Recently a client expressed his concern that his prospects would not read a long sales pitch. “I don’t know… I just don’t think they’d read a 10-page letter,” he said.
This isn’t a new concern. Clients the world over believe their customers are different. Their customers would never read a 10-page letter, much less a 20-page letter. How do they know this? Actually, they don’t. It’s an assumption. And assumptions are rarely effective for making important business decisions.
Here’s something you should write down: Readers are buyers. If you are willing to read in-depth about a particular subject, then you are in “buying mode.”
Think of the woman who has just gotten pregnant for the first time. From the moment she sees the “positive” indicator on the pregnancy test, she becomes a voracious reader of books, magazines, blogs—basically any and all information that will help her prepare for the pregnancy, the labor, and ultimately becoming a new mom. You could not limit this woman to just 10 pages of information. Because she will read hundreds.
The same thing happens to all people at different times in their lives. Some guys get turned on by cars and trucks and will read all kinds of magazine articles, reviews, and forum discussions. Do you think they stop at 10 pages?
Reflect on your own life and I bet you’ll be able to identify some interest that you just can’t get enough of. Maybe it’s golf. Maybe it’s business. Maybe it’s wine. Heck, it could be anything.
And I’m also willing to bet you’re not limited to just one interest. You probably have two or three serious interests that are constantly competing for your attention.
So what does it all mean? Simply this:
If I can put a compelling letter in your hands that talks all about one of your major interests, chances are you’ll read it. Doesn’t matter whether it’s five pages or 10 pages or 20-plus. So long as what I’ve written is interesting and doesn’t bore you, you will read just about anything I put in front of you.
This is not to say that writing sales copy is easy. It’s not. It often requires days or weeks of researching, brainstorming, writing, and editing to craft a sales pitch that prospects will actually read. But once you hit on a winning idea and scratch out a sizzling sales pitch, you can just about write your own ticket because your prospects will start biting like fish who’ve been on a diet.
Let’s go back to my client’s original concern about his customers not reading a long letter. As I mentioned, this is a common objection among business owners who aren’t hip to direct response advertising. And it reveals misplaced focus. Let me explain:
Let’s say you mail a letter to 100 people. Will all of them read it? Of course, not. Some will, some won’t.
For some prospects, it may not be the right timing. Maybe they just got back from vacation and they’re doing a rapid purge of their mail. Or maybe they’re interested, but they’ve had a recent emergency that’s drained their bank account. You just never know what’s going on in people’s lives the day your pitch lands in their mailbox.
For other people, they may not be the right prospects. Maybe they were once part of your target market, but they’ve since gone “dormant” or moved on to something else.
But for some of those 100 people on your list, everything lines up. They’re the right target market at the right time. And the offer you’re making is the right offer.
The right offer… to the right person… at the right time… Ka-ching! You just made a sale.
You see, 90% of the 100 could completely ignore your letter and throw it away unopened and you’d still make money. Because if just 10 people read your letter and only two or three place an order, you might have a big winner on your hands.
So don’t focus on the prospects who won’t read your letter. Focus on the people who will.
Readers are buyers.
This article was originally published by Ryan Healy
Published: January 10, 2014