How to Write a Sales Letter and Make it Persuasive

Introduction

If you strive to be a more versatile copywriter then learning how to write a persuasive sales letter is a must. Whether you’re writing a sales letter to a customer or business, for it to be effective, then it must follow a format.

In this guide, we’ll look at the best sales letter format to follow and discover the importance of sales letter openers. This way, you’ll learn everything you need to know about how to write an effective sales letter.

What’s a Sales Letter?

A sales letter is a traditional direct marketing tool that has become somewhat neglected in the digital age. However, with posted letters becoming a rarity, sales letters are once again back in vogue. With people’s doorsteps no longer bombarded by mail, they are now far more likely to read a letter.

A persuasive sales letter is a powerful marketing method that’s much more personal than an email and bypasses the dreaded junk folder.

The Psychology Behind Sales Letters

Sales letters are a personal form of marketing showing customers how a business will benefit them and meet their personal needs. When you highlight a customer’s needs they become more focused and open to what you’ve got to say. A good sales letter will use impactful words and psychological triggers and use a narrative to take the reader on an emotional journey.

How to Write a Sales Letter

If you want to learn how to write a persuasive sales letter, then you should start with the following points:

Identify your Target Audience

When it comes to learning how to write a sales letter, knowing your target audience is vital. You need to write with empathy from the perspective of the reader. Think about your product or service and how it meets their specific needs.

Make it personal. If you don’t engage with your target audience then the sales letter won’t be persuasive or effective.

Keep it Personal

To give your letter the personal touch, write it in an informal way that makes you sound human, think of it like receiving a letter from a trusted friend. If it’s possible then use the customer’s name throughout the letter which will help you sound attentive.

Building rapport is tricky without two-way communication, but with a friendly and informative approach, you can not only develop trust in your brand but develop a personal connection. That connection can reap rewards in a sales letter and make all the difference when it comes to the customer’s buying decision.

Keep It Simple

Sales letters can vary in length depending on the complexity of the business. It doesn’t matter how long or short the letter is, you should always keep it simple and engaging. Highlight the benefits of your product or service.

You can do this by writing in short sentences with subheadings every two to three paragraphs using easy to read, simple and engaging language. 

Basic Components of a Sales Letter Template

When you’re learning how to write a sales letter then the format is important. Below we’ve listed some basic components that should be included in your business letter format and template.

Check out our article on using the AIDA model for more information on how to structure your sales letter through each step in the process.

Come up With a Strong Headline

Sales letter openers (or headlines) are one of the most important parts of the letter and will usually determine if the recipient will keep reading or not.

It’s worth taking some time to come up with strong sales letter openers. Use bold statements that grab the reader’s attention. Think about your offering and why the reader needs it. Make it powerful but accountable. Remember you need to deliver on your promises.

Offer – Hook the Reader by Identifying what they need and why

The offer is when you use the personal narrative to hook the reader by identifying their needs. You can do this by using empathetic language and providing strong arguments to support what you’re offering. Write it in a way that shows the customer that you’re on their side and that you have their best interests at heart.

Once you’ve highlighted the issues then deliver the solution. This is when you can present the product or service and explain how it can improve their lives.

Proof

When it comes to writing a persuasive sales letter then it’s good to back up your claims with solid evidence to win the customer’s trust.

Adding tables, charts, bullets and positive statistics are attention-grabbing and will keep your letter interesting and engaging. Include guarantees and testimonials to strengthen your authenticity and convince customers about the effectiveness of your business. 

Call to Action

Now that you’ve hooked the reader and offered them a solution then the next step is to persuade them to take action. The call to action (or CTA) is what your persuasive sales letter has been leading up to. This is the point where you need to prompt the reader to take action and reach out to the business. 

Your CTA could be a time-limited offer, a free gift, or a limited product if you are opting for a hard-sell approach.  Alternatively, you can opt for a soft-sell CTA, which could simply offer your contact information. 

We have a great article on hard sell vs soft sell and selecting the right CTA for your business.

Signature

The sales letter format should include a place for a signature. This validates the personal tone of the letter and offers the author credibility. A handwritten signature is an impressive, personal touch that you can add to a persuasive business letter and should always be used where possible. However, this sadly isn’t always practical and a lot of businesses now use digital signatures when sending bulk mailings.

Post Script

You should always add a postscript (P.S.) to a sales letter and treat it like you would treat sales letter openers. This is because some people may skim-read the letter and go straight to the finish. A postscript can add an additional personal touch and you can use it to summarize, to make a final appeal or a call to action.

To find out more about using P.S. effectively, we have a separate article dedicated to the subject.

Conclusion

To increase your employability as a copywriter then it’s worth learning how to write an effective sales letter. By sticking to this tried and tested format you’ll be sure to develop the necessary skills and soon master the art of the sales letter. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How can you make a sales letter more effective?

Keep it simple, personal and add proof and visuals. Take time to create captivating sales letter openers and follow the correct sales letter format.

Where to start when writing a sales letter template?

Start with the headline and identify your main service. Then write the rest of the letter based on the sales letter openers.

What are the different types of sales letter?

You can use a sales letter to introduce your business, to promote special offers, give product updates or tempt back lost customers.

Can I follow the same guidelines for a sales letter and a sales email?

Yes, the sales letter format can also be used for sales emails.

About Gemma Wright

I'm Gemma Wright, co-owner of ProCopyTips and a freelance PR consultant and copywriter. Having worked as a PR Manager for large financial services companies in the UK, I now focus on helping small and growing businesses to thrive through the power of effective communications.

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