The 13 Best WordPress Live Chat Plugins in 2019

Let’s be honest. No one wants to send a support email only to receive a (possibly automated) response 48 hours later. Similarly, no one wants to be put on hold for 30+ minutes while being told they’re the next caller in line. We live in a world of instant gratification. Your customers are busy and they want to speak to you on their own terms.

Live chat can provide a more immediate, personalized support system for your customers and prospects, even when you aren’t personally there to answer immediately.

Whether you use it for customer service or to close sales, live chat gives your customers the real-time interaction they crave, boosts your conversion rates, and improves customer satisfaction.

But with a fairly crowded live chat tool landscape, it can be difficult to know which tool should you select. In this article, we'll take a look at 13 of the best WordPress live chat plugins to consider.

 

1. HubSpot All-In-One Marketing

HubSpot’s All-In-One Marketing plugin offers various marketing tools for your website, including live chat.

HubSpot’s live chat tool lets you set up targeted messages for different pages or segments of your audience. If no one can respond immediately, you can enable an email capture form so your visitors can still get in touch. You can also set up a chatbot to personalize your conversations at scale.

Because it’s built on top of the free HubSpot CRM, you’ll know exactly who you’re chatting with and what pages they viewed on your website, be it a prospect, long time customer, or new contact. This makes for an excellent customer experience. You can take notes, send emails, make calls, schedule follow-up tasks, and create support tickets in one place, making following up an absolute breeze for your team

If you’re on the move a lot, HubSpot’s mobile CRM app lets you respond to chats on the go.

Pricing:

Live Chat is included with the Free HubSpot CRM. However, you can upgrade to a paid account to get access to more advanced functionalities such as if/then workflows and transferring chats to different team members.

2. SnapEngage

 SnapEngage is an omni-channel chat, meaning you can interact with your prospects and customers wherever they are, whether that is Facebook, Twitter, WeChat, or Zalo. Visitors can reach you via text message thanks to the SMS-to-Chat feature.

This tool also lets you see what your visitors are typing before they hit send, which allows for quicker responses. Users can also have one of your agents call them via the “Call Me” feature.

Pricing:

Plans start at $16 per user/month, with a minimum of 3 users. They also offer a free 7-day trial.

3. Tawk.To Live Chat

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Tawk.To is completely free, so you get all the features without having to pay. Rather than charging for the live chat tool itself, Tawk.To provides a service so you can hire their agents to respond to chats on your behalf.

This plugin offers a lot of features that normally come with a paid account with other products, such as automated triggers, canned responses for common questions, and file uploads.

You also get unlimited agents and active chats, ticketing, as well as integrations with translation plugins so you can chat with your visitors in their language of choice.

Pricing:

The plugin is free. You can purchase an add-on for $15 per month to remove the Tawk.To branding and you can hire their agents for $1 per hour.

4. Zendesk Chat

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Zendesk Chat offers beautiful, stylish customizable layouts and themes for your chat boxes.

Zendesk Chat lets you track your chat performance via powerful analytics and customer satisfaction data. You also get access to many chat triggers. For example, if a visitor is stuck on a page for longer than a minute, your chat window will pop up with an automated greeting, making it easier to engage with your prospects. You also get an AI bot to automate the process when your chat is offline.

Pricing:

For the most basic functionality, you can get started with the Lite plan for free. For larger teams, premium plans start at $14 per user/month.

5. Pure Chat

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Pure Chat has a super friendly user interface. You can customize your chat box with an endless range of colors, animations, and custom images. Its proactive chat triggers allow you to automatically start the conversation with your visitors and target them based on the pages they’ve viewed or the amount of time spent on them.

The Engagement Hub lets visitors choose from several contact options -- live chat, email, phone, Twitter, etc. You can also set canned responses for frequent questions.

Pricing:

The free version includes three users and grants you access to full customization, the Engagement Hub, and unlimited chat history. Upgrades start at $39/month.

6. Drift

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Drift is a popular option if your goal is to engage with prospects to close a sale, rather than offer customer support.

Target users and initiate the conversation based on specific actions they’ve taken. For example, you can set an automatic greeting when a user has visited your pricing page multiple times. And when your chat is offline, prospects can send you an email so you don’t miss out on those leads.

Other features include automated sales sequences, account-based marketing, and an AI-powered bot for when you’re too busy to reply.

Drift comes with a dedicated iOS and Android app so that you can manage your chats from your phone.

Pricing:

The free plan is ideal for the most basic chat capabilities. For the more advanced features, paid plans start at $50/month.

7. Tidio Live Chat

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Tidio’s live chat plugin is easy to set up. Simply activate the plugin and your chat box is live. Choose from a range of three different designs and customize the colors to fit your branding. On top of managing your live chats, you can also manage your emails and Facebook Messenger responses in the same interface.

Tidio gives you the ability to improve your team’s efficiency with the use of automatic messages and chatbots. And when a visitor leaves the chat, you can continue the conversation via email.

If a lot of your visitors are non-English speakers, you won’t need to look for a translation plugin as Tidio supports many languages so you can talk to your visitors in the language of their choice.

Pricing:

Start free with up to three users and gain access to key features like email and Messenger integration and unlimited tracking. For more functionality, upgrades start at $15/month.

8. LiveChat

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LiveChat is one of the most veteran players in the WordPress live chat space. It has a very high focus on customer service and support.

Add surveys before or after your chat to collect user feedback and have visitors rate their agent so to improve your customer service. This plugin also lets your visitors submit support tickets during your offline hours. On top of initiating conversations and automatic greetings,you can transfer chats to other agents, set up canned responses, share files, and see what your users are typing in real time.

Pricing:

You can try out this product with a 30-day free trial. After that, you will need to select a plan, starting at $16 per user/month.

9. Olark

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Olark easily integrates with your WordPress website through a simple copy/paste code snippet.

This product offers data reports, measuring chat frequency, operator responsiveness, and customer satisfaction. It lets you assign chats to specific departments and even group operators by team (for example, sales team or support team) for easier management.

Olark offers many common features like automatic messages, but a differentiating attribute is that it lets you view visitor data, including what items the visitor has in their shopping cart, to allow you to give faster and more informed responses.

Pricing:

There is no free version for this product (though you do get a two-week free trial). Plans start at $17 per agent/month.

10. Live Chat by Formilla

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This live chat tool starts you off with a free version which lets you install your chat box on one website but with only one agent. If you’re looking for a chat that can handle high user volumes, you will most likely need to upgrade, as the free version only lets you have 30 chats per month.

The paid plans give you access to dedicated mobile apps for both iOS and Android so you can reply to users straight from your phone. You get real-time visitor monitoring, chat queues for when operators are busy handling other queries, and an autoresponder to collect contact details.

Stay organized by prioritizing your chats, assigning tickets, and transferring them over to other agents when needed. You can also set up an email form for when your chat is offline. As most other plugins in this list, you get canned responses and have the option to initiate the conversation with your prospect. You also get multilingual support, so no need to install an additional plugin for that.

Pricing:

You can get started with the free plan, but for more functionality, premium plans start at $11.99 per user/month.

11. WP Live Chat Support

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WP Live Chat Support comes with six pre-defined chat box skins, which can be further customized and lets you manage everything directly from your WordPress dashboard.

With WP Live Chat Support, you get unlimited free chats, user targeting, as well as surveys and polls to collect user feedback before and after a chat. For a one-time fee, you can upgrade and get access to more features like real-time typing, proactive chats, analytics, and canned responses.

Pricing:

WP Live Chat Support is free, but you can pay a one-off fee of $49.95 for additional features.

12. Facebook Chat for WordPress

If your website or business is hugely reliant on social media, this plugin might just be the solution you’re looking for. Facebook Live Chat Plugin for WordPress lets you bring the Facebook live chat features over to your WordPress website so that your users can conveniently reach out to you using their Facebook contact information. You can customize the colors, so you won’t be limited to using the classic Facebook blue color.

This plugin gives you user profiles and has a Facebook “like” button to boost your social media following.

Pricing:

You can purchase a regular license for $25, which gives you six months of support from NinjaTeam.

13. Casengo Live Chat Support

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Last but not least, Casengo easily integrates with Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp so you can meet your users where they are. You can create your own knowledge base, a feature similar to canned responses, for your team to look up answers when replying to customers.

Stay aware of which customers are still waiting for an answer with intuitive case management tags and stay on top of your performance with analytic reports measuring your total resolved cases and average handle time.

Pricing:

You can get started with a 14-day trial before moving on to paid plans, which start at €29 per user/month (that’s approximately $33 USD).

The live chat plugin you choose will largely depend on your company needs.

If you're looking for a quick and easy way to connect with your leads and build better relationships with your customers, check out HubSpot's free WordPress plugin.

With HubSpot, all your chats are automatically stored in a universal inbox enriched with data from HubSpot’s free CRM, providing everyone on your team with the context they need to craft the perfect responses.

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Checkout Process Design For High Conversion Rates

Ecommerce websites live and die by their conversions.

For those of you who have a high volume of traffic to your website, that’s great news. But traffic alone doesn’t generate sales.

It doesn’t matter how much traffic you are generating or how cool your site looks if you can’t make a sale. The number of sales you get will impact how well your business does.

Is your website traffic translating to conversions?

There are certain metrics you can use to measure this. Look at your bounce rates. Analyze your shopping cart abandonment rates.

If your website visitors aren’t converting, your ecommerce site won’t make money.

Don’t get me wrong: the products you’re selling might be amazing. That’s not necessarily the issue here.

The design of your website and the checkout process might be what’s hurting you.

For the most part, simple website designs have higher conversion rates. This same concept needs to be applied to your checkout process.

Here’s the thing though. People often neglect the checkout process.

Your customers make their final purchasing decisions before they get to checkout.

So why bother, right?

That’s being incredibly short-sighted.

Shopping cart abandonment is a real problem for ecommerce stores.

In fact a study found that a whopping 69.23% of ecommerce shopping carts are abandoned.

To put this into perspective, for every 100 customers who start the checkout process, 69 don’t finish.

Customers expect their shopping experience to be seamless, easy, and without friction.

If your checkout process does not meet these expectations, your conversion rates will dive, and your revenue will head south.

Is it a massive problem? Absolutely.

These numbers shouldn’t sit right with any business owner. That’s too many lost sales and potential lifelong customers.

If someone starts the checkout process, it stands to reason they have a strong purchase intent.

So, why do so many shoppers fail to complete their purchases?

Take a look at this chart:

Out of all the reasons why shoppers abandon their carts, a majority are related to the checkout phase.

Does this apply to all businesses? Not necessarily.

Don’t get me wrong. All businesses—no matter how upscale—suffer from shopping cart abandonment.

You can’t do anything about a user who is just browsing. They may just want to save their favorite items in the cart for future reference.

With that said, there are varying reasons why shoppers do not complete a purchase and there are things that you can do to improve those numbers.

Here are 20 tips to improve your checkout process, reduce abandon rates, and boost your website checkout conversions.

1. Add multiple checkout buttons

For website visitors to make a purchase, they need to be able to navigate to your checkout page.

Once someone decides to buy, they’ll add the items they want to their shopping cart. In a perfect world, you want them to continue shopping so they spend more money.

But if the checkout buttons aren’t clearly labeled, the customer may ultimately leave the items in the cart without buying them.

This could be why your shopping cart abandonment rates are so high. Instead, include checkout buttons on both the top and bottom of the screen.

Check out this example from the Champs Sports website:

Positioning the checkout buttons in two places ensures the visitor will see and have access to both buttons.

The word “checkout” will stay in their line of vision, regardless of where they’re looking on the screen.

I also want you to notice that the location of the shopping cart on the right side of the screen allows the customer to continue shopping on the left.

This increases the likelihood that the average order amount will be higher and conversion rates remain high as well.

You can implement the same strategy on your ecommerce page to drive sales.

2. Secure the checkout process

Security needs to be a top priority for your ecommerce site. If your pages appear untrustworthy, people won’t want to buy anything.

In the past five years alone, 46% of people in the United States have been affected by credit card fraud.

There’s a high probability that nearly half of your website visitors have experienced this. Even if they haven’t personally fallen victims to fraud, I’m sure they know at least one person who has.

This puts people on high alert.

If your checkout process isn’t secure, people won’t feel safe entering their credit card information, which is ultimately what you need to make money.

All pages of the checkout process must be secure. It’s also in your best interest to include security badges, such as Norton, McAfee, or whatever else you’re using to protect your customers.

3. Reduce the number of form fields

A website visitor is ready to buy something. They’ve already made up their mind.

Don’t give them a chance to change their mind and abandon the cart. If your checkout process is long and complicated, you won’t have high conversion rates.

But if you can simplify the process by eliminating unneeded steps, you’ll make more money.

Ask yourself what information you really need from the customer to complete the purchase. Do you need the customer’s name?

Yes, but you don’t have to ask for it several times.

If a name is required to process the payment method or shipping information, don’t make them type those details twice.

Research shows that websites with fewer form fields have a higher performance rate during checkout:

Only ask for information required to complete the transaction.

If the customer’s shipping and billing addresses are the same, they should be able to check off a box indicating that—instead of having to type their address twice, for shipping and billing.

That alone shaves an extra step off the process and significantly reduces the number of form fields.

The hoop theory article I wrote a while back also explains why getting your visitors to make small micro-commitments typically increases conversion rates…as in a two-step checkout process.

You can leverage this on your checkout page by requesting your customers’ name and email info on the first page and credit card details on the second page.

This typically will boost your conversion rate by 10%. It’s worked well on Crazy Egg, and when I ran that test on Timothy Sykes, he saw a 12% increase in conversion rate.

The reason it works is because people feel that they have already given you their name and email address, so they might as well give you the rest of their details. Plus, if they don’t complete the checkout process, you can email them and try to get them back to your site. You can even entice them with coupons or just create a remarketing campaign to get their attention.

4. Offer a guest checkout option

I get it. You want to learn as much information about your customers as possible.

In a perfect world, everyone who visits your site will create a customer profile. This allows you to monitor their browsing behavior and suggest items to them based on this behavior and their purchase history.

Customer profiles allow you to segment your audience based on the customers’ locations and make it easier for you to add subscribers to your ecommerce email list.

When a customer is browsing from their customer profile, they can also place repeat orders with just a couple of clicks.

Customers can save their payment information to their accounts, which reduces the number of steps in the checkout process and makes it easier for them to convert.

If you’re encouraging customers to create a profile, I’m all for it.

But there is a big difference between encouraging and forcing. Does a website visitor need to have a customer profile to convert? Absolutely not.

Forcing people to create a profile could be hurting your conversions.

Need proof? This is the second most common reason for shopping cart abandonment:

Over 48% of online retailers also said a guest checkout was the most important factor to increasing shopping cart conversion rates on their websites.

This was the second highest response on the list, trailing only behind free shipping.

The lesson. People want to buy something. Let them give you their money.

Don’t prioritize your content marketing strategy over actual sales.

It’s always a good idea to follow the lead of the companies that have had major success in a particular space.

Here’s an example of how a global giant Walmart implemented this strategy:

Creating a customer profile is not necessary to complete a purchase, so don’t make it so. Otherwise it will turn some customers away.

However one way to encourage your customer is to provide incentives for them if they create an account.

Notice how Walmart requires you to create an account to use a promo code in the screenshot above.

You can reward them with a coupon code or credit towards their next purchase:

Guess what? Most people will jump on that offer.

That’s a much more effective approach than forcing them to create an account.

5. Make it easy to shop from mobile devices

It’s no secret that we’re living in a mobile world. Ecommerce brands need to recognize this if they want to succeed.

In fact, 62% of people who own a smartphone used their devices to make purchases online within the last six months alone.

It’s estimated that in the next three years, mobile retail sales will control 54% of the ecommerce market share in the United States.

Why is this the case?

It’s because technology has made it more convenient to shop from mobile devices.

People aren’t walking around with laptops in their pockets all day. But phones are seemingly always within an arm’s reach, if they’re not already glued to the consumers’ hands.

If someone visits your ecommerce site from a mobile phone, they need to have a great experience.

If your site isn’t optimized for mobile devices, there’s a slim chance you’ll be able to generate conversions.

The design of your mobile site can be the difference between customers buying something or bouncing and buying from your competitors instead.

But 74% of mobile users are more likely to revisit websites that are mobile-friendly.

If your site is properly optimized, it will increase the chances of your website visitors not only converting but also coming back and buying again in the future.

You may be thinking this is obvious, but let me explain.

There are multiple elements to mobile-friendliness.

I’ve seen mobile storefronts that are vastly different from their desktop versions.

If there’s no alignment between the two interfaces, shoppers will think they’re in the wrong place.

The result? They bounce.

As we’ve seen before, most people first go to the desktop site to browse, get reviews, and make their decisions.

Ensure your mobile store is familiar to those who’ve gone through that process.

The other element of a mobile-friendly checkout is speed.

Shoppers of all kinds—mobile or not—want instant gratification.

They’re not as concerned with buying your product as much as they are with owning it.

If you take that away from them, whether by having a slow site or asking for much information, they’ll walk away.

The desire to own the product doesn’t go away. Your customers will simply go to your competitor. That’s bad for business.

Another important consideration is browsing behavior.

Mobile browsing is unique in many ways.

Here’s how you can optimize the mobile checkout process with user behavior in mind:

  • To navigate, users use their fingers, not a mouse: This means you should place all key elements on your page within reach of the thumb.
  • Typing and clicking are trickier on mobile: You need to have bigger and wider easy-to-click buttons. A larger font size also helps with improving accuracy of text input.
  • Fingers are less precise than a mouse, so the process is more error-prone: It’s crucial you make it easy to detect and correct errors.

Bonus Tip: To test the speed and mobile-friendliness of your website. You can use Google’s mobile friendly test. Make immediate adjustment if it’s not up to par.

You could even consider creating a mobile app for a checkout process to minimize friction even further.

Touch of Modern is a great example of a successful retail mobile application:

You can learn a lot about getting high conversions from their business model.

They get between 150,000 and 200,000 new downloads every month. More than half of their customers are repeat shoppers. Nearly two-thirds of their total sales come from their mobile application.

Those numbers are incredible.

The reason why this app is so successful is because they use daily flash sales and store all their customers’ data on the app, making the checkout process lightning fast.

Customers don’t have to re-input all of their credit card information and shipping addresses every time they want to buy something.

The reduced friction results in high conversions.

6. Focus on your top benefits

Besides the product, what else does the customer get when they buy something from your website? There are certain things you can do to add the perceived value of the purchase.

Here’s what I mean.

As I’ve mentioned, not everyone comes to your website with the intention of buying something. But while they are browsing, something might catch their attention.

They may want to buy it, but they want to make sure they aren’t stuck with it if they change their mind later. That’s why you should clearly state your return policy.

Take a look at this example from Lululemon:

When you’re browsing on their website, you can clearly see at all times they offer free shipping and free returns. Their customers know they can get the item delivered free and send it back without any problems.

Obviously, you don’t want items to be returned. Don’t worry, they probably won’t be. In fact, according to the National Retail Federation, about 8% of all purchases get returned.

But just giving your customers the peace of mind can be enough to drive the sale.

In addition to your shipping and return policies, make sure you highlight any other features your company offers. Some things to consider:

  • warranty information
  • secure checkout
  • social proof of the product
  • any differentiating features.

One of these elements can turn a “window shopper” into a paying customer.

7. Learn how to use images

Believe it or not, pictures can help improve your conversion rates. Instead of just listing your products, show the customer what they’re buying.

While you may have an image or two of your products on your ecommerce shopping page, make sure that image shows up in the shopping cart.

Why?

This can help remind the consumer what they’re buying and reinforce their decision. Plus, it’s much more appealing than just reading some text on a page.

Here’s an example from the REI website:

The consumer gets reminded of exactly what they added to their cart. This could also help avoid any confusion or mix-ups down the road if they selected the wrong color, size, etc.

When they see a visual confirmation of the product they want, psychologically they’ll feel more comfortable about completing the purchase.

Faces also help improve your conversion rates.

According to a recent case study, conversions jumped from 3.7% to 5.5% when an animated picture of a phone was replaced with the face of a customer service representative.

Include images of people on your website. They could be wearing your product, using your product, or be beside your product.

Check out this example from the Macy’s homepage:

Notice it shows a person, and that person is looking at the promotional information and the CTA button.

We’ve already established consumers are drawn to faces. In this case, you’d look at the model’s face and then follow his gaze directly toward the text.

This is a great method for increasing conversions.

8. Allow customers to see what’s in their carts as they shop

The whole shopping cart concept is a bit strange.

Think about it.

You browse through products and funnel different items to a page you don’t actually see.

It’s not until the end of the browsing process that you go to your cart to view your items.

Most ecommerce stores do nothing to improve this aspect.

It’s not uncommon for people to forget what they placed in their carts and be surprised by the total price.

Incidentally, these are also common reasons for shopping cart abandonment:

Based on the responses in the graphic above, here are some suggestions for improving the shopping cart experience:

  • show customers what’s already in their carts every time they add new items;
  • communicate the total price of their items every step of the way;
  • have a “save to cart” feature for those who are not ready to check out;
  • have your own comparison charts against competitors within product pages;
  • list shipping costs as early as possible in the checkout process.

9. Give your customers lots of payment options

Ultimately, the most important aspect of a checkout procedure is the payment step.

Without the payment step, transactions can’t happen.

According to research, 54% of people feel having a variety of payment options is important when checking out online:

Some payment options may be more beneficial to your company than others.

I completely understand this.

One credit card company may charge higher transaction fees than others, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t accept that method of payment.

Recognize your customers have preferences. Certain payment options may give them better reward points or bonus miles over others.

If they want something but can’t buy it with their favorite card, they’ll just buy it from a different retailer instead.

You should accept newer and unconventional types of payment as well. In addition to accepting all major credit cards and debit cards, you need to accept as many payment methods as possible, including alternative forms of payment:

Let’s not get carried away here. In 2019, it’s probably not necessary to accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

But in addition to all major credit cards, you need to accept alternatives such as Apple Pay and PayPal.

You don’t want your customers to leave your site without buying anything because you don’t accept the payment method they want to use.

Even if they have the options you accept, they still may go to one of your competitors instead so they can use their favorite method of payment.

The days of accepting only Visa and Mastercard are over. It’s time for you to adapt and add these other payment options to your checkout process.

I want to show you an example of this. Here’s a screenshot from the Nike website:

If you look at the bottom right corner of the screenshot above, you’ll see they allow their customers to check out using PayPal.

This could appeal to people who have a high PayPal balance and who want to use it for purchases. Accepting PayPal can also help eliminate concerns from customers who may be worried about their credit card information getting stolen.

The reason why I used this example from Nike is because it also highlights another concept I mentioned earlier.

Although they encourage customers to create a profile, they allow them to continue the checkout as guests. Even under the guest checkout area, it shows all the benefits of becoming a member.

To join, all you need to do is check off a box and proceed.

Another quick point about your payment methods. I recommend asking for payment as the last step of the checkout procedure.

By now, the customer has already invested some time into providing other information, so they’ll be more likely to continue. Asking for their payment first could drive them away.

10. Include trust elements throughout your whole funnel

You probably already know that placing seals like TRUSTe or VeriSign Secured can help boost your conversion rate. But did you know that in most cases you won’t see a lift if you place those badges just on your checkout page?

If people don’t feel secure when they first visit your site, they’ll bounce right off it before clicking through to your checkout page.

You can combat this by placing security seals throughout your whole funnel. So, from your front end pages to your product pages to even your checkout page… you are more likely to boost your conversion rate if you use the secure seals on more than just your checkout page.

I myself haven’t seen a big boost from adding them to my checkout page only, but I have seen nice lifts when I added them to the whole site. Before you do this, however, there are a few things that you need to know:

  1. It’s rare that security seals boost conversion rates by more than 10%.
  2. If you can’t afford a TRUSTe or VeriSign seal, creating your own free generic version typically provides the same conversion boost.
  3. This tactic works better in spammy industries like finance or health.

11. Frequently asked questions

No matter what, a good percentage of your visitors will have doubts in their minds when they are on your checkout page. For this reason, you won’t be able to convert 100% of your visitors. But if you can address their doubts, you can increase your conversion rate.

By using Qualaroo on your checkout page, you can ask people questions like:

What else can we place on this page to convince you to buy?

You’ll get a lot of responses from people telling you why they are worried about completing the purchase. You can then take this data to create a list of frequently asked questions with corresponding answers and place it on your checkout page.

When using this tactic on your checkout page, test placing the FAQ section towards the top of the page or below the page because placement can affect your conversion rate.

12. Help your visitors through live chat

When most companies test out using live chat, they aren’t seeing an increase in conversion rate because of two main reasons:

  1. They don’t have someone on the chat 24/7, so people are leaving with their questions unanswered.
  2. They are placing it on every page of their site, which can distract visitors.

If you want to test live chat, you need to make sure someone is there 24 hours a day. If you can’t put someone there, test a service like Chatter Lime as they provide you with someone who will respond to each chat request.

In addition to that, test having the chat only on your checkout page. That’s the page that typically brings up the most questions and uncertainty. Plus, if you add it to your homepage, people will focus their energy on typing in questions instead of reading your marketing copy, which could have persuaded them to buy.

13. Social proof

Adding corporate logos or testimonials from your current/past customers can help reassure your potential customers that you are offering a good product or service. This may not seem that important, but there is a lot of crap being sold on the web… and people are buying it.

This is leading to terrible online shopping experience for people and to buyer’s remorse. By placing social proof on your checkout page, you can increase the number of buyers going through your checkout page.

If you are going to use logos of companies who are buying from you, make sure you use logos of companies of all sizes, from big to small… this way you won’t neglect any customer segment.

In addition, if you are using testimonials, make sure you follow the steps in this blog post. Placing weak testimonials that don’t contain a person’s full name, location or even picture can hurt your conversions. So, if you are going to use them, make sure you do it the right way.

14. Let shoppers know their shipping costs early in the checkout process.

You can do this by introducing a shipping calculator to provide an estimate of the additional costs to be covered.

Here’s an example:

15. Offer free shipping

Here’s a common mentality I see from ecommerce sites all the time. If it costs you money to ship your products, that means you should charge your customers for shipping, right?

Wrong.

While this may sound like a reasonable justification to you, your customers don’t see it that way.

In fact, shipping costs play a major role in why shopping carts are abandoned in the United States:

Do not charge your customers for shipping.

But you still need to make sure you’re turning a profit, even if you’re offering free shipping.

You’re better off raising the prices of your items so that the shipping costs are built into the base prices. Psychologically, this won’t impact your conversions.

That’s because customers won’t be surprised when they see additional charges when they check out. If your product is listed for $50 on the site, that’s what they expect to pay. But if the costs add up to $70 with taxes and shipping, it’ll hurt your conversions.

I’m not expecting you to be unrealistic here. Don’t ship your customers a piano overnight for free.

All I’m saying is you shouldn’t charge for standard ground shipping. If a customer wants the delivery to be expedited, you can let them pay an additional charge.

While this may not be feasible for everyone, it’s wise to find ways you can reduce costs for customers.

Many businesses offer free shipping once shoppers reach a certain price threshold.

Like this example from Fashion Nova:

As customers add new items to their carts, they’re reminded of how much more they need to spend to meet the threshold.

Very clever.

16. Set up default billing/shipping address for returning customers

Most people hate filling out this information.

It’s time-consuming and repetitive, especially if you’re a returning customer.

This is necessary info, so people will do it anyway.

But there’s a lot of resistance.

What can you do?

In addition to eliminating unnecessary form fields, you can set up the form so that it auto-fills the information for returning customers.

Email address, name, billing address, and shipping address—all this information can be saved for future purchases.

Some stores use a tool that looks up addresses based on a postal code and auto-fills that info.

Here’s how it works.

You type in a zip code:

You’re prompted with a window like this:

You’re given address options based on your zip code so you don’t have to fill this yourself:

There’s also an address validation tool similar to this one.

When a shopper types in their address, they get asked if it’s the right one and are given other options.

This is useful for a few reasons.

First, it auto-fills with more accurate information.

Secondly, it reassures customers they have the right shipping info. This way, they’re not anxious about missing their shipment due to error.

There’s one thing you need to note.

Address validators aren’t always correct. It means customers should have the option to reject the suggestions and fill in their info themselves.

17. Satisfy your customers’ need for instant gratification.

Here’s what that means:

You want to give customers a sense that they’ll get what they want immediately.

This is an innate human need.

If you appeal to it, your customers will respond.

If you’re selling an information product, instant gratification is easy to provide. Your customers can have electronic access without delay.

But it’s trickier when you’re selling a product that has to be shipped.

My advice?

Take a page out of Amazon’s playbook.

They do this brilliantly.

Here’s what I mean:

If you know your items will be delivered to you in a couple of days, chances are you’ll be more likely to check out ASAP.

18. A/B test the elements of your checkout process

You can never truly be sure your checkout process is designed for the maximum number of conversions unless you put your theory to the test.

The best way to determine which elements are driving the highest conversions is through A/B testing.

If you’ve never run an A/B test before, the concept is very simple. You start by identifying one element of the page you want to test.

Then 50% of your site traffic will see version A, while the other 50% will see version B. Compare the conversion rates between the two variations to see which one yielded the best results.

When testing the checkout page, it makes sense to start with the “purchase/buy now” button, or whatever your final CTA button is that completes the transaction.

There are lots of potential tests you can run on this button:

  • size
  • color
  • placement
  • wording

Test only one element at a time.

For example, let’s say you test the conversion button at the bottom right side of the screen compared to the bottom left side of the screen.

Once you have conclusive results, you can implement that change and then move on to testing the wording of the button, e.g., “purchase” versus “buy.”

19. A data-driven approach to dealing with shopping cart abandonment

Want to find out the exact cause of your shopping cart abandonment?

Google Analytics is the tool to use.

It’s simple. I’ll give you a step-by-step play.

Step #1: Find the “Admin” tab so you can create a conversion goal:

This is so you can track the actions your web visitors take.

Click on “Goals”:

Step #2: Create a new goal and set it up to track a completed transaction.

In the first step of the goal setup, select an appropriate template.

While you’re tracking cart abandonment, your ultimate goal is to get customers to make a completed online payment.

Select that option:

It’s time to describe your goal.

Name your goal, and select “Destination” as the goal type.

The destination can be a thank-you page, which will help you track the number of completed purchases.

Next, you want to set the URL of your Destination.

As I mentioned, this could be any page that customers are directed to after their purchases.

The only reason someone would be on this page is if they completed a transaction, right?

Step #3: Map the path customers take leading up to complete a transaction.

This is what will help you determine where the pitfalls in your sales funnel are.

In the same “Goal details” section, switch the Funnel option to “ON.”

List all the steps that customers take leading up to the purchase. Name each step, and add the corresponding URL.

Like this:

If you have a one-page checkout, only include that page, of course.

Whatever steps customers take, include them all.

You may want to go through the process yourself to make sure.

Save your goal, and that’s it for the setup. Tracking will begin, and you’ll now have detailed data for each step of your funnel.

Step #4: Check your reports to analyze the data.

Here’s where to find them.

Under “Conversions,” click on “Goals.”

Pay special attention to “Funnel Visualization.”

You’ll see an illustration that looks something like this:

I just created this, so there’s no data. It will take some time for yours to show up as well.

This data will tell you where in your funnel customers are jumping ship. It will also tell you in how many sessions your goal was completed.

Useful, right?

You’ll have a complete view of the way customers move through your funnel. You can now make informed adjustments to decrease your shopping cart abandonment rate.

You should know this though: there’ll always be customers who drop out before completing a purchase.

That’s just the nature of the game.

You can optimize your process to reduce that percentage significantly.

But will the lost sales be lost forever?

Can they be salvaged?

They can, and I’ll tell you how.

20. The ultimate solution to recovering abandoned carts

I hate to bring up this depressing statistic again, but only 3 out of 10 shoppers complete their purchases.

There is, however, a simple follow-up step that can increase that number significantly.

Crazily enough, most businesses don’t take advantage of it.

I’m referring to cart abandonment emails.

This could be one email or a whole sequence. You decide.

The point of these emails is to recover lost sales. If a customer adds items to their cart and leaves without checking out, be sure to follow up via email.

Here’s a brilliant example from Vanity Planet:

Many things are going right in this email. It:

  • offers a massive discount
  • includes a free shipping offer
  • uses personal and persuasive language
  • provides a simple solution for returning to cart
  • has a direct link to checkout

They made an irresistible offer.

Many people would go back to complete their purchases in a heartbeat.

When cart abandonment emails are done right, they’re hands down the most powerful solution to recapture lost sales.

I highly recommend you test this strategy and watch it make a difference.

Conclusion

Getting higher conversions for your ecommerce checkout process isn’t that difficult.

It just takes a little effort.

As you can see from everything I talked about in this guide, these methods aren’t really too extreme. They are also fairly easy to implement.

If you’re driving lots of traffic to your ecommerce site but those visitors aren’t converting, you need to analyze the design of your checkout process.

If you follow the tactics above, you should see a nice lift in your checkout page conversion rate. But just like with all forms of conversion optimization, you will have to A/B test everything.

Why? Because what works for one business won’t always work for another… even if they are in the same industry.

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10 Steps to Creating a Landing Page That Converts

You’ve got the product or service. And you know it adds value to your target audience. All of the marketing research and testing has told you that. Now all you need to do is convince people to choose it. How do you do that? With an effective landing page. It's a place where you can send visitors via emails or via your social feeds to tell them about the value of your offer, and have them convert there and then. There is no one-size-fits-all template for high-converting landing pages — there are too many different offers and niches in the world for that to be the case. But there are certain steps you can take for a landing page to be successful regardless of what you’re selling. We’re going to cover all 10 of them. (AWeber easily connects with popular landing page builders like ConvertFlow and Instapage. See all of our integrations here.)

Step 1: Establish your USP

Your USP (Unique Selling Point) is the thing that sets you apart from the competition and the reason why people will choose you over everyone else. Studies show that you have less than 15 seconds to capture someone’s attention when they land on your website. That’s how long they’ll stick around before deciding whether what you’re offering is right for them. So you need to impress them, quick. Define a strong, value-driven USP and build your landing page around it. You can do this with headlines and images (we’ll talk more about those soon), or by including a value proposition in your landing page copy. A value proposition is a key component of your small business marketing strategy, and shows the user what they’ll gain when they take action, whether that be filling out a form or making a purchase. Value propositions include:
  • Showing how your product or service compares against a well-known competitor
  • The ROI that can be achieved
  • The monetary value of the product and the saving that can be made by signing up now
  • The success that can be achieved
  • Making it clear that your offer is free
  • A guarantee
Airbnb does this brilliantly. Take a look at how it pairs its USP (earning money by renting a room in your home) with a value proposition (how much you could earn by becoming a host).

Step 2: Keep the design clean and simple

Everything about your landing page should be geared towards getting the user to complete the transaction. This means removing anything that might draw their attention away from your offer. Make your landing page full width and height, and remove navigation features. This isn’t to say you should scrap scrolling completely, but you should take away any visible arrows or buttons that encourage it. Make the most of white space too. Sometimes, what you leave off the page is as powerful as what you include. White space removes congestion and gives the brain space to think. It also forces the eyes to focus on your offer. Take a look at how the AWeber homepage keeps things simple and clean:

Step 3: Create headlines that hit home

A landing page will live or die on the strength of its headline. This what grabs a visitor's attention and compels them to find out more about your offer. Studies show that as many as 80% of people will read the average headline, but only 20% will read the rest of the copy, so it’s important that you nail this part of your page. A good headline should:
  • Immediately grab the attention of your visitors
  • Tell the visitor what your offer is about
  • Be short and sweet
Once the headline has the user invested, you can reinforce your message with a powerful subheadline that persuades them to stay. Your subheadline can go into more detail than the main headline, but you should limit it to no more than a few lines of persuasive copy. Slack does this well on its landing page.

As does Robinhood.

Step 4: Grab attention with images

Images are a huge part of landing pages that convert. They’re the first thing that catches the visitor’s eye before they read the headline.

Images are processed 60,000 times faster than text by the brain, so what the visitor sees will influence their immediate opinions about your brand and offer.

Like headlines, use imagery to grab attention. Make them relevant to your product or service.

  • If you’re offering a product, your imagery should be of the product
  • If you’re offering a service, your imagery should relate to what the service is in a way that paints a positive picture in the mind of the user

Remember that you don’t have long to make a good first impression. Make sure images are large and high-quality. Try to stay clear of stock imagery — you don’t want to show visitors something they may have already seen.

Teambit, an employee engagement and performance management platform, is a great example of imagery done well — original illustrations used to capture attention and promote its service:

Step 5: Talk up the benefits (but not too much)

Including benefits on your page is a way to reassure and persuade visitors that are on the fence. They back up your USP and headlines, and provide users with more information about what you offer.

When it comes to writing out the benefits of your offer, focus on clarity. Clearly explain how what you’re offering can solve the user’s problem. But do it in as few words as possible.

According to MarketingProfs, landing pages with more than 800 words have a 33% lower conversion rate than pages with less than 200 words. Bullet points are a great way to keep things concise and make benefits easily digestible for the user.

Of course, not everything has to be written. Video is a powerful persuasion tool. Research by Eye View Digital shows that using videos on landing pages can increase conversions by 86%. 

Codecademy uses both video and copy for its benefits, dedicating a full section of its landing page to the former:

Step 6: Add social proof

88% of consumers trust online recommendations as much as personal ones. If you’ve got people that have used your product or service and are happy with it, use their feedback to your advantage.

Including social proof is one more way to convince visitors that your offer is as good as you say it is. It can be added to your landing page in a number of different ways.

  • Customer case studies or testimonials
  • Recommendations from influencers or industry experts
  • Number of users
  • Certifications from trustworthy industry bodies
  • Showing how many of the user’s friends use your service

By the time users get to the social proof section of your landing page, you’ve already captured their attention and interest. What they’re looking for now is confirmation bias — a reason to back up what they’re already feeling.

Basecamp does this well by combining number of users and testimonials for some strong social proof that supports the strength of its offer:

Step 7: Include contact information

Contact information tells the visitor that you’re a real company. It lets them know that there’s someone behind the landing page, which increases trust.

Including a physical address and contact phone number is the most basic way of adding legitimacy. What those things don’t do, though, is encourage contact. If you want to be helpful to visitors, give them a way to get in touch online. There are three ways you can do this.

  • Include a chat pop-up that follows the visitor down the page, making you available to answer any questions
  • Include a contact form on the page
  • Include a contact call-to-action that clicks through to a dedicated contact page
Related: 9 Inspiring Sign Up Form Ideas to Grow Your Email List

Step 8: Make calls-to-action strong and clear

Every element of your landing page is designed to get visitors to notice and click on the call-to-action.

Include calls-to-action throughout your landing page, placing them above the fold, at the bottom of the page and two or three times in between. In terms of how it should look, there are some standard rules to follow:

  • Make it big enough not to be missed
  • Always use a button. People are conditioned to expect a button, don’t throw a curveball at them
  • Use a contrasting color that attracts the eye
  • Use words that are valuable and actionable (e.g. “Get your Free Trial,” “Buy Now,” “Download Now,” etc.)

Unbounce places their call-to-action front and center where it's impossible to miss:

Step 9: Test, test, test

Landing pages are trial and error. Once you’ve created a page you’re happy with, don’t put it live and just leave it. Always monitor performance and iterate. Look at your analytics weekly and look at performance over time. Use heatmaps and scrollmaps to see how people are interacting with the page and use the information to improve.

If your page isn’t bringing in the number of leads or conversions you expected, tweak elements of the design or copy, or tinker around with the color and positioning of buttons.

Then, run A/B tests to see how the different pages perform against one another. From there, you’ll be able to take the best elements of both to produce a page that gives you bang for your buck.

Related: 6 Email Split Tests You Can Set Up in 1 Minute

Step 10: Conversions are only the first step

Your landing page converting is a sign that a) it’s working, and b) people are putting their trust in you to deliver on what you say. Repay trust and reward loyalty by emailing customers with content that adds value, personalized offers, and freebies, or letting them know when they left items in their cart. Every dollar spent on email marketing has an ROI of $44. Once a person has opted-in to your email list, use it to your advantage.

Related: How to Get Your First 50 Email Subscribers in 30 Days

Not sure what to include in your emails? Download 45+ free writing templates to learn how to craft emails like a pro. 

  About the author: With nearly a decade of digital marketing experience, Chandal has created content strategies for both the biggest and sometimes the most unexpected markets, while developing strategic relationships with editors and publishers. Chandal contributes to some of the highest authority industry publications, has been featured in industry events and is thrilled to be Acquisio’s Content Director.

The post 10 Steps to Creating a Landing Page That Converts appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

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What You Need To Know When Selling A Website

In the life cycle of nearly every Internet Business, there comes a time when selling your website makes more sense than carrying on with it.

Perhaps you are in that position.

Maybe you have lost passion for your brand…

Or the business is struggling to make a profit

Or you have found a new project of interest,

Or you simply want to cash out!

When to Sell Your Website

The benefits to selling your website are many but the key to making the most of the transaction is to consider your timing and motivation.

  • While it is not always possible, the best time to sell your site is when it is profitable.
  • Potential buyers are more likely to offer maximum value when they can see signs of sustained growth and profit.
  • Strong revenues allows buyers to imagine their own profit margins which motivates their purchase.

In short, your buyer needs to easily see how they can add value to the website and profit from the purchase.

So focus on that when offering a website for sale.

A good question to ask when selling a website and constructing an offer is…

Why Would I Buy This Website?

Answering that question will allow you to find more potential buyers.

But selling your website can do so much more than just pad your bank account…

It can renew your passions and improve your life as a whole.

If you have been thinking about selling your business but have been too afraid or uncertain, it is time to take a step back and consider all the ways that selling your website can be more profitable, and beneficial to you, than keeping it.

Selling your website right now may not be the direction you envisioned for your business – but don’t underestimate the value your hard work and brand will have to someone else.

Start by getting a website valuation.

Once you know what your site is worth to a potential buyer, you can make an informed decision about whether or not it is still worth it to you.

For some tips on getting the most cash for your website check out this post.

And if you want to start increasing your website value – prior to selling it – take these action steps!

4 Reasons For Selling Your Website Right Now!

#1 Cash In Hand

Selling your website gives you a near instant infusion of cash. Whether your business is profitable or experiencing a bit of financial stall, selling can give you months or even several years worth of income at one time.

Maybe you are in a jam, maybe you are tired of investing everything back into your business, whatever the reason for needing money, selling your site is a way to make that happen with relative ease.

You have done the hard part and built an attractive business – could now be the time to reap the rewards?

Cashing in on your hard work could well be your next best move.

#2 Free to Try New Things

Selling your website frees you up to follow other business interests.

This exit strategy can be particularly useful if you have lost interest in, and passion for, your current business. Sometimes what started as a dream can become a complicated, costly nightmare.

If you do not love what you are doing, you will find it very difficult to turn a profit.

By selling, you are able to walk away from a ‘job’ you no longer love while securing a little or even a lot of money in the bank.

Sometimes selling a business is not about having a lack of interest in what you are doing but about having more interest in doing something else.

If you have an idea for a new business, or have found one you would like to purchase, the money you make from the sale of your current site can help you move forward with these new projects. Elon Musk is a great example of an entrepreneur who sold businesses he started to turn around and immediately start another business.

Elon Musk didn’t waste the $22 million he got from Zip2’s sale on expensive cars and luxurious mansions. He reinvested — and risked — everything to build his second company, X.com, which would lead to PayPal. The sale of PayPal to eBay would net Musk $180 million, which he would then use to fund SpaceX, Tesla and SolarCity.

Could you be the next Elon Musk?

#3 Freedom from Control

Sometimes, you have done all you can do for your business and it may well take a new owner to take your website to the next level!

That is not a bad thing.

You will hopefully get well rewarded for your Big Idea and the new owners have the hard job of taking the website to the next level.

In any case, if you are struggling to get to that next level, it could very well be that you have reached the end of what you can do within your particular skill set.

When growing and nurturing a new business it is easy to become protective and try to do it all yourself. Success requires a wide number of skills such as customer service, design, marketing, programming and copywriting to make a real go of it. And even if you have these skills, when your perspective is the only perspective, your business may become limited in scope and resistant to change.

Outsourcing is a valuable tool for enhancing proficiency in areas where you come up short but not everyone is willing to handover that much control to a third party.

For some, investing time and money into finding the right outsourcing partner is simply not worth it. Instead, it makes more sense to just sell the business than to incur the risks associated with involving more people in the project.

If you are someone who has reached the end of the line, selling may be a way to be compensated for your work while watching your creation grow and continue to flourish.

Did you really do all that work just to watch the business plateau?

Let go of the reigns!

It is someone else’s turn!

#4 Reclaim Your Time – take that long promised vacation!

Selling your website can give you back your life.

Running a business can be a time consuming task. It can eat up all your spare time and pull you away from some of the finer things in life.

Yes, it is great to make a profit and invest time in your business – but it is also nice to have you life back!

When you sell, you are free to pursue hobbies. Free to see your family. Free to take a long, deep breath followed by another and another. You are free to relax and decompress.

From here, what you do next is entirely up to you. You can retire, travel the world, follow new passions or a different career path.

Maybe, as mentioned above, you will decide to start an entirely new business.

Really, the time is yours to fill as you see fit!

Before You Sell Your Website

Obviously you can benefit, both personally and financially, from the sale of your business but before you jump into the process of selling your site, it is important to slow down and consider a few things first.

Why are you selling?

Before you begin the preparations necessary to sell your site, you should consider why you are doing it?

If you have lost genuine interest, have found another business opportunity you would like to explore, or are facing a personal emergency that requires you to step away, your reasons are solid.

But, if you are planning to sell as a knee jerk response to a few bad months, you might want to reconsider for two reasons:

One: All businesses have ups and downs that can be caused by any number of things.

Maybe there has been a Google update or a shift in the marketplace that requires an equal shift in your marketing strategy. Maybe you are experiencing seasonality. The emotional response to cut and run is quite understandable, but it is not necessarily an appropriate response – and not a good way to realise the best value for your website!

If there is a long term dip in your profits, you might consider selling but if you have only experienced short term losses or a weak quarter, stick things out a little while longer to make sure the changes are not just an anomaly.

Two: Before you sell your site, no matter your reasons for doing so, you need to get things in order.

To make your site as attractive as possible to potential buyers, try to make it as profitable as possible. If you have been on shaky ground for a while, try to solidify things before you sell.

A business that demonstrates a clear path to growth, or potential for success, will fetch a higher price than one that has been in steady decline for months or years.

If you are going to sell, you will obviously want to get the best price possible. Optimize your traffic and make it easy for the potential new owners to see themselves turning a profit.

And while it will not be possible in every scenario, in most cases, you will want to ensure that you get a return on your investment. Sometimes you can recoup amounts that are well beyond your investments, other times, you will only see a partial return on those funds.

Either way, it is worth taking a step back and looking at the big picture. Is this the best time to sell? Is the current expected sales price as high as it might be?

Consider things like seasonality.

Some products and services have peak sales seasons and if you can position the sale around one of these seasons, you give the buyer a clear path to a quick return on their investment which will make them a more enthusiastic and motivated buyer.

Anything you can do to improve your site before you try to sell it is worth doing. Yes, this may mean extra effort, but it can also mean extra profit at the time of sale.

Owning a website can be hard work and it is much easier work, at least when it comes to enjoyment and satisfaction, when the website is profitable.

Unfortunately, things can happen in life and business that can impact your profitability. Maybe you have experienced a personal crisis that requires a quick infusion of cash, or maybe the market has shifted and you do not have the marketing skills to compete.

No matter what has prompted the consideration, there are lots of instances where selling your website is more profitable than keeping it.

Whether you are looking for a big payday, to free some time, or to pursue other business ventures, selling your website can improve your bottom line and your life!

Selling Your Website Resources:

=> How To Sell A Website For The Most Money Possible

=> Buy an Existing Website

Would You Like Our Help To Sell Your Online Business? Selling a business is one of the most important financial decisions you will make. Don’t get it wrong! If you own an eCommerce, Amazon FBA, SaaS & Technology, Service Based, Adsense, Affiliate, digital products or content-based business and are considering selling or just want a valuation, our recommended website broker team can help: Claim Your Free Website Valuation & Exit Strategy Today

The post Why Selling Your Website Is More Profitable Than Keeping It appeared first on How To Make Money Online.

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