I was telling you on Tuesday about my workflow for writing these emails…

My workflow for writing salespages and other ‘mission critical’ sales copy is somewhat different. All critical sales copy begins life written by hand in my Black n’ Red A4 Oxford notebook. (I find anything smaller than A4 claustrophobic, so make sure your notebook is at least A4 size).

I never write at my desk or in front of a computer. You need space from your work to write important copy. Sometimes I’ll go to a cafe or pub, but usually I’ll find a quiet corner at home somewhere. (The pub tends to be counterproductive after a while!)

I’ll initially make two versions of notes:

The first version will be more conventional sales copy, following Roy Furr’s PAISA formula. (Problem > Agitate > Invalidate > Solution > Action). I’ll also write out any objections people might have, as these need to be addressed in the copy too.

The second version will be a story about the product or service. How did it come about? What’s the backstory? WHY does it exist? What challenges has it faced? What are the wider trends? Why is it relevant NOW?

Once I’ve made these two notes I’ll transfer to my computer ad draft out ‘Version 0.1’ of the finished page. Usually this starts out as the PAISA version with sections of story interwoven.

Next, I’ll dig out any and all proof elements. If I don’t have these, I’ll contact some existing clients. The proof elements usually go near the ‘action’ part of the prose.

The final mental check is ‘informed consent’. In other words, am I giving people all the information they need to make an informed decision? Have I been honest about any potential risks of investing in the product? Have I highlighted the pros and cons of common alternatives? (This is the ‘invalidate’ section). Have I highlighted the pros and cons of doing nothing?

You need to address these things, otherwise they remain as unasked questions in your reader’s mind. If your service is excellent then you don’t have anything to hide.

An extension of this idea is to avoid disparaging the alternatives, or otherwise judging the reader for considering what you perceive to be the wrong choice. Wording such as “you’d be crazy to miss this offer!” should obviously be avoided, but it’s possible to speak down to people in more subtle ways, too.

If the advice above is helpful, and you’d like more support putting this in place, you should consider joining us in the Story Selling Lab. Membership costs the price of a cheap meal out – which is of course an alternative!

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About the author 

Rob Drummond

Rob is the founder of StorySelling.biz.

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