By Jeffrey Dobkin
No. Insurance sales letters don’t sell insurance.
Letters don’t sell insurance. If it was that easy selling insurance, you wouldn’t be reading this.
You’d be rich, lying on the beach somewhere. Or… where ever the rich lie.
Letters don’t sell insurance. People sell insurance.
The goal of writing effective insurance sales letters is actually not to sell insurance. It’s to generate a phone call.
This article: The MOST POWERFUL sales techniques every lead generation sales letter needs is to make people pick up the phone and call. This article offers easy to employ techniques specifically to to make your phone ring.
Next article: In the last direct marketing article in this series, take a look at our FREE sample insurance sales letter. Analyze some of our insurance sales ideas in print. Then, create your own insurance prospecting letters. Dobkin’s insurance marketing strategies work when selling any kind of insurance — including life insurance!
How To make a FREE offer in your Insurance Sales Letter specifically to generate phone calls.
The best insurance marketing strategy to make people call is to offer something FREE. Everybody likes FREE. And this-here insurance sales technique is my favorite of all time: to offer a valuable FREE BOOKLET. You do have a free booklet to offer, don’t you?
If not, that’s OK. I’ll just need to take you out back and spank you. Just kidding. Just send me five dollars and you’re forgiven. Ten dollars if you’re a guilt-laden Irish Catholic person like my wife. I shouldn’t really pick on my wife, she’s a wonderful person. And that’s not just my opinion… it’s her’s.
But suppose you don’t have a fancy 4-color booklet with exciting images? It’s OK – you don’t need one! See the fifth article in this set for an explanation. Or… see below.
First — Get your letter opened…
One of the easiest ways to get your sales letter opened is to make your letter look personal. Even though it’s an insurance letter and you mailed 5,000, 10,000, 25,000, 50,000 or a million of them, make the envelope look like it’s a personal letter: first class stamp, hand written-looking address (handwriting font); your name – with or without company name in the left hand corner. Yes, everyone opens a personal letter that was sent first class. Voila! Opened! You can grab a beer now. Grab me one, too! But don’t get too comfy – the hardest part is just now coming up. Hummmm… I’ll have another beer please…!
If you haven’t got the time, personnel or equipment to make your address block look hand-written, you can get your letter opened by adding some envelope teaser copy – a few lines of copy splashed across the envelope to entice the reader to open your mailing piece.
Samples of envelope teaser copy can be found in the first article in this series, or more in our article, The 23 Best Lines in Marketing. With the right look — or some awesome envelope teaser copy — pretty much every recipient will open your letter. Now you all you need to do is generate a response.
The hardest part – generating a phone call!
Remember when I said the hardest part is coming up? Yea, this is the hardest part: you need to make readers to call you. They need to call or all is lost: your money, your time, your postage. It’s a good thing you have that cute little red-haired secretary at work or it wouldn’t be fun anymore. Like most things, they’re fun… until you get caught. I myself have a beautiful long-legged, sexy blond secretary who reminds me of my wife. Every time I get a little too close to her, she reminds me of my wife.
But enough about getting your letter opened, teaser copy and leggy blonds. Let’s talk about something we all like: insurance sales letters. Hey, you’re an insurance guy aren’t you? So… I cut right to the boring part. Sorry, I couldn’t resist an insurance joke. Hey, did you hear the one about two insurance salesmen walked into a bar and zzzzzzz…
So your letter was opened, and now all you have to do is get it read, and make people call you. Not so easy, is it? But here — from my 25 years in direct marketing and the vast number of tricks up my sleeve to generate phone calls, my favorite (and I think the best) way to generate calls is by giving away a FREE informational booklet.
A FREE booklet makes the phone ring.
Note: use of the word “FREE” is always in capital letters. Would you rather have a free booklet or a FREE booklet! Yea, I thought so. See what I mean?
One of the best things about a booklet – not that I’m cheap or anything – is it’s cheap to produce. OK, so maybe with some things I’m pretty cheap. So now we have an inexpensive give-a-way that will make people call. Here’s the thing: to make people call you, your booklet needs a G-R-E-A-T title. Even if it’s on a subject like insurance, offering a FREE booklet with an amazingly G-R-E-A-T title will get the MAXIMUM number people to call and request it. Everyone likes FREE stuff that is amazingly great.
Offering a FREE Booklet does two things. It gives the reader a NON-THREATENING REASON TO CALL. Some people are a little afraid to call and ask questions, so asking for your FREE booklet will allow them to feel comfortable picking up the phone. And two: the great title compels the reader to call. Non-threatening reason, plus compelling ‘call-us title’ = high response.
Booklets are easy to create…
Take a sheet of paper, fold it in thirds and now you have a shitty brochure. Brochures are worthless – you can get one anywhere: car dealership, drugstore, dry cleaners. But take that same sheet of paper and fold it in half and BAM – you have a valuable booklet. Nest another sheet of paper in it and WHAM, an even greater value booklet. If your eight page booklet is incredibly useful, you can offer it as a FREE Gift!
I didn’t say this and you didn’t hear it from me: the truth is: your booklet doesn’t have to be that good. The value of your booklet is in its title, and it’s ability to get your phone to ring. That is the sole value of your booklet at this point in time. The caller becomes a high-value, qualified lead. The booklet itself, well… the caller doesn’t see that until he’s already given you his name, address and phone number — which satisfies the goal or objective of the whole sales letter campaign. While I like nice stuff, offering the booklet has already served its purpose – it generated a phone call. The actual booklet is secondary.
Do I like nice literature and handsome booklets to send to potential clients? Hell yea! Same as I like Budweiser and Coors. But if you’re just starting out and have little room in the budget for an expensive brochure – it’s ok. Don’t let it stop you – make a nice booklet later.
Making your FREE Booklet a Valuable MUST-HAVE!
What exactly makes your booklet so valuable?
Is it the paper? No, the customer requesting it hasn’t seen it yet. Is it the smooth copywriting you just wrote: eight pages in the past half hour? No, the customer requesting it hasn’t seen your copywriting yet, either. Is it the brilliant design you spent whole 45 minutes on? No. Same reason. What then?
There is ONLY ONE THING that makes your booklet tremendously valuable: It’s the title.
The title drives people to pick up the phone and call.
The title drives people to get up off the couch and call. It’s the title that compels readers to pick up the phone and request your FREE booklet! The title drives the response. It is the sole driver of your response numbers. Get the picture?
If the booklet title is a sure hundred dollar winner, consider offering it on the envelope as teaser copy – to force people to open the package to get at the FREE offer details inside. So your awesome booklet title becomes the winning envelope teaser copy that gets your direct mail package opened, too.
But to do so, the title of your booklet needs to be better than great, it needs to be G-R-E-A-T! A good title just won’t do. Remember, “Good” is the opposite of “Great!”
Simply put, the better the title, the better your response. Here’s the secret formula: Mediocre title = mediocre results. Good title = good response. G-R-E-A-T Title = G-R-E-A-T response!
If you spend 20 hours creating your booklet, spend 2 or 3 just on the booklet title. Seriously. You need to motivate the reader to go to the phone and call you, overcoming the law or reader inertia; a body at rest stays at rest. And if they don’t call right now? You know how most people sort their direct mail over the trash? Now you know what happens to your package if your booklet title isn’t G-R-E-A-T-? It goes into the trash – with your money close behind.
The definition of G-R-E-A-T
If your booklet title is truly great, and it’s accidentally tossed out on first review, a highly successful title will make readers wake up in the middle of the night, go downstairs, pull your letter out of the trash, and leave it on the table so they remember to call you first thing in the morning to get it. Now that’s the kind of booklet title we’re talking about. That’s the booklet title you need to offer in your letter.
Don’t have the time to write a successful sales letter?
We did all the work for you: see a free sample letter from our Awesome Insurance Sales Letter Series: Over two dozen highly responsive insurance sales letters that are written just to make your phone ring. They’re available by clicking here. Make your phone ring by using any of the sales letters included in this awesome series – available for your immediate use!
All our insurance sales letters are written to make your phone ring.
Get all 26 letters as an immediate download. Purchase this highly responsive letter series right now, and you can be in the mail by tomorrow. Start generating calls (and clients) by next weekend. Buy now and get the entire letter series at the lowest price we offer.
Want to see a sample of what you’re getting? Be sure to see our FREE sample sales letter on this site. Thanks.
We don’t offer a lot of products, but the products we offer are all top shelf, written to maximize response. Do people like our sales letter package? Yes. Testimonials are great. And we’ve never had a letter series returned to date.
Back to you, Jeff:
Thanks for reading all this, I hope you’ve enjoyed this site – and my articles, and found the information of great value. This is where you actually get to have that beer. Get me one, too. If your mailing is really successful using these marketing techniques, make mine a bottle of champagne. Schramsberg. Thanks.
Bio, Jeffrey Dobkin
Jeff Dobkin will now take your questions. Seriously, 610-642-1000 rings on his desk. He’s a real guy, not just a fictitious name of someone offshore. If you’re having trouble generating sales leads and need people to call you, Dobkin is a specialist in getting your phone to ring. He has written 5 books on successful marketing methods including the cult classic, How To Market a Product for Under $500, and now offers a series of his personally written, incredibly effective insurance sales letters that drive phone calls. If anyone can make your phone ring, it’s Dobkin. He’s a direct marketing expert with over 25 years experience writing direct mail packages that work. Order Here! Thanks.
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