"How to Write a Million Dollar Sales Letter!"
by Joe Vitale
Bruce Barton, cofounder of the legendary BBDO ad agency, wrote
letters that got staggering results. He wrote a letter for Berea
College that brought in an amazing 100% response! (You can read
the entire letter in The Seven Lost Secrets Of Success.)
When you consider that the average successful letter gets about
a 0.02% response, Barton clearly leaped past anyone else in his
letter writing skills. But what was his secret? After studying
Barton's letters, books, private memos, speeches, and advertising
campaigns, I've discovered Barton's method. I've used his technique
to write my own letters and I've been astonished at the results.
One letter got a 20% response. Another nailed a 10% response.
Still another is approaching a 97% response (ninety-seven per
cent!)! (It, too, is in The Seven Lost Secrets Of Success.)
I will now reveal the technique I've been using: Bruce Barton's
Barton said that good advertising copy (and letters are advertisements)
had to be three things: (1) Brief. (2) Simple. (3). Sincere. In
an eye-opening essay he wrote back in 1925, Barton said the following:
"About sixty years ago two men spoke at Gettysburg; one
man spoke for two hours. I suppose there is not any one who could
quote a single word of that oration. The other man spoke about
three hundred words, and that address has become a part of the
school training of almost every child." About Simplicity:
"I think it might be said, no advertisement is great that
has anything that can't be understood by a child of intelligence.
Certainly all the great things in life are one-syllable things
-- child, home, wife, fear, faith, love, God." About Sincerity:
"I believe the public has a sixth sense for detecting insincerity,
and we run a tremendous risk if we try to make other people believe
in something we don't believe in. Somehow our sin will find us
out." Let's look at these three steps a little more closely.
Brevity. A short letter isn't necessarily what Barton meant.
I've read many of his letters and memos. Most of them were so
brief they were blunt. But those were not sales letters. When
Barton wanted to persuade you to donate money to a good cause
or buy something he was selling, his letters were longer, sometimes
several pages long. (Again, see that sample letter in The Seven
Lost Secrets Of Success.) Barton knew you had to give people a
complete explanation before they would buy.
Simplicity. Barton's letters were always simple and easy to read.
He strove for clarity of communication. No big words, long sentences,
or convoluted passages. He was clear and direct and conversational.
Sincerity. Barton was always sincere. He once dropped a million
dollar advertising account because he didn't support the client.
That sincerity came through in everything he wrote. Readers could
pick up on it.
Finally, Barton's letters were "... phrased in terms of
the other man's interest." Barton said your letters had to
go straight to the reader's selfish interest. He said the favorite
song of every reader is "I Love Me." As Barton said
in 1924, "The reader is interested first of all in himself...
Tie your appeal up to his own interests."
The next time you have to write a sales letter, consider Barton's
formula. It helped him write letters that are still talked about
today, and it helps me write letters that are making my clients
rich. Now use it and see what the formula will do for YOU!
Joe "Mr. Fire!" Vitale, regarded as
one of the world's most powerful copywriters,
is a best-selling author of marketing
books and courses, including "The AMA Complete Guide
to Small Business Advertising," Nightingale-Conant's audio
program, "The Power of Outrageous Marketing!" and "Create
Advertising That Sells." His tremendously successful "Hypnotic
Writing" e-book is now succeeded by "Advanced
Hypnotic Writing," a breakthrough book that reveals how
to use the phenomenon of hypnotic suggestion to turn your words
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