The promotional sales letter, like the PB&J sandwich is a timeless and powerful sales tool. It’s a reliable tool that does not require programming, design or printing. You can even mail merge it and print directly from your home office. This is what I did when I started my insurance copywriting company five years ago.
I sent my letter to 200 prospects in the insurance industry. I spent $200 on postage, envelopes, paper, and possibly even less. This simple and inexpensive effort resulted in an 8 percent response within the first month. Years later, the replies continue trickling in. Six months ago (4.5 years since I sent the mailer), a prospect called me to tell me that he had saved my letter all along.
Here are some guidelines to help you send your own promotion letter
- Personalize your letter. Personalized correspondence always outperforms generic.
- Pay attention to what your headline says. Although letters don’t have headlines, they do have subject lines or a Johnson box. These are as important as the headline in an ad. These are just as important as the headline of an ad. Spend lots of time on them, and follow the same rules you do for headlines.
- Find your core emotions.
- Communicate end benefits.
- It should be about the reader, not you.
- Concentrate on your self-interest (what’s in the reader’s interest), news, or curiosity.
- Highlight your offer
Paint a picture
The first paragraph should paint a picture of the reader’s problem or solution. Your reader should nod her head in agreement when she starts reading the letter. Your solutions will come to life when you use metaphors. Many people don’t know how to understand a solution they haven’t seen. They use metaphors to help them visualize.
Once you have hooked your reader, it is time to make a compelling offer. Tell them what your plan is and how it will be different. Don’t make a sales pitch. Instead, explain what you’re going to do and how it will be different for them. Buyers don’t want to purchase – they want solutions.
After you have made your promise, it is time to show that you can deliver. You can prove your promise with client testimonials, statistics, or case studies. You should convince them that you have solved the problems of other clients and can do the same for theirs. In your letter, include proof in an interesting way. To highlight important elements, add a sidebar to your letter or a pull quote.
Push for Response
Your sales letter must close. Don’t close the sale, you are closing the “next steps.” It’s a big difference. Few people will buy insurance if they get a sales letter. They only buy insurance when they feel they need it. If they have had positive interactions with your company, they will remember you. The purpose of a sales letter is to convince the reader to join your sales cycle. Your letter should persuade the reader to reply to your offers. After they reply, you can communicate with them on an ongoing basis. This is the secret to closing insurance sales.
Remember the P.S.
Yes, the P.S. The P.S. Research has shown that most people read the P.S. Research shows that many people read the P.S. before reading anything else. Write the P.S. As if your letter would never be read. You should emphasize the promise and make the offer. Make sure you use a “What’s in It For The Reader” tone. Keep it brief and to the point – no more than two sentences is best.
You should include as many replies mechanisms as possible, including e-mails, web, phone, fax, and a reply card. Different people respond differently so appeal to them all.