The Top Ten Characteristics of a Good Sales Letter
With today’s rapidly crowding global market, your product or service will need more publicity and marketing so that your unique voice can be heard. With the thousands of advertisements on television, the thousands of posters plastered on both city and town walls, and the thousands of sales people all jostling each other to catch a prospective customer’s attention, is there still an alternative marketing method that could ensure your commercial success?
Believe it or not, the crowded global market can work both to your advantage and disadvantage. With more products and services like yours on the market, you will have to contend with competition, not to mention often hard sell marketing tactics from your more financially equipped rivals. Customers, however, are already saturated with hard sell marketing tactics – such strategies tend to make companies appear impersonal, and customers may feel alienated. More than ever, you will need a marketing strategy that will show customers that you care for their needs and wants.
A good sales letter is a viable strategy that you may want to try out. Whether you will send the sales letter through snail mail or email, a sales letter can outline the outstanding characteristics of your company, the products or services that you are offering, and incentives that may come with purchasing your products or services. A sales letter, moreover, is addressed to individual prospective customers. This personalized form of marketing can make customers feel special; if done properly, a good sales letter can earn you customers and widen your market base.
Before you set to work writing your sales letter, take note of these characteristics of a good sales letter.
o A good sales letter should catch attention even before it is opened. Catchphrases such as “Know how to get great discounts when you buy your PC” or “Save hundreds of dollars on your grocery shopping now!” can attract customers. Remember, your envelope has to be opened before you can make any prospective sale, so make sure that your letter is attractive enough not to be placed in the trash bin before it is even read.
o Some sales letters will contain jokes, puns, or clever language. Although this may make you appear playful, it will also undermine your credibility before customers who know nothing about you. The simpler your language is, the easier your letter is to read.
o A good sales letter should be personal. Address your letter directly to the recipient, and address the person by name throughout the letter. Avoid “Dear Sir or Madame” or “To whom it might concern.” Customers need to know that you care before they care about what you know.
o Email is not necessarily the best way to send a sales letter. Some sales letters are often placed automatically in the spam folder, where they can be ignored, and then disposed of without even being read. Because snail mail is becoming rare, an attractive sales letter can catch a prospective customer’s eye.
o A good sales letter should establish a company’s credibility. Do not be afraid to use testimonials from your satisfied customers, or quotes from famous people who may have used your product or service. However, do not overdo it: one or two quotes will be enough, three will be hard sell, four will be annoying, and anything more than that will make you appear either desperate or lying.
o A good sales letter cannot stand on its own – you should have not only good products and services, but incentives as well. If you offer incentives for buying your product or service, state them explicitly. Studies show that discounts as low as ten percent, and all kinds of free things appeal to customers, and make them want to buy a product or take advantage of a service.
o A good sales letter should not only sound good but look good as well. Use large fonts, and append your company banner or a picture of your company headquarters if you can. If you feel that this is not appropriate, then add pictures of your products, along with captions. Print your sales letter on high quality paper, and make sure that your pictures come out clear and crisp. A sales letter on rough paper, with low quality ink, will not speak well of your company no matter how good your products and services are.
o Provide contact information, especially phone numbers and emails. Be ready, moreover, to respond to each question your prospective customers will put forth.
o Avoid jargon and acronyms. Remember, you have to make your prospective customers understand you. If they do not understand any part of your letter, they will simply throw it away.
o Enclose brochures with your sales letter, along with tips that the customer might be able to use. For instance, if you are selling luxury cars, you can include the top ten tips when choosing car upholstery. Make customers feel that you care for them, and they will flock to you.
A good sales letter is challenging to write, but if written well, the rewards can be numerous. As long as you keep your language simple and maintain the credibility of your company, you will have the wider market base that you need, and the profits that you want.
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