Sales letters, whether in actual mailed letter or email format, is probably one of the most tedious and annoying means of advertising ever devised. From a customer perspective, getting your physical mail box flooded with flyers and your email inbox stuffed with spam is NOT a good way to start out the day. From a salesman or business owner’s perspective, trying to offer people a product that you KNOW will actually help them becomes more difficult because the public in general is becoming more jaded from all the trash letters being sent out by half baked marketing groups with substandard products. To this end, here are 7 tips from an irritable consumer to give some advice to people making sales letters:
Honesty is the best policy – nobody likes a scammer, with the sole possible exception of the scammer himself and any associates who make a profit alongside his sales. Those „wonderful“ people aside, everybody else would rather take a scammer, disembowel him, and hang him from a flagpole by his intestines. So first thing’s first: you want us to read your letters? Shoot straight and don’t hide or lie about facts.
Get to the Darn Point – you’re not writing a novel, are you? It’s a sales letter. Keep it short so you don’t waste our time, and if something can be said in 5 words, why phrase it in 20? Granted, some of those lengthier statements may be intended to amuse us, but if we wanted a quick laugh, we can always just go out and watch a mime getting run over by a truck.
Talk TO your Readers, not AT Them – a lot of letters come across sounding like they’re being delivered from a stage or a pulpit. Talk TO your readers, person to person, not AT them like you’re making a grand speech. Again, if I wanted to fall asleep listening to a speech, I’d just go to church or a corporate meeting at work, or maybe watch TV and look for a politician.
What’s In It for The Reader? – yep, that’s the bottom line bubba. What’s in it for me? Your new fangled high tech swiss army bulletproof cell phone may come with more processing power than an entire network of PCs, it might be made from materials that theoretically shouldn’t exist through modern smelting methods, and may even include a tazer gun in case I get mugged. But what do I get out of it when all I need from a phone is a longer battery life, a built in MP3 player for my tunes, and a high powered „babe“ magnet?
Fine Print Makes People Nervous – use large, clear print for your letter text. Nobody likes having to use a magnifying glass to read a letter. Fine print, from the stand point of a consumer, will often hold various arcane stipulations designed to squeeze extra bucks out of our wallets. We like knowing what we’re getting into and what we’re buying without any hitches, snags, and hidden agendas, thank you very much.
Concentrate on Getting Interest, Not a Sale – if you try to push your product off on me, I’ll shove it back into your face and down your throat. There’s an old adage: Don’t call me, I’ll call you. This applies to most any potential consumer. As far as I’m concerned if you push for a sale, then all you want is my money. If, on the other hand, you catch my interest and give me a good reason to call you, THEN we can talk about my buying your stuff. Make it worth my while.
Let The Reader Know How to Reach You – one of the most irritating aspects of business sales letters is incomplete or vague return contact information. I know that being „mysterious“ and „hard to get“ is a common ploy. News flash here: playing hard to get makes people walk out on you, and being mysterious usually means you have large skeletons in the closet to hide. So, that translates to you’re being a scam. If you want to talk about making a sale, let me know how to reach you quickly and easily.