product from you. You know what they bought and what they like or need. Let’s say you create and sell an info product or course about getting your first website up and running. You know your customers are interested in that topic. For your follow up products you come up with courses on things like creating content for your site, setting up an autoresponder, monetizing your website, getting traffic to your site etc. Since you know your customers are interested in website creation, chance are they also want to learn more about those related topics.
Create those products, email your customer list about it and watch the sales come in. Then go out and promote to grow that customer base.
What Are Backend Sales
Let’s talk about backend sales. A backend sale is an additional sale or sales you make after a customer bought the initial product. These sales can happen immediately after the initial purchase is made or over the coming weeks and months.
The hard part is finding those new customers and convincing them to make that first purchase. After that it becomes much easier to sell them again and again. You will have passed that first hurdle of proving to people that you know what you’re talking about and that you create good stuff. Next, it’s simply a matter of sharing other products they may be interested in with them.
You can offer a few different types of products to your customers on the backend. They can be products on similar topics, they can be products that help them reach the next step towards their end goal, they can be products or services that help them do what you teach in your info products, or they can be coaching programs where you help them implement what they’ve learned.
That sounds like a lot of different products you need to create and have ready before you make that first sale, doesn’t it? The good news is that you don’t need to have all the pieces in place from the beginning. It’s something you build over time. Start with that first product and work on your first few customers.
You don’t have to create all of your backend products. You can recommend high-quality products other markers, writers, coaches, etc. have put together, and make money through affiliate programs. If you don’t already have a good product to offer on the backend, go out and find one that you can promote. Grab your affiliate link, and start earning commissions without having to go through any product creation.
If you find that you’re selling a lot of a particular product as an affiliate, or if you’re finding that while the product works well, there is something missing, or you could do a better job, create that product. Once you do, you can replace the affiliate offer, with a promo for your own product.
With each new product or service you create, think about different ways you can cross promote with what you already have to offer. Send out a couple of emails to your list of customers, but also mention related products within your content, on your download pages and throughout the content you share on your blog and social media. Putting a little bit of effort into product planning and backend promotion, can have a huge impact on your overall business profitability.
3 Ways To Make Backend Sales
There are three main ways to make those backend sales…
Promote Inside Your Products
The first way you can start making backend sales is by mentioning and promoting other products within your own products. For example, if you’re writing an eBook on writing Kindle books, you could promote conversion software that takes your word documents and turns them into kindle ready files. If you’re teaching a course on how to start a blog, you may want to promote your favorite hosting company. You could also mention follow up products toward the end of your course where you teach them how to set up a list, or how to come up with a social media strategy.
Promote On Download Pages and Create One Time Offers
Another great place to promote your products and start making backend sales is on your download pages. You can both provide the download information and then follow up with one or a few related offers or you can set up a special one-time offer (OTO).
Here’s how an OTO usually works. A customer buys product a. After the purchase goes through, instead of the download page, they are redirected to a special sales page where you thank them for their purchase and make an offer. It’s basically a slightly modified sales page. Make sure the offer is closely related to what they already bought, and build in some sort of scarcity. Usually this means that they get a discount if they take you up on the offer right now. Toward the end of the sales page, you should also give them the option to decline the offer. Either the person takes the offer and is then redirected to a page to download both products, or they decline and go straight to the download page for the product they already bought. This is a great way to make a backend sale right away and greatly increase the value of each customer.
Send Emails For Related Offers
By far the most effective way to make frequent backend sales is email marketing. Start by promoting each product to your existing customer base each time you launch. Then make it a point to mention older products periodically to your entire list, or even better to everyone that has not yet bought this particular product. Another great strategy is to set up follow up auto-responders for each product. Keep adding more and more email messages to this and promote both your own products, and related offers that you are an affiliate for. Over time you can create a steady and ever-increasing stream of backend sales from the auto-responder emails. Best of all, you do the work once, and you’re done.