Sample sales letters with must-know tips, easy steps, sample phrases and sentences. Write your sales letter today.
When I first started working online, I honestly had no idea what a sales letter was.
I thought online marketing was simply setting up Facebook ads, driving traffic to your website, getting people to fill out a contact form before they left…
And that was about it.
Looking back now I can see how funny this is, but after failed businesses and no conversions, I finally threw in the towel and took a premium copywriting class.
This course taught me a lot of things about selling online in general, but if there’s one thing that’s benefited me time and time again…
Directly generating $10’s of thousands of dollars over the last 2 years, it’s the:
If you’re not familiar with the term sales letter, it’s really a digital salesman on paper (figuratively).
The main purpose of these letters is to talk to your customers, tell them that you understand what they’re looking for, show them how your product could help them reach their goals, address any objections, and then get them to take action on your offer.
Don’t worry, it’s really not that tough, well — as long as you know what to look for anyway.
I’ll give you everything you need to know here in a second, but first, just remember that sales letters are really designed for any product (or service) that sells for $50 or more.
Anything less than that already has a low barrier of entry, so you don’t really need to go through the hassle of creating a sales letter, even though it could help (just don’t do it for e-commerce products, that seems over-the-top).
Okay, let’s get started:
The unsung hero of a sales letter starts with customer research.
Most entrepreneurs think that speaking “professionally” and marketing to everybody is the way to write copy, but that’s also why a lot of online entrepreneurs don’t last too long.
And don’t think you need to go too crazy with it either, there’s no need to hire a research firm (or even a freelancer)…
With the tools available to us today, one simple website usually does the trick.
What do I mean?
I’ll be honest with you, my best converting sales letters were ones that I did 100% of the research via Reddit or Quora.
These two sites work best as you can see exactly what your target audience is saying, and after “immersing” yourself with them for a few days…
You’ll not only start to use the words they’re saying (which is key), but you’ll also have enough information to understand them better.
I’ve heard of a few different ways to do this, but for me personally, I always like to do my research with the intention of understanding them better in 3 different areas:
Example — “I would love to build a business on the side to quit this soul-sucking job”
Example — “I wake up every morning completely exhausted, dreading my 1-hour commute to work”
Example — “Yeah, of course I want to start a business, but where do I even begin?”
And if you want an exact template of the customer research template that I use, including more examples, you can find that here:
Most people tell you to make a headline after you’ve created the rest of your letter, but I think that’s a terrible idea.
I mean sure, you could always give it a few tweaks after you’ve went through everything, but after writing numerous sales letters (and blogs) I’ve found that it works a lot better when I write the headline first because then I at least know what I’m going to talk about.
With that said, always remember that headlines are the most important part of your sales letter because it’s really what engages the reader and keeps them going to your actual letter.
There’s a few different ways you could make sure you get the right headline, but the first area of importance is remembering where your readers are coming from.
In other words, if they’re coming out of a 5-day email funnel then you’ll want to create a headline that relates to what you’ve covered over the last 5 days, but if they’re just visiting a course page that you’ve created, then you’ll want to act accordingly.
As a general rule of thumb, question headlines tend to work best for “cold traffic”:
And straight to the point, benefit driven, headlines work best for readers who’ve come through a 5-day funnel:
The last thing I wanted to mention with headlines is the importance of subheaders.
I didn’t realize this until I read Ogilvy On Advertising and he mentioned how the subheader was extremely important because it prepared the reader for the “feast” that was about to occur (i.e. pre-framing their view on what they’re about to read).
But after seeing this and realizing that I was missing out on an important step, I went back and inserted a subheader on all my sales letters…
And let’s just say, the improvement was amazing.
Alright, now that we have the research complete and headline in place, it’s time to start on the body.
As I’m sure you can imagine, the body is extremely important as it’s what keeps the reader’s attention and prepares them for your offer.
This is also the same part where a lot of “amateur” copywriters mess up on, thinking they need nothing more than some fancy writing and a bunch of !!! to get the point across…
When in all reality, it all comes down to the hooks.
What are those?
Hooks are the underlying psychology that takes place in any form of sales writing, and even though I’ve read a lot of different techniques to apply these hooks — the best (and simplest) method I’ve ever learned came from Ramit Sethi’s Call To Action course.
As Ramit explained, the only hooks you need to worry about are:
And as you can see, these hooks really aren’t that complex — but they’re even easier to implement.
All you need to do is choose a minimum of 3 hooks that tie in well with the customer research template you created, and to give you an example of how this would look, here’s a recent outline I created during a live video breakdown for a bookkeeper’s “About Me” page:
Again, this is for an about me page so it’s going to be a shorter version of a sales letter, but it’s still technically a sales letter and I think I’m one of 10 people that does this on Upwork, which is also why I think I was able to stand out so quickly.
Anyway, now that we have our 3 hooks in place it’s time to weave them together with a story.
I’m sure you’ve heard the importance of storytelling and how it’s the best way for our brains to process information (or something like that)…
But at the end of the day, it’s really not that hard to do, you just have to make sure that you:
This is the same reason why some copywriters use talk-to-text when creating the first draft of their sales letter, then edit it after that…
And I can totally see how this would work great, but I’ve never been a fan of it, so I think it’s mainly a personal preference.
Anyway, I’ll show you how to weave these together in a second after I’ve covered the last two parts, but as a quick recap on the body:
On to the next part, bullet points.
So bullet points are quite possibly the most underutilized (and misunderstood) part of writing, but when used correctly, they can make a world of difference.
What do I mean?
Well, as Ramit said in his course, bullet points are more like fascination points…
And whenever you have something extremely important to say, you should always lay them out in this format as all readers (even skimmers) are more likely to read them.
Now I couldn’t agree more, but I’ve taken this one step further and use bullet points whenever I’m showing the reader a significant benefit I can provide them.
I think this is important because as Dale Carnegie says in his book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, persuasion is really just knowing what people want and showing how you can help them get there.
As the popular phrase goes, people don’t buy a hammer because they want a hammer, they buy a hammer because they want the hole…
So if you can show the reader how your product will help them achieve their desired results (likely in the Hopes and Dreams section of your customer research template) — then you’re off to a great start.
Again, I’ll give you a better example of this when I provide a complete “sales letter” at the end of this, but it’s something I wanted to point out before we got into our last section.
Last but not least, the offer.
Now that we’ve got the reader ready with your headline, then showed them the benefits and built a rapport with your body…
It’s time to finally unravel what this sale letter is all about.
The good news is that your offer is actually the easiest part as you’ve already done all the selling, so now all you need to do is tell them what your offer is.
This will also differ between every product, but it works best when you layout your offer, tell them exactly what they’re getting, and how they’ll get it.
The main reason for this is because you want to address every question right away, and the questions of “what exactly do I get” or “how does this work” are the main questions that most people ask…
So if you can address this right away, then your sales will only go up.
With all that said, there’s 2 additional components that you always want to include with your offer, and thats:
And that’s it!
That’s honestly everything you need to know with a sales letter, and I’ll show you a short example next, but before we get there — here’s a few additional considerations I wanted to pass on.
Alright, and that’s about it, so now time for the example.
Remember, this is an example of a “hidden sales letter” where I created a live breakdown for one of my courses, and I did this in about 10 minutes so it’s not my best writing…
BUT, it’s certainly good enough, so without further ado…
When you really think about it, bookkeeping isn’t that hard.
It’s simply the process of organizing transactions and making sure all the numbers are in the right place…
Which is something many bookkeepers claim they can do, and even though most of them do a great job…
Very few actually understand accounting, making it very difficult to get positive feedback and make smart decisions.
Whether that’s tax planning that’ll save you thousands of dollars every year or pro-forma projections that show you profitable sources of revenue…
We both know how important this information is…
And after seeing many entrepreneurs struggle with this issue for years, I finally decided to combine my years of experience (Commercial Credit Analyst/Loan Officer), education (Master’s in Accounting), and credentials (IRS Enrolled Agent) to create a powerful combination that can help you.
So if your company could benefit from:
Then I’d like to see if I could help you….
And all you need to do is simply scroll up to the upper right-hand corner, click on “invite to job” — then shoot me a quick message that tells me what you’re looking for!
I’ll be in touch shortly after that for a quick conversation to see if we’re a good fit — and we can get going after that!
P.S. Even if you’re not ready right away, please don’t hesitate to reach out anyway.
I’ve had a lot of success with this combination and my referral network has really grown over the past year.
I want to help everybody I can, but my growing workload has limited my availability….and if you reach out today, you can reserve your spot for when the you’re ready to get started.
As you can see, the start of my letter was simply weaving my 3 hooks together. If you can’t remember the hooks, they were:
Then after I got done weaving these together, I jumped right into my bullet points (telling the reader how I could benefit them)…
And the offer is a little tricky in this situation as it can be a few different things, but I still made sure to include my call to action.
That way the reader knew exactly what they needed to do if they wanted to work with me going forward…
And even though I’ve never used this exact sales letter on an Upwork profile, I’ve created dozens of others that have gotten me interviews and clients at all times of the day (even when I wasn’t online)…
Showing how powerful these letters can be, short or small.
A sales letter is quite possibly the most important thing you can have in online business today.
Not only does it serve as a digital salesman that never calls in sick, but when designed correctly, it can get you sales at all times of the day…
Even as you sleep.
A sales letter is a piece of direct mail which is designed to persuade the reader to purchase a particular product or service in the absence of a salesman.
Even in this digital age, a sales letter can convert prospects into customers if you know how to write one. Learning this skill will help you reach a variety of people. Writing sales letters doesn't have to be limited to direct mail, though. You can write a sales letter for your website, your Email leads and other marketing communications too. Let's begin.
You have to know exactly who your target audience is before you write your sales letter. Make a list of your leads and who these people are to get to know your potential customer. If you don't know who you're selling to, you don't know how to sell to them. Understand who's buying your product, who you're sending your sales letter to and gear your sales letter directly to them.
Take the time to address your customers by name on the outside of the envelope and in your sales letter as well. A letter that reads, "Dear Mrs. Johnson," says a lot more to your lead than one that reads, "Dear Potential Customer" or "Dear Sir/Madam."
A well-written headline sets the stage for an effective sales letter. You can make it stand out by centering it, making the font large, bold, or in a bright color. Just make sure you choose the right words to grab your customer's attention right from the start. A 100 point headline in bold, red font still has to be written well, or your potential customer will stop reading.
The introduction should NOT be bland or pedestrian. It is usually where you make or break the chance of a sale, so make it count. Your intro may ask a question. It may pose a problem scenario, and then you provide the solution. Just make sure your introduction doesn't give the customer an easy way out. For example, if you're using a question as an introduction, make sure the customer can't simply answer with a, "no." If you ask a yes or no question, you can easily lose your customer because they don't have the problem you've posed in your question.
They stop reading, and your letter goes in the trash can.
Write your sales letter's subheads so that they help break up the text of your letter into sections. You don't want to drone on for three pages filling the paper with word after word. Use subheads, to sum up each section, invite the reader into that section and, most importantly, keep them reading your sales letter all the way to the end.
Connect with your potential customer as often as you can by using a personal, friendly tone. Use this same tone throughout your sales letter. Identify with the customer's problem and provide them with the solution. By writing the letter as if the customer is your friend, your sales letter makes more of an impact than a letter that feels like a stuffy company trying to get a customer to buy something.
How will customers know they need your product if they don't even know they have a problem you can fix? Write your sales letter from the customer's point of view. Even if someone is a master seamstress and you're selling a glue that hems clothes in minutes, make every customer feel they can't live without your product. In this example, you have the opportunity to reach people who rip their pocket or need a quick hem without having a lot of time to fix the problem. Your product helps them do just that, no matter what their sewing experience level.
Just using a little of your special glue helps get them on their way.
You've posed the problem and given the customer the solution. Don't stop now. Keep stating the benefits and features of your product. If you don't keep the momentum going now, your sales letter will lose steam and not help move your customer to the end of the sales letter. Why is your product better? How will it directly help the customer?
When stating facts about your product, features, benefits, etc., it can be easy to get caught in a trap of using sentence after sentence as an explanation. Go back to the old, "Keep It Simple Stupid," philosophy. Use bullet points instead of long, boring sentences. Bullets also help break up the page visually, which also makes your sales letter more inviting to your customers.
If you have customer testimonials, they can be a great sales tool. They make you and your product credible while helping your customers state exactly what it is they like about your product. Use testimonials sparingly and shorten them up. Some of the most powerful testimonials are the shortest in length. If a testimonial is too long, trim it because you don't want to lose your prospect in a long, drawn-out testimonial.
A free trial, no risk-obligation or a special gift are just some of the incentives you can use to generate interest in your product. Using an incentive gives your sales letter more mileage with the customer because you're offering them something just for that select group of people receiving your letter.
Make Good Use of Your Call to Action
Your call to action tells customers what you want them to do. Call now! Hurry before this offer ends! This offer is not available in stores. Get a free upgrade just for calling. Use your call to action to direct customers to the next move, getting them one step closer to the sale.
A P.S. is a golden nugget you should use in your sales letter. You can use the P.S. for important information you want to save until the very end, remind people that an offer will end on a certain date or use it to reveal other pertinent information you want to leave people with as a final thought. Many times, people who may be skimming your sales letter will read the P.S. If it's strong and persuasive enough, they may decide to read the entire letter when they might not otherwise.
Definition:A form of direct mail in which an advertiser sends a letter to a potential customer
Whether you send it out solo or as part of a direct-mail package, a sales letter can be one of your most effective marketing tools, allowing you to speak one-on-one to prospects and customers. What makes a good sales letter? There are three key rules:
1. Start with a hook. Begin your letter with a provocative thought or idea that "hooks" readers and makes them want to keep reading.
2. Give them the facts fast. Quickly list the top two or three benefits of doing business with your company.
3. End persuasively. Close the letter with a strong argument that compels readers to respond.
How long should a sales letter be? The standard answer is "long enough to do the job." And yes, it takes longer to persuade a prospective customer to buy than to merely get him to inquire further. But in today's high-tech age, people become impatient with anything that takes much longer than a blink to read.
Does this mean the sales letter is dying out? No; people will still read sales letters. However, they don't like it when you make them work at it-so keep it lean and mean. Equal in importance to your message (some would say more important) is the look of your letter. It should be visually inviting. As soon as prospective customers pull your letter out of the envelope, before they read one word of your sales message, they instantly have a positive or negative reaction based on the overall look of the letter. If it's crammed with words, readers will get a negative impression right away.
To have the best chance of being read, your letter should be open and airy-looking with short paragraphs--including some that are one sentence or even one word long. (A one-word paragraph? Here's how: Write something like "I have one word for suppliers who say they can't offer you a one-year guarantee." Follow that with a one-word paragraph such as "Baloney!" or any similar word you want to use. It is a real attention-getter.
Strip your sales message down to the essentials so readers can breeze through it. This may mean hacking out words and phrases you have slaved over. But each extra bit you take out increases your chances of actually getting a response.
Sales letters are paint-by-number persuasion, connecting dots we all have in common. You can't sell if you don't understand your reader.
Sent out any sales letters/emails lately? Sales letters can be extremely powerful; marketing studies show that sales letters outperform other direct mail formats such as brochures and postcards. But before you get to see how effective sales letters are, you have to write one. Here’s how to write a sales letter that will wow your readers and persuade them to buy your product or service.
See the sample sales letter to customers of the fictional GreenClean company at the bottom of this article for an example of exactly how this template works and then use it to craft your own winning sales letter.
The headline of the sales letter needs to get the reader’s attention. Its job is to make the reader want to know more (and actually read the rest). The secret? Make sure the headline makes a specific promise that relates to your prospects’ needs or interests. If, for instance, you offer domestic cleaning services, don’t use a headline such as “Want Cleaning Services?” in your letter. Instead use something such as, “Your Whole House Sparkling Clean – We Do It for You so You Don’t Have to!”
As the headline is so important, brainstorm several and pick the best. Place the headline before the salutation in your letter.
Now we’re into the body of the sales letter. You need to tell your prospective customers what you’re offering them first. The trick is that you have to make them want your product or service. So think like a prospective customer or client when you’re writing this section of your letter and answer the question “What’s in it for me?” In other words, what are the benefits to the customer of making this purchase?
For instance, “For less than $150 you can have your entire home clean and sparkling, without enduring the nasty stink of chemical cleaners.” There's a clear customer benefit!
Don’t be afraid to expand on the benefits of your product or service. People who are interested will read the details. (You can bet that I would have a lot more to say about the benefits of having a home professionally cleaned if I was writing this sample sales letter!) Use bullet points or arrows where appropriate to make your sales letter easier to read.
And remember that the letter does not have to be limited to a single page. You can send out an eight page sales letter if you want. (What’s the best length? That will depend on your target market and your product or service. Many businesses that use sales letters find that longer ones are more effective. If this is your first, it's probably best not to go over three pages.)
Another thing you need to do in the body of the sales letter is assure your readers that they will be satisfied with their purchase. Testimonials (statements of satisfaction from past customers) are an excellent way of doing this. (See 10 Ways to Grow Positive Word of Mouth.) Or offer your reader a “fail-safe” such as a money-back guarantee or entice them with a free trial offer.
The most important thing that you need to do in the body of your sales letter, of course, is persuade the reader to act. First, be sure you come right out and say what you want the reader of your letter to do, whether it’s to call you or come into your store. Second, make it easy for your customer to act. Set a deadline for the expiration of your offer, throw in a free gift, or, if it’s appropriate, make a moral plea.
You’ve asked your reader once. Hopefully he’s thinking about it. Add a P.S. to your sales letter to light a fire under your customer and get him to actright now. Use a carrot such as throwing in an additional bonus (such as, “If you act right now, you’ll also receive….), or a stick, such as reminding the customer that quantities are limited, or that the price will only be as stated in the offer for a certain period of time (set a date).
GreenClean Gets Your House Sparkling Clean and Helps the Environment
**Your Business Logo Here**
555 Weston Way
For as little as $150 you can have your entire home clean and sparkling, without enduring the nasty odor of chemical cleaners. We care about the environment and use only state-of-the-art green cleaning methods to ensure that you and your family are not exposed to any harmful or allergy-causing cleaning products. You'll love what we do because:
Satisfaction is guaranteed - if you are not happy with the service we promise to make it right. As one of our customers says; "GreenClean does a top notch cleaning job for a reasonable price."
Another of our customers says, "I can't believe they get things so clean and sparkling without the use of toxic chemical cleaners!"
Call us at 250-342-8923 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free estimate. Get your house cleaned and do your part to help the environment!
P.S. We are offering a 10% discount for first time users of our service until the end of the year.
Looking for more ways to reach your customers? See also:
A sales letter is one of the most important instruments of sales promotion, despite unprecedented advancements in advertising through the print and electronic.