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  Post #1 (permalink)   06-06-2011, 12:25 PM
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I hope this isn't being posted in the wrong section.
Basically I'm a bit stuck with ideas on how to get the first few customers.

My web hosting business started up on 7th February 2011.
Now I concentrate on providing one of the best customer service teams of any rival provider. I have been trying to advertise my services and get the first few customers for months now.

However I still don't have a single customer 4 months later.
What am I doing wrong? What could I do better?
I can guarantee that customers will be happy with my service, but I am unable to tempt them to try me out, even when I offer them a free trial. Please help me sort this issue out by offering me some helpful tips.

P.S. I hope I'm not breaking any forum rules by posting this, I am not trying to advertise my services. I'm merely asking for helpful advice.
 
 
 


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  Post #2 (permalink)   06-06-2011, 01:10 PM
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First of all stop advertising "unlimited". You are turning away any reasonable people this way. Also your prices are far too low (or at least i think so) - the only customers that you are likely to attract with these prices are the customers that will make you scream and pull your hair.

edit: Some more ideas - right now the name servers for your domain are pointing to adjacent IPs. It would be much better if you just used your registrar's DNS servers or some of the many free DNS services that have real redundancy.
Also i couldn't find any company info or real contact details on your website - just the standard whmcs "contact us" form.

Last edited by rds100 : 06-06-2011 at 01:15 PM.
 
 


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  Post #3 (permalink)   06-06-2011, 01:10 PM
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It can be quite difficult to run a business, no doubt about it. However, after reviewing your website, I would like to point out a few things that would personally throw me off if I was interested in purchasing from your company, and hope that it helps you get over that slump you're currently going through. So please, do not take any offense to my comments.

1. You offer unlimited everything - Most consumers these days looking for a host are becoming very aware of the troubles that come with unlimited hosts, and are learning to avoid them just to be on the safe side.

2. You offer Master Reseller and Alpha Reseller services - Like the unlimited trend, consumers are also aware of the stability and reliability issues that tend to happen with hosts offering such services (overloaded and poorly managed servers). I'm not saying it can't done properly, but the damage is already done and most informed buyers know to avoid these hosts to be on the safe side as well.

3. Your prices are too low - Most people believe that you get what you pay for. If you offer the world for a few dollars, it will send a red flag to most (if not all) informed buyers. And the ones that you do attract, end up being more trouble than they're worth.

4. Your ordering process is not SSL secured - You might think that this is not a big deal because you use a third party gateway such as PayPal. However, this is among the first things online buyers look for when buying online, and if they don't see it, they will leave your website. They also know that their email, phone number, and home address could be compromised more easily when providing such info over a non-secured connection.

5. You are offering ad space on your home page - This is the same as having Google Ads on your home page. It looks unprofessional and screams "I'm not making any money and I'm desperate" to most of your potential buyers that visit your website. It's just something you should not have on your business website, specially in the hosting industry.

6. You do not have any info about your company on your website - This is a big one. People want to know who they are giving their hard earned money to. If they don't see any info about your company, they will not feel comfortable buying from you. Too many people have been burned already by scammers online, so earning your visitors trust should be your number one priority. You need to make them feel safe and confident when buying services from you. Once you have their trust, conversions will come.

And my last tip for you... Remember to always "think" like a consumer, not a business owner.
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Last edited by HostLeet : 06-06-2011 at 01:13 PM.
 
 


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  Post #4 (permalink)   06-06-2011, 05:29 PM
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Thanks so much guys.
You've taught me so much.
Right, it's just coming up to half past midnight where I am so I will look into some of your suggestions tomorrow.
I can confirm that I will no longer be offering unlimited.
I will, however, still be offering master and alpha reseller. Simply because I've always wanted to offer those plans. Unlimited however is going!
I'll also be removing the ads. But for now I must sleep.

Keep the suggestions coming guys.
Wow! I never realised offering unlimited was such a bad thing!
Thanks for telling me.
 
 
 


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  Post #5 (permalink)   06-06-2011, 11:12 PM
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At least you had the perfect domain name for a host that sells unlimited everything

Glad you have seen the light.

Welcome to the biz...
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  Post #6 (permalink)   06-07-2011, 10:57 AM
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I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with a few points that were raised here. I think the major reason you haven't sold any plans is because of a combination of your site's design and your call to action - and has very little to do with offering unlimited space and bandwidth, or your pricing. When prospects, informed or not, are searching for hosting providers, they're comparing your site versus the site(s) they just left. How do you think your site compares to HostLeet's site, or HandsOnWebHosting, or any other number of member providers here? You don't have to reinvent the wheel when designing your site - just follow those who have broke ground for you - those providers who have been around a while and who you perceive seem to be successful.

HostLeet made some great points about SSL, putting ads on your home page and not having company info on your site. Of those three, I think lack of information about who you are (trust value) is the most important.

Your assertion that you always wanted to sell Master and Alpha plans carries little weight - when you're developing a business plan, it's all about what your target audience will buy into. My perception is that Master and Alpha plans are on their way out - too many issues.

You're telling us they haven't bought into your plans, so it's time to rethink. I'd start with revamping your site, and by offering solutions versus packages. How will your products and services help your prospect? Tell them why you're special and why they should select you versus the provider on the site they just left.
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  Post #7 (permalink)   06-07-2011, 12:28 PM
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I just got my first ever customer!
He signed up for a one month free trial.
As an alpha reseller.
Take a look at my new plans.
Personally, I think they are way too expensive.
And the limits, are way too small.
However, I believe that by making my service more expensive (but worth paying for) has actually worked for me. For the first time ever in 4 months I have my first trialer.

So I think I must concentrate on providing an outstanding service. Being there for my customers, making sure my service is available 100% of the time (or at least 99.9%), etc. and then they will be willing to pay those prices.

I personally, don't understand why people are willing to pay MORE than LESS. Maybe now I am starting to see why. It's not how much it costs, but what they get.

I will put 100% effort into making my service great.
I must say if it wasn't for your most helpful advice, I might have never seen my first customer. Thanks so much.

One thing, though, that we do offer is Solid State Hard Drives (SSDs).
That is one of the reasons why our prices may be a little higher than some companies.
But I'm more interested in offering people a quality service, not just a cheap and cheerful one.
I want my customers to feel "Wow! This service is great!". Not just "I like it coz it's cheap!"

Last edited by NobleCloud : 06-07-2011 at 12:37 PM.
 
 
 


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  Post #8 (permalink)   06-13-2011, 10:57 AM
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After visiting your homepage, I too believe that the design needs to change a bit because when people arrive on your main spot, they may think of having found a blog rather than a site from which some hosting packs are to be purchased. Usually, summary of ads need to be visible quickly.

For example, add some blocks of data to your homepage and briefly mention details of your most popular and affordable shared hosting accounts, along with some stock photos and other points and then add icons or links to the main internal pages which would lead to checkouts.
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  Post #9 (permalink)   06-13-2011, 12:16 PM
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A few edits to the website, keeping the available qty's updated would help also (all currently at 0).

I'd put some information about each hosting plan somewhere on the website, in a table so it's easy to compare.
 
 
 


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  Post #10 (permalink)   06-13-2011, 11:18 PM
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My two cents, patience, you can advertise every were, but you are new, it will take time.

This is FACT in this industry.
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  Post #11 (permalink)   06-19-2011, 05:54 AM
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how can banner ads appear to any sites?
 
 
 


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  Post #12 (permalink)   06-19-2011, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InfiniteWebspace View Post
a one month free trial.
As an alpha reseller.
Just. Dont.
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  Post #13 (permalink)   06-20-2011, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HostLeet View Post
1. You offer unlimited everything - Most consumers these days looking for a host are becoming very aware of the troubles that come with unlimited hosts, and are learning to avoid them just to be on the safe side.
Unfortunately this very far from the truth. Customers love unlimited. When it comes to Share Hosting, anyone can see that the most successful hosting providers are those who sell "everything unlimited".
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  Post #14 (permalink)   06-20-2011, 04:18 PM
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One of the best ways to attract customers is by posting in forums on just about any subject. Put your hosting URL and a little blurb about your company in your signature line and you have free advertising to a large audience. Make yourself post ten responses or new topics every day and you will see traffic start to come in. Make sure that your posts are helpful and insightful and do not post junk as this will reflect badly on you and your company. If you keep this up on multiple forums you will see traffic build and customers start to come in.
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  Post #15 (permalink)   06-21-2011, 01:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ok2host.com View Post
One of the best ways to attract customers is by posting in forums on just about any subject. Put your hosting URL and a little blurb about your company in your signature line and you have free advertising to a large audience. Make yourself post ten responses or new topics every day and you will see traffic start to come in. Make sure that your posts are helpful and insightful and do not post junk as this will reflect badly on you and your company. If you keep this up on multiple forums you will see traffic build and customers start to come in.
Another critical point of why posting on forums should be helpful to others and of high quality is to actually present yourself in a professional manner. I would never sign up with a host that can't spell, or those that instead of contributing value massively post useless fluff. They just do not impress me, neither with their knowledge nor level of maturity.

On the other hand, I would naturally be attracted to companies that consistently say something interesting or proactively help others. At least I'll know I will be in good expert hands.

Remember that posting on forums is as public as the rest of the web and your image is important.
 
 
 
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