How to Write a
Third Tribe Sales Letter (Part 3)

image of classified ad

This is the third installment of the “Third Tribe sales letter,” taking a more traditional high-pressure internet marketing sales page and showing how we can re-work it for a third tribe approach.

Today we’ll talk about what they’re really selling (always a good thing for any marketer to figure out), the call to action, and the P.S.

And we’ll talk about how you can do this exercise for yourself, taking any “high-pressure” sales material and translating it for your own audience.

What they’re really selling

I understand . . . I also get a FREE 30-Day Trial Membership to the FOUNDERS CLUB which gives me INSTANT ACCESS to 5 of your top widget-creation and widget-hacking programs. And, if I want to continue with my Founders Club membership it’s only $47 a month.

Notice that “Free 30-day trial? That’s what the marketer actually wants you to buy.

Although most of the sales letter is pitching a $47 standalone information product, that’s just bait for the hook. What they’re really after is getting you to sign up to a monthly program (called a “continuity” program in Internet marketing jargon), which turns your $47 sale into one that could be ten times as high if you enjoy the content in their program.

Usually marketers in this space assume that a customer will stay for between three and five months before quitting.

This is where a Third Triber has a huge advantage. Because you build a stronger relationship before the sale, and because you’re often much more committed to delivering an amazing product, you’ll naturally tend to see customers stick around longer. Don’t underestimate this advantage.

I’m personally ok with this strategy, as long as you’re absolutely crystal clear about the fact that they’re signing up for an ongoing relationship. But the Third Tribe way to do this is to make sure that the buyer can opt out of the monthly program if she likes. Set up your shopping cart to allow the buyer to “unclick” the monthly membership option.

Don’t try to push anyone into “forced” continuity, insisting that they try your membership offer. Let them choose for themselves, and you’ll make more sales.

(Interestingly enough, testing from the traditional internet marketing “gurus” shows that letting people opt out actually results in more sign-ups. People don’t like to feel forced into buying, so it reduces conversions and turns people off. Go figure.)

Why buy now?

If you’re new to selling and marketing, you might wonder why so many marketers limit their offers. Why push people to buy today, when they might not be ready? Wouldn’t you make more sales by leaving your shopping cart open for buyers to buy whenever they feel like it?

In a word, No.

Even if your audience is passionately in love with what you’ve got, procrastination is your enemy. For all but the most absolutely urgent problems, if they can get around to dealing with it tomorrow, the chances are good that they won’t ever deal with it at all.

Two of the most critical tools for your sales process are the call to action and urgency. Here’s the birds-eye view.

The call to action is a simple, explicit instruction
to buy your stuff.


As silly as it might sound, if you don’t tell people “Buy this right now,” many of them won’t. Read the article below for a more complete discussion of how to put together a call to action for your own offers. This is one of the most frequently overlooked elements when people are just getting started with marketing, and it’s also one of the easiest to fix.

How to be a Copywriting Genius: The Brilliantly Sneaky Trick You Must Learn

Incidentally, yes, you do want to use the words “Click here” in your call to action, despite what web design or SEO pundits might tell you. Here’s why.

Urgency is your customer’s reason for acting right now,
not tomorrow or the next day

Act now! This offer will expire in just 4 days.
Take advantage of it now, while it’s still available!

Offers within a limited time frame will nearly always sell more than offers that are open-ended. Without some kind of time or scarcity pressure, inertia will tend to keep your customer doing more of what she’s doing already . . . nothing.

We’ll talk more in an upcoming letter about how to use urgency and scarcity without being a thug.

The obligatory P.S.

Virtually all sales letters have a “P.S.”

Why? Because it’s one of the most-read elements of any page.

Marketers use the P.S. to re-state the most important benefit, to stress an urgency element, to reiterate the call to action, or to pull a key emotional lever for their market.

A P.S. can be used for any important copywriting function. The only “wrong” way to use it would be to skip it altogether.

On Copyblogger’s sales pages, we sometimes use the P.S. in a tongue-in-cheek way. Because our audience is so familiar with more traditional sales pages, we’ve sometimes been a little bit “meta” in how we approach it.

For example, here’s the P.S. for our Freelance X Factor product, an online course that teaches freelance writers how to make more money and create a more enjoyable business with fewer hassles.

P.S. Is there a copywriter alive who can resist checking out the P.S.? OK, here’s the quick summary: Freelance “X” Factor is a steal at only $87 for over 4 hours of audio modules, edited and searchable transcripts, practical worksheets that guide you through the processes, tactics, and strategies we reveal, supplemental reference material that ties it all together, and 3 live Q&A calls. Go ahead and buy now or scroll back up to get the full story.

P.P.S. Oh yeah . . . it’s fully guaranteed for 30 days or your money back, no questions asked. Let’s get started.

Notice that, although we start with a bit of a wink about the nature of the P.S., we still use it! In this P.S., we re-state the offer, include two calls to action, and let the buyer know about a strong guarantee. If the reader scrolled down the sales page and read nothing but the P.S., she’d have enough information to feel confident about buying this product.

Make it your own

The most important thing for you to take away from these three lessons is that you don’t have to throw away any effective copywriting technique just because it’s usually used in a clumsy, “hypey” way.

Your homework for the weeks ahead: keep an eye on the sales letters you see, and figure out how you would translate their techniques for your own audience, incorporating your own personality, language, and style.

(If you don’t subscribe to promotional email newsletters because you’re afraid of being sold to, you’re making a real mistake. Get a dedicated email address for them if you like, certainly use software tools to route them to subfolders or some other system so you can study them at your leisure. But do study what the more aggressive guys are doing. You can learn a lot, if you translate it to your own market without trying to use it “as-is.”)

Sonia Simone


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