This checklist is specifically designed to write sales letters. However its ideas can be used any time you’re writing any sort of copy like for example pay per click ads.
It shows you what you must have in your sales letter… regardless what product you’re selling or who you’re targeting!
Use this checklist to craft “killer” sales letters and ads! If you already wrote your sales letter you can improve and correct any mistakes you’re making…
This is not some beginners-only tool. The ideas within this one-of-a-kind checklist are being used right now by master copywriters!
Also, I split it into sections, so it’s easier to understand.
Here you go…Table of Contents
The headline is the most important part any sales letter or ad. It needs to grab your reader’s attention and generate interest so they actually start reading your sales letter or ad!
- Does your headline hit your prospect with the most outstanding benefit of your product, to immediately answer the question “What’s in it for me?”
- Is your headline an attention-grabber? Does your headline arouse curiosity?
- Does your headline include the word ‘You’… or at least imply it?
- Is the wording of the benefit in your headline so appealing, so alluring, so magnetic that it’s impossible to ignore?
- Did you use “magic” words like “Secret”, “Free” and “Quick and Easy” in your headline?
“Copy” refers to everything you write in your sales letter or ad, each and every word.
- Is your first paragraph so strong that readers will be sucked in and unable to resist reading the rest of the copy?
- Does your copy show the reader how to relieve pain and achieve results with your product?
- Have you used power words that make your copy interesting and exciting to read, for example amazing, revolutionary, outrageous, miraculous…?
- Is your copy filled with words like “immediate,” “right away,” “overnight,” “before you very eyes” and other phrases that spell “instant gratification” to today’s I-Want-It-NOW consumer?
- Do you use the word “You” more than the word “I” or “We”?
- Are you using psychological tactics to press consumer “hot buttons’?
- Is your sales letter filled with “buzz words,” the key words and phrases that tell your target audience, “I speak your language”? These are words familiar only with your target audience.
For example in Internet Marketing these are “guru”, “newbie”, “super affiliate”, “blogger”… (Buzz words demonstrate your empathy and changes you from a suspicious-looking outsider to “one of us.”)
- Is your copy concise, and so simple that a child would be able to understand it?
- Is your message crystal clear? A consumer can’t get excited about what they can’t understand.
- Does your copy generate enough enthusiasm so your reader feels they gotta have your product right now!
- Did you successfully answer the question “What’s in it for me?” so effectively and so quickly that the reader never has a chance to ask, “Why are you bugging me?”
- Have you demonstrated to the reader that you understand and empathize with their problems, and therefore you’re the right person to offer solutions?
- Does your sales letter tell the complete story about your product and answer any question a reader might have?
- Have you gotten to the heart of your prospect in addition to his/her mind with an emotional appeal that can’t be resisted?
- Did you point out your prospect’s worst problem/s, make them sound even worse by listing all the negative consequences of having those problem/s, and then show them how your product can solve them?
- Does your copy address the fears, wants or needs of your buyer?
- Does your copy answer all the questions and overcome all the objections the reader might have?
- Have you spoken to the “hidden desires” of your reader? Does your copy talk about living large, living long, or living easy… depending on your target audience?
- Does your copy sound as though you were speaking with your reader in person with a warm, conversational and non-threatening tone?
- Does you copy say, “Let’s talk friend-to-friend” rather than “Let’s talk salesman-to-mark”?
Credibility (or proof) is very important especially in sales letters. Your readers need to trust you before buying from you.
Testimonials and other forms of credibility are proof you know what you’re talking about and your product actually works!
- Have you included testimonials and if possible case studies and success stories to build credibility and help readers visualize “people like me” benefiting from the product that you’re offering?
This will also convince your prospects that your offer is honest and the results proven.
- Can you get a celebrity endorsement to give your product credibility via its association with a well-loved athlete, a respected industry “superstar,” etc?
- Do you have before and after pictures, clinical trials and other information that will demonstrate results beyond a shadow of a doubt?
This part of the checklist shows you how to format your sales letter or ad the right way!
- Do you re-energize the readers’ interest by placing compelling sub-headlines through out the copy?
- Is your page filled with the “short ‘n’ sweet” paragraphs (limited to 2-4 sentences easy) that are easy to read and understand?
- Is your sales letter “easy on the eyes,” with lots of white space, broad margins, and vision-friendly fonts, etc., so that your prospect don’t have to strain their eyes to read?
- Have you remove unwanted distractions (links to other sites, banner ads, etc.)?
- Are your strong words and phrases highlighted, bolded, underlined or italicized to draw your readers’ attention and keep him/her stuck to your copy?
- Did you use copy connectors to make your sales letter feel personal and ensure your readers read it from top to bottom…
- Are you using the least amount of “bells and whistles” on your sales letter, things like flip boxes, animated text and other special effects… Plain sales letters still convert the best!
- Have you used a psychologically appealing price that ends with the number 7 or the numbers 95 for example $19.97, $37, $69.95, $297…)?
- Have you made every number in your offer an eye-magnet by using specific non-rounded amounts? For example 5437 instead of 5,000…
- Have you considered including an upsell that cleverly promotes additional complimentary products to maximize the profit from every sale?
- Have you included an irresistible opt-in offer to capture the visitors’ contact information and build your list?
In this part of the checklist you’ll discover how to explain your offer (the product you’re selling in all its detail) so your readers understand everything and become ready to buy!
- Are you letting your prospects know the reason why you’re making the mouth-watering, seemingly too-good-to-be-true offer that you are?
- Does your offer present big ideas, big promises, big news, big pictures, big results and other eye-popping pictures that make it clear that any other offer from competitors is just small in comparison?
- Does the reader understand that your product is unique, and your offer is different and better that others because it’s easier, quicker, or more beneficial in some other way…?
- Are you using a story to paint word pictures that change what you’re saying from “an intellectual offer” into “an emotionally appeal idea”… an idea to buy?
- Did you use a long (or highly focused) list of benefit-rich bullet points to concisely describe the benefits that are offered by the features of your product – that get them to say “Only a fool would pass up this offer.”?
- Are you offering the “magic pill”? Do you offer an all-in-one solution that makes it easier for readers to achieve the results they desire?
- Is your copy like a spotlight that illuminates your offer and shows the prospect without any confusion precisely how they’ll benefit and exactly what they’ll receive?
- Have you used free bonuses, to give “added value” to your offer and take advantage of consumers’ fondness for “free stuff”?
This is a must have in every sales letter you write. It’s been proven beyond any doubt that a guarantee will increase the number of sales you make!
- Have you eliminated resistance and crushed any shred of concern by offering a no-risk money back guarantee (minimum 30 days)?
Call To Action
The call to action is an important element that must be included in every sales letter (and most ads).
- Have you explained to the reader that your solution will work faster and better and can be ordered right now, immediately, today for “instant” results?
- Is there a sense of urgency to your offer e.g. by using a limited time offer? Is it clear to the prospect that delaying will mean losing out… and that will feel just awful?
- Have you listed all the most compelling reasons why the reader should act now – e.g. stop the pain fast, don’t miss out, etc?
- Have you made it clear that “this product pays for itself so it’s like getting it for free”?
- Have you explained that the reader will save more if they buy now, pay more if they buy later, and probably miss out on this opportunity if they don’t act immediately?
- Are your “how to order” instructions stated crystal clear and specific about what the reader should do next?
- Have you done everything you can to make it easy to pay? Have you included multiple options of payments? A choice of Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover Card, check, paypal, any option you can…
The postscripts are added at the very bottom of the sales letter. They summarize the most important parts of your sales letter e.g. your offer.
- Did you use a postscript (P.S) to summarize the details of your offer so that all of the benefits are grouped together for maximum impact?
- Did you use a second or third postscript to emphasize the guarantee, or restate your call to action?
The next time you’re going to write any ad or sales letter make sure you’ve included every item on this checklist in your copy.
So that it’s ready to bring you as many sales as possible!
You can use this checklist before or after you write your sales letter.
It can actually tell you what to write about. Useful in case you have the writer’s block. That’s when you can’t come up with new ideas.
And after you finish your sales letter you can polish it with this checklist. Make sure you’ve got all of the good parts that increase conversions in there.
If you want the full guide on how to write a sales letter check out that post.
And I’ve also completed a free copywriting course as well.
If you have any questions about this checklist, copywriting or sales letters you can leave them in the comments below.