Book Summary of The Ultimate Sales Letter by Dan Kennedy

Dan Kennedy’s The Ultimate Sales Letter teaches effective strategies for crafting compelling sales letters that drive sales. The book provides timeless foundational strategies in persuasive writing that remain relevant in today’s ever-changing sales and marketing landscape. Kennedy is a self-made millionaire and successful copywriter who believes anyone can learn to write persuasive copy and turn it into profit with self-belief, intuition, and product knowledge.

Our guide simplifies and categorizes Dan Kennedy’s tips and strategies into two main parts:

1) Collecting necessary information to create a potent sales letter and

2) Creating an enticing sales letter.

Furthermore, we compare and contrast Kennedy’s ideas with current suggestions from other experts in the sales and marketing field.

Part 1: Gather Your Sales Letter Intel

In this segment, we’ll cover the groundwork that Kennedy recommends for crafting a persuasive sales letter. We’ll begin with identifying and comprehending your intended audience, followed by gaining extensive knowledge of your product.

Step 1: Identify and Understand Your Target Customer

To write an effective sales letter, Kennedy stresses the importance of understanding your target customer’s interests, concerns, and communication style. He advises researching their demographics, trends, and past experiences with similar products. Gathering information can be done through industry immersion, attending trade shows, and speaking with those who have insights into your customer base.

Step 2: Know Your Product

Kennedy emphasizes the importance of becoming thoroughly familiar with your product to showcase its benefits and address any drawbacks in your sales letter. He recommends using your product extensively, testing it, taking it apart, talking to people who use it, and examining competitive products. This process helps you identify its best features and benefits, which you can prioritize and highlight in your sales letter based on the unique needs and interests of your target customers.

Kennedy insists that addressing your product’s limitations in your sales letter is crucial to alleviate any customer concerns and maintain their interest in purchasing.

He recommends two tactics for handling potential buyer questions:

1) Share results from research conducted on consumers who didn’t buy your product, list every reason given for not purchasing, and provide solutions for each issue.

2) Offer a list of frequently asked questions and their corresponding answers. Kennedy suggests reinforcing these tactics with testimonials and stories highlighting your product’s strengths, or offering guarantees and free trial offers to encourage customers to try your product.

Part 2: Craft Your Sales Letter

After discussing the necessary background information in the previous section, we will now delve into five key steps to create a compelling sales letter that captures customers’ attention and motivates them to buy your product. Finally, we’ll discuss strategies for effectively distributing your well-crafted letter to your target audience.

Step 1: Compose your first article

After gathering all the necessary information about your customer and product, Kennedy advises that the first step in creating your sales letter is to start writing, without worrying about perfection or editing.

Step 2: Capture, Interact, Persuade, and Compel

To shape your sales letter effectively, Kennedy recommends four key goals: capture, interact, persuade, and compel your customer. Here are his recommendations for achieving each:

  • To Capture: Start your letter by addressing a problem your product solves, using attention-grabbing headlines and teasers.
  • To Interact: Use short sentences and paragraphs, and break language conventions by utilizing exclamation points, trendy terms, and unusual punctuation.
  • To Persuade: Highlight the benefits and features of your product, using customer testimonials, stories, and data to back up your claims.
  • To Compel: Provide a clear call-to-action, such as a limited-time offer, guarantee, or free trial, to motivate customers to respond immediately.

Kennedy offers two strategies to de-emphasize price in your sales letter and shift the focus to reasons why customers should buy your product. The first strategy is to pitch the value or savings customers will experience and emphasize long-term benefits. The second strategy is to use persuasion techniques such as implying that smart people buy your product or offering product guarantees.

Step 3: Refine, Finalize, and Send Your Letter

To finalize your letter and ensure it reaches your target customer, follow these tips from Kennedy:

  • Add a persuasive PS at the end of your letter.
  • Edit your letter for clarity and remove irrelevant phrases.
  • Make your letter visually appealing by emphasizing key points with bold, highlighting or capital letters.
  • Test your letter by reading it out loud, getting feedback from others, and comparing it to similar letters.
  • Personalize your packaging for executives with high-quality paper and exclusive language, or use colorful, interactive materials for mass mailings.
  • Hand-address the envelope, omit the name of the return address, and utilize postage instead of metered mail to prevent it from seeming like junk mail.
  • For delivery assurance, select Federal express or first-class mail.
  • Once you’ve made the final edits, send out your letter and wait for the response.

Kennedy suggests strategic ways to use your sales letter, such as sending follow-up letters to improve response rates and using the letter for lead identification, telemarketing, and event announcements. Despite changes in communication channels, Kennedy argues that written sales letters remain effective, and a combination of online and offline sales letters is best. Additionally, a combination of video sales strategies, including commercials and sales letters, can further enhance effectiveness.