The Levison Letter


I feel your pain...How to push the "Ouch!" button
October, 2016

Years ago, when Listerine's advertising agency first got the big mouthwash account, they obviously could have positioned the product in many ways. Which way did the agency go? 

They chose to position Listerine as the mouthwash that could prevent "halitosis."

Yup. They found out that the medical term for nasty breath was halitosis and then began a campaign designed to convince everyone that they were at risk for this dread disease. 

If you had halitosis, everyone would talk about you behind your back and you'd become a pariah. The advertising agency used the tag line:

"He said, that she said, that he had halitosis!"

The result? Listerine mouthwash flew off the shelf. 

Yes. Fear and pain are wonderful motivators, and that's why this copywriter uses them all the time.

Here are just a few examples of how I lead off a letter or email by demonstrating that I "get" the prospect's pain:


Dear NAME:
As an HR professional, you have to face an unpleasant fact . . .
Employee turnover is a real and growing problem that can cost your organization a lot of money.
You know what I'm talking about.  Whenever you have to hire a new employee, it costs money to advertise the job, process resumes, interview candidates, train them, and wait until they become fully productive.


Dear NAME:
If you're a claims manager, you know how hard it can be to manage all your fraud investigations.
There's a ton of electronic and physical evidence to keep track of . . .  endless reports to prepare . . . and a team of busy investigators to manage. And that's just for starters.

Dear NAME:
It's a simple fact . . .
As soon as your fleet hits the streets and starts rolling, you're in the dark.
You know what I mean. Unless you're sitting right next to all your drivers, there's no way to know where every van or truck is at any given moment.
This opens the door to all kinds of serious problems:
   Unhappy customers who don't know where their deliveries are . . .
        Soaring overtime . . .
            Lower profits and productivity. And that's just the beginning.

The take-away message this month? Don't start your letter or email by talking about how great your company or product is. Begin by demonstrating that you understand your reader's pain and you're halfway to a sale!

Want me to copywrite some email for you, or a home page, a landing page, a sales letter, whatever? Call me at 415-461-0672. Let's go to work!
How to get in touch . . .
Phone: (415) 461-0672
Fax: (415) 461-7738
Visit my Web site

Ivan Levison. Direct Mail, Email & Advertising Copywriting
14 Los Cerros Drive, Greenbrae, CA 94904
Phone (415) 461-0672      Fax: (415) 461-7738

Home | Free E-newsletter Subscription | Testimonials | Clients
Back Issues | Articles | Consultations | Books | Contact Info

© 2016, Ivan Levison & Associates. All rights reserved.