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8 sales page essentials that turn visitors into happy clients

Designer working on sales page

Over the summer, I launched a new “irresistible freebie” for trainers and uploaded it to my website with a dedicated sales page (check out my free guide to how to price your training services, if you’ll excuse the shameless plug!).

This got me thinking. Maybe you have a lead magnet or online course that you want to promote but you’re not sure how to get people to sign up.

Maybe you have a sales page but it’s not converting. Maybe you’re not 100% sure what a sales page is!

Whatever your sales page woes, today’s blog is for you.

What is a sales page?

A sales page is a standalone page on your website that has the sole purpose of selling a specific product or service. Here’s a great example of a sales page from money mindset coach, Denise Duffield-Thomas, so you can see the sort of thing I mean.

As a freelance trainer, you would be most likely to use a sales page to promote a lead magnet, in order to get people to sign up to your mailing list. You might also use one to sell an evergreen course or fill places on a workshop you’re about to run.

There are two main types of sales pages: short and long-form.

A short-form sales page will have a relatively small amount of copy on the page and is ideal for use in the following scenarios:

  1. You’re selling to warm leads who already know you as a trainer and trust your content
  2. Your offer (e.g., course or lead magnet) is simple and well-understood by your audience
  3. You’re selling something that is low cost and low effort for anyone who signs up

A long-form sales page, on the other hand, goes into more detail about what you’re selling (the Denise Duffield-Thomas example I linked to above is long-form). You would want to use this style of page if:

  1. You’re selling to cold leads, i.e., people who may not yet be familiar with you as a trainer
  2. Your service has complicated additional offerings such as packages, discounts, special offers, bulk bookings, etc.
  3. Your audience is unfamiliar with what your course includes and needs educating to understand why it would be beneficial to them
  4. There’s a premium price tag on what you’re selling so you need to communicate value

People are used to arriving at long sales pages. After all, the sales page should be the last page a person visits on your website before they download a lead magnet, book a place on a workshop or buy a course from you, so website visitors will understand that you want to share information that persuades them to buy.

What makes a great sales page?

I’ve put together a list of eight things that I think help to make a great sales page:

1.      A clear audience

Great sales pages put the audience centre stage. It’s vital that you know whom you’re talking to and why. Personally, I like to imagine sitting down for a cup of coffee with the person my service is for, then I ask myself the following questions:

  • What’s happening in their life right now?
  • What problem do they need to solve or what do they want to achieve?
  • What are they looking for?
  • How can I help them?
  • What do they hope their life will look like when they find the right solution?

Understanding this will ensure that your sales copy strikes a chord with the people you want to reach.

You’ll know what sort of language to use, how to show that you understand your audience, and even how to tell a story on the sales page that you know your audience will relate to.

With a clear audience in mind, you can even include a “Who this training is for” section that describes your audience and helps people to say, “Yes! That’s me!”

SEO expert Neil Patel does this with a “Who’s the course for?” section:

Who this course is for section on Neil Patel's sales page

Meanwhile, business coach Leonie Dawson focuses more on the values her clients are likely to have for her Sales Star course:

Leonie Dawnson's Selling Star sales page includes who the course is and is not for

2.      A strong value proposition

Every service you sell as a trainer should have a value proposition. This is a statement about your customers, the problem you’re able to solve for them and why you’re the person to do it.

For my freebie, 101 ways to get new clients, for example, my value proposition would be something like:

I help freelance trainers book out their diaries with ideal clients all year round, using high-converting techniques to find new clients that I’ve developed over 20 years of running my own training business.

You don’t necessarily have to include your value proposition statement in your sales page copy, but you should think about ways to communicate that this is what you’re offering.

3.      No distractions

Your sales page should be clean and simple with every element serving the purpose of getting a visitor to take a specific action (e.g., buying, downloading, signing up to a waiting list, etc.)

This means getting rid of distractions like navigation menus, your website header and footer, sidebars and any other elements that might enable people to move away from the page.

4.      Features and BENEFITS

Yes, your sales page should mention the features of whatever it is you’re selling, but to really make an impact, you need to turn those features into benefits.

Now, you might be asking, what’s the difference between features and benefits?

A feature is something that your business, service or product has or can offer, whereas a benefit is the resulting feeling or outcome that someone will experience if they buy what’s being sold.

Let’s say, for example, that your sales page is for an online Conflict Management course. One of the features of the course is a module about ways to prevent conflict. The benefit of taking this module would be that team leaders can prevent conflict before it arises.

But what if you took this a step further? Ask the question, “So what?” In other words, why does this benefit matter?

If team leaders can prevent conflict, team members will work in a harmonious, enjoyable working environment, boosting their productivity, happiness and loyalty. This provides more stability within the organisation, which will benefit from employee retention, fewer issues for HR to deal with, more productivity across the company, and so on.

A great tip here is to list the features for your sales page, then write their benefits (and the benefits of those benefits) next to them. Your sales page copy should include these benefits throughout.

5.      An easy-to-skim-read structure

People are often short of time, so a sales page needs to work for those who just want to skim-read the top-level information and those who want to read in-depth about what you’re selling.

To achieve this balancing act, try to break your sales page into easy-to-digest sections using strong headings and sub-headings to explain what’s in each.

Use other devices that draw the eye too – this could include:

  • Coloured blocks
  • Lists (often bullet-pointed)
  • Important copy in bold or italics
  • Graphics and illustrations
  • Photographs
  • Reviews
  • Videos

Here’s a great example of a sales page for Your Story School that does precisely this.

SEO expert Neil Patel always has beautifully designed and highly targeted sales pages on his website – here’s a relatively short-form sales page for his new Search Marketing course.

Remember: The headings and subheadings are the most important copy on the page because people may only read these, not the smaller body copy underneath. You may need to write a variety of headings until you hit on the right ones, but it’s worth spending some time on this.

6.      Social proof and trust signals

Everybody has blocks of some kind when it comes to buying. The most common blocks are:

  • Concerns about the price
  • Being worried about making a mistake and buying the wrong thing
  • Worries about looking foolish in front of others
  • Concerns that the promised outcomes won’t actually happen
  • Not understanding the value of something/not being sure if it’s right for them
  • Feeling that your services aren’t accessible to them
  • Concerns about the time commitment

One of the challenges and main tasks your sales page faces is overcoming these blocks. If you’re able to address possible objections in your copy and show how they won’t happen, you’ll be much closer to securing a sale.

There are various ways that you can tackle buying blocks but most centre around providing social proof and trust signals. These are signs that other people have bought from you and been delighted with the outcome.

This sales page from Video Power Marketing uses social proof throughout:

  • A video header showing them at work, public speaking, client videos and more
  • A “Brands who love us” section featuring the logos of well-known, trusted brands
  • An “Our Client Results” section showing how many views, clicks, sales, etc., their services have generated
  • Case studies with videos to show real-life people talking about their experience of working with Video Power Marketing
  • Written testimonials from recent clients

All of these techniques say to potential buyers, “Look at what we’ve helped people like you achieve”.

You could also add social proof or trust signals such as any official organisations you’re accredited by, social media mentions, expert endorsements, or a money-back guarantee.

If you sell lots of different training courses, workshops, books or tutorials via your website and have a good stream of people buying from you, then you might want to use a service like TrustPulse. This adds live notifications to your website every time someone makes a purchase (circled in the screenshot below), a subtle but powerful sign that your services are in demand:

Screenshot showing TrustPulse's real-time social proof notifications on a sales page

7.      Strong calls to action

As we’ve seen, the sole purpose of a sales page is to get a person viewing the page to take one specific action. To achieve this, your sales page needs to feature strong calls to action throughout.

People won’t want to scroll up and down a long-form sales page to find what they need to do next, so it’s important to include call-to-action buttons throughout the page, preferably at every point where a person might become convinced to buy/download/request a quote.

HubSpot has produced a helpful guide to clickable calls to action, including advice about where to place call-to-action buttons, what they should look like and what they should say.

8.      A clear offer (preferably one that’s urgent!)

It will be far easier to craft a strong call to action if people know exactly what they’ll get for signing up, and when they’ll get it.

Make sure the offer and pricing are clear. If you’re selling training packages, make them as simple to understand and compare as possible.

The most successful sales pages often create a sense of urgency in the buyer by featuring a time-limited offer, countdown, VIP rewards or discounts for early subscribers, or notice that the price will be going up in X number of days.

This approach forces people to be more decisive, due to fear of missing out (FOMO).

Test your sales pages

Even with all of the above features in place, my advice is to test your sales pages as much as possible. The best way to do this is with A/B split testing where you try out two different versions of your sales page with audiences to understand which secures the most conversions. For A/B split testing to work, you should only change one element of the page at a time. For example, you could try out two different headlines, two different calls to action or the same call to action but with different coloured buttons.

HubSpot has put together a list of the best A/B split testing tools, some of which are free to use. Google even offers a free split testing tool called Google Optimize.

By testing and tweaking your sales page, and using all of the features above, you should see a high level of conversions (i.e., a high percentage of sales page visitors who complete the main action promoted on the page). You’ll need to support the sales page with plenty of marketing because people won’t know it’s there otherwise. Share it in emails, on social media, on your blog and via other marketing channels for the best results.

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