Freebie Friday continues!

If you missed the last few weeks’ editions, then check them out here:

  1. Getting Great Testimonials
  2. Training People To Be Trained By You
  3. Clear, Not Clever Titling
  4. Using Transitions To Boost Sales Page Conversion
  5. Increasing Click Through Rate On Launch Emails
  6. Hand Upsells That Can Boost Your Numbers
  7. Advanced Tips for Getting Endorsements
  8. Reclaiming Non-Buyers After Your Launch

(We’ll wait.)

This week’s release is “Using High Value Samples To Push Sales Higher”.

For those new to Freebie Friday, we are sending out samples from our BIG LAUNCH class (opening up in late December) so you can get a feel for what’s inside.

These freebies are what we call the “Launch Multipliers”, which are 108 tactical training modules that come with the class and are designed to boost your conversion during a launch.

So! Without further ado, let’s get to today’s lesson.

(We have links for you to download the audio or written version below, followed by the full text of the lesson.)

Using High Value Samples To Push Sales Higher

… or, read it below!

Using High Value Samples To Push Sales Higher

Hello, and welcome. I’m Dave from IttyBiz, and you are listening to the BIG LAUNCH launch multipliers. This track is called Using High Value Samples To Push Sales Higher.

Generally, this is a multiplier that’s going to apply to sellers of information, but coaches and consultants have a lot they can gain from this as well. Even creative service providers can benefit from a healthy attitude towards sampling, so this isn’t just for vendors of fine PDFs.

One of the most common questions we get here at IttyBiz HQ is on the topic of samples. In an era of Amazon book previews, we have all become somewhat accustomed to the idea of significant samples and a good degree of “try before you buy”, and it’s an issue of great concern to many ittybiz owners.

We’ve given a lot of time and space to discussing information product launch content, which is like a sample, but launch content is generally only a sample in the most conceptual sense. Launch content shows how wonderfully smart and rugged you are, but it is not generally an actual sample of the product itself.

You watch a video or read a white paper or listen to a lecture or whatever, and it will often show an example of what learning from a vendor is like. You think, “Well, they were smart about this, it stands to reason they’ll be smart about that, too.”

You are reminded that you like them, and that they’re good at what they do, and then when it comes time to buy something on a related topic, or a more macrocosmic topic, or even a more microcosmic topic, you are more likely to hand over the cash.

Great. But it’s at least one step removed from the product itself. If this were fiction, it would be like reading a short story by an author and then deciding to buy their novel. That’s wonderful as far as it goes, but it’s not exactly the same as reading the first chapter or two, is it?

Today we’re going to talk about reading the first chapter or two.

We’re talking about chapters, we’re talking about tasty morsels of Chinese food, we’re talking about free short massages designed to sell longer ones. We’re talking about outright giving away a chunk of the thing in order to sell the thing in its entirety. Make sense? Good. Let’s start.

If I had a nickel for every time I heard someone say, “I don’t want to give away the farm”, I wouldn’t have to be a marketing consultant. (Then again, if I wasn’t a marketing consultant, I’d never hear that, so it’s really a moot point.) The issue of giving away the farm is a real one, and one that the average ittybiz owner – especially one in the field of information marketing – is very concerned with indeed.

It seems like the overarching concern among ittybiz owners is that customers are walking around saying to themselves, “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?”

There’s a very agricultural feel to the sample issue.

Here’s how today’s multiplier is going to work. First, we’re going to talk about common concerns with sampling – the whole cow/milk issue. And then we’re going to abruptly transition into best practices for big samples that sell.

Sound good? Let’s get started.

First, common issues with sampling.

That sneaky, sneaky customer walking around smugly smirking. Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free, indeed.

But here’s the thing.

One, if they taste your milk and it is very good, they will want to secure more of it.

Two, if the free milk is this good, it is generally assumed that the paid milk is better.

Three, samples never filled anybody.

Let’s get more detailed. As we go into it, think of the guy in the food court giving out samples of Chinese food. You know, you get a little toothpick or a Dixie cup with some small morsel of food in it? Think of that guy.

The worry, for the average ittybiz owner, is twofold:

First, they’re concerned that they’re going to give out a whack of samples and nobody’s going to buy. Second, they’re concerned that because they gave the sample, nobody needs to buy.

Let’s tackle those issues now.

What if I give out a bunch of samples and then nobody buys?

This is a reasonable thought. It is entirely possible that you will give out a whole bunch of samples and nobody will buy anything. It has been known to happen. However, we can address that concern in a few ways.

  • First, if it didn’t cost you anything to give the sample – either the sample was digital, or it was your own time that you couldn’t have practically received money for anyway – then you have nothing to worry about. You didn’t lose anything, so it doesn’t really matter.
  • Second, if they didn’t buy with the sample, they sure as hell weren’t going to buy without one.

Think of the guy handing out Chinese food. Imagine you’re walking through the mall, and on your way to wherever you’re going, you have to pass the food court. An enterprising young fellow shoves a tray in your face, and you take a sample. You eat it, you think, “Mmmmm… Chinese food…” and you go buy your shoes at Macy’s.

Did he lose anything? I mean, other than three cents worth of chicken? Did he lose a customer because you didn’t buy?

No, he didn’t, because you weren’t going to buy anyway. It’s not like you were going to pause on your way to Macy’s, strongly consider getting Chinese food, and then when you had the sample, you walked away, right? You were not a customer. So he’s out three cents.

But he’s not, really, because he was going to throw it out anyway. I mean, it’s not like he had a lineup all the way to Macy’s, right? So he had the chicken lying around anyway and gave out a sample because he didn’t have a lineup all the way to Macy’s. So essentially, he gave you three cents he was going to have to throw away. It’s hardly a loss since he’s basically using his future garbage as a marketing piece.

But let’s take it one step further. Maybe you just had lunch. Maybe you’re on your way to dinner with your Aunt Mavis. Maybe there’s some perfectly valid reason you are not going to buy Chinese food today. And let’s say you liked the sample he gave.

Is it possible you might get Chinese food next time you’re at the mall? Aha. So he didn’t lose three cents at all.

Now, to be balanced, let’s look at the other side.

Let’s look at somebody who was thinking of getting Chinese food. You’re standing in the food court and you don’t know what to get for lunch. You’re moments away from going with Chinese. You are an almost buyer. The guy at the Chinese place gives you a sample and you eat it and then you decide you’re going to Macy’s instead.

What does that mean?

That means his food sucked, and he’s got bigger problems than the three cents.

So really, if you give a sample and somebody doesn’t buy, it’s not a bad thing. It means they weren’t going to buy anyway, it means they’ll buy later, or it means you saved yourself the hassle of a refund from an unhappy customer. Your loss equals zero.

So that addresses concern number one. Now let’s get on with concern number two.

What if I give out a sample and nobody needs to buy now that they’ve had the sample?

Interestingly, the guy at the Chinese food place seems blissfully unconcerned that people will eat his sample and then rub their hands together with glee, thinking, “HA! Now I don’t have to buy lunch!” He doesn’t seem that worried.

But what if he was? What if he came to Naomi and me and said, “I would give out tasty little morsels, but I’m concerned that people will eat my samples and then not buy lunch!”

This would be a valid concern if the standard portion size of chow mein could fit in a Dixie cup. Since that is not the case, he really has nothing to worry about.

Chinese food comes in plates, not toothpicks. Books come in books, not chapters. Language learning comes in boxes of tapes, not ten minute chunks.

If, having tried your sample, people don’t buy from you because they’ll have gotten all they need (or all you have), that means you don’t have much. If reading a full chapter (or three) of your book means nobody needs the book anymore, you have written a bad book and sample size is the least of your problems.

Alternatively, at the other end of a spectrum, let’s say that somebody reads a chapter or three and the sample is so unbelievably good that the reader doesn’t really need more from you. Let’s look at it from that angle. If you read three chapters of a book and it’s so good you don’t need more, what do you do? Laugh greedily? Or buy the book because if the free stuff was that good, imagine what’s in the rest?

So there you go. You are now required to let go of your sample drama for now and evermore.

Alright. Cue the abrupt transition, and we’ll talk about some best practices for giving great samples.

First, give away more than you think you can or should.

If you’re not a little bit worried, you’re probably not giving enough. I’ve said this for years about free items to go in your email incentive – if it doesn’t hurt to give it away, it’s not good enough.

Nobody has ever complained that a free sample was too big. Nobody ever went to Amazon to buy a book and said that there were too many pages in the preview.

Nothing bad will happen if you give away tons, except in one of two cases:

One, all the value in your offering takes place at the beginning. In that case, your offering is padded with fluff, or your offering is badly laid out. Fix it, then give a decent sample.

Two, your offering is just bad. Fix it, then give a decent sample.

Alternatively, find another line of work.

Second, cross reference heavily.

When we sold Online Business School for Coaches, we gave a full 20% away right on the sales page. There were five modules of the course, and each module had five sections. We gave away a section from each module, linked directly from the sales page. (This is an exception to the Don’t Link Out From a Sales Page rule, incidentally.)

Giving away that much is an all around good idea, but we took it two steps further. We designed the product knowing that we were going to sample heavily, so we made sure to make frequent references to other parts of the course in each section in two ways. Not just the sample sections, because then it would have been awkward and forced.

But in almost all sections of the class, we mentioned at least one other part of the class. We would say, “Now, we talk about this more in module X” or “If you’ve already listened to section Y, you’ll remember we said Z.”

So that was the first thing. We made sure that every listener or reader was well aware of numerous other parts of the course so they could wish they had them.

Secondly, at the beginning and end of each of the 25 sections, we bookended the piece by referencing either what they would have already listened to, or what they were about to listen to. So at the beginning we would say, “If you’re listening to this course in order, you should have just listened to Pushing Conversion Up Through Personal Buyer Experience.” And at the end we would say, “If you’re listening to this course in order, your next step is Making More Sales By Segmenting Likely Buyers.”

Since the samples we gave were from different places throughout the course, that meant that every person who listened to or read the samples was exposed to at least 15 sections and all five modules. They saw or heard us reference other parts of the course multiple times throughout the samples, capturing interest, piquing curiosity and increasing desire.

So if you’re giving away a big sample, that means you have a big chance to show what the rest of your thing is going to be like.

Next, if you’re sampling the beginning of something, lay out a plan and make promises.

Now, in many cases, it’s not practical to be diverse in your sample – you can only give one piece of one thing. Generally, that one piece is going to be the beginning – even with service or coaching. You can’t really give away the middle.

If that’s the case for you, design your offering so that it lends itself to making a plan and a promise in your sample. If this were a book or a course, for example, the introduction would lay out the plan in as much detail as you can – more is ALWAYS better here – and promise what will happen as the plan unfolds.

The oldest advice in public speaking or presentations is “Tell them what you’re going to tell them. Tell them. Then tell them what you told them.” That’s what we’re doing here. The introduction to a book or a course is the perfect place to “tell them what you’re going to tell them” and that, kids, is sales copy.

“First, we’re going to grab our magnifying glass and take a detailed look at what you’re already eating. We’re going to find the places where hidden calories are sneaking in unannounced, and we’re going to find the places you’re taking in calories that you don’t even care about. One thing that a lot of people are concerned about is giving up foods they enjoy – they think it’s going to be about willpower. But everybody has hundreds of calories a day that they’re consuming that they could happily do without. So we’re going to find those extra calories. Next, in chapter three, we’re going to lay out the foods you really care about – the calories that mean something to you and would be painful to give up. We’re going to do everything we can to keep those things you care about, and create a strategy for making sure you still get to eat lots of what you love.”

In that extremely reductive example – and keep in mind, there’s no reason whatsoever this couldn’t take three to five pages in your actual product, or even the majority of your sample coaching or service appointment – you show them what the plan is, and you promise them what they’re going to get at each stage in the process.

Last, but certainly not least, scream your sample from the rooftops.

Opinions vary on whether your sample should be freely given – as in, the consumer doesn’t have to give an email address to get it – or they should have to do something in exchange for the freebie. There are pros and cons to each approach, and it’s not really a light decision.

(Incidentally, when we’re talking about samples and launches, whether you give your sample away freely or require an opt-in to get it depends on the objective of your launch, like we talked about way back in the 9 Decisions. If you’re going for sales or money, you want to give it away freely because you don’t want to put anything in between you and the sale. Adding friction helps nobody.

If you’re going for list growth, you want to make them opt in. You can’t grow your list if there’s no reason to sign up for your list. But if you’re going for sales or money, do NOT imitate the people who make every reader or viewer give their email address before they get anything – it’s counterintuitive to what you want.)

Anyway, whether you require an opt-in or not, you want to scream your sample from the rooftops. If your sample is significant, it’s going to be the final piece in the puzzle that turns an almost buyer into a buyer. Do not hide this somewhere on the sales page. Do not put it low on the sales page. Do not let people find it for themselves. Make it big and noticeable by the deaf and the blind.

When we’re doing this, we’ll usually title a blog post “Free samples inside!” We’ll put it in the subject line of an email, too. This is one place we’re not remotely concerned about annoying people or overloading them. A significant sample is worth yelling about. If they don’t like you yelling about legitimately free, legitimately great content? They don’t like you, and their departure from your sphere or tribe or list was only a matter of time.

So shout it from the rooftops, mention your samples repeatedly, and if your samples are digital, stick them right on the sales page with a big ol’ header that says, “Want a sample? Check it out.” Your sample is great, and you have both the right and responsibility to let people know it exists.

So that’s what we’ve got for you today. Big samples equal big sales, so show us what you’ve got.

Thank you so much for being here with us today. You have been listening to the BIG LAUNCH launch multipliers, Using High Value Samples To Push Sales Higher. I’m Dave from IttyBiz and I’ll talk to you very soon.


What to read next:

If you liked this Launch Multiplier, make sure to check out our other freebie lessons:

  1. Getting Great Testimonials
  2. Training People To Be Trained By You
  3. Clear, Not Clever Titling
  4. Using Transitions To Boost Sales Page Conversion
  5. Increasing Click Through Rate On Launch Emails
  6. Hand Upsells That Can Boost Your Numbers
  7. Advanced Tips for Getting Endorsements
  8. Reclaiming Non-Buyers After Your Launch

And hop on our newsletter if you want updates on additional Freebie Friday lessons as they’re released. (You’ll also get some free marketing courses for doing so.)

About the author: Naomi Dunford started IttyBiz in 2006. In her free time, she likes to… ha! Free time. You’re adorable. Learn more about her here and catch up with her on Twitter or Facebook.

(The series continues! Catch up with part one, part two and part three.)

How close together can your launches be? The answer to this depends on the kind of question you’re asking. Are you asking how often you can release a new product, or are you asking how often you can launch?

(We can even make it more complicated and include re-releases of existing programs or products, and even standard promotions where nothing new is released.)

Basically, the answer isn’t complex, but it is very dependent on the context of what you’re referring to when you say “launch.”

If you’re asking about a new product launch, then …

I wouldn’t do it more than every three months. Launch is intensive, and part of why it attracts attention – and subsequently interest, desire, and action – is because it is unusual, special, noticeable.

If you’re constantly launching, there is no status quo to which your audience can acclimate. There is no “normal,” so there can’t be a “better than normal.”

So I’d say no more than once every three months.

You could do closer than that, but you’d have to have a very good reason – generally something that is forced by something of a timely nature, such as a holiday/seasonal launch that only makes sense to launch at a specific time. (Note: “I’m broke now!” does not count as timely.)

If you’re asking about the release of a new product, then …

Releases are different from launches, because the objective is to just roll out the product on principle so that it can start selling from that point on, which is different than a concerted effort to draw attention to your Really Big Thing that you want people to buy right now.

So for releases, I don’t know, no more than once a month?

It depends what the product is, how much it costs, and how invested you are in initial sales numbers.

If you’re trying to fill your store because you want to make your real money from the products over time, or in time for next year’s Black Friday, or because you’re looking to sell the business and want it to look fleshed out? Then it doesn’t matter. Just keep the spectacle quotient a little on the lower end of the spectrum or you’re running into list burnout territory.

If you’re looking at releases coming thick and fast, you might want to keep it very low key. This is a casual mention that the product is coming made in the context of another blog post or email or podcast, for example, and then one dedicated email at release.

Mention it a few more times in passing to increase product exposure, but not more than that. “Oh my God, I’m so sick of hearing about this damn thing” is really not what we want here.

Now, a few words about your marketing or promotion calendar …

If you’re looking at a promotion calendar, rather than a launch calendar, and you’re including every promotion you run, that’s a third issue.

(If you’re unsure of the distinction between a promotion and a launch, try this on for size. A launch is when Apple introduces the iPad Air. A promotion is when the Apple Store has a sale.)

How often you can run a promotion depends on a few things.

1. What’s your relationship like with your list?

The more personally connected they feel to you, the less often you can promote. Big or impersonal or nameless businesses can have a sale a week. Your favorite mommy blogger? Not so much.

Now, size isn’t the issue here. (Yes, I know what you’re thinking.) Bigger businesses aren’t able to promote to their audiences more than a general blogger because they’re bigger – they’re able to do it because their relationship is mainly built on the foundations of commerce.

So, if that mommy blogger was running a class a month, she could potentially pull off a more frequent rate of promotion because people would see her primarily as a consistent seller of classes, who happens to blog. So she can kind of break the rules, because she sells stuff all the time, and that’s her relationship with her list.

But if that’s not your relationship with your list, you can’t do the same. Your promotions should be more spread out.

2. How often do you communicate with your list?

With a few exceptions, the more often you communicate, the more often you can promote. You just have to keep an eye on the intensity at which you’re running your promotion.

If you mail every day and have a week-long promotion once a month, you’re going to want to go lighter on the increase in intensity. If you mail every week and have the same week-long promotion once a month, you can up the intensity a little more.

(The exception are businesses that don’t focus on content, and if the promotion is low key. If you only send a monthly newsletter, sure, have a promotion in each one, like a feature of the month thing.)

3. How accustomed is your list to commerce?

If your list is not used to you selling things very much at all, launching more frequently can lead to significant unsubscribes if you start doing it all of a sudden.

This is where a lot of warm-up comes in handy to re-orient your list, to get them used to the fact that You Actually Sell Stuff On A Regular Basis.

Drop some product mentions into blog posts and emails, pop a few more ads for your own things up on your site, make your store more prominent, add a few links to products in the welcome message for new subscribers.

Then again, you can take the approach of culling your list hard and fast. Switching to a heavier promotion and launch cycle goes ahead and gets all non-buyers and non-potential buyers off your list fast, and creates a “new normal” within a month or two for existing subscribers. New subscribers will also know exactly how you run things as they come onto the list. If that’s the direction you want to go in, there’s merit to ripping off the Band-aid.

4. How fast is your list growing?

Can you replace names faster than you lose them? If you run a promotion and lose 300 subscribers on average, but you’re pulling in 50 new people a week, then you’re only looking at six weeks to get back to baseline.

But if you’re only pulling in 5 new people a week, you might need to pay closer attention to how your unsubscribes affect the size of your list. You might be burning your list faster than you can replace the people who are leaving. Do the math, and see what will work for you.

You can read more about unsubscribes and why you don’t need to worry too much about them in our article How To Email Your List.

In general, how fast your list is growing is a much bigger concern than how closely together you can space your launches and promotions. So if you’ve got a list growth issue, put more focus on that because that’s a problem that isn’t going away on it’s own.

Here’s a rule of thumb that can help you time your launches.

The short answer that works for 80% of ittybiz owners – promote no more than six times a year, launch no more than four times a year. Three is better.

These are inclusive, by the way. If you run six promotions in a given year, three or four of them can be launches. This should keep you from over-promoting to your list.

This is part four of our launch advice series. Stay tuned for part five.

Tomorrow we’re going to answer the question “How much money will my launch make?” Keep an eye on the blog or sign up for The Letter and we’ll email you when new posts are out.

Naomi writes more things like this in The Letter. Get it for free today. (It also comes with free marketing courses. You can’t move for free here.)

About the author: Naomi Dunford started IttyBiz in 2006. In her free time, she likes to… ha! Free time. You’re adorable. Learn more about her here and catch up with her on Twitter or Facebook.

(Late to the party? Take a look at part one and part two.)

Sales pages are one of those things that everyone’s got an opinion on. And that’s fine. At the same time, it’s helpful when that opinion is based on actual customer data rather than just “what feels like it won’t offend anyone” or “what I hate.”

We get this a lot with clients during consults, and when Dave’s writing sales pages for some of them. Emotion enters into the picture, and there’s a lot of worry and fear and “but I can’t do that!” going on, whether we’re advising a particular page go longer – or shorter. It doesn’t matter. There’s always a worry point that people are going to think X or Y or Z about any particular decision.

So let us dispense with the advice, and maybe get a little clearer on how to decide how long your sales page should be.

How long your sales page should be is up to the buyer, not you.

We’re going to assume you’re not writing your sales page with a very specific branding objective in mind (i.e., “I want to be known for my insanely short sales pages” or “I want to make a very long page to finally show I’m releasing my Very Big Thing and changing brand direction”). If you are, you don’t care about taking a hit on conversion for that. You can sell zero copies, but you’re happy, because this was a strategic, long-term move. (These are often called “Decoy Launches,” which we’ll cover in our BIG LAUNCH class.)

We’re going to assume you DO care about conversion.

If that’s the case, then your opinion on length should never enter into the decision process at all. This is not a work of art you’re putting up in the family room. This is not a magnum opus that’s going to be displayed on a screen when Liam Neeson reads your eulogy.

Your sales page is a tool that helps potential buyers decide if they’re going to become actual buyers. So you need to consider what kind of tool will do the job effectively. That’s all you really need to think about.

It helps to think of the readers of your sales page as falling into four categories.

Category #1 – I would definitely buy this. These are the people who are pretty much pre-sold, and they don’t care how long the sales page is. I can’t tell you how many people don’t read our sales pages, scroll to the bottom after a few paragraphs, and buy. Dave once spent $2500 on a program after reading for less than sixty seconds. (That’s what good launch content and opening copy will do for you.) So you can ignore these people, because they’re going to buy regardless. They like you or they want the product outright.

Category #2 – I would theoretically buy this if I had the details. These are the people who may or may not buy from you after evaluating if your product is right for them at this time. You keep these people reading by being informative – as long as it takes – and not being boring. There’s an old quote that I’ll likely misquote here:

Sales copy should be like a woman’s skirt – long enough to cover the important parts but short enough to stay interesting.

Interested people will read as long as it takes for them to decide if they want to a) scroll down and buy, b) read to the end and buy, or c) click away because they don’t want the product. So presuming you’re treating your copy like that skirt, you’ll get a) and b).

If people choose option C, click away, it has nothing to do with how long your sales page is. It’s either that they didn’t want the product or your copy was boring and they assumed the product wouldn’t be any better.

Category #3 – I hate sales pages. And I hate you, too, now that I think about it. Ahh, the world of the jaded. You can’t do anything about these people, because they will be unhappy whether your page is long or short, boring or interesting. They also have no intention of buying your product. Forget they exist, and go back to writing for Category #2.

Category #4 – I would likely click on a funny cat video if – OMG ITS JINGLE CATS I HEART THEM!!!! These people may or may not buy from you – they’re basically Category #2 except you have to consider their attention span.

Generally, that attention span is short. But that’s generally, and that’s something you can influence.

The word on the street says that people have short attention spans. No. That’s lazy thinking. People have short attention spans for things that are boring. The same people who won’t watch a 30-second ad that’s not relevant to their interests will watch a ten-minute video about something that is. The same people that will click away from a video in 30 seconds will sit in front of their favorite sitcom for 30 minutes.

It all comes down to holding their interest. And when people can’t do that, they blame attention spans because it’s easier.

Some basic rules of thumb that affect the appropriate length for your sales page.

Remember that the person who actually cares how long your sales page ends up being is the buyer, specifically Category #2.

Imagine them reading your text and thinking “That’s good to know.” Then imagine them reading your text and thinking “Why is that even on this page?” You’ll probably fix your sales page length issues with that alone.

That said, here are a few things to consider before you write your sales page:

Think about how well readers know you. If you’re writing to cold traffic who doesn’t know you, then you’re probably going to have to spend some time building credibility. But if you’re launching to your own warm list who remembers your name, you can generally skip the “Who I and and why should you listen to me” part. The last sales page I wrote – or, let’s be honest, Dave wrote – started with “Hi, Naomi here.” A warm list or warm traffic means that you can get away with going shorter.

Think about how likely you are to hit your numbers. If you know you’re going to fill a class or sell all of your product, then you have a lot more leeway in going shorter, because demand is high. You can also shorten your sales page if you don’t want to sell as much. If you’re selling twenty seats to a class and you don’t want 100 people frustrated that they can’t get in, then having less informative copy and shorter means you get fewer buyers, which in that case is what you want.

Think about how much education or how many details they need. If there’s any complexity in your product – like a live class that runs at a specific time, or covers very specific parts of a typically generalized topic, then you’re probably going to need to go longer here. You may need to mention certain things multiple times to prevent people who aren’t reading that closely from missing important information.

Also, if you’re selling something people don’t know they need yet, because they haven’t considered the impact of the problem that you’re solving, then you’re going to need to devote more copy to educating them.

Think about how high your price is compared to customer expectation. In general, higher price means longer copy. If you want to charge me $20,000 to go to your retreat in Mexico, I’m probably going to need a lot of information before I do that. If you’re selling a $17 ebook, you can probably go pretty short on your copy.

You also have to consider relative price. If you’re selling a $17 ebook to people who self-identify as chronically broke, then you’re actually going to need longer copy there, because you’ve got education and persuasion to think about. But if you’re selling a $99 wireless speaker to people who routinely spend thousands of dollars a year on their home theater gear, you might be able to do better with short copy, because $99 doesn’t hurt that much.

Some basic advice before we close up today.

The length of your sales page depends on context. The context the buyer cares about. Think about what they need, and that will guide you as you’re deciding how long your sales page should be.

Basically, for every section of your sales page – the opening, the close, the product details, everything – look at any individual section and ask these two questions:

  • In what scenarios would my buyers have a good reason to want this section to be longer?
  • In what scenarios would my buyers have a good reason to want this section to be shorter?

And that’s all you need to know about that. We have a lot more to say about sales pages, but we’ll cover that in the class that opens up in the last week of December.

We hope you’ll join us.

This is part three of our launch advice series. Stay tuned for part four.

Tomorrow we’re going to answer the question “How close together can my launches be?” Keep an eye on the blog or sign up for The Letter and we’ll email you when new posts are out.

Naomi writes more things like this in The Letter. Get it for free today. (It also comes with free marketing courses. You can’t move for free here.)

About the author: Naomi Dunford started IttyBiz in 2006. In her free time, she likes to… ha! Free time. You’re adorable. Learn more about her here and catch up with her on Twitter or Facebook.