Sample Sales Letter for Copywriters
The letter below is based on a real-life one sent by a computer software company to past customers (who had bought its small business or creative training software) to inform them of a new product launch, and hopefully obtain orders.
Start of Sales Letter
Dear Way Ahead Customer
[SUBJECT] Become a Marketing Expert with Business Acumen Marketing
Way Ahead has great news for you. Our brand new tutorial, Business Acumen Marketing, will be released later this month and we are offering it at a special discount for all existing Way Ahead customers. If you are starting a new business or building up an existing one, or if you are a writer wishing to break into the world of public relations or marketing, you will find this program invaluable.
Business Acumen Marketing, which features a beautifully graphical, point-and-click interface, runs in Microsoft Windows on the IBM or compatible PC. Main features include:
- marketing material, like press releases, marketing plans, sales letters and advertisements, which makes it simple for you to produce your own material
- glossaries which explain all the jargon, buzz-words and technical terms associated with marketing
- case studies, featuring businesses large and small, which show you by example how to achieve results
- learning text – all of which can be copied to your word processor or desktop publishing package – presented in scrollable windows
- checklists to assess your progress in every discipline involved in marketing
- tests which ensure that you have learned the lessons in each of the topics
- a full tutorial which shows you in detail how to use Business Acumen Marketing to best advantage
Business Acumen Marketing is a complete marketing kit on your PC. Business users will find their marketing skills improve quickly, bringing better performance and bigger profits. Writers who use the tutorial to learn about marketing and then begin writing material for some of the many firms currently seeking help in this vital area will find their incomes increase substantially.
Enrich your writing experience with free marketing guide
Way Ahead has produced a unique guide – HOW TO MAKE GOOD MONEY WRITING FOR BUSINESSES AND OTHER ORGANISATIONS – which provides invaluable help in obtaining your first commissions in this exciting area of writing. Simply tick the option on the form at the bottom of the enclosed Business Acumen information sheet. Return your order within the next 21 days and you will receive the guide ABSOLUTELY FREE.
Research shows that, of the high number of businesses that fail, a high proportion do not develop the right marketing strategy. Many do not know precisely who their products and services are aimed at, and have little or no experience of producing effective marketing material.
As a new or experienced writer, you can make a well-paid full- or part-time career out of writing advertisements, letters, press releases and other material vital to the sales success of all types of firm. However, if you know little or nothing about marketing, you will miss out on these genuine opportunities.
If you are starting a business, or have already started up and found you need more marketing knowledge and skills, the small investment in Business Acumen Marketing will pay for itself hundreds, probably thousands, of times over. Should you be one of the many writers who have their own businesses – which could be self-publishing or perhaps something unrelated to your writing work – Business Acumen Marketing will be doubly helpful.
So why not award yourself a BA (Business Acumen) Marketing today?
The normal price of the tutorial is $69.99 plus $2 p & p. However, because you are a valued Way Ahead customer, you can purchase Business Acumen Marketing for JUST $49.99 plus $2 p & p. If you would like a preview before you buy, a demonstration disk is available for just $5 – and that $5 is redeemable against the price of the full Business Acumen Marketing package.
We are pleased to be able to offer you this truly exceptional tutorial at such an attractive price and are certain that you will find it a great boon in your business or writing career, or both.
For further information and an order form, see the enclosed sheet '10 Easy Steps to a BA Marketing'.
End of Sales Letter
This example of an actual sales letter follows many of the recommendations in this article. It begins with a headline: 'Become a Marketing Expert with Business Acumen Marketing'. This striking claim attracts attention and also sets out the main benefit the sender is offering.
As mentioned, the letter was sent to previous customers who fell into two distinct categories: small business owners and aspiring writers. Arguably, it might have been better to send a different letter to each group, but for various practical reasons, the seller decided to mail them all together. The first paragraph therefore identifies the letter's two target audiences with the line, 'If you are starting a new business or building up an existing one [BUSINESSES], or if you are a writer wishing to break into the world of public relations or marketing [WRITERS], you will find this program invaluable.'
The letter goes on to describe specific features of the product, using a list with bullet points. Notice how, as recommended, features are presented from the user's, rather than the seller's, point of view (e.g. 'Marketing material...which makes it simple for you to produce your own material', 'Case studies, featuring businesses large and small, which show you by example how to achieve results'). Notice, also, how almost every item in the list uses the word 'you' and/or 'your'.
The letter then gives substantiating evidence about the importance of marketing for businesses, and of the money-making potential for writers entering this field. Further reassurance is provided by the discount price and the opportunity of purchasing a $5 demonstration disk before investing in the complete tutorial. Finally, the letter tells readers what action they should take next – 'For further information and an order form, see the enclosed sheet, 10 Easy Steps to a BA Marketing.' The latter was a separate order form, which also included screen-grab illustrations of the product in action.
Incidentally, you might have noticed that towards the end of the letter the copywriter used the subheading ‘So why not award yourself a BA (Business Acumen) Marketing Today?’ Why did he put ‘Business Acumen’ in brackets here? Because without it, some readers might have assumed that the product was actually offering a degree (BA) in marketing. To avoid any chance of misunderstanding – and a possible adjudication by the ASA – he, therefore, made it clear that BA in this context stood for Business Acumen. The reference to ‘BA Marketing’ is really a little joke by the copywriter and it is questionable how much benefit it might have in terms of generating sales – but at least by ensuring that the term was clearly explained on its first appearance, he reduced the risk of causing problems for his client.
The letter that we have just looked at was successful in terms of attracting inquiries and orders, but it's possible to see ways it could have been improved. As already suggested, the letter might have been more effective if two separate versions had been prepared for business customers and 'writing' customers, emphasizing the specific benefits to each. And while the writer made a good job of listing benefits from a user's point of view, there is one thing it is rather lacking in. Can you see what this is? Take a moment to think about it – and re-read the content under '3: Stimulate the Desire to Buy' in this article.
So what would be your advice to the copywriter? Full marks if you noticed that the letter is rather short on substantiating evidence aimed at convincing the prospect to buy. Specific facts and figures about the importance of marketing to businesses would have made it appear more authoritative, while quotes from reviews and satisfied users would have provided additional reassurance. A money-back guarantee might also have helped boost the response.
© 2019 Prachi Sharma