How to gain reliable customers in 30 days

Bookkeeper Eamon Ward gives helpful suggestions on how small to medium businesses can gain valuable customers in a month

Part seven

Today I would like to talk to you about writing effective sales letters; the good news is the same principles apply whether you are writing traditional advertisements for a newspaper or magazine or writing a sales letter for your new website which we spoke of last week.

To make matters easier there is a tried and tested formula which represents the different steps involved. That formula is AIDA.

A for attention.

Your first task is to grab the attention of your potential customer. You need to spend a lot of your time on this as your whole campaign is dependent upon you getting the attention of your prospects.

This can best be done by using a riveting headline that reaches out and stops your prospects in their tracks. Use one which preferably arouses curiosity or emotion.

I is for interest.

Create bargain offers, use bullet points listing the key benefits of your product. If your competitors’ products do not have the same benefits point this out.

Show clearly how you can take away your prospects’ problem or pain and demonstrate how you can provide an alternatively solution.

Make it more visually appealing by leaving suitable space and use sub headlines to summarise your text. You can also interest them and draw them into the body of your advertisement or sales letter by means of telling an interesting and illustrative story. “Let me tell you a story” is probably a leftover emotional trigger from our childhood.

Most of us even in adulthood will allow our critical faculty to go out the window as we listen to an interesting story.

D is for desire.

Now that you have their interest you need to stoke it until it becomes a burning irrepressible desire. Show again how your product will easily solve their problems, use gushing words in praise of your products from the lips of your other satisfied customers.

Offer reduced prices, bonuses, etc. Make your product appear inexpensive ( not necessarily cheap as this may not be appropriate ) by offering special terms and incentives. You can also use scarcity or a time limit.

Finally A is for the required action you expect your prospect to take.

Creating the desire for action is not enough. You have got to take your prospects by the hand and show them clearly what action you expect them to take. For example,”Pick up the phone and call this number right now” or “Cut out this voucher and we will give you a 20 per cent discount when you next call to our shop”.

Be clear and precise, otherwise your prospect will not act and have your phone number or email address in a prominent position.

When you are next writing a sales letter or planning an advertising campaign in the Advertiser, ask yourself if it fulfills the AIDA formula. If it does you are on your way to having a successful campaign and more customers.

For more information log on to www.eamonward.vpweb.ie or call Eamon on (090 ) 6454491.

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