Todays blog introduces the idea of writing a sales letter starting from a pre-written template written by a master copywriter. I review one package - Instant Sales Letters from Yanik Silver.
Writing Sales Letters Can Be Tough
I enjoy writing copy when I'm feeling inspired although it is tough when you look at a blank page and wait for the creativity flow.
Sales Letter Templates Written By Master Copywriters
I decided to follow that precedent and look at a copywriting product other people have recommended to me which until now I had thought "was a bit of a cheat".
Introducing Instant Sales Letters
Instant Sales Letters (affiliate link) is available from Yanik Silver.
Who Is Yanik Silver?
Apart from providing further proof to my "to be successful you need an unusual name" theory, Yanik Silver is a leading copywriter and Internet marketer.
He also runs every year a major Internet conference each year called "The Underground Online Seminar".
Yanik is a protege of Dan Kennedy, the legendary American direct marketer.
What Is Instant Sales Letters?
Yanik describes it a...
"Easily Create A Sales Letter Guaranteed To Sell Your Product Or Service...Without Writing!”
I say that it is a series of sales letter templates which the user customises where indicated to create persuasive sales letters very quickly and with little effort.
Instant Sales Letters includes templates for:
- Information products - 7 sales templates
- Retail / restaurants - 13 sales templates
- Professional - 15 sales templates
- Services - 14 sales templates
- Business to business - 14 sales templates
- Joint venture - 5 sales templates
- Network marketing - 5 sales templates
I can't promise that similar sales letters don't appear in several places but I am sure that you can see that the coverage is wide.
I like the idea of giving your copywriting an easy start that you can then adapt and modify to your own purposes.
Topics covered include getting the first sales appointment, welcome, new services, referrals, reactivating old customers, asking for referrals, seminar invitation, testimonials, free trials, birthday offer, stock clearance and more.
See Instant Sales Letters (affiliate link)
The American and British Approach To Sales Letters
Sales letters have traditionally differed between the UK and US and as a conservative Brit I used to find the "in your face" American style letter off-putting. Thanks to the Internet I have become used to seeing many more of the over-hyped style sales letters.
Somewhere there is a happy medium - between shouting BUY ME and scaring customers away and being so boring that the letter makes no connection and heads straight into the rubbish bin.
My Thoughts On Instant Sales Letters And Using Sales Letter Templates
The template sales letters I have read from the Instant Sales Letters find that middle ground although personally I may edge back the dial slightly depending on how I was defining my target market.
There are also a number of bonuses which I need to review and report on.
How Much Does Instant Sales Letters Cost?
The standard product is just under $40 at the time of writing with a gold standard version available at $55.
The price is small compared to the potential value.
Just put that cost in terms of the value of your time and think how long it could take to even draft out a basic sales letter before you start doing the editing and tweaking to maximise the impact.
It's also backed by a money back guarantee so even if you don't think that it is great value, you just ask for your money back. There are not going to be any problems from someone with as high a reputation as Yanik Silver.
So What Do You Get From Instant Sales Letters For Your Money?
First there are the templates. Nice and easy to use with clear instructions on how you can customise, all conveniently there in html for you to copy and paste into your word processing system.
Bonus 1 - "Surefire Sales Letter Secrets: How To Create a Fortune in Your Business With Powerful Direct Mail."
Yanik gives this 50 page ebook a value of $39.
- Power of direct mail
- Who are you targeting
- The copy and creative
- The irresistible offer
- Using your overlooked assets
- Getting your message delivered
- How to use testing
- Action steps to maximise your return
Good practical advice with many useful tips to help you to understand why the templates are presented in the way they are and it is all written in a very easy to read, logical style..
This guide will stop you making expensive mistakes.
For example, you can have the best letter with the most compelling benefits and testimonials but if you use the wrong list and send it to many people who either have no interest or need in what you are promoting or don't exist, your sales letter won't be a success.
The best targeted lists coming from the SRDS service in the US and I have just discovered that the UK equivalent is BRAD - British Rate and Data although I haven't looked at it yet.
Yanik quotes some of the most famous copywriters ever - people like David Ogilvy, Claude Hopkins and John Caples to reinforce the importance of your headline and then just works through the rest of your letter.
I am sure that you will read Surefire Sales Letter Secrets many times (unless you have a big library of copywriting resources). As a standalone book I'd be rating it at the 4 to 4.5 star level so it's a recommended buy. It also includes a special bonus section at the end which covers a very important issue but I won't spoil the surprise.
Bonus 2 Surefire Direct Mail Profit Worksheet
This is a spreadsheet for you to calculate the profit from your sales letter and record the details.
Full marks for encouraging measurement of the campaign but I recommend that you copy for the format to another worksheet and change the formulas a bit so you have one "pre-mailing" calculation based on what you hope and expect and the existing worksheet to record the actual results.
I like to focus on drivers of performance because it forces you to confront the issues.
If you want £50,000 of extra fees, average customers will spend £500 and you are only mailing to 500 people you are likely to be disappointed. This suggests a converted response rate of 100 new customers or 20% and the world doesn't work like that.
Bonus 3 Fill-in-the-blank Email Templates
Useful examples of good practice autoresponder emails etc although this is the bonus that has least impact on me.
Bonus 4 Ultimate Sales Letter Tool Box
I thought the "Surefire Sales Letter Secrets". was very good but I think the "Ultimate Sales Letter Tool Box" is great.
The subtitle describe sit beautifully - "All The Openings, Bullets, Copy-Connectors, Selling Words, Phrases, Guarantees, Closes, and P.S.s You’ll Ever Need To Create Killer Sales Letters".
This is just the type of thing you need to look at after writing your draft and identifying the areas which you think you could make stronger and compelling.
Instant Sales Letters standard version - the templates plus these four bonuses for $40 (at the time of writing).
A great package and great value. No wonder people have been recommending Instant Sales Letters to me.
Instant Sales Letters (affiliate link)
Instant Sales Letters Gold
You won't see mention of this on the first page but it's an upsell when you click on the order button costing an extra $15 and for the extra money you get:.
Gold Bonus 1 - "How To Write Letters That Win"
Yanik has unearthed a hidden gem from the early 1900s which analyses sales letters and shows just how much we have to learn from the past that has been lost as people chase the next big thing.
Again the sub-title spells it out:
"How to build business letters that command attention, stir desire, bring orders - how to put the personal touch into a letter - handling inquires, complaints and collections - actual letters that have brought results. 247 vital pointers gathered from 1200 actual letters"
I haven't read this yet but it does look fascinating although I'm not sure how much language patterns have changed.
Gold Bonus 2 - 667 Business Letters, Forms and Agreements
This one is not user friendly at all. You have a zip file to download and but no index or summary. Just short file names and you are going to spend longer looking for a suitable item than creating it from scratch.
I don't see the value in this at all.
Should You Upgrade Instant Sales Letters From Standard To Gold?
It is only $15 extra and "How To Write Sales Letters That Win" could be worth that on its own but at the moment, my advice is to buy the standard version of Instant Sales Letters (affiliate link).
You Shouldn't Buy Instant Sales Letters If
You expect everything to be done for you.
If you are an accountant you are not going to find a pre-written winning sales letter for accountants that will lead a flood of clients to your door.
You will receive the template for you to create such letters but only if you take the time to identify the benefits that matter most to your prospects and make them a compelling offer.
I am against totally pre-written letters. When I was young and naive I even tried them but results were poor. Unfortunately the writing wasn't good enough and in hindsight the letters stick out like a sore thumb as "generic" and fake. They were a waste of money buying and wasted much more money sending out, both in terms of cost and the opportunity cost of the lost time.
You Should Buy Instant Sales Letters If
You want to start a direct mail campaign to prospective customers, existing customers and past customers and you are prepared to craft your letters from the templates provided.
Think of this as the equivalent of paint by numbers or an embroidery pattern.
If you don't take care, you will finish with something that looks terrible. But take care and you have something that looks very good. Not up to the standards of an original master maybe but still much better than you could have done without the guidelines already drawn for you.
Instant Sales Letters (affiliate link)
Purists may throw their hands up in horror and say that you need to buy professional copywriting services. I had this when I suggested that someone uses article writing software to provide a template to help write articles.
Some people are more gifted writers than others. Some people do struggle with the grammar and find it difficult to compose sentences and paragraphs.
But who is it who knows your business best? Who sees the problems your customers have before you become involved? Who is it who hears the horror stories when cowboy competitors get involved? Who is it who sees the benefits that their customers gain?
For $40 my advice is that you should give Instant Sales Letters a try and learn how to write a sales letter using templates.
A strong buy recommendation for Instant Sales Letters (affiliate link) to use as sales letter templates.
If You Want More Understanding About What Makes Some Marketing Work And Some Marketing Fail
I recommend the business growth and marketing training available within Profitable Growth Strategies.
Click over to www.ProfitableGrowthStrategies.com
Other articles about direct mail include: