An old-fashioned typewriter with a sales letter in it.

Writing a Sales Letter to Get Your Phone Ringing

Sales letters reach people. Whether your company makes cleaning products or runs self-development retreats, a sales letter – especially a personalised one – can hit the mark like no other form of advertising can. But success, just like the devil, is in the details. That’s why we have compiled this simple guide to sales letters that’s sure to convert your words into new customers.

Introducing the Sales Letter

A sales letter is a form of advertising correspondence from one business to another. The aim of the sales letter is to make the quantum leap from being a piece of A4 on a busy person’s desk, to having that person contact the sender’s office. From that point on, the sale relies on the qualities of the product, and that of the sales rep.

Beginning a Sales Letter

If you know the surname of your hypothetical customer, excellent. If you don’t, try to find out. Personally-addressed letters are proven to have a much higher rate of response. To be clear: address the recipient by their surname only, E.G. ‘Dear Mr Jones,’ and never by their first name. ‘Dear Sir/Madam,’ is also inappropriate, as it is now considered antiquated, and far too formal.

In lieu of a name, your best bet is to create a headline that captures the essence of what you are offering them. For example, Get 80% Off Hospital Grade Disinfectant – Introductory Offer This Month Only. If the opening line is personally addressed, then the opening sentence must incorporate the headline; for example, ‘Dear Mr. Jones, how would you like 80% off our Hospital-Grade Disinfectant?’

The Body of The Sales Letter

There are two basic aspects to writing a successful sales letter: content and style. If the content is not relevant to your reader, there is no chance of a sale. Usually, however, the product is relevant to them and their business – it’s just that the writing fails to sufficiently flag this to the reader.

What you need to tell your client depends on what it is you have to offer. Just remember the golden rule: you are not selling the product, you’re selling what that product will do for them. Visualise yourself in the customer’s shoes. What problem will this solve for them? How will this product improve the way they conduct business, or make life better at their workplace?

Second only to content is style. To keep the reader reading the sales letter, you need to keep the writing as interesting and easy to digest as possible. Keeping it interesting can be challenging at times, depending on product, but you can certainly make it digestible. Just like a restaurant, it’s all in the presentation. Here are a few tips on this:
• Keep sentences and paragraphs short and concise. Use short-super short sentences occasionally, for extra punch (see my opening sentence in this article).
• Break things up with bullet-points and indented paragraphs.
• Sub-headings are effective for highlighting benefits.
• Use simple language that everyone will understand.
• A few less common words can help keep things interesting. I used ‘quantum leap’ to describe someone responding to your letter.

Ending the Sales Letter

Be sure to thank the reader and sign the sales letter by hand. You may reiterate the main points, such as prices, and deadlines on discounted items. Adding a post-script is always a good idea, as people tend to read them. This post-script may include a special incentive such as a gift, or a free trial. Include at the bottom all the contact details of your business.