5 tips for writing a great sales letter
The sales letter is one of the staples of the direct marketing copywriter’s arsenal. While direct mail is sometimes associated with soliciting, particularly in Singapore, there are ways for copywriters to make their direct mail engaging and interesting. Very often, a great sales letter can be an effective introduction. So if you’ve already built up a solid product or service, use these five tips to make your sales letters reflect your expertise.
1. Offer freemium
This is the first thing that copywriters need to consider when writing a sales letter or email. Give the reader value from the very beginning. This means presenting industry insights or tips at the beginning of the letter or email. Copywriters need to ensure that they are giving readers valuable, insightful, and relevant information that can be used immediately. It pays to do a little research in order to generate this freemium content, because it makes the email or letter much more impressive from the very beginning.
2. Be concise
It’s been said again and again – and it doesn’t hurt to say it a few more times. Readers rarely have the time to read long emails and letters. If you can’t say it in a paragraph, there’s no point saying it. In fast-paced business environments like Singapore, it’s essential that your idea should be condensed into a simple paragraph. Copywriters must get used to writing succinct paragraphs that convey messages in less words.
3. Use benefits, not features
Forget listing the features of your product or service. This may be your only opportunity to communicate its benefits to your potential customers, so go straight to what makes it relevant for them. If you’re selling a multi-user accounting software, don’t tell the reader that their employees can share accounting information across platforms and update the system easily. That’s a feature. Think of the benefits – quicker updating, less time spent coordinating accounting information, and fewer mistakes. That’s what customers are looking for. That’s what you need to write in your sales letter.
4. Use the right tone of voice
To determine what tone of voice to use, you need to take into account a number of factors. First of all, think of the industry you operate in. What is the usual register of communication? Remember, an industry that is formal and conservative in Australia or Singapore may be more casual in Taiwan or India. Think about the industry and region that you’re working in, and match your tone to what you think suits these considerations best. You also need to consider whom you’re writing to. Are you writing to the finance manager? The CEO? The marketing manager? Adjust your tone if necessary. Finally, your own company’s personality needs to shine through the words. Use words and phrases that represent what your company stands for. If you’re an external copywriter, make sure you understand the company’s stance and vision fully before writing the material.
5. Use the subject line wisely
The subject line is like the cover of a book – it determines whether a reader will look inside. Make your subject line benefit and information driven, not sales driven. Think about what sort of subject line your reader’s colleagues and industry associates would use, and try to reproduce that tone of voice and terminology. That way, you won’t appear like an outside sales influence – you’ll appear as a trusted industry partner.