How to Write a Sales Letter
And sell a white elephant.
Do you wish to learn how to write a sales letter that sells? The following guide contains all necessary information you may need for creating a killer sales letter. Don’t let your letter end up in the spam section!
Definition of a Sales Letter
A sales letter is a kind of business letter aimed to interest and persuade a reader to buy a particular product or service. In the technological era, this letter is usually sent by email. At the same time, for particular goods and services, a sales letter sent by regular mail may work better than by email. A well-written sales letter may be an effective and inexpensive tool to reach your target audience.
A sales letter can be related to persuasive writing, as you need to persuade the reader to conduct a certain action (to buy). Many people write boring sales letters, as they approach it from the wrong angle. If you want to turn a spam email into a sales letter, you need to learn how to write a good sales letter.
How to Make a Sales Letter: Purpose of Writing a Sales Letter
Initially, a sales letter may serve a great list of purposes:
- Conduct a direct sale to a new or potential customer.
- Give an additional discount to a current customer to improve loyalty.
- Introduce a new product or service to an audience.
- Advertise a product or service and create goodwill.
- Propose an additional offer for the customer who has already conducted a purchase.
- Announce a product update.
- Suggest a list of holiday gift ideas for friends, family, etc.
- Remind the customers who have canceled their order or haven’t bought anything for a long period of time about your company.
- Invite someone to celebrate the company’s anniversary.
All the listed purposes are aimed at improving sales for your company. Sometimes, a good sales letter is a chain of letters that will lead the customer to purchase. There is a unified strategy for sales letters with different content:
- The first three or more letters should be just content. You need to introduce your products, show your expertise in the niche, and gain the customer’s loyalty.
- The next letter should be a hidden sales letter. Here you need not only to list the products you propose, but also briefly tell about their peculiarities and benefits for the customer.
- The final letter will be a direct sales letter. It should be a carefully crafted attractive offer for the particular customer.
This strategy can be applied to any product or service. You can divide your customers into groups and create sales letters according to the specifications of each group. This will help you create a personal approach and save your time.
How to Prepare for Writing a Sales Cover Letter
Firstly, you need to define your goal. Think about what the reader should do after reading your letter. Push the order button? Visit your website? Contact your manager? Use a trial version? Visit one of your stores and get a present? Don’t choose more than two goals for one letter. It will be better to choose one goal and clearly present it in the letter. For example, don’t ask for membership if you want the reader to visit your store for a new collection. Your reader may be confused and probably skip all of your offers.
Secondly, find out who your reader is. Unfortunately, you need to accept the truth – your reader doesn’t sit and wait for your letter. Many people are irritated by sales letters. So, you need to be careful with your audience. Think about the regularity of your emails and what may be acceptable for your audience.
Find out more about their gender, age, interests, and problems. Don’t go crazy; there is no need to hire a research company or a specialist to do it. Reddit and Quora are great places to make preliminary research of your prospective customers.
One of the keys to a successful sales letter is to appeal to emotions. Define your client’s hopes and dreams, pains and fears, and barriers and uncertainties. Remember that you are writing for people, not for an empty space – stay humane.
Thirdly, think about the reasons why the reader won’t do the proposed action. Put yourself in the reader’s shoes and find out what will stop them. Make sure that your offer will contain the explanation of why your product is good.
Fourthly, think about the length. A sales letter may be up to eight pages long. The length will depend on many things: your product, the target market, and the goal of your letter. Keep in mind that the reader will read the letter as long as you grab their attention. Sometimes, two sentences may be enough to force the reader to put the letter into the trash. For a simple lead-generation project, one page will be enough, while a complex service with many features may need a more lengthy letter.
And at last, read as many examples of sales letters as you can. Find examples over the internet, check out the samples on our website, or just pay attention to sales letters you receive in your email. You should learn to distinguish between poor and well-written sales letters at first sight.
10 Questions to Ask Before Writing Sales Letters That Sell
- What do you want from the reader?
- Who are the people you will be writing to?
- What makes your product special?
- What are you offering them?
- Why is it important to these people?
- What should they do if they are interested?
- What will interest them?
- What are the benefits of your product?
- Why might your prospective audience say no?
After you find the answers to these questions, you can proceed to the steps on how to write a sell letter.
Structure of an Effective Sales Letter
The structure of sales letters may differ from one case to another. However, there is a basic structure of a sales letter that you can try out in practice:
- Logo. Choose a company logo or any image associated with your brand.
- Headline (offer). It should be placed at the top of your letter, so the reader will easily understand the aim of the letter.
- Informational blocks. Here you can place descriptions of the proposed products or services.
- Call to action or a button that asks the reader to make an action. Usually it is about visiting a website or conducting a purchase of the chosen item.
- Footer. Here you need to place contact information, links to your social media profiles, and an “unsubscribe” button.
How to Write a Sales Letter to a Potential Client: Writing Steps
1. Create a headline.
How to start a sales letter? The first thing the reader should see is an attention-grabbing headline. The main job of a headline is to make the reader curious about the content. Create a headline that appeals to the customer’s needs or interests, or propose an easy solution to their problem. The headline shouldn’t be wordy. Limit your text to thirty words. Make a list of possible headlines and pick the best.
For example, when selling a new vacuum cleaner robot you can state, “Sick of a dirty floor? Let a little helper clean it for you!” Here you appeal to the idea of convenience.
2. Write one or more informational blocks.
First, you need to make a description of the offer that you have mentioned in the headline. Appeal to the customer’s pain and provide a solution. Identify what problems your product or service can solve and how. You can concentrate on one solution or write about everything. Make your text interesting and engaging. You can try out the following hooks:
- Explain how you can help them reach their dream. Example: “You can become more productive with one single application.”
- Appeal to their fears and pains. Example: “Why do you still spend so much money on the internet?”
- Share your own discovery that can even be shocking. Example: “I have realized that passive income is a key to wealth.”
- Tell a breathtaking story. Example: “A teenage girl created a huge start up on her own.”
Think about the offer from the perspective of benefits that may engage the reader. List as many benefits as you can – the person that is interested in your product will read it.
Provide additional information that may be helpful for the reader. How do your products differ from others? Why is it better to purchase from you? Use bullet points to make your text easy to read. Mention such points as cost, savings, and other benefits.
3. Prove your credibility.
If it is acceptable, share a positive experience from previous customers. If your company gives such guarantees as a money-back guarantee, free returns, or any others – mention it in your letter.
4. Insert a call to action.
If you stated everything in the previous sections, then it’s time to ask the reader to act in a certain way: make an order, come into your store, etc. It is better to combine the call to action with offering a free gift, free trial, price discount, etc.
5. End your letter with a postscript (P. S.).
These words should fire up the reader’s interest in the product and make the purchase right now. For example, you can tell that the discount will last till the end of the week, or the quantity of items is limited.
6. Add social media links to your email.
Usually, this block is placed at the bottom of the letter. You can ask readers to visit your social media page or share your letter with friends. Encourage people to click on the link.
7. Edit and proofread the text.
No matter if you will be printing the letter on paper or sending it by email, it will be hard (or even impossible) to make any changes to the text. As soon as you will have the first draft, make sure that the text doesn’t contain any grammar, punctuation, or stylistic mistakes.
8. Think about the design and layout.
Images and text should come together as a whole. Make sure that the images are of good quality and compliment the text. Also, make sure that the letter is not large and won’t take too much space in the reader’s email box. The letter format should display equally on all devices.
Sales Letter Example
Theory is good, but a sales letter example by our expert will help you understand the theory better. Look at the example below and consider the points that the author has highlighted in the text. You can also check other sales letter templates on our website for more information.
Click on the image to view it in the full size.
Useful Tips for Writing a Sales Letter to Sell Your Product
- Learn everything about your product or service.
- Create an original, bright, informative headline to grab the reader’s attention.
- Write short sentences and paragraphs which are easy to read and comprehend.
- Make sure that your email looks appealing. It will be better to use a corporate email or your own gmail account.
- Be adaptable. Some companies successfully use video sales letters to grab the reader’s attention.
- Experiment. Write a cold call sales letter, make a personalized letter for each customer, etc. Look at what approach works better.
- Pay attention to the letter design. Include relevant pictures only.
- Use bullet point format to highlight important details.
- Tell a short story to create a personal connection and make the letter memorable.
- Finish the letter with “P. S.” Sometimes it is the most read part of the sales letter.
- Pay attention to the customer’s name – spell it correctly.
- Don’t write too much. Get to essential information immediately.
- Avoid negative language (“don’t,” “no,” etc.) and passive voice.
- Don’t provide information that is not related to the product you offer.
- Don’t overuse capital letters.
Features of a well-written sales letter:
- Has an attractive headline.
- Clearly demonstrates how the customer will benefit from the purchase.
- Contains a call to action.
- Has link(s) to social networks, websites, etc.
- Has an “unsubscribe” button.
How often do you receive spam in your email? Were there any emails that compelled you to read them? You can see that creating a good sales letter becomes more and more complex. Finding the right words and defining the right audience is the key for a successful sales letter. We hope that you now know how to write a sales letter to a potential client. Our guide will help you with writing a winning sales letter, pleasing your readers with engaging content, and improving sales!
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