Sales Letters -- How And Why I Created The 12-Step Formula Everyone Uses To Teach Sales Letter Writing By Marlon Sanders
When I started as a copywriter back in 1983, there wasprecious little to learn from. A few John Caples books. "The Robert Collier Letter Book."Dan Kennedy's book. Victor Schwab. A few others. Greatbooks in their own rights. But lacking in terms of astep-by-step, actionable formula in my opinion.
And my perspective is as one who ONLY had those books tolearn how to write sales letters from. It took me a long time to learn what you can grasp in afew dedicated months of study today. If you read muchabout how to write sales letters on the Net, you'll see over and over a 12-step formula for writing sales letters.
This is my formula. I created it. It's spread without attribution. But I want people to know the truth. That's all. I'm the ONLY person who can tell you where this formula came from and how it was developed. I can ALSO tell you that prior to this formula, the only things that existed as sales letter formulas were grossly lacking.
How about this barn burner: Attention, interest, desire,action. That's one that I had to learn from. No wonder it took me so long to learn. I dare you to take that formula and try to write a sales letter from it. It's what copywriters taught to make the process sound mystical and complicated, thus generating clients and jobs.
Or here's another one: Problem, agitate, solve. Alright. Nice formula. Totally lacking. There were other formulas. All lacking. Now, to be fair, the person who REALLY solved the puzzlewas NOT me. It was Bob Serling.
See, back in the day, I was a copywriter at a company called National Response Corporation. And they sold Bob Serling's products. Bob had a coursethat taught an intricate but solid 16-step formula forwriting sales letters. He was to my knowledge the first to TRULY codify a sales letter into practical, actionablesteps you could follow step-by-step.
The thing is, I felt a formula was needed that expressed how I had learned to write sales letters through the school of hard knocks. I created a 12-step formula and later codified it in "The Amazing Formula" as as chapter. And broke it out into a separate product. Actually, I first sold it in an ebook called WSOTM, Web Site Order Taking System. But that's going way back.
As proof, I might site the fact that I OWN salesletters.com. And I HAVE owned it a long freakin'time. That's for all the skeptics who think I take credit for things that don't deserve it. Anyway, I taught this formula at a lot of seminars. The old Boulder seminars with Jonathan Mizel and Declan Dunn.The Carl Galletti seminars.
Before long, everybody and their dog grasped onto the 12-step formula. Wrote it up in free ebooks. Wrote it up in articles and posted it on the Net. All fine. All well and good. Would have been NICE to give attribution. I guess they argue they changed SOMETHING. What? I'm not sure. But something.
Anyway, to make a long story longer, I found out at some point that even though I was teaching the 12-step formula,people were NOT following. That is how I created a whole entire category of software and products referred to as "sales letter generators." I created a product called "Push Button Letters" that forced people to follow the 12-step formula.
It was a blockbuster hit so many people created their ownsales letter software programs. More power to them. As long as it helps people. There are so many things that have been invented on the Internet, you could never keep track of who invented what. Or it would sure be tough. I don't even know that it's important that I get any credit.
I can tell you that Bob Serling deserves a lot for figuring out what he did. Corey, when he was living, bought the rights to Bob's outstanding sales lettercourse. The point of this article really isn't to pat myself onthe back, although I reckon I've done that a little too much. It's really about you, your sales letters and your sales.
Here are a few take aways I hope you find valuable.
1. You can now learn to write basic sales letters in a month or two, versus the 20 years it took me.
2. There are formulas you can learn that greatly speed your progress.
3. If you struggle, there are software programs that canhelp you follow proven formulas.
Marlon Sanders For more free tips, articles and resources on how to promote with blogs,podcasts, Facebook, Twitter, and all kinds of other stuff, visit: http://www.marlonsnews.com
Marlon's Marketing Minute is copyright 2008, Higher Response Marketing Inc. All rights reserved.