Lift notes, also known as lift letters, are so-called because studies have shown that they can increase the response rate of a sales letter by as much as 50%. But what is a lift note exactly?
A lift note is a short letter or note from someone other than the writer of the main sales letter—editor, director, expert, creator of the product, etc. There are three powerful reasons why this is an effective tactic for increasing direct marketing response.
- The lift note’s physical difference and separateness from the main letter are one more chance to grab the prospect’s attention. It’s often short and less intimidating to read than a full letter. The difference in style or voice can also appeal to different types of readers. Furthermore, a good lift note will usually offer benefits not described in the main letter, something special about the product or service, or a special, “personal” offer.
- When the lift note gets the prospect’s attention, it can bring them into the main letter with positive feelings. Excitement, curiosity, peace of mind that the reader has already read your guarantee, testimonials, special benefits, etc. The lift note compartmentalizes the reader’s attention, similar to a text box. Its brevity is its greatest strength, in that many readers are more likely to read it carefully and hit all your high points.
- A lift note can give an extra impetus for the reader to act after she reads the letter. It’s an extra opportunity for a call to action, one more perspective on why your product or service is essential for the reader. A lift note works even better if you can take the reader’s interest and build on it with tantalizing leads such as: “Read only if you’re still not convinced…” or “Would an expert’s assurance help you decide?”
A good lift note should do only one thing—whatever that might be—and do it well. Whether that’s offering a “hidden” benefit, “secret” information, or an expert testimonial, the lift note should add another dimension to the sales pitch, not summarize what’s already being said elsewhere.