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6 elements of successful sales letters

Create Your Product
6 elements of successful sales letters
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Read time: 5min

Part of being a Knowledge Commerce entrepreneur and selling your expertise online is being able to craft effective marketing which persuades prospects to try your product or service.

And while there are many ways your marketing messages can take form (take, for example, webinars that you can easily build inside Kajabi), sometimes there’s no better replacement in communicating your message than a tried and true sales letter.

While Kajabi has designed easy options to allow for both live and evergreen webinars, sometimes there’s no better replacement in communicating your message than a tried and true sales letter.

It’s a staple of any online information-driven business and gives your visitors a chance to get your entire sales message without having to wait for a webinar to start or get distracted while watching it.

A sales letter remains the fastest and easiest way to test your offer, messaging, and produce revenue for your business. And inside Kajabi you simply need to click on the “Sales Page Pipeline” to have an entire templated page pre-built for you. It automatically creates both your sales letter and checkout pages.

Then it’s up to you to choose how to customize the design, what features to add or remove, and what sort of messaging to include.

So while we’ll take care of the technology side, here are 6 tips to help you take care of the content side.

6 Tips To Improve Your Sales Letters

#1: The Rule Of One

“The Rule Of One” has become a popular phrase in the copywriting world. In the book “Great Leads”, authors Michael Masterson and John Forde provide a lengthy analysis of how many of the most successful sales letters of all time contained this “rule of one”.

This rule simply advises marketers to create their sales letters, emails, webinars, etc, built around a single concept. One big idea. One big problem, promise, and solution. Or as close to that as possible.

For example, say you were selling business coaching...

A normal sales letter in this niche might cover every imaginable problem which business coaching could solve. Which again, can work just fine. But it can also lead to watering down and diluting the message.

A more advanced sales letter would focus on a single big problem which business coaching can alleviate, like increasing sales and profits.  

The entire letter is then built around the big idea of how your business coaching helps with this specific issue. Your promises, guarantees, and proof elements are all aligned with this one idea. 

Just like a magnifying glass can create fire when focused, a sales letters persuasiveness can have the same effect when built around the “rule of one”.

Before you begin writing, here are a few helpful questions to guide you:

  • What is the #1 biggest problem you solve for this prospect?
  • What’s the single solution you offer?
  • What proof do you have to support that single solution?
  • What one big promise can you make this prospect if they try your solution?

By focusing on your one big idea, your writing not only becomes easier, but your messaging becomes much more clear for your reader. And clarity is the hallmark of a great sales letter.

#2: Attention Capturing Headline

Your headline accounts for 80% of the success of your promotion. Most of your time should be spent in brainstorming different ideas and polishing the ones you think may work best.

The main job of your headline is to stop your reader, get their attention, and lead them to your next line. When coming up with your headline for your sales letter, here are 3 things to consider…

  1. How aware is my prospect of the problem which you solve? The more aware they are, the more direct your headline can be.
  2. What promise can you make in your headline that would get the attention of this market?
  3. How can you create a bridge from your prospect to your product, and not from your product to your prospect? You always want to start with your prospect. 

While there are countless formulas and angles to create your headline, often times the most effective types either fall into the categories of self-interest, curiosity, or a blend of the two.

Let’s imagine we’re selling an online mini-course which helps people have more energy. Here are a few examples of how you could use each one of these types of headlines…

Self Interest: This kind of headline is benefit or promise driven. 

“How To Feel Young Again”

“Say Goodbye To Low Energy Levels”

“This Training Will Help You Tap Into Your Body’s Natural Energy Supply”

Curiosity: This kind of headline draws your reader in.

“The Weird Energy Secret Of Hollywood’s Elite”

“Is Coffee Draining Your Energy? How Much Is Too Much? Doctors Weigh In...”

“What Not To Eat If You Want High Energy Levels Throughout The Day”

By using either one of these headlines, you’ll have the best chance of getting the attention of your prospect and getting them to read the rest of your messaging. Remember, your headline has one job. To stop your prospect and get them to read the next sentence.

It all starts with a compelling headline. 

#3: Use Proof To Create Belief

One of the biggest roadblocks your prospects face when reading your message is the fact that most of them just won’t believe you. They’ve seen too much hype, empty promises, or flat out lies and have grown weary of claims without proof.

So whatever you do...find ways to prove what you’re saying!

Anytime you make a claim you want to connect some piece of proof to it.

Here’s a list of different kinds of proof you can use:

  • Testimonials
  • Case studies
  • Screenshots
  • Guarantees
  • Specifics
  • Before and after
  • Admitting fault
  • Certifications
  • Examples of specialization

These are just a few ideas out of many.

The main takeaway here is that anytime you make a claim about what your online course or digital product can do, you back it up in some way with some form of proof. 

In all of your marketing you’re constantly overcoming two basics objections:

“Yeah right.” (they don’t believe you)

“So what.” (they’re not seeing why it matters to them)

The more powerfully you can address and overcome these silent objections, the more persuasive and successful your sales letter will be.

#4: Write To One Person

When writing a sales letter or any form of persuasive communication, one of the most common mistakes digital marketers make is not identifying their exact prospect. Or they use a group of people instead of someone specific. 

While we touched on this in our “rule of one” up above, it’s important to restate that not only should you do your best to focus your letter around a single idea or problem, but you should also write it to a single person.

Here’s a helpful tip which you may want to try before shrugging it off. Before you write your next ad, email, or especially sales letter, print out a picture of the person who would represent your ideal avatar and put it next to your computer. You’ll be amazed at how much this impacts your writing.

Give this person a name and maybe write down a little bit about them on the printed picture. As you do this you’ll naturally find your writing to be much more tight, focused, and targeted towards this specific prospect.

Have you ever read something which immediately made you think “this is for me!”?

That’s the response you’re looking for. When you can do that, sales will increase and your business will grow because the right people will resonate with your marketing.

So write to one person, not a group of people.

#5: Risk Reversal

Whenever possible you want to provide some sort of risk reversal for your prospect. In any selling situation, one side of the party is being asked to assume more risk than the other. That’s just how it goes.

When the business owner puts that risk on the side of the prospect, conversions can suffer. Unless you’ve got brilliant, A-level copy, an irresistible offer, and your prospects already know, like, and trust you...you’ll be in for a bit of an upward climb.

So whenever possible you want to find ways to assume the risk, or “reverse” the risk to help nudge your prospect to buy.

You can do that by offering some sort of no questions asked, money back guarantee. You can also do it by offering a 7 or 14-day trial where the customer's card won’t be billed till that date.

Whatever type of risk reversal works best for your business and situation is what you want to do.  

By incorporating just this one element (and by clearly calling attention to it) you’ll see conversions increase and more people respond favorably to your offer.

#6: Clear Call To Action

Your sales letter has one purpose...to make a sale!

We’ve come across plenty of terrific sales letters where the marketer did an amazing job and followed all of the guidelines listed above. But when it came time to actually ask the reader to take an action, they completely flopped.

Either it was too small, only listed once, or drew zero attention to itself.

If your reader has made it past your headline and into the majority of your copy, your next step is making your call to action as clear and easy to see as possible.

 You also don’t have to wait until the very end to include it.

You can include a call to action buttons as soon as you feel the reader would know enough information in order to want to click. Often times you should place one right after you introduce your offer, then adding one in from them on after every few paragraphs.

Your call to action should be so clear to see that if you stood a few steps back from your computer it would easily stand out.

Use clear, urgency driven language on your call to action buttons as well. Such as:

“Yes! I’m Ready For My 14-Day Trial!”

“Click Here To Try This Limited Offer Risk-Free”

Make it easy for them not only to see the next step but to take the next step as well.

Even just this simple tweak can help increase your conversions. 

Sales Letter Summary

If you run an online business you almost certainly need some form of a sales letter. These promotional pieces are your marketing assets which work for you 24/7/365 in turning prospects into customers and building your business.

As you write your first one or make tweaks to your existing page, remember the following guidelines… 

  1. The Rule Of One
  2. Attention Capturing Headline
  3. Use Proof To Create Belief
  4. Write To One Person
  5. Risk Reversal
  6. Clear Call To Action

Use Kajabi to Turn Your Knowledge And Content Into Products You Can Sell

You have something to teach the world. We also know there are people out there who want to learn what you know.

That’s why we created Kajabi. It’s a full-featured platform that allows professionals like you to create their own businesses from home.

Create online courses, establish membership sites, and sell other digital products. We offer tons of marketing tools to help you spread the word about your products and earn more revenue.

Start your free 14-day trial of Kajabi today!

Still researching? Check out Kajabi’s free downloadable ebook guides on launching and growing a knowledge commerce online business!

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