THE LEVISON LETTER
Action Ideas For Better Direct Mail,
E-mail, Web Sites & Advertising
Ivan Levison, Direct Response Copywriter June, 2006
Volume: 21 Number: 6
Junk Mail Or Moneymaker?
The Two-Second Decision
When you're planning to mail a lead-generation letter
or self-mailer, you
probably think a lot about what your offer's going to be, what lists
you'll use, etc.
But don't forget to consider the context in which your
letter will get read.
You see, it's important to understand exactly the way people read
mail and the demands that imposes on the copywriter.
Let me put all this under the microscope and you'll
see what I mean . . .
Typically, you get your mail in a pile, addresses facing
you. Then you
become a Las Vegas blackjack dealer dealing down, making decisions,
searching for valuable material, discarding the junk.
There are basically four kinds of mail in everybody's
pile of mail:
1. Bills. These are instantly identifiable, unwanted
but retained. It gives you
no joy to receive your electric bill, but there's no question of tossing
It goes on the bill pile.
2. Personal mail. A handwritten note from a friend is
a keeper for sure. You
might even interrupt your sorting to read it immediately. (No wonder
mailings with live stamps get opened in huge
3. Requested mail. These are items you've asked for,
expect, and will keep
for later reading. Magazines, catalogs you've requested, newsletters,
4. Junk mail/money-making mail. These are all the unsolicited
pieces that land on your desk.
They are subjected to a merciless, one- or two-second
review based entirely
on the envelope. (Yes. Envelopes are incredibly important. They crucially
whether the prospect will open the letter and get to your compelling
Most letters will instantly be placed on the throw-out pile, but a
few will survive.
Here's where things get interesting.
As you know from your own experience, there are some
letters that are on the
borderline. You're a bit interested but are not really sure if the
letter is junk or not.
So you open it and quickly start scanning, looking for the writer
to get to the point.
Here's where the skill of the copywriter really kicks in. He or she
has to quickly
suck you in to the story, sell the offer, and make the sale.
One sentence that is unclear, one bit of ordering information
that is vague, is all
it takes to turn a moneymaker into junk mail. That's why it's so important
handle all the little details correctly when it comes to:
+ The offer
+ Product features/benefits/specs
+ Ordering and shipping details
+ The guarantee
If you've been extremely clear and focused, you have
a real shot at
making the sale. If your letter is vague, or a reader's question is
your piece may wind up on the junk pile.
The take-away message this month?
You don't have a lot of time to spend with your busy
prospects as they
sort through their mail, so get to the point quickly and make sure
everything that needs to be explained has been communicated clearly.
The difference between junk mail and a sale is often
about two or
three seconds. Don't blow it!
How To Get In Touch
Direct Response Copywriting
14 Los Cerros Drive
Greenbrae, CA 94904
Phone: (415) 461-0672
Fax: (415) 461-7738
Web Site: http://www.levison.com
How To Subscribe/Unsubscribe
SUBSCRIBE FREE to The Levison Letter at
UNSUBSCRIBE by sending a Reply to this message with
just the word unsubscribe in the subject line.
IMPORTANT: Your subscription information will NEVER
be traded, sold, or used by anyone else. That's a personal
Copyright 2006, by Ivan Levison, All Rights Reserved.
Recent Back Issues of The
|Click Here to see back issues of The Levison Letter