You’re trying to sell online and your results are taking off like fainting goats. You’ve dropped serious money and now the dread is creeping into your stomach as you realize your whole budget is about to be eaten up.

Boy, I hope you didn’t sign a multi-month contract.

There is a road out but first you need to know what you’re trying to do. Yes, that’s a stupidly simple observation, but sometimes the obvious needs to be pointed out.

What is a conversion?

Conversions aren’t necessarily always sales. A conversion is a commitment: your prospect has decided to take an action that you want them to take to engage with your business. The “currency” and exchange could be an email address, money and/or their personal time. Online marketing isn’t like a coin operated machine. You don’t stick in money at the top, and get sales and financial independence at the bottom, which is why you need a Digital Marketing Funnel to facilitate the process of someone taking action and making a commitment.

All Conversions Aren’t Created Equal

You have to know that not all conversions are created equal, and each has its own challenges. Think of it this way – what’s easier to get commitment to buy, a jar of Nutella or a house? My digital marketing mentor, Tom Burton at More in the Door, created a graph of difficulty for conversions:

why is it so hard to make online sales

Prospects are people too

Okay now check this out, because not all prospects are created equal either. There are different levels of people who you’re trying to target and convert. Each establishes a level of trust and familiarity with your business. And their level of commitment to you already!

why can't I make sales online

The Keys to Conversion

So how do we use these two graphs? Easy: you need to properly match the conversion category to your prospect category before you start to build your funnel. What’s the audience and what’s the conversion you want?

You probably wouldn’t try to sell introductory services to someone who’s been with you for years, nor would you try to sell to newbies your super-dooper-gold-and-silver-millennium package that they need to go $40K into debt over.

Keep in mind too you’ll still need the right Nurture Zone to enlighten the prospect on what you’re selling before you even try to convert them. This sequence of nurture before attempted conversion is critical.

So the question you need to ask yourself is: Who are you trying to get to do What? If all you want to do is get a loyal customer to “like” your Facebook page, easy peasy – the funnel is probably as simple as sending a personal email. But if you’re trying to get cold traffic from Google ads to attend your $200-per-seat seminar, well, it can be done, but it’s not going to be so easy (or cheap), and you’ll need the right strategy and tactics.

Awesome on sticking with me this far. You can’t be a quitter and be in this game, and hope to win. In the next issue of No Derp Zone, you’re going to find out how to hook your prospects with an irresistible offer and reel ‘em in! If you have any questions, write me at

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