With great ecommerce comes great responsibility and for a lot of entrepreneurs, that responsibility can seem rather daunting. It often prompts a laundry list of questions: Will I really sell more online? How do I get people to my order page? What the heck is a payment gateway? But regardless of the intimidation factor, small businesses can be just as appealing and functional online as the ecommerce giants, and our ONTRAPORT users are perfect examples.

Check out these four small businesses who successfully took the leap online and are killing the ecommerce game.

1. Nudge Marketing

Elly Hurley and Helen Denney-Stone created Nudge Marketing: a holistic training resource for small business owners that combines customer behaviors with online and offline lead generation strategies. While Nudge Marketing now offers a successful series of online training courses and 1:1 consulting packages, their transition to online selling began a few years ago with a $39 Vision Board Book and DVD. They had the bare bones covered with SendPepper Pro (ONTRAPORT’s former entry level product), a website sales page, and PayPal – nothing was fully automated, but they were online and working.

“We’ve come a long way since then and now have several online funnels in place, taking our customers on a journey they choose at a pace they’re comfortable with. The journey typically begins with a Facebook Ad leading to a blog post where we have strategically placed opt-in forms that continues to a sales page and beyond. For our online business activities we use ONTRAPORT as the very first touch with a prospect (when they opt-in via a form on our website), automated redirects to thank you pages or upsell pages, payment forms and product distribution. The customer journey has many permutations, so we have developed contingencies for each step,” says Hurley.

2. Enlightened Marketing

Andy Andrews knows how stressful it can be for small business owners to be slammed with work yet undergo little to minimal growth. In that respect, he’s passionate about offering “DIY, done-with-you and done-for-you” growth strategies for small businesses.

Andrews recounts, “I got started selling online nearly a decade ago with my business partner Samantha Hartley of Enlightened Marketing… and began creating several online membership programs. The programs teach socially responsible experts and entrepreneurs how to attract more clients and how to create Jaw-Dropping, Client-Getting Messages™. The very first program was really simple: a fixed-term membership program about client attraction. That program was an instant hit with her subscriber base…and that quick win got us on the path of creating more programs and selling them online. For Enlightened Marketing, I set up a follow-up funnel that introduces prospects to the brand and offers them useful and inspiring information every day for a few months. The emails are combined with webinars (some automated) that present our offers.”

3. Conscious Webpreneur & The Course Creation Network

Devin Slavin got started selling online over seven years ago and, through his passion for ecommerce, launched two businesses Conscious Webpreneur and The Course Creation Network both dedicated to “coaching and empowering thought leaders to create online offerings.” Most recently, Slavin launched the Online Course Creation Summit, which hosted 40 entrepreneurs and course creators and became the biggest virtual event on the topic thus far.  

“It’s pretty amazing having our fulfillment being instant and automatic,” asserted Slavin. “I accept payments via ONTRAforms and use Stripe & PayPal as my processors while our fulfillment process is all digital via email and log-in pages for our courses. When people buy courses, their receipt and welcome emails with log-in details arrive right away. I think having this instant delivery is key so people don’t start to have buyer’s remorse and can get started right away.”

4. Photography Uncovered

Three years ago, Steve Arnold set out with a desire for his new business to be a “lifestyle.” He read about the ‘4 hour workweek’ and decided to design his entire business to be online and automated. As a seasoned artist, Steve, through Photography Uncovered, is dedicated to helping people become better photographers and improve their photoshop skills with online video courses.

“All my products are digital, which I deliver through my PilotPress WordPress site. I use the eWAY payment gateway and all my checkout pages are in ONTRAPORT, including one-click upsells. I’ve even started testing redirect scripts to show upsells dynamically based on products the customer already owns. The goal is to never show an upsell for a product a customer has already bought. I also heavily use ONTRAPORT’s PURL functionality to deliver content videos with varying special offers on the page which are based on custom fields in the contact records. This way I can send the same video to multiple people, but underneath it, promote offers for products the individual hasn’t t yet purchased.”


For more inspiration and resources to jumpstart your ecommerce business online, check out The Ultimate Blueprint to Ecommerce for Entrepreneurs.


About Tatiana Doscher

Campaign Strategist Tatiana Doscher is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara with a dual B.A. in Communication and Global Studies. After working with several small and local businesses, Tatiana joined ONTRAPORT’s Marketing team. She loves running, hiking and enjoying Santa Barbara’s beautiful beaches.