Last month's issue of the Levison Letter was titled "The right way to start a sales letter."
In this issue I'll share some thoughts about how to end your letter the right way. And this is an important subject.
You see, what's not widely appreciated is the fact that motivating prospects to act at the end of your letter is just as important as grabbing their attention in the first sentence.
All too often, copywriters seem to run out of steam and settle for a flabby, weak ending which is a dereliction of duty.
Let me show you what I mean.
Here is the last paragraph from an old Symantec sales letter intended to upgrade their WinFax Pro installed-base to the latest version:
"Don't wait . . . call 1-800-631-8118 today to upgrade to the new WinFax Pro 9.0 for only $49.95. I guarantee you'll enjoy its new features right from the start! If not, return it within 60 days for a full refund (excluding shipping and handling).**
Sincerely, P.S., etc.
**Subject to the terms of our license and warranty."
What a downer! Out of all the upbeat, motivating ways to end a letter, why highlight the fact that you are excluding shipping and handling from your guarantee - then add insult to injury by adding asterisks that refer to the terms of your license and warranty?
Not a good choice! You should never end your letter with a reference to a legalism. (Another thing to avoid is ending with your 800-number. I would guess that about half of all direct mail letters end with a phone number!)
Nope. It's much better to end on an upbeat note that really has some energy, some spirit, and some motivating power.
Let's take a look at the ending of an old Quicken sales letter from my file that works much better:
"After all, you've worked hard getting where you are today. You deserve to have your money work hard for you. And there's no better, easier way to do that than with Quicken - the indispensable financial tool that helps you recognize when opportunity is knocking . . . and opens the door to a brighter, more comfortable, more secure future!
Sincerely, P.S., etc."
Yes. Intuit used a copywriter who stayed awake on the job all the way to the end and it shows!
Just as a method actor has to discover the "emotional truth" of the scene and make it come alive for the audience, the copywriter has to discover the core "truth" of the selling proposition and make it shine in the final paragraph. That's exactly what the writer did in the Quicken letter.
Sometimes you have to struggle
to find the "hot button."
For example, some years ago, I wrote a direct mail package for the Atlanta Golf Classic.
I kept writing glowing prose about the great golf that the reader would see at the Classic, but I just didn't feel that I was connecting. I hadn't found the hot button that would get big companies to buy a lot of tickets.
Then it dawned on me that the Atlanta Golf Classic was offering corporate attendees a lot more than golf. They were giving companies the chance to build relationships with valued clients by inviting them out for the day.
This was a chance for executives to kick back and get away from the office, have a few drinks, and make some deals. This human dimension, not merely the golf, is what had to be massaged in the letter's ending.
The light bulb lit up and I knew I was on to something. The ending wrote itself:
"On a personal note, let me add that the BellSouth Atlanta Classic is a truly magnificent sporting event that I know you, clients, and customers will enjoy tremendously. If you want to have a fabulous time, while you create or strengthen important business relationships, I urge you to pick up tickets while they're still available. The dogwood will be in bloom. The weather will be beautiful. These are the days you always said you owed yourself!
If you want me to write a sales letter, web landing page, email, or anything else for you, give me a call. If you want results, like the kind I've delivered for countless clients over thirty-five years, I warmly invite you to get in touch right now at (415) 461-0672 or email me at email@example.com