Sales emails and letters
There are some excellent books on writing sales letters. It is one of the few areas of marketing communications where the results are measurable. So the techniques that work are well known. Top tips? For emails, make sure your subject header includes a clear reference to what your email is about. Open by explaining why you're writing. Present a main benefit or incentive early. Be personable and write as if you and your recipient were individuals. Present benefits. Support with evidence (product features). Anticipate and answer objections. Close with a call to action. Link your email to a landing page if you need more space. If it's a letter, go to two or even more pages rather than skimp on doing the above thoroughly. Measure and learn.
Scroll down for case studies;
- Learning & Skills Council for Enterprise IG
- Land Rover
- P&O Cruises
- Planet Cruise
Learning & Skills Council for Enterprise IG
The challenge: Gordon Brown wanted to persuade the UK’s largest 1000 companies to get behind the relaunch of the government's Apprenticeship scheme. Take up in the past was held back by some companies believing it was too much extra work. Our job was to make the industry leaders’ focus on the business benefits rather than a few additional hours.
The brief: write a letter from Gordon Brown to the CEOs and Managing Directors of Britain’s largest 1000 companies urging them to back the relaunch of the Apprenticeship scheme. The initial call-to-action was for a commitment of one hour of their time.
The solution: firstly, we had to write in a tone consistent with Gordon Brown’s forthright style. We then had to clearly present the business benefits of the scheme, dissociating it with its predecessor. Writing on behalf of such a famous and senior figure guaranteed the attention of our audience - a rare treat in direct marketing. This allowed us to be sell the societal benefit as well as the advantage for the company.
“Why are Apprenticeships so important? It is because the UK lags behind the rest of the industrialised world in skills. If we are to match the productivity levels of France, Germany, let alone the US, we have to improve the skills of our workforce.”
The result: the letter spearheaded the launch and there has been good take up of the scheme amongst major UK companies
The credits: Copywriter agency London: Barnaby Benson. Copywriter: Barnaby Benson. Design agency: Enterprise IG. Client: Learning & Skills Council
The challenge: How do you launch a new version of a much-loved classic?
The brief: Range Rover drivers are - and we mean this in the nicest possible way - a unique bunch of oxymorons. While they love the rugged, go-anywhere nature of their vehicles, they’re also equally attached to the refined luxuriousness they provide. What's more, they don’t mind that driving a Range Rover says, ‘I’ve made it’, in a more understated way than most luxury cars. Our job was to launch the new Range Rover by tickling the interest of prospective owners with a series of emails that seduced them into requesting more details or attending a launch event.
The solution: The invitation had to generate responses. So we focused on selling. We attracted the interest of Range Rover enthusiasts then stimulated their desire by enthusing about the benefits of the new design. The tone had to be just right: a high-wire balancing act between respecting heritage and promising revolutionary, new features. To achieve this, we applied a nuanced TOV to produce a series of informative, yet aspirational emails. Hitting carefully selected key messages, we evoked the brand’s past, while focusing on its future.
The result: Highly satisfied with the copy, the agency repurposed some it for the launch microsite. The Range Rover launch events were a massive success. And Land Rover reported record sales and healthy profits.
The credits: Copywriter agency: Barnaby Benson London. Copywriter: Joseph Richardson. Agency: Imagination. Client: Land Rover / Tata.
The challenge: Can direct mail still turn one-time customers into loyal users?
The brief: Transform maiden cruisers into regular seafarers. P&O Cruises planned a series of seven direct marketing pieces to be sent out over the course of a year. They had useful insights about each past passenger from answers they’d given to an on-board questionnaire. Info like their last cruise and how they felt about it, whether they’d booked as a family, where they wanted to go on their next cruise and what they’d spent most on whilst on board. It was our job to make the most of these insights and write highly personalised mailings.
The solution: We flexed P&O Cruises’ TOV (which we’d actually created seven years before) to make this their most personable campaign yet. The copy was conversational, playful and a touch wistful about the cruise just gone. Then, making frequent references to answers they’d given, we presented the appeal of another cruise. Each of the seven pieces was precisely targeted to the customer’s preferences.
The result: Although we won’t get the final rebooking results back until late 2014, the client was delighted with the campaign and has since commissioned us to work on several other high-profile projects.
“We are all so happy with it and the campaign to date has been hugely well received.” Abi Winfield, CRM Executive
The credits: Copywriter agency: Barnaby Benson London. Copywriter: Joseph Richardson. Client: P&O Cruises.
The challenge: Make a growing cruise agency, Planet Cruise, stand out from the competition. And write a brochure that increases sales. Planet Cruise research destinations and then package cruises with inclusive land stays and tours to create unique holidays. The management wanted a radical shift in the company’s tone of voice to set them apart from their staid, me-too competitors.
The brief: Create a new, unique tone of voice and write the first piece of marketing collateral using it – a quarterly sales brochure.
The solution: Sometimes the answer to a problem is staring you in the face. Literally. It was this time. We suggested channelling the expertise, energy and slightly quirky personality of the company founder, Jenny West, into a new tone of voice. By writing the brochure copy from her perspective the communications suddenly became as unique as the offering.
“Chugging along at a leisurely pace, you’ll be glued to the huge cabin window, well, when you’re not looking at your plate that is – the Rocky Mountaineer is also famed for its delicious food and fine wine. Forget The Polar Express or anything from Platform 9 ¾, this is the most magical train journey in the world”.
The result: Record sales ensued and we have since written Planet Cruise’s summer catalogue.
The credits: Copywriter agency: Barnaby Benson Copywriting, London. Copywriter: Joseph Richardson. Client: Planet Cruise