You've finally completed
your product, and now it's time to sell it.
But let's say you arrive at the copywriting
task with a host of concerns about how to
present your offering honestly, without
deceptive tricks and without distasteful
hype. Use this checklist to understand the
ingredients of an effective sales page as
well as how to get comfortable with each
element so you can implement it in a way
that feels good both to you and to your
Before you write a word,
spend several minutes focusing on your
audience, your potential buyers. What kinds
of people or companies do you hope and
expect to be your customers? Get clear as
well on why you believe they'll be
interested in what you're selling. What
advantages will they experience from having
your product? These points are the essence
that you'll be communicating in your
Learn From the
Masters of No-Hype Copywriting
In 2013 and 2014, Marcia Yudkin
convened the most articulate and
experienced practitioners of no-hype
copywriting for an exchange of ideas
on writing copy that persuades
without excessive showmanship or
stretching the truth.
Presenters included Peter Bowerman,
Nick Usborne, Shel Horowitz, Karon
Thackston and others.
recordings from this telesummit.
Keeping your audience and
those benefits in your mind, sit down and
explain to readers in plain language why
they should buy your product, how they will
be better off with it - and more so than
with any competing products. If you truly
write your marketing copy draft imagining
that you are speaking to your audience, it
usually comes out sounding sincerely
persuasive. Next it's time to reshape,
improve and add to your draft, using the
What's Needed for a Sales Page that
1. Headline. Your
headline must serve as an attention getter,
but it doesn't need to scream, scold, scare
or blare an outlandish promise in bold red
letters. One strong type of headline simply
highlights the #1 benefit of the product.
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2. Tone. Consider
how you would like to come across to
customers- as friendly, authoritative,
skeptical, precise, unsophisticated or
whatever - then adjust the wording of your
page so you convey that impression
consistently. Someone else's favorite tone
probably won't work for you. Cultivate a
tone that is authentic and conscious, rather
than imitative. Just as you can ace a job
interview by being your best self, your
written pitch can sound like you dressed up
for company you respect.
3. Details. You
must offer clear, unambiguous descriptions
of your product and what it includes.
Explicitly catalog the product's
characteristics, from the fundamentals, such
as whether it's a CD or a book, whether it's
sent by mail, downloadable or viewable only
online, etc., to the finer points, like the
number of pages or minutes, and how it
differs from similar products. Add anything
else a buyer might need to feel clear on
whether or not it suits their needs and
interests. You'll appreciate the importance
of such detail when you put yourself in the
shoes of the person considering shelling out
money for your product without being able to
examine it before buying. Almost all the
time, more detail works better than less.
4. Price. Never
force shoppers to click to another page or
put something into their shopping cart to
discover how much your item costs. That's
inconsiderate - and visitors to your site
get annoyed if they have to hunt hard for
the price. If your sales copy is lengthy,
make sure someone skimming it can locate the
price without having to read every
paragraph, word by word. Be equally explicit
and considerate you're your description of
shipping policies and fees.
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5. Trust boosters.
Why should readers believe what you're
promising? Provide third-party endorsements,
media mentions, credentials, examples,
photos, independent studies on your item's
effectiveness, and other credibility
indicators. People who want to buy but
hesitate because they've been scammed or had
a fear of scams drummed into them deserve
these kinds of reassurances to go ahead and
6. Reasoning. Do
your best to think your way into the
reader's head and head off the most probable
"But"s and "What If"s. You can anticipate
and counteract such doubts and objections in
a section of questions and answers or in
plain old paragraphs. Also provide a way for
readers with additional questions to get
them answered. Again, put this in the
category of offering the fullest possible
description of your sales offering so
potential buyers understand what your
product or service is and isn't.
Sometimes an unconditional money-back
guarantee proves the clincher, giving people
the confidence to buy, knowing that they can
reverse the purchase if they change their
minds. Remember that most people feel
disappointed, not triumphant, when they
decide to return something for a refund. The
guarantee may neutralize the unhappiness and
even make them willing to try you again on
another offer. Researchers tell us that a
60-day guarantee is more reassuring and
effective than a 30-day guarantee, a 90-day
guarantee more powerful than a 60-day one,
and a year-long guarantee better than any of
those. So don't let your fears set an
unnecessarily restricted guarantee.
8. Call to action.
Whereas sales copy always begins with a
headline, it always needs to end with an
unequivocal statement of the next step for
the reader to take. Usually that's "Buy
now." Like the price, the order link or
button should stand out visually so an eager
buyer readily finds it. Normally this
belongs at the end of your sales
presentation. If your sales copy is very
long, a second link not far below the
opening makes sense for people reading
through the page a second time.
Notice that I didn't
suggest you add a gazillion bonuses, which
often end up devaluing the original product.
I also didn't recommend you refer to an
inflated "original" price so your actual
price appears to be marked down. If you
never actually sold it at the "original"
price, that would be a dishonest and
possibly even illegal move.
Once you've included all
the ingredients above, go through the copy
again with an editor's eye, cutting or
clarifying anything that's confusing,
correcting grammar and spelling and
formatting the page in readable paragraphs
of eight lines or fewer.
Finally you're finished.
Shoppers will thank you for the care you
took to make their decision-making easier!