Probably most effective form of advertising is word of mouth. And there is a reason for this. You will more readily take a friend's advice about a product she has used than trust an advertiser's blurb.
One of lofty goals of a great copywriter then is to be transformed into a trusted friend of reader. Instead of writing as to a crowd you can write as to one person sitting on a park bench next to you --- a friend. This proven strategy will explain format of sales letter used in direct marketing and fast becoming quite popular in online selling.
Letters written in this personal style reduce buyer's resistance and ushers you into their circle of confidence and advice. The more cold and formal style of writing common to corporate world leaves reader feeling small and 'talked down to'-emotionally unmoved.
It's a tenet of effective copywriting that your letter must be emotionally appealing because people buy based on emotions and then justify their purchase with logic. Being guided by our emotions is not just relegated to small purchase but to ANY purchase we make.
In a recent TIME magazine article discussing skyrocketing house prices, it was interesting to read author's suggested reasons for this recent real estate craze:
"The boom is as much an emotional story as an economic one. It's about excitement of potential wealth, fear of missing out and envy toward guy next door who bought for a third of what you paid. … and embarrassment of feeling too poor for your neighborhood as houses around you are torn down …" --America's House Party - June 13, 2005
Unless your sales message resonates emotionally with your prospects then you'll lose potential sales.
Here are a number of ways to increase personal appeal of your sales letter:
1. Write as to one person. Imagine that person sitting right across from you and write as you would speak to them. When a prospect reads your sales copy you want him to feel singled out of crowd and not as a part of some wider audience.
2. Tell a personal story. If you created product to solve a personal problem then tell this story. The reader will more readily feel akin to you since they are struggling with same issues.
3. Use your picture within sales letter if possible. Adding a face to letter can greatly enhance emotional appeal of letter. You must be cautious, however, if your appearance will in anyway offend your market segment. If you are a 'skin head' with bright tattoos and are trying to reach mothers of young children omit picture and depend on words.
4. Include your signature at end of letter. Even if you are cautious about using your actual signature you can use a handwritten style font as a substitute. 5. Admit to common human weaknesses. This doesn't mean that you have to start a prayer meeting confession session but you can admit to not being perfect. The American public especially likes to know that you are "real", which means that you have a few black spots. People shy away from 'know-it-alls' and 'goody goody' personalities. You don't want to portray this in your copy.