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How To Write Copy That Sells By Ray Edwards

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Below are the notes I took while reading Ray Edwards’ book, How to Write Copy That Sells.

Advertising is salesmanship in print.

Copywriting, an extension of advertising, is the most pivotal and essential business skill you can learn.  No other skill can make you as much money as copywriting.  Internet businesses know this better than anyone.  (Heard that.)  More than your product or service or traffic source, it’s copywriting that makes you rich.

The P.A.S.T.O.R. Copywriting Framework

  1. Person, Problem, Pain: identify who you’re writing to, the problem you solve, and the pain they’re experiencing.
  2. Amplify: stress the consequences of what’ll happen if that problem doesn’t get solved.
  3. Story, Solution: tell a story about someone who’s already solved that problem… using your solution.
  4. Transformation, Testimony: lay out the results your offer will bring and use testimonials to strengthen your case.
  5. Offer: describe exactly what you offer, but focus more on the transformation than the deliverables.
  6. Response: ask ’em to buy, with step by step instructions on what to do next.

The Building Blocks Of A Sales Letter

  1. Pre-head: targets prime prospect, grabs their attention.
  2. Headline: the ad for the ad.
  3. Deck: reinforces headline, arouses curiosity.
  4. Lead: states who the ad is for and what they’ll gain from it.
  5. Body: bulk of the ad, containing everything below.
  6. Subheads: small headlines separating major sections.
  7. Rapport: show that you know the reader, their pain/problem.
  8. Bullets: brief, intriguing statements.
  9. Credibility: why they should listen to you.
  10. Testimonials: third-party proof your stuff works as advertised.
  11. Value justification: makes the price seem low in comparison.
  12. Risk reversal: wipes out the fear of buying.
  13. Bonus: unexpected gift that strengthens the offer.
  14. Call to action: here’s what to do right now – and how.
  15. P.S.: sum up top benefit.

Key Qualities Of Compelling Headlines

  • Grabs attention with a single “big idea.”
  • Screens and qualifies prospects.
  • Pulls readers into the body copy.
  • Establishes credibility, if possible.

Winning Bullet Point Templates

  1. The “wrong” bullet: “Eating salt is bad for your blood pressure, right?  Wrong!  We’ll explain in this special report.”
  2. The two-step bullet: “What to never do with your business card, and why.  If you get this wrong, people will walk away and you’ll never hear from them again.”
  3. The if-then bullet: “If you can spare 10 minutes a day, you can lose five pounds a month.”
  4. The “truth about” bullet: “The truth about carbohydrates – and it’s not what you think.”
  5. The sneaky bullet: “The sneaky methods drug companies use to keep you hooked on their pills.”
  6. The “what never” bullet: “What never to eat on an airplane (unless you want to die).”

Things Buyers Hate More Than Losing Money

  • Hassle, like if it’s hard to actually get a refund.
  • Stress, so make the buying decision a no-brainer.
  • Looking foolish, so your product better damn-well work.
  • Feeling foolish, like if wifey told you not to buy, you do, and then regret it.  “Told ya so.”

So, when using a money-back guarantee, removing risk isn’t enough.  You also need to alleviate these fears.

Closing Copy Templates

  1. The “you will arrive” close: “We both know you’re going to arrive; the question is… where?”
  2. The “different results” close: “If you want different results, take a different action.  This action.”
  3. The “crossroads” close: “Choose the road less traveled.  It’ll make all the difference.”
  4. The “decision time” close: “It’s in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.  What’ll you decide to do right now?”
  5. The “hand-holding” close: “Remember, you won’t be alone.  I’ll be by your side the whole way.”

There you have it.  Short and sweet.  (That’s what she said.)  For more book summaries, go here.

About the author: Cory Johnson. Writer. Wears shirts sometimes. Once tipped your grandpa for greeting him at Walmart. Net worth of $11 million. Yes, really. (He’s as shocked as you are.)