I’ve got news for you. Most people never read your sales page as completely as you’d like them to do so. And the reason they don’t read it, is because there’s too much too read, right?
They don’t read it because they’re doing what all humans do all of the time.
We scan the horizon. When we walk into a room, we scan. When we walk out of the subway, we scan. Even when we’re in an ice-cream parlour and we know the exact flavour we want—we still scan.
So why would you expect a reader not to scan when they’re on your sales page?
Of course what the reader sees on your sales page is a waterfall of text
And one of the ways for you to get the reader to slow down is to use sub-heads.
Because sub-heads are often in a different colour and different size and font, the reader is able to jump from sub-head to sub-head. But sub-heads are not always effective, because sub-heads are often sequential. This means the writer (that’s you) can’t just throw a sub-head just about any where, but have to place it in a logical progression of text. And readers do slow down at sub-heads.
They read a bit of the sub-head, the text, and then it’s scanning time again.
However, that scanning is dangerous for you as a seller . You may have something really important to say. And you say it. But you’ve stated that important fact somewhere in the middle of your text. And the reader/prospect who’s mostly scanning sub-heads jumped right over your important information and zoomed right past those crucial facts and figures.
And this scanning behaviour is very dangerous for sales, because it creates an incomplete picture in the reader’s brain.
An incomplete picture in turn leads to a prospect putting off a purchase. And while losing one sale is bad enough, you’re probably losing a lot more than just one. It’s common for a customer to buy one product/service and come back to buy a larger quantity or variety or products/services. So (gulp) you’re losing a lot of sales because of this nasty human habit of scanning.
So the way around is to harness another one of our nasty habits.
The habit of detecting change. So if you’re scanning the horizon and a blue tweeting bird pops in, you notice it right away. That blue tweeting bird is the equivalent of a graphic. A graphic puts instant brakes on the reader. The reader stops to examine the graphic. Suddenly you’ve slowed down the scanning, and they’re actually reading.
So yeah, let’s chuck a whole lot of graphics on the sales page, right?
Ha, ha, you know the answer already, don’t you? Put in stock graphics like ‘globes’ or ‘two people in a suit shaking hands’ or some clip-art kind of graphic, and the reader will just sail right past your graphic. But put in a graphic that explains the concept, or a graphic that give information of your product and services, and you’ve got a winner. But where do you find examples of such graphics on sales pages?
It depends what kind of sales pages you’re looking at, of course.
Some sales pages are as many as 15-20 pages long, but don’t seem so long because of the graphics (see an example at: http://www.psychotactics.com/brainaudit). Some pages are short, but built in layers so that you get locked into a section ( http://www.apple.com/ilife/iphoto/#faces ).
And you’ll find you’re scanning—even with the pictures. But notice how the pictures are slowing you down.
You can’t help it. You want to scan.
But the graphics are giving you critical information. And at the same time causing you to want to buy (yes, well-presented information has that kind of effect). And best of all, graphics don’t always need to be sequential.
They can be placed any where on the page, as long as they are interesting and have some sort of description in the form of a caption.
Don’t take my word for it.
Test it for yourself. Use a page with well-designed graphics vs. one without well-designed graphics. And you’ll see the results for yourself. And yes, crappy graphics don’t count!
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Don’t forget: Look at the Psychotactics Sequence of Marketing Products and Services.