The Business Letter In Detail. Part 5
On page 19 we call your attention to the numerous points of con-struotion.
We have just called up our factory on the long distance telephone and learn that they have a 20 ft. Torpedo all ready except the last coat of paint. They always carry a full stock of engines so that if this boat appeal! to you favorably and you fill designate your choice of engine, we can promptly finish the boat and sake shipment within five days after your order is received. With the boat we include a full outfit including batteries, switch.and tools. Specification* are fully given in the catalogue. To hope after reading than that you will decide to place your order with us and assure you that we will soke every effort to turn out a boat that will be a pleasure to own.
MONTGOMERY WARD & CO.
Dear Write have sailed you our motor beat catalogue giving description of high-grade motor boats at reason Able prices. If the catalogue should not reach you, please advise us, as they are sometimes lost inthe mail,
In buying a motor boat the two things you will no doubt consider are quality and price. The Motorgo boats are made of the beet material and by skilled workmen as you will see by reading the catalogue, page 8, andby nanufac-taring the boats in large quantities, shipping them direct from factory to customer, we are able to reduce the cost of manufacturing so that with the small Profit we ask we are able to sell you a first class boat at a reasonable price.
Motor boats like automobiles have heretofore been sold at unreasonably high prices sad on investigating the reason wo found this was true because each purchaser desired something special. We also found that by manufacturing the, boats in large quantities and building them all just alike we could reduce the cost and be able to furnish a high-grade boat at a price that would be within the reach of the ordinary purchaser and thus enable us to sell boats in large quantities so that we could accopt a small profit on each boat and still make a good profit on the total investment.
We much prefer to accept a small profit on a large number of boats cold than a large number of profits on a few, and by comparing our prices with those charged by other firns you will find you can save considerable money in buying a motor boat from us, at the same time securing a motor boat equal to any on the market.
It is our aim to furnish such a boat that will provide the most room and secure the greatest amount of safety at the sane time developing the most speed. They are adapted particularly for small lakes and rivers and will outran any boat of equal length with the same hone power engine installed. We already hare a large number of these boats on the market and are receiving letters every day from our customers advising us of the saving they made in buying from us and how well satisfied they are with the boats; that they are as good, if not better, than any boat in their neighborhood.
We guarantee our boats to be absolutely satisfactory, to bo perfect in every respect, to be made of the best material by skilled workmen. They are thor-oughly testod and inspected before being shipped, they will develop full rated power and speed and are equal to any other motor boat or marine engine of equal also, no matter of what make. You will save considerable money and bo entirely satisfied with your purchase. If not you may return the boat and wo will pay the freigrt and send you back your money together with any freight charges you have paid. No other firm will give you as liberal a guarantee and wo could not if wo did not know that our boats and engines are all that they should be
WO would like very much to have the pleasure of shipping you one of those boats not only because we want to sell you a boat but because wo would like to add you to our list of satisfied customers.
After reading our catalogue, if there is any other information you would like, please write us and wo will give you full particulars by return mail.
Very truly yours,
Sears, Roebuck & Co,
Both of these letters were dictated, but either would make a good form-letter to keep in stock for reply to such inquiries. A is shorter than B. A's paragraphs are six against B's eight. A's sentences are fourteen against B's sixteen, and are much shorter than B's. A's method is to pick out, if possible, a particular boat for the Oak Parker, recommending first as expensive a boat as the writer thinks there is a chance of selling. And - oh, yes - the writer has called up the factory and it has a certain boat all ready except the last coat of varnish. That is a good selling-remark, though whether it would be a fair remark to put into a form-letter is another question. B's method is to explain how boats so good as he has for sale can be made at so low a cost. The writer gives a full guarantee, declares that no other firm will give so liberal a guarantee, and offers to pay freight-charges both ways if the goods are unsatisfactory.
I have consulted several experts as to which of the two is the better letter, and the experts don't agree. They admit that they can't pick the winner; and one said that if he could do a thing like that, he would have been a rich man long ago. Quite bo. It was purely accidental that A was the winner.
Neither letter is quite perfect in details - what letter is? The writer 'of A splits his infinitives. And he really doesn't mean that it will cost $450 to install an eight horse-power engine. The writer of B takes too long a breath before he dictates a sentence. And he doesn't mean "such a boat that will provide," but "such a boat as" or "a boat that." And he uses the "as good if not better than" construction. But both letters meet the situation, and that is the great thing.
§119. The form-letter has unquestionably come to stay, and is manufactured in enormous quantities. It produces results that surprise anybody, and strike dumb the older Eastern houses. Let us study for a minute a good opening form-letter.