YES! Sales Letters Still Work … That’s a Fact.
Many people have fallen out of love with the traditional sales letter because they think that in this computer age they no longer work.
Let me tell you a story …
In 2011 I saved a builder friend who was hitting on hard times from bankruptcy with a sales letter I wrote for him and I’m sure we had computers in 2011?
I sat down one day with him and I just couldn’t understand why his business was struggling since every month he bought a list of red-hot prospects who were applying for planning permission from the council, a fair sized portion of which were bound to not have their builders in place for the renovation surely?
So I asked him how he was targeting those 3000 prospects and he said when he bought the list one of the terms of the purchase was that he was only allowed to write them one letter … so it had to be sh*t hot!
Unfortunately the letter he was sending out was all about him, about his business, how long he had been in business for, how many staff he employed etc etc
YAWN. AS IF ANYONE CARES!
Now he made one of the “school boy” errors when he sent out a letter … he thought the customer actually cared about him. They don’t.
Customers care about themselves. Finito. End of.
So we changed it all about and made the emphasis on the customer and soothing their nerves about employing a builder. We made it so the prospect was the focus on the sales letter, not the builder.
His quotations went from <1% to over 18%!
Here are our top 10 tips for writing great sales letters:
1 – Make it all about the customer.
As outlined above the entire sales letter must be about the customer not about you as a business. The customer doesn’t care if you go bust or not; they are looking after themselves just like you look after yourself when you go shopping.
2 – Make use of whitespace
If a sales letter looks too heavy to read prospects just won’t bother.
3 – Keep it lively
Contrary to popular belief a sales letter can never be too long only too boring.
It is perfectly ok to have a sales letter 5, 6, 7 or even 10 pages long as long as the contents are interesting to the recipient.
4 – Keep it easy to read
Make sure that the font is clear and you don’t use too many fonts. The days of people being impressed buy hundreds of fonts is long gone so keep your writing clear and easy to read.
5 – Make sure you answer the questions your prospects will have
Too many sales letters avoid answering the questions that the prospects want answered.
That just doesn’t make any sense at all.
If your prospects are interested they want to know the details!
6 – Targeting
Make sure you get the best information possible on who would want to buy your services in the first place.
No sales letter will work if it gets sent to someone who doesn’t want, or can’t afford, the services you provide.
7 – Throw away the rule book.
It is totally ok to start a sentence with because or and.
You really don’t have to be too strict about it! Just make sure your writing is engaging and lively and not offensive to anyone. Let it flow.
8 – Use a good headline
No, don’t use a good headline … use a GREAT headline.
A headline is the most important part of the sales letter by far because it is got to take somebody out of the world they are in and immerse them into your sales letter.
9 – Avoid the lingo
So often I see adverts from carpet cleaning companies that say about the amount of soil lift the machine has or the chemical composition of the products they use as a pre spray.
This is a massive mistake.
Customers care about what the products and services can do for them not how they are done. They care about the results they will receive. If they want to know about the amount of soil left of your machine they will ask!
10 – Highlight salient points
As interesting as you think your sales letter is, some people will still just flick through the pages and see what catches their eye as they are reading quickly through your letter.
You have to make sure that those points you really want to highlight stands out using asterisks, different fonts, different colours, or any other method you can think of to make these points stand out.