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How to write a compelling attention grabbing letter, Phaedra Pym

By Phaedra Pym, A Way With Words

Too many people spend so much time selling themselves in a letter that they neglect to highlight what really matters to the person they are writing to.

Start by asking yourself:

Why am I writing this letter?

What is the desired outcome? Is it for people to -

  • Call me,
  • Visit my website,
  • Connect with me on social media, or
  • Sign up to receive my newsletters etc.?

What compelling information do I have to share in this letter?

How can I share it in such a way that it grabs their attention?

Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience.

Your target market (whether it be a prospect, a buyer, a vendor or a landlord) wants to know:

1. What’s in it for me? In other words, how will your services or knowing this information benefit me? 2. What sets you apart from others?

Use an attention-grabbing subject heading. It’s all about gaining their interest early and making them want to read on.

People buy from people. People buy from people more than they buy from a brand. So speak to someone in your letter as though you are addressing him/her in person.

Less is more. People today are time poor and prefer letters, emails and marketing material that get to the point quickly and succinctly. Don’t waffle.

Don’t be pushy. Educate, inform and assist rather than sell.  


Example One

The Just Sold Letter

Header - Address - JUST SOLD (or if sold for a record price in the street/suburb, say so, e.g. Record sales price achieved in your street)

Intro (why you are writing)

I am delighted to let you know that our agency has just sold a property in your street (shows relevance) for an outstanding price.

Body (the details - entice them to want to know more)

The response to our targeted marketing campaign was tremendous with more than 60 groups of people inspecting the home in less than 2 weeks. All commented very favourably on your neighbourhood and since the sale we have been inundated with enquiries from genuine, cashed-up buyers keen to buy in the area now. (Shows buyers are keen)

Conclusion (Call to action)

If you’d like to take advantage of the current buyer demand (targeting those thinking about selling), or would simply like an accurate, up-to-date and completely obligation-free market appraisal of your property (no pressure; shows you are happy to help regardless of whether or not they are thinking about selling), please give me a call on _________________.


Example Two

Pre-listing Letter

Header - Showcasing your home to attract the right buyers

Intro (why you are writing)

Tell them the purpose of this letter is to walk them through some of the specific ideas you have in mind to showcase their home and that you have enclosed a sample of the type of brochure you would use to showcase their home. Something like… I am really looking forward to meeting with you on insert date and time and walking you through some of the specific ideas I have in mind to showcase your home to buyers in the current market who are looking for a property like yours. I've enclosed the brochure of a property I've just sold to show you an example of one of the forms of marketing we use to showcase a property.

Body (here you are allowing them to imagine their home listed with you - the listing presentation is already subtly beginning via this letter).

As you browse through the brochure, visualise how your own home would look on the front cover and on each page should you decide to engage me to sell your home for you. Every single feature in your home has a dollar value attached to it. Think about what you would like to see showcased on the front cover, the double spread feature, the ‘features at a glance’ page, and the ‘inclusions and features’ page.

Conclusion (Call to Action)

By designing a brochure that showcases your home to its maximum potential, we have the greatest chance of securing the price you deserve for your home in today’s active market. I look forward to our meeting and sharing the details of my selling plan with you. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to give me a call on _________________ if you have any questions.

Letter Shell

Header - attention grabber. Make them want to read on!

Intro - why you are writing. Be brief; get to the point quickly.

Body - the details. Entice them to want to know more – but don’t waffle.

Conclusion - call to action. Give them a reason and a means to call or head to your website.  

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