Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home/a26f9f83/public_html/articles/includes/config.php on line 159
Writing Effective Sales Messages > NetSparsh - Viral Content you Love & Share

Writing Effective Sales Messages

A sales letter is a document designed to generate sales. It is a distinctive type of persuasive letter. It persuades the reader to place an order, to request additional information, or to lend support to the product or service or cause being offered. For most sectors other than retail, a sales letter is the first and most important way of reaching new customers. The purpose in writing a sales message is to sell a product. It influences the reader to take a specific action by making an offer-not an announcement-to him. Sales letter attempts to persuade readers to spend their time and money on the value being offered. To sell, the sales letter must be specific, go to the right audience, appeal to the readers needs, and it must be informative.

Before writing the sales letter you need to plan about the type of sale campaign that you will conduct. Whether you will send a letter only or will you include brochures, reply forms, special inserts, samples, response cards etc.? How do you plan to market the product or service? Through the Internet, direct mail, email, direct sales, print advertising, etc.? Do you need other advertising or literature to support the sales letter? Who is your competition? How are they marketing this product or service? What is your advertising budget? Are your marketing hopes realistic? Another important decision is to determine the specific purpose of your letter. Whether you want your reader to call for a free video, presentation or demonstration? Or you want your reader to fill out an order form? For these you need to know and analyze your audience and the purpose for writing. Try to form a mental image of the typical buyer for the product you wish to sell. Ask yourself:

? Who is your prospective buyer?

? What motivates a person to buy this item?

? What might the reader want to know about this product?

? What does the product or service do for the one who needs it?

? What can the reader gain from buying it?

? What is unique selling point of the product or service?

? Does your offer appeal to the reader?

? Can you transform him from prospect to buyer?

A sales letter is one of the important instruments of sales promotion. The principles of effective sales letter depends on your communication skill and your ability to convince your reader to accept or act on your recommendations. You may be promoting a product, a service or an idea; your sales letter should catch the reader's attention, build interest, and motivate him to buy the product or service offered. A good sales letter should possess the following qualities:

Emphasize good looks

Design your document for visual impact. Make it easy to navigate so your reader reaches for it first-ahead of the competition's. You can create professional-looking templates for your sales letter that use your company logo, branding and colors.

'You' Attitude

The most effective word in a sales letter is "you". Never begin a letter with "I" because chances are the reader won't get to the second word. It all comes down to selling benefits - your prospects are not interested in the features of your products services, but in what how your products or services can benefit them. Then it must build a reader's trust. It should make generous use of "you" and "your" - so it is clear the customer's needs come first, not your desire to sell something.

Use bullets

The body of your letter should contain key points, shown by bullets. Use bullets because it makes the letter easy to read. As the writer or seller, you benefit by immediately pointing your reader in the direction of the important points you want to make.

Keep your letter brief

It's rare that someone is going to read anything past the first page, so keep your letter to one page. Staying at one page will also force you to be to the point, since a wordy letter is an ineffective letter.

Use statistics

Using statistics shows that you understand the issues of their business, while demonstrating that your product or service can solve a problem. It also gives your prospect a reason to support your product or service within the company.

Show your prospect's needs

Your sales letter is a very brief sales proposal, so you need to show that you are thinking about your prospect's needs. You might be hesitant to put your best ideas in your letter, fearing that your prospect will use them but not hire your company. That's a mistake. By putting your ideas in your letter, you will make your prospects feel like they are getting something already, and that they will benefit from your products or services. More importantly, you will be demonstrating that you are creative and have your client's best interests in mind.

Use right tone

Use the right tone in your writing. Use active voice. Use the present tense. Be positive. Avoid negatives. Keep sentences and paragraphs short.

Proof read

Proof read your letter before you send it out. This will help you determine if your letter is clear and if you're getting your point across. Also, misspelled word or other careless mistake will give bad impression to the reader.

One of the most effective strategies to plan and write effective sales letter is to follow the four steps in your letter which are:

? Catch attention
? Build interest
? Establish credibility
? Motivate action

Catch attention

To be effective, a sales letter must catch reader's attention. Design your document for visual impact to catch the reader's attention by using graphics such as layout, colour scheme or illustrations. You can grab attention with an eye-catching headline or an interesting opening. This might be a question or statement. The opening should be short, honest, relevant, interesting and stimulating. Keep it quite general to appeal to as many people as possible. There are many possibilities for opening your sales letter that could persuade the reader to buy. Make a compelling promise for the reader, tell a story that the reader can identify with, make an announcement of a new product or service showcasing your unique selling point or ask a question.

The headline encourages your prospects and leads them to your next line. There you start to build their interest and ensure they read the next sentence and each subsequent one.

Build interest

Besides a powerful headline, your sales letter must have an immediate clear benefit for the intended audience. To build interest in your sales message you should highlight your product's central selling point, the single point around which you will build your sales message. Be upfront and bold about promising a prize or a tangible reward in exchange for time and attention. Whatever product or service you are selling you need to position it so that its benefits provide one or more of the following common desires:

- To make or save money
- To be healthy
- To be popular or to maintain a social status
- To have security
- To have free time or save labour
- To get entertainment, comfort or amusement
- To take advantage of opportunities
- To be good looking
- To achieve inner peace

Show them how your product will benefit them in making their lives better, safer or easier. How will it save them time, trouble, worry or money? Look at their ultimate goal and relate it to that. Why should they buy from you? For example, state what makes you an expert in your chosen field. How can you prove what you are claiming is true? Once you have listed down the key benefits of the service or product and positioned yourself as the person to deliver it, the time is right to deliver your sales pitch. Persuade your reader to buy based on the grounds of what the product or service does for him or her (benefit), not what the product or service is (feature)!

A benefit is what the product or service does, and what the buyer gains from the feature. A benefit is the specific outcome of the feature. A feature is something the product or service already has. Benefits are what motivate people to buy. Bullet point each benefit to make it easier to read. Think about every possible benefit your reader may derive from your product or service. In many cases, people will buy a product or service based on only one of the benefits you list.

Besides the benefit stated at the letter's opening, you can bolster interest by adding high-profile testimonials from associates or former clients. Testimonials from happy customers are very useful for this purpose, as are quotes from established third parties such as industry leaders or reputable specialists. Opinions, figures and independent statistics are also likely to reinforce your message. Ultimate motivations are what people "really" want. The product or service is just a vehicle to providing these benefits so make sure your sales letter focuses on these motivational factors.

Establish credibility

You need to establish credibility and be believable by the second paragraph. You must anticipate the reader's objections and doubts and offer counter arguments. There are several ways of overcoming reader's doubts which must be used with good judgment and should be related with the main appeal of the letter. You can provide testimonials, money-back guarantees, trial offers, attractive warranties or free samples. Using too many points to establish credibility will not be effective. To gain credibility for you and your request, present just one fact, strengthened, if necessary, by an opinion or fact as a proof.

Motivate action

It's important to remember that people are motivated to buy based on their emotions and justify their purchase based on logic only after the sale. This means that each step in the sales letter process must build on the reader's emotions to a point where they are motivated to take action. Encourage the reader to act by an easy and clear method of responding. Close with summarizing the central selling point and clear instructions for an easy action to be taken. To motivate, you can offer a gift, limit the offer, guarantee satisfaction, or promise an incentive.

End with an action: What result do you want from your letter? Are you looking to get a face-to-face appointment? Are you answering questions raised at a previous meeting? Do you want to make your prospect better informed? Do you need to get a signed contract? You need to close your letter by requesting a specific, quantifiable action. For example: "I will call you on Thursday, May 18 at 10 a.m. to schedule meeting" or "Please return the enclosed contract by Friday, April 21, or call me if you have any other questions".

WRITING A SALES LETTER:

Like any other business letter, a sales letter has three parts ? introduction, the body of the letter and the concluding paragraph. Let us examine in detail how to draft these three components of a sales letter. The important thing in a sales letter is the sequence which is as following:

Introduction
Body of the letter
Conclusion

Introduction

The introductory paragraph of a sales letter starts with an opening sentence which has a vital role to play. In many instances, the opening sentence is the only sentence that is read, so it must immediately appeal to reader's interests. There are several ways of writing an opening sentence in a sales letter, some of them are listed here with the examples: A provocative question: What would the leaning tower fall for? The leaning tower of Pisa would only be put to shame by architectural splendor that outshines its own like the new range of luxury bathroom accessories. What can you get these days for Rs. 15? Enjoy the finest that life has to offer just for Rs. 15 every month!

A striking information: We are the Number 1! We are the number 1 in revenue, customer base and customer satisfaction.

A story or an anecdote: Mr. Bala went shopping with his saving with our VISA credit card. What will you do with yours? Our credit card offers 5% bonus savings on all purchases for first six months.

A significant fact: Hearing Loss ? you may not be aware of? Only about 25% of people who need hearing aid use them.

Most people have a vocabulary of 2-3,000 words and even a scholar uses no more then 5-6,000 words in his daily life. But there are around 500,000 words in English language and you can use many of them to enrich your vocabulary by using our 'Vocabulary Builder'.

Split opening: You know English, but are you quite fluent in it? It may sound incredible but classrooms can't help you achieve fluency. No, they can't. No! Nor can audio video sessions. Nor translation. But 'Rapid English Fluency' can help you.

A conditional sequence: If home is where the most number of accidents take place, think of Woodcoat Paint as insurance.

Special offers: Free gifts! Yours for giving the digest as a gift this Puja and Diwali ? free diary for the year 2005 whether you order several subscriptions or just one will receive this big, handy year 2005 desk diary free.

Wings to give your children's career a head start! Avail the special offer of financial assistance for spectrum of educational opportunities in India and abroad.

Body of the letter

You may have a lead paragraph in the body of the letter. This part of the sales letter can be used to expand the promise made in the headline or used to deliver a second major benefit of the product or service. A sub-headline can also be used as the second part, to answer a question posed in the headline. For example, Part 1 could say: "Want to learn Kannada in 30 days?" Part 2 could say: "Well, here's how to . . ."

In the body of the sales letter you will begin to offer proof. You expand the theme, fill in details, offer proof, and show how you plan to fulfill the promise you made in the headline. Here, you give details of your unique selling point. You continue talking about the benefits and offer proof of the claim you made early. You share the details of the benefits. Prove your claim or statements by facts, logic or testimony. There are several ways of doing so, choose one that suits your products best. Following are some examples:

Trial offers: Get on the fitness trail! Enjoy our free offer to use our machine in comfort of your house for a week. If you are not satisfied we will take it back, no questions asked.

Guarantees: Guarantee of satisfaction

You always come first with us and your complete satisfaction is our prime concern. If you are not delighted with our product you may return it anytime for 100 % refund.

Free samples: To enable you to see for yourself how convenient it is to handle closet organizers, we are sending you a free sample.

Testimonials: Ritu Sharma, Bangalore: "How the web changed my world! It can change yours too. The Sify internet connectivity provided me the ability to communicate with people all over the planet and gave me access to information all around the world."

You need to explain the qualities of your product and its special features and convince your reader that your claims are true. Remember, by the end of the body, the goal is to create an emotional response that will cause the reader to do what you are now going to tell him to do.

Closing:

In the closing part of your sales letter your goal is to motivate action. Recapitulate your points and make a final appeal. You may give a limited time offer, or limited quantity offer or special bargain etc. Use a Post Script. For example, "If you order before March 1, we will include a free . . ." Or "Money back guaranteed . . ." Or "Discount is good until . . ." If you ask the reader to order, support, or to contact you for the specified reason you must make it easy for him to reply. Support the sales letter with a post card or an order form. If appropriate, supply a toll free telephone number, an Email link, and or your URL. Always close with a thank you and use a signature at the end of the letter. Save one of the best points for last.

Anubha Singh is Professor of English Language and Communication at Alliance Business Academy, Bangalore, India. Her main research interests include a variety of linguistic theories in the areas of language variation and change, phonetics, sociolinguistics, as well as applications areas in corporate communication, marketing communication and human resources.

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

CNBC

Large retailers see more than 50% bump in online sales on Prime Day
CNBC
The riches of Prime Day extended to retailers beyond Amazon. According to Adobe Analytics, retailers with more than $1 billion in revenue saw a 54 percent increase in sales compared with an average Tuesday, a seeming affirmation of efforts many ...
Prime Day boosted other large retailers' sales by 54%, says reportTechCrunch
Prime Day Once Again Sets Records For AmazonFortune
Thanks to Amazon, Target just logged its best online sales day this yearFox Business
Investor's Business Daily -TheStreet.com -MarketWatch
all 3,739 news articles »

Entrepreneur

The Top 5 Challenges Facing Today's B2B Sales Teams (and How to Fix Them With Marketing)
Entrepreneur
Here's where the sales department needs marketing's help; salespeople need to put themselves in the position of their prospect and be able to answer their crucial questions: Why should this product or service matter? How will it help prospects do their ...


Forbes

Comparing Domo's Sales And Marketing Spend With Tableau's
Forbes
Competition in the business intelligence and analytics space has become especially fierce in recent years, making it increasingly important for companies in the space to invest extensively in sales and marketing (S&M) to acquire new customers.

and more »

TechCrunch

Comic sales are down as readers abandon print
TechCrunch
Comic book and graphic novel sales fell 6.5% in 2017 from a 2016 high of $1.015 billion. Graphic novels brought in $570 million while comic books brought in about $350 million. A report posted to Comichron notes that comic stores are still the biggest ...


Entrepreneur

5 Top Salespeople Share How They Get Out of Sales Slumps
Entrepreneur
It's happened to all of us: One minute, we're hitting home runs out of the park; the next, we're swinging and missing every time. What's happening? We've hit a slump. And while slumps can happen to any of us, a sales slump is especially unfortunate ...


HarpersBAZAAR.com

Moda Operandi Is Having An 80% Off Sale On Some Seriously Good Summer Pieces
HarpersBAZAAR.com
From Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale to Amazon Prime Day and beyond, this week is full of sales worth shopping. The latest? Moda Operandi is offering up to 80% off some of its hottest designer pieces. From chic sandals to must-have denim and ...


Deadline

UK Sales Outfit Great Point Media Hires Trio Including Former Altitude Staffer
Deadline
Jordan Allwood joins as Sales Executive after working most recently at Altitude Film Sales as International Sales Co-ordinator. Joining as Sales Assistant are both Lucas Meurin, formerly a production manager at Canal + in Paris, and Regys Badi, who was ...


Bloomberg

Sinclair Rout Deepens After Offer to Revise Sales of TV Stations
Bloomberg
Pai's proposed order is said to mention possible misrepresentations or lack of candor regarding Sinclair's proposed sale of WGN-TV to a car dealer who is a business associate of a top Sinclair executive. Sinclair said it believes the FCC is questioning ...
Sinclair Updates Plans For Station Sales In Bid To Save Tribune DealDeadline
Sinclair Withdraws Cunningham Station SalesBroadcasting & Cable
Sinclair to Amend TV Station Sales as FCC Slams Tribune DealYahoo Finance

all 57 news articles »

AL.com

What you need to know about Alabama's 2018 back-to-school sales ...
AL.com
Presumably, nobody is - that's why Alabama is holding its annual back to school sales tax holiday. Eligible items will be tax-free, meaning a savings of up to 10 ...

and more »

KSFY

Sides working toward deal on online sales tax collection lawsuit
KSFY
PIERRE, S.D. (DAKOTA RADIO GROUP) - The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in South Dakota's favor in an online sales tax collection case, meaning South Dakota vs. Overstock, Wayfair and Newegg is coming back to the state's court system. Meanwhile, Gov ...

and more »
Google News

Going Global: Communication Across Mental Boundaries

A completed communication consists of a sender and a receiver.... Read More

Creating Intense Emotions That Motivate People

Ever wish that your presentations could be as much fun... Read More

Don?t Waste My Time!

Many participants in my programs ask how to deal with... Read More

I Am A Habit

JOHN DI LEMME on "I Am A Habit"H-A-B-I-T...When 95% of... Read More

How to Sell Your Products Without Competition

Selling your products at shows can be difficult when you... Read More

Chicken Little And The Disintermediation Myth

If Chicken Little were alive today he wouldn't be running... Read More

Going Back To Get Ahead

Have you ever run DOWN an escalator that was going... Read More

Ten FAST Ways to Sell Your Products

Always give a reason for the sale for credibility. 1.... Read More

The Truth Behind Linear Selling: Why It Can Make Prospects Run The Other Way

Sean works for a major telecom company.During one of our... Read More

Selling To Women - Selling To Men - It Isnt the Same

Selling To Women - Selling To Men - It Isn't... Read More

Hate Follow-Up Phone Calls To Hot Prospects Who Won?t Call You Back? Stop Calling!

We all learned in Sales 101 we must follow up... Read More

Customer Service Revival

Value is in the Eye of the BeholderSales today is... Read More

The Top 10 Myths About the Sales Profession

Myth 1: Sales People are all Shady!In the Broadway play... Read More

To Sell Successfully, You Have to Be Willing to Be Different

We are complex. We confidently assert that we are independent... Read More

An Introduction to Store Fixtures

Everybody is familiar with the old retail chant, "Location, location,... Read More

10 Incredible Ways To Sell Your Products Now

1. Make your reader visualize they have already bought your... Read More

Everything in Life is Selling

Robert Louis Stevenson said 'Everything in Life is Selling' and... Read More

Sales Training from the Ghostbusters

Picture this scene from the 1984 smash comedy movie from... Read More

The Hands On Approach

While living in the technology age where everything is computerized,... Read More

Selling Abilities - Part 1

Selling "-abilities": Reliability (Part 1 of 4) Most salespeople... Read More

Quotations Tell... Proposals Sell!

The traditional "Quotation" was originally devised during the Industrial Revolution... Read More

Why People Use Long Sales Copy

Have you ever wondered why some people use long sales... Read More

Sales Copy Tips

Writing good sales copy is not an art, it is... Read More

How to Eliminate Objections to Price

Have you ever stepped your way through the sales process... Read More

Too Much Empathy Will Cost You Money

Ever have a prospect start out your sales call by... Read More