The 3 Part Formula of Copy that Sells

written by BlogEx on April 14, 2008 in Blog Optimization with 3 comments

Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways to make money online. As Max mentioned, it’s a great way to “get your feet wet” in online marketing because “you don’t need to buy inventory or build complicated websites to start an affiliate business.” In fact, I’ve seen successful websites based solely on sales pages and reviews of affiliate products. However, there are also a lot of people that have tried and failed at affiliate marketing as well. So what separates the two groups? In my experience it’s been one critical step… the pre-sell.

Since affiliate marketing is so easy to get into, a lot of people assume that they’ll throw a website up with a few links or ads for the product they’re promoting and just like that, the sales will start coming in. Maybe they’ll have to worry about getting traffic to the site but other than that, they’re in the clear. Unfortunately, operating under that mindset will cause you to leave a lot of money on the table. Sure you can probably make some money simply driving traffic through your affiliate link but if you take the time to pre-sell those prospects, your conversion rates and commission totals will increase significantly.

Ok, so you know you need to sell the prospects on the product, but that’s one of those things that’s a lot easier said than done right? Well, it doesn’t have to be. There’s actually a simple and proven formula for creating copy that will help you sell your product no matter what it is.

State the Problem

Every good product solves a need or a problem. Whether it’s a $1,000 internet marketing course, or a $1 candy bar in the grocery store checkout line, the product is solving a problem for you. The key to selling a prospect on the product, it so to define what problem it is that you’re going to solve for them. By stating the problem you’re immediately relating to the prospect, and explaining why they should continue to listen to you.

For example, if I were to sign up as an affiliate of the Blogging Experiment theme, the problem I’d highlight is that you need a theme for your blog that looks good, and is easy to use. Maybe you’re not a strong coder and don’t know your way around CSS but you’d still like to be able to customize your theme to fit your site. If you’re selling an ebook on dog training, the problem is that your dog won’t behave properly. If you’re selling a membership site on dating, the problem is that you just can’t seem to find the right person. Now once you’ve stated the problem, it’s time to…


Believe it or not, you want to agitate your prospect. No you don’t want them to get annoyed at you, but you absolutely want to get them fired up about and angry about the problem you just stated. This can be done several ways but the easiest is to lay out scenarios where people would encounter this problem. To use our dog training example, describe a scene in which their dog doesn’t behave. Maybe their dog jumps up on visitors and gets muddy paw prints all over their nice clothes. Maybe the dog constantly barks to the point that the neighbors get angry and call animal patrol. Obviously you don’t want to give up the loving companionship of man’s best friend, but this behavior is just out of control. Maybe they dog has torn up the house or the yard and caused hundreds or thousands of dollars in damage.

Do you see how someone with a problem with their dog’s behavior could really be getting worked up here? As you describe different scenarios they’ll begin to associate or empathize with those situations. If they’ve experienced one or more of them, they’ll remember back to how angry or upset they were. The bottom line is that you’ll be bringing emotion into the equation and as every good salesperson will tell you, most purchases are driven by emotion. If you can begin playing to the frustrations or anger over the problem, you’ll be knocking down sales objections before they even crop up. So, once you’ve got the prospect good and agitated, it’s time to…


Just as the word suggests, you now need to explain to the prospect how this product that you’re promoting solves all the issues you just raised and agitated. Not only that, but also begin describing how much better their life will be once they have this issue solved. To pick up our dog example once again, explain to them how the product will show them what to do when their dog misbehaves. Talk about how it will give them tips and tricks to use that will have their dog listening to their commands and behaving perfectly in no time flat. Then describe the scene of being able to invite people over to the house again without having to worry about being embarrassed by their dog’s behavior. Imagine how nice it would be to be able to take your dog to the park and not have to worry about it running off or pulling you around the whole time.

Basically in this step you’re reversing all the negative emotions and images that you created in the agitation portion. Calm their fears, ease their worries, and explain that with this product, they’ll never have to worry about those issues again. They’ve spent hundreds of dollars on their pet, wouldn’t a $49.95 ebook be well worth the price if it gave you your pet back? You need to be careful not to over promise and don’t hype the product up too much, just simply explain why you think this product is what they need.

Once you’ve completed those three steps, you’ll have a sales letter for your product. I’ve found that weaving personal stories or experiences throughout the three steps helps as well but the key is to pre-sell the prospect. Anyone that clicks on your link after reading through those 3 steps is going to be MUCH more likely to convert for you than someone you just drove through a link hoping the product would sell itself. Even if the product has a sales letter that accomplishes these three steps, taking the time to create your own will give your endorsement that much more weight. You’ll be telling the prospect you believe in this product so much, that you took the time to explain why they should buy it.

So, the next time you decide to become an affiliate of a product or service, give this simple 3 step method a shot and come back and let us know the results.