Not to burst your entrepreneurial bubble, but product failure is far too common. The exact rate of failure has been kicked around for years—Harvard professor Clayton Christensen claiming it’s very high, between 80%-95%, which he later disputed, whereas others argue it’s around 40%.
No matter who you believe, however, we can all agree on one thing: it’s absolutely heartbreaking for entrepreneurs to put blood, sweat, and tears into creating a product blossomed from one idea that, once it comes to fruition, no one cares about it like they thought they would.
This is what I'm calling the Product Death Cycle pic.twitter.com/1XtPlViOl7
— David J Bland (@davidjbland) May 16, 2014
So, how can you create a product that sells with confidence? And, one that stands the test of time?
All by crafting your sales letter before your product. I know what you’re probably thinking—Wouldn’t I be jumping the gun if I did that? You might feel that way at first. But, selling before building, so to speak, ensures you make things that people actually want to buy before investing a significant amount of your precious time and money.
For that reason, today, I’m walking you through the 4 reasons why you should flip-flop your priorities as follows—first comes the sales letter, aka your homework, then the birth of your product. You’ll finally boost your morale surrounding the success of your product idea.
We finally solved the chicken-and-egg dilemma!
And, no, I’m not just pulling this idea out of thin air. It actually compliments a core component of entrepreneur and author Eric Ries’s Lean Startup methodology: the minimum viable product (MVP). It’s all about starting small. Get something out to the public via your sales letter to see how people react, and learn from their feedback. Think of it as a Kickstarter-esque mentality. After all:
“What if we found ourselves building something that nobody wanted? In that case, what did it matter if we did it on time or on a budget? – Eric Ries
Yet, despite this game-changing information, you might feel it’s an uphill battle actually trying to sit down and write a sales letter that sells. It can be downright maddening staring at a blank Word Document that’s ready and waiting for you to flood its pages with content.
Don’t you worry, though. I’ve got you covered with a solution for that too, which I’ll share right after I walk you through the following four points. Stay tuned to discover how you can crank out a sales letter so you can get to testing that unbelievable idea of yours.
How to Create a Product that Sells with Confidence
1. Forces you to hone in on your ideal customer ASAP.
Many products fail because entrepreneurs are putting all their eggs in one basket. They’re focusing way too much on the actual product itself and how to make it different from competitors, versus honing in on who the target audience really is.
A prime example of this is the 2013 McDonald’s McLobster snafu. The popular fast food chain promised “100% real North Atlantic lobster” for only $7. Clearly, it was trying to match its other low-price menu items. But, customer reactions were strong thanks to the attempt to market shellfish as fast food.
That being said, don’t make a mistake of that magnitude, forcing your product to be dead on arrival. Instead, by writing your sales letter first, you’re forced to drill down on your ideal customer—the person most likely to respond to what it is you’re serving up.
Think of it as your chance to set aside time to work on your brand persona and get your “homework” done well in advance of your competitors. Tackling this task is not easy by any means. But, it’s one many entrepreneurs blow over, increasing their chances of ending up in the failure bin.
And, don’t get discouraged if you find what you’re actually pitching isn’t reaching the right people. Or, the language you’re using isn’t resonating with them. Your sales letter provides you the opportunity to make any repairs necessary to your copy before all else, setting your product up for success.
As author Dan Kennedy puts it, “There are riches in niches.” Once you test the waters, it’ll be much easier for you to narrow your target to a select group that truly cares versus going broad and trying to sell to everyone.
2. Validates your product idea as a “hero or a zero” before investing time & $$$.
A vital component of a winning sales letter is identifying your target audience’s problem and providing them with a viable solution. It’s your chance to validate whether or not you’re actually going to solve anything for them. That is, before investing your precious time and money into product development.
If you have a weak sauce idea, wouldn’t you rather do everything you can to improve it? All while avoiding breaking the bank and sitting on something for 6 months waiting to see any results? You’re nodding your head yes, I’m sure.
After all, there’s so much more to getting a great idea out into the market than coming up with the idea in the first place. Your people must be hungry and in need of it to earn the success you’re craving.
So, to help you take it one step further, Lori Greiner, an investor on Shark Tank, shares four questions you can ask yourself to determine if your product is a “hero or a zero.” Placing “write sales letter” at the very tip-top of your to-do list will get your juices flowing, helping you address these questions to pinpoint whether or not you have a champion idea.
- What is my product? This might seem like a no brainer. But, you’d be surprised at how many people have an idea, yet cannot easily articulate it.
- Will people like it? It’s easy for you to think your vision is fan-freaking-tastic. After all, you came up with it. What about everyone else, though? Put those biased opinions on the backburner so they don’t cloud your product development process.
- Does it solve a problem? Your product should solve everyday problems your target audience is experiencing—the pain points that keep them up at night. Think of it this way: would you want to use it yourself?
- Is it something people need and want? You want to create something that’s so irresistible to your people that they can’t help but want to buy it. Even in tough times.
Keep these questions in your back pocket. Leave the risk of experiencing serious entrepreneur heartbreak over a possibly fatal idea in the dust.
3. Allows you to pinpoint features/benefits in high demand.
When thinking about your new product, it’s easy to fall into the trap of spewing off way too many features and not enough benefits. After all, people are way more interested in what your product can and will do for them versus its speed, size, color options, you name it.
(source: WebEngage Monk)
Your sales letter is your chance to get down and dirty in the details. Get out a piece of paper, draw a line down the center, and write all the features of your product on one side, and the benefits of each feature on another.
Not only will this help you write communication pieces that sell, but it will also weed out any unnecessary features. You’ll ensure you steer clear from the urge to rattle off a lengthy list on your sales page.
And, only put your focus towards a minimum number of features/benefits to start (think 3). When you do, you’ll have greater flexibility to pivot on your product idea when your readers start responding. You might even get input on features/benefits you hadn’t yet thought of before!
4. Gives you time to fake it ‘til you make it.
No doubt, you want to steer clear of an “If we build it, they will come” mentality as it relates to releasing your product to the market. To do just that, you can easily launch your sales copy on a simple landing page and send it to a small sample of people in your audience—adding more time to the clock to test and research your market.
After all, it’s best to find out exactly what your customers crave the most before giving them a polished product that doesn’t meet their exact needs. The greater opportunity for feedback the better to help you perfect your product offering for success.
The owner, Joel Gascoigne, wanted an answer to his question: “Will anyone actually buy this?” On the page, the brand shared what exactly the product “did”—managed multiple social media accounts for businesses. And, if people were interested, they could click on the Plans and Pricing button.
Now, ready for the most shocking part? Buffer wasn’t in development quite yet. Fake it ‘til you make it, right? You see, Joel had a “twinkle of an idea.” But, he knew the first step towards building it out was to test whether or not people actually wanted it.
So, he tweeted out the page, and people responded. The Plans and Pricing button directed those “early adopters” to a page that said: “Hello! You caught us before we’re ready,” directing them to leave their email address to notify them when it’s complete.
This gave him the chance to gather some seriously invaluable feedback. Meanwhile, validating it was something people were interested in. Follow Buffer’s lead and take the time to experiment with your idea. Gather the input you receive and course correct as needed to develop a product that stands the test of time.
Cringing at the thought of actually writing your sales letter from scratch?
Well, cringe no more. That’s because I’m about to share a one-of-a-kind tool that’ll give you ready-to-use sales copy at the click of a button. You ready? Meet your new copywriting companion, ScriptDoll.
It’s a sales copy engine dedicated to assisting you with composing persuasive sales content in minutes. Once you create your product portfolio and answer a handful of painless questions, ScriptDoll drops those answers into thoughtfully crafted content scripts that sell—sales letters, email sequences, you name it.
Here’s why ScriptDoll is so beneficial to entrepreneurs like you:
- Frees up your time to put focus towards more productive tasks—simply complete your product portfolio, answer a handful of painless questions regarding your target audience, product details, features and benefits, and more, and ScriptDoll turns your answers into an attractive sales letter in a matter of minutes.
- Keeps your sales letters fresh with an ever-growing, extensive library of templates—new templates are added on a monthly basis, from sales letters to video sales scripts, and much more. You’ll avoid putting your audience into a zombie state-of-mind, no matter your content needs. Steer clear of sharing the same thing over and over again.
- Saves you some serious moola by keeping your copywriting in-house—there’s no need to drop loads of money on outsourcing your writing tasks to copywriters. And, you can also avoid investing hours of your time trying to improve your skills in a copywriting course. That’s because ScriptDoll crafts its effective templates thanks to its connections with champion copywriters around the world!
- Decreases your workload to almost nothing with pre-made product profiles—are you a puppy trainer, dentist, plastic surgeon or graphic designer? If so, you’re in luck because your product profile has already been completed for you. There are many more waiting to be used within the software engine. It’s that much easier to push out content that converts.
Now the secrets out—you know what ScriptDoll is and how it can help your business thrive. So, I highly advise you take a minute or two to think about what your life would be like when you finally add this sales copy engine to your marketing toolbox.
Can you envision your schedule (and desk!) freed up from hours upon hours of sales copywriting tasks? Less sleepless nights wondering how you’ll validate your product idea, getting your audience to jump on your bandwagon? No more crossing your fingers and hoping for the best of success? Your wish is my command. You can have all this and more—there’s no need to wait another second.
Get Your Product’s Conversion-Worthy Copy in Minutes—Join ScriptDoll Now!
Writing a sales letter before all else is the most important thing entrepreneurs like you can do to manage a serious challenge: your product landing in the failure bin. Talk about a game changer, am I right? Not to mention, you’re finally looped in on a tool that can help you quickly and effectively craft your sales letter in a matter of minutes, inspiring your audience to take action.
Entrepreneurs like you are raving about ScriptDoll—relieving them from the struggles of writer’s block while validating their product ideas with little to no effort. We hope you’ll join them and look forward to you getting the results you’ve been searching for. They’re ready and waiting for you.
What are your thoughts on writing your sales letter before inventing your product? Have you found success in doing it this way before? Drop us a line in the comments section below.