Back when I was apprenticing under my slave-driving copywriting mentor, one of the tasks he saddled me with was writing dozens of promo emails for a client of his in the chiropractic niche.
Here's a scenario that would play out over and over:
I'd be working on a tight deadline.
Tight, as in, “Hey Josh, I know it's Saturday and all but I need you to get me a 10-email webinar sequence by Monday morning. Mmmm-K?”
Yikes. After 30 seconds of panic, I'd get down to pounding out those 10 emails.
For each email, I'd come up with a great “hook”—an attention-grabbing story or illustration that I knew the audience would relate to.
And I'd pound out the first two-thirds of the email in a fit of inspiration.
Then I'd hit “the turn.”
The “turn” is the part of the email where you transition from the content portion where you're looking to entertain, agitate, or inspire into pitching or selling.
It's where you're showing why they should sign up for this webinar when they have a million other things to do.
And 9 times out of 10 I'd draw a complete blank here.
Instead of a “turn,” I started to think of this part as “the wall” where my momentum careened to a screeching halt.
Usually I'd end up mumbling and stumbling my way through the close and call to action. I'd make vague promises about getting more chiropractic patients and more time to spend with the family.
I rarely felt like I made a solid case that would really light a fire under the reader's butt.
Here's where I was going wrong.
I'd get a great idea for a story and assume I had an email. What I really had was HALF an email.
I knew where I was going to start, but not where I was going to end. The ending point of any piece of sales copy is the benefit that the reader is going to get by taking action.
You need to have that benefit in mind from the very beginning—or you'll struggle to make a connection like I was.
The cure for this problem is to study your product ahead of time. Put together a massive list of features and benefits that you review regularly.
When you know all the benefits of what you're selling like the back of your hand, you'll start to see connections between stories and the benefit even before you start to write.
You won't stress over making the transition into your pitch, because the transition naturally sprang to mind along with the story.
When you do this you'll find that writing is much faster and easier, because the entire message will flow logically from the connection you made before you ever sat down to write.