A sales letter is a message inform of an email or hard copy letter that is sent to a prospective consumer by a company in a bid to encourage or persuade him/her to make the purchase. Sales letters form part of direct mail kind of advertising that has picked up pace in recent years.

Sales letters, despite being direct mail, differ from other forms of direct mail such as catalogues, brochures and leaflets in that they tend to sell one particular item. Additionally, their content is rarely graphical but mostly textual in nature. Also, sales letters are mostly used for products and services that are high or medium value due to their expensive nature.

With the development of online communication, sales letters have taken a more online presence with the likes of web pages and emails, and now form an important part of internet marketing. Sometimes a person receives a sales letter that is not asked for. These are usually shorter than the conventional sales letters as the sender tries to capture the attention of the prospective buyer. These unsolicited sales letters are referred to as spam when received in the online world and when they are inform of hardcopy letters, they are called junk mail.

Writing a sales letter

Writing a sales letter requires calculated technique and not just throwing information at the prospective consumer. An effective sales letter is usually arranged in such a way to catch the attention of the reader and keep him/her reading through until the end. There are a few things that should stand out in a good sales letter.

The heading

The heading, being the first thing that the reader sees, should capture his/her attention. It should make the reader want to know more and therefore read more. Many companies make the heading as a form of promise about fulfilling the readers need, desire or interest.

The body

In the body of the letter, two things should be present: an offer and proof.

Making an offer involves informing the reader what is being offered. Using strategies to make the reader desire the products first and then telling them what is in it for them is a common ploy. It is at this point of a sales letter that companies detail the product benefits and make an offer to the reader.

The part about proof involves assuring the reader that the product does indeed satisfy their needs. This can be accomplished using testimonials or offering fail-safes. The entire body should be persuasive so as to turn the reader into a consumer.


The conclusion features further persuading and other ways of making the reader commit to making a purchase.