Sales letters can be an extremely effective way to generate new business. Whether it is sent via email, social media or good old-fashioned snail mail, when you get the right message, to the right people with the right call to action you can generate a great marketing response.  When it’s wrong however, it can be uncomfortably quiet.

The good news is that the common mistakes people when writing sales letters are easily avoided – when you know what they are. So here are the three most common sales writing mistakes to avoid so you stop losing business and start winning sales. 

Mistake #1  - Appealing to the wrong ego

Ego is an important part of sales writing, but not your ego. Too many people make the mistake of thinking sales writing is all about them, they build their ego through the text, when really they should be appealing to their reader’s ego.

How you appeal will obviously depend on who you are targeting and what you are selling, but comments like “as you would know” or “from your experience” can be a great start. You don’t want to be blatant with your ego stroking as people will become highly suspicious of what you’re doing or selling, being subtle is crucial. 

Mistake #2 – Selling first instead of relating 

The fastest way to turn people off is to go straight into a sales pitch. Think about it in terms of a networking event, you’ve just walked in the door and someone comes straight up to you, shoves a business card in your face and starts selling to you. What are you thinking? Chances are you want to get away from them as quickly as possible. It’s no different in writing. 

You still need to build rapport and find common ground as you are writing. Get people nodding in agreement. Be relatable and friendly. Then once you have done that while telling the story, go in with the pitch in a way that adds value.

Mistake #3 - Calling your reader to act without incentive

While you need to call your reader to act, there is a difference between a passive “call us today on [number]” and a more active incentive like “call us today on [number] and receive/save [x]”. 

An incentive doesn’t always need to be a discount, special offer or free checklist, e-book or report. It could be an emotional pull, creating urgency through a time sensitive promotion or appealing to our sense of competition by “not missing out”.

Just keep in mind that the less you know the person you are targeting, the stronger your incentive needs to be.

Do you use sales letters as part of your marketing strategy? What has or hasn’t worked for you?

Amanda

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