Jun 27, 2011

How to Write a Sales Letter

It's time to write that sales letter! If you sell anything at your Website, a program, a product, a service, or a course, don't miss today's article on how to write a "slippery slope" sales letter. You could be getting MANY more sales than you are now by following this simple 13-step formula.

This is the most popular of the many articles Ali has written, so enjoy!

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13 Steps to a Slippery Slope Online Sales Letter
by Alexandria K. Brown - The E-zine Queen
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Many of the solo professionals whom I coach are people who offer services. They're coaches, consultants, creatives. And many of them are also beginning to sell information products on their Web sites. They're smart to offer a lower-priced alternative to hiring them, and to sell a product that can gain them passive income.

But here's the problem: I see many of them trying to sell their e-book, tutorial, etc. on a regular Web page. They list a paragraph about the info-product and give the price, and they expect a slew of sales.

Wrong.

You need a special sales page that has a "slippery slope" sales letter.

Remember that game Chutes & Ladders? If you landed on a space that had a chute on it, you just went down, Baby. No turning back. That's how your sales letter should be - a "slippery slope" that pulls in the reader because it's so compelling and interesting.

Here's a basic outline of the 13 elements you want to include:

1. Limit your navigation.

The visitor should not be distracted by links that take her to your bio, other products, etc. The idea is to keep her on this page, reading your copy and leading her to order. So on this page, only have navigation that relates to the product (e.g. FAQs, Order now).

2. Give a powerful headline.

Your headline can make or break your sales. If it's not compelling, your visitor will click away. Here's an easy headline formula: "How to _________ So You Can ____________." Make sure the 2nd part gives a big benefit, for example, "double your business" or "gain peace of mind."

3. Discuss the problem the prospect has, or incorporate your own story.

Marketers call this "pushing the 'ouch' button." First discuss the problem or pain that the reader has, and then lead in to how your product will solve it. Or share your own failure-to-success story that the reader can empathize with.

4. Tell us who you are.

If I'm going to buy your stuff, I'd like to know why you're qualified to write about this topic. Give me the feeling that you've learned a lot about this topic and want to share it with me.

Even add a picture of yourself and an audio greeting, like I did. These help the reader instantly feel like she knows you better, increasing the "trust factor." And people buy from those they feel they know, like, and trust!

5. Use bullets like mini headlines.

Lay out everything I'll get from your product. Don't just list your table of contents verbatim! Turn each point into an exciting secret. For example, suppose your e-book features 5 tips on how to save money on groceries. That bullet could read, "Revealed: 5 ways you can save hundreds of dollars on your monthly grocery bill."

6. List plenty of testimonials.

Show your prospects they won't be the first to buy. It's more effective to weave-in testimonials throughout your sales letter than to have a separate section for them. Give each person's full name and Web address, and for extra power, post their photo and an audio testimonial as well.

7. Tell us why your product is such a great value.

How does the price of your product compare if I hired you one-on-one? For example, your manual is a great value at $49 if an hour consultation with you would run me $250.

8. Throw in a few great bonuses.

Offer special bonuses (preferably created by you) that are so good you could sell them alone if you wanted to. It could be a list of resources, a collection of articles, extra tips on a certain subject, or a free consultation.

9. Give an unconditional guarantee.

This puts your prospect at ease, giving her no reason to NOT buy. A few turkeys will take advantage of your generosity, but the amount of sales you GAIN from this strategy dramatically outweighs the risk.

10. Request immediate action by having a limited time offer.

Some sales pages use trick scripts to make it seem like the offer always ends on that day at midnight, but I find these insulting. If you really will be raising your price soon (and you always should be), list the exact date and stick to it. Otherwise just say it's an introductory, limited-time offer.

11. Make it ABSURDLY CLEAR what to do next.

Nothing bothers me more than when I'm at a Web site, I have my credit card ready, and I can't find the $%#@& order link! Make your order process idiot-proof. Example: "Click below to order now on our secure server." Also sprinkle in order links throughout your page -- some people will be ready to buy before they get to the bottom.

12. Make one last plea.

In your P.S., right after your signature, emphasize that I should act now. For example, "Don't miss out on this great opportunity. Remember, you can buy now and change your mind at anytime."

13. Don't forget your contact information!

Readers WILL have questions, so provide an e-mail address on your site that you or someone else will check at least daily. Also, don't you feel better buying from a Web site that lists a real address and phone number?

© 2003-20011 Alexandria Brown International Inc.

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Online entrepreneur Ali Brown publishes the award-winning 'Highlights on Marketing & Success' weekly e-zine with 36,000+ subscribers. If you're ready to jump-start your marketing, make more money, and have more fun in your small business, get your FREE tips now at AliBrown.com
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