B2C Launch is LIVE! Plus Long-form Direct Response Sales Letters

by Rick Braddy on October 15, 2010

in Product Launch

As promised, I’m continuing coverage of the B2C launch that’s underway.  Just a reminder that this particular launch is aimed at consumers (not business people), so we’re taking a traditional online selling approach that’s most effective with a consumer audience.

If you sell to a B2B audience instead of consumers, this stuff is not for you (or your B2B audience)…

In particular, we are using a long form sales letter.

Why is that?   Simple.  Because it works!

Unlike Business-to-Business selling, where you’re dealing with a professional who is relatively sophisticated about their business and buying and who already understand the reasons to buy, selling to consumers is completely different.

You can’t assume anything about the buyer’s level of knowledge, so you must “take them on a journey” through the sales cycle – and you often have one opportunity to sell them, so you had better take your best shot, and the long form sales letter still outperforms a product catalog page for anything that’s not a commodity item – by far.

Why is that?  Because when you’re selling anything people aren’t familiar with, there’s a lot of information that must be transferred to make a sale. And you’re typically selling in a very competitive environment with consumers, so you must position your offer favorably and give people enough information to make an informed decision, along with reasons to take action now.  Otherwise, people’s natural tendencies to procrastinate, delay and not make a decision will prevail.

I know. I know.  You probably hate these sales letters and “bonuses”.  The truth of the matter is, they’re used when selling to consumers for a reason – they work.  Hey – I didn’t invent this stuff…

Long form sales letters have been around and proven themselves as direct-response advertising and selling tools for many decades. And if it was good enough for Claude Hopkins and the other direct mail / direct-response gurus, it’s certainly good enough for me.

So why do the long form sales letters work so well? They work because they take a prospect through the various stages they must experience in order to buy – awareness, interest, desire, decision and action.

When we’re selling “asynchronously” (via the Internet or direct mail), we can’t actually be there to help a prospect through the sales process.  So, the direct response selling process, in the form of a long form sales letter, engages the prospect, educates them and takes them through the sales cycle – in just a few pages.

And in order to make any sale, you must answer people’s questions to two fundamental questions:

1) Why should I buy from you? (versus all my other alternatives)

2) Why should I buy today? (versus doing nothing at all and just waiting)

The sales letter must answer both of these questions convincingly.

Additionally, it must satisfy the most common Questions and Objections that a typical buyer has, or they won’t buy.

Lastly, like any good sales person would, it must “close the deal” – by asking for the order and making a convincing argument that the buyer should buy from you and do so right now – because if that prospect leaves your website, 90+% of them will never be back.

So you’d better take your best shot at closing the sale and helping your new customer enjoy the benefits of your product while they’re still on your site.

In a nutshell, that’s why long form sales letters still work and will always outperform a product catalog style site for B2C selling of items which are not commodities (jewelry, books, DVD’s, etc.)

One other thing I would like to point out about this sales page is the “Belcher Button” – that bright orange “Add To Cart” button that looks like this:

This order button makes it easy to see where to place the order, what the item costs and what methods of payment are accepted.  Believe it or not, this structure has been tested over and over again and is proven to generate the highest conversions on long form sales pages with consumers.

Everything on that sales page is there for a reason.  It’s a proven structure for selling information products, subscriptions, software, services and many other complex, non-commodity items on the Internet.

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