Money loves speed…
It’s something I learned early on in my marketing career. And whenever I’ve honored this truth, I’ve definitely seen money coming to me more quickly.
Among the many areas you can apply this to is writing fast.
I find that the more I can speed up my draft writing process, the better the final copy will be.
When you write faster, it has a certain zest, a certain energy.
So today, some tips for writing long-copy direct response sales letters FAST.
NOTE: Normally I answer reader questions on Monday. But those Mailbox Monday issues have grown so popular I have a backlog. So today I’m shortening my backlog while answering a common question I get from my readers…
The question from my mailbox…
What can I do to learn how to write sales letters fast and how to have BIG IDEAS and killer headlines that make people continue to read and then buy something (especially for a financial product).
Here are my 7 tips for writing powerful BIG IDEA sales copy, fast…
Tip #1: Make an appointment to write…
This seems like a really simple idea. But it’s not one that I always follow, and so I know it’s worth mentioning here.
If you make an appointment with yourself — and keep it — during which you are going to write your copy, you will write it faster.
Because working is faster than not working. Simple as that.
Even better, carve out not just the time but the space. I’ve been spending a lot of mornings at Starbucks near my house recently. Because I had a big client project to get done. It’s a space where I seem to be extra productive. Even more so than my home office.
So I make a morning appointment at Starbucks, to work on client work, just after my Hour of Power where I work on my own projects.
Tip #2: The 1st & 3rd rule…
I heard this recently from my coach, Joseph Rodrigues.
It’s a lesson he got from Eben Pagan, about product creation. But it applies to writing, too.
Eben’s rule is to get to Version 1 of your product as fast as possible, then get to Version 3 as fast as possible.
Version 1 launches it, so that’s a critical idea.
But Version 3 is probably a near-complete product, based on a couple rounds of feedback and improvement.
The same thing goes for drafts.
Getting that first draft done as quick as possible, acknowledging it won’t be perfect, gets it done.
Then, getting revisions and going through a couple rounds quickly will get it much more polished.
It sounds very simple on the surface. But I think this is an extremely profound way to approach any creative endeavor.
Tip #3: Nail the big idea…
Okay, so getting into more direct answers to the question.
In my High-Velocity Copywriting training program, I share the ONLY 3 types of big ideas that work in direct response copy.
A big idea is always about…
— An urgent problem…
— A 10X opportunity, or…
— An imminent prediction.
Find one of these that matches what your market is thinking about right now, and what your product can promise.
Is there a problem that a large audience has, that your product solves better than any other option? Go for the jugular with a big idea around that.
Can you provide an opportunity that’s 10X better (faster, easier, cheaper, higher ROI) than what they’re doing now? Throw it out there.
Do you have an imminent prediction of something that’s going to happen, that will either create an urgent problem or 10X opportunity for the prospect? Lay it out and show them what they’ll need to do…
My training goes deep into these — with templates for how to structure the copy around each. But that’s the gist of it.
And don’t worry too much about headline formulas of how you put it. Some can be useful as ways to help you express your message. But first and foremost, you must nail this message, and it will always fit into one of these 3 big idea types.
Tip #4: Keep research files…
I have an Evernote file of articles I’ve saved, that I think would make great promo ideas.
Most of them will never become promos.
But when I read them, they inspired me.
Having a ton of research like this, sitting around (plus the simple process of always being looking for this), will give you more fodder.
Not only that, when you have an idea, then you should research more.
Tip #5: Make sure you know what you’re saying…
That is, if you have the start of an idea about a particular story or topic, you should be searching out articles, quotes, stats, and more — and saving it all.
Once you have it saved, then you can start to organize and arrange it to support your main message.
The more content you bring to the table BEFORE you start to write, the easier it is to write in a compelling way about that topic and content.
I’ve written 2,000-word outline before I even started a 10,000-word promo — and when you have an outline like that, it helps the whole thing fly from your fingers.
Tip #6: Use an outline or template for flow…
Here again, I’ll point to my High-Velocity Copywriting training. It contains specific, explicit templates to use for the 3 big idea types outlined above.
It also includes a webinar I did on how I used the Clayton Makepeace copy outline to write my first million-dollar sales letters.
The more you have the structure outlined before you write — all the way down to the close — the easier it is to complete the sales letter.
At the very least, do what I did as I started writing this article.
I decided everything I wanted to say. I made notes of it in my document — basically, the subheads you see here.
And then, I started writing from the top.
As it stands, I’ve written over 1,000 words in under 30 minutes. And it’s because I outlined it beforehand.
Tip #7: Use copy “chunks” for repetitive sections…
Most of what we write has at least some level of repetition.
For example, most guarantees have almost the same language, from client to client and promo to promo.
I don’t use swipe copy. And I definitely don’t copy and paste.
But I know exactly what my guarantee needs to say.
Something along the lines of…
“If you change your mind — for any reason — in the next 90 days, simply let our friendly member services team know. You’ll get a prompt and courteous full refund of every penny you paid…” And so on.
I even went through a bunch of chunks of copy I commonly use — that are easy to pick and choose from, as needed — in High-Velocity Copywriting.
I know it may seem like I’m pitching that program hard. And yeah, I probably am. But as much value as I’ve tried to pack into this article, I condensed well over a decade of experience into a few hours of training there, all meant to answer that specific question. So of course I’ll point you there. Because that course is a much more in-depth and powerful answer to that question than I could ever hope to deliver in a 1,300-word article.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,