It is a type of business letter; meant for generating business. It also has the bearing of an Announcement Letter. A sales letter is also referred as Letter of Sale.
I’m Tom McSherry and I’ve been self-employed for the past two years thanks to the world of Internet marketing and my skills as a freelance copywriter. My main business is Premium Online Writing, a top-quality writing service designed to give web business owners a reliable option for outsourcing writing work without taking a “lucky dip” on quality.
In this column I’ll be focusing on how different forms of writing are indispensable to success in business generally and Internet marketing specifically.
As a copywriter, I’m a big fan of prospecting letters as a way to get clients – both email and snail mail versions. Actually, writing these for clients also constitutes a large part of my business. For people who hate cold calling, a sales prospecting letter that converts well can be a golden ticket to a successful start-up. It can also help more established professionals press on through a slow patch.
What I find tragic, however, is the amazing number of freelancers and larger businesses who put time and effort into sending out sales letters and emails without even taking the basics of copywriting into consideration.
If you’re a copywriter, take note – these tips may help you generate more business, as well as providing you with a new product on which you can upsell existing clients.
For any other business owner out there who uses direct mail to generate leads, take note of the following points. These are my biggest quibbles with the prospecting letters I receive and how you can fix them in your own marketing efforts.
Good copywriters know they need to make the copy about the client, not the business. Sell the solution, not the provider. So it amazes me how many prospecting emails and letters I receive trying to woo me into handing over business with copy like this:
“We’re looking to expand our portfolio of websites. We want to buy your Internet business. In particular, we want to buy businesses that fit the following criteria…”
This is actually the gist of a prospecting letter I received today seeking to buy online businesses with automated income. The letter went on in the same vein, elaborating on what this business was looking for in the sites they want to buy.
At no point did they mention what’s in it for me. At no point did they highlight the benefits to me of cashing out of such an automated online business. There was no persuasion there whatsoever.
Prospecting Letter Rule #1: What the prospect wants must come first.
This is particularly a problem with emails, which tend to get spammed and blasted out to any address they can get their hands on. I’m amazed at how many emails I get from services in India offering to write “top quality SEO content” for my website. Usually these emails are rife with spelling and grammar errors.
Now, I understand that writers may see a writing service such as mine as good opportunity to get some easy gigs, and thus contact me with that end in mind. But it’s clear from most of these letters that they’re not sent with any such intentions. They’ve been sent out blindly without any regard to the fact that they’re mailing TO A COMPETITOR.
If you’re mailing prospecting letters to competitors, it should be a no-brainer that you’re wasting resources and need to tighten up your targeting. That all comes down to profiling your existing or ideal clients and going after that demographic.
Prospecting Letter Rule #2: Know who you’re targeting before you send.
Prospecting letters should be short, sweet and to the point. In particular, they should hit on:
Those are really the three essentials. Get those across as succinctly as possible and you’re well on the way to an effective prospecting letter.
Prospecting Letter Rule #3: Say who you are, what you do and how to get in touch with you, clearly and succinctly.
Most prospecting letters I receive are just boring. They seem as if they’ve all come from the same template on some sales letter example website.
As a copywriter, you have no excuse to be boring. If your own sales copy doesn’t pop, why should the prospect think you’ll produce anything other than drab and boring copy for them? Your prospecting letter is not only a means on finding interested parties, it’s your first opportunity to showcase your skills.
That doesn’t mean show off. Again, you want to be short, sweet and to the point. But do it with some flair. Let some character show through. Be likeable.
Prospecting Letter Rule #4: Get creative. Don’t write like a robot.
A prospect won’t go out of their way to get back to you if you don’t provide them with their preferred option of communication. Some people like email. Some like Skype. Others prefer the good old fashioned telephone.
The more contact options you give prospects, the more responses you will get.
You might argue that you’re not a huge fan of the phone – but remember, this is totally different from cold calling. You’re not interrupting people as they’re halfway through a bite of their meatball sub – they’re calling you because they already like what they’ve seen. All you have to do is lead them through to the sale, and that can often be easier on the phone than via email.
Prospecting Letter Rule #5: More response options will mean more responses, more clients and better ROI from your mailings.
A prospecting letter is a piece of direct marketing, whether it’s sent by email or snail mail. And the most important piece of any direct mail copywriting is the headline. Yet it still surprises me how many prospecting letters I see with drab, boring and uninspired headlines.
On an email, your headline is your subject line. It has a very measurable effect on your response rate, because the subject line is tied directly to the percentage of potential readers who will actually open your email.
With a physical letter, you should still have a headline that will immediately grab the prospect’s attention.
Think about what you do when you have a pile of mail to look over. You look at the envelopes and figure out which ones are definitely spam, and throw them away without another thought. Then you open the ones of interest and give them a very quick scan. If the letter doesn’t obviously contain something of benefit to you personally, you’ll set it aside at best and throw it away at worst.
So both the envelope and the headline of a physical prospecting letter need to be fighting fit. Experiment with different options – logo on the envelope versus no logo. Hand written address versus printed. Track your results and then optimize. Always keep testing.
Prospecting Letter Rule #6: Grab attention with a strong headline (and an inviting envelope in the case of physical mail).
This is a very common issue with prospecting letters. They have an awkward, appeasing tone to them that doesn’t set a great mood for the beginning of a business relationship.
Most people want to do business with a professional who knows what he or she is talking about and isn’t afraid to express that with confidence. If your letter sways either side of that – down into groveling, or up into rudeness and cockiness – you’re likely to turn prospects off.
As with any copywriting, be conscious of the reader you’re addressing. Be aware of the way he or she might have a conversation with a business associate, and try to match that tone.
Again, letting a bit of personality show through isn’t going to do any harm. Just because your prospect has a corner office with her name on the door doesn’t mean she won’t respond to a little human warmth. In fact, showing personality in your copy can be very refreshing for prospects who are constantly inundated with business-speak.
Prospecting Letter Rule #7: Write in a tone appropriate to your target prospect.
What’s the fastest way to sink your credibility as a professional? Spell the prospect’s name wrong.
In general, your spelling, grammar and punctuation should be absolutely perfect. You may still get responses from a letter with errors in it if the copy is good, but your response rate will be much lower than it should be. This is especially true if you’re offering services that have anything to do with writing.
Spell check, proof read, and then read your letter out loud several times through. Double check a prospect’s name. Be thorough – if you’re creating a template for a letter, the extra effort now will save you from the realization that you just sent out 1000 copies of a letter all with an identical typo in the headline.
Prospecting Letter Rule #8: Make sure your grammar, punctuation and spelling are perfect.
Conveying professionalism is an important part of prospecting. When you’re contacting someone cold, either on the phone or in writing, they can assess very quickly whether or not you’re the ‘real deal.’
A few tips for building credibility include: If you’re sending an email, send from an address which is @yourwebsite.com. Don’t use a free email address. If you don’t have a website (and you really should – not having a website in itself will hurt your credibility), use [email protected] or [email protected].
If you’re sending physical mail, get your own stationery made up – preferably with a professionally designed logo. Add your signature to the bottom of the letter. (You can scan this up to your computer or create a signature online). Always use proper layout and formatting for your letter. As I said earlier it’s fine to show some personality, but do so within an accepted formal framework.
These are the basics of how your first impression can impact a prospect’s ideas on your credibility. But the content of the copy itself is also important.
You should include mentions of where the prospect can see customer testimonials and examples of your product or service (if you can’t do this through your website, offer to send a free sample or a brochure).
Prospecting Letter Rule #9: Always appear credible and professional in the presentation and content of your prospecting letter.
Now, obviously, if you’re sending out a large number of letters you may not have time to personalize each and every one. But I’m willing to bet you’ll end up with more leads if you’re willing to spend a little time personalizing letters where possible.
There’s nothing that turns me off more than a standard form letter which doesn’t give any impression the sender has bothered to take five seconds to learn about my business.
This is a lot easier to do with email than printed letters, and when you personalize cold emails you avoid being seen as a spammer. You can use a template, but you should add personal and business-specific information whenever possible.
For instance, it’s usually easy enough to find out the name of the marketing manager or business owner from their website before you send an email or letter – so include that name. Also, mention a few specifics about their business. It’s actually a good idea to have several different letter templates which apply to different industries.
For example, I won’t send the same letter to a marketing agency as I’ll send to a direct client (who may sell software or real estate or something else). Having letters that apply specifically to each specific client-type you target makes it much easier to personalize each template before you send it.
If you have four or five templates to work from, you can make each letter unique with very little extra effort.
Prospecting Letter Rule #10: Let each prospect know you’ve taken some time to learn about them and their business, and show that in your letter.
Tom McSherry is the founder and chief strategist at Premium SEO.
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A sales letter template is as important as demand letter template itself. There are free templates in word, excel and PDF formats that you can download for free online, and use to write the best sales letter. Use this special template to introduce a new product and a new service. This letter does not have to be formal or informal. It can be either, or sometimes a mix of both, usually depending on the industry.
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englet.com | Sales letter, quite similar in style and content as compared to introduction letter, the difference being sales letters are mostly directed towards consumer rather than businesses. These letters first introduces the product and its relevance at that given point in time. Once done, information on the related costing and the logistics are mentioned at the end.
businessballs.com | Sales letters for a business product or a service is quite different from that of a fast moving consumer good. These sales letters should be more extensive mentioning the value add which the product would do to the business, and the significant outcomes which would be of great value to the client.
Business personals use sales letters to generate sales and increase their sales benefits. These sales letter acts as a medium of communication between the sales team and clients. If you are running your own business, it is essential to have your sales letter create and manage efficiently. Having a sales letter will not only help you generate profits, but it will also help you run your business efficiently. Nowadays, online businesses are booming, and, they entirely dependent on their sales letters in order to run their business smoothly. And, maintaining a sales letter with your clients will help you to strengthen your business, gradually developing the trustworthiness of the company.
Service oriented sales demand a different style of persuasion and sales speech as compared to product sales. In such cases, businesses have to mention explicitly as to how their service would help their clients streamline complex business processes which in turn would lead to betterment of efficiency and effectiveness of service.
Also, the letter templates can be either formal or informal depending on the type of promotion and the audience that you intend to reach. Download a free template today for your letter writing.
The sales letter — it’s an old-school marketing tactic that’s far from dead.
In fact, they’re all the rage in the internet marketing community, just in a different form than before. Today, video sales letters (VSLs) are the medium of choice for anyone with a product or service to sell. But what is a video sales letter? And more importantly, do they really work?
In this article, we’ll answer all your video sales letter questions, plus share a tried and true formula for creating VSLs that really convert.
A sales letter is a marketing asset that aims to persuade a target audience to purchase a specific product or service.
Originally, it was a piece of direct mail — a physical letter, often 10+ pages long. The idea was that it replaced the door-to-door salesman in selling potential customers on all the details and benefits of of a particular product.
While physical sales letters do still exist, today you’re more likely to see virtual versions, like a dedicated website or landing page, or, the latest evolution in this form of marketing — the sales video.
Video sales letters replace written sales copy with a video exploring a problem, and introducing a particular product or service as the solution.
While sales letters are seen by some as a shady or hard-sell tactic, often the direct approach can actually produce great results. By learning certain key lessons, you can use video to make your sales pitch without turning off potential customers.
The basic video sales letter format has eight key sections.
Attention grabber. Your opening should shock or surprise viewers. You want to grab their attention and hint at what’s to come.
Highlight the issue/problem. What problem does your audience face that your service or product solves? Highlight the issue here and use any facts, stats, or quotes to drive it home.
Speak to the audience on an emotional level. Really drive home the importance of the problem or issue. Focus on the pain point, and relate to your audience by sharing an emotional story and detailing your personal experience with the problem.
Gently introduce your solution. This shouldn’t be a hard sell. You want to show people you can help, without pushing too much.
Establish credibility. Position yourself as a trustworthy authority. You can mention your credentials here, but try to avoid looking like you’re bragging.
Provide proof. You can’t expect your viewers to simply take your word for it that your product works, you need to demonstrate it. You can do this with customer testimonials, statistics, before and after pictures — anything that will convince your audience.
Encourage action. You’ve laid out the problem, introduced the solution, and provided proof — what do you want your viewers to do next? This is where you make your call to action. You can also incentivize or create scarcity. Bonuses, discounts, limited availability, or a limited time offer can all help convince buyers to act now.
While most video sales letters will follow the basic format above, some may add to or skip some of these sections. They may be animated, live action, or “whiteboard” style, or a simple slideshow presentation with voiceover, and can vary in length from a few minutes to half an hour. Here are a few video sales letters examples from around the web.
This sales video from ClickFunnels has two presenters speaking to each other, rather than directly to the viewer, detailing how their product works.
Nate Rio, a business coach and entrepreneur, pitches his coaching program with a live action video sales letter in which he speaks directly to the viewer.
This example shows that while VSLs can be quite long, they can also be short, with this one clocking in at just one and a half minutes.
Creating a video sales letter doesn’t have to break the bank. With Biteable, it’s easy to quickly create a professional quality video using our free templates.
Here are a few of our favorite video sales letter templates:
If you’d like to record a voiceover, you can do so in an application like Audacity and upload it to Biteable, along with your own logos, photos or screenshots.
With hundreds of animated, claymation and live action footage and effects available, Biteable has what you need to create an awesome, high-quality video sales letter.
Explore even more templates and get started here!
A potential sales prospect has many messages competing for his time and attention. Sending follow-up letters to sales prospects is a critical act, because it.
The free sample letters provided here can be easily customized for situations where it may be appropriate to send a sales letter. Simply click the image of the document that best meets your needs. It will prompt you to save the PDF file to your computer. After that, you can open the file, edit, save changes, and print. See this guide to PDF documents if you need help working with this type of file.
When your company is introducing a new product or service, it is a good idea to send a sales letter to targeted prospects. This can be an effective way to spread the word about your new offering and generate interest among potential buyers.Related Articles
This type of letter should:
It is prudent to send a letter before you make phone calls to pitch the product or schedule face-to-face meetings. This way, prospective buyers will have a frame of reference for what it is that you're hoping to sell - and may already be in the right frame of mind to learn more. If you're lucky, the letter might be so appealing that people who are really interested might be proactive in calling you first!
You don't have to wait to have a completely new product or service before you send out a sales letter. It's also advisable to communicate with customers and prospects in writing about any special offers you may have.
This type of letter should:
Sending this kind of letter is a great way to provide a concrete incentive to buy within a specified timeframe. Here again, it's a best practice to send a sales letter in advance of making phone calls to potential buyers to pitch the special offer.
In situations where clients have personal relationships with their sales representatives, it's advisable to send a letter of introduction when the person assigned to their account changes. This type of letter should come from the new representative as it represents the first step toward establishing positive rapport.
This type of letter should:
This is an example of how sales letters can be used as an effective customer relationship management strategy.
Sending out sales letters is only one part of an overall sales strategy, but it's an important one. When you have a series of great sales letters that you can easily customize for the various situations, you'll have a head start on the process of communicating with customers - an important first step toward maximizing sales success!
Do you know how to write a strong cover letter? It's okay, most jobseekers don't. View hundreds of sales cover letter examples to learn.