12 Ways to Make Your First Sale Online
Once you have an
If you’re a little short on ideas for making your first sale online, we’ve put together a list of twelve methods you can test right away. Let’s jump right in.
1. Start an Email Newsletter
Collecting email addresses for your email newsletter allows you to stay in touch with potential or past customers on an
So how can you start gathering email addresses? Think about:
- Including an
opt-inon your e-сommercesite
- Asking customers to
opt-induring the checkout process
- Using a lead generator (like a 10% off coupon) for those who sign up
- Including an
opt-inlink in your email signature
Motivate people to subscribe to your newsletter: offer some kind of value for signing up. For example, it can be a chance to win a free product every month or week.
These are just a few ways you can get
Learn more: 10 Smart Ways to Grow Your Newsletter List
2. Create a Blog
A blog is a place for you not only to promote new products and to share sale information, but it can help you build a relationship with customers by giving your audience a
Need an example? Online retailer Ugmonk wrote a blog that showed a product being made from start to finish.
3. Assemble a Lookbook
If you have a physical product that is associated with a lifestyle brand (think clothing, accessories, shoes, etc.), a lookbook that showcases your product in an aesthetically pleasing context helps buyers imagine themselves owning and using your products.
It’s a step beyond the standard product shot, and it gives shoppers an opportunity to see your products in action, too. Need an example? Check out L.K. Bennett’s online lookbook.
Learn more: Where to Find Models for Your Fashion Brand
4. Partner with an Influencer
Think about who your audience looks to for advice about your type of
Not only is this a form of social proof that helps validate your online offerings, but it takes some of the
Bloggers Emma and Elsie at A Beautiful Mess partner with clothing stores to do Sister Style posts, which show them wearing products they’ve been given as part of a paid advertisement. In these posts, they link out to the stores that provided the
Send free samples to influencers within your industry or a related industry. When they review your product, you’ll get more traffic and followers as well as approval from experts in your industry.
You can also ask industry influencers for an interview. This way you may get content for your blog and gain new followers.
5. Test Facebook & Instagram ads
Facebook (which now owns Instagram) makes advertising
Plus, with Facebook’s
Create Facebook ads that speak to your target audience and have a compelling CTA for
- 5 Ways to Lower Your Facebook Ads’ CPC
- How to Run an Effective Instagram Ad Campaign for
- Sell on Facebook With Ecwid’s New Social Selling Tools
6. Become a Source on HARO
HARO, AKA Help a Reporter Out, is a place where journalists and writers go to find sources for their articles. By becoming a source there, you can find opportunities not only to be quoted online and in print, but you can also share your expertise and build up authority as an expert in your field.
HARO sends out queries three times a day to source inboxes, and then you have the opportunity to respond with your best pitch. Over time, your successful responses will help you get your brand in front of new
Need more proof? Browse their success stories.
7. Participate in the Spaces Where Your Customers Spend Time
This last suggestion is a big one, because it’s how you’ll organically build relationships with customers. Find out where your target market spends time (is it a Reddit thread? A Twitter chat?) and participate there without making a sales pitch. Be resourceful, be kind, and strive to make friends in these spaces.
It’s what Gary Vaynerchuk did to grow his online wine
This is a lesson straight out of Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends and Influence People.
Over time, people will come to know who you are and what you
Also, check out trade shows or even local flea markets and farmers’ markets. This way you can sell directly to your potential customers. Prepare discount coupons or stickers to give away for subscribing to your email newsletter or social media pages.
Learn more: How to Find the Best Place for Your
8. Throw a Contest or a Giveaway
Contests and giveaways are great for promoting your business. You may catch the interest of potential customers and gain new subscribers. Choose a prize worth joining the competition, for example, a gift card or a collection of products. Make sure the rules are clear and simple to follow. Promote your contest or giveaway on all your social platforms, even if it’s just
Explain or show your subscribers how you chose the winner. If it’s a contest — explain the criteria you based your decision on. If you use a randomizer app, make a video of the process. This way you ensure your followers’ trust.
9. Master Your Networking Skills
Business networking is vital for attracting new customers or partners and understanding the market. It helps to make your business more visible and gain valuable contacts. You can network both offline (at conferences, business meetings, coworking spaces) and online. Social media is called social for a reason: join Facebook groups relevant to your niche, or participate in discussions on forums.
However, networking is not about handing out your business cards at events and subscribing to experts in your industry. It’s about cultivating
Check out our detailed guide to business networking and make your first step, or listen to this episode of the Ecwid
10. Explore Pinterest
50% of people bought a product after they saw a promoted pin and 93% of pinners use Pinterest to plan their purchases. So don’t miss the chance to expand your audience. First, start a business account (it’s free), customize your profile with board covers and titles, and make sure your bio is
Pay attention to Rich Pins — they provide more information directly on a pin. There are four types of them, and your choice is a Product Pin. It shows the price and where to buy your product. Learn how to add rich pins here.
Learn more: How to Use Pinterest to Understand Your Niche
11. Work With Google Shopping Ads
Google Shopping Ads uses targeting, bidding, and keywords to help you expand your audience and create advertising campaigns. It seems to be quite profitable: for every $1.6 businesses spent on Google Ads, they make an average of $3 in revenue.
The good news is that Google Shopping is integrated with Ecwid. You can run automatically optimized Google Shopping Ads even if you’ve never dealt with it before. All you have to do is follow three simple steps: choose your target audience, choose products, and start your campaign.
12. Consider Affiliate Marketing
81% of brands use affiliate marketing. It allows earning commissions for marketing another company’s products. In other words, you pay someone for every visitor or customer brought to your website by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.
You may partner with bloggers or other companies from your industry. For example, you can provide your partners with special banners that link to your store. They can even place your entire store on their websites. The advantage is that you promote your products only to interested people and pay only when you get results.
Make Your First Sale Online: Try New Methods
If you’re not already executing some of the strategies outlined here, today is the day to start. In no time, you’ll be well past your first online sale and busy packaging up orders.
If you’re past this point in your business, what are some of the ways you made your first sale?