Do classic direct mail sales letters still work? Yes, and no.
That is, when sales letters are not strategically targeted and scientifically crafted, they can easily fizzle on takeoff–and waste your marketing budget. Mail 50,000 useless letters, and you’ll trash that budget’s value quick. But…
When you do it right, you can watch a simple 2-page letter, like the one below–lifted from my portfolio–light a fire in your prospect, and actually get them excited to experience your product for themselves.
I wote this one (the copy below, I mean; the image here on the left is just a nice visual anchor) for an educational software company. Based on those 822 words, drafted in less than two hours. the company offered me a full-time copy job. At the time, however, I worked for a great company in a much milder climate than the north central U.S.
Everyone enjoyed the project, though. Here’s that letter:
You want to teach your students to love to read, don’t you?
My name is Alice Star. I am a nationally recognized Reading Specialist. Tens of thousands of teachers have already turned their students into enthusiastic readers with my expert help. Now I want to come work for you for a month… for FREE.
I can help you get back to your focus—doing what you love.
Let me tackle the work of testing your students, while you teach. I can instantly adapt to each child’s level and, in 10 minutes or less, give them a score that correlates with all the popular standardized tests. If you want me to periodically test them again, I will—as often as you like—and no, you won’t pay extra for that.
Think of it: You won’t have to wait months to get test results. Immediately after each test, I can create detailed reports with data you can really use. My feedback will save you countless hours and let you give every student exactly the help they need.
I don’t take vacations. I never get sick. And I let you take all the credit. Best of all, I don’t even need a salary. My passion and expertise are priceless, but normally cost only pennies per student per day. And to show you what I can do, I will work for absolutely nothing:
Hire a “pro” Reading Specialist for 30 days, absolutely FREE.
Before you shout “Yes!” let me make a no-way-you-can-lose offer: Call me toll-free at 1-800-656-6740 and bring me into your classroom for a month. Put me to the test, at no charge. In just 30 days, I can help you:
>> Spend less time testing and grading… and more time teaching,
>> Give students better guidance for maximum growth, and
>> Dramatically increase students’ skill—and desire—to read.
At the end of 30 days, if you don’t see results, I will leave quietly. And you won’t owe me a penny. Now that’s a great deal, don’t you agree? Well, keep reading, because I have a confession to make.
You see, Alice Star isn’t a real person. I made up the name. Of course, you may have already guessed this as you wondered, “How could all of this possibly be true?” But ask yourself another question: if there were such as incredible teacher’s aid, and the promises were real, would you at least call to find out more? Let me tell you a true story…
Guide your students to higher reading levels in 10 minutes or less!
Yes, I did fabricate Alice, the fictional pro Reading Specialist. But the name Star is very real. STAR Reading is a robust, easy-to-use computer program that helps you motivate, monitor, and guide your students in critical reading practice. Now you can accurately assess any child’s reading growth in 10 minutes or less. Every student can achieve his or her maximum potential!
And yes, all of the promises I’ve made are true—including the FREE in-class trial for a full 30 days. Simply call toll-free or return the enclosed postage-paid card right away to receive your FREE CD-ROM demo of STAR Reading. What will you experience when you try this free demo?
Powerful information you need, at your fingertips instantly…
Suddenly it’s easy to place new students, match children with reading that will challenge (not frustrate) them, and identify those who need help. At the touch of a key, sixteen different reports—individual student diagnostics, end-of-term progress charts, “snapshots” of each test session, and more—help you easily map out customized success plans for each one of your students!
Teachers in over 45,000 schools are already using this software to get better results in less time! STAR Reading also helps to improve school-to-home communications, and validates your own professional assessments as a classroom reading teacher:
“Previously, it was a subjective judgment, determining a child’s reading level. Now, for many of our teachers, STAR confirms what they thought—and they are happy with that level of professionalism.”
—Fayette Clark, Instructional Technology Coordinator
Call now for your FREE CD-ROM demo:
Yes, you can bring an expert reading specialist into your classroom—absolutely FREE. Return the enclosed postage-paid card, and I will send you a demo version of STAR Reading on CD-ROM, your choice of Windows or Mac. For faster service (I will ship your demo disk today), call toll-free 1-800-338-4204 and request kit #L0529.
Renew your joy of teaching, and open new worlds to your students at the same time. Introduce your classroom to STAR Reading!
Have a great school day. Sincerely,
Judith Paul, Chairperson
Advantage Learning Systems, Inc.
P.S. Reading is not just one of the great joys of life. I believe it is the most important skill your students learn. Don’t miss this opportunity to have more time doing the teaching you love. Call toll-free 1-800-656-6740 and request CD-ROM kit #L0529 for your FREE demo of STAR Reading today—and turn your students into avid readers!
You can see more samples from my copy portfolio (even some fun bits that aren’t copy at all). Here on this blog, you can select “Content Portfolio” fromthe category listing in the sidebar on thr right. Or you can visit my professional network profile on BrightFuse Talent Community. Your choice…
If you ever have questions about a piece, want to talk copywriting “shop,” or you think I can help you with a project you need done–please get in touch. You’ll find my contact info on the “you’ve got questions” tab in the nav bar at the top of this page. Until then, I’m trying to–
Write what’s Right.