This is it. The time to put pen to paper. You should be clear on all your objectives, output formats, target customers, FABs, mechanisms for reply, etc. Now you have to make it all happen. There are a number of simple techniques or formulae designed to help you approach a sales letter logically. They are not intended as a ‘straitjacket’, merely as a guide to ensure you cover the right points in the right order.

One such formula is known as WISCDA – which stands for Wavelength, Interest, Salespoints, Conviction, Desire, Action.

44. Wavelength. Readers decide to read or junk a letter, fax or e-mail in about the first 5 seconds. That’s the length of time you have to grab and hold them…or lose them forever. The most effective way to grab them is to show that you’re on the same WAVELENGTH as they are. Get on their wavelength right away – with your first headline or sentence or message topic for an e-mail. Hint at your ‘big promise’ as well if you can. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. What aspect of your offering will change, improve or revolutionise their life? Some examples:

For a speaking course: “Hands up anyone who’d hate to hold an audience spellbound?”

For a personal confidence course: “Here’s how to be more beautiful at 50 than at 29”

Often, a question can work well For a factoring service: “Like to get your invoices paid twice as fast?”

For an insurance policy: “Will your wife be better off when you’re dead?”

45. Interest. Or more importantly, holding it! Use some surprising or intriguing facts relevant to your product or service.

‘4 out of 5 top businessmen admit they don’t understand their own computer systems.’

‘Getting your invoices paid just 20% faster can halve your bank borrowings in 12 months.’

‘90% of our slimmers failed with some other method first.’

Notice you are still talking about the reader’s problem, need or opportunity, not about your company or product.

46. Salespoints. Bring in your ‘big promise’ or ‘unique solution’…this is the answer to the reader’s ‘what’s in it for me?’ question.’.and back it up with as many subsidiary salespoints as you can without confusing the main issue. If you genuinely don’t know which of two or three salespoints will grab your prospect most, then test them in two or three separate letters or approaches. The results may well surprise you.

47. Conviction. Support your Big Promise with evidence – market research, customer response, lab tests, testimonials from experts. Try and anticipate the audience’s doubts or questions, and answer them, don’t sidestep them.

48. Desire. Merely informing your reader of the facts isn’t enough. Since we’re all human, it helps to involve our emotions as well as our mind. Even the most practical or technical product can make the user feel better or more successful or more secure…as well as solving the purely technical problem. So help them turn that conviction into desire for your product or service.

Related Topics: Direct Marketing