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Home » Marketing

5 Steps to Writing a Great Sales Letter

Recession Art

Sales are the lifeblood of any business. And sales letters can make or break a product. But great sales letters can make the difference between marginal success and phenomenal success.

Before you think who uses letters anyway? Well, when we say “sales letters” we are talking blog posts, web pages, product descriptions and of course good old fashioned direct mail. So now you know.

In this post we are going to look at how you too can begin to write great copy for your product or service.

And that all starts with taking a step back from what you’re selling. Because the biggest problem facing most people tasked with writing sales letters is that they  are too close to what their selling.

Of course you think that what you’re selling is the best thing since sliced bread and anyone would be absent of their faculties for not buying it. But sadly you’re not buying your own product or service. And that’s the purpose of the sales letter: to turn skeptics into converts or strangers into loyal buyers/customers/clients.

So take a step back and make sure you include these 5 things in your sales letters:

1. Grab ATTENTION

You need to get the reader’s attention quickly, but how do you do that?
That starts with having a great headline. A great headline will grab the reader’s attention so that they want to know more:

Whilst there are several ways to create a great headline, the two that have worked best for me are:

a) Socially proofed headlines,  and
b) End result headlines.

Socially proofed headlines can be achieved by going to Digg.com and typing the keyword of your headline into the search box e.g. say you’re selling courses on how to read faster, you’d type “Read Faster” into the search box, then in the results area click on the tab that says “Best Match” and then select “Most Dugg”. Then by looking down the search results you might find some variant of the most “dugg” headline being suitable for your requirements.

End result headlines are based around the end result that the customer wants, using the following formula:

End Result Customer Wants + Specific Period Of Time + Address The Objections

For example: How to Get More Clients In Next 30 Days, Without Spamming Them

Some additional things to think about when coming up with your title:

– What is the  number 1 reason someone should buy your product?
– What is the result most desirable to the the person who buys your products or services?
– What, is the most beneficial result about buying it?

2. Create Interest

Once you’ve got the reader’s attention with the headline, you need to keep that attention by  explaining to the reader what problem you are solving and how your product or service can solve that problem.  Basically, you are getting them to the stage that they recognise they have a problem and you are the person who can solve that problem for them.
Quite often you get multiple problems, so the easiest way to deal with these is to make sure you list down all the problems or issues that you know your product/service can solve and then explain in a few details about these problems. Basically you’re looking to make a personal connection with the reader. You need to make it personal.

3. Desire

So here you want to talk about your product and what’s included, you’re looking to show them what they get for their money and why the product solves their problems by listing the benefits as a direct answer to the problems you’ve identified in 2 above.
This is where you solve problems. For example if someone is struggling to sell their house, then they’d be interested in a product or manual to sell their house for top price.

4. Give Details

You know when you go to a Deli and they have all the cheeses out on display with samples to try? Well you need to do exactly that with your sales letter, so that your potential customers can see exactly what they get when they spend money with you. Pictures of products, sample chapters,  lists of features etc.
The more the potential customer knows what they are getting when they purchase the product or service, the more comfortable they will be about buying it. So the more comfort you can give them the better. Have testimonials? They use them. Let people know what results others got when they purchased your product or used your services.

5. Action

You need to give the reader a reason to act and do something. Essentially you have to map out for the reader exactly what they need to do to place an order. Research has shown you’ll get more sales if you say, “pick up the phone, dial the number and place your order” Than if you simply said “call now”.  You need to make it really easy for the reader to buy. This might be offering a money back guarantee so they can be as comfortable as possible with buying.
One final thing and that is test. Test everything. If you’re using email marketing, don’t do a simple split test on your whole list. Do a test on 20% of the list. Sending one version to 10% of the list and the other version to the other 10 % of the list. The most successful of the tests should then be sent to the rest of the readership. That way, you haven’t wasted your less effective email on half of your list, just 10% of it.

One Comment »

  • Mariella Lombardi said:

    Hi Matthew,
    thank you very much for explaining this, I am currently studying Online marketing and Sales writing is one of the subjects that I needed help with. I like the Action part best, I think it is the most important part of the sales letter. Thanks again Matthew!