How to Create an Effective Sales Letter

Your job as a copywriter is to create copy that will sell your product, or your client’s product. If you are new to copywriting, the idea of creating a sales letter may be intimidating. If you are experienced in creating a sales letter, it may be a piece of cake. Even if you are experienced, you can always learn how to better your copywriting skills so you can produce more effective copy.

The actual sales letter can be broken down by including the following: 

  • Attention and Interest
  • Credibility and Trust
  • Desire and Need
  • Proof of Claims
  • Elimination of Objections
  • Sense of Urgency
  • Provide Benefits
  • Motivate To Take Action

Each of the following can be found in well-developed sales. Some sales copy will use all the above, whereas, other copy may not use but two or three. It depends on the prospect you are targeting. If you are writing for your client, you need to know who his target market is. You need to know if the client’s prospects have already been qualified (clicked an AdWords ad or banner ad). Is the prospect new? Does the prospect know what your client is selling? If you are writing copy for yourself, you need to ask these similar questions. If the prospect is cold (new), then you will need all the above that is listed to win those prospects over.

If the prospect is new, he/she won’t know the product or the seller. If you are writing copy for a client, and the client is new to selling online, he needs not only to get the attention and interest of the buyer, he has to establish credibility and trust, or the buyer won’t buy from him. This is where you will need to make sure these elements are added to the sales copy. A copywriter once said that one way to provide credibility is to provide content that demonstrates the seller’s expertise, authority, and credibility. When content is not written like a sales pitch, it stands a better chance of being read.

When you educate your prospects, instead of selling to them, they will be more prone to listen. I don’t know about you, but when I go into a store, I don’t like a salesperson to come up to me and start selling me something. That turns me off. If the person came up to me and relayed a story about his product, then I would be interested and would stop to listen. This is why when I write copy, I do it in a story format. It makes it more interesting. I still cover all the elements in the list above, but in an entertaining and informative way. This means when I write copy, whether it is for myself or my client, I include proof of any claims presented in the copy. I also eliminate objections.  The bottom line is that when I write copy, I create it like a story. In some cases, I create it like I am talking to a particular individual.

I relate to the person the problem they may be having, by way of a story. I then provide evidence that their problem is not an isolated case, that many others have the problem. Then I tell them that if they take a certain course, it will lead them in one direction, but if they take another course, they would benefit greatly. I give them proof of my claims by relating certain stats. If the copy is for a client, I write the proof the client has.

Not all copywriters are comfortable telling stories. As such, there are ways to provide good copy that will help sell products. 

Besides using storytelling, you can also use straight talk. When using straight talk, you are talking to them like they are your friend. You are being frank and compassionate when communicating with them. Basically, you are being straight up with them. It’s like one friend talking to another friend. You can also use hypothetical scenarios when writing your copy. When writing such scenarios, you can describe what can happen if the buyer continues in his/her course of action. Then, you can  describe what will happen if they go in a different direction; the direction that you are trying to convince them to go.  You can also use fact and figures as the basis for your sales copy.

Facts and figures provide certain stats about whatever the client or you are selling. These facts and figures can provide certain stats about an industry or problem and what the product can resolve. For example, if the product is about weight loss, one fact may be something like this: “About 95% of females in the United States are overweight.” Then go on to state why that is so. After describing the reason, explain how the product can help these females lose weight.

The best way to write the first part of your copy is to do the following:

1. Describe their problems: You can start out by describing what their problem is. By doing this, you can acknowledge you know the problem. When buyers realize you know their problem, it helps to build trust. It will give them hope you know their problem.

2. Remind them of their problems: By continuing to remind them they have a problem, they won’t forget the reason for reading your sales copy. They will be reminded that you have the solution. It will force them to read onward.

3. Question them: When you ask them questions, it will help them to think about the answer and will also guide them, or motivate them to seek out a way to get their problem resolved. When you ask them questions, they will realize you have a possible solution and you want them to realize this. Asking questions also builds anticipation. The reader will expect some kind of answer, so they will keep reading, expecting the answer.

4. Give them content: This content must relate to the product you are selling. This content can be in any form: story, anecdote, facts, figures, etc., as long as it leads the buyer along and he continues to read.

5. Provide an introduction: This is where you introduce who you are. If you are writing sales copy for a client, you will provide an introduction about the client. By doing this, it will help the buyer realize the client, or you, are an expert and will listen to what you have to say.

6. Provide proof: If you don’t provide proof, your visitor, or buyer, will not believe what you say and will leave. The person will think you are just a crap pot or a scammer, trying to get his money.

After you provide proof, your next obligation is to provide all the benefits you can about the product you, or your client is selling. Once you have provided as many benefits as possible, then motivate them to take action.

So what you need to do is introduce the product. Provide as many details as possible about the product to wet the appetite of the buyer. A good way to do this is by using bullet points. Bullet points make it easy to read the benefits as they are not clumped together. They can draw the attention of the reader.  They are normally short and to the point.

After you provide benefits, wrap up your copy by sum up what the offer is. Let the buyer know what he or she will get for his or money. This is very important, as the buyer wants to know what he or she is buying has enough value to compensate for the money he/she is willing to spend. Once you do this give the buyer the price. When you mention price, also mention an alternative way the buyer could use that money, but not get good results. For example, you could say the price is $19. Then you can say the $19 is about the same as a night at the movies for a couple, yet the product will give them more for the money.

After providing your price, make sure to mention a guarantee. The only way a customer will buy is when he/she knows if something went wrong, he/she can get his/her money back. Guarantees are very important. This is one great way to provide proof and to build credibility. Once you provide the guarantee, close the sales letter. The best way to do this, is by including your signature, and a P.S. In the close, ask for the order and provide a method of ordering. Make sure to tell them their order will be secure and safe. You know some people are hesitant about ordering online. You can easily add a signature to your copy. Just write out your signature on paper and scan it. Then place it on the page as an image. As for the P.S., do you know that is often the first thing people read. Make it count. Just use it to recap your sales copy.

This is sales letter writing 101. There is more to it than that, but for now, this is the basics. Hopefully, this is a start to your career as a copywriter. If you are an experienced copywriter, it will remind you of what the basics are.