Does Your Landing Page Need A Language Makeover?

This is a break away from the techniques that I normally write about. But in my mind, it’s probably one of the most important skills you can master in affiliate marketing. For all of the praise that top marketers get for their understanding of various demographics, not much attention is paid to the language that’s used to communicate with those demographics.

Every other day I get guys hitting me up with examples of landing pages they’ve put together. They normally ask me “do you think it will convert?”, “do you think I’m promoting to the right audience?”. More often than not the answer is a resounding and unfortunate no. It seems that a lot of affiliates – talented or otherwise – have trouble relaying to the user exactly why they should be persuaded to part with their credit cards.

You’ll find that the best converting landing pages generally excel when it comes to communicating on the correct level with their targeted demographics. And much of that communication boils down to good old fashioned persuasive writing. Writing with your market in mind.

Too many affiliates sell the features of a product instead of the benefits. It’s a classic mistake. I guarantee if you go back now and look at every landing page you’ve ever published, you’ll see glaring examples of the feature-sell that you missed at the time. We all fall victim to this, particularly those who churn out an obscene number of campaigns in the hope that something will stick. Understanding your market is key. You have to get aggressive and really attack the reader’s channel of thought.

As an example, here’s a snippet from an Acai flog I stumbled across the other day. This was supposed to be the “hard sell”. The slap in the face that gets Average Joe American to whip out his credit card in the hope of a looser waistband.

– No other fruit packs as many healthy vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants!
– The Acai Berry is only grown in the Amazons, which means our supplies are limited
– 1500mg per serving of 100% pure Acai Berry (it’s not filled with other useless chemicals)
– Eliminates harmful toxins in days!
– Free trial, only pay $2.95 for shipping

My problem with copy like this is simple. Why should I give a shit? Here is what your target market is thinking as he/she reads the key points.

– No other fruit packs as many healthy vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants!
Really? What’s an antioxidant? I don’t want a science lesson.

– The Acai Berry is only grown in the Amazons, which means our supplies are limited
I don’t give a shit about your supplies and I don’t give a shit about the Amazon rainforest. I care about my stretch marks.

– 1500mg per serving of 100% pure Acai Berry (it’s not filled with other useless chemicals)
What will 1500mg per serving do for me? Will it get me high? Will it clean my balls? Will it give me cancer?

– Eliminates harmful toxins in days!
Okay, cool I guess. I’ll remember not to take the damn thing in a gas chamber.

– Free trial, only pay $2.95 for shipping
Great. Sounds good value. Shame I won’t be buying it because I want something simple that miraculously cures my fat ass.

I’m not suggesting you start fabricating product benefits. But if you write your landing pages without the specific benefits of the product highlighted, you’re going to lose interest. It’s a classic case of an affiliate letting the product sell itself. You can get away with that for super high demand offers – but with a credit card submit on a skeptical consumer, you need to seal the deal. Here’s a simple modification to the copy above that makes it relevant.

– Full of healthy vitamins and nutrients that spur on healthy weight loss. Live a healthier life.
– Only in the Amazon. The Acai Berry is in extreme demand as the world’s number one weight loss superfood. Get it before it’s gone.
– 100% pure Acai. Don’t buy a weaker blend. Achieve maximum weight loss and boost your energy levels with the real deal.
– Start feeling the effects of a healthier body as our supplement flushes harmful toxins in DAYS.
– Want to feel better about yourself? Start shedding pounds today with the Acai Berry Diet for just $2.95 shipping

Each feature of the product is used to promote a benefit for the consumer. Now I’ve literally just translated this on the fly so don’t go jacking it in to your landing pages and then come running to me if it doesn’t convert. It’s the principle that you should be remembering. A good landing page will resonate a solution to a problem that the user has. If they don’t feel the explicit need to go out and purchase, they won’t. It’s up to you to sell that need.

I write my own content for most landing pages that I publish. I know a lot of guys choose to outsource – which I’ve done before – but I like to keep a close hold over the style of writing. Persuasive writing is something that I’ve always been strong at, even if I spent most of my English lessons through school sleeping or reading the paper. It’s a skill in itself. I don’t honestly expect all affiliate marketers to be good enough to handle the writing aspect of a good landing page. But what you definitely can do is narrow down the features and benefits of a given product. And you should be doing this before you even hit the Go button on your WordPress auto-install.

Draw up a checklist of the key product features. You should be able to jack the key points straight of the merchant page. Write them down and start brainstorming what sort of benefits each feature is going to provide. I like to do this before I choose my demographics to target. Primarily because it’s so easy to be ruled by the tide. Remember when 95% of Acai offers were targeted to females? Yeah, I wonder which bright spark decided that the key features of the acai offer could be just as easily translated to benefits for the male demographic…

Once I have my list of benefits, I like to turn in to a cynical piece of shit (some would say that’s what I always am), and begin to question them with possible consumer doubts.

The best landing pages don’t settle for simply describing the benefits of a product. They mercilessly stamp out the doubts and stumbling blocks that would prevent you from signing up.

My favourite way to do this in language form is to ask questions, and lots of them.

I can’t remember who said it, but it’s definitely true. The more times you can get a user to answer “YES!” to a question, the more likely it is that they’re going to say yes when it really matters.

Price is a regular doubt in the consumer’s mind. So I like to combat their doubts with questions that they can only really answer yes to.

For example:

“Wouldn’t you love to lose XXX pounds if you only had to pay $2.95 shipping? And with the option to cancel your free trial at any time?”

“Are you willing to pay just $2.95 shipping to try the weight loss superfood that could change your body and your life for the better? Can you afford $2.95 for the body you’ve always dreamed of having?”

It works because you’re tactically dealing with the consumer’s subconscious negative desire to shoot holes in your product, and forcing them to answer with a positive response. You can use positive language and positive questioning to very quickly break down the barriers that would have your target otherwise finding a reason not to buy. Price is very easy to address in the CPA world. Other issues are more challenging.

Writing to persuade is one of the great and rarely mentioned talents of top CPA marketers. If you’ve got it, you can sell in any environment. If you don’t have it, you should be looking to outsource to somebody who does.

About the author

Finch
Finch

A 29 year old high school dropout (slash academic failure) who sold his soul to make money from the Internet. This blog follows the successes, fuck-ups and ball gags of my career in affiliate marketing.

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