How Sales Pages Are Designed to Take Your Money

Sales Pages Can Trick You

If you’ve spent any time shopping for products about how to make money online, you’ve probably encountered the long form sales page that’s common to the industry.  A quick look at such sales pages might suggest that they were designed by insane people, as they’re full of odd graphics, multiple fonts, videos, bullet points and content that goes on forever.  Actually, long form sales pages are carefully designed to maximize the chances that you’ll buy.

sales pages trickeryIn this post, I’ll go over some of the most common features of Internet marketing sales pages, so you can see how they attempt to manipulate the buyer into parting with their cash.  While there are some good products out there, you’ll also encounter a lot of junk, and the easiest way to avoid that is to understand how you’re being tricked by sales pages.

Sales Pages Components

Sales pages for products to help you work online from home are usually broken down into a number of components, each of which is designed to entice you to open up your wallet.

sales pages - big headlineBig Headline – Sales pages usually start with a bold, brash headline that usually says something about making a lot of money, using phrases like “spits out cash like a slot machine” or “breaks open the bank vault” are pretty common.  You’ll also see words like “assault” or “steroids” which are intended to convey the power of the product.


Really long sales copy – Most sales pages go on forever.  That’s because they want to keep your attention for as long as possible.  In order to make sure you keep reading all the way to the bottom of the page, the sales page will often use multiple fonts, different colors, lots of graphics, many bullet points and the occasional video.  Paragraphs may shift from right to left in order to subtly keep you interested by varying the design of the page.

Video – In recent years, most sales pages have an introductory video right below the headline.  This is where they’ll grab your attention with loud music, bright graphics, and perhaps a demo of how the product will change your life.  Rarely will such a video include any demonstration of what the product does or how it works; that will come later in the text of the page, if at all.

sales pages - appeals to greedAppeals to greed – If the product has something to do with making money online, you’re going to have lots of appeals to greed on the sales pages.  This may consist of screen shots of PayPal or Clickbank accounts that show lots of money, or perhaps pictures of luxury cars, yachts, or people relaxing on the beach.  There’s not much talk about the product here, but rather, an attempt to get you interested in all of the money you will ostensibly make by using the product.

Testimonials – This section will usually include testimonials from several people who have used the product for great success.  Sometimes, these are text, with a photo of the person who provided the testimonial and sometimes they’ll come in the form of videos.  Watch out for these, especially as the product is brand new.  Most testimonials for new products found on sales pages are fakes, coming from other affiliate marketers or even people on Fiverr who will make testimonial videos for a mere $5.

Bullet points of benefits – Good and effective sales pages will generally include a few bullet points touting the benefits, rather than the features of the product.  These will not list things the product will do, but instead will list how you will benefit from the product.  We’ve seen sales pages of 10,000 words that never actually got around to telling you what the product does, but just go on and on about how much better your life will be if you have this product.

Bonuses – The bonuses are a trap that are commonly used to add value to a product when in fact, all they do is get in the way.   I recently looked at a sales page of a $67 product that devoted about 25% of the page to the three bonuses that were included with the product, each of which was claimed to have a value of $67.  These bonuses sometimes have a tangential relationship to the product, and are sometimes completely irrelevant.  In the case of this particular product, the bonuses were all related to generating Website traffic, but none of them are actually worth $67, as they’re all recycled courses that have been around for years and can probably be purchased for $7 if you’re willing to shop around.  These bonuses are simply a way of making you think you’re getting more for your money, but if the product itself is any good, you won’t have any need for the bonuses at all.  I’ve been buying information products for a dozen years now and I can’t think of a bonus I’ve ever received that was useful in any way.  Still, people fall for the “…and you also get these bonuses!” pitch every time.

Appeals to scarcity – The best way to get someone to buy something now is to give them the impression that it won’t be available later.  Many sales pages have countdown timers on them that suggest that the product will only be available for a short time or that the price will soon increase.  While the prices sometimes do go up, these are usually just ploys to generate panic in the readers in order to encourage them to buy right now.

Guarantee – If a guarantee is offered, it’s usually mentioned last on the sales pages, and often as a PS.  Don’t be fooled by the “We’re so sure you’ll like this product that we’ll offer your money back any time in the next 60 days.”  If it’s a Clickbank product, the seller must offer a 60 day guarantee.

Sales Pages Summary

Entire books have been written about how to create effective sales pages, and a good one will have good content, eye-catching graphics, and ideally, a good product behind it.  The problem is that all sales pages are designed to get you to part with your money as quickly as possible, and you need to understand that so that you can view the latest and greatest product that promises you millions with a skeptical eye.  The better informed you are about how sales pages work, the less likely you are to be fooled by them.

A great way to learn about sales pages and affiliate marketing in general is to join a program like Wealthy Affiliate. You’ll have access to a comprehensive training course, free Web tools and even free Web hosting. You can sign up for free, too.

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