I want to take a break from our topic of the aspects that go into successful direct mail and spend a little time tell you about one of the most important skills that any entrepreneur should and can develop.
The ability to write good advertising copy.
There are two chief reasons you don’t want to take this subject lightly!
First, it’s very costly to have your advertising materials written by a good professional copywriter or consultant.
Second, no matter how much you pay to get the very best outside help no one can ever have the same feel for your business and your clientele that you do. I’m often surprised how business people hire high priced advertising agencies to write their sales and marketing materials when the agency knows nothing about their business and doesn’t even attempt to get to know it.
On the other hand, most entrepreneurs ‘live and breathe’ they’re businesses. They’re often the front line people who speak and hear from the #1 most important asset of the company…its customers.
In fact, several years ago, I was hired to write a sales letter for Weight Watchers in order to try to beat their current letter they were mailing.
What did I do?
I simply went to the top two sales people in the company, asked them to write down for me word-for-word what they say to their prospects to get them to buy and I crafted a sales letter from it.
How did it do? It outperformed the high priced ad agencies sales letter by 300%. Yes it tripled response all because I let the front line people be in control of the copy.
The Secret To Direct Mail Success
Need some specific ideas and guidelines that help you to write effective advertising copy? Whether it’s a sales letter, postcard, or on the web, think format, copy and graphic components.
A graphic component can be a cartoon, a drawing, a photograph, a border, a key word in a dramatic typeface. Most needs for such things can be filled very inexpensively with what is commonly called clip art in the advertising business.
You can buy books of copyright free clip art in art supply stores and by mail from several different companies. It’s also easily available on the web today. An expenditure of ten or twenty dollars will get you hundreds of pieces of usable art.
Photographs can also provide a significant lift to response. The best photos tell or dramatize a human interest story or show the product being used in an interesting or unusual way. Photos can represent aspirations – such as the photo of a couple sailing on a yacht or getting out of a limo, for someone selling system for creating wealth, or, as another example, an obviously senior-age man in good physical condition playing golf, for a company selling a treatment for arthritis.
Photographs can be taken yourself or stock photos can be licensed for use from a number of sources easily found on the internet.