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Conversion Secret: Selling Angles


We have a multi-step conversion rate optimization process. These steps include:

1. Deconstruction

2. Identify Selling Angles (You are here)

3. Micro-Improvements

4. Long-Form Sales Pitch

If you haven’t read the article in the first link above, then we highly recommend starting there. It will give you all the context you need to understand this step of our CRO process.

Selling Angles are marketing hooks used to connect to the needs and desires of your shoppers. Selling Angles are identified at the end of the Deconstruction process.

It is the foundation on top of which your sales pitch is constructed.

Selling Angle Example

One of my favorite selling angles is this one that Apple used when they launched the first iPod:

Apple Selling Angle

If you pay attention to the image above you’ll see that a Selling Angle is just a sales angle or marketing that the brand uses to drive up sales.

What Are Selling Angles in Marketing?

Because we’re living in a loud world with many brands shouting to grab the users’ attention Selling Angles help make our marketing stand out. This matters because no matter how awesome your product if you can’t grab the user who is only giving you her partial attention nothing else will matter. Think about it: how many cold emails do you respond to? I’m assuming less than 1%. And I’m betting the reason you responded was that that one cold email had a unique Selling Angle.

Selling Angles Explained Using An Example

The Vitality 5800 is a popular cold press juicer:

Vitality 5800 Selling Angles

Here are six major Selling Angles—the things that I believe shoppers will really resonate with—that I identified after studying their product page. I identified these six selling angles by thinking about the nine truths about online shoppers.

Selling Angles ordered by importance:

1: Like lawnmowers cutting grass, fast juicers pulverize fruits at incredibly high speeds. This model does 43 s l o w revolutions per minute, which keeps micro-nutrients and flavors intact.

Using the lawnmower analogy in the Selling Angle is leveraging #5 from our checklist: PEOPLE ARE VISUAL ANIMALS.

2: At first glance, all augers may look the same. This patented one endured 14 years of refinements so it could meet you today.

Using the endured 14 years of refinements line is leveraging #3 from our checklist: PEOPLE ROOT FOR PEOPLE WHO BEAT THE ODDS.

3: 60% more juice.

60% more juice is leveraging #5 from our checklist: PEOPLE ARE VISUAL ANIMALS.

4: Thanks to the safety sensor, our machine will not run until everything is connected properly. Juice is important, safety is important-er.

Here we’re leveraging #2 from our checklist: WE FIND EXPERTISE SEXY.

5: The spinning brush cleans the inside of the chamber and strainer at the same time, which prevents clogging. Easy cleanup is a detail we obsess over.

Here we’re leveraging #2 from our checklist: WE FIND EXPERTISE SEXY.

6: Turns out, you need 6,212 micro-perforations for silky smooth juice.

Here we’re leveraging #2 from our checklist: WE FIND EXPERTISE SEXY.

You’ll notice we leverage expertise a lot. It’s a killer conversion hook.

I now have my key selling angles, which I use as a jumping-off point to begin constructing my sales pitch.

But before we do that we need to identify our main selling angles, and they become the point of view (POV) of our concept. The remaining selling angles play a supporting role.

In the juicer example above #1 and #2 are the most important ideas.

Why Having a Point of View Matters

I like to think of a courtroom drama. The lawyer doesn’t attack with a random collection of ideas, no, she has a central idea upon which she rests her entire case. You’ll notice we use the lawyer analogy a lot when we talk about conversion copywriting, and that’s because we see no distinction between how a lawyer works and how a copywriter builds a written argument.

Video Explanation for Why I Picked These Six:

How Many Selling Angles Should I Identify?

Wolfgang Digital analyzed 130 million eCommerce site sessions and calculated the average session duration (time on site) at 2 minutes and 32 seconds.

This means we have 152 seconds to take the visitor from interest to a closed sale. That’s not a lot of time. That’s the hard time limit we’re fighting against.

It’s important to remember that every word on your page is a tax for the reader. The marketer must ask themself, “Is this specific section absolutely needed?”

Couldn’t you list 27 selling angles? Sure, but knowing the visitor will be gone in 152 seconds aren’t we better off focusing on our best six? This has two benefits:

  • You can maintain the shopper’s attention on a handful of (very) important and persuasive details. The alternative is spreading their attention across 27 details (which is a good way to overwhelm the shopper).
  • You can focus on writing a much more focused and persuasive pitch with just 6 selling angles to worry about.

You need to have the courage to eliminate everything but the very strongest selling angles.

If you end up identifying a lot of selling angles, then you can use one set of selling angles for one page and a different set for another version of the page. Once you’ve done that, you can run the two pages head-to-head as an A/B test to see which combination of selling angles are more effective.

Is this idea of focusing on a few KEY Selling Angles clear? /

Glad that makes sense.

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    What Didn’t Make the Shortlist in the Vitality 5800 Example

    The product page mentioned many details that didn’t make my shortlist:

    — The motor noise (so my kids can remain asleep while I’m juicing).

    — Motor only uses 150 watts of power.

    — The mouth has a slight forward-degree incline for easy insertion.

    — Child safe design. The small mouth prevents small hands from entering the chute.

    — You can attach the hopper left to right or right to left— perfect for both left and right-handed people.

    — The auger has been designed to minimize oxidation.

    — Pure Press technology allows you to insert the whole fruit or vegetable.

    The marketer’s job is to prioritize relentlessly. Remember: we have just 2 minutes and 32 seconds with our visitor. I would much rather just focus on my strongest selling angles.

    For those still on the fence I made this video:

    How I Decided on What Didn’t Make the Shortlist

    Does this make sense? /


    Uh oh! Let's get in touch so I can explain this better.


      We'll talk soon!

      What if We Pick the Wrong Selling Angles?

      It’s possible.

      This is why you need to create a few variations based on the shortlisted selling angles and set them up as A/B tests.

      The A/B testing process will reveal what combinations of selling angles generate the biggest impact.

      If you are Type A and want to know specifically which selling angles resonated the loudest, then we have a solution for you.

      Right after any important selling angle section add a line like this (what we call a feedback beacon):

      Does this [feature name] seem compelling? {Yes} / {No}

      With this Feedback Beacon in place, you’ll be able to see how each selling angle did individually. We will discuss Feedback Beacons shortly, we promise.

      Next Steps

      Now that we understand Selling Angles it’s time to develop Micro-improvements.


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