A sales letter is an important tool for shaping the way your customers think of you. The more deliberate you are with writing a strong sales letter, the more conversions you’ll get as a result.
In this guide, we’ll discuss the key components of a dynamic sales letter, share a sales letter example, and provide useful tips on how to write a sales letter.
What is a sales letter?
A sales letter is exactly what it sounds like—a written pitch designed to attract new business to your product or service. It’s a form of direct marketing that tells potential customers who you are and how your company can benefit them. It also allows you to establish credibility and create a human connection, which is vital for building a healthy customer base.
What are sales letters used for?
Sales letters are used to reach out to customers with any information that could persuade them to make a purchase. You might write a sales letter to…
- introduce yourself to a lead who’s filled out a web form
- offer an existing customer a discount for their loyalty
- announce a new line of products
The important thing to keep in mind is that your words influence how the customer feels about you—and the business.
Whatever the purpose of your sales letter, the important thing to keep in mind is that your words influence how the customer feels about you—and the business. That means you must write in a voice that is consistent with your brand, your goals, and your ideal customer profile.
What are the key components of a good sales letter?
The best sales letters are succinct and easy to read—nobody has time to read pages upon pages of text. Your sales letter really only needs four elements:
A personal touch
Your customers don’t want to feel like fish in a barrel. Speak to them as if you’re having a one-on-one conversation with them, not as if you’re addressing a whole crowd. Even though many people will read this one letter, you should still write in a way that speaks directly to the individual.
Consider your product and who your ideal buyer is, then craft an authentic voice that matches both. This is where having a robust CRM comes in handy. Using your customer relationship management system, you can do a deep dive into how your customers behave and what they like. This enables you to create sales letters that are hyper-personalized for each segment of your customer base.
Statistics and numbers are great. But people are compelled by stories. If you can tell a human-centric story, your readers will be much more likely to latch on and continue reading.
The best approach is to paint two pictures—one of what life looks like without your product, and another of what life looks like with your product. Your customer should be able to recognize themselves in the story and then envision how much better their life could be if they made a change. Just as with SPIN selling, you need an in-depth understanding of your customer’s pain points so you can tell stories about how your product has helped other buyers solve similar problems.
Simplicity is crucial, even if your product or service belongs to a highly specialized industry and your customer base is very knowledgeable. The challenge of selling a complex product is talking about it in a way that people will understand. So, keep your letter straightforward, clean, and readable.
Make sure the language you choose also matches your brand voice. Consider your online presence, and try to emulate the voice that’s most firmly established in the public sphere. It would look odd to a customer if your style of writing seriously clashed with the messaging in your social media or website copy.
At some point, you need to state your unique selling proposition (USP). It’s imperative that you point out exactly what differentiates your product or service from that of your competitors. Because the truth is, your competitors are also putting out sales letters. They’re telling stories and delivering personalized messaging, too—but they cannot claim to have your USP. It’s the one thing that makes you stand out, so it’s worth including in every sales letter.
A call to action
The call to action (CTA) is a directive for what to do next. If your letter does the trick, the reader should want to take action right away. Whether it’s requesting a demo, scheduling a meeting, or visiting an online shop, you need to leave your customer with a clear course of action so they’re not left wondering what to do with the information you just gave them.
This may sound like a lot to pack into one letter. But the better your sales techniques are, the better you’ll be able to speak to your customers’ pain points succinctly and authoritatively.
Sales letter example
Now that you know all the components of a strong sales letter, let’s see how they come together.
In the sales letter sample below, the sales rep works for a B2B company that sells SaaS automation tools to small businesses. The rep is writing to a prospect who recently visited the site and explored the automated scheduling features.
Headline: The best way to eliminate those endless email chains
Dear [Customer Name],
The sales reps at Brevit & Wilson recently had a competition to see who among them had the longest scheduling email chain in their inbox. The winner? A junior sales rep who’d only been on the job for seven weeks. The winning email chain?
Twenty-three emails long.
Twenty-three inbox-clogging emails, just to schedule a single meeting.
If that sounds absurd, consider that a study found it takes about eight emails, on average, to schedule a meeting. And with every back-and-forth exchange, leads have more time to drop off and grow cold. Worse, it can build frustration in the relationship.
Since the sales reps’ competition, Brevit & Wilson has ditched the old way of scheduling meetings. All it took was a few hours to install our platform, and now their contacts can schedule meetings with the simple click of a button. No back-and-forth emails, and no double-booking. Plus, with our handy automated notification system, they always have plenty of notice to prepare for important events.
At Easytech Miks, we help businesses like yours eliminate the pesky administrative tasks that drag down operations. And because we care about making sure our software works the way you want it, our services include personalized training modules designed for your staff’s unique learning styles.
Interested in cutting down on waste and decluttering those inboxes? Request a demo today, and get a feel for how roomy your inbox can be.
Keep in mind that the above sample is geared towards a specific audience and with a specific product in mind. Depending on your industry and customer base, your tone of voice may be different.
Other types of sales letters
Sales letters can be tweaked to accomplish different goals. Here are a few different kinds of sales letters that have slightly varied objectives and components.
Sales introduction letter
This letter kicks off the client-seller relationship. It’s the first correspondence between a sales rep and their potential customer, so it’s a bit more general in its approach. Whereas the above sample mentioned a particular feature and benefit of the product, introduction letters are broader in their subject matter. In these letters, think about dropping big-picture statistics and stories.
Sales introduction letters are also typically very short, featuring only one to two paragraphs about your product, your company, and how to reach you for further information. Save the details for future correspondences—this letter is all about jumping in, introducing yourself quickly, and then getting out of there.
Sales recommendation letter
The goal of this letter is to communicate a sales representative’s strengths and qualities. You’re not selling a product or service—you’re selling someone’s value as a worker. You still want to add personal touches and tell a story. You’ll also want to keep your sales recommendation letter succinct, just like a regular sales letter.
Mention qualifications and talents, and give examples of how the sales rep has used their skills to overcome a difficult situation. Find some specifics about the company you’re addressing so you can further personalize your approach.
Even though writing recommendation letters isn’t a sales activity, it’s still an opportunity to establish your brand’s reputation and build connections. That means it’s worth your time to be deliberate and careful in how you speak about your staff to other businesses.
Consulting sales letter
In this sales letter, you are your own product. You’re trying to convince companies that you’ll be able to improve their sales skills and processes. To do this, you’ll need to establish a lot of credibility.
The more stories of success you can tell, the better. While your USP is still important, clients will likely be more interested in the hard numbers. Don’t be afraid to rattle off the exact figures on how you’ve helped other businesses improve their sales.
Your voice is also of great importance in consulting sales letters. This kind of work involves a lot of communication, so you want to establish from the get-go that you’re a master communicator. Craft an approachable but authoritative tone—one that says, “I’m easy to work with, but I’m going to get the job done no matter what.”
How to write a sales letter
The whole point of writing a sales letter is for someone to read it. But many sales letters don’t even get opened. There’s a lot of content out there competing for your customers’ attention. That means your letter needs to get through the noise somehow.
There’s a lot of content out there competing for your customers’ attention. Your letter needs to get through the noise somehow.
Here are a few elements you can add to your letters to help them stand out:
- An attention-grabbing headline. Letters that aren’t opened just didn’t manage to hook the reader’s attention. Learn to craft headlines that inspire curiosity so your customers will have no choice but to open your letters and learn more.
- A clean, brand-appropriate design. If your letter looks strangely formatted, clunky, or too messy, it doesn’t matter what words you’re using—the reader is going to move on to the next thing without a second glance. A well-styled letter, on the other hand, will entice the customer’s eye and increase the likelihood that they’ll read to the end.
- Short, snappy copy. There’s no hard-and-fast rule about how long sales letters should be, but the standard seems to be no more than 300 words. Anything longer than that, and people begin to lose interest, so you’ll want to get your point across in 200 to 250 words. You may also want to include internal links to useful resources, or offer tips or free content that’s relevant to your target audience’s interests and industry.
- Names and personal details. Rather than addressing your reader in general terms, you should be able to personalize every message with their name, job title, and other pertinent information. When your customers see their own names and details in writing, it puts them more at ease than something like, “To whom it may concern” or “Dear Reader.”
Boost your sales letter conversion rates with CRM software
Zendesk Sell helps businesses create personalized sales letters that resonate with customers and inspire higher conversions. With all your customer details in one unified platform, your sales reps will have everything they need to write clean, tailored messages. Plus, with simple document sharing and collaboration tools, you can build and share templates across departments and craft a more consistent voice across all your customer-facing teams.
Craft the ideal sales email
Use an email automation tool to build a sales outreach process that saves time, keeps your messaging consistent, and connects you with leads the moment they’re ready to buy.