How Not To Write A Sales Letter
The industry’s quest for search advertising and next-gen digital technologies is endless. Though technology is undoubtedly important, too often, there’s not enough emphasis on the soft science aspects of closing the sale. This applies to everything from search technology to agency services. Take the sales letter, for example.
Like many agencies; we get sales solicitations all the time. All too often, those solicitations are poor excuses for communication.
I got a doozy recently and I took the time to provide some helpful feedback. The <company name> has been removed to protect the hopeless.
Dear <sales rep’s name>:
I made some notes on your sales letter in (red) below.
Overall, you need to shorten up your delivery a bit and always remember that agency decision makers have precious little time. Most people only scan these letters, if they read them at all.
For heaven’s sake, “Hi, <insert name> comma is not a salutation. It may look odd to see “Dear <insert name>,” so you can simply use “insert name,” better yet, try Mr./ Ms. Also, the arbitrary “All the best” is trite so, if you have that in your signature template, kill it. You also mentioned your company name 31 times and managed to spell it correctly 29 times.
Lastly, letters like this are intended to inform briefly, not close the sale. Keep it brief.
Very truly yours,
Motivity Marketing, Inc.
Comments in context located in ()
From: <sales rep>
To: <poor bastard that signed up for a white paper>
Subject: Learn About <company name’s> integration with Facebook (Goshawful boring subject line.)
OLD VERSION: Hi Kevin,
NEW VERSION: Mr. Ryan:
OLD: I thought (NOTE: No one ever cares what you think when you are in sales, cowboy your language up.) you might be interested to see how <company name> has integrated with Facebook and the benefits of managing your campaigns through our platform.
NEW: I’m writing to inform you of the latest search engine advertising tactics and Facebook advertising integration deployed on <company name> platform team. I’ve included links to our white papers but I am happy to schedule a time to walk you through the information personally.
OLD: Below is a bit of info on <company name> and the integration with Facebook along with some useful links. (NOTE: Get rid of this sentence.)
OLD: Our PPC management platform has recently added Facebook advertising and display. (NOTE: “Recently added” implies that you aren’t really experts and the platform is untested. No one is going to risk their internal credibility on an untested platform — the only thing “recent” should be the amazing tactics that you execute.)
OLD: Essentially our tool is made specifically for Agencies such as yours, (How do you know what my agency is like?) and has been designed with features to alleviate the problems that are unique to agencies (Such as? This is too ambiguous; get rid of it).
OLD: Our platform can help you pull information from a variety of sources including all major search engines and Google Analytics data.
NEW: The <company name> technology platform is widely recognized as an innovative way to manage search advertising, other PPC advertising models, display and Facebook advertising. <Company name> also has the ability to help you integrate knowledge from Google Analytics.
OLD: One of the benefits of <company name>’s platform, is the ability to cut the amount of time it takes to get your reports out by 80%. (NOTE: I’m no grammar expert, but Oy Vey.)
OLD: We allow you to set up bid-rules to achieve your objectives. <company name> has the most flexible rule builder in the industry! (Are you really that excited about it? Exclamation points are overused in sales communications! You should use them sparingly!)
OLD: Some of the new features we’ve implemented to enhance our platform are:
* Bid management (This is new?!?!?!?!?!?!)
* Display (Redundant)
* New Charts and Data for reports (Are these new-new or just new? Describe the features and intelligence gained. No one ever asks for “charts and graphs”)
* Conversion attribution (I hope so.)
* Algorithms (Algorithms? REALLY? ALGORITHMS?)
* Integration with Facebook and Google Analytics (Redundant)
* No API Fee’s (What’s an API? Most people will have no idea what this means.)
NEW: <company name> time-saving and battle-tested features include:
* Advanced goal and rule based management
* Multi-level attribution, social advertising and analytics integration
* Display, Facebook & search advertising in one interface
* Exclusive Facebook advertising tools saving & reusing audience segmentation.
OLD: FACEBOOK (Kill this entire section. This is the wrong time to get all preachy and op-ed; this is way too much information.)
If you’ve ever been frustrated by the “F” word — Facebook — you’re not alone! Ever since Facebook has allowed ads, marketers have wanted a better way to track the ROI of their campaigns on the world’s most popular social network. And today, we’re excited to tell you that <company name> has introduced new functionality that will help you do just that.
With <company name>’s new Facebook Ads functionality, you’ll be able to:
* Create new or import existing Facebook ads
* Manage ads and campaigns at massive scale inside our bulk editor
* Track ad and campaign performance with <company name>’s conversion and revenue tracking
* Automate & optimize performance to detect and overcome ad fatigue and manage bids
* Report on the entire funnel across search, social and display networks using flexible and powerful cross-channel revenue and conversion attribution models
Points 3 & 7 below are huge time savers that can only be accomplished using <company name>!
1. Full FB support in Campaign Automation – including 3 decimal places for CTR
2. Full FB support in Reports – Graph by Publishers, Search vs. Content (and Social), Top Ads
3. Save and reuse Targeting segments
4. Upload & select multiple likes and interests
5. Keyword Tools
6. Bulk edit ads including upload of zipped image files
7. Duplicate a Facebook campaign instantly
8. Replace Text
(Shorten all of these links, or better yet, use tracking URLs.)
Description of Social Media Solutions (description = boring word) http://www.<company name>.com/solutions/social-media/
ebook: Best Practices in Facebook Marketing (I like this) www. (tracking url) .com
Webinar: Facebook Advertising: Testing and Optimization (also good) www. (tracking url) .com
Sample Report Generated From <company name> Platform (boring, too much) www. (tracking url) .com
If you found this information useful (Why wouldn’t I think it’s useful? Are you sending me crap?) and you’d like to hear more, I would be more than happy (I’ve course you’d be happy, you have a sales number to hit) to set you up (Set me up? You mean you are not an expert? Why am I talking to you then?) with one of my experts here to give you a personalized demo (Schedule a demo? WOW! Now that sounds exciting) of the updated platform around your specific needs (I thought you already knew about my needs) and challenges. (Needs and challenges, needs and challenges– say that phrase 10 ten times to see if it develops any meaning.)
All the best, (Again, please stop this– it’s all so bad. This should be a sincere and complimentary closing and don’t even think about getting cutesy. Just say thank you.)
<Sales person’s name>
T (does “T” mean telephone?) <555 555 1212>
Toll Free: 1.800.555.1212
<company name> inc. <company address>
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.
(Some images used under license from Shutterstock.com.)
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