As I go through the process to stand up my membership site (see my case study rolling post on my experiences as I stand mine up HERE) I thought adding in some drill down posts on some of the elements that you will address as you plan for and implement your own membership site would be helpful…
At first this was going to be a single post, but as I added more and more valuable information, I decided that breaking it into two parts made a lot more sense, because there is simply to much to add in one post.
These two smaller posts will help you in addressing some of the considerations of a membership site and make sure that you will have success in your effort.
In the case of today and tomorrow’s subject, we are talking about Membership Site Sales Letters…
Writing a sales letter for your membership site is one of the basic and fundamental requirements to have success as an Internet marketer for your membership site.
Since this is also an area that so many people have trouble with and fail at, I think it is a good focus for today’s post!
My thoughts are this: If you do not pay attention to how you are selling your membership site, you are prone to experience failure, no matter how much work you have done getting the site and content together…
So let’s have a look…
SALES PAGES FOR MEMBERSHIP SITES
This is the page where you present your offer to potential members…Visitors land there to find out more about what it is you have, make their buying decision, and then take action to sign up…
Sounds like an easy thing to put together, or?
Well yes, it can be easy, as long as you know about the following requirements to have an EFFECTIVE sales page:
- What are the elements you must include?
- What is the order to present them in your sales letter?
- What is the best way to format the text, images, video, and call to action for maximum impact
If you are wondering how you can get training or advice on this, simply do a Google search (or continue reading and save a LOT of time)…
You will find all sorts of people and sites offering a bunch of advice and suggestions on how to create a high-quality sales page and what should be included on the page.
When I did this, I found there was a lot of different ideas on what to include, where to place it, how to write the text and even the calls to action buttons you should use.
Again, LOTS of advice…So what is good and what not?
In this post, I am trying to synopsize all of that information into a one-stop shop to provide you, the reader, the best of what I learned when I went through the above process .
I’m saving you a lot of work today!
After you finish this tutorial you will have valuable information that you will need to create your own effective and converting sales page…
Here is what I have surmised from all the research. There are 10 elements that you must plan for in creating your sales letter, as follows, of which 5 we will cover today:
Element #1 – Your Headline
This is such an important element. I say this because of the way people decide what to read or what to pass on. It generally starts with the headline. Think about this from your own perspective and from other readers…
If the headline people are looking at doesn’t grab them right away, engage and pique their interest and curiosity, then they’ll most likely move on to another headline without checking out the article at all. This likely is the same for you?
So the concept of your headline absolutely needs to have a catchy and attention-grabbing bite to it. If you want page visitors to stay and read on, write something that captures them.
Here are three kinds of headlines that will do that (generic but subsets and general descriptions of effective headlines):
- The “Gotcha” Tactic
- The “Big” Headline Tactic
- The “I Still Gotcha” Tactic.
Each of these headline types has a very specific purpose and slant in how it is written and when planning for using them, you must use each in a specific way to ensure that you produce maximum results.
Note they are sequential as well. By this I mean that you start with the first and close with the last one. As I explain each below, you will better see what I am talking about.
One: The “Gotcha” Tactic
Located at the very top of the page, this is the first line of text the page visitor will read. Note it should be rather short and powerful. It has to grab the attention of the specific audience you’re after. So, you’d write it one way if your main prospects are teenagers, for example, but write it in a completely different way if your main prospects are senior citizens.
Depending on who that audience is will shape the make-up of the text. If you are going after an internet marketer, the verbiage will be much different from a dog lover.
Two: The “BIG” Headline Tactic
This is the largest, most eye-catching, concise, and briefly describes the product you are selling. It also adds the benefit to the prospect of getting it from you as opposed to buying another person or service.
This headline has to literally jump off the page at the reader and it needs to be presented in a size that’s simply too big to ignore by the reader.
The most important factor I think in this section is to make sure that you reach through to the emotions of the reader. You want to evoke an emotional reaction within the reader’s head. If you do this you are already well on your way to converting them from prospects to a buyer.
If you do this well , from what I can see, you are already well on your way to converting them from prospects to a buyer.
Three: The “I Still Gotcha” Tactic
I have looked at a lot of sales pages over the last few years, and sometimes I do not see this last of the three sequential headlines used often. Personally, I think writers are missing out when they do not add this element…
This last element of the headline sequence allows you to reinforce your message that you communicated in the main headline and it offers another chance to further clarify to the reader exactly what advantage or benefit, or what problem you are solving that they can expect to gain from making a purchase from you.
In general, short is better for all of the headlines. Too many words can mean that there may be a lack of clarity and power in the headlines.
A few powerful words stated succinctly will be much more effective for your sales effort than a lot of non-essential flowery words strung together in a long, drawn-out diatribe.
OK we have covered the headlines that you will plan for, next come the “meat” you are adding to those headlines for the prospect…
Element #2 – The Opening or…Beginnings
Whether you knew it or not, novelists use their opening chapters to introduce their readers to the basic precepts of their story…Remember the good books you like to read? Most likely had a strong and effective opening…
Using words they paint the scene for the reader,including the setting, the characters, and the main gist of the story in a way that grabs the audience’s emotions and attention.
Readers want to keep reading… It is a vital part of the story, and the rest of the story will not work without this initial set up being laid out for the reader…
This same concept holds true for the sales page.
After your headline, this section is used to introduce your product. As with the novelist writing a story, the goal is the same; You want to grab the reader’s interest and latch a firm grip on their emotions.
This is really important, so it deserves to be emphasized again:
Your introduction or the opening must quickly grab the prospect’s attention and interest on an emotional level, and it must firmly take a strong grip on that interest intently.
I have been warned by others not to launch my membership site until I have the sales page completed and matching what it is I am selling.
What they are telling me makes sense…If you do it too early or too quickly, you’re likely to get the opposite effect of what you desire, which is conversions and new members.
Waiting until you have a strong and effective sales page in place helps in the process of making sure that you have all the bases covered for your site. Any shortcomings will be evident as you write the sales page and you can correct them.
It all comes down to answering these questions: “Would I pay for this and why?” How is my service or product better than any other options that are out there? What problem are readers having and how am I solving that problem? Why is my option the best for them?
Understand the answers to the above questions and then make sure these answers are included in your copywriting effort. You will have no problem appealing to the reader’s emotions, because you understand them.
Here are some techniques you can consider using:
- Focus on the benefits potential buyers will enjoy when they buy your product or service.
- Focus on the positive life changes they will experience once they get their hands on your product.
- Point out to the readers the positive feelings they will experience when they decide to get their hands on your product or service.
- Point out what they will have increased amounts of (i.e. energy, money, success, time, etc.) when they finally get their hands on your product or service.
- Finally make sure to mention what troubles they will have go away (i.e. stress, pain, difficulty,, etc.).
It is enough to briefly mention the above and later deeper into the sales letter you can expand on them. Remember you are setting the stage for the remsainder of the story, as a novelist does.
Element #3 – Convey Authority, Credibility, and Honesty
These days most people are not easily fooled, as in the early days of the internet, when it comes to the ilk that are plying their scams, fraud, and other nasty activities.
Your customers are no different…
Just getting readers and potential client to your sales page is not enough, as this does not guarantee a sale or conversion. It is true that they have shown enough faith to come to your sales page…
Once they are there it is your time to do that bit of extra work that will convince them to get past any lingering reservations, doubts or worries about you and your product.
If you can somehow establish your credibility, authority and honesty with the prospect, it will make it easier for them then to take action to move from an interested potential client to a happy customer.
Things are not that easy nowadays, and people are not throwing money around unless they believe in what they are buying, you need to be even more creative and transparent when demonstrating your credibility and trustworthiness.
What is the best way to do this? I think it is best to mention it early on in your sales letter and reemphasize the point often. ..
Don’t wait or bury this information in the sales letter where prospects will have to dig and search to find it. If you don’t present it early they will stop looking and leave.
Here are some very effective ways you can do this:
- Mention specific results, not just generalities or platitudes.
- Use hard and real numbers when describing a benefit or an activity, not just estimates which appear to have been pulled out of your fourth point of contact.
- Add in testimonials either written or better using video that will touch on the key features or benefits you are emphasizing; be sure to include the full name of the person whose experiences the testimonial describes, and use someone well known in the niche if possible.
- Include any of your special qualifications, certifications, other credentials, and then add in your expertise and experience associated with your offer.
- Use outside sources that may have sent you positive reviews, and include some of their quotes, and make sure to get some from reputable sources.
- Use your real contact information to include address, email, and phone number, and maybe Skype; this will reassure visitors that you are a real person and not just another scammer.
You may think that all the above is a bit of overkill. Based on my own experience however, honesty, integrity, and authoritative knowledge are quite in short supply on today’s Internet.
Anything you can do to allay the concerns of your prospects will help make them realize that you are not such an individual…
Once your reputation and credibility grows, and you have firmly established yourself as being an honest and authoritative individual regarding the internet business in general, you will have less problems…
Even so there will always be new people visiting your pages, so you have to address this concerns beginning early in the sales page, as I have mentioned, and reiterating this several times through the sales page.
Element #4 – Include Benefits that Inspire to Get Prospects to Aspire
Part of the reason you are appealing on an emotional level with your sales letter is that just because you may have a great product or a service does not mean that will buy.
When you reach them on that emotional level and explain the benefits, you will inspire them to take action. Describing, then emphasizing, and then reemphasizing the interesting and positive benefits to be enjoyed after buying will make them want to buy to experience these benfits.
I would like to point out that benefits are not the same as features….
- A feature is a statement of an attribute or a function of your product or service.
- A benefit, on the other hand, is an advantage, a help, or an aid to the reader that comes from owning and using the product or service you are selling.
When presenting benefits, identify the ones that are most important to your specific prospects first and in order from most important to least mention them, one after another.
In my search for information on membership sales pages, it was pointed out in several sources that in general people scan rather than thoroughly reading pages.
This tells me that it is best to list the benefits in a manner so they are easy to digest and quickly. I think a bullet point format is best. I have seen this format used on many sales pages
Let me show you what I mean…
I want you to know that my new whiz bang product and service is easy to sign up for, easy to navigate and use, it saves you time on a daily basis, and it will save you money as you use it more.
The paragraph above does mention the benefits but it is not so easy to pick up this in the verbiage. Let’s see what happens when we add then into a bullet list…
My product and service has many benefits, such as:
- It’s easy to sign up and use my product
- You can easily navigate through the site pages
- It will save you 25% of your work time, per feedback from oue current satisfied members
Using the bullet points makes each benefit stand out and this will stick in the mond of the prospect. It catches their attention and also it taps into their emotions.
A sales page can be as long as it needs to be. Therefore, add in all the benefits from strongest to the one requiring less emphasis. Anything that is a positive can be included.
Element #5 – Educate With The Features
Think about the last time you decided you needed a new smartphone. When you looked online, as so many do today, or alternately went to a sales shop, how did your selection process go?
Likely you looked at the models, the colors maybe, and even the costs between different phones. At some point you start digging into the features of the phone.
Items such as the memory, the RAM, whether or not there was the capability to add external storage, the camera, and so on. All of these factored in to your final decision to buy or not buy that phone.
It is the ssame for the product or service you are promoting on your sales page. Adding in specific information on what the product does or what the service includes and can do for the prospect lets them evaluate and come to a decision to buy or not buy.
It is in how you preent this information that you can either help or hurt your case for the sale. Be as accurate and as thorough as possible when you describe your feature.
- Your conversion rate will increase because your sales page will have the detailed information buyers are looking for and demonstrate the value of your product.
- When you are clear about what you are providing the buyers will have fewer complaints, meaning fewer requests for refunds too. When customers know what they are getting in advance there is no unpleasant surprises for them. Clarity is king!
I have seem that In most cases, sellers will list the features using the same format (bullet points) as they used for the benefits, but I note they do so with a few minor changes…
They tend to use more text for the features than for the benefits. Describing everything clearly. at times takes more text a lot of times. I have seen sub-bullets used in combination with the main bullets, and this helps keep things organized and easily understood.
There could be a combination of the two used that also works…Below see an example of what I am talking about…
- My Most Wonderful Feature #1
- Your Excellent Benefit #1 of this most wonderful feature
- Your Excellent Benefit #2 of this most wonderful feature
- My Wonderful Feature #2
- Your Excellent Benefit of this wonderful feature #1
- Your Excellent Benefit of this wonderful feature #2
I personally like the last option, because having the benefit tied to the feature helps cement the sell a lot of times.
OK, we covered a lot of ground today, and I hope you were taking notes! If not no issue, just stop back again and reread the tutorial! We covered the first 5 elements of the 10, and I will cover the rest in a separate post tomorrow….
Specifially, the five expanded on today were:
- Your Headline
- The Openings…or Beginnings…
- Convey Authority, Credibility, and Honesty
- Include Benefits to Inspire Prospects to Aspire
- Educate with the Features
I have tried to present these elements in the same manner and process that you will use to create your sales page. Tomorrow we will have 5 more interesting elements and also wrao it all up together.
As always, I ask that you share this post with others and also take a few moments to add in your perosnal experiecnces or thoughts when it comes to sales pages and membership sites. We all learn from one another when this happens! Thanks in advance!