The Benefits of Direct Mail Sales Letters

Direct Mail Sales LettersDespite having an out of date, ‘old school’ reputation, the reality of direct mail marketing is anything but. In fact, if used correctly, it can be incredibly cost-effective, efficient and profitable…

So what exactly is direct mail marketing?

Fundamentally, “Direct Mail” constitutes any advertising message that has been personally addressed and delivered directly by mail to a prospective customer.

As a form of advertising, it’s becoming increasingly popular amongst various businesses because it’s a proven, targeted and measurable medium to market products and services to customers. However, in recent years the reputation of direct mail has suffered as a result of it being perceived in similar terms to “junk mail”.

These two descriptions of postal advertising are often used interchangeably – when in fact, the two of them are very different indeed – and it’s important that you understand this.

Direct mail advertising is all about giving your list of prospects and paying customers EXACTLY what they want.

Here are some examples to explain what I mean…

Imagine you’re a big movie fan… If you were to receive some direct mail in the post from Blockbuster (the movie rental store) telling you about a 2-for-1 offer on DVDs, you’d be interested, wouldn’t you?

Of course you would!

I’m a big movie fan myself and I’d love to receive an offer like that.

Or, let’s say you enjoy going out for meals with your wife, husband, partner etc, and a voucher for your favourite restaurant slides through the door… You would have a read of that wouldn’t you?

And there’s a good chance of you visiting that restaurant very soon – voucher in hand…

And that’s the key point right there…

If you send a sales letter that’s compelling and relevant to the right target audience, they’ll respond positively to it, and there’s a very strong probability that they will follow up on the offer and make a purchase.

Be direct with your mail, and it won’t turn into junk! That’s the power of direct mail sales letters.

In contrast, if you send a piece of direct mail to an untargeted person who has no interest in what you have to offer, it quickly becomes “junk mail” and the money you’ve spent on printing and posting has been completely wasted. That’s why the prospects you send your direct mail to need to be specifically targeted, to maximise the chances of it being read, and not simply ending up in the trash!

The reality is that you could be sending out information on the greatest product in the world for your particular niche, but if it’s mailed to the wrong target, they won’t bother reading past the headline – and that’s if they even decide to open it in the first place (a flyer on dog grooming for a cat lover, for example, or hair products for a bald man, probably won’t be read very thoroughly!)

The important thing to remember is that any potential for “junk mail” can be eradicated with a targeted list. That’s why your list is a crucial element of your direct mail programme.

Nick Cobb – Direct Response Copywriter

10 words to make your sales letters sizzle

top 10 trigger words for sales lettersHaving worked as a sales letter copywriter for many years now, I’ve discovered more and more ways of increasing conversions for my clients.

Naturally, the more you do something, the more you improve, and over the last five years, I’ve devised a sales letter formula that has proven to be extremely effective at generating high conversion rates.

I’ve spoken about this formula throughout this blog, revealing each individual component and how it should be included, but there are also some more basic things that should be added to your sales letters – trigger words.

Trigger words are essentially words that have a positive effect on the reader, helping to convince them that YOUR product is exactly what they need, and working to facilitating the sale. If you want your sales letters to sell as much product as possible, it’s crucial that you understand why trigger words work, and most importantly, which ones to use!

Here are my top 10…

1. Limited

Scarcity tactics are frequently used on sales letters to speed up the buyer’s purchasing decision and make them fearful of missing out. It’s a tactic that’s often misused and applied to online products like e-books (you can’t “run-out” of a digitally delivered e-book), but if you genuinely do have limited stock, make sure you let your readers know that if they delay too long, they may miss out altogether.

2. Discount

The fact is, everybody loves a bargain! No one wants to pay full price if they don’t absolutely have to, and the prospect of getting something below the usual price will convince many people “on the fence” to take the plunge. This is why practically every sales letter you see will state the original (or usual) price, followed by the new, discounted price.

3. Guarantee

Again, guarantees act as huge convincer for those who aren’t sure about whether to buy. Many people are skeptical and distrustful due to the increase in online fraud and scam websites, so letting the customer know that you’ll refund their payment should they change their mind (and that you’re a reputable company) will result in A LOT more people buying your product or service.

4. New

Many people love to have the next big thing or a brand-new product that other people don’t have, so if you’re selling a physical product that hasn’t been sold before, make sure your visitors know about it. Also, when it comes to online products, things are changing and evolving all the time, so a product that was big 6 months ago, might be all but redundant now. So if your product or service is up-to-the-minute and fresh, make this a big part of your sales copy…

5. You/Your

When it comes to selling – whether it be online or offline – the relationship you build up with your prospect is crucial to your chances of making a sale. You need to speak to your reader directly, giving the impression that this particular sales letter has been written specifically for them, and no one else. And the easiest way of achieving this is to use the words YOU and YOUR in the sales copy. You’ll be surprised at how much of a difference it makes.

6. Fast

We live in what I like to call a “microwave society” these days. What I mean by this is that everyone wants things quickly, and preferably NOW! Consequently, if you’re selling product in markets such as weight loss, muscle building, anti-ageing, make money, you need to stress that the customer will receive results FAST with your product. This can apply to your delivery method too, so whether the product is delivered via email or post, make sure the customer knows that they’ll receive it quickly.

7. Proven

No one wants to buy a product or service if it’s untested. No one wants to buy anything that MIGHT provide them with more money, bigger muscles or a slimmer physique! People will only buy products if they’re PROVEN to work, and have customer testimonials to back it up. If your product works, and you can prove it, be sure that this fact is prevalent on your sales letter.

8. Easy

The fact is, no one wants to work hard for anything! We all want results with the minimum of fuss and effort if at all possible. So stressing the ease in which the desired objective can be achieved with your product is very important. Of course, if it requires A LOT of hard work, then don’t mislead your prospects or lie to them, but if your product or service will make things easier for them, make this fact very clear in the sales copy.

9. Bonus

These days, people expect more for their money. When selling anything online, it’s no good just giving them the product, because that’s simply not enough. Adding the word “bonus” to the end of the sales letter will help to add perceived value to the product and convince any uncertain prospects to click on the order button. The more (related and useful) bonuses, the greater your chance of clinching a sale, within reason, of course!

10. Free

FREE is arguably the most powerful word that’s ever been used – at least in terms of marketing, anyway! People are drawn to the word like moths to a flame, and it’s a great one to use if you want to increase your conversion rate – which I’m sure you do! The word “free” can easily be applied to the bonuses that you offer at the end of your sales letter, which once again, will serve to add value to the product or service, consequently generating more sales and more profits for you and your business.

So when you come to write your own sales letter (or possibly hire a freelance copywriter to do it for you!), make sure that at least some of these trigger words can be found in your sales copy – because quite simply, they work…

Take it from me!

Nick Cobb – Freelance Copywriter

Advanced Sales Letter Copywriting Tip #6 – Graphics

sales letter graphicsAll the way back in April 1998, marketing guru and master copywriter, Dan S. Kennedy wrote in his newsletter; “Cosmetics Matter!”

And it’s crucial that you remember this when constructing your own sales letters because the truth is, the “cosmetics” of your sales page (or any website for that matter) are absolutely crucial to its success…

For that reason, “the look” of your sales and marketing materials should never be underestimated.

While this blog has provided you with the perfect sales letter formula to follow, its focus has been on the foundation of your sales letter: the actual copywriting itself.

But as we’ve discussed in this advanced sales letter series, there’s more to a great sales letter than great copywriting So it’s now time to build upon that foundation and make your sales page more attractive to the reader, which will, in turn, lead to more sales.

Note: One important point to bear in mind is that cosmetics and graphics should NEVER replace the importance of traditional copywriting techniques, such as headline development, structure, language etc. Instead, these additions to your sales page are there to enhance your copywriting by making the page itself more visually appealing.

So then, how exactly can you go about achieving this?

Well, you have two choices…

You can either pay a professional graphics designer to come up with each individual graphic that you need (which would naturally cost a lot of money), or you could simply purchase a sales letter graphics package online and have every possible graphic that you’ll ever need, right in front of you in a matter of seconds…

Yep, you’re right, option two sounds a little better doesn’t it?!

You see, the graphics package represents a one-off cost, and it supplies you with everything you need to make your sales page more visually appealing and professional looking. Hiring a designer to come up with individual graphics each and every time you want them, on the other hand, would be hugely expensive.

But of course, it’s entirely up to you which route you take.

When it comes to the graphics themselves, one particular package that I like to use can be found here: saleslettergraphics.com.

This package allows you to add all sorts of graphics to your sales page, from “Order Now”, “Warning”, ”Submit” and “Free Trial” buttons to various guarantee seals, bonus images, bullet points and arrows. In fact, there are over 2,000 graphics to choose from!

As I’m sure you’ve seen yourself during your online surfing, simple graphics like these make a real difference to the look and feel of a sales page, creating a much more visually appealing and attractive sight and giving the page a far more professional image, which will ultimately lead to better conversion rates.

So whatever you do, DON’T EVER settle for a text-only sales page…

If you do, you’ll struggle to generate any excitement or enthusiasm, and your sales letter will look amateurish, which will inevitably have a huge impact on the number of people who choose to buy the product in question.

So then, what other options are there for giving your sales page a boost?!

Well, another fantastic website for adding visual appeal, colour and life to your sales page is CopyDoodles.com.

Although “Copy Doodles” are a digital file just like any other graphic, they give the appearance of personalised, handwritten notes, which can make a sales letter a lot more fun to read, and can keep the visitor on the page for longer.

While I’m not intending to promote Copy Doodles.com, or any other site I’ve listed, I thought they provided a perfect example of how colourful and lively graphics will enable you to differentiate yourself from your competitors and make your sales page a much more exciting place to be…

Because ultimately, you should be adopting any methods that will:

• Keep visitors on your website for longer…
• Generate excitement and interest in your product…
• Make your sales page more professional…
• Make your sales page more visually appealing…
• Improve the visitors’ experience whilst on your sales page…
• Enhance and complement your sales letter copywriting

And of course, fulfil the most important objective of all…

• GENERATE MORE SALES!

The simple fact is, you ABSOLUTELY MUST use graphics to spice up your sales pages, because without them, your product will look dull and unappealing. You won’t be able to generate any kind of enthusiasm for your product, and your potential customer will be gone before you know it…

Ultimately, you want to create a sales letter that’s full of life, colour and vibrancy. It needs to appeal to the senses so that your visitors will stay on the page for as long as possible, and actually read the brilliant sales copy that you, or your copywriter, has written!

Indeed, every single one of the six techniques we’ve discussed will help to improve your sales figures, and that’s why I’ve decided to reveal them to you in this post.

I want you to improve your chances of selling more products so that you can make MORE MONEY, and these tools will help you to do exactly that, I promise you.

Of course, as I’m sure you can imagine, it’s not really feasible to include every single one of these tools on your sales pages, so it’s up to you which ones you choose to run with.

While these tools will benefit your business, it’s not a good idea to overload your sales pages with too many forms, pop-ups, videos or audio files because it gets a little busy and ultimately detracts from your main objective, which is to entice the reader further into your sales page.

For that reason, it’s best that you try to strike a balance and include no more than four of these tools on your sales letters at any one time.

Personally, I’d recommend virtual sales agents and video to begin with, together with some nice graphics to engage some colour and vibrancy into your sales letter.

And after that?

Well, that’s up to you!

Nick Cobb – Freelance Copywriter

Organic link building – the key to successful SEO

SEO link buildingWhen setting up a website, it’s imperative that you start out on the right footing if you want people to find your site via the search engines.

You need to conduct the necessary keyword research to discover exactly what search phrases are most relevant to your business, and you also need to ensure that your site is designed in a way that’s easy to navigate, for both humans and the search engine spiders.

It’s also a good idea to hire a professional SEO copywriter to give your web pages the best possible chance of ranking for your main keywords.

But that’s not everything…

Oh no!

In fact, that’s the easy bit. And it’s just the beginning of your search engine optimization strategy. Because if you really want your website to rise to the very top of the search engines for your principal keywords, then you need to start building links, both internal and external ones.

What are internal links?

Creating internal links is the easiest way to improve your site’s ranking. Basically, all you need to do is turn your keywords into anchor text, and then link to other pages within your own site. This tells Google and the search engine spiders that your site is relevant to those particular phrases, and the more you do it, the more relevant your site will be to those keywords, and the higher it will rise.

To give you an example of how it works, you only need to look at what I’ve been doing on all of my blog posts. Whenever I include one my main keywords, such as freelance copywriter, for instance, I create an internal link out of it. And if you click on that link now, it will take you through to my home page. This process makes my home page relevant to that term, and the more I do it, the more relevance it carries (within reason, of course).

I’d recommend that you follow this internal linking strategy yourself, because although it takes time and involves the writing of numerous blog posts, it works. And most importantly, it’s completely free!

What are external links?

External links are what REALLY count when it comes to SEO. These are links that come into your site from external sources, such as other blogs and websites, and are generally referred to as “backlinks”.

To begin this process, I’d suggest that you sign up to as many social media sites as you can, and add your website link to those pages. I’d then register with business websites such as Free Index.co.uk, Startup.biz or the UK Small Business Directory (if you’re in the UK, of course), as well as relevant forums in your niche. This is the first step in the process.

The next step is to write good quality content and submit it to article sites such as ezinearticles.com, amazines.com, articlealley.com and articlebase.com, to name just a few. These sites will allow you to place your link on your profile page (generating more and more backlinks as you go).

But more importantly, your articles will be syndicated by these sites, providing you with a greater reader base. And if your articles are of good quality and offer value to your readers, then they will be referenced by other people online, and linked to, which will then provide further backlinks.

This is crucial because every time another blog or website links to you, Google and the other search engines see it as vote of confidence in your site, and consequently push it higher in the search engine rankings.

So as you can imagine, the more backlinks you receive, and the more relevant they are to your site, the more authoritative you are seen by the search engines and the better your search engine ranking becomes.

What are you waiting for?!

So if you’d like to improve your website’s search engine ranking for your main keywords (completely free, remember), then I’d strongly recommend that you sign up to as many sites as you can, and make sure that your website address is included on all of your profile pages – which will provide links back to your site.

You should then begin the process of creating further backlinks from external sources. And the best way of doing this is to write good quality, informative articles that readers will want to share with others, and more importantly, link to.

Follow my “organic” search engine optimization strategy, and not only will you be optimizing your website at absolutely no cost, but you’ll also have total control over your SEO strategy, so that you’ll know exactly how to do it next time…

Happy linking!

Nick Cobb – SEO copywriter

Useful Resources

Organic SEO techniques
SEO link building techniques
Free link building tips

Advanced Sales Letter Copywriting Tip #5 – Data Capture

data capture formWhen it comes to selling anything online, it’s crucial that you do your very best to monetize every lead that turns up on your website.

After all, if someone has landed on your sales page, the likelihood is that they’re interested in what you have to offer, so DON’T allow them to leave without a fight!

As I mentioned earlier on this blog, great copywriting isn’t always enough, and one way of enhancing your chances of making a sale is to install some “virtual sales agent” software that pops up when the visitor attempts to leave, and offers them a discount or a special offer, for example.

This is a short-term retention technique designed to produce a sale there and then.

However, a more long-term technique is to install a data capture device on your sales page, so that even if the customer doesn’t purchase from you at that precise moment, you can collect their contact details instead, allowing you to promote to them in the future…

In essence, it’s a back-up tool – a way of retaining the prospect’s contact details if they choose not to buy and leave your site altogether.

A popular saying in internet marketing circles is; ‘the money is in the list’, so it’s absolutely vital that you begin to collect the names and email addresses of people interested in your product.

This, after all, is your TARGET MARKET, so you need to find a way of retaining these prospects in order to contact them in the future…

Having a data capture device on your sales letter is therefore an incredibly effective tool to use, and in the long run, it will lead to more customers, more sales, and more money in your pocket!

Of course, in order for someone to give you their name and email address, you need to offer them something in return, and that something should always be valuable to your prospect, and ideally FREE.

(For obvious reasons, giving away something free is the #1 method for collecting email addresses and building a responsive list).

If you can offer something of value to the customer, then the chances are high that they’ll give you their email address. This is largely due to the relative anonymity of an email address, as opposed to someone’s home address, post code or credit card details, for example, which most people would be more reluctant to hand over.

So by offering a free e-book, report, email course, membership subscription etc, you’ll receive a VERY LARGE NUMBER of email addresses from people who are VERY INTERESTED in your product!

And this means that even if those prospects choose not to buy from your sales page on that day, you now have a way of contacting them and turning them into buyers in the future.

So as you can imagine, this is a hugely powerful – and very simple – tool that you can add to your sales letters.

In order to install a data capture device on your sales letter, first sign up with an auto-responder service such as 1shoppingcart.com, aweber.com or getresponse.com. Once you’ve done that, ask your web designer to add a data capture form onto your sales page and then link it up to your auto-responder service so that you’re able to store all of the names and email addresses that you collect.

Now then, I’m often asked HOW a data capture device should be incorporated into a sales page, and whether it should be a pop-up device or simply part of the original web page…

Personally, whenever I visit a sales page, I find it a little annoying if a data capture device pops-up, slides down or otherwise appears in front of the screen, blocking the sales material from view.

I’ve always felt that it’s hard enough trying to convince prospects to buy products online, without making it even more difficult for them to read your wonderful sales material – no doubt you hired a great copywriter after all!

Why are data capture forms so important?

Without any sort of data capture form, you’ll be allowing people to simply leave your web page, with no attempt to hang onto them or collect their details for future promotions.

This means that hundreds – if not thousands – of people who have shown a keen interest in your product (they clicked on a link and visited your site after all) will be lost FOREVER, maybe never to return…

And that’s a lot of potential income you’re leaving on the table.

DON’T LET THAT HAPPEN!

So then, that’s five out of my six “techno-tools” covered…

And make no mistake about it… These tools are fantastic ways of boosting the appeal, effectiveness and profitability of your sales letter copywriting, and if you use them correctly, I can absolutely guarantee that you will make more money.

Nick Cobb – Sales Letter Copywriter

How to improve your search engine ranking

Getting to the top of the search engines doesn't have to cost moneyWhen I set up myself up as a freelance copywriter six months ago, I knew I had a lot of hard work ahead of me if I was going to rank on page one of Google.

There are an awful lot of copywriters out there after all, and I knew it wasn’t going to be easy to get ahead of 99.9% of them…

Today, I’m feeling quite proud of myself (cue smug look)!

I’ve just checked the ranking of my two websites for my main keywords, and found that my target is getting closer and closer by the day – and, most importantly, I haven’t paid a penny to do it.

For the search term “freelance copywriter”, for instance, I’m now on page 3 of Google – out of a massive 6 million competing websites. Wooh, go me!

For the term “website copywriter” I’m ranked on page 4 out of 1.4 million competing websites, and my sister site; nickcobbcopywriter.com, is ranked on page 2 for the keyword “sales letter copywriter”, out of 2 million sites.

Now, I’m not saying this to boast or anything like that (I am really ;)) – I just wanted to let you all know that you don’t always need to pay SEO companies hundreds of pounds to propel your sites to the top of the search engines.

Sure, if you’re involved in a particularly competitive niche such as weight loss or making money online, then you’ll no doubt need to spend some money in order to give your site a rankings boost, but for those of you in smaller, less competitive niches, then all it really takes is hard work and commitment.

Like I said, I haven’t spent a single penny to get my websites as high as they are. I’ve written numerous blog posts and used simple methods such as internal linking to make my posts relevant to my major keywords, and I’ve set up multiple social media accounts in order to get as many backlinks as possible (backlinks are absolutely crucial to your ranking).

But the method that’s helped me the most is article writing…

Very early on, I started submitting articles to ezinearticles.com, and recently, a few of them have been picked up by a variety of companies and used in their own newsletters. Not only has this brought me a heap of business, but the increased visibility of my articles has led to them being used by other copywriters and online marketers on their own blogs, too.

Now, I’ve got absolutely no problem with people using my articles and blog posts on their own sites – as long as they credit me as the author and add a link back to my site – which they have done. And the result of this is that I’ve started to gain a lot of very useful, and very relevant backlinks – which has subsequently has the desired effect of propelling my website higher up in the search engines rankings even further.

I’ve repeatedly stated on this blog that the best way to improve your rankings is to write good quality, relevant content that people will actually want to read.

Because if you do, they’ll be referenced by others, linked to, and even used on other websites – which is exactly what you need to improve your position in the search engines.

Now, you may not have the time or energy to take on your SEO campaign, and if so, go ahead and hire someone to help you out. But if you’re a little strapped for cash when first starting out online, the old fashioned tactic of putting in the hard yards still works too.

So save a bit of cash and take control of your own SEO campaign – It’s easy when you know how!

Nick Cobb – SEO Copywriter

Advanced Sales Letter Copywriting Tip #4 – Page Peel

sales letter tool #4 - page peelAnother great little sales letter tool that will augment your killer copywriting is the Peel Away Ad, or “Page Peel”.

This particular piece of software allows you to display a small animated “Peel” on the right hand corner of your website.

Then, if your visitor tries to close the page by moving their mouse over the Peel Away Ad, it smoothly opens with a peel-off animation, revealing the information underneath. Page Peels offer a fantastic (and most importantly, non-intrusive) way of directing your visitors towards something you want them to see.

It’s a way of advertising a discount or a special offer to visitors, WITHOUT thrusting it in their faces!

If you’ve ever been to a website and seen those annoying pop-ups, drop-downs, or even worse, that box that follows you all the way down the page when you’re trying to get away from it, then you’ll understand why the Page Peel technique works!

Essentially, it’s a style of advertisement that pricks the interest of the website visitor, intrigues them, and makes them WANT to see what’s underneath, instead of irritating them and forcing them to click away from your page.

What you choose to display behind the Page Peel is entirely up to you…

It can be a discount, a special offer, a clock counter, a “limited number of products left” warning, or simply a list of benefits showing the visitor why they should buy your product…

But whatever it is, this technique (if used correctly) has the potential to produce MORE SALES, and that’s the key point here.

The Page Peel effect is also a very simple script to set up and allows for a great deal of customisation, allowing you to place pretty much anything you want underneath it.

As I mentioned, the most advantageous aspect of the Page Peel tool is that it catches the eye of your website visitors without being irritating or intrusive, like so many other scripts that you see online.

The flapping motion of the corner fold is quite enticing to look at, which results in a high proportion of visitors looking to see what’s beneath it…

It also enables you to be quite creative, placing important information at the top of your sales letter without taking up valuable space or making it seem too busy or cluttered.

And from my own experience, I’ve found that it’s very unlikely to force visitors away from your sales page because of its non-intrusive nature.

Ultimately, if a visitor is interested in seeing what’s underneath the fold, they’ll hover over the ad… If not, they’ll just move their mouse back to the page and continue reading the sales copy.

This is preferable to pop-ups and drop-downs in particular, which can take focus away from your main sales tool – your copywriting – and annoy your potential customer.

Another advantage of Page Peel is that all the main providers use the Adobe Flash plug-in. This means that they’re supported by all the major web browsers, such as FireFox and Internet Explorer, and therefore the vast majority (around 98%) of Internet users will be able to see the Page Peels that you create…

And on top of that, pop-up blockers that many people install on their browsers won’t prevent your Page Peel ad from displaying either.

So what scripts are there to choose from?

Well, in the past my clients have used RapidBanners.eu, PeelAwayAds.net and PeelAwayAdvertisement.com, to name three.

Oh, and if you’re not particularly techie, don’t worry! Most of these companies will either help you out via email/telephone, or alternatively, they can install the script for you for an additional few pounds.

In terms of which ones to choose, my personal viewpoint is that if you’re going to spend money on software in order to improve the effectiveness of your sales letters and increase your conversions, then you may as well buy the best!

There’s no point scrimping and saving and buying the cheapest option, because these tools have the potential to make you a huge amount of money, and the better they look and the more effective they are in producing sales, the more money they’ll make you.

All in all, I believe that Page Peel is well worth employing on your own sales pages… or at least testing!

Many of my sales letter copywriting clients have noticed an upward turn in conversions since they started using this tool, and anything that serves to pump more money into their bank account definitely gets a thumbs up from them!

Here are my TOP FOUR ways to use Page Peel on your sales letters:

1. To promote a further discount for the first 50, 100 buyers, etc…
2. To promote a “special offer” or bonus item…
3. To display a “limited number of products remaining” warning (as long as it’s genuine of course, and not a cheap marketing ploy)…
4. To highlight a list of benefits reiterating the strength of the product…

So if you want an inventive way to communicate an important message to your website visitors, then give page peel a try on your own sales letter, and improve your conversions while you’re at it!

Nick Cobb – Sales Letter Copywriter

Advanced Sales Letter Copywriting Tip #3 – Add Audio

using audio on sales lettersContinuing on with our series of advanced sales letter tips, the use of audio is another equally effective tool for increasing conversion rates…

And I’d highly recommend that you add it to your sales material, either with or without video (although be sure not to put them side by side or play them both together as this can be incredibly annoying!).

The advantage of audio is that it’s very quick and easy to implement, while proving hugely powerful at the same time.

Psychologists state that this is because hearing a human voice builds trust and credibility. It makes the prospective buyer feel more at ease and forges a relationship that is not always possible with great copywriting alone.

As a result, your prospects are far more likely to click on the order button and purchase your product!

Another advantage of using audio on your sales page is that it gives you the opportunity to explain exactly what you want your visitor to do…

For example, an audio message will allow you to tell your visitors what to read, where to click, what information to fill in, and how to submit that information. And when you combine this with a written message it reinforces what you want the person to do, increasing the likelihood that they’ll do exactly what you’re asking.

Further to that, having audio on your sales page also provides another way of reassuring your prospects and letting them know what will happen once they order.

When ordering online, people want to know exactly what to expect when they click the order button. And an audio message gives you the opportunity to tell them what page they will be sent to once they order, what will happen on that page, and what they will need to do in order to download or receive their product.

When people feel comfortable with the sales process and understand exactly what’s going on, they will be far less likely to back out at the last minute and leave your website.

Many of my clients have started to use audio on their sales letters, setting it to play automatically, as soon as their website loads up.

From my own experience, I’d advise that you position the audio file just beneath the main headline, so that people know straight away where the sound is coming from and why! It’s also a good idea to give the visitor the option of stopping the audio by adding a pause button, as some people may prefer to simply read the sales page…

Nearly all of my clients have noticed an increase in conversions whey they added audio to their sales letters, so I’d definitely suggest that you try it out alongside your own piece of sales letter copywriting, even if it’s just as a test.

So then, where should you go to get an audio file recorded?

Well, there are a number of companies who offer audio services, but I found internetjock.com to have the widest selection of voices on offer and the best prices. They charge just $55 for a one-minute piece of “narration”, which is very reasonable when you consider how effective this audio can be.

And they also allow you to choose from a wide range of voices, and then decide which one is best suited to you and your product.

Of course, when it comes to producing audio for your sales page, you could always just record it yourself and use your own voice, with something like Camtasia Studio. But if you don’t have the software or the equipment to do this, then paying a little bit of money to someone like internetjock.com is well worth it.

Alternatively, you can also check out liveactor.com, flashaudiowizard.com or cbmall.com/razor.

At least that way you’re guaranteed a seasoned and experienced voice-over which will add credibility to your site and give it that professional feel. After all, it’s that extra professionalism and stand-out appeal that we’re trying to create with all of these techniques…

You may well be in a market with lots of competition and if that’s the case, you need to set your sales letter apart from the rest. And tools like virtual sales agents, video and audio can make a huge difference to your bottom line…

So it’s well worth spending a little bit of money now in order to gain the best possible chance of making MUCH MORE MONEY in the long term!

In fact, it’s nearly always best to spend the money and receive a top-rate job, rather than try to scrimp and save in the hope that a budget or free option will achieve the same results.

The truth is, if you spend money on the best tools, the best software, and the best sales letter copywriter, you’ll see more money coming back to you as a result. This is because a more professional looking, well-written and visually appealing sales page will lead to greater numbers of people buying your product.

If you do decide to record the audio yourself, you may want to have a few practice runs before you start! In theory, using your own voice on your sales page can be beneficial because it can make you seem more “real” and trustworthy.

But as many people often discover when recording their own audios, reading from a script can make you sound very wooden and boring if you’re not used to doing it, and that’s why it’s sometimes best to go with a professional voice-over artist!

After all, if you want to excite your prospects and make them enthusiastic about what you have to offer, it’s no good having a dull and monotonous piece of audio that will have them clicking off your site in a matter of seconds. If you’ve ever watched the home shopping channel, QVC, for example, you will have seen how incredibly lively and enthusiastic the salespeople are!

This is a very deliberate style of presentation that’s born out of years of research. And it works because the hosts’ enthusiasm for the product transfers to the viewers, which motivates them to buy the product that’s being featured.

Therefore, creating a professional sounding and enthusiastic audio for your sales page will have similar effects for your product, and will lead to greater profits.

Nick Cobb – Sales Letter Copywriter

Useful Resources:

How to add an audio button to your sales letters
Using web audio for your sales letter
Adding audio to your website or sales letter

What is a copywriter?

Copywriting confusionWhen people ask me what I do for a living and I tell them that I’m a copywriter, I typically receive the same confused response…

“Oh right, great”, they’ll say, pretending to know exactly what it is! Two or three seconds will pass before their curiosity gets the better of them and they enquire a little further…

“So what does a copywriter do then?”

When I first set up my business and started telling my friends about it, I assumed that most people knew what copywriting was, and what a copywriter did. I’d previously worked in the publishing industry as deputy editor on a number of magazines, so I’d understood and used the term for years.

And because I knew what it meant, I rather naively assumed that everyone else did too!

But many people either don’t know what a copywriter is, or confuse it with the term “copyright” – which is about protecting the physical expression of an idea, such as a piece of writing, film, music or photograph, for example.

So to clarify, I’m a copywriter, not a copyrighter!

Essentially, my job is to create sales material, or “copy” for businesses, with the sole aim of convincing as many people as possible to purchase a particular product or service. This sales material can take many forms, such as sales letters, website content, email promotions, articles, blog posts and press releases.

And although I do write articles, press releases, email promotions and blog posts for a wide variety of clients, most of my time is dedicated to constructing sales letters and website content, as this is where the real money is generated.

As a result, I typically target the keywords “copywriter” or “website copywriter” in the search engines, as these terms are most relevant to what I do, and most importantly, what I like to do.

The psychology of copywriting

As well as having a penchant for the written word, the very best copywriters also possess a highly evolved understanding of human psychology. After all, a person’s decision to buy a product is often based on emotional factors, rather than logical reasoning, and an experienced copywriter will be able to tap in to those emotional triggers.

Good copywriting, therefore, is all about identifying what people want, and how a particular product is able to give it to them. It’s about pushing the reader’s hot buttons, and focusing on the benefits of the product, NOT the features, and demonstrating to the prospect how that particular product will make their life better.

Whether your product is about making money online, health improvement, muscle building or weight loss, a good copywriter will be able to deliver your message to the consumer, and convince them that the product they’re looking at is the solution to their problem.

Nick Cobb – Freelance Copywriter

Advanced Sales Letter Tip #2 – Video

video sales lettersThe use of video as an online marketing tool has been growing hugely in recent years, and it’s proving to be a great accompaniment to traditional sales copywriting techniques.

More and more businesses, from small-time internet marketers to huge multinational corporations, have begun to appreciate just how incredibly powerful video is as a marketing and sales tool.

There are many reasons for this, but one of the main ones is that people tend to look for a visual experience when surfing the web, and video has an inherent appeal to audiences.

The fact is, many people (including me) are lazy and they’ll often choose to ‘watch’ something, as opposed to ‘read’ it! Watching a video and listening to the information provided is much easier than having to read the information on a sales letter.

And for this reason, it’s vital that you give your prospects that option, as many people will be put off by the thought of reading a long sales letter, however interested they may be in the product.

Furthermore, a good quality video at the top of a sales page will result in your company appearing a lot more professional as well, which will help to create even more sales.

In fact, I can’t stress enough just how important it is that you incorporate some sort of video into your sales page, whether it’s a simple video of you talking to your audience and explaining the benefits of your product, or a more professional approach that uses a paid actor (more on these options a little later).

So then, let’s say you want to create a video for your sales page…

Where should you start?

Well, when it comes to creating a sales video, don’t be afraid of creating one YOURSELF. Many beginners shy away from creating videos because of the perceived technical difficulties.

However, it really isn’t that difficult at all…

Sites like YouTube, Animoto and Google Video have created the perfect vehicle for creating quick and easy marketing videos, and you can cash in on this phenomenon to generate hugely appealing sales pages which will significantly increase your conversion rates and put more money in your pocket…

If you’d like to create something quick and easy, and at low-cost, then YouTube might be a good bet…

A YouTube video can be filmed in your own home, in a park or on holiday, for instance, using a regular digital camera or camcorder, and it can constitute pretty much anything you like. Also, YouTube will host the video for you, so there’s no cost involved!

All you need to do is upload it onto your sales page and position it accordingly, which any designer can do for you.

Let’s say that you’re selling a weight loss product, for instance. You could film a “BEFORE” and “AFTER” sales video, showing just how effective your diet plan is.

Or perhaps you have a new window cleaning device? You could use a video to demonstrate HOW it works, rather than simply rely on your copy to sell the product…

If you want to film a video yourself, then I’d recommend taking a look at either Camtasia.com or theflip.com.

Alternatively, if you’d like to create a more professional and credible look, without appearing on the video yourself, then I’d suggest a “website video spokesman”.

What’s a website video spokesman?!

Aha! Well, this is the latest craze to appear on sales letters, and it can be a HUGELY effective tool.

You’ve probably seen this technique being used on other websites, but if not, it essentially consists of a paid actor “walking onto your sales page” and saying whatever it is you want them to say!

The actor can then speak directly to your audience, point visitors to relevant web pages and even demonstrate your product (if it’s a physical one).

The use of live actors has become increasingly popular in recent years as internet marketers and large brands alike are looking for ways to set themselves apart from their competition, engage their customers, grab their attention, communicate their message more effectively, and ultimately, KEEP potential customers on their website!

If you’re interested in having live virtual actors on your own sales page, then here are a few sites that you can take a look at:

Virtual Live Actors
Live People
Live Personality
Live Actor
Live Face On Web

The fact is, the addition of a video on your sales page will boost your conversions, so I definitely recommend that you incorporate this tool, whether it’s a simple YouTube video or a sophisticated, state of the art version with a virtual live actor.

Nick Cobb – Sales Letter Copywriter

Useful Resources:

Video sales letters
How to create a video sales letter