The most important element of the mailing is its letter “eh what a letter? “. Yes, did you hear a LETTER? . In direct marketing, there is a very simple rule: the best jams are made in the old jars …
The sales letter, the sales pitch, copywriting, in short, call it what you want, but the art of convincing and persuading in writing to reach a goal is a real science and it has existed since humanity exists …
You can send your best brochure, your most advantageous quote for your prospect, samples, etc. What will cause the sale is the “written seller”: THE LETTER!
The sales letter is the perfect medium for a dialogue that aims to be warm, persuasive, even intimate and above all as personal as possible.
Its objective: to convince, by its promotional and emotional force, the reader to react to the message it contains and that it acts!
This action on the part of your prospect can take several forms:
- He can write to you;
- He can buy immediately after seeing your email (the graaaal ??);
- He can call you;
- He can offer you an appointment;
But to achieve this result, your letter must imperatively meet certain numbers of basic rules.
These rules have been tested hundreds of times and breaking them constitutes a real professional misconduct (which seems to be the case for many entrepreneurs who continue to waste considerable sums in sending ineffective and totally sloppy letters. J even saw mailings without a sales letter!).
Content of the letter
I’ll get right to the point: the purpose of a direct marketing letter is to sell! It is not to express the satisfaction of the one who writes it (as we see too often unfortunately), but to convince the one who reads it that he has everything to gain by reacting as soon as it is received.
If there is an essential rule which is valid in the writing of any direct marketing letter, telephone marketing script or sales pitch, it is to always demonstrate to the prospect that the characteristics of the product have all the advantages for him.
What interests the prospect, it’s about knowing what your product is going to make or win. Everything else, the technical characteristics of your product, your company, etc., is secondary!
To convince you, read these two extracts from a letter whose recipient is a buyer of printing equipment (I voluntarily took this example, because the printing market, as surprising as it may seem, is one of the harder, but one of the most profitable).
Which do you think will have the best impact?
… The operating system of our plate reader makes extensive use of computerized procedures and makes it possible, by scanning the plate, to record before calibration the different values and densities of the image to be printed. The signals are recorded on a cassette which the operator then enters into the machine console. The inkwells are adjusted automatically from the information contained in the cassette.
… With the X plate reader, you will stall with 60 sheets instead of 250. A gain in productivity in labor and paper that you will appreciate!
But that’s not all !
The plate reader X can be used for all machines, i.e. you can use it on your entire fleet and thus increase productivity gains.
In short, the X plate reader will allow you to make considerable savings and therefore be more competitive!
As you will have understood, the first rule of the copywriter is to know how to “speak” to the consumer by evoking the benefits, gains and advantages that he can derive from the product / service offered.
Forget the complicated demonstrations. The clearer the message, the more striking your terms and the more effective the impression produced on the prospect: “thanks to product X, you will win …” (time, money, etc.).
The targeted person being at the center of your concerns, the letter will be combined with the second person in the plural. The “I”, “we”, “our society” will be discreet while we prefer the “you”, “your”, “your”.
The reader will feel much more concerned by a letter which speaks about him, his worries, his desires, than by any ode to the glory of an X or Y company.
Below you will find 2 versions of the same letter addressed to a merchant.
The only thing I ask you is to imagine for a moment that you are this trader. Which of the two will decide to contact the prospecting company?
Our group is currently experiencing unprecedented expansion.
To cope with our development, we are looking for distributors in the Hauts de England region.
Our attached documentation presents our full range of products.
As you can see, all the products in our catalog have a 47% discount on the sale price. In addition, it seems useful to you to specify that these products are produced by ourselves in our factory in Loir-et-Cher.
For more information, or to make an appointment, call our sales department on 0344 ……
Do you want to increase your turnover?
Increase your margins?
Your answer is YES !?
So here’s how:
You will find attached a brochure presenting our company’s products!
These products, it is true, are currently enjoying great commercial success… And if we are contacting you today, it is to allow you, too, to benefit from this success, by becoming a distributor of these products in your Hauts region of England.
But that’s not all !
By discovering our rates, you will see that the distributor discount is… 47% while the discount generally granted on this type of product is 42%! This is possible because we are manufacturers and sell directly to retailers, without intermediaries. The wholesaler’s discount is therefore offered to you!
So join the network of 72 distributors who win without delay and win in turn.
If you want to know more, or receive a visit from a collaborator, quickly call 0344… ..
The difference is striking! The second letter is much more engaging and the reader feels immediately concerned … Not only is it in the center of the letter (omnipresence of “you”), but we promise success, money! Very difficult to decline such an invitation to success.
The catchphrase consists of a message (in the 70s, it was often in giant letters, bold or in a frame) clear and which immediately announces the color. She is the one who first falls under the prospect’s eyes.
Consequently, the only good catch will be that capable of arousing the curiosity of the reader and making him want to read all the content of the message. To achieve this result, it is necessary to make sure that the catchphrase does indeed contain a promise (a saving to be made, a gift, an answer to a question asked by the reader, a more pleasant life, the achievement of a dream, a solution to a problem). In short, a benefit for the reader.
Examples of some hooks that have paid off:
- Defend your assets against inheritance tax;
- New: software that divides your business management costs by 3;
- Increase your sales and profits thanks to…. ;
- How to save on your heating bill;
- How to find a job quickly and make him say “YES” for a higher salary!
- Free: a 3 hour consultation!
The first words
You have only a short time to captivate your reader, a bad introduction is enough for you to get into SPAM?
Also, to immediately retain the reader, it is advisable to play your “joker” at the outset, to place your best assets (promises of profit) at the beginning of the text.
Otherwise, you can use images or even emotion to force the reader’s curiosity.
This is where your imagination takes over, to activate the secret springs of the reader’s soul … and get him to read the letter to the end.
These few selected extracts from introductions of performing letters play in turn on the promise of benefits, emotion and imagination:
- Advertiser: seller of vehicle theft protection systems
“In a few days, in a few hours, your vehicle will be definitively protected against theft! No one can ever “borrow” it without your permission! (promise)
- Advertiser: Toy maker
“Would you accept an appointment if I presented you with a range of products that ensures your turnover increase by 10% minimum and margins even more comfortable than those you are used to?”
- Advertiser: Company selling inverters for microcomputers
“Your computer without a UPS is like an acrobat without a net!” Power outages, voltage variations, micro-outages are all dangers that threaten your microcomputer and that can cause irreparable damage at any time: the loss of all or part of your data. ”
- Advertiser: Company creation training firm
“Before presenting the subject of this letter, let me have a very pleasant little experience with you.
Close your eyes for a few moments and represent yourself at the head of YOUR business, you are your own BOSS! What do you see ” (emotion).
- Advertiser: Prestige car rental company
“Imagine the following scene:
We are in the middle of summer, on the most beautiful avenue in the world: the Champs Élysées.
Like every day, tourists machine-gun the prestigious windows of fine stores, women run to their shopping, while busy businessmen go to their professional meetings …
Suddenly a voice rises in the crowd: “Look! Someone points to a magnificent Ferrari 450 sport going down the famous avenue.
All eyes converge on this marvel of the automobile which arouses in its path cheers, speechless and moved smiles.
Meanwhile, at the wheel, the driver enjoys his pleasure. And this driver is you … ” (imaginary).
As you can see, when it comes to effective introductions, there are no limits other than imagination. And to demonstrate that you can go very far in the freedom of tone and the originality of the approach, here is an example of an effective start-up and adaptable to a very large number of situations (promotional operations, special offers, etc. ).
“This email is a gross injustice.
Indeed, as much as it will excite the privileged few to whom it is addressed, it will also displease all those, so many more, who are likely to have knowledge of it … without being recipients.
And yet, I had to choose the names of those to whom we will allow from September to benefit from the exceptional offer … (to attend the launch of the new / to access the next level in terms of … ”.
The Post Scriptum (P.S)
Do you know how most time-pressed readers (99% of people?) React to receiving an email (I prefer to say direct marketing letter, but hey apparently, it’s been been said that? )?
They start by reading the teaser, jump the body of the text to look at the signature (“who writes me”), then they take a look at the PS, and it is only if they have found, in this reading “diagonally” a message that interests them, information that grabs their attention or arouses their curiosity, that they go back to the beginning of the letter to find out more.
So after the catchphrase, the P.S is the most important element of the letter. It is the last hook, the mail writer’s last chance to convince and hook the reader. Therefore, the P.S must contain a strong argument (see the best argument of the offer).
It can be an exceptional promotion, a new, revolutionary product / service, a gift, etc.
On the other hand, a P.S who insists on a deadline or uses some trick to encourage the reader to respond as quickly as possible always increases the output of the letter.
Below are some examples of successful postscripts:
- P.S: Above all remember, this exceptional discount is granted to you for 10 days. So quickly contact our sales department!
- PS: To thank you for responding within 48 hours, I will offer you, on the day of our meeting, a precious… (travel guide, fountain pen, Mont-Blanc, etc.) (NB: human beings love to gift?)
- P.S: Hurry: the number of participants in the demonstration of the new Vinux software is limited … Reservations will be honored in their order of arrival!
An email, a personalized letter, produces better results than an anonymous letter, that goes without saying. That said, effective personalization does not consist of repeating your reader’s first or last name 5 or 6 times and reminding them that they live in Paris 8eme Avenue Amsterdam! Because excessive personalization exasperates the reader … who is not fooled and knows very well what technical prowess are capable of auto-responders.
Good personalization consists in knowing how to surprise without ever doing too much, understanding your desires, anticipating your objections and being able to respond to them in a simple manner.
Test and approve
In direct marketing, the test phase is fundamental. It consists of choosing, at random, a sample of recipients from the file, and sending the email to it.
The results obtained for the whole file make it possible to assess the chances of success of the final mailing.
In the event of insufficient results, the letter and / or the offer it contains will be revised.
This is how direct marketing professionals do it: they test, re-test, again and again, until a satisfactory result is obtained. Besides the biggest copywriter are actually CopyRewriter, because they read over and over again.
Then and only then does the final mailing take place.
What elements can be tested?
- The commercial message: the catchphrase, the arguments, the content, the style, the postscript;
- Creation: the format, the length of the message, the font, etc. ;
- The target: age, center of interest, etc. ;
- The offer: price, period of validity, etc.
Copywriters’ tips and tricks
To give more punch to a business letter, seduce and increase the profitability of a mailing, copywriters frequently use the use of a few strings specific to the trade.
The fruit of long experience for the most part, their effectiveness is well established.
Below I’m going to show you two that are present on each sales page and each copywriter’s email.
Certain words, certain expressions, have surprising power. Their presence in the body of the message infuses vitality into the text and invigorates the arguments, for example:
- How? ‘Or’ What
- How is it possible
- Warning !
- But that’s not all
The decision catalysts
Other words, other expressions, have the almost miraculous power of speeding up the prospect’s decision-making process. Although copywriters have used and abused it to an “overdose”, their power remains intact.
Besides, no professional would take the risk of giving up their job … otherwise, the effectiveness of their mailings would drop dramatically.
Some powerful catalysts:
- Gift !
- Free gift!
The main thing to remember!
For an email, a commercial letter to appeal, they must be customer-facing : they will tell him about him and the benefits he got from your offer.
It is not a presentation of the characteristics of the products or services of the company and even less a hymn to the glory of the company.
An effective prospecting letter has the following characteristics:
- A catchphrase, containing a strong promise of profit for the client;
- A key message that appears from the start;
- A number of lines per paragraph less than or equal to 6;
- A powerful postscript;
- Short, punchy sentences;
- A gift offer;
- A style that involves the prospect;
- Dynamizers (why, etc.);
- Positive and incentive adjectives and adverbs (exceptional, special, unique, etc.);
- Suspense at the end;
- And finally a call to action!
Well, this article is coming to an end. Ah yes, last thing. The clicks on the share buttons are not billed, so let yourself go so that selling becomes second nature?
Thank you !