To write a successful sales page, share one simple message aligned with one simple belief.

Attractive couple on beachMost online sales letters are just too complicated. They make the reader think too much.

If you want your readers to buy, you need to give them a very simple message that is aligned with a very simple belief they already hold.

Above all, as strange as it may seem, you don’t want them to think too much.

To illustrate what I mean, let’s take a peek at what politicians do, because they have to work within exactly the same constraints.

Consider a politician who wants to promote a bill that will increase the minimum wage.

He will do two things…

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One simple question that can increase all your online writing fees.

freelance client questionsAs freelancers we often take on a project from a client and then write that web page in isolation.

But that’s not a very smart thing to do.

Whether you are writing a product category page or a blog post – or anything else – your work is part of a broader strategy.

If you write a product category page, that page will be linked to from other places, and it will have outbound links to other pages too. It will take its place at a particular point within a sales funnel.

If you write a blog post, that post will be part of a content publication plan that is aligned with your client’s marketing plan and calendar.

In other words, whatever you write for a client, it fits into a broader picture.

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Copywriters: You can’t bully your prospects into saying Yes.

copywriters shouldn't bullyAs a copywriter you are placed in an adversarial position with your readers.

This happens whether you like it or not.

The relationship is adversarial because you are trying to get your reader to change in some way. Change their brand of toothpaste. Change their diet. Change the software they use. Change the coffee they drink. And so on.

It is our job as copywriters to drive a change in behavior. Or, if you are writing to existing customers, it’s our job to prevent change from happening.

Either way, there is an adversarial element to the relationship.

If you don’t think there is anything adversarial about trying to persuade someone to change a behavior, pause for a moment and think about the last time you tried to make your spouse or one of your kids change their behavior.

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Whatever you’re selling, imagine you know nothing about it.

don't assume reader knowledgeOne of the things every copywriter learns is to do plenty of research.

Whatever the product or service you are selling, you need to dig deep and learn everything about it…before you start writing your sales copy.

If you don’t know…and I mean REALLY know…what you are trying to sell, your sales copy will feel thin and lacking in any persuasive oomph.

I experienced this myself recently while reading a draft written by a youngish copywriter. The copy felt thin. I didn’t get a deep, reassuring feeling for the product being sold. So I emailed the copywriter and asked him about the research he had done before putting pen to paper.

It turned out that he had simply worked from the information provided by the client and had done no additional research of his own. And that was a bit silly, because the client had provided contact information for the person who created the product. The client had assumed the writer would get in touch with this person and grill him for more information. Didn’t happen.

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Impress your clients by asking about audience segmentation.

audience segmentsYou are about to start writing an online sales page.

Your client has given you the briefing information you need. You know all about the product or service you are going to be selling. And you also have some information on the demographics of your audience.

Let’s say the demographic information is reasonably complete. You know that prospective buyers are between the ages of 18 and 65, with the bulk of buyers being in the 35-50 age group. Most own their own homes. 65% female and 35% male.

Hopefully you can now form a picture of your buyers in your mind, and write your sales copy in a way that will resonate with them.

But hang on.

Just because you have that demographic information and know who you are writing to doesn’t mean that everyone in the target audience will respond the same way to your sales copy.

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To close more sales, flatter your readers.

better golfer celebratingYou’re a good online copywriter. You do good work, and your skills are growing with each passing month.

Judging from other copywriters’ websites, you’re probably way above average when it comes to your craft. Ramp up your skills a little more, and you’ll rise up the ranks even further.

Yes, flattery will get me everywhere.

Actually, it really will.

In a classic psychology test, a group of drivers were asked if they believed their driving skills were above average.

90% said yes.

Something is not quite right there, because mathematically you can’t have more than 50% of drivers having better than average skills.

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