Attention! Have you forgotten Caution?

If you’re a big fan of old books on copywriting and advertising, one of the best places to find them online is at the Open Library

It’s where I found this gem of an illustration, tucked inside a PDF copy of Effective Direct Advertising, written by Robert E. Ramsay in the very early 1920s. If you click on it, you can see a much bigger version.

What I like about it is the reminder of a vital part of the sale process “” overcoming your prospect’s caution.

It’s a useful consideration to have tucked at the back of your mind. All copywriters are familiar with the AIDA model (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action). Most will know about AIDCA, where ‘C’ stands for a prospect’s ‘Conviction‘, or ‘Commitment‘.

But, perhaps because I’m a wary soul (or a skinflint, or from Lincolnshire, or all three), I also like to have the word ‘Caution’ at the back of my mind when I’m writing Direct Mail.

That way, I look at the offer from the customer’s point of view and pick holes in it. Only then do I have the answers to satisfy a buyer’s caution about price, security of delivery, length and cost of guarantee, refund policies and so on.

I then raise these problems in my letter, and answer them in a way that satisfies the reader’s caution.

So next time you’re writing a sales letter or anything else that encourages your reader to act, don’t stop at getting them interested in your offer, make sure you answer every objection they can think of.

The extra thought will pay off where it counts “” in sales.

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