You Need a Lift!
A lift letter can add a substantial boost to a direct mail package, and this tactic should not be disdained or overlooked when you’re trying to sell something by mail. In fact, that’s why it’s known as a “lift letter” in the copywriting business. (You may also see it referred to as a “publisher’s letter” or a “second letter.”) Bob Stone, one of the direct response industry’s pioneers, and a copywriter who has been collecting response data for decades, has stated that “such a letter boosts response 10 percent or more.” Wouldn’t it be silly to walk away from a fact like that without at least doing some testing?
Here are some proven tips and techniques you can put to use to make lift notes work for you:
1. Keep it small. You don’t want your lift letter to fight with other parts of the package, so stick with modest dimensions. The familiar 5” x 7” or 7” x 7” folded once works well. Or try a 8” x 5-1/2” folded into thirds.
2. Fold your lift letter. Why? Because a headline on the cover by itself builds interest. And because the act of opening the letter creates a subtle form of involvement with your mailing.
3. Stick to one point. Because you’re dealing with a small space, don’t try to write another “War and Peace.” Say one thing, but say it well and forcefully. Maybe you should hammer away at your guarantee. Or tell a “time is running out” story. Whatever you do, be sure to keep it simple.
4. Keep it personal. A lift letter is a real one-on-one communication, a final word from one human being to another. So keep it personal and human. That may mean using handwriting on the cover or “lightening up” the tone of the copy. A lift letter is not the place to overwhelm the reader. It’s the place to entice, cajole, entreat and sometimes even do a little creative begging!