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Persuasive Sales Letter Assignment


Persuasive Sales Letter Assignment

1. Ideas for your product or service.  You can be creative, but keep with proper decorum, and within the law.  In the past, students have written about shoes that always fit and never hurt, underwear that never rides up, hair and beauty products that offer numerous benefits, auto repair and detailing services, catering and personal chef services, dog and cat grooming and sitting services, cleaning services, repair services, and so on. 
2. A profile of your audience. This is your customer base. Knowing who will buy your product or service will help you tailor your message for maximum effect.

Please make your product or service original.  You can sell make up for example, but not specific brands that are already on the market. You can persuade customers to use your auto repair shop, but make sure it’s your shop, not a Midas franchise.  After you finish brainstorming, choose the product or service that interests you the most.  Brainstorm an appealing name.  Perhaps you can even think of a slogan! 


First Paragraph-CREATE A NEED:

·         Start with a MINI-STORY and/or FACTS/STATISTICS that will get your reader’s attention.  Eg. I donate regularly to the ASPCA and the letters I receive from them always get my attention.  (A fund raising letter, by the way, is essentially a sales letter.)  The ASPCA usually starts letters by telling me a story about an abused animal.  I’ll never forget the story of Astro the dog, who lived tied to a post on a three foot piece of chain.  The paragraph began with the story and then concluded with a sentence that told me if I donated to the ASPCA, I could prevent dogs like Astro from being abused.  I had my checkbook out fast! 

·         Think about your reader!  Think about what will get your reader’s attention.  This letter is not about you and what you can do or what you have done.  It’s about what your product or service can do for the reader.  Remember YOU attitude as you compose your letter. 

Second Paragraph-FILL THE NEED:

·         Name your product. Give specific DETAILS about your product or service.  Describe the product or service.  Use all five senses–sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste.  Think about size. Think about dimension.  Phrase the details using YOU attitude.  Focus on what the reader will receive.  Keep it all in PRESENT TENSE.

Third Paragraph-ADD DETAIL:

·         List some unique reader BENEFITS.  Specifically, focus on how and in what ways the reader will benefit by using your product or service.  Remember effective reader benefits are tangible and specific.  In this paragraph, use 3-6 bullets to make the benefits stand out for your reader.  

Fourth Paragraph-ASK FOR THE SALE:

·         Provide an ACTION STEP. A few sentences that ask for what you want the reader to do and when you want the reader to do the action.  Do you want the reader to order on your website by a certain date for example?  Perhaps you want to offer the reader a discount if he or she orders by a certain date.  Be specific when you ask for what you want.  Tone is important.  Use PRESENT TENSE.

Note:  Throughout the letter, keep a professional tone and avoid phrases such as “Act Now!” or “Don’t Delay!”  This letter isn’t a late-night infomercial; it’s a business letter to a prospective customer.   

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