This is the third and last part of the “Attitude Cycle” series. Together, these three posts provide a unique way to look at creating a sales letter: tinted through the attitude lense of your prospect as they follow your sales letter to the bottom of the page, I provided some pointers for how to address the Selfish Reader–by making her curious–and the Curious Reader–by turning curiosity/skepticism into hope. I heard hope floats, so let’s give it a sale (Oh, yes. I did)…
Your reader has come a long way, her mood cycling at least three times as she decided to give your letter more and more of her time and attention. Although this has been a one-way relationship so far, you’ve built it nonetheless. In order to make it a two-way relationship, you have to request some action on her part. At this point, closing the sale should be easy and comfortable. Think about it: if your reader has arrived at the end of your letter, you can be certain about at least three things:
she’s interested–or she wouldn’t have kept reading
she believes your claims–because of the proof you’ve provided, of course
she wants a solution–which means she has a problem she hopes you can solve
But most people never ask–or else they ask in a way that turns their readers off. A couple ways to do it right:
Don’t make her wonder whether everything she just read was only a dream. When you ask for the sale, don’t just ask for money. Ask her to improve her life in some way using your product. Otherwise, she’ll probably end up skimming back up the page, looking for just what it was that kept her reading–and if she doesn’t find it quickly, you’re toast, because she’s not re-reading your entire paper. List the biggest benefits to her personally when you ask.
Make her feel safe. Give her the best guarantee you can devise. Don’t be rash, and make sure your guarantee won’t bankrupt you–in money or time–if everyone wants you to fulfill it. But a guarantee is often the incentive a hopeful customer needs to invest time, effort, and/or money into your offer.
Be straightforward. She’s known since your first line what you were leading to, and yet here she is. So make your offer plain. Include the terms. This is not the time to hide the fine print, if there is any. She should know exactly what the next steps are, and what she can expect in return.
This is the end, right? Wrong. It may be the end of the letter, but as soon as a customer buys, the really hard work begins.
Now it’s up to you to make the buying experience painless and her receipt of your product or service exactly as you described. Make sure you deliver every single promise you made as long as she uses it within your specifications. Bonus points for asking for her honest opinion of your service after you’ve delivered it.
This is the final installment of “The Attitude Cycle!” How helpful and/or enlightening was it for you? If you’re writing a sales letter and want some help, I’ll be happy to answer your questions, too.
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I feel like everything I do is a sales letter of some type. Know what I mean? When I tweet (and I never tweet about my services or products), I'm putting my brand out there -- even if I'm just having some silly conversation about "invisible memes" with Amy, my partner.
You're right about reading to the end. If I read all the way to the end of a sales letter, you've got me baby! ...you'd have to mess up epically to lose me at that point. But people have done it (lost me at the very end). It happens when the call to action isn't straight forward, or if the terms aren't clear. Then, you know what, I don't even skim to the earlier portions to find what kept me reading in the first place. I'm already on to the next thing.
Great series, Shakirah! You're so fly girl! ;-)
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