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[Detailed Notes] The Ultimate Sales Letter

I have detailed notes for you on The Ultimate Sales Letter by Dan Kennedy.  Feel free to print them out and keep them handy when you’re creating your next sales letter or marketing campaign.  Enjoy!


Detailed Notes from The Ultimate Sales Letter by Dan Kennedy

The goal is understanding.  To persuade someone, to motivate someone, to sell someone, you really need to understand that person.

10 Smart Market Diagnosis and Profiling Questions:

  1. What keeps them awake at night, indigestion boiling up their esophagus, eyes open, starting at the ceiling?
  2. What are they afraid of?
  3. What are they angry about?  Who are they angry at?
  4. What are their top three daily frustrations?
  5. What trends are occurring and will occur in their businesses or lives?
  6. What do they secretly, ardently desire most?
  7. Is there a built-in bias to the way they make decisions?  (Example:  engineers = exceptionally analytical)
  8. Do they have their own language?
  9. Who else is selling something similar to their product, and how?
  10. Who else has tried selling the something similar, and how has that effort failed?

Collier Principle:  “Always enter the conversation already occurring in the customer’s mind.”

“What will your customers be thinking about and thinking about the day they receive or see your sales copy?”

People sort their mail standing over a wastebasket.

Gary Halbert:  “Picture the person you’ve sent your sales letter to with a stack of mail in his hands, sorting through that stack, standing next to a wastebasket.”

AIDA:  Attention, Interest, Desire, Action

Problem – Agitate – Solve

  1. First step is to define the customer’s problem.
  2. Second step is agitation.
  3. Thirst step is to unveil the solution, the answer – your product or services and the accompanying benefits.

All successful selling is by nature and necessity manipulative, and must apply pressure to get decision and action.

Motivate Action:

  1. Intimidation
  2. Demonstrate ROI (Return on Investment) – Sell money at a discount
  3. Ego Appeals
  4. Strong Guarantee
  5. Be a Storyteller

“Who’s going to read all that copy???” – Those people most likely to respond.

Write for the buyers, not the non-buyer.  Real prospects are hungry for information.

Increase Readership with the Double Readership Path:  The analytical and impulsive prospect.

Internal Repetition:  In the same sales letter, you can convey your basic sales message and promise:

  1. In a straightforward statement
  2. In an example
  3. In a story, sometimes called a “slice of life”
  4. In testimonials
  5. In a quote from a customer, expert, or other spokesperson
  6. In a numbered summary

Tease the Reader at the End of Each Page

Format tip:  Never end a page with a completed sentence.  Always end each page in the middle of a sentence, preferably right in the middle of an interesting or exciting phrase.

Add ‘teaser copy’ at the bottom of each page.  It is a headline for the next page!

Answer Questions and Objections

Unanswered questions and unresolved concerns sabotage sales letters!

Spark Immediate Action:

  • Limited Availability
  • Premiums
  • Deadlines
  • Multiple Premiums
  • Discounts for Fast Response, Penalties for Slow Response
  • Ease of Responding

Use the P.S. to stimulate Readership

*Readership is never guaranteed.  You need to use every strategy available to ensure all kinds of readers will delve into your copy.

Use Selective Emphasis:  You must draw the reader’s eye to critical areas, such as a benefits list, call-to-action, phone number, or website/address.

Elmore Leonard:  “Cut out the parts the reader tends to skip.”

Read the letter to several people who might be typical customers for the offer.

Have a young child read the letter aloud to you.

Using Sales Letters in Business:

  • To Create Qualified Leads
  • To Support Telemarketing
  • To Create Store Traffic
  • To Introduce New Products or Services to Present or Past Clients
  • To Sell Directly by Mail Order
  • To Reduce Refunds via Post-Purchase Reassurance
  • For All Sorts of Business and Personal Correspondence and Communication

Whelp, there you have it.  There’s a lot to digest and put into action when creating your next sales letter or marketing campaign!

Now go take action!

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