We tried a different approach, starting with a simple line: "You will be a more powerfully persuasive presenter no matter how well you present now." The body copy suggested you'd make more money, be respected and get promoted if you took this seminar. Pay dirt! The seminars were jammed. The mailer answered the recipient's question: What's in it for me?
Try not to let a committee get involved in writing the letter, editing it or approving it. A letter is a one-to-one communication, and committees are not one person. Committees are very good at draining all the personality and passion from a letter. You may have heard that a moose is a deer put together by a committee. Avoid it, if you can.
Do Your Homework
You can't write a great sales letter off the top of your head. You need information. Immerse yourself in your task. Read everything you can about the product, the company, the people who buy it, the people who use it, the competition and past efforts. Use the product. Try the service. Call the 800 number and go online. Experience the process and understand the offer. Write down a list of all the reasons why it's a great offer.
Read the creative brief or take notes when you are verbally briefed. Then put your notes into a memo, and send it to the person who gave you the assignment. Ask for comments on your version of the brief as soon as possible. This can save you a good deal of trouble later on, because you can refer to it when people start quibbling about your copy.
Eventually you'll know everything you need to know about what you're selling and who you're selling it to. Then, you'll pause to consider that you're not selling what you think you're selling.