Why I Created the Salespage Copy Kit [AKA – Why are sales pages so hard to write?]
Sales pages are one of the most intimidating pieces of writing to undertake. There’s something about the blank page and the pressure of writing something brilliant that just intimidates and prevents us from even getting started. Most entrepreneurs I talked to seem to let this get in their head rather than remember that our primary job with any copywriting is simply to communicate.
I’ve written a lot of sales pages in my day. And it wasn’t until I learned how to separate myself from the expectation of writing something that sounds great, that I was finally able to simplify the process enough to actually get sales pages out there—without the huge waiting game that is my perfectionism.
If you’re struggling with writing your sales page, I’d like to invite you to try out my method for writing and releasing sales pages. Because at this point, what the heck do you have to lose?
You could stay exactly where you are—stuck obsessing over that blank page and the pressure you feel—or, you could try something different and get something out there. I guarantee you’re going to see better results doing it the get-it-out-there way, then you are if you never get past the blank page.
What is different about my approach to sales pages?
I don’t actually believe that you sit down at your computer, couch or dining room table (or wherever you do your work) and simply write your sales page from start to finish. Occasionally, you might strike it lucky, but in most cases, you’re going to be sitting there for a long time feeling increasingly frustrated.
I believe that a sales page is built from smaller pieces of writing, and that you can take a phased approach. This will help you get to that perfect sales page, without the pressure of needing to do it all in one go.
The three phases for writing a sales page that I teach are:
- Offer Docket (Detail)
Now, if you want to write your sales page along with me, make sure to download my free “Write Your Sales Page Kit” below this post. I’m going to be going through all of the questions and prompts that I cover in there, but if you want a tool all laid out for you to use later, definitely download that now.
Salespage Copy Kit Step 1: The Offer Docket
Let’s cover phase one, the offer docket. As with nearly every piece of content that I talk about— whether it’s a blog post, a video outline, a sales page, a sales email, or even a will— I think that it all comes down to the questions. What questions does this piece of writing need to answer to fulfill its purpose?
By coming up with the questions first, I’m able to organize my writing in such a way that I’m not trying to tackle it—the whole thing—right there and then. I’m able to focus on it question by question, which also provides the outline for my piece. When I’m writing a blog post, the questions conveniently become the sub-headers of my blog. Similarly, when I’m writing a sales page, the questions become not only the sub-headers of my sales pages but the corresponding sections as well.
Another key component of the detail phase is to focus on communicating the truth. Just answer the questions—that’s all you have to do. You don’t need to concern yourself at this stage with sounding and writing brilliantly.
And the truth is that most writers don’t write brilliantly. When you compare yourself and your writing to all of those people and pieces out there, all you’re seeing is their finished product. You’re not seeing the multiple drafts that they went through to get there. My best piece of advice in phase one is to lighten up the pressure on yourself to write your sales page brilliantly right then and there.
One of the tools that I’ve created to help you write your sales page copy is the offer docket. Once you have a complete offer docket, you can break the pieces up into your sales page, your sales emails, as well as your sales promo copy. This becomes your go-to reference file on the topic of your offer.
The offer docket goes into depth on what your offer is all about and what your relationship to it is. It helps answer some basic interview-like questions. What’s included? What is the transformation? What does it help people achieve? I like to use this for free offers as well because it is such a great starting place before you try to write copy for them.
I like to include the following in my offer dockets:
- Description of the offer (long and short)
- Main transformation of the offer
- Fascinators (Feature so that… Benefit)
- What’s Included
- How the Offer Delivered
- Who it’s for + Who it isn’t for
- Questions & Anticipated Objections
- Important Links (salespages, order form, thank you page, files)
- Customer or Client Profile + Journey
You can follow along with these questions, but you can also download the offer docket below this post.
Salespage Copy Kit Step 2: Assemble
Once you have your offer complete, it’s simply a matter of compiling the pieces. Phase two of the sales page writing process is all about assembling and building the sections that are going to make up your sales page. As for the material that you’re pulling for the sections… well, good news, you just wrote it as part of prepping your offer docket.
During this phase, I don’t want you to focus on editing. I repeat, don’t overly edit. (Sit tight, we’re going to get into the editing phase shortly.) I just want you to focus on getting the pieces of information in order.
In terms of the order, I have a rough layout of a sales page. I tweak this layout for every single offer, so what works here may not necessarily work for you. I strongly encourage you to make this your own.
Consider this to be your base sales page recipe. But, if you have an inkling to go in another direction, include different sections, or put the sections in different orders, I definitely encourage you to do that too.
Here is the basic sales page recipe:
Again, I want to remind you to not overthink this. In this phase, just focus on assembling the pieces. Try opening up a blank Word document to put those pieces into order.
Salespage Copy Kit Step 3: Finesse
Alright so now it’s time to add your brilliant touches, which will take this piece of writing to the next level. I want you to go through your copy, section by section, and do a couple of different passes, each with a slightly different focus.
During pass number one, I want you to go through and edit for clarity.
- Does this section make sense?
- Do you need to add different sentences or different words?
- Do you need to smooth things out, so that it flows more logically?
Complete pass one for all of the sections so that you have a great piece of writing—one that passes the test of clarity.
Then, for your second pass, I want you to go through the sections and ask yourself these questions about personal branding.
- Does this sound like me?
- What can I do to make this section more branded, more myself?
- Where can I add some personality?
- Where can I make it sound like the way I would talk to a BFF (or whatever relationship you want to have with your clients and customers)?
Complete pass two for all of the sections so that you have a salespage that passes the test of ‘sounds like me.’
Finally, pass number three is all about formatting and emphasis. For every single section I want you to go through and ask yourself:
- What is the most important piece of information and how can I emphasize that?
- Am I calling it out somehow?
- Can I fix up my bullet points so that this page is easier to scan?
- How can I make my header stand out?
In this pass, you’re emphasizing the most important pieces and making sure that the page is really scannable so that people can go through it quickly.
Finally, I want you to let the piece sit for a couple of days. Why? You need to let it cook. Let it rest for a few days, and then do one final pass to make sure to get in those last-minute Changes.
In your very final pass through all the sections, make sure you’re completely happy with the piece as a whole. Coming back to sales page copy after some time brings a sense of clarity that you likely didn’t have when you originally wrote it. With that done, you are ready to design your sales page, my friend.
And if you’re still not sure if it’s perfect, I want you to embrace the spirit of experimentation. When we grow our businesses, the more that we can embrace the fact that all of this marketing is simply a series of experiments for us to put things out there, test with the market, and then come back and improve, the better results we’ll see.
So, what I encourage you to do is get it out there as soon as possible. And then after 100 unique people have visited the page, go back, make some adjustments, and test some different things.
You don’t want to change it too often, and you don’t want to change it too drastically. But, we do want to make sure that we are taking this phased “tweak-as-you-go approach”—that is how you’re going to end up with the perfect sales page.
It all starts with writing it and getting it out there. So make sure to download my free “Salespage Copy Kit” down below this post, and get writing that sales page!