The Christmas Sales Letter that Got a Whopping 35% Response
This sales letter was sent to all customers and prospects last year. I sent the message in the first week of December, when most people are actually starting to think about the holiday season.
I tried running an A/B/C/D split testing several different subject lines. The subject line "What do you want for Christmas?" was the clear winner, out pulling all others by a margin of 3 to 1
In various spots in the letter, you will notice numbers in between % signs. The %1% is how Arial's Email Merge Software, (which comes free with Planet Ocean's Email Marketing Course), knows where to customize the email. %1% means insert first and last name here, and %2% is first name only. Of course the % signs disappear, leaving only the name of the person showing.
I encourage you to study this sales letter, emulate it, and send something like it to your customers, prospects and everyone on your opt-in lists. If you follow this sample, I know you'll make some decent money from your email direct marketing this year.
Sent: December 5, 1999 3:04 PM
To: Michael Campbell
Subject: What do you want for Christmas?
This is a message for %1%
Hope this finds you well.
I personally want to thank you for shopping at cellwest.com this past year. Thanks to people like you, cellwest.com has become a growing online shopping destination.
%2%, please accept our gift to you in the following savings off our already low warehouse prices from now until December 22nd 1998. Just mention special offer ID# TCL200.
*** 10 percent off any lithium battery - longer talk time, lighter weight, no memory effect, never needs discharging.
*** 10 percent off any personal hands hands free kit - talk while driving, biking, rowing, taking notes, leaving both hands free.
*** 20 percent off all leather cases - protect your phone from bumps and scratches, cushion against drops, clip it to your belt or bag.
*** 30 percent off plug in car chargers - rapid charge your phone battery while driving and talk at the same time, you can arrive fully juiced!
Plus you'll get:
*** our 30 day no hassle "love it or send it back" guarantee
*** our full 1 year warranty against defects in workmanship
*** the option of FREE shipping within North America
*** no sales tax on purchases for US residents
Call the toll free order line 1-888-462-2599 and get what you want at the savings you need. Thanks again %2% for being our customer. Best wishes for you and your family in the coming year!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The Everything Wireless Online Superstore
Business hours are from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm,
Monday through Friday, PST.
Our web site address is http://www.cell-west.com
International orders call (001) 604 647-0308
Toll Free Ordering 1-888-462-2599
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
P.S. Because the mail moves a little slower at this time of year, and you want to be confident about the gifts you're giving, we're extending our 30 day money back guarantee an additional 30 days. You get a full 60 day no hassle "love it or send it back" money back guarantee.
P.P.S. Remember to mention special offer ID# TCL200 when ordering, but hurry, these discounts are in effect only until December 22nd.
Let's take a look at what makes this sales letter so effective.
Right off the bat this letter is personalized, which means it is not likely to be misinterpreted as spam. After stating the person's name, I reestablish the existing relationship that the customer has with me. Once the relationship has been established I thank them for their relationship. This is little something that I learned from the Planet Ocean Email Marketing Course.
Other helpful hints I picked up from the course include formatting the sales letter with hard carriage returns or line breaks. This means that the letter wouldn't arrive with strange line breaks. I also seeded the mailing list. I put several of my own email addresses throughout the list. The most important is that my email address appeared first and last on the list, so I could ensure all messages were sent successfully.
Now let's move on to the actual selling portion of the letter. The great sales copy writer Marlon Sanders, will tell you that 50 percent of any sales letter should be bullets. *** bullets, *** bullets, *** bullets. Note that the entire middle of the sales letter is all bullet related. Even though the guarantee and warranty are regular items, you probably want to bullet them as well, to make it seem like the offer has more weight to it, than just savings.
Another Marlon Sanders trick, is to immediately follow a feature with a benefit. Note that the percentage they would save on any particular item, was followed by an immediate benefit. We can find the benefit of any feature by asking the question, "What's so great about that?" or "Which means what?"
For example, the feature item is 30 percent off plug in car chargers. Then we need to ask "What's so great about that?" The answer is "rapid charge your phone battery while driving and talking at the same time, you can arrive fully juiced." Just remember to follow Marlon's formula of "Feature + what's so great about that = benefit."
Then encourage your customers to call the toll-free 800 number again, thank them again and wish them well. Be sure to state the store hours, the web site address and toll-free order lines. Make it easy to do business with you. Make it seem they are only a phone call away from immediate savings.
Now we move to the P.S., or the deal clincher. I wanted to remove all doubt, all risk, from my offer (risk reversal is something I learned from Marlon and Planet Ocean). By doubling the money back guarantee to 60 days, I insured that any product given as a gift would have ample time to be returned if it was not suitable.
The P.P.S., reminds them to state the tracking number of the offer so we can enter it into the database, and track the effectiveness of the sales letter. It also serves to imply a sense of urgency, that the offer is time limited, and to remind the customer to act now.
If you would like to learn more about how to create effective sales letters like the one you just read, then I highly recommend Marlon Sanders Amazing Formula. If you follow Marlon's method of sales letter writing, not only will you get a response, but the chances are the response will be much higher than your wildest expectations. I never would have dreamed of getting a 35% response from a sales letter.
And, if you STILL do not have email personalization software and are not yet taking advantage of email direct marketing, I urge you to get the Planet Ocean Email Marketing Course. It will teach you how to build up your opt-in email list quickly. It will help you stay out of trouble with your dial up service provider, when sending out thousands of email. It comes with very sound marketing advice and hundreds of tips on successful email marketing. It also includes Arial Email Merge software, that allows you to send a personalized e-mail messages and sales letters to as many people as you want.
I know, a lot of you a wondering if it's worth it? Yes, for under $200 you can get both Marlon's Sanders Amazing Formula and the Planet Ocean Email Marketing Course. Take CellWest as an example, which at the time had 2000 customers on their list. Thanks to the effective sales letter you just read, they received a 35% response. That's 700 people that just happened to spend an average of $45 each. That's over $31,000 return on investment. All I had to do was spend $200, get the two courses, and take three days of my time to learn the new material.
Isn't $31,000 worth $200 and three days of your time? No? How about $120,000. What would you do for $120,000?
Over the next year, I emailed the list (which was growing all the time), with a spring savings, a summer holiday special, and a back to work & school special. That's over $120,000 from a paltry $200 and three days of my time. The point is, the knowledge you learn from the courses keeps giving back to you all year long.
This is all part of understanding the lifetime value of a customer. The power direct email marketing and the revenue generating capability of a good sales letter. I hope by sharing what has worked for me in the past, will help you make your business more successful and profitable in the future. And please do keep me posted. I get juiced by all those success stories from people like you, people that have benefited from what I have shared, and shown the courage to put their plan into action.
Until next time,
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Marlon Sanders Amazing Copy Writing Formula
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