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Copywriting Throwback: How A Single Sales Letter (No Longer Than This Article) Can Bring In Billions Of Dollars In Profit


Copywriting Throwback: How A Single Sales Letter (No Longer Than This Article) Can Bring In Billions Of Dollars In Profit

Kevin Lim

Copywriting Throwback: How A Single Sales Letter (No Longer Than This Article) Can Bring In Billions Of Dollars In Profit

If you've ever wondered how effective engaging a freelance copywriter really is, consider this: over the years there have been dozens of sales letters which have brought in billions of dollars in revenue, all while being no longer than a few hundred words.

In this article you'll discover four classic sales letters that helped generate small fortunes for the companies (and countries) that used them.


The Puerto Rico Ad   

For decades the Puerto Rican economy was in shambles. Tourism was down and there were very few jobs to employ the locals.

Realising that they were in trouble, the Puerto Rican government hired legendary copywriter David Ogilvy to help them out.

In a 600 word sales letter, Ogilvy explained why Puerto Rico was a great country for manufacturers and business owners. He talked about tax incentives, ease of product distribution, and even compared costs with owning a company elsewhere.

This sales pitch convinced hundreds of companies to set up shop in Puerto Rico, generating billions of dollars for the country and helping them to sort out their financial trouble.


The Wall Street Journal Ad  

This was a simple sales letter that was so popular it ran for almost 30 years. During this time, the letter generated over two billion dollars in revenue for the Wall Street Journal.

In the ad, the reader is told a story about two young men. One becomes very successful while the other merely does “okay.” The ad then explained that the reader could learn how to be successful too, if they were willing to subscribe to the Wall Street Journal.

The ad became so famous that it has been copied and imitated by hundreds of advertisers, authors, and businesses.


The Rolls-Royce Ad  

Another ad written by David Ogilvy, this one was made up of bullet points and facts about the Rolls-Royce. The ad sold thousands of cars and, to this day, is considered to be one of the greatest automobile advertisements ever written.

Like the Wall Street Journal sales letter, this ad has been copied by hundreds of other sellers. However, none have ever come close to re-capturing the effectiveness of the original version.


The Coat Of Arms Ad

Although this ad did not technically pull in a billion dollars, it is a fantastic example of how effective a sales letter can be. While this advertisement was being sent out, it reached millions of homes and sold tens of millions of products.

The letter itself is simple, in less than 400 words the reader is told about a special coat of arms that matches their family name. For a couple bucks, the reader can had a sketch of the coat of arms sent to their home, along with a brief history of their family's last name.

Despite being a simple product, with a very short sales pitch, this letter was one of the most successful direct market pieces ever sent out. It goes to show you that even some basic copywriting skills combined with an “ordinary” product can yield big results.



A single sales letter can change the course of your entire business. When you're ready to experience massive success, take the plunge and get a freelance copywriter in SIngapore to help sell your products.