How to write an effective sales letter: 11 tips

How to write an effective sales letter: 11 tips

Psssst! Want to read a really bad sales letter? Check this one out.

I’m writing to you today to let you know about the really terrific coffeemaker I’ve developed. First of all, I know it’s TRULY terrific because I spent years studying coffeemakers of all kinds, from drip to perk to electric. I then expanded my field of research to include the commercial coffeemakers, and I learned all the possible secrets of what makes the java flow at the big café chains. Now, SEVEN YEARS LATER, I’m ready to let you in on the fruits of all my RESEARCH. I’ve developed the EZ CAFÉ and, let me tell you, it will make all other coffeemakers you have ever seen pale by comparison.

This is a modified version of a real sales letter. What’s wrong with it? Well, just about everything.

The headline is all about the writer and does not speak to the customer. Plus, it uses some business jargon — “R&D” for research and development — so it has an industry insider tone, which may actually confuse some consumers. We’re given absolutely no idea what the 10 years of work refers to. And we’re given no reason to care, either.

Nothing in the headline or the copy mentions “WIFM,” or “what’s in it for me.” As a potential customer, I’m lost. The headline alone bored me. The copy emphasizes all the wrong things and drones on about the years of development rather than the payoff I expect. Why should I care?

To be effective, a sales letter must JUMP out at you. It must grab your attention with a compelling promise for the reader and then deliver on it.

Besides a powerful headline, your sales letter must have an immediate clear benefit for the intended target. Then it must build a reader’s trust. It should make generous use of “you” and “your” — so it is clear the customer’s needs come first, not your desire to sell something.

Be upfront and bold about promising a prize or a tangible reward in exchange for time and attention. Forget cute or clever lead-ins. Begin by simply explaining “WIFM,” or “what’s in it for me.”

I’ve got more writing tips coming, but let me back up a bit and talk about your primary vehicle: direct mail.

Hitting your targets

After a hot romance with e-mail, marketers are again gravitating toward direct mail as they figure out how to use all possible channels to send seamless messages. In addition, companies are more sophisticated now about selecting the time and the medium that works best for each product. E-mail can be extremely effective. But direct mail remains the best way to reach the most targeted list.

Before writing any sales letter, of course, you must do the homework of acquiring and analyzing appropriate lists of targeted customers (for more on renting lists, see Microsoft’s Sales Leads for small businesses).

Sales letters are the most customized form of direct-mail marketing. Brochures or fliers, however glossy, tend to be impersonal and may be dismissed as “junk mail.” By contrast, sales letters should address the customer by name and need. You’re one step ahead.

The idea is to offer solutions that speak directly to your customer’s problems and challenges, whether that’s business-to-consumer or business-to-business.

To send out the right sales letter, harness these 11 tips from a cross-section of sales experts, coaches and trainers:


Build trust. Besides the benefit billed at the letter’s opening, you can bolster interest and inject pizzazz by adding high-profile endorsements from associates or former clients. “I put a testimonial quote from a marquee name at the top of my letter,” says Anne Miller, a New York City sales trainer who leverages compliments from such clients as Salomon Smith Barney, Estée Lauder and The New York Times.


Get to bona fides, quick. “You need to establish credibility and be believable by the second paragraph,” says sales coach Daryl Logullo at Strategic Impact in Vero Beach, Fla. This is where you explain who you are, why you’re so cool (or smart or cheap or special or useful) and what you have to offer. How you package that information, of course, varies with your targets and your products.

Some options:

List a case study

Describe a success story

Outline key benefits of your product (besides the first one)

Define a problem and how you solved it for a client (don’t name names)

Avoid being long-winded or boring in this “credentials” section, cautions Bette Price, a management consultant based in Addison, Texas. “Be unique. Don’t just offer some generalized statement.”


Make it memorable. One of the advantages of a sales letter is that prospects can tuck it away for later action. “Great mailers have staying power-sometimes they will end up on a refrigerator door or a bulletin board for years,” says Wilson Zehr, chief executive of LaunchPoint, a Portland, Ore., direct-mail provider. He suggests you include reasons for your customers to spend more time with the letter and therefore more time considering your offer. For example, a computer repair service might include the top 10 tips for PC maintenance.


Emphasize good looks. “Design your document for visual impact,” says Deborah Dumaine, author of “Instant-Answer Guide to Business Writing: An A-Z Source for Today’s Business Writer.” “Make it easy to navigate so your reader reaches for it first-ahead of the competition’s.”

You can easily create professional-looking templates for your sales letter that use your company logo, branding and colors with Microsoft Publisher 2003, part of the Microsoft Office Small Business suite. Also, check out a related article, “5 tips and tricks for using Word for business,” to learn how to create sales letter templates with Microsoft Word.


Include a call to action. “Inform the reader about what he or she should do next,” says Joe Hage at MRA, a branding agency in Syracuse, N.Y. “An example is: ‘Please call me on my cell phone (917-555-0000) before Friday, the 28th.'” Or, say you’ll follow up with a phone call or more material. Then, of course, make sure you do.


And include an incentive. Always explain when, why and how customers should act, says Patti Abbate of Sunrise Public Relations in Needham, Mass. “Then, include an incentive for acting sooner, such as a discount, special offer or something free.”


Resist “Mail Merge.” Despite the ease and speed with which technology can “find and replace” in electronic documents, don’t succumb to the temptation of form letters. “The best sales letters, especially when dealing with your own current list, are quite individualized,” says Shel Horowitz, author of “Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First.”

Tap your database for information about a customer’s sales history and preferences. Then send specialized letters whenever it’s appropriate. “If you notice it’s been six months since a customer has been in, it might be time for a friendly ‘We miss you’ letter with an offer specific to that customer,” suggests Horowitz.


Forge connections. Similarly, don’t get caught up in pushing services or products. You want to develop a long-term relationship with the customer, not pressure him into one discounted sale. Use your letter to investigate whether you can solve customer problems or meet needs. Try to build a relationship that will last into the future.


Test. Test. Test. When you’re planning a bulk mailing, in contrast to a selected best-customer target, send out a few versions of the sales letter to small groups of targets. Then see what pulls.


Hit the right notes. “Your letter should sound like you,” says Annette Richmond, a career coach in Rowayton, Conn. If your style is casual and informal, you don’t want to create a stiff pitch letter, filled with bizspeak and corporate jargon. Match your letter to the way you do business.


One last tip: Before sending out the letters, calculate the highest possible response you can handle. Make sure the volume of your mail drop correlates to that expected response. You wouldn’t want to create the perfect pitch and then be unable to fulfill all the orders that come flooding in, would you?

Joanna L. Krotz writes about small-business marketing and management issues. She is the co-author of the “Microsoft Small Business Kit” and runs Muse2Muse Productions, a New York City-based custom publisher. Additional articles by Joanna can be found on

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How Article Marketing Can Make You A Fortune

Secret Article Profits is all you need.


How can one make money from article marketing? Quite simple really! All you need to do is to be able to write a few articles a day and you’re set for extra cash each month. Let me go into detail below…



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5 Mistakes Bloggers Make When Choosing An Affiliate Program

Image via WikipediaWhen people decide to join an affiliate program to make extra money, or to have a full time job, they often do so with illusions and no idea of how the affiliate program actually works. Read the following top 5 mistakes people make when it comes to choosing an affiliate program and avoid these mistakes at all costs. Then, you will be able to be more effective and make more money for your time, so it is definitely worthwhile to read these warnings and avoid them.

#1 Don’t Compete, Support
Too many affiliate programs compete against their competitors which wastes money and puts affiliates out of business. However, if you are part of an affiliate program the more affiliates the better for getting more information and more money. One of the worst things to do is choose an affiliate program that believes in competing against other affiliates. Instead, choose an affiliate program that agrees with supporting and growing other affiliates to have a larger network and access to more affiliates.

#2 Little Reward
Another mistake people frequently make when choosing affiliate programs is choosing a program that offers little reward for the individual’s hard work. Too many affiliate programs pay too little and as a result affiliates find it difficult to make the money they should be making. Look for an affiliate program that has a good pay rate for your work.

#3 Old Statistics, if Any
You want an affiliate program that offers good, solid, real time statistics, not old statistics or ones that are no longer valid. There are not many affiliate programs out there that provide the kind of statistics an affiliate manager needs, but do your best to find an affiliate program that offers the most.

#4 No Support
Too often affiliates find themselves waiting days for an answer to an e-mail and an important question for their business. You want an affiliate program that guarantees you support round the clock if possible or at least within 24 hours. If not, keep looking for an affiliate program that wants to help you help yourself.

#5 Fresh Ideas, Creatives
Many affiliate programs provide few ideas or creatives to their affiliates and so thousands of web pages end up with the same advertising. However, affiliate programs would have a better success rate if many different ads were made available so affiliates could alternate ads and place different ads on different sites, depending on the products sold.

Commit these five mistakes to memory so you know exactly what you are looking for in an affiliate program, as well as what to avoid. You will be much more successful and happier as well if you do not get caught in these traps!

About the Author: Michael Turner reveals step-by-step how you can increase search engine traffic in his free 7 part mini-series. Grab it now at

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My Google Adsense PIN number

My Google Adsense PIN number


Yesterday, finally after waiting for nearly 2 weeks I received my Google Adsense Pin Number. After key in the pin number, I am eligible to get payment from Google. Maybe a few months after this hehe

Well my income from Google Adsense is not that to proud of. But I am trying hard to by joining forum, reading and download e-book to improve my earnings. All top blogger has it first step rite ? So this will be my first step guys..wish me Luck : )

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Blogging Wars – WordPress Vs Blogger

Blogging Wars – WordPress Vs Blogger

wordpress-logoImage by Chesi – Fotos CC via Flickr

There’s a war going on in the blogosphere, and it has nothing to do with bloggers dissing each other on their respective websites. The war is about control of the blogosphere by several great, many good, and tons of terrible blogging platforms. The average newbie now has “too many” options to choose from, and the battle for blogging supremacy is hotter than ever.

                         <p><span style="font-size:78%;">At my website and blogs, I'm always                                asked the question "Is <a href="" title="WordPress" rel="homepage" target="_blank" class="zem_slink">Wordpress</a> better than                                <a href="" title="Blogger (service)" rel="homepage" target="_blank" class="zem_slink">Blogger</a>?". The answer, of course, is "Yes".                                But to really understand why, it's important to                                look at both blogging platforms side-by-side and                                see which one you really need.<br />                          Here's the comparison scale: </span></p>                             <p><span style="font-size:78%;"><strong>1) Ease of Set-up And Use</strong></span></p>                             <p><span style="font-size:78%;">Yes, it’s much easier to set-up                                a blog with and get your own Bloggger                                account. You can be done in 10 minutes flat. Once                                you're set-up you can start posting immediately.                                If you want to add a designer's touch to your blog,                                there are also tons of blogger templates available                                for free.<br />                          Installing WordPress however can be a major headache                                if you don't know what you're doing. Since you're                                going to host it on your own account, you'll need                                to download the installation files, upload them                                to your server, set-up a database, and run the configuration                                script. </span></p>                             <p><span style="font-size:78%;">However, if you know which hosting                                account to get, you can choose one with Cpanel included.                                With Cpanel, you can do a one-click installation,                                upgrade and removal of your WordPress platform.                                </span></p>                             <p><span style="font-size:78%;"><strong>2) Customization &amp; Advanced                                Use </strong></span></p>                             <p><span style="font-size:78%;">Blogger doesn’t allow categories.                                You can’t sort your articles into different                                focuses, unless you know how to hack the platform.                                With WordPress, not only can you add categories,                                you can also display each category differently on                                your main page. In fact with the correct plugins                                you can even turn your WordPress into a magazine-like                                portal. </span></p>                             <p><span style="font-size:78%;">Publishing with Blogger can be a                                pain in the ass. It can take forever to post articles,                                especially if you’re making changes to the                                entire website. With WordPress, publishing is much                                faster, although if you load your system with all                                kinds of bells and whistles it can be just as frustrating.                                With a Blogger account, you can get additional features                                like "Shout Boxes" that improve interaction                                on your site. You can also get pretty themes and                                nifty little tools that you can add to the core                                template files. However, that's as far as you can                                go with Blogger. </span></p>                             <p><span style="font-size:78%;">With WordPress however, the sky                                is the limit. As cliche as that may sound, not only                                can you get themes, additional "plugins"                                and advanced tools, you can also extend WordPress                                to far beyond just a blogging platform.<br />                          The talk today is about using WordPress as a complete,                                user-friendly Content Management System or CMS.                                </span></p>                             <p><span style="font-size:78%;"><strong>4) Copyrights and Ownership                                of Content </strong></span></p>                             <p><span style="font-size:78%;">I started with Blogger and I won’t                                say that it’s bad. But after a while I started                                to get frustrated with Blogger, and here’s                                why: Google Owns Your Content<br />                          Google has the authority to shut down your account                                without warning if they don’t like what you’re                                blogging about. You don't have absolute control                                over your own blog. With WordPress, you own the                                domain name and the blog is hosted on your own account.                                You have full control over your content. </span></p>                             <p><span style="font-size:78%;">With the self-hosted version of                                WordPress (not, you're free to write                                about anything you want, and use the software in                                any way you want. Yes, Blogger allows you to publish                                to your own domain, but they still own the database                                that holds your content! Don't forget that!</span></p>                             <p><span style="font-size:78%;"><strong>5) Search Engine Optimization                                and Traffic </strong></span></p>                             <p><span style="font-size:78%;">There's this propaganda that since                                Google owns Blogger, they tend to favor Blogger                                accounts. I won't say that this is illogical, but                                from my experience, there's no such favoritism.                                </span></p>                             <p><span style="font-size:78%;">I've heard as many stories of getting                                indexed fast and ranking high in search engines                                from both WordPress and Blogger users. As long as                                the content is good, the spiders will come. </span></p>                             <p><span style="font-size:78%;">When you post in Blogger, you can                                only “ping” a limited amount of sites,                                whereas with WordPress on your own domain you can                                ping as many blog directories as you want, and start                                getting more traffic.<br />                          As a conclusion, I would say that WordPress is only                                slightly ahead in terms of optimization for search                                engines, and building large amounts of traffic.                                </span></p>                             <p><span style="font-size:78%;"><strong>6) Money-Making Potential                                </strong></span></p>                             <p><span style="font-size:78%;">There's no doubt that it's easier                                to get started with Google Adsense if you have a                                Blogger account. In fact you can now apply for Adsense                                from within a Blogger account. Not entirely surprising                                considering the fact that both are owned by the                                same company. </span></p>                             <p><span style="font-size:78%;">With WordPress, it can get tricky.                                The default installation is not enough. You'll need                                a couple of plugins and even a better theme to really                                maximize the Adsense potential. However, this seems                                to be getting easier and there's even "Adsense                                revenue sharing" plugins around that allow                                you to share ad revenue with other contributors                                and writers for your blog. </span></p>                             <p><span style="font-size:78%;">When you start using WordPress to                                build your Adsense websites, you’ll soon discover                                what I mean. It’s something you need to experience                                for yourself. I can tell you one thing though –                                when you go WordPress, you don’t go back.                                </span></p>                             <p><span style="font-size:78%;"><strong>About the Author </strong><br />                          Gobala Krishnan is the author of WordPress Adsense                                System, the unique beginner's guide to building                                content-rich Adsense websites with WordPress. You                                can download two free chapters of his book at <a href=";pid=02"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"></span></a></span></p><div id="zemanta-pixie" style="margin: 5px 0pt; width: 100%;"><br /></div>

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