How to write a Great Sales Letter or Email - plus Your Sample Letter

The Magic Formula for Advertising

There is a magic formula for producing sales letters, emails and other forms of advertising.  A superb way to maximise the response from your marketing.

How to Maximise your Profits through Direct Mail?

Are you “talking” direct to your current and prospective customers effectively?  If so you are using direct mail.  According to Robin Fairlee, Direct Mail "is simply the sending of business communications to individual persons through the post"

From David Armor:  Why is it growing rapidly? Is Direct Mail old fashioned? Tired - past its Prime? Overtaken by e-mail?  The above are typical of comments heard over the last few years. 

The main comparison marketers undertake is between e-mail and direct mail - they both have their strengths and weaknesses so let’s explore this.

There is no one way to undertake your marketing – you should be using all the methods available to communicate and sell that are open to you.  Research proves that using more than one method together increases effectiveness by on average 24% over using the individual methods on their own.

E-mail is fast, quick, low cost and research shows people prefer it as a method of communication when they know the organisation that is contacting them. In 2013 average open rates were 19.6% (consumer products fared better at 25.4%) and a unique click through rate of 16.9%.  Only 3.0% of those who received the e-mail actually visited a webpage and that generated an average response rate of 0.12%.  Where you have a relationship with the individual results improve and the top performers had an open rate of 38.6% but 25% of e-mailers only achieved 7%.

This data shows that e-mail can and does work.  But there is sheer volume of clutter in people’s in-boxes.  How many e-mails did you receive today?  How many did you read?  Which ones did you open?  Normally those where you know the sender. This shows that e-mails are great at communication mainly if there is a prior relationship.

However, setting out to build a business and generating new enquiries is far more difficult due to low open and response rates and the difficulty in sourcing good quality e-mail lists.

Direct Mail – 100% delivery, 56% of people believe that printed marketing is the most trust worthy form of communication, 66% of consumers keep their mail for over 2 weeks.  Even in a digital world direct mail gets 44% of recipients to go your website.  Average response rates are 4%.  Overall 7% of receivers will take some sort of action.

Research undertaken at Bangor University looked at how the brain reacts to printed material versus virtual stimuli.  The “real” experience that the physical media provides means it’s better at becoming part of memory.  It generates more emotion, helps to develop more positive brand associations, the materials have a more personal effect, and therefore aid motivation.

Direct mail has a response rate of 30 times that of e-mail and coupled with the availability of large quantities of reliable data provides a great opportunity to build your business. Costs are of course higher which is why you have to adopt the right approach to making it work.

Because you can target exactly who you want to talk to. You do not waste money and effort talking to those who are unlikely to be customers - it is not a scatter gun approach.

How to use Direct Mail?

First prepare your budget:

* Estimate size of mailing

* Determine type of mail shot

* Who is going to do the work

Determine Target Audience:

* Who will be interested in your proposition?

* Where will you find them?

* What do you know about their needs and preferences?

* What do you know about their likely response to your offer?

* Do you know enough to be able to identify your most promising prospects?

* Is there anything else you need to know?

* May need market research?

Tips on Producing Sales Letters & Emails

Research has shown that most people look at the following in order in a letter or email:

1. Their name

2. The headline

3. The P.S. {post script}

4. The first sentence

If you have still maintained their interest, they will read on. Use a serif font, which is easier to read.

To save time and effort spend a few moments writing down a few key pointers.  Firstly, what the letter objective is, for instance to secure a meeting, promote a special offer, build brand awareness or sell a specific product or service.

Secondly, a description of what will go into each section of the mailing piece.  Most good adverts (and a letter is or email is no different) follow the same structure - a formula called AIDCA. This stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, Conviction and Action.

* Consider your audience’s needs.

* Ask them a question. Tell them what problems (fears?) they, and others like them, face.  Get their attention and hold it.

* Show them how you can help them.

* Tell them the solutions they could adopt, and, in particular, the solution you are offering. Make it interesting to them.

* Demonstrate the benefits.

* Create desire.  People buy the benefits of a product or service – what it will do for them, personally.  Explain how you can save them money and time, simplify a task, be easy to use, save them hassle etc.

* Call to action

* Tell them what to do next

* Lead them to a decision

* Make the buying process easy for them

* Give them an easy reply mechanism such as phone or e-mail to book. "Instant results from instant action".

When you produce communications consider the impact from the view point of your customers Do they want to know your name or what you can achieve for them?  Now that you have discovered the “Magic Formula” look to apply it to all your promotional and communication tools. Measure the results.

*Sources of information includes: DMA and First Move Direct Marketing.

Here is the magic template:

Mrs P Patel


23 High Road




Date                                                                                        Our ref. abcCC/JS/01nc


Dear Mrs Patel,


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*  A free phone bill analysis

*  Alternative quotes

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*  Phone servicing and repairs


Just call us to make an obligation free meeting to check all your mobile phone needs.  You be the judge of our superb value and service.  Looking forward to serving you.


Yours sincerely


John Smith

Business Manager


P.S. Aren’t you just a little curious how we can help you?