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Make Your Sales Letters Sizzle
By Orvel Ray Wilson   Printer Friendly Version

Powerful new word processors and database management software make it easy to generate mass mailings. Here's some simple rules for keeping your next sales letter out of the round file:

  • Keep sentences short and easy to read, nine to eleven words. Use clear, simple vocabulary, not because readers are simple, but because they're lazy.
  • Keep paragraphs short as well, three or four sentences. Cut out everything extra. Make every word work like a galley slave. Keep it all on one page.
  • Open with a "thank you," an example, or a statement with which everyone can agree. The tone should be light, friendly, and informal.
  • Put your second most important idea in the first paragraph. Put the least important idea in the second paragraph. Close with the most important idea.
  • For emphasis, use bold or italics or underline, but never combine them.
  • Concentrate on benefits, not features. And don't try to tell the whole story. Just generate a response.
  • The most powerful four letter word you can use. [ed: free]
  • Use the merge function to include a personalizing comment or item. A geographical reference using the city field accomplishes this easily.
  • Close by asking for some direct action; call, write, or expect to hear from us soon. Indent paragraphs, and tab the closing to the right.
  • Even though the P.S. is at the bottom, it's the FIRST thing people read. Put your hook or premium offer here in a single sentence.
  • Include a deadline, or offer a reward for prompt action.
  • People are 7 times as likely to respond if the call is toll-free.

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