Successful Sales Letters

A strong sales letter can help you get your foot in the door. Here's how to craft one that will make the right impression.

While the telephone is still the primary tool for reaching yourprospective customers, there are many times when you will have towrite a sales letter. A strong sales letter can reinforce yoursales message, significantly enhance the image of your company inthe mind of your prospect, and get your foot in the door. Anineffective letter will cause your prospect to lose interest inyour product or service, and can easily cost you an account.

Sales letters tend to fall into one of three categories --letters of introduction; follow-up letters; and cover letters forpresentation packages. As the name suggests, letters ofintroduction are used to introduce yourself to a prospect and letthem know you are going to call them on a specific day and time.Follow-up letters serve to reinforce a point made during previouscontact; it could be a phone conversation or a face-to-facemeeting. Cover letters are sent as part of a larger package, andalert the reader about what to look for in that package.

Click on the following tips to help you create successful salesletters:

Talk About Your Customer, Not Yourself
Acquaint or Reacquaint the Reader With Who YouAre
Use Bullets
End With An Action
Keep Your Letter Brief
Show That You "Get" TheirCompany
Use Statistics
Give Away Ideas
Have Someone Read It Over

Talk AboutYour Customer, Not Yourself

The most off-putting word in a sales letter is "I" andthe most effective word is "you". Never begin a letterwith "I" because chances are the reader won't get tothe second word. It all comes down to selling benefits -- yourprospects are not interested in the features of your productsservices, but in what how your products or services can benefitthem. Change "I can train your service reps in the latestsatisfaction techniques" to "Your customer complaintratio will drop by training your reps in the latest customersatisfaction techniques".

[Back to top]

Acquaint orReacquaint the Reader With Who You Are

In many cases, it is necessary to begin your letter with a briefintroduction to who you are and what you do. This is basic for aletter of introduction, but if you've already spoken with thisperson, saying who you are will re-establish a sense of contact.For example: "It was great speaking with you last Thursday.Acme Partners is an advertising agency that can help you boost yourWeb site traffic with a focused banner ad campaign".

[Back to top]


The body of your letter should contain three or so key points, setapart by bullets. Readers like bullets because it makes the lettereasy to read. As the writer/seller, you benefit by immediatelypointing your reader in the direction of the important points youwant to make.

[Back to top]

End With AnAction

What result do you want from your letter? Are you looking to get aface-to-face appointment? Are you answering questions raised at aprevious meeting? Do you want to make your prospect betterinformed? Do you need to get a signed contract? You need to closeyour letter by requesting a specific, quantifiable action. Forexample: "I will call you on Tuesday, November 18 at 10 schedule meeting" or "Please return the enclosedcontract Friday, December 12, or call me if you have any otherquestions".

[Back to top]

Keep YourLetter Brief

It's rare that someone is going to read anything past the firstpage, so keep your letter to one page. Many readers lookimmediately to the bottom of the page to see if the signature isthere, so they know who the letter has come from. Staying at onepage will also force you to be succinct, since a rambling letter isan ineffective letter.

[Back to top]

Show ThatYou "Get" Their Company

You will immediately gain their confidence if youshow that you understand what your customer's company is allabout. This is especially important when you're trying to reacha large corporate customer. Briefly talk about their brand, theirimage, and their needs. For example: "Acme has a reputationfor providing superior service and keeping its customer's needsfirst" or "There is enormous cachet to owning an AjaxWidget".

[Back to top]


Back up your claims with statistics. This shows that you understandthe issues of their business, while demonstrating that your productor service can solve a problem. It also gives your prospect areason to support your product or service within the company. Forexample, a software training company pitching a corporate clientmight cite: "According to Acme Research Associates, theaverage computer user wastes over 100 hours a year trying to figureout how certain tasks are done".

[Back to top]

Give AwayIdeas

Your sales letter is, in essence, a very brief sales proposal, soyou need to show that you are thinking about your prospect'sneeds. You might be hesitant to put your best ideas in your letter,fearing that your prospect will use them but not hire your company.That's a mistake. By putting your ideas in your letter, youwill make your prospects feel like they're getting somethingalready, and that they'll benefit from your products orservices. More importantly, you'll be demonstrating thatyou're creative, on the ball, and have your client's bestinterests in mind.

[Back to top]

HaveSomeone Read It Over

Get another pair of eyes to look at any letter before you send itout. This will help you determine if your letter is clear and ifyou're getting your point across. Also, ask the person to lookit over for typos; you don't want to lose out on an account dueto a misspelled word or other careless mistake.

[Back to top]

Editor's Pick

Everyone Wants to Get Close to Their Favorite Artist. Here's the Technology Making It a Reality — But Better.
The Highest-Paid, Highest-Profile People in Every Field Know This Communication Strategy
After Early Rejection From Publishers, This Author Self-Published Her Book and Sold More Than 500,000 Copies. Here's How She Did It.
Having Trouble Speaking Up in Meetings? Try This Strategy.
He Names Brands for Amazon, Meta and Forever 21, and Says This Is the Big Blank Space in the Naming Game
Business News

American Airlines Sued After Teen Dies of Heart Attack Onboard Flight to Miami

Kevin Greenridge was traveling from Honduras to Miami on June 4, 2022, on AA Flight 614 when he went into cardiac arrest and became unconscious mid-flight.


How to Detect a Liar in Seconds Using Nonverbal Communication

There are many ways to understand if someone is not honest with you. The following signs do not even require words and are all nonverbal queues.


After Early Rejection From Publishers, This Author Self-Published Her Book and Sold More Than 500,000 Copies. Here's How She Did It.

Author Karen Inglis breaks down the strategies and tactics you need to generate awareness and sales for your self-published book.

Business News

These Are the Most and Least Affordable Places to Retire in The U.S.

The Northeast and West Coast are the least affordable, while areas in the Mountain State region tend to be ideal for retirees on a budget.

Thought Leaders

5 Small Daily Habits Self-Made Millionaires Use to Grow Their Wealth

We've all seen what self-made millionaires look like on TV, but it's a lot more subtle than that. Brian Tracy researched what small daily habits these successful entrepreneurs adopted on their journey from rags to riches.

Business News

Jake Paul and Lindsay Lohan Fined $400,000 for 'Illegally Touting' Crypto

The SEC just disclosed that eight celebrities agreed to a massive settlement without admitting guilt.