Sent out any sales letters lately? Sales letters can be extremely powerful; marketing studies show that they outperform other direct mail formats such as brochures and postcards. But before you get to see how effective sales letters are for yourself, you have to write one. Heres how to write a sales letter that will wow your readers and persuade them to buy your product or service.
- H is for headline.
The headline of the sales letter needs to get the readers attention. Its job is to make the reader want to know more (and actually read your sales letter). The secret? Make sure the headline makes a specific promise that relates to your prospects needs or interests. If, for instance, you offer domestic cleaning services, dont use a headline such as Want Cleaning Services? in your sales letter. Instead use something such as, Your Whole House Sparkling Clean We Do It For You So You Dont Have To!
As the headline is so important to the sales letter, brainstorm several and pick the best. Place the headline before the salutation in your letter.
- O is for Offer.
Now were into the body of the sales letter. You need to tell your prospective customers what youre offering them first. The trick is that you have to make them want your product or service. So think like a prospective customer or client when youre writing this section of your sales letter and answer the question Whats in it for me? In other words, what are the benefits to the customer of making this purchase?
For instance, For less than $100 you can have your entire home clean and sparkling, without enduring the nasty stink of chemical cleaners.
Dont be afraid to expand on the benefits of your product or service. People who are interested will read the details. (You can bet that I would have a lot more to say about the benefits of having a home professionally cleaned if I was writing this sample sales letter!) Use bullet points or arrows where appropriate to make your sales letter easier to read.
And remember that your sales letter does not have to be limited to a single page. You can send out an eight page one if you want! (Whats the best length? That will depend on your target market and your product or service. Many businesses that use sales letters find that longer sales letter are more effective. If this is your first, I advise not going over three pages.)
- P is for Proof.
Another thing you need to do in the body of the sales letter is assure your readers that they will be satisfied with their purchase. Testimonials (statements of satisfaction from past customers) are an excellent way of doing this. Or offer your reader a fail-safe such as a money-back guarantee, or entice them with a free trial offer.
- P is for Persuade to Action.
The most important thing that you need to do in the body of your sales letter, of course, is persuade the reader to act. First, be sure you come right out and say what you want the reader of your letter to do, whether its to call you, or come into your store. Second, make it easy for your customer to act. Set a deadline for the expiration of your offer, throw in a free gift, or, if its appropriate, make a moral plea.
- P is for P.S. (Postscript).
Youve asked your reader once. Hopefully hes thinking about it. Add a P.S. to your sales letter to light a fire under your customer and get him to act RIGHT NOW. Use a carrot such as throwing in an additional bonus (such as, If you act right now, youll also receive .), or a stick, such as reminding the customer that quantities are limited, or that the price will only be as stated in the offer for a certain period of time (set a date).
Using the HOPPP outline that Ive laid out above will help ensure you write a sales letter that will persuade your prospective customers to buy your product or service. Whats next? Before you send it out, see 10 Tips for Maximizing Your Sales Letter Response for tips on how to get the best return from your sales letter campaign.