Sales Letters: Ever Heard The 12-Step Formula?
Memo From: Marlon Sanders
Re: Marlon’s Marketing Minute
Sales Letters — How And Why I Created The 12-Step Formula
Everyone Uses To Teach Sales Letter Writing
Whether you have a sales letter or not, whether you think you need
one or not, read this article for insight you haven’t heard
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Marlon’s Marketing Minute
Vol. 3, #17, May 17, 2008
This issue contains:
A. Announcements from Marlon
B. Main Article: Sales Letters — How And Why I Created The
12-Step Formula Everyone Uses To Teach Sales Letter Writing
C. Services You Can Use
Brought to you by: Marlon Sanders – Publisher
New Bonus On Evergreen Traffic System — Snatch It While
A. “Announcements from Marlon”
1. Winner Of Cash Like Clockwork System
All other winners have been announced on the other contests.
This next week we’ll select the CLC winner. I intended to
do it this past week but the days zipped by!
2. Winners from the blog posting contest:
Winners of the Info-Product Dashboard:
1. Avi Maor
2. Patricia Simoneau
3. CJ Hirano
3. My blog traffic continues to grow. Youtube videos are getting
170+ visitors a day without us doing anything to promote them.
You can see some GREAT video of clips of me though by searching
yours truly on Youtube.
Of course, that’ll skew the traffic results but who cares?
My overall opt-ins continue to increase with my blog posts and
increasing search engine listings. Now, I need to get some folks
in the office to put this on auto pilot for me!
B. Sales Letters — How And Why I Created The 12-Step Formula
Everyone Uses To Teach Sales Letter Writing
By Marlon Sanders
When I started as a copywriter back in 1983, there was
precious little to learn from.
A few John Caples books. “The Robert Collier Letter Book.”
Dan Kennedy’s book. Victor Schwab. A few others. Great
books in their own rights. But lacking in terms of a
step-by-step, actionable formula in my opinion.
And my perspective is as one who ONLY had those books to
learn how to write sales letters from.
It took me a long time to learn what you can grasp in a
few dedicated months of study today. If you read much
about how to write sales letters on the Net, you’ll see
over and over a 12-step formula for writing sales letters.
This is my formula. I created it. It’s spread without
attribution. But I want people to know the truth. That’s
I’m the ONLY person who can tell you where this formula
came from and how it was developed. I can ALSO tell you
that prior to this formula, the only things that existed
as sales letter formulas were grossly lacking.
How about this barn burner: Attention, interest, desire,
That’s one that I had to learn from. No wonder it took me
so long to learn. I dare you to take that formula and try
to write a sales letter from it.
It’s what copywriters taught to make the process sound
mystical and complicated, thus generating clients and
Or here’s another one: Problem, agitate, solve. Alright.
Nice formula. Totally lacking. There were other formulas.
Now, to be fair, the person who REALLY solved the puzzle
was NOT me. It was Bob Serling. See, back in the day, I
was a copywriter at a company called National Response
And they sold Bob Serling’s products. Bob had a course
that taught an intricate but solid 16-step formula for
writing sales letters. He was to my knowledge the first to
TRULY codify a sales letter into practical, actionable
steps you could follow step-by-step.
The thing is, I felt a formula was needed that expressed
how I had learned to write sales letters through the
school of hard knocks.
I created a 12-step formula and later codified it in “The
Amazing Formula” as as chapter. And broke it out into a
Actually, I first sold it in an ebook called WSOTM, Web
Site Order Taking System. But that’s going way back.
As proof, I might site the fact that I OWN
salesletters.com. And I HAVE owned it a long freakin’
time. That’s for all the skeptics who think I take credit
for things that don’t deserve it.
Anyway, I taught this formula at a lot of seminars. The
old Boulder seminars with Jonathan Mizel and Declan Dunn.
The Carl Galletti seminars.
Before long, everybody and their dog grasped onto the
12-step formula. Wrote it up in free ebooks. Wrote it up
in articles and posted it on the Net.
All fine. All well and good. Would have been NICE to give
attribution. I guess they argue they changed SOMETHING.
What? I’m not sure.
Anyway, to make a long story longer, I found out at some
point that even though I was teaching the 12-step formula,
people were NOT following. That is how I created a whole
entire category of software and products referred to as
“sales letter generators.”
I created a product called “Push Button Letters” that
forced people to follow the 12-step formula.
It was a blockbuster hit so many people created their own
sales letter software programs. More power to them. As
long as it helps people.
There are so many things that have been invented on the
Internet, you could never keep track of who invented what.
Or it would sure be tough.
I don’t even know that it’s important that I get any
credit. I can tell you that Bob Serling deserves a lot for
figuring out what he did. Corey, when he was living,
bought the rights to Bob’s outstanding sales letter
The point of this article really isn’t to pat myself on
the back, although I reckon I’ve done that a little too
It’s really about you, your sales letters and your sales.
Here are a few take aways I hope you find valuable.
1. You can now learn to write basic sales letters in a
month or two, versus the 20 years it took me.
2. There are formulas you can learn that greatly speed
3. If you struggle, there are software programs that can
help you follow proven formulas.
For more free tips, articles and resources on how to promote with
blogs,podcasts, Facebook, Twitter, and all kinds of other stuff,
“Marlon’s Marketing Minute is copyright 2008, Higher Response
Marketing Inc. All rights reserved.
You have permission to reprint the above article without changes.
Visit my web sites at: http://www.marlonsanders.com
MARLON’S MINI PRODUCT CATALOG:
Here are the products I have to help you in your quest:
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blog and in your podcasts
2. Promote your products with your own affiliate program
3. Push Button Letters: Write sales letters to promote
your info products
4. DesignDashboard.com — Step-by-step to designing your
own web site or blog and saving a bundle on crap you do NOT need.
In 1978 this ad changed my life. But what is “the thing”
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About the Author
Author of "The Amazing Formula That Sells Like Crazy", creator of the original Push Button Letters software, creator of the genre of "Dashboard" info products. Speaker in 120 seminars around the wordl.