If you sell anything online, sooner or later you will want to set up a sales page for your offer.
But what makes a persuasive, high-converting sales page? That, right there, is the million-dollar question (literally!).
An effective sales page is much more than a great description of your product or service with a prominent Buy button slapped on. No, it’s an entire “dream team” of different elements that work together in harmony to lead your prospect into saying yes to what you’re selling.
Which elements exactly? Let’s find out!
This week, I thought it’d be fun for us to cut open some real-life sales pages and see why they work like gangbusters. Together, we’re going to explore what makes them so effective, beyond just featuring a great offer and heaps of social proof (those are a given).
Read on to learn:
- The #1 reason why the world’s top copywriters obsess over headlines — and how you can replicate their success with a fraction of the effort.
- 3 types of captivating sales page openers that your ideal customers won’t be able to resist (you 100% want to incorporate those into your copy!).
- How to leverage the power of visuals on your page in a way that will supercharge your sales message.
- The 2 must-have sales page elements that will turn your offer from a maybe into an irresistible no-brainer.
- The absolute perfect moment to reveal the price of your offer and ask the customer to buy — and why doing it any sooner can tank your conversions.
And more! Each item in today’s article comes with 1+ example from amazing real-life sales pages, so you’ll immediately see how each element works in action.
1. Grab ‘em by the brain with headlines and subheads
Headlines and subheadlines can make or break your sales page.
They don’t exist just to organize your copy into neat-looking sections (although it’s one of their functions). They’re not an afterthought; they’re not even the icing on the cake… believe it or not, your sales page headlines and subheads are actually the main event!
In fact, some of the most famous copywriters of all time — including the granddaddy of modern advertising David Ogilvy — were known to spend as much time on their headlines as the rest of the sales page combined.
Now, why would they do that? Because they knew that headlines and subheads have the most important job of all…
Turning skimmers into readers.
Most people will scan your sales page briefly and move on — unless something grabs their attention, that is. And that something is usually a juicy, juicy headline or subheadline that intrigues and compels them enough to slow down and go deeper.
Think of them as a trail of candy from “Hansel and Gretel.” Only instead of luring two German kids with zero self-preservation instinct to a witch’s abode, you’ll be using them to lead your audience to a life-altering offer!
Real-life example: take a look at this sales page for a 3-month creative writing course for business. Every single headline and subheadline is a masterclass in sticky, irresistible messaging. They’re an absolute delight to read.
Pro tip: you don’t have to dream up your sellable headlines from scratch. Instead, you can lean on established formulas and templates that are already proven to work. Here’s a list of 15 to get you started.
2. Slide them down the page with a magnetic opener
Your sales page opener also has one very specific job: captivating the reader and drawing them into your sales narrative. That’s why marketing and copywriting pros call it a “hook” — because it needs to sink into your prospects mind, deeply and immediately.
How can you accomplish that effect? Well, there are tons of different kinds of sales hooks… but for simplicity and clarity, let’s examine the three that are most likely to benefit you.
You can open your sales page with…
- A burning pain point your target customers are struggling with. Calling out and agitating your audience’s #1 problem is a great way to earn their undivided attention.
- A USP that differentiates your offer from all others. This is awesome for hyper-competitive industries, as well as communicating with “solution aware” prospects who already know what they need.
- A bold statement or promise of value that your product or service can deliver to customers — because sometimes the carrot is better than the stick!
Now, let me share 3 examples of real-life offers that make use of these different hooks, and what makes them work in their unique contexts…
For a classic case of a problem-focused hook, check out this sales page. It’s for a membership site aimed at entrepreneurs / professionals who need to get better at SEO. Past the initial hero shot and a brief summary of the offer is one of the best problem-centered openers I’ve ever seen.
And this landing page sells wireless headphones by a little-known Finnish brand (warning for salty language). This company knows it needs to give prospects a compelling reason to even consider buying their headphones from them — there are simply too many other options available. So they do, right there in the opener!
Finally, this coaching program claims that it can help knowledge-based entrepreneurs (coaches, course creators, etc.) get up to 5X as many students or clients… without any marketing trickery that’s become so standard in their industry. It’s a tad dry but extremely intriguing introduction.
3. Glowup your sales page with electrifying visuals
Your sales page should convey the value of your offer through visuals as much as through copy.
Text, even nicely formatted, can only do so much. But compelling copy in cahoots with captivating imagery? That’s one profitable, high-converting combo!
One catch, though: it’s gotta be the right kind of imagery.
If it looks tacked on and placeholder-y, your customers will ignore it, at best. And at worst, they will bounce off your sales page in a hurry.
Now, your visuals don’t necessarily have to be quote-unquote beautiful to be striking and persuasive — even though it helps…
…but they do need to reinforce your sales message 100%, like a skilled wingman.
Let me give you a few examples to demonstrate what I mean. Well-chosen sales page images can:
- Lavish proof and credibility on your offer, e.g. through screenshots of raving testimonials / smart data visualization.
- Skyrocket perceived value of your merchandise — that’s what drool-worthy product photography is for!
- Reinforce your desired positioning and brand aesthetic with aspirational imagery that speaks to your customers.
And now, let’s sneak a peek at how this can look in practice!
I have two fantastic sales pages to show off to you here. Both of them deploy visuals brilliantly, but in a very different way.
- This subscription box for cats has a testimonials / customers section on their sales page. But instead of cat owners’ photos, there are pictures of cats enjoying the goodies from the box. That’s clever, adorable, and it cements their main value proposition without saying a word! Purrrfect — no notes.
- This high-end ramen has one of the most persuasive sales pages I’ve seen in a long time. And it’s 90% down to the images. Just look at those beautiful visual breakdowns of nutritional facts, ingredients, and more. I’m not big on ramen, but after looking at that, I’m craving it!
4. Soothe their fears with objection handling / risk reversal
When customers browse your sales page, their thought process is not a straight line from “what’s this?” to “I desire this — please let me throw wads of cash at you!”
(I wish it were that easy.)
Instead, it’s more of an unsure, noodly line with countless detours and dead ends, such as:
- “Why is this so expensive?”
- “Will it work for me specifically?”
- “Will I need to also do X to make it work?”
- “Competitor Y sells this for 3x less — how are you better?”
- “What if I’m not happy with my purchase?”
- “Can y’all make an exception and give it to me for free?”
And on and on it goes. I could fill a library with all the customer objections I’ve heard in my life.
But the good news is, you don’t need to dedicate your entire sales page to dismantling every possible objection customers might have to your offer!
Just focus on the top objections your ideal customers typically have, and sprinkle reassurances / counterarguments to them throughout the copy.
A good place for objection handling is at the very start of your page (just keep it brief), as well as in the second half — after you’ve already introduced your product or service (you can be wordier there).
Along with objection handling, another must-have sales page element is risk reversal, a.k.a. letting the prospect know that you’ll have their back if your offer doesn’t satisfy them. A persuasive guarantee can single-handedly ascend any offer from “it’s okay, I guess *shrug*” into an “instant yes” no-brainer!
Real-life example: any rock-solid sales page will have this element, and you’ve probably spotted a few in my earlier examples! Still, here’s another one:
This online course sales page does a banging job of both providing a compelling guarantee (about 2/3 down the page) and handling objections (in the FAQ right after the guarantee).
Pro tip: This blog post features 39 examples of different guarantees offered by brands. You can use it for inspiration to design your own signature piece of risk reversal!
5. Dazzle them before revealing the price (or asking to buy)
Buyers will always say that they want to cut to the chase and hear the price of your offer first. Oftentimes, it happens before you even get a chance to tell them about your product or service.
Well, don’t do it! This is not the kind of situation where “the customer is always right” applies.
Revealing the price too early will frame the entire sales conversation — and it is a conversation, even if it’s one-sided and happens on a page — as an expense for the prospect. But you want them to think about it as an investment, a singular opportunity, a solution to their most bone-gnawing problem.
That’s why all magnificently persuasive sales pages raise the subject of pricing towards the end, after (and only after!) establishing the value and stoking the prospect’s desire to buy.
Ditto for popping the buying question — a great sales page does it towards the end, having done everything possible to prime the reader to say yes.
I mean, some prospects will be like, “You had me at hello,” and bless them — but the vast majority will hold off until the very end.
So feel free to scatter click-worthy Buy buttons throughout the second half of your sales page…
…but save your Big Ask for last.
You will get more conversions that way — not to mention dream-fit buyers who walked into the purchase with eyes wide open and fully informed! It’s a win-win.
Real-life example: this sales page for a personal finance course does a late price reveal and a closing section that gives prospects one final push to buy.
Also, notice how it smartly taps into a high-level problem of its target audience: people already in control of their money who want even greater financial independence… but have no idea who to talk to about it. What a strong note to end your sales page on.
6. Supercharge your sales page with the magic of video
Adding a high-converting video asset to your sales page can boost its persuasive power even further.
A video can:
- Break down how your offer works in a way that’s impossible to misunderstand.
- Attract prospects who are too busy to read a lot of text (like senior executives).
- Slash bounce rate on your sales page by grabbing immediate attention.
- Humanize your brand by making a more intimate, personal impression.
Over the past 12+ years, we’ve created thousands of high-converting videos for hundreds of clients in every industry. And if you’d like to give your sales page a boost of revenue-producing power, we would love to produce a video for you!
(Check out this 6-figure case study to get a taste of potential ROI you could achieve through using video.)
We invite you to take advantage of our genius marketers, silver-tongued copywriters, and absurdly talented artists and videographers to create a sales page video you’d be proud of.
We used to do only whiteboard animation – not anymore! Now you can work with us to create jaw-dropping video assets in a variety of styles:
- Live action
- Motion graphics and cartoon animations
- Virtual Reality Animation
- Digital stop motion animation
- 2D character animation
Interested? Then click here to get a risk-free quote and tell us about your dream explainer video — and one of our marketing experts will get back to you post-haste!
Looking for something smaller… but still more than powerful enough to grow your business? We can craft an irresistible Elevator Pitch that will help you grab your prospects’ attention in less than 30 seconds. Learn more about it here