How to write a sales letter - checklist

lady writing on paper

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 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 or trying to get a meeting, weigh up whether it is the best means of making your initial approach.
  • Try to ensure the letter gets past gatekeepers. Address the envelope personally so it is not dismissed as junk mail. A handwritten envelope should help get the letter to the prospect's desk, 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 possible, sign each one individually.
  • Show that you understand your customer's problems and explain how you can provide a solution. Don't talk broadly about your business - talk about how you 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 prospects 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 direct command is likely to be more effective than a sentence that suggests 'You can contact us…'.
  • Include a web address with other contact details. A dedicated landing page on your website, with information that directly references the letter, is best.
  • Follow up a sales letter by calling the customer.

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