Letters That Produced Miraculous Results

Chapter 5 from How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.



I'll bet I know what you are thinking now. You are probably saying to yourself something like this: "Letters that produced miraculous results! Absurd! Smacks of patent-medicine advertising!" It you are thinking that, I don't blame you. I would probably have thought that myself if I had picked up a book like this fifteen years ago. Sceptical? Well, I like sceptical people. I spent the first twenty years of my life in Missouri - and I like people who have to be shown. Almost all the progress ever made in human thought has been made by the Doubting Thomases (a person who is skeptical and refuses to believe something without proof.), the questioners, the challengers, the show-I crowd.
Let's be honest. Is the title, "Letters That Produced Miraculous Results," accurate? No, to be frank with you, it isn't. The truth is, it is a deliberate understatement of fact. Some of the letters reproduced in this chapter harvested results that were rated twice as good as miracles.

Rated by whom? By Ken R. Dyke, one of the best-known sales promotion men in America, formerly sales promotion manager for Johns-Manville, and now advertising manager for Colgate-Palmolive Peet Company and Chairman of the Board of the Association of National Advertisers. Mr. Dykes says that letters he used to send out, asking for information from dealers, seldom brought more than a return of 5 to 8 per cent. He said he would have regarded a 15 per cent response as most extraordinary, and told me that, if his replies had ever soared to 20 per cent, he would have regarded it as nothing short of a miracle.
But one of Mr. Dyke's letters, printed in this chapter, brought 42 1/2 per cent. In other words, that letter was twice as good as a miracle. You can't laugh that off. And this letter wasn't a sport, a fluke, an accident. Similar results were obtained from scores of other letters. How did he do it? Here is the explanation in Ken Dyke's own words: "This astonishing increase in the effectiveness of letters occurred immediately after I attended Mr. Carnegie's course in 'Effective Speaking and Human Relations.' I saw that the approach I had formerly used was all wrong. I tried to apply the principles taught in this book - and they resulted in an increase of from 500 to 800 per cent in the effectiveness of my letters asking for information." Here is the letter.
It pleases the other man by asking him to do the writer a small favor - a favor that makes him feel important. My own comments on the letter appear in parentheses. more

Recommended For You

1.1. Don't criticize, condemn or complain
Don't criticize, condemn or complain
. If you want to gather honey, don't kick over the beehive.
2.1. Become genuinely interested in other people
Become genuinely interested in other people
. Do this and you'll be welcome anywhere.
4.1. Begin with praise and honest appreciation
Begin with praise and honest appreciation
. If you must find fault this is the way to begin.