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Never Be Afraid To Hit 'Em Where It Hurts!

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Posted 9th July 2010 at 09:52 AM by Len Bailey

Never Be Afraid
to Hit ‘Em Where It Hurts!

I'm sure it comes as no surprise that I’m a "swipe file" enthusiast. I must have well over a hundred physical swipes in my file cabinet and scattered around my office. Plus hundreds – maybe even thousands – of electronic ones on my computer.

And I’m always adding to my collection.

I find them everywhere: In the mail … in magazines and newspapers … on the Web … and no less than five separate e-mail accounts. The only media noticeably lacking are radio and television … and I’m working on those.

Hmm … maybe I’m more of an addict than enthusiast. But since good Swipes are perhaps the most "performing enhancing" drug a copywriter can score, I guess I’ll put off rehab a little while longer.

Which works out well – because today’s Swipe of the Week is a dandy piece I received in my e-mail the other day courtesy of NewsMax.

Good headline. Great product and premiums.
But there’s one major problem
that cost them my sale …

This week’s Swipe doesn’t have the greatest headline ever penned. But it’s not too bad – and it certainly jumped out of the clutter to catch my attention. My wife and I both take natural supplements for thyroid issues. And we prefer natural remedies over Western medicine and "Big Pharma" drug companies.

So it’s a safe bet we’re good prospects for the offer.

Moving on from the headline … like the headline, the rest of the copy isn’t too bad. But it could definitely use some improvement. Especially in eliminating some of the passive copy and sentences that start with "And ...."

The layout and graphics work fairly well … with the possible exception that the bulleted list could have been spiced-up a bit by using checkmarks, arrows, or something besides plain old "Windows default" bullets.

The subheads aren’t bad, either. Not as powerful or exciting as they could be … but they lend itself well to the editorial/advertorial approach of the piece. My main critique is that in places they’re too close together, overwhelming the copy they introduce. And while this may help move the pace along, it also hinders the build-up to the offer – possibly moving the prospect into the sales pitch before he is ready.

The offer itself is solid. The newsletter is reasonably priced for the type of publication, and the premiums sound great. However, the offer would be much, much stronger if the copywriter had included the dollar value of everything the prospect receives.

It’s a clear violation of what I refer to as "Direct Response Rule #3: Never make them do the math." And the copywriter goes on to make an even bigger error – by burying the price.

I was ready to plunk down my dollars then and there …
But they lost the sale when I had to work to find out
what it was going to cost me.


Prospects are lazy. If you make them work too hard – or if you use a word that even remotely suggests they might have to work hard – you’re going to lose some sales.

Maybe a lot of them.

In this case, I was all ready to buy and started skimming through the copy to find the price. I finally found it … but by then I was too annoyed. The spell was broken. The moment had passed. And you could almost hear the ghosts of Ogilvy and Hopkins yell …

"LOST SALE!"

Okay, perhaps I’m overly sensitive to this. But chances are, many of your prospects will be as well. So do yourself a favor and make it easy for potential customers to order.

This copywriter might have avoided this money-sucking mishap had he given the piece to someone else to look over before calling it final. I often have my wife review my copy to spot such blunders. And if she’s not available, I’ll ask a friend or colleague not involved with the promotion.

You never know – you might even bring in an extra sale or two in the process.

Until next time ...

Best wishes for success!

Len

PS: Don’t get me wrong – this Swipe is a reasonably sound piece to add to your collection. Not a masterpiece by any means ... but still worth taking a look. So if you haven’t already done so, click here to download it now.
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