Copywriting Basics – Long Copy Sales Letters

Writing a long copy sales letter? Here’s some copywriting basics that you can use to make your sales letter convert like a lemonade stand in the dessert 🙂

Follow these steps:

  1. First concentrate on the offer. Write down what your offer is.
  2. Write down some bullet points. These bullet points should be the main benefits (not features) of your offer.
  3. Write your headline. Make it as compelling as possible. First impressions count.
  4. Come up with a story to tie it all together. Telling a story is extremely powerful.

Your long copy sales letter should follow the QUEST pattern:

  • Qualify
  • Understand
  • Educate
  • Stimulate
  • Transition

Qualify: You need to have devices in your copy (in the beginning) to qualify the reader. The more you do, the more they will read your copy. Qualify means that they instantly know that this is important to them. It can be done in the form of questions or a story. E.g. A pre-headline can qualify the reader, e.g. “Suffering from hair loss?” – this targets not just those that have hair loss, but those that want to do something about it.

Understand: Need to have empathy in your sales copy. Get into the mind of your reader/prospect story is meant to identify with the reader as well as qualify.

Educate: Use statistics and other facts. Facts don’t need to be directly related.

Stimulate: This is where you make your offer. Price is not the issue. Price to one person is different to another. Your job is to build value. For example you want to create a value in the prospects mind of $1,000 and then offer it to them for $100 and then they will snatch it up straight away.

Sidenote: Where should testimonials be used?

Wherever there might be objections. Use the testimonials to overcome the objections. Objections usually come after you have made your offer; after you are offering the solution to their issue. Also for credibility testimonials are great.

Transition: In your closing you need to transition from reader to customer. Don’t whimp out here. Ask for the order. The most shameless and outrageous promoters are the richest ones. “Weak salesmen have skinny kids” (Zig Ziglar). This is where you do the P.S.’s.

The copy on the order form page is just as important as the sales letter copy.

The main objections you are going to get is either credibility or lack of perceived value. Therefore, the order form should have testimonials to eliminate doubt and an extra bonus to sweeten the deal.

When people read your copy and you strike through the original price and put a discounted price they know it is rubbish. You need to give a good reason/logical explanation why the price is reduced, e.g. slightly damaged cover.

Anything you do in your copy that can be perceived to be underhanded give a reason/logical explanation why you’re doing it. You’ll get many more sales that way.

Try to be unique in your approach but not in your copy. Your offer can be unique. Your story should be a credible, unique story. You need to have a lot of proof, make sense and backup any claims you make.

Fear of loss is powerful. How can you use this strategy for an ebook or software offer? Answer: You give them a deadline by when they can buy it at a specific price. E.g. my server can’t handle the load due to the low price. I’ll have to raise the price soon/or at specific date.

Don’t try to perfect your copy… just get it up and then test and tweak it. Start with the headline and then work your way through it. One change at a time so you know what it is working best. Don’t change multiple things at one time. Don’t think you know what works best but be sure with testing.

Small changes can have a dramatic effect. E.g. changing the guarantee heading color to red on the order form increased sales 250%!!!

The unique hook in your copy will dramatically increase sales. E.g. a golf improvement book will sell better if you tell the story of how it came about because of observing a one-legged golfer that hit the ball twice as far as everyone else!

Recommended reading to help you with your copy writing is: “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” by Dr Robert B. Cialdini. This is the type of book that every marketer needs to read at least once.

Would love to hear your comments about these copywriting tips! Maybe there’s something else you do that helps?

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