Remember when people wrote letters by hand and sent them through the postal service? If they made a mistake, they had to either erase or start over. And if they got through the entire letter and realized that they forgot something, they would add a post script, or P.S. to the end. Times sure have changed.

Or have they? If you’ve perused any online sales letters lately, you’ve probably seen several that have a P.S. attached to the end. Seems rather odd that a carefully planned sales letter would have an afterthought attached to the end, doesn’t it?

But most copywriting experts agree that a P.S. is one of the most important parts of any sales letter. And that’s not just a hunch – it has been confirmed over and over through split testing. The reason is deceptively simple: It’s because of its location.

Think about it. Have you ever looked at a sales letter that interested you, but not had the time or energy to read through the entire thing? What do you do? Chances are, you skim through it, or just skip straight to the end to see what is on offer and how much it will cost. And you’re certainly not the only one who does that. The Internet has a way of perpetuating short attention spans, and with so many sites out there competing for users’ attention, they’re usually looking to cut straight to the chase.

Since effective copywriting involves working with the reader’s natural tendencies, it doesn’t really make sense to try to keep the reader from skipping to the end of your sales letter. It’s much better to put something there that will draw him in and make him want to go back and read more. And that is where the P.S. comes in. Make it noticeable, and it’s almost guaranteed that it will get read.

How to Use the P.S. to Your Advantage

So now you know why the P.S. is so important. The next step is deciding what to put in it.

It definitely should NOT be an afterthought. In essence, that’s what the term “post script” means, but that’s not what it should be in a sales letter. It’s got to be something that will grab the reader’s attention and entice him to learn more.

One tactic that many marketers use is creating a sense of urgency. They mention that the asking price is only good for a limited time, or that the buyer will receive certain bonuses that may not be available later on. This encourages the reader to go back and see what else you have to say, or possibly even to go ahead and make the purchase.

Another strategy that is often used is reiterating key benefits of the product. You may have laid them out in the body of the letter already, but by mentioning them again in the P.S., you make sure that the skimmers see them.

A carefully crafted P.S. can keep your visitors on your site longer, and ultimately result in greater conversions. Try adding one (or tweaking the one you’ve got) and see if it boosts your sales!