New Year-New Habit No. 7: Sales Letter Writing Tips

In my New Year-New Habit series yesterday, I suggested you find new ways to incorporate customer testimonials into your marketing and sales communications. Let’s look further at sales communications today and focus on the art of writing sales letters that sizzle.

A sales letter is one of the most common forms of direct marketing. However, writing an effective one isn’t easy. Many companies hire direct-marketing professionals to create their mailings, but you can write your own by following these tips.

Do Your Sales Letters Sizzle or Fizzle?

1. Copywriting
You have about 2.5 seconds to make your reader want to read your promotion. Capture their attention by addressing an problem, issue or trend they may be facing. An effective sales letter often begins with a question or statement that addresses their needs directly. Once you have their attention, you can tell them how your company can solve their problems with your products or services.

2. Headlines
Most recipients will scan your letter rather than read it word for word. Cater to this reading style by using bold headlines throughout the copy. These statements should have an emotional impact that addresses the prospects near-term goals, fears or questions.

3. Call to Action
Once you have their attention, you need to prompt them to take action. A good direct-mail letter has multiple calls to action and ways to contact your company. Although you can wait until the end of your letter in a printed promotion, you should pepper an online promotion with calls to action early and often. Your goal is to qualify leads and generate interest. One effective strategy is to implement the “law of reciprocity.” Give them something of value, such as knowledge in the form of a white paper or discounts in the form of a price offer, in return for their responses.

What are your secrets for writing sales letters that produce results? Let me know below — and tell me what public relations and social media habits you’d like to develop this year.

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