Sales letters are still the main way to sell something online. While you can find them in different forms, ranging from VSL (video sales letter), classical landing pages, webinars and hybrids, they are all based about on the same principles – AIDA.
AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, Action.
In other words, if you want to influence someone to do whatever you want, you need to capture their attention, make them interested in what you have to sell, make them desire it by showing how it can improve their life and persuade them to take action.
Writing sales copy is no easy deal. It’s a skill you learn in months if not years of practice and studying. However, there are some shortcuts you can take in order to make sure that your letter is relatively effective.
The first thing you can do is make sure that you cover the AIDA principle. There are a lot of formats in sales copy but this is the simplest and most effective. It all comes down to …
… get his attention by using an interesting headline that appeals to his self-interest.
… present the features and the benefits of the product (features and what the product is, benefits is what it does) so you can interest the prospect.
… show how these benefits will impact his life directly by linking his needs with what your product does.
… show him what he wins by taking action and buying your product and what he’ll lose if he does not take action now.
Sales copy in general is conversational and second person oriented. In other words, it must sound as a conversation you have with a friend. You don’t talk to a group, you talk to a single person, the person who you want to buy your product. Yes, I know that there is a group, not a single person but your letter will be read by a person, not a committee.
Sales copy focuses on the benefit, not on the feature. Poor copywriters focus on what something is. Good copywriters focus on what it does. People don’t buy stuff in general for what it is but rather for what it does for them.
A person does not buy a car for it’s physical aspect but rather for the functionality to get him from A to B. A person does not buy an MP3 player for it’s ability to last 9 hours of continuous playing but rather for the ability to listen to music all day without recharging.
A girl does not buy a new skirt because it will keep her warm but because she wants to feel attractive and sexy. All of this seems common sense, seems boring to some degree but if you understand this, if you understand that you must sell what it does, the benefit and not what it is, you’ll be able to write amazing copy in no time.
Finally, the quickest way to sell something is to first create a feature / reason why / benefit table. In other words, create three columns.
In the first column you’ll write the feature. If you have a book that has a chapter on traveling in Japan, that is a feature. The reason why is why it’s important for the prospect. Why it’s important to travel in Japan? Because you’ll discover a new and exciting culture there, one which is very different from the western world.
And finally, the benefit is what this chapter does for the prospect. This chapter can teach you how to get lower ticket prices, cheap accomodations, how to blend in with the locals and even how to learn a crude form of JApanese in less than one month.
Do this every time you want to create a sales copy and you’ll have the job of selling half done.