As a sales copywriter, I get asked a lot how long it takes me to write copy for a long-form sales page.
Answer as of today?
One took 3.25 hours, one took 2.5 hours.
That includes data-mining and researching to delve deep into the mind of what my client was after: she’s a wedding photography educator named Katelyn James, and her students adore her insight on posing and consistency in editing (which, after watching hours of her programs, I’m tipping my hat to photographers–y’all are truly trained to think about a thousand things at once!).
I’ve got it down to a system, but 5.5 hours of writing sales pages brain-fries me a bit!
But let’s say you want some sort of an evergreen product–maybe a course, but maybe just a service, ebook, or template!–that you need to market a tish more than the average “work with me” page commands.
Then you may just be ready for a sales page … and today, I want to hand over HOW to create one your audience actually wants.
This is a bit of an ocean-into-a-tea-cup situation for me: Sales and conversion copy makes my heart race, I’ve got Eugene Peterson on my nightstand, I’m mesmerized by commercials, and I’m still haunted by trying to fit Delta Air Lines website copy into tiny word-count buckets from my agency days.
But, I know you don’t necessarily NEED all that to write a sales page, so I want you to walk away from today knowing the how-to of getting started writing your first page. You’ll learn:
- The one thing that most creatives don’t do before writing a sales page
- Why message matching is important
- What the rule of one is, and why it matters
- 4 questions to think through
- The basic anatomy of a sales page
(And don’t forget to grab your anatomy diagram of a sales page, right here 👇🏼)
Step 1 | Data Mine
Here’s the thing.
Data-mining, researching, or “RSFF” as we used to bill it when I worked at a full-service communication firm (“research/fact-finding”) isn’t sexy.
Most creative entrepreneurs aren’t running surveys, cataloging data in spreadsheets, filing comments from Facebook groups, and the like.
It’s much more fun to create beautiful mockups of your course for your sales page, design it in Showit or Squarespace, pick your colors for different sections, etc.
But the copy gold that converts to sales?
That ONLY comes when you dig deep into the psyche of your reader.
“Remember that people you address are selfish, as we all are,” Claude Hopkins said. “They care nothing about your interests or your profit. They seek service for themselves. Ignoring this fact is a common mistake and a costly mistake in advertising.”
So the first step in creating a sales page your audience really wants is to deep-dive into their specific problems. The best way I’ve found to do this? Ask “what” or “a-ha!” questions … and stay away from “why” questions (they sound accusatory!). I wrote a list of 12 questions to ask your clients here if you want to read the post!
Now, I know that’s scary: by hitting specificity, in its definition, you’re segregating OUT another portion of your audience, perhaps.
BUT, one of my biggest tips here is to write to that 20-30% traffic that you know is your ideal base. Why? Because:
- They’ll need or want it.
- They’ll buy it.
- They’ll be happy and recommend it to others.
When you write for that sliver of your audience–even just a third!–you’ll hit home.
Step 2 | Match the Message
Another thing to think through is matching the message from your Instagram post, Facebook ad, or pin straight to a landing page or sales page that matches the message.
Put it this way. If I click the second sponsored ad, what do you think I expect to see?
I’m *hoping* something like “wedding planning” or “wedding planner” or imagery that looks like that … and then something about certification.
And when I clicked it–real life experiment I’m running!–I got:
Winner, winner, chicken dinner: that’s a message match.
Way to go, Cal State!
When you write a sales page, make sure that the first copy your reader will see matches the copy on the link that’s driving there.
(Think, if you went on Google and clicked, do you get what you THOUGHT you would get.)
Your landing pages, webinar sign-up pages, thank you pages and more will thank you for this, but your sales pages–especially those that come from a Facebook cart close ad, for example–need to message match for sure!
Step 3 | Write to One Person
I taught this at Trouvaille Workshop the other week, and this goes a bit back to my first point.
Write to one reader, with one offer and one idea.
Not multiple audiences.
You’ve LIKELY heard this for your blogs, newsletters, etc., but I can’t tell you how important it is for your sales page! If anything this is the biggest mistake I see: we want #alltheclients, so we write sales pages that appeal to brides, corporate clients, and fellow creatives … oh no!
Since we buy with our emotions first, and then back it up with rational, it’s ultra-important to know what your reader wants deep down in his or her heart … your ONE reader’s heart.
Catch all is catch nothing, and the better your promise to one person, the stronger your copy will be.Catch all is catch nothing, and the better your promise to one person, the stronger your copy will be. Click To Tweet
So, before writing anything on a sales page, ask yourself these 4 key questions:
- What’s the core problem that your offer solves, and why does this matter? (Example: when I wrote Katelyn’s sales page for her Consistency course, the core problem isn’t that someone needs a 48-hour wedding editing workflow … it’s that someone needs his or her life back away from editing images into the wee hours of the morning.)
- What has your reader done before to solve this problem?
- If he or she has misstepped in the past (bought the wrong things, tried to fix it the wrong way, etc.), what is it that you can “forgive” them for in your sales copy?
- What do they need to believe about your offer before investing?
Here’s a fun marketing secret for ya: we’re all selling the same thing … everyone is selling everyone else a better version of themselves. Think about it–from the toothpaste and nail polish you buy to a coaching call you’ve purchased for your business, that’s the underlying desire.
Want to take this a little bit deeper?
Click below to grab my quick guide to the anatomy of a sales page, so you know what percentage needs to be what!