We recently sent out an e-gram with some valuable insights which should be shared as a post.
A well-written sales letter addresses the interests and concerns of the recipient and persuades the reader to take action, making this a profitable element of your direct marketing package. Consider each of the components.
Presentation: Before the first word is read, your sales letter has already made an impression. Consider the size and weight of the paper, typeface selection, use of color, line spacing, and frequency of indents and bullets. A friendly photo can humanize the piece, but overly glossy graphics can get the letter tossed as “junk mail.”
Headline: Grab attention with a prominent headline to compel the recipient to keep reading. Use a testimonial quote from a marquee customer to build trust.
Salutation: The best sales letter is ineffectual if you haven’t acquired a valid mailing list of targeted customers. Personalization doesn’t end with addressing your customer by name. Leverage your database to insert information about the customer’s sales history and preferences throughout the letter.
Body of letter: This is your pitch. Offer a solution to the reader’s problem. Give real examples to sell benefits, not features. Sprinkle “you” and “your” throughout so the customer understands his or her needs come first, not your desire to sell something.
Close: Spell out what the reader needs to do next (e.g., request additional information by completing the enclosed reply card, order now). Insert a guarantee to establish credibility. Since all sales letters contain a call to action, it’s easy to test the response rate to determine which version works best in converting readers to buyers.
Postscript: The second most read part of your letter, after the headline, is the P.S. Mobilize the reader to act now (e.g., order in the next 30 days and receive free installation).
How long should the letter be? As long as it takes to define the offer, overcome objections and ask the reader to take action. Those who aren’t interested won’t read page one; those who are will read every word.
One of the key advantages of a sales letter, as with all print marketing, is that it has staying power. Give the reader a reason to post the letter on the refrigerator or bulletin board. An auto repair service might include the top 10 tips for winterizing your vehicle, or a sporting goods store could enclose a season schedule for the local team.
Lastly, be prepared for success. Correlate the volume of your mail drop to the highest projected response rate. Make sure you can fulfill the deluge of new orders your sales letter will surely bring.