This checklist is to make your sales page work so it can convert at a decent percentage until you can hire a professional to write a killer one.
We should be telling you that this checklist will give you a flawless sales page. But no checklist or blog post can do that. It takes time, practice and experience.
Most can’t make a sales page like an experienced copywriter, but this checklist will get you a close as possible.
What is a Copywriter?
A copywriter specializes in convincing the reader to take an action. It can be to make the reader become a customer, a buyer of a product, get them to hand over their email, or any other end goal.
Why you should always end up hiring a professional copywriter.
To become a great artist you can’t just read books and blog posts, you need to put pencil to paper, make mistakes and grow. Writing good copy is the same. Unless you’ve been studying, writing and getting feedback on your copy for years, you just won’t be able to write content that sells the same as someone who has.
In the end, you’ll be leaving money on the table from the customers you’ve lost because your sales page didn’t have them wanting to throw money at you.
Polish your sales page into a nice converting gem with the checkpoints below.
Before You Start
How is your page going to be found?
Where are the majority of the people that visit the page going to come from? If it’s from organic search you need to keep in mind that your copy must have the right keywords, content length, images etc.. so that it can rank high on the search results page.
If the majority will find the page through ads then you have more freedom on how you write your sales page.
What is the goal of your page?
Your page should have a single goal. The whole sales page should be made to get the reader to do one thing. Don’t confuse them with multiple actions. Write down that one ‘action’ you want the reader to take and confirm your sales page is geared for that one action.
Build your avatar – Who is going to find the page? Build up a profile of your average customer (here’s a PFD to help). Once you have that down on paper you can put yourself in the mind of your avatar when reading over your sales page and checking the boxes below.
Your headline is what gets people to onto your sales page and wanting to read it. Because of this headlines are one of the most important parts of your sales page.
You can go many directions with headlines and be correct but one direction you can’t go is flat and boring.
When I say many directions I’m talking about emotional directions. You want to draw out an emotion from the reader by using emotional words or ‘power words’. Here’s a list of power words to give you an idea and get you started.
You also need to take into consideration that whichever emotional direction you go with your headline its should be followed into the body of your sales page. Don’t confuse the reader by going in multiple different emotional directions.
Check these boxes for a good headline.
Does the headline have power words? – If you don’t have power words the click through rates to your sales page aren’t going to be maximized.
Does the headline have one main emotion? – Don’t confuse your readers by adding power words that draw 2 completely different emotions.
Have you removed unnecessary words? – Don’t clutter your headline with unnecessary words.
Does the headline make the reader want to read the next part of the sales page? – You want to have the reader looking to the next line in the sales page for an answer, solution or explanation. A good way of doing this is to make some fort of promise, a promise that they’ll get a result if they read the copy. To give you an idea, some examples of a headline with a promise are ‘Discover how..’, ‘Stop wasting money on..’, or ‘How to get..’.
Sales Page Body
Go over this checklist and check each point with the body of your sales page.
Does the body continue off the same emotion drawn from the headline? – The reader has come to the page from the emotion drawn on the headline. Use that to your advantage in the copy.
Have you removed all lingo? – Words that are mainly known by people who are ‘in the biz’ should all be taken out. In most cases, it’s best to assume your reader knows nothing.
Have you replaced ‘us’ and ‘our’ with ‘you’ and ‘your’? – Some instances of ‘us’ and ‘our’ are fine but it should be kept to an absolute minimum. Remember to also never start the sales page with ‘us’ or ‘our’. For example ‘We are the best..’ can be ‘You benefit by having the best..’.
Does your first paragraph include that you understand the reader’s problem and have a solution? – You need to show them right away that you’re the solution to their pain point. A common mistake is to have who you are and how high you can jump in the first paragraph. The reader only wants to know what’s in it for them, they don’t care who you are just yet.
Do you establish any sort of trust? – Have you included anything that builds trust to the reader such as testimonials, reviews or examples of past work?
Are your big statements followed by proof? – If you make a big statement back it up.
Are actions you ask the reader to take followed up with a reason? – If you ask the reader to do something follow it up wth a ‘because’ even if it’s obvious why.
Does your copy sell the solution more than the product or service? – Whatever your selling make sure you stress on why this is the solution to their problem. Sell the solution, not the product/ service.
Have you given the reader multiple chances to take action? – Whatever the action is, make sure you don’t have the action appear only once sitting at the bottom of the sales page (another common mistake).
Do you make the action as easy as possible? – Only ask for the bare minimum from the reader. If they need to call a number make sure the number is clickable, if you want an email only ask for the email, create as little work for them as possible. Obtain other information later on.
Are you showing them why you solve their problem or telling them – Make sure you’re showing the reader why taking action will solve their problem. A great way to do this is with testimonials and case studies.
Do you address all potential objections? – Go back to your avatar and put yourself in their shoes. Think of all the reasons why you wouldn’t take action and address them on the sales page.
Is each paragraph under 4 lines or 3 sentences? – Keep your paragraphs short so the reader isn’t overwhelmed with slabs of text. Make sure the reader can flow through the text.
Does it answer any question your avatar might have? – Again put yourself in the shoes of your avatar and think of questions they might have. If they don’t have any questions it’s much easier for them to commit to the action there and then. One way to do this is with a FAQ at the bottom of the sales page.
Do you have any images? – Add images to break up your copy if it’s long. It’s best to have to supporting images, not attention grabbing images.
Do you justify the price? – This one is especially important for higher price sales pages. Let them know how much time/ money they will save or make them.
Is your first sentence short? – Keep the first sentence short and leaving the reader wanting to read the next. This is difficult but helps the reader commit to reading the sales page.
Do you mention what makes you different? – The reader needs every reason possible to take action. Explaining what makes you different is a great way to let the reader think they will be missing out if they don’t take action. Remember to not mention your competitors when explaining why you are different/ the best out there.
Don’t overuse exclamation points! – This makes the sales page seem too pushy and cheesy.
Do your font and background colors blend? – Don’t have blending colors for your font and background such as yellow and white. Keep it simple. In most cases, black font on a white background is always the best colors scheme to go with.
Have you told the reader what’s going to happen after the call to action is made? – Make sure they know exactly what will happen after they click the call to action button so there is no mystery behind the call to action. It might seem obvious to you what’s going to happen, but people will be skeptical unless they know exactly what’s going to happen next.
Just before the call to action do you push on the reader’s pain points a couple more times? – Unless you have really been pushing on the reader’s pain points further down on your sales page, it’s a good idea to remind the reader a couple more times about their problem so they have a stronger desire to fix it right before the call to action.
Is there some sort of risk-free guarantee somewhere in your copy? – It’s a great idea to add some sort of risk-free guarantee like a money back guarantee. This builds more confidence in the reader.
Is there a line that mentally makes them say ‘yes’ towards the start of the sales page? – Add a line that makes them mentally say ‘yes’ near the start of your copy. This little trigger puts the reader in a position where they are more likely to commit.
Is the tone of the copy written as if you are talking to a single person? – You must make sure you are writing like you’re talking to a single person, not the masses. This makes the reader feel like you’re the solution to their individual problem.
Have you included a P.S., closing point, or end remark? – This works surprisingly well. It’s the last thing the reader remembers when leaving the page. Try to include what they stand to loose, what they will gain and some sort of urgency.
You’ve checked as many boxes as you can, read over your sales page a few times and you think it’s great. But it might not be… Choice of words, priority of information and other things that are unique to each sales page could be letting you down.
The last thing to do before you send people to the sales page is to get feedback on it.
The best places to get free feedback are:
You can also pay to be part of the copychief.com community and get feedback over there.
Note: When you receive feedback there’s a high chance that 2 or more people will post conflicting criticism. This is your chance to A/B test your pages, or if you don’t have enough traffic for A/B testing do a sanity check on which feedback makes more sense.
These bonus points are for the skilled or those who want to take it the extra mile. They’re fairly difficult to do for most, but if you can check them off your copy will be that much better.
Tell a story – I can’t teach you how to do this in a short paragraph. Instead here is an epic list of places to learn how to achieve this.
Have each sentence make you want to read the next – If you can write in a way that leaves the reader wanting to read the next sentence or paragraph throughout the whole sales page then you’ve done an amazing job. Adding lines such as ‘As you will find out in a second..’ will keep the reader sticking around.
One last thing to remember is that everyone has a different opinion on what a sales page should have. This list is made up of the checkpoints most professionals agree every sales page should have.
You may not be able to check every box but the more you can check the better your sales page will be until you can hire a professional copywriter.
If you’re a small business owner in Melbourne check out our must-read FREE ebook: 21 Mistakes Melbourne Small Businesses Are Making Online in 2017.