• David Hrostoski

Every Sales Page Ever

What sales page psychology sounds like when you just say it like it is.

1. Attention Grabbing Headline


Add 4 High-Ticket Clients to Your Coaching Practice Every Month with This Simple Funnel!

The point of the headline is to make a promise big enough to make it worthwhile for you to stop what you’re doing and keep reading.


Sometimes, you’ll see a sub-headline to clarify or add to what was said in the headline.

But it’s meant to be simple, direct, and most of all captivating. Top marketers will often write 100 headlines to find the most compelling one, and then test 2-5 versions of the same page to see what actually works the best, in practice.


If it works like it’s designed to, you keep reading.

2. Emotional Manipulation


Any good marketer knows that emotion sells more than facts.

In a well-crafted sales page, the headline hooks, but it’s this very next section that starts selling you through a highly intentional emotional arc.


First: Pain


“If you’re not making at least one high-ticket sale every week, you’re missing out on hundreds of thousands of dollars in your pocket.”


This section is meant to paint the picture of your greatest insecurities and innermost thoughts.


Chances are, you’re either reading the sales page of someone you respect and follow already, or you clicked onto the page from a social media ad.


That means, the marketer already knows a lot about you and already knows which buttons to press to make you squirm.


Ideally, even from the very first line, you quickly spiral into shame and unworthiness.


Businesses take a lot of time to survey their customers, collect market research, and then narrowly target their advertisements to the specific groups of people they already know a lot about.


By the time they even start writing a page like this, they already know how you think, what words you use to describe your painpoints, and what kinds of future aspirations you have.

All of that research goes into describing your biggest insecurities and doubts—in your own words.


If done correctly, this piece reads exactly like your inner turmoil sounds at 2am on your worst nights.


Second: Your Dreams


Once you’re fully in the hopelessness and despair of your deepest fears and inadequacies, there’s a smooth transition into your secret dreams and aspirations:


“But you know you’re here for something big. You know you’re meant to help people on a massive scale. You’ve seen what you can do for 1 or 2 clients. Can you imagine the impact you could have with a full coaching practice?”


Exactly like the piece before, this is heavily researched and is meant to read like you wrote it yourself.


Your emotion ramps up, and you slip into a daydream-like state of what life would be like if your grandest fantasies were suddenly achieved.


Third: Insert Product/Service


You’ve just gone on a rollercoaster ride of emotion in a very short period of time.

You’re now fairly disoriented and a bit shocked at how accurately this person has articulated your pains and aspirations, maybe even better than you’ve been able to articulate them yourself.


The marketer has created an emotional gap, and is now inserting their product or service as the bridge between some the most painful emotions you have, and the best.


It’s textbook emotional manipulation, and it sits at the heart of the most effective sales pages and even phone scripts.

What’s been said is this:

“We know you, maybe better than you know yourself, and we have the solution to make your biggest fears vanish and your biggest dreams come true.”

Is that true? Of course not.

But is it effective? Most definitely.

There’s a percentage of people for who emotional manipulation is enough on its own to “convert” the sale.


You’ll notice the first “Buy Now” button right about here.

But just in case you’re not quite convinced yet, you’ll find a question that compels you to continue down the page where your skepticism can be slowly picked away.

“How do we do this? With our patented formula that we‘ve used to bring over 3400 new clients to 763 businesses just this month.”


3. Cognitive Manipulation


There are a few core reasons why people don’t buy a product.


Even if the emotional manipulation went off exactly as planned, there’s still a good percentage of people who are skeptical.

After all, it’s the Internet.

So now come the details.

This is the piece that cognitively justifies the emotional ride you just went on.


You’ll read what’s included in this product/service, and why that’s the best possible configuration to deliver on the promise that’s been made.


You’ll read what makes this product/service different from competitors, and why a new development in _____ has allowed them to deliver it to you before anyone else.

You’ll read about little bonuses that not only compliment the product/service, but add something above and beyond it. You’re already getting your dreams fulfilled with the core product, and now these bonuses insinuate that you’ll get even more than you previously imagined.


This section, and really every other element for the rest of the page is waging a cognitive war with your inner skeptic.

“Don’t think our formula works? Well, here’s exactly how we do it, and why it does work.”

“Think there’s something better out there? Well, here’s exactly how we’re far ahead of our competition.”

“Think you could get a better deal? Well, here’s how we charged other people even more than what we’re charging you now.”


“Think you can’t afford it? Well, can you afford not to? Can you really leave this page having gone through what you did emotionally, without having the sweet relief of this purchase? By the way, here’s a payment plan so no more excuses, ok?”

This continues, on and on, to address every major reason your inner skeptic might have to leave the page without purchasing.


You’re likely to see a “Buy” button somewhere around here too.

4. Testimonials


Now, my goodness. You’re still here?


Well, here come the testimonials.


You might think these are just random happy customers, but that would be a waste of precious space on the page.


No, this is actually a finely-crafted series of specific types of people saying that this product/service worked wonders for them.

Are they real? Not always, but most of the time, yes.

Still, unless someone specifically asks to have their testimonial taken down, this probably isn’t exactly what these same people would say today after the initial glow has worn away and the onset of that disappointment has rolled in. After all, it’s hard to live up to, “Your deepest inadequacies will be filled and your dreams will be granted.”


Regardless, the point here is for you to see yourself in at least one of these testimonials.


You won’t see, “This is great!” as much as you’ll see, “I saw an additional $10k/mo in my health coaching business in the first 6 weeks. It’s been a God-send for my family. My husband quit his second job and we now have more time to spend with our beautiful kids at home. Thank you for changing my life and bringing my hubby home!”


If you’re a health-coach with a partner who badly wants to spend more time at home with the kids, you’ll see yourself in the story and your inner skeptic will settle back.


Again, the marketer already knows a lot about you going into this, so all they need to do is capture the 3-5 core types of people who are going to be reading their page, and you’re likely to see yourself in at least one of them.


5. Guarantee


This is somewhat of a last-ditch effort to get you to cross that finish line:


“Listen. If you really don’t know if this is going to work for you, how about I make it easy? We both know you have the money or you wouldn’t still be here. How about you buy it, and if it really doesn’t work, I’ll refund your entire purchase.”

The point of the guarantee is to take away any last inkling of risk from your inner skeptic.


Any experienced marketer knows that even if you’re dissatisfied, you’re unlikely to come back to the page, send them a support email, and wait 3-5 business days for a reply to possibly get your money back.


So this is a numbers game.


If you’re in the large majority of people, this guarantee isn’t the main reason why you’re buying anyway. You might have already clicked “Buy” up above, and either way, you probably won’t even remember there’s a guarantee.

And even if the guarantee is the main reason why you hit “Submit Payment,” you’re far less likely to ask for a refund than you are to just walk away dissatisfied.


The tiny percentage of people that ask for a refund is far smaller than the percentage of people whose inner skeptic was soothed by the idea of having one.


“You already know what you have to gain (everything you want). Now, with this money back guarantee, what do you have to lose, really?”


By the time you’ve seen the price and go to make your final decision, you’ve been thoroughly walked through some the best psychological tactics available.

Add a few of the latest innovations like countdown timers to add a sense of urgency and encourage you to make a decision before the emotional manipulation wears off?


And you’ve officially experienced the full effects of “Every Sales Page Ever.”


Buy Now!


This is a broad overview of sales psychology.


And, yes, it’s manipulative and gross.


So why is it seemingly everywhere?


That’s a question I ask myself a lot these days.


Looking back at the version of me who learned all of this in the first place, I just thought it was “the only way.” At the very least, I thought it was “the best way.”


The sadder truth is, that version of me couldn’t have possibly written this article. Because, at that point, I just hadn’t thought it fully through.


I broadly knew what the elements on the page were there for, but hadn’t fully stopped to question what that really meant.

Was I really willing to twist emotion and psychology to make a quick buck?

And if I really had something that was genuinely helpful, what made me think that this was actually the best way to tell people about it?

I don’t think I could have answered those questions back then.


Granted, this isn’t actually EVERY sales page ever. There are plenty of business doing their absolute best to only sell with the upmost integrity.


But I still see many of these same tactics being used on a wide scale—far more than I’d want to imagine, given that I see it the most in the personal and business coaching industry which is literally meant to help people.


So where am I at with all of this today?


Well...


Can I bring myself to manipulate people for a living? No.


Can I convince myself that it’s “for the highest good” to consciously manipulate people because my product or service is going to be “so helpful” for them? Also no.


Ultimately, this has all distilled down to more of a spiritual philosophy than anything else.


I believe we’re all a part of the same thing—spiritually, yes, but even very practically.


We’re all in the same marketplace working to raise (ideally) the quality of life in our country and worldwide. That helps everyone, including ourselves.


How does manipulation of that global effort for my own personal gain actually help anyone at all?

It can’t.

If I don’t actually believe in something, or I’m playing a public-facing character just to make money at the expense of what I could actually bring to the world, I’ve already lost.


If I’m genuinely being myself, and only putting out things that matter to me, I don’t have to play these games to begin with, and my business gets to be a genuine expression of me.

To take that further, I’ve actually come to believe that being myself in the world is the only thing that can truly work long-term and at scale.


I‘m not certain if that was true 50 years ago, but I fully believe it is today.

So I’ve come to see my entire life and all of my interests and skills as a pieces of the business and how I get to “market.”

My brand is slowly becoming more and more of me. Not just the convenient sliver of me that fits this year’s business model—all of me.

And as I do my best to walk that talk, I learn more every day about the uncertainty that comes with being myself in the world.


I see how challenging it is to trust myself, let alone to trust that the actual best I have to offer to the planet doesn’t need blatant manipulation for people to love it and get behind it.


I deeply understand why people would avoid that uncertainty and tension at all costs and just copy-paste the latest marketing templates that are “proven to convert.”


But knowing what I know now, I’m more than willing to chart that course through any amount of uncertainty to the absolute ends of where it’ll take me.

Especially as we build out this spiritual education brand, The Second Paradigm, I can’t imagine us doing business any other way than through trust, intuition, and integrity.

For all those doing some iteration of the same, thank you for helping to pave a new path for business owners everywhere.


I know it’s a bit odd and confusing to ditch the templates and knowingly walk away from “the only way” to do business.

But I have full faith in the knowing that, ultimately, integrity and truth will penetrate and outlast any manipulative alternative.


Our world is waking up—very fast.


The market will inevitably follow.

And, at the very least, for those of you who stuck with me this far, I hope the next time you scroll through your Facebook and click a well-targeted ad, you remember to check in and always trust yourself.

You’re not broken, and you’re hella capable already to create everything you’re here to create.

You got this. 💙

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The Second Paradigm | Where Soul Makes Sense, Grounded Spirituality, Soul-Aligned Business, David Hrostoski and Miriam Wagoner