It’s not enough to write an eBook. Selling your eBook (or anything, really) means you need a sales page to convert casual visitors into buyers. In today’s blog post, I discuss what it takes to create an effective eBook sales page.
If you plan on selling eBooks, or anything else—services, online courses, other digital products—you’ll have to learn how to make sales pages, with the end goal of convincing your visitors to become buyers.
It’s tough to write an eBook that you know will benefit people but they don’t know it yet. Your sales page is your chance to prove to them that what you’re offering will change their lives for the better.
And it’s certainly more powerful than “Hi, buy my eBook?”Caption: “Hi, buy my eBook?”
In today’s article, I’ll run down the basics of how to create an effective eBook sales page that wins your visitors over.
Note: This article is aimed at those who are selling their eBooks right on their own website. If you’re selling your eBook someplace else, like Amazon or any other eBook website, your efforts will be better spent optimizing the information on your product page on their website instead.
A sales page is a page with a single purpose: to sell your service, online course, or product, in this case, your eBook. Sales pages explain what your product is for, who it’s for, the results that they can expect, and how to buy it.
Plenty of articles and advice on the internet revolve around sending more traffic to your website, as well as to your landing pages and sales pages. After all, it’s a numbers game; more people see your page, the more likely that at least some of the visitors will convert.
But it’s not enough to just drive traffic to your sales page. If the sales page your visitors see is confusing, the copy doesn’t make sense, and the sales process is not intuitive, visitors will just close the sales page and probably never buy.
You’re not creating your sales page for everyone; you’re creating it for the people who will benefit from your eBook the most.
When writing your sales page, as when you were writing your eBook, keep in mind a single person whose pain points you’d be addressing and whose life you’d be improving with your eBook.
Visitors who read your sales page should be thinking and feeling that you’re speaking to them, you’re solving their problems, and buying this eBook will make their lives better.
Making your eBook sales page all about the product (or all about you) is a big turn-off and will guarantee that your visitors don’t buy your eBook.
The importance of your headline can’t be downplayed; it’s absolutely crucial to attracting potential buyers’ attention and getting them to read your sales page. A mistake here can cost you a sale.
Here are some characteristics of the ideal headline for your eBook sales page.
Descriptive but concise. You want your headline to accurately describe what you’re offering and yet short enough for your visitors to read it in an instant.
Inspires action. Headlines that incite negative emotion work because when people feel that emotion, it prompts them to do something about it. No one wants to feel fear or anger or dissatisfied; one will do what they can to remove that feeling.
Singles out your target reader. Your headline should qualify who you’re talking to without having to do it explicitly.
For example, if you’re offering an eBook about preparing healthy meals for children in advance, you might use a headline like:
“Tired of ordering takeout but have no time to cook for your kids?”
It’s like saying “Hey, parents of picky preschoolers who want to eat vegan, check out this meal prep guide and recipe book!” but indirectly.
Gives the main benefit. If you can tell people what they’re going to get out of your eBook in the headline, they’re more likely to read on and want to learn more about your eBook.
Aside from these characteristics, I would advise you to not use the title of your eBook as your headline. You’d be surprised, but some authors actually do this. Using the title of your eBook without context is not going to make casual visitors care. Remember, the sales page is all about them.
Why do you even need a subheadline?
You barely have room in the headline for all the things you want to point out to your visitor, so your subheadline is where you say the rest. It could explain to your visitor how your eBook can help them with their problem or pain point, or encourage them to take action now, or highlight the main benefit of your eBook.
Whatever you do with your subheadline, remember that it bridges your headlines to the rest of your sales page. Thus, you need to hold your visitor’s attention that you captured through your headline and make sure that the attention is sustained so that they scroll down to the rest of your sales page.
Your subheadline should complement your headline and not distract from it, so position it close to your headline, use a smaller but still legible font, and keep it no longer than twice the length of your headline (so if your headline is 70 characters long, your subheadline should be 140 characters or less).
If you’re lucky, your headline and subheadline could be enough to convince your visitors to buy your eBook.
If not, don’t despair. This is the part where you give more details on the benefits of your eBook. Here are some tips for when you enumerate the benefits of your eBook.
Focus on benefits, not features. Listing down what you cover in your eBook is NOT THE SAME as listing down its benefits.
For example, if your eBook is about digital and smartphone photography, you can say “I’ll discuss how to take better photographs with your smartphone.” But that’s a feature, not a benefit.
By contrast, if you say “Post stunning, Instagram-worthy photos by learning how to take better photographs using just your smartphone,” that says more about what they stand to gain from learning how to take better photos.
When you’re writing this part of your sales page, recall the chapters of your eBook and think, “Why did I write this chapter? What’s in it for them? How is this chapter going to help them make their life better?” The answers to those questions are the benefits of your eBook, and those are what you want to include.
Make the benefits easy to read. Readers of online articles don’t like walls of text; not on Facebook, not on Twitter, not on your blog post, and especially not on your sales page.
Write this part in such a way that the text is scannable. Bulleted lists are popular here because you’re forced to condense your thoughts in a line or two at the most.
You can also take advantage of strategic text formatting (bold, italic, or underline) to emphasize important words or phrases. Note that you have to exercise restraint here; if you emphasize everything, you’ll end up emphasizing nothing.
An image attracts gazes better than any text can.
Including a high-quality image in your sales page compels visitors to linger on your page and increases the likelihood that they’ll read the rest of your sales page.
You can also take it up a notch and include a video. Videos actually increase conversions because they keep visitors on your sales page longer and hold their interest.
A 1- to 2-minute video of yourself explaining your eBook and running through the top benefits of buying and reading the eBook can be a powerful tool in convincing your visitors to buy.
You can even include video testimonials from readers who’ve already bought and enjoyed your eBook (be sure you explain to them just how you’re going to use the video and send it to them for approval first).
Here are some more reminders when adding visuals to your eBook sales page.
Keep it relevant. Using a gorgeous but unrelated image will just backfire; it will only serve to confuse visitors, which will certainly make them close your page.
Selling an eBook about personal style? Don’t use an image of food. Is your eBook about being productive? Don’t use an image of a dog (no matter how cute!). You get the drift.
Show a 3D image of your eBook. It sounds cheesy, but it actually works to have an image of your eBook, even if it’s just a rendering.
It implies that although your eBook is digital, it’s real and it exists. It’s hard to visualize a virtual product, but showing a picture of a book in your sales page helps your visitor do just that. You can actually show just a 2D version of your eBook cover, but a 3D image is more compelling.
You can do this yourself from your 2D eBook cover, but if you had your eBook cover made by another designer, you can also ask them to do a 3D version for an additional fee.
Don’t set videos to autoplay. There’s nothing more annoying than an unexpectedly loud video starts playing on your browser when you aren’t ready for it. If your visitor wants to watch the video, they’ll play it. If not, don’t force it.
Your eBook may only cost a few dollars, but purchasing and reading it still represents a time investment. Your visitors want to be sure that you’re trustworthy.
Here are some ways to instill trust through your sales page.
Show social proof and testimonials. People like to know that other readers before them have bought this book, applied the content, and experienced positive results.
Testimonials work best if you can include photos and names to prove they’re authentic, but those who’ve read your eBook might not want their faces and names publicized that way.
An alternative is if you can have bloggers in your niche review your eBook and ask them for permission to post their words in your sales page.
Social proof can be of many forms. It can be a running count of the number of downloads of your eBook, but for this to have an impact, the number of downloads should be in the thousands or more.
It can also be screenshots of actual, positive tweets or Facebook comments about your eBook.
Include details that speak to your credibility. At some point, your visitors will wonder who you are and why they should believe you.
If you haven’t included a video of yourself, include a professional photo of you (read: not a selfie from your phone). What you want to do here is give them a face and story to go with your name so your visitors are convinced you’re an actual person that they can relate to.
Include a short bio with some details of your relevant credentials and experience. You want to establish your authority on the topic, so it’s best to only include details that are relevant to the topic of your eBook.
Tell your own story. It’s easier to convince visitors that you understand their struggles if you tell them you’ve experienced the same in the past or are still experiencing them.
Empathizing with your visitors makes them feel they can trust you.
A word of caution here, though. Don’t invent a story that never happened. If you get caught (the way things are on the internet and social media, it will only be a matter of time), there goes your trust and reputation.
If you don’t have a story to tell, explain instead what moved you to write that eBook. Or just leave it out. Better not to say anything than to lie.
Display trust badges. If you’ve ever bought anything online, you might have noticed those little logos that say “VeriSign,” “TRUSTe,” or “McAfee Secure.” These are called trust badges.
They’re used as a sign that your site is secure and that you’re taking care of their private, sensitive information (i.e., credit card information, physical address, email address). This is an important trust signal to show your visitors, even if you think their eyes just skip over these trust badges.
Make sure your payment site really is secure, though. You don’t want a breach on your site and you don’t want to be sued over customers’ data.
Include a money-back guarantee. Again, if this is your visitors’ first time to encounter your name and your eBook, they’ll inevitably think “but what if it doesn’t work for me?”
A money-back guarantee both inspires trust and reduces the risk that your visitors will be taking.
The usual timeframe for a money-back guarantee is a month, but it can be 7 days, 14 days, or even 60 days. It’s up to your discretion and common sense, and that’s a good thing.
You’re basically saying, “I’m so confident that you will like my course that I’m willing to give you all your money back if you don’t.”
Yes, some people will take advantage of your refund policy and purchase your course with the intention of asking for a refund before the time period expires. But more people will buy your course because you offered a money back guarantee, so, in the long run, you come out ahead.
Your CTA is the ultimate goal for your eBook sales page. Every element you tweaked, every word you wrote in your sales page all contribute to making your visitors click this button.
However, all your efforts would’ve been in vain if the CTA itself isn’t enticing. Here are some tips to create effective CTAs.
Use action words. It’s a call to action, so it’s only right to use verbs or action words to start it. The most obvious choice is “buy,” but you can use other words such as “get” and “act,” depending on the context.
Imply urgency. Words like “now,” “today,” and “hurry” denote the need for them to buy your eBook immediately instead of tomorrow.
Use multiple CTAs throughout the page. Your sales page may run long after all the elements you included, so it’s advisable to place several CTAs at various points on the page.
It’s not to annoy; it’s to make it easier for your visitor to buy at whatever point they become convinced. The usual technique is to place a CTA above the fold (that is, the part of the page that’s immediately visible after it loads).
Then, it’s usually one CTA for every section. For example, one after the list of benefits, one after your bio/story, and one after the testimonials.
Remember that no matter how many CTAs you sprinkle on your page, they should all be leading to the same place: the form to input their payment information and buy your eBook.
Don’t try to be clever. There’s a time and place to be witty (like in your eBook, for instance).
But your CTAs aren’t one of them.
Ever encountered clever CTAs like “Make me awesome!” or “Color my world!”?
Instead of convincing your visitors with your wit, they’ll just end up wondering what that was about. And like I said above, confused visitors close confusing pages.
Draw attention to them. How you word your CTAs isn’t enough; how they look matters too.
You need your visitors to notice them. Use a color that stands out from the background. You want enough contrast so they know that it’s a button and it’s clickable.
Visual cues also help, like arrows pointing to the button, or even an image of a face looking at the button so your visitors’ eyes are drawn to the button as well.
Aside from all the elements we discussed above, you also need to consider how your visitors interact with your sales page. A good user experience keeps visitors on your page, while a bad one drives them away.
Here are some tips to ensure your visitors have the best possible experience on your sales page.
Create a sales page that’s mobile-responsive. Your visitors may come from many different places, and it’s likely that your visitors are using their smartphones to go online.
You need to take this into consideration when you design your page; that is, you need to make sure that your eBook sales page displays correctly on most mobile browsers and devices.
Leave white space around important elements. A cluttered page quickly overloads your visitors’ brain, making it hard for them to comprehend important information.
Design your page with plenty of white space around paragraphs and elements to make it easy on the eyes.
Create a visual hierarchy to indicate which content they should read first. The first thing your visitor sees when they get on your sales page is your headline, then your subheadline, then your CTA button.
After that, it’s up to you to highlight what’s important on the page. Vary your font sizes; use slightly larger fonts to mark text that should be read first, then use a regular font size for body text.
You can also use color to establish visual hierarchy; brighter colors are harder to miss than plain ones, so use bright colors for subheadings and neutral, plain colors for body text.
Use visual cues to emphasize important elements on the page. You probably already use visual cues for your CTA: arrows, lines, or white space to indicate that it’s an important element on your page.
Visual cues also help indicate that there’s more information when they scroll down
Indicate the price at the right spot. Placing the price of your eBook strategically on the page makes for a more frictionless experience for your user.
Don’t place the price on top of the page; one look and your visitors would be like, “no, forget it.” Yes, even if your eBook is $0.99. At the same time, the price of your product is crucial information; don’t make them click your CTA to find out the price.
The ideal place to put your price is after the benefits and before the money-back guarantee. This way, the eBook looks like it’s worth the price benefits.
Don’t include share buttons. Nowadays, almost no one shares sales pages on social media or even email, so these buttons just serve as distractions. Don’t include share buttons anymore.
Don’t provide a means for escape. Okay, so this is more for you than it is for your visitors. But a sales page is all about convincing your target audience to buy your eBook and nothing else.
Providing obvious links other than your CTA is a big no-no; you want visitors to stay on your sales page and only exit by buying your eBook, closing the page, or hitting the Back button on their browsers.
Make it easy for them to buy your book. Ideally, clicking on any of your CTAs leads to the payment page so your visitors can pay for your eBook. If you give them any grief at this point (e.g., having to open another page, not accepting a commonly accepted payment method, or just having an inconvenient process in general) it’s easier for them to close the page and forget it.
Writing an eBook can be tedious, but convincing people to buy it can be even more difficult. Being your own marketer means it’s your job to show your target audience why they should buy your eBook, and the way to do that is to create a persuasive sales page.
Here again are the steps to create an effective eBook sales page.
Here are just a few more tips when creating your eBook sales page.
I hate to break it to you, but you’re not a mind reader. Only your visitors really know what they want and what’s going to make them buy your eBook.
You’ll need to test different elements of your sales page to know what works and what doesn’t. That warrants a whole new article but here’s a guide to split testing landing pages so you have an idea of what testing involves. Note that landing pages are different from sales pages, but you can apply the basic steps and principles.
After you create your sales page, take a break and then come back to it and inspect everything. Or have a trusted friend or your eBook proofreader inspect your sales page.
All the copy should have no typos and as grammatically flawless as you can make it. Make sure your font styles and sizes are consistent, and make sure the elements are correctly aligned, even on a mobile device.
It seems like a lot of work for something that gets overlooked when your readers are scanning the page. But spelling and grammar errors decrease trust. A single misplaced comma or a “their/they’re/there” mistake can make a huge difference. An image that’s askew can turn them off.
After all, if you can’t even write and design your own sales page correctly, how can your readers trust that your eBook was written well?
It’s so easy to lie online, and yet it’s so easy to be found out.
Don’t be that guy.
Don’t fake your credentials, don’t fabricate reviews or testimonials, and don’t renege on your money-back guarantee.
It only takes one dishonest action to discredit you and tarnish your reputation forever.
Did you find this article helpful? Did I miss any step or element that will make a sales page convert well? Sound out in the comments!
JoAnne is your average, everyday, sane stay-at-home mom who believes in the power of the internet to make dreams come true. She has an insatiable appetite for chocolate, as well as all things internet marketing. She keeps up with the latest trends in blogging, affiliate marketing, e-commerce, and more.