Your Sales Letter – Where Do You Start?

July 29th 2010       Sally Ormond       copywriter, Direct marketing, freelance copywriter, sales writing

sales letter

As a copywriter I am frequently asked by my clients to write direct mail sales letters.

These are quite an art form in themselves and can be quite complex to write.

But the work begins long before you actually put pen to paper or finger to keyboard.

In fact this is true for just about any form of copywriting. If you launch in without a lot of thought, you are very unlikely to produce something that will be strong enough to sell. There’s a lot of ground work to get through before you should even consider writing.

The first stage is to know your market. How can you convince someone to buy something if you don’t know what they want? But not only do you need to understand who you are writing to, you also need to identity why you are writing to them in the first place.

Yes, I know you are writing to them because you want them to buy from you, but unless you are 100% clear about the reaction you want to evoke, you may not get the response you are looking for.

Basically you are looking to identify:

What you want your reader to know

The key here is to ensure your writing is benefit-led and not feature-led. Obviously you’ll need to tell your reader some facts about what you are selling so that they can then justify their buying decision,  but the benefits must come first. Also resist the temptation to tell them all about your company, they are really not interested. All they want to know is what you are going to do for them.

How you want them to feel

Getting an emotional response is the best way to get them to buy. Make sure your sales letter makes them feel they’ll be missing out if they don’t buy. You are offering them a fantastic opportunity and they must act NOW!

What you want them to commit to

Even if you write a really strong sales letter, omitting your call to action will make the whole exercise a complete waste of time. It can be as simple as ‘buy now’, ‘recommend a friend’ or perhaps ‘book an appointment with an advisor’. Just make sure it is specific and direct. You must leave them in no doubt whatsoever about what they should do, how they should do it and when.

These three simple rules will help you write stronger, sales orientated copy that will get your readers taking notice.

Tags: copywriter, Direct marketing, freelance copywriter, sales writing
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