Most one-page web sites (also called one-page sales letter web sites or mini web sites) have only one purpose — to sell a product. My conversion to the one-page web site strategy has been a reluctant one, as I hate reading all the sales copy. However, the facts don’t lie — one page web sites written like a lengthy sales letter are one of the most effective ways to sell you product online. Most people don’t actually read anything online. Instead, they scan a page, seeking out info that is bold, in a larger font size, in a different color, or in a bulleted format. Consequently, Internet marketers have discovered that the most important information about your product needs to catch the reader’s eyes as they scan the page.
Here’s what you need to get started:
1. A niched product for an easily identifiable target market. One-page web sites work best if you have a product for a very specific niche market, like an ebook on how to teach a parrot to talk, an ecourse on how to start your own bead jewelry making business, or a set of CDs on how to teach yourself to play the piano. You need to be able to identify and describe your target market, from determining what the target market needs and what they’ll pay for (as well as how much they will pay) to what publications they read, what groups/associations do they belong to, and where they hang out both on- and offline. Make sure you know something about your target market before proceeding to the next step.
2. A domain name. The domain name for your one-page site should mirror or closely resemble your product name, or a prominent feature of your product. So, for example, if you are a hypnotherapist and you have a podcast that you’re selling on how to use self-hypnosis to lose weight, then you’d want to try and get a domain name like LoseWeightFast.com. Try and get the .com version of your domain name if possible, but if that’s not available, seek out the hyphenated version of the .com domain name.
If you have an existing web site, your domain name can be forwarded and masked to an internal page of your website so that it appears like a separate website without having to pay for additional hosting. UltranetDomains.com is where I purchase all of my domains, and they offer domain forwarding and masking as a part of their domain registration service.
If you don’t currently have a web site, you need to determine what your online business needs will be in the next few months to determine what type of hosting and website services you might need.
3. A give-away. You have two goals for your one-page web site: get the contact info from your visitors and convert them into paying customers. The best way to obtain contact info from a visitor is to create a related information product (ebook, electronic tips booklet, special report, podcast or other audio file, ecourse, video, etc.) in which the content is so compelling that the visitor gladly parts with his/her name and primary email address to obtain the free giveaway. You can also create a special offer, say a trial period for $1, and offer access only to those who will give you their contact info. By giving you their contact information, they have become a warm lead and you can start to develop a relationship with them.
4. Your product. There are any number of products you can create to sell online. The ones that are easiest to create and require little investment (other than your time to create them) and are available by an electronic download include an ebook or special report, a podcast (audio recording of an interview or telelcass), or an ecourse. Of these, you probably have almost everything you need to create an ebook. I recommend that you format in ebook in a word processing program, like Microsoft Word. You’ll then want to format it into a locked PDF document so that it’s more difficult to illegally copy. I also encourage you to use a PDF program that allows you to create clickable links in your document so that your buyers can easily click on web sites from your ebook. I prefer the Adobe Acrobat program to create PDF documents, as Adobe PDF has both of these features, but there are a number of low-cost or free programs available that will permit you to convert basic word processing files to PDF format.
To make your product more appealing, you need to have a cover created. This cover can actually serve as the cover of the virtual product, and you can use it as an icon in emails and in your shopping cart as a visual representation of your product. There are a number of graphic artists who create ebook and other product covers, and there are several pieces of software you can purchase to create your own. I’ve never been too happy with the results from software, so I hire Heather Colman of CustomDesignCovers.com, who does an incredible job.
5. A merchant account. In order to collect payments, you need to be able to take credit card payments online. I use and highly recommend Practice Pay Solutions, http://www.profcs.com/app/aftrack.asp?afid=127926, a company that works with many coaches, consultants and speakers. Your merchant account company needs to offer a “virtual terminal”, which lets you enter and process transactions online and interfaces with your shopping cart program. The most commonly used virtual terminal is that provided by Authorize.net. If you don’t want to invest in a merchant account, you can begin by using third-party processors like PayPal or ClickBank, but they offer less flexibility than a full merchant service.
6. Shopping cart software. Ultimately, your shopping cart software will be a workhorse for you and enable you to automate many functions of your online business. The cart that I highly recommend is KickStartCart.com, http://www.kickstartcart.com/app/?pr=31&id=5940, which offers a great deal of flexibility in how you list and bundle products, gives buyers a 24-hour download URL for downloading your electronic product, has built-in autoresponders so you can automatically follow up with your buyers, and an email broadcast function so that you can send out special notices to the customers or prospects on your list.
7. A squeeze page. A squeeze page offers the visitor access to some piece of information in exchange for the visitor parting with his name and primary email address. The information has been “squeezed” out of the visitor, hence the name of the page. On this page you’ll want to have an attractive graphic, compelling headline, a short list of benefits that the visitor will receive if the visitor gives you his contact info immediately, and a form for the visitor to fill out to receive the information.
8. The sales letter page. This is the primary sales page of your one-page web site, containing a long sales letter with benefits of your product and testimonials of others who’ve used the product, There’s a formula for writing an effective one-page sales letter site, and I use a program called Instant Sales Letter Generator, http://www.ebookgenerator.com/cmd.php?Clk=1227194 that helps me by asking me a series of questions that will enable me to create the copy for the page. The formula for a one-page sales letter web site is generally an attention-getting headline, a strong opening statement, body of the letter that outlines the features and benefits of what you’re offering, the actual offer itself, and then asking for the sale. Most pages are constructed very similarly. If you look at any of the web sites of the major Internet marketers, you’ll find this style used again and again.
9. Follow-up auto responders. The ability to continue to reach out and “touch” your prospective customers is key in developing a relationship with them so that they move from a prospective customer to a purchasing customer. I usually create a series of 6-10 or so autoresponders that are sent out over the 3 weeks following a purchase to check in with the purchaser, or to interest the purchaser in another item. The shopping cart service I use has autoresponders built in. Other reliable autoresponder services include Aweber.com and GetResponse.com.
10.. Traffic to the site. Because your site is only one page, it will be virtually ignored in the organic search engine ranking process. There’s simply not enough content to warrant a high ranking on any keyword you might choose. The easiest way to drive traffic to a one-page web site is to purchase keywords, or pay-per-click advertising. Google’s Adwords, http://adwords.google.com and Yahoo’s Search Marketing (formerly Overture) http://www.yahoosearchmarketing.com are two of the best-known pay-per-click advertisers. Google is probably the easiest with which to start.
Completing a one page web site won’t happen overnight. However, with a bit of research, great copywriting, and a marketing plan in place, a one-page web site can easily become a profit center for your business.