The other day I read someone’s definition of a “post scriptum” commonly referred to as a “P.S.” The author, trying to educate others, described the P.S. as “generally containing information which is trivial.”
To be frank, I found his explanation rather trivial…
Because the P.S. is anything but trivial and should be awarded much greater attention than most give it.
You see writing copy is a very small part of developing copy that sells. Not only must thought and research be put into who you are writing to and what their objections might be, but careful thought must be put into each element of your copy and their function.
Often I see people shoot out of the gate with a strong headline and by the end of their message; they get a bit lazy, throwing on a P.S. almost as an afterthought.
But the truth is the P.S. is one of the most important parts of your copy—and you’ll find that most copywriters agree – you should never end a sales letter without one.
1) Because some people jump to the end of your letter or message after reading your headline and before reading your letter, so your PS serves to further their interest in reading everything.
2) The P.S. can summarize your offer, for the impatient “page jumper.”
3) The P.S. can emphasize the most important benefit (which means, of course, you must first identify what that is.)
In letters, I’ve found that multiple P.S.’s almost always outperform a single P.S., and find that most pro copywriters also utilize this technique.
If you are looking for some ways to make your PS’s stand out, here are some tricks you might try:
- Vary the typestyle
- Vary the point size
- Use all caps (only if the P.S. is very brief)
- Put it in color
- Put it in handwriting
- Put it in a box with a screened color behind it
- In handwriting, run up the side of the letter as if you ran out of space at the bottom of the page
Sometimes you may choose to use the P.S. to somehow “up the ante” beyond everything offered and described in the main letter, such as introducing (yet) another bonus or strengthening the guarantee.
You might also add testimonials in P.S.’s to reinforce your message, add credibility and serve as a tipping point for the reader who is on the fence.
How long should a P.S. be? The longest PS that I’ve ever used in a successful sales letter was 2 ½ pages long. The shortest: two sentences.
One of the ways people recall information is “first and last.” That means that they tend to remember what you say at the beginning and what you say at the end, forgetting what is said in the middle. So whatever you put in your P.S. must not only be powerful and persuasive but must, in effect, condense summarize and deliver your entire pitch, which is anything but trivial.
NOTE: The truth is EVERY element in your copy should be given thought to—what its function is, just as much as the P.S. Because the job of your copy is to sell. And in order to do that, you must know and understand the “must have” elements of super powerful copy. In fact, this is so important that I recommend you have a checklist, template or method of ensuring all elements are included—every time.