Tax services … Life insurance … a Gym membership … Magazine subscriptions … Supplements … Newsletters … Courses … Seminars … e-books … A device that helps you stop snoring …
These are some examples of products/services that some people might find pretty mundane to read about.
Today I’m going to show you how to create maximum desire within your reader in every sales letter you write … specifically if what you are promoting just happens to be drop-dead boring.
You’ll discover how to keep your reader enthralled and all but force him to read your letter right through to the end — maximizing your chances of him taking the action you desire.
How will you accomplish this?
Through a copywriting technique called The Secret of Transparency.
It’s based on a very simple idea: The secret to good persuasive writing is understanding that, in a lot of cases, people don’t want the actual product you’re selling — they want the benefits it delivers.
So, your goal is to keep the product as invisible as you possibly can. And instead, focus not only on the benefits, but the psychological and emotional benefits (sometimes called “deeper benefits”). Because these are what your prospect really wants.
Here are two examples of features, benefits, and psychological and emotional benefits:
Example #1 — A course on how to make money by promoting products using webinars.
Feature: It has templates that allow you to fill in the blanks and quickly customize them to your business.
Standard Benefit: You can be up and running and putting on webinars within 48 hours.
Psychological/emotional benefit: You will finally achieve your goal of becoming an independent successful entrepreneur. Your family and friends will be proud of you.
Example #2 — A life insurance policy.
Feature: When you die, your family will get $1 million.
Standard Benefit: Your family will be well taken care of and will have no money worries when you’re gone.
Psychological/emotional benefit: You will be viewed as a responsible, thoughtful person who has his family’s peace of mind and well-being at heart.
In both of the above examples, the product and service are rather mundane and unexciting … “unsexy,” if you will — but even so, they still may come with a relatively hefty price tag. Products that fit that description are an ideal fit for The Secret of Transparency.
Here are three examples of The Secret of Transparency in use from three successful sales letters:
The Secret of Transparency Example #1
This is the headline to a very successful letter written by AWAI Co-Founder, Paul Hollingshead:
Can You Write a Letter
Like This One?
Answer “Yes,” and you’ll never have to worry about
your job or rely on others for your livelihood …
Instead, you will be in big demand, earning
great money, writing a few hours a day
from anywhere in the world you choose to live.
The product is completely invisible. As it is pretty much throughout Paul’s entire letter.
The Secret of Transparency Example #2
This is an excerpt from the famous sales letter (the headline starts with “Trout Spoken Here”) that targets fly fishermen with a subscription to their magazine:
“If you love it — love the camaraderie of anglers trading tips, techniques, and tall tales; love the glowing photos of misty lakes and mountain streams, rainbow trout, and rainbow-colored flies — take advantage of our generous reduced-rate subscription.”
Mark Ford points out in his article The Master Secret of Transparency from the AWAI Masters Program, that most copywriters generally have no problem making the product invisible in the middle of their letter. But, he says, even the top copywriters sometimes make the mistake of making the product visible once again at the end of their letter.
It’s not really surprising why this occurs. After all, when it comes down to the nitty-gritty, you have to send the person something in exchange for her money, so it’s only natural to feel compelled to describe exactly what you’re planning to send her.
But here’s the thing, you can still do so, but do so in a very subtle way. And when you mention a feature, always reinforce it with a benefit and/or a psychological and emotional benefit.
The above example does this extremely well. The writer mentions the subscription, but not before painting a vivid picture of the benefits that await the reader.
The Secret of Transparency Example #3
The following excerpt is taken from a letter that is selling an official “Iwo Jima” Stained Glass Plate:
“No event in American history so forcefully or emotionally reflects our national legacy as the raising of the flag on Iwo Jima. The spectacular photograph, by Associated Press combat photographer Joe Rosenthal, symbolized the American spirit so perfectly that this image has become the most famous battle scene in all history.”
Here the reader is no longer focused on the fact that she’ll be receiving a plate for her money. What she’s buying is a way to show her patriotism and love of her country to herself, her family, and visitors to her home.
No Photos, Please
One important note: When promoting a mundane product via The Secret of Transparency, copywriters and graphic designers often make a common mistake … they add a picture of the product or service. By doing so, they inadvertently remind their reader that, in actuality, he will only be receiving a product. For example, a prospect sees the picture of an e-book and is reminded that all he’s really doing is downloading another e-book onto his hard drive versus instantly receiving the promised benefits.
Having said that, it’s also important to note that not all ads will benefit from making the product transparent. For instance, you would never run a Lamborghini ad without showing a picture of a Lamborghini. When the product is exciting and sexy and definitely the star of the show, there is no need to keep it invisible.
But, when your task is to promote a product that borders on being mundane, your best line of attack is to implement The Secret of Transparency. In a great sales letter, readers envision a dramatic change in their life as a result of the transformative benefits of what you’re selling. By keeping the product as invisible as you can, while emphasizing both the standard benefits and the deeper psychological and emotional benefits, you heighten the transformative benefits your reader experiences.
When you do, you’ll instantly find your copy has a stronger hold on your readers. More people will read your letters all the way through to the end … which can’t help but increase the conversion rate of your copy. Which, in turn, will result in happier clients who will eagerly give you more assignments and be more likely to refer you to their friends and associates.
You may also enjoy …