Posts Tagged ‘WA Washington’

Writing to Sell: the importance of delivering on your promises

September 22nd, 2009

The Writer

The Writer

I was delighted when I went to my mailbox and found advertising! Although personal cards and letters stuffed with money is what I really wanted, I was grateful that no bills arrived today. I eagerly opened the obvious sales letter because, hey, at least somebody thought to write to me.


The sales letter came from a marketing firm offering to solve all my problems. Halleluiah! The only reason I read through to the end of the first boring, lengthy, convoluted sentence was because my job depends on reading and analyzing sales letters. In this letter, one single, opening sentence attempted to address all of the following issues:

  •    My membership affiliation
  •    Helping my business (didn’t say how it would help-just that it would)
  •    Access to a collection of mysterious reports for which no value to me had been established
  •    A cost savings option that allowed me to purchase only relevant portions of these mysterious reports

So now, of course, I’m sitting at the edge of my seat. My excitement is building as I read on… “If your answer is Yes…” to wanting whatever the heck it was they attempted to describe in the first sentence, they’re actually going to make it “affordable” for me to get it. Wow! How cool is that? I’ll actually be able to afford something that I don’t yet have any idea what it is, how it’s used, or why I might want it.


The next line of the letter began with the bold print heading -Special Offer to all Members-. It said I could receive 60% off the subscription rate and pay only $3,000! What a deal.


What’s Wrong With That?  

The problem with this letter is that it delivered something entirely different from what was promised. Besides neglecting to provide any benefits whatsoever to promote a desire for the product, every sentence in this letter focused on “low cost” and “affordability.” It implied that small, independent business owners were the target audience.


If you plan to set your readers up in anticipation of a low cost product and then hit them with a $3,000 price tag, you’d better be selling condos or nice cars. Otherwise, they won’t trust you.


   Call me for help with your next sales letter   and your customers will trust you.