This is part 3 in a free online tutorial for how to write a sales page.
Welcome back! Last time we looked at pinning down the details of your offer. Got those under your belt? Great. Now we can move onto the next step which is:
Who are you selling your product to?
Now I’ve mentioned before on the blog how your customer profile will influence your content marketing, but how does it specifically affect your sales page?
Rather than simply walk you through the questions of a customer profile, I’m going to take you through some of the questions I ask customers when I’m writing sales pages, and explain the reasoning behind them.
That way, instead of having a list of details that you don’t know what to do with, you’ll have an idea of how the information will shape the style and language of your sales page.
A brief description and informed assumptions
First of all, if we were working together I”d ask you to give me a sentence or 2 about your customer. For example:
- Professional women who want to de-clutter their house and work from home
- A busy CIO who wants reliable hosting
- A 45 year old divorced male looking for advice to start dating again
Now, even from this snippet of information, I’m going to start putting together informed assumptions that will help me write sales copy (you may not know that I used to be a detective). Here is how my mind is going to work with those above examples:
She’s busy, ambitious, takes pride in her home. She wants to have more control by working from home and she’s looking for peace-of-mind by having an environment that helps her concentrate.
As a result, my copy will feature the benefits of space / freedom / feeling in control / being organised and beating overwhelm.
A busy CIO (Chief Information Officer)
Okay, he’s strapped for time, has a lot of responsibility in his organisation and wants to make sure his company is supported by safe, reliable technology.
With this information I’m going to use plenty of proof, talk about other similar organisations that have benefited from the product and make sure the information is succinct and to the point.
A 45 year old divorced male
Obviously this doesn’t tell me much about his personality, but just this snippet shows me that he might be shy about dating, he’s concerned about being lonely and wants someone to share his time with.
In this case, the copy is going to focus on the joys of companionship, compliment and boost his self-esteem and prove the dating world is something he can have a lot of fun in (with just the right advice of course).
Most of the time, we already have this intuitive knowledge about our customers. Think about who you’re selling your product to. From just a brief description of them, what informed assumptions can you make, and how might this affect your style of writing?
What do they want from your product?
When you buy something you have certain expectations. These expectations cause you to pick one product over another. For example purchasing one pair of jeans over another because they fit more comfortably and made you feel better.
So why is your customer coming to you? Next up, what does your customer need to happen for them to feel your product is valuable?
I want you to spend quite a bit of time thinking about this one and I want you to focus on the word “want” not need. Don’t think about why your customers ‘should’ buy from you, think about why customers in the past have really wanted what you have.
For example, if I was looking for a business coach, it might be because I expect them to help me:
- Get more clients
- Create a better marketing plan
- Create a business plan to help with my overwhelm
Or if I was looking for a nutritionist, perhaps my expectations are that they will help me:
- Crack my unhealthy eating habits
- Help me lose weight
- Make me feel better about the way I look
So, what do your customers want from you? (Tip: the more you can come up with, the better your sales page will be).
What’s the problem (and why do they have it?)
You can’t effectively persuade someone to let you solve their problem if you don’t show you really understand this.
You walk into your doctor’s office after feeling unwell for 2 weeks. You haven’t even sat down or said anything before your doctor writes a prescription and says:
“Here, take these, you’ll be fine”
Tell me, on a scale of 1-10, how much do you trust that doctor’s opinion?
Yet a lot of writers jump into the solution in their sales pages before talking about the problem.
So here’s your next exercise: jot down what your customer’s problem is and also any reasons you can think of explaining WHY they have this problem.
We like to think we’re logical creatures so it makes customers more comfortable if they can see a reason behind their problem (make sure the problem isn’t their fault).
For example, a woman might develop unhealthy eating habits to help deal with the stress at work. Or an executive might hire a career coach after being made redundant and finding out the recruitment process has changed drastically in the 20 years he had a job and he no longer knows how to compete.
What is your customer dealing with? And why does that problem exist?
How have they tried to solve it before?
This relates to something I call the “Until Now” technique.
If you want your sales page to stand out from the crowd you have to explain why you’re not like all the others.
Don’t worry too much how you’ll use this in your copy now, I just want you to make a list of:
- The techniques / products your customers have used before
- Why those products didn’t work for them
And yep, you guessed it, we’re going to be using this information later on to prove how newsworthy and unique your product is.
What worries them about NOT solving it?
This is similar to the “what wakes them up at 3am in the morning” question that you might have heard before when reading about copywriting.
We’ll be using this to talk about the dangers and risks of them living their life without your product (without scaremongering of course). So your next brainstorming task is to write down notes explaining why your customer would worry if their problem was left unsolved?
Would it be:
- Having to go back to a job?
- Not being able to afford the things they feel they deserve?
Don’t filter too much, the more you can think of, the merrier!
What are the features that customers love?
Think again about the product you’re selling. Knowing what we’ve uncovered about your customer on this page, and knowing the features of your product I want you to think about which of those features they’re going to find pretty neat.
- Do they love getting to work with you 1:1?
- Do they like that it’s an intense course, completed in 2 weeks
- Do they like have a personalised dashboard with easy-to-access reports?
Go through all the features you jotted down in our last exercise and ask yourself for each one:
“Why would my customer enjoy this?”
Remember, you obviously included that feature to make them happy, all we’re going to do later on in our sales page is make sure it’s clear that they’re really going to enjoy using your product.
Again, think of as many as humanly possible!
How familiar are they with you?
Okay, so last time you outlined A LOT of details about your product, and you might have thought:
“How much of this do I really need to include?”
Well, that depends on how familiar your customer is with you, your product, and the method you have for solving their problem.
For example, if they are very familiar with online technology and you’re running a course using webinars, you don’t need to explain that a webinar is like an online seminar where participants can view a slideshow and hear audio just by using their computer.
But, if you decide that as part of your online tutorial you want to use a Google + Hangout, and you’re not sure if your audience has used them before, then you will need to make this super clear.
I want you to jot down what your customer knows about:
- You and your business
- Your industry
- Your product
- How your product works
From there, cross-section this information with your product details to see what you can leave out and what you will definitely need to include.
Next week we will be looking at how you describe the problem your customer is having. Any questions so far? Pop them in the comments below and we’ll get them tackled!