Here’s a sample targeted email or direct email letter, with comments and notes following.

Springfield Bank
775 Ranchero Parkway
Texastown, TX 76010
(800) 555-5555

January 6,
Ms. Jane Doe
123 Park Lane
Texasville, TX 75237

Dear Ms. Doe:

How would you like to save 20 percent on your computer purchases?

The Springfield Bank/Starlight Computer credit card saves you money on your computer purchases.

“My small business purchases were made with the Springfield Bank/Starlight Computer credit card and I built up enough credits to save 20 percent on my computer equipment.” —Ken Turman, President, Truman Consulting, Springfield, Texas

This credit card works just like every other credit card with one big exception: It saves you money. Every time you use the Springfield Bank/Starlight Computer credit card, you earn credits toward your next purchase of Starlight Computer equipment.

Call (800) 555-5555 now to receive your Springfield Bank/Starlight Computer credit card. An operator will take your information and process your application within 48 hours. Then you can start earning credits that will save you money!


[ signature ]

Harold Walker
Vice President of Marketing

P.S. If you sign up before January 31, you will receive a free gift from Springfield Bank!


A sales letter should include your company logo, name, and address. You can have a printer print your letter on your existing letterhead stock, print the letter in combination with your standard letterhead design, or print a letterhead that has been specifically designed for your direct-mail piece.


Many direct-mail pieces, particularly those mailed by local businesses, do not personalize each letter. Instead, the letter begins with a generic introduction, such as “Dear Sir” or “Dear Madam.” If you are using a generic introduction, do try to personalize as much as possible with greetings, such as “Dear Boston Resident” or “Dear Computer User.” It is preferable to address the letter to a specific person, but it will add to the cost and the complexity of the mailing. If you are buying your mailing list from a large mailing list company, they can provide you with names and addresses on a computer disk. Most mailing houses will be able to print personalized letters using this disk for an additional charge.


Grab the reader’s attention in the first sentence. This is the most important part of the letter. Unless your first sentence is highly compelling, most readers will not continue reading the letter.

Focus on Benefits

You want to focus on the benefits of your product in the body of the letter. Your product has many features that your customers will ask about, but it is the benefits that will sell them. A feature is anything inherent to your product. A benefit is what your customer derives from the product.


A testimonial can be used to add credibility to your company and your product or service. The most important aspect of the testimonial is the person who offers it. Make sure the person is someone the reader will respect.

Highlight Key Phrases

Keep the reader’s attention. Some readers will skim through your letter and could miss the most important points. Highlight key phrases that stress benefits to keep the reader interested in your product.

Call to Action

Call your readers to action. They need to feel like they should act quickly or they will lose the offer. Make it easy for the readers to act by listing a toll-free order number or including a postage-paid reply card.

Add a Postscript

Add a postscript at the end of the letter. Many readers skip to the end of the letter for the “bottom line.” A grabber “P.S.” statement will ensure that your message isn’t lost.

Legal Restrictions on Email

In the United States, there are very restrictive laws on email marketing. To begin with you can only send it out to people who requested it. Second, you must offer an opt-out choice. There are other restrictions as well. So if you are considering using email for marketing you should make sure you are up to speed on all the latest rules.

How to Create High-Response Direct Mail and Targeted Email