Business writing course
1. Complete the prewriting for the persuasive sales letter:
- Prewriting prepares you to write and helps you organize your ideas.
- You may print the lesson and jot notes for yourself on the paper, or you may write notes on your own.
- You do not have to submit prewriting for any points, but don’t skip this important step!
2. Complete a draft of the persuasive sales letter:
- It’s your chance to sell that amazing product or service! Instead of choosing an exercise from the book, you’ll sell your own product or service. Be creative and sell that barking cat toy!
- Your letter will contain four paragraphs:
- Paragraph 1: get the attention/arouse the interest of your reader. Make this paragrph 5-7 lines in length.
- Paragraph 2: describe the product in detail. Make this paragraph 5-7 lines in length.
- Paragraph 3: reader benefits. Include a bulleted list of three items as a portion of your paragraph. Make this paragraph 5-7 lines in length.
- Paragraph 4: motivate the reader to act. Make this paragraph 2-3 lines in length.
the correct use of these criteria will determine your grade on your final letter:
- The letter is organized correctly:
- The first paragraph gets the reader’s attention by telling a mini-story and/or offering facts and statistics. The product or service is stated at the end of the first paragraph. The paragraph is 5-7 lines in length.
- The second paragraph discusses the product or service in detail. It is 5-7 lines in length.
- The third paragraph provides specific reader benefits and provides a bulleted list of reader benefits; the bulleted items are parallel. The paragraph is 5-7 lines in length with a minimum of 3 bullets and 2 sentences/lines of text.
- The fourth paragraph asks the reader specifically for an action. A specific time period is stated. It is 2-3 lines in length.
- The writing includes specific and accurate word choice and details and does NOT use the following words: thing, good, really, very, extremely, wonderful, outstanding, or any synonym of the above (refer to the online lesson in week 2 on precise words).
- The writing uses active versus passive voice. The writing uses is, are, was, were, be, been, being, and am ONE time or less per paragraph, and does not use “There is, there are, there was, there were, there _____ be, and there ______ been” at all. Instead, the writing uses action verbs such as describes, shows, presents, writes, run, ran, talked, talk, and so forth (refer to the online lesson in week 2 on action verbs).
- The writing uses familiar words.
- The letter uses “you-attitude” throughout; the letter emphasizes what the reader wants to know and does not use “I, me, my, myself, we,” or phrases that emphasize “The company (name)” and not the reader.
- The letter uses positive words and de-emphasizes any negatives.
Does not use negative words such as “no” and “limited,” plus most “un-words, in-words,” and so forth (refer to chapter 7 for a list).
- The letter provides specific and precise reader benefits. Detailed examples of how the reader will benefit appear in the third paragraph.
- The letter does not refer to the reader’s or the writer’s feelings at all.
- The writing uses no slang, cliches, trite or over-used expressions, and no biasied or sexist language. (Be sure the salutation goes to Ms. if the letter is addressed to a woman).
- The writing is free of typographical errors.
- Words are spelled and used correctly.
- Commas, quotation marks, and other punctuation marks are used correctly.
- The writing contains correct grammar without sentence fragments, comma splices, and run-on sentences.
- The letter is formatted correctly:
- Full block format is used.
- 12 point Calibri or Times New Roman font is used.
- Spacing is correct.
- The letter includes a company letterhead, date, inside address to an individual at a company, a salutation followed by colon, four paragraphs, and a close.
- All components except for the letterhead are lined up on the left margin.
Sample format and tips for this assignment-
City, State Zip
March 7, 2015 (use the date you will turn in the letter)
Chris Thomas (create the name of a person, title, company name and address)
Director of Marketing
1987 Carillion Parkway Suite 104
Dayton, OH 45444Dear Chris Thomas: (use the full name if you don t know the gender of the person. If it s to a woman, use Ms., NOT Mrs. or Miss)Gain attention, arouse reader interest. Do this by telling a short anecdote or mini-story. Another effective technique states provocative facts and/or statistics. One If you wanted to sell home security systems, for example, you could begin the letter with a sentence that gives statistics on breaking and entering incidents in the reader’s neighborhood. If you wanted to sell a cleaning service, you could tell an anecdote that might begin with “Imagine coming home to a sparkling clean house.” You can also combine stories and statistics. Conclude your paragraph by telling the reader what, exactly, you want to sell. Remember to use “you-attitude.” Avoid phrases like “I have come up with great idea,” or “I have researched for years,” and so forth. Focus on what the reader will received. (Make this paragraph 5-7 lines.)Develop your assertions about your product or service. Describe the product or service in detail. If you’re selling a cleaning service, state exactly WHAT gets cleaned. State HOW, WHERE, and WHEN. If you’re selling a product, give colors, sizes, dimensions and so forth. (Make this paragraph 5-7 lines.)Explain the benefits of your product and service. Remember, these are benefits to the reader. Use a bulleted or numbered list to make your points stand out. Make sure you have at least two sentences and then begin your bulleted list. Be sure the items listed are parallel; that is, begin each bullet with the same kind of word with the same structure. (This paragraph should be at least 5-7 lines. Count each bullet or number as a line, so you need at least two sentences above and three bullets above to make five lines.)
- Explain why customer needs the product.
- Explain what product offers.
- Use a bulleted or numbered list or some kind of graphical highlighting to make your points stand out.
Notice on the above bulleted list, each item begins with a verb that is in present tense. Make sure your bullets are also parallel. You don’t have to begin with verbs, but do make sure each bullet begins with the same kind of word.Make your readers act. This is where you state WHEN and WHAT the reader should do. Offer specific dates and times; tell them how they can contact you. (This paragraph should be 2-3 lines.)Sincerely, (4 spaces under the Sincerely, enough space to hand write your name.)Dim Carcrashian (type your name)Note: Remember the “forbidden words! Use precise words throughout this letter. Limit the use of passive voice verbs (is, are, was, were, be, been, being, am) to no more than ONE per paragraph.Print your letter and examine it closely. If the letter uses two pages, that’s okay, but don’t leave the “Sincerely,” and your name hanging alone on page two. (That just looks strange.) If you need to, adjust the top and bottom margins of the letter to fit on one page, or you can put the final paragraph along with the closing and your name on page two.