Direct Mail Letters

List – number 1 determinant of success
Write for buyers – long vs short copy
A/B Pile – 3-30 Test – Envelope/stamps
Headline or Grabber ($ bill letter)
Opening paragraph
Body – problem, agitate, solve
Proof – testimonials & risk reversal
Offer and call to action – urgency
PS – 2nd most read part of letter


Long or short copy?

Getting your envelop delivered and opened


If you’ve got three seconds to earn your way into the “Interesting” pile, your headline has got to hook any prospective customer in and make them want to know more.

Headlines is an essential topic in many forms of marketing so the goodies are on a seperate page.

Read: Headlines


If you don’t use a headline, you can use a grabber – a little bag of sand stapled to the top of the letter to promote your hotel to past guests or to sell real estate at the beach.

More often it might be some money – one famous opening is the Dollar Bill letter from Gary Halbert.

“Dear John

As you can see, I have attached a crisp, new $1 bill to the top of this letter. Why have I done this? There are two reasons…

  1. I have something very important to share with you… and I needed a way to make sure I got your immediate attention… and…
  2. Since what I have to share involves making money… I thought using a dollar bill as n “eye-catcher” was especially appropriate.

Here’s what this is all about.”

Can you see how it would be changed if you sent a little bag of sand?

Or if you didn’t want to spend a dollar on each letter, you could use a fake bill – I’ve had several letters with a one MILLION dollar bill attached.

I also offer a 500% return guarantee on my personal coaching so I’ve used a 20p piece (a very small, lightweight coin in the UK) to emphasise the point that for every 20p a client gives me, they get £1 back… guaranteed.

Gary Halbert 7 Step Formula For Sales Letters

Say something to get attention
Tell them why they should be interested
Tell them why they should believe what you say is true
Prove it is true
Itemise and describe all benefits
Tell them how to order
Tell them to order now

To read the Gary Halbert Letter I got that list from, see Hands of Experience

His letters always make a great read but some are much more content rich than others. However since he’s widely recognised as a copywriting genius and one of the best direct marketers who has ever lived, it does make sense to dip into his wisdom when it’s relevant.

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