Simple Copywriting

Hey, Troy Moore from marketingwithtroy.com. Today’s post will give you a few simple copywriting solutions.

So the idea here is that you have a sales letter set up. Maybe you wrote it; maybe somebody else wrote it. But you want to make a little few adjustments to make it convert better. You want to get more opt-ins, more sales, more blog comments, whatever.

So I’ve got a handful of ideas that you can just go through this list and figure out if your sales letter is missing any of these things. Now I don’t want you to try to implement every single thing I’m going to give you, but if you see one thing that kind of pops out at you, just try to implement it.

So the first thing you should try is when you look at a sales letter see if there’s a hook. If you have a headline that just says, “Who else wants to learn about organic gardening?” That’s not a hook. A hook needs a reason why people should read the story. So what does it have that jumps out at you? Does it defy conventional logic? Does it give people a promise or a benefit?

If you are reading someone else’s sales letter that had the same headline and the same story as you, would they read it? If someone else reads it, do they get lost? And can you read it aloud?

Print It Out!

So if I have a sales letter and I’m totally stuck – I don’t know what to change – I’ll print it out and I’ll read it aloud. And just by reading it aloud you take the time to digest all the words, and you take the time to read it slowly enough that you can figure out if you have any spelling mistakes, if you have any weird sentences, or stuff that doesn’t make sense.

So the easy way to figure out if you have a hook by looking at your sales letter is figure out is it interesting somehow? Does it shock and awe people? Does it surprise people? Does it go against what people normally think? And if it doesn’t, then you should revise your opener and your headline to do some of those things.

Another idea: The squeeze page. So you have your regular sales letter set up. You have your headline, your story, your reasons to buy, benefits, testimonials, whatever. You have all these things convincing somebody to click on an order button.

What would happen if you set up a second page that asked people for an e-mail address before they could even read the sales letter? So maybe you’d give them the first half a page, or maybe you’d give them a few benefits in bullet points, or you bribe them with a totally different report, or you take out one of the chapters to your product and make that its own separate freebie, or whatever. But you just get people on a mailing list somehow. And after they type in their name and e-mail address, then you will show them the sales letter. So you have all these people who were about to buy but for whatever reason didn’t and now you can follow up with them via e-mail.

Add New Domain

You don’t even have to give up your existing traffic. You could take a totally new domain name and set up your headline and your five best bullet points from the entire sales letter, ask for a name and e-mail address and just put that on a page just with that info and opt-in box, and then send them to your real domain.

So say I had my simplecopywriting.com sales letter that had a quick description and a buy button. Maybe I could have a new domain name like copywritingoncrack or copywritingquickhints. I don’t know; I’m just thinking of something off the top of my head, but you can register a totally new domain name and even for content if you have one of your articles, you can slap that up on there and use it as content so that the search engines will like it and so that you can give people something to read to prove that you have good information.

And if you really wanted to go all out on this, you could record a quick talking head autoplay video convincing people to opt-in. So you point the camera at yourself ; you take your flip camera, your digital camera, put it on a tripod, whatever. Point it at yourself and then speak for 30 to 60 seconds telling people why they should give up their e-mail address and what you have to give them in return.

And set it depending on your video settings – I use Camtasia – but depending on your video settings, you can have it automatically start playing when the page loads. So if you have traffic coming from forums or from Pay Per Click traffic, from people who don’t know you, the autoplay video is a good way to establish instant rapport because suddenly they see your face; they hear your voice, and they get your sales message without having to do any kind of reading.

Tackle Sub Headline

Quick fix idea #3: The sub-headline. I’m the kind of guy who I like to have a subheadline, the main headline, and then two or three extra sub-headlines. So if you have a really, really long headline, you might want to try to split it up into a subheadline and a headline. So if you have too many ideas, like you have three or four ideas, then pull out one of the ideas and put it into the sub-headline and then keep the rest of the headline as it is.

Remove large and distracting graphics. So I know you like to have your branding. You like to have the name of your product in huge letters, and it takes up half the screen. Or you have this artsy design, this web 2.0 design that takes up freakin’ half the screen.

Then people go to your website and the graphics take forever to load, and then they have to scroll down just to read what you have to say, and by then you’ve probably lost their interest. So I’ve noticed a huge boost in conversion rates anytime I bring down the size of my graphics.

So I like to bring my graphics down to like 100/150 pixels high. And I just cram it all the way at the top and then have my headline and sub-headlines and so on. And lately I’ve even done away with graphics. I don’t like having logos anymore. I hate having to wait around for the graphic designers to make them. It takes a little tiny bit out of my profit margin, and it hurts my conversion rates. So why would I want all that? Instead, have good headlines.

Enter the So What

So how do you come up with a good headline? Use the so what technique.

So let’s say you sold an e-book about how to teach your child self-defense. So you say, “I’ve got 7 simple tips on how you can allow your child to perform all the ancient Chinese kung fu drop kicks and fist pumps that most people don’t know about.”

That’s an OK benefit. So you teach your kid how to punch and kick, but so what? You’ve got a little bit of interest because you’ve got the ancient Chinese stuff and a little bit of curiosity, so how can I do all this with just seven tips? But I say so what?

And then maybe you might reply, “All right, for my level 2 headline I’ll revise it to, ‘In less than 30 minutes, your child will be able to impress his friends and avoid bullies and get more confidence while he’s going to school.’” So that’s your response to the so what.

So instead of just he can kick, and he can punch, you say, “He can do it in 30 minutes, and he can get more friends, and he can get rid of bullies.”

So you write that down and you say, “So what?” You can say, “All right, he’ll get more friends; get rid of bullies. That will allow him to get better grades, and he’ll have a skill that will travel with him later in life. And he will be able to protect his family if he has one or prevent himself from injury or even death. So you could say, “Teach your child to prevent himself, his future family, his friends, his co-workers from injury or even death from just 30 minutes of training using these 7 ancient Chinese tips that can work at any age.”

Isn’t that a cooler headline than, “Oh, just learn these 7 tips on how to kick and how to punch.” So just by asking yourself “so what,” you kind of break the headline down into more useful terms, and you make it more specific, and you kind of make it more

of a broad appeal. I know it doesn’t seem like you can give something more broad appeal by making it more specific, but that’s just how it works.

And you might think I’m full of crap, but I just thought of that niche off the top of my head, and I revised that headline off the top of my head.

So that’s another way to try to boost your conversion. So take an existing headline and try to pull out a good benefit by using the “so what” technique and make a subheadline; or even if the sub-headline is good enough, then remove the original headline and promote that sub-headline to the headline.

Quick Fix #4: Scruffys. So I know you’ve seen these sales letters with lots and lots of texts and huge, chunky paragraphs and endless bullet points. And they’re kind of boring. It’s really easy to scroll through and skip over a lot of the text, even the text that’s supposed to be important.

Take advantage of scruffies!

So to counteract this you add graphics. And you know how I feel about graphics. I don’t like big, huge graphics that distract, but I do like graphics that draw in attention. So you can add these things called scruffys. And you’ve probably seen them. They’re graphics that do things like underline text in a real like sloppy line as if someone wrote a marker on the page. Or you take a red arrow that’s pointing to a very important paragraph or you have the text “true story” right underneath a real story. Or you have a pointing finger, or you have a screenshot. You just add some kind of a stock photo, even a tiny clock just to say, “Here’s a really quick tip that you’ll learn after you buy my course.”

So just go through your sales text and if you have two-thirds of a page of just text, then decide – think about what your sales letter is talking about and go to Google images and find an appropriate image.

I had a sales letter once where we were all talking about a goldfish. I can’t remember what it was about, but it was something like the goldfish only has an attention span of two seconds. So that’s how a lot of your customers are, and I had some kind of attention grabbing PHP script or something. But I put a little picture of a goldfish right next to the paragraph. So people would be scrolling and they’d say, “What the heck? I’m reading about a PHP script, and he’s got a picture of a goldfish here.” And then they end up reading the paragraph, and they get sucked into the story, and they’ve got to read the whole entire story to know how the goldfish relates to this PHP script I’m talking about.

So that’s how you do it. You could even open up your graphics editor like Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro or whatever, and you draw in the underlined stuff or write the text “true story” using the paintbrush tool. Or you just go to Google images and find pictures of clocks, arrows, pointing fingers, or you make screenshots if it’s appropriate of your software program or of your HTML templates or of your manual in action; or if you have a dog training product show a picture of a dog. Do like a

before and after photo or just a photo of yourself. Just have some kind of graphics to draw attention to the slow parts of the copy.

Alternate Letter

Quick fix #5: Alternate Letter. One time I wrote a sales letter, and like I write most sales letters, I banged it out in a couple of hours. And then I went to go and upload it to my site, and I realized I already had a sales letter there. So I had this product, and about a month or two prior I had written a sales letter for it, and I totally forgot about it.

But then when I was ready to launch it, I wrote a new sales letter unaware that I had the original one finished. And so I had these two different sales letters. It was the exact same product, but they all hit on totally different benefits, and they had totally different stories. So it might help sometimes to just rewrite your sales letter with a fresh mind. If you’re really devoted to a product and you’re really devoted to making it convert better, write it with a fresh mind. Or if you don’t like to write copy, pay someone else to write it and don’t show them the original sales letter. List all the benefits, give them the product, maybe even rename the product to prevent them from going out and doing a Google search, and just write it with a fresh mind.

And these four questions are what I like to ask myself. I learned this from Jason Fladlien’s bare essence talk copy. You ask yourself these four questions:

What will the reader do? So when they’re viewing your page, what do you want them to do? Do you want them to buy your product? Do you want them to opt into a list? What is the call to action? And if it’s a book make sure you mention what the book is. So it’s like, “Here’s what I want you to do. I want you to click my dog- training guide and figure out the 12 ways you can teach your dog to run twice as fast without any work at all. You just follow these simple directions and they will work on any breed of dog, no matter what age, no matter what time of the day, no matter how impatient you are or how difficult your dog is.”

Then you ask, “What do these people want and desire?” So you kind of said that in the call to action, but you think what do they want and desire? They don’t necessarily want to do the training of the dog. They want the dog to already be trained, so you want to skip over that. You want to skip over the work, and just skip right to the result. The result is that the dog can run super fast and will get tired out more quickly; so he will require less upkeep because he’ll run faster, and when it’s playtime he’ll tire himself out quicker. And he’ll have more fun because he won’t just be moping around the house. And he’ll live longer because he’ll be working his heart and his muscles and everything. So what they want and desire is a dog that’s very happy, that’s always exercising, lives twice as long, and is as low maintenance as possible.

Then you write down what are the top objections. So you have this dog training system: How do you make your dog run faster? What are the top objections? Will my dog run too far away from me? You can say, “No, your dog will not run too far

away from you because your dog will still be the same person. You’re not brainwashing or hypnotizing the dog. You’re just teaching him a few techniques on how to run faster.” So he’ll run faster, but he’ll still be loyal to you. And if you play catch, he’s not going to run twice as far. He’s going to run and go and get the bone and bring it back to you twice as fast. So that’s objection #1. And then you can have another objection like, ”What about my Chihuahua? He’s really tiny and I’m afraid that if he runs really fast then he’ll have a heart attack and die.” And you can say, “Well, I’ve tried this on all kinds of tiny little dogs and big dogs and middle-sized dogs. And they all liked it, and none of them died of a heart attack. In fact, many of them lived two or three extra long lives. You might even segue into a personal story of a dog. Like maybe you saved some dog off the street and he was really tired, but then you tried this system on him, and he got right back into good health. I don’t know, but you just think of some real objection that people are asking for. And you know these objections either by looking on forums and seeing what common questions are, or maybe you’re a dog trainer yourself because you have this dogtraining product. So you answer the top objections.

And then you finally say, “Why should they order right now?” You can say, “This is an introductory price, and I’m going to double the price very soon from 20 bucks to 40 bucks because a lot of people are getting their hands on this. And I want to add more content later so I’m going to have the high price to justify it.” Or you can simply just say, “You should order right now because your dog isn’t going to live forever. It’s tough, but it’s true. And you want him or her to be around for as long as possible, and you want to have the most amount of fun. So you should order right now so you can put these tips into action today. Maybe if you see your dog in the same room as you and he’s sitting over there on his little bed and he’s just not feeling good, well you can give him a big smile on his face and turn his life around right now.

So those are the four questions you ask. You ask: What will the reader do? What action will they do after reading your letter? Like ordering now. What do they want and desire? So what is going to be the end result? What are the top objections to fulfilling that desire? And why should they order right now? What’s the urgency?

So you just take your existing product and you write a totally new sales letter. And if you only answer these questions, the rest of the benefits will write themselves, and you’ll have a style that’s way different than the original letter. And you can just take the benefits in the new sales letter and merge them into the old one. So you’re just thinking up more benefits that you didn’t think of the first time around that you wrote the copy.

And like I said, you don’t have to write this yourself. You can have another copywriter write the letter. And maybe you want to integrate his benefits into your old sales letter. Or maybe you want to take the benefits of your old sales letter and integrate them into the benefits for your new sales letter. There’s lots of things you can do to tweak this alternate letter.

More Buy Buttons!

Quick fix #6: More order buttons. If you have a really long sales letter, I know that you think that once people are committed to buy they’ll scroll down to the bottom of the page, but a lot of people won’t. Maybe your audience isn’t used to long copy. Maybe they are just lazy or have a low attention span. So what I like to do is if I have a long sales letter, like a 12-page letter, I’ll have an order button on every single page.

If you have a multipage sales letter that scrolls and scrolls and scrolls, you want to ask them to buy 9-12 times instead of just once or twice.

Even with a short sales letter I’ll try to have two or three buy buttons, and I’ll try to cram one or two benefits at the very beginning, at the very first page above the fold, and then I’ll explain what I’m selling. I’m selling a package of PHP scripts or some HTML templates or some videos or an e-book or maybe some kind of combination of all these things.

But the second they realize everything there is in this package that I have to offer, I’ll stick in a buy button. And if they want to buy right then they can, but if not they can keep reading.

Make it a graphical button instead of a link. So get a graphics designer who knows marketing to make a fancy button that matches your site or tell them to make an orange button with black text that looks really well.

And if you see a sales letter that you really like and you really like the way their graphical order button is, go to your graphics designer and say, “Here, can you copy this? Make a button that looks like this, but it matches my site instead of theirs.” Have it the same shape and size and font and shininess or whatever.

And the clearer the price of your product on the button itself – I know that there is two camps on this. One camp says that if people see the price too early on they’ll get scared. The other camp says that you should show the price right away so they know what they’re getting into. You should show the price right away because with all this upsells and one-time offers and expiring offers and dime sales and discounts and time limits and stuff, people want to get locked into a certain price.

Many people will click over to your order page just to see how much your freaking thing costs. I know this happened a lot of the time with me. One time I promoted this guy’s ClickBank product where he did not show the price on the order button. And I tracked the number of click thru’s to the button because I had a redirect on the button. So the sales letter was hosted on my site, but the order button redirected to his site so I could track the number of clicks.

And it was like a 50 percent click thru, so half the people who viewed my affiliate sales letter clicked on the order button. And I messed up the tracking, and I wasn’t able to track actual purchases, I think. And so I asked how many sales did you get today because I knew that no one else had been promoting, and I could claim all the
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affiliate sales today as my own. And he’s like, “There were two sales, dude.” And I’m like, “What the heck? There were over a hundred people who clicked onto that buy button, but why did only a few of them actually buy?” Because those 50 percent were the curiosity clicks.

And you don’t want your viewers to be clicking around. You want to make it as simple as possible for them – hint, hint – this is called simple copywriting. You want to make it as simple as possible for them. If they have to click on something to figure out the price and then click back, you’re making it too hard and many of them will just leave. And that’s what happened to me when I promoted this sales letter with no price on the order button.

So if you want to experiment with order buttons, try adding more to your sales copy. And if you want to test it, just have two different payment buttons that go to the same download page and figure out which one gets more clicks. Or replace it with a graphical button or declare the price on the button itself.

Add Video and Audio

Quick fix #7: Add video and audio. So this is the same idea with the landing page when you recorded a video of yourself explaining your offer. Only if you think you’re ugly or if you keep trying to record with a video camera and you just can’t get it, but then only save the audio and add a flash audio player to your site that loads when the page loads.

So you could still express your personality, express your voice, but it’s easier than doing audio. But make sure that it’s an intro to an offer. Don’t be like most of the world and say, “Welcome to my website. Feel free to look around,” or something stupid like that. Give them some kind of time limited thing. Think of it as a commercial.

If you really wanted to get your money’s worth out of a commercial, you would make a promotion just for the people who watched the commercial. So you could say, “You get the first chapter for free” or “You get free shipping” or “You get 50 percent off” or something like that. And you only make it for the people who viewed the audio message. You could say, “Hey, I’m just like you, and I want my dog to be healthy so here is my teach your dog to be healthy learning system (whatever the name of your product is.)” Hit on a bullet point or two. And then say, “I have a special just for this month only where you can get half off if you buy two copies of my product; 2 of my DVD’s, you get the second one free.”

Or you could add the video further down the page. So if you explained a bunch of things in bullet points and one was kind of hard to understand, you could record a tiny little video showing it.

So I sell PHP scripts. And if I had a script that no matter how many times that I explained it just didn’t make sense and people had to see it to understand it, I would record a video of me using that script and putting it in the benefit. This also has the side effect of showing proof. You can prove that something works by showing the video of it.

Or you can add a video guarantee. So you get people to read all the way down, and then they get to the time nearest to order and they might bookmark it or they might just leave. A lot of people won’t buy; so you add your guarantee, and you say, “After 60 days you can get all your money back no questions asked. Just send me a quick e-mail.” But instead of just typing that – or maybe you could type it, but also add a video of yourself saying the exact same thing. So not only is there the guarantee, but there is trust because they see you giving them that message.

Add Exit Pop

Quick fix #8: Exit pop-up. So you can have a lot of traffic that just for whatever reason they leave. So you go to your trusty autoresponder and you write out a four part e-course. Doesn’t have to be fancy. You can just think of four tips in your niche; four tips about how to win at video poker. They can just be half a page each. It doesn’t even have to be article length. Or you can take one article and take out the four ideas and make each one of those a follow-up.

But you just make a four part e-course; space them out one or two days apart. So someone comes to your site, and when they go to leave this pop-up appears – hint, actionpopup.com – hint, hint – and so the pop-up appears where they can type in their name and e-mail address. And when they opt-in, every day or two they get another tip from you. And at the end of the tip you say, “Oh, by the way, if you haven’t yet bought my video poker secrets course, here it is right here.” So for now you just use the pop-up to get a quick opt-in.

And I need to tell you that you need to make this so that you send affiliates to a different page. So you don’t want your affiliates to build your list. You want your affiliates to bring you sales and your own traffic build your list. But I just can tell you that as an affiliate I get so angry when I send traffic to somebody else’s site, and there’s a chance for people to put in their name and e-mail address and then I lose a sale and he gains an opt-in subscriber. How fair is that? I’m giving up traffic; I’m giving up parts of my list for him, and I get nothing in return.

So keep it away from affiliates, but for now just get a quick opt-in. And then later if you can get your hands on some kind of survey software, make it a poll to find out why they didn’t buy. And a hint about this is you never want to – when you figure out why they didn’t buy, never reuse the ”it was too expensive.” So you can have choices like “it was too complicated” or “it didn’t make sense” or “I don’t need it right now” and “it was too expensive.” You look at the first three responses, but never ever ever that it cost too much.

Add Affiliate Solo Ad

Quick fix #9: Affiliate solo ad. So for this step you take your sales letter and you condense it down into an article’s length. Condense it down into a page. 250-500 words. And at the end of the so-called article you lead into a sales pitch, and you get someone to click an affiliate link that loads your sales letters. The idea here is that you have a copy and paste advertisement for affiliates that they can add as a blog post or send out to their mailing list.

And yeah, when you see these big launches happen, all these people send out the exact same messages every day for a month, but you just have to do this on a small scale. Just make the one message that everyone will send out on one particular day.

Increase The Price!

Quick fix #10: Increase the price. An easy way to get more money out of an existing offer is just to bump up the price. So if it’s 7, bring it up to 17. If it’s 17, bring it up to 27. If it’s 27, bring it up to 47, and if it’s 47, bring it to 97.

Those are the only price points under 100 bucks that I would hit on. Just don’t put anything-7. Avoid the 37, 57, 67, 77, 87. Those aren’t really very attractive price points. And if someone’s already willing to pay $67, you can probably get them up to 97.

So if you’re worried that you’ll lose sales about this, make it into a special. So e-mail your list and tell them that the price will increase at the end of the week from 17 to 27. So you tell them you can get the exact same thing now for $10 cheaper than it will be in a week. And so many people they will run special offers that reduce the price, that cut the price in half for one day only. They try to mimic the retail stores, and they end up having all these angry customers who bought at the full price and now everyone else gets it at half price. So you don’t want to punish your customers. You want to reward them by allowing them to get in early while the price is low and then bumping it back up later.

And having a higher price product is really good because a lot of the time – unless you jack it up way too high — a lot of the time the commission or the conversion rate will be very much the same, and now you can offer higher commissions to affiliates. So for a long time I had 50 percent commissions for a bunch of $30 products. And I bumped up the price for each one systemically using a special offer up to 40. So every time I did that I got between $500 to $1,000 just from that promotion.

And then I could say, “Hey affiliates, you get 60 percent commission now instead of 50 percent.” So before they got 50 percent of 30, so they got 15. And now they get 60 percent of 40, so that’s 24. So they got $9 more. So if they get a hundred sales, they get 900 more dollars. So not only could I get more affiliates promoting, but now I get more money out of each sale. And my products appear to have a higher perceived value and so on.

Add Front End or Backend

Copywriting quick fix #11: Add a front and a back end.

So if you have this $47 product, maybe you just bump up the price of the product and now you’re worried that people aren’t going to buy because it costs too much. So for this you have a lead-in offer. So you pull out the best chapter and sell it by itself for $7.

So you just take out the part of the sales letter that mentions that chapter. Make it really simple; get them in for $7. And this is a good alternative to people who don’t want to deal with the exit pop-up. If they think they’re annoying or if they’re worried that they’re going to lose a sale, you get the first sale in. You get the $7 just for that one chapter of your book.

Or maybe you just make a bonus chapter and sell that for $7, but you get the $7 sale. And right after the sale you offer them to upgrade to the complete package. So you could have this $47 product – or maybe, 7 and 27 seem to work really well for me, so have the $7 sale to begin with. And they buy this simple report, or the light version, and then you say right after they bought – they just bought and they’re about to go to the download page. You say, “Before you download would you like to upgrade to the deluxe version? It’s only 20 bucks more.” And they pay the extra 20 bucks and they upgrade, and you get the full $27 sale.

If they don’t upgrade, you still have got them on the list from buying the $7 thing, and they’ll still download the $7 report and you can hit them with follow-up e-mails. So if you’re worried that a $47 price tag will lose a lot of visitors, use the $7 into 27 or $7 into 47 to try to get the sale later. You can do this the same way if you start at 47. Try to get them on a $497 upsell. And many people won’t take that right away. And after that you can hit them with follow-up e-mails and give them a reason over time, hit on different benefits to upgrade. And in the meanwhile they’ll have time to digest that $47 product. And if they like what they see and they get to the end of that, maybe they actually will convert to the 497. And if you can keep track of who the affiliate was, they’ll love you for that because your affiliates will get commissions of a couple hundred dollars with every single sale.

Add No Brainer Guarantee

Quick fix #12: A no-brainer guarantee. So many times you will lose people right at the guarantee. By raising your offer almost as a trial, to almost like the money they’re giving you is a loan, and if they don’t like it they get their money back it makes it much more appealing.

So if your guarantee is weak, answer these questions. Answer: How easy can they get their money back? Do they have to send you an e-mail? Write you a letter? Call you on the phone? Make it as easy as possible. Make it, “Just send me an email and tell me why you didn’t like it and you can get your money back. Or if you don’t even want to tell me why you didn’t like it, or if you want to tell me you didn’t like it because I have bad breath even though you bought it on the internet, you can still get your money back.”

Answer how long do they have to get that refund. So do they have a week? Do they have 30 days? Do they have six months? This depends on your payment processor. But I like to phrase it as, “If you don’t like it after a week, contact me and I’ll refund your money. If you don’t like it after two weeks, I’ll refund your money. If you don’t like it after a month, I’ll refund your money. If you don’t like it after two months, I’ll refund your money.” So you make it seem like they have multiple chances to get their money back at any point along the way.

Do you have a conditional guarantee? So can they get their money back or can they get more than their money back if the results don’t deliver. So if you’re teaching a system on how to make your dog run faster you can say, “If you don’t like it send the DVD back in the mail and get your refund. If you try it and your dog doesn’t run faster, if he doesn’t run twice as fast, then get your money back and keep the DVD.”

And then think about what’s the biggest benefit that insures they don’t have to ask for their money back. So what is it in your product that is so freaking good that they wouldn’t even need a guarantee? That even if there was no guarantee they would still happily buy. So this way you have a really good benefit, and you can say that there’s no possible reason why you would want to refund. But if you do, you can and it’s no big deal. No hard feelings.

Add Scarcity and Testimonials

Quick fix #13: Add scarcity. If you have a slow down in sales, just do a special. So say, ”I’m only giving five more slots available of this coaching package or of these DVD’s or of this webinar.” Limit the price. Tell them the price is about to increase by $5 tomorrow. Or limit the time. Tell them that the offer will close in five days and after five days they will never be able to buy this from you ever again at any price.

Quick fix #14: Add testimonials. I never like to do an initial launch for a product without testimonials. You want to have proof but not necessarily testimonials. You have proof that things work, you have video proof, and you have pictures and you have graphs and charts and data or whatever. You make people believe that it works, but you don’t need testimonials until later. I know people who will delay a product launch and give out free copies of their product just to get reviews, but I prefer interviewing the people who’ve had time to digest it. I prefer going back to my best customers over and over because those are the most responsive and those are the ones who would probably buy my stuff at any price.

So I don’t want the cheapskates. I don’t want the people who are looking for a freebie. I want the people who chose to buy from me, and if I said I’ll give you your money back if you will delete the e-book from your hard drive they would never do it. I want the people who just like my stuff that much.

So you interview your best customers and if you can make it an interview over e-mail and you keep going back and forth, you can turn this into a really good case study. So you can say this guy took the script and did something that I never had ever thought of. Or this guy how to win at video poker technique and won $75,000 in Las Vegas.

You do stuff like that. You do stuff that shows real results from people instead of just the usual cheesy testimonials that have people saying, “Oh, this is the best thing ever. I really liked what was on page 72. Well, good luck to you.” You know, stuff like that. It’s so generic and people are always looking for the hypey generic stuff because that’s what’s on all the other sales letters, and they tell themselves that’s what they need to make something sell. And that’s not what you need. You just need proof, and case studies are better than testimonials.

So to get a good case study or a testimonial, you need to ask people these three questions: What’s your immediate takeaway? What’s your biggest benefit? And what was the physical result of what you did?

So if all you ask is, “Can I get a testimonial?” or ”What did you think about it?” you’re just going to get the usual stock answers because a lot of these people they’ve already given reviews for stuff. They’ve probably given reviews once a week or once a month. They’ve already given all these testimonials because they know that it gets them traffic, and they’re used to just giving the usual stock answers.

So to get a good testimonial, a lot of the times you’re going to have to e-mail them a few times and kind of edit it all together into one big thing. It’s not that hard. Usually you can just copy and paste a few sentences and put them together. You don’t have to totally rewrite what they said. You just ask, “What was the immediate takeaway? So the very first time you looked at this, what did you go for first? When you looked at the table of contents, what was the first thing you went to, and what did you get out of that personally? And how did you apply that to your site? What was the biggest benefit? When you had time to read through the whole thing, what was the most important thing? And if I had to strip down everything from this book and just leave this one page and this one important point, what would it be?” And then the physical result, so how did you apply it?

The guy learning video poker goes to Vegas and wins a bunch of money, or the guy learning how to make your dog run fast applies it to puppies, and the puppies grow up a lot healthier than they would before, and they end up being a lot bigger and stronger, and so on.

And then you can take these results and work them into headlines. So you can say, “This guy from San Diego went to Vegas just for a weekend with his buddies and happened to read one single page out of my video poker guide and won all this money, and here’s how he did it. And then you don’t bring up his testimonial until later on in the sales letter, and you just get people to read the whole entire thing from the headline to the testimonial. And hopefully by the time they’ve read that testimonial they’re willing to read the whole entire thing all the way down to the order button.

You get them to answer those three things and then you ask for their name, their picture, and their URL. Sometimes people tell me they don’t have a picture, and what do I do? I immediately go to FaceBook and look them up, and if I see that we have a lot of the same friends in the same niche I’ll know it’s that person. I add them, grab their picture off of FaceBook. I say, “Is it OK if I use this picture?” And they’re like, “Oh, that’s my FaceBook picture.” And I say, “Yeah, I know.” And they’re like, “Well, I’m not wearing a business suit” or “I’m not holding a shovel” or whatever. I’m like, “I don’t care. I’m just going to crop it so it shows your face anyway, and no one will know the difference.”

And then you’ll have this testimonial from them and even though they might have left a testimonial in other places, you’re the one that has the picture of them. And then you ask for a URL because they should be getting something out of it, but it’s important that you don’t have the live hyperlink to the customer site. You just say John Smith from example.com, and you don’t make example.com a link because you don’t want to lose your traffic. But if people really want to they will type in example.com to see who is this guy. Is he real? Did he really use your stuff? So when I sell my PHP scripts, I will have the URL in there and people will type in the URL and check and see if they’re using any of my scripts on their sites just as more proof.

So that’s how you get testimonials: Interview customers; get the takeaway, benefit, and results; and you get the name, picture, and URL.

Get Critiqued

Quick fix #15: Get critiqued. So if you don’t want to get a totally new sales letter written or if you don’t want to get a totally new sales letter revised by someone – because we both know what’s going to happen if you go to a copywriter and you get him to revise a sales letter for you. Either he’s going to rewrite it from scratch and he’s not going to hit on the same benefit points you wanted, or he’s just going to make some little tweaks. And you’re going to say, “Well, I already wrote most of this, and you just changed the headline. You just changed a few bullet points, and I just paid $500 for that.”

So instead of paying for a new sales letter to get written if you don’t have the money or if you don’t have the patience, go to forums in your niche and ask how to make it better. So if people read it, especially if they’re your buyers, they’ll say, “Well, I didn’t understand until way too far down in the copy what this actually was” or “I thought it was one thing, but it really was something else” or “I didn’t know what it was at all, and I got upset and stopped reading it.”

So you just take that feedback and you refine the little pieces of the copy. So maybe you need to make a stronger story or maybe you need to list a couple more benefits very early on instead of waiting after you finish the story. Or maybe you had too much of something. Maybe you had too many case studies and that kind of eclipsed the real selling you were trying to do.

So you go to forums, get it critiqued, but a lot of those people don’t even know what they’re talking about so you might want to pay a copywriter 100 bucks for him to make a video where he just goes over your sales letter for an hour. And it’s well worth it, and many of these copywriters, they’ll actually re-do your copy for you, but not in writing. They’ll just say it. So he’ll read your headline, and he’ll say, “Well, I didn’t really like this. It didn’t have a hook. It didn’t grab me. So I would instead write…” blah blah blah. And he’ll speak out this new headline, but he won’t write it down. And that’ll be your job; you’ll write it down. You’ll save yourself a few hundred dollars because you had to write down some of the stuff he had to say.

And if you have a split tester like Split Test Accelerator or Google Website Optimizer, split test it. Don’t take this guy’s word for it that it’s going to convert better. Test your copy against this new copy. And if your copy performed better, then you just paid the money to make sure that you had the best copy possible, which is money well-spent. And if this change made it convert better, then you just spent money to get your money back because it led to more sales.

Add Power Words

Quick fix #16: Add power words. So you want to go in and remove bad phrases like “buy” or “work.” And remove fancy extra words or repeat words like “so” or “instead” or “however” and add power words.

So add words like “discover.” Or instead of “learn,” say “find out.” Instead of “buy,” say “get your hands on.” Or instead of “work,” say “improve.” So you want to get away from things that sound like they’re a lot of work or that take a lot of time or are unreliable or not repeatable. You want to just make whatever your product is and you focus on the quick stuff.

Or maybe you want to sell the quick stuff that’s in there, but then when they actually read the book the quick stuff leads into the more long-term stuff. But you need to get people hooked on the quick stuff. That’s just how human psychology works. People want things quick and easy.

So don’t have a product with just the slow and painful stuff. Have it only quick and easy or have it quick and easy and painful, but only sell the quick and easy stuff, and once they’ve got it, then sneak in the painful stuff that they really need.

And the final quick fix is figure out the what’s in it for me and the reason why. So when you read the sales letter, don’t even think in terms of headlines or benefits or bullets or testimonials or guarantees. Just read it and ask why are you selling it in the first place. What’s your reason?

Add What’s In It For Me?

So if you’re the guy selling the how to win at video poker, why are you keeping this a secret? Aren’t the casinos going to figure it out anyway? And you can say, “Well, the secrets always get out. People always brag, and the secrets are going to get out anyway.” Or you could say, “Yeah, the secret can get out, but the casinos can’t do anything about it because this relies on the software running on all their slot machines, and it’s used by every casino in the country. And for the machines to be replaced would cost billions of dollars. And so many companies would have to go out of business, and so many companies would have to replace them that these techniques will work for at least the next 10 or 15 years.”

Or you could say that “This algorithm allows the casinos to make money from the general public, and the ratio of losers to winners is good enough that they don’t care that a small number of people know how to win at it.”

Or you could say “Look, I’m not promising you millions, but I can promise you that you’ll win more times than most people. So many people will still lose their money at video poker, but on average you will do better than those people because you’re educated.”

Then explain why is it at that price. So you sell your how to make your dog running fast DVD. Why is it only 27 bucks? Why isn’t it 997. And so just think about if it was 997, what would it have to contain? So if you have your how to make your dog run fast thing at 997, what would it have to contain? Maybe like some telephone calls or like a live seminar or a bunch of DVD’s. So you could say, “It’s at this price – It’s at 27 because it’s not going to give you the whole entire world. It’s not going to tell you every last thing you need to know about making your dog run. It’s just going to teach you this one system. So you pay a low price because it only has an hour or two of instruction, but that’s your advantage because you pay a little bit, you spend a little bit of time, and you get all these results.” And the idea is that you will buy my next $27 DVD and my next and my next. So instead of overloading you with a huge home study course, I’m just letting you choose what you want to teach your dog. So maybe in the future I’ll have a how to make your dog grow a thicker coat, but the people who want to teach their dogs how to run faster aren’t necessarily going to be the same group of people that want to teach their dog how to grow a thicker coat.

So you say, “That’s why it’s priced so low. And why is it not priced at $1? Because I value this information somewhat, and I don’t want the information to get out to every single person because you get what you pay for. And this information is a lot better than the $7 dog training books with no video, and it’s better than the free information because a lot of those people don’t know what they’re talking about. So I make a living teaching people how to train their dogs better, and that’s why I price it at $27.”

So you don’t want to say all that, but you just hit on a couple of those points. And you can do a price drop, so you can say, “Well, I should take all this information and pad it out and add in extra interviews and extra software on how to measure your dog’s heart rate or something, and I could bloat up the price to 497, or I could just reduce it to a couple DVD’s and make it 97, or I could just reduce it to some DVD’s, some CD’s, and some coaching and make it 97, but I’m going to bring it down to $27 because I just have this one DVD, and I want you to get the most out of it in the shortest amount of time.”

Finally, that was your reason why – those two things – why you’re selling it at all. Because back when Google AdSense was new, there were people claiming to make $10,000 or $20,000 a month, but they would be selling these $20 how to make $10,000 a month things with AdSense. And so I’m like, “Why would you almost just give your information away just to get more competitors?” So that’s the reason why stuff.

So then you focus on the what’s in it for me. What do they get out of it? So instead of just saying “You get a 94-minute DVD of teaching dog tricks,” you say, “You get a full DVD of 27 different dog training tips, and you can space it out and just teach your dog one new thing a day, or if you’re really motivated you can teach your dog all these things the same day and then repeat them over and over.”

You just want to think that people are buying the information. They’re buying the systems, the techniques; not the DVD itself. So that’s why you can charge your $27 when the DVD itself only costs $1 or 2.

So keep in mind the reason why you’re selling it in the first place, and what’s in it for me. So why would they even want it in the first place? And what benefits do they get out of getting your DVD?

Recap

So here’s your big list of things to change in your sales letter if you’re totally stuck and you just need some stuff to make it better. You might have most of these, but you probably have one or two that you don’t have or that you haven’t finished completely.

You could add in a hook to make the headline or the story interesting or not make sense or combine a bunch of things that don’t go together so that they have to read the whole sales letter to get all the facts.

You could take a squeeze page, so you put an opt-in box in front of the sales letter so people have to opt-in before they read it. Or you can just make it a separate website totally and keep sending your existing traffic to your regular sales letter, but send some new traffic – send the traffic from strangers to the squeeze page so they opt-in first before they get access to the sales letter.

You can add a sub-headline using the so what method to add in smaller headlines or break the existing headline up into two parts: the lead-ins of headlines and the regular headline or the sub-headline and the afterthought sub-headline.

You could add in scruffys, so you add in arrows or pointing fingers or underlined stuff or the words “true story” or a graphic representing what you’re talking about.

You could write a totally different sales letter by answering those four simple questions that will give you a completely different letter, and you’ll think of benefits you haven’t thought of before. Or hand it off to a copywriter to think of more benefits and then either combine them together or just sell both on their own.

You could add more order buttons because in a very long sales letter, like 10 pages or more, you need to ask them for the sale 9-12 times. And even in the short sales letter, ask them 2 or 3 times. If you have just the order button at the very bottom, add one in the middle. Or add one after every big point; or add one right after the fold or something; just add in more to make it easier for people to click over.

Add video or audio intro leading into an offer, which could also be – you could add the guarantee or explain a confusing benefit.

You could have an exit pop-up to either grab an opt-in subscriber from people who weren’t yet ready to buy and you give them more education and more info; or use it as a poll to figure out why they didn’t buy to improve your product. So make a light version or make a deluxe version, but never ever listen to the feedback that says you’re charging too much because there’s no such thing as charging too much.

Take the sales letter and make it into an article, or take your story and make it into an article leading into people clicking over to the sales letter with an affiliate link. So you make the condensed version of the sales letter as an article, and at the bottom it says example.com/enteryouraffiliateid here; so that your affiliates can just copy and paste this article and substitute in their affiliate ID and send it to their list or put it on a blog or whatever.

You could increase the price of your product. So you just double the price and make an event out of it if you want; because many times the same thing with an increased price will just have a higher value and you’ll get the same exact conversion rate.

You could add in a stronger guarantee, so tell them how easy it is to make the guarantee or why they wouldn’t want a guarantee at all, and just make it a ridiculous guarantee that makes you so overconfident that there’s no way they would even ask for a guarantee because it’s that good. And if they even did ask for a guarantee, it’s super easy to get their money back.

You could add in a front end and a back end. So if you think you’re not charging enough, make an improved version and ask for more money after the sale. If you’re stuck on ideas for a back end, just take whatever e-book you just produced and make a webinar out of it on a set date. So you can set the webinar for two weeks from now – no, make it 7 days from now, and only offer this upsell to the webinar for the next 7 days. So if someone just bought your $17 e-book, and you say, “If you want a video and you want to come to this group session, this mastermind session, and be able to ask any question you want, and we’ll have a recording available in both video and audio so you can check it out later, $97 more and you can get access to this webinar.” Many people, they will take you up on the offer because they want to belong to a group or because they’re lazy and they can’t even be bothered to read an e-book.

Or if you think you’re charging too much, take out the most important piece of your product or make a bonus report and sell that for a lower price. And after somebody buys that, then you ask for more money to get to the regular version. Or you could add both a front end and a back end; so first they’re in for $7. Then they buy, and you try to upgrade them to the $47. If they do that, try to upgrade them to the $97. And if at any time they just say no, send them to the download page. And you don’t even need any special scripts to do it. You can do this with regular HTML pages. You send them to one page; you send them to another page and another page.

You can limit the quantity. So you say, “I’m only offering five more slots at this price, and then the price will go up” or “I’m only offering five more slots, and then the class is closed forever,” and so on. Really good scarcity tactic.

You could add testimonials or case studies where you plot someone’s progress, their results, after using your stuff. That’s even better than a testimonial. And when you ask for a testimonial, don’t just ask them what they thought out of it. Ask for the immediate takeaway; ask for the biggest benefit, and ask for the physical results.

You could get a critique to get multiple perspectives. So instead of just getting one copywriter to edit stuff, you can get 50 tiny copywriters to improve your stuff. Or you could just use the critique method, one-on-one, and pay copywriters a hundred bucks at a time to get small changes done, which is much cheaper than getting a full rewrite done. Because in programming, if you’re going to change a program, you have to understand every single little thing the program does before you can make any changes. So a good copywriter would have to read the whole entire sales copy and figure out all the little threads and all the benefits to try to hit on before they want to do a good job of editing stuff, unless they’re like the lazy copywriters who only make small changes to the headline or to the grammar or reword stuff around. You don’t want someone like that, so a critique is a good way to get better copy.

You could add power words, so remove things that talk about work or about things taking a long time or remove words like buy or purchase which people are too used to and turn it into “get it now” or “add to cart” or “download immediately” or “get access to.” Stuff like that.

And then most important of all, think about the what’s in it for me. So what are they getting out of it? What’s the value? Not the cost; not the physical items. What’s going to improve in their life after they’ve gotten this thing, after they’ve gotten the video poker guide or the dog running guide or the article-writing guide? And you just go back to the sub-headline technique and keep asking so what until you get a good enough what’s in it for me reason.

And you need to answer the reason why. So why are you selling this in the first place? If you can make all these super dogs, or if you can make all this money from video poker, why are you giving up some of your potential profit? And why are you opening the doors up for competition if this works so well?

And why are you selling it at this price? Why is it not lower? Why is it not higher?
I hope that some of those simple copywriting tips give you a slightly better sales letter that converts more; so even if it only brings you up half a percent – brings you up from 1 percent to 1.5 percent, that’s still a huge increase in your conversions.

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