Have you ever used a dating site?
My experience so far has been akin to a massively overthought social experiment that’s gone worryingly wrong (read: I’m attracting the special ones) since I seem to be using the site for anything but going out on dates multiple times a week.
(my self-preservation skills at work, folks)
One thing that’s glaringly obvious is that the majority of suitors (Emily Bronte would be proud of this word being here) rather conveniently fall into a set of distinct categories.
And since I’m in the mood to share far too much about my personal life, here are the categories I’ve witnessed so far:
The blatant – makes his intentions clear by asking if you’d like to have sex in the very first message
The taker – only answers your questions and doesn’t ask anything about you
The chancer – lives on a different continent to you, yet thinks in-person dating’s a real possibility
The procrastinator – exchanges friendly messages for what seems like forever but never actually asks you out
It’s this final one that’s the most frustrating.
He’s the one that gives you all the signs that he’s interested, but when it comes to closing the deal? He just kinda goes limp (
So I’m now wondering: how many of us are doing this in our businesses – not asking for the sale, like, ever?
Or worryingly, asking for the sale and doing it in the worst way possible (á la The Blatant).
Which then lead me onto analysing a gazillion (I rounded up) sales pages to see when selling’s done well, and when it ain’t.
This could well have turned into an article about sales page rules, but where, pray-tell, is the fun in that?
So I figured a good ‘ol demo of how sales page editing works would go down a treat.
Since sales pages are typically lengthy, let’s focus on the introduction only. It’s arguably definitely the most important part of the page to draw people in and make reading the page irresistible.
A brilliant web design teacher I know (hi Marianne!) got in touch with me recently about her sales page.
She’s selling a book that teaches you how to design and develop your own website (no mean feat) and we decided to edit the copy to increase sales.
Here are some before ‘n’ after snippets to see what I rewrote:
If there’s one thing I’ll repeat over and over until my face has turned an unflattering shade of blue, it’s this:
80% of the work is done before you sit down to write
Whether it’s a blog post, a sales page, or any other page on your website.
80% of your work (the planning, the customer research, the wine binge) is done before you sit down to write.
And this is exactly the theory applied to the rewrite of this sales page intro.
Once Marianne sent me the page, I asked her to send me transcripts of all the customer interviews she’d done in the past (she then conducted some more).
I then set to doing a ton of research by going to websites where her target audience hangs out.
My job was to pick out all the words her audience uses when describing the problems they face when it comes to website design and development.
8 hours, many empty wine glasses, and coupla red eyes later, the sales page edits were done.
Here’s why the edits happened:
It’s pretty clear –research played a far bigger role in writing than anything else.
We have a ton of deets on how we conduct customer research in our digital guide More Clients, More Money, More Freedom. If you haven’t already, download your copy here.
Question for you: What are the main takeaways for you in the edits? What will you apply to the edits on your next page?