I have been working on sales copy a lot lately, so I thought I would post a useful summary of the 15 most important elements of a sales page. This list is adapted from an excellent two-hour lecture presented as part of Aaron Aaber’s free mentoring course over at FullTiltBlogging.com. The audio lecture and the presentation slides are available for download as one the member benefits at LifeFoc.us (Aaron’s membership site). In this post, I’ll be telling you what the sales page items are. If you want to know how to implement them effectively, you have to talk to someone like Aaron (I am just learning – albeit quickly).
15 Key Sales Letter Components
First, you need to get the prospect’s attention. If you cannot command your visitor’s attention, they are not going to read your sales copy, and they will not buy. If a qualified prospect does not buy, you have failed. It is as simple as that, and the headline section is critical because almost every legitimate prospect that visits your site will take time to scan the headline. The pre-headline, headline and sub-headline work together with the attention device to get your prospect to read on below the fold. You want to grab their attention, promise them something, or encourage them to read further.
- Pre-Headline. This is that little sentence or two at the top of the sales letter prior to the headline. It is usually a statement that draws the reader to the headline (or motivates the headline in some way). This part is optional.
- Headline. Big font. Often red. Hard to miss. This component is critical to capture attention. Think front page of the New York Times. Note that this headline is almost always in quotes.
- Sub-Headline. Again an optional part that comes after the headline and can serve as the punchline to the headline.Attention Device. Simply put, the purpose of the attention device is to get your reader to read the rest of the copy. It can be part of the headline or stand alone. Often, it comes in the form of a warning, a statistic or an implied story (the story is usually delivered in the body copy below the fold).
So, here is an example:
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Anyway, you get the idea. I am not the best copy writer in the world, but above you can see a pre-headline, a headline, a sub-headline and an attention device in the headline.
The Body Of The Sales Letter
The body of the sales letter needs to breathe and flow. You need to draw your prospect along as they read — make them want to get to the next part. Tell stories. Break up paragraphs. Seduce your reader.
- Introduction. Let the prospect know why you are and establish credibility. You can be an expert or have relevant experience documented here. I like the way Jon Leger does this — he simply lists the great products he has launched before.
- Statement of Problem. If you have a product, you need to be solving a problem with that product, or you will not sell it. Simple as that. Why does your prospect need your product? If they do not know that they need your product, you will have to educate them here.
- Destroying the Old Method. Take down existing solutions so the prospect can see your solution as the uniquely best option.
- Value Building (Bonuses and Testimonials). Prospects buy when the value excedes the price. What is the value of your product and bonuses. Testimonials can help to show value (and also to reduce risk). There are many ways to build value.
- Price Drop. This is almost a cliche in Internet Marketing, and is done incorrectly most of the time (including in my own sales letters). Aaron has some proprietary and very unique views on how to do this properly. Out of respect to Aaron, I will not reveal them here. Suffice it to say that you need to do more than cross out a wild price of $1997 and put $27 next to it.
- Why This is So Cheap. Make sure that your deep discount is well justified, otherwise your prospect will think there is a catch. For example, if I offer you a brand-new iPod for $10, you will assume it is stolen.
- Reason for Offer. Why are you making this particular offer today. Urgency can go here (Act Now!)
Getting The Order
OK — finally it is time for the sale. Just a few things left to do.
- Risk Reversal. You need to offer an iron-clad money-back guarantee. Convince the prospect that they have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
- Closing. You must ask for the sale. Call to action is a critical part of any sales letter. Do not leave the prospect guessing what you want them to do.
- PS. Use the PS to target people who skipped the sales copy and headed to the bottom of the page to see the price. Summarize the offer and call them to action right there in the PS.
Writing sales copy is probably the most challenging part of Internet Marketing. Each of the 15 items above can be expanded into a full course, so I am really only scratching the surface here. Again, thanks to Aaron Abber for allowing me to summarize one of the many cool courses that you get as a member of LifeFoc.us.
Do you have any questions about sales letter copy? Drop a comment and ask me. If I cannot answer, I will ask Aaron to drop by and pontificate.