There are so many ways to keep in touch with customers or approach new prospects. But a well-written sales letter still has the power to persuade. Follow our 11 steps to writing an effective sales letter
- Consider why you are sending a sales letter rather than using another form of communication or marketing. Whether announcing a product launch to a range of customers, or trying to get a meeting with a specific contact, weigh up whether it is the best means of making your initial approach.
- Try to ensure the letter gets to the right person. Address the envelope personally so it is not dismissed as junk mail. A handwritten envelope should help get the letter past the customer’s assistant, and is more likely to be opened.
- Be personal. Look at the customer’s sales history and adapt the letter to reflect their particular buying habits. If there is only a small batch of letters, sign each one individually.
- Show that you understand your customer’s problems and explain how your business provides a solution. Don’t talk broadly about your business, talk about how it can help them, specifically.
- Use the right tone and language for your target customers. For example, you might use colourful language to sell organic baby food to parents, but adopt more practical terminology to offer a window-cleaning service.
- Include testimonials from customers. Endorsements will give other customers more faith in you.
- Take your time and avoid spelling or grammatical errors. Mistakes look unprofessional and could undermine your letter’s credibility. Get somebody to proofread your letter before it is sent out.
- Put some thought into the design. Ensure it is clearly laid out and easy to read. Include a maximum of three or four lines per paragraph, and add bullet points if necessary.
- Include a call to action, for example “Call us now on this number”. A command statement is likely to be more effective than a sentence that starts “You can contact us”.
- Add your website address to other contact details. Just because you are sending out letters offline, that does not mean you can’t refer your customer to your website for further information.
- Follow up a sales letter by calling the customer.
- address your customers personally
- include a call to action
- follow your letter up with a phone call
- write about your business without relating it to your customer’s needs
- neglect the design
- send your letter without checking for spelling or grammatical errors
With thanks to Alison Davey at real eyes marketing consultancy
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