You can’t sell something on the Internet without some kind of a sales page. Whether it is a written sales page or a video one, the components are primarily the same.
So, this episode is going to give you a full grand tour of the major elements of a converting sales page.
- The headline
- Opening text
- Proof it works
- The offer
- Risk Reducer
- The Close
For each of these 10 components, we go into detail about how to do it and what you should be thinking about in each.
If you are new to copywriting or making sales pages, then this Coffee Break episode is highly important for you.
So let’s get in to our topic for today, and that is… A Sales Page. Specifically, we are going to talk and give you a grand bird’s eye view of the 10 components of a converting sales page.
Now what this episode is NOT going to be for you is a full breakdown of copywriting and sales conversions and all that… We couldn’t possibly cover that in one episode if I tried. But what I am going to do is kind of walk you through the 10 big components; the 10 big things to keep in mind when you are putting together a sales page to sell your product.
So let’s jump right in because there is 10 of them; it is going to take us a little bit to do. 🙂
10 Components Of A Converting Sales Page
The HEADLINE is the first thing that we need to concentrate on. Now, all sales pages need to have a headline, even if you are going to be doing a sales video and not doing a written thing, you are still going to want to have a headline; probably on top of the video or on a still slide, like the still picture of the video before they actually hit the play button. But you need to have that headline.
Now the important parts of the headline are three different things:
The first one is that you want your headline to make a promise. You want it to make a promise of what they are going to get out of it.
The second one is that you want to demand their attention; and I’m not talking about like, “Hey, pay attention to me!” We are not going to do that. It is just by the very nature of the headline, usually by using strong curiosity, you are going to get them to really want to pay attention to it. You are going to say something in that headline that they are going to be like, “Wow, I want to at least satisfy my curiosity and figure out what this is all about.” You are kind of opening a loop for them and they are going to be like… “What the hell is that?” Think “cliffhangers”, think like watching an old school episode of “24” or something and how that episode will just tend to… And you are like, “Whoa, I need to know now what was going to happen in the next episode!” It will just let the many of us binge watching that thing, right? Well, that is what you want your headline to do because the function of that headline is going to be that to make a promise and get them to want to continue reading.
Now the third that headline needs to do is pre-qualify who your message is meant for. And by that, I mean it needs to attract the people who would be part of your target market and purposely alienate those who are not. You do not want people who are not right for your offer to bother with your sales page. You just want them to go away. Really. So, you need to have something in the headline that makes it immediately clear who it is for. And people who are not part of your target; they might see your headline and be like, “Eh, I don’t really care.” And they back off. And that is exactly what you want them to do.
So those are the three important things that your headline should do…
- Make a promise.
- Demand their attention; usually by sparking their curiosity in a big, strong way.
- Immediately pre-qualify who your message is for.
So, here is what you do… Go out and study a bunch of headlines. You should be collecting headlines, like on Evernote or something on any sales pages you see; even blog post headlines, and be constantly swiping those things into a file that you can go back and reference later when you are creating your own headlines because writing really good headlines does not come naturally to most of us, okay? It just doesn’t. And so, the way you are going to get those nice headlines is to mode other people’s headlines, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. It is done all the time, even by the pros.
2. Opening Text
And that’s the second component of your sales page; your OPENING TEXT. Now this is what is going to go underneath your headline. It is the first little piece of text that they are going to read. Now, there are a few things you want to keep in mind, here on this.
First of all is that you just got their attention on the headline… Now, the function of the opening text is to draw their attention further and make them want to continue reading. Now the one way to do that is to open some loops. And what I mean by that is… You want to set up those cliffhangers. You want to set up those mysteries as to what is coming and make them want to fill in that gap. It is kind of like creating a mystery and then the human nature of the human mind is designed to like “We want to plug mysteries.” We want to like solve mysteries; that is what we do. And so you are going to set up a few mysteries; a few little like, empty “gaps” in your opening text about what is coming. And that is going to make them want to continue reading. So it is kind of like that bridge between the headline and what is to come on your sales page. You also want to make it clear that what they are about to see is going to get them closer to their desired result. Make that very clear. You want the sales page itself to be an instructional piece. Now, obviously, it is going to be ultimately designed to make an offer to them, but you want them to learn something as they go through it; to get some knowledge shed of what the problem might be for them and why they are experiencing it. And so it should be pretty easy in that opening text to make it clear that what they are about to see is going to get them closer to their desired result.
3. Your Story
This component is not something that you are just going to do in a little segment of your sales letter like a nice beautiful little outline. This is something that is kind of be laced probably throughout the entire sales message and that is YOUR STORY, your background story. Specifically the story of why you are here, what brought you to this point and ultimately why your offer exists.
Now what you will find many people do is they will go and tell their story about the struggles that they had and then how they arrived at something that worked for them and then the difference between now and back then. It is kind of like that traditional “hero” story. They are almost like the reluctant hero; like you were dragged into it, you were forced to deal with it and you talk about those low points and ultimately that transition into where things stand today. And now, these stories are what is going to glue everything together because people tend to remember stories really well. We work really well with these things. And so, it also provides the big reason of “why” behind your offer. And that is pretty big because products are just going to blend in out there but when they are backed up by a really solid story that has got some emotion in it and some really low points and the higher points and discovery and… All the things that you would expect in a fiction book, to be quite honest with you; but it is your story, okay? And these things really brand your product and position your product.
So, I would encourage you to try to tell this like a story. Now, you might need to massage it a little bit and I am not saying that by way of lying. You never ever, ever lie in a sales page. But there is absolutely nothing wrong with downplaying certain things and up playing certain things. And it is probably going to happen. I write about blogging and online business but it is not as if my entire life revolves around this topic. And so for that reason, obviously I am going to leave out certain things that just do not have to do anything with it. And I am going to do what I can to turn my backstory with regard to blogging and online business into a story that actually flows in a way that I can tell it. So it is something that is going to take some practice. This is not something that is just going to happen for you. What I could say is go out and look at other people’s sales letters and see how they put together their stories, and see which ones resonate the best with you. Because that; you can actually use as a motivation for how you structure your own stories.
4. Authority & Credibility
In other words… Why should they listen to you? Now, some people just come straight up the gate and be like, “Here is why you should listen to Me.” and you could certainly do that, but it would be a lot more smooth if that was just kind of peppered throughout the entire sales message. In fact, it should even be part of your backstory that you tell. But you want to build in, and make clear why you have credibility on this topic. Why they should listen to you? Why you have authority? If you have got other opinion leaders in your market saying good things about you, you can bring that to the table but it should be beyond that. It should be about results, people that you have worked with in the past and bring those things and work them in to the overall story. So this is not something where you are going to have a section on your sales page that just says “Why you should listen to me.” This is something that is going to be probably worked in to your backstory and then into the presentation of your offer.
Now this is specifically for, if you are doing a written sales message. Sub-headings… they serve the exact same function on a sales page as they do on a blog post. See, many people are not going to read your page from beginning to end. Most people are not. What they are going to do is they are going to scroll. Now, when they scroll, what is going to jump out to them visually is going to be the sub-headlines. Those sub-headlines are going to kind of be the stop points as they are scrolling. And then what they are going to do is that based on the sub-headlines they are going to make a judgment call on whether your page is going to be interesting to them. That is what is going to happen.
So what you want to do is you want people to read your sub-headlines and you want them to think “Man, this is really interesting… It makes me wonder what the heck happened.” And then they are going to go up and they are going to start reading it. That is what you want them to do. You want them to read the sub-headlines and go back and really read it because of the sub-headlines because the sub-headlines; they do a really good job of sparking curiosity, making people wonder what happens in between. And that is going to get them to read it. Sub-headlines are very, very important and you should not take them lightly. And that goes to your regular blog post as well.
Now, the thing about testimonials is that it is one thing just to have somebody saying awesome things about you. It is another to have testimonials that actually directly address things that your prospect is going to have on their head; you know, on their mind. The testimonials are there in order to reduce anxiety about your product. And they are not thinking in terms of “Is this person a good person?” They are not thinking that. What they are thinking is probably things that is more like, “Is this going to work for my situation?” “Is this really going to be hard for me? Am I going to have the time to do it?” But also they are going to be thinking about “Can I trust you?” They may not know who you are and when you are asking for money they really want to know if they can trust you. And so the best thing to do with your testimonials is to have people saying things that directly address those types of questions. So if your prospect is wondering if this is going to work in their situation, put a testimonial on there from somebody that is going to address that… Maybe they have skepticism on whether it is going to work and “Oh my gosh, I was shocked! It actually, did work!” You know, that kind of thing. Now, never make this stuff up. You don’t invent testimonials; I know people have done that.
You can go and ask existing customers for a testimonial and you can even ask them specific questions in a survey that would be designed to elicit answers to these types of questions. Before you enrolled in this, did you think this going to be really, really hard? And then they go like “Yeah, I was struggling with this and this.” And then as a follow up question, “What is life now for you after going through XYZ?” You can put it together into a testimonial. Now, of course, get their approval for that. You do not want to take survey feedback and just throw it on there as a testimonial. You want to ask them “Hey, is it okay if I use this?” But that is a way where you can kind of guide people into the kind of testimonials that are going to work really well for your marketing, is by asking them the right questions.
So that is testimonials; that is definitely something you need to have in your sales page.
It is the proof that your product actually works. Kind of “duh”, right? People want to know if that is going to work especially if they are on a market of kind of like mine which is kind of jaded. I mean, people tried things and they just didn’t work. Now I have my theories as to why some of those things didn’t work, but it does not really matter. That is the way that prospects are feeling. And they just want to know if your stuff is going to work. So what you want to do first of all is to realize that people are going to come in to it with a question. So it should be integrated into the story, at the background story of your offer, to begin with. Have things in there that clearly shows that it worked. But better from that would be to show that it worked for other people, didn’t only work for you. And so this is where you could bring things like case studies, yes testimonials, before and after type of things… If you are in a market that “photographic before and after” works really well like the fitness market; then beautiful, bring it to the table. But many markets are not like that. So you can do it with written; if you can get people to talk about things in video that would be great. And you just want to show people on the outside that your product actually gets results. This is a very important component.
This is the actual product including the price tag. Keep in mind here, with the offer; and there is a lot that we can go into, here, but keep in mind that you are not selling a big bag of stuff. It is not about “Okay, this thing contains 4 modules and it can contains 10+ hours of content and transcripts…” No, because people do not care about the big bag of crap. What you are really selling with your offer is the solutions and the outcomes. That is what you are selling. You are selling the outcome of the product. So what you want to do is you want to explain every detail of what your product is going to actually do for them. And then you also want to show them how much of that is going to be worth to them, both financially and emotionally. So translate those benefits into real world concrete things that they will recognize. It does not matter what your transcripts look like. What it matters is what are they going to be able to do with them, okay? And what is the overall value of your product in terms of financial benefit; and this can be indirect. If your product is not going to be something that makes the money, that is fine. But the indirect benefits of your product could easily translate into things that you could potentially include a monetary tag to it. I mean, if your product is saving them time, well what do they value their time at? And you can just kind of like assign a monetary value to these things. It could definitely work but you can also go into the emotional benefits as well. If this is a product which is going to alleviate a lot of hassle, a lot of frustration, a lot of worry and anger and stress… What would be the value of that to them? And I am not necessarily talking about money, here. I am talking about emotional benefit; saving them a lot of grey hair. That kind of thing, you want to really make it clear.
Again, part of the offer too, is that you want to show them what they are going to be getting. So there is going to be that point where you are going to outline what they are going to get. But that should not be the whole gist of the offer. It really should concentrate more on the benefits of it from a financial and emotional and otherwise, perspective, but as logistic to deal with, just kind of show them what they are going to be getting and why it translates into those things. You also want to stack the value on top of them. You really want them to think… “Man, I am getting a massive amount of value here” because they are going to see that price tag and you want them to realize that that price is very, very fair. And in fact, many people go for like a 10x value factor when they put together offers. They want the customer to feel like they are getting 10x more value than what you are asking them to pay. So if you are going to sell some cheap eBook for 10 bucks, well, you want to make it so that the value they are getting out of it would be at least 100 bucks. And it just goes from there in the more expensive products as well. So that is just the old 10x value standard to assign to your offer.
9. Risk Reduction
This is where the old “guaranty” comes in. We see standard “money back guarantees” all the time and that is something that you should do as a bare minimum. Just have a 30 day or 60 day money back guaranty. Now, part of that, you want to emphasize how easy this is going to be, to do. You want to make it clear that they do not kind of have to jump through any hoops or do any weird stuff. If they want their money back, they should be able to get it. Simple as that. You want to balance the risk in their favor as well; as much as possible. Now you could do that by way of just how simple it is going to be to get their money back. But many people; they get a little bit creative with their guarantees. And they actually really balance it in favor of the customer. I have seen some people say “I will refund your money plus interest” which is kind of an interesting way of saying it. It just basically means you are going to give them back a little bit more than they actually paid. I have seen some people do like a 110% money back guaranty, which is probably just another way of saying a plus interest guaranty. And it can kind of seem really risky to say “I’m going to give you back more money than what you actually paid me.”
And a lot of people who are first starting out, they really do stress out about these guarantees. They tend to get into that scarcity mindset and think people are going to take advantage of it and those kinds of stuff. But realize that the benefits of these kinds of guarantees way outweigh the potential risk. And I have never, ever heard of a case where people lost money on the guaranty. You know, generally speaking, the increase on your conversion rates on these more creative guaranties is going to give you a lot more back than the few refunds that you are going to get. So it is not something to stress out about; you need to concentrate more on earning customers, not trying to prevent problems because there is very few people that are actually going to do that.
10. The “Close”
And if course, the last component is the CLOSE. How you close it off? Well, obviously you are going to give them a big, fat Call to Action button, add to cart, something like that. But you are also going to have a little bit of text around that directly tells them to go and buy. You have already led up to this point, you made it very clear that this is going to solve their problems and now you need to take the position of being the authority and say “Go, and take action now. It is for your own good, go and do this now; I want to work with you. I want to solve this problem for you.” Another element of the close is going to be the P.S. You always need to have a P.S. Because P.S’s do work, it is very traditional on a sales page but it is for a reason.
Think of what I said earlier when it comes to the sub-heads. A lot of people scroll. A lot of people are going to scroll all the way to the bottom of your sales page and they are going to see the price and they are going to see all these things and they are going to see the sub-headlines; but they are going to see your P.S. as well. And so the most common thing to do with your P.S. is to; in very short form, reiterate the primary benefits of the product and tell them, make it very clear that this thing is going to solve their problem. It is basically a very simple synopsis, reinstatement of the sales page that is right up above there. Very simple, and it will almost always increase your conversion rate. It is not going to be night and day, but this is something that people pretty much always do on their sales page and it is just a good best practice.
So hopefully that was a good overall bird’s eye grand tour of a sales page that actually makes sales. I hope that this was helpful to you.
If you would like to get some help actually creating this thing for yourself, then jump on over to the Blog Monetization Lab. We have an Action Plan on the agenda that is going to bring all this to the table in a checklist style format to help you create it. And as of this recording, that Action Plan does not exist but it is on the agenda. But also in the meantime, you can jump in to the community and ask all the feedback you want and I would be happy to help you actually craft your offer.
Thank you so much. If you are finding these episodes valuable, please head on over to iTunes and post a star rating and review and I would be highly appreciative of that.
Talk to you soon! 😉