We had been DMing back and forth on Instagram for a few days.
She was asking me a lot of questions about sales copy strategy and I had sent a dozen voice memos to share some ways she could immediately improve her website, email newsletters, and marketing content. Honestly, I love answering DM's and I was having a lot of fun in this conversation.
Then, she asked me about the sales page she was writing for her online course and group coaching program.
She admitted that it wasn't converting very well and that she knew it needed work. She was using a sales page template she had bought from a business coach (maybe she got access to it as part of a membership?) and explained that even with the awesome template, she struggled to make the words in her head sound good on the page. She felt like the low conversion rate must be totally her fault.
I decided to take a peek under the hood because I had a hunch that the problem wasn't her. My hunch was right.
The sales page template she was using to write her draft was missing key details, felt drawn out, pushed the sale more than served, and wasn't ordered strategically enough to tell a story. In fact, the sales page methodology I use for my custom clients looks completely different than what I saw on her page.
I gently recorded a voice memo for her and let her know a few of the next steps I would have her take to update her sales page, something to tide her over until she was ready to invest in a more strategic template or hire a copywriter for custom work. Her response?
In a strange twist, she basically laughed me off and told me that nothing was wrong with the template because it was from a business coach she trusted. Then she ghosted me.
Unfortunately, this has happened to me more than once.
A coach, course creator, or strategist that hasn't engaged much with me will come to me for help because their sales copy isn't converting... and then they'll tell me that my suggestions can't possibly be right because another coach, course creator, or strategist is telling them to do something different.
And then the ghosting. WHY the ghosting?!
Friends, I need to be very honest with you.
NO EXPERT IS AN EXPERT IN EVERYTHING.
Not every business coach has studied sales copy. Not every person who makes sales page swipe files is an expert in sales pages. Not every successful entrepreneur writes good copy for herself or can accurately teach you how to do it... even if she seems to be making killer profits.
If you want to write strong sales copy that actually converts, you're going to need to seek out the advice of a sales copywriter.
If you wanted to learn how to invest in the stock market, would you visit a surgeon?
That surgeon may earn a lot of money and may regularly invest in the stock market. They might be able to tell you about how they invest and you could mimic them as closely as you wanted.
But your results would probably be better if you hired a broker who could educate you on the concepts of investing, give you specific guidance from their years of experience, and help you make a more strategic decision based on the current circumstances of the market.
They're both successful experts... but only one is a true authority in the stock market.
Now that I've gotten that off my chest, here are 5 mistakes you might be making on your sales page.
1. IT'S TOO LONG
When I'm asked to consult on sales pages that have been drafted using another expert's template, the first thing I nearly always observe is that the page is just too long. It's got so many storytelling and "imagine if" sections in it that it feels like it's scrolling for YEARS. This is dangerous because we don't have that much time to pique our reader's interest.
As consumers, we tune out to ads and marketing content so quickly. Help us understand your offer faster by avoiding repetitive sections and keeping each section as streamlined and clear as possible. CUT. THE. EXTRA. FLUFF. We shouldn't have to scroll to Narnia to get to the bottom of your page. ;)
2. IT'S TOO EMOTIONAL
We get it. You know our pain points. You're supposed to. But if you are spending a majority of your sales page fixated on our pain, we're going to be left feeling heavier and more anxious than we already are. By stirring up so much pain in hopes to persuade (which can be a subtle form of manipulation if you're not careful), you're going to attract more ill-fitting clients who make rash decisions based on panic responses. These clients are more likely to be "tire-kickers" who ultimately won't be satisfied with your incredible offer, leading to more refund requests and lackluster testimonials.
Focus more on your ideal client's JOY POINTS. Yes, show us that you understand our current reality, but then go further. What do we want our future to look like instead? How can we get that by working with you? And for the love of Starbucks, please avoid suggesting that if we don't invest immediately in your offer, we'll always be suffering in a deep, black abyss. That's manipulation... and it's gonna be a quick trip outta your page for me.
3. YOU'RE INTRODUCING YOURSELF TOO LATE ON THE PAGE
This is actually something that has fascinated me for a long time. Most experts will tell you to add your bio to the bottom of your sales page... which is where your warm leads are hoping to find the BUY button. Adding your introduction to the bottom of the page distracts them from taking action, pulling their attention away from buying to thinking about you, which could result in a missed sale. It just doesn't make logical sense if you're thinking like a consumer.
What's even more alarming is that these bios tend to center you as the hero of the story (focusing on your expertise and credentials) instead of centering your CLIENT as the hero of their own (and demonstrating that you are just a GUIDE on their journey who can help them get where they want to go). I recommend writing a new introduction that paints a picture of your transformation story as it relates to your offer, and tying it in with WHY it matters to you to help them achieve what they're after. Then bring this to the THIRD section on your page before you lay out your full offer and all of your inclusions.
Think of it this way... Readers are hooked at the beginning of a sales page as you talk about their current reality and desires and begin to tease your offer. They get excited as they begin to visualize what life could look like when they work with you. But before they dive deeper into your offer's inclusions, they step back and ask, "Wait, who is writing this and how can I trust that they know me?" THAT MOMENT is when you want to quickly introduce yourself to build trust... and expertly tie it back into the story about THEM before moving on.
4. YOU'RE NOT INCLUDING ENOUGH INFORMATION
Don't spend so much time on pain points and emotional persuasion that you leave out what a sales page is designed to give: the DETAILS. Clearly explain what your offer actually is and what it includes. You should literally have a section called "What's Included" that is broken down into bullet pointed items (or beautiful icons and descriptions) to help readers skim, but still communicate great value.
DO something like this:
- The Grow Together Collective Online Course: My 5-module course, video tutorials, resource lists, and downloadable garden blueprints.
- “The Flower Bed," Our Online Community: Access to our private, members-only Facebook group for Grow Together Collective members - where you can ask questions, give advice, share your wins, and build relationships with fellow gardeners.
- Self-paced, 5-module video course
- Invite to our Private Facebook group
If you have a course, I also recommend adding a section that lays out the course modules and gives a title and very short summary for each one. Do NOT share the titles of your course videos. Those aren't persuasive and won't make sense to your audience. Confusion makes things appear less valuable.
5. YOUR CTA BUTTONS AREN'T CLEAR ENOUGH
I'm sorry to tell you this, but the "Yeah, girl!" button isn't necessarily going to help with your conversions. CTA buttons need to be clear, concise, AND compelling in order to work. That means the copy on them needs to imply WHAT will happen when someone clicks. A consumer is not going to click "Yeah, girl!" if it isn't clear what will happen after she clicks it. She'll be wondering, "Will I be automatically charged or locked in if I click this now?" You need to meet her in her fear by dispelling the fear before it happens.
Instead, use phrases like: "Apply Now" / "Book a Free Discovery Call" / "Download One FREE Module" / "Choose Your Payment Plan" to give more clarity.
One last thing. You need to publicly list your pricing (and payment plan options) before adding your CTA buttons if you want a reader to be more compelled to click. No one wants to be surprised by the cost. Just tell us so we'll feel safe enough to click when we are ready. I wrote a blog post about why I believe it’s always best to make your pricing public. You can read it here.
Planning to write a sales page for your course or coaching program, but want to do so more ethically?
I can help you with that! 🤓