Most of us have products and services that solve many problems.
The natural, and the seemingly logical way we go about talking about the product or service, is to make sure the client knows they're getting a great deal. However, this over-enthusiasm is precisely what causes clients to be confused, and leave.
Let's find out how to simply, and quickly get clients to keep reading your sales page.
Florence Nightingale was the lady who invented the coxcomb.
That doesn't sound quite right, does it? History books reveal quite a different story when it comes to Florence Nightingale. They talk about the Crimean war and how she tended to soldiers injured in battle. While she was in Constantinople, she'd make her rounds, checking up on the wounded at night. This is why she got the moniker “the lady with the lamp”.
However, Florence Nightingale was also a master statistician.
She invented a visual system of looking at data that quickly showed that more soldiers died from terrible sanitary conditions than their injuries sustained in the war. To demonstrate this fact, she created a visual system that came to be known as a coxcomb.
Instead of focusing on every possible reason soldiers die in battle, the data on the coxcomb underlined that with better sanitary conditions, more soldiers lives could be saved. The death rate dropped from 40% to just 2%. Nightingale and her army created this dramatic change because they sidestepped the noise and focused singlehandedly on one point.
The same “one point” matters when you're writing your sales page.
To get your audience to see you in a precise manner, you have to drown out the noise and focus on a single fact. Yet, we're not clear how to go about fixing the first few paragraphs of our sales page. Hence, let's take a few examples—both good and bad—so that we get a pretty precise idea of how to go about this task of getting the client's attention.
1) An analysis of The Brain Audit sales page
Many years ago, as we sipped our respective coffees, a friend turned to me and said, “What's your secret for writing articles?”
Clearly, I had a secret.
The problem was that this so-called secret was hidden from me. As far as I was concerned, I struggled with my articles and wasn't entirely sure what my friend was talking about. However, he thought I was being bashful and persisted in his line of questioning. We talked for a while, and that conversation brought about a sense of clarity that I hadn't experienced earlier.
My articles usually covered one point. There was a “secret” after all. Which, at first glance, may not seem like a secret at all. However, just like the graphs that Florence Nightingale had used to isolate the issue, focusing on one thing was what really mattered.
I started to look at everything I did with the “one idea” in mind.
Which, of course, brings us to the first example: The Brain Audit
Without going over every word (which you're free to do so if you like), notice what's happening in the sales copy of The Brain Audit. If you were to isolate the headline and the first few paragraphs, what singular concept seems to cross your mind?
It's the concept of “hesitation”.
You know how it feels when you've made an excellent presentation, and yet your clients aren't jumping up and down with excitement. You realise you've missed something out, and it's that “something” that's causing the hesitation on the client's part. It's this moment of hesitancy that is encapsulated in the first few paragraphs of The Brain Audit. The text never seems to stray away from the point.
It talks about:
1- Why do clients back away at the last minute?
2- It uses the analogy of the “seven red bags” at the airport and how even one missing bag causes hesitation.
3- It talks about why being pushy in sales is unnecessary.
4- It even uses the phrase “iffiness” to describe the uncertainty.
574 words at the start of the sales page are dedicated to one idea: hesitation.
And yet, that's not the reason you bought the book. You may have been browsing through the rest of the sales page when you realised that one of the topics covered was “uniqueness”. That might have been the trigger that caused you to buy the book.
On the other hand, the reason for your purchase might have hinged on one of the testimonials you read. Maybe the person in the testimonial was a lawyer, and you're a lawyer. Bingo! You felt you had not much to lose, and you made that buying decision.
Why are we stressing so much on that one point at the top of the page? After all, your purchase decision may have had nothing to do with the information at the top? The answer is relatively simple. The problem is located at the top of the page.
And works its way across those 574 words, is precisely the part that attracted you. It's the section that got you to read. In real life, this would be the aroma that gets you into the restaurant.
The opening section of The Brain Audit sales page achieved what my friend considered to be a secret.
It stayed on a single point, a single problem. The problem could boil down to a single term: hesitation. And once that solitary term was in place, all of the words were built around that one idea.
But how do we know if it's the right idea? What if we picked the wrong one?
When we get to the third point and analyse the client's page, we will get to that point. For now, however, it's important to note that a single idea, a single point, that's what is crucial.
If you go off on a tangent, The Brain Audit opening of the sales page would wander off to “risk, or triggers, or targeting”. To be very clear, it does cover all of those points. All of those points are covered as you read further on the sales page and get to the features and benefits.
Yet, it's the opening salvo—the problem and solution—that stay on a single idea. It's what gets the client to read more and then decide as they go through the rest of the information.
This is all very fine when we're covering just The Brain Audit.
What if we have something like The Brain Audit video series? It's a whole new series, but it still covers the same seven red bags of The Brain Audit. Do you need to dump the winning “hesitancy” topic, or should you repeat the topic over again? It seems to be a hard choice, yet it's not.
The one idea comes to our rescue yet again.
2) An analysis of The Brain Audit Video Series
Did you know that at Psychotactics, we treat our information like software?
It means that just like software, there's an upgrade from time to time. Hence, a product like The Brain Audit has been through Version 1.0, 2.0 and finally seemed to spend a long time at 3.2. Would 4.0 ever be released? That is the question we get from time to time from our clients.
Which is why we created the video series of The Brain Audit
The goal was to look at each of the “seven red bags” and see what we had learned and how it could be improved. However, this upgrade brought up a problem all of its own. How do you sell something that seemingly covers the same ground as the previous version? It was a problem we'd never faced before.
We'd get rid of the version when we released earlier versions—and replace it with a new one. However, the video series wasn't a completely new version of The Brain Audit. The current version of The Brain Audit (Version 3.2) is perfectly good, and all that needed to be done was to explain why the video series existed in the first place.
The sales page couldn't be a duplicate of the earlier sales page
Even so, we had to stick to one point. And if you look at the video series, there are several points to cover. Nonetheless, the rule stays: Pick one idea. The idea we chose was based on the biggest problem that our clients faced over the years. Clients realised the value of the target profile interview but often got stuck.
- What if they picked the wrong target profile?
- What if she—the target profile—wasn't helpful?
- What if she said too little, or spoke too much? Would it be possible to side step the target profile interview completely?
- What if we could easily find the problem and the solution without calling or talking to anyone?
Notice the one idea on this sales page?
It's “sidestepping the biggest barrier”. When creating a sales page, we know The Brain Audit can be beneficial, but the target profile tends to get in the way. Hence, instead of covering all the points in the video series, we stuck to the “sidestepping” issue.
Whenever you're creating a sales page, an intense level of focus is crucial
Ask yourself: what one term or idea describes the sales page? Is it “hesitancy”, or is it “sidestepping”? Or would you choose to pick other ideas? Whatever idea we pick, it needs to drive just one point across several paragraphs.
If we bounce from one idea to another, the client may still read the sales page, but we've lost our chance to be laser-focused. There's a pretty good chance that the client doesn't feel the intensity of the issue, and they simply move on.
Even when you have a situation where, like us, it's a similar sort of product, choosing a single idea becomes crucial to the process. However, it still doesn't answer the question: how do you know which idea to pick?
For that, we might have to do some sort of “scientific guesswork”.
3. An analysis of a client’s sales page.
Let’s say you’re a piano teacher and you want to release a home study course.
That successful homestudy launch was precisely what a client of ours wanted to achieve. Let’s call him Alexander because that’s his name The issue that Alexander was facing was he’d waited almost too long.
The launch of the course was within a few weeks, and he was a bit unsure whether his sales page was getting a message across. Would clients look at his first home study product, or would they buy it?
The goal, of course, isn’t to get to the buying stage.
We tend to believe that a sales page is meant to persuade the client to buy a product or service. And this supposition is true, but only partly correct. The first few paragraphs have a completely different purpose.
Their job is to get the client's attention and keep that attention over the next 300-400 words. The “conversion” part that we are so focused on is a combination of various factors on the sales page. These factors are the features and benefits, the bullets, graphics, captions and half a dozen other actors playing equally important roles.
When Alexander set out to write his sales page, he had the problem that most of us do
All of us have a product or service that solves many problems. And some of the issues his course was solving included practice methods, pulse and doubled pulse, rhythm, and a bunch of other stuff.
To get to the first paragraph, we had to narrow it down to just three points. And three wasn’t the final destination either, but we had to get there first.
Alexander chose these three
- Grid: The grid is the most critical tool in your tool belt when you want to understand a rhythm you encounter in sheet music
- Practice Methods: we explore six different practice methods, not only for learning rhythms but also for your regular practise on your instrument.
- Rhythm: master rhythms with 4th, 8th and 16th notes, regardless of complexity level
How did he narrow things down to just three?
The answer is pretty much the same method as when you deal with kids. If you ask a kid what she wanted for breakfast, you’re likely to get a list of sugar-coated bombs, KFC and jelly. As a parent or guardian, you’d know that none of those will be beneficial in the long run.
Hence, you choose what the kid needs and make it as attractive as possible. The same concept applies to when you’re selecting the three most important factors. They’re not based on a fancy poll. Instead, you make what you present very palatable.
Eventually, Alexander dropped two of those three.
When I say “dropped”, it’s easy to believe that we’ve sent those other points to Pluto—and we haven’t. Instead, they’ve been pushed lower down on the page to the bullets or the features and benefits. For the first few paragraphs, you have to be focused. You can’t bounce between three different points or even two.
ONE. You have just one. Because when you have one, you can bring detail to that one point. Let’s see what Alexander did.
Do you have trouble playing your favourite songs on your instrument because you can’t handle the rhythm? As soon as the first eighth, or sixteenth notes come up, you guess the rhythm and play somehow. But that often has little in common with how the song actually sounds. Maybe you try to tap your foot, but after the first two notes, your foot taps something, but not the right pulse. You can either tap correctly or concentrate on the notes – but you can’t do both together. You listen to the song many times and try to copy the rhythm. But this takes a long time, and you are not confident with it.
Or there is a bar where quarter notes and eighth notes or eighth notes and sixteenth notes are mixed – and then with rests. You know theoretically how to count sixteenth notes, but you can’t get it together with the pulse.
In some pieces, it says “swing” – and you don’t really know what that means and how to play swing.
But you don’t have any other option because you don’t know how to learn rhythms.
You give up because you have a bad sense of rhythm anyway.
And then, because we’re still not done with those first 300-500 words, he continued on one point.
This time he added the solution.
Presenting »Rhythm-Logic«. A step-by-step system on how to understand & implement complicated rhythms with simple tools.
Rhythms are everywhere — in our melodies, in accompaniments, and we need rhythm when we improvise. Most of the time, we can’t figure out rhythms on the first sight. Even on a closer look, we can’t exactly say how that rhythm is played and how this rhythm sounds. That is, simply because we have no way to systematically approach the building blocks in rhythms, right?
Rhythm Logic shows you a simple, repeatable way to deconstruct every rhythm you encounter. Not only that, you’ll learn methods, how you can train rhythms in a focused way without the need of playing correct pitches and other parameters of music.
Back in 1996, I was in the same boat. I started playing Piano and had massive problems with rhythm. Even simpler eight note rhythms don’t fell 100% right to me. But guess what? I cheated my way to the next years, always with the excuse in mind » It’s okay. I do not have a good sense of rhythm«. How wrong could I be.
I learned that I CAN understand rhythms. I learned that I CAN learn rhythms by myself without having someone to show it to me. And I learned that I CAN have a good sense of rhythms.
And you can learn that, too!
I’ll show you the most efficient and easiest methods of my journey in this video course.
Did you get the point? What is the one problem that Alexander's course is solving?
At this point, it's probably a good idea to bring back all three of the essential points he'd chosen. They were:
- Grid: The grid is the most important tool in your tool belt, when you want to understand a rhythm you encounter in sheet music
- Practice Methods: we explore 6 different practice methods, not only for learning rhythms, but also for your regular practice on your instrument.
- Rhythm: master rhythms with 4th, 8th and 16th notes, regardless of complexity level
Notice how you forgot about the grid despite the earlier point being that it was the “most important”?
Yes, the grid was connected to the rhythm, but we still forgot all about it. The practice methods were also linked to rhythm, but it slipped our minds completely. However, the part we remember is mastering rhythms with the 4th, 8th and 16th notes, regardless of complexity level.
Keeping that single-minded focus isn't enough
We still have a lot of material on the sales page that needs our attention. However, the first part of the sales page is, without doubt, the most important. It's the doorway to the rest of the material. It's also the one place where people go off course over and over again.
We still have to wonder. What if we've picked the wrong problem to highlight?
And yet, you have to remember why you are creating the product or service. You're doing so because you want to solve a particular problem. With The Brain Audit, I saw those eager clients would inexplicably back away at the last minute.
With The Brain Audit video series, I realised that clients who read The Brain Audit book would still struggle with the target profile interview. If you intend to teach karate, you know why you're starting up the class.
If you're a lawyer, you know why you're offering a service. The world doesn't need one more karate class, law service or marketing course, for that matter. We start up something because of a deep conviction.
You want that “conviction” to show up
When you stay on that one point (as I have repeatedly done in this article), you create a powerful sense of enthusiasm. Sales is really a transfer of enthusiasm from one person to another. And in doing so, we get the client started on the journey to reading the rest of the sales page.
Writing a sales page is a lot of hard work
Even so, if we go about things systematically, we can get a lot done. Alexander had a small list of people who were interested in rhythm. Yet, even at his first attempt to sell a course online, he got 20 sales on the first day at an average price of $179 each.
There was still work to be done, and (at the point of this article being written) he will be likely to sell almost another 20 more if he follows up over the days to come.
What's also important is that those who didn't consider the one point important will now look at things from a whole new perspective. Clients on his list who could be considered “lukewarm” or “cold” are now paying closer attention.
That's what you need to get across.
Start with your entire list of features. Then get down to three. And finally, stay on one.