When making a business sales letter, the primary goal is, obviously, to make a sale. However, focusing on this bottom line is ultimately what causes a lot of business sales letters to fail, simply because customers feel that the letter is all about trying to separate them from their hard-earned money. The best business letters are made by people who believe in their products and know that it is actually their customer’s benefit to use it over other competing products. Building on this basic rule, there are 7 factors to consider when making a business letter that will let your customers know that, while you ARE out to make a profit, it will be based on THEIR satisfaction with your product.

Target Market Type — consider the demographics of your intended market. Know how they think, how they talk, what they need, how much of a budget they generally have, and what benefits they can find in using your product. This knowledge makes it easier to tailor a sales approach that they can relate to. Using fancy words or “business jargon” when your target market is mostly composed of people who haven’t studied economics, for example, will only serve to overwhelm and confuse them.

Product Details — know your product intimately. This does not mean that you have to blab about the endless hours of research that went into making your product superior to others, or the incredibly high tech materials and construction methods that went into making it. Intimate product knowledge from a consumer point of view boils down to one thing: What can your product do for the buyer?

Product After Sales Support — if your product provider has after-sale support options, be sure to include those as some advantages of buying what you have to offer. Customer service lines, extended warranties, and even home service options are things that show the customers that you will still be there for them even AFTER you’ve made a sale. This also imparts a measure of faith in the product that it won’t simply break down a few months or even weeks after purchase.

Selling Approach — the most effective selling approach is to remain customer-oriented. By focusing on your buyer’s needs, you increase the likelihood that they will prefer to buy what you have to offer over the competition. However, you also have to consider HOW your target market thinks and communicates; some demographics prefer elaborate statements, others value a sense of humor, still others prefer terse and straight-to-the-point presentations. Know how your customers generally communicate and make your style suit them.

Layouting — a good visual presentation is one of the keys to any good document. Layouting is essential in any letter because it makes the document catch the eye at first glance and makes readers willing to see what you’ve got. Beyond the looks, however, layouting also involves the order and manner in which you present your information. A graphically stunning letter that has poor layouting when it comes to presenting information will still fail. Be precise and orderly in your presentation of facts.

Timed Response Incentives — this is a fairly classic method of getting a quick response from a customer. The most common places you’ll see this will be on shopping channels, with announcers saying something like “order within the next 30 minutes and get a 10% discount”. Timed response incentives in business letters should be similar BUT should offer greater leeway for customer response to special promotional discounts. The failure of the shopping channel program’s approach is that customers feel pressured to buy NOW, which makes them think that all the company wants is their money, period. Promos on sales letters should have a much more relaxed timetable, like “We’re having a 10% sale all the next week, from 12:00 am X date to 12:00 pm Y date. Feel free to drop by and look our products over.”

What Should They Do Next? — Lastly, customers HATE being left in a lurch if they wind up liking what a product has to offer but get little or no information on how to actually go about buying the product. Always include extensive contact info on the letter that lets them know the fastest and easiest ways to get in touch with you when they want to ask questions or buy something. If you have several contact numbers, try splitting them off into several types as well and include these in the letter, like a “product inquiry” number, another for making personal purchases, another for bulk purchases and/or potential retailers, etc.

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