Four tips for writing an effective sales letter

Envelope with wax sealRed Pony recently developed a simple sales letter for a small local company. We went with a direct approach that has been delivering excellent results to date. I thought I’d share some of the secrets to success.

The recipients of these sales letters all had one thing in common. The company had identified them as organisations they would like to work with.

By reviewing its existing client list and identifying which organisations generated the highest revenues, were the most enjoyable to work with, and had recognisable needs they could easily service, the company was able to create a profile of its ‘ideal’ client. It then created a mailing list of similar organisations in the same industry.

We decided the best approach was to write a brief, simple sales letter that explained how and why the recipient was being approached: because the company saw the organisation as a good fit for the services it provides. The letter listed a number of current clients with similar needs, and then explained in broad terms how these other organisations had benefited from these services.

The call to action at the end of the letter was similarly straightforward. Recipients were invited to get in contact if they wanted to discuss a specific requirement they might have or, alternatively, to keep its details on file until a need arose.

While it is early days in the campaign, the results have been very promising. Already four new projects and two new clients have resulted from a simple sales letter.

Here are four tips to keep in mind when trying to write an effective sales letter:

  • Be honest. Explain in simple terms why you think the recipient might be interested in your services. Don’t exaggerate what you can do, or what you have done, and don’t underestimate the power of your reader’s BS detector.
  • Be brief. If it’s more than a page it’s unlikely to get read. Simple as that.
  • Be relevant. Choose your recipients carefully and develop different versions for each market sector (or even each organisation) you are writing to. It will take longer, but you’re far more likely to get a response.
  • Be respectful. You’re asking for the recipient’s time. Respect their effort by taking the time to edit what you have written to ensure it is clear and free of basic spelling and grammatical errors.

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