Over the past three weeks, I’ve critiqued 14 sales and landing pages.
What’s funny is I’ve run into the same copywriting conversion-killers….over and over again.
Curious? Here are the top six:
1. The page isn’t skim-friendly
Most crossheads I’ve seen are more like placeholder copy (Think: “Frequently Asked Questions” or “What Customers Say”). In other words…the same as every other crosshead on the web.
Other crossheads I saw were just…not very exciting. Or scroll-stopping. They kinda blended in with the rest of the copy on the page.
And that’s a problem. ‘Cause many people aren’t going to read every word of your sales page (sad, I know). They’ll just skim the crossheads—which means that those big words in bold have a lotta weight to pull.
So whatdya do? Well, instead of something like “What Customers Say,” your crosshead could be a quote from one particular customer…or say how their life was transformed after buying your product.
Take a look at how Copyhackers does it (on their Copy School sales page):
Notice also how they bold certain words in the testimonial (making the copy even more skim-friendly).
2. The copy is impersonal
I’ve seen many course and membership creators talk about themselves in third person.
No bueno. People wanna buy from someone that they can *relate* to (not a stuffy corporate org).
So in the section where you introduce yourself, talk in first person. Share your story of struggle and transformation —and why you’re now able to help your prospects undergo their own transformation.
3. The copy is generic
Most pages I reviewed didn’t rely on VOC research.
(Really no bueno).
Wanna know how I know? ‘Cause the copy wasn’t specific. And it didn’t *sound* like stuff people would say.
Good copy is pulled from your customers’ mouths. It’s concrete. Relatable. Sticky. It gets them to visualize the pain they’re feeling and the desired outcome. It has them nodding their heads as they’re reading and thinking “Whoa. This person GETS me.”
Here’s another example from Copyhackers:
Can’t you just *feel* the pain? I can. ‘Cause the copy is uber specific. Copyhackers isn’t trying to appeal to everyone here. They aren’t writing to the confident, know-it-all copywriters. They aren’t writing to the non-copywriter entrepreneurs who want to learn copy for their own business. They’re writing exclusively to the amateur freelance copywriter who second guesses themselves.
And that’s the other thing (that I learned from Copyhackers actually): you want to write to One Reader. Not two. Not three. But one.
Once you *know* who your One Reader is and what’s going through their mind before, during and after the buying process (thank you, VOC research!), you’ll be able to write that super specific copy.
4. The messaging hierarchy isn’t intentional
I noticed that many sales pages dove right into the offer, with the main headline as the name of the course or membership.
But tbh…unless your prospect is your mom, they don’t *care* about the name of your product. They just wanna know how you can help them.
Instead, try asking a question to draw your readers in. Or sympathize with a pain point.
Think about what’s going through their mind as they’re scrolling through your sales page. And map things out based on that.
5. CTAs aren’t value-driven
I saw a lotta CTAs like “Join Now” and “Sign Up”.
Here’s a question for ya: Would one of those CTAs make you want to purchase?
Didn’t think so.
How about instead, you give your readers a reason to sign up. Have calls-to-value instead of calls-to-action (I credit Joanna Wiebe for teaching me that).
So let’s say you’re selling a business coaching membership. Instead of something like “Join Now,” you could have your CTA be “Get in on the fun” or “Join 25 other business newbies.”
Then once your prospect is on the checkout page, you can have your call-to-action (ie: “Purchase Now”) so it’s crystal clear what the next step is.
6. Too much filler copy (aka words/sentences that don’t add value)
I saw a lotta “Welcome to my page” or “Let me begin by saying…” type of copy.
Blah blah blah. That filler copy isn’t moving your prospects any closer to checkout. So toss it out!
And then…get your copy critiqued by an expert (like moi😉).