Today I wanted to share with you the notes from the section of his “License To Steal” copywriting course where he gives you some very quick & extremely important guidelines on the process he advises you go through when setting out to write any ad…
The first decision that you have to make is whether or not you’re going to be doing a hard sell or a soft sell.
A soft sell is lead generation, a ridiculously low price like a$20 seminar or a book for just shipping and handling. A hard sell tries to get them to part with a significant chunk of cash right away, interestingly enough; Carlton says he likes trying to do a single step hard sell ad, rather than sequential type of marketing.
Next you have to determine what the tone and purpose, or purported purpose of your letter is.
For example, if you’re selling to a market that’s red hot for what you’re offering, you don’t need to educate them on why they want, what you have. That’s why his Rodale “Sex Book” letter was so good. He didn’t have to convince the audience that they wanted what he had. He just had to explain why what he had would fulfill their desires.
The nickel letter he wrote for the self defense crowd, on the other hand, was more of an educational letter. They had an idea that they knew what they wanted and why, and the purpose of that letter was to show them that the way they thought that they could fulfill that desire was wrong, and why this is the right wayThe next decision in writing a piece is attitude and voice.
Are you going to write first person or third person? Are you writing from yourself or somebody else? Are you going to be a hard edge (basically, a curmudgeon) or are you going to take a friendly tone? Are you going to do a soft sell with a lot of the hard edge, or are you going to do soft softsell?
This is where your inner salesman has to be alive and kicking. Ideally, you can put yourself in a position to sell somebody face to face, and use that experience to determine how you’re going to write this letter or ad. Failing that, you have to sit down and honestly think about how you would sell it to the average recipient of your letter or ad, not what would sell you, but what would sell them.
Remember, above all else, that any type of your marketing or advertising arrives to them unwanted.
They didn’t want it, they didn’t ask for it. Even in lead generation, they may have been interested in maybe one benefit, but it was mostly blind or a whim. They really don’t care. You only have a few seconds to grab their attention, to announce yourself, ingratiate yourself, bond with them, and then start the selling process.
If you write out all of your bullets first that will give you a better idea of how you’re going to write your copy.
If you have page after page of mouthwatering bullets, then you can do a benefit driven sell, you can do a sales letter that’s mostly bullets.
You can overload them with the bullets and the information in order to drive the sell. If you only have a few points, but they’re very powerful, then you need to do a more educational style piece, or you need to do a salesmanship piece that takes away a lot of their fears and reasons to not buy. So you stress the guarantee, you stress the return policy. You stress the risk free nature of it.
END OF NOTES
Told you it’d be quick and powerful. One of my favorite suggestions is the last one he gives about bullets. Last week I was listening to the ad copy and mail order legend Eugene Schwartz doing something very similar.
May these gems serve you well,
Lewis LaLanne aka Note Taking Nerd #2
PPS. Now if you want copy advice from someone who’s taken Carlton’s advice and run balls to the wall with it applying it to product launches, you should check out these notes on Frank Kern’s Mass Control Seminar…