Everything you need to know about sales pages
Originally published on linemae.com which was rebranded to lizwhite.co.
Same content, same author, new brand, new website.
Sales Pages. Let me take a guess that you’ve been hearing this a lot lately, and might even be passing it up for a new buzz word. Maybe “sales pages” is the new “authentic” you think. Maybe “sales pages” is the new “e-book.” Well, you’re not wrong... but you’re also not right.
The buzz around sales pages is that people are catching on to how well they make people money. It is a tried and true method for selling your offer, a tad formulaic, but still very good at getting the job done and putting money in your pockets.
As with all new-to-you methods of selling, it seems really difficult (even overwhelming!) until you start doing it yourself. I’m here to lift the veil on what a sales page is, why you need a sales page, and the top things you need to know about designing sales pages.
WHAT IS A SALES PAGE?
A sales page is a standalone page with one simple goal, to sell your offer. A standalone page means that there are no navigation links, the only links on the page lead your audience to buy, book, or apply for your offer. Basically, your sales page is only focuses on what you are selling. No distractions.
AREN’T SALES PAGES JUST FOR DIGITAL PRODUCTS?
No! Whether you’re selling a service, digital product, program, or course, you need a sales page. Sales pages walk people through exactly why they need your offer, how they are going to get it, and what the result will be after they buy it.
I PROVIDE ONE-ON-ONE SERVICES, WHY DO I NEED A SALES PAGE?
I bet that right now you are getting more inquiries than bookings for your service. Not only that, but you’re spending a LOT of time answering and following up with people via email. Maybe you thought that putting “inquire for more information” on your services page meant that you would get serious buyers. Instead you’re answering the same questions and explaining the same things over and over again, spending entirely too much time in your inbox even WITH templated responses to these questions.
As a service provider, you want to use your sales page as a filter for clients. If you are in the business of one-on-one services, you have a signature system or method to sell. Use your sales page to spell out exactly what your service includes, including the price (or starting price point). Instead of a buy button, implement an apply button and require inquirers to send in an application that filters them even further.
WHEN DO YOU NEED A SALES PAGE?
The simple answer: if you have a single offer (or package) to sell.
The better answer: When you are selling something that people want and know they need, but need a little convincing that your offer is the solution to their problems. Showing is better than simply telling someone “hey, I have this thing, you should buy it.”
Note: Sales pages are for singular offers/programs/services/projects and not for an entire ecommerce shop.
DO SALES PAGES HAVE TO BE SO LONG?
Sales pages don’t have to scroll for days, there are two types of sales pages you can create. long-form and short-form sales pages.
A short-form sales page is just that, short. It’s very similar to a landing page, but has a bit more information included about what you’re offering. These are good if your audience already knows who you are and what you offer. Short form sales pages aren’t going to do much convincing, so they are good if you’re offering something on the low end of the price spectrum or free. Use short form sales pages to get your audience to opt-in to a free/entry-level offer that will funnel them into your signature offer.
A long-form sales page is what you typically think of when you hear the term sales page. There are many sections to a long-form sales page and it walks your audience through from being interested, to convinced they need it, to actually buying. Buyers don’t want there to be any mystery in what they are getting, and if there is you’re going to see a higher rate of refund requests. Use a long-form sales page to walk someone through exactly what your offer includes.
SO, HOW DO SALES PAGES WORK?
Here’s a great example layout of a sales page and the order the content goes in.
HERE’S WHAT YOUR AUDIENCE SHOULD BE THINKING AS THEY SCROLL THROUGH YOUR SALES PAGE:
Headline >>> I’ve been looking for something like this
Understand their problem >>> They totally get me… that’s exactly how I’m feeling!
Show your solution >>> Oh wow, I might need this
Outline your offer >>> Look at everything this does!
What’s included >>> I want those things
First CTA + buy button >>> Hmm... maybe I need to know more
Mini bio >>> They seem legit
Who it is and isn’t for >>> Okay, this is totally for me
Testimonials >>> These people are just like me! This must work if they love it.
Second CTA + buy button >>> This price isn’t that bad
Delivery outline >>> Cool, that’s how I get everything
FAQs >>> That’s exactly what I was still wondering about
Refund policy >>> I feel better knowing that
Final CTA + buy button >>> Where’s my credit card?
SOUNDS AMAZING, RIGHT?
Sales pages walk your audience from curiosity to gotta have it... all in one page. By answering any and all questions that may come up about your offer, you erase common objections and reassure your audience that you offer is what they need.
Now on to sales page tips sure to skyrocket your biz.
TOP 3 TIPS FOR WRITING YOUR SALES PAGE COPY
Make your headlines super specific. Stop writing headlines that say "Do you wish you had more confidence?" or "Uplevel your income streams to bring in more revenue." Um. What? Did those headlines excite YOU? I didn't think so.
Use language that your buyer uses. Industry language and fluff have no business on a sales page. How would you explain your offer to a friend? How would your buyer talk to their friends about what they are struggling with and need help fixing? Don't make your word choice send people to Google.
Always make it about your buyer. There's a way to write about yourself, without writing about yourself... If you're finding that you are using one too many "i-statements" it's time to go back and reword them. This is a good habit to get into as a business owner anyways.
TOP 3 TIPS FOR DESIGNING YOUR SALES PAGE
Compliment your business branding. You don't want your sales page to look like it came from a completely different business than your own. Make sure that your sales page is a part of your over-arching brand story. From image choices to color choices, use the branding you've worked so hard to create and grow.
Font styling - don't get crazy. If it's hard to tell a headline from a block of body copy, something is wrong. Make sure you're consistent in what you're using for your headers, subheads, body copy, and any links. Consistency is key. Use 2-3 different fonts MAX - any more than that and it causes major confusion and makes people think "huh, weird."
Have a set action color. This is important. I see so many people using the same colors in their headlines and their buttons to buy their offer... it's a major no-no. Your buttons need a color all of their own, I call this your action color. Any time people see this color, they know it's something they can click. It needs to contrast from your other color choices and it needs to be a color you only use for buttons and links.
My NUMBER ONE TOOL FOR BUILDING SALES PAGES = LEADPAGES
Okay, so I used both Squarespace and Leadpages for sales page creation. But if I were to recommend the one that makes your life the easiest, it's Leadpages. Here's why:
- Templates. It's so easy to use or create your own templates that can be duplicated and re-used again and again. With Squarespace, it's a little more cumbersome and annoying. Leadpages makes it easy to get things up an running fast.
- Integrations. It's easy and simple to link your email provider and collect email addresses. With Squarespace, they don't make it easy to integrate with Converkit or anything over than Mailchimp... and if you're focusing on growing your list, chances are you aren't using Mailchimp (nor should you be).
- Facebook tracking. If you're running facebook ads it's easy to make sure your Pixel is in all the right places... Especially if you are using a campaign specific pixel.
- Analytics. It's much easier to see how well your conversions are doing with the analytics provided by Leadpages. Squarespace doesn't come close.
MY NUMBER TWO TOOL FOR BUILDING SALES PAGES = SQUARESPACE
Did you think that I was going to say you need a subscription service that's going to cost you upwards of $50 a month... or maybe you thought I was going to suggest building something completely from scratch. Why not use the platform you know and love, aka, Squarespace? You already use it for your website, so let's max out its potential.
Index Pages. The magic with sales pages made in Squarespace comes from using Index Pages. You can easily create short form or long form sales pages by using the index page feature in Squarespace. When you use index pages, you can move around various sections to be in the exact order you like and that makes sense for your offer.
DIY Template. Another MAJOR plus is that once you've created one sales page within Squarespace, you can easily duplicate it and use it as a template for your next one. Gotta love those time saving tools.
Link to cart of your choice. Are you selling through Teachable? Cool. Are you using the Squarespace e-commerce platform to sell digital goods? Wonderful. Do you have your own delivery system with something like Dropbox or Google drive? Perfect. Whatever you need, you can easily connect buttons to accommodate any cart situation.
Custom CSS. If you're an over-achiever, or willing to higher one, there are some fantastic ways to boost your Squarespace sales page with CSS. Don't let what you see in the templates and style editor limit you. SQUARE DESIGN GUILD is an absolutely terrific resource for learning the ins and outs of Squarespace. I've been a member since the beginning and it STILL blows my mind what some people can do with CSS.
WHEW! SO, WHAT DO YOU SAY, SALES PAGES AREN'T SO MYSTERIOUS ARE THEY?
Now that you've gotten through that overview, I hope you're excited to start creating your first (or next) sales page. Don't forget to grab your free sales page checklist below. This is the exact checklist I use with my custom sales page design clients. It breaks your sales page down into several simple sections - like the fun graphic above - and I outline everything you could possibly need for the sales page design itself.