The 3 Most Important Parts of Any Promotion's Success

I recently came across a great example of good, strong copywriting.

It comes from a familiar place – from the writers of Stansberry and Associates ( In my opinion, Stansberry's team of copywriters, led by Mike Palmer, is among the best in the world.

I'm not sure who wrote the letter, but it came as an insert in my Oxford Club newsletter. And I couldn't stop reading it.

It's an ad for "True Wealth," Dr. Steve Sjuggerud's wonderful investment newsletter. No question, if I weren't already a paid subscriber, I would have bought it through this offer.

The letter does a lot of things well. But it does three things exceptionally well. Three things that are crucial to the success of any sales letter.

First off, it sells you in the first two pages. Now, I don't mean the writer directly starts pitching the product that early. But even without knowing what the product is, by the end of page two, you want to buy it. You don't even want to bother reading the rest of the letter.

More and more, I'm convinced that the best and most powerful promotions are the ones that have the prospect sold in the first few pages … that is, he is sold in the lead.

Many of your prospects will immediately turn to the order device and buy. Of course, most will continue to read – but only to see if they can find a reason not to buy.So as long as you stick with the message … keep piling on the benefits … and don't screw up the offer – you've got a winner.

It's not easy to do. You need to start with a very compelling Big Idea. You need to present it to the reader in a strong and convincing way. That's precisely what's done in the "True Wealth" letter.

There's no hype. No “selling” going on. The sense I get when I read the lead is that here is someone who's fed up with all the investment crap out there – and he's discovered something very exciting and useful. And he truly wants me to benefit from it.

The letter is loaded with sincerity – and credibility. You can't possibly read it and feel like you're being sold something. No outrageous claims. Just good information every investor would want to know.

The second thing this letter does very well is the way it keeps coming back to the main and central promise – which, in this case, is a solution to the prospect's looming retirement crisis.

My friend and Oxford Club colleague Alex Green describes the main promise of a sales letter by using a great analogy. He likens it to the "chorus" of a song – something the writer keeps coming back to throughout the letter. But unlike most songs, of course, you don't sing the same words over and over again …

Instead, you find new ways to tell your reader how your product's going to fulfill the main promise and, therefore, solve his problem … make him richer, healthier, happier, more respected … whatever he needs in HIS life.

The "True Wealth" letter does that very well. By the end of it, you think: "Hey, this just may be the solution to that retirement question that's nagging at me. Perfect. I'll get this newsletter, get all the details on this program, and I won't have to worry about it!"

The real secret of this persuasive letter is the way the copywriter handles the three most crucial components of a successful promotion.

He starts with a Big Idea. This component – properly conceived, researched, and developed – accounts for at least 30% of your letter's success.

He then follows proven principles for creating a compelling headline and lead. Each one of these two components – the headline and lead – accounts for another 25% of your letter's success.

Taken all together, these three components make up 80% of your letter's success. And it's clear to me that this copywriter did what you MUST do if you want a successful letter. He spent at least 80% of his efforts on the Big Idea, headline, and lead.

Follow his example, and you're golden.

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Published: June 4, 2007

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