You’ve read 100 articles on selling online.

And your sales refuse to improve.

…What do you do?

You go back to the “old masters” – such as John Caples.

Caples’ book, Tested Advertising Methods (one of 9 must-reads for all copywriters), describes the reason for direct mailers putting multiple pieces of selling material into a single mailing on page 149:


One advantage you have in direct-mail advertising is that you can enclose a number of different pieces of advertising material in the same envelope.

For example, the mailing may contain the following:

  1. An outer envelope, usually with what direct mailers call “a teaser”; that is, a must-open-and-read-more message.
  2. A personalized letter printed on white stock.
  3. A four-page folder printed on cream-colored stock.
  4. A leaflet of testimonials printed on green stock.
  5. A page of newspaper clippings reproduced on newspaper stock.
  6. An order form, printed on yellow stock.
  7. A business reply envelope printed on red stock.

…The reason [that this is more effective than incorporating everything into one booklet] is this: Much direct-mail advertising goes directly to the wastebasket. A prospect will rarely throw all of your mailing pieces into the wastebasket, however, without at least glancing at them.

…Therefore, your envelope plus six different inserts give you seven opportunities to catch the interest of the prospect…Note that this is an “opportunity,” not a guarantee. You must make EVERY SINGLE PIECE of your mailing SELL AT A GLANCE.


What an insight.

And aren’t we the same with our PDF downloads?

I’ll usually glance at it, and then file it away forever under the category of “might get to one day”.

Most ebooks are not selling pieces, but they should be. All your material should present your audience (of prospects) with an invitation to go deeper into your brand, whether that’s to become a customer or do something smaller. This does not mean to hold back all your valuable information behind a pay wall. It does mean to surround your valuable information with attractive invitations to take another step.


Building Your Mailing List With A Multi-Piece Bonus

Money is not the only thing of value exchanged online. Email addresses are harder to get than they were in the 2000s. It used to be enough to offer a subscribe button with the headline “Stay Up To Date” or “Never Miss A Post”. These days, that offer would be lucky to get an eye-roll.

These days, you need to step up your game.

What if your email optin funnel looked like this:

  1. An attractive offer that speaks to the heart of your audience.
    • I love James Clear’s optin offer as an example of a good broad offer: Change Your Habits. Change Your Life. Get self-improvement tips based on proven scientific research.
  2. A button that makes it clear no email is required.
  3. They’re taken to a page with several pieces of content.
    • Video
    • Short ebook
    • One-page printable checklist
    • Infographic
    • etc
  4. Each one offers specific, actionable steps to overcome a specific problem (small yet significant, for quick-wins).
  5. Each one, AT A GLANCE makes your mailing list look like the bees-knees…the dog’s bollocks…the whale’s vagina…for anyone interested in going further.


How much more powerful would that email funnel be than the standard optin form?

I’m excited to find out.

– James