Marketer’s Dream and A Copywriter’s Nightmare: Writing the Perfect Sales Letter

I’m going to share a little secret with you.

Lots of marketers and business owners are searching for the Holy Grail. The perfect sales letter. One that can be sent out that works in the largest imaginable mailing universe or to the most diverse audience possible.

If it happens to comes along great. By all means use it but don’t spend your life on a quest for the grail. A good marketer or a copywriter that knows marketing strategy will quickly be able to improve the performance of your sales letter.

The power of a sales letter is determined more by ‘who’ it is sent to and by the strength of the marketing system that surrounds it.

How well a your marketing and copy are customised for the exact audience will do more for the response rate than just merely improving the copy.

Consider the Admiral Byrd Polar Expedition sales letter. In 1968 it was able to fill a $10,000 a seat trip for 60 people (plus 10 stand bys) and create a waiting list.

That is a $600,000 in gross sales exercise. And they didn’t send it to many people. The mailing list consisted of people who were likely to buy an experience like that. The mailing list consisted of members of the young presidents club, two engine private airplane owners, owners of yachts 40 feet and longer and Arab horse breeders. That was it.

The letter was meticulously crafted to appeal to these people.

You can read the full story in Secrets of Direct Mail by Dick Benson.

The point is the sales letter was perfect for the audience it went to. If you are selling to multiple audiences then you need multiple sales letters, multiple campaigns running in parallel.

The better you are at targeting your copy at the right people and speaking directly to them. The more success you will have. Strategy trumps copywriting. Having strategies that deploy copy in a way that makes it more effective is far more likely to create a win for you that just about anything else.

The more precision targeting that can be done when you set up the campaign or get the idea to run the campaign, the better the chance of response and the more you can spend per person conducting the campaign. After all, the easiest way to get a big response is by eliminating non buyers as targets for the campaign.

The more effort and energy you invest in this segmentation part of the game the more likely you are to create an effective sales system, not just the perfect sales letter.

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