Build a high-converting WordPress sales page (in a weekend or less)
Once upon a time I had all sorts of questions about writing my first sales page: What should it look like? How long should it be? What should I use to create it? The number of questions rivaled the dizzying number of solutions to my plight, leading me to cradle my head and mutter incoherently to no one in particular.
Listen, your sales page doesn’t need to be fancy. It just needs to WORK, aka make you money. I’ll show you how to make a WordPress sales page that doesn’t require a ton of design experience or cost you much money, and can be quickly thrown together over a weekend (or less).
Ready? Let’s get started:
Ahhhh, what is a lone entrepreneur who needs a sales page up quickly and easily to do?
I ended up making it more complicated than it needed to be, paying more money and wasting time learning a whole new user interface, while the simpler solution did jazz hands right in front of me the entire time: a WordPress sales page, of course!
My website was already on WordPress, so by golly, wouldn’t it have been so much easier if I had just used what I already was familiar with?!
Learn from me: Keep it simple, especially if this is your first sales page and you’re already on WordPress.
With strong sales copy and a few WordPress plugins, you can make a beautifully designed, professional-looking sales page that works without spending any more time staring into the abyss of procrastination.
Step 1. Choose a compatible WordPress theme for your WordPress sales page
The first thing is to make sure your WordPress theme supports using “page builders,” which are plugins that help you easily create and design a page using templates. For our purposes, these page builders can be used to create your sales page (and many others!).
Certain themes (like the ones listed below) are simply more compatible with these page builder plugins. If you’ve already set up your WordPress site and want to just install the page builder, skip to Step 2 and see if it works well with your existing theme. Otherwise, consider changing your theme.
The following are a few of the more popular themes, which all can be downloaded for free, but some also give you the option to pay for a premium version.
Hestia is a modern design that works for your online business and is fully customizable with a page builder like Elementor (which I recommend). It loads fast and is responsive on mobile — plusses!
Get it here: themeisle.com/themes/hestia
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If you’re looking for easy, Astra has a bunch of pre-built templates that you can use if you don’t want to think about designing from scratch. It’s SEO-friendly and quick to set up.
Get it here: wpastra.com
One of the most popular themes on WordPress, GeneratePress is compatible with most of the popular plugins you need to get your sales page running and chugging. The theme looks good on all devices, and more important, is perfectly compatible with Elementor.
Get it here: generatepress.com
4. Twenty Sixteen
Twenty Sixteen is a very basic blogging template that gets the job done. If you want hassle-free and simple, look no further than this free theme (over a million active installs for a reason…). There’s also a slightly more updated version called — surprise — Twenty Seventeen, but if you’re using Elementor, Twenty Sixteen works fine.
Get it here: wordpress.org/themes/twentysixteen
OceanWP was built by a freelancer who was frustrated that there wasn’t a WordPress theme that fit his needs for working with clients. As a result, this versatile theme is great for many of us solopreneurs and is compatible with Elementor.
Get it here: oceanwp.org
They’re all fantastic options. It comes down to your own preferences. Don’t dilly-dally too much — just pick one and get on with it.
Step 2. Install a page builder like Elementor
A page builder lets you drag and drop the appropriate boxes, text, images, buttons, and so on right onto the page you’re trying to design. You can play with background, color, and where or how to align your text, too. There’s a bit of a learning curve involved, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be on your way to a sales page that’s fully and beautifully customized to your needs.
I highly recommend Elementor, which has both free and paid versions. The free version works for me just fine. The Pro version unlocks a host of templates that you might find useful to jump-start your sales page–making process. Other popular page builders are Beaver Builder, Thrive Architect, Visual Composer, or SiteOrigin.
Here’s a guide on how to install plugins. You’ll want to look for Elementor in your plugins section.
Once you have Elementor installed, it should be ready to go. You just create a new page and switch to the option of editing your page with Elementor, like so:
I’ve built a number of pages that serve different purposes using Elementor, including landing pages, blog posts, and just any page really, like my About Me section.
Exactly how to use Elementor is beyond the scope of this article, but here are tutorials on how to properly use Elementor, including a YouTube video you can watch below:
There are pre-made templates for products, services, or purposes for you to save time and just plug and play. But if you want to build the page entirely yourself, here are a few suggestions for designing your sales page.
Narrow the margins of the main body of your text
What you have to say becomes irrelevant if it’s a PAIN to read. For greater ease of readability, it’s better to have the margins around your paragraphs of text more narrow, so people don’t have to work so hard reading from the edge of the left margin allllllll the way to the right-most edge.
In fact, optimal line length seems to be between 50-60 characters per line. But you don’t have to be that precise. On Elementor simply choose the three-column structure (see screenshot below) when you add a new section.
I expand the middle column, which is where the text will go, and shrink the adjoining columns on either side to give this effect.
Make sure the rest of your page remains consistent when you do this.
The “spacer” is your friend
Sales pages should be free of distractions, and as I pointed out earlier, easy to read. You don’t want the reader’s eyes glazing over because you have too many things crammed too closely together. Just think: Is your sales page a pleasure to look at? If it looks daunting as hell to read, you can bet your reader would think so too and possibly bounce.
Adding white space between headlines, paragraphs, testimonials, images, or any other content helps with readability.
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Choose your typeface, font size, and line height wisely
Your font choice and style are more than just a brand preference. They help with reading speed and comprehension.
Some fonts are easier to read than others, so you definitely don’t want to be using Wingdings or something too out of the ordinary for long-form writing like a sales page. Make it easier on people by making sure the font size is large enough, too. Aim for a minimum of 16 pixels (or 12-point font) and a line height (the amount of space between the previous and next line) of 1.5 em.
Basically, think of all this as giving your text enough oxygen to breathe.
Make sure you check the layout and readability on other devices
As you design your sales page, don’t forget to check what your sales page is going to look like on tablet and mobile devices. Sometimes it can look totally swank on the desktop view, but get messed up on mobile.
There are certain “best practices” for designing a sales page, but simple is best. As long as it’s readable, your copy and call-to-action, which we’ll discuss next, trump fancy design any day.
Step 3. Apply the 6 important elements every great sales page has
We’ve written dozens and dozens of sales pages, many of which have gone on to collectively generate us millions of dollars, and you want to know the one thing they all have in common?
Strong sales copy that actually makes someone say, “Wow, I NEED this now.”
Of course, writing great copy takes time, practice, and many edits to nail down, but every great sales page has the following six elements:
- Headline: This is the first thing that people see when they come to your sales page, so it’d better grab their attention right from the get-go. The best headlines are written as a benefit or a specific pain point from the reader’s perspective. Observe: “Watch me write 3 sales emails worth $379,643 — right in front of your eyes” (from our Behind the Sales Page course) and “‘I was tired of feeling awkward.’”
- Introduction: People buy things to solve a problem and make themselves feel better. In order to do that, you have to understand the reader’s frustrations, hopes, pains, and dreams and bear them out in the introduction. If the reader doesn’t feel like you’re reading their mind with your writing, it’s easy for them to just leave your sales page and go elsewhere.
- An offer: This is the thing you’re selling! The offer (solution) should be in line with the headline (problem) of your sales page. Here you lay out exactly how you or your product is going to help them.
- A price: By the time readers make it down here they’re ready to find out, “How much is it?” Some sales pages offer a tiered pricing structure, but I kept mine simple by having one price point, instead of offering multiple, for layout reasons. It’s entirely possible to do this with Elementor (try messing with the two- or three-column layout).
- Testimonials and support: This is your social proof in the form of real people — to show that your product works and has worked for other customers. Aim to have believable testimonials that are related to or can supplement specific talking points on your sales page. Elementor has a specific drag-and-drop feature for testimonials.
- A call-to-action: About 99.9% of the time you want customers to take action — usually buy your product. Keep your call-to-action focused on one action (buy, buy, buy). You can use the button feature on Elementor to create this and link this to your checkout cart (more detail in the next section).
And don’t forget the golden rule of a sales page: Don’t have any other links that could potentially take your reader off the page. The only button or link that does that should be the checkout link!
If you want to get better at writing sales copy that converts like crazy, we have a number of resources to help you do that as well. I recommend the following articles and the video below to get started:
- The three keys to six figure sales pages
- The 6-part outline that the best sales pages have in common
- How to write copy that’ll blow your readers’ minds
Watch IWT’s CEO write an email that people would LOVE to read. You can do this for your sales copy, too.
Step 4. Sync checkout cart and payment processor to WordPress sales page
Once you’ve set up your page, all that’s left is to handle your payments.
Start by setting up payment processing “gateways” via Stripe, PayPal, or any other number of options. These allow you to take credit card and general online payments from customers.
These services all charge a nominal percentage of each transaction, usually less than 3% of each total sale. I recommend sticking with Stripe and/or PayPal to keep things simple.
From here, you can download their respective WordPress plugins directly to use on your sales page or sync Stripe or PayPal to a checkout cart of some sort. I use Samcart, which costs $99 per month.
It can be pricey, but I like the customizable options Samcart gives me. Plus, it allows me to create upsells, handle breakdowns of monthly payments, tailor-make my checkout page experience, and so on more easily.
Other alternatives to Samcart include Gumroad, DPD, and SendOwl, which are great for selling e-books. For online courses, Teachable or Teachery are viable options. If you’re selling physical products, WooCommerce or Shopify are among the popular options.
Follow these four steps and you should have a working WordPress sales page ready to go. Of course, this doesn’t include the actual writing of the sales copy, but don’t rush the process. It isn’t unheard of for us to spend more than a month on a sales page, but that extra effort literally pays off.
In essence, focus most of your time on writing the copy, and then use these four steps to get your sales page up and running and getting you sales.
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