How do you create a sales page that converts?
When I talk to business owners, clients or prospects the most frequently asked question is “What works best in a letter or web sales page?”
It is a question any marketing professional or experienced copywriter is asked time and time again.
And none of us know the definitive answer! In fact, the only people who do know what’s working is your customers. Because only they responded to your offer and bought.
Until you get the content of your message right; targeted specifically to the people you have identified as your ideal audience, they won't buy.
Any marketing expert worth their salt will say the same thing – you must test. The 3 minimum things you should be testing are:
Testing Takes Time…
Testing can be time-consuming – especially if you send by post. And in this age of ‘instant satisfaction’ that delay may be too much.
If you get high traffic (large number of visitors) to your website, you may decide to create an online sales page and use that for testing these different elements.
If you don't streams of traffic, you can use Google Adwords – or a similar PPC (pay per click) advertising to drive traffic to your test sales page.
One distinct advantage of using an online sales page is that you can test more than one element at a time. It is known as multivariate testing.
You can use Google Analytics to control this more complicated testing.
In the meantime – remember – only your customers truly know what works.
You can only take an educated guess based on experience.
If you have a website and are familiar with the idea of online marketing you may have come across the term ‘Landing Page’. An ideal web landing page is specifically designed to target a specific audience with an end result in mind; that your visitor takes the action you want.
The design, structure and content of your landing page all have an impact on the outcome of any visit to your webpage. Are you creating a true landing page that makes your visitor feel they’ve arrived somewhere worthwhile – or do you leave them floundering; wondering why they are wasting their time?
Testing each element of your landing page moves you closer to the ‘perfect page’ – if there is any such thing – but having a plan before you start also gives you a greater chance of realizing your goal.
When I first started studying the techniques of the sales page that converts I came across a poem written by Victor O. Schwab in 1942; ‘Tell Me Quick and Tell Me True‘. It completely encapsulates the prospect’s point of view about any marketing material we send out. Here’s a few lines from this famous verse:
So tell me quick and tell me true
(Or else my love to hell with you!)
Less – “how this product came to be”;
More – “what the damn thing does for me!”
It certainly struck a chord with me.
One of the tricks of writing a sales page that converts is to imagine the person you are writing to. Understand what interests them; what sort of person they are; what problems they have; what dreams they have.
In fact, some expert copywriters give their prospect a name and write specifically to that person; it makes the sales page more personal and conversational.
If you can tell what sort of day your prospect is probably experiencing, what pressures they’re under, then your sales page will more likely convert
And that’s good news for you, because you get a clear message across, and it’s good news for your prospect because they get to understand more quickly how you can make life a little easier for them.
And if you don’t know what the day-to-day pressures of your prospective customers, why not ask some of your existing customers? If nothing else it will show you take an interest in their welfare and will help cement your business relationship with them even more.
For a sales page that converts, give your prospects the reasons behind the deal you are making and you improve the chances of it being accepted; it’s a technique often suggested by savvy marketing experts. I’d like to share another aspect of ‘reasons why’ explanations that can also be very persuasive.
It’s connected to the ‘objections’ – or ‘reasons why’ your prospect may not buy. Answering the concerns your prospect has; reassuring them that purchasing from you is a wise decision is crucial to your sales letter campaign’s success.
Now, if you met your prospect face-to-face you could answer any and all the questions they might ask. But when you are writing your sales message you have to try to answer those potential ‘stop-them-buying’ questions in your description of the benefits and features of your offer.
Give Reasons Why They Won’t Buy…
There is another, more direct approach for sales page that converts, that may work for you – especially if you offer a seemingly outrageous deal that is likely to make someone think “What’s the catch?”
You start by telling your reader that your marketing experts do not expect a high take up of your offer – citing perhaps only a 10% or 12% response. And you then say that although that is OK from a business point of view, it worries you that someone may miss out because you haven’t explained the deal properly.
So you tell how you brainstormed with your people to think of reasons why someone may refuse the offer. And then tell them what you came up with and – of course – answer those objections.
Including supporting testimonials as you answer each objection makes it even more powerful and persuasive.
It’s a technique I discovered many years ago and have used in different letters.
In the example I’m giving you here I wrote the letter for an office equipment company who specialized in supplying equipment to estate agents. It was an ideal fit because the offer this company was making (a free color, laser printer) was absolutely unbelievable, although a perfectly viable business proposition for them as well as a fantastic deal for their clients.
I’ve extracted just the pages detailing the ‘reasons why’ and, for confidentiality, my client’s company name and their clients’ names have been removed.
For a sales page that converts, the tense you use in your writing makes a surprising difference.
Present tense is so much more active – it breathes life into your sales letter.
Describe something as if your reader is experiencing it right now and it is easier for them to visualise owning whatever it is you are selling; whether a solution to a problem, a service or a product.
So should you always use present tense?
Let me explain…
Anything written in future tense is not so vivid; it’s something that may happen – but could just as easily not. And your reader may not see himself in that particular scenario. And there are times when you don’t want him to.
Here’s an example…
You write your letter or advert or web page describing the pain or problem he is experiencing; or the pleasure he is missing. You then paint the glowing picture of the relief or joy or satisfaction or status he does have because he took up your offer. That’s how you want him to see himself.
Offer a guarantee and your prospect is ethically persuaded to take your offer; especially if you include a risk-free money-back guarantee. But you do not want your new customer to visualize himself asking for a refund. So you use future tense:
“If you are unhappy, for any reason, all you have to do is ask for a refund and we will give you your money back, no questions asked”.
In this way you are showing that asking for a refund is a possibility – but not a definite.
I believe it is still as important to get your prospect to see themselves experiencing the benefits you describe – and it doesn’t matter if you are writing a sales letter or talking to them in a video or on audio – or even face-to-face.
Want a winning combination? For a sales page that converts write in present tense and avoid passive sentences and you have a greater chance of getting those sales.
Are your marketing messages congruent? Is there a natural flow and connection? Or do they skip about and confuse your potential customers or clients?
Why am I asking these questions?
From one reader who had problems with sales page that converts...
“I’m getting a good response to my classified advert – 322 visitors to my website from the last one – but I only got one sale – will you take a look at the letter on my web page?” Anita asked.
Her conversion rate was an extremely disappointing 0.31%.
I took a look. The letter itself was a bit disjointed; that could soon be remedied.
But the biggest stumbling block I could see was the lack of connection between the advert and the content of the sales page on her website. For a sales page that converts they must link.
The advert offered free information about how someone had achieved a specific result. In contrast, the sales letter on the website started off by talking about something entirely different; it didn’t follow on from the advert.
Now, bear in mind that of the people who had seen the classified advert, 322 decided they were interested in what was offered; took the trouble to fire up their computer; open their web browser and click the link to find out more. They were looking for the sales page that converts.
Imagine their disappointment when the website they reached didn’t give them the information they were promised and – at first glance – didn’t seem to be connected.
There was no congruence between the advert and the content on the website the advert asked the reader to visit.
The info they were promised was there – but not until you reached what would have been page 6 if it was printed out! And I suspect the majority of the readers left long before that point.
It’s a similar situation with PPC (pay per click) advertising like Google Adwords. The experts on Google Adwords always say two things are crucial to gain a good conversion rate:
Having a magnetic; intriguing or exciting headline or classified advert that appears to have nothing to do with the content that follows may attract people… but you won’t keep their attention.
And Anita had potentially lost thousands in future sales because 321 people, who responded to the original advert, left the website without buying because they didn't find the sales page that converts.
Take a minute to check the advertising messages you’re putting out – are they fully congruent throughout?
Software, Videos, Manuals, On-Line Certifications
Corrective Action Software
AQL Inspection Software
Plan and Track Training
Lean and Continuous Improvement
Templates, Guides, QA Manual, Audit Checklists
Six Sigma, Risk Management, SCRUM
Software, Videos, Manuals, Training Material
Please Recommend Us!