How to write perfect sales letters
Do you experience writer’s block when starting a sales letter?
Do you ever have good ideas that don’t seem to work out on paper? If so, you are not by yourself. Unfortunately, these are typical challenges that many business owners deal with.
No, direct mail is not extinct. But don’t you want such outcomes? Then you must learn how to write an effective sales letter.
It is one of the most effective forms of direct mail advertising companies can use to reach out to customers.
However, many businesses quickly slap sales letters and mail them to a large list, only to see no results.
Why is this case? Because they did not properly format it or write adequate copy.
Let’s not do that. Instead, follow along as I show you how to write perfect sales letters.
What exactly is a sales letter?
A sales letter is a pitch intended to entice potential customers to purchase a product or service. A sales letter aims to show customers how your company will benefit them. When consumers consider meeting their needs, they are less concerned with the idea of a business transaction that could lead to a sale.
Businesses use sales letters in both online and print formats. Sales letters are a type of direct marketing that can be effective if written persuasively and with strong content. They enable businesses to connect with current or prospective customers more personally.
Objectives of sales latter
- To stimulate sales when they are not selling or are not increasing as expected
- When it is meant to communicate a change in product, quality, or program.
- To provide new variations of a product to current or prospective customers.
- To create new markets for an old or new product.
- A sales letter’s repeated appearance serves as a reminder. It aids the customer in remembering a company’s product or service whenever he requires it.
- It educates customers on the proper selection of goods and a better understanding of products and services.
- It builds and maintains customer trust by providing high-quality products and services.
- It acts as a salesman (via persuasion, education, and conviction) wherever a salesman cannot visit customers.
- It keeps customers updated on the company’s products and services.
What is the purpose of a sales letter?
Sales letters are used to contact customers and provide information that may persuade them to purchase. You could write a sales letter to
- Introduce yourself to a lead who has completed a web form
- Provide a loyalty discount to existing customers
- Announce a new product line
The important thing to remember is that your words impact how the customer perceives you—and the business.
Whatever the purpose of your sales letter, keep in mind that your words have a major impact on how the customer perceives you—and the company. That means writing in a consistent tone with your brand, goals, and ideal customer profile.
What are the Benefits of Writing a Sales Letter?
Comprehensive: A sales letter is easy to understand and provides your prospect with all the information they need to know about a product more efficiently and conveniently.
Reachability: While your salesperson may not be able to contact every prospect, a sales letter can! You can capture the attention of any prospect with a sales letter.
Saves Time: Sales letters can reach multiple clients simultaneously, allowing you to do more work in a fraction of the time it would take your average salesperson!
Economical: Unlike any other marketing communication method, a sales letter is inexpensive. You can be a small startup and easily make a large number of sales with sales letters cost-effectively.
What are the essential elements of a good sales letter?
Nobody has time to read pages and pages of text, so the best sales letters are brief and easy to read. Your sales letter only requires four components:
A personal touch
Customers don’t want to be treated like fish in a barrel. Speak to them as if you were having a one-on-one conversation with them rather than addressing a large group. Even though many people will read this letter, you should write in a way that speaks directly to the individual.
Consider your product and ideal buyer, then create an authentic voice that reflects both. This is where a solid CRM comes in handy. You can deeply dive into how your customers behave and what they like using your customer relationship management system. This allows you to create hyper-personalized sales letters for each segment of your customer base.
Statistics and numbers are wonderful. People, on the other hand, are drawn to stories. So your readers will be much more likely to latch on and continue reading if you can tell a human-centric story.
The most effective approach is to paint two pictures: one of life without your product and one of life with your product. Your customer should be able to identify with the story and then imagine how much better their life could be if they made a change.
Even if your product or service is in a highly specialized industry and your customer base is extremely knowledgeable, simplicity is critical. The difficulty in selling a complex product is explaining it in a way that people will understand. So, keep your letter simple, clean, and readable.
Ensure that the language you select is consistent with your brand’s voice. Consider your online presence and try to imitate the most well-known voice in the public sphere. A customer would notice if your writing style clashed significantly with your social media or website copy messaging.
Your unique selling proposition
You must state your unique selling proposition at some point (USP). It would help if you highlighted what sets your product or service apart from the competition because your competitors also send out sales letters. They’re also telling stories and sending personalized messages, but they can’t claim to have your unique selling point. It’s the one thing that sets you apart, so include it in every sales letter.
A call to action
The call to action (CTA) specifies what should be done next. If your letter is effective, the reader should want to act immediately. Whether requesting a demo, scheduling a meeting, or visiting an online store, you must leave your customer with a clear course of action, so they are not left wondering what to do with the information you have just given them.
This may appear to be a lot to fit into one letter. However, the better your sales techniques, the more effectively you can address your customers’ pain points concisely and authoritatively.
A sales letter must follow the AIDA formula.
It must pique the interest of the readers by using appealing opening sentences. A picture or text can be used to draw attention. “If everyone is doing it, why shouldn’t you?”
Getting the reader’s interest is more involved than getting their attention. This is typically a direct statement of the reader’s problems, needs, or desires. What has changed? What does it mean for the reader?
Remember that the reader isn’t interested in you or your products. They want to know what you can do for them. Therefore, it must create a sense of conviction by backing up your claims with facts, figures, and results.
The letter should arouse curiosity. The desire to avoid or reduce the possibility of future loss or to gain something (prestige, more time, more profits, etc.) gives your customers a compelling reason to buy from you rather than your competitors. This is your “Unique Selling Proposition.” It’s a one-of-a-kind benefit that customers can only get if they buy from you. The USP could be a unique technology, design, lower process cost, etc.
Lastly, your sales piece must include a call to action. You must ask your customer to perform the desired action, whether to purchase or visit a website. Explain how and make it so simple for them to do so (as many payment methods as possible) that they will feel left out or disappointed if they don’t. As an example:
Could you not put it off? Then, take advantage of this Limited Time Offer. Call NOW to place your order, fill out the coupon below, and email, fax, or mail your order TODAY!
How to write a perfect Sales Letter That Gets Results
First, determine your target audience.
Before you write your sales letter, you must determine your target audience. To get to know your potential customer, list your leads and who they are. You don’t know how to sell to someone if you don’t know who they are. Next, understand who is purchasing your product, which you send your sales letter, and tailor it to them.
Know Your Client’s Name
Take the time to personally address your customers on the outside of the envelope and in your sales letter. For example, a letter addressed to “Dear Mrs. Johnson” conveys far more information to your lead than one addressed to “Dear Potential Customer” or “Dear Sir/Madam.”
Create a Captivating Headline
An effective sales letter begins with a well-written headline. You can make it stand out by centering it and using a large, bold, or brightly colored font. Make sure you use the right words to immediately catch your customer’s attention. A 100-point headline in bold, red font must still be well-written, or your potential customer will abandon the page.
Create an Interesting Introduction
The introduction should NOT be boring or mundane. It is usually where you make or break a sale, so make the most of it. For example, your introduction could include a question. It may present a problem scenario, and you will then provide a solution. However, ensure that your introduction does not offer the client a free pass. For instance, if you’re opening with a question, ensure the customer can’t just reply “no.” If you ask a yes-or-no question, you might quickly lose a customer because they don’t have the issue you’ve raised in your question. They stop reading as a result, and your letter is trashed.
Use Subheadings to Expand Your Sales Message
Subheadings for your sales letter should be written in such a way that they help break up the text of your letter into sections. You don’t want to ramble on for three pages, filling the paper with word after word. Use subheadings to summarise each section, invite the reader into that section, and, most importantly, keep them reading your sales letter until the end.
You Should Always Be In Contact With Your Customers
Use a personal, friendly tone to connect with your potential customer as often as possible. Maintain this tone throughout your sales letter. Recognize the problem and offer a solution to the customer. Your sales letter will have a more significant impact if you write it as if the customer is a friend rather than a stuffy company trying to get a customer to buy something.
Pose a problem, but always provide a solution.
If customers are unaware they have a problem you can solve, how will they know they need your product?
Write your sales letter from the perspective of the customer. Make every customer feel like they can’t live without your product, even if they’re a master seamstress and you’re selling glue that hems clothes in minutes. In this case, you have the opportunity to reach people who have ripped their pockets or need a quick hem but don’t have much time to fix the problem. Your product enables them to do so, regardless of their level of sewing experience. Just a small amount of your special glue gets them started.
Describe the features and advantages.
You’ve presented the issue and provided the solution to the customer. Don’t give up now. Continue to emphasize your product’s benefits and features. If you do not maintain the momentum now, your sales letter will lose steam and will not assist in moving your customer to the end of the sales letter. Why is your product superior? How will it benefit the customer?
To make it easier to understand, use bullet points.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of using sentence after sentence as an explanation when stating facts about your product, benefits, features, etc. Return to the adage, “Keep It Simple, Stupid.” Instead of long, boring sentences, use bullet points. Bullets also help visually break up the page, making your sales letter more appealing to your customers.
Customer Testimonials Are Highly Influential
Customer testimonials can be an excellent sales tool. They establish your credibility and help your customers express exactly what they like about your product. Use testimonials sparingly and keep them brief. Some of the most powerful testimonials are the ones that are the shortest in length. If a testimonial is too long, cut it; you don’t want to lose a prospect because of a long, drawn-out testimonial.
Provide an incentive to assist in the sale’s completion.
You can use incentives such as a free trial, no-risk obligation, or a special gift to generate interest in your product. Using an incentive boosts the effectiveness of your sales letter with the customer because you’re offering them something special that is only available to those who receive your letter.
Make Effective Use of Your Call to Action
Customers will understand what you want them to do if you include a call to action. Call right away! Act quickly before this offer expires! This promotion is not available in-store. Receive a complimentary upgrade simply for calling. Use your call to action to guide customers to the next step, bringing them one step closer to making a purchase.
Remember to include a P.S.
A P.S. is a valuable addition to your sales letter. You can use the P.S. to save important information until the end, to remind people that an offer will expire on a specific date, or to reveal other pertinent information as a final thought. In addition, people skimming your sales letter will frequently read the P.S. If it’s strong and convincing enough, they might decide to read the entire letter when they wouldn’t have otherwise.
Bonus Sales Letter Writing Tips
- Declare your offering and its benefits.
- Make use of words that will have a positive impact on your prospects.
- Choose your words with your target audience in mind.
- Maintain a convincing tone.
- Try not to cause any confusion. Be straightforward.
- Mention precise product availability and pricing.
- Use consistent font, color, and theme throughout your sales letter.
- Include your name, signature, and contact information.
- Make sure that you proofread and edit.
Five Sales Letter Writing Mistakes You Should Avoid
Sales letters, whether in an email or direct mail, are simple to write but difficult to get. To ensure that your sales letter writing produces the desired results, you should avoid making the following mistakes at all costs.
Mistake No. 1 Extending Your First Sales Letter past the One-Page Limit
There’s nothing wrong with writing sales letters that are more than one page long if you have confirmation or are reasonably certain that the reader would appreciate such a letter.
However, if this is your first attempt to contact a prospective customer, it’s best to play it safe and stick to one page. Granted, it may not be easy to condense all the wonderful news you want to share with your prospective customers, but you don’t have a choice.
Instead of viewing this as a missed marketing opportunity, consider it a way to pique your readers’ interest. Rather than giving them everything, consider giving them a taste or a hint of what they can expect. And if they bite, you’ll be able to write to your heart’s content.
Mistake #2: Addressing the letter to the wrong person.
If you haven’t bothered to research your recipient’s full name, don’t expect them to bother reading the rest of your sales letter. Showing courtesy is essential in sales letter writing; the first step is to address your letter properly.
Understand who you’re writing to. That is the first and most important rule. Second, understand how they prefer to be addressed. Some people prefer a more casual tone by having the letter addressed in their first name, whereas others prefer a more formal tone. Because of the comparatively smaller size of their markets, small businesses have the advantage of knowing the preferences of their readers. If you lack time to do so, base your decision on your knowledge and familiarity with your target market.
Mistake #3: Enabling Your Readers to Do All of the Work
You’ve written an excellent sales letter and successfully persuaded your reader to use your company’s products or services. But, isn’t your job finished? Wrong! It doesn’t stop there, and those who believe it does have made one of the worst mistakes in sales letter writing.
Return to the fundamentals of sales letter writing and ask yourself what your goal is. Is it to sell products or services? Convincing your readers that they require what you’re selling is thus only the first step. Your job isn’t done until your reader completes the transaction successfully.
As a result, your letter must include specific instructions for the reader to follow to complete the desired action. Links must be easily visible and distinguishable. Additional information must be included on the letter or the landing page. Anticipate potential reader questions and concerns and address them in your FAQ section. Again, ensure your landing page or letter includes a clear link.
Mistake #4: Failure to Focus on Credibility
The success of your sales letters is not solely dependent on the words you use. It also depends on the credibility of your company and letter. Begin by entering your email address. Second, it must be valid, preferably a paid account, and use a name that perfectly represents your company’s essence. Third, use a subject line that sounds credible rather than one that makes false promises. Finally, include a link for readers who want to learn more about your company. Readers consider your willingness to share information about your company as a positive sign.
Mistake #5 putting more emphasis on features than on benefits
Yes, features are important, but they are important because of their benefits, and your sales letter should emphasize this! For example, if you’re selling a phone, you don’t just say it has a 3.0MP camera; you go on to say how the phone makes it easy for people to take photos that are as clear as those provided by various digital cameras.
And there you have it: the five most common mistakes in sales letter writing.
Best of luck avoiding them!
You can also read:
- How to Write a Sales Pitch Email | The Best Method
- Best Email marketing strategies to generate more leads
Sales letters are always used to introduce a new product, offer, etc. And, to catch your reader’s attention, your content and appeal must be of the highest quality.
Effective sales letters use strong and persuasive language to help you achieve measurable results in terms of conversions.
And you will require assistance to create such robust and engaging sales letters.
With all the necessary information and tips at your disposal, it’s time to try writing sales letters.