It’s pretty basic Marketing 101, but I’ll say it anyway: People love drama, sex sells, and consumers will almost always buy from someone whose name they remember and associate with a certain product.

So, no matter what product you’re selling, you want two things in the first paragraph of your letter: drama, a sexual situation, your name, and an introduction to the product you’re selling. Sounds like a pretty tough code to crack in one introductory paragraph, doesn’t it? Well, that’s why I get paid upwards of $2,371,218.50 a day to crack it for companies large and small all across America. (Currently living in rental car. See prior dispatches.) So, step aside and let me show you how it’s done.


OK …

Remember our simple formula: drama, sex, name, product.

Dear name of prospective buyer,

I killed a hooligan tramp in a train yard last night after inhaling floor polish from a paper sack with a lunatic street bum in a wheelchair, my entire crotch is on fire from an STD I picked up when I was in a blackout, my name is Dan Kennedy, and I’d like to sell you a new screen door or odorless pet litter box.

Now obviously you’re saying, “Dan, that was wonderful. You’ve crafted a dramatic, high-stakes letter that gets the consumer’s attention, a letter that inspires the confidence to buy … but you broke your own rules: you introduced two products.”

You got me! Guilty as charged! But two products is really the limit. Watch how your focus fades when I bring up more than two relatively simple products that everyone uses. I’ll still use the formula, but I’ll add a couple of additional everyday products to the mix.

Ready? OK …

Dear name of prospective buyer,

I set small fires in workplace wastebaskets because it sexually arouses me, my wife sells unclaimed county cadavers to an underground network of organ traffickers, my name is Dan Kennedy, and I’m offering big savings on bunion pads, a revolutionary weed trimmer, wigs, transistor radios, and sanitary hypodermic syringes loaded with 5 cc doses of bull adrenaline.

See how your attention is fading? Even if you wanted to buy something from me, I think you’d probably have difficulty remembering what it was I was selling! A wig needle? Sanitary pads? Revolutionary radio waves and marijuana? Who knows! The list was so long!

Now, you’re probably asking: Are there any exceptions to this formula of drama, sex, name, product?

The answer is no. Just to make my point, watch what happens when I rearrange the copywriting formula and reverse the order of the list, to product, name, sex, drama …

Dear name of prospective buyer,

How would you like to buy a great carport awning from China for about one-sixteenth the price of a carport awning made in the U.S.? My name is Dan Kennedy! Who among us wouldn’t love to be found more attractive by the opposite sex? Well, an angry gunman has just entered my home.

I rest my case, folks.