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And we hand write salutation. Another little touch which tells our readers they really exist for us. Troublesome, yes, but look at financial return.
The P.S. Along with headline, if people read nothing else they will generally read PS! The PS is an essential part of sales letters and every letter should have one. (The equivalent in an email is "signature".....a subtle sales message with a call to action which should be contained automatically in email that leaves your office).
Your P.S. should contain biggest Promise, Value, Benefit, Guarantee, or Merit that reader will receive in return for reading letter and taking some action. - and it must have value for them..
Lead Paragraph / sentence. By now if you still have your reader, you need to firmly hook them to read remainder of your letter. How? By ensuring that your lead para/ sentence contains biggest Promise, Value, Benefit, Guarantee, or Merit that reader will receive in return for reading letter and taking some action-the MWR- your Most Wanted Response. If you can persuade your reader to get as far as this, they are likely highly interested and will read complete letter.
Body of Sales letter Notice that EVERYTHING so far is focussed on your reader? Nothing at all about yourself yet. Excellent! Until your readers are hooked in something of high value to themselves, you and your service are unimportant. Didn't you learn that in Selling Basics? I know, it just slipped your mind for a moment.
The body of your letter is where you give your reader essential facts and information. It can be relatively straightforward, as your reader now wants this information. Remember to use short paragraphs, sub headings, and bullet points to highlight certain aspects for them. Words and language are tools of your trade so each word, phrase, and sentence must be examined for its "word picture" impact on your reader. Too many so- called sales letters are informative, but can be negative in persuading us to give MWR. Litmus Test: If I suggested that something was "cheap" what would you automatically associate with item? See what I mean. Words such as "shoddy", "inferior", "poor quality" probably popped into your mind. Yet recently, I received a mailer with headline: "We make CHEAPEST shock absorbers in town!" Dustbin! Every word in your letter, mailer, or web page must be crafted to do a job for you. Understanding that every word generates a meaning or a picture in your reader's mind, each word must be tested for relevance. You don't really want me to believe that you make shoddy shock absorbers, do you?
Long copy works If you have hooked your reader and they want information, there is no need to confine your letter to being a one pager. Long copy works. If possible though, arrange to break your sentences in midstream at page turnover stage, with a "(cot'd next page") indicator..... preferably on a juicy point you are making.
The 12 most persuasive words in English language A study conducted at UCLA (1988) shows following to be most persuasive words in English language: You, Free, Discover, Proven, Save, Health, Safe, Love, Value, Extra, New, Announcing. And if these are most persuasive words in our language, what are implications for you when writing sales letters designed to garner an MWR? In your headlines, P.S.'s, lead paragraphs, and body copy use these "magic words" to generate positive images and associations in your reader's minds and you will greatly increase your chances of getting your MWR.
So much expense is wasted on fancy four colour glossy brochures that fail most important test. They fail to get MWR. Words sell! If oyou owuld really like ot understand this, here is biggest favour I'll do for you. Download this book and learn to to do business! "Make Your Words Sell!" is incontestably best book on topic of writing for web/ email/ direct salesletters,. Highly recommended if you want to write sparkling targeted copy. Check it out here: http://myws.sitesell.com/GEC.html
And you must ask for action in every letter. "Act now", "For a limited time only", "Respond today". Make it easy for them to get back to you.
Golden rules of Direct Response: 40 % of response comes from value and desirability of your offer. 40 % of your response comes from making your offer to right target audience. 20% comes from creative "packaging " of your offer.
Resources: If you really wish to write copy that sells, "Make Your Words Sell"...... http://myws.sitesell.com/GEC.html ......is Bible. Particularly strong on understanding your customer's mindset and how to appeal to it. And great information on making your words do their selling job. Check this out, even if you do not wish to purchase. This book includes two extra books - "How to write anE-book", and "The 333 most persuasive words in English" (categorised) http://myws.sitesell.com/GEC.html And for Those Selling a Service... or Could Be! It's *THE* Most Overlooked Opportunity on Net. Build an ever-growing client base until you can say... "I'm sorry... I'm not taking new clients." A Theme-Based Content Site is perfect because every personal service revolves around a theme. DL this 306 page Free book to your desktop. (PDF file zipped) It seriously over -delivers, and will focus your thinking about your personal service business big time. http://service-selling.sitesell.com/GEC.html Copywriting: Jennifer Stewart is a master of English language. If you'd like learn how to give your business writing/ letters, / web pages/ direct mailers a selling makeover, her site is well worth click!
You can reach her here: http://www.write101.com/cgi-bin/affiliates/clickthru.cgi?id=maitiu
About the author Maitiu MacCabe is the CEO of Great Expectations Coaching, a Dublin, Ireland, based coaching practice. Visit: http://www.greatexpectationscoaching.com for a wide range of articles related to personal selling and business matters.