How do you write the best sales letters?
There’s no point in beating around the bush, so I’ll get straight to the point…
It’s probably one of the most effective emotional hot buttons used by copywriters to inject their sales letter with an extra layer of persuasion and compel prospects to take action immediately. If implemented correctly, the ‘fear factor’ can turn undecided buyers into red hot customers who are super-eager to buy the product you’re promoting.
The “fear factor” and persuasive sales letters
Now, when I use the term ‘fear,’ I’m not talking about frightening your readers!
Instead, it’s all about informing them that if they don’t purchase your product right away, they’ve got to be prepared to shell out more money at a later date… or miss out on getting their hands on it forever.
It’s a very effective marketing strategy and it works like gangbusters!
However, in order for prospects to reach the point where they fear losing out on what you’re selling, your sales letter must do a fine job during the initial stages, i.e. convincing them that your offer is exactly what they need, right now!
In other words, you first need to make your offer hard to resist, so potential customers will feel a sense of deep regret if they do not grab the opportunity you’re presenting them.
Then, you want to give them a very good reason to click on that order button immediately.
So how do you implement the “fear factor” into your sales letters?
Sales letter tips and how to introduce the fear factor
1. The best sales letters should use a onetime offer
Example: This product is for sale *today* only and will never be made available to the public again.
2. Price increase
Example: The current price is set to increase by $25 after the 26th of June, so hurry.
3. Limited membership slots
Example: I can only accept 15 students right now, so don’t delay, secure your membership now.
4. Limited quantity – the tried and tested classic
Example: Only 7 copies are left, so order now.
If you wish to use the ‘one-time offer’ scarcity tactic in your sales letters you’ll need to insert a time limit on your product, so visitors to your site will be encouraged to make a purchase right away. You may also tell prospects that they can get your offer at an introductory price of £29.97 for the first 100 copies, but after that, will have to secure their copy at the regular price of £69.97, for example.
Since they realize they’ll be missing out on a saving of £40, they are likely to whip out their credit card and take action right away. In order to further enhance your chances of netting a sale, you could include a real-time clock counter in your sales letter to remind readers that time is running out and that your offer is going to end soon.
A persuasive sales letter will use a sense of urgency
This is a fantastic way to instil a sense of urgency in your customers and make them fear losing out on the offer you’re so temptingly dangling in front of them.
Another example of a brilliant scarcity strategy is to explain that X amount of action takers who invest in your product will receive a surprise gift or a special bonus, absolutely free. This tactic works wonders, simply because people love getting free stuff!
So what are the other key tactics that a sales letter must implement?
5 key areas every sales letter needs
As a freelance copywriter, I’m often asked to write sales letters for internet marketers and online business owners, and there are 5 crucial elements that I always make sure are present in every single one of them.
And here they are…
1. The best sales letters will use testimonials
When buying any kind of product or service online, people like to be reassured that it actually works! It’s not enough simply telling your readers how great the product or service is, and how it will make their lives better. After all, you’re the one benefiting if they purchase, so your word only holds so much weight.
A testimonial from a satisfied customer, however, can provide the proof that the prospect is looking for, and convince them that the product actually does what you’re claiming. When including a testimonial on your sales letter, always include the full name and location, and a picture of the person if possible.
It’s also a good idea to include their website address (if applicable) so that the reader can check them out. If your testimonial is genuine, why hide anything?
2. A persuasive sales letter will use a money-back guarantee
The inclusion of a money-back guarantee towards the end of a sales letter can act as a hugely effective convincer.
If a customer isn’t sure whether or not to take the plunge and purchase the product, taking away any financial risk can be a very effective technique.
This way, the prospect will be far more likely to purchase the product or service, safe in the knowledge that they can claim it back should they change their mind or discover that it’s not for them.
When reading a sales letter, many prospects skim-read the copy, often all the way down to the very bottom of the page in search of the price. When this happens, all of the time you’ve taken writing the copy, positioning the testimonials, choosing the images and adding screenshots, can be wasted!
This is why a postscript is crucial.
It’s here that you can list the main benefits of your product or service and emphasise any important points, like the discount you’re offering or the time-sensitive nature of the offer, for instance.
And if the reader HAS read the sales letter, the postscript acts as a final reminder of why they NEED your product and what a great deal it is that they’re getting!
4. Bonuses are a key tactic for sales letters
It’s not enough anymore to simply sell an e-book online, and expect someone to hand over their hard-earned cash. Savvy customers are now demanding more for their money, and the addition of a bonus or 10 is commonplace. Whatever product or service you’re selling online, there will be competitors selling something very similar.
Stand out from the crowd.
Offer something different, and unique.
Well chosen bonus products will do this. They can add a huge amount of value to the offer, and if the prospect believes they’re getting good value for their money, they’ll be far more likely to purchase.
5. Superior sales letters will use a great call to action
The call to action is a key part of a sales letter. You need to make it clear what you want the prospect to do, or they may well end up clicking away from your web page and heading elsewhere. In most cases, you want the prospect to click on your order button and buy the product in question, but you can’t be too direct about this, or you’ll risk losing them. A colourful, well designed and prominent order button positioned towards the end of the sales letter is a good way of achieving this goal.
Whether you’re writing the copy yourself, or you’re hiring a freelance copywriter to do it for you, make sure that you include these five elements on all of your sales letters. If you do, I guarantee that you’ll convert more readers and generate greater profits!
The reality of being a sales letter writer
As a sales letter copywriter myself, I’ve written a lot of direct response sales copy over the years. Many of my sales letters have pulled in huge amounts of money for both my clients and their affiliates, and as a result, about 90% of my work is repeat business.
My clients love the results I get for them. And I love the fact that they’re happy with my work, and keep coming back to me.
But it’s taken time to get to this stage. Like anything in life, the more experience you have of doing something, the more you learn, and the more you improve.
Persuasive sales letter
When I first started out, my sales letters weren’t converting anywhere near as well as they do now. And it didn’t have anything to do with how hard I was working for my clients.
I mean, I was spending hours (even days) on research, analysing the competition, delving into the market so that I understood everything involved, and I would write and re-write the sales letter over and over until both myself and the client were 100% satisfied.
But I was still missing one crucial element…
And until I realised what it was, my sales letters would never reach their true potential.
So what was it? What did I add to the sales letter mix that now makes them so much more profitable than they ever were before?
Well, the answer is very simple…
You see, most online purchases are based on emotional decisions, rather than logical reasoning, and once I realised this, the conversion rates of my sales letters exploded overnight.
These days, all of my sales letters are written with this mind.
The best sales letters evoke an emotional response
You see, most successful sales letters generate an immediate emotional response on the part of the reader. Whether the prospect is looking to build muscle, lose weight, improve their health or make more money, it’s emotions that dominate an individual’s decision making process. And if your sales letter can push your readers’ emotional hot buttons, you will make more sales!
A persuasive sales letter
So when you come to write your own sales letter, always think about where your prospect is coming from emotionally, and what they’re looking for. What’s likely to have driven them to your sales page in the first place?
Why do they want to lose weight? Why do they need bigger muscles? Why do they need more money? Why do they want to improve their health?
The answers to these questions are universal. So whoever it is that lands on your sales page, they’ll be looking for the same thing, and their emotional triggers will be similar.
Bear this in mind, and your sales letter will sparkle!