Writing effective sales letters
When it comes to selling your product or service, an effective sales letter should be your number one tool in your sales and marketing toolbox. However, more often than not this valuable device is left to a hurried or last-second effort at best. Keeping in mind that this single piece of literature may be your ONLY chance to make an impression – wouldn’t it make sense to make sure that you view your sales letter as a machine? A machine needs well-oiled parts to function correctly. Keep reading and see if your machine has all of the parts working in order to run effectively.
A strong letterhead
Your sales letter should include essential elements such as your company’s logo, name, and address. You can use the existing letterhead or even print some new letterhead specific to your campaign. The sky is the limit – don’t shortchange yourself by trying to save a few pennies here!
How are you opening your letter? Is it going to ‘Dear Friend’ or are you personalizing each letter to the addressee? If you have the ability to personalize, you should. Whether you are using your own list or renting a list, make sure to verify that you can pull out the name of the addressee. However, sometimes one-to-one personalization is just not possible. If this is the case, why not try something that is still within the realm of personalization such as ‘Greetings Fellow Gardener’ or ‘Howdy Sports Fan’.
The First Sentence or Headline – Grab Attention!
A majority of your readers will not move past the first sentence or headline of your sales piece if you do not come out swinging. Grab your reader’s attention immediately. Your first sentence and your first paragraph should help shape the reader’s mind to what is expected to come later. Sell off the first word.
Focus on Benefits Rather than Features
While your service or product may have many great features – nice bells and whistles so to speak – try to focus on the benefits of your service or product. Benefits such as ‘Money Saved’ or ‘Time Saved’ are things that bring the desired action from your readers. Because yours may be the biggest or the brightest doesn’t necessarily mean that there is any real benefit to having it. Show how you are going to make a positive change in your reader’s life and they will be much more open to your sales message.
Highlight Key Phrases
Keep one thing in mind; your readers are busy people. Some might only have time to glance over your letter and might miss the most critical points. Make sure that you spend some time highlighting key phrases which will keep the reader interested. Hint: Remember your benefits!
Call to Action
As your reader becomes engaged in your letter; make sure that you include a solid call to action. Your message should make the reader feel that they ‘must’ act quickly or your offer/opportunity may be lost to them.
Remove the Barriers
You have captured your reader’s attention, they are ready to commit. Make sure that you give your sales letter the best chances of success by including a reply form, a business reply envelope, a 1-800 number, a web address, or a limited-time coupon or code. All of these, a combination of, or even just one of these items will increase your response rates.
The use of a testimonial can quickly and effectively add instant credibility to your product or service. Your readers will feel more comfortable knowing that there are others who have reaped the benefits of your product or service and that they should expect the same. Remember that your testimonial should be from someone that your reader can identify with and who is equally likeable and credible.
This is an often forgotten part of the sales letter. This valuable real estate at the end of your sales letter is effective in 3 ways. First, it addresses the reader who skims your letter and is only interested in the bottom line. Second, it is your best opportunity to reinforce the overall sales message with one final push. Lastly, it is your opportunity to remind your reader in a friendly way that your offer is time-sensitive, and you want to make sure that you are doing your best as a friend to make sure that they understand that.
At Russell House Marketing, we have seen thousands upon thousands of sales letters. We have come to understand the essential parts – the ones necessary to make it read smoothly. Our Direct Marketing Advisors will work with you to help you craft a new letter, or help you improve your current one. At the end of the day, wouldn’t you like an impartial set of eyes to look over your copy and provide you with honest feedback if it meant the ultimate success or failure of your campaign? We think so too.
Call us today, and let’s get started.