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What NOT to Do When Writing a Sales Page

11/08/22

Content Marketing

A sales page convinces potential customers to buy what you’re selling. Whether you offer Pilates classes or online courses or content and copy services, you’re gonna need a sales page to attract and convert customers.

But what sets an effective, high-converting sales page apart from a crappy sales page? Well, it’s much more than how you describe your offer or the photos you include of your products. There are a lot of separate elements that, when done well and put together, make a fantastic sales page.

Of course, there are a lot of things you can fudge up, too. Like…

DON’T make it about you

We’re about to have a tough love moment right now, okay? Ready? Deep breath

Your sales page is not about you. No one cares.

Ouch. Better you hear it from us than your customers, right? What we mean is, people aren’t clicking on your sales page because they want to learn more about who you are or why you created this product. (Unless it’s your mom or BFF browsing the page.)

People want to know what your product or service can do for them

How does your offer benefit them? What results or solutions can they expect? What problem will you help them solve? And why is your offer better than your competitors’ offers?

You can absolutely be confident and own your shit — the Uncanny team is all about that — but your sales page is not the place to do all your bragging. Put your audience first when writing your sales page copy, k?

(And no, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have an “About you” section. Especially if you’re a coach or selling a course, you still need proof that you know your shit and you can introduce yourself there.)

DON’T talk too much

Unfortunately, there’s no magic number or measurement for how long your sales page should be. It’s really all about your audience and what you’re selling. 

Think of how the sales pages would look for the latest iPhone compared to something like local accounting services. All of the content, including details, customer reviews, rich media like infographics or videos, and so on would create totally different sales pages. Apples and oranges.

A good rule of thumb? Your sales page should be as long as it needs to be to get the job done.

Sales page content should explain your offer as simply and clearly as possible. It’ll make a case for why your audience should buy and include calls-to-action, or CTAs. 

Shorter sales pages are straightforward and bank on the hope that your content is convincing enough to encourage sales. Too short, though, and you may not meet your site visitors’ needs for information or proof.

Sales pages on the longer side let you answer customer questions and proactively tackle customer objections. But the downside is that you run the risk of rambling and losing your site viewers’ attention…and, ultimately, sales.

So, check that your sales page hits all of these marks:

  • Attention-grabbing headlines and subheadings that clearly explain what you offer
  • Copy that explains what your offer is, what it does, and who it’s for
  • Copy that explains what makes your offer different from others
  • Customer reviews (we’ll get to that in a moment)
  • CTAs that tell your customer what to do next (like click a link to buy)

Check for clarity and brevity. Say what you mean and get to the point. Trim any fat and fluff, and you’re good to go.

DON’T forget about UX

So far we’ve talked about all your written content, but don’t forget about the user experience and design! 

User experience, or UX, is all about how your site visitors interact with your website. In a nutshell, if your UX sucks, your potential customers will bounce. If your UX is good, your potential customers will know exactly what action to take next.

It helps to visualize the structure of your sales page as a trail. Is there a trailhead telling visitors where they are and what to expect on the path ahead? Are there mile markers along the way? Is there a glorious view at the end of the trail where they can stop and say, “Okay, I love this trail. I’m in! Where do I buy a T-shirt?”? 

We’ll stop with the trail metaphor now. But you get the idea. Remember to:

Basically, keep your design and copy clear, intuitive, and simple.

DON’T exaggerate

Have you really brought in thousands of members to your coaching program? Or consistently made six or seven figures with your products? If you truly have, props to you. If you haven’t, then don’t say that you have. Have integrity.

Selling your offer or promoting your biz can be tough, we know. You don’t want to be too honest on your sales page, because it gives site visitors a reason to hesitate when buying. But you can get creative with how you back up your claims.

Instead of saying “hundreds of customers have loved this offer,” try “our offer has helped this customer achieve X” and include part of a testimonial.

Or, instead of saying “95% of our customers are satisfied with this service,” try “here’s why our customers have chosen us over X competitors” and, you guessed it, include part of a testimonial.

Even if you don’t have testimonials yet, think about how you can shift your qualifications or reasons to buy without having to exaggerate or lie about your offer.

DON’T leave out social proof

We just said not to exaggerate, but you can totally share honest customer reviews about your offer! Don’t be shy about bragging about your biz when you have achieved amazing things. Nothing wrong with sprinkling positive testimonials throughout your sales page where it makes sense.

Look through your testimonials and choose the best ones to share on your sales page. Find testimonials that talk about why your offer is so great, what results they got from it, or why your biz is so special.

Only have one or two testimonials so far? That’s okay! You can switch up the formatting by adding a customer photo (with their permission), changing the font, or bolding certain words or phrases. 

Or, use parts of your testimonial in different places on your website. For example, if the full quote is on your main website, pick a sentence or two to place on your sales page.

There can be too much of a good thing, though. Avoid the temptation to stuff your sales page full of testimonials. That’s annoying and reeks of desperation. Remember, make your sales page as long as it needs to be to get the job done.

The anatomy of a good sales page

There’s a lot of pressure to write a good sales page. It’s like making a good first impression on a first date. Looking hot helps but you gotta have the substance to back it up. When it comes to sales pages, that means:

  • Making it about your audience
  • Being straightforward with your copy
  • Having user-friendly design
  • Not exaggerating…
  • …but sharing honest social proof

And don’t forget, once your sales page is complete, there’s the other content you need to write, like launch emails and blogs and social media. You gotta hype up your new offer, too. Oh, and there’s all this pre-launch content that you probably should already have in the bag.

Is your head spinning? Need help crafting that perfect sales page and getting your next launch in order? Let’s chat.

Jess Hammons, Uncanny Content Writer and Meme Enthusiast
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