I was sitting in my client’s office when I checked my inbox and saw this message:
If you’re unfamiliar with any of these characters, here’s what you should know:
Kevin Rogers runs Copy Chief — an online community for direct response copywriters and marketers to share knowledge and become better at what they do.
He’s an awesome dude who truly cares about his people — you can tell. And he’s built an incredible community. I can’t recommend it highly enough. And that’s not an exaggeration.
Evaldo Albuquerque is (to my knowledge) the top performing copywriter at Agora Financial. Last year, his copy brought in over $80,000,000 in sales.
Yeah. Eighty MILLION dollars. No big deal.
And Pete Coyne is the publisher at Paradigm Press (the Agora Financial imprint where Evaldo works). I’m not 100% clear on Pete’s day-to-day role at Agora, but from our conversation, it’s clear that he works his ass off — and that he is a very smart dude.
This email was sent in relation to a copywriting conference I went to last week (hosted by Kevin) called Copy Chief Live.
I’m going to write a full post on what I learned at Copy Chief Live next week, but for now, I’ll say this:
Kevin has done a fantastic job of creating a community that feels safe, welcoming, and genuinely helpful. When you’re in the room at Copy Chief Live, you feel that.
Kevin says “There are no velvet ropes at Copy Chief Live.” And he’s right. Speakers mingle with attendees and the best copywriters to ever live sit shoulder-to-shoulder with hopefuls like me.
It’s truly a special event. And I’ve already bought my ticket for next year…
But more about the event next week.
At the end of each day of the conference, there were roundtable events held for copywriters to meet companies looking for copywriters.
To be a part of these roundtables, it was recommended — or required, not sure which — that you write a sales letter about a book. That way, companies could quickly check out your writing chops.
So, I was already planning on writing my book sales letter before the event, but I was running a bit behind schedule. When I got this email (on Wednesday), I hadn’t started writing yet (although I had done a bit of research).
Now, I’m not hyper-competitive, but for whatever reason, I love writing contests. Any chance I get to test my skills and see where I stack up against others is super intriguing.
So, even though I got this email on Wednesday afternoon…and I hadn’t even finished reading the book I was going to write about yet…
I knew I had to make it happen.
So, on Thursday, I sped through the book as fast as I could, dog-earing pages I thought would make great bullet points or potential hooks.
And on Friday, I wrote the sales letter.
That following Monday, Kevin announced the winners of the contest live at the conference. And, thankfully, I was one of them.
Here’s a pic of some of our dinner crew. (Evaldo is in the middle wearing the striped shirt.)
Dinner was a lot of fun. And it was really cool to hang out with a group of people who were so knowledgeable and transparent. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to sit down for a meal with those guys. And I won’t ever forget that experience.
In this article, I’m going to pull out specific pieces of the sales letter I wrote and make notes about what I think I did well.
But if you want to check out the full sales letter, just click here.
- Keep in mind, I don’t know exactly what Evaldo and Pete found appealing about this sales letter, but these are my best guesses.
- Also, they ended up selecting 6 winners instead of just 3. But regardless, ya boi was one of those 6— so we’re gonna celebrate that.
So without further adieu, let’s get into it.
So, first things first, I think I did a pretty good job with the headline complex here.
With any headline — or any copy, in general, really — you want to hit on two main concepts:
Curiosity and benefit.
This headline has both.
First, it’s very specific.
“82 years? What happened 82 years ago?”
Second, it alludes to some pretty interesting stuff.
“Powerful alliances? Between who!?”
Third, it clearly highlights the benefit for the reader and shows them exactly what they’ll get.
“Oh wow. I want to make powerful connections…and earn more money…and get what I want from others. Wait — are you telling me I can do all those things without being a shitty person!? And it works even if I’m an INTROVERT?”
Finally, it really hypes up the intrigue and curiosity with the part about murderers and sociopaths. Anything used for those purposes must be super powerful.
“Wait a second — murderers and sociopaths use this stuff too? I’m a little scared. But I’m interested. Let’s see what this is all about.”
I’ll be the first to tell you…
This isn’t fantastic.
It’s not bad, but it’s not the best lead I’ll ever write either.
That said, there is one good thing about it (and this is important, because it’s the main thing a lead has to do):
It immediately draws you into the story.
The first three lines do a good job of setting the scene and pulling you in before you even realize what’s happened.
Next, those first few lines also do a good job of creating a “slippery slope.” Meaning that each line makes you want to read the next to figure out what’s happening.
This is the secret to compelling copy:
Reveal just enough to keep the reader engaged, but never reveal so much that he can give himself permission to stop reading.
And finally, we’re hitting on that curiosity element again at the end.
As you read this section, you’re wondering 2 things:
First, “what the heck is going on here?”
Second, “who is this farmer from Missouri?”
This next section really ramps up the curiosity and plays off the “murderers and sociopaths” mention in the lead.
But then it does something a little more subtle:
It gets counterintuitive AF.
When I tell you that this man’s teachings have been used by Nazis, Charles Manson, and then (wait — this can’t be right…) Warren Buffet!?
That’s incredibly counterintuitive — and interesting.
Again, the reader is intrigued and still doesn’t have an answer to his question of “What TF is this?” so he keeps reading.
The other thing this sales letter does well is that it sells the idea before it sells the product.
Here’s what I mean:
The book I wrote about teaches people how to win friends and influence people. Can you guess what its title is? 😉
But before I even mention the book’s title, I talk about the idea behind the book, which is that, if you want to be successful in business, you have to become successful with people first.
Once the reader buys into this idea, and they realize how difficult it would be to achieve this on their own…
They’re much more receptive to hearing about the book than if I simply said:
“HEY YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT THIS BOOK.”
“Fascinations” are bullets.
Or, better yet, they’re fascinating bullets.
Essentially, these fascinations tease what you’re going to learn from the book without revealing too much.
A good fascination is the perfect marriage of curiosity and benefit.
The ones I wrote in this sales letter aren’t perfect (because WTF is perfect?), but I’m happy with how they turned out.
Beyond that, many of these are counterintuitive. Take this one, for example:
“How to become an interesting conversationalist without saying a word (Page 81)”
That’s counterintuitive, because normally, when we think of interesting conversationalists, we think of people who have lots of interesting stories to tell or are able to “work the room.”
Rarely do we think of an interesting conversationalist as someone who doesn’t say a word.
“Make friends 12x faster with this simple trick (it has nothing to do with YOU and everything to do with THEM) (Page 52)”
There’s a clear benefit (making friends 12x faster) and a curiosity/counterintuitive element, because we often think we have to change something about ourselves if we want to make more friends.
To give you an idea of how I came up with that bullet, here’s what the book says on page 52:
“…you can make more friends in two months by becoming genuinely interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
Some quick math:
2 years = 24 months
2 months = 2 months (obviously)
24 months / 2 months = 12 (this is where the “12x faster” part comes in)
And, as you can see from the book snippet that the focus really is on the other person and not you.
Another thing that makes this a decent sales letter is the offer itself.
For clarity — I used a little creative license here.
I did not find “10 untouched copies” of this book in a local bookstore. And if that gets your undies in a jumble…
Remember that this is not a real sales letter, and it’s not actually being used to sell anything. The purpose was just to showcase my writing/marketing skillzzz.
What makes this a compelling offer is that there is a solid reason behind why I am selling this book and there’s a strong price anchor (“…less than half of what you’d pay on Amazon”).
And what would any good sales letter be without a money-back guarantee?
Again, any good sales letter has a free bonus. This one is no different.
But what you should notice about this is the fact that I’m not throwing in a bonus willy-nilly.
Read the copy, and you’ll see this bonus was chosen for a very specific reason.
I don’t just mention the “Sakura Pigma Micron pen…”
I sell it.
Ideally, by the time you finish this section, even if you don’t buy the book — you’ll want to go check out the pen!
There’s no room for ambiguity here.
I want you to buy this damn book. And I want you to buy it right this dang second please.
Realistically, I probably could have let up a little bit on the CAPS LOCK, but I also recognized that I was writing this letter to get the attention of Agora Financial — who’s been known to write some pretty direct copy.
So I was playing to that a bit.
Regardless, notice that I’m selling this thing down to the last P.S.
Clarity, clarity, clarity,
By the time you get to the end of this letter, you know exactly what’s being offered, exactly why you should get it, and exactly how you can get it.
And that’s the point.
Ideally, at the end of the letter, you should have everything you need to know to make a decision about whether you want to buy this book or not.
And if you really want a copy…
Well, you should probably buy it from Amazon, because I only have one. 😉
And I appreciate you listening to me “toot my own horn” for over 1,500 words.
Comment below if you have any questions, and as always…
Just click here if you want a heads up every time I publish an article.