In my previous post (How to Write a Sales Letter: Part 1), I talked about why you should consider using sales letters for lead generation. Sales letters get a significantly higher response than email or any other advertising medium. Plus, sales letters can be very cost-efficient, delivering a low cost-per-lead value.
I’m going to cover the very first thing you should focus on with your sales letter, which may surprise you.
It’s not what you’re trying to sell. It’s not the words you use to sell what you’re trying to sell. And it’s not the type of mailing you use, whether it’s a self-mailer or a 3-D package.
It’s the list.
The sales letter list
The list is the group of targeted individuals who will receive your sales letter. Who are they and more importantly, why would they care about your business?
Using your own house list is advisable. It is easier to get a past customer to buy again than it is to get a new customer to buy for the first time. So take your current list of those who have bought in the past and send them your sales letter.
But let’s say you’re just starting out and you don’t have a list, yet. Who do you target with your mail campaign?
Separate yourself from the pack
I’m going to take a slight turn, here, and suggest you read the book, Blue Ocean Strategy: How To Create Uncontested Market Space And Make The Competition Irrelevant, by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne.
I suggest reading this book because just about every business believes that when compared to their competition, their service or product is superior. However, few companies work at clearly differentiating themselves from their competition, let alone go after uncontested market space.
Once you identify alternative industries — industries that could use your products or services but they’re off the radar of your competition, then you’ll be on your way toward reconstructing market boundaries and able to focus on your alternative market’s needs.
You will also be able to present to them a unique selling proposition.
Sales letter “archeology”
When you’ve chosen the type of businesses or individuals who can use your services, start digging around to discover the challenges of those businesses. Lurk on message boards, conduct Internet searches, talk to anyone connected to the industry to see what you can learn. It will pay off later.
When creating your list, make sure they bring in enough yearly revenue to afford your services. If you have to do the research yourself, call your local library’s main location and explain you’re looking for such information. They’ll be happy to recommend several resources that allow you to check a business’ profile, demographics, competitors and more.
You can check out services such as Info USA or Leads Please. Also consider asking some of the printers in your area if they have any recommendations. Or you can again check your local library to help you create your own list. Although no list will be 100% accurate, you will likely find one that will be adequate for your needs.
The important thing is to decide exactly who you want to target, make sure they would be a good prospect for you, and then start to develop your direct mail campaign focusing on that prospect.
The next post will be focusing on the other big factor for a successful sales letter. Stay tuned.