Business Tips from The Ultimate Sales Letter

A series of Business Tips from the book: The Ultimate Sales Letter
The Ultimate Sales Letter: Attract New Customers. Boost your Sales
By Dan Kennedy

Get “into” the Customer: The goal is understanding. To persuade someone, to motivate someone, to sell someone, you really need to understand that person
— Dan Kennedy

Dan Kennedy, whose marketing books are best-sellers, discusses the formula for success sales letters. Since so many producers end up contact customers via email, Dan’s tips on sales letter would be very helpful for writing effective emails.

His first tip on knowing your customer may seem difficult when you are emailing a store, but the principles can be transferred to emails rather easily. To know your potential customer, do some research on the store. Most stores have an online presence that you can read and study.

Each store you research should give you a feel for what they sell, who buys from them, and if there is a regional focus you can appeal to. If you have been selling your products for awhile, you should have a good feel for the type of stores that will purchase your items. If you are new, it might be a good idea to set up a sample avatar of your ideal customer and the stores where they shop.

Next, determine what is most important to the customer. In other words, what is in the product for them. In the case of a store, the most important reason for them to buy is how well it will sell for them.

Dan has several steps and questions that will help you determine each of these points.

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Get “into” the Offer — It’s amazing how easily people fall into talking about the features of their product or service, instead of the benefits it provides… People do not buy things for what they are; they buy things for what they do.
— Dan Kennedy

Once again, this is directed at what the product can do for the customer — not what the unique features may or may not be!

Dan suggests putting each feature/benefit on a 3 x 5″ card and put them in order of importance. From there, craft a list of points to add to your email or literature about your product or service benefits.

As you know, we sell gourmet foods. We have a very unique line of products called “Idaho Redneck Gourmet Foods”. We promote these as the type of gift that a female will by for a male — which is often an overlooked segment of the market.

So the unique feature is not the humor label or the cute artwork (or even the high quality contents) — it is the ideal product for a female to buy for their boyfriend, husband, son, or father. Needless to say, this is how we market our line of products!

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Get Your Sales Letter Looked At — America sorts it mail standing over a wastebasket (or with their hand on the delete key.)
— Dan Kennedy

Dan spends several pages describing tips on evelope messages and colors, but his one main take-way on this point that translates to email is the ‘Power of Personalization’.

I get way too many emails from producers looking for sales representation addressed to Dear Sir/Madam. Sorry, but those emails get deleted before I read any further. If the writer didn’t even take the time to figure out WHO they were writing too, then I am not interested in what they have to say.

On the other hand, if the email starts with my name in the salutation, I know this person has taken the time to look me up, checked out my website, or knows me from somewhere else. I am much more responsive to their message.

When you are looking to send an email to pitch a buyer, sales rep or consumer, take the time to find out their name and address the email accordingly. I am sure I am not the only one who deletes emails to Sir/Madam.

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Get Your Sales Letter Read — Successful sales letters (have headlines)… What your headline says and how it says it are absolutely critical.
— Dan Kennedy

To equate this to emails, the headline is the same as your subject. The best way to get your email opened and read is to use a compelling subject.

Dan gives several examples of good headlines/subjects, so I will share a few of the templates he suggests (fill in the blank with the appropriate info about your product):

  •  They didn’t think I could ______________, but I did.
  • Who else wants ______________.
  • How ____________ made me ____________.
  • How to ____________ — for just (dollar amount)
  • Secrets of ________________.
  • (Number) ways to ______________.

Dan also includes tips to include in your email when you are selling products:

1. Use testimonials from happy users of the product; these will do more than anything else to increase sales
2. Remember that photographs outperform drawings and illustrations.
3. Prove that the product is easy to use. This may be done with copy, photographs, or testimonials — but it must be done!

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Beat the Price Bugaboo — Although any good sales pro will admit that price is very rarely the determining factor in a buying decision, the same pro will tell you that, mishandled, price can put the brakes on a sale before it even gets going.
— Dan Kennedy

Price is an interesting point to play with as you can give a perceived value that is much higher than a product-to-product comparison with your competitors.

Some of the techniques that Dan discusses concerning price are the following:

1. Compare apples to oranges — in other words, buying a set of DVDs from a workshop is less expensive than going to the conference (but much higher than typical DVD).
2. Sell bulk — list every detailed value that you can for the product.
3. Discuss the price paid to develop the offer — talk about all the expensive components to make up the jewelry piece or other similar product.
4. Make the parts worth more than the whole — sell the jewelry piece as part of a set, making each piece seem worth more than the total cost of the set.
5. Conceal the price by breaking it into monthly payments (car sales are a great example of this).

Hopefully, this weeks tips will help you write and send better emails that will bring in more sales for your products.

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