6 Powerful Tips I Learnt As A Marketing Apprentice By Reading ‘The Ultimate Sales Letter’

Copywriting can be daunting if you’ve never done it before…

I’m Kayleigh. The Junior Marketing Assistant here at McCall Media. As an apprentice, delving myself into the deeps of copywriting was extremely daunting. It is for any newbie in the field. There are honestly thousands upon thousands upon thousands of resources out there claiming to be the ‘Only Guide You Need To Learn Copywriting Inside and Out’ – however, this is not the case. You could literally read every book on the planet about writing well to get your clients’ attention but simply put, copywriting comes with experience. Learning what is working for you and what isn’t helps tremendously in the growth process.

On the other hand, learning some of the ‘hot’ tips authors use in their guides can really accelerate you through that beginners stage.

As an apprentice, I chose this path because I get hands on work experience. I don’t want to sit in a classroom taking notes and read hundreds of books that may be of no use to me later in life – and I certainly don’t want clients in the future thinking I can’t do a copywriters job because of this.

Here at McCall Media, we have taken a lot of time searching the internet to find a select few of the best resources for copywriting, and we think you might find this one extremely beneficial!

It’s called, ‘The Ultimate Sales Letter’!

The book was written by Dan S Kennedy in 1990, but rewritten in 2011 to give us all the up-to-date knowledge we need in today’s digital world.

1. Understand Your Audience and Offer Completely

Getting ‘into’ your customers is one of the first steps in the book, and not one to take fore granted. Although is seems like a relatively simple task, which it can be, getting it wrong can cause you a lot of nuissance in the future of your business and copywriting. So, taking proper time out to understand this is essential.

Throughout the chapter in the book, Kennedy discusses multiple factors that aid you in figuring out who your target audience is. As well as this, we learn how you can recognize their issues, if your offer can solve this and getting to know your offer 100% so that you can assess any disadvantages/questions prospects will have – so you can provide immediate answers to them.

Generally speaking, a beginners mindset in copywriting would be to select an audience you think might like the product/service a business is offering, and ‘guessing’ who these people are and what there issues may be. Often enough, you may have sufficient demo graphical and statistical data in your mailing list to understand your customers inside and out, but if not, Kennedy advises you to start booking yourself into business meetings with professional marketeers who will help you.

Asking yourself questions about your offer that customers will want to know guides you with what information needs to be included in your sales letter. Also, figuring out the potential disadvantages within your product and answering them in your writing stops clients having any doubts before purchasing.

2. Get Your Copywriting Checked and Read Often

Near enough all physical and digital sales letters end up in the waste basket, that’s just stating the truth. This is an insight worth a great deal of money! Everybody’s emails are stocked up when they first enter the office in the morning, so most of the time, busy businessman and women just don’t get time to check every single one. That’s why it’s so vitally important your sales letter is suited to the right exact audience, and it stands out among the crowd of boring daily news articles or updates.

In this Chapter within ‘The Ultimate Sales Letter’, Kennedy discusses that you shouldn’t lie about what you are sending your clients, simple as that. Say you are sending them an offer that you have provided them with, don’t put in the headline that they will be getting a business update. That’s providing them with the wrong information. Do you understand?

Getting other employees within your business, or trialing the offer out to people of your audience choice, allows you to get full acknowledgement that your work is the best it can be, and targets who you need it to target. Focus on making your offer and the way you advertise it completely unique to your business.

3. Address Pricing and Problem Agitation

Kennedy explains that price can be one of the biggest issues in most sales letters. Knowing whether or not to include it in your text could be the factor that makes it extremely successful, or exceptionally uprosperorous.

Deciding whether you are going to incorporate price into your sales copy is up to you and what your offering, there is no right or wrong answer, so don’t hesitate here. However, figuring out whether to include it or not can often be difficult.

If you choose to include price, discuss how much your business paid for the offer and how you were able to provide it to your clients. This could potentially make the reader more emotionally attached to your business because they now understand the hard-earned money that needed to be used to help them. Or, you could break down the price to make it look much cheaper and easier for your clients.

Often, mishandling price can ‘put the breaks on the sale before it has even started’, as stated by Kennedy. So, if you decide not to provide them with a price, that’s totally fine too! If you want to avoid the dreaded price question, frequently writers make their readers focus on something else, like a ‘Problem Agitation’ – as Kennedy likes to call it. People are more likely to do something to avoid pain than to get gain. So defining your customers problem and agitating it by injecting emotion and stirring up their responses could force them into making a purchase decision.

4. Writing The First Draft and Reworking

Generally speaking, the first draft should be one of the easiest parts. Get a pen and paper out, or a document up, and start writing/typing away. Putting everything you’ve learned so far into your own sales copy is what Kennedy teaches us. Don’t change anything, edit the length, grammar or anything else, just write. Often, this draft will be the longest but don’t worry – we will be reworking it once we have all the information down!

The rewriting stage is probably the most difficult, which I’ve definitely learned from being an apprentice in this environment. Cutting out all of the ‘sloppy’ bits to keep the factual and precise information in is what will keep the reader reading. ‘Remember to write for the buyer and not the non-buyer’, as Kennedy mentions in ‘The Ultimate Sales Letter’. Prospects who are really interested in your copy will read on, even if it stays quite long.

Make it ‘skimmable’, so that clients can understand what you’re talking about, and not too short so that they can get an idea about what you’re offering. Ensure your letter reflects your personal style, appeals to their senses and is entertaining.

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5. Answer Questions Openly and Rewrite For Passion

Within copywriting, I have learnt that it is easy to get into the flow of creating a great sales piece and telling the best story from start to finish. Generally, when writers are in the zone by themselves, they don’t acknowledge the fact that clients have unanswered question and concerns, which can completely ruin a sales letter if not spoken about.

If you were selling your product to someone in person, they’d be able to ask you the questions and queries they have, so you can answer them then and there. Although a sales letter does not have the ‘luxury’ of responding to every single question clients might have, we can still deal with this issue. Our letter has to discuss every possible problem the customer might have, and solve them. To get immediate responses from your clients, write about limited availability, premiums, deadlines etc.. Anything that creates a time limit.

When it comes to rewriting, ensure you have answered all the questions your customers might have and everything we have mentioned above. Make sure that the design you have chosen suits the audience, and make it readable with design changes like borders, columns, colours and indenting.

6. Getting Second Opinions and Final Testings

Kennedy’s last chapter in the book describes final testing and getting others to look through your work again. Read the text aloud, what do you think? If something doesn’t flow as much as you wanted it too, it may be time for a little switch up. Get in touch with other copywriters and let them read your work to provide feedback. Getting a child to read it back to you can also be extremely helpful because anything they struggle reading should be changed. We want this sales copy simple to read, right?

Now all you need to do is go over it one last time, for luck! You’ll be surprised how many people miss little mistakes in this part.

We’ve finally come to an end. Did you enjoy this little summary of the key points we at McCall Media found the most beneficial in this book? If you need anymore assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact us here. For extra resources, cheat sheets and guidance, please do visit our McCall Media Clubhouse. Simply register for a free visitor pass and gain access to all of these extras!

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