Scripting a Sales Letter

By Cindy Waxer

According to David Frey, president of Marketing Best Practices Inc., you don’t have to be an award-winning copywriter to create effective sales letters. Frey recommends 12 simple steps to draft a sales letter that will overcome a reader’s buying resistance.

1. Get their attention.
Create an opening headline such as “How To ____,” or “Secrets of ____ Revealed!” that will immediately capture your readers’ attention.

2. Identify the problem.
Spell out your readers’ problem and how it feels to have that problem. Making readers feel the agony of a situation will prompt them to change their ways.

3. Provide the solution.
Boldly claim that you can solve the readers’ problem. Tell the readers there’s no need to struggle because your product or service is a guaranteed solution.

4. Present your credentials.
List your credentials in terms of successful case studies, reputable clients, years of experience and important awards or recognition you’ve received.

5. Show the benefits.
State how readers will personally benefit from your product or service – and then bullet point each benefit to make it easier to read.

6. Give social proof.
Present readers with testimonials from satisfied customers. To make your testimonials even more powerful include pictures of your customers with their names and addresses.

7. Make your offer irresistible.
The best offers are usually an attractive combination of price, terms and free gifts. Raise your offer’s value by adding on products or services rather than lowering your price.

8. Give a guarantee.
Give the absolute strongest guarantee you are able to give. If you aren’t confident enough about your product or service to give a strong guarantee, you should think twice about offering it to the public.

9. Inject scarcity.
People are more motivated to act by the fear of loss rather than gain. By injecting scarcity into your letter, you can motivate people to take action.

10. Call to action.
Your call to action must be action-oriented. Use words such as: Pick Up the Phone and Call Now! or Tear Off the Order Form and Send It in Today!

11. Give a warning.
Remind readers of just how terrible their current state is and that it just doesn’t have to be that way.

12. Close with a reminder.
Always include a postscript to remind readers of your irresistible offer. For example, if you’ve used scarcity in your sales letter, remind readers of the limited-time offer.