How to Write a Sales Letter that Gets Results

A Well-Written Sales Letter Can Make the Sale

Reading a Sales Letter
Reading a Sales Letter. Getty Images

Even in this digital age, a sales letter can convert prospects into customers...if you know how to write one. Learning this skill will help you reach a variety of people. Writing sales letters doesn't have to be limited to direct mail, though. You can write a sales letter for your website, your Email leads and other marketing communications too. Let's begin. 
 

First, Identify Your Target Audience

You have to know exactly who your target audience is before you write your sales letter.

Make a list of your leads and who these people are to get to know your potential customer. If you don't know who you're selling to, you don't know how to sell to them. Understand who's buying your product, who you're sending your sales letter to and gear your sales letter directly to them.
 

Know Your Customer by Name

Take the time to address your customers by name on the outside of the envelope and in your sales letter as well. A letter that reads, "Dear Mrs. Johnson," says a lot more to your lead than one that reads, "Dear Potential Customer" or "Dear Sir/Madam."


Write a Powerful, Engaging Headline

A well-written headline sets the stage for an effective sales letter. You can make it stand out by centering it, making the font large, bold, or in a bright color. Just make sure you choose the right words to grab your customer's attention right from the start. A 100 point headline in bold, red font still has to be written well or your potential customer will stop reading.


 

Craft an Intriguing Introduction

The introduction should NOT be bland or pedestrian. This is usually where you make or break the chance of a sale, so make it count. Your intro may ask a question. It may pose a problem scenario and then you provide the solution. Just make sure your introduction doesn't give the customer an easy way out.

For example, if you're using a question as an introduction, make sure the customer can't simply answer with a, "no." If you ask a yes or no question, you can easily lose your customer because they don't have the problem you've posed in your question. They stop reading and your letter goes in the trash can.
 

Elaborate You Sales Message Using Subheads

Write your sales letter's subheads so that they help break up the text of your letter into sections. You don't want to drone on for three pages filling the paper with word after word. Use subheads to sum up each section, invite the reader into that section and, most important, keep them reading your sales letter all the way to the end.
 

You Should be Constantly Connecting with the Customer

Connect with your potential customer as often as you can by using a personal, friendly tone. Use this same tone throughout your sales letter. Identify with the customer's problem and provide them with the solution. By writing the letter as if the customer is your friend, your sales letter makes more of an impact than a letter that feels like a stuffy company trying to get a customer to buy something.

 

Pose a Problem, BUT ALWAYS Give the Solution

How will customers know they need your product if they don't even know they have a problem you can fix?

Write your sales letter from the customer's point of view. Even if someone is a master seamstress and you're selling a glue that hems clothes in minutes, make every customer feel they can't live without your product. In this example, you have the opportunity to reach people who rip their pocket or need a quick hem without having a lot of time to fix the problem. Your product helps them do just that, no matter what their sewing experience level. Just using a little of your special glue helps get them on their way.

State the Features and Benefits...Again and Again

You've posed the problem and given the customer the solution. Don't stop now. Keep stating the benefits and features of your product. If you don't keep the momentum going now, your sales letter will lose steam and not help move your customer to the end of the sales letter. Why is your product better? How will it directly help the customer?
 

Use Bullet Points for Easy Comprehension 

When stating facts about your product, features, benefits, etc., it can be easy to get caught in a trap of using sentence after sentence as an explanation.

Go back to the old, "Keep It Simple Stupid," philosophy. Use bullet points instead of long, boring sentences. Bullets also help break up the page visually, which also makes your sales letter more inviting to your customers.
 

Customer Testimonials are Very Persuasive

If you have customer testimonials, they can be a great sales tool. They make you and your product credible while helping your customers state exactly what it is they like about your product. Use testimonials sparingly and shorten them up. Some of the most powerful testimonials are the shortest in length. If a testimonial is too long, trim it because you don't want to lose your prospect in a long, drawn out testimonial.

 

Offer an Incentive to Help Close the Sale

A free trial, no risk-obligation or a special gift are just some of the incentives you can use to generate interest in your product. Using an incentive gives your sales letter more mileage with the customer because you're offering them something just for that select group of people receiving your letter.

 

Make Good Use of Your Call to Action

Your call to action tells customers what you want them to do. Call now! Hurry before this offer ends! This offer is not available in stores. Get a free upgrade just for calling. Use your call to action to direct customers to the next move, getting them one step closer to the sale.


 

Don't Forget to Add a P.S.

A P.S. is a golden nugget you should use in your sales letter. You can use the P.S. for important information you want to save until the very end, remind people that an offer will end on a certain date or use it to reveal other pertinent information you want to leave people with as a final thought. Many times, people who may be skimming your sales letter will read the P.S. If it's strong and persuasive enough, they may decide to read the entire letter when they might not otherwise.

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