For reasons that are quite frankly beyond me, I was recently reading a sales letter in the bath – Vince Stanzione’s Making Money from Financial Spread Trading, to be precise.
I realise it’s not an image you want in your head…
But there you have it. I’m sorry.
The good news:
There were three very clever copywriting techniques used in it that I think are worth pointing out and sharing here.
Each element is small in isolation, but combined together at various points of a sales letter, they will certainly help carry a reader from headline to sale.
The first thing we’ll look at has to do with credibility…
Boring, obvious details are often the best proof
Page 11 of Vince’s letter is dedicated to testimonials from previous customers who have benefited from his training in the past.
Nothing out of the ordinary here – it’s the usual fare of “I’ve made X” and “Y was the best I’ve come across.”
But then at the bottom of the page, the copywriter (I’m not sure who’s writing for Vince at the moment – it reads a little like Stuart Goldsmith, but I’m not sure) explains:
“I have binders full of real, signed testimonials from people all over the world, who are successfully using my trading system to change their lives, all of which have been obtained in strict accordance with section 14.1 of the Advertising Standards Authority code.”
Doesn’t seem like much, but the inclusion of this paragraph is pretty clever. Specifically it’s this line: “all of which have been obtained in strict accordance with section 14.1 of the Advertising Standards Authority code.”
This seemingly boring and technical detail actually lends the testimonials included greater authority. A lot of readers assume testimonials are made-up, but this suggests that the testimonials here must be authentic.
As I say, it’s a simple technique – taking a fact that most people take for granted (all testimonials should conform to the ASA code) and stating it in the sales copy.
For example – if you have to have an accountant audit the track record of your product or service, have you ever thought about pointing out the fact that your copy has been audited by an independent accountant? It might seem a boring detail, or even a hindrance to you, but to a reader it might well add a certain level of reassurance.
Something to think about!
Next up, we have a copy technique I personally use a lot…
Calling a spade a mud removal device
Later in the sales letter, Vince goes on to explain that one of the big benefits of his trading approach is that you can ‘turn off’ trades at any time.
The copy puts it like this:
“And just like ‘flicking the switch’, you can set your trades to ‘turn off’ (cancel) so they NEVER cause you any lasting financial damage if something doesn’t go your way.”
That sounds pretty good, right?
If you place a trade and it’s going pear-shaped, you just turn it off. Huzzah!
Of course, it doesn’t work like that. Or does it?
Well, yes… it kind of does.
What’s happened here is that the copywriter has cleverly looked at the whole ‘stop-loss’ process in financial spread trading and the fact that you can set trades to stop at certain levels if the markets move against you and he’s simplified the language.
Instead of setting a ‘stop loss’ or talking about placing an ‘order cancels order’ (which could be perceived as quite technical)…
You just need to ‘flip a switch’ and ‘turn off’ your trade.
Many writers – usually those who haven’t worked in direct response – don’t like this kind of simplification. And though I realise it is a little too close to cliché in the way it’s done in this letter, it is still effective and the principle is sound.
Don’t dismiss it.
I’ve used the same principle time and time again in copy and as well as making a product or service more desirable, done well it can actually help to educate the reader about something that would otherwise have been too technical to understand.
An offer that compromises with the customer
Having done a lot of work in the financial spread trading industry myself, I know that one of the main objections customers have is:
If you’re strategy is so profitable, why can’t I pay you once it’s made me some money?
A fair point, you might argue.
I won’t go into the various counter-arguments for and against this point here – instead we’ll look how Vince Stanzione’s letter makes a clever compromise.
The price, the copy explains, is £477.77 – a strange price that seems to give too much credit to the selling power of the number 7.
The offer goes on to explain:
“For the first 197 ‘Making Money From Financial Spread Trading’ packages ordered – here’s the deal: I’m going to charge you one payment of £197.77 when I ship the system to you. I’ll pay the remaining £250 for you, until you make a CLEAR TRADING PROFIT OF £1,000 FROM MY SYSTEM!”
I dare say Vince is never planning on collecting that £250.
Not because buyers won’t make £1,000 or more – they could well do so, especially on the evidence of the testimonials. Plus I met Vince this year at a Directors’ Dinner in Pall Mall and he’s a very genuine and successful chap.
(Interestingly, he’s also MUCH taller than he looks in photos.)
No, the reason I doubt he’ll collect the second payment is because I believe this is primarily a very wise marketing offer.
You see, on one level it makes a compromise to all those asking to pay once they’ve made some money…
And obviously, on another level, by deferring part of the payment, it inherently suggests that Vince is confident you will make the money.
To the reader it sounds like a reasonable offer. And to be honest, it is. You can’t really argue with it.
So, there you have it…
Three clever copy techniques that I’m sure will have a noticeable effect on the conversion of this particular sales letter.
If you should choose to adopt them for your own copy, I think you’ll see they’ll have an equally positive influence.
P.S. By the way… in pointing out these clever copy elements, I’m not for one minute suggesting Vince’s course does or doesn’t work. I’m just interested here in the copy he’s using to sell the course. I’ve not used the course personally, but from the feedback I’ve heard it’s generally well-received.
P.P.S. Incidentally – and perhaps a point of debate – there were also numerous spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and obvious clichés, yet I dare say the fact that this has been widely mailed means it’s working well. My own view: good copy is never perfect and you can waste a lot of time, effort and money trying to make it so.