Our customers often ask us what's the easiest way to get a website set up, so you can start selling printables and/pr print-on-demand products.
Well our answer…and the most popular because of its simplicity and functionality WordPress, coupled with the e-commerce plugin WooCommerce. If you are considering opening an online shop to sell downloadable printables or print-on-demand (POD) products, then it's quite simple to get started with this e-commerce solution dynamo! And the best part? Both are free!
Why WordPress and WooCommerce?
With WordPress and the basic WooCommerce plug-in free, all you have to pay for is a domain name and hosting. This website building tool and e-commerce solution combination has more than enough functionality to get your online shop started … and may be all you ever need. But if you should need more features in the future, you can always select from a plethora of paid WooCommerce add-on features to take your online shop to the next level.
How To Build Your Website
If you are going to set up an online shop to sell printables or POD products, then you need an “online presence” aka a website. Setting up your own website is no longer an option, but a necessity for any business today, but is especially essential if you have an online business. And while there are several companies that will let you build a website on their platforms, that is not a recommended practice because you have no control over “your” website. They can unexpectedly go out of business at any time or delete your account for no reason. All of a sudden everything you build as a website is gone, and you are left with nothing.
Some companies will not even share your customer’s information with you, so you don’t have a way to contact them. Repeat business is one's lifeline to running an online business.
Regardless of what others may say, building your own website, creating your own customer list and having complete control over your website are the best, safest (and most profitable) business methods to use.
Building your own website to sell your online products may seem daunting at first, but really it is not that hard. There are actually just four steps:
- Get a domain name (Go Daddy is a choice when buying a domain name)
- Choose a web hosting service (There are several; we highly recommend Mom Webs)
- Choose a website building tool (WordPress is the gold standard for beginners)
- Choose an e-commerce solution (WooCommerce is easy to set up)
And of course after setting up your website, you’ll also want the means to begin growing your mailing list so that you have a way to email previous buyers about your current offers. This email management system is called an autoresponder.
As far as autoresponder providers, Mailchimp is a good free option; Aweber, Get Response and Constant Contact are all great paid options. You will find there are many different autoresponder options to choose from depending on the functionality you want.
Creating Sales Funnels, So You Can Maximize Your Earnings Per Sale
Once you have your website set up, increase your sales potential by creating what is known as sales funnels. Without a sales funnel, you are offering your customer one option to buy; with a sales funnel, they are offered several options to buy, thus increasing your sales potential per customer…and giving your customers more value at the same time.
Typically how it works is after they buy your initial offering, they are presented with another option to buy another product called a one-time offer or OTO. This OTO is usually higher priced than the first offer and is known as an upsell. If they pass on that second offer, they can be presented with another OTO, which can be the same offer as the first OTO, but this one has fewer features and at a lower price. This is known as a downsell. An initial offer can have several different OTO upsells and downsells contained within a single sales funnel.
Setting up and managing a sales funnel efficiently requires installing a plugin on your website. If you are using WordPress as your website builder and WooCommerce as your e-commerce solution, then here are four funnel solutions that integrate seamlessly with your online shop:
Created specifically to work with WordPress and Woo Commerce, Woo Funnels is the ultimate funnel builder and automation sales plugin. It is offered with various site licenses and has both annual and lifetime options.
This plugin works with WordPress and Woo Commerce and is simple to use with its unique funnel design and built-in templates. Easily offer customers options like order bumps, upsells, downsells, etc. It too also offers both annual and lifetime purchase options.
This plugin works a little different in that it provides other sales options by using a slider at the time of checkout. Products displayed can be based on rules, total price, number of items in the cart, coupon codes or a host of other “triggers” that you set up when creating a sales funnel.
When compared to the other funnel option recommendations, this one is the least expensive. As its name says, it is a part of a sales process that is activated as part of the customer checkout flow. When checking out, the customer will see other product suggestions presented and they can seamlessly add them to their cart as part of their checkout experience.
Growing Your List and Staying in Touch with Your Customers
The success of your business depends in large part on carefully managing and growing your email list. Selecting the right company to partner with is critical, but the good news is, each of these providers is a great option for your business. We personally use Aweber, but think all the services are useful, so perhaps take a trial and see how you find the dashboard, compare pricing and make your decision. But if you don't want to do all that, go ahead and sign up for Aweber…it will do the job!
One of the older email list managers, AWeber is still popular due to its features and ease of use. It’s easy to integrate with most website builders and offers some advanced features such as a/b testing and autoresponders. They have live customer support too. AWeber offers a limited free version for up to 500 subscribers.
This company is consistently ranked as the number one email marketing provider for small businesses for good reason. It’s easy for beginners to use and has on-demand online training. They have incredible customer service reviews as well. Finally, Constant Contact offers every advanced feature you could want in an email provider, including autoresponders, list segmentation, analytics, surveys, and more.
Are you going to create a podcast, newsletter, or blog? ConvertKit is designed to be a marketing platform primarily for creators. The company has features specifically for these sorts of businesses, including the ability to sell digital products and subscriptions. They also offer all the features you could want in an email manager.
Hubspot is more than just an email list manager; it’s a complete Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. It’s a powerful system that will enable you to manage customers' needs all in one place. Lead nurturing, customer service, order management, and more can all be integrated into one system. If you need that sort of capability, HubSpot is your go-to provider, otherwise, you probably want to go elsewhere because it’s more expensive than many of the other options.
Affiliate Program Management
After you have your sales funnels in place, you can take your online business to an even higher level by setting up an affiliate management system. Having other people promote your offers to their customer lists, in return for a small commission from each sale, is like having your own dedicated sales force. Instead of just you promoting your offers to a few hundred customers on your list, for example, with affiliates, your offers can go out to the customers on their list – which could number in the thousands. It is not hard to see the potential to make a lot of sales if you have a number of affiliates with large lists.
With an affiliate management system in place, other online sellers can become affiliates of yours by signing up on your website affiliate's page, and in turn, offer your products to their customers. To make it easier for affiliates to sign up, for you to track sales made by affiliates, and payout the commissions they earn, there are plugins made just for that purpose.
If using WordPress and WooCommerce, there are a number of plugins to help with the management of affiliates. Here are three of the most popular ones:
This management platform integrates with WordPress and several e-commerce solutions including WooCommerce. This cost-effective plugin checks all the boxes by offering recruitment of affiliates, sign-ups, login and management functions as part of your website.
This is another robust affiliate management system that offers different levels of affiliate management through various integrations and extensions including one called Affiliates Woo Commerce Light.
This affiliate management plugin has a Lite free version and three paid levels depending on the number of sites managed and features wanted in an affiliate management program. Like the other two plugins, it too integrates seamlessly with WordPress and Woo Commerce.
If you are going to be in the business of selling downloadable printables or POD products, then having a website is a critical piece of your business operation. Once established, then take your business to the next level by:
- Downloading and configuring a sales funnel plugin
- Adding an affiliate management program
- Setting up an autoresponder to email future offers to customers and remain in contact with them
By setting up your website and having these elements in place, not only will you increase the sales potential for your offers today, but it will also help you grow your list of customers and increase future sales for tomorrow.
These are The Nuts and Bolts – Here's How to Take it to The Next Level
We hope you've found this a useful tutorial on setting up your website to sell printables and print-on-demand products. If you're looking for marketing strategies to maximize these opportunities, we've got you covered.
It's all in our Big Growth and Shortcuts Templates Club, where we cover smart marketing strategies for you each month, with a BIG focus on helping you use funnels efficiently to earn more per sale.
You can try your first month for just $1…and you'll receive INSTANT access to this month's shortcut strategy, plus tons of bonus templates to master a variety of marketing tasks.
And then come see us in our EKitHub Facebook Group with questions, to get feedback and more. We're always happy to help. You'll find the link to the group on your download page.
We very much look forward to working with you!
Your partners in easy product creation,
Alice Seba and Yusef Kulan