Sales pages are like the packaging that a physical product comes in – they contain words, pictures and design that helps a potential customer evaluate whether or not they want to purchase what’s inside the box.
There’s no doubt that a more appealing package makes an impact on buyer behavior.
A better, more professional looking package can go a long way towards boosting conversion and bringing sales up.
But packaging has a weird kind of culture around it.
Because so many products come in such beautiful (or impressive) packages, it can be easy to assume that people will only buy if the packaging looks exceptional.
This gets reinforced by things like “unboxing” videos, where people literally film the process of opening the package because the design is so noteworthy.
That leads to sellers – like you or I – having anxiety about the quality of our “packaging” and feeling like we have to look exceptional or no one will take our product seriously.
Buyer behavior in the real world does not reflect that belief.
Some purchases are often driven on packaging. I’ll admit that the bottle of dishwashing liquid on my sink and the last bottle of wine I bought were completely driven by the shape and appearance of the bottle.
But the majority of my purchases are not.
I frequently drink Sprite, but I don’t keep buying it because of the pretty swoosh on the red can.
When you buy a loaf of bread, or a pair of shoes, or a bottle of moisturizer, you generally do not do so on the strength of the packaging.
The packaging may help, but you buy the thing for the sake of the thing – for what’s inside. You “get” that the loaf of bread is the kind of bread you like, and that’s why you buy it.
Buyer behavior is largely driven by “deep trust”.
When you have deep trust that a product is going to meet your needs, then the packaging becomes largely irrelevant.
All it has to be is “good enough”.
And the criteria for good enough is that the packaging has to avoid actively creating “deep trust” issues.
In physical products, deep trust issues can be created by things like obvious damage to the box (with fragile items) or outward design that looks like it is so egregiously low-quality that you begin questioning the seller.
Those deep trust issues make a potential customer put the box back on the shelf. They don’t buy because they’re no longer feeling confident about what’s inside.
But those are active, noticeable red flags that make the buyer doubt. It actively drives them away.
Red flags are a whole other category that has nothing to do with non-exceptional packaging.
Boring or unimpressive packaging does not drive people away. It’s unlikely you won’t buy a bottle moisturizer because they used a boring font on the label.
If you trust what’s inside the bottle, you’ll buy regardless of the packaging.
Your copy is where you create “deep trust” in the buyer.
When you understand your target customer (via personal experience, market research or the simplified customer avatars in Easy-Peasy Sales Pages), you can communicate what they need to hear in order to create deep trust.
You can do this by using your copy to communicate that:
- You know what they care about experiencing. These are your customer outcomes – the “What’s In It For Them.” This is trust that you ‘get’ them.
- You know what they’ve struggled with. Your customers are not incompetent – they’ve likely tried to achieve their outcomes and failed, just as you and I have. This is trust that you can relate to them, that you’re not in an ivory tower.
- You know what their fears are. This is basic empathy. When you communicate that, you build trust that they are being related to as a human being, and those fears are being cared about.
- You know what their legitimate objections are. Copy that incorporates objections builds trust that you understand that they have preferences, constraints, or standards.
- You know what features and benefits they care about. People don’t tend to want to buy things that are “perfect for everybody”, mainly because that’s a fantasy. Highlighting their most desired features and benefits builds trust that your product is appropriate for them as a unique individual.
- You know what they care about knowing. Part of copywriting is keeping it focused on information relevant to your reader. That is trust that you’re thinking about what they care about hearing, not what you care about saying.
Each of those factors adds “trust points” to your relationship with the buyer.
As a person reads your sales page, all those little bits of copy start building up a set of “trust points” in their mental bank account.
While they move down your sales page, those points keep adding up, until they reach a saturation point of deep trust, where the reader feels truly comfortable that this purchase will be safe for them.
That’s what you’re aiming for when you create your sales page. Keep building up those trust points in your copy.
This is why your sales page does not have to be impressive.
Trust is what drives the majority of buying decisions.
There will be a number of people who will buy my new product today because this blog post built up enough “trust points” to create deep trust in me as a seller.
And this email is simply copy. Words.
There’s nothing “impressive” about this email. There are no pictures or graphics, no fancy formatting, no glowing testimonials. It’s just copy.
But it’s copy that incorporates all 6 of the deep trust-building factors you read about earlier.
And so a few people who didn’t have that deep trust yesterday will now have it today.
But wait, Kris – didn’t you put a bunch of effort into making your sales page look attractive?
That’s absolutely true, I did.
I used a new landing page template that I liked, and I spent a fair bit of time selecting the images and decorative elements that went on to the page.
But I did those things to enhance trust, not to create it.
If the sales page was pure text, with nothing on it but body copy, subheaders, and a picture of the product at the end, I would still have created deep trust.
I would estimate that I’d make about 70% of the sales I would have made with a more attractive sales page.
Deep trust does that.
Those who trust, will buy.
But what about the other 30%?
There’s a segment of your buying market who has ALMOST enough trust to buy.
They’re almost about to say “yes”, but something’s holding them back.
Sometimes it’s because they can’t visualize what’s in the product well enough to trust what’s inside it.
Sometimes it’s because they’re struggling with some self-doubt about their ability to use the product.
Sometimes it’s because they’ve been burned before.
It’s because they’re easily bored. And reading through the sales page just comes up against their attention spans.
All these people… they almost bought, but something just didn’t tip them over the edge.
The visual elements and design can help with that by keeping them engaged and giving them more trust-building pictures.
But an attractive sales page also is a statement about how much effort you’ve invested in making the process nice for them.
And that builds not a deep trust, but a more shallow one.
And that helps your conversion measurably – even though it is not essential to the core conversion power of your copy.
So the ultimate answer to “how good does it need to be” is…
Good enough to create deep trust.
And that gets accomplished by working the 6 factors mentioned earlier into your sales copy.
Focus on the words.
Not “sexy conversion words”, but details and facts that the buyer cares about.
Show you’ve invested thought and care about THEIR situation and needs, and they’ll trust you enough to buy.