Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.
Have you ever asked yourself the question “Will sending sales letters work for my business?”
We live in a digital age where we can forget about traditional marketing. Or as a matter of fact, we forget about the purpose of engaging in marketing activities in the first place. The purpose of our marketing efforts is to generate or facilitate a sale. We marketers accomplish this by developing leads through different forms of promotion and advertising. We reach out to potential customers in our market and pitch to them to make them aware of our product or service offering.
I have recently engaged in sales letter marketing and I wanted to share my story to see how it can help you with your business.
Sales letters have been used by direct marketers for several years. With the advancement of the Internet, many people focus solely on web-based activities. Popular methods being SEO, paid search marketing and email marketing. These activities are important in the marketing mix for a business. However, certain marketing activities shouldn’t be dismissed simply because they are seen as ‘old’ or ‘outdated’. At the end of the day, marketers need to test marketing channels that will drive qualified leads to their business to generate sales.
I mentioned that I’d recently trialled a small scale sales letter campaign. The sales letter campaign was based in Australia, targeting search marketing specialists in agencies or that worked on the client side. The search marketing specialists needed to be working in the field of SEO execution.
Qualifying the target market.
For me, this was the critical point of the campaign. It was about targeting the right decision makers within the business. There was the option to purchase lists or to send a blanket mail hoping that it would reach the right decision maker. However, I didn’t have budget to waste and I wanted to maximise the impact of my sales letter campaign.
I spent the majority of my time finding prospective businesses and their decision makers. I used a combination of LinkedIn and Google’s organic search to find the businesses that I wanted to target. The qualifying factors were:
- The business needed to be Australian.
- The business was either a web agency that provides activities that requires content services or businesses that delivered SEO or content services that would require additional content services.
- The key stakeholder needed to be a Head of SEO, SEO Director or Senior SEO manager.
- The prospect needed to have an Australian postal address.
Developing the sales letter.
There are several techniques that you can use that do work. My preferred method is to use the direct sales technique advocated by Dan S. Kennedy in his book The Ultimate Sales Letter. However on this occasion, I decided to try another approach. In an email marketing campaign that I had used in 2015, I submitted an ‘Expression of Interest’ email, which fared well. I made amends and decided to use the letter to see how well it would work in the written form.
Some of the key things that you must keep in mind when doing sales letter marketing are:
- The letter must address the needs and wants of the reader.
- The letter must communicate to them in their language.
- The letter must resonate with the current issues or challenges that they are having at the moment.
- The letter must compel them to take action.
I’m David. I’m a digital marketing copywriter and I wanted to express an interest in any copywriting projects for SEO, social media marketing or landing page optimisation opportunities that you may have. I develop content that:
- Engages with your targeted audience.
- Allows your content to connect with your followers.
- Converts web browsers into buying customers.
- Is compelling and interesting.
- Engaging and shareable.
- Enhances perceived credibility.
I would love to help you develop web content that pleases people and Google. My approach to copywriting is that it should:
- Demonstrate value
- Persuade readers to take action.
- Increase the opportunity for web traffic and leads.
- Be shareable.
- Compels people to link to the content naturally.
- Creates an opportunity for more media opportunities on high authority websites.
You can view examples of the type of content that I’ve written on https://businessgrowthdigitalmarketing.com/blog
I can also forward you other examples of the type of content that I have written. I currently work with a few other Australian agencies and would love to have the opportunity to work with you as well.
Please feel free to reach me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone on 0401879383 or by Skype – davidsmjames.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
The sales letter was also supported by a print out of my article “How important will high quality content be in 2016?”
Salesletter market size.
I decided to try a sample size of 50 prospects. The size of the niche is quite small. I estimated that there would be less than 1000 of these key decision-makers in the Australian market. My plan would be to run the initial test and aim for a 2% response rate or more. (This would be 1 positive response). The aim was to generate as many sales as possible. The second target was to initiate a communication relationship with the prospect.
Salesletter marketing cost.
I used my own printer and printed the letters in black and white. It is estimated that the cost per print is around $0.10 per page. Each letter contained two pages. The first, introducing myself, my agency and my business pitch. The second page contained information about the importance of content marketing in 2016. You can see the full post here.
The envelopes that I purchased were a standard set of 100 from Australia Post. The estimated cost for the envelopes was $6.
The cost of the stamps were initially 70 cents each. At the start of 2016, Australia Post raised the price to $1.00 each. The estimated spend on stamps was $50.
I had used my own time to prepare each letter with a custom name and handwriting on the envelopes. I estimate that this process took 2h. Alternatively, I could have paid a junior to develop this for me at an estimated cost of $20 per hour ($40).
The time between sending the letters and generating a response was approximately 2-3 weeks. I had sent the letters in 2 batches. The first before Christmas and the second just after the New Year.
I had received 5 responses via email detailing their interest or non-interest in the services that I provided. 1 of the responses resulted in a sale valued at $450.
Return on investment 346%.
One of the things that I learned from this approach is that you need to have the budget to really scale this activity. I found that when I compared the activity to the Adwords campaign that I had run a few weeks earlier, I gained a much better response rate from more qualified prospects, as well as a quick turnaround on the lead time to nurture the sale. This campaign only used 50 prospects, however a list that would have thousands of prospects could potentially generate tens or hundreds more sales. This type of technique is also good for marketing to your target market a couple of times a year.
To put it in another perspective.
- If you invest money into the bank, you might earn between 5-10% from your investment.
- If you invest your money into stocks, shares or dividends, you might be able to earn 100% or more of your money over time, depending on the performance of your shares.
- If you invest your money into property, you might be able to earn 5% or more in property equity gains every year, depending on the performance of the property market.
- Your business might invest in an employee that returns up to 100% or more of their salary value.
- An investment in Adwords might earn you a 100%+ return on investment.
If you want to generate new business and earn a higher income from inexpensive marketing, sales letters are an effective marketing tool to use to build your business’s income.
Have you ever used sales letter marketing for any of your campaigns? Share your thoughts below.
Update – 22/4/16: The sales letter that opened up the business opportunity has yielded $850 in revenue so far, taking the ROI up to 842%.
Image credit: Steven Depolo
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