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One of the most venerable and common elements of a good salesletter, after the headline, is the postscript or “P.S.”
The end of every great sales letter should be capped with a strong P.S. We are often told that the P.S. is the second most read part of a salesletter. Why? Because after reading the headline, many people tend to skim and scroll right down to the bottom. It’s like the “second headline,” so to speak, of a good salesletter.
This is particularly true when we know that most people tend to read the headline or the “Dear Friend” salutation, then turn to the closing of the letter to see who signed it or who is it from. Partly out of curiosity. Partly to justify reading it in the first place.
So a postscript is not really a place to introduce new pieces of information that are not supported or discussed in the letter — unless it is meant to arouse curiosity, forcing the reader back into the letter.
It is a perfect tool, however, to get the reader to take action.
Including a P.S. in your copy may not always be necessary. I’ve seen some great salesletters that did not have any postscripts at all. But the inclusion of a good P.S. is not as important as the way it’s being used.
As the last opportunity to convert your reader into a buyer, the final statement is one that supports the copy that came before and reinforces a key underlying principle of the letter.
While it can be a great place for a few surprises or new twists in order to clinch the deal, it is most commonly utilized as a brief reinterpretation of what came before.
This follows along with the three major steps in delivering presentations. And what is a sales letter at its core but a written presentation?
As a brief refresher, the three major steps are:
1.Tell them what you’re going to tell them.
3.Tell them what you told them.
Your P.S. can be part of that important final step where you tell them what you’ve told them.
Specifically, you’ve already told them everything in your sales letter, now it’s time to choose the aspect that you believe is most likely to be holding them back from buying after reading all the way through.
A strong P.S. does not beg, but rather invites the reader to take the final step before purchasing. It’s a strong and clear statement that contains the final call to action.
One way to utilize the P.S. is to recap the entirety of your offer. Tell them again what your offer includes, add up the dollar value of your bonuses and outline the extras to reinforce the value of the offer.
Another common technique to employ is to restate something you’ve expressed in the headline. You won’t necessarily copy the headline verbatim, but present the same information in a benefit-driven manner.
For example, your headline says:
“The Accidental Weight-Loss Discovery of a Juggling Career Mom Who Lost Six Inches of Baby Fat Around Her Waistline Without Any Exercise of Diets — In Just a Few Weeks!”
The postscript can then say:
“P.S.: If you’re a career mom or about to become one, and you’re concerned about unwanted, stubborn baby fat, then this product is perfect for you. Imagine turning heads as you melt away those few extra inches amazingly fast (often, in just a few short weeks!) while avoiding exercises or diets you don’t have time for anyway.”
Also, utilizing an “oh, by the way” approach is an effective one for this type of P.S. This is perhaps the most common use of a P.S., since a postscript is indeed intended to be an afterthought or an important piece of information one has forgotten to mention after the letter was written.
In fact, that’s the original purpose of a P.S. In the old days of writing letters by hand or typewriter, where we did not have the luxury of real-time editing or using correction fluid as we do today, adding a P.S. was common practice.
Today, however, P.S.’s are perfect places not only to add an afterthought or key pieces of information we failed to include in our letter, but also to highlight a specific piece of information we want our reader to absorb and appreciate.
In the same way, use a postscript to restate the primary benefit of your product or service, or better yet introduce a completely new surprise benefit — such as one or more special bonuses that you are including with your offer.
A way to strengthen the offer and “sweeten the deal” at the last minute.
However, one of the most often used techniques with postscripts is to provide a powerful sense of urgency (either by creating scarcity not mentioned in the letter, or by restating it or emphasizing it if one was already mentioned).
This way, the P.S. prompts your prospect to take immediate action — whether it’s buying your offer now, or at least go back and read the letter before it’s too late.
Nevertheless, a postscript is a perfect opportunity to increase buyer confidence and lower resistance.
At this point, you want to acknowledge and alleviate reader skepticism. Expressing that you understand their hesitancy (especially once they’ve read to that point but have yet to take action, which is a great indicator) can be a bridge to overcoming their final objection.
A restatement of the guarantee or highlighting testimonials may be your chosen tactic in this case.
Personally, this is my favorite. I love using P.S.’s to enhance the credibility of my offer in some way, perhaps by including an additional testimonial or endorsement, or by adding or restating the guarantee. Perhaps a newer and even stronger guarantee.
What you are looking to do with your P.S. is identify the one objection you foresee as being the key to holding your reader back from ordering. If you decide on using a testimonial, then choose the one that inherently answers this lingering objection.
To handle this objection further, a postscript may be the place you repeat an important or unique aspect of your offer. Since this is what sets your product or service apart from everything else in the market, it may be important to point it out to your reader again.
However, in doing so it’s best to paraphrase as to make it easier for the reader to understand and truly appreciate its meaning, and make it appear less repetitive.
In other words, reword the original information that was previously introduced as to specifically deal with the objection. Ideally it will be the last piece of the puzzle that your reader needs to make the decision to buy.
By the way, another point I have found is that including more than one postscript (e.g., “P.P.S.” and “P.P.P.S.”), and using them with a variety of different techniques discussed in this article, can prove to be quite effective.
If so, what I have found is that you should stick to three P.S.’s. Why? Because in a triad people tend to read the second one more than they do the first or last P.S.
In other words, if you decide to use more than one P.S., use three and include your biggest benefit, a major key point or the one element on which you want your readers to focus in the second or middle P.S.
As with all aspects of the sales letter that come before, you will have to experiment with your P.S. until it is just right. It can take a while to adjust the angle and the wording until it reaches the peak of effectiveness.
Though shorter and less intense than most other aspects of your sales letter, no less care should be taken with the crafting of this aspect. Considering its position and purpose, it’s a feature you’ll want to address with due deference.About the Author
Michel Fortin is a direct response copywriter, author, speaker, consultant, and CEO of The Success Doctor, Inc. Visit his blog and signup free to get tested conversion strategies and response-boosting tips by email, along with blog updates, news, and more! Go now to https://www.michelfortin.com.