Why Letters Make Good 1

plan, letter, separator, offer, special, write, plans and buy

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A letter might violate all the technical rules Of the game and yet succeed on account of its timeliness. To send the letter where and when the service it offers is most welcome, is the foundation of the thought that causes letters to make good. In a summary of the more fundamental characteristics of successful sell ing letters, this kind of thought occupies a prominent place.

The successful selling letter is not the result of the ability to write with original word twists that com mand admiration rather than profits, but rather of creative planning in the light of all the facts in the case, a knowledge of the sales significance of the facts, and the ability to build a sin4re message of genuine service based on these facts. In other words, it takes hard work to plan really successful letters; that is the main reason why they are scarce. Unless the writer possesses enough intelligence and experience to be able to plan his own letters, it is not likely that he will be able to write one that is planned by somebody else, for there is a vital connection between the thoUght behind the letter and the thought in it.

7. Special a selling letter the spe cial inducements that. are offered are often important causes of success—such as the premium offer in the letter (page 231) which sells paint "from paint maker to farmer." These inducements serve as a sub stitute for the personal salesman's advantage in bring ing to bear upon the buyer a strong personal influence that gets immediate action. Many letters persuade, a reader that he ought to buy, but still he may not buy simply because he lays the letter aside and lets other matters crowd it out of his mind. If the plan includes the offer of a premium on immediate response, this difficulty is often solved.

The principal necessity, however, is to induce desire for what is offered by talking up its use. The ideal letter is the one that gets the order without asking for it directly. As a rule, a special inducement is effec tive—after desire for what is offered has been aroused. Even an attractive offer of discount, or a time limit on a special offer, or any one of the many other schemes to get immediate response, will seldom suc ceed alone. Just because a writer has developed a good plan whereby to get response, he is not entitled to feel that his task of whetting desire may be neg lected. Also, it is well to make it plain to the reader that any special inducement has a reason for its exist ence other than simply to get him to respond.

8. Example of a good manufacturer of farm machinery got good returns on a very long let ter, the first five pages of which were devoted to arous ing the farmer's desire for a cream-separator. Re

sponse was secured by means of several selling plans that were presented in the last part of the letter. The final three pages are a good illustration of what is meant by special inducements. They read as fol lows : Now, next, I want to talk to you about my plan of sell ing. Turn right over to page 42 in the catalog and read these plans over.

I don't know how' to get out any more liberal plans than these. I've a great deal of faith in American farmers, and I am not afraid to offer them any kind of plan they want. That is why I offer these three different plans. Just pick out the one you want.

Of course, the cash plan, No. 1, is the cheapest and best because we make a lower price, and you have just as good protection on this plan as on any of them. Nine out of every ten orders we get are on this plan because we have put up a bond of $25,000 with the National Bank of this city, so that in case you buy for cash and are not pleased, thru this bond you can get your money at the end of the approved test.

We also have a bank deposit plan and a note-settlement plan, as explained on page 42. Pick out whichever one you want.

On the note-settlement plan, you will notice, we have charged a little more for the separator. We have to do this on account of making allowance for bad accounts, collections, and so on, so that really if you want to buy on the note settlement plan you will find it is cheaper to go right to your banker and borrow the money, pay cash and get a low price, and you are not helping to pay for somebody else's bad debts.

Now then, my proposition is this: In order to get these separators started in your locality, I will agree that, if you sit down and carefully select from your neighborhood names of from fifteen to twenty-five good farmers that you think might be interested in buying a cream separator, and send these names in to me with your order for a separator, I will do this: I will write each of them a personal letter, telling them all about my separator, and that they can see it at work over at your place. I, of course, will not write to them until after you have tried the separator for yourself and are tho roly satisfied it is the separator for you, so that if any of them should call you up, or call and see you, you can con scientiously tell them your honest opinion about the machine.

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