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Introducing the Fabulous 12 Step Sales Letter

The Amazing Resource that Will Help Make Writing Easier

12 step sales letter

Several years ago I used to write about Formula 1… and for me, it was a really tough job.

Not because of the subject matter.

I’m perfectly fine watching racing for a few hours, it’s surprisingly relaxing.

No, the hard bit was that I’d have to condense that 2-3 hours of racing into 100-word summaries.

Getting all the relevant info into just a few sentences is harder for me than if you asked me to write a 5,000-word essay.

I know this for a fact as my Art A’Level made me write a 5,000-word essay.

Do you know what happened?

I wrote over 6,000 words and spent the day of the deadline furiously deleting huge chunks of my essay.

For many people in the card & gift industry I know, it’s the other way around.

They’ll happily share 3 sentences about their company or new product range, but if I ask them to tell me a bit more they start to look a little pale.

& that’s OK, long-form content writing is not for everyone BUT I don’t think you can escape it.

I think sometimes you need more than a few sentences. For example:

  • The “About” page on your website.
  • Business Profiles.
  • Marketplace Shop Pages (Etsy, Not on the High Street, Folksy, Amazon, eBay etc).
  • Your Linked In Profile.
  • The “About” section on your Facebook page.
  • Sales pages.
  • Welcome pages in catalogues.

All of these need more than a few sentences because all of these are encouraging people to business with you.

So how do you go about writing longer content if the very thought brings you out in a cold sweat?

Well, that’s where David Frey’s 12 Step Foolproof Sales Letter Template comes to help!

You may be thinking “Sales letter? How’s that going to help write an about page?!”

That’s OK, this is just a template to get you writing.

You can tweak it anyway you want once you get going.

The 12 Step Template the Can Banish Your Writing Blues

Ok, so let’s take a look at David Frey’s 12 steps:

  1. Get attention
  2. Identify the problem
  3. Provide the solution
  4. Present your credentials
  5. Show the benefits
  6. Give social proof
  7. Make your offer
  8. Inject scarcity (if relevant)
  9. Give a guarantee
  10. Call to action
  11. Give a warning
  12. Close with a reminder

Even with a little bit of text for each of these 12 points, you will already be moving away from the simple paragraph that tells people nothing.

Let’s break this down a little further.

#1 ~ Get Attention

To get people to read anything you need to interest them. So it’s a good idea to start longer content with a headline. With an about page or a business profile this could be your unique selling proposition (USP). As this is often a concise and punchy it could be the perfect way to make people curious to know more. 

#2 ~ Identify the Problem

People buy things to solve a problem or need they have. In order to speak to your perfect customer, you need to understand their problems and needs.

For example, a retailer may want to specialise in Eco-Friendly cards and gifts, but find themselves keen to source products that are high quality, cost-effective and yet still kind to the environment. This is their problem or need.

If you find yourself stuck here try working backwards. Look at your own product or service – what solution does it provide? This will give you a key to the problem you can address.

#3 ~ Provide the Solution

You will now set about showing how your products and service solve your ideal customer’s problem(s).

Carrying on our example, you could show how you sell a range of Eco-Friendly Greetings & Giftware. Products that are affordable, design-led and high quality, yet don’t compromise on Eco-Friendly credentials.

And to prove it, you map out what makes your products Eco-friendly.

#4 ~ Present Your Credentials

This step is often a little easier for most businesses to clarify.

Here’s where you show your credentials or qualifications.

In our example, this would be highlighting details such as recycled materials, printing with vegetable inks, Wind-powered printing, zero-carbon print footprint etc.

On an about page it could be your qualifications or a list of clients you’ve worked for in the past. 

#5 ~ Show the Benefits

Benefits of a product or service give a little more context. They show the advantages of what you’re offering and not just the simple features.

So in our example, a feature of a greetings card may be that it is printed with vegetable inks. One of the benefits of this feature is that vegetable oil-based inks are made from renewable resources; making them kinder to the environment than those made from non-renewable resources.

If you’re ever stuck on what a benefit of a feature may be think of what would follow “which means…” at the end of your feature.

For example, the Art Print is A3 in size (feature), which means… you can see the fine, intricate patterns of the artwork in greater detail (benefit).

#6 ~ Give Social Proof

Social proof is testimonials or recommendations you have from existing customers. This helps show your business can be trusted.

Use formatting options such as blockquotes or bold text make quotes from your customers stand out from the rest of your text. 

#7 ~ Make Your Offer

Often the easiest part of the equation, here’s where you showcase your offering and talk about your products and service.

If you’re writing for something that won’t be updated often this needs to be something that will be relevant at any time of year. 

Alternatively, you can add topical or seasonal updates that will be eye-catching if you keep them updated. 

#8 ~ Inject Scarcity

If you’re writing for a sales page or catalogue you may want to include scarcity. 

For example, you may have a deadline, which is the scarcity of time, or you may only have so many products available, which is a scarcity of stock.

Whatever factors buyers need to be aware of should be pointed out.

But please note scarcity should always be real if you go back on something at a later date you may end up eroding any trust you’ve built up.

If there’s no real scarcity, don’t make it up; just move on to the next step.

#9 ~ Give a Guarantee

People often don’t buy something because they fear they won’t be satisfied or there will be some sort of problem; especially if they’re buying from a new company for the first time.

If you can offer a guarantee of some sort, such as “30 Day No Questions Asked Money Back Guarantee” or even “100% Satisfaction Guaranteed” you will make your offer more irresistible and less of a risk to potential buyers.

#10 ~ Call to Action

A call-to-action (CTA) is where you openly tell someone exactly what to do next. You want it to be as clear and simple as possible. Such as “Visit our Website” or “Request Your Sample Pack Now”.

CTA’s may seem a little strange if you’re not used to creating sales text or writing for a website, but they’re incredibly effective online.

#11 ~ Give a Warning

The warning section shows the consequence of not acting; a friendly reminder of any loss the customer would experience.

This might be losing customers who are seeking Eco-Friendly Cards or losing time searching for other solutions or risking one of their competitors securing the exclusivity of a product first.

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes to think about what would be difficult for them to miss out on.

#12 ~ Close with a Reminder

Lastly, you can close your text with a reminder of your fantastic business or offer; if there is any scarcity you will need to remind them of that too and then add a final call-to-action.

This is a really important section as some people will always skip to the end, and you don’t want them missing out on your brilliant product or service.

Make sure you avoid any confusion with your final CTA, it should be exactly the same steps action you requested in Step 10.

Adapting the 12 Step Sales Letter to Your Writing Needs

Now you’ve got a better idea of the 12 steps hopefully you can see some value for your business.

Even if you wrote just 3 sentences per section you could have easily written 500 words! 

And you’ve shared a lot of information. Making it easier for people to understand what you do and why they should trust you.

You won’t need all 12 steps for every writing situation.

Your Linked In profile might not need offers, scarcity or warnings. But imagine how helpful it would be with the other sections?

Writing isn’t easy, even if it’s about something you love like your own business.

So if you’re struggling to write an about page, business description or sales page, don’t worry, it’s perfectly normal!

The key with any big or difficult task is to break it down into smaller, easier steps.

And that’s what the 12 step sales letter can help you do.

When it comes to big jobs –  like persuading a stranger to buy from you – help yourself and break it into small pieces.

If you tackle each one (or as many as you can/are relevant) you will soon have a high quality, persuasive bit of text that communicates perfectly! 

What to Do Now

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When you begin your next writing project. 

Note down the 12 section titles. Roughly brainstorm ideas for each section in turn. The headlines of section 1 are often the most difficult so leave this till last. It will be much easier to find attention-grabbing headlines once you have the rest of the template completed.

On this first brainstorming session don’t try and write complete sentences or perfect prose, focus purely on jotting down ideas. 

Skip any sections that aren’t useful or relevant to your writing task.

Once you’ve got all of your ideas slotted in, it’s time to review and sort. Go back through each section and begin to write sentences for your ideas. 

After your first draft, you’ll probably want to go back once or twice to refine your text. I recommend taking a break before you do this, fresh eyes will be a lot more useful at coming up with improvements. 

 

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