How To Create “Killer” Sales Letters
In the world of email, sales letters are a common communications tool to motivate action -- and that action is usually either signing up to be on a double-opt-in subscription list, or making a purchase using your credit card or PayPal account. In terms of my beloved readership of The Sending Signals Blog, dissecting these letters (at least the better ones) tells about how human nature can be positively exploited in order to generate action -- even in a situation where there is no oral communication, no body-language to interpret, and no physical posturing to impress an audience. It is a demonstration of the power of print media, with just a bit of arts and crafts and special effects thrown in.
Some written books have changed the entire world and its culture. Some authors have a “gift” for writing compelling novels or stories. Well -- at the risk of offending the sensibilities of some of my more highbrow, cerebrotonic readership, a sales letter is a written art form in its own right. It is a popular and potent means of messaging, and delivering that message with a laser focus.
Sales letters (those long, scrolling affairs which we often receive via email inbox), are a very potent means of direct selling if they incorporate certain very basic ingredients. And even if we feel sheepish about reading some of them, we are compelled, if they are good, to do so.
An example of a terrific, effective sales letter, utilizing all of the sales tradecraft, referencing, visual imagery, and fear-based calls to action is yours for the viewing. It is violent by its nature, it does use profanity, but it addresses the topic of “instantly effective instinctive self-defense.”
As we all know, fear of loss or pain is a much more powerful motivator than cupidity (greed), or an opportunity for gain. The letter, written under Bob Pierce’s signature, has helped his organization build a giant, well-motivated mailing list, and has generated revenues emanating from multiple profit centers.
Please take a look at one of his FightFast sales letters (you can simply read it in on your screen, or if you are more tactile (and don’t feel guilty about contributing to the deforestation of the Earth -- just kidding...), you may print out a copy. By the way -- most individuals prefer to study short documents [i.e., longer than a typical business email letter and shorter in length than seven pages] after they have been printed out. Not so surprisingly, documents are more powerful and memorable for most of us when we have printed them out and run our fingers over them. It adds to their sensory value, both in terms of touch, aroma and ‘raw’ vision. Note: My apologies to Nook, Kindle, iPad, uPad, and all non-biblical and non-medicinal tablets.
Here’s the live link to the download:
Sample Sales Letter - The Sending Signals Blog - hosted by Douglas E. Castle
His products are very inexpensive and easy to make -- they are generally comprised of downloadable or boxed video sets of simple, focused videos of acceptable quality made by a videographer (with simple equipment), and two or more non-professional actors in a setting which generally consists of an alleyway bedecked with colorful graffiti or a fenced in area. His cost of production (cost of goods sold) for his line of products is very inexpensive, and he can keep on producing them.
Here are the ingredients to constructing an incredibly effective sales letter. If you letter contains all of them, it will absolutely 1) help you build your subscriber email list, and 2) generate direct sales:
1) Open up with a statement of the problem that you can solve;
2) Speak of a secret, mysterious or fabulously easy way in which you can help the reader to solve it;
3) Use some graphic, highly fear-invoking examples;
4) Repeat the messianic message of your easy, anyone-can-do-this solution;
5) Use varied fonts, italics and yellow highlighting (for emphasis), and frequently interspersed
yellow or red BUY NOW or SUBSCRIBE NOW buttons.
6) Give several examples of situations where your solution would certainly come in handy;
7) Add a complete no-questions-asked money-back guarantee.
8) Have a section which includes no less than seven separate laudatory testimonials from individuals having very different backgrounds (demographic diversity) thanking you for the value you’ve given them;
9) Sell your product at a discount over what it “should” normally cost, and emphasize its massive value to cost ratio;
10) Give them a forward-looking, future-paced description (brush up on your hypnosis, NLP and Subliminal Suggestion Skills) to create a picture of how wonderful they will feel after they have used your product or read your literature;
11) Limit the time of your offer, and limit the amount of product that you are prepared to sell at the special discounted price;
12) Grant them further reassurance that they are making a critically important, potentially life-changing defensible decision in subscribing or buying. Remember to thank them.
Check the download again, and identify how many of the above “Magic 12 Elements” you can identify. This brief exercise will help you to recall all that you’ve learned here. Once again the download can be viewed (and/or printed) at:
Now That I’m An Expert, Let Me Check That Letter Again!
As always, thank you for reading me, retweeting me, and being a part of what gets me out of bed in the morning!
Douglas E. Castle