Your prospect makes the decision to read or throw away a sales letter within the first five seconds. Controlling that exclusive attention is an advantageous sales occurrence so how do you make the most of that opportunity?
Sales letters can work - they’re personal, cost effective and allow you to communicate directly with a prospect. Unlike a telemarketing call a sales letter is pressure-free allowing the prospect to examine it without fear of arm twisting.
As opposed to other forms of advertising sales letters are only sent to prospects with the best chance of buying and, with a good mailing list, there is virtually no waste. It’s worth bearing in mind that 60% of a campaign’s effectiveness is driving by the mailing list, 30% by the offer and 10% by the creative package.
An effective sales letter has four common elements.
1. it captures the prospect’s attention
2. it shows a need and proceeds to answer that need with benefits of the product or service you’re offering
3. it convinces the prospect with an offer or by establishing credibility and reliability
4. it asks for the order or other action
Counting the cost
Total the cost of your mailing campaign and divide it by the revenue from an average sale to give you an idea of how many sales you need to break even. Generating qualified leads may mean that breaking even isn’t that important.
Email versus snail mail?
Connecting with potential customers through the postal system might not be as easy as an email blast but it’s certainly more personal.
The average conversion rate for an email marketing message is 3 in 1,000 and because of filtering, you can’t even assume your email was sent to an inbox or a spam folder.
Sales letter check list
* Keep sentences short and to the point
* Focus on customer benefits in the beginning
* Write in a personal and friendly style
* Keep paragraphs brief – you’re more likely to keep the reader involved
* Use emotional words rather than conceptual
* Make your message appeal to the customer and differentiate your company from competitors - what’s your sales story and what is your response to every customer objection? Why should anyone buy your product?
* Underline words and sentences for emphasis
* Explain the reason for the letter in the first or second paragraph
* Concentrate on one main sales argument to avoid confusion
* Repeat they key selling point at least twice. Consider finishing with a call to action – “call for your catalogue today” or “for an obligation-free quote”
* Make the offer for a limited time and encourage prospects to act now
* Always spell-check and proofread your letter for errors.