Here’s Why Your Sales Letter Isn’t Converting

Copywriting is one of those easy to learn, hard to master essential skills of online marketing that is dogged by so many small mistakes that can add up and bring down even what seems like the most incredible piece of content upon first inspection.

This is specifically about uncovering some of the weak points of many sales letters, and squashing them out of your own. Let’s jump right into it.

Your traffic is misaligned

Alright, curveball, this doesn’t have to do with your copywriting exactly, but it is a reason why your sales letter isn’t pulling the weight you wanted it to. Sometimes, people craft an amazing piece of copy only to find out (if they’re luck they find out, at least), that what they’ve made isn’t striking a chord with the people who are actually visiting the site.

In fact, it’s all too common to find that the traffic sources feeding your cite are the root of your conversion problems.

Your customers are smarter than you give them credit for

More and more often, it’s not just career marketers who cringe at cheesy headlines and too-good-to-be-true testimonials and claims. As most markets become more educated and used to doing research and business online, there’s an increased level skepticism that needs to dictate how you write your copy. Namely, you can’t make the same claims you did in 2005 unless you’ve got some really kickass, indisputable evidence to back them up. Even then, you’ll have to be good to make them believe that evidence is as real as you say it is. Just look at the outrage over various election and voter fiascos this election cycle people are paying more attention, and social media makes it exceedingly easy.

Your design is detracting from your words

If you can’t write you content like it’s ten years ago, you can’t design your site like it either. It’s absolutely insane the same kind of longform, cheesy, over the top sales letters exist right now for products that are still relevant and could still be selling extremely well, if only their approach was changed.

Sometimes having bad design on a sales letter page is just the result of too much DIY spirit or of a poor designer hire, but more often it’s that people have gotten comfortable with a working sales funnel, even as it slowly declines over time, and haven’t gotten around to reworking and testing all over again.

Your pricing is too low

Interestingly enough, it’s been shown that people tend to think that a lower case indicates a lower quality, and when people have more skepticism of the online marketing world in general right now, it’s not hard to see how they might not see your $27 ebook as the epitome of quality and complete solutions. This is especially true if the price has remained constant over a long period of years where other goods have inflated and increased in cost.

Of course there are other issues – plenty to go around! – with sales letters, but these are a few that more than a few people have forgotten to consider, and have ended up losing out on sales for it.

How To Create Content So Good It Goes Viral

Content marketing is nothing new, and while it’s going to evolve into new formats and platforms throughout 2016, as it always does, but it’s definitely not going anywhere. If anything, more and more people will jump on board, especially as more traditional ad formats continue to fall short or become exorbitantly expensive.

People don’t like to be sold to, and the techniques, which used to be secrets within advertising circles are now common knowledge, meaning that most people are savvy to ad techniques and ignore them all but completely. That said, just ‘doing’ content marketing is not going to get you very far. In fact, the number of blogs out there with tens or even hundreds of posts but which still have zero engagement is astonishing.

The reason for this is that people love to jump on the bandwagon of content marketing, but very few take the time to learn how to do it well. If you want to know how people get hundreds of shares on their blog posts and drive real traffic, well, look no further:

1) Do it better than anyone else has

There’s a technique in content marketing coined by Brian Dean called the Skyscraper Technique. The idea is to find a topic someone else has written a good article on and which has been shared around a lot, and then write something even better. Like, really dig into it. If they wrote 7 tips on how to market on Instagram, you article has 52. The main reason people don’t take this approach is that they are lazy, or they don’t feel they have the time, but here’s a secret: Creating 14 daily blog posts will lose out to one blog post that took 14 days to create, every time. It’s simply a matter of being honest about what is good enough to be shared. If it doesn’t blow you away, it’s not going to do it to anyone else, either.

2) Promote even more than you write

Once you got an epic piece of content, your job is far from over. In fact, many people recommend spending as much as two times as much time on the sharing and promoting of your blog post than you do on actually writing it. All of a sudden, you’re only writing one blog post per month, but it’s performing better and getting you more traffic than if you’d written several fire-and-forget pieces. People don’t just find great content, especially when you’re starting out, so you have to do everything you can to put it in front of their face.

3) Reach out to those who care (and who matter)

Once you’ve got your blog post out in the world, get a hold of experts and those who have a following and who might be interested, and ask if they might be willing to share with their social channels. Now, here’s the kicker: Make sure there’s something in it for them. Working with influencers in your market is about leverage, so if that means you have to offer some free services or skillsets in exchange for a tweet, so be it.

All of this is to say that if you want to have content that performs better than average, you’ve got to be willing to put in better than average time and effort and that’s just true of anything, isn’t it?

How To Setup Your UX Tracking

One of the biggest leaks for leads and sales for online marketers is a lack of understanding of how users are progressing through their site.

The use of analytics trigger tools like Mixpanel, or others which track mouse movement and click heatmaps, is something that too often is thought to be relegated to the highest levels of corporate play.

On the contrary, such services are more readily available than ever these days, and at prices that make them well within the budget of most marketers’ toolkits. While choosing an exact tool is something you can decide for yourself, let’s run through the basics of starting to get a better idea of how users interact with your site.

First, create a starting and an end point for your leads. The starting point is them reaching your website, and the end point is them achieving a conversion of your primary goal for them. Oftentimes this is a sale, but it might also be someone creating an account or taking a key action within your app or software.

Next, map the steps in between your start and end point that you think best represent the stepping stones people are going to need to take to understand what you want them to do, and then make the decision to actually do it.

For example, these steps could include joining your mailing list, opening a certain email, viewing a certain informational/pre-sell page, and scheduling a Skype call with you for a quote. Of course, your steps are going to vary depending on your goals and industry, but anyone can create a fairly clear outline of their ideal progression from start to finish.

Once you’ve got your key steps written out, start looking at what you would actually need to do to track them? This is the step where you’ll start to define what kind of software, scripts, or assistance you’re going to need to get a clear idea of how and why people reach each step (or don’t).

For example, if you can simply track whether or not people have visited a certain page, that’s a slightly simpler process than figuring out how far people reach down your sales letter. That said, even seemingly complex user actions aren’t always as tricky to track as you might think, and implementing the software you need to do so is probably easier than you think as well.

Once you’re able to confidently get an idea of where visitors or leads are making it to in your key steps, you’ll be able to look more critically at points of dropoff and where you can shore up your efforts to help keep people from bouncing away before you can hook them and bring them along to the next key step you want them to take.

Once you remove more and more guesswork from your process, it becomes much easier and less frustrating to split test your way to victory and cash in on the people who were previously falling out of your funnel. And that’s just smart marketing.

Why Facebook Dark Posts Are Your Savior

Heard of a Facebook dark post? Yes? No? Either way, we’re going to have a discussion about them today. Dark posts, a colloquialism for Facebook’s unpublished posts ad product, are a way to post things from your own Facebook page that can show up as posted by your page, but only to certain people.

Alright, so you know how normally when you publish a Facebook ad, you choose which people will see it? You can dig down into all kinds of demographics and information to help make sure that you’ve tailored an ad to specific audiences. Dark posts allow you to dig into that same type of targeting, but within the people who like your page.

For example, let’s say you have a clothing website with 3,000 Facebook likes. You want to promote a sale you’re having on all products, but know that it won’t be relevant for women to see ads with pictures of men’s jeans in them, and that you’re not going to sell many dresses by showing them to your male audience.

So, instead of compromising and creating a more general post that will be seen by everyone on your page, or creating two separate posts for men and women and publishing them both (ensuring everyone sees one post that’s not relevant to them), you can use a Dark or Unpublished post instead. You can make it look like your page published a post about dresses for everyone, but really only the women who like your page will be able to see, read, and engage with it (like, comment, etc.). On the other hand, the men on your page will think you posted an ad for men’s jeans and be able to interact with it accordingly.

Here’s another example: As a marketer who helps people with Pinterest marketing but also Twitter marketing, you could create completely different posts that target the fans of your page that you feel are most likely to be using those platforms in their marketing efforts. The possibilities here really are endless.

Unpublished posts can be created in a couple of different ways, but Facebook is working to unify them so that there aren’t so many tools to create similar ad products. For example, there has been a lot of confusion in the past over whether to use the standard Facebook ads page or their ‘Power Editor’ to create your ads, leading to many tutorials getting confusing when people find themselves in a completely different interface than the screenshots they’re trying to follow.

Unpublished or Dark posts are also important with the recently diminished organic reach of Facebook pages. For the same reason boosting a post became so popular, Dark posts help you better reach people who might never see your content unless they explicitly come to your page (and most people prefer to just hang out in their own timelines, understandably). Except Dark posts are an even better option, since you can help keep them from being shown to people they aren’t relevant to, and thus help keep your page’s engagement score from dropping.