The full title of this book by Drayton Bird is
How to Write Sales Letters that Sell: Learn the Secrets of Successful Direct Mail
In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave it Five Stars. This means it is Excellent and Very Highly Recommended.
Here is my review.
An excellent book for people interested in copywriting
When I first became self employed, I decided I wanted to split my time between small businesses and bigger businesses who had challenging projects. My problem was how to reach the key executives in these bigger companies. LinkedIn didn’t exist back then and my answer was direct mail.
Two books provided the foundation for my outreach campaigns. The Ultimate Sales Letter by American author, Dan Kennedy and this one by British author, Drayton Bird. The Kennedy book provided a multi step process to follow, this one looked at examples of letters to explain what works and what doesn’t work.
I’d sometimes look at American copywriting and cringe. It can be too brash and loud. This book gave me the confidence to push the letters from vague to specific, from cautious to confident.
You don’t want to over-promise and under-deliver but no one will respond to marketing that says you’re timid, wary of committing yourself and unsure you can provide good value.
My advice is to get the lead first and then qualify the client and opportunity so you don’t commit to work you can’t do. Be bold but not brash. Be confident without resorting to hype.
I was reading this book 15 years ago. The examples are old and the way marketing messages are communicated has moved on. The Internet and social media has increased the power and knowledge of customers.
It doesn’t invalidate this book. Copywriting classics exist because human nature and our emotions have evolved over thousands of years. Some of the classics go back well before this one was first published.
It also doesn’t mean that sales letters are dead as an outreach marketing method. Far from it. The reduction in direct mail can give you an opportunity provided your message is highly relevant and timely.
My five star ratings are quite rare and I realise I seem to have given a high proportion to copywriting and direct marketing books. This is because getting a response from customers is the essence of marketing and many small businesses can’t afford the slow drip by drip brand building techniques used by giant companies.
This book deserves to get five stars.