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Writing a Successful Sales Letter

By Charles Hopkins Published 06/1/2006 | Marketing
Every communication you send to customers or prospects should have a clear purpose. Before sitting down to write a sales letter make sure you are clear about the product or service you are offering, the price, any bonus offers, whether there is a time limit, etc.

Think from the point of view of the customer. What will make them interested in your product or service? Do not make the letter about you or your company. You will not make sales by telling customers about the latest events in your office or the history of your company's expansion. The letter should be about the customer, their problems, and how you can solve them.

Headlines are the most important part of a sales letter. Try to come up with at least twenty different headlines and select the best. Generally headlines should be longer than 3 or 4 words, but less than 17 words. Take a look at newspaper headlines and other sales headlines for inspiration. Be specific. If you have a figure of 37% then use it, do not say 'over 30%'.Do not exaggerate in your headline to get attention. If it cannot be believed readers will not bother to look further.

When you first sit down to write the main body of the letter do not edit it as you write. Just write what you think is the main, important message and do not stop to correct spelling mistakes or grammatical errors. If necessary stare determinedly at the keyboard as you write, or better still turn the monitor off on your PC. If you continually stop to make corrections the words will not flow and the message may become confused. Once your first draft is complete then go through it and make corrections.

Avoid long sentences in your sales letter. You want to make the letter as easy to read as possible. Break the letter up with subheadings that refer to the contents of the next section. Your subheadings should give enough information for someone skimming down the page to understand your offer.

Once you feel your letter is complete put it aside for a while before reading through it again. You may spot mistakes or areas of confusion. If you cannot leave it for a period of time give it to someone to read. Ask them to skim through it to see if they get the main points of the message. If they do they can then read each sentence and give you their impression of the letter.