- How Much Money Is Needed To Invest In Rental Property?
- Should A Real Estate Investor Get An Agent’s License?
- 5 Big Factors That Affect The Costs Of Renovating Your Home
- SIBOR Hike – What You Can Do With Your Current Loan
- 6 Basic Don’ts Of Real Estate Negotiation Tactics
- Will New Condo Relaunches Trigger The Great Property Sale We Have All Been Waiting For?
- 10 Proximity Amenities That Add Value To Real Estate
- How To Get Personal Loans More Easily With Good Credit
7 Design Tips For An Effective Sales Prospecting Letter
I truly respect and admire the great direct response marketers of the past and present. The knowledge that they have shared via their books and materials adds a lot of value to salespeople and marketers alike.
Above all, the skill of getting a prospect to open, read, and take action just from copywriting is definitely something to be revered.
If you are able to get a stranger to open your envelop and start reading the content of your prospecting letter, you have made the first step in closing the sale.
Believe it or not, that is just the easy part.
This discussion is not about that.
This is also not about the manner of your writing language or style. Because only you know how to sell your product better than anyone else. Nobody has a better feel of the obvious and hidden benefits of your products or services than you.
This is about 7 factors to incorporate in your letter to optimize it’s effectiveness level.
1) Use a proper letterhead
Even though online selling is the rave that everyone is trying to master these days, there are some aspects that digital technology cannot replace. At least not yet. Maybe holographic advancement will have a big say to this in the years to come.
What online marketing material cannot replace is physical touch and actually looking at something real rather than a million pixels on a laptop monitor.
If you refuse to take advantage of the very thing that conventional prospecting has over the new digital media, you might as well raise your white flags now and surrender.
Use a professionally printed letterhead with your company logo at the top. Including company information. Don’t forget the footer as well. A corporate letterhead just looks so empty if it has a header and no footer. You will have to consult your designer to create a suitable design.
The letterhead should also be printed on premium paper material. You don’t necessarily have to go for those that costs $1 a piece. But at least go for one that is slightly thicker and more rigid than a typical flimsy page of full scape paper.
Whether you like it or not, the way your letter looks and feels play a huge role on communicating the credibility of the company you are representing.
Prospects will unconsciously make a judgment on the brand and reputation based on this.
2) Content flow structure
Your prospecting letter should be structured to contain the following segments
- Call out to the prospect
- Why Mr Prospect is being sent the letter
- What your product does
- Benefits of your product
- Give an example of success
- Ask for meeting
Whether your mailing list was collated yourself or bought from an agent, it would be beneficial if you have the names of the person you are targeting.
By addressing your prospect with their first names, or first and last names, you present yourself as someone who has done your homework.
Readers will be impressed that you made the effort in research. They might also feel that you are a big player in the industry to have gained access to such personal information.
It won’t harm your chances for buttering up your prospects at this point. All you have to do is mail merge before sending them out for printing.
You will need to introduce yourself and your company in 1 sentence or 2. This answers the first question people will ask in their minds when opening a letter from an unfamiliar source.
The next step is maybe the most crucial part of the letter. This is where you give a reason why the prospect is receiving the letter.
Even a stupid reason is better than having no reason.
You ideally want the prospect to be able to connect the dots of why he matters. It is also a perfect chance for you to remind him of a previous relationship with you.
- Prospect is a previous customer of yours
- He lives in the geographic location that can use your products
- He is of a certain age which makes him qualify for something
- He is a known user of a related product that compliments yours
What is your product?
Once you have set the context of your approach and convince the prospect that you have something relevant to him, it is time to introduce your product.
Be mindful that you are not trying to get a person to read a 100 page prospectus here. So go straight into the meat of the matter.
Include a list of features and benefits so that the information can be devoured as easily as possible.
Example of success
You might have picked your mailing list for reasons only known to you. Maybe you could link something that could make the prospect an interested party. Maybe prospects with that profile are your biggest customers.
Remember that the prospect does not know that.
So even if at this point, the prospect has no interest in being a client because he can find no connection or need, this is where you make your first pitch…
And you can do that best by providing case studies or testimonials.
For example, you can mention that a similar business to his is using your product with fantastic results. Or someone with the same problems as him find your service as the perfect solution.
Please don’t lie.
If a reader has got to this point, he is probably interested to a certain extent.
Depending on what your objective of the letter is, you either ask for a sale, a meeting, or some form of advancement to a sale.
Break up the layout of the letter
Reading a letter full of text can be a tiring process. Square blocks of text will not help you in that aspect. You want to make your letter as easy on the eyes as possible.
You achieve that by breaking up the layout of the content.
Use bullet points, don’t use a justified layout, use images… Whatever you do, just make every effort you can to avoid making your letters look like this…
3) Use a call to action with scarcity
Getting a prospect to read to the bottom of a letter is no easy task. So it is definitely not time to go soft on selling at this point.
ASK for a response.
Inform them what is the next step to take and what can be expected after that. For example:
- Inform them that you will be calling them around a specified time. This converts them from cold to warm leads.
At the same time, provide a reason why they have act now by adding some element of scarcity into the mix.
4) Keep the letter to 1 page
It can be a challenge to squeeze everything into 1 page.
You might not be able to achieve that ideal. But it should be the goal you are after.
A 1-pager eliminates all the possible hassles that might come with a multipage salesletter. And among the many benefits, it will also save you on the expenses of mailing as well.
5) Sign off with a signature
The biggest sign that you have put personal attention on sending out the letter is the sign off. It’s a way to make an impression.
It would be great if you can sign off with an actual signature from an actual pen.
But if you are unable to do that, I suggest that you scan your signature and put it in every letter.
Signing off properly can not only show that you are a REAL person, but can convey credibility and authenticity too.
6) Use bold and italics sparingly
Even today, a lot of salespeople CAPITALIZE, bold, or italic their marketing material like there’s no tomorrow. That’s not how you want to present yourself.
You are after all, a professional. Not just a salesman.
You have to determine what works for your prospects the best. But I do suggest:
- The only full sentence to bold is the headline or subject line
- Never use italics and bold on the same words or sentences
- Never use more than 1 exclamation mark for a sentence!!!!!
- NEVER FULLY CAPITALIZE WHOLE SENTENCES
- Preferably, only use 2 bolds and 2 italics at the maximum
Use this as a guide
7) Include a business card attached
You wouldn’t believe how big a difference this can make until you try it out.
Many prospects might not be able to take immediate action on your letter due to a variety of reasons. But they might leave it in the back of their minds as something to do later.
Having to carry around an A4 sized letter is not convenient at all.
However, snuggling a business card into the wallet is not that out of the way at all.
Especially for big ticket B2B sales, including a business card can make all the difference. They can easily refer to it when the time comes that they need what you have to offer.