Complete the Sales Process
Look for illogical jumps between paragraphs. Each paragraph should flow naturally from the previous paragraph.
Eliminate boring adjectives and adverbs. Instead of "John is tall," say "John towers over everyone else in the room." Same idea, but it paints a word picture.
Change dull words to action words. Action words are selling words and include: suddenly, immediately, now, surprising, savings, discount, free.
Eliminate the passive voice. It kills copy. It's boring, slow.
Add details. People love details, but there's a fine balance, and it depends on what you're selling and what your strategy is. You need enough detail to be credible and generate a response.
Replace $5 words with 5-cent words. Some words are just wrong, but people use them because they think they sound fancy or educated. Perhaps the most common is the word "utilize." Say "use." Another common one is "persons." Say "people."
Keep sentences as short as possible. Eliminate connectors.
Remember, this isn't creative writing. This is selling. That's what direct mail letters do: They sell.
Ask people you respect to read your letter to see if it's clear to them. If anything is not clear to a semi-intelligent person, change it—no matter how much you love it.
Then review your letter to make sure:
>It has a strong lead, a grabber with a benefit. Do you stress benefits rather than features? (Think of a teapot with a spill-proof spout. Feature: the spout. Advantage: You don't spill tea when you pour it. Benefits: You don't ruin the tablecloth, don't burn your hand, etc.)
>It urges response both subtly and blatantly. Blatantly might be: "Please act before July 15 when this offer expires." Subtly might be: "When you call, be sure to ask about …" That's subtle in direct mail. Urge response several times.
>The offer is fully-stated and clear.