If you think the art of letter writing is dead, think again. Although the length of messages and delivery methods have certainly changed, letters are still an important tool for sales reps.
A sales letter shapes the way customers think and feel about your business. As an introductory tool, a letter is a critical part of sales prospecting and can kick off the sales cycle on a positive note. The more deliberate you are when writing sales letters, 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 few sales letter examples, and provide useful tips on how to write winning copy.
What is a sales letter?
A sales letter is a form of direct marketing that’s designed to attract potential customers to your product or service. It tells new prospects 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?
Professional sales letters are used to reach out to sales leads with any information that could persuade them to make a purchase. No matter what sales methodology your team follows, an engaging letter is a smart tool to have in your arsenal.
The important thing to keep in mind is that your words influence how the customer feels about you and your business.
Some typical sales letter topics include:
- Introducing yourself to a lead who’s filled out a web form
- Offering an existing customer a discount for their loyalty
- Announcing a new line of products
Whatever the purpose of your message, the important thing to keep in mind is that your words influence how the customer feels about you and your business. That means you must write in a voice that is consistent with your brand, business goals, and 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 letter needs only five 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 your ideal buyer. 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 buyers 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 prospect’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. 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). You must point out exactly what differentiates your product or service from 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 sets you apart, 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 stronger your sales techniques are, the better you’ll be able to speak to your prospects’ pain points succinctly and authoritatively.
How to write a sales letter
The whole point of writing sales letters is for someone to read them, but many never even get opened. With so much content competing for your customers’ attention, you need to figure out how to break through the noise.
A clean sales letter format can help your message stand out. You should also include the following elements:
An attention-grabbing headline
If letters aren’t opened, that means your header didn’t hook the reader’s attention. Learn to craft headlines that inspire curiosity so your target customers will have no choice but to open your letters and learn more.
Here are a few examples of clickable headlines:
- “The secret to decluttering your inbox”
- “Three easy steps to a good night’s sleep”
- “How we got our toddler to love vegetables”
All three introduce tantalizing answers to a pain point the reader may not even have been consciously aware of. After all, if someone handed you an envelope labeled, “Secret to a Better Life,” you’d surely open it.
A clean, brand-appropriate design
If your letter is 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.
For example, use bullet points to draw the reader’s attention to important information. Even a busy reader who’s skimming content will take in these key points, so make your bulleted list count.
Short, snappy copy
There’s no hard-and-fast rule about how long sales letters should be, but the standard is 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 links to useful resources, or offer tips or free content that’s relevant to your audience’s interests and industry. For instance, offer to share a white paper if the reader signs up for your monthly newsletter.
No matter your hook, ensure your copywriting is clear and succinct.
Names and personal details
Rather than addressing your reader in a generic way, personalize every message with their name, job title, and other pertinent information. When customers notice their names and details in writing, it makes them feel more seen.
Starting your message with “To whom it may concern” or “Dear Reader” sounds stuffy and impersonal. Instead, use your CRM to populate your greeting with the individual’s first name:
- Greetings, Melinda!
- Hi there, Akira.
- Dear Simone,
Just make sure you’re on-brand. While a more informal tone tends to work better in letters, social media, and conversational marketing, readers shouldn’t feel a disconnect with your company’s messaging on other channels.
Other types of sales letters
Professional sales letters can be tweaked to accomplish various goals, which might correspond to stages of the buyer’s journey or other needs. Here are a few specific kinds of sales letters that have slightly different 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. Instead of focusing on particular product features and benefits, 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, but keep your sales recommendation letter succinct, just like a regular sales letter.
Mention qualifications and talents, and give examples of how the rep has used their sales skills to overcome difficult situations. 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 per se, 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 thoughtful in how you speak about your staff to other businesses.
Consulting sales letter
In this sales letter, you are your product. You’re trying to convince companies that you’ll be able to improve their sales strategies and processes. To do this, you’ll need to establish credibility.
The more success stories you can tell, the better. While your USP is still important, clients will likely be more interested in the hard numbers. Don’t hesitate to rattle off the exact figures on how you’ve helped other businesses improve their sales.
Cultivating your voice and tone also matters a great deal in consulting sales letters. This kind of work involves a lot of communication, so establish from the get-go that you’re a master communicator. Craft an approachable but authoritative tone that says, “I’m easy to work with, but I’m going to get the job done no matter what.”
Sales letter examples
Now that you know all the components of a strong sales letter, let’s see how they come together.
Sample sales introduction letter
Introductory letters are just one of many successful sales prospecting techniques. Embrace them—they’re great for breaking the ice with potential customers. In the example below, a sales rep for a digital communication company writes a letter to a prospect whose colleague recently visited its website.
Headline: The secret to better team communication
I noticed one of your colleagues took a look at our communication solutions last week.
Did you know more than half of organizations struggle with siloed team communication? It’s a real challenge to connect with your colleagues on a project when you’re using five or six different tools to collaborate. With everyone toggling between apps, it’s easy for information to fall through the cracks.
If you’d like to learn more about streamlining your collaboration tools and adding hours back into your team’s work week, click on my calendar here to set up a quick phone chat.
The letter features an attention-grabbing headline that addresses a prospect’s pain point: lack of communication between teams. It’s followed by a personal salutation and an understanding of where the prospect is in the sales cycle (i.e., their colleague is already browsing for solutions).
What’s also key to the introductory letter is the low-pressure tone. The letter seeks to establish a connection by showing knowledge of and sympathy for the prospect’s pain points.
Sample sales letter
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
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.
Note that the example above is geared toward a specific audience and with a specific product in mind. Your tone of voice may vary depending on your industry and customer base. Regardless, your message is critical to nurturing leads through the pipeline to conversion.
Boost your sales letter conversion rates with CRM software
Kick off customer relationships with winning sales letters and clear communication. Once you get the conversation going, take time to listen and ask questions so you truly get to know your buyers. Using a CRM like Zendesk Sell can help you keep track of the key information and insights you gain from those customer conversations.
Zendesk Sell enables users to create personalized sales letters that resonate with customers and inspire higher conversions. With all your customer details in one unified platform, you’ll have everything you need to write clean, tailored messages.
Plus, thanks to the platform’s simple document sharing and collaboration and engagement tools, you can build and share templates with other departments and craft a more consistent voice across all your customer-facing teams.
Sign up for a free trial today and find out how Zendesk Sell can set your team up for success.