Step 9: How To Start Collecting Payments And Build A Buyers List
You’ve finally reached the last chapter in this WordPress Success course. At this point, you already know a lot of things about WordPress. To round up this course, it’s time for you to learn how to start collecting payments as well as build a buyers list.
But before we go into detail on how you can start collecting payments on your WordPress site, I’d like to let you know that collecting payments basically fall into two categories.
The first is you are collecting payments for products purchased from your eCommerce store. This means you need to build an online store first before you can start accepting payments.
The second is you are collecting payments for services rendered. This is particularly useful for those in the freelancing industry, or those selling only one or two products. They don’t need to create a full store to receive payments. They can simply put a payment or buy now button on their website.
The reason I’m pointing this out is that because, in this chapter, I will be recommending a few plugins for each category.
I thought this was the best way to approach this topic since a full-featured eCommerce plugin like WooCommerce is overkill for someone who just wants to use their site to receive payments from clients.
How To Collect Payments On An eCommerce Website
If you’re running an online store and you want to build a secure payment gateway on your WordPress website, then you need an eCommerce plugin like WooCommerce (https://wordpress.org/plugins/woocommerce) or Easy Digital Downloads (https://wordpress.org/plugins/easy-digital-downloads).
Collecting payment with WooCommerce
There are plenty of other eCommerce plugins, both free and premium, but WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce plugin used on WordPress sites. It’s so popular in fact that according to their plugin description, it powers 30% of all online stores!
Once you’ve installed WooCommerce on your site, the set-up wizard will walk you through the 6-step process. Here’s how the Store Setup page looks like:
The next section is Payment. As you can see in the screenshot below, PayPal is activated by default.
You can choose to add other payment methods later on, but on this settings page, you can toggle on the settings for check payments, bank transfer payments, and cash on delivery.
If you click on the link which says Additional payment methods, you will be directed to a page where you can see the entire list of 80+ WooCommerce payment partners. The most popular ones are Stripe, Amazon Pay, Authorize.net, Square, WorldPay, 2GoCheckout, and Alipay, among others.
What’s really great with WooCommerce is you can literally sell anything you want, whether it’s physical or digital products. The plugin is highly versatile.
Once you’ve set up your store and connected your preferred payment gateways, receiving payments from your customers will be a breeze!
Collecting payments with Easy Digital Downloads
While WooCommerce is great for both digital and physical products, it can be quite complicated setting up an eStore full of digital products. This is where the Easy Digital Downloads plugin shine.
Selling digital products like eBooks, software, photos, videos, online courses, songs, documents, or any other type of media file is a breeze using this plugin.
Since digital products can be sold anywhere with Internet access, this plugin makes it easy for you to integrate the most common payment processors in the US and abroad. You can even accept Bitcoin payments!
How To Collect Payments On Your Blog or Non-eStore Website
If you’re not using your WordPress site to build an online store, but you still want to receive payment, then it’s certainly possible. You can still use WooCommerce, but as I mentioned earlier, there are far too many settings and options. You won’t need to touch most of those if you’re not building a store.
The simplest, easiest way to collect payments on your WordPress website is by putting a payment button on your website.
The easiest way to do this is by using a WordPress plugin, so you don’t have to touch any code yourself.
As you probably already know, the most popular ways of receiving payments online are through PayPal and Stripe.
Receiving PayPal Payments
There are a number of plugins that will allow you to receive PayPal payments. Two of the most popular plugins are:
- Subscriptions & Memberships for PayPal (https://wordpress.org/plugins/subscriptions-memberships-for-paypal) – if you’re selling a subscription or membership on your site, then this plugin will be great for your particular business model.
- WP Easy Paypal Payment Accept (https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-easy-paypal-payment-or-donation-accept-plugin) – you can use this plugin to accept PayPal payments for a product, service or donation.
For donations, users can specify an amount they wish to pay. This is especially useful if you’re accepting payments on behalf of a charitable institution, or you’re accepting donations to help keep your site running.
Receiving Stripe Payments
Alternatively, you can sign up for Stripe and use it to process payments. Here are some plugins for you to consider:
- WP Simple Pay (https://wordpress.org/plugins/stripe) – with this plugin, you don’t need to set up a shopping cart to start accepting Stripe payments. Install this on your site, and you can easily configure it to receive one-time or recurring payments from your clients and customers.
- Stripe Payments (https://wordpress.org/plugins/stripe-payments) – you can accept credit card payments on your WordPress site using this simple plugin. You can put up payment or buy now buttons on your site via shortcode.
Why You Need To Build A Buyers List On Your WordPress Website
Building an email list of people you can market to later on is an important aspect of growing your business. People may visit your website, but a few minutes later, they’ll leave and will probably never return to your site again.
As a business owner, you want to get a perfect conversion rate, that is, everyone who visits your website buys from you. But, as we all know, that is pretty much impossible.
So, we settle for the next best thing – getting the best conversion rates possible. And one of the easiest ways to achieve that is by building a buyers list.
To start building a list, you need to get your potential customers’ email addresses by asking them to sign up for your mailing list. Today, people won’t voluntarily give you their email address. They don’t know you, and they don’t trust you enough to give their personal details to you.
The most common technique website owners use is they offer an irresistible and highly valuable lead magnet to their website visitors in exchange for their email address.
Sounds brilliant, right? Well, it really is! And the more valuable the lead magnet, the higher the email opt-in rate.
For example, if you have an online store, you can give away a discount code or a free item for anyone who signs up for your list. You can tell them they’ll get a coupon code every month or so.
Or you’ll send them a free item when they buy your latest product. Think of something people will love, something that will be so enticing they’ll have no choice but to put their email address on your sign-up form.
Here are a few reasons why an email list or buyers list is a must if you own a website:
- You can build a relationship with your list. When people first land on your site, they have no idea who you are. But since you offered them something super valuable, they decided to sign up for your list. But just because they’re on your list doesn’t mean they trust you wholeheartedly.
To gain their full trust, you’d need to continue giving them value. You’d need to build a relationship. Ask for their input, let them know you read and reply to all email inquiries.
Make yourself approachable. Once you’ve built a relationship with your list, it’s much easier to sell to them because you’re not a total stranger to them.
- It’s your very own property. You have 100% control over your list. You can rebrand your site, or you can move to a new web host, but you can still carry your list over to your new site. Even if your website gets hacked, you’ll still have your list provided you keep it safe in another location.
- Your subscribers have authorized you to send them emails. They signed up for your list after all. But take note, sending emails is different from spamming. They signed up because you offered them something valuable. Continue offering them value, and they’ll be more likely to buy whatever product you’re recommending to them.
- You can drive traffic back to your website. Every time you publish a new article or blog post on your website, or you release a new product, you can send out an email to your list letting them know of your update.
Of course, this advice is only feasible if you don’t update every day. If you do update daily, then you may want to send out emails every few days or so. You’d hate to annoy your subscribers, and they can easily unsubscribe from your list.
- It’s easier to convert your subscribers into fans. If you nurture your list properly, that is, you give them something valuable in every email you send, then they’re not going to be mere customers.
They’ll be your fans. And when they become fans, they’ll help spread the word about you and your business. They will become ambassadors of your brand, and they’ll be willing to leave positive reviews for you on social media and various platforms.
Building a buyers list or a mailing list is a must for today’s online businesses. And it’s easy to build your list on your WordPress website. You don’t need to code anything.
You can use themes and plugins to create beautiful and high-converting opt-in forms and landing pages.