5 persuasive copywriting techniques for better product pages
With the right copy, you can turn skeptical visitors into happy customers. Here are five persuasive copywriting techniques for higher-converting product pages.
Your product is live, and people are visiting your site. So why aren’t you making as many sales as you’d like to be?
The culprit might be your product page copy.
Good copy can mean the difference between a visitor clicking the “back” button or the “buy” button on your website.
That’s a lot of pressure to put on some text. But here’s the good news: you don’t have to be a professional copywriter to write a sales page that converts.
Whether you’re a marketer focused on conversion rate optimization (C.R.O.) or a small business owner looking to ramp up sales, with the right copywriting techniques and approach, you can write better sales copy and sell more digital products.
Here are five of the most powerful persuasive copywriting techniques you can use to turn visitors into happy customers.
1. Speak your customers’ language
Your product page copy helps potential customers answer, “Is this the right product for me?”
But you can’t answer that question if you don’t know who your target audience is.
Your audience expects you to get to know them and see them as people. 84% of customers say that being treated like an individual rather than a number is very important to winning their business.
Customer research is a vital part of content marketing and copywriting because it helps you get to know your customers. And when you learn about your audience’s pain points, goals, and perspectives, you can write copy that truly connects with them.
One of the most valuable forms of customer research is voice of customer research, or learning how your audience describes their needs in their own words.
Expert copywriter Joanna Wiebe explains how voice of customer research helps you sell with copywriting:
“If it sounds like copy, it’s trying too hard, and it needs to try a little. So, that means listen to customers. Still, have your little bit of artfulness in there — usually for headlines and crossheads.
But for the rest of the copy that people are supposed to read, you want to listen to exactly what they’re going through… and then put that into copywriting frameworks and formulas.”
To conduct voice of customer research, read reviews of other products in your niche. Reviews show you what your audience values in similar products and the language they use to talk about it. Then, use that language in your copy.
You can also search social media and online communities to see how your audience talks about your niche.
Let’s say you’re writing an ebook about making homemade pasta. You could search “homemade pasta” on Reddit and find out what kinds of questions people ask one another about making pasta.
You might even find an entire subreddit community with over 46,000 members dedicated to homemade pasta.
From there, start noting the most common questions and terms you come across in the community, especially from people newer to the world of pasta making.
Once you do your voice of customer research, put it into action by mirroring your audiences’ language on your product pages.
This can also help your search engine optimization (SEO) — when your writing uses your customers’ language, it’s more likely to match their search queries and show up in the search results.
That same customer research tells you what your customers’ biggest concerns and potential objections are, which brings us to our next persuasive copy technique…
2. Acknowledge and overcome objections
When you know your audience well, you understand the potential objections that might keep them from buying your product. And when you anticipate your customers’ objections, you can address them with sales copywriting before they have a chance to worry.
Pro copywriter and founder of Copyblogger, Brian Clark, shares why objection handling is so important:
“People think that changing the headline or the “buy now” button color is what conversion optimization is all about. Sometimes, though, the real issue is that you’re simply not providing enough assurance to a large enough set of your prospects.
Back up your claims. Anticipate and eliminate objections. Reverse the risk.”
The most common objections include:
Lack of budget: “This is too expensive.”
Lack of trust: “I’ve never heard of this brand/creator/business. How do I know if this is legitimate?”
Lack of need: “Do I really need to buy this? I don’t see how this can help me.”
Lack of urgency: “This isn’t important to me right now.”
To overcome these objections, you need to make your product’s unique value proposition clear throughout your sales page copy.
If the main objection is lack of trust, add social proof, like case studies and testimonials, to boost your credibility. (More on this later.)
If customers have objections around pricing, focus on your product’s value — what they stand to gain — rather than how much it will cost them.
One great way to raise and resolve your site visitors’ objections is by adding a frequently asked questions (F.A.Q.) section below your product descriptions. You can address next steps, potential concerns, and any other questions they might have.
For example, the F.A.Q. for Mackenzie Child’s Design for Developers course tackles a “lack of need” objection:
Mackenzie clearly lays out who can benefit from his course and why it’s a good fit for beginners looking to tackle web design. If a potential customer was thinking, “But I’m a developer, I can’t become a good designer,” these F.A.Q.s put that concern to rest.
Similarly, the Coding is for Losers (CIFL) course Data Analysis the Lazy Way has an F.A.Q. focused on helping potential students feel more confident in their purchase.
The money-back guarantee and promise of weekly office hours make it clear that CIFL values their students and stands behind their product, two things that would put any prospect at ease.
Podia’s site editor makes it easy for creators like Mackenzie and the CIFL team to add F.A.Q.s to their product pages.
Just go to the editor and open the product page you want to edit. Then, click the plus sign to add a new section, and choose “FAQs” from the left sidebar:
From there, you can add as many Q’s and A’s as you’d like.
Now let’s move on to a technique that works a little bit more subconsciously.
3. Use psychological triggers
A trigger is a sales tool for “influencing, motivating and persuading a prospect to make a purchase”. The concept was made popular in the sales and marketing world by Joseph Sugarman in his book Triggers.
You might be thinking, “Mind control? That sounds intense.” But the 30 triggers Sugarman lists in his book are more or less the basic psychology behind nearly every marketing and persuasive writing technique.
For example, objection raising and resolving are two of the triggers Sugarman covers:
“Resolving an objection does more than build confidence, inspire respect, and reflect your integrity. It resolves a conflict in the mind of the consumer that must be resolved to consummate a sale.”
Some of the most powerful triggers in copywriting are all about scarcity, exclusivity, and urgency. In other words, it’s the fear of missing out (FOMO).
Plus, products with limited availability and invite-only offers make buyers feel special. And when you make them feel special, they’re more likely to buy.
That’s why 89% of Americans say that an exclusive offer would make them likely to shop with a brand, and 48% say an exclusive offer would make them purchase sooner.
If you run an online course or membership site, use your product page copy to let people know that a limited number of spots are left.
For example, wellness business coach Erin of Form + Flow explains that there are only a few spots available for her website building workshop, The Space Camp:
What makes Erin’s approach so effective is that she highlighted the scarcity and exclusivity of workshop enrollment.
Wageningen and Tilburg Universities’ study on product scarcity found that shoppers chose the scarce item over the non-scarce one because they believed those limited-supply items were more popular.
Urgency, which is specifically related to time, has a similar effect. Research shows that limited-time offers increase “anticipatory regret,” which drives people to purchase things they otherwise wouldn’t.
For example, an experiment by ConversionXL found that adding a countdown timer led to a 147% increase in conversions. So if you’re closing course signups soon or offering a limited-time sale, make that clear in your copy, and see your sales soar.
Our next persuasion technique also involves drawing on your readers’ emotions. But this time, we’re going a whole lot further up the page.
4. Make your headline emotional
In his 1966 book, Breakthrough Advertising, copywriting legend Eugene Schwartz wrote:
“Your headline has only one job — to stop your prospect and compel him to read the second sentence of your ad.
In exactly the same way, your second sentence has only one job — to force him to read the third sentence of your ad. And the third sentence — and every additional sentence in your ad — has exactly the same job.”
Schwartz wrote print ads and sales letters, but his advice is just as relevant to your product pages: Write headlines that grab your reader’s attention.
Here’s why: Research shows that online readers skim for big ideas and headlines.
And as David Ogilvy, another advertising great, posited, “Five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”
To make the most of your headlines, you need to elicit emotion from your audience.
That’s not to say that your headline should be a tear-jerker or over-the-top declaration. Writing emotional headlines means connecting with your audience and showing them that you understand their pain point and have a real solution.
For example, this headline from Becky Mollenkamp’s membership website, Gutsy Boss Club, hits an emotional note by affirming her audience’s hopes for themselves.
If I’m an entrepreneur who’s feeling unsatisfied with my current situation, I see this headline and think, “You’re right, I am ready for more. I feel seen and understood. And it looks like this membership can help me get the ‘more’ that I’m looking for.”
The headline on Natalie Sisson’s homepage hits a similar note:
Natalie clearly understands her audience’s pain points — wanting more money, joy, and freedom — and validates those struggles. She seems to know just what her customers are going through, which makes her solution all the more credible.
On the more technical side of things, the headline for Ryan of Signature Edits’ Master Lightroom Classic course promises results that resonate with his audience:
Ryan’s headline touches on a goal that many new photographers probably share: To channel their favorite photographers in their work. This copy makes that goal feel attainable — especially if you enroll in his course.
If you need a bit more inspiration, here are five classic headline templates to get you started:
- Learn how to
Example: Learn how to network and meet new prospective clients
Example: Get fit without having to join yet another gym membership
- Here is
[method]that helps you
Example: Here is the sales email template that helps you win over customers
- Get rid of
[pain point]once and for all
Example: Get rid of your tech issues once and for all
Example: Get a brand new website in four days
(For more sales copy templates like these, check out this guide to landing page best practices.)
Our fifth and final persuasion technique is less about writing copy and more about framing it.
5. Build credibility with social proof
You can have the best copywriting skills in the game, but in a world where only a third of people trust the brands they buy from, you still need to back up your claims.
That’s where social proof comes in. Coined by Dr. Robert Cialdini in his famous book Influence, the concept of social proof means that “we view a behavior as more correct in a given situation to the degree that we see others performing it”.
In other words, if you want to convince people to do something — like buy your online course — show them that other people are doing it, too.
For marketers, leveraging social proof means including customer reviews and testimonials in marketing materials. And when it comes to your product pages, those testimonials can be a powerful tool:
92% of consumers read testimonials and online reviews when they’re considering a purchase.
88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
72% of consumers say that positive testimonials and reviews make them trust a business more.
Like the voice of customer research we talked about earlier, sales page testimonials use your customers’ own words to showcase your product.
For example, Shalena D.I.V.A. includes testimonials on the product page for her Monetize Your Facebook Group masterclass:
These reviews highlight the value of Shalena’s course and tell potential customers what they can expect to gain by enrolling.
Social proof can be especially effective for higher-priced products, like expensive online courses and annual memberships. Research shows that conversion rates rose by 380% when a higher-priced product’s landing page included reviews.
The reviews make it clear that Growable Shows is well worth the price as one of the best courses in its niche. If visitors are on the fence about signing up, testimonials like Dan’s may be the deciding factor in Jay’s favor.
All you need to do is open the editor, navigate to your product page, and click the plus sign to add a new section:
Then, select “Testimonials” from the menu on the left:
From there, it’s simple to add, design, and rearrange testimonials on your product pages:
To learn more about gathering and using customer testimonials, check out our guide on how to ask for testimonials, including testimonial request templates.
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Make more sales with powerful, persuasive copywriting
With the right techniques and a little practice, you can write a product page that turns prospects into customers.
To recap, here are five persuasive copywriting techniques to help you do just that:
Speak your customers’ language. Conduct voice of customer research to learn how your audience talks about their pain points and goals, then incorporate that into your copy.
Acknowledge and overcome objections. An F.A.Q. section is a great place to address potential concerns that might otherwise hinder someone from buying.
Use psychological triggers like scarcity and urgency to keep visitors interested and make them want to buy A.S.A.P.
Make your headlines emotional. Headlines need to grab and hold your audience’s attention, so use language that resonates with your audience’s struggles or aspirations.
Build credibility with social proof. Add testimonials and reviews to your product pages to spotlight the results previous customers have achieved.
At the end of the day, good copy is all about showing your audience that you understand them. Once you do, you’ll be well on your way to sharing more knowledge, connecting with more customers, and making more sales.