Post Synopsis: A powerful (i.e. highly-converting) sales page is made up of two things: a good copy and a good (visual) design + layout. Without one or the other, your sales page will fall flat. In this post, you will understand what makes for a good copy and a good design when it comes to a designing a sales page.
Last week, I introduced you to the characteristics of an effective sales page. This week, I want to introduce you to the components that make up an effective sales page, i.e. how to design a sales page.
Broadly, these components fall into two categories–text and design.
The text (a.k.a. the copy) is the story of you and your product or service. The design is how you organize the story to make it easy to understand. Together, these two aspects bring your sales page to life and primed for action.
Ready? Let’s go!
How to Design a Kickass Sales Page
The “hero” headline
When designing a sales page, this is the biggest, the boldest, and the most beautiful element. Your hero headline (often also your course or package name) is the hook of your sales page…this is what grabs the attention of your target audience. Without the hero headline, most potential customers won’t bother even scrolling down to know about the offer.
- Keep it short and snappy: Headlines are most effective when they are short…about 60-100 characters (without space!). Spend a good amount of time coming up with your hero headline. Believe it or not, most effective headlines are not the first headline the writer thought of.
- Choose clear over clever: Snappy need not be unclear. Often, in an attempt to be cute or show their offbeat personality, some bloggers construct sentences that are ambiguous or bring no value to the table. While it’s always good to be true to your personality, your sales page may not be the most appropriate place to showcase it. This is not to say you shouldn’t even try, but remember being humorous in a sales copy is a lot more difficult than writing a straightforward copy that resonates with readers. Make sure what you write prioritizes clear over clever.
- Make it compelling: This builds on the previous point. Your headline should be strong enough to compel readers to find out more about you and your offer. One way of doing this is to promise them something aspirational or relief from their pain. This promise is essentially the unique selling feature and the primary benefit of your product or service.
- Examples of hero headlines:
- Struggling with low traffic? Grab our revolutionary traffic building strategies for a never-before price!
- Want guaranteed sales on your next amazing product?
- 5 High Converting Facebook Ad Templates (even if you’re in a competitive niche)
- Want personalized landing page advice?
- How I earn $10K every month (and you can too!)
Sub-headline is what comes under the hero headline–it’s like the tagline of your sales page. Make it descriptive but don’t write a novel here.
- Use this area to describe the objective of your product or service.
- In 12-15 words, draw attention to how your product or service can address your target audience’s core frustration, problems, weaknesses, struggles, etc.
- Examples of strong “solution” headlines:
- How I landed my first $10K client and you can too!
- What if it didn’t have to be that way?…
- I have the perfect solution to get rid of that nagging voice in your head…
- What if (your life, business, etc.) could look like this… (use imagery)
The “sales copy”
This is your main selling message…the part where you talk about your extraordinary product or service.
- Deliver a clear value proposition: Explain the “what’s in it for me?” or the WIIFM, of the course. You know that your offering is not for everyone. That’s why you did audience analysis; that’s why you did competitor analysis; that’s why you created your ideal customer avatar? It’s time to bring all that research to the table. Spell out clearly who this product or service is for? What will they accomplish if they take your course or hire you as a coach? The last thing you want is to target the wrong customer segment and then receive poor feedback.
- Use benefit driven language: Benefit-driven language presents your course to your audience in a way that appeals to them and their needs. Instead of saying, “I’m giving you 5 hours worth of content that I spent 2 months creating!” You can say “After taking this course you’ll be able to X which will result in Y and Z.” Make sure that your sales copy is less about you and more about your audience and product or service. In other words, focus on the benefits rather than features. Here’s an exercise for you: work on finding the benefits of benefits. Confused? To impress upon the real pain point of your ideal customer, you need to know what is really going on and what exactly are you helping address. To find out, drill down to the lowest level of benefits, that is, the benefits of benefits. I learned this very cool trick from a copywriter to help extract the actual benefit of your offer–using the “so what” method. For example, let’s assume you are a money and/or mindset coach. Put yourself in the potential client’s shoes and think:
- I am offering a free 30-minute discovery call > so what?
- On this call, you and I will discuss why you are afraid to market yourself > so what?
- If you are afraid to market yourself, you will not be able to land high-paying projects > so what?
- Without the high-paying projects, your bank account will not swell > so what?
- Without a swelling bank account, you will not be able to pay off your student loan > so what?
- Without paying off your student loan, you will not be able financially independent > so what?
- Without financial independence, you will not be able to create time for things you love to do (or relationships)… > so what?
Get the drift? Go on till you cannot drill down anymore. This exercise will also help you validate your ideal customer avatar.
- Split your content into several paragraphs: Let’s face it…too much text is a turn-off for most of us. Chances are even though this post is packed with useful information, you are starting to get restless. SO.MUCH.TEXT. Sorry!! Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do on a blog post without spending hundreds of dollars or breaking your website. But what you can do is break your content into smaller paragraphs (blog post writing best practices, anyone?). This makes your content scannable and adds white space for visual relief.
- Focus on the benefits: I know this has already been discussed but this is just SO important. At no point can you let go of the benefits of your product or service. For each paragraph, ask yourself “Why should anyone read this?” Translate the answer to create a compelling sub-heading.
- Use sub-headings: Breaking the content into scannable chunks is great but customers are busy and greedy. They need quick answers. Use sub-headings to present those answers. Can a visitor understand your basic offer by just looking at the paragraph sub-headings? The answer should be YES! Because again, customers are busy and greedy.
- Entice the reader: The majority of potential customers will scan your sales page. A small percentage makes the effort to read the first couple of sentences in each paragraph. An even smaller percentage will read the entire copy. Keep it interesting for them. Draft your sub-heading and the following content in a way that entices the reader to read further and find out more. More the time they spend on your sales page, higher the chance of you landing such clients in your pocket.
The price and payment methods
Humans (well, most of us at least!) value money. We work hard to earn it and would think 10 times before spending on it on something.
- Don’t let the price overwhelm: Make sure if you are selling a high-ticket item, the amount is not the most prominent chunk of text on your sales page. Conversely, if you are selling a low-priced item or offering a heavy discount, increase the font size. In short, highlight low price; downplay high price.
- Offer tiered pricing: This involves offering 2-3 different versions of your product, each building on the previous version and add additional features and benefits. This ensures that you are casting your net wide and targeting various customer budget points. This strategy works beautifully for both product and service providers. Here’s an example of tiered pricing on my preferred web hosting partner, *SiteGround’s pricing page.
- Offer bundles: Instead of offering a tiered structure, you could also offer complementary products and/or services to create a high-ticket combo. You may have seen this technique being used heavily in retail shopping–buy 1 get 1 free; buy 1 get 2nd at 50% off; buy 4 get 40% off, etc. Bundling is so successful because they bring a sense of “value for money” in potential customers’ minds. Here’s an example of effective bundling on *Suzi Whitford’s course listings page.
- Offer payment plans: When selling anything above the $200 mark, consider offering payment plans. Some awesome bloggers like *Suzi offer payment plans for courses under $100. Her target audience is moms who want or have a blog of their own. She knows moms are very careful with money and almost always have to work with a budget. Not everyone can afford to make an upfront payment for various reasons. Offering payment plans is a win-win for both parties. For example, for *Suzi’s signature course, Blog By Number, customers can choose to either make a one-time payment or make the payment in 2 easy installments.
Alternatively, if you can present or teach your content on a monthly membership basis, that will ease the burden of one-time payment and will really add up in the long run.
- Offer multiple forms of payment: Fun fact: a few months ago, I tried the free plan of Tailwind for the first time and LOVED the convenience of it. I almost bought the paid plan but did not go through with the payment at the last moment because they offered only credit card payments. No Paypal. Now, I don’t own a credit card (you heard me!) and I didn’t want the heavy transaction fees on my debit card (it’s HEAVY due to savage foreign exchange rates). So, I did not make the purchase at that time. But scheduling pins was taking up too much of my time. So I ended up borrowing my husband’s credit card and signed up for the paid plan earlier this month. I guess this round goes to Tailwind but it’s really bothersome to have only one type of payment option. That said, if you haven’t signed up for *Tailwind, you must! It’s a great scheduling tool that has freed up several hours of my week. Please don’t make this mistake with your products and service. At the least, offer Paypal and Credit/Debit card payment options. Here’s the gist of it all when it comes to payments: make ordering easy.
The call-to-action button
Very clearly, communicate what you want the potential client to do on your sales page.
Unlike a landing page, a sales page is designed to drive one and only one action from a potential customer–buy your product or service. This is not the place to book discovery calls or sign up for your mailing list (if you want those actions, you need to create a landing page, not a sales page).
The social proof
Whenever possible, add social numbers (such as existing student numbers, followers on social media platforms, etc.) on your sales page.
But to really make a case, ask these social followers or your existing customers to write a solid testimonial for you.
The testimonial is nothing but an approval for you and your offering. Take a look at *Suzi’s sales page–it’s full of testimonials and even presents the number of current students.
With such solid testimonials, who wouldn’t be tempted to invest in her courses?
No matter how good a sales copy you write for your product or service, a majority of potential customers will still have doubts and objections. Use the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section to address their doubts and objections.
Common examples of doubts and objections are:
- Will this work for my unique situation?
- Is this going to be too hard?
- Will I have time for this?
- What if I need to return this?
- How can I trust this person?
- Do I really need to buy this?
Use your sales copy as an opportunity to remove all possible objections your potential customers may have. It could be about the price; it could be about your credibility; it could be about payments or refunds. By addressing their concerns, you build your credibility and trustworthiness. Become your own ideal client. Think of everything that could hold your customer back. And then, break the holding spell.
The look of your sales page plays a HUGE role in raising or crashing the perceived value of your offer.
Depending on your personality and the offer, your sales page may be colorful or minimal. Irrespective of the tone you take, make sure the design is streamlined.
- Use colors intelligently. Use contrasting colors for the background, font, and CTA buttons.
- Do not use more than 3 (max. 4) colors. Do not layer two brights or two pastels on top of or next to each other. This can reduce comprehension and readability.
- Streamline and format the page properly.
- Do not use script fonts.
- Do not center-align bullet lists. They don’t look good.
- Leave plenty of white space for visual relief.
- Make it a BUTTON–not a hyperlink.
- Keep the CTA button front and center.
- If using multiple CTA buttons, keep their colors the same.
- Use Serif font on CTA buttons.
- Include the image of the product or the creator (if service based).
- If possible, include images of people whose testimonials you are displaying.
- Do not use sliders or heavy animations on your sales page. Design it as a static page to avoid visual distractions.
- If creating tiered pricing structure, keep the highest price on left and lowest on right.
- Adjust the length: Depending on the price of your product or service, you need to alter the length of your sales page and the number of details you need to add. Generally speaking, more expensive the product, longer the sales page. This is because money matters. Think about this: you know what you need desperately. But, if two people were to pitch you the same exact solution for $97 and $197, which one would you pick? You want to be really, really sure about an investment of $197 compared to an investment of $97. Yes? Same goes for your client. Spend the time detailing every damn thing your potential customer needs to know to believe in your product.
- Use personal language: Make the CTA button personal. Writing in first-person and second-person puts your reader in control when compared to using third-person language. For example, test using “Send me my workbook” versus “Send the workbook” in your button copy. Another example “YOU can do this!” or “I can do this!”
- Design a great CTA button: The call-to-action (CTA) of your sales page is not just another button; it’s another chance to persuade your potential clients into buying your product, booking your service, calling you for a consultation, etc. Make sure your CTA button is designed to attract your readers’ attention. Here are some tips to design a high-converting CTA button.
- Create a sense of urgency or scarcity: When pushed against the wall, our survival instincts kick in. The same applies to your sales page. If your readers know your product will be available forever, they will procrastinate buying it. But if you use phrases like “available limited time” or “grab at a never-before, never-after price” “limited seats” it creates a sense of urgency and/or scarcity. They don’t want to miss out on this amazing “deal” and so they are more likely to go through and make the purchase.
Pin for later.