Sales Page Copywriting for a Short or Long Form Sales Page

Two women sitting on a couch looking at a piece of paper. Promo image for How to write blog posts for seo podcast episode.

Let’s face it, you probably have really strong feelings about sales pages. Most of the people I work with (or talk to!) either prefer a long sales page or a short sales page, and they definitely have their strong opinions on why those types of sales pages are their favorite.

And never mind their preference as a consumer, the business owners who need a short or long form sales page for their business worry about sales page copywriting. If they’re taking a DIY approach, they stress about saying the right things in the right places at the right time. And the creatives and entrepreneurs who are hiring out their sales page copywriting needs are worried as well.

There’s so much mindset and practical anxieties that go into a sales launch period, and I think it’s fair to say that most people understand that the message is what drives the marketing. And without a well planned message, solid sales page copywriting skills, and a strategic approach to the launch, the sales will flop.

And no one wants sales to flop.

In this episode, we’ll talk about how to prevent that, how to approach sales from a place of service, and most importantly, we’ll cover what goes on a short and long sales page so you know exactly which to use for your next launch.

Copy says: Listen in to this episode of the Talk Copy to Me podcast

Curious about sales copywriting and page length? Here’s what was covered…

  • Why sales are important. Sure, it’s an obvious answer, but you need encouragement to get out there and sell your services and products.
  • Why selling is a service. When you shift your mindset to understand this, the anxiety of selling seems to just….well…disappear!
  • Reminder: the people who find their way to your sales page by choice (and why this matters).
  • Ever been disappointed by going to a really boring party? That’s how leads feel about unappealing sales copy.
  • The reason why long sales pages are so long. (Haven’t you always wondered this?)
  • Your clients don’t necessarily have pain points…and if they don’t remember, they do have needs.
  • The very questions you need to ask yourself before writing a sales page or hiring a copywriter to do it for you.
  • The outlines of both short and long sales pages. Not separated by sections or “rows” of content — I’m not sharing a template here — 
  • If you have a primed buyer, make it easy for them to jump right to make a purchase. Similarly, provide enough information for the less aware or less ready clients to make a decision that they feel comfortable with.

Download your Sales Page Primer to get access to the questions you need to ask yourself before writing a sales page (or working with a copywriter!) and the layout of how a short and long form sales page should be set up. Grab it here, or copy and paste this link:

And we allllll know how important testimonials are for both service providers and businesses that sell products.

Yet, so many business owners don’t really know how to go about getting testimonials — never mind GOOD testimonials. Which is exactly why I created the Testimonial Toolbox, and I encourage you to work through this small course (don’t worry, you can work through the material all in one sitting!)

Get to Know the Host of the Talk Copy to Me Podcast Erin Ollila

Learn more about your host, Erin Ollila

Erin Ollila believes in the power of words and how a message can inform – and even transform – its intended audience. She graduated from Fairfield University with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, and went on to co-found Spry, an award-winning online literary journal.

When Erin’s not helping her clients understand their website data or improve their website copy, you can catch her hosting the Talk Copy to Me podcast and guesting on shows such as Profit is a Choice, The Driven Woman Entrepreneur, Go Pitch Yourself, and Counsel Cast.

Connect with Erin

Here’s the transcript for episode 015 that covers sales copywriting and how to determine whether a short or long sales page is right for your launch.

NOTE: This podcast was transcribed by Otter, an AI tool. Please forgive any typos or errors. Erin Ollila 0:00 Let’s face it, you probably have really strong feelings about sales pages. Most of the people I work with either prefer a long sales page or a short sales page, and they definitely have their strong opinions on why those types of sales pages are what they prefer. Today on the podcast, I’m going to talk about short versus long sales pages. But before I jump into that, I want to talk about the idea of selling. Before we talk about how to structure the copy. We have been so fortunate to have three of my favorite copywriters on the past three episodes of this podcast, I want to thank Asch for talking about pre launch copy and strategy, Kristen, for discussing how we can approach sales and our sales launches. And just for talking about the ethics of sales, and what goes into your sales funnel, and launch process, and now it’s time to talk about the pages that sell our products and services for us. But before we do, I want to give my opinions on why sales feel so funny for us as business owners and how we can get past that anxiety about feeling pushy, and actually think of sales as something that we’re doing of service. From a practical standpoint, sales are important to every business owner. Because if we do not put our services and products out there, we’re not going to make the sale. And from a financial standpoint, that will not keep us in business. The other thing I want you to consider is if you don’t offer what it is you have to share with the world, you’re not helping the people that need your help. It’s easy to understand that if you work in an industry, like the coaching industry, as an example, you know that the service you provide to your clients offers them a major life transformation. Regardless of what type of coaching you actually do with them. A completely different example is a photographer, you’re working with clients to capture a moment of their life. And that service gives them a deliverable that they can, you know, keep with them forever and cherish as a memory of that moment in their life. So if we’re looking at sales as a service in those manners, it’s easy to see that what we do is something that our clients need us for. But there is a lot of ways that we can consider the same thing, even in the most boring of industries that feels like there’s absolutely, you know, no exciting end result or, you know, major moment of client experience. Think, for example of people who work in the home construction industry. And we all know I like to pick on them from the second episode of this show. For example, what if you have stairs on your home that are falling apart, and you need to have a mason come and repair those stairs for you. Now, not only is it a practical issue, which you are worried that you are guests may fall and hurt themselves on your property. But it’s also an issue of the look, the curb appeal of your home, you know, a mason might not think to his or herself that their services are something that is going to transform the lives of the people that they work with. But sometimes even those smallest changes, or you know, the smallest products that we buy the smallest services that we onboard in our life are the ones that make such a huge difference, you know, no longer do you have to jump over that second step to get into your home. No longer are you worried about your toddler falling as they’re walking their way to, you know, from your house to the car, let’s say. So I really think all business owners should consider selling as something that they can do as a service. And when you think of it in that manner, it is a lot easier to put yourself out there. You know what you offer can change someone’s circumstances, it can change someone’s life. So selling is a service and selling is actually of service, you’re being of service. So I want you to think of your sales pages, whether they be long or short, as a way to put yourself out there so that you can help other people, period. If you’re looking at selling as a way of helping it’s a lot easier to really just go for it and put yourself on the page and not feel like you’re being a sleazy salesperson. You know, the other thing I want you to remember is that the people who come to your sales page, go there by choice, they have found their way to your sales page, you did not force them to get there. And that is the truth regardless of whatever you may have done to encourage them to come to your sales page. You know even if you have paid To ads or you’re targeting people, and maybe it’s SEO that you’re using, or you’re encouraging affiliates to share your product with their network, it doesn’t make a difference. If you’re actually putting an effort to get people to your sales page, they still have to click through and make that decision themselves, that they even want to invest their energy to go look at it right. In an episode that I did about strategic sales pages on the woman’s business workshop podcast, I mentioned that if you were to go to a party, and there was no music, no food, no entertainment, no place to sit, whatever, right, if you’re going to a party, and it was just everyone standing around quietly, you would be sorely disappointed. And if you wouldn’t, I would be sorely disappointed, you’re going to feel like you’ve wasted so much of your time and energy to get yourself to the party to be present at the party, and only to feel like, you know, like it’s not the best way that you wanted to spend your evening or your afternoon, I want you to think of your sales pages in the same manner. For example, if people find their way to your sales page, and all they were to see was a title of your product or service, the price of it and a button to purchase, they’re going to feel disappointed, it’s going to be lacking all of the elements that they need, that will help them make a decision about whether or not they want to purchase. And then just like my party example, they’re going to feel like they wasted their time, and their energy that they use to find their way to your page. So you might be wondering what it is that you need to have on those pages so that people are not disappointed? Well, would you want to do is you want to build that lake no and trust factor, while also providing all of the information that you need to share about your product or service that allows the end user you know, the website visitor the sales page visitor to make a decision on whether or not they want to work with you. Good copy itself should differentiate you from your competitors. Good copy showcases your business, and you can stand out better to your more ideal clients, while at the same time also helping you repel the wrong type of clients that either you cannot help or they are not ready to work with you. So it’s time to talk long versus short sales pages, which I know is probably what you’re here for. The first thing I want you to understand is that there is a reason why long sales pages are so long. That doesn’t mean that they are always the best choice to sell a product or service. Sometimes a short sales page can be very effective for whatever it is that you’re offering. But you have to realize that the people that come to your site are coming or and when I say site here, what I really mean is sales pages, they’re coming with a different levels of readiness to purchase and awareness about the need that they have for your products or services. Reason long sales pages are so long is simply because the information that is on them is meant to inform people who are at different levels of readiness to purchase and also give information to people who have different levels of awareness about what it is you’re offering them. Before we jump directly into the long versus short conversation. And I know it feels like I’m teasing you here. I want to talk about some of the things that you should do before you even start to write the page. If you’re planning to do this for yourself, or honestly what you should figure out before you hire a copywriter to do this for you. Now don’t feel like you need to run and grab a pen and paper or anything like that because I have a download that I will add in the details of the show and on my show notes that can give you all of this information and I’m about to say. But what I want you to do is to start asking yourself some questions before you start writing. Now you can treat these like journal exercises or maybe just bullet points of getting your thoughts out there. But it’s really important to know the answers to these questions because if you don’t know them, your end result your copy it will not be effective. And I can promise you that if you hire a copywriter, they may be able to help you work through the answers to these questions. But they’re going to be asking this of you as well, because they need to understand this information to determine what words need to go on the page. So here’s here’s goals, here are some questions to ask before writing a sales page, One, who are my ideal customers, to what are their immediate needs, or problems that they’re experiencing? Now remember, you know, pain point is just such a popular term to hear in the online marketing world, for good reason. But not all clients have pain points or problems, they might just have needs. I’m pretty positive, I brought this exact example up on one of our former episodes. But if you think about the wedding industry, whether it’s a wedding event planner, or a wedding photographer, or any, anyone who works with people who are about to get married, they don’t necessarily have a problem. I mean, they’re looking at an event that they’re thinking is likely one of the most important days of their life, or one of the most exciting days of their life, what they have is a need, they need someone to help them plan the wedding, they need a photographer or a videographer to capture the big day for them, so they can remember it forever. So don’t always look just for a problem or pain point, when you’re writing a sales page, recognize that it could be just simply a need, and speak to the need instead of you know, really forcing the needs to be a pain point. Okay, so three, which could also kind of be part of two, what type of transformation? Are the people looking for, when they come to you? For what objections might they have to hiring you for your services or purchasing your product from you? Five, what information could you share with them that would relieve those concerns? And you know, think of that as a conversation. Those last two questions. If someone were talking to you, and they were telling you what they needed, and you had information that would help them make a better decision about whether it was the right time to buy from you wouldn’t you just, you know, share that in conversation. The same thing has to happen on your sales pages. So it doesn’t have to be this forced, you know, way of like, giving clients a copy. It’s just like a conversation and how we would answer anyone who had an objection during the hiring process or, you know, deciding to purchase from us. Okay, so I think we’re up to number six, how can I show that I am the right for them? Expert, meaning, you know, you’re not for everyone I mentioned before you want to attract the right people to you and repel the wrong people. So how can you show that what is specific about you, your education, your experience, your interest? And what isn’t necessarily going to be the best parts of you for other people? All right, I’ve quite literally forgot what number I was sharing now. But that doesn’t make a difference. We’ll just keep going. You want to think about how can I build trust and make the website viewer feel comfortable? Another question, what ways can I build urgency? Can I can I make excitement within my coffee? What types of solutions am I offering to them? Or am I able to provide that’s the key difference there you know offering a solution and being able to provide that should clearly be defined? What does my testimonials need to address? Now this is key here and this is why it is so important to really be strategic with asking for testimonials. Because your clients if they liked working with you, they will of course sing your praises. But saying oh Aaron is the best is not a convincing form of social proof right? The people who are reading your sales page want to know what precisely it is about you that makes you the best person or what precisely it is about the product that other people found to like really wow them. Okay, moving forward, what is the pricing for this product or service? I cannot tell you how many times that I have read sales pages truly have gotten through the sales page and realize the pricing nowhere to be found on the page and let me tell you, you are not going to have a happy sales page viewer if they invested their time to read a long form sales page with no general idea what the pricing is. Now of course there are marketing reasons into decisions you’ll need to make that may alter that. And you might not want to put a price, such as an application funnel, where you want people to apply before you share pricing with them. That’s kind of a different story. But I am talking about, you know, short and long sales pages that I’ve seen that just heard of a button for like, contact me by now. And you have to jump through about four hoops before you even figure out with the Buy Now prices, that is not going to work for anyone. Then you also want to think about how can I make it easy for my the viewer of my sales page to actually make a purchase. This is something I see all the time that is just never factored in the client journey, the client experience or in this case, really the lead journey, the lead experience, you know, in a long form sales page, the reason that we have so many buttons that have that anchor jump is simply so that way people can get to the end. And by like if you have a primed buyer, don’t force them to read your entire page, don’t force them to spend, you know, half of minutes scrolling just to get to the part where they can put their card in, make it easy for them to jump right to the part to make that purchase. You know similarly, as I just mentioned before, for the people who are not using, you know, tech tools that can help them sell things, they need to cut down the amount of steps it takes in order for a person to enter their credit card and actually purchase. For example of this, and we’ve talked about this in Kristen’s episode was you know, you can sell straight from a Google document if you want, you can sell on the DMS, all of these things work fine, just have a link that you can give to them. And then the moment that they’re ready to move forward, that allows them to purchase versus going from one document to an email to a proposal from the proposal to another email all before they actually end up seeing a checkout section. And then just for your own information, you need to factor in what dates are important for the launch the car, open the clothes, and all of those other things that are going to be key to keep you on schedule, as well as keep your potential clients informed. All right, that’s the prep work, folks, let’s start talking about short and long sales pages. Now when it comes to short sales pages, you can actually be concise, especially when you are selling a product that is not necessarily a high priced product. For example, what you need to do is present the problem or again doesn’t have to be a problem, it can just be the need, then showcase the transformation, or really, I guess the deliverable. move that forward into the results that they’ll obtain offer details and process, share some testimonials with them for social proof, and then actually just invite them to purchase by sharing the details on how they can purchase. That is as simple as your sales page really needs to be, you don’t even need to overthink this. But depending on your audience, you might want to consider having a longer form sales page. Now again, we talked about this at the beginning of this episode, but we really need to consider our audience’s level of awareness and readiness to purchase from us. And long form sales pages are created. So that way we can share information needed for people who are at different stages of readiness and different stages of awareness. So just a quick sales page primer for a long form sales page, you’re going to want to lead with that impact statement. So that way the people who find their way to your sales page know exactly what they’re there for and they could potentially self identify that they’re in the right place, you’ll want to showcase the problem, the solution, you’re going to want to then build trust. And then there’s the introduction section and that’s where I save it’s best to introduce the product itself. After that you will create urgency, share some testimonials and remember to testimonials can be sprinkled throughout a long form sales page, especially if you have testimonials that can make the point of the section you’re sharing them. Finally, you need to make the close I mean, I guess I shouldn’t say finally, you need to make the close at some point you need to have a section where you say like Alright, that’s it. That’s enough information for you everybody come on and purchase that. But then after you make the clothes that does not necessarily mean everyone is primed to buy so you will need to re summarize the offer and share another call Action to purchase. The one most important thing I can say to help your long form sales pages convert better, especially if you really care about your clients their experience, and you do not want to appear salesy throughout your sales page. And that’s give them the opportunity to make the decisions for themselves, about when they’re ready to buy and what information they need. And one way you can do that is just simply providing buttons throughout the page that allow them to jump to the end, for example, you will have people who just want to see the price before they invest the time to read the page. But they might really want the information on the page, they just want to, you know, quickly identify whether they’re even in the right place for them. Additionally, you’re gonna have people who know they want to purchase right away, and having them work their way through your page, even if it’s by scrolling endlessly to get to the end, is going to deter them from automatically buying. So if you have buttons strategically throughout the page, it’s, you’re really again, acting in service of the people who find their way to your sales page, so that they can make the decision on when they’re ready to, you know, either make the purchase or learn more about the specifics of the purchase. And when they need to just sit through the copy and have that be a deciding factor on whether it’s for them or not. And that’s a long form sales page, kind of in a nutshell, I know that it doesn’t go detail through detail of every section. But if you follow that primer of how we need to speak to our audience, when we are writing a sales, sales page that is particularly longer, those are the things that you’re going to need to do to build the message to build the trust and to give them the confidence that the offer that you’re sharing with them is right for them. The biggest advice I can say that I always tell to my clients, regardless of whether they choose a short form, or long form sales page, is that you want the right people to buy from you. Which means you don’t want to try to get as many people to make their way into your car as possible just to convert right conversions mean nothing if you’re having people automatically request refunds, or people who are dissatisfied with your product, and then go on to tell the people in their network that they just weren’t pleased with the product, right. So you want the copy that you share the methods that you attract people, whether it be SEO or paid search, you want them all to attract the right people. And then you want the copy and the messaging and the encouragement to purchase to be done in a way that those right people feel comfortable and confident to work with you or to buy from you. And the people who are not necessarily right or primed to buy. They’re not doing it yet, right. We do not want people who are not ready for us to invest the money in working with us. Because it will not be the best experience either for you as the business owner or the person who’s selling the products, or for the client who is working with you or purchasing from you. So keep that in mind. I mean, that’s the simplest and most common sense way to avoid that sleazy sales page. It’s just leading with the fact that selling is a service, and that you’re going to approach it in a conscious way that makes you and your client feel comfortable. And that’s all I have. Folks, I could talk to you about this forever. But we have had some of the longest episodes, some of the best episodes, but some of the longest episodes recently and I don’t want to talk your ear off. I mentioned I will put those list of questions that I have to prime you for writing sales pages, as well as the outline for both long and short sales pages in the description and the podcast show notes. And again, if you have any questions, find me on Instagram and continue the conversation. We will be back next to talk about client experience and testimonials and how those two really work together and how important they are both for your leads who are making purchase decisions and for you as the business owner to be able to make business decisions. So I can’t wait to see you here. We have a few guests that are just incredible and I can’t wait to share them with you. It’s going to be an exciting new series. You Transcribed by
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