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The WISCDAR Process
We all live in a communication age. Never has it been more important to be able to put our points across in as compelling and persuasive a way as possible. Yet the idea of writing a sales letter, job application, report or internal memo can still fill us with dread.
Where should we start? Where should we finish, and what should go in between?
There are many instructional guides, often based on the four-letter mnemonic AIDA, which stands for get Attention, create Interest, stimulate Desire, generate Action. It sounds good, and I have used the process myself countless times. But, if you imagine a whole sales letter to be an elephant, then AIDA only breaks the writing of it down into smaller elephants.
But how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
I have often thought that a new process is required that takes each step and breaks it down into much smaller, easily digested pieces.
Well, I am grateful to Peter Thomson, businessman, writer and motivational speaker, for bringing the WISCDAR process to my attention.
In this, each step is smaller and more defined than in AIDA, so that anyone can follow the 'rules' and write compelling and selling copy.
Let's get down to what WISCDAR is all about.
1. W. This stands for wavelength. You can't sell anything to anyone if you are not seen to be on the same wavelength. So that is how a good sales letter should start, either in the headline or the first few lines.
Have you noticed how many sales letters that you have responded to, start with the word 'You'?
Read that line again. It is a 'wavelength' heading. It starts with 'you' (have, can and do are all acceptable prefixes), asks a question that only has a positive response, and implies that the writer has noticed the same thing. We are bonding already.
2. I. Interest. Now for some detective work. In order for you to spark interest in your reader, you must first understand what it is that interests them. If you are selling a product, you must understand precisely who is likely to buy it, and what buttons they have that you can press.
For example, take the subhead: 'You can easily make $1000 a week from the secrets contained in this book.'
If the reader is a person who makes less than $1000 a week, or who needs money desperately, the words are compelling and will almost certainly make them read on.
However, if the reader is a millionaire who is about to retire, then he is unlikely to be interested in the offer.
Understand who your primary audience is, invent a 'typical' reader in your own mind, and write to that person individually.
Interest is a personal thing, so keep your writing very personal.
3. S. Sell benefits
This is the point at which so many writers get very confused. Instead of selling the benefits (or, more properly, explaining the benefits), they list the features. The difference is vital: features are what the product/idea/concept IS. Benefits are what it DOES for the user.
At this stage in your letter, you have established that you are on the same wavelength as the reader and have begun to spark an interest in their mind. Now you want to fan the spark into a flame.
You do that by listing all the wonderful things that the product will do for THEM personally. All the benefits they will derive from buying into it.
Don't underestimate this part, it is one of the most important of all.
4. C. Add Conviction
Okay, you've bonded, sparked some interest and fanned the flames. Now is the time to bring on the witnesses. Testimonials are all powerful because they say what your letter can't - that other real people have put up their money and are delighted with the results.
Humans are generally pack hunters. Only a few people like to be out front breaking new ground. The vast majority like to follow along and blend in with the crowd.
Testimonials are your product's crowd. They show that someone else has already taken the risk, and the result was good. They add conviction to your claims, and provide the evidence that convinces the reader.
You may not have any testimonials yet if your product is very new. How then can you add conviction?
Simple. By removing the obstacles that would otherwise put the pack hunter out in the cold. Offer a free trial or sample. Stress the cast-iron money-back guarantee. Ask for the reader's help and reward them with a no- risk deal.
5. D. Desire
You have already got the flame of interest burning brightly with all the benefits and evidence. Now is the time to feed the fire pure oxygen so that an inferno starts to rage inside the reader's belly.
This is the point that they must want to buy your idea or product more than anything else. They must be stirred into action.
How do you do this? There are several ways.
The first involves motivating the reader. Here you can either explaining the negatives that can happen to them if they don't follow your course of action, or you can detail the positives that will occur if they do. Let me give you two examples of how that could work:
'How much longer will your competitors outsell you, when with an intensive training session from Martin Avis, your sales team can achieve record results?'
'Imagine what your boss will say when, after an intensive training session with Martin Avis, your sales team achieves record results.'
Positive or negative motivations are powerful desire- building tools. Use them when you can justify the claim. Never overstep the bounds of credibility.
The second method is about adding value. Bonuses are everywhere, but they work. The best are unique items that you can't otherwise get hold of. It is easy to create a special report that is perfect for the target market, but that is only available to buyers of the product. The higher the perceived value, the better.
Thirdly, use powerful language. Adjectives and adverbs are sales words. Use them liberally to make your message exciting and stimulating.
'This product is the best book on the market and it will help you make a lot of money' might be accurate, but isn't this more compelling: 'This amazing product is the best-kept secret on the market today. It is absolutely guaranteed to generate a massive flow of income right into your waiting pocket.'
Which one would fuel your furnace of desire.
6. A. Action
Far too many sales letters fall flat because they don't tell the reader what to do next. It sounds patronizing to spell out the entire order process, but it is vital that you do it.
You have to ask for the order, but ask for it in great detail. By breaking down the ordering/decision process into easy to manage steps, you are removing obstacles in the reader's mind.
Remember that elephant? Completing an order is another one. Make the process a step-by-step simple progression and you will pull the customer along with you.
Whatever the desire result of your communication, don't assume that the reader is at the same stage as you are. They may still be kicking and screaming. But hold their hand and they will come quietly.
Don't fear rejection: if you don't ask, you don't get.
7. R. Results.
The final part of your communication is to explain clearly what the results of them taking action will be. For example, 'your book will be sent right away by email so that you can start reading, and making money, immediately.'
It is natural to want to know what happens next, and this is where you tell them. Tie up all the loose ends and don't leave any questions hanging. The tighter and more reassuring you can make this final section, the better your communication will be.
That is the WISCDAR process. A comprehensive and easy to follow guide to producing compelling communications. I hope that it helps you as much as it has helped me.
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About the Author:
Martin Avis is the author of the best-selling 'Unlock the Secrets of Private Label eBooks' - a complete blueprint to private label rights success. Visit http://www.plrsecrets.com to see how you can tap into this goldmine for yourself.
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