See the Greatest Sales Letter Ever Written

May 16, 2018

sales letter

A sales letter (sales letter!) generated over $2 BILLION dollars in sales.

One letter.

Want to see it? Maybe use some of it for yourself?

A few years ago, some clever person at the Wall Street Journal wrote what has come to be considered the greatest sales letter ever.

Because it sold $2 BILLION dollars of subscriptions.

That’s a lot of papers.

Here’s a slight variation on the letter:

On a beautiful early summer day, just this year, two young, eager entrepreneurs were attending the same event. They were very much alike, these two business people. Both were better than average at what they did, both were personable and both were filled with ambitious dreams for their future.

And both, it turned out, had started their businesses around the same time, and actually were masters in the same discipline.

But there was a difference. One of them was stuck beyond stuck, and couldn’t figure out how to get customers to build their business to match those ambitious dreams.   The other was the company president of a very successful business.

What Made the Difference

Have you ever wondered, as I have, what makes this kind of difference in people’s lives? It isn’t always an innate ability or talent or dedication. It isn’t that one person wants success and the other doesn’t.

The difference lies in what each person knows and how he or she makes use of that knowledge.

And that is why I am writing to you, and to people like you, about the Wall Street Journal. For that is the whole purpose of The Journal: To give its readers knowledge– knowledge they can use in business.

Now there are many adaptations and straight-up rip-offs of this letter over the years.  Most experts agree this letter is the root.

Advertising Age said this letter is responsible for selling the most stuff ever! Ever.

What did this sales letter do that was SO GREAT $2 Billion dollars got slapped down on the table?

Well, first it offered a story of two people the readers could relate with.  They were, or wanted to be, young and eager entrepreneurs.

Next, it created some curiosity and suspense that encourages you to keep reading.  What was the reason one succeeded wildly and the other was stuck?

Lastly, the letter told you the solution to the problem…the problem many of their readers likely had.

I’m betting you have prospects who might not be paying as much attention to you as you’d like.

Perhaps this letter offers you a “role model” to use to reconnect.

Try this.

Give them a story of people they can relate to, who have a similar problem.

Create some curiosity and/or suspense in the story to encourage continued reading.

Make sure the problem you’re solving is the problem your Ideal Customer wants to solve.

You might not sell $2 Billion dollars of your stuff.

Then again…maybe you will :>)

Go forth and do great things,

Martha Hanlon & Chris Williams