Nothing is unnecessary: every sentence has a specific function.
Each line of your sales page should be achieving at least one of the following on this extensive (but not exhaustive) list.
1. Make a BIG promise
Surprisingly, many clients who come to me don’t need help because they’re being overly promotional or salesy, but because they’re actually selling themselves short.
Making a big promise doesn’t mean lying or exaggerating, it means capturing the essence of what is so exciting about your product and telling the world about it.
“Build a beautiful website you love… with ease”
“Everything you need to build a successful life coaching practice”
Do you have lines in your sales copy making a BIG promise? (Hint, your headline is a great place for this!)
2. Provide proof of that promise
Big promises only work in sales pages if they’re backed up by proof. Let’s take the second headline from the example above. A good follow-up to prove that the promise is possible:
Since early 2005 I have tried and tested just about every marketing method out there and coached hundreds of clients as well as scores of other Life coaches. I know what works, what doesn’t and I have developed coaching techniques to help you deal with the situations many large training companies don’t tell you about.
Read this article if you’d like more examples of how to add proof into your sales page.
3. Prove there is a problem out there
Now this might seem strange, surely your customer knows if he has a problem or not, otherwise, why would he be reading your sales page?
But this is where you can miss out big time in your sales copy. Even though your customer might be aware of the problem, it’s your job to make this crystal clear. Why? Because when you introduce your solution, it will be more valuable.
The freelance copywriting industry has exploded in the last 6 years. The result? More competition and a harder time attracting and keeping clients. There was a time when a website was enough to make a great copywriting career. Now you need an integrated online marketing and social media strategy just to stay in the game.
By explaining why the problem exists, it proves why your product is necessary so it doesn’t just seem like yet another marketing / social media / widget on the market.
Which brings me to my next point:
4. Show what you have is new or different
Your USP is so important in your sales copy. But bear in mind, this doesn’t mean that you need a revolutionary product no-one has heard of before. It could be something that you’re delivering in a new way, or is unique because it’s tied to you and your personality.
The important thing is that you communicate it:
This is the only system under $300 that lets you build a professional, polished website in just one weekend.
This is the only course that teaches you what it’s really like being a freelance writer (and how to thrive as one).
Do you have lines in your sales copy explaining your unique selling point or unique story?
5. Address the target market clearly
When you’re writing about your customer, are you clearly defining who it is your product or service is for?
For example, instead of writing:
We help freelance writers…
Can you be more specific?
We help new and upcoming freelance writers
We help freelance writers in the technology industry
We help freelance writers based in the south-east of England
2 other ways you can make it clear who your idea target market is include:
6. Address the pain of the reader
This is for you if you’re sick and tired of being overlooked for writing jobs because you haven’t yet built up your portfolio (even though you know you have the skills to do the work!)
7. Highlight a desire of the reader
This is for you if you want to get rid of joint pain so that you can spend an afternoon with your grandchildren playing in the garden instead of being stuck in your chair
8. List the benefits of the offer
Ideally, your benefits should be woven throughout your sales copy. You may have a bulleted list of benefits to highlight the main selling points, but you also want to pepper your sales copy from start to finish with lines about the benefits of what you offer.
You’ll be part of a small group meaning you get focused attention and tailored advice for your business
You’ll understand what’s working now in SEO so you can wow your clients (and charge more)
The kit comes with several templates so you can create marketing materials in minutes and spend more time doing the things you love
Work your way through your sales copy. How many benefits are you listing? (If you’d like me to review it for you, click here).
9. Encourage the reader to move to the next line of copy
Some lines in your sales copy have no other purpose than to move people onto the next section. And that’s absolutely fine, in fact it’s needed.
There are different ways to do this, and you might have seen techniques such as:
If you want to find out how you can do this too, keep reading…
So how exactly will this help you build your own website? Let’s take a look inside…
Consider these 3 reasons why our conference is better than most…
Each line is using a “stay tuned” method of keeping people’s attention.
Just like on a daily news show (“coming up, the inspiring story of the mind-reading donkey)” we give the reader a reason to stay interested, and follow it up with a clear instruction.
Are you using this technique in your sales copy?
10. Provide details of HOW the product or service works
It might seem obvious to you (and even painful to write) but you need to make sure you have lines in your sales copy that explain exactly how your product or service works.
I have a wonderful client who repeatedly tells me he doesn’t want any ‘long sales pages’ because he doesn’t like them. I understand his aversion, but it’s not really anything he needs to fear.
If a customer is interested in a product, the sales page can’t be too long (unless it’s boring and / or irrelevant) because people want information when they’re considering a purchase.
And one of the most important areas of copy is what the product actually does. It’s also the part I see most business owners skip (because, as I mentioned, they know the product inside out).
I always listen to client’s concerns, but working with him on several sales pages, they do end up being pretty long, but he never minds because they thoroughly explain his offer and the benefits, and he’s loving that they convert customers on a $999 product very well.
11. Answer questions before they become objections
It’s definitely worth blitzing a whole range of your customer’s potential questions and answering them throughout your sales page. You don’t have to put them altogether in an FAQ section (though this can work), just make a checklist and ensure you answer each one.
12. Show experience, expertise and credibility
Is your copy working hard to:
- Mention personal experience which proves you can deliver your big promise?
- Showcase qualifications which proves you have the skills and knowledge to solve your customer’s problem?
- Include previous people you’ve helped, proving this isn’t a product you’ve devised in a vacuum?
- Share your X years of experience to show you’ve learned firsthand how to do what you’re promising?
Taking the time to include these details helps your customer trust you.
13. Showcase your personality
If your personality is tied into the product you’re selling, it’s absolutely fine and recommended to share that with your reader. If you’re running a course or a workshop, there will be customers who don’t just want access to the materials you teach, they want access to YOU.
So, if it’s important for them to get to know you, don’t hold back. Share a joke, tell people you’ll ‘kick their ass’ if they don’t work hard, or let them know you’ll be supportive and caring.
As long as it’s true to your personality, it’s worth sharing a little about who you are.
14. Use social proof
Social proof isn’t just about using testimonials in your sales page. It can also be in casual remarks like these:
We’ve helped thousands of people build a website in less than 48 hours and we’d love to help you do the same
If you were at the last event you’ll know how hard it was to get tickets after they went on sale
In the last 3 years I’ve seen more than 200 hundred clients like you who wanted to…
Are you talking about the people you’ve helped so that your reader knows there are other people who have trusted you, used you and experienced great results before?
15. Give them more value
When writing a sales page, I’m always looking for ways to tease out selling points and stack the value of the offer.
One way to do this is to split up the different components of your offer and spread it out through the sales page. So instead of writing:
You’ll work through 4 modules to help you establish a solid social media presence that attracts clients.
I would choose to split up the modules, and link them together with phrases such as:
In addition to helping you set up your social media profiles, you’ll also learn how to promote your profiles in the following module.
What’s more, the next module will help you attract your target market to your social media profiles.
But that’s not all you’ll learn…
See the theme? We’re adding to the offer and increasing the perceived value.
This is a good article if you’d like some practical help to pull out the details of your offer.
16. Help the reader visualise the experience
In addition to point 10 (giving your reader the details of your offer) are you also building a sensory experience to help them visualise using your product or service?
You’ll mingle with some of the smartest online marketers on the planet, and meet like-minded people to trade ideas, forge partnerships, and even create new companies (from the sales page for Copyblogger’s live Authority Intensive event)
Notice the copy isn’t just telling people what to expect, it’s describing it in a way that lets people imagine (and get excited about) the possibilities.
For more help telling a marketing story that people can visualise, watch this.
17. Explain who you DON’T want as a customer
We’ve already highlighted our ideal customer in point 5, but sometimes it’s worth making it extra clear that the product or service is not for everyone.
I’ve had 2 clients with live, small-group coaching products that cost $999 and $2,250. It’s very important to them that they attract people who are willing to work hard and bring a suitable dynamic to the group.
As a result, both sales pages make it very clear who their programs are NOT suitable for and you might want to consider if it’s worth having a similar explanation on your own sales page.
This course is not for you if you’re not able to show up and do the work or if you think simply attending the lessons will give you the results you need. You’re going to have to put in a lot of effort on your part, but when you find yourself raising your fees, and having a fully booked schedule, it will definitely be worth it.
18. Justify the price
Price is something a lot of people get nervous about when writing the sales page. The problem is, that if you shy away from talking about the price it makes you look like you’re not confident in the product, or that you feel it is overpriced.
You have to believe in the price that you’ve set for your product or service, and you have to be able to explain the price in terms of benefits to your audience, not just for you.
So don’t write:
This course costs $297 because it took me months to create and I need to make my money back for all the time I’ve put into it.
Instead, you can try phrases such as:
At $297, the course is a bargain compared to hiring a professional to do the work for you
At $297 you get access to hundreds of hours of my expertise that went into creating this
Usually I charge 3 times this price to work 1:1 with a client. You get direct access to me but at a snip of the price.
Here’s a post you can read if you’d like more tips on how to write about the price in your sales page
19. Encourage customers to take action now
There are lots of different ways to add a little urgency into your call to action. For example:
- Limited space or number of products
- Discounts for early orders
- A deadline when the offer will be pulled
- Reminding readers of the benefits (“order today and you’ll be enjoying your new leather sofa by tomorrow before 4pm)
- Offer a bonus gift for early orders
Which ones are you using?
20. Strip away the mystery of buying
Your reader needs to feel confident that when they tap in their credit card details, they are going to be looked after and pleased with their purchase.
As a result, you need some lines in your sales page dedicated to making them feel good about the actual purchase process. A couple of ways you can do this include:
- Telling them exactly what will happen once they buy. Do they get an email with download details, do they get instant access to their membership area etc
- Make your guarantee terms very clear
Now, I’d love to know if there are any points I’ve missed. If you see a sales page with a sentence that doesn’t seem to be doing one of these 20 things, post it in the comments box and let’s see if we can work out what’s going on!
If you’d like tailored help writing your sales page (without having to hire a copywriter to do it for you) I think you’ll love the Sales Pages That Sizzle coaching offer. 80 minutes coaching time, a written critique and 2 call recordings to help you write a killer sales page. Read more about it here.