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 Direct Marketing Tips From The Pros

 Are your direct mail letters getting results? Try starting your letter with the “Johnson Box.”

A common opening device in many direct mail letters is the so-called “Johnson Box.” It is a summary of the offer, usually in an indented paragraph and sometimes boxed, which is positioned at the top of the letter, ahead of the salutation. The Johnson Box got its name from Frank Johnson, who used the device so successfully in the letters he created for American heritage. Actually, Frank Johnson doesn’t claim credit for the device he popularized. He says he doesn’t remember where he first discovered it, but it wasn’t his personal creation… While the Johnson Box is certainly at least one step removed from a secretary-prepared letter, it does quickly enable the reader to decide whether or not the proposition is something in which he or she may be interested. So once you get to the body of the letter, your entire audience is composed of people who want to be sold. 

By Richard S. Hodgson, from The Greatest Direct Mail Sales Letters of All Time. Copyright by The Dartnell Corp., Chicago, IL

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