How to Convey Trustworthiness in Direct Mail Marketing Sales Letter

Alan Sharpe

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A person or business that might buy from you is called a prospect. But they might just as accurately be called a skeptic. We live in the age of the spam filter. And call-display. We live in what fellow-copywriter Herschell Gordon Lewis calls, “The Age of Skepticism. ”

Your sales letters must overcome your reader’s built-in baloney detector. Your prospective customers are on their guard. Here, in no particular order, are some tips on how to prove your trustworthiness on paper.

1. Third-party endorsements

If your product has won an industry award for innovation, say so. If your service was ranked among the top 10 in your industry by a trade publication or other impartial group, mention that. Leverage the positive press you’ve received.

2. Testimonials

If your clients have said kind things about your company, your products or your customer service, cite these accolades in your sales letters, with the client’s permission, of course. Solicit these testimonials often, and file them. Wherever possible, use the testimonials that speak to the concerns and challenges facing each particular prospect that you write to. To increase believability, cite the full name, job title and company (and website if the testimonial appears online) of each person who gives a testimonial.

3. Industry accreditation

If your company is ISO 9000 certified, and if that is of value to your prospects, say so. If you are members of your industry association, or the Better Business Bureau, and if saying so will increase your believability, mention that as well.

4. Longevity

The longer you have been in business, the easier you are to trust. So mention your years in business or the year you were founded, whichever sounds the most impressive and plausible.

5. Industry leadership

Are you the leader in your industry? That’s worth a mention. You can demonstrate leadership in terms of annual sales, breadth of product line, market share, number of employees, number of customers, and number of countries where you have a presence.

Special challenges

If your company is brand new, unknown, or cannot say any of the above things, there are still ways to communicate trustworthiness. Incorporate your business, since having Inc. after your name makes you look established. Get a toll-free number. It says “big business” and “customer service. ” Offer a money-back guarantee. Offer “no money up front, pay later” terms. Add the years that your partners have been in business and present that figure as your combined years of experience. Locate your office at a prestigious address in the same neighbourhood where your competitors are known to do business (Madison Avenue, New York, for advertising, Saville Row, London, for men’s suits, and so on).

Alan Sharpe is a business-to-business direct mail copywriter and lead generation specialist who helps business owners and marketing managers generate leads, close sales and retain customers using creative direct mail marketing . Learn more about his creative direct mail writing services and sign up for free weekly tips like this at .

© 2005 Sharpe Copy Inc. You may reprint this article online and in print provided the links remain live and the content remains unaltered (including the “About the author" message).


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