Author: Mario Churchill
When writing a sales letter, it’s important to place special focus on creating an impressive and attention-grabbing start with your opening sentence or paragraph. If you don’t start it correctly, it’s highly unlikely that your readers will get past the first paragraph before deleting your email…and categorizing it as SPAM!
REFERRING TO A CURRENT EVENT – If you are selling security systems, you can open your sales letter by referring to the Virginia Tech massacre and pointing out the seemingly inadequate security system of the university. From there, you can then proceed to emphasizing what using your products could to in increasing the safety of your reader and his family.
Current events stick to mind because they’re events that actually did happen in the real world and they could happen to you, too. Current events present real threats and promises – either of which you could use to emphasize the need for the products or services you’re selling through your sales letter.
USING STATISTICS – Statistics always exercise great influence on a person’s opinion because they can reflect the majority of the public’s opinion and they’re a product of careful study and research. By using statistics as an opening in your sales letter, you’re able to immediately establish credibility for your company. It not only gives them a reason to read more of your sales letter but it also convinces them to believe in you as well.
The statistics you’ll use in your sales letter must be easily understandable and can immediately convey your message. It must be directly related to your products and services. The facts and figures from these statistical reports must also have been professionally computed by experts. Be sure to provide proper credits so your readers can confirm their validity and reliability right away.
PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS – Think of the number one problem that your target market is suffering from and something that your products or services could immediately solve. Summarize it in one to two sentences and your readers are sure to be hooked.
Say you’re selling portable sewing machines. If your target market is those who sew for recreational purposes, you can start by addressing the problem of space. Sewing machines generally require you to use a certain amount of space for them, but that’s not going to be a problem with portable sewing machines. With such an item, your reader will be able to sew right in the comfort of their bedroom without having to rearrange the furniture.
ASK A QUESTION – Another great way of opening your sales letter is by asking a question. Asking a question allows you to directly and immediately address your reader and catch his attention. But the question can’t just be any question obviously. It has to be related to the topic of your sales letter, but more importantly than that, it must be a question that will make the reader wish to know more.
Say you’re selling office software and your target market is composed of home-based professionals and business owners. Your question could be something like “Is getting your numbers straight the hardest part of managing your home based business?” Math is something many people find notoriously hard but your office software could solve that particular problem.
EMPHASIZE THE BENEFIT – Items that are considered necessities would benefit with a problem-and-solution type of opening but for items considered as frivolities or those that merely satisfy wants rather than needs, they might have no problems to solve. What they do have however are benefits, and that’s what you can use when opening your sales letter.
If you are selling gourmet pet food, you could start your sales letter by stating how your food products could forge a stronger bond between you and your pet. Gourmet pet food may not be a necessity, but it can make your pet feel good and appreciated in no way that ordinary pet food could achieve.
BE DESCRIPTIVE – Lastly, you can use the power of imagery to effectively start your sales letter. This works especially well when aesthetics is a major factor of your product. Examples of such products and services are travel packages, jewelries, and clothes. While you don’t need to write an elaborate and overly long description, the words you do use should all create a stunning image that will reinforce the need to buy what you’re selling.
Mario is a freelance author and has many articles on various subjects.