The skills required to craft a good sales letter don't come naturally for many businesspeople. Including the following five factors in every sales letter you write will help ensure you're hitting the most fundamental hot buttons in your target audience.
There's no such thing as a good sales letter with a bad headline - end of argument. That's not to say a headline must conform to some convention of what's thought of as a "killer headline."
You can be as creative and unorthodox as the project requires, but the headline must serve a couple of crucial functions. For one thing, it must immediately highlight a strong benefit for the reader.
And for another, it must capture the reader's attention and pique her interest enough to make her read on.
It's been said before, but it bears repeating: benefits sell, features reinforce. A guitar enthusiast won't buy your instructional DVD set just because it involves twelve different methods of plucking a string. He'll buy it because knowing those twelve different methods can make him a rock star.
The plucking methods are a feature of your program - being a rock star is a benefit to your customer. A good sales letter focuses on benefits, and uses features to justify those benefits.
And remember, not just any old benefits will do for a great sales letter. You need to differentiate the benefits of your product from those cited by your competitors - in other words, make your benefits better.
You do this by carefully understanding the motivations of your target market, figuring out what really makes them tick, and crafting your benefit-driven copy to suit. Why does your customer want to be a rock star?
People are more likely to do something if they've already seen a bunch of other people doing it. This is why testimonials and a good story can make such a huge difference to conversions. Great sales letter make good use of an understanding of this concept of "social proof."
Your target audience should be able to identify with you as someone who was "once in their shoes," but you figured out the secret to succeeding at such-and-such an action or you invented a tool to solve all their problems, and now you're sharing that with them.
If you personally don't fit as a model, you can use a case study as an example.
Likewise, customers want to see the product or service has already worked for other people like them. Similarity is key - the more your target customer can relate on a personal level to the testimonials on your page, the better.
Sometimes just naming a benefit isn't enough. You have to actually encourage the reader to envision what her life will be like once that benefit has become a reality (through purchasing your product, of course).
Make it vivid. This is one of the keys to triggering emotional responses, which lead to the desired buying behavior.
Don't ever assume the reader knows what to do next - tell her! The call to action should be a clear and emotional appeal that lets the reader know exactly what she has to do to get the product into her hands.
Bear in mind that "emotional" doesn't mean overblown - the way in which you evoke emotion needs to be appropriate to the audience and the product.
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Author: Tom McSherry
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