Sometimes you don’t need a perfect sales page. You just need something “good enough” that does the job for now. So you can put it up, get some sales, and move on with your life.
(Then refine it later when the stakes are higher — you raise the price, there’s a lot more traffic hitting it, etc.)
Trouble is, when you sit down to write, it can be intimidating. Maybe you got all these stories in your head and you don’t know what to use. Or you don’t know how to structure it, where to put testimonials, when to reveal the product, etc.
Last week, a client needed me to crank out a sales page in a hurry. Because I’d already done the research on him, his audience, and his market for a funnel I wrote him, I knew I had enough info rattling in my brain to get something “good enough” out there.
So I cranked it out in about 4.5 hours on a Friday afternoon.
Once I finished, I realized it came out even better than I expected. Not perfect (for example, the headline could use a greater sense of urgency) but solid for sure.
So I thought “Hey, why not create a video walking people through my process. Showing them the thinking that went into this, how I outline/structure a sales page, etc.”
I did a video like that for a copywriting course I helped make. It showed people the step-by-step thinking/process behind a sales email I wrote that brought in a few tens of thousands in sales.
People dug it so I hope you’ll dig this, too. Without further ado:
This video shows you my approach for cranking out a “good enough” sales page in an afternoon.
The video is a bit on the advanced side. For example, I don’t go over the importance of talking about benefits, using stories, or making the copy “about them” because if you’re on my list, you already know that stuff.
This is more about how to take what you already know and apply to get a “good enough” sales page out the door quickly.
My process is taken half from this Kevin Roger’s sales page checklist, half from Carlton’s Simple writing System, the half from random learning/trial and error over the years.
Everyone has their own process. Mine is still evolving. But taking a look at it can help you refine/tweak yours.
If you don’t have 30min to spend on that video, here’s the abridged version:
Here’s a look into how I crank out a “good enough” sales page in an afternoon.
Before writing, I get clear on a few things:
– The Unique Selling Proposition. What makes this different/better than what’s out there.
– The one customer I’m writing to. What does he think about this issue? What has he tried? What’s the nagging problem he has around this issue right now? What language does he use to describe it?
– The one key problem we’re solving and a big, tangible promise of how their life will be better (yes, your product does a million great things, if your customer had to pick one benefit, which would it be? Make a big, compelling promise — backed up with proof — around that.)
– One common solution the customer tried that didn’t work
– One insight that shows your customer why what they’ve tried hasn’t worked and what they need instead that will work.
– Information about the person selling the product. Why is this important to them? What credentials do they have? What struggle did they overcome to get to where they are with this product?
Then it’s time to start writing. Here’s the outline I used in this instance.
It’s not the same thing for all my sales page but for this one I decided to learn on a few things I knew worked. For example, I knew “painting the dream” is a proven way to hook readers in the first page or so, so I went with that over the zillion of other ways I could open this sales page.
My “Sales page in a pinch” Outline
– Paint the dream: Tell a story that captures attention and shows them what they’re getting. Dream Copy works well there. (You can get my step-by-step guide to writing Dream Copy here. You can ignore the part about “welcome copy chief readers” — I’m just too lazy to create a another page to give the guide away on :p)
– Introduce the person selling and make a big promise (state credentials and maybe use a drawn out version of the 60 second sales hook to connect with the reader and show this person understands their struggle)
– Story showing how all the stuff out there doesn’t work
– Section on what the ideal situation would look like.
– Introduce product in a clear, straight-forward manner (…and what do you know! It fits that ideal situation we talked about earlier!)
– Throw in bonuses if available
– Frame the price (“This could cost you $XX but here itll only cost you $X)
– Crossroads Close
Some people find it helpful to start writing at the “introduce the product” section. Or the price/guarantee. This is the easiest part to write and can get your gears turning while giving you a target to aim for.
Personally, I start at the lead (which was “painting the dream” in this case) then go all the way through. Then write the headline last.
Remember to go ahead and let your first draft be utter garbage if need be. You make more progress by getting crap on paper and polishing than you do pontificating about what the copy could be. At least that’s how it works for me.
For this piece, I wound up cutting the Crossroads Close because we weren’t asking for the sale — just needed them to fill out the application. The copy I wrote for that was good but because we did a hard takeaway, saying “I’m all full, click here to be on the waitlist” it didn’t seem needed.
What to do if your slaes page isn’t working
This sales page hasn’t gone live yet. If I find out it’s not working great, here’s how I’ll go about fixing it:
– Add a close
– Change the headline/lead. This is the most important part of a sales page. If you want to get the biggest change out of the smallest amount of work, that’s the thing to focus on.
– Throw it up and try again and if it’s still off, go do more research and get feedback on the page from the audience to find out what they think of it — if they get bored at any point, what objections they may have that I didn’t address well enough, etc.
Let me know if you found this helpful (it’ll make me feel all warm and fuzzy) or of there’s something else I can write about to make your copy life easier.