LETTER B O O K THE ROBERT COLLIER

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THE
LETTER B O O K
ROBERT COLLIER
Sixth Edition
Revised and Enlarged
Englewood Cliffs, N. J.
PRENTIGE-HALL,
1931, 1937, 1950,
BY
PRENTICE-HALL, INC.
C LIFFS , N. J.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Eighth printing
December, 1969
PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
78150- M0
MASON
whose idea this was and to
FRED S T O N E
who made it possible, this book
is dedicated
ROBERT COLLIER
April
9, 1950
W i t h the same sincere enthusiasm
his career, Mr. Collier
that
approved the final proofs of this
new edition of his Letter Book
only a few days before his death.
Foreword
to write a foreword to this practical book
about selling, which does much to de-bunk the subject, I
did not know that the author had used me so frequently as
Exhibit A. Naturally I feel somewhat embarrassed at endorsing his studies, since we traveled the road of mail order experience so much of the way as "buddies." I can't help but
think it would have been a better book if he had called
me Mr. Sears Roebuck, or Mr. Montgomery Ward, or some
other well-known name that stands for big profits and big
success. However, if he wishes to take the chance of marring
an otherwise useful book, that is his affair.
To anyone immersed in the great game of business, there
never ceases to be a thrill in landing an order. Multiply
that thrill
or 1,000 times, and you have a picture of
what a big day means to one who depends upon the incoming mail for success in business. I suppose there must be
plenty of excitement in turning over to the "big boss" an
order for $50,000 worth of something from one customer,
I doubt whether it can be compared with the feeling
that you have influenced through your own eloquence a
minds to do something you wanted them to do, so
that they all responded with signatures, in one day, backed
healthy pocketbooks.
Of all the forms of selling, direct mail is the most intriguing. Certainly it appeals strongly to the student mind. I
known men to be devoted to it, and very successful
it, who probably would have starved if they had been
I AGREED
vii
...
FOREWORD
forced to take a sample case and show their wares to their
customers face to face. Of all forms of selling, it gets the
results because the mails travel faster than salesmen, the mails don't get sick or temperamental, nor do they
have to wait for an interview. The direct-mail appeal gets
there and back while another salesman is packing his grip.
It offers great oyportunity for showmanship with striking
illustrations and color printing. It makes certain that all the
best selling points are covered, whereas a sales representative
may often miss a few and is quite
to focus on a weak one
he likes best, even sometimes inventing some doubtful ones of
his own. In direct mail the management can check all extravagant claims. Direct mail shows a low selling cost
if it works at all-and has the advantage of showing you
quickly whether your merchandise is marketable, so that you
can plan and get your campaign under way while the season
is on. I say, "If it works!" Of course, it will work if one
has the patience to find the right approach. Sometimes you
hit it by accident, but usually you hit it by hard study, backed
by experience. Mr. Collier has generously poured his experience into this book to save the reader the pitfalls yawning
for old-fashioned business men, who are so apt to spend their
postage money on good literature with sophisticated dictionary words and involved appeals, instead of headlines with
punch, backed by simple homely argument.
A well-known copywriter and direct-mail expert used to
say if you can sell books and service through advertising,
you can sell anything. This probably explains why Mr.
Collier shows you so many examples of successful book
selling, making his point with the more difficult demonstration material. It must not be inferred, however, that the
methods he describes apply only to publishers' problems, because it is undoubtedly true that the same technique can be
applied to sell anything from peanuts to real estate,
is
FOREWORD
ix
applied every day. If you have an article with merit,
and there are enough human beings who want it or who can be
made to want it, direct mail will find them quickly and at a
cost, in good times and in periods of depression. Moreover, it can be used in connection with other forms of selling
without conflict. Your high-salaried road-men to the contrary
notwithstanding, you can use direct-mail methods not only to
help them sell your product, but to sell them as well-and
make them like it.
The publishers are pleased to call this a "book," but I
should call it a "course of study," because it covers the
subject so completely and unfolds food for thought in easy
steps with logical sequence just as a good teacher would do the
job. I believe many will join me if I nominate Robert Collier
to the chair of Direct-Mail Engineering at some progressive
institution of learning. If this suggestion is adopted, we shall
see in a few years a new attitude on the part of the weary
public on receipt of circular letters. The bright, refreshing,
circular literature then will be opened and read because it will
be newsy and interesting, instead of dull and drab, as so much
of it is today-but how about our pocketbooks after these
compelling letters make us sign up for everything that Mr.
Collier's disciples want to sell us under this new order of
things?
*
*
*
*
*
It is with a sad heart that I record here the passing of my
warm friend Robert Leo Collier on January
1950, on the
eve of making the final plates for this new edition. It is my
hope that someone who reads these pages will be inspired to
write an appreciation to the
that will
to experience the uplift of Bob Collier's sound advice,
which he has given so
to so many of his friends and
associates over the years. I can think of no more fitting
tribute to pay a clear thinker, action specialist, and originator
x
FOREWORD
of profitable selling ideas, whose kindness and sympathy were
scattered widely. His work will be long remembered and his
memory cherished by all who had the privilege of knowing
the genial Bob.
FRED STONE
Preface
had a verse in the front of one of his books
that would make an appropriate foreword for any book of
letters. It
When 'Omer smote'is
lyre,
He'd 'eard men sing by land an' sea;
An' what he thought 'e might require,
' E went an' took-the same as me! *
There are scores of rules for writing good letters, and most
of them are helpful, but merely following rules will never
make a good letter. It needs something more than that. It
needs inspiration, just as any piece of successful writing does.
Some there are who can pull their ideas out of the air, so
to speak, but most of us get ours from the study of letters or
advertisements that have proved successful for others.
That is why letter writers, even more than most people, are
"a part of all that they have met."
In that, as I see it, lies the greatest value of a book such as
this. It gives you scores of letters, on all manner of subjects,
that have proved highly successful. It shows you how campaigns were planned and carried out. It gives you the things
necessary to the successful use of letters, and illustrates them
with hundreds of
of how
have been used.
Most experienced writers can readily pick a letter that has
little or no chance for success, but no man knows so much
about letter writing that he can tell you how successful o r
otherwise a letter will be.
*From: THE SEVEN SEAS by Rudyard
Copyright 1896 by
by permission of Mrs. George Barnbridge and
& Company, Inc.
xi
PREFACE
xii
.
some years ago Its publishers took a dozen letters they had used and offered $1.000 to
anyone who could arrange them in the order of results accomplished-this one first. this second. and so on Thousands of experienced letter writers tried. not one succeededor even came near success.
that most of us know is what
has been done.
Show us an appeal that has been
successful and we
can adapt it to some other offer and
it successful. too
We are all imitators. We all get many of our ideas from
others. Personally. I learned most of the rules of letter
writing from Herbert Watson's Business Correspondence
Library But I also owe any success I have had to the
thousands of writers
letters I have read. whose methods
good idea I found in their letters I
I have studied
have tried to adapt in some way to my own.
It is my hope that you may be able to do the same with the
letters in this book. and thus through them make your own
letters even more successful
TIME Magazine proved
.
.
.
.
.
Tarrytown. N. Y.
R. C.
CHAPTER
I. WHAT MAKES S OME LETTERS P AY ? . . . . . .
.
AROUSE THAT ACQUISITIVE FEELING
. GETTING NEWS INTEREST I NT O YOUR LETTERS . .
IV. WORD PICTURES THAT MAKE PEOPLE WANT YOUR
P RODUCT
. MOTIVES THAT MAKE PEOPLE BUY . . . . . .
VI. THE PROOF OF TH E PUDDING . . . . . . . .
VII. SUPPLYING THAT IMPULSE . . . . . . . . .
VIII.
P UT A HOOK INTO YOUR LETTERS
IX. THE SIX ESSENTIALS . . . . . . . . . . .
X. How IT ALL BEGAN
XI. THE FIRST OLIVE
. SELLING $2,000.000
O F . H ENRY STORIES .
. A WAR HISTORY THAT SOLD
XIV.
THAT MANY P EOPLE KNOW
. HOW WELLS' OUTLINE WAS SOLD
XVI. How THE BOOKBUYERS SAVED A CAMPAIGN . . .
. A GIANT THE MAILS
. THE THIRD FIFTY THOUSAND
. WILL YOU ACCEPT THIS LITTLE GIFT?
. ONE MILLION DOLLARS' WORTH OF ORDERS I N THE
FIRST SIX MONTHS
. TAKING THE GUESS OUT OF ADVERTISING
. WE HELP TO START A STORE
. How REACH THE
. COLLECTING WITH A
. LIFE BEGINS
1
8
47
56
59
68
73
83
98
109
115
124
140
164
184
214
235
247
280
313
338
358
372
xiv
CHAPTER
CONTENTS
XXVI. S HOWMANSHIP . . . . . .
XXVII. MISCELLANEOUS P RODUCTS . .
XXVIII.
T O RAISE M ONEY BY M AIL
XXIX. T HE IDEAL SALES LETTER . .
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P AGE
393
403
431
453
THE ROBERT COLLIER LETTER BOOK
What Makes Some Letters Pay?
W
about some letters that makes them so much
more effective than others?
A letter may have perfect diction, a finished style; it may
bristle with attention-getters and interest-arousers; it may
follow every known rule; yet when it reaches the Hall of
Judgment where the reader sits and decides its fate, it may
find itself cast into the hell of wastebasket-dom, while some
screed lacking any pretence of polish o r the finer arts of correspondence blandly picks up the bacon and walks home
with it. Why?
Because getting the results you set out to accomplish with
a letter is
more a matter of rule of thumb than is landing
a fish with a rod and hook. You know how often you have
seen some ragged urchin pull in fish after fish with the crudest
of lines, when a "sportsman" near by, though armed with
every piscatorial lure known to man, could not raise even a
bite!
It's a matter of bait, that's all. The youngster knew what
the fish would bite on, and he gave it to them. Result? A
mess of fine fish for dinner. The "sportsman" offered them
what he had been led to believe fish ought to have-and they
turned up their fishy noses at it.
Hundreds of books have doubtless been written about the
fine art of fishing, but the whole idea is contained in that one
HAT IS THERE
1
2
WHAT MAKES SOME LETTERS PAY?
sentence: "What bait will they bite on?" Thousands of articles have been written about the way to use letters to bring
you what you want, but the meat of them all can be compressed into two sentences: "What is the bait that will tempt
your reader? How can you tie u p the thing you have to
offer with that bait?"
For the ultimate purpose of every business letter simmers
down to this:
The reader of this letter wants certain things. The desire
for them is, consciously or unconsciously, the dominant idea
in his mind all the time.
Y o u want him to do a certain definite thing for you. How
can you tie this up to the thing he wants, in such a way that the
doing of it will bring him a step nearer to his goal?
It matters not whether you are trying to sell him a raincoat, making him a proposal of marriage, or asking him to
pay a bill. In each case, you want him to do something for
you. Why should he? Only because of the hope that the
doing of it will bring him nearer his heart's desire, or the
fear that his failure to do it will remove that heart's desire
farther from him.
Put yourself in his place. If you were deep in discussion
with a friend over some matter that meant a great deal to both
of you, and a stranger came up, slapped you on the back and
said: "See here, Mister, I have a fine coat I want to sell you!"
What would you do? Examine the coat with interest, and
thank him for the privilege-or kick him and the coat down
the nearest stairs, and blister both with a few choice adjectives in the process?
Well, much the same thing happens when you approach a
man by mail. He is deep in a discussion with himself over
ways and means of getting certain things that mean a great
deal to him. You butt in (that is the only term that describes
it) and blandly tell him to forget those things that so deeply
WHAT MAKES SOME LETTERS PAY?
3
concern him and consider your proposition instead. Is it any
wonder he promptly tells you where to head in, and lacking
the ability to reach you, takes it out on your letter instead?
Then what is the right way to approach him? How would
you do it if you were approaching him in person? If he
were talking to someone, you'd listen for a while, wouldn't
you, and get the trend of the conversation? Then when you
chimed in, it would be with a remark on some related subject, and from that you would bring the talk around logically
to the point you wanted to discuss. It should not be much
more difficult in a letter. There are certain prime human
emotions with which the thoughts of all of us are occupied a
goodly part of the time.
in on them, and you have
your reader's attention. Tie it up to the thing you have to
offer, and you are sure of his interest.
You see, your reader glancing over his mail is much like
a man in a speeding train. Something catches his eye and
he turns for a better look. You have his attention. But
attention alone gets you nowhere. The something must stand
closer inspection; it must win his interest; otherwise his attention is lost-and once lost, it is twice as hard to win the
second time. Again it's a matter of
may attract
a fish's attention with a gaudily painted bauble, but if he
once nibbles it and finds it made of tin, you will have a hard
time reaching him again with anything else of the same kind.
Every mail brings your reader letters urging him to buy
this or that, to pay a bill, to get behind some movement, or
to try a new device. Time was when the mere fact that an
envelope looked like a personal letter addressed to him would
have intrigued his interest. But that time has long since
passed. Letters as letters are no longer objects of intense
interest. They are bait-neither more nor less-and to
tempt him, they must look a bit different from bait he has
nibbled at and been fooled by before. They must have
WHAT MAKES SOME LETTERS PAY?
4
thing about them that stands out from the mass-that catches
his eye and arouses his interest-or away they go into the
wastebasket.
Your problem, then, is to find a point of contact with his
interests, his desires, some feature that will flag his attention
and make your letter stand out from all others the moment
he reads the first line.
But it won't do to yell "Fire!" That will get you attention, yes-of a kind-but as f a r as your prospects of doing
business are concerned, it will be of the kind a drunken miner
got in the days when the West wore guns
used them on
the slightest provocation. He stuck his head in the window
of a crowded saloon and yelled "Fire!"-and everybody did!
Study your reader. Find out what interests him. Then
study your proposition to see how it can be
to tie in
with that interest. Take as an instance the mother of a
month-old baby. What is most in her thoughts? Imagine,
then,
a letter starting like this would appeal to her:
After baby's food and baby's clothes, the most important
thing you have to decide upon is the little cart baby is going
to ride in-is going to be seen in-is going to be admired in.
Never a child came into the world but was worthy of as
good a cart, etc.
Or if you were the father of a six- or eight-year-old boy,
wouldn't this get under your skin?
Your boy is a little shaver now. He thinks you are the
You can fix his boat, mend
most wonderful man in the
his velocipede, tell him wonderful stories.
But it will be only ten or twelve years until he goes to College. The fathers of the other boys-his chums-will go to
see them. There will be a Railroad President, perhaps; a
great Banker; a Governor.
And you will go; and your boy will say, "This is my father,
boys.??
How will he feel when he says it?
he be proud of you?
WHAT MAKES
LETTERS PAY?
5
Or
any one of the following starts. Can't you just
in interested agreement, can't you
see your reader
picture the way they would carry him along into a description
of the thing offered, how they would make him want it, how
they would lead him on to the final action?
To
Druggist
After you have run up front half a dozen times to sell a pack of
cigarettes, some adhesive tape, and a postage stamp; to change a
five dollar bill for
barber, to answer the phone and inform
a box, and assure Mrs. Jones that
Mrs. Smith that Aspirin is
you will have the doctor call her up as soon as he comes in, then
take a minute for yourself and look over this proposition. It's
worth while.
T o a Householder
Doesn't it beat the Dutch the way thieves, pick-pockets, holdup men and burglars are getting away with it these days?
There were over 1500 house burglaries last month in our dear
old city; 92 business burglaries; 122 street hold-ups; 11 offices
held up; 309 automobiles stolen, and the Lord only knows how
taken on the streets. A good insurmany watches and
ance policy against burglary and theft is a pretty cheap investment these days. Call me on the phone now, and I can have
your valuables covered by noon.
man who owns a cow loses a calf once in a while.
If you own a herd of a dozen or more, you are probably
losing one or two calves a year. We know of breeders who
were losing every calf-some sixteen-some over thirty a year.
And these breeders stopped their losses short-just like that
-through the information given in our
...
To a Merchant
"She didn't buy anything."
How often is this little tragedy repeated in your store?
Your time is valuable-your overhead expense runs on-and
it costs you real money when a prospective customer walks
out of your store without making a purchase.
WHAT MAKES SOME LETTERS PAY?
T o a Mother
About that boy of
He is arriving at the age when his spirit of manliness asserts itself. You find him imitating his father's manners-he
is using your embroidery scissors to shave with-he is no
longer ambitious to be a policeman, but has his eye on the
Presidency. Among the serious problems with him today is
this: He is beginning to want manly, square-cut, "growing-up"
clothes. He is no longer satisfied with ordinary boys' clothes.
He wants something "like father's."
To a Doctor
What a clutter of books a doctor can get around him, and
what a fearful outlay of money they will come to represent if
he doesn't use great discrimination in their purchase. I don't
suppose there is any class of people-and I have customers
among every class you can think of-who appreciate more than
my medical friends the marvelous savings I am able to make
them on all standard sets, reference books, etc.
To a Housewife
After you have your breakfast dishes washed, your floors
swept, and your beds made up, I should like to have a moment
of your time.
You are an excellent judge of what is good to eat, and know
when you are getting what you should from your grocer to be
saving and yet to set your table with healthful and dainty dishes
for your family
...
T o Insurance Agents
Did you ever, as a kid, sneak up alongside an old mill pond
might call a "good old
far out
and heave what
into the middle of its placid surface-just for the fun of seeing
all the mud turtles on all their sunny legs drop off into the water
with one loud, individual P L U N K ?
If the humble mud turtle formed no part of the back-yard
fauna of your youth, I reckon there was something mighty
similar to engage your budding talents. Just as you find now,
in your grown-up days, that the pursuit of your business aims
often involves the same emotions that lent interest to your
WHAT MAKES SOME LETTERS PAY?
tivities in the eyes of your early neighbors. For example: We
want to point out to you a few of the prospects that are basking
along the banks of the
...
Bait-all of them. Find the thing your prospect is interested in and make it your point of contact, instead of rushing in and trying to tell him something about your proposition, your goods, your interests.
How to Arouse
Acquisitive Feeling
to the very beginning, what is the first thing to
do in writing any business letter?
Before you put pen to paper, before you ring for your
stenographer, decide in your own mind what effect you want
to produce on your reader-what feeling you must arouse
in him.
If you want your readers to say, as the crowds did of
mosthenes' famous rival Aeschines : "What a clever speaker !
-then it is quite all right to start with catch-phrases and the
like. But if you want to emulate Demosthenes, whose
hearers forgot all about him in their interest in his message,
then your whole effort must be centered on arousing the
feeling in them: "Let's go!"
For back of every successful letter, as back of every sale,
is a created feeling that impels the reader to act as you want
him. It is the whole purpose of every business letter, whether
it be sales, collection, adjustment, or complaint, to make
your reader want to do the thing you are urging upon him.
How are you to arouse that feeling in him? How would
you have to feel yourself before you would place such an
order as you have in mind, before you would grant such an
extension, before you would send a payment to this man in
preference to all others, at a time when it was an effort to
send a dollar to anyone?
8
HOW TO AROUSE THAT ACQUISITIVE FEELING
9
What would you want first to know? What about the
proposition would interest you most? What would you feel
you had to gain by accepting? What would you lose by refusing?
They say the Parisians have a formula for love letters:
Begin without knowing what you are going to say, and end
without knowing what you have said." That may be good
medicine for love letters, but it was never meant for business.
To do the Frenchmen justice, however, such of their letters
as appear in print indicate that although they may not know
what they are going to say, they have a pretty clear idea of
the emotion they want to arouse in their reader, and they
leave no stone
in the doing of it.
And after all, isn't that the whole purpose of a letter?
Books have been written about the importance of attention,
and interest, and argument, and clinchers, hut aren't these
mere details? When you come down to it, isn't the prime
requisite arousing in your reader the feeling that he must
have the thing you are offering, or that he cannot rest until
he has done the thing you are urging him to?
Consider the following two letters, for instance. The first
follows all the rules. It wins attention, it creates interest, it
describes what it has to offer, it has argument, conviction,
clincher, yet it was
moderately successful, whereas the
second letter pulled more than twice as well. Why the difference? Because the first letter is aimed only at the intellect, whereas the second, while it tries to convince the intellect, aims its real appeal at the emotions! And when it
action you want, go after the emotions every time!
Here Is a Letter With a Selfish Motive-Selfish Because I Shall
Gain By Doing a Favor For You.
Some people have a sort of sixth sense that enables them to
send greetings and the like to all the proper relatives and friends
10
HOW TO AROUSE THAT ACQUISITIVE FEELING
on every appropriate occasion. But most of us are likely to
overlook such things.
This letter is your reminder-NOTto forget additional cards
for those half-forgotten friends and in-laws who remembered
you last year, for the new acquaintances you made this summer,
for all the children.
There are few things more pleasant, you know, than to be
remembered by a friend, and the only known way to keep friends
and their adopis to BE FRIENDLY. "Those friends thou
tion tried, grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel."
You have many more friends than you can reach with the
not use the payfifteen lovely greeting cards we sent you.
ment form enclosed to send your $1 for these fifteen, and then
add another $1 for a second fifteen as well?
Better still, get some inscribed with your name and thus make
them even more personal and distinctive. All you have to do
is pick the one card you like best from the fifteen you have,
tell us the "key" number that is printed on the back of it, and
if it is either No. 8 or No. 9 send $1.95 in addition to your $1
payment for the box you have. That $1.95 will bring you
thirty-six additional cards, each with your name beautifully
printed on it. Prices for the other cards are given in the inside page of the little circular enclosed.
The time is getting close now. It won't be long before you
will be wanting to MAIL these cards. Better fill in your name
now on the payment blank-tell us how many more cards to
send you, and drop it in the mail.
Then the days may come and the days may go, but you'll be
sure of having attractive greetings with which to keep green
ALL your friendships.
Sincerely,
DEAR CUSTOMER,
How often have you promised yourself to keep in touch with
some old friend, to cultivate some new one-and then gone
your way forgetting them, and letting them forget you?
To be remembered by a friend is one of the pleasantest of
human experiences, and at no time of the year does one appreciate it more than at Christmas. More old friendships are
HOW TO AROUSE THAT ACQUISITIVE FEELING
11
renewed then, more new ones cemented, than at any other time
of the year.
"He that hath friends," says a famous writer, "must show
himself friendly. If you would keep your friend, don't lose
sight of him too long. Write when you can, remind him of
yourself and you shall not lose the thread of his life."
And of all ways to recall yourself to your absent friends, none
is more pleasant or easier than sending them a lovely Christmas
greeting, like the box of fifteen that we mailed to you a short
time ago, for they are not only good to look at, but they carry
with them a warm-hearted greeting that every friend will welcome.
Remember, it is not the intrinsic value of what you send that
counts. It is the spirit that goes with it. As Oliver Wendell
Holmes put it, "If uncounted wealth were thine, thou couldn't
not to thy cherished friends a gift so dear impart, as the earnest
benediction of a deeply loving heart," etc.
Why is it a tabloid newspaper will outsell a clean,
edited sheet by ten to one? Why? Because its appeal is to
the sob sister, to the emotions. Why is it that a fire-spouting
revivalist, preaching hell and damnation, can crowd huge
amphitheaters while your ordinary clergyman preaches to
empty pews? Emotion! The religion that brings masses
of converts, that sweeps whole cities, is not an appeal to
the intellect-but to the emotions!
Mohammed first
preached his doctrines, they were sane and moderate-and
they attracted few converts. He added the emotional features-and
over half the world!
"I Talked With God!" claimed Frank B. Robinson, and
started a new religion that soon numbered its followers in
tens of thousands.
You may not be interested in starting a new religion, but
you do want action of some kind. And to get action, you
need to arouse emotion on the part of your reader. You
may convince his intellect that the thing you want him to do
HOW TO AROUSE THAT ACQUISITIVE FEELING
is right and is for his best advantage, but until you arouse
in
an urgent desire to do it, until you make
feel
that whatever effort it requires is of no account compared
with the satisfaction it will bring him, your letter is lacking
in its most important essential. It may have everything else,
but if it lacks that faculty of arousing the right feeling, you
might as well throw it away. It will never make you money.
Not many years ago there was a young fellow in a small
Connecticut town with a book-and an idea. The book had
been written for serious-minded men, to help show them the
way to success. But letters and advertising telling of this
marvelous secret of power had left their readers cold-so
cold that the original publisher had failed. The young fellow had been his bookkeeper, and
bought the plates and
stock at the sale of the publisher's effects.
You see, this young fellow bad an idea he could sell that
book. He believed that a mere description of its contents,
such as had been used in the letters and ads, was not enough,
that the important thing was to arouse the reader's desire
through an appeal to his ambition. He had only $200 left,
but he decided to gamble those $200 on selling the book.
To make a long story short, he did it. He spent his $200,
and from them he got $2,000 worth of direct orders by mail!
That $2,000 was the start of a small fortune. He promptly
spent every cent of it in selling more books, pyramiding his
receipts like a stock gambler does his winnings. In the
years that have elapsed since that time, this young man
has sold more than $2,000,000 worth of books. His name
The book was "Power of Will." And he
is A. L.
sold his two millions, as he did his two thousands, by making
his appeal-not merely to the intellect, but to the emotions.
"Five Days to Prove I Can Raise Your Pay!" "A New
Idea That Makes Men Rich." "Ambitious Men Flock To Me
-to Learn My More-pay Secret."
HOW TO AROUSE THAT ACQUISITIVE FEELING
13
And his case is typical of every great mail success. What
sold the "Book of Etiquette?" It had been gathering dust
on the shelves of Doubleday's stock room for ten to fifteen
years when Nelson Doubleday suddenly brought it to life
and sold a million copies. What caused the sudden demand? Not, you may be sure, any wave of culture or politeness sweeping over the nation, but simply the fear aroused in
the readers of Doubleday's letters and advertisements that
some unconscious gaucherie might cause them embarrassment. "Why I Cried After The Ceremony." "What's
Wrong With This Picture?" "Why They All Laughed At
Me." "Again She Ordered-Chicken Salad, Please."
"Why She Blushed With Shame."
Why do people buy reducing belts, face creams, hair
tonics? Why do they diet and go through arduous exercises?
need these things,
Not because their reason tells them
still less because they like them-but because their emotion
of vanity impels them! "How I Improved My Appearance
One Evening." "How Fortune Came to John Jones."
"Satisfied Just To Keep The Wolf From The
"How
Anyone
Have a Winning Personality." "A Startling
Memory Feat That You Can Do." "How It Feels To Earn
a Week." "Little Signs That Reveal Character At a
Glance." "How to Make a Hit With Influential People."
Appeal to the reason, by all means. Give people a logical
excuse for buying that they can tell to their friends and
use to salve their own consciences. But if you want to sell
goods, if you want action of any kind, base your real urge
upon some primary emotion!
Getting News Interest into Your Letters
and has wanted since the beginning, is news-something to flag its jaded interest, something to stir its emotions.
Tell a man something new and you have his attention.
Give it a personal twist or show its relation to his business
and you have his interest.
Do you know how Wells' Outline of History was first put
across? On its news value! "The Oldest Man in the
World," "Was This the Flood of the Biblical Story?" "The
Finding of Moses," and so on. Newspaper headlines, all of
them. News interest in every one of them. Rich man, poor
man, beggar man, thief-all stop to read if you can put news
interest into your letters.
"When the Rattlesnake Struck!" Can't you see yourself
reading on to see what happened? Well, that is what
thousands of others did every time that headline was used.
It sold hundreds of thousands of
Henry books.
"Will a Yellow King Rule the World?" Which one of us
would not be startled enough by such a headline to read on
and see if there was any reason to fear that such a thing might
ever really happen?
is the Unpardonable Sin in all Nature?" Can you
imagine any reader so
as not to go on at least a
if
lines further to find the answer to that question?
THE WORL D WANTS,
14
GETTING NEWS INTEREST INTO YOUR LETTERS
15
you can lead him on those few lines, it is your own fault if
you cannot make your story so interesting that it will carry
him right down to the last line and the order blank or card
that follows it.
A business man is no different from any other kind.
Watch him on his way to the office. Compare the time he
with the way he eagerly
gives the financial and business
devours the details of the latest murder or scandal, or the attention he gives the sports page. He wants news interest.
He will get it in his business as far as he can, but if it is not
there, he will look outside his business for it.
So if you want his attention, go after it as the newspaper
does. He knows he has to compete with a
thousand other distractions, so he studies his reader and
then presents first that side of his story most likely to attract
the reader's interest.
You have to compete in the same way for your reader's
attention. He is not looking for your letter. He has a thousand and one other things more important to him to occupy
his mind.
should he divert his attention from them to
plow through pages of type about you or your projects?
You have, we shall assume, decided upon the emotion
your letter must arouse in your reader to get him to do as
holding
you want. You know that every man is
a mental conversation with himself, the burden of which is
his own interests-his business, his loved ones, his advancement. And you have tried to chime in on that conversation
with
that fits in with his thoughts. But some
propositions do not lend themselves readil y to this.
you
then? Look for news value! Look for something in or about your proposition of such news interest that
will divert the reader's mind temporarily from his own
affairs, then bring it back by showing how your proposition
in with those affairs or is necessary to their successful
How are you to do it?
16
GETTING
INTEREST INTO YOUR LETTERS
Perhaps the best way to answer that is to show a few examples of how it has been successfully done. Here are some
typical openings that get the reader's attention and lead
logically on to a description of your proposition:
Do you know what was Socrates' chief characteristic? It
was his pertinacious curiosity, his desire to know the why and
the wherefore of everything, his questing for fundamental
reasons.
It was this curiosity that helped make him represent the
highest achievement of Greek civilization. I t is that same questing for fundamentals that makes the Bland Advertising Agency
so invaluable when a new product is to be introduced, a new
field opened, a new method tried.
In the city of Bagdad lived Hakeem, the Wise One, and
many there were who came to him for counsel, which he gave
freely to all, asking nothing in return. One day there came to
him a young man, who had spent much but got little, and asked:
"Tell me, Wise One, what shall I do to receive the most for that
which I spend?"
Hakeem answered: "A thing that is bought or sold has no
value unless it contains that which cannot be bought or sold.
Look for the Priceless Ingredient."
"But what is this Priceless Ingredient?" persisted the young
man. Spoke then the Wise One. "My son, the Priceless Ingredient of every product in the market place is the honor and
integrity of him who made it. Consider his name before you
buy."
For 25 years, Squibbs has been making, etc.
What is the eternal question which stands up and looks you
and every sincere man squarely in the eye every morning?
"How can better my condition?"
That is the real life question which confronts you, and will
haunt you every day till you solve it. Read carefully the enclosed booklet, and see if you don't find in it the answer to this
GETTING
INTEREST INTO YOUR LETTERS
17
important life question which you and every man must solve if
he expects ever to have more each Monday morning after pay
day than he had the week before.
Your grandfather in his buggy traveled no faster than Caesar;
in individual transportation he was almost as limited as a citizen
of Rome.
Suddenly-the automobile-and our generation is unup into minutes, and the
shackled! With a car, miles
humblest family
its doorstep to own the continent.
takes the trail early
All day long, from the minute your
in the morning, until you quit the game late at night-you are
figuring on ways to sell more
to
more trade, to
possess more executive ability, to be a bigger business builder.
you are ever
This is the one great heart and soul aim of
conscious-the mastery of your business, the rising to supremacy in your line, the steady year-in and year-out increase of
financial income. You'd willingly spend a few minutes to learn
new ways of directing and developing your mental energies so
as to cut out waste motion and make every move count for 100%
progress.
Did you ever stop to think that the average man's brain
wastes more energy than the worst old rattle-box that ever
squandered good steam? It's the knowing how to apply your
brain-power-how to think, how to reason, how to conserve
mental energy, how to concentrate, that alone can make you
a leader in your profession.
And it was to teach you how to think, how to concentrate,
how to apply the basic fundamentals of all science to your
own daily problems that the Blank Course was written. It
shows you, etc.
It was payday in Connellsville, Pa., and I was sitting in a
local store, talking with the
When a laborer came in.
He said he wanted so-and-so, that he, etc.
.
18
GETTING NEWS INTEREST INTO YOUR LETTERS
So I thought this: You want more business-want your store
recognized as the, etc.
If you are tired of a salaried job, if you want to get into a
big-paying, independent business of your own, I have a proposition that will interest you.
Here's a little "inside information" that we're passing on to
you, because you are a home-maker, and as such it concerns
you.
We got a little low on summer stock the other day, so our
buyer, Mr. Smith (he's full of ideas and enthusiasm) went to
the source of supplies, and we just got a letter from him, thus:
(Then give the news of some special buy that enables you to
offer a wonderful bargain.)
What is it worth to keep baby's milk sweet? By making
your refrigerator measure up to that all-important job, you
make it measure up to all other jobs.
Some time today or tomorrow or next month, in practically
every commercial office in the U. S., an important executive
will sit back in his chair and study a list of names on a sheet
of white paper before him.
Your name may be on it. A position of responsibility is
open, and he is face to face with the old, old problem-"Where
can I find the man?"
The faces, the words, the deeds, the possibilities of various
employees pass through his mind in quick review, and he realizes
once again how little an employer really knows about their
hopes, their ambitions, their particular ability to handle more
important work. That is where the Blank School can help
him-and you.
What has given the high values to Iowa farm land? Corn.
What has given the rapid advance in farm values to all the
central western states? Corn. What is the biggest factor in
GETTING NEWS INTEREST INTO YOUR LETTERS
making the farm lands of lower Louisiana advance?
Why? Because they are in the "corn belt."
19
Corn.
If your expenses were doubled tomorrow, could you meet
them-without running heavily into debt? If you had to
have more money on which to live-to support those dependent
upon you--could you make it?
You could if you had the training afforded by our course.
It has doubled other men's salaries. It can do the same for you.
For 20 years I was an exile, shunned by people on every
hand, unwanted in the business world, impossible socially, a
mental and physical wreck, a failure at everything. I was despondent,
devoid of hope. Life to me was a burden.
And then I learned to talk! (And so on with description of
a course to cure stammering.)
Right around New Year's, most of us are somehow thinking
about what we'll accomplish within the next twelve months.
Often we get to figuring and planning and laying it all out beforehand.
So maybe it will mean a lot of inspiration to you, as it did
to me, to read
...
I have come to look upon it as a pity that circumstances should
ever combine to place men of much ability in a position where
they are not obliged to begin with a struggle for existence.
For most individuals are so constituted that they are obliged
to do so. The saving event in many a man's life is the
that takes away the props that have supported him, and leaves
to look out for himself. Many persons have told me this
true of their own lives, and we know it is true of ours. So
instead of railing against the fate that makes it necessary for
dig in and make something of yourself, thank God for
and start now getting ready. The Blank Course will fit you,
etc.
20
GETTING NEWS INTEREST INTO YOUR LETTERS
The old gentleman who resigned from the Patent Office in
1886 because, as he said, everything had been invented, had
we all begin to
nothing on most of us. There are times
feel that mechanical equipment is about as perfect as man can
make it.
Take lubrication for instance. In spite of the thousands of
dollars wasted in furnishing six ounces of oil to a bearing that
needs only one, production men are satisfied-until, of course,
someone comes along and shows them where 500% can be
saved.
Making production men dissatisfied with their
equipment is our business.
You've got to have more money. Your salary, without income, is
enough. The man who depends upon salary alone
to make
rich, well-to-do or even comfortable, is making
the mistake of his life. For the minute you stop working, the
money stops coming in. Lose a day and you lose a day's pay
-while expenses go right on.
Don't you think it's time you got Nature to work for you?
A dollar put into a peach orchard will work for you days,
nights and Sundays. It never stops to sleep or eat, but keeps
on growing, growing-from the very minute you put your
money in.
A small moss lamp is sufficient to heat an Eskimo's
because its walls are insulated. Minute particles of "dead air,"
held captive in the snow blocks, provide natural
the most efficient known to science.
But present-day homes of ordinary construction waste
thirds of the heat that comes from the furnaces. One-third of
this heat naturally escapes through windows and doors. The
other third is unnecessarily wasted. It escapes easily through
uninsulated walls and roofs. Ordinary building materials cannot hold heat in. Celotex stops
waste.
There's a bank here in Chicago-not much larger than yours
-that secured over 280 new savings depositors last month!
GETTING NEWS INTEREST INTO YOUR LETTERS
21
And secured them, mind you, on the sole strength of
circular letters, without the aid of a single solicitor!
That's why this letter is as vital to you as though it were a certified check. For it tells how, etc.
Suppose a good job were open where you work. Could you
fill it? Could you jump right in and make good, or would the
boss have to pass you up because you lacked training?
The man who is offered the big job is the man who has
trained himself to hold it before it is offered to him.
Don't take chances on being promoted. Don't gamble on
making good when your opportunity comes. If you want a big
job that carries responsibility and pays good money, get ready
for it! Pick out the job you want in the work you like best.
Then start right now to get, through the Blank Correspondence
School, the training that will prepare you to hold it.
If you do as Arnold Bader did-he lives five miles northeast
of Monticello-you will have very little trouble with your clover,
and you can start a patch of alfalfa that will grow.
When a man, 42 years of age, who has been working for
others all his life, decides to go into business for
and when, in a few short months, he so solidly establishes his
business as to outdistance competitors who had the advantage
of years of experience-there must be something about his
method of doing business that other men would like to know
about at once.
the January Blank magazine, you will find the story of how
John Jones succeeded, what he did, etc.
Pay-day-what does it mean to you? Does your money go
'round? Or does it fail to stop all the gaps made by
week's or month's bills?
Last week-according to actual, certified reports on file in
our
men got their salary raised as a direct result of
becoming more proficient from studying ABC courses.
22
GETTING NEWS INTEREST INTO YOUR LETTERS
Don't you think it's time that salary raise was coming your
way?
The old saying:
is strength in numbers," certainly
does not apply to the wearing apparel of the woman of today.
Could anything be more disappointing to a well-dressed
woman than to pass an exact counterpart of the coat which she
is wearing, on some other woman?
Exclusiveness is the keynote of our women's coats; therefore
we cannot permit any duplicates. That's the reason our
Women's Coat Salon, etc.
the garden?"-is the morning greeting at the suburban station. Many estate owners are planting potatoes on
all their available ground. Others, not so ambitious, are growing only enough for a table garden.
magazine assumes
Under these conditions,, House and
a new importance. It has already established a reputation for
clear, usable garden information. Now, it is a guide book for
the subject uppermost in everyone's mind.
You get more pay for each working hour now than you did
the first day you worked. Why? Because you put more value
into each hour of your time. You have developed your
Your business efficiency grows out of your business ideas,
and these come from your business knowledge. If you enrich
your knowledge with the tested and proven experience of other
men, you save yourself valuable time and the needless labor of
studying out that which is already known. You add other
men's business knowledge to your own efficiency. You get the
material out of which to make new and original ideas.
It is these new ideas that make and break records. They
mark the difference between the man who gets paid much and
the one who receives little. And it is the material for these new
ideas that you find in the Journal of Modern Business Management.
GETTING NEWS INTEREST INTO YOUR LETTERS
23
30 or 40 years ago, back in the days when we travelled by
Dobbin and Dashboard route, men used to say:-"Well,
reckon life insurance is a good thing, but you have to die
to win."
Times have changed. And so have life insurance policies.
Today there are at least 17 ways you can put life insurance to
work for you, right now, in your own lifetime, and reap rich
rewards without sacrificing the protection value of the policy.
No matter what business or personal undertaking you have
in mind, there is probably a policy that will help you carry out
the program easily, quickly, economically-and at the same
time protect those dependent upon you.
Frankly, I'd like to discuss the matter with you, etc.
There is one type of letter that is always interesting news,
the product you are offering has an established
market. That type is the price-reduction, money-saving offer.
Here are a few such letters that have proved particularly
effective:
Monday, March 6th-mark the date on your calendar now!
It is the date of a sale you will not want to miss. A sale of
women's white spring frocks at $12.50.
It is such an interesting event that we want to tell you a few
things about it. Most of the dresses are, etc.
At the close of a busy season, we find ourselves with 137 sets
of the beautiful Gold Star edition of Oliver Cromwell's works
damaged from stock-room handling-so slightly you
would have to make a close inspection to discern the damage,
but still-you know how it is-they cannot be sold as perfect
books.
So rather than send them back to the bindery and give the
binders the profit of re-binding, we have decided to let the
advantage go to a few booklovers-people like you who love
books for the books' sake and not for trifling details about
them-and to offer these 137 sets at just what they would be
with the covers ripped off! Mind you, in all other respects
are perfect. Only a corner scuffed, or a cover marked.
24
GETTING NEWS INTEREST INTO YOUR LETTERS
At certain periods of the year, we have special events in this
store which we do not advertise. In order that we may personally advise you of such sales, we would like to have your
name and address. Won't you please therefore give us this
information at the bottom of this card, and either send or bring
it to the store at the first convenient opportunity?
will go
On the 1st of October, the rate of the Business
up $1 a line. If you place your order before the 30th of this
month, you can buy space to be used any time before January
1st at
a line. After the
positively no orders will be
accepted at less than the new figure. As a matter of fact, our
circulation entitles us to the higher rate now.
That one extra dress you so badly wanted, but thoughtfully
and economically decided not to buy-that smart afternoon
frock, or the pretty street dress, that you longed for, but resisted
because to buy it then would have been extravagant-is now,
you will be happy to learn, turned into a matter of plain, common sense economy!
For to make space for spring stock that is coming earlier than
we were prepared for, we must cut the prices on our complete
and beautiful line of winter styles to the point that will make it
almost an extravagance not to take advantage of the wonderful
values.
We are enclosing in this envelope our check for $6.20 payable
to Smith Bros. Readers. This means that if you endorse the
check and return it to us before
we will send you
$6.20 worth of these readers, whichever ones you may choose!
On the back of the check, you will find a complete list of all
our Readers, Grades
to 6B. If you wish to order additional
quantities at this time, you can apply the enclosed check against
our bill as part payment.
You will probably be able to buy an Ever-ready Bag next
year-10 years from
GETTING NEWS INTEREST INTO YOUR LETTERS
25
But you can never buy it again at its present price of $14.85.
That price is about to go up to $20. The special low-payment,
free-on-approval club is about to close for good.
This is your chance.
The card herewith brings the newest bag, etc.
Of course, there are ways of getting the reader's interest
even before he gets to the first line of your letter. Putting
catch-phrase on the outside of the envelope is one. Many
concerns employ this method on all of their mailings; you
can be sure they have found it effective, for no experienced
user of the mails keeps up any practice that does not justify
itself in increased orders on the record sheet.
As a rule, such catch-phrases on the outside of an envelope
are effective only on third-class mail, to catch the reader's
eye and arouse enough interest to get him to open your letter.
On the mailing pieces of one publisher for whom I worked,
we used them numbers of times to great advantage. In selling 0. Henry, for instance, we used such catch-lines as:
"When the Rattlesnake Struck," "The Fateful Kiss," and "If
This Happened on Your Wedding Night." In selling a
History of the World War, we had several that worked well,
such as "And they said we wouldn't fight!" and "Retreat,
H--l! We just got here!" Another, for a health course, was
'If the darned fools only knew!' said Roosevelt."
All these helped to get the reader inside the envelope.
purpose was the same as the newspaper headline-to
arouse the reader's curiosity and make him go further into
story. So they have to be judged like any other headline,
one standard-how successful are they in doing their
And the
way to find that out is to test them against
headlines, or against plain corner cards.
on third-class mail, we often find the plain corner
better, and on first-class, it is almost invariably so. You
only object of a 3-cent stamp is to make the letter
26
GETTING NEWS INTEREST INTO YOUR LETTERS
seem like a personal message, and to put a catch-phrase on
the outside of the envelope defeats that object at once.
So a pretty safe rule to follow is-if you want to use an
attention-getter on the outside of the envelope-save
thirds of your postage by sending your message third class.
One of the most effective stunts we have seen used to get
a man to look inside the envelope was the idea of a young
friend of ours. He watched trade papers, house organs and
the like for pictures of men connected with different organizations. Then, instead of addressing the man by name, he
pasted the man's picture on the front of the envelope and
under it wrote: "Care of Such and Such a Company," and
the address. It was subtly flattering and it won
favorable attention, too.
Folders often lend themselves to such attention-getting
stunts even better than do envelopes, since their size gives
more room for illustration. In effect, they are advertisements
sent through the mails, and they have to compete for their
readers' interest in the same way as advertisements in a
magazine. Their success or failure depends upon the same
factors of attention-winning illustration and headline. These
must be followed by an interest-arousing start, clear description, logical argument and clincher, with coupon or card that
makes ordering easy.
These are the more obvious ways of getting attention.
Often they are so exaggerated that they defeat their own purpose. Quieter and usually more effective ways may be found
in the letter itself, in the circular enclosure, or in the post
card or order form.
Some offers lend themselves to a pictorial, colored letterNelson Doubleday first offered his Little Nature
head.
Library, he used a plain letterhead. By lithographing a
nature scene of birds and woods and flowers across the top
and down one side, he actually doubled the number of orders
GETTING NEWS INTEREST INTO YOUR LETTERS
27
received from
letter! We found the same to be true in
selling a health book. By using a Florida address, and illustrating both envelope and letter with colored pictures of seashore and bathing beauties, we more than doubled our orders.
On the other hand, we have seen numbers of offers that have
better results on a plain letterhead than on a colored,
one. To be effective, pictures must not merely be
done-they must add essential background that
not be possible without them.
As an instance, at one time we offered a set of large gravure
of famous pictures. By tipping in the upper left-hand
corner of the letterhead a small reproduction of one of these
prints, we added nearly 50 per cent to
pulling power of
the letter, and sold the prints (which had been gathering dust
for years) at a
The same thing held true in selling calendars-a small
reproduction in full colors of the picture we were using on
the calendar greatly increased the returns.
Where a business is built around some one
his
picture on the letterhead often adds 10, 15, or 20 per cent
to the pulling power of his letters. We found this to be so in
testing different offers for John Blair, head of the New Process
Company of Warren, Pa. And the same thing has been true
of a number of people we have worked with.
Another effective attention-getter is to tip on the letterhead
of the product you are offering. When selling
a
traveling bags, the New Process Company showed a sample of
leather, to prove how tough and long-wearing it was.
When it was a topcoat or overcoat, they attached a sample of
cloth, so you could prove for yourself its wool content, see
attractive color and design, get the feel of it.
Then there are the fill-in, and the way the letter is folded,
the circulars and order card inserted. We frequently
that even so unimportant a thing as the fold made a
28
GETTING NEWS INTEREST INTO YOUR LETTERS
difference in the orders. Folding the letterhead out, using
the militar y fold so that only the salutation and first line of the
letter showed when the reader picked it up, has increased
orders for us at times by as much as 10 per cent.
Indenting the main paragraph helps, too. We have found
it a more effective way of calling attention to a special point
of interest than either underlining or capitals.
Even the postage stamp has an effect upon the attention
accorded a letter. Two
stamps frequently pull more
replies than one
stamp.
purple 3-cent stamp pulls
better than three green 1-cent stamps.
As for the metered mail and postage indicia, experience
varies, but in our own case, we have found little difference
between the results of metered mail and postage stamps. To
show what a difference color makes even here, because purple
is used for first-class mail, a purple indicium usually pulls as
well for third-class as for first, whereas other colors frequently show entirely different results.
These are minor details, of course, and are not to be considered in the same breath with the start of the letter, the
description, the argument, or the close. But when you have
written a
letter, when you have your appeal right,
and you are looking only for ways to get more orders, then
you will be surprised at how these minor details can make
that order record mount!
Word Pictures That Make People
Want Your Product
Now
your reader's interest, what are you
going to do with it? Start a series of firstlys, and secondlys,
and thirdlys, like the old-time preacher, and put your reader
to sleep, losing all the advantage you have worked so hard
to gain? Go into a long-winded description that tires him
out before he is halfway through? Or lead him gently from
one point of interest to another, with word pictures so clear,
simple, that he can almost see the things you are offering
him?
Getting your reader's attention is your first job.
done, your next
is to put your idea across, to make
him see it as you see it-in short, to visualize it so clearly that
he can build it piece by piece in his own mind as a child builds
house of blocks, or puts together the pieces of a picture
puzzle.
The mind thinks in pictures, you know. One good illustration is worth a thousand words. But one clear picture
built up in the reader's mind by your words is worth a thousand drawings, for the reader colors that picture with his own
which is more potent than all the brushes of all
world's artists.
And the secret of painting such a picture in the reader's
THAT YOU
29
30
WORD PICTURES THAT MAKE PEOPLE BUY
mind is to take some familiar figure his mind can readily
grasp, add one point of interest here, another there, and so on
until you have built a complete word picture of what you have
to offer. It is like building a house. You put up your
framework. You add a roof, floors, sides, windows, doors,
stairs, until you have your structure complete. You would
not start with one side, or the roof. You get a solid foundation first; then you add to it logically, piece by piece, until
you have your finished building.
Just so it is in building word pictures. Washington Irving
gave a classic example of this in his description of
schoolmaster in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
He was tall, but exceedingly lank, with narrow, sloping
shoulders, long arms and legs, hands that dangled a mile out of
his sleeves, and his whole framework most loosely hung together.
His head was small .
. .
Can't you just picture that gawky, homely figure, with its
ill-fitting clothes and shambling gait? The whole gives a
scarecrow-like effect such as you see occasionally even today,
where some youthful bumpkin seems to have sprouted so fast
that arms and legs and Adam's apple have outdistanced the
rest of his anatomy in the race for development, until now
they seem but a weak web holding together a bunch of limbs
with ham-like hands and feet at the ends.
Thousands of sales have been lost, millions of dollars
worth of business has failed to materialize, solely because so
few letter writers have that knack of visualizing a proposition
-of painting it in words so the reader can see it as they see it.
Yet the ability to do that is one of the important factors in a
successful letter, for it means describing your proposition in
terms of things the reader knows. Westcott gave a good example of this when he had David
tell some "horsey"
friends about The Lost Chord.
WORD PICTURES THAT MAKE PEOPLE BUY
31
It's about a feller
one day by the organ, an' not
exac'ly right-kind o' tired and out sorts and not
jes'
where he was drivin' at-jes'
along with a loose rein fer
quite a piece, an' so on; an' then, by an' by, strikin' right into
his gait and
on stronger and stronger, and fin'ly finishin'
up with an A-a-a-men that carries him quarter way 'round the
track 'fore he can pull up.
You see, your sale must be made in your reader's mind.
Before you can get his order, it is necessary for you to register
sequence of impressions in his mind, the combined result of
will be to make him want the thing you are offering
more than the money or trouble it costs him. And the method
of registering those impressions lies in first picking something
with which he is familiar, and building on that.
To describe apples, for instance, as "like those with which
Eve tempted Adam," is to use a simile that will strike a
familiar chord with everyone. "Honey such as Cleopatra
served to Antony," brings in another familiar allusion that
almost anyone would recognize.
"As rich in appointment as Croesus in coin of the realm."
Satisfying as sinking a ten-foot putt on a rough green."
"As much chance as a goldfish on a cat
"Like a home
run in the ninth inning with the bases full." "Like painting
a battleship with a tooth brush." "Thick, creamy, chocolate
coatings that give you that 'more-ish' feeling." "The company with a good product that does not advertise is like a
man who whispers to himself on a desert." Every one of
stirs a familiar chord and thus gives you a definite impression to tie your story to. It is the difference between
a foundation to build upon and resting your edifice
shifting sands.
Further along in this book we shall give you numbers of
instances of the way the writer has used this idea in describing
products he has helped to sell. Meantime, we give
a few good examples of how others have done it:
32
WORD PICTURES THAT MAKE PEOPLE BUY
About a Ginger Ale
The lore which enters its making is akin to the lore of the
wine-makers of France-a formula and process handed down
from father to son. Only three men know the secret of its charm
and vivacity, its mellow glow and friendliness. You will find
in it a stimulation like that of mountain air.
The cheerful hum of voices, the steaming kettle, the cup that
cheers, and Silverplate with its satiny surface catching every
light.
A Room
It seemed, partly because the ceiling was low, to be very
spacious; the walls and ceiling were of a kind of dusky amber
hue; a golden brown was everywhere the prevailing tint. The
tiny curtains, the long settees into which one sank, the chairs,
the shades of the mellow lights-all were of some variety of this
delicate, golden brown. In the middle of the room stood a
square table.
A Rug
Under her feet a rug so thick that she felt her shoes must be
hidden in its pile.
A Laundry
A goodly part of the delight of a dinner is in linen white as
almond blossoms. Napery, to be at its best, should be launMany discerning housewives endered carefully and
trust their fine table linen to the White Laundry. In it, the
well." But with
constant thought is not "how quick" but
our care, we do save time for you, too.
A Book
If you are one of the live, wide-awake men who welcome the
rush and tumult of great daring and big adventure, who believe
that there is nothing better for tired brains or tired bodies than
the healthy, blood-tingling, mind-quickening stimulation of a
good story, then
...
Hawaii
Four days beyond the Golden Gate, the Hawaiian Islands lift
WORD PICTURES THAT MAKE PEOPLE BUY
33
their crests of misty jade above a sparkling sea. Four nights
away, the orange moon floods Moana Valley with its spell, and
the ghosts of gorgeous flowers spread a witchery of perfume in
the shadows. Four days away, the long combers, creaming on
bar, race shoreward, and golden-skinned surf-riders,
young gods and goddesses of the blue deep, speed across the
amethystine waters.
Someone waits to drape a lei of jasmine on your shoulders.
Someone waits to sing the husky croon, "Aloha oe," to echo in
your heart for years. Why don't you go and capture your
dreams?
A Ham
This mark certifies that the hog came from good stock, that
it was corn-fed in order that it might be firm and sweet-that it
was a barrow hog, so that the meat would be full-flavored and
juicy-that it was a young hog, making the ham thin-skinned
and tender-well-conditioned and fat, insuring the lean of the
ham to be tasty and nutritious. This mark certifies that the ham
was cured in sugar, pure saltpeter and only a very little salt,
thus bringing out all the fine, rich, natural flavor of the carefully
selected meat, and preserving it without "salty pickling."
A Real Estate Development
From every standpoint of the amusement industry and the
real estate promoter, Boca Grande is a dead town. It always
has been dead and probably always will be. That is why it
appeals to many live people.
It doesn't
with any of the bigger and better movements. It
lets them alone. It has no Chamber of
Commerce, no dredges or sand-suckers, and nothing
for next year. Boca Grande is simply a haven for those who
prefer to roll their own in the way of amusement. Providence
did a perfectly satisfactory job in the way of making this a
to swim and fish and golf, and we who have been
here for years let it go at that.
You might like Boca Grande a lot. Many clever people do.
is an adventure in naturalness. Let us send you a book about
It is a very nice book, and not too much exaggerated.
WORD PICTURES THAT MAKE PEOPLE BUY
A Gas Burner
The Blank Heat-Spreading Burner is a nest of small jets, and
is so designed that the heat is spread evenly over the entire
bottom of the utensil. Combustion is so perfect that all the fuel
is burned. You get the full benefit of every atom of gas. The
bottom of the cooking utensil rests only seven-eighths of an inch
from the burner top. There are no deposits of carbon to be
scoured off.
A n Oven
This is the Blank Oven, built on the principle of
Dutch
oven, with the "baker's arch" to prevent air pockets. The
patented heat spreader at the bottom assures even distribution
of heat, and guards against your roasts and baked things being
underdone on top and burnt on the bottom. On the door of the
oven there is a heat indicator which shows how much heat there
is inside.
And here are a few from England that tend to show that
our cousins across the water are not so deficient in humor as
the "funny papers" would lead us to believe. Certainly
their descriptions would be hard to improve upon.
A Plum Cake
It was in one of those sweet old country houses where they
put little bunches of lavender with the linen that we first tasted
the plum cake of our dreams-glorious stuff, rich, fragrant and
incredibly plummy. We admit now that our mouth was too
full when we asked for the recipe, but we were overwrought
and excited; anyhow, let bygones be bygones, they gave us
the recipe for our customers.
The dear old housekeeper, with her ringlets and black taffeta,
took us to the still room to show us how to make it, and told us
fascinating things; how brown-shelled eggs are best, and how it
is most auspicious to make such a cake when the moon is in its
second quarter. That is why you so often see our chef on our
roof in Piccadilly anxiously scanning the heavens on fine nights.
Turtle Soup
When we speak of turtle soup, our voice
We have in
der-do not think us
very tenthe spiced
WORD PICTURES THAT MAKE PEOPLE BUY
35
turtle soup we make for those who feast regally. As you gaze
into its depths, you see luscious calipee and morsels of calipash
gleaming darkly through the soup that is so rich and yet so
wondrous clear. Then there is our special turtle soup, cleared
of all heaviness and fat, that brings roses back to the cheeks of
delicate people.
Once a rival, maddened by jealousy, came and spoke lightly
of our turtle soup. We killed him. It was wrong of us, for
we held no game license that season, but it shows we are not
unmanly.
Cakes
We have these cakes made at a little rose-covered country
house, by people steeped in the sweet lore of home-made
craft. We will not even let them come to London for a holiday,
for fear they should be contaminated by modern methods. So
there they bide, unhurried and at peace, with bowls of rosewater
at their elbows, and little sprigs of rosemary and great crocks
of buttermilk, making glorious cakes full of the goodness that
is England.
Could such cakes as these be made within earshot of a London motor-bus? We trow not.
There is in England one incomparable herd of glossy little
Guernsey cows that give milk that is about one-third cream. It
is from this wonderful herd that we obtain our butter. That is
why there is no mistaking its golden charm.
With all humility, we say there are few, if any, cheeses as
good as ours to be obtained in England. For many years we
have obtained them from the same prize dairy. We have kept
a few of last year's Cheddars for those who love the ripe
dour of well matured
Do not be misguided by the mirthless Stiltons made in hissing factories by pale youths who cycle madly to the cinema
freedom hoots from the powerhouse.
Our real farm-house Stiltons will show you why the name is
venerated by mankind. Each cheese is made in the homestead
a Leicestershire yeoman, from great pans of cream, and
aprons full of cowslips for the coloring. When such cheeses
36
WORD
THAT MAKE PEOPLE
BUY
as these enter the dining rooms of clubs, the faces of brigadiers
soften, and admirals give little plaintive cries of love.
Chinese Ginger
Fat-root ginger with its generous warmth curbed by sweetness. And then there is the syrup-lazy in its richness.
Ham
Deep-sheathed in ivory-white fat, and close set with rosy
meat
The eating of them makes a man realize how fond he is of all
his relatives-well, practically all.
...
Bacon
When the fragrance of its frying rises through the area,
passers-by give savage cries and rave at the railings. This is
one of the disadvantages of living in town.
The fascination of our bacon lies in the secret manner of its
is mellowed in the suave smoke of certain rare woods
curing.
and old-world herbs. Bacon with meaning and beauty in every
for hours before a side of our wonmouthful. Often we
derful bacon, musing in deep reverie, and finding therein our
greatest happiness.
Put life into your descriptions-life, and when possible,
a smile. Give your reader something that will stir him out
of his indifference, arouse his emotions. You never see
"Standing Room Only!" signs in front of an art museum or
a public library or a theater where educational films or
travelogues are being shown. But just try to get into almost
any good movie around eight o'clock of an evening! Why
the difference? Because most people cultivate their intellects only under the lash. They revel in emotion at any and
all times.
So give them a thrill! If you want to describe your
mustard, weave it into a story. Tell how the girl planned
this picnic lunch; of the loving care that went into every bit
of it; the touch of this; the flavor of that; the delicious ham;
the savory mustard; and then how the boy forgot them all just
in the delight of being with her.
WORD PICTURES THAT MAKE PEOPLE
BUY
37
Tell about the man so poor he did not have a penny even
to buy his boy the velocipede he had been begging Santa to
bring him; so after the little tot had gone to bed, Dad sat
down with his pocket knife and some old lumber and carved
out a sort of wooden velocipede that not only delighted
the boy's heart, but when shown to a toy manufacturer,
put Daddy beyond the reach of want for the rest of his
days.
Tell how the rubber tire owed its inception to the efforts of
a young veterinary to make a more comfortable wheelchair
for his invalid mother; how the first mowing machine consisted of a number of scissors with one side nailed to a board,
the other connected to a string that opened and shut them.
Get the story back of your product. Give your reader a
laugh or a tear or a lump in his throat. Stir u p his emotions!
You will have no trouble interesting him then!
Compare the following letters, for instance. The first
three are good, and they pulled a reasonable number of orders.
were successful, as letters go. But their appeal
was solely to the intellect. Once we had tried the style outlined in the last four letters, we discarded the other kind entirely, for the emotional type tripled and quadrupled our
returns.
Did You Ever Wish You Might Have, Always Ready,
A Real Authority On The Right Thing
To Do In All Circumstances?
At dinners, at dances, as house-guests, or in public, people
judge us by what we do and say. They see in our manners
the quality of our breeding. They credit us with as much refinement and cultivation as our manners indicate
no more.
Oftentimes, because they are not quite sure what is the correct thing to do, people commit impulsive blunders that make
them embarrassed, humiliated. They know that those around
them. It is then
them are misjudging
they realize most keenly
need of having ready at hand a
...
38
WORD PICTURES THAT MAKE PEOPLE BUY
real authority on the right thing to do in any and all circumstances.
What, for instance, would you regard as the correct answers
to these questions:
1-What are the two most important rules in table manners?
2-How do you introduce one person to a group of people?
3-What is the correct seating of two husbands and wives
at the theater ?-at a dinner?
should make the first move to leave after a dinner party?
With the assistance of prominent New York and Washington
women, as well as frequent reference to the standard books on
etiquette, a booklet has been prepared that gives authoritative
answers to the questions most often asked. In this one handy
booklet, you get the few essential rules of good manners,
answers to the ever-present question of what to do and how.
Printed in a size that can readily be carried in the purse and
referred to secretly at any time, this booklet will save many an
embarrassing moment. Yet it is FREE! The enclosed Card
will bring you a copy, without cost and without obligation.
Frankly, we want to send this little book to you just
to get the opportunity to show you-at our risk and
expense-fourteen lovely Everyday Remembrance
Cards that are as quaint and unusual as they are
cheery and friendly.
You see, up here in the Foothills of the Berkshires, there's a
little group who try to create each year for discriminating folks
like you, a few distinctive Everyday Remembrance Cards that
breathe the very spirit of friendliness and cheer.
With paint brushes daubed in all the softness and delicacy of
sky and flowers and fern-soft blues and greens, silvers and
golds, pinks and lavenders and grays-working on the newest
papers, they have this year worked out a harmony of design
and coloring that our friends tell us is unsurpassed.
And on these rare, distinctive cards we put cheery, friendly
greetings-some warm-hearted for old friends, others more
formal for newer ones. The verses, chosen from the best
WORD PICTURES THAT MAKE PEOPLE BUY
39
mitted by the most successful writers in the country, tell your
friends you are remembering them in a way they will appreciate.
Will you examine these quaint, bright, colorful messengers
of good will-if I send them to you free-to be returned at my
expense if they don't happen to be exactly what you are looking
for? Will you look over the fourteen lovely folders we are
showing for 19-, and of which we are justly proud?
Mind you, there'll be no obligation for you to keep them.
You can send them back for any reason or no reason-and owe
us nothing. Yet the etiquette booklet by recognized authorities
will be yours to keep regardless.
Appreciatively,
The Bible Needs Only 118 Words to Convey 62%
Of Its Meaning: How Many Can Y o u Use Correctly?
The Reverend J. Knowles of London listed the first 100,000
words in the Bible and found that 118 simple words are used so
often that they comprise 62,456 of the first 100,000: In other
words, a child or a foreigner who knew only these 118 words
could still read 62% of the Bible text.
made a
Sounds unbelievable, doesn't it, but Clement
similar experiment with a Buffalo Sunday newspaper, listing
some 43,000 words, and found that anyone who knew only two
or three hundred commonly used words would be familiar with
of our spoken and written language.
There are 450,000 words in the English language, and educated people have a vocabulary running into the thousands, but
the spoken language of the street and the marts of trade is so
limited that anyone familiar with two or three hundred
used words can understand nine-tenths of all that is said,
and can probably make a good guess at the other tenth.
How important it is, then, that we should know how to use
those two or three hundred correctly, and especially the hundred and eighteen that comprise 62% of all English usage.
If there is one failing more than another which makes people
down on us, it is using incorrect English. You may be a
genius, you may be worth millions, but if when you open your
40
WORD PICTURES THAT MAKE PEOPLE BUY
mouth you don't know how to talk correctly, everyone
listens to
will do so with a sort of good-natured contempt,
and will repeat your mistakes with gusto behind your back.
With my compliments, I am going to send you a little
made in
book that lists the mistakes most
everyday speaking and writing. It points out all the
little things to watch for, the errors that so often creep
into our talk through carelessness, the pronunciations
that distinguish the cultured man or woman from those
of little education.
I am going to send this little book to you, without cost or
obligation of any kind, just to get you to examine and give me
your opinion of, etc.
Desperate Desmond
Just Didn't Know.
Desmond was desperate because here it was just a little while
until Christmas, and he hadn't sent any Christmas Greeting to
rich Aunt Mariah, or a card to Cousin Sue, or even found time
to pick out suitable Gift Cards to put with his packages to
and Dad and the Girl-of-his-Dreams.
He wanted to send friendly greetings to lots of folks-greetings that would look like a million dollars but cost only a few
cents
and Gift Cards that would make his loved ones sayold Desmond: You certainly rang the bell this
Christmas. The cutest little trick on our tree was your
present, with that ducky little Gift Card."
But, Desperate Desmond abhorred crowds. He disliked
pushing his way through the jam to the Greeting Card counters.
So he buried his head in his hands in despair. But just then
a kind friend thrust into one of those hands a Postage Paid
Reply Card like the one enclosed. And Desperate Desmond's
problem was solved!
For this card brings to you, postpaid, for FREE EXAMI NATI ON
right in your own home or office, a box of Christmas Greetings
that for quaintness of design and loveliness of color have seldom been equalled. Printed on exquisite papers, in rare and
unusual designs, they breathe a friendliness and cheer that is
the very spirit of Christmas. There are 14 Greetings in all, re-
...
WORD PICTURES THAT MAKE PEOPLE BUY
41
produced on sparkling papers of shiny sheen or velvety softness, with envelopes to match.
BUT HERE'S THE MOST IMPORTANT PART: YOU need send no
money, obligate yourself in no way. The enclosed card will
bring you these 14 lovely Greetings at our risk and expense
for FREE EXAMINATION.
It does save us time and trouble, however, when payment accompanies the card, so if you will like to send $1 in full payment with the card, we will show our appreciation by including
-FREE-12 quaint Gift Cards like the one attached to this letter, with envelopes to match. You get your $1 back at once
if you return the Greetings, but you can still keep these 12
Gift Cards with our compliments.
It's come to be the custom nowadays to send quaint Gift
Cards like these with presents of flowers, candy, books, and the
like, instead of the formal visiting cards. But whether you
want the Gift Cards or not, mail the Postage Paid Reply Card
now, so you'll never be in Desperate Desmond's plight.
Sincerely,
"TELL HIM NOW- says
of New York.
The Popular
One of the favorite sayings of the popular Mayor of New
York is that the time to show your liking for your friends and
enjoy it.
your appreciation of them is NOW-while they
He is fond of quoting this bit of verse:
"If with
you are viewing anything a man is
doing,
If you prize him, if you love him, tell him now.
Don't withhold your approbation till the parson makes
oration
And he lies with many lilies on his brow.
If you think some praise is due him, now's the time to
pass it to him."
You have lots of friends whom you'd like to tell how much
think of them, but you find it embarrassing sometimes, difficult at all times. Well, here's a graceful way to do it.
42
WORD PICTURES THAT
MAKE PEOPLE BUY
Use the 15 delightful and distinctive Christmas Greetings you
sent for, and that we are mailing to you herewith, to tell your
friends-"I am thinking of you." That is what they really want
to know-that you are bearing them in mind, wishing them
well, looking forward with eagerness to your next meeting.
Few gifts can be compared in value to that simple message, for
friendship, like all things else, grows dull and tarnished with
disuse.
You know how often you have planned to show your friends
-some day-how much you think of them. You know how
many times you have thought to yourself what great things you
would do for them-when your ship comes in. But in the
meantime, do you always take advantage of the little things you
can do to
those friendships green?
There is an old legend to the effect that those who share their
blessings at Christmas will live to see them multiplied throughout the New Year, and returned to them increased an hundredfold. Here in the enclosed happy greetings are the seeds of
good-will and happiness for others. Sow them, and you can
look to reap for yourself an abundant harvest throughout next
year, for there is no truer saying in the Scriptures than that
"Everything increases after its kind."
This Christmas even more than usual, a friendly cheery greeting will mean a lot to everyone you know. So give those
greetings freely. Give the, etc.
DEAR CUSTOMER,
Do you ever long wistfully for the Christmas mornings you
knew as a youngster, when you bounced out of bed at the first
had left in your stocking?
streak of dawn to see what Santa
No such thrills nowadays, you say. Perhaps not-and yet,
isn't it possible to get even more joy out of Christmas today by
first GIVING it to your friends?
Carlyle used to say, you remember, that "the wealth of a
man is the number of people he loves and blesses, that he
is loved and blessed by." And your wealth of happiness
on Christmas morning may well be measured by the number of people to whom you have brought joy in one way o r
another.
It doesn't need expensive presents to do that. One kind
WORD PICTURES THAT MAKE PEOPLE BUY
43
word o r greeting may often bring more real happiness than the
most expensive present. As the poet put
"We never know
far kind words may go.
There is no way to measure
Friendly smiles. They carry treasures
Of courage, faith, and love of man.
And we may watch them grow
Until their warmth
Unfolds a multitude; returns to bless
The giver too with bread of happiness."
Cast your bread upon the waters. Send out your seeds of
happiness. You have the means in those 15 friendly, cheery
Christmas Greeting Cards we sent you a short time ago. Etc.
"I Shall Not Pass This Way But Once.
Any Kindness That I Can Do, Let Me Do It Now:"
...
In the rush and excitement of these hectic days, we are likely
to forget the little niceties of life. Birthdays, anniversaries,
Easter greetings, and the like probably seem unimportant in
the light of the great events going on all about us today.
And yet, it is these little remembrances that keep friendships
green, that revive and enrich our choicest contacts. For what
is friendship but communion between kindred souls, a sharing
of joys and experiences.
To be remembered by a friend is always pleasant, but never
more so than on some joyous occasion like a happy anniversary
or birthday or holiday season.
And of all ways to recall yourself to your absent friends,
none is more pleasant or easier than sending a lovely "Remembrance" card like one of the fourteen enclosed for birthday
greetings, for anniversary, or other special occasion. They
are not merely cheery and good to look at, but they carry
warm-hearted greetings that any friend will welcome.
Just your name on the enclosed payment form, with your
check or a $1 bill, makes these fourteen lovely cards your
fourteen ways of carrying joy and happy greeting to the hearts
your friends.
Yours for more friends and closer ones,
44
WORD PICTURES THAT MAKE PEOPLE BUY
I Hold The Secret of Friendship. Here is The Way
A Famous American Laid The Foundations For Greatness:
You know-it's a strange thing-but some things we all like
new, and other things we like a bit old, mellowed by
ripened by pleasant contacts and perfected by experience.
Old wood
Among these latter are our friendships.
best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and
authors to
But you are a rare and resourceful person if you are as good
at holding friends as at making them. For the keeping of
friends is an art. You are naturally at your best when meeting
new people, but turning them into friends and holding
to
them through the years is something else again.
Do you know what was Benjamin Franklin's chief characteristic? It was his ability to make and HOLD friends. It was
this ability that made him one of the most influential men of his
time, alike with kings and commoners.
..
That same ability today is said to account for the rise of
some of our most popular politicians. It is back of many a
business and social success. And the secret of it lies in BEI NG
friendly, in letting your friends K N O W
are thinking of
them-friendly thoughts, kindly thoughts.
You see, it doesn't matter how many times you may think of
someone-it is the one time you send an actual message to him
that counts. Few can read your mind, but all can read a birthday or Easter or Anniversary greeting, all can appreciate a "Get
Well" message or a greeting upon other special occasions.
The enclosed card will bring
F RE E EXAMINATION15 cheery, pleasant greetings. Here are Remembrance Folders for every occasion, messages of cheer that friends will remember and treasure. Here are cards as artistic as they are
beautiful, printed in soft, warm colors on rich, satin-stripe
paper, or rose plate finish, or the new Mica cross-stitch paper,
in distinctive and exclusive designs.
The envelopes, with their modern silhouettes and dainty decorations, make a fitting frame for each beautiful folder. And
WORD PICTURES THAT MAKE PEOPLE BUY
as a final touch, the sentiments printed in each have that justright atmosphere of cheery friendliness and regard.
With your permission, I
going to send you, etc.
The Things They Couldn't Say-They Have Prompted The
Sending Of
Messages As These For Centuries.
Have you ever tried to lighten the burden of sorrow for some
bereaved friend by an expression of sympathy, and found
yourself at a loss for words?
Have you ever tried to tell someone of your regard for him,
and found yourself tongue-tied?
Have you ever neglected to keep in touch with old friends
and then tried to make up for it in one great outpouring?
If you have had any of these experiences, you will remember
words refused
how miserable and futile you felt, when the
t o come.
The occasions when you need to express your feelings are not
limited to painful crises. Often it is pleasurable greetings you
want to send-admiration or gratitude or congratulations or
just good wishes. Such occasions are constantly coming up.
You can't ESCAPE them. But you can be PREPARED for them.
You can keep the fifteen lovely folders enclosed, to send in a
friendly, cheery way, your greetings for birthday, your hope
for speedy recovery from sickness, your good wishes for every
occasion.
Here in one handy container are fifteen joyous, pleasant
greetings. Here are remembrances that friends will treasure.
Here are folders as artistic as they are beautiful. Printed in
soft, warm colors, on rich, expensive papers, the designs are as
distinctive as the drawings are beautiful.
Just glance over them yourself and see what pleasant, friendly
reminders they make. You know how often you have intended
to drop a line of cheer to some friend in sickness, or a word of
congratulation or good wishes on special occasions. But it is
such an effort to sit down to write a letter, and it entails so many
you have not written before. So you
explanations as to
let the opportunity slip by.
45
46
WORD PICTURES THAT MAKE PEOPLE BUY
Here is an easy, tactful way to bridge such gaps. Here is how
you can tell your friends-"I am thinking of you, sending you
my regard, wishing you well." A hundred kindly thoughts
will not register like one such actual message.
You'd cheerfully pay many dollars to insure the continued
regard of any good friend. Will you risk $1 to bring happiness and cheer into the lives of those you love, through the
messages of good will enclosed?
Just your name and address on the enclosed payment blank,
with $1 check, money order, or cash, will pay in full for these
fifteen beautiful remembrances. You have more friends than
that-more occasions than one on which you want to send them
friendly greetings-so why not enclose another
and get an
extra box?
Enclosed is an addressed envelope for your convenience.
you use it now-TODAY? Thank you.
Appreciatively,
Motives That Make People Buy
are like automobiles. They can be pushed
or pulled along, or they can be moved to action by starting
their own motive power from within. In either case, you
must provide the fuel. And the only fuel that will start the
sort of action from within you want is desire. Arousing that
desire in your reader is known as the gentle art of exercising
persuasion.
What is persuasion? Nothing but finding the motive that
will impel your reader to do as you wish, then stirring it to
the point where it is stronger than his inertia, or his economical tendencies.
To do that, you must show how he is going to benefit, and
youryou cannot do it unless you have the faculty
self in his place. Would you be richer, healthier, happier
for
done the thing you ask? Would it
standing with others? Would it enable you to do anything,
anything, say anything better than you could before?
it something every one should have? Would it gratify
any passion? Would it enable you to
those you love?
Would it prevent loss of money or of the respect of others?
the new letter writer selects the arguments that are
nearest to hand-the viewpoints that appeal to his own selfish
interests.
writer asks himself such
PEOPLE
47
MOTIVES THAT MAKE PEOPLE BUY
tions as those above, then picks the motive that is strongest,
and presents it from the viewpoint of the reader alone. He
shows what it will do for the reader, what it will add to his
prestige, to his power, to his comfort, to the
of
those he loves.
Description of your product is necessary. But description, no matter how interestingly done, will never sell your
product by the thousands. It is what it will do for the one
who buys it that counts!
There are six prime motives of human action: love,
duty, pride, self-indulgence and self-preservation. And frequently they are so mixed together that it is hard to tell which
to work on more strongly. A man may want a new car, for
instance, solely from a feeling of pride in its fine appearance,
but unless money is a matter of no moment to him, pride
alone will seldom make him buy.
To make that motive of pride so strong as to sweep caution
to the winds, you must reinforce it with a touch of selfindulgence, a measure of love and duty for wife and family,
and a large dash of gain. Show how the old car hurts his
standing, how repair bills and higher gas and oil consumption
eat into the difference in price, how he can
some saving
now that will not be possible a month o r a year later.
more motives you can appeal to, of course, the more
successful you will be, but it is important that you differentiate between the motive
makes him desire a thing and the
one that impels him to take the action you desire, for the
whole purpose of your letter is to make your reader act as
you wish him to. He may not want to pay a bill, for instance. He may need the money badly for himself, and
his inclinations may
toward keeping it in his
But
if you can "sell" him the idea that his credit means more
him than the possession of that money o r anything it can
him, you have touched the right motive.
I
MOTIVES THAT MAKE PEOPLE BUY
49
What has he to gain by doing as you wish?
to lose
by refusing?
"If someone were to make your boy a thief .
read
a National Cash Register Company letter. "Feeling as you
do about your own boy, is it right to put temptation in the
way of other men's boys?"
Love and pride and duty all are intermingled there, with
the added inducement of gain implied-of saving the losses
from petty thefts and the like. But love is the dominant
motive.
Love is always the strongest motive. You have but to read
giving everything
the papers to see how men are every
they have for it-riches and honor, life itself. Yet love is
one of the most difficult motives to work into a letter effectively. Because it is so universal, it has been harped upon
to such an extent that the letter writer has to be more adroit
in its use than with any other motive.
Gain, now; that is easy. True, it has been worked to
death, too, but we are a
race, and we are much more
ready to believe that some one is unselfishly interested in
helping us to make or save money than that he
go out
of his way to further the well-being of those near and dear
to us. Tell a man, for instance, that you have only two cars
left in stock, or ten suits in his size, or a hundred sets of
books, and when the new stock comes in the price will be
advanced 25 per cent, but since he is an old customer you
are holding one of these for him at the old price, and he will
believe you. But try to tell the same man that your only
reason for trying to sell the Book of Knowledge or the Junior
Classics is your ardent love for and interest in the well-being
children, and he will laugh at you. He may buy these
books if the good they will do his children is adroitly presented to him, but he resents having his love for them used
a leverage to dig money out of him for you.
..
I
I
50
MOTIVES THAT MAKE PEOPLE BUY
Here is a skillful appeal to pride that was used with great
success in the days before the automobile had crowded the
horse and buggy off the road, and that can still be adapted
to many another product just as successfully:
Mr. John Jones,
Jonesboro,
Mr. Smith, our factory manager, just came in with your inquiry of Jen. 1st. He read it to me and said:
"You remember Mr. Jones, don't you? He stands pretty high
over there in Jonesboro where he lives-lots of folks know him.
If Mr. Jones could drive one of our buggies around and tell
his friends and neighbors who made it and how well satisfied
he is with it, we could sell a lot more buggies in that neighborhood this coming year."
Then he suggested an idea which I know will please you immensely, Mr. Jones. Here it is:
I am having made to order for my own personal use just about
that money can buy. Here's a blueprint of it.
the finest
See the extra strength I've built into the wheels. Note the
triple ply springs that make riding easier. Mr. Smith just
Jones would surely be delighted with a buggy like
said:
yours. Why don't you offer him this one? You can make another for yourself."
He thinks that if I send you my built-to-order buggy, you as a
man who knows buggies, who knows what materials and finish
ought to go into good buggies, will surely be pleased with it
and certainly be envied by friends and acquaintances of yours
who will see and admire my buggy when you drive it. I know
Smith is right. So I've decided to act on his suggestion and
let you have the buggy I've taken such great personal pride in
designing.
Now, Mr. Jones, if an extra-fine buggy--one built specially to
order for the President of the Columbus Buggy Co. would interest
you-if such a buggy, with its longer wear and smarter appearance, would be worth a few dollars more to you-if
like
to drive a buggy you'll be proud of all your life, just fill out the
MOTIVES THAT MAKE PEOPLE BUY
form,
back by return mail, and
a
like mine at once, or if you say so,
send
the
now being made for me, and make another like it for
myself.
Here is another approach, but still appealing to the
motive:
Of course, clothes don't make the man. But you know yourthey are in getting him a hearing.
self how
It is likely that one of the Rockefellers or
could wear
any kind of clothes and not suffer particular loss of prestige if
the suit happened to be shabby or a misfit.
But most of us have to be a bit more careful. Aside from
what our friends might think of us, we don't feel right ourselves
unless we have the consciousness of being well-groomed.
Then here are appeals to different motives:
Through a fortunate purchase of fine wool, we are able to
offer this
Motor Robe at a special low price of $9.85
-about $5 or $6 less than you would expect to pay for a good
robe in a retail store. We have been notified, however, that
future wool will cost us much more; and we cannot hope to
continue the $9.85 price when our present supply is gone.
Just glance over the enclosed folder and think for one moment of the absorbing, fascinating story that goes with
education in the highest sense, entertainment in the most educational sense. People who have read this new, finally revised
edition of this great history are saying that it has done more
them than a
education. A College education costs
$5,000 and four years of your life. This wonderful work is sent to you on approval, and you will read the books
as quickly, as so many novels.
of the oldest firms in the rubber business-a factory
makes tires
are as good as any in the world-wants
if car
their tires
if he will
at just about the price dealers now pay.
51
MOTIVES THAT MAKE PEOPLE
BUY
tire manufacturer knows that such a saving can be made
if a lot of unnecessary selling
and middlemen's profits
are wiped out. So he's going to test out the motoring public
offering the very best tires he makes direct to car
through our selling organization which operates by mail all over
the country.
And to quickly find out if men really want to save 25% on
the best tires that can be made, he is having us rush
this
August letter to a few selected car owners.
We have just 790 of these double-texture, all wool Greatgone, your chalice
coats to sell at this low price. When they
to save on your Winter Ulster will go with them. But
these 790 last, you can get as perfect-fitting, as good-looking,
as ever you would want to
as fine-quality a
wear, at an almost unheard-of bargain.
As Resident Buyers for a
of out-of-town stores, we
are making the rounds of the manufacturers every day, and
whenever they bring out some "special," whenever they close
out some small lot, whenever they finish copying some designer's
model-gown, we get it!
You know yourself what bargains you can pick up even in
the stores just by shopping around. Imagine, then, what we
can do when we are daily shopping among the manufacturers
themselves. A fourth off, a third off, even a half off the regular
wholesale price is nothing unusual, for manufacturers have no
time to bother with these small lots, and they give them to us at
practically our own price.
The result is that we can offer you some of the season's loveliest and most distinctive
in all sizes, in the most fashionable colors and materials, at actually less than their regular
wholesale prices!
every man can look back-and not so far back with
most of us--and recall cases where some little slip lost him
opportunity or prestige, cost him the favor of someone whose
MOTIVES THAT MAKE PEOPLE BUY
53
opinion he valued, turned what might have been a
able friendship into enmity or indifference.
But there is no need to lose more such opportunities. For
as a physician may read medicine, just as a lawyer may read
just so may you now read the science of culture-that science of good breeding which includes etiquette but yet is above
beyond all etiquette.
One of the best opportunities for the use of persuasion is
collection letters.
a matter of fact, it is our opinion
that there are only two ways to collect
accounts. The
first is persuasion. The second is the threat of court action
or loss of credit standing.
Our own idea is that the most effective collection series is
one that alternates these two. When you send out a strong
threat you frighten a certain number of delinquents into paying,
you make the others so mad they swear they will
never pay. Send another threat on top of that and you just
make them madder. But use persuasion and you smooth
down their fur, get a number of payments, and have things
all set for another effective threat.
Here are a few samples of persuasive collection letters:
You remember how Abraham Lincoln walked
miles from the grocery store where he earned a mere pittance,
in order to bring to a poor old woman the few cents change she
had forgotten and left on the counter.
And how Mark Twain, because his name happened to be associated with that of an unsuccessful company, took all its heavy
debts upon himself, and, though an old man, paid every
It is this "I-will-owe-no-man.a.pennyV spirit that builds up
strengthens self-respect and personal integrity-and makes
credit reputation that bulwarks a man in time of need. It is
we find just such good old-fashioned honesty as this in
99%
the folks with whom we do business, that we feel sure
payment of your account, even though it has been
recently.
54
MOTIVES THAT MAKE PEOPLE BUY
Unless you have conducted a similar business, you can hardly
conceive of the mass of detail involved in handling many thousands of these $1 and $2 accounts. The difference between
profit and loss on such a business depends upon the promptness of collections more than on any other one thing.
I know you will not consciously be instrumental in working
a hardship on any concern with which you do business, and I
am quite sure that when you see your failure to remit promptly
is doing just that, you will send me a check by return mail.
Back in the Stone Age, records were carved on a stone slab.
When the debt was due, Mr. Creditor presented the account in
a very polite fashion-holding the slab in one hand while in the
other he carried his stone mallet. The debtor had no alternative.
Then civilization moved on until the debtor's prison was the
deciding factor as to whether a debtor would pay or not. But
it is a different proposition-credit. Every kind of business, large or small, must build its foundation on its credit
standing. Concerns liquidating their obligations at maturity
build their credit standing to the highest point attainable, while
those who allow their obligations to run along month after
month without payment, decrease their credit standing until it
is nearly obliterated.
Again, as perhaps in your case, there is the business man
who is too busy with matters of more importance, and the work
of looking after his financial and accounting details is delegated
to some other person who lets these important factors ride without considering the detrimental effect they have on your credit
standing.
Your name in red ink on our records is something we want to
avoid. You do, too, I am sure. Here is the way the account
now stands:
John Johnson-Bills Receivable-$25.00
here is the way
But unless we receive a check by the
our bookkeeping department will have to enter it.
(Red Ink) John Johnson-Account Overdue-$25.00
The bad feature about this entry is the effect it has on our
stores that
credit man, and the credit men of all the
MOTIVES THAT MAKE PEOPLE BUY
to our Association.
prevents all this.
55
But then your check before the 17th
The records in the case show that your account has been
D U E for 90 days, and that you have failed to return the
or make payment, or to advise the Blank Company of
cause for delay. The records also show that though written
you have shown no inclination to liquidate your indebtedness. You have COMPELLED them to turn the account
over to the Legal Department to take such action as may protect
the interests of the company.
That you may be fully cognizant of the law, I wish to advise
you that obtaining goods with an intent to defraud constitutes a
criminal act and if such fraud is proved, the person committing
it is liable to imprisonment.
Your case is now on the records of the Legal Department, and
will come up for attention in one week unless you make remittance to the Blank Company.
It is to be hoped you will, for your own protection, make payment if you desire to avoid the annoyance, publicity, and cost
of a lawsuit. You remember a famous English Jurist is reported to have said that if a man claimed the coat on his back,
and threatened to sue him for it, he'd give him the coat rather
than risk losing his waistcoat, too, in defending the lawsuit.
If that is true when you are in the
how much more
true it must be when the facts are so strongly against you as in
present case!
Summed up, arousing the right motive comes down to making the reader want what you have to offer, whether that be
merchandise or money or credit o r merely a clean bill of
health-not merely for what it is, but for what it will do
him!
When you can get him thinking along those
can
home to him the advantages that will accrue to him
doing as you wish, in so effective a way that he wants
more than anything or any trouble they may cost him,
you can feel that
have demonstrated the gentle art
exercising persuasion.
The Proof of the Pudding
O
in northwestern Pennsylvania is a
mail order house that built a business from scratch to over
a million dollars a year on one basis only-proof.
They described their products to the best of their ability,
they followed the usual rules of attention and interest, but
for their main argument they used proof.
One of their most effective letters read:
UT I N A LITTLE T O WN
When 10,000 men from all over the country send all the way
out here just to get a raincoat, there must be something
about these coats. And when a man like John Jones of such
and such a street in your town [and here they gave the name of
an actual buyer in the town, frequently a man whose
was
well known] not only sends for a Blank Coat, but is so well
pleased with it that he writes: "Your Blank Coat is not only the
finest quality and the best fit I have had in a coat for a long
time, but an unusual value. I haven't been able to find its
equal in our local stores at twice the price.''
When thousands of well-dressed business and professional
men from all over the country write us letters like that, and
when more than a dozen of your own fellow townsmen have
sent for this same coat, and liked it so well that they gladly sent
up
for it and felt that they were saving $10 to $15 each
when they did it-don't you think it would be worth your while
to at least look at so unusual a value, especially when the enclosed card will bring one to you in your exact size without one
penny of cost or one bit of obligation?
THE PROOF OF THE PUDDING
57
In the beginning, of course, it was more difficult. They
had no ten
customers to refer to. So at the start
depended for their proof upon the "free-examination,
plan. That
helped to establish confidence. And as fast as they got an
order they
their utmost to turn it into a satisfied customer
from
they could get a testimonial. The testimonials
were bait, and with them they tempted every man in the town
state where the writer lived.
That
idea was sound was proved by the results.
Tucked away off
a corner of Pennsylvania, in a town no
one had ever heard of, without capital, without special advantages of any kind, they built their business to a volume
of over a million dollars. Why? Because statements that,
coming from themselves, would have been laughed at, were
accepted at face value when they came from the mouths of
their customers.
Perhaps even this alone might not have been convincing
had they not backed up these statements with the "free-examno-money-until-you-have-tried-it-for-a-week" idea,
which showed that they not only believed the statements to
be true, but had every confidence in the ability of the goods
to back them up.
Every sales letter must have argument or proof of some
kind, but all the argument in the world is not e q ual to proof
such as this: "You know Jim Jones, who lives over on Vesey
Street, a few blocks from you. Here is what he says
we
ask you to take his word for it. We don't ask
to believe even such men as this Senator, and that Congressman, and a nationally known banker or lawyer or whatnot. Try it for
and see! The enclosed card brings
you without cost and without obligation, for a week's
tryout."
What is it that sells patent medicines by the millions every
...
58
THE PROOF OF THE PUDDING
year? What is it that makes men swallow gallons of nasty,
unpalatable nostrums, pounds of seaweed, and vitamins and
minerals put up in all manner of forms? Proof! A man
describes your symptoms with such exactitude that you think
he must have taken a look down your epiglottis, then assures
you that one dose or a dozen pills or whatnot relieved him
of every trace of his ailment.
What is there for you to do but to try some of the same? If
the remedy was so efficacious with him, you naturally reason
it will not do any harm to try a little of it yourself. And so
the sales go on.
We are a credulous people, but we have become so accustomed to hearing everyone claim that his product is the best
in the world, or the cheapest, that we take all such statements
with a grain of salt. Let some third person make the statement, however, apparently from excess of enthusiasm over
the wonderful value or service he has received, and we prick
u p our ears. Let that statement be backed by positive proof
and we are ready to risk our money.
For that reason, it usually pays to put a testimonial into
every letter you write. I know one unusuall y successful mail
order man who will not let even a collection letter go out of
his house without a testimonial in it. And I believe he is
right. For why doesn't your customer pay his bill? Frequently because he is not satisfied with your product, not
quite sold on the idea that it gives as good value for the money
as he had expected. More than anyone else, he needs to be
convinced of this, and what surer way to convince him than
through the mouth of someone who has used the product?
True, testimonials are in rather bad odor of late, owing to
the way advertisers have run after celebrities and bought
their endorsement of everything from chewing gum to pajamas. But there never will be a time when a testimonial
that has the ring of truth about it will not be a potent factor
in dispelling doubt in the mind of a hesitant customer.
Supplying That Impulse
in front of a sideshow. At
the
critical moment in the barker's talk, his assistants on the outside of the crowd start a general push forward toward the
ticket window.
In every sale, whether in person or by mail, there comes
that same critical moment. Your prospective customer is
almost convinced. You have his attention, you have aroused
his interest, you have just about persuaded him that he must
have the thing you are offering, you have proved to him
beyond question that it is the best or the cheapest; but he i s
not quite ready to sign on the dotted line. Caution, inertia,
call it
you will, urges him to hold back. Desire, the
appeal of a bargain, is goading him on. He is hesitating,
teetering, first this way and then that. Too much urging
make him draw back. Too little will leave him where he is.
are you to do?
Give him a push without seeming to do so. Like the circus
barker's assistants,
the impulse that will make it easier
for him to go forward with the crowd than to stand still o r
back. How are you to do it?
You already know the motive it is necessary to arouse to
your sale, so look for some easy preliminary task on
you can set that motive busy. Then see if you can
it easier for your customer, already started, to keep
TH E CROWD
59
SUPPLYING THAT IMPULSE
going forward than to stop and turn around and go
In personal selling you find examples of this every day.
What does an automobile advertisement
to make you do?
Buy a car? Not at all! "Come and look at our beautiful
new models"-that's all. "No obligation whatever. It will
be a pleasure to show them to you."
go, and what happens? Does the salesman urge you
to buy? No, indeed! He shows you around most readily,
notes the car you like, gets you to sit in it, try the hydramatic
drive, to sense all the comfort and luxury of the car. Then
he asks if you would like to drive it out to the country next
Sunday-"just to see how beautifully it runs." He has it
in front of your house at the appointed time or a little before.
He gives up the driver's seat to you at once. He says nothing
about a sale-just calls your attention to the gentle purr of
the motor, to the way it breasts the hills, to this little comfort
and that knickknack. And when he gets you back to your
door, he gently insinuates: "Now, what time shall I send it
around tomorrow," or "Well, let's take a look at the old car
now, and see how much we could allow on it." And almost
before you know it, you have a new car.
That is salesmanship. And that is the sort of salesmanship
you must put into every letter. Just remember that nearly
every man balks at making a decision that is going to cost
him money. He wants time to think it over. He hates to
commit himself definitely. So humor him. Tell him
frankly: "Don't decide now. Plenty of time for that later.
Just fill in your height, your weight, and your collar size on
the enclosed card, and we'll send you a
Coat in your
exact size. Try it out. Wear it for a week. Take it down
town and compare it with anything you can find in your local
stores. Then decide."
Don't you see how much easier that is? Nothing to worry
about, no decision to make--just take a look at the coat when
SUPPLYING THAT IMPULSE
61
If it fits nicely and you like it, wear it down
compare it for value with coats in the stores there. After
is nothing final about it. If you change your mind,
easily send it back.
when the coat comes, what happens? You may be
the weather is warm, so you do not wear it. And
around the house for a
or two. Then along comes
bill. My, you will have to get at that coat and try it!
get it out. You are reasonably well pleased. You wear
few times and get some spots on it. Seems a shame to
it back then, and
many of those who bought it
they could not equal it at twice the price. Of course, you
have not
the time or energy to go in and compare prices
Oh, well,
a pretty good bargain, and too darned
much trouble to send back now whether it is or not. Box
it came in is probably thrown away. And so another sale is
made. Not just the best kind of sale, of course, but probably
the average sale.
Certain it is
the same principle holds true of almost
any kind of selling. A friend of ours, for instance, sold
some of them priced at over a million dollars. Do
you suppose he went or wrote to his prospects and said: "See
here, old man, that yacht of yours is getting a little down at
The mud guards are scratched and the upholstery is
getting moth-eaten, and as for the engine-it's so wheezy that
start from the float, every old tub around ups anchor
away, for fear you will bust and spread yourself
before you reach
Honest,
original Model T Ford couldn't rattle worse than
you call a yacht. Better let me enter your
for a real boat, old scout. Now how about it?"
man was instrumental in
more than
worth of yachts, but I do not think any of them were sold
that way. No, indeed. When a
got on his
62
SUPPLYING THAT IMPULSE
prospect list, nothing crude like that ever happened to him.
He received some interesting little circulars showing pictures
of the latest in yachts, with just an adroit suggestion of how
fine it would be to forget the office for a few weeks or months,
forget the work-a-day world, and go cruising through the
Caribbean, or around the South Sea Islands, or wherever life
and adventure beckoned.
Then after a few of these, the first time a new and especially
attractive boat was ready for its trial cruise Mr. Prospect received a special delivery letter or telegram somewhat along
these lines: "New
yacht ready for trial spin next
Thursday, the
Mr. Asterbilt is making up special
party for a few pleasant hours on Sound and begs that you
and Mrs. Prospect will honor him. Boat leaves Yacht Club
dock at ten sharp. R. S. V. P."
Did Mr. Prospect answer? And especially Mrs. Prospect!
aboard,
I give you three guesses. And when they were
7
along with a number of other "big business men ' and their
wives-mostly prospects like themselves-were things made
say they were! It was perfect
comfortable for them?
afloat.
Nothing so gross as a salesman ever approached them on
a trip like that. True, they were shown over the boat by
of the company. And every point of interest was
called to their attention, even as with the automobile salesman.
went through the salon, the cabins, even down to the
engine room-so spick and span it would not have seemed out
of place as an adjunct to a drawing room. They took the
wheel a while, got the feel of the boat, began thinking of all
the things they could do if they had one like it.
And just about then, along came one of these officials with
a picture of the new boat they were building for Mr. Van
Spifflingen-a very wonderful boat, but some people preferred a bit more speed, or more beam, or whatnot, and Mr.
SUPPLYING THAT IMPULSE
63
Prospect had a chance to air his preference. And wasn't that
peculiar, but they had a boat in the building with those very
features. Here were the plans. And before he knew it, Mr.
Prospect had signed on the dotted line and was now Mr.
Customer, soon to take a party out on a trial spin on his boat.
Wherein is the difference? The yacht sale ran into bigger
figures and employed a bit more finesse-that's all. In its
essence, it was the circus barker and his helpers all over again.
And though the method may vary, the psychology back of
it is necessary in every sale that is made.
Particularly is this true of selling by mail. Why should
you buy a coat from someone whom you have never seen when
there is a perfectly good store a couple of blocks away where
you can look over the stock of coats, try on as many as you
like, and, if you fail to find one that fits you exactly, have one
altered until it does? Why should you take the trouble and
risk of sending for a coat by mail when it is so much easier
to get one at home?
For two reasons only: first, because you are convinced that
you save money by so doing. Second, and just as important,
because the
mail order house makes it even
easier for you to get its coat than to go to the neighborhood
store. And the same principles apply to every sale made by
mail. Just listen to these few typical examples of successful
ways of "supplying that impulse."
Don't decide about buying now. You can do that later.
Simpl y return the special F REE TRIAL card, and by return mail
will come the Blank machine, all charges prepaid. Then, after
6 days' examination-after you have had plenty of chance to
try it and prove it-if it is not all we say and more, send it
back at our expense.
pay the charges both ways. Could
we give you any stronger evidence of our faith in the Blank
machine ?
64
SUPPLYING THAT IMPULSE
Let me just prove what it will mean to you. This will not
entail the slightest obligation on your part. Fill out the card
do the rest.
and mail it-that's all.
Figure it out for yourself-postage, express, delivery boys,
delays, complaints--all the items your delivery service costs you.
Quite a sum, eh!
Now if you'll pick u p that pencil you were figuring with a
moment ago, and fill out the attached card, we'll tell you all
about our motor trucks-how they are increasing efficiency and
decreasing costs for people in your line of business, folks you
know personally.
Just send the enclosed card today. I t doesn't obligate you in
the least. We are only too glad to thoroughly demonstrate.
No harm done if you don't keep it.
Just fill out the enclosed slip and mail it, and the samples
will be on the way in time to start this department with next
Saturday's sale. Remember, you risk nothing-all you have
to think about is your profit.
This puts you under not the slightest obligation. It simply
gives us the chance to submit figures that you can check against
the prices you have been paying-we're always glad to do that
anyway, whether we get the particular job we figure on or not.
After a thorough
and 10 days' trial, if you are
convinced that you want an Excelle, you need send us only $5
then, and the balance
conveniently arranged payments over
the next nine months. But if you don't want to keep the Excelle,
remember you
return it without question, for you are under
no obligation in accepting this free-trial offer in this way.
This won't put you under the least obligation. If we can't
show you that it is to your interest to take up this matter, it is
SUPPLYING THAT IMPULSE
our fault-not yours. Just mail the card and let us put the
of satisfaction, or
facts before you. You must wear the
it's no sale. That's our guarantee on every machine. Can you
ask more! On that understanding, will you mail the enclosed
blank?
Take us at our word-put us to the test-give us an opportunity to prove our claims to you. Use the post card enclosedfill it out and send it to us.
A modern and actual Aladdin's
lies in the return card
wish for full and
attached. Rub it with your pencil and
complete particulars without obligation will come true.
Remember, an order is simply an opportunity for the Blank
to sell itself to you. There is no sale-no obligation to keep ituntil you have used it in your own home for 30 days and are
satisfied. Just let it show you what it can do.
John J. Jones, Chairman of the Board of the great Associated
to handle such
National Banks, was once asked how he
important exan enormous volume of daily work
ecutive decisions. "I never need to give more than one hour
to the consideration of any question, however important," he
answered, "because first, I get all the facts before me, and the
time to decide is while the facts are fresh in mind."
Because you are likely to agree with Mr. Jones' sound conclusion, we are sending for your convenience a form on which
register your decision upon the important facts which this
has placed before you. And there is a stamped, addressed
enclosed to bring it back to us, so that you may receive
first benefits from your decision without a minute's unnecessary delay.
and sending the enclosed card puts the burden of
upon us, and incurs no obligation.
66
SUPPLYING THAT IMPULSE
I'm willing to do my part. Are you willing to put me to the
test? Just fill in on the enclosed card the size tire your car
takes-and watch results!
So don't file this away to think over.
puzzle about, because you don't have to
promise anything, other than that if you
you will return it at the end of the week.
There's nothing to
send one penny or
don't like the Blank
That's easy, isn't it!
To prove it, all you have to do is fill in, sign, and mail the
card. After 30 days, you can return the Blank if you want to.
uses your clerks
Try it out. Never mind what we say about
will get out of
out! It is easy. Just send the card.
Use this machine at our expense for ten days. If you like it,
keep it. If not, send it back to us, freight collect.
This trial won't obligate you in any way, nor will it cost you
a penny.
Will you check, on the enclosed card, the particular types of
merchandise which would interest you most? In doing this,
you will both acknowledge receipt of our catalog, and also enable
us to keep you on the list for certain data of interest.
And remember, the book is free. To each of the first thousand manufacturers subscribing to the Blank Magazine, we will
send a cloth-bound copy of this splendid 300-page book without
charge. And even the magazine is no expense, for the $2 you
pay for it will come back to you many times over before you
have read half of the 12 issues.
We enclose letter the Railway Company wrote us. Please
return it in the enclosed stamped, addressed envelope, and tell
us what you think of our plan.
Tucked away in the inside pages of this letter, you will find
a convenient postcard. Your name and address on that card
SUPPLYING THAT IMPULSE
will bring samples of Morco Flavors. These powerful, concentrated flavors possess three times the strength of ordinary
extracts. You require only one-third the usual quantity. That's
where the big saving comes in.
Take it home. Use the Quick-Lite 10 days. If you don't
think it the most wonderful light you ever saw-if it isn't everything we claim it to be, just take it back to the dealer and he
will refund your money. We give you this "lo-day Visit" offer
as an absolute guarantee of complete satisfaction. There are
no strings to it. Buy a lamp. Use it 10 nights. If you don't
want to keep it-if you would rather continue to use other means
of lighting-take the Quick-Lite back to your dealer and get
your money.
That's all you have to do-put your name on the enclosed
card now, while this free 10-volume book offer is still open.
We guarantee your satisfaction and delight. For if after receipt
of books you are not more than pleased, send them back at our
expense, and any money you may have paid will be returned
at once.
Your reader, in short, is interested, but hasn't quite made
up his mind. He balks at putting his name on the dotted line.
"Some other time!" "Tomorrow!
That little word
said to have been the cause of the
Spanish people's decline. Certainly it has cost many a salesman and salesletter writer his job, for more than all other
causes put together, it has lost sales.
So do not give your prospect the chance to spring
on you. Beat him to it. Tell him not to decide
your main proposition. Instead, put his mind to
on some
you will find that a
favorable decision on it will, in three cases out of four, carry
major proposition along with it!
How to Put a Hook into Your Letters
as the rudder is to the ship, so
is the close to any important letter. It
be a perfectly
good letter aside from that. It may fit right in with the
reader's thoughts, it may win his interest, it may spur him
to action, but if it does not tell him
to do, if it does not
provide a penalty for his not doing it, your prospect will slip
away from you like a fish off an
hook.
There is just one reason why anyone ever reads a letter
you send him. He expects a reward. That is the key to
holding his interest. All through your letter you keep leading him on, constantly feeding his interest, but always holding
back something for the climax.
You come to it. You make your special offer. Your
reader is impressed. He promises himself he will give it
do not want favorable
favorable consideration. But
consideration. You want an order or a payment. How are
you going to get it? Start your impulse, as outlined in the
last chapter. Good! But if that does not work, what then?
Provide a penalty!
There are only two reasons why your reader will do as you
tell him to in your letter. The first is that you have made
him want something so badly that of his own volition he
reaches out for your order card to get it. The other is that
you have aroused in him the fear that he will lose something
worth while if he does not do as you say.
T H E TAIL IS TO T HE KITE,
68
HOW TO PUT A HOOK INTO YOUR LETTERS
69
It may be a delinquent debtor in fear of court action or loss
credit standing. It may be a buyer fearing to lose his
chance at a bargain. It may be the merchant fearing to lose
trade. It may be the ambitious youngster fearing to
lose an opportunity for advancement. But unless your close
arouse in your reader the fear that he will lose something
while if he does not do as you tell him, you will get no
results.
So when you want to inspire fear, be definite! Be specific!
If you are threatening suit, tell your reader that unless you
have his remittance or a satisfactory explanation
a certain
date, the account goes to your lawyer. If you are going to
advance your price, and want to corral all the orders possible
at the old figure, set a definite date for
advance. Or
if you have only a few articles left, give the exact quantity.
It carries conviction, as you can see from these two examples:
On the 1st of October, the rate of the Blank Magazine will go
up to $1 a line. If you place your order before the
you
can buy space to be used any time before January 1st at
a
positively no orders will be accepted at
line. After the
less than $1 a line. As a matter of fact, our circulation entitles
us to $1 a line right now.
Don't let this letter be covered up on your desk. Send the
enclosed reservation right now, or instruct your advertising
agent to reserve the space for you, and make sure of this big
bargain.
Only 46 sets left! The success of our special offer surpassed
expectations. It will be necessary to issue another edition
once. The
of binding will be changed, but otherwise
two editions will be the same. As we don't want to carry
styles on hand, we are willing to let you have one of the
remaining 46 sets at the old price, although the increased cost
paper, printing, and binding has forced us to raise the price
the new sets more than 50%
70
HOW TO PUT
A HOOK INTO YOUR LETTERS
Make your reader feel that this is his last chance-keep
your penalty dangling before his mind's eye, the money-saving
lost, the opportunity missed. Put into your close the fear of
consequences.
Finally, tell him
to do. Don't leave it to him to
decide. We are all mentally lazy, you know, so dictate his
action for him-get your "suggester" to working on him. If
he is to do certain things, describe them. Tell him to put his
name on the enclosed card, stamp and mail, or pin his check
or dollar bill to this letter and return in the enclosed envelope.
Here is the way others have done it successfully:
"Now, what am I to
you ask. Simply send your order
Just say-"Make my suit as you agreed in
to me
your letter."
If you wish other samples or further information, we shall
be more than glad to furnish them. But send your order first.
Remember, we have material on hand sufficient for only 95
suits. While they last, you can get a made-to-measure,
to-fit suit of our regular $75 quality for only $37.50. But to do
so, you have to be prompt.
Don't send me any money after the 1st. If you do, it will
surely be returned, unless you are willing to pay me the new
price of $50 a share instead of
I have some regard for the men who make inquiries when our
project was young-before it fairly got under way. That is
why I am including you in this offer-because you were one
of our original inquirers.
Remember, no acceptance of your old price after the 1st. The
stock is even now worth $50.
Such wonderful opportunities will of course be snapped up
quickly. Our doors will open at 9 o'clock Monday morning,
and to have the widest range of selection, you should not put
off your visit a moment later than absolutely necessary.
HOW TO PUT A BOOK INTO YOUR LETTERS
It was necessary to place this large order to secure the sets
at the lowest possible figure. Knowing that the number would
exceed our weekly sales, we decided to offer these extra sets to
some of the ambitious young men who have been writing us.
If you will fill out the enclosed Scholarship Blank and mail
it right away, we will send you one of these handsome sets FREE,
express prepaid. But this offer must be accepted before the
30th of this month. At the rate Scholarship Blanks are now
coming in, it is more than likely that the available sets will all
be gone by the 30th. It is necessary, therefore, that you send
your application at once.
The demand has been large and there are only a few copies
and
left-but one of them will be YOURS when you have
mailed the enclosed card.
But you must act now. There are only 2700 copies of this
book still on hand and no more can be printed at less than
double the price. So pin your money to this letter and mail it
today.
Remember, he who hesitates nowadays never gets a flash at
fortune. The men who made millions in Texas oil lands are the
who dared, who went ahead unafraid, who plunged in on
their own judgment-and didn't wait.
The saying that everything comes to him who waits
been true a hundred years ago, when people had
wait for the good things of life. But today the only one that
come to is the man who goes after them. The enclosed
is your reservation for some of the good things
life.
it now-TODAY?
has been proved that seven times out of
man
opening
of an ordinary letter that is
not from a customer, take a
72
HOW TO PUT A HOOK INTO YOUR LETTERS
cursory glance at the middle, and then jump to the last paragraph to see what it is all about, and how much it costs. So
it is essential that you put a hook into that last paragraph.
Remember, too, that a successful close has two parts.
The first is the persuasion and inducement. It shows your
reader the gain that is his by ordering, the chances of loss he
takes by delay. It emphasizes the guarantee and minimizes
the cost.
When your reader gets that far, he is almost ready to act,
your close lacks a hook. What must he do to get all
these things? Tell him! Make it so plain and easy he will
not have a reason for not ordering. If you do not, you have
not finished your letter, and lacking the barb of that hook,
your reader is likely to lapse from his "almost ready" attitude back into indifference.
The Six Essentials
S U M U P,
every good letter contains these six essential
elements:
1. The opening, which gets the reader's attention by fitting
in with his train of thought and establishes a point of contact
with his interests, thus exciting his curiosity and prompting
him to read further.
2. The description or explanation, which pictures your
proposition to the reader by first outlining its important features, then filling in the necessary details.
3. The motive or reason why, which creates a longing in
the reader's
for what you are selling, or impels him to
do as you want him to, by describing-not your proposition
do for him-the comfort, the pleasure, the
but what it
profit he will derive from it.
4. The proof or guarantee, which offers to the
of the truth of your statements, or establishes confidence by
money-back-if-not-satisfied guarantee.
5. The snapper or penalty, which gets immediate action by
over your reader's head the loss in money or prestige
opportunity that will be his if he does not act at once.
The close, which tells the reader just what to do and
to do it, and makes it easy for him to act at once.
These rules, of course, are for the man or woman who is
the art of writing successful letters. After a time,
73
74
THE SIX ESSENTIALS
they come to be almost second nature, so that you weigh each
of these features without being conscious that you are doing
so. You may even mix them all up into one grand goulash,
so that to the beginner they will seem to be not there at all,
but they--or their close relatives-are in every successful
letter.
Rules, however, are merely the start. They are the mewriting only starts there. It
chanics of a letter. Real
is getting the feel of your message that counts. I remember
the first sales letter I ever wrote. I knew as little about the
writing of letters as anyone who ever took his typewriter in
hand to tackle the job. But I was full of an idea, and it
bubbled out all over that letter. And that is what counts.
I was working at the time for a coal company a
town in West Virginia. We had an unusually good vein of
gas coal and 200 old style, beehive ovens, with which we made
Powellton Coke.
Like all the other mines in the district, we depended for
business upon brokers in the big towns. They would contract with the
users for so many carloads of coal or coke,
of a certain general grade, and then place their orders with
whichever mines made them the lowest price, allowing them
the greatest margin. The result was that all the mines were
in much the same boat, whether their coal happened to be
better or worse than that of their competitors. When times
were good they bid against each other for laborers, and between the lack of them and the lack of cars they were able to
run the mines only three or four days a week. When times
were bad they underbid each other for the little business
available, and managed to work only one or two days a week.
That condition had been general for a good many years,
with our mines as with almost all the others in the district.
And there was no reason to think it would not
indefinitely.
THE SIX ESSENTIALS
75
But from much cogitation, there one day dawned upon us
idea
obvious you will wonder why we did not think of
first thing. It was this: We had an unusually good grade
gas coal and a splendid coke. There must be certain purposes for which that coal and coke would produce f a r better
results than any other made. If we could find these purposes, the businesses that needed coal and coke for them
cheerfully pay any reasonable premium for our particular product, and not only would we make more money,
but we would cease to be dependent upon the whims of the
brokers and would he sure of a regular volume of orders
through good times and bad.
So we started experimenting, and found that for
making purposes we had easily the best coal in the district.
Figured on the basis of cubic feet of gas produced, to say
nothing of the
any gas company could well afford
to pay from 25 to 33 per cent more for our coal.
That was all we needed. From that moment, every gas
company within a radius of several hundred miles was our
target. We disregarded the usual "per
prices to a great
extent, centering our whole argument upon how many cubic
feet of gas they got from each pound of coal, and what that
gas cost them, including the delivered price of their coal.
much are you paying per cubic foot for your gas? [was
the basis of our letters]. If we can show you how
by a fourth, are you interested enough to prove
Blank Gas Company of Cincinnati has cut its costs by more
than that, and here are the figures as given in a letter from
their Superintendent. [Here we
exact figures and costs.]
Blank
of Indianapolis and [here we mentioned
or five other companies well and favorably known to the
have had similar experiences. We'll be glad to send
exact figures from each if you will take the time to read
them.
better than any figures
other plants is this chance
THE SIX ESSENTIALS
76
to write new figures of your own
your plant. Send the enclosed card, without money. On receipt of it, we will ship you
a carload of Powellton screened gas coal, our regular standard
quality.
Test it. Try it any way you wish. At the end of your tests,
figure how much gas you get per pound of coal,
that
gas cost you! If you don't
that the
Coal has
on your cost, then that carload we send
saved you at least
you won't cost you one cent. But if you do see where you can
save from 25 to 33% of the cost of your gas, then you are to
give us your contract for all the gas coal you use for the next
year, at a price of
per ton
Powellton,
Va.
Remember, no saving-no cost.
it a go?
we get your contract.
But if we save you
rules of letter writing. I could not
have told you the difference between a clincher and a monkey
wrench. But was bubbling over with enthusiasm for our
idea, and that enthusiasm must have permeated our letters, for
we got so many orders from gas companies it kept us humping
to fill them all. And what was more to the point, they stuck.
When I left Powellton, we still had on our books nearly every
gas company we had ever put there. One would stray away
now and then, of course, lured by the siren song of a bargain.
When that happened, we said nothing-just got a few average
samples of the other man's coal and
them, with samples
of ours, to a laboratory for a comparative test. When the
reports came back, we carried them out in figures of the cost
of the coal and the final cost of the gas per cubic foot and
sent the result without comment to the superintendent or other
responsible executive of the gas company. In most cases the
business was soon on our books again.
The coal problem solved, we set about finding a similar
solution of the coke question, since the gas companies preferred screened coal, which meant that all the dust coal or
slack was left us for coking purposes.
We had made frequent analyses of our coke, of course, and
I knew none of
THE SIX ESSENTIALS
77
that it was unusually low in sulphur, phosphorus, and
So we set out to see which type of
considered these qualities most valuable.
We soon learned that to the maker of steel rails phosphorus
anathema, so we had little difficulty in persuading the
Steel Company that a coke as low in phosphorus content as ours was easily worth 25 cents more a ton than any
other they could buy. Twenty-five cents a ton doesn't sound
like much, but when you multiply it by sixty to ninety tons a
day, which was what
Steel required, it soon runs
into money.
was a good start, so, much encouraged, we looked
around for others. And in the makers of certain thin castings
we found possible customers who were quite as particular
about sulphur as the Steel Company had been about phosphorus. In thin castings, sul p hur means bubbles and cracks,
and it costs more money than any saving in the purchasing
price of coke can possibly make u p for.
But such founders were, for the most part, located pretty
far away from us, and other good cokes just about as low as
ours in sulphur content were as readily available to them. To
get their business on other than a price basis, we had to find
better argument than low sulphur content.
worked on that for quite some time, talked to different
founders to get a line on their problems, studied numerous
on the subject, and finally stumbled on the answer almost
accident.
It happened that we had been figuring on a
the Bucks Stove and Range Company of
one of the most efficiently run concerns
wanted the best, regardless of what it cost. So before
its contract, Bucks bought a carload of coke from
of a half-dozen concerns whose analyses and claims
to indicate that
were in the running.
had shipped them a carload and intended to run out
78
THE SIX ESSENTIALS
St. Louis in order to be on the spot when the contract was
awarded, so that if it seemed that a last-minute reduction of
10 or 15 cents a ton would turn the scales in our favor, we
could throw it in. When lo and behold, without notice of any
kind, in came the contract by mail at the price we had originally quoted !
To say that we were
surprised would be putting
it mildly. But we didn't let either our pleasure or our surprise get in the way of the fact that here, probably, was the
answer to our problem. If our coke stood out so well in a
comparative test that we had landed the Bucks order without
effort, in the face of the best cokes and the best salesmen
that our renowned competitors could show, then there must
be something unusual about our coke that every other stove
founder ought to know. And we lost no time in setting out
for St. Louis to learn what it was.
And here is what we found: Its high carbon
and
low ash gave our coke a heating power that would melt an
unusual amount of iron and a structure that supported a
phenomenal weight, with the result that where a good coke
did well to melt eight or nine tons of iron to one of coke, ours
melted as high as fifteen tons of iron to one of coke! Figuring the price of the coke at $7 a ton delivered, it cost the
Bucks Stove and Range Company 80 to 90 cents to melt a
ton of iron with ordinary coke, whereas with Powellton Coke
it cost them only
cents! Can you wonder that they gave
us the order without urging or bargaining?
Our problem was solved, and, as is often the case, through
no skill of ours. The Lord had been good to us in the kind
of coal he gave us, and instead of patting ourselves on the
back, we should have been kicked for not cashing in sooner
on our products' peculiar advantages. But we were too happy
over having found the answer to do any worrying about what
was past and done with. It took us just about three days to
I
THE SIX ESSENTIALS
79
letter into the mails to every stove founder within five
hundred miles.
When the "Free Silver" states first sprung their 16 to 1 ratio
a waiting world, founders and business men generally
it visionary and impractical-said it wouldn't work.
And when Bill Smith, Cupola Foreman for the Bucks Stove
Range Company
Louis, proudly strode into the President's
office with a report of a 15 to 1 melt, he met with similar skepticism on the part of that official.
The upshot of it was that the President agreed to be on hand
at the next melt. Sure enough, Bill's figures proved to be right!
They didn't equal Free Silver's 16 to 1, but they averaged a good
15 tons of iron to every one of coke!
Of course, Bill modestly disclaims the credit. "Anyone could
do it with that coke," he says. "It's got a structure that'd carry
the Eiffel Tower. And as for sulphur
just never
heard of such words."
And that's the reason Powellton Coke gets the Bucks Stove
Range contract this year, in direct competition with and after
thorough tests of every good coke on the market. That's the
Stove Company, the Huntington Range
reason the
Company, and a dozen others have been using Powellton Coke
for years.
Of course, some of them stray away occasionally.
of us proof against the siren song of low price, but when they
the cost of their coke in tons of iron melted, as
begin to
Bucks Stove Range Company did; when they find that
basis Powellton Coke is costing them only
a ton of
iron against
to
for any other brand; and when
add to that the cost of scrap castings due to sulphur and
phosphorus, they always come back, and it's a long time before
stray again.
figure your coke cost, not on the delivered price of the
but on tons of iron melted-if you are buying high carbon
ash, and
have
heat-content, and not
figures that will interest you.
May we send them?
80
THE SIX ESSENTIALS
That letter brought home the bacon. For a while we had
almost a monopoly of the stove and range business in our
territory. We did not keep it altogether, because good coke
structure depends largely upon skill in making the coke,
and other ovens with the right kind of coal
in making almost as good a coke as ours. With intensive study they
found ways of loading the furnace so that their coke would
melt just about as high a percentage of iron as ours.
But do not imagine we were resting on our laurels, or out
playing golf all this time. We realized it would not be long
until someone caught up to where we were then, so we tried
to keep at least one good jump ahead.
We tested not
our coal and coke, but different ways of
screening the one and making the other. We tried coking
longer and shorter periods, charging the ovens with bigger or
smaller charges-everything, in fact, we could think of that
might make our product better.
And we did not stop with that. We had numbers of experiments made in the more effective use of our coal and coke.
We had never heard of the rule that a letter should talk, not
about your own product, but about the pleasure or profit your
customer will get out of it, but we had learned from long experience that coal and coke were drugs on the market and
that they could only be sold on a price basis, whereas cubic
feet of gas, or thermal units of steam, or melted tons of iron
were things that sold themselves.
In line with our idea of making every possible improvement
in our product, we got a few books on letter writing and applied the principles outlined in them to our letters. I remember the first set of books we got. It was Herbert Watson's Business Correspondence Library, and it became our
Bible for direct-mail work. Looking back on it now, I do
not believe we could have found a better groundwork for our
studies. Certain it is that it helped us to sell many
THE SIX ESSENTIALS
81
sands of tons of coal and coke, when without it we might have
lost the sales. Next to Watson's Applied Business Corres pondence, I believe it has helped more men to a knowledge
how to use letters for profit than any set of books ever
written.
John Blair, founder of the New Process Company of
same thing. His introduction
Warren, Pa., once told me
to
letter writing came from the same little set of books
-after he had made his bow with a few successful efforts of
his own, about which more anon.
To go back to our interrupted labors: For five years we
sold nearly all the products of our mines and ovens by mail.
dozens of different letters and circulars, with all
We
kinds of variants upon the one appeal, but the only sample I
have been able to find is the letter quoted above.
It was about this time I
the good fortune to meet
Thomas H. Beck, then sales manager of P. F. Collier Son
Co., publishers of Collier's. He had been sales manager of
Procter Gamble, the Ivory Soap people, where he was responsible for as revolutionary an idea
way
of selling cubic feet of gas and tons of
Soap flakes, it seems, were sold to laundries
of so many pounds weight. One barrel of soap was
much like another, so sales were made almost entirely on price. Then it occurred to Tom Beck to have Ivory
flakes analyzed and the results compared
made in their
of all the competing brands. What
surprise and. delight to find that the competing
something
(let us say) 15 per cent water,
to
about 5 per cent water for Ivory!
barrel of soap cost $2, a laundryman could pay Ivory
get his actual soap content for the same price per
he was paying the $2 competitor. If in addition
$1 a barrel for freight or delivery service,
THE SIX ESSENTIALS
that made an extra premium of 10 cents he was handing to
competitor.
I t did not take Tom Beck more than half a minute to figure
out the possibilities that this opened up. As soon as they
could be got into the mail, he had letters on the way to every
laundry in his territory asking them whether they were buying soap or water, suggesting that it might be cheaper to get
water from their own faucets than to have it freighted all the
way from the factory to them, and then be charged for it at
soap prices in addition.
To say that he started a furor among soap makers is putting it mildly. The net result to him was that it enabled him
to land the f a r bigger job with Collier's, and to me that it
gave me a sympathetic ear into which to pour an idea I had
long been nursing for selling Collier books by mail.
Which takes us into another chapter.
It All Began
COLLIER & SON CO. had been publishing books since
selling them through salesmen, directed by some 37
They had made six different attempts to
start a departrnent for selling books by mail-all without
success. One man spent $625,000 and sold eighteen sets of
books. So when I, with no knowledge of bookselling and no
background but our coal and coke sales, suggested
I
an idea that I believed would sell books successfully, it is no
wonder the "powers-that-be" laughed at it.
It happened that P. F. Collier was my uncle and was responsible for my education, but he had always told me he did
not want me in the business until I could bring something to
they could get
else. For that reason, I had never
before tried for a place with Collier's, but now I felt I had
idea
could use,
by letter and in person I kept trying
it to them.
Beck I found a sympathetic listener, since Procter
are large users of coal, and he had seen many of
in our campaign and thoroughly approved of the
So with his help I finally sold them the idea of
months'
was not on any munificent basis, you
a drawing account of $25 a week, and
commission of per
sales I made
mail.
83
84
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
leave a good, secure, salaried job for an uncertain chance like
that takes optimism of a high order, but I was young and
single and just fool enough not to know any of the things
that could not be done, so I jumped at the chance.
Luckily for me, I found a good mentor at Collier's in the
person of
Barton. It was not any part of his duties to
lend me a helping hand, but he went out of his way to do it.
And to his suggestions and kindly criticisms I owe it that the
very first letters and circulars we tried were complete successes. How complete you can judge by the fact that the
profits on our first six months' sales were
per cent, and
I was making so much money on the 5 per cent commission
that the arrangement was promptly cancelled and I was put on
a good, living salary.
Collier's had been selling the Harvard Classics, Dr. Eliot's
famous Five-Foot Shelf of Books, for some years then; it was
their best seller, so of course I started my efforts with it.
Their salesmen covered all the big towns, however, so my
efforts had to be confined to the little towns and the rural
even after we proved what could be done by
mail, Collier's never forgot that their house had been built
by salesmen, and they never allowed our mail efforts to interfere with
agent sales.
It was for this reason I left them after five years-to get a
bigger field of activity, but meantime they were better than
any post-graduate college course.
I went with Collier's on the first of July. On the ninth of
August we dropped our first circulars into the mail. They
consisted of an illustrated four-page letter, the first and fourth
pages carrying the letter, the inside pages the illustrations and
circular copy.
The letter was sent under first-class postage without fill-in,
and a stamped post card went with it. Including postage,
the whole thing cost us about four cents in the mail.
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
85
can believe we watched for the returns from those
with fear and trembling. We had mailed 10,000
mostly to advertising leads that were from one to
years old, and that had been in the hands of two or
salesmen and been returned as unsalable.
When the orders began to mount up from these old leads,
who had turned them down-and the whole sales
department-sat up and began to take notice. For our first
letter to
old discarded inquiries brought back
per
of orders for a $39 set of books!
Four and one-half per cent meant that, with letters at four
each, our orders were costing us less than $1 apiece.
Can you imagine that, on a $39 set of books? No wonder
per cent!
we showed a profit for those six months of
The trouble was that we soon came to the end of those old
discarded leads, and after that the salesmen didn't let go of
them so readily. But while they lasted, the "pickings" were
easy. Here is the first letter we used on them:
If Dr. Eliot of Harvard Were to Say to
"Come around to my home to-night. I want to show you some
books that I believe you'll enjoy; they are interesting, entertaining, yet they will give you all the essentials of a liberal education, even if you can spend only fifteen minutes a day with
them."
go, wouldn't you, and the next morning you'd hasten to
copies of these books?
that is, in effect, just what Dr. Eliot has done. From
lifetime of reading, study and experience-forty years of it
President of Harvard University-he has chosen a Five-Foot
just the few books, and only the few, that are really
the Twentieth Century American.
Just 15
a Day, and
is what he says to you: "I believe that the faithful and
reading of these books will give any man the essentials
liberal education, even if he can devote to them but
minutes
86
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Think of it-The Essentials of a Liberal Education, under the
personal guidance of Dr. Eliot, who has trained more men for
success and is a greater authority on books and reading than
any other man in the world today.
other books, or who
else, could offer you so much?
Dr. Eliot's work is complete. You owe it to yourself at least to
examine the result-the fruits of his
years' experience as
President of Harvard University. They are not the mere product of his genius-they are the finished utterance of the human
race.
Examine the Books for a Peek-at Our Expense
Don't send a cent of money. Simply drop the enclosed card
in the mail and the complete set of Harvard Classics will be
shipped to you from our nearest Branch Office AT OUR EXPENSE. Keep them for a week; browse through
read
them; enjoy them. We won't urge you to buy them either
then or now, because we realize that it is up to you to make up
your mind in your own way as to just
the books will be
worth to you. If you decide to keep them, you can pay for
them as you like, even as little as $2.00 a month; if not, you can
return them at the end of the week without question at our expense.
Here is your chance to avail yourself of Dr. Eliot's wonderful
knowledge and experience to prepare yourself for life. You
owe it to yourself to at least SEE and EXAMINE this Librar y
that he selected to speed you on the road to a bigger, broader
success. The card brings it to your door, charges prepaid.
Merely put your name on it and drop it in the mail.
But remember, in the great book of Time there is but one word
-"NOW"-so drop your card in the mail now.
Very truly yours,
The inside pages showed, on the left-hand side, a great
pile of books, piled all over each other until they virtually
hid the background of the Harvard University buildings. On
the right-hand side was the orderly row of the Five-Foot Shelf,
with the Harvard Library behind it. The keynote of the
copy was a quotation from Emerson: "In the
Na-
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
87
in Paris are a million books. A man might read
dawn to dark for fifty years, yet die in the first
what would he get as a result of his fifty years' readi ng ? A heterogeneous collection of facts, unrelated, of no
value to anyone or anything. In the
Classics, on the other hand, just a few minutes a day
give him the orderly outline of all that man has learned-in
a liberal education.
first letter having pulled so well, we tried a number
others to determine how many follow-ups we could profitably send on these old leads. On the series we finally
out, our second letter pulled about
per cent, our thi r d
per cent, our fourth 1 per cent, and our final one per
cent.
Here is letter No. 2.
Will you Examine "The Harvard Classics"-Dr. Eliot's FiveFoot Shelf of BooksIf we send you a set at our own expense
A W E E K ' S EXAMINATION ?
We don't ask you to decide now whether you will want to keep
the set. All we want you to do is
the
week in your own home-see for yourself what a wonderful
field they open up to you-judge whether they will be worth
seven cents a day to you in
in profit, in actual
growth.
The World's Civilization on a Book-shelf
For years Dr. Eliot has felt that all the books really essential
to the Twentieth Century American could be contained on a
Five-Foot Shelf, and when-after 40 years as President of
Harvard University-he gave up active work, he set himself the
of picking out from all the myriads of things which have
written and said during the past five thousand years, just
few works of the greatest thinkers in every field which
vividly picture the thought and achievement of the human
since the world began.
result is literally the putting of the World's civilization on
88
HOW I T ALL BEGAN
a single book shelf. From the many writings of the greatest
thinkers Dr. Eliot has picked those few characteristic works
which cover their main ideas, which best express their basic
thoughts. He has made it possible for you to have the best
works of each of them without having to burden your shelves
with the complete writings of all.
Just Fifteen Minutes a
And this is what Dr. Eliot says to you: "I believe that the faithful and considerate reading of these books will give any man
the essentials of a liberal education, even if he can devote to
them but fifteen minutes a day."
Think of it! T HE ESSENTIALS OF A LIBERAL EDUCATION, in only
fifteen minutes a day, under the personal guidance of Dr. Eliot,
the best teacher and the greatest authority on books and reading
in the world today. What other books, or who else, could offer
you so much?
A Saving to You of $433.05
There are fifty volumes in the Harvard Classics, and they contain 418 conzplete works by
of the greatest writers the
world has ever known. Bought separately in even the cheapest
editions and bindings, these 418 works would cost you $472.05,
yet we offer them to you, uniformly bound in silk cloth stamped
in gold, with foot-notes, reading guide and an encyclopedic index of 76,000 subjects, at only
for each of the 418
$39.00 for the set complete in fifty volumes, and you can pay
for them just as you like---even as little as $2.00 a month.
An Encyclopedia of References
Lawyers tell us that in their pleas, editors in their editorials,
teachers in their teaching, clergymen in their sermons, and business men in their occasional talks, are getting to depend in a
wonderful degree on this key to the world's thought.
You see, it not only gives you the best thought of the world's
Masters on most important subjects, but every thought, every
period, every subject even remotely touched upon, is made instantly accessible through the wonderful Index that is appended
to volume 50-an Index that contains 76,000 references.
Examine the Books for a reek- at Our Expense
Don't send a cent of money. Simply drop the enclosed card
IT ALL BEGAN
89
in the mail and the complete set of Harvard Classics will be
to you from our nearest Branch Office AT O U R EXPENSE.
Keep them for a week; browse through them; read them; enjoy
them. We won't urge you to buy them either then or now, because we realize that it is up to you to make up your mind in
your own way as to just what the books will be worth to you.
If you decide not to keep them, you can return them at the end
of the
without question at our expense.
With Letter No. 2 we enclosed a four-page circular, each
page being about fifteen by eight inches. The top third of
the first page was an illustration of Abraham Lincoln as a
young man reading by the light of a log fire. Beneath the
picture was the caption and text that follow:
WHICH WILL SUCCEED?The one who occupies ALL his few spare minutes with the daily
paper, or the one who, like Abraham Lincoln, is mastering a
little at a time the few great books of the ages, a knowledge of
which is one of the essentials of true success?
What are these few great books-biographies, histories, novels,
dramas, poems, books of science and travel, philosophy and religion, that so delightfully "picture the progress of civilization"?
Dr. Charles W. Eliot, from his lifetime of reading, study, and
teaching-forty years of it as President of Harvard
has answered that question in the
HARVARD
CLASSICS
Dr. Eliot's Five-Foot Shelf of Books
The Few Great Books That Make a
Man Think Straight and Talk Well
well-informed man or woman should at least know something about this famous library-how Dr. Eliot has put into it
"the essentials of a liberal education" and so arranged it that
"fifteen minutes a day" is enough.
Read in the following pages how you can
Examine this famous library in
your own home at our expense.
the full width of pages 2 and 3 was the headline:
90
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
"The Few Great Books That Have Stood The Acid Test Of
Time."
Under it was a line drawing showing old Father Time
seated in a great chair, a shelf of Looks above him, a book on
his knee, while famous writers, explorers, scientists, and historians stood in the background. The text beneath gave first:
EMERSON'S
a library we are surrounded by many hundreds of dear
friends, but they are imprisoned in these paper and leather
boxes, and as they are dressed, like battalions of infantry, in
coat and jacket of one cut, by the thousands and ten thousands,
your chance of hitting upon the right one is to be computed by
the arithemetical rule of permutation and combination-not a
choice out of three caskets, but out of half a million caskets, all
alike.
"Would that some charitable soul, after losing a great deal of
time among the false books and alighting upon a few true ones,
which made him happy, would name those which have
bridges to carry him over dark morasses and barren oceans,
into the heart of sacred cities, into palaces and temples."
AND ITS FULFILLMENT
From his lifetime of reading, study, and teaching-forty years
of which were spent as President of Harvard University-Dr.
Charles W. Eliot has picked a Five-Foot Shelf of Books containing just the books essential to the Twentieth Century cultivated
man.
"I believe that the faithful and considerate reading of these
books will give any man the essentials of a liberal education."
Eliot.
On one side of this was a headline reading, "Which are the
Really Essential Books?" The text answered the question
in a way to show that they were all in the Harvard Classics.
On the other side the headline read, "A Saving to You of
$413.05";-and the copy went on to show how much the
418 works included in the set would cost you if you bought
them separately.
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
91
bore the headline "What Owners think of The
Classics." Beneath it were testimonials from the
of the Navy, from a famous Bishop, from the Principal of a school, and from the Dean of a Law School.
Then came actual proof of the big savings mentioned
inside pages-a facsimile of a letter from
great bookstore on Fifth Avenue in New York, reading in
as
The Five-Foot Shelf of Books embraces about 300 authors and
their works. The same can be supplied in regular editions in
bindings for $472.05, with the exception of about fourteen to twenty authors which were published during the 14th
to the 18th centuries and exist only in very rare editions and
very costly. Same can only be had for reference in European
libraries, as copies are seldom found on the open market.
page ended with more testimonials and the line, "Use
Card-Now!" The card referred to was the usual
order form, ordering the books for
agreeing to
them within a week or to pay so much a
month until the set was paid for.
Letter No. 3, like the two before it, was
idea
by Carlyle: "All that mankind
thought, gained o r been-it is
in magic
in
pages of books." But it takes guidance to find the right
books, and in Dr. Eliot, for
years President of Harvard
we had found the guide par excellence.
enclosure added
to its
power-in
it has been our experience that a good circular will add
to 33 per cent to the pulling power of almost
This particular circular was of the same size as the
one. At the top was a picture of President Garfield
student, studying by the light of an oil lamp.
it was the caption and text:
92
HOW I T ALL BEGAN
The Margin that made Garfield President
Do you remember President Garfield's story of margins? A
rival student at school
got better marks than he in
his recitations. It puzzled Garfield, for he knew that the other
fellow was really no brighter than himself. Until one night,
after he had put out his light and made ready to go to bed, he
happened to glance across the campus and saw that his rival
was still studying. He watched him and saw that night after
night, the rival student put in many minutes more work than
himself. Garfield decided that it was by this margin his rival
was beating him, so he matched the other's time and then added
an extra fifteen minutes of study. The end of the school year
found Garfield ahead by a small margin.
Success is w o n by just such Margins
The margin between success and failure is often exceedingly
small. It is not so much a matter of great natural ability as of
what you have done to develop your ability. Success-the
ability to get things done, to persuade and convince others, depends very largely upon your breadth of mind, upon your power
to probe for real causes; and this breadth and power come
from contact with great books. Read in the following pages
how you can
INCREASE YOUR MARGIN!
Pages 2 and
were bordered with interesting pictures
from the
Classics, with the following headline and
copy in the center:
You Are the Heir of All the Ages
Every age has willed you something. Every age has left to
you the results of all its toil and striving. You can begin
where
left off; you can build upon the foundations they
have laid; for all that mankind has done, thought, gained, or
been is yours for the taking-lying ready to your hands in
the pages of books.
But What Books?
There are millions of books and you could never read them all,
so which are the really essential books-how can you find the
few that contain some great thought, some worth-while idea?
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Chas.
93
W. Eliot, the greatest educator in the world today, has
this question for you in
THE HARVARD CLASSICS
Dr. Eliot's Five-Foot Shelf of Books
The circular then went on to tell how Dr. Eliot had
the writings of the greatest thinkers the few
works that covered their main ideas, which best expressed
their basic thoughts-how he had made it possible for you to
turn to the MASTERPIECES of each of them without having
burden yourself with the complete works of all. Next
came the headline, "The World's Civilization on a Bookshelf."
The text proceeded to show how you could turn from the
Nights to Darwin, from the travels of Drake and
to the Adventures of
and Aeneas. The
homely philosophy of Benjamin Franklin is a neighbor of
Froissart's entrancing Chronicles of the Middle Ages. "That
which the University man knows, that which cultured people
talk
WHICH SUCCESSFUL MEN HAVE
BUILT THEIR SUCCESS-is yours in the Harvard Classics."
The copy ended upon the
Profit Plus a Delightful Entertainment
Remember, these Classics are not heavy, dry-as-dust reading.
A real Classic is not that. They are the big full-blooded books
of the world-full of thrill, stimulus, and delight. They are a
library for ambitious young men and women; for the family;
those who have not been to College, and for those who have
truth a library for everyone.
the bottom of both pages, beneath a photo of
Classics neatly shelved, ran this final
CAN EXAMINE THESE BOOKS FOR A
I N YOUR OWN HOME AT OUR EXPENSE
The fourth page showed a young workman
his lunch
him, a book in his hands,
94
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
He read wherever he went
. . . he read everything he thought
was worth reading. That is the story of the rise of the President
of one of our big railroads, from the job of water-boy to
position he now holds. That is how he got the insight, the
imagination, the breadth of vision that enable him to successfully cope with the problems that confront the business leader of
today. Success, nowadays, is not so much a matter of great
natural ability as of what you have done to develop the abilities
you have.
The big men of today did not tumble into their positions by
accident. At one time they had nothing more
guide them
than an opportunity like this. Someone pointed out to them
the possibilities and they took the chance and gradually attained
their present success.
Your chance to make your mark in the world is within your
reach. Have you the courage to make the start? To work
Think of the times when
out your destiny in the same
you have yearned for a bigger future-when you have grown
impatient at the barriers that seemed to hold you down. Here
is your chance to equip yourself for success under the guidance
of probably the greatest educator the world has ever known, at
a cost to you of only 7 cents a
a month.
The circular then ended with the usual free examination
offer, and the urge to "Use the Post Card-NOW!"
For No. 4 we used a large mailing folder, recapitulating
all the arguments of the three letters and containing
a
post card.
No. 5 was long-oh, how long! Four whole pages of
closely typewritten stuff! Who would ever read it? Yet
people did, evidently, for from a low point of 1 per cent on
the previous circular, and
per cent on No. 3 letter, the
orders jumped up to 2 per cent! But all efforts we tried to
make a sixth or seventh or eighth follow-up pay were virtually
fruitless. So we called No. 5 our "mopping-up letter" and
worked the leads on other books.
There was nothing remarkable about any of those letters.
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
95
have seen as good or better ones many a time. But
this virtue. They brought back what they went
the five years I was with Collier's
orders.
hundreds of thousands of dollar worth of books.
Because they set out with a definite goal in mind and
every word
them one step nearer that goal. Take
letter No. 1 as an example. What is its purpose?
To winnow out from the mass of readers those few who
be sold the idea of "culture," the value of higher education.
If Dr. Eliot of Harvard were to say to you-"Come around
to my home tonight. I want to show you some books I believe
enjoy; they are interesting, entertaining, yet they will give
you all the essentials of a liberal education, even if you can
spend only fifteen minutes a day with them."
Can you imagine any start more likely to attract the attention and arouse the interest of a culturally inclined
who
had not enjoyed the benefits of a college education? You
know many such men, and you know how many of them
that they are handicapped through lack of the cultural advantages a college education gives. In the back of their
minds always is the fear that they are a bit inferior to their
college-trained friends. So how they would welcome the
idea of a talk with so famous an educator as Dr. Eliot!
they would
at the idea of a college reading course under
guidance! Therefore how well that idea fitted in with
mental conversation
on in the back of their minds!
To emphasize the ease of it! They have had opportunities to take night courses in schools and colleges that would,
time, give them every educational advantage that would
been theirs had
spent four years in college. But
entailed so much work. And an expenditure of time out
proportion to its value to them in dollars. So they
passed it
96
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
But along comes the chance to get all the essentials, under
the guidance of one of
greatest educators the country has
known, in only fifteen minutes a day! Dr. Eliot has used
his forty years of experience to pick the few worth-while
books from all the millions that have been written, and edit
them so that in a few minutes' pleasurable reading each evening, these men can make up for the four years in college they
missed.
3. T o play u p
free trial, no money or risk. It is made
easy for the reader to examine the books without obligation
or risk of any kind. Naturally his curiosity is aroused to
learn what books Dr. Eliot considers essential. He would like
to see them, to glance through them, perhaps read a page
here and there.
Well, here is his chance to do it without a penny of cost.
Perhaps he has already read some of the books. Perhaps
he is nearer the standard of his college friends than he had
thought. It would be nice to see, anyway, and as long as
it does not cost anything to have a lookNo. 2 letter starts right where No. 1 left off: "Will you
examine the Harvard Classics if we send you a set at our own
expense for a week's free examination?"
Don't decide now whether you want to buy them or not.
Plenty of time for that later. Just browse through them for
a week and see for
how interesting they are, what
absorbing entertainment, what marvelous education.
Think of it! The world's civilization on a bookshelf! All
that mankind has done, thought, gained, or been-within the
compass of a five-foot shelf of books! Can you afford not
to look at it?
Education in the highest sense, entertainment in the best
sense, all made possible in fifteen minutes a day. And then
the
A saving of $433.05 from the regular bookstore
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
97
of the same works in separate editions. That alone
makes it a bargain well worth any man's money.
Then as an added inducement, it is a book of reference as
well, an encyclopedia in itself. Surely it is worth your while
at least to send for these books and look them over!
Then followed the Lincoln folder, with its appeal to ambition, its description and argument in its center pages, its
of value in the facsimile reproduction of the letter from
on the last page.
Nos. 3 and 4 are reiterations of the same line of argument
in different words and different pictures.
No. 5 was the old standby-the last-chance offer. It
up the saving, it repeated all the advantages that were
yours if you acted at once, all you might lose by delay. It
emphasized the no money-no risk, then made it so easy for
you to order that it seemed a shame not to take advantage of
the opportunity.
In short, it tried to such good purpose to follow the rules
laid down in the previous chapters, that even as the fifth
letter in the series it brought back $39 orders at a cost of
less than $2 an order! Than which there are few quicker
methods of making money.
The First Olive
I
it is an axiom that the first sale is the
hardest. It is like the first olive out of the bottle, or a maid's
first kiss-after it, the rest come easily.
And nowhere is this truer than in selling by mail. When
you try by mail to interest a man in your product, your most
difficult task is to win his confidence, his belief in your statements. That is the reason for the free-trial offer. That is
what makes necessary the money-back guarantee.
So when you have made one sale to a man, your hardest
job is done. From then on, your real profits should begin.
it may have cost you 10, 20, or even 50 per cent of
your selling price to make the first sale, your second one
should seldom cost you more than 5 or 10 per cent. Why?
You have sold him
Because your customer believes in
something; it has proved to be all you claimed for it; therefore he feels safe in trusting anything you may say to him
in the future.
That is why the big mail order houses will cheerfully spend
several dollars to get a customer's first order. That is why
experienced users of the mail oftentimes offer to the general
public only small units of sale like $1 o r $2, knowing that
a man will much more readily take a chance on a low-priced
item with someone he does not know, and that a satisfactory
N E V ERY BUSINESS
98
THE FIRST OLIVE
99
transaction at this low figure tends to establish confidence
just as surely as a big sale.
The New Process Company of Warren, Pa., as an instance,
a $1 lot of initialed handkerchiefs to build a customer
H. Wise Co. of New York sold the
Scrap Book at $2 or $3; and then to the
customers it sold a good many thousand sets of the
$100 Little Journeys!
At Collier's, we started with our highest price sale, solely
because we happened to have on hand a couple of hundred
thousand old inquiries that had expressed an interest in that
set. Then, after we had won their confidence, we sold them
other sets.
The first was the
Classics
of zction-a
logical follow-up to the Classics themselves. There were
twenty volumes, in bindings to match the Five-Foot Shelf.
A first circularizing of the Classics buyers brought something
like 1 0 per cent of orders. Since the circular in the mail cost
cents each, 10 per cent meant that our orders
us less than
were costing us
about 35 cents apiece, or less than 2 per
cent of our selling price!
That is nothing unusual for a first follow-up to customers
have been sold by mail. Once you have won your customers' confidence with an article that has done all you promised for it and more, you should be able to sell 10 per cent
them any related product. Of course, if you keep going
at them every month, as the New Process Company frequently did, you are not going to sell
per cent each time.
your offering is something a large percentage of your
can use to advantage, you will get a profitable
of orders every time you write them. To realize this,
only to look at the letter and circular that pulled
returns on the Harvard Classics Shelf of Fiction.
nothing outstanding about either of them. The
THE FIRST OLIVE
circular especially is not at all what I would send if I were
making the offer now. There is little about it to intrigue
the interest. Just compare it with some of the circulars we
Henry, or the War
used on Wells' Outline of History, or
Histories. Yet it pulled. Why? Because in selling them
the Harvard Classics we had already won the readers' interest
in any later related offer we might make. For that reason,
an ordinarily good letter, with a rather uninteresting circular,
pulled extraordinarily profitable returns. Here is the letter:
YOU ARE AN OWNER O F THE HARVARD
you will be mightily interested to know that Dr. Eliot has
just added a Two-Foot Shelf of Fiction-20 volumes-to his
famous Five-Foot Shelf of Books. It is
The Harvard Classics Shelf of Fiction
In it are forty-five of the most famous novels of the greatest
writers of all time. Seven different countries are represented
-Russia, France,
Spain, Scandinavia, and
America-each by its most noted authors, each author by his
best stories.
So good are these wonderful romances of fiction and history,
so great has been their influence, that they can truly be called
an essential part of the reading of every Twentieth Century
American. They supplement and
out the Harvard Classics, covering as they do a field almost untouched in the original
Five-Foot Shelf of Books.
Special
To
Classics Owners
A special edition of the Harvard Classics Shelf of Fiction has
been made up for Harvard Classics owners. Because of its
wealth of criticisms, sketches, and essays by noted authorities
it has been called the "Commentators Edition." While it lasts
set of the Harvard Classics Shelf
we can offer you the
volumes, bound in silk cloth, gold stamped, at
of Fiction in
a saving of
compared with Brentano's actual quotation
reproduced on the back of this letter; and payable in just a few
THE FIRST OLIVE
101
months by very small monthly payments; or with a discount
for cash.
Examine the
for a Week-at Our Expense
Don't take our word for the value and interest of these great
stories; don't take as final the judgment of Dr. Chas. W. Eliot,
President Emeritus of Harvard University and probably the
greatest authority on books and reading in the world to-day.
Examine the books for yourself-read in your own home one or
two of the forty-five wonderful stories-then decide. It costs
you nothing to SEE the books-the enclosed card will bring them
to you for a week's examination.
Merely ask to see these stories that Dr. Eliot
has selected for you-the Twentieth Century Busy Man-from out
of all the fiction of the World. The enclosed card brings them.
Put your name and address on it now and drop in the mail.
But remember, this special offer to Harvard Classics owners
holds good only until the "Commentators Edition" is exhausted,
so drop your card in the mail now.
SEND N O M O N EY .
Yours very truly,
Later follow-ups on the fiction books considerably increased
the percentage of sale, but, since all depended for their
effectiveness
their tie-up with the interest already created
by the "Harvard Classics," they seem hardly worthy of inclusion here.
Much better, from the point of
of a good piece
was our folder offering the Junior Classics, the
Foot Shelf of Books for Children. Imagine how such
approach as this would a pp eal to the parents of any growing
youngster:
know how the little folks just love a good story,
they'd rather listen to one than eat or play or
you, sometimes, to tell them a story, to
parent has not had that experience?
not nod his
in agreement with every word? Y OU
your reader's interest. Now you point out-what he
also agree with-that the children
read something,
102
THE FIRST OLIVE
and it is what they read now that has the greatest influence
on their after-life; it is their heroes, the men
women who
are made to seem to them wonderful and worthy to pattern
after, who form your children's characters.
the
THE FIRST OLIVE
103
How important, then, that they should have the right reading, and here is the chance to get for them the 846 best stories
children from the literature of the whole world, picked
two famous educators, Dr. Eliot and Dr. Neilson.
From there on, proof, persuasion, bargain, and free trial
follow in swift succession. Everything is made easy. Which
the reason this folder pulled as high as 8 per cent
is
on some lists. Here is the folder itself:
Y o u Know How the Little Folks
Love a Good Story-How
rather listen to one than eat or play or sleep-how they
beg you, sometimes, to tell them a story, to read to them.
They will read something, and it's what they read now that determines what they are to be-it's their heroes, their ideals, the
men and women who are made to seem to them wonderful and
worthy to pattern after, that form your children's charactersthat have the greatest influence on their after-life-that spell the
difference, frequently, between success and failure.
If you could
out from all the literature of the world just the
stories of folk-lore and fable, just the tales of fiction and history,
just the poems, that would give your children the right ideals,
that would stimulate them to their best efforts, that would give
the best groundwork for their later studies, and if you could
have the advice of the best-read man and the greatest educator
of his day as to that reading, you'd feel that no price was too
high to pay for it.
You can get just those stories, tales and poems-846 of themgone over by the best-read man and the greatest educator of his
day, Dr. Charles W. Eliot, for fort y years President of Harvard
and indorsed by him. They are bound
into ten volumes, and
find Dr. Eliot's suggestions a s
training of your children in his introduction to the set.
The 846 Best Stories for Children From the Literature
the
World
that is best in mythology and folk-lore, fairy tales and
legends, historical romances of chivalry, stories of courage and
animal and nature stories-in short, all that is best in
literature of childhood from every race and every land is
THE FIRST OLIVE
included in these Junior Classics-stories that the first mothers
told at nightfall to their little ones, the Folk Tales and Myths
of the Far North Country, the
Rabbit Stories of our own
Southland.
The tales of Greece and Rome have a volume to themselves, and
in them the child comes to know as familiar friends the great
characters who, in high-school days, he will meet again between
the covers of text-books. Then follow the stories of the heroes
and heroines of chivalry. Shakespeare's heroes and heroines,
too, are here in selected plays, retold and rearranged to make
easy reading for children.
"Alice in Wonderland" is in the company, and "Robinson
Crusoe" and
of Arc" and "Evangeline." The stories that
never grow old are
and "Sindbad the Sailor"
and the heroes and heroines of Scott's best stories. Scores,
literally hundreds, of the wonderful people of childhood-they
are all here, ready to become the delightful associates of your
own boy and girl.
Save $30 and Have the Best
There are 846 stories, poems, tales, and essays in The Junior
w
Classics-"'The Children's Two-Foot Shelf of Books -a story
each
at bedtime for nearly three years.
Purchased separately in the various bindings of the original
publishers, these 846 masterpieces would cost $30.00 more than
the price we ask for them in uniform bindings-the best product
of the bookmaker's art.
up into 10 volumes, in durable cloth binding, the price
of these 846 stories, tales, and poems is only $16.00, payable
at the rate of $1.00 a month; bound in three-quarter Autumn
Leaf Leather, the price is $24.00,
$1.50 a month, a
discount of 10 per cent being allowed for full cash payment.
Each of the 10 volumes has its colored frontispiece-a reproduction of a celebrated painting-and there are scores of illustrations (an art education in themselves).
The 846 masterpieces have been arranged by Professor Neilson,
head of the English Department at Harvard University, in reading courses which make them a real training in the appreciation
105
THE FIRST OLIVE
great literature, and a stepping-stone to the classics of the
adult world.
home training planned by the greatest educators to develop
and insure success-that is The Junior Classics in a
sentence.
And sold at less than a third of what the individual parts would
cost.
" M y Mother Never Read
Me"
Pity the man or woman, who, looking back over life's journey,
mother never read to me." To him one of the
must say,
richest joys of existence has been denied; school work would
have been easier, life's tasks more meaningful had there been
the background of idealism and mental uplift gained in his first
plastic years in his own home.
It is for the boy or girl who covets this rich experience, for the
parent who WANTS to draw close to his or her child through
the pages of great literature, but who is perplexed as to just
WHAT OR HOW TO READ, that The Junior Classics is offered.
"Give me a child until he is seven years old," said Cardinal
I care not who has him after."
Give your boy or girl for the first years of his life to the great
ideals and noble thoughts of literature. Make his or her heroes
of the Sunday supplements-but the great
not the rude
characters, men and women, who have made history. Fill his
or her mind with such images and ideals, and you need not
worry for the future.
It was to do THIS for the mothers and fathers and children of
America that the leading educators of America gave of their
best to The Junior Classics, and that Dr. Eliot agreed to lend
splendid reputation and influence to their success.
"There Is N o University Like a Mother's Reading to Her Child"
is no University," says a celebrated authority,
reading to her child."
a
is the inspiration of The Junior Classics. For the mother
father who CARES what his child may become, who
is, as much
cents of money and five minutes of time
this splendid library lifts an enormous burden.
THE FIRST
OLIVE
For here, authoritatively selected and scientifically arranged,
are
works that for generations have proved their power to
mold character, make school work easier, insure success.
Henry Clay said: "A wise mother and good books enabled me
to succeed in life. She was very poor, but never too poor to
buy books for her children. It is a mean sort of poverty that
starves the mind to feed the body."
Did You
Hear the Story
Of the youngest governor Minnesota ever had-the late Governor John A. Johnson? He was talking one day of his start
in life:
man who influenced my career more than any other," he
said, "lived in our little home town. He lent me the right
books; he taught me what to read and how. Much of what I
am I owe to that man-and to those books."
THE RIGHT BOOKS-because their influence came into the
life of that simple small-town boy at the critical period of his
boyhood, ambitions were awakened and purposes stirred which
brought him finally to the governor's chair. Without them he
might have been content to remain forever behind the counter
of the store where he started work; it was the books coming to
him in the molding years of youth that showed him the world
and taught him how to conquer it.
Dip into the biography of almost any man or woman who has
reached success and you will find this story of good books repeated. Franklin, Jackson, Clay, Lincoln-none of these men
ever had the advantage of a good schooling; all of them owed
their great success in life to the influence of good books.
Examine the Books for a Week--at Our Expense
Don't take our word for the value and interest of this set.
Don't take as final the judgment of Dr. Eliot, the foremost
educator of his day. Let us LEND you the books for a week
without cost and without obligation. Examine them for yourself. Read in your own home a few of the 846 stories and
poems in The Junior Classics; then decide whether these stories
will be worth two or three cents each to your children-in
pleasure, in profit, in mental growth.
Remember, you are under no obligation to keep them. We
THE FIRST OLIVE
107
the books to you, prepaid, for one week-to read, to examine, to talk over with your family. If you like them, send
only $1.00 at
end of the week, and $1.00 a month until the
set is paid for; if not, return it without question at our expense.
SEND NO MONEY. Merely ask to see these stories that have
Eliot, Presibeen approved for your children by Dr. Charles
dent Emeritus of Harvard University, who has directed the
training of more successful men than probably any other man
in the world.
The enclosed card brings them to you.
mail.
Merely drop it in the
After the Junior Classics, we worked our lists on half a
other sets of books, principal among them,
the Great
Lodge's History of Nations, Shakespeare,
and different Memoirs.
The Memoirs letter started with the story of the drummer
boy's wife who saved the Czar and his army from the Turks;
it hinted at a dozen other interesting incidents of the kind,
touched upon de Pompadour (whose true story makes the
legend of King Cophetua and the begger maid
comparison) and showed how her sinister motto-"After us,
the deluge9'-led logically to the Revolution and the Reign
of Terror, just as the rottenness of the Czars brought similar
scenes to Russia more than a hundred years later.
Needless to say, such stories won reader-interest and
brought back orders in profitable volume, but none of them
compared in sales with the Harvard Classics and Junior
Classics. These were our standbys. With the reputation of
back of them, we were able to go to every country
and hamlet and leave at least a few sets of these sterling
But except on inquiries that the salesmen were unable to sell, we were not allowed to touch the larger towns
where most of the population lives and where most
is done. This made it difficult, because, contr ary general belief, our experience was that it is f a r easier
108
THE FIRST
to sell the dwellers in the cities by mail than it is the farmer.
This is true even of such merchandise as coats, shirts, ties, and
other wearing apparel. It is far more true of books.
So our sales were limited. It was almost impossible to get
highly profitable percentages of orders from lists culled from
telephone books and automobile registrations. The occupational lists paid well, but there were comparatively few of
as for the most
them for the rural communities.
profitable lists of all-the buyers of other sets
concerns like Wise, Doubleday, and so forth-we were barred
from using them by our geographical restrictions, because
these publishers could not take the time to sort over their
lists and address our circulars
to rural communities.
For these reasons, our sales amounted to only about $250,000 a year, when if we had had the whole country to draw
upon, they should have run into the millions. So when another New York publishing house offered me the sales managership of their mail selling, I jumped at the chance to show
what could be done by mail when all the hobbles were off.
Selling $2,000,000 Worth of
Henry Stories
one well-known New York
had been selling magazines and books
mail.
almost as long it had been noted for the effectiveness of
its sales literature, and few indeed were the ideas that it
had not tried.
I went with this firm, 0. Henry's short stories had
been selling in set form for about six years, and of late the
fallen off; so I was told not to bother
results
to see what I could do with the War History,
everything I had into pushing Harrington Emerson's Institute
of E
Well, I spent several weeks writing circulars on both of
then, while they were
printed and made ready
mailing, I picked up some of
Henry stuff and idly
down a letter and circular,
to fill in time.
they were finished they seemed rather good, so we decided
them on a
test.
the next twelve months we sold more than 50,000
M ORE T H A N TH I RT Y YEARS,
ber
Henry, amounting to more than
Of
Course, we sold less than $150,000.
several different letters on
Henry, and a numbut the basic appeal was the same in all. First,
109
110
SELLING
HENRY STORIES
we took it for granted that our reader had heard of
Henry
and knew something of the intriguing humanness of his
stories. So we wasted no time with introductions, but started
our letter with a "bargain" appeal-and a "hurry-up." For
the hurry-up, we had several different premiums. Jack London was the most popular of them. If you would send your
order right away, you would get free with your set of
Henry five volumes of Jack London's famous stories.
An old dodge, of course, but why worry whether a scheme
is old or new when it brings a million dollars' worth of orders?
For the real interest, we depended upon our
telling enough of each story to whet the reader's appetite and
make him want more, but not enough to satisfy his curiosity
o r enable him to fill in the answer for himself.
The most successful of our circulars was the
entitled
"When the Rattlesnake Struck." To the one side, we showed
a judge and his lovely daughter. On the other, a tough looking character and his daughter. In between was reproduced
the following letter:
Judge:
When you sent me up for four years, you called me a rattlenow.
snake. Maybe I am one-anyhow, you hear me
One year after I got to the pen, my daughter died of-well,
they said it was poverty and the disgrace together. You've got
a daughter, Judge, and I'm going to make you know how it
feels to lose one. I'm free now, and I guess I've turned to
rattlesnake all right. Look out when I strike! Yours respectfully,
RATTLESNAKE
From that, we went on to a description of the books, ending with a picture of the premium set and some interesting
incident from one of the stories, with the usual FREE EXAMINATION and "Use the Post Card."
On page
is a reproduction of the start of the "To
SELLING
HENRY STORIES
111
Honor and Obey" circular, showing how it l ea d s
offer of
0. Henry books. Glance over the
Struck" opener, or "To Love, Honor
and see if
don't want
get your hands on the
and
the answers.
contain the essence of
successful circular writing-they get the reader's
attention and interest and
HE
Honor and Obey!
make him want to know
had had a big
in nuking
country.
more.
the post card
she was marrying a Coward,
a
makes it easy for him to get
Why
did it no one
of all
told him And
more.
he did
nuke
or make
cut the
It u
that for
for
action
One million dollars'
it
only
o f 274
by
of the
Short
worth of sales in a single
HENRY
year on a set that was supposed to be just about dead
was pretty
but the real test came with the second year.
Could we keep it up?
It looked for a while as
we could not. We tried
several variations of the original
work. Circulars that had
and even 4 per
previous year were down below per cent. Advertisements
and $2 apiece
that had brought us orders for
climbed to $5 and $6. Something was wrong.
tried all the different ways we knew, analyzed the refrom every
and finally hit upon this:
most effective headlines in the previous
ads had
"Before the Price Goes Up!" After it, we went on to
that paper, binding, and labor were jumping
ward
and bounds, that we had on hand some thousets manufactured at the old low rates, and that when
were gone the price would have to go up.
And
he
112
SELLING
HENRY STORIES
Because prices of other commodities were rising rapidly,
people recognized the truth of this argument. But when the
price did actually go up at the beginning of the second year,
sales dropped to the point where they were no longer profitable.
So we decided to try another kind of hurry-up, and the
one we hit upon was: "Last Chance to Get Jack
free!"
Mind you, we had been giving Jack London (or Oppenheim,
or the mystery and detective stories, or some other premium)
for some six years, and people had come to expect it. They
had grown tired of hearing of increases in price and probably no longer believed further raises possible. But the
threat of losing the premium was something different.
Strange as it may seem, putting in that one line changed
the results overnight. Back went the sales to the previous
year's figures. Ads pulled again. And circulars-how they
pulled! For the second time we sold
worth of
Henry books in a single year!
The letters we used were not essentially different from the
previous ones. They merely emphasized last chance! Aside
from that, they went over much the same ground as before.
They had to, for in sales extending over seven years, pretty
nearly everything had been said about
Henry that could
be said.
So we put our main dependence upon our hurry-up for
the orders. And the hurry-up did the work.
Henry. Two million dolThat ended the big sale on
lars' worth in two years seemed just about to saturate the
market. At any rate, it saturated the available lists of book
buyers, for though we kept trying for the next several years,
the 0. Henry sales never again went over the $100,000 mark
for any one year. Then Doubleday brought out the complete set in one volume and that put an end to the set sale
for good.
What was responsible for this big sale? The same thing
SELLING
HENRY STORIES
113
is responsible for any sale-making your reader want
We did not ask
to take our word for the interest of
0. Henry stories, or for their value to him as cross sections
human nature-we gave him enough of the stories themselves to arouse his own interest. We gave him enough, but
too much. Then we told him that everybody was reading them, that they were the equal of a university course in
psychology, that even without their story interest
they were worth all they cost just as a study in human nature.
And finally, we gave him a reason why he must order at
once, or lose a really worth-while free premium. In short,
we aimed first at making the reader want the stories for
themselves alone. When we felt we had succeeded in that,
we gave him as many excuses for buying them as we could
think of, and a real reason why he must do it right away.
And lastly, we made it easy. We sent him a post card that
brought the books to him without cost or obligation for a
week's free reading. We told him he could browse through
them as much as he liked, see for himself how interesting,
invaluable, the books would be to him. Then decide!
might think that would result in a
of returned sets. But it did not. Our average returns of
Henry sets ran around
per cent, and
ever went was 14 per cent. That is not bad,
since
most of them came back in
condition needing only
re-wrapping and re-boxing to be used again.
The payments, too, were good. Ordinarily we took the
to look up each order in our files and in the records of
Order Credit Association, where the credit experiof some fifteen or twenty companies are pooled.
you are getting as many as 3,000 orders in a single day,
cannot always
the time to do this. So during the
we shipped everything that looked good to us without
and looked up only the doubtful ones.
we wrote off 30 per cent of our gross business
114
SELLING
HENRY STORIES
to cover returns, cancellations, collection expense, and losses.
That our judgment was not so bad in picking the good orders
is proved by the fact that we had to increase that 30 per cent
by only 3 per cent during those two years of rush times, and
the saving in time and clerical expense more than made u p
for that.
It is not safe to assume, as so many do, that 90 per cent of
the people are honest. In the early days of selling by mail
that was true, but people have learned how easy it is to get
goods on credit by mail, and the unscrupulous ones have taken
advantage of it. The result is that there has grown up a class
9
of professional curiosity seekers and "deadbeats '-people
who send for everything that can be secured without a down
payment, and hold on to it until forced by threats of post-office
action or court judgment to return it. The Mail Order Credit
Association has records of more than 300,000 of these-men
and women who have fleeced two or more of its members, and
in some cases all of its members! If you guard against
persons, you can safely assume that 90 per cent or more of
those who order your goods are honest-but not until then.
XIII
A War History That Sold
became of the tests on the War History and the
Emerson Institute of
while all this
Henry selling was going on? You have probably asked that question
several times while reading the last chapter. They were not
neglected, you may be sure, even though they were outshone.
The Efficiency Course tests did only moderately well. We
sold perhaps $150,000 worth of them a year for two or three
years, but never enough to get wildly excited about. Compared to the sales we were making on books, the results from
the letters on this course pale into insignificance. But just
as a sample of the "Success Course" letters, we give one of
them here:
YOU'VE GO T T O H AVE M O R E MONEY-
expenses-food, clothing, rent, amusements-have
doubled or more than doubled in cost.
can you increase your earnings enough to keep up with
without speculating or
these increased costs?
your line of work, can you double or
in a reasonably short time?
is only one way you can do it-and that is by using
your
your abilities-instead of the
or 50% used by ninety-nine men out of a hundred.
Professor William James, one of the world's greatest psychologists, says: "As a rule men habitually use only a small part
power which they actually possess. Compared with what
116
A WAR HISTORY THAT SOLD
they ought to be, they are
half awake. Their fires are
are making use of
their drafts are checked.
only a small part of their possible mental and physical resources."
SUCCESS, in short, is simply a matter of INTELLIGENT
OF Y O U R O W N POWERS. All the essentials of success are within
are simply awaiting proper development.
you,
Our industrial captains, our merchant princes, our financial
kings, our intellectual leaders-all started their careers with a
and
no greater than that of the average man's. They made their success by using ALL of their
powers instead of the small percentage utilized by the average
man.
be honest with yourself-what is the barrier that blocks
Y O U R progress to the things you most desire in life?
is
more money? Isn't it I NEF it that keeps Y O U from
F I C I E N C Y -to use~ to
~ ~capacity
~ ~ ~ ~ the powers with which you
have been endowed?
Efficiency-100% use of your talents-would bring you immediate advancement-would enable you to double or treble
your income, especially now when there is so great a demand
for big men to fill the many big jobs that have been created or
open by the
With Efficiency behind him, A N Y man,
of previous training or education, can hold down the
the business world today. "Ordinary ability,
biggest jobs
said Theodore N. Vail, President of the
properly
American Telephone and Telegraph Company, "is all that is
necessary to reach the highest rung in the ladder of success."
That ability you have; the development must come through Efficiency. Properly directed, the latent ability in you will enable
you to reach any height to which you may aspire-to realize
ambitions that now seem impossible of attainment.
For anything that you have to do, whether it be the building of
a skyscraper, the managing of an office, the winning of a bigger
job, there is but one efficient way-one best way-of doing it.
Efficiency will point out to you that one best way.
Efficiency is C O M M O N SENSE applied. I t shows employers
to increase profits. It shows employees how to increase their
earnings. It shows the
man how to get more out
A WAR HISTORY
SOLD
117
the day's work and out of life. Efficiency, however, is a
with definite laws, and the average man is no more
with its vital principles than he is with the principles of
any other science of which he has made no study.
the Emerson Course you learn from a master of Efficiency
fundamental principles that are responsible for all success
life and business. Not only do you learn these principles
but you receive actual training in their application.
Emerson is rightly regarded as the central figure of
He was the first to draw
the world-wide Efficiency
the attention of the nation to the elimination of industrial waste,
first to formulate and apply the principles of
to industries, and first to conceive of the application of these principles
to the individual.
For twenty years Emerson made notes and collected data for a
Course in Efficiency for the individual. During this time he
his associates were in close touch with every scientific and
technical advance, collecting and recording over 25,000 examples of modern progress in Efficiency.
Then for two years competent assistants travelled with him and
aided him in building up the Course. When it was finally finished, after being re-written a dozen times, Dr. Walter L.
of the New York Department of Education was engaged
to go over the Course word by word with Mr. Emerson's assistants, to be sure that everything which modern scientific educational methods could add to it should be added.
Experts in home study courses and the science of Efficiency
were engaged to organize the
Institute, which watches
over the work of the students, helps them over the hard places,
incites them to give their best to the study and get the best it
to give; which answers any and all questions and insists on
that the Course really accomplishes Mr. Emerson's purpose.
Thousands of dollars in money and the time of some of the highest
men in the country were freely spent in preparing the
It represents the knowledge and experience gained in
years of work in over two hundred plants, many of them
of their kind in the whole world. For his work in
one of these plants Mr. Emerson was paid $500,000, yet
118
A WAR HISTORY THAT SOLD
we offer you the results of all his research and experience, made
u p into twenty-four lessons, for only $1.25 a lesson-$30 for
the twenty-four lessons, payable $1.00 with order, $2.00 in one
month, and then $3.00 a month for nine months.
Examine the first three lessons at our risk. The enclosed order
form will bring them, each one a week apart-subject to 30
days examination. Read them-try them out-if you are not
more than satisfied with the results at the end of 30 days-if
you cannot see where they will double or triple your earning
power-send them back and your first payment of $1.00 will be
refunded immediately and in full.
Remember, Mr. Emerson is no mere theorist or dreamer. He is
a wide-awake, world-famous professional man, one of the busiest
business engineers in the country. In his very first big job,
the savings effected reached the enormous sum of $1,500,000
per year, while the amount paid him for his services was
000. The Western Union Telegraph Company, The Gorham
Mfg. Company, The Mutual Life Insurance Company, The
Corbin Lock Company, The Yale Towne Mfg. Company, and
scores of other nationally known concerns have themselves subscribed to the Emerson Course in Personal Efficiency for large
classes of their employees. The Scovill Mfg. Company of
Waterbury, Conn., alone gave us a class of 324 men, for which
they paid us $11,080.80.
Merely attach your check or a dollar bill (which will be returned to you after you have seen the lessons if you decide not
to go through with the Course) to the attached order form and
mail in the enclosed envelope. The first lesson will go forward
immediately and the next two will follow a week apart.
Remember, this order is simply an opportunity for the Course
to sell itself to you. There is no sale-no obligation to keep it
-until you have tried it out in your own home for 30 days and
are satisfied. Just let us send the first three lessons for your
examination.
But remember, too, in the great book of time there is but one
word-"NOW"-SOsend the order now while you think of it.
Sincerely yours,
A WAR HISTORY THAT SOLD
119
The War History, however, did very well, and although it
did not pay out on as large a number of lists as
Henry, the
lists on which it did work pulled surprisingly good percentages of orders.
Here again it was the scheme that sold rather than the
copy. When I went with this publishing company, it had sold
only 5,000 War Histories in over two years. In the next
two, it sold about 70,000 at from $17 to $25 a set! It was
not more effectivecopy that made all that difference. It was
the plan behind the copy.
Here!
had
ahead
of
smashed
fur
had
French
All
and
outer
rhm,
to
of
to
fold
had
to
through
won bark
ground
ground the
bad
had
lost,
fro
it any wonder that oven the
troop"
-m y wonder
And
Who Was There
You.Knew
War md
in
History of the World War
N o w Complete
had been trying to sell the books as the most
history of the war. And
go.
Because the war was but recently over
most people felt, rightfully enough, that
out yet and that
would wait to get their history
the real, inside story was available. So we had to find
why they should order at once.
120
A WAR HISTORY THAT SOLD
We found it in a premium: six little volumes of intensely
interesting true stories of the war. We offered them free if
the reader would send in his order at once. What happened? Instead of 5,000 sets in more than two years, we
sold nearly 35,000 in less than one year!
Then the sale dragged. What should we do? What had
succeeded on
Henry? A last-chance offer? So the second year we made it "Your last chance to get True Stories
free!" and sold another 25,000 sets!
After the sale was all over, and neither "True Stories" nor
any other premium seemed able to resurrect it, we still sold
about
with the old standby-the damaged-set letter.
That is one letter that has never failed us after any big sale.
We used it on
Henry, we used it on the Photographic
tory of the Civil War, we used it on the War History-and
later, as you will see, it worked just as successfully on traveling bags, and even on bed blankets for the Warren people!
You see, in selling any big stock of books, you are bound
to accumulate a large number of "rubbed" or slightly damaged sets, perfectly good in every respect except that they
cannot be sold as new books. Many of them have had the
corners "bunged up" in being returned by customers after
examination. Many others have a page torn or are thumb
marked, but for all practical purposes they are as good as new
books. They form the basis for the damaged-set sale.
The trouble with us usually has been that these
set sales so far outpulled any ordinary circulars that the
orders kept rolling in long after the damaged sets were gone.
On the War History, for instance, we actually had some 3,000
damaged sets, and we got about 10,000 orders! Those extra
orders were not costing us anything, so it really was profitable
to fill them with brand new books rather than turn them down!
This
me of a time when we were holding a similar
sale at Warren on traveling bags. As usual, we received
A WAR
THAT SOLD
121
many more orders than we bargained for. One day the shipping clerk happened to come through my office. "How are
the damaged bags holding out, John?" I asked him. "Oh,
we're getting enough," he said, "but," he confided, "I'm getting darned tired kicking holes in the sides of the packing
cartons just to make those bags look damaged!"
Here is the type of letter that caused all this "trouble":
A
D EAR S IR:
IMPERFECT SETS AT A BIG DISCOUNT!
In the rush and excitement of selling, in two years, 75,000 sets
of the History of the World War, there was no time to pay attention to technically imperfect or slightly injured sets, except
to lay them aside as they appeared.
Some of them were wrongly bound, some slightly damaged from
stockroom handling-so slightly that you would have to make
a close inspection to discern the damage, but still-you know
how it is-they cannot be sold as perfect books.
So rather than send them back to the bindery and give the
binders the profit of re-binding, we have decided to let the advantage go to a few book-lovers-to people like yourself who
love good books for the books' sake and not for trifling details
about them-and to offer these magnificent sets at 30% off the
regular price !
157 Sets Left!
We have just 157 sets of these books to sell at this low price.
When they are gone, it will be impossible to get the History of
the World War at less than its regular price, but while these few
sets last, you may have one of them at this big discount and you
can pay for it in little, easy monthly payments.
Every set we guarantee to be in satisfactory condition. In
some cases only one volume is not quite perfect. But as only
definite number of sets were contracted for with paper maker,
printer and binder, one "hurt" volume means that a whole set
even though four volumes are absolutely perfect, and in some cases it takes an expert to find
anything wrong with the fifth.
122
A WAR HISTORY THAT SOLD
In one case the binder made a mistake, and bound certain volumes of a set with gray linings and the other with blue linings.
For all
purposes these sets are perfect. Some subscribers might even prefer blue and gray linings, as sheets and
covers are mainly without a blemish.
will,of course, ship the books subject to your approval, to be
returned at our expense if not satisfactory;-we always do that.
Signing and mailing the enclosed card puts the burden of proof
us and incurs not the slightest obligation.
But you must act at once-there are only 157 sets left-and
the best ones will naturally go to those who reply first. So sit
down right now and put your name on the enclosed card and
drop it in the mail!
Very truly yours,
How is it that a letter which sells histories and 0. Henry
stories in unusual volume is just as successful in selling bed
blankets and traveling bags?
Because the one constant factor in selling is human reactions. We seldom try to sell merchandise. We sell ideas.
And my experience has been that a fundamentally sound idea
that will sell books in great volume will be just as successful
in moving traveling bags or bed blankets or any other merchandise, if properly adapted to them.
The adapting is the job. Many writers make the mistake
of thinking that if they copy the wording of a successful letter, their letter is bound to pull too. There is no bigger
mistake. The wording counts for little. I t is the way you
adapt the idea back of the successful letter that counts.
The best illustration of this I have seen was at Warren.
A couple of men who had been with the Warren company for
several years-one in the advertising and the other in the
list department-felt that they had all the information they
needed as to copy, lists, and products, and started a rival mail
order company of their own, getting a local merchant to
back them.
A WAR HISTORY THAT SOLD
123
They used the same lists of names the Warren company
had been using, they copied letters and circulars almost word
for word, they offered the same products-yet from the very
beginning they were a failure. And in a couple of years
they passed completely out of the picture. Why? A dearth
ideas. They thought mere words could do the trick.
Words are empty sounds. It is the images back of
that count!
Books That Many People Know
published by this New York publisher
ran into such sales figures as $1,000,000. The
and War Histories are rare birds, and fortunate indeed is he
who gets hold of them. There has to be something remarkable about the work itself, as a rule, although it is even more
important that there be something remarkable about the advertising, as Nelson Doubleday proved when he took an
ordinary book of etiquette and sold a million copies of it by
extraordinary advertising.
Not every book will lend itself to such a sale even with the
finest advertising, but the sale of any book can be greatly
stimulated by the proper kind of advertising. It is merely
a matter of finding the primal human motive to which your
appeals-be it love or gain or fear or ambition-and
then directing your appeal at that motive.
When I went with this company, it had on hand about
5,000 sets of Rudyard
the left-overs of a big sale
several years earlier. The sale over,
had languished
for a while. But a new letter brought it promptly back to
life, and the 5,000 sets changed hands in a few weeks' time.
Not a large matter, of course, but every $150,000 sale helps
by that much to swell the grand total.
We could have sold a great many more, but manufacturing
costs had gone up so much that we hesitated to put a lot of
ALL THE SETS
BOOKS THAT
PEOPLE KNOW
125
money into a set of books that had, for a while at least, been
so hard to move. Here is the letter that moved what we had:
The long winter evenings are here.
Do you want to make them different this year-want to get more
and profit out of
than ever before?
If
do, then you want something we've got. This is the
first letter telling our friends about it. It is the complete works
the greatest living writer and poet-the
of Rudyard
first complete collection ever published of all his wonderful
stories, tales, and poems.
And in every single story throughout the 4,500 pages, there is a
thrill for you-some mystery of old India, some human tangle
that keeps you enthralled until the last word is told-some tale
of love or war.
It may be the story of Hans, the blue-eyed Dane and Anne of
spy that got aboard an English
Austria-it may be about
battleship and the glorious joke they played upon him. It may
be a tale of the old Irish who took Lungtungpen, naked as they
were born.
It may be one of his stories for children-about Wee Willie
Winkle, who marched out alone to fight an Indian tribe-of
and man-cub of the Jungle--or Kim, the most precious
little imp that ever walked in the pages of a book.
Or, it may be one of his immortal poems that have the lilt and
the swing of a martial
w
is East and West is West -but there are hundreds of them.
But whatever one it is, if it's by Rudyard
it is a wonderful story or poem-one that will jolt you right out of yourself and into another world and won't let you go until you have
finished it.
whole
There are GO thrilling stories and 35
bound in silk cloth, in twenty-five volumes with gilt
tops and gold lettering on the backs.
Let us send these twenty-five volumes to you at our own expense for a week's free examination. The enclosed card brings
them to you by prepaid express. If you like them you can send
$1.00 at the end of the week and then $1.50 a month for 19
126
BOOKS THAT MANY PEOPLE KNOW
months. If not you can return them without question, at our
expense.
Remember, there is no sale, no obligation to keep the books until
you have tried them out for a week in your own home and are
satisfied. Just let us send them to you for a week's examination.
But remember too, that paper is so scarce that we were able to
get only enough to bind up 5,000 sets and it may be months
before we are able to get enough more to bring out another edition, so if you would be sure of getting a set at the present low
prices, put your name on the enclosed card N O W and drop in
the mail.
Yours truly,
Another set that had been gathering dust on the shelves
for a number of years was the Spanish and Italian Romances.
These never had done well. We had about 3,300 bound sets
on hand, and enough unbound sheets to make about 5,000
more. With the following letter we cleaned up 3,300 sets at
$10.50, then bound the 5,000 sheets and closed them out at
$4.98. Considering that the stock had long since been written off, there was a goodly profit in the sales at these prices,
especially since the cost per order proved to be very low.
THEY LAST-53% OFF!
mind, relaxing into needful sport,
Should turn to writers of an abler sort,
Whose wit well managed, and whose classic style
Give truth a lustre, and make wisdom smile.
D EAR R EADER :
You know how everyone loves a good story, how young and old
alike will listen wide-eyed to tales of mystery or romance, to
stories of love or adventure.
Here is your chance to get the stories on which the literature of a
dozen languages is based-AT A
53%.
In cleaning out our stock-room to make ready for the big new
edition of
Henry soon to be delivered, we found that we had
left over several hundred sets of the famous Tales from the
THAT MANY PEOPLE KNOW
127
Spanish and Italian, only one limited edition of which has ever
been printed.
The finest flower of four centuries of Spanish imagination, the
choicest masterpieces of six hundred years of Italian storytellers, have here been gathered together into one complete set
of eight volumes, beautifully illustrated, bound in silk cloth, and
stamped in gold. From Cervantes to Ibanez, from Boccaccio to
the greatest story-tellers of Spain and Italy are
here represented by their most delightful works, more than half
of them now presented to English readers for the first time.
These eight volumes were made up to sell at a price of $15.00.
In the post-war deflation, that price was reduced to $10.50,
and three thousand sets were sold at that figure.
Now there are only some few hundred left-not enough to advertise in our usual way. So, while they last, we make you this
offer:
Mail the enclosed card, without money, and we will send you
these eight volumes at 53% less than the $10.50 price-$4.98.
There's no margin in that for collection expense, as you can
guess, so we ask you to pay the postman or expressman your
$4.98 when the volumes reach you. If, after reading them for
a week, you are not entirely satisfied-if at the end of that time
you are not convinced that this is the biggest book bargain you
have ever had-send them back at our expense and your $4.98
will be refunded immediately and in full. There are no strings
to this offer. The $4.98 is yours when you want it.
Bat remember, there are only some hundreds of these sets left,
and they will not last long. S o send your card NOW-this minute! This is your last chance!
Earnestly yours,
With the foregoing letter, we sent a six by nine inch, fourpage circular. At the top of the first page was the picture of
fine-looking man with a beautiful
in his arms. Caption
copy follow:
The Fateful Kissfirst he thought it a stupid joke-then a horrible mistake.
it was neither, for this girl-this woman he had asked to
128
BOOKS THAT
PEOPLE
be his wife-had set him a task so grotesque, so cruel, that it
made his blood run cold.
Madly he had loved her-boldly he had wooed her-but all in
vain. Her heart seemed
of stone. Then in desperation
he had vowed to do any deed she might ask of him if she would
grant him one kiss. And this was her
If you would hear a story so weird, so strange as to be almost
uncanny-if you would know what desperate motives can ravage
men's minds and women's hearts-read this story of a man's
love and trial. It is just one of the
TALES
T H E SPANISH AND
ITALIAN
The Source of the Greatest Literature in
Languages
Here are the original stories that Shakespeare dramatized in "Romeo and Juliet," in the "Merry Wives of
Windsor," and a dozen other plays that have charmed
and delighted audiences without number. Here is the
dramatic tale which is renowned the world over in
"Cavalleria Rusticana." Here is Boccaccio's "Patient
Griselda" which Grimm, Anderson and even Chaucer
have retold in various forms. Here is the original of
Longfellow's "Tales of a Wayside Inn.''
Here, too, is "The Hunchback," which has appeared in every
language of Europe; and "The Three Blind Beggars," which
has been retold time and again for the past thousand years. In
short, here in this set are the original stories on which the
literature of a dozen languages is based.
The circular went on to tell of a score of other stories that
had been retold in popular style by famous authors of a
dozen lands, and on the inside pages gave a few tense situations from them, like "The Fateful Kiss," each leading into a
description of the other stories in the set. The last page was
devoted to the bargain offer and the fact that this was really
the last chance the reader would have to get the books at any
price. It ended with the usual urge to use the post card to
send for the books for free examination.
Here are two letters of a different type, offering Bruce
BOOKS THAT MANY PEOPLE KNOW
129
Barton's Man Nobody Knows and The Book Nobody Knows:
DEAR R EADER:
Jesus Christ "the founder of modern business?"
Jesus a master of efficiency in organization, a born executive?
Jesus a sociable man, a cheerful, bright companion with a pat
story on His lips-an outdoor man with clear eyes and hard
muscles ?
Jesus wording the best advertisements ever written?
Yes, this is the Jesus Christ now being introduced to hundreds
of thousands of business men and busy women by Bruce Barton.
Barton is himself a brilliant, successful young American business man as well as a writer. In his book The Man Nobody
Knows he brings to us, in our daily work, a Jesus we never knew
before, one who set examples for us, not in some ideal and impossible way but in our job, managing a bank or clerking, selling automobiles, doing professional work-furnishing something of service.
This is one of the two books Bruce Barton has written which
are storming the imaginations and hearts of people everywhere-proving sensations on the movie screen, quoted from in
a thousand newspapers, read eagerly by hundreds of thousands of alert, successful men and
overjoyed to find
that so far
being a figure apart from their lives and daily
work-sadly incompatible with them-Jesus Christ is one they
can like, talk to, work with, get lessons from, even in the very
technique of their craft.
This is one of Barton's two books; the other, The
Knows, deals, of course, with the Bible.
the same way Barton has brought the Old Testament into our
lives and jobs and
thoughts and standards.
Think of it! A million men and women doing the active work
the world, suddenly finding Jesus Christ and the Bible close
them, useful, part and parcel of their daily lives and of human endeavor to succeed!
Barton's two books interest and aid the rich and powerful;
any cub salesman to get orders for shoe
130
BOOKS THAT MANY PEOPLE KNOW
and to work on principles that lead him toward riches and
power.
Now, you who have thought of Christ as an ascetic, a mystic,
a
weakling, a "Man of Sorrows," will want to meet this
cheerful,
founder of "modern business." If you can read
only two books more in your life, these two must be the ones, etc.
Sincerely yours,
DEAR NEIGHBOR :
Will you set me right on one point about yourself:
I'm wondering if your idea of the Christ is like that of most
people-a "Man of Sorrows," sent to this earth to undergo
certain sacrificial experiences, glad to get them over with, looking forward always to getting back to His heavenly home.
That is the idea of Jesus that most people have. That is the
idea of Him that many teachers have fostered. But is not the
idea of Him
a careful reading of the Gospels will give yon.
A
weakling? Ascetic? Anaemic? Jesus was a successful carpenter in a day when tools were few and sheer strength
took the place of winches and pulleys.
A "Man of Sorrows"? He made people happy wherever He
went. The sick, the poor, the sorrowful-all flocked to Him
and were sent away happy. Little children loved Him-and
were joyous and happy with Him. He was the most popular
dinner guest in Jerusalem!
A failure? Why, he was the founder of modern business! For
what is the watchword of the successful business of today?
What but Service?
And 1900 years ago Jesus preached on the shores of Galilee"Whosoever will be great among you shall be your minister.
And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of
all." Is there one word of that which does not apply to the
well-run modern business? Yet most people think that this
idea of giving more than you are paid for is a new idea! It is
simply that the world is only now waking up to the practicability
of Jesus' teachings.
For years people have had the feeling that what a man did on
week-days was somehow contaminating. That Church on Sunday was to wipe out this stain so that he might make good in
BOOKS THAT MANY PEOPLE KNOW
131
the hereafter. When the fact is that what really counts is not
the things you profess on Sundays-but the things you practice on week-days!
I
That is what modern business is coming to believe. That is the
spirit that animated all of Jesus' words and actions, as portrayed in the most interesting, the most talked about story of
Jesus ever written-
The Man Nobody Knows
By Bruce Barton
With its companion
Book Nobody Knows-it has
taken the business world by storm. It shows Jesus-NOTas a
"Man of Sorrows,'' not as a meek and lowly "Lamb of God,"
but as the greatest of all figures in History, as the Practical
Ideal of the modern business man.
"I came that ye might have life and have it more abundantly."
He differed from the Prophets. Me differed from John the
Baptist. He brought a new idea into the world-that changed
the whole current of History. Would you know what that
idea is? Then read these two great books.
They tell you of the greatest thought ever conceived. And it
further that thought that we have arranged with Bruce
is
Barton to offer his two inspiring books, etc.
The circular that
these letters was based on
the belief that Jesus was not
a mighty teacher, but a
powerful
of a man as well. The illustration on the
first page showed Jesus driving the money-changers from the
Temple. And here is how the copy read:
Was Jesus a Physical Weakling?
The painters have made Him look so-but He
swung an adze and pushed a saw until He was
thirty years old. He walked miles every day in
the open air. He drove a crowd of hard-faced
men out of the Temple. He faced Jewish hatred
and Roman power without a tremor.
BRUCE BARTON brings Christ within the range of a reasonable faith.
He paints
new picture of Him-a sincere,
132
BOOKS THAT MANY PEOPLE KNOW
picture of the personality that
G. Wells names
first on the list of the greatest figures in history.
If there is a young man in college or in business to whom you
would like to make a gift that will give him a thrill, send him
these remarkable books. Every employer in the U. S. ought to
send copies of these books to the ten most valuable men in his
organization. They would give
a
thrilling conception of modern business. For, as one newspaper put it-"Here
is a story of Jesus that makes the modern man sit up and take
notice." Barton gives you a Christ you can accept, regardless
of your creed.
On the inside pages of the circular were other pictures of
Jesus, one showing him at work as a carpenter, another with
children gathered around him. Underneath, on page
Man Nobody
and on
two, was a description of
page three, of The Book Nobody Knows. The last page was
devoted to the special offer, the bargain, and the urge to
send the cnrd-to look over the books in the privacy of your
own home, to see for yourself, without cost and without obligation, how interesting, how valuable they were. Only then
need you decide. If for any reason you did not care for
them, you could send them back and be out nothing.
On another occasion, we made our appeal to a quite different type of reader-the man of thirty-five,
or fortyfive who feels himself beginning to slip a little, who is no
longer as vigorous and full of vitality as he would like, whose
muscles are flabby, and whose hair is beginning to thin.
How could we pick him from the mass of humanity that
reads the papers and books and magazines? He is no longer
interested in muscle-building as such. He wants his ease.
But he also wants health and vitality and vigor enough
enjoy life as of yore. So we secured for him a Course of
Lessons fathered by the Life Extension Institute, and with it
as our only bait we landed some 50,000 readers for
BOOKS THAT MANY PEOPLE KNOW
133
A MESSAGE TO YOU FROM THE GREAT MEN OF
MEDICINE!
Do You Know?
The five elementary rules
of right living?
The ten guiding principles of exercise?
What exercise will keep
you in fit condition?
What a normal man
should be able to do?
When sunshine is injurious?-When it is
Nature's most
ful drug?
What causes colds?
How to escape them?
How to cure headache?
What the muscles need
most?
What exercise is necessary for women?
How fresh air concerns
the skin?
How a watering mouth
affects digestion?
What are the vitally important vitamins?
When to take hot or cold
baths?
danger sigThe
nals?
the heart needs
most?
the eyes may be
rested?
GOOD-MORNING, SIR
Remember how you used to plough
through great masses of work day after
day and month after month, cheerily,
enthusiastically, with never a sign of
tiring or nervous strain? Remember
how you used to enjoy those evenings,
starting out as fresh from your office or
shop as if you hadn't just put a hard
day's work behind you?
No doubt you've often wondered why
you can't work and enjoy yourself like
that
but solaced yourself with the
moth-eaten fallacy that-"As a man
grows older he shouldn't expect to get
the same fun out of life that he did in
his earlier years."
Poor old exploded idea!
Youth is not a matter of
is a
state. Y o u can be just as brisk,
just as active, just as light-hearted now
as you were ten or twenty years ago.
Genuine youth is just a perfect state of
health. You can have that health, and
the boundless energy and capacity for
work or enjoyment that go with it.
You can cheat time of ten or twenty
years merely by taking thought, by
learning a few vital facts about your
body-how to eat, how to sleep, how
to exercise right. You need no painful,
lengthy exercise; no weary diet; just to
live a sensible life.
science tells us that old age is merely our name for the
poisoning of our bodies. Aches and pains burrowing
134
BOOKS THAT MANY PEOPLE KNOW
and creeping through the body, a relaxed abdomen, deepening
lines on the face, jangling nerves, a haunting feeling of dullness
and
outward signs indicate that actual poisons are
being deposited in blood, tissues, and joints; if we eliminate
them, we go far towards eliminating old age; but if in our
happy-go-lucky way we allow the poisons to remain in the body,
we look old and feel old no matter what our age.
For the first time in the history of medicine the leading physicians and scientists have given their time, study, instruction,
and praise to a great popular work that embodies the very latest
medical research and science. For the first time the world's
greatest specialists have written down in simple, understandable language what you must do to build up a live, strong body,
muscular, upstanding-to get that virile feeling of red-blooded
energy and enthusiasm that comes only from perfect health.
The Life Extension Institute Course i n Physical Training Tells
You-Free-How to Sweep the System Clean of Poisons,
How to Get Well, Stay Well, and Have a Body Y o u Can Be
Proud of.
For two years the Life Extension Institute, which has secured
through its Hygiene Reference Board of 100 leading Physicians
and Scientists the
comprehensive and tested knowledge on
these subjects, worked with the editors appointed by the Blank
Company to get all of the scientific facts in logical order, written
in such simple, understandable language that even the busiest
man could instantly grasp its meaning.
Thousands of these Courses, made up into fifteen complete
lessons, were sold to business and professional men all over
the country at a price of $18.00, and if you could see the letters
that come to us every day, telling of renewed health and vigor,
of happiness and content brought back into troubled homes,
you'd readily believe that they were well worth the price.
But fifteen lessons were too many for a really busy man, so
we have condensed all the essentials of the Course into seven
interesting, meaty lessons.
Some friends have told us that we ought to charge $15 to $20
for this Course-that people would rather pay such a sum
than get it free. They repeated the old story of the man who
BOOKS THAT MANY PEOPLE KNOW
t h e story of the sculptor
a statue of ivory
beautiful
woman
it envied it
= ~ . i f that he fell in love with it
,
How
--
meant
135
these you can
if you
few fundamental laws
,
are in tone, when your every vital
blood circulates freely through every
impurities are thrown from your
,There is no such thing as
liver. headaches
by learning a n d
of right living given in
FREE!
on
brawlsub
"IF THE.DARNED FOOLS ONLY
in
an
d
t
=?%"%=
.
could
on London Bridge trying to give away gold sovereigns,
without takers. But we have too much faith in the intelligence and alertness of the kind of people who want
course to believe that they will refuse a thing of great
simply because they are not asked to pay a
it.
a man or woman receives this Course; uses it, gets health,
BOOKS THAT MANY PEOPLE KNOW
happiness, and
from it; realizes that it has brought,
in concise, easily understood, attractive terms, whut science
learned to date about developing his body, about proper habits,
about what to eat-he "swears by" it and the magazine that
brought it to him. And that is all there is of value to a publishing property-a body of people who "swear by" it.
Just put this squarely u p to your own good judgment. You
want to look your best all the time; you want a lithe, strong
figure, broad-shouldered, up-standing; you want muscles tough
and springy, that will do all you ask of them and then beg
for more; you want that feeling of red-blooded energy and
enthusiasm that comes only from perfect health. Here in this
Course you can get them-not from any quack remedy, but
from the sound principles worked out from the vast experience
of the greatest Scientists and Physicians of the day.
T o prove it, all you have t o d o is to
in, sign, and
the
enclosed card. At the end of a week, you can return the Course
we
it will
Never mind
IF Y O U WA N T TO. Try it out!
do
you. F I N D O U T ! It's easy. Just send the card.
Irvin Cobb was another author whose books sold well.
Here is a typical letter:
"Extra! Extra!
All About
Great Reduction!
Off
Cobb!"
FRIEND :What is it that makes people love the spontaneous humor of
Mark Twain? What is it about Bret Harte's stories that made
him an imperishable figure in American letters? What is it in
Poe's grotesque tales that makes you read and re-read them,
though the chills run down your spine, and your blood runs
cold with horror?
Isn't it that one infallible mark of genius-the masterly blending
of humor, tragedy,
and romance, that comes to but one
o r two story-tellers in a generation?
Now has come to us
Cobb. Take the joyous humor
of Mark Twain, the subtle feeling of Bret Harte, the gruesome
Poe-mix them together, then add a touch of
Henry
- -and you begin to get some idea of his sparkling genius.
BOOKS THAT MANY PEOPLE KNOW
137
Robert H. Davis, Editor of Munsey's, said of
writes
in octaves, striking instinctively all the chords of humor,
tragedy, pathos and romance. If you desire a perfect blending
of all that is essential to a short story, read any of Cobb's
stories. In Cobb we find Mark Twain, Bret Harte and Edgar
Allen Poe at their best."
Cobb is Mark Twain's logical successor. He mixes humor and
sage reflection as intimately as the cook mixes the ingredients
for the stuffing in the turkey. He has made more people laugh
than any man since Twain's day. In his touches of human
interest, in the subtle play of his wit and humor, in his vivid
of the life and character of everyday people, his
homely tales are little masterpieces.
The First Uniform Edition!
Hundreds of thousands of Irvin Cobb's books have been sold
in all styles and bindings. His humorous contributions have
been running for years in the biggest magazines and newspapers all over the country. But there has never yet been
brought out a single uniform edition of all his fascinating tales
and humorous stories.
for the first
you can get them
-76 different stories, humorous, homely, lovable, serious, grotesque.
We have had his 18 books re-set in new, clear type, bound them
up into 10 library
in a handsome uniform binding, and
them to you in a limited Introductory Edition atnow
40%
the Regular Price
little folder enclosed shows you the 18 volumes you getlists for you the 76 stories. Send for them. There is no cost
-no obligation to
them-until you have looked them
over for a week in your own home, and are satisfied! Thenand then only-you can send us the first small payment of $1,
and thereafter $1 a month for only eleven months.
put your name and address on the enclosed card and
drop it in the mail. The books will be sent you at our expense.
it now, while this small Introductory Edition lasts, while you
get this complete set of all his entertaining stories, all his
and humor, at 40% less than their regular price!
card commits us only-NOT
it!
Yours in waiting,
BOOKS THAT MANY PEOPLE KNOW
A picture of a pretty nurse occupied most of the first page
of the small circular we sent with the Cobb letter.
line under it read:
Speaking of
The head-
The inside page showed a humorous drawing of Irvin Cobb
in a doctor's office, followed by a description of him. It then
gave the following bit of his history:
Born in Paducah, Ky., of an old Southern family, he started out
as a reportorial cub at the age of sixteen. At nineteen he was
the youngest managing editor of a daily paper in the U. S.
Coming to New York a few years later, he got a job first on
Evening S u n and later on the World, where for four years he
supplied them with comic features, to say nothing of a comic
opera, written to order in five days!
At about this juncture in his career, Cobb's mind wandered back
to his old home town. In a figurative sense, he opened the door
of the past, reached in and took out some of the recollections
of his youth. These he converted into "The Escape of Mr.
in The SaturTrimm," his first short fiction story. It
d a y Evening Post. The court scene was so minutely perfect in
its atmosphere that a Supreme Court Judge signed an unsolicited
and voluntary note for publication, in which he said that Mr.
Cobb had reported with marvelous accuracy and fullness a
murder trial at which His Honor had presided.
Gelett Burgess, in a lecture at Columbia College, said that Cobb
was one of the ten great American humorists. Cobb ought to
demand a recount. There are not ten humorists in the world,
although Cobb is one of them.
The inside of the circular when it was fully opened went
on to describe some of Cobb's stories, listed the names of all
of them, and gave some fine comments on them from the book
reviewers of various newspapers. It ended, as usual, with
the bargain offer, the hurry-up, and the urge to browse through
them for a week at no risk or expense, simply by signing and
mailing the enclosed card.
all of these you will notice a
of treatment,
BOOKS THAT MANY PEOPLE KNOW
circular being used in every case to support and lend greater
interest to the letter.
As we see it, a letter, circular, and card are just an advertisement, divided into its component parts. An advertisement must compete with all the items of interest around
with current news, with good stories, with timely photographs.
So it puts an arresting illustration at the top, it uses a startling
headline to get people to read on, and it saves its reasons why
and its hooks and bait until the last.
Put that same advertisement into an envelope just as it
stands and it will not pull one-fourth as well as when
into letter, circular, and card. It requires a letter with it to
carry the load. The circular may be used to win interest,
and for this purpose the advertisement's headline and illustration are transferred to it, but the reader turns to the letter
for his real reason for ordering, and unless you have your
hook in it, your chance of getting his order is slim.
We have had an occasional circular that overshadowed the
letter, but when it does, it is well to examine your letter and
see what is wrong with it. Usually you will find it is weak.
For, as a general rule, your letter will account for 65 to
cent of the orders you get, your circular for 15 to 2 5 per
cent, and your post card or order form for 5 to 10 per cent.
There are variations from these figures. of course. but if
expect big results from your mail efforts, look to
letter for them. If the stuff is not in it, you
never
results.
A
r
-
How Wells' Outline Was Sold
H. G. WELLS' Outline of History was offered to us,
the bookstore sale the two-volume set at $10.50
already
reached 50,000 sets. But it had begun to wane a little, so
Macmillan was about to bring out a one-volume edition at $5.
At the time they did so, they offered us the chance to sell it in
combination with a subscription to our magazine-but to do
so, we had to agree to sell 83,000 sets within two years, and
pay $25,000 advance royalties to bind the bargain!
Selling 83,000 of anything in two years is
an undertaking, especially when the royalty
be paid whether you
succeed with the sale or not. So there was some hesitation
about accepting the proposition. It was finally decided to
accept, provided we could first have sixty days in which to test
for ourselves the possibility of the sale. This Macmillan
agreed to, so we went to work.
At the very beginning there was quite a divergence of
opinion as to how Wells could best be sold. The newspapers
had reviewed the history far and wide, and their comments
generally were so complimentary that it was felt by some that
this was one case where no special effort need be made to
-all we had to do was to remind people of everything the
newspapers and magazines had been saying
Wells,
then tell them that here was their chance to get this marvelous
history, of which 50,000 copies had been sold at $10.50,
a third of that price!
HOW WELLS' OUTLINE WAS SOLD
Those who felt that way were so sure of their position that
letter and circular were written along these lines, and some
of them were tested. Here is the letter:
WHAT?
H. G. Wells'
" OUTLINE OF HISTORY"
At One-Third T h e Original Price!
DEAR S IR:
Suppose a vote were taken of all English-speaking people as
to what book of this entire generation is at once the most fascinating reading, the most useful to the reader, and the most
important to mankind at large.
H. G .
"Outline of History"
would not only
the list but have more than twice as many
votes as its nearest competitor is almost too easy a prophecy;
we wouldn't take up your time to say such an obvious thing
except for the following fact that interests you personally:
Mr. Wells' big ambition for this epoch-making work is that it
should go to the million readers who would revel in it and get
a new conception of their human race and their job in the
universe-as well as to the hundred thousand who can afford
to pay $10.50 for such a book and who have done so.
W h y This
Can Be
To this end, to enable us to offer the new edition just out, revised by
to Blank Magazine's subscribers only for a really
price, and payable in small instalments at that, Mr. Wells
of the
has agreed to take, on this edition only, just
royalty paid o n
former
edition.
That this is the
important book distribution this magazine,
any other, has ever made, shows on its face.
confidently expect to be overwhelmed with orders that
Sweep off the entire
we have contracted for.
have, therefore (to maintain the balanced proportions of
subscription list), assigned so many copies
the order form enclosed herewith is for YOU, is numbered,
not transferable, and is not
after ten days from its
142
HOW WELLS' OUTLINE WAS SOLD
receipt unless there are copies of Mr. Wells' masterpiece not yet
applied for.
" The Common Adventure of All Mankind''
Wells' History, starting with the empty dawn of things, tells you
in absorbing story the common adventure of all mankind-the
growth, not only of peoples, but of all nature and life.
Perhaps you do not realize that with all the colossal scope of
The Wells History you are brought closer, face to face with the
great characters of history than you or anyone else ever came
before.
Alexander the Great, Caesar, Cleopatra, Mahomet, Charlemagne,
Napoleon become real persons, introduced by Wells, and if you
do not get some of the heartiest laughs of your life in meeting
them face to face, we miss our guess.
The Blank Magazine Begins Where Wells Leaves
The Blank Magazine, for a quarter century the most widely read
monthly of current events in the world, takes up for you where
the Wells History leaves off and pictures your own and world
history for you, monthly, for the rest of your life.
It gives you the things you want to know about the world today.
It takes from all the great newspapers and magazines everything
worth while and repeats the gist of it to you. It ties together
the important happenings, puts them in their proper sequence,
shows you their relation one to another so clearly, so interestingly, that you wonder how anyone can think himself well informed who sees only the fragmentary reports in the daily
news.
No Money-No Risk-but
Read the enclosed circular to understand why this is the most
talked of and most praised work of our generation.
But most important-sign your name to the enclosed card; that
is all. The signed card makes sure you benefit by this edition
and Mr. Wells' scaling down of his royalty to one-seventh of its
former size.
I t makes sure the great 1,200 page book, full of maps and illustrations, is sent to you, charges paid, and you have the full
HOW WELLS' OUTLINE WAS SOLD
143
of returning it within five days after its receipt with not
a cent of cost for the opportunity of looking it over.
There are no strings to this
order won't stand unless
you want it to.
But send the card now-without money. Tomorrow may be too
late!
Sincerely yours,
With this letter went the circular entitled "The King of Modern Writers," the first page of which is reproduced on page
144. The circular was a four-page, eight by eleven folder,
filled with glowing testimonials and description of the History
from almost every book reviewer of note in the country.
The results of the test were so disappointing, however, that
if our second test had not been entirely printed and ready for
the mail, we should have abandoned the idea of selling Wells
then and there.
You see, testimonials alone will not sell books by mail.
You need more than that to arouse the interest of the average
reader. It has seemed to us from the moment we first saw
Wells' History that the interesting part-the part most likely
to catch the
fancy-was the prehistoric angle, the
way he started with the beginning of things and worked down
to recorded
So while our letter was based on the
bargain appeal, the circular was devoted entirely to the prehistoric angle. Here is the letter, of which we tested 10,000
then followed immediately with 3,000,000 more:
At Last! H.
Wells'
of History"
At One-Third the Original Price!
S IR:
enclosed 10-day Option is worth real money, so
limited it to your
use. It is not transferable and
good for only ten
after you receive this letter. If
use it, we should appreciate your kindness in destroying it.
gives to a selected list of people the opportunity to get
HOW
144
WAS SOLD
1
"The
of Modern Writers"
"Here at
A N Men. It
a
Our
o f A N Men for
and
It.**- Minneapolis
new
of book
of H .
"Outline of History,"
his great work is 4
of history, which
as one
story o hfe and
reading
to
in
England do it
And, at that, it is not
part of the praise
has
this
work.
book of today that a
the most talked about, the most successful, and the greatest
book of this generation at a
of two-thirds from the
original price!
Think of it-a discount of 67% from the price that 50,000
people have already paid! Do you wonder that we regard
these Options as valuable?
HOW
OUTLINE WAS SOLD
145
Here Is the W a y of It:
You know, of course, that H. G. Wells' Outline of History is the
most talked about book in the world today. No matter
you go-no matter what you do-you come across it. Newspapers and magazines the country over are almost a unit in
commending it. Literary Critics are exhausting their superlatives in trying to adequately describe it. People everywhere
-just regular folks like you and
reading it eagerly,
avidly, and getting as real enjoyment out of it as though it were
the most thrilling of popular novels. And all because it gives
us just those things we all want to know about peoples and
countries and rulers, put in such an interesting way, and with
such pungent, incisive comment and occasional flashes of relieving humor that, as the N. Y. Tribune puts it-"It is among
the most exciting books ever written."
50,000 copies of Wells' Outline of History have been sold in the
book-stores at $10.50.
50,000 more could probably be sold at the same figure. But
H. G. Wells wants to reach ALL the thinking people of this
country, and to give us a chance to do that with one big edition,
he has agreed to sacrifice 85% of his royalties on that one
edition !
A n Offer W e Can Never Make Again!
The result is such an offer as we can
but once in a
H. G.
marvelous "History," known and discussed
wherever books are rend, bound
into a single magnificent
volume,
illustrated, at a price of
a year's subscription to the Blank Magazine at its regular
price o f $4.
Both Together
$7.50
payable i n little, never-missed monthly payments of
$6.50
History, starting with the empty dawn of things,
in absorbing story the common adventure of all
growth, not
of
but of all nature and life.
146
HOW WELLS' OUTLINE WAS SOLD
The Blank Magazine gives you the things you want to know
about the world today. It takes from all the great newspapers
and magazines everything worth while and repeats the gist of
it to you. It ties together the important happenings, puts them
in their proper sequence, shows you their relation one to
another so clearly, so interestingly, that you wonder how anyone can think himself well informed who sees only the fragmentary reports in the daily news.
There Is Just One Condition
one condition we make-that you send in your reservation
at once.
The plates are all made-the paper is bought-the printers are
waiting-but we can make only one edition at this price, and
we want to give every one of our friends a chance at that edition.
So we send you this offer now. Mail the enclosed card, without money, and we will send you Wells' Outline of History at
the special price, subject to a week's free examination, and
enter your subscription for one year of the Blank Magazine.
If for any reason you are dissatisfied with the History, you can
return it
end of the week, send
for the copy of the
magazine delivered you, and cancel
order.
There are no strings to this offer-your order won't stand unless
you want it to.
But send the card now-without money. Tomorrow may be
too late!
Sincerely yours,
From the first day that the orders began to come in from
that letter and circular, there was never a moment's doubt as
to whether we were going to sell Wells' History. Why, on
ordinary occupational lists like doctors, lawyers, and the like,
it pulled
per cent! And as for the good book lists, if we
told you some of the percentages that circular chalked up,
would not believe us.
it is to say that, where we had hesitated about agreeing to sell 83,000 copies in two years, we sold 90,000 in
And the letter and circular above did every bit of it.
HOW WELLS' OUTLINE WAS SOLD
147
True, we tried some magazine and newspaper advertising,
but two of the best advertising agencies in the country were
unable to develop a single ad that pulled orders at anywhere
near the low cost we got them by mail. It was only when we
took the different pages of the circular, like the one starting:
"The Oldest Man in the World," and made page ads from
them that the advertising began to show results. But before
that happened we had sold our 90,000 sets by mail.
Each of those sales carried with it a subscription to the
magazine-$3.50 for Wells, $4 for the magazine-which
per cent, each circular was costing us
means that at
cents in the mail and bringing us 26 cents worth of orders-a
selling cost of less than 10 per cent. There was money in
that. Then it was decided to bind the next edition of Wells
and sell it alone. This we did, and sold
in a fine
another 60,000 sets before the year was out!
The circular that accompanied the Wells letter was an
eight-page, six
nine inch folder, and five of the pages were
so interesting that each was later used successfully in magazine and newspaper advertising.
Page
started with a striking picture of the Egyptian
Princess Hiachepsut finding the infant Moses near her bathing
place in the Nile. The copy read:
The Finding of Moses
On a tablet dug up from the ruins of ancient Nippur was recently found a Sumerian inscription, detailing in almost identical words the Biblical story of the birth and finding of Moses.
Written nearly 5,000 years ago, centuries before the Gospels
were more than traditions handed down from father to son
among the children of Israel, it yet forms an almost exact
parallel to the Gospel narrative. This curiously interesting
inscription is but one of the many thousands that have enabled
scientists and historians to correlate the histories of the ancient
peoples that lived and fought over and died in the land of
Palestine in the times of Moses, of Joshua. and the Prophets.
148
HOW WELLS' OUTLINE WAS SOLD
Now translated into English for the first time and made easily
available, this and a thousand other stories of intense interest
to every man are to be found
THE O U T L I N E OF H I S T O R Y
By H. G. Wells
Perhaps you think the Roman Empire existed long ago-perhaps
you think of the old Greek and Egyptian civilizations as "Ancient
History."
Not a bit of it! Compared with many centuries of life that
Wells tells about, the battles of Marathon and
the
days of the Pharaohs and the Caesars, were but yesterday.
A history that goes back 100,000,000 years-that traces man's
rude beginnings 500,000 years ago-that follows him down
through the prehistoric ages to the Babylon of Nebuchadnezzar,
the Athens of Pericles, the Egypt of Cleopatra, the Asia of
Genghis Khan, the France of Napoleon, the England of Gladstone, the America of today-that is Wells.
You will get some rough mental jolts-fairy tales you have
believed in all your life will be revealed to you, for the first
time, in their true light-you will be amazed, aghast, enlightened
by many the things you will read in these books-but you will
learn the truth-you will know, at last, what History really
means.
Where to find the Answer?
TURN the PAGE and
Page 2 opened with a drawing of the Pithecanthropus Ape
Man, with the following copy:
The Oldest
in the World
Just part of a skull, two molar teeth, and a thigh bone! Pieced
together,
propounded one of the most
mysteries
in the study of
ancestry. Were these the remains of
an ape-like man who lived 500,000 years ago? The skull was
thick-thicker far than that of any living race of men
with a brain capacity something midway between the ape and
man. The evolution of the human race-what this primitive
man looked
were some of the questions
pondered. They called him the "Dawn Man," and estimated
HOW WELLS' OUTLINE WAS SOLD
that he had lived 500,000 years ago.
History.
149
,Wells tells the story in his
"In the Beginning-"
It is not with
upon a time" that Wells commences his
"Outline of History," but "In the beginning." And the beginning for him is the time of the fire mist, ten or a hundred million
years ago, when the earth first began to assume shape. From
the empty dawn of things, the solidifying of earthly matter,
the slime of primitive ditches; from an antiquity reckoned in
of years, when no life stirred in the world-from this
misty time, behind the curtain of the paleozoic age, up to the
is the scope of this remarkable History. It is
"the common adventure of all mankind"-the story, not only
but of the growth of all nature and life, the making
of
of heaven and earth. It is a history of the great body of the
people, wherein the true story of the world lies. The occasional
upheaval of war, the rise or fall of dynasties, does not make
history. Back of all these, back of every great change in
government, were the slow, calm, steady movements of the
great middle classes and the common people.
Here are the live, fascinating truths about history. No hint of
unimportant dates, strategies, or campaigns is to be found
among them. They tell a brilliant, monumental story, the story
of what people have thought and felt, of how they really acted
and what they really did throughout the ages.
Page 3 showed a striking picture of the Flood, with this
copy :
Was This the Flood of the Biblical Story?
More than
years before the birth of Christ, the great
Mediterranean Sea was merely a vast, dry valley, grown over
trees and shrubbery.
this
roamed a strange, savage race of men.
fought and hunted, they made
tools and musical
instruments, they built rude settlements.
far these prehistoric men went toward the
civilization no one will ever know, for one day,
dawn of recorded history, the ocean waters of
150
HOW WELLS' OUTLINE
SOLD
began to pour in upon these primitive peoples, the great icecapped barriers of the North began to melt away under the
warming sun and added torrents of rain to the rush of waters.
Higher and higher rose the flood-and it never abated. Day
by day, week by week, the waters spread over the valleys and
drove mankind before them. When the rains ceased and the
waters reached their level, few indeed of the primitive population were left to tell the tale.
The copy then went on into further description of the
History. And across the bottom of each page was a strong
testimonial from the book review of some well-known magazine or newspaper.
The two center pages showed a picture of the book, and
along each side was an interesting resume of its contents, with
further testimonials. The fifth page showed Marie Antoinette riding to her death, and drew a parallel between the
French Revolution and the Russian, with an interesting discussion of how human liberties have been won through the
ages.
Page 7 showed a picture of our troops breaking the German
lines and went on to discuss the aftermath of the war. Page
8 ended with an article by Dr. Frank Crane, which was,
the History. It
perhaps, the best testimonial ever written
rounded out the circular and helped to make it one of the most
successful we have even seen.
What should we do next? Many people would have been
satisfied with that, but after the way we had been able to sell
$1,000,000 worth of
Henry stories for two years in succession, we were not going to give up Wells without getting a lot
more out of it than a single year's sale.
But we had to change our offer. We had been over all our
regular lists twice, with different letters and circulars.
we must get not only a different letter, but a new reason for
buying.
It happened that Wells had stirred up so much comment
HOW WELLS' OUTLINE WAS SOLD
151
and had received so many criticisms and suggestions, that
he had considerably revised the history and added a large
number of new pages. So we decided to bring out the new
edition in four volumes, and price them at $9 if bought alone,
or $12 with a year's subscription to our magazine.
Then came the question of how to sell them. The circular
was easy, for Tut-ankh-Amen was then very much in the
eye. So, since there was not much in Wells about him,
we based the circular upon his great father-in-law, Akhnaton.
The first page of the circular showed a picture of Akhnaton
and his bride. Opening the circular, you were faced with
the following copy:
Akhnaton Was
HUMAN
He was sovereign lord of a mighty realm. From Ethiopia to the
Mediterranean, from the Nile to the Euphrates, he was worshipped as a God. And yet- he was just a man, young eager
for happiness. He loved his beautiful wife passionately. He
had himself sculptured with her seated upon his knee-with her
kissing him in his chariot.
He tried to turn Egypt from the service of many Gods to the
worship of One. For eighteen years he made headway against
all the priesthood of his empire, but the hold of the old religions
was too strong for him, and at his death his son-in-law, Tutankh-Amen, fell again beneath their sway.
It is a wonderful story-the intriguing, fascinating, always
mysterious tale of old Egypt-yet it is only one of thousands
such stories to be found inH. G. Wells'
"Outline of History"
The New Illustrated Edition in 4 volumes
He tells you about the famous Queen who donned masculine
attire and grew a great beard; of the conquering King that
went mad in
and spent years opening and examining
tombs; of a Pharaoh who reigned longer than any King before
since; of
the Beautiful, who bewitched in turn
Caesar and Mark
and through her seductive
152
HOW WELLS' OUTLINE WAS SOLD
charms held the throne of the Pharaohs for twelve years; of
how "foreign entanglements" caused the final downfall of the
great Egyptian Empire.
The circular then went on to picture the new four-volume
set, to give some excellent new testimonials along the lines of
one from the Baltimore Evening Sun: "The man who finishes
these volumes will be an educated man, however much or
however little he knew when he started." These, with further
description of the History, gave us a circular that added materiall y to the pulling power of the letter.
But the important thing was the letter. We had already
worn out the bargain appeal and the special reservation and
all the usual mail order stunts. We had to find something
of interest in itself, yet closely tied up with the History.
After several tries we found it. Here it is. Judge for
yourself if it would not have intrigued your interest. Certainly it intrigued that of our readers, for it sold about
000 worth of Wells!
DEAR READER :What is the "Unpardonable Sin" in all Nature? What one
thing most inevitably brings its own punishment? What most
surely
extinction?
Still!
The Gigantosaurus, that was over a hundred feet long and as
big as a house; the Tyrannosaurus, that had the strength of a
locomotive and was the last word in frightfulness; the Pterodactyl or Flying Dragon-all the giant monsters of Prehistoric
Ages-are gone. They did not know how to meet the changing
conditions. They stood still while the life around them passed
them by.
Egypt and Persia, Greece and Rome, all the great Empires of
antiquity, perished when they ceased to grow. China built a
wall about herself and stood still for 1,000 years. Today she
is the football of the powers. In all Nature, to cease to grow is
to perish.
HOW WELLS' OUTLINE WAS SOLD
153
100,000,000 Years in One
It was for men and women who are not ready to stand still,
who refused to cease to grow, that Wells set to work on his
almost incredible task-to put into one fascinating work all the
years of life and growth that this planet has known.
-To place in your hands the orderly knowledge that men go to
College four years to get-and often come away without.
-Not only the History of the world, but the Science of the
world. The Philosophy of the world. The outstanding Literature of the world-a vast panorama unrolled before your eyes
by the most graphic word-painter of modern times.
And all so interestingly, so absorbingly done that, as the New
York
puts it-"It is among the most exciting books
ever written." That is what you get
H. G. Wells'
"Outline of History"
And that isn't all.
Just glance over the enclosed folder and think for one moment
of the absorbing, fascinating story
goes with
in the highest sense, entertainment in the most educational
sense.
People who have read this new four-volume, finally revised edition of the "Outline" are saying that it has done more for them
than a College education. A college education costs you probably $5,000 and four years of your life. Wells' wonderful work
sent to you on approval and you will read the four books as
as quickly, as so many novels.
Four Volumes for
Less than the Price of the First T WO !
Although the History has been revised and enlarged;
was printed from brand new
with a hundred new
page pictures in addition to the two hundred in the discarded
edition; and although it is now bound in four usable, library
volumes instead of the original bulky ones, we can, through
arrangement,
to you and a few other customers this famous
Historyw for
less than the original two-volume edition would cost you even now in any book store!
HOW WELLS' OUTLINE WAS SOLD
What is more, you can SEE it, EX A MI N E it, PORE OVER IT in
own home for a week at our expense. Your name on the enclosed card brings the four volumes to you, postpaid, for a full
week's FREE examination.
And the
Magazine, too
What the "Outline" is to past history, the Blank Magazine is to
current events. It interprets men and movements in terms that
every alert American can understand and profit by.
gives
you the boiled-down sap of world events, equips you with a
background of facts against which to read your daily news.
While This One Edition Lasts!
The low price we are offering on this great History is possible
only because the original publishers contracted for 100,000 sets
at once.
Perhaps you think that leaves plenty of time for you to get
your copy?
With any ordinary book that would be so, but not with Wells.
They sold 90,000 copies of his one-volume edition in little over
three months, and already nine-tenths of their 100,000
volume sets are gone. The remainder won't last long.
At most, we can get only a few thousand sets, to offer among
our 258,000 customers. Can you imagine how long those few
thousand will last?
Will you look over this set now-while you can get the four
volumes, revised and beautifully illustrated, a t a third less than
the original two-volume set would cost you even now in the
bookstores-while you can have them sent to you postpaid,
without expense, for a week's FREE examination, to be returned
if for any reason you decide not to keep them?
The enclosed card is your answer. Use while there is yet time!
Yours
then,
That ended the second year of the Wells sale, but it was
far from ending the sale itself. For three years we sold
until our total sales topped the 360,000 mark! The last
really successful letters is given below:
HOW WELLS' OUTLINE WAS SOLD
155
LAST CHANCE AT 25% OFF!
One of those discoveries which makes history such startling
and interesting reading has just come to light through the deciphering of a stone tablet found on the Sinai Peninsula.
Scientists have often cast doubt upon the Scriptural story of
the finding of Moses. But this inscription tends to confirm
the account just as we find it in the Bible. Written or dictated
of the University
by Moses, and translated by Prof.
Muenster, it reads:
" I, Manasse,
chief and head priest of
Temple,
Hiacheput for having drawn me out of the
thank
Nile and helped me to attain high distinction."
Taken alone, this might not be regarded as conclusive proof
of the truth of the Biblical record. But it is just one link of a
chain that every day is growing stronger. Remember, in
"Samuel," how the Philistines killed Saul and hung his armor
in the "House of Ashtaroth"? And how, in revenge for his
death, King David 20 years later put the fortress of Beth-Shan,
where Saul's body had hung, to the torch? The Temple of
Ashtaroth and the flame-scorched walls of Beth-Shan, have just
been unearthed by excavators working under the direction of
the University of Pennsylvania, and the records there inscribed
confirm much of the Biblical story.
Dr. Ditleff Nielsen, comes forward with
Another
finds in the Arabian Desert, which tend to show that the Queen
Sheba was no myth. Whether she herself existed or not,
was such a kingdom-a rich and a vast kingthere
dom-2000 years before Christ.
a tablet of
up from the ruins of ancient
found an inscription detailing in almost
Scriptural account of the
While
Babel, its ruins are still standing!
language
Discoveries like
which are daily coming to light,
that there is
real conflict between religion and science.
may differ, but to the broadminded student
to the
student of the
there is a
156
HOW WELLS' OUTLINE WAS SOLD
common meeting ground, and nowhere is it better brought out
than in-
H. G. Wells'
"Outline of
Wells gives you the one interesting, connected story of the world.
It is no mere history in the old, dull sense. Not a mere account of the rise of this nation and the fall of that. I t is the
history of mankind.
No one but Wells could make so fascinating the story of Man's
Progress upon earth. No one else could give so vivid a synopsis
all that is worth knowing in history.
Just glance over the enclosed folder and think for one moment
of the absorbing, fascinating story that goes with it--education
in the highest sense, entertainment in the most educational
sense.
People who have read this new four-volume, finally revised edition of the "Outline" are saying that it has done more for them
than a College education. A College education costs you probably $5,000 and four years of your life. Wells' wonderful work
to you on approval and you will read the four books
is
as absorbedly, as
as so many novels.
Four Volumes for
Less than the Price of the First Two!
Although the History has been revised and enlarged; although
it was jointed from brand new plates, with a hundred new fullpage pictures in addition to the two hundred in the discarded
edition; and although it is now bound in four usable, library
size volumes instead of the original bulky ones, we can, while
the edition lasts,
Send to you and a few others, this famous"Outline of History"
for 25% less
the
two-volume edition would cost
you even now in any book store!
What is more, you can SEE it, EX A MI N E it, PORE OVER it in your
own home for a week at our
Your name on the enclosed card brings the four volumes to you postpaid, for a full
week's F REE examination.
And the Blank Magazine, too
What the "Outline" is to past history, the Blank Magazine is
to current events. It interprets men and movements in terms
HOW
WELLS' OUTLINE WAS
SOLD
that every alert American can understand and profit by. It
gives you the boiled-down sap of world events, equips you with
a background of facts against which to read your daily news.
While this
Edition Lasts!
The low price we have been making on Wells' "Outline of History" was made possible only because we contracted for
sets at once.
all those 100,000 sets, only a few are now left. We can't
hope to ever bring out an edition like that again. We can't
expect to ever be able to manufacture and sell on so small a
margin. When the few remaining sets are gone, your last
chance at those low-cost volumes will go with them.
So don't file this away to
over. There's
to puzzle
about, because you don't have to send one penny or pronzise
anything, other than that if you don't find these four volumes, as
indispensable
the New York Evening Post puts it, "one of
books,"-why, just send thent back, and that ends the matter.
That's easy-isn't it?
be holding one set for you for a
the enclosed card right away!
to
days.
Yours
But you'll have
then,
With the foregoing letter we enclosed a circular, picturing
the "Clock of Time" under the headline, "Man has Lived
Less Than Four Seconds!" The copy following it read:
Take a
hour on the clock. Let it represent the whole of
time since the beginning of the world-for world time is only
an hour, beside the endless aeons that passed before the earth
whirled in flames from the sun.
Now long-on the scale of that hour-has the human race lived?
lived
Counting even our earliest apeman ancestors-Man
than four seconds!
The pyramids were built about a fifth of a second ago. Christ
was born a tenth of a second ago.
The American Revolution was fought a hundred and thirtieth
a second ago.
see what a
fragment of time the ordinary history covers.
What happened in the great aeons before? What happened in
158
HOW WELLS'
SOLD
the "hot youth of the world"? Is it all unknown-is everything hidden in mystery as it was a few years ago? No. The
Romance of History-the great thrilling life of the world is
given you in the pages of
H. G. WELLS'
"Outline of History"
The Finally Revised Edition
A History that goes back millions of years-that follows man
down through his Caveman and Stone Age struggles to the
Babylon of Daniel's day, the Egypt of the Pharaohs, the Asia
of Tamerlane, the France of the Paladins, the England of today
t h e America of tomorrow.
Only Wells could make so fascinating the story of man's progress
upon earth; only he could give us so vivid a synopsis of all
that is worth knowing in human history. The light that flashes
in his pages is not merely the
of the mind that is Wells'.
Rather it is the light we call humanity which is all
minds
fused.
This is no mere history in the old, dull sense. It is the whole
drama of human experience-a great thrilling trip down the
ages with Prophets and Conquerors and Kings.
The interesting thing about Wells is that he gives you such a
wonderful background for your daily news.
reveals that thread of human
He unifies the past.
progress which has forever bound man to man the world
and from one age to another.
The other pages described the upward climb of man, named
the six greatest figures in history, and showed that there is but
one common past, one common interest, and one common
cause for all mankind.
That ended the biggest sale of any one set of books that
this particular publisher ever had. We were proud of it,
for there was nothing in any previous campaign to give
an indication of what appeal would go best, and as it happened, our most effective appeals in this case were entirely
different from anything we had ever tried before.
I
I
I
a
I
I
HOW WELLS' OUTLINE WAS SOLD
159
Of course, this campaign really followed the rules outlined in the early chapters of this book, for people are always
interested in things prehistoric; so when we started our circular or letter with a reference to something of the kind, we
were tying right in with that interest. This was well illustrated by the last two letters, the one referring to the prehistoric fossils and dinosaur eggs, and the other to the unearthing
of the stone tablet of Moses. Even after 250,000 sets had
been sold, those two letters were still able to stir up interest
add another hundred thousand sales to the record.
The point would seem to be that if you can tie in with
what
are thinking about and interested in, you can
sell anything. And the particular form that your letter takes
is far less important than the chord it happens to strike. We
shall touch upon this later with regard to letters selling other
products.
The big sale of Wells naturally brought us a lot of good
publicity. To me, that meant a chance to try a new fieldselling, not books, but wearing apparel and men's furnishings
of various kinds.
Some fifteen years previously, John Blair of Warren, Pa.,
had started what is now the New Process Company; he began
with
of borrowed capital and an idea. The idea came
from having worked his way home from college by selling
raincoats.
Starting with the Undertaker
It seems that one of his chums in college had just been
a raincoat factory, and he had proposed to
latter take the job of sales manager. Blair was
a
modest soul, and
had some doubt of his fitness for the job,
decided to
how
he knew about selling by taking a trunkful of samples and working his way from Philadelphia to his home in Warren.
160
HOW WELLS' OUTLINE WAS SOLD
The trial was without special incident until he reached
Kane, some forty miles from Warren and his last stop. He
was showing his samples to a merchant when a customer
came into the store. The man seemed in no hurry, so the
merchant went on looking over the coats, and finally placed
his order. Blair was putting away his samples when the
customer strolled over. "Got any black raincoats in that
bunch?" the man asked. Blair thought a moment and finally
remembered that he had one down at the bottom of the trunk.
He hauled it out, found that it fitted, and a sale was made.
Curious to know what anyone could want with a black
coat in that day of tans and grays, Blair asked him why
he had picked on black. "I'm an undertaker," the other
plained. "When I go to a funeral I must wear a black coat.
A dozen times I've been caught in heavy rains and just about
spoiled every coat I had. Now she can rain all she wants to!"
That set Blair to thinking. There were 20,000 undertakers
in the country, and except in the big cities, every one of them
must be faced with the same problem. The big city stores
might be able to stock black raincoats in enough different
sizes to fit every undertaker, but certainly the small town
stores could not. So it meant either wearing an ordinary
coat and getting soaked
every heavy rain, or else having
a coat specially made at high cost.
If some one central store could cater to all these undertakers by mail, it ought to be able to do a tremendous business.
Blair decided to try it. He wrote a letter embodying the
idea and offered to supply black raincoats of perfect fit at
the same price ordinary raincoats were selling for in stores.
His printer trusted him for the letter and envelopes, his
chum agreed to make u p
black raincoats for him in assorted sizes, and he borrowed $100 for the postage. The
rest of the work he and his brothers did themselves.
,
HOW WELLS' OUTLINE WAS SOLD
161
He mailed 10,000 letters, then waited fearfull y for the
results. They came, all right. His 400 coats melted like
snow before the summer's sun. A second 400 went
as fast, and he had to order a third 400 before the orders
stopped coming.
For two years he was content to sell raincoats to undertakers only. Then priests and ministers began to write him
and he extended his line to cover them. From that to selling
ordinary coats and suits and other items of men's furnishings
was but a step. In fifteen years he worked up his gross sales
to about $2,000,000 a year.
Then he seemed to reach his limit. During all those fifteen years, his entire sales appeal had been centered around
one idea-personalizing. In the beginning, he had catered
only to undertakers. His customers felt-and rightly-that
here was a house devoted to their interests alone; that he
understood the undertaker's needs; that they could get better
service, lower prices, closer attention from him than anyone
else.
And with each new occupation or profession he added to
his lists, Blair was careful to use that same personalized appeal. He never sent the same letter to undertakers as to doctors or ministers.
To each profession he wrote as a person who specialized
that profession's needs. He quoted testimonials from wellknown men in the same line. He won confidence by a thorough
of the needs of each profession and occupation, and he brought back the orders with prices and
goods that really did represent unusual values.
came a time when the old appeals began to lose
pull, when the occupational lists seemed to wear out.
was forced to turn to general lists, such as telephone
automobile owners, and the like. How could he make
162
HOW WELLS' OUTLINE WAS SOLD
effective use of his personalized appeal on them? You
would never guess the way he finally worked out. It showed
ingenuity of a high order.
With a gross business of $2,000,000 he had customers in
almost every town of any size in the country. And a great
many had written appreciative letters, telling what good value
they considered his coat, how well it was wearing, and so on.
So what did he do but pick every town from which he had one
or more good testimonials and write a letter something like
this:
"The best value in a Raincoat I have ever had. You've
saved me at least $10 on the price I'd have had to pay in our
local stores."
The very words of John J. Smith, of 2601 Racine Avenue of
your city. Perhaps you know Mr. Smith. If so, you know he
is not given to exaggeration. To make such an impression
upon him, a coat must be good. And to draw forth a letter like
the above, it needs to be a most unusual value.
That it is all of that, the calibre of men who are wearing it
is sufficient guarantee. When men like James Brown of 314
Ave., William Sherman of 14 Sixth St., and Max Jones
of 14 Fifth Avenue, will send all the way out here for a Raincoat, there must be something about the coat and the price of
it that it would be worth your while to know.
And so on into a description of the coat. That was expensive circularizing, of course, requiring a different letter for
each town, but it proved to be so effective that it seemed well
worth the extra expense. The year before I went to Warren,
this form of letter pulled so well that John Blair felt safe in
raincoats for spring delivery,
contracting for some
and 40,000 traveling bags for summer sale.
But along about that time retailers were beginning to
awaken to the so-called "menace" of mail order competition.
Letters like the one above, intimating that the mail order
people could offer far better values than those given in stores,
HOW WELLS'
WAS SOLD
163
got under their skin, and they centered their efforts upon
the men whose names were quoted in them to such good purpose that permission to use the names was withdrawn. By
the time he started getting his letters ready for the spring
sale, Blair found himself with so few testimonials and names
he could use that instead of personalizing by towns and cities
he was forced to try it by states, and the results proved most
disappointing.
Where he needed nearly
per cent of orders to show a
he got less than
of per cent. Where he had expected to sell well over 20,000 raincoats, he found it
to dispose of 5,000. And the traveling bag season started
off just as disappointingly.
The result was that the first of June showed Mr. Blair, not
the goodly profit of usual years, not the rush of business he
had expected, but accounts $80,000 in the red, and an inventory so big that it simply staggered him.
It was then I was given the chance to show what book publishing methods would do in the way of moving merchandise.
I had come to Warren long enough before to have had time
to
out a couple of tests, and to become familiar with the
organization and the products. Now I was to have the opportunity to show whether I was worth my salt.
How the Bookbuyers Saved a Campaign
one learns in selling books is
the
easiest man to sell is one
has previously bought books
by mail. There are certain occupational lists to which you
can sell profitably. You can even, upon occasion, find appeals that sell to telephone and automobile registration lists.
But the big percentages come when you circularize lists of
people who have bought kindred books by mail.
Naturally, therefore, when faced with the urgent need of
quickly disposing of 40,000 traveling bags, the first thing
that occurred to us was: Why waste money trying to sell these
to difficult lists like telephone users, when there are all
millions of
offering a virgin field for a product
such as this?
So we rushed
a test to a score of good book lists, using
the letter we were surest would work on a bookbuyer-an
adaptation of the first letter we had used so successfully on
Wells' Outline of History.
It pulled, of course. The same idea has pulled in selling
lots, and houses, and stocks, and every manner of product.
Get an idea that is psychologically sound and it will work
on anything. This one worked on traveling bags. On a
$14.85 offer it pulled 2, 3, and even 4 per cent and better on
some lists. It pulled so well that within a week after the
results began to show up we were started on a mailing of two
million-all to good Look lists.
FIRST T HI N G
164
You see, including what we had to pay for the use of the
lists, our circulars in the mail cost less than
cents each,
so even when we got only per cent of orders, our selling
cost amounted to but a trifle over $2 on a
traveling
bag, and from that maximum it tapered all the way down to
$1 a sale.
There was money in that-so much that when the 40,000
bags were gone we were glad to buy an additional 10,000 and
sell them, too. Before
end of the short summer
we had disposed of
traveling bags. And here is the
letter that did it:
The enclosed Special Privilege Card is worth money, so we
have numbered it and limited it to your own personal use. If
you
use it, we should appreciate your kindness in destroying it.
For it gives to a select group of Pittsburgh men the chance to
obtain, for only
a traveling bag which experienced men
us cannot be equalled in a retail store for less than $20 or
$25.
This offer is not transferable. It is being made to a limited
number of men in Pittsburgh, for the reason given below:
Three years ago, after many requests from well-known men, a
famous designer produced for us a wonderful new Traveling
Bag which we christened the "Statler" Bag. Made of GENUINE
ENGLISH LEATHER, Beaver grain, and patterned after the finest
imported luggage, this new bag won instant favor. Today it
has become the biggest-selling bag ever produced-a fact which
manufacturers are frank to admit.
IMPORTANT
In this new "Statler" Bag you will find the
improvement ever put in any luggage. It is equipped with
10 handy
interior
which give you a
special place for each of your toilet accessories--comb and
brush; shaving set ; tooth-brush and tooth-paste; even your
handkerchiefs, neckties, underwear, shirts, and collars!
you travel with a "Statler" Bag, everything is right at
166
HOW THE BOOKBUYERS SAVED A CAMPAIGN
the time it
your finger-tips. You can pack your bag in
used to take. Bottles can't tip over. Your clothes will not
be mussed or wrinkled. There's "a place for everything, and
everything in its place.''
Now, here is my offer to you:
In order to introduce the new, improved "Statler" Bag as quickly
as possible, we have allotted 360 bags to be sold to substantial
business men in Pittsburgh at a very low Direct-by-Mail price.
You are one of the men selected for this special offer. I would
like to send you a "Statler" Bag at my risk, and with no expense
to you. I want you to keep it for a full week's free
tually take it with you on a trip--enjoy its amazing convenience,
delight in its fine appearance.
After you have used the bag a full week FREE, send it back at
my expense-if you are willing to give it up!
But if you like it so well that you don't want to part with it,
you can send me-not the high price you would pay in a retail
store-but only $14.85, my low Direct-by-Mail price on these
360 bags.
Remember, there is no sale-no obligation to keep the "Statlef'
Bag until you have tried it out for a week, AND ARE SATISFIED!
Just let us send the bag.
But remember, too, that bargains like this will be snapped up
very quickly-and we have allotted only 360 bags to the city of
Pittsburgh.
use your Special Privilege Card NOW-while it saves you
time and money.
.. Yours for mutual service,
The circular that accompanied this letter, the first page of
which is shown opposite, was simplicity itself. Inside,
under the heading, "Every feature of the finest imported
luggage," it described the features that experienced luggage
buyers look for, and showed that the Statler Bag had each of
these. Then, after pointing out how sturdily it was made,
how it would last a lifetime, it concentrated on the Statler's
special feature-its CONVENIENCE.
,
HOW THE BOOKBUYERS SAVED A CAMPAIGN
167
With a clear picture of the inside of the bag went the
following copy:
I
,
I
I
Every time you pack a "Statler" Bag, you will be thankful
for the TIME-SAVING convenience of its wonderful interior
pockets. This bag has a place for everything you need on a
trip-and it almost "packs itself.)'
Note how readily you
can slide comb and tooth
brush into the two long
pockets marked "A" in the
Just below them (marked
"B") you will find SIX
pockets which hold your
hair brush and shaving set,
talcum powder or toilet
water, and all your other
toilet needs.
On the opposite side of
the bag (marked
are
three full-length and
height pockets for underwear, shirts, pajamas and
slippers, as well as your
handkerchiefs,
neckties,
and collars.
a
These handy pockets are
tho
collapsible and
up no
reception.
room when not filled.
They not only enable you
to pack your bag in half
the time it used to take,
all your
but they
things ship-shape, and
leave the entire bottom
part of the bag free to pack suits of clothes and other large
articles. A wealth of packing space.
Consider the marvelous CONVENIENCE of a bag like that--at your finger tips, ready for instant use!
168
HOW THE BOOKBUYERS SAVED A CAMPAIGN
There remained only the bargain and the proof.
"Plain Arithmetic!" was the following:
"It is the equivalent of any $25 Bag
................................
on the market."-R. G.
Under
$25.00
(see letter on next page)
Our price DIRECT-to-YOU, with any
needless middleman eliminated, is
$14.85
Here's the difference
$10.15
You make a big saving when you buy DIRECT and avoid
any needless "middleman" profit.
The enclosed card brings you the "Statler" Bag for a
FREE-to be seen, to be examined and compared, to be USED
ON A T R I P at our risk and expense!
The last pages were devoted to testimonials backing u p
that claim of a $10.15 saving, and to the "No Money-Free
Trial" offer.
That little matter disposed of, we got busy on the raincoats. Having more time for these, and having satisfied the
powers-that-be that book lists were a gold mine for their
products, we were able to test half a dozen different letters
and pick the one that pulled best.
Curiously enough, the best was one along lines I had never
tried before, nor seen tried by anyone else. I had read
somewhere the account of a manager whose company had
been at swords' points with a certain competitor for years.
It was very much to the interest of this man's company that
the two should get together, but no one had ever been able
to heal the breach. Finall y , it occurred to him one day that
the man we feel most kindly toward is the one for whom we
have just done a favor, so he went to see his competitor and
asked the rival manager if he would do him a favor. Certain of their customers were taking advantage of their terms.
It had to be stopped, but he didn't know how to do it without
incurring their ill will. The other manager was more
HOW THE BOOKBUYERS SAVED A CAMPAIGN
169
than he.
he not do him the favor of telling
him how he handled similar cases?
The rival manager opened up like a rose to the morning
sun, and their little talk started a friendship that quickly
healed the breach between the two companies.
Well, it occurred to us that there was sound psychology
back of the first manager's action, and it ought to work with
letters as well as in person, in overcoming indifference as
well as enmity. So we tried it on our raincoat letter. It
one of the most effective appeals we ever had. We
since have used a dozen variations of it on a score of different products. On the raincoats it pulled so well that during September and October we disposed, not only of all
from the previous spring, but of some
additional coats as well. At a goodly profit, too, for again
we got 2 and 3 per cent and better returns, on a product selling for $18.75. Here is the "Favor" letter that did the trick:
Will you do me a favor?
For twelve years now, you know, we have been selling the
famous "Keepdry" Coat direct to the consumer, at a saving of
many dollars from the usual retail price.
This year I want to vary our line a bit, so I have changed the
shed
fabric to one that looks like a smart topcoat-but will
rain. And instead of the usual double-breasted raincoat model,
I'm
a single-breasted topcoat model that appeals to men
because it has style, and yet retains that loose, comfortable look
the well-tailored light overcoat.
I believe that anyone who ever gets out in stormy or wet weather
will like this
Coat better than any raincoat or
topcoat he can buy, but you know how it is in
can never be sure of such things until after you have sunk
money in them.
Which
me to the favor:
170
HOW THE BOOKBUYERS SAVED A CAMPAIGN
I want to make sure of the demand-or lack of demand-before
we sink too much money in this new coat.
you as a customer of the house:
So I've come to
Will you try out one of these new
Topcoats
for me for a
IT-see how feels, how it looks,
how it compares with topcoats you have bought at $25 or
Above all, how it keeps out wind and rain? And
then write me?
send you a coat you can be proud to wear
Needless to say,
anywhere-a coat that will fit you as though made to measure
by your own tailor.
I can do it, you know, because we have so much greater a
range of sizes than any retail store. Where the retailer carries
coats in half a dozen sizes and only one length, we have 57 different sizes and 5 different coat lengths!
More than that-where the ordinary raincoat or topcoat serves
is topcoat, motor
but one purpose, this new
coat, sport coat and raincoat--all in one! I t can be worn on
in a heavy
every occasion that a light overcoat is
downpour as well! Every man needs a coat like this for rainy
days-for chilly nights-for auto rides.
Stormy days will never again mean chills and colds and ruined
clothes if you wear an
Coat. It will protect
your health and your clothes, yet keep you looking and feeling
as smartly dressed as ever.
But I did not start out with the idea of selling YOU the coat. I
just want to satisfy you that it is one you will be proud to wear
anywhere, in any company, in any weather.
If you will fill in the three simple measurements called for on
the enclosed card-I'll get one of these new
Coats off to you at once by prepaid Parcel Post-to be worn for
a week at my risk and expense-FREE!
At the end of the week, if you should like the coat so well that
you want to keep it, you can pay-NOTthe $25 or $30 that you
are accustomed to paying for coats in stores, not even our
Direct-to-the-User
price of
OUR SPECIAL
INTRODUCTORY PRICE T O YOU, O NLY
HOW THE BOOKBUYERS SAVED A CAMPAIGN
171
Otherwise just send it back at our expense, and in payment for
the week's wear, tell me frankly your honest opinion of the
coat and its salability.
Naturally, I am not making offers like this to everyone, so
whether you accept it or not, I should feel obliged if you would
return the card so as to insure against its falling into other
hands.
Naturally, too, your opinion will be of value to me only if I
get it NOW-before the Fall season has really opened-before
we are definitely committed for any great quantity of these new
all-weather coats.
Won't you, therefore, fill in the three simple measurements on
the card TONIGHT if you can, and mail it? On second thought,
better mail it right away-while you have it in your hand-so
there will be no chance of forgetting it.
I thank you for your courtesy.
Yours for mutual co-operation,
I
You will notice it could just as easily be used to sell books,
or shirts, or blankets, or some commodity you are interested
in. You see, the product is of minor importance. There
a man in the whole place who did not know
was
more about raincoats than I. But it was not raincoats we
were selling. It was an idea-in this case, the idea that by
and
specializing on one grade of coat, one cloth, one
it in every conceivable size, we could not only save
you money, but give you a better coat and a more perfect fit
than you could get at double the price in stores.
We did not need to know anything about coat manufacture
convince you of that. All we needed to understand was
human reactions to certain ideas, and these are what we
studied.
The most distinctive feature of the accompanying circular
its front cover, shown on page 172.
It worked so well on raincoats that we felt emboldened
HOW THE BOOKBUYERS SAVED A CAMPAIGN
to try a different tack on
for their low price,
overcoats-selling a real reason
than depending on the price itself
to bring in the orders. We since
have found that to give a convincing reason why you are able to
offer a lower price than your competitor is one of the most important essentials of selling. Mere
reductions are not enough. There
are too many ways of skimping on
quality and taking it out in a bargain price. You must have a
logical reason why your price is
low.
The reason given in the letter
that follows was true, and it must
have sounded convincing, for it
sold some 21,000 overcoats in
about two months' time, at a cost
of $28.75 apiece. A few special
ones sold as high as $47, but these
were for a new idea we were testing. Here is the letter:
MR. BUSINESS M A N :
You know how most factories are-busy and working overtime
eight o r ten months of the year, and practically idle the rest.
And those lean months-like the famines of ancient
eat u p most of the profits of the fat ones.
This year we determined to change that.
Instead of letting the Woolen Mills lie idle during January,
them busy weaving the new
February, and March, we
double-texture, pure wool fabric for "KeepWarm" Ulsters.
Instead of letting the tailors twiddle their thumbs during
July, and August, we kept them busy making up this fine quality
cloth into the finished coats for Winter, figuring that the
HOW THE BOOKBUYERS SAVED A CAMPAIGN
1
price we could make on these would soon clear out this surplus
output.
The result is that, instead of the prices ranging as high as $47.00
at which we used to sell these "KeepWarm" Ulsters in former
years-instead of the high prices that customers tell us coats
of similar quality would cost them in stores-we can now offer
you the new, improved "KeepWarm," distinctive in material
and design, correctly tailored in every detail, and as smart as
an English Greatcoat-for only $28.75.
You know how important it is to get just the right kind of
days that start in November and
Overcoat for those bleak,
continue right through to sleety March.
Neither snow nor sleet, bitter cold or sunny days matter to the
man who wears a "KeepWarm" Ulster. It's the kind of Greatcoat for any kind of Fall or Winter weather.
You see, that's where the pure, double-texture wool comes in.
The shocks of sudden weather changes cannot penetrate it.
Comfortable on mild days because of its lightness--cozy and
snug in zero weather because the pure wool repels cold-it
keeps your body-warmth in, and it keeps the cold out.
Made in a model that appeals to men because it has style, it
yet retains that loose, comfortable look of the well-tailored
Ulster coat. And it's lined with genuine Skinner's Satin in the
sleeves and shoulders, because the smooth satin makes it easy
to put on, and easy to slip out of. You can wear it all day
long without having your shoulders sag or ache. Just the kind
of coat that a man wants for Fall and Winter wear.
All over the country, men who like to be well-dressed at all
of the Military Academy at
times-men like Colonel
West Point Governor Holcomb of Connecticut; Chief Justice
Teller of the Colorado Supreme Court; and A. E. Barker, Purchasing
of the J. P.
& Company-are taking to
Ulster in place of the ordinary
this distinctive
overcoat.
in the past few years, we have sold more than 42,000 of
them, and every day brings us letters like this from Charles M.
Robinson, Esq., Counselor-at-Law, of New Haven, Connecticut:
"An Ulster equal to this one
have cost me at least
174
HOW THE BOOKBUYERS SAVED A CAMPAIGN
$50 in a retail store. I have found it to be very warm, and
its wearing
excellent."
And this Fall's model is better far, we believe, than any we have
ever before offered!
Bargains such as this will, of course, be snapped up quickly.
Our output this Fall is absolutely limited to 19,961 "KeepWarm'' Ulsters, and among our more than a quarter million
customers, they won't last long.
While they last, you can get one of these latest models, smart,
new Greatcoats for only
fine a quality and a better
style than any we sold in the past for as high as $47.00.
What is more, you can SEE it, EXAMI NE it, WEAR it FOR A WEEK
at our risk and expense, without one cent of payment. Merely
fill in the simple measurements on the enclosed card and drop
it in the mail. We'll do the rest.
Fair enough,
admit. And you realize that we couldn't
make such an offer if we didn't know that these new
Warms" will back it up.
But we DO know it, so we're entirely willing to do our part.
Are you willing to put us to the test?
Just mail the card. Then sit back and watch results.
We're waiting,
The title of the accompanying circular was "4 Things You
Must Get in a Winter Coat." Under it the copy ran:
1. STYLE! A man has to be well-dressed-correctly dressed.
And correctly dressed means to be dressed in accordance with
the standards set by men of high repute. We went to one of
the most famous designers in America for the
of this
"KeepWarm" Coat. Its style is as accurate as a theorum in
Calculus, as smart as Fifth Avenue-big and robust, tailored
with long, flowing lines, broad lapels, and deep patch pockets,
it is a masterpiece in woolens.
2. FIT! Here are the
to look for: Does the collar
hug your neck? Do the sleeves hang properly? Do the
shoulders lie without a wrinkle and have ample width? Has
the coat graceful lines and an easy-fitting feel?
HOW THE
BOOKBUYERS SAVED A CAMPAIGN
175
Those are the things you will notice especially when you try
on a "KeepWarm" Ulster.
For where the ordinary retailer has a few hundred or a few
And where the rethousand customers, we
tailer can carry 8 or 9 sizes, we have 52 coat sizes and 5
coat
That is why the "KeepWarm" Coat has the fit and custom
appearance of one turned out by your own tailor.
3.
Style and fit are not all you seek in an Overcoat.
You must have long wear. And the pure wool cloth of the
gives it to you.
Before a piece of this cloth is even put on the cutting table, it
is tested for weight, for all-wool content, for "ends" and "picks"
per inch, for tensile strength and long wear. Tested at the
United States Testing Laboratory-and woe betide the Mill if
a piece fails in those tests.
4. WARMTH! But the chiefest feature of this handsome
"KeepWarm" Cloth is its warmth-a comfortable warmth that
is not marred by uncomfortable weight.
The wonder of wool, its soft, velvety feel, its deep folds of
warmth-this is Nature's own insurance against cold.
And these "KeepWarm" Coats are made of double-texture
woolen cloth-woven with an outer fabric of beautiful heather
color (cold-proof and storm-proof) and an inside of harmonizing plaid-a double-texture woolen cloth that is noted for its
warmth, its richness, and its enduring wear. Fine woolens like
this aren't luxuries-they're economies. Dollar for dollar, they
give you more for your money in real comfort and long wear.
You'll enjoy the comfort of this Overcoat. You'll like the big
double-breasted front. You'll like the stylish, broad lapels,
the wide collar that snugs up around your neck.
the low set patch pockets, convenient for your hands.
Above all, you'll like the soft, wooly fabric-rich, pure, fleecy
wool.
winds find nothing so impenetrable as these long
fibres of pure wool. The man who knows
knows the cold weather comfort of all-pure wool-freedom
176
HOW THE BOOKBUYERS SAVED A CAMPAIGN
of action, warmth without weight, rugged, lasting, yet finelooking.
The final page featured the bargain and why we were able
to offer it, and ended with the usual "free trial-no money
down."
hunThat ended
regular sale. We had eight or
dred coats left in odd sizes and colors, so we went back to the
book business again and borrowed from it our old damagedset letter. Of course, there was nothing damaged about the
coats, but the odd sizes and colors furnished just as good an
argument, and, as it proved, just as effective bait in landing
orders. For instead of the eight or nine hundred orders
needed to clean up our stock, we landed close to ten thousand!
That was no hardship, you can be sure, for the factory had
any number of odds and ends of piece goods on hand, and
they were delighted to make them up into coats-at a goodly
reduction in costs, too. Here is that old book letter, as
adapted to selling odds and ends of overcoats.
790 Left-over Ulsters at a Big Discount!
DEAR SIR:
In the rush and excitement of selling, in the past two months,
21,000
Winter Ulsters, there was no time to pay
attention to exactly how sizes and colors were running.
The result is that now, with the season near its end, we find
ourselves with 790 coats left over-in all sizes-but without a
complete range of sizes in any one color!
There are dark grays and blues and beautiful brown heathermixtures, in Greatcoats that we sold in the past all the way
u p to $47.00-really handsome colors, all of them-but we can't
be sure which color is here in the exact size that will fit you.
And you know how the Overcoat season is-if these Ulsters
not all disposed of before Christmas, some of them will probably be on our hands until next Fall.
So rather than carry any of them over until then, we
decided to make one sweeping reduction, and offer these
HOW THE BOOKBUYERS SAVED A CAMPAIGN
177
smart, distinctive, beautifully tailored Greatcoats-of fine, warm,
double-texture pure wool cloth-for only
This is the lowest price we have ever made on these all-wool
Ulster Coats. Just try to find their equal-in
style, in workmanship, in fine-quality material-for $40 or
Only 790
Left
We have just 790 of these double-texture all-wool Greatcoats
to sell at this low price. When they are gone, your chance to
save on our Winter Ulster
go with
But while these
790 last, you can get as perfect-fitting, as good-looking, as finequality a Winter Greatcoat as ever you would want to wear, at
an almost unheard-of bargain.
If you will just write your name and three simple measures on
the enclosed card and mail to us, we will send you a "KeepWarm" Ulster-that will exactly fit you-by prepaid Parcel
Post.
You may keep the overcoat for a full week. Then, if for any
reason at all you don't care to keep the coat, you can send it
back at our expense. But if you are so well pleased with it that
you don't want to part with it, just send us $27.65, the low
at which we are offering these last remaining 790 coats.
S END
mail the post card. But do it at once,
as this opportunity to save money will not occur again.
NO
Yours up to 790,
Notice how readily the idea adapts itself to overcoats, just
as though it had never been used for anything else. That is
my experience with most basic ideas. If they are good for
one product, they can be adapted to selling
other product.
The form of circular also was intentionally simple, thus
to carry out the idea of there being so few coats left
stock that it
not worth while to print an elaborate
to describe them. It consisted of a single-page, four
seven inch slip of paper. On the front, over a
of a
wearing the coat on a stormy day, was the headline:
178
HOW THE BOOKBUYERS SAVED A
Last Chance!
This All-Wool
Overcoat
Under the illustration was the copy:
$24.95 if you are prompt
The Opportunity: After a rushing season in which these fine
overcoats have sold in the greatest volume we have ever known
(over 21,000 sold in about two months) we have only 582 coats
left-too few to warrant an advertising campaign.
To close the balance out quickly we are offering them to a
few customers at the final low price of $24.95.
On the back was merely an order form, to be used for
ordering this coat for a week's free trial and for giving the
necessary measurements.
One of the questions often asked of me is: "What did you
do to keep your customer sold after you had received his
order?"
This is an important question, since everyone has experienced the reaction that so often comes after you have allowed
yourself to be persuaded to sign an order or send for something by mail. You feel that maybe you were too precipitate
and begin to look around for ways in which you can back out.
We met that problem by using every opportunity to re-sell
the customer on his purchase. In acknowledgment letters, in
bills, in the enclosure that went with each product, we had in
mind the truism that the sale is not made until the goods are
paid for, so we tried to put salesmanship into each of these.
Here is a sample of one of them-the enclosure that went with
the overcoat and was seen even before the overcoat was uncovered
DEAR CUSTOMER:A man has to be well-dressed these days--correctly dressed.
And "correctly dressed" means conservatively dressed-dressed
in accordance with the standards set by men of high repute.
HOW THE BOOKBUYERS SAVED A CAMPAIGN
179
One underlying thought has always been back of every "KeepWarm" Ulster we have sold-one of correctness, as well-groomed
men express and endorse it.
Ulsters are made for the man who seeks wellstyled, conservative clothes, with good wearing qualities and
finest workmanship, rather than the "ultra fashionable" styles
that appeal to some men. Our merchandising policy-buying,
selling, and advertising-is controlled by this
idea.
You can wear the
Ulster we are sending you, with
the comfortable assurance of being well-dressed-of knowing
that your coat is a part of you-and that it expresses you at
your best.
Sincerely yours,
customer often writes us that some friend wants a coat
exactly like the one he bought of us. So we have printed a
"Friend's Order
on the back of this folder. There is
only one condition attached to it-it should come in right away
to get the advantage of the low $24.95 price.
Of course, these were not the only offers we mailed during
those seven months. They were the high lights. In addition,
we sold tires, shirts, underwear, ties, and a dozen other items,
but the sale of none of these reached the proportions of that
of the traveling bags and coats. Shirts came nearest-in fact,
later on shirts came to be one of our biggest sellers. We shall
touch upon them in the next chapter, since our mailing on
shirts
that first fall was more in the nature of a test
than a separate mailing. It showed such promise, however,
that we decided make a big mailing on shirts in the spring.
Tires sold reasonably well, but their margin of
was
narrow that we never went after that business in a big way.
one of the successful letters we did use:
"Enclosed find check for
of your Tire Bill."
we said at the beginning of this letter that we were enclosing
check for
to $12.00, you would be interested
doubtless highly pleased. You would certainly read on to see
why we were so liberal.
Instead of an actual check, we'll tell you in a few words how
you can save that amount of money on every tire you we.
One of the oldest firms in the rubber business-a factory which
makes tires that are as good as any in the world-wants to see
if car owners will buy their tires "direct" if he will sell to them
at just about the price dealers now pay.
This tire manufacturer knows that such a saving can be made
if a lot of unnecessary selling expense and middlemen's profits
are wiped out. So he's going to test out the American motoring
public by offering the very best tires he makes-DIRECTto car
owners, through our selling organization which operates by mail
all over the country.
And to quickly find out if men really want to save 25% on the
best tires that can be made, he is having us rush out this August
letter to a few selected car owners.
If the response to this advertising is not tremendously large, the
manufacturer's plan will be discontinued immediately. That
would be too bad from a money-saving point of view; but it will
show that people would rather continue buying tires in the old
way even at higher prices.
On the other hand, if the response is large, this plan of sending
tires direct-to-the-user (by parcel post) will be continued and
you can always get your tires through us at a great big saving.
This Is a Free Trial
If you mail the enclosed card at once, we'll send you at our
own risk and expense one or more tires for a week's FREE
EXAM I NA TI O N . YOU can measure them, heft them, compare
them for bigness and strength and resiliency with any tire you
know. See if you recognize their make. There's no better
Cord Tire in America today.
At the end of the week-if you're satisfied that they're as fine
tires as ever you've seen-you can send us the low Direct-tothe-User price given on the inside of this letter. Otherwise, just
send them back at our expense.
There's only one condition to this offer-you must take advantage of it at once. For,
the results of this experiment
in direct-selling will be of use to our manufacturer only if he
HOW THE BOOKBUYERS SAVED A CAMPAIGN
181
can follow them up promptly, while the
driving season
is still on in August and September. Naturally, too, since
everything is O N CREDIT (no
no "express collect," no cash
in advance) we had to carefully select the people to whom this
free-trial offer is being made, so if you cannot use the enclosed
card, we should feel obliged if you would either return or destroy
it.
Returning the postcard without delay (regardless of whether
your answer is YES or NO ) will be an act of courtesy that will
be personally appreciated by the president of one of America's
oldest (1857) rubber companies.
Very truly yours,
P.S. To keep him from getting
wrong" with jobbers and
dealers and garages while this test is being made, the
facturer is making just a slight change in the tread design on
his tire and is having the sidewalls show up the name of the
tires as "New Process Super Cord" instead of using his own
well-known name-but the tires are absolutely identical in construction with the very best and largest cord tires that this noted
manufacturer makes. You will recognize their high quality
(and maybe their manufacturer) as soon as you see them.
The last offer of the season was our Christmas mailing.
It was the
mailing of the year in which we offered a
choice of a variety of different
and for that reason,
was about the least successful of all.
For here is a strange fact, which has held consistently
mail: If you offer
throughout all my experience in selling
one article you will usually get more orders than if you
offera choice of two or more articles!
You see, making a choice involves hesitation. And in
selling by mail, the customer who hesitates is lost to you. I
have seldom known that rule to fail. Even in giving free
premiums, we found that offering the customer a choice of
or more premiums cut the number of orders.
I have always been an advocate of selling one thing at
time-a traveling bag or a coat or a set of shirts at a unit
for the lot. But at Christmas time we offered a variety
182
HOW THE BOOKBUYERS SAVED A CAMPAIGN
of gifts. In later years we learned to work differently. But
this time we made up a little catalog and offered a choice of
any or all of the articles in it. Here is the letter:
Christmas comes in just a few weeks, and if I know anything
about daddies, husbands, uncles,
big brothers, that means
something to you.
May I help you pick out suitable gifts for your family and
friends?
Right here in your hand is a little booklet just crammed full of
good things that men of all ages appreciate-fine shirts of
madras, flannel, or English broadcloth; neckties, bath-robes,
hosiery of fine silk or warm wool, golf balls, books, etc.
Then for your wife and the other women folks there are silk
stockings, silk umbrellas, lingerie, furs, appliances for the home,
jewelry, and many other thoughtfully selected gifts which women
cherish.
For that youngster there are good things that all he-boys gloat
over-footballs, baseballs and gloves, outfits for tennis, and
things for the vigorous, sturdy chap that loves the out-of-doors.
For his quieter sister, we have just the type of dolls and books
that she will love and cherish.
Silverware
Pearls
Clothing
Electrical Appliances
Toys
-all are here-at prices surprisingly low! And if you make
your selections
while our stock is at its best, they'll be
shipped the very day your order is received.
Take this letter and booklet home with you
evening-better
still, go over it right now! You will be amazed how quickly
you will find exactly the Christmas presents that will mean most
to your relatives and friends.
And you will be even more amazed at how much money
can save.
HOW THE BOOKBUYERS SAVED A CAMPAIGN
183
Comes on Free-Trial
Keep each article a full week--examine it for quality and value
-satisfy yourself that it is just the gift for the friend you have
DECIDE. Send back any article you don't care
in
for! You'll not be out one penny.
Now don't file this away to "think over." There's nothing to
puzzle about, because you don't have to send one penny or
promise anything, except that you will send the gifts back in a
week if you don't like them.
That's easy-isn't it?
By using the enclosed order-form you kill two birds with one
fountain pen. Y o u save a good many dollars o n your Christmas
gifts, and
relieved of all that bothersome burden of
Christmas shopping i n stores.
Where's that pen?
I
I
The cover of the 24-page booklet showed a family grouped
around the Christmas tree, with the heading, "What to give
for Christmas." The inside pages were like a mail
catalog, showing attractive pictures of the articles offered,
with glowing descriptions, and featuring, wherever possible,
the bargain. The ease of ordering and the "No
Free Trial" were played up strongly, and the order form
displayed these even more prominently.
That ended the sale for the year. The figures on the
balance sheet changed from $80,000 in the
on
$121,000 net profit on December 31. And this
number of things, among them that the best mail order buyer
one who has alread y bought other products
mail, and
that it is ideas that sell goods-not mere descriptions of the
themselves. Ideas are the only things that count, and
the idea that will sell vast numbers of books can be used just
effectively in selling raincoats or traveling bags or overcoats or shirts!
Those were the important things we got out of that seven
months' sale. And they were the factors responsible for the
strides we made in the next two years.
A Giant of the Mails
January and February are the best
months of the year. This is especially true of inspirational
books, since people make their good resolutions at the first of
the year; hence they are far more likely to embark upon
courses of study than after those resolutions have been forgotten.
In selling merchandise by mail, however, we found January
and February to be the poorest months of the year. Stores
THE BOOK BUSINESS,
hold their bargain sales then, which makes it hard to show a
saving over their offerings great enough to induce people to
go to the trouble of sending away for the things they want.
Another little-known factor in mail selling is that people
will buy by mail far more readily before the season for a
given product has begun, or at its very start, than once it is
well under way; then they turn to their local stores. The
reason for this must be that when the time has come when they
actually need a thing, they do not feel like risking any possible
delays in delivery. They want what they want when they
want it. But beforehand
are willing to send for things
and try them, figuring that if they are not satisfactory, there
is plenty of time to return them and
something
locally.
Therefore, except for small mailings on left-over winter
products, we devoted most of our time in January and Febru184
A GIANT OF THE MAILS
185
ary to tests. Of course, we could not expect results that were
anywhere near as good as when a product was in season, but
we usually managed to get a fair indication of the pulling
power of a circular by always using a yardstick,
by testing each new circular we were trying against a thousand
mailings of the last successful circular we had used on that
product. If the new one outpulled the old in the off-season,
we felt reasonably certain it would do the same when the
correct time of year came around again. If it did not, we
discarded it and tried again.
There were
plenty of products to test, because we
had to be on our guard continually against old products losing
their appeal. For those that did, we tried to keep feeding
in new ones to take their places. The previous Christmas,
for instance, we had tested pearls and perfume, with the idea
of using one or both of them for our Christmas offer the
following year. Both showed promise, the perfume especially coming through with so many orders that we mailed some
hundreds of thousands of letters and circulars the following
Christmas. Here were the two offers:
I
Will you try this experiment?
Ask your jeweler to show you a perfect deep-sea pearl. Put
the enclosed Deltah manufactured pearl alongside it. Then
try to tell them apart!
The jeweler can do it-with the aid of his magnifying glass.
But neither you nor any other person not an expert in precious
stones can distinguish the natural from the manufactured pearl.
lustre, in weight, in iridescence, in color, the little pearl we
are sending you will measure up to all the requirements of the
genuine deep-sea jewel. Step on it! It will stand the weight
an ordinary size man. Boil it in hot water! It will come out
lustrous, with the soft opalescence that only a pearl can give.
Weigh it! You will find it heavy, firm, indistinguishable in any
186
A GIANT OF THE MAILS
way from the natural pearl, except to the expert with his
magnifying glass.
Most society women, most of the stars of stage and screen, have
duplicates of their costly deep-sea gems made up in these
manufactured pearls to wear at all public functions. For no
one can distinguish them from the genuine.
The only difference apparent to the naked eye is in the priceand you save that big difference.
In New York, in Paris, and London, pearls are the vogue this
year. They are being worn for every occasion, with almost
every conceivable costume-with evening gowns, for parties
and afternoon teas, for street, for shopping.
The "Carmen" necklace of Deltah pearls, from which the enclosed pearl was taken, was made to sell in retail stores at $21.00
and is so advertised in national magazines at the present time.
But if you will mail the enclosed card right away-before the
heavy Christmas rush begins-we will send you this famous
necklace, in the favorite 24-inch "Opera" length, fastened with
a diamond clasp of white gold and genuine diamond, for only
$15.75.
Not only that, but we will send it to you for a full week's free
trial, without one cent of payment, to be tried out, to be examined, to be W O R N for a week at our risk.
If for any reason-or no reason-you are not more than delighted with it, send it back and you'll not be out one penny.
Naturally, we can't make offers like this to everyone, so even
if you don't take advantage of it we should feel obliged if you
would return or destroy the card. Naturally, too, you will have
to take advantage of it right away, before the heavy Christmas
rush begins.
May we hope you will mail back your card now-TODAY?
Sincerely yours,
DEAR MADAM :
Who would ever dream that exquisite Narcisse Perfume-perfume so lovely that its heady fragrance will amaze you, yet so
marvelously delicate and all-pervasive that it seems like a breath
from the flower gardens of sunny France-who would ever
A GIANT OF THE MAILS
187
believe that such perfume could be had for a dollar or less an
ounce!
$1 an ounce!
Why, you would pay more than that for just
ordinary, unknown perfumes at the corner druggists-perfume
that would seem flat and dull and lifeless alongside this exquisite Narcisse.
The most delightful, the most captivating sweetness ever extracted from flower petals and imprisoned in crystal-that is
Narcisse. Faint yet compelling, this liquid fragrance is like
sunshine mellowed by stained glass. The lore which
enters its making is akin to the lore of the wine makers of
France-a secret handed down from father to son for generations.
A fragrance that intrigues you-a delightsome, refreshing fragrance unlike that of any perfume you have ever known. The
essence of music and laughter, the sweetness of flowers on a dewy
morn-all magically imprisoned in crystal.
Graded the way perfumes are usually graded, Narcisse would
retail for $4 to $5 an ounce. In fact, in the fashionable shops
and Fifth Avenue, Narcisse is sold at
of Palm Beach,
$5 an ounce.
To offer even the small quantity we have at less than $1 an ounce
is such a remarkable event that we have decided to confine it to
just the wives of our customers. To them we are making this
offer:
If you will mail the enclosed Free-Trial Card at once, I
will send you an 8-ounce bottle of Narcisse, postpaid, for
examination. Break the seal, open it u p and T RY it! At
I T B A C K if you are willing then to
the end of the
part with it.
if you don't want to part with it, send
the $5 an
ounce, at which Narcisse Perfume is
ONLY
$7.85 FOR
in many fashionable
T H E FULL EIGHT OUNCES!
holds good, though, only on the small quantity we
on hand. The enclosed FREE-TRIAL CARD must be used at
once.
you are prompt,
A GIANT OF THE MAILS
1
,
to bubble to
is
surface, and
know that
again. conk from miles around
fur its
it is p i d chat on moonlit' nights the nymph
drink of this spring. and that
coming
has
healing
Certain it is
at no other time
flowers
Narcissus quite
beautiful. their
T o capture
delightful
to imprison it
a sun-kissed
liquid
in
has
done for
With the first letter went a circular showing pictures of the
pearls being worn by the loveliest movie actresses of the day.
The copy stressed the beauty and charm of the pearls, and
their perfect likeness to real
with their low cost and the
guarantee of "satisfaction or no money."
The
of the small four-page circular that accompanied
the second letter is shown on this page. Inside, both pages
were occupied by a picture of the bottle of perfume, with a
brief description, and on the last page was a new variant of the
free-trial offer, reading as follows:
SEEING IS BELIEVING
How much better this exquisite Narcisse is than ordinary
Perfume, how its delightful fragrance and concentrated sweetness will captivate the heart of any woman, and you can best
judge for
A GIANT OF THE MAILS
So here is our offer:
A Full Week's Trial-Free!
N o Money-No
No Obligation
Send the enclosed card, without money, without risk or
obligation of any kind. By return mail you will receive, postpaid, an
vial of Narcisse Perfume, rich and exquisite
as so much imprisoned sunshine.
Break the seal--open it-TRY a bit of it! If you don't find
it the essence of sweetness, the concentrated fragrance of thousands of flowers-if you can buy its equal anywhere at two or
three times the price-send it back!
It costs you nothing to satisfy yourself and make a wonderful
saving-if you are prompt!
At the same time, we tested a new variant of the old damaged-set letter, with a view to using it the following December
on whatever overcoat stock was left after the regular sale.
Copy of
letter follows. It pulled almost as well as the
damaged-set letter quoted in the last chapter, so we put it aside
for later use. Here it is:
A Few Overcoats at a Great
I can save you a good many dollars right now-if you haven't
bought your winter overcoat yet.
Already this winter we have sold 21,631
at prices ranging up to $48.75. Now there are only 582 of these
good ulsters left-not enough to do any heavy national advertising about-yet we don't want to carry them on our inventory
until next Fall.
Rather than offer them to some jobber at a "bargain" price,
going to offer them to my old customers-yourself and other
men who have bought raincoats, traveling bags, etc., from me
the past-at a real old-fashioned bargain price, only $24.95.
In other words, I'm giving you, rather than some city jobber,
the benefit of the bargain. Remember that my seven-day free
You send no money in
examination privilege holds
190
A GIANT OF THE
"KeepWarm" Ulster if
advance. You are free to return
you don't like it for any reason, particularly if you don't think
it's worth $40.00 instead of only $24.95.
Certainly you can use another overcoat this Winter-most of
the cold weather is still ahead. Or
need a new overcoat
this Fall. Just between you and me-isn't a saving of $15.00
worth enough to you to get your coat right now?
This is my one and only offer at this low price. I've only 582
coats left. If you are not keeping warm in one of them a week
from today,
be the one to blame-not I. I am giving
you a wonderful chance to get a genuine
Ulster
now at a fraction of the regular price. Just think, for only
$24.95 you can get an all-wool, handsomely-tailored, satin-lined
Ulster that will keep you warm and well-dressed this Winter and
all next Winter, too!
Simply fill in the postcard, mail it today without any money,
and
send your proper size in a
Ulster right
away by Parcel Post.
But remember this-I have only 582 Ulsters left at
To
protect myself I reserve the right to telegraph you if your order
reaches me after your own size is all gone. To be sure of
getting one of these "KeepWarm" Ulsters, send for your size
at once!
Sincerely yours,
P. S. These 582 coats are the very latest ones made this Winter
-the last word in style and tailoring-pure-wool cloth, plaid
back, Skinner's Satin lining, etc.
Then we took up shoes and socks and ties and underwear
and all manner of products. From the sales point of view,
there were few products in men's wearing apparel for which
we were not able to bring back orders in profitable
But when it came to the actual sale, it sometimes developed
that it was so difficult to fit customers satisfactorily that the
products had to be ruled out.
Shoes were one of these. Several times we tried shoes and
brought back orders in profitable number, but when it
A GIANT OF THE MAILS
191
fitting people, our orders dwindled by half. Possibly we
did not have the right shoes or the proper method of sizing.
Whichever it was, more than half the shoes we sent out came
back. So we quickly abandoned that line. Here is one of
the letters that brought in the orders:
DEAR SIR:
What size shoe do you wear?
out the most comfortable pair of shoes you
If you will
have, and pencil on the enclosed card all the markings from
just inside them near the top, we'll promise to send you as easyfitting, as stylish-looking, as comfortable a pair of shoes as ever
had on your feet, at a price lower by far than you've
paid for good shoes since the war.
Their style will speak for itself. Their fine leather, too. But
conditions will tell you
only months of wear under
the full story of comfort and service that is built into every
pair of "DoubleWear" Shoes.
For
Shoes are designed for comfort according
to Nature's own plan for the feet. There's a graceful swing to
the toe. The sole rests firmly against the ground and yet flexes
with every motion of the foot. The arch fits
In short,
fit everywhere-bind nowhere-look like far higher priced
shoes-and WEAR that way.
Will you try this test?
Fill in the markings from your most comfortable shoes, on the
enclosed card. Then see if we can't give you as easy-fitting, as
stylish, as good-looking a pair of "DoubleWear" Shoes-reof what you paid for yours!
nothing to try, and if you can get as easy-fitting, as goodas serviceable shoes at a third less than you are now
paying, it's worth saving, isn't it?
ready to send them, without one cent of payment, for a
FR EE inspection. Are you willing to put us to the test?
We'll be here-waiting,
With the letter went a small circular. On the front were
pictures of the shoes; inside it carried the following
192
A GIANT OF THE MAILS
under the heading, "Modeled for Comfort-Built for
Style":
Shoes are no less a key to your character, taste, and judgment than the rest of your attire. The "DoubleWear" Shoe is
styled for the eye that craves good looks, but built for the foot
that must have its ease.
Easy as an Old Shoe
The more critically you
a pair of "DoubleWear"
Shoes, the more you will be impressed with their distinctive style
and smartness. Try on a pair! You will marvel at the foot
comfort they afford. Feel the bracing arch fit. Note the soft
glove-fingered grip upon your heel. Move your toes-there is
room enough. They fit everywhere-bind nowhere. They are
shoes that are mighty kind to the feet.
For the "DoubleWear" was designed to gratify your desire
for sensible style, solid comfort, and enduring wear.
An ALL-LEATHER Shoe
What It Means to Your Feet
Men who are on their feet most know that nothing takes the
place of leather for foot-ease. Leather, you see, is really a second skin for your feet. I t has pores like the soles of your feet
-pores that let your feet breathe. That is why the all-leather
shoe keeps your feet cool and comfortable. That is why
"DoubleWear" Shoes fit your feet so easily-why, even when
new, they feel so soft and pliable.
The Importance of "Grain" Calf Skin
You know, of course, that the toughest part of any hide is the
outside-the hairy side. Ordinary shoes are made of cowhide, but because the outside grain is so coarse and porous, it
is "buffed off" and only the leather underneath is used. That is
why ordinary shoes "skin up" so easily. The leather is soft
and spongy-all the toughest part is gone.
Calfskin, on the other hand, is naturally fine-grained, and
when properly tanned and cared for, this tough, pliable skin
will outwear in the uppers of a shoe three or four good soles.
"DoubleWear" uppers are made only of outside "grain"
Calfskin, exceedingly tough but soft and pliable.
A GIANT OF THE MAILS
193
Then the circular went on to give other features, showing
another picture of the shoes, this one with arrows pointing to
each special feature.
The last page ended on the usual note of the low direct-bymail price to the wearer and the "free-trial, no-money" offer.
Another "dud" was athletic winter underwear. It sounded
and our customers evidently thought so too, since they
ordered it in goodly quantities; but oh-how they returned
it! And when I had tried a suit on one of those cold, blizzardy days that are so frequent in northwestern Pennsylvania,
when the wind blowing down from the lakes has an edge like
a knife, I knew just how our customers must have felt. And
I did the same as they-I went back to my long ones.
But as an example of a letter that brings in the orders,
athletic union suit letter has a right to a place. So here it is:
"Oh!
Great to Get Out in the Morning!"
Those bracing, snappy Winter days will soon be here.
them different this year-want to get
Do you want to
more vigorous, happy, red-blooded enjoyment out of them than
ever before?
Then put away those shivery
or other light underwear and
get
Athletics.
when you were a youngster, how you used to coast
and skate all day
and far into the night with never a thought
about the cold?
Wool-that's what did
Athletics are not
the scratchy, uncomfortable woolens you wore then. They are
the finest Australian Lambs' Wool, with all the warmth and absorptive qualities of wool, but mixed
just enough highSouthern cotton to give them softness, fleeciness, and
strength.
the vital organs of the body must be kept warm. Cold
"gets to a man" unless he's
protected from neck to knees.
nowadays, when men work so much indoors, they like to
194
A GIANT OF THE MAILS
have their arms and legs free. And they ought to. Nature
never intended our legs and arms to be heavily covered. Look
at the animals-their fur grows no heavier on their legs in
Winter than in Summer-only on their bodies.
Athletic underwear offers the double advantage
of warmth for the vital organs and freedom for legs and arms.
And wear!
Athletics might be called the suits
that put the "Wear" in "Underwear."
Just take a look at them! Costs nothing to do that. The enclosed card brings them to you in a factory unit of four to a box
at the special Direct-to-the-User price of $11.95. Try to buy
their
in stores at less than $4 to $7 a suit!
But never mind what we SAY about them-look them over for
yourself. You'll find a new kind of winter comfort, and a new
way to save money by buying DI RECT!
Yours for the straightest route
-the Direct-by-Mail Line.
Why did we not find out that this product was unsatisfactory before we wrote the circulars? Principally because it
would have done no good if we had. The manufacturer had
"sold" the buying department on the idea, so it had to be
tried to be proved feasible or otherwise. Individual opinions counted for little with us, no matter whose they were.
It was not one of us we were trying to sell. It was the consuming public. So the only voice we heeded was the voice
of a customer.
But most of our tests were not so sterile. There were bathrobes, for instance; and woolen socks; and winter underwear
of the regular kind; and motor robes; and a number of other
products that we shall come to presently.
March marked the beginning of the regular mailings.
March, in other words, ushers in spring, and springtime
means, first of all, raincoats, then shirts and summer underwear, then traveling bags and the like. So we started the
spring mailings with a letter on topcoats. But we had found
A GIANT OF THE MAILS
195
that the feature of a topcoat that had the greatest pulling
power was its rainproofness; so we called our topcoat first
"The Keepdry," and later "The
Of course,
as always, we tried several different letters, but here is the
one that got the palm:
If you are thinking of buying a Spring topcoat, a raincoat, a
motorcoat, a light-weight
Don't!
For you can buy them all in a "Keepdry" one low Direct-byMail price. The "Keepdry" is all these coats in one. It is the
ideal coat for Spring, but good for any season-and for many
seasons. For every wear-everywhere.
Light and smart as a sportcoat-the "Keepdry" sheds the hardest rain. Distinctive in cut, material, and design, correctly
tailored in every detail-the "Keepdry" protects you from the
heaviest downpour.
For between the smart gray cloth of the outer fabric
the
handsome plaid lining is a thin film of pure rubber-soft and
pliable as silk, but rain-proof and water-proof.
Out at the Country Clubs, or in town on business-wherever
smartly dressed men go in cloudy weather, you see the
For it keeps a secret. Most raincoats are just plain
raincoats-only that and nothing more. The "Keepdry" conceals the fact that it is a raincoat until the rain begins.
Every man needs a coat like it for rainy days-for chilly nights
-for auto rides. With a "Keepdry" in your wardrobe you are
equipped for any weather. Why, every day sees letters coming
our office like this one from Mr. A. J.
Vice-President
Treasurer of the Southern Ohio Portland Cement Company"I never got as much comfort and satisfaction out of any
I had been looking for
coat as I have from the
a garment for years-a coat I could wear on all occasions and be proud of."
The lowest price at which we were able to figure these good
coats last Spring-or for several years before-even on huge
A GIANT OF THE MAILS
quantity production basis, even after leaving out all needless
salesmen and figuring our costs Direct-to-the-User, was $17.85
to $23.50.
But you know how most factories are-idle or working only
or 3 months of the year; while the overhead,
part time for
rents, interest charges, salaries, etc., go merrily on. This year
we decided to change all that, so we kept the "Keepdry" factory steadily busy at full time, making up "Keepdry" Coats for
the Spring.
The resultant saving we can now pass on to you.
Instead of the $17.85 to $23.50 price we had to charge last
Spring and in previous years, or the high price that customers
tell us they
have to
in stores, we can now give you a
new, improved "Keepdry," better than any we have ever before
been able to offer, for only $614.65.
There is only one condition-one string to this offer.
order must come in promptly.
Naturally, we cannot continue this price on coats made during
on those made up in
the regular season. It holds good
advance.
So it's very important that you fill in your height and weight on
the enclosed card and mail it right away.
This won't put you under any obligation, you know, for if you
like the "Keepdry," you have
to return it at our expense and that ends the matter.
Will you send this postcard for a free trial? Today?
be waiting,
That letter sold a good many thousands of
Coats, even in the spring season. Spring, by the way, is only
half as good as fall for selling topcoats or suits. And the
same letter will bring in twice as many orders in the fall as
in the spring. The above letter pulled well, however, even
in the spring.
We followed it with a mailing on shirts, using the letter
we had tested the previous
And how those shirts did
sell! In a couple of years we brought our shirt sales up
A GIANT OF THE MAILS
more than 350,000 a
197
Here is the letter that started
them:
In our fathers' day, you know, all fine shirts were
that meant quality, but high cost.
Today you can buy as good a "LongWear" Shirt-all "readyto-wear," and perfect-fitting--at about half the cost!
For when we fit you in a shirt, we don't take merely your neck
measurement, and trust the rest to chance. No-we figure out
from your height and weight and collar size, how much you
need across the shoulders to give you free swing, and yet look
trim and well-tailored; just how much to allow you around the
waist to make your shirt look right SITTING or STANDING; how
long your sleeves should be; how long the body.
You see, we're not confined to a few standard sizes like a retail
store. Where they cater to a few hundred or a few thousand
customers, we have 308,000. Where they carry shirts in a few
standard sizes and a few sleeve lengths, we have 45 sizes and
sleeve lengths!
That is why "LongWear" shirts look as different on you as a
custom-made suit of clothes. That is why they fit you so well
v
"all over -neckband, shoulders, chest, waist, sleeves.
But that isn't all!
"LongWear" shirts are made of woven madras instead of printed
percale. For that reason they will hold their color in spite of
repeated launderings. The madras cloth is woven fine and
firm-there are more threads to the inch each way than in many
shirts.
More than that, though.
concentrating all our efforts on
three desirable patterns (the finest looking we can find) and
packed in the
selling three to a box (just as they are
factory), we are able to offer you these
shirts
D I RE CT -B Y - M A I L at only $4.95 for the three, postpaid. (Though
fine woven madras shirts are known to sell in retail stores for
much more.)
And if you will drop the enclosed card in the mail at once,
before the
Fall demand begins, we will send the three
198
A GIANT OF THE MAILS
shirts to you at our own risk and expense for a week's inspection FREE !
Send no money-pay nothing on delivery. Just tell us how
tall you are, how much you weigh, and what size shirt you
usually wear. Then sit back and watch results!
But you will have to mail the card right away!
yours,
The point in the letter that seemed to have the strongest
appeal was the fact that we had so many sizes and sleeve
lengths that we could easily fit anyone. As it worked out, we
had fewer complaints about
fit in shirts than for almost
any other product that required fitting.
Notice the circular. We
tried several different illustrations for that first page,
and much to our surprise,
the one of shirts hanging on
a line considerably outpulled all others.
On the inside we found
that our most effective way
of driving home the selling
features was the 1, 2, 3, 4
method of telling why the
some f i n e ~ shirts would "wear
The arrows pointing from
each item to the part of the
picture of a shirt that it discussed made the strongest appeal of all.
On the last page we tried always to bring home the
trial, no-money" feature, and, when possible, we put in a
A GIANT OF THE MAILS
199
good, strong testimonial or two to make our assertions more
convincing.
Another product we tried alone for the first time that
spring was silk socks. You would think, since it is so easy
for a man to go into any store and buy himself silk hose,
that it would be difficult to sell him a dozen pairs at a time
by mail. But it was not. That spring we sold some 20,000
pairs. And that was just the start. Silk hose, too, came to
be one of our big sellers. And here is the letter that started
them :
I am going to send you within the next few days a box of
twelve pairs of "LongWear" Silk Hose.
This "LongWear" Silk Hose is probably not like the silk socks
you are now wearing because:
1. "LongWear" Hose is made of Pure Thread Japan Silk,
hose nowadays is made partly of artificial
while lots of
silk to cheapen it.
2. The silk in "LongWear" hose is 11-strand, which makes
it heavy and rich looking, instead of 9-strand with invisible
metal loading which becomes brittle and soon makes holes.
3. The feet of
Hose are made OVERSIZE-just
like good automobile tires-actually larger than most hose, so
they will wear much longer.
4. The sole is double thickness and the heel and toe and top
are made of fine mercerized lisle that wears and wears and wears.
I am going to send this hose to
no obligation on
your part-for you to inspect and actually see the difference between it and the hose you now wear.
But-there$ just one thing-I can't send the hose until you
tell me the size you wear. You can do that in a jiffy on the
enclosed postcard.
I
I
I
When I send the hose, there's absolutely no obligation on your
part to pay for them. You can return the hose for A N Y reason,
for no reason at all.
A GIANT OF THE MAILS
But Here's the Most
Part
If you find these "LongWear" socks are everything I say about
them (and you're to be the sole judge), how much would you
a pair? No sir, that's what
expect to pay for them?
you'd expect to pay for silk hose with all the tricks of "loading"
and "skimping." $1 a pair-the price that other real good
hose sells for? That's more like it.
Well-if you decide to keep the "LongWear" socks, you need
send me only $7.95 for the twelve pairs. That's the entire
sixty-some cents a pair.
cost to you.
How can we do it? First, we sell the hose only in
sale" lot of one dozen-the same amount that hundreds of
dealers buy at a time. Second, you deal direct with us by mail
and you pay none of the costs of selling through Jobbers and
Traveling Salesmen who call on dealers, to say nothing about
the heavy costs of ordinary retailing.
Just fill out the enclosed card and shoot it back. The
Wear" Hose will come by Parcel Post (prepaid, of course)
with no obligation for you to keep them. You can't lose a
the one who is asking to send them. Won't you
penny.
let me?
Send the card NOW! Then sit back and watch results.
Yours for "LongWear" in GO O D Hose,
The circular that went with that letter was entitled "THE
REASON WHY SOCKS WEAR OUT." It started with
this explanation :
Do you know what it is that makes
"wear out"?
The first and greatest reason for the high mortality in
hosiery is-wearing socks that are short.
Investigations have shown that 95% of all socks wear out at
the toes or heels. And the reason is plain to see:
When you put on your shoes, the friction pulls the sock tight
at your toes. Naturally, the additional strain from the expansion of your foot muscles when you walk pokes your toes right
through the end of the socks. And with every step the inside
of your shoe rubs on the heel of your light sock, quickly wearing it out by friction.
A GIANT OF THE MAILS
201
More F e a r from Silk Socks
The remedy is quite simple. Get your socks slightly oversize, so as to allow a little play at the toes-and get socks where
the whole sole is double-thickness and the heel and toe are reinforced with fine mercerized lisle that wears and wears and wears.
One of the reasons why "LongWear" Silk Socks offer such
remarkable resistance to long miles of strenuous wear is because the feet are made slightly "oversize"-not enough to
make the soles bulky, but just enough to keep them from getting tight. It has put an end to throwing away socks otherwise good-but with the toes or heels gone.
3 to 4
I
I
Then after playing up all their features, and showing
LongWear Socks wore longer and gave greater comfort, the
circular explained why we were able to make the price so
low, and ended with the usual "prove it for
by
asking you to try a pair for a week, and if not satisfactory,
it free and return the rest!"
That brought us to the traveling bag season. All through
the spring we had been testing different letters on traveling
bags, hoping to find one that would enable us to duplicate our
sale of 50,000 bags of the year before. But not one of our
appeals seemed to register. Apparently we had sold every
one in our lists who had any idea of buying a traveling bag.
But we knew there must be some appeal that would put
bags over, so we kept trying, and
we found it.
You must know that one of the things we had learned, in
sending mailings to our customer lists ten or twelve times a
year, was the need for varying the appearance of our letters
and circulars. We found that if we used the same style of
envelope and the same old letterhead month after month
were never even opened; but when we changed everything about them, even their size and color and the corner
it was like circularizing a brand new list-so much
were the results.
That is what finally gave us the idea for our successful
A GIANT OF THE MAILS
202
circular on traveling bags. If, as it seemed, our last offer
had been so good that it had combed out of all the available
lists every possible order, then our only chance for more was
to make our next offer as different as possible from the
previous one.
And that is what we proceeded to do. Instead of a letter,
circular, and card, we used a "giant letter," nine by fourteen
inches, with a doubled sheet like a four-page letterhead, and
on the inside pages we put a picture of the traveling bag that
was more than half the size of the bag itself. In the picture
the bag was opened so as to show the convenient arrangement
of the pockets, with a full description alongside calling attention to every feature. Here is the letter that went on the
first page:
Once in a blue moon the announcement is made of
invention of such great importance as to warrant calling your
attention to it-IN ADVANCE OF MANUFACTURE!
Word has just come from the inventor that a patent has been
granted on a new LOCK for Traveling Bags which we believe
will revolutionize the whole Traveling Bag industry.
clasps and does away
For this new Lock has
with all the bother incident to closing the ordinary Traveling Bag, snapping the clasps, and fastening the lock. It
is AUTORIATIC-and it is SAFE.
But that isn't all!
"Statler" Traveling Bag has 10 handy,
proof pockets to hold your comb and brush, shaving set,
toothpaste and tooth brush-even your shirts, underwear,
and collars!
This
With this new "Statler" everything is right at your fingertips.
You can pack your bag in half the time it used to take. Bottles
can't tip over. Your clothes will not be wrinkled.
place for everything and everything in its place."
There's "a
AND IN ADDITION TO THIS, the new "Statler" Bag has
the improvements that made the old "Statler" so famous-the
A GIANT OF THE MAILS
203
genuine cowhide leather, so tough and durable it will last a
lifetime, the double handles, the solid brass hardware.
YOU WON'T BE ABLE TO BUY A BAG COMBINING
ALL THESE FEATURES IN ANY STORE THIS YEAR
FOR
But to those of our friends who will send the enclosed Reservation Card at once, we are going to make a special Introductory
Price on the first of these new Bags to come from the factory,
of $14.75-lower even than our old "Statler" sold for last
Summer.
This special price holds good on the first few Bags. The fact
is that we don't know how much more expensive these new locks
and frames are going to be to make than the old ones. These
first bags will enable us to find out. You benefit by our need,
if you reserve your bag now.
And it's all at our risk. You send no money-obligate yourself in no way. Just your name and address on the enclosed
Reservation Card are all that is necessary. But your card must
be mailed right away!
Yours-for SERVICE,
Again this was a case of adapting an idea from the book
business, and showing that an idea that will sell one product
successfully is just as potent in moving others. The "Once
in a Blue Moon" announcement had been used in bringing out
a book of unusual interest. It worked even more successfully in announcing a new feature on a traveling bag, for
with this and a similar letter we sold another 50,000 traveling
bags
summer!
There were two or three details about this giant letter that
added materiall y to its pulling power. The
of the
cowhide was one. We found that putting it on the letter
added from 15 to 3 0 per cent to the number of orders.
The numbered special features, with arrows pointing to
each, helped, as did the "Plain Arithmetic" showing the savings. But probably most helpful of all was the $1,000
Reward that, with a picture of the bag, occupied the last page.
read:
204
A GIANT OF
$1,000 RETARD!
To Whom It May Concern:
WE WILL PAY
the sum of
to any person who furnishes us with specific
evidence proving that at any time in the history of American
prior to now, any luggage firm other
ourselves
has offered at any retail for less than $25.00 a traveling bag of:
Top "grain" cowhide, tanned by a special process that
makes it even tougher and longer
its frame of
pressed steel, with the new patented AUTOMATIC LOCK
that does away with all the bother incident to closing
ordinary Traveling Bag; its tough, lasting cowhide securel y sewed (never riveted) right through the steel frame,
then made doubly safe with the
lock-stitch; its sides
and ends oversized; its handles double, and the handle
one solid piece of cast brass-not wire pinched together; its hardware of solid brass; its lining of Printcess
Cord-a fabric so strong that it was woven in the old days
for a carriage cloth; its interior equipped with ten
lined, moisture-proof pockets that almost pack themselves.
guarantee that there has never before been sold in America
- perhaps we could
say in the entire world-a
ing bag of a like quality and convenience, equipped with all
these improvements, at anywhere near our price of $14.75.
These statements can be verified by comparison with the offerings of any luggage dealer in America.
This reward created more comment and
to
more
toward satisfying prospective buyers that the bag was all we
claimed than any other feature of the letter. It worked so
well that we used it later on other items such as raincoats,
overcoats, and the like. You will find it illustrated in a later
shirt letter.
While we were testing different letters on the traveling
bag, and before we had hit upon the successful giant form
appeal, we tried several other forms of bags, among them
Gladstone. This was a new product with us, so we decided
A GIANT OF THE MAILS
205
it was another chance to try the value of that "will you do me
a favor" appeal. It worked, of course. I have seldom
known it to fail. So we added something like 15,000 Gladstone bags to our 50,000 sale of regular traveling bags.
is the letter that did it:
This letter is purely personal and does not seek business.
Rather, it invites a courtesy from you, appreciating the fact that
if-in your considerate way-you can help another by a simple
act of politeness, you will do so-and gladly.
Here is the way of it:
For three years now, you know, we have been selling the famous
"Statler" Traveling Bag direct to the consumer at a saving of
a good many dollars from the usual retail price.
But many of our customers have written us that they want a
bag that will hold a couple of suits of clothes without wrinkling,
besides their clean linen, shoes, toilet articles, etc., in a size
that will fit easily under a Pullman berth, and of the right
weight for carrying by hand.
So this Spring we are bringing out a fine new "Gladstone" Bag,
made of genuine cowhide leather-so sturdy it will last a
a steel frame, with massive solid brass hardware,
sewed leather edges, and heavy leather corners.
But here, I believe, is the Biggest Improvement ever put
into any kind of Gladstone Traveling Bag. This new
Gladstone" has 8 handy pockets which give you a special
place for each of your toilet accessories--comb and brush,
shaving set, tooth brush and tooth paste-even your shirts,
pajamas, underwear, and collars!
Not
does it put
right at your finger tips.
the time. But
Not only can you pack your bag in
everything is kept separate! Your clothes are never
mussed or wrinkled. Bottles can't tip over, and even if one
breaks no harm is done, for each of the tidy pockets is rubber
anyone who wants an unusual piece of
Luggage,
built to endure, I don't believe he
find
this
206
A GIANT OF THE MAILS
At a very low
new "Gladstone" Bag for less than
price like $19.85, I believe these Bags will
like hotcakes."
But you know how it is in merchandising-you can never be
sure of such things until after you have sunk a lot of money
in them.
courtesy I want to ask of you:
I'd like to make sure of the demand-or lack of demandbefore we sink too much
in this new bag. So I'm writing to a number of our own customers to ask each of you this:
Will you try out one of these new "Gladstone" Bags for
me for a week-USE IT-take it on a trip, notice its convenience, its fine appearance-see how it compares with
that retail in stores for
And then write me?
Which brings me to
Needless to say,
send you a Bag you can be proud to take
with you to the most exclusive home or hotel-a Bag that in
appearance as well as quality and convenience will compare
Twentieth Century Limited.
with any you meet on
Just put your name and address on the enclosed "Special
Privilege Card" and I'll send you one of these new "Gladstone"
Bags by prepaid Parcel Post-to be used for a week at my
risk and expense- FREE
!
At the end of a week, if you should like the Bag so well that
you want to keep it, you can pay-NOTthe $30 or $35 you are
accustomed to paying in stores, BUT
SPECIAL I N T R O D U C T O R Y
PRI C E T O Y O U O F O N LY $19.85.
Otherwise just send it back at our expense, and in payment for
the week's use, tell me frankly your honest opinion of the Bag
and of its salability.
Naturally, however, your opinion will be of value to me only if
get it NOW-when the Vacation travel season is just opening
-before we definitely authorize the manufacture of any great
quantity of these new "Gladstone" Bags.
Won't you, therefore, fill in your name and address on the card
tonight if you can, and mail it? On second thought, better
mail it right away-while you have it in your hand-so there
will be no chance of forgetting it.
I thank you for your courtesy.
Yours for mutual cooperation,
I
A GIANT OF THE MAILS
I
I
207
One amusing feature of this sale was an experiment we
made with special delivery stamps. We filled in names and
addresses on 1,000 letters very carefully, and instead of the
usual 1- or 2-cent stamp, we sent the letters special delivery.
The results jumped from the 3 per cent we got on ordinary
postage to 9 per cent from the 1,000 special delivery letters.
That was too good to pass up, so
we made our entire mailing special delivery. Wow! What a roar
went up! When a man is wakened
out of a sound sleep late at night by
the ringing of his front door bell,
and stumbles down the steps to find
a messenger with a special delivery
letter, you can feel sure you have
his attention. Visions of sickness
and sudden death flit through his
mind. He tears open the envelope
in fear and trembling, reads a few
paragraphs, and finds that the onlv
thing wrong is that we want him to
try a new Gladstone. Oh, boy,
--what a feeling!
It was a good thing most of our customers lived a long
had time to cool off before they reached
distance away, so
But distance did not cool the letters they wrote. They
just about
off the hide! We did not try that again,
since, in the first
on the big run our orders dropped
to 6 per cent, and in the next we angered so many
customers that even double the number of orders would
have been worth the price.
summer there was
a
that did not go
Silk socks, shirts, underwear-everything we could
of in the line of men's wear.
A GIANT OF THE MAILS
Then we came into the fall and the coat season. Giant
letters had done so well on traveling bags that we decided to
try them on topcoats as well. Sure enough, they greatly outpulled the ordinary letter and circular, so we made our big
sale that fall with giant letters. Here is the one that did the
trick on topcoats:
D EAR SIR:
I'm writing you this
Letter" because I'm very anxious
to get your frank opinion concerning a new product which we're
just about ready to market. It's the "AnyWeather" Topcoat.
To attempt to produce a really fine-looking light overcoat of
all-pure-wool cloth at less than half the price that topcoats
usually sell for may strike you as presumptuous. It did me
at first-after fifteen years experience in the clothing line. Nobody had ever done it before. But along came a happy combination of circumstances. And I grew enthusiastic over the
job.
FebruWool, you know,
been high for a long time.
of June, it was selling for
ary it
the toboggan.
36% less than in February! Then it went up again. We were
watching it so closely that we got in almost at the very bottom.
With our wool costing about a third less, if we could only cut
the manufacturing cost as much, we could possibly afford to
sell all-wool topcoats for half the usual price-the sales would
be so big. And the factory tells us it CAN cut the costs if
we'll let them gear
to make as many as 20,000 Topcoats at
a run.
So I'm writing this "Giant Letter" to you and a number of other
representative men in different sections of the country to ask
you this:
Will you please look at one of the sample Coats the factory
has made up-try it on-WEAR IT FOR A WEEK at my
risk and expense--and then tell me what you think of it?
You see, I'm anxious to find out now-in advance of the Fall
season-how many of these coats I can hope to sell this Fall.
And it's on your opinion, and that of these few other selected
base my plans. Will you help me, please,
business men that
A GIANT OF THE MAILS
209
by using the enclosed card right away? If you think the
Weather" equal to or better than topcoats you've seen for $25
deeply appreciate your telling me so, and
be
or $30,
further
if you'll give me your judgment as to what selling price I should try to figure these coats down to, in order
to sell 20,000 of them in a single season.
If you
want to keep the sample "AnyWeather" after
your week's tryout, I'll make you a special INTRODUCTORY
PRICE
it of $14.85. Otherwise you can just return it at
my expense and accept my thanks for your courtesy and advice.
Will you try this out for me, and then drop me a line-as one
business friend to another?
Sincerely yours,
I
The inside pages showed a good looking, well-dressed man
wearing
top coat. The headline read, "This is the
Weather'--$14.85."
Under it was copy featuring the style,
the comfort, the convenience, and the good looks of the coat.
To bring out its rainproof qualities there were these paragraphs:
Wind? Rain? Sleet? What do they matter to the man who
wears an
Changes in the weather
emphasize its usefulness. Wind-proof and shower-proof, yet
to-the-minute in style, it's a coat for any weather.
For hidden in that soft gray, beautiful All-Wool cloth is a
shower-proof quality that sheds the hardest rain for thirty
minutes-yet clothes you with comfort and distinction as well.
Pleasant on mild days because of its lightness-dry and cozy
on stormy
because it repels cold and sheds water like a
duck's back-the "AnyWeather" is a Spring Topcoat of uncommon distinction, read y alike for shower and shine.
"$1,000 Reward" was featured on the last page, along
with a water-drip test calculated to prove to the most skeptical
the coat was really rainproof.
When we came to overcoats, however, we found the giant
bit
We had been working it too hard. So we
to the letter and circular and had our usual
210
sale of overcoats.
best:
A GIANT OF THE MAILS
The following is the letter that worked
Coats that Will LastIn a Sale that
Here is one of those "Specials" that we let our customers and
friends in on every once in a while.
Wool, you know, has been high for a long time. This Spring
it hit the toboggan. At the end of May it was selling for fully
36% less than in February. Now it is back up again.
But while it was down, we got in our orders with the Mill
for enough fine, double-texture all-wool cloth for 4,000
"KeepWarm" Overcoats! We tried to get more, but the
Mills wouldn't tie themselves up for any bigger quantity at
this low price.
Then during the Summer, when the factory would otherwise
have been idle, we had them make up these Coats in this Winter's new model, with its long, flowing lines, set off by broad
lapels and deep patch pockets.
The result is that, while in style, in workmanship and in fabric
these Coats are as fine as any we have ever offered, we can sell
The equals, mind you, of coats
them to you for only
we have sold in the past for up to $40.
And that isn't all. So sure are we of their unusual value that
you one of the coats themselves-in your own exact
we will
SEE,
EXAMINE,
ACTUALLY TRY OUT AND
W E A R FOR A W EEK at our risk and expense!
There is only one string to this offer-one condition of any
kind. You must use the enclosed Special Reservation Card at
once. Naturally, bargains such as these will be snapped up
quickly. We got only enough cloth for 4,000 coats. We
couldn't get any bigger quantity without paying a lot more
money for it. When these 4,000 coats are gone, the sale closes.
All you have to do is pencil on the card how tall you are,
much you weigh, and what size collar you wear. By return
mail, your "KeepWarm" Coat will come to you-not merely in
your exact size, but in the right length for a man of your
height and weight. No money. No risk. No obligation.
A GIANT OF THE MAILS
211
But use the card today! Cards received too late will be acknowledged with a note of regret, for we have only 4,000 of
these good "KeepWarm" Overcoats to sell at this special price,
and it may be years before such a happy combination of circumstances occurs again.
In between the mailings on these more important products,
we sent out small efforts on such items as woolen socks,
underwear, bathrobes, and so forth, most of which did well
enough, but not to be compared in volume with the sales of
coats and bags.
To show you the limitations we labored under, one of the
things we tried was trunks. We got the orders all right, but
the trunks were so bulky we had to ship them by freight. It
was a couple of weeks, on the average, before the customer
received his order, and by that time he was so disgusted with
our service and the trunk was so scarred from handling that
he fired it right back to us. So we never proceeded beyond
the test.
times we tried clocks, watches, and the like, too, but
found that mechanical defects caused so many complaints and
returns that they took too much of our time. So we dropped
them.
For Christmas we had our perfume offer from the previous
year's test, so we merely tried a few other items with an eye
to the following year. Remembering what a sale we had had
on traveling bags in the summer, you would hardly think
would make a good Christmas offering, yet of
the
tests we made, the following on traveling bags pulled the best
CUSTOMER:
"What on earth shall I give him?"
the
Christmas gift for business associate,
brother, or son is a
problem. You want to
212
A GIANT OF THE MAILS
your
into the present, to give something that
sesscs individuality, something that will be a pleasant reminder
of your thoughtfulness for years to come.
We know how you feel, and for you we have a gift that will
please any
You know how every man admires a really fine Traveling Bag.
Most Traveling Bags are just plain carry-alls. You dump
everything into the bottom of the bag, and then you
through the mass for what you want.
Marks
All of that
been done away with in the new "Statler" Bag.
Along one side of the bag are 8 moisture-proof pockets for your
every toilet need. Along the other are three long, deep pockets,
for shirts, ties, handkerchiefs, underwear, papers, etc., leaving
the whole bottom free to pack clothing or bulky objects. It is
the biggest improvement, we believe, that has been made in
Traveling Bags in twenty years.
And now a new improvement has been added-a
A U T O M ATI C L O C K that does away
the bother incident
I
I
A GIANT OF THE MAILS
213
to opening or closing the old Traveling Bag. Lock and clasp
all spring open at the mere pressure of your thumb. And
close the same way. They are AUTOMATIC-and they are SAFE!
For a really distinctive gift, I don't believe you can find the equal
of the "Statler" within $10.00 of its price. Certainly, if the
half of our customers' letters are to be believed, you cannot
find it in the luggage field.
So sure are we of this that we will gladly send one of the new,
improved "Statler" Bags to you-at our own risk and
a week's FREE TRIAL.
Send no money. Pay nothing on delivery. Just your name and
address on the enclosed "Special FREE-TRIAL" Card are all that
is necessary. But it will have to come in promptly, for we
had the factory make up only 1,000 of these new
"Statlers" specially for Xmas gifts, and they won't be working
on them again until after the Holidays.
While these 1,000 Bags last, we're going to make it-"First
come, first served!"
Sincerely yours,
marked the end of a successful year-the biggest and
most successful the company had yet had. It showed that
the
limit to its sales was the limit of its ingenuity in
presenting its sales appeal. That-and the number of names
it could lay hands on of people who had bought other products by mail.
XVIII
The Third Fifty Thousand
a contagious disease. The moment you
have broken one the urge comes upon you to show how much
better than that you can do, if
to prove that breaking the
first was no accident.
We had come to look upon our traveling bag sale as our
business indicator. Two years in succession we had sold
50,000 bags a year, besides the Gladstones and ladies' cases,
which went in no small volume. Could we do it another
year? Competitors were betting we could not. Toward the
end of the previous season they had introduced in luggage
stores all over the country a bag as like ours in appearance
as two peas in a pod, which they offered as a "Special" at
$1.00 less than our price!
Of course, it hurt our sale. This bag would have been
disastrous for us if it had appeared early in the season, since
the stores advertised it extensively. But our sale was almost
finished before theirs started. It gave us notice, however,
of what we might expect the following summer.
True, the other bag was made of shoddy material and
would not stand up under hard usage. But who was
know that merely by looking at it? On the outside it looked
less. What was
as good as ours. And it was priced at
RE CORDS
the answer?
The answer came from our tests of the previous year.
214
THE THIRD FIFTY THOUSAND
215
Looking over the records, we found that the tests we had
mailed on traveling bags in late January and February had
done just about as well as the same circulars mailed in June
-which was the best part of the regular traveling bag season!
So we stole a march on our competitors. While they
were making preparations for all the things they were going
to do to us in the summer, we got out our big mailings on
traveling bags in February! And we sold more than half of
our 50,000 quota !
When the regular season came, we mailed a few tests, of
course, just to see if we could sell some more then, and found
that our competitors' tactics had done just what we expected
-made orders so hard to get that it did not pay us to make
a mailing. So we let traveling bags rest all through the
season. Then, when the others' campaigns were all over, we
started again, and before the end of the year we had disposed of the last of our 50,000 bags!
That was putting one over on them! Yet we did it with
the simplest, most ordinary of letter appeals. Here is copy
of one of them:
DEAR SIR:
Only once in 50 years comes a Luggage improvement like this:
with the locks
You know how often you have had to
and snap on your Traveling Bag. You know how they catch
at times-how you have to use both hands and knees to get
them closed?
Here is a new Traveling Bag frame that does away with all
that bother. Lock and catches are in one piece-and they
are AUTOMATIC! Snap the lock and you snap them all!
A more convenient, a better-looking frame has never, we believe,
been devised. So simple that any child can work it, so easily
operated that it snaps open or shut at the mere pressure of your
thumb and forefinger, it is still so safe that it defies the
cleverest thief.
I N ADDITION, this new model
Bag has
216
THE THIRD FIFTY THOUSAND
the improvements that made the "Statler" Bag famous-the
genuine cowhide leather, so tough it will last forever, the double
handles, the solid brass hardware, the ten handy,
proof pockets that almost pack themselves.
Naturally, these new bags cost a good deal more to make than
the old ones. So the price must go up. But on the first bags
to come from the factory we are going to make the same low
price as on the old model "Statler" Bag-only $14.75 delivered
to you!
This price holds good only on the first bags. It is subject to
withdrawal at any moment. We make it in order to introduce
these new model bags quickly, knowing that with them, to be
seen is to sell.
The '(FREE-TRIAL Card" has been numbered and recorded. If
mailed at once, it will bring you, without one cent of cost or
obligation, a new model
Bag for a week-to be seen,
to be examined, to be TRIED OUT and
for a week at our
risk and expense.
But you will have to mail it right away.
Yours-if you are prompt,
But don't imagine we were idle while the regular traveling
bag season was on. Starting in late January, when we mailed
our first tests on the bag, we sent nearly 18,000,000 circulars
of one kind and another during that year. And these brought
in gross orders in the neighborhood of $6,000,000.
After the traveling bags, we sold "AnyWeather Topcoats"
-scads of them. There seemed no end to the number of
topcoats the market would absorb. We sold them profitably
each spring. We sold them twice as profitably each fall.
And then the next year would roll around, and we would do
the same thing over again.
Here is the letter and circular we used this time. It is the
last we shall give on topcoats because, although we changed
their tenor and form, the idea behind the later ones remained
much the same.
THE THIRD FIFTY THOUSAND
217
DEAR CUSTOMER:
I am going to send you within the next few days one of our
famous
Topcoats.
This "AnyWeather" Topcoat is probably not like any Topcoat
you have ever had before because:
1. The cloth in the "AnyWeather" Topcoat is not only
wool. It is full-weigh$ wool-16 ounces to the yard.
2. The
Topcoat is designed like the latest
imported English Topcoats-therefore stylish right up to the
minute.
3. The "AnyWeather" Topcoat is carefully tailored in every
detail. The lining of genuine Lustra-serge makes the coat slip
on and off easily.
4. But here's the biggest difference: The
Topcoat is shower-proofed so it will withstand thirty minutes of
steady rain.
I am going to send this coat to you-with no obligation on your
part-for you to examine and actually see the difference between it and the Topcoat you now wear.
There's just one thing-I can't send the coat until you tell me
three simple measurements. Just your height, weight, and
collar-size. You can do that in a jiffy on the enclosed postcard.
When I send the "AnyWeather" Topcoat, there's absolutely no
obligation on your part to pay for it. You can return the coat
for A N Y reason, or for no reason at all.
But Here's the Most
Part
If you find the "AnyWeather" Topcoat is everything I say about
it (and you're to be the sole judge), how much would you expect to pay for it?
No sir, that's what
expect
to pay for cheap
Topcoats. $25 to $45-the price that
most good Topcoats sell for nowadays? That's more like it.
Well-if you decide to keep the
Topcoat, you
need send me
$14.85. That's the entire cost to you.
How can we do it? First, we hit the wool market just
wool was down a few months ago, and placed our order
for 60,000 yards of this fine all-wool cloth. This was probably the largest order ever
for one kind of Topcoat
and a tremendous saving was made. Second, we had the
218
THE THIRD
FIFTY THOUSAND
factory make up more than 20,000 coats from this cloth all at
once. We could thus take advantage of great savings in production.
Then, of course,
you deal direct with us by mail, you pay
none of the costs of selling through Jobbers and Traveling
Salesmen who call on dealers, to say nothing about the heavy
costs of ordinary retailing.
Just fill out the enclosed card and shoot it back. The
Weather" Topcoat will come by Parcel Post (prepaid, of
course) with no obligation for you to keep it. You can't lose
a penny. I'm the one who is asking to send the coat. Won't
you let me?
Yours for "Any Weather,"
The 6- by 9-inch circular showed a picture of a fine-looking
topcoat on the first page, with the headline "Two tests of a
good coat." The next page showed the coat being tested for
its water-proof qualities, while the opposite page illustrated
its style and fine appearance. The headline on the former
was, "Will It Stand This?" continuing on the latter "And
Still Be Dressy?" "20 drops of water a minute," read the
copy under "Will It Stand This"; "that is our laboratory test
for shower-proofing."
Each drop falling on exactly the same spot.
would be penetrated at the third drop.
Ordinary fabrics
But every
Topcoat is shower-proofed by a
process that enables it to withstand this test for at least 20 drops
in exactly
spot! It will keep out a steady rain for
half a n hour or more. Y o u can throw a bucket of water over
it, and not one drop will come through!
For the "Dressy" page, the copy read:
In the early days of Spring, you are alternately baked
warm sunshine, soaked by sudden showers, bitten by cold
winds.
Yet a man wants to look well-dressed, no matter what the
weather. He wants to be comfortable, too.
.
THE THIRD FIFTY THOUSAND
219
The
Topcoat is All Wool-therefore durable.
It is light and yet weather-proof-therefore comfortable. It is
made of a soft beautiful gray cloth, rich in appearance and
designed like the latest imported English Topcoats-therefore
stylish. Just the sort of a coat a man wants when the weather
is changeable.
All the style and warmth of an imported Topcoat. All the
of an ordinary raincoat. Distinctive in cut, material,
and design. Light and pleasant on mild days. Dry and cozy
on stormy days. Rain can drench-but never hurt it. Sunshine can bake-but never shrink it. Because it is made of
pure wool cloth-all wool, and 16 full ounces to the yard.
The remaining pages pointed out special features, the reasons why we were able to make the price so low, the huge
range of sizes and lengths, and the week's free trial.
Then came shirts. The previous fall we had tested the
giant letter on shirts and received such good response that we
decided to make a big mailing at the first opportunity. And
spring is the best time to sell shirts. So we made our mailing.
And a goodly part of our quota of 340,000 shirts was hung
up then and there. Here is the letter that did it:
Before the Price Goes Up!
A short time ago one of
old, reliable mills that makes the
finer qualities of woven Madras for shirts began sending out
S. calls.
They had
their plant going
for months, thinking
that the usual demand would easily take care of their excess
output.
with the weather so generally unseasonable, the usual
demand didn't materialize. And there they were, heavily overneeding money.
we would take all their surplus stock of the finer grades of
Madras, amounting to a quarter of a million yards, they
to let us have them at away below any price we had ever
220
THE THIRD FIFTY
paid for shirtings in all our years in business-at
less than
they could make the materials and sell them today.
We took them-the whole quarter-million yards-at a tremendous saving in cost. There were five different patterns-as
fine looking as any we've seen.
By
all our efforts on these five desirable patterns
and selling five shirts to a box (just as they are originally packed
in the factor y ), we can offer these
Madras Shirts
delivered right to your door at only $7.95 for the five, postpaid.
A Bargain Y o u M a y Never Get Again!
Of
quarter-million yards of fine woven Madras we got at
this low price, nearly two-thirds are gone. The rest won't last
long.
If you will drop the enclosed card in the mail at once,
our
range of sizes is still complete, we will send you a box of these
fine
at our o w n risk and expense for a week's inspection
FREE! Delay-and we don't believe you will be able to find
their equal at a third higher price.
Send no money-pay nothing on delivery. Just tell us how
tall you are, how much you weigh, and what size shirt you
usually wear. Then sit back and watch results!
But you will have to mail the card right away, for at the rate
orders are now coming in, these fine Madras shirts will all be
gone in another couple of weeks.
bargain appeal, of course.
What was it sold these?
is of no use unless you
it convincing.
But a bargain
We had a real reason for our bargain, so it succeeded. And
we backed up the bargain with seven points, which showed the
buyer that despite
low price, he was getting every feature
of a fine shirt.
That is even more essential, you know, than the bargain,
though low price is a lure, it never gets far unless backed
reasonable quality.
the summer we followed up
a sale of broadcloth
shirts,
they went
better than the Madras. With
will notice,
sales talk was aimed more at corn-
THE THIRD FIFTY THOUSAND
221
and fine appearance and quality than at any bargain
Of course, we always had in the back of our minds
the fact that no man is going to the trouble of sending away
for things he can just as well get around the corner unless he
that he can save money by so doing. So we never failed
to bring in the money-saving angle. But many times our most
successful pieces were those on which we sold the quality or
comfort or usefulness of the product, and then brought in the
saving of money as an afterthought.
In every nian's wardrobe is some particular article-a tie, a
shirt, or a suit-that he likes best to wear, because he looks
best and feels his best in it.
Broadcloth
That's the way you'll feel about these
Shirts-once you've worn one of them.
BroadIn the past couple of years, you know, fine quality
cloth shirts have taken the place of silk as the finest "dress up"
attire for men.
Shirt is imported from
The Broadcloth in the new
England, where the finest Broadcloth is now made. It is snowywhite in color, with a lustre that rivals that of silk, and it has
a subdued softness of texture that one loves to feel.
There is no way of duplicating the rare lustrousness, the durability of this genuine imported English Broadcloth.
No imitation can tailor so superbly, can retain its snowy whiteness and silky finish after repeated launderings, as can the
English cloth.
An
We Can Never
Again!
Last Spring, when Sterling Exchange was low, we contracted
English Broadcloth for 10,000 shirts. It
for enough fine
was necessary to place that large an order to secure this fine
at the lowest possible figure.
Now Sterling Exchange has gone up to par, and the indications
that it will stay there-or above! If we had waited until
to order, these shirts would probably cost us-in wholesale
quantities-little less than the price we can now offer them to you
222
THE THIRD FIFTY THOUSAND
in lots of one-third dozen (just as they are originally packed
in the factory)-only $7.95 for four shirts, postpaid.
But 10,000 shirts don't go far among our more than 300,000
customers. Already half of them are gone. The remainder
won't last long. If you will drop the enclosed card in the mail
at once, we will send you a box
dozen) of these fine shirts
at our own risk and expense for a week's inspection FREE!
Send no money-pay nothing on delivery. Just tell us how
tall you are, how much you weigh, and what size shirt you
usually wear. Then sit back and watch results!
But you will have to mail the card right away, for at the rate
orders are now coming in, those 5,000 will be gone in another
couple of weeks.
Hastily yours,
The first page of our circular is shown in the cut on page
223. The inside pages elaborated on the "7 Things to
Watch":
There are seven things to look for when you buy a shirt,
seven points of excellence that distinguish fine-quality shirts
from the ordinary kind.
1. The Neckband. Should be concave shape, to insure perfect
fit around the neck, and avoid the bulging that results from the
usual "straight-edge" band. And non-shrinkable-that is essential. Of 96 x 100 thread-count cambric, with beaded edge to
prevent chafing. Most neckbands are made of left-over shirt
material, by the shirt manufacturers themselves. The
bands on "LongWear" English Broadcloth Shirts are made by
a concern which makes a business of manufacturing neckbands
only, and of doing it pre-eminently well.
2. Chest. Extra width across chest makes for free play of
arms and shoulders. "LongWear" English Broadcloth Shirts
have two and one-half more yards of material per dozen in
them than is used in ordinary shirts.
armpits keeps the shirt from
3. Armpits. Extra depth in
"pulling" when you raise your arm. The sleeves, too, of
Wear" English Broadcloth Shirts are extra wide.
4.
Of Ocean Pearl. They cost more than freshwater, but look better and last longer. "LongWear" English
THE THIRD FIFTY THOUSAND
223
Broadcloth Shirts have six buttons down the front instead of
the usual five, to prevent any
of unsightly gaping.
And the buttons are unusually large.
5. Box Pleat. Extends all the way down the front instead
of stopping under the last button, as in ordinary shirts. No
matter how much your shirt may pull up, the finish on it is just
the same-as good-looking at the very bottom as at the top.
6. Side Seams. Made extra long, so the shirt stays put when
you are wearing a belt.
7. Tails. The tails of "LongWear" English Broadcloth Shirts
are cut full around instead of triangularly shaped, as in most
shirts. There is body to them. They stay put.
Notice one thing in all these circulars. There is never any
choice in quantity or price or any other essential feature.
Occasionally we gave a choice of color, or, in the case of
style. But when we
shirts, of collar-attached or
did so, we made no mention of this in the letter. We put it
inconspicuously on the order card.
The reason for this we have explained before. There is
one way you can sell a man by mail. That is to get him
act at once. Nine times out of ten, the deferred order is a
224
THE THIRD FIFTY THOUSAND
lost order. You get a few of them, of course, but they are
not worth counting on. So we never intentionally put anything into a letter that would cause a man to hesitate. We
centered our talk on one article, of one quality and design,
one price. Where there was a group of articles, as with
shirts and socks, we offered a definite number at a group price.
Never a choice-"Would you rather have this?" or "Do you
think that would be preferable?" We centered our whole
appeal upon the one unit, and stood or fell by that.
In the old days, the company had enclosed with many of its
letters a circular offering a dozen other allied products. We
were able to prove by conclusive tests that although this
method brought a greater number of orders, the actual volume
of sales was not so big as when we specialized on a single
product. So for a while we confined our efforts to one
product at a time.
Then came the time when we took on some women's and
household products, and it occurred to
that as long as we
were writing the head of the household about something for
himself it might be a good idea to enclose something he could
hand to his wife. But it had to be done in such a way as not
to
one iota of his interest away from the product we were
trying to sell him. So again we adopted an expedient of the
book business and put a separate sealed envelope in with our
regular circular. On the outside was some catch-phrase indicating that it was for the wife
inside was a separate
letter and circular describing blankets or linens or towels or
lingerie.
That is the one way I have ever seen in which you can sell
two separate and unrelated products in a single envelope,
without interfering with the pulling power of your main offer.
It added not merely to the number of orders received, but
the volume of actual sales. It worked so well that it has been
in use ever since.
THE THIRD FIFTY THOUSAND
225
This technique was just one of the things we discovered that
year. In the summer we sold some 30,000 pairs of men's
silk socks. Here is one of the letters that did this:
DEAR CUSTOMER:
Do you know how to distinguish pure Silk Socks from "loaded"
or "fibre" silk? There are three ways:
1. By fire test. Pull out a loose end of silk and touch a match
to it. If "loaded" or "fibre," it will burn with a flash and leave
a white or grayish ash. If pure silk, it will curl up and leave
a round black ash.
2. By water test. "Fibre" silk, when wet, will easily pull
apart. Pure silk, wet, is stronger than ever.
3. By feeling test. "Fibre" and "loaded" silk both have a
hard, slick feeling; a flashy, glossy
appearance. Pure silk is soft and
yielding to the touch, with a subdued lustre all its own.
By fire test, by water test, by
feeling test-and by the final test
of long, hard wear-"Longwear"
Silk Socks have established themselves among men who
and
regard value first as the standard of
quality.
And the quality is more than label
deep. It permeates every thread of
every sock. Just listen:
for
Japan
Steel
a. Made of pure thread Ja p an silk-and pure thread silk is
stronger, strand for strand, than steel wire!
b. The
in
hose is 11-strand-not 8- or
strand as in many silk socks that are priced merely to SELL.
c.
show that
of all socks wear out at the
toes first. That comes from wearing socks too small.
Wear" Silk Socks are made slightly oversize-not enough to
notice-just enough to keep that energetic big toe from stretching and pushing its way through.
d. The sole is double thickness for extra comfort, and heel,
226
THE THIRD FIFTY THOUSAND
toe, and top are reenforced with fine mercerized lisle for extra
wear.
For the man who seeks foot-ease, "LongWear" Socks give that
rare combination of ease, style, and long life-all at reasonable
price.
But that isn't all.
By selling these fine silk hose in wholesale lots of a dozen-the
same amount that hundreds of dealers buy at one time-with
none of the cost of jobbers, or traveling salesmen, or high store
rentals, we are able to give them to you at the low Direct-ByMail price of $7.95 for the dozen-only 60-some cents a pair.
And if you mail the enclosed card at once, while the season is
at its height, we will send the socks to you for a week's examination at our risk and expense.
Silk Hose on approval your card must
But to get
be mailed NOW!
Yours
then,
With this letter went a small, two-color circular, the front
of which is shown on page 225. On the inside pages, under
the heading
These Silk Socks Wear Longer," was the
following explanation :
Let's get
down to what makes a "LongWear" Silk Sock
below tell you what is put into
wear longer. The
our socks that makes them live up to their name-"Longwear."
1. Made of pure "thread" Japanese Silk-about the finest
and most expensive in the world. And pure silk thread is
stronger, size for size, than steel wire!
2. The thread used in knitting "LongWear" Silk Hose is
11-strand-making them heavy and rich looking. Many socks,
you know, are knitted with 9-strand thread, and chemically
"loaded" with tin to give the heavy, lustrous appearance. But
the chemicals eat the strength and life out of the silk. That's
"loaded" silk socks go to pieces so quickly. There is no
"loading"-no "fibre silk9'-no "imitation silk9'-in
Wear" pure thread silk Hose.
3. For extra wear, "LongWear" Socks are reinforced at sole,
THE THIRD FIFTY THOUSAND
227
toe, heel, and top with hard-wearing Lisle, and the sole is double
thickness for safety.
4. Knit-not stretched-to size. Gives you that snug-fitting
look around the ankles-and the fit is permanent.
5. Top--elastic Lisle, doubled. No garter runs there. Fast
colored with only the best dyes.
6. One of the biggest reasons why "LongWear" Silk Socks
offer such remarkable resistance to long miles of strenuous wear
is because the feet are made slightly oversize-not enough to
make the soles bulky, but just enough to keep toes and heels
from stretching too tight.
Investigations have shown that 99% of all silk socks give
way first at toe or heel. Making "LongWear" Hose a trifle
oversize has put an end to throwing away socks otherwise perfectly good, but with the heels or toes gone.
Don't judge these "LongWear" Silk Hose by the price. No
matter how much you've been paying heretofore, find out
whether these aren't better-looking, better-wearing silk hose.
The last page gave the reasons for the low price and
featured the free-inspection privilege.
Then there were the broadcloth shirts mentioned above,
and broadcloth underwear, and bathrobes, and several other
items. The bathrobes provided an amusing experience. We
had tested them earlier in the season, and the test had shown
up well enough to justify buying some 10,000 robes, with
slippers to match. But when we started to make the mailing,
results fell off badly. Probably the reason was that the time
to sell bathrobes is when the weather is cooler.
However this may be, we did not want to carry them over
until fall if we could help it, so we tried the device of offering
the slippers as a free premium if customers would send for
and try out the bathrobe! You would be surprised how
beautifully it worked. Those 10,000 robes melted away like
before the summer sun.
In the fall we ran all our usual products and a few extra
THE THIRD FIFTY THOUSAND
ones too. Fancy woolen socks were one of these latter. They
went over very well, and here is the letter that sold them :
I am rushing out to you the first news about one of those
"Specials" that we let our regular Customers in on once in a
This one is for the man who is used to paying a dollar a pair
for his hosieryOnly
time you need pay but
For the closely knit hosiery that you need for Fall and
enough wool in it to make it comfortable, just enough lisle to
keep it from shrinking. The design is woven in lustrous Rayon
to give that dressiness of appearance that is so essential.
As good looking, as long wearing, as comfortable hose as a man
would want to put on his feet. You'll never know what luxurious comfort a foot can enjoy on a bitter
day, until your
feet have snuggled into a pair of
Socks for Fall
and Winter.
Last year they sold in lots of places for $1.00 a pair. This year
we can offer them to you, in special wholesale lots of 8 pairs to
a pair-only $5.95 for
8.
a box, at the amazing price
Don't think this is going to be a regular thing! It is a special
offering. We have only a limited quantity to dispose of at this
astonishingly low price. You can imagine how long they will
last.
Don't decide now. You can do that later. Just drop the enclosed card in the mail and your 8 pairs will come to you for
a week's inspection FREE. Plenty of time then to see whether
you like them so well that $5.95 couldn't induce you to part with
them.
Cordially yours,
Topcoats, of course, did well, but when it came to bed
blankets, we again ran into one of those unaccountable cases
where conditions change considerably between the test and the
time of mailing; we found ourselves with 20,000 pairs of
THE THIRD FIFTY THOUSAND
229
woolen blankets on our hands, and the letter we had counted
on to move them was proving a "dud."
You would never guess how we got rid of them. I happened to be in the president's office one day when the stock
clerk came in to complain that the blankets were not well
wrapped and that the ends of many of them were getting dusty.
It brought to mind at once the good old damaged-set letter.
So we sent out a damaged-blanket offer. Would you believe
it-we sold not only those 20,000, but an extra 10,000 to
boot?
That
us into the overcoat season-quite the biggest
one we had ever had. And when you read the following
letter, you will surely see why:
DEAR DOCTOR:
Ever
I started this business, years and years ago, I've been
dreaming of the time
I could offer a
good
fine-lookine;, all-wool Overcoat for less than $20.
Not, mind you, a cheap coat. But a coat that you or I could
wear. A Coat we would be proud to be seen in anywhere. A
snug, warm all-wool Overcoat, such as you'd never expect to
meet with for less than $410 or $45.
Sounds impossible, I know, but
I
believe I've done it.
And to prove it, I'm going to send one to you for a week's free
examination and trial. Of course,
need to know your
and weight in order to be able to fit you accurately, but
you can easily give me these on the enclosed card.
I can't keep this up long, for it was only an extraordinary combination of circumstances that made this marvelously low price possible. And even then we got enough really
fine-quality cloth for only a few thousand coats.
While
last, you can SEE and TRY OUT one of them without
or obligation-merely by using the card.
you've ever bought its equal for double the price-just send
back, that's all. Otherwise mail us the special sale price of
$19.85,
230
THE THIRD FIFTY THOUSAND
No need to tell you that bargains like these won't last long.
first come, you know, is best served.
And
I hope you will mail your card today-now?
Sincerely yours,
That, with the Christmas sale, ended our biggest year, but
before closing this chapter, I want to give one more example
of the many products we tried out successfully, but abandoned
because of the difficulty of giving a proper fit. This one was
men's suits.
It is hard to imagine anyone who lives within a few blocks
of good department stores sending away out to a small town
for a suit of clothes. Yet that is exactly what happened. It
was not the rural districts that our orders came from. It was
from the towns and cities. And we got as many orders in
proportion to the number of names on our lists from big cities
like New York and Chicago as we did from so-called "hick"
towns.
Knowing that fact, perhaps the result should have been foreseen. We got the orders without difficulty, but we promptly
got back about 40 per cent of the suits almost as fast as we
sent them out. And the reason? Fit. It is comparatively
easy to fit a man in a topcoat or overcoat, but when it comes
to a suit he is far more particular. There are so many different places where it has to fit him, and if it fails in any of
these, it is a lost sale.
So we quickly gave up the sale of suits. But the letter may
be interesting merely as an example of successful sales literature:
Will you try this experiment?
Tear off the sample of "LongWear" Worsted from the inside
of the folder herewith. Pull out a few ravelings of wool from
one end.
THE THIRD FIFTY THOUSAND
Then cut a strip from the inside seam at the bottom of your
trousers and pull a few strands from it.
Notice the long, strong fibres in the "LongWear"sample-Virgin
wool-just as it comes from the sheep's back. Compare them
with the ones from your own trousers. See how many little,
short, broken looking ones there are among yours.
Wool-yes-but wool adulterated with "shoddy" taken from
worn out garments, ground up and used over again!
A "LongWear" label in your suit means that it is every thread
of pure Virgin wool-that it will not shrink or pucker or lose its
shape-that the collar has been hand-tailored to make it fit right
around the neck-that the sleeves have been hand-felled to make
them comfortable under the armpits-that in style, in fit, in
wearing quality, it will compare with any suit you have ever had
at any price!
Try to tear that bit of sample cloth. Ever see a piece as strong?
All the longest fibres of the Virgin wool are put aside, you know,
for spinning into Worsteds, for only the long, strong fibres can
be twisted into those compact, smooth strands. The result is
a weave so firm, so crisp of finish, that it will not merely resist
wear and tear, but will hold its shape and keep that new looking
lustre long after any other suit would have been thrown away.
But that isn't all!
Have you ever
into a suit in a retail store and been able
to walk right out with it without alteration of any kind?
and neither have many other men. That's because the stores
can carry suits in only 12 to 15 different sizes.
Where
have a few hundred or a few thousand customers,
however, we have 318,000. Where they can carry 12 to 15
sizes, we have
Suits in 90 different sizes and 10
different lengths!
That is the reason "LongWear" Suits fits you as though molded
to your form by your own tailor. That is the reason that the
few simple measurements given on the enclosed card are enough
to insure you a perfect fit.
The price?-$26.85.
And if you can match one of these suits anywhere at half as much
232
THE THIRD FIFTY THOUSAND
again-well, just send ours back, that's all. The wear you have
had out of it will not have cost you a cent!
You see, selling in such huge quantities as we do, we get not
merely the lowest manufacturing costs, without having to pay
commissions and profits to any middlemen, but we go beyond
that-we get the benefit of bed-rock prices on the cloth itself!
In short, we eliminate any needless middleman, selling direct
to you, saving you a good share of the price-and if we don't
give you as perfect fitting, as handsome looking clothes as you
could get from your own tailor, we don't want you to pay a cent.
To prove it, all you have to do is to fill in the few simple
measurements on the enclosed card, stamp, and mail. After
seven days you MAY return the suit-if you want to-and it won't
have cost you a cent!
Try it out! Never mind what we SAY about the value and fit of
out the form
easy. Just
OUT!
and mail it. No money-no obligation.
But mail it right away, if you can. For every Fall just about
October lst, we offer some such opportunity as this to some of
our old customers until a certain percentage of our output has
been booked up. Naturally, such opportunities are snapped up
quickly. So it is important that you mail the card at once.
Nothing to sign. Don't send any money. Just fill in the few
simple measurements on the card and mail. Your name's
already on it.
At your Service,
If ever there was a business that
price of
success, eternal alertness and vigilance, selling by mail is it.
The only thing about it you can be sure of is that you never
know what you can do until you try. So we tried anything
once. And some of the things we learned were surprising.
On the very day, for instance, that we read in a bulletin
from some convention the speech of an expert on advertising
and selling, in which he stated that no one but a fool would
try a certain form of mailing, our tests showed that this particular form added 35 per cent to the pulling power of our
God,
circulars! Reminds one of the man who prayed:
THE THIRD FIFTY THOUSAND
233
give me young men with brains enough to make fools of
themselves!
We determined early in the game that we would be guilty
of every sin in the Decalogue rather than the one unpardonable sin of knowing it all. So nothing was too bizarre for
us to try.
we even tried addressing every man on a list of
several hundred thousand customers by his first name, starting
our letter "Dear Jack," or "Dear Dick." This pulled a remarkable number of orders, but also angered so many customers that we were afraid the losses just about counterbalanced the gains. As a result, we bracketed this device
with the special delivery mailing under the heading "experience," and did not try it again.
But some of the experiments did not turn out so badly.
time our purchasing agent picked up a big bargain in
When we tried to sell them, we found why
were such a "bargain." That particular type of muffler just
was not selling that season. So the P. A. started to look
around for a place to "job" them. Meantime, just as an
experiment, and because we did not know any better, we put
a slip in with every overcoat we shipped, offering the
at a special low price. Instead of jobbing those on hand, we
had to look around for more
We tried different styles and sizes of envelopes and found
on one mailing that a picture of the town-which looked more
like a picture post card than anything else and had no relation
to the product we were offering-added some 10 per cent to
the orders!
Because it attracted attention and made
it easier for the reader to believe that a concern located in a
little town like that ought to be able to serve him more economically than stores paying high rents in big cities.
We tried pictures on the letterhead and found that the old
order letterheads showing the picture of the founder of
business, of which so much fun is made, have a sound
234
THE THIRD FIFTY THOUSAND
psychological reason back of them, and frequently they increase orders anywhere from 5 to 10 per cent.
We tried everything-metered mail against stamped ; precanceled stamps against plain; pen signatures against f
simile; fill-in against running heads; processed letters against
stencil and typewriter fill-ins; black ink against purple and
blue and red; printing through ribbon against type. And the
trend of all the tests seemed to be that anything which tended
to make your letter seem more personal added appreciably
to the number of your orders.
As an instance, testing the automatic typewriter, where the
name and address are written in as perfectly as though personally typed, against the ordinary fill-ins brought no extra
orders for the former-unless the reader's name also
worked into the body of the first page two or three times!
In other words, processed letters have become so perfect
that people do not pretend to distinguish them from typewriting. But still they do not believe such letters are personally typed unless they see some mention of themselves
down in the body of the letter. Then they will believe it is
personal. Then they will read it. As a rule, we found that
such use of the Hooven and similar devices doubled the
number of orders.
These were just a few of the tests we made. There were
literally hundreds of them. A book could be written about
them alone. But by the time it came out it would be of little
value. For the fascinating thing about this selling by mailthe thing that makes it impossible for any man or set of men
to know all about it-is that it is continually changing. What
you learn today you must unlearn tomorrow. You have
trying-and testing-and then just when you reach the
point where you can arise and state with authority: "This
you can do; that you cannot," along comes some darned
who knows none of the rules and sells a million on the very
plan you just said could not be worked!
XIX
Will You Accept This Little Gift?
I
I
one article for five or six
years, when you have pushed that sale so hard that you have
disposed of 50,000 a year for three years in succession, and
when competition on that item has become so keen that it has
come down to a cutthroat basis, it is time to see if you cannot
substitute some new item that will start the ball rolling all
over again.
At least that is the way we felt about traveling bags. So
for some time we had been testing a smaller edition of our
traveling bag, to sell at just about half the price. We called
it the
It reall y started as a doctor's bag. We had lined one side
of it with pockets to hold all sorts of small bottles and packets,
and the other side with three large pockets for papers, stethoscope, and the like; and since it was a new product, we had
tested it on doctors with our good old
the "Will you
me a favor?" letter. Here is the letter we used:
DEAR DOCTOR:
Will you do me a favor?
For several years now, you know, we have
Leather Bags by mail, at a saving of a good many dollars
from the usual retail price.
This year we have changed these bags so radically-arranged
the pockets and the inside so conveniently for Doctors-that I
235
WILL YOU ACCEPT THIS LITTLE GIFT?
honestly believe no Physician or Surgeon can
without wanting it for his own.
Just listen-
one
On one side of the bag, five moisture-proof pockets lined with
rubber. You can put a bottle of iodine or acid or
antiseptic solution into any of them without any fear of
will happen if the stopper comes out. On the other side, one
big long pocket the full width of
bag, containing four heavy
folders capable of holding your history sheets, prescription
blanks, call list, rubber gloves, etc. And the folders are easily
removable, so the pockets can be used for stethoscope or surgical
instruments.
The whole bottom of the bag left free for larger instruments and
bulky objects.
Adjustable lock, that opens or shuts at the mere pressure of
your thumb.
A more convenient bag for Physicians or Surgeons has never,
we believe, been designed, but you know
it is in merchandising-you can never be sure of such things until after you
in them.
have sunk a lot of
Which brings me to the favor:
I want to make sure of the demand-or lack of demand-before
we sink too much money in this new "HandiBag." So I've
to you with this favor:
Will you try out one of these new Doctor's "HandiBags" for
me for a week-USEIT-see how convenient, how time saving, how handsome it is? How it compares with bags you
then write me?
have bought at $12 or
Needless to say,
send you our newest and finest bag, made
of
outer "grain" cowhide-the kind that wears for years
-with a richness of appearance that will not look out of place
in the most exclusive home on the Avenue.
At the end of the week, if you should like the bag so well that
you want to keep it, you can send
the $12 or $15 you
would probably expect to pay for such a bag-BUT
INTRODUCTORY PRICE TO YOU, ONLY
Otherwise just send it back at our expense, and in payment for
WILL YOU ACCEPT THIS LITTLE GIFT?
the week's wear, tell me frankly your honest opinion of the bag
and its salability.
I am not making offers like this to everyone, so
whether you accept it or not, I should feel obliged if you would
return the card so as to insure against its falling into other hands.
Naturally, too, your opinion will be of value to me only if I get
it NOW-before we are definitely committed for any great quantity of these new model "HandiBags."
Won't
therefore, fill in your name and address on the card
TONIGHT, if you can? On second thought, better mail it right
away-while you have it in your hand-so there will be no
chance of forgetting it.
I thank you for your courtesy.
Yours for
co-operation,
The front of the "HandiBag" circular is shown i n the
tration o n page 238. Note that there was n o writing of
kind on this page. Inside, however, u n d e r the heading
You Tried This NEW Way?" was the following copy, along
with pictures of the bag and each of the particular features
described :
You know how often, when you get a hurry call and have to
things into your bag quickly, stoppers come out and
iodine or alcohol or acids get all over everything. Yet it's such
a bother to wrap up each bottle-and frequently you just haven't
the time.
The New Way
Now, it's no longer necessary. A real Doctor's
has at
last been designed that does away with all the inconveniences of
old "Carryall."
Made of the tough outer "grain"cowhide-the kind that wears
for years-its deep black leather and solid brass, gold-plated
give it a richness of appearance that will not seem out of
place in the most exclusive home on the Avenue.
But its unique value lies in the special arrangement of
the inside-the greatest improvement, we believe, that has
been made in a bag for the busy Doctor.
238
WILL YOU ACCEPT THIS LITTLE GIFT?
Here
What Does It
Five moisture-proof pockets, of different sizes, for Thermometer, Hypodermic case, Emergency and Ampule case, Antiseptic bottle, etc., line one side of the bag. On the other side
is one deep, flat pocket the full width of the bag containing four
heavy folders, for holding history sheets, prescription blanks,
call list, rubber gloves, etc. The folders are easily removable,
so the big pocket can be used for surgical instruments.
the pockets fold back flat and take up no room at all when
not in use. Even when full, they leave the entire bottom of the
bag free to pack bulky objects like gauze packets, Stethoscope,
Blood Pressure gauge, Syringe, etc.
The Little Important Points
Every "HandiBag" is made of none but outer "grain" cowhide-the toughest we have ever used. Put through a
tanning process that makes it wear and wear and WEAR!
WILL YOU ACCEPT THIS LITTLE GIFT?
239
Seams are sewed-not riveted-and then secured with the famous
lock-stitch. And all thread used on the outside is carefully
waxed.
The lock is of solid brass, and opens and shuts at the mere
pressure of your thumb. The framework of pressed steel. The
handles are double, and carefully rounded for easy carrying.
Handles first sewed, then riveted to the sides. The lining of
deep-twilled, long-wearing Printcess Cord, with the inside of the
lined with Hospital rubber.
The last page quoted letters of glowing praise from
who had tried the bag; it also emphasized the week's free tryout-no money, no risk, no obligation.
This letter and circular pulled well enough-around per
cent. On that basis our orders were costing us something
less than 90 cents apiece, which, on a $7.95 sale, meant a
selling cost of about 11%per cent. That was not bad, but it
was nothing to set the world afire, either. We were looking
for something that would go so well that it would more than
make up for the temporary slump of the regular traveling
bag. And presently we found it.
Looking over the past records one day, I came across the
letter in which we offered the bedroom slippers free if people
would send for the bathrobe, and it occurred to me that something of the same kind might be tried with the HandiBag.
You see, the bag was reall y so convenient and such a bargain
that we felt sure if we could once get it into a doctor's hands
would never let a little matter like $7.95 interfere with his
it. So we started looking around for a premium
would not cost us much, yet would have a universal appeal
doctor.
And in a circular that drifted to my desk a few days later
found the answer. The circular described a new machine that would die-stamp names in raised letters upon such
as fountain pens at a cost of to cents each.
could suit us better? Fountain pens are just about
240
WILL YOU ACCEPT
LITTLE GIFT?
as necessary to a doctor as his prescription pad, and they are
continually getting mislaid. What more welcome gift than
a fountain pen with his name die-stamped
it? We
try it at once.
So we wrote to each doctor:
Will you accept one of the new, large-size, self-filling Fountain
Pens, with your name die-stamped upon it in raised letters, in
favor I want you to do?
The favor is a
return for a
simple one, pleasant and easy to render. Here is the way of it:
And then we went on with the rest of the "Will you do me
a favor" letter given above.
Did that pull? Does honey draw flies? Instead of per
cent our new letter brought in 12 and 1 4 per cent of orders!
We worked our entire list of doctors. We changed the letter to make it suitable for our regular customers and worked
them too. In the first two months of that year we sold 60,000
The circular was about the same as that used
on the doctors, except for the different cover shown on page
241. Here is the letter, without the fountain pen premium,
as changed for the regular customer list:
DEAR F RIEND:
Before giving this offer wide publicity, we are
it before a
number of men whose judgment we value, with a request that
they pass judgment upon the idea.
For four years now, you know, we have been selling the famous
"Statler" Bag-the greatest improvement, we believe, that has
been made in Traveling Bags in the past 20 years.
But many friends wrote us that they had no need for as large
a bag as the
all they wanted was a sturdy, conveniently arranged bag for overnight or weekend trips. Couldn't
we give
a bag made along the same lines as the
of the same long-wearing cowhide leather, and with the same
handy interior arrangement-but somewhat smaller
and at about half the price?
We can-and
we can only be sure of the demand
WILL YOU ACCEPT THIS LITTLE GIFT?
241
these smaller-sized, lower-priced bags before we sink a lot of
money in them by putting them on the market in a "big'' way.
So I have come to you as a past customer of the house to ask if
you will be good enough to help us out by giving us the benefit
of your judgment on this new "HandiBag."
Will you try out one of these new
for us for
a week-at our expense, our risk? Take it with you on a
trip. Put it to any test you can think of. And then write
us?
Needless to say, in both appearance and quality
"HandiBag"
one you can feel proud of anywhere.
inches long by 7 inches wide and 12 inches high, it is made
tough outer
cowhide-the kind that wears for years
a shiny steel frame. Its deep, black leather, its carefully
seams, and its heavy, gold plated lock give it a richness
appearance that will not seem out of place in the most exclusive home.
WILL YOU ACCEPT THIS LITTLE GIFT?
But its unique value lies in the special arrangement of pockets
on the inside-the feature that more than all else has made the
"Statler" Bag so popular. These little pockets give you a speplace for your every toilet need. Not only that, but if
tooth-paste happens to leak or a stopper come out of a bottle,
no harm is done, for these handy pockets are each one lined
with moisture-proof hospital rubber !
All we want you to do is try out this new
for a
week. If at the end of that time, you should like the bag so
well that you want to keep it for yourself, you can send usN O T the $12 or $15 you would expect to pay for a genuine cowhide bag in a store-but our special Introductory Price to youONLY
$7.95.
Otherwise all that is necessary is just to ship it back in its original container at our expense, and in payment for the week's
use, give us your judgment of its salability.
Naturally, we are not making offers such as this to everyone.
Naturally, too, your advice will be of value to us only if we
can get it soon-before the vacation season opens up.
Won't you, therefore, mail the enclosed card today? Better still,
put your name and address on it NOW-while it's right before
you, while you need but reach for your pen or pencil and then
drop the card in the outgoing mail.
I thank you for your courtesy.
Yours for mutual cooperation,
Although this was one of the most profitable sales we had
ever run, it proved to be indirectly the cause of the greatest
debacle the company ever experienced.
Sometime before, I had started a little publishing
of my own, and it was taking so much of my time that I felt
I had best give up my out-of-town "consultant's" work. So
after the HandiBag campaign was successfully under way
withdrew. I am lucky to be able to say that, because probably I would have been as easy a victim of the new idea as
were the others. Here was the way of it:
I had never been able to sell to women on a large scale
I
I
WILL YOU ACCEPT THIS LITTLE GIFT?
243
as with men. Special lists, like the women on our customer
lists, or the wives of customers, or especially-good mail buyers, I could write circulars for and show as good a profit as
with men. But when it came to picking up lists of women
by the hundred thousand and the million, I had never been
able to write anything that would bring back the orders in
volume.
But when the HandiBag went over so successfully on a
appeal, it occurred to some bright soul that women
were even more susceptible to free offers than men, so why
not pick some likely woman's product and put over a big
sale on it?
Sounded reasonable, and except by chance I am sure I
would have fallen for it as readily as did the others. Be
that as it may, they scouted around for a suitable product and
finally hit upon silk stockings. They wrote to miscellaneous
lists of women:
D EAR M ADAM:
Will you accept a pair of beautiful silk stockings, pure thread
silk from top to bottom, in return for a little favor I want
to do?
The favor is a simple one, pleasant and easy to render. Here
is the way of it:
I am going to send you in the next few days a box of six
pairs of the finest pure silk stockings, in the newest pastel shades.
When
arrive, look them over, pick out the pair you like
best, and put it on; actually wear it for a day; then wash it and
wear it again.
If you don't agree with
that it is as fine a pair of silk
as you have ever had on your feet-if in lustre and
and wear it is not the
of any you can buy in stores
price-keep that pair as my gift and return the box with
the other five pairs at my expense.
course, there was more to the letter than that, but those
the salient points. Did it pull? I leave you to guess.
244
WILL YOU ACCEPT THIS LITTLE GIFT?
In three months' time it brought orders for more than
pairs of silk stockings!
For a while it looked as though all we had done in the past
was merely the efforts of "pikers." On a single product,
going to people we had never been able to sell successfully in
any large way, orders came in amounting to more than
000. Then came the "morning afterv-and oh, what a
for a time as though the whole works
headache! It
were going by the board. Talk about the time we stood
in the red on the first of June! That was mere
"chicken feed." It looked as though the firm stood to lose
three or four times that now!
I had a hurry call to drop everything and come up for a
couple of months at any price. I found that of the more than
100,000 boxes of stockings shipped, 72 per cent were being
returned, minus one pair in each box, and of the balance,
accounts were uncollectible.
A sad enough prospect, truly, but when we tried to "job"
those returned stockings it looked even more so. We could
get even half the price that had been paid for them.
One-fourth was the best we were offered, and to add that
tremendous loss to the amount already dropped on the sale
would almost swamp everything. So we decided that we
would have to sell the stockings by mail. And at a price that
would leave us at least a slight profit.
This was some undertaking, I think you will agree. Selling 360,000 pairs of silk stockings is a hard enough job at
best, but when you have just worked all your available lists
such as the one that had been used, and when
on an
those stockings are "returns," it makes the difficulties
almost insurmountable.
But it is surprising what you can do when you have
We had to sell those stockings. So we did! Though it took
WILL YOU ACCEPT
GIFT?
245
every different kind of "sale" I had ever heard of and some
I had not.
To begin with, we sat down and wrote every manner of
sales appeal on stockings that we could think of. Then we
tried them all-some twelve or fourteen of them. Of the
lot, four pulled surprisingly well! So we took them in order
and used each on our entire available list about a month
apart. By the end of the year the stockings were gone, and
instead of a tremendous loss, we showed for the year's efforts
a net profit of $18,000.
That looked pretty
after the big figures we were accustomed to, but any sort of black figures looked good to us
then. It had been hard scratching, and we were thankful
enough to be so well out of it.
To give you an idea of the endless methods we had used:
We had never been able to sell to teachers. But someone
suggested that we offer them a special discount in return for
their giving us the names of five parents who would make
prospects for our silk stockings. The result was that
list at a fair profit but disposed of
we not only sold this
a
number of stockings to teachers, making a slight
profit here as well!
Then we happened to be moving into new quarters, so of
course we used that to stage "The first removal sale in our
history." From that we went on to a
sale, a combination sale--every kind of sale, in short, except a fire sale.
And if the new building had not been so fireproof, we might
have been tempted to have one of those too.
We managed to get out with a whole skin. But it was a
shave.
That is one of the great things about selling by mail. It
you up one day so you think you are the greatest thing
two feet. The next, it pricks the bubble and lets you down
246
YOU ACCEPT THIS
GIFT?
with a dull, heavy thud. Talk about a little knowledge being
a dangerous thing! A little knowledge can drop money
faster selling by mail than gambling in the stock market.
And yet, properly run, there is no safer business on earth.
You need never risk anything but the cost of a test. For
instance, when Wells' Outline of History was offered to the
publishers for whom I was then working, they didn't need to
say: "All right, we'll gamble on that," or "We can't afford
to risk that much money." No indeed! All they said was:
"Give us a sixty-day option and we'll find out!" So they
gambled the cost of a couple of tests, found that they could
sell so many sets to each thousand names they circularized,
multiplied that by the number of names available, and knew
just what they could safely contract to do.
There were no manufacturing costs, no inventories to worry
about, no commitments. If the test had been a failure, they
would have bought enough of the bookstore edition to fill
the orders received and been out nothing but the small cost of
the tests. If the bookstore edition had not been available,
they would have returned all money received, notified those
who ordered that circumstances made it impossible to go
ahead with the project, and closed the matter. Is there any
other business where future projects can be forecast with
such certainty and at such small expense?
One Million Dollars' Worth of Orders
in the First Six Months
we mentioned how easy it is to try
the sale of any article by mail and how safely the selling
can be forecast. It was this that tempted us
into starting a little publishing business of our own.
For a long time I had had the idea for a set of books on
practical psychology. Like most such ideas, it seemed likely
that it would stay in the back of my mind, nothing ever to come
of it. Until one day we got an idea for a sales letter that
would sell such a book! That was a different matter. Sales
letters were our daily bread and butter. Sales letters were
unlike books in that when you got an idea for one of them,
you used it! So I got that one down on paper as quickly as
might be.
Even in the cold
of the next morning it looked good.
In fact, it looked so good that I decided to try a few thousand
as a test. Of course, the books were still in nebulous form.
but I knew what they were going to contain (when and if
issued) so I proceeded to outline all of that in my letter
and circular. Then I mailed 1,000 to each of ten different
Here they are!
THE LAST CH APT ER
Would you like to see $1.00 grow to $60.00-$8.00 grow
$500.00-by next April?
247
248
ONE MILLION DOLLARS' WORTH OF ORDERS
Let me tell you how:
I am going to send within the next few days a set of seven little
books.
These books are probably not like any you have ever seen
before because:
1. They are about YOU!
2. They show you that you have been using but a small part
of your real abilities-that back in your "subliminal mind," as
the scientists call it, is a sleeping Giant who, awakened, can
carry you on to fame and fortune almost overnight! A
of-your-Brain as powerful, as capable of satisfying your every
wish, as was ever Aladdin's wonderful Genie-of-the-Lamp of old.
3. They make your Day Dreams, your visions of wonderful
achievement, of fortune, health, and happiness-COMETRUEnot five, ten, or fifteen years from now, but TODAY!
I am going to send these little books to you-with no obligation on your part-for you to read and ACTUALLY TRY OUT for a
week at my risk and expense.
But-there's just one thing-I don't want to send them without
first getting your permission. You can grant that in a moment
on the enclosed special "Courtesy Card."
When I send the books, there's absolutely no obligation on your
part to pay for them. You can return them for A N Y reason, o r
for no reason at all.
But
the Most Important Part:
If you find these little books are everything I say about them
(and you're to be the sole judge), how much would you expect
to pay for them!
That's what
ordinary courses, which merely promise to show you how to do
some special kind of work, cost you. Certainly if this one will
do the half of what I've promised you, it will be worth all of
that-and more!
these books, you need send
Well-if you decide to
N O T $50.00 or $100.00, not even their regular price of $13.50
-but my SPECIAL
PRICE TO YOU, good only on
this ADVANCE EDITION, of
And that isn't all!
ONE MILLION DOLLARS' WORTH O F ORDERS
249
If within six
your $1.00 hasn't grown to
if you can't credit to the $7.85 you pay for this Course at
least $500.00 of ADDITIONAL EARNINGS-send back the books
and I'll refund to you cheerfully and in full every cent you
have paid to m e for them.
There are no conditions-no strings of any kind to this offer.
If within six months these little books have not brought you
of gold at
foot of the rainbow, then they are not for
the
you. Send them back and get your money!
So don't decide about buying now. You can do that later.
Send me only the FREE-TRIAL ''Courtesy Card," with your name
the week's try-out-AFTER
and address on it. Then
have summoned your Genie and put him to the test-you can
send me your dollar or return the books.
pay the charges
both ways.
But you'll have to send the card right away, for I'm printing
only a small number of Autographed Sets for this "Advance
Edition." And advanced orders are coming in so fast now
that I'm afraid all of them will be spoken for even before the
sets are ready.
So if you want to try out your hidden powers without cost and
without obligation, you'll have to mail the enclosed card now
-TODAY!
Did they pull? The returns from that letter and circular
almost gave us heart failure. They pulled as
as 9 per
had never heard of us before!
cent from lists of people
They pulled so well that I worked
and night getting the
books written. And as soon as they were ready I arranged
for the mailing of a million circulars, following these as soon
as might be with a second million.
Within six months after the books were ready I had received more than $1,000,000 worth of orders for them-all
answer to the letter and the circular enclosed with it.
The circular was eight pages, 6 by
inches, beautifully
illustrated in color. Under a picture of a genie spreading
250
ONE MILLION DOLLARS' WORTH OF ORDERS
his arms benignly over a young couple, the first page carried
the following copy:
You remember the story of Aladdin and his wonderful Lamp
-how he had but to rub this Lamp and there sprang forth a
powerful Genie, ready instantly to do his bidding. Riches,
fame, power-this marvelous Genie carried them in the hollow
of his hand. Anything that Aladdin might wish for-from
power and fortune to the hand of the beautiful Princess-he
had but to command, and the Servant of the Lamp forthwith
produced it.
There is more than childish fable to this old Arabian Nights'
tale. There is the Wisdom and the Mysticism of the East-so
frequently hidden in parable or fable.
For those Wise Men of the East had grasped, thousands of
years ago, the fundamental fact-so hard for our Western
minds to realize-that deep down within ourselves, far
under our outer layers of consciousness, is a Power that far
transcends the power of any conscious mind.
"The Father that is within us," deeply religious people term
it. And, truly, Its power is little short of Divine.
second subliminal mind," so the Scientists call it.
HOW YOU CAN LIVE YOUR DREAMS
Call it what you will, It is there-all unknown to most of
a sleeping Giant who, aroused, can carry us on to fame and
fortune overnight. A Genie-of-the-Brain more powerful, more
fabled
the servant of our every wish, than was ever
Genie-of-the-Lamp of old.
Health and happiness, power and riches, lie ready to Its
hand. You have but to wake It, to command It, to get of It
what you will. It is part of you-yet Its power is limitless. It
is Mind-Thought-Idea. What electricity is to power, this
Subliminal Mind is to your ordinary, everyday, conscious self.
You cannot see It, but you can feel It, use It, develop It. Properly used, It can make of you a
an Edison, or a
Lincoln. There is no limit to what you can do with it!
The second page showed a picture of a modern young
fellow calling on his girl, and the dreams they indulged in.
The title was "Bubbles."
ONE MILLION DOLLARS' WORTH OF ORDERS
251
You know the air castles a young fellow builds when he is
planning his future with his Best Girl. You know what pictures of wonderful achievement he can paint for her. The
is but a trifle compared with the fortune
wealth of the
he is going to lay at her feet.
"Day dreams," we call them-and laugh good-naturedly at
the fondness of youth and love for believing in such bubbles,
such figments of the imagination. But these dreams are very
real and very dear to every boy-and girl. They embody all
those things they hope some day soon to see materialize.
The only trouble with them is, that with most of us these
bubbles are soon pricked. We meet with discouragement. The
fine point of our enthusiasm and ambition is blunted. Soon
we lapse into a regular grind, and the man we hope to be, the
man we painted in such glowing terms to our Sweetheart-the
man she really married-quietly passes out, leaving nothing but
the husk of what might have been.
Secret o Success
You've seen men who put in all their lives with the same
concern, working away at the same piddling jobs. Hard workers, faithful, painstaking-but getting nowhere. "Fanning the
air!"
You've seen others-inwardly no more capable than
jump out of the rut of routine and forge rapidly ahead.
Why? What is the secret that sends some men
holds others back? Not education. Not training. These help,
but you know how often you've seen highly trained College
graduates work their lives away in small-paying jobs, while
some of the biggest men in business have but the most elementary education.
It isn't that. The difference between the successful man
and the unsuccessful one is far deeper than that. It's not a
matter of training or equipment. It's not a question of opportunity or luck.
It is
that the successful man--consciously or
called to his aid the Sleeping Giant within him.
have done it unknowingly by their intense concentration on the job in hand, by thinking, seeing, living but the one
It can be done that way.
252
ONE MILLION DOLLARS' WORTH OF ORDERS
But the easy way-the sure way-the way in which there is
pleasure as well as profit, is to learn how to call upon this
Genie-of-your-Brain at will-and that is what the "Book of
Life" shows you how to do.
Then after showing a picture of your Genie and what he
can do for you the circular ended with:
ARE YOU HITTING AT NOTHING?
For uncounted years the Niagara River dashed over its rocky
cliff, the power of millions of horses behind it-a beautiful
sight for the occasional tourist-but nothing more!
Today that same Niagara turns the wheels of a hundred great
industries-gives light and power to all of Western New York
-is soon to become the basis of a giant super-power system for
the entire Northeast.
What made the difference? The Niagara has not changed-it
had exactly the same power afore-time. 'Tis simply that science
has shown man how to harness that power-how to use it.
In just the same way, science now shows you how to use your
own latent powers-how to wake the sleeping giant within you.
The head of one of the great banking institutions in this country was once asked how he managed to handle such an enormous
volume of daily work demanding important executive decisions.
"I never need to give more than one hour to the consideration of
any question, however important it may be," he answered, "because, first, I get all the facts before me, and
time to decide
is while the facts are fresh in mind."
Because you are likely to
with his sound conclusions, I
am enclosing for your convenience a post card that will bring
you the seven small volumes of the "Book of Life," completefor a full week's examination and trial-FREE!
Don't decide about ordering now. You can do that later.
Courtesy Card, and by return
Simply return this "Free
mail I will send the "Book of Lifew-postpaid. Then, after
seven days' examination-fter you have had a chance to look
into it, to ACTUALLY TEST I T ON YOURSELF-if it won't
do everything I've said and more, send it back at my
You realize, of course, that I couldn't make an offer like this
ONE MILLION DOLLARS' WORTH OF ORDERS
253
if I didn't KNOW what this "Book of Life" will do for you.
But I DO KNOW. So I'm willing to do my part. Are you
willing to put me to the test?
Of course, a lot of the books came back. They would,
when oversold as much as this letter and circular did oversell
them. The idea had been excellent, but no book ever written
could quite come up to such a promise. But those who did
like the books did not think they were oversold. Judging by
some of the letters we received, they felt that everything we
had promised them had come true.
So it is a question how
of a mistake that overselling
was. When the cost of shipping averages only 16 cents, it
would seem better to get from 4 to 9 per cent of orders and
have 40 per cent of them returned, than to receive the or 2
per cent most publishers are satisfied with and have only
per cent of them come back. At any rate, the former is
certainly the quicker way to build a customer list. And
build one we
did in short order. By the end of the
first year we had well over a hundred thousand names on
our books.
second year we extended the sale by
simple expedient of finding new names and mailin g the same offer to
them. Meantime, we had found it necessary to change the
name of the books. The first set had been called The Book
of Life, but after selling it for a year we learned that another
concern had been marketing a book of that name for years,
we changed the name of ours to The Secret of the Ages.
As long as we had to change the name, we took advantage
the opportunity to revise radicall y and enlarge the books
and then brought out an advance edition of the new set in a
paper binding. This we offered to the buyers of The Book
Life at the special price of $1.98. Of course, we used the
tried and proved "will you do me a favor" appeal, and, as
usual, it more than justified itself. Here is copy of the letter:
254
ONE MILLION DOLLARS'
WORTH OF ORDERS
DEAR SIR:
Will you do me this favor? You can help me a lot if you will.
I'd like to have your opinion of the following:
I have re-written "The Book of Life." Parts of it I revised.
Parts I explained. All of it I greatly added to. Where the old
edition merely stated certain fundamental laws, the new set actually shows you how to put them into practice. Where the
old told you that riches and happiness and success were your
birthright, the new edition shows you, step by step, how to go
about the actual GETTING of them.
I n short, the new edition not only states the theory, but gets
tells you the How and the
right down to ACTUAL P RACTI CE.
Why and the Where, and W H A T T O DO!
Now Here's
I Need Your Help!
Before I put a lot of money into advertising this new edition,
before I give the Bindery word to start manufacturing on a big
scale, I would like to have some of my friends let me know
frankly what they think of it.
Will you, therefore, do this for me? Return the enclosed
card and let me send you a set of the new edition for a
week's examination, so you can give me your opinion?
I'd do the same for you were our positions reversed. In fact,
I intend to return the favor in a manner sure to please you.
Here's the way of it:
The new edition is twice as big, twice as good as the old. Naturally, too, it sells for more money.
For those buyers of "The Book of Life" who will help me now
by examining it and giving me their opinions of it, I have
printed a few hundred sets in heavy paper covers, and I'm going to let you have one of
for the regular price of
$15.00-NOTeven for the price of the Advance Edition of $9.00,
but for the special
Subscribers' price of only $1.98.
That's just about cost, so of course I can't afford to add any
bookkeeping charge to it, and I'm going to ask you to pay
the postman this low price, with the small postage charges.
Your money will have a string to it. It's not mine until you say
so. You get it right back if for any reason you send back the
books.
ONE MILLION DOLLARS' WORTH OF ORDERS
255
And just listen to what they have done for others:
"Since receiving your first books I have made more than
000.00 in a little over 6 months' time. My previous income
over a period of years has been approximately $7,500.00 a
year."--M. D. C., Capitola, California.
"I must write and tell you that what you promised has happened. My husband has not only doubled his salary from
$225.00 a month to $500.00, but in addition, has turned a business deal where his commission meant $10,000.00 in one day's
time.
"We have paid for our home completely. Bought us a fine
automobile, a radio, new house furnishings and now have not
only the necessities but also some of the comforts of
Mrs. C. S. N., Indianapolis, Indiana.
You will forgive me if I seem insistent, but-will you use the
post-card now? I'm afraid you'll mislay it. And I thank
you most heartily and sincerely for your help.
Appreciatively yours,
That done, we felt that our original letter and circular
were about done with. They had begun to show signs of
wear. So we had recourse to the idea that had done so well
on the
We offered a premium as a reward for
examining the books.
That revived the flagging interest with a vengeance. Quite
too much so, for we found we were making the same mistake
as was done on the silk stocking sale described in the last
chapter-giving too valuable a premium without committing
our readers to anything. So we
changed. We had
started by offering a fountain pen as a premium. Instead,
we gave to prospective customers a copy of Richard Harding
Could Not Lose.
Davis' short story, The
That seemed to strike the happy medium. It increased
orders without increasing the proportion of returned sets,
with the pen, one of the first lists we tried gave us
times as many orders with the premium as without-but
256
ONE MILLION DOLLARS' WORTH OF ORDERS
tried, so
no more sales! Luckily it was one of the first
no great damage was done.
The premium offers and our original letter combined
brought in some 300,000 orders. Here is the premium letter:
DEAR FRIEND:
Will you accept a copy of "The Man Who Could Not
in return for a little favor I want you to do?
and easy to render.
The courtesy is a small one,
most
You know, of course, that the Psychologists declare
of us use but a tenth of our brain power-that it is only the occasional Napoleon of politics or business or finance who, by
using all of his powers for a little while, soars to heights so far
above ordinary mortals that he is looked upon forever after as a
genius.
But do you know that Y O U have it in you to be such a Genius?
That back in your brain is a Genie as powerful, yet as easily
controlled, as was Aladdin's fabled "Genie-of-the-Lamp" of
old ?
Dr. Frank Crane calls this Genie the "Man Inside You." Robert
Louis Stevenson referred to him as his "Mental Brownies" and
gave them credit for all the wonderful things he wrote. Scientists call it your second subliminal mind,
estimate that it is
to your ordinary conscious mind as a million is to one.
I am going to send you in the next few days seven books that
give you the few things you really need to know to use this vast
power that is within you. They are short; they are interesting as any Arabian Nights tale; and the best of it is-they are
TRUE!
Which brings me to the courtesy
want to ask of you:
I'd like to make sure of the demand before I put a lot of money
into the regular edition of these books. So I am writing to a
few representative men in different sections of the country to
ask each of you this:
Will you glance over one of the Advance Sets of the "Secret
of the Ages" that I am going to send you-TRY OUT T H E
"GENIE-OF-YOUR-BRAIN"-see what He can do for
It is a small favor, but it means a great deal to me, and I be-
ONE MILLION DOLLARS WORTH OF ORDERS
257
it will mean even more to YOU, for nearly every man has
some pet ambition-some day-dream he entertains in idle moments. "Bubbles"-you probably call them. But they need
not be "Bubbles" for you. Read the seven books I am sending
you. If you don't find in them the way to make those dreams
come true, just tell me so and they'll have cost you nothing. Etc.
The circular that went with this letter carried a picture of
Aladdin and his Genie. The title was "The Man Inside
Y0
Have you ever read the story of Richard Harding Davis of
"The Man Who Could Not Lose"?
It tells how one man, faced with the prospect of losing all
that he held dear, stumbled by chance upon the secret of his own
knowing how he did it, found
inner powers, and without
the "Open Sesame!" to fortune.
There is more to that story than even Davis dreamed, for, all
unknowingly, he hit upon the one way Scientists have found
easiest to get in touch with the subconscious mind-the
Inside You" that Dr.
of Vienna claims knows not only
everything you have ever learned during your lifetime, but all
the wisdom of past ages as well!
Of course, it requires something more than the methods given
in Davis' story, but the way to put "The Man Inside You" to
work for you is really so simple, so easy, the marvel is that more
people have not found it and used it. The few who have learned
the secret have been like
Man Who Could Not Lose."
People thought Dame Fortune had camped on their doorstep.
called them lucky. When the whole fact of the matter
was simply that they had established their contact with the subconscious,
had found the way to make "The Man Inside"
work with them and for them.
A picture of Napoleon standing on top of the world occupied one of the inner pages, and carried the title, "What
It Made Napoleon?"
Napoleon Bonaparte came of humble parentage.
without influence or
friends. Far from being a born
genius, he was if anything backward. He stood forty-sixth in
258
ONE MILLION DOLLARS' WORTH OF ORDERS
his class at the Military Academy-and there were only sixtyfive in the class.
intellect that brought him fame and
So it was not
power. It was not "pull." It was just Napoleon's colossal
belief in his own destiny. He had no fear in battle, for he believed that the bullet was not made that could kill
He had
no hesitation in attempting impossible tasks, for he believed
that
obstacle was not made that he could not find some way
around or over or through.
Even the snow-capped Alps, that had defied the passage of
armies since the days of Hannibal, offered no barrier to Napoleon. "Across the Alps lies Italy," he cried and led his men
over the perilous passes, into the fertile plains to victory.
" The fault, dear
if we are underlings."
lies not i n our stars, but in ourselves,
How did the successful men of today reach their present eminence? It was not training that put these men at the top. I t
was not their brilliant intellects. It was not "pull." It was
their ability to grasp the possibilities of a new idea; it was
their belief in their dreams of achievement; it was their confidence in themselves.
"Success or failure in business," says Professor Walter Dill
Scott, "is more a matter of mental attitude than of mental
capacity."
The little books shown on the next page will give to you that
same victorious attitude that made Napoleon so invincible, that
carried Ford and Carnegie and Woolworth to the highest rungs
of
ladder of success. They will show you how to get in
touch with the "Man Inside You," how to put him to work to
solve the problems and overcome the obstacles that seem too big
for you.
A picture of the books was shown on the inside pages, followed by "How to Succeed With What Y o u Have"
For 5,000 years men have built houses of brick, and in all
of that time there had been no change made, either in the tools
used, or in the manner in which the work was done.
Along came Frank Gilbreth, studied the motions involved in
ONE MILLION DOLLARS' WORTH OF ORDERS
259
laying brick, reduced them from eighteen to five, and increased
the hourly output from 120 to 350 bricks.
Simple enough-but it took 5,000 years for someone to think
up this simple solution.
For 5,000 years mankind has been taught that some men are
born with ability-some without-and that those without must
serve those who have it.
No greater mistake was ever made. Every man is born with
ability sufficient to carry him upward to the highest rung of
success. "Ordinary ability, properly applied," said Theodore
N. Vail, "is all that is necessary for success." Life's biggest
blunder is to underestimate our own powers to develop and accomplish.
We had plenty of fine testimonial letters by this time, so
a quotation from one of these was given across the bottom of
each page. The circular ended with:
A Full Week's Try-Out-FREE!
N o Money-No Risk
No Obligation
Never mind what I SAY about the success, the money, the
power that these 7 books will bring to you. Try them out!
It's easy. Just your name and address on the enclosed card
are all that is necessary.
Merely fill these in, stamp, and mail. By return Parcel Post,
of the Ages" will come to you-for a week's
FREE TRY-OUT at my risk and expense!
If for any reason you don't like it, just fire it back at the
end of the week's free trial-at my expense.
So you can't lose. And you CAN WIN any reward you may
set your heart upon. Isn't it worth a postage stamp to at least
TRY OUT this power that has brought riches, fame, success to
so many others?
The enclosed card is your answer.
this very minute! Will you?
You CAN use it NOW-
That pretty well ended the big sale. We tried numbers of
letters after it, of course, and some of them sold books with
260
ONE MILLION DOLLARS' WORTH OF ORDERS
reasonable success, but none of them in anything like the
quantities the first ones had. Here is one of the more successful of these efforts:
Coin
attached
M Y DEAR S IR:
It's a wonderful thing-the power of money to make money.
Just this little, insignificant penny invested at the birth of
compounded
would
Christ, at interest of only
today amount to more than
many times the wealth of the world!
It's too late now to date back your investments to then, but you
can do the next best
can invest a few minutes in
was born, and collect diviwisdom that was old when
dends from it now to almost as unbelievable an extent.
Men uncovered certain truths that we,
For those ancient
with all our education, have overlooked or forgotten. Present
psychologists and metaphysicians are
them
and shouting them to the world as something new and wonderful.
They are wonderful-but they are not new. They were ancient
when Jesus came into the world. But mankind is only now
beginning to get a glimmering of their power.
When Prof. Wm. James of Harvard told us that we are using
only a tenth part of the power that is ours-both physically
and mentally-people smiled unbelievingly.
When Judge Troward followed this with the startling statement that Universal Mind or God is to each of us exactly
what we look for in Him-a God of ha pp iness and plenty or
one of poverty and misery-and Emerson enunciated his
theory of the Oversoul, people shook their heads uncomprehendingly.
When Churches were founded, based on mental healing,
people laughed. But these churches have grown, and the
number of successful followers of the new psychology doubles
continually-all because they show actual results!
ONE MILLION DOLLARS' WORTH OF ORDERS
261
What is the law back of
this? When drugs fail, is there a
force we can call upon to restore health and strength? When
our money is gone, when creditors are hounding us until there
seems no way out, is there a power that can open up hidden
channels of riches, uncover treasures we never dreamed of?
The Wise Men of the East taught that there is. Psychologists
today are re-discovering the truth of their teachings. And ordinary men like you and me are proving it. One man whose
hearings before the Referee in Bankruptcy had actually commenced had his business rehabilitated at the last minute.
Another needed $1600.00 by a certain time-and received
$2000.00. A third asked for
it came in a way
that seemed almost miraculous. And these are only three
thousands of similar cases. I could fill a book with them.
How did they do it? Have you ever been in a serious accident,
where everything looked black for an instant, but by some
superhuman effort you managed to pull throu g h with a whole
skin? You didn't stop to reason out the right thing to do, did
you? The prompting came from within-and you just did it,
that's all!
Well, that prompter is just as potent a helper in sickness or in
business as in sudden emergencies-if only you learn to call
upon him.
This is the knowledge the Wise Men of the East left for us. This
is the knowledge that is the Secret of the Ages. And this is the
knowledge that is yours-FREE-to read and to try without one
cent of cost or one bit of obligation, if you will mail the enclosed card at once.
The Secret of the Ages consists of seven small books, easily
carried, easily read. There is no mysticism, no involved passages. A child can understand it, yet it holds such depths of
wisdom that Doctors, Ministers, Bankers, College Professors
have read it a dozen times over and each time gotten something
new and valuable from it.
you read it, if send it to you for a week-FREE?
then
you like it as much as have a quarter of a million others, if
money won't tempt you to part with it, what would you expect
to pay for it?
That is what most Courses along
262
ONE MILLION DOLLARS' WORTH OF ORDERS
similar lines of thought sell for. But if you like these books,
you need send-NOT$30 or $50, not even the regular price of
$15, but the special price for this Courtesy Edition in red Artcraft Leather of ONLY $7.85 (or $1 then and $2 a month for
months).
"Your 7
are the keys which have opened the doors of
the Treasure House for me," writes Macon of Buffalo, while the
Business Magazine of New York says of them: "Here at last is
a man who has given to the world a practical method of having
happiness on earth."
"Now what am I to do?" you ask. Simply put your name and
address on the enclosed card and drop it in the mail. There's
nothing to puzzle about, because you don't have to send one
penny or promise anything other than that if you don't see
where every penny and every minute you may put into these
books will come back to you in dollars, you will send them back.
it?
That's easy,
Never mind what we SAY-just see what the Secret of the Ages
will D O for you. But please mail the card right away to get
one of the "Courtesy Edition" sets at the special low price.
Sincerely yours,
The real profit in selling by mail lies not in the first sale
but in the succeeding ones. If you cannot sell a second product to a fourth of the people who bought your first one, then
there is something wrong with your methods or your product.
Repeat sales on books or merchandise are analogous to the
renewing subscribers on a magazine. The magazine that
cannot renew somewhere near half its subscribers is headed
for a fall, and the same is true of
mail order merchandiser
who cannot sell a second time to a high percentage of those
who first bought from him.
About the time our first set of books was showing signs of
being through, we finished our second set, which we called
The Life Magnet. So we were quite willing to forget the
Secret of the Ages sale for a while in busying ourselves getting
in the orders on this new set.
ONE MILLION DOLLARS' WORTH OF ORDERS
263
As usual when we had a new product to offer, we tried half
dozen letters, then used the best of them. Here is one of
the most successful of the letters we tried:
Is your address, as written above, correct?
If so, please return the enclosed card immediately, then sit back
and watch results!
Within a few days,
send you seven new books, published
only a few weeks ago, which already have brought to hundreds a secret that men have struggled for, fought for, died for
since time began-"How to Get What you Want!"
These seven books put you in possession of a Money Magnet
a power capable of drawing to you anything of good you
may desire.
Impossible?
Just listen :
"I've had 'The Life Magnet' only a few weeks, but already it
has proven to be a veritable Money Magnet," wrote
happy
reader.
"The Life Magnet" will show you how to get what you wanthow to draw to yourself riches and power just as surely as the
magnet draws to itself every filing of iron that comes within its
reach. There is nothing of good you can ask for, that it cannot
you.
Do I promise too much? It is because I have seen this Magnet
work-I have tried it in my own life-I have tested it on others.
And I tell you again-there is nothing of good you can ask for
that it cannot bring you. Riches and honor, health and happiness-you have but to charge this great Magnet with your particular desire, magnetize it in the way these seven books show
and the result is as certain as the morrow's sun.
What These Books Will Do for You
Scientists tell us, you know, that all mankind is created equalthat the brain of one man is exactly the same as that of another. The only difference between a failure and a successful
man is that the successful man's brain is more developed.
here is the important part-
264
ONE MILLION DOLLARS' WORTH OF ORDERS
These scientists tell us that no
uses much
than
tenth of the giant power of his brain. And the prime purpose
of "The Life Magnet" is to point out in plain language the way
to harness the vast reserve power of this Giant Inside You-the
way to use it to bring you whatever you want.
There are no vague theories in these books. They show you
first just what is this giant unused power within you, then how
to reach it and finally how to make it work for you every day
and hour.
Read the Books at No Expense!
I have so much confidence in "The Life Magnet" that I will
send the seven volumes for you to read and study for 7 days
a single penny of payment from you.
Keep the books a full week. If you think they'll do what I
promise, send me only $7.85 as payment in full. (Or $1 then
and $2 a month for 4 months.) Otherwise, just return them at
my expense and owe me nothing.
If you decide to keep the books and remit the $7.85, your
money will be refunded to you any time within a year if you
cannot then attribute at least $1,000.00 of additional earnings
to the books.
Could anything be fairer than that?
Try it! You can't lose. You don't need to send a penny or
take any risk. Just your name on the enclosed card will bring
you-subject to a
the seven volumes of "The Life
week's reading and TRIAL!
Costs nothing to TRY them and if you want to make more
money, achieve real success, you owe it to yourself to mail the
enclosed "FREE TRIAL" card today!
Yours for greater success,
That and succeeding letters pulled well, although none
quite came up to the results of the favor letter we used
sell the first paper-bound Secret of the Ages to The Book
Life buyers. However, the price was higher, so that
have had something to do with it.
This letter's circular showed a full-color picture of
ONE MILLION DOLLARS' WORTH OF ORDERS
265
Caesar with Cleopatra appearing before him in the costume
of a dancing girl. Under it was the following copy:
T H E MAGNET
Caesar feared this 19-year-old temptress. He refused to see
her. So she sent him a present of a beautiful rug-and when
the rug was opened, out from its folds she stepped!
Beauty?
The pictures that have come down to us show
that Cleopatra had not half the beauty of face or figure of the
average American girl.
Position?
Caesar was besieging her city, had her practically
in his power-and the whole known world lay at his feet.
Yet she so captivated this 50-year-old soldier and man of
the world that for eleven years-right up to his
she held him in thrall. With the world to play with, he
chose to remain her willing slave.
came to take
And after Caesar's death, when
prisoner to Rome, one glance of her eyes turned the tables
and made
prisoner of her instead. Even
-the calm, collected, cold Augustus-was afraid to lift
his eyes to this fatal siren, for fear of meeting the same fate
as his predecessors.
The Secret of Power
Take a piece of iron. Lift it in your hands. It is
dead-unable to attract to itself even the weight of a pin.
Magnetize it with the current from a small battery-and it will
lift hundreds of times its own weight.
You have at your command not a small battery, but the most
powerful battery in the world-the battery of your mind.
With it you can magnetize yourself to draw to you anything
desire.
Life's richest prizes go to the man o r woman who knows this
secret of magnetism. As surely as the magnetized piece of iron
draws to itself every bit of iron within reach, so does this same
force in man or woman draw to him the things or the people
he wants.
It is the secret of power, the secret of love, the secret of gold!
Yet it is simple-once you know the secret. Almost as simple
266
ONE MILLION DOLLARS' WORTH OF ORDERS
as magnetizing a piece of iron. And the secret of it, the quickly
learned, easily understood way of it, is in the
"THE LIFE MAGNET"
The inside pages showed pictures of the books and gave
descriptions of them and what they would do for you, while
the last emphasized the "FREE TRIAL-NO COST-NO OBLIGATION."
We had sold the Secret of the Ages successfully for three
years, but that usually marks the life of any set of books
that has a big popular sale. Even Wells did not do much
after the third year-until it was brought out in a $1volume,
when the sale revived all over again. We skimmed the
cream off the Life Magnet sale in a little over a year. Then
we began to look around for new worlds to conquer. And
presently we found them in a new and unique little magazine.
The idea of the magazine was based upon a test we had
made of a series of lessons, a week or a month apart. They
had shown such life that we decided to try them on a large
scale; instead of ordinary lessons, we would put them in a
little magazine, letting the lesson be the central feature and
accompanying it with a couple of stories that would illustrate
the point we were trying to bring out. We decided to call
the little magazine Mind, Inc.
Before starting it, we planned some 15 lessons, which gave
us our central theme and enabled us to look around well
ahead of time for the sort of story material we should need.
Then we decided to offer the first lesson or copy free,
the understanding that the reader was to notify us within
two weeks that he did not want the subscription or else send
us $4.85 in full payment for the first twelve lessons.
Here is the letter we used, and to find one that brought
higher percentage of orders would be difficult:
Here Is a New Way
To Get What You Want!
ONE MILLION DOLLARS WORTH OF ORDERS
267
Will you let me send you Absolutely Free the first gainful Lesson
in getting riches, from the new "Key to Life" Course? Yours
at no cost whatever-yours to use-yours to keep forever!
Getting riches is not a matter of Saving money. You know
that. Opportunity is not the answer. Even ability does not
necessarily bring riches-as witness the number of geniuses who
starve to death.
Then what is the secret?
The ancient Egyptians used to teach, you remember, that to
grasp the Idea behind anything gave you the power
over it, for it put into your
hands the Soul of that
thing.
The first Lessons of the
to Life" course
give you the idea behind
the getting of riches.
They put the Soul of
them into your hands.
They show you how to
your nets on the
right side" and fill them
to overflowing, even
though you have labored
all your life before and
caught nothing.
TO
Roger Babson says that
The Kingdom ofthe Blind
one of the 70 opportunities
still open to Americans to
become millionaires lies in
the utilization of the power
behind prayer to bring you
what you want in life.
These Lessons
show you-not how to pray-but
the power which is back of all successful prayer, to bring you
you want.
so sure that these practical Lessons will give to You the
Robert Collier
268
9
ONE MILLION DOLLARS WORTH OF ORDERS
basic methods of How To Get What You Want that I make you
this unusual offer:
mail the enclosed card, and I will send you the first
Lesson of the new "Key to Life" Course Free and
yours to keep
Read it-Try it-put it to the test! If you feel then that you
are
on the trail of the Aladdin secret-if
can trace
directly to it additional earnings or additional opportunities
worth a hundred times
regular price of the Lesson, send
only $4.85 for the full year's Course of 12 Lessons. Otherwise
keep the first Lesson Free.
I am making this offer just to you and those like you who have
shown their faith in the power of Mind, because I feel that
anyone who has taken one step in that direction will never be
content until he has attained his goal.
knows he Has the
power to be anything he wants to be. He knows that all of good
is his for the taking. So he is willing to Try these
Lessons in Putting That Power T o Actual Use!
Whether I extend this offer to any other groups will depend
entirely upon your response. Won't you, therefore, mail the
enclosed card today, if you can? Better still, pencil your name
chance of forgetting it-and
on it Now-before you run
drop it in the mail! It's already stamped.
I thank you for your courtesy.
Appreciatively yours,
The front cover of the circular is shown on page 267. Inside it started with a picture of a savage with a crude bow and
arrow routing a whole gang of unarmed enemies. Under it
was the title "In the Country of the Blind, the One-Eyed Are
KINGS!"
What was it enabled the first primitive savage to triumph over
his fellows and set himself at the head of his tribe as Chief?
Not brute strength alone. The Goliaths of this world have
usually been catspaws, to pull chestnuts out of the fire for more
cunning brains. Not courage. But a REASONING MIND.
The first man to use his reasoning mind to fashion bow or sling
ONE MILLION DOLLARS' WORTH OF ORDERS
269
to hurl death among his enemies from a distance became king
of his kind. The first tribe to use their reasoning minds to
draw upon the powers of fire and smoke to war against their
savage neighbors, swept all before them.
Mind Against Mind
Today, from depending upon numbers or armaments, man has
advanced until the battle is one of minds. Size, numbers, money
even, count for little. It is the greater M I N D that wins.
And now there has come into this battle a new factor, as decisive
in its effects as when primitive man first threw into the scale
against the animals the weight of his reasoning mind.
That factor is the Subconscious Mind. YOU have it. I have it.
Everyone has-and the ones who learn first to use it are going
to be the Leaders and the DO-ers of tomorrow.
There followed a picture of Professor Joseph Henry of
Princeton in his laboratory, with this copy:
It is now nearly a century since Professor Henry made his
experiment with a charged magnet, which revolutionized
the electrical practice of his age.
First he took an ordinary magnet of large size, suspended it
from a rafter, and with it lifted a few pounds of iron.
Then he wrapped the magnet with wire and charged it with
current from a small battery. Instead of only a few, the now
charged magnet lilted 3,000
YOU
a Battery, Too!
In your subconscious mind lies a battery more powerful by far
than the make-shift one of Prof. Henry. It can multiply the
powers of your ordinary self-not once or twice, BUT TEN
TIMES OVER!
Another page showed a group of students in a class room,
with the title, "What Do You Want to Know?"
At a meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of
Science, Dr. D. N. Buchanan told of an experiment he had made
a group of Cambridge College students.
They were preparing for their examinations. And, like most
270
ONE MILLION DOLLARS' WORTH OF ORDERS
students, they were greatly worried as to whether they could
pass.
Dr. Buchanan hypnotized them, and while they were in this state,
he assured them that they HAD all the knowledge they needed to
satisfactorily pass their examinations.
did not give them any additional information.
Mind
He merely planted in their subconscious minds the belief that
HAD everything they needed to pass the examinations.
All but one passed! There were some twenty students in the
group, and the Cambridge examinations are notoriously difficult.
Yet all but one made the most satisfactory marks!
Why? Because the subconscious in each of us HAS the knowledge, HAS the power to do any right thing we may require of it.
The only need is to implant in it the confidence-the
THAT YOU RECEIVE" which Jesus taught.
Of course, despite what the letter said, we had no intention
of pressing for collection at the end of the two weeks if we
failed to receive a cancellation or a remittance. Instead, we
planned a series of follow-up efforts, each a sales letter in
itself, to bring in the price of the subscription.
We felt that the first lesson would be the best to send to
most of our readers, but for certain classes, later lessons had
a much stronger appeal. When we found this to be the case,
we used the stronger lesson, of course.
With the heads of business concerns, for instance, our July
lesson was particularly effective, because of one striking story
it contained. So to the heads of some 10,000 business concerns, we sent this letter:
At some desk in your Bank sits a man on whom you have your
eye.
He shows promise. And you are hoping to see him develop
one of these days to the calibre Vice Presidents are made of.
There is a story in the July issue of MIND,
which will help
to put him in that class. It is called "The Magic Story."
ONE MILLION DOLLARS' WORTH OF ORDERS
271
should like to send you a complimentary copy of the July MIND,
so that YOU may hand it to him.
"This story is worth $25.00 to any man," wrote the head of
one big company.
a few men, it is worth a fortune."
If you will mail the enclosed card, Mr. Jones, or drop me a line
on your own letterhead, I will send you a complimentary copy
of the July issue the moment it is out.
There is no cost or obligation attached. Our sole object is to
get this story into the hands of men who are "up and coming,"
knowing that if they read it, they won't stop there. They will
want every issue of MIND, INC.
Won't you, therefore, put your name on the card now and drop
i t in the mail? It's already stamped.
Appreciatively yours,
Something over 10 per cent of the list ordered copies. We
followed them up promptly in an effort to sell them copies for
everyone in their organizations, and quite a few did order in
reasonable quantities. Here are the two letters we used:
The July
INC., containing "The Magic Story," was mailed
to you a couple of days ago.
If you have found time to read it, I know you have thought of a
dozen men in your organization (and some outside) who need
just the stimulus "The Magic Story" gives, to wake them to their
real possibilities.
Will you give them that stimulus, Mr. Jones? We don't care
what you pay for it, or whether you pay at all. MIND, INC. is
priced at
a copy, but we will bill the copies to you at 25d
each, o r let you set your own price.
All we want is to get this story into the hands of the men who
need it-ANDWILL USE IT!
Will you send us such a list of the men YOU know? You'll be
them a greater favor-you'll be actually GIVING them more
-than if you handed each your check for $100.00.
Some of them are going to date their start from the time they
272
ONE MILLION DOLLARS' WORTH OF ORDERS
read "The Magic Story"-and YOU, John Jones, will be the man
back of it!
Sincerely,
DEAR MR. J ONES:
"If you have not already sent for it," wrote Tom Hanlon, Sales
Manager of the Super Maid Cook-Ware Corporation of Chicago,
everything this very minute
to his force of 1,500 salesmen,
and send for a copy of the July MIND,
"I want to tell you that
you read 'The Magic Story' in that
issue, you will agree with me that it is worth $5.00 of any man's
money.
"You will miss what I consider one of the greatest stories ever
written if you do not read it. Many men will be able to trace
their success from the day they read 'The Magic Story.'
"Read it once, and I am sure you will read it at least once each
week!"
That letter is from one of the most successful Sales Managers in
the country to his field force. When a man like him will so
strongly urge a story upon his salesmen, it must have properties
of unusual value in "pepping up" a sales force.
Wouldn't that same enthusiasm be of help to your men, too,
Mr. Jones? Then send us a list right now of all the men you
want to infuse new life into and we'll have it on the way to them
within twenty-four hours.
Sincerely,
Then
September and October lessons brought out some
ideas on the art of healing that we felt every doctor would be
interested in, so we circularized doctors, osteopaths, and chiropractors first on
September, then on the October lessons.
This time, however, since there was no opportunity for
quantity sales of the same lesson, we felt that they should be
willing to pay something for the one
received; so we enclosed a coin-card order form, and required payment of 25
cents with the order. That pulled too, pretty nearl y as
a s the free July issue. In fact, on one list it did better, bringing in 12 per cent of orders!
ONE MILLION DOLLARS' WORTH OF ORDERS
273
What is more, where on the July issue we sold only additional copies of that one number, with these two we were able
to close a goodly percentage of subscriptions.
Here is copy of the October letter. The September one
had
just
the same, the only change being in the title
and description of the lesson.
May we send you a copy of the October issue of "Mind, Inc.,"
which explains for the first time the two factors necessary to the
cure of sickness or deformity?
If you have ever wondered
some people can so easily shake
off sickness, while others suffer for
and months-if you
have been at a loss to account for the miracle-cures you read so
often in the daily news-if you are looking for the hidden factor
in all healing-then mail the enclosed card for a copy of the
October "Mind, Inc.," giving the law back of all these.
This Law is as fundamental as Einstein's Law of the Universe, as
revolutionary as was Harvey's discovery of the circulation of the
blood. When you have read it, we believe you will say it is as
important to the cure of disease as Einstein's Law is to the study
of
It accounts for every so-called miracle, every case
of healing. It shows how Y O U can work miracles with your
body.
We are giving to a few old customers the chance to read and
try this newly discovered law-NOTat the regular price of
a copy, but for HALF that-only
are one of the few
who can get a copy of the October issue at this special price.
The enclosed card will bring you this specially priced copy if
mailed at once. There is no obligation attached. The only
essential is that you put your
in the card and mail it right
away, before these special copies are all spoken for.
Sincerely yours,
That idea of selling one lesson at a time showed
that we then tried asking full price, and since it is just
as easy to get $1as 50 cents, we offered two lessons for $1.
The first that lent itself particularly well to this idea was
274
ONE MILLION DOLLARS' WORTH OF ORDERS
the lesson for the following July. It was called The Secret
of Youth. And here is the letter we used on it:
DEAR FRIEND:
Will you risk $1 for the Secret of Youth?
There is such a secret-make no mistake about that. How
has Dr. Carrel, by two simple processes, kept the heart of an
embryonic chicken not merely alive, but vital and youthful for
years!
The secret lies-NOT in dieting, N O T in surgery or monkey
glands, NOT in exercise-but in something far simpler and easier
than any of these.
Why do animals live to five and six times their maturity, while
men and women average only two to three times theirs? Why
do the wilder animals keep their vigor and youthful appearance
until five-sixths of their span of life is gone, while men and
women begin to look old when scarcely half their lives are gone?
Can you tell? No? Then send for the Secret of Youth. It
requires no diet, no exercise, no appliances. What is more, if
it does not do all you expect of it, you can send it back and get
your money back!
On that understanding, will you risk
on it? Then fill out the
form on the next page, or just wrap a dollar bill in this letter,
and return it in the enclosed envelope.
If abounding youth and health and strength are worth a dollar
to you, use the enclosed envelope-not next week, or next month,
but NOW-TODAY!
Sincerely,
That sold! It did so well that we quickly disposed of
25,000 extra copies. Of course, in making the sale, we could
not divide the interest by saying that with the Secret of Youth
we were going to send an extra lesson. But when we delivered the lesson, we sent with it a copy of another one
elaborated the same idea and thus left the reader even better
satisfied because he got more than he expected.
Those orders, too, had the great advantage that a high
percentage of them subscribed to the rest of the
ONE MILLION DOLLARS' WORTH OF ORDERS
275
Even where they did not, we made a little money on the $1
orders, since our circulars cost us only
to 3 cents apiece
in the mail, and they pulled from 5 to 10 per cent of orders;
t
do so many women of today
a state of chronic half-health?
complain of
lassitude and gloom
do we hear
from life? Why
Beauty lade
fast 'driving mere
the cosmetic counter to imitate the dainty
that
alone can bring?
Ignorance of the simplest law of Nature Is the answer. Without
be strong. nor beautiful,
certainly not happy.
most important of all of Nature's laws, you cannot
healthy.
without
In tbe last analysis, beauty is
upon health
vitality-upon
and the normal activity of all glands and or anr. The exterior of
body
of
interior.
of purity and
red
and
in
the
,
or
who
No obstacle, no handicap can
vitality has
a one back.
of our
been men of unusual physical
hearty and powerful
They have
a
a youthful force and
have
them over every
On the other hand, thousands of men and women of exceptional ability
because of the lack of
power. The pathways of
are
with the
and deficient who 'have fallen behind. Real
unlimited
vitality. It means capacity for
work. It means exuberant spirits.
means a pleasing, forceful. magnetic personality. It means a
and
active mind.
.
can be brisk. active,
at an age when your
a r e gray
broken. You can have
vitality and
abundant vigor and
that go with it. You can cheat time of
thirty
by
simplest. yet moat important
But simply
will not
NOW for
each
or cents brought back 5 to 1 0 cents' worth of
business. On a $1 item, that is doing well.
Following the Secret of Youth, we had two lessons covering
Lost
of Power. These lent themselves so well to
$1 idea that we offered them together and promptly sold
276
ONE MILLION DOLLARS' WORTH OF ORDERS
an additional 15,000 of them.
work:
The
following letters
did
the
DEAR CUSTOMER :
What would you give to be the "biggest" personage in your
the greatest in your line anywhere?
Would you risk reading a law so important that it is given in
the Bible as part of God's labors on three of the six days of
than six times in a single
creation, and is repeated no
chapter ?
Would you risk the time to go over another page which gives
clearly and unmistakably the directions for success? Not in
ambiguous language, but in short, simple words that a child
could understand and follow.
Would you risk that much? Then send the coupon on the last
page. It will bring you-not only the most important lesson
life can teach, not only the clearest, surest directions for success
ever given, BUT I N
Lost Word of Power"
Since time began, mankind has believed there was some magic
formula, some talisman, that would open all doors to its possessor. That belief runs through all the legends and folklore of the
ancients. You see it in the story of Aladdin and his lamp, in the
Sesame!" of Ali Baba, in the Cabala of
Jewish
Rabbis, in Longfellow's poem-"Sandalphon."
For a belief to persist through so many ages and countries, it
have some basis of fact. And in "The Lost Word of
Power," you get that basic truth.
"My word shall not come back to me void," says the Bible, "but
shall accomplish that whereunto it was sent."
Lost Word of Power" not only proves to you the truth of
that statement, but shows you exactly
same principle working
in physics, in electro-mechanics, in surgery-in all of nature!
You can PROVE it-in your own life, with your own
N O T in some dim and distant future, but RIGHT AWAY!
I know a man who had not a cent to his name nor enough food
for another meal for his wife and three children, when this law
to him-and through it he has made a
was brought
ONE MILLION
OF ORDERS
fortune!
tell you his name and his full experience in "The
Lost Word of Power."
I know others who have won from it fame, fortune, honors,
happiness.
are.
I'll tell you some of their stories, too, and who they
What would
give for the power and success they have won?
Would you risk $1 for it-if you could get it right back if the
talisman failed to work for you?
If you would, then mail the coupon on the next page, with that
understanding-that you get it right back if for any
reason the Word of Power fails to work for you.
Sincerely,
What would you give to be rid of every debt and obligation?
What would it be worth to you to shed every limitation that
hedges you around, and face the world as free as a butterfly
that has just shed its cocoon? Would you risk $1 for it?
It can be done-make no mistake about that. As a matter of
fact, it is the way all of Nature works. Only man clings to his
troubles, and so reproduces them in ever greater and greater
number. Only man hugs his chains, and so binds them tighter
around him.
Yet it has been proven time and again that it is just as natural
for man to shed wrong conditions and start afresh, as for a
lobster to shed a
or a snake its skin. And it can
without injustice to anyone-in fact, the Bible adjures
us in
places to do that very thing!
can it be done? How does the snake shed its old skin?
By first
a new skin beneath, does it not, then letting
go of the old? How does the lobster get a new claw, a child
grow a new tooth?
starting the new conditions under the
shell of the old, then when they are far enough along, letting go
the old!
outer shell is always dead. It is only underneath it, where
the new conditions are forming, that there is life. Your present
circumstances or conditions do not matter. There is no life in
them. It is what is forming beneath them that counts!
278
ONE MILLION DOLLARS' WORTH OF ORDERS
What conditions are taking shape under the shell of YOUR
present circumstances? Are you hugging the same old
debts and lacks and unhappiness to you, and reproducing
them over and over again? Or are you growing a set of
brand new conditions, of riches and happiness and success,
ready to split the old shell and let go of it at a moment's
notice?
You can shed the old, you can grow new and perfect conditions,
and you can do it right now. You don't have to wait until
someone dies and leaves you a million. You don't need to depend upon outside
of any kind. The power is in you,
just as it is in every other form of life. It needs using-that's
all.
And the way to use it-the simple, clear, easily understood
method of getting the things you want and ridding yourself of
wrong conditions-is given you in the next two Lessons of
MIND, INC.
Send for them. The coupon on the last page brings them to
subject to 60-days' EXAMI NATION and TRIAL. At the end
of that time (or any time between), if they have not done all
you ask of them, if for any reason you are not satisfied, send
them back and your dollar will be refunded immediately and
in
$1 to make your dreams come true!
$1 to rid yourself of the
old shell of debts and lacks! Will you risk that much? Then
pin it to the coupon on the next page
it in the enclosed
envelope. You get it right back, if for any reason you return
the two Lessons.
Sincerely,
That is as far as we went with the idea. I have a belief that
by picking the right sort of lessons for our efforts, we could
have kept feeding in new $1orders indefinitely, and that they
would have been of so varied a character as to keep the whole
list alive and responsive.
The Secret of Youth, for instance, brought one type of
reader, The Lost Word an entirely different grade. And
ONE MILLION DOLLARS' WORTH OF ORDERS
279
judging by the quality of the orders received, the third letter
appealed to a different class altogether.
That kept the list alive, and us, too, for as long as we had to
keep bestirring ourselves for an entirely new and different
appeal every couple of months, there was no danger of our
being guilty of the unpardonable sin-standing still!
XXI
Taking the Guess Out of Advertising
in New York called the "Tested Selling
Institute and Word Laboratory, Inc.," whose purpose it is to
take the guess out of selling. The writer once listened to a
lecture by its founder, Elmer Wheeler, in which he showed
that selling as it is usually practiced is the world's biggest
guessing game. Not one salesman in a thousand, he said, can
tell you exactly what words and phrases sold his customer.
He merely guesses that this word or sentence will sell, and
sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn't.
We have high-salaried executives, Mr. Wheeler pointed out,
to buy the merchandise and place it at the counters, and other
high-salaried executives who advertise it and bring the people
to the counters. So far so good. Then what happens? The
actual selling of the merchandise is entrusted to a humble
sales clerk!
This is retailing's oldest weakness-its biggest handicap.
The answer to this problem is to control the spoken word by
placing in the mouths of the sales clerks the words and expressions a $50,000 a year executive would use were he behind the counters selling your merchandise!
Elmer Wheeler has amassed upwards of 100,000 selling
phrases, from over 200 lines of industry. The sentences that
IS A C O N C ER N
280
TAKING THE GUESS OUT OF ADVERTISING
281
have made sale after sale he calls "Tested Selling Sentences."
All of us, he points out, are consciously or unconsciously
using "Tested Selling Sentences" morning, noon, night.
Some of us use them to sell ideas, others service, and others
actual merchandise.
Little Willy wants an extra slice of bread and jam; sister
wants 35 cents for the movies; Dad is scheming how to get out
of the house for lodge that night; and Mother is planning to
have Dad sweep out the cellar-while around the corner the
preacher is planning a visit on the household to make it more
church conscious
and one and all they have their own
pet "Tested Selling Sentences" they plan to use on one
another!
The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker, all trades
and professions have their "Tested Selling Sentences." The
dentist says, "Now, Willy, this won't hurt you-much!"
The doctor, the lawyer, the undertaker use them. The
barber says: "And now how about a nice shampoo?" When
you refuse with your best "Tested Selling Sentence" about
being in a hurry to meet the wife, he proceeds to poke you
in the eye with his elbow.
Hidden in every spool of thread, or row of safety pins,
are reasons why customers will buy.
One sales person says: "These safety pins will not
open in the garment and injure baby."
Another says: "This thread is waxed, Madam, and will
twist in the hand while sewing."
Another has found real magic when he says: "This suit
has long pants, Sonny, like your Dad wears."
*
...
Mr. Wheeler has discussed extensively and illustrated these subjects in
books published by Prentice-Hall, Inc.: Tested Sentences That
Magic
That Make
Sizzlemanship: New
, Tested Retail Selling 1941) , Tested Public
Tested Selling Sentences
2nd Ed.
and How to Sell Yourself to Others
the
282
TAKING THE GUESS OUT OF ADVERTISING
Another says: "This fly swatter is square, not oval, and gets
them in the corners!" How many times have you missed a
fly by only a fraction of an inch? Well, they are making
fly swatters square now, to get 'em in the corners!
"This union suit is
and the child can put it on
by himself!" What a "Tested Selling Sentence" for the
woman who has to dress and undress little Johnny five times
a day!
Not long ago I bought some cigars in the chain store down
the street. The sales clerk said, "How about a pipe today,
Sir, only
"Not interested," said I.
I surmise the clerk had had many a refusal that day as a
result of using the inane approach, since he began to tap
nervously on the counter with the pipe; just then a man came
u p and said, "Say, is that pipe non-breakable?" "It sure is!"
said the clerk, coming to sudden life, "Why
been
it on the counter all day!"
buy one," said the man!
By accident, the clerk had hit upon a real "Tested Selling
Sentence." He sold so many pipes that week using the
sentence that he was placed in the advertising department of
this national chain of stores, and this is a true story!
But I ask you, gentlemen, why should this company or any
other take such chances? Why not give this salesman, and
all others, sentences tested to make sales more sure-fire, SO
that sales persons will say something else of our
than, "How about a pipe today, Sir, only
Just the fact that a sentence sounds reasonable to you does
not necessarily indicate it will sell! Why gamble with unknown sales phraseology? Why not take advantage
modern science?
The above are only a few of the ideas from Mr.
interesting talk. But what he says about word-of-mouth sell-
TAKING THE GUESS OUT OF ADVERTISING
283
ing is just as true of the printed word. We have found, for
instance, in selling through the printed word, a number of
tested openings that almost invariably win the attention of the
reader. And of all the different types of openings, the "How"
seems strongest. E. Haldeman Julius, in selling his
little Blue Books by mail, found that putting a "How" into
a title frequently doubled or even quadrupled the pull of that
title. A book on success, for instance, would sell twice as
well if its title were How to Win Success as it would if it were
called merely The Rules of Success.
Here is the way we worked that "How" idea into the opening of a letter selling a facial cream:
How a New Kind of Cream Makes the Skin Soft, Clear,
For Reasons That Every Woman Will Understand!
Women who "know it all" are not invited to read this page, for
it holds nothing of interest to the wise young woman who is
perfectly satisfied with her complexion and her beauty aids, and
who feels like the man that resigned from the Patent Office back
in '86 "because everything had been discovered that was ever
going to be discovered."
This page is a personal message to those women who are worried
about lines or spots or blackheads or blemishes that threaten to
ruin an otherwise beautiful complexion.
Once in a blue moon, a discovery is made of such importance
as to revolutionize
methods ordinarily used to beautify the
skin. Such a discovery, we believe, is the new Blank Bleach
treatment.
You have four organs, you know,
function it is to cleanse
and purify and sweeten the body. Of these four, the skin is
most important-more so even than the lungs. Sometimes
called "the second lung,'' the skin throws off a n unbelievable
amount of impurities.
So it is essential that the pores of your skin should be kept open,
that
should have a chance to breathe, that they should not
clogged with dead tissue or dust or cosmetics.
284
TAKING THE GUESS OUT OF ADVERTISING
BUT HERE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART:
The outermost layer of skin is dead. I t is exceedingly thin and
transparent, but it is quite dead. And it is this outermost layer
that, if left alone, brings on spots and patches. Not only that,
but by clogging the pores with its dried tissue, and stopping
cleansing flow of perspiration, it tends to cause blackheads,
pimples, splotches and the like. So the first step in bringing
back a soft, clear, lovely skin is to rid your face of all that
dried up layer of dead skin. And this is the purpose of Blank
Bleach Creme.
Blank Bleach
is not an astringent. I t does not burn.
It requires no rubbing. It dissolves only dried, dead tissue.
You spread it on lightly at night. You rub it off in the morning.
It is purposely made so mild and safe that it will not remove all
the dead skin in a single treatment, but after two or three treatments, you notice the difference, and at the end of a week, you
are amazed at
baby softness, the creaminess, the loveliness
of the new skin that all this time had been hiding behind that
mask of dead tissue.
Blank Bleach Creme does not pretend to work miracles. Only
Nature can do that. But Blank Bleach Creme does remove the
mask that hides your natural, lovely skin.
You see, sun and wind and strong soaps dry up your outer skin
and leave it muddy and lifeless. Yet that dead outer skin remains firmly attached to the true inner skin and keeps it from
breathing properly,
ridding itself of impurities. Is it any
wonder that your
becomes dull, that it develops
and blackheads and the like?
Mind you, this is no new and untried theory. The base of this
unusual cream was first employed many years ago by a
nent Southern physician. Since then, special research has given
additional value to it, more than thirty well-known
culturists, scientists, and physicians having contributed of their
knowledge to perfect the formula. Today it is backed by a
company, and more than fifteen million Blank
Bleach Creme beauty treatments are given EACH YEAR in
and beauty parlors throughout the country.
Will you TRY it-if I send it to
subject to 30 days' trial,
4
4
TAKING THE GUESS OUT OF ADVERTISING
285
your money to come back to you in full if you are not more than
satisfied?
"Before I used your creams," writes Mrs. D. B. G., "I had a
muddy, broken out skin. Now it is just like velvet. Everywhere
I go, I get compliments on my complexion, and I felt it
duty
to let you know what a wonderful product you have on the
market." And her letter is only one of hundreds.
Just your name on the enclosed card, with
in coin or stamps,
will bring you a large jar of Blank Bleach Creme-the same
large jar that formerly sold for $1.00. And if you mail it right
away, we will send with it-as our gift-a generous size sample
of Blank Almond Lotion, to keep the hands soft and white.
Beware of the letter everyone admires for its cleverness.
It may bring you a great meed of praise-but few orders.
The good letter is one that leaves your reader hardly conscious
of the letter itself, so interested is he in doing the thing you
want him to do. Judged from
point of view,
is a
good letter:
Show Me One of Your Rejected Manuscripts,
And
Show You the Secret of
Making All Your Stories Successful!
DEAR WRITER:
In order that you may realize at the outset the peculiar importance of this letter, let me inform you, before taking up the details, that only
hundred of those who receive it can have the
benefit this month of the
analysis and the invaluable
suggestions which it offers.
Under the supervision of Dr. John Jones, Editor, University
Professor, successful Writer, and Teacher of Writing, the Faculty
of the John Jones School has agreed to read and analyze ten
stories each day (not over 5000 words each), to point out why
these stories were not acceptable and to tell you the secret of
them successful.
This letter is
sent to a limited number of writers. To the
first three hundred of them who respond, it offers the chance
get a
detailed analysis of their strong points and their
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TAKING THE GUESS OUT OF ADVERTISING
weak ones, the factors which make their stories good and those
they must change before they can be financially successful.
I t offers you this personal analysis under
direct supervision of perhaps the most successful teacher of writing in the
world today-NOT at the usual cost of $25 or $50-BUT
FOR ONLY
Pick one of your most promising stories or articles, not exceedfor
ing 5000 words in length. Send it with $1.00 (and
return postage) to Dr. John Jones, Jonesville, Mo., pinning a
slip to it
Personal Analysis and Suggestions."
To ten of these each day, the Faculty will give their personal
study, analyzing the strengths and the weaknesses, criticizing,
suggesting, pointing out how the stories can be made successful.
They will take the stories in the order in which they are received. If they come too late for them to reach them within a
month, we shall return them to you with your $1.
Remember, only ten stories a day are all that the Faculty can
find time for. And it's going to be "First come, first served!"
So if you have a story which
know to be good but which the
Editors keep sending back, mail it in. Find out what is wrong
with it.
There may be only some minor weakness standing between you
and success in writing. There may be some rule Dr. Jones can
give you, some one thing to watch for, which will change your
stories overnight from failures into successes.
Will you risk $1 to learn the truth about what is holding
back? Will you invest $1 for the secret of literary success?
Sincerely,
Of course, there is the occasional letter that combines
cleverness with a really effective appeal. When you get
one of these, you have a sure winner. As clever a letter
as we have often seen, and at the same time as effective, was
this one:
DEAR MR. JONES:
The Directors of the Blank Club of New York have agreed to
accept my proposal of a few important names for membership
in the club WITHOUT HAVING TO PAY THE INITIATION
TAKING THE GUESS OUT O F ADVERTISING
287
OF $100, and your name is one of those I have suggested.
This means that your signature on the enclosed application will
permit me to submit your name to our Admissions Committee
and in due course place you on the same basis as our present
members, with your first quarter's dues of $18.75 paying you
u p in full to July 1.
I am certain that you will appreciate this action of the Board,
and welcome the opportunity of becoming associated with the
membership of this Club.
Your joining the Club is a matter of interest to me and I look
for the return of your application with keen pleasure.
Most sincerely,
That same idea can be used in many ways to advantage.
In securing subscribers to a magazine, for instance, here is
a way a client of ours used it with considerable success:
I Wonder If You Can Qualify
As A "Player Patron"?
DEAR MR. JONES :
You have been designated as one qualified to serve on our
Board of "Player Patrons," and our Directors have authorized
me to invite you to become one of this select group of amateur
sportsmen.
The requirements are simple-for those like yourself who are
interested in sport for the fun of it rather than for what they
can get out of it.
You see, The Players has from its inception had an Advisory
Board consisting of such well known gentlemen as A, B, C, and
others equally important in the world of sport. The idea now
is merely to enlarge this Board by having back of it a group of
men and women well known in their local fields, at least, and
a "Patrons'
many of them nationall y known, who will
Group" and to whom difficult questions may be referred for
judgment.
purpose of this group will not be monetary support, but
have back of us the judgment and the experience of men and
women known in the world of sports for their integrity, their
of sport, and their sportsmanship.
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TAKING
THE GUESS OUT OF ADVERTISING
you
fill out the enclosed card,
a check mark
against the sports you are most familiar with, so we may know
which questions to refer to you?
It is, of course, essential that all of our "Patrons' Group" should
be readers of The Players, but because our idea is not monetary
support, we are going to enter the names of this special group
on our lists at half the usual price-$2.00 a year instead of the
regular $4.00.
Will you fill out the card right away, please, so we can get your
name among our "Player Patrons" group at once, and have the
the questions that are constantly
benefit of your judgment
coming up for decision?
Sincerely,
There are numerous variations of this method that can be
used in a dozen ways, and all effectively. Here is
of them:
Will You Give me a Little Information About
Just the Sports
You Go I n for Most?
DEAR SIR:
This letter is purely personal, and not primarily concerned
with business. Rather, it invites a courtesy
you, appreciating the fact that if-in your considerate way-you can
the good cause by a bit of co-operation, you will do so,
and gladly.
You know The Players, of course. It was founded six years ago
to give a very limited group of Americans a publication that
should be peculiarly their own. It numbers among its subscribers the best known patrons of amateur sports in this
country.
The editors are now thinking of restricting its field to a few
major sports, but before coming to a definite decision, they
want to determine accurately the sports in which you and other
representative sportsmen are most interested.
Will you help us? Will you put a number against each sport
listed on the enclosed card, to indicate the order in which they
interest you?
There is no
of any kind attached.
We want your
TAKING THE GUESS OUT OF ADVERTISING
289
preferences, whether you ever read The Players or not. But
to show our appreciation of your courtesy in giving us this
information, we shall be glad to enter your subscription to
The Players for the next year for half its regular subscription
$2. The Players Almanac, which comes in each
will alone be worth that small amount to you.
Send no money. Just your name on the enclosed card, with
your preferences checked against the list on the side, are all we
need. Will you jot these down now, please, and drop it in
the mail? It's already stamped. We shall greatly appreciate
your courtesy.
Sincerely,
We all like to feel important. Anything that raises our
ego, that makes us feel more necessary to the general scheme
of things, is sure to please us. The cleverness of the foregoing letters lies in their ability to feed our vanity, without
making it too apparent that this is the real purpose of the
letter. The letter that follows had a similar purpose, and
used on different magazines and with special lists, pulled
amazingly high returns:
I Wonder If You Would Be Good Enough
To Give Me the Benefit of Your Experience?
DEAR SPORTSMAN:
you give me the benefit of your judgment on a matter of
considerable importance to us?
Most magazines, as you know, are edited by a very small group,
He thinks he knows what his readers
dominated by one
want, better than any writer or group of writers can tell him.
And he may be right. But we should like to try an experiment.
We are going to get together a select group of hunters and
fishermen from different sections of the country, and have them
practically edit our magazine for us for a few months.
We want to see if a magazine for red-blooded men, edited by a
select group of men who are sportsmen in the true sense of the
word-men who find their greatest pleasure with rod, gun,
tent, and canoe-will not have a greater appeal than stories
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TAKING THE GUESS OUT OF ADVERTISING
picked because they measure up to the standard of any one man.
Will YOU help? Will you accept a place on our Advisory
Editorial Staff?
Mind you, this is no mere bluff. This will require some real
work on your part. You will have to read enough of every
story to criticize it if it is not up to your standard, of if it is
not the type you regard as interesting.
We shall want you to treat the magazine as your own--condemn everything you would not accept if you were the sole
editor, and tell us WHY you condemn it; suggest the type of
article you would put in, and the authors you consider worth
while.
We mean this. We want the benefit of your judgment, your
in making this a magazine for every true sportsman who
really cares about his shooting and fishing and camping and
woodcraft, and who wants all the skill and knowledge he can
get. We want to make this a magazine that every member of
the Editorial Staff can be proud of, and can feel that he has
had a part in the making of. We want you as a
not merely as a reader. Will you join us?
Your reward? We'd like to make it a complimentary subscription to the magazine. We can't do that, on account of the
Postoffice regulations governing second class mail. But we are
a copy
going to do the next best thing. Instead of the
which 50,000 newsstand buyers pay for it every month
instead of the $5.00 a year paid by our regular subscribers
we will send the magazine to you at exactly HALF PRICE
-two years' subscription for the price of one!
Not only that, but you need send us only $1 now. The balance of $3.50 for your special two-year subscription price you
can send us when we bill you six months from now.
That is the only thing we shall have to charge for. We
send you prepaid reply envelopes for all correspondence, but
under the Postoffice regulations, we cannot mail second class to
more than a very small percentage of our subscription list, unless those subscriptions are paid for.
. ..
...
The special low price of $5.00 you will pay for a two years' subscription will come back to you many times over, however, in
fishermen,
the contacts you will make with other hunters
TAKING THE GUESS OUT OF ADVERTISING
291
and in the greatly increased value you will get from the magazine yourself.
As John Jones Doe put it-"No man can hope to master woodcraft in one short lifetime. Always he is learning. No small
percentage of my own knowledge of how to kill game and catch
fish has come from the lips or the writings of other sportsmen."
So in helping others to learn more of woodcraft, you will be
increasing your own knowledge of the art, too. And instead of
enjoying only two or three weeks of hunting and fishing, you
will be re-living your experiences the whole year through.
Will you TRY it? Will you give us the benefit of your judgment and experience in making this the most practical of all
out-door magazines? Only a few men from each section can
be selected to make up this Advisory Editorial Staff. Your
name has been suggested for one of them. Will you serve as
a member?
Just your name and address on the enclosed Acceptance Form,
with your check or a $1 bill attached, are all that is necessary
now. After you've had time to examine a copy or two, we'll
write you about suggestions and the like. Will you put your
name on the Acceptance and mail it back NOW? Thank you!
Although most people lack the courage for real leadership, few there are who do not long to be looked up to as being a bit above their fellows. Organizers of lodges and
clubs realize this predominant trait in human nature and
capitalize on it to the fullest degree. And publishers have
not been backward in giving their readers the chance to become "F'ounders" or "Charter Subscribers" or "Members"
of some more or less exclusive group. Here is a membership offer by the one of the book clubs that we understand
was particularly effective:
DEAR FRIEND:
You have been elected to full membership in our book club
for one year. Here is your membership certificate. It is made
out in your name and is non-transferable.
Your membership entitles you to all advantages of the
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TAKING
GUESS OUT OF ADVERTISING
the special NEW features that have been so enthusiastically received by thousands of other members. I t entitles
you also to one of the most entertaining and brilliant books
ever published, ABSOLUTELY FREE.
You
need only sign and return the membership certificate
to put your membership into immediate effect and to receive the
beautiful GIFT volume. Etc.
A few years ago, Nelson Doubleday sold a million copies
of the Book of Etiquette on a "Keeping Up with the Joneses"
appeal. And since he blazed the trail, hundreds of products of all kinds have been advertised and successfully sold
in the same way.
One such ad that we remember was "Can You Talk About
Books with the Rest of Them?" Knowing its success, we
used the same appeal in writing a letter for Stage magazine.
Here is the way it went:
Can You Talk About Plays
And the Like
the Rest
Them?
An innocent looking Questionnaire-just a little ink on a piece
of paper--is enclosed with this letter.
This Questionnaire, when answered and returned to us, will
enable us to tell you whether you rate as a drawing-room
Sphinx, with whom conversation is a lost art unless the talk
turns to business, or as an all-around-man-of-affairs, as much at
in the world center of entertainment as in the marts of
commerce.
should be those after dark-if
The brightest hours of the
you know where to spend them. The Stage tells you each
month what's new, what's interesting in the whole round of
metropolitan life after dark-theaters, movies, radio, supper
clubs. It covers the world of entertainment, informs you infallibly what to see and do. Rich, lavish, and colorful, it is at
once beautiful and diverting. I t insures your enjoyment when
you are out, keeps you in touch even when you stay at home.
For the Stage reports each month the whole dazzling world of
TAKING THE GUESS OUT O F ADVERTISING
293
amusement-all the vast apparatus of the relaxation and gaiety,
the night's fun. It visits the friendly cocktail
which
spots, the dinner, dancing, and supper places, pictures the modes
tells you where
and manners of all the gay pilgrims to
to go, what to do, before the theater and after, to get the utmost
of fun and entertainment.
Will you try the next five issues-if I send them to you at the
And will you fill out the enclosed
special price of
Questionnaire, so we can tell you just how high you rate today
in your knowledge of where to go and what to do to get the
most fun for your money?
Make no mistake about this-Broadway is vividly alive, even
though it is Summer. And scattered over the country are hundreds of small playhouses that are well and entertainingly run.
Everything that is bright, tuneful, or interesting will be reflected
in the colorful pages of Stage. The enclosed card will bring
you Stage for the next five months at the special price of $1.03
-just about half what it would cost you if you bought these
issues on the newsstands. Will you TRY it? Will you see
for yourself how it saves you the time and money wasted on
mediocre performances, how it gives you the vital news on all
that qualifies as valid entertainment?
Just your name and address on the enclosed card is all that is
necessary. Will you jot these down and drop it in the mail
-NOW?
Sincerely,
The above letter illustrates the point that Mr. Wheeler
made-that when you find an
that is unusually
successful, it pays to develop it to the utmost; to develop
and then to extend it as far as possible to ideas of a similar
nature.
At one of the Direct Mail Conventions, for instance, a
speaker told us that the only letter from which his company
had been able to get a satisfactory response was one beginning, "I wonder if you would be good enough to do me a
favor?" So every letter they used started with some variation of that appeal.
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TAKING THE GUESS OUT OF ADVERTISING
When I was with the New Process Company at Warren,
we found letters of that type to be successful, but we could
never afford to stick to that or any other single type of opening. We wrote to the same people too often, and they would
soon have tired of it.
So we tested continually for new starters. And of a
nature similar to this one we found a dozen others that pulled
just as well, while many of an entirely different
greatly
outpulled it.
There is no one best method of approaching your reader.
And no one person knows all the successful methods. But
experienced advertising men have learned a number of ways
that work well in a large majority of cases, and unless you
know better ones, it pays to use these tested methods. They
go far toward taking the guess out of advertising.
You have seen numerous advertisements, for instance,
starting, "Give me Five Minutes, and
Give You this or
that." So successful has this approach been found that it
has been put among the proved order-getters. Why not
ada p t it, then, to your offer? Here is the way we used it
for one client:
Give Me Two Minutes-And
Give You
The Secret of a Goodly Profit
Investment!
D EAR S IR:
I am going to send you, in the next few days, a book of Christmas Cards that are DIFFERENT, for your most particular customers.
This book is unlike any you have ever used before, because:
1-It has the new plastic style of binding that opens flat and
makes it easy for a woman to hold; small in size, light in
weight, it is an easy book to handle.
2-Many of the cards are illustrated with beautiful etchings,
hand-colored, of new and original designs that will be in
great demand among those who want their cards to be distinctive. Here are no duplicates of other Christmas
TAKING THE GUESS OUT OF ADVERTISING
295
books. The cards in this book were, for the most part,
made especially for us.
3-An outstanding feature of this new book is the number of
ENGRAVED cards. With their appealing designs, their
beautiful coloring, and their happily-phrased messages,
they need only to be seen to be appreciated.
I am going to send this new and different book of Christmas
Cards to you-with no cost or obligation on your part-for you
to examine and actually put to the test in your Christmas Card
department.
There is only one thing: I don't want to send it without your
permission. You can grant that in a moment on the enclosed
card.
Mind you, there is no charge of any kind for the book, in spite
of the fact that it is amazingly expensive to make up. We send
it to you at our own risk for your FREE USE. All we ask of
you is that you give it a chance to show what it can do, that you
put it where your customers can see it, where they can compare
it with the cards offered by others.
These cards, though so distinctive and beautiful, are in the
popular price class-5c,
and
each. The margin of
profit is the same as you get from your other Christmas Card
books, and they have this big advantage:
Ten years' experience has equipped us to handle quickly
and efficiently as much business as you can send us, and to
turn out all orders promptly, right up to the
minute
before Christmas.
Only 125 of these Christmas Books are made up each season.
Only 125 stores can handle our cards-never more than one in
each section of the country. So there is no danger of duplication.
We should like you to be the store to handle our Cards for your
section. May we send you our Christmas book?
Just your name on the enclosed card is all that is necessary.
But please mail it soon, for we shall have to make it "First
come, first served."
Sincerely,
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TAKING THE GUESS OUT OF ADVERTISING
That same client had recently received a letter that struck
him favorably. It started with the story of a Klondike miner
who had struck it rich, and, wanting to show his importance,
had walked into a restaurant in Seattle and ordered $25
worth of ham and eggs. The waiter, not to be outdone, told
him he was sorry, but they didn't serve half-portions. And
the story was used to point the moral that no matter how
much you try to outdo the other fellow, there is always someone to cap your tale with a strong one.
This client was so struck with that idea that he wanted a
letter along the same lines, so we wrote the following to test
against the more assured appeal of the previous letter. The
proved approach won, but he had the right idea. It is
always worth while to keep trying something new against the
old. With every big mailing we ever made on New Process
Company products, we always included tests of new letters.
And it was surprising how often we developed new approaches
that outpulled anything that had been used before.
You've heard the story, I know, of the proud fisherman who
was trying to impress a couple of guides with his piscatorial
proficiency.
"I had a big tarpon on the line," he was explaining, "when
along
an enormous shark, opened his mouth, and just
swallowed that tarpon whole. Did I have a time landing that
"Hmm!" grunted one of the guides, expectorating disgustedly,
"where I come from, we bait with sharks!"
Which goes to show that no matter how strong one makes his
story, there is always someone ready to go him one better.
If I told you that our new Book of Christmas Cards is
better than those you now use, someone else would just
make a stronger statement.
So I shall say only that our book is DIFFERENT. To begin
TAKING THE GUESS OUT OF ADVERTISING
297
with, it is easier for a woman to handle, because it has the new
plastic style of binding that opens flat.
An outstanding feature of the book is the number of ENGRAVED CARDS, with beautiful etchings, hand-colored, of
new
original designs made especially for us, that will be in
demand among those who want their cards to be distinctive.
Lastly, there is no charge for the book, in spite of its costliness.
We send it to you at our own risk and expense, for your FREE
USE. The margin of profit is the same you get from your
other books, the cards are in the popular price class-5c,
and
we can offer you this big advantage:
experience has equipped us to handle quickly and
Ten
efficiently as much business as you can send us, and to turn out
orders promptly, right up to
last minute.
Will you TRY it? The enclosed card will bring this amazingly
attractive book of cards to you without cost and without obligation. There is only one thing: We make up only 125 books
each year-no more. We send only one to each territory. We
should like to send the one for your territory to YOU. May we?
Sincerely,
The one thing that should always be borne in
is that
it is not merchandise you are selling, but human nature, human reactions. The movie
have found that
always respond to certain motivations, so they have their
guaranteed laugh producers, their
methods of
turning on the tears, and so on.
It
matter what the play, they can drag in a scene
showing a
butler carrying a tray, have him stumble
and dive into the whipped cream, and
are sure of a
good laugh. Or they can show the little boy kneeling at his
mother's knee,
bless dadd y and bring him
back safe," and be sure of wringing a tear from every woman
the audience.
In the same way, you can take an approach that has successfully sold a set of books, and with very little change,
adapt it to selling shoes or socks or luggage or any one of a
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TAKING THE GUESS OUT OF ADVERTISING
thousand other products-and be just as successful in disposing of these!
Take, for example, the "Give me 5 minutes" approach
used in one of the foregoing letters. You can use it to sell
a relief for Athlete's Foot, as in-"Give me 5 days, and
give you relief from itching feet." Or a new dance
"Give me 15 minutes and
give you the secret of dancing
to the new slow-time music." Or a new car-"Give me 5
minutes and
give you a new sensation in riding comfort.''
Here is the way it was adapted to selling a new set of books:
Give me Five Days-And 1'11 Give You
The Secret of Learning Any Subject!
DEAR READER:
Men who know it all need go no further into this letter than this
paragraph, because it is not for them. Neither is it for those
who are satisfied with their present positions, and the progress
have made in life.
This letter is for the man whose ship has not come in, who
WANTS to get ahead, and who realizes that he will earn more
only as he learns more. For this letter gives you the secret
of the most important yet least known of all the arts-THE
SECRET OF LEARNING!
America spends two billions a year on its public schools, other
millions in training teachers how to teach,
very little in
showing students how to learn!
Is it any wonder that most people forget all they have been
taught in classrooms within five years after they leave school?
Is it surprising that students should dawdle through four years
in College to learn what, in the opinion of Professor
of
Columbia, any man who understood the art of learning might
grasp in six months?
For here, according to Professor
is the amazing
you know how to learn, half an hour daily is
fact:
enough to master the fundamentals of any science WITHIN
A YEAR!
Never before have the rewards for high-speed learners been SO
TAKING THE GUESS OUT OF ADVERTISING
299
great. When you know how to learn, you put yourself in position to master the intricacies of any job or any
easily. You equip yourself in the race of life to keep
a jump ahead of the crowd. And that is all the lead you need
in life or in a race to pull down the biggest prices the world
has to offer. The old adage of "Live and Learn" might well be
changed to "Learn-and then live as you please!''
What IS the secret of learning? HEADLINE TREATMENT-sharply outlined, quickly digested resumes of each
subject. With these as a framework, it is easy to add a
thorough understanding of the details of the subject.
Notice the way a newspaper picks the high spots of the day's
news, puts them in headlines, then follows with a brief resume
that tells the essentials of the story in a dozen words. That is
the secret of quickly learning any subject-getting the headlines
that put the idea across, following these with a short resume,
and then filling in the details. It is simplified study-study
made easy.
And that is what we offer you in the COLLEGE OUTLINE
series-Headline Treatment that gives you the important facts,
illustrations that sum up whole chapters, pithy resumes that
cover the essential framework-and then additional particulars
to fill in the picture.
Years ago, the late President Eliot of Harvard University
startled the world by saying that he could put all the books essential to a liberal education on a five-foot shelf. If he had lived
to see the COLLEGE OUTLINES, I think he would have cut his
shelf to two feet instead of five.
For in the twenty-six volumes of the COLLEGE OUTLINE series
now published, you get the essentials of a cultural education.
They carry with them the mark of the educated man. Whether
you have been to College or not, you need these handy volumes.
If you are a
man, you need them to recall in interesting
fashion the things you were taught there. If you are not, you
need them to give you these facts that are so necessary to the
successful man of today.
Each day in College, according to President Ferry of Hamilton
College, is worth $100 in later life. Yet. as Ex-President Lowell
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TAKING THE GUESS OUT OF ADVERTISING
of Harvard points out, it is not the College classroom that is
necessary. "All true education," he says, "is self-education."
You can judge for yourself how valuable the COLLEGE OUTLINES are considered by educational authorities
the fact
that practically every College and University throughout the
land now uses them, and they are endorsed by more than 2700
College instructors. "I am a strong advocate of OUTLINES,"
writes a well-known instructor from the University of Denver,
"as furnishing the skeleton of a subject both to the student and
teacher, giving the subject a backbone."
For many years after he had made his millions, Andrew Carnegie
used to employ a tutor to give him the cultural background
he was unable to get as a youngster. COLLEGE OUTLINES
take the place of a first class tutor in giving you a quick and
thorough understanding of a subject. Each one gives you a
fistful of pertinent reading covering a particular subject, as
of reference works. Their
compared with the usual
plan of headlining the essential facts gives you a grasp of the
subject in the same way that the headlines in your newspaper
give you the background for the story that follows.
With your permission, I am going to send the 26 volumes
of the COLLEGE OUTLINE series to you-to read, to try
out in your own home for a week, at our risk and expense.
Mind you, there is no obligation on your part to keep them.
You can
them for any reason or no reason. All I want
you to do now is to
them, to put them to the test of actual
use, to see for yourself how their headline treatment gives you
a thorough grasp of each subject quickly, easily-and how it
shows you the secret of
any subject.
If you were to buy all the books from which the 2G volumes of
the COLLEGE OUTLINES were taken, you'd have a library
of hundreds of volumes by 119 different authorities, that would
cost you thousands of dollars. In the COLLEGE OUTLINES,
you get the headline facts from all those books, and they cost
you-NOT thousands, not even hundreds, but only $1.50 at
the end of your week's
and $2 a month for nine
months. (Or $17 in one full cash payment.)
Every man wants to get out of the rut, to grow. Yet who the
TAKING THE GUESS OUT OF ADVERTISING
301
one that wins promotion? Is it the man whose knowledge is
limited to his own routine work? Or is it the man who, like the
famous psychologist
James, realizes that at bottom there
is but one science, and that until you know something of all
subjects, you cannot know everything about one. So he
broadens his knowledge by taking in the essentials of all important subjects.
That is what every man must do who wants to be regarded as
educated in the broad sense, or even as an authority on some
one subject. He must learn something of all. And nowhere
can you get such a rounded knowledge so readily o r so quickly
as through the pages of the COLLEGE OUTLINES.
only worthwhile liberal education today," says Dr.
of Harvard, "is one which is a continuing process going on
throughout life." And he goes on to say that "If knowledge
is to be advanced in a democracy, the leaders of opinion and
the intelligent voters must be kept in touch with what scholarship
and research really signify." To prove that, all you need to
do is to mail the enclosed card. The card obligates us
not you. Will you TRY it? Will you put your name on i t
and drop it in the mail?
Sincerely,
P. S.-To those who mail the enclosed card at once, we are
going to send a copy of our latest COLLEGE OUTLINE, covering every essential phase of JOURNALISM.
of the books you get on this subject cover only one type of
writing such as editorial work, reporting, feature writing, etc.
This new book covers all. Not only that, but it gives you a
of learning Journalism,
digest of the most successful
by the very
who originated those methods.
To get a copy of this new OUTLINE, with our compliments,
just mail the enclosed card right
A knowledge of your product is essential, of course. But
familiarit y with human reactions, human responses to familiar
stimuli, is even more important.
Oftentimes when we have been asked to write a letter
about some new product, we have sketched the first rough
302
TAKING THE GUESS
OUT O F ADVERTISING
draft of it without seeing the product at all, or knowing any
more about it than our average reader. We put into that
first draft everything that we should want in the product if
we were buying it. Then-after we had our mental picture
of the ideal product from our point of view as a user-we
took the product itself, studied it, and determined how it
pared with our ideal. Many times it has been an approach
way
developed in this way that has proved the most
of selling the product.
Magic Words That Make People Buy
In changing the titles of his thousand and more little
Blue Books, experimenting with first this and then another
title, E. Haldeman Julius found certain magic words that
were more effective than any others in making people buy.
"Truth," "Life," "Love," were among the strongest of these.
As part of a title or headline, they always increased the pull.
"At last" was a big help, as was "New," "Advice," "Facts
you should know
and "Cultural Help." But
"How" led all the rest.
As an instance of this, Haldeman Julius shows how changing the name of The Art of Controversy to How t o Argue
Logically vastly increased the sale of the book. The same
was true when he changed Essay on Conversation to How to
Improve Your Conversation. "Evolution made plain" was a
flop, but "Facts you should know about
made the
book sell in the big-volume class. And everyone knows
The Story of Philosophy put Philosophy among the best
sellers.
How can you apply the same idea to letters? Here is the
way George H. Cole, of Syracuse, N. Y., did it. He had
series of collection letters to sell-a dry enough product,
all conscience. But is his letter dry? Just read it and see
TAKING THE GUESS OUT OF ADVERTISING
303
how he puts life into the very first line, and into every line
that follows:
Want to raise money? While they last,
v
The Famous "Notes on Financing -FREE! !
GENTLEMEN :
Would you like to see bigger and better collections in a few
short weeks?
Let me tell you how:
I am going to send within the next few days a choice collection
of marvelous letters-the cream of the very best collection
letters ever written.
These letters are probably not like any you have ever seen before, because:
1. They actually are the "pick" of the most effective collection letters ever used-and especially valuable right now.
2. They are the ones which have produced the best results
ever attained-in actual use.
3. All are friendly, courteous-preserving and often creating
good-will.
4.
substitute experience for experiment-and are suitable to any business without revision.
I am going to send these wonder letters with no obligation on
your part-for you to read and ACTUALLY TRY OUT at my
risk and expense.
But there's just one thing-I don't want to send them without
first getting your permission. You can grant that in a moment by penciling the Courtesy Card enclosed.
When I send the letters, there's absolutely no obligation to keep
them. While I want you to know first hand the great results
they will obtain in actual use-you are perfectly free to return
them for any reason o r for no reason at all.
But here's the most important part:
If you find they are everything I say about them-and
are
to be the sole judge-how much would you expect to pay for
them?
That's what they will be
worth to you based on actual RESULTS they'll get for you. Use
TAKING THE GUESS OUT OF ADVERTISING
them side by side with those you are now using-and compare
results! Certainly if they will do half of what I've promised
you they would be worth that and more.
Well, if you decide to try out these letters, you need send me,
not $25, or $50, or even the regular price of $10, but MY
SPECIAL INTRODUCTORY PRICE TO YOU of $3.85.
And that isn't allIf within three months your $3.85 hasn't grown to many times
that amount in collections made and good-will preserved-send
back the letters and 1'11 refund to you cheerfully and in full
every cent you have paid for them.
Remember, there are no strings of any kind to my offer. If
within three months they haven't helped you to the pot of gold
at the end of the rainbow by collecting many, many times their
cost, then they are not for you. Send them back and get your
money.
And I want you to note this:
These wonder letters are by no means an ordinary "series."
They are not a series of threats or ordinary "dunning" letters.
Nor are
the familiar "tear out forms." They ARE the
aristocrats of the collection field.
And just listen to this:
"The letters are the work of geniuses-and worth thousands of
of Chicago.
dollars." So writes Chas.
For
are the best of the best-and gotten together, I assure
you, only after the expenditure of much time arid effort.
The Famous Notes on Financing Free
And for good measure-while they last-I'll send you the very
unusual and practical "Notes on Financing the Business of
Moderate Size," with my compliments, at no cost whatever.
You'll find them interesting and very valuable if you ever
want to raise money for your business.
But you'll have to send the Courtesy Card right away for we're
running off only a limited number of sets for this Advance
Edition. And advance orders are coming in so fast that I'm
afraid all of them will be spoken for very quickly.
So if you want these WONDER LETTERS without risk of loss
TAKING THE GUESS OUT OF ADVERTISING
305
and the NOTES ON FINANCING free, you'll have to mail the
Courtesy Card, NOW-TODAY.
Yours for better business,
Selling a boring machine is a dry subject. Offhand,
you'd say it would be difficult to inject much life into it. But
just listen to this. Whether you are interested in boring
machines or not, wouldn't it stop you? Wouldn't it hold
your interest?
Millions Were Actually
Thrown Into the Gutter!
"The most expensive gutters in the worldw-that is what they
called the canals of 1830, which cost
to build,
and were doomed by the locomotive. What do you suppose
they will call the trenches of today, where whole gangs of laborers take days to dig up stretches of expensively paved streets,
just to lay pipes or cables or drains under them?
most expensive ditches in the world'-probably. FOR
THOSE SAME HOLES COULD BE BORED AT A TENTH
OF THE COST WITH A Blank Boring Machine.
All the work of tearing up paving, all the expense of resurfacing, might just as well be thrown into the ditch, for
the
need there is of it or all the good you get out of it.
You see, the Blank bores UNDER the street. It can make
any size hole from
inches to
inches. It can bore
any length up to 120 ft. It works as fast as a foot a minute, and it costs only
a foot!
we made
for installing water mains in a newly
borough," writes the So-and-so Township Water
of Smithtown, Pa.,
which passed three paved
highways. Our permit was conditioned upon not breaking the
paved surface of the highway. Thirt y or more crossings were
necessary. The Blank Boring Machine enabled us to do the
work in 1931 at minimum expenditure. We know of no better
or more economical machine for its purpose. We completed
the entire job for less than half the estimated cost of tunneling."
306
TAKING THE GUESS OUT OF ADVERTISING
can save more than half for you, too. May we tell you
how? Your name on the enclosed card will bring full information by mail, without obligation.
Sincerely,
Some men are born gamblers.'' There's a start for a
letter. There is a phrase that gets under the skin of most
all feel that we are ready
readers. "A born
to take a chance when the risk is worth while, yet that we
know when to gamble, when to play safe. How can we tie
that very human trait into our letter in a way that will appeal
to our readers? One carpet company did it by pointing out
that no matter how strong their sporting instincts, few men
would turn their backs on a sure thing. And then they
proceeded with their offer.
John Caples, author of Tested Advertising Methods, is
authority for the statement that the headline of an advertisement accounts for 60 per cent of the pull of that advertisement. In the same way, the start of a letter makes or breaks
the letter, because if the start does not interest your reader,
he never gets down to the rest of your letter.
Personally, our concern starts with the outside of the
envelope. If we can find a good enough catch-phrase, to
correspond with the headline of an ad, we'll put it on the
outside of the envelope. If not, we will try to make the envelope look like a personal letter, or use a novel size or
design that will attract attention. A miniature letter, for
instance, when used with an envelope about the size of a calling card, has been one of the most effective pieces we have
ever used. An imitation hand-written letter, with hand fill-in
to match the body, is next. Then automatically typed letters,
with the recipient's name repeated in the body of the letter.
After these come the stunt letters, like those with a penny
pasted at the top, or a new dime or German mark or
All are designed to win attention and thus get themselves
TAKING THE GUESS OUT OF ADVERTISING
307
As to the motives to appeal to when you have won the
reader's attention, by f a r the strongest, in our experience, is
vanity. Not the vanity that buys a cosmetic or what-not to
look a little better, but that unconscious vanity which makes
a man want to feel important in his own eyes and makes him
strut mentally. This appeal needs to be subtly used, but
when properly used, it is the strongest we know.
Next to it, perhaps, is the premium or "Gift" idea-starting your letter with the gift of some unimportant article, to
lead your reader on to the buying of your real product.
Selling, you know, is just a matter of making people
WANT some one thing you have, more than they want the
money it costs them. And the easiest way to make them
want it is by sugar-coating your offer as a doctor sugarcoats a bitter pill-for oftentimes it is bitter to dig up money
for something you do not really need. This sugar-coating
takes many different forms, of which the gift or premium is
the most common. I-Iere it is used to sell a magazine subscription:
DEAR MR. J ONES:
As you will see from the enclosed Reservation Card, we are
putting aside for you, with our compliments, a set of three books
which for timely value and business interest have seldom been
equalled.
Thousands upon thousands of these books have been sold a t
regular retail prices. Thousands more will be sold at the same
figure. But our rights to
cease with the end of our
one big edition--and there are less than four hundred sets in
our stock room now!
These three volumes include the famous "Obvious Adams," as
well as such popular stand-bys as "The Sixth Prune" and "The
Subconscious Mind in Business." They contain some of the
choicest nuggets of business philosophy and homely common
sense ever written. They are called "The Library of
Starters," by Robert R. Updegraff.
308
TAKING THE GUESS OUT OF ADVERTISING
If you will mail the enclosed Reservation Card at once,
calling for the next 24 issues of the Journal of Modern
Business Management, at its regular price of $5, we will
send you-with our compliments-a 3-volume set of Updegraff's "Library of Self-Starters," beautifully printed on
heavy book paper and bound in thick board covers.
The only reason we can make this offer is that we are very near
the end of our big edition, with not enough sets left to justify
printing circulars and letters to sell them alone. So we decided to use thern as a special inducement to introduce the new
Journal to a few select business executives whom we have not
been able to reach with our regular offer.
L. F. Loree, President of the Delaware
says that during the past year 20 per cent of the higher managerial staff of
industry have been destroyed or totally disabled as industrial
leaders. He believes it will take four or five years' training
and experience for their juniors in the ranks of management
to replace those fallen leaders.
But will it? If they depend upon ordinary training and experience-yes. But if they study each month the proven plans
and practical methods of the most successful leaders of
then we believe they can follow in those leaders' footsteps at
once! And not merely in their footsteps, but the enthusiasm
and fresh viewpoints they can put into their jobs should enable
to quickly outstrip these leaders' pace.
That is what this new magazine gives you-the practical methods that are producing results for others. It is a clearing
house for all that is timely and usable in the most efficiently run
offices and successful businesses. It is a new deal-in busineas
conditions and in a business magazine. It brings you the
chance to get in on the ground floor of the new business cycle,
with all that this signifies of opportunity and of profit.
Will you use the enclosed Reservation Card to TRY it? Will
you accept a 3-volume set of Updegraff's "Library of
Starters," with our compliments? Then put your name on the
card and drop it in the mail NOW! You will never have another such opportunity.
Sincerely,
TAKING THE GUESS OUT OF ADVERTISING
309
Gifts or premiums can just as readily be used to sell dental
supplies, or groceries, or furniture, or lots. In fact, the
principle is as old as selling. Down in Louisiana they have
an old French word for it-"Lagnappe." When you buy
a peck of potatoes, or a dozen eggs, or anything else down
there, the merchant throws in a little something extra, just as
a good-will offering, and a merchant is judged largely by the
amount of Lagnappe that he gives. Well, here is Lagnappe
as applied to dental supplies:
DEAR DOCTOR:
With your permission, I am going to send you FREE a New,
Self-filling Black Beauty Fountain Pen-Pencil, with your name
stamped upon it in 24 carat solid gold leaf.
You will like this good-looking, smooth-working Pen-Pencil.
It has all the fine appearance of a Five Dollar Pen, and your
name stamped upon it gives it a distinctiveness that expensive
pens often lack. Practically unbreakable, it will give you
smooth and satisfactory service for years.
Your name on the enclosed Coupon will bring this Pen-Pencil
to you, postpaid,
I'm going to send this Gift to you-without cost or obligation
on your part-upon receipt of your next order for Blank
Products amounting to $5 or more.
You can make up your own selection of Supplies. The inside
pages illustrate and describe many money-saving offers-50%
below Dental Depot Prices.
I only have 500 of these Black Beauty Fountain Pen-Pencils.
Among over 10,000 customers of mine whom I am writing
this quantity will not last very long.
But while they last, I will send you one FREE immediately
upon receipt of your next order amounting to $5.00 or more,
AND IN ADDITION, I will stamp your own name on it in gold.
Play safe. Send in your order AT ONCE and be sure to
print your name CLEARLY on the Pen-Pencil Coupon, so that
will be sure of getting yours-before it is too late.
Cordially yours,
310
TAKING THE GUESS OUT OF ADVERTISING
And here is that same idea so cleverly worded, that it
makes an ordinary prospectus sound like a most worthwhile gift. It is hard to get inquiries from the right kind of
prospects. It is often difficult to get your literature into the
right hands. So when you can make your logical prospect
ASK for it, when you can make him look upon your advertising matter as a worth-while gift, then indeed have you accomplished something to crow over. And
the following letter, the Limited Edition Club has done just that:
DEAR MR. J ONES:
I have a present for you. To get it, you must ask for it, and it
would be nice if you would say Please.
You don't have to guess what it is; if you did, you'd guess it to
be a bank for the
pennies o r a folder for your insurance
policies. No, 1'11 tell you; it is a copy of a handsome printed
prospectus, setting forth the plans of The Limited Editions
Club for its sixth year.
you have a real interest in literature; if you derive delight
from the fine printing of books; if the presence of beautiful
books in your home o r anybody's home gives you a thrill,
you'll want to ask for this lovely prospectus (it is remarkably
handsome!) and you'll be willing to say Please.
For in it you will find the announcement of a First Edition of a
hitherto unpublished work by Mark Twain. You will find
plans for new editions of works by Chaucer, Dickens, Emerson,
Henry, Lewis Carroll, Hawthorne.
Hudson, Sterne, More,
Melville-and James Joyce! You will find the promise of
original critical work from Christopher Morley and H. G.
William
and Carl Van Doren, Stephen
and Van
Wyck Brooks. You will find the announcement of book illustrations by John Tenniel and Miguel Covarrubias, T. M.
and George Grosz, Edward Wilson, Valenti Angelo, Gordon
Ross-and Henri Matisse!
Such a prospectus is treasure trove for you if you are the kind
of this letter. I
of person I suggested in the third
have a copy to present to you, and
pay the postage to get
TAKING THE GUESS OUT O F ADVERTISING
it to you, too.
in return.
311
Naturally, I am anxious that you should read it,
So, if you will simply write "Send me that prospectus, Please"
across the edge of this letter and return it to me,
do the
rest. I ask that you do this promptly, for only five hundred
copies of the prospectus are available for the people who answer
this coy letter from me.
Cordially yours,
To sum up-one of the strongest traits in human nature is
the desire to be somebody, to feel important, to be necessary
to the community and those around us. And many proved
ways have been found of successfully approaching people
through this harmless strain of vanity that is in all of us.
That
so, why take the hard way when there is an easy
one open to us? Why blaze new trails when there is a paved
road already laid?
For twenty-five years or more, one magazine used a letter
that started along the
lines:
The enclosed card is of real value to you, and has been registered in your name. It is for your personal use only. If you
use it, we should feel obliged if you would return or
destroy it. For it brings to you and a select group of wellknown book-lovers the chance to examine the new this or that,
etc.
I used the same idea time and again, and almost every
book publisher repeatedly has mailed some modification of it.
This has been going on for years and years, yet still the reading public seems to accept it at face value; still it is one of
the most successful approaches that we know.
This was graphically proved a while back when a new
magazine was brought out. The following letter, which, as
will see, used the same general type of approach, is reported to have brought an average of nearly 9 per cent of
orders:
312
TAKING THE GUESS OUT OF ADVERTISING
Because your name is included on a selected list of those we
should prefer to have as our Charter Subscribers, we invite you
to receive the next six monthly issues of the Blank Magazine at
the special introductory price of only $1.00. The regular price
is $3.00 per year-25$ a copy.
(Here follows description of the new magazine.)
We tell you sincerely that your name has been included at this
time because of its special significance to use as a Charter
Subscriber. We have segregated a known and selected group of
readers, preferred as first subscribers. With this key group at
the start, the merits of the magazine will be discussed in the
right circles by people whose opinions are respected. For that
reason we offer you this initial reduced price of $1.00 for six
months' issues.
Accept our invitation NOW. Just fill in your complete address
on the convenient form enclosed. No postage stamp is needed.
Drop it in the mail in the envelope provided herewith.
Sincerely yours,
There is an old ditty to the effect thatHe who whispers down a well
About the things he has to sell
Will not make the shining dollars
Like him who climbs a tree and hollers.
Not to advertise is like whispering down a well, but advertising ineffectively is even worse, for you are spending good
money to get no better results!
Follow in the footsteps of some of these users of TESTED
approaches, PROVED appeals, and you will take the guess out
of your advertising and put profits into your tills.
XXII
We Help to Start a Store
to best advantage? To what businesses and for what purposes are they best adapted?
You hear these questions asked frequently, and the answers
are as varied as the people who give them. Our own experience indicates that anyone who has something to sell can use
the mails in one way or
to further
sale.
This point was well illustrated in the experience of a young
fellow who came to us for help some years ago.
was
assistant to a resident buyer of ladies' ready-to-wear dresses.
In the course of their buying for out-of-town stores, they ran
across innumerable odd lots of dresses that could be
up at discounts of anywhere from 40 to 75 per cent of the
regular wholesale price. Some of them were original models
that had been copied and now were no longer needed. Others
soiled from being exhibited by manniwere samples,
kins. But most were odd sizes of regular models, perfect in
every respect-but left-overs.
The trouble was that there were only a few of each-not
enough for any merchant to advertise. And anyway, by the
time the buyer could write one of his out-of-town stores and
get permission to send along the dresses, they probably would
someone else. So most of the outhave been snapped up
of-town
passed them up.
But some ten years before the head of this resident buyer's
CAN USE THE MAILS
313
314
WE HELP TO START A STORE
firm had conceived the idea of picking up a few of the best
of these bargains, gathering them together in his own office,
and then handing out cards telling of the bargains to girls
working in nearby offices. It did not take long to work up
quite a following, for by judicious picking he was able to offer
every dress at less than its regular wholesale price! In ten
years' time he was selling $1,000 worth of dresses a week!
Although this proof of Emerson's famous saying was
enough for the head of the concern, our younger friend felt
that the world could be brought to their door far more
if some better and more comprehensive way were found of
telling people of the bargains to be had there. To him, the
side line seemed far more important than the resident buying
and offered greater possibilities of development. But the
"boss" was satisfied with the progress they were making, and
not only had the young fellow nothing on which to make an
independent start, but there was a wife and child at home who
had to eat.
Eventually, however, our young friend (whom we shall call
Jones) persuaded a couple of his friends to put u p $3,000
to back the idea, and with this $3,000 he launched out on
own. Mind you, with $3,000 he had not only to stock
an
with dresses, pay rent and pay help, but in addition,
he and his family had to live on it while the business was
getting started.
So there was not much left for advertising. Yet some
advertising had to be done, because it was essential that trade
start at once-every week ate into the small capital for unproductive expenses. After long and prayerful consideration, it was decided to risk $20 a week as an advertising appropriation, and I was entrusted with the spending of it!
Not much you can do with $20 a week to launch a new
business, perhaps you will say. And yet $20 could be made
WE HELP TO START A STORE
315
to cover a thousand letters when they were mailed third class.
And that is exactly what we did with it.
We secured the names of business girls, feeling that they
require more dresses than the average housewife, yet have less
time to shop around for bargains. And each week to 1,000
business girls we sent one of the following letters:
You know that being well dressed is not merely a matter of
money. Right among your own acquaintances you can pick out
a dozen women who spend more than you do on their clothes,
and yet look far less well dressed.
Yet, you are spending twice as much for your
should!
as you
How can we prove it!
giving you two smart, new, modish dresses-lovelier, more
exquisite than any in your wardrobe-for the price you now
pay for one.
Impossible? No, indeed! You know what bargains you can
pick up even in the regular stores by continually "shopping
around." Imagine, then, what your opportunities would be if
you were continually "shopping" among the dress manufacturers
themselves.
Yet that is what we are daily, hourly doing as Resident Buyers
for twelve out-of-town Department Stores. Every day we pick
up Original-Model samples, "close-outs" of which only two or
three are left in stock, or Designers' Model-Gowns, and because
the manufacturers have no time to bother over single dresses,
we get them at such bargains that we can pass them on to you
at actually less than the wholesale prices!
That means we can offer you the prettiest, smartest dresses to be
found in the big stores-beautiful frocks of the finest fabrics,
that you'd pay them $25 to $85 for-at from $7.50 to $29. And
not one among them that isn't priced at less than half what you'd
pay for the same dress in any store!
Not only that, but you have a bigger selection to choose fromin all sizes, all colors, all kinds of materials. There are
316
WE HELP TO START A STORE
ful summer frocks of fascinating freshness ; chic, modish street
dresses; exquisite afternoon gowns of the finest fabrics; pretty,
dainty house dresses.
And remember, many of these are individual, specially designed
models-not the kind that is turned out by the thousand and
that you meet on every passer-by. They are distinctive, charming, unusual, not only in price but in that far more elusive
quality-style.
Come and see for yourself. There is no cost-no slightest
9
obligation to buy. Just drop in and "shop around '-see all
the authoritative new modes-satisfy yourself that these are the
wonderful values we claim--compare the prices with those
you've found in the stores.
But come soon if you can, for while we get in new and captivating models every day and there is never a time when you can't
pick up some delightful bargain, yet the showing we have now
is our best. If you want the pick of it, come soon while the
choicest creations, the loveliest and most distinctive designs are
still here. You will find the ladies in charge always glad to
show you, never urgent that you buy.
Sincerely yours,
DEAR MADAM:
Every woman, no matter how much money she spends on her
clothes, likes to
up special bargains when she can do it without sacrificing quality or style.
You know that.
You know, too, that being well dressed is not so much a matter
of money as it is of having the gift for picking out chic, modish
garments with style to them.
Many women have that gift. More have not.
If you are one of the lucky ones that have it, you can save half
the price on every dress you buy. At the same time you can
get individual, specially designed models, made up for samples
or Designer's models, of special materials and workmanship.
You know what bargains you pick up occasionally even in the
Stores just by shopping around. Imagine, then, what you could
do if you were
shopping among the Dress Manufacturers and Designers themselves!
WE HELP TO
START
A STORE
317
Yet that is what we are daily, hourly doing as Resident Buyers
for a dozen out-of-town Department Stores. Every day we
pick up Original-Model Dresses, Designers' Model-gowns or
coats, and because the Manufacturers have no time to bother with
single dresses, we get them at such bargains that we can pass
them on to you at actually less than their wholesale prices-half
what they would cost i n any
store!
Not only that, but we give you a better selection to choose fromin all sizes, in the most fashionable colors and materials. There
are lovely Fall and Winter frocks; chic, modish street dresses;
exquisite afternoon and evening gowns; pretty, dainty house
dresses; smart coats and wraps.
And, of course, there are all the regular models among them, too,
just like those in the stores. Only ours are priced at half the
Store prices. For in our rounds of the Manufacturers, we pick
up many a special little "close-out," many an "odd lot" at 30,
even 50%
the
wholesale prices!
Come in and see for yourself.
be no cost-no slightest
urge or obligation to buy.
Just do as we do at the Manufacturers'
around." See all the latest and most distinctive modes;
pare the prices, the designs, the quality, with anything you can
find in the stores.
Come soon if you can, for while we get in new and captivating
models every day and there is never a time when you can't pick
up some delightful bargain, yet the showing we have now is our
best. If you want the pick of it, come soon while the choicest
creations, the loveliest and most distinctive designs are here.
You will find the ladies in charge always glad to show you,
never urgent that you buy.
Sincerely yours,
DEAR MADAM :
What size dress do you wear?
If it's a 16, an 18, or a 36, I can save you half its cost and at
the same time give you as distinctive, as stylish, as unusual a
model as you can find the whole length of the Avenue.
Even on the larger sizes I can sometimes do this, but if you wear
a 16, an 18 or a 36, you can always find your size here.
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You know how the Dress Manufacturers work. Their designers
submit scores of different models each season-beautifully made,
hand-worked, specially designed models. Some are discarded
because they cost too much to make up. Some because they
don't happen to appeal to the manufacturer's fancy. Only a
few are copied and made up in quantity. The rest are sold for
what they will bring.
These are the "Original-Models" we offer you. These are the
dresses that, in our daily rounds of the manufacturers as Resident Buyers for out-of-town stores, we pick up at such low
prices that we can offer them to you at half, or less than half,
what similar garments would cost you in any store.
There's only one or two of each, so no big store can take the
time to bother with them. But by getting them from so many
different manufacturers, we have a complete selection always
on hand.
Come in and see them-if only to see what a range of lovely
up
styles and materials they cover. Frequently they are
in the larger sizes, so there is every chance that out of our 400
dresses you'll find just the style, just
material, and just the
size you want.
Costs nothing to see them, anyway-and it's certainly worth
while to SEE if you can save half and still get as lovely a dress
as ever you've bought for double the price.
Sincerely,
DEAR MADAM:
Have you ever had some friend in the Dress business take you
around to a manufacturer's, and let you pick the exact model
you wanted at the wholesale price?
Remember what a bargain that was-how far below the regular
Retail Store figures it was priced?
Well, that is the service we offer you on ALL your Dresses and
Coats. We don't take you to one manufacturer. We do better.
We bring the best from the stocks of a hundred manufacturers
here, for you to choose from, at wholesale prices.
Now,
is the point. As Resident Buyers for a number of
out-of-torvn Stores, we are making the rounds of the manufac-
WE HELP TO START A STORE
319
turers every day. You know yourself what bargains you can
pick up even in the Stores just by shopping around. Imagine,
then, what we can do when we are daily shopping among the
manufacturers themselves! Whenever they bring out some
"Special," or whenever
have only a few of a style left, or
whenever they finish copying their Designer's Model-Gowns,
we get them.
At such a time the manufacturers, who cannot afford to bother
with such small lots, are willing to let us have them at our own
price. The result is that we can offer you many of the season's
loveliest and most distinctive models, in all sizes, in the most
fashionable colors and materials, at actually less than
wholesale prices!
Come and see for
It costs nothing to be shown. And
if you can save half on all your Dresses, you want to know it.
Be sure to look here before you buy that next Dress.
Sincerely,
From the very first week those letters brought in a fair
amount of business-some
to $300 worth each week.
And the bargains were so real and so evident that many came
back with friends.
Jones had figured that it would
be a year before
he could show any net profit, after allowing for the cost of
getting started and for his own
expenses, but at the
end of the first seven months not only had he earned enough
to cover all those expenses, but his books showed a net profit
of $18 besides! Not much, of course, but from that time on
it was one
growth.
the end of the first year his
sales had mounted, through consistent advertising, to the
volume it had taken the original firm ten years to
$1,000 a week!
There were special sales now and then, of course, and on
these the list of customer names made the letters even more
productive than the regular ones. Here are three of these
Specials" that produced
good results:
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Here is our first CLEARANCE SALE!
200 chic, modish dresses, all of the latest winter models, at from
to 50% less than wholesale prices!
The Manufacturers are finishing up their Spring stocks now,
and by the end of the month they will be turning over to us all
their sample dresses, designer's model gowns, etc., in the latest
Spring styles. Nobody will want to buy Winter dresses then,
so we must clean out our entire stock of more than 200 Winter
models before the Spring gowns start coming in.
That means that for this one month we are going to forget all
about profits-sell everything at exact cost-and exact cost with
us is little more than half wholesale prices!
For we never buy anything that is not a bargain, and in our
daily rounds of the manufacturers as Resident Buyers for fifteen
out-of-town department stores, we are able to pick up some
wonderful bargains for ourselves.
Modish street dresses, chic afternoon frocks, beautiful evening
gowns-they are all here, more than 200 of them, in all sizes,
for you to choose from. And remember-they are specially
designed models, most of them, distinctive not only in price,
but in that far more elusive quality, style.
Come and look them over. It is an opportunity such as you
will find in no store that we have ever seen. Better come quickly,
though, while our stock is at its best. Every single dress in the
lot is a remarkable bargain, but by coming now you can get
that wide choice of styles and designs that every woman wants,
and that will be impossible after the stock has been picked over.
your own price," said the manufacturer.
And we did.
This manufacturer had thousands of dollars tied up in the new
Fall and Winter models of Ladies' Dresses. A big manufacturer and a good one. Over-stocked with beautiful goods, in the
styles and colorings sponsored at the recent Paris openings.
Vast quantities of them-but money needed.
"The goods must be sold," he decided, "at once!"
WE HELP TO START A STORE
321
We picked out 300 of his choicest models and named him a price
on them. It was accepted without cavil or question. The result is that we can offer you some of the prettiest, some of the
most exquisitely styled and fashioned dresses to be found along
the Avenue at not merely less than retail, but actually at little
more than manufacturing cost prices!
A windfall-not just for us-but for you. Understand, these
are new Fall and Winter models-new fabrics, new linings, the
latest versions of the strikingly new silhouettes-that were expected to appear in Department Stores throughout the coming
season. No odd lots or cleanaways. New goods-the Parisaccepted modes-complete.
You can't tell the quality story from the printed page, of course.
You CAN from the garments. From a glance at the seamshand-stitched. From the soft, beautiful, rich fabrics, from
their splendid style-and, we might add, from the marker's
reputation.
Come and see for yourself. Costs nothing to be shown, you
know, and any time you can pick up some of the season's
loveliest models at wholesale prices, it's worth looking into, at
least.
Better come soon-while the stock is at its best, while you can
have a wide choice of models and designs.
Cordially yours,
Every season when the rush of order taking is over, the big
dress manufacturers draw a deep, long breath and begin to
straighten up their stocks preparatory to making up their
samples for the next season.
And
always find dresses set to one side during the rush for
one reason or another-reserved on some salesman's request
for a particularly good customer and then cancelled; or marked
"hold" and the reason forgotten; or often just pushed out of
sight by accident.
These dresses are
the very best of the stock, but they
have to be disposed of
without regard for cost, to make
room for the coming season's stock; for space is more valuable
clothing.
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If there were more of them and if they ran a complete line of
sizes, the big department stores would snatch them up like
lightning. But each manufacturer has only a few-perhaps
a dozen. So the department stores can't
six or
bother with them.
As Resident Buyers for a dozen out-of-town department stores,
we are constantly calling on scores of the manufacturers and by
selecting the best of these dresses from each, we make up a complete stock that for distinctiveness of design, for fashionable
colors and
materials, can scarcely be equalled along the
whole length of the Avenue.
And the prices-you know yourself what bargains you can pick
u p even in the regular stores by shopping around. Imagine,
then, what prices we get on these "close out" lots from the
manufacturers. A third off-even a half off the regular wholesale price is nothing out of the ordinary, so that we can pass
these dresses on to you at half-or less than half-what you'd
pay for the same models in any retail store.
while the manufacturers sell them out because it's the end
of the manufacturing season, the Wearing Season has only just
begun!
The manufacturers are starting now to work on Summer Dresses
and we are just getting the best of their Spring Models-colorful
frocks of fascinating freshness, beautiful gowns of the finest
fabrics, costumes for every mood and occasion that would cost
you in any store from $25 to $75.
And we can give them to you for half, or less than half priceactually less than the wholesale price!
Whatever material you have set your heart on-crepe-de-chine,
canton, jersey-you will find it here. Tan, navy, grey,
whatever color you fancy-you will find it among these charming, captivating dresses in some distinctive model. They are
a showing of all the authoritative new modes-they make your
Spring shopping one delightful adventure.
Come and see for yourself. Never mind what we say--come and
prove the truth of it with your own eyes. There is no obligation to buy. Just drop in and "shop around."
Costs nothing to be shown, you know, and if you can save half
WE HELP TO START A STORE
323
on all your Spring wardrobe or get twice as many dresses for
the money as you had expected, you want to know it. So LOOK
in here any day before you buy that next dress.
Sincerely yours,
In the course of the next year Jones found it necessary to
double the size of his office. A year later another office was
added, followed soon after by a third.
Of a nature similar to the successful ones just cited are the
following letters:
So Smart, So Stylish and Beautiful, Yet
These Lovely Furs Are Now a n Actual Economy!
DEAR MADAM :
That new fur coat you have longed for, but economically
decided not to
That fur neckpiece that you resisted, because to get it then
would have seemed
Is now, you will be happy to learn, turned into a matter of
plain, common-sense economy. For by acting now, you not
only get your new furs at the low prices of months ago, before
your old
the recent spectacular rise, but you can
furs at figures that will amaze you, because the "Used Fur"
market is at the highest peak in years!
For years we have wanted to do something for our customers
to show our appreciation of all they have done to make our
company so successful. Now we have that opportunity.
Months ago, we stocked up on fine furs, laying in the biggest
we had bought in the 48 years we have been in business,
and when you remember that we are the largest furriers in the
whole state of Maryland, that means something. We worked
those furs into coats and wraps and neckpieces and the like
during the "slow-season," saving more money in that way.
And then the fur market went up-way, way up. We could
double our prices, and still give you good values, on the basis
of today's fur market. But we'd rather use that big stock of
ours to bind our old customers to us, and to win new ones.
So we are offering all that choice stock, all this beautiful
WE HELP TO START A STORE
of fine furs, at prices based on the low costs of months
ago. Here are lovely Sealskins, beautiful wraps of Mink or
Ermine, smart coats of Squirrel or Otter, cozy furs of Fox or
Coonskin-all here, and all at savings of from $50 to $250 each.
And the best part of it is that while you get your new furs at
such big savings, the allowance on your Used Furs will be
figured at the peak prices of today's high-priced market.
For
years we have specialized in furs. And we are willing
to stake the reputation for dependability won through all those
years on the values we here offer you. We not only guarantee
every fur unconditionally, but when you buy a fur in this sale,
we give you, I N ADDITION, a "Refund Guarantee" stating definitely
that if within 30 days you find that you can purchase similar
furs anywhere else for less money, you have only to return ours
to get back your money in full.
So, you see, you can't lose. And you can win a bargain such
as we have not seen in years, and such as you are not likely to
find again.
The enclosed folder suggests just a little of the exquisite
beauty, the all-embracing scope of this great fur sale. But
S EEI N G them on you is the only way to convince yourself of
their smartness, their style and beauty, and their economy.
For a good fur coat is really an economy. I t will last for
years, and actually cost you less than the cloth coats you would
buy in the same period of time.
Terms of payment can be arranged to suit you. But only an
immediate visit to our show-rooms can satisfy you of the amazing values, for only that will enable you to see the stock at its
best, before others have had a chance to pick it over and take
out the loveliest pieces.
Come in and see them, whether you expect to buy now or not.
But come soon, before the crowd, while everything is at its best.
In Return for Your Opinion, I Want Your Permission to Send
Coolie
You-With My Compliments-A Beautiful
Coat!
WE HELP TO START A STORE
325
You can laugh at money worries over the cost of new
if you follow this plan.
For here is a wonderful way to cut your dress bill just about
in half, putting an end for all time to money worries over
clothes-and still get smarter dresses, of finer materials and
more perfect fit than you have ever had before.
offer you a new idea in
Save half the cost by finishing your dress your-
self.
Each dress comes in to you smartly cut and beautifully finished, except for the seams down each side. That is where most
ready-made dresses need to be altered. You know yourself
how often you have tried on a dress in a store, liked its style
and material, but found it too tight across the hips or too
loose at the waist.
With the new form-fitting styles, it is all-important that your
dress should fit snugly about the hips. Now you can fit your
dresses perfectly to your own figure, and save all the cost of
finishing and altering. Now you can fit yourself more perfectly than in any ready-made dress, yet save just about half the
cost.
can use
You don't need any dress-making experience. If
a needle and thread-if you can pin the seams together in the
way that shows your figure to best advantage, then sew them in
place-you can finish your dress in a couple of hours,
save about half the price.
Will you try one of our smart, new Summer dresses, if we
send it to you at our own risk and expense for a week's FREE
EX A M I N A TI O N A N D TRIAL? Will
see for yourself how easy
it is to finish it, how perfectly it fits-and how much it saves
you? And then write me?
To get your opinion, I am going to GIVE to those who send the
enclosed coupon within one week, a beautiful new Coolie Coat
made of heavy, lustrous Rayon. You will not find its equal in
stores under $2.00 or $3.00. Yet it is yours, with my compliments, if you mail the enclosed coupon at once.
Sincerely,
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Here's Proof
It Pays Financially
T o Watch Your Choice of Neckties
DEAR SIR:
Have you noticed this about ties? You seldom see your own,
yet it is
the first thing anyone else notices about you. A
soiled, frayed, or outworn tie is as out of place on a well-dressed
man as would be a dirty collar or unshaved chin.
"Don't forget new ties," advised So and So in one of his
famous editorials, "They are very important to your appearance." And Dr. Lindlahr writes, "A new tie will stimulate you
and may set you on the way to the development of a new personality-and so to the attainment of new health and new
success."
The enclosed card, if mailed at once, will bring you-FOR
EXAMINATIONan assortment of twelve new and distinctive
tailored neckties such as you have not seen for many a day.
For these twelve ties are not only the most attractive patterns
out of hundreds, but they are so well made that they will come
back fresh and unwrinkled after the hardest wear.
Will you look them over-if we send them to you at our own
risk and expense FOR A WEEK'S FREE EXAMINATION? Will you
pick the ones you like best at the special low price of only
apiece-and then return the others at our expense?
Just your name and address on the enclosed card are all that
is necessary. Will you jot these
and mail it? NOW ?
Sincerely,
What is there about some Work Suits that makes them
Look and Feel and Wear So
Better Than Others?
DEAR SIR:
Most folks, when they think of Work Suits, think of overalls,
or some old, worn-out suit of clothes. They think that to work
in a
or around a machine a man has to look like a common
laborer. But that's because most folks have never seen a Daniel
Boone Work Suit, made of fine Army cloth and tailored like a
business suit.
no slinger of big words. I'm just a business man. Some
folks criticize my plain, homely language, but I've got a plain,
proposition for you
,
here it is!
..
WE HELP TO START A STORE
327
$3.98-yes, $3.98, man-for a made-to-fit, ready-towear, tailored-to-please-you Work Suit that I don't
believe you can equal in a retail store for 50% over
that price.
There you are. You see, I am connected with a manufacturer
who makes Work Suits for many of the biggest stores in this
country, stores so careful of what they sell that they give a
money-back guarantee with every garment. He makes half a
million Work Suits for them every year. Working in huge
quantities that way, he can make them at so low a price that his
stores can undersell any ordinary merchant. But he has to
carry big stocks for them and at the end of every season, he
always has some left-overs.
Usually he "jobs" these left-overs at a loss to some big wholesaler. This year he is letting me try to give the benefit of
the Work Suits, to a few
these bargains to the men who
people like yourself who can appreciate a fine garment, even
when they get it at a low price.
Now if you are one of those men that don't believe a clothing
ad unless it is dressed up in frills or fine words, and hung with
beads of highbrow language, you won't like this. But if you
far-sighted kind of fellow who can look plain facts
are just
in the eye, why
look this way.
...
If the Work Suit I send you, made of Sanforized Army cloth
to U. S. Government specifications . finest quality, all
combed, two-ply yarn, vat-dyed to assure fast color under
all conditions, and so tough that it is tested to stand a strain
of one hundred pounds . . if, I say, that suit I send you
at $3.98 should show any sign of shrinking or puckering
or losing its shape-
. .
.
If the shirt does not fit you comfortably around the neck at
...
the hundredth wearing as at the first
if the sleeves don't
feel free under the armpits
if the buttons don't stay put
and the pockets and seams stay sewed
if the trousers don't
if
fit you as though they were tailored especially for you
the shirt and trousers both don't look as though they were made
for you by a Fifth Avenue tailor
...
...
...
...
If when you put them on and look at yourself in them, feel
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yourself in them, walk in them, talk in them, and meet your
customers in them . .
If then, Mr. Man, you can't smile when you think of the $3.98
you paid for them
why then you can just bundle that suit
up and send it straight back to me, and
count that $3.98
right back into your pocket.
There's my proposition, as clear as I can put it.
Will you take me up on it? Just let me show you. The few
measurements on the enclosed form will do the trick.
Now please, don't hang back to "think this over." There's
nothing to puzzle about, because you can fire the suit right back
at any time within 30 days if it isn't everything you expect
of it and more too. That's easy, isn't it?
like you
"SEND N O MONEY!"
what usually say next.
to see this Work Suit for yourself, try it on, WEAR it for a
week, before you send me a penny. But at the price of
$3.98, I can't afford to add even the small cost of bookkeeping and collection.
You still send N O MONEY!
I should like to have you
pay the postman when he delivers the Work Suit to you. Your
money will have a string to it. You get it right back if you
send back the suit. So fill in and mail the enclosed form today.
The envelope already is stamped.
be waiting.
.
...
Yours anyhow,
Are you one of Those Men Who is Hard to Fit
In A
Then Here's Good News for You!
DEAR MR. JONES:
Most any shirt will pass muster when you first put it on. The
real test comes after a few launderings.
If you have trouble getting neckbands to fit as comfortably
after laundering as before; if your shirts pull at the armpits;
if they seem skimpy at the waist and tight across the shoulder;
if the tails are always working up and the sleeves down; then we
have something that you need.
You see, when we cut a Semi-custom Shirt for you, we don't
take merely your collar size and sleeve length, and leave the rest
to chance. No-we measure you all the way around. We give
WE HELP TO START A STORE
329
you exact sleeve lengths, neither too short nor too long. We
figure how much bulge you need across the shoulders to give
you free swing, yet feel trim and comfortable, how much to
allow around the waist to make it feel right sitting or standing,
how long the tails should be to keep them from crawling up.
Down to even the smallest detail, like your own initials on the
collar for laundry identification, our Semi-custom Shirts are
made for longer and more satisfying wear. Not only that, but
before a shirt is cut, and despite the fact that we buy only fine
pre-shrunk materials, we boil the cloth, then put it into cold
water and let it dry wet. This means the cloth is shrunk twice!
No laundry can shrink it more.
Yet you pay no more for these Semi-custom Shirts, cut to
your exact measure, than you would for an ordinary stock size
store shirt. And you get infinitely more comfort than they will
give. May I show you a few select pieces?
Nothing to sign. No cost
no obligation. Just mail
the enclosed prepaid reply card. Your name's already on it.
Yours-for Summer Shirt Comfort,
...
What businesses can use the mails
The foregoing samples of letters will give you one answer. We have
seen so many others that it is hard to pick the best examples
of those worthy of inclusion here.
Perhaps one of the best would be on a boy's suit; these are
especially difficult to sell by mail because it is so hard to find
a list of people in the right circumstances with boys of an age
to buy your suits. We solved that by arranging with the
publishers of a magazine that appealed to boys of ten to
fourteen years to use their list, and we mailed the parents of
these boys the following letters:
You know how an active boy can go through a pair of knickers.
Seems no time before the seat is worn through, or one knee has
a big, ragged gap in it. We used to think that nothing short of
cast iron would keep a healthy youngster covered.
But over in England, the Admiralty was faced with this same
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problem over sailors' trousers. Sliding down ropes and climbing around boats and getting soaked with salt water are even
harder on cloth than the average boy, and keeping sailors in
trousers was one of the Admiralty's big expenses until a few
years ago. Now they have perfected a fine woolen weave so
tough and sturdy that it outwears any ordinary cloth four and
five times!
heard about this new weave, and got some to try in our
Boys9 Suits. And found that it defies even a boy's ingenuity
to wear through! Trees, briars, fences, boards-nothing seems
able to break those long, strong strands of pure virgin wool.
Yet this fine fabric is good-looking as only an English Worsted
can be, with all the style and swank that none but the real,
imported woolen can show. No imitation will tailor so superbly.
None will hold its shape and keep its fine appearance in spite
of hardest wear half so long.
I am going to send you, in the next few days, a complete new
Spring Suit for that boy of yours, made of this fine imported
English Worsted, so you can SEE FOR YOURSELF how goodlooking and becoming it is, how perfectly it fits, how well it
sets off the manly lines of his figure-and yet how it will
wear! I am going to send this suit to you-with no obligation on your part-for you to examine and try on and actually
S E E the difference between it and the suit your boy is now
wearing.
There's just one thing-I can't send it until you tell me how
he is, and his height and weight. You can do that in a jiffy
on the enclosed postcard.
When I send you the suit, there's absolutely no obligation on
your part to pay for it. You can return it for A N Y reason, or
for no reason at all.
You see, this factory of ours specializes in Boys' Suits. Our
company has been making boys' clothes for more than 100
years, so we know all the things a healthy boy can
to a suit
-better even than you do.
know how to sew
and buttons so securely that even
a boy can't rip them. We know how to tailor a suit so as
give his active arms and legs free play, and yet have a style
WE HELP TO START A STORE
331
and a "set" that will make your youngster look his manly best.
But until we found this imported English Worsted, we didn't
know a cloth he couldn't wear through. Now we have found it.
So, as an Introductory Special, we offer you this new Spring
suit of imported English
Worsted, pure wool and
all wool. The color is a
rich, dark blue. The style
as up-to-the-minute as
Fifth Avenue designers can
it. The tailoring
true Smith
Smith, cut
and sewed as only tailors
who have been making
Boys' Suits all their lives
can do it. Coat, vest, and
trousers, all three at the
low "Direct-from-Factoryto-You" price of only
we will
send you an extra pair
of Knickers-FREE! Not
that your boy will need
them-he will never wear
out the first pair-but so
you can alternate when one
is being cleaned.
This is a special Introductory Offer. It is made
only to a select list, and it is not transferable. We make it to a
few families of influence, as an inducement to them to TRY this
new, imported English Worsted, knowing that once its reputation spreads, we shall have no difficulty getting all the orders we
handle.
A N D I N ADDI TION,
I
No Money-No Risk
mail the enclosed card-without money. By return Parcel
come a suit of deep blue English Worsted, pure wool,
exact size for your boy-at the
WE HELP TO START A STORE
extra pair
You price of only $13.85. And with
of Knickers of the same fine fabric.
Try the Suit on your youngster. Compare it with any other
he has-any you can find in stores. If for any reason you are
can equal
then willing to part with it-SEND BACK!
IT B ACK !
it anywhere for less than
But if you feel, as we do-and we have been making Boys'
clothes for more than 100 years-that you are saving at least
$10.00 on that suit,
send us only $13.85,
KEEP THE
K N I C KE R S FREE!
money-just the Post Card. But remember, it's good only
if mailed at once! We have enough imported English Worsted
for only 450 Suits. It will be eight weeks before we can get
another lot. You must mail the enclosed card NOW, or you
will be too late.
Sincerely yours,
DEAR PARENT :
Will you give me a little "inside information" about that boy
of yours-just his height and weight and
old he is?
I want to send him a new Spring Suit of imported English
CHARGE.
can't send one
Worsted, to
in his exact size without knowing his height and weight.
In the past fifty years, we have fitted more than
boys,
in all parts of the world, with Smith Smith Suits. Many of
them have never worn any other make, for Smith Smith Suits
kind of well-made, perfectly-fitting clothes that every
are
parent likes to see on his youngster.
You see, in our 106 years as tailors to boys, we have learned
how to give a perfect "set" to a boy's coat
still leaving
free play to arms and shoulders, how to fasten seams and
buttons so even the most active boy can't tear them out, how to
fashion a suit that not only wears well but LOOKS well on him
up to the very last.
Here, 1 Believe,
the Greatest Improvement Ever Made in
a Boy's Suit:
A new, imported English Worsted that WON'T WEAR OUT!
Actually, we mean it-it won't wear out! Your boy will
it before he can wear it out!
WE HELP TO START A STORE
333
It is a cloth that was perfected for the British Admiralty.
You know the hard usage a sailor's trousers are put tosliding down ropes, scurrying around boats, scrubbing decks,
and getting soaked with salt water. They never could find
a cloth that would stand it until they made this. Now they
can't wear it out!
Of a deep blue, soft and rich-looking, there is no way of
duplicating the rare beauty, the durability and wearing-quality
of this genuine imported English Worsted. No imitation can
wear so superbly, can retain its style and shape after hard
usage as can this English cloth.
Carefully cut, beautifully finished and tailored as only Smith
Smith know how to tailor
clothes, this suit gives the
appearance of a custom-made, and a wear that has never been
equalled.
Yet our "Direct-from-Factory-to-You" Introductory Price,
days, is-NOT$25.00, not even
good for just
ONLY
We don't believe you could find its equal in
tailoring and fine appearance alone within $10.00 of that low
figure.
do it? Solely by cutting out
How can
unnecessary
item of overhead and middle-men and selling expense-and
selling direct from Factory to You. In style, in tailoring, in fine
appearance, and most of all, in WEAR, this suit is worth $25.00.
That we are not charging you that figure is due only to the savings we effect by selling and shipping direct from the Factory,
letting no unnecessary item of expense come between us
and you.
Won't you fill in your boy's height, weight, and age on the enclosed postcard and mail it at once? Then we can send him
one of these fine, new, imported English Worsteds-in his exact
size-by pre-paid Parcel Post for a week's FREE EXAMINATION.
You can see it then at your leisure, with no insistent clerks at
your side. If it isn't the best-looking suit you have ever seen
on your bop-send it back! If you can find its equal in style
or cut or fine appearance at less than
IT
BACK !
Doesn't that strike you as a fair offer?
We believe it is so
WE HELP TO START A STORE
unusually fair
all the suits we
for will be snapped
u p within a week at this bargain price of only $13.85. And
it will be two months before we can get another lot from
England.
Hadn't you better drop your card in the mail RIGHT NOWwhile you can take advantage of this Special Offer?
Sincerely yours,
P. S. If your card is received within 10 days, we shall put in
need
an extra pair of Knickers-FREE! Not that your boy
them-he will never wear out the first pair-but so you can
alternate while one is being cleaned.
can be
Then there are foods. The number of foods
and have been sold by mail is legion, from fish to rattlesnakes,
from fruit to nuts. Day-old eggs, olive oil, tree-ripened
fruit-almost anything good in the food line can be sold by
mail.
NEW LAID EGGS
Mailed To You The Day They Are Laid!
D EAR S IR:
Most eggs you buy as strictly fresh, even in the best food
shops, make four stops on their way to you.
the local dealers.
2-At the Commission House in the big markets.
the Wholesalers.
the store where you
Each stop adds three or four days to the eggs' age. Yet,
legally speaking, these are "Strictly Fresh" Eggs!
Compare them with new laid eggs, dated and mailed to you
the day they are laid! Eggs pure white, large and clean, packed
and shipped just as soon as they come out of the nests.
An egg may be legally "fresh," but only an egg straight from
the nest will give you that delightful taste which makes day-old
table eggs so enjoyable. I collect my eggs every day, date
them, wrap them individually in tissue paper, then ship them
the day they are laid, and you get them just one day old!
WE HELP TO START A STORE
335
They cost you no more that way, because you save the profit
and the expenses of four middlemen, and these are sufficient to
cover the shipping expense. You get new laid eggs, pure white,
a dozen,
large and really fresh, and you get them for only
postpaid.
Will you risk
to TRY them, and see for yourself what
a difference there is in the taste? Will you fill out the order
form on the other side?
Sincerely,
Now You Can Have Sun-Ripened
the Trees!
Oranges and Grapefruit Right
DEAR FRIEND:
Here is a wonderful new way to bring the sunshine of Florida
right into your own home.
You know, of course, that the real value of oranges and grapefruit lies in the vitamins and mineral salts which they contain.
But do you know that these are the last elements to form in the
fruit?
If you have ever picked a green orange, you will remember
that the inside was dry and pulpy, with practically no juice.
Yet the juice contains all the vitamins. The juices and the
mineral salts are the last elements to form in the fruit, and it
takes sunshine to bring them out.
When you pick fruit that is green, and
it ripen in cold
storage, you are robbing that fruit of its most valuable elements-its mineral
and its vitamins. That is why ripe
fruit picked from the trees is so much more delicious and so
much more healthful than green fruit ripened in storage or in
coloring vats.
And now, you can have sun-ripened oranges and
and juicy and heavy, right off the trees. Now you can
taste the delicious flavor of this "bottled Florida sunshine" in
fruit fresh-picked, and rushed to you by express. The enclosed
you a half-box of tree-ripened oranges and
card will
grapefruit (or either one of them) at our own risk and expense
FOR FREE TRIAL!
Sincerely,
336
WE HELP TO START A STORE
DEAR FRIEND:
DO YOU
Your boyhood days-and the delicious preserves and jellies
Mother used to be making about this time of year? Remember,
at preserving time, how there would always be a little left overnot enough jars, or else not enough preserves to quite fill the
last one--so you'd get those left-overs at supper, fresh from the
kitchen? And remember how good those new preserves and
jellies always tasted, how full-flavored and ripe and juicy?
"Shucks, no such preserves or jellies nowadays," you say.
You're wrong.
For what was it made Mother's preserves so delicious?
Wasn't it because she used only fully-ripened, mature fruit and
berries, with pure cane sugar? Wasn't it because she cooked
them carefully, so as to lose as little of the natural flavors as
possible, then served them to you while they were fresh?
Those same choice fruits and berries, fresh from vine and
orchard, go into the preserves and jellies you get from our
covered Kitchen. They are just as carefully selected, packed
when the fruit is in its prime, fully-ripened, sound, and fragrant.
But modern science has given us helps that Mother never
dreamed of. It has shown us how to hold all the rich, ripe
flavor of the mature fruit, how to keep it from running to syrup,
how to preserve its distinctive qualities in a way impossible
in Mother's day.
You see, her whole purpose in cooking fruit to preserve it
was to drive the sugar into the fruit. But cooking in an open
kettle draws out the juice, so she had to keep on cooking until
most of this evaporated and the syrup got thick. That made the
fruit shrink and took away much of its flavor.
Modern science, on the other hand, has found a way to drive
the sugar into the fruit with cold instead of heat, making so
little cooking necessary that the fruit loses practically none of
its juices, keeping both its size and its rich, natural flavor.
That is why the expert buyer always looks first at the size of the
fruit or berries, and then notes whether the jar is all fruit,
or largely syrup.
And that is
the Preserves
our
Kitchen
WE HELP TO START A STORE
337
are so full of fruit and berries, full size, rich and luscious, with
barely enough syrup to keep them moist and fresh. That is
why the jellies are clear as crystal and free from sediment.
They are C O L D - P A C KED in juice cane sugar, then cooked very
little just before being bottled and shipped to you, so
get
them almost as fresh as from Mother's kitchen.
Will you TRY a jar of these freshly-made preserves and jellies
from the Ivy-covered Kitchen-if I send a "Sampler" on TRIAL?
Will you pick out the variety you like best, serve it to the family
for breakfast, and then return the balance, express collect, if
you don't think these the best preserves you have ever
bar none?
There will be two full 16-ounce jars of each of our six different varieties of Preserves and two
tumblers of each
of our six kinds of Jelly-24 jars in all-a shelf-full of goodies
that will delight you and your family for many a day to come.
"Enclosed find check for more of your most delicious
Jr., of
preserves and jellies," wrote Dr. Alvin R.
Elizabeth, N. J.
are as good as you say, and could
not be improved upon, in my opinion."
Yet their price is not
or $1.00 a jar. Not even the 36$
BUT LESS T H A N
a jar we have had to charge in other
each-$5.95 for the full case of 24, delivered to you!
Send no money. Just your name and address on the enclosed
card will bring the
case to you, prepaid, for a week's
free examination and trial. Open up any jar you like. Use it!
Let the whole family try it. THEN DECIDE! If they are not
the best Preserves and Jelly you ever tasted-if for wholesomeness, for flavor, for mellow, delicious taste you have ever
found their equal, send back the rest and owe us nothing.
On that basis, will you TRY these freshly-made Preserves and
Jellies? On that distinct understanding, will you mail the
enclosed card?
Sincerely,
XXIII
How to Reach the Leaders
that the leaders of big business
never read circulars-that they would be too busy to glance
at them even if you could camouflage them sufficiently to get
them past the private secretary's desk.
If that be true, pause for a moment to sympathize with the
publishers of Business Week, when they undertook to launch
a weekly intended only for high executives of big business
concerns. For which is harder-to find a salesman who can
penetrate those august sanctums, or to write a letter that
will reach all the way to the top of a big business?
As if it had not already attempted the impossible, this
magazine publisher undertook not
to reach the topmost
figures in the world of business but to land nearly half of
them. They guaranteed to have on their subscription lists
most of the high executives of companies rated $75,000 or
better!
Quality circulation has been attempted oftentimes in the
past, but never on such a scale as this. Heretofore, the only
index of qualit y was the content of the paper and the cost
the subscription. Any one who had the price and cared
read it was welcomed as a subscriber. Here for the
time was a concern actually refusing orders-accompanied
by cash-that did not measure up to the standard it had
Of all the publishing problems we have seen, that was
OF TEN HEAR IT SAID
HOW TO REACH THE LEADERS
339
most difficult-to get a majority of the leaders of big business as subscribers to a business paper. That it was done,
and in so short a time, i s a publishing achievement of the
first water.
Do not imagine we are handing bouquets to ourselves. We
did not come into the picture until the job was more than half
done. But even our part was sufficiently interesting.
When we were given charge of the mail order requirements, the cream had already been skimmed off the list with
two good mailings. Further tests had shown little or no life.
of different appeals, we
So to get some line on the
were allowed at the start to test a few outside lists of high
in order to see how results compared with similar
tests mailed to what was left of the lists of names of top
executives that the publisher had compiled at great expense.
These executives, remember, were the presidents, vicepresidents, secretaries, treasurers, general managers, and directors of companies rated at $75,000 and better. All were
people who are not supposed to read circulars. All were
to have private secretaries intelligent enough to
such trivial matters as magazine solicitations away from
desks. So to give them some excuse for regarding
message as one of import, we filled in each man's name and
sent the letters first class.
To get an idea of the most effective line of appeal, we tried
six different letters, testing each on the list of business executives as well as on such lists as subscribers to financial
"Services," buyers of business books that would interest only
men high in business, and readers of magazines with a specialized business appeal.
All six of the letters did well and two pulled remarkably
good returns. On the outside lists, one letter pulled more
per cent of orders, another over 8 per cent, while
per cent and 6 per cent were little more than average.
340
HOW TO REACH THE LEADERS
Even on the list of executives, one pulled 3 per cent, a second
close to it, while the third went over 2 per cent.
Here are three of the letters, together with the folder that
went with each of them. The folder is a bit crude. We
had no time to wait for regular art work since we were anxious to get our tests out by a certain date. So we took what
could get in a hurry.
DEAR SIR:
To cause one of your employees to lose his job is not my intention. But if any one of your employees has M Y job-then it
isn't his-every man has a place somewhere, and I want my own.
If you have assistants summarizing the news of business for
you, who are NOT among the greatest experts in the basic lines
of industry, then they have MY job, and their job is somewhere
else.
If you have accountants figuring estimates and quotas, who are
not authorities on economic trends, then they have MY job, and
their work is something else again.
If you have secretaries to save your time, who cannot interpret
the EFFECT of the day's news upon your business and investments, who cannot check the truth or falsity of each dispatch,
then they have M Y job, and their time would be better spent
on other duties.
You see, I am the keystone of the arch of all this organization's
publications, with thirty-four different staffs of editors working
for me, each a recognized authority in some basic field of industry, with engineers and financial experts and economists of
world renown laying their findings upon my desk.
I watch the world for you, and bring you accurate, authoritative reports on everything of note in the basic industries and
the happenings of business. Is there a flurry on the Tokio exchange? I give you its probable effect upon the financial
new cartel in
situation here. Is there a strike in
Germany-a hurricane in Chile? I show you their extent,
analyze their effect.
HOW TO REACH THE LEADERS
341
I have unparalleled connections in industry, commerce, construction, engineering, finance-the basic activities. I have
my fingers on the pulse of
important line of business. I
feel the first symptoms of fever, I detect the first signs of recovery. I am reporter, interpreter, and business analyst.
You are paying for my services whether you use them or not,
but you are paying in lost time, in needless mistakes and worries.
busy
needs to spend hours on newspapers or business
reviews if
reads my ticker-like summaries and analyses of
news. No executive needs to hesitate or worry about the
effect of different events upon his business if he has before
him the interpretations of my staffs of experts.
Will you TRY me for a while-with the privilege of firing me
any time at your own pleasure? My salary? You'll smile
a week, for as long or as short a time as
when you hear
you care to keep me on your
But-if you're like other big business leaders, you'll be paying
me that salary for a long time to come, for you'll find me the
most invaluable assistant you've ever had.
Will you let me show you what I've done for them-what I can
do for
Then put your name on the enclosed card. It's
already stamped. Thank you!
Sincerely,
DEAR S I R:
What is the "Unpardonable Sin" in business? What one thing
inevitably brings its own punishment? What most surely spells
extinction?
so self-satisfied with methods or
stop
product or service that you stop trying to better
reaching outside for new ideas!
The only sure thing in business today is CH ANGE. Money, organization, a dominant position in the industry-these may
vanish overnight. Some new invention, some drastic change
in style or trends may leave high and dry those unwilling or unready to keep in step with the demands of the moment.
of conditions, such
But to the man whose finger is on the
disaster, but opportunity. He has the advantage of days or weeks of preparation. He knows how similar
342
HOW TO REACH THE LEADERS
conditions have been met elsewhere, and he can draw upon the
experience of dozens of authorities in arranging his own campaign.
It is for such alert, up-and-coming business men that The
Business Week is written. It watches the whole world for you,
and brings you accurate news of every important happening in
the basic industries. Not merely news so fresh that it is frequently in advance of the newspaper dispatches, but what
news means to your business, as interpreted by a group of economists
editors second to none anywhere.
You see, The Business Week is the keystone of the whole arch
of our 34 publications. 34 staffs of experts, watching hourly
for significant developments in the basic fields of industry, reporting their findings to one master group who analyze them,
correlate them, and then interpret them in terms of their effect
upon YOUR business.
If your reading time is limited-if you have more publications
now than you have time to get through-send for The Business
Week. If you want only real news, authoritative news, each
fact checked by experts, send for The Business Week. It summarizes the news for business. It gives you the things you
must know, tersely, pointedly, authoritatively, then interprets
the effect they will have upon all business.
A secretary who could do this for you would be worth any
money you could pay him. We offer you 34 staffs of secretaries, each among the greatest authorities in their particular
line, for
a week. Will you risk
to let them show you
how much they can save you, how many different ways they
can increase your dividends?
Just your name on the enclosed card will put them on your staff
for as long or as short a time as you may wish. You can fire
them any time. On that understanding, will you give them a
chance to show you what they can
Sincerely,
DEAR SIR:
Have you tried the new "K. M. H." yardstick in your organization?
HOW TO REACH THE LEADERS
343
It is based, you know, on what an employee does in 1,000
working hours, and the results it has shown in some 14,000
have uncovered astounding inequalities of management.
the
and Economic
doing well.
installment
arc proving
of the
of
the
correlating
in
of their
and interpreting
upon YOUR
with
of
in.
arc in the
hut with basic
is bound to go ahead.
to
and
judgment
the calamity-howlers. T o such men.
will he
and
THE BUSINESSWEEK
Companies in the same line of industry show an average
variation of 1 3 to 1, while the best plants sometimes produce 20 times as much per worker as the least efficient organizations doing the same work!
Can you wonder that so many organizations are finding it hard
sledding now? Can you see how some of them make a profit
even in the best of times?
But the remarkable part is yet to come. In 35 out of 53 industries, the prize for highest rate of
to any
of the giants of that industry, with all their money and fine
344
HOW TO REACH THE LEADERS
equipment, not even to the medium-sized plants, BUT
THE
SMALLEST C O MP A N Y I N E A C H GROUP!
In
three industries did
largest company show the highest rate of output. In most of
others, the little fellows produced more goods per hour and at a lower cost than any of the
great giants.
If business concerns were rated, not by their capital or promptness in paying bills, but by
"K. M. H." yardstick, how
would yours stand? Could you get a G Aa rating? If you
could, or if you are even interested in getting such a rating,
then you are the type of Manager The Business Week is looking
for.
For your reading time is limited. You already have more publications than you can get through. Yet you must keep up with
what is new in business. And you must know how the news
of the day is going to affect you and your interests. Only in
The Business Week can you find the answer.
The Business Week is the keystone of the arch of all the 34
publications of this company. Every hour of every day, in
each of the hundred and more basic industries represented by
these 34 magazines, scores of experts are busy digging out the
significant happenings and analyzing their effects. Every day
the gist of their findings, together with the cabled news from all
parts of the world, is scrutinized by the trained economists and
editors of The Business Week, and the result
for
American business.
The readers of The Business Week have no time for long articles,
or interesting theories. They want the facts, summarized in
the fewest words; they want them interpreted in terms of their
verified! The organown business-but first they want
ization that publishes The Business Week, with its 34 different
magazines in the basic fields of industry, is in better position,
we believe, to gather the facts and to verify them than any group
in the world today.
It gives you, in the pages of The Business Week, the net result
of all its vast activities. And it gives them to you-NOTthe
week after or the next month, but frequently before they even
appear in the newspaper dispatches!
HOW TO REACH THE LEADERS
345
How much would such a "ticker" service be worth to you?
Would you be willing to pay
a week for it, with the privilege of stopping it any time you saw fit? Then use the enclosed card to start it NOW! You'll never invest any money
that will pay you bigger dividends.
Sincerely,
Nine per cent on one letter would be enough to make
almost anyone we have known stretch a point to work that
list into his schedule-but not these people. Nine per cent,
or 6, they knew only one standard-the leaders of business
America. When they analyzed the returns from our tests
and found that no outside list could measure up to the standard they had set, they simply ruled them out and nothing we
could say about costs or percentages seemed to make even a
dent in their consciousness.
So we had to content ourselves with 2 and per cent when
all those high-powered lists were just begging to be used.
But we did not give up hope of hitting some high percentages,
even if we had to do it on the business executive list. One
of the offers that had been used with reasonable success before we came was a special introductory offer of twelve weeks
for $1. We tried two or three of these, and in one of them
we at least partly realized our ambition-we brought the
number of orders up to 7 per cent.
Here is the letter that did it, followed by another that pulled
very well, too.
DEAR SIR:
I am going to send you, within the next few days, a forecast of
what's coming in business.
This forecast is unlike any you have seen before, because:
1. It is based not merely on Government statistics, Federal
Reserve, Stock Exchange, and Trade Association figures, but
on the findings of 34 groups of independent investigators, in
touch with the basic industries.
2. Back of these investigators is an organization with un-
346
HOW TO REACH THE LEADERS
paralleled connections in business, constructions, finance, and
the basic industries, and a reputation for careful investigations
and accurate authoritative findings.
3. It dares to make definite predictions of what's coming in
business, then shows you W H Y it feels so safe in forecasting this.
It is, perhaps, less a forecast than an explanation of the underlying trends and an interpretation of what they indicate.
I am going to send this forecast or interpretation to
with no obligation on your part-for you to read and actually
put to the test in your own business.
There's only one thing-I don't want to send it until I am sure
you are interested in seeing it. I don't want to send it without your permission-but you can give that in a moment on
the enclosed card.
When I send you this forecast, there's absolutely no obligation
on your part to pay for it. You need not even return it. Just
notify us in the stamped, addressed envelope which we will
mail you, you want no more, and that ends the matter.
You see, this forecast and interpretation of business conditions
is an essential part of The Business Week-the keystone of the
publisher's whole organization, with its 34 publications serving
the basic lines of industry.
With all the usual indicators and business "Services" at its
command, and with, in addition,
staffs of specialists searching the basic fields of industry for every event of import, and
interpreting those events in terms of their effect upon business,
it would be strange if The Business Week could not give you
something unusual in the way of an interpretation of trends and
conditions, a forecast based upon them.
That interpretation and forecast is a part of every copy
The Business Week. I t is being more widely quoted than anything of its kind in the country. As Paul Aldrich of The National Provisioner writes:
"The Business Week is not only the best of its kind, but
first. I could not do without it. The best thing that could
happen to business would be for every man to read and
take to heart the material in The Business Week."
Will you TRY it-at least long enough to read next week's
HOW TO REACH THE LEADERS
347
cast and interpretation of conditions? Its price is
a copy,
$5.00 a year, but if you mail the enclosed card now, you can
get the special trial rate of 12 weeks for $1.
Not only that, but if the very first copy does not intrigue your
interest, make you want to follow those forecasts through,
check them against results in your own business, you can cancel
your order right then, there, and owe us nothing.
On that basis, will you mail the enclosed card? On that understanding, will you risk a look at the next forecast?
Sincerely yours,
How's Business, Mr. Jones?
Heavy construction will equal last year's, judging by bonds
issued. Bonds, you know, usually precede steam shovels by
about four months.
Retail selling is holding up well, thanks to the reductions which
are finally beginning to percolate through to the consumer.
And installment sales are proving, instead of a weakness, one of
the greatest factors of strength!
An interesting development is the sale of their own brand of tires
at all their gas stations by the Standard Oil Co. of N. J. They
have a great distribution machine, geared to reach the motorist
at the time he needs it most. Why not use it to the full?
How far that will take them, no one can guess, but it seems to
point in the same direction as Ford's experiment of a couple of
years ago, when he opened his commissary to the public and
undersold even the chain stores by
to
The drought in the West is the worst in years. Corn prices
have responded to it, but wheat still sags. Why?
the Farm Board would take advantage of such a
support the price of wheat, just as you'd expect
Reserve to be putting more money into the market
flagging trade.
You'd think
situation to
the Federal
to stimulate
Those are the only two serious clouds on the horizon. They are
only two obstacles that stand in the way of a return to
business by early Fall. They cannot permanently hold
back the flooding tide, but they can retard it a lot.
course, that doesn't mean everything is rosy, or we can sit
348
HOW
TO REACH THE LEADERS
back and take it easy. On the contrary, there has seldom
been a period which called for greater foresight and managerial
judgment. Have commodity prices hit bottom? How about
labor-is it
down? What are other countries
Germany, for instance?
What happened to her big idea of cutting wages and prices
so her home workers would not suffer, but she
could undersell everybody in world markets?
These are just a few of the questions every keen executive is
asking. And these are the questions The Business Week answers for you-better, we believe, than all the "Services" and
statistics and bulletins issued the country over.
You see, The Business Week is the keystone of this publisher's
whole organization, with its 34 publications serving the basic
lines of industry, its 34 staffs of specialists searching their fields
for every happening of import, then interpreting those happenings in terms of their effect upon business. Commerce and
Reserve statistics help, of course, as do the bulletins of the various Trade Organizations and Business Services, but they are
mere side-lights compared to the first hand information constantly going across our desks from the direct contacts of our
34 staffs in the field.
What would their forecasts and interpretation of conditions be
worth to you? Would you be willing to risk $1 for them? If
you would, then send the enclosed card, without money.
It will bring you for 12 weeks the interpreted news of The
Business Week. It will give you-not statistics, not a lot of unrelated facts-but what is really happening in business, the
events of import and their effect
you.
Would you be willing to risk $1 for that? Then mail the enclosed card NOW, while the tide is at the turn!
Sincerely,
In the early days of the magazine, quite a few of these introductory subscriptions had been taken and now they
beginning to expire. So it was necessary to write letters
would renew as many as possible of these. We tried
and finally worked out series of five
did
HOW T O REACH THE LEADERS
349
well. The following two alone renewed 20 per cent of the
subscriptions on which they were sent:
Just a Few Weeks More, and
Right in the middle of one of the most important crises in
business history, just at the time when conditions are coming to
a head for better o r for
Your Subscription Expires!
4,000 years ago, King Darius of Persia could get one ounce of
gold for every twelve ounces of silver he held in such quantities
in his treasury. On down through the centuries since, those
reasonable steadiness. Bryan put
proportions have held
up his famous fight to standardize silver at sixteen to one.
Today those proportions have changed so greatly that one ounce
of gold buys sixty ounces of silver!
What does that do to countries like India which are on a silver
basis? What does it do to the business here?
Last year this time most anyone could show a profit. People
who knew nothing of general trends or conditions made money,
because business conditions made it for them.
But this year, only those skilled in reading signs are showing a
profit, and to these weather-wise souls, The Business Week is like
manna to wanderers in a desert.
For The Business Week watches the world of business for you.
It
you accurate news of every important happening in
the basic industries. And not merely news so fresh that it is frequently in advance of the newspaper dispatches, but what that
news means to your business, as interpreted by a group of economists and editors whose authority is second to none anywhere.
You see, The Business Week is the keystone of the whole arch
staffs of experts, watchof this publisher's
ing the significant developments in 34 basic fields of industry,
reporting them daily, hourly, to a master group who analyze
them, correlate them and then interpret them in terms of their
upon Y O U R business.
Not even Andrew Mellon, with all his vast interests, had such a
until our organization started it. Yet today you can
350
HOW TO REACH THE LEADERS
have that
for only
a week and one of the first subscribers for it was Andrew Mellon, Secretary of the Treasury of
the United States.
When such men as he-men with whole corps of secretaries and
assistants at their elbows-still find they can get their most
thorough summaries, their most accurate interpretations of the
business news, from The Business Week, I
you, too, will
agree that it is as great a time-saver, as valuable a money-maker,
for you as for them.
Worth risking
a week for, anyway, don't you think? And
that's all you ever have to risk, for you can stop it any time, for
any reason, and get the balance of your subscription back in full.
On that basis, will you mail the enclosed card? On that basis,
will you join Andrew Mellon, and Owen Young and David
Sarnoff and Louis Swift in keeping up to the minute on the
news of business, and what that news means in terms of YOUR
BUSINESS?
The enclosed card is your answer.
Will you mail it
TODAY?
Sincerely,
Is your name and address, as given above, correct?
If so, won't you be good enough to return the enclosed card,
properly checked, so that we may prove or correct our stencil?
Right now, with business at the turning point, it is more important that you keep your finger on the pulse of conditions
than for years past.
Never before has business recovered from a major depression
until both prices and wages had been drastically cut. Can it
do it this time? Henry Ford believes it can without wages being cut, and he has backed that belief by actually raising wages
in his plants.
As far as his own business is concerned, the result has proven
him right, for he is getting out 9,200 cars a day now with
108,890 men, where a year ago it took 120,000 men to produce
7,500 cars a day. What is more, he and Chevrolet are
dividing 65% of the country's automobile business!
HOW TO REACH THE LEADERS
351
But how about other businesses? How about your own?
Will you have to cut prices-and wages? And how much?
Will the basic industries cut their figures enough to save your
line of profit?
These are facts you must know, and nowhere can you get them so
promptly, so authoritatively, as in The Business Week.
You see The Business Week has back of it the tremendous resources of the whole Blank Co. organization, with thirty-four
publications serving the basic lines of industry. Not John D.
Rockefeller himself, with all his millions, not the Secretary of
the Treasury, with the resources of the U. S. behind
has
the means of analyzing basic conditions and interpreting the
business news, that these great staffs of experts, engineers, economists, and financial specialists give to us.
As a matter of fact, the Secretary of the Treasury was one of
the first subscribers to this new service.
such men, with
all their corps of secretaries and assistants, look to The Business Week for their interpretation of the events of the day, it
surely ought to be worth all of
a week to you too, don't you
think?
Just your name on the enclosed card, with a check mark to
show that we have your address correct, will keep that
like service coming to you each week, bringing you the news in
brief-and not merely the news, but
it
to
I know you don't want to miss even a single one of those meaty,
thought-provoking paragraphs-now, of all times, when seemingly innocuous news dispatches often hide so much of potent
meaning. Won't you, therefore, mail the enclosed card at
once? Then I can get your stencil back in its place on the list
without the loss of even a single issue.
Sincerely,
That pretty well took care of the number of subscriptions
were expected to write by mail on The Business Week
magazine. Our next
was to write
higher percentage of mail subscriptions for the Journal of Modern Business Management.
was a simpler
for with it we were permitted to
HOW TO REACH THE LEADERS
use the better grade of outside lists, lists like buyers of business books, subscribers to financial "Services," buyers of
courses in business management, and the like. With those
lists to work upon, we tried the following letter:
DEAR S IR:
BUSINESS TRAITS ANALYZED
Have you ever been officially rated for Personality and Business Traits?
-for your capacity to achieve, for your power-pressure or ambition, for your ability to direct your energies into the most
productive channels?
Have you ever longed for a frank consultation with an expert
Business Psychologist who could show you how to make the
most of your abilities?
The Carnegie Foundation, after a thorough study, reported that
even in such technical lines as engineering, medicine, and law,
success is due only 15% to actual knowledge. 85% depends
upon your personality and the way it expresses itself.
Have you ever been officially rated for personality?
Professor H. K.
head of a Department in one of
the great Eastern Universities, author of numerous books and
articles on the application of psychology to business, consultant
for several large business organizations, has worked out a series
of questions and tests that will astonish you by the hidden traits
they bring out.
He calls it his "Capacity-Achievement Inventory." I t reveals
with uncanny cleverness your strong and weak points, helps
you find the ways in which you are misdirecting your energies,
the salient points in your personality that lend themselves to greater development.
If you consulted Dr.
privately, you would probably expect to pay from $15 to $25 for this information, and consider
it cheap at the price. If you will mail the enclosed certificate
at once, you can get this
test and analysis without
PERSONALITY
AND
charge!
So important are the qualifications uncovered by this test that
we have arranged with Dr.
for a series of short
HOW TO REACH THE LEADERS
353
running through the next six issues of the Journal of Modern
Business Management, each explaining a different aspect of
mental equipment in its relation to business success, together
with methods for gauging personal and business qualifications.
These articles and methods will show you simple ways to determine how well you rate with your associates, with your customers, with all whose opinions count in the making of your success. They will in turn increase your ability to rate and to
understand others.
But the first step in getting an unbiased picture of your own
qualifications and capacities is the "Capacity-Achievement Inventory," and this the enclosed Certificate will bring to you at
once.
Every test will be individually rated by Dr.
and his associates. You will receive a rating chart, showing your standing
in each part of the test, together with suggestions as to the significance of the various scores, and how best to develop the traits
they indicate.
"Men are made," declared Emerson, "each with some triumphant superiority." Men are made that way, but most never
discover what their superiority is, so they go on being a square
peg in a round hole to the end of their days.
The "Capacity-Achievement Inventory" will give you a measure
of your present capacities and the extent to which you are using
them, and it may uncover hidden powers in yourself that you
never even suspected you had.
Send now the enclosed Certificate, with a dollar bill in payment for the next six copies of the Journal of Modern Business Management.
By return mail, the first copy will come to you, together with
the "Capacity-Achievement Inventory." Fill it out frankly
and honestly, with the full assurance that everything in it will
be regarded as confidential by Dr.
and his associates.
They will study it, rate it, and report to you just as soon as they
can possibly do so.
But remember this means work and a lot of it-for them. And
there is a very distinct limit to the number they can handle.
354
HOW TO REACH THE LEADERS
So we must confine this offer strictly to those who mail the enclosed Certificate at once.
You see, we cannot limit the offer to any special subscribers. It
is part of our service, and therefore open to all subscribers.
Your advantage lies in the fact that this is an advance notice,
and if acted on at once, insures you a prompt rating. Certificates which come late will be returned at once with the
accompanying them.
That pulled remarkably well. It gave us 6 per cent from
the business-book buyers, better than 5 per cent from the
students of business management courses, and as high as 10
per cent from one list of men interested in psychology.
In the days before our publisher had taken it over, this
magazine usually had been sold with a premium. Our company felt, however, that the best premium you can offer any
subscriber is something in the magazine itself, so it suggested
that we try featuring series of articles on different subjects
that were to appear in forthcoming issues of the magazine to
see if subscriptions could not be sold on the strength of them.
We tried this, selling some special content to appear in the
magazine during the next six months or year, in much the
same way we would have described what was in a premium
book we were offering. We found we could get as good
returns by putting our premium in the magazine as by offering
it separately! We took half a dozen excerpts from the early
chapters of this book, for instance, worked them into articles
to run in the magazine, and then sold the series as part of the
magazine with as great success as ever, in the old days, it
had been possible to sell the magazine with a premium.
Next, we set about seeing whether we could not step
the percentage of subscribers who renewed their subscriptions
at expiration. We found that
depending less upon notices that subscriptions were about to expire and more
re-selling readers on what the coming issues would do
HOW TO REACH THE LEADERS
355
them, we were able almost to double our percentage of renewals.
To do this, we used a series of six letters. Here are two
ones:
size hat do you wear?
Is it one any other man in the organization could clap on his
head and never notice the difference, or would it come down
over the ears of most and leave them looking like would-be
clowns?
In every successful organization there is at least one man
whose place no one else can fill. He may be back of the selling policy. He may be the heart of the collection or merchandising end. But wherever he is, the success of the business turns on him.
Such a man usually has two things: lst, IDEAS.
THE T ACT
AND FINESSE TO PUT THOSE IDEAS
ACROSS.
Lots of men have good ideas. The difference between the wideawake, progressive thinker and one who is looked upon as an
unsound radical, lies more often than not in the way each presents his plan. The one feeds it out only as fast as his associates
can digest it; the other tries to ram it whole down his hearers'
throats.
the Journal of Modern Business Management you get only
those sound ideas which have been proven good in other organizations. You get hints for adapting those ideas to your work,
and you get the authoritative backing often needed to "sell" a
new idea to your organization.
In short, you get the means of becoming the "Idea-Man" of
your concern, the one about whom all the activities of the company revolve. To such a man, the question is not-"What
size hat do I wear?" but-"How big a one can I fill?"
Whatever your answer to that question now, it will be a
better answer a year from now if, meantime, you have added to
own original ideas the proven methods of other successful
"Idea Men."
I know you won't want to miss a single one of those timely
356
HOW TO REACH THE LEADERS
gestions now, of all times, when a new collection
a new
sales plan or money-saving idea, may make all the difference
between red ink and black on your monthly Profit Loss statement.
on the
No need to write a line. Just your pencilled
enclosed card will continue your name for the next twelve issues. Will you jot that down-NOW-and drop the card in the
mail? Then the days may come and the weeks may go, but
you'll be sure of your grist of workable plans each month just
as surely as the mailman comes 'round.
Send no money-just the card. But to keep your name in its
proper place on the list, you will have to mail that card right
away!
Sincerely,
Would you risk $1 for the most effective collection letter we
of all past-due
have ever seen-a letter that brought in
money when every other appeal had failed?
Would you chance $1 to see a sales letter that pulled literally
hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of direct orders?
Would you spend
each to get the six essential steps
which a Master Salesman found most important in selling, or
the plans which have proven most successful in job analysis,
measurement of work, group bonus, and "incentive" systems?
If you would, then send the enclosed card for the first six issues
of the new Journal of Modern Business Management. For it
has taken on new life, new pep, new interest.
You see, we are facing new conditions today. We've been in a
rising market, where circumstances made money for many
people who could never have made it for themselves. That's
past. It's going to take real ability, a thorough grasp
modern management methods, to reach the top or stay there in
the period now in front of us.
Such inequalities as one manager getting only a third as much
from his labor-dollar as another will not be tolerated. The
man who cannot produce will go-the manager, too!
few years will be hard on drones. They are going
The
be known as "the levelling years," for they will bring down
HOW TO REACH THE LEADERS
many a man who is now in high place, and put the real workers in power-and by workers we mean not those who merely
go through the motions, but those who PR O D U C E !
In such a period, every man must look to himself, and we
have set the example. The new magazine is different. It is
more practical. It is, in effect, a continuous course in modern
business management. It gives to the forward-looking executive the plans, the methods, the letters, the incentive he needs
to meet the new competition of today.
Will you risk $1 to T RY it for six months? It doesn't matter
if you have already taken it for the six years-YOUN EE D TO
READ THIS NEW MAGAZINE!
an essential factor
your success if you don't! Will you risk $1 on that?
The enclosed card is your answer. Will you send it nowTODAY ?
Sincerely,
But merely bringing in the orders is not enough. That is
just the first part. The next part is getting paid for them.
And it is just as important to write letters that will bring i n
the payments as i t is to get the orders in the first place. So
our next chapter will be devoted to collections.
Collecting with a Smile
IS the hardest
job a collection letter can have? When
times are hard, collecting money people owe you may be
difficult. Collecting after something has happened to anger
your debtor may be worse. But compared to one kind of
collecting, both of these are easy. That kind is collecting for
goods people have not sent for-and for all you know, have
no use for.
If a letter will bring back the money from such a debtor,
where the creditor has no standing morally or legally, it must
be a good one. If it will work in such cases, it ought to bring
home the bacon no matter where it is used.
Do you remember the flood of unsolicited merchandise that
filled the mails some years ago, until Chambers of Commerce
and Better Business Bureaus began to advise
to throw
the stuff away, and the post office threatened to refuse to
handle it?
With such advice ringing in their ears, people could
scarcely be considered in a favorable mood for good collections, yet it was at just this time that a company with which I
was connected in a consulting capacity found itself with nearly
600,000 one-dollar accounts on its books, collections getting
slower and slower, and no possible redress in sight.
The merchandise that had been sent was of three different
kinds-a bottle of perfume, a set of initialed handkerchiefs,
358
COLLECTING WITH A SMILE
359
and an initialed cosmetic set, each selling for $1, and each
sent to a likely list without order or other authorization.
It was poor business to send out merchandise that way-no
doubt of that. Even the ones who first proposed it had become willing to admit their error. But this was not the point
that was worrying them. The important matter on the boards
at the moment was whether there was any way of getting the
money back.
Threats, of course, were out of the question. There remained only persuasion, and even this had to be used with
for the chances were that a great many of the recipients
of that merchandise were feeling distinctly peeved at having
things sent them they had never ordered, and would be a
lot more so when they were asked to pay for them. They
must be mollified first. And the best way to do it seemed to
be with a smile. But even before that, we had to send some
sort of a bill to establish in their minds the idea that they did
owe something for the merchandise. So the first notice took
the form of a letter and bill combined. It read:
One Full Ounce
Delightfully Fragrant Narcisse Perfume-$1
A person who is busy can be forgiven for forgetting a little bill
like the above.
Our account will be off your mind, if you wrap a check o r
dollar bill in this letter and slip it in the enclosed envelope.
Why not use it now?
It's already stamped!
Appreciatively yours,
That idea was given a couple of weeks to percolate, then
the voice with the smile" was used. Here was the most
successful of this type of letter that was tried:
Have you heard this one of Bud Fisher's?
"For the love of Mike!" exclaimed Jeff, looking at a letter.
"Bad news in the letter, Jeff
asks Mutt.
say so. Terrible
A fellow writes me that he wants my autograph." "I
COLLECTING WITH A SMILE
wails
call a request for an autograph a compliment."
Jeff, "but he wants my autograph on a check for the eight bucks
I owe him!"
May we not, like Jeff's creditor, request your autograph on a
check for $1 (or just a plain dollar bill) covering the full ounce
bottle of fine perfume we sent you a month ago? Thank you!
Gratefully,
That failing, it was necessary to become just a little more
insistent, so the next two letters took on a slightly aggrieved
tone.
?
?
?
?
?
?
?
?
That is the way we are beginning to feel about that bottle of
fine perfume we sent you six weeks ago, with the privilege of
keeping it or using the postage enclosed to mail it back to us.
We've written you several letters-but not a line from you have
we had.
If you have merely neglected to take care of our previous letters
-won't you please pin your check or a dollar bill to this letter
and send it in the enclosed envelope now?
Yours hopefully,
A feather is not very heavy, but have you ever carried a feather
bed upstairs?
One small account does not burden any one, but hundreds of
them often make a tremendous load.
A small account may be easily spent in postage and letters before
it is paid.
That isn't fair, and I know you don't want to appear unfair for
the small
you owe us for that full ounce bottle of exquisite perfume we sent you a couple of months ago, with postage
enclosed for its return in case you didn't care for it.
R. S. V. P. $1.
Expectantly yours,
Those letters brought home the bacon-or a sufficiently
large part of it to keep the hair from going with the hide.
COLLECTING WITH
A SMILE
They brought back dollars from something like 60 per cent
of the people to whom they were sent, and the merchandise itself from about 25 per cent more. Only about 15 per cent
adopted the advice of local leaders to throw away or refuse
payment on anything delivered without order.
Letters that will work on such difficult accounts must have
back of them a fundamentally sound idea, and it seems to us
that these four had. For what impels a debtor to pay you?
Two things only-fear or persuasion. If you can stir u p
in him the fear that he will lose his credit, if you can hold
over him the threat of a judgment and foreclosure or garnishee, you will get your money if it is possible for him to pay
it. You will get your money, but you will lose his good will
-and his trade when he is able to buy elsewhere.
How much better, then, to use the sort of persuasion that
leaves a smile in its wake, that extracts the money, but instead
of an aching void, leaves in its place the pleasant glow of a
favor done for a friend.
But the fact that it is pleasantly expressed need not take the
firmness out of your letter. On the contrary, it makes it the
more necessary that you put it there plainly, unmistakably.
If there is anything better calculated to lull a debtor into a
sense of security than a "Trusting to hear from you" letter, I
hope I never meet it. Just listen to this one:
DEAR MR. JONES:
You are undoubtedly aware of the balance due on your account.
I believe you care little for dunning letters, and for me to
personally write of the whole affair would consume considerable
unnecessary time.
Extensive experience has led us to conclude that there is a
positive danger in your failure to give regular attention to payments. When you fail to send them in promptly, it does not
take long for back payments to accumulate to such an extent
that it is a great
often an unanticipated
impossibility-to pay at all.
COLLECTING WITH A SMILE
Not having heard from you for quite some time, I ask you to
please confer a personal favor by advising me when I can expect a remittance, or possibly make known the circumstances
that have prevented payment.
Thanking you in advance for this personal courtesy, I
No, we did not make that one up. It was actually a typical
one of a series we were called upon to revise for a company
that you would expect to have had better sense than ever to
mail such a screed as that. If you received it, would you not
feel that although they might want their money, they would be
too diffident ever to do anything about it, and that you
safely put off payment until it suited your convenience?
Compare that one with this courteous, but forceful, definite
request for payment:
Some people, the minute a delay or dispute arises in the payment
of a bill of theirs, want to rush to the law about it. They think
the only reason a person can have for not paying a bill when
it is due must he dishonesty.
But we know better.
We have dealt with too many people not to know that only a
very, very small percentage are deliberately dishonest.
But many perfectly honest people get classed with the "dead
beats" simply because they are careless. They fully intend to
pay-do pay eventually-but because the amount involved is
small, they put it off.
Now we know that you fully intend to pay the $10 overdue on
your account-we know that eventually we shall get the money
-but that difference between "eventually" and "now" is what
marks the line between the "gilt-edgedn customer and the
pay."
You want to be in the
class, even if you never
another book from us or another dollar's worth of goods on
credit. It's such a
feeling to know that you are
"preferred
any merchant will be
to extend
credit privileges to you if you want them.
COLLECTING WITH A
363
Get back into that class by pinning your check or money order
to this letter now, and dropping it in the mail.
Sincerely,
The greatest danger of collection letters is that after the
first one, people recognize them for what they are from a
glance at the corner card of the envelope, and throw
away unread. So it is well to vary the appearance of your
The Business Week,
collection appeal in every way
for instance, used a miniature letter, envelope, and hill that
attracted attention by their very novelty, then followed these
with letters in the ordinary form. Here they are:
DEAR MR. J ONES :
The attached bill is so small, that we
don't want to take up much space in
bringing it to the attention of a man in
your position.
We know
a reminder is all that is
necessary.
Won't you pencil your "O.K." on it
and drop in the "Out-going"
NOW ?
Thank you!
Gratefully,
THE BUSINESS WEEK
SUBSCRIPTION INVOICE
John Jones
121 J St.,
Washington, D. C.
For 52 Issues to THE BUSINESS WEEK
Kindly return this
invoice with your
remittance or refer
to No.
121
COLLECTING WITH A SMILE
With a man like you, it is not a problem of how to pay, but
when-because you're so busy.
But that very busy-ness makes The Business Week the more
invaluable to you, because it not only condenses into a few,
meaty paragraphs, everything of import that happens in business, but it I NTERPRETS those happenings for you in
of
their effect upon your business.
The Business Week is as necessary to the important executive
as his bank statement and his sales charts. And your check
(because it's one of thousands) is as necessary
the service
The Business Week is rendering you.
Won't you, therefore, get that check definitely off your mind
you "O.K." on the enclosed bill now and dropping
by
it in your "Out-going" basket?
Thank you!
The f a m o u s string letters written by Louis Victor Eytinge
owed their success in l a r g e p a r t to the clever idea around
which they were written- the idea of tying a string a r o u n d
y o u r finger so you would not forget to send remittance, and
then tying letter and bill with the piece of string you were
to use!
Here a r e five letters of his that worked wonders:
Do you remember how, when you were young and your good
folks sent you down town after something, they were very likely
to tie a string about your thumb to make certain you would not
forget?
Those were the happy days, weren't they?
But-there's no reason why the days of N O W should not be
happy, and it is just as certain that some of us are liable to forget
the little things of today.
Because of that, I am sending you this little reminder-NOT
FORGET T O PAY the little item listed below.
COLLECTING WITH A SMILE
365
I hope you enjoy the smile in my letter, and that I may have
the pleasure of hearing from you promptly.
Cordially yours,
-Tie the string-and you won't forget!
DEAR MR.
Willie's mother had just given her little boy a lecture and told
him that his every act was known to God-that God's eye
followed him wherever he went.
Willie went down the street ashamed of himself, and his faithful
Fido followed close behind. In a few minutes, Willie turned
into a lane, saw the dog and then delivered himself of- "Aw,
me around. Ain't it enough to
go on home and quit
on behind?"
have God wid me all the time without you
Now, we do not wish to be tagging on behind. We do not want
to annoy or bother you one bit-but-we do want to remind
you that we have sent you, already, one copy of the enclosed
statement and we would be pleased to have prompt settlement.
Will you oblige us?
Earnestly yours,
Yes, that's a piece of the same string we sent you with the other
letter. It will prevent your forgetting this time. USE IT!
Do you remember the story of
the great king of ancient
da y s? You know he was said to have the magic touch-that
everything he touched turned to gold.
we'd not be writing this
Now, if we had the touch of
letter. We would not be insisting on payment of the amount
you are owing us, $................
A contract is a contract and should be lived up to. If we give
our word to the bank to pay, we have to be right there with the
money at the proper time-or if we are not, the bank uses the
law on us. All the business of the world would go to smash
if we couldn't depend on the sacredness of a commercial agreement. And in order that we may make our payments, as WE
agree, we expect you to pay the money due us. That's fair, is
it not?
366
COLLECTING WITH A SMILE
Frankly, if someone owed you the money due us from you, for
as long a time, and you needed it just as we
you
go after it with all the power you could use? To be sure you
would. Then please treat us as fairly as you would expect to
be treated. Just give us the square deal.
will expect your prompt remittance of $........
Earnestly yours,
DEAR MR. BLANK:
The other day, down in the Justice's Court, there came up the
settlement of a collection case. One man originally owed but
$28.00, but by the time the matter had been put into the hands
of lawyers-by the time the papers had been served and the case
heard-by the time that attachments had been issued against
the man's property-it cost him
Haven't we been fair with you? We have written you several
times frankly, fairly, squarely and friendly, for we DO want to
be friends. But, if you will not take steps to even up that little
$
WE WILL HAVE TO PROTECT OURSELVES BY
matter
GOING TO LAW.
not come in and talk things
Frankly, what the matter?
over with us, face to face? We are not unreasonable-we will
be as fair to you as you are to us. If all cannot be paid at
one time, tell us the exact conditions and we'll be as considerate
as possible under the circumstances.
But-in order to prevent legal proceedings, we will have to have
some evidence that you actually intend to do what is right by us.
We expect to hear from you promptly.
Sincerely yours,
DEAR SIR:
We have no answer to our lettersAnd have registered this to make certain of personal delivery,
so that in the event of suit being filed against you, the defense
cannot be that you have not had sufficient notice.
You surely do not recognize the position in which you place
yourself by your continued neglect to pay the sum of $........ long
due us. You are surely aware that the grocers, dry
dealers and all other merchants are organized for credit ob-
COLLECTING WITH A SMILE
367
servance and the debtor who does not pay his just debts is
blacklisted by merchants, doctors and other professional people
-the very ones upon whom you may
to depend at critical
times. You surely do not care to destroy your reputation for
honesty. Then take care of this matter at once, for if it be
unsettled by the end of next week, our lawyers will act.
when a judgment is entered against
You know well enough
a debtor, he is assessed all the costs and that these are often
greater than the original debt-that all service, subpoenas,
court
attachments, judgments, executions and lawyer feesall these are charged against you and your property when it is
sold to justify claims. You will have to act quick to save all this.
We are willing to do anything in our power to adjust this on a
friendly basis, and your best course is to come into the office
at once and see us. If for any reason this is impossible, then
right away, telling us what
do.
is UP T O YOU to act NOW-ten days' time only can be givenafter that the LAW and its expense.
not act now?
Insistently yours,
Another good one is the "pin letter." I t is a n adaptation
of the string idea a n d works just about a s well. H e r e it is:
AVENUE.
I
A T FORTY- EIGHTH STREET
I
Y O R K
N E W
Hen'. a
a.
deal like any other pin,
But
isn't
ordinary or
It is
and truly a
It
relieve you of a lot of bother and
of a lot of worry. It will set you
and
the good
to
who
it. So be careful and don't
But be
to
it-(we've
you
it Is the
you
your
or
order to
In
of your
Thank
Yours
hum.
to
on another
with
I
368
COLLECTING WITH A SMILE
Then there is the letter in a blue envelope, printed on a
blue letterhead, which tells the reader how blue you feel because you have not received his expected check. This idea
can be carried to extremes, as in the "gravestone letter," which
carries a black border on envelope and letter, and is
to the memory of John Jones (or whatever the reader's name
may be) whose account died after a lingering illness, etc."
Down in the corner of the card, in small type, is a line to the
effect that if there is any mistake, and Jones still lives, they
will be glad to receive evidence of that fact in the form of a
remittance.
Of course, stunts like that can easily be carried too far.
But the idea back of them is sound-that the difficult part,
and the important part, is to get your debtor's attention, and
anything that will attract his attention long enough to get you
a hearing will add greatly to your collections.
When you are selling something that requires further work
on the buyer's part, it is frequently necessary to re-sell him on
the desirability of your product before you can collect. This
is especially true of courses of instruction, sets of books, and
like. When collecting such accounts, an occasional inspirational letter of the right type is worth its weight in
and usually brings it back in the form of remittances!
Then there are always premiums for prompt payment, and
cash-ups on installment accounts. A good cash-up will frequently bring in as high as 30 to 40 per cent of payments in
full on accounts that without it would be slow in paying even
the monthly installments. Here are a few that have been
very successful for us:
DEAR
Will you accept a 3-volume set of
"Library of
Self-Starters" in return for a favor I want you to do? The favor
is a simple one, easy to render. Here is the way of it:
You owe us a small balance on your subscription to Mind,
COLLECTING WITH A SMILE
369
You can settle that balance in convenient monthly payments,
If you will mail us that balance in full
we will give
3-volume set of Updegraff's
NOW,
you-FREE and POSTPAID-a
"Library of Self-Starters."
These volumes sell regularly for $2.25 plus postage, and thousands upon thousands of them have been sold at this figure.
include such old stand-bys as the famous "Obvious
Adams," "The Sixth Prune" and "The Subconscious Mind in
Business." They are beautifully printed on heavy book paper,
and bound in thick board covers.
The only reason we can make this offer is that we are very
near the end of the big edition, and have only two or three
hundred sets now left. When they are gone, our rights to the
books go with them, so no more will be printed. We are therefore giving away these last couple of hundred sets.
The books are really good, however, and the few who get them
will be drawing prizes worth while. To be one of them, you'll
have to mail your remittance right
Sincerely,
DEAR SUBSCRIBER :
A GIFT FOR YOU!
you are prompt!
We have left from the last big edition a few hundred copies of
the famous "Business Correspondence Handbook," edited by
Prof. James A.
Lecturer in Advertising at the
of Commerce of Northwestern University, and consultant in
many a big business campaign.
is in three handy
This "Business Correspondence
volumes, bound in heavy paper imitation leather. It is the
same in every respect as the thousands of sets which sold for
$5.00. But we have only a few hundred left-not even enough
to print new advertising matter describing it. So we are going
to give those few to the first of our subscribers who are prompt.
Here is our offer:
the full amount of the enclosed statement,
Send us
rather than wait to pay it by the month. If you mail that
370
COLLECTING WITH A SMILE
balance right away, we will send you-FREEand POSTPAID
-the three volumes of the "Business Correspondence Handbook."
If the books are all gone when your remittance comes, we will
return that remittance intact and let you take care of the payments as originally intended-by the months.
But don't delay! Don't take any chances on such an offer as
this! Attach your check N O W to the enclosed statement and
mail it in the stamped, addressed envelope. You'll never have
another such chance!
Sincerely,
Of course, the most successful collection series is the one
that combines all these features to the greatest possible extent,
alternating one form with another. When you threaten, for
instance, you frighten a certain number of your debtors into
paying, but the chances are you simply anger the others. If
your next letter contains a stronger threat, or even the action
implied in your previous one, its principal effect is going to
be to make the recipients angrier than they were before.
It is like stroking a
fur. You can make the sparks
fly by stroking it the wrong way. But then you must smooth
it down again before you can make the sparks fly some more!
The same with your debtors. Ruffle them up with a threatening letter. You will land a certain number of payments.
Smooth them over with a cash-up or inspirational letter or a
stunt like the pin or string letter. You land a lot more payments. Stir them up again with a stronger threat, and keep
alternating one with another and you will get every cent
is possible to collect from them.
In collection letters, as in everything else, it is well to remember that you can catch more flies with honey than
vinegar. And another thing-the threat of action is even
more effective than the action itself-provided your debtor
believes your threat is not mere bluff.
COLLECTING WITH A SMILE
371
The law is a last resort, and unless a large amount of money
is involved, it is seldom a profitable resort. A letter from a
lawyer, on the other hand, is one of the most effective collectors of delinquent accounts that there is. But it seldom pays
to go beyond the letter.
Close collections, as a rule, are good collections. If you
follow up a man the moment his accounts start to lag, if you
camp on his trail and keep reminding him courteously, but
firmly, of that overdue balance, the chances are that as soon
as he is able to pay you will get it.
Life Begins At ???
to the effect
a man is a fool or
his own physician at forty. Whether
or not, it is a fact
that more and more men and women past forty seem to be
ready to listen to anyone who can describe their aches and
pains and offer some cure for them.
That is why the easiest products to sell by mail are those
having to do with health. If we were to try to sell you honey,
for instance, merely on its food value, it might leave you entirely cold. But if we were to write you that we had just
read a newspaper article saying that some European scientists
had found honey to be a sure relief for stomach ulcers, it
might make all the difference in its appeal to you.
Life may begin at forty for some, but for a great many
people it means a time of slowing down, of the beginning of
little aches and pains that they cannot account for, so they are
more than ready to listen to anyone who seems to have the
answer.
The first prescription is usually mild exercise, and here the
various methods of keeping fit have a strong appeal. Below
are a few such:
IS A N OLD S AYI NG
GOOD MORNING:
With your permission, I am going to send you a complimentary Guest Card, which will entitle you to all the privileges
of the Blank Gymnasium for one day-swimming pool, hot
372
LIFE BEGINS AT ? ? ?
373
room, showers, hand-ball, gymnasium, and a rub down at the
end such as you have not enjoyed in years.
Your name on the enclosed card will bring this Guest Card to
you, without cost and without obligation.
If you have begun to notice a little physical "drag" when you
get on the job in the morning-if it takes you longer to shake
off that lethargic feeling and step into it like you did of yoreit is a sign of staleness. And staleness is the first stage of
physical let-down.
Athletes know what to do about that. Do you? NOT harder
work-but a different kind. NOT gruelling exercise-but a
few exercises of the right type, and then a rub down that relaxes
and refreshes every muscle of your body.
Nature's supreme gift is the power to relax. A luxurious half
hour of ease at mid-day, under the skilful hands of a masseur
who knows how to find and iron out every kink in your system,
is worth all the drugs in the pharmacopoeia. You'll go back
to your desk so refreshed and rejuvenated that you'll do twice
the work you could before.
Try it-at our risk, our expense! Just your name on the enclosed card will bring you a complimentary Guest Card good for
everything.
you
it now-TODAY?
Sincerely,
DEAR MR. JONES:
When important executives "feel rotten," you can't afford in
these days of stepped-up production to have them lay off.
got to be able to stand long hours, heavy mental strain,
and a nerve exhaustion that would put them in their beds at
ordinary times. And they CAN stand up under such continued
strain, and still do dependable work.
IF;
...
...
. . . if
for fifteen minutes each day they get the thorough relaxation that only EFFORTLESS EXERCISE will give them. It's as
easy as this
turn on a switch, relax, and then LET this
machine
up and exercise every tired muscle, each strained
nerve.
May I tell you what doctors and nerve specialists say about
.. .
LIFE BEGINS AT ? ? ?
374
EFFORTLESS EXERCISE
. . . how it revitalizes tired nerves, puts
new pep into overworked bodies?
May I show you the facts? It won't take three minutes. Just
have your secretary phone me when you can spare three minutes
for this vitally important subject, and
guarantee to show
you how to keep your key executives up to par, no matter how
long or how hard they must work.
Sincerely,
Here is a Method That is Helping Thousands
To Improve and Renew Their Vital Zone
Youth.
DEAR READER:
The Life Line, physicians now tell us, is the Waist Line. This
vital region is your real Zone of Youth. Keep your waist strong
and healthy, and it will keep you.
According to the Public Health Service in Washington, figures
show a direct link between overweight and disease. "Overweight people have the worst of it in an analysis of the death
rate from fifteen causes.''
never intended us to spend our lives sitting at desks all
day, or riding in cars whenever we have a few blocks to go. So
our bodies rebel. Our circulation slows down. Our digestive
system fails to function properly. We take on those extra
sluggish pounds around the Life Line that make us look and
feel out of condition.
For men and women who are confronted with this problem
and want to do something about it, a new method of reducing and keeping fit has been found. It is called
PASSIVE EXERCISE.
Passive Exercise enables you to reduce and keep in condition
relax
without effort on your part. You turn on a switch
. and the Blank Machine does the work.
May we tell you about it? The enclosed card will bring
a free booklet that pictures this amazing machine, and shows
you how it works. No obligation, of course. Just your name
and address are all that is necessary. That and prompt mailing.
Life can begin again at 40. All you need is to work on your
Life Line.
Yours for the Zone of Youth,
..
...
LIFE BEGINS AT ? ? ?
375
Once you have taken to daily or frequent workouts in
gymnasium, you run into some of the drawbacks, of which
one of the most disagreeable is Athlete's Foot.
A Tiny Treatment
Of Tremendous Importance!
In order that you may realize at the outset the peculiar importance of this letter, let me inform you, before taking up the details, that we have obtained possession of a formula for the
treatment of Ring Worm, Athlete's Foot, and the like which in
ninety-nine cases out of every hundred so far treated has relieved all itching within three days.
This solution is no advertised "cure-all." I t will not relieve
sprains and bruises, or straighten fallen arches. It was worked
out for the one specific purpose of destroying the vegetable parasite which causes itching between the toes and fingers, which
roots under the skin of the feet, and which is responsible for
nine-tenths of all itching, sweating, and scaly feet.
You see, "Ring Worm" is in reality no worm at all. It is a
tiny vegetable growth that thrives around shower baths and
swimming pools, where it sticks to the feet and then takes root
in the moist, tender skin between the toes, from which it spreads
to other parts of the feet.
Hot water, soaps, and germicides have no effect upon it, because its roots are down under the skin where these remedies
cannot reach. No ordinary treatment can kill these roots, because to make it strong enough to do so would burn the skin.
But now a remedy has been discovered which gets under
the outer layer of skin and kills the Ring Worm roots, no
matter how firmly imbedded they may be-yet cannot harm
the true skin beneath.
This solution was worked out by one of the greatest skin specialists in the country, and has now been used successfully by
him and other specialists for several years. If you went to one
of
you would pay
to $25 for the
by
using the Coupon on the last page of this letter, you get that
same prescription, made up ready for your use, for only $1.
376
LIFE BEGINS AT ? ? ?
Not only that, but you get what no specialist would give youa guarantee of relief or your money back. Either your itching
feet are entirely relieved in three days, or your dollar comes
back to you.
Will you risk $1 for relief from itching and sweaty feet on that
guarantee? Will you deposit $1 with the Postman when he
delivers the solution to you, on our promise to you (backed by
Uncle Sam's guarantee that promises made by mail must be
lived up to) that you get your $1back at once if for any reason
you are not more than satisfied with the results?
"It's the most successful and satisfactory prescription I
have ever found," writes Dr. So and So of Des Moines,
Iowa. The Track Athletes of Blank University wrote even
stronger endorsements of it, and Specialists from all over
the country confirm those results.
You need send no money-take no risk. Just your name and
address on the Coupon on the next page will bring you this
famous Specialist's solution for trial.
the Postman
delivers it, deposit your $1 with him. After three days' use,
all trace of itching must be completely gone---or your $1 comes
back to you in full.
Fair enough? Then put your name on the Coupon and mail
it NOW! The attached envelope needs no stamp.
Sincerely,
The health angle is one of the strongest you can use in selling by mail. But also it is one of the most dangerous. The
Post Office Department, the Food and Drug Administration,
and the Federal Trade Commission, to mention only three,
scan all health claims with a jaundiced eye, and woe betide
man who cannot make them good. Therefore, when using any health appeal, be moderate in your claims. Be twice
as moderate as you would be with any other appeal. Always
of
yourself an "out." We have known a
advertisers who were very thankful they did. Here are some
letters that were used successfully:
LIFE BEGINS AT ? ? ?
377
In ages gone by, when Athens was Queen of the world and the
of Medicine"
center of art and science, Hippocrates, the
(the only practitioner who ever reached the ripe old age of one
hundred and nine years) intuitively prescribed the free use of
Olive Oil not only as an essential food but as a most
prophylactic agent and sovereign remedy for the many ills of
digestive tract.
Centuries later, Cornaro, the illustrious Venetian Doge, author
whose doom at the age
of the classic work "Della Vita
of forty-five had been foretold by his physicians, not only
recovered his health and virility but lived to see a full century of
active life with the help of but two remedies: Sobriety and
Olive Oil.
Thus it is seen that intuition had taught the Ancients what, in
this country, the bio-chemist and microscope have revealed.
We know now why Olive Oil, when absolutely pure and in its
natural state, is an ideal food and sovereign remedy. Its rich
content of Vitamins, especially of Vitamin B, that true elixir of
life, is one of the reasons why specialists and dieticians praise
its healing virtues.
Unfortunately, absolutely pure natural Olive Oil, the first pressing of sun-ripened, sound olives, un-processed, un-bleached, and
un-blended, strictly complying with what is known as "Virgin"
Olive Oil as defined by the U. S. Bureau of Agriculture, has become a rare article indeed.
Our Olive Oil not only complies with these requirements but is
the only Olive Oil guaranteed to be extracted exclusively from
choice olives grown on the sun-bathed foothills of the AlpesMaritimes, in southern France, a district world-famous for the
lightness and delicate flavor of its Olive Oil.
we suggest that by placing Olive Oil upon your table,
and advocating its regular daily usage, you will be adopting a
most pleasant and effective means of protecting your health and
that of your family? Ask your doctor, he knows.
Yours respectfully,
378
LIFE BEGINS AT ? ? ?
Over in
during the War, a detachment of English soldiers and their East Indian allies were cut off and took
refuge in a little mud-walled town.
There they were besieged for months. Water was plentiful,
luckily, but all their supplies were used within a week, excepting
flour. They had plenty of flour to last during the whole siege
-white flour for the English troops, whole wheat flour for the
natives.
And then a remarkable thing happened: By twos and threes at
first, and then by scores, the English soldiers showed symptoms
of polyneuritis. First they were no longer able to walk. Then
their respiration was affected. Finally, general paralysis set in.
The Indian troops, on the other hand, remained in perfect
health. The Medical Officers could not understand it-until
finally it dawned on someone that the lack of Vitamins B and
in the white flour might be responsible. They changed the
white troops to whole wheat flour-and the disease disappeared.
You see, wheat in its original state contains all 16 of the chemical elements that go to make up a perfect human body, and
which must be replaced daily if we are to maintain that chemical
balance called "Health." In the outer layers of the wheat grain
are the essential mineral salts containing Vitamin B, so necessary to healthy nerves. In its germ or nucleus is that valuable
substance frequently referred to in the Scriptures as the "Oil
of the Wheat," the richest source of Vitamin E which doctors
regard as the strongest factor in the prevention of sterility and
age.
But to make flour white, it is necessary to mill off the outer
layers of the wheat containing the essential mineral salts with
their Vitamin B, and to discard the wheat germ or nucleus with
its invaluable Vitamin E, so that nothing but the starchy,
forming elements are left.
years ago, Blank Millers started to make a genuine
whole wheat flour that retained every vital element of
the grain. We used only sound, fully matured Spring wheat,
feeling that, while so perfect a flour would cost more to make,
LIFE BEGINS
AT ? ? ?
379
its marvelous health-giving properties would speedily find a
place for it on every family's table.
That our idea was right was quickly proved by one big user in
the East. Starting very cautiously with a single barrel, they
worked up in a few months to a hundred barrels a month, and
in eleven years they were using 8,000 barrels of our "All of the
Wheat" flour every month.
Then the lure of price proved too much for them. They found
another miller who offered them just as good a flour, made
from a cheaper grade of wheat. In six months their business
fell to 2,500 barrels a month.
So you see, people can be sold a good whole wheat flour. And
once they have learned how good our "All of the Wheat" flour
tastes, nothing less will satisfy them again.
If you want regular customers, satisfied customers, customers
who will go out of their way to come to you and recommend
Even
you to their friends try our "Whole of the Wheat
on its first cost, it is cheaper, for while the price is higher per
barrel, every barrel gives you 320 full-weight, one-pound loaves
-from 15 to 20 more than any other flour.
can T RY it without regard to price, for we will send
But
you a trial barrel at our own risk.
Just mail the enclosed card, without money. It will bring
to you, prepaid, a barrel of our "All of the Wheat" flour.
Use as much of it as you like. If it does not bake better,
taste better, sell better than any flour you have ever used,
send back what is left of the barrel at our expense, and owe
us nothing.
The price? Well, AFTER
have tried that barrel, after you
have tasted the bread and seen how it sells, then if you want
more, send us only $........ for that barrel. We'll even have a
better price than that for you on bigger quantities.
Fair enough? Then put your name on the enclosed card and
drop it in the mail. Remember, this card is merely an opportunity for our "All of the Wheat" flour to sell itself to you. It
obligates us only-NOT
that basis,
you T RY IT ?
On that understanding, will you mail the card
...
Sincerely,
LIFE BEGINS AT ? ? ?
380
An easy way to retain your health and strength seems to
be through proper breathing, so another advertiser tells you
of the benefits to be derived from his method:
"One Single Generation of Correct Breathers,"
John X. Loughran Quotes a High Authority as Saying,
"Would Regenerate the Human Race."
DEAR CUSTOMER:
The next time you "feel rotten," try breathing like Captain
Rodriguer did. He had been discharged by the Dutch
Army as incurably tubercular; he was continually suffering
from coughs and colds and sinus trouble. And then he learned
EXHALE!
Today, though 64 years old, Captain Rodriguer is one of the
wonders of the world for vigor and vitality. He walks about in
the coldest weather without an overcoat, without undershirt or
vest, yet he has not had a cold in years. He defies anyone to
give him the "flu" or any throat ailment. He has a chest
measurement of
a waist of only
and his chest expansion is
And the method of EXH AL ATI ON that has worked such wonders
for him seems to be just as effective for others. "This method
of breathing has done wonders for me," wrote B. N. of Lake
"I'm a new person, gaining every day. I can't
Odessa,
put into words the gratitude I feel for
instruction.
My head was so full of poisons from a well-nigh fatal pneumonia illness, I couldn't walk across the room (from dizziness)
without the support of a cane. Now I can do almost any kind
of work a normal condition allows."
Why should a simple method of breathing work such wonders?
suggestions
Perhaps John X. Loughran has the answer.
about breathing," he writes, "stress the angle of inhalation,
neglecting the matter of full and complete EXPIRATION of the
residual air in the lungs. Practiced for a few minutes daily,
the routine of full EXHALATION very rapidly re-chemicalizes the
blood, increasing its ability to carry oxygen. Daily attention
to this
breathing suggestion will cut respiratory troubles
at least in half." Etc.
LIFE BEGINS AT ? ? ?
381
The French have a saying that
secret of a long life lies
in getting an incurable malady and then nursing it. Here
in America, that malady seems to be constipation. More
people seem to be buying remedies for it than for any other
ailment. So the following appeal hit home:
You Can Laugh At the Evils of Constipation
-If You Follow This Plan!
DEAR CUSTOMER :
With this letter I am sending you a copy of Dr. Frank Crane's
famous editorial on the first requisite of holiness.
It will set you thinking. It is short, but there is a great deal in
it. The basic essentials to health and well-being of mind and
body and all of life are dealt with in its few lines.
For do you know what is responsible for much of the mental
and moral disaster of today? Do you know what is the
curse of modern civilization? Uncleanness of the bowels
...
. . . CONSTIPATION.
"X-Ray examination shows that persons whose bowels move once
a day," says Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, founder of the famous
Battle Creek Sanitarium,
constantly carrying in their
colons the putrefying residue of five or ten meals, or even a
larger number."
And Sir Arbuthnot Lane, personal physician to King George of
England, declared: "A large percentage of cancer is due to
of the colon. Many a person who does not regard himself as
at all constipated has
which is a retention of waste in the
colon long after evacuation."
For thousands of years, since man first abandoned the crude,
rough diets of fruits and herbs and grains, in favor of meats and
cakes and the like, a cure for constipation has been sought. But
it was never found, because no one really understood the workings of the colon, or what it needed for proper functioning.
Now; etc.
The Secret of Youth has been sought since time began.
Alchemists, poets like Goethe, adventurers like
de Leon,
have all tried for it and all failed. Yet hope springs
382
BEGINS AT ? ? ?
so men and
are still attracted by anything that offers
to bring back their lost youth.
Has the Secret of a New Youthfulness
Been Discovered At Last?
"I have found a remedy for old age," announced Dr. Serge
Voronoff at the 28th French Surgical Congress in Paris.
H e pointed out that in creating the first forms of animal life,
Nature gave them the elements of immortality. They can be
killed by violence, they can be starved or poisoned, but under
normal conditions they live forever. They know no aging process, no natural death.
And Dr. Alexis Carrel of the Rockefelier Foundation proved the
correctness of this theory by taking the heart of an embryo
chick and keeping it alive and growing for more than 30 years.
grow old? According to Dr. Voronoff,
Why do men and
it is because of the drying up of the glands, especially the tiny
interstitial gland that activates the sex hormones. His remedy
is to transplant youthful glands from monkeys into human beings. By doing that, he has restored a large measure of youthfulness to thousands of men and women.
The trouble with his
is that it involves an operation, it is
expensive, and unless expertly done, it is dangerous. Of late
years, medical men have discovered what appears to be as effective a method through the injection of hormones, but this,
too, has its drawbacks. It is expensive and it must be expertly
done to be safe or effective.
Now, however, comes Brown
after fifty years of research and experiment, to tell us that the normal way, the safe
way, and the inexpensive way to get these hormones is from
the foods we eat.
Hormones, he says, are I NN ER foods, and Inner foods are many,
many times as powerful as the regular foods you eat. They
are catalysts, and they act to break up some substances, build
up others. One catalytic unit, for instance, can break down
units of starch, can build up
units of other
LIFE BEGINS A T ? ? ?
elements. The catalysts are the energy o r Worker units that
transform substances in your body.
If you have been worrying about the combinations of foods you
have been eating, Brown Landone's advice is-Forget them!
Because without catalysts, any combination of foods may cause
you trouble, whereas with the proper catalytic foods, he believes
that all combinations are easily digested.
The one important thing to remember about foods, says
is that there are Material foods and Worker foods.
It is the worker or Catalytic foods that multiply energy a
hundred times. I t is the worker or catalytic foods which
can awaken new life in your glands, and a feeling of new
youthfulness in your body.
So let's forget food fads. Let's forget special diets and combinations. Many of them are good to counteract some temporary
bids you eat what
condition, but for normal purposes,
you like in reason-so long as you include enough Worker
foods to take care of them. One ounce of them, he says, has
more energy power than 800 lbs. of meat. One ounce could
break up the elements in all the food you could eat for a month.
If you want abounding energy, if you are seeking a new youthfulness and vitality, look for the foods that contain the aminos
and enzymes of which Hormones are built. Your glands will
use them-if you just give them the chance. Etc.
The health angle can be used to sell
products, of
which tobacco is one. A tremendous business has been done
on de-nicotined tobacco, because of the claim that it is not
hard on the heart.
as Much As You LikeWithout Fear of Any Kind of Evil
D EAR SIR:
Within the next few days, I want to send you, with my compliments, a genuine
Pipe, made of hand-carved
Briar.
Pipe. Its special valve stem and
You will like the
smoke-refining tube give you the coolest, cleanest smoke you
have ever had. It keeps pipe-juice from entering the mouth,
384
LIFE BEGINS AT ? ? ?
and it is just about as easy to clean as a cigar-holder. Bought
in any store, this same pipe would cost you $3.00.
I am going to send this genuine, imported
Pipe to you,
without charge of any kind, just to get the chance to Prove to
your satisfaction that nicotine has nothing to do with the enjoyment of a cool, satisfying smoke-that you get the same
taste, the same flavor, the same aroma from good tobacco from
which the nicotine has been removed as from the same tobacco
with all the poison in it.
You see, nicotine is both colorless and tasteless. It is really a
by-product of tobacco, not an essential. The essential factors
are the vegetable oils. It is they that give flavor to it, they that
make the taste and supply the aroma. Take them out, and the
smoke will be flat and tasteless, no matter how much nicotine is
in it. But leave in these vegetable oils, and you can remove
every vestige of nicotine without ever noticing it.
Nicotine is a poison. Except prussic acid, it is the strongest
vegetable poison known to man. Two drops of it, taken at one
time, will kill any man. And two drops of it, absorbed into his
system through thousands of smokes, make many a man wish
they would kill him, for they leave his nerves shot to pieces,
his digestion upset, his kidneys unsettled, and his heart depressed.
All physicians agree that nicotine is bad for anyone. All are
agreed that if you take out the nicotine, you can smoke all the
tobacco you like and never have any ill effects.
"You have solved one of the great problems of the age," wrote
Dr. John Jones, of Detroit, Michigan. "I have tried
tined tobacco on my friends, and they cannot tell the difference.
So why take all that poison into your system?"
The trouble in the past has been that the original methods of extracting nicotine from the tobacco leaf took out a goodly part
of the vegetable oils with it, leaving the tobacco flat and tasteless. But now a new process has been found that gets more
than 90% of the nicotine, yet leaves the vegetable oils untouched.
This process has been brought to perfection in Blank
Nicotined Smoking Tobacco.
Blank De-Nicotined Smoking Tobacco is a perfect blend of the
LIFE BEGINS AT ? ? ?
385
finest imported and domestic tobacco. It is mild, of course,
because it is only nicotine that makes tobacco strong. And it
has all the flavor, all the aroma, of the finest tobaccos grown.
Will you try it-if we send you a one-pound tin for a week's
FREE TRIAL? Will
smoke a dozen pipe-fulls-then if anything can induce you to part with the balance, send it back and
owe us nothing? Otherwise mail us only $3 in full payment.
And in return for your courtesy, will you accept a genuine, imported Sasieni
Pipe with our compliments?
Send no money. Obligate yourself in no way. The enclosed
card brings both pipe and tobacco to you, subject to a week's
Pipe only
Free Trial. But, it brings the FREE Sasieni
while this special Introductory Offer lasts. And that is for
exactly ten days. To get one, your card will have to be mailed
right away.
Sincerely,
Akin to the health appeal is that used by many insurance
companies, especially those selling sickness and accident policies. Here is one that is widely used:
If You Were Laid Up With Sickness or
Friends Might Send Flowers,
WHO WOULD
SEND YOU CHECKS?
Would you risk $1 to get $25.00 a week-$100.00 a month-in
case of sickness or accident? Would you gamble $1 a month
for protection against loss of pay and to cover medical expenses?
Every day there are 4,080 people disabled by sickness or accident. If your turn should come, if you should fall sick or be
would undoubtedly sympathize with your
injured, your
family,
would probably send you flowers or gifts, but is
there one of them who would send you a weekly pay check? Is
who would pay your doctor's bills or the
there any of
hospital expenses?
$1 a month will bring you a Health and Accident Insurance
Policy that will pay you $25.00 a week for sickness or accident;
the same $1 a month will bring you or your dependents $5,000
LIFE BEGINS AT ? ? ?
for death
sions.
for accidental injury covered by the policy provi-
Anyone, man or
woman, between the ages of 1 6 and 75 can apply. All you
NO
M EDI CAL E XAMI NAT I ON
IS REQUIRED.
need to do is fill out the Application on the inside of the yellow
folder enclosed, attach $1 to cover the first month's insurance,
and mail.
You run no risk, for if you are not more than satisfied with all
policy, if you don't feel that it gives you
the provisions of
greater protection than you can get in any other way at so small
a cost, all you have to do is to return the Policy within seven
after you receive it, and we will send you back your $1
at once.
So you take no risk. Your $1 has a string to it. It's not
ours until you have had your Policy for a week-read all
its provisions-and ARE SATISFIED! Y OU get i t right back
if you send back the Policy.
Even if you keep it, there's still no obligation to carry it any
longer than you want to. You can drop it at any time, without notice. $1 insures you for one month from the time your
Polic y is delivered to you. Then each succeeding $1 you send
insures you for another month.
Would you risk $ 1 to be sure of a weekly check of $25.00-in
case of sudden accident or sickness? For 31 years, the Blank
Life
Casualty Company has unfailingly made prompt claim
payments. The Blank has the highest rating given to Insurance companies by Dun and Bradstreet's Insurance Reports. I t
has won a reputation through the years for being reliable, honest, and stable.
Would you risk $1 to have the resources of the Blank behind
you, as provided in this liberal Policy, if ever you should fall
sick or be hurt in an accident? If you would, then fill out the
Application in the enclosed folder, wrap a $1 bill or check in
it, and mail it back in the prepaid envelope attached. I t may
prove to be the luckiest dollar you have ever invested.
Sincerely,
BEGINS AT ? ? ?
Perhaps even more appealing to w o m e n than t h e h e a l t h
angle is beauty. Convince a w o m a n t h a t you c a n make her
m o r e beautiful and she w i l l s p e n d her bottom dollar f o r y o u r
treatment.
Now Science Explains What Causes Face Wrinkles.
Even Older Women Can Have Soft, Lovely, Velvety Skin!
DEAR MADAM :
"How can I make Myself More Beautiful?"
How often have you asked yourself that
And what
has been the answer? Hasn't it been,
finding some way to
restore the softness and youthful loveliness of my skin"?
No matter how fine your features, you cannot have real beauty
without a fresh, health y skin. And now, at last, science gives
you the secret. Like all great discoveries, it is simple. It can
be given you in seven words. RESTORE TO YOUR S K I N ITS NATU R A L OILS-and its youthful freshness and beauty will promptly
return.
is it
Does that sound too sim p le? Well, just ask
that makes the skin of the face and neck dry and wrinkled?
Not age-look at the skin on other parts of your body. It is
youthful and fresh as when you were a babe. Yet it is as old
in years as the skin of your face. What then makes the difference ?
STARVATION-that
is what does it! Between wind and sun and
flying particles of dust and the lye and soda of strong soaps,
the natural oils of your face and neck have not a chance. They
have dried out until the cells of your skin are starved. Pores
are clogged so they no longer function. Your skin is
dried out before its time-like the arteries of some old man.
Science has shown, you know, that age is not a matter of years.
Biologically, there is no reason why one must grow old. Men
age and dry up because they do not throw off the waste products fast enough. Arteries become clogged. Poisons and
waste harden inside them, stopping up the pores, making it impossible to get the necessary nourishment through to the cells.
Result? A gradual starving and drying up of the cells.
388
LIFE BEGINS AT ? ? ?
Well, that is just what has been happening to the skin of your
up for lack of proper nourishface. The cells have been
ment. The pores through which they breathe have become
clogged. Naturally your cheeks will sag under those conditions. Naturally the skin will develop scores of tiny lines and
wrinkles.
The remedy? There are only two:
Help the pores throw off the dust and dried skin that is
them, and thus enable the nourishment to get to
your skin cells from within. Replenish the natural oils of
the skin from the outside, through the use of a youth-ifying
creme made up only of vital, active oils, with no waxes,
mineral oils, or grease as a base.
...
Simple things, both of them
opening the pores so your
starved skin cells can breathe again and draw upon the blood
stream for nourishment, and renewing the flow of natural oils
by replenishing them from without. Yet that is where
Creme" can be a real Fountain of Youth for you.
You see, "Vita-Creme" is a soft, golden white, penetrating creme
composed exclusively of vital, active oils. Its function is to
stimulate the skin by replacing natural deficiencies. Compounded of ingredients approved by skin specialists and by
physicians, it contains a special vital oil that penetrates to the
sub-epidermal layers of the skin, nourishes them, and enables
them to rebuild the soft, glowing skin of youth.
Vita-Creme depends for its results-not upon magic or harsh
astringents or the like-but upon Nature herself. Since the
first dawn of created life, Nature has nourished every form of
cell life by absorption. It surrounds them with the elements
they need for life and growth, and lets the cells absorb them.
That is exactly what happens when you rub "Vita-Creme" into
your skin. You are surrounding every tiny cell with the
giving elements from vital, active oils-not choking them with
waxes, greases, and other inert elements. There is nothing
about Vita-Creme to stick in the pores, to clog them, as do
many ordinary cremes. That is why it so truly rejuvenates the
skin. That is why the results are apparent so quickly.
Vita-Creme
feeds those hungry skin cells, helps them
LIFE BEGINS AT ? ? ?
389
fill out, grow young and firm again. As you massage it into
your starved skin, you can almost feel the years roll back. Certainly you will notice the difference from day to day in your
mirror, as it magically irons out those tiny, tell-tale lines and
wrinkles.
Would you risk $1 for such an Elixir of Youth? Would you
pay that much for the chance to TRY one of the few preparations
known to cosmetologists that really penetrate the true skin
and nourish it in a natural way?
Mind you, the $1 you send will not be ours until you have used
the special trial jar of Vita-Creme for 30 days and are satisfied
that it will do everything we claim for it. You can have the
$1 back at any time within the 30 days, merely by returning
the empty jar.
On that distinct understanding, would you risk $1 for the Secret of a Youthful Skin? If you would, then use the enclosed
coupon. It will bring you-if mailed at once-our regular
$1.50 jar of Vita-Creme for a month's trial, at the special introductory price of $1. It will bring you this 3 oz. jar, postpaid,
with full directions as to how to care for the face without drying
its natural oils, how to nourish the skin, how to regain beauty
that need never fade.
But it will bring you a jar of Vita-Creme at the special Introductory price of $1 only if you mail the coupon at once. This
is a Trial Offer, good for ten days only. Is a soft, alluring,
rejuvenated skin worth $1 to you? Then send the enclosed
coupon now. You may never have another chance.
Sincerely,
Then here is one that should appeal to both men and
women, because it gives everyone a seemingly logical excuse
for those days when they don't feel like doing anything but
loafing.
Will You Give Me A Little Information About Yourself
-Just the Date of Your Birth?
DEAR READER:
You know how often you have had
days," when nothing
seemed to go right, when people rubbed you the wrong way,
LIFE BEGINS AT ? ? ?
and everything you tried to do was a flop. And you probably
remember other days when you felt as though you could accomplish miracles, when work and play and everything else you
did was "at the top of your form."
Well, those "off days" were not due to something you ate. They
were off in a very real sense, for they were days when your Life
Rhythm was at its lowest ebb. They come in definite cycles,
as inevitable as the female "period," as regular as the tides.
They come to men and women alike, and their times can be
figured, their effects measured.
With your permission, I am going to send you, in the next few
days, a report that will show you on which days in the next
month you should be at your physical and mental best, as well
as those times that Dr. Fliess, the celebrated European Biologist
and Physician, calls your "critical days."
You have doubtless read about the Life-Rhythm theory that has
swept England and the continent, and has recently been introduced into this country. It is based on
well-known oscillation principle that is seen throughout all of nature, from the ebb
and flow of the tides to the alternating current of electricity,
from the cycles of the seasons to the rhythm of the pulse, the
respiration of the lungs, the fluctuations of body warmth, the
monthly growth and death of the ovum.
In Europe, experiments along these lines have been going on
since 1906, and a number of books have been written on the
subject by prominent physicians and scientists. At the University of Vienna, it is one of the lecture subjects.
Many surgeons over there will no longer operate on a
"critical days," because of the amazing number of deaths that
have occurred at such times. The results of school examinations, games of skill, athletic contests, and the like have been
found to vary according to the cycles of the individuals involved. Many automobile and aeroplane accidents have been
traced to the low vitality of the drivers or pilots and their more
days."
sluggish reflexes on their
Statistics show that few auto accidents are due to mechanical
defects-most are caused by the human factor. Planes can
set to carry along on an even keel, radio beams guide them
LIFE BEGINS AT ? ? ?
through storm and fog, they have gauges to show the pilot
everything he needs for safe flying-but accidents happen because the pilots themselves are still human.
They may fly for millions of miles-and suddenly crack up.
Why? An examination of the records shows that many-if not
all-of these accidents have been due to what has heretofore
been the unknown factor . the state of the pilot's physical,
nervous, and mental cycles.
. .
Most aeroplane crashes happen when the pilot is at or near his
critical day physically, and in the minus cycle of his nervous
and mental energy. Automobile accidents usually develop the
fact that one of the drivers was in his minus cycle in at least
two of his three cycles of energy.
Skiing accidents are particularly frequent on
days" because of the need of muscular co-ordination and nerve control.
Racing drivers oftentimes come to grief when at the bottom of
their cycles, and acrobats have to be particularly watchful on
their "critical days."
You see, there are three definite cycles of energy-your physical
vitality, your nervous energy, and your mental energy. These
cycles vary in length, so that there are times when all coincide,
times when one is far stronger than the others, times when all
three are at their lowest ebb. It is these last times you need to
watch. It is then that your reflexes are slower. It is then that
your resistance is low.
Away back in 1780, Goethe wrote, "I must make a closer observation of the cycle of good and bad days revolving within
me. I must find out the duration and regularity of this movement around
And 2,000 years before Goethe, the
celebrated Greek physician Hippocrates noticed the same phenomenon, and taught his disciples to take advantage of the good
and bad days in treating the sick.
There is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood,
leads on to fortune. There are similar tides in the affairs of
each of us, flood tides of increased energy, ebb tides when the
energy has almost vanished.
beyond their form in their plus
Golfers have been found to
cycles. children have made brilliant records in their high men-
392
LIFE BEGINS AT ? ? ?
tality periods. The Dutch swimming champion beat the record when his race fell on a day when he was at the top of his
in all three cycles. Auto racer Bulla made the best performance of his career under similar circumstances. In an international rifle meet a few years ago, the new champion won on
the day when he was at the maximum plus factors in all three
cycles.
If you were sailing a ship, you wouldn't beat up against the tide
unnecessarily. You'd wait until it was with you, helping you
along on your way. You can do the same with your own tides
of physical, nervous, and mental energy.
Will you let us send you a chart of the rise and fall of your
energy cycles for the next 30 days? Will you let us show you
which days you should be at your best, which are your "critical
days'' ?
Just your name and address on the enclosed form with the time,
date, and place of your birth are all that is necessary.
We are making a nominal charge of $1for this service, but your
$1 will have a string to it. If you don't feel that the chart is
worth that to you, you have only to say so to get your $1 back
at once and in full.
On that understanding, will you fill out the enclosed form and
return it in the addressed envelope enclosed? It's already
stamped.
Sincerely,
These health letters are interesting because they have so
wide an appeal; every class of people responds to them.
since no one method or product is going to keep anyone
perfect health, they are likely to raise hopes
are unjustified. Then, too, they may cause the reader to neglect troubles
for which he should be having treatments. Therefore,
government bureaus are probably correct in stopping
letters whenever they can find any excuse for doing so.
Showmanship
according to an article in a trade magazine,
a senior student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
like many another near-graduate, began to think about getting
a job.
Having failed to get results by customary methods, this
ingenious young man used one of modern marketing's most
effective sales aids. He wrote a note, made 81 copies, slipped
each copy into a bottle, mailed the bottles to 81 advertising
agencies.
His note read: "Stranded! On an island in Cambridge,
Mass., a
in June. Will work like hell
for passage into port. Gold stored here with me (training in
.). You're going ahead and I'm
arts, sciences, business
going your way. Have you room in the hold for a man who
can prove he's worth his salt?" Soon replies were received.
When our senior
Said one: "Altering course to pick you up.''
graduated later that year, he had a good job with an advertising agency.
Another ingenious young fellow had his sales message
printed on books of matches, and every place he visited he
left one or more of those books. It did not take him long
to land a job. Showmanship always does get a hearing. The
successful bit of showmanship that we have ever seen
AGO,
..
393
394
SHOWMANSHIP
was the famous "Dollar Bill" letter. Pinned to its top was
a crisp, new dollar bill-a real dollar bill!
That letter pulled better than a 9 0 per cent response. The
writer of it told me that from 175,000 letters mailed, he got
back about $270,000, plus more than 90 per cent of the dollar
bills he had mailed out.
But this was only the start. From the list of more than
150,000 people who gave that $270,000, further subscriptions
were secured to the amount of some $10,000,000. Here is
the letter, which was filled in with the name and address of the
recipient:
DEAR MR. JONES:
Here's a dollar.-Yes, it's a REAL dollar-nice and clean and
new.
read this letter-but I
Keep it if you want to, after
don't believe you will, then.
Here's what it's all about:
I've made an investment-of a thousand dollars-in human
nature, human kindness. I've mailed a thousand dollars-in a
thousand letters to a thousand people picked at random. I have
done this because I believe that everyone is really kind-that
no one is really heartless-and that the only reason why folks
do not help where help is needed is just because these needs are
not IMPRESSED upon them hard enough.
And that's the mission of each of my thousand
impress the importance of a need. This thousand dollars is
my subscription to the Blank Hospital-and I'm investing it in
the belief that every one will bring back several more-at least
another-with it. So our subscription, which I'm starting in
this way, will be at least two thousand-maybe five, for there's
going to be a lot of you send a five or a ten or more when
mail my dollar back.
Remember-both my dollar and your dollars go to help
crippled children.
Will EVERY ONE come back?
Are people really kind-or REALLY heartless?
SHOWMANSHIP
Will every one bring something more?
Have I made a good investment?
What is your answer?
Sincerely,
The same idea is the basis for the following letter. Pinned
to the top of it was a 100,000 mark German note. Its purpose, like that of the dollar, was to get the reader's immediate
attention and arouse his interest in the message of the letter.
It worked so well that the magazine for which the letter was
written reported that it was the most successful
getter it had ever used. Here is the letter:
Will you accept the enclosed German Reichsbank
Note for 100,000 Marks, W i t h Our Compliments?
DEAR SIR:
If the enclosed German Reichsbank note for 100,000 Marks
pays for one minute of your time, consider yourself engaged.
Yes, it's a real Reichsbank note, put out by the German government. Before the war, 100,000 marks were worth $23,820
in our money. But when this particular issue of notes was
retired, it took 10,000,000 notes like this to get a mark worth
in gold!
That is what uncontrolled inflation did to German money.
As fast as new issues were brought out, the old ones dropped in
value, until a man's only chance to get ahead lay in putting his
stocks, or into goods or real estate-or
money into
something that would go up in price as fast as the value of his
money went down.
In a small way, something of the kind may occur here. Even
with inflation under perfect control, the value of inflated money
is bound to drop, while common stocks and goods and real estate
will go up in value.
The question is, what type of stocks will appreciate most?
And what effect will inflation have on various lines of industry?
That is where the Blank Journal can be of genuine help to you.
timely, but they are derived from original
Its facts are not
sources, and their accuracy can be depended upon. But that
isn't all! The facts it brings to you each day are interpreted
from the standpoint of the investor and of the business man,
enabling you to invest your money or to
your business with
understanding and foresight.
The Blank Journal is the source of information for countless
statisticians, newspapers, and market services. Yet the information for which you pay them high fees is just as readily available
to you in the pages of the Blank Journal as it is to them.
The enclosed card entitles you to the next 60 issues of the
that, but it brings this paper
Journal for $3. Not
subject to FREE
of the first five copies.
to
If these five do not make clear to you the financial trend, if they
do not show you every phase of business and financial activity,
just tell us to cancel and you will be out nothing.
Will you TRY it? Will you let us send you accurate news
from the very heart of the financial center of the country
when that news may be worth more to you than ever in your
lifetime? Will you mail the enclosed card TODAY?
Sincerely yours,
"SHOWMANSHIP" is the title of one of a series of
mail newsletters sent out by Lewis Kleid of Mailings Incorporated, New York.
"You wouldn't give Gypsy Rose Lee a tumble in a crowd,"
the letter went on to say, "but lend her a fan and a couple of
spot-lights and she'll stop the show every time.
"I don't suggest that you put a hypothetical burlesque queen
in every letter you send out-but occasionally, showmanship
will improve your direct mail results.
For no matter how well you maintain the mailing list and
prepare copy-it's all wasted if your message isn't read when
it reaches your prospect's desk."
Then the letter went on to illustrate a variety of gadgets
that can be pasted, tied, stapled, or clipped to letters to attract
attention to your copy-gadgets whose purpose is the
as the dollar bill or the mark note or a dime or penny attached
to your letter.
SHOWMANSHIP
397
What are such gadgets? They are attention-getters or eyeopeners attached to the top of the letter.
Why? To keep that letter or circular on top of the desk
where it has some chance of accomplishing results. Such
letters have increased circulation, sold goods, brought inquiries, because they are read and shown to others.
How? Hook up the main idea of the letter to the appropriate gadget, so the reader will keep the idea in mind and
even talk about it to others.
Here is the way some of these gadgets were used for clients
of Mailings Incorporated.
A wedding ring was attached to one letter, with the following copy:
The Wedding Ring is the Symbol of Matrimony
-The Permanent Union of Men and Women.
Some maintain permanent relations from a deep seated mutual
interest, while others drift towards divorce through disinterest,
dullness, and neglect.
Our marriage (through your subscription to Blank Magazine)
is drifting. The last issue on your present order has been sent.
We're vain enough to believe that divorce is not in prospect as
the result of disinterest or dullness-only neglect.
You and Blank, the magazine for smart young women, have
too much in common to let this happen. Prevent it, etc.
Two aspirin tablets were sent with this letter:
The Aspirin May Help-Temporarily!
for all the
But when your head feels like Public Highway
screw-ball madness of this world, you need something more than
temporary measures.
That's the importance of the Blank Magazine for you. It has
a way of getting at the roots of trouble. It builds up your resistance-inspires you with hope and confidence to go on. It
reassures you-by introducing you to your own sanity again.
Each week the Blank Magazine shares with you the laughter
and drama, the wit and wisdom, etc.
398
SHOWMANSHIP
Here is a good gadget-a small metal mirror attached to
the letter:
Yes, Take a Look at Yourself!
Typical New Yorkers appear pretty much the same as every
day sort of people. No horns. No strange identifying marks.
But they do have one thing in common. No matter where they
live or what they look like, they have an insatiable appetite for
something that is curiously and uniquely metropolitan.
The Blank Magazine is written for just such people as you.
It is the weekly reflection of the metropolis and its carrying-on.
Etc.
I t wears the top hat without putting on the
This letter carried a diamond ring:
This is not a diamond. But it looks like a diamond, doesn't
it? It sparkles! It's pretty! It's well cut and fashionably
shaped! If it were a real diamond, it would make a stone for
a ring that any woman would be proud to own.
But it's a substitute! The sparkle is not as brilliant.
warmth and feeling of the real stone is absent. It's perishable,
and the value is not there.
A diamond merchant couldn't sell an imitation or even an
inferior true diamond as a stone of value without sacrificing his
integrity. His merchandise must be the keystone of his reputation and experience.
Dental gold is one of your principal materials. Its quality,
an important part in your produrability, and performance
fessional life and reputation. Etc.
Here was one with a picture of an elephant attached:
DEAR SUBSCRIBER:
In his "Just So" Stories,
tells us all about the
elephant who had such a vast curiosity about everything. Besides, he
forgot a thing!
Of course, you have far more to think about than any elephant.
And that's probably why you forgot to continue your Blank
magazine subscription, which expires with the issue you received
a week ago. Etc.
SHOWMANSHIP
399
A skeleton key was attached to this letter, with the heading:
Your key to extra cash. It will bring you money to solve
your troop's financial problem.
I want to send you a surprise package that will show you how
to open up new paths to replenish your troop's treasury.
I t is the KEY to a plan that has been used by Troop Leaders
all over the land for the past six years to enable them to do
the things they've always wanted to do.
It will give you funds to help needy families, to buy books, to
pay off debts, to secure registration, to pay for the expense of
trips, week ends, or a hundred and one other financial problems
that confront a troop leader at this time of the year. Etc.
But gadgets were only one of the methods used by Mailings
Incorporated and other successful mailers to catch the eye
and win the interest of their readers. A card with the reader's
name handwritten on it was attached to the following letter:
"The sweetest music in the English language is the sound of
own name."
Instead of beginning your letter with "Dear Reader" or
dear Friend," try calling the recipient by name.
You can do it as simply as demonstrated above, by writing
his or her name on your own business card.
Or, you can use an illustration and personalize the name in
India ink to match the copy. Etc.
"Brush Script" is another method of featuring the reader's
in an unusual way. The following letter had the reader's name filled in at the top in heavy "Brush Script":
MR. J ONES:
Speaking before the New York Sales Executives Club, Zenn
Kaufman told about the Senator with the poor memory who
developed a fool-proof system for remembering names. When
someone who looked familiar approached the Senator would say,
"Quick, get that guy!" His manager would then throw himself
in the way of the
and say, "Hello, there! I'm the
Senator's manager and my name is Tom Smith.'' To which the
SHOWMANSHIP
visitor would naturally reply, "My name is Johnson." That
would be the immediate cue for the attentive Senator to turn
quickly to the pair and say, "Well, well, well, if it isn't my good
friend Mr. Johnson."
The story is appropriate because it accentuates the importance
of calling a person by name instead of "Dear Friend" or "My
dear Sir."
Here, in this mailing, is a demonstration of two additional
dramatic methods of "calling a person by name":
The first is Brush Script, a method whereby the recipient's
name is inscribed
a brush by a skilled letterer. This style
of personalization also lends itself to catalog covers, broadsides,
and announcements-and can be applied in gold, silver, bronze,
o r any of the standard colors.
The second personalization is done with a giant typewriter.
Emphasis is gained by typing the name in a contrasting color.
Etc.
Then there is the method of perfuming your letter to get
attention.
Get a whiff of
Only a dozen years ago, new oilcloth reeked of castor and
linseed oils; rubber goods had a distasteful odor; and after the
painter departed, the aroma lingered on for days. But the
world is
more fragrant, thanks to the perfumer chemist
who, with over 1,000 aromatic materials in his laboratory, is
selling merchandise by making overtures to your sense of smell.
Your direct mail, too, can appeal to the nose as well as the eye.
For example :
Helena Rubinstein's
was mixed in the
The
ink used in printing an advertisement of it.
Chicago Tribune saluted the national florists' convention
with an advertisement illustrating a bunch of roses and perfumed to smell like living blossoms.
A fire insurance
company sent out blotters which smelled like fire-gutted
A bakery, during Lent,
homes, and business doubled.
impregnated its advertisements with the smell of hot cross
buns.
An invitation to a mountain resort contained
...
.. .
...
...
401
SHOWMANSHIP
...
the nostalgic scent of pine.
The Spice Mill, a house
organ, is redolent of cinnamon and cloves.
A bottle
cap manufacturer mails a blotter a month printed with
flowers in full color and scented with appropriate perfumes
and here are just a few of the innumerable scents
available: mint, orange, chocolate, leather, lotus blossom,
new-mown hay.
H O W T O DO IT: Perfumes can be sprayed on printed matter
automatically as it comes from the press--can be mixed with
the printing inks (both have an oil base)-or sprayed individually with a hand atomizer. Etc.
.. .
...
Direct-mail experts have found that a carbon copy used as
a follow-up often will outpull the original letter. The strategy
is to use a memo form to call attention to the fact that since
no reply has been received, it was assumed that the letter had
been lost or mislaid. The carbon copy can be made simultaneously with any automatically typewritten letter.
Lastly there is "Penscript"-the imitation handwritten
letter with the reader's name filled in at the top in the same
handwriting as the body of the letter. Here is one such
from Mailings Incorporated.
DEAR MR. J ONES :
This looks like a handwritten letter-but it isn't!
It's Penscript. The message is reproduced in offset, and the
same girl who wrote it fills in the name in pen and ink to match.
If a large quantity is to be produced, several girls make plates
and each personalizes her own handwriting.
Almost any good letter-shop can produce Penscript letters
and memos at low cost.
The purpose of all such "stunts" is to attract the reader's
attention and get him into your letter. But like all stunts,
they must be handled in such a way that the reader's interest,
when won, may be guided quickly to the main idea of the
letter.
A circular letter is like a door-to-door canvasser in that its
402
SHOWMANSHIP
most difficult job is to get a hearing. Gift offerings and stunts
and unusual openings help in this.
But the main job is still ahead-to sell your idea or your
product to the reader. Your stunt may soften him up, just
as the Fuller salesman's free brush may make his approach
easier, but it makes all the other steps in selling none the less
necessary.
Miscellaneous Products
mailings we have seen
as the result of people being "stuck" with quantities of merchandise, and having to try everything to get rid of it. As
some sage put it, "When Fortune means to men most good,
she looks upon them with a threatening eye."
One client of ours had bought the plates and a quantity of
books from the English publishers of a set entitled Wonders
of the Past. Judging
his success in selling them, they belonged in the dead and forgotten past. When he came to us
he stood $4,000 in the red on his tests alone,
with his
and had not moved enough books to make even a dent in his
stock.
It happened that about this time the Prophecy of the Pyramid was much in the public eye, so it occurred to us that it
might prove a potent means of moving Wonders of the Past.
As it turned out, we could have found no more appropriate
premium, or one that would have sold so successfully. From
$4,000 in the red, Wonders of the Past moved many thousands
into the black, and here is the letter that did it:
OF T H E MOST SUCCESSFUL
May We Send You-With Our Compliments"The Prophecy of the Great Pyramid"?
DEAR READER:
5,000 years ago, there was built in Egypt what is believed to
be at once a monument, a tomb, and a most amazing prophecy.
I refer to the Great Pyramid at Gizeh.
03
404
MISCELLANEOUS PRODUCTS
According to many Egyptologists, the passages in this Great
Pyramid are an open book in which one may read not only the
happenings of the past 5,000 years, but what is going to happen
for 1,000 years to come! These passages are said to have foretold to the day the opening of the first World War, the beginning
of the Depression, the date of the Final War, as well as many
another major event of world importance.
If these prophecies are to be believed, September 16th
marked the beginning of a new era-the most prosperous
this country has ever known!
At your request, I shall be glad to send you a copy of the
Prophecy of the Great Pyramid-with my compliments. The
enclosed reservation will bring it to you, free and postpaid. I
think you will be interested in reading it. Certainly some, if
not all, of its claims seem grounded on fact. Many people are
talking about it today. Many are basing their future plans on
its predictions, so it is something that every well-informed man
will want to know about.
I am going to send this amazing Prophecy to you, without cost
and without obligation, just to get the chance to show you
W O NDER S OF T HE PAST that dwarf even the famous "Seven
Wonders of the World."
Everyone knows the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, of
which the Great Pyramid was the first and greatest. But do
you know anyone who has ever heard of the shrine 600 feet high
that was built to house the ashes of one man? Of the gigantic
reliquary, acres in extent, which never held a single relic? Of
the mountain that was built to satisfy the longings of a homesick
Queen? Of the vast ancient city which was literally lost in the
jungle? Of the Arch which no Jew will pass under? Of the
granite structure which has held for 1800 years, without mortar,
without cement, without rivets?
Here is the one authoritative record of mankind, chronicled
in his own handiwork, a record that goes back more than 20,000
years, to the frescoes of men and animals in motion
the cave walls of the Pyrenees.
Here are those things man has done which endure. Here
the works of the great artisans, the skilled sculptors, the giant
MISCELLANEOUS PRODUCTS
engineers. Imagine taking a 1,000-ton shaft of rock, which
modern engineers could not set up with all their appliances,
transporting it a hundred miles, and then standing it on end
with the help of human hands alone!
Since the purpose of life is growth, development, here is
the most graphic chart of man's life here on earth, for it
shows the steady development of his skill, of his ingenuity,
of his learning, of his conception of the Deity.
No history can give you so graphic a record of man's progress.
No story can picture so interestingly his steady upward climb.
Here is the one record of man which needs no chronicler, which
speaks for itself-"Wonders of the Past" wrought by the hand
of man.
For years, the four great volumes of "Wonders of the Past"
have been sold at a price of $20. Thousands of sets have been
bought at that figure, and thousands of families have hungrily
devoured their contents. For stimulating interest in school
work, they are worth their price a dozen times over. For giving
the student a comprehensive knowledge of all history, they are
unequalled. For providing a background for the things that
cultured people talk about, they have yet to find their peer.
Millions of dollars were spent to collect the material that is in
these great books. Just plating and putting them into book
form cost $50,000. But now so many copies have been sold
that all this preliminary expense has been taken care of. The
only costs we now have to pay are the actual printing and binding of the books.
If we could be assured of a 10,000 sale of these newly revised
books, we could get a set of the new plates, bind the four volumes
them-NOTfor the original price of
into two big ones, and
even that
$20, not for HALF that amount-BUTONLY
$7.65 could be paid in convenient monthly payments if preferred.
Whether we can get enough reservations to bring the price
down that low, we do not know. That is why we are writing you
today. Would Y O U be interested in reserving a set of this most
amazing record of mankind, a record carved in stone and metal
by the great artisans, the brilliant artists and sculptors, the giant
engineers of every age? Would YOU send for these "Wonders
MISCELLANEOUS PRODUCTS
406
9
of the Past '-if we could give
their original price?
to you at less than 40% of
Would you spend that
to make your family, your children, familiar with
greatest things done by man, to give them
a cultural background such as they can get only from these
original sources?
If you would, then put your name on the enclosed reservation and drop in the mail.
Mind you, this reservation costs you nothing, commits you to
nothing. It merely tells us that IF we are able to interest enough
of our readers to justify us in printing 10,000 sets, you want to
price of only
reserve one of those sets at the unheard of
$7.65-and a trifling sum for postage-for the usual week's
examination.
On that understanding, will you mail the enclosed reservation?
And will you accept, with our compliments, a copy of the
Prophecy of the Great Pyramid? It has been selling, you know,
for $1 to $2 a copy. We were able to secure only a few copies
of the $1 edition at so special a rate that we can afford to give
one to you, FREE. If you'd like it, it would be well to mail the
enclosed reservation right away.
Sincerely,
How can you most easily find the people who can be
interested in new courses, new sets of books, and the like?
By offering to the most likely lists of prospects some free
booklet that will be of interest only to people desiring that particular type of knowledge. The Encyclopaedia Britannica,
for instance, offers a booklet containing sample pages and
illustrations from its new Encyclopaedia. One publishing
company offers a booklet telling in the words of Dr. Eliot
what he considered the essentials of a liberal
of
education, and thus finds the people who can be interested
Five-Foot
of
in Dr.
is such a letter, designed to winnow out from
lists
of those
learning the art
MISCELLANEOUS PRODUCTS
speaking. It has been highly successful in bringing
back interested inquiries.
Now For The First
The Secret of Effective Speech-FREE!
DEAR SIR:
At your request, I shall be glad to send you one of the most
talked-of little books ever written. It will cost
exactly one
cent-the price of the stamp that will bring the enclosed card
back to me.
booklet is-"The Secret of Effective Speech."
The name of
The principal part of it was written by perhaps the most successful speaker of modern times, the man who made over
$4,000,000 from his lectures, and then used it to send young
men through College-Russell
author of "Acres of
Diamonds."
Secret of Effective Speech" should be read by every
executive who ever has to face a hostile audience, whether that
audience consists of one man or a thousand.
It is not made up of rules and principles, but of the few
found of most imcommon-sense essentials which
portance in his thousands of appearances on
public platform. It is practical. It is stimulating. A N D IT IS F RE E !
Your name and address on the enclosed card will bring you
a copy of "The Secret of Effective Speech," with our compliments. You will like this little book. It is short, but there
is a tremendous lot in it. Every
you read it, you will
so many thousand
realize more clearly why Russell
enthusiastic admirers, why audiences hung upon his every word.
Frankly, we are taking this means of bringing to the attention of a few alert business executives a new
of
so striking and simple,
teaching Public Speaking-a
yet so amazingly successful, that it is taking the country by
storm.
Will you use the postcard now-TODAY?
Sincerely,
Sports articles are notably successful in mail selling, when
are interested in some
you can secure lists of people
MISCELLANEOUS PRODUCTS
particular sport. Fishing tackle, golf clubs and balls, tennis
racquets, and a host o f other products have been sold successfully
mail. There is even a concern in Baltimore
that sells fine saddlery by mail and has built a surprisingly
profitable business.
Here is a letter that sold field glasses by mail, and sold
them in
Its basic idea is just as applicable to dozens of other products that appeal to all sportsmen.
Now the Far Distances Are Yours
See for Miles!
With Magic Eyes
DEAR FRIEND:
Here is a wonderful way to add to the enjoyment of your
trips, to give you
seats at every sporting event, to
bring anything you want to see within a few feet of
multiplying your own eye-sight by the power of these eight
magic lenses !
"Four-Mile Eyes"-that is what they give you, spanning
distances like the fabled seven-league boots of childhood. For
the hunter, they are a necessity. For the tourist or traveler,
they add a zest that doubles the enjoyment of sight-seeing.
For those who love sports, they make a nearby window or
hilltop as desirable as the most expensive "ring-side" seat.
Yet for a little while, they can be had for less than
the cost of a
seat!
You see, the finest
in the world are made in Central
And you know how conditions have been over
highly skilled artisans getting less for a month's
toil than they would for a single day's work here.
such as you will never get again.
The result?
Bargains such as we never dreamed of being able to offer in
are higher over there now and are
fine Field Glasses.
stiffening rapidly, but
to a few months ago, you could get
the finest achromatic day-and-night lenses at figures so ridiculously low as to seem like a gift.
Officers' Field Glasses shipped
PRODUCTS
409
us at those prices several months ago. They have just been
unpacked and gone over, and they are beauties. Fitted with
specially large achromatic day-and-night lenses, and equipped
with compass and focussing scale, they are the most powerful
glasses of the kind we have ever seen at anywhere near the price.
I have a pair on my desk before me as I write, and through
them I can count the high tension wires on a hill a couple of
east of here, as easily as though I stood right under them.
There is a building going up half a mile from here, and through
these glasses I can watch every move of the builders. If they
were football players, I could see them better than from the
choicest seat.
And the reason? These glasses were made for the use of
Army Officers, and they had to be good. They are the only
8-lens Galilean Field Glass with compass and leather case that
sell for less than $30. But while they last, I am going to let you
have a pair for only
Not only that, but if you mail the enclosed card right away,
I will send them to you, postpaid, for a week's FREE EXAMINATION and TRIAL!
your name and address on the enclosed card will bring a pair of these extra-powerful, 8-lens
Officers' Field Glasses to you at our risk, our expense. TRY
them! Test them against the finest glasses you can find selling
at $30 to $40 a pair. If these are not as clear, as strong, as
satisfactory in every way, send them back. If you are willing to
part with them for any reason, send them back. Otherwise,
$7.95 makes them your own, an endless source of pleasure
and usefulness.
N O M O N EY !
On that understanding, will you TRY a pair of these Magic
Eyes? With that distinct agreement, will you put your name
on the enclosed card and mail it NOW ? You will never have
another such opportunity.
Sincerely,
You would not think a big mail business could be built
on supplying birth certificates to Hospitals, but there is a
concern that specializes in this, and it is highly successful.
MISCELLANEOUS PRODUCTS
Your Million Dollar Babies. Here is an
Inexpensive
Safeguards Them!
The high-priced babies are not all in Hollywood. Most of
the mothers who come to your hospital for delivery would not
take a million for their babies.
Yet if you had one of those million-dollar Hollywood babies
on your delivery table, you
take extra precautions to see
that it didn't get mixed up with one of common clay, wouldn't
you? You'd take baby's footprints, you'd put mother's thumbprints alongside them, and you'd record them on the finest
and
durable parchment, like that used in our Birth
Certificates, because you know it is more lasting even than the
papyrus scripts of ancient Egypt.
If you would do all this for a million-dollar Hollywood baby,
surely you will agree that you can do no less for the "million-dollar babies" born every day in your hospital-milliondollar values to the mothers who put implicit trust in you
and in the precautions you take against
and confusion.
Certainly they would never begrudge payment of a reasonable fee to have Blank Birth Certificates-in fact, they would
insist upon Blank performance and Blank completeness of
record, because they want that certificate to last a lifetime,
and where baby is concerned, nothing is too good.
You see, Blank is one birth certificate that is not
on pulp paper, but is lithographed on 100-lb. Diploma Parchment, made of 100% new white rag-more lasting than ancient
Egyptian papyrus-with gold seals attached and complete forms
for recording baby's footprints, mother's thumbprints, and all
requisite family history.
After baby's food and baby's comfort have been assured,
the next thought in every mother's mind is a complete and
permanent record of baby's birth, weight, and family, and
everything connected with it. No coat of arms or family tree
is half so important to the young mother as baby's birth
certificate. You would never think of engrossing a family
tree or coat of arms on a cheap, printed form, and I am con-
MISCELLANEOUS PRODUCTS
411
fident you would no more think of recording a "million-dollar
baby's" birth on anything less permanent than a Blank superlative quality certificate.
Mothers do not look for bargains in babies or in anything
important that concerns their little ones. Where those infants
are concerned, they want SAFETY and DEPENDABILITY. And
they look with confidence to you to provide these. That is why
more than eighteen hundred hospitals and doctors now use
only Blank Birth Certificates. That is why I believe YOU, too,
will want them.
On the inner pages of this letter are miniature reproductions
of six certificates. The reverse side of each has a chart for the
family history, the baby's record, and spaces for footprints
and thumbprints. The most distinctive and exclusive is Form
on the right at the top of the page. In full size, with picture
of your hospital beautifully reproduced, and the name of your
hospital hand-lettered across the top, you can get 250 of these
superlative quality certificates for $55.
$55 is a small sum to risk when it will add prestige to your
hospital, inspire greater confidence in the character of all your
services. You know how often you have promised yourself
never to miss an opportunity to impress
who come in contact
with your hospital with the DEPENDABILITY of your service. Here
is one simple, inexpensive way of bringing that dependability
home to them. Here is continued publicity such as no money
could buy.
Will you try it for yourself and see? The enclosed form
will bring you a trial lot of 250 certificates, bearing a fine
lithoplate picture of your hospital with your name hand-lettered,
a gold seal upon it, tied up in rayon silk tape, and packed in
attractive boxes. There could be no better insurance for the
trustworthiness of your service-and none so inexpensive.
Just your name on the enclosed form, with a good picture of
your hospital, are all that is needed. These-and prompt
mailing. Will you put your name on it N O W and drop in the
mail? The enclosed envelope needs no stamp.
MISCELLANEOUS PRODUCTS
Many small businesses lack capital. They see customers
passing them by because their stocks are limited, so imagine
how they would welcome an offer like this:
DEAR MR. J ONES:
You wouldn't hire extra clerks just to sleep in your store,
would you? Then why put money into big stocks of diamonds
and settings that are going to sleep on your counters for months
or years, when you can use an overnight memo service that
pick of one of the most
will bring you at a moment's notice
complete assortments in the world?
War and its aftermath have devastated Europe. Kingdoms
and governments have fallen, peoples been subjugated, the
balance of power of the whole world has changed.
Changed also are the diamond markets of the world. From
Holland they have moved to America. The finest assortments
of diamonds and settings are now to be found right here in
our own country, and of them all, I don't believe you will find
a more complete assortment, I don't think you can find anywhere such bargain prices, as those we now offer you.
The choice gems of the world have come here for our picking.
tie up your money in big stocks when you can have
pick of our huge assortment overnight on memo?
Just try it for yourself and see! Your name and address on
the enclosed card, with the numbers you want to see, are
that
is necessary. And remember, with them will come our Sales
success!
Clincher that has a record of
Sincerely,
Here is a second letter on that same offer:
DEAR MR. J ONES:
If I came to you-sat down across from you at your
and said I could tell you how you could make a more satisfactory
profit in 19-, you wouldn't let me get away until
made
my words good.
can't come to you in person, but I can show you how
can make a far better profit, with half your present investment
and less than half the risk. Not only that, but you will have
a much bigger and more complete stock to choose from.
413
MISCELLANEOUS PRODUCTS
For through
fast and dependable Air Mail Service, we
can now deliver Memo Orders to almost any part of the
country overnight.
That means you can draw upon our huge and complete assortment of diamonds and settings as though it were your own. It
means you no longer have to carry more than a small assortment on your counters, you no longer have to tie up more than
a few dollars in stock.
You can use your small assortment to interest your customer
and get an idea of what he wants, then Air Mail or Wire your
Memo Order and have the goods in your counter the morning
after your order reaches us.
Never has there been a better time to get business. Economists
predict a gain of at least 15% over last year, so if your chart
is not on the upswing now, you are missing some good bets.
Today America is the diamond mart of the world. Why not
give your customers the pick of it? You can
by using
the enclosed card to send a Memo Order for a few choice stones
of the type they are interested in.
Ohio, has done
Out of 53 times that John Jones of
this, he has made 50 sales. Will you try i t ? Just your name
the enclosed card, with the numbers you'd like to see, are
all that is necessary. And remember, with them will come our
Sales Clincher that has a record of
...
Sincerely,
Calendars lend themselves readil y to mail selling, as you
will see from the two letters that follow:
Write Your Own
We'll Help to Guarantee It.
You don't need to be wealthy to rate a handsome and dependable income. You don't have to be rich to be financiallv
,
independent and free from money worries for the rest of your
life.
Here is a plan that is helping thousands of Insurance men
and
to make steady, dependable incomes month after
year after year.
MISCELLANEOUS
PRODUCTS
your name constantly before every good prospect and
client 365 days in the year with a Blank Poster Calendar.
A sample sheet from one of the 1 4 x 20 Blank Calendars is
enclosed. Imagine that Calendar bearing your name and address, on the the wall facing your prospects and clients each
Could they FAIL to think of you when the need of Insurance is brought home to them? Could you keep your name
before them in any other way so constantly, no matter what expense you went to?
Yet this practical, 365-day-a-year advertising costs you only
a year for each group you reach. Imagine a bill-board o r
newspaper offering you such a rate.
If you want to retire on a goodly income one of these days
and take it easy in some sunny climate for the rest of your
life, there is only one way you can do it. That way is to get
more customers now, reach more people, keep your name before
the surest way, the most effective way,
more prospects.
and the least costly way to do this is with Blank Poster Calendars.
No other Calendar costs you so little for its size and color and
effectiveness. No other can compete with it in value.
How many more clients can you handle next year? How
many do you want to reach? As you will see from the prices
listed at the top of the sample sheet enclosed, an order for 200
brings the price down to
apiece,
for the longest-lasting
and most effective advertising you can buy.
Would you risk
each to keep your name and your service
constantly before your 200 best
If you would, then
on the enclosed Reservation
and drop it in
put your
the mail. You'll never find any other means of reaching your
logical customers so inexpensively or so effectively.
Sincerely,
Accidents That Have Led
To Important Discoveries!
DEAR SIR:
You may have seen the letter of the Chicago Insurance man
who started off by telling of the accidents that led to the discovery of the Law of Gravitation, of the steam engine. and
MISCELLANEOUS PRODUCTS
415
the Law of Flotation, and then went on to contrast these with
the discovery most men make when they have an
that it costs an awful lot of
time and money get hurt.
A good many Insurance men have discovered that it costs
even more to allow themselves to be forgotten when
are
preparing against such accidents. The
memory is
notoriously short. When a good radio talk or advertisement
or an accident to some friend gets them thinking of insurance,
your prospects and clients will go to you-if they think of
but otherwise they will buy from the one easiest to get in touch
with.
There is only one sure and inexpensive way to keep your
name before these clients and prospects. There is only one
way of constantly impressing that name upon their mind and
associating it with the thought of insurance.
That way is through the silent salesmanship of Blank Posters
-the efficient 12-sheet calendars that reflect your dependability and usefulness.
A sample sheet from one of these Calendars is enclosed.
Imagine that sheet bearing Y O U R name and address, on the wall
facing your prospects and clients every minute of the business
day. Could they FAIL to think of you when they want insurance?
your
them so
Could you in any other way
continually at the very time they are open for business?
Yet the cost to you of this 365-day-a-year advertising is only
a year for each group you reach, less even than that in
quantities over 200. Imagine a billboard or newspaper offering you such a rate. Yet here is advertising more effective
than any you could buy on billboards or publications. Here
is an ad that can't be overlooked because it stares your prospect
in the face right at the moment he is ready to buy.
How many clients or prospective clients have you that you
want to keep your name in front of every day in the year?
Have you as many as
If so, you can do it for only
each on a 12-page, 14 x 20 calendar like the sample sheet
enclosed, printed in two colors. We guarantee that you can't
equal that quotation anywhere.
MISCELLANEOUS PRODUCTS
Is a 365-day reminder of your service and your dependability
If it is, then put your name on the
to you?
worth
and drop it in the mail. There is no
enclosed Reservation
other way of getting such long-lasting, effective advertising at
any price. And with the way paper has been going up, the
only way you can be sure of getting it even from us at this low
price is to mail the enclosed Reservation now.
Sincerely,
There is a
market for letterheads, and many
a printer has developed it. Letters such as the two that
follow have brought in numerous orders:
M Y D EAR
-------:
From the time of the Chaldeans to this morning's mail, every
letter-writer has sought one thing-the reader's favorable attention.
Clay tablets dug up from the ruins of ancient Nippur show
that the socialites of that day used pictures to get their readers'
interest. In our fathers' day, engraved stationery was the vogue.
Today, monogrammed letterheads, with border in a color
to match, are the latest style in socially correct stationery.
sheet is a sample of the fine quality paper used in these
new letterheads. See for yourself how easily it takes the ink,
a pleasure it is to write on it. Then turn the sheet over,
and mark your initials in the box on the other side.
The letterheads come in double sheets, folded (only half a
sheet is used here), in an attractive gift box, and the envelopes
match the letterheads exactly.
You'll be proud to use these monogrammed letterheads
self-and they make delightful
gifts for your friends.
So inexpensive, too-only $1 for a box of forty-eight double
sheets with envelopes to match.
Just fill in your initials and we'll ship your own stylish
personal monogram stationery to you as soon as it can be made.
Sincerely,
Have You a Place In Your Advertising Department
For An Experienced Helper of Proven Value at
a Week?
MISCELLANEOUS
PRODUCTS
417
With this letter, I am sending you a few samples of
Jones Process letterheads-the kind that get your letters read.
For the first thing your reader sees when he gets a letter
from you is your letterhead. And upon the impression made
by that letterhead depends, oftentimes, the results of your letter.
to
You would not send a shabby or poorly dressed sale,
call upon one of your customers. Your letterhead is even more
representative of you than your salesman, so you need to be
more careful of the impression it makes.
Smith-Jones letterheads have a simplicity of design that makes
them distinctive, while their raised lettering gives them the
feel and the impressiveness of an engraved letterhead. From an
advertising point of view, you could find no better way of arresting the attention of your reader, or impressing him with
the importance of your message, than by putting it on a
Smith-Jones letterhead.
Yet the cost is little more than that of an ordinary letterhead,
as you can see from the enclosed folder containing samples of
Smith-Jones letterheads.
Will you try a thousand, and see for yourself what a difference they make in the results of your letters? Will you test
them against the letterheads you are now using, and see if in any
other way, a few cents a week added to your advertising costs
can be made to bring you so much greater returns?
Just your name and address on the enclosed order form,
with a copy of your present letterhead, are all that is necessary.
Will you mail these back in the enclosed stamped, addressed
envelope? NOW? Thank you!
Sincerely,
When you send a gift at Christmas, isn't it just a happy way
you have of saying, "I am thinking of you"?
For that is the whole spirit of Christmas-to let your friends
and business associates know that you are thinking of them,
that you hope the gift you send them will serve as a pleasurable
reminder of you and of your friendly association.
MISCELLANEOUS PRODUCTS
And of all the gifts you can send, none carries a message of
gift to us-a
friendliness and cheer so surely as Holy
gift of good things to eat, ever-welcome and always
a box of RIPE, NUT-TOPPED DATES!
From earliest Biblical times, dates have been the gift of
friendliness. So healthful and nourishing that many desert
tribes live practically on them alone, the rich, luscious variety
grown in the lands bordering the Jordan are such a delicacy
that in olden days they were sent as gifts to kings. The early
Crusaders found them so healthful and strengthening that they
brought back quantities of them to Europe, and for many years
they were regarded as a sure preventive of all digestive disorders.
And those early Crusaders were not so far wrong. For
Medical Science today has found that the most important cell
builder in the foods we eat is the Mineral Salts. From the
moment the Seed of Life first stirs itself and draws upon its
mother for the materials necessary to its growth and development,
right on through to maturity and old age, there is nothing more
important to the health and growth of every cell in the body
than these same Mineral Salts.
Practically the entire gamut of disease, says Dr. John X.
in Twentieth Century Health Science, from defective
teeth to cancer, is due to improper food, food that causes disease
principally because of a deficiency of the mineral salts the
body must have, or die.
These tree-ripened, nut-topped dates from the Holy Land are
act like magnets, attracting and
rich in Mineral Salts.
holding the energies of sun and air within your body cells.
Pipes are a good stand-by at any gift-giving time and at any
other time that you can get hold of a list of pipe-smokers.
A Few Wrongly-Stamped Pipes
At An Amazing Bargain!
DEAR CUSTOMER:
Here's a bargain that will never happen again
It all comes of the fact that last Christmas, the larger part
of our business was for "Special" lots of expensively made
...
MISCELLANEOUS PRODUCTS
pipes for Clubs, Fraternities, and big business organizations.
of them
these pipes to members for as high as $5.00
each, some used them as prizes at special events, while the
business organizations gave them as Christmas gifts to their
best customers.
Arid if you think their purchasing agents are not tough when
it comes to spending money for expensive pipes that are to carry
their firm names or trade marks, or the insignia of their clubs
or fraternities, you ought to try them.
We expected them to be particular about the quality of the
pipes, of course, but that didn't worry us, for Jones-Brown
pipes are made of the finest aged and matured Carolina burl
root, especially processed in a secret solution that makes them
easy to break in and reduces tongue bite, giving pure, cool,
mellow smoking delight.
We knew, too, that they would require the best vulcanite
mouthpiece, and the famous dry-smoking, double-ball condensing
tubes. That was all right.
We wanted them to have the best
pipe that money could buy, and we were glad to see that they
got it.
The hitch came when we found out how many different
names, company names, trade
and insignia we would
have to stamp on hundreds of different lots of pipes
all of
them in a rush, most of them coming at once, and with every
kind of a chance for mix-ups.
...
So there were delays, and inevitable mix-ups where one
company's order would be stamped with another company's
trade mark, or club insignia would get mixed, or names would
be spelled wrong.
We made good on all these, of course, and managed to get
all the orders out in time for Christmas, but it left us with
quite a number of pipes on our hands
perfect pipes,
expensively made, but with the wrong names or insignia
stamped on them.
...
Some have only the names misspelled, some have slight imperfections in the printing, some have mistakes in the trade
marks or insignia
nothing that
hurt the pipes o r
mar their smoking pleasure in
least, but enough to keep
...
MISCELLANEOUS PRODUCTS
big business concerns or clubs or fraternities from passing them
out as their own special line of pipes.
HERE I BELIEVE, IS THE GREATEST BARGAIN
EVER OFFERED TO PIPE S MOKERS:
We could have these brand names and trade marks buffed
off, of course, and the pipe bowls repolished. The pipes
could then be put into our regular line. But most of these
pipes are "Specials," made of much more expensive material
than our regular pipes, so we'd have to charge higher prices
for them, and there's not enough of any one style or grade to
justify the cost of listing them.
So rather than go to further trouble and expense, we have
decided to let a few of our pipe-smoking friends have the advantage of these bargains-men like yourself who love a good
pipe for its mellowness and cool, sweet-smoking joy rather than
for the brand name on it-and to offer your choice of these
beautiful pipes to you at a
price of
each!
Your Money Back If You Don't Like These Pipes
Mind you, every pipe is guaranteed perfect in every respect,
except for the firm name or insignia printed on it. Every
one was made by the most skillful pipemakers from selected,
aged, and matured "Sweet Carolinian" burl roots, from which
all the bitter resinous saps and oils had been eliminated by a
secret process, leaving the pipes
lighter and infinitely
sweeter. We guarantee them absolutely. Your money back
without question if you are not more than satisfied.
The only drawback is-there's not more than a couple of
dozen of any one style or kind of pipe, and once these are gone,
we
duplicate them at anything like the low $1 price.
So it would be well if you would indicate your first, second,
and third choices. We'll fill your order with your first choice
if we still have it, but every pipe in the lot is such a bargain at
$1 that you couldn't go wrong even if you took a sixth or
tenth choice.
Remember, many of these pipes were meant to sell for as high
as $5 each. All of them were made to sell for a good deal
than $1. So you can't go wrong on any of them, and
MISCELLANEOUS PRODUCTS
you can pick up such a bargain as you are not likely to get
again.
YOU MUST ACT NOW, TODAY!
The enclosed circular is your chance to pick out a real pipe
bargain at a ridiculously low price. But you'll have to do it
NOW, for the number of these wrongly-stamped pipes is so
that only about one in twenty-five of our regular mailorder customers will be able to get one. This is the only
chance you will have at these amazing bargains.
Sincerely,
There is a market for paint-cleaners in most schools and
buildings, and this letter to building superintendents
found a ready response:
Will you let
put a fresh finish on the walls of any room
in your building-without cost to you?
Will you let me make ALL the painted surfaces in and around
your building as bright and clean as though freshly painteda t just about a tenth of the cost of repainting?
If you will, then put your name on
enclosed card and
drop it in the mail. It will bring to you--at our own riska barrel of Blank, the speediest and easiest of all wall-cleaning
Turn it over to your janitor or cleaning woman.
Let him use enough to clean any room in your building. If
it does not make that room look as bright and fresh as though
newly painted, if you do not immediately want to use it on every
painted surface in your building-send back what is left and
us
You see, most painted surfaces need cleaning far more than
they do repainting. The paint is still good-it's dirty, that's
all !
But dirt that has been ground in, dirt that has oil and soot
and smoke in it, cannot be washed off with strong lye soaps or
acids. They just work the grime in deeper and spread it
farther. It takes Blank to get rid of such dirt.
And the reason? Because Blank is made-NOTof acids and
oils! It not only LOOSENS
lyes-but of starches and
MISCELLANEOUS PRODUCTS
the dirt and soot so they can be rubbed right off with a damp
cloth, but the vegetable oil content gives an extra gloss and
luster to the paint. Blank not
preserves the
it adds extra years of life to the paint!
Sounds unbelievable, I know, but I have seen it
so often,
I have letters from so many Building Superintendents
have used it and swear by it, that I am willing to let you try it
entirely at my risk.
"It is simply a case of putting it on and rinsing it
writes J. W. Jones of Lakewood, Ohio, "and presto!
is
gone, and paint is not. I used it on the outside window
blackened by the long winter's
They are as
white as when newly painted. I used it on white enamelled
furniture, and it is like new!"
Will YOU try it? Remember, if it does not make the very
first room you clean with it look as bright and fresh as though
newly painted, you can send back the rest of the barrel and
owe us nothing.
You take no risk-run no chance. The enclosed postcard
brings you a barrel of Blank, prepaid, for F REE TRIAL.
After you have
it-after you have seen how it loosens
the dirt and brings out all the brightness and beauty of the
paint-you C A N return the rest of the barrel if you want to. Or
you can send us our special low price to you of only 14$ a
a
is less than half what we had to charge
in the old days.
On that basis, will you send the card? On that distinct
understanding, will you put your name on it and drop it in
the mail NOW?
Sincerely,
Who would not like extra space in his home for a play
room? Here is a letter that was successful because it appealed to a widespread need:
Here's A Way to Add An Extra Room
For Play Room or Billiards-At
Building Expense!
MISCELLANEOUS PRODUCTS
423
DEAR SIR :
Here's a wonderful way to beautify your home, giving your
family an extra room for play room, billiards, or den at no
building expense and very little re-modeling!
You have seen pictured in the magazines some of the beautiful
interiors made possible by re-modeling basements. But have
ever thought what new effects might be produced with a
very little work in your own cellar or basement?
The Blank Cement Association has had famous architects
work out the most effective ways of re-modeling almost every
to give you a cheery, comfortable play-room
type of
or den, at
minimum of cost.
If you will use the enclosed card right away, we shall be
glad to study your basement and submit to you, without obligation or cost of any kind, a plan for re-modeling it so as not
to interfere with its normal uses, and yet give you an extra
room for play or study.
Mind you, there is no obligation or expense attached.
will examine the basement and submit our plans and estimate.
THEN-and not till then-you can decide.
know that
costs are lower today than they are likely to be for a good many
years to come. And you know that such a room will add
not only to your comfort and enjoyment, but to the
value of your property.
The enclosed card will bring our architect to study your
basement and submit plans and estimates. This will not cost
you a penny-not even a postage stamp, for we pay the postage
on the enclosed card when we get it. Will you jot down your
name and address on it and drop in the mail? NOW!
Sincerely,
If you have salesmen on the road, you know how difficult
it is to keep up with them. Schedules are often disrupted,
emergencies occur, and everybody loses. Here is a way to
avoid much of this difficulty, yet keep close tab on your
salesmen's spending:
This Plan Has Helped Thousands of Firms to
End the
of Reaching Travelers with Expense Checks
424
MISCELLANEOUS PRODUCTS
Here is a way to put an end to all the time lost through
salesmen having to meet their traveling checks at definite times
and places-and you can do it for a month without cost and
without obligation!
You know how often you have lost business because a salesman hurried through with a
or passed him by altogether, just because there was an expense check he wanted to
connections with at the next town. You know how many
other times a salesman has sat around a hotel waiting for a check
when he should have been miles away gunning for orders.
Napoleon used to say, you remember, that an army traveled
on its stomach. A salesman is much the same, and just as
many a battle has been lost through failure to connect with
the supply-train, so many a good sale has been passed up because of the need of connecting with an expense check.
Now you can pay your travelers-with never a worry about
connections. Now you can keep them supplied with expense money safely-surely-yet keep it from week to week
entirely within your own control.
Blank Hotel Credit Letters do away with the need of making
connections. They are good in all leading hotels, anywhere
in the United States or Canada. They provide for all necessary expenses each week, yet they cannot be drawn upon ahead,
and they can be cancelled at any time upon short notice.
Whether you have one traveler or fifty, whether they work
on commission or salary, they cannot travel without money.
And the one safest way, the one surest way to
that
money is through Blank Hotel Credit Letters. Letters can be
arranged for those who draw against commissions, just as
they can be for those who have a regular expense account. The
important thing is that these letters do away with all lost time,
all slighted customers, all lost business over having to connect
with an expense check.
And that isn't all! If you will mail the enclosed card at
once, you can TRY them for a month, at our
the cost of a penny to you! You can see for yourself how much
MISCELLANEOUS PRODUCTS
425
these letters save you-how much more efficient they make your
salesmen.
"Our experience has proved that these Hotel Credit Letters
have saved both the Company and our salesmen a great deal
of money," writes the Blank Motor Garage and Equipment
it has cerCorporation of Long Island City, N. Y.,
tainly added to the efficiency of our men."
"Will you TRY them-if we send them to you at our expense,
for a month's F RE E TRIAL ? If you will, just put down on the
enclosed card how many salesmen you'd like to try them for,
fill in your name and address, and mail. This is a special FREE
TRIAL offer-the first we have ever
it is good for 10
days only. The Credit Letters can be dated any time before
March lst, but the enclosed postcard must be mailed within
10 days.
Sincerely,
How about your lawn? Isn't it an ever-present problem
to you? Here is a letter that offers an easy solution:
You Can Laugh at Scraggly
If You Follow This Plan
Will you let me take the poorest, most patchy section of your
lawn, and show you-at my own risk and expense-what a
beautiful, luxuriant growth of grass can be grown upon it in a
couple of weeks' time?
Mind you, this will not cost you a penny or obligate you in
any way. I am going to take a small section about 5 feet square
and show you what is possible in the way of growing rich, thick
grass when the ground is properly prepared.
You see, the early Fall is the best season of the whole year
for starting new lawns or improving old ones. It is Nature's
own time for starting most of its grasses. Growing conditions
are more favorable during the Fall rains, and the chances of
establishing a thick, heavy growth of grass with a minimum of
weeds are ten times as good then as in the Spring.
But the soil must be
And how to prepare
426
MISCELLANEOUS PRODUCTS
it properly is what we want to show you-without cost and without obligation to you.
Will you let us demonstrate the right method on a small piece
of your lawn? John Jones of Philipse Manor wrote us"I should never have believed it possible that a little difference in methods and materials could make so great a change
in the results. We want you to work our whole lawn your
way."
I think you, too, will want your whole lawn worked our way
when you see what a difference it makes in the results. Will
you let us show you-at our own expense-how quickly and
inexpensively you can get a perfect lawn?
Just your name on the enclosed card will bring you a free
demonstration on any five-foot square patch of lawn that you
may select. We'll have to make those demonstrations "First
come, first served," however, so will you mail your card now?
Sincerely,
Selling wax candles to churches by mail is a unique business, and it is being done successfully by at least one concern.
Here is
of their letters:
R EVEREND A N D DEAR FATHER:
I wonder if you will be good enough to help me out of a little
difficulty ?
Will you take the enclosed sample of pure beeswax, feel it,
smell it, actually taste it-and see ever you have seen beeswax
of such velvety smoothness and purity?
It's real beeswax, that's why-the same beeswax we have
using to make Altar Candles for many years. On your altar,
these fine beeswax candles give a full, brilliant, dependable
flame, without sputter or smoke, making a light at once cheerful
and beautiful.
Will you try these rich, lustrous yellow candles-if we send
you a case or more at our own risk and expense-FORA WEEK'S
FRE E TRIAL?
Mind you, Father , this will not cost you a penny. Even
the postage on the enclosed envelope-order form is
MISCELLANEOUS PRODUCTS
427
Just your name and address on this form will bring you one
o r more cases of fine beeswax candles-in whichever grade you
o r 100% pure Beeswax. Pick out as many
as you like for your test. Burn them for a week. Then decide!
If these are not the finest candles you have ever used, regardless of price, if they do not burn with a cleaner, brighter flame,
without flickering or smoke-send back those that are left and
us nothing. Otherwise mail us the special low Introductory
Price, and the candles are yours.
You see, these beautiful candles were made not merely to sell.
They are not to be confused with the cheap, shoddy kind that
is offered a t ridiculously low prices. Our primary purpose is
to give you the best candles that 9 6 years of practice and experience make possible, and then to sell them at the lowest directby-mail price consistent with their fine quality.
And that brings me to the favor I want to ask of you: We
are making a complete, country-wide record of the size and shape
of candle used in each Roman Catholic Church. And we have
not yours. Will you be good enough to glance at the last invoice you have for Mass Candles, and tell us the size and shape
you use? With that information before us, we can send you
the exact kind that you like best.
Send no money-obligate yourself in no way. Just your
name on the enclosed trial-order form will bring you one or more
cases of candles-prepaid-for a WEEK'S F REE TRIAL. There is
only one thing. This is the first time we have ever made such
a Free Trial offer in all our 96 years of business. Our Board
to test it in this one instance
of Directors has given us
-but only for two weeks. To get the advantage of this special
offer, the enclosed form will have to be mailed right away.
won't you glance at your last invoice now, jot down
Father
the size and shape of your candles on the envelope-order blank,
and mail it? We shall very much appreciate the courtesy.
Life insurance-although this may surprise you-can be
428
MISCELLANEOUS PRODUCTS
sold just as successfully by mail, and has been to the tune of
many millions.
I Wonder If You Can Qualify
As A "PREFERRED RISK?"
Here is an amazingly easy way to end money worries for your
family-if you can qualify as a "Preferred Risk."
The Board of Trustees of the Blank Life Insurance Company
has authorized me to extend to you-if you qualif y as a
"Preferred Riskm--INSURANCE PROTECTION AT A COST OF
$1 a month brings $1,003 protection to your family, if your
age is 28. If you are over 28, $1 a month protects your family
to the amount, corresponding with your age, in the enclosed
folder.
If you are in the "Preferred Class," no medical examination
will be required of you-just the filling out of the
Application Form enclosed, and its return with the first month's
premium of $1. Immediately upon acceptance of your Application by the Board, you and your family will be protected to the
amount shown opposite your age in the enclosed folder.
So you may realize what a saving this will mean to you, let
me say that this same protection, under other policy plans, costs
all the way u p to $40 a year. Yet there is no life insurance
protection quite so secure as that given under the laws of New
York State. Those laws were formulated by Charles Evans
Hughes, later Chief Justice of the U.
and they were written
for the protection of the Policy Holder.
Now you can have the advantage of this New York State Insurance Law-the most exacting in the U. S. Now you can
have its protection-regardless of where you live. For the
Blank Life Insurance Company has for 28 years written all its
insurance under the New York State laws. It has paid
policy holders, promptly and fully, more than $40,000,000.00.
It has even more than that in outstanding insurance, and over
in assets.
Is
secure protection for your family worth $1 a month
MISCELLANEOUS PRODUCTS
429
to you? $1 a month is a lot less than most insurance policies
would cost you, yet it gives you all that life insurance was ever
designed to give-the maximum of permanent protection for
your family at the minimum investment.
"There is but one function for the institution of life insurance," says
Homan, compiler of the American Experience Table of Mortality, "-that is PROTECTION."
When the U. S. Government mustered out its soldiers after
the war, it gave them the privilege of converting their insurance
into a standard, old line, legal reserve policy at very little more
than the actual cost to the Government of carrying it. That insurance gives these veterans just one thing-PROTECTION.
But because this is the one vital thing, hundreds of thousands
of ex-soldiers held on to that insurance as the cheapest and best
they could buy.
Yet, if you are a Preferred Risk, you can get a standard old
line, legal reserve Life Policy, and for the first five years
it will cost you very little more than Uncle Sam is charging
his ex-soldiers--only $1 a month. After five years, the
premiums go up to their regular rate of $2 per month.
Of course, not everyone can get the advantage of this low
7
rate. You have to be a sound "risk ' to be accepted. But, if
you can qualify, we know of no other policy which gives you
such complete and secure protection for so low a cost.
Your family should have that
Is it worth
$1 to you to give it to them TODAY? Then put your name on
the simple Application Form enclosed, attach your check o r $1
bill, and mail it now. Your $1 will come right back to you, if
for any reason we are unable to accept your application without a medical examination.
Sincerely,
The foregoing are just a few of the approaches that can
be used to sell various products by mail. Every day someone works out a new approach that makes possible the sale
by mail of some product for which such sales have never
been attempted. The approach is the thing.
MISCELLANEOUS PRODUCTS
The story is told of the elder
that when he was a young
man he suddenly found himself proprietor of a shop for
women's hats. Knowing nothing of the business, he went
out to the park to think what he had best do. Presently he
noticed a stylishly dressed woman with a most becoming hat.
He noted every feature of it, then went back to his store,
found one like it, and put it on displa y in the window. Going
hack to his park bench, he watched for other and more fetching
styles until he had a dozen of the best on display, and numbers
of customers in his store. That was his approach.
How to Raise Money by Mail
of New York
once gave a dinner to the secretaries of all these philanthropies. Several hundred attended. One of them had a niece
who happened to be visiting him from the country, so he
much impressed. She
brought her along, expecting her to
was. Coming to the big dining room and seeing what a
crowd was there, she turned to her uncle aghast. "Uncle,"
she exclaimed in a very audible whisper, "do the poor of
New York have to support all these people?"
The Secretaries of Charity Organizations are, for the most
part, an earnest, hard-working group, doing wonders in the
way of money raising.
many of
do it at remark.
ably small expense. Dozens of effective methods of appealing for funds have been worked out, of which perhaps the
best is that of showing the picture of some crippled child,
telling his pitiful story, and then leaving it to the reader to
multiply that story by thousands.
You see, it is difficult to get much worked up over statistics.
You read with comparative indifference that 36,000 people
are killed and 1,000,000 injured each year in auto accidents.
But just let you witness a little child being run down, let
you hear the anguished cry of its mother, let you look at the
pitiful, mangled remains, and you will never feel indifferent
again. Every time you read of an accident, you will see
C H ARIT Y F UN D RAI S IN G OR GAN IZAT ION S
432
HOW TO RAISE MONEY BY MAIL
again that mangled child, you will think of the bereft mother,
and you will resolve to do something to see that this wholesale slaughter is stopped.
The same is true of any great catastrophe-of earthquakes,
or floods, or famine, or war. We cannot stand seeing others
suffer without feeling the urge to do something to help them.
Fund-raisers have learned this, which is why they so often
send you a picture of a crippled child, or a starving baby, or
a badly injured woman against the background of some great
catastrophe. They appeal first to the emotion, and follow
that with a swift shift to the intellect. They work up your
feeling of pity, and follow it with a logical reason why you
should give, lest similar catastrophe come close to you. Here
is the way it was done by one tuberculosis association. In
a childish scrawl across the top of a letter, there was reproduced the followingThank you for helping to save my daddy's life and bring him
home safe again and not being sick and coughing all the time
like he used-
Then underneath it came the appealThe above is an exact copy of a part of a letter received by
the Association. We are passing the thanks along to where it
belongs-To the people who bought Christmas Seals last year.
For without their help we could not have arranged for "Daddy's"
cure.
Will you help us to bring others back home, safe and well,
by next Christmas?
We have already sent you your Christmas Seals, so you could
help. In the rush of things, you have overlooked sending in
your remittance in the addressed envelope we sent.
Your dollar can never do more good, nor be spent in a better
way, than to help those who are sick and unable to help them-
HOW TO RAISE MONEY BY MAIL
433
selves. Won't you help us to finish the job by sending yours
NOW? Please don't wait.
Sincerely,
If that does not bring back the money, there follows a letter
with a snapshot of an undernourished youngster in the corner,
hopeful, appealing-looking, and this message from him:
D EAR F O L K S :
I am Junior Smith. This is my picture. I was sick for a
long time, and it didn't seem that I was ever going to get well.
Then the Blank Tuberculosis Association said they would help
me. So last November they took me to the Tuberculosis Camp,
where they help others like me to get well.
Now I am getting well and strong and will soon be able to
run and play again. I can then grow up to be a big strong man.
I hope a lot of people bought Christmas Seals, so a lot of other
boys and girls in Smithtown can be helped to get well.
Thank you,
Under it comes the follow-up from the Association:
P. S.-We don't want to overburden you, but our former letter
requesting a remittance for the Seals we sent you was evidently
overlooked. We will deeply appreciate a dollar, or any amount
you wish to send.
Forgive me for calling it to your attention, but the need for
tuberculosis work this year is unusually urgent. We must help
hundreds of others like Junior Smith.
Please put your check or money in the enclosed envelope and
mail it NOW.
Gratefully,
Summer Camps have worked out effective appeals along
similar lines, many of them using the "Before and After"
youngster from the
pictures. They show some poor,
slums as he looked in the heat of the big city. Then they
show a picture of him after a month at camp, with
of
fresh air, food, and exercise. With it, they show camp-fire
434
HOW TO RAISE
BY MAIL
scenes, swimming hole, fishing, and all the things you loved
to do when you were a boy, and end with a letter along the
lines of the following:
DEAR MRS. SMITH:
This is Phillip Jones' application, a good boy who wants to
go to Camp but has no money.
His folks have had a very hard time indeed this winter arid
Phillip needs good substantial nourishment.
One dollar a day will pay his way. I thought you might like
to help us take him for two weeks.
If you would be good enough to return this Application with
your contribution, I would appreciate it.
Sincerely,
It is a fact, which all will admit, that what helps one helps
all, so even though the benefit be indirect, we all benefit from
any good that may be done for the children of the slums, we
all benefit from any help that may be given them to grow into
healthy, happy, successful men and women. Knowing that,
there is an appeal to our reason, so all we need is a strong
enough emotion of sympathy to make us dig down into our
jeans and give
it hurts. Here are several such letters
that proved unusually effective:
What if a thousand needy people came to you for help?
Wouldn't you be aghast if, without any warning, a thousand
sick or unfortunate people all appealed to you-all looked to you
for help in their troubles?
You'd do what you could, I know. So I am confident that
you will help us to take care of the more than a thousand sick,
needy, or unfortunate who come to us each year.
As a property owner in Blanktown, you will want to do your
share towards helping those of our neighbors whom ill-fortune
read that little versehas struck down. You have
HOW TO RAISE MONEY BY MAIL
"Would you know life abundant,
Love doubled for all you give?
There is a means no surer
Than helping someone to live."
Ellen H. Jones
You can help numbers of unfortunates among your neighbors
here to live again by contributing $25, $50, $100 to the Community Chest. May we count on you?
Gratefully,
"Brother, can you spare a dime?"
Perhaps you remember that phrase from the depression days
of the
Perhaps there were times when you even felt like
saying it yourself.
If so, you'll have a fellow-feeling for those who, through sickness or accident or other misfortune, are having to come to us
today for help.
Misfortune hits most of us at some time in our lives, often
through no fault of our own, and if we could not look to friends
and neighbors for a helping hand, we'd be pretty badly off.
But folks do have a heart, and they do open both heart and
pocketbook to friends in need. That is why I feel so sure that
you will help now with the Community Chest.
The money you give is for your friends and neighbors here
in town, to help in times of need. I know I can depend upon
you to dig down generously in so good a cause.
The one who calls to see you to get your pledge will be one
of your neighbors, giving of his time and effort to help without
thought of compensation for himself. So receive him as a friend,
won't you, and make his task as easy as you can.
He
appreciate it, and so will we.
Sincerely yours,
Will you be one of the "First Families" of Localtownthe
dozen or more who, by their unusual generosity, are making
happier and brighter the lives of the sick and unfortunate in
our community?
436
HOW TO RAISE MONEY BY MAIL
In the past year, we have lost some of our most generous
patrons. Their going will leave a gap of some $7,000 in our
funds.
But there is an old saying that when one door closes, another
opens. There always have been generous souls . . there always will be . . and I know that our need will open the hearts
and the purses of those of you who can afford it.
Will YOU be one of them? Will you subscribe $1,000 for
the infirm and the unfortunate in our midst? I know we can
count on you for the utmost possible,
Sincerely,
.
.
This Plan Is Helping Thousands
T o End Their Worry About Tuberculosis!
DEAR FRIEND:
Human beings do not come like buttons from a mold, but in
individual packages. There is a prize in every package-but
many people never seem able to find theirs.
This civilization of ours is based on giving every man a
It is based on
chance to find the prize in his packet of
the strong helping the weak, on the fortunate sharing
of
their gifts with those unable to fend for themselves.
That is why we are taking the liberty of sending you the enclosed Christmas Seals. You are one of the fortunate ones.
You are strong. You are able. You have found the prize in
your package. Will you share a little of it with those less
fortunate?
The money you send for the enclosed seals will not be wasted
of it goes direct to
on overhead and the like. More than
the needy. It enables us to provide one or two clinics every
week. To test for tuberculosis in the public schools. To give
emergency relief in newly discovered cases. To prevent other
members of the family developing the disease. To put many
in sanitariums and help even more at home.
Will you help? Will you share a little of the good things
have won from life with these poor souls who are unable to help
themselves? Will you act the part of the Good Samaritan,
helping to bind up their hurts, by making it possible for them
to be healed?
HOW TO RAISE MONEY BY MAIL
The enclosed envelope is for your convenience. Will
put your remittance into it and mail it NOW? On the part of
all those you are helping, I say sincerely-"Thank you!"
Gratefully,
Then there is the seldom used but popular method of helping people to help themselves. Most of us have heard too
many stories of families that sit back and wait for relief
checks to come to them, refusing to lift a finger for their
own help. A letter like the following sounds refreshing:
Here Is a Plan Which Is Helping
Thousands t o Start Life Over Again!
DEAR SIR:
For three years now, you have been giving generously to help
those in desperate need. And the chances are you are getting
a bit tired of their continuous calls upon your pocketbook.
What a relief it would be to lend a hand to a man who would
use whatever you gave him to start afresh and look after himself thereafter ?
That is what is happening down in the soft coal fields of Pa.,
Ky., and W. Va. The Quakers down there are teaching the
miners how to earn a livelihood, regardless of whether the
mines run or not!
They are showing them how to make furniture, to weave rugs,
to take leather and make shoes, and especially they are making
it possible for them to raise their own food. And they are
doing it with a very little money. Largely they are using gifts
of machinery and equipment and clothing-old sewing machines,
spinning wheels, shop motors, grinders, and the like.
Have you anything that would help to equip a shop to make
these sturdy workers self-supporting? The Quakers aim to so
equip each community that it will be able to supply all its own
needs. Have you anything that will help? If not, will you
feed one family for a week, to help them carry on until their
little gardens produce?
$10 will feed a whole family for a week. Will you adopt
HOW TO RAISE MONEY BY MAIL
one for just one week-take its feeding upon your shoulders?
The enclosed envelope is for your convenience. Will you use
Sincerely,
Then here is one that was used most effectively in the early
days of World War
You remember the story of the traveler of olden days, who
was set upon by robbers, wounded, and left for dead. Several
very worthy people saw him lying by the roadside
and
passed him by
but an ordinary, good-hearted fellow came
along, picked him up, bound up his wounds, and cared for him
until he was well. It is written that this Good Samaritan laid
up treasure for himself in the one place where "you can't take
it with you."
There are robbers today, as mean as any of olden time, who
have set upon inoffensive people like you and me and are daily
leaving the roadsides lined with wounded and dying.
.. .
.. .
Will you be a Good Samaritan to some of those brave English
men and women and children who are taking everything the
Nazis can give them of bombs and bullets, yet standing doggedly
by their ruined homes with never a whimper, fighting their fight
and our fight and the battle of all civilization?
Those hardy Islanders have stood off the threat of invasion.
have held their own against
Air Armada, though
outnumbered five to one. But they can't stand off cold and
hunger and the lack of medical supplies. You must help them
with these.
any
Will you help? Will you send
amount you can spare to Arthur I. Davidson, Treasurer? If
there is a way
can take it with
this is it
playing
the Good Samaritan, helping those who are doing their utmost
to help themselves
and you.
Sincerely yours,
...
...
Lastly, there is the plan of getting together a central group
of well-known citizens, and getting each to write a
HOW TO RAISE MONEY BY MAIL
439
appeal in his own name to ten friends. For such, a letter
along the lines of the following has been found effective:
DEAR J IM:
Will you join me in helping an old friend of ours out of a
serious "hole?"
Dr. Jones came to me about it. I promised him I'd lend a
hand, and told him I thought I could promise as much for you,
too. He doesn't ask much of us, but if each one of those he is
counting on does his bit, it will pull our friend out of the hole.
You see, it is the Blank Institute that is in difficulties. You
know it, of course. It is one of the few places where a man
down on his luck can still go and get a meal and a place to
sleep and help in landing a job
without having to supply
his birth certificate or dog license, and without putting up a
cent.
So many people have been calling on this Institute for help
this past year that it has had to spend every penny on them,
with the result that it is eight months behind on its own rent,
and the landlord has served it with a dispossess notice. And
if that should go through, I don't know what would happen to
a
of these poor fellows who don't know where to lay their
heads from one night to the next.
Dr. Jones has appealed to a number of us to each put up $10
to pay the back rent and start the Institute afresh. I promised
for myself and assured him I thought I could promise for you,
Jim.
Will you join me in this? Will you send me $10 that I can
add to my own $10 and hand to Dr. Jones for this really worthy
work? Here is a stamped envelope for your convenience in
mailing it.
be looking forward to hearing from you, Jim,
...
SOON.
Sincerely,
These are some of the ways to raise money by mail. There
are dozens of other methods of getting people to give, which
we shall go into in another work-the principal among them
being the appeal to vanity. Many a man will give freely,
if it means seeing his name blazoned across a newspaper page,
440
HOW TO RAISE MONEY BY MAIL
small contribuwhen he will give for no other reason.
tors can be given this same satisfaction. But that is subject
for a later chapter.
Next to giving to charity is the plan of getting contributions for some worth-while cause
us say-the Liberty League or Prohibition or anything of
kind. One
project I once worked on was a plan to interest people in a
league to enforce public economy. Here is the letter we
tried. It brought a good response, but as you may have
noticed, it did not affect public expenditures in any noteworthy degree. Pasted at the top of the letter was a brand
new penny.
Here Is the Most Profitable Invention Ever
T h e Idea that Borrowed Money Must Pay INTEREST!
Just this little, insignificant penny, put out at
compound
interest in the year One A. D., would today be worth
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,-many times the wealth of the
entire world!
That shows how interest on borrowed money can mount up.
Benjamin Franklin gave a graphic illustration of the idea when
he bequeathed $1,000 to a charitable enterprise,
the provision that it bc put out at compound interest until it amounted
to a sum sufficient for the purpose he had in mind. At
compounded quarterly, that $1,000 would today amount to
!
a single penny put out at interest can grow to such proportions, if $1,000 at interest can mount up so rapidly, imagine what
Thirty-six Billions will amount to in a few years if left to grow
The public debt of the
compounded by budgetary
U. S. Government is today more than $36,000,000,000. For the
last year and a half, it has grown at a rate of more than
000,000 a year, and the indications are that next year will
an even greater increase.
Unless that mounting debt is speedily checked, the country
TO RAISE MONEY BY MAIL
will be in danger, and the depression now ended may
nothing to the one we may still have to go through.
as
There is only one way to avoid that. Put an end to the
N E EDL E SS spending that now threatens to wreck the whole
structure of our Government. Spend for NECESSARY relief
cut out the unnecessary spending that has
doubled the relief rolls and thrown billions into all manner
of wasteful projects.
Will you help to stop that waste? You are paying for it now
and you are going to keep on paying the rest of your days. No
matter what your occupation or earnings, you are now working
for the Government one day in every four-and not getting
your money's worth. You'll be working for it half your time
-or perhaps all your time-if something is not done soon.
purpose of The Blank League is to do something to stop
this waste. But we can't do it alone. We need help-the help
of every intelligent voter, for it is only as we can show ourselves
to be the voice of a large section of the public that we can have
any weight with Congress. Will you join? Will you send $1
as your contribution for one year's work?
What can we d o ? Four years ago, we were instrumental
in stopping most of the ever-mounting payments to veterans
not injured in the war-and thus saving annually over
000,000 of the taxpayer's money. We can do even more now,
we believe.
$1 put into this work will bring your country a greater return,
we truly believe, than any you have ever spent. $1 now will
help to save hundreds and perhaps thousands in taxes
and what is more, it may help to save you a free Government,
for who knows what form of Fascism or Communism might follow a real financial difficulty?
Will you help? Will you help protect the Treasury against
the hordes who are trying to raid i t ? Will you use the enclosed
blank to enroll in the non-partisan membership of the Blank
League for the single purpose of checking Government waste
Men of the Sea-the twin threats
and getting rid of those
of confiscatory taxes or disastrous printing-press money?
Sincerely,
442
HOW TO RAISE MONEY
BY MAIL
One of the most interesting trends of the last few years has
been the growth of forecasting and interpretive agencies to tell
you what Washington is going to do next and to interpret
what it is doing. Some of these appealed to the "Gain"
motive, so they properly belong with the money-raising
letters. Typical of this class is the following:
How To Read the Future So You Can
Laugh Business Worries In
Months To Come!
DEAR SIR:
You remember the tale of the Wall Street broker who was
asked what one thing he would wish for, if he could have anything he wanted. "To know TODAY," he answered, "what the
market will do next Thursday."
Everybody wants to know the future-wants to learn ahead of
time what of good fortune is awaiting him there. But to men
in business or in the market, such knowledge, gained ahead of
the crowd, is oftentimes of untold value.
For it is not personal ability that makes people rich or successful, so much as OPPORTUNITY. When Mr. So-and-so made
$35,000,000 out of a $253 investment, it was through no unusual
ability of his own. It was simply his "inside knowledge" of
the profits likely to come to the aircraft companies through Government subsidy.
And it is through "inside" knowledge and understanding of
what is happening in Washington today that you can plan
your business and your investments so as to be able to laugh
at business worries in the months to come.
Would you risk $1 for such "inside" information each week
for the next eight weeks? If you would, then use the enclosed
Trial Order blank at once.
You see, Wall Street is no longer the arbiter of American business. The nation's financial capital has moved from the banks
of Wall Street to the banks of the Potomac. Wall Street is still a
power, of course--but its sway is passing. It is what goes on in
Washington that will determine the ups and downs of business
in the future, far more than any schemes of the "money changers"
who used to sit in the seats of the mighty.
HOW TO RAISE MONEY BY MAIL
443
So it is not the Market you need to watch today. It is the
Capitol. And it is not the froth of speech-making. It is the
quiet planning that is going on behind the scenes. That is where
history is being made. That is where the future success of
your business and your investments is being determined. You
can wait for the news reports of those plans in the daily papers,
and make what meaning you can out of them, or you can get
advance information on them, with a thorough digest of just
what they will mean to you and to your business, by
The Private News Letter
Of the Such-and-Such Company
years, the Such-and-Such Magazine has
For more than
given in each issue a review of the events of importance of the
previous month, showing their relation one to another, and how
they affected the world plan as a whole. Today, history is being made so rapidly that the men who guide the destinies of
business need not only a resume of the past, but what is being
planned for the future. So we have arranged with the man who,
in our opinion, shows the greatest insight into the meaning of the
present administration, and has perhaps the most valuable contacts in Washington-John J. Smith-to write for us a private
News Letter each week, and then fill in each month in the
and-Such Magazine the entire background needed to understand
what is going on in Washington today.
John J. Smith taught Economics for several years at Blank
University. He has written a number of books on Wall Street
and Washington. He edited the Blank Weekly, and later
"So-and-So." He not
has a thorough grasp of the whole
subject, but his wide contacts give him inside information impossible for the ordinary writer to obtain. To those men to
whom others look to guide the destinies of their business, Smith's
letters will prove indispensable. They will provide the information without which it is impossible to intelligently plan ahead.
,
Will you T RY them? Will you let us send them to you for
eight weeks-just to PROVE to
how valuable they are, what
a clear insight they give into what is going on in Washington,
and what it will mean to you?
The price of the Private News Letter each week is
a year.
HOW TO RAISE -M ONEY
444
BY MAIL
Of the Such-and-Such Magazine, $3 a year. Of the two together-the Weekly Letter and the monthly background-$9 a
year, payable $1 with order and $2 monthly or $8 cash.
B UT IF YO U W I L L M AI L TH E E NCL O S E D SPECIAL
TRIAL ORDER BLANK AT ONCE, WITH ONLY
YOU
$1, WE
8
WEEKS'
WILL SEND
THE WEEKLY LETTERS AND THE MONTHLY
AND-SUCH MAGAZINE FOR TWO MONTHS, AT LITTLE MORE
T H A N HALF THEIR REGULAR COST!
Never in our history has their been a time when the news of
Washington held more of importance to you and to your business than it does today. The next eight weeks may bring
revolutionary changes to many industries. To others, it will give
opportunity such as they have never seen before. If you are
one of these, the advance information given you by these weekly
letters may be worth to you hundreds and thousands of dollars.
Will you risk $1 for eight weeks of such advance information? Will you send the Trial Order form N O W ?
Sincerely,
To those who took advantage of this short-term offer, a
series of letters was then written along the lines of the one
that follows, urging them to subscribe for a full year:
D E A R M R.
JONES :
19- will be, for insiders, a "buying year."
You
vast
when Russell Sage was asked the secret of his
he said it was-"Buying straw hats in January!"
Well, that's true, for buying straw hats in January means
buying when stocks or commodities are a drug on the market,
and then selling when everyone else is bidding them up sky-high.
mass of the
usually guess
It's sad to confess, but
wrong. When stocks are at the peak, they buy. When they are
on the toboggan, they sell.
Business moves in cycles, you know, and if past experience
counts for anything, 19- is a year in which to buy. Commodities, stocks, almost everything, are still near their bottom
prices. They have started up, but
have a long way yet to
Next year, everybody will be climbing on the band-wagon.
HOW TO RAISE MONEY BY MAIL
445
But next year, anybody will be able to read the signs which are
understandable now only to the insiders. Bank deposits rising.
prices going up. Big credit expansion starting in
the banks. Business indicators suggesting a big increase in activity in October and November. Do these signs mean anything to you?
Over in England, they have been enjoying a stock market
for months. Many stocks have advanced so far in price
as to make new high records since the War! Why has not
the market here been doing the same?
Because Wall Street is no longer in the saddle. The determining factors in
rise and fall of stocks and commodities come out of
Wall Street!
Washington wants no runaway stock market, so there'll be no
1929 boom. Washington already controls the issuing of new
securities. It is going to have a large voice in the handling of
those already on the market.
To keep in touch with the world of business and finance today,
to even invest your money with safety, you must know what is
going on under the surface in Washington. And we
of
no better way to learn that than through the Weekly News
Letters of the Such-and-Such Magazine, with the monthly background supplied by the magazine itself.
The price of the Weekly News Letter is $7 a year. Of the
a year. By using
Such-and-Such Magazine,
enclosed
card at once, you get both together for only
payable $1 a
month, or
cash.
Just your
on the enclosed card
keep the News Letter
and Such-and-Such Magazine coming to you for the nest 52
You need send no money now. Bill for the first month's
payment of $1 will be mailed you in due course.
But to keep
without a break your Weekly Letter, giving the inside
what is happening in Washington, your card
will have to be mailed right away!
Sincerely,
are other letters along similar
services of
tvpe can be sold successfully
showing how
mail.
446
HOW TO RAISE MONEY BY MAIL
What Would You Give To Know When Prices Have Hit Bottom?
Would You Risk $1 for It?
If I were to tell you that Government expenditures in the
last war were relatively lower than in the Civil War, you'd
probably laugh at me. Yet compared with the normal for
each period, the last war cost us less than either the Civil War
or World War I.
More to the point is the fact that the trend of prices and
business since the war has followed the same pattern as after our
two previous great wars.
Are commodity prices really on the toboggan, or is this
merely a temporary readjustment? How about stock and bond
prices? Have they hit bottom? And what effect is all this
going to have on business generally?
As far back as their movements can be traced, each of the
major factors in business has followed a definite pattern in
relation to all the others. When you know that pattern, you
can pretty well predict what each is going to do.
Some economists will tell you that now is the time to buy
stocks or bonds. We can tell you with authority that the
historical pattern indicates that they must go lower before the
trend will change.
You see, there is an "Elastic Limit" beyond which the price
of stocks and bonds seems unable to rise. When they reach
that limit, they break, and their trend from then on is downward, until they have reached their other "Elastic Limit" below
normal.
Limits" that we
It was through the study of these
were able to foresee the fall in bond prices so accurately that
one bank of ours sold ten million dollars worth of bonds just
two days before the bond market started its fall-and saved
$300,000 in one week alone!
It was through the study of this same "Elastic Limit" that we
forecast the peak in stock prices, and hit it within a month. It
was through it that we were able to warn our industrial and
department store clients that the trend in commodity prices was
about to turn downward.
HOW TO RAISE MONEY BY MAIL
What would it be worth to you to know how to judge prices,
when they would hit bottom, when to look for the upturn?
Would you risk $1for it?
If you would, then use the order form enclosed to send for
"PRICE TRENDS-and How to Gauge Them."
You will see how the different major factors in business act
upon one another, how they follow certain historical patterns in
their rise and fall, how you can tell almost infallibly from the
action of one what to expect of another.
Through long years of study and experience we have worked
out a standard measure through which we can gauge:
1. When the flow in each business stream is up and when down.
2. The sequence of the turn in the various branches of business showing how, over a long period of years, the turn
in one has been followed by a turn in another, usually in
the same sequence.
3. Where we are at present in relation to the ups and downs
in prices. For example, we know that stock prices always
rise higher than bond prices before they turn down, and
always fall lower than bonds before either one turns up.
4.
stock prices are still quite a bit above normal,
while bond prices are barely over the normal line. So
the historical relation for an upturn in stock prices does
not yet exist.
"PRICE TRENDS-and How to Gauge Them" is part of a
service for which big banks and industrial concerns pay us $150 a
year. This little pamphlet may easily be worth that much to
you by itself, but to enable you to test at slight cost the value of
our service, we are putting a price on this pamphlet of only $1.
I t was in just such a period as this that the great Rothschild
financial empire was started, and certain it seems that many farseeing people will emerge from this period of readjustments
with bigger and stronger businesses, greater fortunes. They
will profit because they can intelligently follow the trends and
anticipate what's ahead.
Will you try "PRICE TRENDS-and How to Gauge Them"
if I send it to you subject to a week's trial-your $1 to be returned to you if you are not more than satisfied?
448
HOW TO RAISE MONEY BY MAIL
Just your name and address on the enclosed form is all that
is necessary. That-and prompt mailing.
"If any of the Wall Street forecasting services had your record
for accuracy," said the Financial Editor of one of our great
papers,
be spreading their claims all over the newspapers." We prefer to have you prove the accuracy of our
statements for yourself, at such small cost as to involve no risk.
When we have shown you an accurate picture of the price trend,
then we can hope to have the opportunity of serving you in
other ways.
Will you risk $1 on it?
Sincerely yours,
In Every Period of Economic Upswing,
Some
Industry Leads All the Rest.
With my compliments, I am going to send you a copy of the
Blank Forecaster. It tells a graphic story of what to look for
in 19-.
I t gives you a penetrating analysis of current conditions. I t shows you the forces at work in today's market, and
where they are headed. Your name on the enclosed form will
bring this Forecaster to you, with our compliments.
I am going to send this Forecaster to you, because every indication
to a big upswing in business and the market, and
i n most such movements, some one small group outstrips all the
rest.
After the Napoleonic wars, as an instance, the world was
sunk in debt and depression until it looked as though bankruptcy
or repudiation were the only way out. Along came the steam
engine and started a business boom that made anything that
had gone before look small by comparison.
After the Civil War, gold from California and the opening
the West brought this country out of stagnation.
After
depression of 1929-32, it was the automobile industry that started the upswing of 1936.
fundamental economic forces already building a
Now,
solid foundation for recovery, it looks as though such-and-
HOW TO RAISE
BY MAIL
such stocks might be the ones to start the great forward
movement of 19-.
Are you prepared to follow the leaders in a big upswing?
Are you prepared to profit from a rise in prices?
Today is the day of opportunity. As you will see when you
read the Forecaster, every indication points to a good year ahead
for practically all industry. What
it be worth to you
to
which industries will profit
Would $2 a week
be too much to pay for such information? Would you risk
that much for advance knowldege of what's coming in business
and in the market?
Every
our bulletins will show you the trend. They
will point out the industries and individual stocks that offer
unusual opportunities, they will advise you definitely what to
buy, when to sell.
But even more valuable than that is the review of your present
holdings and the Consultation Privilege. We go over your
portfolio, analyze what you now own, tell you frankly what
its outlook is, and then give you specific recommendations for
selling, for buying, for building an investment estate designed
to profit to the greatest extent by the upswing ahead.
The price of the complete yearly Bulletins, with thorough
analysis and review of your present holdings and complete
Consultation privileges, is $120, payable $60 now, $60 in six
months. Actually, however, if you were to ask any of our
subscribers what the Service costs them, they would likely tell
As one enthusiastic subscriber put it-"These Bulletins have
been worth their cost to me sometimes ten, occasionally a
hundred, times over. They have brought me more actual profit
than I could have got in any other way.
That is what you will be saying at the year's end, we believe,
if you use the enclosed subscription form now. On the back
of this form is space for the listing of your present holdings.
If you want the personal advice of experts who have spent 25
years analyzing securities, sit down now and fill out this list,
and mail it back in the enclosed envelope.
"There is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the
450
HOW TO RAISE MONEY BY MAIL
flood, leads on to fortune." When you have read the Forecaster, I think you will agree that the flood tide is here now.
The enclosed subscription
chart and pilot to show you
how to ride that flood tide to success. Will you use it? NOW?
Sincerely yours,
Are You Prepared To Profit
From a Boom in Stock Prices?
DEAR SIR:
The major sign-posts point to better business for the year 19-.
And better business should mean a big upswing in the stock
market. Not since the "fabulous twenties," in our opinion, have
there been such spectacular opportunities for the canny investor
as today's market offers.
All stocks are going up. There are good "buys" and bad
ones even in a strong bull market. From the depression lows
of 19- to the bull market top of March, 19-, the average recovery of all the stocks on the New York Stock Exchange was
of the decline from 19-.
But while the average stock was climbing less than halfway
back, more than a hundred stocks SURPASSED T HEI R peak
prices, and 34 ACTUALLY DOUBLED their 19- highs!
You could laugh at money worries in the years to come if
you knew now which stocks were going to repeat that record
in the months ahead. We don't claim to be prophets, so we
are not going to predict what any particular stock will do,
but we CAN give you a list of the stocks that surpassed their
19- highs in 19-, we CAN show you the thirty-four that
DOUBLED their peak prices, and we can tell you which ones are
out in front now.
you can
If the average of all stocks rises-say 60 to
look for certain favored stocks to go up 100 to
because
favored by present
there are groups that are
And in picking better-than-average groups, we can be of help
to you.
Mind you, we are in no sense a tipster service. We do not
pretend to show you how to build a fortune on a shoestring.
Our service is for INVESTORS only, but to the man with
money to invest, we can offer a service that before all else
HOW TO RAISE MONEY BY
brings every possible factor of SAFETY into his investments,
and then points out to him from week to week the stocks
likely to outstrip the market and show good profits.
Time was when many sound investors thought it the acme
of conservatism to put one's money into some good stock or
bond-and then leave it alone! But that time has passed.
There is nothing so unsafe today as leaving one's investments
alone. Like the tides and storms that have twice threatened the
foundations of the Cape
lighthouse and made it
necessary each time to rebuild it farther back from the sea,
the storms and tides of business are constantly changing the value
of even the most conservative investments. Today the price of
safety is Watchfulness. Over the book value of every stock and
bond you possess ought to be posted the words-"Subject to
change without notice."
There is no such thing as P E RM A N E N T SAFETY in investments.
If you want to hold on to what you have, if you want to
see it grow and increase, don't ever look for a P ER M A N E N T
investment. Constant watchfulness, readiness to change
with the changing tides, these are the price of SAFETY and
INCREASE.
And these imply GUIDANCE.
That is where we can help you. For 34 years, ours has been
the safe guide for investors. For 34 years we have watched the
shifting tides of business, charting the shoals and reefs, sounding
the channels. Now we offer you the benefit of that accumulated
experience in analyzing your investments . in planning for
your future course.
. .
More and more restrictions are being placed each year on
money-raising campaigns and on services marketed by mail.
But when properly handled, ventures in both fields offer
amazing possibilities.
People will give, when you have stirred their emotions.
People will invest, when you have aroused their cupidity.
And people want to know the future, so if you can persuade
them that you are any sort of a Seer or a Prophet, they will
buy your forecasting service.
It all
back to the point we made in the
452
HOW TO RAISE MONEY BY MAIL
What is the bait that will attract
your fish and make him bite? Find that-and you will be
as successful in bringing hack orders as any angler can
with a properly baited hook in bringing in the fish.
"What do they want?"
XXIX
The Ideal Sales Letter
R EM E M BER
the newspaper editor's description of the
ideal wedding:
"Take a beautiful heiress," he said, "have her elope
chauffeur. Let the irate father pursue with a shotgun and
a high-powered car. Throw in a smash-up, and heroic
and a nip-and-tuck finish-and you have the ideal situation
dear to tabloid readers."
And his advice to the cub reporter was to go to every
wedding with that ideal situation
mind, see how many of
the dramatic elements from that situation
be found in
the function he was attending, and build his story around
them.
Much the
thought can be used in writing letters. No
matter what the product or service you are writing about,
first put yourself in the place of your prospective customer.
Think of every property you could possibly desire in such
a product or service. Think of everything you would like
to have it do for you. Work out the ultimate ideal, then
write a letter that stresses every desirable point of that ideal
product.
Here, for instance, is the basis for an ideal bargain appeal
on linen tablecloths. Read it, then turn back to the old
"damaged-set" letter, and see how closely we came to the
ideal in our offerings with it.
453
454
THE IDEAL SALES LETTER
We are manufacturers of Linen Tablecloths. We import
the finest linen direct from Belfast-linen with the sheen of satin
-so heavy it will stand alone, so strong it will wear forever.
Linen like that is worth a king's ransom, and costs just about
that in the best stores. But by selling it to you direct, with no
wholesaler or middleman or high store expenses or service
charges, we can save you half the usual price.
But that isn't all!
Even at half the regular retail price, this linen is so costly
that you may feel you still cannot afford it. But in manufacturing thousands of these fine tablecloths, we turn out an occasional one with some slight flaw in it-perhaps an uneven
hem, perhaps a slight discoloration in some tiny spot-not
enough to be apparent to the eye of any but the expert, but still
not up to our standard of perfection.
Over the past few months, we have accumulated perhaps thirty
or forty of these technically imperfect tablecloths. While they
last, you can have one for one-third off our already low price!
Remember, though, we have only 30 or 40 of these, and we
may not have another for months, so if you want to even see
one, it behooves you to use the enclosed order form quickly.
When you have your ideal letter written to your satisfaction, let it cool for a day. The next day, go over it and cross
out every descriptive phrase and adjective that cannot honestly
he applied to your product. You will be surprised at how
many you have left-more than enough to write the finest
sort of a letter that will build a picture in your reader's mind
so desirable that he will scarcely be able to refrain from
ordering.
There is an old saying, you know, that there is nothing
can say about a 50-cent cigar that you cannot say about
a 5-cent one-and some of the advertising you see in newspapers seems to prove the truth of it. You see, the only
difference between an expensive product and one of ordinary
price is usually one of degree. In a general way, they look
alike, they are made of much the same type of material,
THE IDEAL SALES LETTER
455
they will do the same things. The difference is in the degree
of pleasure or satisfaction they will bring. And this is
largely in the mind of the buyer.
So your job is to build a picture in his mind's eye of what
he will get from your product or service. Build it with
bricks he can handle, i. e., with words and mental images
that are familiar to him. Do not exaggerate-or he will
refuse to believe in it and will kick the whole structure over
disgustedly, like a child trying to build with blocks a house
that will not come out right. But keep it attractive. Keep
it desirable-more desirable by far than the money o r the time
o r the trouble it takes to build it.
Do not make the mistake of trying to stress in your letter
all the points of your product. You can list them in a
separate folder and make your letter the stronger for it.
But find the one point on which your sale is likely to hang
and build your letter around it. Let that be the focal point
of your mental image, your picture, and let every word in it
be a
stroke that adds clearness and power to that one
focal point.
Then remember that it is not enough merely to tell your
reader to order now, or "Mail the enclosed card at once!''
Why must he do this? What will he gain by doing it now?
What will he lose by delay?
You must dangle certain bait before his eyes. You must
hold over his head a "Sword of Damocles," the thread of
which may be cut at any moment. Set a time beyond which
orders will not be accepted. Or give a valid reason why the
supply is strictly limited. Or announce an increase in price
that takes effect on a certain date. Or make a special combination offer, good only for a limited time.
But whatever you do, make it sound as though you mean
it. If you set a time limit, say positively that no orders will
be accepted beyond that date. If you announce a raise in
456
THE IDEAL SALES LETTER
price, tell him there will be no last-minute concessions.
All orders not mailed by a certain date will take the
price. Be definite-and be positive! You will lose a few
last-minute orders, but you will gain ten times the number
in those who are impelled to act the moment they read the
letter-while the order card is in their hands-for fear if
they lay it down they will delay and be too late.
These are the important factors of a successful letter.
There are others, however, that add to or take away from
its effectiveness.
The first essential is to get your reader to look inside the
envelope. That may sound simple-and it is simple on
ordinary correspondence-but when you have been circularizing in a large way and people recognize your envelopes
as circulars at sight, then it becomes a problem.
Some people depend upon "teasers" on the outside of
the envelope to arouse the reader's curiosity and make him
look at the letter to see what it is all about. A really effective "teaser" is good, but the effective ones are scarce.
As a general rule, it is better to try to make your envelope
so personal looking and so attractive that the reader will
at least want to know whom it is from and what it is about.
This can be done in various ways. If your name is too
well known and your mere corner card brands the envelope
as containing a circular, it frequently pays to use a box number in the corner, with an armorial design or a monogram
or some such attractive insignia under it.
Using a window envelope sometimes helps, as does a
change in the color of the envelope or in the size. If your
mailings have been going in a No. 6 envelope, change to a
baronial at times, from that to a Monarch, then to a No. 9
and back to your No. 6, varying your corner card on all,
and sometimes changing the color as well as the size of your
envelope.
THE IDEAL SALES LETTER
One concern makes a specialty of letters on
forms, mailed in envelopes that look almost exactly
like the yellow window envelopes Western Union uses for
telegrams. We have tried them and found them very
tive as a variation from our usual forms.
Another makes a "giant" telegram of it, using 18-point
type, a giant envelope, and a pseudo-telegraph form inside
to fit it. This in our experience has been even more effective
than the other. But again it is just a novelty and will wear
out quickly if used too much.
Such novelties, however, are invaluable to the man who
does much circularizing, for they keep his appeal from going stale. People never throw away his letters unopened
because they are never able to discount in advance what is
inside them. But when they have taken your reader into
your letter, their job is done. From there on, it is u p to
you to win his interest and turn it into a sale.
What is the most important factor in the making of your
sale? Your letter! The circular helps, and the order card
makes it easier-but the letter must carry the load. If you
have not the stuff in it, it does not matter where else you
have it. It will not do you much good.
So put your best efforts into your letter. Keep an "idea
file" of good starters, good descriptions, good closers, good
pointers of all kinds-not to copy, but to inspire you to new
and better ideas. There is nothing like glancing over a few
such ideas to stimulate your own brain cells into action.
And always remember that the point that sells your
tumer is not what your product is, but what it will do for him!
Remember, too, that the purpose of a letter is to put ideas
into your reader's head, so be careful not to put in negative
ones that you will have to take out again before you can
make a sale.
Some people
you never to write long letters,
THE IDEAL SALES LETTER
others never to make them short. Both are
didactic extremists usually are. As a general proposition,
it is advisable to make your letter short and snappy
you are trying for inquiries and all you want is to
enough of the prospect's interest to make him ask for further
particulars.
Before a man will
commit himself to buy, however, he wants to know all about the thing you are offering, and you cannot tell him that in a short letter.
tell your story, no matter how long or how short it may be,
striving simply to keep it interesting. The only safe measure
you can a pp l y is the one Lincoln gave when some one asked
him how long a man's legs should be: "Long enough to
the ground !
Index
Action:
inducement to, 2
inducing, examples, 70-71
penalty for not taking, 68
Acquisitive feeling, 8-13
Appeals, 4-7
Applied Business Correspondence, 81
Approach, importance of, 429-430
Attention-getters, 1-7,
Bags, traveling, sale of, 164, 204-206
lock featured, 202-203
Bait :
find the right, 452
letters as, 1-7
Bargain appeal, 143-146, 220
Barton, Bruce, 84, 129-132
Bathrobes, mail sale of, 227
Beauty preparations, mail sale of,
389
81, 8 3
Beck, Thomas
Birth certificates, mail sale of, 410411
Blair, John, 27, 81, 159
Blankets, mail sale of, 228-229
Blue Books, 283
Book of Etiquette, 13, 292
Book of Life, 253
Books, psychology:
circular on, 249-253, 257-262
mail campaign on, 247-249
premium offer on, 256
response on, 249
returns on, 253
Boring machines, mail sale of,
306
"Born gamblers," 306
Boys' suits, mail sale of,
Brush script, use of, 399
Business Correspondence Library, 80
4
Business Week, 338
direct-mail campaign, 340-345,
348
renewal letters, 349-351
Buying motives:
desire, 47
examples of, 4 7 4 8
six prime, 48-49
examples of, 50-53
vanity, 307
Calendars, mail sale of,
Campaigns, Great Letter:
Eliot's Five-Foot Shelf, 84-97
H. G. Wells' Outline of History,
149
Junior Classics,
Henry, 109-114
Powellton Coal and Coke, 75-82
psychology books, 247-253
traveling bags, 165-166, 202-206,
211-213
Candles, mail sale of, 426-427
Caples, John, 306
Catch-phrases, 8
Chance, last:
emphasis on, 112
offer, 112
Charitable appeals,
personal circularization, 439
Circular, use of, 139, 147
Circus barker, 59, 63
Circulation, quality, 338
Cobb,
136-138
Coke, selling, by mail, 75-79
Cole, George H., 302
Collection letters:
appearance of, 363
fear motive, 361
firmness in, 361
on unsolicited goods, 358-359
Collection letters
:
persuasion in, 53
examples of, 53-55
persuasion motive, 361
premiums for prompt payment,
370
threats in, 53
Collier & Son Co., 81, 83
Collier's, 81
Comfort appeal, 220-221
Confidence :
customers', 99
winning,
mail, 98
point of, 4
featured, 167
Copy :
images behind, 123
plan behind, 119
wording of, 122
Credit letters, mail sale of,
Customer,
him sold, 178
Customers' confidence, 98
Damaged-set letter, 120
Description :
long-winded, 29
36
Desire, reader's, 2
Diamonds, mail sale of,
Doctor, appeal to, 6
Doubleday, Nelson, 13, 26, 124, 292
Dresses,
sale of, 314-323, 325
Druggist, appeal to, 5
Emotional type of letters, 41-46
Emotions:
arousing, 9, 11
fear, 69
prime human, 3
Encyclopaedia
Envelope:
appearance of, 306
on, 25
color of, 456
size of, 456
window, 456
letter, six, 73
Essentials of
Eytinge, Louis Victor,
Familiar chord, similes
strike,
31-36
Farmer, appeal to, 5
Father, appeal to, 4
Field glasses, mail sale of,
Fill-in, 27
First-class mail, 25
Fold of letter, 27-28
Folders, use of, 26
Food, mail sale of,
Forecasting letters, mail sale of,
Free-examination plan, 57, 110
Free-trial offer, 188-189, 239
Fund raising by mail,
Gadgets on letters,
Giant letter, 202-204, 208-210, 219
Effectiveness of letters, 1-7
Scrap Book, 99
Eliot, Dr., 406
Eliot's Five-Foot Shelf of Books, 406
analysis of letters, 95-97
details of the campaign, 87-95
first letter, 85-86
first mailing results, 84-85
Emerson, Harrington, 109
Emotional appeals :
desire for wealth, 12
fear, 1 3
six prime, 48-49
examples of, 50-53
vanity, 13
30
Harvard Classics, 84, 100, 406
Harvard Classics Shelf of Fiction, 99
Headline, importance of, 306
Health products, mail sale of, 372
History of Nations, 107
History of the World War, 25
Hook in letters, 68
examples of, 69
Hooven letters, 234
Householder, appeal to, 5
Housewife, appeal to, 6
"How" appeal, 283
INDEX
I
Idea :
basic, as selling point, 75-76
putting across, 29
selling, 171, 183
Immediate action, need for, 223
Impulse:
supplying the, 59
examples of, 63-67
Insertions, 27
Institute of
109
letters on, 115-118
Insurance agents, appeal to, 6
Insurance, mail sale of, 385-386,
420
Intellectual type of letters,
Interest-arousers, 1-7
Interest, winning, 3
Irving, Washington, 30
Journal of Modern Business Management, 351
direct-mail campaign, 352-354
renewal letters,
Julius, E. Haldeman, 283
Junior Classics, 101-107
Rudyard,
Kleid, Lewis, 396
Lagnappe, 309
Leaders, business, how to reach, 338
Legend of Sleepy Hollow, 30
Letterheads:
colored, use of, 26
mail sale of,
Letter requirements, summary,
Letters:
acknowledgment, 178
appealing to vanity, 289
business, purpose of, 8
charity, 431-438
clever, 285
effective, 286
close of, 68
definite action, 72
persuasion and inducement, 72
461
Letters
:
collection (see Collection letters)
"Dollar Bill," 394
"Do me a favor," 235-237, 254,
294
emotional type, 41-46
favor, 169-171
feel in, 74
German mark, 395
giant size, 202-204, 208-210, 219
"Give me two minutes,"
health,
377-383
Hooven, 234
importance of, 139
in a bottle, 393
intellectual type, 3 7 4 1
length of,
love, 9
match books, printed on, 393
news interest in, 14
on telegraph forms, 457
perfumed,
pin, 367
renewal, 349-351,
sales, 453
separate enclosure in, 224
six essentials, 73
string,
stunt, 306
telegram, giant, 457
Life Extension Institute Course,
136
Life insurance, mail sale of,
429
Life Magnet, 262
Limited Edition Club, 310
Lists :
automobile registrations, 108
book, 164
occupational, 108, 164
rural communities, 108
telephone books, 108
Little Journeys, 99
Little Nature Library, 26
London, Jack, 110
Lost Chord, 30
Love, the strongest motive, 49
words, 302
Mail Order Credit Association, 113, 114
462
INDEX
Mail selling, 2
advantages of, 246
changing aspects of, 234
rewards in, 246
risks in, 245-246
Mailings Incorporated, 396, 399
Mails, use of, 313
Merchandise, time for selling by mail,
184
Merchant, appeal to, 5
Metered mail, use of, 28
Mind, Inc.:
circular on, 268-270
letter on,
"Lost Word of Power," 275-276
"Secret of Youth" letter, 274
Mind, reader's, 29
Minor point, effective use of, 67
Mother, appeal to, 4, 6
Motive, directing appeal to, 124
Mufflers, mail sale of, 233
Multiple mailer, 224
Multiple sales, 181-182
Neckties, mail
of, 326
New Process Company, 27, 81, 99
News interest in letters, 14
Newspaper, tabloid, 11
Henry, 14, 25, 100, 109
basic appeal, 110
returns, rate of, 113
Outline of History, 14, 100, 140-159
Overcoats, mail sale of, 172-179,
190, 210-211
Paint cleaner, mail sale of, 421422
Paragraph indenting, 28
Pears, mail sale of, 185-186
A. L., 12
Perfume, mail sale of, 186-189
Personal touch, need for, 234
Personalized mail selling, 162-163
Persuasion, art of, 47
& Son Co., 81, 83
P. F.
Photographic History of the Civil War,
120
Pictures:
in advertising, 26
on letterheads, 233-234
Pipes, mail sale of,
Point of contact, 7
Positive, necessity for being, 456
Post card, 113
Power of Will, 12
Premium offer, 239-240
Premiums, 110, 120
as hurry-up, 112
use of, 307
Price increases, as hurry-up, 111
Price-reduction offer, 23
Procter Gamble, 81, 83
Proof, effective use of, 56
of the Great
406
Proposition, 9
describing,
main
minor point, 67
need for study of, 4
visualizing, 30
Prospect:
his interest paramount, 7
leading the, 29
Psychology books (see Books, psychology)
Purpose of letters, 2
Raincoats, black, sale of, 160-161
Rattlesnake (see "When the Rattlesnake Struck")
Reader, need for study of, 4
Reader's attention:
catch-phrase on envelope, 25
competition for, 15
folders, use of, 26
how to get, 16
examples of, 16-23
price-reduction offer, 23
examples of, 23-25
Remodeling, mail sale of, 422423
Results, 1
Romances, Spanish and Italian,
128
S
Sale, critical moment in, 59
Sale, first, 98
cost of, 98
INDEX
:
in small units, 98
Salesmanship,
personal, 233
Saving featured, 168
Secret of the Ages, 253
Shirts, mail sale of, 179, 196-198, 219,
328-329
Shoes, mail sale of, 191-192
Showmanship, 393, 396
Silk hose, mail sale of, 199-201
Similes that strike familiar chord,
36
Sin, unpardonable, 14, 152-154
Socks, mail sale of, 225-227
Special delivery mailing, 207
Special offer, 68
Sporting goods, mail sale of, 407408
Stamps on letters, 28
Stockings, silk, returns on, 244
Stories, use of, 37
Story of the Great War, The, 107
Style, 1
Suits, mail sale of, 230
"Teasers," 456
Tested Advertising Methods, 306
"Tested Selling Sentences," 281-283
Testimonial letter, 141-143
Testimonials, 57-58
Tests, time of,
Third-class mail, 25
Thrill, give readers a, 36-37
Time of mailing:
Christmas offer, 181-183
January-February, 184
Tip-in sample in letter, 27
Tires, mail sale of, 179-181
Tobacco, mail sale of, 383-385
Topcoat, mail sale of, 195-196,216
Traveling bags, mail sale of, 211-213
damaged, 120-122
February mailing, 215
235
u
Underwear, mail sale of, 193-194
w
War History, 109, 115
Watson, Herbert, xii, 80, 81
Wells, H. G., 140
Westcott, E. N., 30
Wheeler, Elmer, 280, 293
"When the Rattlesnake Struck,'' 110
Co., 99
Wise
Women, selling to, 243-245
Wonders of the Past, 403
Word pictures, 29, 30
Work suits, mail sale of,
Y
Yachts, selling, 61-62

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