In these days of social media marketing and instant mobile internet, old-fashioned sales letters seem like they belong to a bygone era. However, instead of posting a sales letter via snail mail, send it as an email, tweet it as a PDF, or turn it into an interactive presentation.
1. Write in an informal tone, using simple, everyday language. Avoid industry jargon and any words that your average customer would not understand. Show your copy to someone who knows nothing about your industry and remove any words that they don’t understand.
2. Mention the main benefit of your product in your title, and then again in the first paragraph. Don’t risk losing readers before you get to the nitty-gritty!
3. Quickly answer the question, “What’s in it for me?” To keep your potential customers interested, show them how your product will make their life easier.
4. Establish your authority early on. As well as explaining the benefits of your product or service, let the reader know why they should trust you. What experience do you have in the industry? Are you qualified, or a published author? Include testimonials from trusted industry figures, or local celebrities to back up your authority.
5. Provide something of long-term value to potential customers, such as a set of valuable tips or quality advice that saves them time. This makes them more likely to keep your sales copy and more likely to buy from you.
6. Identify the customer’s main doubt about your product, and then dismiss it. If your product is expensive, acknowledge the fact, but linger on its longevity or return on investment. Use positive testimonials to tackle common doubts.
7. Include an early call to action. This allows people who have already decided to buy your product to pay up and move on. Make them read more than they need to, and they may get bored and change their minds.
8. Include a bonus offer that genuinely increases the value of your product. Adding value is far better than offering a discount, as it protects your margins and prevents your pitch from feeling inferior.
9. Break up large blocks of text with bullet points and subheadings. Make sure that each section is short and concise. Eliminate excess words and woolly language.
10. Use different fonts to make your title and subheadings stand out. Never combine a sans-serif font with a serif font in the same document as they clash. Don’t be afraid to highlight the most important phrases in your sales copy with formatting tools.
11. Build up a profile of your ideal customers. What are their main concerns, and how can you help them? Write your sales copy as if you are talking to an ideal customer in person. Resist the temptation to write as if you are giving a speech to a crowd.
12. Don’t be afraid of writing a long sales letter or extensive sales copy. Sometimes it takes a lot of persuasion to convince people to take the plunge! A short sales letter can make you look like you just haven’t made the effort. A long copy also makes your readers feel like they have invested time in your product.
13. Spend as long on your title as you do on the rest of your copy. The majority of your potential readers will scan a poor title, but read no further. If your title is concise, dynamic, and engaging, more people will actually read the copy that follows.
14. Features make your product what it is, but they don’t make people want to buy it. The problems your product solves and the benefits it brings to your customers are what trigger sales. Focus on benefits and the benefits of the benefits.
15. Back up each benefit with facts and figures. Say how much money a customer can make or save if they buy your product. Look for scientific research that backs up your claims. If there are no available facts and figures, do your own research.
16. Don’t bash the competition unless you can prove your product’s superiority with facts and figures. Even then, keep any criticism tightly focused. A negative sales copy makes you look petty and vindictive, and rarely leads to sales. It is much better to emphasize the benefits of your own products.
17. Mention your products benefits and establish authority. This should be done through testimonials before you introduce the price. Make a bold statement the first time you mention the price. Don’t be afraid to claim that your offering is 10-times better, cheaper, or safer than the competition’s. Be prepared to back up this claim with research.
18. Start your sales letters with the word “Dear.” If your sales letter is written to one person, address them by name. Make an effort to find out the names of important potential customers, and send them individual letters. For more general pitches, use a greeting that is informal and relevant. “Dear friend” is a good catch all greeting, but try to be more specific.
19. Sign your sales copy with a digital version of your handwritten signature. Signatures increase the authority and trustworthiness of a document and lead to higher sales.
20. Always include a postscript. People tend to read postscripts, even if they don’t read the whole body of a text. Emphasize the main benefit of your product and its enormous value in the postscript
Writing a sales copy is still an important skill, because it leads to conversions and profit. While no one is quite sure how to measure the effectiveness of social media campaigns, old-fashioned sales copy delivers measurable results every time.