Most online sales letters are just too complicated. They make the reader think too much.
If you want your readers to buy, you need to give them a very simple message that is aligned with a very simple belief they already hold.
Above all, as strange as it may seem, you don’t want them to think too much.
To illustrate what I mean, let’s take a peek at what politicians do, because they have to work within exactly the same constraints.
Consider a politician who wants to promote a bill that will increase the minimum wage.
He will do two things…
1. He’ll talk about how an increase to the minimum wage will lift millions of families above the poverty line. (A simple, positive message)
2. He’ll talk about how paying a fair wage is the right and decent thing to do. (Something that most people would agree with.)
What he won’t do is talk about the complexities that arise from raising the minimum wage. He won’t talk about the jump in payroll and insurance costs this will means to employers. He won’t talk about job losses, because many companies will protect their bottom line by firing employees rather than paying them more.
In other words, he won’t talk about the complexities of the issue. If he did that, he would find it much harder selling his bill.
The key takeaway here is that selling is not a debate class or a journalism class. You get no points for covering all the bases or presenting a balanced view.
Now let’s look at how this might play out in the word of marketing.
We’ll try selling a weight-loss product.
After looking through the briefing materials we see that a few people have managed to lose 20 pounds in two weeks when using the product.
True, they were the exceptions. And yes, they were particularly motivated individuals who also made big changes to their diets and their exercise regimes.
And yes, some people had side effects when taking the product. And in truth, 90% of people taking it didn’t lose any weight at all.
But at this point you have to decide whether you want to be a copywriter or a journalist.
Because as copywriters it isn’t our job to tell the full story. It’s our job to find that one simple message.
Here it is: “Lose up to 20 pounds in just two weeks.”
And we are going to pair it with a simple belief that is already held by most of our readers: “People who lose weight become more attractive to the opposite sex.”
As we write our sales letter and our supporting emails, we’re going to remain focused just on these two points. Yes, we’ll find other information to play supporting roles. But we’ll never allow them to distract our readers from the primary message and the primary belief.
Remember, just like the politician, it absolutely won’t serve our interests to have our readers thinking about the broader complexities of the issue.
The more our readers think, the less we will sell.
Our job is to keep our readers on the straight and narrow, focusing only on the one message and one belief we have chosen to communicate.
Do that and you’ll see a big jump in your sales letter conversion rates.
About the author: Nick Usborne is an online writer, copywriter, author and coach. Read more…
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