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By Yanik Silver

Over 70 years ago, one man had the answer to increasing almost any product's sales and literally crushing the competition.

His name?

Claude Hopkins. And today his advice is even more valuable than it was during the 1920s.

Hopkins was one of the most famous ad men and really the Father of modern advertising. His two books "My Life in Advertising" and "Scientific Advertising" are worth reading and re-reading.

If you read on, I'll share with you one of Hopkins' greatest secrets for attracting more business.

Listen closely - the secret is *EDUCATION*.

By educating a prospect about how things are done in your business, even it's the same exact thing any one of your competitors could tell, will produce a tremendous selling advantage.

Don't believe me?

Look around at nearly all the advertising being done based on the plea: "Buy my brand", "Come to my store", "Give me the money which you give to others". Typically this falls in the category of boasting and bragging advertising. Frankly, consumers don't care one lick about you or your company, they care about the benefits they'll get from dealing with you.

Let me share with you how Hopkins used this advertising secret to rocket a so-so beer brand from 5th place into a tie for 1st place in just a matter of months. Listen to this:

Schlitz Beer hired Hopkins to increase their falling market share. Every beer manufacturer at this time was screaming "PURE" in their ads. In fact, companies were spending a fortune just advertising this 4 letter word as big and as bold as they could. They even took out double pages ads to put that word in even bigger letters. All this shouting and no explaining was making zero impressions on the buying public. Nobody ever explained what 'pure' really meant until Hopkins came in.

The first thing Hopkins did was take a factory tour. On this tour he was shown plate-glass rooms where beer was dripping over pipes. Inquiring the reason for this, Hopkins was told that those rooms were filled with filtered air, so the beer could be cooled without any impurities.

Next, he was shown huge expensive filters filled with white- wood pulp that provided a superior filtering process. The manufacturer then went on to explain how they cleaned every pump and pipe, twice daily to assure purity. And also how each bottle was sterilized not once or twice, but four times before being filled with beer.

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Then, Hopkins was shown the 4,000 foot deep artesian wells dug to provide the cleanest and purest water available, even though the factory was right on the shore of Lake Michigan. (At this time Lake Michigan was not polluted and could provide clean water.)

Finally, Hopkins was lead into a laboratory and was shown the mother yeast cell, that was a product of 1,200 experiments to bring out the robust flavor. And he was told all the yeast used in making Schlitz beer was developed from that original yeast cell.

After his tour Hopkins exclaimed, "Why don't you tell people these things?"

The manufacturer's response was because every beer manufacturer does it the same way.

And to that Hopkins replied, "But, others have never told this story..." And he went off to create an advertising campaign explaining to people what makes Schlitz beer pure. Once again he told the same story any brewer could have but he gave a meaning to purity. And this is what took Schlitz from 5th place to a tie for 1st place in market share.

Really, this whole process is just educating.

Educating prospects about the how's, the why's, the good, the bad and the ugly. You simply cannot over educate people.

Now maybe you're thinking anything from the 1920's can't possibly work today -- WRONG!

Murray Raphel, a retail direct marketing consultant, tells the story of how he was visiting one of his clients, Ethan Allen Furniture, and he noticed carpenters in the back room repairing furniture. He asked, "Do you make furniture here?"

The reply from the manager of this store was, "No, those are carpenters doing work on Ethan Allen wood furniture." He went on to explain how every customer is given a lifetime guarantee on all their wood pieces. And he quickly added, "But all Ethan Allen stores do this."

But of course no other store advertises this fact.

Soon Raphel ran an ad stating *Every Piece of Ethan Allen Wooden Furniture is Guaranteed For Your Lifetime!*

And wouldn't you know it, a competitor soon ran the same guarantee in their ad. But guess who got the credit for the guarantee?

That's right -- the original store.

So here's the bottom line: Take the time right now to write down exactly what you do in your business (even if it's the exact same as any other competitor). Write down absolutely everything and tell people everything. Don't suffer from the curse of assumption - let people know and they'll knock down your door to order!

(c)2000 Surefire Marketing, Inc. How Much Is One Good Sales Letter Worth To Your Business? Yanik Silver (mail has created the ultimate no-brainer, fill-in-the-blank sales letter writing resource. In less than 3 minutes you can create a winning letter guaranteed to sell your product or service...WITHOUT WRITING! Check out : Instant Sales Letters