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Sales Copy Copywriting + Short Sales Letter Template
In this section, you will find resources for short sales copy copywriting. While persuasive writing could be seen as forking in two extreme branches, ads and long-form copywriting, that are aimed at selling something, the art of sales through content and copywriting can be reduced to a lesser denominator that is neither a long promotion nor an advert.
I’m talking about short copy that, without being as short as the micro-copy (that you would use in, for example, the metadata of a page), is still very short pieces aimed at convincing the reader to act right then and there, at the moment of reading it. A sort of sales letter in a nutshell, if you will.
To get what I’m saying, think of forms of long content advertising, reduced to three or four sentences or paragraphs. I’m talking of copy not bigger than, say, 400 or so words.
Still, sales copy as I want to classify it is not a glorified advertisement either. Because in digital content in general, there are a hundred and one interstices where short sales copy must or could be implemented.
A detailed approach to selling can be extremely convenient for the buyer. If a glossy approach can’t be implemented due to obstacles and challenges posed by the medium, budget, or other problems at least a moderate approach at able sales copy must be in place anyway.
Take for instance a catalog that, even though it has places for micro-copy, a short copy wasn’t implemented for each product. A catalog without product descriptions is just a catalog in name only, because a crucial element is lacking.
I call your attention to this because when you are a customer, there’s nothing as off-putting as a catalog that wasn’t correctly fleshed out with copywriting sales micro-copy. This is just to give you an example of places where it’s a waste and wrong not to use short sales copy.
Product copy for catalogs, also known as product profiles, are just an example of what can be considered short sales copy.
Remember, we are talking about short copy pieces that are from around 100 to about 400 words only.
Types of Content for Short Sales Copy
This is a list of examples of some short content types where you can use short sales copy:
Landing Pages: even if many landers are squeeze pages, landing pages need not be squeeze pages, they can be shorter
Calls-To-Action: seldom calls to action are over the 100 words mark
Direct Response Ads: the space in advertisements is always limited, you don’t always have the space to write a full-length sales letter in them
Web pages: even if a web page should be more than 600 words in total, sometimes they have components that are separate from the main content
Business Boilerplate: the business boilerplate is not a sale piece, but they benefit from a solid ability to write sales copy
Banner Ads: the space available in banner ads is even more restricted than the space available in print ads
Print Ads: a middle ground between banners and direct response advertisements
Post Cards: postcards are a visual medium and they benefit from short sales copy if any
Emails: the less intrusive and time-consuming are the emails containing sales copy, the better. You don’t have much leeway in them to create a beautiful sales letter
Social Media Content: streamlining sales copy in social media content is tricky since it’s proven that social media content must be short to be effective
Sales Brochures: like in postcards, sales brochures tend to be more visually oriented than content-oriented
Now, it doesn’t take a genius to realize that some of the elements in the previous list require either longer or shorter copy than a 100 to 400 words copy piece.
For example, a landing page could be 2000-3000 words in total, but you aren’t going to write a big sales letter of 2000-3000 words, are you? Probably, such a long sales letter would never work.
Instead, you would first section the total word count into smaller chunks (say, around 700 words each), and each section could fulfill a different purpose.
As the first section could be a story, the second section could be the sales letter properly, and the third section could be actionable and useful content that the reader can keep as reference material.
If you decide to go overboard and create a gigantic squeeze page of 4000 or more words, you can even fit not just one, but several sales letters in it. You can intersperse other types of content and embed the sales copies at the middle and end sections of the said squeeze page.
If you know how a squeeze page or lander works, you know that you must embed not one but two or three calls to action in each of them.
That is where short sales copy is useful. If you are inserting a CTA after the first 350 words of the story section, I don’t see why that CTA couldn’t be a short sales copy of around 300-400 words that follows the sales letter mechanics.
How to Write Short Sales Copy
If you work on regular copy for a certain time, using sales copy templates, until you learn the bare structure and mechanics, you can always abridge the sales letter structure to make considerably shorter copy follow the most important of their rules.
A regular sales letter being around 700 words, it is not that difficult to abridge a sales letter idea to a short copy of 100 to 300-400 hundred words; if you can pull a telegraphic short copywriting style that only carries the essential information your targets need to make a decision
You can reduce the length of your short copy sales pitch to five to seven sentences and end up with an effective piece of content that delivers. But like I said paragraphs above, you should first learn to write effective standard sales letters before diving into this kind of content.
If you don’t get the hang of the structure with a larger word allowance, pulling the same effect with an extremely limited quantity of words might prove very difficult.
Consider it this way, a tweet nowadays is 280 words. Did you feel limited by 280 words when tweeting something already? I guess you did. Now, imagine writing a piece of sales copy in the same length of a tweet.
You see, it isn’t easy, and I think that to become proficient in small copy, your first have to write a good quantity of standard sales letters to get the hang of it.
While before you may have used the first 300 or so words of your sales letter to write the headline and the lead, now you have to compress all of its sections in more or less the same quantity of words.
If you need templates for sales letters you can check these:
Elmer Wheeler’s 5 Wheelerpoints, in “Tested Sentences that Sell”
Robert Collier’s in “The Robert Collier Letter Book”
Bob Bly’s “How to Write Business Letters that Get Results”
Joseph Sugarman’s in “The Adweek Copywriting Handbook”
Short Sales Letter Template (100-400 words)
Pick a simple idea or angle for your pitch. Even if the product or service caters to more than a need and/or solves more than one problem, only pick the best angle you think will entice your readers to read the pitch of your sales copy.
First, greet your reader. Address them by name, for a general sales letter this is not possible, but you can use variables and macros when using an autoresponder and such. Then, go to the point of how this product or service is different and how this offer is going to benefit the potential customer. Do it by Developing a little bit further the single angle or idea of your headline, but resist the temptation of bringing additional ideas or angles into the pitch.
If you need to make a bulleted list of reasons or other features that support your idea, then do it here. But remember they have to be directly related to the main angle you used in the headline.
If you don't have anything to list, you can support the premise of the pitch with some personal story or any other appropriate kind of proof, to connect with the readers through understanding their pains, needs, and problems.
In this section, you write the core sales pitch, in several sentences, remembering to inform the readers of why the proposition is unique and why they shouldn't let the offer pass.
Also, the outro section is where you will fit your call to action, with what the buyer will get, the price, and the buy button, link, or whatever method of action is involved.
Sign the sales letter with your name, to establish trust.
Always use the P.S. line at the bottom. You can use this section to add urgency techniques, deals, a second CTA, to reassure the reader, to offer a guarantee, or to reinforce the core pitch.
Sales Copy: Conclusion
The sales copy resources in this section are for small pieces of copy comprising up to 400 or so words.
The approach is different since the resources in this section are about the bare sales copy without the other elements that make the finished pieces where you use a small copy.
For specific resources on finished adverts, promotions, microcopy, direct response, and social media please check the other sections of this website
© Martin Wensley, 2022 — Short Sales Letter Template + Sales Copy Copywriting