Complete the Sales Process
>You are writing to one person, and you are writing as one person rather than as a company.
>You've gotten rid of any unnecessary words.
>Your letter feels honest. Claims have to be believable and guarantees can't be hedged.
Complete the Process
Do a final rewrite and edit. If you can, put your very last draft away for a day or two, and then look it over again. You'll probably rewrite it.
Think about layout while you're editing. Layout is important. If people see a big block of gray, long paragraphs and it looks like hard work, they're not going to read it.
>Use a common serif computer font such as Century Schoolbook or Times Roman. Please don't even consider a sans serif font for your letter. People can't read it. Make sure the font is large enough, at least 12 points, but no larger than 14 points.
>Break up a long letter with subheads about important benefits. People will scan a long letter quickly and read the subheads. If you grab them there, they'll read the rest of the letter.
How long should a letter be? Once you've finished editing, and there are no unnecessary words, that's how long your letter should be. I've seen winning letters of four lines and of 64 pages. There's no rule.
>A signature should be in blue so it looks as if a real person signed it. Never use two signatures.
>Feel free to use a Johnson box—sort of a reverse P.S. that goes up at the top of your letter.
>Use handwritten notes in margins, making sure it's the same "hand" that signs the letter.
>Use emphasizers sparingly (e.g., underline, bold, italic). When you emphasize everything, you emphasize nothing.
I hope this helps us all get better letters soon. If you have any comments, questions or quibbles, please feel free to e-mail me.