It’s about time we talk about landing and sales pages.
You probably don’t realize how badly you need them. But if you want to run successful marketing campaigns, you have to direct your traffic to targeted content.
So, how about we step up your sales page game?
First things first, you need to understand what your sales pages are trying to accomplish.
Let’s start with a simple example…
Imagine you have the greatest product ever? Nice! But you still have to find people to sell it to.
Now, who would you rather be?
The guy speaking to a group of people like an angry dictator, spieling on and on about the features and benefits of his product…
The guy who is speaking with people, being friendly, personal, and taking the time to get to know his customers.
The answer is pretty easy.
In case it wasn’t that easy, you want to be the second guy.
The Goal of Landing and Sales Pages
If you are spending valuable money sending people to your sales pages, they better be well written and appeal to those customers.
Unlike more permanent pages on your website, your sales material is designed to be impactful, cut to the chase, and convince a potential customer to convert.
Here’s a tip…
Sales are the ultimate goal, but successful landing pages will collect things like:
- Phone numbers
Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong.
If it were that easy, everyone would be rich. It shouldn’t surprise you that big companies pay talented copywriters buckets of money to write sales pages that convert.
Seriously, if you want to learn more about copywriting and the art of persuasive writing, check out Sugarman’s books and the Halbert Letters (links above).
Alright, enough about that…
You want to know what makes good sales pages click.
I’m going to tell you all about that shortly, but first let me tell you a story.
Have you ever purchased a car or visited a car dealership? Even if you aren’t planning to buy, a good salesman will slowly convince you into wanting one.
They start by asking you simple questions that get you saying yes, slowly buttering you up until they start asking the bigger questions.
- Do you use Bluetooth? This car has it.
- Do you want a safe car? This car is very safe.
- Do you want a car that is good on gas? This one is.
- Do you want a backup camera? It has that too.
After a while, you are so conditioned to saying yes that they reel you in and try to close the deal.
This process involves the salesman trying to build the ideal buying environment to condition you into acting.
Here’s the deal…
I agree with Sugarman when he said that humans tend to buy things on impulse and justify them after the fact with logic.
If you buy that shiny new car that was way more expensive than what you wanted, you will probably try and justify it by saying that it came with great safety features, that it comes from a reputable company, and that it had great reviews.
That doesn’t change the fact that you bought it on impulse.
Stop rambling, where are you going with all of this?
Right… sales pages. If you want to write good ones and seem like you know what you are doing, you have to know what makes a good one. Let’s talk about that next.
I like numbered lists, so I’m going to use one to make this even easier for you.
1. Write an Attention-Grabbing Headline
This one may seem obvious, but so many great campaigns fail because of bad headlines. You only have a few words to try and convince someone to give you their time.
Most people value their time and they don’t want to give it away for free.
Your headline has to capture their attention and reel them in. It’s perfectly okay to be a little sensationalist, but the best headlines capture interest and show some form of value.
If they are too unbelievable, people will see through it and ignore your sales pages.
It’s all about striking a balance between curiosity and value. Too much curiosity can come across as vague, while making your product or service seem to valuable will convince people you are being unrealistic.
2. The Set Piece Domino Effect
If the goal of your headline is to get your customer to read on, the goal of your first sentence is to get them to read the second sentence.
I’m borrowing heavily from Sugarman here because he is right.
Each of your set pieces is designed to get your customer to read the next one. Headlines lead to sentences, sentences lead to paragraphs, and only after you get them hooked and reading, you hit them with your pitch.
You know what Sugarman called this?
The slippery slide. And it’s a great analogy. You have to get your customers to ride the slippery slide. Once they start and are hooked, they won’t be able to stop. That’s how you know you have written good copy.
In modern terms, low bounce rates, high time on page, engagement, and other similar metrics are a great gauge of whether your copy is interesting or not.
3. Know Your Customers
How can you even begin to write sales material if you don’t know who you’re writing it for?
Before you even get started, sit down and write out who you think your target customer is. Once you have an idea of their persona, go nuts.
Grab a glass of wine (red is best), turn the computer on, and get writing.
The better you know and understand your customers, the better you will understand their struggles and how to address them in your writing.
Your product might be the best one ever invented, but you have to approach your customers and solve their problems, not yours, and most certainly not your egos.
4. Understand the Products You’re Writing About
Have you ever read a fake Amazon review? You can tell when a person hasn’t used the product they are reviewing.
Maybe the review is a little too positive, too harsh, or something else.
If you want to be able to write the best sales pages, you have to take the time to play with the products and services you are writing about.
Here’s what I recommend:
- Beat the living hell out of the product, stress test it and make sure it can actually survive
- Approach the product like a consumer, test different features and see how it stands up
- Write down your first thoughts, these are often your most important ones
For example, you can only give a truthful review of a phone after an intimate experience like dropping it over and over to see if it breaks.
It is these personal experiences that will make your copy shine and seem more relatable to the average consumer.
5. Get Personal
The best pitches know how to get personal. I’m not suggesting you get so close you can smell what someone ate for breakfast.
Instead, treat your customers like a close friend. Don’t talk to them like they are your customers. People like a friendly person, not a pushy one.
You can still sell your products and services in a friendly way, so do it!
6. Have an Elevator Pitch
If headlines are important, so is having an elevator pitch.
Try and sum up what you are selling in a quick 15 second pitch. A great example of this is how developer Psyonix sold Rocket League when it came out. Before it was known as Rocket League, the game was called Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle Cars.
It didn’t sell well – that was until they rebranded and mastered their elevator pitch.
Here’s how they described the game after changing its name:
“It’s cars with rockets playing soccer.”
The game became an instant classic, sold millions, and is still played to this day.
Whether you like it or not, elevator pitches help you cut down on fluff and sell the key features of your product and services.
7. Provide Value
Guess what people love? Value.
Do yourself a favor and never forget that word.
No one buys a product that isn’t useful to them in some way. I’m not saying we don’t buy useless things, but every purchase, no matter how stupid, is motivated by desire in some way.
Your sales letters need to clearly explain the value that you are providing. But it has to be in a way that doesn’t beat your customers over the head.
Some of the easiest ways to do this include:
- Showing performance increases
- Using videos to your advantage
- Showing, not telling (this one is big)
- Using real world examples to demonstrate your value
- Explaining common problems your product or service overcomes
- Using humor to get your message across
There is no magic answer to mastering your unique value proposition. The easiest way to find out is to let your customers test your product and tell you what they like about it.
8. Get Your Reader to Act
If the goal of your content is to keep the reader entertained, begging to read on, the ultimate goal should be pretty obvious then.
Think about it…
You want your reader to act on their impulses, to hit the buy button, to sign up for your newsletter, or to provide you with some kind of way to sweeten the deal in the future.
This doesn’t always mean you will get a sale on the first try. It can take a few tries to close the deal, but that initial interest has to be captured so that you can nurture it and follow up on it when the time is right.
That initial interest helps you build your email marketing campaigns, it enables your salespeople to follow up with a potential client, or it provides you insight into what products people are interested in.
Making Sense of It All
Alright, I’ve taught you a lot of things here. I don’t expect you to remember it all.
I mean, it took me years to get the hang of it.
If you’re going to listen to me even a little bit, here’s what I recommend.
Keep your sales letters realistic by writing them in a way that addresses the types of problems that people actually have. You can be witty or serious in your writing. But make sure you solve people’s problems and showcase your benefits in a way that doesn’t seem forced.
You’re going to fail a few times before you get it right, and that’s okay. Writing is hard and writing well is even harder. But with enough practice, you’ll get the hang of it and you’ll be selling in no time.
And if you don’t get the hang of it, just hire someone to do it for you. There’s tons of hungry copywriters out there lounging around in a Starbucks near you.
Best of luck my friends,
Eric Carriere – Write On