This is the final article in the effective small business communication series.
An effective sales letter, be it real or digital, is one of the best ways for a small business to get new clients. Unfortunately, due to the volume of junk mail and spam people receive these days, crafting an effective sales letter can be a lot harder than it used to be.
Don’t let that discourage you, though, because by following a few simple ideals it’s possible to cut right through the clutter and get your message across to potential buyers.
15 sales letter ideas that just work
Break through the clutter with these 15 topics that are personal, interesting, and simply effective.
A quick thank you
The idea behind this letter is to write a quick thank you note to the recipient for visiting your booth, or signing up online, or whatever they might have done. This thank you letter should than indirectly send them to a website landing page or phone number where the second stage of the sale is completed.
A simple holiday greeting can be a great way to introduce someone to your company and your product. Holiday cards can make excellent sales letters because people love to open and read them. As with most of these sales letter ideas, remember to tread lightly.
A privileged invitation
This is a truly great way to get new customers. Send out a very brief letter inviting them to an event, webinar, teleseminar, chat, whatever. Make sure your recipient knows that only a few people received the invitation, and that you’ll be giving them valuable information.
A little secret
If you’re going to be releasing a new product or service in the future, you can make a big splash by mailing a bunch of people in advance and letting them in on the secret about the new product. You can even offer them the opportunity to buy ahead of the crowds. This sales letter strategy really works well because it makes people feel special.
Ahead of the crowd
This idea is very similar to the previous one, with a few key differences. Send out a mailing to inform people of your launch date, and tell them that your product will be sold on a first-come first-served basis (or that prices will go up, etc…) Let them know that they have early warning and if they get there in time they can get their copy. This also works by fostering a sense of knowing something other people don’t.
An interesting story
Writing an interesting story is a good way to entertain and capture your audience. Don’t bore them with a history of your company, make sure you entertain them—and show them how you came up with your product, or why it is valuable. This letter should be rich in personality and authenticity.
A brief introduction
The only reason this letter works is because it is short and to the point. Honestly introduce yourself, your company, and direct them somewhere for more information. You want to leave out as much uninteresting information as possible, just give them a brief teaser to pique their interest.
Welcome to the group
If your company belongs to an industry or consumer group, you can use that as a starting point for a great sales letter. Basically, you want to send a welcome message to all of the new members, and lightly inform them of where they might get more information about your product.
We need your input
Send a letter to your potential customers asking them for help reviewing your new product. Ask them for honest feedback about how well your new product addresses their needs. Not only will you get great information as a result of this mailing, you’ll also introduce a lot of people to your product.
A Brief Survey
Similar to the above, but instead of reviewing your product you ask them to fill out a (very very brief) survey about their needs as a customer. At the end of the survey you direct them to a product information page, and if you’ve done your homework correctly, your product will be their knight in shining armor.
You’ve heard about them
This letter works wonders for small mailings. All you have to do is one minute of research into a company or person, and then write them a letter asking if they’d like to call to talk more about their situation. If you can do this without seeming fake, you’ve got a winner.
The unique opportunity
Everyone mails out coupons and special offers; but, if you are in the position of offering something unique, it could work well for you. Make sure you keep your letter short and allow the offer to speak for itself.
The self-deprecating comedy letter
If your industry is one that is known for doing some silly things, you can make fun of it and give your mailing recipients quite a laugh. In doing all of that, you will also show your targets that your company is aware of the industry’s shortcomings, and is better than that.
An unrelated overture
If you sell high-ticket items, this can be a great way to build friends and sell at the same time. Basically, it is all about relationship building—in this letter you make an offer or invitation unrelated to business. If your recipient accepts your invitation, you will be on your way to a new friendship and potential client at the same time.
The friendly referral
Do you happen to know someone your prospects might know or trust? If you do, than this letter idea can work really well for you. It’s roughly a combination of a testimonial and a referral, with the end result being a really productive sales letter. All you have to do is emphasize a quote from that trusted person or even have them write the letter for you. Your recipients will trust you by default.
One final note
Writing effective business sales letters isn’t very complicated—it’s really only about a few things. Be personal, be honest and authentic, and be valuable to the reader. If you can stick to those three basics, you’ll have a better sales letter than any amount of trickery and manipulation could ever produce.
P.S. Always add a postscript because people always read it. Also, there are three bonus ideas for subscribers—sign up via email or click the “subscribe” button below to get them delivered to you.