How to start writing a letter

Document Sample
How to start writing a letter Powered By Docstoc
					How to start a persuasive sales letter
By Ivan Levison In a recent Sunday issue of the New York Times, I came 
 upon a 12-page insert promoting The Economist, a wonderful 
 magazine that I've enjoyed for years. The production values of The Economist's slick piece, designed to attract new subscribers, were absolutely first rate. The insert featured four-color printing, attractive art direction, a terrific "free trial" offer, etc. There was one big problem, however. The two-page pitch letter, that was part of the mailer, sounded as if it was
 written by a non-native speaker. I just don't get it. I
 wish someone could explain to me how a letter like this 
 ever sees the light of day. Here . . . read the first two paragraphs of the letter 
 yourself and see what YOU think of it: 
 "Dear Colleague: There is no doubt that The Economist is enjoying an 
 unprecedented dynamism in the latter half of its second 
 century. Its unlikely name is bandied about and bragged 
 upon in the highest places. Our essentiality has arrived. The interdependency of the world has been brought home all
 too clearly. The case for global intelligence has been 
 made. The Economist provides it in a unique and refreshing
 way. Thus, our reputation." 
 See what I mean? Instead of trying to appear so darn erudite, (and winding up sounding muddled), the copywriter 
 of the letter should have stuck to basics. How should the copywriter have begun the letter? More
 importantly, how should YOU begin YOUR next sales letter? My advice to all non-professional copywriters is to come 
 out swinging. Make your offer right up front! Let me show you how much better the Economist letter would 
 have been had

the copywriter skipped the fluff and led with the offer. 
 "Dear Friend: Bill Gates, the Chairman of Microsoft, recently said, "The
 magazine I spend most of my days reading is The
 Economist." Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle, said, "I used to think. Now
 I just read The Economist." If you want to see for yourself why The Economist has such
 incredibly enthusiastic (and successful) readers, here's a 
 no-risk FREE offer not to be missed . . . Return the postage-paid "Free Trial Acceptance Card" and 
 I'll make sure you get four free issues of The Economist 
 at no cost and with no obligation to continue. All I ask is that YOU be the judge . . . etc." 
 You get the picture. When you're starting a letter, set things
 up quickly, then plunge right into the offer. You won't go
 too far wrong. (NOTE: Those terrific Gates and Ellison quotes are real by 
 the way!)

Shared By:
Description: Advice on copywriting a sales/marketing letter