What first: Sales letter or ebook?

20 replies
Hoping to get some advice from Clickbank vendors/publishers...

Once you've done the research for a new ebook to sell on Clickbank, do you get the ebook written first or the sales letter... or both at the same time?

Which way is more effective and why?
#ebook #letter #sales
  • Profile picture of the author Paul Hancox
    Hi Gabby

    If you're going to hire a copywriter, it would be hard for them to write about a product that is still "in your mind", as it were.

    On the other hand, if you're planning to write the sales letter yourself, then writing the sales letter first can often spark additional ideas to appeal to your target market, that you can then put into your ebook.

    So it depends on whether you're planning to outsource the copywriting or not.
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    • Profile picture of the author DomenicoGrecojr
      Originally Posted by spikeycruz View Post

      Sales letter first

      Seems counter-intuitive but create an "order button" that directs prospects to a SOLD OUT or CURRENTLY IN DEVELOPMENT page.

      This way, you can track/measure order button clicks and find out how many people will buy your product BEFORE you actually create it.

      This is called market testing - and even the best and biggest companies do it all the time.

      Plus, this will give you insight into what offers work, which offers to tweak - such that you can get the best conversions. Only then, do you go ahead and create the product.

      May seem a little greyish, but hey...it's given me great results.
      Great advice. I would also recommend writing the sales letter first.

      A bit painful if you spent ages writing a sales letter and finding out that there's no market for it.

      But better than wasting your time creating a product that no one buys
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      • Profile picture of the author higginb3
        Would be a good way to test the waters a bit... it is a bit of a grey area.... would be hard to sell out of an ebook. May get some slack from people... need to be careful. Is there any reason you can't work on them both at the same time?
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        • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
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          • Profile picture of the author KenThompson
            Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post


            I doubt whether any serious copywriter worthy of the name would be willing to do a complete sales letter without seeing at least most of the product. I may be mistaken.
            You are not mistaken, Alexa.

            No way a copywriter could complete a letter, especially extracting all those
            benefit bullets, without reading the ebook.

            I'm a copywriter and I've done my own copy for ebooks I've written. I did
            the ebook first and then the sales copy.

            Ken
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        • Profile picture of the author schabotte
          I work the sales letter and the outline of the book at the same time and then refine the sales letter as the book evolves.

          Writing the sales letter early gives you a focus on who your customer is and what problems you are solving with your book. And writing the outline ensures that the book flows in a way that starts from the statement of the problem to the solution and includes all the supporting material along the way.

          But this is why an early sales letter is important - if you have trouble writing it, it means you don't know your customer well enough yet and need to further refine who your customer is. This process will make a better sales letter... and a better received product as it will speak better to the customer.
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    • Profile picture of the author Hoopatang
      Originally Posted by spikeycruz View Post

      Sales letter first

      Seems counter-intuitive but create an "order button" that directs prospects to a SOLD OUT or CURRENTLY IN DEVELOPMENT page.

      This way, you can track/measure order button clicks and find out how many people will buy your product BEFORE you actually create it.
      If you're going to go this route I'd add an email form and tell them to get onto your list to be notified when the product goes live again; that way you don't lose them forever. If I were the customer and spent time going over your sales letter only to find myself on a sold out page, I'd be pretty disgusted/disappointed/frustrated and the next time I saw the name of your product I'd probably reject it out of hand thinking I was wasting my time again.

      However, if you soothed me down on the "sold out" page and told me it might be available again and got me to join your list, then you'd have a direct attempt to get me back later once your book is ready.

      Honestly though, I wouldn't do this... it would p*ss off too many people who were ready to buy and possibly tarnished my name with them in the process.
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    • Profile picture of the author Flareman
      Originally Posted by spikeycruz View Post

      Sales letter first

      Seems counter-intuitive but create an "order button" that directs prospects to a SOLD OUT or CURRENTLY IN DEVELOPMENT page.

      This way, you can track/measure order button clicks and find out how many people will buy your product BEFORE you actually create it.

      This is called market testing - and even the best and biggest companies do it all the time.

      Plus, this will give you insight into what offers work, which offers to tweak - such that you can get the best conversions. Only then, do you go ahead and create the product.

      May seem a little greyish, but hey...it's given me great results.
      But if your product is something thats really original or your niche is really exclusive, wouldn't sending out a sales letter first trigger copycats? And when your product is really ready to launch, there might already be many others having the same idea.
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  • Profile picture of the author sambakker
    Haha this is an interesting one. I would say neither, build a list with a capture page first and fund your ebook with the cash you make selling others items. Then after the ebook do the sales page. Sales page blind without a book is not easy...
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    • Profile picture of the author gavinol
      Hello i think sales letters is so important.it is
      One of the best ways to market ebooks is via sales letters.bcoz
      When you write an ebook, you have to market it. This is true for any product or service created.
      Writing ebooks is one of the most popular ways for freelance writers to make passive income. When most think of writing an ebook though, they don't think about the marketing phase, which is much more involved than listing it on a website.




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  • Profile picture of the author mlord10
    Originally Posted by Ken_Caudill View Post

    I am amazed. Let's all write sales letters for non-existent products to see if they sell.

    Yeah, that makes sense.

    I'll get right on that.
    LOL.

    I somewhat understand that logic of writing the sales letter first, but I think that if you do not give your copywriter more information to work with, then the sales letter cannot reach its full potential.

    Admittedly I haven't tested this, so it is pure opinion.
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  • Profile picture of the author hotlinkz
    I write the ebook or report first. I usually end up writing most of the sales letter as a result of discovering the benefits that are most sought after according to sub-market (niche) research. This same research is used to determine demand and gather background and data to do the actual writing.

    When you think about it, the overwhelming majority of sales letters are basically a list of embellished benefits and features offered by the e-book or reports for which they are written.
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  • Profile picture of the author gjabiz
    Originally Posted by gabby6480 View Post

    Hoping to get some advice from Clickbank vendors/publishers...

    Once you've done the research for a new ebook to sell on Clickbank, do you get the ebook written first or the sales letter... or both at the same time?

    Which way is more effective and why?
    Since you asked specifically about Clickbank. You say, "once you've done the research"...well, depending on the results of your research, you should know if there is enough DEMAND for another work on the subject. IF so, what is the thing that makes it unique and different?

    In my experience, the RESEARCH part is detailed enough to give the answer to your question. IF there is a market, and I want something long lasting to compete, then write the copy and the work at the same time.

    From your research, you fully develop a concept and start creating an OUTLINE. The outline will be the tool you use to both create the work and the promotion for it.

    Now in the real world, it is fairly common to create a promotion BEFORE you have the product completed, to test DEMAND, and if it is an Information Product, then you can have it quickly created. IF I'm going into the Clickbank Marketplace (or PayDotCom) I'm planning on competing for a long period of time. There are other avenues to use if you just want to sell your work for a short burst.

    So, create the eBook as you write the bullet points from you outline. Once you have the outline done and a long list of bullet points, then you can either hire a copywriter or try it yourself and sometimes a personal story works better than a hired gun approach.

    Your outline will give you an idea of how long the ebook is going to be, what graphics if any to use (which will make it a slower download for many people)...but again,

    if you have done a good job in the RESEARCH part of the process, you should hold the answer to your question in your hands already.

    One other point. By actually having an ebook finished, even if it doesn't sell well at ClickBank, it can be used for other purposes; freebie lead generator, bonus to your other work or someone else's, gift, series of auto responders.

    Do good research, IF there is DEMAND and you have a written plan of action for the use of the ebook in your overall business strategy, then DO IT.

    gjabiz
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  • Profile picture of the author JonAlfredsson
    For my opinion - i'd go for ebook first. When you're done with the ebook - you can get important details from it to make your sales letter interesting. =)
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  • Profile picture of the author createyouwealth
    I would most definitely suggest that you get your ebook written first. Because your copy writer will have more to work with regarding the benefits of your product. All the best with your ebook.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lance K
    Originally Posted by gabby6480 View Post

    Hoping to get some advice from Clickbank vendors/publishers...

    Once you've done the research for a new ebook to sell on Clickbank, do you get the ebook written first or the sales letter... or both at the same time?

    Which way is more effective and why?
    Who is writing the copy???
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    "You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want."
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  • Profile picture of the author thebitbotdotcom
    One thing I have observed in my own writing is that whenever I start out with an idea and begin to write, the final product will, at times, be slightly different from what I was expecting. So, ebook first.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Barboza
    Originally Posted by Ken_Caudill View Post

    Ebook first. That way your copywriter won't be operating blind.
    I agree 100% with this statement. I have also had the same doubts and have concluded that the product needs to be crated before you write the sales copy
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  • Profile picture of the author King Shiloh
    Banned
    If you approach me as a copywriter to write a sales letter for an ebook titled, "How to Win A Horse Race", I will definitely ask you to send me a copy of the ebook.

    But if you insist that you want me to write the sales copy first, I will write the following:

    CLICK HERE TO ORDER YOUR COPY NOW!

    I will send you an email telling you that I have finished writing the copy. I will also ask you to send my balance and thank you for making my job easier.

    Please never you put the cart before the horse.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tom B
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    Originally Posted by Ken_Caudill View Post

    I am amazed. Let's all write sales letters for non-existent products to see if they sell.

    Yeah, that makes sense.

    I'll get right on that.

    Who said anything about trying to sell the product before it was created???

    As Paul stated, sometimes the sales letter will make you rethink about what will be in the product.

    You should have an outline of your product already.

    Why the big deal writing the sales letter before finishing up the product?

    I know when I write some of my sales letters I end up thinking, "Man I wish I would have put this in [insert product name] because it is one heck of a selling point."
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