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Sales Results Happen When Your Sales Letter Is Fascinating

By Author: David Parker
Total Articles: 36

"Concentrating on the benefits - not the features of your offer is more persuasive for your reader"
You must make your letter attractive to your reader so they get your full sales message. So how are you going to catch AND KEEP his/her attention?
You may have come across the acronym AIDA, which stands for:
You know your letter must attract your reader's attention, otherwise it won't be read. And if he (or she) doesn't read it he won't respond. If what you are offering is important to him you have let him down, because he never knows about it.
Having got his attention you must keep his interest in what you are writing about, then create a desire to own or receive whatever it is you are offering. 'Paint the picture' so he sees himself already enjoying your product or the results of your service.
And finally, lead him through the action you want him to take next.
If you don't take your reader through the whole of this process it is unlikely you'll get his (or her) business.
I use what I call the 'extended AIDA' -- AIDA-A. The extra 'A' is another 'Attention mechanism'; namely the PS at the end of your letter. It's often your second chance to catch your reader's attention and it should be as compelling and strong as your main headline at the beginning.
A strong P.S., which often comes from the headlines you've developed, can increase your readership by up to 67%. So -- missing the P.S. off your letter could mean up to 67 people out of 100 throw it away without a second glance!
When people receive their post - whether it is personal or business - they often use an unconscious selection process for the order they open and read it in.
The most common sequence people follow is:
He (or she) decides, probably without really thinking about it, the order he opens each item. Usually bulky - interesting - packages are opened first because they create curiosity, especially if they are unexpected. Followed by any hand-written letters; these are more personal and likely to be from a friend or relation. Next comes the 'official - looking' letters such as bank statements, government correspondence etc.
Finally, if at all, the 'junk mail'.
Yes, that's what we call it isn't it? The marketing letters from people who are trying to catch our attention is often referred to as 'junk mail'. And, whether we like it or not, our marketing letters are frequently regarded in the same way - especially if the recipient has no interest in what we are writing about because we have not targeted the right people.
Opening a Letter:
When a letter is opened research has shown most people:
* Check the name and address to make sure it is addressed correctly to him/her.
* Read the headline or the first sentence.
* If it has attracted his attention sufficiently, the end of the letter is checked to see who it is from and...
* If there is a P.S. this is read as well. (This is why there should always be a P.S. - don't forget it is your second chance to get your reader's attention and entice him to read your letter).
Then the decision is made to either 'bin the letter' or read it.
It is your job to make sure your letter is read, and not 'binned', get every possible aspect of it right so your targeted audience responds in the way you want him to.
By the way, 'gimmicky' bulk mail only works IF the recipient is actually interested in your offer. No amount of clever 'promotional gifts or inserts' create a response where there is no interest or desire. That's where TARGETING YOUR AUDIENCE MAKES A REAL DIFFERENCE.
You've grabbed your reader's attention with your brilliant headline or opening sentence. Now you've got to keep his (or her) interest. Follow up your headline with something to encourage him to read on.
You see this all the time in newspapers and magazines. The headline catches your attention first. Then the first paragraph is written to keep your interest high so you read the rest of the article.
This is what your letter must do.
Aim to get your reader excited about your offer -- this is where the benefits it gives, how it's been used by others and their testimonials -- does some of the work for you.
You must 'paint the picture' so your reader sees himself using your product or getting the result your service promises. Then...
Now you have got your reader keyed up with your letter and offer - don't let him drift away. Tell him the action he needs to take, the next step he must follow so he can have the promised results for himself.
"If you don't give a very clear call to action then very little action will be taken and your sales will be minimal or even non-existent..."
Don't assume he will figure out for himself he can phone, write or send an email to you. He's a busy person - make it as easy as possible for him. Tell him to phone the 0800 number, tell him to complete the request or enquiry form (never call it an order form by the way, people really don't like 'ordering' - too much like a sales instruction) or tell him to send an email NOW!
Emphasise the urgency of taking the next step whilst it is fresh in his mind. If he thinks "I'll do it later" it won't happen. Chances are your letter and response mechanism will get buried under all the other things vying for his attention every day.

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