For a long time now there has be an argument among marketers about the most powerful word in the advertiser’s vocabulary.
David Ogilvy says it’s “FREE.” Most would agree. I say it’s “YOU” because every advertising approach must accommodate the SELF INTEREST of the buyer.
I believe that the word FREE is somehow hidden in the word YOU. But either way… The seller’s interest’s usually gets in the way of the buyer’s interest’s. Buyers only care about themselves. Can you blame them?
BUT… Beyond the discussion of the most powerful WORD… I’m writing to tell you about the most powerful single letter in the advertisers’ arsenal… it’s the letter “J.”
LET ME EXPLAIN
In the last 15 years… The letter “J” has probably sold more books, seminars, professional services, high-priced newsletters and business opportunities, etc. than any other letter in our alphabet.
HOW IS IT THAT “J” IS SO POWERFUL, SO PERSUASIVE?
“J” is the initial on millions of LIVE POST-IT NOTES stuck onto an article torn out of a magazine or newspaper. The article sings the praises of various products and services… but the LIVE POST-IT NOTE says,
“Hey I thought you should give this a try.”
And the note is always signed: “J.”
WHO IS “J”????
As far as anyone knows, “J” is Jay, Jane, John, Jimmy, Jeff, Julie, Jose, Jake, James, Jerry, Jack, Jason, Jackie, Jacquelyn, Joel, Joseph, Joe, Jody, Jeremiah, Jasmine or any other name starting with that initial.
The “J” letter has been sent out many, many times. It has worked. It has made some smart business operators a ton of money.
I, myself have written my share of “J” letters.
Admittedly, the letter is little bit of showmanship… meaning that, the outer envelope is LIVE TYPED… or sometimes HAND ADDRESSED… and it has a LIVE stamp attached… and the article inside actually has a ragged, torn edged to look as if the whole package were not a “mass mailing”… so, the recipient gets the package, opens it… scratches his/her head and says “Who is J?”… but none the less, the recipient spends time with the package and reads the article and SHAAAAZAMMMM… He/she orders.
Some readers may think a friend of theirs actually sent the article, and some readers get it right away… that its a clever promotional piece of mail… and some (few) self-righteous know-it-alls act indignant at the piece.
I actually had the marketing director of Macy’s Department Store in New York write me a nasty letter complaining that I had “deceived” her into opening the mail and reading the article promoting my own advertising services. Not being one of thin skin, I sent her back a nice, hand-written thank you note, and continued to try to win her account. But, she, not being one of fun and imagination, told me to take her off my mailing list. Oh well. You can’t please everyone.
About a year later I notice in the financial press, that Macy’s was not doing well. I wondered if the marketing director’s lack of imagination had something to do with it?
WHY IS THE J LETTER SO POWERFUL?
It’s because it demands involvement. Any number of direct marketing techniques make use of INVOLVEMENT. For example, a typical sweepstakes mailing package has so many little notes and sheets and slips in it that the reader automatically says “What is all this stuff…” as 13 different pieces of paper fall out of the envelope.
Or, if you’ve used a TYPO on purpose, (like some marketers do) the reader will be thrilled with a flash of superiority to find a TYPO at the beginning of the ad/letter. His immediate response is to look for more. But by the time he gets to the end of the sales message, he has forgotten that he’s looking for more typo’s and is now convinced that the product is one for him.
Thus, THE “J” LETTER causes a moment of pondering… “Who sent me this???” And in that moment, the reader is drawn into the message. I’m taking it for granted that the message is written with sales in mind.
So, in all of this I’m writing to offer to create a “J LETTER” for you.
If you want more sales… more leads… and you want them at a lower cost, then perhaps a J LETTER is for you. Admittedly, the up front cost for this marketing may seem higher than say, buying a classified in your local paper. But the true cost of advertising is COST PER SALE not cost per name mailed.
Heck, you can spend $20,000 building a web site… and still not get a dime’s worth of sales. Remember, internet marketing and direct mail marketing are the same… It’s “COST PER LEAD” and “COST PER SALE” that make all the difference.
If you want a J LETTER created and mailed out for you give me a call.
If you have an ad or article already created, the actual mailing costs might be: Printing (fullpage newspaper tearsheet, 1/1 black with the backside listing stock tables) hand addressed on a 24# number-10 envelope, with a four word personalization message, postage, processing, etc…. 77¢ per name.
If you want a magazine tearsheet, 4-color it’ll be a little more.
But all told, this could be a good deal for you. THE J LETTER works for a great variety of products and services. I’d be happy to help you create one or help you mail out something you’ve already created. Call me to discuss any details.
P. S. Don’t worry that THE J LETTER might be “overused”… It ain’t gonna happen for a long time. There’s lots of folks who have never seen one, much less gotten too many of them. Get your share of the profits from this powerful mailing concept. Call me.
P.P.S. Below this message are two PDF files. Click on the “Sands Ad” — it is a full page newspaper ad I wrote. It’s the perfect kind of ad for this “tearsheet” (POST IT NOTE) mailing (I call it a “J” letter.)
The other PDF is called P4 Envelope 001.
And it’s a sample of the handwritten text which will appear on your post-it note and the handwriting on your ad