The successful sales letter must be constructed upon certain fundamental principles. It must accomplish through the written word what the salesman accomplishes through the spoken word. It stands to reason, then, that it must be built upon the principles of salesmanship. It must carry the mind of the prospective buyer through certain fundamental processes, just as a good salesman does.
There are four distinct steps that enter into every sale. These apply whether the solicitation is by letter or in person. They are what might well be termed "the mental law of sale."
Memorize these four fundamental principles, for they must apply in every sales letter you write. It must…..
1. Attract attention
2. Arouse interest
3. Create desire
4. Induce action
Note how closely these principles parallel the construction of a good salesman's selling talk. You will see, then, that the matter of writing a sales letter is simply talking to your prospect as good sales talk on paper as you would face to face.
First, you must get attention. This may be done in the opening paragraph by appealing to some emotion, such as curiosity, ambition, surprise, vanity, desire or self-interest. It should be put in a striking way so that the reader will want to know the rest of your story.
After you have secured attention you must awaken interest. This may be done through a description or explanation of your proposition or by some specific suggestion of profit in it for the prospect. The salesman can show his goods, but the sales letter writer must tell about his. He must paint a picture in words that will make the reader want to know more about his goods and their value to him.
Once interest has been awakened, desire will follow quickly if you point the way. This can be done by giving the reader facts and figures showing why he should have your goods. Tell him what they will do for him, how they can be utilized to effect a saving, increase efficiency, save time, add to convenience, promote health or happiness — whatever service they will render.
Then in the fourth step, you must "cash in" on the progress you have made. Your prospect is now ready to take some action. Make it easy to take. Provide a handy means — an order form, a postal card or a coupon. Here in the close of the letter, urge immediate action. Tell your man to act today and make it very insistent that he do so.
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