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Sales Letters – How to Write Highly Responsive Sales Letters

By Jeffrey Dobkin

Everyone has their own sales letters templates for increasing response. Our sales letter format is very different: we don’t sell your products in the letter. We show your biggest benefits, then ask the reader call – several times. When someone calls, you sell your product. That’s our sales letter template formula. Here’s how to write a perfect sales letter to get the highest response possible.

Sales Letters: How to Write Letters that are Highly Responsive

Sales letters are easy to write. Great sales letters are hard to write. Highly responsive great sales letters are the most difficult to write unless you use the correct copywriting strategy.

With 30 years of direct mail experience, we believe our sales letter template brings the most phone calls. If it doesn’t, we’ll give you your money back. Wait… you did pay for this article on direct mail, didn’t you?

Here’s why our direct mail formula brings in more phone calls:

Sales Letters Written by Jeffrey Dbbkin

Sales Letters written by Jeffrey Dobkin

· It’s much easier to generate a phone call from a sheet of paper than to hard-sell a product off the page.
· No money is at risk.
· There is no sales resistance.
· Cost is irrelevant and
· Price is not a factor.
· In fact: no cost.
· No credit card is needed.
· Offers instant answers to questions.
· No friction.
· It’s fast, and offers instant gratification · Builds trust · Fast and easy: Just a simple phone call.

The specific sales letter format offering the highest response is: Mention your company, Show your product’s best features, Highlight all your product benefits in a bullet list, then Sell the phone call hard. When people call, YOU sell your product.

10 Tips: How to write the perfect sales letter.

Creating highly responsive sales letter templates is easy if you follow these guidelines:

10. Make it look like a letter.

Letters are the most effective sheet of paper in all of direct mail.
Sending a sales letter without a brochure can be way more effective than sending a brochure without a sales letter.

Every piece of mail you send should have a letter in it.

But is it really a letter? No, it isn’t. It’s a highly stylized ad designed to look like a letter.

So although it’s really an advertisement, for clarity we’ll still call it a sales letter.

Make your sales letter look like a traditional business letter, with a traditional business letter format:

· Use a letterhead at the top.
· Place a single selling line, flush right.
· Introduce the letter with a salutation.
· The body copy follows and
· Close with your signature
· Include a strong P.S.

Letter Design:
The optimal type for the letter is set in Courier style type in 10 or 12 point, set flush-left rag-right. Never justify the body of your letter copy.
Indent the first line of each paragraph 5 spaces.
Keep paragraphs short – never more than 5 lines.
Make it look easy to read, even if it isn’t, by showing lots of white space.

9. Make the first paragraph only one line.

Two at most. Like this.

A single line commands attention and increases readership. Your first line must be the most interest-arousing line in the entire letter – to draw the reader into the rest of the letter text. Use the Jeff Dobkin 100-to-1 Rule – write 100 opening lines then go back and pick out your best one. Yes, it’s that important.

8. Show the Benefits in your letter.

People look at the features of your products or company, but they call because of the benefits those features offer the reader. A teacup has a handle – that’s a feature. The benefit is you don’t burn your hands while drinking hot tea from it.

7. Create a bullet list in the center of your letter.

Show your top 3 or 4 benefits in a brief bullet format. Each benefit in just one or two lines at most. Perfect for skimming and fast reading.

6. Give your phone number several times throughout the letter.

If the reader doesn’t call, your letter fails. Make your call to action strong, and ask the reader to call several times throughout the letter as well.

This is the biggest mistake I see in the sales letters I review.

Did I mention I offer a free sales letter review?
Email me your final letter for analysis (not an early draft, I’m not your secretary), then we’ll chat!

Or if you’re really struggling, I write letters for clients all the time. Please call for free sample letter examples and costs.

5. DON’T sell your product in your sales letter!

Sell the phone call. When people call, YOU sell your product.

It’s much easier to generate a phone call from a sheet of paper than to sell a product. Once people call, the letter worked perfectly and it was 100% successful. In fact:

4. Slight difference in sales letter format strategy:

HUGE difference in response by writing your letter to generate maximum phone calls from the start. The entire letter is drafted around this specific goal of “to generate phone calls”. Compare each line you write to the goal of “does this line make the reader call?” Or does it push the reader away?

3. Sign legibly.

You know that squiggle you use for your signature? Yea, don’t use that. Your signature is a visual hook – make it readable. While you can use “Sincerely” or “Yours Truly” I always sign-off with “Kindest regards,” in closing. Sounds kind of nice, don’t you think?

2. Include a strong P.S.

The Post Script should restate your biggest benefit followed by asking for a phone call and repeating your phone number. Include urgency: “Sale ends on Saturday!” If you have a guarantee, the PS is a pretty good place to show it off or at least mention it.

Do you include a brochure?
My choice is to include a brochure (my first choice is to include an informational booklet) in your direct mail package. People look at the brochure, but they READ the letter.

A great brochure does have value: it builds credibility. The brochure can be photo-rich, hard-hitting and sales-oriented: readers know you printed millions of them. But the letter – if written and designed correctly – is perceived as personal: me to you, one to one, mono-a-mono. You only printed a few of these, right?

Mail to the right mailing list.
Here are the influencing factors in your sales letter success: The letter, your market, your offer, the creative style & design, last but not least: your mailing list. Lousy list = lousy response. Great list = great response. Get it?  Read about choosing the right mailing list here.

For the highest response to any direct mail, always, always include a sales letter in every direct mailing package you send. If your letter is created correctly it’s the hardest working part of the mailing package and will compel more people to read your material… and to call.

For 2018, here’s my newest recommendation. I know you want to but DON’T:

1. Don’t feature your website. Yes, DO NOT.

I have lots of clients who ask me to feature their website in the letter I write for them, and to direct readers to go there instead of asking readers to call. I have one word for this: Arrrrggg.  No, don’t do it.

Sending people to a website is just an additional step standing in the way of a sale. Your website is another place potential sales fall off. It’s one more interfering step where you can lose sales. Would you rather blow someone off to your website or speak with them directly on the phone.

Sales is a personal contact sport: the best way to sell your products is to speak with someone directly.

Personal contact is a place you can raise their level of confidence and trust in spending money with you. You can answer questions, overcome objections and assure them it’s the product they need from the company they can trust and want to do business with.

Can you sell stuff on the web? Sure. If your website is 100% dedicated to online selling. E-bay, catalogers like L.L. Bean, and online sellers like Amazon – all sites that are designed to sell from the ground up, without human intervention and with a great amount of trust. Is your site like that? Get serious. I don’t think so.

Sending people to your website is another way – in fact a very good way – to have them fall out of the sales cycle.

Do I think you should mention your website? Yes, I do.
Here’s how: Put your web address (URL) in your letter head. It’s very low-key, but it’s there. Savvy online buyers will be able to look you up and see your site, but it won’t detract your sales letter from fulfilling its primary mission: generating a phone call.

Thanks for reading this. If I can answer any questions, please call. 610-642-1000 rings on my desk.

If you’d like to see examples of the sales letters I write for clients, you can see them in our Creative Samples link by clicking here.

If you are in the insurance industry, are a financial advisor, or work in network marketing we’ve written a series of sales letters that put our sales letter knowledge to the test using our own strategies to make people call you.

Please check out our FREE sample insurance sales letter by clicking here. These letter templates are available in a awesome package of 26 sales letters.

Or look over our Financial Advisor Sales Letter series using this link.
Network marketer’s love our awesome Network marketing sales letter templates. Click here to see them.
For more articles on how to write sales letters, here are a few pages filled with in-depth letter writing articles and tips.

Click here to view our free direct marketing articles – in depth help to write and design your sales letter campaign.

Our Creative Sample pages contain samples of the sales letters we’ve written for clients. Please call us 610-642-1000 if you need any writing: web copy, reports, content, informational booklets, catalog copy and of course sales letters.

We also analyze advertising campaigns, copywriting, marketing strategy and offer a Marketing Audit so you can see if you’re missing anything.  This link provides just a few of the questions he asks…

And our FREE LETTER REVIEW will let you know how effective your own writing is FREE. Just email your final letter to Jeff at

Hope you enjoyed this article and found it of great value. If you’d like Jeffrey Dobkin to review your sales letter, please email it to him for his analysis. If you’d like to speak with Jeffrey about writing a sales letter – or any other writing – for your firm, please call him directly: call 610-642-1000.

Jeffrey Dobkin

Jeffrey Dobkin

Jeffrey Dobkin has written 5 books on direct marketing and direct mail, and two on humor. Over 250 of his articles on direct marketing have been published in more than 300 magazines. He can be reached at the Danielle Adams Publishing Company, P.O. Box 100, Merion Station, PA 19066. For additional articles by Jeffrey Dobkin visit him at  Call him with questions or comments: 610-642-1000.  Well, the good comments anyhow.