How to write a killer sales letter for any product or service

I absolutely love writing sales letters. It’s not only where I got a fairly strong start, with regards to finding customers. But I also find it a fantastic exercise to understand exactly what I’m delivering to customers.

A well written sales letter will help you understand why someone would buy.

It can even become the entire backbone to your sales campaign, pitch and sales strategy.

Use the sales letter template below, to begin mapping out your sales letter. As an exercise, I encourage you to write out what type the individual pieces of a sales letter.

The fully written sales letter will help you piece together the journey that the customer needs to go on, before they will buy from you.

I don’t see any reason why you wouldn’t send this sales letter to customers. But more than anything, it will help you with future sales content such as sales pages, videos, pictures, emails and even blog content.

Use the prompts below to create a sales letter for your product, service or entire business. Notice how it’s a different frame from introducing yourself and explaining your benefits.

The best sales letters, with the highest conversions, focus on emotional responses with the customer. Telling THEIR story and connecting with them, before converting to a sale.

Headline

You want to start with a clear and attention grabbing headline. We typically will try to cover through things in our headlines.

  • Refer to the audience by name
  • Tell them what you’re going to help them do
  • But without doing something they expect to do

For example, headline could be “non-fiction authors: how to sell 1000 copies of your new book in your first week without spending a penny on PR”.

We might also put a subheading or subtitle underneath. Something along the lines of a result that the reader can get, if they read the full post. For example “book launch hack method revealed”.

Overall, the headline should be designed to potentially make and close the sale or by itself. It should be clear enough that it’s understood by anyone who reads it who it’s aimed at, what they’ll be able to do and what they won’t have to do.

Promise

Next we like to outline a promise. This is where we will spend a short section explaining what we’re going to help the reader to do.

This is part of the setup phase of the story. All sales letters are essentially a story with a setup, conflict and resolution.

This is where we’ll start to describe a future to the reader. Will make a bold claim about what the sales letter entails. Explaining what they will be able to do, have, become and see if they continue reading.

For example if we use the non-fiction author example above. We could explain how we’re going to help them increase the number of sales Lucy for the only book launch. As well as give them the step-by-step plan to increasing sales across Amazon, Kindle and traditional bookshops.

Essentially, what is the reader going to be able to come away with, after they read the sales letter?

Problem

This is where we begin to outline the problems the customers currently facing. What are the problems, roadblocks and negative situations that the customer faces today?

This is where we’ll currently dig into their average day, how they feel today and what status is with their friends, themselves, customers and their network.

The more descriptive we can be about where they are now,Who they are and what they are going through, the stronger the connection we build with the customer.

By this stage we don’t talk about ourselves. We keep it purely focused on the customer and their story and journey.

For example, “have you ever launched a new book, only to receive cricket sounds instead of sales? If you’re like every other first-time non-fiction author, you’ll struggle to generate the sales and revenue that you need. Maybe you’ve got bills piling up, holidays your having to put off and friends waiting to tell you that they were right all along. Does this sound like you?”

The more we can frame the start of the letter around who they are now, and the negative situation they face, the more successful the sales letter can be.

Don’t be afraid to write exhaustively on this subject. Writing as much as you can on where they are now.

Myth

This is where we will dispel a myth common misconception about the solution.

For example of where helping someone generate sales as a non-fiction author, will want to write out at least one method where people go wrong.

What is a common misconception within their space? What is it that everyone else tells them to do which is wrong? What something of try before that didn’t work?

The more you can write about common misconceptions, myths and where other people go wrong, the more you are demonstrating your knowledge of the area. This is where you begin building massive levels of trust with the reader.

As soon as you begin to outline the problem, and promised a solution or result, readers will instantly put up an objection barrier.

“But I’ve tried this before and it didn’t work” it’s now our job to reframe the problem, explain to them it wasn’t their fault, and demonstrate that we have the only solution that works.

For example you could say “most non-fiction authors, when launching their first book will use a PR agency to generate interest and sales. This doesn’t work, because it’s expensive and doesn’t generate the results you need”.

Trends

Next we need to frame the environment that our customers are in. We need to present a series of opportunities or threats to them and their business, that they need to address.

Remember the SWOT analysis from highschool business? We’re looking at opportunities and threats in their world, that they’ll either recognise or are new to them.

We’ve changed SWOT recently to just SWT or strengths, weaknesses and TRENDS. Trends are both positive or negative (sometimes both). We use trends because opportunities and threats, while a fantastic frame to place around an event, aren’t as immediate.

When we think of trends in the marketplace (Instagram launching Instagram TV or YouTube’s adpocolypse), these are trends in the market that affect our audience. We can then frame each event as an opportunity or threat.

We can present each event as a trend and then tell our reader why they need to protect themselves against it OR get ready to take advantage. You can also use a few different trends and really hit those hot buttons, posting some as an opportunity or some as a threat.

And of course, the entire purpose of this section is to position you as the solution to these changes and trends.

Finally, we can set each trend in 1 of 3 topics, to make it easy. Social, economic and technological.

  • Social
    • Social trends are things happening or being caused by PEOPLE. Societies, communities, individuals, countries, industries. It’s all about what people are doing in the marketplace differently.
  • Economic
    • Economic trends are about money. Things happening to, or being caused by money. Where people are spending money, where people are saving money, what money is doing to an industry or people.
  • Technological
    • Technological trends are about things happening to, or being caused by changes in our gadgets and toys. Phones, laptops, internet, tap-and-pay cards. It’s about how things are changing with the things we use.

These 3 areas are a great place to start talking about how things are moving in the market

and why they need to pay attention. This is essentially the question “why is this important and why you need to do something NOW”.

Knife twist

Sounds gory. It is.

You’ve explained the problem. You’ve talked about their future and where they could be in their life. You’ve outlined everything that’s changing that they need to be aware of.

Now what else? What ELSE goes on top of all that? Ever had you car break down, a text from your partner telling you they’re leaving you and when you finally arrive at work, you’re fired?

Sounds a little over the top, but this is where we want the final straw to come. We need to “twist” the knife that we’ve stuck in.

Finish the sentence “and to top it all off…”

Think about one final thing the reader has to deal with. Finish off the promise, problem, myths and trends with one final thing to remember.

  • You’ve tried this before and you wasted a load of money
  • Your last PR agency told you it couldn’t be done
  • You’re not even confident about the quality of your book

Top off the sales letter introduction (promise, problem, myth, trends) with a knife twist that adds one more complication/conflict to the story.

Solution

By this point your customers are salivating. They see where they are, they see the world around them and they see where they could be.

Notice how we haven’t talked ONCE about ourselves or who we are? Why? Because they don’t care about us, until it’s clear how much we care about them.

We’re going to tell them what the solution is now. We’re not going to go into great detail, we’re just going to tell them what they need.

Introduce the name of the product/service and what it is. Simple as that.

  • Introducing Sell Your Service. Weekly business coaching for funnel builders
  • Introducing BookLaunch. The comprehensive launch system for non-fiction authors
  • Introducing TRX. Total body workout and muscle growth equipment

It might have a small product shot or photo. But honestly, this is a story. Your reader is the hero and this solution is their quest item. This is the magic sword, kung fu training or Swedish supermodel.

It’s the THING they want to have, in order to have the life or results they want.

Name, what it is. That’s it.

Testimonials/social proof

Quickly we want to show a case study, or some kind of proof. Testimonials are crazy powerful at this stage. We’ve introduced the product and we’ve told them we can help.

Now we’re going to demonstrate that it’s helped other people.

Testimonials are great. But make sure they’re REAL. I like to go all out on my testimonials. I’ll make sure I have a photo of the person, their Twitter handle or website and their quote and name.

That might sound like a lot, but it’s critical to me that I remove all doubt about who those testimonials are from.

Or you could do a case study, talking about a real customer that you’ve worked with or helped.

What if you don’t HAVE any testimonials or case studies? Tell a story.

Create a character who isn’t real and tell your audience who they are. Tell your customers about the average day your hero goes on, what happens when they try to do it the old/wrong way and then tell them about their life after working with you.

No need to make it explicitly clear that it’s a made up story. Just introduce the hero/character and tell their story.

Weather it’s a testimonial, case study or story, the idea is that the reader sees themselves as the character and how the journey leads to a better life.

Benefits

Benefits. Not features. Not what’s included. Not what’s delivered. Benefits.

Benefits sell. Features close. We need to SELL right now, so we’re going to lay out benefits.

15 point strap harness for maximum muscle workout, is a feature.

Get shredded and build lean muscle faster than ever, is a benefit.

A benefit is the future. What does the FUTURE look like? It’s an emotional state that the reader wants to be in, or recognise.

List out 5-7 benefits to the customer. That’s 5-7 points where their life is better.

If you’re struggling to list out benefits, try listing out how they’ll FEEL after working/buying and what their average day is like after buying.

What do their friends/partner/children think of them? What will they think of themselves? What are they going to see or do or feel?

Benefits are about THEM.

Another way to list out benefits, is to list out your features and ask “why?”. Why does this matter? Why would anyone care?

You might need to ask why a few times.

Feature: Facebook cold traffic campaign.

Why? Drive more traffic to the website

Why? Increase the number of people who see your business/brand

Why? Have thousands of potential customers reaching your business

Something people forget about benefits is that your reader and customers, KNOW what benefits they want. You’re trying to show them a benefit that they already want and know.

We can only EVER sell something that people WANT. We can’t sell what they need. Even if they need a traffic system, content and email CRM, we can’t sell it unless they want it.

Benefits are easier to sell, because people want them. Notice how we STILL haven’t talked about ourselves.

CTA

The CTA or call to action stage is where we offer to help. We give them the buy now button, the link, the order form. Whatever it takes to get the deal.

Don’t think of this as “asking for the business”. Think of this as “offering to help them now”.

If you’re a doctor and someone comes in with a broken leg, you’ll tell them what you’re going to do and how you’re going to help.

You then don’t walk out and say “if you’ve got any questions let me know”. You don’t feel embarrassed about offering to help them now. If anything, your patient would be annoyed that you’re NOT offering to help now.

Your product is the same. You’ve riled up the customer, explained what’s happening in the world, what’s wrong in their business, what their future could look like, how you can help and NOW you’re just going to leave them?

You must include a call to action and get them to take the next step.

About us

Check this out. We’re going to introduce ourselves NOW. Almost 50% of the way in.

The big mistake people make with introductions is either doing it too early, or explaining too much.

Yes, people want to get to know you. But they do NOT care about your cat, your business or your interesting anecdotes. Maybe later, after they’ve got a deeper relationship with you. But not now.

Instead, keep it to these 3 key points.

  • Your name and your business
  • What you do and why you created this product
  • Your “gold medal”

You can keep this to 1 section or page. If you’re doing it as a slide presentation, the entire about us section can be just one slide.

Introduce your name and your business. Use a pitch statement, elevator pitch or tell people who you work with. Don’t spend too long introducing your business. There’s no need to go into your entire back story.

Introduce what you do but make sure you don’t tell people that you build marketing funnels. Explain that you help a certain market or niche, get a certain result. Now explain why you created this product. Why did you create this service? We can use the market need statements from the earlier exercise.

Finally, talk about your one Olympic gold medal. People don’t want a list of 5 to 15 things that you’ve accomplished. What they want is one amazing thing that you are known for. You could talk about one fantastic result you got for a customer, for example a revenue goal or sales generated.

You could talk about a book that you have published. You could talk about how many videos you have on YouTube. But keep it to one gold medal. Nobody cares about one gold medal and 2 silver medals.

Results

Next we want to outline the results that the customer will get after they buy.

Results are measurable and tangible outcomes. Increased traffic, lower advertising costs, more sales etc. What will your audience have or achieve, after they work with you?

During this section I like to go into as much detail as possible, talking through each potential result. It’s also key to keep the results between 3 and 7 important results. And go into detail for each result.

This is the logic part of the sales letter. We’ve already sold to them, and if the emotional pull is strong enough, they’ve decided to buy. Now we are going to help close the deal and confirmed their choice.

Talk about each results and the measurable difference will make in their life. Talk about their average day after Dell buy from you all work with you. What kind of difference their business will see. The more you can clearly explain what they’re getting from you, the more likely they are to buy.

CTA

Next we clued a 2nd call to action. This call to action is to remind them that they can buy this, and access this right now. Around this CTA is when I like to say how quickly they’ll get results.

For example a funnel building consultation, or sales training programme, they could see results this week (or even today). Make sure the links, phone line or whatever action are extremely clear and easy-to-use.

Guarantee

This is when you need to have the world’s strongest, most ironclad guarantee possible. The point of a guarantee is that if you aren’t comfortable guaranteeing someone success, you shouldn’t be selling it.

You need to take as much of the risk as possible from the customer. This means offering them a timeframe to return or cancel the product, sometimes called a cooling off period. As well as a refund. We say to our customers that if they don’t think that the workshop has been life changing for the better, then we’ll refund every single penny of their consultation workshop and let them keep all the materials.

We say there is absolutely no commitment to work with us, if they don’t want to, after the initial consultation workshop. We don’t guarantee results, for example increases in sales because obviously that’s almost impossible to guarantee. But we do guarantee that we will work on their business and do everything we can, to help them get the results they need.

Includes and pricing

In this next section we talk about the pricing breakdown and what’s included. This again is another closing technique designed to help people justify the purchase.

People decide whether they want to buy based on their emotions and feelings. But they commit to a sale, when they feel they can justify it to their friends and their own internal values.

We try to stay away from explicitly giving a line item for every single include. But breakdown the pricing and usually I’ll explain the value of something compared to what they are actually paying.

For example a 5 day marketing funnel workshop, might have a value of someone bought it separately, a $5000. But when purchased today with our funnel building programme, you might get it for $2500.

We also use this chance to go over the benefits and results that the customer will get, and compare them to the value that they would pay, compared to what they’re paying now.

For example an increase in traffic and more book sales might have a value of $10,000 but we are only charging $2500.

FAQs

FAQs or frequently asked questions, are a fantastic place to answer objections within the customer’s mind. Think about 2 to 3 common objections, or reasons why someone wouldn’t want to buy. What’s stopping them from buying?

Write out those questions and answer them in the sales letter. Amazingly, you can even repeat things you said inside the sales letter, such as the guarantee, price and terms of payment.

Close financial

Next I like to add in a financial close. Which is essentially reiterating the economic trend from earlier, and explaining the consequence of not buying today.

This is just reframing the reader’s perception around when is the right time to buy. If they’re reading this is a pretty good chance that the right time is now. So you need to do everything you can to help them realise that you can help them today.

Testimonials

Will then try to find another testimonial or case study to repeat to the customer. Again using the same format as above. It must be both real and easy to understand.

Close goals

We begin to wrap up now by writing a little bit about their goals. Their goals are going to be very closely tied to the benefits and results. We’ll simply ask them if they want this goal or that goal now, then now is the right time to buy. Absolutely nothing is stopping them from achieving those goals, you’ve even got someone like you willing to help them, there is no better time to take action than now.

Close ego

This final close is designed just to frame your business to them. The fastest way to lose a sale is honesty to become pushy and desperate. But during this close, we going to stick our hands up and say “I totally understand that this isn’t for all businesses. Some businesses are happy to stay where they are and to continue suffering from [problem]. I just also know that you aren’t one of those businesses.”

We are saying that we are not desperate for the money, were not desperate for the work. But we are desperate to help businesses that want to grow.

CTA

We finish with a final call to action, reiterating the guarantee, timescale and when thou see results. We leave the price they’re available and tell them that they could start working on this today.

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Mike Killen

Mike is the world's #1 sales coach for marketing funnel builders. He helps funnel builders sell marketing funnels to their customers. He is the author of From Single To Scale; How single-person, small and micro-businesses can scale their business to profit. You can find him on Twitter @mike_killen.