Have you ever read a sales letter that literally has you racing to reach the end to find out how to get your hands on the product it’s selling?
A letter that’s so compelling that you can FEEL yourself enjoying the benefits of owning the product? You find yourself holding your breath and perhaps even skipping down to order information before you’ve even finished reading it.
It doesn’t happen that often, but when it does, you’re literally compelled to get your hands on the product that instant. You’re a willing participant in the process and you simply cannot wait to begin using your new acquisition.
How does that happen?
It happens when the sales letter has hit your ‘hot button’ and satisfied you that it’s a credible, ‘cannot lose’ offer. Usually this kind of letter will have a very specific structure. It will lead you effortlessly through a carefully planned process until you, seemingly of your own volition, come to an inevitable conclusion: you have to have it! Whatever ‘it’ is, it will be something that you feel you can no longer live without. If you only had it, it would be your key to health, popularity, riches, fame… insert whatever your particular desire may be.
How can you craft such a letter for your products and services?
Here are the basic components used to create a powerful, profit generating letter:
- Headline – the ‘ad’ for the story – this is critical to your letter’s success and requires that the reader is stopped in their tracks so effectively that they simply cannot move on until they’ve read the letter
- Sub-headlines: used to break the main ‘idea’ into smaller, easily understood thoughts. A ‘scanner’ will be able to read the headline and the sub-headlines and get the gist of the story.
- The Lead or Introduction: in which you create the ‘hook’ or the curiosity generating proposal that will intrigue the reader to read the letter. This is where you’ll ‘join the conversation’ in your reader’s head as Robert Collier put it, speaking to them on a point and at an emotional level to which they will immediately respond.
- The Body: in which you draw the reader into imagining themselves enjoying the benefits of the product and where you provide the ‘proof’ demonstrating why the product is as good as you say it is. Here’s where you’ll expand on the product’s unique strategic positioning – in other words, what makes it different and better than the competition. This part will form the bulk of your letter and it should have enough information to convince your reader that they need what it is that you’re selling. But… be careful… too much information could convince them of the opposite!
- The Pre-Close or False Close: This is where logically the reader expects to be ‘sold’. It’s where they’ll be expecting you to wrap the whole thing up and ask for the sale. At this point, you break the pattern and give them another angle on the benefits they’ll enjoy, or a testimonial or some other information consolidating what you’ve told them before. Then, you go for the
- Close and Ordering information: This is where you reiterate the benefit they’ll enjoy, set their mind at rest with a guarantee and then tell them how to buy. At this stage you’ll probably want to offer more than one purchase method. Rather than making the choice between ‘should I purchase’ or ‘should I not purchase’, make the choice between ‘should I purchase using PayPal or credit card” and “should I call the toll free number or order online”.
- The Post Script: the P.S. at the end of powerful profit-generating sales letters is not there because the writer forgot to include something, even though it may seem that way. The P.S. is a powerful tool in its own right. It’s the place you throw in your best shot. The most compelling reason, the best bonus, the greatest reward for acting NOW. It gives you an opportunity to ‘bump’ a hesitant reader into action. At times, it’s this ‘bonus’ offer that has such value to the reader that they decide to make the purchase – they want that bonus! It’s also where the ordering information can be repeated. Repetition in this area is good. ‘Scanners’ tend to scan headlines, sub-headlines and then skip to the P.S. By having the pertinent information in this area, you’ll be sure to convert more readers than if you don’t.
Use these guidelines to craft your next sales letter. You’re bound to find a better response and higher profits.