Selling business banking.

Author:Wachtel, George
Position:THE LETTER CLINIC - Editorial

Like "the little black dress," the simple one-page letter is the staple of direct marketing; but Webster Bank (Connecticut) does not take full advantage of the format because of their banking-centric approach to the letter copy.

(1) Johnson's Box: When the reader opens up the envelope and takes out this letter, their eyes will focus on the headline in the upper right. But like the rest of the letter, the choice of words focuses on the bank and not the consumer's needs. Better to have said something like, "Want to help your business succeed?"... "Ready to take your business to the next level?"... or, "The tools to help your business succeed"

(2) Prospect Name: Business mailing lists usually come with a person's name attached to the record. While it is slightly more expensive and frequently changing, having a current name would make the piece that much more personal.

(3) Opening Paragraph: This is where you must grab the reader's attention by answering the question "What's in it for me?" But instead, the bank focuses on their great "Certified Business Bankers."

(4) Subheads: When the prospect first picked up the letter, they would usually look at the top headline and then scan the letter, reading the subheads to see if the letter is "worth reading." These subheads are too long and could be shortened to something like: "Great Business Checking Choices" and "Maximizing Your Cash Flow."

(5) Call to...

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