Recently, there's been some discussion on Twitter about the demise of the all-text sales page.
I believe it was Frank Kern's Mass Control launch that set all the debate off. After all the build up, Kern published sales page that only had a video, a few lines of text (or were there? I can't remember anymore) and the buy button.
I have to admit, I am one of those who clicked the buy button without having to read a sales letter. But that's how Kern engineered the entire Mass Control launch. By the time the sales page went live, you didn't need a sales letter. You were just raring to buy. No, you were half-crazed with desire to get to the live order page ahead of the pack!
Here's my two-cents about the sales letter debate:
1. If you've built up such anticipation and “desire to acquire” for your product, a-la Kern's Mass Control, then no, you don't need a text sales page, or even a long one. It takes a lot of careful planning and preparation to achieve this state, as I am learning now from the Mass Control course. You could go back to all of Kern's videos and Emails – as well as those of his joint venture partners – and try to reverse-engineer his approach, to see how he accomplished this. (Incidentally, if you want a Mass Control-style launch for your own product, contact me in about six weeks. I'm going through the course right now.)
2. With certain markets, a video sales letter may be all you need. Internet marketers – the market for Mass Control – are a bunch of jaded folks who are, frankly, sick and tired of the same ol' sales letter. I mean, honestly, aren't you just over those long, hypey sales letters with the red, bold headlines? But not all markets are like US. Some probably have seen very few sales pages, if any. They probably don't realize how the marketer is working them to buy. As with anything to do with marketing, it all depends on your target market. Find out what they do want.
3. I suspect that a combination of video and text on a sales page works best. Video is compelling. You see and hear the person who's selling to you, so you can bond more instantly and decide whether you trust the person or not. You see the product in action, or being handled (like Kern's final “what you get” video), making the product much more real and concrete for you. Video testimonials are more powerful than plain vanilla text testimonials.
That said, most markets will probably will looking for more in-depth description of the product and its benefits. I know DH did, when I was telling him that I wanted the Mass Control course. He said, “But he still hasn't told us what the course is all about!” was DH's reaction. Keep in mind, DH is not an Internet marketer at all. While I “got” what Mass Control was all about, DH was still clueless even after watching all the pre-launch videos.
In the final analysis, the market will decide whether or not the traditional text sales letter is dead. This is exactly what Barry Nicholson of Dynamic Duo Copywriting is trying to find out by split testing his sales pages. Until we get more real-life results, we simply can't make any conclusions.
What's YOUR opinion: is the traditional sales page on its way out?
Lexi Rodrigo is a communication and marketing professional for multimillion-dollar businesses, co-author of Blog Post Ideas: 21 Proven Ways to Create Compelling Content and Kiss Writer's Block Goodbye, and host of "Marketing Insights LIVE!." Connect with Lexi on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
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