Simply said, your sales letter is a form of direct response communication – a tool to help you achieve a goal. It is basically a conversation between a person (or company) and its products’ intended end-users. It contains a clear and direct offer and an invitation to take one, or more, desired actions (e.g. phone call; location visit; newsletter sign-up; email address; immediate sale, etc.). Unlike more traditional forms of advertising, like branding, customer “actions” can and should be tracked, measured and analyzed.
Things You Must Know Before Beginning…
As a reminder and before you can begin writing an effective sales letter you should already be very clear on the following:
- Your Pproduct / service selection: what you’ll offer for sale.
- Marketing Funnel Approach, i.e. your sales process – the number and types of action steps you’ll invite your visitors to take (covered in Chapter 3).
- Type of Website, e.g. lead generation, sales.
- Product / service's Unique Selling Proposition and Key Benefits: why you’ve got the best solution for your target audience's most pressing problem.
- Target Audience – who is actively seeking your products / services.
The Most Important Things to Do Before Writing your Own Sales Copy…
As we discussed in the last chapter, people surf the web looking for specific information. When they land on a sales page they scan it quickly to see if anything catches their interest. You’ve already learned the important role that design and format plays in keeping them there… now it’s time to delve into the words.
Unfortunately many schools today pay little attention to teaching excellent writing skills, making it difficult for many of us to express ourselves effectively. Consider:
- Some of us use 15 words when 4 would do just fine.
- Some of us are reluctant to "toot our own horn" – even when others would benefit from us doing do.
- Some of us are terrible spellers.
- Some of us don't know the difference between a noun and a verb, let alone a dangling participle.
- Some of us mix tenses (heaven forbid) in the middle of a sentence.
- Some of us don't know where to begin…
That’s why your first task is to candidly evaluate your own writing skills. Ask yourself where you fit and be ruthlessly honest – the success of your website depends upon it. For instance, are you someone who finds it difficult to express your thoughts in writing? Do you dread writing anything – even a grocery list? You get the idea.
It may not be comfortable or easy because we're often remarkably unaware of our true ability to communicate. If you still don’t know the answer, write something and ask friends, family members and / or co-workers to give feedback.
If you fall into this category, please get help…
Even though you know your products, services, prospects, customers and company better than anyone and should oversee all of your marketing efforts… leave the writing to experts.
Write down "what" you want to say… your offer, benefits, pricing information and the like then let a professional craft the message for you. I strongly I advise you to hire a freelance copywriter - they are affordable and worth their weight in gold. If you really can’t afford one, find a skilled friend or family member to help you out. In either case, make sure you edit, edit, edit.