by Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D. | Featured Contributor
For my entire adult life I’ve held gym memberships and actually enjoy working out. People often assume I was a tomboy who played sports as a child.
Alas, I was a wuss and a wimp. I could have won awards for “Most Creative Excuse To Escape Gym Classes” in school. The weight room terrified me. Back when I started, you’d see only guys in there. Big guys with big biceps.
That’s probably why I like working out so much. I never thought I could do it.
It took me awhile to get used to my new identity as “fit person.” I would be stunned when people would say, “I can tell you work out.”
How did they know? Later I, too, learned to detect the subtle but unmistakeable signs of a fellow gym rat.
The Sales Letter Fitness Test
Similarly, before I started studying copywriting, I would be impressed with anything that looked like a sales letter:
“You mean, an ordinary person just wrote that?”
But soon I learned to look at sales letters critically. Every sales letter could function as a model to learn from or
an example of a “don’t do this” for copy coaching clients.
And when an experienced professional promotes a program, I’ll look over the sales letter with a critical eye. I can
usually tell when the marketer’s results will be disappointing.
It’s actually easier when you’re analyzing copy from top, well-known, established marketers. You can rule out the most common reasons a sales letter will fail:
– Not knowing your market
– Lacking credibility to deliver what you promise
– Lack of social proof
Top marketers know their niches inside out. Their credibility is off the chart and they have scads of testimonials to create social proof.
But anyone can write a wimpy sales letter, whether you’re a newbie creating your first program or a veteran taking off for another adventure.
Spot A Wimpy Sales Letter As Soon As You Open Your Browser
The unmistakeable sign of a wimpy sales letter is vagueness – the copywriting equivalent of flabby muscles. Once you start paying attention, you’ll see it everywhere.
And I’ll share the secret. You can spot a wimpy sales letter when you ask the question: “How many other marketers could use the same copy and make the same claims?”
For example, you see pull questions like these:
- Do you want to earn more revenue, have a bigger impact on more clients, and look forward to each day of work?
- Do you want to reach better clients who will value what you do and can afford to pay you?
- Are you looking for ways to earn more money without giving up the rest of your life?
So how can you build muscle tone into your sales letter?
First, find how your offer will be different. For example, one well-known marketer offers a three-month program to help you build your online business. She offers a few steps that you won’t find in many programs. For example, she offers technical and design support to implement your WordPress site and create your lead magnet. She can focus on questions like, “Are you tired of figuring out exactly what you need to … but you want to finally get it done without spending hours spinning wheels?”
Second, consider opening your sales letter by sharing a story. Ideally, you can share your own history. For instance, let’s say you’re a relationship coach for divorced women. You talk about your own frustrating search for a life partner, the different things you tried, why most advice doesn’t work and how you finally found the solution.
If you don’t want to share your story, or perhaps you don’t have one, you can share a client story. You can even disguise the details.
For example, a productivity consultant has coached over 2000 clients to stop procrastinating. She has identified five obstacles that keep her clients from finishing their projects and staying focused on their goals. She could share a case study or two to differentiate her program from her many competitors.
Bottom Line: Take Your Sales Letter To The Gym
As a copywriter, I’ve yet to meet anyone who couldn’t lose the wimp factor. Just as I learned to use the weights and survive zumba classes, any business owner can take advantage of her unique claims to create a compelling sales letter. When your sales letter clearly explains what makes you special, you’ll find your results increase exponentially, whether you’re new to your market or a veteran who wants to keep going and growing.
Want to tone up your sales letter, lose the wimp factor and increase sales? Cathy Goodwin makes it easy with her 21-Point Checklist For Your Extreme Copy Makeover. Click here to download.
Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D., is a copywriter who helps business owners develop websites fast, so you establish a professional, authentic presence that attracts clients – your kind of clients! — without going crazy from overwhelm or draining your bank account with surprise fees. Free ebook: Transform your OLD website to get more NEW clients: Claim your copy here!