Do you remember the last sales letter or email that jumped out at you, or one that grabbed your attention like a barking dog? This is exactly how your sales letter should affect your potential clients. When a dog barks it does get your attention, but when it goes on for too long it becomes annoying very quickly. Your sales letter should be balanced between attention grabbing copy and good information.
Customers, in general, are self-centered (aren’t we all?) and it’s understandable. This is why your sales letter should focus on “WIFM” or “What’s in it For Me” from your prospects’ perspectives. If they like your offer and you have enough “WIFM”, they will purchase your product.
Are you thinking of hiring someone to write a sales letter for you? Educating yourself and knowing the elements to incorporate in your sales letter will save you or your team a lot of time, unnecessary frustration and money. Knowing the basic parts of a successful sales letter before hiring someone to write it for you is essential for your success.
Sales Letter Elements That Command Attention
Almost everything in life starts with a plan. For example, before constructing a new building you will need a blue print. We normally visualize our destination before even planning for our vacation. Sales letters also have common elements, a basic plan and structure.
Just because the copywriter whom you will hire is experienced and reputable, doesn’t mean that you can just let him wave his magic wand and wow you with the perfect sales piece. It’s your business and product, so work with him and visualize the end result together. Always be very clear about your main goal and expectations. Tell him what is unique about your product or service which you want your prospects to know.
Once the sales letter is done, you or someone in your team will need to review it. Does the content provide all of the information that you would like for your prospects?
Here is a short list of proven fundamentals any quality sales letter will contain, seizing your potential clients’ attention.
What is Unique about Your Product?
What is it about your product or service that is different or unique compared to your competitors? This marketing concept is known as Unique Selling Point (USP). Having a powerful USP that is beneficial to customers will convince them to buy yours. Make sure your copywriter knows your USP!
The Headline Makes or Breaks the Sales Letter
You want your sales letter to lure prospects to open it, read it and then purchase your product. If they don’t like the headline, your mail will never get opened or read. According to the “Father of Advertising” David Ogilvy, on average 5 times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. He went further claiming that every headline should appeal to the reader’s self-interest (WIFM) and should promise the benefit.
Your copywriter should have the ability to craft attention grabbing headlines. In his book, “The Copy Writer’s Handbook”, copywriter guru, Robert W. Bly says that headlines should be at least 3 of these 4 elements; urgent, unique, ultra-specific and useful. Subsequent subheadings are important too, as they help readers to determine the outline and navigate to specific information. This way your sales letter will accommodate both types of prospects, those that read it all and those that just scan through it.
Is your copywriter able to connect all of those subheadings? Interesting flow throughout your sales letter is equally important.
Copywriters State the Problem but Emphasize the Solution
It is understandable for your copywriter to write about your company and business as an introduction. However, the emphasis and focus should always be about your prospects because without their support you don’t have a sale or business. Content should be about solving customers’ problems by offering solutions from your product.
If eighty percent of the content addresses your prospects’ wants, needs, hopes and desires, you will grab your prospects’ attention and convince them enough to purchase your product.
Does Your Sales Letter Carry The Tone That Matches Your Product and Brand?
“It’s not what you say but how you say it” is an adage we have all heard before. The tone of your sales letter should establish a connection with your prospect’s emotion. For example if your product is about some kind of training program, the tone of the writing should be knowledgeable, helpful and confident. If it’s about travelling or photography your tone should be lively and fun. Your tone is your company’s “personality” and should match your audience and customers. It can be fun and friendly, scientific and serious or somewhere in between. Help your copywriter by giving him guidelines as to the tone you want to project.
When your copywriter understands clearly the benefits of the product and who the target audience is, your letter will deliver a voice that matches your product and brand image. Your writer should visualize that he is having a private conversation, face to face with your customer. This helps produce the right tone and he will be on the same wavelength with your prospects’.
Haven’t I Seen This Sales Letter Before? Keep it Original and Unique
Even though there is a basic blueprint to writing a good sales letter, it should always be original and unique. Otherwise it will look like a template, like one of those that are available online. It is why you need a professional copywriter, to produce a one of a kind sales letter, unique in your industry and customized to your company or brand. A good copywriter will identify the marketing message your customer wants to hear and the image you want to represent.
You Are neither Editor nor Proofreader
No excuses, your copywriter has to check his work prior to sending it to you. He or she has to make sure that grammar, punctuation and spelling are correct. These details affect your time, credibility and are direct influence to your business and are a vital part of being a copywriter.
Display professionalism throughout your sales letter by applying appropriate format, grammar and punctuation. Sentences should be polished, precise and to the point with a clear message. Use a conversational tone as though talking with a friend.
Is your deadline reasonable? The more complicated the product or service, the more time is required so that he/she can write and edit an impeccable sales letter for you. It takes many re-readings to fine tune any sales letter.
A Quality Sales Letter Will Show Credibility
Do you or your company have high-profile endorsements from clients about your product or service? If not, how about testimonials from your customers? Are you expecting your copywriter to contact some of your customers for their feedback?
Your copywriter will require some kind of testimonial or accreditation to establish your product’s credibility. Sales letter’s without any form of validation will quickly end up in a trash can.
Your Product Is All About Personalization and Building a Relationship
For your sales letter to be unique, original and informative, one that touches your readers’ feelings, look for a copywriter who is willing to invest his time learning about your product. By doing thorough market research and being aware of what your competitors are doing and who your prospects are, your copywriter will be able to write a sales letter that converts.
A Call-To-Action Guides Your Prospects to You
By sending your sales letter to prospects, you are attempting to form a beneficial rapport with them. To get this result, your sales letter needs to portray sincerity, it should contain viable promises with legitimate endorsements or testimonials. Good copywriting content will get them excited about the product or service, but now you must tell them exactly what they need to do. This “Call-To-Action”, also called “the Close”, is the time where your prospects must do as you ask such as, Order Now, Call this number or whatever you need them to do.
Don’t Forget the P.S. and the Bonus
Do you have any added incentive for them “Buy Now”? This will be an added bonus. A free report or discount can mean the difference between a sale and no sale. You can add it in the P.S. (meaning post script, which is always capitalized) below the signature of your letter. It has been shown that the P.S. is read as much as the headline and is a vital part of any successful sales letter.
A Quality Sales Letter is an Orchestra That Hits All the Right Notes
To quickly recap, here is a list of the major elements of a successful sales letter:
Clearly defined USP
Product benefits and customers’ solutions
Endorsements or testimonials
Strong Call–To-Action with clear, easy to follow ordering instructions
A P.S. with a Bonus or Discount
These elements along with professionalism will take your sales letter to the next level and produce the results you want.
Can your copywriter write you a sales letter that “barks” gently to your prospect in the desired theme and tone that is captivating? Does it satisfy the “WIFM” question for your prospects? If your answer is yes, then you have found a good copywriter for your project and you are in good hands.