The format for every sales letter is pretty much the same. There is some argument in the industry, however, whether or not a short, snappy and targeted letter will engage the recipient more than a 5 page wordy epic.
We tend to favour the short, snappy variety of sales letters for one simple reason – you want to engage the reader, you want to keep their attention and you want them to pick up the phone and speak to you further, after they’ve read it. They don’t want to read page after page of sales waffle, telling them how good you are in seventeen different ways.
So, with that in mind, simply follow our handy sales letter tips and then sit back and get ready to answer those telephones…
Use a headline which will draw their attention immediately, and encourage them to read the letter. It must be about something which directly affects them and could be in the form of a question, such as “Know you’re eligible for a building grant? Time’s running out” or a startling statement of some sort.
Once you have captured their attention, move swiftly on to talk about the theme you’ve highlighted in the headline, demonstrating that you understand the challenges that particular firm is facing and explaining how your organisation is best placed to help with that particular challenge, better than any other competitor. A short paragraph about your firm and its services is usually best included at this stage, but remember to keep it snappy – it’s all about the target organisation and what it needs, not about you.
Make it clear what you want the recipient to do, which is usually of course to pick up the telephone and discuss a potential construction job with you. If you can, give them a dedicated freephone number and a code to quote, so you are able to measure directly, the response rate for each individual sales letter.
If possible, apply some sort of timescale to convey a sense of urgency – a limited special offer perhaps, or a deadline for some kind of funding. The longer they are allowed to have your letter and not act upon it, the more likely it is that they will not act on it at all.
Remain courteous and inform the recipient that you would like to follow up the letter with a telephone call to their office, or possibly even a visit. This is your chance to expand upon what you have said in the letter, and reinforce the message you’ve given.
All sales letters should be followed up with a telephone call and/or visit to drive the message home and to enable you to build up a potentially excellent working relationship with the recipient’s organisation. Sales activities on their own tend to bring in average results, whilst a fully integrated, coordinated sales and marketing campaign can increase sales considerably.