What Are The Basic Parts Of A Sales Letter?
Any sales letter roughly follows the following sequence:
- Lead paragraph.
If there is a logo or design for your business, use it in the sales letter only if it is really pertinent to what you are offering. You are not selling your business logo; you are selling benefits that the buyer will realize if he buys your product or service.
Use a specific image that is inherent to your headline, content, and theme, or do not use one at all. Stick to words as far as possible.
Job Of The Headline
The headline is usually 3 – 30 words long. It should be catchy. It should grab the reader’s attention and tell him what the ad (sales letter) is about. Ideally, the job of the headline is to get the reader’s concentration, target the viewers, list an advantage, and make an assurance.
Greeting And Lead Paragraph
Any sales letter that influences the reader has a possibility of being opened and read
- Spin a yarn that the reader can identify with, using a conversational tone.
- Announce a new product or service, an exclusive event, or important news, flaunting your unique selling proposition.
- Speak to the reader as your equal: “Dear fellow car purchaser, are you aware of. . . “
- You could start with something innovative, perhaps a quote or anecdote.
- You could start by identifying the reader’s problem, one that your product promises to solve.
- Ask a question that might excite the reader.
- Let the reader in on some secret or uncommon information.
You could use a sub-headline to answer a query posed in the headline. For example, Part A could say: “Want to lose 15 pounds within 3 weeks at an affordable price?” Part 2 could say: “Well, this is how you can do it.
Body Of The Letter
The body copy should use the same tone and endure with the theme of the headline. You should persist in highlighting the benefits and offer proof of the claim you made.
Provide details of the benefits and the features. Build credibility. Your basic objective is to create a need or want for your products or services and make people do what you want them to.
Also Read: How to Start a Copywriting Business
Closing Or Call To Action
If you solicit the reader to order, support, or contact you for the particular cause, you must make it easy for him to reply. You must support the sales letter with a prepaid envelope and an order form.
If not suitable, supply a toll-free telephone number, an email link, and/or your URL. Always thank the reader for his patience. Always use a postscript.
A Final Suggestion
Getting the reader to spend his hard-earned money on you is the real challenge. The best way to ensure this is to use test readers. Test readers would be able to give their opinion if anything is missing in the letter.
How To Create Headlines To Invigorate Your Sales Letter?
Every one of your marketing tools would require a headline. Headlines draw attention, make your message simple to read, get your key selling points across, and prompt your customer to buy the product and service.
Use headlines regularly in your sales letter to help people get your main message without having to grope about too much.
Headlines range from “hit-you-in-the-face” to more understated ones that don’t appear like a headline at all.
Your headline gets noticed when it appeals to the reader’s interests. You must use your headline to point out difficulty the reader has or something you know the reader feels powerful about.
Seven Sure-Fire Headlines
- Ask a Question. “Are you worried about becoming fat and flabby?” A question headline forces the reader to answer in her mind. You mechanically get the prospect involved in your message.
- Begin your headline with “How to.” “How to lose 15 pounds in 3 weeks.” People love the information that illustrates how to do something valuable.
- Provide a testimonial. The advice of a satisfied customer can act as a catalyst in pursuing others to buy from you.
- Issue a command. Some traditional headlines order readers to “Aim High” and “Move Ahead” and so on. Turn your most significant benefit into a strong headline.
- Significant news makes a good headline. This especially works well for huge changes in your organization or the introduction of savvy new products.
- Headline the last date for a special offer. Most of us are always too busy and tend to put off taking action. “Save Money Now” and “Get Bonus If You Buy Now” offer to augment responses.
- FREE offers often draw the greatest response. There is a myth that wealthy or professional customers are turned off by free offers. This is not accurate at all. Just customize your free offer so as to match the style of your customers or industry.
Prospects are always hard-pressed for time. They are barraged with hundreds of ads, sales letters, postcards, and commercials every day.
They tend to tune out any advertising message that looks like it will take quite a long to figure out. Headlines help them decide. So focus on them.
Also Read: How to Write Irresistible Ad Copy
Is It Important To Have A Strong First Paragraph?
The next crucial question is how do you begin your sales letter. Do you tell the prospective client immediately what it is you’re intending to sell?
Do you just stir him up a bit so he can comprehend why he would require your product or service? The course of the initial paragraph of your sales letter depends on the theme you’ve chosen.
That subject will dictate whether your lead paragraph will follow a specific creative approach or focus on your offer. Once your initial paragraph is at par with your theme, the focal point should shift to your warm-up.
An inefficient warm-up will paralyze a sales letter more than any other aspect, resulting in an average letter.
A great sales piece will get to the point instantly. Your objective is to command and draw the interest of the reader. It is not to establish the groundwork for comprehending the piece; it’s to create immediate interest in the topic that you have selected.
Also, the initial paragraph should be in the first person. A speedy way to obliterate a letter is to talk in the third person or to include ‘we’ in the letter. To begin a letter with “we” can spoil your response.
Here is a comprehensive set of the rules to follow in creating your first paragraph
- Make it theatrical, interesting, and directed to the exact target audience.
- Keep your paragraph concise.
- Keep your sentences precise.
- Keep your words short.
- Use “you” to engage the prospect.
- Make your message come from a single person, on a very individual basis, with the aim of building a one-on-one readership throughout the piece.
In assessing any sales letter, one of the basic things you should do is examine the lead paragraph. Does it match the approach and taste of the six points listed above?
There is no rigid formula to a lead-in paragraph, but your letters will create enhanced responses if you follow, rather than break, the rules.
Is Including a P.S. In Your Sales Letter Essential?
People do like to know who has sent them the letter, and tend to quickly scroll down to the end of the letter to see whose signature is at the bottom.
The next thing they see below the signature is a Postscript (or P.S.). Truly enough, your P.S. can be the second (after the headline) or third (after the opening sentence/paragraph) most read element of your sales letter or email.
Most copywriters use not just one postscript, but also several (P.P.S). Most postscripts tend to be fairly small, usually, about 3 or 4 lines to sum up the offer, corroborate the deadline, and comprise the call for action.
Webster’s defines PS.. this way… (verbatim) “Postscript — To write after; a paragraph added to a letter after it is concluded
and signed by the writer; an addition made to a letter or composition after the main body of the work has been finished, containing something omitted, or something new occurring to the writer.”
For marketers, it provides one final opportunity to influence prospects into action. The best way to use your final “addition” is to highlight or re-state a chief point of significance to the reader.
Employ these tactics. The P.S. is one of the most-read elements of any sales letter. It ranks second only to your headline and sub-heads in terms of readership priority.
Keep it concise and precise. A succinct summary is sufficient to uphold the reader’s interest. If you need more room, create a secondary P.S. Adding supplementary P.S.’s is a mainly effective strategy with longer sales letters.
Should You Include Guarantees?
If you offer a product or service without a guarantee, you might just be on the verge of losing a great percentage of potential sales. Nowadays, scams are widespread.
Since there is no official police or moderator on the Internet, such scams are most likely even greater as a consequence. Because of these swindlers and the huge number of challenges presented on the Web, people are mistrustful and will increasingly seek out more protected means to advantage from offers.
Guarantees are, therefore, influential tools for the opulence-seeking marketer and can do two very vital things that will help
grow one’s profits: Increase sales and reduce returns.
When you offer a guarantee, you diminish the cynicism around the purchase of your product or service. Consumers are reasonably careful and all the more when making purchases via the Web. And guarantees give you almost immediate trustworthiness with possible customers.
Guarantees increase perceived value. Take for instance the story of the Monaghan brothers. Both the brothers were into a home base business. They required money to pay through college.
They worked in shifts and attended college when they were free in the other shift. After going through loss for about one year, one of the brothers sold his share in the business. The other stuck to the small pizzeria.
In some interviews he recently gave, Tom Monaghan said that he was not too sure that he was doing the right thing. And rest is history.
His decision was the best one he ever made. His business based on a simple guarantee, “Pizza delivered fresh in 30 minutes or it’s free,” Domino’s Pizza became the billion-dollar industry of today.
Guarantees increase sales and reduce returns. While people order, particularly from the Web because of the expediency it offers, an offer that provides a no harassment return policy adds to the expediency factor and instills a greater self-assurance in the buyer’s mind. So use guarantees to guarantee your success.
Seven Tips for a Grand Guarantee Sales Letter
- Make the guarantee easy and unqualified. Drop the excuses and fine print.
- Be sure your total organization believes in the operating philosophy dictated by the use of guarantees.
- Be familiar with your clients enough to realize whether the guarantee at all helps the client.
- A guarantee should be a two-way road, so include some upside if you surpass performance potential: ask for “success” fees.
- Indicate which clients can claim the guarantee and which cannot. Restrict the number to a minimum.
- React quickly if a client requests that you make good on your guarantee.
- Monitor your performance to save surprises.
Guarantees fall into five very different categories
- The Money-back guarantee: This guarantees that your customers won’t squander their time or money. It also defends customers if the product breaks or fails.
- The Satisfaction guarantee: This guarantees that your customers will be happy and satisfied with your service or product.
- Price protection guarantee: This can either offer a fixed price, ensuring the price and/or payment terms won’t change or increase (for example, life insurance) or ensure that they won’t find a lower price elsewhere.
- On-time guarantee: This helps suppress the fears in time-crunched clientele. Businesses like printers, car repair shops, and cable companies can find such an offer tempting.
- Absolutely No Questions Asked guarantee: This can be functional towards anything. Just try it out and see.