If you have created an original info product, you have completed about half your task as an Internet marketer. The remaining part of journey toward marketing success is promoting your product so that highly-targeted customers can find it. For that, you are going to need a sales page.
A sales page essentially is an advertisement for the product you have created. But unlike traditional print advertising like a newspaper or magazine ad or a television or radio commercial, your sales page has to not only explain what your product is all about, but also convince the prospective customers reading it that it is essential that they buy your product. As such, sales pages don’t so much suggest as they demand.
If you are just starting out in online marketing, you may not have a big marketing budget. Creating an effective sales letter is the perfect option for a low-cost or no-cost Internet marketing campaign because you can use squeeze pages, Search Engine Optimization and other no-cost techniques to attract traffic to you sales page.
Sales Page Structure
Once your prospective customers arrive on your sales page, it should follow a predictable structure. Remember that your readers arrived at your sales page by following a link on your squeeze page or by clicking on a URL on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) for your product’s niche.
If you present your readers with structure that is unfamiliar they very likely will click off your page immediately. If your sales page looks like a lot of other sales page, don’t worry: Your customers arrived there because they are looking specifically for the kinds of products you are promoting. Now all you have to do is to use the copy on your sales page to convince them to do what they already want to do in the first place.
Writing World-Class Headlines
The headline on our sales page is your first opportunity to draw your readers into your text. It should get right to the point and use direct, active language to engage your readers. Because you have only a moment or two to connect with your readers, you want to use your headline to express a powerful result: What is it that your product is going to do to improve your readers’ lives.
In other words, let your prospective customers know right away why they can’t live without your product. In addition to using action words in your headline, try to include emotionally stirring language so your headline “pops” off the page and immediately connects with your readers.
Beneath your headline, you want to provide details about your product that are going to make it irresistible to your readers. In the first section, you want to set up a common problem that your readers may have. Then introduce your product as the best and possibly only solution for that problem.
Near the end of your sales letter, you want to incentivize your readers to purchase your product. One of the best ways to do this is to create scarcity. Tell your readers there is only a limited number of your product available, if it is going to be unavailable in the very near future, or come up with another way to motivate your readers to act immediately otherwise they may risk not having access to your product again.
Bonuses, Upsells and Back-End
You can add value to your product by including one to three free bonuses that your customers will receive when they purchase your product. Typically, you want to mention what each bonus is worth so that later you can show how much buyers are getting for their money.
Upsells and back-end offers are secondary offers that are made after your customer already has decided to purchase your product. Usually, after they submit their payment information, they are taken to another screen where you can offer them more – usually higher priced – products that are related to your original product.
You almost always want to offer an unconditional 30- or 60-day guarantee. This removes any risk for the customer.
It’s also a good policy for the seller of the info product to back up their sales pitch with an iron-clad guarantee. Your goal is not to sell your clients a single info product, but to develop them into loyal, long-term customers who will buy a series of products or services from you over time.
If they aren’t satisfied with the quality of the original product, giving them their money back with no questions asked is a great way to restore confidence and keep them loyal to your business.
If you send emails to people who haven’t invited you to do so, you could be breaking the law. There’s a law called the CAN-SPAM Act – which stands for Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003 — that regulates commercial emails.
This law gives people the right to unsubscribe to any emails they don’t want. So if somebody asks you to take them off your list, you not only want to do that because it’s good business, but because you may be subject to fines if you don’t do it. And the fines are per email violation, so they can add up fast.
To and From
This law also explains the requirements for what you can put in the subject line of your email, the “to” line and the “from” line, and other elements of email.
So if you buy leads from another marketer, it may seem like a quick way to build your list, but in reality it can be expensive, leads to lower conversion rates, can be harmful to your reputation. It can even subject you to being banned or paying fines.
Integrating with Your Autoresponder
On many of the autoresponder programs, when you try to plug in the leads that you have purchased, you are going to discover that you can’t easily plug them in. So you may have to enter them manually, which is time-consuming and — given the low conversion rate — probably not worth the effort.
There are some email companies, however, that do let you import leads that you have purchased. These include MailChimp and Imnicamail. Both require you to have the relevant opt-in data, however. When you import leads using these services and others like them, you have to make sure that the people have given the person you bought the leads permission to sell or give them to third parties.
In other words, you have to be able to prove that the leads have opted in to receive third party information. So that means in addition to the email address you also need to have the opt-in date, the website it was opted-in from, and so on.
Choosing a Reliable Vendor
Companies that sell leads legitimately are going to be able to provide you with all this information. Those that are less reliable are not. So if the leads you buy are accompanied by this critical information, that’s one indicator that you are getting high-value, legitimate sales leads for your money.
It’s important to ask for that information as well as the email addresses. If the person selling you leads doesn’t know what you are talking about, you probably shouldn’t buy leads from them.
When you buy email lists, many of the less reputable sellers are getting the addresses they sell you buy scraping them off old lists, picking them off web sites, and collecting contact lists from conferences. And some list sellers create their own squeeze pages and collect opt-ins, then turn around and sell them to other marketers.
The problem is that the people who opted-in did so for that company, not for yours. So when you contact them, they don’t know who you are and are more likely to mark you as a spammer.
Are They Organized?
Another problem is the way these lists are put together — hodge-podge, if you will — many of the addresses you receive are going to be misspelled, abandoned or even phony. This is actually really common, so the legitimate companies that sell lists will usually give you a refund for these types of addresses up front. That’s another indicator that you are buying from somebody legit.
So when your autoresponder sends out your emails to these addresses, they are going to be kicked back. This is also a red flag to email providers like Gmail and Hotmail and it could cause them to block all future emails from you. So you may have to start all over again.
The common thinking among many Internet marketers is that you are never supposed to buy email lists because the people on that list don’t know you. After all, you don’t know for sure they are open to what you are selling. They may mark you as spam and get you banned from email services.
All those things are true, in general, but there are certain lists that absolutely are worthwhile to buy. So you shouldn’t dismiss buying leads altogether because there is a right way and wrong way to go about it. You just have to be very careful about how you proceed because there are risks.
Most Lists Contain High-Target Customers
You should only buy leads if there is a high probability that they are going to convert. What you don’t want is a list of people that you essentially are going to be cold-calling — via email — because that’s going to be low-converting.
Obviously, the best leads — and the optimal way to reach people — focus primarily on customers who have interacted with you at some point or another, either through your squeeze page or your sales page or your YouTube videos or on social media or what have you.
Those people have already opted-in, so they have in effect given you an implicit permission to contact them. As a result, they are going to be far more likely to open you email and, more importantly, to act on your call to action.
This is a very important point because if people haven’t opted-in to receive your emails, it can be very dangerous for you.
How Much Should You Pay?
Now, you see a lot of companies out there that will sell you thousands of email addresses for $99 and the like. You may be wondering if these are a good option.
It’s a good idea to proceed with caution. If you have done business with the company in the past or the company has been recommended to you by somebody that you trust, then it may be a good idea to consider buying a list from them and trying them out.
Beware of making large scale purchases from companies that you aren’t familiar with because there are a lot of scammers out there on the Web who would be happy to take your money and sell you a list that is filled with either dead addresses or emails they have scraped from other places that aren’t going to do you a lot of good.
Risk vs Reward
Buying lists can be a big expense, so what you have to consider is the value that you are getting for your money. It can be a financial burden and there also are other risks involved.
For example, you can seriously harm your reputation if you buy the wrong list because when you buy a list and contact people who never heard of you before, they can send it to their spam folder.
Whenever they do this, it sends a notification to the email service. If it happens often enough, it can lower your sender score, which can affect your domain’s ability to send emails through that email service in the future — even if they are legitimate emails to people who have asked you to contact them.
Also, if you are marked as spam often enough, every time you send out an email from your website, it may be automatically diverted to the recipient’s spam folder, so they are never going to see it. And that’s a total waste of time and money.
Don’t Get Banned
If enough people mark your unsolicited emails as spam, you will eventually get banned on some of the biggest email providers, such as Yahoo and Gmail.
If that happens, you are going to have to shut down your website and start over with a new one.
That’s not going to put you out of business, but it will delay your efforts to get your business up and running. Plus there will be the additional expense of buying new domains, setting up new pages, re-establishing your autoresponder, not to mention the opportunity costs associated with being offline.
The fastest and most effective way to engage your readers into your content is to draw them into a story. People are naturally pre-disposed to enjoy stories, so if you can wrap your sales copy in an engaging story that connects emotionally with your reader, you have a better chance of getting them to make a buy decision.
Injecting Your Personality
The story you create to sell your product can be either your own first person account of how your product changed your life, or it can be the story of somebody else, such as a character you create.
In either case, the purpose of the story is to get the reader to connect with the subject of the story. The problems you or your character experience should be the same problems your readers are having.
Keep Them Coming Back for More
Obviously, your story needs to have a happy ending. In this case, it will be the way your product solved the problem and improved the subject’s life forever. When your prospective customer relates with the story’s subject, they project the solution your product is creating onto their own problems, making them more open to the idea of purchasing your product.
Whether you use a character-driven or first-person narrative, make sure you inject your personality into the story. Try to use familiar language that makes it easier for the reader to make a connection with the story you are telling them. This will put them at ease and help them see more clearly the benefits of your product in their lives.
Creating Trust in the Product’s Power
While you or your character may be the subject of the story you create, the true hero needs to be your product. For example, if your original product is an eBook on how to cure acne, your story will describe the horrible problems that acne created in your life or that of your character.
But the hero of the story will be the product that you discovered that cured your acne forever and caused radical improvements to your life: You gained more confidence, you were more popular than ever, your sex appeal increased and you finally found true happiness, for example.
Social Proof: Testimonials and Where to Get Them
ales letters frequently use social proof to reinforce the positive message about the product they are promoting. Sometimes referred to as the “bandwagon approach”, social proof feeds into the natural human psychological desire to be part of a larger group.
Your customers are going to be more open to buying your product if the think that others already use and endorse your product. According to Google, 70% of Americans now say they look at product reviews before making a purchase. Adding testimonials to your sales page is often enough to tip your readers into making a buying decision.
Recruiting People Already Loyal to You
If this is your first original product or you haven’t written sales pages before, you might think that obtaining testimonials is a daunting task, but it actually is quite easy.
While you don’t want to make up testimonials – that would be dishonest and also a violation of Federal Trade Commission regulations – there is nothing preventing you from asking family members or friends to write testimonials for you. You are not required legally to disclose your relationship with the person who gives you a product testimonial.
Getting Existing Customers On Boards
Another option is to send emails to people who already have purchased your product and ask if they would be willing to write a brief testimonial. In most cases, if you ask for somebody’s help, they will happily give it to you. Especially if, as in this case, they are already satisfied with the quality of your product.
Give Something for Nothing
Another option is to offer your product for free to people who are considered to be authoritative in your niche. For example, if the original product you created is a video series on how to improve your golf swing, you could reach out to club pros in your city and offer to send them your product for free with the request that if they found it helpful to send you a brief testimonial that you could include with future marketing collateral.