Spin a Yarn
It was one of our most successful mailing pieces ever. The downside was Marshalls sold out on day three of the event. The upside is once you get a customer in the store, they often buy other things they see there.
True Stories Make You Real
Many of 3M’s products came to life by chance, and customers find that sort of thing interesting. The now-ubiquitous Post-it Note was developed by Art Fry, a 3M scientist who wanted a way to mark his hymn book in church without tearing or dog-earing the pages. He used a low-tack glue 3M had discovered earlier on small pieces of colored paper. Now we all have these handy notes at work and home.
Spin a Yarn in Your Letter
It’s so much more engaging than getting into some product offer or corporate puffery first.
We’ve all seen the most successful direct mail letter ever written. Martin Conroy wrote it in 1974 for the Wall Street Journal. It is said to have generated almost a billion dollars in business, and the Wall Street Journal still uses it.
The letter tells the story of two men who are very much alike. Both graduated from the same university and had great ambitions. They return for their 25th reunion. They’re both still very much alike, married, with children. But there’s a difference. One man is the manager of a department at a company, the other is the president. The difference, of course, is the president had knowledge he could use from The Wall Street Journal.
It’s a great letter, artfully crafted with a story.
Sometimes a Customer Can Tell Your Story Better!
We used this trick a few years back for a car insurance client. Everyone sold auto insurance the same way, on rates. We asked the client for any unsolicited testimonial letters and, sure enough, it had plenty of them. One was perfect. The customer had just moved to a new city and immediately got into a fender bender. Our client’s rep got to her right away, took care of everything, and helped her get a check within weeks. It was a great story, and we made it the lead letter. The usual letter from the vice president became the lift note. It beat the control by 35 percent.