Regardless of what you’re trying to sell, you really can’t sell
it without « talking » with your prospective buyer. And in
attempting to sell anything by mail, the sales letter you send
out is when and how you talk to your prospect.
All winning sales letters « talk » to the prpspect by creating an
image in the mind of the reader. They « set the scence » by
appealing to a desire or need; and then thet flow smoothly into
the « visionary » part of the sales pitch by describing in detail
how wonderful life will be and, how « good » the prospect is going
to feel after he’s purchased your product. This is the »body or
guts » of a sales letter.
Overall, a winning sales letter follows a time-tested and proven
formula: 1) Get his attention 2) Get him interested in what you
can do for him 3) Make him desire the benefits of your product so
badly his mouth begins to water 4) Demand action from him-tell
him to send for whatever it is you’re selling without delay- any
procrastination on his part might cause him to lose out. This is
called the » AIDA’ formula and it works.
Sales letters that pull in the most sales are almost always two
pages with 1 1/2 spaces between lines. For really big ticket
items, they’ll run at least four pages- on an 11 by 17 inch sheet
of paper folded in half. If your sales letter is only two pages
in length, there’s nothing wrong with running it on the front and
back of one sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 paper. However, your sales letter
should always be letterhead paper- your letterhead printed, and
including your logo and business motto if you have one.
Regardless of the length of your sales letter, it should do one
thing, and that’s sell, and sell hard! If you intend to close the
sale, you’ve got to do it with your sales letter. You should
never be « wishy-washy » with your sales letter and expect to close
the sale with a color brochure or circular. You do the actual
selling and the closing of that sale with your sales letter- any
brochure or circular you send along with it will just reinforce
what you say in the sales letter.
Ther’s been a great deal of discussion in the past few years
regarding just how long a sales letter should be. A lot of people
are asking: Will people really take the time to read a long sales
letter. The answer is a simple and time-tested yes indeed!
Surveys and tests over the years emphatically proven that longer
sales letter pull even better than the shorter ones, so don’t
worry about the length of your sales letter- just make sure that
it sells your product for you!
The « inside secret » is to make your sales letter so interesting,
and « visionary » with the benefits you’re offering to the reader,
and he can’t resist reading it all the way through. You break up
the « work » of reading by using short, punchy sentences,
underlining important points you’re trying to make, with the use
of subheadlines, indentations and even the use of a second color.
Relative to the brochure or circulars you may want to include
with your sales letter reinforce the sale- providing the
materials you’re enclosing are the best quality, they will
generally reinforce the sale for you. But, if they are of poor
quality, look cheap and don’t complement thing, it will
definitely classify you as an independent home-worker if you
hand-stamp you name/address on these brochures or advertising
Whenever possible, and so long as you have really good brochures
to send out, have your printer run them thru his press and print
your name/address- even your telephone number and company logo-
on them before you send them out. The thing is, you want your
prospect to think of you as his supplier- the company- and not
just another mail order operator. Sure, you can get by with less
expense but you’ll end up with a fewer orders and in the end,
Another thing that’s been bandied about and discussed from every
direction for years is whether to use a post office box number of
your street address. Generally, it’s best to include both your
post office box number, AND, your street address of your sales
letter. This kind of open display of your honesty will give you
credibility and dispell the thought of you being just another
« fly-by-night » mail order company in the mind of the prospect.
Above all else, you’ve got to include some sort of ordering
coupon. This coupon has to be simple and easy for the prospect to
fill out and return to you as you can possibly make it. A great
many sales are lost because this order coupon is just to
complicated for the would-be buyer to follow. Don’t get fancy!
Keep it simple, and you’ll find you prospects responding with
Should you or shouldn’t you include a self-addressed reply
envelope? There are a lot of variables as well as pro’s and con’s
to this question, but overall, when you send out a « winning »
sales letter to a good mailing list, a return reply envelope will
increase your response tremendously.
Tests of the late seem to indicate that it isn’t that big of a
deal or difference in responses relative to whether you or don’t
pre-stamp the return envelope. Again, the decision here will rest
primarily on the product you’re selling and the mailing list
you’re using. Our recommendation is that you experiment- try it
boh ways- with different mailings, and decide for yourslf from