What do you think of this sales letter?

8 replies
OK, so last week I presented a couple examples of copywriting here, that I thought were pretty good.

Some of us here liked the copy... some of us didn't...

But hey, that's one thing a discussion forum is about.

While we may have different opinions, and we may not always agree... At least we can exchange ideas, and talk about something we're all (hopefully) passionate about.


So, I brought another one here for your enjoyment... entertainment... critique... and exuberation (I don't know if that last one's even a word? But if it's not, it should be... cause it's kinda fun to say)


Anyway, this next piece came in my mail a couple years ago. I saved it because I thought it was such a curious piece of writing.

It's from a car dealership, a couple towns over from where I live.

I remember trying to contact them, to find out what the response rate was for this piece? But all they told me was, "direct mail doesn't work," and they were taking their marketing efforts in a different direction.

So I assume it didn't bring in a ton of business for them.


Anyway, here it is...




Now, I have my own opinion of this (oh... let's call it a sales letter?), but what do you guys think of it?


What's your overall impression of the piece?

Is this something you would respond to?


All comments are welcome (but good comments are preferred )

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#bad #copy #copywriting #direct #good #mail
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  • Profile picture of the author TrickyDick
    Without rewriting it completely for you, here's what I'd suggest...

    #1 Clean up the wording. Make it clear and easy to read. Read it aloud afterward to see if you've accomplished your goal.

    #2 Do more showing and less telling. Also, write more about the end result instead of what you do.

    #3 Limit your paragraphs to two or three short sentences. This will make it more inviting to read.
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    • Profile picture of the author SARubin
      Originally Posted by TrickyDick View Post

      Without rewriting it completely for you, here's what I'd suggest...

      #1 Clean up the wording. Make it clear and easy to read. Read it aloud afterward to see if you've accomplished your goal.

      #2 Do more showing and less telling. Also, write more about the end result instead of what you do.

      #3 Limit your paragraphs to two or three short sentences. This will make it more inviting to read.
      Hey TrickyDick,

      Thanks for the comment.

      Based on your reply, it almost sounds like you think I wrote this piece? (I hope you don't think that "I" wrote this piece)

      It was something I got in the mail 3 or 4 years ago.


      Personally, when I first read it, my first impression was...

      This can only be considered an act of environmental terrorism.
      I mean, what kind of sadist would slaughter off an innocent, defenseless, tree; just to turn it into this load of claptrap?


      (Of course, that was just my own humble take on it )


      When I contacted the dealership, to inquire what they got for a response rate; all they told me was direct mail doesn't really work for their business.

      And based on this letter, I can see where they might have gotten that impression from.


      Honestly, I'm not sure your 3 simple suggestions would be enough to make this piece a winner. There's really only a couple compelling sentences that I can see in the entire piece

      All the best,
      SAR



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      • Profile picture of the author TrickyDick
        Originally Posted by SARubin View Post

        Hey TrickyDick,

        Thanks for the comment.

        Based on your reply, it almost sounds like you think I wrote this piece? (I hope you don't think that "I" wrote this piece)

        It was something I got in the mail 3 or 4 years ago.


        Personally, when I first read it, my first impression was...

        This can only be considered an act of environmental terrorism.
        I mean, what kind of sadist would slaughter off an innocent, defenseless, tree; just to turn it into this load of claptrap?


        (Of course, that was just my own humble take on it )


        When I contacted the dealership, to inquire what they got for a response rate; all they told me was direct mail doesn't really work for their business.

        And based on this letter, I can see where they might have gotten that impression from.


        Honestly, I'm not sure your 3 simple suggestions would be enough to make this piece a winner. There's really only a couple compelling sentences that I can see in the entire piece

        All the best,
        SAR



        .
        My suggestions were a "starting point."

        It is not the lack of "compelling sentences."

        Instead, it needs to be put in the "circular file" and new copy written... :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author colmodwyer
    CONFUSING and BORING.

    "...thinking your office your home." Huh?

    "...I'd like to invite you to have a commercial relationship." Compelling!

    "...while she's here..." Who's SHE?

    Etc.

    And no call to action.

    Cheers,
    Colm
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    • Profile picture of the author SARubin
      Originally Posted by colmodwyer View Post

      CONFUSING and BORING.
      Yeah, I had to read it a couple times before I fully grasped what the offer was.

      And I'm still not sure what the benefit would be, to me, of giving up my regular mechanic?

      Originally Posted by colmodwyer View Post

      "...while she's here..." Who's SHE?
      I guess It's my car? (but it might mean my wife, or my daughter?)

      Originally Posted by colmodwyer View Post

      And no call to action.
      Exactly!

      I did black out the guys contact info, before posting it on this forum (just for his privacy) but there's zero call to action... anywhere in the piece.



      And to top it off... the last part emphasizes how "impressive" it is that they have the Motor Trend truck of the year, (and a new Jeep)

      This brings up 2 questions...

      1 - Impressive to whom? (certainly not to me)

      2 - What exactly does that have to do with me bringing my car in for maintenance? (which I'm assuming was the original intent of the letter?)


      In my experience, the beginning and end of a message, often have the most potential to create impact
      The end of this letter shows a terrible use of one of the "primary" impact zones.


      All the best,
      SAR
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  • Profile picture of the author colmodwyer
    Yeah, I noticed the same thing... they essentially switch their pitch by the end of the message.

    I think the idea is great, just poorly executed.

    You probably didn't know you could take your Yugo in to get serviced at a Chrysler dealer. So that's surprising/interesting.

    If they just made a clear and phenomenal offer in this letter (free XX-point service and oil change), then blew your socks off actually servicing your Hugo, they could've made a customer for life, and sold you a Sebring when it was time for you to "upgrade."

    But instead, they're going to think "direct mail doesn't work!" until the end of days.

    I wonder about their market targeting too. If the level of copy is any indication, they might've sent this to poor prospects. Looks like they're targeting non-Chrysler owners, which makes sense for the offer, but what else!?

    Cheers,
    Colm
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
    What's your overall impression of the piece?
    Horrible. Virtually every sentence violates the basic rules of direct response copywriting.

    Is this something you would respond to?
    Only under one condition... if it was printed on a roll of toilet paper using non-toxic ink.

    Alex
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    • Profile picture of the author SARubin
      Originally Posted by Alex Cohen View Post

      Horrible. Virtually every sentence violates the basic rules of direct response copywriting.
      Yes. In a couple places, it looks like the author "thought" he was weaving in some words of sincerity?

      But the whole piece reads like he was clearly only thinking of his own interest.


      Originally Posted by Alex Cohen View Post

      Only under one condition... if it was printed on a roll of toilet paper using non-toxic ink.
      At least that would have gotten some response? (maybe not the one he was hoping for )
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