Whether you’re creating a sales letter, brochure, direct-mail piece, newsletter, or any other business promotional piece, you need to write in a way that not only explains your service but compels prospects to contact you. Unfortunately, many promotional pieces miss the mark. Outrageous claims, weak calls to action, and boring text are the common mistakes that plague most people’s writing. Such errors accomplish only one thing: They destine your piece for the trash. They also show prospects that you’re lazy, uncreative, and possibly incapable of delivering quality work.
To entice prospects to contact you based on your promotional mailings, you need to keep your writing lively and factual. The following guidelines will help you write promotional pieces that even your toughest prospects can’t resist.
1. Write a Headline That Gets to the Point
You have less than five seconds to convince your prospects to read on. The first thing anyone reads is the headline, so craft a compelling headline that immediately conveys why this information is important to the reader. Here are the four headline formulas that work:
- How to: “how to” + verb + product/service/noun + benefit
Example: “How to Determine if Your Door Needs Repairs”
- New: “new” + product/service + benefit
Example: “New Garage Door Operator Is Quiet and Safe”
- Power verb: “power verb” + product/service + benefit
Example: “Get In and Out of Your Garage Even During a Power Failure”
- Free: “free” + product/service + benefit
Example: “Free Advice From an Expert Reveals Garage Door Selection Tips”
Since your headline determines if the prospect keeps reading, craft yours wisely.
2. Keep Hype to a Minimum
Many people think they must write something outrageous to get others to read their promotional piece. To some degree, this is true. Saying something shocking is a great way to generate interest, as people naturally love controversy. Plus, if you can stir things up, you’ll get lots of exposure.
The thing to remember, however, is you must be prepared to answer questions or prove everything you write. So if you want to write something just for sensationalism but can’t back it up, don’t. You must be able to support everything you print.