I can’t lie - I get a little excited whenever an online guru launches a new program, because I get to geek out over their sales page.
On the chopping block today: Michael Hyatt's productivity course, Free to Focus.
Michael has hundreds of thousands of subscribers and an incredibly successful brand, which means that his team - and hired guns - would have spent countless hours working on the Free to Focus sales page (not currently available, but you can view the waiting page here).
I have no affiliation with Michael Hyatt and I’ve never taken one of his courses but I must say…
He brought his A-game.
You might not have a team of amazing copywriters at your disposal (or even one - yet), but here are 3 things you can apply to your sales and landing pages right now:
1. Resist the Urge to Be a Total Narcissist
The number one mistake you can make with your sales pages?
Shouting from the rooftops about how great your thing is.
All of us, collectively, are sick to death of being marketed at. I'm sick of blanket messages that promise me freedom and wealth and a hot bod. Aren't you?
So don't be that guy.
Every time you sit down to create an offer, you need to remember who you've created it for. What does the person reading your page want when they land on it?
They want to feel heard and seen. They want to know that they're in the right place.
So before you can get someone to care about (let alone consider) what’s on offer, they need to understand that you get them…
… that you know what they’ve been through.
… and what they’re struggling with right now.
… and how they’ve already tried to fix this problem in the past.
The Free to Focus sales page is brimming with examples of productivity solutions that Michael's ideal customers have struggled with before:
You know Michael's not messing around when he pulls out the sad-face emoji.
The result? When your copy speaks into your readers' problems, at a really specific level... it shows them that you get it. That you get them.
In that final line, the copy points to something that anyone who's ever tried to be more organised has felt before: "It's me. There's something wrong with me."
(As for me, I often wonder if I am fundamentally flawed as a human every time I lose my phone approximately 3.6 seconds after putting it down.)
Entering the conversation already happening between your customers' ears is the only way your message is ever going to hit the mark.
It's all too easy to start the conversation on your sales page by talking about yourself, your offer and why you're so awesome - but you need to resist this urge! Instead, find the conversation that's already happening for your readers, and be sure to reflect it on the page.
What has your reader gone through to get to where they are now?
Before you start trying to find the perfect words to describe your offer, you need to find the words that capture what your customer is going through, right now. If you don't know the answer yet, it's time to do some research.
2. Looks Matter
I'm somewhat terrified that I'm about to have a lynch mob of direct-response and old-school sales letter copywriters after me for saying this, but....
Nobody wants to read your wall of words.
You can write the greatest, most compelling copy in the world - but it ain't gonna get read by anyone if it feels like work.
As consumers, we are more savvy and skeptical than ever. We're sick of being marketed and sold to.
So when your reader lands on a page that looks like this...
Image blurred to protect the innocent
Their BS radars are just looking for a reason to bounce. Your red text and highlighted paragraphs? They aren't helping.
The second thing you need to know is that novelty (that is, changing up the colours, layout, imagery and font on your page) is one of the best ways to keep people engaged and on your page.
A sales page formatted like the example above puts you at risk of losing readers before you get a chance to finish your first sentence.
Now I know that there are many successful copywriters who have made a killing writing sales letters like this. But unless you're in the market of selling miracle cures, silver bullets or secrets to getting rich in the next 72 hours, stay away.
Good design lends you credibility, just like good copy. Don't ignore either.
Be like Mike:
The copy on the page has room to breathe. To sink in. To make an impact.
And the visuals complement the words on the page: they keep me interested, pulling my eyes down into the next paragraph. The variety in the layout keeps me intrigued.
Just be careful not to go overboard with this one - pick 2-3 fonts that complement each other, and be sure to stick to a color palette throughout that doesn't induce seizures, and you'll be fine.
3. The FAQ Section & Testimonials are your ultimate objection-handling machine
Most people reserve their FAQ Section (Frequently Asked Questions) for questions their customers might have about logistics: Can I get a refund? When does it start? How does this whole thing work?
But if you've done your research, you'll have a laundry list of reasons why people might decide not to buy or take you up on your offer.
Your FAQ section will be working double time if you use it to handle not just questions about logistics (the what and the how) but also potential objections that can get in the way of your reader taking action (the why and the what if):
Michael knows that his audience is already pretty savvy when it comes to productivity and systems, and they've probably read multiple books on the subject before. He needs to answer: How am I different? How can you trust that this is going to work for you?
Your testimonials should be put to work for you in a similar way - they're more than just social proof.
Testimonials become really powerful when they share stories of people who have had success with your product, despite the same reservations and doubts that your reader is likely experiencing right now:
(I wasn't kidding when I said you really need to know who you're writing for. Refer to point #1 for a refresher).
Like Free to Focus, you can put standard elements of a sales page to work for you by anticipating objections and barriers to action and incorporate them into your FAQ and testimonials sections. If you've done proper research on who you're writing for, you won't be guessing - you'll already know what kind of objections are likely to pop up for your potential customers.
Effective sales copy isn't just about making your product look great - there's no magic persuasion hack or turn of phrase that can help you if you haven't started out with your customer in mind. And you owe it to your reader to address their hesitations and fears on the page so that they can make an informed decision - and hopefully it's a YES that they feel good about, without reservations.
So, for better sales pages, ask yourself:
- What is my reader thinking when they land on this page - how can I make this about them first, and me second?
- How can I utilise my copy and design elements to make reading this page enjoyable and easy?
- How can I address the concerns and doubts that that my readers will have about saying YES to my offer?