Sales Letters: Broken Down by Parts
In a single year, the New York post office receives 500,000 letters to Santa.
A letter to Santa is short, sweet, and gets right to the point. The child tells Santa what they want and why they should have it. It's the kind of attitude you should carry into writing your sales letters.
An effective sales letter gets to the point and tells people exactly what they should do after reading it. It's persuasive and confident. Knowing how to write sales letters is crucial if you want people to believe in your mission.
If you aren't quite sure where to get started in the world of copywriting and advertising, we're here to help get the ball rolling.
Below you'll find a full guide on the parts of a successful sales letter. Make sure to keep reading.
What's the Purpose of a Sales Letter?
It's as obvious as it sounds. A sales letter is used to pitch a new service or product to potential customers. In your sales letter, you show your customers how your product will make their life better.
Don't focus too much on the logistics of the actual transaction. You can cover that after they've been convinced to buy it. Give them a peek into what their life will look like as they enjoy what they've bought from you.
Sales letters establish direct contact between a producer and a consumer. Because this contact is so direct, it needs to be filled with persuasion and eye-catching content.
Pull Readers in With a Strong Starting Headline
Customers consume large amounts of information every single day thanks to the internet, television, and smartphones.
Visual information is constantly bombarding us. This is why you need a strong headline at the top of your letter.
Cut through the static with a headline that's eye-catching. Think of the headlines you catch a glimpse of on the paper magazines by grocery store check-out areas. What kinds of words and phrases caught your eye?
Keep the headline short and sweet. You'll lose someone's attention if it's too long. If you need to convey more information, type in a subhead.
The headline and subhead quickly tell readers why they need to read the letter. It gives them just a small taste, and it leaves them wanting more information on your product or service.
Use Headings That Keep Them Reading
Attention-grabbing headings that keep them reading are crucial parts of a sales letter. Even if you've never attended an ad school or earned a copywriting certificate, using effective headings will give you the professional edge you're looking for.
Headings are phrases, typically bolded, within a letter that gives a quick clue into what information is included in each section. They create a smooth, organized flow to letters.
Use headings to highlight sections telling your readers what your product is, why they need it, and how they can use it.
If you find yourself juggling large blocks of text in your letter, you can also use subheadings. Subheadings give peeks into less important details or statistics you'd like to share.
Headings are also important in the case someone needs to come back to your letter.
If a reader doesn't have much time to give your letter the attention it deserves, they'll make a mental note to return if they notice interesting headers.
Point Out Problems, Offer Solutions
Your product or service is meant to improve the life of the buyer. To show them how it's going to improve their life, use the body of the letter to point out the problems they're having without your product.
Are you selling a house cleaning product?
Point out the dirt and grime sitting on the floor of their shower.
Do you want people to buy your comfortable tennis shoes? Remind them of how their feet ache a bit after long days of walking.
Once you point out their pesky problems, then tell them how they'll benefit from your product or service. Hand them the solution they've been looking for.
Use positive buzzwords, a friendly tone, and juicy descriptions. You know how great your product is so make sure you convince them as well. Don't be afraid to brag a bit!
As you construct your letter, use bullet points to convey the main benefits you're selling. This will also give the reader's eyes a break from scanning through text.
Highlight Customer Testimonials
A key component of successful branding is highlighting the experience of past customers. Customer testimonials let your future buyers know how other people loved what you sell, and it shows you care about feedback.
Select a couple of wonderful testimonials to place in your sales letter. Pick testimonials that convey a strong sense of emotion and that may tug on the heartstrings of others.
Your site can contain tons of other testimonials your readers can peek at after reading your letter.
Give a Call to Action
Now that people know how your product can change their life, tell them what step to take next. A call to action (CTA) is the push your reader needs to finalize the transaction.
For example, if you want the reader to book an event with your catering company, include a CTA that reads, "To leave your guests full and satisfied, visit our site now to book your next big event."
A CTA should be concise, easy to follow, and specific. It should also convey an attitude of urgency. Even if something isn't necessarily time-sensitive, make it seem as such.
If your readers need to access a certain link or social media account to complete the action, give needed links and account handles so they don't have to go on a virtual scavenger hunt.
Always Proofread Your Letters
Noticeable errors cause readers to lose trust in your service. Proofread your own letter, and then pass the letter to a few members of your team for extra pairs of eyes.
Double-check to make sure everything is spelled correctly, and adjust any sentences that don't flow or contain incorrect grammar. Yes, good grammar is important!
Cut down sentences that are too long, and swap out any vocabulary that isn't easily understood by the general public. No letter should be above an 8th or 9th-grade reading level.
Lastly, don't forget to cite your sources.
Need Help Getting Started?
When writing a sales letter, getting started may be the toughest part. There's so much you want to say, but you aren't sure how to say it. Make an outline.
An outline will help you organize your thoughts, help cut out any unnecessary information, and assist your flow when it comes time to write.
It should only take about 30 minutes to an hour to complete an outline.
Use bullet points to highlight key sections within your letter. Use subpoints to jot down important supporting information.
Take Time to Brainstorm
Successful business marketing doesn't happen within the blink of an eye. Taking time to brainstorm is crucial, even if it doesn't seem productive to you at the time.
Sit with a strong cup of coffee or a few of your coworkers and toss around ideas for a headline. What kind of emotions do you want to stir? What words stir those emotions?
You can also take inspiration from figures in pop culture, viral memes, and famous movies to create headlines. This is a great strategy if you're trying to appeal to a younger audience.
Before you start brainstorming, create a list of characteristics of your ideal or typical customer. Write out what age your customers typically are, and check the analytics to see what gender usually buys from you.
These important details will make the brainstorming process easier for everyone involved. It can also inspire you to target an audience you haven't reached in the past.
Double-Check Your Website and Social Media Platforms
Have you ever read a CTA that lead you to a dead end? Yikes!
Guarantee your site and social media platforms are updated and running smoothly for customers, especially if your CTA leads them to take action online. This will save you from trouble.
Make sure the product you highlighted in your letter is easy to find on your site. You can even create a special spot for it on your homepage so customers see it as soon as they land on your site.
Act as a customer as you explore your site. Click on the product you're advertising. Make sure it's added to your cart, and guarantee the checkout process is quick and easy.
A painless visit to your site will keep customers coming back for more.
How to Write Successful Sales Letters
Writing successful sales letters will boost your business to the next level. Sales letters will let your readers know why they need your product or service now, and it'll convince them to take immediate action.
Use a catchy headline to reel in your reader. Create headings and subheadings to keep their attention, and don't forget to provide a CTA at the end.
For more tips on things like writing successful headlines, check out the rest of our site.
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