My first sales letter.

by SashaV
18 replies
Hello Warrior Forum,

I never though I'd hear myself say these words, but here they are:

I am an Internet Marketer.

Hmm. Doesn't feel as bad as I thought. In fact, it feels pretty awesome.

Anyway, I am currently working on my first product - an eBook (and possibly some screen-cap videos) helping normal people start small tutoring businesses using modern advertising strategies, ie, building a website, basic SEO, etc.

Now, I haven't finished the book, but I felt compelled to write the sales letter first. It's my very first one, though I did do a fair amount of research.

I'd love any feedback anyone has - positive or negative, gentle or brutal.

Hmm. It seems I need 15 posts to add links. I don't want to write none-sense posts just to get my count up, so I am just going to put the site name in this way:

www . StartTutoringNow . com

Also, I made myself an e-Junkie account, but I am thinking that maybe ClickBank is the way to go if I want to have affiliates help me market this eBook.

Where would I go to find affiliates, anyway?

Anyway, thank you all,
--Sasha
#letter #sales
  • A few tips Sasha...


    1.) your title is boring, uninspiring and doesn't give anything away.

    2.) the first chunk of your copy is all about you. where's the benefit for the customer? You need to tell them what THEY can get from it. Interest them quickly.

    3.) Break up or shorten down some of those paragraphs. Make it look easy to read. I took one look at your sales letter and though "screw that!"

    4.) Where are your testimonials? Get some if you can.

    Overall, your writing needs to be more 'punchy', more excitable and overall more enticing. Literally MAKE these people want to buy your product, make them NEED it.


    Hope this helps!


    Ben
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    50% converting squeeze pages, 12% converting WSO's, and more...
    BenPalmerWilson Copywriting
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    • Profile picture of the author SashaV
      Hi Ben,

      Thanks for the feedback.

      Do you have any suggestions on how to fix issue #1?

      Also, I don't have any testimonials because I haven't finished my book yet (and hence haven't sold any copies). I'd certainly post some if I had them.

      The other two make sense, though I thought people might be more interested in my story and who I am - I know I certainly am when I read other people's sales letters.

      Either way, Thanks again,
      --Sasha
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      • Originally Posted by SashaV View Post

        Hi Ben,

        Thanks for the feedback.

        Do you have any suggestions on how to fix issue #1?

        Also, I don't have any testimonials because I haven't finished my book yet (and hence haven't sold any copies). I'd certainly post some if I had them.

        The other two make sense, though I thought people might be more interested in my story and who I am - I know I certainly am when I read other people's sales letters.

        Either way, Thanks again,
        --Sasha

        No worries Sasha.

        As for problem #1, "Are you tired of working for someone else?" is too vague an opening title. That's the very first thing they're seeing when they open up your page.

        You have to grab them by the balls and hold their attention.

        Something like... "Learn how John Smith quit his day job and now charges incredible sums and CHOOSES his own work hours!"

        Something that'll catch the audience's interest. That's just an idea, but still not a very good one - I'm sure you can do better.

        Good luck!



        Ben.
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        50% converting squeeze pages, 12% converting WSO's, and more...
        BenPalmerWilson Copywriting
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      • Profile picture of the author Curtis2011
        Originally Posted by SashaV View Post

        Hi Ben,

        Thanks for the feedback.

        Do you have any suggestions on how to fix issue #1?
        A good formula for headline creation is:

        "How to" "[get benefit]" in "[short time frame]" "[with low risk]"

        In your case, an example just off the top of my head could be:

        How To Start Earning Up To $100 Per Hour As An Independent Tutor In Only 60 Days Or Less, Guaranteed!

        Of course, you can embellish it a bit with specific details, time frame, money-back guarantee, etc, but you get the idea.

        Edit: Oh snap, I didn't realize that the headline I'm looking at is your new edited one. Regardless, you might want to edit the headline a bit to add in a time frame that satisfies the reader's desire for instant gratification (always a good sales tactic) and a risk-reducer such as a guarantee.
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  • Sasha -

    In some cases, it is all about testing your sales page. Get it out there, see what works and what does not, and go from there!
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  • Sasha,

    If you haven't already, you should get some of the books on copywriting in the stickies section. For now, I would rework the sentences that say "I, I, I" and put the prospect in the scene.

    When you mention that you won't charge them $1,000 it seems to be a random number. I realize you are referring to the parable. Instead, build value by listing some of the alternatives they might spend their money on in the real world, and how your offer compares favorably to those more expensive courses of action.
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    Marketing is not a battle of products. It is a battle of perceptions.
    - Jack Trout
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisKahler
    Hey Sasha, here's a few tidbits of advice that might help...

    For the Title try to fit a "story" in there... for example something like:

    "Finally: How This Sensible Shy Guy Used His Brain Smarts To Smash Self Doubt and Begin Earning Up To $XXX Per [Student/Week/Hour/Whatever]... And How You Can Do The Same All By Being A Part Time College Tutor"

    See how that has a good story feel to it? Really it's all about knowing your prospect, which I suspect is someone who's smart but maybe shy or doubts their abilities to actually make a good amount of money tutoring.

    The story has a good beginning, middle, and end to it... shy guy uses smarts to smash doubt and then begins making x money... then it points that benefit in the direction of the prospect.

    Here's some more advice about the sub heads you've got... I'd suggest using simpler language.

    For example instead of:

    Does the idea of starting your own business sound byzantine, overwhelming, and prohibitively expensive?

    I would refrain from words such as the ones I've bolded. Even though your audience may know these words, they carry little emotional weight.

    But to tell you the truth I'd completely rewrite these sub points in a more compelling way.

    Here's my take on them:

    Are you a Grade A tutor struggling to make ends meet, yet you know your genius mind is worth so much more?

    Are you a competent, caring tutor intimidated by the idea of working for yourself?


    Does the idea of starting your own business make your head want to spin?

    If you believe starting a business is utterly overwhelming and is going to cost you your entire college fund to do...


    Here’s what I want you to know:

    Starting a profitable tutoring business is cheaper than a full course meal for two, simpler than 8th grade algebra… and I’m going to show you how to do it in less than X amount of time

    Now of course you can use something different than "full course meal for two" or "8th grade algrbra"... those were just on the fly examples.

    The point I'm trying to make is get specific using terms, phrases, and ideas that your target audience will immediately relate to and fully understand.


    And avoid using terms or words that are complex... try to keep the reading level down... I've head the best is something like a fifth grade reading level.

    That's all I've got for now, I'm running out of time. I'll come back later possibly with more suggestions of the remainder of your copy.

    (Oh and as for not having testimonials, here's what to do about that:

    Explain your bargain of a price point is because you need feedback, but that the price will go up

    Shoulder all the risk with a 90 day guarantee

    Give a conditional guarantee like "If you can show me that you've put my tactics to use and WEREN'T able to get a paying student in X time, I'll even give you $20 of my own money for your time and effort"

    and once you get sales and feedback plug in testimonials and raise the price as you promised you would.... these are just some suggestions for now... Good luck!)

    Chris
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisKahler
    Just noticed you have a FULL year guarantee and 110% money back guarantee, so my last bit of advice is a little off LOL

    However, I would probably try rewording the 110% guarantee and use wording that implies giving CASH and maybe even put a picture of the money in your letter somewhere appropriate.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Galt
    This is excellent stuff Sasha. I'm impressed that this is your first attempt.

    Actually, I disagree with Ben and Joe on this one. Your personal story at the beginning does a good job of building empathy and identifying the problem. And that's what its job is.

    The advice to focus on "you" is really just a way of shifting the writer's attention from selfish feature-driven copy to customer based benefit-driven copy. In this case, you and your target market are one in the same... so there is no need to fret over verbiage.

    However, Ben is right about your headline. Far too generic.

    You have a clearly defined market, but your headline is vague and general. Who isn't tired of working for somebody else? Make the headline reach out to employed tutors specifically. Remember - the headline only needs to grab the attention of the right market... nothing more.

    Also, I get the impression that the reason somebody would want to read your e-book is because they'll make more money while doing the same amount of work.

    However, this point is only implied. You've made a few weak allusions to it, but that's about it. I'd rework the body copy to make this point more explicit. It's a big selling point, and the prime advantage you've built your letter around. It deserves more stage time.

    One other thing - DO you have any tutor friends you can get to review the book? Your personal experiences is a great proof point... but you need to work towards having a preponderance of proof (as the saying goes).

    Your claims are already made. Now you just need to substantiate them. Remove any doubt in Joe the Tutor's mind that they can make more money following your advice.

    Testimonials will help with this. So would weaving specific numbers into your copy (number of students, hours worked, months it took to find profitability, etc.).

    Hope that helps, Sasha. Happy hunting.
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  • Profile picture of the author SashaV
    Chris + Mr Galt,

    Thank you so much for the feedback! That was extremely useful.

    I'll work on the letter some more and incorporate those ideas.

    Would it be alright to ask for another critique after I do some more editing?

    --Sasha
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisKahler
    I will definitely take a second look on any revisions and give you my thoughts... I'll try my best to give you useful opinions but it's up to you to take what's best and use the tips appropriately cause you know your market better than I do
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    • Profile picture of the author SashaV
      Hey Chris,

      I made a bunch of revisions, incorporated your suggestions, and added new points that were suggested by Mr Galt.

      Any new feedback would be highly appreciated

      --Sasha
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  • Profile picture of the author Andrew Gould
    As far as I can see, the number one issue with your sales page isn't your copy but your offer:

    $97 for an ebook isn't cheap.

    Especially when I can get a well-reviewed book like this:

    Amazon.com: TUTORING: Complete Guide to a...Amazon.com: TUTORING: Complete Guide to a...

    For less than $10.

    And even if I bought a Kindle ($79) to view it on, I'm still coming out ahead.

    For $97 you need to massively increase the value (both real and perceived) you're offering.
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    Andrew Gould

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    • Profile picture of the author SashaV
      Andrew,

      $97 isn't cheap, but other products out there that seem to offer the same type of information (how to set up a wesbite, do SEO, marketing) cost much, much more.

      What do you think a reasonable price would be? Better yet, what would raise the perceived value?

      --Sasha
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      • Profile picture of the author Andrew Gould
        Originally Posted by SashaV View Post

        $97 isn't cheap, but other products out there that seem to offer the same type of information (how to set up a wesbite, do SEO, marketing) cost much, much more.
        In that case, you simply need to do a better job of conveying what you're offering.

        What do you think a reasonable price would be?
        Based purely on your current copy, I'd test $17, $27, and $37.

        Better yet, what would raise the perceived value?
        Include a few relevant bonuses.

        Record audio and video versions.

        Switch it from chapters to modules, include a summary, worksheets and exercises for each module, and you've got a course rather than an ebook.
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        Andrew Gould

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  • Profile picture of the author John Galt
    Hey Sasha -

    Good work. You're moving in the right direction. Here's a few more ideas:

    * Lay out your features before you move into the close. Right now, your close starts with the line "No, I will not charge you $1,000 for my experience..." They should know exactly what they're getting before you give them a price.

    * Put page numbers next to each bullet point. Specifics, specifics.

    * The headline is better, but too verbose to have much punch. Give it the Hemingway treatment. Make sure that each word is truly necessary and irreplaceable.

    * The wording to your guarantee needs work. "I can guarantee that you won't waste money buying my book!" And I can guarantee that this line will be misinterpreted.

    And don't say that you can't guarantee results. Have confidence in your offer. Guarantee it will work... and if you're wrong, you'll give them their money back.

    * In that vein, you're entire close needs a revamp. Right now, you're selling from your heels.

    You can see it in your guarantee. And you can especially see it with lines like, "Before you start thinking that $97 is too much..."

    This is not the thought you want to put into your readers head. If you're still hesitant to ask for $97 by the close, it means you haven't justified the price yet, even in your own mind. You must establish that your offer is worth far more than $97... your prospect should never feel like "it's too much."

    This is what Andrew was suggesting when he said to amp up your perceived value. There's a couple of ways to go about this. The most common is to pile on a bunch of bonuses. Free report this, free consultation that. Each bonus, of course, with the ubiquitous "Real price: $3,450. Today's price: FREE."

    An easier way is to spend more time defining your product and its advantages. And, most of all, mountains of proof (which I suggested before).

    Good luck Sasha! Keep us posted on your results.

    EDIT: Andrew made more good points as I was writing this. The man speaks truth, and either approach is valid. Like I said above, bonuses work... but when you're selling a solution to a hungry market, reworking the copy will be easier.
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    • Profile picture of the author SashaV
      Mr. Galt,

      You are correct in your observation - I don't quite feel that the price is justified in my mind. I need to work on that.

      Everything else rings true as well. I'll do more work on the letter, get finish up my book, and bump this thread when I've made some serious progress.

      Thank you again for your help. All the book reading in the world doesn't seem to be worth as much as the quick glance of an expert.

      --Sasha
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  • Profile picture of the author eniggma
    I heard in a podcast once that one of the main issue with bad copy is its all about you when there are 2 things the reader wants to see and that's 1-What's in it for me and 2- What's in it for me right now! Keep this in mind because its so true. As much as your own life experience applies to what you're offering find a way to limit or eliminate if possible any personal experiences stories. Of course some may differ on this opinion but, just my 2 cents. Keep at it though.
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    "Successful people do the things unsuccessful people won't do" - (Somebody successful) :)

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