A Great Sales Letter Formula

Last month, I spent less than one hour adapting a simple one-page sales letter to be e-mailed to 215 people who’d recently done business with one of my clients.

The e-mail was simple. Basically, it said:

“Thank you for your recent purchase. Now I’d like to give you preferential pricing on a product I think can bring you higher value.”

The results? $5,402 in quick sales. That’s $25.13 for every person who received the e-mail.

And that’s just one of the times I’ve done this.

Last December, I adapted the same letter for the same client’s year-end e-mail.

We sent it to all 2,376 customers who had done business with them in the past year.

The result was a quick $11,719 in sales. A nice end-of-year boost.

And now they’re even including a version of this letter with every order shipped — and getting calls and e-mails on an ongoing basis to take advantage of the offer.

Actually, as I write this I almost hesitate to give it up. Because…

This is like handing you my secret weapon!

This easy-to-adapt, one-page, back-end sales letter is one of my secret weapons for creating instant cash infusions for businesses I work with.

It’s reliable, too. I’ve seen letters based on this formula generate similar results, both online and offline. (It works so well because it relies on human psychology and not some “trick.”)

And you can adapt it to your business in less than an hour, so you can start making sales right away.

Here’s my “instant cash infusion” formula…

First, decide who to contact.

Every business should track the people who have done business with them. (You do keep this information, don’t you?)

I’ll have my client pull a list of the people they’ve done business with in the past one, two, three, six, or 12 months.

Often, we’ll just pull a subset — say, recent respondents to a particular offer or group of offers.

Next, decide what to offer.

You have a couple options with this.

First, your own back-end offer — your higher-value, higher-priced offer for customers who liked doing business with you once and, thus, have a strong predilection to do business with you again.

Or, if you haven’t had a chance to put together a back-end offer, look for another business that has a product that would be of value to your customers. Then arrange to promote that product to your customers in exchange for a percentage of the profits.

Now, create your promotion.

This is really simple. In fact, I’m going to give you the exact template I use.

Before I do that, though, let me just mention that this letter should look as personal as possible. It should look a lot like a memo from you or one of your employees who the customer already has a relationship with.

If it’s an e-mail, make it plain text or designed in HTML to look like plain text. If it’s printed, put it on plain “memo” paper and not on letterhead.

Okay. Here’s my template.

E-mail subject line or line at the top of the print letter (in bold, normal-sized font):

RE: Your [Month] [Company Name] purchase

Body of the e-mail or letter:

Dear [Name],

Thank you for your order [last month]. Your business is appreciated!

Now I have something for you.

[Write a single sentence here explaining that you have an exclusive “past purchaser” offer that you’re extending to them because of their previous order.]

Here’s how it’ll work …

[Describe the exclusive offer in 2-3 sentences.] [Then compare the exclusive offer to the regular offer in 1-2 sentences.]

Here’s what to do next …

[Explain how to take the next step — how to place the order or how to contact you so you can move the sales process forward.] [Place a time limit on the offer.]

I look forward to hearing from you.


[Name] [Title] [Company Name] [Phone] [E-mail]

P.S. If you don’t yet know what [name of back-end offer] is, in my opinion [explain what makes the offer unique and why they should respond immediately].

[Give the top 1-3 benefits your customer will receive by responding to the offer.] [Explain how to get more information on the offer if they’re not sure what it is.]

Please reply immediately to take advantage of this offer.

Once you’ve adapted this template to your business (it shouldn’t take long — certainly less than an hour), send it out. Inquiries and orders should start immediately.

Presto! Instant cash infusion.

Now let’s do this on autopilot!

Once you’ve done this a couple of times and proven its worth to your business, you can set it up to happen automatically. Your technical team can set up e-mails that go out at regular intervals (weekly, monthly, every two months) after an order is placed. Your website shopping cart system may even have this feature built in.

This will add another dimension of profitability to your business — and you won’t even have to think about it.

How else could you use a sales letter like this?

It’s one of the most gratifying experiences in business — writing a letter, sending it out to potential customers, and getting money in return.

And it works not only for back-end offers but also to:

  • Get new customers
  • Convert past inquiries into orders
  • Sell a new product to your past customers
  • Generate sales leads
  • Persuade others to do almost anything!

And the interesting thing is that all successful sales letters — no matter what their purpose — have the same basic “structure of persuasion” that can be learned and applied to each new situation.

By learning that underlying structure, you can set yourself up to generate extra cash for your business anytime you want. Say you want to buy a new vehicle or have to pay off an unexpected tax bill — you can just write one or two letters and “pull the cash out of thin air.”

P.S. AWAI’s Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting reveals the methods A-level copywriters use to write the most profitable sales letters being used today. Early To Rise’s Michael Masterson, as well as master copywriters Don Mahoney, Bob Bly, and others, walk you through the secret structure of letters that have generated millions of dollars in sales.