Boron Letters: Advice on Copywriting - Part 3

Selling info products, customizing products to a niche, how to get people to open your sales emails and what to put inside those emails. Those are the topics covered in the the next four letters I read (9 to 12).

Chapter 9 Selling info products

This chapter goes over planning and promoting a specific marketing campaign. Mail order in this case. What they are selling is a report on 'how to make extra money' customized to different professions. So info products basically.

[lesson] Customization is a good idea and works to get a higher response rate. So instead of "How You Can Make Extra Money" to "How Chiropractors Can Make Extra Money". And instead of "How To Buy Real Estate With No Money Down" to "How To Buy L.A. Real Estate With No Money Down"

[lesson] ideas breed other ideas. If you're not sure what to build, take action anyway. If you are not sure what to write, start writing anyway.

[aside] I spot an arithmetic error in the original letter.

our total fulfillment cost will be $4.00 per order times 1,320 orders or $5,280.00. When we subtract this figure from the $13,200 we have left we will be left with a net profit of $9,920.00.

Um..more like $7,920.00. A 2k extra profit. Now I am wondering if this was in the original letter or added during digitizing process.

Chapter 10 The amazing roadmap to real estate riches

This chapter repeats the lessons from previous chapters.

when you get stuck or emotionally jammed up one of the ways to get yourself unclogged and flowing again is just to keep moving. Run. Walk. Jog. Write. Do the dishes. Or whatever. But don't sit around waiting for a flash from Heaven.

The author recommends studying by reading and rereading several books, taking notes, and making a 'swipe file' of good ads and copy that you find.

[book] Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
[book] The Robert Collier Letter Book

[aside] I came across someone else's swipe files because Internet. He teaches copywriting courses (and also he is local to where I live and also friends with My First Million pod host Sam Parr. crazy)

This is the first time the author talks about product creation, in addition to marketing. His idea behind selling 'reports' on a specific topic that are customized is to read a few good books on the topic (e.g. real estate investing). Then take notes, make an outline of the best ideas and get rid of all the fluff and garbage. Overlay them with your own ideas and start writing. The 'report' should be around 100 pages.

Chapter 11 How to get people to open your letters (emails)

After coming up with the product, and picking a (mailing) list to test, this one is about designing the actual direct mail.

While direct mailers are not as applicable to Internet entrepreneurs, the advice in this chapter has parallels to sales emails and email newsletters.

[Lesson] Everyone sorts their mail into A-pile and B-pile. A-pile is the personal mail that definitely gets opened. B-pile is commercial/promotional mail, the one that goes in the recycling bin right away. Your goal as a copywriter of a promotional mailer is to get it into the A-pile of course. Sine no one can order from you unless they open your mail.

The way to get people to open your mail is to make the envelop look personal.

A person who gets this envelope will open it to find out what is inside. Because it is intriguing. Because it looks personal. Because it might be from someone he knows.

This advice has parallels to email subject lines and preview text.

I've been in a group chat of newsletter owners for a while, the most common discussion topic in there is about open rates and various optimizations aimed at increasing open rates (as well as delivery rates).

This advise also has parallels to common writing advice: your goal with your first sentence is to get the reader to read the 2nd sentence. And for the first paragraph is to get them to read the next paragraph, etc. The way to do that is with intrigue and invoking curiosity.

Baggy of dirt
Attach a baggy of dirt to the envelop to get the reader's attention. Because they are wondering "what's this all about? I better read and find out"

Sorry Mr. Author. This advice does not stand the test of time. If anyone got some dirt in the mail in 2021, it is going straight in the trash.

Dated as is the tactic, the point applies. The way to get your email opened is to maket the reader curious about the content, with the subject line.

Chapter 12 What goes inside a letter (email)

In this chapter, the author talks about things that are pretty common knowledge now and not novel. Such as using a person's name instead of a generic greeting like "dear reader" and having a clear call to action (CTA) for the reader.

What I am doing here is taking the reader by the hand and leading him them exactly where I want him them to go. It seems like a small point and, maybe it is, but is the little touches like this that keeps the letter flowing, the reader moving along, and, it relieves him them of the burden of trying to figure out what he they are supposed to do when he they finish reading a particular page

He also goes into detail about something that's not relevant on the Internet - using a stamped reply envelop.

There is one point that is new about putting the day of the week, the exact time, day of the month and year. Now an email already has all this but the point is to create a connection between the writer and the reader. Another way is to describe where you are and what you're doing while writing the letter. All this to create a bond of intimacy with the reader.

This reminds of another writing advice, which also applies to landing page: to use concrete details. The kind that paint a picture in the reader's mind.

This also reminds me of advice on storytelling (from the book Storyworthy) about setting the scene. Have a specific location for each scene of your story so that the 'movie' keeps playing in your audience's mind.

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