Five ways to get web site sales letters that pull like crazy
By Kevin Nunley
Sales letters are everywhere on the Internet. More and more of the biggest selling sites are doing their money-making magic with a long, meaty sales letter.
Wanna sell something? A good old fashioned sales letter is a great low-cost way to give prospects all the information and motivation they need to become paying customers.
Notice I said "old fashioned" sales letter. In the world of copy writing, most of the techniques that REALLY work are old as the hills. Sometimes they're dressed up to look new. But the best have been used, tested, and proven for decades in direct mail, on TV infomercials, and on web sites.
That's good! Time-proven methods give you a high rate of success. Less risk, more profits.
Here are three never-fail ways to make your sales letters SELL. Use these ideas to create a new sales letter, spruce up the one you already have, or give them to the writer who creates your marketing copy.
1. BEFORE you write your sales letter (or fix it up), walk in your customer's shoes. Most sales letters fail because they don't ring true in the customer's ears. The picture the sales letter paints isn't something the customer identifies with.
"Get RICH this year" may sound like a motivational dynamo, but it probably doesn't do much for the majority of customers who simply want an honest way to earn some extra money.
First talk with customers. Find out what keeps them awake at night, gnawing in their tummy, forcing them to stare at the ceiling. What is their worst fear, the one they talk to their spouse about non-stop but have a hard time admitting to anyone else?
Take this fear head-on. Talk about it. Explain it. Point out what causes it (a problem YOU or your product can correct!). Let the customer know in no uncertain terms how the problem will get out of hand, become worse, and K-O their life or business.
2. Tell a story. Gosh, people LOVE stories. The magazine story didn't really get going until 100 years ago. Novels didn't show up until well after Columbus. But the story has been a mainstay of life worldwide for thousands of years.
There is something about a simple story that grabs hold of people and won't turn them loose. A good story sticks in your brain, explains what is going on, and comes back periodically to remind you how things should be.
I like to use a TRUE story about a customer:
"Mary spent all she had on a fine looking web site. But it wouldn't sell anything! "Kevin, I need help," said the subject line in of her email. "Mary, the copy on your page is confusing. And people can't really figure out what you can do for them. They click to your site, get confused, and click away."
3. Point out what is wrong with your product or service. Go ahead. Say "this product is great, but it doesn't work for everyone. If you don't use it every day, or aren't serious about steady improvement, you won't see results."
Wow! People can't believe it when they see an HONEST sales letter. What a refresher! Your credibility shoots straight up.
I write a lot of press releases. And as we all know, even a good release doesn't always get the attention of busy media editors. I admit this, then go on to tell the customer four or five things we can do if their press release doesn't work the first time.
People fee reassured when I admit the process isn't perfect and show an informed and sincere desire to keep trying after the sale.
4. Put a testimonial at the top of your sales letter. A good comment from someone who has already bought from you is worth its weight in gold. Don't have any satisfied customers yet? Get a friend--or even better, a known expert--to try your product or service and spill the beans on how good it is.
5. Forget the P.S. I know, every sales letter writing book in existence tells you to add a P.S. to the end of your letter. No question, that is true for printed letters. But people read a web page differently. Saving your most important secrets for a P.S. at the end just serves to hide them.
Instead, add a few bonuses to the end of your web site sales letter. Most people love to bonus the sale with easy-to-provide ebooks. I prefer to offer extra service, help after the sale, and access to some extra pages of valuable advice.
Kevin Nunley provides marketing advice and copy writing for businesses and organizations. Read all his money-saving marketing tips at http://DrNunley.com/. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or (801)253-4536.
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