Let’s cut right to the chase on this one. If you’re reading this article, you already understand and appreciate the power of great sales copy.
But how do you write great sales copy? Where do you start?
(Maybe you don’t need to be a great copywriter — you’re not looking to be the next Gary Halbert, or Dan Kennedy, or Ray Edwards. You just don’t wanna mess things up when writing sales copy! Totally cool.)
Here’s what you do:
- Grab a notebook
- Grab a pen
- Find a top-notch sales letter
- Copy the entire letter by hand using the notebook and pen
- Repeat step #4 five times. That’s right, five. 5x. Cinco.
This is how I learned to write effective sales copy.
Hand-copying top sales letters was the foundation of my development. I built up a bank of power words and key phrases, and noticed how master copywriters were able to evoke emotion and persuasion. Mind blown.
No, it wasn’t glamorous.
No, it wasn’t always fun.
No, I didn’t get paid.
But it was powerful. It still is. That’s why I practice this ’til today.
Now, I don’t consider myself a great copywriter — but I do feel I’m an effective one. There’s a difference. “Great” is based on opinion — it’s a subjective notion predicated on one’s feelings and preferences.
(Oh, and it’s usually reserved to talk about the best-of-the-best. I can’t hold a candle to these legends, past or present.)
But “effective” is measureable — and when I spent years as the CMO of a company, no one gave a rip whether our copy was “great.” It simply had to be effective: more leads, higher conversion rates, higher total sales. Or else.
If you follow the steps outlined above — without taking shortcuts — you’ll learn to write effective copy, too.
So, where can you get top-notch sales letters?
The easiest place to go is this blog post by Ray Edwards titled The Most Successful Sales Letter You’ve Never Heard Of. Two reasons:
- You’ll get a short history lesson on one of the most revered sales letters of all time, the Wall Street Journal’s “Two Men” letter by Martin Conroy
- You’ll get direct links to legally download that letter, along with 5 others — all within that one blog post. All free.
I handcopied that Wall Street Journal letter at least 10 times when I started my copywriting journey. I’ve used concepts from it in numerous pieces — but I’m not going to post them now. I don’t want you to get distracted.
Click on The Most Successful Sales Letter You’ve Never Heard Of, get your brief history lesson, download the free letters, and start writing!
Total cost: $0 (unless you splurged on the pen and notebook, you high-roller!)