Course creators like yourself focus so much time and energy into creating their course and reaching their audience they often fall flat where it matters most: the sales copy. They think, “Oh, all I have to do is slap some words describing my course on the page and call it a day.” But really, there’s so much more you can do with your sales page.
Words are more powerful than most people give them credit for.
You can use words to paint a vivid picture, or to evoke an emotion or feeling, and a skilled writer can even use words to prompt an action.
The right sales copy can even spark the desire to make a purchase in your audience. By using language to paint your online course as the solution they’ve been looking for and the tool that will solve their problems you can create a need for your course in your potential customers that will capture a larger audience and increase your conversion rate.
What sets sales copy apart
Even skilled bloggers or content marketers have the tendency to get sales copy wrong when they’re just winging it. They write their sales page the same way they write their blog posts or newsletters and hope for the best.
Sales pages are different than the average blog post, though, because they have different end goals.
When you’re writing a blog post you tend to be aiming to inform, and hopefully gather a few email addresses along the way. With sales copy, on the other hand, you’re hoping to get people to part with their hard earned money in order to receive something that you created.
For effective sales copy first you have to convey value, and then you have to convey urgency. You say, “Buy my product because it will make your life easier,” and close with, “But you should hurry because time is limited.”
How to write effective sales copy
You can think of writing sales copy as a step-by-step process with important steps you need to execute, which, when executed correctly, can result in increased sales and more income for you.
Define your audience
Your course isn’t a perfect one-fit-solution for anyone and everyone, and you shouldn’t advertise it as such. If you haven’t defined your audience to yourself yet, this would be the time to do so. Consider these factors:
- Is your course better suited for novices or someone who already knows the basics?
- What is the end goal of taking your online course?
- If you had to describe them, who would your ideal customer be?
- Who is your course not for?
Take a look at how Melyssa Griffin clearly describes who her online course is best fit for and who isn’t right for taking Pinfinite Growth.
Off the bat she says that this course is perfect for bloggers new and old - the strategies in the online course will help anyone looking to grow their traffic and email list. Furthermore, the course is perfect for busy folk who are looking to run their Pinterest on autopilot without having to devote a ton of time or energy to the program.
By making it clear who you’re targeting with your course you accomplish two things:
- You make your target audience feel included when they see themselves in your “who this course is for” section
- You will have less people asking for refunds, because if an unfit potential customer doesn't fit into your “who this course is for” section they’ll be less likely to buy your course in the first place
We place so much value on sales page copy that we are dedicating and entire workshop during our Teachable Summit to growing your brand with writing. You can check out how 27 world-class entrepreneurs made $1m+ online and get some major entrepreneurial inspo during the workshops and panels featured in our Teachable Summit!
Make your sales page munchable
Your sales page should be easily scannable and digestible. Your audience is likely to first scan the page before diving in so they can see if reading your sales copy is even worth their time in the first place.
If you look at the snippet of Mariah Coz’s sales page for Your First 1K on the left, you’ll see how easy it is to scan through and get an idea of what information that she’s going to present.
There are very clear sections divided by images, graphs, and color blocking that clearly differentiate section a from section b from section c.
She also uses plenty of bolded text and colored text to make certain points and statements stand out. Again, this makes the sales page very scannable.
Her audience members can take a very quick, 15 second look at her sales page as a whole and already have an idea of whether or not her course is going to be a fit for them.
Based on an initial scan, your audience will decide whether they should stick around or if maybe your online course isn’t going to be the best fit for them.
Plus, we need to be honest: people are easily bored and easily distracted. If you don't have something on your sales page to catch their eye right away they are likely to click to another tab and never think of your sales page again.
To make your page super munchable, I recommend including these elements:
- Use very clear headers - You can use headers to break up different sections in your sales page. They can be simple (i.e. “Testimonials”) or a bit punchier (i.e. “What people are saying.”) Regardless, including headers will help your audience know what to expect and prompt them to read your page.
- Vary text size and color - A huge wall of text is going to overwhelm your audience and encourage them to click away from your sales page - and fast. Breaking up that wall of text with a variety of text types will make your page easier to read and encourage your audience to stick around and read more.
- Include negative space to make your page easy to read - negative space is simply the area on your sales page that has no text or images. Adequate negative space keeps your page from looking too busy or overwhelming, and invites your audience to stick around a bit longer.
- Add images to break up the text - much like the other tips mentioned here, images are going to make your sales page less intimidating. Images also serve to draw the reader’s eye - so make sure the copy surrounding the images is persuasive.
This one step will encourage significantly more people to stick around and take the time to read your page, giving you more opportunity to win your audience over via your superior sales copy.
At Teachable we make dividing up your sales page simple. Our default template breaks up the sections for you, and our text editor makes adding heading and different sized text simple.
Tell a story
As cliche as it might sound, telling a story on your sales page can really help your audience connect with you and your product. By painting a vivid picture of who can benefit from your product and the problems you’re going to solve, you can help people connect with your product.
Describing a vivid pain point that your online course is going to solve and then explaining how your course will help your students overcome that pain point is very valuable in creating a powerful sales proposition.
Here is a very valuable strategy to use in your sales copy: ease your customers’ mind before they’ve even thought to worry.
People are naturally going to try and talk themselves out of making any big purchase - whether it’s a new vacuum cleaner that they need or an online course that is more of a fun purchase.
You need to nip that in the bud.
Address any rational concerns someone might have when it comes to buying your course, and paint your online course as the best possible solution for the problems that your audience is having.
- “This course is expensive.” If you haven’t effectively portrayed the value of your course, people may think of it as expensive rather than valuable. One way to paint the value of your course is with language like, “The information in this course is worth well over $900, but I’m selling it for just $150!”
- “I could learn how to do this on my own.” In the internet age you can learn basically whatever you fancy online and for free. But that’s not the point of online courses. Online courses are a shortcut to an outcome and that’s what you have to emphasize in your copy. Say something like, “It took me 2 years to master this concept, but I’ll get you to where I am in just three weeks.”
- “Why would I buy from you when _______ is selling a course on the same topic?” A lot of course instructors get a case of “imposter syndrome” where they feel that they’re not enough of an expert to be selling a course on their topic, and that thought might run through your student’s minds, too.
Say something like, “I’ve been where you’ve been, and it wasn’t all that long ago. I remember what you’re going through because I was in your shoes just 2 years ago. I’m not some expert who has been teaching on this topic for 20 years and has long since forgotten what it feels like to be in the beginning stages, I’m simply someone who figured out what works and wants to share my method with you.”
- “But how do I know I can trust you?” When it comes down to it, you’re largely just a random on the internet. Chances are you customers have never met you, and really you could be anyone hiding behind a fake online persona.
Building trust online is a very important component of making sales. One way to build trust is through testimonial. Testimonials show that other people trusted you and are glad that they did.
Use clear calls to action
If you’re new here, you haven’t gotten my spiel about calls to action before - if you’ve been around once or twice, bear with me:
A call to action is exactly what it sounds like: text or an image that’s calling out to your reader to take an action.
It can be as simple as “Buy now!” or a little punchier, “Join the fun and buy today!” Regardless of how you’re wording your call to action, make sure that it’s included.
Your sales page is no place to be afraid of coming off as salesy, because salesy is the whole point.
So be upfront and ask people to purchase or sign up for your course, because that’s why you brought them to your sales page in the first place.
Use benefit driven language
If you know me, you had to have known this was coming. Benefit driven language presents your course to your audience in a way that appeals to them and their needs.
Instead of saying, “I’m giving you 5 hours worth of content that I spent 2 months creating!” You can say “After taking this course you’ll be able X which will result in Y and Z.”
Make sure that your sales copy is less about you and more about your audience and your online course.
Here is an example of benefit driven language from Reach Your Readers by Creativindie.
Benefit driven language helps people visualize what the outcome of the course will be, and they’re going to be more excited to buy.
Join us for our summit
One last tip? Join us for the Teachable Summit and learn from the very best. These are the people who have been where you are, cracked the code, and have all made $1 million+ online.
As far as sales copy goes, we have two great workshops you might be interested in: "How to Put Together Your First High-Converting Sales Funnel to Put Your Course on Autopilot" and "How to Grow Your Course Business with Writing, Even If You’re Not Good At It."
Neither of those your cup of tea? Well we have plenty of other workshops and panels that might suit your needs better, check it out here!
Now go make some sales!
What are your best tips for writing strong sales page copy? Share the love and let us know in the comments!