Over the course of a long and remarkably successful career, Chicago direct-mail giant Bob Stone collected a trustworthy database on factors that boost or depress mailing response. Not given to making unsubstantiated claims, he often observed that a “lift” note tucked into a mailing package “boosts response 10% or more.”
That extra 10% in response can make the difference between a dud mailing and a barn-burner. So, writes noted copywriter Ivan Levison, of Greenbrae, California, always include an economical lift note in a mailing if you want to score cost-effective sales. Levison offers these six sales-sparking tips on making your lift letter sell:
Small works best.
Modesty becomes lift letters. You don’t want them to add to the effect of your 8-1/2”x 11” multi-page sales letter. So stick with a single 7” x 7” or smaller sheet, printed on both sides.
Fold your note
Humans are inherently curious. So fold your life letter and print an enticing headline on the outside. The simple act of unfolding your note makes an accomplice of your reader and allays skepticism. Test using a short fold that reveals the letter’s signature.
Express a single idea
Say one thing — and only one — persuasively, and as punchily as you can manage. Stress the generosity of your guarantee, burn in your offer’s deadline, or give the name and address of one of your happiest customers (with his permission, of course!).
Make it personal
Use today’s digital printing to indicate that you know your reader. It can generate response 500% higher than one-size-fits-all offset lithography. Surely, print your reader’s name. And, if he has done business with you before, specifically cite that transaction.
Use an authority figure’s signature
If your sales manager signs your main sales letter, your lift note should carry the signature and title of your vice-president of marketing, or someone senior to him. Or a celebrity, or a respected community leader. Print his signature in blue ink.
Always include a P.S.
In a few words, assure your reader that he will be happy with his purchase — which involves no risk on his part. Such a parting shot leaves a lasting impression.
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