I have had success in marketing using direct mail of the ‘snail mail’ variety. I think that the ‘merged’ letter where the person is named in the address section and the salutation is worth the effort. Don’t get familiar with prospects you have not met – stick to Mr, Mrs, Miss, Ms. You should also sign each letter with an ink that is a different colour to the body text.
Using direct mail is costly but I believe 1,000 letters will be more effective than 100,000 emails in achieving sales.
If your letter does need to run to a second page then ensure that the first page ends with a ‘hot break’, that is, the last sentence on the page should run on to the second page. And the first part of the sentence should be engaging enough to make the reader turn to the second page.
Another critical aspect of the sales letter is the sequence of the information provided in the letter. I have found the sequence below to be effective.
1. Problem Statement
Nobody is interested in you or what you have to offer. Yet many sales letter start off by telling how great the product and the company is.
The first two sentences should encapsulate problems/challenges (that you want them to pay you to solve) typically experienced by potential clients. This will show the client that you know and understand their business/industry.
The rest of the (short) first paragraph should enlarge on the first two sentences.
This is not what you can do for them but rather what needs to be done.
Briefly how you have achieved solutions for past and existing clients. Name a few but leave out direct competitors of the prospect.
4. Request order/contact
While some products may be ordered on the strength of the letter in most cases where large amounts of money are involved a follow up sales call is often needed.
Your contact details will be on your letterhead but it is useful to give contact details in the final paragraph.
Hint: A sales letter should not contain the words; passionate, excellence, partner (as in ‘we want to partner with you’) and definitely not awesome or amazing.