On their way home from the playground, two kindergarteners were trying to think of a way to earn extra money. What skills did they have? What did they know how to do that some of their friends didn’t? Finally, they came up with two ideas for lessons they were pretty sure they could sell: teaching other kids how to tie their shoes and teaching other kids how to climb monkey bars.
One of our copywriting students recently related this little story on the AWAI online bulletin board — and good-humoredly challenged his fellow students to write a sample sales letter for the children’s new business.
Tina L. took him up on it.
As you will soon see, though she is just a few months in the copywriting course, Tina has already learned the basics about how to effectively use words to sell:
1. Your sales message must be about the reader and his interests, needs, and desires, not you and your wants.
2. It should contain some significant promise of benefits (again to the reader), implicit or stated.
3. The benefits should be concrete — easy for your reader to imagine.
4. Any claims you make should be supported by facts.
5. Difficult concepts should be included only if you can clearly illustrate them with examples and analogies.
6. Simple is better. One overriding idea presented repeatedly in different ways and with building evidence is much stronger than a string of related but distinct ideas.
How did Tina do with her “monkey-bars/shoe-tying” letter? I’ll let you be the judge. Here’s what she came up with. (See if you can spot where and how she covers the six points outlined above.)
MONKEYSHINES A SHOE-IN FOR FUN!
Run the fastest! Climb the highest! Have the coolest shoes in the class! You can have the BEST recess in the whole wide world AND have the most friends!
Dear Kindergarten Kid:
How would you like every day to feel like Saturday? How about if everybody wished YOU were their BEST FRIEND?
Picture this. No more dumb velcro shoes. No more sittin’ in the sawdust wishing you could climb to the top. And no more big kids who think you’re a baby that can’t do anything!
. . . when the bell rings for recess, you can run real fast, because you have on big-kid shoes with shoelaces that YOU TIED YOURSELF. Not only did you tie them yourself, but you have the biggest, strongest, DOUBLE-KNOTS in the whole school. You feel so powerful with your double-knots that you run faster than the wind . . . right past the rubbery seats of the swing set (they smell like old tires, YUCK) . . . right past the sloooowww slide on the fort . . . right straight to the MONKEY BARS.
You know. The monkey bars that are SO high up. The monkey bars where all those smarty-pants fifth graders are skipping double-backward (after jumping to the second bar! Showoffs!). They all look at you like “What are YOU doing here? You’re just a baby kindergartener!”
Well, I guess you’re gonna show THEM a thing or two. You grab that warm round ladder with both hands and, just like magic, your double-knot-tied shoes boost you up up up up. You wait a minute to fling a laugh at the big kids, and you JUMP . . . out, up, GRAB, and you are DOING it! YOU are on the monkey bars, and you are swinging like a crazy butterfly . . . all the way across . . . WOW!
Those fifth graders don’t look so big anymore. As a matter of fact, you are looking down at them from the top of the monkey bars, swinging those double-knot-tied shoes in the sunshine. And, wait just a minute . . . what’s that sound? Yep, they are CHEERING, going crazy, doing high-fives . . . they want to be YOUR friend, cause you are way cool!
“Oh sure,” you say. “How am I going to do that?”
Well, listen up. Here’s the plan. You are going to sign up for the Awesome, Incredible, AND REALLY REALLY FUN . . . ME-N-ALLISON MONKEYSHINES-N-SHOE SEMINAR!!
Here’s a chance to learn from the best. Nobody, but nobody, can tie shoes like ME. ME has been tying shoes since she was THREE, and has never had even one come untied. The secret to her success? Her patented process for the DOUBLE-KNOT. ME will have YOU tying shoes like you’ve been doing it all your life. It doesn’t matter if you’re a lefty or a righty. It doesn’t matter if you’re short or shorter. You’ll be tying shoes so fast your MOM will want you to tie hers.
But wait . . . there’s more!
Not only will all your velcro shoes get tossed out the window, but you’ll have the opportunity to learn 27 TIPS FOR MAGNIFICENT MONKEY-BAR MANEUVERS — and you’ll learn from the best. ALLISON. There’s a reason they’re called monkey bars, you know. You’ll be hanging from one hand. You’ll be jumping to the second. You’ll be skipping backward. You’ll be so good, you’ll make a monkey look like a dork.
But don’t take it from me. Listen to these satisfied customers:
“I used to hate recess. Now I have new purple tennis shoes with pink shoelaces. I rule.” — Ashley K., 5 years old
“ME-n-Allison’s class taught me everything I need to know about monkey bars. I don’t even get blisters anymore. I just like to hang around.” — Bruce Lee, Kindergartener
“Since my class took the Monkeyshines-n-Shoe Seminar, they are so popular! They all get invited to every birthday party!”
— Mrs. Miniver, Kindergarten Teacher
ME-n-Allison are only in kindergarten for a little bit longer. Soon, they’ll have to move on to first grade, and this “funtastic” seminar will be closed. Usually, a session of shoe tying and monkey bars would cost your parents $50, $75, or even $100! But right now, you can sign up for this incredible opportunity for just $4!! That’s right, you heard me . . . just $4. Besides, what do you care? You don’t have any money. Your PARENTS are going to pay for it! They’ve got LOTS of money! They will be so happy to have you go to the playground for a few hours that they will happily pay $4. They’re grown up! They know this is a BARGAIN!!
So HURRY! Sign up today and be running and climbing with the big kids!
P.S. This is a great deal, and I should know. I’m a MOM! If you sign up now, we’ll include a trip to McDonald’s for lunch after the seminar! See you there!