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The Selling Secrets of Million Dollar Sales Letters
THE SELLING SECRETS OF MILLION DOLLAR SALES LETTERS
Regardless of what you're trying to sell, you really can't sell it
without "talking" with your prospective buyer. And in attempting to
sell anything by mail, the sales letter you send out is when and how
you talk to your prospect.
All winning sales letters "talk" to the prospect by creating an
image in the mind of the reader. They "set the scene" by appealing
to a desire or need; and then they flow smoothly into the
"visionary" part of the sales pitch by describing in detail how
wonderful life will be and, how "good" the prospect is going to feel
after he's purchased your product. This is the "body or guts" of a
Overall, a winning sales letter follows a time-tested and proven
formula: l) Get his attention; 2) Get him interested in what you
can do for him; 3) Make him desire the benefits of your product so
badly his mouth begins to water; 4) Demand action from him - tell
him to send for whatever it is you're selling without delay - any
procrastination on his part might cause him to lose out. This is
called the "AIDA" formula and it works.
Sales letters that pull in the most sales are almost always two
pages with 1 1/2 spaces between lines. For really big ticket items,
they'll run at least four pages - on an 11 x 17 inch sheet of paper
folded in half. If your sales letter is only two pages in length,
there's nothing wrong with running it on the front and back of one
sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 paper. However, your sales letter should always
be on letterhead paper - your letterhead printed, and including your
logo and business motto if you have one.
Regardless of the length of your sales letter, it should do one
thing, and that's sell, and sell hard! If you intend to close the
sale, you've got to do it with your sales letter. You should never
be "wishy-washy" with your sales letter and expect to close the sale
with a color brochure or circular. You do the actual selling and
the closing of that sale with your sales letter - any brochure or
circular you send along with it will just reinforce what you say in
the sales letter.
There's been a great deal of discussion in the past few years
regarding just how long a sales letter should be. A lot of people
are asking: "Will people really take the time to read a long sales
letter?" The answer is a simple and time-tested, "Yes indeed!"
Surveys and tests over the years emphatically prove that longer
sales letters pull even better than the shorter ones, so don't worry
about the length of your sales letter - Just make sure that it sells
your product for you!
The "inside secret" is to make your sales letter so interesting, and
"visionary" with the benefits you're offering to the reader, that he
can't resist reading it all the way through. You break up the "work"
of reading by using short, punchy sentences, under lining important
points you're trying to make, with the use of sub-headlines,
indentations and even the use of a second color.
Relative to the brochures or circulars you may want to include with
your sales letter to reinforce the sale - providing the materials
you're enclosing are of the best quality, they will generally
reinforce the sale for you. But, if they are of poor quality, look
cheap and don't complement your sales letter, then you shouldn't be
using them. Another thing, it will definitely classify you as an
independent home-worker if you hand-stamp your name/address on these
brochures or advertising circulars.
Whenever possible, and so long as you have really good brochures to
send out, have your printer run them through his press and print
your name/address - even your telephone number and company logo - on
them before you send them out. The thing is, you want your prospect
to think of you as his supplier - the company - and not as just
another mail order operator. Sure, you can get by with less expense
but you'll end up with fewer orders and in the end, less profits.
Another thing that's been bandied about and discussed from every
direction for years is whether to use a post office box number or
your street address. Generally, it's best to include both your post
office box number, AND, your street address on your sales letter.
This kind of open display of your honesty will give you credibility
and dispel the thought of you being just another "fly-by-night" mail
order company in the mind of your prospect.
Above all else, you've got to include some sort of ordering coupon.
This coupon has to be as simple and as easy for the prospect to fill
out and return to you as you can possibly make it. A great many
sales are lost because this order coupon is just too complicated for
the would-be buyer to follow. Don't get fancy! Keep it simple, and
you'll find your prospects responding with glee.
Should you or shouldn't you include a self-addressed reply envelope?
There are a lot of variables as well as pro's and con's to this
question, but overall, when you send out a "winning" sales letter to
a good mailing list, a return reply envelope will increase your
Tests of late seem to indicate that it isn't that big a deal or
difference in responses relative to whether you do or don't
pre-stamp the return reply envelope. Again, the decision here will
rest primarily on the product you're selling and the mailing list
you're using. Our recommendation is that you experiment - try it
both ways - with different mailings, and decide for yourself from
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