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How to write a great sales letter

Copywriting Tips By Ivan Levison

Have you ever tried to write a motivating letter and sat there, staring at the blinking cursor, wondering how to get started?


You're not the only one. Getting off on the right foot, with energy and enthusiasm, is always a challenge for novice writers.


Professional copywriters, on the other hand, know that there are countless ways to start a letter. Let me  share just ten proven techniques with you now and show you how easy it really is.


Let's pretend that you have to write a letter to network security managers offering them a free brochure. Here are just ten effective ways to begin the letter . . .


1. METHOD: Tell them they're special

EXAMPLE: As a network security professional, you bear a unique responsibility.


2. METHOD: Tell a story

EXAMPLE: When Susan Smith walked into her office and looked at the ashen face of her assistant, she instantly knew that someone had taken her network down.


3. METHOD: Tell them they're facing a difficult challenge

EXAMPLE: As the person responsible for network security, I know you face some extremely difficult challenges.


4. METHOD: Shock them with frightening news

EXAMPLE: Last month over ten Fortune 500 companies suffered intense, repeated denial of service attacks.


5. METHOD: Soothe them with good news

EXAMPLE: If you've been worried about hackers cracking your system, and inflicting devastating damage, I've got some good news for you.


6. METHOD: Make your offer immediately

EXAMPLE: I'm writing to offer you a free report from Levison Security Services titled "Seven Ways To Improve Network Security Now."


7. METHOD: Cite the authorities

EXAMPLE: In a recent White Paper on network security, written by the highly respected Levison Consulting Group, a fascinating fact was reported.


8. METHOD: Explain that you can help them

EXAMPLE: As the person responsible for network security, you have some mighty tough problems. I can help you solve them.


9. METHOD: Ask a question

EXAMPLE: Is a hacker at work, right at this moment, trying to bring down your network?


10. METHOD: Make an announcement

EXAMPLE: Here it is! Announcing the brand new Levison Network Security Monitoring System, now available for companies just like yours.


The take-away message this month? Don't settle for the first lead-in sentence that pops into your mind. There are dozens and dozens of ways to start a letter with punch and it really pays to look for the best one.


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