Regardless of what you’re trying to sell, you really can’t sell it
without “talking” with your prospective buyer. And 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 that his mouth begins to water, and (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. For the larger priced items, they’ll run to at least four
pages – on A4 paper, or A3 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 an A4 sheet. However, your sales letter
should always be on letterheaded paper – have your letterhead
printed, and include a logo or 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 be “wishy washy” with your sales letter and expect to close
the sale with a colour brochure or circular. You do the actual
selling and the closing of the 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 YES. Surveys and tests over the
years emphatically prove that longer sales letters pull 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 another colour.

Relative to the brochure or 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 complement your sales letter, then you
shouldn’t be using them. Another thing, it will definitely
classify you as an independent home worker if you hand stamp your
name and address on these brochures or advertising circulars.

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 and address 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.

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

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 is that you experiment –
try it both ways – with different mailings, and decide for
yourself from there.

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