Category Archives for Boost Your Conversions

Are Longform Salesletters Really Dead?

Just because people are in a tizzy over video salesletters being dead , and a “certain someone” came out with a report saying that longform salesletters are dead – doesn’t mean they’re actually dead.

If you think they are – you need to think about it a little more closely. Isn’t EVERYTHING dead? Email marketing is dead, salesletters are dead, social media is dead, blogging is dead, direct mail is dead, the Internet is dead…everything is dead!

Funny thing is…they’re not.

Not in the slightest.

In this blog post I’m going to show you exactly why they’re NOT dead…why video salesletters are great, but not the “savior” of businesses people make them seem to be… and what you SHOULD be doing instead of worrying about which media format is best.

So let’s start out with…

Why Are Video Salesletters Convertingร‚ย  (Usually) Better Than Long-form Salesletters?

Let me first start this by saying yes, in most cases…video salesletters ARE converting better than long-form salesletters right now. Their are several reasons for it.

#1 – They’re New – Just like any other “fad of the month”, customers simply aren’t used to video salesletters. Think about it. You have a control out in the mail…after awhile it fatigues. You send a brand-new package out and guess what? It does better! When customers see something “new” they pay extra attention simply because it’s new – and you make more sales. But, after awhile…the shiny object syndrome calms down and things go back to normal.

#2 – They Reveal Personality – One of the things I love about video salesletters is that they reveal your personality. You can do basically anything you want with them. People love personality and when they can see your face or hear your talk…they love it because it shows you’re a real person.

#3 – It’s Interactive – One of the major problems I see with salesletters is that they’re FREAKING BORING (more on this in a second). They’re not interactive, they’re not engaging… and your conversions then suck. With videos…things are flashing on the screen, bullet points are popping in and out, and people stay more engaged simply because there is more to look at.

Are Video Salesletters Here To Stay?

Yes, I believe they are. But do I think they’ll ever replace long-form salesletters?

Absolutely not.

When it comes down to it…you’re still giving a sales message. And your results are going to reflect the effectiveness of your salesmanship. It doesn’t matter if you’re on the phone, sending direct mail, email, faxes, video salesletters or long-form salesletters…a sales message is a sales message.

If you suck at writing copy – anything you write is going to get a bad conversion rate.

And if you suck at writing video scripts – your video salesletter is going to suck too. It’s really as simple as that. People are seeing video salesletters as some type of miracle-cure for bad salesmanship. Trust me… they’re not!

In a minute I’ll show you exactly what I’m doing to help integrate videos into my sales messages.

Because even though it may seem like it a little bit – I’m absolutely NOT knocking video salesletter.

I think they’re extremely powerful, if done right….but they’re simply not the keys to the kingdom everybody thinks they are – at least not in the long-term.

I could talk for DAYS about the difference between long-form salesletters and videos but instead, let me tell you 1 little “hint” before I tell you the exact strategy I’m personally taking with both my clients as well as my own personal projects (in regards to videos).

The Key To An Effective Sales Message

There’s NO doubt that it’s getting harder and harder to sell. Between the crappy economy and people suddenly acquiring “ADD” at epidemic rates (don’t even get me started on that argument)… conversions overall have been plummeting.

So, what’s a copywriter or business owner to do?

It’s really not hard, actually.

All you have to do….is BE INTERESTING!

Listen, I hear people complaining about their conversion rates going down the tube. Yet mine and my clients are skyrocketing. Why? Because if you understand your prospect and know what to talk about…they’ll listen.

Personally…I think we should be shifting towards advertorial-style sales messages – whether it’s with a video or not. Your prospects are sick of getting bombarded with pitches all day – and they want REAL content before they buy!

I’m writing a letter write now…where you would never even know it was a pitch until about page 5. And I can pretty much guarantee you – it’s going to convert like crazy. The reason is because I know my audience…and I matched the message to the audience.

Ok..so..what do I personally recommend when it comes to video salesletters and long-form salesletters?

A Few Salesletter Ideas To Try…

You have several options you can take. Just because the “guru’s” are doing video salesletters with no controls and save without even a pause button (for the record…I’ve never listened to more than 10 seconds of a video with no pause button)… doesn’t mean YOU have to do the same.

Here are some options for you that nobody else seems to be talking about.

  1. Straight Up Video Salesletter – This would be infomercial style or Frank Kern style for those familiar with him. It’s you in front of the camera, giving a pitch. If you do this…you should have a great personality and do something in the first few seconds to grab them right off the bat and peak their interest.
  2. Powerpoint Salesletter – This is something I’m going to try for my upcoming site (I’ll be trying many things) and basically all you do is write out a 4-8 page salesletter…and read the dam thing! I think it’s funny how people say that long-form salesletters are dead…yet…the video they’re on is simply them reading a long-form salesletter outloud. *Sigh*
  3. Top Video Then Long-Form – Something else to try is having a video at the top of the page selling them on the idea of reading the salesletter. Like any good advertorial (like I said – start writing more advertorial-style salesletters are your conversions WILL go up)…the beginning needs to sell them on actually reading the whole letter. That way they see you, know it’s a real person which makes their “wall” go down…and they feel more relaxed.
  4. Video Within The Salesletter – One thing I’m trying on one of my side projects is literally having multiple videos WITHIN the salesletter. I’m actually trying this on an affiliate salesletter where the founder of the company is an infomercial guy – so the videos he has are great. Basically the layout of it is that I’m explaining a concept – then going into more detail with the video.
  5. Just Text – The 5th option is to simply test your salesletter with just text. No video, no audio, nothing. It might not always work the best…but sometimes it will!

Listen…when it comes down to it the only thing that matters is if you test your salesletters.

And if JUST a video works best for you – that’s great. If just text works best…that’s great too. The important thing is that you not only test those 5 ideas and figure out which works best – but you then test it AGAIN a few months down the road after the video phenomenon wears down a bit.

And if you’re worried about a lack of salesletters needing to be written – send your clients to this post. After all if you look closely, you’ll notice a way for you to make MORE money from each client, not less ๐Ÿ™‚

Let me know your thoughts on the whole video vs. long-form copy argument.

How To Double You Or Your Clients Sales

I’m looking at some stats right now for a client I’m working with… and I came to realizing something.

Most copywriters are morons.

Before I get into what my stats are…let me ask you something. Are you giving your clients AT LEAST 3 different headlines to test when you hand a salesletter in? If not, unfortunately you are part of that “group of morons” that I’m talking about.

But fear not – this article will whip you back into shape in no time after you see these stats.

Ok so here’s the story.

I recently wrote a salesletter for a client in a VERY competition niche. One of the most competitive and incestuous niches in the world actually.

They’re already a multi-million dollar company, but needed help with a salesletter which was converting and making them more money than most people see in 10 years… but they thought more could be pulled out of it.

So they bring me on, hoping I can improve their conversions (of course!)

Here’s what I did.

Step 1 – I looked at their current as well as their OLDER salesletter (which they had the stats for), and determined what I thought was both good and bad in both salesletters.

Step 2 – Unfortunately I couldn’t interview the creator of the product like I normally do, as he’s basically a celebrity in the niche and wants to be “hands-free” as much as possible…but I do as much research I can on both the creator of the product as well as the market overall.

Step 3 – I begin to start formulating my headline, theme, bullet points, and all that jazz. Up to this point I’ve spent roughly 7-10 days (I can’t remember exactly).

Step 4 – I start writing the ad on a Tuesday afternoon. Wednesday afternoon, the rough draft is completed. Time to start polishing that piece of black coal up!

Step 5 – The editing begins. A grueling process involving having friends, people in the market, other copywriters and even my wife read the salesletter (well, she read parts of it at least – I don’t know how she puts up with me).

Step 6 – I hand it into the client…and a few days later it’s “ready to go”. She has a few concerns with the headline, but I say “ok, I hear you…but let’s test it first”. She agrees.

Step 7 – We let it rip, and a few weeks later we determine that I achieved a roughly 35% increase of their sales. Woohoo! Not horrible for not testing at all yet…

Step 8 – But wait! We didn’t even test anything yet? Shame on me for not doing it straight away, now I have to wait even longer! I swear I’ll never make this mistake again ๐Ÿ™‚

Step 9 – We’re now in the middle of a new test with 3 other headlines…and so far the headline is pulling 63.5% better than my original headline (the 2nd best is about 45% better), and seems to be rising. As of right now (note: the results aren’t conclusive yet…but getting there) I’ve achieved a 117% increased in sales for this client – because I tested.

Step 10 – Finish up this blog post, go work on my new project (which I’m keeping a secret until it’s finished – but you’re going to love it), and kick myself in the ass for not testing sooner!

The lesson here is this.

If you aren’t testing your own products, and aren’t working out deals with your clients to either give them multiple headlines to test right off the bat or even getting a percentage of the increase in profits (I’m doing that with this client – how much extra money do you think I’ll make after giving them a 100%+ increase in profits?)… you’d better smarten up and start doing it immediately!

I have my ENTIRE day today solely dedicated to one thing – creating a new website as a side-project that’s going to be AWESOME if you’re a copywriter or marketer. I’ve gotten some feedback from a few readers of the blog as well as other marketers…and every single person thinks it’s a ridiculously cool idea. I’m “planning” on launching it Monday – but it’ll most likely be later next week (you know how these things go)

How To Pick And Choose Your Clients

In the next few weeks/month I’m going to be re-designing this blog, and I’m moving into a new house and will be setting up a room to shoot videos – so this blog will be getting a COMPLETE overhaul from now through about summer or so! ๐Ÿ™‚

It amazes me how many excuses people can think of when it comes to why they’re not making money, or why “conversion rates have gone down”.

In my opinion…it’s total bull.

People blame the economy, bad luck, a bad market, being “too young” (in my case) and about 80 billion other reasons why they aren’t doing as well as they could be.

But there’s really only 1 reason why your conversions aren’t high enough and you’re not getting the clients you want…

YOU!

Now I do realize sometimes freelancers have the misfortune of working with people who simply won’t charge their marketing funnel, won’t try fresh ideas, and things like that. And that’s cool.

My advice if you run into that?

Find a new client that allows you to be you ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway…see the stats to the left? This is a picture one of my client sent me last night, showing the conversion increase I made for them.

With this particular client…I literally gave them a 400% ROI on the money they spent on me…WITHIN 1 MONTH.

The best part is – they will see that same return every single month. And since they actually hired me to work with them on a consistent basis to continue increasing conversions, their sales funnel and marketing process, AND traffic…I bet I can get them to a 1,000% ROI from what I originally charged them.

(In this deal I’m getting a percentage of the increase in business so it’s hard to calculate ROI each month off the top of my head…but you get my drift)

Which brings me to the point of this article…

If You Want To “Make It” In This Business – The ONLY Thing You Should Be Thinking About Is The Best Way To Create A Higher ROI For Your Client

When I get a a new client or start a new project for an existing one…this is the FIRST thing I think about. I don’t try to suck every penny out of them that I can, I don’t try to work as little as possible to get the job done, and I don’t take on jobs where I don’t think I can give them a HUGE return on their investment.

Why?

Because I want them to talk to all their buddies about how much money they made because of me.

That’s it!

You see, when this happens – it allows you to pick and choose your clients because after you do this for enough clients, you get so many clients you literally have to turn people away.

Most copywriters simply don’t have the right mindset when they start a new job, and it leads them to frustration, lack of results and ultimately …a crappy business.

So here’s my homework for you:

On the next job you get – do NOT think about how much money you’re going to make. Instead, figure out ways to bring your clients a 100%, 200%, 400% even 1000% return on their investment in you.

Because after all – the only reason they hire you is to make more money…so for Gods Sake…help them make more money!

And of course if you have any comments/suggestions or suggestions for helping me improve the blog when I start to re-do it…please let me know by leaving a comment below ๐Ÿ™‚

5 Reasons You Need A Toll-Free Number

In one of my niche businesses we have a toll-free number, and since it’s just starting up I got the idea to be the “person behind the phones” and be able to talk with customers person-to-person…allowing me to dig into their minds and really understand the market and what emotions are flaring up behind the scenes.

Some people may think this is a waste of time, but I’m taking extra time out of my day to talk to customers ear-to-ear for a very specific reason. Actually, 5 very specifics reasons.

Here is reason #1.

#1 – You Get To Hear Raw, Unedited Emotions

When you talk to someone on the phone, you get to hear them as they truly are. Doing surveys, getting email replies back and other similar things are good…but there is NOTHING like getting to hear the subtle intonations and hidden emotions lying right behind the words of a person you’re talking to. Sure, it would be even better seeing them in person, but the phone is the next best thing.

#2 – You Can Overcome Objections

Many times, people will call simply because they have a question or concern about the product. And when they do, it’s a perfect chance to practice your selling skills and overcome those objections, then ask for the sale. And the best part is…you can take that sale immediately and simply place the order for them.

#3 – Your Market May Be Used To The Phone, Not The Internet

Although people think of the Internet these days practically as a God…it’s really not. It’s great for getting cheaper traffic (although recently the pendulum has started swinging back to offline), but if you have a market that grew up with direct mail, calling people to place orders, etc. – get a toll-free number they can call! I can pretty much guarantee you’ll get a boost in sales, even if you get no sales.

Why?

Credibility baby!

Don’t believe me that many niches would still rather a toll-free number, pre-recorded message or simply doing “old-school” methods of ordering? Well, in BOTH the niches I’m in with partners…the majority of customers prefer old-school.

The lesson is – do your research and don’t be naive in thinking that just because the Internet is more popular with “most” crowds..it is with yours.

#4 – You Can Razzle And Dazzle Your Customers

There’s nothing like calling up a company and speaking with a very friendly, very helpful customer support. NOTHING. Customers will go out of their way to order from you in the future, tell their friends, and make you a ton of money…if you simply have a real person they can talk to that’s very friendly and very helpful.

#5 – You WILL Make More Sales

I know I talked about this briefly in #3, but it’s probably the most important so listen up. If you simply add a toll-free number to your website, regardless of what you’re selling…you can see conversion boosts of up to 30% or higher. EVEN IF THEY NEVER CALL. The reason is simply because having a toll-free number shows that you’re a “real” business.

Remember…what do people fear about the Internet?

Getting ripped off.

So if you can prove you’re a real business, it lowers their defenses and makes them buy.

It’s a beautiful thing ๐Ÿ™‚

So there you have it…5 reasons you need a toll-free number in your business. This is something I’ve only recently added to mine (my niche business), but the results so far are tremendous. I’ll be honest – I’ve known the power of them for awhile and it took me quite a bit of time to actually get one. Now that I have, I can’t believe I didn’t sooner!

So if I could say anything to you in this blog post…it’s to spend a few bucks (they’re cheap)…and get yourself a toll-free number. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.