Here, I'll attempt to give you some very basic copywriting knowledge... how to write a sales letter.
Copywriting differentiates itself from content writing in that typically the words used by the copywriter are designed to sell products and services.
And there's an art, a knack to getting it right.
You want the best conversion rate possible. The more conversions you make as a result of people reading your 'salesmanship-in-print' - the more money you'll make from your product or service offered.
How can you do this?
There are lots of techniques you can use, countless methods in fact which you can implement, but for the purposes of this very basic copywriting tutorial... I'll try to keep it short, simple, and to the point.
Every word you write in a sales letter will affect the readers emotions. Do remember this.
Therefore it's of paramount importance that you not only hold the attention of your target audience but also lead their emotions on a journey away from frustration and pain to pleasure. Essentially positioning your product or service as their ideal solution.
Your readers, your target audience, their problem is their emotional pain.
Empathize with this pain, acknowledge it and demonstrate clearly with your words used... why this product or service of yours will solve their frustration.
If you do this effectively you'll switch them onto the emotion of pleasure corresponding to your solution offered.
Ideally you want to switch out your readers feelings of emotional pain and frustration to a happier state of mind and if you can do this without jarring on the subconscious thought patterns of your readers... you will make more sales at the end of the day.
Typically an online sales letter will start with a preheader. The preheader is the text you see in the top left hand corner which leads into... the main headline.
The purpose of the preheader is merely to get the reader... to read the main headline.
Now, the main headline is perhaps one of (if not) the most important parts of your sales letter.
It's got to stand out and sock a very clear positive message straight between the eyeballs of your ideal target audience.
It's going to contain a very strong benefit to the reader, something which virtually compels the reader to read the first sentence. Stirring one core emotion only.
The purpose of the main headline IS to get the reader to read the first sentence.
Now, your first sentence likewise has one purpose only...
And that purpose is to get the reader, your target audience... to read the 2nd sentence down.
Many times this is where a lot of people fall down, flat on their faces. They write the most extraordinarily long first sentence. A big fatal mistake.
You want to keep this first sentence as short as possible. 6-8 words is fine. You only want the reader to slide down to the 2nd sentence after all.
Of course, you've guessed by now what I'm going to tell you the purpose of the 2nd sentence is...
Yep it's purpose is to get you the reader, to read the 3rd sentence down.
In essence you're creating a very slippery sales funnel.
First you invite the reader to 'peer over the edge' (the preheader)...
...next to stand up to attention at the edge of your sales copy (main headline) then... to sit down, ready for the slippery toboggan ride to the bottom of the page (starts with your first very short sentence) and finally...
...to gather speed and slide all the way to the bottom of the letter where your direct call to action is.
The introduction of your sales letter is often referred to as the 'deck' or the place where you create the 'buyers environment'.
Basically putting them, your readers, into a 'yes' state of mind right from the start.
To do this... you can ask a series of short questions to which the only answer in the mind of your readers is to think... "Yes!"
You don't want to pose questions which give an option for a negative 'no'. This defeats the purpose of your sales letter.
Subheadings can be used throughout your sales copy to great effect to bring readers attention back into the sales copy if you fear you are are losing their interest at any point.
Create a story shortly after your introduction...
People love reading stories. And if you segment this storyline throughout your sales copy, it can be used to excellent effect to keep the readers mind curious to find out the conclusion.
The conclusion of course you can wrap up in a PS at the bottom of the sales letter very close to your call to action / order button.
Bullet points are good for your speed readers and page skimmers. Use your bullet points wisely.
An odd number of bullet points often works better than an even number of bullet points. 7 bullet points is a very good number to use for example.
Each bullet point should contain a strong benefit. A compelling reason to buy into your product or service.
Make sure you do give real benefits and not simply features of your product or service. There is a distinction between features and benefits...
Features describe what a product does. A benefit on the other hand describes what a product actually does for someone directly.
Make sure to use previous customer testimonials in your sales copy. Try to use the customers full name, location and their website address. But don't post it up as a link. Simply post it like this example provided below...
Eugene, OR - Widgetsxyz.com
The last thing you need are unintentional filters within your sales copy.
In this case, this filter (if a live link) is a perfect excuse for someone to click on that link (if posted) and to exit your sales copy quick as a flash.
Do this and you've just lost a potential sale.
In fact, use if at all possible a single column layout for your sales letter with no sidebars at all.
The last thing you want is the readers attention to be diverted out of the sales letter to go elsewhere.
You want to keep them sliding down your sales funnel with no distractions at all.
Use a mixture of short, punchy sentences and longer sentences. This will help hold the attention of your readers. And no more than 3-5 sentences per paragraph.
Use white space to good effect, it's perfect for splitting up larger amounts of text. And makes reading on the eye a whole lot easier.
Your buy-it-now button or options to contact you via various means can be placed in appropriate locations throughout your sales copy. Giving your readers different options to contact you works well.
If you do not use multiple buy-it-now / order buttons and have just the one at the bottom of your sales copy... make sure it clearly tells the reader what is expected of them next.
In other words, direct the action.
Tell the reader what you want them to do. And how they'll miss out big time if they don't buy into your product or service instantly.
You have to remember... people do actually love buying things. It makes them feel good buying things believe it or not. It sets off a little chemical reaction in their mind which gives them a feel good factor.
Strengthen this bond... help them to justify the purchase and chances are you'll get the sale.
There is a lot more to this than meets the eye and certainly I can't cover every detail here. But I do hope these few tips will help you to craft very well your next sales letter if you do attempt to go it alone.
You can of course invest in a few good copywriting books.
For the sake of a few dollars, some time invested digesting the valuable knowledge within them... the positive payoff for you will be tremendous. A fantastic return on your investment.
Or to save yourself all the heartache simply think about hiring a professional copywriter.
I hope one or two of you find this useful.
Obviously this is just bare bones very basic advice but apply this knowledge and you should be well on your way to writing a superb piece of sales copy.