The Magic Copywriting Formula for Writing Effective Sales Letters that Sell

In face-to-face selling, nearly every salesman or woman would have applied a simple little formula called “AIDA”. It is an age-old sales formula coined in the 19th Century that stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, Action.

The purpose of the formula  is to capture your prospect’s attention, then get them interested in the content of your sales message, then entice them to feel that they need what you are trying to sell, and finally induce them to take action to buy.

Unfortunately, the majority of consumers today are constantly bombarded by advertising nearly everyday of their lives- be it on TV at home or a product flyer chucked into their hands by a sales promoter at the mall. As a result, people are increasingly becoming more skeptical about the marketing messages they receive and wary of being “sold to”. That’s why it’s so important to CONVINCE your prospect or reader to believe you. With that in mind, I’ve updated and improved the formula to:

  • Interest
  • Desire
  • Conviction
  • Action

Arouse Interest

As you write your opening paragraph, think of something that arouses interest and gets your reader’s attention. Otherwise, you’re just wasting your effort and your sales letter could be thrown away without ever being read. So how do we get your readers to be interested? I recommend beginning your opening line with a 2 or 3-tiered question, an instruction that carries a specific benefit or a short statement highlighting a testimonial or an interesting fact.

An example of 3-tiered question that first conjures a painful problem, then suggests some form of pleasure the reader would experience if the pain is removed:

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Now let’s turn that into an instruction that carries a specific benefit:

Can’t write? Read on to discover how you can get instant, unlimited access to a free copywriting resource that can give you the confidence and skills to write professional, persuasive copy in just 7 days!

An example of a client’s testimonial written as a short opening statement:

A reader of mine is happier today than ever before. That’s because  his online business resulted in a 300% increase in sales profits thanks to the valuable ideas he learnt from my Quickstart Copywriting blog.

Create Desire

In sales, people buy based upon emotions. When they truly want something, they’ll always find reasons for needing it.  So as  a sales writer, it’s your job to weave enough desire to help people make a decision to buy the product or service you’re selling. You can do this by highlighting specific and clear benefits to your readers and how it will bring more pleasure into their lives.

An example of a piece of benefits-rich sales copy:

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Carry Conviction

Be it in traditional selling or sales writing, addressing someone’s concerns and overcoming his or her reluctance to buy is a challenge you’ll have to meet. You can do this by supporting your claims in a number of ways:

  • Offer customer testimonials or third-party endorsements
  • Offer a free sample or a free-trial of your product or service
  • Offer a money-back guarantee
  • Offer statistics that highlight your experience in the business or your product’s performance

An example of a sales message that carries conviction:

On my Quickstart Copywriting blog, you’ll discover a treasure trove of techniques and ideas to help you write better sales copy, faster. Best of all, the insights, strategies and tactics on this website are easy to apply and can be used immediately in your letters, emails, reports, proposals and marketing. All you have to do is fill out your information and you’ll get instant, unlimited access to my entire library of copywriting tips and hints…at absolutely no cost to you!

Induce Action

This is a call to action at the end of your sales copy. In my experience, the more information you give readers at the call to action, they are more likely to get confused. So you want to keep things simple, direct and clear.  You have to make it easy for your readers to do what you want, be it to contact a sales rep, to visit a website or to simply place an order.

An example of a call to action that is simple, direct and clear:

Free unlimited access to my  Quickstart Copywriting blog is only available to subscribers who sign up by 30 September. So hurry and take advantage of my limited time offer before it’s gone for good!

Extracted from QuickStart Copywriter, “DAY 6:  START WRITING“.


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