Jonathan Leger – SEO And Internet Marketing Blog Internet Marketing Blog

11Apr/07Off

Analysis of a high-converting sales letter.

Whether you're a product owner or an affiliate, sales letters that convert well should be a top priority.

For the product owner, you want to make more sales of your own product, and improving your conversion rate is the fastest way to make more money from the same amount of traffic to your site.


For the affiliate, knowing how to spot a sales letter that is likely to convert well makes you better at selecting products that are more likely to be profitable.

In order to help you understand what makes up a high-converting sales letter, I thought I'd break down a sales letter written by Alok Jain, the creator of On Demand Profits. His own figures (and mine) show that his sales page is currently achieving a 30% conversion rate.

No, that wasn't a typo. I meant 30%. Almost one in three people who went to his sales letter purchased the product. It's a great product, to be sure, but what got people to take the plunge and give it a try is his awesome sales letter. I'll break it down into its 7 major parts:

  1. Headline
  2. Proof #1
  3. Story
  4. Proof #2
  5. Risk Removal
  6. Price
  7. P.S.

Let's discuss each of these parts, one at a time.

Headline

The headline you choose to use at the top of your sales letter is incredibly important. It needs to scream "benefits." If the first sentence the visitor sees does not draw him in, he's far less likely to take the time to read the rest of your sales letter.


Alok's headline is oustanding in this regard:

"How I made over $2000 in just 10 days
using a ridiculously stupid technique
I stole from my own affiliate"

Notice how it stresses benefits. "How" lets the visitor know that they're about to learn something.

"I made over $2,000" lets the visitor know that what they are about to learn is very profitable.

"In just 10 days" lets them know that it works fast. After all, if the headline just read "How I made over $2000 using a ... ", then the visitor might think "My job pays $45,000 a year--who cares if you made $2,000?" Adding "in just 10 days" makes it much more beneficial to the visitor. Again, every part of your sales letter should be all about the benefit to the visitor.

"Using a ridiculously stupid technique" tells the visitor that what they are about to learn is easy, so easy that they should have already thought about it but probably haven't.

"I stole from my own affiliate" adds "insider" value to the headline. It paints a picture of Alok sneaking around after his affiliate to find something out that was "hidden" before.


All of the pieces of this headline work, and work very well.

Proof #1

Okay, so the headline states that Alok is going to show you how he made $2,000 in 10 days using an easy method that he discovered one of his affiliates using. That's great, but if the visitor has any experience with Internet Marketing, they know that there's a lot of hype, exaggeration, and even blatantly false statements being made out there.

That's why it pays to immediately follow the headline with proof that you're not stretching the truth or lying. Alok accomplishes this by adding the text, "but first, the proof" directly under his headline, followed by screen shots of his PayPal account showing a large number of sales from the same day.

If you've looked at his sales letter, and you've also seen my sales letter for $7 Secrets, you'll see that I employed that tactic myself--with great results.

Adding visual proof, like screen shots of sales or traffic stats, etc., reinforces in the visitor's mind that what you're about to teach them really works. If you can't provide solid evidence like this, then perhaps your product isn't as good as you're claiming.

Affiliates, keep this in mind: if a product owner cannot demonstrate on the sales letter actual proof of results, then inevitably what they're hawking is going to result in a lower conversion rate, and a higher refund rate. If it really worked, they should be able to show proof that it works right up front.

Story

Now, and only now, after the visitor has been convinced that what you have to say could benefit them greatly, you begin the story portion of your sales letter.

If you start the story before a great headline, or before providing proof, your visitor will not feel the need to read it. Why invest their time and energy into reading a long sales letter for a product that hasn't been shown to really work? Take away the risk from the visitor. Make sure they know ahead of time that the time they spend reading the longer portion of your sales letter will pay off.

Once the visitor is convinced, start your story. People love stories, real stories. We can connect with stories about real people. "That could be me" it makes us think, or even, "that sounds like me!" Creating that bond between yourself and the visitor with a story is a very effective way to increase your conversion rate.

Alok's story is a great one. In it he appeals to the kind of person he knows will be interested in his product: the people who have seen (or purchased) the expensive ebooks and products that went way over their heads trying to show them how to make money online.

He backs that up by telling a story about talking to a friend of his on the phone, and how his friend was frustrated about having spent $97 on a product whose methods weren't working for him. Alok tells us that he made an excuse to get off the phone, because he just didn't know what to say when his friend asked him for advice.

Alok tells us that he's been a successful Internet Marketer for over four years, but that he was now using techniques that were beyond the "newbie" stage, so he didn't know what to tell his friend. He felt embarrassed and a little ashamed about the way he handled the situation, and so he decided to monitor his own affiliates to see how they were making money.

By doing so, he discovered a simple technique that was working wonders for one of his affiliates, an affiliate whom Alok happened to know had very little experience.

Now, Alok never actually says what that method was. He just tells the visitor about how successful it was, and how he was stunned by the simplicity of it. This stirs the reader's curiosity and interest. "What could it be?" they wonder.

Alok's entire story is designed to appeal to a newbie, somebody who wants to earn money online and is tired of spending large amounts of money for products that teach methods they either don't understand or don't have time to implement. It's a very well-written storyline, one that benefits the conversion rate immensely.

Proof #2

After giving the story, Alok tells the visitor that he tried the methods out himself, and the next morning woke up and checked his PayPal account for sales.

He then shows more screen shots of his PayPal account and a large number of sales he made from doing only two hours of work.

Adding extra proof at this point reinforces to the visitor that the methods really work. The later screenshots show different dates in the PayPal account than the first screenshots in the sales letter. That emphasizes that these methods didn't only work once, but multiple times for Alok--and the visitor will infer that they will do the same for him.

Remove Risk

Alok now removes all risk from the visitor by telling them that none of the methods he's going to show them will cost them a penny to implement. If this is true of your own product, be sure and state this fact, as it will increase your conversion rate.

If it's not true, it's safe to leave this fact off. I've even seen sales letters that openly state that you will have to pay more to get started. The best one I've seen told the visitor exactly how much they would have to pay per month in order to implement all of the techniques that they would learn by purchasing the product.

Did that hurt the conversion rate? Not at all. That particular product actually converted a little better than Alok's! This goes to show that customers don't mind having to invest a little more to get going. What they don't like is not being told up-front that it will cost more on the back-end.

So if you can remove all risk and state that no other investment is needed, do it. If there will be more investment needed, tell them!

Price

At this point Alok stuns the reader by telling them that he's only going to ask $7 to show them how to duplicate his success. He explains that he's doing this because he knows the reader is tired of high-priced products that just don't get them anywhere.

He also gives the three reasons I include in my $7 Secrets sales letter template. I've found that including this part of the sales letter has a great impact on the conversion rate. If a price is too low, a visitor might think that they're getting junk. Explaining why you're keeping the price so low helps take away that concern.

Here are the reasons he gives:

  1. $7 puts the report within reach of the vast majority of people. It's not too expensive for even the humblest beginning online businessperson.
  2. Anyone who's not serious enough about making money online to invest $7 into this report isn't going to take the time to use the methods laid out in the report anyway.
  3. Anyone who is serious enough to put down the price of a fast food dinner and buy this report has the opportunity to sell the report to others and get the FULL PRICE of every copy they sell directly in their own PayPal account immediately. More details on how to do that are in the report.

Notice how it compares the $7 purchase to the price of a fast food dinner. Most people don't think twice before dropping $7 at McDonald's or some other burger joint. Making this comparison gets the reader to stop and think (at least subconsciously), "You know, it really isn't a lot of money, and I am willing to spend $7 on things that have little benefit to me--so why not spend it on something that could benefit me greatly?"

If your product is not priced low, you can still increase the conversion rate by adopting the rest of the strategies mentioned in this article. Just make sure that in your proof you are demonstrating that the cost of the product will be returned, and then some.

You won't achieve a 30% conversion rate with a $97 product, to be sure, but I know of at least one product that achieved almost a 10% conversion rate for a $297 product. Now that's really something!

P.S.

There's a significant percentage of your visitors who won't read the entire sales letter. They'll read the headline, look at the images of your proof, and then immediately scroll down to see the price.

That's a really good reason to include a P.S. and a P.P.S. just below the "buy now" button. Use that opportunity to get in a brief statement telling the visitor exactly how the product will benefit them.

Alok uses this for his P.S., which is also similar to the one I use on my $7 Secrets sales letter:

"P.S. Seriously, for just $7 I'll teach you the "On Demand Profits" system which can make you money on demand. How can you pass on that? Click Here for your Copy"

It summarizes exactly what the visitor will get: for $7, they'll learn how to make money easily. It's short and sweet, and will help convince the skeptical reader to go ahead and take a chance.

His P.P.S. is an exact copy of the one I'm using for my $7 products, and with great success:

"P.P.S. If the report isn't enough, remember, after buying you can turn around and resell the report to your list (or with a link on your website). In 20 minutes you can make that $7 back times 10, 100, or even 1000! You get the FULL $7 directly to your PayPal account for every sale, the instant it's made. Click Here for your Copy"

That statement takes away the risk for anyone who has even a tiny mailing list, showing that they can earn their money back in full (and a whole lot more) in a short period of time.

Of course, this particular P.P.S. won't work very well in non-marketing niches, since most people in other markets aren't usually interested in earning money from the product. Rather, they're looking to learn something that will help them solve a problem.

What about the guarantee?

For high-priced products, it's important to offer a money-back-guarantee. That removes the risk from the potential customer, which induces them to buy. After all, if the product doesn't work for them, they can get a refund--so no worries.

But for lower price products, like Alok's $7 product, it really isn't necessary to offer a guarantee. $7 isn't really seen as a "risk" by 99% of people anyway. Plus he's using the $7 Secrets scripts, which offer a 100% instant commission to the affiliate, so offering a guarantee like that complicates the refund process unnecessarily.

I don't have guarantees for my own $7 products, either, but for all of my higher priced products I offer one.

In Summary

Demand the visitor's attention with a headline that they just can't pass up, and immediatley afterward show them proof that what you're saying really works. Give them a real-life story that appeals to your target audience and then reinforce your results with more proof. Afterwards, give them a price that they just can't pass up. At the bottom of the sales letter, give a short summary of the benefits and take away the risk involved in buying.

Following that simple plan will help you achieve phenomenal conversion rates, like Alok Jain has with On Demand Profits.

Related Internet Marketing Q&A

Comments (17) Trackbacks (1)
  1. It was a great case study. I am learning copywriting right now, and I’ve sold a lot of $7 secrets products.

    It’s awesome for affiliates.

  2. I fully agree with your April 12th post Jonathon.

    There is no shortage of products to choose from on the internet and therefore one can find proof for a products value.

    What is proof? Well it may be results plain and simple or it may be the research you’ve done and a knowledge of the ethics and quality of product that one of your partners may put out.

    Such things can constitute workable useable proof. The bottom line being that you yourself believe in what you are selling first before you sell it.

  3. great analysis jonathan… this makes for an excellent “copywriting quick sheet”… i’m just about to print it out and i’m sure i shall be referring to it continually… top notch!

  4. Mr. Jon,

    I’ve never commented on your blog before, but I had to thank you for this great information.

    I’m first starting out really diving into Internet Marketing and have really been struggling with writing good copy, much less sales pages. It’s been a burden on my mind for sure.

    Just as the frustration peaked, you came out with this great info. I must say I was pleased and refreshed even though I am still unable to even get traffic to my sites. ;) I get ahead of myself, I’m sure. But I did want to let you know that you gave me a little more stamina. So for that I thank you.

    God bless,

    Bryan Miller

  5. Rey:

    If you don’t have proof that your product does what you promise, either from your own use or the use of friends and associates, then you really don’t have any business trying to sell it to other people.

    That’s my 2 cents.

    Jon

  6. Silly question, but what if you don’t yet have proof? Is this a catch-22 where you have to make sales before you show sales results?

  7. Shannon:

    My results with the $7 Secrets sales letter have been hovering around 15%, which I was quite pleased with–and then I saw Alok’s 30% conversion rate. :)

    Jon

  8. David:

    That’s strange. I just use a standard MP3.

    Jon

  9. Hi Jon,

    yes, I bought Alok’s report. The site is excellently done. I was going to use his methods on my German language report which I am putting online in the next few days.

    Your analysis has brought it all into focus.

    Good work!
    Michael

  10. Hi Jonathan

    This comment WILL sound like you’ve paid me to say this, but I cannot believe how much you’ve come back (after I’ve only bought a $7.00 product from you) again & again with continued support and further help – thanks so much – you’ve impressed me more than anybody else (and I’ve bought quite a few products from others). Your integrity & honesty shows, and for that reason, you’re the only one for whom I’ve gone to the trouble of leaving a comment on a blog.

    Genny

  11. Jonathan,

    Once again you overdeliver to your subscribers!

    Thanks for breaking down a winning sales letter to help others create their own quality product as well.

    Many thanks!

    Bret

  12. Learning to write a good sale letter is indeed a skill that we should have even we are not selling our own product.

    Thanks
    John Tan

  13. Hi Jon

    I could have agreed with you more on this topic. A well structured sales letter that converts is more testimony than any visitor would need, to be able to convert to sales.

    Is there any software that structures sales letters in this process, that we can just whip out a sale letter of this type?

    Let me know if there is one in the market.
    Thanks
    May Ong

  14. Hi Jonathan
    Your audio link would not work on my PC.

    Strange, everyone elses audio streams work, what format is it in?

    I use linux with MPlayer

    cheers
    David.

  15. Great information Jonathan. Which PR sites and article submission services do you recommend to send the finished sales letters or informatikon articles?

  16. Smart strategie, Jonathan!
    You’ve created a great sales letter!
    It’s even twice as long as the actual sales letter you’re writing about.

  17. Hey Jonathan…thanks for the lesson. I will definitely be using what I learned in my own product offering.

    Are you willing to share your own results with $7 Secrets?


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