I've been a freelance copywriter for more than two years now. I've worked with 58 different clients (and as many as three or more projects with some clients), so I've seen a lot.
Through this experience I've discovered there are two ways to create a letter that works.
Method #1: Create the best letter possible.
Most folks want the "best" letter possible. They don't want anything less.
A client like this will ask me to go through endless edits and revisions. He will tweak words throughout the letter. He will change his mind more often than he changes clothes.
A client like this believes this editing process produces the best result.
But let me ask a question. What is "best?" Do you mean "best" based on your own opinion? Or do you mean "best" based on the market's opinion?
A client who is trying to create the "best" letter possible actually believes he knows what's "best." And so he wastes time editing the letter until it becomes counter-productive.
I mean really... is a single word buried on page 14 in the middle of a paragraph going to affect conversion or how prospects feel about you and your product or service?
Here's my opinion: Neither you nor I know what's "best" when it comes to writing copy and converting prospects into customers.
We only have opinions.
Those opinions are only validated once the letter has been put to the test.
With that in mind, let me introduce you to...
Method #2: Create a letter that's "good enough."
This second approach flies in the face of the first. It says, "We've got good ideas, but we have no idea what's best. So let's create a letter that's good enough and test it to see what happens."
Using the "good enough" approach, a copywriter will write a letter that covers all the key points and makes a valiant effort to convert prospects into customers.
There may be some editing after the first draft, but it will be minimal... because... the letter will be tested to see how the market responds.
So. We've got a good enough letter, we send prospects to read it, and we see how well it works.
But it doesn't stop there. The next step is to test various elements to see how they affect conversion--for better or worse.
Of course, the idea is to improve the letter by degrees, based on the actual response rate, until you have a letter that is truly great.
Which approach do you currently use? Which approach should you use?
I believe the first approach is for egotists. They believe they know what's best. They believe a "great" letter is one they personally love.
The second approach is for people who want results. They believe they don't have all the answers. And they believe that a great letter is not necessarily one that gives them an ego boost... but rather one that brings in sales.