Category Archives for Copywriting Tips

Breaking Down A Long-Form Salesletter

Just a very quick post today to direct you to a guest post of mine that was published yesterday (March 1st – my birthday!).

The post breaks down a long-form salesletter step-by-step… and even “calls out” people who think they’re a scammy waste of time.

You can check out the post Continue reading

How The Emotional Selling Proposition Of A Giraffe Sold My Wife

A very common term in marketing is called the “value proposition” which basically means that when people buy something, they compare the value of the item to the money they’re spending on it.

But what about using an emotional selling proposition instead?

Let me explain with a little story…Continue reading

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 Converting  (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 🙂

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

New FTC Rulings Are A Copywriters Dream

So I’m not sure if you’ve heard about the recent FTC rulings they came out with, but things are starting to get a little more clear and defined…and the way I see it…copywriters are going to be more in demand than ever.

Many people are scared out of their minds thinking “Internet Marketing is over” – but trust me – it’s not.

You simply have to work a bit smarter – and I’ll create a followup video showing you exactly what you have to do to work smarter instead of harder.

Until then – watch this video below and discover why the recent continuity FTC rulings are an absolute GOLDMINE for great copywriters – and what you need to do to take advantage of it and ride the wave 🙂

Enjoy, and make sure to let me know what you think!

Oh…and here’s the link to Ryan Lee’s post that I talk about.

How To Get Someone To Trust You With A Lot Of Money

As some of you may know, recently I’ve been slowly moving away from freelancing and more towards the entrepreneurial side of the business.

It’s not that I’m not doing client work anymore, it’s just that I’m starting to get much more selective as to who I’m working with on a freelancing basis.

Here’s the story…

Recently an investor came to me looking to partner in a new business.

After mulling around for a while figuring out if I wanted to do it, I accepted and we started working on our new project. The deal was – I would do the copy while he financed the entire business.

And like any good business owner should do – we are going cheap to test the market…then once we prove it’s a “go” – we’ll be ramping it up both in terms of graphics, sales processes, affiliate programs, and so on and so forth.

So a few days ago we were talking about how we’re going to start ramping it up and I suggested a certain way of doing it…which would cost him roughly $500 or so right off the bat and more as time goes on…and we could have it done by the end of this year.

Now I realize $500 isn’t a fortune, but it’s still a good chunk of money.

Especially when…

It was something he was NOT familiar with, had NEVER seen before…and had no idea if it worked or if I was just guessing!

Yet he said YES to my plan without any questions whatsoever, even though he didn’t even know what it was!

Better yet…even when I asked if he wanted me to explain my reasoning his reply was “that’s not needed, I trust your judgment – as long as YOU think it’s going to be a good ROI…let’s do it” (or something along those lines).

See what I’m getting at yet?

It’s the fact that when you are writing copy, having a business relationship or any other relationship for that matter…one of THE most important aspects of a relationship to cultivate right off the bat is TRUST.

Here’s How I Built It – And How You Can Build It In Your Business

There are dozens of ways to build trust by today I’m going to give you the 3 C’s of trust you can create and nurture to get practically anybody in your life to trust you with almost anything – including your prospects!

Read this over, and see how you can apply them to YOUR business:

1) Credibility – In my relationship with my business partner, I consistently fed him with new (what he usually describes as “brilliant”) marketing ideas we could use in the upcoming weeks once our product goes live. This establishes credibility and demonstrates that I actually know what I’m talking about…plus takes a little pressure off him to come up with the game plan for the business. As you know, there are dozens of different ways to establish credibility.

2) Consistency – This is one most people don’t talk about but it’s incredibly important. People trust those who are consistent with their beliefs and actions. Who would you trust more…a person who came up with a new idea they wanted to use everyday and kept switching the business around, or one that thought of something, acted on that thought, and kept building on it? If someone keeps changing their mind on a subject, it’s usually because they have a lack of confidence which lowers #1.

3) Confidence – The more confidence you have in your skills, the more people trust you. It’s as simple as that. Why did my partner choose me over the dozens of other copywriters he looked at? Because even though I’m young…I’m confident in my skills as a copywriter and marketing specialist and am willing to work for weeks without pay because I know that what I write is going to make money – as long as I am the person coming up with offer, sales copy and marketing process.

As I mentioned earlier – there are dozens of ways to make people trust you. But if you focus on the 3 C’s you’ll have a MUCH easier time building up bullet-proof trust and an outstanding reputation for your business as well as for the business of your clients!