World’s worst sales letter? – Direct Marketing

Geoffery James author of over 7 books has recently blogged on BNet, sharing one of the Worst Sales Letter he has seen. Here is the letter which he got:

The bracketed numbers refer to comments below:
“Dear Mr. and Mrs. James
During the past few months, I have completed an intensive training program for real estate professionals through the Century 21 learning system. [1] With this recent training and my experience as a full service agent, I feel quite confident in my ability to help buyers and sellers with their real estate needs. [2]
Century 21 is one of the best real estate firms in the area due to the many educational programs promoting current market strategies[3], as well as many years of experience within the real estate community.[4] In addition, we provide:
– Outstanding service to all clients.[5]
– Market data that is always changing.[6]
– Weekly updates for clients listing there homes.[7]
– A wide variety of buying and selling tools.[8]
It is great working with a company that has so much to offer their clients.[9] If you or someone you know is considering buying or selling [10] property feel free to give out my name or business card [11] and I will do everything I can to meet their real estate needs.[12]
His comments:
[1] OK, you’re fresh out of school. So why would I want to work with you?
[2] That’s nice. Unfortunately, you’ve said absolutely nothing to make me feel confident in you.
[3] Why do I get the impression that some marketing guy wrote this as boilerplate?
[4] Experience doing what? Sending out awkward direct mail pieces? And compared to whom?
[5] Outstanding in what way? Outstandingly bad? And by how much? And where’s the proof?
[6] Huh? Does this mean that the data is getting more accurate or less accurate or what?
[7] And that’s important because…? And what’s with the typo?
[8] Sounds like a hardware store. Why would I care? What do the tools do?
[9] Glad you like it. Why should I care? What’s with the grammatical error?
[10] Trying to address two different markets weakens the entire pitch.
[11] At this point it starts sounding positively desperate.
[12] Why would I risk my friendships for somebody I don’t know?
What’s really wretched is that the letter was sent first class mail to individual families, on heavy stock paper. This means that each piece cost somebody — hopefully not the obviously hapless agent — at least half a buck per letter. I’d be surprised if the guy gets so much as a nibble. Pitiful. Truly pitiful.


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