Ultimate Sales Letter: My 2-Minute Review of Dan Kennedy's Book

Michael Apr 29, 2022
20 People Read
dan kennedy ultimate sales letter


Originally published September 2019.

Every single direct-response advertising "guru" that I've learned from... they all have a guru themselves:

His name is Dan Kennedy.

At the time of writing this, in September 2019, Dan was in the middle of a life-threatening health crisis.

I heard about this sad news through the social media grapevine...

Luckily, he has since recovered (Update: 2022).

But at the time, I started seeing one post after another about how much of an influence Dan was on their career.

Just like in martial arts, when you realize that your blackbelt instructor has a blackbelt instructor, you start to find out how deep the rabbit hole goes.

And it was this widespread reverence that lead me to pick up his book in the first place, "The Ultimate Sales Letter."

I heard: "It's a must-read"... "It's the bible of copywriting"... Etc.

There were SO MANY great ideas in this book...

But my BIGGEST TAKEAWAY from the book was:

My Biggest Takeaway: Understand Your Customer!

Dan visualizes the recipients of his ads as living, breathing, thinking, feeling, walking, talking human beings...

Because they are.

To be able to step in their shoes, he asks the "10 Smart Market Diagnosis and Profiling Questions" every time he takes on a copywriting job:

  1. What keeps them awake at night, indigestion boiling up to their esophagus, eyes open, staring at the ceiling?

  2. What are they afraid of?

  3. What are they angry about? Who are they angry at?

  4. What are their top three daily frustrations?

  5. What trends are occurring and will occur in their businesses and lives?

  6. What do they secretly, ardently desire most?

  7. Is there a built-in bias to the way they make decisions? (Example: Engineers = exceptionally analytical)

  8. Do they have their own language?

  9. Who else is selling something similar to their product, and how?

  10. Who else has tried selling them something similar, and how has that effort failed?

So it goes...

Next time you go to write to your customer, see how many of these questions you can answer deeply...

And the words may nearly write themselves.

Bonus Takeaway: Simple Framework for an Ad

Simple framework for a good ad:

Problem > Agitation > Solution

E.G. Identify your prospect's problem (which you should have an idea about after researching the 10 Smart Market Questions above)...

Then arouse emotion in them...

And finally, identify the solution to the problem, which, of course, you will provide with your product or service.