Writing Letters that Get Attention and Results Lincoln NE
Lincoln , NE
Writing Letters that Get Attention and Results
Online Clutter Makes it More Important than Ever That Your Direct Marketing Letters are Written Effectively
By Christopher J. Bachler
You may need to write sales letters, customer reminders, complaints, collection letters, and more. But all of that writing will accomplish nothing unless you grab and hold your reader’s attention! That’s because people are too busy to read anything that’s not important or very interesting.
Begin your letters with a reference to your reader. “I’m responding to your recent inquiry about our products...” or “Thanks again for your attention to my complaint the other day...” People are always interested in themselves, and if you make them a key part of the subject matter, they’ll be too curious to ignore your letter before they know what it’s about.
Use enticements that will pull the reader into your letter. Follow them by further inducements that will pull the reader all the way to the point you’re trying to make. Think of your letter as a baseball diamond. Following your initial starting point—that initial appeal—you need to touch a number of other bases before bringing your reader back to that home plate, where you get the reader to act upon your wishes. Think of all of those bases as interesting points that support whatever case you are trying to make.;
“Dear Commissioner Bryan:
(Home plate) “Although your current budget is tight, you can still manage the refurbishments to the courthouse...
(First base) “We’ll do the job for less than half the amount charged by the previous contractor...”
(Second base) “We require no advance for our service...”
(Third base) “We can start work now, even before you reopen the east wing...”
(Home plate) “Contact me now, while we can still act on this proposal!”
Keep your letter easy and as short and compact as possible. Use no unnecessary words, and add no content that isn’t essential to your purpose. Also, don’t try to impress with big words or fancy rhetoric. The reader will be most interested if your letter is easy and enjoyable to read. Besides, a letter can only accomplish so much, no matter how long it is. Matters that require you to cover lots of details will probably require you to arrange a personal meeting. The letter is just a way to open a door. So don’t try to make your letter do too many things.
Shun formality. Yes, contracts or legal notices need to follow a formal format. But formal letters are stiff and boring, and generally not what people want to read. Formal writing also makes the writer sound as though she is talking down to her readers. Choose a tone that sounds natural and respectful towards your readers.
Appeal directly to your reader’s interests. To do that, you’ll need to know what those interests are—or at least have a pretty good idea. That may require some research. For instance, a collection letter should clarify why it is in the interests of the reader to pay the overdue bill. Likewise, a sales lett...