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Send the sizzle and not the sausage!

By ANGELA ELLIS Published 7th Oct 2013
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As a marketer, I’m a tough audience to sell to and can smell a generic letter from at least 10 paces away. It receives the amount of time it deserves from me; none! Likewise, it’s really obvious when the sender has made an effort and it’s not wasted on me. Your audience are likely to receive a significant volume of marketing approaches every day so you need to make more of an effort than everyone else.

Make it personal
Anything addressed to the ‘Managing Director’, and not to me personally, goes in the bin. Either send it to a named contact or don’t send it.

Grab their attention
There’s nothing quite like an unusual envelope to pique someone’s interest. I’ll always open the more interesting mail first.

Make it relevant
Mention specific examples of sectors you’re experienced in and name names, if you can. If people like me use you, it takes away some of my concerns.

Sell the sizzle
Nobody buys features; they buy BENEFITS! Write about the sizzle, and not the sausage, or in sales terms; write about the benefits and NOT the features.

Explain why
What’s your offer? Be specific and tailor it to your audience. For example, if you’re a print company writing to a restaurant, you’d be advised to mention items such as menus!

Cut the waffle
Keep your sentences, and your paragraphs, short. Switch from ‘the reason that we stopped writing long sentences was because nobody bothered to finish reading to the end of the letter’ to ‘we write short sentences to keep your attention!’ (120 characters versus 47)

Talk to them
I don’t want you to call them, yet, I want you to write like you’re talking to them. Use the word ‘you’ and ‘your’ much more than you use ‘our’, ‘I’, or ‘we’. (On a separate note, a follow-up call will increase your campaign results)

Check your spelling
Then check it again. Ask someone else to read your letter. It’s really easy to out a word. (Did you spot that ‘miss’ was missing? Microsoft Word didn’t!)

Call to action
When they’ve reached the end of your letter, you need to tell them what to do next. Should they call you to place their order? Visit your website using the QR code to grab their free download? Shred your letter?

Is there any benefit to them responding early? Use an early-bird incentive or make your offer time-critical.


Now that you’re armed with these tips, you can start writing your most powerful sales letter yet. Good luck and don’t forget to send the sizzle and not the sausage!

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Published 7th Oct 2013
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257 weeks ago, by James
I'm more interested in old fashioned post now that I get less of it. Many have migrated to email marketing and it means that a well targeted and well crafted piece of traditional mail gets the chance to stand out.

There's enough information about me to send something that really gets my attention. Specific types of car, locations, hobbies.

Targeted direct mail has a great future.
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