From The Golden Thread Mailbag …
Identifying Good Letters

Hi Pat,

How do you know if your letter will be the control letter? Do you ask your client? How does that work? I am mostly writing for the fundraising market. Do they have such a thing as a control – or is “control” a term used only for the financial and other profit-making markets?

Terri Q.

Hey Terri,

Good questions.

“Control” simply refers to the promotion that has the best pull – which is to say it is the one that generates the most sales. So, every direct-response company in every niche uses the term.

For your letter to become the control, it has to beat the client’s current control in a test. The client will mail both your letter and the current control to an equal number of people. The letter with the best response rate becomes the control.

Your client will be the first to tell you when you have a control. And, she’ll be happy to do so. In fact, she’ll probably be calling to ask you to write her next letter!

Hi Pat,

In the Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting, we are encouraged to save sales letters we get in the mail. We’re encouraged to study them and save them in our swipe file for possible future use. But when a sales letter arrives, how do we know whether it’s a good example of copywriting, worthy of study and emulation? I don’t want to study bad copywriting. So, how do we tell the good from the bad?

Jeff S.

The easiest way to distinguish good copy from the bad is to look in your own mailbox.

The good letters are the ones you receive over and over. There is a very good chance that if you get the same promotion in the mail (or via email) more than twice, it is a control. The reason is that no direct-response company is going to spend time and money re-mailing a letter that did not perform well the first time.

Good luck with the program.

That’s it for this week. Thanks to one and all – and keep those emails coming!

Pat

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »


Click to Rate:
No ratings yet
Published: October 3, 2006

Guest, Add a Comment
Please Note: Your comments will be seen by all visitors.

You are commenting as a guest. If you’re an AWAI Member, Login to myAWAI for easier commenting, email alerts, and more!

(If you don’t yet have an AWAI Member account, you can create one for free.)


This name will appear next to your comment.


Your email is required but will not be displayed.


Text only. Your comment may be trimmed if it exceeds 500 characters.

Type the Shadowed Word
Too hard to read? See a new image | Listen to the letters


Hint: The letters above appear as shadows and spell a real word. If you have trouble reading it, you can use the links to view a new image or listen to the letters being spoken.

(*all fields required)