The YOU Element in Business Letters

The YOU Element in Business Letters :

Nothing robs a letter of directness so much as a lock of the YOU element. Here is an actual letter which illustrates particularly well an absence of direct appeal because of this fault.

This man tries to sell a pair of shoes, not by talking about the prospect and his needs, but about himself and his product. Note the prevalence of OUR and WE in every paragraph. Half the words are mere machinery of this antique variety, through which “we accept, are glad, make, strive,” and so on. The real meat—the specific words that catch the eye—could be compressed into two short paragraphs.

Then note how the same proposition is handled in the rewritten letter. The dealer comes over to the customer’s side, just as a clever salesman would, and turns in to help him “get a fit.” “That’s right,” he says, “a poor fit is a real calamity. What you want is this and this and this—and right here is a stock of shoes among which you’ll find those very things.”

Dear Sir,

Accept our thanks for your favor just received. We are glad of this opportunity to forward you a catalogue showing the styles which we carry in our Stock Room ready for immediate use.

Of course it is impossible to show all the styles which we make. The illustrations shown simply represent some of the season’s best sellers as selected by the leading retailers from our two hundred and fifty styles designed by our selling force.

Our shoes are correct in every sense of the word. Oxfords possess superior fitting qualities. They do not gap at the ankle; they fit close and do not slip at the heel; they are the coolest shoe for summer. We have them in Green, Red, Tan, Black and Patent.

Our Guarantee is something that is of vital importance to you if you care to be assured of full value for your money spent.

We can make for any style required if you fail to find illustrated in our catalogue just the shoe you desire at the present time. We will forward the shoes prepaid upon receipt of your order with price and will strive to serve you in a most satisfactory manner.

Yours very truly,

The YOU Element in Business Letters