Content Marketing & Successful Salesletters: Their Little-Known Similarity

Posted: September 27, 2011 in Business Tips, Content Marketing

Famous Wall Street Journal Sales Letter

Content marketing is very popular nowadays and it should be.  I believe it’s one of the most powerful ways to market in our current climate.

But the more I’ve thought about it the more I’ve realized there is a little-known, or discussed similarity between content marketing a successful salesletters of the past.

What is similar between these two things that, at first glance, seem to be polar opposites?

Let me give you an example and see if you can see the similarity I’m thinking of.

The Wall Street Journal Letter I have here is one of the world’s most famous copywriting pieces around.  It ran non-stop for 28 years without them being able to find another letter that was more successful.

Click on the letter to enlarge it.

Notice something?  It starts with story.   

What do content marketing and successful salesletters have in common?
Here it isSuccessful, classic sales letters use stories and content to lead to a sale.

People don’t usually think of them this way, but successful, classic salesletters used a TON of content.  It wasn’t just about pitching their products or services.

They engaged the reader.  They educated the reader. And only when they were done doing all of those things did they ask for the sale.

That’s why classic salesletters were so many pages long!  Sound familiar?

Effective content marketing does the same thing nowadays.  It just does it over time, over a series of published chunks of content (blog posts, videos, audio, whatever), instead of trying to accomplish it in one letter.

It’s like a salesletter broken apart and delivered overtime!

So before you go thinking that these old forms of marketing have nothing to teach you, think again.  And realize they’re distant relatives.  

If you want to see the second page of the Wall Street Letter, then go here.
Andrew Cavanagh also has a Wall Street Letter that many people have never heard of that you might want to see here.  (Both are found on Andrew Cavanagh’s blog.)

Check them both out.  You might learn something about effective content marketing from a surprising source!  🙂

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