How to Write a Salesletter Even if You’re Not a Copywriter

May 9, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Copy Writing 

Speaking and Writing for a Salesletter

Copywriting a Salesletter, as the old saying goes, is simply salesmanship in print. It need not be the scary, arduous task to write a salesletter that most people make it out to be. Sure, it’s not easy to convince a cold prospect to buy just from the written word known as a Salesletter. But Jason Leister’s advice will help you get started making sales in any shape or form. I create my best work when I follow this simple step-by-step Salesletter plan.

Here is a reprint of Jason Leister's Salesletter Plan

How to Write a Salesletter Even if You're Not a Copywriter

By Jason Leister

I wrote my first real salesletter back in 2002 in an effort to sell a tiny little music accessory (called an oboe reed) on the internet. By all accounts, the salesletter was terrible. Except that it sold a lot of our products. I was excited and thought it meant I knew something about writing copy.

As it turns out, I had stumbled onto THE secret for writing effective copy, which I’ll reveal in just a moment. 

While there are countless books written about how to write copy, many of them can be completely overwhelming. So at the risk of underwhelming you, what follows is probably the world’s shortest guide for how to write a salesletter.

It is written with a single focus: to give you a framework to follow, starting just 5 minutes from now, to write a salesletter even if you’re not a copywriter.

One tip before we jump in:

While writing a sales letter is about “writing,” it’s best not to put on your writing cap. Stop trying to "write" and simply transcribe what you would say if you were talking to a single person about what you have. That makes this process much easier.

salesletter

So let’s get started… 

STEP 1: Shine Your Spotlight on the Right Target

Writing effective sales copy is about making a connection, on an emotional level, with your reader. This is difficult to do if you focus only on your own wants and needs.

The way to create an instant connection is to structure what you write from the perspective of your reader. Step into their shoes and stay there.

The goal is to develop a clear understanding of the emotional condition of your reader. What are they feeling? Once you know what that is, practice feeling it yourself. This will inform the way you write and it will allow you to truly understand the perspective of your reader.

Writing a salesletter is about THEM, not YOU. Stop thinking about what you are trying to achieve with the letter and start thinking about what they are trying to achieve in their life. Shine the spotlight on your reader and keep it there.

How are you supposed to get them to want what you have if you’re not shining the spotlight on it?

You don’t have to create desire in your prospects for what you are offering (thank you Mr. Eugene Schwarz). Your prospective buyers already have wants and desires. What are those wants and desires? That’s what you focus on. The trick is to position what you are offering as the vehicle to get them those wants and desires.

Instead of “trying to sell,” the goal is to create an environment where they want to buy.

STEP 2: Uncover the “Big Idea”

Building your salesletter on a single BIG IDEA is how you keep your reader interested. Your copy is focused on the big idea and keeps referring back to it to revitalize the reader’s emotions.

For example, imagine that you design websites for clients to sell their products/services on. This is a small idea. Your potential clients would be far more interested, inspired and excited by the idea of buying “virtual oil wells” that are setup for them to create revenue on demand. Your “web design” becomes a “virtual oil well.” That’s a big idea.

What is THE big idea that your product is built on? If you don’t know yet, figure it out before you start writing.

This clarity helps your writing because it gives you the “main idea” that everything you write about relates back to. It serves as the foundation of your writing because it’s exciting/inspiring/empowering to your reader.

STEP 3: Write a Headline That Conveys Your “Big Idea” in a Way That Prompts Your Reader to HAVE to Know More

If you were walking down the street and your reader was approaching you from the other direction, what would you have to say to the stranger to instantly attract their attention about what you have?

Your headline doesn’t need to solve their problem in one sentence, it simply needs to get their attention. You’re not closing the sale here, you’re simply opening the door.

After you’ve written your headline, step into the shoes of your reader and ask yourself, “Does this make me want to read more or not?”

That will tell you if there’s more work to be done.

STEP 4: Transport Them Somewhere Else

You can’t sell much if no one reads your letter. So the first priority once you earn your reader’s attention is to KEEP that attention. 

The beginning of your salesletter is not something you gloss over just to get to the part where you tell them what you have. The beginning of your letter is where you earn (or lose) the opportunity to tell your reader about how you can help them. After the headline, this is the most important part to get right!

If the beginning of the letter bores them or turns them off, you are done.

This is why starting with a story is so effective. People love stories. They love to see how stories end. Stories are a very simple way to draw your reader into a new world and transport them away from what they were just doing.

So start your letter with a story, or a little known fact, or a mystery or something else extremely interesting. This really IS important, so take time on this step.

Ask yourself, “What is the best thing for me to say right now that would make my reader WANT to know more?”

STEP 5: Tell Them What You Have

Once your reader is sold on reading your letter, that’s when you can move into the body of your writing and introduce what you have.

Remember, the goal here isn’t to sell them, it’s to engineer an environment where they can’t help but buy.

This is why positioning what you have as a clear and effective solution to a problem they have is so effective. People already want solutions, so half of your work is done.

The body of your letter is where you tell them what you have. It’s where you mention the features and benefits of your product or service. And it's where you make promises and claims that you support with PROOF.

The body of the letter has to appeal to your reader's mind while not losing the connection to their emotions. This is why the BIG IDEA is so important. Referring back to the BIG IDEA rekindles the emotional flame in your reader.

STEP 6: Is Your Offer Good? Is It Great?

At some point in the body of your letter, you’re going to spell out exactly what your buyer will get and for how much. This is called your offer.

Do you think your offer is good enough to sell? That’s the starting point. Good enough is not good enough. Great is where you want to aim. When in doubt, increase the value of your offer.

The goal is to make your offer such a “no-brainer” value that they want to buy it. Great offers make everything else easier.

That way you can get out of the “selling” mindset and into the mindset where you’re simply offering people diamonds in exchange for pennies.

Put yourself in the shoes of your reader (again) and ask, “Would I buy this without even having to think? Is it that good? Or would it be something I’d have to consider?”

STEP 7: Filling in the Holes

Effective copy leaves nothing to chance. Have you left any questions unanswered? Have you left any objections unresolved?

Is there any other information required for your reader to take action?

Have you made it clear what action is to be taken and given a believable reason for that action to be taken sooner than later?

You need to imagine BOTH sides of the conversation. Writing effective sales copy is not about talking AT your reader, it is about having an “imaginary” conversation with them.

The Copywriting Secret I Discovered in My First Salesletter

Back when I wrote that first salesletter for my products, I stumbled upon a big secret to writing effective sales copy. 

Here’s the secret:

What you say is much more important than how you say it. 

And figuring out what to say has everything to do with the person who’s going to read your letter. 

Never take your focus off of that person. And do the work required to truly understand that person on a level deeper than they even understand themselves.

That’s the Salesletter work to be done.

[Ed. Note: Jason Leister is a direct response copywriter, internet entrepreneur and editor of the daily e-letter, The Client Letter, where he empowers independent professionals who work with clients. He has six kids and lives and works by the lake in Minnesota.]

Salesletter

 

Some days, you wake up to challenges…

March 9, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Rich Shefren Strategis Profits 

Here is a copy of an email received from Rich Schefren … Strategic Profits 

I thought it was worth posting as the challenges and opportunities that 2013 present to us all unfolds…
Some days, you wake up to challenges… 

The alarm clock didn't go off. The internet isn't working. The milk spoiled. 


And yet, there are always opportunities that come with them… 

You awake to the feeling of sunshine streaming through a window. You read a newspaper instead of scanning news online. You drink your coffee black. 


Each day brings new challenges and opportunities. But what if you could turn those challenges into opportunities for greater productivity? 

It's possible, because I do it every day. 


Here's the secret: Focus attention on the tasks that will lead to success. 

Before you make your coffee… Before you butter your toast… Before you drop the kids off at school or complete any part of your morning ritual, ask yourself this question about your business day: 


What am I trying to accomplish today?
It's a short question, but it packs a big punch. 

Many of my coaching clients, most of whom are online entrepreneurs, are blinded by the prospect of making lots of money without spending much upfront. 

The potential of having a successful online business is enormously attractive. Not only does it sound cool to say "entrepreneur," but it's even better when you can define the term by saying "look at me." 


Yet, the same low-cost barriers to entry can bring a low probability of profit if you can't address the question: 
What am I really trying to accomplish? 
You need to spend some quality time figuring out what your objective is and how you need to focus your attention to accomplish and exceed that objective. 

     
 – Do you want to become the best Internet business coach? 
     
– Are you hoping to sell self-help books online? 
     
– Have you discovered a way to feed the masses and end world hunger? 


Whatever your goals, whatever your talents, you have to give this your full attention. Anything less will lead you in the wrong direction – closer to frustration and further from your goals. 


So, ask yourself again: What am I trying to accomplish today? And continue to ask this question every day, several times a day, to maintain your focus on achievement. 


I know from asking several of my coaching clients that many people struggle with this question. 


It's not because they lack confidence. It's not because they are trying to be evasive. It's simply because – no matter how long they have been thinking about building an online business – they just haven't given the question sufficient, serious thought. 


What are you trying to accomplish with your online business today? 

Without a well-researched and well-executed plan for growth, you stand little chance of succeeding against a world of competitors as an online entrepreneur. 


Yes, I said an entire world of online entrepreneurs. 

Remember, the Internet is not located on a street corner; it's located on the World Wide Web. Your competitors may be found anywhere on the globe. Are you ready to compete with them and win? 


So, ask yourself again: What are you trying to accomplish today?
How will your focused attention translate into higher profits for your business? 
If you're struggling for an answer, it's time to maximize your attention on the subject.
Here are some tips: 


– Prioritize. Gain the ability to organize your tasks in a way that aligns with your goals. 

– Determine really clear short-term goals. Long-term goals are great, but the short-term goals provide a "scorecard" to make sure you are completing the most important things that will keep you moving forward. 

– Upgrade your ability to deal with information. Take a speed reading course. Discover new methods of research and study. Become informationally efficient. 

And let me hear from you. 


What are you trying to accomplish with your online business today?
 


To higher profits and beyond, 


 
Rich (and me… Ian Howard)
 
So my IM friends What are you going to accomplish with your online business today?
 

STOP building back links

December 12, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Curation, SEO, Traffic 

Stop wasting your time building back links because …

Everything you know has changed.

…and it will continue changing. Google is an algorithm that is changing over 500 times per year. How are you supposed to keep up that?…you can’t …let’s be honest for one second and ask ourselves this question: Why?..Why are we continually trying to find games, loopholes, tricks and ways around the Google machines,

Content is the only thing people are interested in…and so its the only thing Google is interested in. The solution isn’t copying/spinning/writing content…why resort to all that?

The best solution is to ‘Curate’. It’s been proven to work. There are some huge authority sites that are now household names using this technique.

The key is a sophisticated tool called pageonecurator which finds content from authority sites and enables you to post to multiple blogs with one click of a button. Curating your blog empire has never been easier.

This is the way to build authority sites and best of all…they will outlive the algorithm changes that plague us all.

Grab this software right now…

Pageone Curator – The Hottest Whitehat Traffic Getting System

They already have 3500 fans so it’s already proven to work.

So, you can forget everything you know about SEO

Curation is the HOT topic right now… You need to be generating content this way – as it’s algorithm change proof.

The fact is – its the only true whitehat method of generating content and at least you can relax in the knowledge that you won’t wake up one day and discover your traffic gone.

Paul Clifford’s PageOneCurator is the ultimate system for building and managing a whole blog empire. It’s proven .. It works.. and It’s a no Brainer solution.

Get this now it’s the right solution for everyone right now.

Do-It-Yourself Optimization: 6 Quick SEO Tips

April 6, 2012 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: SEO 

Do-It-Yourself Optimization: SEO Tips

6 Quick SEO Tips

Optimizing your website for search engine performance can be extremely important. Many potential visitors will find their way to you through the search engines if you rank well on the results page. That's why search engine optimization (SEO) is a lucrative field for outside consultants. You can take plenty of steps on your own to improve your ranking without the expense of hiring a specialist, by including these simple SEO Tips.

SEO Tips 1. Sub-directories vs. Sub-domains.

This is a strategic question you need to settle early on. Search engines rank sub-domains (yoursalesblog.yoursite.com) as though they are individual websites. Sub-directories (www.yoursite.com/yoursalesblog) are ranked as part of the larger site. If you have very diverse subjects that you want to handle separately, sub-domains are the way to go. If your entire online presence is very focused, sub-directories will be more effective.

SEO Tips 2. Alt tags for images.

In the html code for any web page, you can include an alt tag that will be displayed to viewers who load the page with images disabled. This practice has grown less common as Internet connections get faster and faster, but alt tags are still important. The text of alt tags is read by search engine indexing robots, so you can gain a significant advantage by using tags that include your most important keywords.

SEO Tips 3. Use sensible internal links.

You might be building your website with some pretty powerful software. Many web design programs save you a lot of time, but they don't always produce good results from an SEO standpoint. Inspect your site's internal links and URLS. Any of them that look like gobbledygook (www.yoursite.com/a0bf659z.html) should be replaced with clear links that include keywords. (www.yoursite.com/your-product-features.html) Like alt tags, these kinds of links also contribute to page ranking.

SEO Tips 4. Hyphenate!

Note that in that last example URL, the individual words were separated by hyphens. This is no accident! You want to use hyphens in URLs and tags throughout your site. This is because search engines read hyphens as breaks between words. Underscores, the most common alternative separator, do not work that way. (e.g. "your-product-features" will read as three words; "your_product_features" will read as one word, yourproductfeatures, which is unlikely to be a common search term.)

SEO Tips 5.  Blogs: Sticky posts./h3>

If your site includes a blog, take advantage of the powerful benefits of sticky posts. These are blog posts that are "pinned" to the top of the blog. They will appear on every blog page your visitors navigate to. This is a great way to prominently feature important content without duplicating it over and over. Duplicate content can be very bad for your search engine ranking.

SEO Tips 6. Blogs: Tag clouds?

SEO Tips: Tag Clouds

Tag clouds – automatically-generated indexes to tags that occur frequently on your blog – are very popular. They are not always a good idea from a search engine optimization standpoint, though. You need to consider all of the navigation options you offer to your blog visitors. If a tag cloud is just one of many ways readers can navigate, it could be producing a lot of duplicate links.

If you're interested in improving your site's search engine ranking, give the above SEO Tips a try. They may well make a significant difference for you! There are lots of other SEO tweaks you can handle on your own, too. Keep learning about the process, use these 6 SEO Tips and you can turn yourself into your own optimization specialist!

Email mini-courses

March 31, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Email mini-courses, Internet Marketing 

Email Mini Courses

Email mini-courses managed by an autoresponder like Aweber and are one of the best methods to dramatically increase your sales and build a relationship with a loyal list of subscribers which you can maintain contact with and send both informational and promotional emails on a regular basis.

This video demonstrates how an autoresponder can build and distribute your Email mini courses

Try AWeber's Autoresponders for $1

Since most visitors, regardless of how relevant your landing page is, will leave, never return and will never buy on their first visit, a well- constructed email mini course solves that problem.

An email mini course works like this:

1) On your landing page, you offer your visitor a free subscription to a 5-7 part online email mini course.

Email mini-courses
2) The visitor "opts in" (subscribes to your list) by giving their first name and email address.

3) You automatically send the visitor a pre-written email mini courses lessons and follow-up messages every couple of days using your autoresponder software.

Now you have gained your visitor’s permission, to maintain contact with him or her for as long you want to until they buy or decide to unsubscribe from your emails.

Using email course you can build up your opt-in list. This will give you the opportunity to promote not only one product but also other complimentary products and special offers down the road. I have personally achieved the best results using 5-7 part Email Mini courses. Here's how you should structure it to maximize results:

1) Use 5 separate articles as the lessons for your Email Mini courses. You can either construct your own articles or use the articles in our database. It wise to diversify the subjects of your articles (for example: day 1- the real cause of infertility, day 2- the connection between diet and getting pregnant revealed, day 3- the 3 biggest mistakes you want to avoid when trying to conceive exposed etc.)

2) Setup your autoresponder software to send out a lesson every other day.

3) Insert a follow-up message in between each lesson to make sure your subscribers received your previous lessons and to remind them of your future lessons.

Make sure you promote the program once at the base of each lesson and once at the end of each lesson. As always, don’t forget to insert your cloaked affiliate link at the end of each lesson.

If you have any questions about Email mini courses, please don't hesitate to contact me personally.

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