Boost Sales by Bundling
by Penny Sansevieri
Face it, times are tough. The economy blah, blah, blah. Tell me something new.
The key to prospering in tough times is: Everyone loves a bargain, especially today. Bargains drive sales. No matter whether they’re discounts, coupons, bonus packages, gifts with purchases, or any other lure, the point is that people love getting something for less.
Several weeks ago, we experimented with a bundling bargain. We decided to offer my latest title, Red Hot Internet Publicity, together with Book Promotion Made Easy, written by Eric Gelb and published some years ago by 2000 Career Advancement Center. Eric’s book is not outdated; it’s an evergreen title that hasn’t been aggressively promoted for a while.
Sales of Red Hot Internet Publicity quadrupled. I was stunned. Not only that, I have now found that bundling works in person too. When I pair Book Promotion Made Easy with my latest book at speaking events, I quadruple sales there as well.
Building Your Bundle
You may have a backlist book that’s a great match for a newer title you are promoting. If not, you can probably find a book published by somebody else and arrange to co-promote both books as a package. Or you can bundle one of your books with a booklet, an e-book, a checklist, an article or special report, an MP3 audio program, or a CD that you have created or arranged to provide. Lots of possibilities exist.
If you’re going to get a product for bundling from someone else, remember that publishers, authors, and other vendors may be interested in a bulk sale at a steep discount, like 70-80 percent.
Also, consider autographing bundled books. Consumers love autographed copies. I provided a generic autograph in my bundled book, which works for buyers who want the book for themselves and for buyers who want to give it as a gift.
Here are some numbers from our experiment:
Total list value of Red Hot Internet Publicity with Book Promotion Made Easy—$30.95 (Red Hot is priced at $18.95 and Book Promotion Made Easy at $12). We negotiated our purchase of Eric’s book, and got copies for $2 apiece, which was a great deal considering the book’s exceptional value.
Then we rounded up the price of Red Hot Internet Publicity to $20 and gave away Book Promotion Made Easy as a bonus purchase. Rounding to $20 made it easier to sell the bundle at the back of the room (I have found that most people have at least one $20 on them, and it’s great not to have to make change).
With the bundle priced at $20, the saving could be expressed as 35 percent or $10.95.
It’s important, of course, to use numbers like that so the customer sees the great value you’re offering.
Once you’ve formulated your special offer, you’ll need to make it easy for people to take advantage of it. Take four simple steps:
Add a special landing page on your Web site about the special offer.
Link the landing page to your site’s payment mechanism.
Fill orders ASAP. Buyers are a very impatient group these days.
Promote your bundle to your mailing list, and if you’re partnering with someone, make sure they promote it to their list as well.
Also, consider a bonus for buyers. We offered a free Twitter class to everyone who bought this bundle. We didn’t advertise it; we made the offer after customers had made their purchases to thank them for doing business with us and build customer loyalty.
And there’s a bonus for you too. As you key into today’s thirst for bargains and sell all those books, you’re also growing your mailing list.
Penny C. Sansevieri is CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts, Inc., which specializes in book marketing and media relations. Her five books include Book to Bestseller; and her company offers The Virtual Author Tour, which works with social networking sites, blogs, Twitter, e-zines, video sites, and relevant sites to push an author’s message into the virtual community and position the author in the appropriate market. To learn more, visit amarketingexpert.com.