Have you ever tried to sell your product online? If you have, what have you done to sell it? Did you have just a description and picture, crossed your fingers and prayed? Perhaps you decided to go whole-hog and have a full blown sales letter?
What response did you get for your efforts?
Have you ever heard of the term “slippery slope” sales letter? Well, what that refers to is the same effect as with the game Chutes & Ladders. You land at the top and have to go down. There is no turning back, no other way to go.
That’s how a sales letter should be — a “slippery slope.” It needs to pull in the reader because it’s so compelling and interesting. Although I personally detest the sales pages that go on & on & on & on &on (ad nauseam), there is some really great stuff that those sales letters are trying to accomplish.
According to online experts, there is a list of things that you want to include in your sales letter to make it effective. Here is an overview of some of them.
Don’t Let Them Escape
Your visitor should not be distracted by extraneous links. Even if the page is part of your website, do not include the top menu so they will not be tempted to visit your bio, other products, or that awesome video on the media page!
The whole idea is to keep her/him captivated (not captive) by page content, reading your copy, focused, and inviting him/her to order. The caveat is, of course, you page has got to be engaging, entertaining but not War & Peace.
Have a Slam-Bang Headline
What you select as your headline can make or break your whole sales strategy.
It has to be compelling and appealing. If it’s not, your visitor will just leave the site and you will have lost them, likely forever.
Creating headlines is really an art. But, here is one easy headline formula: “How to _________ so you can ____________.”
The second part of the sentence has to make a big splash by offering a big benefit. For example, you could use phrases like “double your business” or “gain peace of mind.”
Push the “Ouch” Button
What is this “pushing the ‘ouch’ button?” Well, it means that you talk about the prospect’s pain-point, the reason they came to see what you’re offering. As a bonus, you could include how you overcame your own pain, if at all applicable.
First, focus on the problem or pain that the reader has. Then explain quite explicitly how your product will solve that pain. Alternatively, you can share your own failure-to-success story. Make sure though that the reader can empathize with it.
Tell Them Why You’re Qualified to Help
Put yourself in the prospect’s place. If you’re going to buy from you, wouldn’t you want to know why you’re qualified “that stuff”?
Give the prospect the feeling that you’ve become an expert on this topic and genuinely want to share it with them.
Include a picture, video, or audio message. This tactic will immediately make the prospect feel like he/she knows you better. Thus increasing the “trust factor.” Remember, people buy from those they feel they know, like, and trust.
Use Bullets in the Copy
Lay out all the benefits derived from your product.
Create a list of interesting points. Each point should be worded in such a way as to feel like an exciting secret.
Can Never Have Enough Testimonials
It is important to show your prospects they won’t be the first to buy.
It’s very effective to include testimonials sprinkled throughout your sales. Do not have a separate section for them.
Give each person’s full name and Web address. If you don’t their permission to do so, don’t include them. For added oomph, include a photo of the person. If you can, include an audio or video testimonial. They work wonders in the building trust department.
Give Away Stuff
People really like to get stuff for nothing, or at least appearing to be for nothing. So, bonuses work well in selling your product or service.
Do offer something special as a bonus (preferably more than 1). They need to be quality items, so much so that you could sell them alone if you wanted to (maybe you already do). It could be a resource list, or a collection of articles, a product that complimentary to what you’re selling, or a free consultation.
Reverse the Risk
Marketing great, Jay Abraham, advises anyone who is selling anything to reverse the risk of buying. How the heck do you do that?
Well, the easiest way is to offer a guarantee. Why?
Well, it puts your prospect at ease. It gives them a way to rationalize to themselves why they should buy.
Yes, you are taking a risk. There may be some people who take you up on it. However, the amount of sales you actually make by using this strategy does dramatically outweigh the risk.
What, and how, and how long you guarantee can depend on many factors. So think carefully about how you frame the guarantee to minimize your own risk and maximize the perceived benefit to the prospect.
Get Them to Act NOW
Have you come across those pages where the offer always ends today at midnight, no matter when you see the page? Isn’t it annoying that people think the web visitor is dumb? These sites use scripts and other programming tricks to make it appear as such. It always reminds me of the brick-and-mortar establishments that are perennially running “going out of business” sales and never do.
If you say you will be raising your prices, state the exact day & time it will happen. Then, do so when you say you are. Nothing builds trust in the web visitor more than knowing you are someone who keeps your word.
If you won’t be raising your price but want to leave the door open for future change, say that the current price is an introductory, limited-time offer.
Which Way Do We Go, George?
Ever gone someplace on the net and are ready to buy? You have your CC in your hot, little hand but can’t figure what you’re supposed to do. There is no plainly visible, in your face, “BUY HERE” button!
Nothing ticks me off more! And, nine times out of ten, I leave and don’t come back.
Make your order process idiot-proof. Have large icons linked to your shopping cart or PayPal. They’ve got to be obvious what they’re for. For example: “Click here to order now.” Sprinkle the order links throughout the page. Make it easy for those who are ready to buy before they get to the bottom.
Make It Simple to Contact You
Your readers will have questions. Make it easy for them to dispel their misgivings. Provide an e-mail link on your page. Make sure that you or one of your assistants checks that e-mail daily and respond to all queries.
Nothing spreads faster in today’s business environment than a bad experience with an online business. Remember, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, et al, are all a mouse-click away.
Make people feel warm and fuzzy! List a real address, even if it is the UPS Store address that you rent your mailbox from. It does give a sense of reality to your business. You are not the black hole that ate Brooklyn…you are a real-life business with a location. And, don’t forget a phone number!
Well, there it is! Leave us your comment as to what you do for your sales copy as a comment below.
Until next time, enjoy!