My insurance agent Sue has recently retired. Another agent has taken over. He sent out a one-page letter to introduce himself.
The letter itself has to be one of the driest, unemotional and most boring pieces of consumer correspondence written since the typewriter was invented. It was a typical form letter that really said nothing. Reading it could have put you in a coma.
It was a short five paragraphs. The new agent inserted his name in the proper places. He pressed “print" and voilà, instant rapport. So he thinks.
Why am I so adamant about this?
For this new agent, I don't believe it cost his office much to send out this mailing to all the accounts. I suspect an in-house department handles the insurance company's mass mailings. Possibly from out-of-state.
You and I don't have that luxury. We're on our own. We have to get enough new or additional business out of our mailings to at least break even for the mailing and printing costs.
If you'e struggling to write a letter of introduction to send out on a mailing-there are a few steps you should consider. And a few steps to avoid. Knowing what to do will help you save money and get more business.
The 10 Dos and Don'ts of an Introduction Letter:
1) Use a postage stamp. My letter arrived in a postage-printed envelope (not metered) and looked so much like junk mail I almost tossed it. Using a stamp or multiple stamps will reduce that cheap, junk mail look.
2) Include a return address. My letter's envelope came with the insurance company's name on the upper left corner and nothing else. With so little effort put forth it conveys that this mailing is really not important after all.
3) Pen a personal salutation. If you have access to a database, merge the recipient's first name in the salutation. People love to be addressed by their name. “Dear Friend, " “Dear Sir, " or “Dear Neighbor" is less inviting.
4) Write in conversational style. Just as if you were talking to a friend over coffee at Denny's. You'll write more from your heart and less from your head.
5) Keep it short, sweet and specific. Don't make promises you can't keep. Telling me you'll help me with my dreams and aspirations as stated in my letter is too broad and vague. I just want to know if you'll fight for me when I have a claim.
6) Get to the point. An introduction letter should make me feel good about me. . . working with you. It should give me confidence in you. It should not totally be about you. Or how wonderful you are. Or how many services you can offer me.
7) Who are you? Tell me a little about you, your family, and your association with your company. Don't try to impress me with your knowledge. I'm not interested.
8) Add highlights. Your office team's names, hours of operation and contact information should stand out. Use underline, italics, CAPS, and bold to add emphasis or to contrast with the rest of the body.
9) Where's the call to action? “Contact us anytime, " is a waste of real estate. You've already given them permission to relax. Anytime you allow your audience to idle-they will. Instead give them a reason to contact you right away.
10) The power of your signature. My letter ended with the agent's name, titles, state license number, address and phone number typed beneath the close. How cold and distant. Where's the connection? Your signature could possibly be the most personal connection you will have with your reader. Don't forget to sign at the bottom.
If you're a business owner interested in sending out any type of letter, please understand that your targeted audience will judge you by your content. If you write a sanitized letter, people will toss it in the pile with their junk mail. But if you write an engaging letter - one that leads them to make a decision - they may end up taking you up on your offer.
Tommy Yan helps business owners and entrepreneurs make more money through direct response marketing. He publishes Tommy's Tease weekly e-zine to inspire people to succeed in business and personal growth. Get your free subscription today at http://www.TommyYan.com .
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