An excellent sales letter from copywriter Scott Haines selling an eBook series from Trump University in 2006. In addition to the...View More website, the copy was also used in an almost identical direct mail piece. Both are said to have performed very well. The sales letter is pitching a $39.95 risk-free trial for an eBook series, but hooks people in with free bonuses. The two big bonuses mentioned at the beginning are a DVD & special report (both digital). However, another two bonuses for a free membership & personal consultation are also mentioned towards the end right before the price is mentioned. Up until the price is mentioned, the sales letter is heavily focused on free. Even when describing “what the catch is”, it’s only mentioned that they must enroll in a risk-”free” trial. Another big theme is the idea of getting “inside” information that comes directly from Donald such as in the “Candid Conversation” DVD. He’s what people are buying into so the more it seems like the info comes directly from him, the better. The copywriter, Scott Haines, is known for using lots of bullets, which is evident here. There are a ton of excellent bullets & I point out some of the formulas used in the annotations. The pitch ends strongly with a P.S. that ties the prospect’s success & character to whether they take action or not.
Trump University Sales Letter by Scott Haines Swiped in March 2016 Ran 2006
Instead of simply selling the main product, Trump University uses free, compelling bonuses to drive the sale. Offering free items creates less resistance vs. just selling the main product. After desire is built for the free items, the main product is introduced as a necessity in order to get the bonuses. However, in this case, the price of the main product (eBook series) is not mentioned until later. All that’s mentioned is that it’s “risk-free”. This keeps the sales letter focused on free & keeps resistance low. Once the four bonuses are mentioned & the main product is fully pitched, the price is introduced & since the person has already built-up desire for the bonuses & has committed their time to read, the price is much more well-received.
Whenever you're promoting a great deal, especially a free deal, that sounds almost to good to be true, make sure to bring up “what the catch is” early on. It will help diffuse the tension & shows honesty. It’s especially effective when the tension is high & the caveats are very minor. This provides a big sense of relief.
A lot of the bullets used in this sales letter refer to numbered lists falling between 2-8. Numbered lists work well because they represent simplicity, importance/prioritization & are easy to process.
Although I can’t say for sure, I would bet heavily that the free consultation was designed to get prospects on the phone & sell them on something expensive like the tuition to enroll in Trump University which supposedly was $30,000!
Mike Schaueris the founder of Swiped.co and the main analyst in the swipes section. After intently studying & building conversion-focused websites for 6+ years, he started Swiped to help others master marketing & copywriting through the analysis of great examples!
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