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Writing a Sales Page: Step 1: Make a "Skeleton Outline"


Neville

skeleton outline guy

When sitting down to first write a giant-ass sales page, it's a little intimidating where to start.

Well here's my simple trick to getting started:

Make a "Skeleton Outline" first!

We're simply outlining the sales page structure.

We're not writing any copy at all just yet.

To make this super easy, here's a list of all the different possible parts of a sales page.

Here they are:

Basically each of those can turn into an entire "section" of our sales page. Notice we haven't written a single piece of copy just yet in this first step!

Here's all the sections in a Google Doc:

You can click File --> Make A Copy  on the doc to save. writing-sales-page-doc-skeleton-outline

 

Now for our exercise we're writing a full sales page together. This means we need a product.  We're going to use the core KopywritingKourse product called....well...."The KopywritingKourse!" 

You can see the original working sales page here.

Now since The KopywritingKourse is a digital learning product, here's the Skeleton Outline I'm going to use:

  • [bold statement showing what can be done]

  • [Problem the product solves]

  • [What’s included in the product]

  • [Personal story how the product helped]

  • [show different uses for the product]

  • [Testimonials]

  • [industry Statistics]

  • [More Testimonials]

  • [show different uses for the product]

  • [What’s included in the product]

  • [More Testimonials]

  • [satisfaction guarantee]

  • [About the creator]

  • [Pricing info]

  • [Address Objections]

  • [Frequently Asked Questions]

  • [Contact Info]

....and that's the whole 1st step of the sales page writing process! Just "Skeleton Outlining."

That's all we're gonna do for now. What you're seeing right above this is a newborn sales page! It's not full developed yet, but that's going to be it's DNA.

Just getting this Skeleton Outline is our very first step in the sales page writing process. Tomorrow we'll start filling this in to make the beginnings of a real sales page.

Sincerely,

Neville N. Medhora

P.S. What are some other pieces of a sales page you can think of?? Any Questions you have on this Skeleton Outline process I can answer for you?

 


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Very interesting you don't write any copy in the first step, that's a welcome surprise! I've generally just started writing sales pages and they get long and unwieldy quickly.

This is a great process, Neville.

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Guest Neville Medhora

Posted

Thanks Arny! It kind of reminds me of that old quote:

"Measure twice, cut once."

If you plan out the sales page beforehand, it makes writing it a lot easier, otherwise yes, you'll start writing looonnggg and meandering sales pages without any structure :)

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Guest Gerard

Posted

Another piece of a sales page is the description of the problem that the product solves.

For example, a course teaching introverts to socialize for professional reasons.

A section of the page might feature quotes from people saying things like, "I wander from room to room, looking for someone I know, but eventually just head back to my hotel."

Or it might feature a series of rhetorical questions that hit the customer's pain points:

- Does the thought of introducing yourself to a stranger make your heart race?

- Is your career at a halt because you just can't get to know the right people?

- Do you struggle to get clients because you always bomb the first impression?

I often see these sections on the sales pages of information products like courses, ebooks, etc. I think they're effective, too, because they can legitimately help the customer determine if this product is right for them. I also think it can be one of those moments of getting the customer say, "it's like this page is talking directly to me!" That's a good way to get a sale from the right customer.

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Guest Ray Ibarra

Posted

Does even, and, or, in email subject lines give you more clicks!? Maybe Neville knows...
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Guest Neville Medhora

Posted

Oh that's a great section to add Gerard!

Possibly a shirt-worthy addition right there :-)

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Gosh, why did I never thought of this before! I always dread the cold white blank page! The more I flee it, the more that it haunts me, literally. Now I know how to counter that blank page, saved me from countless hours of research (a.k.a. watching useless funny cat videos). :-)
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Guest Ian O'Brien

Posted

Hi Neville,

This is excellent. I really need a big flow like this. A skeleton to hang it all on.

How about also some sort of section where you prove the you are an authority to listen to to build trust?

I'm thinking that they know you understand their problem.

...and they know you have a solution for it.

But a bit where you get them to specifically trust you?

All the best Neville, excited about this series : )

- Ian O'Brien

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This is excellent material to use for teaching my business English students at a prestigious engineering school. Thank you.
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Guest Grace

Posted

What if this is a brand new program and there aren't any testimonials for it yet?

I generally use testimonials for my work in general, but that feels like something's missing.

Would you recommend offering the program to a couple of people for free, or at a reduced price, to get their feedback for testimonials? Or ... ???

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Guest Grace

Posted

And another question. :-)

If the program is a smaller one - say, under $100 in pricing - my sense is that the page would likely be shorter. Perhaps the second set of alternate uses, what's included, and testimonials would be left out?

Or not? Thoughts?

Thanks. The timing on this is PERFECT, because I'm about to write the sales page for a product that has me super excited to create and offer!

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Guest Suzanne Sukhram

Posted

Neville,

I'm assuming that the structure you listed is for higher-priced products, and that this is why you have to justify the price more than once.

In the skeleton format you said you'll be using, I noticed you have only the pricing info, not a justification of the price. Why is that?

Also, what if the product is actually more of a proof of concept type of product, that is lower in price? Would you still need to justify the price?

Thanks for a great starting place. It can be hard to look at a blank document sometimes, and so this will be very helpful.

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Guest Suzanne Sukhram

Posted

I agree with Gerard. I've always heard that you need to be sure to let the prospect know that they're in the right place, AND that you understand their issues and, if possible, can identify with them.
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Guest Harry

Posted

I am wondering if this very same structure also applies to a sales page for a book. And to take it even a step further, do you think that this structure then also would apply to the Amazon sales page of the book?
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Guest Andre

Posted

I use question outlines like this all the time – it makes the writing go so fast! You always know what you need or what you need to find out.

Thanks for this Neville.

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Guest Andre

Posted

Hey Harry,

I'd say yes, it would work great. Just pick and choose the parts you think you need and put it together.

In fact, I think you'd be miles ahead using this kind of structure on your Amazon sales page. Take a look at a couple of Patrick King's books on Amazon. He's definitely using the sales page in his description.

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Guest Harry

Posted

Hi Neville,

It would great and very beneficial if you could also provide such a structure for a perfect blog post. I'm always struggling how to write my next blog post and in a way that's also copywriting because you want to engage the reader quickly and get him engaged to the end.

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Guest Julie Spears

Posted

This is great for writing in general. Especially if you are stuck. I draw a really ugly family tree looking outline to help me visualize what I want to say and in what way I want to say it.
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Guest Sam Lowe

Posted

Excellent article! Just out of curiosity, how do you make it so you don’t sound unrealistic or over the top? Some sales pages are well worked but then reading “it could save you thousands” but the product costs 50 bucks gives the impression you’re lying because nothing of that value could possibly be so cheap, right?

Basically what I’m trying to say is how about as well as justifying the price, explain the price to put them at ease. Even be honest as honestly creates authenticity which creates trust. Something along the lines of “although we could easily sell it for triple the price, we have made it affordable so more people can take advantage which will help with brand exposure and save on marketing. That way we both win.”

Hope that makes sense. I’m new to this so I could be talking out my backside but I know as a consumer, reading that would definitely put my mind at ease.

For all I know that could come under justifying the price but to me that sounds like explaining why they should pay that price and not why it’s that price.

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Guest Sulaksha Gad

Posted

The strategy for making a skeleton outline. First research about that product, then ask your client some questions regarding that product, for which, you'll make a sales page. By keeping those inputs provided by the client in your mind, make a perfect skeleton outline. Am I right?
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Well, it may sound over the top, but that would by your (or my?) fault. Take a pair of running shoes.

"This $50 pair of running shoes can save you thousands of dollars in healthcare costs.

Research by the Mayo Clinic and the Johns Hopkins Center of Copywriter Obesity has proven that copywriters would rather write weight-loss copy than get up from their chairs to exercise.... this leads to fat-butt syndrome, is-that-my-heart-or-a-muscle-cramp pain, and permanent nerve damage from Karpal Tunnel Syndrome....

But in only 45min of running each day, you can cut your healthcare bills in half, and add 15yrs to your life.

When combined with the average amount of money a Kopywriter can make each year, this is worth MILLIONS OF DOLLARS."

As long as you can draw the connection between the product and the benefit, it should be believable.

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Guest Sam Lowe

Posted

I get what you mean and some products will be more believable like your example.

However let’s take an ebook which shows you a secret way of making millions using a loophole at the price of $10 (completely made up but there are plenty of ebooks claiming to make you rich). Why would they be charging such a low amount if it could make you millions of dollars? Surely it is a lot more valuable than that and they could be charging thousands. That to me would make me think it is a load of crap and put me off buying it, unless of course I was really desperate.

If they explain the ebook costs just $10 because they don’t actually need the money due to being millionaires from the methods in their book but releasing it for free would be too risky as the loophole could be fixed and the $10 protects this from happeningthen I would feel a lot more comfortable buying it.

Sometimes it is hard to make it believable, it really depends on the product but I personally believe consumers are getting more skeptical nowadays with the number of scams and rip off merchants, you really need to make them trust you.

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That's a great example. I think that copy is the kind of stuff you'll see at less-credible forums.... with warriors.... who like forums.... jk!

Anyway, If I were selling a get-rich $10 ebook, I bet I could improve conversions by saying the book has made the last 100 people who have used it an average of $2,745 each month after applying the principles.

That is an excellent ROI, and yet still believable.

Now, there was a book that had almost an identical preface to the one you just made up. Head over to Amazon and skim through the preface for "The Boglehead's Guide to Investing."

The authors say they couldn't care less about royalties, they're already millionaires. They tell the reader they don't care how they get the book. In fact, just read it in the bookstore. Don't ever buy it. Just use it. Because they want you to be rich like them.

So yeah, I would say what you said works great.

Now, their book is built on discipline and hard work, something that weeds out a TON of people. But I think you are on the right track with your hook.

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Guest Neville Medhora

Posted

Hey Sulaksha!

Normally I'll fill out ALL these sections without first doing much research. This really helps gets an idea about the product.

I'll be going over the next steps in the coming days.

What's cool is so far, we haven't written a damn piece of copy, and we've already got an outline going :)

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