Here is All You Need to Know to Write a Sales Page

In a podcast I did a few weeks ago, GhostwriterDad Sean Platt said something that really stuck with me about how writers can beat the recession:

“If you can learn how to write copy that sells products, you’ll never go hungry.”

It’s so true. If you help companies make money with your words, you will always be in demand. There’s no recession for writers who can help drive sales.

Now, if you’re like I was a few years back, you may think writing sales copy for companies is akin to selling your soul to the devil. Joining the Dark Side of the Force.

But I’ll let you in on a little secret — if you focus on companies that sell things you like, you may well find it challenging and fun. I know I do. And I’ve yet to do a client project where I felt like I needed to take a shower afterwards.

Selling doesn’t have to feel sleazy. Just stick to the facts, and you won’t go wrong.

Have I convinced you to jump in and add writing sales copy to your arsenal of talents?

I think every writer should learn this skill — after all, you need to write a page like this on your own writer website to sell your writing services. Why not learn to excel at this skill and make more money doing it for others, too?

This is not a super-difficult type of writing to learn. In fact, I’m going to teach you the basics right here in this post.

Here is what you need to know to write a sales page:

Learn the basic structure. I’ve seen the format of a sales letter boiled down to this simple set of points:

“Here’s what I’ve got.

Here’s who I am.

Here’s what you get.

Here’s what customers say about it.

Here’s why you need it now.”

Here are a few tips on how to convey these important facts:

Listen to your customer. Aspiring copywriters can be baffled by how, exactly, they will write a sales letter the client will love. The answer is simply to buttonhole a key company leader and get them to talk to you about what they do. Ask them loads of questions — what makes them different from competitors? What do they love most about what their product or service does? Note key phrases they use. Then, make the letter sound just like them. Works every time.

Sell benefits, not features. What will the thing do for the buyer? That’s your emphasis. Read it from the consumer’s point of view and answer the WIIFM question — what’s in it for me?

Expensive products need longer sales pitches. If you’re selling a $1,000 product, you should write a long page. A $50 product might work better with a short page.

Include testimonials. Ideally, with pictures of the customers, which have been proven to increase conversion rates. You can blab all day, but one short testimonial from a celebrity — or barring that, someone relatable by the customers — will sell it better in just a few lines.

Remove objections. Think of the reasons customers might hesitate to buy this item now, and then address their concerns.

Offer a guarantee. Again, lots of study data shows that the guarantee offer removes objections and helps you make sales.

Create scarcity. Are there only 50 of these left? Does the price go up tomorrow? Or maybe, as with the Freelance Writers Den, the doors are closing on Friday? If so, you’re going to want to prominently feature this fact.

Need to learn more about copywriting basics? Ask your questions in the comments below.

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11 comments on “Here is All You Need to Know to Write a Sales Page
  1. Xander says:

    Great article and excellent tips! This will help me walking through improvement of my blogs. Thanks!
    Xander recently posted…How to Get Rid of Chest FatMy Profile

  2. MaryWriter says:

    New reader here. Just found you yesterday and I was inspired to finally jump in and do what I do best for a living. Write! After reading a few of your blog posts with so many insightful comments I immediately created my own blog: http://publishedwriterforhire.com . Thank you for the inspiration!

    Now regarding sales letters…a few years ago I wrote my own sales letter format landing page complete with check mark bullet points and plenty of yellow highlighted phrases. My product was a small business startup kit. The long, detailed letter proved to be convincing enough to bring in immediate sales (the kit sold for $79).

    I then made the mistake of asking for critiques from small business forums. They tore it to bits saying it looked like a cheap landing page copied from all the scammers trying to make a quick buck. I felt so bad I took it down and set up a traditional website. And the sales plummeted!

    A well written sales letter works! I plan to incorporate the points in your blog post in my future sales letters. Thank you again for helping me start on the road to making a living doing what I love!
    MaryWriter recently posted…Website Content Writing, Letter Writing, Press Release Writing, Essay WritingMy Profile

  3. Laurie Boris says:

    Excellent tips! Off to practice…and think about some of the sales letters I’ve read that either did or didn’t work.

    About the length…sometimes, even if it’s for an expensive product, a long letter can turn me off. Especially the ones that don’t reveal the cost until I’ve clicked through once or even twice. Makes me feel like I’ve been hoodwinked. I guess if it’s going to be long, it better be compelling.
    Laurie Boris recently posted…Public Speaking for the Terminally Introverted AuthorMy Profile

  4. Great step by step tips! The “what’s in it for me” is what I am always thinking about when writing copy period. I’ve only done a few sales letters for clients, this article will defitnely go in my archive for future reference. Thanks!
    CJJohnsonWrites recently posted…What Small Businesses and Non-Profit’s Must Always RememberMy Profile

  5. James says:

    This is so funny, because I just got a sales letter in the mail from my dentist that got me thinking I need to break out into this market. It was an incredibly written letter and actually almost got me to set and appointment. I probably would if it hadn’t been Sunday. And the thing about it as I was reading was it made me think, “Hey, this is great copy! And I could TOTALLY write this.”
    James recently posted…Freelance Writer’s Guide to Spotting Online Job ScamsMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      I’m with you, James.

      I think there’s a lot of mystery that surrounds copywriting, like you have to be initiated into some secret knowledge to know how to do it. But it’s really pretty straightforward basics. And we’ve all READ this stuff, tons of times. If you turn on your writer-critic next time you’re looking at a solicitation, you start to see these basic elements and how they work. To me, it’s not a super-hard format to learn.

  6. Carol:

    Important topic, but you’ve got the Sales Letter Formula exactly backwards.

    You want to write sales copy that makes you a market leader? Having the right sequence to your sales letter is the difference between Gateway Computers and Apple. Its the difference between a guy on city council and Martin Luther King.

    In a word, “Always Lead with Why”. This is an old idea, but expressed very powerfully by this TEDx video. I recommend watching this video to anyone who wants to write more powerful, more compelling sales … or anyone who simply wants more powerful, compelling communication in ANY aspect of their life.

    Here’s the (slow loading but valid) link: http://rocksolidfinance.com/lead_with_why_for_business/

    Best regards,
    David

    • Carol Tice says:

      Hi David —

      Good point, I was not putting these tips in the order they would come on the page! Was more the order they occurred to me in 😉 Thanks for giving us a priority for the top.

  7. Really helpful tips, Carol. And I especially like your succinct formula for sales letters. I’m going to go back to my own templates and make sure I’ve covered these basis strategically.

    Interesting enough, I’ve never really thought of selling as ‘dirty’. It’s true, I couldn’t sell something to which I absolutely objected, but the rest of it seems like fair game to me. Perhaps it’s because I come from a background in non profit management and I’ve done so many fundraising solicitations (essentially the same as sales…right?). But now you’ve caste a new light on the process, I may be more discriminating about the copy I write.
    Ruth – Freelance Writing Blog recently posted…6 Crucial Ways to Leverage Copywriting Samples to Your Best Business AdvantageMy Profile

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