The Simplicity of Being Great

What does it take to be great? Hard work? Yes. Sweat? Yes. Money? Maybe. Sometimes you just need to do more than the other guy but sometimes being great is simple. Sometimes simple is the hardest thing.

Today a man called about attracting more investors, people just like his current high end clients.
That’s ideal for direct mail so I asked if he’d tried it. He said no; he needed a brochure, and printing and … well, he had more excuses. I mentioned “Maybe just a great letter?” Oh, he said that won’t work.
I smiled and thought of the magic that one great letter can work in a marketing program.
The operative word is “great”. The difference between workmanlike and great in direct mail is as vast as the difference between a cartoonist and Vermeer.
The problem is that to a critical and untutored eye a great direct mail letter doesn’t look like much. It looks simple, which is much more difficult to achieve than something sophisticated – a word that in this context usually means corporate gobbledygook. The critic reading the direct mail letter is rarely a member of the target audience so, naturally, the letter doesn’t resonate.

(via Forbes)

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