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Sales Letters that Sell!

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by Alex A. Kecskes

The average consumer is inundated with sales pitches. So if you’re selling a product or service to today’s ad weary consumer, if you want your sales letters to get results, you’ll need a step-by-step plan that breaks down the barriers to buying. A plan that bypasses the head and goes right for the heart.

If the heart’s in it, the brain will follow.


Buying anything is largely emotional.  Whether it’s paper clips or plain paper copiers, emotions lead the purchase.  Facts, specs and the like are simply used to justify the decision, once made.  Which means that everything about your sales letter, every sentence, every phrase must appeal to your customer’s emotions.

What emotions?


The simple truth is, there are only two emotions that really motivate people: The promise of gain or the fear of loss--with the fear of loss being the stronger.


Example: Given the choice of headlines: “Save money in legal fees.”  Or  “How to keep from being sued.” The latter will probably get a better response.


Supporting the promise of gain and the fear of loss are seven key emotional hooks or basic human needs. No matter what your product or service, to be effective, your sales letter must directly address as many of these basic needs as possible:


• Safety/Security

• Wealth

• Good looks

• Popularity

• Self-satisfaction

• Free time

• Fun/Excitement


Okay, so how do you get them to act? How do you go from head to heart? What’s the copy paradigm?  Imagine you’re in a baseball stadium facing an audience in rows of bleachers.  It’s the game of the century, ninth inning, bases loaded.  And you’ve got a bag of peanuts you absolutely must sell or the boss will fire you on the spot.  What would you do to get their attention? Yell “Peanuts?” 

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