Once upon a time…
…there lived a guy called Sam.
Sam owned a furniture store in Denver, Colorado.
One day Sam was going through his stock in his furniture store when he noticed something odd about his mattresses.
Here’s what Sam noticed about the mattresses:
His manufacturer had sewn all the labels on backwards.
This screw-up made Sam plenty mad.
Sam started kicking, stomping and jumping on the mattresses in a fit of rage while screaming obscenities at the top of his lungs.
This, of course, disturbed some of the customers.
Sam soon calmed down and started brainstorming on how to turn this problem into an opportunity.
Suddenly, an idea popped into his cranium.
Sam got the idea to send out a sales letter to the good people of Denver and tell them he has a great deal to offer them on mattresses.
And so he did.
The letter read something like this:
I was recently doing a product inventory and…
…I saw something that shocked me.
What did I see?
I noticed that all my mattresses had their labels sewn on backwards.
Yes, my manufacturer made a big boo-boo.
I’ll be honest with you, to say I wasn’t very impressed is a big understatement.
…what has this got to do with YOU, and why should you give even the slightest bit of care about my mattresses?
Well, here’s why you should care:
You see, although these mattresses are in perfect condition, because of the mistake with the labels, we now can’t sell the mattresses at retail price.
However, I don’t want to throw them away either.
So, I’ve decided to offer them to you at a massive (and never to be repeated)…..
….50% OFF Discount!
If you want one of these heavily discounted mattresses, then come on in this weekend, August 16th and yadda, yadda, yadda…
So, how well did this letter work?
Well, let’s just say…
.…Those Mattresses Went Faster Than a Keg Of Beer At a Frat Party!
…it worked so well, Sam rang up his manufacturer and told them to sew all the labels on backwards on the next order as well.
….this letter brought in a stampede of customers.
Sam sold every single mattress, plus a truck load of other furniture on that one day.
Oh yeah, I should probably tell you that this is, in fact, a true story.
This guy Sam, owns several furniture stores in Colorado.
But hang on Pookie, this little story ain’t finished yet.
One morning Sam came into work to find out that some of his furniture had got water damaged.
This time Sam, who has the emotional stability of Daffy Duck, remained cool calm and collected.
In fact, the slightly water damaged furniture made Sam a happy-little-camper.
You see, when Sam looked at the furniture, he didn’t see slightly water damaged furniture. No. Sam saw:
Sam bolted to his desk, grabbed a yellow legal pad and pen, and furiously scribbled out another sales letter.
The net result?
Another super-successful “slightly damaged furniture sale”.
This “slightly water damaged furniture” sale also gave Sam another idea.
The next time things were “slow” at the furniture store, Sam would wait for it to rain. And when it did, Sam would climb up onto the roof and strategically drill a hole in it.
I mean, it couldn’t hurt to have yet another “slightly damaged furniture sale”, could it?
Sam continued to perfect these “slightly damaged furniture” sales letters and started using them in his other stores to “perk up” his bottom-line when things got slow.
Here endeth the story.
Now, I don’t know how long Sam kept using these sales letters, but I suspect that the effectiveness of them would have dropped off if he used them too often, unless you he was always sending them to new people.
Let me ask you this:
Why do you think theses “slightly damaged furniture” sales letters worked so well?
I’ll tell you why:
Because when you give a reason why you are offering your great “deal”, it makes your “deal” believable.
And Sam was giving his customers a compelling “reason why” he was having a sale.
When you don’t give a reason for your great deal, it triggers skepticism.
Look, as an email-marketer, you’ve gotta know this stuff.
You should become a student of psychology.
The more you can understand how people tick, the better you can sell to them.
When it comes to offering someone a great deal or discount without a reason why, there’s a quirk in human nature is that makes them question the deal.
Questions, like the following, bubble up into your customers noggins:
Why are you offering me this deal?
How is it possible?
Is it legit?
Are you just having a sale for the sake of having a sale?
Am I really getting 50% off?
Simply giving a “reason why” they are getting such a good “deal” eliminates all this skepticism like a silent assassin.
Okay, now’s probably a good time to show you a couple of examples of “Reason Why” marketing.
I found the following two examples at the great Gary Bencivenga’s website – Gary’s Marketing Bullets (a gold mine of sales and marketing secrets).
Slice Soft Drink – A Better Tasting Soft Drink – 10% Real Juices
See what Slice did there?
They made a claim (A Better Tasting Soft Drink), and then backed it up with a…..
Slice is a better tasting soft drink because it has 10% real juice.
Giving a “reason why” gives consumers something to “hang their belief hat on”.
…Slice quickly captured 7 percent of a $30 billion-dollar-a-year soft-drink-market off the back of that one little “Reason Why”.
There could be something to this “Reason Why” thing, you think?
Okay, example (2)
Kleenex Towels Absorb 50 Percent More – Because They’re Two Layers Thick
Kleenex made their claim: Absorbs 50% More.
They then give the consumer a reason why: Because They’re Two Layers Thick
Hmm, that makes sense doesn’t it?
Anyways, I’m ending this most excellent copywriting lesson right here.
Listen Pookie, see the name at the top of this page? Well, you’re in my world now, and the Maverick will finish when the Maverick wants to finish, Alright?
OK, ok, I’ll admit it, the real reason is I just ran out of things to say.
Kelvin Dorsey ~ Email Marketing Maverick
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