8 sinful sales page mistakes (and how to fix them)

Picture of Lewis Folkard

Lewis Folkard

Suffolk-based conversion copywriter.

sales page copywriting mistakes

So you’ve got a sales page… but it’s not working like you expected. You’ve got money on the line. You’ve invested – or your client has – and you need results. Quick. What are you going to do? Check you haven’t made these sales page mistakes. And if you have, correct them.

All the coming mistakes fall into three categories: offer, audience and creative. These categories define the success of any sales page because they’re the only variables at play. 

Let’s look at the mistakes.

Sales Page Mistake 1: Not analysing your traffic source

First up, your sales page audience. Your readers. Have you dug into them enough? Do you know what brought them to your sales page? What messaging turned them into leads? How warm are they when they arrive on your page? How aware are they? 

You need to find what resonates and sync up your messaging. If you’ve got a wide array of traffic sources (e.g. sales emails and social media), you’ll likely have a wide range of personas. And each persona will need different things before they feel ready to buy. This will make it hard to cater to everyone – and sell efficiently.

Corrective action: Dig into your analytics, heat maps and traffic sources. Understand what pulled them into your funnel and elaborate. And if you have access, spot the drop-off on your sales page and re-hone your messaging with the desires and pain points that you know stir your audience.

Sales Page Mistake 2: Your lead sucks

Similar to Mistake 1, once you know who will be – or who is – visiting your sales page, you need to make sure your lead matches their awareness level. A direct lead with a low-awareness reader is destined to fail. They haven’t been sold to so they know very little about your product/offer. Great sales copywriters do the following…

Corrective action: Match your lead to your reader’s awareness level. Use the 4Us to help engage your reader. You can read this to help write better sales leads. 

Sales Page Mistake 3: Not enough emotion

Emotion grips. Emotion persuades. And emotion sells. If you aren’t stirring enough emotion, potential customers will stay just that. But remember, it doesn’t just have to be around pain point agitation – emotions can be positive too. Stimulate your prospect’s mind with a bigger, bolder, more interesting idea. Or turn it into a more relevant sales story.

Corrective action: Revisit your research. Find an idea that’s either completely new or expressed differently. Alternatively, check your story – does it follow one of these sales story types?

Sales Page Mistake 4: You’re not selling enough

“People don’t read long copy anymore”. Sorry, but no. People read what interests them. And so long as you’re engaging them (which we’ll assume you are), you have full permission to write more. But – and it’s a big but – you need to write for a reason. For example, your new sales copy could handle their objections, agitate pain points, or expand on the benefits. 

Corrective action: The more you tell, the more you sell. Smoothen out the sale and remove reasons your prospect might say no. 

Sales Page Mistake 5: You’re not using a persuasive structure

Every sales message requires the same components: make a promise, hit a pain point, tell a story, establish credibility, prove the promise, handle objections, make an offer and push for the sale. Your sales page copy needs to cover all these in a way that flows and makes sense.

Corrective action: Follow a persuasive long-form sales page structure (read this to help) and check the flow of your points. Does each line make you want to read the next? 

Sales Page Mistake 6: Poor offer framing

Before you write a sales page, you should know whether your product works and people want it. If you haven’t, you need to do that first. Assuming you have something people want, how you frame that can impact how it sells. 

This also goes beyond your sales page. How you introduce the offer in your email or social media ad, for example, will impact the sales page’s traffic quality.

Corrective action: Consider the following questions to improve your offer. Can you link it to more positive emotions? Are you tapping into the most potent desire? Are you agitating the right pain points? Can you add more bonuses to elevate your offer’s impact? If you’re running a promotion/discount, have you explained why? Can you increase the perceived value by drawing parallels to the cost of not taking action or getting the same result more expensively? Can you add more urgency? Scarcity? Social proof?

Sales Page Mistake 7: You’ve not built enough common ground

For an idea (and hence sales page) to be engaging, you’re naturally going to push the ‘believability boundaries’. Something basic and easily believed probably isn’t worth putting into a sales page because it doesn’t need as much selling. 

But the process of getting ideas and claims believed is like driving a wedge under a door. You have to start small and build. So, start with common knowledge, their feelings and beliefs and repeat them back to your reader. In doing so, you grant them permission to feel the way they do. As a result, they trust you. And from there, you can build into your big product claims. 

If you don’t, however, your claims will be met with a lot of resistance. And resistance stops sales.

Corrective action: Repeat your reader’s thoughts, feelings and beliefs back to them. Mirror them before you introduce larger claims. But, as with all copywriting, you have to be subtle. 

Sales Page Mistake 8: Not enough call-to-action buttons

This final mistake comes with a caveat. You should only introduce call-to-action buttons once you’ve introduced your offer and sufficiently sold it. Adding options to buy before this point will only introduce curiosity clicks and pull people away from your page. You don’t want to do this.

By adding more buttons or in-text links, you make it easier for your reader to take action. They won’t have to scroll for a button. It’ll be next to them.

Corrective action: Add more opportunities to buy (once you’ve introduced your offer). Make the buttons or in-text links clear. And make taking payment as easy as possible.

Your new sales copy that sells

And there you go, 8 sales page mistakes to help you turn your sales page into a ruthless selling machine. If you want another pair of eyes to help increase your sales page’s conversions, send me a message. I’ve been trained by some of the best, and I’ll be happy to see if I can help you. Alternatively, read this for help finding a reliable UK sales page copywriter.

Want your own sales page? Here’s what you need to know: sales page copywriting

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