We’re going to breakdown a Frank Kern sales letter, which sells a tripwire book product on booking more clients.
In the interest of full disclosure, this page is copyright of Frank Kern and is taken from https://www.frankkernmarketing.com/consulting-clients/. I’m purely using the copy of this sales page to demonstrate well written and well structured sales pages. Aside from that, it’s probably worth you checking out the offer anyway, as it’s brilliant.
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Are you telling stories?
We prize sales and revenue so much that we believe they’re harder to make than they really are. We over-complicate the method at which someone will convert from a prospect or lead into a customer.
We also might feel that our writing style and skill isn’t high enough to convert someone into a sale. Often the sign of an unconfident marketer or salesperson, is someone who relies on overselling the features of a product rather than telling a story to a sales letter.
Stick to the plan
There’s a misconception that you have to be an incredibly skilled and talented copywriter in order to write compelling sales copy whereas in truth sticking to a formula and template, writing from your own emotions and practising writing sales copy and sales letters is the only way to generate sales via sales copy.
No more writing needed?
It’s so easy to create well-designed and beautiful looking pages now, as well as videos, social posts and apps that we believe we no longer need copywriting.
I’ve got news for you. Where do you think the compelling script for a download page, video or the product page comes from? It comes from well-written copy.
My first ever product which was a small course on qualifying new marketing funnel clients called The Cerberus Method, was sold for $9. I stuck to a sales letter style template, had very little styling published as a blog post. I’ve used that same method for our $100k Email Series and to date have generated over $10,000 in sales just from one very basic sales letter.
Frank Kern’s sales letter
I want to explore Frank Kern’s sales letter page that he uses for his consulting book. The link is reached by an advert Facebook. But I’ve also seen them on websites, PPC and Instagram.
Will break down the headline, leading, body copy, closes, calls to action, guarantees and testimonials. We’ll see how Frank expertly positions his book is a valuable product even if you have never bought before and sells the book for around $6.
Are you ready to follow along with this sales letter breakdown using our Sales Page Checklist? It’s got the 13 steps needed in every sales letter and comes with a pre written sales letter example for you to deconstruct and use as a template. Download here.
Here’s the most interesting part about Frank’s entire letter. The sales letter is around 2000 words long. Which in terms of longform sales letters and sales pages is frankly pretty short.
But that’s why this type of page work so well.
We’ve all seen long form sales letters which are split over two or three pages and can reach 10,000 words or more. While those are important and we should always constantly testing, I think knowing that even a behemoth of marketing such as Frank Kern uses a relatively small amount of copy on his sales page, makes it much less intimidating to write our own sales copy.
We’ll talk a little bit about what is in the structure of the entire sales page. But as you can see from the GIF above, it only takes a few seconds to scan through the entire page.
“this is a very well-designed page because it only has what it needs.”
Years ago on some training I did with Frank he mentioned a three layer approach to writing sales copy. First you have people who will read the page, but scan it quickly highlighting only the headings and anything in bold. Second, they’ll go back and reread the paragraphs that look interesting. Third they’ll read the entire sales page from top to bottom.
Now many people might read the entire sales page just from the top all the way through. But according to many analytics and data providers, most people tend to scan an entire page in article first (to both determine the length of the page and its overall content), before going ahead and reading the entire argument.
One final point on the length, you can see that the headers are clearly designed to outline the entire argument. They used to break up the monotony of text AND there is very little design work and few images on the page. You could argue that this is a very well-designed page because it only has what it needs.
The point I want to make with this particular sales letter is that it’s not OVER designed. There’s no fancy product page, tab layout or sliders. It’s a written letter designed to help people.
The structure of the sales letter follows very closely the six step process outlined by Pam Foster of AWAI On her copywriting mastery course, sold by Digital Marketer.
Which by the way if you haven’t taken, I highly suggest you do. The Digital Marketer Copywriting Mastery Certification is one of the most valuable courses I’ve ever taken in my entire life.
The basic layout and structure of a sales argument starts with a headline before using what we know as a “lead-in”, then the main sales argument or offer, a close and false close, followed by guarantee and a P.S.
What I love about this sales letter, is that the overall structure is so simplistic that many of us use it in our day-to-day lives. In fact, we recognise this structure in news articles, click bait articles, movies, TV shows, books, podcasts, courses and anywhere else where we’re consuming what someone has written.
I hear a lot about “copywriting being dead” which is grade-A bullshit. People talk about video and podcasts, but the reality is someone has to write the scripts for all of those types of media.
Aside from that, understanding good copy is understanding good arguments.
“understanding good copy is understanding good arguments.”
In some training I had done a few years back with Oren Klaff of Pitch Anything, Oren talks about the structure in which human beings digest information.
If you are trying to sell something incredibly complex, such as a marketing funnel or software or a specific engineering device for example, the part of your brain which is telling the information, is not the same part as the customer’s brain which is receiving the information.
Have you ever understood something really really well, but struggled to explain why it’s so valuable or brilliant to somebody else? That’s typically because the complex part of your brain (your neocortex) is what has understood the thing and is trying to explain it to someone i.e.marketing funnels, software or engineering devices.
However when you explain that to someone who is listening, it’s actually the millions of years old “crocodile brain” that listens to the information. If it’s too complicated then their brain will switch off.
Starting with a eye-catching or simplistic or intriguing headline before slowly leading into an argument, through the eyes of the reader, you are more likely to help them understand what you are trying to help them with.
Think how many times a catchy or intriguing headline has caused you to click through and continue reading. Complicated books such as Play Bigger, Awaken The Giant Within and Think And Grow Rich are very complicated books. They don’t try and explain the entire premise to you on the front cover.
So with that let’s start to look at the structure in this sales letter.
The headline to Frank sales letter is what causes you to continue to read on. Frankly, with Frank’s integrity, trust equity and brand name-you could expect people to buy the product just from reading the headline.
Brand New From Frank Kern
“New Book Reveals How To Sell High Ticket Consulting Services…Even If Nobody’s Ever Heard Of You”
I mean look at that headline. Everything about it screams urgency, uniqueness, ultra specific and useful. Which by the ways in copywriting school we call 4U’s.
- Ultra specific
The headline reels you in and essentially tells you the entire offer, while remaining specific to the reader (it’s clearly not for low-end web design services or cheap information marketing). It’s specific in that it answers the objection on selling high ticket consulting services, even if nobody’s ever heard of you.
There’s a sense of urgency by being a new book. Therefore by reading this new book, you could get a advantage over your competition. It’s unique because it’s from Frank Kern and the overall “how-to-process” on selling high ticket consulting services, is of course extremely useful.
I don’t doubt that while Frank would humbly say that this was difficult headline to write. They probably tested and rewrote many many headlines before publishing the sales letter.
Create your headline with the 4U’s and continue to rewrite your headline so that it both acts as an attractive and intriguing, eye-catching headline.
A “lead in” Is kind of like an introduction to the rest of the sales letter or sales argument. I’ve often heard of the lead in compared to an amuse-bouche for a sales letter.
An amuse-bouche is a culinary term for a single bite piece of food, similar to a hors d’œuvre. However, you don’t order an amuse-bouche, you’re presented it gratis from the chef.
I remember being in a pretty fancy restaurant in New York which served a corn chowder amuse-bouche before the meal started. A classic New York style dish, in a tiny mug, which helped set the tone and show off a little of what you’re getting.
As pretentious as that sounds, we have to treat the reader like they are not coming into this completely fresh and unbiased. They’ll have objections, criticisms, past experiences and their own emotional lens which they view the entire sales letter through.
Our job is to find an appropriate lead in, in which to help them read the rest of the letter and discover some value.
Very basically there are two types of lead in. Direct and indirect.
Direct lead ins rely on some kind of knowledge of either the product, brand or service being sold. Apple for example is a well-known brand. Even people who haven’t bought their products can read, watch or listen to a direct lead in from Apple, and understand what they’re getting.
An example would be using the brand’s reputation for music and media to explain that they have a new media service, such as Apple TV. Apple is a brand name is so well known that they can start talking about their innovations and exploring Apple TV without having to explain who Apple is or what TV is.
Indirect lead ins are when someone is ignorant to the brand, product or service. But ALSO the problem or solution. Sometimes people don’t even know that there is a solution to their problems. They might not even know that they have a problem in the first place.
A brilliant example of an indirect lead in is Pepsodent’s first adverts for toothpaste.
“Soon, cities were plastered with Pepsodent ads. “Just run your tongue across your teeth,” read one. “You’ll feel a film—that’s what makes your teeth look ‘off color’ and invites decay.””
The Power Of Habit, Charles Duhig.
Claude Hopkins was asked by Pepsodent to create a compelling advert for their toothpaste. Back in the day toothpaste was not only barely used but people didn’t really understand what it was used for.
So Hopkins found a way to show people a problem they didn’t even know they had. By telling people to run their tongue over their teeth and feel for a “film”, it demonstrated to people that they had a problem.
In this case, the problem was apparently a film that ran over your teeth if they were unclean. Despite the fact that this film doesn’t exist and is not what causes discolouration, within months Pepsodent was the world’s leading toothpaste manufacturer.
Toothpaste had struggled to sell both in America and worldwide because people didn’t really see the point. As soon as a problem was explained to the customer, via an indirect lead in, people understood the problem and wanted to know more.
Frank’s lead in for his sales letter is absolute genius. First, because Frank is a well known brand name and people trust him, his lead in is a direct offer. He tells someone exactly what they’re getting because he doesn’t need to explain why someone needs more clients and his background with marketing and coaching.
But he also does something else in the form of a disclaimer. First, Frank actually outlines what you could get if you read the sales page, by having a disclaimer that his results are not typical and they require you to work hard.
Not only does this qualify out people who admit to not wanting to work hard, but it’s a bit like saying “you’re going to have to spend money on buying new clothes because none of your old ones will fit you after you lose so much weight with this diet plan”.
He then follows that up with a very direct offer on telling people what they going to get and it’s the only other image on the entire page which is a book cover on how to get consulting clients fast.
The lead-in has set the pace and tone for exactly what you’re going to be presented. It’s roughly 10% of the entire sales letter and essentially opens up the vision of a new future for the reader.
It’s telling them what is going to happen when they read through the entire letter and buy the product.
The sales argument or offer is the bulk of the entire sales letter. It probably runs for about 1500 words in total.
And remember you can always download our sales page template and checklist here.
I want to focus on two key areas in Frank’s sales letter that I believe many sales copywriters either ignore or don’t think about.
- Bullet points
1. Bullet points
A good chunk of Frank’s sales letter is broken up into bullet points. The little icon of the green tick guide your eye down a series of bullet points which breaks down benefits, features and objections.
One of the things I absolutely adore about this bullet point approach, is that Frank has put the page number that every single feature and benefit.
This means when you buy the book you can use this bullet point list as a checklist or table of contents to discover more about what it is you wanted to read.
It makes the assumption that you’ve already bought and now he can tell you exactly what’s inside the product.
The first bullet point starts with the huge benefit of “five ways to get prospects eager to buy“. Everyone wants their prospects to be eager to buy.
Frank then expands on that point with something that is actually helpful. He tells you that if you do want people to become eager to buy, one way to do that is actually refusing to sell to them. Not only is that useful to know but it’s already subverting your expectations on what the book is about.
There is also a very specific bullet point which talks about getting prospects who can afford you. As well as talking about that happening TODAY and again saying which page that particular point is on inside the book.
Another bullet point starts with a feature talking about a “proven way to get your prospects coming to you“. But then puts in bold the benefit of making you look like a hero. Looking like a hero is a massive status change for many people and would be considered a benefit because it shows a better future life.
One of the other bullet points busts a myth, talking about how the “usual stuff of sales letters and videos” doesn’t really work when selling higher end products.
Many people will have an objection while reading these bullet points.
“I bet he’s just going to tell me to write sales letters and videos”, and Frank has pre-emptively turned your objection by telling you that not only is he not going to teach you that, but that stuff doesn’t really work (and he has a better idea).
So many copywriters neglect to talk about benefits. We often become so embroiled in our own products and services, that all we do is list out the features.
We have to remember, just as Frank does, to list out the BENEFITS of buying this product. What does the future look like and how is their life better after they have made this purchase?
Everything circled and underlined in the image above, is a benefit. It talks about things that are important to the reader, in the future, for their life. A benefit is something that shows a better future and better life.
- Viewing you as a trusted friend and adviser.
- Good customer that does business with you for years.
- Specifically designed for people who hate selling.
All of these explain benefits to the reader that help them understand the future that they are buying. It’s often said that people don’t buy plane tickets, they buy destinations. All too often people will talk about the equivalent of the plane journey, plane design and logistics. What they should be sold on is the pristine white sands, calm warm oceans and unlimited mojitos.
What does the future look like for the reader? That’s what you should be writing about.
The rest of the sales argument in Frank’s letter is essentially benefits stacked upon benefit, talking about the future of the reader’s life. The final big benefit comes from talking about “you’ll know how to make more sales!”.
That surely is the biggest benefit of all. A future life where you are able to make more sales than you’re making now.
Remember you can always download our sales page template and checklist here.
There’s a concept in selling called a close/false close. It’s talking to the reader as if they’ve already made the decision that they’re going to buy. It’s assuming that anyone who has reached this point in the letter is willing to buy.
This is often where a small call to action might be placed. In Frank’s case he talks about the price of the book and that they’ll get it instantly as a download.
The false close comes a little bit later when he uses the heading “you’re also getting an advanced 90 minute training, free”.
You wouldn’t also be getting anything, unless you had already bought, right? This sentence assumes you’ve already decided to buy and that when you buy you are also going to be getting some training as well.
This is what we call a false close, by telling the reader what they are also going to get when they buy but never explicitly giving them an option to buy beforehand.
There isn’t a button to buy the book and make a payment, until you’ve already read the piece which assumes you’ve bought. Clever right?
This is then the single largest mistake that I see on sales letters at all. People forgetting to include a call to action and a big luminous buy now button.
Fortunately of course, Frank doesn’t forget to put this in a sales letter. There is absolutely a button that someone can click when they decided that they do want to buy. It basically says “send me the book”.
There’s also a little bit of scarcity because he talks about it being a limited offer and you should claim your copy before all the books are gone.
The guarantee is a way to mitigate and remove risk from the buyer. Although Frank has a lot of clout and brand awareness. People still might not trust the sales page and want every assurance that their money is safe.
Human beings consider their money safe for two reasons. 1. Either whatever they are handing their money over for is worth MORE than the sum they’ve paid. 2. They can keep hold of their money and keep it safe.
This type of guarantee gives you the best of both worlds. Frank even calls it “the boldest guarantee in the world”.
If you don’t like the book, Frank’ll not only refund you your $5.60, but also you get to keep the book. There isn’t an even a time limit on this. Everything that has been done to mitigate and remove financial risk from the buyer has been done.
If you believe that your product is set up to deliver loads of refunds, you probably shouldn’t be selling in the first place.
Why does Frank do this? What does this type of guarantee do? It shows that Frank is so confident that he’s doing everything he can to help the reader, and that his conviction in his product is so strong that he’s willing to give it away for free if need be.
Lots of weak and unconfident businesses and copywriters are afraid to put these kinds of guarantees into their product. They are worried that someone will take the piss and download hundred copies and ask for a refund every single one of them. Or, thousands of people will want refunds. If you believe that your product is set up for refunds, you probably shouldn’t be selling in the first place.
I talked about this before how your guarantee has to be so strong that you’d be willing to go above and beyond to remove risk and prove to people that this is a valuable piece of content or a valuable product or service.
Finally, Frank ends with one of the staples of good sales copywriting. The P.S.
The P.S. or post script, is a small addendum made to the end of a letter. While usually and originally it was designed to allow the writer to add additional information in the age of handwritten and manually typed text, it has been adopted by sales copywriters to summarise the entire offer after the final call to action and author sign off.
The PS is written after the final call to action and summarises the entire offer. Frank talks about offering you a 68 page book for $5.60. He then walks through some of the final benefits such as the stealth persuasion and high-paying clients that he mentioned above. Before finally signing off with the footer of the letter.
PS is also a fantastic place to answer objections and summarise the offer for people who scroll all the way to the end of the page.
What we’ve learned
At its core, just rewriting this sales page yourself and retyping it out would teach you so much about clever copywriting.
You can see that the core of the argument based around the benefits was probably written first. Each bullet point was probably focused on and crafted first before structuring out the rest of the benefits and then working backwards to the headline, lead in and closes.
The guarantee is probably pretty standard across all of Frank’s products and the PS can obviously only be written after you know the entire offer yourself.
How am I supposed to write copy like this?
“But Mike my copywriting skills are not as good as Frank’s! How am I supposed to write copy like this?”
I totally understand what you’re saying, and many copywriters have felt the same thing, however what we found is that Frank has become good through to things. 1. Practice and 2. Publishing.
Sure, Frank probably has a copywriting team to help him write these kind of sales letters. But he’s also practised himself and learnt everything he can on copywriting, sales copy and ad copy. Without continually writing and publishing and getting it wrong, Frank is never able to start getting it right.
The thing I absolutely love about sales letters is that you can have zero products available but start making sales. You can write up the benefits of a coaching program that you make up AFTER you sell one to a customer. Sales letters allow us to craft an offer and a series of benefits which will give to someone in exchange for money.
But we don’t have to have created or developed that product before we can start selling it. I think that sales letters should be one of the first things that people write when they want to create a new product. By writing out a sales letter you focus on the benefits and solutions provided to the reader before investing any time, money or energy into product development. You can also test whether people like the idea of this product and even whether they are willing to buy it before you create anything.
If you’re ready to take your sales letters to the next level and start using templates like Frank does then you need to download our sales page checklist.
It covers the basic sales copywriting framework and includes a prewritten example to help you rewrite your sales letters and pages to generate more revenue and sales.
You can download your sales checklist below for free.