Get a sales page right and you can convert a lurking competitor. Get it wrong and you’ve essentially lit up a stage and thrown the cast in the limelight without a script. They start improvising, going off on a tangent and your audience is left confused and straight out the door at the first intermission.
I know, I know, it’s easy for me – a copywriter with over a decade’s experience – to see the big red flags on a sales page. But, for you the business owner who’s trying to spin all the plates and pray none of them smash, the sales page could crash and burn and you still won't notice the problem until someone DMs you 'URL BROKEN HUN'.
So, here’s what you’re going to do instead of throwing your head into your hands in despair. You’re going to go back to that sales page and scan it for these mistakes that are easy to spot and even easier to fix…
Copy mistake 1: Using industry lingo
See an acronym or a word strange enough to confuse an elderly relative? Get rid. Replace it with the simplest version of that word or a sentence that spells it out in layman’s terms.
In your business world, it’s easy to assume that everyone will ‘get’ what you’re going on about straight away. But, a sales page needs to serve the masses, not your inner circle, your peers or your hottest leads.
The only assumption I’ll allow is this – people don’t have the foggiest idea what you’re banging on about.
Bonus tip: If you really need to refer to a thing as the official term, then break it down with a ‘What is [INDUSTRY TERM]?’ section. I recently wrote a sales page for Human Design Reader Olivia Iasonos and we dedicated a section to “What is Human Design?” even though 90% of Olivia’s client base were well-versed in it. Why? Because a sales page isn’t always about talking to your existing clients, it’s also about converting cold leads and curious prospects too.
Copy mistake 2: No transformation
Whether you’re selling a product or a service, talking about the ‘what’ is only scratching the surface. OK, so you’ve told me it’s made from X material, or it’s a 6-week course, but what I’m (the customer) is interested in is ‘How is this going to change my life?’
I want to know that it’s going to take me from point A to point B aka the 'transformation'. Observe...
OFFER: 6-week ‘How to be more confident’ coaching course, led by expert with 10+ experience
OFFER: My 6-week course will banish your imposter syndrome and get you making moves confidently and with intention
PRODUCT: Hand-crafted, 18ct gold-plated earrings
PRODUCT: 18ct gold-plated earrings to add a touch of sophistication to your everyday
Look at your copy through the eyes of the customer, they want to know ‘what’s in it for me’.
Copy mistake 3: No price
Storytime. I spent 2 weeks looking for a personal branding photographer. I stalked their Instas, their websites, and their sales pages.
The ones who featured their price made it straight onto the shortlist. The ones who didn’t even give a ballpark, or told me to ‘message’ to enquire, didn’t get a second thought.
Your customer does not have the time or the energy to ask you for a price, only to realise it’s out of their budget.
Put a starting price, or a range at the very least, to attract the right kind of clients. Unless of course you want to fill up your calendar with sales calls featuring awkward silences and nervous laughter.
Copy mistake 4: No clear call to action
Your sales page has one mission, to sell. It’s in the bloody name. Focus your call to action buttons and messaging on this and this alone.
Make it easy to get straight to the checkout. Don’t bury this fact under heaps of text riiiiiight at the end - people here know the drill and they are scanning for the price tag.
Sales pages are typically longer than your average landing page, so it’s OK to repeat different versions of the same call to action throughout or give a plan B option for those more on the fence (read: free no-obligation call, free trial etc).
Copy mistake 5: Testimonials for the sake of it
Experts say you need social proof to build authority, so you slapped in a few “10/10 would recommend” quotes on your sales page. *Ticks social proof off the to-do list* Well, not quite.
Read your testimonials back and pluck out what they’re actually saying about you.
They should be able to stand alone and say something impactful eg “Working with you was effortless” translates to “easy to work with”. This testimonial adds value as it tells us something worth knowing about you.
Now if you want to go ahead and add more testimonials, make sure they are showcasing something different that complements the first. So, if one testimonial says you’re easy-going, you want another to say you’re reliable, another to say you’re an expert in your field.
Bonus tip: If you have permission, add the name/company/job title/headshot of the person leaving the review. It's not just me who thinks that faceless 5-star review is low key your sister.
Updated your sales page and still not getting results? Pass it here, let me take a look…