How To Write A Sales Letter

Do you have some sales copy you need to write
ASAP and have no idea where to start? I’m here to help you turn what you think
into ink in a blink! Hey guys, it’s Alex! In this video, I’m going to be sharing my
10-step writing process that I follow for every single new piece of copy I write, from
the first outline all the way to the final draft. Now, I very very briefly mentioned these steps
as a sidebar in another video… But I was inspired to do an entire copywriting
tutorial on this topic after Jordan, one of my subscribers, wrote me to say he secured
a monthly retainer with a direct response marketing agency he’d had been trying to
work with after following this process – that I literally only covered in like 10 seconds
in another video. So, yes, Jordan! Congratulations!!! This is why I do these videos! And I figured many of you too could benefit
from me going a little deeper into this copywriting process now that I know that it’s so helpful. And, guys like Jordan, if you have any questions
or anything you want to learn more about please comment below and let me know! I release a copywriting tutorial every single
week so be sure to hit subscribe below so you don’t miss a single video from me! Hey who knows you might be the inspiration
for my next video! Okay, so as I’ve mentioned before, I hardly
ever write a piece of sales copy in one sitting. And that’s because the whole process takes
both the left and the right sides of your brain, the Einstein and Picasso! And you have to go back and forth multiple
times throughout these steps. So as a quick overview, here is my 10-step
copywriting process that I’ll be diving deeper into in this video. Step 1, Create An Outline. Yes, that is
the left side of the noggin. Step 2, Research & Brainstorm the Hook. That
requires the right side. Step 3, Write The Hook (which is usually
the lead-in to your sales message). Step 4, Finalize The Offer.
Step 5, Write The First Draft. Step 6, Copy Editing.
Step 7, Write The Second Draft. Step 8, Proofread.
Step 9, Complete The Final Draft. Step 10, Submit your final work To Your Team
or Client. Ahhhh. Yeah. So that is the exact sequence of steps that
I follow every single time I write a sales offer. And you can’t really skip ahead or go back
later. The process is very, very important. And I don’t know about you but for me, it’s
freaking impossible to switch back and forth between the two sides of my brain on demand. Now, I tend to live in the more left side
of my brain, that analytical, linear, editor side that thinks in frameworks and processes. So getting into create flow state where I’m
accessing the right part of my brain takes time and I often need to dedicate a whole
day for each one of the more creative steps in my process. Whereas the left-brain tasks I can do within
minutes and often clump them all together and do them in one sitting. So, it usually takes me at least 6-7 sittings
to write a major sales piece from start to finish – and some of the steps take me way
longer than others. To me there is nothing worse than trying to
squeeze everything out in one day. I cannot be creative at all if I feel pressured
or stressed. So give me a thumbs up below if you can relate! Alright, so let’s dive deeper into my secret
copywriting process! With each step, I’ll share a time estimate
of how long it should reasonably take. That way you can block out writing time in
your calendar for each copy project that lands on your desk. Now, your process might be different than
mine, it all depends on what works for you! But I’m hoping this gives you a good place
to start… Ok, so step number 1. Create An Outline. So this is essentially a skeleton of what
you’ll be writing – or a simple list of bullet points outlining the flow and sections
of the sales offer, with sub-bullets of key points you want to make under each one. Your outline will be different depending on
if you’re writing an ad, a landing page, a sales page, a video script, a webinar or
a social post, but normally it will start with a headline and end with a Call-To-Action. In future videos, I’ll share the exact outlines
I use for each one of these sales messages. So, comment below and let me know what one
ya want first! Ok moving on to step number 2… Research & Brainstorm the Hook. This is my favorite part of the process. It involves chasing rabbits down a tonne of
different holes to find stories or evidence that support your hook. So the first thing you’ll want to do, depending
on the nature of the product or service you’re selling, is determining the type of hook you
want to use. A simple way to start is to go with what I
like to call one of the “S-Hooks” You can tell a story (personal or fictional)
that really builds rapport and allows the reader to identify with you. You can use science or statistics to build
trust and create authority. Or supposition which is making positive assumptions
about the reader that lead them to believe they will achieve the desired outcome. I’ll go deeper into these types of hooks
in a future video. Okay, so once you’ve got an idea of the
direction you plan to go, go to town on good ol’ Google. Find news stories, case studies, facts, legends,
myths, quotes – anything that supports your hook. And at the end of this step you should have
a document with a ton of random links and resources and text pulled from loads of different
places. It’ll look like an unformatted hot mess
of a document, and that’s when you know you’re ready to move onto step number 3. Write the Hook So, open a new document and using the research
you found in step 2, just start writing. This is a total brain dump and requires the
rightest of the right sides of your brain. The goal here is to really tap into the feeling
and the emotion of the reader. Remember empathy is key in copywriting. Now, before you start you might want to try
even meditating a bit on the problems you’re helping your ideal customers solve… I like to think of the product first and then
reverse engineer it from there. So, ask yourself… What are the features of this product or service? What are the benefits of these features? What are the problems these benefits help
address? What is the number one CORE pain point your
ideal customer has? And Why has this person NOT been able to solve
it in the past? This is where you should start. Now, the #1 rule of this step is – No editing
whatsoever! Whatever you do, do not touch the backspace
button. Just keep writing…. And don’t give a rat’s butt about punctuation. Just write down anything that comes to mind. Sometimes I’ll write words that aren’t
even words they just sound like the word I want to use but can’t think of in the moment. Whatever, I’ll use that word. So, step completely out of judgement. No one will see this but you I promise. And, you can even try setting a timer at first,
say 20 minutes, to get all your ideas out of that brain for yours. With a time limit, you likely won’t go into
that over-analyzer mode and critique every single thing that you write. And just remember, the first 100 or so words
will be garbage. But I promise that garbage will turn to pure
gold. Ok, so once you have the hook roughly flushed
out, set it aside, let it simmer. And move onto step number 4. Finalize Details of the Offer Your offer is essentially the second half
of your sales message, after the hook, and after you transitioned into what it is that
you’re going to be selling. So, introduce the product or service, stack
up the value, outline the bonuses, note the regular price, announce the discount, play
up the scarcity, explain the “Reason Why” for the scarcity, provide access and order
details and, of course, have a call-to-action. After this step, you really should have a
rough draft of the part of your sales message that answers the WHAT, HOW, WHEN and WHY for
your ideal customer. What is it, how do they get it, when should
they buy it and why should they buy it right now? Okay next, you’re ready to move onto step
number 5… Write The First Draft By now you’ve already done a lot of the
creative heavy lifting, but you’re not quite done with that right side of the brain. This step is about bringing it all together. So you have a rough draft of the hook, you
have a rough draft of the sales offer, now you need to combine the two into one cohesive
sales message. And the trick here is to make the transition
or “sales pivot” as seamless as possible. It’s the classic “If this is you, I have
something for you…” During this step you’ll finesse the flow
and pull out any key ideas or concepts that could become headlines or introductions to
new copy sections, if you’re writing a sales page. And once you have a rough draft of your complete
sales message, you’re ready to move onto step number 6, Copy Editing. Now, copy editing is very different than simply
proofreading. Copy editing is about finding any obvious
gaps and/or disconnects in the copy. For example, maybe a loop is opened and never
closed. Or maybe there’s irrelevant information
that doesn’t lend itself well to the overall message and could create confusion. Or maybe there’s important information that’s
missing all together because you thought it was obvious or self-explanatory and it isn’t. At this step of the process, I really like
to ask someone else to read my copy and leave comments or notes on anything they find confusing,
or misleading, or redundant or incomplete. I’ve learned that other people are VERY good
at finding the disconnects that we, as copywriters, have a hard time doing with our own writing. Either because ego gets in the way or we’re
just so deep in it that we can’t see the forest for the trees. I’ll often use incorrect grammar, or unintentionally
switch up tenses between past and present, or include a mix of pronouns like “I”
and “we” or use cultural references or figures of speech that just don’t translate
well to other countries- even between Canada and America. Eh? Listen, copywriters are sometimes the worst
WRITERS if you’re gauging us using an academic linguistics meter stick! So don’t expect me to know how to spell,
ok?. Now, moving on to step number 7 – Write The
Second Draft Ok so, after the copy editor has completely
massacred your first draft, you can move on to writing the second draft. This is where you finesse your sales message. A thesaurus will be your BEST friend during
this step. Without getting too fancy or complex, look
to use more interesting or descriptive words throughout your copy. And I like to read my copy OUT LOUD. Because most people actually read by subvocalizing. so make sure sentences are succinct and transitions
are seamless, and re-write any sentences that don’t roll off the tongue nicely. Also, break up any paragraphs that are too
long as walls of text will cause overwhelm and can actually cause the reader to disengage…
and use ellipses for the continuation of an idea between paragraphs rather than full stops. During this step is when you’ll also finalize
the headlines. Now notice even though the headline is the
very first thing you’ll read in a sales message it’s not the first thing you write. I always write my headlines last, once the
sales message is almost 100% complete. And lastly, during this step, make sure the
copy works in context. So if it’s a video script, you won’t want
to tell the viewer to “keep reading”. Or if this message appears after an opt-in,
you’ll want to address that and thank them for signing up. You get the idea. By the end of this step, you should have a
nearly completed sales messages and you can move on to step
Number 8, proofreading! I NEVER proofread my own copy. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve proofread
my own copy and I miss a million things. When we write in our own voice, our mind will
effortlessly fill in the gaps because we know what we MEANT to say. So send your copy to a VA or someone with
a really high attention to detail. Even though a lot of copywriters, ironically,
are horrible spellers, nothing makes you look worse than sending a sales page to your client
that has typos in it. So please, do yourself a favour, it takes
no time at all do not skip this step. Next up is step number 9, Completing The Final
Draft. Give your sales message one last run through
and make sure it includes all the components of a Hot Offer, like testimonials, and a guarantee. If you don’t know what all the components
are, You can get my Hot Offer Checklist by clicking the link in the description below. And during this step, make sure you also include
all the micro bits of copy that are really easy to forget, like button copy, or the page
title that appears in the browser tab. If you leave them out, your client or team
will use whatever their default is and it might not work well with your copy. And lastly, include comments about the specific
ways you envision your copy being DISPLAYED on the page, like any design elements or imagery
that will really help bring your words to life. Even though all we do as copywriters is write
words in black and white, we are creative beings and almost always VISUALIZE the messages
we are trying to convey. Nothing is worse than seeing your copy on
a page that looks like crap or has images that compete with your message, so take the
time to really offer your input. And if you feel the need, after all this,
you can send your copy back to a proofreader to read it one last time before you move onto
step number 10, Submitting Your Final Work. So this is when you send the final copy over
to your team or client to implement. And I highly recommend you do this in Google
Docs – but in a separate document than your original. And this allows your team or client to add
comments and offer feedback, and any revisions made by them are tracked so you can see their
changes and learn for next time. Whew! Alright there you have it. My super secret 10-step writing process. Please give me a thumbs up below if you found
this video helpful And, next up, be sure to check out my video
on the 5 biggest copywriting mistakes and the 9 components of a hot offer. You can watch those videos here and here. Of course be sure to subscribe… And I’ll see you next week with a brand
new video. Till then, I’m Alex. Ciao for now!

7 comments on “How To Write A Sales Letter

  1. Hey Alex, thanks for the shoutout here and on your email list! I was laughing to myself about how you explained the doc for all your research should have a bunch of quotes and text pulled from different resources. Sometimes I think I overdo it though and spend wayyy too much time researching than actually writing. After research, my doc looks like an insane mess, but I feel like that's the only way to get comfortable with what you're writing about.

  2. When I get stuck on a copy project I come here to watch you and you help me get back on track! Best videos on copywriting I've seen! Thanks Alex!

  3. After completing a course on basics of copywriting, I was going to write my 1st sales letter, that's what they said to do next.

    Like I said, I only knew some basics like, about AIDA & PAS & on how to write headlines etc.

    But when I searched on internet, in most of the videos, I found that, a sales letter should be written in a specific template, like you just have showed in this video.

    But, After watching near about 40 videos & reading few articles, I still didn't get an better idea, on how to get started with it, until I found this video.

    After watching this, I got some clarity. I made some notes on it, started writing according to this & Yesterday I completed my 2nd draft in 8 or 10 hours.

    Isn't, it amazing that, I have completed my first sales letter.
    And You know
    Most of the Credit goes to your teaching.

    Thanks Thanks alot.

    P.s. I have shared this letter with your fb messenger. It would be great for me if you would find some time to check this out. Yeah, It has lot's of mistake, but It's a draft.
    Let me know hows that.

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