The Letter OpenerSeptember 13, 2011

1. Send your sales letter to a cherry picked audience.

If your sales letter is to sell handy man services, you want to send it just to homeowners and apartment managers – not their occupants. The best mailing list is one that you’ve built  from your own contact list, You can also buy mailing lists from mail list brokers, but only do this if you absolutely have no inner-circle.

2. Personalize it.

Addressing the sales letter personally rather than using a salutation such as “Dear Friend” or “Dear Manager”  will increase your response rate to your sales
letter. Using mail merge can make this simple to do.

3. Write different variations of your sales letter for different your different target audiences.

All your clients are not the same. Create different versions of your letter by emphasizing different benefits of your offer or by changing
the benefits entirely.

4. Avoid using mailing labels.

Printing the name and address directly onto the envelope will increase your sales letter odds of being opened. Also, marketing studies
have shown that having names and addresses handwritten is the surest way to get your sales letter opened.

5. Avoid elaborate graphics in your sales letter.

The general rule is that the closer your sales letter resembles a personally typed letter the better . Including one photo of your product or service  with a caption works to drive the point in. DO NOT have your sales letter look like an advertisement.

6. Send it to a REPEAT mailing list

If you’ve gotten a good response to an initial mailing of your sales letter, sending out another mailing to the same list should get a
response of about half the original response . One month later, send out another letter to the same list.  Repeat 6 more times for optimum results, up to 25% by the 5th round!

7. Have realistic expectations about the response rates your sales letter will generate.

The average response rates range  will likely be 2% and 5%. Figuring out whether a direct mailing campaign is “worth it. It’s the profit your direct marketing campaign brings in, minus the cost of the campaign, that determines whether or not your sales letter has been effective, not the response rate itself.

Direct marketing is still one of the most effective marketing strategies – as long as you get the correct sales letter to the correct people, correctly.


One of the best marketing letters to date involves a two-pack of Tylenol or Asprin and reads, "Take the headache out of______________" call us today. The envelope was a unique size and on it appeared to be handwritten to the recipient. Be bold, get creative and avoid looking like every other sales letter you've ever thrown away.