Baby step your way to writing
a kick — butt sales letter
Once in a while I have enough time in my schedule to actually work face-to-face with one of my copy cubs — yep, literally have ’em pull up a chair and work right alongside me writing copy.
And it’s true: There’s nothing better than sitting at the feet of an A-level copywriter and really getting into his or her mind.
I remember driving for HOURS to get to Clayton Makepeace’s office whenever he extended that face-to-face time to me. And I always left amazed at what I learned in just a few short hours!
Even when I was an established copywriter on my own and making moolah — I always came away a better, stronger and a more confident writer after spending time with my mentor.
Well, like I said, recently, one of my former copy cubs — who I’ll call “Skurty Kat” was in a pickle. She just landed a prime copywriting gig — with royalties and all — and she was petrified.
Now, I knew Skurty Kat had the skills and know-how to write a strong, compelling sales letter — after all she worked with me on many projects. But fear gripped her jugular — and wouldn’t let go.
So I used her as a guinea pig to put to the test a chapter in my E-Book, “The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Writing Kick-Butt Sales Copy”.
I was going to help Skurty but on one condition:
She would have to follow my step-by-step instructions in Chapter 5: The Power of the Letter — in Copywriting and Life in General. That way Skurty would have a resource she could use over and over again — especially since she can’t count on me to sit by her side in the future.
And you know what?
After just a few hours — Skurty had reorganized her copy… added in a few of my “can’t miss” tips for stronger copy… and had a solid sales letter with a great shot at becoming the next control!
So I thought, “Hmm… why should Skurty be the only one to benefit from this exercise — I’m going to help ALL my CopyStar readers who get a little queasy when it comes to writing a sales letter.
So in this issue, I’m going to give you 3 powerful tips to help you create compelling copy so you can rake in the moolah too! And yes, you can get even MORE tips in my E-Book! So let’s get crack’n!
Sales Letter Tip #1:
Avoid making the BIGGEST mistake when writing a sales letter
One of the biggest mistakes rookie copywriters make is forgetting who they’re writing to.
You can get bogged down with marketing research telling you that your demographic market is made up of 50+ year old white males who’ve purchased at least 3 health products worth over $75 in the past 12 months. That’s good to know — but it’s meaningless if you don’t remember this important point:
No matter how many gazillion pieces of your promo gets mailed throughout the U.S. and Canada — as the copywriter — you need to focus on writing to ONE person.
And don’t you forget it!
When I’m competing with a product and I see the letter in the current control starting with “Dear Friends” — well, I KNOW I can beat the pants off that control.
If the copywriter is using “Dear Friends” — most likely, the rest of his copy is talking to a group of people. That means it’s lacking a personal touch and his copy is probably vague. Always remember and never forget…
Vagueness = Death
Think about the last letter you took the time to write. Was it to a group of people — or to just one person — most likely a friend?
Ideally, it would be great to get very personal with your letter and start it with a:
Unfortunately, due to printing and mailing costs, you may not have the luxury of personalizing your letter. But remember what legendary copywriter Bill Jayme said about his financial success…
“Everything you see was paid for by Dear Reader.”
Yes, a simple “Dear friend” or “Dear reader” can work really well! Even a “Dear health-conscious friend”… or “Dear concerned neighbor” or any type of salutation that would fit your demographic!
Then make sure your letter continues to talk to ONE PERSON. Make it about “You” not “We” or “Our”. For example:
Pardon my frankness, but…
How OLD are you?
I don’t mean your age, I mean how old do you feel?
Because the truth is, you may be in your 40’s…50’s…or 60’s – but if you’re experiencing health problems such as a bad heart… stiff joints… blood sugar imbalances… poor vision… memory loss… or chronic fatigue…
…you may be feeling 10… 20… even 30 years older than the age on your driver’s license!
And you’re not alone! One out of every 3 Americans suffers from illnesses most people chalk up to as “old age” problems.
Or how about this:
Give me just 16 short hours, and I’ll help you experience the greatest health miracle you could possibly imagine.
Yes — in just a few hours, you will have undeniable, tangible, visible proof that the remarkable all-natural at-home remedy you’re about to discover is dissolving years of accumulated toxins from your body…
…flushing away heart-clogging cholesterol…
…and eliminating a witches brew of pollutants that trigger joint stiffness… blood pressure problems … low energy levels… and even weight gain!
Or what about this:
If your knees “scream” when you bend…
…your joints forecast the temperature better than your local weatherman…
… your legs swell up like sausages…
…or your back “goes out” more than you do…
…then you simply MUST KNOW about this breakthrough discovery that’s helping folks over 40…
You get my point, CopyStar?
It’s really simple: Make sure your prospect knows you’re talking to him… and you know his problem… and you can relate to him right now!
So while you’re writing your letter — KEEP it personal!
Tell stories. Use anecdotes. And be natural. Don’t try to impress the reader with your knowledge of the English language — use words he’ll easily understand. Don’t take the chance of losing the reader with unfamiliar words.
My basic rule: Keep your writing at a 5th grade level — or younger!
Sales Letter Tip #2:
Use my proven 3-step approach to writing just about any sales letter
Step #1. Tell ’em what you’re going to do: In the intro of the letter, build up enthusiasm, excitement and anticipation. Tease your prospect with what’s coming up. Here’s an example from my probiotic package for True Health™:
If I could guarantee an end to your nagging digestive difficulties — would you be willing to give me 10 minutes of your time?
If I promised you that in less than 15 seconds a day — you can once again enjoy the foods you love — things like chocolate ice cream… pepperoni pizza… cheeseburgers… milk shakes… peanut butter… and other “forbidden foods” — would you want to know more?
And if I also showed you — using scores of scientific studies, trials, and research — that you’ll also help erase…
Food allergies and sensitivities
… with just one simple, all-natural formula — would you hear me out?
I sure hope so — because that’s PRECISELY what I’m going to do right now! In fact…
Step #2. Tell ’em: This is where you lay out your entire argument — it’s the guts of your letter. Break down your main points into easy, digestible chunks of beneficial copy. Keep the copy flowing so you easily move your prospect from one point to the other. Write short, punchy paragraphs. And make sure to use bullets to highlight interesting points!
Step #3. Tell ’em again: As you’re nearing your close, you’ve got to remind your prospect of all the wonderful stuff you’ve just told them. Here’s an easy way to do this:
In these past few minutes, you’ve discovered a remarkable, all natural blood-thinning nutrient that’s scientifically proven effective in enhancing your blood circulation…
…you’ve met folks, just like you, whose lives have been saved with THE CIRCULATION SOLUTION™…
…now it’s time for you to decide the kind of health you want to experience for the rest of your life.
The truth is, if drug companies could patent the nattokinase found in THE CIRCULATION SOLUTION™, they’d charge you a king’s ransom for this miracle product. Remember, urokinase — a leading prescription blood thinner is already priced at a hefty $1,500 to $4,000 per dose!
But for as little as a dollar a day — you can receive a superior clot-busting nutrient that can save your health and even your life! At 33 cents per serving — THE CIRCULATION SOLUTION™ is a screaming bargain!
Please remember: You have absolutely nothing to lose by accepting this no-strings attached offer. Yet you have an entire lifetime of healthy blood flow to gain when you try THE CIRCULATION SOLUTION™!
I urge you to invest in your health right now. Accept this limited time offer. Call TOLL FREE 1-800-471-4007 now and Health Resources™ will rush you THE CIRCULATION SOLUTION™ and all your FREE gifts.
Or, if you prefer, you can mail in your order form located on page xx and send it in the postage-paid envelope included.
Either way, you’ll promptly receive THE CIRCULATION SOLUTION™ and you’ll be well on your way to experiencing and maintaining healthy blood flow for decades to come!
Remember, most folks aren’t readers — they’re scanners. It’s unfortunate — but true. They simply will NOT read every word of your magnificent copy! So make sure to use pull quotes and powerful subheads to give them the “main idea at a glance”. Try this trick:
After you’ve finished writing your copy, do this:
Read only the subheads.
Will the prospect know what your product is about and how it can help him? If not, go back and rewrite your subheads!
Sales Letter Tip #3
5 simple ways to punch up your bullets!
Bullets are great. They help you create momentum in your copy. And since most people scan instead of read — bullets can help you drive home the points you want your prospect to remember.
I love working for clients like Rodale™, Boardroom™ and Frank Cawood & Associates™. For their copy — bullets are KING.
I’ll usually start by writing well over 100 bullets. Then I just break up the bullets in groups of 10 to 15, add a few paragraphs in between and voila — my letter practically writes itself!
Here are 5 ways to give your bullets a powerful punch. These bullets came from my Boardroom Bottom Line Health™ promo:
#1: Be specific! Find ways to cite impressive facts, studies and figures to your bullets…
- How to turn OFF your fat genes — for permanent weight loss! Spanking new research from the Human Genome Project identifies 6 fat switches! One of them shows you how to eat more to weigh less!
- How women slash their risk of developing cataracts by 77%! Tufts University reveals simple and effective remedy you can start using today!
- Is your depression an early warning sign for diabetes? New research printed in the journal, Diabetes Care says YES! See why on page xx!
#2: Challenge the norm! Give the reader a different twist on common knowledge:
- If you want to get rid of your “spare tire” and “love handles” — DON’T DO SIT-UPS! New discovery gives you an easier way to stronger abs and a flatter tummy. LOOK AND FEEL BETTER IN NO TIME!
- FATTY foods your eyes will love! Go ahead and splurge — you deserve it!
The surprisingly simple breakthrough that’s changing the way surgeons operate! No scalpel… no incisions… and no anesthesia!
- Remarkable discovery helps doctors remove tumor — and destroy tumor cells so they can’t reproduce! Best of all, patients can usually go home within 24 hours and get back to normal activities. This is a MEGA-breakthrough YOU MUST KNOW about!
#3: Create a paradox: This creates intrigue and fascination…
- When high cholesterol is actually GOOD for your heart. Breakthrough news — especially for women!
- The asthma medicine that makes it hard to breathe. Is it in your inhaler?
- When salt substitutes are BAD for you. Important news especially if you’re on high blood pressure medicines!
#4: Give a reason why! Justify your claim — it makes powerful copy:
- 4 out of 5 doctors cannot accurately diagnose symptoms of a mini-stroke. Here’s what you need to know to save your own life!
- The little-known reason adults over 65 STOP taking cholesterol-lowering drugs. Study shows 75% of heart patients are in serious danger.
- Why angry people SHOULD take aspirin. Landmark study reveals surprising link between emotions and heart attack.
#5: Reveal a new, offbeat and even strange way to use a traditional remedy…
- How to prevent a heart attack — with water! Cut risk of a fatal heart attack by 51%!
- Mosquito bite? Quick — grab the…deodorant?!? Reduces swelling and itching when you follow the directions in your FREE report!
- Boost your memory — in just minutes — with lemons? New study proves this tasty remedy fights forgetfulness — and helps you remember where you left your car keys!
When Skurty Kat followed these simple tips — she easily weeded out weak copy… reorganized her letter so it was chockfull of benefits that were relevant to her market… and revved up her bullets so they were targeted, focused and aimed straight at the prospect’s wallet!
What’s more, she felt confident — not only knowing she wrote a good letter — but she could continue to write MANY MORE sales letters by sticking to this simple and effective model!
And you can too!
So if you’re writing a sales letter now — review what you’ve written and make sure you include these 3 tips for stronger sales copy!
Yours for stellar results,
Million-Dollar Copywriter & Consultant