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The long-form sales pitch is the long written article that’s been together for a Digger.
The long-form sales pitch (LFSP) is a key element of our entire conversion optimization approach. Without it, the best we can do is improve your conversion rates by 10% to 15%. Add LFSP to the mix and the numbers double.
One note: you will notice a number of links. The article has been written so you don’t have to visit those links to make sense of the post. The basic premise of each linked term will be explained in this article itself.
The Physical Attributes of LFSP
When the user enters the page they will see a pretty normal looking page:
In the image above we’ve added an arrow to highlight the How We Did It button. Clicking this is what reveals the long-form sales pitch in a modal (a fancy term for a pop up):
You’ll notice that the long-form pitch is super long. There is a good reason for this and it will be revealed lower in this article.
Why You Should Embrace the Infomercial Format
If you haven’t, please return to the previous section and read the long-form sales pitch we constructed for our client PillowCube.com (shown above). You will notice that the sales pitch sounds a lot like a long sales letter or an infomercial on tv. This may feel a little yucky since you don’t want to associate your brand with either of those two things. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Instead, read this article: Infomercial Versus Brand Marketing Versus Conversion Optimization.
Next, we’ll talk about writing your first draft of the Long-form Sales pitch.
The First Draft
The first draft sets the tone for everything to follow. If the first draft isn’t big and bold the whole project is doomed. When the marketer is starting off she doesn’t know what the idea may end up becoming. New ideas are like babies– they are delicate and need our love (not judgment).
The job of the copywriter is to add oxygen to the idea and let it explore its surroundings. You need to nail the first draft and that’s explained here: The First Draft.
Why a Lightbox and Not a Dedicated Page
We don’t want to take the shopper away from the page so it’s easy for them to resume from where they left off.
We want to bring the relevant content to the shopper and not make the shopper travel to it.
Why Show LFSP as a Bland Looking Popup? Why Not Just Show It on the Product Page?
You have gone to great lengths to design a beautiful product page. The modal is, all said and done, fairly plain looking. But the simple modal does have one advantage, it eliminates all distractions for the reader so she can focus her entire attention on our sales pitch.
Do Long-Form Sales Pitches Actually Improve Conversions?
I’d like to share 3 case studies:
Why Make the User Click to See the LFSP?
When we first tell eCom brands about our LFSP strategy they often wonder why we make the user click a button– why we don’t just show it on the page directly. Here’s why: our objective is to keep the page layout as close as possible to what it was when we started. We do this for a few reasons:
1: This is not the only product page on the site. We don’t want users to go to another page and feel the layout is totally different.
2: There is a growing trend (it’s the wrong trend) where content on product pages is shrinking so it is better for us to not pick a fight with the word count police.
3: Not everyone will want to read the long-form sales pitch. One thing we didn’t reveal is that there are two types of people who visit your product page– Skimmers and Diggers. Skimmers like short and to the point content and the Diggers love to get into the deep details about the product. The LFSP model keeps the Skimmers happy while also satisfying the Diggers.
4: Page layouts are restrictive. The latest fashion in product pages is to insert a whole bunch of rich design elements while leaving small pockets for content. See the screenshot below. The challenge with this is that it makes it challenging to fit the sales pitch within the available spaces. It can feel like fitting a square peg into a round hole. By showing the LFSP as a modal we are able to break away from the layout restrictions of the page.
Length of the Long-form Sales Pitch
I get it, a long-form sales pitch can feel super long. And even though Diggers care about the quality of content more than its length we don’t want our sales pitch to be any longer than absolutely necessary. After all, every word on a page is a tax for the reader. So here’s my suggestion. For the first draft don’t worry about the length. Your goal is to bring it all out. If the length feels unnecessarily long apply our editing formula.
Triggering The Long-form Sales Pitch
Next, we need to build a strategy to reveal the long-form sales pitch to the Diggers. But what’s the best location to place the call-to-action (CTA) for the LFSP? We have a very specific process for that. We place the CTA at multiple locations on the product page. In the screenshot below we’ve picked three locations where the call-to-action (CTA) leading to the long-form sales pitch will be displayed:
These three locations are set as a choreographed experience to ensure maximum visibility while minimizing repetition. To learn more about the mechanics and philosophy behind choreographed experiences read this post: Choreographed Experiences.
You might wonder why we’re referencing the LFSP CTA three times and not four or five times. Well, that really depends on you because there is no rule. But one rule of thumb is that we want the number of page visitors who actually see the LFSP to be around 8%.
We need a decent discovery rate because if it’s super-low it’ll be hard to interpret the test results. It’s like running a customer satisfaction survey and implementing changes based on the opinions of three respondents. Their feedback is certainly appreciated, but it can’t be considered representative.
Increasing LFSP Discovery Rate
In the section above we showed 3 locations to reference your LFSP but if you want the discovery rate to be 8% you may need to mention the CTA that exposes the LFSP more than 3 times, plus you’ll need to get creative with how the CTA pulls the user’s attention. This infographic will give you plenty of ideas.
Long-form Sales Pitch Content
Now that you understand how the long-form sales pitch is positioned on the page and who it’s designed for (Diggers) you might be wondering, “what the heck am I to cover in my sales pitch?” You need to apply the nine topics covered in our sales-pitch construction kit article.
Writing the first draft of your long-form sales pitch is one thing, making it perfect is quite a different mountain. To scale that you need to understand and appreciate the awesome power of editing, which is covered in this article: Conversion Copywriting: Let’s Talk Editing.
Once we’ve perfected the pitch we need to shift our focus to the topic of content design.
Have you noticed how product descriptions are getting shorter and shorter? Do you know that is? It’s because shoppers claim they hate to read. Reading consumes a lot of calories and nature has designed us to conserve energy.
But here’s the other shoe– people don’t buy before they’ve done plenty of research.
So this is the fine line we’re traversing. We know readers don’t want to feel overwhelmed with the content we present but we also realize they can’t buy if they don’t feel they have the whole story.
So, the marketer needs to sweeten the medicine using content design. That is explained in this article: Impact of Content Design on Conversion Rates.
This next topic is especially revolutionary because very few marketers know about it.
After all, we went through this effort to construct a detailed sales pitch for Diggers, how do we know it’s working?
Closing the sale is a very complicated high wire act. One slip and the deal is dead. The marketer can’t just sit around and wait for the final outcome (online order)– that’s too little, too late.
The marketer needs real-time feedback on how shoppers are responding to Selling Angles that are being pitched to them.
We have a very specific strategy for this. It’s explained here: How Using Feedback Beacons Is Basically Cheating.