In last week’s post, I shared with you the 7 essential elements that you need to include in any sales page you write. But those aren’t the only elements you need to look at. So today, we’re going to talk about optional components of your sales page: ones that may or may not be useful, depending on various factors.
Now, I want to flag up front that not everyone agrees on what the essential elements of a sales page actually are. You’ll hear plenty of experts tell you that one or more of the things on this list ARE absolutely essential.
However, I disagree, and I’ll explain why for each element as I introduce it. I’ll also talk about why each one might be useful so you can decide whether your sales page needs it or not.
People generally like to know WHO they’re buying from, and WHY you’re selling whatever you’re selling in the first place. They want, on some level, to know your story and to develop a relationship with you. Obviously, an “About You” section can be a good way to make this happen.
However, an in-depth “About You” section isn’t the only way to achieve this goal. And sometimes? It can be the wrong way.
For example, if you’re selling a low-cost, commodity-type product (e.g. candles or stationery), people will probably want to make a quick decision. In that case, too much information about you is likely to distract them from deciding. And remember: the primary purpose of your sales page is to help your readers make a good decision.
Or, if you have an advanced offer where people need to have already worked with you before they can say yes, too much information about you can actually confuse and distance your readers from you.
The key to writing “About You” information well is to remember that while this section IS about you, it should only include the parts of you that your reader cares about.
Testimonials let your readers hear the benefits of your offer from other people, which creates credibility. And testimonials also reassure potential clients that your offer delivers on your promises, and that you can help people like them because you’ve done so before.
Good testimonials are almost always useful on a sales page. However, if you don’t have any yet, don’t panic. It IS possible to write an effective sales page without them, but it involves dialling up the KLT (Know, Like and Trust) factor on everything else on your page.
Here are a few blog posts to help you create effective testimonials and use them well.
If people have never bought from you before, biting the bullet and handing over their hard-earned cash to you can be a little nerve-wracking. That’s particularly if true if you’re selling a higher-end item.
A money-back guarantee helps to increase the “trust” part of your page’s Know, Like and Trust factor. However, not all services lend themselves to ironclad guarantees. And not everyone is happy to offer one.
If that’s the case for you, fear not. If your KLT factor is already high (e.g. if most of your ideal clients already know you, or you’ve included several other page elements that increase it) you might not need one.
The key to making a guarantee work well is to make it read as simply, clearly and reassuringly as possible. At the very least, make sure you state:
Including a description of your buying process helps to set expectations. That’s important, because the clearer your reader is about what to expect, the more comfortable they’ll be about saying “yes”.
For the most part, it’s either about assuring them that the buying process won’t be complex, or (if it is) making the process clear and easy-to-understand up front. For example, if people have to apply to join your programme by filling out a form or completing a consult, making this really clear at the outset can help to reassure potential clients.
However, if your buying process is totally simple and straightforward, there’s no point in belabouring the obvious.
If you include a buying process description, the basic things to cover off are:
You should give your readers a fairly good idea of WHO your offer is designed for early on in your page. Ideally, it should be clear in the first three essential elements of the page.
However, sometimes it can also be powerful to state this directly. You could write a dedicated section subheaded with something like “This offer is designed for you if…” then list a few characteristics of your ideal client or customer underneath. And it can be even more powerful to tell your readers what characteristics they might have that make your offer WRONG for them.
However, not all sales pages need this element. Again, if your offer is free or low- cost/low-commitment, or you feel like the first part of your page already speaks clearly enough to this information, I wouldn’t include it.
If you want to talk about who your offer is wrong for, keep your language neutral and factual rather than emotive or judgemental.
For example, “This isn’t right for you if you’re too disorganised to get anything done”, will probably come off as judgemental and borderline-bullying (however true it may be!) Instead, soften the description to something like, “This isn’t right for you if you don’t already have strong organisational systems working for you in your life.”
If your readers often have the same quick questions about your offer once they get through your sales page, an FAQ section might be helpful.
This is basically a place to bring together all the minor “bits” of information that don’t fit into the overall flow of your page, but that some of your readers are interested in knowing.
Many offers are simple enough that they don’t need an FAQ section. Go with your intuition on this, and don’t feel compelled to include one if it doesn’t seem useful.
Write questions in the same language that your reader would actually use to ask them. You want them to be able to easily imagine themselves asking you each question, and having you answer it as though you were talking face-to-face with them.
Some readers don’t want to have to scan through a bunch of existing questions to see if their query is amongst them. They’d prefer to just dash off a quick email or fill out a short form to ask their question directly.
So whether this element is useful or not comes down to knowing your audience. If they’re particularly busy and pressed for time, they may prefer to make their decision on the spot without having to wait around to hear back from you on the answer.
The key to making a contact form or link work is to make it really visible and easy-to-spot, so readers are crystal clear on what to do to ask their question. They shouldn’t need to conduct an in-depth search of your page to locate it.
There’s more to writing a sales page that clicks, connects and converts than simply identifying the elements that go into it.
You also need to know exactly how to write each element well, and how to make them all work with each other. (Plus, let’s face it: a sales page template, a guide to the actual writing/editing process and feedback from a supportive community wouldn’t go amiss either).
So if you’re looking for more sales page help than a 1,400-word blog post can offer, why not check out my new DIY Sensational Sales Pages programme. It’s 33%-off for the next week…
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