10 Killer Sales Letter No-Nos that Suck Money from Your Business… (PART 2 OF 2)


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Today’s article is the second part of a two-part article. If you missed part one, you can access it here. This week you will find even more ideas for juicing up your sales letters — whether online or offline.

Mistake # 5: Benefit of the doubt

One of the oldest and most widely acknowledged ‘rule’ for writing letters that sell is, “Stress the benefits, not the features.” Aside from technical products, where features are used to differentiate between products, benefits are what make things irresistible.

Far too many businesses stress the features of their product and don’t even mention the benefits. Big mistake. Readers want to know how they will personally benefit from buying your product. What are they getting for the price you’re charging? Be sure to focus on your customer and present her with benefits that fit in with her wants and needs.

Mistake # 6: No offers

I get asked by clients why their letter isn’t pulling the desired response. One of the mistakes I see time and time again is that there is no incentive for the reader to respond. To be successful, your letter should include an appealing offer that would make it almost impossible for readers NOT to respond. You want them to act now, don’t you?! Well, gently encourage them with the perfect offer.

Mistake # 7: Out of action

Even if you do offer an incentive to respond, have you clearly explained what your potential customer should do next?

Quite a number of letters go out without a ‘call of action’, so the reader never responds. Think about it, if they get to the point where they think, “Mmm, this looks interesting…” do you think they will go to the bother of hunting down how to place an order? Not many do, if any. Spell out exactly what action you wish form them to take.

Mistake # 8: The proof of the pudding…

I never cease to be amazed by how many people don’t bother to offer proof that their company is the one to do business with. Even if you have done a good job so far and managed to showhow and why your product is the best one in the universe, today’s highly skeptical marketplace means that you absolutely have to provide proof and come across as credible.

Mistake # 9: Risky business

Say you’re targeting a couple of thousand prospective customers and you omitted to mention your guarantee (you DO have one, don’t you?), the likelihood is that they will hesitate to do business with you. The risk might be too great.

People need to be reassured that there will be no catches when purchasing your product, so give them reason to buy with confidence. Offer a guarantee or some other form of risk-reversal. Research shows that few people actually take up guarantees if the product or service is good enough. So stand behind your product/service by backing it up with a rock-solid guarantee.

Mistake # 10: Mind your language

One of the quickest ways to kill any response from your letter is to use weak, unimaginative and unconvincing language. A lot of letters posted through today’s letterboxes are full of vague phraseology. They lack specifics, authority, urgency, creativity, authenticity, and, worse of all, ‘persuasive’ copy. Using the right words combined with solid facts can dramatically increase your letter’s success rate.

So there you have it, what to avoid when you next pen your sales letter. Running it by the checklist here should help ensure its chances of success.

By Tracey Dooley, Copywriter Creative Consultant

Not sure where or how to start your letter in the first place? Then it’s time to take action and invest in an easy-peasy, follow-along PROVEN system. As well as offering worksheets and home-study tools, I can show you STEP BY STEP how to develop successful sales letters that bring in BIG profits with my Successful Sales Letters home-study system.

(Why struggle needlessly when you can get expert affordable mentoring and have fun attracting clients easily?) 

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