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The 115-Word Letter That Made $40,000

If you have been studying copywriting for some time, then you know the name Martin Conroy. He wrote the famous Wall Street Journal “Two Young Men” sales promotion letter that generated over $1 billion in sales.

While we’re all familiar with Martin Conroy, he is just one of many
veteran copywriters our industry has been blessed with.

Let me introduce you to another.

Meet John Yeck

John Yeck isn’t a name that you would recognize.  Yet, John Yeck
was one of the top copywriters of his era.

He was one of the founders of Yeck Brothers Company, a direct mail
ad agency that produced a number of award-winning sales letters
for major corporations. 

One of my favorite sales letters was one that he had written for
The First Baptist Church of Dayton, Ohio. 

It won the Gold Mail Box Award from the Direct Marketing
Association and was probably one of the most copied church fund
raising letters ever published.

I absolutely loved that letter.

Here’s the copy.

“Nothing gives like a church organ. It gives joy at weddings;
strength at funerals; family greetings at baptisms.  It gives wings to
worship; power to praise, humility to thanksgiving; it gives rest to the weary; welcome to strangers; binding ties to friends. 

It gives to congregations of sons who follow fathers and then gives
to sons and sons again.  It finally gives of itself.

For over five generations, the present church organ at First
Baptist has given freely, generously, bounteously without stint.Think of an organ’s gifts, as you have received them; as your
children will in days to come.

Then give to a church organ, like a church organ, freely,
generously, bounteously…without stint,”

Wow–talk about a powerful little letter. 

It brings you in right at the beginning.  This letter connects with
you.  The letter brought in $40,000 in revenue–a huge amount for
the era in which it was mailed.

That’s the equivalent of $739,000 today!

Yet other churches tried using this letter with spotty results. 
How can this be?  Because the congregation at the First Baptist
Church had deep feelings toward its organ. 

The church we attend is a great church, but there is no connection
with our congregation and the church’s organ.

Our fundraising efforts are going to a new basketball gym!

Of course, I’m not sure that a basketball gym gives back in the
same way that a church organ does.  But that’s not my point.

Every letter you write needs to be crafted for its audience. 

Yes, templates work.  But they will never give you the big breakthroughs
that you are looking for.

And if you are planning to rise to the A-level of copywriting, the
people who are hiring you will be looking for more than all the
techniques that they see the other writers are using. 

In a world of sameness, this classic letter stands out. You need to
stand out, too.

What you should be seeing in this letter is its uniqueness…the
cadence of the copy…how it funnels you down deep into the
benefits that the organ provides and then asks you to give back. 

If you are new to my A-list group, I want you to know that I’m
one of the biggest collectors of old sales letters that I know of. 

I wouldn’t say that my swipe file rivals “Who’s Mailing What,” but over
the years I’ve accumulated a number of winners that I regularly
review and will break them down for you as to why I think they

I will post them here, along with my own swipe file, so that you can see great examples of powerful copy you can use to improve your own writing.


If you feel that you could use some personal sales coaching, I’m giving away my $3500 How to Sell Yourself as a Copywriter when you sign up for my Million-Dollar Copywriting Formula copywriting course.

That way you’ll not only learn the best ways to find and pitch work but also take your copywriting skills to the next level.

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Doug D'Anna

As a seasoned direct response copywriter, Doug D'Anna has created more than 100 widely-mailed control packages for the world's largest specialized information publishers—generating over $100 million in direct sales.