As a copywriter and sales letter writer I have many years of experience of writing sales letters, so here are my four top tips on writing a sales letter that does what it says on the tin – sells!
1. Don’t fool around
Many people feel that the best way to write a good sales letter is to grab the attention first and worry about what you actually need to say later – this is usually achieved through an eye-catching and wholly artificial headline, such as:
Free champagne for all!
This is normally followed by a ‘humorous’ let-down, such as:
‘Actually I haven’t got any champagne (and if I had I wouldn’t give it away!) but now I’ve got your attention let me tell you about the incredible offers at the Bowwowwow pet superstore…’
Any sales letter writer worth his or her salt will tell you that this approach is idiotic. Half of it works – the title grabs the attention and encourages further reading – but the next step is the reader feeling annoyance at being fooled, followed by the letter being screwed up and hurled into a bin before the first sentence is finished.
Don’t do it!
2. Beef up the benefits
Very early on in a sales letter – in the title if you have one or the first paragraph – you need to answer the question every single reader is subconsciously asking – ‘What’s in it for me?’.Your letter must focus on the benefits the reader will gain from using your service or buying your products.
You need to ask yourself why someone may want to buy into what you are offering – is it very competitive in terms of price? Is it a unique concept? Is it a very luxurious product? In marketing terms, this is known as a USP (Unique Selling Point) and the copy needs to concentrate on this and push home the advantages of what you are trying to sell.
3. Focus on the reader
You need to remember that this letter is not about the seller, it is about the buyer, so avoid words like ‘we’ or ‘I’ and replace them with ‘you’ or ‘your’. It may be a subtle difference but it is a vital one. Take this example:
‘At the Sand Dunes Resort we have an award-winning links golf course as well as a Michelin starred restaurant serving sumptuous food, whilst incredible leisure facilities are available in our health club and spa.’
Now compare it with this:
‘At the Sand Dunes Resort you can play golf on an award-winning links course, enjoy a meal you will never forget in our Michelin-starred restaurant, or simply relax and let yourself unwind in the health club and spa.’
This second example engages much more effectively – anybody reading it can immediately imagine themselves being at the resort, rather than just reading about how wonderful it is.
4. Complete with a call to action
At the end of your sales letter, you want the reader to actually do something – pick up the phone, look at your website or visit your premises. You need to invite them to do this using what is known as a call to action. For example:
‘To find out more about this incredible opportunity call today on 123 4567 or visit the website at…..’
If you have a special offer, even better – include the details and make it time specific, which gives the reader extra encouragement to take action. e.g.:
You can visit the showroom at Garner Grove, Whitfordley to see our fabulous range – with 15% off all purchases until the end of August don’t delay, call in today!
Follow these tips and you are well on the way to writing a sales letter that will boost both your profile and your profits!
Martin Sayers – independent UK copywriter and sales letter writer
Find out more about copywriting and sales letter writing at http://www.mscopy.co.uk
Cambridge based copywriter and sales letter writer Martin Sayers is one of the UK’s top copywriters and runs his own business – MSCopy – that supplies writing services such as web copy, sales letters, press releases, magazine-ready articles and ghost-written columns.