The time is here — you’re ready to launch a new product on your website.
You’ve spent days, weeks, or even months creating a killer info product that will become your new source of passive income, the Holy Grail of online marketing.
You slaved for another week, setting up your social media plan, drafting an email blast to your subscribers, and now you’re ready to hit the ground running. It’s finally time to launch your sales page.
Ready, set, PUBLISH!
Now that your product page is live, you hit that gloriously scary send button for your email campaign. (Am I the only one that has a brief moment of sheer panic every time I hit send on an email campaign?) You post across your social media accounts and get excited when you see a few likes on your Facebook post. A good sign.
You wait patiently for the PayPal app on your phone to ding, indicating you made your first sale. Ok, so the first sale isn’t happening as quickly as you thought it would, but you know it’s coming.
You hop over to Google Analytics and see that you’ve had 60 hits to your sales page. Awesome! Aaaaannnnny minute you’re going to get a sale.
Refresh. Refresh. Refresh. Now you’ve received 100 hits on the page. And Still. No. Sale.
This is one of the hardest things about being an entrepreneur. The excitement of creating something that will make you money, shadowed by the reality that no one is buying your product.
This moment though — this moment of sheer disappointment — is what either makes or breaks most entrepreneurs.
Most entrepreneurs would be inclined to assume that no one wanted the product, and fairly quicky move on to the next idea.
However, a small few of us know it’s important to deconstruct the process from start to finish to see where something might have gone wrong, or what could be improved, before writing it off as “another idea that didn’t work.” This is when you should take a step back and look at everything objectively (an absolute must in order to be a successful entrepreneur).
If you’ve had hundreds, or thousands of views on your sales page, and not a single sale (or only a few sales… the ones from your mom don’t count), the issue isn’t necessarily with your product. There are several potential mistakes you might be making on your sales page so I’m going to talk about the most common reasons why you may be lacking in sales when you launch a new product.
1: Nobody wants your product
Notice I didn’t say that your product isn’t a good product. I just said that there’s no demand for it. So many of us skip the step of validating our idea to make sure it could be profitable before we spend our valuable time creating it.
Sometimes validating your idea is simply a matter of a Google search. If other people are selling a product like yours successfully, it means there’s demand for it. Other times you have to dig a little deeper, but before creating your product, always make sure that there’s an audience who actually wants what you’re selling.
If you’re getting lots of hits to your sales page, and likes on your social promo posts, then that’s a good indication that your product is at least interesting, but you can’t rely on social numbers alone. You need to talk to your audience. Go where they hang out and ask them if this is something they would buy.
2: Your price is too high… or too low
I caught you by surprise with the “too low” part, huh? Well, having a price that’s too low can be just as detrimental to sales as pricing that’s too high.
Let’s say you created an ebook, and you’re charging $5 for it. $5 is almost free. If I land on a page for a $5 information product, I’d assume I’d be getting something with a value only slightly better than free. Therefore, it probably isn’t worth the time and trouble for me to find my wallet, take out my credit card, enter those numbers, my billing address, etc. You get the idea.
However, if I saw an ebook that I wanted, and the price was $10, or even $20, I’d actually be more willing to pull out my credit card and buy it, because I would see it as having more perceived value. Something worth me taking the time to actually go through the process of buying it. Crazy, huh?
Your time is valuable, your work is valuable, so don’t be afraid to assign the appropriate value to your product.
This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes, by one of my favorite artists:
“Look, it’s my misery that I have to paint this kind of painting, it’s your misery that you have to love it, and the price of the misery is thirteen hundred and fifty dollars.” ~Mark Rothko
Just as you want to validate your product, you also want to do research to see what others are charging for similar products in your niche. This will give you a good gauge of what people are willing to pay. This will give you a baseline price to start with.
You are the ultimate judge on what you believe your product is worth. Don’t base your pricing simply on metrics like “# of pages in an ebook.” I’ve seen ebooks with just 10 pages or so sell successfully for $20 all the way up to $99. Set your price and adjust accordingly based on audience feedback.
3: Your sales copy isn’t hooking the readers
Ok, on to the actual sales page copy. This is important, because it’s where most of us go wrong.
We write copy that is compelling to us, but not necessarily the reader. Our natural inclination is to talk about ourselves and our product, when instead, we should be talking about them.
Your readers are on your sales page because they are looking for something to solve their problem. When they are in potential buying mode, they only care about themselves, so make the whole page about them.
For instance, let’s say you’re shopping, and you find an awesome new boutique with the cutest clothes. You go inside, find the best outfit, and as you are headed to the fitting room, the salesperson is talking to you about why they opened the store, how long it took them to get everything set up, etc.
At that moment, all you really want to do is go try this killer dress on to see how fabulous it looks on you. It’s not that you don’t care about what they have to say… it’s just that you care more about how awesome you’re going to look in that dress!
Lead with something that will make them think, “Oh my gosh, she totally understands me”. Hook them right up front, not halfway down the page. More about them, less about you.
Another thing we often do is focus on the features, but not necessarily the benefits. Benefits are what sells a product. Benefits explain how the product will make your life better.
Here’s another example: Let’s say you’re shopping (I’m sending a pattern here…) and you find a pair of amazing Jimmy Choos. I mean, these shoes are so fabulous, they give you heart palpitations.
If we were to describe the features, we might say:
- Made in Italy
- Peep toe
- Leather Sole
- Patent Leather upper
…yawn… Those features (which I pulled straight from the website where I found these shoes) would not entice me one single bit to buy these babies.
What if, instead, they just had a big page, with a large image of the shoes, and the copy:
Sexy peep-toe stilettos will make your legs look fucking fabulous.
Men will want to do you, and women will want to be you.
Those 3 things (fabulous legs, sex appeal, and being girl-crushed on) are benefits. Benefits sell products. Features are fine and all, but they don’t necessarily help me, the buyer. Benefits, however, are what makes us go, “I have to have that!”
So make a list of both features and benefits, and highlight the benefits throughout your sales page. You can put features in there as a bulleted list if it’s appropriate, things such as number of pages, whether you’ve got checklists or worksheets included with the ebook, etc. The benefits would be things like, “I’ll show you how to do x like a pro in y number-of-days” type of thing.
You also want to make sure the focus is always on them. Don’t make your sales page all about me, me, me. One thing that might help is to ask yourself where your audience is at before they have your product, and where they’ll be after your product, and connect those dots for them in your sales copy.
4: You have too many distractions on your sales page
Another mistake I often see bloggers make is that they have too many distractions on their sales page. The sidebar is there, with all of its “shiny objects”, there are ads on the page, and at the bottom, there are sharing links, with call to actions asking them to share, etc.
When you’re trying to sell someone something, you want ZERO distractions on your page. Your only CTA should be the buy button for your product.
You want ZERO distractions on your sales page. Your only CTA should be the BUY button.Click To Tweet
Take away your sidebar — you don’t want your reader getting distracted by your Pinterest widget. You want them fully focused on the product you’re selling.
And for crying out loud, lose the 3rd party ads on your sales page. Seriously — this page is all about your product. Do not give people a reason to click away to someone else’s website entirely.
As far as having social shares on your sales page — I recommend that you remove those, too.
First, they’re usually at the bottom where your buy button is located. That’s too many CTAs at the bottom of your page.
Second, if someone is planning to buy, they aren’t going to share with their friends at that moment. If someone isn’t planning to buy, chances are, they aren’t going to share it with their friends, either. So the share buttons are a waste of space and an unnecessary distraction on this page.
What I would recommend is putting share buttons on the sales confirmation page that they land on after they buy. This makes much more sense. They just bought, so they’re still excited.
You could say something like, “Thank you for buying my [insert badass product name here]! I know you can’t wait to get started on it, but real quick, would you mind taking a few seconds to share this with your friends who would also enjoy it? Thanks again!”
Doesn’t that make more sense?
So eliminate the distractions on your sales page. Have only one CTA, which is to buy your product.
5: Tech glitches and overall user experience
As awesome as the tools we use to help sell our products are, the fact remains that sometimes things break. There are bugs in the plugins we use, compatibility issues, the rest of our tools aren’t supported, etc.
Before making any sales page live to the public, it’s essential that you test the entire process first.
If you’re using WordPress (which is my platform of choice), then you can publish a page or post in “private” mode so you can test everything. Just go to the box above the publish button, and click “edit” next to where it says “Visibility: Public”, and switch it to private. Then hit Publish. This will allow you to see it in fully published mode as long as you’re logged in to WordPress.
Test your sales button(s). Go through the entire purchase process, and actually buy your product. Did everything check out ok? Did you get a confirmation email (if your process is set up to send one)? If your product is digital, did your digital delivery system send you the actual product or link for you to download it?
Launch day certainly isn’t the time you want to find out that something’s not working. Test it on different browsers, test it on mobile, test, test, test!
In addition, how complicated was the entire process? In other words, are there too many steps for you to go through as a buyer? If your buyer has to jump through too many hoops to get your product, it becomes a pain in the ass, and you may lose them midway through the actual buying process.
Ideally, the buyer simply has to click one button, which takes them directly to the checkout page. Boom, boom, done. Make it stupid simple for them to buy your product.
Recap: things to remember when you launch a new product
- Validate your product idea, so you don’t waste valuable time creating something that no one wants
- Scope out similar products in your field to get an idea of what people are willing to pay, but price based on value, not just number of pages or modules, or what everyone else is doing. Don’t be afraid to charge what you’re worth!
- Step into the stilettos of your readers, and write sales copy that resonates with what they want or the problem they need solved. Focus on benefits — how will your product help them or make them better?
- Remove all distractions on your page, and have one clear, concise call to action for the reader to buy your product
- Test for tech glitches, and make sure the entire purchase process is smooth and painless
What mistakes have you made when launching a new product that we can learn from? Go ahead and share so we can all commiserate in the comments section.