I'm not a baseball fan. Never have been. In fact, I hate the sport. However, I am a Barry Bonds fan. Here's why: Barry Bonds possesses the exact same intangibles every great sales letter possesses. He's loyal, consistent, powerful, and hits a ton of home runs, year after year after year! Those are all things that great sales letters do and have done from the very beginning.
And believe it or not, of all the aforementioned intangibles, the number one intangible is loyalty. All great sales letters remain loyal to one of the oldest of all copywriting basics: the AIDA formula!
You MUST write every single sales letter using the following classic AIDA formula. If you are loyal to the formula, the consistency, power and home runs will follow. That's a proven fact. Here's the formula:
A=ATTENTION I=INTEREST D=DESIRE A=ACTION
Let's break down each letter, so that you can understand the full import of the formula:
A=ATTENTION: The very first thing your sales letter must do is get your prospects attention. The best way to do that is with an effective headline.
So, what's an effective headline? An effective headline is any headline that answers this question: "What's in it for me?" That's all your prospects really care about. What's in it for them? Here's an up-to-the-second example of an effective headline: "Want More Sales? Write A Barry Bond Sales Letter."
So, what makes the title of this article an effective headline? Three things: First of all, I answered the "What's in it for me" question--which in this case would be more sales. Secondly, I brilliantly interjected the curiosity factor. I made you wonder what a Barry Bonds sales letter is. And last but not least, the headline made you read this article.
And that my friend is the whole point! You want prospects to read your sales letter!
Now, we come to the second letter in the aforementioned AIDA formula: I="INTEREST." After you get your prospects attention, you want to get them "INTERESTED" in your product or service. You do that by immediately telling them what your headline promises. You don't waste their time with a bunch of fluff and garbage that nobody but you cares about.
Tell them what they want to know, starting with the very first paragraph, and continue to tell them, right through to the very last paragraph. If you keep them interested, they'll keep reading, right to the very end--just like you're doing now with this article.
Next comes the third letter letter in the formula: D="DESIRE." You have to make your prospects "DESIRE" your product or service. And the way to do that is with benefits, benefits and more benefits!
Remember, just keep telling them what your headline promised. Also, tell them what they stand to gain by purchasing your product or service. More importantly, tell them what they stand to lose, if they don't purchase.
Push their emotional "hot buttons", by using magic selling words like, new, save, amazing, free, guaranteed, security, no-risk, look younger, feel better, etc!
Finally, we come to the last letter in the formula, but certainly not the least: A="ACTION." You want to close your sales letter with a call to action! In other words, ask them for the order. It's important to ask for the order at least six or more times.
Here are a few examples of effective closes:"Just click on the button below to order NOW--Risk-Free!""To get your FREE web site--Order NOW!""Limited time offer! Order NOW!"
Something else that's very effective is to include a post- script (P.S.) at the end of your sales letter. Your post-script should include an enticement of some sort, to get your prospects to order NOW. You should also use the post-script as a final call to "ACTION!"
Here's an example of an effective post-script:
P.S. If you order within the next 7 days, you'll also receive a personalized calculator mouse pad absolutely FREE, with your company's name embossed in gold lettering! Order NOW!"
You can also use a post script to tie everything together, by summarizing your most important benefits.
Another reason that you should use a post-script is strictly elementary. Studies have shown that most people, when reading a sales letter will read the headline and then immediately zoom right down to the bottom of the page to check out the price, and see if your offer is anything that they'd be interested in.
WARNING: Don't be fooled by the simplicity of the AIDA formula. It's been proven over time. It's powerful, and it works. In fact, the power is in its simplicity.
Also, when writing a sales letter, there are two critical points you must NEVER, EVER forget:Most people don't make a buying decision based on logic. They make a buying decision based on their emotions. They justify their decision with logic, after the fact.People don't want to feel like they're being coerced or pushed into anything. They want to feel like they arrived at a buying decision completely of their own free will.
Go back and read those two points again. Obviously, that's a very fine line to walk. But you MUST learn the distinction, if you want to master the art of writing effective sales letters.
In closing, follow the AIDA formula faithfully and it will rarely let you down.
And remember, when writing your sales letters, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS answer that one question we all want to know: "What's in it for me?"
About The Author
Dean Phillips is an Internet marketing expert, writer, publisher and entrepreneur. Questions? Comments? Dean can be reached at mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit his website at: http://www.lets-make-money.net