Let’s be real a minute: writing a sales page that converts (aka: convinces others to buy from you) requires a different type of writing than writing blog posts or emails.
You’re trying to convince people, using words (and perhaps video testimonials), that they need what you’re selling.
You can’t just list features unless you’re selling socks or some other small-ticket item that people can buy without thinking too much.
Selling a digital product like an online course or selling a one-on-one consulting call where people have to spend big money requires something altogether different.
It requires you to take them on a journey. (Here’s what HubSpot has to say about creating an effective customer journey.)
If you want to write a sales page that converts in about an hour, here’s what you need to do:
- Speak to your audience. Remember, it’s your job to know who you’re targeting, and know what kind of language resonates with them. Just like any other page on your website (but amplified because you’re asking them to open their wallets!), this page is not about you. It’s about your audience. And the more you keep them in mind when you’re writing your copy, the more likely they are to resonate with what you’re selling.
- Make your offer both clear + compelling. I like to lead with benefits, but you could also lead with a question that piques their interest.
- Add multiple calls-to-action throughout the sales page. Every couple of paragraphs (or content blocks) add your “BUY button.” You can word this in a variety of ways, but make sure every button leads to the same place.
- Make sure the ONLY call-to-action is the one that leads to a purchase page. Now’s not the time to ask people to follow you on social or join your email list.
- Make sure your sales page is mobile-friendly. This is easy to forget because you’re designing on desktop, but make sure your headlines don’t take up someone’s entire screen.
- Embrace the negative and the positive. What happens if people don’t buy? Go down that rabbit hole. If you know your audience really well, you’re going to hit on some of their biggest fears. Then paint them a picture of what the world looks like after they’ve bought. Spell that out, too. A sales page that speaks to both of these will resonate really well with your audience.
- Focus on transformation, not information. Remember, we have more information at our fingertips than any other humans have had in history. We don’t need more information. In fact, we all know what we need to do to get rich (spend less, earn more, invest the difference) and get fit (eat less, exercise more, repeat), but we’re not all rich and fit. Plus, focusing on transformation means people don’t get bored or overwhelmed (like they would if you tried to overload them on information).
- Use social proof. If you’ve been written up somewhere, make sure to include that! Otherwise, sprinkle testimonials throughout your sales page. Aim to have at least three testimonials on your sales page. Why? Because no one believes you when you say your product or service is life-changing. But they will believe their peers — especially if they can see pictures and know that they’re attached to real people.
How long does a sales page that converts have to be?
Again, if you’re selling socks, your sales page should be less than 100 words + a picture + a buy button. Add reviews if you have them. But otherwise, not very long.
But for the transformation most online entrepreneurs are selling, the length of a sales page has to be long enough to convince people to keep reading, and if they’re compelled, to click the “buy” button.
It’s tricky because there’s no hard and fast rule. Some people will come to your page, read 200 words, then buy your offer. That’s why you need buy buttons sprinkled throughout your page. Others will need to read every word — twice — before they can commit to clicking the purchase button.
Aim for your sales page that converts to between 1500-2000 words, and make sure you have sharing buttons set up, complete with meta descriptions, images for the individual platforms, and pre-filled text. We often forget this piece when we create pages instead of posts, but a hefty sales page will likely get indexed eventually by Google, and we can speed that process along by sharing it and encouraging others to share it as well.
How to keep them reading (and scrolling) your sales page that converts
Speaking to your audience, making your offer clear and compelling, creating multiple calls-to-action throughout your page, ensuring that people who are scrolling their phones also have a good experience, focusing on transformation and including social proof will get you far.
But when you’re creating a sales page, you really want to give people breaks. White space, images, gifs, memes, lists, and short sentences all go a long way toward keeping people engaged and reading your copy.
My favorite shortcut to creating a sales page that has converted at least one other person
If you’re selling something online, chances are, you’ve bought something online.
What was the last digital product or service you bought?
If you can’t remember off the top of your head, check your credit card statement. Look for something that costs at least hundreds of dollars and ends in a 7.
Now, find that sales page. It convinced you to buy, didn’t it? It was, in essence, a sales page that converts.
It doesn’t matter what you bought or how different it is from what you’re selling. In fact, it’s probably better if the two topics are completely different.
All you need to do is go in and reverse engineer their sales page and rewrite it for your product and your audience.
Rewrite each bullet point. Rewrite each phrase. Make sure it makes sense for what you’re selling. Try to leave the psychology just as it is, because remember, you’re rewriting something that convinced you to buy, so you know the sales language works.
10 essential elements for EVERY sales page that converts
If reverse engineering someone else’s sales page doesn’t work for you, I understand. Sometimes it can be hard to rephrase something that has nothing to do with your offer into something that does.
But you do need the following ten things if you want to build a sales page that converts:
1. A really strong lead
Lead with pain or desire — often it’s easier to sell the removal of pain than it is to sell the addition of something your audience desires — but whichever direction you go, make sure you’re identifying your audience in terms they understand (and as always, use language that resonates with them).
Format: “For <<type of people>> who don’t <<like this pain point>> but do want <<this desired outcome>>.”
For creators, entrepreneurs, and anyone using the internet to sell their products or services who don’t have time to learn a new skill set but would like to make more money from their creations
Why? To let the right people know they’re in the right place. You want them nodding along. “Ah yes, I am part of that group of people and I have that pain and I share that desire. I’ll keep reading.”
Also, you want to make sure only the right people are buying your product, so an opening like this lets people who don’t identify with your lead off the hook and tells them they can stop reading and move on with their day.
2. Build intrigue at the beginning
Highlight key phrases — use your headings as attention-getters that encourage your audience to stop scrolling.
Now, after you’ve built intrigue…
3. Head to the introduction
Now people are curious. You’ve identified them in a way they agree with, you’ve stopped them from scrolling without reading by building intrigue, now you can introduce your product with its tagline.
The tagline is necessary because if your product is anything like ours, the name itself isn’t super descriptive. Make sure there are benefits, not features (sizzle, not steak in old-school copywriting speak) in your tagline.
Difference between benefits and features
Features describe what something is, benefits describe what something does for you. Any technical specs (gigs, hertz, processing speed, amps, watts) belong in the features section, and anything that describes how those technical specs impact the buyer belongs in the benefits section (how does having a faster widget help?).
4. Transformation: go from “blah X” to “amazing Y”
Where is your audience now?
What does the pre-transformation stage look like? Not the comfortable “this is how things are” stage, but the discomfort of not having your solution. There’s a subtle difference, but your goal with this is to make your audience uncomfortable with their status quo. They haven’t been uncomfortable up until this point, but now they need to be made uncomfortable.
From “what do I do now?” to DONE with every piece of promotion in record time.
This could be stronger, but it’s a good place to start.
5. A few key benefits
Again, your audience is buying the results you’re selling, so focus on those when you list your key benefits. What are the results you’re selling? What do people actually get once they’ve gone through your program or bought your solution?
6. Who the heck are you, and why should your audience trust you?
A lot of sales pages get this piece wrong in two ways:
- They introduce themselves too early
- They talk about themselves without framing their intro in terms of their audience.
If you avoid doing those two things, your sales page will be stronger than 70% of the sales pages out there. Your introduction should be about discovering a problem, creating a solution to that problem, and why you’re selling it today. If your credentials help you sell the product (meaning, you’re selling LSAT prep courses and you scored a perfect 180 on your LSAT), by all means, include that here. If not, leave this out. This part is not about you and cannot be copied from your bio. This is about your audience and the transformation they’ll go through. But put your picture here, to prove there’s a person behind your sales page.
7. Why do they need your transformational product or service?
Your audience is too … something … to not have the solution you’re selling. What is that something?
You’re too focused on your zone of genius to have to learn one more skill set.
8. Who is your product or service right for?
What kind of person would benefit the most from the solution you’re offering? List their characteristics in this section.
9. What’s included?
Make it crystal clear about the nuts and bolts of what’s included in your solution. Here’s where you can add features because you want to make sure people know exactly what they’re getting when they sign up.
10. Time to make a choice
Should they stay or should they go?
Here’s where you take them down the path of staying where they are or doing everything themselves. Discuss what that looks like in a few months, in a year, down the road.
Then, paint the picture of what life looks like after they’ve decided to work with you or buy your thing. What sorts of rainbows and sunshine lie ahead if they take your path?
That’s it! Every sales page you create should have these essential elements.
We’ve created a copy-and-paste sales page template that will cut the time it takes you to create a sales page dramatically.
The sales page that converts template is part of the digital marketing template library.
Click here to learn more.
Writing sales pages is fun for me, and with these tools, the process can be more fun for you too.