A great product alone does not lead to sales. We cannot assume, just because we made something — even if that thing is really good — that we’re entitled to sales.
No. We also have to spend a lot of time and effort showcasing what we made and get it in front of the right people.
But where you find those people (and what you put in front of them) makes a ton of difference.
Let’s look at the stats behind why and explain what you can do to make more sales and convert more leads.
Note from Caleb: FYI folks, this article is from Matan and Tuhin (the Data & Risk guys) and Jessica (head of Seller Success) over at Gumroad. Matan, Jessica and the data team at Gumroad have put together some really insightful stats on what leads to sales.
They’re going to show you 4 tactics that will help you towards any conversion, be it sales, email opt-ins, subscriptions, downloads, etc. Enjoy!
Sales conversion is the ratio of those who bought your product to those who saw it. In e-commerce, conversion is the one metric that rules them all.
At Gumroad, we have tons and tons of data to help us understand what drive conversion. After performing an extensive analyses we’ve found a few key insights that can help push your products ahead of the pack.
So, without any further ado, lets get into what drives conversion.
1. Presenting your work
When selling on Gumroad (or anywhere, really), buyers care about the small details. We found that product covers and descriptions go a long way in increasing conversion. How much?
Products with covers have a 22% higher conversion rate, while products with descriptions of more than 200 characters show a 9% lead in conversion over products without descriptions. We also found that when a user provides a bio, conversion is 11% higher.
The more features you add, the more “trusting” consumers are in the quality of the product you are selling.
Justin Jackson’s product, “Amplification”, is a great example of how to include all the right kinds of information to remove uncertainty and build trust in your buyers. He incorporates the 8 main elements of an effective product page, including a cover, bio, social proof, and more.
2. Choose your cover carefully
When looking at each category individually, we found that adding an image cover can increase conversion by 3%. Adding a video cover can increase conversion by 2.7%.
The right product cover depends on the nature of your product. You would expect that book covers, album art, and movie trailers are all effective, but don’t be afraid to get creative.
For instance, check out Kyle T Webster’s cover for his Ultimate Drawing Set, a set of Photoshop brush plugins. Kyle put together a short video that’s not only super entertaining, but also demonstrates the different uses for his brushes. His conversion rate for this product is a whopping 10%. As a bonus, it serves as great marketing, with over 11,000 views on Vimeo to date.
3. Connecting your social networks
The Hooping Life is a documentary chronicling the lives of 8 hoopers across the world who made a difference in their communities.
Its tagline – “It’s a movie, it’s a movement!” – illustrates their goal is not only to sell their film, but to grow the community of hula-hoopers worldwide.
The film’s team is very active on social media, especially in Facebook groups such as Unity of the Hula Hoopers, which has over 12,500 members. By connecting the film’s Facebook and Twitter accounts to Gumroad, potential buyers can see their involvement in the hula hooping community, and can connect to other like-minded individuals themselves.
Our data shows that users who have either their Facebook or Twitter accounts connected have on average 18% higher conversion rate. Users who have both platforms connected have a 46% higher conversion over those with neither platforms connected.
4. Selling directly to your audiences
By looking at sales lead conversion on Gumroad, we see that social networks and email marketing push sales. Email marketing is the most productive means, wildly outperforming the next best platform.
Facebook and Twitter come next, significantly beating out broad marketing methods (YouTube and HackerNews).
In short, emails are gold.
To illustrate this, let’s take a look at the case of Tom Coleman and Sacha Grief, authors of the popular Meteor.js book, Discover Meteor. Tom and Sacha put an email signup form on their website months before they even starting writing the book to gauge interest. By the time they launched, they had about 3,000 newsletter subscribers.
Their conversion from that list? 17%. The average purchase was more than $48 and revenue per subscriber was $9.
By looking at sales lead conversion on Gumroad, we see that social networks and email marketing push sales.
Email marketing is the most productive means, wildly outperforming the next best platform. Facebook and Twitter come next, significantly beating out broad marketing methods (YouTube and HackerNews).
It’s important to remember that the results above are indicators, meaning buyers and products are not identical. The way you set up your page, as well as the product(s) you sell might result in different behaviors.
We recommend using the above information when deciding how to design your seller page, but most importantly, you should experiment. Every day we see new and existing users harness Gumroad in ways we’ve never thought of to drive sales (and conversions) higher.
What have your experiences been with social media vs. email vs. other forms of traffic? Let us know in the comments below this post.
Note from Caleb: If you want an extremely detailed case study all on one specific Gumroad seller, check out their free PDF case study on how Kyle T. Webster made over $100,000 selling Photoshop Brushes.
Also, get the free Fizzle guide to Gumroad… there’s a video with me… and a mustache.
“4 tactics to drive more conversions and sales.”
The Top 10 Mistakes in Online Business
Every week we talk with entrepreneurs. We talk about what’s working and what isn’t. We talk about successes and failures. We spend time with complete newbies, seasoned veterans, and everything in between.
One topic that comes up over and over again with both groups is mistakes made in starting businesses. Newbies love to learn about mistakes so they can avoid them. Veterans love to talk about what they wish they had known when starting out.
These conversations have been fascinating, so we compiled a list of the 10 mistakes we hear most often into a nifty lil' guide. Get the 10 Most Common Mistakes in Starting an Online Business here »