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Creating Million Dollar Sales Letters

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All winning sales letters speak to the prospect by creating an image in the mind of the reader. They set the scene by appealing to a desire or need, and then flow smoothly into the visionary part of the sales presentation by describing in detail how wonderful life will be and how good the prospect is going to feel after he's purchased your product. This is the heart and soul of a sales letter.

A winning sales letter follows a time-tested and proven formula known by the acronym AIDA:

Get the reader's Attention
Interest him in what you can do for him
Create a Desire for the benefits of your product
Demand Action from him

Impel the reader to send for whatever it is you're selling - without delay, knowing that any procrastination on his part might cause him to Iose out. The time-tested AIDA formula has proven its value over the years.

Letters that pull in the most sales are almost always two pages with one and a half spaces between lines. For really big ticket items, these letters will run at least four pages, printed on an 11 by 17 inch sheet of paper folded in half. If your sales letter is only two pages in length, there's nothing wrong with running it on the front and back of one sheet of paper. However, your sales letter should always be printed on your company letterhead and include your
ogo and business motto if you have one.

Regardless of the length of your sales letter, it should do one thing - sell, and sell hard! If you intend to close the sale, you've got to do it with your sales letter. You should never be hesitant with your sales letter and expect to close the sale with a color
brochure or circular. You do the actual selling and closing of that sale with your sales letter. Any brochure or circular you send along with it will only reinforce what you say in the sales letter.

There's been a great deal of discussion in the past few years regarding the length of a sales letter. A lot of people are asking, "Do people really take the time to read a long sales letter?" The answer is a simple and time-tested, "Yes, indeed!" Surveys and tests over the years emphatically prove that longer sales letters pull even better than shorter ones. People tend to equate quantity with quality, so don't worry about the length of your sales letter, just make sure that it sells your product for you!The secret is to make your sales letter so interesting and tempting with the benefits you're offering to the reader that he can't resist reading through it all the way. You break up the work of reading by using short, punchy sentences, underlining important points you're trying to make, using subheadlines and indentations, and even the use of a second color of ink.

The brochures or circulars you may want to include with your sales letter will reinforce the sale, providing the materials you've enclosed are of the best quality. If, however, they are poor quality, look cheap, and don't complement your sales letter, then you shouldn't be using them. Poor quality will definitely classify you as an independent
home-worker. This includes rubber-stamping of your name and address on these brochures or advertising circulars.

As long as you have really good brochures to send out, have your printer run them through his press and print your name and address, perhaps even your telephone number and company logo, on them before mailing. You want your prospect to think of you as his supplier, and not as just another mail order operator. Although you can get by with less expense, you'll end up with fewer orders, and in the end, less profit.

Generally, it is best to include both your post office box number and your street address on your sales letter. This open display of your honesty will give you credibility and dispel the thought of you being just another fly-by-night mail order company in the mind of your prospect. A street address will provide a delivery address for orders sent via UPS or FedEx.

Above all else, you must include some sort of order coupon. This coupon should be as simple and as easy for the prospect to fill out and return to you as you can possibly make it. A great many sales are lost because the order coupon is too difficult for the would-be buyer to follow. Don't get fancy! Keep it simple and you'll find your prospects responding more rapidly.

Should you include a self-addressed reply envelope? There are a lot of pros and cons to this question. Overall, if you send out a winning sales letter to a good list of prospects, a return reply envelope will increase your response tremendously.

Recent tests indicate that there isn't a large difference in the number of responses relative to whether you do or don't pre-stamp the reply envelope. The decision here will rest primarily on the product you're selling and the mailing list you're using. Our recommendation is that you experiment. Try it both ways with different mailings, and decide for yourself based on your results.

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