Persuasion, on the heels of argument, intensifies desire. Here the reader must be shown tactfully how possession of the article will bring benefit to him personally. Possibly the best kind of persuasion is he subtle suggestion which pictures to the reader the satisfaction or actual gain which ownership would bring.
Argument is giving man evidence that will prompt him to act of his own volition. Persuasion is the added influence of the salesman’s or the writer’s personality that brings action when the man himself hesitates.
Then another thing, which the letter as well as the salesman must do offer a specific inducement. You know how the clever salesman manipulates his talking points. Always he holds back till the last some extra reason why you should accept his proposition. This is the part that inducement plays in the letter. And it culminates in the climax or the clincher. As you hesitate, undecided whether or not to order, the shrewd salesman shoots at you one last advantage which he has held in reserve.
And, you will also recall, he follows it up immediately by placing before you an order blank ready for your signature. He has learned the secret of making it easy to order. And that is what you, too, must do in your business getting letter - follow up your last inducement and your “Act today” by giving the man something to sign - a post card, a coupon, something that is ready to return.
Make it so plain to him what he is to do that there can be no possible misunderstanding. Say it in so many words - “You do this and we will do that.” Aim to make your climax so direct, so strong and simple that the reader cannot resist the temptation to reply.
Give this content outline application. Take, for example, the first letter in this chapter, an actual business letter that was successful in selling a great many books by mail. Note what an analysis of its makeup reveals, how it leads step by step to its striking climax.
Here attention is won through a striking opening assertion that must arouse the curiosity of any reader. But it runs in the very next sentence into explanation. Proof of the book’s value is found in statements of what its plans have done for other concerns. The next paragraph persuades through suggesting what possession of the book would enable the buyer to do.
Then follows inducement through offer of the book free as a premium. Finally the climax comes in the last urgent suggestion to act at once because the number is limited. And how could ordering be made easier? Simply “pin your money to this letter and mail us today.”
Of course not all letters have the elements marked off so clearly as this. An entirely different method of appeal may seem advisable. Judgement must depend upon your knowledge of what will win the reader’s interest.
But the finished letter contains, in some degree, every one of these elements. The only sure method of learning their functions, value and proper use is to study each one individually. Then, with an appreciation of the effect of each upon the reader, you can build a balanced business letter that will bring
to HOME PAGE