Finding and Following Leads 1

letter, printed, inclosures, matter, sales, letters and reader

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9. a letter, accompanied by printed matter, is sent to one person or is sent out as a "form" to many persons, it is to the letter itself that the most importance attaches. Those houses that get the best results from sales letters recognize this fact and compose the letter accordingly. Only such printed matter is inclosed as is necessary to sup plement the letter.

Unfortunately, form letters are looked upon with disfavor by nearly all buyers, including consumers. This antagonistic feeling, however, is gradually be coming less intense because the practice of thoro classi fication of mailing lists is becoming more universal. In other words, fewer attempts are being made to make the form letter seem to be written to an indi vidual, and fewer of these form letters are going to people outside the class which they are intended to reach.

Now and then a retail mail-order concern can stuff a letter with a lot of miscellaneous special offers that are set forth on separate leaflets. When this method is found to pay, it should, of course, be used. But, as a rule, inclosures which do not have a direct bear ing on the subject matter of the letter that they ac company, serve only to distract attention from the main issue. The main question concerning inclosures, then, is, "How few (rather than how many) is it pos sible to use?" 10. What inclosures are success of a letter often depends upon the decision that is made as to what printed matter constitutes a neces sary supplement to the letter itself. This supple mentary printed matter is especially important when it is of such a nature that it influences the reader to act. The order blank serves this purpose ; so does the printed sheet of information that gives the reader facts on which to base his decision in regard to the offer. When a favorable decision would involve se lecting one of several products, the letter is often de signed to help the reader make this selection. In such a case it is good salesmanship to include printed matter relating to all the products.

11. Arrangement of inclosures.—When several in closures are used, they often may be so folded and arranged that the letter will be read first, and then the inclosures in the order in which the writer pre fers to have them read. It is often advantageous to have the inclosures the same size as the letter paper.

One of the characteristics of the successful sales correspondent is carefulness in the handling of de tails. For example, the successful writer will clip

inclosures to the back of the letter, and not stuff them in without regard to arrangement. His letter usually creates interest in these inclosures, but the letter is complete in itself, so that his addressee reads it thru before he gives his attention to the supplementary printed matter. It is clear that such a letter must arouse the reader's interest at the very beginning, and hold it to the very end; consequently, it must often include the salient points which are again presented in greater detail in the supplementary printed mat ter.

12. Meeting a difficult situation,.—The following letter shows how a successful real estate man over came some very common "resistances." The "litera ture" inclosed with this letter consisted of another letter which cited the experience of investors in real estate at Gary, Indiana, when the Steel Corporation began to develop that city as a town site. The in closure also called attention to a new town site that was being laid out by the same corporation, and stated that detailed information about the building lots which were for sale would be sent if the reader would indicate interest by returning the mailing card. There was also inclosed a large sheet (size 21 x 28 inches) of pictures of the work then being done by the Steel Corporation by way of preparing this town site for habitation. Interesting captions explained these pictures. This mailing was a success, largely because of the preliminary letter with the words, "Read This First," boldly penned at the top of it. This letter follows: 13. Mail and personal sales cooperation.—Finding and following leads by means of letters that are a result of the correspondence department's coopera tion with the personal salesmen, is a practice which has long been widespread, but which, nevertheless, is just beginning to be given the amount of attention that the results warrant. Sales managers and sales men in many lines of business are coming to realize that the efforts which immediately effect a sale would many times be unsuccessful were it not for various other selling forces more or less distantly related, in both time and place, to the sale. Nearly all sales are the result of a combination of selling prices.

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