How Not to Generate Leads
* Strong offers, boldly stated, are the key to success.
If the offer is a 25 percent discount, tell me now! Don’t bury it in the brochure or sixth paragraph of the letter. Tell me if I can’t survive without it. “Billboard” the offer with Johnson boxes, bold face, underlining, highlighting and inserts. And tell me often in the letter, brochure and response form.
* Test ugly early.
Pretty packages soothe. Ugly disturbs, and disturbed people respond better than peaceful people. And there’s more good news: Ugly usually costs less—which brings down cost per response.
* Assume the reader doesn’t care.
Because they don’t care about you or your product. They want to know what’s in it for them. First, tell them what they get. Then, if that grabs them, they may sit still for your story.
* Use the great motivators.
Greed, anger, fear, guilt and exclusivity. Fear of loss and want of gain have sold more product than all other offers combined. Use the ephemeral if you want to win awards; use the visceral if you want to sell product.
* Use words that sell.
Pepper your copy with words like: understand - proven - health - easy - free- guarantee - money - safety - save - love - new- discover - right - results - truth - comfort - proud - profit -deserve - happy - trust - value - fun - vital
*Avoid response killers—words to avoid: cost - pay - contract - sign - try - worry - loss - lose - hurt - death - buy - bad - sell - sold - price - decision - hard - difficult - obligation - liable - fail
A Note on the Illustrations
Below are illustrations from the Lincoln mailer. My scanner is too small to take in the massive size of the pieces from this murky, moody, muddy mailing effort. The letter and $500 certificate are two halves of the same cardboard sheet. The envelope design that depicts an interstate highway with a clover-leaf exit is repeated on the back of the envelope. The brochure cover is half the full cover, and when opened to the full 30˝ front and back, it shows a diorama of a city skyline taken from an interstate with no vehicles on it. The page with the car seats and reversed-out sans serif mouse-type is one-fourth the full two-page spread.