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10 Key Tips For Writing Compelling Letters That Sell

Surely no one sends sales letters anymore I hear you think.

There’s no doubt that online marketing has replaced traditional marketing in a lot of people’s minds. And that is a key reason why sales letters or direct marketing is still a very powerful marketing channel.
You see there is so much less direct mail being sent these days that letters now have a very good chance of being read and as long as they are well written and persuasive, direct mail can be very effective and should definitely still be a part of your marketing arsenal.

But your direct mail has to be good. The following tips will give you all the  weaponry you need to write compelling and effective sales letters.

1.The Offer

Direct mail letters that contain a powerful special offer generate on average 400% better response than letters without offers.
A special offer grabs attention and forces the reader to read the headline and then the body copy to see what is being offered.
Hit your reader with your best stuff right at the start. Your task is to engage and interest the reader and your special offer at the start of the letter will do this.

2. Write Directly To Your Reader

The most important words in your letter will be “You” and “Your”.
Your letter mustn’t be about your company but about what you can do for the reader. You are talking directly to the reader and showing how you can solve his or her problems.

3. Benefits Not Features

I think these days we all know that customers buy benefits not features. No one buys a chair because it is ergonomically designed but because the ergonomic design supports your back and gives you a truly relaxing experience. So having listed your feature you then ask the question “which means that”…….. This forces you to articulate the benefit, which is what the prospect will buy.

4. The First Few Lines

Your first few lines must grab your prospect by the eyeballs. Each line has got to interest the reader enough that he goes to the next line. So your special offer starts the process and your benefits then take over. Once your reader is into your letter, with any luck they will read through to the end.

5. How to Get Readers to Turn The Page

If your letter is long enough to go onto a second or third page you must have a technique to ensure they continue reading. Never end your page with a full stop. Instead, try to break the page mid-sentence so that the reader is virtually forced to keep reading.

6. Credibility

If your reader doesn’t know you, you have to establish your credibility. The best way to do that is with social proof or testimonials. Featuring a couple of testimonials demonstrates that people just like your readers have benefited from your product. Give as much detail about the person giving the testimonial as possible to ensure the reader knows it’s genuine and not something you’ve made up.

7.  Your Close

Before closing, go back to your big benefit and major selling points again. As one old copywriter once said, “Tell ‘em what you’re gonna tell ‘em. Tell ‘em. Then tell ‘em what you, told ‘em.”

8. Call To Action

The key point of your sales letter is to make the reader take action. That may be to call you, to visit your website, to download a report etc. Whatever action you want you must tell them very clearly at least once. If you can build in calls to action throughout the letter so much the better.

9. The “P.S.”

Don’t think that direct response copywriters are absent minded just because they always finish with a “P.S.”. It’s just another technique that always seems to work.

Most people read the P.S so even if you missed the reader with your opening statement, you can often pick them up again with a well thought out post script which stresses the key benefits, or the special offer.  In fact, some people read the P.S. before they read the letter.

10. Avoid Looking Corporate

If a letter looks obviously like direct mail, its chances of being opened are reduced. Franking a letter is a dead giveaway. If you put a stamp on a letter it looks much more like a personal communication and will increase the likelihood of it being opened. Taking that one stage further, if you can hand write the envelope, you are almost guaranteed that the letter will be opened, which means that you will have achieved the first objective of direct mail.