The 16 Word Sales Letter book Cover

“The secret to converting copy is to define the one belief, then answer these ten questions.”
A copywriting framework by Evaldo Albuqurque from his book “The 16 Word Sales Letter

As a Business Coach I’m always on the lookout for simpler approaches to writing high-converting sales copy and solve 2 things for clients: “Blank Page” syndrome, and the ever present ineffective tortured, fluffy prose.

In my experience, the old adage of great sales copy is “Salesmanship in print!” is as still true as it ever was. Yet, my experience of business owners and top salespeople is while they can well if the buyer is standing in front of them they often struggle capturing that expertise in the written word of a sales letter leading to dismal results if they can get beyond a blank page.

In Envalso’s words – “The secret to converting copy is to be structured and organised in order to convince your readers why they should buy this product.”

I find working through Evaldo Albuqurque’s copywriting process from his book The 16 Word Sales Letter allows most of us a framework to give structure and find quick opportunities for improvement in our copy.

This is why I made the online “The 16 Word Sales Letter” to help people like my clients, and you how to write better copy that is truly “Salesmanship in print!”

“The contents should be presented as if you were speaking face-to-face with the reader. If I believe in what I’m selling so much that it feels like I’m having a personal conversation with the reader, then I know they’re going to feel so compelled by everything written that they have no choice but to buy from me.” – Russel Brunson

For an overview of what it is, and how I suggest you use it scroll down to the FAQ section below.

Copy Builder


    * Your Sales Letter will appear here once you have built the answers to the above questions

    * Looking for strategies to improve your Sales & Leadership?
    Reduce your work hours in your business by 20-50% in the next 30-days with my
    FREE Chaos to Control Coaching Challenge

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

    Instructions for the copywriting builder use

    Here is how I would approach using the builder.
    – Read the FAQ below to understand all the sections,
    – Grab yourself a notepad and paper and an egg timer or timer phone app,
    – Set yourself a 10 minute timer and just keep writing as many variations of your product/service One-Belief. Keep writing as many as you can until the timer stops. Choose one, and fill in the first field (its only used as a reference)
    – Set up the timer again for 2-minutes repeating for each question to do the first rough “vomit draft” of your sales letter. Keep going and don’t stop until you’ve answered the last question.
    – Now go back and for each Sub-Headline write a compelling statement that sells the reader on reading the next section. This is usually the biggest benefit etc.
    – Now we do the headline last. Write your big statement headline that is the essence of the One-Belief and/or biggest benefit of your product/service. Extra points if you set a timer for 10 minutes and you just keep writing headline options until the timer is done.
    – Congratulations you now have your draft. Click the Draft, or write copy buttons and two important things happen 1. It compiles your sales letter 2.It copies it to the clipboard so you can paste into a document to polish up. Hint: If you want to back up progress while you are writing regularly hit the view draft button.
    * This free tool is designed to be used in conjunction with the book which can be purchased at Amazon etc. I did see it on online as a PDF here also.

    What is “The One Belief”

    The One Belief is made up of three parts:

    The New Opportunity → Humans are hard-wired to look for novelty. New things signal to our lizard brain that something is either dangerous or could be highly rewarding.
    The Key Desire → What is the ONE thing they really want from your product?
    The New Mechanism → Once your prospect believes that the new opportunity is key to their desire, it’s time to show them that your New Mechanism (the product) is the ONLY way to go.

    Written in a way to make the reader believe in that one belief typically in a format like:

    “This new opportunity, is the key to their desire, is now available thanks to this improved special mechanism!”

    Get someone to truly believe this opportunity is the key to speak to what they want most and make them think that there’s only one way for them to achieve it – through your product/service.

    Here’s one of many examples of the One Belief provided by Evaldo for Febreeze:
    “Adding a pleasant smell at the end of your cleaning routine (new opportunity) is the key to keeping your home looking fresh and clean (desire) and it’s attainable only through Febreze’s OdorClear
    technology (new mechanism.)”

    What are the 10-Questions?

    You job in answering these 10-questions is to make the reader believe in that one belief and shift their emotions from skepticism → desire → action.
    Understanding your readers persona about what influences them, what they consider their risks and the consequences faced by these people people who have want this belief. Like all good salepeople’s efforts your job is to know the buyer better than they know themselves.
    The 10-questions are prompts the buyer is already asking in their minds every-time they look at an opportunity. They are usually sub-conscious to the person but still need to be sufficiently answered before they will “buy what you are selling”. In an in-person sales situation these same questions need to be answered. These questions emotionally and to a lesser extent logically do these two things they reduce risk, while also future pacing this problem being solved. And lastly it prompts them for the first steps to get started.

    With the clarity of the One Belief established and front and centre, use Evaldo’s 10 Questions as a checklist to sell that belief using your product/service:
    1. How is this different from anything else I’ve seen?
    2. What’s in it for me? (Big promise)
    3. How do I know this is real?
    4. What’s holding me back? (Reveal the REAL problem)
    5. Who / what is to blame? (Enemy = an existing belief)
    6. Why now?
    7. Why should I trust you?
    8. How does it work?
    9. How can I get started? (Superior, irresistible, and no-brainer offer)
    10. What do I have to lose?

    The better you answer these questions, the more persuasive your copy will be.

    Question #1: “How is this different from everything else I’ve seen?”

    Importance: Highlighting what sets your offer apart grabs the buyer’s attention and piques their curiosity. It addresses the fear of investing in something generic or ineffective.
    Desire/Resistance: Overcome skepticism by showing uniqueness; desire is for something innovative or superior.
    Next Question Setup: Once you’ve established differentiation, the reader naturally wonders, “What’s in it for me?”
    Writing Tips:
    Tip 1: Highlight unique features, benefits, or approaches that set your offer apart.
    Tip 2: Use specific examples or case studies to illustrate the distinctiveness of your product or service.
    Tip 3: Frame the differentiation in a way that resonates with your target audience’s pain points or desires.
    Additional Prompt Questions:
    What specific problem does my offer solve that others in the market don’t?
    How does my approach or solution differ from traditional methods?
    What unique value proposition does my offer provide that competitors lack?

    Question #2: “What is in it for me?”

    Importance: Clearly stating the benefits or big promise of your offer directly addresses the buyer’s primary concern: WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?). It reduces resistance by demonstrating value.
    Desire/Resistance: Overcome skepticism about the value proposition; desire for tangible benefits or solutions to their pain points.
    Next Question Setup: After presenting the big promise, the reader may question the credibility of the claim, leading to the next question.
    Writing Tips:
    Tip 1: Clearly articulate the primary benefit or transformation that the reader will experience.
    Tip 2: Use vivid language and imagery to paint a compelling picture of the desired outcome.
    Tip 3: Appeal to the reader’s emotions by highlighting how the offer will improve their life or solve their problems.
    Additional Prompt Questions:
    What is the most significant benefit or outcome my target audience desires?
    How can I quantify or qualify the value my offer provides to the reader?
    What emotional needs or desires does my offer fulfil for the reader?

    Question #3: “How do I know this is real?”

    Importance: Providing proof or evidence builds trust and credibility, crucial for reducing skepticism and fear of being misled.
    Desire/Resistance: Overcome doubt or skepticism about the authenticity of the offer; desire for reassurance and validation.
    Next Question Setup: Once you’ve established credibility, the reader may still harbor doubts or concerns, leading to the exploration of potential obstacles.
    Writing Tips:
    Tip 1: Provide tangible evidence such as testimonials, case studies, or statistics to support your claims.
    Tip 2: Offer a risk-free trial or guarantee to reassure hesitant buyers.
    Tip 3: Establish credibility by highlighting relevant experience, credentials, or endorsements.
    Additional Prompt Questions:
    What evidence or proof can I provide to substantiate the effectiveness of my offer?
    How can I address common objections or skepticism through social proof?
    What guarantees or assurances can I offer to mitigate the reader’s risk?

    Question #4: “What’s holding me back?”

    Importance: Identifying and empathising with the reader’s real problem helps build rapport and trust. It also helps overcome resistance rooted in doubts or fears.
    Desire/Resistance: Address the underlying fear or obstacle preventing action; desire for understanding and validation of their concerns.
    Next Question Setup: After acknowledging and addressing potential obstacles, the reader may seek external validation or someone/something to blame, leading to the next question.
    Writing Tips:
    Tip 1: Identify and empathise with the reader’s underlying fears, doubts, or obstacles.
    Tip 2: Frame the problem in a way that resonates with the reader’s experiences and emotions.
    Tip 3: Position your offer as the solution to the reader’s real problem, rather than just addressing surface-level concerns.
    Additional Prompt Questions:
    What are the most common objections or hesitations my target audience has?
    How can I address the root cause of the reader’s resistance rather than just the symptoms?
    What stories or anecdotes can I share to illustrate how others have overcome similar obstacles?

    Question #5: “Who/What is to Blame?”

    Importance: Identifying an external enemy (such as a common misconception or obstacle) helps shift blame away from the reader and onto a tangible target.
    Desire/Resistance: Overcome feelings of inadequacy or self-blame; desire for reassurance that their struggle is valid and can be overcome.
    Next Question Setup: Once the enemy is identified, the reader may still question the urgency of taking action, leading to the next question.
    Writing Tips:
    Tip 1: Identify a common enemy or obstacle that resonates with your target audience’s beliefs or experiences.
    Tip 2: Frame the enemy in a way that positions your offer as the antidote or solution.
    Tip 3: Use persuasive language to evoke emotion and rally the reader against the enemy.
    Additional Prompt Questions:
    What misconceptions or myths about my industry or product do I need to debunk?
    How can I position my offer as the hero that triumphs over the identified enemy?
    What language or imagery can I use to make the enemy feel tangible and threatening to the reader?

    Question #6: “Why now?”

    Importance: Creating a sense of urgency motivates action by highlighting the consequences of delay and the benefits of acting promptly.
    Desire/Resistance: Overcome procrastination or indecision; desire for immediate solutions and fear of missing out on opportunities.
    Next Question Setup: After establishing urgency, the reader may still harbour doubts about trusting the offer, leading to the next question.
    Writing Tips:
    Tip 1: Create a sense of urgency by highlighting time-sensitive benefits, limited-time offers, or impending consequences of inaction.
    Tip 2: Use scarcity tactics such as limited quantities or exclusive bonuses to motivate immediate action.
    Tip 3: Appeal to the reader’s FOMO (fear of missing out) by emphasising the unique opportunity available only for a limited time.
    Additional Prompt Questions:
    What time-sensitive benefits or opportunities does my offer provide?
    How can I create a sense of urgency without resorting to false scarcity or manipulation?
    What consequences or missed opportunities will the reader face if they delay action?

    Question #7: Why should I trust you?

    Importance: Building trust is essential for overcoming skepticism and reducing the fear of being misled or deceived.
    Desire/Resistance: Overcome distrust or skepticism; desire for credibility, reliability, and authenticity.
    Next Question Setup: Once trust is established, the reader may seek clarity on how the offer works, leading to the next question.
    Writing Tips:
    Tip 1: Establish credibility by showcasing relevant expertise, experience, or qualifications.
    Tip 2: Leverage social proof such as customer testimonials, reviews, or endorsements from trusted sources.
    Tip 3: Offer transparency and authenticity by sharing your story, values, or mission.
    Additional Prompt Questions:
    What credentials or qualifications do I possess that are relevant to my offer?
    How can I leverage social proof to build trust with my target audience?
    What transparency measures can I implement to demonstrate honesty and integrity?

    Question #8: “How does it work?”

    Importance: Explaining the mechanics of the offer helps reduce uncertainty and fear of the unknown, making it easier for the reader to visualise the process.
    Desire/Resistance: Overcome confusion or uncertainty about the practicality of the offer; desire for clarity and understanding.
    Next Question Setup: After understanding how the offer works, the reader may still hesitate to take action without a compelling incentive, leading to the next question.
    Writing Tips:
    Tip 1: Break down the process or mechanism of your offer into simple, easy-to-understand steps.
    Tip 2: Use visuals, diagrams, or examples to illustrate the process visually and aid comprehension.
    Tip 3: Anticipate and address common questions or concerns about the implementation or execution of your offer.
    Additional Prompt Questions:
    What are the key steps or components of my offer that need to be explained?
    How can I simplify complex concepts or processes to make them more accessible to the reader?
    What FAQs (frequently asked questions) should I address to preemptively clarify any confusion or doubts?

    Question #9: “How can I get started?”

    Importance: Presenting an irresistible offer reduces resistance by providing a clear path forward and making it difficult for the reader to say no.
    Desire/Resistance: Overcome indecision or reluctance to commit; desire for a superior, irresistible, and risk-free opportunity.
    Next Question Setup: Once the offer is presented, the reader may still hesitate due to fear of loss, leading to the final question.
    Writing Tips:
    Tip 1: Present your offer as a superior, irresistible, and no-brainer opportunity that provides exceptional value for the reader.
    Tip 2: Clearly outline the benefits of taking action now, emphasising the immediate rewards and long-term gains.
    Tip 3: Remove barriers to entry by offering incentives such as discounts, bonuses, or guarantees to sweeten the deal.
    Additional Prompt Questions:
    What incentives or bonuses can I offer to make my offer more attractive?
    How can I emphasise the immediate benefits and long-term value of taking action now?
    What objections or concerns might prevent the reader from taking advantage of this opportunity, and how can I address them?

    Question #10: What do I have to lose?”

    Importance: Addressing the fear of loss helps mitigate risk aversion and encourages the reader to take action by emphasising the potential benefits of seizing the opportunity.
    Desire/Resistance: Overcome fear of making the wrong decision or wasting resources; desire for reassurance and confidence in the decision.
    Next Steps: After addressing the fear of loss, guide the reader towards the next action step, whether it’s making a purchase, signing up, or contacting you for more information.
    Writing Tips:
    Tip 1: Address the reader’s fear of loss by emphasising the risks of inaction and the potential consequences of missing out on your offer.
    Tip 2: Use persuasive language to evoke emotions and make the stakes feel real and urgent.
    Tip 3: Provide reassurance and confidence by offering guarantees, testimonials, or case studies that demonstrate the value and effectiveness of your offer.
    Additional Prompt Questions:
    What are the potential risks or consequences of not taking action on my offer?
    How can I make the fear of missing out feel tangible and urgent to the reader?
    What assurances or guarantees can I provide to mitigate the reader’s fear of making the wrong decision?

    Users may use this calculator/builder at their own risk. We make no warranty or representation as to its accuracy and we are covered by the terms of our legal disclaimer, which you are deemed to have read. This is a free tool is for information & education use only that. This is not intended to reflect general standards or targets for any particular company or sector. If you do spot a mistake in the calculator/builder, please let us know and we will try to fix it.