How To Write A Good Looking Sales Letter

Posted on by Chief Marketer Staff

Like it or not, we live and work in a society where looks matter. Particularly in sales, appearance is important. For example, in a competitive situation, all else being equal, the appearance of the salesperson may very well be the deciding factor in who gets the business. And that may come down to the smallest of details, such as who had the better shine on his or her shoes.

Appearance is also an important factor in the success of your sales letter. And the marketer with a good mailing list, offer and copy — and who pays careful attention to how his letter looks — will have better results than the person who focuses solely on content, with no regard to how it’s presented.

This is akin to a master chef who slaves to produce a sumptuous meal and then dumps it on a paper plate with no regard for presentation. The meal would be every bit as delicious, but you might be a bit hesitant about taking that first bite. And in direct mail, he who sends out a letter that makes the prospect hesitate…loses!

Now let me be clear, your words are the heart and soul of your sales letter and absolutely crucial to its success. So you want to do everything you can to make sure your prospect reads those words. That said, here are five tips for making your sales letter look more attractive. Put these tips to work and you’ll significantly increase the likelihood of your sales letter getting read — and, most importantly, acted on.

1. Always use a reader-friendly typeface. Look at the major news magazines, such as Time and Newsweek and you’ll see that they use mostly serifed typefaces for their editorial content. (Serifs are the little knobs you see on the ascenders and descenders of individual letters.) That’s because typefaces with serifs (Times Roman, Courier, Century) can be read more easily than sans serif typefaces (Arial, Helvetica).

2. Make your first sentence a short sentence.
The first line of your sales letter is the most important line in your entire letter. You’re at point-blank range with your prospect. So don’t blow your chances for success by starting off with some interminably long 20 – 30 word sentence. Here’s an example opening from my own files: “I know you’re busy so I’ll get right to the point.” Eleven words.

3. Limit the length of your paragraphs to between five and seven lines. You want your letter to have an easy-to-read appearance. Remember, there are probably at least 14 other things your prospect has to do that are seemingly more important to her than reading your letter.

I usually never go over six lines in any paragraph and I try to keep most between one and five lines. Also, always double-space between paragraphs.

4. Vary the length of your paragraphs. The last thing you want is for the layout of your letter to have a boring sameness about it. Use the “print preview” mode on your word processor. You don’t want every paragraph to have five sentences; neither do you want every paragraph on page one to consist of only three sentences. Varying your paragraph length will make your letter look more interesting and appealing.

5. Set the body copy in 11-12 point type and use sub-heads, bullets and other call-out devices. Keep in mind the audience you are writing to. If you’re writing to young Gen-X computer programmers 11-point type is just fine. On the other hand if you’re targeting the “mature” market you may want to consider using a 13-point type size.

Keep in mind that many people will scan your letter before making a decision to read it. That’s why centered, bold-faced sub-heads and other call-out devices can increase readership.

Sub-heads, bulleted lists, underlining, and other devices can help you attract attention to key parts of your letter. But take care to use these devices sparingly. Overuse of them can negate effectiveness. Apply these five tips and you’ll make your sales letters more attractive, attract more readers, and, generate more leads and sales.

Ernest Nicastro is president of Positive Response, Dublin, OH.

More

Get Content Like This Delivered to Your Inbox

Related Posts

Chief Marketer Videos

by admin

Chief Marketer Awards

Fusion Marketing - Gold Velcro Industries - Gold Pringles - Gold Bud Light - Gold Bud Light - Gold Target - Gold Coca-Cola - Gold Coca-Cola - Gold HISTORY - Gold Denny’s - Gold Ford Motor Co. - Gold Cottonelle - Gold Intel Corp. - Gold Intel Corp. - Gold Miller High Life - Gold McDonald’s Corp. - Gold Poland Spring - Gold REI - Gold Game of Thrones - Gold Kingsford Charcoal - Gold Pernod Ricard USA - Gold Breathe Right Nasal Strips - Gold Lincoln Motor Co. - Gold Coca-Cola - Gold Mike’s Hard Lemonade - Gold National Football League - Gold Google Asia Pacific - Gold Piper-Heidsieck - Gold 2014 Show Your Joe Campaign - Gold Nike - Gold Cîroc Ultra Premium Vodka - Gold Kmart - Gold Kmart - Gold Coca-Cola - Gold Cotton Inc. - Gold Nike - Gold Malibu Rum - Gold Hostess Brands LLC - Gold HBO - Gold Prevacid 24HR - Gold Samsung Mobile USA - Gold Cîroc Ultra Premium Vodka - Gold Frito-Lay and PepsiCo - Gold Hewlett Packard Co. - Gold FX Television Network - Gold Captain Morgan - Gold American Express OPEN - Gold HBO - Gold Corona Extra - Gold AT&T - Gold World Vision - Gold Gillette - Gold Pantene - Gold Porsche - Gold Duracell - Gold Corona Extra - Gold Microsoft - Gold Cottonelle - Gold Chicago Shakespeare Theater - Gold HBO - Gold Crown Imports - Gold Samsung Mobile USA - Gold The Clorox Co.
 - Gold Pepsi Co. - Gold Oreck - Gold Jockey International - Gold The Art Institutes - Gold Monster Worldwide, Inc.
 - Gold Pepsi Co.
 - Gold HISTORY - Gold MillerCoors - Gold Time Warner Cable - Gold Frito-Lay - Gold American Express OPEN - Gold AT&T - Gold MillerCoors Foster’s - Gold Microsoft Windows - Gold ConAgra Foods, Inc.
 - Gold Coca-Cola - Gold Nestlé - Gold Ford Motor Co.
 - Gold

Chief Marketer Top Shops

TRCO MARKETING WUNDERMAN VERTICAL MARKETING NETWORK UPSHOT TWO/TEN TRACK MARKETING GROUP TPN TIPTON & MAGLIONE TIC TOC TEAM EPIC TEAM ENTERPRISES TEAM DIGITAL PROMOTIONS THE STRATEGIC AGENCY SWITCH SOURCE MARKETING SOHO EXPERIENTIAL SLANT SCOUT SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT RYAN PARTNERSHIP RUBIK MARKETING REVOLUTION RE:FUEL AGENCY REDPEG MARKETING RED MOON MARKETING PSE-PACKAGED SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT PRO MOTION PRIZELOGIC POWERPACT PGW EXPERIENCE NEXT MARKETING NATURAL SELECTION PROMOTIONS MOMENTUM WORLDWIDE MKTG MIRRORBALL MICHAEL ALAN GROUP MASTERMIND MARKETING MATCH MARKETING GROUP THE MARS AGENCY MARKETVISION MARKETING WERKS THE MARKETING STORE MARKETING RESOURCES MARKETING LAB THE MARKETING ARM MARKETING ACTIVATIONS GROUP MARDEN-KANE LIVE NATION MEDIA & SPONSORSHIP LIKEABLE MEDIA LEGACY MARKETING PARTNERS LEADDOG MARKETING GROUP LAUNCHFIRE LAGARD´ERE UNLIMITED KICKING COW PROMOTIONS JACK MORTON WORLDWIDE INTERACTIONS THE INTEGER GROUP INSPIRA MARKETING IN MARKETING SERVICES IC GROUP HMT ASSOCIATES, INC. HELLOWORLD GROW MARKETING GOOD SOLUTIONS GROUP GOLDNFISH MARKETING GROUP LLC GMR MARKETING GEORGE P. JOHNSON GEOMETRY GLOBAL GENERATION Z MARKETING GAGE MARKETING GROUP FUSE, LLC FORMULA STREET INC. FLUENT FCBX FCB/RED FAME ESCALATE THE ELEVATION GROUP EASTWEST MARKETING GROUP DON JAGODA ASSOCIATES DEPARTMENT ZERO CONCEPT ONE COMMUNICATIONS COLLABORATIVE MARKETING GROUP COLANGELO CATAPULT CARDENAS MARKETING NETWORK BRANDFORCE BRAND CONNECTIONS BLUE CHIP MARKETING WORLDWIDE BFG COMMUNICATIONS BECORE BDA ATTACK! MARKETING A2G ARC ALL TERRAIN ALLIED INTEGRATED MARKETING ALLIED EXPERIENTIAL ALCONE ACTIVENT MARKETING, LLC THE A TEAM