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Ernesto Verdugo

How to Design Kickass Long Form Sales Pages

I found an informative video and great article on how to design a kickass long form sales pages. So first you must need to know how to create a sales page. When it comes to selling anything online you need to have a great sales page or landing page to move your product. I provided a video below on How to create a sales page. Check it out!
Continue reading to know how to design kickass long form sales pages. Know those sales pages that are really, really long? They’re great, but they mostly suck. I mean the way they are usually implemented sucks. Long form sales pages have their place, and they work extremely well in many circumstances. Think about it – the reason you have a website is because you want to sell something. If you only have a single product, there’s no real reason to have more than one page. The only information you need to have on your site is what makes the user understand the product, i.e. its benefits and use cases. This helps consumers come to a decision as to whether the product solves their particular problem quickly. Clicking through several different pages only gets in the way. Some call them mini-sites, some say one-pagers. Same same. If you’re using landing pages to capture PPC traffic, and you want them to buy something , you’re probably using a sales page too (or should!).

Why that much copy?

The amount of copy you need depends on the complexity and cost of the product. The more complicated and/or expensive the product, the more you need to explain, show, educate, convince. If you’re selling a box of matches for $0.25 – and I need one – I don’t need to read any copy. I just buy it. The product is simple and cheap. On the other hand, if I’m on the market for a new car or a house – both complicated (many things to learn about them) and expensive – I will take weeks and months to do research, read and compare. If you’re selling something that costs say $300 – I don’t need weeks, but I do need an adequate amount of information before I can justify (to myself, to my wife, to my boss etc) such an expense.

Buyers are readers

Worried that your copy is too long? Don’t. If somebody is ready to buy after just a brief skim – having just read ~20% of the copy – they can just skip ahead and click ‘buy’. No problem. But if somebody reads ALL the text on your site and STILL has questions and doubts, then you’ve got a problem. This is why long form copy works well. True – most people will not read the whole sales copy – and that’s okay. It’s not a novel. The consumers who do are the ones who are actually going to buy.
“My sales letter for Earn $1k is 47 pages long, but it converts very well. And when people read it, they will do things like this, they will nod their heads as they are reading the entire thing. We’ll see them stopping and we’ll see them resuming again. They’re really thinking about it.”
- Ramit Sethi in an interview for Mixergy

But long form sales pages are cheesy and scammy!

This is the reason I said “they mostly suck”. I agree – most of them are ridiculously cheesy and scammy. You’re absolutely right. This is why a lot of people hate them. I went over to Clickbank and picked some random products from their marketplace. Here are 3 typical long-form sales pages. Random crap I found #1: Exclamation marks! Check. Hype! Check. THE Absolute best! Check. This must be selling like crazy. (In case you were wondering, it’s not.) crap Random crap I found #2: They couldn’t even get their logo display right and the headline is unreadable. crap2Random crap 3: Another case of  ”proven headline formula” at work. crap3 Hard cold truths about long form sales pages
  • Most of them look like vomit. Worse, actually.
  • The copy is written by idiots who think that adding exclamation marks and hype into every sentence boosts sales. (Grow up.)
  • A lot of the products sold via long form sales pages are actually scam. It looks like the easiest business to do – just create a pdf file and start selling it. That’s why it attracts a lot of losers. The barrier of entry is extremely low, so any idiot can get started.
If you Google about long form sales copy, you will find lots of critical blog posts such as this one, but you will also see that the criticism is all about the implementation. I want to remind you – it’s not the format, it’s the execution that sucks.
  • Long form sales pages can look great.
  • It is possible to hire somebody that can write great copy.
  • Great products can be sold with long form sales pages – and not just infoproducts.
Here’s a long form page we just designed for a client. It’s not an infoproduct. The copy is not cheesy. Looks kickass. (Click to see the whole page). shoot-short

Copy matters and is the first thing

Long form sales pages are mostly about the content. So in order to close the sale, you need really good copy. You don’t start to design before you have the copy in place. Content first. You can only write excellent copy if you understand your target audience - and are the master of “little things” like knowing your way around with words, understanding persuasion, sales psychology and using proven frameworks.
“There is no such thing as an attention span. There is only the quality of what you are viewing.  This whole idea of an attention span is, I think, a misnomer. People have an infinite attention span if you are entertaining them.”
- Jerry Seinfeld, comedian While Jerry was talking about television, this applies equally to sales copy. No one is going to read it if it’s boring crap. It needs to join the conversation in the mind of the customer, target their problems and desired outcomes. Be careful about picking a copywriter I’ve used a ton of copywriters for various projects. My best advice: anyone worth hiring starts at $1000 (usually much more – in the $2.5k to $5k range). You’re better off learning copywriting and writing your own copy than hiring somebody cheap. People who are cheap are cheap for a reason (they usually suck). Of course, price alone does not tell you the quality of the copywriter. There’s a myriad of jargon-loving “professional copywriters” out there (and I’ve had the misfortune of using several). If they’re using stuff like ‘leverage’ and ‘our principals are standing by’ in their portfolio copy, run! A lot of them are also ego-driven (which is understandable – they’re human) which makes them poor at taking feedback, fierce about justifying their choices and it all results in mediocre copy at best. BUT – great copywriters do exist. Decide what kind of copywriter you need Another thing to remember is that brand copywriters and direct response copywriters are very different. It’s a whole different mindset. We once hired a brand copywriter who had an impressive resume, had been working with all sorts of big brands in the past. She completely failed at writing direct response copy. She just couldn’t figure it out. It teaches you an awesome technique for improving any copy through synergy and systematic approach – without anyone’s feelings getting hurt.

It’s (almost) all about readability

So you’ve got good copy. Congratulations? Not so soon. If it’s not structured and designed well, people aren’t going to read it. First there’s how you structure your text:
  • Large font size (minimum 16px).
  • Short lines (40 to 80 characters per line).
  • New paragraph every 3-4 lines.
  • Use lists, quotes, tables – mix it up.
  • Sub-headlines every 2-3 paragraphs.
  • If you’re getting a decent amount of mobile traffic (20+ percent), you need responsive design.
This is basic, but oh so critical. This wall of text is not gonna entice anyone to read: crap4   Sub-headlines are completely missing here – but they’re enormously important. The majority of users will only read the headlines – they use it to garner the entire story from start to finish. Scanners will scroll down the page, stop at the headings that grab their attention, read that content and begin scanning again. Novelty In order to make a lot of copy easy to digest and read, you need to design for reading. You need to provide novelty in every screen. This means you have to constantly change the layout around – to keep it interesting. Sameness equals boring and drives people away. There are lots of psychological phenomena at play that I’ve written about here.
  • Neuroscientists say novelty promotes information transmission.
  • Our minds seems to gravitate toward novelty. Not only does a novel experience seem to capture our attention, it appears to be an essential need of the mind.
Our brain pays close attention to patterns, and quickly learns to ignore anything that is routine, repetitive, predictable or just plain boring. This makes room for paying attention to anything that’s different. So novelty is what gets people to pay attention. Ever wondered why so many sites constantly alternate the position of text paragraphs (text on the left, then text on the right, text on the left and so on)? Like here:

iphone

It’s for the very same reason I just mentioned – novelty. It boosts the number of people reading the content. Sub-headlines and white space help to achieve the same goal. Take a look at this new long form sales page by Appsumo guys. See how the layout constantly changes – it’s to sustain attention and keep you reading. Very good execution. dollashort For the continuation check out How to Create an Awesome Sales Page for additional information to design your kickass sales page.

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