Sales letters are essentially persuasive pieces of writing from a business to an individual or another business to convince them to buy a product or subscribe to a service. Sales letters can be employed in almost every business to increase sales. That said, what are some of the characteristics of a good sales letter?
CATCHY HEADLINE. The headline must stand out and coax the recipient of the letter to read on. If the headline is boring then the reader is likely not to go any further reading the whole script.
LEAD-IN SENTENCE. Next to the headline is the lead-in sentence. Ok. Your letter had a smashing good headline and tempted the reader to delve deeper into the copy. You must be able to sustain that interest in the opening paragraph of your letter, lest the reader drop the letter for something else.
GOOD STRUCTURE AND FLOW. Going further from headline and lead paragraph, the whole piece must be solid in its structure and fluent in flow to absorb and sustain the reader’s interest to the very end.
THE PS. Experts say the PS ranks second in importance to headline followed by the lead in sentence. It comes after the signing of the letter to reinforce the offer and its uniqueness so as to push the recipient to make the buying decision.
A PROBLEM STATEMENT. The sales letter must identify a defect or a gap that needs filling. After identifying how serious the problem is, it then offers solution. One of the commonest structure of sales letters is the Problem-Agitate-Solve approach. In this approach, the copy identifies the problem, probes its severity and the offers the solution. By this approach, the copy presents itself as a problem-solver. Show by hands -Who doesn’t want his problems or challenges solved?
ATTENTION-GETTING WORDS. Every effective copy employs powerful words that command attention. They deploy the verbs and nouns which are likely to cause some emotional effect. Effective copies rarely depend on adverbs and adjectives to function properly. Functional copies are averse to the ‘Passive Voice’ of verbs. Why meander and detour when there’s a direct route? Say, ‘He kicked the door,’ not ‘The door was kicked by him.’
A CONVINCING OFFER. It’s a tough challenge to introduce something in a letter and proceed to ask for a purchase in a little space of time. Some elements in the sales letter make an enticing piece. These are features and benefits, testimonials, guarantee, and scarcity factor of the offer. Features simply refer to what the product has as its inherent qualities. Benefits then spell out what these features really mean to the customer’s needs. Benefits answer the customer’s questions, ‘What’s in it for me? How does it make my life better?’ Testimonials then say, ‘Some people have profited from these benefits already; would you like to be part of them?’ The Guarantee comes in to say, ‘this product is so good that I’m prepared to bet anything on it.’ Then Scarcity factor comes in to sound a warming, ‘Look, time is running out and prices will go up. What’s more, there’re only a few of them left. So hurry.’ When these various elements of the offer play their roles well, then the offer comes irresistible.
Hey, these a few pointers to look out for in your sales letter. Are there some important ones I didn’t put in? Or did I get something wrong in the post? You know I always love to have your comments and feedback. Feel free to share your thoughts in the ‘Leave a comment’ box below.