Category Archives: Online Marketing

Pitch Page Design Success Using the Block Approach

Written by: Lars Clausen, Guest Author

If you’re a new ClickBank vendor, writing the text for your Pitch Page can be an intimidating task. When you’ve got nothing but a blank page on your screen, it can be tough to know where to start. One technique that I’ve discovered over the years for writing effective Pitch Page copy is what I call the “block approach.”

Basically, it just involves breaking your Pitch Page text and design into separate blocks of content, which you can easily rearrange and edit separately. Block designing gives you layout flexibility, easier editing, and a solution for writer’s block. To successfully create a Pitch Page using blocks, all you need is a clear sense of who your product is intended for (your target audience) and the difference it will make in their lives (value).

Here are the 5 steps to take to build your Pitch Page using the block approach:

Step 1 – Create primary blocks

During creation, the order of these blocks doesn’t matter much. If you get stuck, put aside the block you’re working on and start on another. At this stage, perfection isn’t the point, as you’ll do your editing later.

You’ll want to create:

  • 3-5 headlines consisting of problem, solution, and benefit statements
  • 3-5 text blocks focusing on benefits and descriptions
  • 1 bullet list of thought-provoking questions
  • 1-3 bullet lists that focus on benefits
  • 1-2 testimonial blocks, preferably with pictures. Before you ask for a testimonial, write down what messages will be helpful and invite your testimonials to include specific statements. Once the testimonials arrive, edit them if necessary and ask for permission to use the edited versions.
  • 1 set of images that support your product’s value

Step 2 – Arrange these blocks into an initial layout

Again – don’t worry about perfection in this step. Just test out a sample layout that you can read over to see if it flows well and makes sense to the reader.

Step 3 – Evaluate as if you were a member of your target audience

Does your rough draft connect with your target audience? Does your Pitch Page clearly deliver the benefits and the value of your product? If you had the problem or concern they have, would your sales copy address that need and make it clear why your product solves the need?

Step 4 – Add secondary blocks to the page

First, you’ll want to create subheadings that emphasize benefits, smooth transitions, and create page flow. Next, create “urgency messages” that raise the purchase priority for your reader. These elements tie your primary blocks together and add to the strengths and urgency of your arguments.

Step 5 – Edit

Many successful authors live by the credo that “writing is editing.” A block approach makes editing simple. You can edit individual blocks to increase their clarity. You can rearrange blocks to increase the power of the Pitch Page. If something is missing, you can just create and insert a new block, rather than having to completely redo your page content.

Try out the block approach when you design your next Pitch Page. I think you’ll find that getting in the habit of working one block at a time will help you avoid writer’s block, keep you from throwing away your whole project and starting from scratch, and let you get your Pitch Page finished faster!

About the Author
Lars Clausen works on the team of PitchMagic, an automated Pitch Page and Thank You Page creation tool.

The Secrets of Writing Sales Copy That Converts

sales copy

Written by: Chris McNeeney, Guest Author

In my years as a super affiliate, I have seen some of the best and worst that copywriting has to offer and almost everything in between. ClickBank is awash with sales letters and copy for vendor products and it’s not always obvious which ones will convert to sales at first glance.

Even the ugliest site will convert browsers into paying customers if the copy is well written and does its job as it should – and if the copywriter understands how to sell to the niche in question.

In this post, I am going to teach you the copywriting elements that are vital to the success of any sales page (no matter how good or bad the design and graphics). The end result should be that your customers feel they simply have to buy the product you’re offering, without delay.

The Key Element of Converting Browsers into Buyers

One of the most important elements to concentrate on when promoting your own or someone else’s product is your sales copy. The better your copy converts, the more products you will sell and the more you will attract affiliates to sell your product for you. It’s all a virtuous cycle – and arguably your sales copy is the most important factor in the entire mix; perhaps even more important than the product or the affiliates you recruit.

If you can write a great sales letter, one that converts into sales, then you will have other marketers ‘eating out of your hand’ in a bid to promote your ClickBank products. Get it wrong and you won’t get any traction in the ClickBank Marketplace, and your product will stagnate and die.

The starting point of writing killer sales copy is to understand your market. By that, I don’t mean reading a few articles and assuming you know the market. You really have to do a bit of leg-work to understand who you are talking to, establish what they want, and research what’s already out there and what isn’t.

Find a gap in the market and fill it. Visit forums and find out what people are talking about, what their frustrations are, and how likely they are to spend money to get a solution to their problem or need. Read your competitors’ sales letters and sign up to their e-mail newsletters. Listen to the problems they talk about that the average customer has (e.g., “Aren’t you sick of diet pills that don’t work?”), along with which benefits they push hardest (”Lose weight without hunger pangs”). This will highlight important clues as to what is on the mind of your target audience.

So do your research and work out what is going through their heads. In other words, you really need to resonate with your potential buyer. If you can do this you can establish empathy with your potential buyer. If you do this, you are well on your way to a winning formula for your sales copy.

Getting Started

Now, before you exclaim, ‘But I can’t write copy,’ know that it is actually easier than you think. In fact, the transition from never having written a word of copy to being a ‘monster’ copywriter is perfectly achievable in just days – but only if you follow and implement some simple but extremely powerful copywriting rules.

The Short Cut To Copywriting Success

One of the fastest ways to get yourself from 0 to 60 writing great sales copy is to leverage the years of experience of some of the great copywriters who have already tried, tested, and proven the elements of copywriting. In short, we are going to cheat a little by building up a big pile of other marketers’ copy and swiping it (a.k.a. “the cheat sheet”).

Note: before I proceed, I want to be very clear on something. I am not suggesting you break copyright rules by copying other people’s work – you simply cannot do that – it would be copyright infringement. But the good news is, we don’t need to. Instead, we can examine and discover the successful elements, phrases, hooks, and buzzwords that are being used, and spin them to work into our own copywriting. In other words, we are going to extract the most important elements and rework them into our own sales letters. This is not only lawful – but its common practice in successful copywriting circles. The trick is to go to other niches and take elements from the most successful sales letters there for your own inspiration.

For example, let’s say you want to write copy for a bodybuilding product. You might come across a Forex sales letter with a headline that reads:

“Just In: Renegade, Grass Roots Trader Exposes Forex Loophole and Siphons Off $3,000 In 30 Days.”

You have a lot of words you can work with and use here, such as renegade, grass roots, exposes, loophole, siphons, etc. So if your niche was bodybuilding, you could work those words into your own headline:

“ Renegade Bodybuilder exposes muscle-building loophole and packs on 8 lbs of muscle in 3 weeks.”

The idea is to take the words and adapt and fit them to your own copy, whilst keeping the same elements of newness (renegade), something uncovered (loophole, exposed) and, very importantly, how quickly something can be achieved (6 days / 3 weeks). This method should not only be used for your headline, but also for your sub headers and the body copy of your sales letter.

Benefits Are Vital

Why? Because it’s a proven fact that people will buy something based on its benefits. Benefits are simply what the customer gets out of buying a product – in short, they’re the reason that people decide to buy a certain product. For example, if you have a product on making money, people will buy because of the perceived benefits that making money will bring, such as being able to pay off debts, improve their lifestyle, and by doing so appear more attractive to people around them. If it’s a more advanced guide, benefits might be very specific – for example, if it’s a blogging guide, one benefit might be “generating a flood of backlinks to your blog.”

Also, there’s a deeper psychological aspect here. Whilst people think they just want to make more money, in truth the benefits they will gain from doing so are much deeper than it at first appears. So it’s not enough to just sell the ‘idea’ of making money – this is far too general and unfocused. Instead, you should sell the benefits that will have a knock-on effect as a result of making money. So the more you understand the deep reasons behind why people want something, the more likely you are going to be able to tap into a person’s psyche when writing sales copy.

Check Out What’s Working

The best place to start when researching what is and isn’t working in a given niche is to check out the top performing products in that niche. This is easily achieved by heading over to the ClickBank Marketplace and doing a keyword search in a given niche. Alternatively, you can check out affiliate niches or the top ClickBank products on my site, Affiliate X.

For example, let’s look at dating. We know that Internet dating is a huge market that continues to grow repidly, but what about digging deeper into the dating niche?

Doing a search in ClickBank on any aspect of dating will bring up the top performing products, which are easily identified by their high gravity score. Take a look at the headlines of the top performers. The headline is the most important part of the sales copy. If you don’t grab the reader’s attention at this point, you will have lost them forever. A headline should be compelling, intriguing, and raise curiosity so the reader wants to read on. In the same way, the sub header should pull the reader in with a taste of what’s to come.

Generally, a good formula for a headline is: “How [someone like the customer] [got the kind of benefit the customer wants] in [x days].” For example, “How a 27 year old renegade Forex trader made $1,000 with a breakthrough new robot in 10 days,” or “How a 21 year old scrawny kid stacked on 13 lbs of chest muscle in 31 days.”

Remember that empathy is a powerful copywriting tool. If you can identify with the reader and show that you understand their problem or need because you have been “in their shoes” yourself, that helps build trust. Explain your situation and how you worked to discover a solution, and now you want to share it so that others don’t have to go through the same hurdles and problems that you did.

Empathy in any situation is beneficial, but in copywriting it’s essential. For this very reason, your story (i.e., how you arrived at this point) should make up a major part of your copy. It’s important not to underestimate the value of empathy within your copy – get it right and your copy will result in insane conversions.

Don’t Ignore The Competition

When writing your copy, you may be tempted to ignore the competition and hope that potential buyers will see your product for what it is and just buy it. Don’t make this mistake. Instead, explain in your copy why your product is better because it covers an angle that isn’t covered in competing products.

Try to think of a unique selling point that makes your product different from the others out there. Maybe it’s a better value, easier to understand, quicker to implement, or has better proof. Whatever the unique selling point is, elaborate on it and make it stand out. Just put yourself in a reader’s shoes – if you wanted to buy a product on dating women or learning to play the guitar – would you just check out one product? No, of course not; you would check out what’s available from a selection and then choose the best one.

Which brings us nicely to…

The Power of Proof

The number one reason why people don’t buy a product is because they don’t believe its claims. How many times have you thought to yourself, “that sounds too easy” or “that sounds too good to be true?” This is why it’s so important to demonstrate empathy within your copy.

However, the second element that cannot be overlooked is proof that your products does what it says it does. If you can provide screenshots of profits you’ve attained using the product, or a live working example, or even testimonials from existing customers, then you are on to a winner. Once you have the proof, it will be easier for potential customers to identify themselves with the benefits your product will deliver and they will want it for themselves.

To Conclude

It’s important to understand that in order to write great copy that will convert into sales, you DON’T need to be an experienced copywriter. It’s as simple as breaking down the sales copy of highly converting web pages out there, and carefully working out why they are selling. That’s just something that comes with a little digging and a bit of experience.

It doesn’t matter what niche the sales copy is in. You can swipe the buzz words and curiosity elements within the headlines, sub headers and sales letter body and rework those to your suit your own niche. Well thought-out copy and strong proof will almost guarantee your sales pitch will convert into sales. Once you have mastered these essential elements, you’ll be able to create copy that converts in any niche you choose.

About the Author

Chris McNeeney is the owner of Affiliate X – a resource for ClickBank affiliates with affiliate tools, affiliate videos, and training information.

7 Keys to Big Video Profits

Written by: Benjamin Ravaru, Guest Author

Many years ago when I started marketing online with the usual web-page sales letters, I was living in fear that one day everything would move to video. If that happened, would the little guy still be able to compete with big companies and their video budgets?

Fast forward to 2010, and the answer is an emphatic YES.

There’s an explosion of homemade videos online. YouTube has become the 3rd most-visited website in the world. Video gets higher conversion rates and builds a deeper relationship than print ads. But the really exciting news is that it’s easier than ever to make videos at home.

Cameras are cheap. You can buy a Flip or Kodak Zi8 for under $200 and record great HD videos at home. Keynote and PowerPoint make it easier than ever to create beautiful screen-casts. Tools like Camtasia and Screenflow make it easy to capture your videos and put them online in the cloud using a service like Amazon S3. You can then play them back with tools like Flowplayer or JW Player.

There are more sources of great content than ever before, including royalty-free music, photographs, and videos on sites like iStockPhoto.com.

But even with all of these tools, not all videos are created equal, and not all videos convert. So what are the keys that will guarantee your video is a success? To achieve big video profits, I recommend the following:

1. Great Script: Take time to sit down and write a script for your video. You might be a great narrator, but you need to think of your video as your spoken sales letter or sales presentation. A great script with a killer intro makes a huge difference in whether your video converts into sales.

2. Interesting Hooks: Make interesting promises and deliver on them, or have nice visual effects and/or music. Anything that can hold people’s attention is worth its weight in gold in these times of multitasking and short attention spans.

3.  Keep It Clean: Make sure to remove the noise from your audio recordings and use image enhancing effects for your photos. You want clear sound and sharp contrasts. It doesn’t cost any money to do this, just a bit of time. It will really separate your video from the mass of videos out there and give you that professional edge.

4. Easy to Read Text: Make your text high-contrast, so it stands out against the background of your video. Big, black, bold text is a good rule of thumb, unless black won’t show up against your background.

5. Reasonable File Size: Resize your video to be between 500×300 and 800×600. Any less than that and the video is too small; more and it’s too big. When compressing your video, use the H.264 compression codec with the compression settings set to “best” to ensure a good file size.

6. Promote Other Video Products: As obvious as this may sound, it’s best to use video to promote an offer that uses video on its sales page too. Having a nice video presell as an affiliate and sending people to a non-video offer can kill conversions. The feeling of continuity and flow is important.

7. Always Be Testing: This is true of any selling or promotional techniques, and it holds for video too. Don’t get complacent, and always fine tune your scripts and videos. You can always improve your conversion rate and make more profits.

About the Author

Benjamin Ravaru is a ClickBank vendor who has used video to sell and promote ClickBank products, including his own product Xocoslim.

Email Deliverability Tips

e-mail marketing

Ensuring requested opt-in email is delivered to subscriber inboxes is an increasingly difficult battle in the age of spam filtering. Open and click thru response rates can be dramatically affected by as much as 20-30% due to incorrect spam filter classification.

Permission

Confirming that the people who ask for your information have actually requested to be on your list is the number one step in the battle for deliverability. You should be using a process called confirmed opt-in or verified opt-in to send a unique link to the attempted subscriber when they request information. Before adding the person to your list they must click that unique link verifying that they are indeed the same person that owns the email address and requested to subscribe.

Subscriber Addresses

When requesting website visitors to opt-in ask for their “real” or “primary” email address instead of a free email address like Yahoo or Hotmail. Free emails tend to be throw away accounts and typically have a shorter lifetime than a primary ISP address.

List Maintenance

Always promptly remove undeliverable addresses that bounce when sending email to them. An address that bounces with a permanent error 2-3 times in a 30 day period should be removed from the list. ISP’s track what percentage of your newsletters bounce and will block them if you attempt to continually deliver messages to closed subscriber mailboxes.

Message Format

Usage of HTML messages to allow for text formatting, multiple columns, images, and brand recognition is growing in popularity and is widely supported by most email client software. Most spam is also HTML formatted and thus differentiating between requested email and spam HTML messages can be difficult. A 2004 study by AWeber .com shows that plain text messages are undeliverable 1.15% of the time and HTML only messages were undeliverable 2.3%. If sending HTML it is important to always send a plain text alternative message, also called text/HTML multi-part mime format.

Content

Many ISP’s filter based on the content that appears within the message text.

    Website URL:Research potential newsletter advertisers before allowing them to place ads in your newsletter issues. If they have used their website URL to send spam, just having their URL appear in your newsletter could cause the entire message to be filtered.

    Words/phrases:

    Choose your language carefully when crafting messages. Avoid hot button topics often found in spam such as medication, mortgages, making money, and pornography. If you do need to use words that might be filtered, don’t attempt to obfuscate words with extra characters or odd spelling, you’ll just make your messages appear more spam like.

    Images:

    Avoid creating messages that are entirely images. Use images sparingly, if at all. Commonly used open rate tracking technology uses images to calculate opens. You may choose to disable open rate tracking to avoid being filtered based on image content.

    Attachments:

    With viruses running rampant and spreading thru the usage of malicious email attachments many users are wary of attached documents. It’s often better to link to files via a website URL to reduce recipient fear of attachments and reduce the overall message size.

CAN-SPAM Compliance

The January 2004 Federal CAN-SPAM law introduced a number of rules regarding the delivery of email. It’s important you have your legal counsel review your practices and ensure you are in compliance. The two most important rules include having a valid postal mail address listed in all commercial messages and a working unsubscribe link that is promptly honored to remove the subscriber from future messages.

Reputation

Reputation services are often used by large ISP’s as a way to vet email senders regarding their email practices and policies. Businesses listed with these services are then given less stringent filtering or no filtering at all. Several reputation services are:

  • http://www.isipp.com/iadb.php
  • http://www.bondedsender.com
  • http://www.habeas.com

Relationships & Whitelisting

Contact with major ISP’s and email providers is essential in letting them know about your requested subscriber email. Many large providers such as AOL and Yahoo have specific whitelisting programs and postmaster website areas to ensure your email is delivered as long as you meet their policies and procedures in handling your opt-in list.