Copywriting Landing Pages Is A Fine Art. It Should Ideally Combine Great Communication Skills And Buyer Psychology, To Be Able To Clinch Sales.
If you want to do a great job at selling your Knowledge Commerce info products, pay focused attention to the copywriting of your landing pages.
There are two reasons for this. One, great copywriting for landing pages helps clinch sales, just when a prospective buyer is dithering in his or her decision. Two, the copywriting skills on the landing page give big hints to the buyer on your communication skills in general. Every knowledge product is bought for its useful content and its quality of writing. Both get established by great landing page copy.
Also remember this: you don’t want people to be just reading your landing pages and saying, “Wow, what compelling copy!” A landing page is a vital tool for driving people to action. They have to be moved to click that CTA button, especially if it says “BUY NOW”.
At Solohacks Academy, we believe you don’t need to re-invent the wheel when it comes to great landing page copywriting. Many pros and researchers have done an outstanding job to provide examples of what works emotionally, and what produces action results. Take advice from the best sources, and then add your own dash of freshness and innovativeness. It gets better with practice.
1. 95% of the people read only the headline – focus hard on getting it right
My very first and biggest boss in my advertising days as a cub-copywriter was David Ogilvy – the great master himself. He used to repeatedly tell us that “95% of the people read only the headlines of ads.” Another few percent – maybe 3% – go as far as the sub-heads. That leaves a paltry few who really read the body copy.
At the same time, he always stressed that an ad with long body copy would really convince the reader to buy. Since this sounded like a conflict of ideas we asked him, “Why do we need to be writing so much body copy, when no one will read it?”. He would say, “Because the presence of that copy will make the reader feel that the product has a lot to say about itself.”
Notice how the genius copywriters always knew how to combine communication skills with psychology. That’s what works in copywriting – whether it’s in advertising or in content marketing.
Anyway, since 95% of the people read only the headline, all enterpreneur-marketers who write their content have to be laser-focused on getting headlines right – and manage to do so within 60 characters, because that’s what works for Google SEO.
How do you get a page title or headline that works brilliantly and powerfully at selling? You have to get to the real reason why someone may buy your product. Here, it helps to remember that people don’t buy a product. When they buy any product – especially a knowledge product like an ebook or course – they are actually buying “new, improved versions of themselves after product usage”. That’s why your headline has to sell a new version of them, to them.
Here’s an example that won’t work as powerfully:
“Introducing Self-Taught Yoga – lose 4 kgs through simple postures!”
And here’s a formula that will work far better because it sells a “new you”:
“Lose 4 kgs with our SlimYoga Course. Send us your pic to put on this page!”
This second example gets the person reading the copy already imagining herself slimmer and good enough to be photographed for the ad. She then has a goal to achieve just that. The course becomes the bridge to the goal. And the marketer also embeds his subtle guarantee of that weight loss, doesn’t he?
2. Different products need different feelings and energies to sell them
When copywriting for landing pages, it’s tempting for many marketers to look up the thesaurus for any “power words” – not realizing that the power words for different products and their selling may need to be different.
For example, if you are selling an ebook on “walking as an exercise routine” the power words may be “vigorous”, “bracing”, “brisk”, “determination” and so on. But you would not use words like “brisk”, “vigor”, “determination” or “bracing” if you were describing a pilates session and its nuances through the ebook you want to sell.
Pilates has a more stylized approach to exercise, with body poses that require “flowing movements”, “aiming for perfection”, “being body-aware” or “efficient and graceful poses”. Do you see the difference in the feelings and energies created by these different sets of power words?
The secret to good copywriting is to heighten the feelings in the reader of actually doing the actions described – thus walking when described as an exercise should create “invigoration and a sense of high-energy”, whereas pilates, when recommended, should emphasize “quietened focusing of intense energy”.
That is how you can get very good at copywriting for selling – creating the energy you want the reader to feel with the words you use.
One more important tip: cut out the flab in your writing by using fewer adverbs, wherever you can. Use more powerful verbs instead. Verbs are direct action words, whereas adverbs describe verbs, and they are often used by writers who cannot find a powerful verb to use instead.
For example, avoid saying “moving fast”. Here, “moving” is the verb, and “fast” is the description of the moving (the needless adverb). If you wanted to use a more powerful verb you could say “speeding”.
Ernest Hemingway, the noted writer, was a great votary of using “power verbs” and slashing “flabby adverbs”. If you too want to tighten your landing page copywriting, you could run your text through the free Hemingway App online. It will show you every place where you’ve used flabby adverbs, and suggest you use some power verbs instead.
3. Testimonials are the secret sauce – make sure they truly resonate
There are no two ways about it – testimonials are very important on landing pages. Especially when selling digital knowledge products like ebooks, courses, or memberships, people rely heavily on the word of others who have bought the product.
Short of trying out the product themselves, which they sometimes may not be able to do, the opinions of others who have experienced buying and then consuming the product can make a great difference to fence-sitting customers.
But here’s the catch: while testimonials are good, it’s not just any flattering testimonials you should include when copywriting for landing pages. You need testimonials from past buyers that emphasize your key selling points as reasons for product satisfaction. Let’s see an example …
Let’s say you are selling an online course on “How To Write With Polish For Blogging And Content Marketing”. Your research may have found that most eager entrepreneurs who want to do blogging and content marketing are rank beginners to writing itself, and have never done a decent job even in a school essay. To assume that they want only the surface polish in writing, because they already know writing, would be wrong to highlight.
Instead, you may need testimonials from other people who also never thought they could write, and were pleasantly surprised after the course, that they could write pretty well, and could do even better with some tips on polishing their writing. The key hurdle that your audiences may need to get over to buy your product may be “self-belief” that they too can write if they learn the ropes.
So this is what a great testimonial should sound like if it needed to resonate with them:
“I didn’t even know I could write. I thought I would be a complete ham at it. Something in me, a whisper from within, made me buy this course – may be the stirrings of self-belief. But after going through the course, I am thrilled to bits. Not just because I can write now, but because I uncovered my buried self-belief. I have found I can write pretty decently, after all. Now all I need is some regular practice, and to go through the last couple of lessons again and again – to give my writing that high gloss.” – Ivy Smith, Wannabe Blogger
This is the kind of testimonial that rings true. And besides, it’s basically a form of storytelling.
The best stories have a protagonist, who goes through some seemingly insurmountable hurdles, and then has an “Aha!” moment when the chips fall into place. Then the hurdle melts, and it all becomes easy to get through to the finish. Finally, the protagonist’s ambitions get loftier. Every story – from the great epics to modern romantic pulp fiction – adapts this same old tried-and-tested formula of storytelling.
So make sure you do add testimonials on your landing pages. Let them highlight the key selling point of your product, so they resonate with your target audiences. And finally, make sure the testimonials sound like little stories that follow the never-fail story-formula.
4. Pictures are more eloquent than words, copywriters must exploit this
Whoever said that “a picture is worth a thousand words” really knew human psychology through and through. But have you thought when and why pictures can be worth a thousand words?
Again, this is a copywriting secret that I have learned from my days in advertising. Not every picture is worth a thousand words – and you have to choose your pictures very carefully. The right picture speaks to your audiences, but the wrong one doesn’t.
There is also an important rule in picture selection. Pictures must never be like “A for Apple”.
What this means is that if a headline makes a particular point, the image accompanying it should not reflect the exact same point. It can be either an extension of the point, or a counterpoint – but it must not show the same thing expressed in the words, like a child’s textbook would show an Apple for “A”.
Let’s take an example. Let’s assume the headline you have chosen is the same one we created earlier in this article on self-taught yoga: “Lose 4 kgs with our SlimYoga Course. Send us your pic to put on this page!”. Now, what picture would you use to catch the eye and the mind and take the headline further?
If you choose a picture of a woman, before-and-after the yoga and the 4 kg weight-loss, you’d have an “A for Apple” situation. This is the kind of overdone tripe that most fitness ads would show. These before-and-after pics are blah. And worse, some marketers would be tempted to put a fat red arrow on the “after” picture with the bolded words “Send us this pic”.
But see this concept-board of the landing page below:
If you chose a picture as above, of a woman who is trim and slim, overjoyed to be taking a selfie of her now beautiful body (with some inset silhouettes to show how she did it with yoga postures), you’d show the natural culmination of the promise in the headline. You’d also use sub-images to show the process by which your course creates this achievement.
Now, this is the kind of headline-and-image combination that speaks a thousand words on your landing page. It makes every potential buyer “feel the joy” of taking her body-proud selfie, well before she has even begun the course. She will see herself as the woman in the picture, because she is moved to feel the feelings of that woman in the picture.
5. Move people progressively towards buying by “clearing objections”
It’s a great idea to think of your body text for your landing page as if it was going to be an FAQ page, rather than a page full of “marketing spiel”.
Instead of putting in all the points you want to make, try to think of all probable queries potential buyers may have – including their latent objections or hesitations – and try to answer these, one by one.
You don’t need to follow a Q & A format (in fact, you shouldn’t), but the subheadings and text can appear like a running length of answers to customer queries.
For examples, your subheadings could be like this:
- “Yes, you can aim to lose 4 kgs in under 6 weeks … in fact, a goal is good to have”
- “No, you won’t have to do every posture perfectly … your body will naturally grow into perfect postures”
- “Of course, it will help your overall energy and metabolism … yoga is not just fitness, it’s health”
- “No, you won’t get injured, if you do just as much as we recommend each day … hasten slowly”
If you think from the point-of-view of customer queries or objections, you will naturally say everything they want to hear – rather than what you are dying to plonk in.
It’s also a great idea to prioritize and sequence the answers to possible customer queries, so that you eliminate worries and hesitations step-by-step. One answer to a customer query must lead to a logical next one … in the same way as a customer would express a second doubt that logically arises from the first-discussed point.
Although it sounds easy to do, it takes a bit of practice to think in sequence like a customer. But that is the ultimate secret of great copywriting, for an ad or a landing page. You have to lose yourself as a person and become the customer, to write a landing page that moves him or her progressively towards clicking that “BUY NOW” button.
So What Are Your Thoughts? Do Share!
This post is incomplete without your input. The community of Knowledge Commerce solopreneurs would feel galvanized to hear from you … so do share your thoughts on this topic with us, in the comments field below this post.
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