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An example of an email that really sells!

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From: Rowan Gormley [mailto:Rowan.Gormley@virginwines.com]

Sent: 12 July 2007 10:03

To: Drayton Bird


Subject: Help me keep my job. Please


Dear Drayton,

I would like to offer you a case of sensational, very hard to find wines, at half-price, a ludicrously low £3.17 a bottle. Why?

Well, some unkind people think that I spend all my time drinking great wines, in gorgeous places, with delightful people. And I resent that. Probably because it is so true.

The only bad thing is that the best winemakers are the worst salesman - and the best salesman are lousy winemakers.

And so to do my job (which is to find you wines that are better than you can buy at your local supermarket, for less money, by the way) I have to ignore the slick salesman with their massive marketing budgets.

To do my job properly, I have to discover the little guys. The winemakers who are too passionate about making brilliant wine to worry about how they are going to sell it. The kind of people who will get up at 2am to pick grapes by the full moon, to get the extra ounce of freshness. But won't get out of bed to see me when I come knocking on the door.

To get their attention (and therefore their wine) we decided to invite a group of our "in the know" customers to club together. After all a few thousand people knocking on the door are going to get a lot more attention than little old me.

That initial band of 2000 customers has now grown to 30,000 members.

Here is what they have to say about being a member of our Club.

"I had no idea there were so many delicious wines that I had never tried"

"I am blown away. Just a fantastic service"

So what is in it for you?

Well to start with, we would like to offer you a welcome case at half the normal price. A saving of £40. Why? The more members we have, the better we can buy, and the better we buy the more members we can have.

And then every quarter, after tasting our way through literally thousands of wines, we will pick out the absolute best for our members. We will write to you to tell you about the wines we have selected. You can then change the case in any way you want (more of this, less of that, or even no case at all). OR sit back and relax, and we will ship them to you.

And the best bit...after you have tried the wines, members get a minimum of 15% off the price that the general public pay. So you get the lowest possible prices, on the wines you have chosen, out of the wines we have chosen, out of the 1000's that we have tasted.

Is there a catch? Let me think....er....no. This is not one of those ghastly book clubs. If you don't want the wines, all you have to do is say so. We will refund your money instantly, without fuss, if you are not happy with the wine, the service or anything else. We will even come and collect the wines off your doorstep if you want us to.


So what does Drayton Bird think makes this copy so good?

  1. A great subject line. Surprising and it makes you want to know more. And everyone likes to help.
  2. It starts with an irresistible offer.
  3. There's bags of charm - it makes you laugh.
  4. A relevant surprise: the contrast is so clever and appropriate between those who sell and those who make wine.
  5. That same theme is carried through the whole message.
  6. This is convincingly supported when you read about the growth of the number of customers - plus the testimonials add weight to this.
  7. Then there's a wonderful wrap up that explains what a great deal it is.
  8. Finally it ends with a great guarantee.

Marvellous stuff. Compare your copy to it, improve, edit, improve, edit and you'll do well.

All the best.

Drayton Bird


See Drayton's website for more