Sales Letter Copywriters – This Mistake Can Make You Look Dumb

It’s an old saying that “the devil is in the details.”
If we modify that to copywriting, it would be the “devil is waiting to pounce on incorrect details.”
Dan Kennedy and Bill Glazer often speak of the need to have an affinity to a market. That is, to sell to a group of people, you have to know what they are like. You have to talk like they talk, act like they act, and craft your marketing materials around their particular idiosyncrasies.
Nowhere is that more important than when you are crafting the details of your sales letter. If you mess up even one little thing, an entire group of potential customers will immediately invalidate the whole message. Huge percentages of your readers will throw out the piece right there, without ever getting near your actual offer.
So one possible solution to this is to simply avoid details. You can’t get in trouble if you don’t say anything, right? And you can write a pretty good story without a whole lot of detail.
Unfortunately, that easy way out is not the best option. You need to have the details that suck in the reader, and I’m going to give you a few tips right now for doing that.
First, is research. All great fiction writers have been great researchers. As authors we’re curious about details, and spend a great deal of time digging for just one or two nuggets of information that we can throw into our writing.
Let me give you an example. Once I was writing about a character that was very wealthy. I decided that one of the details I would put into the story was this guy’s $25,000 watch. I would have him glance down at his watch, while another character notes that the watch cost more than his entire college education!
A pretty good detail, right? But don’t stop there – go that extra mile and put in something that only a true fanatic would know. I did a little more research and found some interesting things. First, I picked out an actual STYLE of watch. Not just a generic. I chose the Daytona model. Then I remembered an article that said high-end watches have a silent and smooth second hand that goes around at a steady pace. Most other watches have a second hand that clicks ahead once per second with a faint ticking sound.
Now those are some great details. Once I added that – my character noticing the smooth sweep of the Daytona’s second hand – I had just won over any expensive watch owner out there. And if I had gotten that WRONG? I would have lost them forever.
So how do you find out cool details like this? Here is how I learned:
When I was first starting out in fiction writing, and asking every author I could every question I could, I ended up with three takeaways when it comes to authentic details. Here they are:
1. You must put in several authentic details to prove your knowledge in the field. The more you can say about what the character saw, heard, smelled, tasted and felt, the more your reader will relate.
2. You must research to find these details. Use the internet, libraries, or TV, magazines, whatever you can. And the BEST way to research is to live it. If you want to know what it’s like to shoot a gun, little can compare with actually going to a range and shooting a gun. Want to know what it’s like to walk through the woods at dawn? Wake up early one day and do it. Then write down what you see, what you hear, what you smell, what you taste and what you feel.
3. The final rule is this: Go the extra mile to get the really good details. It will pay off for you.

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