John Carlton’s Copywriting Sweatshop – My Review + Notes

The heart, brain, and soul of many ad is a headline, the opening paragraph, and the offer

Writing is a solitary process. There are no committees. It’s just you and the blank page what Carlton does to give himself multiple viewpoints is get a picture of yourself snarling and caption and it “This is me, the snarling beast writer.” he has a second photograph, where your smirking or smiling looking concerned and knowledgeable and this photograph is captioned. “This is my inner salesman” and the third and final photograph is you frowning or with a skeptical or concerned look, which is captioned this is my prospect

You want each of these personalities awake and at full capacity within you, whenever you’re writing

So you want the snarling beast because you want to be mad, you want to be passionate and angry when you sit down to write. John says this is where some of his best material has come from, getting himself revved up, sitting down and cranking out ten or fifteen pages in one sitting writing like a demon and then only having to do the most minor or peripheral rewriting after that. This first passionate writing is the base of all of your best material

Remember and use the gun to the head test, if you had a gun to your head and you had to make this letter sell would you use that headline. you use that envelope, and would you use those bullets would you make that offer

This is the job of your inner salesman, he is questioning why you’re using that word, he’s questioning why you’re using the that sequence or that offer

Don’t forget the wise words “just sell the damn thing” don’t skip over selling because you think it’s tacky or it’s awkward your whole point is to sell them keep that in mind

Take the time to really think about your prospect and their situation doesn’t assume that you immediately get their undivided attention for the whole length of your sales letter and further don’t expect them to be happy. Even after they’ve sent off their money buyers remorse is a very real thing. And you really have to be good at stick letters, at all of the posts sell process

When you’re getting started writing your letter think in terms of threes three benefits to convey in your headline three components of your USP. You may well add more or take it down to one or two but starting by thinking in threes will get you started

Always keep your eye open for the money shot, that’s the one offer or the one thing that will hit him in his passion spot, the one thing that will make your prospect say: “oh my god. I have to have it.” You may never get it, but if you’re constantly looking for it, you will craft much stronger sales pieces

For Carlton the classic money shot was the one legged golfer

Use words that have a visceral impact literally a gut reaction Carlton has a list of power words, you can find them in many places, but the point is to use words that are highly emotionally charged, words that will get people going in, whether or not they want to

Along with words of course, use stories that have a visceral impact. Storytelling is one of the most important and most understudied and underused aspects in fantastic copywriting

Study novels and movies find out how the author or the screenwriter is carrying you away, is engrossing you in their world and when you can find these things and begin to use them in your sales writing. You are going to skyrocket your effectiveness

One of the most important things that you can take away from reading novels is what pushes you forward, when you say you’re going to stop reading at 10 o’clock or stop reading at page 70 what pushes you forward an extra half hour or an extra 30 pages. When you can find this in the novels, and translate that into copy then you’re going to be really increasing your effectiveness

The first and most critical element of your ad is to identify who you’re talking to. The classic is “Hey Bowlers”; they immediately know that the ad is talking to bowlers, so find out what your parameters are. It might be businesses that have been around for more than four years with more than six employees that do between 10 and 20 million a year. So your headline would be something like, “if you been in business for more than four years, are making between 10 and 20 million, and have five employees…”and then get into the headline. And when you do this, you’ve immediately flagged whoever you want to flag. A note, be careful of things like “attention:” and then insert parameters, because that’s fairly worn, and you always run the risk. When you use anything that’s worn or been used for many years

Even if your marketing within a single group marketing to golfers in a golf Magazine. You’ll want to niche in further or what John calls sub identifying pick out uneven smaller group and identify that subsection

A very subtle distinction that will mean a lot in your copy. Don’t talk about “the seven secrets” of anything when you say “The seven”. It implies that that is the definitive.

There are only those seven and nobody will believe it. So the lesson here is doing talk about “the X number of secrets” to anything or you might as well be saying. “The only seven secrets to… ”credibility and believability remember that they are important

A headline, we’re looking at it was originally “free report reveals the seven secrets to transform your business and systemize it for a turnkey profit center” or something like that.

So what John has said is that we have to take out “The seven secrets” instead, it’s “seven”; the word “transform” has no visceral impact, and most people have no idea what

It means to systematize their business. We have to speak in a different language we have to speak in easy to understand easy to grasp terms

The biggest problem in the market is credibility and believability. “Why should I believe you? I’ve seen a hundred other claims they’re almost the same this week” John says if you ran just testimonial ads. You would get a better response than your best writing at this point. The third-party validation and is so important. And it gives the credibility and the believability

This is why it’s so important to write as if you’re sitting down and writing to one skeptical prospect it is death to make the mistake of thinking you’re sitting down with somebody who will sit back, light a cigar and listen while you tell them whatever story you want. That’s not going to happen. The best thing that you can do is imagine you’re in a bar or a crowded room and you hear somebody say. “Oh my god I’m in trouble my business is not doing so well.” Then imagine you going up to them and saying “I can help let me tell you a bit about what I do.” Probably not and get such a great response so, what would you say to immediately grab their attention? What would you keep saying to keep them interested?

That’s how you want to imagine writing this letter

Now imagine you’re in the same bar, the guy next to you said the same thing about his business and then three people come up to you and say “wow thanks for that report that you sent me, I’ve already doubled my business” or “I’m already working less” or “I’m making more money than I ever have, thank you so much!” Sure, that’s probably going to pique his interest a lot more than anything you say

You want very specific testimonials: “I did what you said in your report and everything you said came true. I did step three and now I’m making twice as much money.” When you’ve got that as your first testimonial that gives you instant credibility

Anytime you use a picture in a sales letter or an ad. It has to do a job it’s because you’re really good looking and that’s part of the pitch, you’re really ugly and that’s part of the pitch.

You’re with somebody famous, and that’s part of the pitch, or because it’s all about you and you’re trying to get them to feel familiar with you and that’s part of the pitch and always always always uses a caption under any picture

Carlton recommends reading Strunk and White “the elements of style”at least once a year

Using parentheses in your headlines and in your sales copy allows you to mix bold promises with side benefits. So, “I’ll show you how to add $50,815 to your business in the next six months (and how to take two weeks vacation in that time)”. Sometimes it’s these side benefits that will sell your product or service

Carlton says don’t make assumptions about the readers experience don’t say to them. I’ll know what it’s like for you or I know what you’re thinking”. You don’t know anything about them and it’s insulting to people when you say that you do

What you want to say to people, maybe even these words, is. “I’m going to change your life I’m going to do it fast if you give me five minutes. I will tell you something that will change your life by this time next week. If I can’t do it I’ll give you 50 bucks out of my own pocket. Why am I doing that? Am I crazy? I’d go broke if I didn’t know what I was talking about. But hey, don’t believe me, here’s five guys off the side, who I’ve taken randomly from my filing cabinet of testimonials, each one of them came to me depressed and broke, no hope, and after working with me they’re happy and rich and thin.”

As a sidebar very often you’re dealing with people who’ve lost their hope, they been taken time and time again, or they’re facing a problem that seems insurmountable. The last thing they want is to be fooled again. The last thing they want is to hope again. They’ll resent the fact that you’re giving them this hope thing back because they know it will kill them if it pulls out. That’s why something like “and if I can’t turn your situation around I’ll give you $50”is so important because it gives them proof in their minds that you candor what you’re saying or a least. It will give them a consolation of taking your money

A subtle point don’t say “I know you’re thinking this won’t work for you because you’re different.”Instead say “this will work even if… ”and then you list the most common excuses

Personalization is absolutely vital, if you can’t personalize with a name then personalize by lasering in on the niche that you’re talking to

Its basic but remember, you’re never selling your product or service. You’re selling, what it does for people, you’re selling a set of benefits, you’re selling them money at a discount or you’re selling them more time, or you’re selling them more clients or you’re selling them more sex appeal, less weight…you’re selling an end result

Bonuses can sell products or services, but they’re usually used as bump, so you include them at the offer stage…“but that’s not all, if you sign up today… ”this way the bonuses are most effective, it’s very rare that you’ll talk about bonuses in the headline

If you can’t get around talking in specific or jargon laden terms, then afterwards put in bold or standing out somehow “What that means, in plain English, is… ”and then tell them what you just told them

Don’t talk about “My guarantee”, talk about “your guarantee”. So don’t say, “My guarantee: I’m offering you to trythis for 80 days and I’ll give you all your money back.” Instead say “your ironclad guarantee, if you’ve tried this and it doesn’t do what I said. Then I’ll give you double your money back”, etc. again, a subtle point but an important one

John says, you want to credential yourself.You want to tell them why they should listen to you, BUT you don’t want to go overboard with that, especially at the start where

You’re introducing yourself, because you don’t want to sound like you’re bragging. There is a fine line between telling them why they should listen to you and being a braggart and potentially scaring them off

Again, we can counter bragging with testimonials. Let others brag about us, say “I’ve been in this business over 35, but don’t listen to me”

And that’s when you bring in the testimonials by doing this you make it much more likely that you’ll be listened to

There is always a hole in your competition’s USP remember the smugglers truth. The U. S. Army $300 billion budget trying to keep drugs out of America and the barefoot, poor Mexican dope smuggler will get it across. Always bet on the smuggler. There is always a hole

The first step in any of your copywriting is to strip down what you’re offering to its barest essentials, and then talk to the skeptical, hopeless prospect about it. Most copy suffers from under translation. You haven’t translated your offer deep enough into their language, so the first step is to really get into your prospects head, it’s to really talk about what they want, what they need what they fear, and once you’re doing then, you can continue on with writing more copy

Carlton says start off by trying to sell one thing to one person. Don’t get bogged down trying to sell a boatload of bonuses in order to tip the favor of your offer. This is certainly a powerful tactic, but if you’re just getting off the ground, you want first to sell just your main offering to the people who will be receptive. After that, in subsequent marketing, then you can tout the bonuses, the mountains of information. But you want first to know how many people will buy what you’re selling on its own

Hooks are very important for copywriting there are a number of kinds of hooks that you can use to prompt them to continue reading. Some favorites are the hook that challenges them, it stops them cold because it challenges the way that they’re thinking. There is the hook that insults him or gets him angry, gets his bile up. And one of Carlton’s favorite.

Especially to a house list is the dollar bill letter

When you have a grabber you don’t need a headline. The grabber is the headline and cash is the best grabber there is.

Be sure that when you send out the dollar bill letter that you use the exact opening of the dollar bill letter. Doesn’t tyro change it, it’s been tested. This is what works. Also be sure that if you are sending out a dollar bills. Make sure they are crisp new one dollar bills.

Otherwise, you’re credibility is lost right away

A dollar bill letter does 2 things for you. number one it eliminates the need for a headline, because the dollar bill will be better then any headline you could come up with number two it eliminates the need for an opening you’ve already got them reading the

Letter they’re already trying to figure out why you attached that dollar bill. So then you can go right into your offer

Or if not directly into your offer certainly into the heart of your sales message

There’s a phenomenon in the copywriting world known as clearing the throat. Sometimes it can take a page or two pages to get into the letter. Well, your reader isn’t going to stick around with you that long, so you have to be able to identify when you’re clearing your throat, and when you’re actually putting useful words on paper

Carlton is a big proponent of these sneak up letter, the A pile versus the B pile. He says if you put teaser copy on your envelope, you’ve just destroyed all of the work that went into the letter. Are there cases where you cause teaser copy? Yes Gary Bencivenga is a master, but he does it with an 8 X 10 envelopes, packed copy and puts as much or more time into the envelope as the letter. If you’re willing to do that and if you want to test that, then good, but dollar for dollar, pound for pound, the blank white envelope is still the best mechanism Consider envelope teaser copy gives them a chance to bail before they’ve seen any of your messages

Make sure that if you use grabbers. It ties in well with your message. Carlton says even the aspirin at the top of a letter probably isn’t going to significantly boost your response. You may want to try it but he wouldn’t bet his life on

A dollar bill carries its own story everything else you have to tell them what the story is. You can’t say “I’ve attached a peso because we’re going to talk about money.” That’s never going to fly, if you’re talking about investing in Mexico, then it will fly

Especially in your first draft, go balls to the wall in your writing go too far, you can always come back. For example. Don’t get frustrated; get pissed off. Don’t “after careful thought come to a conclusion.” Have an accidental epiphany. Make everything over the top when you start and then pull it back as needed. It’s part of being this ferocious copywriter

What you’re trying to do is to create a story narrative that will keep people interested. Keep them reading

John says, you don’t need a very long or complicated narrative. Set a story to open with, and then dive in to the pitch

So you open with “the other night I was so pissed off I couldn’t sleep. I’ve been mad for weeks now. In fact, it’s starting to ruin my marriage, because for the past eight years I’ve been providing people with information on how to change their lives, and a lot of people are very happy, but I’m not, because I’ve seen people go up to step nine of what should Be a 10 step process and nobody’s ever broken through to step 10, and it’s at that 10th step

Those transformations are made, not just minor improvements, and then last night I woke up with a sudden epiphany and I knew what had to happen in order to force people into that 10 step, to make it impossible for them not to achieve it. Here is what it’s all about… ”and then you go into your pitch

A headline should be a pithy statement to captures your unique selling proposition when a headline is perfect you can’t remove a single word without making it completely incoherent

One of the greatest challenges of copywriting is how do you get to the heart of the matter of what you’re offering without sounding clichéd in a marketplace that abounds in clichés.

How do you say to somebody “I will tie together everything you’ve learned to this point and make it completely effective for you” when they hear that exact same pitch 20 times a day and that’s the challenge of copywriting

It’s extremely important, especially in the opening, that you don’t let anybody get the impression that they have the complete thought just from reading your headline or subhead. You always want to keep pushing them for work

So the example is “how to put $20,000 a month into your business by doing this one simple thing.” Well they’re going to have to keep reading to find out what that simple. Thing is

Carlton says that a lot of his closes are almost verbatim. So the portion of the letter that’s designed to get the order will almost always look the same. Why? Because it works

The key to the closing part of the letter is to make it simple and easy and fast. You don’t have to sell them you just have to make it easy for them to take action

Don’t put any obstacles into the sale so don’t say “if you have any additional questions please call us at this number” no. that’s just asking them to think before they’re going to give you money, you don’t want that. If you’ve done your job right they won’t have any questions anyway

Every pitch needs a takeaway Carlton’s recent favorite is “if you don’t buy it, I’ll give it to somebody else”, the exact wording is. “I have a copy on my desk for you right now, it’s earmarked for you, there are only 27 others in storage. If you don’t order within the next seven days I will sell it to the next person on the list”

Carlton likes to make it very explicit; he’ll say to them. “I have your set on my desk right now; if you don’t buy it then I’ll give it to somebody who’s below you on the list. I’ll give you’re set to somebody less deserving.” He says that really ticks them off and causes them to act

Let’s get back to the snarling beast attitude, and you don’t want to sit down and say to them “I’d like to tell you a story.” No. you sit down and say. And this is a quote, “if I don’t get this off my chest right now my head is going to explode what happened to me last night changed my life and I’ve got a handful of people that I want to let in on this right now, I guarantee you’ve never seen anything like it before in your life and it’s going to change everything about your life, what you want, and where you’re going, for the next 20 years the best part. It’s cheap. It happens quickly and it’s extremely easy and the treasure chests open up and you get to take what you want out of life.” This is the attitude that you want to sit down with this is the message that you want to convey

It all comes down to this: if they give you money, and buy what you’re selling. Is there life going to be better? If it is, then why are you pussyfooting around? Why are you beating around the bush? Get out there and sell him. Make him do what he needs to do to have a better life. If what you’re selling doesn’t add that kind of value, then don’t sell it to anyone. It’s all or nothing

One of Carlton’s favorite ways to start after the lead in paragraph is “here’s what this is all about” and then get right into it

The easiest way to develop your internal voice, that voice that you use to translate into a sales letter is to keep a journal. Write down what happens to you every day, and start asking the right questions. You’ll start off with things like “went to work, answered some phone calls, came home and watched TV had a beer”, but that’s really not all that happened there was more so learn to dig, learn to find the stories and tell them in your writing every day, and very quickly you’ll develop your voice, you’ll develop your ability to communicate and empathize with others in order to keep them interested, to sell them

A Meta note: John said something that can be said in training for any market and it’s great, he said “You’ve all taken the time to write something, you’ve written an ad or a letter. So your part of the brotherhood you’re a member of the club. Your writers now you’ve paid your dues just by writing, but to get to the top of the class, to get to the head of the pack, you have to write every day. That’s a price that you have to pay to get skillful that’s the price to become the best.” This type of appeal can work when training people for anything and it’s a fantastic way to give them that social gratification, the welcoming to the club

Sales detective work is one of the most important things in craft doing a sales letter. When you’re working on your own copywriting, don’t just take the answer that comes to mind first, be sure to dig. That’s why Carlton talks about the three personalities, the prospect, the salesman and the ferocious snarling beast. Get different perspectives, dig deeper to get a better understanding. It’s far too easy to get buried in our own world and forget that there are other perspectives, and other answers. When we realize that, then it becomes much easier to write copy that connects with the market

You have to get in touch with the way your market will feel, but don’t tell them that you know what they’re feeling. Otherwise, you come off as wrong

You want to keep testimonials fairly short one or two lines. That is the heart of the benefit you’ve brought. Make it easy to read and very powerful. Also if you have multiple testimonials people will generally read the first two and then skim over the rest. So the rest are good for volume, but make sure the first two are your absolute superstars Carlton reiterates that it’s extremely important to let people know what to expect if they call you or fax you or whatever. So telling them that there won’t be a hard sell, or telling them that they’ll get a recorded message or what ever happens. Tell them what to expect, and you will increase your response greatly

One of the clicks that Carlton likes is “this isn’t rocket science but you have to know what to do…many people try to do it on their own and don’t get the response they want because they don’t know how to do it. Many experts are so locked into one method of doing it that they don’t get nearly the response that you would expect simply because they’ve fallen out of touch with what works.” Something to that effect, so you tell them. “It’s not hard but you do have to know what to do”

The perfect to offer stops him cold and ignites his desire. It makes whatever price you have seem like a bargain. It lights a fire under his ass so he acts right now. The perfect offer forces him to act in a breathless dream, and what Carlton means by that is that you have to have ignited his greed or lust or hope for the future, and you don’t want him to stop and think about it, you want him pissed off if he gets a busy signal. In the perfect offer you must clearly state what you have, how they can get it fast, why it’s a bargain and why they should act right now (there is no risk there is limited supply)

The perfect offer includes a guarantee, you have to take all of the risk of of his shoulders and put it on yours and the longer the guarantee, the better your response will be and the lower your refund rate will be

A perfect offer has a caveat; it filters out who it’s for. So it will say it “Does it seem too good to be true? I thought so too until I tried it through for the full three months, and was amazed at the results” or, you say, “this isn’t for everybody but if you meet the following conditions you can see incredible results from this.” So it makes it will little more believable

A good offer will use takeaways and challenges “maybe you’re not ready for this yet” or “there is a very limited number and we want to make sure that only the most serious people will get islet

A good offer keeps price breaks in mind. Remember, people buy based on the stated purchase price, the $19 or $39 or $49. $19 is not a$20 bill. Even when you add in shipping and handling it’s still not a$20 bill in their minds. And whenever you go over $100 give people at lease 2 payment options, so that they can break down into monthly payment of under $100. and test your price breaks, one eBook seller found that there was zero drop off between 39 and $49 for an eBook, so he was getting an extra 25% in pure profit from every order

If you’re going to get into a headline like “jealously guarded secrets that they don’t want you to know” you have to get into the story of why it’s jealously guarded, of who doesn’t want you to know, on the first page. That’s what you’re using to draw them in

Remember people want magic, people want easy, people do not want work. You should not be telling people about the 30 DVDs that you’re going to send them if your message is a way to make money in your sleep. Those messages are incongruent. They think “I have to work to get through all of that material so that I can make money without working?” So, the same thing when you’re talking about sending them a book or whatever bonuses you’re doing. Make sure that you’re conveying the message that they won’t have to read all of it, or go through all of it. “We’ll also include a quick start guide that can point you to the one or two pages that will solve 95% of all of your problems.” Etc. etc.

With straight “I’ll make you more money” appeals, Carlton loves to twist it around a little bit and use phrases like “how to stop robbing your self of $.90 of every dollar you think you’re taking in” When you talk about the money that is slipping through their fingers, the opportunities that are wasting away simply because of something that they’re not doing that would be easy to do, it’s a better appeal than just “I’ll show you how to make more money”

Another great appeal. “Here’s how I made this much money or how I doubled my sales with the simple secret. Once you find out what it is you’ll kick yourself for not doing it earlier. But not one in a thousand people do it.”

A very powerful position is. “I’m not a big corporation, I’m a small operator. I’m a smart guy who figured out how to come in under the radar of the big boys. I had to learn through hard experience how to get the most out of every dollar the most of every minute, because I didn’t have the money and resources that the big guys have. It’s like John Carlton’s positioning as the secret weapon that big corporations snuck in the back door to do copywriting assignments that their staff couldn’t handle

When mailing followup offers or communications, aside from your stick letter, Carlton says wait three weeks. After 21 days, then you can send them out another offer or the addition or the backend. Any sooner and you risk burning them out, too much longer and the list will rot

John says beware of “on your heels writing”, sitting back waiting for them to take the bait Carlton says your stalking them, you’re circling them and your pouncing right away. “I’ve got this here for you if you take advantage of it will put this $15,000 into your bank account next month. It will be easy. This will be the best money you’ve ever spent. Take it now!” rather than “Please maybe try to read this free report… ”

A device that Carlton often uses is to write in the letter “what’s this got to do with you? Plenty.” and then pushing forward to advance the sale

It’s very important that you never trash the competition. Your unique selling proposition needs to position you against your competitors, not above them. So talk about what makes you unique what benefits you offer, the positive things that you can do. But don’t talk about the negative things that your competitors do

One of the most important elements of writing a headline is getting your unique selling proposition down to a very pithy phrase and including that in your headline. When you can so clearly and succinctly express what makes you unique, why people should do business with you, that you can put it into a headline then it’s going to yield very powerful results

The metaphor we want to think about is the greased slide. Completely eliminate this idea of “let’s kick back, put up your heels, have a cigar and I’ll tell you a story” You want a breathless ride through your ad; you want them to be tired or out of breath when they’re finished reading, because you’ve hooked him and sent him down in this greased slide, you’ve hit him right in his passion place, and he’s in a dream state or a trance state when he’s finished and his credit cards in his hand. And he’s logging onto the Internet, or he’s picking up the phone and ordering

The slide metaphor is great because the worst thing that can happen on a slide is you hit a snag. You catch yourself something sharp or something that doesn’t seem to belong, and then you slice your thigh open and then bleed all over the place. In a sales letter that happens if you use jarring language or if you get them out of flow or, if you use out of place slang or completely perfect grammar or speak in an unfamiliar lexicon. The same type of thing happens when he asks “So what” or “what does that have to do with me?” in this case. Imagine it’s like this slide leveling out, he’s not moving any more, and so needs another push to go again, if you can’t provide that push, then you’ve lost so why take a chance why have a place where levels it’s just not good business

We’ve all let our inner salesman go to sleep; the process of marketing requires us to wake him up. Consider something simple, trying to convince a friend or girlfriend to see a movie that they wouldn’t otherwise see. The worst thing that you can do is tell them they have to see it. To get them to see it, you have to lead them down a path and make them decide on their own that they want to see it. The same thing holds true for marketing, and letters and facet face sales. It’s by starting to look at life in this way, and waking up your inner salesman in everyday life, that you will get better and better at waking him up to do your copywriting

One of Carlton’s favorite quotes is from Springsteen. You want it, you take it, and you pay the price

Profit can trip you up. if you could sit down and put out a piece to your house list that generates $20,000 you make a lazy and do that instead of working with somebody else or putting more time and effort in to generate 100,000, so be careful of just measuring things by “I made money or I didn’t make money” and instead look a potential, look at possibilities. So that you’re always getting the highest return on your investments. Of course at the end of the day. The ROI numbers really don’t matter that much, profit is king, but you do have know whether or not you’re sacrificing potential profit to when you put out a piece

Perhaps a repeat point, but very important if you have a hook in your headline, an opening to a story you need to very quickly have that hook pay off. The example being used is “camera crew survives 2 day special operations training in Russia with elite militaryunit.”Or something likes that. Now, the story is how rough it was that it was an accomplishment that the camera crew survived. But if you don’t mention that early on, then it’s a weak hook and it’s not going to keep people reading

The analogy is having a character pull out a gun in the first act of the play and then doing nothing with it and not mentioning it until the last scene or not at all

John’s talking about stripping down your headline to the mechanical pieces into what he calls nuggets or phrases. For example, a nugget might be “elite Russians special forces instructor.” you want to tighten down your nuggets so that you can’t take out a word without losing meaning. Then combine these tightly crafted nuggets into your headline. And so on throughout your sales letter, if you are that ambitious

One of the greatest tools for copywriters is that the ellipses the …that can break up a sentence it’s a pause it forces the reader to stop before moving ahead, and allows you to write in a series of short sentences that keep the copy flowing

When you’re putting together testimonials you want to interview people for quite a while. Ask their story, ask them to get specific, and then take out the little gems and put them into your testimonial.

Then send them a copy of it to make sure it gets they’re okay. The same process of course occurs when you’re writing your sales letter. You interview the person whose product you’re selling, you go deep with them, and then you distill that into your sales letter but its your interview where you’re looking for the hooks, you’re looking for the specific

Getting testimonials is an art in and of it. It’s not just about sending them a letter and trying to get them to write something, although you can do that. If you don’t have time. The absolute best is to talk to them, interview them for 20-30 minutes, especially if they don’t know you, especially if you’re a third party asking them for testimonials or information. You have to guarantee them that they will get final approval of what you’re going to print, and then send it to them; get them to sign off on it. But
you may very well have to interview them for 20 minutes before they open up to you enough to give you anything worth using

Carlton always comes back to sitting at a bar hearing somebody say they have a problem, what do you say to them, how do you get their attention. How do you persuade them if they’re sitting across from you in a bar? It’s usually not by “Gee, I’m verysorryto hear about your problem, you know, everybody who has that problem really has to do the following… ”that’s going to get you punched so. It’s getting get your letter thrown out. Think about sitting in that bar, think about talking to somebody, and how you would impress them at a bar, and that’s how you want to write in your letter

When you’re telling people how to respond, tell them what to say. Say to them in the letter. “So call this number, ask for Barbara, tell her that you just got Dr. Jay’s special report, and that you would like to book an appointment.” again this comes down to taking away their anticipation or taking away the anxiety of not knowing what to say or of what to expect If you are going for a specific market then take the time to find out what they talk about on their time of. If three accountants get together, what are they talking about? If you don’t know this then you’re going to have tremendously under powered copy

Carlton are commends the book Man and his symbols by Carl Jung

Being a copywriter is all about going deep. Get an incredible understanding of your market and your product or service, know the people you’re talking to better than they know themselves. If you don’t go to the you’re going to miss out. You’re not going to make nearly the money you should and you’re probably just going to skim along the surface

A good exercise is to go through the different swipe files, and identify what type of letter each one is. The dollar bill letter, the “frankly, I’m puzzled” letter, what are the tricks that are being used in the different letters and add these to your bag of tricks. So that you can go through and basically do the index card method of writing a letter, where you look through and say “I’ve got all of these choices for headline style, I’ll go with choice 6, and I’ve got all these choices for a first paragraph style, I’ll go with choice2.”And the more choice you have, the more different ways you can piece together a sales letter, the better chances you have of making something that’s really going to

Appeal to your market. Obviously don’t get carried away with this and get into the Frankenstein school of copy writing. You don’t just want to take headlines that work and first paragraphs that work and slap them together without any cohesion. But when you have an established voice when you have an understanding of your market and of what you’re offering these choices of these different ways to present what you’re doing will come in very handy

Following up on that last point Carlton says give each style a pet name. So this is very much like the triggers list from McCarthy and Kennedy, but when you have these pet names, you can scan through hundreds of headlines and classify them into 10-15 clicks on a dial, and then have concrete examples of these different clicks. So that you can go through and basically say the same thing in different ways over and over and over again

The two things of that Carlton recommends for starting a sales letter are number one. Come up with the hundreds of bullet points and then determine the USP and work from that. Or number two, just start writing. Write two or three pages then throw it away, and start again, get the stutter step, and then use to organize your ideas and start writing again. Carlton says, it’s very much about editing, especially in the early stages

What you want to make very clear to me your market is that they’re buying the information, they’re buying a result. They’re not buying physical product. When you do that, you can get a lot more money for a lot less physical product; consider again, the home study course. 3 ring binder, pages in, $500. If people are just paying for the paper in the binder, it’s about six dollars. But when they truly understand that they’re paying for results. Then they’ll hand over the 500 easy

Carlson is not a fan of asking for the sale of multiple points in sales letter. This is especially important when dealing with online sales letters. Often there will be the “click here to order now” links scattered throughout the sales letter. Carlton’s old school, he thinks “Give the complete pitch, and then ask for the order.” If they want to buy on page 2, they’ll skip the rest anyway and go buy, if they don’t then you’re tipping your hand early in the game and you don’t want to do that either

Carlton will often say things like, “you can try it for free if you want” and then charge them for the offer, the just occasion for what he said is “if you don’t like it then send it back and of course I’ll refund your money. Otherwise, you put up the deposit, the product goes to you, and then you get to decide whether or not you want it.” it’s still a riskfree trial but they’re not getting it without putting up their money or giving you their credit card information. It’s a subtlety, but Carlton points out that he hasn’t had any complaints with using that in a sales message

A great positioning from Carlton, “I like to treat other businesses the way that I wish businesses treated me, so I will treat you with the utmost of respect, completely risk free, the onus is on me to show you how powerful what I offer is, and if for any reason you feel that I’ve wasted your time, then I will give you 10 bucks or 20 bucks out of my own pocket. if I wasn’t good at what it did, I’d go broke doing this, and I wish that other businesses would show me this kind of consideration, that’s why I’m showing it to you

Carlton reiterates that any time you get a complaint from a buyer; you have to do what ever it takes to make it right. If they call you five years later, and they want their money back. Even if you didn’t have a guarantee, give them their money back. The last that you want is an alphabet agency coming after you

To get a starting USP think in terms of threes come up with the three things that you would say to a prospect when they ask you, “Why should I deal with you and not the other guy.” This may not be your final USP, but it will give you a place to start

This is a fascinating, look this up, Carlton talks about a study that was done with monkeys getting them to do work and one was rewarded with grape another was rewarded with a cucumber

Pretty quickly, the one rewarded with a cucumber refused to do it. Carlton then goes on to talk about the ultimate economics game. You have two people. One is a proposer one is an acceptor there is a $100 bill. The proposer gets to split it up however he wants it. If the acceptor doesn’t accept, nobody gets any money. If he does than the split that the proposer came up with goes through. What they found was that it was that if a split of 90-10 was proposed, the acceptor would turn it down, the acceptor wanted a fair shake, When they added a qualifying round at the start, a trivia game or something that justified the roles, so the winner became the proposer and the loser became the acceptor, no matter what the offer was, even 95 to 5, it was never turned down. So take some time to think about the mechanisms of human nature and what’s going on with this, because it becomes a very important in persuading and convincing people

The most important thing about a swipe file isn’t in Frankenstein letter creation, taking bits and pieces from eight letters and just stuffing them together. Rather, it’s from being able to identify what each of the letters in your swipe file is, having a shorthand for what each of the letters is doing the clicks on the dial the bag of tricks, what ever you want to call it, it’s about being able to say “I’m going to write a letter with style X, it might be a dollar bill letter, it might be the lazy mans way to X”, and you take one of the templates and you create your letter with that as a base. You know that it doesn’t sound perfect, but it gets the idea across. Then, in editing that’s when you give the letter all of your voice, and when you actually do the real writing of it. So you might say “the lazy mans way to trading” and then realize that that doesn’t sound perfect, but it gets the idea across, so your next draft will expand on the idea by changing the language

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Built with Love :)