Regardless of how many forms of promotional material you create, the simple yet very important sales letter never goes out of style. As a matter of fact a good sales letter should definitely be included as part of your marketing strategy for it can be the most effective tool over any other promotional material. A good sales letter gives you an opportunity to make a smashing impression right out of the gate. The following are some strategies to consider when preparing your letter.
1) INTRODUCTORY LETTERS!
You want your sales letter to be interesting without being exaggerated so a good strategy is starting out by using what I call an introductory sales letter. It's a softer sales approach that sells your product or service but doesn't do it aggressively. Rather than bombarding the reader with something that requires an immediate response, the delicate approach may be just the right touch. Since many people are more likely to respond to the softer approach, it's a good way to feel out your target audience.
2) KILLER COPY OR NOT!
Although I know it has become very popular, particularly in web-based communication, I personally am hesitant when I read so-called “killer" copy. Primarily, my resistance comes not from reading exciting, well-written copy but more from something that moves me in the direction of urgency. That doesn't mean it isn't effective but it's not for everyone. In most types of sales letters, killer copy sounds almost too farfetched.
3) ATTENTION GRABBING HEADLINES!
No matter what type of material you're preparing, good captions are the most important aspect to gaining interest so start your letter by having an attention-grabbing headline. Remember you only get a few seconds to seize the opportunity so make sure your caption tells a good story. Use words that reflect your excitement about your product or service. Consider too, that there are particularly pleasant sounding words with a great deal of drawing appeal. So when preparing your letter, start by playing with many different captions that have appealing words.
4) PERSUASION OR HYPE!
You never want your letter to sound like total exaggeration but you do want it to encourage the reader to at least try your product or service. The message you want to convey clearly defines how your product or service can add something of value to someone else's world. Adding sparkle and pizzazz to your sales letter is necessary but be cautious about overdoing it. Keep it believable.
5) BRIEF AND TO THE POINT!
Consider keeping the letter brief and to the point. Better to be brief with room for inquiry than boring and tedious risking the loss of interest. As a writer, who loves words, I get bored with too much communication and quickly lose interest. So keep in mind that your letter has to be riveting to hold attention but after one page you can very possibly lose the reader. Four or five brief paragraphs are probably best.
6) USE A UNIQUE APPROACH!
When writing your letter, make every attempt at selling your product with a slant. For instance, I recently wrote some material for a gentleman that sells a portable heating pad that uses no electricity. It is of course a rather unique product and deserved a different approach. Rather than focusing on the heating pad, we focused on all the benefits that the heat could provide during travel, sporting events, and even warming the baby bottle. The communication was very effective and demonstrated how the product would make life easier and better for the user.
Always include quotes and testimonials by very satisfied customers. Having credible recommendations makes your letter more believable and inspires readers to try the product. Share the details as to why others found your product worthy. If you don't have testimonials, it's perfectly acceptable to ask a happy customer for an endorsement letter.
8) A CALL TO ACTION!
Some form of call to action is always required in your letter or it will be too passive. Rather than insisting upon contacting you by a particular deadline, simply offer additional information such as a brochure, a sample of the product if possible or perhaps direction to your web site which explains the product in greater detail. Always be sure to include your contact information with name, phone number, e-mail and web address for further details.
Regardless of your product or service, a good sales letter can prove to be one of the best marketing tools available and the least expensive. Don't hesitate to put your letter out there so all those who will benefit by your product or service have an opportunity to know about you and your company. It will pay off in dividends.
Charlene Rashkow brings 15 years of experience as a Writing Stylist and Author to her creative efforts as a freelance writer. She has successfully helped companies and individuals reach their goals by writing web site content, press releases, bios, articles of interest, business plans, resumes, and all other forms of marketing material. You can visit Charlene at http://www.allyourwritingneeds.com