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  • Jo Evans

Why long sales letters can be good!

Updated: Oct 18, 2023


Let us give you a few things to consider when using lots of text (or “copy”) in a sales letter:

  1. Will anyone read 3 or 4 pages of copy? Well, yes!

You may have heard the story of Max Hart, who bet his advertising manager, George Dyer he couldn’t get him to read a body of long copy. Dyer offered him only the title: “This Page is all about Max Hart.” Max had to admit that he’d read every word of it.


We learnt that if it’s relevant, it’s readable. In fact, it’s better than readable. It’s compulsive reading!


If your copy can hold the reader’s attention it will generate more responses than short copy. You wouldn’t let a sales pitch be cut short just to save time, so why do it to your direct mail when you have so much more to say? If you have benefits to sell, then sell them. After all, readers need more than simply an invitation to buy your product, they need information on why they should.

  1. How do I make it interesting?

This is the really tricky part where most people come unstuck, so here’s where we give you a few pointers on how to keep the reader reading:

  1. Include a letter with your sales literature – again, it sounds obvious, but a letter is sent by a person, whereas a brochure is sent by a company.

  2. Make sure your letter is accurately targeted – if not by name then by interest or position (for example: Dear Boating Enthusiast, or Dear Production Director.) You should let the reader know the information will be relevant to their needs or wants.

  3. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want – tell the reader why they need your product and tell them how to respond. Don’t waste time rambling on about history and tradition. Concentrate on the benefits to be gained.

  4. Make a compelling case – cover all the major benefits and objections you can think of. Try to pre-empt the questions the reader may ask and answer them convincingly.

  5. Write from me to you – use the word ‘you’; keep your copy focussed on the reader. Take advantage of the intimacy that personal a letter affords you.

  6. Make it legible – reading a direct mail letter shouldn’t be a struggle. You can use sub-headings, bullet points and indented paragraphs to emphasise key points.

We say don’t be afraid of long copy; use it to make a compelling, interesting case for your product or service, but don’t waffle!


For help creating a targeted and persuasive direct mail package, then contact us

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