Four Essential Elements in (Almost) Any Sales Copy

Much has been written on the structure of a sales letter, and copywriters everywhere all have their own opinions about what must be included in a sales letter or promotion.

What follows is a listing and explanation of the four parts which I see as the absolute most important for your sales communications. Surely there are other required building blocks too; however, these particular pieces are the most crucial.

1. The headline.

The sales letter’s headline is hands-down the most critical element. Here are a few reasons why this is the case.

Let’s think about this for a minute. Your headline “sets the boundaries” of the subject and intended reader of the letter. It has to give the reader a good idea of what to expect and “what’s in it for them” if they are to keep reading. If it fails to do this, the reader will most likely turn the page or click to the next website.

It should be obvious why most veteran copywriters will invest more time on the headline than on any other element of the sales letter.

2. Your offer.

What is being offered to prospects? If that in itself is not attractive to the prospect, or even if it’s not positioned in such a way that makes them see why they would want it, you will be disappointed in your sales. Quite simply, the offer has got to be done right.

3. Testimonials.

Although there are exceptions, generally testimonials are going to be a very important piece of the building we call sales letters. There’s an ancient saying that goes like this: “let another praise you and not your own lips”. People today, just like people of times gone by, tend to be distrustful when others praise themselves. Testimonials break though much of the natural aversion and allow our satisfied customers to speak on our behalf.

4. Dealing with objections.

This part of the sales letter might not even be a separate section but rather, is sometimes woven into the letter. Regardless, here is why it exists. People naturally have buying resistance. Just think about the last time you went shopping for a major item. If you’re like most people, prior to laying your money down you have several misgivings pop into your head. A good sales person knows how to answer these objections.

Selling in print works similarly, with this difference: copywriters do not have the chance to actually hear our prospect’s objections out loud and see their facial expressions. This is why we have to learn what the primary objections will be and craft our best responses to them ahead of time.


I am fully aware that these four elements alone do not a sales letter make. However, the copywriter would do well to spend the majority of time on these particular elements. They will “make or break” the sales letter. The business owner can make the process much easier by collecting good testimonials and by creating excellent products that his or her target market is actively seeking.

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3 Responses

  1. Some useful ideas there. Personally, I like to construct copy in a different manner. Rather than thinking: How can I get as many conversions as possible? I will try to write copy that will convert the type of people I am interested in targeting. This is particularly useful when you are offering services as opposed to fixed price products. When offering services you are probably going to want to go up market. By targeting as many people as possible, you can often turn off the people with the most to spend.

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