I wrote in the past about how direct sales is one of the best, if not the absolute best way to sell web sites on the Internet. Sure, you can approach a stranger and tell them you have a web site for sale and you may get lucky and make a sale, but there is a far better way. Let’s explore how to get the targeted customers and how to automate most of the process.
Offer Your Web Site To Past/Existing Customers That Opt In To Your Mailing List
Builing your own web site where you list your sites for sale is a great idea. I’m not saying to set something up to compete with the likes of Flippa, I’m saying to just list your own sites for sales. You will have a way for people to buy sites directly from you if they a) stumble across your web site or b) get updated through email broadcasts.
First, you need to start a mailing list and provide an opt-in form on your site. Better is to offer the ability for prospective buyers to create a custom account on your web site by perhaps using some sort of membership software. Be sure the software ties into your mailing list provider, so that you can send messages directly to your web site members but through third party servers (such as MailChimp or AWeber) to make it more efficient, plus make it simpler to stay inline with SPAM laws.
Create An Account For Buyers And Let Them Download Their Files After Logging In
Now, for sales that are made from other sites like Flippa, DigitalPoint Forums, eBay, etc. the buyers won’t know about your site. Well, when it comes time to “sending” the web site files after the sale is made, make them available in your membership site for download in a clean, easy to use/access interface.
You can create an account for them on their behalf and send them a message with the login URL and their username and password (or have that happen in an automated way with the membership software if possible). You will also want to include in the message a note about opting in to your list to be sure they get emails about new sites that you have available for sale. Don’t auto opt them in, people wont like that. But make it simple and one-clickable if possible to get them on the list. Then redirect them to their purchase and all of the necessary documentation to make the process very very simple. Plus offer the services of your team for installation and/or upkeep and/or content creation etc. as an upsell.
Don’t List Sites Publicly At First – Many Buyers Like To Purchase Privately
As you start to build a list of buyers, the proverbial “Site Buyer’s Club” or however “cool” you want to make it, be sure to let them know that they get exclusive opportunity to purchase a site before the masses do. In other words, before making a site publicly available for sale, they get first dibs.
It’s much more simple to send just one email to the entire list and have a “buy now” price but you can get more sophisticated that that, and you probably should if you can. You could have tiers where the people that have spent the most with you get first crack at a purchase. Plus you could get fancy with auctions instead of just a “buy now” price.
Advertise Flippa Listings Through Your Site, At Least At First
Initially you will have no buyers (or prospects) on your list and very little traffic. You will get both of those eventually (if you stick to it) but your buyers will first come from the marketplace, from Flippa for example.
So, on your web site, in the early stages at least, when listing a web site publicly you could link to your auction in the markeplace. Again, although you aren’t necessarily going to be getting sales in this way, the extra “content” on your site as you know will have value in the short and long term. But be prepared that some buyers will request that you remove the listing from your site after a sale. But if they don’t, be sure and stamp a “SOLD” notation on it to show how awesome you are at flipping sites.
So when selling trhough the marketplace rather than direct, what you could do is have a button that says: “Bid on this site on Flippa!” or something similar. Check with the terms, but you might be able to get affiliate commissions as well when directing people to your own site sale auctions on Flippa. Flippa’s affiliate program is through Share-A-Sale.com if interested.
Now, if you have a list of “prospects”… the folks that opted in and created an account from the public site but have not made any purchases, you can email them about your Flippa (or other) auction. Send them to your web site rather than direct to the auction especially if you could get some kickback commissions from it.
Once you feel that you have enough real buyers on the list, and not just a handful of prospects, just keep emailing them the private sale options. Try giving exclusivity (first crack at buying) to the folks that have bought the most from you, especially if you can automate it. Note: Whether you can do that or not will likely have to do with the sophistication of the membership software that you are using.
Then, if no sales happen privately, publicize the sale of the property from your site and send an email to all prospects (non buyers) and see how you fare. Worse case you can bring the auction to the marketplace. But remember, when you do that, even though you will likely get less profit, you will still be pulling in a new buyer to your site/list in the end when the site sells.
Remember, you don’t need to sell through Flippa to have access to the safety of Escrow (which you should highly consider using). Plus, always consider after support and upsells. Wow your customers… you want them to keep buying from you don’t ya?