Articles on Copy Writing



What makes this e-mailed sales letter hypnotic?

I sent the following short sales letter by email to my own list of some 800 names. There was an immediate boost in sales. Amazon.com had to back-order the book I was selling in the letter. My publisher's online server went down due to all the orders they got at once. But something even more shocking happened.

Many people wrote to me and actually asked how I was able to *make* them read the letter. They said they couldn't stop reading it! Others said they felt compelled by some unseen force to read every word of it. Still others just mindlessly read the letter but then automatically---as if obeying a subliminal command---went to amazon.com and ordered the book I was selling. Afterwards, they wrote me and confessed they felt they had been "hypnotized."

What in the world makes this letter so hypnotic? Read it and see what you think:

Subject line: I was nearly in tears...

Dear Friend:

I was just in the bathroom, reading a letter from my sister, when I got to the line...

"I got your book and I read it and I thought it was great. And after I read it, I went out and got myself a new car."

I thought she was kidding. My sister has been on welfare, struggled to raise three kids, been wrestling with health problems, and has fought toe to toe with poverty for years. I wrote my latest book, "Spiritual Marketing," for her, in an attempt to help her.

But it wasn't until moments ago that I discovered that my book had such a profound impact on her that she not only read it, and liked it, but she went out and made a dream of hers come true.

Later in the same letter she wrote, "Dad read your book before I did and he knew I wanted a new car and he told me that once I read your book he would guarantee that I would buy a new car."

That's even more unbelievable. My father has never even acknowledged receiving any of my books, let alone taken the time to read them. But he read "Spiritual Marketing," and it apparently had an impact on him, too.

I'm sharing all of this with you today because you are someone on my personal email list, and this is personal news which I think can inspire others to go for, and get, their dreams. Whether it's a new car, a new house, more money, real love, or happiness in this moment, it's all possible.

Just ask my sister.

Joe

Well, what do you think? Why does this letter hypnotize people?

Here's what I think:

1. The headline, "I was nearly in tears...", which was the subject line on the email I sent out, is riveting. People want to know why I'm nearly in tears. Did something bad happen? Or something good? Was I crying? Or laughing so hard I cried? Your headline has to be a gun in a prospect's face. While most headlines have to be benefit-oriented, curiosity-invoking headlines are proven to grab readers, too.

2. The opening sentence, "I was just in the bathroom, reading a letter from my sister, when I got to the line...," not only compels you to read the second sentence, it is actually impossible to complete the first sentence---because it doesn't end! Those dashes are grabbing your nose and pulling you into the next sentence, which happens to be the next paragraph.

3. The letter weaves a story. Stories sell. Stories compel. Stories pull people into the drama unfolding and make them a part of the action. As this letter reveals it's story, it also conveys selling messages to you hypnotically---messages that urge you to get this book now.

4. The letter reeks of sincerity. I learned that sincerity sells. Sincerity is hypnotic. Don't lie or mislead or gyp people. Tell your story in the most hypnotic way possible and the people most interested in it will respond.

5. The ending PS, "Amazon.com now carries "Spiritual Marketing," is a subliminal call to action. While I'm still known for writing fiery PS's that warn you of dangers if you don't act now, my PS above works in a soft-sell way. The story in the letter says "Buy my new book." The PS simply tells you where.

You can take my tried and tested emailed sales letter above and use it as a model to write your own hypnotic letter. Here's how:

Just think of a story---a true one, remember---of someone who benefited from your product or service in a record-breaking way, and write the event up following my formula and my letter. It may help you to remember these key questions:

1. How can you make your headline so curious that people can't help but read your letter?

2. How can you begin your next letter in such a way that it actually forces people to keep reading?

3. How can you tell a story about your product or service that compels people to want it?

4. Are you telling the whole truth in your letter?

5. How can you more softly let people know how to buy your product or service?

Finally, I think the greatest secret to making any sales letter or email message truly hypnotic is in being genuinely excited. My sales letter above is based on what actually happened to me. My sister DID write me. She DID buy a new car. It WAS a result of reading my new book. I was so moved by her news that I conveyed my joy in my sales letter---and that joy became hypnotic to my readers.


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