Introducing the New SEO Book Sales Letter

As promised earlier in the week, Aaron Wall of SEO Book is unveiling today the sales letter that I rewrote for him. But first, I wanted to briefly discuss some of the changes and why they were made.


1. Appearance

The appearance of the previous sales letter was out of character with the rest of the site, and also didn’t fit the growing stature SEO Book has gained in very respectable circles (see the testimonials section below for more on that). It was important to change fonts, colors and information architecture to create a more suitable presentation.

2. Headline

The headline Aaron had been using had the right idea, but the wrong wording, structure and tone. This single change alone will likely boost Aaron’s conversions significantly, and next week I’ll show you why I’d be confident about that even if I hadn’t been writing copy for a while.

3. Flow

The story Aaron had been telling was the right one, in my opinion, which is why we were able to do a rewrite as opposed to starting from scratch. I simply took his existing theme and made it more of a true narrative in hopes of communicating the value of the book and Aaron’s expertise while holding the reader’s attention.

4. Testimonials

One of the reasons why changing the appearance of the page was so important is the fact that you can’t insert recent testimonials from Wharton School and MBA-level professors, plus candid praise from the likes of Seth Godin, in an inappropriate setting. I strategically placed those endorsements within the copy, and utilized over 50 other satisfied reader testimonials without listing them ad nauseam on the page itself.

5. Order Architecture

The existing letter had several points at which a prospect could click through to buy the book, and I wanted to insure that the total offer was made crystal clear no matter where that action took place. I moved the first call to action much lower in the copy, created an intermediate order page for early clickers, and created a bit of offer redundancy to make sure that people know what a quality deal they are getting.

The Long Copy Question

Since I know it will come up, let’s talk about it now.

In the world of long copy, this is pretty short. It’s only about 4 letter-sized pages of actual sales text (compare that to 30, 50 or even 100 pages for many Internet marketing promotions), followed by a Frequently Asked Questions section that provides additional information for the undecided.

Here’s why long copy is the correct choice for this product:

  1. This is not a John Grisham paperback. It is specialized and continually-updated SEO knowledge with a $79 price tag. Most people desire and require a lot of information before they will make this type of purchase.
  2. With Aaron’s blog readers, a shorter sales page might work. However, the tricky thing is you can never quite tell what path people have traveled before they look into buying, or how much they already know. People can skim past things they don’t need, but an absence of information is incurable.
  3. Cold prospects from search engines and affiliate links need more information about Aaron and his credibility, and even about the topic of SEO itself. It may be hard for some to believe, but there are plenty of people who are not clear on what “search engine optimization” actually means. Assuming your visitors know more than they actually do is a conceit that kills conversion.

OK, so take a look.

For reference, here’s the old sales page.

As I said before, I own Aaron’s book and highly recommend it. Anyone who is marketing anything online should understand what is required to rank well in search engines.

And in the unlikely event that you are not happy with the book, I guarantee that Aaron will give you your money back. :)

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  1. So funny… and seriously too…

    I read your original post early in the week but only today (Thursday) got around to clicking the link to Aaron’s letter.

    I was hooked immediately. Although I really don’t have $79 at the moment to spare, I was compelled to buy the book straight away, and did.

    I then looked back at your post and noticed that you’d said that Aaron would be revealing the new letter on Thursday. Considering how quickly I’d been totally convinced, I presumed 100% without doubt that I must have read the new and improved letter, today being Thursday.

    So I’m quietly amused that, on reading this latest post, that the letter I’d read was the old one! Bearing in mind I only realised that the (old) letter I read might be the new and improved one *after* I’d decided to buy, I’m fairly sure I wasn’t influenced by mistakenly thinking that.

    And on reading the new one, I’m also fairly convinced I would have been fairly disinterested if I’d read this one. The new version just doesn’t grab me at all.

    Odd, considering that on the face of it I wholeheartedly in principle agree with every point in your new post. I despise BS marketing and anything that remotely looks like it.

    Anyway, just made me chuckle – you just can never always tell can you : )

    Great post!

  2. The revisions are great, especially the way the endorsements are presented.

    I’m not sure I would place the first call to action more than half way down the page. If I am convinced to buy the book after reading the first few paragraphs and endorsements I have no way to take action unless I continue to scroll down the page. In my case I scrolled to the top of the page and clicked on the logo which is the only navigation link available. The home page nav bar doesn’t have an obvious link for buying the book, so I had to return to the sales letter and search again to find the ‘buy now’ button.

    An order button near the top of the page would not seem out of place to me.

    Jim

  3. I like the new format. Looks – how shall we say – much more exciting!

    I have a question about the color of the headline. Where the old one was red and this one blue, I read that red headlines pull better. Not a criticism, but a question. Has this one tested with both blue and red? Did you feel blue would maintain more confidence and integrity?

  4. The link to the affiliate program might deter many affiliates promoting the product.

    You have lost Aaron’s picture

    Pictures from people giving testimonials?

    There seems to be some difference in the style being used, but I can’t see where the difference is in the code. The old version “reads” cleaner on my system.

    I felt it was missing some more graphic elements or the bullets were too weak.

    The whole page is just like reading text, and there is nothing to grab my attention to read something.

    At the end of the day, what counts is split testing and higher sales.
    Also you have to look at the quality of the customer. Maybe this sales letter would attract more upsell customers, but then I don’t think Aaron is short of work.

  5. Well done – big improvement. Can I hire you to take a look a t my website?

    http://www.dreammanifesto.com/wizard

    Thomas

  6. >>At the end of the day, what counts is split testing and higher sales.

    Yes, Andy. You could have started and ended there. :)

    The rest of your comments demonstrate that you’ve read a lot of IM sales letters, which is good to a certain extent.

    But here’s the question…

    Can you see where things are going as well as you can see where they’ve been?

    We’re going to test this sales letter to see how it does. Maybe I blew it, but at least Aaron and I are brave enough to put it out here and do it in front of everyone.

    What are you working on?

  7. Brian Thibault :

    I love the copy. I like the “buy now” buttons between the FAQ questions. I would make the Buy Now button above the “Frequently asked questions” bigger, bolder, brighter. Then the same bigger, bolder, brighter “buy now” button right below the “Adwords Professional” logo centered with the rest of the page. Thats where my eye immediately went to look for the buy now button.

  8. Hello Brian

    Love the changes! I always thought the old page was a bit….erm…..rubbish before. It had that whole ebook/ripoff look to it!

    Personally, I place much more weight on Seth’s recommendation than anyone elses though – and would have put this one first. Just my 2p worth though!

    Have a great day!

    Ross

  9. I can definitely see the improvement and the reasons why the changes have been made.

    One thing that jarred was the link text “Click Here to get your copy of SEO Book via 100% secure online ordering.” In Firefox the link underline is raised on the word SEO. I looked at the code and was amazed to see that there is no CSS. This article explains the benefits: http://alistapart.com/articles/seo/

    Can I have a free copy of the book in lieu of my $500/hour consultation fee?

  10. Much better. I can tell that it’s better, because I almost bought it !

    I like several aspects A LOT better than some I’ve been using and will steal ‘em right now.

    The only thing I’d do – and it’s purely because I like it, no stats to know which is better, I don’t play a doctor on TV – is I like to bold every other bullet point, just because they tend to look jumbled to me.

    If that doesn’t look good on an individual page, I look at making them a different color or italicize every other one.

    All in all, I REALLY like it.

    My advice, don’t listen to us, just keep adjusting til it’s as good as you care to make it.

  11. Why Should I have to go down to 3/4th of the page to see the first option to buy the book? Give me such an option right on top.

  12. What are you working on?

    One of the things I have planned is an affiliate site dedicated to promoting Aaron’s book.

    A revamp with better conversion seriously interests me, and based on the keywords I will be targeting, the new site might just convert better.

    I wasn’t expecting anything remotely similar to for instance Traffic Secrets.

    For me it seemed to be missing something something eye-catching between the 2 ebook covers.

    The original seemed to cause less eye strain, and I don’t wear/need glasses.

    I have compared the 2 side by side now, and the main body font is the same, but the width is wider.
    Plus it isn’t “broken up” as much

    I am just an “interested party” trying to give some constructive feedback.

  13. Hello Brian,

    Copyblogger, your good….,really good!

    So many little changes, but what a great job on those “Exquisite” subheaders!

    If I didn’t already own a copy of the book, I would buy it now.

    Before buying the book I had gone back and forth several times to SEOBook.com but I found the sales page to much, as someone mentioned, look like a 1000 other sales pages…

    But Now I will be reading this sales page over and over again to learn from your writing.

    As you told us here on your site, the best way to learn how to write good copy is to read good copy……

    So all the new hits on aaron’s page that don’t convert…that’s us learing !!

  14. The rewrite is great, but I think it would have been better to have kept quiet about this & run a split test of the two sets of copy before publicising it.

    This post itself (& the previous) may prejudice the test they’re trying to set up: Over the next week or so, the page will get a good amount of high-quality, relevant traffic from here & from knock-on blog posts. That would likely affect the conversion of the page, even if the copy hadn’t been rewritten.

  15. That really is great work Brian, you’re planning on publishing the results?

    Hope you’ll do our letter when the time comes….

  16. OK, i just got to the sales page. Nice work.

  17. Daniel, when you run a split test you do it in a controlled environment, so none of this matters. You wouldn’t include random traffic from multiple sources in a split test.

    For example, you would need to drive traffic to the two pages on an alternating basis from one ad or set of ads in Google Adwords. That’s a simplified explanation, but you get the idea.

    Nothing I’m doing here is considered testing. I’m just letting everyone in on the process.

  18. >>The only thing I’d do – and it’s purely because I like it, no stats to know which is better, I don’t play a doctor on TV – is I like to bold every other bullet point, just because they tend to look jumbled to me.

    I may try that here. I’m always afraid of “bullet jumble” and that can set them off nicely.

  19. For example, you would need to drive traffic to the two pages on an alternating basis from one ad or set of ads in Google Adwords. That’s a simplified explanation, but you get the idea.

    I think you alluded to that is what you are doing in your prior post :)

    IMHO I think the conversions will go up because it ‘feels’ more exciting. I would also be interested in hearing what the test results.

    BTW, what is everyone’s threshold number for judging whether A is better than B? In other words, in mail order you’d judge a headline based on 100 or 200 mailings and the response rate would be an ok judge.

    What’s the new standard? 100 clickthroughs per A/B test? 1000? I’m curious what the pros consider the magic number…

  20. Brian- I love your version. It doesn’t look like an Internet rip-off. Much more professional. When I see a red headline I get turned off. Seth’s recommendation carries a lot of weight for me. I agree that I would put it farther up the page.
    Showing the before and after pages is great -I am a visual learner.

  21. Love the new version, but I have one question – in your Seth Godin tutorial, why mention squidoo?

    Conceptually I understand the reasoning behind it, but even if you assume that Squidoo is a well-known website, wouldn’t it be more impactful to cite Seth’s books or blog instead?

  22. Much better! I don’t get that “snake oil” feel anymore, or feel as the page thinks I’m too stupid to make an intelligent decision. Even the font change on the headline makes a big difference. I might actually buy it now ;)

  23. I strongly prefer the new version. I actually read most of the new sales page, and didn’t even get halfway down the old one before I started scanning.

    Good work.

  24. The old sales page scared me away. It looked like it was done 5 years ago and just a scam. This one would make me buy if I didn’t already own the book.

    After reading everyone’s comments questioning why you did certain things, it would be interesting to see if those could be answered in the book and use that as part of the selling point. e.g. something like “Chapter x on Foo Topic will explain why you should do y like we did here”. Just a rambling thought…

  25. I think both letters do a good job, I have been trying to figure a way to buy the book since I first started reading the original post. I like the look and flow of the second version as far as the headers and flow of the copy goes. I would say adding a couple of images, and a picture of Aaron gives me the impression of a real person behind the scenes of the site and inherently allows me to trust the site more. I like the way you couple the FAQ all together at the end, giving me more confidence in the book as I am deciding, is this book for me, will this book help me, and so on.

    I’ll be very interested to see how the conversions go for you guys. I’ll be buying the book soon, next pay day, so count my conversion from seeing the original but I was more convinced by surfing his blog and site and seeing that he had valuable info and then going back to the page and deciding I needed this book.

    As far as the testimonials go, as for me, I don’t take much value in them cause typically they get so misused in my opinion. I normally pass over them, but in the new version I read them more because they were less noticeable as a testimonial, where in the original I new they were so I didn’t read them.

    Great post and thanks for the hard work.

  26. Brian, #2 is an effective, cleaner and more professional-looking revision!

    However, the direct marketer in me says it might have been an interesting incremental test to just change/test headlines.

    Just for fun, I ran the new head through Glyphius and it scored 529, very impressive! The original head only scored 183.

    I tell my students/clients that when testing, they should test the big items first — #1 on that hit parade would be headlines. So a simple test matrix might look like: Control 1, Test 1-New Head, Test 2-Revised Letter.

    Please keep us posted on results!

  27. Hey Brian, this may seem like a small thing (and it probably is) but if you are going to test this letter again, it may be worth considering putting the two “peformance” testimonials on the main letter, instead of on the separate testimonial page.

    One of them says (paraphrased):

    “Before purchasing this ebook, the ranking for my main search term came up on page 4. After applying the contents of this ebook, my site now appears at number one.”

    The other says (paraphrased):

    “I purchased the SEO book about 2 – 3 months back and since then my income has gone from $15/Month to almost $300 per month and it is still increasing. This coming month I expect income to be in the $500 – $600 region.”

    Anyway, just thought that’d be worth suggesting. I don’t know this particular market that well, so I could be way off.

    But when someone goes from $15 per month to $300 per month (a 2000% increase in monthly sales), that’s pretty compelling.

  28. Dangit Ben, now I’m gonna have to buy the book!! curses! I wanted to finish the one I was reading now before I bought it so I’d have the time to implement, but I’ll take a 2000% increase any day. ;)

  29. >>One of the things I have planned is an affiliate site dedicated to promoting Aaron’s book.

    I knew it had to be something like that… you were way too focused. :)

    The point of this exercise was to show how changing certain copy elements could boost conversion, even though you are telling the same “story.”

    Some of the things you mentioned might be considered for a completely new sales letter, but doing so here would have been outside the realm of the compensation, if you get my drift. :)

  30. >>Love the new version, but I have one question – in your Seth Godin tutorial, why mention squidoo?

    Seth’s quote came from an interview Aaron did with him, and I found it and pulled it from there. However, mentioning Squidoo is what Seth indicated he would prefer.

    Add “people who say nice things” to customers and affiliates as the group of people who you want to put first and cater to. :)

  31. Roberta, the testing has just begun. :)

    BTW, I got to 450 on my own, and Glyphius took me up to 529. :)

  32. >>it may be worth considering putting the two “peformance” testimonials on the main letter, instead of on the separate testimonial page.

    You’re absolutely right, Ben. Those other testimonials are from SEO professionals, but in my opinion hardly anyone will know that or care.

    I’ll talk to Aaron about that… it’s one of those things that clients don’t want to believe at first, because to them it’s counter-intuitive that a testimonial from another industry professional may not be half as effective as a regular joe who kicks ass with your product.

  33. I hated the first letter and never got past the first 2 paragraphs. The new version is excellent, with the presentation of the testimonials far more professional, especially since the first one is from Wharton. For many new to SEO or from the business world, that one is far more credible than all of the SEO peer group endorsements.

    My only complaint is the first purchase opportunity is halfway down – too far for those already sold after the first or second endorsement.

  34. I guess SEO consultants aren’t a target market!

    What’s the number one thing that search engine experts do NOT want you to know about increasing traffic to your web site?

    That it’s easier than you think.

    Search engine optimization (“SEO”) pros would have you believe that the secrets to ranking well in search engines like Google, Yahoo, and MSN involve some sort of mysterious, magical, technological voodoo.

    It’s time to pull back the curtain.”

    I take umbrage with this claim. As an SEO consultant and ethical business person, I consider it my job to de-mystify SEO. I do not need to “protect my turf” by hiding things from my clients.

    I don’t think making bogus claims about SEO consultants motivations is an improvement.

  35. Elge, that’s always been the SEO Book “story” — did you take the time to read the previous sales page?

    And although many SEO consultants *start* their careers by reading Aaron’s book, no… you are not the target market.

  36. I especially like the Georgia serif headlines and sub-headings. It is clean and professional, very simple and well-devised.

  37. I think there could be more high quality testimonials on that sales page. With the caliber and authoritativeness Aaron now has in the SEO industry, get that thing in the hands of some Fortune 500 CEOs and other well known names in mainstream business.

    May be I am wrong, but I’ve always seen trusted names (doesn’t necessarily have to be people) as being one of the most critical pieces of conversion.

  38. Hey Elge,

    You’ve made the most common mistake made by ALMOST everyone who thinks they know something about writing copy – you are not the targeted reader they are looking for.

    Learning and critiquing are NOT the same thing.

    You’re reading the letter and that’s not what this exercise is about.

    It’s about what he did to make the letter convert better.

    He made it cleaner, more professional looking, more likely to convert, etc.

    Another question I have for everybody who said they want an order link higher up on the page is : Did you order ? If not, don’t complain.

  39. Your revision looks soooo much better than the old page. Clean and very good copy. trust me this ones going in the swipe file ;-)

    After looking at the same page and same copy for the last 2 years it was about time for an update, He’s done a lot to form my strategies and I wish him well

  40. Previously you touched on the issue of spammy-looking long copy pages (http://www.copyblogger.com/does-your-copy-look-spammy/), and I think that’s what I like about the new page the most. It’s as respectable as the 37 Signals site but with a lot more punch.

    I’ve been doing a lot of reading from your recommended book list (plus Robert Bly’s The Copywriter’s Handbook, which I like very much) and gathering the courage to attempt my own long copy page. The idea that it would take courage may sound strange to many regulars here, but most long copy pages are an anathema to my senses. As someone who’s not a copywriter, it’s hard to find copy worth emulating that doesn’t make me feel sleazy.

    Today… that has changed.

    Copyblogger’s tool => swipe files.
    Copyblogger copier’s tool => swipe pages.

    ;-)

    Thanks Brian. Nice work.

    - Nick

  41. Hi Brian.

    As someone mentioned in the comment, that your new sales letter doesn’t sound like the usual “Internet rip-off”. This is important for people who’re not familiar with the names like Aaron Wall or even Seth Godin. It’s long, yes, and I’ve noticed almost all e-book sales copies are long. I would like it shorter, but then I don’t have much personal experience writing such sales letter. I agree with Andy that the new copy is a bit harder to read compared to the previous one. Having said that, it’s a big improvement, and I’m sure it’ll go through many revisions. Every job is a learning process.

  42. Great job, Brian. You should write an ebook titled “How to sell by teaching – the case study approach” or “How I made $XXXX in affiliate commission with the SEOBook without asking for a single sale” ;) I’m thoroughly impressed.

    Also, please let us know the results once you have enough data.

  43. I like the new version, however I agree the placement of the affiliate signup link may deter affiliates from promoting it.

    Andrew

  44. Thanks for the feedback everyone.

    I linked the top image of the ebook to the order page and removed the affiliate signup link from the bottom of the page.

  45. Hi Brian

    Fantastic copy – I’m learning just from reading it.

    I have one reservation. The long-copy format may be proven in the US, but I wonder if it is proven outside the US? I know that the primary market is the States, but I wonder if the rest of the world is so hot on long-copy. You very rarely get long-copy outside of the US. (I have to admit I turn off instantly, except for this one which I read about 40% because of your writing). Have you considered the impact on international sales?

    Bloody excellent copy though :)

  46. Hey Richard,

    Do the people who live outside of the US still have the same aspects of human nature as those who live in the US have ?

    If so, they’ll respond.

    All humans have the same instincts built in – Sex, Love, Survival, Food, Greed, Lust, etc.

    That’s all that copy does is play on those.

  47. Hi Mike

    I’m not disputing the points you mention, just wondering if Brian knows of any firm evidence supporting the long-copy argument outside the US. It probably exists, but all I can say is that you rarely see long-copy outside the States.

    I think Bran’s copy is fantastic on that page – I’m just querying the effectiveness of long-copy for international visitors. I cant say that I know of any empirical evidence against long-copy, but I’m sure Brian can point me in the right direction :)

    Rgds

    Richard

  48. Your turn BC.

  49. Looks great, Brian!

    Thank God the headlines are in cool blue, and not red – otherwise I wouldn’t read it.

  50. Mike – I think you missed Richard’s point. Sure, all humans are the same to an extent, but not all target markets. There are huge cultural differences between the States and, say, the UK when it comes to advertising. The US audience is much more used to full-on, in your face advertising. People in the UK are not so keen on being sold to.

    I would never recommend a long salesletter to someone whose main audience was, for example, in the UK.

    Evn in the US though, I think that – as online audiences become more sophisticated – these types of long copy salesletter will be the domain of the diet/fitness/get rich quick brigade.

  51. Sorry Phil ( and whoever else disagrees ) but I believe that all humans are susceptible to the same intrinsic faults and desires. From the first humans that were recorded to today, the desires and actions we take based on those, has not changed.

    Italian, German, Redneck or even British, they all have the same human nature.

    I had a Brit respond to a post on my blog that included a little NLP. He said that he wasn’t susceptible, because he was a Brit and wouldn’t fall for such in-your-face tactics.

    He wrote back a week later and said he couldn’t get the product I mentioned out of his mind and saw it everywhere.

    He now knows I’m right and you may learn it someday too.

    BTW – long copy doesn’t have to be ‘ in-your-face ‘ ….. do you happen to remember the TEXTbooks from school ?

    Same principle.

    Did you read from start to finish ? Yes.

    Did you learn ? Yes.

    Did you know you were being sold ? No.

  52. Hi Mike

    I’m in Ireland, Phil is in the UK (not dissimilar in cultural under-pinnings) and I can say that you rarely see long-copy in our markets (Ireland receives a lot of media from the UK).

    The vast majority of long copy is instantly recognisable just as that.

    I’m not sure about your comparison with text-books? What was I sold when I read them? And TBH I rarely read them cover to cover – I picked out what was important and ignored the rest.

    Hopefully Brian can share his feelings on (and experience with) long-copy outside of the US context.

    Best rgds

    Richard

  53. Hey Phil,

    Not long ago I wrote an ad that was over 15 pages long and full of drama, energy and excitement to a purely UK market, and it did quite well.

    According to people in the UK I spoke with prior to running it, it should not have worked at all. Yet it did.

    The reason it worked is the reason long copy (when done right) works anywhere else — it talked about something the market really wanted to know more about.

    Maybe I’m wrong, but it sounds like you are assuming all “long” copy is “hype” copy — with screaming 75 word long headlines, multiple exclamation marks, trumped-up claims and phony inflated promises.

    But they are not mutually exclusive.

  54. What Ben said.

    For me, I rarely use straight-out long copy sales letters. I usually write a landing page that “sells” a free opt-in report, book chapter, e-mail mini-course, etc.

    Then I sell you while educating you with.. guess what… long copy.

    What Mike said about text books is actually very true. As children we are “sold” on things that may or may not be factually correct, and yet we often go our entire lives accepting them as gospel.

    I’ve heard many times from folks in the UK that they don’t accept marketing the way we do in the States, and many in the States will tell you they won’t read a hypy sales letter either.

    The whole point of this SEO Book excercise was about presentation and appearences. I could have gone with a red headline, and it might well outpull the blue, but that approach did not coincide with Aaron’s long term goals for his book and the audience he sees SEO Book appealing to going forward.

    Present the right information about the right topic to the right person in the right format, and long copy will more often than not outsell short, especially for specialized information products. I think you have to be sensitive to the market you’re selling to, but as Ben said, the issue is not whether long copy works, it’s whether you correctly understand your audience.

  55. Richard,

    Every time you finish an entry you end it with ” … hopefully Brian can … ‘.

    It seems that you’re not going to stop until he says something, so I’m going to stop feeding you the truth.

    TBH myself, unless you learn to read TEXTbooks from start to finish, you’ll never understand this debate. Copywriting is a learned skill. There are do’s and don’ts. Just like math.

    ” What was I sold when I read them? ” – uh, … maybe that 2 + 2 = 4 and that fire is hot ?

    ” … I picked out what was important and ignored the rest. ” – that’s exactly what people do to long copy, Richard, so it seems you are very susceptible to it afterall.

    Good luck to you … you’ll need it. Lots of it.

  56. Mike

    I’m not quite sure why you have gone on the attack. I can only speak from my own perspective. I’m not a copy writter. But I dont skip through most long copy. I ignore it. Of course I am only speaking for myself, and that was why I asked if Brian could add some of his knowledge to the debate.

    Obviously you aren’t interested in debate. You therefore dont understand what a blog is about – mutliple dialogue.

    I come here to read Brian’s posts and the comments others leave. I believe that Brian is obviously a expert but I cannot vouch for the credentials of others. So I address my questions to the author.

    My apologies Brian, I do not wish to antagonise the situation at all. I think (hope) that Mike has just taken me up incorrectly (I apologise Mike also if so).

    I just wanted to know if there was any empiriacal data supporting long-copy in various contexts.

    With respect to the child analogy – surely as children we are in our formative years and what applies then is in an entirely differnet context?

    Rgds

    Richard

    PS Brian you may not have seen my comment above, but I think the copy over on Aaron’s site is fantastic. My question was related to long-copy in general, and in particular to a European context.

  57. Richard, don’t mind Mike… he gets cranky sometimes. :)

    No, I don’t have any data on long copy sales letters in the UK, but I think Ben’s example establishes that it can work, and I’m sure others have done well with it too.

    On the text book thing, I went off track a little. I think everyone’s point on that is if you find interesting ways to educate a prospect in a way that also creates desire, people will read a whole lot of words along the way to a buying decision.

    Long copy often equals hype… but that’s not the only way to use it. I think too many people see too many Internet marketing promotions and think that’s all there is to it.

    I’ve always operated outside of the IM world, and the high level of hype is just not necessary in the “real” world. And I think we’re seeing a backlash against hype even within Internet marketing circles as IM becomes more of a fundamental aspect of business and not a “get rich quick” thing.

  58. Richard,

    I’m not attacking you, I’m trying to get you to understand basic human nature and that it doesn’t differ from Ireland to England to the US to Austrilia to anywhere else.

    The analogy of the textbooks is as simple as I can make it and no, there is no real difference between childhood and now. I sell to adults everyday and the more childlike I make my presentation, the better I do.

    The best salespeople I’ve ever met were in kindergarden. If you’ll keep that mentality, you can sell anybody anything.

    Please accept my aplologies if you were offended in any way, but it seemed more to me that you’re the one who doesn’t want to debate, not I, because Ben and I were trying to help you and all you could do is ask for Brian’s opinion.

    Sometimes Richard, the best advice comes from the comments section of a blog. I’ll readily admit to some of the comments on my blog being better than my post that sparked the comment.

    I’m trying to help, Richard, when I say that you need to find all the info you can on human nature, as it relates to sales, before you go any further down the road towards writing copy.

    I’m in 20 different markets, internet wise and I treat none of them any differently than this : Find out what they ‘want’ and sell it to them. It’s that simple. Humans ‘want’, whether they’re Irish, English or German.

    Whether it’s a physical or digital produc, all you have to do is create a want to sell it.

    In fact, I’m almost finished with an ebook about that very topic. I’ll send it to you, Richard, when I’m done, as I have no ill feelings towards you, just a desire for you to grasp this very simple concept.

  59. Thanks Mike

    I am here to learn as much as I can.

    Any help that people can offer is much appreciated.

    Kind regards

    Richard

  60. I’m also in Ireland (which shares the UK media space).

    I’m new to the world of copy writing so I didn’t immediately understand what was putting me off the SEO book long copy page. I have been considering purchasing the book but have been holding off for some unknown reason.

    I believe it might be a tendency to associate the long copy with snake oil vendors. I need to look more closely at the new version and figure out if I’m interested. I think the long copy (or at least the previous version) was a bit too positive without addressing any possible concerns.

    What do you do when your product has only such positive reviews? A nice problem to have! I even went as far as to ask as to use Aarons “one question” form to ask him for a negative review !

  61. That is where an affiliate like me comes in ;)

    When you have read it in the past, you might not have had someone pre-sell you the ebook in some way. Most visitors to the sales page would most likely have read Aaron’s blog first, or an affiliate pre-sales page with a review.

    An honest reviewer is going to cover both angles, and try very hard to find something wrong with the ebook, because that helps sales too.

  62. I think maybe it’s a UK and Ireland sceptical mindset, “no such thing as a free lunch” kind of thing… for me the straw that broke it was the video where this guy gushes for 5 or 6 minutes about how good the book is. “with friends like that…” etc!

    But I’m just a cynical Irishman! :)

  63. Well, friends, the more I think about it, the more convinced I am: no matter where you are, there is nothing like long copy or short copy; it’s only about good copy and bad copy.

  64. net-net: I like the new version better!

    However, I do like the use of the big blocks with blue background on the old version. I think the old version would cater better to a “novice” who just lands on the page….whereas the new page caters more to a more saavy person.

    I think the later would be more likely to purchase anyway….so I would bet you made the right call!

    btw…would be awesome to get any stats on how the rewrite helped drive traffic….even in rough % terms. Do you think Aaron would agree to that level of disclosure?

  65. I like the new salesletter. I think that it improves the clarity and professionalism to a quality product.
    I am glad the Affiliate button was removed from the sales page. This gives an affiliate a chance at a sale instead of the customer buying the book from his own affiliate link.

    Keep up the good work.

    Joe Rahall

  66. @Sportcrazy: I agree. I’ve yet to meet a brit who responded positively to a long sales copy like that, instead of thinking it’s a rip-off and someone’s out to make a fast buck…