Is this relevant to the copy? Did you (or would you) react the same way?

5 replies
Ok, for posterity's sake I'm not naming any names here. BUT there was another recent guru release, and I just read through the copy (I always do, it's pretty much the only reason I subscribe to guru newsletters)

Something struck me... This guru is offering a payment plan. That's great. Here's the problem...

He gave two options. Pay in full (a couple thousand dollars) if you're "a serious player"

Or pay in monthly payments if you're just starting out and don't know Adwords from your... Well, you know. (my words, not his/hers)

Personally I found that part to be a bit - well, insulting. I felt as if the writer was saying that just because I don't have $2k laying around to hand over to this guru, I must be a newbie who hasn't accomplished anything online.

I'm sure there are plenty of people here making $5k, $7k, even $10k/month who don't have an extra $2k to hand over. Does that make them newbies? No. Does it make them humans, with expenses OTHER than overpriced home study courses? Yes.

Should they feel snubbed for it? I don't think so.

Now, I understand that said guru or guru's copywriter may believe that you either make it or don't online. That nobody could be earning just $2500/month from their business - it's either nothing, or 5 figures.

But I think that just by using a bit of language incorrectly, this particular letter may be cutting out a large piece of it's market - people who have made some money online, maybe even make full-time money online - but feel insulted by being called newbies just because they don't have thousands of dollars laying around that they'd like to send off for this product.

If you've seen the letter, you know what I'm referring to (please don't name any names - I'm not here to start a guru-bashing contest, just discuss whether my reaction to that bit of copy is relevant or not.) If not, give me your feelings anyhow.

Lets talk about whether you would feel (or did feel) the same way reading the copy, and whether or not you think it's affecting conversion.

Happy Sales!

- Cherilyn
#copy #react #relevant
  • Profile picture of the author John_S
    I think whether it is "incorrect" is an arguable point.

    The far bigger problem is bottom feeders. That and a goad to those intent on being a player to get off the fence and commit, even if they aren't all the way there yet.

    It's a clever way to subliminally suggest "players" would actually buy the product -- a bandhanded way to credentialize if you will.

    You should not try to do as much business as possible, concentrate on profitable business. Not all customers are good customers.

    The only people I see being offended are bottom feeders who collect guru information but never act on it, expect magic, then ask for a refund. Exactly the people you want to discourage from ever considering the offer. In that it might be too diplomatic in stating the plain facts "The offer is for Adults only."

    There is an entire generation grown up around taking offense, even where none is offered. You can't write without someone, somewhere, willing and eager to take offense. It's part and parcel of the economics of victimization, and the alternative way to make it rich. More and more, with some obvious exceptions, that's not the writer's problem.

    P.S. One of the best selling series of how-to guide books -- over 15 million sold -- uses the word "Idiot" in the title. The idea isn't to identify yourself as an idiot, but as an intelligent person who should find the material super easy to breeze through. (because you're smart, not an idiot) Genuine Idiots probably won't buy these guides. After all, nothing is idiot proof.
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  • Profile picture of the author colmodwyer
    I've not saw the sales letter but from what you're saying it sounds sort of tongue in cheek; I don't think they're expecting anyone to be offended per se.

    For example Halbert referred to his subscribers as "Shit Weasel" from time to time... To me it comes across as if he's having fun, joking, playing but in an affectionate sort of way...

    I call my "buddies" worse which is where my sound (or otherwise) theory is coming from.

    That's not to say it wasn't meant as a sincere insult by Halbert, but it doesn't come across that way and it's likewise for the copy you're referring to, from my perspective anyway.

    That said it might just be a clever way increasing up front payment by having that Player Vs. Newbie scenario too... But if that's the case then I can see how it might have a negative effect on response too, by increasing the number of people who just don't buy because they can't afford the upfront payment, but are not prepared to call themselves a newbie because of it.

    It's interesting for sure, there must be some thinking and testing behind it whatever the case.

    It's little things like this that can make all the difference sometimes.

    Colm
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    • Originally Posted by colmodwyer View Post


      That said it might just be a clever way increasing up front payment by having that Player Vs. Newbie scenario too... But if that's the case then I can see how it might have a negative effect on response too, by increasing the number of people who just don't buy because they can't afford the upfront payment, but are not prepared to call themselves a newbie because of it.
      See, and that right there is what I'm really wondering about. I understand that it was likely done to increase up-front payment (i.e. hey, I can afford this - I must be a player!) but it also may have the opposite effect on others (i.e. hey I can only afford the payment plan, I must be a newbie. all that work on my business, and I'm not good enough yet...) etc.

      Some interesting opinions so far.

      Happy Sales!

      - Cherilyn
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  • Profile picture of the author John M Kane
    Hi Cherilyn,

    Name escapes me but, either Carlton, Halbert or whoever said if your not p*ng off SOME % of the readers off in the adv copy, then it isn't pushing strong enough and you are Losing $$. He didn't mean sales. He meant dollars. If you push harder more $ comes in.

    You won't name the "guru" so, I'll guess. Hmmm could it be "Surfer Dude"?

    No matter. If this one letter was my first exposure to this guru, yeah could be annoying to be called out for being an Adwords A$$ or cheap for budget planning it.
    Now, this said guru has a following. That is why they are called a guru.
    So, through time this Dude has whether designed or just due to his normal personality, has made online friends. They are his "buds" or members of his club.
    Like Colm discussed friendly "dissing" is really males terms of endearment.
    Fact: women buy differently then men. For whatever reason wrong or correct, it "appears" to me that men are the majority players in IM.
    If he wrote the letter to you personally then that could be an issue.
    Guys watch Bud Light commercials and laugh while ladies cringe.

    The crowd I hung with growing up were brutal with our kidding. So, pointed in fact that actual fights were started over it.(just a guy thing)

    I wish I new what the exact letter was so, I could be more certain instead of supposing.

    A single letter "s" has been discussed by a copywriter as having a very strong chance in tests.

    I don't know as I'm not there but, when one earns a certain level of $ and sending out an email will put some monster cash to add to their pile, they aren't running scared as I would. So, they can take more chances.

    That rant finished...the sales letters are not slapped together without VERY careful consideration of what each and every word will do to drive sales.

    I would guess the letter did gang busters.

    Be well. Have fun
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  • Profile picture of the author P_Cerrito
    Hi Cherilyn, One of the best salesmen I ever met said to always give the prospect two choices when it's time to close the sale. "Do you want the Red or Blue". Haha Notice that there wasnt a third- "nothing at all".

    I don't know who the guru is but it sounds like he was offering two distinct choices in his own way.

    PS- anyone making part-time to full time income online is a "Player" in my book.

    Cheers
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