Essential Ingredients of a Good Sales Letter – Part II – What It Can Do For Your Business
February 13, 2008
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Knowing the basics of framing a good sales copy goes miles in helping you judge whether your sales letter will ring a bell with the audience or not. As I discussed in my earlier post, brevity, clarity and creativity should be the hallmarks of your sales letter.
You don’t need to write pages of text, even a single page containing a few lines of text, topped with a good catchy headline can encourage your readers to explore your product/service further, provided….yes, provided you are able to present your wares convincingly. Here’s how to go about it:
1. Sell the Sizzle Not the Steak: Your headline can catch attention but to create interest you need a well planned body copy. As it goes features tell benefits sell.
Talk more on benefits. Focus primarily on how your product/service should be able to help your customer. The details about what all it offers can follow.
2. Know your products inside out: Thoroughly know the products or services you are writing for. This helps in creating alternate USPs beyond the obvious. If you don’t know the major uses and benefits of your products/services yourself, how do you expect the end customer to know?
3. Brand Differentiator: Name of the game is benefits right. It is like Godfather ‘making an offer one can’t refuse’ through sales letter, sans the guns of course. But what is more important is to identify the target audience and the problems it faces from the same kind of products and services in market and then provide a solution to those problems.
An example can be of Apple ipod – if the sales letter simply say, great sound quality, of course this is basic requirement but same quality is being offered by all the mp3 players in the market, be it X or Y or Z.
But if sales letter or any other promotional material say and say it prominently that it takes less than a second to upload a song on I pod from computer as against 5 min. on X,Y or Z. You have hit the nail right on the head. You have not only grabbed the attention of the reader but you have ensured that the reader will at least try the ipod and if the claim is true you got yourself a customer.
But beware not to bad mouth your competitor. Let the readers find difference in your brand. 4. Create confidence in the product:
Providing a strong guarantee is not a bad idea either, as guarantees help to alleviate any anxiety the customer may be feeling about ordering. Though it is standard to offer 30 Day Money Back Guarantee, but why not offer a lifetime guarantee? Offer a 100%, no hassle, no question asked, lifetime money-back guarantee! A lifetime guarantee sounds risky, right? But it is a fact that longer the guarantee is for, the fewer returns are received? You will receive fewer returns for a lifetime guarantee than a one-year guarantee. And you will receive fewer returns for a one-year guarantee than you will for a 30-day guarantee.
5. Am I getting more? Free is probably the most powerful advertising word in existence. Offering one, two, or three free bonuses makes reader actually go through the whole letter and if he/she feels the product/service is right, bonuses helps in closing the sale much easier.
A bonus increases the perceived value of the product as people feel like they’re getting more value for money. An urgency or sense of loss can be created by making the bonus a “limited time offer”.
Yes, I think you have got it right that people don’t buy products and services they buy benefits. People buy only when they know “what is there for me?” Now in my next lesson on sales letter, I will be revealing the secrets of making your sales letter attractive and user friendly.
Don’t’ miss to check “Essential ingredients of a good sales letter – Part III.” This lesson can actually catalyze your sales process and propel your potential customer to action.
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