Anatomy of Copy
Take the logic of winning ads & use it for your own
This post covers: Frank Kern’s “Invisible Offer” VSL Promo
Every advertisement has its own structure. This is true for both reason-why and emotional copy.
“Anatomy of Copy” articles reveal the logical structure that is not so obvious when going through a sales letter, VSL, email, etc.
You have seen a lot of material where people tell you about the psychology of different words, phrases or sentences. This provides you with the overall outline of the ad so that you can use it when writing your own copy.
The main strategy of Frank Kern’s “Invisible Offer” VSL:
This is an upsell VSL for promo content that costs $297 .
Kern uses a unique strategy that makes sense for an upsell more than a front-end sale.
Kern first sells the prospect on a free bonus offer as the hook, and then sells the actual product. He actually spends more time “selling” the free product offer than the actual product.
Amazingly, out of 156 slides, the first 94 are dedicated to selling the free product! That’s 60% of the VSL!
He takes a lot of time to build desire for content that is a “$997 value”. Once the prospect wants it, they get the great news that they can have it for free (if they buy the other content.) The way he ties the free content to the $297 content is very subtle and is built over time.
Before the real upsell actually begins, he has convinced the prospect they are getting this amazing product for free. This makes them more receptive to buying.
The unique part of this VSL is that two things are sold, the first being free. However, the way he sells each thing is a very typical structure: start with the product benefit(s), explain what it is, provide proofs, and go for the close.
VSL Main Structure:
A. Begin with the usual “thank you”
There was a prior sale before getting to this page. So he gives a quick thank you for the purchase, which is standard practice for funnel upsells.
B. Start with the sales-argument for the offer that will end up being free
Kern presents a sales-argument to build up a product.
He starts with informational content. Then he covers the uniqueness of the product and why it works. The benefits of the product are interweaved throughout.
The basic benefit is that you can make money selling your customers “offers” over and over again via email as long as they value your offer.
The unique benefit of this product, which he pulls out of the argument, is “your customers will love the fact that you are selling them many offers; they will thank you for selling to them,” as long as you offer value and do it in an entertaining and inspiring way.
Here is an excerpt from the sales argument.
Nobody wants to get bombarded with sales pitches.
That’s not what attracts buyers.
Instead, they want to be educated, motivated, entertained, and inspired.
C. Once desire is built, tell the prospect they can get it free
The benefits of his product are embellished to the max. Here is the climax:
Having people actually looking forward to receiving your sales pitches?
It is literally the
HOLY GRAIL OF
Then he hooks with: you get this product for FREE.
D. Explain what kind of product it is: in this case, pre-made promos
As with a typical copy structure, after the benefits are introduced, he explains exactly what the customer gets.
In this case, the prospect gets 7 Promotions that had amazing results. He uses the revenues they brought in as the proof. He goes through several of the promos, giving them all with fun catchy names, like “The Capri Island Cash Stacker”
E. Quickly summarize before wrapping things up
Kern ties these 7 promos back into his original sales-argument of “giving your customer offer after offer that they will love”. This is important for congruency and it is the argument he uses to make the prospect believe in the benefits that the product will provide.
F. Establish “worth” of this product to make the offer more appealing
This is a $997 product. To justify this and the free offer, he states that these promos used to be individual stand alone training, and you get it FREE in content form.
His wording is that you can get this $997 content free “just for looking at my brand new training, the invisible offer.” With that sentence, he is now tying the free offer with the purchase of the upsell. Instead of “buying” he is using the words “looking at” to introduce the concept of buying it more softly.
G. Transition into the second major part of the VSL, the sale of the real product
Now the up-sell of the real product begins with a smooth transition.
Again, the standard structure of many copy pieces is used: benefit, product, proof, closing techniques.
He introduces the product as “The Invisible Offer” and states it has two main benefits: it is EASIEST and MOST EFFECTIVE email promo tool out there.
First he builds up the case for how EFFECTIVE it is with case studies: how much money he made on several occasions; how he even ran one during his honeymoon .
Then builds up the other benefit, how easy it is to use. “No website, no sales letter, no video” is need. With ONLY email, you can make all this money. One case study states that he made a ton of money with only 3 emails.
Sentences are sprinkled about to subtly overcome objections.
H. Add a mini-offer for this product (not sure if this part was necessary)
A BONUS offer is added to the product, his “ultra-advanced sales closing technique” that effectively sells expensive products. That’s a new benefit that appeals to those selling high-ticket items.
I. Dedicate a couple slides to overcoming major objection directly
He states that his promos are not done with hype or sales pressure. Instead, he uses “NLP and Hypnotic Language.” Kern likes to give proper names to his products and techniques.
J. The sales presentation has ended. Use closing techniques.
Before he introduces the actual price, he justifies a 92% discount on this “invisible offer” product, which other people payed $3,000 for as training.
K. Present the actual price with buying triggers
Kern says, “You can get instant access to this for $297” and then (BAM!) he repeats that it’s a 92% discount and (BAM!) he repeats original bonus offer he sold you on in the beginning, the $997 product that you are getting for free.
You can have instant
access to The Invisible
offer for just $297.
That’s more than 92% less
than what other paid.
Plus, you’re getting the seven promotional blueprints that others paid $997 for…
He justifies this discount offer again, saying it is such a low price as a “bribe” to get you to try it.
L. The Guarantee
In this case, he gives a 30 day, full refund “if you don’t find this amazing”.
He draws attention into how his guarantee is so unique and amazing because he lets you keep all the bonus content (the guarantee has its own USP) even if you request a refund.
This is very important: note that this guarantee ties in with the main VSL strategy of bundling a hyped up free offer with the upsell offer. The offers and the guarantee are congruent.
(If your own Guarantee includes having the prospect keep the product, it may not have as strong an impact if it is not congruent with the strategy of your own copy.)
M. Ask for the sale.
In his words:
Select the “yes” button below right now to receive all these amazing gifts and try the invisible offer.
Like with the Guarantee, the wording of the close also reflect the main sales strategy/structure of coupling a free program with a paid one.
N. Use other closing tactics.
Here he uses scarcity, urgency, and repeats the value.
Kern states that 1) this is limited offer 2) it is only for people who bought the book, and 3) once this web-page closes, this offer is lost forever. Then he repeats the 92% discount
O. Ask for the sale again, with the same wording.
Buy now and you get the invisible offer plus bonus content.
P. Use the hook that was the main strategy
Kern repeats the free offer that he sold you on from the start. Get the 7 promos. It is worth $997 and you get it free, BUT ONLY IF YOU “TRY” the invisible offer today. Then he repeats product discount of 92% again.
He never uses the word “buy”.
Q. Ask for the sale one last time with the same wording
“Select the “yes” button below right now to receive all these amazing gifts and try the invisible offer.”
There you have it.
In this case, both the free offer and the product were content. It was not a service or a software, simply some promo material that was successful for him that you can use yourself.
You can use this structure for an upsell in which you can give something valuable away for free and then sell something else. This structure’s most unique feature is that it spent more time selling something that was given away for free than the actual product.
Another way to look at it is that it is two standard sales pitches back-to-back, with the first product ending up free if you buy the second one.