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How fast can you write a powerful sales letter?

with a gun to your head

   
8:12 am on Feb 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



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%

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

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Think: 30-50 USD per article. How long you need to write?
10:40 am on Feb 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



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!

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

5+ Year Member



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 :(

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

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



You are correct. I die in peace knowing the youngsters will carry on! :)
10:52 am on Feb 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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News Flash: Webmaster world receives messages from the dead!
2:49 pm on Feb 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I get the jokes. I suppose I should have seen it coming. But anyone care to answer?
2:56 pm on Feb 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



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.

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

10+ Year Member



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.

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

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



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.

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

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ken_b is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



How fast can you write a powerful sales letter?

For what product or service and what target audience?

Makes a big difference.

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

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Two minutes...
6:34 pm on Feb 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



*bats eyelashes at D_Blackwell*

:o)

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

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Two months.
8:24 pm on Feb 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



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:))

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

5+ Year Member



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

10+ Year Member



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]

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

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



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.

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

5+ Year Member



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.

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

WebmasterWorld Administrator lifeinasia is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



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]

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

10+ Year Member



"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.

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

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



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

10+ Year Member



"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.

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

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



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.

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

10+ Year Member



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

P.

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

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



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?

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

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



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.

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

10+ Year Member



"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.

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

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



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

;-)

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

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



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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