I found myself in discussion this week with some people that were creating their first sales page. They were making decisions about the roll out that were based on beliefs they held. Yet bigger providers in their field were doing contrary things to achieve marketing outcomes. I believe in doing what is known to work, instead of what your cognitive bias wants you to do.
I’m a great believer that gaining insight from data is a combination of what the data tells you and a business person’s intuition and experience. It is a failure to rely to heavily on one or the other. You need to question everything. The data as well as our cognitive biases.
I discussed this recently in a post where I talked about a personal experience where that resulted in me questioning limited hard data. Now I’d like to question when our instinct is sometimes influenced by opinions on how we do things.
There are times when we think when we don’t have full experience because we are trying something for the first time. Or conditions have changed so that our usual business intuition no longer applies.
What do you do then?
Let go and try it because it works
In the past six months, I’ve worked focused on launching a new line of business of online course offerings. I am moving into slightly new territory, hard at work on ongoing promotional campaigns of my own material. And I’m learning a lot.
Early in the year I attended a webinar where Joanna Wiebe of Copyhackers walked through recommendations for a long form sales page. She started the session with a comment – if you are someone that doesn’t like long form sales pages then I’d like to ask you to suspend your disbelief about them for this session, because they work.
To me the whole thing hangs on the ”because they work”. Its realizing the marketing outcomes. Trying something new that an expert like Joanna says works, saves me the cost of figuring it out myself doing things that don’t work. It can cost you time and money if you are pursing things that don’t work because of your cognitive bias. Making a decision to not try something just because you dislike it yourself. Or considering what would be your own behaviour without consider the actual behaviours of your audience.
The cost of money and time spent. Money spent on ad campaigns that produce lackluster results. Time spend tweaking and trying things out to get that ad to perform better.
Borrow the experience of the bigger players in your field
This week I ended up in a slightly different discussion on sales pages in a FB group I belong to for new course creators. Someone posted the question: on your website should you only have links to your lead magnet landing page, or should you also have links to your sales page?
The general feeling of a lot of the course creators was that they wanted the sales page linked because it described the course in more detail. When they buy courses for themselves, they get frustrated when they can’t find the details on the company website. And there was fear that people
I said that when you look at the websites of most of the big players in the field, their website contains the lead magnet only. If you sign up for it, you enter a nurture campaign that leads you eventually to the sales page and offer. Since these are the big players, and they do it, then I am assuming it must work.
My contrary opinion brought up some healthy discussion
To me, the advantage of it not being a link on your website is that you can can create multiple sales pages for different purposes or testing. Most importantly, you don’t confuse a prospect that might see one version if there is a different one hanging off your website.
- Run different offers using a unique sales page for alternate offers. Try out different bonuses with offers.
- Tailor a version of your page for different audience segments.
- Do a/b testing to optimize copy and media content.
- Use an alternate sales page for separate sales channels.
- Create a sense of urgency to buy when people only can get to it from the campaign/
You end up with a lot of flexibility.
I did agree that as a first-time course provider, they did want to keep it simple. The first time out they are likely to be using only one sale page and running their first campaign to get a baseline. So, it would be no harm no foul if they also wanted that to be linked from their website. It wouldn’t bring up the prospect confusion I mentioned as a risk.
To be honest, I think a lot of the course providers want to see their course outlined on their website because they are proud of their work. When the sales page, ala the outline from Joanna Wiebe, focuses on a conversation with the customer about their problem and how the course provides a way out of it. Yes, with a piece describing what is in the course. So there might be another way to do that other than the sales page.
Do what you want, but collect measurements for future decision making
The main thing is to always have a way to measure the performance of conversions on the page based on how people arrived on it. Either through Google Analytics or Facebook Pixel. Review it later and make decisions based on evidence of what your audience does with it.
I don’t know about you. I would remove or change a page on my website if it was visited or converted well. (Except my legal pages, lol. They have to be there, even if people don’t always read them.) it keeps the site fresh.
The point is then you make decisions based on evidence. Not just based on your belief about what you think might work.
What about the performance of the sales page I created using Joanna Weibe’s conversational structure? Did it work for me.
Yes, I’m really happy with how it performed. I ran a COVID-19 special promotion FB ad for a month starting mid April. I had a reasonable single digit percentages for the CTR and Conversion rate of the FB ad. Yes, I could do more optimization next time for the audience, ad placement, ad copy and picture. I learned a lot. In addition, I was really please with how the long form sales page performed. Once people hit the sales page, about 25% converted to my offer. Which I think was great the first time out.
Onward and upward!
Also published on Medium on May 31, 2020