The Secrets of a Million Dollar Sales Letter

Regardless of what you’re trying to sell, you really can’t sell
it without “talking” with your prospective buyer. An in
attempting to sell anything by mail, the sales letter you send
out is when and how you talk to your prospect.

All winning sales letters “talk” to the prospect by creating an
image in the mind of the reader. They set “the scene” by
appealing to a desire or need; and then they flow smoothly into
the “visionary” part of the sales pitch by describing in detail
how “wonderful” life will be and, how “good” the prospect is
going to feel after he’s purchased your product. This is the
“body or guts” of a sales letter.

Overall, a winning sales letter follows a time-tested and
proven formula: 1) Get his attention 2) Get him interested
in what you can do for him 3) Make him desire the benefits of
your product so badly his mouth begins to water 4) Demand
action from him – tell him to send for whatever it is you’re
selling without delay – any procrastination on his part might
cause him to lose out. This is called the “AIDA” formula and
it works.

Sales letters that pull in the most sales are almost always two
pages with 1 1/2 spaces between lines. For really big ticket
items, they’ll run at least four pages – on an 11 by 17 sheet
of paper folded in half. If your sales letter is only two
pages in length, there’s nothing wrong with running it on the
front and back of one sheet of 8 1/2 by 11 paper. However,
your sales letter should always be on letterhead paper – your
letterhead printed, and including your logo and business motto
if you have one.

Regardless of the length of your sales letter, it should do one
thing, and that’s sell, and sell hard! If you intend to close
the sale, you’ve got to do it with your sales letter. You
should never by “wishy-washy” with your sales letter and expect
to close the sale with a color brochure or circular. You do
the actual selling and the closing of that sale with your sales
letter – any brochure or circular you send along with it will
just reinforce what you say in the sales letter.

There’s been a great deal of discussion in the past few years
regarding just how long a sales letter should be. A lot of
people are asking: Will people really take the time to read a
long sales letter. The answer is a simple and time-tested yes
indeed! Surveys and tests over the years emphatically prove
that “longer sales letters” pull even better than the shorter
ones, so don’t worry about the length of your sales letter –
just make sure that it sells your product for you!

The “inside secret” is to make your sales letter so
interesting, and “visionary” with the benefits you’re offering
to the reader, that he can’t resist reading it all the way
through. You break up the “work” of reading by using short,
punchy sentences, underlining important points you’re trying to
make, with the use of subheadlines, indentations and even the
use of a second color.

Relative to the brochures and circulars you may want to include
with your sales letter to reinforce the sale – providing the
materials you’re enclosing are of the best quality, they will
generally reinforce the sale for you. But, if they are of poor
quality, look cheap and don’t compliment your sales letter,
then you shouldn’t be using them. Another thing, it will
definitely classify you as an independent homeworker if your
hand-stamp your name/address on these brochures or advertising

Whenever possible, and so long as you have really good
brochures to send out, have your printer run them through his
press and print your name/address – even your telephone number
and company logo – on them before you send them out. The thing
is, you want your prospect to think of you as his supplier –
the company – and not as just another mail order operator.
Sure, you can get by with less expense but you’ll end up with
fewer orders and in the end, less profits.

Another thing that’s been bandied about and discussed from
every direction for years is whether to use a post office box
number or your street address. Generally, it’s best to include
both your post office box number, AND, your street address on
your sales letter. This kind of open display of your honesty
will give you credibility and dispel the thought of you being
just another “fly-by-night” mail order company in the mind of
your prospect.

Above all else, you’ve got to include some sort of ordering
coupon. This coupon has to be as simple and as easy for the
prospect to fill out and return to you as you can possible make
it. A great many sales are lost because this order coupon is
just too complicated for the would-be buyer to follow. Don’t
get fancy! Keep it simple, and you’ll find your prospects
responding with glee.

Should your or shouldn’t you include a self-addressed reply
envelope? There are a lot of variable as well as pro’s and
con’s to this question, but overall, when you send out a
“winning” sales letter to a good mailing list, a return reply
envelope will increase your response tremendously.

Tests of late seem to indicate that it isn’t that big a deal or
difference in responses relative to whether you do or don’t
pre-stamp the return reply envelope. Again, the decision here
will rest primarily on the product you’re selling and the
mailing list you’re using. Our recommendation that you
experiment – try it both ways – with subsequent mailings and
decide for yourself from there.

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SMB Reviews
SMB Reviews 473 posts

SMBReviews is committed to providing small and mid-sized business owners with the information and resources they need to select the best service or product for their company.

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