How to write a sales letter that gets results

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Sales letters have long been an effective way to win new customers and boost turnover. Whether sent by traditional mail or electronically, well-crafted letters can grab and hold the attention of readers, and generate a high level of response, meaning more business for the sender.

Here are our essential tips for writing an outstanding sales letter.

Create a compelling headline. Whether the recipient of your letter will take the time to read it is often down to the handful of words in the headline. If it’s boring or irrelevant, they’ll probably ignore it and move on.

Writing an almost irresistible headline takes time and requires you to understand your audience and their motivations. Effective headlines address the reader directly.

Think about which is more likely to keep your interest: “We offer cheap telephone deals” or “Are you paying too much for your telephone calls?” Probably the latter.

In addition to being aimed at the reader, a good headline also hints strongly at a promise. In this case, there’s a clear suggestion that the letter contains valuable information about cutting phone bills.

Make a clear offer. To be effective, the body of your sales letter needs to spell out the benefits of the product you’re promoting, and how your customer can obtain these benefits.

Include a testimonial. Satisfied customers make an excellent sales team, because their words of endorsement carry significant value. Your letter may be packed with good reasons for the reader to respond to it, but the words of another customer can often make a huge difference in your favour.

Highlight what your reader will miss out on. Part of an effective sales message involves highlighting how the reader’s quality of life will be diminished without your product. It may be that they could be paying more than they need to if they buy from someone else, or they’ll be one step behind their competitors if they don’t use your service.

Spell out what to do next. You want the reader of your sales letter or email to act on it immediately, before they have time to forget the positive messages they’ve just taken in. Make it very easy for them to know what action they need to take in response, and also make it very easy for them to do it.

Perhaps you want them to pick up the phone or click on a link. Tell them what to do and ensure that there’s someone waiting to answer their call, or that the link takes them to a page with the information that you want them to see. For your sales letter to get results you need to make it really easy for the reader to become a customer.

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