Way back when I first got started writing copy, gurus would encourage you to write letters out longhand.
I tried it. I couldn’t do it.
It was just too darn time consuming.
And I don’t think I got the payoff others claimed.
But here’s what I did do:
I started analyzing a sales letter persuasion structure.
Some would call it a “copywriting formula”.
This one single task has done more for me and my clients than anything else I have done.
To me, copywriting formulas are outdated, and have been outdated for some time. Even AIDA.
Blasphemy, I know. :\
So let me clarify.
The copywriting work that’s being done today, especially with cold traffic, requires a sequence of steps to get people to the order page.
For instance, let’s take Old School New Body.
Is there a copywriting formula in there?
Yes, maybe on the sales page itself.
But if you send traffic directly to the sales page?
The sales letter doesn’t work.
That’s because you need the previous four pages of introduction and content to setup the opportunity for the sales letter to do its job.
They don’t tell you that in the copywriting formulas. 🙁
I think the best marketers out there study THE ENTIRE persuasion sequence in order to really appreciate the beauty of a winning promotion.
In other words, you’re analyzing the entire funnel–from the first Facebook ad or email promo all the way till they get an email from you thanking them for the order.
Because we can’t forget the upsells and downsells, can we? That’s usually where the profit comes from.
Now that last sentence is going to discourage a lot of copywriters out there.
Because that means you actually have to BUY the product at some point.
But that’s a small price to pay, isn’t it? Especially for intimate understanding of how a winning promotion works.
The real cost is the time analyzing the structure.
What I’ll often do is take screen snapshots of the entire structure.
It’s work but that’s the fun part for me. (Weird, I know.)
Studying the entire structure is really where the juice is.
And you won’t find that in a copywriting formula, unfortunately.
I encourage you to follow these rabbit holes all the way down.
It’s probably the most profitable thing you can do.
Besides writing copy, of course. 😉
P.S. One more word of encouragement.
It’s a little contrarian.
Don’t just look at structures in your market. As you may have noticed, structures (like webinar promotions, or an ASK promotion, for instance) eventually fatigue.
(Or the social media platforms change their TOS to prohibit your promotion and you’re temporarily screwed.)
That’s why you need fresh blood.
Your client is often looking for not only what works from you, but something rather different than they see in the market.
Solution? Study the stuff that’s working outside your market and import what you can.
That’s where the inspiration lies.