After all the love and time you’ve put into the creation of your recording, you’ll probably be very enthusiastic about publishing it on your website as soon as possible. Be sure not to let all that wonderful enthusiasm cause you to rush this final, crucial step in the publication process.
Now is the time to be thorough. Take the time to make sure that your product pages present your work in the best possible light, with a full complement of information on each of your recordings. Simply presenting an album title and a “buy now” button just isn’t enough, especially when it comes to meditation and hypnosis recordings. Sell yourself short at this stage and all the work that went into your recording might be for nothing.
If a tree falls in a forest…
The following checklist will help to make sure that your sales page(s) give your customer all the information they need, and give you the best chance of success:
Display your album artwork
Artwork is emotive, and it helps to grab the attention of your potential customers even before they read a single word on the page. Artwork also helps to make your digital products seem a little more tangible then they might appear otherwise.
Add a detailed product description
Take the time to explain the purpose of your recording and how your customer will benefit from it. There’s no need to be flamboyant or “salesy” about this. Just provide an honest, compelling description of your recording and be sure to point out any particular characteristics it has that differentiate it from other recordings.
Specify that your recording is a download
It’s very important that you make this clear to your customers. When it comes to audio products, a small percentage of customers will unwittingly assume that they are buying a CD unless you specify otherwise. You do need to spell this out for people. You might also like to mention the technical specifications of the audio file itself (for example, “This is a high quality 320 kbps MP3 download”.
Display a track listing
Be sure to write up a track listing and point out the duration of each track in your recording, even if your recording consists of only one continuous track (which is quite common for hypnosis and meditation recordings).
Add a preview track
This is a MUST DO! It always surprises me (and disappoints me) when I come across web stores where people are trying to sell recordings without providing their visitors with an audio preview. People want to hear your recording before they buy it! They want to know what the music sounds like. They want to know what your voice sounds like. A preview of 1 to 2 minutes takes care of that with ease.
Tip: It can be a good idea to offer a preview track that is a little longer than the 1-2 minutes that most of us are accustomed to. A 60 second preview will satisfy most people’s curiosity about how your recording sounds, but a longer one allows time for the preview to start relaxing them. Why not publish a nice long preview, and right beside the Play button, write a few words to encourage your visitors to close their eyes while they listen. After a few minutes of listening to the sound of your voice and the relaxing background music, they are going to start to really feel the effect of your recording. If you can stimulate a genuine physiological response in your potential customers then they are going to become far more invested in your recording than if they had only experienced a very short preview.
I think that many publishers rely too heavily on written descriptions to speak for their products. A compelling description is very important, but as far as your potential customers are concerned, feelings may speak louder than words, and those feelings are best stimulated by a generous preview track.
Display your prices and currency
It goes without saying that you must publish a price for your recording. You should also mention which currency your prices are in. Remember – your website will be visible to people all over the world, so it’s good practice to clarify this.
An even more user friendly solution to the matter of currencies is to implement an e-commerce system that provides prices in multiple currencies. I’m sure you’ve seen websites like this before, in which a drop-down menu allows you to select what currency the prices are displayed in. Unfortunately, multiple currency options, while technically ideal, are not something that all e-commerce providers provide, and some may only be executed by a professional web developer.
However, selling in one currency is only a modest compromise. If you are just getting started online, then selling exclusively in your own local currency is the way to go. A multi-currency e-commerce system is something that you might like to consider further down the track once you have established a regular income from your website.
Provide instructions that tell your customer how to download their purchase
If you are selling digital downloads then it’s a great idea to add a page to your website that explains how to purchase and download from your site. This need only be a short step by step outline of these processes. This “how to” page is not essential, but it can help to engender customer confidence.
Provide a money back guarantee
In this day and age, a money back guarantee is something that most people expect. But should you actually provide a money back guarantee?
When it comes to digital downloads, many web stores (and most music retailers) do not allow refunds. This is understandable. Once a customer downloads their purchase, it’s physically impossible for them to return it. It’s on their computer for as long as they choose to keep it there. As a result, unscrupulous customers could request a refund (for whatever reason) and keep a copy of their purchase.
I am of the opinion that it’s not worth worrying about the 0.1% of naughty people who might take advantage of a situation like this. In the extremely rare event that someone requests their money back I suggest that you oblige them. Most people are honest, and besides, the kinds of problems that lead to requests for refunds can usually be resolved quite easily. You can be sure that only a tiny percentage of your customers will ever request a refund, and if they do then it will probably be for one of the following two reasons:
a. The customer was unable to download their purchase.
This is almost always due to a technical error with the customer’s computer or a temporary problem with their internet connection. Most e-commerce systems are rock solid. Super reliable. So if a customer ever emails you to tell you that they are having trouble downloading their purchase, you can be all but certain that the problem is limited to their computer or the internet service in their local area. Problems like these often resolve themselves within a matter of hours, or immediately after the customer reboots their computer.
b. The product wasn’t what your customer expected or they decided that they wanted something else.
No matter how detailed your product description might be or how long your preview track is, it’s inevitable that a tiny percentage of your customers will simply decide that they didn’t get what they were expecting. Most money back guarantees do not cater for people like this, especially when you consider that they cannot return their purchase. As a result, you should not feel obligated to offer refunds for people in this situation, however in my personal opinion it’s better to do so anyway. Keeping your customers happy is more important that getting tight-fisted over the value of a single purchase.
I suggest that you do offer a money back guarantee to your customers. You don’t need to make your guarantee the focal point of your sales pages, but you should affirm your commitment to honouring warranty claims somewhere on your website. Perhaps in the footer, the sidebar, or in your website’s FAQ’s.
I’d like to conclude this lesson by affirming once again that you should not expect to receive very many requests for refunds at all, if ever. Provided your recordings are of reasonable quality and have been fairly described on your website, then perhaps only one in a thousand customers will ever ask for their money back.
As a purveyor of meditation or hypnosis audio productions, it is important that you understand how to deal with refund requests if they arise, but dealing with problems and processing refunds is only going to constitute a teensy, tiny portion of your life. That’s one of the beautiful things about having your own website to sell from. They are just so efficient. If you ever reach the point where you are spending more than 60 minutes a day dealing with customer inquiries then I would expect that this is because your website sales have grown so large that you are in the position to quit your day job entirely.