7 Commandments of Writing Highly Effective Sales Letters
By Jim Turner
Several key factors are critical to your online marketing success. At the top of the list is your sales letter. An effective sales letter can be the only weapon you need to win the war in online marketing, assuming that you have a product or service that is in demand by the public.
If you get your sales letter in front of the right prospect, a skillfully crafted sales letter can be all you need to turn your venture into a money maker or pull in a large number of highly qualified leads.
With these thoughts in mind, I give you my seven commandments of writing highly effective sales letters.
1) Focus on what your prospects' wants, needs, hopes, dreams and desires... or appeal to their emotions!
The key is to focus outwards to your prospect and not on yourself. Your prospect is really not that concerned about your well-being, only theirs. Put yourself in the prospects' shoes. He will constantly be looking for WIIFM. What's in it for ME! Show him by using the word 'you' excessively.
2) Never forget that benefits sell!
Don't spend your time telling the prospect what your product or service does. They don't care... unless you can tell them what it does FOR them. That's the difference between a feature and a benefit. Pound your prospect over the head with benefit after benefit after benefit. You are trying to get them to give you their hard earned money... right? So, you better tell them how you are going to solve their problems.
3) Always write to someone specific.
Put yourself in the right mind-set by focusing on an individual when you're writing. It doesn't matter who you choose, it could be a sibling, friend or an actual customer or prospect. The only qualification is that they be a live, breathing person. I find that this makes my writing more personable, friendly, genuine; important traits for any salesperson. In person and online.
4) Get your readers attention immediately!
If at all possible, get their attention within the first line of your letter. Studies show that you have about four seconds to grab the attention of your reader. So you better come out of the gate with a hot opening line. It's the most important line in your entire letter. You are up against a lot of competition for the attention of your reader. Every word, every sentence of your letter is important!
5) You must write to sell!
What a novel idea! Isn't that what this is all about? Write in a conversational tone. Pretend that you are sitting across the table from a dear friend. Use what's called a sitting-down- talking-to-someone-you-know-face-to-face style. Forget about always writing in complete sentence. You don't talk that way, so why write in that style when you're trying to be conversational. It's OK to start sentences with "and" or "but." Don't forget, you're trying to generate a lead or close a sale, not impress your high school English teacher.
6) Don't put them to sleep.
Use action oriented words that exude excitement and enthusiasm. I don't mean hype. Don't say, "When you enter your credit card, you will be able to get your product soon." Instead say, "When you enter your credit card information in our instant approval system, you will be able to get your book in a split second."
7) Please tell them exactly what you want them to do.
Don't assume that your reader knows what you want him to do. If you want them to pick up the phone and call your 800 number, then say so energetically and with enthusiasm. For example, "Don't wait any longer, why not pick up the phone right now and give me a call at 800-123-4567? Go ahead and do it now while it's still fresh on your mind."
8) BONUS: Don't ever try to be cute or clever!
When communicating over the Internet, you're communicating with an International audience. Different words can mean different things in different languages. Some can be demeaning, condescending and down right rude. So, don't take the chance, stick with a clean conversation between you and your good friend.