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Selling Like Harry and David September 13, 2007

Posted by David Dirks in Sales Copy that Sells, Small Business Advertising.
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dirksphoto.jpgA few posts back I was talking about using Ebay for selling excess inventory and doing that on a regular basis to improve cashflow.  Writing good copy for an ad, brochure, flyer, catalog, etc. is a combination of art and science.  If you want a good series of lessons (because we know that good copywriting can be learned), you needn’t go much farther than your mailbox.

Everyday, you receive mail offers to buy something.  Direct mail pieces galore bulge from your mailbox all the time.  Some of the best examples of highly effective copywriting are in some of the catalogs you get for free.

Take the Harry and David catalog.  Here’s how they describe one item:

Grand Fruit Basket

Demonstrate your flair for the fabulous. (We make it easy and fun!)


The day turns festive when this gorgeous basket arrives.  The deep, rich luster of this dark, stitched willow basket is attractive and immensely appealing.  We fill it with our famous Pears and Apples, three Cheeses, Fruit Preserves, Mixed Nuts and Mint Chocolates.  Fact:  It’s America’s best basket value, easy  to send and a real joy to receive. 

As you read the copy for other items, you’ll see that they don’t say the same things.  They creatively and tastefully weave a mental picture of what you are seeing…better than the picture of the product itself!  Now that’s great copy.

Of course, the copy that Harry and David provide in the catalog is matched to the type of product (food gift baskets).  If you sell automotive parts, or service heavy equipment, or provide financial consulting services, you need to use desciptors that are tuned to your business and customers.

Outside of hiring a good copywriter (which I would encourage if you can do it), make sure you write copy that does justice to your product or service offerings.  The Big Dogz, like Harry and David, know how to make it work to the tune of millions of dollars of sales volume.

Trust me, your local competition is not paying attention to the copy they write.  I see what they write in their ads, brochures, and…well, it hurts my eyes to read it.  It’s just another marketing and sales edge.

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