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Set the mood: don’t let bad email copy ruin your sales letter

July 25, 2013 | By | 1 Reply More
Romance the reader into your sales letter by setting the scene.

Romance the reader into your sales letter by setting the right scene. (New Year’s Eve 2012 in Montmartre, Paris)

No one wakes up in the morning and thinks ‘hey, I need a financial newsletter’…

So suggested Agora founder, financial newsletter publisher and legendary copywriter in his own right, Bill Bonner.

We can go one further: no one wakes up in the morning and thinks ‘hey, I need to read a direct response sales letter’.

Not even copywriters.

(Hey, there’s no shame in it: reading copy is the last thing I want to do when I get out of bed.)

The sad truth is, even after your prospective reader has dragged themselves from between the sheets, poured half a carton of Tropicana down their gullet, rushed a slice of toast on the way to the station and finally sat down at their post-it-covered-PC, still the last thing they want to do – as their inbox floods with email – is read a damn sales letter.

Let’s face it…

As far as the general public is concerned a copywriter’s handy work is seemingly unwanted.

But good email copy can change that.

Good email copy can actually excite, scare, intrigue or even educate someone to the extent that they not only want to read a direct response sales letter, they need to read one.

It’s possible to argue that the only role of email copy is to do just that: to get the reader in the right frame of mind to read the sales letter that follows.

To think this is its only role is wrong – as I’ll explain another time, email copy can do so much more – but I do agree it is its most important role:

To get people in the mood.

Of course, it must be the right mood. It’s no good if you build excitement in your email copy and then link to a sales letter that is based on fear. The contradiction will wrong-foot the reader and cause an immediate emotional disconnect.

It could be as damaging as to make the reader think they’ve linked to the wrong sales letter.

Imagine reading a piece of email copy that excites you about what great opportunities there are to invest in America right now and how things are really looking up and excitedly clicking on the link to find yourself reading (or more likely watching) Mike Palmer and Porter Stansberry’s famous End of America sales letter, predicting the doom and destruction of the American economy.

You’d feel like you’d been slapped in the face, right?

Certainly, having got so excited about the prospect of investing at what you were led to believe was a positive time in the markets… finding out that you are in fact heading for an endless void would be a bummer, to say the least.

However, it doesn’t mean that you should give all of the sales letter’s secrets away. It’s possible to excite a reader about the various benefits that will be discussed in the promotion without revealing what is being sold.

Here’s an extreme – and somewhat comical – example by one of my trained copywriters…

It excites the reader about an alternative investment that is ‘rarer than gold’ and ‘more precious than diamonds’. It then goes on to foreshadow the story of how the investment came about before offering the first hint of some proof that it is a valid investment…

A hair-raising alternative investment that could make you 6,345%

Dear Reader,

This might just be one of the strangest investments you’ll ever come across…

But get in on it now, and it could also end up being one of the most profitable.

You see, this is a commodity that’s rarer than gold…

That’s worth more per ounce than diamonds…

And today, I’d like to show you a way to get in on this for 25% LESS than its market value.

Check it out right now.

Now, this startling opportunity came into being one fateful day in March of 1958…

The King of Rock and Roll himself, Elvis Aaron Presley, had just been drafted into the Army…

And what happened next created shock, horror and outrage amongst his legions of young fans.

But it also created an enduring profit opportunity which I’m very excited to pass on to you today.

So satisfy your suspicious mind and find out all about it here.

It’s fair to say that this is an investment that’s got the markets all shook up…

In fact, one example of this ultra-rare, sought-after item reached a record price of £1,055 at auction just a few months ago.

But get in today, and you can claim yours for CONSIDERABLY less.

Now, due to the nature of the market, prices of this item are bound to increase year after year…

So act fast, and you could grab an excellent price – and see a VERY impressive return.

Get in today – it’s now or never.

Best wishes,

XXXX

Can you guess what it’s selling? Maybe. Maybe not. The point is you’re intrigued.

You think it has something to do with Elvis, and therefore possibly some Elvis memorabilia. You’re excited by the prospect of picking up whatever it is at 25% cheaper than the market value. And the fact it’s rarer than gold and more precious than diamonds…

Well, you’ve got to take a look, right?

In actual fact, this email copy links to an opportunity to buy authenticated strands of Elvis’ hair, which were collected when he had his famous haircut to enter the army.

Having sold one at auction for more than £1,000 (approx. $1,500), you could buy one here for less than £800 (approx. $1,200).

You can see why this email copy worked well. Yes, it teases a number of different elements of the sales letter itself, but overall it puts the reader in the right mood to read the sales letter that follows.

It talks of this being a ‘strange’ investment, it foreshadows the big idea of its rarity and it puts the reader in the mood for a speculative investment, which is exactly what this is.

(As an aside, the strands of Elvis’ hair have since gone up in value. As it stands, it turned out to be a decent investment.)

Yes. Getting the reader in the right mood is essential.

A good copywriter must…

It’s for this reason that before a single word of email copy is written, the first port of call for any copywriter must be the sales letter itself.

It seems like a no brainer but it’s worth stating. No email copy should ever be written ‘blind’. To do so is at once arrogant and naïve.

More than anything, it is a missed opportunity to maximise the true potential of a sales letter.

Remember, good email copy can sell a bad promotion but bad email copy will kill a good promotion.

Best,
Glenn

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Category: Emotionals

About the Author ()

Glenn Fisher is a professional copywriter, founder of AllGoodCopy.com and author of Write Better Copy. He is an expert in long copy sales letters, having written copy that has so far generated more than £10 million in revenue. Born in Grimsby, he now lives in London.

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