How to write killer sales letters!

Firstly when I say killer, I don’t mean in the Oscar Pistorius sense. That would be bad!

One thing I’ve learnt over the last 12 months is that most sales copy, whether it be letters, emails or website text is that that it’s dull and boring. If you send out sales letters or emails and you want them to be read and actioned upon.

Your headline has to be imaginative.  If you send out a monthly eNewsletter avoid calling it “This Months Newsletter”, it will most likely be deleted.

It helps if your headline is topical as well. The night Felix Baumgartner lept from Space I drafted a sales email and titled it “The man who fell from Space” and the open rate was well over 50%. The content also needs to be relevant to the intended reader.

This is the order a letter/email should follow:

  • Your photo top right
  • Headline
  • Bullets/lists to break up the body text
  • Testimonial (with persons name, position and company preferably with a photo)
  • Offer
  • Deadline
  • Guarantee
  • Clear single call to action
  • Multiple ways to respond
  • Your logo at the bottom (where it belongs)
  • PS Don’t forget to the PS

You may also want to incorporate  copy scribbles, photo’s or cartoons to liven it up and break up the text.

Always make it personal and avoid technical, corporate bollocks!

One clever technique is to use a Dual Readership Path (if you don’t know what this is google it) This draws attention to the key points of your letter when it’s initially skim read.

If you are sending letters in the post (which nobody is now doing and is invisible to your competition, hint,hint!) use coloured envelopes and have a hand written address on it to give it more chance of not ending up with the unread junk mail!

PS if you want to see an example of a letter I have done, I’m happy to share a template

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6 thoughts on “How to write killer sales letters!

  • Interesting article but cant help feeling the whole paper letter thing is outdated now, does it really work for you ? All my new business activity is now done via email, social networking and face to face …I tend to ditch letters out of principal, maybe its just me ?

    Reply
  • Hi Nic, I did mention that this can be for email marketing. You should never just have one marketing channel, you should have loads.

    Email marketing is cheap but how many people read them?
    If you get a 30% open rate you’re doing well. Most have dull headlines and get deleted straight away.

    Social media is great but everyone can see what you’re doing.

    Direct mail is the most expensive way but done well the most effective. Your competition can’t see it for a start! Use of coloured envelopes, ‘lumpy’ mail and various techniques will get you closer to a 100% open rate.

    I would split test my methods, use a combination of email and letter and see what works best and use call tracking numbers so I know what comes from where.

    Surely the whole purpose of this is to get face to face meetings, the whole purpose of any marketing is to get in front of people unless you have them queuing outside your office on the off chance you need to do some form of marketing to get them there.

    Reply
  • Interesting article but cant help feeling the whole paper letter thing is outdated now, does it really work for you ? All my new business activity is now done via email, social networking and face to face …I tend to ditch letters out of principal, maybe its just me ?

    Reply
  • Hi Nic, I did mention that this can be for email marketing. You should never just have one marketing channel, you should have loads.

    Email marketing is cheap but how many people read them?
    If you get a 30% open rate you’re doing well. Most have dull headlines and get deleted straight away.

    Social media is great but everyone can see what you’re doing.

    Direct mail is the most expensive way but done well the most effective. Your competition can’t see it for a start! Use of coloured envelopes, ‘lumpy’ mail and various techniques will get you closer to a 100% open rate.

    I would split test my methods, use a combination of email and letter and see what works best and use call tracking numbers so I know what comes from where.

    Surely the whole purpose of this is to get face to face meetings, the whole purpose of any marketing is to get in front of people unless you have them queuing outside your office on the off chance you need to do some form of marketing to get them there.

    Reply

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