AMY PORTERFIELD: Hey there, Amy Porterfield here. Welcome to another episode of The Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Thank you so very, very much for tuning in.
Today’ episode is actually Part II of a two-part series all about crafting brilliant sales pages. Last week I talked about the art of a sales page and really getting into the mindset of our core avatar before ever writing a single word.
I shared some tips and tricks I learned from my own copywriter, Ry Schwartz. Some of those tips blew my mind when he shared them with me so I could not wait to share them with you. If you missed that episode it’s just one episode back, Episode #113, and is a perfect segue into today’s episode so if you missed it you might want to pause this one, jump into #113, and then visit me back here at #114.
Today we are talking all about the science of a brilliant sales page. To do this right, I want to welcome back one of my dear friends, online marketing extraordinaire, Melanie Duncan. I don’t think that’s her official title, but that’s what I think when I think about Melanie, marketing extraordinaire.
Melanie is just fantastic with dissecting what needs to go into an overall marketing strategy. She really knows the ins and outs of what converts, what attracts your ideal perfect audience, and really how to put it all together. What she knows really well are sales pages. I wanted her to come on the show and talk to me about how she’s gone through her own journey of figuring out how to create sales pages that truly convert.
I always record the intro to my interviews after I actually do the interview so I can set things up properly. One thing I wanted to mention to you about this interview is that Melanie and I will both refer to a special bonus she created for my brand new program, Courses That Convert.
In that bonus she talks about the 18 core essential elements of a sales page. She talks about this special guide as well. When you hear that you might be bummed if you’re not part of my course and you might think you are missing out.
However, I wanted to let you know that this episode is going to dive into the five most important elements (at least in my opinion) of a sales page. In the bonus she did 18. I took the five most important elements and asked her to dive into them even deeper in this episode.
You’re going to get some really good stuff, no doubt, even if you never got that bonus because you are not a part of Courses That Convert. You’re still going to get some really good, valuable content today that you can apply to your sales page. Don’t worry. You, my friend, are in really good hands.
I also wanted to create a freebie that was extra special for this episode. When I do episodes sometimes it’s hard for me because it’s all about telling you what to do and how to do it. But I rarely get to show you. That’s why I love webinars so much. I get to show and tell.
For today’s freebie I created a show and tell downloadable PDF. Let me tell you what I mean by that. I curated a bunch of examples from my best converting sales pages and put them into one PDF that you can download instantly. In this freebie you will see actual examples of each of the five core elements that Melanie and I are going to talk about.
One of the core elements is including an FAQ on your sales page. So, I went into my best converting sales pages and took screen grabs of my own FAQs on my sales pages and included them in this freebie for you. That’s why it’s a show and tell kind of freebie because you can actually see what we’re talking about in action on my own sales pages.
It’s really, really good and to get your hands on it all you need to do is go to http:// www.amyporterfield.com/114download or text 114download to 33444. I’ve never put something like this together for a podcast episode and I think you’re going to find it incredibly helpful the next time you sit down and are ready to create your sales page.
I don’t want you to wait to get it until you’re ready to create your sales page because you’ll forget where to go to locate it. Do it now, save it on your computer, and you’ll have it ready when you’re ready to dive in to your next sales page creation. Deal? Alright, let’s do this!
Before we dive in, this episode is sponsored by FreshBooks. I absolutely love sharing knowledge about how to grow your business. But having the right tools in place to manage your growth is also key. That is why you need to know about FreshBooks if you are currently a freelancer, coach, or consultant.
FreshBooks is cloud accounting software helping over five million people feel less stressed when dealing with their admin and paperwork for their small businesses. You can use FreshBooks for invoicing, late payment reminders, you can get project deposits up front with FreshBooks, and they will track your expenses.
If you go into a restaurant and use your business debit you will see it magically appear in your FreshBooks transactions right away. It is pretty cool. And that’s only a tiny fraction of what FreshBooks can do for you.
To experience the full power of FreshBooks totally free for 30 days, go to www.FreshBooks.com/amy and enter “Amy” in the “How did you hear about us section.” It’s as simple as that.
Are you ready to dive into the five core elements of a brilliant sales page with my dear friend, Melanie Duncan? Let’s do this.
Amy: Melanie Duncan, welcome back to the show.
Melanie: Thank you so much for having me, Amy, I always love our time together and I particularly love this topic we’re talking about today.
Amy: It’s a good one for sure. Before we get into all the details, I’ve got to ask you, how long did it take you to get ahold of the sales page thing? Did you just know what to do? How did you figure it all out?
Melanie: Of course not. Nobody knows how to do this. It’s kind of a weird, random skill.
Amy: Well, you might have been born with it. I wasn’t sure.
Melanie: No. Definitely not. Actually I wish I could find it, Devin could probably pull up the first sales page I ever created and you would just cringe and maybe throw up in your mouth a little bit.
It’s something I’ve learned a lot about over time just through doing. But my first sales page was pretty much a template. I looked at a lot of the other typical online program sales pages in our industry and what I created looked exactly like everyone else’s sales page in the industry.
It didn’t stand out. It didn’t look like me. It didn’t sound like me or my brand. I definitely missed the mark in a lot of different areas but I was using webinars to sell at that time so I was sending them to a sales page. Luckily, I think my webinar was helping the page convert even though it wasn’t awesome.
After about six months of using the terrible, awful, ugly sales page I hired an expert who I still remember cost $5,000. That was so much money to me at the time. It still is a lot of money. But, I worked with this guy who was basically really into the copy.
We did two or three couple of hour-long interviews where we did surveys to my audience and went over them together. He went through the program and asked me a lot of questions about it and I realized there was a lot more to the sales page thing than just typing some hyped copy about how this would make you a million dollars or change your life.
You really get to dive into your customers and really dive into your program and then use your sales page to showcase that value.
Amy: 100%, and you really have cracked the code. I feel like your sales pages take people on a journey. That’s why, when I wanted to do a sales page training, I thought I had to go to somebody that has studied this and really pays attention to the flow of the sales page, what goes into it, and what doesn’t go into it.
As you know, inside my Courses That Convert program you created a special sales page bonus. In that bonus you went over 18 core essential elements that should be included in the sales page.
To be fair to my paying customers, we don’t want to give it all away here but I want to make it really valuable for those listening. I thought we would dive into five of those core essentials. These are five where a lot of my students either get stuck or are just totally confused about how to move forward in this area.
What do you say we go over those five essential core elements?
Melanie: That sounds great. The beautiful thing is because I have created dozens of sales pages and so many iterations on each one of those sales pages, it’s gotten very formulaic. I think that is comforting for people because so much of business is not formulaic.
You can’t systemize all of it, but sales pages are something you can follow a template structure like I taught inside that bonus inside courses that convert. That’s a really nice way to hold your hand and guide you through the process while you can still customize it and make it very much you and your brand.
Amy: 100%. I am a girl that loves any formula you throw at me. I can definitely relate to having it all in front of me in that way. Let’s start at the very top and talk about headline. It is crucial to create a good headline. But it’s something I’ve struggled with.
Many people struggle with this and I wanted to ask you what are you looking for in the right headline? What are the key criteria you think about each time you sit down to write a headline?
Melanie: The headline, honestly, is the most important part of your entire sales page. A lot of people forget that. They just put up some generic, easy sloppy headline and they put a lot of focus into writing about the program or writing a great sales hook. But if you can’t get people to read or get them down to that section, which is the point of the headline, you’re really missing the main point.
According to classic copywriting principles, the main goal of the headline is to get the attention of the right people (this is really important, not everyone, not anyone, but the right people) and then to get them to continue reading down the page. Those are the two goals of your headline, get their attention, and get them to keep reading.
The best way to accomplish this is to make sure that you are drawing the attention of the right people, to make sure your headline is really specific, and that it is direct direct. And, a piece that a lot of people forget, you want your headline to be extremely curiosity provoking. That’s how you’re going to get people’s interest and keep them reading down the page.
Amy: Give me an example of a really specific good headline versus one that might miss the mark.
Melanie: An example that you might see on an average sales page or even a blog post (you can use headlines in a lot of different places) is “Would you like to work less and make more?” Who wouldn’t want to work less and make more?
If you are really honing in on something where you want to be very specific you would say something like, “Here are five things to do each day before noon that can triple your income in the next 30 days.”
That’s not necessarily pulling out a specific segment of my audience. You will actually see some headlines and these can read as a little too scammy, but some really converting headlines will say something like, “Attention female business owners, five things to do each day before noon to triple your income.”
Then people know exactly if it is for them or not. You could also say, “Attention social media strategists,” or “Attention direct marketers,” or something like that where people actually look at it and know it’s for them.
Of course, you would tie that in with something very specific and very curiosity provoking.
Amy: So you are saying it is good if they do want to call out social media marketers or whatever it might be?
Melanie: It can. Like I said, that is something that’s a little bit more old-school copywriting. I would never do that on the sales page of one of my programs. But you want to write something so that people will know exactly whether it is for them or not.
Amy: Okay, got it. Give me just a tip you have about how to really nail this right out of the gate.
Melanie: Something that’s actually super, super important that a lot of people forget is you want to make sure you’re using the language and specifically the exact words your ideal clients and customers use. We do this a lot by surveying and talking to our audience.
On Survey Monkey there is a feature where it will actually pull out the most popular words from responses so you can create a word graph. But you want to know the words people are using to describe their goals and the words they are using to describe their biggest pains or biggest struggle.
Those are the words that are going to naturally grab people’s attention because it’s something they are already living in or are hungry for. Those are the types of words you want to use in your headline.
Just as a good strategy to use if you’re not a copywriter and are writing your own copy, when I write a headline I usually sit down and write anywhere from 40 to 50 headlines. I just take a piece of paper, for some reason I have to do it on a piece of paper. I don’t know what it is. I take a piece of paper and actually write down all of the ideas I could have for a headline.
If you Google copywriting headline formulas there are a lot of different fill-in-the-blank Mad Lib ways to write headlines. They can actually be kind of fun. But I don’t limit myself because if you sit there and try to create the perfect headline right from the get go you will be staring at a blank piece of paper all day.
When you give yourself permission to throw away 99 or 90% of the headlines you can let your creativity flow. I write them all down and I usually pick my top three or four and will actually split test the different headlines. We’ll talk about that a little bit later.
Amy: Perfect. I love that strategy. Write them all down. I like the idea of not just sitting down and thinking you’re going to write your entire sales page in one sitting including the headline and all the benefits and features and all that good stuff.
Actually, making it a point that right now you’re just sitting down to work on the headline and will come back to the other stuff later, allows some creative space and breathing room in your mind as you’re creating all of this. I love that strategy 100%.
We’re moving on to #2, compelling imagery. I feel you just have this one locked in 100%, not just with your sales page but with your landing page and your blog. Your branding overall is excellent. So how do you go about selecting the right imagery for what you’re working on?
Melanie: Amy, you’re such a sweet talker.
Amy: You do though!
Melanie: Flattery will get you everywhere with me. Thank you again. It’s something that has just come with a lot of practice and study and a lot of working with very talented individuals.
Let me just step up for just a moment on my little personal soapbox to tell you what I strongly advise you do not do if you are your personal brand. You do not want to use just photos of yourself cheesing all up and down your sales page. That is something we see all too often.
It’s fantastic to invest in professional photography and get lots of great pictures of yourself. But you have to remember that outside of the top portion of your page or one or two places where you are talking about yourself or a coaching session where it makes sense that they would kind of want to see your face, other than that you don’t need to be on every single section of your sales page.
I really believe the imagery on your page is meant to be there to enhance the copy. It is copy first, imagery second. That might be something people are a little bit surprised to hear from me. I create a lot of visuals and it’s definitely a passion of mine.
But the copy comes first and the imagery takes the cue from the copy on the page. I personally like to use photography or images that people can place themselves into, kind of an “insert yourself” into this world and vision, into what’s possible for yourself, what your life could look like, what your business could look like.
I might be using a lot of photos that are of my hands on a keyboard. I do a lot of bird’s eye type top-down photography. But it’s not just pictures of my face up and down the page. We’re not all as gorgeous as Amy Porterfield.
Amy: Shut it. You’re going to get in trouble for that comment.
Melanie: It’s very, very important to use images that are really pulling people in. For sales pages, in particular, infographics are a fantastic way to tie in data, to include examples from what’s inside your program, if you have any intellectual property or systems or any kind of infographics or visuals that you can use to teach about different processes inside your program.
You can really use the images to enhance what you’re talking about. Infographics can also be statistics that are adding persuasive cues as to why the topic you are teaching on is relevant, but I think infographics and visuals that people can insert themselves into what’s possible for them is a lot more compelling than just photos of the course creator.
Amy: 100%. So, how do you know how many images you should use on your sales page or when you actually should use an image?
Melanie: I think it’s brand preference. I tend to do blocking in sections. Normally you will see about two sections without having to scroll. It’s either a solid or some sort of subtle background or a photo. I alternate on/off/on/off so that it’s very visually stimulating. It’s your style.
Some people will do a whole section of copy and do a photo with a big headline and then more copy. It depends on how copy heavy you want your page to be.
Amy: This is a little bit off script here, but one thing I know you do a lot is branding boards. I see it all over your Instagram channel. I know you talk about this in your business class program. But talk to me about these branding boards. I feel you are always inspired. But you work hard to make sure you are inspired.
Melanie: I actually usually create a Pintrest board where I will start off, after I have written my copy. My copy comes first. I write it in Google.doc and then create a Pintrest board with all of the different ideas and imagery (I’ll talk about imagery specifically) and create some sort of theme or hero element.
For example, for my list-building program, Perfect Lead Magnet, the envelope was our hero image. Then I might go find lots of cool images, photography, and graphics of envelopes. I kind of create a whole Pintrest board with ideas and will edit down from there with my graphic designer to actually create the visuals for the page.
Amy: Tell us a little bit more for those that didn’t have access to the guide, what is a hero image?
Melanie: For a hero image, I basically choose one specific visual element that is the crux or foundation for all of the imagery on the page. The little hero element is something that is going to be on my sales page. It’s probably going to be included in the webinar invitation emails. It’s something that might be in my email follow up. It’s going to be included on my worksheets for the webinar for that program.
It’s something that lives throughout the entire experience of the promotion and program. It largely dictates a lot of the visuals and, sometimes, for a lot of my flagship programs. This is not something I started off doing but is something I do now, I will do a specific photo shoot for each one of my sales pages.
If I decide that the envelope is going to be the hero image I will go and get all of these really beautiful envelopes or I might come up with different framed shots that I want to do. One of the things I did was my hand passing an envelope to someone else’s hand. You could tell there were two different hands. I had a friend stand in. It was signifying you to your dream customer passing the envelope, passing the invitation.
That is something I really recommend doing, deciding on one visual hero element and then figuring out ways to incorporate that visually differently on your sales page.
Amy: I love that. Just for the record, Melanie mentioned this but she does special photo shots for each sales page. But she did not start out that way so we’re not saying every time you do a sales page bring in a professional photographer and start shooting away. This is just something to work into.
I’ll make sure I have some links to some of her amazing sales pages, you will notice that she definitely puts a lot of time and effort and thought into every element of her sales pages and I love to model the best, someone who’s doing it right. Melanie is that person and that’s why I brought her on the show today.
It’s perfect that you are going that extra mile because I want my students to see what it looks like to put that much effort into it.
Melanie: That’s something that I included in the guide also, there are so many different amazing custom boutique stock image shops for photography where it’s almost kind of crazy to do your own stuff unless you really have a passion and get a thrill from it.
Amy: That’s true. There are definitely some resources that can help you out and we’ll link to some of those in the show notes as well.
Let’s move on to #3, a big one, testimonials. So many of my students are frustrated over the testimonial element of a sales page because many of them are just starting out. Talk to me about the importance of testimonials on a sales page but also what you do if you’re brand new and you don’t have a lot of students that have gone through your program just yet.
Melanie: First of all, whenever we talk about testimonials I have to do my cover-your- butt statement. I am not a lawyer and make sure you run any testimonials you use past a lawyer, particularly if you’re in health and fitness or the make-money space. You do have to be careful about what you’re promising or what you’re exhibiting.
One thing I will say before I dive into the testimonial strategy is when you do show an example of someone who’s had great success with your program, you are supposed to give some sort of signifier like, “These results are not typical.”
I think you can actually use that to your advantage in sales copy. You could showcase an amazing star student or client you have had and can say, “Are Ashley’s results typical? Of course not. But you’re not typical either and your results shouldn’t be typical. I’m not looking for people to be in this program that just want typical. I want people who are going to invest…”
Amy: That was so good. I can’t even stand it.
Melanie: Yeah, I love the challenges we get legally sometimes. You can’t say it one way unless you tweak it this way and it drives you a little crazy but is also a fun little puzzle to figure out.
When it comes to testimonials you actually gave me a great idea. There is something that’s important to mention, even if you’re launching your course for the first time and haven’t had anyone buy the course yet, it doesn’t mean you can’t use testimonials. Some of my best testimonials have been from beta testers who did not actually go through the paid program.
When I say beta testers, don’t let that intimidate you either. That literally means you can find people that you can give free access to your program and then use their stories or results as testimonials. Just because you haven’t sold any of your course yet, don’t think that gives you an easy card out that you don’t have to use testimonials. You should still definitely use them.
I was just meeting with some high-end clients and talking to them about sales pages. Don’t accept just blanket, blah testimonials. When people try to source testimonials for themselves a lot of times they will email their past students or past buyers and ask if they could tell a little bit about their success or the results of the program.
They will get mediocre results. That’s not how you craft testimonials. Testimonials should be used on your sales page and on your webinars. They should be a big part of your case studies in your email follow up. When you are trying to craft really good testimonials it is a good idea to write your testimonials with your clients.
They might send me something. I will get it and think it is really interesting. I will email them and ask if we could talk about it more. I will call them and ask them to tell me about one particular thing they said. I will ask them what it means and if they can tell me more about how long it took them to accomplish it.
I will actually talk with them and we will pull out things together and write the testimonial together. I will then send it back to them and tell them I really loved that we talked about one particular thing because I know a lot of people struggle with it. It will tell them, “I think your story/results/strategy/mindset is really going to help a lot of people.”
We work together and create a really powerful thing where it’s not just me trying to ask them to talk about how great I am but I’m really helping them speak for the people who are going to be drawn into the program. They are representing a heart and soul core part of my audience and their story gets to exemplify what the program has enabled them to do.
Amy: I love that. Definitely, work with your students on the testimonials. I think that’s so important. Many people will ask for testimonial. They will get it and then they will put it on their sales page. I have typically never done that.
I’m always going back and forth with that person who wrote it to get more information out. I love the idea of getting on Skype with them and asking more questions because you are going to unveil things they never would have even thought about adding.
Melanie: A couple of things, when it comes to choosing which testimonials to feature and which people to feature their testimonials, you do want to use testimonials that are overcoming really common objections your buyers may have, excuses, mindset hurdles.
“I was hesitant at first to enroll in this program because I wondered what this Pintrest course could teach me that I couldn’t just find online for free.”
For my Pintrest program, a lot of people were wondering why they would pay for a program when they could just Google it and find 30 blog posts. I would have testimonials that would specifically call out – that’s a mistake a lot of people make on their sales pages, they know some of the main reasons people won’t buy but won’t talk about it.
They think if they talk about it, it will give people a reason not to buy. But it’s the opposite. You want to openly and even aggressively address the reasons people may not buy and provide the solutions and provide the reasons why. Turn it on its head and actually make it a reason to buy.
The other thing that’s important is to make sure you’re choosing testimonials from different types of customer archetypes. That’s kind of a fancy word for saying to make sure the big buckets of the different types of demographics of customers are represented.
For example, Business Class, my membership program targets a lot of different types of business owners. We work with eCommerce owners who sell a physical product, we work with coaches, we work with authors, and people in real estate. When I use testimonials I make sure to not just use a bunch of testimonials from people who are online coaches.
I try to choose different people who represent different segments of our community so people can say, “That’s cool.” One of the biggest questions you will get when people are reading your sales pages is, “Is this for me? Is this for someone with my type of business?” They want to know if it is for someone at their stage of business.
You can use stories of people (the testimonials). I always put what type of business they have or the name of their business so people can actually go and look and see that the person has a business “just like me” and got great results so they could bet this program would be good for them too.
Amy: I love that tip. You also have a great tip about testimonials from students versus peers. Tell me about that.
Melanie: That’s another important part of positioning, not just what your program makes possible, but when you’re talking about yourself it can be really great to ask other people in your industry what makes you different. Why should people listen to you? What do they like about what you do or how you do it? That can provide a lot of up leveling and positioning as well.
Amy: Good. I like that. We are moving on to #4, the course content outline. This is a no brainer. You definitely want to include details about what your course has to offer. My question to you is can you talk about the difference between benefits of your program and features of your program?
I think this gets a little bit murky when people start outlining their sales page.
Melanie: It does. The saying goes that features tell and benefits sell. I love that because it makes it very easy. Basically, features are the “what” and the benefits are the “why.”
For examples, on a sales page you might say, “This program includes 12 in-depth step- by-step videos or a 30-page workbook. Those are essentially features of the program. The benefits are always the “so what” or the “so that”.
“This program features 12 in-depth step-by-step videos so that you can quickly and easily master creating copy for your website,” or “so that you can quickly and easily ingest dozens of helpful examples.”
You want to make sure you’re not just talking about what’s in your program but why you’ve chosen to include it and what it’s going to make possible.
Amy: How can you make the section about your course content (what’s included, benefits, features,) stand out? What are some tips and tricks you have to make it stand out?
Melanie: It should be so benefit oriented that it seems silly. It should just be talking over and over again about what they are going to learn. People will say, “Module I will talk about how to eat better.” That’s not a compelling module.
“In Module I we are going to talk about three things you should be eating everyday in order to lose five pounds in the first week.”
Amy: It is very specific.
Melanie: It is really specific and focusing on the benefit. Why is someone going through your fitness program? Because they want to lose weight. In the first module I’m already promising something they want to do, which is eat, and they are still going to get that desired results, which is to lose weight within a desirable time parameter (the first week).
You’re just making everything so enticing and so benefit heavy, so interesting. This is another place you want to really focus on curiosity. We talked about curiosity in terms of the headline. This is an area that can be a lot of fun with your copy, you are hinting about what is inside but in a way that people are so dang curious. They ask, “How is she going to teach me that? How is that going to be possible?”
You don’t want to make any grandiose claims but really craft that copy like I said. You can talk about three things you need to eat each day in order to lose five pounds in the first week. People will think that’s so interesting.
I’ll use my Pintrest sales page as an example, “One thing that takes you less than 30 seconds to do on your Pintrest page that will double your traffic in the first week.”
Amy: Bring it on. I love that.
Melanie: People think, “Oh my gosh! Tell me what that is! I need to do that immediately.” That’s what you want the copy to be inside the course content. You want you copy to sound so interesting so people cannot wait to dive in and do it.
Amy: That is such great advice. It’s really specific. I love it. As you were talking about the benefits and features and really focusing on the benefits, I started to think about the length of our sales pages. For both of us, we write really long sales page.
So many of my students have seen my sales pages and they ask if their sales page needs to be that long. They say it is really long. All they are thinking is that it’s a lot of copy. Talk to me about the length of a sales page. What’s important? Do you need to have it that long?
Melanie: A great little sound bite about that is from one of my friends and mentors, Ramit Sethi. He writes even longer sales pages than you and I, Amy, and he actually has a great copywriting course. He says people give him a hard time and ask who has the time to read all of the way to the bottom of his sales page. The bottom is where you can actually click to purchase the program.
He said, “The only people that read the whole sales page are the buyers and the people you actually want to have reading your sales page.”
Amy: That’s so true. It doesn’t have to be epically long.
Melanie: No, it doesn’t. As you talked, I think there are 18 elements I recommend be included. There is a lot of stuff, particularly if you’re selling a $1,000 or $2,000 product. There is a lot of important stuff you do want to include and you can have buy buttons at different points in the page.
There are some people that really do want to have all of the reassurance. Something I did with the Perfect Lead Magnet sales page that I thought was really interesting is make it a micro site. Instead of having to scroll through the whole page there is actually a navigation bar at the top like a mini website.
I thought that was really interesting. You would have to go through and test it because traditionally long-form sales pages do still convert better whether it’s just because that’s the way the audiences are trained, I’m not sure. But, I’ve also done a lot of expanding and collapsible sections so that it doesn’t feel as epically long and people can go in and expand on a section, the FAQ or guarantee section, so that it feels a little more concise.
The truth is we’ve tested it and the longer sales pages convert better.
Amy: I totally agree. I’m 100% behind you on that and I love what Ramit says about who is reading to the very bottom, people that are paying you money. I think it’s a good reminder.
Melanie: You’re writing for them.
Amy: For sure. You just mentioned FAQ. That’s actually our #5 core element. This is one that might seem straightforward to most. You might think you don’t want to put a lot of time into the frequently asked questions. But I think both of us know this is a crucial section of a sales page. Can you talk a little bit about the importance of adding an FAQ section to your sales page, why you would want to do it, and how to strategically approach this?
Melanie: I am going to talk about selling for a moment. I know that can ruffle people’s feathers but hey, bring it on, get ruffled. I get excited. Every element of your sales page is a sales page. It is for selling. You should embrace that and get excited about that.
An FAQ section is actually just like your testimonials. They are an awesome place to be selling. It is just like your course outline or where you are talking about the content in the program. It’s another place you should be selling.
Your FAQ is not some boring, generic customer service area where you want to have your basic blah-blah-blah type blanket responses. Use your FAQ to target those really common questions, those objections that you know people are going to be having and then craft really compelling and motivating and exciting copy around that to shoot those objections down.
Empower people, get them excited, show them exactly why they should buy. People that are reading the FAQ are right on the brink of buying so you want to make sure your questions and the things you are answering are the most common reasons people are going to buy or not buy. Take that seriously.
Amy: I totally agree with that. One of the things we do with our FAQ is attract or repel. This is just on my own sales pages. What I mean by that is either we are attracting the perfect, ideal customer to this program or we’re repelling (that seems like a strong word) and making it clear that if you’re not right for the program we want you to be aware of that as well.
For one of my programs, Webinars That Convert, if you are not planning to sell an online course, whether it be prerecorded or live, you are likely not right for the program so you don’t want to join. The last thing I want is for you to get into my program and feel like you aren’t in the right place.
You can use those FAQs to make sure you are attracting the right person and getting really clear about who’s not right for the program as well. Don’t be afraid to talk about both. Would you agree with that Mel?
Melanie: 100%, yes. It is a really important place. The best way for people to identify whether or not something is for them is to show them who it is not for. To be self inclusive you have to be self exclusive. I think it’s really great to show people, “Hey here is who this program is not for.”
That’s also going to attract, in a stronger way, the people it is right for. When you can show a program and say, “Hey, you know what, this program is actually for people who are already making $1,000 a month in their business.”
Yes, that’s going to send a lot of people away. But you know who it’s going to attract? The people who are already making $1,000 in their business. They will think, “Thank goodness, I want to make sure I am only working in a community with people who are at the same stage of business as me.”
It is going to reaffirm for those people that this is the right place for them.
Amy: We are definitely both on the same page when it comes to FAQs. But, before we wrap up, I wanted to see if you would leave us with a final few tips on really getting our sales pages right the first time.
What are some tips you can leave us with?
Melanie: You have heard me subtlety mention this throughout our entire chat today, you need to really invest in your copy. You can invest in a couple of ways, either really investing by spending the right amount of time, like you said, not just trying to sit down and crank it all out in one day but I might do a couple of sections a day and then go through and look at it again.
Or, invest financially if you’re not a copywriter. Not all of us are. I love writing copy but just because you’re a business owner does not mean you need to be really good at copy. There are a lot of people who are really good at copy, particularly copy that converts for sales pages. Invest your time or invest your money and find someone who is a really good conversion copywriter.
I will say that’s an important tip. There are different types of copywriters. There are personality copywriters. If you’re looking for someone to write copy for a sales page they do need to be conversion oriented. Otherwise they are going to write a lot of fluff that’s not going to actually convert.
When it comes to copy the most important thing I can tell you it to make sure if you are writing it yourself that you have someone else edit it. This is huge. I did not do that for years and as soon as I started doing it I realized how silly it was that I hadn’t done it previously.
When you write your own copy for your own sales page you are so close to the program, to the audience, and all of that is great but a lot of times you miss out on certain things or subtle messaging that might not be obvious to you because you are too close to it.
So have someone else read your copy; it could be your spouse, a friend, ideally someone that might be outside your industry. If you are going to be sending cold traffic to a sales page you want to make sure what you are talking about is actually easy to understand and that you’re not using jargon or words that are specific to your industry that it goes over people’s head and they don’t get it.
Have someone else edit the copy on your sales page.
Amy: That’s such great advice. Keep going.
Melanie: The second thing I would really recommend is to make sure you split test. Split testing is something that sounds overwhelming. It sounds scary. I didn’t think I could personally do it because I’m not a techy person. But there are so many really easy ways to split test your sales page.
We used a tool, Visual Website Optimizer. Even if you just compare, like we talked about earlier, test three different headlines. It can be a huge and significant difference for how that page converts or how many people actually spend time to scroll down.
There are a couple of things I really recommend split testing, your headlines and your prices. This is really huge for sales pages. It’s not just some nebulous thing you have to come up with. You can actually test different price points to see which ones convert better and even test different testimonials to see if that makes a difference.
You can test everything on a sales page but headlines, prices, and testimonials can be some really big and easy ones.
Amy: That tool again?
Melanie: Visual Website Optimizer.
Amy: We’ll link to that in the show notes. What is your final tip?
Melanie: My final tip, we talked about this already, so it’s just reaffirming. Testimonials are very important. Coach your clients and your customers on the testimonials. Do not just get a reply from asking for a testimonial and use this kind of weird couple of sentence scrap of a testimonial.
Go in, work with people, and write them together. Then you really have good stuff to be featuring, not just on your sales page but also in your followup. There is so much you can do with testimonials. That ultimately should be the purpose of your program, to create amazing results from people in whatever industry you work in.
Use those as something to showcase on your page.
Amy: This has been one of the most actionable episodes I’ve ever created. Thank you so much for going through all of this. I know you prepared before we jumped on, a girl after my own heart. It really definitely shows.
Throughout the episode you have been mentioning this bonus that you created inside my Courses That Convert program. Some people think it’s not fair. They aren’t inside Courses That Convert. They want the bonus.
The great news is you have a very similar sales page training with tons of examples, the guide that you mentioned, inside your own course, Business Class. Tell people where they can go to learn about Business Class and whether it’s open or if there is a wait list. Give us all the details.
Melanie: Business Class is my baby, besides my daughter Olivia. If you go to MelanieDuncan.com/businessclass you will see the monthly membership program. What was really fun is we create different trainings every single month. We have video trainings but they also have really visually dynamic digitally interactive training guides that are template to look almost like an editorial spread.
They have videos and different text lengths and examples. On my sales page guide inside, I link to six exact examples of my highest converting sales pages for all of the different programs I’ve launched. Inside of Business Class we create guides on all different topics, not just on sales pages but also on welcome sequences or how to build your email list and all different types of strategies.
Business Class is usually wait listed. We only open it a couple of times a year but if you go to MelanieDuncan.com/businessclass and it’s not open you can get on the wait list and we will give you early access the next time we do open up.
Amy: I tell people about Business Class all the time. I’ve seen what Melanie puts into this program. It is excellent. I will make sure to link to it in my show notes. Melanie, thank you so very much for sharing some of your tips and tricks all about sales pages.
Again, this has been one of the best episodes we’ve created. It’s like a mini training, which is always my goal. So, thank you so very much for being here with us.
Melanie: Thank you. We’re such nerds, Amy. I had way too much fun talking about sales pages. But hey, at least we get to love what we do.
Amy: So very true. When Melanie and I get together just for fun, she’s got an amazing lake house, we get to drink rose’ and talk about sales pages and webinars and funnels all day long. We have to admit it’s kind of fun.
Melanie: It is, it’s the best.
Amy: Yes. Okay, so there you have it. It’s pretty dang valuable, right? These are some really good tips that Melanie shared with us. I’m so glad she came on the show and really dissected the areas of your sales page that are truly the most important to pay attention to.
Don’t forget that I’ve got that show and tell freebie where you can actually take these five elements and look at exactly how I applied them to several of my highly- converting sales pages. To get that freebie all you need to do is go to http:// www.amyporterfield.com/114download or text 114download to 33444. Don’t wait to get this. Get it now, save it on your desktop or computer or Dropbox or wherever you want to save it. You will have it waiting for you when you’re ready to create your next sales page.
One more thing before we wrap up, don’t forget to take me up on the special FreshBooks offer. If you are a freelancer, a coach, or a consultant, FreshBooks is ridiculously easy cloud accounting software that will help you feel a whole lot less stressed when dealing with invoicing, running down late payments, and expense tracking. To experience the full power of FreshBooks totally free for 30 days go to www.FreshBooks.com/amy and then enter “Amy” in the “How Did You Hear About Us” section. I can’t wait for you to check it out.
Thank you so very much for tuning in. I cannot wait to connect with you again next week. See you soon.