The Business Letter In Detail. Part 7
Get busy Grouch - got busy - for the sake of - well, you married the girl - I didn't - but get busy any way.
The tone of that is rather rollicking. It would displease a conservative business man, or even the ideal correspondent of our twenty-third chapter. But Van would not use such a tone in addressing a conservative business man, and it would be slightly stupid in me to criticize him for the tone he uses in addressing the Grouch. But there are forty trifling errors in the details of this letter (forty-one, to be exact), or what seem to be errors from the point of view of a teacher of English. And so, perhaps, we may timidly venture to rewrite.
July 19, l909.
You've had a snap for the past three years.
You haven't done enough work to keep body and soul together. And if it weren't for your think-box, which when properly oiled works all right, you wouldn't have bung together all this time.
You are the first one at the cashier's cage on Saturday, and the last one to report at your desk every morning, if you were working according to union rules, you would have to begin Tuesday's work about eleven o'clock Monday night, and at Christmas tine you'd be eating your Thanksgiving turkey.
Really, Grouch, your work has been a Joke. You've roasted a few letters-in each issue, but who couldn't do that? Now there has got to be a change. It's simply a case of make good or join Wm.Jonnings. I am tired of holding you up all the time.
I not only want you to roast any letters that you think deserve roasting, but for each issue I want you to pick out one letter that you think can be improved, and rewrite it, showing exactly what's what, And don't pick the easiest. I don't want mere theory - LETTERS will not stand for that* I want the same letter rewritten in a more salesmanlike manner. I want you to show my friends and readers that an order-landing letter is something different from a mere conglomeration of words.
I want you to show them just how those words should be put together to get the desired results: attention - orders - money.
You can do it if you want to do it. And if you want to draw your check after Aug.28th, you will do as I ask. While 1 won't insist on a rewritten letter for this issue, I will surely have writer's cramp or paralysis on Saturday morning, August twenty-eighth, unless you deliver the goods.
Get busy, Grouch, get busy.
Well, Van's letter produced its effect on the Grouch. He began to rewrite letters. The first one, indeed, that he tried his hand at was a competitor's letter. Grouch explains that he can't rewrite it effectively without knowing the list to which it was sent. But he does the best he can under the painful circumstances. The original form-letter ran thus:
Dear Sirs: -
You are "Circular Letters", Imitation typewritten "Letters" "Form Letters", at various tines and realise the importance of having them appear as if written en a typewriter. Printed or mingraph circulars contend no attention and consequently are worth hut little.
Why not use our fac-simile typewritten, letters? Mail order trade is profitable and the surest way of reaching it is to use' our inexpensive meth-od. No other form of advertising will pay you better.
15 years' experience producing typewritten letters has made us specialists, in this line. Business houses patronize us because our fac-simile letters cost little and the results so big.
Our typewritten letters are cheep and effective. Everyone goes di-rect to an interested party. There is no random firing, no waste - that's why they are profitable. We produce them in any quantity and at low prices.
Typewriter ribbons furnished free of charge to match, color of ink used on letters, thus enabling you to insert names and addresses, or we will do this inserting, reproduce your handwritten signature, address envelopes and. prepare letters for mailing at very low cost.
It gives us pleasure to submit samples and quote prices. Any infer-mation desired carefully furnished. Ask us - you will have prompt attention.
Yours, for fac-simile letters,
The D.H.Abrend Co.
P.S. this is one of the Fac-Simile Typewritten Letters - you've read It - others will read yours - Try them.
Now for Grouch's version. It is more personal, more direct than the original. It is better organized. The sentences are sentences, not phrases, as some are in the original. But Grouch makes a downright mistake in grammar, ejaculates dashes, and does a few other things which (on the whole and perhaps) he had better not have done.
He says that he would use the postscript of the original.
You will undoubtedly agree that the best results from direct advertise-ins are secured through letters - personal, persuasive sales letters.
You use letters at various times but are they "personal"? Do they hare all the ear marks of having come hot from the typewriter? If they do not, they command no attention and are consequently worth but little.
Why not use our fac-cimlle typewritten letters - letters that are letters in every sense of the word- individual letters - Just the kind of letters that are a orodit and profit for you to send out.
We've been at it fifteen Years - we've studied the proposition - we've become specialists - and are patronised by business houses, large and small because our fac-simile letters cost so little and the results are so big.
Price is not the consideration - it's results that counts and after one trial of our letters you'll find that if you paid us twice as much as others ask you the cost would be less on account of the returns you would get - But -
The first cost - the price we will make you will be less - will be based on cost to us - not a thought of what your bank account will stand.
And not only that - but we will furnish you a Typewriter Ribbon free of charge - guaranteed to match the ink we use in your letter so you may fill in the names at your office - or, better still, we will do this inserting, reproducing a fac-cimile singature in special ink, address envelopes and prepare letters for sailing at very low cost.