The Fear Factor
The letter uses a narrative technique that involves prospects because they don't realize it's a sales pitch. It just sounds like a darned good story. And when the polished speaker Joachim admits his first speech was a disaster, prospects can identify with him. That gives them hope that they, too, can learn to speak well and easily.
As this product is offered on a free trial basis, and pay-up is critical, one of the most important things the letter does is to deal with price objections right in the narrative:
I turned to Gunther, who was waiting nervously. "I have some of the best speech writers in Germany working for me. They've taught me a lot," I told him.
He looked disappointed. "I can't afford that," he said. A top speechwriter charges at least 2,000 Deutschmarks. I don't have a budget for this."
Joachim explains that "The Best Speeches From A to Z" doesn't cost that much, and a speech just like the one Gunther needs will set him back about 26 Pfennig.
The letter closes with three postscripts. The first reiterates the free gift offer. The second tells prospects that Gunther just called to say his speech was a great success. And the third asks them to drop Joachim a note when they become master speakers because he'll enjoy hearing about their successes.
Finally, since the publisher was not using a BRE, I reminded prospects right on the reply envelope that they can get the fastest possible service by faxing their replies. If a prospect did not have a stamp and got frustrated, this offered them an immediate solution for getting their order in.
How did this creative strategy perform? Front-end performance was good, but the back-end return was spectacular. Although the response rate was marginally better than the control, the test had a higher package cost that made it comparable to the control. The three-color envelope (red, black and brown) is not common in Germany and made it a relatively expensive package to produce.