|THE TOP TEN COMPONENTS OF A GOOD SALES
This is the mother-lode of strategies for writing
sales letters (at least the ones that get read), so here are some important points to
A. Target your headline to your specific ideal
customer or client ("If You Would Like To Get Rid Of Those Ugly Wrinkles, Warts And
B. Focus the headline on the pain or motivations of
your prospects. ("Don't Make The Seven Mistakes Of...")
C. Don't try to be cute, clever, creative or
D. Forget about the myth of keeping headlines eight
words or less. Make it as long as you like in order to attract your ideal client's
E. Learn to write good headlines by tweaking and
twisting OTHER companies' (past or present) headlines that grab YOUR attention and then
make them your own.
Enough said about headlines.
2. THE HOOK
If your headline is good enough and if you are
reaching a prospect that has an interest in your subject, they will read the beginning of
the first paragraph. It's right here that you need a "hook" to keep them
One of the best ways to "grab them" in
that first sentence is to focus the most newsworthy point of your message in the first
sentence (you can explain the details later). Here's a strategy for doing that:
Pretend that you're calling a friend to report some
important news and the friend asks you what happened. The answer to that question is your
lead: "Our Company Is Offering A Guarantee That Will Change Forever The Way Our
Industry Does Business."
Sprinkle several subheadings throughout your letter
when you're going to change the direction of your message. Also keep in mind that what you
want to accomplish is to deliver the entire message (presentation) to your prospect by
them reading the headline, the subheadings and the P.S.
4. THE COMPLETE STORY
This one causes a lot of arguments between some
folks and myself: Give your complete sales presentation.
That's right, tell the entire story from beginning
to end--no matter how many pages it takes.
Yes, it's true that most people won't read a long
letter but so what? The important thing to remember is that you only need and want the
perfect prospect to read it anyway.
You see, your ideal prospect will see your headline,
and if it zeros right in on his/her hot buttons, he/she will be COMPELLED to read the
entire story because this person has a strong interest in what you're
selling. And when you get THAT kind of prospect, you
want to give them your entire pitch. You may never get another chance to tell your story
if you don't.
5. IT'S GOTTA BE CONVERSATIONAL
Suppose you were sitting across the table from a
qualified prospect and they were not only showing strong interest in your proposal, but
they were actually ASKING you to explain the whole program...how would you do it?
Would you try to speak professionally? Would you use
big words? Would you try and be clever? Would you give them only *part* of the story? I
didn't think so.
Write a sales letter like you normally speak.
Personalize your talk in a omfortable, conversational manner. Let your natural
humor(assuming you have one) flow spontaneously...are we communicating?
That's how you make your sales letters
conversational (and persuasive).
Note: As I'm writing this newsletter I'm thinking,
"Good grief, I'd better sound conversational MYSELF and perhaps insert some humor
here and there and, hmmm...maybe this is not as easy to explain (and do) as I
6. UNDERLINED TEXT
Okay, so we said that if they don't read the entire
letter we could still convey our message by having them read the bold headlines,
subheadings and the P.S. at the end of the letter...right? Well, I forgot something:
When you have a key phrase or point you want to make
but you don't want to "shout" at them with bold letters or a subheading, the
next best thing is to simply underline the important points or key words. (I was going to
give you an example here but heck, email doesn't do underlines)
Anyway, when they read the headline, the
subheadings, the underlined text, the P.S., and nothing more, you've still given your
entire presentation...in a summary fashion. Not bad.
7. THE GUARANTEE
It's almost standard practice (whatever that means)
to offer "better than risk free" guarantees in sales letters. That is, to offer
a total satisfaction guarantee plus a free gift for "just trying the program
out" if they should ask for a refund.
The problem with offering guarantees is that most
people don't know how to take advantage of them. The idea behind guarantees is that yes,
you may have to make a refund occasionally, but your guarantee could
quadruple your sales overall because their is no
risk in doing business with you. Get the picture?
If you're going to offer a guarantee or a warranty,
you want to play it up. In other words, make it a major part of your sales pitch. Even
better, make it part of your headline. Let people know about it in a big way.
Guarantees are very powerful...if you know how to
It's almost impossible to see a successful marketing
company that doesn't use testimonials as a large part of their infomercials, advertising
and sales letters. Why? They work!
You already know that, but do you know HOW to get
If you think that all you have to do is do a good
job and then ask for them, you'd better think again.
To get satisfied customers and clients to write
testimonial letters, appear on a video or on a cassette, you have to make it incredibly
easy for them...or make it worth their while.
You have to do things like offer to write the letter
for them, stick a camera in their face and ask them your questions or offer them a free
gift. I could go on and on but I think you get the idea. (That last sentence is classic
sales letter language.)
If you doubt the power of testimonials, just ask
yourself how often do you buy things (especially expensive things) without hearing or
seeing other people endorse the product first. Not too often I'll bet.
10. STEAL IT
Don't give me a hard time on this one because I
don't really mean this in a bad way.
When you see headlines, phrases, techniques and
especially conversational language that appeals to you, copy it, try it, and if it works,
keep it. (There is an expression: "There is nothing new out there...it's just the way
it's being presented.")