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Saturday, January 17, 2009

How to type a Sales Letter

At one time during your marketing career, you may have been
tasked to write a sales letter. You might have thought it
unnecessary, even useless. After all, a little email will
usually do the trick in convincing potential buyers to get your
goods, right? And if you can't write to them, you can always run
over to their houses and offices, bring in the oh-so-presentable
you, and blab away about why your service is the best in the
West, right?

Sadly, letter writing is never out of fashion, and your
instinct are just plain wrong. You will need to write a sales
letter to get to ask many people as possible. You will need to
write a sales letter to get that housewife to buy your set of
plastic cutlery, or that football coach to buy custom-made
towels for his team, or that CEO to grab that hotel membership
to his favorite five-star resort. Respect and formality are
still in.

A good sales letter needs to be terse, brief, succinct, but
full of information about the product or service that you are
selling. Many good sales letters take no more than a page or a
page and a half to tell their story: within the first few words,
they grab the reader; in the next few paragraphs, they can
convince the most miserly recipients to shell out cash for a
product or service. A good sales letter is also eager without
being overbearing, and respectful without being stiff.

A good sales letter is admittedly, very difficult to write. It
can be hard to tone down a hard selling tune, but likewise hard
to keep oneself from being boring. If you are tasked to write a
sales letter, you might want to take note of the following tips
as you put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard.

- Format is important. As with any other letter, a sales letter
begins with the name and address of the sender, then the name
and address of the recipient. After a formal address, the letter
has a body, which contains, in order, an opening salutation,
creation of a need, a sales pitch, information on how the
product or service can be purchased, and a closing salutation.
The letter is then signed by the sender.

Follow this format, as it can give your recipients an easier
time understanding the letter and your goals. An organized
letter, moreover, speaks well about your own sense of
organization, and even the integrity of your company.

- Always start on a personal note, and avoid using the generic
address "To whom it may concern," or "To Mr. or Ms." but without
a name. Your potential buyers need to know that you care about
them, and this knowledge begins by recognizing that you
addressed them by name. In sales letter-writing, small details
are key.

- Make your pitch in two hundred words or less. If you make a
short pitch, you may appear as though you do not believe in your
product. If you make a very long one, you might not be
believable at all. Strike the balance with a medium-sized pitch
that resonates with readers. Remember, you have to create a need
for your product or service first before you can begin selling

- Do not compare your product or service with those of other
companies'. This can be tempting, especially when a free market
encourages stiff competition amongst competitors with like
products and services. However, this can also speak ill of your
company, especially if you do not have a name yet. Make your
product's or service's qualities speak for themselves.

- Watch your grammar and spelling! Nothing can turn off readers
more than a poorly constructed, badly written letter. If you
cannot take care of your own writing style, you might not appear
qualified to take care of potential buyers either. Always have a
book of style next to you when you compose the letter. If you
have time, show the sales letter to your writer or editor
friends. They can give you tips on how to improve your writing,
and you can practice your sales pitches on them as well!

- Sign the letter personally. A personal touch always makes you
look good, and can soften your potential buyers' hearts toward

If you want to write a sales letter, then you need to practice
often, and believe in your product or service. As in any letter,
or any product of the written word, passion shows clearly.

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