Sales letters, sent via e-mail or snail mail, are an effective and inexpensive way to get your message out. Even if your letter goes out to thousands of people, it can give feel of a personal communication — IF you write it in a direct and conversational tone.
To get your creative juices flowing, here are five tried and true formulas that can work for either e-mail or printed letters.
1. Tell a story — from either your point of view or a customer's.
Example: '"When I started my own business, I was very nervous about keeping my books. I'm not a numbers person and wanted nothing to do with it! Then I purchased 'EZ-CASH-BOOKS' software. Instantly, all my accounting "dirty work" disappeared. I gained instant peace of mind, and now I can focus on my real job — finding and keeping customers!"
Copy written in a story format has great appeal. By telling a short story that relates to reader's situation, you create empathy with her. People are also familiar with stories and enjoy hearing them (they appear daily in newspapers, magazines, TV, etc.). If your letter happens to be a long one, you can draw out your story for added suspense, saving outcome for end. (However, as we'll mention later, it's safest to send a short letter.)
2. Ask questions.
Example: "Have you ever stared at yourself in mirror and wanted to cry? If we told you we have a product guaranteed to help you lose weight while you sleep, would you be interested? And what if we told you this product sells for less than $30?"
Basic psychology dictates that when you ask a question, reader feels compelled to answer it. You're involving them immediately in issue at hand. Many effective sales letters ask a series of questions that are all likely answered with a "yes" from reader.
3. Offer something for free.
"Visit our Web site, http://www.ezinequeen.com, today, and sign up for our FREE biweekly tips for e-zine publishers."
Think of three free things you could offer right now. A free e-mail or printed newsletter. A helpful article, report, brochure, or booklet. A complimentary consultation or a discount on a first visit.