We are excited to continue a series of articles that we’re sure you will find informative. Here is the seventh of twelve. If you missed the previous articles, please visit our website at www.mailmgmtgroup.com and click on the Newsletter tab.
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Mistake No. 7: Saving the best for last.
Some copywriters save their strongest sales pitch for last, starting slow in their sales letters and hoping to build to a climactic conclusion.
A mistake. Leo Bott, Jr., a Chicago-based mail-order writer, says that the typical prospect reads for five seconds before he decides whether to continue reading or throw your mailing in the trash. The letter must grab his attention immediately. So start your letter with your strongest sales point.
Some examples of powerful openings:
- “Which produces the best ad results—800 phone number? company phone? coupon? no coupon?”—from a letter selling ad space in Salesman’s Opportunity magazine.
- “14 things that can go wrong in your company—and one sure way to prevent them”—an envelope teaser for a mailing that sold a manual on internal auditing procedures.
- “A special invitation to the hero of American business”-from a subscription letter for Inc. magazine.
- “Can 193,750 millionaires be wrong?”-an envelope teaser for a subscription mailing for Financial World magazine.
- “Dear Friend: I’m fed up with the legal system. I want to change it, and I think you do, too.”-the lead paragraph of a fund-raising letter.
Some time-tested opening gambits for sales letters include:
- asking a provocative question;
- going straight to the heart of the reader’s most pressing problem or concern;
- arousing curiosity;
- leading off with a fascinating fact or incredible statistic; and
- Stating the offer up-front, especially if it involves money; saving it, getting something for an incredibly low price, or making a free offer.
Know the “hot spots” of your direct mail package-the places that get the most readership. Those include: the first paragraphs of the letter, its subheads, its last paragraph and the post-script (80% of readers look at the PS); the brochure cover, its subheads and the headline of its inside spread; picture captions; and the headline and copy on the order form or reply card. Put your strongest selling copy in those spots.
NOTE FROM CINDY:
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” Steve Jobs.
We at Mail Management put our hearts into our work and I believe that is what sets us apart.