5 Must Have Questions In A Sales Letter
People have included all kinds of sales pitch in their sales letter but sometimes still wouldn’t achieve the results they want. The importance of a sales letter is likened to having a retail shop to sell stuff. If the looks of your shop isn’t delivering a good impression, no one will be going to buy your stuff.
Thus, you must make sure that your sales letter have answers to the most basic questions, and instill interest in your visitors towards your product just with these five specific questions:
1. What’s in it for me?
The number one rule of salesmanship – people only buy for one reason, which is for getting the results from a product, what they will receive out of it. To achieve this, you must be quick in catching their attention beginning with your headline. Create a very convincing headline and tell your visitors what they will get in one shot through your headline.
2. How will my life be better?
This is where you have to understand the emotional appeals that attract your prospects like moths to a flame. Do they want to become richer, smarter, better looking, thinner or more popular? Do they want to save time, money or effort?
Study your niche market until you know what emotional buttons to push and you’ll see a huge increase in your sales instantly. Use their desires to attract themselves, that’s where you will get them nodding their heads and continue reading right until the end.
3. Why should I trust you?
People are skeptical when it requires them to take out their wallets in order to buy a certain product. You need to clear their doubts by providing positive testimonials from your previous customers and emphasize the benefits of your product.
If you don’t have testimonials for your product, search for forums related to your niche and offer to give a complimentary copy in exchange for a testimonial – usually you will get a response in no time.
4. What will happen if I say no?
You are not going to let them say no, that’s it. Remind them about the problems that they are having, the frustrations, how much money will they lose, or how sad their lives are currently – and tell them how they can change all of them in one shot, just by a small investment in your product.
5. Will I be stuck with your product?
This is where you seal the deal. Tell them that you provide a 100% satisfaction guarantee, they must get it now. The most important thing is to make them buy, and the rest depends on their choices. 70% of the people who purchase a product will not refund it unless they have seen something similar before or they’ve planned to only “borrow” it since the beginning.
When you have all these points to answer your prospects’ questions in your sales letter, not only will you gain an unfair advantage over your competition but also let your prospect know that you care about their problems and you have the solution that they need.
A Day in the Life of a Freelance Copywriter
Ever wanted a job where you could spend all day, every day, writing clever and inspiring prose? Yes? Well don’t become a freelance copywriter!
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great job, and for some of us it’s a calling that won’t be denied. And you definitely do get to write clever and inspiring prose.
It’s just that you don’t do it all day, every day. In fact, when you sit down at the end of the day and think about what you’ve done, the percentage of time spent writing is surprisingly low.
So what does a freelance copywriter do other than write copy? Well, basically, they run a business.
This article discusses 11 daily rituals involved with running a freelance website copywriting or advertising copywriting business (other than writing).
It also provides some tips for performing them successfully.
Freelance copywriters serve many masters. They generally have quite a few clients, and spend quite a bit of time quoting on new jobs. When you quote, you’re calculating how much to charge for the job.
For a freelance copywriter, there are a number of important factors influencing quoting. You need to have some way to accurately estimate time. Generally the best way to achieve this is to be diligent in your tracking.
If you know how long past jobs have taken you, you’ll be much more confident and accurate in your estimates. You need to know how much time you spend not writing (as you should try to cover as much of this as possible).
You need to have a feel for what the client is prepared to pay (are they a big or small company, how highly do they seem to value copy, etc.). You need to know how much your competitors are charging for the same thing.
You need to understand what differentiates you from your competitors. You need to think about how badly you want or need the work. And, of course, you need to estimate how time-consuming the client will be.
2) Submitting Proposals
A quote is not the same as a proposal. A quote is generally contained within a proposal, but it’s not the same thing. When you submit a copywriting proposal, you’re marketing your skills, your solution, your work ethic, your customer service, your commitment, and your experience.
Basically, you’re justifying your price, and differentiating yourself from your competition. And it’s not just about WHAT you say. It’s also HOW you say it and how you PRESENT it.
Everything about your proposal plays a part in the client’s decision! If possible, include additional helpful information. Use a title page, a table of contents, headers, and footers.
Introduce at the beginning and summarize at the end. Include your price, but call it an “investment”, not a “cost”. Show the client you’ve thought their job through by summarizing their requirements.
Outline your proposed solution. And most importantly, give the client a clear call to action (“Where to from here?”).
3) Chasing reviews
The freelance copywriter is almost never the bottleneck in a copywriting job. In 99.99% of copywriting jobs, the bottleneck is the review process. Most clients take a long time to review.
In fact, about a third of clients need to be prompted at least once before they’ll get back to you with their changes. It’s not uncommon for a one-day writing job to take a full month to reach sign-off – or longer.
Some clients will put the copy review on the backburner for months (just another reason to request a deposit before commencement of work)!
As a result, freelance advertising copywriters and website copywriters spend a lot of time chasing reviews. Make sure you factor the delay and the chasing time into your quotes as best you can.
And always record which clients take a long time, so you can be prepared when discussing deadlines on the next job.
4) Project scheduling & tracking
No matter whether you work on big projects or small, project scheduling and tracking are vital. You need to know the exact status of all work in progress (tracking), and you also need to be very aware of what’s coming up and how you’ll manage it (planning).
If you’re doing it right, you should be using your tracking and planning tools several times a day. In fact, they should be the hub of your business. TIP: A good way to track copywriting projects is to use a job (and contact) tracking database.
I created my own database using Microsoft Access. Visit http://www.divinewrite.com/downloads/contacts and jobs.mdb to download a 208KB working copy for FREE.
You’ll need Microsoft Access 2000 to run it. I’m no database expert, so it’s not a work of art. It’ll certainly get you started though. (TIP: When using the database, press Ctrl + ; to enter today’s date.)
Issuing invoices, processing payments (and part payments), chasing outstanding invoices, recording expenses, managing bank accounts, putting tax aside… It all takes a lot of time.
Don’t be fooled into thinking you can handle your accounts manually (or with Microsoft Excel). Even if you only have a few clients, you NEED a proper accounts package like MYOB or Quicken (they both offer small business versions).
You’ll understand why the first time you do your GST reports or annual taxes. In fact, you’ll understand why whenever you need to chase down outstanding invoices
6) Visiting clients
Although the wonders of modern email let a freelance copywriter get through about 95% of their work without ever leaving the office, it’s sometimes still a good idea to do things the ‘old-fashioned’ way – especially if you expect to work with them quite a bit.
Shake hands and put a face to a name. And remember, everything about the meeting reflects on you and your business. As with your proposals, think about WHAT you say, HOW you say it, how you PRESENT.
Always organize the meeting with plenty of notice, confirm the day before the meeting, be on time, summarize the meeting, and provide a call to action. (Try to do these last two both at the end of the meeting and via email after the meeting.)
7) Office admin
Even for a low overhead business like copywriting, there’s always something! Changing phone plans, upgrading/fixing computers, your internet service is down, your website is temporarily unavailable, you’re enhancing your data storage procedures, you need new printer or fax ink cartridges…
Office administration takes up a surprisingly large chunk of your day. Make sure you allow for it. This means allowing time to do the work, and factoring that time into your quotes. If you don’t, you’ll be continually working into the wee hours and/or losing money.
8) Marketing strategy
How do you generate business?
Cold calls? (See http://www.divinewrite.com/coldcallingcopywriter.htm.)
Website? (See http://www.divinewrite.com/articles.htm for numerous website & SEO articles.)
Word of mouth?
Agencies? (See also http://www.divinewrite.com/freelancecopywriting.htm for some tips on succeeding as a freelance copywriter.)
No matter what your strategy, you need to give it the time it deserves.
It’s a good idea to average around an hour a day to thinking about and implementing marketing strategy.
9) Industry research
Stay up to date on the latest copywriting industry research. Read research on usability, readability, and scannability (visit http://www.useit.com or http://www.goodexperience.com and subscribe to their newsletters).
Read up on search engine optimization (see http://www.divinewrite.com/SEOCEO.htm or try subscribing to a newsletter from http://www.webpronews.com or http://www.site-reference.com).
Try to track how day-to-day language is changing (what buzz words to use, what buzz words to avoid, what rules are being overlooked in spoken English, what sounds make a positive impression on people, etc.).
Know the difference between writing for the web versus writing for print versus writing for search engines (see http://www.divinewrite.com/articles.htm for some relevant articles). If you want to scratch the surface, spend 10 minutes every day.
10) Subject matter research
Whether it’s website copywriting or advertising copywriting, to do a good job, you need to know a lot about your subject material. This means both specific knowledge about the client’s product or service as well as more generic ‘domain’ knowledge.
Clients have a tendency to not supply enough information. Make sure you interview them thoroughly. And then let them know you’ll probably need to ask further questions.
Even then, you may find yourself doing a bit of independent research. The Internet is your savior, but always run any information by your client before publishing.
When you’re quoting on a job, try to figure out how much detail the client will be able to supply. You can even ask them to estimate how much they’ll supply (i.e. All, Most, Some, or None).
This is a good technique as it gets them thinking about your requirements while at the same time giving you some idea how much time you’ll spend researching.
In one important respect, website copywriting and advertising copywriting are no different from any other form of writing; planning is vital.
For more specific planning information, see http://www.divinewrite.com/benefits.htm and http://www.divinewrite.com/webbenefitwriting.htm.
Business To Business Copywriting Secrets
If you want to increase your marketing results and get more qualified leads, you will need to improve the effectiveness of the copywriting on your website, print ads, emails and direct mail.
This is vital because copywriting is your “salesperson in cyberspace, in print and in the mail” … and great salesmanship produces great sales … average salesmanship gets only average or worse results.
Here are the copywriting tips that will improve your marketing results. These are proven based on our copywriting work for over 450 businesses since 1978.
This is a list of what your prospect is thinking as he reads your marketing copy. It’s important to make sure everything is addressed on this list. If you do this, your marketing results will improve dramatically.
1. You’d better have done your research to know what benefits I want most from your type of product or service. If you don’t, I won’t even notice you, and if I do, I won’t even give you a hearing.
2. What do you do? How will it help me? I need to know “what’s in it for me” instantly or I’m gone.
3. Why should I believe you?
4. I already have a supplier for that – why should I listen to you?
5. Make it easy for me to read, understand, navigate, and “scan” your marketing material.
6. I want a specialized expert in your field for my situation or my needs or my type of business.
7. Don’t bore me! I’m sick of corporate talk, business buzz terms and mumbo-jumbo. Almost all business marketing is very dull and boring and I won’t read it.
8. I want ALL the details and specs, including product information, product applications, CAD drawings and plans, costs and shipping. A ThomasNet.com study finds a very large percentage of buyers say these details are not readily available.
9. I want to read copywriting from a real live person talking to me person to person, and not from some emotionless corporation.
10. I won’t admit it on the record, but I make purchases based on my emotions. Sure I need logic and features for verification, but if you can touch my emotions, I’m much more likely to buy from you.
11. I badly want more from my life than just work. I’m very interested in saving time, work and stress.
12. Make it easy for me! You list many different things I can do and I’m confused. What one thing should I do now and why?
13. Don’t overload your website or brochure with fluff – stick only to relevant and helpful information I need. I’m tired of all the irrelevant “filler” information on the web and I won’t read through it anymore.
14. Compare your product or service against your competitors for me if it is really as good as you say it is. Be honest, as I’ll see through any favoritism.
15. Be specific; generalities go right into my garbage.
16. What’s your guarantee?
17. How can I test your product, service or company first, in a low or no cost way, before I make a large commitment?
18. Help me justify the investment to my boss on an ROI basis.
These copywriting secrets applied properly are a main reason one website, direct mail piece or ad can pull 2 to 3 times the response as another for the same product or service. This is why the most successful marketers hire the best outside freelance copywriters they can afford.
Copy Makeovers Made Easy
Copy makeovers can work magic.
Perhaps all you need is a little medicine… and not major surgery. Take whatever sales copy you have now and modify it. Recast, rework and repackage what you’ve got.
Chances are you’re sitting on some solid (yet hidden) sales material. Often simple copy makeovers can work wonders in terms of response. So, before you crumple it up and toss your sales letter in the trash, try tweaking it first. You might be surprised at the result.
Here are 3 simple steps to complete copy makeovers…
Copy Makeovers — Strategy #1: Create A More Compelling Headline.
This is critical. The headline is the first thing your audience sees. It either “grabs” prospects by the jugular… or it doesn’t. If the headline fails, nothing else matters much because it won’t even get a fair reading.
Make your headline and/or sub-heading alluring. Talk to your prospect about what is most important to her. Think in terms of the BIG BENEFIT your product offers and deliver it in a captivating and compelling way.
Craft a handful of words that attract attention, identify specific target markets, and deliver enough interest and intrigue to pull true prospects inside. If you’re struggling with your headline, just think about the greatest advantage your product offers and promise it right up front.
Copy Makeovers — Strategy #2: Take The “YOU” Point Of View.
You’re weight-loss story might be admirable, but what does it mean to your reader or prospect? Talk about yourself and the audience turns off. Talk to your reader one-on-one about something important in her life… and you’ve got her undivided attention – at least momentarily.
If you could re-shape your story… if you could express it in a way that was more meaningful to your individual readers, you’d quickly capture their interest.
There’s a difference between telling your audience that you lost X number of pounds… and telling them how they can lose X pounds, enjoy the process, and feel terrific about their slim, new look.
Remember the old marketing phrase “What’s In It For Me?” Everything your prospect reads gets filtered through this frame of reference. With each statement you make, your audience is thinking… “So What? What does this have to do with me in my situation? How does this help me?”
If the answer isn’t obvious immediately, off they go and you lose the sale. Many times the decision to stay or go is made in the blink of an eye – and often unconsciously.
Copy Makeovers — Strategy #3: Turn Your Bullet Points Into Irresistible, Benefit-Packed Mini-Headlines.
Make each bullet a “grabber” in its own right. Prospects tend to scan certain segments of an ad or sales letter, to determine if it offers something they really want.
While many marketers use bullets in their sales letters, most settle for weak bullet point copy — copy that lacks enthusiasm and passion.
If you’re going to employ this powerful sales tool, you might as well make the most of it. Craft your bullet points with the same emotion and magnetic appeal, as you’d inject into a major headline. After a while, this gets easier to do.
Bullet points are one of those sales letter components that have the power to quickly stimulate intense reader interest. Use them for all they’re worth by making each point justify itself. Each and every bullet point should be capable of compelling the reader to read on — with heightened desire and interest.
Before you do anything else, try implementing these simple copy makeover strategies. You just might notice an immediate improvement in your conversion rate.
More Resources at www.makeyoursalessoar.com