How is this direct mail sales letter?

32 replies
Thank you for any help or advice. I am new to the forum and am in the service industry. I provide backflow services to commercial properties in Atlanta, Georgia. A little about the customer I am targeting; this letter is mailed out to customers that I have obtained by the county governments website. I verify their address and that they are in fact still there (a little time consuming but ok). I correspond my letter with the counties mailing to the customer that informs them their backflow test is due for the year. I do monthly mailings, I am currently seeing about a 4% conversion rate and about 15% return to sender rate (not sure if I can fix this without more time invested into research). I have done three mailings with 200 letters sent each time. So that is some background info on the service and customer. Let me know what you think and I appreciate any feedback.

Thanks,

Andrew





URGENT - DATED MATERIAL

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
XXXX CROOKED CREEK RD NW
NORCROSS, GA 30092

August 15, 2013

The Gwinnett County ordinance states that; "Backflow Assembly Devices shall be tested upon time of installation, repair or relocation. Regular inspections and testing of backflow prevention device shall be conducted at least once a year by a licensed tester."

County records show that your Backflow Prevention Test Report is due in August for the property at Crooked Creek Road. You have 2 devices registered with the county at that location that are due. There is also one device due at the property on Beaver Ruin Road in August.

We test & repair all types of backflow devices including fire lines. We turn in all paperwork to Gwinnett County! We are fully licensed and insured to protect you our customer!

To avoid the delays of last minute scheduling please contact us with the best date for you and we will schedule your test. All you need to do is call us at XXX-XXX-XXXX or simply fax this letter back signed and dated with your phone number to X-XXX-XXX-XXXX and we will promptly schedule your test. You can also contact me by e-mail at XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX.

When you call, we will need a name, phone number and billing information. After reviewing county records we can estimate your cost to be a total of $125.00. This includes the test and any immediate repairs should the device fail. We can bill you if you like or you can use your VISA, MASTERCARD, AMERICAN EXPRESS or DISCOVERCARD after completion.

For your convenience, we will automatically schedule your test every year after this first test for the same price, saving you money and the need to search for a new tester every year. We have been serving customers in the Atlanta area for over 5 years and we hope to serve you for a long time to come. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,
Andrew Lanier

Andrew Lanier
Licensed Backflow Tester
01 Georgia Backflow Testing
Cell Phone: XXX-XXX-XXXX
Fax: X-XXX-XXX-XXXX
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
#critique #direct #letter #mail #sales
  • Profile picture of the author AnabelleFlorida
    Hi. It's getting late here and I'm getting tired, but I wrote some ideas down for you, hope they are useful in some way. I would have to work on it some more to get it just right (please contact me if you wish) but I think it's an improvement. I wanted to see more white space, more passion, and a few less words.

    Goodnight.

    _________________________


    URGENT: Your Backflow Prevention Test Report Is Due!

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
    XXXX CROOKED CREEK RD NW
    NORCROSS, GA 30092

    August 15, 2013

    Dear (Home Owner),

    The Gwinnett County ordinance states that ...

    "Regular inspections and testing of backflow prevention device
    shall be conducted at least once a year by a licensed tester."

    County records show that your Backflow Prevention Test Report is due in August for the property at Crooked Creek Road. You have 2 devices registered with the county at that location that are due. There is also one device due at the property on Beaver Ruin Road.

    * We Are Here To Help test & repair all types of backflow devices including fire lines.
    * We make it easy for you by turning in all paperwork to Gwinnett County!
    * We are fully licensed and insured to protect you, our customer!

    To avoid the headache of last minute delays please contact us in order to schedule your test at your earliest convenience.

    Call us at XXX-XXX-XXXX!

    Or simply fax this letter back signed and dated with your phone number to X-XXX-XXX-XXXX and we will promptly schedule your test.

    You can also contact me directly by e-mail at XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX.

    For convenience and ease of service, we will need name, phone number and billing information when you call.

    After reviewing county records, we estimate your cost to be a total of $125.00. This includes the test, and any immediate repairs should the device fail.

    To save you money and the inconvenience of searching for a new tester every year, should you choose to, we will automatically schedule your yearly test for the same price!

    We have been serving customers in the Atlanta area for over 5 years and we hope to serve you for a long time to come.

    Call us today! We look forward to hearing from you!

    Sincerely,
    Andrew Lanier

    Andrew Lanier
    Licensed Backflow Tester
    01 Georgia Backflow Testing
    Cell Phone: XXX-XXX-XXXX
    Signature
    “It doesn’t matter who you are, or where you came from. The ability to triumph begins with you. Always.” ~Oprah Winfrey

    “The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” ~Ayn Rand
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason_V
    I also think what's lacking is why it is important that their backflow assembly devices are tested. I realize it's a county ordinance, but what are the consequences if they don't have it inspected? Is there a fine? If so, how much?

    People are prone to loss aversion.Loss aversion refers to people's tendency to strongly prefer avoiding losses to acquiring gains. (Loss aversion - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

    The majority of people can't stand bureaucrats in local, state, and Federal government. So, by telling them they are gaining the good graces of the local ordinance they could probably give a flying hoot about.

    However, if you explain to them the potential loss in the form of a fine that will go to those same idiotic bureaucrats, you'll probably grab their attention more.

    In fact, you could work that into the copy. After you talk about the fine you can even say something like: Who would you rather give your hard earned money to: A hard working business owner like myself, or those idiot bureaucrats that made the ordinance?

    If you feel the word "idiot" is too strong above you can just say bureaucrats.

    This helps you by positioning yourself as someone who is throwing stones at the common enemy.

    You have to look at it from your prospect's perspective. Most people hate being forced to do something by government. Most people will put something like this off for as long as possible. Most people are probably afraid that something may be found wrong and it will cost them a lot more money than just the inspection fee.

    In my state car inspections are mandatory. Good luck getting your car checked out/fixed by a mechanic at the end of every month, because people put their inspections off until the last possible minute and the mechanics get booked up. I hate it too because there's usually ALWAYS something I have to pay for to be fixed on my car before it will pass inspection.

    One year my inspection ran out, and I honestly didn't know it. I got pulled over by a state trooper and wound up paying over $100 in fines. Do you think I'm more aware of my inspections now? Heck yes!
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    "When you do something exactly wrong, you always turn up something."
    -Andy Warhol
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  • Profile picture of the author AnabelleFlorida
    Two great points above ...

    1) So what happens if they DON'T test the backflow?

    Avoid complications! Reduced pressure in the pipe may allow contaminated water from the ground, from storage or from other sources to be drawn up into your system.

    I looked it up


    2) Reduce the amount of call to actions. True, keep it simple and direct. I'd say leave the phone number and your personal email (that's a nice touch) but get rid of everything else, and what they'll need when they call, the fax, etc.
    Signature
    “It doesn’t matter who you are, or where you came from. The ability to triumph begins with you. Always.” ~Oprah Winfrey

    “The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” ~Ayn Rand
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    • Profile picture of the author andylan
      I appreciate all of yalls input! To answer your question, what will happen if they don't comply?

      They have thirty days from the time the county sends the 1st notification. If they dont comply they get another notice stating that their water will be shut off by X date if they don't complete it by them. This 2nd notice is not sent exactly 30 days later. There are no fines typically.

      Tell me if my thinking is not on target with this. As to why I don't really want to "bad mouth" the county, they get my letter sometimes. I am decent friends with one of the workers there and he has had customers send my letters in asking if I was the county. Another reason is because about 85% of the people I talk to know exactly what I am talking about. Those people normally have someone who they have used for years and aren't willing to change over $20 or $30. The other 15% is probably who I should be targeting 100% of the time. Those people may respond better to explanation of the potential loss.

      One thing I have thought about is leading with the "According to county records...." line instead of the "The county ordinance...". Thoughts...?

      Anabelle, I like some of the wording you changed, thanks!

      I will work on it tonight and post a new one.

      Thanks Everyone!

      -Andrew

      P.S. Bob, I have looked into direct mail services before and honestly I have enough time on my hands right now to send out 200 letters a month on my own and I don't know how people would look at a hand written note for this industry. Any insight or reasons why they would are appreciated.
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      • Profile picture of the author andylan
        Edited:

        URGENT - DATED MATERIAL

        XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
        XXXX CROOKED CREEK RD NW
        NORCROSS, GA 30092
        August 15, 2013

        County records show that your Backflow Prevention Test Report is due in August for the property at Crooked Creek Road. You have 2 devices registered with the county at that location that are due.

        Gwinnett County ordinance states that; "Regular inspections and testing of backflow prevention device shall be conducted at least once a year by a licensed tester." This is to reduce and eliminate contaminants in the potable water supply and is required by Georgia law.

        We test & repair all types of backflow devices including fire lines. We turn in all paperwork to Gwinnett County! We are fully licensed and insured to protect you our customer!

        To avoid the headache of a last minute delay, and possible service interruption schedule your test now. Call us at XXX-XXX-XXXX or simply fax this letter back signed and dated with your phone number to X-XXX-XXX-XXXX and we will promptly schedule your test for this week. Contact me by email at XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX.

        After reviewing county records we can estimate your cost to be a total of $125.00. This includes the test and any immediate repairs should the device fail.

        To save you money and the inconvenience of searching for a new tester every year we will automatically schedule your annual test at the same price next year.

        We have been serving customers in the Atlanta area for over 5 years and we hope to serve you for a long time to come. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

        Sincerely,

        Andrew Lanier
        Licensed Backflow Tester
        01 Georgia Backflow Testing
        Cell Phone: XXX-XXX-XXXX
        Fax: X-XXX-XXX-XXXX
        XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

        Tell me if it improved or not and how it flowed and any other advice or insight. Much appreciated.

        Thanks for the help!

        -Andrew
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        • Profile picture of the author Mr. Subtle
          Originally Posted by andylan View Post

          Tell me if it improved or not and how it flowed and any other advice or insight.
          Your letter sounds official which is fine.

          Insert the letter into a no. 10 24# kraft window envelope. To make it look even more official use metered postage instead of a stamp. Perhaps even buy a rubber stamp and stamp the envelope "First Notice" (or "Final Notice" in red).

          IRS sends out official letters in ALL CAPS. Worth testing against U/LC.

          The envelope will get opened. The letter will be read. It will piss off a few because it looks "official," but these types of letters have always been effective in the past.

          I'd even test printing the letter on pink paper instead of white.
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          • Profile picture of the author AnabelleFlorida
            Originally Posted by Mr. Subtle View Post

            Your letter sounds official which is fine.

            Insert the letter into a no. 10 24# kraft window envelope. To make it look even more official use metered postage instead of a stamp. Perhaps even buy a rubber stamp and stamp the envelope "First Notice" (or "Final Notice" in red).

            IRS sends out official letters in ALL CAPS. Worth testing against U/LC.

            The envelope will get opened. The letter will be read. It will piss off a few because it looks "official," but these types of letters have always been effective in the past.

            I'd even test printing the letter on pink paper instead of white.
            Ugh ...

            Sounds like a letter I would NOT want to read. Probably hand it to someone else to open it for me .. and once they told me I had nothing to worry about, it would end up in the trash without me having to touch it.

            Even if I did open the letter myself, I don't think it would convince me to call him up.

            The feelings are all wrong as I'm opening the letter ... and as I start to read it ... the "official" and "cold" aspect of it would turn me completely off.

            I would dump the letter in the trash and just stick to my regular "backflow tester".

            Am I missing something here?
            Signature
            “It doesn’t matter who you are, or where you came from. The ability to triumph begins with you. Always.” ~Oprah Winfrey

            “The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” ~Ayn Rand
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            • Profile picture of the author Mr. Subtle
              Originally Posted by AnabelleFlorida View Post

              Am I missing something here?
              Other than the fact you don't know anything about what mailing formats are working? : )



              The key word here is what is WORKING and not whether you like it or not.
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          • Profile picture of the author andylan
            Mr. Subtle,

            Is there any reason you would chose pink over another color besides white? What about yellow? Just wanted to know if the color is something you have dealt with before or seen being done.

            Thanks,

            -Andrew
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            • Profile picture of the author Mr. Subtle
              Originally Posted by andylan View Post

              Is there any reason you would chose pink over another color besides white? ... Just wanted to know if the color is something you have dealt with before or seen being done.
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              • Profile picture of the author jwrbusiness
                Backflow testing!

                Ok now we are in a subject that has my interest. I do backflow test in VA.

                I am no expert. But I will share with you what I do and get paid twice as much
                as most irrigation backflow testing in a 60 mile radius.


                Either you pass or you don't. I do backflow testing and mail roughly 1,100 hand written envelopes annually.



                Hand Written Stamped Envelopes from my Personal name



                I Choose communities with 100% Backflow. Commerical - you need a list.


                If commercial

                I state immediately - Potable Water supply Contamination Notice Urgent Attention




                There is no letter. No personalization.

                Only you will see once you open is a pink slip

                On the pink slip says

                'COMMUNITY ANNUAL BACKFLOW TESTING'

                State the price. State your success rate PVB 99.9% PASS RPZ 99% Pass!

                State your Guarantee Pass rate price and date.

                Charge slightly higher or exactly high as the highest price competitor



                Tell your consumer you are on their Side. You know they will pass this test and state your job is to get them passing results.

                Some may fail - 99% won't but 1% will ; you , I , and they know that as you stated.


                ------------------------------------------------------

                Personally address hand written envelope - They will open it

                Community annual Backflow testing - Potable Water supply Contamination Notice Urgent Attention

                In Bold - They will have full attention


                Passing results - Keep your promise , As you know most pass , some fail take the loss.



                Hope this helps!
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                • Profile picture of the author andylan
                  Thank for the input jwrbusiness. I have a really good contact who has helped me get where I am so far. He does backflow in the dallas-fortworth area and has made a great living. One of the things he had going for him was that he was one of the first people doing it in that area. And texas has been enforcing it for a while longer than GA. If you ever have any questions feel free to pm me or email me directly. andrew.lanier@gabackflowtesting.com. I have only been doing it for four months but I have my buddy on speed dial so I wouldn't mind helping out in any way I can with your business (since you aren't in my market that is . )

                  As to your post; I am a little confused because in Georgia the only properties that are required to have annual tests done are commercial properties. Is it not that way in VA?

                  You are right, the key is to have the customer list. In GA I have only one county who will provide it to me. What I am about to begin doing is sending FOIA requests because it is supposed to be public information.

                  My problem isn't getting the customer to read the letter, I know the majority of them do. I have customers call thinking I am the county and my friend in the county backflow dept. has people call him about my letter. My issue is that in Gwinnett County, backflow testing has been well established and not everyone will switch because I charge a little less than others. So what I am trying to do now is go after brand new businesses and branching out to smaller markets. Another key is to send your letters when the county or municipality is sending theirs so it is fresh on their mind.

                  I do like the idea of the pink letters that Mr. Subtle mentioned. I will trying some of that during my September mailing. How have they worked for you? What is your conversion rate? Have you kept track of things like that?

                  Thanks for all the input,

                  -Andrew
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        • Profile picture of the author Mr. Subtle
          Originally Posted by andylan View Post

          Tell me if it improved or not and how it flowed and any other advice or insight. Much appreciated.
          Envelope to test...


          Signature

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  • Profile picture of the author AnabelleFlorida
    Andy, I still don't think this will work. It wouldn't really work for me, but I'm just one person, you know your audience, I don't.

    Would you mind answering a couple of question in the spirit of learning (for me)?

    * URGENT - DATED MATERIAL - this doesn't do anything for me, is there a reason why it should say "DATED MATERIAL"? And does this go outside of the envelope or on top of the letter?

    * Is it common to not address who you're writing to in this business? When I start reading the letter, if feels like I'm being "told" by an authority rather than "a reminder from someone who cares and wants to help".

    * For letters like this, is there a particular rule against bolding some things and bullet points?

    * This line ... this is to reduce and eliminate contaminants in the potable water supply and is required by Georgia law. ... doesn't quite do it for me in regards to loss aversion. And "required by Georgia law" sounds too authoritative, makes me repel. As an expert in your field, what was your reason for not using something like ...

    "Avoid unnecessary complications! Reduced pressure in the pipe may allow contaminated water from the ground, storage, or other sources to be drawn up into your system."

    In the end I'd like to feel more warmth, more support, more friendliness from you; I want to know that you're going to be the guy who will take care of all of this for me without me having to worry about it ... year after year.

    That line for me, the one about automatically scheduling at the same price ... that would push me over to you if my current expert wasn't offering that. I would love that sense of security and "being taken care of" in regards to this "Georgia law" issue.

    I don't ever get traffic tickets, but the last time I did, I went to a ticket attorney and his warmth, and confidence, and the worry free mood he put me in, made me not only grab a bunch of his cards to give to my friends, but swear this would be my guy if I ever got a ticket again. He made such an impression, I wouldn't have minded if he had asked me out for a drink (if he hadn't been married ... yeah ... I noticed).
    Signature
    “It doesn’t matter who you are, or where you came from. The ability to triumph begins with you. Always.” ~Oprah Winfrey

    “The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” ~Ayn Rand
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  • Profile picture of the author AnabelleFlorida
    It may work in forcing me to open the letter, but unless the inside of that letter grabs me, the moment I realize it's marketing, it goes straight in the trash. I've done it a bunch of times and most people I know do the same.

    Why?

    Because the feeling associated with opening a letter like this goes against my desire to want to embrace the message and the company it came from.

    With this mailing format and Andy's letter, I would stick with my current "blackflow tester" and just not bother to change (unless contents in that letter compelled me to change, and nothing in there compels me to do anything but trash it)

    You say these letters have been "effective in the past" ... maybe times are changing? I'm almost 27, I own a house, if I lived in Georgia that letter could be coming to me. I'm trying to look at it as a potential customer would.

    If Andy's intention is to convert customers, he will have to create a more effective letter.

    In my humble opinion


    P.S. You're not that subtle for a "Mr. Subtle" :p
    Signature
    “It doesn’t matter who you are, or where you came from. The ability to triumph begins with you. Always.” ~Oprah Winfrey

    “The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” ~Ayn Rand
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    • Profile picture of the author Mr. Subtle
      Originally Posted by AnabelleFlorida View Post

      P.S. You're not that subtle for a "Mr. Subtle".
      I'm guessing irony escapes your understanding too.
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      • Profile picture of the author Raydal
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        • Profile picture of the author Mr. Subtle
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  • Profile picture of the author Mr. Subtle
    The Hartford has been sending their ads in "official"-looking envelopes for over 2 years. Note the "AUTO INSURANCE DOCUMENTATION" on the envelope (it's what everyone is going to look at first). This DM piece was sent to me and my auto insurance is not with The Hartford.



    .
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    • Profile picture of the author AnabelleFlorida
      Originally Posted by Mr. Subtle View Post

      The Hartford has been sending their ads in "official"-looking envelopes for over 2 years. Note the "AUTO INSURANCE DOCUMENTATION" on the envelope (it's what everyone is going to look at first). This DM piece was sent to me and my auto insurance is not with The Hartford.



      .


      Did you switch?

      At least this envelope has something that interests me on it ...

      "Open Now For The Opportunity To Save $357"
      * Comparative Savings Report *
      * Exclusive Benefits And Discounts Package *

      But with Andy's copy inside, I still predict he'll be averaging his usual 4% conversion rate.

      The letter still needs to change in my opinion.

      I wish someone would address these questions:

      * URGENT - DATED MATERIAL - this doesn't do anything for me, is there a reason why it should say "DATED MATERIAL"? And does this go outside of the envelope or on top of the letter?

      * Is it common to not address who you're writing to in this particular business? When I start reading the letter, if feels like I'm being "told" by an authority rather than "a reminder from someone who cares and wants to help".

      * For letters like this, is there a particular rule against bolding some things and bullet points?

      * This line ... this is to reduce and eliminate contaminants in the potable water supply and is required by Georgia law. ... doesn't quite do it for me in regards to loss aversion. And "required by Georgia law" sounds too authoritative, makes me repel.

      As an expert in his field, I was wondering why he didn't want to use something like this instead ...

      "Avoid unnecessary complications! Reduced pressure in the pipe may allow contaminated water from the ground, storage, or other sources to be drawn up into your system."
      Signature
      “It doesn’t matter who you are, or where you came from. The ability to triumph begins with you. Always.” ~Oprah Winfrey

      “The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” ~Ayn Rand
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      • Profile picture of the author Mr. Subtle
        Originally Posted by AnabelleFlorida View Post

        Did you switch?
        We're talking envelopes here. Who has ever, in the history of mankind, ever "switched" because they read an envelope?

        I didn't post the "sales" letter because I didn't want to confuse you more by seeing it (a faux insurance policy) and listen to your personal whine as to why you don't think it would work... for you. It's not about you or your personal opinion. When I talk to clients I leave my personal views out and talk objectively to them about what WORKS or is working in direct mail.

        Envelopes have one purpose and one purpose only ... to get opened. Convincing them to buy is not their purpose. (sigh)
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        • Profile picture of the author bob ross
          Originally Posted by Mr. Subtle View Post

          It's not about you or your personal opinion. When I talk to clients I leave my personal views out and talk objectively to them about what WORKS or is working in direct mail.

          Amen.

          My mother-in-law REFUSES to believe that anyone pays me thousands of dollars for services even though it has been going on for years and is very evident.

          All due to her own dumb belief in her own little bubble that "no one would pay all that money for xxxx...".
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          • Profile picture of the author Bob Teller
            Banned
            Anabelle you're a new copywriter. It shows. Clearly. To the more experienced here.

            Mr Subtle. You might want to check out his posting history. Undoubtedly an expert. An authority figure and a damn good direct response copywriter in his own right. Well respected in the industry. Going back years.

            Instead of challenging him Anabelle when he opens his mouth to tell you something, usually it's for your own good.

            If I were in your shoes I'd be keeping my fingers off the retort keys and listening more. Very carefully.

            There is nothing worse than a new copywriter thinking they know it all.

            A not so subtle hint.


            - Bob Teller
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            • Profile picture of the author AnabelleFlorida
              Originally Posted by Bob Teller View Post

              Anabelle you're a new copywriter. It shows. Clearly. To the more experienced here.

              Mr Subtle. You might want to check out his posting history. Undoubtedly an expert. An authority figure and a damn good direct response copywriter in his own right. Well respected in the industry. Going back years.

              Instead of challenging him Anabelle when he opens his mouth to tell you something, usually it's for your own good.

              If I were in your shoes I'd be keeping my fingers off the retort keys and listening more. Very carefully.

              There is nothing worse than a new copywriter thinking they know it all.

              A not so subtle hint.


              - Bob Teller
              So is this an attempt to intimidate me into not commenting and having an opinion anymore?

              Won't work.

              I don't know it all, if you look at my posts on the forum you'll see me asking a lot of questions, I'm growing and developing, and I am confident about my copywriting abilities so far.

              I've done a lot of jobs and my clients have been very happy. Other, more experienced copywriters have commented positively on my work as well, so I know I'm headed in the right direction.

              I have a lot to learn, but 20 years from now I will still be learning ...

              Have you guys stopped learning? Do YOU know it all?

              I was told by very experienced copywriters that this business is always evolving ... is that true?

              Be nice and answer the questions I posted above in the honest hope of learning more about this particular situation rather than taking shots at me. Here they are again ...

              * URGENT - DATED MATERIAL - this doesn't do anything for me, is there a reason why it should say "DATED MATERIAL"? And does this go outside of the envelope or on top of the letter?

              * Is it common to not address who you're writing to in this particular business? When I start reading the letter, if feels like I'm being "told" by an authority rather than "a reminder from someone who cares and wants to help".

              * For letters like this, is there a particular rule against bolding some things and bullet points?

              * This line ... this is to reduce and eliminate contaminants in the potable water supply and is required by Georgia law. ... doesn't quite do it for me in regards to loss aversion. And "required by Georgia law" sounds too authoritative, makes me repel.

              As an expert in his field, I was wondering why he didn't want to use something like this instead ...

              "Avoid unnecessary complications! Reduced pressure in the pipe may allow contaminated water from the ground, storage, or other sources to be drawn up into your system."


              With all due respect, I will not be intimidated into keeping quiet because a couple of more experienced copywriters on here have instructed me to do so. I am not posting blindly, I am making decent points and questioning things.

              I am in this forum to develop, grow, and network, not show off.

              One more thing ... when someone opens their mouth and chooses to insult me while trying to "educate" me, I don't care how awesome they are, they are not doing so for my "own good". I can appreciate the information to help me grow, but I will not accept quietly the insults directed at me. It's a shame some of you guys have to resort to that to prove some kind of point.
              Signature
              “It doesn’t matter who you are, or where you came from. The ability to triumph begins with you. Always.” ~Oprah Winfrey

              “The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” ~Ayn Rand
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              • Profile picture of the author Bob Teller
                Banned
                Originally Posted by AnabelleFlorida View Post

                So is this an attempt to intimidate me into not commenting and having an opinion anymore?
                No. It's an attempt to encourage you to start upping your game. Nothing more. Nothing less.

                Won't work.
                That's your problem.

                I don't know it all, if you look at my posts on the forum you'll see me asking a lot of questions, I'm growing and developing, and I am confident about my copywriting abilities so far.
                It's obvious.

                Ask better questions. Listen more to the advice on offer. What are these copywriters really telling you? Often it's not what is on the surface which you need to pay attention to but what the advice is insinuating below the surface of your personal barriers which you need to be paying closer attention to.

                I've done a lot of jobs and my clients have been very happy. Other, more experienced copywriters have commented positively on my work as well, so I know I'm headed in the right direction.
                Bully for you.

                Not yet do you know who you should be paying more attention to. If you did you wouldn't be challenging those guys who have sharper teeth than yourself.

                You're not unique.

                You're not original.

                You're a ho hum newbie copywriter.

                With a great deal still to learn about the basics. The milk.

                You're not ready (yet) to start digesting the meat.

                I know it. Others know it too. It is patently obvious to us.

                Yes you have some potential but first you need to let go of what you think is good copy.

                I have a lot to learn, but 20 years from now I will still be learning ...
                We'll see.

                Have you guys stopped learning? Do YOU know it all?
                No. And no.

                I was told by very experienced copywriters that this business is always evolving ... is that true?
                Yes. However some things never change.

                Be nice and answer the questions I posted above...
                I did.


                - Bob Teller
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                • Profile picture of the author AnabelleFlorida
                  Originally Posted by Bob Teller View Post

                  Yes you have some potential but first you need to let go of what you think is good copy.

                  - Bob Teller
                  What do you know about what I think is good copy?

                  Everything I posted here on this forum so far (with maybe one exception) has been rewordings of material of those asking for help.

                  I get paid to write original work. I know, nothing is that original anymore, but you know what I mean.

                  So unless you've seen work I've done for my clients, you don't really know what I think good copywriting is.

                  Here, let me give you an example of what I think good copywriting is ...

                  https://dankennedy.com/gkicsales/personalityincopy.html

                  I like Dan
                  Signature
                  “It doesn’t matter who you are, or where you came from. The ability to triumph begins with you. Always.” ~Oprah Winfrey

                  “The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” ~Ayn Rand
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                  • Profile picture of the author Bob Teller
                    Banned
                    Originally Posted by AnabelleFlorida View Post

                    What do you know about what I think is good copy?
                    I know different. Because I'm inside your mind Anabelle listening to the voices inside your head. I'm a copywriter. It's what I do. Slip in. Undetected.

                    The chemical reactions you're creating are the problem for your syntax points. Causing you to react as you are. Knee jerk style. It's mildly interesting to observe. Seen it all before. Often.

                    Everything I posted here on this forum so far (with maybe one exception) has been rewordings of material of those asking for help.
                    Part of your problem, Your barrier (at the moment) to future success. And respect. Higher paying clients. And more.

                    Stop copying. Don't be a follower. Be original. Originality will eventually translate into much better chops. And experience.

                    I get paid to write original work. I know, nothing is that original anymore, but you know what I mean.

                    So unless you've seen work I've done for my clients, you don't really know what I think good copywriting is.
                    First point: no I don't. Well I do but then I don't. Because it ain't making sense. Comprehende?

                    Second point: that's what you think.

                    Here, let me give you an example of what I think good copywriting is ...

                    https://dankennedy.com/gkicsales/personalityincopy.html

                    I like Dan
                    Citing top names does not a great copywriter make you.

                    Dan is good because he is original.

                    You're not. Yet. Not by a long shot.

                    I guess soon we'll be seeing a prospecting letter from you, "You see I've studied all the great copywriting legends..."

                    Boring. Weak positioning.

                    Be a genius in your own right.

                    If you have it within you to deliver.


                    - Bob Teller
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          • Profile picture of the author AnabelleFlorida
            Originally Posted by bob ross View Post

            Amen.

            My mother-in-law REFUSES to believe that anyone pays me thousands of dollars for services even though it has been going on for years and is very evident.

            All due to her own dumb belief in her own little bubble that "no one would pay all that money for xxxx...".
            Insulting your mother-in-law in a public forum ... not nice.

            He calls me a "whiner" and you say "amen"?

            Unlike some of you guys, I don't think I know it all. 20 years from now I will still not know it all because I believe wholeheartedly that one is always learning.

            And I'm glad I think that way, because in a few years time some of you guys will be in a bar talking about the good old days, wondering where all the work has gone because "nobody understands the business anymore like we do" and I'll be pulling in the driveway with my new electric blue Mercedes SLS GT Roadster.
            Signature
            “It doesn’t matter who you are, or where you came from. The ability to triumph begins with you. Always.” ~Oprah Winfrey

            “The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” ~Ayn Rand
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        • Profile picture of the author AnabelleFlorida
          Originally Posted by Mr. Subtle View Post

          We're talking envelopes here. Who has ever, in the history of mankind, ever "switched" because they read an envelope?

          I didn't post the "sales" letter because I didn't want to confuse you more by seeing it (a faux insurance policy) and listen to your personal whine as to why you don't think it would work... for you. It's not about you or your personal opinion. When I talk to clients I leave my personal views out and talk objectively to them about what WORKS or is working in direct mail.

          Envelopes have one purpose and one purpose only ... to get opened. Convincing them to buy is not their purpose. (sigh)
          Of course you wouldn't switch from reading an envelope, I'm assuming you opened the envelop and read the letter sent to you by your insurance's competitor, am I assuming wrong? Having received and read the letter, I was wondering if it was enough for you to make the switch.

          I am trying to think about the customer, who the audience for these envelopes and letters are. I'm telling you what I think based on my experience as a copywriter, not a "whiner". Geez.

          I disagree that this type of mailing would work accompanied by Andy's letter ... is that okay?

          When I speak with clients I always include my personal views as a copywriter who is thinking about the customer, the target.

          I am aware that clients don't care what my personal preference is as a customer.

          I may be new (3 years) but I'm not stupid. I am actively thinking about copywriting, developing ideas, and growing more experienced.

          "The question isn't who's going to let me; it's who is going to stop me." ~Ayn Rand
          Signature
          “It doesn’t matter who you are, or where you came from. The ability to triumph begins with you. Always.” ~Oprah Winfrey

          “The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” ~Ayn Rand
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      • Profile picture of the author Bill Jeffels
        Originally Posted by AnabelleFlorida View Post

        Ugh ...

        Sounds like a letter I would NOT want to read.
        Originally Posted by AnabelleFlorida View Post


        At least this envelope has something that interests me on it ...

        "this doesn't do anything for me, "

        You are not your customer.


        Bill


        .
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  • Profile picture of the author AnabelleFlorida
    Bob ...

    I can't tell if this is tough love or if you simply dislike me.

    Hopefully it's the former
    Signature
    “It doesn’t matter who you are, or where you came from. The ability to triumph begins with you. Always.” ~Oprah Winfrey

    “The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” ~Ayn Rand
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    • Profile picture of the author Bob Teller
      Banned
      Correct. Tough love.

      I have no reason not to like you.

      I don't know you. Only your copy. So far.


      - Bob Teller
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  • Profile picture of the author andylan
    Sorry for not answering your questions earlier Anabelle.

    1. The URGENT DATED MATERIAL goes into the window of the envelope with the address and business name.

    2. I would love to address it to the owner or decision maker at the location but that info is not always available. I do that when it is.

    3. There are no rules about bullets or bold lettering.

    4. The point of the backflow device is not to protect the customers water, it is to protect the county potable water supply (not waste, usually refers to drinking water). So the point about "drawn up into your system" is not necessary. The device is there to prevent water from flowing backwards, from your property back into the county system. However I know there is a better way for me to phrase this.

    Thank for the envelope ideas mr. subtle! Any contacts for the best print service providing this? I have a couple local ones that I have spoke to but have not purchased yet.

    I have talk to some people (little experience) who think that an envelope with a stamp instead of metered is more personal and may be opened more often. Does anyone 100% disagree? I have been more inclined to go metered but just haven't done it yet. I am getting ready for a mailing that will go out Sept. 16th. I am going to send it to 400 locations.

    Thanks for the help guys,

    -Andrew
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