Thinking about sending out a sales letter to your contacts this year? Before you do, stop and put in place some things that will prevent you from making some of the basic mistakes that sales letters tend to have in them.

1. Being too short
One of the biggest mistakes sales letters include is being too short – a common assumption is that your letter should be one page max. Wrong! Your sales letter is intended to do the job of a sales person. Would you send in a sales person to a meeting and tell him to stop after 6 paragraphs? Of course not! Your sales letter needs to be as long as it needs to be to effectively sell.

2. Not including pictures
Because your sales letter is now going to be longer, you can include pictures. Pictures (particularly if they show happy and satisfied customers) can really do a great job of convincing people to buy.

3. Leaving out stories
We love stories too! Stories of what people or businesses were like before you met them and what they’re like now. Stories can help you build up the problem of why people should talk to you.

4. Forgetting about the testimonials
Testimonials from satisfied customers ideally with pictures can be an excellent selling tool – and yet, they’re missing from most sales letters. Even including just this bit can improve your sales letter a thousand percent.

5. Where’s the great headline?
Most sales letters go in the bin because quite frankly, they’re boring! Use prefixes and suffixes like Warning…, How to…, 7 secrets to…, How I… to make your headlines sound interesting enough to read.

6. Build up the problem
Before you launch into how you can help, build up the problem first. People need to recognise that you understand how they think and feel before you tell them how you can help. Build up the problem first using stories and testimonials and then tell them what you can do to solve the problem.

7. Take out the jargon
Just because you can understand what you’ve written, doesn’t mean that that the people reading it will. Try the 10 year old test. If an average 10 year old can understand your letter, you’ve cracked it. If not, you need to rework your letter.

8. Test and test some more
So you want to send out 1,000 letters? Before you do, test it first with a small number. Try it with 100 and see what happens. That way, you have the freedom to change and amend your sales letter without having wasted your efforts.

Use some of the suggestions above and watch the different in the reaction of your sales letter!

Author's Bio: 

Exceptional Thinking ( provides help and advice to small business owners on their marketing. For 50 free ideas to promote your business, please visit our home page!