Make Money With a Backend Product
- 1 What the Heck is a Backend Product?
- 2 Backend Products: An Easy Definition
- 3 Frontend, Up-sell, and Backend Products:
- 4 Do I Really Need a Backend Product?
- 5 Save Money – Resell Your Customers
- 6 Keep Them Happy and They’ll Come Back for More
- 7 The Money’s in the Backend
- 8 What Should My Backend Product Be?
- 9 Know Your Customers: Create a Database
- 10 Ask Them What They Want: Using Surveys to Determine Your Product
- 11 5 Simple Rules for Survey Etiquette
- 12 Step-By-Step Instructions for Choosing Your Backend Product
- 13 How Can I Get People to Buy My Backend Product?
- 14 A Thank You With a Twist: Promoting at the Right Time
- 15 Thanking Customers Post-Sale
- 16 Thank You Emails
- 17 Give Them a Gift: Using Free Samples to Garner Sales
- 18 Keep In Touch: User Updates and Newsletters
- 19 Smart Shoppers Love to Save: Offer Discounts and Sales
- 20 Can Affiliate Marketing Work With Backend Sales?
- 21 How Much is Enough: Determine a Payment Schedule
- 22 If They Can’t Find It, They Can’t Join It
- 23 Can I Sell My Backend Products Through Email?
- 24 Keep It Simple and Interesting
- 25 Can The Spam!
- 26 How Can I Boost My Backend Profits?
- 27 Important Points You Must Take Away to Succeed with Backend Products
Imagine having a fantastic product and it sells like hotcakes for a couple of months. But, when it seems that everyone and their brother has bought one, your sales start to taper off and suddenly your income takes a nose dive.
How are you going to afford the family vacation when you can’t even afford to pay your bills?!
Here’s your problem……you’ve got one product and one product only. Once your customers have bought a copy, why the heck would they ever want to give you more of their hard-earned money?
Lucky for you, there’s a solution to your problem that could have you phoning your travel agent and booking a room in your favorite resort in no time. What’s the solution, you ask?
Just what is it and what does it have to do my business? And, oh yeah, where can I get one of these money-makers?
Relax. Sit back. And, for goodness’ sake, don’t stop reading this post! I’m about to tell you everything you need to know about backend products.
You will learn:
- What a backend product is.
- Why you need a backend product.
- How to create a backend product or sell someone else’s.
- How to market a backend product.
- How to keep your customers coming back for more… and filling your bank account when they do!
What the Heck is a Backend Product?
I’m glad you asked! Simply put, a backend product is the one you use to resell your customers. Or to put it another way, backend products really are the ones that your customers will come back for time and again. That means they’ll spend more money and your income won’t take a dismal leap off a cliff. When you use backend products wisely, your income will smoothly soar and your bank account will keep growing.
Unfortunately, a lot of business owners forget or never realize how much they need their existing customers to come back and buy more products from them. Instead, they get stuck in the rut of constantly looking for new customers. Meanwhile, their existing customers wander off to spend their money elsewhere. These business owners never fully get just how much they need the backend marketing concept!
Your backend products and backend marketing strategy are really the make-or-break parts of your business!
I’ll say that again-your backend products (or lack of them!) will determine whether or not your business succeeds and offers you the lifestyle you want or fails miserably and has you searching for a different line of work.
Backend Products: An Easy Definition
Okay, let me back up a second so I can tell you exactly what a backend product is. A backend product is related in some way to your initial product and it’s the one that your customers come back to purchase after that first sale. Backend products could really be products or services, but for the purposes of this book, we’ll keep referring to them as products-just keep in mind that if your business is service based, you need some backend services, too!
A backend product might be something you’ve created yourself, or products someone else has created and granted you permission to sell. Usually some time passes between the original sale and the sale of your backend product.
Just so you’re not confused by some of the lingo used in marketing, let me reiterate that a backend product is used to resell existing customers. They’re very different from up-sell products. Up-sell products are the ones you convince your customers to add to their original purchase. For example, if you sell a diet program, your up-sell products might be vitamins you encourage your customers to buy with the program to achieve greater success.
Hey, as long as we’ve got an example going here, let’s keep rolling with it to explain backend products just a little more clearly!
Frontend, Up-sell, and Backend Products:
An Even Easier Example
Lat’s say you have a fantastic diet program that will revolutionize the way your customers look at food, healthy living, and weight loss. You charge $50 for the program guide. Your customers click the button on your website to buy the program guide and complete their sales information. The program guide is your initial or frontend product. As they’re checking out, you invite them to also buy vitamins to help them meet their diet goals. You charge $30 for a bottle of vitamins. Those vitamins are your up-sell products. Your total sale is $80.
Now, if this is where the extent of your business venture ends, you’ve grossed $80. Don’t forget that you have to subtract your costs from that $80, so it’s not an easy $80 in your pocket- it a bit less than that! Well, that’s not a bad profit in the end, but since your customer already has the guide, there’s not much reason to come back and make another purchase, is there? So, $80 is all you’ll ever make off that customer.
Still with me? Good, because this is where we get to those backend products that are going to bring you lots of money for years to come!
A short while after your customer purchases the program guide, your autoresponder is set up to automatically send a follow-up email to the customer.
The email thanks them again for purchasing the program guide and wishes them the best of luck on their healthy lifestyle. It might also offer them some free tips.
In addition, you tell your customer all about this other great product they can purchase from you that will make their diet even easier and more successful – an exercise guide and DVD! And, since they’re an existing customer whose business you value, if they order the exercise guide and DVD in the next seven days, you’ll give them a 10 percent discount!
Guess what? You just got yourself your first backend product – the exercise guide and DVD.
And, in a few weeks, you can contact the customer again and ask if they’ll need some more of those vitamins they purchased as an up-sell product, which makes those vitamins a backend product, too!
On top of that, you’ve got exercise equipment, other supplements, recipe books, and anything else you can think of that might be related to your initial product.
…and the money just keeps rolling in!
Your main product and the one you market to your new customers.
The product you encourage customers to buy along with the frontend product.
The product you offer your existing customers a while after they’ve purchased the frontend product.
Do I Really Need a Backend Product?
Wait a minute! If you don’t know if you really need a backend product, go back and read the example in the last chapter again. Still need convincing? Alright, I can do that. By the end of this chapter, you’ll be itching to get your new backend product out there for your customers to buy, buy, buy! (But keep reading; you don’t want to miss the important information about how to market your backend products for maximum profits.)
Using the backend concept can bring you almost unlimited products for many reasons. Those reasons are:
- It costs money to gain new clients, but it costs you nothing to keep the one’s you’ve got.
- You’ll earn money for building good relationships.
- Backend products can make money even when frontend products don’t.
Save Money – Resell Your Customers
We all know how important it is to build a customer base and to keep it growing, but have you ever stopped and considered how lucrative your existing customer base can be? Ah, now that’s where the real money is!
Think about how much time, money, and effort you spend bringing in new customers. You slave over your marketing strategy and ad campaign for hours, or you pay professionals big bucks to do it for you. Then you have to pay for the advertising space. Ouch! You just put out a huge bundle of cash to bring in Bob, your new customer. I sure hope Bob spends a lot of money on your products!
Now, while you’re courting Bob’s business, Sally has been waiting quietly in the background. Sally loved that diet program she bought from you. She thought your website was nice and the sales process was easy. She was pretty impressed by how quickly her package arrived in the mail and by how you took the time to wrap it nicely and ensure everything reached her undamaged. Overall, she thinks you’re pretty darn great. Sally doesn’t need you to spend anymore money convincing her to buy from your company; she’d be happy to buy from you again… if only you had another product to sell her.
You see, Sally is one of your existing customers and you’ve already built a good relationship with her. Your initial sale, good product, and great service have built a foundation of good faith, so if Sally needs another product related to that diet program she bought from you, she’ll look to you first. She knows she’ll like what she gets, it’ll be easy for her to purchase, and her products will reach her in a proper and timely manner.
There are an awful lot of people like Sally out there! In fact, according to research conducted by Fortune magazine, it’s much easier to sell a product to an old, or existing customer than it is to sell a product to someone who’s never bought anything from you before. Why? Well, think about how you feel when you buy your very first item from a company you’ve never done business before. You are apprehensive and probably ask yourself:
- Will I like the product?
- Will I even get the product?
- Is my credit card information safe?
- Will it take forever and a day for my product to arrive?
- When I get the product, will it be damaged?
But, when you’ve purchased products from a company before and the experience was a good one, all of that apprehension is gone. You trust the company and you’re more likely to buy what you need from them rather than from some other company you have no experience with.
Keep Them Happy and They’ll Come Back for More
You’re a good business person and you value the opinion of your customers. You want them to like you, your product, and the service they’ve received. A person who’s happy with your product and your service will tell other people about it. And, they’ll come back to buy more.
On the other hand, if your customers aren’t happy, they’ll not only never return to give you more of their hard earned cash – they will tell twice as many people how bad your company is, as they would tell if they were pleased. Now there’s a situation you want to avoid!
Simply put, when your customers are happy, they’ll want to buy your backend products. In fact, it’ll be so easy to sell those backend products that they’ll practically sell themselves.
So, you see, when you employ a backend strategy, you’re cashing in on all those good relationships you’ve already built. You’re earning money for being a good businessperson, and that’s something you’re already doing!
The Money’s in the Backend
There are so many Internet marketers out there who are trying to strike gold by offering just one product. While they might make some money for a time, the really rich Internet marketers know that they’ll never meet their true earning potential without a line of related backend products.
Let’s say you come up with a truly remarkable product – a real miracle that’ll bring in tons of money the minute you put it on the market. That’s great, but remember, instant money lasts for just that, an instant. Eventually your sales will run out and so will the money.
You could keep beating that dead horse month after month after month, but it’ll get you nowhere and you won’t be assured of any additional profit.
However, if you’re on your way to being one of those rich Internet marketers, you’ve got a backend strategy in place. You’re ready to offer all the people who bought your frontend “miracle” product a chance to buy a related product. Remember all those products that could go along with the diet program in our example?
- Recipe books
- Exercise DVDs
- Exercise equipment
- … the list only ends when your creativity runs out!
Even if only a fraction of your customers come back for more, your bank balance will take a nice, healthy leap. In fact, if just 30% of your existing customers return for a backend product, you could as much as triple your profits!
Ready for another example?
Let’s say you sell your diet program for $97 and the cost to produce it is $30. You place an advertisement that costs you $600. The advertisement draws in 10 new customers.
Those 10 customers each bought the program for $97 apiece, so that’s $97 X 10 for $970. Now, we have to subtract your costs to get the gross profit, so that’s $30 X 10, which is $300. $970 – $300 = $670, which is your gross profit.
$670. That doesn’t sound so bad. Unfortunately, that’s not your net profit. You still have to subtract the $600 you spent on advertising. Now you’re down to a net profit of just $70. At that rate, you’re not going to get rich on your frontend product!
But, you’re one of those smart Internet marketers and you’ve got your backend strategy all in place. 30 percent of your customers return to purchase backend products for $250 apiece. Hmmm…that’s $250 X 3 customers. Wow! You just made $750 without having to spend another dime!
That’s the power of backend products.
What Should My Backend Product Be?
You spent months, maybe even years, coming up with a product that you really believe in and care about. You may have even had some product failures, and I know how heartbreaking that can be. But, now, after so much time, effort, and money you’ve got it – the perfect front end product. It’s one you’d buy if you were a customer, so you know your customers will love it. Now, quite frankly, you’re exhausted and ready to just sell your front end product and watch the money roll in.
Can’t say I blame you there! So why am I asking- no, begging you to do some more work? Because your success depends on it!
Remember, without a backend product, you’ll make only a one-time profit off of each customer. That means that your customer spends money with you just once in his entire life and all you ever make off of him is that initial-and singular-profit of $47.
However, when you have a backend product, you might make $10 a month (or more!) off of that one customer for years. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather have $120 than $47!
The good news here is that your backend product probably won’t be as hard to come up with as your front end product was. For one thing, you’ve already found your niche, be it diet products, information, software, or specialty soaps. And, you’ve got some customers who can help you figure out what else they’d be likely to buy from you. Trust me – this will be much easier than you may think.
Here are a few simple rules to follow when thinking about what your backend product should be:
- Your backend product must be related to your frontend product.
Let’s face it, if you sell diet products, your customers aren’t likely to be interested in buying pet grooming products from you. Stick to health-related products and information instead.
- Your backend product has to match the quality of your frontend product.
Remember that your goal is to keep your customers coming back for more and to keep them spending money with you. If the backend product they receive from you falls apart in a day or isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on, your customers are going to move on to someone with more to offer.
- Don’t think in terms of products only – consider information and services.
Even if your frontend item is a tangible product, like golf clubs, you’re not limited to tangibles only for your backend product.
- You might develop: (for example):
(i) a manual for improving your swing,
(ii) an online golfer’s community with a small monthly access fee,
(iii) a subscription ezine packed with golf tips and other golf-related information.Conversely, if your frontend sale is informational in nature, feel free to use tangibles as your backend product. Let’s say your frontend product is a golf manual. Your backend product might be golf balls, clubs, shoes, etc.
- Love your product.
If you aren’t enthusiastic about your backend product, don’t expect your customers to be. When you sell a product you are passionate about, your excitement will shine through. Your enthusiasm will be contagious and your customers will be itching to buy what you have to offer. On the other hand, when you’re hawking something you’re not thrilled about just to turn a fast buck, your customers will quickly see right through your sales pitch.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking now, “With so many possibilities out there, how will I know what my customers will actually buy?” The answer here is so easy that you’ll be smacking your forehead and saying, “DUH!” when I tell you. Ready?
That’s right; just ask your customers what else they’d be interested in buying. Some simple ways to do that include:
- Maintaining customer information in a database.
- Survey your customers.
Know Your Customers: Create a Database
I’m constantly surprised that there are still online businesses out there that don’t keep a database of their customer’s information. One of the greatest things about today’s technology is that knowing your customer is so much simpler than ever before.
Think about it, you’re already collecting some basic information like your customer’s name, email address and their home address, particularly if you’re selling tangible products.
With contact information like that at your fingertips, why on Earth wouldn’t you store it and use it to your advantage?
On top of keeping a database of contact information so that you can keep in contact with your customers, just think of how useful it will be to know what each of your customers have purchased in the past.
If you’ve ever shopped on Amazon.com (and who hasn’t!), you’ve seen their upsell strategy. When you put an item in your cart, you get some additional purchase suggestions under a heading that reads something like, “Customers who bought this product, also bought…” How do they do that? With a database!
Amazon obviously tracks its sales trends, which allows it to make intelligent suggestions based on what their customers enjoy. In addition, they track individual information so that they can send periodic information to customers when an item related to the initial sale, such as a book by the same author, becomes available. Again, that’s what a database can do for you.
If it sounds like a great deal of work, it’s not as bad as it may seem. The initial set up of the database will take some effort. If you’re familiar with creating databases, you may be able to do the work yourself. If not, there are plenty of Internet technology gurus out there who can get you up and running quickly. Though hiring someone to create your database might cost you a bit, the database will more than pay you back for that cost in the end.
Ask Them What They Want: Using Surveys to Determine Your Product
So, you’ve got all these customers and they fell in love with your frontend product. Now what? Do you let them wander off never to return again? No! You’re going to keep them involved with your company and you’re going to use the information you have to give them more of what they love.
Don’t you enjoy being asked for your opinion and input about products and services? I do. It makes me feel important and like the company really cares about how they can help me and what I’d like them to offer in the future. Your customers are very likely to feel the same way. When customers like what you have to offer, they’ll want to help your business succeed and they’ll be happy to offer suggestions for future products and services, or just some suggestions for how you might make the sales experience even better for your customers.
The question is, “How are you going to get your customers to share their opinions with you?”
The trick to getting information from your customers is to pick their brains without making them feel like they’re being pumped for information solely for your benefit.
Most customers don’t mind filling out a short survey, especially if it follows within a reasonable time from their purchase. Let’s say you sold your customer that great diet program. Within a few days of the date the program should have reached them, follow up to ask if they received it. The easiest way to do this is via email. Email is convenient for you because you can automate its sending, and it’s convenient for your customer because he can respond to it at a time that’s good for him; he needn’t tear his attention away from what he was doing to respond as with a phone call.
However, if you prefer and if it’s appropriate for the type of frontend product or service you’re selling, you may wish to follow up with a letter in the mail or even a phone call. If you send a letter, be sure to provide a simple way for your customer to respond with comments about your service, such as a form and postage-paid return envelope or an email address or website address where they may leave comments.
Calling your customers has inherent risks, but if your product is service or information oriented, it can also have great benefits. The personal touch of a telephone call to check in on the customer can produce a strong bond between you and your customer. However, if you happen to call at an inconvenient moment (e.g., dinner time, during a favorite television program, at a busy moment, etc.), you may irritate your customer. If this should happen, simply apologize for the inconvenience and offer a phone number where they can follow up with you at a time that works best for them.
Once you’ve made that initial follow-up contact, you can continue to periodically contact your customer to ask for their opinions in survey form. For example, you might survey your customers about their use of supplements to determine whether or not they’d purchase supplements from you and, if so, what kinds. If you can offer surveys in a fun way, such as an opinion poll where customers can see how their responses compare to others, they’ll be even more likely to take the time to provide the information.
Of course, you don’t want to make a nuisance of yourself by constantly asking questions or by inundating your customers with unwanted emails. Remember that you must always give your customers the option to opt-out of further contact from you. Hopefully your customers won’t want to opt-out, but if they do, be sure to thank them for their business and bid them a polite farewell.
In addition to surveying your customers, it’s a good idea to periodically send communications with no questions at all. Perhaps you could send an informative e-mail every so often, (once a week or every-other week is reasonable), to help your customers get the most out of the product they’ve already bought, or to provide information related to your frontend product. For a diet program, you might offer a free recipe, an exercise tip, or simply some words of encouragement. When you provide free information, you not only keep your company’s name fresh in your customer’s mind, you also elicit a stronger trust from your customer.
5 Simple Rules for Survey Etiquette
Although I provided a number of suggestions and tips in the previous section, I think it’s important to give you a few easily accessible tips for survey etiquette.
How you contact your customers is extremely important to your success, so print the following rules and refer to them often!
- Check and double check all communications.
Proofread everything and then do it again. Better yet, have someone else check it for you with a fresh pair of eyes. It’s critical that the emails and letters you send are professional and free of errors. Text riddled with poor grammar and typos is difficult to read and it certainly won’t inspire any confidence in you.
- Time your contact appropriately.
Be sure to follow up quickly after a sale to thank your customer and offer him a chance to comment on the product or service. Then, leave him alone for a short period of time. Believe me, daily emails won’t get you any more business than a communication once every week or two. In fact, daily emails will probably just cause your customer to quickly click the “unsubscribe link” and then stay as far away from you as possible!
- Always give your customers the option to opt-out.
You must give your customers a chance to decline further communications from you. In fact, in many states, it’s the law!
- Don’t forget to give as well as take.
If your customers feel like they’re being used to further your efforts, but they’re not getting anything in return, they’ll eventually stop responding. To avoid this, send occasional emails or newsletters that don’t ask any questions at all. Instead, give your customers some free advice or information.
- Be polite!
Remind your customers often how much you appreciate they’re business and confidence in you. And, when you ask them for information, be sure to use those magic words your mother taught you: “please” and “thank you.”
Step-By-Step Instructions for Choosing Your Backend Product
Alright, if your mind is spinning from all this information, let me take a step back and make this even easier for you. Here are some easy-as-pie steps for you to follow as you choose your backend product and get it out there for your customers to buy:
- Start by brainstorming a list of possibilities related to your frontend product. Think about both tangible and intangible items!
- Narrow down your list to five or so products that you can put on the market fairly quickly. However, don’t discard your other ideas – you may be able to develop them in the future.
- Using your shortlist, survey your customers about which products they would be most likely to purchase. (If you haven’t created a database, get on it now! In the meantime, put a link to the survey on your homepage and gather what you can from there.)
- Tabulate your survey results and choose the one product that has generated the most interest from your customers.
- Start developing the product. Remember that quality is vital, so don’t rush it.
- While your product is in development, keep your customer’s interest by sending periodic information and teasers about your upcoming product. Remember, don’t send too many announcements or you’ll bug your customer and he won’t come back!
- When your product is ready, send out an announcement to your existing customers inviting them to visit your website to learn more.
- Sell, sell, sell!
- Follow up with your customer to be sure he received the product and was happy with it.
- Start thinking about your next backend product.
How Can I Get People to Buy My Backend Product?
Well, now that you know what your backend product will be, you have to figure out how to effectively market it so that your customers keep coming back and filling up your bank account.
Today’s technology and business environment offers a multitude of options for selling just about anything you can come up with. And, with an online business, you have even greater options because you can reach millions of people without ever leaving your comfortable office chair.
Even though you have lots of options, I’m not going to lie to you – you’re going to have to put in the effort if you want to be successful. Depending on your skill set, you may also have to put in some more money to get things rolling, you may need to hire a programmer or a business writer to help you create an effective marketing campaign.
Please, please, please, don’t let the thought of some extra work and spending a bit of money deter you from getting your backend strategy started!
I promise you that the time and money you spend will be well worth the extra padding in your bank account. Remember, your backend strategy will be the difference between a mediocre income and a spectacular income.
So, keep reading and planning your way to greatness.
A Thank You With a Twist: Promoting at the Right Time
Here’s a little scenario for you to consider:
Jill walks into a store to purchase a new television. She’s not a wealthy woman, so she’s had to save for a while to be able to afford it. Jill spends a lot of time looking over the televisions on the shelf. She compares the features and the prices, and finally picks one she’s really happy with. She loads the box into her cart and heads toward the checkout.
When she reaches the cashier, the cashier dully says to Jill, “Did you find everything?”
Jill tries to initiate a pleasant exchange saying, “Yes, thank you! You sure have a great selection of televisions.”
The cashier doesn’t respond. She scans the price code, takes Jill’s money, and poor Jill walks out without so much as a thank you.
For Jill, buyer’s remorse immediately sets in. Although she likes the television and is comfortable with the price she paid, she can’t believe she just dropped a large wad of cash at such an ungrateful establishment. She begins to wish she’d spent her money elsewhere and vows to make her next large purchase at the store down the street.
Has that ever happened to you? It’s happened to me! And, guess what, if I have any other options for purchasing that item elsewhere in the future, I’ll go out of my way to do so. I have no desire to spend my time and money with companies that don’t appreciate my business.
The truth is that most people feel the exact same way. They’d rather pay a few dollars more to patronize a company that provides good service. Since the Internet is such a big place, it’s pretty easy for unhappy customers to move on to another company.
What’s my point here?
Those two little words your mom spent years teaching you to say go a long, long way in the business world. Just say “thank you!” When someone spends their money at your company, letting them get away without taking the time to let them know how much you appreciate them is a truly missed opportunity.
Your “thank you” not only leaves your customer feeling good about the whole experience, it also opens the door for you to offer backend products and make additional sales.
Thanking Customers Post-Sale
The post-sale thank you is fairly easy, but you’ll have to make sure your website is set up to execute it. The thank you should be the final step of every single sale. When your customer clicks the last button to confirm the purchase, the very next screen he sees should be one that says, in bold lettering, “Thank you!”
The text of your thank you doesn’t have to be long. In fact, keep it short or no one will ever read it! People make online sales because they’re fast and convenient, so don’t expect them to read paragraphs of gushing text about how much you love them for giving you money. Simply express your appreciation for their business in a professional sentence or two and offer your contact information again for any questions about the product.
Here’s where the backend sale comes in. After your thank you text, briefly mention your backend product. For example, if you just sold your diet program to a customer, following the thank you text, say something like, “We hope you reach your weight loss goals. To help make the program easier, you may want to purchase our exercise video.” Showing a small picture of the product is a good attention grabber, but at a minimum, be sure to include a link to the product.
Another option for making backend sales at this stage is to invite your customer to sign up for your newsletter. Your newsletter is an excellent way to promote your backend products. More about that later!
Thank You Emails
Within a few days of your product reaching your customer, send an email to again express your gratitude. Again, keep it short and, for goodness’ sake, don’t gush! Just stay professional and keep it simple.
Also use this opportunity to ask for your customer’s feedback about the product itself and the sales experience. Being asked for an opinion empowers customers and makes them feel valued. In addition, it’s a great way to get some ideas about what your customers are looking for and how you can make improvements.
Give Them a Gift: Using Free Samples to Garner Sales
Regardless of what you’re selling, be it information, marketing secrets, tangible products, whatever, you can come up with some sort of free gift or sample that will encourage your customer to return for more.
The idea here is to get them hooked!
Let’s stick with our diet program example. If you’re mailing out an actual book or binder containing the program, throw in a small bottle or packet of supplements that you’re selling as a backend product. Give your customer a chance to use and love them and he will probably come back to purchase the full sized bottle.
Now, if you’re selling informational products that can be downloaded from your site, you might have to get a little more creative with your sample or gift. In the case of the diet program, you could email an online coupon for a free bottle of vitamins with the purchase of a more expensive bottle. Or, you could offer a free downloadable book of recipes to encourage them to purchase a larger recipe book.
Just be creative, but remember not to give away the farm. As you’re deciding on your free sample or gift, be sure to weigh the cost of giving something away against what you’ll gain. Keep your freebies small and inexpensive so that you maximize your profits.
Keep In Touch: User Updates and Newsletters
If your customers forget you exist, you’ll never see them again. So, what are you going to do to make yourself utterly unforgettable? Well, one way to keep your company name fresh in their minds is to use email updates and newsletters.
Before we get into this topic, I do have to speak a bit about the legalities here. Anti-spam laws require that your customers be able to opt-out of receiving emails from you, including newsletters. So, each of your emails and newsletters should include information about how they can unsubscribe…… of course, you’re going to keep your communications so interesting that no one will ever do that, right?
Okay, back to how you can make your updates and newsletters work for your backend strategy.
The object of sending out updates and newsletters is, obviously, to get your customers to make more purchases. However, be very careful not to smother them with sales pitches. Opening your email every day to tedious used car salesmen type pitches gets old fast!
As I’ve mentioned before, you’ll want to send something about once a week or every other week. That way you’re not driving them crazy, and they still remember who you are and what you are about.
Your updates and newsletters should include more information than just a sales pitch. Offer real, useable tips and information. Of course, that means more work again, but, as the saying goes, nothing in life is free! You’ll have to work for your success.
Here’s another place that might cost you a bit of money. If you’re not at least a decent writer, you should definitely consider hiring a professional. There are lots of reasonably priced, good business writers out there. Search the Internet for “freelance writers” or “copy writer” and you’ll find scores of options.
You can also get some great free PLR products that can prove to be invaluable to your business, whereby you can have a successful business without being an expert writer or having to spend money on hiring a professional writer.
Smart Shoppers Love to Save: Offer Discounts and Sales
We all like a good sale, don’t we? I can’t seem to help myself. If it says “Sale!”, I’m much more likely to buy something. Heck, I’ve found myself buying some pretty crazy products just because it seemed like a good deal. Now, I know I’m not the only consumer like that.
What does that mean in terms of backend products? Simple! If you offer your backend product at a reduced price, your customers will be more likely to buy it.
There are a couple of ways you can make discounts work for you:
- Offer a discount for a backend product bought at the same time as your main product. To do this, you’ll need to create an additional step in your checkout process. As your customer is checking out, make sure that before they reach the final step they’re offered a chance to purchase your backend product at a reduced price with the purchase of the main product. Make the page visually appealing and be sure that the amount of the discount is prominently displayed.
- Offer the backend item at a discounted price a short time after the original sale. About a week or so after your customer has received the frontend product, send an email offering the backend product at a special price for loyal customers. I don’t know about you, but I really like getting a good deal from a business just because they appreciate me! Keep your email short and be sure to thank the customer for the purchase they made in the past. Again, it’s important that the discounted price be very noticeable. In fact, it should be the first thing the customer notices when they open the email. Otherwise, they may not read through the text to see the deal they’re being offered.
- Place a coupon code in your newsletter. Since I know you’re going to take my advice and send out a newsletter or email update on a regular basis (right?), you’ll have the perfect opportunity to promote a sale on your backend product. Just place a “coupon” in your newsletter that shows the product and the amount your customer will save along with a code to enter during checkout.
Can Affiliate Marketing Work With Backend Sales?
Affiliate marketing… now there’s a buzz phrase you’ve undoubtedly heard if you’ve done any research at all on Internet marketing. What the heck is it and how can you make it work for you? Well, hang on a second and I’ll tell you! But, first, let’s define just what affiliate marketing is so you’ll know just what it entails before we get into the nuts and bolts of how to use it for truly remarkable backend sales.
Have you ever visited a website and seen an ad for a product or a link to a website where a product can be purchased? The owners of those websites are very likely affiliates who are making a commission of sorts from the business selling the product.
An affiliate program is a contract or agreement between a business owner (you!) and an affiliate (that’s the guy with the ad on his site). The affiliate agrees to display an ad or a link on his website that leads to your website where the product can be purchased. How much you’ll pay the affiliate will depend on the number of clicks the ad or link gets or how many sales are made via the ad or link.
So, here’s what’s ’s so great about affiliate programs- it’s a win-win situation for both you and your affiliates!
Yes, it’s true that you’ll have to spend some money when you create an affiliate program, and there’s a time commitment involved, too. Here are some of the things that will cost you a bit of your time in the creation of an affiliate program:
- Researching and developing your fee or commission schedule.
- Developing a contract that your affiliates must agree to.
- Creating a page for your website about your affiliate program.
- Promoting your affiliate program.
As for the money, how much you will need to spend in setting up your affiliate program will depend on your skill set. For example, if you’re a decent writer, you won’t need to pay someone for writing copy. Or, if you have a legal background (or a friend or family member who’s willing to give free advice!), you won’t need to pay someone to develop a legal contract.
Let’s just suppose that you don’t have any particular skills other than your keen mind and great insight into internet marketing. If that’s the case, you may need to spend some money on the following items:
- A writer to create the copy for your affiliate program website page, press releases, or other promotional items.
- A programmer to help you develop a workable program that tracks clicks and sales, ensures your affiliates are paid appropriately, and is fairly automated to make things as easy as possible for you.
Once done, here’s what you have to gain from creating an affiliate program:
A WHOLE LOT OF COLD, HARD CASH!
Think about it for a second! You’ll spend some time getting an affiliate program up and running and you’ll have ongoing payments to affiliates, but the links and ads those affiliates place all over the Internet will draw people to your site where they can buy your products!
How you promote your affiliate program is really up to you, but I do have a few suggestions for you:
- Try directly contacting other sites and ask them to promote your products. Explain your affiliate program – be sure to stress what’s in it for them.
- Write a press release to announce the launch of your affiliate program. There are several services you can contact that will help you get your press release published in a variety of places on the Internet.
- Place information in each of your newsletters about your affiliate program. Make sure there’s an easy link to reach the affiliate program page of your website where your readers can get more information. Also, make it easy for potential affiliates to contact you with additional questions, remember to respond promptly and professionally.
- In each newsletter, ask the recipients to forward the newsletter on to friends who might be interested in your products or in becoming an affiliate.
How Much is Enough: Determine a Payment Schedule
Affiliates for large wholesales companies get varying amounts of commission.
Some offer less that 10% and others slightly more.
However, if you are selling downloadable products where affiliates are promoting your products it is a very wise move to pay the affiliates between 50%-705%.
In some cases, usually when promoting products with certain rights, it is advantageous to give affiliates 100% of the sales price. That’s right! But that belongs in a different guide than this one.
Keep in mind that if you don’t share enough of the profit, there’s not much in it for affiliates and they probably won’t bother joining your affiliate program.
Today there are a number of payment sites that can help you pay your affiliates while keeping your private information (like your bank account and credit card numbers!) safe and secure.
Sites like PayPal are able to take care of the details and make private, secure payments to your affiliates for a relatively small fee on a regular basis – and you never have to get involved with your affiliates. How cool is that? There are new payment sites popping up all the time, so be sure to research all your options and choose the one that offers you the abilities you want at a price you can afford.
If They Can’t Find It, They Can’t Join It
You spent time developing an affiliate page or two on your website, so you should be set to go. Add a text link from the sales page to the affiliate page. Simple!
You can also post your affiliate program on an affiliate directory.
An affiliate directory is kind of like an online dating site for affiliates and business owners. It’s a big database that lists lots and lots of affiliate programs looking for affiliates. Yep, that’s right.
“Savvy business owner with a program of gold seeks sharp affiliates for long term relationships. Must love money!”
Most people who are interested in joining affiliate programs search affiliate directories for programs in line with their needs and the subject of their site.
To find the right directory for your program, you’re going to need to find out what directories are looking for in an affiliate program. Unfortunately, it’s not quite as easy as joining an online dating site – but it can be if you know what you’re doing.
Most directories have set guidelines for what they will and won’t allow in the affiliate programs they promote. For example, many directories will not allow affiliate programs that use multi-level marketing, promote sexually explicit content, or that involve gambling sites.
Here are a few steps you can take to make your directory submission a little easier:
- Don’t submit your program until you know it all works. Take the time to double-check every piece of your program to make certain it works properly. Check your payment methods to make sure their working properly too, and double check for spelling errors, and grammatical issues.
- Pick the right category for your program. Affiliate directories list programs by categories, so be sure to look through all the category offerings and choose the one that most closely matches your products or services.
- Make a list of necessary information before your submission. Affiliate directories will ask for key pieces of information, so having them on hand as you complete your submission will speed up the process. Jot down as many key words and phrases as you can come up with. Write down the URL of your affiliate program page.
Can I Sell My Backend Products Through Email?
Remember the days when the mailbox in front of your house was always stuffed with advertisements from every kind of business imaginable, from lawn care to the local gym to the restaurant two cities away. Okay, truth be told, I still get a lot of advertising materials in the mail. They go directly into the waste bin!
Want to know why? Because, I get my information on the internet.
As an Internet marketer, you don’t have to spend money on printing and mailing costs. You can sell your backend products through email. In fact, backend products are much easier to sell through email than frontend products. That’s because you already have contact information for your existing customers, (because you collected that in your database like I suggested, right?).
I know how much you want to work on getting new customers, and that’s important, but email gives you a red-hot opportunity to secure some really phenomenal sales numbers in your backend products. And, even better, you can do it without making much of an investment.
Think about it. Email lets you reach hundreds, or even thousands of people with one click. There’s no ink, paper, or stamps to buy. Just load your autoresponder with emails to your subscribers! Sweet!
Keep It Simple and Interesting
Here’s the number one rule I can give you about email marketing:
Never send emails that do nothing but directly advertise your products!
The thing that I love that about email is the fact that it gives me the power to very quickly ignore the things I don’t want to read. And, if you’ve got nothing more to tell me than you want my money, you end up on my ignore list quicker than a dog chases a cat! I never want to hear from you again. Tough? Maybe, but that’s the reality of the situation.
So, instead of simply sending ads, use your emails to develop interest in your company and your products. If you’re selling a diet program, provide your customers with interesting articles about the benefits of using herbal supplements. At the end of the article, simply remind your customer, (very briefly), that they may purchase supplements on your site and provide a link.
Be sure to develop enough email articles for a month at a time. This will help you keep customers interested so they don’t slip off to some other site, but will be enough to avoid boring the customer with repeat information.
Can The Spam!
The word “Spam” means a lot more today than highly processed meat in a can. It’s also that annoying junk email you receive that you neither asked for nor want. It clutters up your inbox, eating up valuable space, and wasting your precious time. Spam is nothing short of maddening. In fact, Spam is so maddening that there are laws against sending it.
Many countries have anti-spam laws in place, but they don’t seem to have made much of a dent in the number of emails people report as spam. In fact, spam reportedly accounts for nearly half of all emails, which has been reported as being as many as 14.5 billion email messages a day.
The number one country at fault for all that junk email is the U.S. with Korea running a close second.
Here’s a break-down of the most common types of spam messages:
- 37% of spam messages are advertising related.
- 31.7% contain adult content.
- 26.5% are related to finances.
- 2.5% are scam or fraudulent emails, (73% of those are schemes to commit identity theft).
Spam laws are stringent and, according to the United States CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, each offense of the basic provisions of the act is punishable by fines of up to $11,000. Those who violate other rules defined by the act may be subject to additional fines.
The basic provisions of the CAN-SPAM Act state that your emails:
- Can not contain headers or subject lines that mislead readers about the content of the email message.
- Must contain accurate and identifiable “To” and “From” information as well as routing information.
- Must give recipients the opportunity to opt-out of future messages.
- Must contain a statement that the email is an advertisement, if applicable, and provide the sender’s physical address.
From a business perspective, the problem with spam is that it makes customers mistrustful of the messages they receive via email. Internet users are becoming increasingly savvy about fraud and false advertising. That means they’re not as likely to fall for deals that sound too good to be true. Unfortunately, it also means that consumers may not trust anything that hits their inboxes, even if it is of good quality from a honest company.
Considering the enormous fines for violating anti-spam laws and the fact that sending spam will ruin your business reputation, the last thing you want is to be identified as a spammer. So, what can you do to make certain the emails you send are not only legal, but valuable to your customers?
One of the best ways to be sure your customers want to receive emails from you is to create an opt-in list. When people opt-in to your list, they are giving you permission to send them emails. In fact, maintaining an opt-in email list and using autoresponders can really help you avoid spamming charges.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking, “Yeah, you make it sound so easy. But, how the heck to I get people to agree to receive my messages? Why should they sign up to my site?”
You know what? It sounds easy because it really is! Since your email campaign is to sell backend products, you’re already preaching to the choir! Your customers have already purchased a great product from you and they trust you. Why wouldn’t they want to hear from you if you’re providing useful information and opportunities to purchase other great items at affordable prices?
One way you can encourage people to opt-in is to offer them something of value for free.
Ebooks and special reports are very popular among Internet users, particularly if they contain solid information that your customers can really use. For example, you might offer an ebook about the uses and benefits of nutritional supplements to customers who have purchased your diet program. When your customers opt-in to your email list, they’ll receive the free ebook. We all love free stuff!
How Can I Boost My Backend Profits?
Fantastic! You’ve made it so far and you’re still with me! Would you like some really good news? Here it is:
You now know everything you need to create and sell backend products that will move your business from merely so-so to incredibly successful.
Just in case you’re not completely convinced, I’d like to take this final opportunity to remind you of the incredible benefits of selling backend products:
- Benefit #1:
Backend products generate ongoing income.
- Benefit #2:
Backend products are easy to sell because your customers already know and trust you.
- Benefit #3:
Backend products require much less of an investment in marketing because they’re sold to existing customers.
Important Points You Must Take Away to Succeed with Backend Products
If you want to boost your backend sales, there are a few things you’ve read in the previous chapters that you simply cannot leave behind. If you do, you will also be leaving cash on the table. Hey, if you don’t like money, feel free.
The following is a summary of the key points you’ll need to create and sell backend products:
Create a product that adds value to your frontend product. Your backend product needs to be related to your frontend product in some way. If you’re selling a diet program, don’t expect your customers to buy fishing lures from you, too. Instead, consider selling items like exercise equipment or supplements.
Find out what your customers want. Invest the time and money necessary to keep track of your customers by creating a database. Use the database to track what they’ve bought and to contact them with surveys or messages that subtly elicit information about what they’d be interested in purchasing in the future.
Offer free gifts to generate interest. Everyone loves getting something for nothing, so sending free gifts like product samples will please your customers and encourage them to buy more.
Don’t let your customers forget you. Create an opt-in email list that allows you to send periodic messages to your customers so that they don’t forget who you are and where to find you. Keep your messages and newsletters information oriented rather than sending straight advertisements.
Use discounts and sales to sell backend products. Offering backend products at a reduced price to loyal customers may get them to try a product they might have otherwise considered too costly.
Develop an affiliate program to get the word out. Get your website noticed by more people through an affiliate program that places links and ads all over the Internet. Be cautious, though! If you’re going to create an affiliate program, do it well or you’ll jeopardize your business reputation.
Create an email campaign to sell backend products. Use the database and opt-in list you created to promote backend products to your subscribers, without spamming them.
Bear in mind that consumers don’t like direct advertisement emails, so keep your emails informative and interesting.
All good things must come to and end, as does this guide.
I hope you have picked up a few pointers that will be financially beneficial to you in your endeavors to make money and easily ma