It’s time to look into my crystal ball. Ooh, the mists are clearing. I see…I think I see something…yes, I can see what your next website will look like. But first, let’s go back in time to when websites were a new concept. As well as predicting the future, I’ve Read more…
Follow the F-pattern Eye-tracking studies show that website visitors tend to glance along the top two lines of text, then scan down the left hand edge taking in only the first two words of each line, and perhaps look across the page once more. They spend very little time looking Read more…
I just opened a thick red envelope from Virgin Media. The inside of the envelope is stripey. Inside the envelope is a striped bag, the sort you get old-fashioned sweets in. It’s a bulky bag, decorated with a personalised sticker. Mmm, perhaps they’ve sent me some sweets. Inside the bag Read more…
“Dear Ms Barrie,
ABC is the key to business growth; XYZ can open the door to a wealth of opportunities
Here at XYZ we are committed to keeping you up to date with the methods we have available to help you to ABC. We are delighted to enclose our latest brochure. In it you will find details of all our exceptional ABCs. I would like to draw your attention to just a few of our specialities.
Continued on next page…
We would love to help you to ABC. Please read the enclosed brochure and give us a call on 123 4567 or email us at email@example.com if you would like a complimentary ABC.
There is no obligation, just an opportunity to accelerate your sales growth.
PS. We own a blah-di-blah meaning that we have blah-di-blah-di-blah-di. We can now blah-di-wotsit even faster and most cost effectively than before because blah-di-blah-di-blah-di.
Call us today to discover how we can help you to find more customers on 123 4567.”
So, what’s right and what’s wrong with this letter?
First, they’ve bothered to pay for paper, ink and postage. This is now so rare that direct mail is making a comeback in terms of effectiveness. That said, you’ll still be lucky to get 1-4% response when you try it (more if you bother to do a – skilled – follow-up phone call). Also, they’ve missed a trick by not including a ‘Johnson box’ – their main message highlighted in the top right hand corner, opposite the address area (the bit that doesn’t show through the window envelope). It’s a great place to repeat your offer in an eye-catching way.
Next, it uses my own name. This is good. Personalisation means there is more chance that your letter will be read.
Then it has a bold main heading. This is also good as it catches the eye even if you don’t read more. The words are OK. They are trying to answer ‘what’s in it for me’ from the customer’s point of view, and are having a little play on ‘key’ and ‘door’. The words are not brilliant though. Going with a key/door theme would work much more effectively with a matching image, or even an enclosed padlock or something (lumpy mail rather than junk mail). But far better than that would be something original and unique to their brand.
It’s the introduction where it all goes horribly wrong. I count many more ‘I’, ‘we’ and (more…)
Every time I stand on the platform at Oxford Circus underground station, there’s an ad for Jack Daniel’s in the same place. Every time I take care to stop and read it, because the copy always tells me something interesting and different, and is beautifully crafted (like their product, one Read more…
I set a competition in my Writing Without Waffle tipsheet for subscribers to write a poem starting with the line “Twinkle, twinkle, little copywriter” (because the theme of this year’s National Poetry Day is ‘stars’). Here are my favourite entries. First place: Ian Price, Business Training Direct Twinkle twinkle, little Read more…