“You may choose from three lovely shades: . . .”
“Lime-Fizz tastes fresh and exciting.” vs.
“You’ll like the fresh, exciting taste of Lime Fizz.”
Make certain you present enough information to complete the sale. This means answering all the questions the
reader might ask. And it means presenting enough information to convince the reader.
Much of this information can be supplied by other enclosures. But be careful that you do not shift too much of
the sales presentation to the enclosures. As a general rule, the letter should carry your basic sales message. The
enclosures present the supporting details.
The Close (drive for action)
After you have convinced the reader, you drive for the sale. How you do this depends on your chosen strategy.
Sometimes a strong urge to act is a part of the plan: “Order your copy today—while it’s on your mind.”
And some sales writers suggest tying the urge to act with a reason for acting fast: “. . . so that you can be ready
for the Christmas rush.”
A milder drive may fit your plan better: “Won’t you make a generous donation today?”
For good results, you may choose to take the reader through the motions: “Just check your preferences on the
enclosed stamped and addressed order form. Then drop it in the mail today.”
A good closing technique is to recall the basic appeal, associating it with the benefits the reader gains by
having the product or service. Example (from the emotional appeal letter selling a fishing vacation): “It’s your
reservation for a week of battle with the fightingest bass in the Southland.”
Postscripts (P.S. messages) sometimes are a planned part of the sales letter. They can be used effectively to
urge action, to reemphasize a major appeal, to invite attention to enclosures, or serve any other purpose that
will add a persuasive touch. Examples: “P.S. Don’t forget! If you decide Action is not for you, we’ll give you
every cent of your money back. We are that confident that Action will become one of your favorite magazines”;
“P.S. Hurry! Save while this special money-saving offer lasts.”
Slides 7-21, 7-22, 7-23, 7-24, 7-25, 7-26, 7-27, 7-28, 7-29
The slides present three sample sales messages that follow the advice in this chapter. Help students see how.
Discuss the effectiveness of the openings, bodies, and closings of each of the different messages. Have students
identify which methods and kinds of appeals are being used and why the writer might have chosen them.
A fun homework assignment for this section is to ask students to write a sales letter selling themselves as if
they were products, helpful brainstorming for the job search. Ask them to use all three types of appeals,
benefits, and strong calls to action. You could also ask them to write dating profiles using these techniques.
Both are lively introductions to sales writing. The final assignment could be a sales letter selling a favorite
product or service. Students often enjoy these assignments because of their familiarity with advertising and
their love of particular products and brands.
One entertaining way to introduce persuasive strategies is to use old commercials or vintage print ads. Students
are usually amused by dated advertising and quickly learn the difference between successful and unsuccessful
persuasive strategies. You can also use vintage ads to discuss the importance of staying current with the culture
in order to effectively persuade. That culture may be popular culture, current business culture, or a particular
organization's culture. Magazines such as Fast Company are excellent ways to help students catch up with
business culture. Consider assigning reading as part of the course.