Four Direct Response Copywriting Shortcuts to Selling Information Products

Table of Contents

Let’s pretend you have an information product you’d like to sell. Could be a book, video course, webinar event, etc. And you need to get a promotion out the door as fast as possible. 

What is the quickest shortcut for getting people to buy your info product or attend your event?

Here’s a simple (and fast) way to crank out a promotion in no time. I learned this strategy while working for Gary Halbert. In case you don’t know, Gary was a direct response copywriting legend.

Direct response copywriting legend gary halbert
<em>direct response copywriting legend gary halbert<em>

Actually, it wasn’t Gary who I learned it from but his protege, the late Scott Haines. 

In any case, to keep things simple, I am going to pick a book from Amazon to illustrate the process. And that book will be… (drum roll please)…

Direct Response Copywriting Shortcut #1: The Secret To Getting Attention

The very first thing we must do is focus attention on the promotion. 

We do that by having a great head-turning headline right at the very top. Now, when I say “promotion”, it could be a website, video sales letter, direct mail letter, or whatever.

How To Write A Great Headline… Without Trying

And where do we get our attention grabbing headline? Simple. In the case of Dale Carnegie’s book, we use the title. Which leads me to another important point. 

Whenever possible make sure the title of your info product is riveting. Because, when it comes to info products, the title will have a massive impact on sales. Prospects have no idea what your info product contains until they get it. So, the title must telegraph the benefits they will receive when buying the product.  

So, at the top of our website, I would write:

                                          Over 15 million copies sold!

“How To Win Friends & Influence People”

The first — and still the best book of its 

kind — to lead you to success 

by Dale Carnegie

Notice how I added some credibility right above the headline. On the front cover of the book it says that 15 million copies have sold. That’s a powerful little social proof nugget. Well worth adding to the headline to make it stronger. 

Let’s go on to…

Direct Response Copywriting Shortcut #2: The Secret To Arousing Interest

If you can keep someone’s interest in your ad for the first 500 words, they will tend to keep reading for up to 5,000 words.

Before readership starts to taper off.

The point is that your introduction is crucial. 

So, now that we’ve got our prospect’s attention, the next step to focus on is…

How To Arouse Interest In The Rest Of The Promotion

One simple way to make that happen is to promise a big benefit for continuing to read or watch. And we can do that by using Gary Halbert’s famous “If, then…” opening. 

It goes something like this…

If you would like to win more friends, influence more people, move up the ladder of success faster, and achieve your maximum potential… this will be the most important message you will ever read. 

Here’s why:

All I did was restate the main benefit right from the title. I also added a couple of extra overarching promises from the back cover of the book. No need for super-duper copywriting skills.  Simple copy and paste with a few minor tweaks. 

Then you write two or three paragraphs about the book. Most of the time you can get the copy from the back cover of the book and/or the preface or introduction. In this case, I would write something like…

Dale Carnegie says there’s room at the top when you know how to win friends and influence people. For more than sixty years the rock-solid, time-tested advice in his book has carried thousands of now famous people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives. 

Now this previously revised and updated bestseller is available in trade paperback for the first time to help you get more out of life!

Within its pages you’ll discover secrets to success such as:


Direct Response Copywriting Shortcut #3: The Secret To Stoking Desire

The first thing we’re going to do is cull through the info product and write bullets. Bullet writing is an art form. The best bullets are enticing. Prospects sometimes buy the information product to find the answer to one bullet. In this case, I’m going to refer to the table of contents and write bullets based on the chapter and section titles.

  • The big secret of dealing with people.
  • How to win people to your way of thinking. 
  • Six ways to make people like you. 
  • A simple way to make a good first impression. 
  • An easy way to become a good conversationalist. 
  • Why you can’t win an argument and what to do instead. 
  • The safety valve in handling complaints. 
  • How to change people without giving offense or arousing resentment. 
  • And much, MUCH more!

You want as many hot bullets as you can get from the info product. 

Because you can never have enough. 

The next thing we need to stoke our prospect’s desire is proof that the information product works. Testimonials are a great way to add proof elements. We’re going to get our testimonials from the Amazon reviews.

The secrets you discover in this perennial bestseller could help change your life for the better too. Just like it has for these people… 

“This book has stood the test of time for a reason and I can see why now. The strategies are applicable to and helpful in all aspects of my life so far, from my marriage to my job, and even to the way I interact with clerks in gas stations.” 

— Trevor Miller

“This book is a MUST read for anyone, but particularly if you are in management or sales. This book changed my life in the way that I interact with people. I would highly recommend this book to ANYONE because it teaches everyone valuable lessons about human interaction.”

— Steve Niedermeyer

How to Win Friends and Influence People is the all-time classic and best-selling book in the categories of self-help / personal development. Read and utilized by millions of people across the world. I remember being introduced to this book by my dad long time ago, when I was too young to appreciate the benefits of such a book. 15 years later, I found myself reading it ferociously.”

— Andreas Aristidou

Finally, we’re going to include a compelling offer that no sane prospect would refuse.

Listen: The heart of any sales pitch is the offer. That is what drives response. The offer can include what the prospect buys and what they pay. It can also include discounts, bonuses, and the guarantee.

Over 44,000 reviews have poured into Amazon about this amazing book — with most people giving it a 4.7 out of 5 stars. The paperback version sells for $10.40 plus $3 shipping and handling (total: $13.40). 

But we have a special offer for you through this promotion only.

Here’s the deal:

Call the toll-free number below right now. Order How To Win Friends & Influence People as part of this special offer. And you only pay $7.95 total. We’ll even cover the shipping and handling for you. That means you save an instant 40%… IF… you order via the toll-free number below. 

Plus, you’ll get a full 60 days to check it out. If you don’t like it for any reason at all, return the book and receive a full and fast refund.

What’s left?

Direct Response Copywriting Shortcut #4: The Secret To Getting Action

A lot of advertising never asks prospects to do anything. And advertisers wonder why the ad didn’t work. We must ask for direct action every time. Nothing fancy required. Make a straightforward request. Otherwise most people won’t know what to do. 

How To Get Orders From Prospects 

First, you need to decide how you want them to order. Call a toll-free number? Go online? Click the order link or button on a web page? Whatever it is, the ordering mechanism must be in place and tested. 

Then you tell the prospect what to do without mincing words. And add a bit of urgency for them to take immediate action.

Order now by calling: 1-800-000-000. 

Operators are standing by 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

IMPORTANT: This offer is only good for the next three days. It ends promptly on May 3. Any orders that come in after this date will not be processed. So please call today to make sure you don’t miss out.

The last element is the postscript. Whenever possible, it’s a good idea to add an extra reason for immediate action. Offer an extra bonus, or special access to another information product. You get the idea.

P.S. If you order today by 10 pm EST, we will include a free digital copy (valued at $14.99) of Dale Carnegie’s Scrapbook: A Treasury Of The Wisdom Of The Ages. This book will inspire and motivate you to succeed. And it’s yours to keep… absolutely free… even if you return the book for a refund. But you must order today — RIGHT NOW — before the 10 pm EST deadline.

Well, there you have it. The ultimate direct response copywriting shortcut to selling information products. If you paid attention, you noticed the structure of this process. It follows the age-old AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) formula. 

You can use this shortcut to sell any book, course or information product. It’s simple. It’s fast. It works wonders to create a solid promotion without wasting time.

If you’d like help with your own copywriting needs, contact us today for a free strategy session.


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