Sales letter has become an integral part of marketing, and typically takes the form of an email or webpage.
A sales letter is often, but not exclusively, the last stage of the sales process before the customer places an order, and is designed to ensure that the prospect is committed to becoming a customer.
Sales letters some time could bring fortune if written well, as high as 2 billion dollars. Writing an Effective Sales Letter requires something out of the ordinary.
Writing a Sales letter that is persuasive, informative, delivers the message is very important to make sales.
32 pro tips for effective sales letter writing will help you to write a great sales letter.
Write your sales letter with an individual in mind.
Go ahead and pick out someone, a real person, to write your sales letter to. It doesn’t matter if it is the grandma or your next-door neighbor or your cat. Write your sales letter just like you are writing it to them personally.
Why? Because when your potential customer reads, it then it will seem personal, almost like you wrote it with them in mind.
Too often, sales letters are written as if they were going to be read to an audience rather than one person. Keep your sales letters personal, because one person at a time is going to read them.
Use an illustration to get your point across
In my sales letters, I have told stories about my car stalling on the side of the road to illustrate the idea that we must constantly add the fuel of advertising to keep our businesses running.
I have compared the hype of easily making millions online to the chances of me riding bareback across Montana on a grizzly bear.
Leads have read of how getting to the top of an oak tree relates to aggressively marketing online. People love a good story that pounds home a solid message.
Tell stories that illustrate a point you are trying to make. Emphasize a benefit by sharing an account from the “real world.” It effectively creates interest and further establishes the point.
Create an interest in the reader from the very first line
Your first line of the sales letter should immediately create a desire in the reader to want to know more. Go back to the beginning of this article.
The first words were, “It’s true.” I can guarantee you that either consciously or subconsciously, you thought, “What’s true?” Immediately, your mind wanted to know what I was talking about.
Before you even knew it, you were right here, 8 paragraphs into this article. Carefully craft your first line. If you can immediately get them wanting to know more, you’ve got a winner.
People spend a lot of time reading bulleted lists. They often reread them over and over. Use bulleted lists to stress the benefits of your product or service, to spell out exactly what is included in your offer.
Use extra space in between each bullet to really highlight each line and create a sense of more length to the list.
Launch into a bullet list immediately
Shortly after your opening line, immediately give the reader a bullet list of benefits to absorb. Hit them with your best shot. Pull out the big guns and stress “just a few of” the most important things the reader will discover.
By offering a killer list early in your sales letter, you will automatically create a desire in the reader to continue through your ad copy.
After all, if they are already interested in the first list of benefits, they will certainly be open to finding out even more reasons why your product or service will aid them.
Just let it all flow out.
Write down everything that enters your mind as you are writing your sales letter.
You can edit it later. If you just sit and start writing everything you know about your product or service and how it will benefit your customer, you will be amazed at how much information floods your mind. Write it ALL down.
Then read through it — you’ll be able to add a lot more detail to many of the points. Edit it after you have exhausted all of your ideas.
Make your sales letter personally.
Make sure that the words “you” and “your” are at least 4:1 over “I” and “my.”
Your ad copy must be written about your customer, not yourself. I’m not sure how the old advertising adage goes, but it’s something like this, “I don’t care a thing about your lawnmower; I just care about my lawn.” Leads aren’t interested in you or your products; they are interested in themselves and their wants and needs.
When you are finished with your sales letter and have uploaded it to a test web page, run a check at keywordcount.com and see what the ratio between “you” and “your” versus references to “I,” “me,” “my,” etc. It’s a free service. Make sure it’s at least 4:1 in favor of the customer.
Write as you speak
Forget all of those rules that your grammar teacher taught you. Write your sales letters in everyday language, just as you would talk in person. Don’t be afraid to begin sentences with “And” or “Because.”
Don’t worry about ending a sentence with a preposition. Write as you speak. Your sales letter isn’t the great American novel, so don’t write it like you are Ernest Hemingway.
Use short paragraphs consisting of 2-4 sentences each.
Long copy works, but long paragraphs do not. Use short paragraphs that lead to the next paragraph. Don’t be afraid to use short sentences.
Like this one. Or this. See what I mean? Shorter paragraphs keep the interest of the reader. Longer paragraphs cause eyestrain and often force the reader to get distracted.
Stress the benefits, not the features
Again, readers want the burning question answered, “What’s in it for me?” What need is it going to meet? What wants is it going to fill? How is your product or service going to be of value or benefit to the reader?
Spell it out. Don’t focus on the features of your product or service, but rather how those features will add value to the life of your reader.
If you are selling automobile tires, you may very well have the largest assortment of tires in the world, but who cares? I don’t care about your selection. But, I do care about keeping my 3- month old baby girl safe while we are traveling.
So, instead; of focusing on your selection, you focus on the fact that my baby girl can be kept safe because you have a tire that will fit my car.
You’re not selling tires, and you’re selling safety for my family. Stress the benefits, not the features.
Keep the reader interested.
Some sales letters read like they are a manual trying to explain to me how I can perform some complicated surgery on my wife. They are filled with words and phrases that I need a dictionary to understand.
Unless you are writing to a very targeted audience, avoid using technical language that many readers might not understand. Keep it simple, using words, language, and information that are easy to understand and follow.
Target your sales letter
When you are finished with your final draft of the sales letter, target it to a specific audience.
If you are selling a “work at home” product, then rewrite the sales letter by adding words in the headlines and ad copy that are targeted towards women who are homemakers.
Then, rewrite the same sales letter and target it to college students. Write another letter targeting senior citizens. Still, another could be written to high school teachers wanting to earn extra income during summer vacation.
The possibilities are endless. All you need to do is add a few words here and there in your ad copy to make it appear that your product or service is specifically designed for a target audience.
“Work only 5 hours a week,” would become “College Students, work only 5 hours a week.” Your sales letter is now targeted. Upload all of the sales letters to separate pages on your website (you could easily target 100’s of groups).
Then, simply advertise the targeted pages in targeted mediums. You could advertise the “College Students” page in a campus ezine. The “Senior Citizens” page could be advertised on a retirement community message board.
By creating these targeted sales letters, you can open up dozens of new groups to sell your existing product to. And, in their eyes, it looks like the product was a match made for them.
Make your ad copy easy to follow.
Use short sentences and paragraphs. Break up the sales letter with attention-grabbing headlines that lead into the next paragraph.
One thing that I have always found to work very well in sales letters is to use a pause. Start the sentence on one line, leaving the reader wanting to know more, and then finishing up on the next line.
Also, if you are going to use a sales letter that continues on several different pages of your website, use a catchy hook line at the end of each page to keep them clicking. “Let’s get you started down the road to success, shall we? CLICK HERE to continue.”
Use similes and metaphors for effect.
When the customer purchases your product, they will generate “a flood of traffic that would make Noah start building another ark.”
If they do not order today, then they will “feel like a cat that lets the mouse get away.” Use words to create a picture in the readers’ minds.
When you think of Superman, what comes to mind? Immediately, we remember that he is “faster than a speeding bullet.” “More powerful than a locomotive.” “Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.” See how word pictures stick in our minds?
Focus on one product or service
Don’t try to sell your customer with multiple products at the same time. It only confuses the reader.
Keep your ad copy directed at one specific product or service. Then, use other products and services as back-end products.
Make it stand out
Don’t kid yourself. There are hundreds, maybe thousands out there on the web, doing the same thing you are doing. How will you stand out from the crowd? Your sales letter must inject personality.
It must breathe originality. Your product or service is different. It’s not like all of the rest. It is unique. Right? Your sales letter must separate you from the competition. It must create a feeling of “You won’t find this anywhere else.”
“Earn $54,000 in the next 24 hours!!!!!” Delete. Good grief, do they think I am an idiot or something?
Get real. Don’t make outrageous claims that are not the truth. You’ll ruin your reputation. Let me tell you a simple universal fact that cannot be reversed.
Once you have been branded a liar, you will NEVER be anything but a liar.
It doesn’t matter if you launch the most respectable, honest business available anywhere; people will always have doubts because they remember the crazy stuff you’ve said before. Be believable. Don’t exaggerate, mislead, stretch, or distort the truth.
Don’t generalize your information, but rather be EXACT. Instead of “over 100 tips for losing weight,” use “124 tips for losing weight.”
By generalizing information, it creates doubt and questions in the reader’s mind. “What am I getting here? Does he even know?”
When you use specific information, the reader begins to think, “This person must have counted. I know exactly what really I can expect.”
“Platitudes and generalities roll off the human understanding like water from a duck,” wrote Claude Hopkins in his classic book “Scientific Advertising.” “They leave no impression whatsoever.”
Tell the reader everything they would want to know about your product or service. Answer all of their questions, anything they would want to consider before making a purchase. Think about it from their point of view.
Ask yourself, “Why wouldn’t I buy this?” Then, address that in your sales letter. Remove anything that would keep the reader from making the purchase.
Use testimonials to boost your sales.
Share actual excerpts from what your current customers are saying about your product or service. Many websites have an entire section or even a separate page that has endorsements and compliments listed.
Satisfied customers remove some of the doubts in the mind of the reader. “If these people have found a lot of value and benefit in the product, then I probably will too.” Especially effective are testimonials from respected, well-known “authorities” within your target field.
Use headlines over and over throughout the sales letter.
A headline isn’t just relegated to the beginning of your ad copy. Use them frequently -but don’t overuse them. A well-placed headline re-grabs the reader’s attention, brings them deeper into the letter, and readies them for the next paragraph.
You will want to spend as much time working on your headlines as you do the entire sales letter. They are that important.
Avoid asking stupid questions.
“Wouldn’t you like to make $1,000,000 a year?” “Doesn’t that sound great?” “Would you like to be as successful as I am?”
Avoid any question that insults the intelligence of your reader or makes them feel like they are inferior.
Offer a freebie even if the customer doesn’t buy
If the customer decides he or she isn’t going to make a purchase, then you want to follow-up with them later to try to influence them to buy in the future.
By offering a free item, you can request their email address to obtain the freebie. By doing this, you can now follow-up with the customer for a potential future sale.
Additionally, you can continue the sales process by having your ad copy, banners, flyers, etc. within the free item. And, of course, if your free item is a high quality, useful product or service which impresses the customer, they probably will be back as a customer soon.
Use bonuses to overwhelm the reader.
One of the things that I have found very effective in writing sales letters is to include bonus items that Out-Value the actual product I am offering.
Ginsu made this one famous. They were selling a set of steak knives, but before the commercial was finished, you had so many bonus items on the table, it was hard to refuse.
Make sure you provide quality bonuses and not some worthless, outdated junk that damages the credibility of your main offer.
Use connective phrases like “But wait, there’s more” and “But that’s not all”.
These phrases effectively lead the reader from one paragraph to the next, particularly when the next paragraph is a bullet list of benefits, or leads to bonus items.
Again, the idea is More and More value and benefits to the reader.
Always include a deadline.
By including a deadline, you create a sense of urgency in the mind of the customer. “If I don’t order within 24 hours, then I won’t get the bonuses.” “Oh no, there are only ten items remaining, I’ve got to hurry.”
Let the customer know what they will be missing out on if they don’t make the deadline.
Remember, they won’t miss out on your products or bonuses, and they will miss out on all of the benefits of your products. Deadlines are very effective. Every sales letter should have one.
Tell them exactly how to order
Be clear as to the order process. Point them towards the order link. Tell them what methods you offer. (I.E., credit cards, checks, etc.)
Make this process as simple and clear as it can be. If it takes more than two steps, most people won’t continue.
Explain when the product will be delivered
How quickly will the order be processed? When will the order be available? Let the customer know exactly what they can expect when they place their order.
The more specific you can be here, the better. Let them know that you have a system in place. “Operators are standing by.” Their order will be handled properly. Tell them.
Offer a money-back guarantee.
Take away their last reason to hold back. Offer a “no questions asked” 30-day guarantee. Most people may not realize this, but in most cases, it’s the law of the land.
You are required to give them their money back if they are not satisfied with the product or service. Since it’s the law anyway, why not make it a benefit. Let them know that they are purchasing your product or service Risk-Fres.
Instruct them to respond immediately
Many people just need to read those words, “Act Now!” “Order today!” “Click Here to Instantly Place Your Order.” You’ve got them this far, now tell them what you want them to do.
Get them to “Act Fast!” Have you ever heard a mail order commercial on television that didn’t prompt the viewer to order the right way?
Include a postscript
People will always read the P.S. Always. P.S. is one of the most important parts of your sales letter.
Because in many cases, the visitor at your website will scroll immediately down to the end of your page to see how much it is going to cost. A P.S. is a perfect place to recap your offer, so when they see your price tag, they will also see a very detailed description of what they will receive for their money.
Use your P.S. to restate your offer in detail.
Include a second postscript
You better believe if they read the first P.S., they will read a P.P.S. Use this postscript to remind them of the deadline or offer another bonus or point out some compelling factor that would make them want to order. I guarantee you they will read it.
Follow these 32 tips and see your sales letters bring more customers to your store. Doing some market research is important as it will help you shape your marketing plan.