How to Start A Letter?

How to Start A Letter? :

TO OPEN a letter with, “You realize, of course, that you are losing money by not buying our - “ is to insult your prospective customer by telling him that he is deliberately throwing away money.

“You” is the second most important word in the vocabulary and the second oldest. As an attentioncompeller it is without peer, but it is a word with which one may not take liberties. The writer of sales letters must remember that he is generally addressing a stranger, and that while a friendly, natural, man-to-man attitude is desirable, nothing that verges upon familiarity will be tolerated. “You” is familiar. It will, without doubt, get the reader’s attention.

Therefore, be sure that it gets the right sort of attention. When a certain eminent surgeon was asked what part of the human body was most sensitive, he replied, “The pocketbook.” Even a crude appeal to the purse will win attention. Men are in business to make money. The individual to whom your sales letter is addressed is as intent on money getting as yourself. These, then, are points upon which we may be sure we can gain instant attention—the display line, the word “You” and the appeal to the pocket.

It is easy enough to attract attention: the rub comes when you endeavor to vitalize that attention into personal, undivided interest.

The first is a trick of words. Cry “Stop!” and every man within hearing will turn to your call. But the next word uttered must make its personal appeal or the attention gained is again lost. And attention lost is a double loss, for a man once tricked into pausing to hear something of no interest will not be tricked again.

That, I believe, is the most treacherous pitfall of the writer of sales letters—the employment of shrewd means to gain a hearing and the failure to take advantage of the opportunity with a letter which will interest, persuade and finally carry absolute conviction. Too many writers stop half way. They are like a chap I knew at college—always able to get a job but never able to hold one. He told me it was because the “gilt wore off.”

You have your man’s attention: now for his interest!

How to Start A Letter?