Today we’re critiquing The Book in a Box homepage. Join me in the video below and grab some quick ideas for punching up the persuasion on your sales pages.
#1. Hero: Hook your visitor with a compelling value proposition
You hero section (i.e. the first section on a page) is really important because it pulls someone into your page. It’s where they make the decision to stop and give your page a moment of their time. Your hero’s headline has to grab attention and entice someone to start reading your page.
The headline here is pretty weak.
It’s kind of clear we’re going to be talking about writing books. But that’s about it. There’s nothing that pulls me in and says “read me!”
On a homepage like this, most of the time we want to use a clear headline that communicates your value proposition.
“We can help” is not a value proposition.
For Book in a Box, we could try:
From idea to book in 7 months
Turn your idea into a book in 7 months
We turn your idea into a book in 7 months
We could play with the wording a bit. But the core idea here is to communicate the value proposition from the customer perspective.
#2. Hero: Use a hero image to support the copy + communicate emotion
We can also rethink the image here because the image and the copy need to work together for maximum effect.
This image really isn’t saying anything. The guy looks like he might have a question. And he’s wearing a lapel mic, so he might also be a speaker in the middle of giving a talk.
It doesn’t really support the existing headline or the rewrite I proposed in tip #1.
We want an image that supports the feeling we want the visitor to connect to when they land on this page.
One idea I had was an image of a laptop on a desk with a writing program open. The screen reads “Chapter 1” but the rest is pretty much blank. This might communicate better that it’s scary/hard/a big thing to write a book on your own.
#3. Media: Put proof where it has the biggest punch
The following section is a media section, no doubt, to increase the proof or credibility of this service. I like the logos. They do give some extra credibility to Book in a Box. But…
They should appear further down the page – AFTER the customer understands what the service is and why I should care. Then the “proof” would be much more powerful.
I would also consider taking out the “see our media coverage” link.
As a general rule: if it’s not necessary for the customer to see something before taking the desired action (in this case, submitting a form), don’t link to it.
Here a “media” link would work better in the footer. Journalist and press will know where to find it because that’s where media links usually are. And customers typically don’t need to see your media page to move forward.
#4. What We Do: Don’t use lazy headlines!
The first thing I want to point out is that the headline doesn’t tell us anything.
We know that visitors scrolls. So what do they read most?
Your headlines have to tell a complete story and do some persuasion work all by their little selves.
Unfortunately, most people use lazy headlines like this.
“What we do”
“Who we are”
“How we help”
“How it works”
It’s really easy to do because, well, it’s easy. And a lot of themes come pre-populated with lazy headlines. Lazy headlines don’t really communicate anything – especially if someone’s scrolling.
You want your headlines to convey the most important messages, even if a person JUST reads the headlines.
Instead of “What we do”, we might try:
Writing a book is hard
That headline references the core problem we want people to connect to as they read this page.
#5. How It Works: Oops! Another lazy headline
We have the same lazy headline going on in the next section. Instead of “how it works”, we could try:
Here’s how we turn your ideas into a book:
Or we could play around with pulling some detail from the process to quickly communicate how it works:
We interview. You talk. We write.
#6. Books We’ve Published: Always make it about the customer
I love the book background visual in the next section. It’s really powerful. The headline, though, is too focused on the company – not on me as an author.
I get that they’re trying to convey that they’re professionals and they’ve worked with a lot of authors. But… What does that really mean for me as a customer?
I’d test a more customer-focused headline, something like:
This could be your book
That headline gets me thinking about the outcome of this process – the better tomorrow. Hey look, I have this sweet professional book (that I didn’t have to write myself)!
#7. Author Success Stories: Another lazy headline :/
At the risk of sounding repetitive, “Author Success Stories” isn’t packing any punch here. I might try something like:
What can a published book do for you?
Now, we’re starting to paint a picture of the benefits of having a published book: Scale your business. Build your tribe. Become the authority. Create a media frenzy
#8. The Package Section: Tell what you get first
I like the way they’ve packaged this. And I’d make 2 small changes.
First, I’d pull the price to the bottom of the section. As a general rule: we want to tell what you get before we say what you give.
When you put the price before, the customer has no basis for evaluating the price – because they don’t know what is involved yet.
Second, I’d change the headline to pack a more persuasive punch, something like:
Everything you need to publish a professional book
This headline communicates more value than a simple “Book in a Box Package.”
#9. Call to Action Section: Map?
Why is there a map? I’m not sure. It doesn’t seem to serve a purpose – except that maybe they’re proving they are a legit business with a physical office.
If it doesn’t serve a purpose (a good one!), I’d take it out.
#10. Where are the… ?
When I got to the end of this page, I was missing a few things.
First, how do I get started?
Obviously, the form is the first step. But what happens after that. It’s always good idea to include 3-4 steps of what happens next, so the customer knows what to expect.
Second, where are the FAQs?
Now, I realize there is an FAQ page. But I’d also consider pulling 6-8 objection-busting FAQs to the homepage – any questions or hesitations that could keep someone from submitting the form like…
How much of my time will this take?
Do I have to write anything myself?
Is this right for me?
Do I have to have a concrete idea?
How’s this different from ghostwriting?
Third, they have an amazingly detailed process page. And some of that could be valuable on the homepage to communicate how easy, structured, and streamlined this process is.
Most of these small persuasion edits could be made anywhere from few minutes to a short afternoon.
With power headlines, more information, customer-focused copy, and emotional visuals, the pumped-up version would have much more persuasive punch than the first.