In this world of fast talking, fast technology and fast disappearing attention spans, you can be forgiven for thinking that sales letters don‘t work anymore. Except that they do.
The Wall Street Journal used the same sales letter over and over again, for more than 23 years straight. Just some written words on a couple sheets of paper raked in over 1 billion dollars.
Imagine that. Every week you mail out your sales letter, knowing almost as virtual certainty how many thousands of dollars and new clients will be walking through your door this week (or sending you money as the case may be).
That’s what a good sales letter will do for you.
But what about today? You might be surprised to learn that traditional “offline” media is running circles around digital media in terms of results.
According to research by the Direct Marketing Association, pound for pound, dollar for dollar, sales letters and direct mail continue to outperform every single kind of advertising media.
Including digital media.
The fact that your competition is blissfully unaware of the power of the humble sales letter, works brilliantly in your favor. While they’re busy trying to tweet, like, post, pin, and email to grab attention, you can sail past all that annoying noise.
You can talk to them in a way no one else bothers to.
As a trusted friend.
Someone who cares enough about them that they’ve written an actual letter, showing they understand their problems and offering a very real solution.
Here’s another reason why I love sales letters. Sales letters are the ultimate form of leverage. You can’t be everywhere to deliver your sales pitch. Neither can your sales team (if you have one). But your sales letter sure can. It does all the rapport building and the selling for you. For less than the price of a cup of coffee your sales letter will deliver your pitch perfectly every time, 365 days a year.
Here are some quick pointers on what makes a great sales letter:
- Knowing who the letter is going to. Just as you should never mass email broadcast, so too there is no such thing as a one size fits all sales letter. You talk to men very differently than women. You talk to business owners very differently than you do employees.
- Be very clear about the pain your product or sales letter fixes. People move a lot quicker away from pain than they do towards pleasure. Find a pain that your service fixes. Then don’t be afraid to put your finger in that wound and wiggle it around. The pain has to be real to get people to take immediate action.
- Make sure your sales letter is an entertaining read. If it makes your eyeballs want to dry up – guess what it will do to your prospects? Like it or not we live in an entertainment age. The trick is in knowing how to entertain while doing what I call “stealth selling” at the same time.
- Don’t forget to follow up. It’s human nature that we sometimes have to get hit over the head with something a few times before we’ll move on it. If you’re not creating follow up sales letters you are leaving a lot of money on the table. One of the most effective sales letter campaigns I’ve ever done had a 23 part follow up sequence that used both email and direct mail. Follow up, follow up, follow up!