Whether you’re trying to entice a former customer back into the fold or sending generic ad copy to every potential customer, there are mistakes that hurt the prospect of making the sale. However, some mistakes are worse than others. Here are the worst sales writing mistakes you could make.
Trying to Do Everything with One Letter
Are you promoting your latest products to everyone in driving distance of the store? Then you’re sending a promotional letter. Don’t use the same letter to encourage people to check out your stock price or read your industry white papers. Are you sending someone a bill? Then don’t include marketing content. Give them the link to pay their bill, not a byline begging them to follow you on social media. If you’re sending stakeholders an update on the state of the business, leave out the marketing content, too. Send targeted business correspondence that is clearly intended to accomplish a single task. And the reader should never have to work to figure out what that is.
Failing to Have a Company Letterhead
Your letterhead may be easily copied and used by others, but it is more difficult to do than sending spam emails to your clients. This is why you want to have a formal company letterhead and use it in printed correspondence.
What should you include in the company letterhead? Your logo may be part of the letterhead, but it isn’t as important as contact information. The letter head at a minimum must include your business name, phone number, and mailing address. After all, the purpose of letterheads was to save time for those sending letters to clients and customers.
The inclusion of a business logo added seriousness to the letter while proving it came from you. As printing costs came down and word processing made it possible to print hundreds of letters, the company letterhead continued for the reasons we’ve already described. And now the lack of one hurts your credibility.
Mixing Generic and Personal Content
In an increasingly impersonal world, customers value the personal connection. And customer relationship management software makes it increasingly easy to send letters to someone with their name and references to their purchase history. If you send generic “dear customer” letters, most will ignore it, but at least it is obviously sent to everyone. A worse mistake is sending a mix of generic and personal content such as starting with “Dear Customer Name” but having other parts of the letter obviously filled in by algorithm. It shows the customer that you don’t really care about them and didn’t think about what you were sending.
Focusing Too Much on Images
It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and there are cases where putting your image on your business correspondence is worthwhile. For example, real estate agents, insurance representatives and attorneys want to be recognized when they approach someone. In nearly every other case, the presence of your photo is detrimental. Your picture on your letterhead might seem self-centered, or it may prejudice someone against you. It also leaves open the possibility they don’t recognize you when they meet you due to changes in your appearance. That’s not as bad as having a no longer accurate phone number on the business card, but it doesn’t help.