How To Write A Sales Letter – One That Actually Sells

how to write a sales letterI hate writing sales letters.   But knowing how to write a sales letter is an important skill to have because just one, well written, compelling sales letter can bringing you sale after sale for years to come.

There’s no secret sauce or hidden magic to writing a great sales letter, but you do need to know and be able to apply the sales strategies that the experts have proven to work.

To help you write your next sales letter I’ve outlined the format below.

I’ve created several sales letters using this format.  Unfortunately creating a sales letter from scratch, even with this format, takes more time than I like, so I often use pre-made sales letter templates that have the sales driving elements already built in the letter, all I have to do is fill in the blanks, love that!

Even though I use these templates often, I highly recommend that you first understand the mechanics of  how each element of the sales letter works so that you have a basic understanding of what is happening and how the sales process works.

Before we get to the actual sales letter format, these are the basic concepts for reaching your target market, engaging them and finally getting them to buy.

The Basics for How to Write a Sales Letter that Sells

1.  Know your Target Market

Who will you be writing your sales letter to?  If you know this you can tailor your writing for them.  That’s important because you want your audience to be able to relate to what you are saying.

Are the people you are writing to young professionals? Are they elderly? Are they stay at home moms?  What’s their income?  For example, if you sell baby strollers, you automatically know your audience will typically be young women, who weight and health conscious and most likely have one income.

Often times the products you sell will give you clues about what type of people you’ll  attract. Once you know who these people are, speak their language and tailor your copy to their needs, wants, and emotions.

2. Appeal to the emotions of your Target Market

We almost always buy things based on our wants, not our needs?  Think about this:

“I don’t need that 50? flat screen TV, but I sure do want it!”

Getting in touch with people emotionally is what puts your reader in “buy” mode.  If you can strike a chord in your reader that says, “I want that!” then you can make the sale.

3. Persuade & Motivate when writing your sales letter

Speak to your reader from experience and add personal tips or suggestions that will help motivate your reader to take action.

Don’t be tempted to write your sales letter as a flat presentation of the facts, that’s dull. People much prefer that you justify their reasons for wanting to buy.

Put yourself in their shoes. Understand what it is they want and what motivates them to buy.

4.  Keep your copy easy to read

Use short sentences and easy to understand words.  People on the internet read a lot, so they want to be able to get through your copy fast without a lot of long wordy copy.

Keep your sales copy to the point and keep it flowing.  Don’t jump from one thought directly into another.  Use seaways that make sense.

5.   What are the benefits to your reader?

Promote the benefits of your product or service.  In other words, how will your product or service make your reader’s life better?  Start by looking at the features and then coming up how the feature offers a benefit. For example, leather seats are a new car feature, the benefit of leather seats is they’re easier to clean and they last longer.

6.  Arouse interest

Peak your reader’s interest by peppering your copy with curious facts, interesting phrases and human interest.  Write things that involve your reader. Help them to feel that they know you and can count on you to understand what they are feeling and needing.

7. Create a sense of urgency

Most people are procrastinators so even though they might want your product, they might put off buying it. To help get around this, create an overwhelming reason to buy NOW.   For example you could mention that your offer is available for only a limited time, or offer a bonus that is limited, or mention that you’re only selling a limited number of copies.

You could also take a few dollars off the price and limit the offering or offer limited free shipping.

8.  Always include a Call To Action

If you’ve done a good job of convincing your reader that you have the product they need then tell your reader what to do to get it. If you want your reader to order today, or sign up for your newsletter then say so.  If a signup box is on the left, tell them sign up to the left. If your order box is below, tell them order now below.  People like to be directed on what to do.  They much prefer it over figuring out what it is they should be doing.

Easy Format for Writing A Sales Letter

Headline/Sub-headline

Your headline should point out what your reader can expect to get and your subline should emphasize the points you just made in your headline.  I also suggest testing your headlines and sub-headlines.

Create several of them and swap them in and out for several weeks at a time to see which ones work best.

Your headline also needs to attract attention so headlines that start with things like:

“Discover how …”, “Get Ready To  …”, “Experience the….” work really well.

Your sub-headlines work well when asking questions like:

“Did you know that…?”

“Wouldn’t you Like to…?”

“Are you ready For…?”

Your headline should be in centered at the top of the page with bolded text and  only capitalize the first letter of each word.

After skipping a few lines your sub-headline should be directly beneath your headline. It should be a font smaller with bold text and in a different color than the heading text.

‘Introduce the problem’  Section

Write a few sentences or paragraphs on what the problem is.  If you’re selling a product that relieves back pain you would touch on things like how back pain limits things that you love to do.  How sleeping can be a problem, how chronic pain can lessen your enthusiasm for like, and things of that nature.

‘Introducing the solution’  Section

Now it’s time to introduce a solution.  Talk about your remedy or what you have to offer without really introducing the specific product.

Simply talk about the things that you can help the reader accomplish.  For example, “Here’s what I can help you with”

Credibility section

I like to include a ‘Why listen to me’ section.  Give reasons, personal or professional on why you created the product and why the reader should listen to you. For example, if you wrote a book about ‘ how to grow award winning roses’ tell your reader how many awards you have won with your roses, how long you’ve been growing roses, etc.  Give the reader some background into understanding how you qualify in giving them what they need.  Sort of like writing a resume.

‘Features and benefits’  Section

List the feature and benefits of your offer.  Use a bullet point to list each feature, then next to the feature list the benefit of the feature. Be clear and to the point.

Introduce your product Section

Here’s where you introduce your product.  This section should be in paragraph form.  Mention the most important and impressive features of the product.

‘Testimonials’ Section

Pepper small customer testimonials throughout your sales letter. You may not have one to start and that’s OK, as you get them you can introduce them into your sales letter.

‘Summary’  Section

Do a summary that covers the overall benefits of your product.

‘The Pricing’  Section

Be Clear about the Price. State the value of your product and include the price.  Hint:  I’ve been told that prices that end in a 7 or a 9 seem to work the best.

For example $7, $9, $27, $29, $37, 39… etc.  For some of my products I’ve experimented using both 7 and 9 and I didn’t find a difference either way.  You may want to experiment with this as well.

Your bonus’ Section

Include bonuses.  And what’s more, your bonuses should be written or created by you.  Bonuses gives the reader an impression of added value.   For this reason be sure to include a dollar value for each bonus product.

Even though you are offering your bonuses free of charge it’s good practice to outline it’s dollar value.

Your guarantee Box

Specify a separate box for your guarantee. Clearly state what your guarantee is, or is not, if you think there may be confusion.

Download box

Use a dotted line box that summarizes exactly what the customer will get with their purchase.  Include any details about how their order will appear on their credit card statement and include a guarantee statement if you have one, which I highly recommend.

Include your ‘buy here’ button clearly at the bottom of the sales box.

Your signature

Just below your download box, include your personal signature.  This adds a personal touch.

The P.S.

Many people will not read all your copy;  in fact they often  scroll to the bottom of the page looking for a quick summary.   That’s where the power of your P.S. does its magic.  It’s purpose is to provide a quick summary of your salesletter’s most significant points.

What should it contain?  Things like your money back guarantee (if you have one).  If your offer is time sensitive, state that in the P.S.  If you offer a FAQ, mention that too.   Basically, sum up all the important benefits and highlights of your sales letter in this section.  And don’t forget to get in a final call to action.

In Summary…

Now that you’ve got all the elements of how to write a sales letter and the basic concepts for reaching your target market, and thoroughly engaging them, you’ll be able to reach your audience in the most effective way possible, whether you write the letter from scratch yourself or use proven sales letter templates.

Blessings,

Ms. Liz :-)

Comments

  1. Hi Liz, this was a very precise outline of writing a captivating sales letter.

    I think as you say it’s so important to speak to your audience and touch on their emotions. As you say, doing this succinctly and not looooong and boring plays an equally important part. We must hold their interest and even elevate it as they read through without putting them to sleep.

    It’s a practices skill isn’t it Liz? but as you say can make the world of difference to the end result.

    Thanks for sharing your expertise!

    Jayne

    • Hi Jayne, Yes, it is practice. A few years ago I took the AWAI copywriting course and part of their training was to merely copy word for word a few top sales letters. It was tedious and I’m sure a lot of people bypassed that lesson, but amazingly enough it does condition you to thinking in a specific way. That exercise alone helped me write sales letters whereby I can automatically write using the strategies that sell.

      Thanks for your feedback Jayne :-)

  2. Hi Judith, actually I broke it down from training courses and years of writing sales letters. So glad you found it useful :-)

  3. Hi David, it’s nice when things begin to come together isn’t it? There is definitely some great training out there and I’m so glad it’s helped you, but even better, you’re taking action, perfect! Thanks for your great feedback and best of success to you :-)

  4. Hello Liz,

    Again a great sharing! Sales letters, as the name suggests are written to promote sales or any sales related activity which can help you earn more revenue. Writing sales letter is really a boring work. But once you have understood the guidelines for writing sales letters you can easily incorporate them.
    Janet Steward recently posted..Fashion Designer Cover LettersMy Profile

    • True Janet, yes it can be boring but like anything, if you get the method and strategy down, and incorporate the guidelines as you said, it will become second nature to you after awhile. Thanks for your feedback :-)

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