10 Steps to a Killer Sales Page

In the previous blog post, we looked at some “speed copywriting secrets” to getting a converting sales page in a fraction of the time without costing an arm and a leg doing it.

10 Steps to a Killer Sales PageI was both thanked and yelled at because many people wanted an easily digested step-by-step list of how to create a great sales page.

Basically they said, sure it’s nice to know what to focus on but what about the rest of it.

Good point! Here is “the rest of the story”

Before we look at the steps, I want to point out that copywriting shouldn’t be thought of as a chore that needs to be done as simply and easily as possible.

I understand the need for speed but copywriting is so critically important that you should rush through it just to get it done. If you do you’ll, as they say, get what you pay for.

If that is your attitude then the first thing you need to do is change that, otherwise you’ve defeated yourself before you’ve started.

Let’s take a sales letter part-by-part and learn how to create an amazing (profit pulling) sales page!

We aren’t just going to look at the traditional sections of a sales page like I do in my copywriting course but we’ll look at the things you need to concentrate on whether it is a specific section like the headline or drawing the prospect in to make them experience “what might be.”

We’ll start with the offer and take it step by step…

Step 1: Offer

While each part of a sales page helps drive the prospects to but the one thing that can make the most difference is the offer.

Remember the Godfather books and movies? Well, if you make an offer that people can’t refuse then you’ve won.

The offer is the only thing that can stand on it’s own.

No other part of the sales letter can, by itself, generate the sale.

Have you ever bought something you didn’t really care about because it had a lifetime guarantee?

Have you ever bought something you didn’t really care about because it had a long list of “benefits” that didn’t really benefit YOU?

Have you ever bought something you didn’t really care about because solely because the headline was fantastic?

No, you haven’t

But everyone’s bought something because of the offer itself.

Of course, most offers aren’t quite that compelling but the first thing to do is come up with the offer and then build the sales page around it, adding this or that in the sales copy to increase the likelihood of purchase.

Step 2: Headline

Of course, the headline is the first thing people see in a sales page and it truly can “make or break” its success.

It can be the difference between half a percent conversions and 10 percent conversions; think of what 20 times more sales would mean to you – if you make $100 you would turn that into $2,000, if you make $10,000 that would automagically turn into $200,000.

So the first step after defining the offer is creating a headline.

Sit down, grab your swipe file, a pen and paper and start writing down your headlines (you can use a keyboard but pen and paper for some reason works best).

Set a goal of 25-50 headlines and a tight deadline to create them. Don’t worry much about editing them or agonizing, you’re trying top get the creative juices flowing and you’ll probably even find a gem or two.

Remember that a headline is supposed to grab the reader, getting their interest by promising a compelling benefit.

Use your swipe file, remember your swipe file, the thing I told you that you must have, and create some sizzling hot headlines; just remember that if it doesn’t tell them some benefit that they desperately want (relief from pain or additional pleasure) then you’ll have a hot frying pan but no meat.

The great copywriters spend days going through hundreds of headlines before finding just that perfect one. That alone should tell you the importance of the headline if nothing else does so don’t skimp here.

Step 3: The Opening Paragraphs

The two best ways I know of to start a sales letter is either by telling a story or by asking a question.

You’ve got them curious with the headline but now that they’ve taken the bait you’ve got to reel them in so you need to quickly “set the hook” and stories and questions are some of the best ways to engage the reader.

Remember they don’t know you, they really don’t care about you and they’ve got other things on their mind so take the interest you’ve generated with the headline and solidify it.

Tell a story about real results with the product, preferably your own. Show the depths and how the product or service helped to soar above it.

Or tell a story about somebody else who the prospect would identify with.

If you don’t have a story then tell a story that is a combination of different stories put together.

Of course, don’t lie or be dishonest, that’s a great way to kill the sale and your business.

The other way, asking a question, is good because questions seek answers so people who have been asked a question will usually try to answer it, at least in their own mind if nothing else; and right there you’ve got the participating in your sales page.

One successful technique is to ask a series of questions that lead to the conclusion you want. The key point here is to ask questions that can only be answered yes.

Then, after a series of “yes” answers, the prospect is more willing to be open to your sales copy and to say yes to the call to action.

This can be as simple as this string of questions:

Have you ever struggled?

Have you ever wished you had enough money so it wasn’t a concern?

Have you ever thought about how you might get more money?

etc.

You can see that you are asking questions that everyone will say yes to and each step leads them closer to what you where you want them to be psychologically to be more receptive to your offer.

Many great copywriters spend days on the opening paragraphs too, it’s that important.

Step 4: Show Off the Benefits

If you’re reader gets this far they are definitely a good prospect so now is the time to move them from where they are to where they could be.

Help the prospect feel would it would be like to have or use your product or services.

Don’t just tell them, “paint a story” for them at an emotional level so they can experience it in their minds.

The more they feel the advantage of the benefits you can bring them the more likely they are to do what you want them to do.

This goes beyond the standard “focus on the benefits not the features” and requires you to understand and, in essence, become the person.

Be sure to use hypnotic or emotion sparking language, this strengths their reactions and their bond with you and the product.

A side benefit is that it keeps your sales copy on the reader not on the product or company selling the product.

Step 5: Make it a Fun and Easy Experience

I’ve emphasized before how a confused or conflicted prospect does not turn into a buyer.

This means you need to remove as many barriers as you can to get them to purchase. Here are some things you can do to help that.

Organize and Emphasize

Make sure you put sub-heading throughout your sales page to grab the attention of the skimmer to important points you want to emphasize and to help organize the sales page in their minds.

It also breaks up the sales copy making it easier and more pleasant to read.

Make it Easy to Read

There are some easy things that you can do to make it easier to read:

  1. Short sentences and paragraphs
  2. Be conversational
  3. Good use of “whitespace” blank space around and between sections
  4. Skimmable but attention getting sales copy
  5. Break up sales copy with images or call out boxes
  6. Judiciously use highlighting (like bolding and underlining)
  7. Use bullet points
  8. Use punctuation and quote marks

Be Their Bud

Talk to them in a one-on-one, “we’re friends” style.

Even though it is obvious to you and your prospects you aren’t friends it is truly amazing how much more inclined people are to listen and believe when the style of writing is personal, personable, almost intimate.

Step 6: Keep Boosting Their Interest

While the analogy of the prospect being a drug addict and the sales copy being a drug isn’t pleasant it is also pretty accurate.

You need to be giving the little shots to keep up and build their interest.

Ask little questions, reveal an additional benefit, add to the offer, whatever it is, periodically insert little things to keep people focused and interested.

Use positive and enthusiastic sales copy, like giving a constant pep talk, the more positive and enthusiastic you are the more likely your prospect will start become more positive and more enthusiastic; of course, there is a point where you can go too far so be aware.

Step 7: Be a Gift Giver, But Give ’em What They Want

Technically this is part of the offer but you need to look at what bonuses you’re providing.

Are they complementary and supportive of the primary product?

Are you bonuses of interest to the prospect?

Do they have real perceived value?

Some people think you don’t need bonuses; that the product should be valuable enough to stand on its own.

The idealist in me agrees but the realist in me understands that it’s a naïve view.

Remember what I said about the importance of the offer and also the need to remove impediment from the prospect.

Adding bonuses to the offer is a proven, time tested way of improving the value of the offer, making it that much easier to get the sale.

Just remember a worthless bonus and a “too good to be true” bonus will send up the caution flags is worse than no bonus.

Step 8: Prove It!

Now that they are really interested and it is time to clinch the sale – I’d say put the last nail in the coffin but that really doesn’t seem like the right analogy!

There are two primary methods of proof in a sales page: (1) social proof (testimonials) and (2) risk reversal (a guarantee).

They are complimentary and both important to have the more and the stronger the better.

Testimonials

Scatter testimonials throughout the sales page making sure the testimonial matches and reinforces the surrounding sales copy.

Yep, don’t just put any testimonial anywhere make sure the testimonial essentially tells the prospects that what you just said is verified by a third party.

So say you talk about how well your product achieves a specific goal/provides a specific benefit. Right after a section place a testimonial that verifies and supports what you just said.

This will give the testimonial more strength that just putting in any old thing.

Guarantee

I’ve talked about the importance of an outrageous guarantee and this step is where you figure out what would be a guarantee that would not only make your prospects have no concerns but turn the guarantee into part of the offer itself (read my discussion of Frank Kern’s guarantee for an example of that).

So many people are concerned about making too good a guarantee because of fear of returns and refund request.

I don’t understand why this persists when time after time it is shown that the increased sales more than make up for the increased refunds.

Assuming you have a good product do NOT give in to this fear as you’ll only be hurting yourself.

Plus, refund request are really another opportunity for sales. You have the opportunity to possibly change their mind or to sell them something else in replacement for the refunded item.

And they are now on your customer list so you have the opportunity to sell them additional things in the future and even though they returned your product they will be more willing to purchase in the future, particularly if you handled the refund in an outstanding manner.

Of course, don’t go overboard or you’ll introduce doubt. Saying that if they don’t like your product you’ll give them back $1,000 for a $37 e-book will quickly instill distrust in the prospect and you’ve lost the sale.

Step 9: Tell Them to Buy

This is one of the final steps, is very important and yet, frequently neglected.

Quickly summarize the sales page reinforcing the triggers your already set of (give them that “final fix”) and then tell them exactly what to do.

Say it in direct, specific, unambiguous language.

“Call Me Now at 123-456-7890”

“Click the button below that says ‘Give Me the Success Package Now'”

What ever it is you need them to do be direct and explicit..

Step 10: P.S.

This is your last chance (sometime your only chance) to state the key benefits and your offer; don’t waste it.

Just find the best benefit or two and get them to imagine it, throw in a little scarcity if you can and be sure to put in the call to action and a link (I don’t know how many times I see this without the link, how foolish is that)

Conclusion

While not the traditional 15-step sales copy explanation taking you from the pre-head through the P.S. these 10 steps are, to me, of greater value:

  1. Offer
  2. Headline
  3. The Opening Paragraphs
  4. Show Off the Benefits
  5. Make it a Fun and Easy Experience
  6. Keep Boosting Their Interest
  7. Be a Gift Giver, But Give ’em What They Want
  8. Prove It!
  9. Tell Them to Buy
  10. P.S.

If you do this the other stuff is icing on the cake but if you want to learn more then sign up for my free copywriting course

If you want to improve sales and be a better copywriter just sign up for my free copywriting course:


E-mail Address:

* I Will Never, Ever, Sell, Rent or Give Out Your Info

Did this answer those questions that have been bothering you?

Do you have any other questions

Was I stupid and should have just stuck to the mechanicals of a sales page?

I want to know so please leave a comment and put me out of my misery :-)

Talk soon,

David

The Shameless (Ethical) Marketer
http://www.Twitter.com/DavidHusnian
http://www.8-8-8Sale.com
http://www.MusicForInternetMarketers.com
http://www.SecretsOfGoogleAdWords.com
http://www.MadMondaySale.com
http://www.2ForTuesdaySale.com

O.Y. Need a sales letter fast but have no knowledge or talent (or time!), try Armand Morin’s Sales Letter Generator


Brought to you by Quote Adder

9 comments to 10 Steps to a Killer Sales Page

  • Wow David, you really went to town in this post! It’s pretty much a mini course in itself.

    I particularly liked Step 6, which a lot of sales letters neglect. At some point, they get boring.

    I view it is a system of “microrewards”. You can promise the microreward in advance, and deliver it a short while later, to keep ’em hooked, i.e.

    “I’m about to reveal a shocking fact about 98% of women…”

    And then I’ll temporarily divert. “Before I do that, have you ever wondered…?”

    Only after a few paragraphs will I get back to “the shocking fact”, as their microreward for sticking with it.

    Fun stuff! Great article.

    Paul Hancox
    copysnips.com

  • David Husnian

    Paul,

    Thanks!

    Microrewards, I like that!

    Everyone, pay atention to what Paul is saying about how he uses this “tease – important point – reward”; this is a great way to do things.

    Not being boring is so important, another big obstacle to the sale.

    David

  • Dude,

    This information is totally awesome. How is it possible to not have more comments on here!

    Anyways I’m going to put your awesome points to the test and write my own sales page!

    Wish me luck and I’ll let you know how it goes

    Cheers

    Hot Alpha Female

  • This was truly an informative article. It seems to give relevant ideas and information that would be a great help for the readers to know more about the said topic. This is a great info that could be use as a reference for the users.

    Great thanks!

  • thanks for sharing your excellent post,wish a great day.

  • This is great information that is tough to find and your website is filled with great information. Thanks. I’m sure many of the IM gurus charge thousands for much of the information you are providing for free.

Leave a Reply

  

  

  

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>