Gary Halbert’s Coat Of Arms: The Most Successful Sales Letter Of All Time

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Gary Halbert is considered by many the world’s greatest copywriter. His greatest success is the famous “Coat-of-Arms” letter you can read above.

A simple one-page letter sent to households in a plain envelope so the recipient had no idea whatsoever it was a marketing piece (making it look like a personal letter increases opening rates) it was mailed for more than 30 years to more than 600,000,000 people and led to Halbert selling his operation decades ago for not far shy of $100m.

To further his goal of maximising the number of potential customers who would read the letter from beginning to end, each letter was hand addressed and stamped with only the single letter inside.

By selling family crests, he was able to further personalise the letter by using the surname throughout the letter. This also made the mailing list easy to procure – the names and addresses then were commonly found in directories and the size of his target market was therefore enormous.

This is a great piece to add a swipe file and use for inspiration when sending mail to target clients. 

A few key points to remember:

  • You never want your efforts to seem like marketing from the offset. If your marketing never gets opened or read, you’ve lost before you’ve begun. (Remember David Ogilvy’s famous line “When you have written your headline, you have spent 80 cents of your dollar.”
  • You’re taking your prospects on a journey. Open the marketing (get their attention) to encourage them to read the opening line or paragraph (build interest) so they are hooked into reading the body copy (create desire) so the prospect reaches the end of your copy where you inspire them to take action.
  • Make your marketing as personal as possible.
  • Avoid filler words. Copy can be long, but it should be clean and without unnecessary language. 

Use this sales letter and the lessons within to grow your business and increase your service to the world.

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