Smita runs an online bespoke gifting solutions store. She builds her clientele through word-of-mouth and digital marketing. One of the key tools in her arsenal is a newsletter that her customers sign up for through her website. Smita sends them emails regularly about the craftspeople she works with and other interesting information to build engagement in her brand. Occasionally, she sends them emails with new products and special offers, resulting in a surge in orders. This is an example of a sales letter.
What is a sales letter? It’s a form of direct marketing, a letter or email that a business sends out to potential customers to convince them to make a purchase. It can be an introductory letter or one that’s sent later on in the customer relationship.
An effective sales letter has four key characteristics. It should be short, specific, personal, relevant and compelling.
Let’s take a closer look at when an organization might need a sales letter and how to write one that compels the reader to take action.
When To Use A Sales Letter
A sales letter should give the reader a clear understanding of an organization and its offering. They’re used in a variety of situations. For instance, when a business wants to sell its products or services to another business, it will use a sales letter to introduce itself and make its pitch. Sales letters are also often used by businesses to introduce themselves directly to a potential customer. A brand running an offer might send out a sales letter to its existing customers. If the organization has a new product or service or a new branch opening, it may want to keep clientele posted as well. A sales letter is a great tool for this.
A sales letter has to be more than a routine marketing piece. It can be a delicate balancing act to get the message across without seeming too pushy. Whatever the content, a sales letter must be compelling in order for someone to want to respond and continue the relationship with the organization.
How To Write An Effective Sales Letter
The specific format of the sales letter can vary depending on the needs of the situation. Most modern examples of a sales letter are sent through an email that’s customized for that person or business. It can be a simple email informing them of an offer or deal. Regardless of form or purpose, an effective sales letter has four key characteristics. These are:
1. It Should Be Short And Sweet
Most examples of a sales letter are only one to two pages long. This is a good guideline to follow when writing a sales letter. If it’s longer than that, many people won’t bother to read it. But if it’s too brief, it may not convey enough information to gain the customer’s attention. Hitting just the right word count can make a deeper impact than most people think.
2. It Should Be Personal In Tone
A sales letter works well when it strikes a personal chord. The unique voice of the person or brand needs to come through. It should make them seem genuine and approachable and evoke a certain feeling in the customer—it should seem like it’s addressed to them individually. This way, they’ll likely interact with it more willingly as opposed to a more generic letter, addressed to no one in particular.
3. It Should Be Informative
A sales letter packs in specific information, highlighting the benefits of what is being offered. It should give the reader enough information to make a good decision. From what the offering is to its benefits and how it helps solve a customer’s problems to what the customer needs to do, the sales letter should be a round-up of all the important information.
4. It Should Be Impossible To Ignore
Above all, a sales letter must be compelling. It should draw the reader in and make them want to read more. The offer should be attractive enough that the customer wants to buy it without delay. For which it needs a strong call to action. This could be to sign up to a newsletter, buy a product or fill up a survey. Each action forms part of the customer’s journey.
This is easier said than done, of course. The French philosopher Blaise Pascal famously said, “I would have written a shorter letter, but I didn’t have the time.” Keeping it short and sweet is sometimes the hardest kind of writing. But with practice and patience, it can be a rewarding skill to develop. It leads to more impactful, effective communication.
Tips To Sales Letter Success
There’s a lot to learn when writing and publishing a sales letter. Organizations have one chance to make a good impression on the customer. They are bombarded with information from all quarters as it is. Here are some helpful tips so that it stands out in the crowded sea of information being produced by marketers everywhere:
- Kick off the sales letter with an attention-grabbing hook. It needs to stand out. A potential client needs to get excited about what it says, so make it action-oriented
- Use the letter to tell a story. Sales letters are successful when they don’t feel like sales letters at all. A great sales letter is one where the author has taken time to write an engaging story, rather than simply writing out an advertisement for their product or service
- Be clear on what’s being offered. Be sure to include the benefits the reader will receive if they choose to take the action the letter calls for. “Buy now for 40% off our usual retail price!” is an example of a compelling offer. Even better if it comes with a deadline after which the deal expires
- Use factual or informative language, rather than flowery prose. Sales letters aren’t the place for literary writing. Remember, short and sweet
- This is also not the place to get into the nitty-gritty of your product or service. You’ll want to save that for an online brochure or other accompanying material. But remember to include one big benefit to why your product or service is so great
- Have someone proofread your letter. It’s always better to catch something before it’s been published than after, especially with spelling and grammar
- Include testimonials from satisfied customers. Nothing inspires confidence in potential buyers like hearing the positive experience of others
- Include a call to action. Some examples: For more information, go to our website; Order now; Sign up today
- Include contact information, such as an email address or website. Make it easy to find. Use a “click here” button or link to your website
These are some of many ways to make a sales letter grab the readers’ attention. But it’s important to remember that sending too many sales letters can and does feel spammy. Marketers must avoid cluttering customer inboxes and only focus on what’s relevant.
Sales Letter Sample
Let’s look at an example of a sales letter.
Saira is the owner of Saira’s Roll Stand. She’s done well for herself and her business, but sales have been slowing of late. She recently tried something new by sending out a sales letter to her mailing list. Here’s how it went:
50 Five-Star Reviews Can’t Be Wrong!
Our team at Saira’s Roll Stand has been serving up delicious Kolkata-style chicken rolls in New Delhi since 1988. We pride ourselves on having the freshest, tastiest rolls in the nation’s capital. We make every item on the menu from all-natural ingredients, including chicken that’s been humanely raised without the use of hormones or antibiotics, and cage-free eggs.
We also have an assortment of house-made condiments including mustard, chili sauce and ketchup—or no condiments for those who prefer it that way!
For a limited time only, we have a combo meal, which allows you to purchase any double roll along with a drink and a kulfi for just Rs 200!
You’ll love our prices, our service and the food at Saira’s Roll Stand. Our customers keep coming back for more. We’re sure you will too!
This is just one sales letter sample. Depending on the brand and the offer, it can take many forms. With a few simple rules in mind, there is plenty of room for creativity. Have fun with it, test out different approaches and stay authentic to the brand voice. Done well, clients will look forward to hearing from the organization!
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