Techniques to Improve Your Sales Letters Response

Whenever you send out promotional items, always include a sales letter to relay your product pitch. A well-written sales letter adds punch to the marketing of any business, large or small.

Of course, no formula can assure success for every letter. But there are time-tested tactics that can dramatically improve your chances. Here are seven of them.

#1 Start Strong
Starting a sales letter is not much different from beginning a print ad. You have to grab the reader’s attention and make him or her want to read more. You can do this with a headline before the salutation or with a strong first sentence.

If you use a headline, be sure that it makes sense to your reader. Nobody opens mail to be dazzled by creative verbiage. They want to know how to make more money, be more attractive, get ahead at work, and generally have a better life. Don’t labor over a creative concept, just get to the point quickly and clearly.

If you prefer a more formal letter, your first sentence will do the job of a headline. The same rule applies here. Choose clarity over creativity.

#2 Identify Your Reader’s Problem
There are countless formats for headlines and first sentences, including making an announcement, asking a question, or telling a story.

The problem/solution format is probably the most logical and straightforward approach. Remember people buy products or services to solve their problems. Knowing your reader or audience is very important in order for you to state their problem and provide a solution. Simple as that.

#3 Emphasize the Benefits
People wanting a widget do not care that your widget comes with five thingamabobs however he is interested in how those five thingamabobs takes the place of five other expensive doodads to save him money and make his work easier.

Relate everything to your reader and his or her needs. Talk benefits, not features.

#4 Come Up with a Strong Offer
Just as people buy solutions rather than products, they also accept offers rather than purchases. If you’ve done a good job of showing the reader all the benefits of your product or service, you have to make a strong, fair offer.

For example, people don’t buy 12 issues of a magazine, they accept an offer of 45 percent off the newsstand price. People don’t buy a pair of glasses, they accept an offer to buy one and get one free. Your offer isn’t your price … it’s your special deal.

#5 Tell Your Reader What to Do Next
Your readers may be intelligent, but don’t assume that they’ll spend even a second wondering how to accept your offer. If you want the reader to call, say so. If you want your reader to fill out a reply card, give direct instructions to do it.

Every good salesperson knows you have to ask for the order. A sales letter is no different. If you want the reader’s business, ask for it. And forget the fancy, teeny type … make your phone number big and your address easy to read. And use a serif typeface no smaller than 10 points.

#6 Make it Easy to Respond
If you have written a strong, benefit-packed letter that convinces the reader to try out your product or service, for sure they will try to reach you. The problem is when you’ve forgotten a return envelope or there’s no phone number this will lead to lost in sales.

The more options you give your reader, the easier it is to respond  and the more sales you’ll make. Include phone numbers, addresses, reply cards, coupons, order forms, return envelopes, and anything else that makes it easy to say “YES” to your offer.

Gene Dmitri

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