I often get asked about writing follow up sales letter, particularly the second and third step of the now famous 3-step letter campaign that was popularized by Dan Kennedy decades ago. It’s often a task I’m given when working with private copywriting clients. This month’s S&D example is just that.
I shared the first step of Rich Brune’s 3-step sequence in a previous newsletter. Go to www.3DMailResults.com/brune_bank_bag.pdf to download the letter to compare them side-by-side.
To review, this isn’t a letter that’s intended to be sent to thousands or even hundreds of clients at time, at least initially. We’re starting with a “Dream 50” campaign, which we discussed at length last month in this same space. Rich narrowly targeted just 50 businesses at a time.
These will be hand selected based on many different criteria, some of them include size of the business, whether they are part of a chain or franchise, and his history with the company and/or industry… He’s not buying a list and sending them out, he’s selectively pulling out the businesses that fit.
Rich will follow each of the three direct mail pieces with personal phone calls to both people in the business in an attempt to install the free lighting (see the no-risk offer section below). Each mail piece will be mailed 2 weeks apart. Once we’re able to gauge and measure the success of the campaign we’ll add more steps to the end of the initial 3-step sequence.
The anatomy of a second (or third… or fourth…) letter
“Flipping” the letter is probably the quickest and easiest way to create a follow-up mail step. Let’s take a look at the shredded money letter, the one that was in this month’s package. You’ll notice right up front I acknowledge that this is the second piece of correspondence I’ve sent and mentioned the bank bag they received “X” days ago. I also ‘name-dropped’ Jay Leno right up front as our celebrity endorsement, but we’ll get to more on Jay in a moment.
For the second step I essentially “flipped” the letter from the bank bag version. Here’s what I mean. The shredded money letter leads with the money-saving aspects and “positive cash flow” in the first month and I don’t ‘use’ Jay again until the second page.
In the bank bag letter (if you haven’t yet, download a copy at www.3DMailResults.com/brune_bank_bag.pdf, this discussion will make much more sense if you) I lead with Leno and how he uses the same lights in his 100,000 square foot garage and go into the money saving details on the second and third page.
In the follow-up piece I’ll often use “handwritten” notes (or Copy Doodles®, www.CopyDoodles.com) to highlight certain aspects. In this case I used the doodles to draw attention to both the shredded money and money savings on page 1, and also on page 3, by crossing out the “number of free installs available” and add a new number, effectively shortening the deadline.
The fourth page of each letter is where Rich will drop in 1-3 testimonials for each prospect. Each recipient will receive testimonials that are appropriate for their industry. Restaurants will get testimonials from other restaurants, retail for retail, bank for banks, etc. You’ll notice these are more than just regular one line testimonials. They are complete letters of recommendation with full name, business name and location, phone number, website and more.
You want to give the prospect the feeling that they could pick up the phone and call this person. 99.99% won’t call but listing everything makes them feel that they could. Every once in a while it will happen, I’ve personally received 3-4 calls over the years from people who have looked me up to see if my testimonial was real. And of course it was!