The Worst Sales Letter of the Year
A very bright guy I know in Philadelphia recently forwarded me a sales letter that may very well be the worst of 2014 ... though we still have four more months for someone to prove me wrong.
He wrote, "Thought you might want to take a look at what is spinning currently in the online marketing world. I would love to figure out what it means. Perhaps you can discern how it works. It also could be a topic for your column."
I quickly responded.
To: [A very bright guy I know in Philly]
From: Denny Hatch
A topic for my column? You betcha. I plan to run it blind—no names of senders, recipients or companies. Just the text of the letter.
This is a pants-wetter. I love it!
Do keep in touch!
I missed you in the office today when I called. I would like to set up an appointment with you as soon as possible to discuss some enterprise marketing solutions that are leading the industry.
I want to bring you up to speed on what we are doing to shorten the distance between advertising dollars spend and ROI with today's digital marketing. If you are like my other advertisers, you will like the targeted buyer-behavior-based-marketing-campaigns that are leading the industry with great quality engagement all across the web. We now have almost a year on these campaigns and I am so excited to say that we are exceeding industry averages in results on every campaign we have because of the additional proprietary data we use to target your right buyers. Guaranteed impressions to the right buyer with measurable results and emailed lead reports to you every day are standard in our full service campaigns!
Are you open to discussing how we can help you build more effective marketing strategies to efficiently target all your buyers all across the web in real time? This allows us to get you and your message in front of those buyers who are actively seeking you, your services and even those engaging with your competitors in real time but all across the internet on the sites they visit most. The campaigns are scalable and can be designed to fit any geographical target audience all the way to global.
Can we set up a brief phone call to discuss where exactly we can help you gain the most market share? I assure you, the information we share regarding these advancements will be beneficial to you regardless if we move forward or not. I would like the opportunity to share how these are driving greater ROI for all of our advertisers.
Takeaways to Consider
- "The first 10 words are more important than the next ten thousands." —Elmer Sizzle Wheeler
- Margaret's first 10 words: I missed you in the office today when I called.
- "You want to start by upsetting a bucket of gore in the reader's lap and spend the rest of the time cleaning it up." —Bob Scott
- The entire letter is generic corporate gobbledygook.
- "Specifics sell. Generalities don't." —Andrew J. Byrne
- "The hell with your grass seed, what about my lawn?" -Old Axiom
- Can we set up a brief phone call to discuss where exactly we can help you gain the most market share? This puts the ball in John's court, putting the onus on John to contact Margaret. John ain't gonna.
- If Margaret's first phone call went unrequited, John may likely be a "see" guy, not a "hear" guy.
- For example, I am a "see" guy. When someone calls me on the phone, I say, "Please send me something" and hang up.
- "The offer should be so attractive only a lunatic would say no." —Claude Hopkins
- Can we set up a brief phone call to discuss where exactly we can help you gain the most market share? This is a nothing offer.
- Sentences longer than 29 words are extremely difficult to comprehend.
- This letter contains two sentences of 42 words.
Denny Hatch's new book is "Write Everything Right!" Pat Friesen writes, "This book is guaranteed to help you fine-tune your writing skills, whatever you write. Denny's wit and craftsmanship as an experienced writer/author shine through on every page." Click here to download (opens as a PDF) and read the first three chapters FREE. The title is also available on Kindle. Reach Denny at firstname.lastname@example.org.