Your product is ready to go, or at least the idea of it is.
You’re ready to sell (or pre-sell).
Almost, anyway, because before you can start distributing the goods to consumers or letting them know about your product launch, you need to set up the sales page that’ll greet them.
Forget rolling out the welcome mat -- you’re struggling to put the walls up and figure out where the door should go in the first place.
So you look for help.
But hitting up Google doesn’t pan out: it seems like everywhere you turn, someone is saying something different.
Make your buttons orange, they say on one page. Avoid orange at all costs, another article cries.
Who do you listen to? How do you create a sales page that’ll invite people to take a deeper look and convert into paying customers when no one seems to agree on the best practices?
The answer is pretty simple -- forget the opinions and look at the data behind conversion rate optimization (CRO).
That’s the approach we’re taking today. First, we’ll take a closer look at what CRO is, then we’ll apply it step-by-step to every element of your sales page from the title to the closer.
Let’s dive in.
What is CRO (and why does it matter to you)
I like to think of CRO as the science side of marketing. Typically associated with A/B and multivariate testing, CRO comprises any strategy that’s aimed at increasing the conversion rates of a given page or element.
If you remember our analogies from 3 quick-wins for getting more downloads, search engine optimization (SEO) makes up the roads that lead people to you, but CRO determines what they do once they get there.
You can have one without the other, you just won’t have a very effective marketing strategy if you do.
Here’s a good visual of how they work together from KlientBoost:
Unfortunately, CRO is something that a lot of businesses struggle with.
Only 28% of businesses are satisfied with their current conversion rates -- the rest are either indifferent or unhappy with how their pages are performing.
Which is a confusing statistic when you consider that 53% of marketers say CRO is a pivotal part of their marketing strategy for their businesses or clients.
Combined together, the stark reality of how important professionals consider CRO and how poorly businesses feel their conversion rates are running, you’re left with one simple fact:
It’s important, but not that many people know how to do it.
But before you get discouraged, take heart. CRO is one of the easiest aspects of marketing if you come from a creative background -- like you undoubtedly do if you sell online courses, digital downloads, or memberships -- because of its close ties with user experience (UX) design.
Many professionals, myself included, look at the two processes as intertwined. Thoughtful UX drives equally thoughtful CRO, and CRO returns the favor by yielding necessary user data for designers to iterate on pages or elements of pages.
Case in point, consider how using surveys to gather customer insight and drive a small redesign helped Bonia, a fashion retailer in Asia, improve their conversion rates.
In just two months, they uplifted conversions for a category of products by 66%. They also decreased the number of users who couldn’t find what they were looking for on the site from 85% to 47%.
The design did the user-facing work to make those changes, but the CRO data drove the design.
A similar relationship was revealed when Click Consult, a full-suite digital marketing and search engine agency, worked in conjunction with a client’s design firm to launch a new design for their website.
They performed the CRO analytics and guided the designs with data, while the designers relied on them for insights into the most high-yield (profitable) pages to address.
The results, after rounds of testing and continuous cooperation, were impressive. The client saw a 10.58% increase in total revenue and a 9% increase in conversion rate.
So, what is CRO?
Something inexplicably tied to the design of your page that converts traffic into paying customers and active subscribers.
And it’s as much of a necessary pillar for your online business as SEO is, but unlike SEO, it’s a lot easier to break into without wading through hours of technical jargon and putting the Google Webmasters’ blog on speed dial.
Here’s how to use it and build your sales page step-by-step with CRO in hand.
Step #1: Set a compelling tone with your product name
What’s the first thing someone sees when they land on your sales page?
With rare exception, it’s your first-level header or <H1> tag. On your Podia sales pages, this is the name of your product and displayed directly beneath your navigation banner.
Here’s how it looks from within your dashboard:
And this is how it looks on your sales page for customers:
You don’t actually need to worry about the coding side of it -- that’s what Podia takes care of for you -- but rather, I highlight this nomenclature to emphasize the importance of taking care when you’re creating a product name.
It’s the first thing your customer sees and sets the tone for the rest of your page. It’s also one of the few pieces of copy that will be consistently read and not skimmed over, so if there’s ever a piece of real estate to prioritize getting right, it’s this one.
(It also bears mentioning that your product name and how it displays plays an important role in your UX, SEO, and accessibility.)
So, how do you write a product name that stands out?
Much the same way that you’d write any other headline, whether it’s for a social media post or for a blog article:
- It should be accurate about the contents of the page.
- It should include relevant keywords, but not at the expense of readability.
- It should inspire trust and elicit emotion.
Interestingly, positive emotions like happiness and joy perform far better in headlines than negative emotions. In a study of over three billion social shares, 69.3% expressed a positive sentiment in their headline.
Which should make it little wonder that the most shared site of all sources in the study was Upworthy, a media company that’s centered around providing positive and uplifting content.
Think that emotions have no place in a product name?
That might be true for physical products -- no one wants to buy “The Most Comforting Pillow You’ve Ever Used” off of Target shelves -- but online, emotional connection is an important part of why people buy.
It’s also a critical aspect of why people become loyal to brands. The transactional layer of customer interaction cannot sustain a business by itself: without an emotional layer, customers will disengage and leave.
Not all emotional headlines have to be worthy of an uplifting soap opera, by the way, nor should they be.
CoSchedule breaks this down nicely in the graphic below, but basically, there are three types of emotional tones to leverage in your product name.
Intellectual emotion might be conveyed with words such as “professional” or “proven.” Empathetic emotions might be elicited with terms like “care” and “need.” Finally, spiritual words might tap into a customer’s “mission” or “dreams.”
CoSchedule offers an excellent headline-tester tool based off of these principles, but if you don’t mind the outdated graphics, the Advanced Marketing Institute’s Headline Analyzer is the original tool of choice.
For the best results, run your product names through both before committing to it.
Then, after you’ve settled on your name, it’s time to start thinking about the next thing your customer sees: your video or graphics.