Seth has a cogent observation about the differences between direct mail, brochures and emails. Basically, most direct mail pieces — and this includes those long direct response Web pages — try to make the sale in one step. The famous (and challenging) “one-call close.” The copywriter tries to think of every possible objection you might have, then shoot it down. That’s why the copy in direct response is so long.
Brochures are different. They’re not trying to make the sale, but simply to move you along to the next step in the selling cycle. Brochures are supposed to make you take some kind of action. (With many, it’s hard to tell exactly what, but that’s because they’re poorly thought-out or badly written.) A brochure, as Seth put it, needs to be “engaging and hopefully viral. But its only job is to keep you in the running, not end in a transaction.”
Then there’s e-mail selling (with permission, of course). That has a whole different zeitgeist. It’s meant to spark a response, “to move a conversation forward, to help you learn a little bit about the person you’re engaging with.”
If your emails read like direct mail letters or look like brochures, Seth observes correctly, you’re wasting time and effort.