Put your hand up if you’re not a fan of long sales copy…
Now keep your hand up if you have purchased a product after reading its long sales copy.
That’s what I thought.
No matter how much some of us just don’t like long sales copy, we can’t escape the truth that good long copy actually works – and it works well.
So how do you take this seemingly conflicting knowledge and apply it rationally when choosing affiliate programs to promote?
Gravity ratings can be excellent indicators, but they’re only one of many metrics that determine a program’s potential and there are times when they don’t come in handy – such as new product launches.
Or you may find yourself promoting products that you have no personal need or desire to purchase. For example, if you are an affiliate looking at promoting a golf product with no interest and minimal knowledge of the niche, you’ll likely find it hard to relate with the market. This makes it much harder to gauge the effectiveness of the sales copy, because you can’t simply test it on yourself.
In order to quickly gain an informed perception of a sales page’s ability to convert, here are the top five questions you should be asking:
1) Do the headlines, bolded, and highlighted text paint a cohesive story on their own?
Are you able to understand what the product is, and why anyone should feel compelled to buy it by simply skim reading the eye-catching headlines and copy?
Value is key here – you should be able to instantly identify the product’s value and see how it justifies the price point.
2) Does the copy provide enough detail to thoroughly explain what benefits the buyer will receive from this product?
This is important - the copy needs to thoroughly describe the product but this description must be benefit-focused, NOT feature-focused.
Example feature description:
“This product can do XYZ, which makes it go whiz-bang, really fast!”
This may be impressive to the product creator, but why should the reader care that it can go whiz-bang really fast?
Example benefit description:
“This product can do XYZ, so you can cut your research time in half and instead spend more time doing the things you love.”
This is, of course, a very general benefit description - better copy would identify the ‘things’ the reader loves, and capture their attention with those. This brings us to the third question you should ask yourself…
3) Does the copy correctly identify the buyer market and speak directly to them?
Take a closer look at the benefits stated – are these appealing to those who the product is intended for?
If the copy fails to engage the reader, they will stop reading and not purchase – simple as that.
4) Does the copy create a sense of trust?
No matter how legitimate and well-intending the merchant is, if they are unable to establish a relationship of genuineness and trustworthiness, you can bet your bottom dollar the sales page won’t convert.
Trustworthy copy will be scattered with testimonials – from short in-text references to case studies. These should be a mixture of success stories and endorsements from other, relevant businesses. Testimonials from high profile businesses bring extra credibility because readers can easily identify with them.
Be sure to consider the claims made by the copy too. Alarm bells should go off at hyperbole. Are the claims believable?
While impressive, it would be an extremely tough job to convince me that you drastically improved your golf handicap so much that you went from worst player to best player at your club in less than 24 hours… would you be convinced?
5) Does the copy create a sense of urgency?
If it fails to give explicit reasons why the reader needs to purchase the product right now, then they won’t purchase it immediately.
They may be close to being sold on the product, but without a sense of urgency they’re likely to leave the page and have a think about it, and probably purchase a more convincing product in the meantime.
If you can answer yes to these five questions when assessing sales copy, then you’re looking at a sales page that has the ability to convert well.
What do you look for when assessing a merchant’s sales page? Share your tips with us in the comments below.