Category Archives for "Direct Response"

Sales letter for credit card processing service

A credit card processor was looking to reach out to professional associations to offer merchant accounts and online shopping card services to their members. Not only would these services save association members money, but they’d also financially benefit the professional associations. Throw in lots of free training, and the offer was tough to refuse!

At the end of our first project call (where we went over the Project Questionnaire I give to all clients for each project), Practice Pay Solutions’ president James Komosinski said our just-completed 45-minute phone conversation about their project was so comprehensive, it was worthy of a “60 Minutes” interview. (I think he meant that as a compliment.)

Deborah, throughout our project you conducted yourself like the consummate professional. The patience and thoughtfulness you always showed to both C.J. and myself was very much appreciated. Thank you again for all your efforts on our behalf.  We look forward to working with you again!

James Komosinski, President
Practice Pay Solutions

Deborah was unfailingly professional and responsive throughout our project. The sales letter she wrote for us communicated exactly what we had in mind. I was amazed by how she was able to sort through all the complex information and diverse opinions we gave her to produce a stellar result everyone was happy with.

C.J. Hayden
Author, “Get Clients Now”

Here’s the sales letter I wrote for them.

Email marketing campaign

One of my clients had a speaking engagement scheduled.  The sponsoring organization had done some publicity for her – put a notice in their monthly magazine, listed it in their online Events Calendar.  But registration was still disappointing.

Fortunately, she called me in.  I quickly threw together an emergency email marketing campaign (complete with my own html, not usually my specialty) which the organization graciously agreed to send to its membership.  The result?  The event filled to capacity so quickly that some people had to be turned away!


I love it when my writing saves the day for a client!

Financial products booklets and postcard

Starting any new venture is exciting. There are lots of details that demand attention: leasing office space, putting up a new web site, hiring staff. But one of the first things you need to do is start lining up customers – fast! After all, they’re the ones who pay the bills.

And this client, who was striking out on his own as a financial planner after being with a large company for several years, was no exception. Although he already had quite a few clients, he wanted to start getting the word out to new prospects about what he had to offer.

So his commercial printer referred him to me for help.

Using information that he provided me about his products and services (along with research I did on my own), I wrote:

  • A client information booklet on how annuities can be part of a smart retirement savings strategy
  • A marketing booklet that talks about his credentials and his approach to investment advice
  • A promotional postcard to new homeowners about protecting their mortgage with term life insurance

For a relatively small initial investment, this client has materials he can reprint (or modify) whenever he likes. He can negotiate the best price on printing rather than being locked in with one vendor. And because these materials were created especially for his business, he has an utterly unique marketing pitch tailored to his offerings.

Lesson: Although the cost of new marketing materials (even for an established company) can be a little breathtaking, put it into perspective. How much is one new client worth to you? If you could get better response to your direct mail or other marketing campaigns, how much more money would that put into your pocket?

Think about it … then give me a call for a free consultation for any new marketing materials you’re considering for your business.


General marketing/lead generation booklet

Annuity marketing booklet

Direct mail postcard

Non-profit donor letter

Before: An invitation that’s all about the arrangements.

It’s a pretty common scenario: a company (or, in this case, a local non-profit) throws a party for honored guests as a “thank you” for their support. After this client had drafted their invitation letter, they knew it needed … something. But they weren’t sure exactly what.

So they called me, asking if I would take a look at it. Simply put, my task was to give it just the right tone to communicate their gratitude to this special group and persuade more people to attend.

When I received their draft, two things struck me. First, information about when and where the party was being held, who was invited, and whom guests should RSVP to was scattered throughout the letter. That was easy enough to fix.

Second, though, was a much more subtle problem: the letter launched right into the event details, so the emphasis was on the party, not the guests. Since these were members of an elite donor group, we wanted to be sure that these guests understood how valuable their contributions to this organization were. And we wanted to encourage them to bring like-minded people along so they could “catch the vision” of this group.

All in all, the letter needed to be turned on its head, so to speak, to put the emphasis in the right place (or, rather, on the right people).

So, how do you do that?

After: An invitation that’s all about the guests.

Some of the work involved simply re-arranging information. Putting the what, when, where, etc., in a table for easy access solved the problem of details being scattered throughout the letter. Now, everything’s accessible at a glance.

But the biggest change is how the letter starts: with a heartfelt “thank you” to a very special group of people who helped this non-profit achieve its mission for another successful year.

The second paragraph continues by emphasizing that the party is an expression of the non-profit’s gratitude for this group’s support. And the third paragraph invites them to … well, invite more people!


“We struggled for just the right words to say in our annual donor appreciation event invitation, but our version never sounded quite right. Deborah was able to add some warmth and sincerity to our message, and I think we will have better attendance at our event because of her help.”

Danette Richards
Executive Director
Women’s Business Center of Southern Alabama

To quote the WBC’s Director, the changes made the letter warmer. And when you’re saying “thank you” to a special group like this, that’s a good thing.

Lesson: This letter is a good example of why “who is your audience” is an even more important question than “what do you want to say.” That’s because who your reader is will dictate not only what you say, but how you say it.

Here, a deceptively simple re-arrangement – saying “thank you” first – makes all the difference.

Event promotion postcard

Before: Too many messages, too little space

Here’s a tough one – a “cold call” postcard. In this case, a 4″ x 6″ piece of card stock has to sell a free preview of a business networking course. It has to communicate the essence of the program concisely. But it also has to be compelling enough to convince invitees to take an hour out of their busy schedule to attend a free preview.

That’s a lot to ask of such a little card!

The biggest problem with the “before” card was its lack of focus. It tried to be all things to all people, but space didn’t allow that.


The result was a muddied message that, according to Training Director Janice Malone, didn’t pull attendees as well as it should have.

After: A postcard with a laser-focused message

The solution here is to focus on one message and one message only. I studied the training materials and consulted with Janice, and it seemed to me that the core message could be boiled down to this:

  • Everybody likes referrals.
  • Many people don’t know how to get them, and that’s frustrating.
  • The program can teach anyone this essential business skill.

That’s it! Everything that doesn’t speak to one of those three points gets cut. And the result is a message that’s infinitely more “gettable.”


The client was delighted, and starting with the first mail-out, this card has gotten much more positive response!

“When I first took my ideas to Deborah, I personally had no idea what I wanted to convey to my customers and certainly didn’t know how to convey it. Deborah took time to understand my business needs and hot buttons, and then she wrote the most incredible copy imaginable to keep my customers focused on why they need to do business with me. I highly recommend Deborah’s services to anyone who needs to be ‘on point’ with their target market of customers.”
Janice Malone
Training Director
Sharper Focus Training

Lesson: Don’t take a scattershot approach to your message. If you aim at everything, you’ll hit nothing. But if you zero in on the right target, you’ll be sure to strike the bull’s-eye!