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Incorporate one (count it ...1...) idea in each paragraph.
Use plenty of action words, forget adverbs and adjectives, they're just there for decoration. It's nouns and verbs that get your message across. So don't wax lyrical about, "...the smooth, flowing lines of new Whizzo cleaner that make it glide like silk across your floors ..." Just tell us that, "Whizzo cleaners get job done fast."
People Appreciate Professionalism These people are your potential customers, people who are going to pay you money to help keep you in manner to which you have become accustomed, so don't insult them by sending out anything that isn't as perfect as you can make it. This means that you must proof read your letter, several times, before sending it out. You'd be amazed at just how easy it is to read what you meant to write, instead of what you've actually written. This is why it's also a good idea to have someone else read your letter before it goes out.
It's fine to be informal, in fact, it's better than corporate jargon that passes for language in many large companies, but this doesn't mean that you can be careless or sloppy. You still need to choose your words with care, so that message is clearly conveyed. It's also important to read your message aloud, to make sure it sounds right and that it flows easily.
Check for repetition in words and phrases, sometimes, repetition can be used effectively to emphasise certain key points, but repetition that is simply result of laziness is not good. The following example (from an article by Bill Gates) shows an effective use of repetition:
"If 1980s were about quality and 1990s were about reengineering, then 2000s will be about velocity. About how quickly nature of business will change. About how quickly business itself will be transacted. About how information access will alter lifestyle of consumers and their expectations of business."
This one is not effective:
"Whizzo cleaners are great and give a great finish to all surfaces. Give your whole house a great new look with Whizzo."
The final point to consider is timing of your message. Even though we live in a global village now and day is night and night is day, it's still possible to time when your prospects will receive your message. Studies have shown that people are most receptive to new messages mid-week, so aim to have your letter or e-mail arrive on Wednesday or Thursday.
Jennifer Stewart has had her own web-based business at http://www.write101.com since 1998, offering professional writing services for business people who cant spare the time to write. If you need sales letters, but feel you couldn't write your way out of a wet paper bag, try this: http://www.write101.com/letters/sales