Planet13 - 4:02 pm on Feb 20, 2012 (gmt 0)
@ buckworks and @ enigma1
Let me get back to both of your responses a little later in the day. It is still relatively early on the west coast here. They both deserve some time for me to look up the numbers and reflect upon. So please check back a little later in this thread.
What is your shipping rates like?
I am glad you asked.
My shipping rates are much more reasonable than our competitors. And shipping times are generally better, to. For instance, a competitor states right on their product page that they charge a significant "handling" fee on top of the shipping charge. (Their shipping charges are high, too, but they don't state the shipping charge on the product page. They just state the significant handling fee on the product page.)
Yes, some people will be surprised by shipping (no matter how much you subsidize it, like we do), but we have eliminated MOST of the surprises by putting the shipping costs on the Basket Contents page. (They are taken directly to the basket contents page once they add an item to their shopping cart, so in essence, they get to preview the shipping charges once they add the item to their cart.)
It's not as good as putting the shipping costs right on the product page (or on our information pages, which we are trying to monetize), but at this time I don't know how to do that.
If you're sure they are coming there looking to BUY, versus just, say, finding out "what the heck impressionist art IS",
Well, I am not sure. It would appear that people are coming to those pages JUST to find out what impressionist art is, as you suggested.
Using the art example above, it may be that people who come to those pages would be more interested in buying books on art, or museum tickets, or art supplies, rather than the art pieces that I actually sell (and promote on those information pages).
...then put on your used-car-salesman's hat...
I understand what you are saying about this. Unfortunately, I don't think I can because I do use those pages for getting inbound links to my site, and I won't be able to get a university professor or an art historical site to link to those pages if I turn them into squeeze pages. I have to walk the line between using them to get links, and using them to generate income.
You also mentioned using adsense in addition to promoting my own products, and that is a very real possibility. I might try this, but from what I understand, you can't really "try" adsense and make any money with it. You have to dedicate lots of time to figuring out what works and what doesn't, so I might have my work cut out for me.