Let’s talk about sales page copy.
This past week, my friend Megan Martin posted an incredible Instagram asking this:
Can we have an honest conversation? If I could sum up the 2017 education scene in the creative world in one word… I’d call it… noisy. Facebook ads, webinars, courses, oh my. Everywhere I looked I was being pummeled with asks to buy this course or that. Now granted, I am an educator and understand how selling online courses works, but goodness I got TIRED (heck I’m still tired) from being hit right and left with the flashy, “You gotta get this RIGHT NOW!!” talk. So in honesty, I’m coming at the conversation from a biased side. I want to know, are you feeling the same thing? Are you tired of courses? Do you struggle with who to trust? What DO you want? How can I as an educator help serve you better?
Wow. Right? Megan garned dozens and dozens of comments on the matter, and I’m with her 100%.
It’s a noisy internet world, and people’s BS meter is high.
So, how do you write sales page copy that articulates what you do and the heart behind what you’re selling without sounding like a sleazeball?
Today, I’m talking 3 costly mistakes you may be making when writing your sales page.
Today, I’m not talking through ALL the tactics and things to do write a sales page—I’ve written countless blogs and created an entire program on that.
Instead I want to highlight 3 things you may be doing so you can pull the plug and shift gears.
Now, when I’m talking sales pages, I’m talking about the long-form (maybe medium-form) website page you have selling your digital product, program, conferences, course, or coaching program. Can some of this apply to your work with me or services page? Absolutely. But by in large, I’m talking about true sales letter pages here.
Mistake #1: You exaggerated.
My friend and fellow copywriter Whitney said it well—stay on the right side of the integrity tracks.
If you feel like you’re exaggerating, you probably are.
Trust your work, trust your features, and describe them well. This is why beta rounds and testimonials (more on that in a sec) are integral—others will tell you how things impacted them.
Look out for superlatives and sweeping generalizations when writing sales page copy … and if you want to use strong, charged copy, fall back on the copywriting classic, and use your target audience’s language in your copy. That will be stronger than anything you think of anyway.
Hold yourself to an incredibly truthful standard when writing your sales page.
Mistake #2: You didn’t spend long enough writing your headline.
The second mistake I see is that you *may* not have spent enough time on your headlines.
Your headline is the attention-getting traffic stopper—killer important copy that has one job: to get someone to read what’s next.
I probably write 20 or more headlines before my client even sees draft one of a sales page.
Quick story: One of my launch copy clients just wrapped up a $421,000 launch (!) that I drafted email sequences, Facebook ads, and sales page copy for.
I looked back at my timesheets, and guess how I long I spent on the headline?
So, I challenge you here to spend at LEAST an hour writing the headling for any sales page you’re publishing for your big-ticket product or service. You can always edit yourself back later, but this will get it out of your head and on paper, so you can start seeing things and moving them around.
Your headline could be the difference in sale and, well, not a sale, so you definitely want to spend some time there.
Mistake #3: Your testimonials aren’t powerful enough.
Testimonials have GOT to show transformation. I have a whole video on this here, but essentially, you need to be telling your target audience what will happen for them.
Give me the specifics! I want to see numbers, stats, results, anecdotes, stories.
I’ll say it again … 🙂 people’s BS meter is high online these days. Powerful testimonials can be a way that you can show them that what you do actually get people results. As an added bonus, it makes selling easier when you have powerful results to stand by—promise.
5 Quick Online Education Thoughts
I’m not going to stay on the online education topic too long, but I’ll throw in a few caveats since this is my soapbox corner of the internet, and I’ve lost hours and hours of sleep as I think about the direction of my business, considering one of our biggest service offerings is helping draft launch funnel copy and strategy for online launches.
1️⃣ We live in an information economy. We’re calling it ”online education,” but it’s here to stay—access to data or even educating can no longer be considered a “leg up” as a business. Fast Forward is a great read on how you can equip your small business for an information-driven world, but yeah … this is the new normal.
2️⃣ The creative industry has no umbrella certifications, benchmarks, or titles, which has pros and cons. I think stating our revenue is how we circumvented that and self-adjusted to market regulation, which is why you see a lot of businesses (er, Facebook ads) talking about 6- or 7-figure businesses. No comment, just an observation. And I’ve done it, too, I’ll be first to admit it. It’s just tough to gauge who runs a business and who monitized a hobby—not that there’s anything wrong with art for art’s sake at all, but when I’m picking who will educate me, at this stage and paying a team, I need to learn from profitable business owners, so I don’t mind it.
3️⃣ I strongly believe there are other ways to scale an online business besides education. I think it takes more work to THINK of other ways (at least it does for me), and that’s why everyone wants to educate. I happen to love purchasing courses and learning, and think there’s so much room for education online, but I get it that it’s pretty noisy.
5️⃣ The more I pay on education, the more I have to flex my brain muscles. Just saying.
I happen to love sales copy, because to me, there’s nothing more honest as a copywriter to communicate to someone what you offer in a way that helps them say, “Oh, yes, actually—that’s me to a T” or “Nope, not what I need right now, thanks anyway I’ll be on my merry way.”
My heart is that you learn to look at sales copy the same way.
I hope these tips help you write copy that’s not only persuasive, but very authentic to the product that it is that you’re selling.