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Book, Line & Sinker - How to Write Sales Letters That Work

Why do most sales letters fail?

In general, it’s because they don’t have a logical start, middle and finish.

You can make your sales letter more effective by using the hook-line-sinker technique.

It works like this...


Grab the reader’s attention.

In the first line, address the person by name. The reader should feel "this letter was written for me." If this approach is not possible, direct the opener to the company instead.

The opening sentence has to be (or seem) personal.

Readers will decide very quickly if they’re going to read it or not. The first line has to persuade them to continue — this is the first sale you have to make.


Emphasize the benefits, not the features. What are the benefits? This is the heart of your letter.

Most letters list four or five key benefits. Try to keep it to three. Prioritize.

The reader’s attention may take in any one of the three, but they will rarely remember any more than that. Long lists are not read.

Prioritize your benefits and list them in order of importance.

However, don’t get fixated on this; these are just guidelines. Sometimes the number of benefits depends on what you're selling and whether the letter stands by itself, e.g. direct mail, or as part of an overall marketing strategy.

When you are pushing one single benefit, focus on it.

Use numbers and statistics to sell the benefits, (e.g. 10 new features or market research data), then build from one point to the next.


This is often the weakest link in many letters. The writer has tried so hard up to this point, that they don’t have the energy or creativity to dovetail all the points together.

Good writing connects the reader's needs to you're product.

In the final section, you want them to take action, for example read the attachment, phone Sales, contact you, or schedule a meeting.

Don’t end with, "If you have any questions, please call me." They know this already. Avoid it!

When you write your first copy, go back and highlight the important words.

See where they are located. If they are hidden in the bowels of the letter, bring them higher up the letter, maybe to the start of paragraphs and sentences.

This will totally change how the letter reads.

Remember: for Sales material to work, keep the readers’ attention at each stage of the letter. Don’t lose their attention or the opportunity may be lost.

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