Business writing: Five tips to help your sales letter get opened
A well-written sales letter can generate loads of sales, but only if the envelope is actually opened. These business writing strategies will help boost your success.
1. Address the envelope to an individual
If your envelope is addressed to ‘The Manager’, then it may as well be emblazoned with a flashing neon sign that reads, ‘I am junk mail. I am junk mail’. Wherever possible, address an envelope with the full name of the recipient, and make sure you’ve got the spelling right.
2. For small campaigns, handwrite the envelope
A handwritten envelope sparks curiosity because it reminds us of a bygone era when we used to solely receive personal correspondence via snail mail. Most handwritten mail gets opened.
But please only handwrite envelopes if your writing is neat. If your handwriting makes the envelope look like a ransom note, then it won’t be good for business.
"If your envelope is addressed to ‘The Manager’, then it may as well be emblazoned with a flashing neon sign that reads, ‘I am junk mail. I am junk mail’."
3. Use a coloured envelope
Standard, white, DL-sized envelopes smack of sales letter, and as a result, can sometimes get smacked straight into the bin. However, if the envelope is coloured, it hints that there could be something exciting inside.
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4. Mark the letter ‘Private and confidential’
In theory, any envelope marked with ‘Private and confidential’ should only be opened by the actual recipient, but if your recipient has a secretary or PA, those words might actually be interpreted as, ‘Dear Gatekeeper, I am a sales letter’.
5. Include an item that creates a bump in the envelope
I’ve used this approach many times, with great success. Last week I sat down with a person I’d been trying to arrange a meeting with, and he said, ‘I get hundreds of emails every week that I never read, and I get junk mail that I never open. But I loved your card with the gift inside’.
Be creative with the item you include, and ensure that it ties in with the theme of your sales letter.
Here are some ideas:
- A life coach might include a mini Toblerone in each letter, with the theme being, ‘Mountains are easier to climb with a life coach by your side’.
- A de-clutter consultant might include a promotional pen, writing something like, ‘Lost another pen? Use this one for now, and we’ll help you find the rest’.
- A professional cleaner might include a sachet of bath salts in every letter, writing, ‘Don’t you have better things to do than clean your house?’
Including an item in your envelope might cost more in postage, but it also might inspire more prospects to contact you.
Consider following these tips to the letter
The next time you’re considering sending a sales letter out in a flat, white, DL-sized envelope, consider adopting some of the bin-busting business writing strategies above. But remember, your sales letter is only the first step in your direct mail campaign; be sure to follow it up with a friendly phone call.
Do you think the above mailing strategies would flop or fly? Post your comments here.