Pre-selling is the art of getting people in the mood to buy without seeming to be too pushy.
There’s a fine line here: if you’re too gentle with your pre-selling, people won’t take the hint. If you pressure them too much then they may decide not to buy either or might buy and then experience buyers remorse and ask for a refund (very easy to do on the web).
There are various options available to help you nudge people in the right direction (where that means they click the “buy” button and earn you some money).
I like creating review pages where I review either one product or several of them.
I get some of my most regular sales from various reviews I’ve created about self-help products such as meditation tracks.
My reviews are slightly different from the affiliate mainstream because I’ve actually used most of the products I’m reviewing.
That comes through in the review and I can use a compare and contrast method. For instance, the top meditation product isn’t the highest priced or highest commission one – even though that would be fairly normal for an affiliate review page. After all, the aim is to get the most money.
Instead, the highest commission product ($150 versus $22.20) is further down the page. It’s there as the “money no object” option rather than the “go for it” one. It’s nice when someone buys the higher priced product but the aim of the particular page it’s on is to introduce people to this particular style of meditation.
I’ve got a different page (on another site) that compares a higher priced, higher commission product with the industry leader which is in an even higher price bracket. But that’s not the aim of the main review page.
One other thing that’s well worth doing with reviews is including negative aspects of the product.
All products have negatives. Your job as a reviewer is to point those out in a way that doesn’t stop people buying the product you’d like them to purchase.
Rather than the over-long, far-too-glowing, pictures and videos, always 5 star Amazon reviews that eventually get round to mentioning that they got the product free.
If it’s a digital product, create a bonus PDF or video that fills in the gap you’ve just identified. That works well and gives people a reason to buy from your link rather than someone else’s.
If it’s a physical product, there’s almost certainly a workaround for the negative point. So, again, you can offer some kind of extra content to show how to overcome the problem you identified.
These have stood the test of time. If you go to an exhibition with lots of stands, chances are at least one of them is using this technique. Often in a fairly unrelated area so long as that has mass appeal.
And, of course, there are the free food samples that you get offered regularly in supermarkets and even on the street. They’re demo-ing the product as well as using reciprocity to try to guilt you into a purchase.
Demos are really easy to do on the web.
The video camera on your phone is plenty good enough to film you demonstrating a product. Just look at all the recipe videos – often with the latest gadget incorporated – to see that.
But it’s not just recipes that are photogenic.
Most markets can be adapted to that – I could even show a video of someone putting on their headset and going into a blissful state as they listen to a meditation. That would get views, especially if I chose my person carefully (and that could vary according to the market I was targeting, so an older person would work just as well as an attractive youngster, it would just attract a different sector of the niche)
If the product isn’t visual or you don’t feel confident enough to create a video, a case study can work as well.
If it’s a gradual change product then a “dear diary” style is good – noting the changes you feel every day, how easy or difficult it is to keep up with using the product, all the things that will be running through the mind of your target market.
Do the usual promotion – Tweets, Facebook posts and status updates, etc. – and you’ll gradually build up a following and, in turn, pre-sell without coming across like a pushy used car salesman.
Links in your content are probably the least pushy way of pre-selling.
We’re naturally curious and carefully placed links to appropriate products are clicked on regularly.
And if some of those links are affiliate links, that’s fine.
It’s a technique I use all the time.
Sometimes with a note that says “this product will help achieve” whatever it is the article is talking about.
Sometimes just woven in to the article like the meditation link earlier because it’s an example of something.
Some marketers even just link out from words like “read” or “book” and let people browse sites like Amazon of their own accord without suggesting a particular product.
Linking an image works as well – I’ve used that on lots of occasions so that instead of the image linking to a larger version, it goes off to the appropriate page that (probably) sets an affiliate cookie.
All those options work.
So don’t restrict yourself.
Test and adjust (affiliate programs with tracking links make that extra easy) and see how people react. But don’t let the analysis of that hold you back from creating more content!