A persuasive convincing sales letter is a valuable marketing tool. It’s also versatile. I regularly use the same text successfully in all the following formats:
- Printed letter for postal mail
- Email message (personal and on an autoresponder)
- Posted as a Web page
- Printed circular for postal mail
Over the years I developed a model to follow when I need a new sales letter. It consistently produces a profitable letter on the first attempt. This model loosely follows the well-known AIDA formula (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action). But I organized the parts of my model letter in a specific sequence proven to work best. You can copy this same model to create your own successful sales letters.
SECTION 1: GET ATTENTION FAST WITH A LIST OF BENEFITS
A sales letter must capture the reader’s attention immediately or it won’t get read. Most people accomplish this by stating their biggest benefit at the top of their letter. I’ve found something that works even better. Start your letter with a list of 5 or 6 benefits. Place the biggest benefit first followed by other benefits in declining order of importance. Here’s the format I usually follow:
How would you like to…
- Biggest benefit
- 2nd biggest benefit
- 3rd biggest benefit
- and so on . . .
Prospects won’t be able to resist reading more when you shower them with all those benefits.
SECTION 2: BUILD INTEREST BY EXPLAINING HOW YOU CAN PROVIDE THE BENEFITS
Here’s where you describe the features of your product or service. It’s the least important part of your sales letter. Try to limit this section of your letter to only 1 or 2 short paragraphs. It may be important to mention the triple layer of new space age insulation built into your picnic cooler (a feature). But that’s not why customers buy it. They buy it because they want to enjoy ice cold beverages all day long when they’re outside on a hot summer day (the benefit).
SECTION 3: DEVELOP A DESIRE TO BUY WITH LOGICAL PERSUASION
Most people buy things on impulse then look for logical reasons to justify their emotional decision. This section of your letter is where you inject 4 powerful tools to convert the reader’s emotional interest in your product or service into logical reasons to buy. They are:
A compelling reason to buy from you instead of your competition. This is called your "USP" or "Unique Selling Proposition". It’s a unique advantage customers get only if they buy from you.
Testimonials from satisfied users. (You do have some, don’t you?)
Your guarantee. A strong guarantee can easily double the number of orders produced by your sales letter.
A powerful offer — the best offer you can afford.
SECTION 4: STIMULATE THE READER TO BUY NOW
I often see sales letters and Web pages end abruptly with a weak statement like, “Order Now”, followed by a printed order form or a link to an online shopping cart. You’ll get more sales by gently maneuvering your customer toward the ordering process with the following 3 steps.
Command your prospect (in a nice way) to order or buy.
Don’t delay. Take advantage of this Special Price Offer. Call NOW to place your order or complete the coupon below and send your order by email, Fax or postal mail TODAY!
Explain how to order. This can be part of your command statement like in the example above. Make it easy for customers by providing as many different ways to order as you can (Online, postal mail, FAX, telephone, etc.).
Provide an order form but make using it optional. This applies online and offline.
Follow this model when you create your next sales letter. You’ll produce a highly effective sales letter — FAST.