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How fast can you write a powerful sales letter?
with a gun to your head
thecleaner




msg:3847036
 8:12 am on Feb 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

If you had a gun to your head...and were told you had to write a powerful sales letter as fast as you could...how fast could you write it?

1 hour...2-5?

Keep in mind that this sales copy must be good enough to convert cold traffic at at least 1%

 

toplisek




msg:3847039
 8:23 am on Feb 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

Think: 30-50 USD per article. How long you need to write?

tangor




msg:3847094
 10:40 am on Feb 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

You want fast, or good? :)

If you want to convert cold traffic, why screw it up by not giving it all the thought it needs?

Unless somebody is ACTUALLY holding a gun to your head!

Yoshimi




msg:3847097
 10:44 am on Feb 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

Unless somebody is ACTUALLY holding a gun to your head!

In which case having taken time out to post here you are probably already dead. Sorry :(

tangor




msg:3847099
 10:46 am on Feb 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

You are correct. I die in peace knowing the youngsters will carry on! :)

Yoshimi




msg:3847103
 10:52 am on Feb 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

News Flash: Webmaster world receives messages from the dead!

thecleaner




msg:3847242
 2:49 pm on Feb 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

I get the jokes. I suppose I should have seen it coming. But anyone care to answer?

Yoshimi




msg:3847249
 2:56 pm on Feb 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

How long is a piece of string? What's the product, what's the price point, how competitive is the industry, how effective are the competitors at selling their product, what are the unique selling points of the product, are these reflected in the site, does the product have clearly defined and understandable features and benefits, is the benefit tangible, are the audience likely to be in the early or late stages of the buying cycle?

If all of the stars were in alignment, and the wind blowing in the right direction and the tides out, it could be done in 30 minutes, if the stars aren't in alignment etc, it could take a weeks work to get the right text.

Pibs




msg:3847255
 3:00 pm on Feb 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

I wouldn't take it, as I'd lose the flow when rushing and end up hating it.

Think I'd rather wait till later when they have more time and money.

P.

D_Blackwell




msg:3847625
 1:20 am on Feb 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

I like the points the Yoshimi makes.

If I had a gun to my head I would tell them to pull the trigger and write it themselves.

A lot to be said for 'fast or good' and 'cheap or good'. Very fair questions. For what most people want to pay they will get fast and cheap. Shocking how low effective is on the scale.

I still do work for other people, but am so happy that I can mostly do my own thing. Writers' are underpaid, which works nicely for me, because I have several that I use on a regular basis and happily pay more than any competitor would ever pay them.

ken_b




msg:3847640
 1:53 am on Feb 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

How fast can you write a powerful sales letter?

For what product or service and what target audience?

Makes a big difference.

Syzygy




msg:3847907
 1:15 pm on Feb 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

Two minutes...

Pibs




msg:3848960
 6:34 pm on Feb 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

*bats eyelashes at D_Blackwell*

:o)

purplecape




msg:3849029
 8:01 pm on Feb 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

Two months.

D_Blackwell




msg:3849044
 8:24 pm on Feb 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

I am going to have to stay far, far away from Pibs. There is nothing hotter than a simple sexy wink. Currently available, that is all it would take to melt and be at her mercy.

Generous I am, but am already afraid of how much product she might start turning out. I don't dare let her catch my eye. It's bad enough that those eyelashes are already in my mind:))

LaRecoletta




msg:3853935
 1:55 pm on Feb 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

Well, usually when you are told "Here and NOW!" - it helps a lot to do it really very, very quickly. An hour will be enough, i think. But in everyday life I need to have either a big interest in the topic, or a great lack of money i'll be payed for the text

Pibs




msg:3853957
 2:26 pm on Feb 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

LOL, DB, you might want to check my pic before going further down that route:

<snip>

P.

[edited by: engine at 10:17 am (utc) on Feb. 21, 2009]
[edit reason] See TOS [/edit]

D_Blackwell




msg:3854284
 9:07 pm on Feb 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

You built my fantasy and then popped the bubble. That's cold. The thoughts of us on the beaches of Borneo ruined:((

Batted eyelashes are not a toy. Hearts so easily leap - and then crash.

I'm sure that you are a fine fellow. Can we still be friends.

arieng




msg:3854314
 9:42 pm on Feb 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

Years ago I attended a string of seminars from some very famous copywriters - Halbert, Abraham, Carlton. Most of those guys spent months on a single letter. 16 pages? 32 pages? No problem.

I've also worked on e-commerce sites with really good, original products. They could trounce these gurus conversion rates with nothing but a product description and a table of specs.

I guess what I'm saying is...never mind, Yoshimi said it better.

LifeinAsia




msg:3854319
 9:49 pm on Feb 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

If you had a gun to your head...and were told you had to write a powerful sales letter as fast as you could...how fast could you write it?

The following took me about 10 seconds:
"PLEASE BUY THIS PRODUCT OR THEY'RE GOING TO KILL ME!"

[edited by: LifeinAsia at 9:50 pm (utc) on Feb. 20, 2009]

Pibs




msg:3854347
 10:17 pm on Feb 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

"They could trounce these gurus conversion rates with nothing but a product description and a table of specs."

That's because "really good, original products" do things to people that even a copywriter cannot.

DB - absolutely :o)

P.

jecasc




msg:3859916
 6:24 pm on Feb 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

Depends on how much information I have on the product. If I now the product by heart I could write a good sales letter in 15 minutes. If I don't know anything about the product at all, nothing of its use, purpose, USP, brand etc. I could not write it in two years.

Pibs




msg:3859930
 6:57 pm on Feb 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

"Depends on how much information I have on the product."

And there you see the difference between a true copywriter and... someone else.

;o)

P.

rj87uk




msg:3859931
 7:05 pm on Feb 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

Also would depend on the product itself really. If the product is terrible it simply wont convert that well no matter the spin.

You need a good product to start with to create a good enough sales pitch imo.

Pibs




msg:3859946
 7:44 pm on Feb 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

(I was being sarcastic :o) Awful of me, sorry)

P.

D_Blackwell




msg:3859996
 8:51 pm on Feb 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

And there you see the difference between a true copywriter and... someone else.

(I was being sarcastic :o) Awful of me, sorry)

I think that you caught an awful lot of truth in the first of those quotes. A first-rate copywriter will, as part of the job, demand to be supplied with the technical information, use, purpose, company background and reputation.....given the building blocks or the ammunition. A first rate copywriter can sell ice cubes to an Eskimo. The buyers might not be happy with the product, but the writer can sell it. That's the job.

I only involve myself in companies and products that I believe in (or at least have no reason to distrust), but I can afford to do so.

Useless products are constantly being introduced, skimming the quick buck, then the company folds up their tent and moves to another market. What percentage of infomercials alone meets this description?

Fortune Hunter




msg:3862060
 9:49 pm on Mar 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

I write copy all the time and the time it takes to complete really varies. Some days I am right on the mark and can crank out awesome sales copy in a couple of hours. Other days I have major writer's block and couldn't do it in 2 days.

However a gun to my head might clear up any writer's block I had :)

A sales letter estimate is probably 1 day if you are familiar with the product, audience, purpose of the piece. However 2-4 days is more the norm, or at least what I quote a client. Keep in mind that a sales letter, especially one converting cold traffic, with a 1% response rate may take a few rounds of split A/B tests and some re-writes before it is pulling well. Therefore, while the initial write up may be relatively quick the follow up that makes it a good sales letter vs. a dung heap might be much longer.

Also don't forget the importance of the list. Many direct marketers, myself included, will say that upwards of 40% of your success (response) will come from the list you choose, so choose carefully.

Pibs




msg:3865226
 8:17 pm on Mar 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

"A first-rate copywriter will, as part of the job, demand to be supplied with the technical information, use, purpose, company background and reputation.....given the building blocks or the ammunition"

My point, sarcasm aside, is it's not the product you really need to learn and study - it's the best-fit customer.

I'll typically spend one to two weeks just studying the market, what people are searching for, their hot buttons, what they like, dislike and REAL motives and emotions for buying said product.

THEN I work on writing copy to fit the product to the prospect.

Put it this way, everyone out there with their own product knows the product inside out. Knowing the product is not really the issue, knowing how to sell the thing is the issue.

Once you have all the research in place the actual writing is easy - though I'll still spend a week on it, for tweaking and checking etc.

You can write everthing I need to know about the product on the back of an envelope. My research notes on the customer though, they can go for 30 pages or more, just for a little 5 page sales letter. When you sit down to write a sales letter you need to know who you're writing to. Screw that up and everything else is a waste of time.

P.

Syzygy




msg:3865419
 12:08 am on Mar 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

Knowing the product is not really the issue, knowing how to sell the thing is the issue.

My point, sarcasm aside, is it's not the product you really need to learn and study - it's the best-fit customer.

Okay - tobacco.

Or fossil fuels...

Syzygy

;-)

D_Blackwell




msg:3865441
 12:31 am on Mar 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

Where, when, and the conditions of the moment are factors. I usually consider the product to be crucial, but in the examples cited above, I would consider the products to be the least significant issue for selling them; targeting the user and potential users key.

Tobacco is a rough road in the USA, but not nearly so much worldwide where tobacco consumption remains quite strong and is likely to continue to remain so for the foreseeable future. This product, more than most, is not about knowing the product, but how to sell it.

Maybe the reverse for fossil fuels, as many countries have quite high prices/taxes..... In the USA, most people aren't that interested in environmental issues, or even long-term national security so long as gas is cheap. With prices down again interest is dropping again and will continue to plunge. As ever, we only care if it hurts. So long as gas is cheap again most in the USA don't care how or why. If prices take off again, we will, at least briefly, all be in favor of 'going green' and being 'a self sufficient people'. Our ways won't change except by world forces and conditions that work inexorably and unstoppably against us.

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