Writing Effective Sales Letters – Part 4

The Body Copy

The body copy is the heart and soul of your sales pitch and it often starts with ‘Dear’ and then the person’s name, like ‘Dear John’.  If it is possible try to use the persons name.  You want your sales letter to be as personal as possible.  You want the person to feel as if it was really written just for them.

So here are the five most common mistakes people make in the body of their sales letters.

Number one is having super long paragraphs.

It’s easy for people to get lost in the letter, or just kind of glaze over when they have to tackle a paragraph that’s  15 lines long.  You need to break it up into paragraphs that are around 4-5 lines.   You have to break it up a bit so that you don’t lose them.

Use sub-headlines to guide your reader through the letter like an assembly line.

It’s like when you’re having a conversations and you say things like ‘You follow what I am saying here? Am I making sense?’   It’s the same idea with sub heads.  It’s this big bold phrase in the middle of the page that makes the reader pause for a moment, and really absorb what you just said. While at the same time breaking up the letter into little sections.

So what happens is they read the letter in little bits, and they piece it together using the subheads as they go down the letter, which increases the chances of them getting through the whole thing and will bump up you closing rate.

So the sub heads are crucial.

Next use : color, italicizing, all caps and larger fonts – those three things represent your tonality to emphasize your important points.

When you are reading an effective sales letter, you will notice that they use different colors like blue or some things will be italicized, sometimes there will be three dots after a line where there really should be a comma, these three dots are called ellipsis’.  You would never get away with using these if you were writing like a documentary or something. The difference is, in a sales letter, you’re having a one sided conversation, and the ellipsis offer these sort of breaks or pauses that give your own rhythm to the paragraph, and kind of add dramatic effect.  Like they are waiting to hear what’s next.

Remember to use italics, color, and ellipsis to add tonality to your sales letter.

Use bullets to highlight the benefits.

When you get to the section of your newsletter where you are talking about the benefits, or all the cool stuff they are going to get you want to highlight that cool stuff using bullet points.

The reason you do that is because when the brain processes information visually it sees the benefits stacked together and it becomes bigger to them.  Instead of writing out all the benefits in sentence form, using comma after comma, and dragging it on, the person sees a list of stuff, and thinks they just hit the jackpot, and they feel as if they are getting a lot more value for their money.

So stack those bullets points.

Number two is having no energy in the writing of your sales letter.

You need to have enthusiasm in your sales letters, people need  to be able to sense your excitement through your writing. Your words need to explode with excitement.

The trick with this is to write with the same tone you would speak when you are excited about something, or when you are pitching your deal in person.

Read through your live sales presentation and see what words you use when you’re being enthusiastic and recreate that same feeling in your sales letter using the same words and proper punctuation.

Keep your sentences short and powerful. Don’t create long drawn out sentences because people will tune out, and you will lose them.

Now as far as punctuation is concerned, you can and should use exclamation points, but only to highlight the enthusiasm that already exists in the copy, not to substitute for lack of enthusiasm, the enthusiasm comes from the tonality, not the punctuation.

Ok, so be excited,

Mistake number three is focusing on features and not on benefits.

You have to focus on the benefits not the features of your product or service.  I know that you already know this, and you probably have heard it a million times, but people still focus on features and they wonder why their sales aren’t better.

Here is an example.  Let’s say you are out shopping for a new car, and the car salesman is telling you about the leather wrapped steering wheel, aluminum alloy wheels,  the 5.6 liter Twin Cam fuel injected whatever, those are all features.  I want to know that my hands are going to be kept warm on the winter days, that if I get into an accident the safety cage will protect me and my family, and that the engine is responsive enough to get me out of a bad situation or pass some yahoo that’s going 35MPH on the freeway.  I don’t care about the chrome heating vents, I want to know how the car is going to improve my life.

You want to use the same thinking when you are selling your product or service.  Remember to always connect back to benefits and tie it in with how it will reduce their pain.

Ok the next mistake is not using future pacing in your sales pitch.

What I mean by that is, when you are in your sales pitch you want to give them an idea of what the future will look like once they buy your product, or take your coaching.  You want to get them to imagine themselves being successful after buying your offer, so you want to say things like, ‘imagine yourself just a few months from now, owning your own business, driving the car you want…’. Your future pacing their success and letting them feel that buying your product is a good decision, that will get them out of pain.

Issue number five is not adding social proof or testimonials.

Social proof is the most powerful form of selling.  If you have two sales letters, one with testimonials, and one with no testimonials, which one do you think is going to convert better?

Some people buy solely on the fact that someone has used the product before, and had something good to say about it.  Their decision is based on whether they can see themselves benefitting from it as well.  Nobody wants to be the first person to try something.  Just think back to when you were a kid, and someone asked you to do something that you couldn’t be sure was safe, what did you say?  ‘I’ll do it if you do it right?  People want to see someone else take the leap first, and if they land on their feet, they will give it shot too.

So if you have good testimonials then use them, don’t leave them out.  If you don’t know how to ask for testimonial, go ahead and check out that post on this blog too.  It will walk you through how to get good testimonials for your business.

You do have to be careful about testimonials these days, because the FTC is really cracking down on anything that mentions money, or could be false claims.  So if your testimonials have any claims about income, make sure that they can be back up.

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