Writing a great sales letter isn’t rocket science. It’s a simple process that can be accomplished by following these 6 steps.
Step #1: Identify your target audience
Before you even think about writing your sales letter, you need to figure out who your target audience is. Write down their general characteristics (age, sex, income level, etc.), and then move toward getting as specific as possible (what are their wants/needs?, what do they like?, how do they talk?, where do they hang out? And so on.) The point is this: you need to have a clear image of exactly who you are communicating with so you can come up with the best approach to connecting with them.
Here are a few ways you can learn your target audience’s language:
- Follow them on Twitter
- Read the magazines they read
- Look at the ad copy of the products they buy
Step #2: Create a benefit-driven subject line
Your first challenge with e-mail marketing is getting your readers to actually open your e-mail. Creating a powerful subject line can be a challenge because you want it to be compelling enough to open but believable enough to not reek of spam. The key to your subject line is to pick a single benefit to focus on. In a recent post, I used an example of someone promoting an SAT e-book. Let’s continue with that example.
First let’s choose a benefit. We’ll choose “Increasing your SAT score by 200 points.”
Now, let’s create a powerful subject line that delivers that benefit. You have many different choices here.
- The Question Headline: Do You Know the Secret to IncreasingYour SAT Score by 200 Points?
- The Straight-Forward Headline: Increase Your SAT Score by 200 Points Today
- The Numbers Headline: 5 Easy Steps to Increasing Your SAT Score by 200 Points
- The Personalized Headline: Chad, Would You Like to Increase Your SAT Score by 200 Points?
There are several other subject-line formats you can use, but the main goal is to intrigue the reader by including an irresistible benefit.
Step#3: Restate the benefit in a headline inside the e-mail
A lot of e-mail marketers create a powerful subject line, and leave it at that. I prefer creating another headline inside the body of the e-mail. This headline should restate the benefit of the subject line just to drive the point home.
Step#4: Get to the point
Your readers are busy, and they’re not going to sift through a boring sales letter to find out if your product is right for them. That’s why you need to get straight to the point. From the beginning of the sales letter, you need to address your target audience’s needs and let them know you have the solution. Put the most important information at the beginning of your sales letter, and save the details for later on in the body of the letter.
Basically, it goes like this:
- The goal of your subject line is to get them to open the e-mail
- The goal of the headline is to get them to start reading the letter
- The goal of the first sentence is to hook them into reading the second sentence
- The goal of the second sentence is to get them to read the third sentence
- And so on…
Remember, online readers tend to scan content first before fully reading it. That’s why you need to make your e-mail marketing sales letters scanner-friendly. Do this by using bullet lists, bolding the main phrases throughout, and keeping your sentences and paragraphs short.
Step #5: Talk with the customer not at them
Earlier in this post, I talked about identifying your target audience. The point of doing that is so you can connect with them in your sales letter. The best way to connect with your audience is to talk with them rather than at them. This means using customer-centric words like “you.” In short, talk to them like you would if they were your friend. Use language they feel comfortable with, not corporate jargon.
Step#6: Close with a powerful call to action
Of course, your sales letter ultimately has a specific purpose. For some, it’s designed to generate leads. For others, it’s simply to drive traffic to a website. Whatever the purpose of your sales letter, you need a strong call to action to achieve it.
Simply put, the only way to get the reader to do what you want is to tell them to do it. If you want them to buy a product now, tell them “Buy today and you’ll get 25% off your order.” If you just want them to get a free consultation, tell them “Click here to get your FREE consultation today.”
Make your call to action clear and to the point.
What are your secrets to e-mail marketing success? Share your most powerful tips with us in the replies!