Is your Marketing Letter Effective?

I’m a professional writer–have been for years.  It’s exciting to see your byline in a national or online publication as I’ve seen mine in many.  But it’s even more exciting to create a marketing letter that works — that brings in customers — that creates results!

Anyone can write…some better than others.  As I said in a previous post “That Myth Called Talent” , it takes more than talent to create results.  It takes techniques.  When I first started writing and taking classes, I wasn’t at all interested in writing fiction.  Nonfiction seemed much easier to write and to sell.  But I quickly learned that using Fiction Techniques to write non-fiction can make a world of difference.  And, isn’t a sales letter just a non-fiction article that you’re sending to a potential customer?

There are lots of fiction techniques that can make you a better copywriter.  Here are just a few to get you started:

  1. Be yourself.  Your personality creates your writing style and allows you to create intimacy with your reader.
  2. Make the letter conversational.  The reader of your letter should feel that you’re talking directly to them and are not just sending out a letter to lots of people. 
  3. Start the letter with something to get their attention.  It could be a story.  A question.  A quote.  Or simply a dynamic statement.  You want to create interest — even excitement.  You want to make them read further.
  4. Tell a story — from either your point of view or that of your customer’s.  By telling a short story that relates to the reader’s situation, you create empathy with him/her.  If your letter is a long one, you can draw out your story for added suspense, saving the outcome for the end. 
  5. Think like your reader.  What do they want most?  How can you provide it to them?  Their primary question to you is “What’s in it for me?”  What do their own customers want and need from them?  How can you help them answer that need with your products.  If you want to sell to them, you have to forget your own ego and how great your business is and concentrate on theirs.
  6. Ask for their business.  And provide yourself an opportunity to follow up. An example is:  “We want your business and we’re willing to work to earn it.  I’ll call you next week to discuss how we can help you…..”

There are many other techniques of course.  But incorporate these and you’ll have a much more effective marketing letter.

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