High converting sales pages connect with the target audience, clearly say what’s on offer and move your ideal buyer towards action & purchase. It’s amazing how many business websites, landing pages or sales pages don’t convert because they miss the key ingredients that connect your offer with your target audience.
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A high converting sales page is a crucial element in converting prospects into calls and customers. You can have the best product or service ever, but if you don’t have a good messaging and a good sales process, all the work generating a lead and nurturing those contacts will be wasted if people fall through the cracks before you can enrol them.
Jay Abraham’s advice is always in my mind when designing a sales page. He said:
“There is only one way on earth to influence other people: talk about what they want and show them how to get it.”
You attract your ideal client by talking in their language about what they want, why it’s important to them, and how they can get it. Making an offer and adding some incentives is simply a service to your clients to help them say “yes” to achieving the outcome you deliver.
With this in mind, in my view, there are two good rules to follow to craft high-converting sales pages.
Rule #1: The page should have a purposeful and directive structure to direct your visitor to your most wanted response in a way that serves them.
Rule #2: Your sales copy needs to speak to the conversation going on in your prospects head – their wants, needs, hopes, fears, objections, and so on.
First, I’d like to lay out some of the principles for a good sales page recipe and then there’s an outline for the actual ingredients.
The First Job of the Sales Page
The first job of high converting sales pages is to capture your ideal audience’s attention and take them on a journey of discovery with you. There are three “musts”.
First, you must understand and articulate your target market’s problems, context and point of view. Second, you must create a compelling and irresistible offer that clearly conveys what you can deliver that addresses their needs specifically.
Third, you must enter into a conversation of what you’re all about, inviting them to make a small initial commitment to actively step forward. For B2B, this is to book a call with you.
This customer journey concept is what helps you convert your visitor into a customer/client – you help them with the buying decision. Of course, the sales page or even the sales/enrolment call isn’t doing the whole job. How they found you, whether they looked you up and if they’re on your list and getting welcoming / nurturing messages from you already, these are also factors in moving them through to a purchase. And of course, the higher the price, the longer the process of nurturing required for people to know you, like you, and trust you.
Keep in mind when someone lands on your page (especially if they don’t know much about you yet), they need to know: (a) they’re in the right place and (b) what to do next. So you’re always guiding them and taking them by the hand through the mental decision making process – what we call the psychology of buying or psychology of sales.
Five Ingredients for Great Sales Page Copy
As a quick checklist, here are five pieces to the puzzle for creating high converting sales pages:
- STRUCTURE / SPECIFICITY
- ENGAGE / EDUCATE
- CREDIBILITY / CUSTOMERS
- ATTRACTION / ATTENTION
- CALL TO ACTION / ENROL
Let’s go through each in turn.
1. STRUCTURE / SPECIFICITY
The structure of high converting sales pages isn’t rocket science. It’s about taking your visitor who lands on the page on a journey with you – they need to get to know you, like you, trust you before they will buy from you. Part of that is about demonstrating that you understand specifically who they are and what they need. Just as with a sales conversation, you’re taking them through a thinking process to see if what you do is a fit for what they want.
The objective of your sales copy and messaging is for the prospect to feel you’re in their shoes, reading their mind and your offer is ‘omg that’s exactly what I need’.
With a sales page, your aim is to hit most of the major psychological buying triggers and overcome most of the typical objections people will have. I’ve included an outline of what to include and in what order, so we will get onto specific ingredients in our recipe in a bit.
2. ENGAGE / EDUCATE
Your site brand/title and ‘above-the-fold’ (top of page) heading needs to show clearly the purpose and audience for the page. Including a strong title and an image or video is very effective nowadays, people are drawn to photos of people, animation and videos.
If you can truly connect with the key issue, problem, struggle or frustration that your ideal client is having or thinking about as they go about their day and provide an authentic message that engages, educates and has the potential to help them, you’re almost all of the way there to enrolling them as a client.
For B2B, from the outset, you need to be speaking the problem language of the decision maker – the person whose role and responsibility is to meet the organisational needs. In their head, they want to be convinced this is the right thing, to ensure they find the right solution for the benefits/impact they want to achieve for their organisation.
Further down the page, you can talk about the benefits to the people they will put onto the training/program in terms of outcomes/impact on them. And your testimonials can speak to the client end or the service user end.
3. ATTRACTION / ATTENTION
The other part is the whole aesthetics of your page, a few basic rules: don’t over clutter, space out text, use headings, sections, images, people pictures, white space, colourful and on-brand.
Lisa Sasevich – the “Queen of Sales Conversions”. She advocates talking 90% about the outcome or transformation that you deliver (i.e. the issues, solutions, benefits and impact), and spend just 10% on the delivery model (i.e. your service features and format).
An outcomes-focused offer becomes irresistible to your audience because it’s totally focused on showing people you understand their problem. It’s a natural next step to explain how ‘what you do’ serves their needs and wants.
4. CREDIBILITY / CUSTOMERS
Unless you’re using a stand-alone landing page, make sure the site menu is visible, so they can navigate to discover more about you. Make sure your branding is consistent across your social profiles, websites and email signatures.
This is important to add in social proof. Depending on your business, this can be anything from formal testimonials to informal email feedback and screenshots of comments in social media.
It’s not usual to include long case studies on a sales page – but you can show excerpts and link to a case study page somewhere else on your website or TrustPilot type sites if you have positive reviews on there.
5. CALL TO ACTION / ENROL
Finally, make it EASY for people to take action. The Call to Action (CTA) needs to be super clear and positioned at multiple points in the sales page as people scroll. People who are interested want to know what to do next. For some pages I’ve created for clients, I’ve even put in a heading that says What to Do Next!! (because that was a big confusion in their customer journey experience feedback.)
It’s widely known in buying psychology that the real reason people buy something is always emotional – consciously or subconsciously.
The secret ingredient of high converting sales pages is that the offer resonates with what people want on an emotional level.
People initially make an emotional buying decision and then feel obliged to back it up with logic, which is the only reason why sales skills handling objections and so forth can be helpful. My belief is that if your marketing and/or sales page does its job, 80% of the rationalising is taken care of, so the sales effort is minimised.
Even if they’ve “bought” into you and “feel” what you offer is right for them – and perhaps even decided they want to buy – it’s often an emotional response to your offer (if you’ve matched with their pain points and desires). People then need some logical arguments to support what’s going on in their head before going ahead with a decision.
For B2B, high converting sales pages don’t necessarily result in a sale directly. The call to action is not a Buy Now button and for products above $1-2k even for B2C it’s unlikely to be a one-step buying decision, they need a call. (The exception is where they know you well and you’re sending them to a booking page.) Although we’re working towards having a “packaged offer” – your core program – there is often flexibility (customised for each client, cohort based, price negotiation on min/max numbers etc). So, your CTA is to book an Exploratory Call to discuss specific needs.
Recipe for a High Converting Sales Page
Step 1 – Identify the key messages and problem language
Before attempting to write the sales page, you need to have a very clear target audience for your offer. Who is likely to benefit the most and the fastest (because of the stage they are at)?
What is the primary need, driver or problem that your service addresses? Why is this an issue for your audience? How do they feel about it? How will things be different when the problem is solved and/or the benefits are seen?
In your copy, you need to speak to your potential client in terms they will understand and resonate with.
Step 2 – Craft your sales page content
There are ten key pieces of content that any sales page needs. The aim is to craft and reiterate these in such a way they flow naturally as a story that leads to a decision to say “yes we need this!” The ten pieces are:
- Headline / sub-headline
- Intro video (if you have one or use a relevant people photo)
- Problem–Solution story
- Overview of your programme/service
By this point, your ideal customer/service user should be recognising that what you’re offering could help them. But next they will want to know exactly what they would be getting, what it costs and whether it would work for them. Thus:
- Case studies/testimonials (just 2-3 at this point)
- Call to action (CTA) button with price/plans – your most wanted response.
Here, you can also show any options such as payment plans, different packages or levels of service. Next, they want to feel confident to say yes to working with you, so we add:
- A guarantee, conditions and time frame checklist.
- Team bio – names and headshots which help make personal connections.
Add in a set of further pieces of feedback/comments, case studies/testimonials here if you have them followed by another call to action.
Next, people will have questions and concerns that need addressing, so we’ll add:
- FAQs – a list of Q&As or a short video.
Time to add a final CTA to create extra urgency like a deadline or special bonus and finally:
And it can be helpful here to provide a link or button to go back to the Top of the page.
Step 3 – Apply best practices for sales page design
Now you have the appropriate structure and layers of content for your sales page, you need to make sure the design is working for you not against you. Follow proven, best practices in terms of font styles/colours, layout and use of white space – search on good website design.
Avoid cluttering things on your sales page, use lots of spacing and different sized headings. High converting sales pages don’t need garish colours just to make things stand out, but make sure there’s contrast and a change in ‘tone and pace’ in your writing just as people need to maintain attention in spoken presentations.
What you want to achieve here is to highlight the most important elements – that they jump out of the page when people are skimming through. Make your sales page easy to scroll and scan-read, because people do not read webpages line by line or cover to cover (so to speak), they will move around and scan by eye.
In fact, there are a few amazing tools around, like Clicktale, that will show you via heatmaps and hover stats where people are spending their most time on your page.
So, by using lots of big visuals and breaking up heavy chunks of text with sub-headings, bullets, lists and white space, you’re making the page engaging and really helping them to engage with what’s on the page, whilst they’re moving down the journey and that thinking process that you’re taking them on.
Use images that are going to resonate with your audience and are relevant to your offer and how you work with your clients or support your customers. And use photos of you, your team and your clients (if they agree) to inspire and bring a sense of connection and trust. Share images of people working happily in groups, nowadays that is more likely a group zoom call. Essentially, you’re aiming to bring alive what it would be like to work with you. It’s enlightening, inspiring and brings a sense of authenticity and trust.
If it’s Long – Be Happy, Don’t Worry
For now, I just wanted to tackle a common concern that business owners have when they see the long list or when they see their sales page once all the pieces are in place. With all those pieces in there, it can end up seeming quite long. And why we put the Call to Action or CTA comes in a few times throughout the page.
And for sure, not everyone will read a whole sales page: we know people skim, hop around or skip to the end to see the pricing! Some people will be convinced much earlier and be ready to take action, and others will need more information, more persuasion if you like.
One reason we push the pricing section towards the end (and some don’t include pricing at all) is so people who are buying based on cost don’t end up having their own bias working against them getting what it is you can help them with.
Again, it’s just a little bit of psychology because we know how people how they think and behave when making buying decisions especially with high-ticket purchases. (My view is that those who skip to the price and then leave without reading much aren’t not my ideal clients anyway, so it’s no big deal.)
But don’t just take the psychology theory’s word for it, here are some of the studies that prove those long sales pages work, even the ugly ones!
Crazy Egg Study – a page 10x longer than the original converted 363% more people.
Marketing Experiments – long-form landing pages were shown to generate 220% more leads than the above-the-fold call to action.
DocSend – reported smart phone browsers spend 2 minutes reading down a long sales page not the commonly reported 8 seconds!
Unbounce – For complex and high-end priced offers, long sales pages can increase conversions up to 63%.
VWO showed a switch from short-form to long-from copy increased profits by 50%.
In my book, there’s much more detailed explanation on why these components are important and the job they’re doing for you.
If you haven’t got a copy, it’s ‘Leveraged Consulting in the Digital Age’ and you can get it on Amazon in paperback, kindle or audiobook formats. And if you do have a copy, go to chapter 5 on leveraged sales.
One of the reasons I put all this in the book is because I know people need this advice, and it’s good practical guidance that’s going to help you make changes and get your sales page converting.