How To Write a 12 Step Sales Letter.


To be honest this is one of the hardest, time consuming and brain taxing activities a business owner can to do, or is that just me.

I remember hearing a saying ” You only have a business once a sale is made” which is true enough. I would also say most business are not in the business of selling but of marketing what they sell. A sales letter, well an online sales letter needs to have a process and a desired outcome. It may come as a surprise to some that selling a product may not be the aim of a sales letter in the first instant. You may be selling an idea, giving a sample or demo of a product in exchange for an email address which you can follow up on at a later date.

For me a sales letter produced right with the right emotional triggers, incentives, value and share is of paramount importance. Due to the nature of internet marketing it is possible to reach far more targeting prospects and funnel them prospects into a sales funnel, reducing the time on individual follow up. We will discuss sales funnels and email auto responders in another blog post.

Here’s a simple methodical way you can use to write great sales letters, even if you are not an award-winning copywriter.

The 12 steps in a nutshell:

1. Get Attention (headline + opening)
2. Identify their problem – agitate
3. Provide the solution
4. Why you’re qualified
5. Present the Benefits
6. Give Social Proof
7. Make an Irresistible Offer
8. Strong Guarantee
9. Add Scarcity
10. Call to Action
11. Warn about consequences of not acting NOW
12. Remind of Irresistible Offer

—————————————–

(Step #1)

Get Attention

Whole books have been written on headlines alone… however… research shows that there is ONE headline that is almost guaranteed to work… especially if you are not sure where to begin. It’s the “How To…” headline… Here’s an example:

How to [Instant Solution] In [Moments / Minutes / Hours / Instantly] Without [Big Problem 1], [Big Problem 2], or [Big Problem 3]… Guaranteed!

In most cases this headline works. To get you started, here some more proven headlines…

Who Else Wants [DESIRED OUTCOME]?

 

If You Can [SOMETHING SIMPLE], Then You Can [DESIRABLE RESULT]

 

Here’s a Quick Way to [SOLVE BIG PROBLEM]

 

Give Me [SHORT TIME PERIOD] and I’ll Give You [SOLUTION]

 

For [DESIRED OUTCOME], This Works Like Crazy!

 

(Step #2)

Identify the Problem

You got their attention… they decided to go ahead and read some more… now you have to get them to the point of thinking…

“…That’s exactly how I feel!”

An easy way to get started is to imagine you are sitting at a bar and next to you is a person who looks pretty miserable… They ask the barkeeper for yet another drink… and the barkeeper replies…

“Hey… What’s up?”

Now imagine you hear the whole story of what that person at the bar tells the barkeeper… You hear exactly how they feel and exactly what their problem and pain is…

What story would your “ideal” customer tell…?

One of the fastest ways to find that out is to go to your competition and read their sales letters. See what problems they talk about and talk about the same in your sales letter. Don’t plagiarize, use your own words! What you say (i.e. pushing the right “hot buttons”) is more important than how you say it.

In the opening of your sales letter remind them of their problem/pain by telling them a story that’s similar to what the person at the bar would tell the barkeeper… Maybe it’s your own story, maybe someone else’s… In an nutshell: make them say

“Oh, I know that feeling exactly… that’s me…”

(Step #3)

Provide the solution

By now they’ve realized they are at the right place, because you understand them and you know about their struggle…

Now is the time to confidently introduce your magic solution and tell a story of how you happened to discover it. Show them there’s no more need to struggle, because your product or service will solve their problem for them.

(Step #4)

Why You’re Qualified

It’s natural for people to be sceptical. In most cases after you’ve introduced yourself and your solution, there’s still that inner voice talking to your prospects…

“Yeah right, fix my problem… Heard it all before…”

Give them as much proof as possible showing your solution actually works and you can be trusted. This can be in the form of:

- Successful case studies
– Testimonials
– Video showing your product in action (if applicable)
– Length of time you’ve been working in your field

Every bit of proof helps. Your prospect should get the impression that you’ve “been there, done that” and that you know exactly how they feel and therefore can show them exactly how to get out of their misery… You managed… so can they…

(Step #5)

Present the Benefits

Often it’s not immediately clear what a benefit really is compared to a feature… One of the easiest ways I’ve found for eliminating this problem is to add the question “So what?” after every statement you make (John Carlton teaches this technique)

Example:

Feature: Car has 6 side-impact bags –> “So what?” –> Benefit: You and your family will be protected from side impact accidents

After you write the feature, think of “… this means…” and follow with the benefit.

Write bullet points here and list as many benefits as possible. Often prospects will buy a product, because of just one benefit!

(Step #6)

Give Social Proof

Your message is working and your prospect is almost convinced… or are they…?

The promised benefits made them desire your magic solution… only now… that little inner Sceptic sneaks in again…

The best solution to this problem is to present real testimonials of happy customers with pictures if possible. If you don’t have testimonials yet, try to get some by offering your product to few select individuals free and asking for a review… or… state some well known facts or quotes by other well known individuals about something that’s related to your product too…

(Step #7)

Make an Irresistible Offer

Your offer is the most important part of your sales letter. If you come in front of a starving crowd and give them hot dogs, you’ll not really a lot of persuasion power… On the other hand, if you try to sell ice to the Eskimos… you might be the greatest salesperson on the planet and you’ll still find it challenging to convince them. You want to present your offer in such way that your prospect says to themselves

“I’d be stupid not to take advantage of this deal.”

Hint: when you develop your offer you should always try to raise the overall value by adding products or services and not lowering your price. Give vivid explanations of the extra benefits your prospects will get from the added services or free bonuses.

Great offers are an attractive combination of price, terms and free gifts.

(Step #8)

8. Strong Guarantee

Do everything you can to take all the risk away from your prospects. People have a natural fear they are going to get ripped off or be taken advantage of. And if you really stand behind your product, there should be no problem with offering a 100% risk-free guarantee anyway.

See what kind of guarantees your competitors use and try to give even more or present it in a different angle. A strong guarantee given with confidence can go a long way to make you more sales.

(Step #9)

Add Scarcity

People usually don’t like to go out of their comfort zone. If they can postpone something, they will. Find a legitimate and believable way to inject scarcity into your offer, so your prospects take action NOW. For digital products, it’s not believable to say you have “limited copies”, because everyone knows you don’t…

Try to give them a special incentive for acting NOW… You could offer special bonuses only until certain date… or maybe a personal e-mail consultation… and since you are just one person, you can only help so many people at once…

Be believable, or this could backfire.

(Step #10)

Call to Action

Don’t assume your reader knows what to do next automatically. You must spell out exactly what you want them to do next and be confident with it. And…

Make it very OBVIOUS exactly where your order button is and what they need to do “Click Here”… “Add to Cart…”… “Fill In Your Name and Email Address”! You spent all that effort presenting the great benefits of owning your product, so make it crystal clear exactly what they need to do next to purchase.

(Step #11)

Warn about consequences of not acting NOW

Great sales letter continue to build emotion up to the very end.

Keep giving the reader vivid examples of what would happen if they actually did nothing and kept going on with their life as before, together with their existing problem.

Perhaps they would continue to:

- Struggle every day to just make ends meet
– Lose out on the opportunity to get your helpful limited bonuses
– Keep spinning their wheels and not getting where they want to go

(Step #12)

Remind of Irresistible Offer

This is the P.S. section. Advanced copywriters know that the P.S. is one of the most read sections of your entire letter and you should try pull your biggest guns here once again and present the benefits of your products and how it solves the prospect’s problem.

Remind them of your irresistible offer and the scarcity, plus include a strong call to action again.

To Your Success!

—– Side Note ——————————————

Overcoming Buyer-Resistance

Be aware that naturally every person has some sort of “buying resistance”.

The objective of your sales letter is to overcome your reader’s buying resistance and persuade them to say yes to your offer now.

Here’s a list of some common objections people have. For best results… take each objection and write down why it actually does not apply to your product or service. This will help you greatly later with writing your copy.

“You don’t understand my problem”
“How do I know you’re qualified”
“I don’t believe you”
“I don’t need it right now”
“It won’t work for me”
“What happens if I don’t like it”
“I can’t afford it”

A Foolproof Sales letter Template

Fact: this is not my personal copywriting formula or “secret”! It’s much more a classic sales letter layout that’s been taught and used by many copywriting pros… The idea is to give you something you can start using immediately, that would give you decent results nearly every time.

Here’s a methodical way to overcome your prospect’s objections and lead them in your sales funnel. While this is not the only “right” formula to write sales letters, it’s a pretty safe way to craft sales letters that actually convert.

1. Get Attention (headline + opening)
2. Identify their problem – agitate
3. Provide the solution
4. Why you’re qualified
5. Present the Benefits
6. Give Social Proof
7. Make an Irresistible Offer
8. Strong Guarantee
9. Add Scarcity
10. Call to Action
11. Warn about consequences of not acting NOW
12. Remind of Irresistible Offer

If you need any help putting all this together on a webpage just contact

Download PDF HERE

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