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How to write a great email sales letter ... When you hate to write
by Kevin Nunley
I can sit here all day giving you tips and hints on headlines and phrases that sell. But none of it will do you any good if you just plain hate sitting down at the keyboard.
If you can't stand writing, you're in good company. Most of us feel the same. I once asked a high school English teacher how many of her 300 students liked to write. "Oh, about 9 of them," she said.
Everyone from Mark Twain to Bart Simpson has faced a blank sheet of paper for hours with no idea of what to put on it. Well let me give you a few ideas from my office of professional writers. In the world of non-fiction writing, being a professional doesn't necessarily mean being a great writer. It does mean you have to be able to conjure up great copy every single day, even when you don't feel well or aren't in the mood.
The first step is just to get something on paper--anything! And I do mean anything. Just start writing down whatever comes to mind. If you can't think of anything, write "I'm sitting here and I can't think of anything to write."
Yes, that sounds pretty stupid. But it's exactly the technique a lot of top writers use to get the creative juices flowing. Next you'll find yourself typing "I need to write a sales letter to promote my new software. It's software to help people get organized. Most people have lots of information, but they can't remember where they put it. This software has people organize their information in a system that makes it super easy to find, in just seconds."
Wow! You're writing, you're telling your story, and best of all, you're not worrying about being bad because you know you can go back later and change it all.
One top writer copies and pastes favorite lines from other sources (like the client's web site.) Then she rewrites those sections in her own words so that they are completely original. That's enough to get her going. Next she fills in additional fresh copy between the blurbs she has already completed. Even on days when she would rather be anywhere but behind a computer, she cranks out first rate copy in record time.
Another method is to just start talking. Talk into one of those little tape recorders you get at Radio Shack. Pretend you're telling your best friend, your mother, or Paris Hilton all about your big idea. Go into all the details. Talk it all out. Later, go back, listen, and take notes. Your notes will be the start of your email message.
Don't type very well? 60 percent of North Americans can't type. Hunting keys often makes writing frustrating if not impossible. Follow in the tradition of a great many very famous writers. Pick up a cheap ballpoint pen and write down your ideas with the good old handwriting you learned in second grade. Then have someone type it up.
The key is to just get something, anything, on your computer screen or on paper. Once you have that, start to edit. The copy will take on a life of its own and the writing will come easier. Or, simply hand your first attempts to a professional writer. Most can churn your notes into polished copy faster and cheaper than they can write entirely new copy.