HOW EFFECTIVE SALES PAGES WORK
For those Internet marketers who have steady traffic coming to their websites but lack sales, it may be in the delivery where the problem exists. A sales page is the medium you can use to convert visitors into paying customers.
It is common for many Internet marketers to struggle at this point. They have worked hard to build up their traffic and they feel that that should be enough. The problem is, people are still too easily able to leave the website. They have not learned what is in it for them. A sales page can help you to do this.
There are several ways to use a sales page. One of the most effective methods is to develop one page for each product you are selling on your website. For example, if you have four different eBooks you are promoting, you could develop a sales page for each one. When visitors get to your website, they are able to follow links to get to the sales page of the eBook they are interested in.
You can also create sales pages that work as landing pages in that visitors will come directly to this page in order to learn more about the product or products you are offering, and hopefully, purchase them.
There are several key benefits to using sales pages:
- They have a sales message that is usually frowned upon when used on most other forms of Internet marketing, especially in social marketing areas.
- They present your product in a direct way. People know what the product is.
- They aid you in letting the customer know what is in it for them. People want to know what they are getting from your product before they buy.
- They give specific detail of what is included in the product or service that you are offering. These details will win the readers of the sales page over.
- They ask for the sale: do not forget this part!
DOING THE WRITING?
Most people cringe at the idea of writing sales copy. Most people do not have the ability to write this type of copy without first learning how to do so. You have several options.
You can invest the time needed to learn how to write sales pages. This is highly recommended if you will be writing many of them. The good news is that there are many resources available both online and offline that can help you to learn this skill. Tutorials online are specifically helpful since they are designed to help you learn how to write sales copy for the Web in particular.
Another option you have is to hire someone to do the work for you. Professional copywriters for the Web are readily available. You will need to pay a decent amount of money for their services, but this can help to make the process a bit easier.
DOING IT JUST ONE TIME
One thing to keep in mind when you have multiple products to offer on your website is that you can create a basic template of a sales page to use and then customize it for each of the products you have. For example, the structure, the pictures, and even some of the headlines can remain the same from one product to the next. The difference is simply in the wording.
Customizing pages in this method is actually quite easy to do. With some basic copywriting skills, you will be well on your way to developing sales pages that convert traffic.
WRITING YOUR OWN
Let’s assume that you have a decent understanding of what sales copy is. You understand that this is the type of content that is designed to sell the product or service you are selling. Whereas on other areas of your website you will be using a non-sales tone, this is the location where you need to sell.
There is no reason not to write your own sales copy once you understand what it is. Take some time to review quality sales pages at other websites online. You can even search some of your competitors’ websites to get an idea of what is available. The question to ask yourself: Does this page convince you to buy the product or service?
Now, learn what it takes to write the best sales pages for Internet marketing.
COMPONENTS OF EFFECTIVE SALES PAGES
As you set out to write a sales page for Internet marketing businesses you may own, keep in mind that every page is different. From one company to the next, you will find differences. However, most contain a similar structure.
In this section, we discuss what is called the components of effective sales pages, or the parts that make them up. While you do have some leeway in what you include and in the layout of the page, the most effective pages have several key aspects to them.
Even if you hire a professional copywriter to do this work or you do the work yourself, it is important to check over the final piece to make sure that it delivers in these areas. Writing a long, rambling page is not going to win over your readers any more than a long-winded sales person wins you over at the local car dealership!
Headlines are a bit more complex than you may think. They are actually comprised of various types of headlines.
- An initial headline, called a pre-headline, is used to attract your target market. This headline is specifically able to tell your readers that you have something that they want and need.
- A secondary headline is the main headline. This headline is an important part of your sales page. It should be in larger font than anything else on the page. You do not want anything else on your sales page to pull away from this main headline. Specifically, the main headline is designed to tell the reader what the main benefit you are offering is.
- The third headline is an optional one. It is in a smaller font, located under the main headline. The goal of it is to give some clarification to the main headline or to elaborate on it when it is necessary to do so. Not every sales page needs to have this type of headline, and if it is over used, it can detract from the main headline.
When writing headlines of any type, keep them concise and to the point.
There is little benefit to long-winded headlines. People just will not read them if they are too drawn out. You want the headline to grab the attention of the reader and pull them in to what you have to offer.
The introduction is a key component in your Internet marketing sales page. The fact is, if you cannot grab them now, they will not continue on, and most likely, will never buy from you. Therefore, your introduction needs to count and you should spend time on it.
The first few sentences have to find a way to pull at the heartstrings of your reader. You want them to grab the attention of the reader and make them say, “Wait…I need to read this…”
The introduction is not a hard sell. At this point, you want to draw them further into the sales page content so that you can show them why what you have to offer is the best product to solve their problem.
To write the introduction, keep in mind what your product provides to the reader. Do not list that here. Rather, consider what type of emotion or result the product has to offer to the visitor. In the copy coming, you will showcase what your product is, so at this point, you do not need to mention it. Rather, you want to present your case for why it is valuable.
Choose wording that shows the reader the benefits of your product or service. You want to describe how they will feel when they own it. You want to tell them how it will help to improve their life.
- Will it give them relief from a life-threatening condition?
- Will it help them to find their passion?
- Will it provide them with the means to build financial security?
- Will it reduce their stress?
- Will it give them the life they have always dreamed of?
How will their life improve when they buy and then use the product you are offering them?
The introduction should cover those aspects within a few sentences or up to two paragraphs. Do not get long-winded here either. The introduction is placed directly under the headlines, usually towards the top of the initial page. Your goal is to get them to scroll down after reading to this point. Drawing on emotions is the best way to accomplish that goal.
STATE YOUR CREDIBILITY
Here is a place where many people fail. They do not use this one simple area to provide them with the huge benefit it offers. Here’s the question to ask yourself: “If I was purchasing a product from a sales page online, would I buy from just anyone?” Most people would say “no.” They want to know who it is that is offering them this information, product, or service.
“Why in the world is this person so knowledgeable about my problem?”
It is particularly important to show your credibility online. People know there are plenty of scams out there and they want nothing to do with them. No one likes the idea of handing over money to someone that is promising too much, has no background, or is questionable. In particular, it is important to place this “credibility check” towards the top of the sales page. People want to know about it soon.
To establish credibility online, select one or more methods.
- Use testimonials that show real results from the product or service that you are offering. This helps people to know they are getting something of value. Be sure that these include the full name of the person giving them.
- Quote experts or show expert information. For example, you can quote (using proper references, of course) a study done that shows the value of your product or service.
- Use specific numbers and details here. You do not want to be vague with “many” or “lots of people” as this does not ring true to most people. Instead, if you say, “In a study done by ABC University, 9 out of 10 people…,” you will get a better result.
- State your credentials. Specifically list any degrees, education, or other information about yourself that is related to your product or service. This immediately shows your worth.
- You can explain product test results here too. Be sure that all information is correct and verifiable by the reader if he/she needs to do so.
- List favorable reviews of your product from online or offline sources, such as magazines, newspapers, or well-respected websites online. Authoritative websites are particularly important here.
- Give your contact information. How can they contact you (email, phone, and address if you have business contacts) if they have questions or concerns?
Do you need to use all of these methods? Most likely you do not. But you do need to include some of them towards the top of your sales page. It will give you the best overall results if you can back up this information too. This is especially important if you have a very outstanding or unique product that people are most likely not going to believe in.
Now you have come to a point on your sales page where people are interested. They know what your product is and they have seen that it seems to be well-respected. Now, they want to know what in the world it actually offers. What are the benefits of the product?
This section is best written in bullet format. If you have been reading thus far, we have included bullets in this eBook. The reason for using bullets is simple – people are likely to read them. People do not like long paragraphs. They want to know the facts, plain, simple, and quickly. Bullet points are highly attractive and easy to include. They break up the text and give simple statements.
In this section, use bullets to outline the benefits of the product. Do not point out features here. Rather, list the benefits the product offers.
- Saves you 20 percent of your grocery budget…
- Gives you peace of mind…
- Easy to use…
Of course, your bullet points need to be specific to your product and they should be more elaborate. Put them in order from the most important or the highest priority down. It is okay to list many here. In fact, listing too few will hurt your sales page. People need to connect with just one of these bullet points to get them to buy. If you list only a few, you are limiting your chances of connecting with some people.
Remember that every visitor to your website is there for his/her own reason. You may be giving them a product that saves them money, but for each person, the benefit is different.
- Be able to pay down debt…
- Be able to spend more time with your kids rather than working too many hours…
- Be able to put money into savings…
- Be able to invest in the stock market…
- Be able to buy a luxury yacht…
Every person has that one hot spot. You need to use bullets to attract the right hot spot for every visitor you have.
In the next section, you want to tell what the product is, in detail. You want this section to outline what it is that you are offering and what it contains. For example, perhaps you are marketing an eBook on making money online. This is the section where you should list what is included in the eBook.
You do not have to give away the entire contents of the book, though. Rather, you want to tempt them in the proper way. For example, in your eBook, you may be sharing websites that offer freelance contract work. You do not want to list what those websites are here. Rather, you may include something like: “Learn the top 42 websites that offer freelance work every single day.”
This draws them in. They cannot get this information unless they buy the book from you. Do this same type of thing for every one of the features in your product. You can again use a bullet style to list them. If you need more room to go into detail, you can do that as well, but do not overdo it in terms of information. Use the features of your product or service to draw them in. Do not give them all of those details!
Do list what the buyer is getting. You want the buyer to be aware of what he/she is getting.
Do you think your product or service is good enough to stand alone? Most likely, it is not. People love bonuses and they want to know that they are getting something for free. Consider this carefully.
If you were to walk into a retail store to look at two or three different brands of a product, all of which were similar, but one contained a free bonus, which product would you buy? The same is true for the Web. People want to get something for nothing because it helps to validate their purchase.
Always offer something extra without a charge. Of course, it should be in some way related to what you are offering. Here are some tips to help you with this portion of the sales page.
- Do include something that has real value to it. There is no benefit to adding something that has little real benefit to your reader. They will know it is not worth it!
- Do provide a description of what the item is. For example, you may be selling an eBook on making money online. But, you offer a free guide to saving $500 a month on household expense.
- Do figure out what the value of this product is. If you sold it as a standalone product, what would the value of it be? You can find similar guides or resources online to come up with this figure. In the coming portions of your sales page, you will need to know the worth of the bonuses.
Some Internet marketers like to offer multiple bonuses. There is no drawback to having more than one, but you do not have to have ten to make it worthwhile. Rather, having a few extra bonuses (even just one or two) that have real worth to them is enough. If you have ten different bonuses, it may sound like the product you are selling is worthless.
Also, keep in mind that bonuses can sell the package for you. Sometimes, people will buy a product or service just to get the bonus. Of course, for this to happen, you need to ensure it has real value.
THE VALUE BUILD-UP
When your visitor reaches this section, they know what you have to offer, they know what they are getting, and they are considering buying. The reason many will turn away from a product is because they do not see the value of the product or service in terms of dollars and cents. You need to show them that here.
The value build-up section allows you to communicate to the reader that your product is worth whatever your price is. At this point, you should not have listed a price, nor will you do so yet. Rather, you need to show the value of the product.
There are several ways you can accomplish this. It is important to detail as much as you can here.
- Compare your product to a similar product online. Show how your product has more to it or is a better value to the reader. “We go farther than XYZ Product by giving you an additional 3 chapters on….”
- Show that another product is more expensive than your own and that it has less benefit to the reader. Perhaps it has fewer features or details.
- Give your visitor a guarantee whenever it is possible to do so. “There is no risk. We provide a full money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied within the first 30 days.”
- If there are any known objections people will have to your product or service, list them here and tell why they are not of concern. Be specific here. State why what they are worrying about (as you have assumed) is not something to worry about.
- In some way, show that your product or service is highly valuable and scarce. For example, this may be a limited time offer or there may be a deadline for ordering the product before you pull it or increase its price. You want to create the urgency in the reader that they have to buy right now or they will lose out on a great opportunity.
One helpful way to get the visitor to realize the value of your product is to go back to those heartstrings again. Show them what will not change if they do not make this purchase from you. For example, show them that if they do not buy your eBook on making money from home that they will continue to work for someone else, wondering if their job will be cut or worrying how they will pay the bills. Show them that this can change when they buy your product.
Now you have gotten to the point of getting them to buy! Wow, that was a lot to include to this point, right? The good news is that it is worthwhile doing so. But you are not done yet.
The ordering process has to be incredibly easy for them. Do not have it take more than a couple of steps because every step is an opportunity to lose the buyer. You want to assume that your visitor has never purchased anything from the Web before. They do not know how to buy and they are of course worried about giving out their credit card information.
- Give them step-by-step directions. Such as, “to order, simply follow this link to our secure website where you can pay by credit card, PayPal, or several other methods.”
- Give them more than one option of payment. You want to make this easy no matter what type of payment they want to send to you.
- Keep in mind that you can use several methods no matter what type of payment option you prefer. This includes using PayPal.com, other online credit card processing systems and online payment companies, call-to-order services (where they actually call a number to place an order) or even mail-in check order forms.
You will want to ensure that you are using a secure website and have set up the process so that it is just a few clicks away. Do make this as easy and safe for your visitors as you can.
ASK FOR THE SALE
Here is another area some people fail at. They forget to ask for the sale! You may think, “Isn’t my entire sales page doing this for me? Why do I need to put even more into it?”
The fact is, you need to communicate with your readers that this is a fantastic opportunity throughout your sales page. But, when you come down to the end, you need to state that you want them to buy from you!
- Order Now!
- Click Here To Buy Now!
- Ready To Buy? Do So Now
- Don’t Let Time Run Out
- Buy Now Through Our Secure Site
These are just a few of the terms you can use. Whatever you do, do not forget to ask for the sale!
One question some people ask is about placing “Buy Now” buttons on other areas of the sales page. For example, after you list the features of your product or service, you may want to insert a “Buy Now” button. This is acceptable to do on the sales page. However, it should be a simple button rather than any type of sales message that does not fit into that section.
In other words, you do not want to flood your website with “Buy Now…” messages all over it. This makes your website look desperate. Rather, just include a few simple buttons where it seems appropriate to do so. You should not add these more than one or two times at most.
Still more, yes, there is another area where you can add more information or deliver an additional bit of sales message and that is in the postscript section. It is the “P.S.” section of your sales letter.
This section can still be vitally important because it comes right after your sales page’s ordering section, and often, the order button and this P.S. is on the same area of their screen. They can still instantly click on the “Buy Now” button.
The postscript should be a summary of what your product is, what benefits it offers, what features you are giving to the reader, and why it is of value to them. It is, in essence, a summary of your sales page. You want to ensure that your readers can once again understand all of these elements clearly.
You should not make the postscript more than one or two short paragraphs. You do not have to oversell here (and there is a risk of sounding desperate if you do). Therefore, keep it short, but still give the reasons why they need your product.
At the end of the postscript, do ask for the order again. “Hurry…place your order today so you do not miss out on this limited time offer.”
These are the components of your Internet marketing sales letter. Before you begin writing it, go through the Web and look at a few examples of effective sales pages. You can do this by going to your favourite Internet marketer’s website and checking out the style and format of their sales page.
What is important there is giving the reader all of the information they need to make a decision to buy your product. This format has been used by some of the best in the business to make sale after sale.