April Newsletter

April 23rd

Improve Response Rates With A Compelling Sales Letter

A well-written sales letter addresses the interests and concerns of the recipient and persuades the reader to take action, making this a profitable element of your direct marketing package.  Consider each of the components.

Presentation:  Before the first word is read, your sales letter has already made an impression. Consider the size and weight of the paper, typeface selection, use of color, line spacing, and frequency of indents and bullets.  A friendly photo can humanize the piece, but overly glossy graphics can get the letter tossed as “junk mail.”

Headline: Grab attention with a prominent headline to compel the recipient to keep reading.  Use a testimonial quote from a marquee customer to build trust. 

Salutation:  The best sales letter is ineffectual if you haven’t acquired a valid mailing list of targeted customers.  Personalization doesn’t end with addressing your customer by name.  Leverage your database to insert information about the customer’s sales history and preferences throughout the letter.

Body of letter: This is your pitch.  Offer a solution to the reader’s problem.  Give real examples to sell benefits, not features.  Sprinkle “you” and “your” throughout so the customer understands his or her needs come first, not your desire to sell something.

Close:  Spell out what the reader needs to do next (e.g., request additional information by completing the enclosed reply card, order now).  Insert a guarantee to establish credibility.  Since all sales letters contain a call to action, it’s easy to test the response rate to determine which version works best in converting readers to buyers.

Postscript:  The second most read part of your letter, after the headline, is the P.S.  Mobilize the reader to act now (e.g., order in the next 30 days and receive free installation).

How long should the letter be?  As long as it takes to define the offer, overcome objections and ask the reader to take action.  Those who aren’t interested won’t read page one; those who are will read every word.

One of the key advantages of a sales letter, as with all print marketing, is that it has staying power.  Give the reader a reason to post the letter on the refrigerator or bulletin board.  An auto repair service might include the top 10 tips for winterizing your vehicle, or a sporting goods store could enclose a season schedule for the local team.

Lastly, be prepared for success.  Correlate the volume of your mail drop to the highest projected response rate.  Make sure you can fulfill the deluge of new orders your sales letter will surely bring.

Prospects Still Love Direct Mail
From www.articlesbase.com by Dale Filhaber

Marketers have successfully used direct mail to sell just about every product and service you can imagine, at just about every price you can imagine as well. So if you're taking a look at direct mail to sell your own product or service, you're on the right track.

But let's back up a step. In order to sell, you need customers. Happily, there is no better medium than direct mail for finding potential customers — and for turning them into paying ones.

Four advantages unique to direct mail make this possible:

1. Direct mail is targeted. Want to reach prospects within five miles (or more!) of your location? There's a mailing list. Want to reach people who buy sweaters? There's a list. People whose demographics and interests resemble those of customers you already have? Yes, there's a list.

This targeting ability is extremely valuable. If your product or service applies to only one in 100 people, using mass media to reach all 100 people wastes 99¢ of every dollar you spend. Direct mail lets you target the one, effectively multiplying the power of your advertising 100 times — without costing you a penny extra.

2. Direct mail is interactive. It is a medium that can call people by name on first contact. Moreover, direct mail creates dialog, by letting people reply to you. That way, you can build and mine a database of customers, along with their interests, habits and purchases. Information is power. The more you know about your customer or prospect, the more options you have. Information enables you to develop rapport with the prospect. Once you have built rapport, they will be more likely to read what you have to say and have confidence in you and  your product. That absolutely relates to your ability to close the sale.

3. Direct mail cannot be ignored. There is one way for people to sort mail: by looking at it. So when your direct mail communicates a benefit and a strong brand, you're getting your message across to 100 percent of your target. A unique return address, unusual stamps, lumpy envelopes and different fonts on the address all inspire curiosity and the chances of your mail being opening increases dramatically.

4. People like mail. At work and at home, people look forward to receiving and looking through their mail. That can't be said for all marketing mediums. But remember – people only like mail that is really targeted to them. Mailers who are irresponsible and mass-mail instead of target mail create "junk mail" and ruin it for everyone.

Marketers need to find the right partners to make their campaigns a success. Many marketers use Dataman Group Direct in Florida, a mailing list company that specializes in targeting mailing lists to reach the right people at the right time.

Marketing timing is a key variable that many mailers forget. The response rate is much higher for mailings using Trigger data, such as new home purchase, birth of a child, new move, new mortgage, or new business.  There are a lot of needs with "newness". By focusing on the benefits their product or service will provide, marketers will continue to build rapport with their prospect when they open their mail.

Publish Date: 
Tuesday, April 23, 2013 - 10:15