Writing Sales Letters 101

Writing a sales letter or ad, and copywriter too busy to help, or you want to save money?  It’s straight-forward enough to do yourself if you follow these basic guidelines.

(And if you’re still too busy, ask us to write your sales letter for you!)

Sales Letter Headline

Start with an attention-grabbing headline. You have a few seconds at most for this to do its job, so it must strike a chord with your intended audience, by highlighting the main benefit of your product or service, which does at least one of the following…

  • Eases pain
  • Reduces fear
  • Saves effort or time
  • Makes or saves money

Talk to the Prospect About Them & Their Concerns

The rule of thumb is, impress customers with a letter that shows both that you understand their concerns and you have an solution for them – skip the pompous verbosity common in many businesses. Peopel wnat to hear what you can do for them, and not all about you!

That is, you simply must tell customers what you will do to help them, before you bore them with who you are and how your great-great-grandfather started the firm in his garden shed a hundred years ago…

In other words, benefits first. Always, or you’ve lost them already…

So just say what you mean, and what your customer wants or needs to hear.

What they need to hear, and what you need to tell them, is what benefits they will get if they buy your product or service. Reduce this to its basest level – ‘no more back pain’ will sell far more than any explanations of how your painkillers or exercise programmes actually work, at least to start with.

Some people will be interested in detail or need more convincing though, so have the detailed information readily available. Just don’t lead with it.

Use ‘You’

Transfer ownership – that is, use ‘you’ and ‘your’ when you talk about your product and its benefits, so your customer can ‘see’ himself or herself enjoying the benefits rather than vainly aspiring to them – ‘As you relax on your luxury yacht’, for example.

Build desire, by listing benefits, emphasising how easily those benefits can be obtained, and as a general rule by not leading with the price. Unless, perhaps, a new lower price for something you know they’re already sold on is the main benefit.

Build Desire!

Building desire, by listing benefits and transferring ownership?

Always use a Call to Action

Always close with a ‘call to action’ (CTA). Tell them exactly what you want them to do, and make it easy for them to do it.

Give a Deadline

And deadlines? Make them an offer they’d be crazy to refuse. Having sold them on the idea of buying, offer the product to them at a much lower price than usual, but for a strictly limited period. Or offer bonus items at no extra cost, but only if they order now.

Create urgency and they’re more likely to act right away. Countless studies show that if a ‘prospect’ doesn’t act now they almost never act later and the sale is usually lost. So build on their fear of ‘missing out’ by repeating the deadline, limited numbers or whatever.

Make it Easy for Them

Make it very, very easy to act: a simple click on a website or email or a pre-paid envelope in a direct mail piece, and always offer them a cast iron money-back guarantee – the longer the better.

Whole books have been written about how to write sales copy – look out for ours, coming out soon. If you’d like us to email you when it comes, out, just ask us.

We’ve barely scratched the surface here, but we hope it’s given you a good start – and hopefully whetted your appetite to learn more.

Roy & Jacqui

PS. Always include at least one PS which repeats the main benefit(s), repeats the fantastic offer and its urgency, and gives them one final chance to act.

PPS. Need a sales letter done, and don’t want to do it? Ask us today how we can help. Quote CESL12 and we’ll add a bonus to the package (you get to choose from a list).


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