In the past week, we have completed letters for two different clients. One was a newsletter. The other was a sales letter. They are distinctly different disciplines.
Traditionally, a sales letter would expect to achieve a conversion rate of between 1% and 2%. In the current economic situation, that rate may have been impacted. However, a large factor in the success of your sales letter's conversion rate will be whether you are working with warm or cold leads. Our client was targetting warm leads and hence should expect to maintain the industry average.
The internet has rejuvenated sales letters in many ways. Long form sales letter are often the only content on affiliate marketing sites. You scroll down for over a page reading all the benefits of the product to be confronted with an urge to buy and a reason why it has to be NOW! For example, they mention a limited offer or a great deal ticking to a deadline. Writers tend to feel conflicted about writing such letters. Undoubtedly they can be effective but often they represent sales at its most manipulative.
On the other hand, direct mail sales letters (like the one we produced for our client) are much more difficult to pigeonhole. McShane Media has had the pleasure of working on some award-winning direct mail campaigns over the years with some amazingly talented salespeople and fundraisers. They have taken direct mail letters to an art form. Their work is witty, concise, factual and innovative.
A good sales letter marries the innovative and the informative, as does a strong newsletter.
Of course, the other important aspect of a newsletter is the 'news'. It's important to remember to augment your company news with the wider news context. Yes, your newsletter should be singing your company's praises but it should also be claiming your company's niche in the industry and showing you are alert to any external issues that impact on your strategy. Like a sales letter, your newsletter should have a clear aim and audience. Only then can you guarantee the best results.
Maggie will be blethering about our latest projects, marketing news and events.