Just Slightly Contrarian: Hey, Will You Give a Guy a Lift?
On weekends, I used to hitchhike from Illinois to Kansas to see my girlfriend, and whenever my thumb successfully caused a motorist to pull off onto the side of the road, I would say, quite sadly, “Hey, will you give a guy a lift?”
Today, I’m still looking for a good lift. A good lift note, that is. Something to give my letter a boost. To move it on down the road … (Ever notice how analogies break down when carried out to their logical conclusions?)
Anyway, a lift note is much like a P.S. It serves the same function, only it’s supercharged. I guarantee you, it gets read before anything else in the package — especially if it’s yellow.
Why yellow? Because yellow works. Duh.
Perhaps you remember 30 years ago or so when magazine publishers started using a little, folded yellow lift note that said on the outside, “In case you decided to say ‘no’ to this offer … “ And on the inside was a special message from the publisher telling you why the subscription offer was so great.
Yes, that technique still works today. But if you think through the purpose of a lift note, you can come up with several more innovative and strategic methods of using it. For example:
1. Sell the response premium. Hype it. Tell them what it weighs. How it smells. What it feels like when they touch it. How they can use it. Sure, you’ve already mentioned those things in your letter, but the lift note drives the message home. Hangs it on the ceiling. Nails it to the wall. Saves it to the hard drive.
2. Give your donor some serious stroking. Remind him that he’s receiving this letter because he is really, really, really special. Unique. One of a kind. Smart. Sophisticated. Generous. A progressive thinker. A compassionate soul. Tell her that, unlike most other people, as in the case of the good Samaritan, “You don’t turn aside and go in the other direction. Instead, you go to the trouble to cross the road and lend a helping hand.”