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Anatomy Of A Sales Letter
Have you ever wanted to write a sales letter that could sell anything? I have, so when I needed to write one, I went out and found some advice from James Frey about how to do it. I also checked with some copywriting buddies for a suitable formula. Here it is.
The first step in writing a sales letter is to get your prospect’s attention. Ever wondered why most sales letters start with a huge, in-your-face warning? That’s because the person who writes the letter wants to make sure that you will read it. We’re only human, and if a web page starts with words like ‘warning’ or ‘danger’, then we’ll probably take a second look. To start off your sales letter, you need a short headline with impact, that offers readers a ‘how to’, a ‘secret’ or a ‘warning’.
Problems And Solutions
The next step is to convert that second look into a more sustained consideration of what you are selling (it’s not what you think, but I’ll get to that later). Next you need to tell your readers what the problem is and provide a solution. It’s a case of making readers feel some pain before giving them the antidote. Your product or service is that antidote.
You might think that by now they are ready to buy, but there’s still a long way to go yet. I don’t know about you, but I’m a born skeptic, so I need you to convince me why I should listen to you. In other words, tell me what your credentials are and provide a couple of testimonials. However, even that is not enough. Before I lay out my hard earned cash, I want to know how the product benefits me.
How Will It Help Me?
If you’re struggling to write this, consider the features of the product or service and then see how those will help the people who are reading your sales pitch. When you sell a weight loss product, people emphasize fitting back into your clothes. With an information product, the benefit might be knowing more than the next person so that you can benefit. You also need to provide proof that this works, which means more testimonials.
Make Me An Offer
The next part of your sales letter is the most important. Remember when I said that you weren’t selling the product? Well, according to professional copywriters, what you are really selling is the offer, because that is what will make people buy. That’s why most sales letters emphasize not only the main product, but all the free stuff which makes it worth paying for. One way to make people more anxious to buy is to set a limit on what is available or how long it is available. You want people to buy now, and this is a proven way to do it.
Some people may still be reluctant, fearing that they will be throwing money away. That’s why most sales letters offer a money back guarantee or a risk free trial (do those words sound familiar). Once you’ve done this, it’s time for the call to action, where you let readers know how they can take up the offer. On many online sales letters, this consists of a button or link, where readers can click to pay and get the product. In a sales letter in print, you might have to mail in a form.
Warnings And Reminders
There’s one last chance to gather in those readers who are still not convinced by what they’ve read. After all, if they’re still reading, they’re probably half sold on the product or service. As a writer, it’s your job to close the sale. It’s time for another warning of the consequences of missing out on the product, followed by a PS, where you remind them of the offer. That’s it â€“ you’ve done all you can.
Look at most sales letters and you’ll see that they include all these elements. Even if you’ve never written one before, you can make a credible effort by following this format.