Hook, Story, Offer: The Secret of Story Selling

Writing a good sales copy can boost your sales. And one of the best ways to sell is what we call invisible sales. Have you heard of the concept of the “Hook, Story, Offer” format for writing sales copy?

It’s a framework designed to get your audiences to follow the storylines and buy your products. 

In this guide, we’ll look at what the “Hook, Story, Offer” framework is and how you can craft your masterpiece of sales copy with the framework. 

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What Is the “Hook, Story, Offer” Framework?

The “Hook, Story, Offer” framework is a simple and effective method designed based on the audience’s emotions. You start by giving a bait to hook your target customer to continue reading your sales copy. Then you tell a story that they can relate to, and at the end, present them the irresistible offer and close the deal. 

This framework can work at different copies. From an ad, email, newsletter, landing page, sales funnel, video or even webinar script. 

Let’s see how it works in detail: 

Hook — Everything starts with a hook to get their attention. This is why your headline and sub-headline are the most important elements on your page. It needs to hook them by triggering their curiosity and making them continue reading to know more about what’s coming next. Remember, this is a hook, you want to build curiosity but not give them everything in this stage. 

Story — Next, you share with them an interesting and compelling story about how the product you’re selling changed your life. It can be your own story or your customer’s story. The goal here is to create a story that they can relate to. How their life will be improved or their problems will be solved with your products? 

Offer — Finally, it’s time to make your offer. And the value of your offer shall be 10x the price making it so compelling that your target customer will have no excuse to say “no”.

This is the basic, and we will dive into more details for each of the three phases. 

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Step 1. The Hook

A hook will determine the success of your entire sales copy. If your hook is bad, no one will continue reading the rest of your copy. So, your hook needs to be so good to stop whatever they are going through and make them start to think. I need to know more. 

This could be an awesome headline, a video, an image, or something else.

Whatever it takes, it needs to be able to bait your potential customers to stop and stay. 

The only goal here is to make them stop and keep reading. 

How to Craft a Compelling Hook

Now let’s talk about how to create a compelling hook that will hook your audience to your landing page. 

1. To Create Curiosity

If you are wondering how to create a hook in your sales copy, it’s creating curiosity in your target market. 

People are curious about everything. When they find something interesting, they will chase it and want to know more about it. 

Curiosity is a powerful force that drives humans to want to know more.

However, creating curiosity may be difficult if you don’t know how to do it. 

Here are some tips on how to create curiosity. 

  • Understand the main problem your dream customer is facing and tell them you have a solution for them. 
  • Explain that your solutions do not include anything they tried before but not working. (This is to make sure they will continue reading, but not feel like it’s the same not-working solution that they tried before).
  • Tell them what they need to do if they want to know more about it. (This is where you direct them to your sales page or the sales copy).

2. Leverage Empathy

One of the main reasons that someone leaves a landing page or skips an advertisement is because it doesn’t feel it resonates or relates with them.

They just feel that it’s not relevant to them. That’s why empathy is so important. 

You’ve got to prove that you are worthy for them to spend some time listening to your story. If you can show that you empathize with their current situations and that they want to escape, they will be more likely to keep reading. 

This is because you are helping them to remove the pain. 

You can do it by explaining where you used to be(something they can relate to), and the obstacles you are facing at that point in time. Then, how you find the new opportunities that solve the problems and transform into who you are now. 

Here you are building a bridge to bridge them with your solution. And we call this the epiphany bridge.

3. Make a Promise

This is one big key that most marketers don’t dare to do. 

To succeed, you should always make a promise that you will be worried that cannot be achieved. 

For example, if you are in a weight loss niche, you can promise to 

Lose 10 Pounds in 1 Month Without Giving Up The Foods You Love or Hunger!!”

This headline does a few big promises here. First, to lose 10 pounds in 1 month, which is hard. But even harder to achieve is to lose weight without giving up food and hunger. 

Your target customers might already try many different solutions but it doesn’t work out. Hence, you want to make sure that you can promise that they won’t be experiencing the same failure again. 

Promise to solve it without any of the pain that they’re expecting to experience… and they’ll beg you to learn more.

Step 2. The Story

In the first part, you successfully hooked their attention. 

So, you will need to continue to persuade others to make a purchase. 

A story is a very good way to sell a product/service. This is because humans love stories. And most time, stories are nice to read and they can be related to them. 

A compelling story isn’t just entertaining, but it can let them think and reflect on their past experience. The pain that they experienced before, and how you resolved that. It makes them want to pull out their wallets and buy them immediately. 

The questions you have to ask yourself are…

  • What is a compelling story you could tell that naturally guides people toward your product or service?
  • How do you tell that story in a compelling and irresistible way?

How to Craft a Compelling Story

To write a compelling story, you need to know what you want the story to do. The only goal here is to drive them seamlessly toward conversion. You want to use the story to close it invisibly, without knowing that you are trying to sell them the product or service. 

1. Start in the Middle

You might think the place to start your story is at the beginning. But I’d suggest otherwise.

People don’t care who are you and the stage you are building. They care about how this product/service can benefit them. So, instead of starting with an introduction, you start with the best stuff to build curiosity. 

At the beginning of your story, you can have a simple line to give people an idea of what’s coming up. Something they can look forward to. 

Give people something to look forward to with your first line. Build curiosity and they’ll want to keep reading your story to find out more.

2. Be Precise

People are impatient. They might not have time to read everything if it’s too long. 

That’s why, we suggest that once your finished writing your story, read it back and see what’s the important information you want to share, and what’s not that important. 

Take those not important as much as possible and make your story as precise as possible.

Remember this, the longer it takes for people to read your story, the less likely they will be able to complete your whole story. 

3. Make The Slide Slippery

The idea is that your copy is so interesting and compelling that people can’t help but keep reading.

As if your reader is going down a slide coated in oil and they can’t get a grip no matter how hard they try… they just keep continuing reading.

That’s how you write a great story.

That’s the goal.

Step 3. The Offer

At this point, you already completed your hook and story, it’s time to craft the irresistible offer. 

Without a good offer, they will not convert as well. You need a compelling offer that people can’t resist buying. 

How to Craft a Compelling Offer

Let’s talk about the secret behind irresistible offers for your target market.

1. Create Urgency

People are procrastinators. They like to delay if can. 

And this is bad if they delay the decision-making. A delay in closing the deal may end up letting them leave your business. 

That’s why urgency is so powerful.

If you want people to buy right now… use urgency.

It can be a time-limited offer that if they don’t decide now, they are not going to get the same deal. You can do this by adding a deadline or a countdown timer on your page. 

Or, it can be a quantity-limited product, where it will be gone if the inventory is finished. And if they miss the last piece, they won’t be getting it anymore. 

2.  Increase The Perceived Value

Unless money is not a problem for you, or you have too many of them, people buy based on the price and value. 

You need to prove that at least the price they pay is worth the value of what you are offering. Else it is very hard to justify the sale. 

Hence, the best way to close a deal is to offer more value compared to the price. The more valuable is your offer, the most likely they will pay. 

That’s how you build an empire.

There is no point keep lowering the price and having a price war with your competitors. Just increase the perceived value to keep the margin. 

You can do that by price anchoring. For example, most people might think that Starbucks coffee does not worth the money. And that’s why they are selling Evian mineral water in their shop. By just adding 1-2 dollars, they can upgrade from mineral water to coffee. This makes the customer feels that the coffee is worth the money. 

And for you, you can all different free bonuses to your offer to increase the perceived value. One way to do that is to add digital products as your free bonuses so your cost will not differ much but the values provided will increase hugely. 

This will reduce the decision factor required for them to buy your product/service.  

3. Risk Reversal

Now imagine someone decided to buy your product, but they are unsure whether is it a good fit for them. This creates a risk for them. And a worry. 

What you can do here is to provide them with something we called RISK REVERSAL.

Well, this basically is a money-back guarantee or a free trial where they know that they can still fall back and ask for a refund within a period of time if they are not satisfied. 

Most people will not ask for a refund, but providing this risk reversal will make them more likely to buy as they don’t need to bear such a huge risk. 

Final Thoughts – Hook, Story, Offer: The Secret of Story Selling

Writing a good sales copy is not easy. Writing a compelling it even harder without a proven to-work formula. 

And Hook, Story, Offer had been proven way that is able to catch the emotion of potential buyers and close the deal. 

It starts by catching people’s attention, share them a relevant story to bridge them with your product or service, and close by providing them with an irresistible offer. 

That’s the whole process of selling more.

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